Monday, January 31, 2011

Location, Location, Location

You've heard of the expression 'turning lemons into lemonade', right?

So far  this winter has been one, big frozen lemon.

A historic  blizzard followed by 2 substantial snow storms, now another one on track for this week... my goodness. What to do with all this snow?

I say, turn it into cash.

GA has decided to take this big frozen lemon and cash it in for some green stuff..  the snow hole in front of my house has gone condo, and I've listed it  for sale- asking price: $419K, taxes: $11.6K.

What do you think?  LA (Little Avenger) built it with very little adult help.
Nice, huh?  And right in the heart of Hoboken.   

Location, location, location!

I expect this property to go quickly, so don't delay.  For an appointment contact:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grafix on Vacation- UPDATED!

GA is a fan of the regular Hudson Reporter feature, "Reporter on Vacation" where readers submit pics of themselves reading that paper from various exotic locales, so I'd like to introduce  "Grafix on Vacation" as a regular feature.

I've been told that reading Grafix Avenger is a 'guilty pleasure' that no one wants to admit to (akin to the porno mag hidden behind the toilet tank in your house) but I don't believe it.  In fact, I've already received several reader submissions which are published below.

And yours could be next.

If you’re going on vacation or just hanging out locally, take a photo with any Grafix Avenger web page, and send it to us! We’d love to print it and show your neighbors where you went, even if it wasn’t far.

Visiting relatives in the next town? Hanging out down the shore? They’re all worthy photos!

Just follow these easy instructions:

You can send it by e-mail .

To send by e-mail, send it as an attachment to grafixavenger666@gmail  and always put GRAFIX ON VACATION in the subject head. Please do not send your only copy of the photo, as things do get lost in the Internets.

As mentioned, here are some of the photos our readers have sent us on vacation:

This reader enjoys Grafix Avenger at the beach.
This reader enjoys Grafix Avenger with a friend.
This reader enjoys Grafix Avenger at Disneyland
These readers enjoy Grafix Avenger in municipal cars paid for by Union City taxpayers

Photos will not be returned. Please only send one photo per trip.

If you have questions, or if you sent a photo and aren’t sure we ever received it, e-mail  and put GRAFIX ON VACATION in the subject head. We will get back to you.

We look forward to seeing where you took us!

(Updated 1/29/11, 11:30 am)
Reader response to our new feature, Grafix on Vacation, has been terrific!

In fact, the pics are pouring in... here are more of our readers enjoying GA on the go:

These readers enjoy Grafix Avenger at Pier A park.

This reader enjoys Grafix Avenger with a weenie.

Earthlings AND extraterrestrials enjoy Grafix Avenger.

NJ Attorney General Paula Dow enjoys Grafix Avenger while investigating voter fraud in Hoboken's 4th Ward.

 Thank you, readers!

As for the rest of you: don't be ashamed to show the world that YOU read this blog... remember, there's no accounting for taste.

So keep 'em coming !

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miracle on Willow Terrace

Folks, I've lived here for 7 1/2 years  and this is a sight I've NEVER seen...

...a snow plow on my Willow Terrace street!

Albeit a teeny, weeny one  resembling a Tonka toy- but that's the only kind that would fit here. 

I was so excited, I ran out of the house in my purple fleece robe and slippers to snap some pics.

There's the driver looking at me as I waved to him.

Like the Star of Bethlehem, surely the Snow Plow of Willow Terrace signals a miracle to come:  peace on Earth, good will toward Man, lower municipal taxes.

I was sad to see the little bugger drive off but at the rate Mother Nature's been slamming us this winter, it'll be back again soon.

Perhaps later this week?

Ripe for the Picking

I've been chatting  with my peeps here in the 6th Ward where there's still no one to take on Nino Giacchi for City Council, but...

GA can tell you that Nino's nervous and has plenty of reason to be.

Because the 6th Ward is ripe for the picking for ANY viable alternative to Giacchi in spite of his popularity here.

Why is that?

Because being the self-proclaimed 'Voice of Reason' on a panel of unreasonable people with whom he continues to vote will NOT sell amongst the reasonable people of the 6th Ward.  And we are.  This is a Zimmer stronghold, and Nino who has always comported  himself  in a dignified manner on the City Council  dais had heretofore 'earned' the confidence of those who may have looked askance at his loyalties.

That was then.

Call it a 'perfect storm' of a national economic downturn, increasing public awareness/scrutiny of our local government officials in the wake of a state takeover,   the political drift toward cartoonish extremes where a vicious political operative  delivers talking points and smears citizens at public meetings and is juggled to the back of the line by  his benefactor- the City Council President, where handwritten budgets on paper napkins are sprung for a vote, where fictitious budget surplus numbers are dishonestly floated time and time again, where CC officials are openly derisive toward selected members of the public and it's newest member rode in on a wave of  'mail-in' ballots currently under investigation by the State Attorney General Paula Dow ...  it is this confluence of  events which have brought all of us to where we are now:  a Howard Beale moment.

