Friday, October 17, 2014

HoLa Declines to Correct Homepage?

top panel: source Hoboken Schools Blog,
bottom panel: HoLa web site home page

Well, see above. 

Boo hissGA's a meanie!

No, I am not.  I am a fan of honest debate.

So with a looming School Board race, it is curious that after at least two requests to HoLa's top banana to correct the information on it's web site stating INCORRECTLY that Charters are "funded by the state" and not out of the local tax levy, said banana has chosen to leave the misinformation there.

Strange, no?

Here's the TRUTH from a source familiar with the state funding formula:    
 All schools in NJ are funded from their local tax levy (charters included).   Aside from "Abbott" funding, a district can get only get State funds for three reasons:
  1. Special Needs students
  2. English language learners
  3. Students impacted by poverty (free or reduced lunch)
Hoboken District Schools receive a large portion of State funding because we educate students in those categories.  HoLa receives NO State funds as they do not meet state criteria for funding. 

Usually one district in a municipality, Hoboken School district has FOUR on the same local levy!
GA calls on Lynn Danzker, School Board candidate and running-mate of Brian Murray and Patty Waiters and an HoLa parent, to ensure the public that the debate about school funding will be an honest one, efforts to mislead the public on school funding will be corrected, and the serious matter of school funding will not exploited for political attacks by her campaign.

According to The Hoboken Schools Blog,  two requests to correct HoLa's website have been ignored.
 So why is it that HoLa's website states that Charter schools are funded by the State?
If you look closely at this page from HoLa's budget you can clearly see that they receive ZERO state funding.  So why is this misinformation allowed to stay on HoLa's website and mislead their parents and our community?  

I have publicly asked Executive Director Jen Sargent twice to correct this error and to post the facts. My request was ignored both times.  I will ask her a third time.  

You can see that in the budget year 2015/2016 the local contribution from the district budget to HoLa will increase from $3,074,439 to 3,423,538 an additional $349,099 for next year's budget.  I assume that this $349,000 will fund the educational costs for next year's 22 7th graders.
 
What services, programs or positions will the district schools have to cut in order to come up with the additional allocation of $349,099?  That's anyone's guess and as a district parent I am greatly concerned about it.  Pitting families against each other I'm sure was not the intent of this funding formula but what more can families do then to advocate for their children.  This can only be done when the facts are provided and not lies.

Please Ms. Sargent revise your statement to accurately reflect the truth, Charter Schools are funded by the local district budget and are not State funded.  

How about it? 

Correct the misinformation on your home page. Call up your vendor, "SharpSchool © 2004-2014 Education Web Hosting & Content Management Solutions" and have them make the correction. 

GA thinks it sets a terrible example for our kids if the educators and administrators of their schools are not honest with parents.

In fact,  the state's funding formula sucks and pits parents against each other.

ALL parents from all schools should UNITE to lobby the state together to fix the funding formula so that charter expansions don't drain district school funding.

Am I right, people?

Declining to 'put out' truth during election season to support a false narrative used by School Board candidates is simply put, unethical.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Phony Baloney: Mason Failed to Fund Monarch Battle TWICE


She was FOR it, before she was AGAINST it.

The Monarch Project, that is.

Should collective amnesia befall the 50,000 residents of Hoboken, then none of us will remember this: 

FEBRUARY 23, 2012


Nor this:

JULY 13, 2013

Otherwise, the rest of us remember them well.

Mason's 2nd Ward constituents know that politics comes before their best interest- until election season.   

Bring out the poinsettias!   Bag the chocolates!  Fill those sacks with frozen turkeys!  And don't forget the "Mason Civic League" label!

But in fact, when Tea Building and Shipyard residents needed their elected representative to fund the battle against the Monarch development project, where was Mason?    AWOL

So you mean that Mason ducked a City Council vote on funding the legal battle against the Monarch project (she could have called her vote in if unable to be there in person), then voted in-person AGAINST funding the legal battle?

YES.

Facing re-election next year, all of a sudden she's opposing the Monarch project.  What do you think of that, kitty?


