Friday, July 29, 2011

Giattino to hold Cleanup of Church Square Park Event July 31st

Reminder: Event is this Sunday July 31st at 10am.......

Original Post 7/23/2011: Here is a note from newly elected 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino encouraging people to clean up Church Square Park...




Please join me and my family on Sunday July 31st at 10am 
in Church Square Park for a community wide
"CLEAN IT UP HOBOKEN" Day.

Most Hoboken residents are unaware that there is an ordinance regarding the distribution and postings of handbills and circulars.

The ordinance states "no person shall throw, cast or distribute any handbill, circular, card or other advertising matter whatsoever, in or upon any street, public place, front yard, on any vehicle, or any place on a pole or public sign".


However, everywhere we turn we see advertisements posted on utility poles and boxes, stuck on car windshields, and littering our sidewalks, streets and open spaces.

It is time to make Hoboken more aware about this issue. It is time we come together as a community and start to clean up our streets. The Department of Environmental Services is working on the enforcement of this ordinance.

Keeping our streets clean has always been important to me and I am determined to raise community awareness about how we can all help with this matter.

I have been personally taking down signs, flyers, and other advertisements along with spreading the word about this matter. I have also been been contacting the offenders to inform them that these postings and distributions are not allowed.


As part of my initiative, I am asking for friends and neighbors (grownups and children), to come out on July 31st to help remove advertisements and clean up the streets.
I will meet volunteers in Church Square and then it'll be off to clean up Hoboken.


If you are interested in participating in this community awareness event, please send an email to mailto:elissabrachfeld@gmail.com?subject=Clean%20It%20Up%20Hoboken%21. Though, of course, anyone is welcome even last minute.

Feel free to forward this email to anyone else you think may be interested in helping out and encourage them to sign up at the bottom link for future emails about news and events.

"CLEAN IT UP - HOBOKEN" will not only raise awareness, but will be the start of us coming together to restore Hoboken to the beautiful place we all know it can be.

Thank you!
Jen


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NJ DEP on Hudson River: Ok to Resume Activity

From the NJ DEP office....

RECREATIONAL USES OF HUDSON RIVER MAY RESUME; NO IMPACTS IN NEW JERSEY FROM HUDSON RIVER SEWAGE DISCHARGE

As a result of water tests showing that bacteria levels in the Hudson River have fallen to within health safety standards and well below levels of concern, the Department of Environmental Protection today advised residents that boating, kayaking, fishing and other normal recreational uses of the river may now resume.



The DEP has been monitoring and sampling the Hudson River and Raritan Bay since the July 15 pump fire and effluent discharge from New York's North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, and has determined that the discharge has had no impact on New Jersey's ocean beaches, Raritan Bay beaches, or on shellfish beds in the region.

EP testing of water samples from the Hudson River show that bacteria levels in the river have fallen to within the recreational bathing standard of 104 enterococci bacteria per 100 milliliters, resulting in the decision to lift the recreational use advisory. The DEP will continue monitoring the river.

The DEP has been in close contact with New York City officials who indicated this evening that they will reopen beaches and lift advisories for the Hudson and Upper New York Bay as the result of declining bacteria levels.

Since the incident, the DEP and New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have been working closely with municipalities and counties, providing them with regular updates. The DEP has also posted updates and an interactive map at http://draft.blogger.com/www.nj.gov/dep/hudson .

Updates and information on water quality for all New Jersey beaches can be found at http://draft.blogger.com/www.njbeaches.org/


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Update from City Council President Ravi Bhalla

Here is the latest update from City Council President Ravi Bhalla who has some good news and an admission of a clerical error with respect to his law practice. Overall, with the new council majority things are moving in the right direction.


Dear Friends,

I report with pleasure that we are moving with determination to make our great city a better place.  Here is your update on how the City Council and the Administration are moving Hoboken forward:

Tax Decrease!: At the July 20th City Council meeting, the Council adopted a 2011 budget includes an 8% tax decrease in municipal portion of your property taxes. This is great progress in the right direction. While I had hoped for an even greater tax cut, we were able to achieve this decrease while maintaining a budget surplus of approximately 5% of the overall municipal budget. Maintaining this surplus is critical to maintaining a healthy balance sheet so that the city can improve its bond rating.

Moving Elections to November: The City Council passed a law, signed by Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Monday, that moves local elections from May to November. This means that local Hoboken elections will coincide with federal, state and county level elections.  I am proud of this achievement. It is a meaningful reform that will decrease the number of times you have to go to the polls to vote, and save taxpayer dollars associated with multiple elections. Most municipalities in New Jersey hold their elections in November, when people are most acclimated to voting.  With this new law, Hoboken will now also be electing its local leaders in November.

Corner Cars: Under the leadership of Director Ian Sacs, Hoboken implemented the “Corner Cars” program, a public-private partnership with Hertz meant to increase resident transportation choices and reduce the burden of finding parking in Hoboken.  The program has been a tremendous success and has received national acclaim as an innovative approach to address the problem of inadequate parking.  Over 1,600 residents have already signed up for the Corner Cars program.  Yet, for months, the prior City Council failed to officially pass a law to allocate the spaces used for these corner cars.  Fortunately, on July 20th, the City Council passed a measure making the Corner Car spots official and legally permissible.  I look forward to the continued success of this program for the benefit of our residents.

Progress towards a park in southwest Hoboken: The City Council passed a Resolution supporting the Administration’s use of the lawful powers of eminent domain for a park in the southwest of Hoboken.  This resolution is significant because, irrespective of your views on eminent domain, it formally provides the Zimmer Administration with a necessary negotiating tool to finally deliver a park in the southwest of Hoboken.  As a result of this vote, Mayor Zimmer also agreed to repurpose $3 million in county grant money towards the purchase of land in the Southwest.

Saving Our Hospital: An important step was taken towards saving Hoboken University Medical Center last week.  A public hearing was held to determine whether the State Health Commission will recommend that a Certificate of Need be issued by the Commissioner of the State Department of Health, a pre-requisite for the sale of the hospital.  I personally attended the hearing and provided testimony to the Commission imploring them to save our hospital by supporting its sale.  A cross-section of community members and other stakeholders also spoke in favor of saving our hospital.  I am hopeful that soon taxpayers will be relieved of a $52 million debt obligation and the hospital will be sold to a private entity.

Finally, although it does not relate to my public service as your councilman, in the spirit of full disclosure I want to inform you that in my private capacity as an attorney, I was “admonished” by the Disciplinary Review Board.  My admonition was based on the fact that a settlement check was issued to one of my clients prior to the funds clearing my law firm’s trust account.  Although the funds cleared and there was no client loss or complaint, the bank charged my firm a $70 fee.   This $70 fee caused a violation and a finding that my firm's trust account was not maintained in accordance with court rules.  I have since addressed these record keeping errors by retaining a specialized accountant to review and reconcile my law firm’s trust account on a quarterly basis to ensure its compliance with court rules.

