Monday, February 28, 2011

Greg Lincoln Announces Campaign Kickoff March 3rd and Shares Bio

Third Ward Resident and active community member, Greg Lincoln has decided to challenge incumbent Mike Russo for 3rd Ward Councilman in the City of Hoboken in the May 10th 2011 municipal election. Greg feels strongly that honest representation in the 3rd Ward is long overdue. It's time for a Councilman who puts residents' needs ahead of his own.



You are cordially invited to Greg Lincoln’s
Campaign Kick-Off and Fundraiser:
Thursday March 3
Willie McBride’s, 616 Grand St
7-9 pm
Special Guest: Mayor Dawn Zimmer
If you plan to attend, please RSVP to the campaign email address:
LincolnForCouncil@gmail.com

Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/LincolnForCouncil
Web Page: Scheduled to go live March 3, 2011

Greg Lincoln Bio

My Community

My family and I have lived in Hoboken for six years and love the vibrant, diverse, and welcoming atmosphere of our town. After renting for a couple of years, we decided to plant our roots and bought a condo in the third ward where we enjoy a great neighborhood.

During our time in Hoboken, my family and I have become more and more involved in what our town has to offer. I’ve volunteered as an assistant coach for instructional league soccer for three years. I’m involved with my oldest son’s Cub Scout troop. I have been a member of my building’s condo association board for four years. We’ve been involved with the schools and of course, our kids’ athletic teams.

In the last three years, I have become more involved politically in part because of the recent tax increase, but more so because of the poor decisions and corruption of prior elected officials. I was one of many on the steps of city hall holding a sign after Peter Cammarano was indicted, calling for his resignation. I regularly attend city council meetings, speaking when I feel it is important to do so. I also attend other community meetings when I can, and I do my best to support my neighbors, friends, and local businesses.

My Family

My wife Carma is my best friend, an awesome mom, and a dedicated professional. I am so grateful for her in so many ways; our marriage of 11+ years is one of the greatest blessings in my life.

We have two sons, Thurman and Nicholas. Thurman just turned 10 and is in the fourth grade at Elysian Charter, though he was at Wallace school for three years (K-2nd). He is an avid reader, budding scientist, enjoys sports, and loves Legos. Nicholas will be turning 6 soon, and is a precocious kindergartner. He loves to run and play like most kids his age, and has a passion for sports.

My Work

I work at Berkeley College, which has 4 campuses in New Jersey and 3 in New York. I’ve been employed there for three and a half years; previously I worked at Stevens Institute of Technology for about three years. As the Assistant Director of Institutional Research, I collect, manage, and report a large portion of the data about the college. This includes data about students, faculty, staff, financial aid, assessment, graduation and retention, surveys, and a lot more. Essentially, I’m a data geek who’s good with data and information.

Carma is a faculty member in Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where she directs the Communication Skills Training and Research Laboratory.

My Education

I completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology (minors in Psychology and Spanish) at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. I completed coursework for a master’s in Sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Carma has degrees from Brigham Young University (B.A.), University of Nebraska at Omaha (M.A.) and Northwestern University (Ph.D.).

My Church

Church is something we prioritize as a family, attending every Sunday we are able. We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a Christian church, attending our congregation in Jersey City (also known as the Mormon church).

I know not everyone is familiar with our church, but if you would like to learn a bit more I would invite you to check out www.mormon.org to see what some of the most basic beliefs are.

My own belief is that a person’s religion doesn’t really matter much in the course of politics, but is helpful for better understanding a person’s perspective. In that our current City Council is comprised of members of the Catholic Church, Jewish Synagogue, and Sikh Coalition, I think I’ll fit right in. ◦
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Ines Garcia Keim and Maurice Fitzgibbons - "Reporting Requirements are for Suckers"

Hoboken Journal Editorial:

Ines Garcia Keim and Maurice Fitzgibbons - "Reporting Requirements are for Suckers"

Ines Garcia-Keim, the frustrated head of the so-called "Real Democrats for Hoboken" ran on the ballot last year under the "Real Democrats for Hoboken" banner and failed to win election as either the Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party (Ravi Bhalla defeated her handily) or as Treasurer of the Hoboken Democratic Party (Gary Holtzman defeated her by an even larger margin).

Ines appears now to be partnering with the "developer friendly" Mike Novak (President of the newly-politicized Hoboken Chamber of Commerce) and convicted ELEC-offender Maurice Fitzgibbons to put together an "Annual Lincoln Day Dinner" so that she can raise money to run against other Democrats and defeat them. Some may feel after some analysis that she is doing this so she can gain her revenge for her defeat and become the new leader of the Hoboken Democratic Party. I say that you can't conclusively draw that assertion as fact at this point but one thing is fairly certain, at play here is an attempt to divide the Democratic Party in Hoboken. Perhaps all for the sake of personal ambition. Where oh where have we seen this type of scorched tactics before? Think Beth Mason and Maureen Sullivan and you are on to a trend.

The Rules Don't Apply to Them

When the so-called  "Real Democrats for Hoboken" (Ruben Ramos phraseology) were busted for being an unregistered PAC by the Hoboken Democratic Party, what did Ines/Novak/Fitzgibbons do? Did they respond contritely, and pledge to clean up their act? No, not from this political faction that seems to disregard the rules as a matter of habit. Instead we got excuses and spin.

This faction has doubled down and found a loophole and claimed that they don't need to register, and can keep a slush fund that is accountable to no one. No need to register with ELEC. No need to report who give them money. No need to report who gets they money they raise. How convenient! Who knew that the folks who want to take over the Hoboken Democratic Party would want a cloak of secrecy over their finances? Some people never learn!

If anyone looks at Tim Occhipinti's November 20, 2010 R-1 ELEC disclosures on page 4, you'll find an interesting link between the most recent egregious wheeling of Beth Mason and the person who some feel still wants to take over the Hoboken Democratic Party:

The Address for Friends of Beth Mason for City Council is that of Ines Garcia-Keim for Beth's
$8,200 contribution to Tim Occhipinti on 10/30/2010.  When large donations go in at the last minute
 is that an act of transparency?
Ines Responds on Patch

In trying to balance out this editorial I give you Ines Garcia-Keim's response over the weekend on Hoboken Patch.....

Ines Garcia-Keim on Hoboken Patch Saturday, February 26, 2011:

"The "Real Democrats" CPC did not exist on January 15th, 2011. Were we to file an A-3 form, we have until April 15, 2011. Our first fundraiser is on Monday evening. If we raise enough money to put us over the $4,900 threshold in expenditures in 2011, we have until Tuesday, March 1st to file a D-4 form. I sent all this information to Claire, including links to the ELEC site. We are on track to meet either deadline and may choose to file the simpler A-3 form, so as I said to Claire, the press release had major errors and omissions."

