Monday, January 31, 2011

Eric Kurta Saves the Day Again! More Shoveling in First Ward

A resident in the First Ward just sent me an email stating that Eric Kurta shoveled out more crosswalks in his Ward today. He had helped in other wards with me including the 5th and the 3rd and now he is taking care of matters in his own ward the 1st as well.

Here is his note to me:

'Eric just shoveled out the crosswalks (in all directions) at 1st and Grand, 1st and Clinton, 1st and Willow, 1st and Park and 1st and Garden..."

Collage of Eric Kurta's snow removal efforts over the last several days.

My comment: I admire Eric Kurta for his dedication to addressing this issue as a volunteer. Besides he is also demonstating personal fiscal prudence as who needs to buy a gym membership if they are doing all that shovelling? Concern: Doesn't he have a campaign to run? ◦
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Hoboken Snow Shovel Volunteers Group- Rory Chadwick to organize

Shovel out Hoboken! Rory joins the call!
I had previously done a a post where I suggested that anyone interested in helping out shovel corners a bit to drop me a line at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com. No worries on duplication of effort since it will be apparent what needs to be shovelled out.

Reader and Hoboken Rory Chadwick at the http://www.thebokenonline.com/ has also done the same. Since Rory is most likely available during parts of the day and my efforts are confined to either nights or weekends give consideration to reaching out to him in addition to myself if you can give the time.

Here is the post from the The Bokenonline:

"I am starting up a Hoboken Snow Shovel Volunteers Group. With the past storms and few more to likely come, especially mid week upcoming I would like to see if anyone would like to join me in helping others that need the help the most. There are a lot of seniors and those with disabilities in Hoboken that can not perform and or afford to pay others to do the shoveling.

The group will focus on digging out those with handicapped parking spots, elderly residents with stoops and stairs, businesses owned by the elderly and more.

You can help for 5 minutes or help for the day. Please if you are interested email me at midtownauthentic@gmail.com. When a storm hits I will email everyone and we can go out as groups or alone and help. Together as residents we can make a difference and help those in need.

Thanks,

- Rory Chadwick

Here is the link to the re posted story on The Bokenonline:
http://thebokenonline.com/snow-2/join-a-volunteer-snow-shoveling-group-to-help-those-in-need/
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Hoboken Photo of the Day- NHSA Sewage Truck

Supporting infrastructure like sewers requires having the proper equipment. Sure Hoboken was happy to celebrate getting its new fire engine #3 last week but our pals over at the North Hudson Sewer Authority have some pretty powerful equipment as well. Here is what appears to be a relatively new rig parked on Washington Street.


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Hoboken Shovel Party - Eric Kurta is on a mission! Clear one corner at a time!

The "Eric Kurta Hoboken Snow Shovel Party 2011" continued on Sunday January 30, 2011 with more snow removal efforts.

Collage of Eric Kurta's snow removal efforts over the last several days

I was with snow shoveling ring leader Eric Kurta, Juan Melli and new to the party Gary Holtzman for two hours and the work pressed on. I met up with these guys at 4th and Park and we continued to shovel out more corners in both the 3rd and 1st Wards. Here are a few photos from round two yesterday. If anyone else of strong back wants to participate in the next snow event, work off some calories as well as enjoy the commraderie of doing good deeds for Hoboken, drop me an email at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com and I will let you know when the next such gathering will occur. I don't care who you voted for, this is about community and community response for the residents of Hoboken. If one little old lady does not slip on one of the shoveled out corners I will say mission accomplished. Every little helps in this nearly unprecedented winter snowpocalypse.

Eric Kurta, Gary Holztman, and Juan Melli shovel out
corner near HUMC (from r to l).

Eric Kurta, Gary Holztman, and Juan Melli shovel out corner near
Church Square Towers (from l to r).

Eric "The Android Shoveler" Kurta takes a brief respite.

Eric Kurta and Gary Holtzman help a man in a wheelchair gain access
by clearing the way.

And we have safe passage. Both Gary and Eric have done their good deed for the day.

Yes, when I wasn't taking photos I pitched in as well.

A brief video from yesterday's efforts on snow removal:

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update: Corner Car Snow Issues at 8th and Garden - Spot is Cleared of Snow! - Stop the Insanity!

Update 1/31/2011 11:15PM:

As of now, The Corner Car spot at 8th and Garden remains clear. See below:

The Hertz connect spot at 8th and Garden remains clear for now.
Shot on 1/30/2011 in the afternoon.

Domenick Amato declares a Jihad on Corner Cars
and annoys many neighbors. Time for an Arnold
Diaz "Shame on you" expose?


 And the 8th and Garden Street "Corner Car Killer"
is Domenick Amato:

The culprit is Domenick Amato of 167 8th Street who has been shoveling snow into this Corner Car spot. Customers and workers at Mario's Classic Pizza, a neighbor who sent me an email and people in my condo building have all seen him doing this multiple times during the last two weeks. So far on Sunday he has not repeated his shoveling snow into the Corner Car spot at 8th and Garden. We will find out over the coming days is this is just a truce or he has not yet given up on the idea of being a "Corner Car Killer".

As long as he chooses not to shovel snow into the Corner Car spot again I will not file an affidavit but if I see him do it  again that is a different story. I gave him fair warning this is what I will do so it won't be like he doesn't know where I stand on the issue. I am old school that way but my Old Country doesn't subscribe to the concept of "omerta".

For more background on the man here is a Hudson Reporter Story on Domenick Amato and his fruit stand. It is actually a nice story about the way Hoboken used to be.

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/4040171/article-Apples-and-oranges-Fruit-trucks-flooded-Hoboken-in-1960s-

Domenick is a dedicated property owner and has been a fixture in Hoboken for many years. It it does not give him the right to inconvenience his neighbors. It is flat out disrespectful. There is more on this but for now I will stop there.

Update 1/30/2011 9:10AM:

The 8th and Garden Corner Car saboteur was at it again. After two friends and I had shoveled the spot out yesterday,  not just for the program itself but to help the parking situation in the neighborhood I spotted him at it again and witnessed him piling snow in the corner spot for the third time in the last week. I did not have my camera or video handy but next time I will.