An admonition is the lowest form of attorney discipline.  It is not a finding of dishonesty or fraud, nor is it finding relating to my public service.  Nonetheless, this was an error for which I take full responsibility.  I hope that in my time in public service, you have seen that where I make a mistake, I acknowledge it immediately rather than make excuses or denials, and then take corrective action.

As always, it’s a pleasure to be of a service to you.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at rbhalla@hobokennj.com or call me at 201-647-6090.

Sincerely,

Ravi S. Bhalla

Councilman-at-Large
City Council President ◦
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mayor Zimmer Announces Measures to Address Noise Concerns

From the City of Hoboken's Mayor's Office the latest on noise concerns and what is being done to address them......

MAYOR ZIMMER ANNOUNCES MEASURES
TO ADDRESS NOISE CONCERNS

On Wednesday, July 27th, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Councilwoman Theresa Castellano hosted a community meeting to discuss noise concerns with residents. In attendance were also various members of the Zimmer Administration including Police Chief Anthony Falco, Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs, Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman, and Deputy Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Mestre.

“I want to thank the community for coming out last night and providing their feedback on noise concerns,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Hoboken is a great community with more than 130 outdoor cafés, diverse retail shopping, unique cultural opportunities, and a vibrant nightlife, and we welcome everyone who wants to come here and enjoy themselves. All we ask is that residents, visitors, and business owners be courteous and respectful of their neighbors. My Administration is working on integrated measures to ensure the quality of life of all of our community.”

The four components include increased patrols, consistent enforcement, a simplified complaint process, and accountability and tracking mechanisms.

Patrols: Although police foot patrols have been increased recently, the Administration will work with law enforcement to further increase the police presence during peak activity periods. This will be accomplished through a combination of increased patrols by the Hoboken Police Department and with officers from the County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, the City Council recently approved the use of Class II police officers, and Mayor Zimmer hopes to work with Chief Falco to use this tool to increase patrols at key times.

Enforcement: Consistent enforcement will be a vital complement to an increased police presence. The Zimmer Administration will propose legislation to set the fine for disturbing the peace to $500, $1,000 and $2,000 for the first, second and third offenses, respectively. Community service would be required as well for all offenses. Currently, the law is for a maximum of $2,000 plus community service for the first offense, although it is principally enforced only during St. Patrick’s Day events. Mayor Zimmer is strongly advocating for consistent year-round enforcement.

Complaint Process: The City will also establish one central location where residents can call with noise complaints. Fire dispatch operators are currently being trained on the City’s new noise ordinance and will receive and track noise complaints through a constituent request management system. The data will be analyzed internally to provide metrics useful for efficiently allocating resources and improving enforcement. It will also be tracked for benchmarking and to measure the City’s responsiveness. In addition, residents will be able to track their complaints and corresponding responses through an online system.

Tracking system: In addition to the Fire Department, police and parking enforcement officers have also recently been trained in the new noise ordinance and in the use of sound meters. City employees have also recently completed training in the City’s new constituent request management system, QAlert.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/mayor-zimmer-announces-measures-to-address-noise-concerns/


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Gardiner vs. Romano - Let the Freeholder Debates Begin

Anthony "Stick" Romano and Kurt "The Giant" Gardiner have agreed to two debates for the upcoming Freeholder race coming this November. We both did so through a trusted intermediary who was offered the carrot and chomping at the bit for open debates (hint). The dates will be set after Labor Day. The debate will consist of one forum and one TV interview/debate at a County TV Show. Both campaigns will work out the exact format after the Summer. Stay tuned.

No, this won't be Lincoln vs. Douglas like former Mayor Peter Cammarano turned felon (endorsed by Romano in 2009) once touted but it will a chance for the District 5 Freeholder constituents to see where the candidates stand on the issues. Think of it this way, the District went from having someone running unopposed and backed by the County Machine to running scared enough that he felt compelled to challenge his unknown challenger to not one but two debates. I of course readily accepted as I had planned on offering a debate challenge myself. I am humbled before the potential voter to at least be able to offer them a choice for this public office. Let the debates begin!

Attention Media and Constituents: This is the real deal as I called Anthony Romano in person today to confirm that we will work out the debates after Labor Day. Any follow up questions can be addressed to kurt.gardiner@gmail.com. Feel free to reach out to me on concerns over Hudson County issues as well. ◦
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Thank You Frank Raia! Kurt Gardiner For Freeholder

Photo Courtesy of MSV blog
I would personally like to thank Frank Raia for making my candidacy for Freeholder in November even more viable. Frank and I have had our disagreements from time to time and I don't see eye to eye with him on most municipal issues. However, I just recently I met up with Frank holding court at the St. Ann's Festival and we had an amicable conversation. The substance of the conversation which I will not disclose other than the fact that he let me know that the petition drive was alive to challenge the moving of elections to November by the new City Council majority. He will need about 2,200 signatures to get that done which should be quite doable as it reflects his voting natural base.

The way I look at it is this: Frank with the help of Jaime Cryan, Franz Paetzold and others has initiated a real good reason for more people generally aligned with good governance to come out and vote in the November election. That can only help me as long as I run a campaign to convince those voters who are more naturally aligned with my policy positions that I am the best choice to advocate for good governance, lower county taxes (county taxes went way up during Romano's three year reign) and to bring more services to my district. The bar may be low but I will stand tall and rise above the current expectations of mediocrity and County Machine kowtowing that my opponent currently seems to accept.

Thank you Frank Raia!: So Frank Raia, I don't know what your plans are for endorsement for Freeholder but I do want to thank you once a again for a potential relative electoral windfall provided I am able to capitalize on it. Thanks again and good luck with those petitions! ◦
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Michele Russo's Patronage Job? - She's Mopping it Up!

Another update:

NJ.com has a story confirming that Michele Russo has been hired to her the position and can start immediately.