Link to Patch article and discussion thread: http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/hoboken-democratic-party-expresses-disappointment-slams-former-freeholder

My Final Remark:  Are the spirit of the ELEC rules on PACS being violated once again? Share your thoughts in the comments below.... ◦
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Ruben Ramos Press Release- Ruben Seeks to Cut Taxes in New Jersey

Ruben Ramos is introducing a bill that purportedly eliminates taxes on imported goods. Question: Is Ruben getting cues from Governor Christie that businesses are overtaxed or is this just a minor tax that is benign eliminated to make the Democrats appear to be fiscally responsible? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

RAMOS SEEKS TO CUT TAXES AND MAKE NEW JERSEY COMPETITIVE


Legislation Would Prohibit Imposing Corporation Tax on Businesses That Store Property Temporarily

(HOBOKEN) – Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, Jr. (D-Hudson) introduced legislation last week to eliminate unnecessary taxes on imported goods.

“This legislation is designed to reduce the state’s overall tax burden on businesses,” Ramos said. “This is an actual tax cut that will make our state more competitive.”

Under A-3833, the state would no longer impose a corporation business tax on businesses that import goods and temporarily store them at a receiving facility before they go on to Customs.

“New Jersey has some of the most competitive ports on the East Coast,” Ramos said. “This bill makes our ports more competitive and we need that in this global market.”

Currently the state can impose taxes on businesses that import goods simply for storing their imports here temporarily before it goes on to clear Customs or make its way to stores. Right now the state can impose a tax for storing the good, and then charge another corporation tax after the import has cleared Customs.

“There’s no point in triple taxing these imports. These taxes directly translate into more expensive goods and consumers take the hit in the end,” Ramos added.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and awaits a hearing. ◦
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Update: Hoboken Journal Scoop - Location of Beth Mason's New HQ Revealed - Hint: It's not in City Hall

Update 2/28/2011:

Beth Mason has her camp cleaning up the HQ on a rainy day. No sign of key supporter/political operative Lane Bajardi as of yet. I wonder if he will help with the painiting or just keep his work to Beth Mason's prepared statements and stories on another website known for its hatred for all things Dawn Zimmer.


Beth Mason HQ is located at 12th and Washington Northwest corner


Beth Mason's HQ painting supplies

Orginal Post 2/27/2011: The location of Beth Mason's new campaign headquarters will be at the Northwest corner of 12th and Washington Street. Her campaign HQ according to my source, will occupy both the former Brownstone Realty and Lady Godiva businesses that left this location recently. Beth Mason aka "Lady Godiva" will purportedly have her own separate office away from her vast army of paid consultants, paid street workers and few remaining minions in the former Lady Godiva store. The common(er) lobby and main room will be in the former Brownstone Realty Store. Put another way,  in trailer park parlance, she will have a double-wide for a headquarters.

Beth Mason's HQ at Corner of 12th and Washington

My Comment: I extend apologies for residents who live in that area and will have to endure the likes of Lane Bajardi who is expected to be a fixture in the office for the next few months, muzzle or no muzzle. As one resident said to me, "when Lane Bajardi moves in, there goes the neighborhood." I also find it fitting that Beth Mason would hunker (or should I say bunker) down in a chocolate store after giving away candy to get votes on Valentine's Day. If you take away the "Go" in Godiva all you are left with is diva. How fitting.

The super group Kiss will likely not be at Beth Mason's Grand HQ Opening but this song rings around in the heads of many regular Hoboken Journal readers, especially Hobbs. Here is a tribute to Hoboken's very own Beth (is a last name needed at this point?):


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Updates and Reminders From City Hall

From City Hall, updates for the citizenry and visitors to Hoboken....

UPDATES AND REMINDERS FROM CITY HALL

Light Poles

In response to an incident with a dog in Church Square Park, the City has checked all light poles in the park and is working with PSE&G to check all light poles in the City. Unfortunately, numerous plates from the light poles have been stolen, and the City is working to have new plates made with a locking system for the protection of all Hoboken residents and pets. Caution tape has been placed on light poles with open plates which are of concern and will be fully repaired as soon as possible. If residents see light poles with open plates, please report them to Environmental Services at 201-420-2049.

Property Tax Reminder

Residents are reminded that in the fall of 2010, they received a tax bill for three quarters along with the corresponding due dates. This was due to the change from a fiscal year budget to a calendar year budget. In addition to the tax bill for the 4th quarter of 2010, there is also a stub for February 1st, 2011 due on or before February 10, 2011 and another for May 1st, 2011 due on or before May 10th, 2011. Residents may check their tax calculations online at http://www.hobokennj.org/proptaxes. The last day to pay before the tax sale is April 7, 2011.

Sidewalk Café Opening

April 1st will be the first day of sidewalk café seating. The Administration had hoped to have a new Ordinance in place that would have allowed a mid-March opening, but it has not been adopted by the City Council. Therefore, the dates and times of operation will remain as they were last year.

Applications for 2011 café licenses will be available from the Zoning Office for restaurant and food establishment owners and operators beginning March 1, 2011.

St. Patrick’s Day

Law enforcement will again be enforcing a zero tolerance policy on various violations including consumption of alcohol/open container in public, urinating in public, maintaining a nuisance (disorderly and unsafe house parties), disorderly conduct & improper behavior. Fines of up to $2,000 plus community service will be issued.

Useful Links

Residents may download and post a zero-tolerance flyer and a letter from Chief Falco from the City website:

http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/publicsafety/St-Patricks-Day-Flyer.pdf
http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/publicsafety/Falco-Parade-Letter.pdf

Additional information for residents and visitors is available on the City website at: http://www.hobokennj.org/stpatricksday

Link to post on City Website: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/updates-and-reminders-from-city-hall/
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1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta and his Fashion Statement

1st Ward Candidate Eric Kurta was spotted at a very well attended meet and greet for 6th Ward Candidate Jen Giattino yesterday donning his new campaign logo on his work jacket. This is a practical fashion modification that perhaps is a subliminal statement that Eric is a "roll up your sleeves" kind of guy. He is running against and entrenched incumbent in Terry Castellano so any brand awareness that he gets from this jacket should be a plus.

1st Ward candidate Eric Kurta goes "blue collar with logo on work jacket

Closeup of logo

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Eric Kurta & Rami Pinchevsky Tonight at 7PM

Just a reminder this event is tonight at 7:00PM:

Eric Kurta & Rami Pinchevsky
Joint HQ Opening Party


Date: Monday, February 28, 2011(Tonight!)
Time: 7:00pm
Where: 265 First Street (Corner of Willow)

Refreshments will be served

Come and join us for our HQ Opening Party. Meet the Candidates, sign up to be a volunteer, register to vote, find out which district you live in and where to vote!

