Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jen Giattino Invites Hoboken to See her Sworn In!

Jen Giattino, newly elected 6th Ward Hoboken Councilperson sent this email out for her swearing in ceremony tomorrow starting at 11am outside of Hoboken City Hall.....


Dear Family, Friends and Neighbors,

Please join me at City Hall on

Friday, July 1st at 11:00am

to participate in the

City Council's Inauguration.


Your presence as always is appreciated.

Thank you,

Jennifer Giattino


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NJ Assembly Dems to Fossil Fuel Providers: "Frack You"

Here is the latest legislatve initiative from the NJ Assembly Dems of which Ruben Ramos hasbeen known to lend his rubber stamp from time to time in the outright banning of "fracking". I guess the environment trumps energy independence and that may or may not be a bad thing. Share your thoughts below....


WAGNER, GUSCIORA, VAINIERI HUTTLE, CONAWAY AND RAMOS BILL TO BAN ‘FRACKING’ GETS FINAL LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL

Measure Would Bar Controversial Natural Gas Exploration Practice

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Connie Wagner, Reed Gusciora, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Herbert C. Conaway, Jr. and Ruben Ramos Jr. prohibiting the controversial practice of ‘fracking’ - or hydraulic fracturing - in New Jersey received final legislative approval Wednesday.

The bill (A-3653) permanently prohibits hydraulic fracturing activities in New Jersey.

The bill was approved by a 58-11-8 Assembly vote, and a 32-1 Senate vote. It now goes to the governor for approval.

“Fracking is a man-made disruption to the environment, many times on large-scale proportions,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “We’ve already seen a number of eco-casualties from this practice in surrounding states. It would be irresponsible to leave the door open for this practice to be pursued in New Jersey.”

“We cannot expect to disrupt our environment and our ecosystems so drastically and not face any consequences,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer). “This is yet another reason why we need to continue our push towards renewable energy sources.”

The sponsors noted that drilling connected with natural gas exploration along the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania caused concern.

The Marcellus Shale formation reaches beneath the southern tier of New York State, into Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, and touches the edge of northwestern New Jersey. It is one of the largest untapped fossil fuel reserves in the Western Hemisphere and there have been estimates for the area to yield as much as 20 times the current nationwide output of natural gas, but the gas is not easy to extract.

On June 5, 2010, hydraulic fracturing in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania caused an explosion and the release of many gallons of contaminated water and uncontrolled natural gas from the drill site.

“Fracking has the potential to unleash so many environmental and health safety concerns,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Allowing the practice could very well jeopardize public health, and that’s a risk I don’t think any of us are willing to take.”

“The potential health problems and environmental impact associated with fracking are considerable and warrant prohibition,” said Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden). “We can’t and shouldn’t play a game of chance with the health of our residents.”

“The potential dangers of fracking present a serious threat to the environment and even more worrisome, a hazard to public health,” Ramos (D-Hudson). “It would be reckless to allow this practice in New Jersey knowing the risks associated with it.” ◦
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hoboken City Council Inauguration- July 1st 11am

From the City of Hoboken, a changing of the guard....

CITY COUNCIL INAUGURATION FRIDAY, JULY 1 AT 11 AM

Friday, July 1st at 11 AM at Hoboken City Hall, residents are invited to the 2011 Hoboken City Council Inauguration. The brief, simple ceremony will be held on the front steps of City Hall. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the Municipal Council Chambers. New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno will be attending as an honored guest.

Seating will be limited and available as first come, first serve. A portion of Washington Street will be shut down for the ceremony but traffic will flow as normal.

The annual reorganization meeting of the City Council will take place promptly afterwards at noon. ◦
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On Deck Tonight: Paula Ohaus' Tenure and Mark Toback's Credibility

Update: Paula Ohaus and her counterpart Hillenbrand were denied tenure in a 7 hour Donaldson Hearing at the BOE last night. The vote went 5-4 with the Kids First contingent backing the Superintendent.

If Kids First was playing politics they would have acquiesced to mob rule and granted Ohaus tenure. They didn't and while it was not an easy decision for them it was the right one if you consider the morale of all the other teachers who do their best to follow school policy and not flaunt it publicly when they don't.

Original Post:

Here is a note from a supporter of Public Schools that is getting around the cybersphere:

"The next meeting of the Hoboken Board of Education is Tuesday, June 28th at 7pm in the Board Meeting room on Clinton Street [which is tonight]!

The new Superintendent, Dr. Mark Toback has been incredibly busy his first few months moving the District forward. He has already partnered with local colleges to provide dual credit classes for our High School students, hired a new Principal for the high school, begun the process of hiring a new Principal for Wallace, established a plan for a new communication effort for parents and community, created a new, more inclusive Gifted and Talented Program for grades K-7 and completed the process to bring AP courses to the high school.

He is also attempting to create an environment where staff members are supported equally and rules and policies are applied fairly. Recently, Dr. Toback made the decision to not offer tenure to six teachers. Two
teachers have appealed this decision and requested that their employment discussion be held in public. It was during these recent open discussions that the public heard of the many concerns that led to Dr. Toback's decision. These concerns include driving students in private cars, sleep overs in a teacher's home, having academically ineligible students in extra curricular activities, and not possessing the required teaching certification.

There are many who plan to attend Tuesday's meeting to request the Board overturn Dr. Toback's decision and, therefore grant tenure over his objections. The Board majority respects and supports Dr. Toback's decision and they need your support!

If you agree that the community needs to support the new Superintendent in administering our district for the benefit of all the students and guiding them toward achieving academic excellence, please attend Tuesday's meeting!

You do not have to speak...your presence will speak volumes."

Hoboken BoE Superintendent's Report on Ohaus Contract Decision:

No that is not his report! Link and excerpt are below!:)


Here is the Section of the Report on Ohaus filed April 12, 2011 as it relates to Paula Ohaus:

Tonight many of you are here because you are concerned about the resignation of a highly regarded teacher.

In case you are not aware, Mrs. Ohaus sent me an e-mail at 11:13 PM on Monday night indicating her desire to rescind her resignation. Out of respect for her wishes, I would like to pull item #40 from the agenda which is the resolution regarding her resignation.

At the same time, Mrs. Ohaus received what is commonly referred to as a RICE notice. The RICE notice allows employees to determine if any discussion with the BOE regarding her employment is public or private. Her written request is to make any discussion public. I am glad that she has taken this approach to include the public because there are many harmful rumors out there that can be put to rest.

Normally, I would ask the BOE to go to closed session to discuss a meeting that I had with Mrs. Ohaus on April 5 because I planned on discussing this with the BOE because there are many questions about this meeting. I met with Mrs. Ohaus on April 5 and a few hours after the meeting, Mrs. Ohaus resigned her position. I can certainly understand why many of you would be interested in knowing about this meeting.

As I am new to the district, I have been learning as much as I can about the district from a variety of sources. With regard to the high school theatre program, I have a collection of e-mails between Mr. Carter and Mrs. Ohaus regarding a variety of issues. I also have a meeting summary that Mr. Rusak provided to me following an athletics and cultural arts committee meeting of the Board of Education. Mr. Davis has also expressed to me some concerns about the approval of employees who worked on the play based on NJ School Contract Law, administrative code, statute, IRS regulations, and of course, Hoboken BOE policies. My interest in having the meeting on April 5 was to accomplish a number of objectives.