My main questions pertain to the process in which she was hired. Was it an open process? Etc. Update 7/27/2011: Hold your horses! The Mile Square View has no start date set for the job Michelle Russo supposedly took according the Hudson Reporter's Al Sullivan. Sullivan is not exactly noted for his journalistic accuracy so we will have to see how this develops. Read more on Hoboken's favorite conspiracy theorist site (besides Hoboken 411, The FBI is coming! The FBI is coming!): http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2011/07/insider-michele-russo-awaits-official.html

Also, that pesky lady who has her own blog website and fancies public pools has Michele Russo denying she was offered a job according to her sources. Go to Grafix Avenger for the latest on that angle:
http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2011/07/exclusive-michele-denies-getting-county.html

Stay tuned. If there is any validity to this story I suspect that a few county government people will be racing to cover their tracks or develop some real good spin. I hear there is a dapper bushy eye browed fellow who could spin a pile of crap into an interesting yarn and Mason isn't paying him enough to maintain his wardrobe to the high standards to which he has become accustomed. He is also a master of semantics and verbal magic! (At least in his own demented mind)

To Boy Laney, Channel 78 anchorman: Come out from hiding Lane! The "Loyal Opposition" (to good government) needs your help. Only your masterful rhetoric and Voltaire quotes can save the day now. Get cracking. Hope to see you back on Hobroken411 soon. Someone as dapper as you should never be relegated to ghost writer status. You need to take proper credit for your work! Get your name out there. Get ready for the next step. Got Melli? You might as well declare your source of income too while you are at it. You wouldn't want to have too big of a hole in your resume. You ba-job seeking ba-job seeker you!

Original Post 7/26/2011: After all the groaning and moaning and hypocrisy from Lane Bajardi and the other paid operative Zimmer haters about Dawn Zimmer's ties to the County and the resulting supposed patronage that was supposed to come of it. Look at we have here, perhaps a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Here is an excerpt from the Hudson Reporter:

"Michele Russo, the mother of current 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo and the wife of former Hoboken Mayor Anthony Russo, has just been hired for a county job replacing the outgoing head of housekeeping at the County Plaza building in Jersey City."

Here is the link to the full story on the Hudson Reporter Website: Michele Russo, wife of ex-Hoboken mayor, lands county job

Michele Russo mopping it up with County Patronage? Original photo from MSV.

For discussion: Do you think it is hypocritical given all the unsubstantiated claims that Mike Russo and the rest of the old guard have made about the Zimmer Administration and fabricated County patronage when his mother is indeed granted a County job? Or do you think that nothing is untoward here and she got it based on her experience in Real Estate or managing people? Keep in mind folks, in her position she will have access to every Hudson County building she is responsible for cleaning.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hoboken Politics A Go Go: Frank Raia To Start a Drive to Recall Mayor Zimmer?


The Hoboken "old guard" or "loyal opposition" as Hudson County machine bootlicker and NJ.com columnist Auggie Torres likes to refer to them as, is working on putting up a referendum to stop the elections being moved to November. Emboldened by recent victories in the Hoboken Democratic Committee and BOE races that faction is now looking to put a stop to moving the elections to November. That initiative was recently passed by a margin  5-4 by the pro-Zimmer majority earlier this month.

I ran into Frank Raia holding court at St. Ann's Festival this week. Frank is the self-professed and purported glue of the "old guard" or "loyal opposition" to Mayor Dawn Zimmer. I was able to confirm from him and other sources that the drive for petitions to challenge moving the municipal elections to November is indeed in play.

What has been talked about loosely but has not been confirmed is that there is also under consideration a potential drive to start a recall petition of Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Approximately 9,000 signatures would be required to put that on the ballot (25% percent of the 36,000 or so registered voters on Hoboken's voter rolls). Does the "loyal opposition"/ "old guard" really think that they could get 9,000 signatures to get this on the ballot? Time will tell if this is not bravado from the emboldened Raia, who sees himself as the central king maker to turn back the clock on the reforms that Mayor Zimmer has implemented.

Total Recall? Not very likely but welcome to the wacky world of Hoboken politics. How much for the movie rights? In response to losing in a real election the City Council majority it looks like the old guard has gone referendum crazy in order to deal with their loss. Welcome to the Californication of Hoboken politics. ◦
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Beth Mason and Ricky Mason: Hoboken Royalty?

I kind of feel like Perez Hilton a bit on this piece but here goes anyway. Recently Ricky Mason posted a photo on Facebook of him and Beth Mason at a Gala event at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center. Sounds like fun. Ricky and Beth were all decked out as well. One of their loyal political supporters (last name redacted) commented that they are Hoboken's royalty! What? Did I miss the coronation or something?

Share your thoughts in the comments below on whether the Mason's are Hoboken's Royalty or not. I for one think Beth is royalty all right, one royal pain in the... (fill in the blank)


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Revised Observer Highway Pump Construction Schedule

There was a memo sent out to Richard Wolff Chairman of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority on July 18,2011 from Michael Wilson, Project Manager on the Observer Highway Pump Station. In his comprehensive memo he has provided the latest project schedule. This is of course dependent on hitting certain milestones and assumptions based on the assessment of the situation as of July 1, 2011....

Revised Observer Highway Pump Construction Schedule: 

  • Pump Station Substantial Completion - June 30, 2011
  • Rehabilitation of Twin Outfalls Complete and Extended to Long Slip Canal - September 29, 2011
  • Pump Station Startup and Testing - October 7, 2011 – October 20, 2011
  • Completion of Construction- December 20, 2011

Mr. Wilson noted the main reason for the extension of the completion of the project which had at one point been targeted for completion by the end of the Summer of 2011 had to do with the rehabilitation of the pipe that goes from the station into the Hudson River.

"Outfall Rehabilitation and Extension: As noted in previous monthly reports, completion of the permanent rehabilitation of the existing outfalls is required for operation of the pump station. This is the most complex portion of the project and it continues to impact the schedule for placing the pump station into operation. The contractor conducted a final trial cleaning on a test section of the West pipeline. With the direct field experience obtained from executing this, and previous trial cleaning methods, they determined that the most efficient process to clean the existing pipelines is by direct worker entry and use of hand tools."

Project Management Observation: Anytime you have to use hand tools in projects such as this, you can expect a lengthening of the project schedule.

Below are some recent photos of the work done so far:

Pump Station electrical building exterior

Pump Station electrical building interior
  
Exterior piping

My comment: While it is bad news to some that this project got delayed past the Summer of 2011 at least there is a logical explanation for it. The report on the situation is professional and easy enough to read even for a layman. While I am not an engineer in my estimation this firm is using good project management tools and communication skills to keep the stakeholders informed of the project.

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Frank Lautenberg: "Christie is Evil" - Marriage Equality Rally in Hoboken NJ July 24th

With New York's gay marriage law going into effect yesterday, a rally was held to get the same full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey as well at Pier A Park in Hoboken, NJ at 2 pm. Political attendees were Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Ravi Bhalla, Steve Fullop, Ray Lesniak, Carol Marsh, Jaimee Cryan, and Freeloader Freeholder Anthony Romano. The keynote speaker however was State Senator Frank Lautenberg while wearing a multicolored rainbow tie, who spoke in favor of marriage equality and spoke of the "evils of our governor" and that "we don't favor some of his evil missions such as cuts in education and health care". Mayor Zimmer was the first speaker and Frank followed up later with a very well received speech of his own. He is considered by some an iconic figure in the battle for civil rights.

