Thursday, March 31, 2011

Deep Uvula Returns


Readers, you must understand: a uvula is not a beer keg. 

You can't tap it whenever you want (I use that analogy because beer kegs are something GA readers can relate to). No, you wait for your uvula to come to you.

Or as President John F. Kennedy famously said: "Ask not what your uvula can do for you, ask what you can do for your uvula".

Understand?

So in spite of his/her overwhelming popularity since surfacing on Grafix Avenger, I am not tapping Deep Uvula for dish. That's not how it works. When he/she has something for me, the phone rings. 

Like last night.

DU had a lot to say on growing rift between the Mike Russo and Beth Mason factions:

Everyone was told to lay low, stay quiet until they (Russos) figure out their counter-offensive. Nobody's been talking. Except Mason's people.
There's a lot of unhappiness with how Barracato and Bajardi have run away with the (Ian  Sacs) story. A lot.  The police report was not for publication. You don't expose the people who brought you Ian's carcass on a silver platter. You protect the guy and his job. These two idiots trying to curry favor with Beth Mason don't know when to shut the fuck up. You don't risk friends in the PD who made it all possible. All those two assholes want to do is smack the mayor around. No one was supposed to find out the details. Now somebody in the police department is going to get in trouble.
The Sharpton thing in 411 is dumb.  Who wants him here?   Forget about a one or two day hit on the mayor, maybe he looks around town and doesn't like what he sees, who lives in Church Towers. Hell, the fucking mayor or Melli may give Al a copy of the tenant list and ask him to apply. 

They want the whole damn thing to go away now, want everyone to forget about it and Laney to keep his job and no-one in the PD to get hurt.  Those two clowns (Barracato and Bajardi) don't know their ass from their elbow and that's who Mason is letting run the show.  What a joke.

Beth is lazy, embarrassed them because of the police contract, she doesn't read anything in advance and can't run a meeting. She lets 'people' do everything for her.  Doesn't want to work.  Gets mad at Russo for making her look incompetent at the meetings but she can't get out of her own way.  Even that idiot Roman Brice made her look like a jackass.  The Russos think she's a mess.  All checkbook and nothing to back it up.

Tim Ochhipinti is dumb as dirt.  The guy actually believes he won the last election.  But he's worried now with 5 other fires to put out.  He's sucking up to Beth big time for money to fill up his hose.

Hmmm...

Say what you will about the Russos, but in the world they live and operate in there are rules, ethics and loyalties.  They may not be YOURS or mine, but they exist and are real- to them.  And bound by those  ethics the notion of 'outing' the people who helped you --throwing them under the bus by dumping the police report on the internet-- is as alien as it is revolting. Somebody's head has to roll for leaking the report to 41l, and the players in the PD who 'made it happen' are ejected into the sunlight.  That wasn't supposed to happen.

The Russos don't play that way.

Deep Uvula noted their "unhappiness".  I'd venture to guess they're mortally unhappy.

Now they see that the Mason crew have no boundaries, no guiding principles, no loyalties (except to the Queen of the Checkbook) and no limits to what they'll do for a knock at Dawn Zimmer. They are, in plain and simple terms, nuts.

To the Russos: lie down with nuts and wake up with fleas.

Here's the H411 piece that outed members of the Russo's PD enablers and jeopardized the careers of Russo sources there- and look whose advertisements are splashed everywhere:


The Russos are cut from a different cloth than the Masons. They've got to be mortified at the Mason train wreck.

At shooting the Russo's friends in the face.

GA thinks this marriage-of-convenience is in deep doo-doo.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GA Quiz: Which One is More Likely?

1. Finding the name 'Mike Russo' in the Jersey Journal article about today's "The Jersey Sting" book signing at the Malibu Diner?
2. Seeing a unicorn prance down Washington Street?

See answer below

Funny how the Jersey Journal pounced on last week's Ian Sacs story right out of the gate  yet has been soooooo quiet about 3rd Ward City Councilman Mike Russo on FBI tape accepting a 5K bribe from informant Solomon Dwek as written in the newly published book,"The Jersey Sting".

Um... isn't that kind of stuff called 'news'?  And isn't the Jersey Journal a... newspaper?

Now, often the blogs are derided as being fluff and a lot of horse manure (sorry Smarty, nothing personal) but THIS 'omission' is EXACTLY why folks turn to alternative sources for information.  Like Mile Square View or Hoboken Journal.   (If you're getting your news from Grafix Avenger can you pass me the crack pipe?  You've had enough).  The mainstream media is loyal... not to YOU but to their political or corporate 'friends'.

Not to you. 

They'll decide what you need to know. And they'll protect their friends, do them favors.

So, who's the Jersey Journal doing the favor for here: Beth Mason, who hitched her wagon to the Russos and wheeled big bucks to  Timmy in exchange for that City Council job-  or the Russos?

Maybe The Uvula knows.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deep Uvula Dishes


So this morning I got a call from my source I call  'Deep Uvula' (DU).  I call him/her that for no particular reason other than DU's my 'Deep Throat' -style informant and I've always found the uvula to be a funny organ.  Don't you?

I mean really, what the hell does it do?  Just hangs there and gets infected. Who needs it?  Not me.  Got rid of my tonsils, my uvula's next.

Well, unlike that fleshy little punching bag hanging at the back of GA's throat, Deep Uvula performs a function; bringing dish from the deepest bowels of the 'inside' and sharing it with yours truly.  Today, DU spoke at length over the telephone while I typed away like a mad woman, taking notes.