Well folks, if you need transportation to the meeting on October 28, please do not hesitate to call the Beth Mason at 201-916-8244, or if you wish to donate your organs please do not hesitate to click here.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hoboken Police Refuse to Give Brice Copy of Mason Complaint



In a scene right out of a Franz Kafka novel, a Hoboken resident defending a complaint against him in Hoboken Municipal Court was denied a copy of the allegations he is charged with-- by the Hoboken Police Department!

Yes, it's true.

GA will fill in the blanks.

The Accused is Perennial Thorn in the ass of the Dark Side, Roman BriceThe Accuser is 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason, a frequent subject of Brice's  political coverage on MSV.

Does it make sense now?

Because the Hoboken Police Department does share police complaints with their "friends"- oh, GA can show you that, but not today.

Had Brice identified himself as the proprietor of a smear blog that regularly attacks Reform and (for example) juxtaposes photos of Mayor Zimmer with monkeys, the police complaint would have arrived with flowers and a box of chocolates. In an email.

This is absolute, outrageous misconduct.

A Hoboken resident defending himself in Court against allegations in a police report and the legal authorities who took the complaint will not give him a copy? 

GA believes this conduct should be reported to the New Jersey State Commision of Investigation (S.C.I.).   SCI is an " independent fact-finding agency whose mission is to expose organized crime, public corruption and waste and to recommend reforms in the service of the citizens of New Jersey. 

How about reforming the HPD so that ACCUSED are given copies of Complaints filed against them?  Click HERE to inform the SCI about Kafkaesque- hijinks in Hoboken.

You know what this is about, people?

It's about creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, where members of Reform cannot attend public meetings, participate in volunteer service for Hoboken or SERVE A SUBPOENA without FEAR of ginned-up "harassment" charges.   Of course, this is all passively encouraged by a police department that does not provide The Accused with a copy of the allegations against him or her.

Now, GA believes there are good and honest police in Hoboken.  So why didn't they give Brice  a copy of the Mason "harassment" complaint?

Brice has no way to know what version of "facts" Mason told the HPD. How is he supposed to defend himself in Court?  

Yes, people. GA is reminded of the brilliant Orsen Welles adaptation of Kafka's, The Trial.
The Trial (1924) is about a man, Josef K, who is arrested and put on trial, but never explained why.  The film opens with an allegory from the novel, which encapsulates the novel’s central point: a man goes to a city containing the “law”, but a guard at the gate warns him not to enter. The man obeys, but spends his entire life persuading the guard to let him in. Just before the man dies, the guard says that this door was made just for him, but now he must close it. The story itself begins with Josef awakened at 6:15 AM by two inspectors who inform him that he’s arrested and suspiciously scrutinizes all of his words. Although under arrest, he is not taken into custody and the inspectors interrogate him intermittently during his daily routine. As he goes through his normal activities, everyone he talks to speaks to him as though he is guilty of something, just as the inspectors do, and he continually attempts to defend himself. At the end of the film, two inspectors throw Josef into a pit, toss in dynamite, and Josef dies in the explosion. 
No such dramatic endings in Hoboken, like exploding horses.

But the point is every subject of a police complaint in Hoboken who requests a copy of the complaint should be given one, no matter WHO they are.  No excuses.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Curious Complaint

City Council voted to renew Condon contract on February 17, 2010 , the first Hoboken411 hack-attack was 9 days later on February 26

GA has obtained a copy of the Judge's decison in Ravinder Bhalla, Petitioner vs The Local Finance Board, Respondent, posted in full below.

The decision includes an excerpt from the original May 20, 2010 Belfiore complaint:


What do you think?

This excerpt raises questions for GA about the genesis of the complaint: "local internet sites." 

The only "local internet site" bloviating  about "uncovering" alleged impropriety was Hoboken411, with this "exclusive" on February 26, 2010:


Was the garbage routinely published on Hoboken411 really the springboard for this 4-year frivolous 'ethics' complaint?

Did the so-called Hoboken411 'journalist' even interview the subjects of his article: Mr. Bhalla, Mr. Condon, Mr. Cunningham and Mrs. Cunningham, or did the 'journalist' hope this gossipy-drek would ignite an internet brush-fire to consume the reputations and careers of his subjects?

Did the so-called 'journalist' using Bhalla, Condon,and the Cunninghams for online target practice ever use journalistic 'best practices' in the writing of this malicious gossip posing as 'news'?