The first objective was to share these concerns with Mrs. Ohaus and to hear for myself what her opinion was on each of the matters. It would not be fair to not hear her point of view regarding these concerns. It would not be proper for an employer to not provide an employee and opportunity to speak about these matters.

The real tragedy in this is Paula Ohaus
puts on some great plays that truly
energize the students. It is a shame that
she can't seem to follow some simple
rules to protect the district. I have been to her
plays and think they are great.
Another objective was to clarify expectations. If there are problems that can be resolved, it makes sense to provide clear direction to employees regarding what is expected in the future. Failure to do so would be a failure on my part to do my job as Superintendent of Schools.

Based on discussion with Mr. Davis, I became concerned about the financial practices associated with the play. I found that Mr. Davis had addressed some of the contracting and purchasing issues directly with Mrs. Ohaus. He also has expressed concerns about insurance and IRS problems related to payroll. At the same time, I found that one areas that has not been addressed was the accounting of cash. As a former School Business Administrator, I am aware that the most common way where school district employees end up in a bind is when cash is not properly accounted for within the student activities account. Mrs. Ohaus brought along two employees to the meeting who demonstrated adequately that they are in fact accounting for cash in a proper manner and that they had back up documentation to support the bank deposits in general although I did find there was a surplus of $41. The point is that the general practices for handling cash seem to be adequate to prevent fraud from taking place thereby protecting the district employees.

Another topic of discussion about why Mrs. Ohaus requested that the next play, Alice in Wonderland, be held on June 17. The play was approved on the district calendar to take place in late May. Mrs. Ohaus was interested in holding Alice in Wonderland on June 17 which is the last few days of school. I did not think that was a good idea considering the academic focus students need to have at the end of the school year. I still do not believe that having a school play on the final days of school is a good idea.

After resigning, Mrs. Ohaus notified me that she could not produce Alice in Wonderland within the previously established timeline. However, I will be meeting with Mrs. Ohaus on Wednesday to further our discussion and to perhaps redefine what we can do for a spring theatre event.

Much has been made about the issue of charter school students taking part in Hairspray. Other than to create other questions and tension between the oboken School District and and the three Charter Schools, I see no purpose for the focus on Charter School students in the play. This is not an issue with charter schools but rather a general issue related to supervision of students and liability for the school district. There were a handful of students from a number of different schools involved in the play including a student who I have been told live in Hoboken, an exchange student, and a student who supposedly lives in Hoboken but also supposedly attends an out of state school.

This is my point. It is not good when a School Superintendent is not able to easily access information about students who are involved in school activities or school programs and their information is not readily available should there be a problem. Information is not on the centralized computer system. Medical records are not

available. Another key question for consideration...Who would be financially responsible for the non-Hoboken High School students if they were injured as a direct result of their participation in the play? How could we justify this to an insurance carrier, especially because the participation of students from other schools is specifically prohibited under BOE policy 6145 Eligibility Standards For Participation in All Extra Curricular Activities. The relevant part of the policy reads as follows and was approved in November of 2010....

1. To be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities, a student must be enrolled in the district. Hoboken residents enrolled in a school that is not operated by the Hoboken Board of Education (charter schools or private schools) shall not be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities. However, pursuant to NJSIAA guidelines, if a charter school does not offer a particular sport that is offered by the district, resident students attending that charter school may participate in that sport upon the agreement of the Hoboken High School principal and the principal of the Charter School.

This is a direct violation of the school district policy. Mrs. Ohaus stated that she was not aware of this policy and that she has included students in her plays for a number of years and has been allowed to do so without issue. I also want to bring up another point...even though there is a violation of policy and a variety of other issues...at no time during our meeting was Mrs. Ohaus asked to resign, told she would be fired, or any other variation you can think of. This is why I was truly surprised when she resigned.

Even though I have to be concerned about the financial and insurance concerns, I am also deeply concerned about how all students are identified to partake in the play. In other words, Are there students from Hoboken High School who were unable to participate and what provisions are made for students from the Connors, Wallace, and Callabro Schools to participate? Mrs. Ohaus claimed that Hoboken High School students were not denied a part in the play in favor of students who attended other schools. I was relieved to hear about this.

Mrs. Ohaus also noted that there were three students from Hoboken High School were originally removed from the play for eligibility reasons related to grades but that those students were later reinstated. I later found from Ms. Piccapietra that there were five Hoboken High School students who participated in the play that were ineligible to participate based on the standard applied previously--failure in two or more subjects the previous marking period. This practice of allowing students to participate in plays who are failing two or more subjects is a violation of district policy 6145. Naturally, as the academic leader of the district, I should be concerned that students who are failing two or more subjects should also be allowed to partake in the Hairspray. If five students on the soccer team were found to be ineligible after the season, there would be serious consequences for the school, any victories would become losses in the record book, and the NJSIAA would get involved.

There are adults involved in the production of the play. I asked Mrs. Ohaus about this practice because I was concerned about how these individuals are approved and how they are involved with the students. Some of the volunteers are not directly supervised by a certificated teacher as we would other volunteers and this is an issue. For example, we discussed the role of volunteers who help backstage with makeup and hair. We then had a discussion about alumni being involved in plays and she said that when there is a shortage of actors alumni are involved. What type of background checks and other procedures for involving these adults in plays still remains unclear to me.

I spoke with Mrs. Ohaus about transporting students in her car, in particular after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year. She told me that she could not remember if she transported students on that day. However, I have read parent accounts of how she has transported students to colleges and to the doctor’s office which is a very nice thing to do but also in violation of BOE policy.

We then discussed another practice of hers where students are sleeping over at her house. As a new person in the district, I think it is more than reasonable to discuss this practice. I am not aware of any other situations during my career where students are invited to a sleepover at the house of a teacher.

Nonetheless, Mrs. Ohaus discussed the fact that students did sleep over at her house and the most recent sleepover was during President’s Day recess. I also asked about transportation arrangements. Mrs. Ohaus stated that students are most commonly transported to her house by car and that students have written permission from their parents to sleep over. She also stated that other students traveled to her house by train. In any event, I see the potential for liability for the school district and it is therefore justifiable to question this practice based on the many possible ways that a staff member could be held liable for a variety of problems.

Another topic of discussion was the official Facebook Page that is identified in the program. Because of the many issues related to liability for teachers using Facebook, Mr. Carter provided very clear direction to employees about using Facebook. Mrs. Ohaus said she was not aware of any of the content of the page and she did not create the page. For the record, there is no official Facebook page or any other board sanctioned web presence for the theatre program.

In addition to Mrs. Ohaus and I, the meeting was attended by Mr. Enrico who served as Mrs. Ohaus’ union representative and Mr. Rusak. Mr. Ramos and Mrs. Lisa from HHS also attended the first fifteen minutes of the meeting because they were responsible for accounting for the cash from the play.

On Wednesday, I will have another meeting where we will continue our discussion about the Theatre program. I look forward to meeting with her tomorrow to further discuss her work with the district.