Below are some photos and video of the rally, Frank Lautenberg's speech is at the end of the video:





Editor's Note: I went with angle of a section of Frank Lautenberg's speech calling Chris Christie as evil since none of the other media picked that up in the story. This was in no way meant to take away from the other speakers or even Frank's message of tolerance and fairness under the law. I do agree with Frank in that Christie is wrong to oppose marriage equality, I position I find socially unjust but not one of evil.


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HUMC Flashback: Quigley Down Under in a Sea of Red Ink 2009

Below is a video (courtesy of estevens) from Hoboken University Medical Center spokesperson and VP of External Affairs (and NJ State Assemblywoman) Joan Quigley where discusses layoffs and other cost-cutting measures at HUMC. This is From the Cablevision Neighborhood Journal, Hudson News edition, January 27, 2009.



Joan Quigley, in her function of HUMC VP of External Affairs, speaks of the possibility of layoffs due to the financial conditions of the HUMC back in 2009. She mentions that layoffs were the last possibility in that situation. She also mentions that caregivers were also the last to be laid off if the layoffs would happen. She mentions that she hopes to have better news next time. This is in January of 2009. Flash forward....

My Comment: Well, the layoffs never happened and the financial news on the HUMC over the next 2 plus years never got better in fact just worse. Not to single out the well spoken Quigley, but non-medical personel that could have been targeted could have been positions like hers when the hospital was struggling. After all the unions did take a pay cut but as I have stated earlier, if the demand is not there at the hospital, the staffing has to be appropriate to the level of services. Hudson County politicians have to stop looking at these institutions as job mills and start looking at them from an operational efficiency standpoint. No wonder Hoboken is in the mess they are in today with respect to the hospital. The tough medicine should have happened way sooner. Enter Dr. Turnaround, The Bayonne Medical Group will be ready to give this Hospital a dose of it pending state approval. ◦
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Photo of the Day: Elvis Lives and he has Hoboken Police Protection!

Hoboken Police Officer Vince Lombardi and Elvis Performer Ryan Pelton at last night's St. Ann's Festival
Today's photo of the day will likely prove out to be a classic in terms of this photo of the day series. Hoboken Police Officer Vince Lombardi was doing off duty detail for the St. Ann's Festival and the was able to get a much coveted detail, to protect Elvis! Well it wasn't really Elvis but Ryan Pelton who put on a great show last night for the adoring fans at 7th and Jefferson St. 

So how did Vince Lombardi get this coveted security detail? One Word: Seniority!



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U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg to speak to today's 2:00 pm rally in Hoboken

The list of public officials grows by one for today's Marriage Equality Rally at Pier A today at 2:00pm...


United States Senator Frank Lautenberg is the latest addition to our rally at 2:00 pm today for marriage equality at Pier A Park in Hoboken.
Pier A Park in Hoboken is the park in New Jersey closest to New York, with the magnificent Manhattan skyline as our backdrop just a half a mile away.  Please join us and bring your family and friends to send the world a message:  New Jersey must be next.

Several notables will be there, including Congressman Frank Pallone, Senator Raymond Lesniak and our host, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.  This will be open mike:  You will get a chance to speak to the world.  You will also meet couples in the new lawsuit for marriage equality.

Please wear and/or bring sunscreen.  If you have an EQUALITY The American Dream t-shirt, please wear it.   If you'd like to bring a homemade sign with whatever slogan you'd like, please bring it.  If you are reading this email, please forward it to your family, friends, colleagues and list servs.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS - please read:

By PATH and NJ Transit:   Pier A Park is adjacent to the Hoboken train station, Hoboken Terminal.  When you exit, you'll see Garden State Equality volunteers.

By car:   Drive to the parking garage on Second Street between River Street and Sinatra Drive.  The garage is across the street from Pier A Park and is $6 for two hours.  

If you have a GPS or are using web directions, plug in 120 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken.  When you get there, make a left on Second Street to the garage.  You'll see Garden State Equality volunteers.
Thanks from all of us at Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal.
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Dawn Zimmer - Update to the People

Here is an update from Mayor Dawn Zimmer on a number of topics such as a Hudson River Health Advisory (don't even touch the water or eat the fish), today's Marriage Equality Rally, a classical concert, the hospital, and a positive out come at last week's City Council meeting that is now chaired by Ravi Bhalla. With each master stroke Ravi shows that he has the professionalism that is needed to move this town forward in juxtaposition to the inept and thankfully obstructionist and  pandering rule of former Council president Beth Mason. Finally, the Mayor has a working majority and she will need to put it to good use to get re-elected. The progress continues under her leadership. Read on.


Dear Friends,

I wanted to send you a quick note to make sure you heard
an important
health notice and share some good news.


First and foremost:
Please make sure not to do any fishing or even let your
children touch the water from the Hudson River until
further
notice. 
Due to a fire in NYC raw sewage has been released into the
river and exposure to the water could cause vomitting or
diarrehea according to testing by the NJ DEP. 
Visit hobokennj.org for more information.

Invite and some good news:
Tomorrow, Sunday, July 24th, 2:00 pm: 
Rally for Marriage Equality on
the southeast corner of Pier A
I joined Garden State Equality and Lamda Legal to host this
event on the first day same-sex couples in New York will have
the right to marry.
As Mayor Bloomberg recently said, “Near equality is not equality.  Government either treats everyone the same, or it doesn’t. 
And right now it doesn’t.”
Tomorrow will be cooler, so please come and voice your support
for equality.

Save the date:
Thursday, August 18th: 
Come join a new summer concert with the
NJ Symphony Orchestra on Pier A.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your support on the hospital
and the many other achievements of the week.   
At the State hearing on Thursday our community voiced
strong support for the sale of the
hospital.

This enables us to jump another hurdle towards achieving

the miracle of saving the hospital and getting the City off
of the $52
million bond guarantee with the proposed sale
to the principals of
Bayonne Medical Center.

The Council meeting was filled with successes this week including:
  • Formally giving my Administration the tools and negotiating  strength necessary to bring a park to Southwest Hoboken.
    (As a result, I
    repurposed $3 million of county grant money towards the purchase of land in the Southwest)

  • Legally approving corner cars, which has reached our
    2-year goal of 1,600 members in only one year

  • Moving the elections to November to reduce your
    voter fatigue and increase voter participation

  • Authorization of Class II Police Officers so Chief Falco can cost-effectively add more foot patrol to our City on busy
    nights and during events

Stay cool and hope to see some of you tomorrow!