Let the Judge answer:


"unsubstantiated innuendo" = YELLOW JOURNALISM
 
The alarming part is how a malicious "unsubstantiated innuendo" seed planted by HACK-journalism on "local internet sites" appears to have blossomed into a 4-year frivolous complaint which has arguably damaged the reputation of it's victim, Councilman Bhalla.

MSV has a breaking story that Mr. Belfiore has taken another swing at his favorite pinata- Ravi Bhalla, with an ELEC complaint.

Well, here's what the Judge had to say about the last one:



The complete decision:

Monday, October 13, 2014

BoE Prez Answers Cheap, Political Attack Letter

Different day, Same sh*t- Campaign leadership that brought the Third Reich into a Hoboken School Board Election with the infamous "Nazi Truck"

Well folks, mean season is upon us.

Recently, the Hoboken Reporter published a letter signed by the wife of "Parents for Change" Campaign Manager [Brian Murray-Patty Waiters- Lynn Dansker] captioned, "Poor Kids CAN Learn."
  
The purported author, who 'forgot' to disclose her personal relationship to Murray-Waiters' campaign manager, took big swings at School Board President Ruth Tyroler- swings aimed below the belt.  

The letter accused Tyroler of calling "poor kids" ineducable, then issued a supremely disingenuous defense of "children from low income families" for remarks that Ms. Tyroler never made:
Do I believe that there is some merit to the idea that some (not all) children from low income families may (not always) have less academic support and rigor at home, and that by not having as much academic support at home this (may) influence overall academic success and test scores? Yes I believe that support for education in the home increases a child’s likelihood of success. Do I believe children from lower income families cannot learn, cannot succeed? NO! And focusing on this point of view does not help us create strategies to overcome real challenges.
GA cannot think of anything 'lower' than publishing false, disparaging statements about kids from "low income families" by a School Board campaign- except for maybe using a Nazi Truck to attack a public school parent (what a coincidence! Murray-Waiters' 2014 campaign manager co-managed 2012's 'Move Forward' the Nazi Truckin' School Board campaign ).

One must question the character of a School Board campaign that uses its manager's wife as a proxy, or campaign leadership that has attacked a district mom* on a Nazi Truck.   (*me) 

One more: the campaign should sign their own names to their trash.

Well, that's my opinion.  Which is protected by the First Amendment and New Jersey State Constitution. 

GA was glad to see Ms. Tyroler respond to a character assassination in this week's HR.  In fact, MS. Tyrolers letter reminds us of all the great things the School Board has accomplished, in spite of its bitter, mean-spirited and IGNORANT opposition.

GA will reprint Ms. Tyroler's response in full:


Dear Editor:

I am writing to reply Mrs. Branco’s odd letter which made wild and false accusations against me and the Hoboken Public School District.

The salacious title she chooses “Poor kids can learn” was followed by bizarre conjecture and innuendo made up out of the whole cloth. The only conclusion I can make is that she did it to purposely mislead those in the public about me and the Hoboken School District. The letter then continues with Mrs. Branco contradicting her own premise against me by claiming that she also understands that the effects of poverty can impact a child's academic success.

Yes, then we (and other education experts) agree, poverty can impact student success. Not limit - impact!

It is with this understanding that I have worked hard over the past five years to provide the children of the Hoboken Public School district with the tools they need to fill the gaps and provide a challenging and supportive school environment specifically to negate this possible impact.

We lengthened the school day, increased free, after school tutoring and provided up to date materials and technology equally across all district schools. We increased both remedial and enrichment programming with the implementation of response to intervention beginning in Kindergarten to catch struggling readers, aim to assist students in the upper grades regain credits and added many gifted and college level programs across the district.

We have also provided many ways for parents to receive the information and assistance they need to help their child in school.

Parents can now easily interact with teachers and staff, get real time information of their child's progress and benefit from the strengthened PTO’s, which often provide informational workshops.

We have provided full support to all staff, students and parents in implementing these and other initiatives and created a warm, positive atmosphere throughout all our schools where the high expectations have been met with great results.



It is certainly unfortunate that Mrs. Branco has attacked me and the district in such a way, but I am grateful for the opportunity to set the record straight. If anyone wishes to speak to me directly about my views and the district’s progress, please feel free to contact me at ruth.tyroler@hoboken.k12.nj.us.