My Comment: The core issue is whether talented teacher's like Paula Ohaus get special treatment when it comes to the rules or not. Whether or not you like the rules involving teacher and student activities outside of school, they were devised to protect the student and the school from liabilities in this increasingly litigious society we live in. No one ever fired Paula Ohaus. She resigned twice in the last two years and then rescinded. In lieu of a teaching tenureship she was offered a non-teaching position instead to stay on and continue the program. To date she has refused and is rumored to already have another job lined up. Her minor trangressions certainly don't warrant a firing in my humble opinion but the accumulation over the years of such violations and the public display of disrgearding school rules certainly rule out tenure, at least until she can demonstrate a willingness to follow the guidelines that all teachers are expected to follow. If not then should she be afforded special privledges that other teachers do not get? That is one hell of a slippery slope and a moral hazzard. Superintendents have to make tough calls. We need the drama on the stage and not in the BOE meetings. We should support the Superintendent. ◦
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two Hoboken City Council Meetings in One Week! Oh Boy!

On Wednesday June 29th at 7PM Beth Mason will grovel and gavel her way through her last City Council meeting as Council President. The electorate that shows up and votes are still divided but gave Dawn Zimmer a majority back at City Council. This has far reaching implications (mostly good for the taxpayer) at least for the next 18 months to 2 years.

Special Hoboken City Council Meeting Wednesday June 29th:

http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda11/Special_meeting_June_29_2011_Amended_Budget_Amendments.pdf

Beth Mason called this meeting at the last normally scheduled City Council meeting to finally get their version of the budget before the state as long as the "Old Guard" Majority was still in tact. On page 2 of the budget document in the link above for this special meeting the big change is the surplus up to about $14 million as line of revenue. Apparently all this gas bagging led to nothing since this budget won't get by the state anyway. Once certain union representatives understood the ramifications of the budget gimmickry the soon to be be minority "Council of Know-nothings" were exposed for the political stunt making they are best known for by the forces of good governance. All that vitriol for what? So Beth Mason could run for Mayor in 2013? Narcissism that even trumps that of Scott Delea.

Of course my reading of this could be wrong since I can't tell where the changes are coming from nor do I trust the numerical literacy of the Mason/Russo brain freeze trust on any matters financial. However, according to a source of mine this budget amendment has several major deficiencies in it so it is unlikely to pass State scrutiny anyway. See MSV for the auditor's review of the budget amendments.

Thus this meeting is unnecessary and gives an example of where Beth Mason was thankfully unable to fulfill a campaign promise of zeroing out the surplus and "taking money away from government bureaucrats". What a joke Beth Mason has turned out to be.


Hoboken City Council Meeting Friday July 1st:

Historic Meeting: Jen Giattino is sworn in earlier in the day and Mayor Dawn Zimmer gets back a working Majority.

Agenda: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda11/ccm-07-01-11.pdf
Resolutions: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack11/respac-7-1-11.pdf

Overview of Agenda:

Administrative: Selection of Council President, Vice President, Planning Board and Newspapers for Noticing.

Ordinance 2nd Reading: Parking Fees in Municipal Garages.

Selected resolutions of interest:

1600 Park:

12. Resolution awards a contract to (to be selected)  for the Construction of 1600 Park Artificial Turf Field for the City in accordance with the specifications in Bid Number 11-14 (submitted by Community Development)

Politrickery and posturing and the rational response by good governance:
  • 13.* Resolution to terminate an investigation of the Council due to lack of factual information (sponsored by Councilman Bhalla and Councilman Cunningham). Makes sense.
  • 14.* Resolution calling upon Mayor Dawn Zimmer to apologize and reimburse taxpayers for wasting tax dollars on politics (sponsored by Councilwoman Castellano and Councilman Occhipinti). Political puppets posturing.
 Selected Ordinances on First Reading:
  • Several ordinances on limits of political contributions.
  • Corner Cars.
  • Moving Municipal Elections to November.
All new Ordinances:

Expect the July 1st meeting to finally be more productive than what has occurred in the last several months. 

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Quote of the Day- D-Bag


The only problem with this definition of this term is that a certain Channel 78 anchorman with overwhelming evidence has malicious intent. Perhaps a new term is in order for the dapper diapered one. Suggestions? ◦
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Save the Hospital Petition- Sell it!

Below is a link to save the Hoboken UMC by supporting the sale of the Hospital to the winning bidder HUMC Holdco formed by the principals of Bayonne Hospital. The current HUMC is bleeding money on a daily basis and the principals of Bayonne do in fact have a record in turning around Bayonne Hospital. The sooner this deal is done the sooner the taxpayer can breath a sigh of relief that Hoboken will no longer have a $50 million plus liability hanging over its head. Most importantly going private is the only realistic way of securing the additional financial structures needed to support the hospital for the next 7 years as part of the terms of the deal.

HUMC needs a sale soon- only real way to save it!
This petition was started by Scott Siegel and forwarded to me with a note from reader "Donna" that reads:

"Beth Mason and her money is again trying to twist facts and obscure progress. She, in conjunction with, a group called Appleseed is trying to obstruct the sale of HUMC with a petition that obfuscates the truth about the hospital. Be part of the voice of reason and sign the petition supporting the HUMC Board's decision to sell the hospital.

The Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) Board under Toni Tomarazzo has penned a great deal to sell the HUMC to the Bayonne Medical Center (Hold Co is the name of the holding company). The deal will preserve the emergency room for at least 7 years and will relieve the taxpayer of a $52MM bond plus current payroll culminating is about $65MM in liability.

Beth Mason and the "corruptocrats" want to spin this in a bad light in order to write their campaign lit in 18 months.

Show your support by signing the petition that you support getting the hosipital off of the taxpayer. Click on the link below and sign the petition."


Link to petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/save-humc-and-the-hoboken-taxpayer#signatures
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Update Cake Boss - Former Cast Member Remy Gonzalez Pleads Guilty Two Counts Sexual Assault

Update June 24 2011:

Remy Gonzalez, the former assistant to Buddy Valastro aka the "Cake Boss" admitted to two counts of aggravated assault. The charges were reduced from 15 counts to two counts of second-degree assault charges in Superior Court in Morristown, N.J. on Friday. Gonzalez could face a five to 10 year prison sentence after the reduced charges from the prosecution. Gonzalez’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5.

The full story is here on NJ.com:

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2011/06/cake_boss_remy_gonzalez_pleads.html


Original Post 8-25-2011:
Remy Gonzalez
TMZ is reporting that Remy Gonzalez who is on the very popular TV show "Cake Boss" has been arrested for sexual assault and has been held in Morris County Jail NJ since August 18th.

TMZ went on to state: Remy Gonzalez, who is married to "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro's sister was charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child. He's being held on $300,000 bail.


Carlo's Bake Shop Home of "Cake Boss"
A rep for TLC, which airs "Boss" said, "We support Buddy and the Valastro family during this very difficult and challenging time .... and as this doesn't involve us, we will not be commenting any further."