Eric Kurta for First Ward City Council - Let's Keep Hoboken Moving Forward

Website: http://www.kurtaforcouncil.com/
Phone: 201-580 - ERIC (3742)
Email: KurtaforCouncil@gmail.com
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Photos of the Day - Sybil's Cave Park

Entrance to Sybil's Cave - this reminds me of the architecture from Lord of the Rings (although probably not built as well) . I expect elves or dwarves to pop out at any time. Gandalf! :)

I say former Hoboken Parking Utility Director Jon Corea should serve his time here if found guilty of helping steal over $600,000 from Hoboken during his tenure. If by some miracle he is found innocent maybe Peter Cammarano could serve out his time here to remind voters of how certain political factions in town have no scruples and are willing to either buy elections or sell out to outsider developer interests.

Hoboken's Sybil's Cave - The number one reason why Hoboken is a such a place of destination in New Jersey. Not!

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Free Garage Parking For Residents In Flood Prone Areas

From the City of Hoboken...

Free Garage Parking For Residents In Flood Prone Areas

Hoboken Flood Zome Map - Click to enlarge
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for our area. As a result of the forecast for heavy rain and potential flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing free parking in a municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets) through Monday, February 28 at 8pm for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard.

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.

A map of flood-prone areas is available on the City website: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/environmental-services/storm-flood-zones/
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tom Greaney 2nd Ward City Council Candidate - Mason killed real campaign finance reform

Tom Greaney who is running to unseat Beth Mason for 2nd Ward City Council has this editorial out to the media for this weekend's consumption of Hoboken's political dialogue...

Mason killed real campaign finance reform

Dear Editor:

Last week, the Hoboken City Council considered two proposed ordinances relating to our city’s campaign finance laws. The first was sponsored by Councilman Peter Cunningham and his colleague, Councilman Ravi Bhalla. It was designed to strengthen and fine-tune the existing Pay to Play law, making it far more effective in stopping the unethical practice known as “wheeling.”

(Wheeling refers to the laundering of campaign contributions through political committees to circumvent the very intent of the Pay to Play and campaign finance laws. Currently, a loophole exists that allows a shrewd political opportunist bent on buying influence to donate five times more than the legal limit of $2,600 to a candidate, and still “technically” not break the law.)

Strangely enough, Council President Mason, who has long claimed to be an advocate of transparency in government and campaign finance reform, actually prevented Councilman Cunningham from taking the floor to explain the need to close this loophole, and prohibited him from speaking on behalf of more openness in government. Beth Mason personally spearheaded the defeat of this strong “anti-wheeling” ordinance, which was rejected through her strident efforts by a margin of 5 - 4, with Mason herself responsible for casting the deciding vote against this crucial good government measure.

Only then, as Council President, did she allow her colleagues to consider a weakened version that did not contain the tough anti-wheeling revisions.

Even more questionable, Mason then brazenly sent an E-mail to constituents and paid for an ad in the Hoboken Reporter to try to take personal credit for the passage of the uncontroversial Pay to Play provisions that were actually based on the outstanding work of People for Open Government, and had the support of everyone on the City Council, as well as the strong endorsement of the Zimmer Administration. Mason made no mention whatsoever about the anti-wheeling legislation that she worked so hard to keep from passing.

True transparency is being open and honest about who you are, who you are really allied with, and what you really believe. Actions speak louder than words. And Ms. Mason’s actions make it appear that while she is fond of using such words as “transparency” she does not apply the same standards to herself that she demands of others.

Transparency means openness, communication, accountability, and being able to clearly see through something. Like seeing through cellophane. Apparently though, Mason’s idea of transparency is like looking through linoleum. And while it is impossible to see through linoleum, anyone following last week’s proceedings of the City Council can easily see through the self-serving machinations of Beth Mason.

The people of Hoboken deserve a Council President, and the residents of the Second Ward deserve a Council Member who will respect basic democratic principles and follow a protocol of fairness towards all of their colleagues, as well as towards all citizens, who chose to speak up on behalf of good government and political reform.

Tom Greaney,
Second Ward Council Candidate

Note: In the Hudson Reporter Beth Mason responds this weekend to the anti-wheeling legislation introduced by Coucilmen Ravi Bhala and Peter Cunningham. Below is the link...

Hoboken Reporter: Updated letter from Mason on ‘wheeling’
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Photo of the Day - Welcome Dr. Mark Toback Superintendent!

It took a while but Dr. Mark Toback is finally scheduled to arrive as Hoboken Superintendent of Schools on or around March 9, 2011. This signage at Wallace School anticipates his imminent arrival . Let us all hope that Dr. Toback's leadership helps improve the Hoboken Schools for even if you don't have kids, good schools means better property values and even more importantly a better future for Hoboken.


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Saturday, February 26, 2011

2nd Ward Election Analysis - The Republicans are coming! (well, not quite yet)

Update 2/26/2011: Based on the recent comments on the 2nd Ward election I bumped this up to illustrate the demographic and political changes in the 2nd Ward.

Original Post 11/10/2011: I was able to get a copy of the machine vote totals from the November 2, 2010 election and was able to make a few observations about the results in the Second Ward that were different from the rest of Hoboken.
  • The percentage of votes for Republican candidates were higher than all other wards and city wide.
  • Two districts in the 2nd Ward 2-1 and 2-3 went Republican.
  • The race for County Sheriff was only separated by 8 votes on the machines in the 2nd Ward.  


Hoboken Election Results on the Machines for 11-2-2010 in the Second Ward

City Wide Results for 11/2/2010 election (machine vote):

Congressional Seat
Henrietta Dyer (R) 35.9%
Albio Sires (D) 60.7%

Sheriff
Juan Perez (R) 41.5%
Frank Schillari (D) 54.3%

Second Ward  Results for 11/2/2010 election (machine vote):

Congressional Seat (smaller margin of defeat for Dyer than city wide results)
Henrietta Dyer (R) 42.5%
Albio Sires (D) 55.6%

Sheriff (very close race in this ward)
Juan Perez (R) 47.8%
Frank Schillari (D) 48.5%

My comment: The second  ward  machine vote tally was very close in the race for Sheriff perhaps because Juan Perez was a former Democrat but who really knows for sure. One thing that is apparent is that the second Ward has at least become more fiscally conservative thanks perhaps to the recent influx of expensive condos in that ward inhabited by taxpayers footing very large property tax bills. The results posted here are for a partisan set of elections but one has to wonder how this might affect the non-partisan election for 2nd Ward coming in May.