With kind regards,
Ruthy Tyroler
President,
Hoboken Board of Education

Thank you Ruthy, for all of the great things you have done for our district kids- you and those who have WORKED TOGETHER to advance the schools so much in the past couple of years. 
The worst possible result for our kids is electing bitter, LOW ROAD travelin' political partisans to divide our Board and STOP the progress the BoE has made since 2009.  
  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bhalla Judge Lets Loose


Don't believe everything you read.

But you know, but there are some things you have to see to believe-  like the 67-page transcript of the July 2, 2014 hearing in the matter of Ravinder Bhalla, Petitioner vs The Local Finance Board, Respondent.

Oh, my!  The judge, the Honorable James A. Geraghty, is a hoot. 
  
GA will break it down for you.

On May 10, 2010 a "well known political opponent" of Councilman Ravi Bhalla filed a complaint with the Local Finance Board.  The complaint was about Bhalla's, February 17, 2010 vote on a consent agenda item- extending the 2008 contract of another firm which co-leases office space with Bhalla.  Note, Bhalla only voted on the consent agenda after receiving then-Corporation Counsel Michael Kates' advice that there was no conflict.

Hit it, Judge!

Ravinder Bhalla  vs The Local Finance Board -pages 12, 13

"Nitwit"?  Only nitwits would vote "NO" on a consent agenda?

NITWITS
.
(Don't blame me.  Tell it to the judge!)

Things we know:  (1) Hoboken has four nitwits who have voted "NO" on at least one consent agenda,  (2) Ravi Bhalla is not a nitwit.

Next:

Ravinder Bhalla  vs The Local Finance Board -page 23

Who is the Judge talking about?

Ravinder Bhalla  vs The Local Finance Board -pages 54, 55


Mister B-E-L-L-A-F-O-U-R-I?

I don't know anyone by that name, but he sure sounds like a crackpot.

Ravinder Bhalla  vs The Local Finance Board -page 61

"Every town has crackpots." Ain't it the truth, Judge!

Some towns even have crackpots that show up at meetings to attack enemies of a particular member of the City Council- like shouting, "you're a SHAM!" or rhetorically tarring and feathering members of the public and unpaid, volunteer board members!

Some ranting and raving City Council crackpots even bear easels!  Others moonlight as screwballs.

Ravinder Bhalla  vs The Local Finance Board -pages 34, 35

Exactly!

Boy, that Judge is not only a man of the law, he is wise.

Because in a town where screwballs and crackpots hijack public meetings to rant, rave and file frivolous complaints against their political targets--complaints which their VICTIMS are forced to defend and which HURT their victims' children, these uncivil activities discourage  people of good will and talent from participating in their government and performing any kind of public service that invites the attention of said crackpots and village idiots.

Oh yeah, the complaint was dismissed.  

Congratulations, Ravi!  

Good Guys -1, Zeroes- 0.

 Bhalla celebrates victory with friends

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Nice at the City Council

GA checked in on last night's City Council meeting, and was pleasantly surprised by the decorum on the dais (or for Tim: DUH-corum).

It's true!  Last night there was no shouting, insult-swapping or  attacking Corporation Counsel...


Not even one Councilman telling another to go home and cut eye-holes in his pillowcase like the KKK...



In fact, no battles over Vision 20/20 with one Councilman challenging another to live at the HHA...

Russo: Move into a unit (HHA), move into a unit then we'll talk!

Mello: Let somebody move into your unit (Church Towers), let somebody move into your unit!  Desegregate your building!   (addressing HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia) You want to talk about the conversations... who do you think burned out people's families?   Director, why don't  you talk about who burned down peoples families 20 years ago? Why don't we have those comments?

Russo: Let's have them, Councilman!

Mello: Be my guest, Director!

 Russo: Where were you when the shootings were going on?  Where were you when the stabbings were going on?

 Mello: Director, why don't you talk about whose funeral you refused to go to because you because you blame him for the burnings?

Russo: You're a joke!

Mello: You're a joke in a segregated complex!

Holy cow!

To boot, last night there was no stomping off the dais before a vote, no hissy fits, no attacks on members of the public- not even a single City Council member getting busted for emailing a confidential request from Corporation Counsel  to a political operative!  