I finally confronted him last night at around 7:30 pm just after I saw him shoveling snow into the spot and what ensued was best described as a heated exchange. He claims that the City has no right to have a car sharing program as the motive he has for his un-neighborly actions. I reminded him that his actions were causing other neighbors grief and he did not seem to understand that concept or did not care. I shoveled the snow out of the spot again and stood watch over it for about 30 minutes last night. I could see him pacing down the street unsure as to his next move. As of this morning the spot remains clear. If anyone sees this guy putting snow there again please snap pictures or video with your cell phone and send to kurt.gardiner@gmail.com. I prefer not to go this route but I have already warned him I will file an affidavit if he does it again.

The person who is doing this lives in the Mr. Wraps building. The suspect/perp/jerk-off carries with him a metal shovel so consider him armed and dangerous. :)

Corner Cars Saboteur strikes again at 8th and Garden 1-29-2011! I shoveled the spot out again.


Update 1/29/2011 at 6:30PM:

Later this morning after I had finished this post on the Hertz corner car situation on my block I had decided to head downtown and check at the snow removal process at 1st and 3rd Streets. I had dropped Juan Melli a line and it turns out that was his plan as well. As I am walking out my door I notice a fairly tall gentleman by the name of none other than 1st Ward City Council candidate Eric Kurta. It turns out that he had read my post about the Hertz corner car futility and decided to take matters into his own hands even though the spot is in the 5th Ward. Next thing you know, Eric, Juan and myself were working hard to clear the spot. We had a shovel party!

Eric Kurta takes the initiative and shovels out 8th and Garden Corner Car spot which should be Hertz's
responsibility. It should be noted that this condition is not Hertz's fault entirely  a neighbor had maliciously
dumped snow in the spot rather than put it in the snow bank. It took the three of us about an hour and a
half and that included clearing out four additional spots for other cars to park.
Both Juan Melli and Eric Kurta shovel out the spot.  I also helped and was able snap a  few photos along the way.
Juan Melli works for the Mayor's office and this is not in his job description but it was great that he
 volunteered to help with his free time.  I also helped a woman dig out her car and clear some of the other spots.

Tada! Second Corner Car spot has been cleared after about 1 1/2 hours of work. The owner of the vehicle that was parked there (not a Corner Car) had seen us clearing it and figured it was time to pull it out.  
Mario from Mario's Pizza gets a Cameo here. He did not shovel here but in the past has
helped out keeping the grates on our corner cleared out. Today it was our turn.
So going forward:
  • Hertz has to do a better job of responding to clearing out snow.
  • The saboteur neighbor who dumped the snow in the Corner Car spot has to stop doing this.
  • The City Council needs to pass the ordinance for Corner Cars to allow legal towing when required.
  • It is OK that neighbors pitch in to help from time to time but Hertz has to still handle these snow situations better.
  • Mike Russo and Terry Castellano need to treat Ian Sacs with respect. He is eminently more talented and professional than John Corea ever was and yet those two council people's behavior towards Ian is absolutely abhorrent.
  • This program isn't perfect and needs to be tweaked along the way.
  • One must acknowledge that Eric Kurta can indeed shovel with such adroit efficiency. People might mistake him for and android and call him a machine candidate. :) Just kidding. I put in my share of shoveling too but that man is a whirling dervish when it comes to snow removal.  
After finishing at 8th and Garden the three of us with shovels in hand made our way down to 3rd Street to dig out more corners in the 1st Ward. Several people yelled sarcastically where is your yellow "Team Mason" shirts. Other than a brief chuckle we paid them no mind. More on that later.

Neighborhood WIN! Hobokenites Pitch in and
Clear Parking Spaces!
  
8th and Garden now Corner Car clear until next week's snowstorm.

Click Read More Below:


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Hoboken Street 4th Street Towing and Snow Removal 1-30-2011

Here are some photos of the towing that preceded street cleaning efforts on 4th Street in Hoboken today 1/30/2011. Quite a few cars were towed but the streets are at least cleared until the next big storm. 4th Street is an emergency snow route so this was a necessary step since we could getmore snow this week. 11th Street is next for removal this coming Tuesday.


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Hoboken Snow Removal Information: No Parking On 11th Street Or Vezzetti Way

From the City of Hoboken, more snow removal on its way Tuesday....

Beginning at 8 am on Tuesday, February 1, the City will plow and clear snow from 11th Street, and residents must move their vehicles or risk being ticketed and towed.

Similarly, residents parked along Vezzetti Way west of Willow Avenue must move their vehicles. The City has been dumping snow along 17th Street, a dirt road on the northern end of town, but is running out of space and may begin dumping snow along Vezzetti Way.

“Despite the record amounts of snow this winter, our snow removal team has worked incredibly hard to keep our streets clear,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I want to thank them and our residents both for their cooperation in these efforts and their patience. Although it’s sometimes inconvenient, we must clear our streets as much as possible for public safety reasons.”

Crews have cleared both sides of the entire length of 1st and 3rd Streets and are currently clearing snow from 4th Street. After finishing to clear 4th Street, crews will continue to remove piles of snow from street corners throughout the City on Sunday and Monday.

Effective immediately for public safety reasons, cars that are improperly parked in a way that obstructs the flow of traffic or emergency vehicles anywhere in the City are at risk of being towed. Residents should monitor weather reports and ensure that they are not parked along snow emergency routes while streets are snow-covered, as they will be at risk of ticketing and towing.

Updates will be provided on the City website, http://www.hobokennj.org/, and residents may also sign up for alerts from the City via text or email through the Nixle system by signing up at http://local.nixle.com/city-of-hoboken/. Parking permit holders who have not been receiving automated phone messages from the City and wish to do so may contact the Parking Utility at 201-653-1919 or parking@hobokennj.org to make sure that an accurate phone number is on file.

My comment: I can imagine it is an inconvenience and economic hardship for some residents that had their cars towed but the shear amount of snow constitutes an emergency situation as the snow must be moved. If we get another 13"-15" this week and the Administration did not clear these emergency routes the would be roundly criticized for not being proactive. At least the Administration is being proactive on this. Issues like this winter and the amount of snow are tough calls that Mayor's have to make. At least our Mayor is making those decisions. ◦
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Hoboken Video of the Day - New Fire Engine #3

Here is a brief video I shot of the new fire engine that was on display in front of City Hall on Friday January 28, 2011. Needless to say many of the firemen and onlookers felt like kids in a candy store.