A far right candidate who wants to slash government to the bone just cause they have to slash for the sake of ideology won't win in Hoboken as the Nathan Brinkman experience can attest to. This is not a slight on Nathan for running for office since I thought he handled himself well in the Mayoral debates but it is rather just a reflection of political reality. A far right candidate won't win in Hoboken  in my lifetime but a moderate who believes in balanced development and well measured reductions in government spending will likely find that their chances are fairly good to win if the candidate is likable, able to articulate their vision and executes the get out the vote strategy well. I am all for non partisan Ward and Mayoral elections since this is the best way to get a consensus against the old guard and the tired old way of doing things (i.e. patronage, kickbacks, money laundering, vote buying, etc.).

For the reasons that I have listed below,  I think these numbers show that Beth Mason is in some trouble for her re-election bid. I can easily see that many reformers on the Democratic side of the aisle (such as myself)  would gravitate towards a local candidate on local issues that best represents reform minded thinking or even better put, good efficient governance.

In these acts and statements Beth Mason has left herself vulnerable:

  • Her vote on Church Square Towers PILOT. This was irresponsible since not only did it not include a means test but that the procedures for how people get on the list were kept secret. Not exactly a shining example transparency by Beth Mason.
  • Beth's refusal to support the Zimmer Police layoff plan. A smart politician would know that giving the Mayor the leverage she needed to negotiate was the only way to get the 13 senior officers to retire sooner rather than later. They needed the incentive to retire and giving the Mayor the tools she needed will lead to even more savings for Hoboken.
  • Her very awkward criticisms of certain aspects of Chris Christie's Municipal tool kit that were passed by a large margin by both Democrats and Republicans.
  • 80% of the budget is salary and benefits. Beth Mason has made no meaningful recommendations for cuts while on City Council. She criticized the Mayor's Office and two salaries for aides but in her usual disingenuous fashion forgot to mention to the public that the Mayor's office budget is down at least 25% from Peter Cammarano's brief Mayoral term of one month.
  • Beth Mason moving to the Russo political side of the fence which is  a family that has profiteered for many years at Hoboken's expense does not bode well for the perception of her as a fiscal watchdog.
  • Her position on returning all of the budget surplus shows she simply does not understand municipal finance or worse lying to pander votes she could not get in the last Mayoral election when she abandoned the majority of her base.
  • She ran for Mayor on a platform of "cutting wasteful spending and lower taxes" but has not made any meaningful recommendations that are fiscally responsible while in a budget workshop or at City Council meetings.
Note to commenters: I could go on and on but I will leave a few points for you to add in the comments below about why Beth Mason is no fiscal watchdog......

For reference: Below is my analysis of the machine votes only for the November 2, 2010 election in Hoboken city wide. I did not tally the Question 1 results due to formatting constraints but it was heavily in favor of the yes vote. I highlighted the districts that were either closely Republican (light purple) or went Republican (in red). Liberals should not despair as most districts in Hoboken still remain heavily Democratic but I would imagine that the margins are less now than they were 20 years ago in Hoboken. Hudson County still remains a bastion of the Democratic Party (not without its share of demerits and yes I am a registered Democrat) but in one little pocket of Hoboken, i.e. the Second Ward the gap is closing.



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2nd Ward Candidate Franz Paetzold Collects Signatures at Hudson Tavern Last Night

Franz Paetzold who is planing to run for 2nd Ward City Council was out last night collecting signatures at the Hudson Tavern which is located 14th and Hudson Street. That makes sense since many of the patrons of the Hudson Tavern are from the 2nd Ward.

A source of mine spotted Franz and he told the source he why he was running and his concerns for the future of the town. To the left is a picture of him talking to a young resident.

If Franz gets enough signatures to file it is very possible he will get his own set of voters that the other two candidates would not get out to vote given his younger age. The question is: in a three-way race will he take away more votes from Tom Greaney or Beth Mason? Also, if he gets enough votes he could force a runoff which some feel that Beth Mason has an advantage due to her ability to self-finance. That is the concern of many who want to see Beth Mason unseated, a goal Franz by running seemingly seeks to do as well.

I think Beth Mason's negatives are too great to overcome at this point but I don't underestimate the fact that she will pull out all the stops to win. After all, if she is ever to try and become Mayor in 2013 a defeat here will most likely for to rest her career a a politician in Hoboken.

Below is my breaking story last week on Franz's candidacy:
http://thehobokenjournal.blogspot.com/2011/02/hoboken-journal-exclusive-franz.html
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GREAT NEWS: Mayor Zimmer - Police Contract Settled Until 2013

Dawn Zimmer sent a letter to the Hoboken City Council members yesterday 2/25/2011 making two big announcements before the next City Council meeting:

1) The Introduced budget of 2011 is down 10% in terms of tax levy vs. the Fiscal Year 2010 budget.
2) The Police Collective Bargaining Agreements have been settled through 2013 and offers significant savings as compared to the MOU offered by the State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi.

The budget will be introduced at the next City Council Meeting on 3/2/2011.


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Attention Stevens Students - Parking Permit Retrospective: Nino Giacchi and Beth Mason Snub Students in 2007


For those Stevens University Students that read this blog and might consider voting for either Nino Giacchi in the 6th Ward and Beth Mason in the 2nd Ward consider this story as it ties to their treatment of Stevens students back in 2007 with respect to parking permits:

Stevens student Michael Lutkenhouse wrote in November 2007 an editorial in his campus paper The 'Stute that Stevens students are treated like "second-class citizens" by council members like Giacchi and Second Ward representative Beth Mason.

Here is an excerpt from his op-ed:

"Last week, Councilman Nino Giacchi gave Stevens students a proverbial slap to the face, when he stated, "Prove you're a resident of Hoboken with documents that have to be done to show that you truly are a resident." When asked why Stevens' students could not get residential parking tags. He, supported this statement by citing other cases, "[Hoboken Hospital employees] wanted to park because they work here." Councilwoman Beth Mason added "we have the same problem with teachers and the public school systems."

These narrow views lump students in with groups that are nothing more than commuters. Hoboken resident, and Stevens Student, Vershima Tivzenda summed it up best when he said "I think they should get a permit, as part of the civil services they receive as a taxpayer." In both examples that Giacchi and Mason pointed to, the individuals asking for permits were not tax payers, nor did they reside primarily in Hoboken."

To read the editorial from Michael Lutkehouse go to this link below:

http://media.www.thestute.com/media/storage/paper1092/news/2007/11/02/Opinion/Forgotten.Citizens-3073934.shtml

Below is a link to the story on NJ.com's Hoboken Now:

Nino Giacchi ticks off Stevens students
http://blog.nj.com/hobokennow/2007/11/nino_giacchi_pisses_off_steven.html

My Comment: Attention Stevens students: the two main challengers to Beth Mason and Nino Giacchi are Tom Greaney in the 2nd Ward who is the main candidate running against Beth Mason and Jennifer Giattino who is running against Nino Giacchi in the 6th Ward. You should get to know all the candidates before making any decisions. Keep in mind that Nino Giacchi fully endorsed the corrupt and now imprisoned Peter Cammarano for Mayor in 2009. I'm not implying Nino is corrupt, just that he is not on the right side of the issues in my opinion.