 We are mad as hell.  At elected officials who lie to us.  Like a certain cave man friend likes to say: don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.

I'd never do that to you, honey.  But they would.

Team Mason, Russo, Occhipinti, Castellano, Giacchi: don't piss on our legs and tell us it's a 20 million dollar budget surplus.

credit: MSV- document from City records

That's why Nino is doomed- if he ever gets a challenger.

Because he's teamed up with LIARS.  Like THIS one:
"Most recently Beth (Mason)helped to uncover a $20 million budget surplus that exists because City Hall is over taxing residents. Beth believes that your money should be returned to you and the tax rate should be cut immediately."
That's what she's shoveling on her campaign website. 

Here's what Nino had to say in his mailer, the one GA posted about:

So, Nino's towing the Mason line: throw the surplus back to the people like beads off  a Mardi Gras float.

That's why he's doomed.

Saying you're the 'voice of reason' in a chorus of the unreasonable when you're actually singing the same song won't fly in the 6th.

Not to mention an occasional error in judgment:

Dear Editor:

This Tuesday, June 9th, we can exercise our freedom as U.S. citizens as we go to the polls to elect a new Mayor for the City of Hoboken. I urge you to support my friend and colleague and vote for Peter Cammarano and his Council team, Angel Alicea, Vinny Addeo and Raul Morales, II.

Hoboken is at a juncture that requires decisive leadership in economic and quality of life matters as it, like all communities, grapples with daunting issues on national and local levels.

Peter has demonstrated strong leadership abilities on the City Council addressing hard choices that his opponent chose to ignore. Peter fulfilled his responsibility by voting to adopt the State's municipal budget for Hoboken, while his opponent chose to abstain.

Hoboken needs a chief executive who makes decisions that will have a positive impact on our families. Peter is my choice to lead our community into the 21st century and make it a better place for future generations.

Again, please join me in voting for Peter Cammarano for Mayor and Angel Alicea, Vinny Addeo and Raul Morales, II for City Council on June 9th.

Thank you,

City Council President Nino Giacchi
516 Hudson Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

But nobody's perfect.  We all make  mistakes.

Now, it's the pissing on my leg and telling me it's raining a $20 million dollars budget surplus that ISN'T a mistake but a dishonest political trick that really gets my goat.

And I don't even own a goat.

So,  a message to the powers-that-be that decide reform candidates: put a FIRE on it.  PICK SOMEONE, already.  You are putting that person whomever he/she is at a disadvantage if you wait much longer.

Because the 6th Ward's ripe for the picking.

Don't wait for the apple to fall.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


by Akaninyene Umoh

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, "Avarice", engraving- 1558

Beware of men with greed,
For in them are sadistic creed,
They maybe cordial but very discreet,
In order to learn your own secret.

They overflow their hearts with desire,
And in selfishness they build their empire,
A kingdom that is rule in deceit,
And the intent of their mind is to covet.

Their itching palms are ever preying,
Grasping at the wealth of other being,
In avarice and impatient, they cheat their mate,
Hurting others to gratify themselves.

Generosity and benevolence is oft their path,
For all they care is to satisfied their mouth,
With money and victuals, from the efforts of others,
Sometime they are genial, but only to cause you distress.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nino, the Voice of Reason

Yesterday I found this in my mailbox...

and it surprised me for these reasons:
  • it's been 2011 for 25 days
  • it was from Nino Giacchi.   
  • Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I don't recall ever having received a mailer or card from Councilman Giacchi.  I've even gotten them in past years from the 3rd Ward City Councilman,  Mike Russo. Giacchi hasn't been  a big campaigner. He's pretty well-liked here in Zimmer-country, the 6th Ward, and hasn't had to market himself  aggressively.  Until now?
  • His slogan: Hoboken's Voice of Reason.  
Fascinating.   Giacchi is running as the sane one.

Nino's  the antidote to the crazies he votes with-  Mason, Russo, Occhipinti, Castellano.

We need to hold onto Nino so  he  can reason with the rest of those loons.   Lose Nino, and we lose the bridge connecting  the world of logic to the mumbo-jumbo-spewing outpatients at the Hudson County Psychiatric Hospital. The Day After without Nino on the dais is something to be afraid of... there'll be NO protection against...THEM.

Remember Them?   Great  1954 horror flick starring James Whitmore. 

From the 2011 update:

 I'm voting for Nino to keep me safe from Them.

Marvelous!  Nino's stoking fear in his constituents  with positive messaging about himself. 

How clever.

I'm picturing Nino now, holding the  iron-barred door of a cage closed, inside are his City Council allies jumping  up and down, beating their chests, banging on the bars and  trying to escape.  But there's Nino, single-handedly keeping them back from a rampage  through town. 

GA's  a huge fan of political sloganeering, and Nino's taken a dicey scenario- a member of the Mason-Russo voting bloc in a Zimmer-ward- and turned it around to work FOR him.   Nino  the zookeeper.   Keep those keys, Nino!