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Mayor Zimmer Responds to Hoboken Revolt

Hoboken Revolt received a response from Mayor Zimmer in regards to our request for 2010 accomplishments and 2011 goals. The Mayor stated her administration is pleased they were able to issue the letter of intent to potentially sell HUMC. She said residents can find her first year accomplishments at ww.hobokennj.org/mayor.
Mayor Zimmer also said she will share her 2011 goals in her "State of the City" address in February.



Actually, the link to Mayor Dawn Zimmer's one year list of accomplishments is here on the City Web Site:
http://www.hobokennj.org/news/mayor-zimmer-marks-one-year-of-progress-for-hoboken/

And the same list reprinted on my site:

http://thehobokenjournal.blogspot.com/2010/08/here-is-latest-press-release-out-of.html

Here is the Mayor's letter to Revolt below:


Click to Enlarge

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Photos and Videos from 3rd Street Snow Removal in Hoboken

Today, the City of Hoboken was working at clearing both 1st and 3rd streets. I went down with both Eric Kurta and Juan Melli to check it out and help a bit shoveling out corners. Eric Kurta had helped me in my ward earlier today clearing out the Corner Car spot at 8th and Garden. I also ran into Joel Mestre of OEM and officer Vince Lombardi and got a heads up of how they were handling this operation,.

Below are some photos of the City of Hoboken and contractors clearing 3rd Street with some volunteers as well. Kudos to all who put in the OT or volunteered. Kudos again to Eric Kurta who is human after all. After about 4 solid hour of shoveling he went home. I guess he is not a robot after all. Someone get that man some Advil. He deserves it.


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Carmelo Garcia Responds to Hoboken Revolt BOE Questionnaire

Hoboken Revolt has put out a Board of Education Questionnaire for 2010-2011 and BOE Board member Carmelo Garcia is the first to respond. Carmelo will likely head up one of three anticipated slates in the upcoming BOE race. The other two will be likely headed up by Kids First and the other by Maureen Sullivan whose slate last year was Real Results. Here is the intro as well as the questions by Revolt and Carmelo Garcia's answers....

On behalf of the Steering Committee, here is the first of the BOE responses.....

Hoboken Board of Education member Carmelo Garcia responded to Hoboken Revolt’s BOE Questionnaire. On behalf of the Steering Committee, I would like to commend Carmelo for having the courage and integrity to respond and for his willingness to go on record with his policy positions and perception of progress in the District.

Given their involvement with the inner workings of the school administration, school board members should be intimately knowledgeable of how our tax dollars are being spent and how progress is being made toward scholastic and financial goals. They should understand and be aware of the impact of their decisions. We also believe our elected officials should be on top of upcoming state legislation that may impact the District. They should have an opinion on these matters so they are prepared to position Hoboken for any change in state aid or law.

Finally, board members should make every effort to communicate with residents and citizen groups like Revolt. We hear that good things are happening in our schools. Let us know where we are succeeding and where we still need to improve.

Again, I commend Carmelo for having the courage to respond first. The bar has been set. Please write the others on the BOE and encourage them to go on record with their response.

Love Your Town, Stay Involved.

Here are the "others" email addresses:
theresa@theresaminutillo.com and theresa.minutillo@hoboken.k12.nj.us
sullivanmaur@hotmail.com and maureen.sullivan@hoboken.k12.nj.us
rose.markle@hoboken.k12.nj.us
leon.gold@hoboken.k12.nj.us
ruth.mcallister@hoboken.k12.nj.us
jeanmarie.mitchell@hoboken.k12.nj.us
frances.rhodes-kearns@hoboken.k12.nj.us;
irene.sobolov@hoboken.k12.nj.us

- Donna Antonucci
Hoboken Revolt Steering Committee
Hoboken Revolt Questionnaire Question and Answers
Hoboken Board of Education
2010 Accomplishments and 2011 Goals

Carmelo Garcia's Response on 1/14/2011

Carmelo Garcia Hoboken BOE member
Revolt Question:

1. What do you feel were the BOEs major accomplishments for 2010? What do you feel your major accomplishments were as a BOE member? What are your major disappointments for the year? What will be your approach in calendar year 2011 to make an impact on these matters?

Carmelo Garcia Response:

1. We had many major accomplishments that included assembling the right professionals like our proficient business administrator Robert Davis who was able to give us an honest analysis and instituted cost savings measures like the buy-back lease program. We hired good leadership in our interim and asst. supt. to steer us in the right course. We had the opportunity to properly forecast to search for ways to reduce per-pupil cost, eliminate non-essential expenditures and right size our human resource allocation such as consolidating the BA/board secretary position which I’ve been an ardent supporter of merging different positions to save and create more efficiency. I always push to apply Jim Collins “Good to Great” methods to ensure the best outcome for our district. We met many of our board goals, especially with the search and selection of a new superintendent of schools to establish stability and carry out a long term plan. Our implementation of the laptop program by utilizing our American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds has been a huge success. We also allocated funds for an increased effort through different training methods and tools in our special needs department. I’ve always been a strong advocate in bringing our students a world class 21st century education that would prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders. Give them the ability to compete globally by becoming conceptual, creative and collaborative leaders. I’ve urged for more programming, public-private partnerships at the high school level. The transition to AP versus IB and the implementation of a competitive curriculum that would prepare our students for the real world. We’re strengthening our areas of functionality, methods of teaching through more professional development and top notch teacher representation. Finally, a great milestone was the improvement of our AYP scores at Connors school and other areas throughout all our schools, the increased # of students going to college from the high school or to a vocational school and finally our early childhood program’s progress. We’ve updated many policies and passed tougher ones like our new anti-bullying policy.

a. One major disappointment was not being approved to receive the funding for the renovation of Connors school and Hoboken High school as the children of the 4th ward deserve better, a state of the art facility like Calabro where we can supply them with a sustainable school. Secondly, it would be not reducing our spending in professional services, third would be not having a parent’s tool kit along with the inability to get a universal technological vehicle to replace “simple” that would allow parents to track their child’s progress and interact more with teachers via the web.