Here is the link to the TMZ story:

http://www.tmz.com/2010/08/25/cake-boss-co-star-remy-gonzalez-arrested-for-sexual-assault/

TLC may not have commented any further but any reference to Remy seems to be off their Cake Boss page:

http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/cake-boss/bios/bios.html
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Message From Dawn Zimmer on Pension Reform Passing

From Hoboken's Mayor dawn Zimmer on Pension reform bill passing in the NJ legislature:

"This week, the State Legislature passed a bi-partisan pension and benefit reform bill that is critically important to both our State and our City. This bill goes a long way toward ensuring that public employees will get the benefits they were promised while establishing reasonable health insurance co-pays fair to both taxpayers and workers. I want to thank Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Majority Leader Sheila Oliver for their leadership. They rose above partisan interest group politics and demonstrated that fiscal responsibility remains a core value of our Democratic Party.

I want to give a special thank you to our State Senator, Brian Stack, who courageously put the interests of his constituents first. Every City in Hudson County will benefit from Senator Stack’s willingness to do what was right, despite enormous political pressure to cater to special interests instead.

It is important to clear up an important misconception about this bill. While a preliminary version of the legislation contained a provision, which I strongly opposed, that required all public workers to obtain their health care in New Jersey, the final legislation has no such requirement. Workers will be able to choose from multiple plans and select the one that makes the most sense for themselves and their families.

Establishing a uniform co-pay at the State level will help cities like Hoboken avoid the kind of divisive local confrontations that has damaged the fabric of so many communities. The rising cost of health care is a problem for every municipality in our State, making a state-wide solution both fair and appropriate. I believe that those who view this as a threat to our collective bargaining system will be proven wrong. Resolving these emotional and seemingly intractable issues at the State level will help restore our broken collective bargaining system to health, allowing us to negotiate in a more productive and successful way in the best interests of both our taxpayers and our workers."

- Mayor Dawn Zimmer ◦
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Boo-Gate Update!: Mayor Zimmer on Booing at Hoboken High School Graduation

I had a chance to speak with Mayor Dawn Zimmer about the minor incident at the Hoboken High School graduation earlier this week. It is true that the Mayor was booed but not by students, but by parents and political opponents of  the Mayor according to the Mayor's account. I was not there but at least I can present the other side of the story that was published on Hoboken 411, the premier hate Zimmer blog in Hoboken.

The Mayor relayed to me the following information for publication on the record. She stated to me (paraphrased):

"The booing was clearly orchestrated by my political opponents and was not done by the students but rather adults. I at first waited for the booing to stop but then started to speak and the booing subsided. Later on I recieved applause for my remarks.

I find this behavior to be despicable and it hurts the school's image when my political oppenents orchestrate such a act that clearly is not in the best interest of the students or the Hoboken School System."

- Mayor Dawn Zimmer

My Comment: It should be noted that this incident was not picked up by Hoboken Patch who has writers in attendance but is part of the Mason/Russo/Ramos axis strategy to keep saying over and over that Dawn Zimmer as mayor is not popular. No doubt the Mayor has her critics but they are not by and large coming from those in good governance but those who opposed her reforms either because they eliminate waste and graft (the Russos/Ramos) or for their own political aspirations (Mason/Ramos). It is almost certain that this was orchestrated by someone in the Mason/Russo cabal and Hoboken 411 with the article even being pre-written by the dapper little anchor man and then executed by Perry Klaussen as soon as the event was over. I don't know who did it but I have at least one possible suggestion:

Boo! Boo! Bad Mayor for taking away my opportunities for graft. - Michele Boo-so

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4th of July Information for Hoboken Residents & Visitors

From the City of Hoboken:

4th of July Information for Hoboken Residents and Visitors

The City of Hoboken is expecting to host tens of thousands of guests to view the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks which will take place over the Hudson River this year. Based on prior years, residents and visitors who drive are advised to expect four hours or more of traffic and delays exiting Hoboken after the fireworks and at least two hour delays to exit municipal parking garages. In addition to delays, the gridlock can create a situation where public safety vehicles cannot effectively respond to emergencies, so the City strongly urges visitors to take mass transit.


Options include the PATH, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NY Waterway ferries, or NJ Transit commuter rail or bus. For additional information, visit: http://www.hobokennj.org/visit/how-to-get-here/.

Visitors looking for parking will be directed to municipal garages B and D on 2nd and Hudson St, respectively. Visitors are advised that no alcohol, open cooking or barbeques are permitted. Pier C Park will be closed due to safety concerns, as requested by Chief Falco. The fireworks display will begin at 9:20 pm and last approximately a half hour. The rain date is July 5th.

Due to the closure of Hudson Place, Vezzetti Way (along Observer Highway) from Washington St. to Willow Ave. will be the designated taxi area with no public parking after 8 am.

The following streets will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles between 8 am and midnight on July 4th:
  • Sinatra Dr. from 15th St. to 1st St.·
  • River St. from Hudson Place (PATH) to 4th St., however between 1st St. and 3rd St, River St will be open for limited access to residents and parking patrons only.
Additionally, no parking will be permitted on the following streets between 8am and midnight on July 4th:
  •  Sinatra Dr. from 15th St. to 1st St (no parking as of July 3rd at 8 am)
  • 4th St. from River to Clinton (on the south side of the street)
  • Willow Ave. from 11th St. to 4th St. (on the west side of the street)
  • Hudson place (by the PATH)
  • Newark Street from Hudson St. to Sinatra Dr.
  • Clinton St. from 7th St. to 8th St.
  • Hudson St. from 14th St. to Observer Hwy. (on the west side of the street)

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Note from Dawn Zimmer: Coffee with Menendez and Boxer at the W Hotel on Women's Health Issues Sunday June 26th

I was copied on this email from Dawn Zimmer about a chance to meet with Senator Bob Menendez and Barbara Boxer on women's helath issues for a cofffe clatch this Sunday at Hoboken's prestigious W Hotel. You must RSVP if you are interested in attending.


Dear friends,

I am writing to invite you to a very unique opportunity for an engaging discussion with Senator Robert Menendez and California Senator Barbara Boxer.

Please join me this Sunday [June 26] at 11:00 am at the W Hotel for coffee to hear a firsthand perspective from our country’s leaders about the state of women’s health and other issues that impact women.
Please RSVP by emailing Samantha at
smaltzman@menendezfornj.com or 973-732-0756.

Women’s health impacts all of us on a very personal level, and even if you consider yourself “non-political” I encourage you to come and listen and enjoy the discussion.

Don’t miss this chance to talk directly with two leaders who have spent their lives fighting to make certain that the issues that impact women are carefully considered and addressed at the federal level.

This event will be focused on women’s issues, but men are more than welcome too!

Looking forward to a lively morning coffee with you!

- Dawn [Zimmer] P.S. Feel free to forward this invite to your friends!

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NJ State Assembly to Consider Pension Reforms, Botox and Discounted Gas Prices

From the NJ Assembly Democrats of which Hoboken's own Ruben Ramos serves as Assemblyman in the 33rd legislative district (out of 40):


ASSEMBLY TO CONSIDER PUBLIC WORKER PENSION AND BENEFIT REFORMS, VETOING GOVERNOR’S PLAN FOR NJN, REGULATING BOTOX USE BY MINORS AND DISCOUNTED GAS PRICES

More Online Government Transparency, Increased Huntington’s Disease Care, Combating Overcrowded NJ Transit Parking Lots, Expanded Pay-to-Play Prohibition Also on Agenda

TRENTON) – The Assembly on Thursday will consider legislation to reform public employee health and pension benefits, veto the governor’s plan for New Jersey Network, regulate Botox usage by minors, allow retailers to offer coupons and discounts for gas purchases, increase Huntington’s Disease care and require more online government transparency.