Minus the typos and sentence fragments, here's what Deep Uvula had to say, nearly verbatim.  In the sequence DU relayed it to me.

The topic- what all of Hoboken's talking about and will be for some time to come:

The Russos-with Mama Russo calling the shots, Dad helping  with strategy, and Junior- are planning a huge counter-offensive, going to the troops and old guard... they are reaching down to the "bottom of the barrel" to stop the damage and plan to "take out the mayor and Reform"... because if Mike goes down, the rest are going to fall.  They're back to war... whatever it takes... they're hitting the mattresses. Heard that Russo thugs were going to show up at the Malibu tomorrow to heckle the authors. Lots of activity at the Russo Association, the question: how can we distract attention from this mess?

"Problems" with Beth Mason.  She's not so on board... feels like she's getting played and looking very dirty.  Mason and Russo are like 2 scorpions engaged in a death spiral. The Russos will turn on Mason in a heartbeat, they're only aligned with her for her money.

The Russos are nervous that no one's come to their defense (allies)... no one's come out publicly for them. Including Mason- she's been cool and didn't jump in to say anything, hasn't indicated she's behind him. Question about Nino- will he go along with it? Nino is a partner in a reputable law firm... last thing he needs is the label of hanging out with crooked politicians.

Ian Sacs didn't work out the way they planned and Ann Holtzman fell flat... they are going after Jen Giattino and her husband, no-one's husband or wife is safe.  No one can find dirt on Greg Lincoln.

A lot of screaming about how Ian didn't get fired and Russo's back on the front page.For all the effort they put into the story nothing's happened.  Once the situation played out and they heard there was an altercation they tried to take full advantage of it to get rid of Ian and hurt the mayor.. they were posting about it before the handcuffs were off the guy from sources inside City Hall... and it didn't work.

The Russos are frustrated... very frustrated. They've been in control for decades, always had success at controlling the political message, controlling the political dialogue... you had to ask them if you wanted 'in' or 'out' but now they can't seem to control anything anymore.  The only thing they were able to control was winning Tim Occhipinti's election because they bought it. Their political games always bore results- they were able to get rid of people. Yes the Russos are frustrated... in the change that's happened, in not being able to get their way anymore, you can sense it in their 'bravado' in the levels to which they're stooping with Ian.

They're still smarting over the police fiasco which is why they're coming out with the story that the mayor is making Hoboken an unsafe place to live and that she's dismantled and destroyed the police department.

The Russos thought the Ann Holtzman Hoboken411 piece was a waste of time, and that they had so many facts wrong about her.  They thought it was stupid to have written it the way it was.  The Russo people think Lane Bajardi's a "joke".  They tolerate him because he comes attached to Beth's  money.  But no one thinks he's very smart.  He was behind the Ann attack. Quote: "Lane, that jerk, he wasted too much time on that stupid dumb story about that Holtzman woman".  Mason is livid at Ann. (GA note: Deep Uvula didn't understand this until I explained that Holtzman used to be Mason's personal assistant) 
Deep Uvula is digging up more on this unfolding story... stay tuned.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dessert with Dwek

Did he or didn't he?


According to “The Jersey Sting,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin, a meeting was held in Jersey City's Lighthouse Tavern in 2009 attended by FBI informant Solomon Dwek and 3rd Ward City Councilman Mike Russo which was recorded by the FBI.

The disclosure of this meeting is guaranteed to ripple through Hoboken's City Council election with the many questions that cry out for answers.

Here's what we do know:


"Dwek was eating chocolate bread pudding with caramel ice cream".

That's a fact.

Dwek, the FBI informant who gave Peter Camarrano $25K in bribe money was sitting across the table for Mike Russo eating a tasty dessert.  This raises many serious questions:
  • Was Russo offered dessert? 
  •  If so, did he order it? If not, why not?
  • If Russo did eat dessert, was it the creme brulee, the molten lava cake or the apple breton?  Or the same as Dwek?  Did they share? Separate spoons or the same one passed back and forth?
  • Why are these desserts so expensive? GA could make a whole pan of bread pudding for less than 9 bucks. With the ice cream.  America's Choice, not Haagaen Dasz.
  • Why is Russo ordering dessert when he's a little.... uh, you know... um... 'stocky'?
  • Is chocolate bread pudding really better than plain?  Some recipes shouldn't be tampered with- like flan.  Who the hell wants chocolate in their flan? 
  • Does the  Lighthorse Tavern have better dessert than Hoboken's Malibu Diner?
  • WHY was Russo having dessert with the FBI informant in the first place?

Jesus Christ, those are hard questions!

Who could possibly answer all them... except for the LAST one.  Why Russo was meeting with Dwek.   That one's in the book:


He was there for cookies!   5,000 of them!  That's a lot of cookies.   I hear it's against the law to take so many at one time. Because when somebody gives you that many cookies, they want something in return. 

But Russo agreed to take 5,000 cookies that night.  It's on the FBI tape.

Well, imagine this: he never picked them up!  I'll bet those Girl Scouts were pissed. 

Why'd he change his mind?  

The cholesterol?  Carbs? His dad warning him to keep his hands out of the cookie jar?

Somebody, ask Councilman Russo.  Or his ally, Beth Mason.


On May 10th Vote for Greg Lincoln, the HONEST choice.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Library Meet and Greet


Who knew that yesterday's trip to the Childrens' floor at the Hoboken Public Library would turn into a Meet and Greet with some of the brightest, twinkling stars in our city's political constellation.

LA (Little Avenger) and I practically tripped over Timmy Occhipinti as we walked onto the lively scene: young children, their parents, a face-painter, some library staff milling about, with a few of our local political aspirants schmoozing them up.