Revolt Question:

2. What do you expect the cost per pupil to be this year? What do you think the right level of expenditure per student should be in Hoboken? Feel free to qualify your answer between cost per pupil with and without state aid.

Carmelo Garcia Response:

2. I expect our per pupil cost to go down as there are many factors that play into that configuration so we can only work towards reducing it by instituting other cost saving measures. We are a free and reduced lunch community whom the state recognizes as an abbot district so there are many children entitled to an excellent education therefore the cost can vary but it should be below the state average depending on comparable district size. As we expect our state aid to be cut but don’t know the exact number until then we can’t determine where the cost should be.

Revolt Question:

3. What BOE budget areas, if any, do you feel need further examination for cuts? How do you feel about upcoming teacher contract negotiations and raises given the current economic outlook?

Carmelo Garcia Response:

3. Central office is one of your first areas that you look at for instance, do we need an assistant superintendent for a district of our size? Our facilities management cost such as, our utilities. Our insurance plans and professionals. Do we need to create any more new positions considering our present human resource architecture that seems to fit? I believe everyone is feeling the pain and employees are cognizant of the increased health care cost, the innovative ways other employees are giving back to their employer in order to show their appreciation of their work and employment. I’m confident that the negotiations will be civil, mature and understanding to the tough parameters we’re all boxed into especially when we’re constantly keeping an eye on the bottom line to ensure accountability to our taxpayers and students so that every dollar goes back into the classroom.

Revolt Question:

4. The issue of whether the Board and Administration are doing enough to identify and expel unlawfully registered students has been often discussed and debated.

a. What proactive measures has the District undertaken to root out unlawfully registered students?
b. How many students enrolled in the District but who reside elsewhere have been identified and eliminated from our schools in calendar year 2010?
c. How has that impacted the average cost per pupil?
d. Has the District done anything to encourage out-of-town students to register through School Choice? If so please describe those efforts? How successful have those efforts been, i.e. how much money do we now take in through School Choice v. the year before?

Carmelo Garcia Response:

4. To address the issue of unlawfully registered students I have recommended the district to request the leases of residents as a proof of verification. We’ve pushed for the hiring of a truancy officer who tracks down those kinds of offenses. I’ve suggested charging that taxpayer who breaks the law the cost of tuition for the child if caught committing fraud. The administration has enforced the policy by uncovering about 15 students that were not residents but registered in our schools. We’ve used the laptop program as a tool to qualify that child’s residency which was another effective method. The district has promoted our school choice program as it’s required for the district to market that option.

Revolt Question:

5. Governor Corzine instituted the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act in 2007 that encourages the consolidation of school districts to ultimately reduce overhead within 5 years. The legislation calls for a public referendum by 2012 to consolidate districts.

a. What is your position on this legislation? Do you see it proceeding and in what timeframe?
b. Do you see it as positive or negative? Why?

Carmelo Garcia Response:

5. I believe in shared services as it’s critical to the success of all public entities especially when you can develop a consortium or cooperative agreement that employs economies of scale method to reduce your overhead. As a matter of fact I sponsored one of the first resolutions to enter into a cooperative pricing plan and later an agreement with the city to share service for its information technology upon eliminating the position of director of information technology. These kinds of reforms are always positive when there is togetherness and everyone is looking at the bottom line on how our students get educated and how the funding is spent.

Revolt Question:

6. Although Hoboken Revolt's mission centers around tax reduction and responsible fiscal management, we recognize the importance and urgency of educating our children. There have been mixed comments about the scholastic improvement in the District. Please summarize what progress you feel we have made in improving the quality of education for Hoboken children. Where have we digressed, if at all, and what do you think we need to do to get back on track? Please feel free to provide scores over the last 5 years by grade to support your comments.

Carmelo Garcia Response:

6. In closing, in order to truly appreciate the our progress on scholastic improvement you must know the history of our Hoboken’s public school as when I went to them it is like night and day. Today I’m always a proud product of our public, but even more so now because I’ve been a driving force for the change that our children have experienced from receiving SAT-preparatory classes to the adoption of tools of the mind, IB and now AP. I have seen dramatic improvements in student achievement and it’s been all hard work. It’s also just as important to have a pulse on the community needs which is why our public schools are ready to transcend all benchmarks so all families can have their children succeed as all ships will rise when everyone believes, supports and invest in public education. Additionally, we need to nurture sustainable schools, invest in universal methods that program all professionals to teach to the whole child. We need to recognize and value how far we’ve come in order to know where we’re going. We are a diverse community that requires integration, differentiated instruction and care for one another to create a true melting pot of academic excellence.

Sincerely, Carmelo G. Garcia ◦
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Hoboken’s Prescription Drug Plan: An Overview - by Scott Siegel

Kudos to Scott Siegel who performed his research and gave me the first half of this piece.....

Hoboken’s Prescription Drug Plan: An Overview

Recently the Zimmer administration joined with the prestigious Heinz Foundation to announce a drug prescription program that is available not just to seniors, but to each and every citizen of Hoboken. The plan will be accepted (at least initially) by all Hoboken Pharmacies. It promises savings of up to 80%. 45% is considered to be the average. Imaging and tests savings are estimated at 50-80% and even your pets are included. You can pick up a card online ( http://www.coast2coastrx.com/hoboken/), at most pharmacies, City Hall, the library, Multi-Service Center, Housing Authority and HUMC. Hoboken 411 (aka Mason 411 for its undying support of all things Beth Mason) published a story graphically depicted as “Scam Alert”. They did mention that Hoboken will receive a 50 cent fee on each transaction. Rather than insinuating that this is some sort of underhanded slush fund, I think it shows once again how fiscally conservative our mayor is. Another small benefit for our beleaguered tax payers.

411 also mentions two “better” cards and asked Hobokenites to compare them. Well, I did. The first: TogetherRxAccess only accepts people who earn $45K per year or less. The Hoboken Card as stated is open to 100% of us. There are no restrictions such as health concerns. The second is: YourRxCard. This plan offers 0 to 75% in savings. What they don’t tell you is that that card can only be used in 2 Hoboken pharmacies- Baron’s and Albini’s. The Hoboken Card covers 7 independent pharmacies (that I could find) and chains such as CVS, Rite Aid, ShopRite and Walgreens.