Do the folks on his team object to being cast as 'unreasonable'?  Probably not.  But we can expect  more of this 'everyman/woman for him/herself' as May approaches and self-preservation instincts kick in.

As for Giacchi, he's running unopposed. Today.

And  I've said it before, I like him.  Except...

No more bitching about the blogs, OK?  If the problem is you don't like what's being said, then you are arguing against free  speech, and you don't want to do that.  No one on your team ever had a problem with the discourse on like comparing Mayor Zimmer to chimpanzees or making fun of dwarfs.  So, let's NOT go there, OK?

 Three cheers for the 'Voice of Reason', Nino Giacchi!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What You Said... Petition Update

Remember's  Red Flags: How much does it cost to buy an election in Hoboken?

And this graphic, slightly modified by GA?

One week ago this blog asked you to forward your name/address to be included in a petition asking NJ Attorney General Paula Dow to prosecute those suspected of 4th Ward voter fraud.

Response has been strong, and we are at 50% of our target.  If you haven't added your name- your information will not be shared- please click here.

Here some of the sentiments GA's received from petition signers:

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."

John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
Hopefully I am only one of many many more Hoboken residents who have reached the tipping point.
prosecute election fraud in Hoboken, Hudson County AND New Jersey!
For the love of my ward and hoboken please add my name:
Can someone also look into the ridiculous number of votes Tim Occhipinti's received through absentee ballots.
This election was so rigged and I am ashamed to live in city/state where this has become a commonly accepted occurrence.
I am in support of the petition posted here:
Thank you for taking the time to fight the crooks of Hoboken.
 committed to justice
Sent another email with mine and X's information. We should start placing jail bars over Timmy O's face in all subsequent publications.

That said, proving fraud beyond a reasonable doubt beyond a reasonable doubt is challenging.  You'll need folks to squeal and in doing so demonstrate that someone had actual knowledge or execution of fraud with that intent. If anything, I'd put resources into getting folks to squeal. This whole drama will turn on whether that will happen.
Can  you see from this random sampling the outrage out there with the recent tainted 4th Ward election?  Your neighbors want justice. 

If you would like to see the end of rampant voter fraud in Hoboken  please join this effort by sending your name and address to be added to a list attached to this:

Criminal referrals are sitting on Dow's desk now.  We're asking for action.  Please add  your name.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who's Running Against Nino?

If  you think GA has the answer, guess again.

In spite of the prognostication of my ex-ex-ex-boyfriend Al Sullivan, rumors are flying that business owner Joe Branco is NOT running in the 6th Ward race for City Council.   (And if that's true, my cruel and unworthy ex-ex-ex Al,  you're NOT all that and a bag of chips).

So that would leave Nino Giacchi running against...  who?

Now you may know I live in the 6th Ward which makes me a Giacchi constituent.  And I have to say, I like Nino.   He's accessible, responsive, pleasant to deal with,  and got street signs  for Willow Terrace-- my neighborhood.  He also comports himself with dignity at public meetings; no grandstanding, no cheesy theatrics, his budgets are never handwritten on toilet paper.   I would be very happy keeping Nino except for one thing: the way he votes.  He's the 5th Russo-Mason vote.

Sorry Nino, you've gotta go. 

But where?  It looks like straight back to the City Council.  Because you don't have a challenger.

What happened to Branco?

I'm not sure if Timmy accidently telegraphed the opposition strategy but the 4th Ward Binder Boy derisively called Branco a "bar-owner" a few meetings ago.  Correction came swiftly to "business-owner".   How ironic that politicians who've elevated the yearly unregulated drunk-fest of Saint Patty's Day to a sacred Hoboken tradition would tsk-tsk at a fellow whose business strictly follows all ordinances and regulations with regard to serving alcohol.  Hmmm...

Tonic under the bridge.

I've met Joe and he's an amiable fellow.

I was looking forward to sussing out his politics, his goals for Hoboken-- other than removing Nino from the dais.

Perhaps he'll change his mind.  My only suggestion would be to drop the garbage-jihad; my house is practically a garbage factory and we need that Monday pick-up.  And I don't want Hoboken to compete to be as filthy as Jersey City or that other place he mentioned at the last City Council meeting that only gets 2 (or was it 3)  weekly pick-ups.  Ew.  I used to live in Jersey City, and let me tell you that place NEEDS a few extra garbage pick-ups.

Did I offend anyone from Jersey City?

Sorry.  But you know I'm right.

No, I think Hoboken's Sanitation Dept. does a fantastic job.  I love them.

I love my no-questions-asked garbage service.  Unlike where my mom lives in Queens where the garbage men pick and choose which garbage  they feel like taking away that day and arbitrarily hand out summons, Hoboken's garbage folks remove everything.  I'll bet you could leave a dead body at the corner and they'd take it- as long as it was neatly stored in a 3-ply bag and sealed with a twist-tie.