I spoke to a few Stevens students in the aftermath of their support for Peter Cammarano and his arrest and many were disgusted and potentially turned off to politics. I say don't be. We can sometimes pick a candidate that doesn't meet up to our expectations. It happens. It happens perhaps way too often. The takeaway from this event should be that people often vote on minimal information and that by getting more informed on the issues you can make better decisions about candidates (most of the time). Sure Peter Cammarano was young and articulate so it makes sense in a way that students from Stevens showed their support by voting for him . Perhaps if those same students knew that Peter Cammarano received over $110,000 from outside of Hoboken PACs (see: http://thehobokenjournal.blogspot.com/2011/02/election-reform-and-peter-cammarano.html) perhaps they would have voted differently.


After all, who would want to vote for someone that made the interests of Hoboken secondary to outside developers and politicians looking to cash in on patronage.

Beth Mason and Nino Giacchi and their allies are likely to get their support from the same outside interests as Peter Cammarano did in the upcoming election. How can I support that statement? Answer: follow the money!

Dr. Wharton is a highly respected educator at Stevens whose passion is following political corruption in New Jersey. I suggest you reach out to him and get his assessment of what has been happening at city Council meetings recently. He has been attending some of these meetings as of late and his political analysis is something I respect highly. I also suggest that students interested in how they got treated by Beth Mason and Nino Giacchi in 2007, reach out through their alumni network and get Michael Lutkenhouse's first hand account. I am sure his account would be enlightening. Don't forget that the election is May 10th.

Tom Greaney's Facebook Page (2nd Ward): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greaney-For-Hoboken-City-Council/136382836425756
Beth Mason's Facebook Page (2nd Ward): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Mason/170606627032
Jen Giattino's Facebook Page (6th Ward): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jen-for-Hoboken-City-Council/143543759040363

Nino Giacchi has no web presence as of yet, other than endorsing Peter Cammarano in 2009 and snubbing Stevens students in 2007. Oh I almost forgot, Nino doesn't support the Corner Cars program either. He's not very forward thinking.

Final note: Even though many of Stevens students will move on from Hoboken someday, the success of Hoboken and its improved relationship with the City thanks to Mayor Zimmer will help the long term success of Stevens University and vice versa. Tom Greaney and Jen Giattino share the Mayor's vision and the support of Stevens students for these candidates could help keep the positive changes coming. I know that the City and Mayor aren't perfect but one should never let perfect be the enemy of the good. Get informed and vote. If you think Beth Mason is your choice, fine. just meet Tom Greaney first and then make up your mine. The same line of reasoning applies to Jen Giattino and Nino Giacchi as well. ◦
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Beth Mason Performance Poll - Rate the 2nd Ward City Council Incumbent

Here is a reader poll that asks you to rate Beth Mason's performance as 2nd Ward City Council President since 2007 in terms of serving her constituents and the City of Hoboken overall.


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Hoboken Democratic Party Press Release on Illegal Fundraising Promoted by Maurice Fitzgibbons

HOBOKEN DEMOCRATIC PARTY
DISAPPOINTED IN PLANNED
ILLEGAL FUNDRAISING EVENT COORDINATED
BY THE FORMER CHAIR OF THE HOBOKEN DEMOCRATIC PARTY

February 25, 2011

The Hoboken Democratic Party is surprised to learn that an unregistered PAC, known as the “Real Democrats of Hoboken”, has scheduled a fundraiser on Monday February 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Social, honoring the previous Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. This event, which is being actively promoted by Maurice Fitzgibbons, another prior Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party and a former Freeholder, is intended to raise money from developers to support candidates running against the incumbent committeemen and committee women who presently serve the Hoboken Democratic Party.


Allegedly illegal fundraiser on Behalf of Democratic Assemblyman
Ruben Ramos this coming Monday - click to enlarge
"It is surprising and disappointing that Maurice Fitzgibbons, who was recently found by ELEC to have violated ELEC’s campaign finance disclosure requirements, resulting in a fine of several thousand dollars against Mr. Fitzgibbons, is at it again. Hoboken has seen what happens when its politicians fail to abide by the letter of the law when it comes to campaign fundraising,” said Gary Holtzman, Treasurer of the Hoboken Democratic Party.

It is against New Jersey state law for an unregistered PAC, like the “Real Democrats for Hoboken” to spend money or raise money in support of candidates for political campaigns, such as the event that the “Real Democrats for Hoboken” is advertising for Monday February 28th.

Vice Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party, and Chair of the By-Laws Subcommittee, Phil Cohen, added, “We are proud of the changes that the Hoboken Democratic Party have made, instituting by-laws that prohibit the funneling of funds through the Hoboken Democratic Party to support candidates for non-partisan elections, like Hoboken City Council races or Hoboken Mayoral Races. Back when Mayor Russo and Mayor Roberts controlled the Hoboken Democratic Party, developers funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Hoboken Democratic Party to support their Mayoral campaigns. We don’t ever want to return to those bad old days.”

Today, the Hoboken Democratic Party’s reformed by-laws are used as a model for other Democratic Party Organizations throughout the State of New Jersey and promoted by good government organizations.

- End of Press Release

Key Executive officers of the Hoboken Democratic Party are Ravinder S. Bhalla Chairman, Ilise Benum Vice President and Phil Cohen 1st Vice President.

For reference here is an excerpt from the Final Decision on Maurice Fitzgibbon's prior ELEC violation:

NEW JERSEY ELECTION LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION
CONSENT ORDER AND FINAL DECISION

Complainant,
v.
MAURICE FITZGIBBONS,
Candidate for Freeholder in
Hudson County
Respondent.

The Election Law Enforcement Commission (hereafter, the Commission) having brought a Complaint on June 28, 2006, against Maurice Fitzgibbons, (hereafter, the Respondent Candidate) for failure to file campaign reports in the 2005 general election, as required by the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1, et seq.
hereafter, the Campaign Reporting Act);

..........

the Respondent filed Reports of Contributions and Expenditures (Forms R-1) relevant to the 29-day and 11-day preelection and 20-day postelection report periods for the 2005 general election on December 14, 2006 (429, 412, and 381 days late, respectively), which Forms R-1 report contributions totaling $39,063.56 and expenditures totaling $39,063.56;

And which Forms R-1 report that expenditures of $25,979.80 were made on the respondent’s behalf, and which Forms R-1 further report that the Respondent Candidate received monetary contributions of $13,083.76 and made monetary expenditures of $13,083.76 during the 2005 general election;

And the Respondent Candidate being represented in this matter by Rebecca Moll Freed, Esq., consenting to the form and substance of this Consent Order and Final Decision; And the Respondent Candidate having submitted to the Commission for its consideration, a statement relevant to the reporting period for the 2005 general election that he did not receive notice that expenditures, totaling $25,979.80, had been made on his behalf until after the 2005 general election;

..........