On the Internet I was able to locate 18 other plans. Two had income limits similar to TogetherRxAccess, while 5 had differences between generics and brand names. Only one comes close: RxDrugCard. This card does not include Walgreens, although it’s possible that is due to the fact that it’s so new. The difference is that this one charges an annual fee of $45 (single) to $50 (family) while the Hoboken Card is free! Please look at the spreadsheet comparison so you can understand how valuable this free card could be for you, your family and especially your pets.



- Scott Siegel

Additional Background - The Editor

Here goes Perry Klaussen Again and Again! ....

In Hoboken 411's piece entitled Hoboken Prescription Fiasco (http://hoboken411.com/archives/57970), Perry Klaussen or his angry little ghost writer who goes by the moniker channel 78 anchorman came up with the assertions:
   
Hoboken 411 pointed out that in a Google search there were claiming discounts even higher than the “Coast2Coast RX” plan the city chose to partner with. So why not sign up to all of them and compare “savings?”

Actually, not bad advice and the article went on to mention two plans specifically:
TogetherRxAccess (http://www.togetherrxaccess.com/Tx/jsp/home.jsp) and
Your Rx Card (http://www.yourrxcard.com/).

Neither of these plans were accepted in all or even most Hoboken pharmacies and TogetherRxAccess was only available to lower income residents. The plan the City chose is accepted in all Hoboken pharmacies and is available to all Hoboken residents.

Perry Klaussen: Declining website traffic and
ever declining credibility.
Hoboken 411 went on to make the following statement:
"The city DID NOT mention in their press release – is that they paid get a commission for every single prescription filled (around 50 cents or so). Why didn’t they mention it? Were they planning on pocketing the money? Don’t you think that if this prescription plan was going to benefit taxpayers, they’d include it in their press release? What about an audit? How do you know the city will report every penny collected? Are they going to “under-report” the commission so that someone can make some nice pocket change on the side? Too many potential loopholes for my comfort level."

Actually, in the two media advisories that went out before the press release it was clearly stated that Hoboken would get 50 cent per transaction. There was absolutely no attempt of the City hide anything and several other real news sources pointed that out. Of course Perry and his declining site are not considered part of the media by the Administration so he likely did not get the media advisory or chose to ignore it.
This Rx Discount plan is no panacea but for even people with good plans the larger formulary could give consumers choice and savings when their drug is not in their main plan's formulary. And for those without insurance, some discount is better than none.

WTF is up at Hoboken 411?

The lack of credibility of Hoboken  411which doesn't get everything wrong, just the most important details has become more and more eveident. His onesidedness and censorship of comments have formed a perfect ani-trinity and sent that website into a Beth Masonesque death spiral. At first it was the censorship, then it was the editorial slant, now even the factual validity of the content has suffered as more and more contributors have been driven away. The only consistent contributor that allegedly stays on, has by his own public admission a weak math background and apparently no college degree. It shows in the piss poor argumentation on his website on a consistent basis. It is one thing to get up and blather on for 5 minutes with half truths on Channel 78 but it is another to be able to have your argument hold up in writing over time. When confronted, Hoboken 411's diminutive and angry ghost writer leaves his screen names and goes into his little Internet shell like a tortise in his little shell.  A Beth Mason electoral defeat in May or June could send this site the proverbial nail in the coffin. Howver, like a bad zombie movie Hoboken 411 could stay animated for a while longer although officially declared dead. What a blown opportunity. To think I used to really enjoy that site. Oh , what a few years of bad decisions has done! (And I am not just talking about Beth Mason's political career). ◦
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Hoboken Photo of the Day - City Hall in Snow

Today's Hoboken Journal photo of the day is that of Hoboken City Hall after the 18 inch snow storm on 1/27/2011. I like the effect the clouds have on the lighting.

Hoboken City Hall during the winter.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Spread the Word- Snow Removal to Continue This Weekend

Emergency snow removal will continue along 1st, 3rd, and 4th streets this weekend. Residents will need to move their cars or be towed in these streets.

SNOW PLOWING AND REMOVAL TO CONTINUE OVER WEEKEND ON 1st, 3rd & 4th STREETS

Plowing and clearing of snow along the parking lanes of both sides of 1st Street and 3rd Street will take place on Saturday, January 29 and along 4th Street on Sunday, January 30.

This is necessary to ensure the safe passage of fire apparatus. The Police Chief has declared a snow emergency along these streets, and residents should remove their vehicles by 9 am on the designated day or risk being ticket and towed. Residents may park along these streets once both sides of the street have been cleared.

“We need to clear our streets as much as possible before the next storm hits, but I recognize it can be difficult for people to dig out their cars,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I strongly encourage residents to volunteer and help their neighbors dig out, especially the elderly and disabled. Another major storm is possible next week, and we’re doing everything we can to prepare for that storm.”

Due to the impending storm and the need to address public safety issues, enforcement of alternate side parking street cleaning regulations is suspended until further notice.

In addition to clearing 1st, 3rd, and 4th Streets, the City will also continue to clear snow piles from as many street corners as possible.



Link:
http://www.hobokennj.org/news/snow-plowing-and-removal-to-continue-over-weekend-on-1st-3rd-4th-streets/
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Hoboken Fire Engine #3 Makes its Debut!

Hoboken has a band new fire engine, a pumper, Engine #3 that was on display today in front of City Hall. I had attended the original subcommittee meeting when the recommendation to purchase it was forwarded to the City Council on November 30, 2009. The truck it replaced was originally purchased in 1988. It was time for that old engine to retire.

Chief Blohm provided Mayor Zimmer with a tour of the Engine, and it was parked in front of City Hall until 5 pm Firemen were on hand and distributed Hoboken Fire Department challenge coins, fire helmets, coloring books, rulers, pencils, and key chains.

The new fire apparatus, a Spartan Metrostar manufactured by Crimson, is capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute and can transport five seated firefighters along with a reservoir tank carrying 500 gallons of water.