It will also consider bills to establish a defense for parking illegally in permit parking spots at NJ Transit stations, encourage the purchase of Jersey Fresh products, apply pay-to-play bans to county bridge commissions, combat Sayreville flooding, require proper disposal of state computers containing personal data and clarify that sexual assault victims are not responsible for the costs of forensic examinations.

The session will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The session will be streamed live at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.

Key bills include:
  • Legislation (A-4133) sponsored by Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) to reform public worker pension and health care benefits.
  • Legislation (ACR-201) sponsored by Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex) to veto the governor’s plan to give WNET in New York rights to manage New Jersey public broadcasting.
  • A bill (A-387) to increase specialized nursing facility beds for those with Huntington’s Disease. It’s sponsored by Peter J. Barnes III (D-Middlesex), Diegnan, Linda Stender and Jerry Green (both D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset) and Ruben J. Ramos Jr. (D-Hudson).
  • A bill (A-1080) sponsored by Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer) to establish a defense to illegally parking in permit areas at NJ Transit train stations.
  • Legislation (A-2342) sponsored by Celeste Riley (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) to encourage the purchase of “Jersey Fresh” products by state agencies, departments and facilities.
  • A measure (A-2597) sponsored by Annette Quijano (D-Union), Pam Lampitt (D-Camden), Stender and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) to clarify that sexual assault victims are not responsible for the costs of forensic sexual assault exams.
  • A bill (A-2878) sponsored by Vainieri Huttle, Upendra Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex) and Ramos to require the state to collect and disseminate date about programs to those with developmental disabilities.
  • A bill (A-3097) sponsored by Herb Conaway, M.D, and Jack Conners (both D-Burlington/Camden) to require apply pay-to-play prohibitions to county bridge commissioners 
  • Legislation (A-3133) sponsored by Riley, Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex) and John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) to allow retailers to offer rebates and other reward for gas purchases.
  • A bill (A-3138) sponsored by John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Coughlin to combat Sayreville flooding.
  • Legislation (A-3838) sponsored by Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex) and Conaway to regulate Botox use by minors.
  • A bill (A-3908) sponsored by Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel R. Benson (both D-Mercer/Middlesex) to require state, regional and local authorities to increase online transparency.
  • Legislation (A-3980) sponsored by Stender, DeAngelo and Quijano to require proper disposal of state computers containing personal information.
The complete agenda can be found at:


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John Driscoll on NJ Pension Reform

John Driscoll's NJ Senatorial campaign from the 38th District campaign sent this release on NJ Pension reform yesterday. Share your thoughts below in the comments. While I don't support tax cuts for millionaires as Christie does or event this exact proposed plan as presented, I am concerned that the pension system stay solvent so I do think some reform is necessary. The devil is in the details.

Driscoll, Alonso, Goldberg Praise Pension Reform for Helping Property Taxpayers; Ask, “Why did Bob Gordon stand with special interests instead of taxpayers?”

BERGEN COUNTY - District 38 state legislative candidates John Driscoll, Fernando Alonso and Rich Goldberg today praised the New Jersey Senate for taking bipartisan action to pass comprehensive reform to the state’s public pension and benefit system, calling it “long needed action to bring fiscal sanity back to our state and help suffering property taxpayers.”

Driscoll explained that the reforms passed by the Senate will save taxpayers more than $100 billion over the long-term and will result in real property tax relief achieved through sound fiscal policy rather than one-time political gimmicks.

“This action keeps the promise our state has made to current and soon-to-be retirees while providing other workers with the time to plan for their retirement like those in the private sector must do,” said Driscoll. “Most importantly, this effort helps break the cycle of unsustainable spending on these benefits that threatened the future economic solvency of our state.”

Voting against the effort was incumbent Bob Gordon who chose to side with labor special interests rather than District 38 taxpayers.

“Mr. Gordon’s decision to vote against this common sense legislation to help taxpayers comes as no surprise,” said Driscoll. “After all, his record has been one of supporting more taxes, more spending and more debt for this and future generations to pay. As members of both parties stated repeatedly, doing nothing to fix this system is not an option, but it is exactly what Mr. Gordon did.”

Gordon pledged his support the special interests while attending a rally in Trenton with labor union leaders who compared Governor Christie to Adolf Hitler and legislators who supported this effort to Nazis. To date, Mr. Gordon has refused to condemn those comments or call for the resignation of CWA Vice President Chris Shelton for making them – something Driscoll has already done.

“Every step of the way in this process, Bob Gordon has shown he stands with special interests, not taxpayers. He sits silent while his special interest bosses compare our state’s leaders to Nazis, and he votes against bipartisan legislation to help taxpayers. Taxpayers need to ask themselves: who does Bob Gordon represent?” said Driscoll.

Driscoll was joined in his support of comprehensive pension and benefit reform by his Assembly running mates, Fernando Alonso and Rich Goldberg. Current Assembly member Connie Wagner has already pledged that she will vote against the reforms.


“This one issue – whether to save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars or not – shows the clear difference between their team and ours,” said Alonso. “The Gordon-Wagner-Eustace team supports special interests and more spending; the Driscoll-Alonso-Goldberg team supports taxpayers.”

- John Driscoll - NJ Senatorial Candidate District 38 ◦
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Reminder: Hoboken June Green Drinks: The Dubliner Roof Top Tonight!

Below is another Green Drinks event in Hoboken tonight:

Reminder: Hoboken June Green Drinks: The Dubliner Roof Top

Where: The Dubliner (Roof Top), 96 River Street, Hoboken
When: Wednesday, June 22nd, 6pm-9pm

The Dubliner has generously offered to provide Hoboken Green Drinks with a section of their roof top for the event. Of course if it rains, they will move HGD to the next floor down. Drink specials will be available from 6-9.

Note that at the last Green Drinks, attendees learned about Hoboken's new single stream recycling program.

Also, if you are on Facebook, make sure to 'like' QLC's Committee for a Green Hoboken facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/QLCs-Committee-for-A-Green-Hoboken/131885020215142

About Green Drinks and Hoboken QLC:

It all started in 1989 at a pub called the Slug and Lettuce in Northern London, in which a handful of eco-conscious mates pulled some tables together and drank some beer. The concept evolved into GREEN DRINKS and now it's global. Each city has an organizer who arranges meetings in bars, restaurants, and other venues. Come join us and get green.

QLC Website: http://www.qlchoboken.org/about
The mother ship: http://www.greendrinks.org/
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HUMC Community Meeting on Sale Postponed

Tonight’s 7PM community meeting regarding the sale of Hoboken University Medical Center has been rescheduled to next week. Details will be announced in the coming days.



All other announced meetings, including tonight’s 5PM meeting at Fox Hills, are still on as scheduled.

