Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mason Running For... What?

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Did anyone get one of these 8 1/2 x 11 inch glossy mailers today?

Front side:

Back side:

I estimate the cost for a city-wide mailing of this kind is in the range of $10 - $15K.

Why, Beth?

On it she asks for "our help" (that's you and me) to "shake the city administration into reality". Huh? How do we do this? Grab pitchforks and flaming torches then descend on City Hall after nightfall like those angry villagers did in the 1931 "Frankenstein" movie? (They stormed a castle it you want to nitpick).


If THEY could 'shake' the Frankenstein administration 'into reality' so could we, the angry villagers of Hoboken, shake those Zimmertinis. Yeah, we could shake them but good!

I don't know about you, but this mailer gets me nostalgiac for the good, ole Dual Job Dawn days.

Remember those?

When a new full-color, glossy reminder of City Council President/Temporary Mayor Dawn Zimmer's selfish and lawless dual jobbery would greet you in your mailbox every few days during Hoboken's mayoral race last Spring? You were supposed to be horrified when you read them. Were you?

I was. I'd cry, "The TREES! What about the TREES?"

The first one:
Front side:

Back side:

The second one:
Front side:

Back side:

Although many trees gave their lives for the 10 or so mailers deployed in Mason's unsuccessful campaign, there was one bright spot: it made for great parody.

Yes indeed, but not for Dual Job Dawn, there would have been no Dual Cob Dawn, and who could have lived without that?

In fact, if you never signed the Dual Cob Dawn petition, it's never too late. How could you not be moved by its plea?

Acting Mayor Zimmer REFUSES to eat one ear of corn at a time until Election Day on November 3rd!

Acting Mayor Zimmer says it is "not fair" to take away the second corn for fear of losing the first!!! This is a clear violation of New Jersey State law, which says dual corn consumption by an elected official is ILLEGAL in our state!

Yes, the Acting Mayor is ABUSING her power over Hoboken's fruit and vegetable community, as she continues to fill her plate without checks and balances, and no transparency. Her hypocrisy is staggering! She's turned her back on everything she once stood for. IT'S JUST WRONG!

And that's why we insist that Dual Cob Dawn RESIGN her 2nd helping immediately!

Please, sign this online petition and tell Dawn Zimmer that we are fed up with her poor table habits.


So, it remains to be seen if today's Mason mailer is another indulgence, a side effect of too much money and free time, or if there is a method to her madness. What do you think?

In the meantime, sharpen your pitchfork, douse your torch and practice your chant: "Dawn's a witch! She turned me into a newt!'

The One Question

As anyone who has attended a Passover seder knows, Four Questions (Mah Nishtanah) are asked during the reading of the Haggadah, the ancient narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt. According to tradition, the questions are read by the youngest child at the seder table.

Starting with: Why is this night different from all other nights?

Last night, the second night of Passover, the Hoboken Board of Education met and that same question hung in the air. On the table: a $57.8M proposed budget amidst a highly contentious School Board election. Why was that night going to be different from all others?

I spoke to the Lord G-d, who using the words "miracle" and "miraculous", asked me to relay the following:

In spite of a $2.4M reduction in state funding next year, the BoE's budget avoided any staff cuts, with no negative impact on Hoboken students. And, at just under $58 million, the proposed budget represents a $4.1 million, or seven percent, decrease from the 2009-2010 budget! Can you say "Jesus Christ, what a savings!" Jesus was one of us, you know.

Got that? The proposed budget will reduce expenditures by approximately $2 million and total spending by just over $4 million without cutting school programs or firing any staff! Don't you feel like belting out a tune from "Fiddler on the Roof"? No, not "Anatevka", the other one.

What may be more miraculous is the praise that's been heaped upon the Kids First majority School Board by none other than N.J. Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler!

In the words of Interim Superintendent Carter in last night, "Just yesterday as a matter of fact, while speaking directly with Mayor Bret Schundler, the Commissioner of Education, who has praised this Board for the budget which we advertise and was very complimentary with respect to our settlement with the Hoboken School Employees Association".

What a buzzkill that must have been for Team Real Results. Kind of like the person you're in bed with moaning someone else's name.

So there's your answer to the One Question.

Happy Pesach, y'all!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guest Artist Corner

Did you know that we have talented folks living in our midst?

Unfortunately, some are Canadian.