Here are about 50 photos from the event:




For additional technical information on the engine, visit:

http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/publicsafety/HobokenNJTechnicalinfo.pdf
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Fox Hills Seniors Get Information on Parking today

Hoboken Fox Hills which is a senior citizen building, received information on parking rules in their community room today on 1-28-2011. Peter Cunningham, Carmelo Garcia, Ian Sacs, Leo Pellegrini were in attendance to relay information. This is part of a tour from the City Of Hoboken to do this at the City's 5 Senior Housing buildings. According to Ian Sacs this was 5th Ward Peter Cunnigham's idea and now it is underway. Coffee and donuts were provided afterwards, News 12's reporter Celia Mendoza was also present to document the new program for their Spanish Channel. Hearing Carmelo Garcia give his talk in Spanish was a real event. If you thought he was a fast talker in English you need to hear him in Spanish. :) I am just kidding Carmelo. He did give my website a plug to news 12 so we will see if that makes the airwaves. My photos are from after wen Ian Sacs gave his presentation on parking rules.

Photo slide show of the event is below:


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Hoboken's New Fire Engine in front of City Hall today at 3pm

A reminder from The City of Hoboken.....

MAYOR ZIMMER AND FIRE CHIEF BLOHM TO SHOWCASE HOBOKEN’S NEW FIRE ENGINE

Mayor Dawn Zimmer will join Fire Chief Richard Blohm at 3 pm on Friday, January 28th in front of City Hall to accept delivery of the City’s newest fire engine.

Hoboken's newest Fire Engine Number 3
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us, so I’m glad that we are able to provide them with the best equipment utilizing the latest technology possible so they can do their jobs effectively and keep us safe,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This new Engine will improve our response capability and modernize our fleet by replacing one of our oldest vehicles purchased in 1987.”

After Chief Blohm provides Mayor Zimmer with a tour of the Engine, it will remain parked in front of City Hall until 5 pm so that residents, especially parents and their children can view the vehicle. Fire fighters will be on hand to distribute Hoboken Fire Department challenge coins, fire helmets, coloring books, rulers, pencils, and key chains.

The new fire apparatus, a Spartan Metrostar manufactured by Crimson, is capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute and can transport five seated firefighters along with a reservoir tank carrying 500 gallons of water for a quick fire attack. The vehicle, which meets or exceeds the standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, also has a variety of equipment including several ladders and more than 2,000 feet of fire hose along with the various fire nozzles and adaptors necessary to extinguish a fire.

For additional technical information on the engine, visit:
http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/publicsafety/HobokenNJTechnicalinfo.pdf

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/mayor-zimmer-and-fire-chief-blohm-to-showcase-hobokens-new-fire-engine/

- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal. ◦
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Quote of the Day - 1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta

On Hoboken Patch, Eric Kurta offered this advice to residents regarding Hoboken snow removal efforts.

"In order for plows to effectively clear parking lanes, it is important that residents move their vehicles during posted street cleaning times."

- 1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta on Hoboken Patch


Perhaps it should be Eric Kurta's campaign slogan "The Voice of Reason"  rather than Nino Giacchi who has made an art form of sounding reasonable and voting the wrong way almost every time recently at Hoboken City Council meetings. ◦
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Tired of the Snow - Consider Yacht Week!

Hoboken Reporter writer Ray Smith most likely suffering from a case of cabin fever especially after all this snow we have been having, tweeted about going to this place last night:



After viewing this video, I thought to myself maybe a vacation is in order. Yacht Week! seems like a lot of fun. ◦
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Poll: Should Katia Stack reimburse Union City for the gas she used?

NJ.com is having a poll on whether Brian Stack's ex-wife Katia Stack should reimburse Union City for gas or not. This is in response to the Arnold Diaz expose featured on Fox News yesterday and shared on my site. Feel free to cast your vote:

Poll: Should Katia Stack reimburse Union City for the gas she used?
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Photos of the Day - Downtown Battery Park NYC After Snow Storm

I took these photos yesterday in Battery Park in New York City after yet another 18 inch snow storm rocked the area on 1/27/2011.




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Walgreens open for business

After some significant delays the Walgreen's in Hoboken is now open for business.  I stopped in yesterday 1/27/2011 to check out Hoboken's latest retail pharma option. It is located at the former TD North Bank building at 101 Washington Street near the CVS. It does make me wonder if both of these pharmacies survive?

Below is a gallery of photos of the new place. I think they did a pretty good job of restoring the building where they left in as many of the original features as they could. I never wish ill of any new business but to me the opulence of the building doesn't seem to fit the type of store that is now in there. Perhaps that will be their competitive advantage. They will be able to easily boast that they have a more attractive store than CVS. We will have to see if that pans out given that product lines and prices more or less are the same. One difference that I noticed about their product line vs. CVS is that they have fresh produce and prepared meals. Readers: Let me know how the prices stack up in the comments below:



My Comment for Discussion: The optimal type of business for that building could be some kind of supper club. I am thinking big bands and concerts but that would require a major investment. It would be another option than perhaps a sports bar. I don't know if it is viable but that would that would have great potential. In the meantime I wish Walgreen's well and Hoboken shoppers can look forward to a bit of opulence when going to the drug store. ◦
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Local Artist Ricardo Roig Art Show Saturday January 29 3PM-12AM in Union City

I know Ricky (Ricardo) from when he used to wait tables at the Elysian Cafe in Hoboken. He is a friendly and talented young artist and he is having an art show in Union City this Saturday January 29th from 3pm -12am. Details below.....

Art Show @ Heartwork Galleria - Ricardo Roig
When: Saturday January 29th 3PM -12AM,  Cocktail Party @ 8PM
Where: 1405 Palisade Ave Apt. 2C Union City, NJ 07087
What: Ricardo Roig's Winter Art Show/Sale containing over 100 new oil paintings! Paintings of the NYC skyline, portraits of family, friends, and many more unique works.
Website: http://www.ricardoroig.com/


'Margaret'. Oil on Canvas. 2006.
 ◦
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Hoboken Extends Reduced Rate Parking

From the City of Hoboken......

REDUCED RATE GARAGE PARKING EXTENDED

In order to facilitate parking for residents while parking lanes are cleared of snow, the City is extending the special rate of $5 per 24 hour period in municipal garages through 8pm on Thursday, February 3.