And the Commission considering that the Respondent Candidate did not receive notice of the expenditures made on his behalf until after the 2005 general election; And the Commission further considering other penalty factors, including aggravating and mitigating circumstances, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 19:25-17.3C; The Commission therefore, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-22 and N.J.A.C. 19:25-17.1 et seq., REPRIMANDS the Respondent and imposes a penalty upon the Respondent in the amount of TWO THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS ($2,625.00).

The Respondent hereby enters into this Consent Order, which if authorized and executed by the Election Law Enforcement Commission, will be the Final Decision in this case. ◦
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Observer Highway Community Meeting Thursday, March 3rd from 6-8pm

From the City of Hoboken, another example of a public process getting community input and the great news that Hoboken has secured over $2 million in grant money to improve our streetscape.....

OBSERVER HIGHWAY COMPLETE STREET RE-DESIGN COMMUNITY MEETING SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 3rd


Illustration credit: Sravya Garladenne

The public is invited to the second community meeting to provide input on the redesign of Observer Highway. The meeting will take place on Thursday, March 3rd from 6-8pm in the conference room in the basement of City Hall, 94 Washington Street.

The City of Hoboken has $2 million in federal funding to improve Observer Highway which was secured by Senator Robert Menendez.

“With this funding, we have an opportunity to transform Observer Highway into ‘Observer Boulevard’ and create a more welcoming gateway to our City and a safer street for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

On August 17th, 2010, the first “Observer Highway Safety Re-Design Community Workshop” was held where the public provided input on the redesign for Observer Highway. Based on that feedback, engineers and planners have developed three alternative designs which will be presented for additional public input at the upcoming meeting.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/observer-highway-complete-street-re-design-community-meeting-scheduled-for-march-3rd/
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Helping at Home & in Haiti Benefit at Chandelier Room - W Hotel Recap

Last night the Helping at Home and in Haiti Benefit at Chandelier Room - W Hotel was held. The event began at 7:00 pm with a cocktail reception, hors d'oeuvres and live music by The Claire Daly Trio and DJ B. Mills.

The cause was a good one. It has been one year since the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the people of Haiti desperately still need help. There are more than one million displaced people still living under tents and due to lack of clean water and sanitation the cholera outbreak has now hit all 10 Haitian provinces. The aid provided from last night's fundraiser can certainly help somewhat fund the reconstruction effort that has barely begun in that country. Every bit helps.

In addition to the celebrity list shown in the photos below, politicians Anthony Stick Romano, Ruben Ramos, and politico Scott Delea who is part of the 5th Ward city council rumor mill and is founder of Party with Purpose were there representing Hoboken . Also in attendance from Hoboken were Brian Pepe of http://www.thebokenonline.com/, Washington Street merchant Midtown Authentic's own Rory Chadwick. Alan Skontra of Hoboken Patch. I look forward to his take on the event as well. The event was very well attended and no doubt a good amount of money was raised.

Here are some photos from the event:

Great turnout for event. It was packed for the first two and a half  hours.

Brian Pepe of theBokenOnline smiles as Rory Chadwick of Midtown Authentic
gets "Jiggy with it".

Brian Pepe of theBokenOnline and to the right Rory Chadwick showing the world he's
got the funk (and he wasn't drunk).

Eric Kelly, USA Olympic Boxer and friend

Back Row: (from left to right) Amanda Schwartz, Corporate and Foundations Relations Associate,
Partners In Health; Scott Delea, Founder of Party With Purpose; Eric Kelly, USA Olympic Boxer,
Karen Koenigsberg, Founder/President of Cherished Feet; Hino Ehikhamenor,
Professional Boxer and “The Contender Season 4” Finalist;
Darren Conway, General Manager of The Chandelier Room;
Skeery Jones, Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show

Front Row: (from left to right)
Jennifer Finnerty, President of Party With Purpose;
Stacey Warren, Director of “Helping At Home and In Haiti”

Another group photo

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Music Video: "Heartbroken in Hoboken" song by Hoboken Resident Stephie Coplan

Stephie Coplan, a singer/songwriter/pianist in Hoboken has written a new song just last night called "Heartbroken in Hoboken". It is not as wallowing as it potentially sounds. The song is family friendly and very Ben Folds/Fountains of Waynes-esque. I like that she took the time to display the lyrics on the bottom of the video for listeners.

Perhaps this could be a way to cheer you the reader up on this bleak rainy day, heartbroken or otherwise. For readers interested in hearing Stephie live she tells me that she runs with a crowd that usually plays open mic on Wednesday nights at Northern Soul.



For other Hoboken musicians that would like to share their music via Youtube drop me an email at mailto:kurt.gardiner@gmail.com. ◦
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Hoboken: Free Garage Parking For Residents in Flood Prone Areas

Here is a timely release from the City of Hoboken regrading today's inclement weather:

FREE GARAGE PARKING FOR
RESIDENTS IN FLOOD PRONE AREAS

Click to enlarge
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for our area. As a result of the forecast for heavy rain and potential flooding, the City of Hoboken is providing free parking in a municipal Garage B (located on 2nd Street between Hudson and River streets) today, February 25, 2011 until 8pm for residents who reside in flood prone areas and have a valid Resident parking permit or Temporary parking permit placard.

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.

A map of flood-prone areas is available on the City website: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/environmental-services/storm-flood-zones/

A high wind warning is also in effect through 11pm, with wind gusts above 60 mph possible.

Wind Warning

High winds and heavy rain are expected in Hoboken on Friday, February 25th. Be sure your property (including construction sites) is secure.

Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture or garbage cans that could blow away and cause damage or injury.

The safest place to be during high winds is indoors. If at all possible postpone outdoor activities during a wind advisory or high wind warning.

Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts. Keep an eye toward nearby balconies for loose objects that may fall.

Report downed lines to 201-420-2007 (Hoboken Fire Department) or 911 for assistance. Do not try to free lines or to remove debris yourself.

Avoid anything that may be touching downed lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and even wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity in some cases. Warn others to stay away. ◦
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HUMC Meeting Recap from 2-23-2011

Wednesday night  February 23, 2011, the HUMC Authority held their monthly meeting at  at Assumption Hall from 6:00PM-6:30PM. The meeting was brief for the public portion and sparsely attended due to the fact that no major news about the negotiations with Bayonne Medical Center was anticipated to be announced.

The first order of business was to appoint Catherine Shelly Williams to Treasurer to fill the vacancy left by Tejal Desai who took a finance job with the City of Hoboken after proving her worth with her volunteer service to the board.