Dawn

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

More on the HUMC sale to HUMC Holdco and Why Beth Mason Sux

I have uploaded additional video from the public meeting on the proposed sale of the HUMC to HUMC Holdco that was held at Our Lady of Grace Church Annex on 7-21-2011. This meeting was held to allow the public to comment before the NJ Health and Senior Services Board to address their points of view on the proposed sale of the Hospital. Most of the comments for for this transaction though some were against or had concerns that the deal was only for 7 years or that there are some practices by the Bayonne Medical group that leave something to be desired. All in all while I have concerns about this transaction I believe the decision has to me made as the Hospital as at the point of no return and I can't see risking waiting up to one more year to restart the whole process again just to satisfy all of the Union's demands. I will just have to respectfully disagree with them on that point. I think that is the best way to save as many jobs as possible.

Here are my points that I had in my head before the meeting as well as afterwards:
  • In my opinion the hospital being made a public entity should have never been a Hoboken only issue. St. Mary's/HUMC serves not only Hoboken but Jersey City and Union City residents as well. Former Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons and Union City Mayor Brian Stack should have been a part of the equation when Dave Roberts and the City Council were considering the take over of the Hospital and backing it with a guarantee for the Hoboken taxpayer. If that deal had to be done it should have never only been put on the back of the Hoboken taxpayer exclusively. If it is indeed true that this was the only way to save the Hospital in 2007 Hoboken should not have been the only entity putting up the guarantee.
  • If Freeholder Anthony Romano is so concerned about keeping the hospital open and rightfully so, where is his pledge to provide County assistance to the HUMC to help keep it afloat as a stop gap measure?
  • The reality is that the hospital isn't doing well financially for a variety of reasons:
  1. Management has failed to delivered the kind of returns they were hoping for based improvements. Things have improved but not enough to drive profitable business to the hospital. We paid Harvey Holzberg from Dave Robert's circle of political patronage $800,000 a year to try to turn around the Hospital and he did not do so. Proof that you don't always get what you pay for. 
  2. The demand for the services of the Hospital  appears not to be there due to the failures to implement enough improvements in point number one to justify current staffing levels. 
  3. Not enough cost cutting measures were implemented soon enough under both Harvey Holzberg and Spiros Hatiras. Why was the money losing HUMC Foundation kept on for so long? 
  4. The goal of the hospital should have been about running it to provide services and not protecting jobs. While it is commendable that the unions all agreed to a pay cut, the better management decision would have been to cut the appropriate jobs instead of keeping everyone on. As painful as that would have been it would have been a much wiser move towards the Hospital's long term viability. 
  5. As a standalone entity, the hospital does not have the ability to negotiate favorable reimbursement rates. For most services that they provide they are operating at a loss. 
  6. Perhaps Obama care in 2014 will address some of the financial strain of giving care to the uninsured but the demographics of those who come to the hospital currently are too great on the uninsured side to sustain those who can afford to pay. 
  • Hoboken needs an acute care facility, it might just not need the number of beds that it has currently. 
  • Beth Mason rightfully opposed making the Hospital Public back then so why has she been trying to obstruct the privatization over recent months? If you have been following Beth Mason's lunacy and hypocrisy you already know the answer Beth Mason's rabble rousing and outright lies on this issue have been despicable. Like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, her obsession for the ring of Mayoral power have put her own political self interests above that of the community just to attack Mayor Dawn Zimmer in trying to fulfill one of her campaign promises. I can just see her mouthing "My Precious" while her quest for power distorts her physiology over time which it indeed has. No amount of Joker makeup or fake political pandering smiles can mask that now. 
  • I heard enough testimony from the Bayonne Medical Group to believe that they have what it takes to get the HUMC back into the black. I don't think I will like every decision they will make and honestly I would like to see the agreement at least extend to 10, 15 years but at this point we should take the deal that is on the table currently. 
  • Stabilization funds are running out and without that the Hospital can't last another year. Twice this year, according to a source, they have had to get advances on the funds to just make payroll. There is a simple formula to determine how long the hospital will last: how much is left in funds vs. how much the hospital is losing daily equals the time left before the hospital completely runs out of cash. They can't refinance any more since they already did that by putting balloon payments out to 2027 and are paying interest only on at least one issue. This Hospital in its public form has been held up by financial gimmicks since its inception.
  • Hoboken needs a professional group to turn the hospital around, not political cronies and union talking heads. 
  • Bayonne Medical has a proven track record. 
  • They were the only bidder of 6 that met all 4 criteria in the publicly noticed RFP. 
  • The HUMC Board voted unanimously to award them the right to exclusively negotiate. 
  • Hoboken needs the HUMC to continue and needs the politicians out and the professionals in to try and turn this thing around. 
I rest my case and I am not alone. See the videos below to mostly back up what I am talking about.


Video Highlights of Speakers on the HUMC sale at Our Lady of Grace Church Annex 7-21-2011:




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Friday, July 22, 2011

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Recommends Health Precautions Due to Today's Excessive Heat

Here is a guide to the your health and the heat from the NJ  Department of Health and Senior Services. Folks, its a scorcher out there. An aquaintance of mine saw me at the bus stop and asked me if I was ok.  I said I would be once I was inside. Here is some sage advice...

Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Recommends Health Precautions Due to Today's Excessive Heat

With the heat index soaring to 110 degrees today, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) urges the elderly, disabled and those with chronic medical conditions to drink plenty of water and visit senior or cooling centers if they do not have air conditioning.

“These are dangerous weather conditions that can cause heat stroke and exacerbate chronic medical conditions, leading to severe complications and death,” said Acting Commissioner Dr. Tina Tan.

The risk of severe illness and death from extreme heat exposure is highest among:
  • Older adults, especially those 65 years of age and older
  • Adults of all ages with chronic health conditions, especially those with asthma, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity or psychiatric disorders

Residents may locate their nearest cooling center by calling their local senior center, town hall or by calling NJ EASE at 1-877-222-3737. People may also visit the DHSS website for the locations of the nearest senior center (http://web.doh.state.nj.us/apps2/seniorcenter/scsearch.aspx) or Area Agency on Aging (www.nj.gov/health/senior/sa_aaa.shtml).

 “The elderly and those with disabilities are most at risk for heat related health crisis because they do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature. We urge residents to check on elderly and disabled neighbors, friends and pets to be sure they are safe over the next several days,” said Dr. Tan.