Enforcement of street cleaning regulations was suspended during and for 24 hours after the storm and will resume tomorrow, Friday, January 28. In order for plows to effectively clear parking lanes, it is important that residents move their vehicles during posted street cleaning times.

The special rate is being offered in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) to residents with a parking permit decal or Temporary parking permit placard. In addition, Hoboken residents with disabilities who posses either a handicapped license plate or hang tag for their permitted vehicle may also park in the Midtown garage (371 4th Street) for the same reduced rate. Garage space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents who wish to extend their stay in the garage and who have a parking permit decal or Temporary parking permit placard are reminded that overnight parking (8pm to 8am) is available at a rate of $5. This rate is available in Garages B, D and Midtown every day of the year.

For full details, go to
https://local.nixle.com/alert/4642681/?sub_id=306304.

- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal.

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Hoboken - Street Cleaning and Plowing Information

From the City of Hoboken:

STREET CLEANING AND SNOW PLOWING INFORMATION

Residents are reminded that they should not be parked along snow emergency routes. Ticketing and towing operations will continue in order to clear these streets. This is necessary in order to continue to clear City streets of snow and to ensure the safe passage of emergency vehicles.

Although enforcement of street cleaning regulations is suspended for Thursday, January 27, plows will be clearing open parking lanes where possible.

Enforcement of alternate side parking and street cleaning regulations will resume on Friday so that plows can begin the process of clearing parking lanes of snow.

Link:
http://www.hobokennj.org/news/street-cleaning-and-snow-plowing-information/

- Posted while on the go by the editor of The Hoboken Journal. ◦
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Committee for a Green Hoboken Upcoming February Events

Below are two upcoming event from the Committee for a Green Hoboken.......

QLC’s CGH is a group of local volunteers working on projects that will help our neighbors, local businesses and the city of Hoboken reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable community.

Each month, The QLC will provide updates on upcoming events where you can learn more about sustainability, or meet fellow Hobokenites interested in exchanging ideas about going green. They will keep you informed about what the city and local businesses are doing to reduce CO2 output, and ways you can reduce your own carbon footprint. Your input and involvement are welcome, just email them at cgh@qlchoboken.org, or visit their website, http://www.qlchoboken.org/.

Topic: Recycling

Date: February 8th (Tuesday),
Time: 6:30pm to 7:30 pm
Where: 124 Grand Street, Hoboken, NJ
Moderator: Tom Chartier, Chartier Redevelopment Group
Panelists: Jeff Marangi, Eagle Recycling, Jason Scott, The Taco Truck,Jason Tecza, Committee for a Green Hoboken.

The panel will discuss the how-to's of recycling, from plastics and electronics to composting and construction and demolition waste. The panel will also discuss future plans for increased recycling in Hoboken and Hudson County, followed by Q and A discussion with the audience.

Tour: Eagle Recycling Facility

Where: 4711 Dell Ave, North Bergen, NJ
Date: February 11th (Friday),
Time: 3pm to 4pm

Join the CGH for this unique opportunity to see a single streamrecycling center in operation! The plant accepts plastic, paper, cardboard, metals, glass, concrete, wood, asphalt, etc. and is capable of recycling over 90% of the waste received!

Please RSVP to cgh@qlchoboken.org for this FREE event. ◦
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Mayor Dawn Zimmer helps a resident in need

Long time resident Margaret O'Brien sent these photos to me that she took this morning of Mayor Dawn Zimmer helping a resident into an ambulance at 5:30am this morning. Here is a quote from her note:

"Our Mayor was out there in a Flashing Emergency at 5:30am helping a severely ill woman on chemo get out of her wheelchair onto a gurney into a flashing ambulance. She has muscle and a heart from Hoboken."

"Let me hear anybody say she was not concerned with the snow, or hasn't learned anything from the previous storm."

I agree with Margaret O'Brien that the Mayor has learned lessons on snow removal and you saw that from the last storm. Hopefully that progress will continue with this storm as well. Thanks to Margaret O'Brien for sharing these photos. I understand the point she is trying to make by sharing them with me. Point taken. Sorry for the low resolution photos. It can be very hard to get good pics in the snow.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer up at 5:30am after assisting a resident in need.
Director Jennifer Maier and Joel Mestra also assisted the woman in need.

Here is a tweet from Dawn Zimmer that confirms the story:


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Hoboken Snow Photos - Yet another Hoboken Blizzard in 2010-2011!

Her are some photos I took of Hoboken during a pretty intense segment of the snowstorm that started this morning and took a break and started up again around 8PM tonight. Not counting this morning I witnessed an accumulation between 8-10 inches from 8pm on 1/26 to 12:30am on 12/27.


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mayor Zimmer and Chief Blohm to Showcase Hoboken's New Fire Engine this Friday

I attended the subcommittee meeting when his issue first came up and one of the chief's main guys seemed pleasantly surprised when the subcommittee said yes to the approval of the new fire engine. This is great news as fire engine #3 was a real old beast and quite frankly getting more expensive to maintain by the month.

MAYOR ZIMMER AND FIRE CHIEF BLOHM TO
SHOWCASE HOBOKEN’S NEW FIRE ENGINE

Mayor Dawn Zimmer will join Fire Chief Richard Blohm at 3 pm on Friday, January 28th in front of City Hall to accept delivery of the City’s newest fire engine.



“Our firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us, so I’m glad that we are able to provide them with the best equipment utilizing the latest technology possible so they can do their jobs effectively and keep us safe,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This new Engine will improve our response capability and modernize our fleet by replacing one of our oldest vehicles purchased in 1987.”

After Chief Blohm provides Mayor Zimmer with a tour of the Engine, it will remain parked in front of City Hall until 5 pm so that residents, especially parents and their children can view the vehicle. Fire fighters will be on hand to distribute Hoboken Fire Department challenge coins, fire helmets, coloring books, rulers, pencils, items for children and key chains.

The new fire apparatus, a Spartan Metrostar manufactured by Crimson, is capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute and can transport five seated firefighters along with a reservoir tank carrying 500 gallons of water for a quick fire attack. The vehicle, which meets or exceeds the standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, also has a variety of equipment including several ladders and more than 2,000 feet of fire hose along with the various fire nozzles and adaptors necessary to extinguish a fire.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/uncategorized/mayor-zimmer-and-fire-chief-blohm-to-showcase-hobokens-new-fire-engine/
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Another Winter Storm Warning and Discount Parking Information

From the City of Hoboken in preparation for tonight's anticipated storm.....