LA instinctively made a beeline for the furthest table from the hullabaloo, then lost herself in the aisles of books, with Mom in tow.  Next time I looked Timmy was gone; replaced by Carmelo Garcia (BoE candidate) and Peter Biancamano (BoE candidate).  Then in popped Joe Branco, who stayed briefly.

I had a chance to chat with  Carmelo and Peter.  They are both charming men, and both know I support Kids First. Not them.

But it's nice to know that we -folks on different 'teams'- can talk, like each other, get along,  Without animus, without aiming to destroy the other person, without hiring scum from Weehawken and Jersey City to taunt and harass them, or pulling strings to smear them on Washington PAC web sites.

It ain't personal. A principle Beth Mason and her posse will never understand.

So Carmelo was shooting a documentary (forgot the name), a worthy effort to promote the diverse and talented students of Hoboken's Public school system, and his photographer was there filming. I asked him if he would be using it in his campaign and he said no, it wouldn't be completed until at least May  (BoE election day is Wednesday, April 27).  So he handed LA a plastic ball filled with lollipos he was giving out to the kids (thanks, Carmelo) and me some campaign lit-- a nicely designed, full-color glossy card but missing the mandated "paid-for" verbiage. 

Unlike her mom, LA doesn't care for politics.  She loves books. We checked out 39- a record, we usually get 20 at a time.  LA reads through them like a buzzsaw... so we said good-bye to Carmelo and left.

Oh yes, forgot to mention but on the way into the library I heard a familiar voice booming from Church Square Park...  and turned my head to see the most glorious, softest, fluffiest, cleanest (washed daily with Fructis by Garnier) head of hair in all of Hoboken.

Can anybody guess whose it was?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Deep Uvula Unplugged


GA's got a 'Deep Throat' of sorts- a reader who gets a lot of information from I-don't-know-who-or-where but his/her info always pans out, so I view this source as credible.  Problem is, he/she likes to tell me stuff on condition that I don't blog it verbatim.  Well today he/she broke with tradition and said I could post the actual email.

Why?

Because my 'Deep Throat'- whom I'll call 'Deep Uvula' (DU) is deeply disturbed by the events surrounding the arrest of Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs.

In particular with his physical assault.  DU is certain  the constant barrage of disrespect coming in the remarks and behavior from City Council majority members at public meetings, their constant effort to belittle and humiliate the Director actively encourage insubordination, encourage behavior to undermine his authority;  so how could one not expect consequences to someday take a violent turn?

GA agrees completely.

The constant public baiting of Director Sacs, subsequent insubordination (as in the abandonment of the bus at an intersection), the determination to embarrass and weaken the Mayor, are the context within which the physical assault of a Municipal Department Director would result in his arrest.

Anywhere else a Director who returned an abandoned municipal vehicle left running to a safe location and then was attacked by its driver would never have been paraded out of City Hall in handcuffs.  Never.

But this is Hoboken.

So here is what Deep Uvula wrote me today:
From reliable sources. Remember that prior to Ian, the Parking Utility/Parking administration was headed by John Correa and MA $5 a Tow Russo. The easy quarters, kickbacks, cash generated by the parking meters/towing in town was a steady source of low hanging fruit for the grafting Russos.
So after the missing 4 tons of quarters scandal (Mikey head of the Finance Comm. tries his hardest to cover it up) Ian arrives on the scene.
The Russos instantly feared/hated/loathed this educated pup who showed them up royally - increased collections/re routed buses, got rid of all the kickbacks and "tip" money that got special favors done. They tried to embarrass him at meetings, got their reports on his management from their City Hall "insiders" - long term employees, the types that the Russos like. So they see that their grip that they had on the easy money was getting away from them.
The decision was made that Ian had to go.
Something had to happen that would make it impossible for the Mayor to keep him on the payroll. Not sure how or if the incident with the bus panned out exactly as intended, but it was not really an accident. Employees were encouraged to spy on Ian and report back any "dirt", they were encouraged to disrespect him, give him a hard time, and goad him. Bait him, like Russo/Castellano and Mason did every council meeting.
They thought that they had him with the trip to Vancouver and if they could force him to pay for the trip that he would just leave. That did not work, so.......... the lowest levels were encouraged to cause enough friction to create chaos in the department and hope that Ian would crack - or a situation would arise that would put Ian in a compromising situation - it is not clear that there was an actual plan to leave the bus where he would find it, but it did happen against the backdrop of what I just outlined.
Funny how the right cop was there to catch it all and then to overcharge Ian. The charges are bogus and  there is no way in hell that any sane prosecutor would proceed with them. In fact, if this were any where else, the cop would get busted internally for making a bad arrest. 
No one wants to leak the name of the arresting officer, which is weird.
It is clearer that the Russos created the cauldron of hate and venom in which the events of yesterday occurred. I understand that the Russos, with Al Arezzo gone, are getting very nervous that long term institutional changes are occurring and new people coming to City Hall, like the zoning officer, who they don't control and who don't play games and they need to make every effort to stop any further progress so that if they buy another election in May, they can rearrange the players.
I hear that they have in mind to create the old Parking Utility and have it go to one of their henchmen to run. Talk about putting foxes in charge of the hen house.
Bottom line - even if not successful completely, there is the intent to send the message that if you want to raise your hand and participate in Hoboken gov/ politics, you:
1) First have to ask permission of the "right " people; and
2) agree to play by "their" rules;
and
3) If you ignore 1 and 2, then you will suffer the consequences.