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Al Sullivan On Vacation! Vote Thumbs up at Hoboken Reporter

Al Sullivan, Hoboken Reporter columnist is on vacation this week. Apparently that fact has some readers expressing their approval.

Reader khoboken had this to say about Al being on vacation:

"This is hysterical. 47 thumbs up for Sullivabitch being on vacation. Let's see if it can hit 100 before the village idiot returns. Tell your friends, new game in town. Beer pong Al, every time another "thumbs up" gets posted, you have to take another. Let's get every one with a buzz this week. "
Read more: Hudson Reporter - Where’s ‘Between the Lines’


Link to story: Al Sullivan on Vacation at Hudson Reporter

My comment: Be sure to vote. Make your opinion known. The goal is to get at least 100 thumbs up by the end of the week. ◦
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Kurt Gardiner for Freeholder Update

Last week on June 13th was the deadline for the opposition to challenge my petition for the office of Hudson County Freeholder 5th District in November of this year. I called the Clerk's Office and they said no one had challenged the petitions so they said I am a candidate. I will be holding an organizational meeting soon and the drawing for ballot positions will be on Monday August 15th at 3pm at the Hudson County Clerk's Office.

The catalyst for me running was Washington Street not being re-paved and that it should be the County's responsibility even if former Mayor Dave Roberts took back the road in his first term. As a whole, I feel Hoboken is still under serviced in terms of Hudson County services given the large amount of taxes we as a city give to the county. That is why I have decided to run in November in order to give the voters a choice. It is quite undemocratic to have people run for political office without any opposition. How else can we hold our officials accountable? We need elections not coronations.

I look forward to meeting with and listening to as many people as I can between now and election day as to how we can get more out of our county government without necessarily spending any more. I am sure the majority of Hoboken residents and those from Jersey City Heights will feel that we are overtaxed for the services we are getting. As such my campaign slogan will be "Lower County Taxes".

Thanks to all who signed my petitions and I look forward to the journey I am about to embark on. Win or lose, my goal is to spread awareness of the role of Freeholder and what the county level of government should be doing for the residents of the 5th District.

Below is a map of the District I will be running in:
Map of Freeholder District 5
Link to full map: http://www.hudsoncountynj.org/Data/Sites/1/freeholders/docs/district_maps/HC_Freeholder_District_5.pdf
- Kurt Gardiner
Candidate for Hudson County Freeholder 2011

PS- If you would like to help out in any way please email me at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com. This will be a grass roots campaign that will emphasize individual contituents over special interests and developers. ◦
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Update: Mysterious Green Fluid at 9th and Grand Last Night Explained!

Update: There is an explanation for the green water that appeared last night over by 9th and Park Avenue in Hoboken. The Sewer Authority uses a green dye to trace sewer leaks and flow. One of the workers left a bag of the dye in the flood area last night. He didn't just leave one tablet; he left the whole bag. And the rest is history. The dye is safe and equivalent to food coloring although it is probably not recommended to be used in cakes.I ran into Mayor Dawn Zimmer today at the "Fit and Fun" festival and she relayed this information to me.

Original Post: Reader Eduardo saw this last night at around 8PM in Hoboken. He remarked in an email to me that


Hoboken Patch has noted that Hazmat crews were on the scene but no comment as of yet as t what the chemical was. If I was to take a guess it looks a lot like radiator fluid but it would just be a guess. Maybe someone killed Shrek. :)

Green fluid at at 9th and Grand last night

"I was at 9th and Grand several minutes ago and saw this and thought you might find it interesting. The fire department just responded to it, not sure what it is though." -Eduardo

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Friday, June 17, 2011

New Telephone Poll this Week- Kurt Gardiner for Freeholder is one of the questions

Update: It would appear there is more than one poll that was conducted this week. The Hudson Reporter has a story on it and that poll is different than the one I received.

Original Post: There is a new telephone poll being conducted out there this week on the Hoboken political scene. As we know telephone polls are expensive so you can guess as to who could be funding this endeavor.

Here is my partial recollection of the poll and others in Hoboken have also reached out to me to let me know as well. I am unsure of how many people were sampled but most political insiders question the scientific validity of phone polls in Hoboken (i.e. a sample that is likely not representative of the overall population).


I was asked the following questions to the best of my recollection:

How would you rate the following Hoboken politicians: Very Favorable, Favorable, Average, Unfavorable, Very Unfavorable?:
  • Beth Mason
  • Dawn Zimmer
  • Ruben Ramos
  • Anthony Romano
  • Mike Novak
  • Mike Russo
  • Terry Castellano
  • Tim Occhipinti
  • Carol Marsh
  • Dave Mello
  • Ravi Bhalla
Event though its a long way away, who would you choose the 2013 Mayoral Election?:
  • Dawn Zimmer
  • Mike Novak
  • Beth Mason
  • Ruben Ramos
  • (someone comment if they heard either Mike Russo, Frank Raia or Kim Glatt)
If you knew Dawn Zimmer endorsed (or supported) Chris Christie would that make you more likely or less likely to support her?

How is Dawn Zimmer doing her job as Mayor? Very good, Good, Fair, Poor, Very Poor....

Who would you support in the Fall election for Freeholder?
  • Kurt Gardiner
  • Anthony Romano
Editors Note: Thank you Beth Mason or the HCDO for the free advertising!

What is your primary source of political news in Hoboken?:
  • Hoboken Journal
  • Hoboken Reporter
  • Hoboken Patch
  • Mile Square View
  • NJ.com
  • Lane Bajardi goes mental on Dawn Zimmer (Hoboken 411)
Readers: Please fill in any details I may have missed in the comments below. Many people I spoke to have taken the poll and I think in some cases the questions may have been different or asked differently. ◦
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City of Hoboken Presents Fit and Fun Day Saturday June 18th

Here is your chance to get fit Hoboken if you are around town Saturday....

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the City of Hoboken

proudly present

Fit and Fun Day

WHEN: Saturday, June 18 • 10am-3pm
WHERE: Sinatra Drive – 1st to 11th Streets, Pier A Park, Sinatra Park
WHAT: A day of free fitness activities for all ages along Hoboken’s waterfront. Sinatra Drive between 1st and 11th Streets will be closed to traffic and open for cyclists and pedestrians. Free fitness activities will take place along Sinatra Drive, Pier A Park and Sinatra Park. Vendors will have free fitness and wellness-related information and samples.


Highlights include:
  • NJ Devils Street team portable rink for pick-up games for ages 7 to 14
  • NY Red Bulls soccer fun for children
  • 5K run/walk along waterfront by Hoboken Elysianettes
  • Pilates for adults with Dana Chau, New York Sports Club
  • Bike safety instructions for adults and children by Hudson TMA
  • Zumba class by Club H
  • Beginner Yoga Class for teens to adults by Jocelyn Krasner
  • Super Soccer Stars soccer demo classes for toddlers
  • BMX demo by Grove Street Bicycles street team
  • LA Boxing outdoor class
  • Open Barre Core Fitness classes by Local Barre
  • CrossFit Hoboken fitness and conditioning training for adults
  • Qi for Wellness seminar on Qigong for breast health
  • Koguma Dojo self-defense & karate classes for all ages
  • Mimi’s Kids Yoga includes animal poses, games & songs
  • Mixed Martial Arts family participation class for all ages by Tiger Schulmann
  • Flamenco class for children by Every Little Movement Academy of the Arts
  • Surviving the Weekend, a class for the weekend warrior by East Coast Spine
  • Gymnastic dance demonstration by Work it Out Gym
  • Creative Movement class by Hudson Dance & Movement for ages 2 to 5
  • Cobra Fencing Clubdemonstration and short group class for a small group of adults or children.
  • And much more!
Visit http://www.hobokennj.org/fitandfun for more information and an updated schedule of events. ◦
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Former Hoboken Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi Passes Away This Morning

Below is a message from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on the passing of Judy Tripodi this morning. Judy served as Hoboken's State appointed Fiscal Monitor from 2008 -2010 spanning three mayorships.