WINTER STORM WARNING AND DISCOUNT GARAGE PARKING

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning which is in effect through 6 am on Thursday, January 27. Snow accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are currently predicted.


Residents are reminded not to park along emergency snow routes. As soon as streets are snow-covered, cars along these routes may be ticketed and towed. Tickets are currently being issued. A state of emergency does not need to be declared for towing to occur. A list and map of emergency snow routes is available on the City website: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/emergency-snow-routes/. In addition, no parking signs have been placed along the north side of 9th Street. If necessary, the Chief of Police may declare a snow emergency and tow cars along this street as well. Residents who believe they have been towed should call Mile Square Towing at (201) 217-3133.

Enforcement of alternate side parking regulations will be suspended during and for 24 hours after the end of the storm.

Residents can monitor the City website, http://www.hobokennj.org/ or sign up to receive free email or text updates from the City via Nixle by visiting http://local.nixle.com/city-of-hoboken.

Residents may contact the Emergency Operations Center as of 8 pm on Wednesday with questions or areas that need snow plowing by calling 201-239-6643/6644/6645/6647/6648. For emergencies, call 911 or the Hoboken Police Department at 201-420-2100. Downed power lines should be reported to 911.

Due to the predicted storm, a special rate of $5 per 24 hour period is being offered in Garages B (28 2nd Street) and D (215 Hudson Street) to residents with a parking permit decal or Temporary parking permit placard beginning at 8pm on Wednesday, January 26 through 8pm on Thursday, January 27. In addition, Hoboken residents with disabilities who posses either a handicapped license plate or hang tag for their permitted vehicle may also park in the Midtown garage (371 4th Street) for the same reduced rate. Garage space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents who wish to extend their stay in the garage and who have a parking permit decal or Temporary parking permit placard are reminded that overnight parking (8pm to 8am) is available at a rate of $5.00. This rate is available in Garages B, D and Midtown every day of the year.

Property owners or occupants are responsible for clearing sidewalks of snow within 6 hours of the completion of a storm, and residents are urged to assist elderly or disabled neighbors with clearing snow from their properties. It is illegal to shovel snow back onto streets or onto fire hydrants.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/winter-storm-warning-discount-garage-parking/
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Morning Snow Photos - Hoboken to NYC

Here are some photos I took on my way to my job in NYC today during the snow storm :

Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Hoboken, NJ

A view up Washington Street near the corner of 8th Street

Downtown NYC open space in the snow

Another Downtown NYC park in the snow

Birds staying together on Pier 11 in NYC during storm. They pointed into the direction of the wind.

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Hoboken PU Announces Customer Service Visits to Senior Buildings

From the City of Hoboken another announcement to help Senior Citizens in Hoboken out:

HOBOKEN PARKING UTILITY ANNOUNCES CUSTOMER SERVICE VISITS
TO SENIOR BUILDINGS

To better meet the needs of Hoboken’s senior community, the Hoboken Parking Utility announced today that it will begin scheduling customer service visits at senior buildings and the Multi-Service Center during permit renewal season to assist senior residents with renewing their annual parking permits. HPU will schedule a date and time for each senior facility that expresses interest in a Customer Service Representative visiting the building and conducting the permit renewal process which involves reviewing residency and age requirements as stated in the City Code. Flyers will be posted prior to the appointment to inform residents of the permit requirements.


After each visit, the HPU will process the permits in office and hand deliver the approved permits to an authorized representative at the respective building within 1 to 2 days.

This new program, developed in collaboration with Fifth Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham, was designed to improve convenience and address the limited mobility challenges faced by our senior community.

“Councilman Cunningham expressed concerns to me that we needed an easier way to renew senior permits, particularly those that live farther from City Hall,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

“I'm happy to say that this solution is a considerable improvement for seniors and demonstrates the effectiveness and creativity of a strong and collaborative Council-Mayor relationship,” added Councilman Cunningham.

The program will begin with a visit to Fox Hill (311 13th Street) on Friday, January 28th at 10 am.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-parking-utility-announces-customer-service-visits-to-senior-buildings/
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You too can intervene with Respect to Jersey City Gas Pipeline Proposal- Deadline is Today!

I had this email forward to me to publish on my website. Today is the last day to file as an individual for "intervenor" status on the proposed gas pipeline project by Spectra in Jersey City. Some people feel this will affect Hoboken resident sas well. The information to do so is below....


Time is Running Out to Block Jersey City Gas Pipeline

This Wednesday, January 26th at 5PM, is the deadline for anyone to file as an intervenor against Spectra Energy's pipeline route through Jersey City. This is the proposed pipeline that Spectra wants to build through Jersey City to supply gas to NYC. There is the option for Spectra to go via the Hudson but its cheaper
for Spectra to go through Jersey City, hence the company's proposal. This is safety issue, and a quality of life issue at its core with zero benfit to us as residents of Jersey City.

Our team of volunteers has from the beginning done the most to stop this pipeline from threatening Jersey City. Now we need your help . While NO Gas Pipeline, Jersey City's Mayor and many others, including individuals and neighborhood groups have filed to intervene, you still have time to show that you also don't want Spectra's pipeline to endanger our health and safety of our children, schools, jobs, property and our future growth.

As this link below says for assurance: "Registering as an intervener does not obligate you to do anything further. However, to comment on or otherwise participate in the FERC process you must have registered by the deadline. On the other hand, if you do no register with FERC as an intervener by the deadline, you will be shut out of the process and you will have no voice in protecting and preserving your well being."

Simple Steps to File below.

FERC: File as Intervenor - How to File and Why

Link: http://www.unitedforaction.org/action-center/ferc-ny-nj-ct-gas-pipeline-response-toolkit

Jersey City Councilman Fulop urges residents to intervene on gas-pipeline expansion:

http://nogaspipeline.org/press/jersey-city-councilman-fulop-urges-residents-to-intervene-on-gas-pipeline-expansion
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