The CDC recommends the following tips for older adults and people with disabilities and/or their caregivers: 
  • Visit older adults who are at risk at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Encourage them to drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages
  • Check with your physician if you have been told to limit fluids or if you are taking water pills
The Department recommends the following precautions for stay cool:   
  • Stay indoors in air conditioning
  • If you do go outside, stay in the shade
  • If your home is not air conditioned, spend as much time as possible in an air conditioned mall, library, senior center, cooling center or pool
  • Wear sunscreen, along with loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • Drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks which speed dehydration
  • Keep your pets out of vehicles and if you do have to travel with them, never leave them alone in the car
  • Avoid exertion during the hottest part of the day
  • Take a cool shower or bath
Residents are also urged to keep close eye on their pets by taking the following actions:

  • Make sure your pet has plenty of water; keep water bowls filled
  • Never leave your pets unattended in the car - even for a few minutes - in the heat Just a few short minutes in hot weather can lead to heat stroke or death
  • Contact your veterinarian if your pet shows signs of heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke include: 

  • Increased heart rate
  • Excessive panting
  • Increased salivation
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Vomiting
If you exercise with your dog, make sure you exercise in the coolest hours of the morning or evening

For more information regarding heat related emergencies, please log on to http://www.ready.nj.gov/, visit the National Weather Service Heat Safety Page (http://www.weather.gov/om/heat/index.shtml), or call 2-1-1 New Jersey’s toll-free, confidential help line. ◦
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City of Hoboken: Sewage Release into Hudson is a Health and Saftey Concern: No Fishing or Swimming Until Further Notice!

In light of the recent sewage spill into the Hudson River from NYC as the result of a fire, the City of Hoboken is revising their recommendations on the City website and advising residents and visitors not to swim, kayak or consume fish or crabs from the Hudson River until further notice.

http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hudson-river-advisory-no-swimming-kayaking-or-fishing/


To Hudson County Health Officers and Public Health Community:
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is currently assessing potential impacts of Wednesday’s fire at a New York City wastewater treatment plant that caused a shutdown of that facility and a continuing discharge of raw sewage into the Hudson River. The NJDEP is working closely with NY to resolve the issue.
Please see attached for full release.

Thank You,
Christina
Christina Butieb-Bianco
Public Health Emergency Notification System Coordinator
Hudson Regional Health Commission
Email: cbutieb@hudsonregionalhealth.org or cbutieb@njlincs.net 
Web: http://www.hudsonregional.org/

Here is the press release on the impact to the Hudson River:

NJ DEP ASSESSING POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF NEW YORK’S HUDSON RIVER SEWAGE FLOW: WORKING CLOSELY WITH NEW YORK TO RESOLVE ISSUE

The New Jersey DEP is currently assessing potential impacts of a Wednesday fire at a New York City wastewater treatment plant that caused a shutdown of that facility and a continuing discharge of raw sewage into the Hudson River. The Department has reached out to officials of New Jersey municipalities and counties located along the Hudson River to make sure they are aware of the situation and are part of a coordinated response effort along with the State Department of Health and Senior Services and the State Office of Emergency Management.

The DEP is doing scientific modeling to determine whether or when any New Jersey land might be impacted, and is also monitoring water quality to assure there is no threat to public health and safety. Department staff currently is on boats in the Hudson River performing visual inspections of the river and sampling the water.

“New Jersey is aggressively monitoring the situation, and working closely with the New York City and New York State environmental departments to fully assess the potential impacts of the flow of raw sewage into New Jersey’s waters,’’ said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “The DEP has employed emergency response and water monitoring staff to assess water conditions and potential impacts on shellfish beds and recreational uses.’’

New York City is working to re-start the pumps at its North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, which sits across the Hudson River from Edgewater in Bergen County. Staff and contractors hired by New York are inside the facility assessing damage, performing cleanup activities and working toward re-energizing the facility, which is the first step towards bringing the plant back online. The city is chlorinating some bypassed sewage to reduce pathogens.

The DEP is strongly recommending that individuals refrain from swimming, kayaking, and other recreational uses of the Hudson until the situation is resolved. As a public health safety precaution, DEP scientists recommend that anglers and crabbers avoid contact with the water, clean any gear used in the water, and temporarily avoid consumption of fish and crabs. The State will provide updates when normal fishing and crabbing may resume.

New York City’s treatment plant was taken offline on Wednesday following a fire in the engine room. Untreated wastewater has been discharged directly into the Hudson River since 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The City declared the River off limits to swimming and recreational uses.

The North River plant has been in operation since 1986 and treats on average 120 million gallons of wastewater a day from Manhattan’s west side above Bank Street and northern Manhattan.

The New Jersey DEP will provide periodic updates to affected municipalities and health departments. ◦
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Hoboken Hospital Sale Meeting Video

Note: This is an editorialized account of last night's HUMC meeting. It includes opinion and facts.

Here are some highlights of the speakers from last night's meeting on the potential sale of the Hoboken's HUMC to HUMC Holdco which is run by the same management of Bayonne Medical. There has been a lot of misinformation out there including the fact that this was not an open process. There was indeed an RFP that was posted to the HUMC website and sent out to over 170 organizations. The board received 6 proposals and then picked one that met their criteria. The vendor that was selected was HUMC Holdco and it was agreed with a unanimous vote that they would then enter into exclusive negotiations with the HUMC. That process took about a year to start to get to the point where we are today.

The Union JNESO thinks that the process should be deferred and perhaps another search to begin.While they didn't say they opposed the sale per se they clearly don't think that the Bayonne deal is good enough for them. That might well be true but do they think they can wait another year to get a better deal? My opinion is the hospital won't last a year based on my discussions with officials close to the situation and knowing what I know about the finances and accounts payable situation from attending so many meetings. Ask yourself the question: when was the last time the HUMC paid PSE&G? The answer will shock you. Does the nurses union feel they have the right to get paid but not the hardworking line work at the utility company? In order to save as many union jobs the only way is close this deal and soon. The deal will get worse for Hoboken the longer it takes.

The bottom line is Hoboken is out of options and this is the best deal on the table. I don't think we can risk walking away from the table to restart the process since it most likely would mean the hospital would go bankrupt.

Most people that went up spoke in favor of the sale but the Union and the Insurance lobby were there to voice their concerns as well. Here is the first round of video highlights of the speakers. At least one mofr video to come. Mayor Zimmer speaks first.


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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Zimmer Comments on Public Hearing on Possible Sale of HUMC

Mayor Dawn Zimmer provided these comments on the sale of the HUMC in tonight's public meeting....

MAYOR DAWN ZIMMER COMMENTS ON PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER SALE OF HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

Mayor Dawn Zimmer is providing comment regarding tonight’s public hearing held by the State Health Planning Board (the Board) concerning the certificate of need application submitted to the Department of Health and Senior Services for the Transfer of Ownership of Hoboken University Medical Center to HUMC Holdco, under common ownership of the principals of Bayonne Medical Center.


"It was important that the Board heard directly from the citizens of Hoboken. There have been so many rumors about the needs of the community and the future of the hospital that this type of discussion was paramount. What Board members heard is that HUMC is essential to Hoboken. It has served our community for 150 years and without it, the future for healthcare in our City is bleak.”