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER REGARDING PASSING OF JUDY TRIPODI

Early this morning, Judy Tripodi passed away. Judy Tripodi served as state fiscal monitor in Hoboken from 2008 through 2010. Mayor Zimmer issued the following statement:

“I was sad to learn today that Judy Tripodi passed away very early this morning. During her time in Hoboken, Judy took the important first steps towards putting us back on course towards a sustainable and fiscally responsible future. I deeply appreciate all the work she did for the City of Hoboken.”

A viewing will take place this Sunday, June 19th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at the Gerity & Chubenko Funeral Home located at 411 Amboy Ave, Woodbridge, NJ. A funeral mass will take place on Monday, June 20th at 9am at St. James, located at 341 Amboy Ave, Woodbridge, NJ. ◦
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Greg Meyers Wins Hoboken Sinatra Idol 2011 -Third time is the charm!

Last night at Hoboken Sinatra Park, the 5th Annual Sinatra Idol contest was held in Hoboken. Greg Myers who hails from Plainfield New Jersey won the crown and did it his way, the hard way. He was the only contestant to score 5 out of 5 from all the judges and his performance was the truly the best of the lot out of the 16 contestants. The judges really got the winner right.

This was Greg Meyers third Sinatra Idol contest in Hoboken and it will also be his last as winners are not allowed to compete again. The first time he came in third place, the second time in second, and finally first prize for him last night. This should be a lesson in perseverance and fortitude. I could tell Greg really wanted to win before his performance and I was happy to finally see him obtain his goal. He really has Frank Sinatra's subtleties down and gives the songs a very polished feel. Very well deserved.

Cultural Affairs Director Geri Fallo  and Sinatra style singer Gary “Simpsinatra” Simpson co-hosted the event and had a fun banter back and forth that entertained the audience a bit. Gary, along with judge Ernie Conti, sang some numbers as well. The contest closed with all contestants singing the Sinatra classic "New York, New York".

Below are some photos and video from the event:



2011 Hoboken Sinatra Idol Winner Greg Meyers:



And Bonus Video from last year!:

2010 Hoboken Sinatra Idol Winner David Arellano



2010 Hoboken Sinatra Idol Runner Up Greg Myers


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Hoboken BOE 2011 End of Year News Letter

From the Hoboken board of Education:

As the academic year draws to a close, the Hoboken Public Schools would like to share our accomplishments with the community, as well as our goals and priorities for the future. We are proud to share our End of Year Newsletter with the community, available for download Here.

You can reach Dr. Toback at mark.toback@hoboken.k12.nj.us with any questions or comments.

Hoboken BOE 2011 End of Year News Letter


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Help "The Boken" get to 5,000 Twitter Followers

The Boken Online (http://www.thebokenonline.com/) is a website that has been a sister blog to the Hoboken Journal since March of 2011. I am a contributor over there and part owner and they are close to having 5,000 Twitter followers which is a significant milestone. For comparison Hoboken 411 is only at 3,000 and change which is all that he appears to be working for these days.


So if you don't already follow the Twitter feed please consider doing so to get the latest updates about Hoboken bars and restaurants and other activities in the Mile Square. It is a site that stays out of the politics for the most part and helps local businesses get the word out. The Twitter account for  The Boken Online is http://twitter.com/theboken.

Oh and if you don't do so already, here is the twitter page for the HobokenJournal: http://twitter.com/hobokenjournal.

I have a shade under 600 followers and would like to get to 1,000 by the fall. You can help me out here as well.



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City Council Recap from 6/16/2011

Last night another reckless and destructive City Council meeting was held and chaired by Beth Mason at Hoboken City Hall. This was the last regularly scheduled meeting held by Beth Mason whose Council of No lost their majority with the ouster of Nino Giacchi after serving Hoboken for 10 plus years.

Nino was honored with a plaque for his years of service and people from both sides of the political fence applauded him out of respect for the man and the position but not necessarily his policy decisions.Below is outgoing Nino Giacchi receiving a plaque from Terry Castellano for his years of service.

_DSC0012

First on the Agenda were two ordinances to cut both the Mayor’s Salary and that of her Directors. Zimmer is already on the record that she was going to veto the legislation. After some raucous debate it passed along the usual 5-4 lines with yes votes from the Council of No including Mason, Russo, Occhipinti, Giacchi, and Castellano. This group is hell bent on doing as much damage they can to the Zimmer Administration before they lose power.

Here some of the comments from City Council  and the public about the salary cuts:
  • People should volunteer for the positions of Director (Helen Hirsh).
  • Angel Alicea only made $27K and he was the only Latino Director (Mike Russo played the race card here).
  • The salaries of the Mayor of Hoboken are the highest in the County (Beth Mason who claimed to also have done her research).
  • Paying someone the fair amount could help eliminate corruption ( Dave Mello).
  • This is a “slap in the face” to the directors (Dave Mello).
  • We are not taking food from their mouths (Mike Russo).
  • Peter Cunningham didn’t believe that Beth had interpreted the data on salaries correctly.

Editor’s Note: Beth Mason, Mike Russo, Nino Giacchi and Terry Castellano  had no problem when 23 day Mayor Peter Cammarano hired his directors at $125K per year. They didn’t even bat an eye.
This will not be the last meeting that Beth Mason will chair. A special meeting has been called on June 29th to wrap up the budget Amendments before the “Old Guard” loses the Council Majority.
Here is the soon to be departed as Council President Beth Mason in action at last night’s meeting:

_DSC0022

Now for the fun and admittedly childish part of the meeting:

Nancy Pincus showed up at last night’s meeting. She is the blogger for the controversial website Grafix Avenger, infamous for some edgy graphics that lampoons local politicians and their political operatives. Lane Bajardi, Beth Mason’s key minion and presumably on the dole is obsessed with taking her picture and was seen trying to get as many shots as he could with his camera phone. He also enlisted both Callichio brothers Nick and Matt to take pictures of Nancy  from different angles. Nancy responded by taking a few shots of her own and then I took a few shots as well. and so it went back and forth for several minutes. I could not help but laugh. The pictures of Lane Bajardi that I took I think will be instant classics . I  will let you the reader judge for yourself but these are the shots I got of Lane in the latest battle for……

HOBOKEN CAMERA WARS 2011
Crazy Lane Bajardi
Crazy Lane Bajardi 2
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Lord of The Flies Hoboken Reader Circle June 16th: Does this Apply to Hoboken?