For the record, the more folks I talk to and the more information that becomes available, GA is less inclined to believe it was a set-up. 

I don't think it was a set-up.  But as DU describes, the atmosphere was created for a perfect storm.  For those rooting for one.

And guess what: now nobody's talking about Russo Sr.'s free health insurance or how this 100K 'oversight' happened in plain view.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ian Sacs: My Response To Your Factually Incorrect Blog Post

Mr. Klaussen,

I am writing in a personal capacity in response to your account of events involving me that were posted on your blog page yesterday, March 24, 2011. My purpose is to clear the record, not so much for my sake, but for the sake of your readers who may be angered, incited, or enraged by information that inaccurately depicts my actions in such an unprofessional manner. When taking this job, I knew that the intense politics of Hoboken would drag my efforts through the mud, and I accepted that reality willingly. But I did not sign on to anyone deliberately distorting my work and efforts as a way to encourage hate and violence among innocent an unsuspecting residents.

I have a deep compassion for my neighbors and my employees, which is why I took this job; it is painful to see them be so cruelly misled. I am deeply concerned that your politically motivated speculations and distortions of the truth lead to more such hate and violence, as it has certainly done so already on many occasions.  I wholeheartedly believe that I have done nothing wrong, the charges are false.  I am confident that nothing will be learned to justify, warrant or support any of the accusations.

Yesterday, while walking to work, I encountered one of our city shuttle buses at 2nd Street and Willow Avenue illegally parked, unattended, idling, with the keys hanging from the ignition.  Anyone could have stolen the bus, and it was in the crosswalk creating a pedestrian safety hazard. Moreover, it was not where it should be at that time on its route. This is all entirely unacceptable and not an appropriate way to run the community shuttle bus service, for which I am responsible. Not only could the bus have been stolen, the fare box money in the box stolen, the bus taken for a joy ride by kids, or entered and vandalized, but the bus was illegally parked in the crosswalk in such a way and on such a narrow street that it severely blocked visibility and it could have caused a collision, an injury to pedestrians, or in the worst case, a fatality.  Avoiding and preventing these things is exactly what I work hard to achieve each and every day, so to find one of my own vehicles in such a position is extremely alarming.

Whatever the reason the bus was abandoned, running, with the keys in the ignition, it could not remain where it was, running or not.  Since it was my understanding that city employees may operate city vehicles - so long as there are no passengers and contain fewer than 16 seats – I chose to move the bus out of the crosswalk, return it to a safe location at the municipal lot two blocks away, and then investigate why the bus was abandoned in such a precarious location.  The bus was returned and parked legally in the municipal lot.  Since the keys were for a municipal shuttle bus, I did not realize that personal keys were attached to the key ring.

 In the lobby of City Hall, on my way to document the incident, I was physically confronted and then attacked in plain view of our on-duty security guard, an on-duty police officer, as well as several other employees and citizens waiting for court.  As the security guard and police officer removed the attacker from me, I then heard him state that there were “personal” keys attached to the ring in addition to the municipal shuttle bus keys.  I immediately had another individual return the personal portion of the key ring.  That alone is the so-called “theft” of which I am accused.

 I am admittedly no tough guy. I am no bully. I am no aggressor, and I did not initiate any violence. I maintain a light, friendly, professional rapport with my staff. I am quite successful and content using our laws and rules of employment to get the performance I expect, and all my staff know this. There was no “lighting into”, “threats”, “public berating”, or “verbal firing” as you incorrectly wrote. There was no “throwdown” or “fight” as you incorrectly wrote. I did not “poke” or say “You're finished”, as you incorrectly wrote. I was simply attacked for doing my job as a Director. You should understand that your words, Mr. Klaussen, can incite much unnecessary anger and hate when carelessly chosen.

 Although I am stern to the point that I expect each employee to earn their pay (and for that I find no harm), I nonetheless treat all of my employees with respect and empathy, and I make every effort to avoid personnel actions that effect their permanent record if at all possible. It is unfair to characterize me as being “hot tempered”, or to suggest that I have a “strained” relationship with my employees, unless you think that expecting a reasonable level of performance and productivity for one's pay makes a relationship strained.

Given your track record, I am doubtful you would act in such an objective and balanced manner, but since your blog's slogan is “Keeping Hoboken Honest”, I am respectfully requesting that you post this response in its entirety, with no edits or redactions. That is what a legitimate news source would do. I will send this response to all local news sites as well so that they can choose to participate in keeping you honest. I further challenge you, in the name of “Keeping Hoboken Honest”, and in the name of the innocent people who read your blog expecting unbiased news, to keep yourself, a self-proclaimed “credentialed journalist”, honest as well.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ian Sacs, Hoboken Resident


GA Note:
Ian,

If you HADN'T  done the responsible thing and moved the bus safely out of the crosswalk which prevented someone- possibly a child, from taking off with it  (plus all the possible scenarios you described)  the shrieking from those quarters would be just as loud. Because it's not about what's right, it's about who's right-- and it will never be YOU, as far as they're concerned.  Public safety be damned.

The stuff writes itself.

It sounds to me like you were set-up.

It's too bizarre; a bus with keys in the ignition left running on your route to work in the morning... it makes no sense.  And why would someone leave PERSONAL keys in that ignition... that too, makes no sense.  It's simply too reckless.  One can only speculate what would cause a person to do that.  I suppose all of those details will be revealed over time.

Thanks for providing this letter for publication.

And thank you for the great work you've done for this city.  You knew what you were stepping into and you did it anyway.  And we've all reaped the benefit of your  innovative thinking.