I did get a summons  here once... for leaving my garbage out too early.  The city actually  searched through the bag,  found my address on something then mailed a $75 summons with a xeroxed photograph of my garbage bag, time-stamped!  Wow.   That's efficiency.  Garbage men, you rock!

So please learn from my mistake, unless you too want a summons with a photo of your beloved garbage.

Wait... why am I talking about garbage?  What does that have to do with politics?

Oh... right.

Does anyone know who's challenging Nino in the  6th Ward?

(Update, 1:15 pm )
A source close to Mr. Branco has  confirmed to GA that he is not running for City Council.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Strawman Cometh

 by InfotainMe

It's hot off the twitter presses.

 Looks like the new council majority and their fully synchronized chorus are going to milk the new gas pipeline for all it's worth so to speak.  It’s the subject of Terry Castellano's first tweet ever below.  Soon after that special moment, Jamie Cryan re-tweeted the Castellano inaugural.  (A tad coincidental, that; has she named a campaign manager yet..?)  Tim Occhipinti tweeted about it twice.  Even David Liebler, fresh from explaining to everyone on Patch that a bond is a debt (who knew?) added his unfailingly vapid gusto to the refrain.

This magic all starts with a carefully choreographed city council meeting.  Think “Busby Berkeley meets Franz Kafka.”  This time out, the recently purchased council majority set out to show to a little more professionalism than it had previously displayed, disappointing those us who tuned in to see a final descent into pure mayhem and possibly even a lynching or two.  Alas for our perverse hopes.  Instead large chunks of the agenda were tabled or deferred to committee to create the illusion of momentum.  The meeting that remained was somewhat conciliatory in tone, especially compared with recent editions which felt more like a small delegation of villagers attempting to negotiate with a victory-drunk Viking army.  More than anything this week’s meeting was a very subdued affair, right down to the hand-picked colors of the performers’ costumes.

Mike Russo was simply instructed to take the night off and did so for the most part.  He even refrained, just this once, from demanding that Ian Sacs “quit dicking around and go outside and settle this like men.”  Reaching for the same leitmotif Lane Bajardi spoke in hushed terms about the biblical dangers of the pipeline and managed to mention the mayor without saying "that conniving bitch" for the first time that anyone can recall.

Of course Mr. Bajardi has a devastating ‘tell’.  Whenever he makes an accusation, bet the ranch that’s what his team is doing.  Accuses council majority of secret meetings to pick ZBA members...hmm.  Accuses blogs of carrying out highly scripted messaging on behalf of a paying client...hmmer.  While working for Occhipinti, accuses Lenz of being in bed with developers and running a dirty campaign...hmmest.  Anyone noticing a pattern?  If he ever tells you he figures you only have a pair of threes, push everything you own into the middle of the table if you can beat a pair of threes.

Clearly the strategy now is to play the pipeline as 9/11 Part 2. Those not taking the ‘threat’ seriously will soon find themselves cast as “the enemies of the children".   Indeed, “doing it for the children” has all but replaced religion as the last refuge of scoundrels.  A glossy appeal to younger parents is inevitable, especially by candidates who otherwise have nothing tangible to offer that demographic.  Oh, you’ll be getting it from every angle.  It will help you keep your mind off the fiscal lunacy that is the true first order of business of the majority.

You’ll notice that the tweets below are not about keeping a watchful, even critical eye on the pipeline development; they're about forcefully opposing it.  You didn’t really think this was just about ensuring public safety, did you?  You did?  Wanna play cards?

Tim Occhipinti
#hoboken speaks with one voice! A unanimous city council. No Gas Pipeline!

1stWardCouncil Theresa Castellano
#hoboken We will be an Intervenor against the gas pipeline project!

1stWardCouncil Theresa Castellano
by JamieCryan
#hoboken We will be an Intervenor against the gas pipeline project!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping It Real

At-Large Councilman Dave Mello, WTF?

But not for the effectiveness of the 4th Ward Vote-by-Mail (VBM)  ballot harvest, which included 550 campaign 'paid workers'-- Occhipinti won by only 406 votes-- Carol Marsh would still be the CC President and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

And WHO was a major player- if not the major player-  in that decisive 4th Ward ballot harvest that brought us  Timmy Occhipinti with a Russo-Mason majority?

His role was acknowledged in the article, "Absentee campaign in Hoboken Not a Myth":

Outside of paid votes, though, the source said, “There’s always that (absentee) push when Frank Raia’s involved.”

Raia said, “I’m making a concerted effort to get every resident of the 4th Ward out to vote. If it means we have to pull people out, if they have to vote by mail, if we have to drag them to the polls, whatever. There’s a lot of disgruntled people in Hoboken.”

Raia said of Lenz’s team, “They’re in for a war.”