Accidents of birth aside, allow me to introduce the video stylings of Hoboken resident Greg Bond, who along with his son Pierce have developed an other-worldly video animation technique called "no-motion animation". The technique is the basis of their "Police Kitty" series. One episode is posted below for your, uh... enjoyment. This video can be enjoyed with the sound off or on. More likely off. With earplugs. In a concrete bunker. Buried 100 feet below the earth.

Introducing the original "Police Kitty" adventure entitled "Cat Cushion".



For more "Police Kitty" check out the archives.

One final note, Greg Bond was the creator of the fabulous Z4Z and sequel, Z4Z-The Musical.

That's one clever Canuck.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Real Results Surprise Endorsement

...from Melvin the blobfish.


Melvin swam all the way to Hoboken from the coast of Australia when he heard the news: that Bret Schundler, New Jersey Commissioner of Education, WARNED Nathan Brinkman (organizer of the Hoboken Republicans annual Lincoln Dinner held last night at Wild Ginger) NOT to endorse the Real Results slate of BoE candidates while he was attending the dinner as keynote speaker.

We're shocked that Mr. Brinkman and Real Results had planned to turn his non-partisan speech on education into a partisan endorsement party for a slate of School Board candidates.

Mr. Brinkman and Real Results' plan could have caused serious problems for Mr. Schundler; this ethical violation may even have risked his position with the state.

Enter Melvin, a Republican blobfish, who heard the news and decided to swim thousands of miles west to endorse the Real Results slate iin lieu of Mr. Brinkman.

Unfortunately for Melvin, he arrived late for the dinner and more unfortunately for him, he didn't know that Wild Ginger was an Asian fusion restaurant specializing in sashimi and well... the story does not have a happy ending for Melvin.



(Updated March 30, 1:45PM)

Reader hucheeks, I am guessing you sat on your response for at least 5 hours before posting as the piece was revised before 8AM, and the part which was indeed a "wild supposition" about the state of mind of Mr. Schundler was removed. I do own up to that. To the mind of Mr. Schundler: my regrets for breaking and entering.

Next, the event was NEVER referred to as a "fundraiser"- in either the original or revised piece, so where did you get that from?

Lastly, suggesting there was "defamation" in the notion that an endorsement was on the agenda must be refuted by fact.

I didn't bother posting this and wasn't going to, but since you deployed the 'd'-word, here it is: an email that went to more than one member of Kids First who had already bought a ticket to your Lincoln Dinner. The person who forwarded this to me had paid for the dinner via PayPal on March 12 and received this email on March 26, the Friday before the Sunday evening event.

Subject:
Re: Lincoln Dinner Details
Date: 3/26/10 9:42:23 AM
From: "Hoboken Republican Club"
To:"XXXXXXXX"


Ms. XXX,

Thanks for indicating your preference. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday. We feel that we should inform you, however, that our Lincoln Dinner is a partisan event. We do intend to express support for the "Real Results" slate of candidates for school board. You are still more than welcome to attend. We simply felt that we should provide a heads up, in case you didn't realize this. In the event that you'd rather not attend, we can provide a refund. Please let us know.

Sincerely,
The Hoboken Republicans


Now, you may have been unaware of this eleventh hour announcement which would explain your being peeved at my comment. But please note, an endorsement of a 'non-partisan' slate of School Board candidates by a partisan political group (The Hoboken Republicans) at a partisan dinner(Lincoln Dinner) WAS on the 'agenda' as noted by your own group.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How To Make a Castle

An inclement weather day is a perfect day to make your own castle:



Instructions (click to enlarge)

(Castle and instructions courtesy of Grafix's little Avenger, age 7)

Massive FAIL

OK boys and girls, put down your pencils.

Let's see how you've done.

Liz Markevitch, bring your paper up to my desk, please. What? All 5 questions are BLANK? Yes, I know you have a college degree. Please report to the Prinicpal's office.

Perry Lin, may I see your paper? What do you MEAN your dog ate it? You have a Chihuahua. I'm sorry but you'll have to go with Liz. Better yet, wear this cap and go sit in the corner. And stop talking for G-d's sake.

Kathleen Tucker, what happened to your paper? I agree; that's a lovely origami crane. Yes, it's wonderful how its neck moves. Go to the Principal's office.

John Forsman, tell me you've filled out your paper. Please, for the love of G-d. You did? Oh, what a relief. I'm glad to hear you wrote something down. Let's see it... what? You drew Red Elephants where the answers go? No, Red Elephants are NOT the answer, Mr. Forsman! Get thee to the Prinicpal's office, pronto.


(original post here)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

They Came, They Met.