Hang in there,
GA

Today From the Mayor

First, the following was left off of the end of yesterday's statement:

On his way to work, Director Sacs came across one of the Hop buses left idling, unattended, unlocked, without passengers, and parked illegally on the side of the street. After looking around for the driver unsuccessfully, he returned the unoccupied bus to the City garage as is his responsibility and obligation to the City. Director Sacs then proceeded to bring the keys to the bus back to City Hall.

Today's Statement from Mayor Dawn Zimmer:

After yesterday’s incident occurred, my Administration immediately began an investigation.  Given that this is a personnel matter, it was absolutely essential that the City determine the facts so that we could take appropriate action.  All disciplinary decisions were based on direct eye witness accounts provided to the Corporation Counsel’s office. 

As with every personnel matter, our Office of Corporation Counsel conducts a fact-finding investigation before filing administrative charges against an employee. We have an obligation to ensure our employees a safe workplace, so while there is a parallel legal process that will proceed through the courts to address summonses issued, there is also a disciplinary process to address employee behavior through the Office of Administrative Law and the Civil Service Commission.

As I said yesterday, we have brought in an outside independent party to conduct an investigation of the matter. Michael D’Anton from the law offices of Chasan, Leyner & Lamparello has already begun his investigation, which we expect will conclude in the near future. This firm had previously been approved by the City Council.  

Blood in the Water


If it weren't so dead serious it would be funny.

For web-acronym junkies, 'funny' as in  'ROFLMAO'-- not the lesser 'LOL' or even  'ROFL'.

The BANG! POW! BOOM! at City Hall yesterday raised a  mushroom cloud in cyberspace that's billowed into today, and the toxic political discourse in our city will sustain a black rain over Hoboken into the foreseeable future.

I can tell you that because Grafix Avenger had nearly as many hits yesterday as it did during the height of the NJDC Mason-smear scandal.   (For new readers, that's when Beth Mason fed a Washington PAC she'd donated $1,000 to a smear piece on GA, with the help of NJDC Board of Directors' and Mason fundraiser, Larry Stempler) 

Now GA knows a little bit about the events yesterday via those willing to comment, but since the LAW  is involved- as in 'lawsuits'- the suit nobody wants to wear,  I will keep my trap shut.

But I can tell you the whole thing is starting to smell.  Bad.

One source used the phrase "political backdrop" to describe...   I'll stop there.

But if you don't think POLITICS is at the center of the reaction to this incident, has already tainted it for anyone living within the zip code 07030, that an investigation in this bitter, divisive political climate is possible where relatives of those hostile to Director Sacs are serving side-by-side with investigators and animus toward Zimmer in the police department runs wide and deep.... if you think that it's possible to have this matter OBJECTIVELY investigated by City of Hoboken authorites... then you are NUTS. 

Or you're Beth Mason.

From her 'statement' on Mason411:


It looks like she got her bucket of chum, gift-wrapped and tied with a bow.  

As usual, she and her paid army will conflate and distort and spin and hope the black rain lasts forever.  Because they're not interested in the truth.  They're interested in holding onto power. And destroying their enemies.

I don't think this will get her or her City Council cohorts re-elected.  But it will make for some disgusting weeks ahead.

Can't wait.

Novak TRASHES Hoboken in The Wall Sreet Journal

Hoboken Chamber of Commerce: when are you going to can him?

Your President, Michael Novak was handed a golden opportunity to market Hoboken to potential new small business owners and large retailers in the premier business newspaper in America, The Wall Street Journal- the freakin'  Wall Street Journaland what does he tell them?


Didja get that?


"The jury's still out"  he says about Washington Street commerce, then throws dirt on the grave he's dug for its larger retail spaces: " For most of (them)...I don't see new tenants".

That's in today's paper.

Hoboken Chamber of Commerce: did you HEAR what your President told the Wall street Journal about Hoboken's business environment?

That's not what YOU say about our city:




Jeez Louise!  With friends like that, Hoboken businessmen/ women... get a dog!  At least you know where he shits.

You were warned.    

GA told you last month about how Novak was hustling the tale of 'Zimmer Violating Public Ethics and Contracting Law' he spun from a letter issued by the Office of State Comptroller (OCC)... another public trashing of our city. Novak's lies were rupiated by no less than the OCC in a press release days later.  Did her issue a retraction or apology to the mayor and the business community?

What do you think?

This is what GA said:
Now that the Comptroller's office has weighed in and removed ALL doubt about their review process and findings, noting past 'deficiencies' have been addressed under the Zimmer administration, expressing confidence that the City will address outstanding deficiencies in the forthcoming Action Plan...  do YOU think Novak ought to retract his attack-piece?

Pretty wise, huh?  But the HCC didn't listen.   They NEVER listen to me.


Personally, I think Novak's slam in The Wall Street Journal is much worse than the other. Order of magnitude-wise.

You only get one crack at the big time, the national stage... one per very long while.  Millions of eyeballs  read that paper each day (in pairs).  Novak blew it BIG.  Dissed Hoboken, hurt our business community by NOT HELPING it-- to the entire country. Essentially he told them our town's on (business) life support.  The patient may die.  Or he may live.  Who knows?

Who the hell would be encouraged to come here to open a business with THAT diagnosis from the PRESIDENT of our Chamberr of Commerce!   For G-d's sake.  Would you?

Why'd he do it?

Why did Narcissus stare at his own reflection in a pool for so long he dropped dead?

Do you  know?