“The Board also heard that the proposed sale of the hospital to the principal owners of Bayonne Medical Center is a huge opportunity for our City, an enormous win for all of our residents. The transaction will achieve two objectives few thought possible – it both saves the hospital and relieves the City of its potentially crippling $52 million loan guaranty. Our hospital cannot survive as a stand-alone community facility. The financial challenges are simply not sustainable. If the sale doesn’t go through, our hospital will close. That is unacceptable.”

“Because public debate on this issue is important, the Board also heard from opponents of this transaction. Unfortunately for everyone, these groups voiced their opposition based on their own personal agendas and did not reflect the best interests of Hoboken’s residents. Their claim that HUMC can survive even if the transaction fails is just wrong. What they didn’t tell the Board is that it’s the citizens of Hoboken who will pay the price if these groups are successful in sabotaging the process.”

“The reality of HUMC ‘s financial situation is that there is simply no other choice. If the proposed sale does not succeed and the hospital is forced to close, the City will not only lose a vital institution, we will face the financially crippling reality of having to satisfy our $52 million obligation, as well as millions of additional costs associated with closing the hospital. This will likely result in higher taxes and reduced city services, damaging both the finances and quality of life of Hoboken’s residents." ◦
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Dave Mello on Hoboken's SW Park

Here is a note from At Large Councilman Dave Mello on progress with respect to the Southwest Park in Hoboken......

Dear Hoboken Friends and Neighbors,


I am very pleased to announce that the City officially requested that $3,000,000 of open space acquisition money, which Hoboken had previously received from Hudson County's Open Space Trust Fund, be reprogrammed to our southwest neighborhood this afternoon. This means that, if approved by the County, our City will have $3,000,000 in additional funding available to make a southwest park a reality.


Last night, our City Council had a healthy debate over how best to show the Council's resolve to purchase parkland in the southwest. I'm proud to say that we affirmatively voted to show that determination, by passing a resolution demonstrating this Council's commitment to provide the administration with all the tools necessary to hold productive, good-faith negotiations with southwest property owners. I'd like to thank my council colleagues who joined me in voting to support this resolution, and additionally thank all of my colleagues for engaging in a healthy, thoughtful debate on the issue.


In addition to a $20,000,000 bonding commitment, which the Council made months ago for park space acquisition, this $3,000,000 will further provide the administration with a significant funding source as they negotiate with property owners in the southwest for land acquisition. Please be assured, I will always advocate that the administration only make offers on property that are fiscally responsible offers for our taxpayers. I have full faith that our administration will continue to demonstrate such responsibility as they go on with negotiations. Park space acquisition is a must for our community, particularly in the southwest. However, we will not unjustly enrich property owners, at the expense of our taxpayers, as we pursue this highly needed public benefit.


The fight for the creation of a southwest park has been a long, ongoing effort. Hoboken took a big step toward winning this fight by passing the resolution that the Council did last night, and by the administration's request that these acquisition funds be reprogrammed to the southwest today. The creation of a southwest park is a massive goal for Hoboken, but one that we will successfully achieve by working together.

- Dave Mello
Hoboken City Councilman at Large ◦
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Zimmer Reprograms Grant Funding towards Southwest Park

From the City of Hoboken....

MAYOR ZIMMER REPROGRAMS GRANT FUNDING TOWARDS SOUTHWEST PARK

Mayor Dawn Zimmer is requesting that $3 million Hudson County Open Space grant funding originally awarded for purchasing land for a park on the Henkel site be repurposed for land acquisition for a Southwest Park. Hudson County provided municipalities with a one-time opportunity to repurpose previously awarded grants where the projects had not yet been completed towards other projects where the funds could be used within the next 12 months. Three years ago, Hoboken received a $3 million grant to purchase land on the Henkel site. The process for land acquisition stalled due to a number of complexities.

Since the City Council approved $20 million in bonds for the acquisition of land for new parks, the Administration has been engaging land owners in Southwest Hoboken, but they have not been willing to sell their properties.

“I thank the City Council for providing my Administration with the tools we need to re-engage property owners and negotiate from a position of strength so we can acquire land at a price that is fair to both property owners and taxpayers,” said Mayor Zimmer. “We are on our way to making the Southwest Park a reality. Although the Henkel site is not something that could be acquired within the next 12 months, it remains a goal for acquisition for a new park.”

The request for repurposing the funds requires approval of the Hudson County Board of Freeholders.

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/mayor-zimmer-reprograms-grant-funding-towards-southwest-park/
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Excessive Heat Warning - From the City of Hoboken

Excessive Heat Warning - From the City of Hoboken...

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Thursday from noon to 8pm and an Excessive Heat Watch for Friday afternoon through Friday evening. Afternoon temperatures up to 100 degrees and heat index values up to 110 degrees are possible on both days.

A cooling center is available in the basement floor conference room of City Hall, 94 Washington Street from 9am to 8pm on Thursday and Friday. In addition, residents are reminded that several parks throughout Hoboken have water features including Madison Street Park, Church Square Park, Elysian Park, Jackson Street Park, and Pier C.

Even Hoboken City Hall will feel the heat today!

Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. 
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. 
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. 
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle. 
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: 
  1. Infants and young children
  2. People aged 65 or older
  3. People who have a mental illness
  4. Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).


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City Council Meeting Recap 7/20/2011


The following significant items were passed at last night's Hoboken City Council Meeting....

  • The 2011 Budget was passed. 
  • Municipal Elections were moved to November.
  • Corner Cars was established by ordinance. 
  • City Council Approves use of Eminent Domain for SW Park. 
Here is a shocker. Tim Occhipinti broke with the old guard and was the crucial 5th vote to pass a resolution in support of using eminent domain for acquiring South West Park. Will Tim Occhipinti now try to brand himself as "reformery" or this just a one time event, or a Scott Delean ruse:? Time will tell. He went off script. Question: Is Jamie Cryan now crying for his developer friends? I don't like using eminent domain but Councilman Dave Mello brought up a great point about using it as leverage in negotiations.

All in all a very productive meeting. Kudos to Council President Ravi Bhalla for the professionalism in which he chairs the meetings. 



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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hoboken City Council Meeting Tonight July 20 - 7PM

Update 7/21: Removed live feed for website performance. Meeting concluded with elections moving to November with the usual 5-4 vote.

The last City Council meeting was a special meeting to properly amend the budget to have a surplus and give back a decent but responsible tax cut to the Hoboken homeowner. Tonight's City Council meeting is a follow up to the the July 1st meeting that had many items on the agenda, in particular the following ordinances for first reading that are now coming up for second reading and perhaps final vote.

A listing of the major meeting items is below the live stream and comments section.

Agenda: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda11/ccm-07-20-11.pdf
Resolutions: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack11/respac-07-20-11.pdf

Update: Removed live feed for website performance. Meeting concluded.