Scott Siegel and his mother, Sheila, hosted a smashingly successful Kids First Meet and Greet BBQ at his swanky Castle Point Terrace digs this afternoon. The entire nation of Hoboken salutes Scott and his mother for their extraordinary effort on behalf of Kids First. Thank you, Scott and Mama Sheila.

And we hear Phil Cohen and his family hosted a lovely event on Friday evening, thanks to the entire Cohen family as well.

Some pics from today's event:











10 Years

I miss you. Love, Nancy your Child

in Heaven or the Other Place.
Meet you on the Other Side.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reader Submission


She calls it "Real Vague Results".

Excellent.

Pray for Results.

Something jumped out at me in yesterday's Hoboken Now.

An article about Real Results' evening Meet and Greet fundraiser at The Melting Pot noted that a Roman Catholic priest would be there offering "prayers for the candidates". The priest is the brother of Kathleen Tucker, a Real Results candidate.

Now, before anyone gets their panties in a knot, let me say two of the Kids First candidates are Roman Catholic, and there is NO anti-religious sentiment in pondering the message here in organizing public prayer at a School Board campaign function.

This is politics; nothing happens by accident. Politics is about crafting the message and disseminating it to as wide an audience as possible. Just what is happening on the blogs as we speak, by advocates of both Kids First and Real Results slates.

So I have to wonder, what is the message in this public prayer session? Are they simply working the Catholic vote or is the message subtext a wink and a nod to advocates of school prayer? Does Real Results advocate school prayer? What about "Intelligent Design" creation theory? What about sex education? Do we teach abstinence or birth control?

Don't kid yourselves, Real Results are Red Elephant brand Republicans; ideologues from the Palin- Tea Party wing. A message was delivered in a Roman Catholic priest's invocation at a School Board campaign fundraiser. But what? And what could it mean for the future of our public schools?

Remember George W. Bush's famous query, "Is our children learning?" Will Hoboken public school parents soon be asking "What is our children learning and why?"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Any Results?

Fascinating things are happening over at Hoboken Patch.

BMD (bloggers of mass distraction) for Team Real Results are spinning webs of vagueness around questions begging to be answered, questions that are fundamental to their reason for being: what exactly are their PLANS, not their GOALS, not their COMPLAINTS. Or like a famous, old commercial's tag line: 'where's the beef?'

Real Results' light and fluffy campaign sidesteps the hard questions and plays from the Mason playbook of grandstanding, grandiosity and unrelenting attack, attack, attack without offering concrete and detailed proposals.

Peruse the Hobooken Patch thread and count how many times critical questions have been asked and ignored. Maureen Sullivan, the 'mastermind' of the 'Real Results' insurgency pops in to blog, but... crickets.

See below a POP QUIZ for Team Real Results.

They have 48 hours to answer these 5 questions and return completed to grafixavenger666@gmail.com.

The (real) results will be posted forthwith for all to see.

Dirty, Sticky Haitians!

See our esteemed former president, George W. Bush, wipe his hands off on former president Bill Clinton after shaking hands with a crowd of Haitians. They were together in Haiti this week on a goodwill mission, meeting, greeting and touching the dirty* and sticky* people of Haiti.

*the views expressed are those belonging to Mr. Bush as imagined by the Editor.

(happens 0.14 seconds into the video)

Baby Turns 1

This blog is one-week old today. Thank you to anyone who has stopped by.

But where is The Godfather, Reformerus Giganticus? Baby needs a change.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Empty Tea Pot

Take 9 minutes and 52 seconds of your day to watch protesters on Capitol Hill 'explain' their opposition to the health care bill. The video was shot prior to its passing.



And you thought Hoboken's BoE race was getting rough.

Suzy Khimm for Mother Jones:

"Tea Partiers protesting the health care bill in Washington hurled racist and homophobic epithets at two Democratic Congressmen and then spat on a black Democratic legislator prior to President Obama's speech before House Dems this afternoon. Rep. John Lewis was called the N-word when he was on the floor of the House earlier today by a heckler from the Tea Party... Another protester spat upon Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, another black Democrat, as he was walking from the Longsworth House building to attend Obama's speech. In a separate incident, Rep. Barney Frank, who is openly gay, was called "faggot," also as he was leaving the Longsworth building."

And check out Sarah Palin's Facebook page: the 'you betcha!' Tea Party pin-up invites you to grab your rifle an' go git sum health care luvin' Democrat-sons-a-bitches!

From the The Huffington Post:

"Sarah Palin is targeting -- yes, with gun sights -- House Democrats facing tough reelection fights who voted for health care reform.