What gives?

To tell the truth, GA likes it. The decorum and DUH-corum. 

Yes, Tim comported himself well, too. Take that, evil candy cane!


GA has one suggestion- for the videographer.

Is it possible to cut Terry completely out of the frame and maybe zoom in a little more on Jim Doyle?   Like, maybe just shoot him and forget the rest of them?

Am I right, ladies*?

hubba hubba

*kiddin', Leah-girlfriend!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's this really about?

February 2011: Last words from Hoboken's Blockbuster at 412 Washington St. 
photo: Natalie Keyssar for The Wall Street Journal

Yesterday, Horsey broke the news about proposed legislation on deck tonight at the City Council that will impact every business in the city of Hoboken.

That's right, every business.

In short, tonight's resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Beth Mason and co-sponsored by Terry Castellano proposes an ordinance requiring all Hoboken businesses with 10 or more employees to provide paid employee sick leave, and those with less than 10 employees to accrue sick time which may be compensated.


:
 page 135: excerpt of Mason-Castellano proposed Ordinance 

And what is the process for taking paid or unpaid sick time?  

page 139:   Mason-Castellano proposed ordinance

How do employees settle disputes with employers over the new sick time policy?

Through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("Department") or the "any Court of competent jurisdiction."

page 142:   Mason-Castellano proposed ordinance

Do you smell a stunt?

This legislation was not written to succeed; it was meant to adorn a bumper sticker or resume for higher office, perhaps even impress a gubernatorial candidate.  It is pure populist rhetoric, with no thought to the economic  impact on the small business community and overall economic impact on the City of Hoboken.

A serious piece of legislation would have been preceded by studying the economic impacts on small businesses and dialogue with the business community.  This is overtly lop-sided legislation, punitive to Hoboken's business community, forcing compliance under threat of federal intervention, without addressing the economic impacts on our small business community.

Have Mason-Castellano proposed a way for businesses to offset the added cost of their proposal, perhaps with a tax break?   Of course not.

It was only a few short years ago, Dark Side politicos were bemoaning empty storefronts on Washington Street, and dumping fault for the struggling business climate on the Mayor.   On March 25, 2011, Dark Side politico Mike Novak told the Wall Street Journal:


For the past few years, the partisan overtones of Hoboken's struggle to attract business to Hoboken were inescapable. Many of those empty storefronts now have tenants. The City is now proposing a redesign and upgrade to Washington Street aimed at boosting the small business community, which needs 'bi-partisan' support (six votes) to pass.

Hence, it is curious timing to drop this resolution which adds hardship to small businesses in Hoboken, without proposing relief to offset added costs. 

At the end of the day, increasing costs of running a business are passed on to the consumer, one way or another.

2015 can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

He was FOR it, before he was AGAINST it

"Chris Campos likes this!" 

Remember the famous John Kerry flip-flop:  "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

In fact, that was true.

In 2002, Kerry voted FOR the use of force in Iraq, then in 2003 voted AGAINST an $87 billion dollar supplemental (war) funding bill, then voted FOR an alternative $87 billion dollar bill funded from President Bush's tax cuts. Phew!  He really was for and against it at the same time, sort of. 

Politicians will often claim to be FOR and AGAINST the same thing, depending upon their audience or the season. 

GA was reminded of that in this week's Hoboken Reporter:
“I would ask anyone who I may have offended with my comments to forgive me for not making my points a little clearer,” she wrote.

In an interview this past week, Waiters denied being anti-Semitic, saying that she didn’t even know how to pronounce the word. However, she also took back the letter.

Waiters said that the letter had been drafted by Chris Campos, another Garcia aide and a former Hoboken councilman, and that she was “a little bit ashamed” by it.
Chris Campos!  He's the fellow who gave HHA Resident Advisory Board/Tenant Association representative Sigsby Cheatham a "thumbs up" for his Facebook comment noting the story Cheatham is writing about "the so-called chosen people, the Jews!"

Thumbs up for Sigsby!  Hooray!  




Curious that the Sigsby's "thumbs-up" guy, drafted Waiters' apology letter for her "so-called" anti-Semitic remarks at the HHA.

He was FOR it, before he was AGAINST it. 