Budget Resolutions:
  1. Resolution to reaffirm Ordinance Z-93 entitled “Ordinance to exceed the Municipal Budget Appropriation limits and establish a Cap Bank for the FY 2011 Budget.
  2. Resolution to Approve the Budget Amendments (with a Public Hearing). 
  3. Resolution to Adopt the City of Hoboken CY 2011 Municipal Budget (with a Public Hearing)
Ordinances for Second Reading: 
  • Moving Municipal Elections to November
  • Establishing Parking Fees at Municipal Garages (Russo/Castellano)
  • Two ordinances on Political Contribution Limits.
  • Establish Second Class Police Officers. 
  • Ordinance to formally Establish Corner Cars Parking Spaces. Without Nino Giacchi making bogus illegal votes pandering to the old guard of corrupt and inept governance, this can now happen. 
Also on the table is the elimination of Medical benefits for City Council members. 



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Beth Mason Chimes in on Sale of HUMC- You knew she would!

Here is the latest email blast from Beth Mason 2nd Ward City Councilwoman on the HUMC...


NOTICE - Public Meeting on the Proposed Sale and Potential Closure of  Hoboken University Medical Center

On Thursday, July 21st, 2011, the NJ State Health Planning Board is holding a public meeting on a proposed sale of Hoboken University Medical Center.

Under the terms of the current proposal sought by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her administration, the buyer would be required to retain only 75% of the current hospital workforce, leaving Hoboken taxpayers responsible for the full salaries and benefits of the remaining 25% (approximately 250 employees) based on a previous contract with the City.

Furthermore, the current sale proposal would require the new owner to continue operating as a healthcare facility for only seven years, after which the fate of HUMC is uncertain.

For some inexplicable reason, the Zimmer administration has limited negotiations for the sale of HUMC to a single buyer, despite indications that the group in question is more interested in acquiring land for future real estate development than in continuing to operate Hoboken’s only acute care facility.

Please attend this important meeting. All residents are invited to speak publicly on this important issue that will impact our community for years to come.

6-8pm Thursday - July 21st, 2011
Our Lady of Grace - 422 Willow Avenue, Hoboken


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Hoboken 411 Reader Mail Parody- Rotten Bench

Here is the first of a series of simulated reader mail that is a parody of what is published on Hoboken 411. Hoboken 411 is the pro-Mason/Russo co-opted website of deceit and conceit that will twist the truth until it no longer represents even a smidgen of reality and becomes a full fledged lie.

Here is a parody of one such email from reader Dee Kay (who has a touch of Hoboken 411 Zimmer antipathy, Jerry Springer, and old guard mentality all fused into one big ignorant hate cocktail), She writes on the sorry state of a bench outside City Hall that she blames exclusively on Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

Dear Editor,

I was waiting to be picked up by a friend after paying a parking ticket since I insist on parking wherever I want to when I want to. No Ian Sacs is going to tell me where I can park my car. I have lived here longer than Ian Sacs and Mayor Dawn Zimmer and no uppity newcomer is going to take away my advantages in selective parking enforcement. And those damn Corner Cars! Don't  get me started. Talk to the hand! Anyway  I digress.... 

While waiting outside City Hall on Newark Street I sat in this bench and couldn't believe the state of disrepair it is in. The best part was that the Carpentry Division van was parked right next to the bench. How could the City Carpenters see this park bench the way it is and not try to fix it. I can see someone like ambulance chaser Bruce Gates suing the City on behalf of one of his clients for the pain and suffering caused by excessive splinters. That Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been a real disappointment. She should fix that bench or get someone to fix it pronto. Maybe that Timmy guy should be our next Mayor instead. Beth Mason thinks he's smart. I also would blame Zimmer for global warming but it doesn't exist Anyway I digress. Back to my meds.

Sincerely,

Dee Kay

Dee Kay Submitted these photos of the City of Hoboken's sub-par bench.

My Comment: Please keep in mind that this is a parody and opinions of the mistress of entropy Dee Kay are not necessarily those of the Hoboken Journal.


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The Hoboken Advocate- Support the Sale of the HUMC Tomorrow

Here is a note from the Hoboken Advocate on why you as a concerned taxpayer should speak up tomorrow at the open meeting on the sale of the HUMC and our Lady of Grace Church Annex in Hobken.

Please come to the Hospital meeting tomorrow at 6:00 at our Lady of Grace. Your appearance and support is critical!

The Unions and insurance companies don't want this deal to go through and will be going to the mic in droves. We need the voice of reason to show up and support the sale.

The hospital WILL CLOSE if this deal does not go through and the TAXPAYER WILL BE CAUGHT HOLDING THE BAG.

Outside unions will be coming to support the local union. Beth Mason will have her paid anti-Zimmer supporters including Appleseed - a supposed non-profit who will be advocating against the deal.

Insurance companies have penned favorable deals with the hospital which they don't want to see voided with the sale. These HMOs pay nothing and the hospital cannot survive because of them. They will be opposed to the sale because of their own vested interests.

Please come and speak to support the deal. I only write you when your participation is needed. Please come.

The Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) Board under Toni Tomorazzo have 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 literature in 18 months.


FORWARD THIS TO AS MANY PEOPLE YOU KNOW TO HAVE THEM SIGN IT TOO. THE BOARD NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.

The Current State of the Hospital will bring Hoboken to financial Ruin. Hoboken needs this Sale to Go Through.

The Hoboken University Medical Center loses about $1MM a month. The Foundation raises only about $1MM a year and in 2010 only 1.6% went to cover the Hospital's losses.

The Hoboken taxpayer is on the hook for a $52MM bond plus current payroll in the event that the Hospital goes bankrupt. (About $65MM)

The Hoboken University Medical Center Board has negotiated a good deal with Bayonne Medical Center to sell the hospital and relieve the taxpayer of this looming debt. The deal requires that Bayonne maintain the emergency room for at least 7 years. The rest of the building will be used as they see fit within Hoboken's zoning laws.

Unions, employees and their families don't want Hoboken to sell the hospital because the lack of efficiency will most certainly be weeded out after the sale. There is no way that any operation can live in perpetuity at a lose so change is certain with the sale.

Show your support for the decision to sell the hospital so that all of the staff at the Hospital know this is the will of the people.

I am asking for name, address, email and comments. I am asking for this so that I can check your name against a directory to eliminate prank signers. We want a solid petition with valid signatures.

Please forward this to all you know who care about Hoboken's tax rate.

My comment: I am sympathetic to the Union members who may lose their jobs in this but I can't honestly see the hospital going forward as a standalone entity any longer. They are bleeding red ink every month. Everything must be put on the table to re-organize all contracts and at least put the hospital at break even status down the line. I agree with the Hoboken Advocate in principle on this as I see no other way to save the hospital and as many jobs as possible by having this deal happen and soon. ◦
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