His name came up again attached to (4) signed, sworn witness statements-- exhibits in the Friends of Michael Lenz vs. Hudosn County Board Elections, Timothy Occhipinti lawsuit:

Remember,   the presiding Jugde Galipolli did not rule on the merits of the case  due to the then-ongoing election fraud investigation by the Superintendent of Elections.  Criminal referrals were handed over by the Board of Elections to the Hudson County Prosecutor and now sit on the desk of Attorney General Paula Dow.

Hey, did you send your name and address yet to be included on the petition to AG Dow to get moving on that election fraud investigation?

So... for more 4th Ward  absentee ballot chicanery, just look back to the April 20, 2010 School Board Elections. 

These are the vote totals for the (2) full term seats and (1) 1-year seat on the BOE.

Checkout the Absentee Ballot totals in the 4th Ward for the Colon, Waiters and Howitt ticket.

Who was their campaign Chairperson and Treasurer?


It was Frank Raia.

To boot, a vocal Kids First opponent.

GA is confused why Councilman Mello handed him a symbolic 6th vote last night endorsing his appointment  to the Sewage Authority?

 Does anybody know?

 4th Ward Election Blizzard

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Talk

Talk about throwing good money off a short pier!

On November 9, 2010 the structural engineering team over at Hoboken411 (a.k.a. 'Mason411) concluded that our waterfront park, Pier A, was "perfectly good" and that the Zimmer administration was "costing tens of thousands of taxpayers dollars"  by having an actual (not pretend) structural engineering firm, Boswell Engineering, perform a maintenance inspection.

Boy, were they right!

In spite of the Mayor's confidence in the Hoboken411 underwater diving team's expertise in the area of   structural pier support system analysis, she decided to throw away a bunch of taxpayer money for some stuffed shirts with a corporate logo and an engineering license.

And what did we get for our dough?

Bad news, that's what.

Who  wants to pay for that? 

These "professionals" wrote some really depressing report...  full of numbers and junk, without even ONE picture. What  a bummer. Not like those Hoboken411 engineers who told us Pier A was "perfectly good"...  now that's what I call happy talk!

And that's what WE want: happy talk!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do It For The King- UPDATED

CLLICK HERE   to tell Attorney General Paula Dow (and Governor Christie) to prosecute election fraud in Hoboken.

Simply send your name and address on the email-- your privacy will be completely protected-- to be added to a petition that will end up on the AG's desk.  And the Governor's.

To 'sign' you must be:
  • at least18 years of age
  • a U.S. citizen 
  • a Hoboken resident

Here is the petition document (list of 'signatures' to follow):

The purpose of this effort is to give the AG a 'gentle push', by demonstrating  groundswell of public support for the prosecution of anyone who has engaged in systemic voter fraud in the 4th Ward election on Nov. 2.  Including the conspirators who knew of the operation but did nothing about it.

This is being sponsored by a group and is not solely a GA endeavor.

Want to know what I think?

The AG and Governor would love to prosecute corruption in Democratic Hudson County... love, love, love it.    Governor Christie's already a GOP rock star- expect his star turn at the 2012 GOP Convention, this would burnish his cred with the faithful,  and AG Dow's already shown enthusiasm for busting voter fraud in  nearby Paterson, New Jersey.

So, my crystal ball tells me it's a go- though it told me I'd be watching football at a friend's house yesterday and I ended up at Trader Joe's.  So much for crystal balls.  That's why you need to sign this petition.

Please. Click HERE to forward your name and address.

Do it for The King.

Your participation is act of civic duty to support democracy, to stand up for free and fair elections in Hoboken.  On  this day of remembrance.   Of course, the days of Jim Crow are long over, but we're still defending democracy,  fighting the same fights  with more sophisticated weapons. 

On a lighter note, LA (Little Avenger) will be honoring the spirit of MLK as she does every year, making sandwiches in brown bag lunches for the homeless shelter- with other kids from the block.   Not sure how many we usually make... between 100-200. 

Peace to you and yours.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Rev. King.

(Updated, 1/18  11 am)

Thank you, People!    These are for you:

We're at 20% of our target in less than a day... and a (slow-traffic) holiday to boot!

But there are many, many more who have yet to sign.  So please click here and forward your name and address to be added to the growing list of Hoboken citizens asking AG Dow to prosecute 4th Ward voter fraud and to support clean elections going forward.

Your privacy will be protected, you information will not be shared.

C'mon, let's go!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


by Scott Siegel
Raleigh, 2001-2011

I came back on a Sunday from vacationing in Puerto Rico to find my first cat Argy (Argentina) dead. My neighbor's child "forgot" to feed her.

I cried for two days until two planes hit the WTC.

 One month later I went to the Liberty Shelter in Jersey City. They had two orange cats- Momma and Sonny. They both hissed when I petted them.

Then my friend put a small 2 month old black cat into my arms. He never left them. As a kitten he would sit across from me in my chair staring at me.

Each time I got up he jumped off and followed me around like a dog. As he grew he was the most loving, faithful, beautiful cat that anyone could ever have. He slept at my feet or thigh each night purring me to sleep.