See?  Politicians change their minds ALL the time.  Thumbs up, thumbs down.   GA is still puzzling over why Mom served us Alpo fritters and walked us three times a day. Won't somebody scratch my belly?


Monday, September 29, 2014

Missing Vine



He/she left as mysteriously as he/she came...

Folks out there who enjoyed the weekly column "Hangin' on the Vine" are (like GA) sorry to see it go.    HOTV wasn't your garden-variety creeper, but a source of insider dish homegrown in Hudson County's political hothouse.   He/she was one juicy grape (vine).   A grape I'll never ferment... um, forget. 

Okay, enough schmaltz. 

GA misses you!  And your sudden departure is a mystery.  

Speaking of mysteries...  last week, GA received an anonymous package of old North Jersey newspaper clippings. I mean old- from the late 80's and early 90's.  They were fascinating, so whoever you are, keep it coming!  I'll share one with you folks from The Hudson Reporter, dated September 9, 1990:


"Nefarious inheritance of hundreds of thousands of dollars..." Meee-ow.  And OUCH.

At least it wasn't 4 million missing quarters...  

Hoboken City Council Meeting- January 16, 2008
Mo DeGennaro: I'd like to ask you a question about the statement you made, Mr. Russo about the million dollars. Is there a million dollars missing or is it there was a mistake, did they find it or WHAT on the parking...

Castellano: Mr. Russo?

Russo:  Thank you Council President. Mo, the REASON why I thought money was missing was because I was going on past year's uh anticipated revenues from the Parking Utility from the meters. Uh, it turned out that the meters did not generate as much money as they did in years past, so it was MY mistake to think that money was THERE when in fact it was not. That was, that was the situation.

Castellano: It's been cleared up.

DeGennaro: Because that was some statement to make! I think it's made everybody...

Russo: Well it wasn't it wasn't a statement, Mo. It was a question to Mr. Englund during our budget process to clarify if I was right or wrong. AND I came back and said I was wrong.

Castellano: It's been, it's been cleared up.

DeGennaro: I just wanted to make sure...

Castellano: It's been cleared up.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"I'm sorry- NOT!"



Sing it, Elton.

Guess who else isn't sorry?

The Hoboken Reporter cover, September 28, 2014

GA's been preoccupied with other 'things'... as I dip my toe back into our local political scene, the waters are rank: revoked apologies, a missing Vine, a horse forced again to municipal court on a ludicrous charge of "harassment" for proper service of a subpoena.  Since when does a loaded Brinks truck thwart the judicial process?

Don't you know the Lady is blind? 

Anyway, GA's getting up to speed on the next race; 3 of the 9 seats on Hoboken's School Board are up for grabs on November 4.

The (3) tickets are:

Education for All Children:
Incumbent Peter Biancamano, Incumbent Frances Rhodes-Kearns

Parents for Progress:
Incumbent Monica Stromwell,  Sharyn Angley, Antonio Gray

Parents for Change:
Brian Murray,  Lynn Danzker, Patty 'Revoked-Apology' Waiters

As you may know, Britney Montgmery, Barbara Martinez and Jackie Dowd Prince have dropped out.  I don't know why- ask them!

So, you have left two tickets comprised (largely) of local politicos who are vocal Kids First opponents and one ticket of political neophytes: all-parents who, I am told, are "independent" and completely uninterested in political alignments.

Speaking of Kids First opposition, this week's Reporter includes a strikingly dishonest Letter to the Editor; a thinly-veiled political attack on the current School Board President, Ruth Tyroler.  The letter twists an alleged statement of FACT by Tyroler, regarding the relationship of poverty to standardized test scores.   

Here is what this letter says:
Do I believe that there is some merit to the idea that some (not all) children from low income families may (not always) have less academic support and rigor at home, and that by not having as much academic support at home this (may) influence overall academic success and test scores? Yes I believe that support for education in the home increases a child’s likelihood of success. Do I believe children from lower income families cannot learn, cannot succeed? NO! And focusing on this point of view does not help us create strategies to overcome real challenges.

What a load of patronizing crap.  

Tyroler NEVER said that kids from low income families "CAN'T" learn.   Jeez.  Tyroler has devoted hundreds of hours of her personal time to all the kids of our district, the most demographically diverse district in Hoboken, to put new textbooks and state-of-the-art resources in all district classrooms.   