Spiros Hatiras gave a brief update on the Hospital. He spoke of some seasonal issues that explain why the number of patients went down slightly partially due to all the snowy conditions. Also, the length of stay went up slightly as a result of the snowstorms. Also, he stated the EMR - electronic medical records initiative is progressing and that a full implementation would be soon. This initiative will improve the quality of patient care by reducing the chances for mistakes to happen.

Board Chair Toni Tomarazzo spoke next and said that negotiations with Bayonne Medical University are going well and in good faith. The first draft of the contract of the is under view and there are some open issues that still need to be negotiated between the two groups. She re-iterated that the negotiations are not a foregone conclusion and that nothing will be considered complete until the "ink is dry".

Toni also reminded the members in the audience that the three main goals of this deal are:

1) To  remain an acute care hospital in Hoboken.
2) To save jobs.
3) To release the city from the bond.

Toni concluded her report by saying at some point a special meeting will be called to update the public on progress when it makes sense.

Vincent Riccitelli, Acting CFO gave his assessment of the Hospitals financials next. He said that Total Assets are at $90 million and total Total Liabilities are at $93 million currently for the HUMC.  The loss for January was about $1,025,000.  Spiros Hatiras followed up by stating they are short about $8 million total compared to last year in terms of stabilization funds.

My Comment: The bottom line is that the Hospital is still losing money in its current format which necessitates a deal being done soon to save it from further losses. If the deal with Bayonne should not work out, they should go to the next viable vendor on the list. According to several people close to this, Bayonne put the best offer on the table and thus was awarded the right to exclusively deal with HUMC first. Getting the Hospital privatized was one of Dawn Zimmer's campaign goals. If this deal were to get done and still keep the hospital viable for years to come, she will have a lot of political capital for years to come. An official associated with the HUMC commended the quality of the Mayor's appointments to the board and I believe this is why the HUMC is closer to that goal. ◦
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Rami Pinchevsky Kickoff at Northern Soul - Success!

Last night at Northern Soul Bar at 557 First Street in Hoboken, NJ from 6pm-8pm Rami Pinchevsky kicked of his campaign for 4th Ward with his first fundraiser. Attendance was very good for his first event and around 80 people were in attendance throughout the evening based on the sign up sheets. Rami gave a speech calling for more affordable 3 bedroom housing as well as the need to be fiscally responsible and address Hoboken's infrastructure needs. He said he will address the issues more specifically as the campaign moves forward but did give a good overview of what his campaign is about. He stated he is humbled by the support for his 4th Ward candidacy to date and asked everyone one in the room to do whatever they can to help him to electoral victoy in May. He said  "I can't do it without your efforts. I need your help".  Rami received an enthusiastic ovation at the end of his speech.

My observation is that Rami seems to be out of the gate with a bit of momentum. Much work remains for Rami to identify, energize and extend his base and then get out the vote at the end. Below are some photos of the event.

Outside Shot of Northern Soul

Northern Soul Logo
  
Peter Cunningham and Eric Kurta - 5th and 1st Ward Candidates.
No, Eric Kuta is not a conjoined twin. The guy with the matching suit and camera angle
to hs right makes it look that way at firs glance.
Greg Lincoln and Tom Greaney - 3rd and 2nd Ward Candidates

Rami Pinchevsky Talks to 4th Ward Residents
  
Rami chats up another constituent

Rami Gives a Campaign Kickoff Speech

Around 80 people showed up for the event and either donated or signed up.
This was a good turnout for Rami. The event was a good start but much hard work
remains to get out the vote.

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Eric Kurta And Rami Pinchevsky Campaign HQ Gets Signage

Eric Kurta 1st Ward City Council candidate and Rami Pinchevsky who is running for 4th Ward City Council now have their campaign signage up at their campaign HQ at the corner of 1st and Willow. This is the site of the former store Traders of Babylon that relocated recently to 66 Willow in the Neuman Leather building. Stop by and meet the candidates if you happen to be in the neighborhood. Both candidates are running grass-roots style campaign and could use all the help they can get against entrenched incumbents




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Assemblywoman Joan Quigley Blasts Christie on Elimination of Urban Enterprise Zones

Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson) who also is involved with the HUMC Hoboken,  blasts Governor Chris Christie for suggesting that Urban Enterprise Zones be eliminated...

QUIGLEY: UEZ REPORT FURTHER PROOF CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION HAS LITTLE INTEREST IN WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOODS

(JERSEY CITY) – Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (D-Hudson) released the following statement Thursday on a Christie administration report that recommends eliminating New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zones:

“Well, most of us already knew that job creation and economic development were not the governor’s priorities, but after this report there can be no doubt that this administration has little interest in residents and businesses in working class neighborhoods.

“Any report that questions the success of New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zone program ignores reality.

“This program supports 133,000 full-time jobs and has attracted $31.6 billion in investment into struggling communities. Since the program started, 30,000 businesses have benefited from it, and sales tax revenues generated by UEZ businesses have led to 2,620 economic development projects.

“The report somehow criticizes UEZ programs for not spending every penny they take in on annual basis, as if government is supposed to just spend for the sake of doing so. UEZ programs that carry surpluses and plan sensibly should be held out as examples, not punished.

“No program is perfect, but the UEZ program has been, by any objective measure, a successful economic development program.”
 
For discussion: Share your thoughts in the comments below as to the need for UEZs. Should they stay or should they go? ◦
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Editorial - Proud of Public School Progress - Dr. Leon Gold

Here is an editorial that was published in last weekend's Hoboken Reporter from BOE member Dr. Leon Gold:

Proud of Public School Progress

Dear Hoboken resident,

It has been about a year since I was elected to the Hoboken School Board, a position that can be extremely frustrating at times, but also truly personally rewarding. I am acutely aware that Hoboken taxpayers and parents also share a number of concerns about how best to serve our students and community. To state the obvious, what parent doesn't want the best education for their child? What taxpayer doesn't want to get more value for their dollar?

I am very proud of the work done by this Board during my first year. I believe we are improving the Hoboken Public School system. I am most proud of the selection of our new Superintendent Dr. Toback, improving the academic content of our curriculum, maintaining a strong and fair bargaining position during current labor negotiations and the reduction in the school budget. The recent School report card has highlighted the importance of maintaining the ongoing effort to improve the academic performance of all Hoboken public school students and pinpointed where additional focus is necessary.

I would like to briefly address two issues of recent concern: the BOE budget and recent NJASK test scores. Concerning the BOE budget - the fact is the BOE budget for this year is less than it was for the previous year. Hoboken taxes did not go up due to an increase in the BOE budget. Hoboken, like many municipalities, endured massive cuts in State aid. However, where many municipalities were forced to cut essential programs and staff, we were able to continue to provide these essential services to the community, while taking no municipal tax increase! Unfortunately, it is expected that additional State budget cuts will be made in the next budget year.