In October the vet gave him a clean bill of health. When I came home home from vacation last month his lower half was noticeably thin. I thought that maybe he just didn't eat while I was away. On December 31st the vet took an x-ray. His entire body was cancer filled. They advised me to put him asleep at that time. I decided to wait until after New Years. He was still eating, drinking and using his litter box. He could still jump on and off furniture. I decided that since he showed no signs of pain I would play it by ear. Last night he left my bed and slept on the floor. When I got up I found him in my living room between the chair and sofa. He was very lethargic.

I petted and caressed him for an hour. I went out to do some errands and I when I returned he had passed away. Over the past few weeks so many friends and relatives have lent me their support. I will never forget it.  I am glad he didn't suffer and wish that none of you have to go through this, but it is a part of life unfortunately.

May Raleigh rest in peace.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In Her Own Words

It's Day 3 since Patch published  "Hoboken Board of Education Hires New Superintendent" and as of this writing, it's logged 184 comments.

You read that correctly. 

And out of those 184 comments 44 were by a single person, an elected official- Hoboken School Board member Maureen Sullivan.

Perusing through Sullivan's heap of rhetoric on Patch, much of it critical of fellow Board members and their policy decisions, one can easily interpret a multitude of ethical violations. 

But we only need to go back to her own words..."In closed session..."

In her  own words.  Sullivan blogging the content of closed session School Board discussions.    


With her colleagues.  Whom she writes copiously about in these 44 posts  in most unflattering terms.

Commenter khoboken's response was spot-on;  I couldn't have said it better myself:

And commenter InfotainMe provides a perspective which I share, in his eloquent way:

I believe the following NJDOE Rules of Ethics  were violated  in her 44 posts slamming fellow Board members, and in revealing closed session discussions. 
18A:12-24.1 Code of Ethics for School Board Members.
c. I will confine my board action to policy making, planning, and appraisal, and I will help to frame policies and plans only after the board has consulted those who will be affected by them.
GA note: The operative word 'is confine'.  Which excludes airing disputes with colleagues and policy decisions in prolific blogging on public message boards and in letters to the media.
g.I will hold confidential all matters pertaining to the schools which, if disclosed, would needlessly injure individuals or the schools.  In all other matters, I will provide accurate information and, in concert with my fellow board members, interpret to the staff the aspirations of the community for its school.
GA note: Somebody explain the meaning of 'confidential' to Ms. Sullivan, and the difference between a 'closed session' and an open, public meeting.  And how the leaking closed session information undermines public confidence in the ability of the board to work together in the best interest of the district, and exposes the city to lawsuits via the violation of confidentiality rights, such as what Sullivan did when she leaked contract negotiations online with respect to Superintendent candidate  Dr. Anthony Romano.
i. I will refer all complaints to the chief administrative officer and will act on the complaints at public meetings only after failure of an administrative solution.
GA note:  Does whining and trashing colleagues  (and members of the public) on message boards count?

I am asking members of the public to bring this egregious conduct of an elected School Board official to the attention of the NJDOE.

File a complaint to the NJDOE here.

You may direct the NJDOE to the thread on Patch here and reference the School Ethics Act here (you will  be asked to provide rules violated on the form)-- or simply use the ones I've  noted if you are in agreement. 

I urge you to check the Patch thread  yourself.

It is not  'free speech' at play here.  As a blogger serving on a municipal Board  I know the boundary to MY 'free speech'  is determined by the rules of the Board upon which I serve.  I can't blog about many topics and issues and anything before the board, and more.  I understand that.  I accept thatMs. Sullivan does NOT.  It is NOT Sullivan's 'free speech' which is being criticized. it is the flouting of NJDOE School Board Ethics Rules, which are hurtful to the ability of the  Board as a body  to function on behalf of our district and in the best interest of our children.

Mine attends public school; this is personal for me.

I wrote this yesterday, but due to my router crapping out and connectivity problems this morning, I am publishing now.  The thread is now at 207 posts, so updated numbers to come.  Also, Sullivan made a highly personal attack on a member of the pubic which may be added.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Remember that word?

Lovingly coined in an SNL skit as a dig at our Word-Mangler-in-Chief, it's become part of the American lexicon.  

The Urban dictionary defines 'strategery' this way:

4. N. An ill-conceived and/or poorly-executed plan of action (which would be considered "strategy" were it not so ill-conceived and/or poorly-executed).

Some Mason-Russo strategery launched at the Dec. 15 City Council meeting was such a dud--  inferring  Zimmer's allies are racists-- it's been left roadside.

What?  You've forgotten about that?

Watch this:

Phew, thank goodness my name ends in a consonant.  Or was that a bad thing?

And was it better to be a Star-Bellied Sneetch or to have none upon thars?

Lane Bajardi could learn a lot from Dr. Suess.