Maybe someone could pry Novak's lips off Beth Mason's and Mike Russo's buttocks long enough to get the answer.   GA's told you Novak's held  City Council majority's weekly strategy meetings in his office, right?  Smoooch smoooooch.

 I'm told Lane Bajardi represents Mason there, which reminds me of this Sondheim tune:



Well, nice to know that  the WSJ piece features business owners who contradict Novak's bleak assessment of their future:



For G-d's sake, people.

We've GOT to get rid of these PHONIES who grab powerful positions, pretending to have our best interest at heart while they're strictly in it for themselves: their ambition, ego or to nibble at our wallet (free health insurance, anyone?) . Folks running our Chamber of Commerce who say and do things to promote themselves not our city,  our City Council majority members who tell you we've got a $20 million dollar surplus to give back or boast about wheeling $13,000  to the campaign of a single candidate.

We have the power to get rid of them. With our vote.

Please, please.  On May 10th:
Ward 1:   Vote Eric Kurta
Ward 2:   Vote Tom Greaney
Ward 3:   Vote Greg Lincoln
Ward 4:   Vote Rami Pinchevsky
Ward 5:   Vote Peter Cunningham
Ward 6:   Vote Jen Giattino

Haven't we all head enough?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ian Sacs Assaulted?- UPDATED

(Posted 10:56 am)
Clare Moses, Editor of Patch just tweeted this:


Well, all of that incendiary language coming out of the Mason majority, their incivility toward Director Sacs,  and the toxic Mason411 was bound to manifest itself. The open contempt with which they treat the Director, Mayor Zimmer and her entire staff (Mason411 stuck the shiv into Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman this morning)  and her supporters have created a climate of extraordinary hostility.


Who knew it would lead to violence?

(Update: 1130 am)
Patch has an unconfirmed report that Director Sacs had confiscated an employee's keys which caused the assault.  A witness said it happened around 9:25 am this morning.  The assault happened on the steps of City Hall and was broken up by the police.

Neither the police nor Director Sacs were available for comment.

(Update, 11:40 am)
Clare is now tweeting the assailant was a city bus driver.

And Patch has this:
According to multiple sources, the other man (a Fourth Ward resident whose name was not yet confirmed around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday) drives the Hop, the city's bus service.

A Fourth Ward resident.  Does that mean Timmy will give him a "Hero of the Month" award for clocking the vilified Sacs?


(Upate 2:55 pm)
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR ZIMMER

According to several eye witness accounts, Director Sacs was attacked today by a City employee inside City Hall.  Witnesses included a Police officer and a retired Police officer.

“While I believe Director Sacs is the victim of workplace violence, I am calling for an independent 3rd party to thoroughly review this matter,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.  “Workplace violence is an extremely serious matter and cannot be condoned. My Administration has zero tolerance for such conduct, and I urge the Council to support this internal review and codify the Ethics ordinance which seeks to address this issue.” 

A claim and counterclaim have been filed by the parties, and the case will proceed through a municipal court outside of Hobokenin addition to the 3rd party independent review which will begin as soon as possible. The alleged attacker has been suspended without pay pending further investigation.

You're Invited... to Grab a Shovel


Help Eric Kurta win the 1st Ward City Council seat.

Come to tonight's fundraiser- it's an opportunity to speak to The Man... schmooze a little, dig into your wallet you cheapskate, and learn for yourself WHY Kurta' BY FAR the best choice for the 1st Ward.

His web site is http://www.kurtaforcouncil.com/.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goodbye, Liz

Elizabeth Taylor 1932 - 2011

A lot will be written in the coming days about the life of actress, humanitarian and philanthropist Elizabeth Taylor, who died in Los Angeles this morning at age 79.

Aside from her stunning beauty,  I will remember her tireless work for AIDs research as co-founder of AmFAR (American Foundation for AIDs Research) and founder of ETAF (Elizabeth Taylor AIDs Foundation) both of which have raised well over an estimated $300 million.

From the start of the  epidemic, she was an outspoken advocate for AIDs/HIV sufferers in an atmosphere of fear and loathing for it's victims.   I remember well back in the late 80's, the difficulty my aunt had finding a funeral parlor to take my cousin's body- an AIDs victim- in New York City, no less.  AIDs was a dirty word back then.

But Taylor spoke out early and spoke out loud.  Raised awareness, educated the public. And raised a helluva lot of money.

She was also a fine actress.

Among her memorable performances, I loved her in the movies Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and the cheesy BUtterfield 8 (1960), both which earned her Best Actress Academy Awards. 

Did you know she was Jewish? I found this interesting piece about her conversion to Judaism in a blog called Hollywood Judaism.   With this excerpt of a quarrel she had with spouse Richard Burton:

“You’re not Jewish at all,” he told Elizabeth in one of their very public fights, “If there’s any Jew in this family, it’s me!”

 “I am Jewish,” she answered, “and you can fuck off!” 

Ha!  You told him!  What a gal.

Bold.  Brave. Beautiful.  Kind.

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor.

Elizabeth Taylor began her work as a spokesperson and fundraiser in the struggle against AIDS in the early 1980s. A mysterious virus had appeared in the community, a fatal illness of unknown origin that sent shockwaves of fear across the nation. Great stigma accompanied this fear, and Miss Taylor's determined outspokenness was indeed controversial.

Miss Taylor’s work began with fundraising for an AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) dinner, the first major AIDS benefit ever held. This support marked the debut of her public commitment to raising funds and awareness for AIDS.

In 1985, Miss Taylor joined with Dr. Mathilde Krim and a small group of physicians and scientists to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). As amfAR’s Founding National Chairman, she used her celebrity to take the issue of HIV/AIDS to the mainstream media.