Tonight June 16th the Hoboken Readers’ Circle book group will discuss LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding.

This group offers events about books that are a pleasure to read and to discuss. The Readers’ Circle book group is a community event open to all book lovers. Bring a friend. Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in the All Saints Episcopal Church. Free coffee and cake is served. For more info write readerscircle123@aol.com.

The All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 7th and Washington Street across from Dunkin Donuts.



For Discussion: Do the concepts and characters in this book apply to Hoboken's current political situation? Here is how I see it. Feel free to comment below:

Piggy- This is Mike Lenz. Mike Lenz was and still is the rational one about the budget and many other issues when he was on City Council. He has a strong intellect like Piggy but not not necessarily the political charisma to win people over emotionally. As a by-product of him reminding everyone else what the limits on budgets were and other such realities (those Long Lenz Lectures) he became despised by the "Old Guard" faction represented by Jack in the Lord of the Flies. The "Old Guard" coalesced around Tim Occhipiniti who threw the proverbial rock at Michael and took him out in November of 2010 in a an alleged massive vote buying operation that set records on local political corruption and election fraud.

The rabble that embodies the "Old Guard" doesn't like to be lectured on fiscal realities and Mike Lenz was that messenger. Since he spoke well, he had to be taken out as Piggy was in the book. It should be noted that Mike Lenz has since lost a significant amount of weight since but the analogy between him and "Piggy" is something I can't overlook.

Ralph- This role is played by Dawn Zimmer. Dawn took the City of Hoboken by surprise and won the Mayorship at the polls after 3 attempts. She didn't necessarily do it on her extensive business acumen but rather built up enough of a grass roots movement that built up her as a political figure. Ralph too initially appealed to the desire of civility and professionalism but once primal needs took over Jack took the leadership role and Ralph eventually ended up alone toward the end of the book and hunted. The obsession with the hunt could be viewed as the depletion of the surplus to zero by the "Council of No" (a sub faction of the "Old Guard") as the ultimate height of irresponsibility.

Well, that narrative is what the "Old Guard" would like you believe: that Dawn Zimmer is all alone. That may be true at the County and State level amongst developer Democrats like Menendez but she still has plenty of support in Hoboken and control of the City Council. The more civilized BnRs might not be very vocal about it but they certainly don't want a Mike Russo or a Beth Mason to be running the City.

Ralph like Zimmer in the story had some setbacks but eventually survived. Will that hold true for Dawn Zimmer in the 2013 election? Stay tuned.

Jack- This character is represented by Hoboken's "Old Guard" . Beth Mason, Mike Russo, Tim Occhipinti, and the whole gang of others really embody what Jack was in the book Lord of the Flies. Jack was charismatic to his barbaric base and had aggressive leadership qualities but most importantly tapped into the primal urges of the boys on the island. Towards the end he had everyone still living aligned against Ralph and they converged and tried to hunt Ralph to death. If you recall in the book Ralph lived as the authorities from the ship that rescued the boys put the uncivilized hunt led by Jack to end.

Does this apply to the FBI investigation? Will the FBI's investigation and anticipated subsequent arrest and convictions prevent the "Jacks" from spearing our current Mayor to death in a political sense? Stayed tuned for the bumpy ride. ◦
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Ramos and Other NJ Assembly Democrats Introduce Legislation They Claim Help the Disabled

Here is the latest legislative initiative from the NJ Assembly Democrats. Share your thoughts in the comments below:


VAINIERI HUTTLE, CHIVUKULA AND RAMOS BILL TO HELP IMPROVE LIVES OF DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED ADVANCES

Measure Would Help Ensure Developmentally Disabled
Are Properly Informed about Available State Services

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Upendra Chivukula and Ruben J. Ramos Jr. to improve the lives of developmentally disabled residents through increasing awareness of and enrollment in the various programs offered by the state Division of Developmental Disabilities was released Monday from the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“New Jersey provides some absolutely wonderful support and quality of life improvement services for individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Unfortunately, we’re not that wonderful at informing residents about these programs. This bill would change that.”

Under the legislation (A-2878), the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the state Department of Human Services would be required to collect a database of information on individuals in the state with developmental disabilities who are eligible to partake in services provided by the division.

The bill, as amended, would require the database to be constructed over a 12 month period, with new qualifying enrollees being added on a continuing basis. Once created, the division would be required to annually notify database members, in writing, of:

  • The services currently being received from the division;
  • The individual’s status on any waiting lists;
  • The best way for an individual to update their vital statistics; and
  • Information about where to find services.
Annually, the division would be required to publish a report, available online, containing non-identifying data about New Jerseyans with developmental disabilities.

The bill also would require the division to do a database-wide needs and service reassessment, as needed, to ensure that developmentally disabled residents continue to receive pertinent notifications.

“As a society, we should be judged on how we treat our most vulnerable residents, including those with developmental disabilities,” said Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex). “If we want to be judged well, and make improvements where we aren’t succeeding, we need to know exactly where we stand in caring for people with disabilities.”

“Reliable and current data about the service needs of persons with developmental disabilities who are eligible for services is fundamental to the division's ability to plan effectively to meet those needs,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Similarly, in order to make appropriate decisions about state funding for these services, it is important to understand the needs of persons with developmental disabilities served by the division.” ◦
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7th Inning Stretch this Weekend June 17-19: Support the Arts with Fundraiser on 18th

I received this note from a person who supports the theater in Hoboken on the upcoming play about Baseball, "The 7th Inning Stretch":

Dear Theatre and Baseball lovers,


Please remember to reserve your tickets for Mile Square Theatre's 9th annual, 7th Inning Stretch! Seven 10-minute plays about baseball. Shows are Friday and Saturday, June 17th and 18th at 8pm and Sunday (Father's Day), June 19th at 2pm.


We are particularly hoping you will attend the Saturday evening "Triple Play Party" (food, drinks and the show!). At $50, it's the least expensive fundraiser you'll attend this year! Plus, for that night only, MLB Productions will be there to film features for Fox's THIS WEEK IN BASEBALL. Don’t be left in the outfield.


If you can't make the Saturday night gala, be sure to see the show on Friday night or Sunday afternoon, at $25 per person ($15 for students/seniors). So make your reservations, and bring your friends! We are eager to get a nice full house for the MLB taping on Saturday. This is the only performance-based fund raiser we do. The proceeds go to support our education programs.


You can either go to http://www.milesquaretheatre.org/ and purchase your tickets on-line.

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Construction To Begin On Phase II of Hudson Place Pedestrian Safety Improvements

From Hoboken City Hall....

Construction To Begin On Phase II of Hudson Place Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Construction for Phase II of Hudson Place pedestrian safety improvements are scheduled to begin on Monday, June 20th. Planned improvements include further expansion of the sidewalk adjacent to the PATH entrance, the installation of additional bike racks, replacement of the sidewalk adjacent to the taxi stand, and installation of a curb bump-out on the north-east corner of Hudson Place and River Street. During construction, the taxi stand will be relocated to north side of Hudson Place.

Photo Courtesy of City of Hoboken

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/construction-to-begin-on-phase-ii-of-hudson-place-pedestrian-safety-improvements/
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