Substitute "Star-Bellied Sneetches" with 'names ending with a vowel'  and "Plain-Bellied Sneetches" with 'names ending with a consonant'..   And substitute "children" with 'Lane Bajardi':
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss is excellent for discussing issues of prejudice and discrimination with children. When the Star-Bellied Sneetches and the Plain-Bellied Sneetches treat one another disrespectfully because of simple stars on their bellies, one is forced to question the absurdity of such prejudice. Though most people would agree that discriminating based on stars on a creature’s belly is silly, we can come to a better understanding of the nature of prejudice and discrimination through discussing questions of metaphysics. 

 See what I mean?

I guess it doesn't really matter whether your belly's got a star or your name's got a vowel at the end... somebody tell you-know-who.  And his employer on the City Council.

So, fast forward to Monday night,  where a brand-new City Council majority strategery was dropped with a similar 'thud' and spread through the  blogs like a staph infection.   Here's their strategery in a nutshell
  • ALL critical discourse directed at the Council of the Unappetizing whether live, in-person at the City Council or  on the Internet are directives from City Hall.
  • Individuals who criticize the Council of the Unappetizing are following directives from City Hall.
  • Therefore, such critics shall be ATTACKED either live, in-person (i.e.; Melissa Papparone)  or on the Internet-- OUTING bloggers, for one.
To sum it up, here is the new, unappetizing strategery:   shoot the messenger AND the  message.

Another DOA stinker from the Bavarian-Pretzel mind of Mason-Operative Bajardi.

Because denouncing speech that you don't like, and attacking the critic-- assassinating his/her character by  calling them a Zim-bot aims to stifle criticism , discourage or intimidate free speech.  Which is fundamentally unAmerican.

A little fascism brought to you by the folks who cry "fascist!" and "anti-Semite!"when it is politically expedient to do so. 

Standard Mason-Bajardi strategery.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Out of Order

When was the last time you saw an elected official,  a heartbeat away from the Mayor's office, do the following at a public meeting:
  • juggle the order of public speakers in order to execute  political strategy?
  •  choreograph the public portion with a  political operative disguised as a "member of the public"?
  •  use this operative as her proxy in a vicious war on members of the public- in preplanned diatribes that smear, trash, expose  citizens (critics and political opponents)  to ridicule in an effort to destroy them, their reputations, their livelihood?
  • use a tax-payer funded venue (City Counicl Chambers) for  STAGING A POLITICAL  OPERATION:  political operative sent to 'deliver' a talking point/ smear who also ghostwrites for a cyber-tabloid where the operative trumpets the talking point/smear  he was sent to deliver at City Hall... on OUR DIME?
You haven't seen all that?

Watch THIS (2 minutes):

This level of unethical, contemptuous behavior and abuse of power is deserving of a response.

Call it what is is: CORRUPTION.

It must not go unpunished.

GA urges members of the City Council to CENSURE City Council President Beth Mason for her violation of the public trust. 

I don't want to hear that you don't have the votes for censure. 

It doesn't matter.

There's a moral imperative to act.  Even if the votes aren't there, a follow-up discussion in public after this violation of OUR trust, is needed  restore faith in the entire process of the public's right to speak to power that Mason has TAMPERED with.

How are  we,  members of the public,  supposed to feel about speaking out when they see that our forum is being manipulated by the elected official  charged with running it?

Public confidence in the process of open, public forums to address our governing body needs to be reaffirmed.  Condemnation of this abuse of power, this corrupt behavior,  must be addressed.

The City Council President needs to apologize to the public and ensure us this will never happen again.

If you ask me, this level of corruption merits impeachment.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nightmare on Washington Street

GA withheld comment on the 'new' City Council's performance last week; one reason was because my (known) bias is so strong any critique would be seen as more reflexive than inspired.  Another reason was  I wanted to see more.  Like judging a restaurant based on one meal, even the best chef has a bad night.

But if you're served 2 bad meals in a row then it's time to say the place sucks.

OK, folks.  I just watched last night's Emergency City Council meeting or to continue the analogy,  tasted the second meal.

Zagat's beware.

Not only was this meal even more wretched and tasteless than the first, it came poisoned.

Where  to begin?

Let's check the menu.   How about we start off the meal with the...

  • Beth Mason, served room temperature with gavel. Gavel sleeps soundly throughout the proceedings in spite of numerous audience outbursts and  lack-of-decorum in the Chambers.  Shhhhhh... don't wake the gavel!  It's sleeping!  Besides the one who's really running the meeting is our next unappetizer:
  • Mike Russo, served with a handwritten budget and a side of bluster.  Eyes cast downward under blistering fire from the public, he's quietly controlling proceedings not the  City Council's leading unnapetizer- see for yourself:
 Dave Mello speaks, then CC President Mason pauses as if unsure of what to do next:
(40:51) Mason looks to Russo for instructions,  
(40:52, 53) Russo points to Occhipinti followed by Mason,  
(40:54) Mason leans over to call on Occhipinti

There you are, folks. Now you know who's running the show.