Miss Taylor became a potent force in mobilizing the entertainment, arts and fashion communities to step up their initiatives in connection with AIDS, traveling extensively to speak at conferences, concert venues and benefit events around the globe. She testified before Congress to ensure Senate support for the Ryan White CARE Act, spoke before the National Press Club, and addressed the General Assembly at the United Nations on World AIDS Day.

In October 1991, Miss Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). With a focus on direct services for people living with AIDS, ETAF provides funding to AIDS service organizations throughout the world to assist those living with HIV and AIDS.

Since its inception, the Foundation has raised funds for HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout the world, providing critically needed support services and prevention education.

Bless you, Ms. Taylor.

Nino's War on Moms

The operative who's been tasked with sliming Jen Giattino, the 6th Ward candidate for City Council, as a 'dog-hater' flew off-topic to mock her as a worthless stay-at-home mom with a "couch business" and the After-School Open Play program she founded at Calabro just "a futile attempt to bring validation to her life where none exists".

OK folks, politics aside for a moment.

As a 6th Ward woman, a mom, GA finds this mockery of ANY working mother's home business venture, her volunteer work with children  and her parenting, disgusting.

Ladies  of the 6th Ward, how do YOU feel about this?

Nino Giacchi, this is NOT the way to win.  

Tell your 'team' this at your next 'strategy' meeting.   Call it off.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Don Quixote of Dogsh*t

For those who believed the prolific Jen Giattino-bashing poster 'william' was a "rabid supporter" and not a political operative directed to smear the 6th Ward candidate, well...  you were wrong.

 'william', not the brightest bulb on the tree, outed himself on Patch: 


There you go.

We find 'william' defending his one-note symphony of 'Jen Hates Dogs'  by letting us know there are others out there working other angles-- in other words, he's telling us he's one piece of a larger operation to take down Jen Giattino. He's "only addressing certain issues"- others will do the rest.  

Further, in classic op-speak, 'william' wants us to "tell Jen the dog owners are going to speak out"--  a threat meant to intimidate.  Scary.

And now that he's admitted WHAT he is, we must assume that Nino is on board for this kind of internet bullying and online smear.  What I said yesterday.

So, since 'william''s assignment is to convince us that Jen Giattino at war with dog owners because of poop once left on her sidewalk, I'm calling him the Don Quixote of Dogsh*t, on a quest to rid the 6th Ward of an imaginary menace to dog owners- Jen Giattino.

Yes, 'william' is our Don Quixote of Dogsh*t-- on assignment to smear Jen Giattino.  For Nino Giacchi.

Nino, is this how you roll?

Twitter with Tim

GA's foray into the world of Twitter has been fascinating.  Folks shouting over each other in cyberspace about this, that or the other thing: self-promotion, news, poetry, sex, opinion, snark (my department).   

And some aren't satisfied tweeting same thing once, but in Rain Man-like fashion repeat themselves  over and over again.  Just in case you didn't get it the first 2 (or 5) times.

Like Tim Occhipinti, who giddily told us 3 different ways about his 'Power Lunch' with 4th Ward women on Saturday.  He tweeted about it before and after...

That must have been some lunch!

Which got GA thinking about what Tim's Tweets of the Future might be... start at the bottom:


Aw, forget it Tim.  It's not the size of the nuts that counts, it's the crunch of the cookie.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nino Gets Mean


Well... who would have thunk it.

Gentleman Nino Giacci.

Dapper. Nicely coifed.  Speaks in mild tones.   Of all the majority members of the Coalition of the Unappetizing, he sounds like the 'reasonable' one - in  fact, he's the self-proclaimed CC Voice of Reason.  He's not an unhinged storm door clattering in the wind like the OTHERS (Russo, Mason, Timmy, Terry C.).  Nino is even campaigning on his reason, and the reason to vote for Nino is to save US from THEM.

Aaaaaaargh!


In fact, do you recall an early January City Council meeting where Nino railed against the "mayor's bloggers"-- the nasty, vicious army of Zimbots who receive transmissions from the mayor's antennae one day to blog the next?

beep beep beep.... yes, Ma'am!  You've got it!

Well, well, well.  Guess what dapper gentlemen just took a dive in the internet cesspool by outsourcing some Swibinski-style prostitute to hack away at the reputation of fine, honest community activist-business woman-mom Jen Giattino?

This guy:


His operative 'william' has literally carpet bombed the blogs with his disdain for Jen and her husband in highly personal diatribes, occasionally going off the rails to bash Zimmer.

The ineffectiveness of this nitwit (he's doing Jen a service) is not the interesting part of the story.

It's why does Nino think he must do this?  A very risky strategy because it undercuts his reputation as a   gentleman.  And will piss off a LOT of women.  Jen is very well-known and well-liked.

So, I smell desperation.   Do you?

Otherwise he wouldn't be punching her (see top image).  Nino thinks he has to go negative, and grind Jen Giattino- mom of 3 young boys and a freind of our community- to dust.

We'll see about that, Nino.

Mason UNDERestimeates HQ Opening Turnout

Thousands show up to Beth Mason's HQ Opening on Saturday

2nd Ward City Councilwoman Beth Mason thanked the "over 250 people"  who showed up at the Saturday opening of her new headquarters, but photos taken at the event show Mason's estimate was off by thousands. 

The crowd overwhelmed the corner of Washington and 13th Streets and police were called to remove the thousands of naked well-wishers, leaving perhaps 20 or 30 clothed guests: David Cruz, 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo, Perry Belefiore, Mama Russo, Nino Giacchi, Scott Delea, Ruben Ramos among them.