Palin's Facebook page now carries a map featuring 20 gun sights, one for each of the Democrats targeted this year by her political action committee SarahPAC. Three of the gun sights, those where incumbent Democrats have already announced their retirement, are colored red."



So this is what happens in America, folks (and right here in Hoboken) when Red Elephants don't get their way.

Do you recognize this country?

Weenies and Beer!

Check out the hoity-toity address: 923 Castle Point Terrace. Millionaire's Row! Scott, your momma must be so proud.

Please stop in this Saturday 2pm-5pm, for weenies, beer, to schmooze with the Kids First candidates and (if you can) to feed the kitty.

Meow!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Real Housewives of New Jersey?

Pop Quiz:

1) Who said this?

"Let's keep the uneducated housewives in charge of the schools -- or wait, why not elect educated, tax paying citizens of the global world who are employed and know how to make changes in the real world to make the schools better?"

a) some male chauvinist IDIOT or self-hating woman
b) one who speaks confidently from his/her sphincter
c) Team Real Results, courtesy blogger-operative "notforsale"

(answer: all of the above)

"Uneducated housewives" vs. "educated, taxpaying citizens of the global world"-- Real Results' marketing strategy.

Is it working for you, ladies? Wait...

Are you educated enough to have an opinion?
Are you educated enough to pay taxes?
Are you educated enough to "live in the global world"? (Whatever the fuck that means. Doesn't "global" mean "world"? Why not just say "world-like world"? Or "globey globe"?)
Are you educated enough to vote?
Working women and stay-at-home moms: are you educated enough to know when you've been insulted?

To engage this kind of hooey threatens to dignify it, but the unfairness of this smear campaign against women who (like them or not) work countless unpaid hours for the benefit of the public good simply forces my hand.

Dine on these biographical nuggets. Meet the uneducated, tax-evading house-fraus of Kids First, in no particular order:

Ruthy McAllister: BA in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College, 25 years business experience, currently a V.P. at Bank of New York Mellon, single working-mom and homeowner, son attends a Hoboken Public School

Theresa Minutillo: BS in Marketing from F.I.T., Worked as apparel buyer for Limited Corp., responsible for $35M OTB (Open to Buy/Purchase) budget, business travel to Hong Kong, Germany, Italy, has operated a successful Corporate Image and Branding business for the past 10 years, homeowner, daughter attends the Mile Square Pre-K program

Jean Marie Mitchell (candidate): BS in Management and Communications from Adelphi University, employed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as an Information Technology Manager, President of a 24-unit Condo Association for 6 years, homeowner, son attends a Hoboken Public School

Rose Marie Markle (candidate): BA School of Hard Knocks, worked as Office manager for graphic design business and chiropracter, owner and manager of apartment building, children attended Hoboken Public schools, once kicked the ass of a yuppie-snot nose who called her an uneducated housewife who doesn't pay taxes

Irene Sobolov (candidate): MS in Urban Planning, from Hunter College, Worked as Downtown Revitalization to Facilities Planner at NJ Transit, extensive community activism includes co-founding the Hoboken Family Alliance, homeowner, her three sons attend Hoboken Public Schools

Leon Gold (not a woman, but you can call him "Leona", candidate): PhD in Human Factors from Stevens Institute of Technology, has worked at Bell Labs and The New York Stock Exchange, taught for 20 years at Columbia University where he is currently an Adjunct Profesor of Human Factors and Ergonomics, homeowner, Leon has no kids, but if he did would send them to a Hoboken Public School

So now you've met the uneducated, tax-shirking toilet-scrubbers of Kids First who do not live in the globe-like world.

Mother always told me: folks who will smear the reputations of good people will not hesitate to lie to you about ANYTHING.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Free Sex.

Not really.

But if I told you this post was about Hoboken public school custodial contract negotiations would you be reading it?

Don't look away now, you ambivalent pervert. Shame on you.

In exchange for a 3.5% annual increase in wages over the next 3 years, here is what was signed off on by the Board Negotiating Committee (Chairwoman McAllister, Maureen Sullivan, Jimmy Farina and Board President Rose Marie Markle) on the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA):
  • a 48% INCREASE in work full-time requirement to collect benefits: from 20 hours/week to 29.5 hours/week!
(Editor's comment: what would YOU do if your boss asked you to work 48% more to collect benefits? I'll bet you'd tell him to go fuck himself. Hard.)
  • Overtime cut from triple pay to time-and-a-half, and paid overtime ON holiday days only (not for week-long breaks).
(Editor's comment: not too shabby, a 50% reduction is a good start. But wait until you read the next one!)
  • For the FIRST TIME EVER a Hudson County municipal/ school union will be required to contribute from their payroll toward a traditional healthcare plan option.
(Editor's comment: hot stuff! Kudos to McAllister, Markle, Farina and Sullivan.)