Not convinced?  At 1:06:05 into the meeting Russo cries, "Let's call the vote!"

Oops.  Thank goodness, Councilman Dave Mello chimed in, "I would move to let the Council President speak."   Look, Mike.  Everybody knows you're in charge, but do you have to make it so obvious?

Later this unappetizer offers this explanation for his inscrutable handwritten budget jotted on the back of a cocktail napkin: I don't trust her (Mayor Zimmer), I don't trust her numbers.

Um, how do I break this to you, Mike.  We don't trust YOU, either. 

In fact,  GA was able to obtain this advance photo of Russo drafting his next handwritten budget appropriation:

On with the menu.
  • Nino Giacchi, served warm with excuses.  When faced with genuine public anger this unappetizer leapt on the Lane Bajardi Crazy Train of Conspiracy Theories and Blogger Obsession,  citing a 'directive' from the mayor's office  was responsible.  Huh?  Nino, this is below you.  I'm one of your constituents.  For this lame defense, you come served  with  a raspberry.
  •  Terry Castellano, served iced-cold with a dollop of blame.  This unappetizer deflects her responsibility for almost shutting down our city operations by claiming, "We were ill-advised".  I am reminded of a proverb my mom taught me: a bad carpenter quarrels with his tools.  'Her' tools, in this case. 
  • Timmy Ochhipinti, served bland in an empty, plastic bowl.  What's he still doing there?  How come my alarm clock hasn't gone off yet?  

  • Lane Bajardi Canned Ham, served overheated and nutty.  Now executing political strategy for the Coalition of the Unappetizing, finely crafting his undiagnosed borderline personality disorder into paranoid babbling about invisible directives controlling the minds of bloggers...  beep beep beep... do you hear them?  beep...beep...beep... those are orders coming from Mayor Zimmer's antennae to her army of blogger-bots ... beep... beep.. beep...  Yes, Mayor... whatever you say... crush, kill, destroy... we blog for YOU Our Bike-riding Leader.... beep... beep...  beep...  WHAT?  You can't hear them?   Lane can.  Nino Giacchi can.  Beth Mason, Mike Russo, Terry Castellano can...  Unfortunately, borderline personality disorder is difficult to treat. Look forward to this hot canned ham to be lobbing character assassinations, paranoid rantings and vindictive political attacks for years to come.

Well, that was one awful meal.   Blech.

Thank goodness for the  wisdom and skills of our Guest Chefs (in no particular order): Forde Prigot, Melissa Papparone, Mike Lenz, Roman Brice, Scott Siegel.  Have I left anyone out?  Let me know.

Further kudos to the fresh, tasty and pesticide-free minority City Council members Ravi Bhalla, Carol Marsh, Dave Mello and Peter Cunningham, and their highly competent sous chefs Corporation Counsel Mark Tabakin and Business Administrator Arch Liston.

Folks, we can't eat like this forever.  We've got to be served better.   In May.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Hoboken: Fear of Fire Haunts Many"


The  scars left on the living- survivors and relatives- of those murdered by arsonists in Hoboken's recent past were painfully expressed here yesterday.  

I'm still thinking about them.

I went searching online for historical records of the  1982 Pinter Hotel fire, relived in those posts and  instead found this nearly 30 year-old New York Times article published a year before the Pinter Fire. 

A year before the 7 family members of posters marisol xenon and dani were murdered.

So the writing was on the wall- and the New York Times- when those 7 people-- and the other 6 who perished with them were still living and breathing.

An atmosphere of fear pervaded our city back then, in the 70's and 80's, never knowing when the next building would be torched.

''People are very frightened. They're still in mourning now, but the fear will return soon,'' said Sister Norberta of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, who has organized Por La Gente (For the People), a tenants' group formed to fight arson. 

The majority of victims were children.

Why was no one ever held accountable?  Is it too late?

(Update, 5:15 pm)
A good friend, born and raised here in Hoboken, sent me this:

great series ....but really painful to even read. I caught my breath when I opened your site yesterday and again today. You forget how fresh it can still be.

I love the winter...always did..but its hard now because so many people have fireplaces. That smells throws me every time. My stomach clutches and the memories flood back every time I smell it. Waiting once more for the screams that usually followed...always at 2am.

It was a horrible time in Hoboken. Not only did my friends die or lose their homes, anyone left lived in fear. Everyone was afraid. Even if you didn't live in an apartment building, you were next to, across or behind one. The community was literally being terrorized.

I too am often nostalgic for the "old Hoboken" Growing up here was fabulous....thousands of kids in the schools, hundreds of kids in the rec programs, everyone knew each other. Where did they all go? Why did they leave? Sure, there are many great things about the "new" Hoboken, but not everyone got to enjoy it. Some paid with their life so others could profit.

Thanks for sharing, friend.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Voices From the Fires

Below the Patch piece,  "Hoboken's History of Fires" voices of the dead speak through survivors and relatives.

 How can we forget them?  How do we honor them?

click to enlarge