Addressing the NJASK test performance is more multifaceted. The recent school report card shows that there are areas of great achievement and other areas that need improvement. Having worked in the area of test and measurements for many years I know it is extremely difficult to compare and interpret test results. This is especially true when factors such as student population, test preparation, scoring and student inclusion have changed over time. In addition, by selectively reporting data - multiple (and sometimes conflicting) interpretations of the health and progress of the Hoboken school system may be presented - I believe the scores show progress.

For me the important news in this area is the recent hiring of Dr. Anzul. As the new Director of Curriculum, Dr. Anzul has now implemented programs that will provide the BOE and the Hoboken community with better methods to diagnose and evaluate student progress using future test results. This increased and focused data driven analysis will lead to more focused and individualized instruction delivery, great for the students, teachers and district.

In all candor, I believe that reducing the BOE budget is a secondary part of my job. My primary goal is that of making all of Hoboken proud of its school system. In this regard – while sometimes frustrating – always rewarding as progress is being made.

Leon Gold
Member Hoboken Board of Education ◦
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

T.Paine Blogger of Common Sense Hoboken at it Again!

Blogger T. Paine
T.Paine the blogger of Common Sense Hoboken has another new and very lengthy post: "City Council, Corrupted! (Pamphlet #2)".  The author identifies himself as male with the occupation as author, pamphleteer. In his about section on the blog he identifies himself as follows:

"I speak an open and disinterested language, dictated by no passion but that of humanity. Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the DOCTRINE ITSELF, not the MAN. Yet it may not be necessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle. Hoboken, February 14, 2011"

Excerpt from City Council, Corrupted! (Pamphlet #2)" on Common Sense Hoboken Blog:

"An Argument For Exposing The Desire For Permanence By Feigning A Champion:

Despite being convicted by the FBI for taking bribes, some Members of Council share in the stock of a mayoral legacy notorious for ignoring Hoboken residents but for self-gain, which undoubtedly included awarding countless city jobs in return for support and votes, resulting in a bloated city payroll that, to this day, represents over two-thirds of the city's annual budget. So large is this cost, that all the taxes collected from we residents can not cover all payroll costs. Yet, every time a mayor endeavors to responsibly shrink staffing to reasonable levels, the champion pretender takes to the streets with a rabble-rousing mantra that colors a mayor cruel and fashions this Member of Council the protector, nay, PATRON of all residents. The poor community result, in fact, is primarily protection of HIS job and increased taxes to the residents. Surely those few who were to lose their jobs would also benefit, but wherein does the general public benefit from such strategy? Alas, after all this time, the goals and aspirations of some Members of Council have not changed, and more importantly, have gone nowhere. Stay the feigned champion, yet do nothing much for the city as a whole."

Click on the links below to read the whole article.

Link to article: http://commonsensehoboken.blogspot.com/2011/02/city-council-corrupted-pamphlet-2.html
Link to site: http://commonsensehoboken.blogspot.com/2011/02/city-council-corrupted-pamphlet-2.html
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Deconstructing Hoboken - at HHM February 27, 2011 2-5 PM Opening Reception

The Hoboken Historical Museum is having this opening event this weekend by artist Sterne Slavin:

Artist/photographer Sterne Slaven has an eye for the industrial soul of Hoboken. When he moved here in 1983, after graduating art school, he found himself drawn again and again to the old factory buildings in his uptown neighborhood: Ferguson Propeller Works, the old Shipyard machine shop, the Maxwell House coffee plant. He captured haunting images of many of these buildings on the verge of being replaced by the newer condo buildings, some in the process of being dismantled.

Born in Pittsburgh but raised in suburban Englewood, N.J., Slaven says he's always had an affinity for old, rusting factories and broken glass and metal. He returned to Pittsburgh to study drawing and photography at Carnegie-Mellon University, and moved to Hoboken afterwards not just because the rents were more affordable than in Manhattan, but because he liked the look and feel of the city, and was happy to stay west of the Hudson, where his family still lives. In his career, he's worked as a photographer's assistant, a carpenter and as a prototype model maker in industrial design, and prowled the city taking photographs on weekends and evenings, when the light is less harsh and more diffuse.

For this show, Deconstructing Hoboken: Photomontages by Sterne Slaven, he incorporated the photographs, along with some double exposures and abstracted patterns from old buildings, into intriguing large-scale composite images. Some date from the mid- to late 1980s, and some are more recent. They depict Hoboken's industrial buildings in their twilight years, including the huge ship propellers that used to lie on their sides in the yard of the Ferguson Propeller Works at 12th and Grand St. The effect of the layered photos in the montages and the use of double exposures gives the images a ghostly effect, as though the buildings have left traces-which they have for anyone who lived here at the time.

“Though perhaps not consciously,” Slaven says, “the pieces, with their overlapping and transparencies and general visual chaos, seem to echo the deconstruction of the buildings themselves, their broken windows and piles of twisted rebar.”

Slaven's first Hoboken Museum exhibit opens on Sunday, February 27, with a free opening reception from 2 - 5 p.m. His work has also been shown in galleries and juried exhibitions in Hoboken, New York, Pennsylvania and most recently at the Englewood Library in 2006. Slaven will give an illustrated talk about his work on Sunday, Feb. 30 at 4 p.m., and his work will be on display through Mar. 6. The exhibit is supported by a block grant from the State/County Partnership program for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. ◦
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Twit of the Day- Terry Castellano

Theresa Castellano tweeted this morning that "There are no plagues in #Hoboken". This was in response to remarks made by Mayor Zimmer during her address when she said "With shipworms eating our waterfront, termites at City Hall, and flooding, I sometimes feel like I am taking on the plagues of Hoboken. But I am very glad to report that there is light at the end of the tunnel with solving our 50-plus year massive flooding problem."
That section of the Mayor's speech was clearly intended to shed light on the situation and the audience laughed. Since Terry Castellano snubbed the Mayor by not attending her speech she is taking this statement out of context for political purposes.

There is indeed a plague in Hoboken, one of political patronage, pandering, obstructionism, politrickery, "chicken hawk" budget making, financial data distortion (the surplus), and blatant disregard for the City Council rules. This plague Terry Castellano is very much a part of as she is one of the "New Majority" that must be voted out of office in order to assure the Mayor can accomplish her many goals come May. All the best to Eric Kurta, her challenger.

Of course if you really want to hamstring the Mayor and forestall progress, by all means Terry Castellano is your choice. It is a free country after all. Terry has a track record of obstruction. However, since she has done many people "favors" along the way she still remains a formidbale challenge. The old maxim goes: never underestimate your opponent. ◦
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