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.

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 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:

Original Post 1/29/2011 9:20AM: Here is a little story about one aspect of the Hoboken Corner Car Program that needs fixing. Hertz simply must do a better job of snow removal to honor their obligations in the program. This saga has been going on for two weeks and the Administration has known about it but Hertz has been very sluggish in dealing with this issue a 8th and Garden. The problem is not at all with the Administration but with Hertz itself as well as the "Council of No" who refuses to pass the ordinance to make enforcement iron-clad. Read this mini photo essay below and you will understand why......

Two weekends ago (1/15/2011), a neighbor in the vicinity of 8th and Garden did a most un-neighborly thing. He was
witnessed by several people shoveling snow into the Corner Car spot at 8th and Garden. He went out of
his way to put the snow in the spot itself rather than the stanchion area closer to the curb. This neighbor clearly does
not like Corner Cars but this act was pretty selfish and downright  obsessive compulsive. When I get a chance
 to see my neighbor again I will confront him and ask him to stop. Next time I will file an affidavit so he can
get fined. I saw him shoveling snow into the spot on 1/27/2011 myself.

When will the self proclaimed "Voice of Reason" Nino Giacchi actually vote with reason
and pass the ordinance of the Corner car program and stop knowingly violate the law.
He is a lawyer and should know better. Maybe he should be reported to the bar association.
Does anyone know the process to do so? Hoboken will not be able to enforce the parking
on the Corner Car  spots at some point until the ordinance is passed. The corner cars
disappeared from these spots for a bit and other cars took their place. Where are the tickets?

See the tire mark where several cars and a truck got stuck. During the week several cars got
stuck and the neighbors got to hear the cars and trucks rev up their engines to drive out.

Here is a photo of the spot the morning of 1/26/2011. Still not cleared.

Finally on of the two spots was shovelled out on the morning of 1/28/2011. The other spot has a
car but it has not been shoveled out yet. If it is not a Hertz vehicle then it should be towed.

So the question is when will Hertz get their act together and staff up with the appropriate people and equipment to keep the 20 or so spots they have in Hoboken free of snow within a reasonable time frame? Attention Hertz: Two weeks is an unacceptable time frame to clear a spot and the clock is still ticking.

The final Question is when will Nino Giacchi "The Voice of Reason" finally pass the Corner Car Ordinance and become a man of reason (by his acts and not his empty words) and not put his legal career in legal jeopardy?

The Hertz Corner Car program is a potentially great program to help shave off some of the parking demands in this city but it must do a better job of enforcement and snow removal. Granted, this years winter has been brutal but these issues must be incorporated into the economic model when this program is up for renewal. The devil is in the details and all parties need to come together on this for a solution.

Editor's Note: I contacted two City Officials and the were aware of the problem. The issue with responsiveness is with Hertz and not City Hall.