GA would like to set the record straight.  To recap: thousands celebrated the happy occasion with Councilwoman Mason, with a handful wearing clothes.  I mean, maybe 2 dozen.

What a day!  Glorious weather, prizes, and a fantastic turnout.

Please note Councilwoman Mason was fully clothed.


Lane Bajardi Note for the Humorless:  This is SATIRE using the photography of Spencer Tunick.  If you would like a high-resolution version for your easel, my fee is $500 all of which will be donated to the Red Cross for Japan disaster relief.

Happy Holi



Yesterday was Holi Hai, the Indian Festival of colors celebrated around the world-- which includes New York City and New Jersey.

About Holi Hai:

Holi and the following day, Dhuleti, are known as the Indian Festival of Color. Playing Holi or sharing colors is a highlight of this holiday. Gifts of sweets or Holi colors are common and greeting cards are often sent.

The holiday is observed all over India and celebrates the harvest of the winter crops as it welcomes the beginning of Spring. Holi is called Dol Jatra or Dol Purnima in Bengal, Rangapanchami in Maharashtra, Kamavilas, Kaman Pandugai or Kaman-dahanam in South India.

No matter which part of India the festivals are in or which gods are involved, they are feasts of color and usually involve sprinkling colored waters and gulal, brightly colored powders, on the gods and on the other revellers. Balloons filled with colored waters are splashed on friends and anyone else who happens to be near.


If you can imagine a holiday that combines Thanksgiving, Carnival and Valentine's Day with the colors of Easter — but where people get colored instead of eggs — you have some idea of why this holiday is so eagerly awaited.

In some parts of India, Holi is also considered a New Year's celebration! This festival finally arrives on the full moon of the Hindu lunar month of Phagan. When is Holi on the Western calendar? Holi in 2011 will start on Saturday, March 19 with celebrations continuing until Sunday, March 20.

Here are some pics from the Holi Hai celebration in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in NYC- it was a blast.

Now you may know (or not) GA is a fan of the Bollywood genre and the festival was sponsored by NYCBhangra, an organization that promotes Indian dance. So, aside from having my face smeared with colors by strangers, the most fun was learning to bust some new Bollywood moves... lines for food were too long so took a pass.  Anyway, catch the festival next year for  a great (and colorful) time.

Dance lesson
 
Before I got smeared with red and yellow

Happy Holi, y'all!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Prison Pets

GA's Twitter-exchange with reader plywood this morning got me thinking.  We were discussing  what kind of pet we'd want if we were incarcerated.

Have you ever thought about that?

Because were you thrown in jail (assuming you'd broken the law and justice was served)  you'd leave your loved ones behind for a suite of concrete with iron bars.  And that includes your special furry companion.

Here's mine:

Pearl the cat

Boy, would I miss my cat if I were sent off to prison.  What about you?

Do you have a dog or cat you'd miss if you got thrown in jail?

The problem is you can't bring him or her with you. But... that doesn't preclude you from owning a pet from inside your concrete 6 x 8 foot cell.  Because your new home is full of potential new companions to replace the one you left behind.

That's what plywood and I Twittered about today.

So I ask you Reader, what pet would YOU choose in prison?

Here are your choices:

1- Cockroach
Pros and cons: while roaches make fine pets, it's difficult to control their population. The rule of thumb is for every one you see there are 20,000 you don't. Which makes it harder to form emotional attachments when your affection is divided 20,000 ways.   If that sounds daunting, go with another prison pet.

2- Mouse
Pros and cons: while mice are soft to the touch, cute, and are intelligent enough to run a maze they require regular feeding: cheese, bread, lettuce.  And sneaking food from the mess hall could land you in the Hole for 24- 72 hours, depending on the rules at your facility.  If that is discouraging, then go with another prison pet.

3- Tick
Pros and cons: while ticks are loyal pets- they'll burrow under your skin and feed on you for years, others will drop off after engorging themselves.  So, if you don't like a pet that 'feeds and runs' you may wish to consider a different one.

4-Bird
Pros and cons: who doesn't like a pet bird? They make charming companions. And coo softly. Provided you can get one in your cell and are allowed to keep it, GA doesn't see any cons with this prison pet.

5- Lice
Pros and cons: to be honest, GA doesn't see any pros about owning this pet. It's included because they  are unavoidable in large prison populations, so inevitably you will end up owning one.  Probably hundreds.  But they are loyal companions-  extremely hard to get rid of.  For that, you should be thankful.

6- Rat
Pros and cons: similar to the mouse except larger, with sharper teeth and beadier eyes, this pet will require regular feeding. More intelligent than the mouse (have you ever seen one squashed on the NYC subway tracks?) they are friendly and social.  And respond to the human voice.  Not a bad choice if deadly disease transmission through rat saliva doesn't trouble you.

7- Weevils
Pros and cons: again, no pros here.  But weevils are unavoidable in prison food.  So learning to appreciate your weevils and perhaps adopting them as companions is recommended.

8- Friend
Pros and cons: well, this one is obviously NOT a pet, but you may become his pet.  I suppose it depends upon chemistry.  If you find yourself in this situation, use your best judgment- GA can offer no advice on this prison-pet scenario.  My best suggestion is if you do not wish to be anyone's pet, then do not break the law. 

So dear Readers, what do you think?

Which one would you choose in place of that beloved dog or cat left behind  while you pay for your criminal behavior in a tiny concrete cell?

I'd go with the bird.