Status: The signed MOA was sent back to the custodial union where it has been ratified, and will come back to the Board for a vote.

Now, in case you don't know what an MOA is, call it a 'good-faith' agreement. Can one of the Board members who signed off on this agreement flip-flop and vote 'no' on the final contract? YES. Funny things happen in an election season. Call them the Real Results of political expediency.

Now, for a proposal I personally submitted to the Board: new custodial uniforms with taxpayer savings guaranteed. See below. Isn't it fantastic?

Instead of taxpayers bearing the cost of a shirt AND pants, my proposal requires neither: the uniform consists of a modest apron and matching lace bonnet. Multiply this by 55 or 60 (the approximate number of custodial employees) and you cannot deny the benefit to Hoboken taxpayers.

Revolt, are you listening?


Ethics, Schmethics.

In case you don't have one of these collecting dust mites in your library, I refer you to The New Jersey School Board Association's "Basic Boardsmanship", the reference guide for New Jersey School Board officials on conduct, ethics and practices. You know, that junk.

"Board members have diverse opinions, and they will not always be in agreement on issues. Each member of a board has the responsibility to make sure that disagreements stay focused on the issues and do not become personal. Members have equal rights to be heard and to agree or dissent as their consciences dictate. Once a decision is reached, however, all board members should support it. Nothing is more damaging to a board and the reputation of everyone on it than for individual board members to qualrrel publicly with decisions that the board has made. Such actions throws doubt on all of the board's efforts, even those the dissenter may support, and creates in the community's mind an image of an ineffective, combative group."

Pick your favorite line. I've got a soft spot for this one:

"Nothing is more damaging to a board and the reputation of everyone on it than for individual board members to quarrel publicly with decisions that the board has made."

Though there's t a little exaggeration in the "nothing could be more damaging to a board" part. What about acts of G-d such as earthquakes, tsunamis and (if you believe in this stuff) plagues sent by G-d to punish the wicked? Yes, Tutmoses II, King of Egypt, laughed too. Until his eldest son got smited. (Smote? Smitten?)

So I'd say SECOND to one or more Board members openly slamming fellow Board members over a policy disagreement, such as a Superintendent selection, natural or divine disasters could be much, much more damaging.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kids First Beauties!

If you couldn't make it to the Kids First celebration today in Columbus Park, feast your eyes on these pics taken by our friend, Kurt Gardiner. Turn-out was excellent, enthusiasm was high, cupcakes were sweet and creamy. In attendance were Mayor Dawn Zimmer, City Council members Dave Mello, Ravi Bhalla, Michael Lenz , City Council President Peter Cunningham and of course the Kids First slate: Rose Marie Markle, Jean Marie Mitchell, Leon Gold and Irene Sobolov, and Kids First members Theresa Minutillo, Ruthy Sullivan and the entire Kids First Team.

But the REAL stars were... the kids.



Tastes like Chicken.

Not to give this predator of bloggers' privacy more attention than he's worth, one couldn't help but notice how quickly he backed off from his challenge to the proprietor of Mile Square View, Roman Brice, once said proprietor took him up on it.

He certainly DOES taste like chicken.

image by Grafix Avenger & InfotainMe

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Show that Never Ends...

or just feels like never.

In case you didn't have the stamina to watch the March 17th City Council meeting till it's 2am conclusion, we rate the final few minutes a 4-bagger on the popcorn scale. That's when City Council President Peter Cunningham vents his appreciation toward Councilwoman Mason for her thoughtfulness during the recent passing of his mother-in-law.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Better Dead than Red?

No laptops for you, boys and girls.

No Superintendant, either.

And no Motel 6; Hoboken High's Penn Relay athletes can ride the bus from Hoboken to Philly roundtrip for 3-consecutive days. The little tykes will just love those 15+ hours of bouncy Greyhound fun... especially if the no-flush toilet in the back's overflowed and spewing like Mount St. Helens.

Gotta love those 'Real Results' Red Elephants. Hey, guys. We know that YOU know that freedom isn't free (it's not even for sale), but federal stimulus money is, sort of... until Summer 2011. We use it or lose it.

Care to share YOUR better proposal for this $230K+ grant or just SHUT UP?