The caption above the letter, "Poor Kids CAN Learn" is repudiation for a statement Tyroler never made.  It is a cheap, political attack on a single MOTHER who has sacrificed more than most of us to expand educational opportunities and progress in our public schools for everybody's children.
All kids can learn. All kids deserve our commitment.
No kidding. Ms. Tyroler's kid is in the Hoboken School District, with mine.  The commitment of Hoboken's Board of Education to ALL the kids of the district, poor and privileged, is manifest in the district classrooms. 

Oh, well.  Mean season is upon us.

On another note, is it me or is this kid Carlo Davis a breath of fresh air?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NJ Supreme Court Rains on Peter Cammarano

source: The Jersey Journal

When it rains, it pours...  Fresh in from The Jersey Journal:
Former Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, who spent two years behind bars after admitting to accepting bribes from a corrupt developer, has been disbarred by the state Supreme Court, which said in a unanimous ruling today that the former mayor betrayed "a solemn public trust."

"This form of corruption is corrosive to our democracy and undermines public confidence in honest government, and its rippling pernicious effects are incalculable," Justice Barry Albin wrote in his ruling.
Well folks, there you have it.

Hoboken residents lived through those dark days when our highest elected official violated the public trust and got busted on July 23, 2009 in the largest political corruption sting in the history of New Jersey, 'Bid Rig 3'.  For anyone 'new' in town, Operation Bid Rig is an ongoing, long-term investigation into political corruption in New Jersey conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey since 2002.

Yep, Operation Bid Rig is still ongoing.  The investigation into political corruption in Hoboken, Hudson County and beyond is ongoing.

You recall, Mr. Cammarano was recorded on F.B.I. surveillance tape 'selling' two zoning variances to informant Solomon Dwek at The Malibu Diner; the Malibu is a great place to have scrambled eggs and bacon, or catch a crook in the act of dealing zoning variances or even the Mayor's emails.
Cammarano pleaded guilty in 2010 to accepting $25,000 in corrupt payments from federal informant Solomon Dwek. The two met several times at the Malibu Diner in Hoboken in the spring and summer of 2009.

When he first met with Dwek, Cammarano was seeking the mayoralty against Dawn Zimmer, who succeeded him after his subsequent arrest and resignation. Cammarano admitted agreeing to support Dwek's purported real-estate ventures in exchange for campaign cash.

"An elected official who sells his office – who offers favored treatment to a private developer in exchange for money – betrays a solemn public trust," Albin wrote.
I'll say.

And same for those behind-the-scenes and in front of videocameras who try to facilitate the abuse of the public trust.

Well folks on another note, GA apologizes for the disruption in blogging. Some of you know what's been occupying GA's time.  Soon enough I will be able to share it with all of you.

To be continued...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tim's Defense


A smart politician knows when to shut up.

Enter Tim Occhipinti!

The transcript of the 8/4 HHA Special Meeting not only includes impassioned speeches by the public, you can read the manufactured outrage of City Council members: Mike Russo, Terry Castellano, Beth Mason and Tim  Occhipinti.

What GA finds interesting is how three City Council members: Russo, Mason and Castellano, offer no defense of Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, no words of personal support, no praise for his management, no plea for the Reform Commissioners to change their position and keep him.  None.

None mention Carmelo Garcia by name nor title. What does that tell you?

Russo uses his 5 minutes to admonish the Board members; an overture of sour grapes about ED Garcia's failed Vision 20/20.  He tells them, "There is nothing that you have done that has improved their homes. Nothing, nothing. And I'll bet dollars to donuts, that as long as you are on this Board, there never will be, because it is all about politics with you. It's all about politics. That's a shame...  So I promise you this: That if you don't get your head right, you will never succeed in politics. You will always be a loser. You will always be a loser."

Mason rants about the Open Public Meetings Act and comically about -of all things lawsuits:  "...we started with the City Council, and all of that stuff and $2 million in lawsuits that we can't seem to get out of, but we are also now taking it to the Board of Ed, and we're taking it now to the Housing Authority.  -- I actually had hoped that elected officials and their appointed representatives actually cared about the people instead of about the totalitarian dictatorship that you are keeping here."

Mason is so notorious for funding politically-motivated lawsuits targeting the Zimmer administration and its supporters,  Executive Director Carmelo Garcia tells the crowd: 
"And I will remindyou that the action you have taken, and I hope that Councilwoman Mason goes after you guys legally for the violation of the Open Public Meetings Act and what you have done here tonight, and you were willing to put the people in jeopardy, the safety of the people, so you can accomplish what you wanted to do, Mayor Zimmer's mission.
See that?  The Executive Director publicly calls upon Mason to "go after you guys legally"- because that is what she does and everybody in public life knows it.  Ka-ching!  

Mason does not utter the name "Carmelo Garcia" nor does Terry Castellano, who whacks Reform Commissioners with a verbal broomstick, belittling them as "sheep," having "no integrity" and "no souls" and venting her anger at the mayor with an "us vs. them" tirade.  She is angry but not because the Executive Director was about to be fired, she is angry at us (or are we "them"?)

So, those 3 Council members appearing (technically) at a rally on behalf of the Executive Director avoided mentioning him, did nothing to defend him nor his tenure at the HHA.

In steps Timmy!  

Doofus makes a beeline to "Vision 20/20".  He accuses the Commissioners of wanting control of the  HHA contracts, wanting control of Vision 20/20 and blames the Board for "not working with our Executive Director."

Tim gives an emotional defense of Executive Director's management of the HHA; Timmy wants the floor so badly, he calls for the police to remove him if he can't speak!  Wow, can I some mustard with that bologna?



In any event, Occhipinti owns his words.

And now, as Newark HUD pulls back the curtain on the management of the HHA, Tim owns this, too.

The Few. The Proud.


GA got the news yesterday: my nephew passed 'The Crucible' making it official: he's a Marine!
The Crucible is a test every recruit must go through to become a Marine. It tests every recruit physically, mentally and morally and is the defining experience of recruit training. The Crucible takes place over 54-hours and includes food and sleep deprivation and over 45 miles of marching. The Crucible event pits teams of recruits against a barrage of day and night events requiring every recruit to work together to solve problems, overcome obstacles, and help each other along the way. 
My sis tells me the temperature with humidity factored in was 118° F, the next day was 115° F... oh, dear!  Well, he made it and Aunt GA is proud... he's tough, smart and brave.  Love ya, kid.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Earwitness News: Lieutenant Gov. Mason?


Well, well!  This dish was served hot in today's Secaucus Reporter, by my friend, Al Sullivan.

We all know that Hoboken's 2nd Ward Councilwoman is ambitious.  Remember this?

New Jersey's U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg died on June 3, 2013; his corpse was still warm when Councilwoman Mason got this story into the Star Ledger:

He's barely dead!


And a reputable news source, Grafix Avenger, reported from Lautenberg's June 5 funeral:
Mason, a Hoboken Councilwoman and one of the state’s most prolific donors, has been reaching out to leading Democrats expressing interest in the seat, reportedly on a Death Watch for Lautenberg since his 86th birthday.  A witness at that birthday party said, "Mason swapped  his birthday candles for the kind that don't blow out.  The Senator huffed and puffed, and I heard her whispering 'C'mon, c'mon..."

According to two sources familiar with Mason’s thinking who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about internal deliberations, Mason wanted to make sure Lautenberg was dead before she declared her run for his seat.  They quoted her as saying, "I don't care if he's still warm." 

At his funeral yesterday, Mason was seen climbing into his coffin to check Lautenberg's pulse.

"He's stiff as a board!" Mason was heard to shriek in New York City's Park Avenue Synagogue.  Then her companion, a squat dumpy-looking man who would only give his name as "James" handed out glossy fliers to the mourners that read "Beth Mason for U.S. Senate."  The slogan for her campaign appears to be "I'm Rich!"

Mason mourns the late Senator Frank Lautenberg

Ask New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker how that panned out.

If at first you don't succeed.... 

Earwitness Al is reporting from his reliable sources that Hoboken's 2nd Ward Councilwoman is eying a run for New Jersey's Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with State Senator Stephen Sweeney!

Yup.  Oh, she'll get it, too.  Mark my word.  GA thinks it's great news- for Hoboken.

Bon voyage!

Future NJ Governor Sweeney and his Lieutenant Gov.?