Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gift Shop

If the Franklin Mint can do it, so can GA.

Now YOU can own a piece of history, a limited edition (not really) keepsake, a reminder of the  wildly successful reign of the Council of NO, a tchochke to cherish and dust once in a while...

GA has opened a Gift Shop; Hoboken's new Stop-n-Shop for Political Collectibles. Actually, it's got one design (otherwise I have to pay Cafe Press) but it's a GA original.

So pick up your one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia* of an era that will haunt us for years to come.

(*YES it's a real gift shop, click here to visit)




For an up-close look at the original GA design:


I was inspired by the enthusiastic response to yesterday's graphic, so arranged a few of those elements into a new motif.  Like it?

I hope so.

Because if I don't make a couple of bucks off this damn thing I'm hanging up my keyboard for good.

Ahhh, just kidding.

Well, if you ask me, here's the must-have item from GA's gift shop:


I hear time goes very slowly in prison.

I've ordered 5 dozen clocks myself-  I'm giving them out as Hanukkah gifts to the NJDC- all 36 Board members plus staff.  Larry Stempler gets one, too.

So don't be a cheapskate,  shop till you drop!  

And don't complain about the prices- they're Cafe Press defaults.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Schlocktastic!

schlock \ˈshläk\
— n
1. goods of cheap or low quality; trash

— adj
2. cheap, inferior, or trashy

[Yiddish: damaged merchandise]

GA  had a schlockgasm on hearing that Countess Schlockula and the Schlockettes gave their underfunded, state-spurned schlock a big thumbs-up at tonight's taxpayer-funded schlock-fest.

Yep, 5 thumbs raised high in the air, against the advice of Corporation Counsel- who's definitely not a schlockmeister-  for an illegal vote on a budget the DCA sent back in a bag of manure with a note saying, "Try again".

Schlocking, you say?

I'm schlocked, too.  Such brazen, lawless behavior- a finger in the eye of the Governor, his Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney, the DCA - in the midst of an FBI investigation; contempt for the rule of law by (likely) persons-of-interest on the City Council.   

Schlocktastic.

A dazzling display of petulance, incompetence, immaturity and.... schlock.

The Party's Over



...the grown-ups are in charge.  Almost.

tick...tick...tick...

After the State's unceremonious trashing of the Mason budget which sailed back from Trenton like a paper airplane on a foul wind, there really is no reason for the City Council to convene tonight. Or is there?

Does a drama queen leave the stage without a curtain call?  No one wants her  back.

With all due respect!

Excuuuuuuse me?

Don't you talk to the ard-iters EVERY DAY? 

Don't look at the audience, look at ME!

I'M talking now!

Mister  OCK-YOO-pinti...

Mike Lenz is responsible for global warming.  That formerly-fat bastard!

This audience is  abuzz with excitement for Friday's 12 o'clock matinee.  A new starlet to enter stage left, Jen Giattino, sworn in by no less than NJ's Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno!

Bravo!

Now... GA s wondering... might the conclusion of the FBI's investigation be timed with Friday's transition of power or shortly thereafter?  Zimmer's taken a lot of crap for having a good relationship with the Governor. Might he throw her a bone-- tie the Reform takeover with a sweep of machine corruption?  Powerful symbolism. Or perhaps Hoboken's frog-march will come on the 2-year anniversary of Operation Big Rig, July 23rd?

Well, it's awfully quiet out there.  Something's about to drop.

All one hears now is the collective sigh of relief that the adults are back in control.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One-Eye: Blue, Bluewater


As soon as I read that Beth Mason had handed out 52K in street money through Bluewater Operations, LLC I called GA super-sleuth One-Eye.  That was last night.

Did I ever tell you about how One-Eye became One-Eye?  I didn't?  Well, it's none of your business. Besides, I don't know.  Although rumor has it that it happened on safari.  Something about a rhinoceros horn. 

Anyway, some weeks ago, One-Eye had done research on Bluewater for GA, and as a follow-up I had asked him to run a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) report for me.

Are  you familiar with those?  Basically it's a complete business history profile that includes all  credit  and banking  activity.  Now, they don't run cheap, but I hear One-Eye won a huge settlement from the  African Big Game Preserve, something about a faulty rhino fence- but you didn't hear that from me.  None of my business.  Or yours.

So, GA had asked One-Eye to get the business profile for Bluewater back on May 13th- but the FBI came to town days later and... well, GA got sidetracked.

It was back on the burner last night.

One Eye here, reporting for duty.

I circled back to the Bluewater Operations research that I did for you. As I advised, Dun and Bradstreet confirmed what I told you – it is a shell that does not have an ordinary place of business for public sales/interaction, housed in a residential two family in Clifton, not accessible to the public, and does not show any activity in the normal trade associations/publications or have any indications that it is actively marketing itself and has no real assets or measurable economic activity in the market of any kind.

This falls into the same pattern of Newton Lao Leonard & Locke,LLP.

Just a company to move cash around to hide the true source and purpose. The old shell game on the street.


There you go. No business activity, just a phantom that exists to funnel Mason money. 52K of "street money".  The attachment which would show the exact dispensation of the 52K- the checks made out to individuals by name, address, amount- was not filed.

But the money was channeled through Bluewater Operations,LLC.

For complete context, this is what One-Eye uncovered about that company here on May 13:

Here is a screen shot of the Blue Water filing certificate from the Secretary of State of New Jersey. Google map the street address and click on the street screen view.

It is some random two family house in a very residential neighborhood where apparently these two chuckle heads live together in the 2nd floor unit. Not a very fancy place either.

Run a search on them under any search engine, your choice, and you come up empty.  No office, telephone number, nothing.  So what exactly are they doing for the Mason campaign that justifies all those checks?  

It smells like another shell company that exists on paper as a way for Mason to hide the flow of money.

It does not appear to own anything, have any outward business presence and does appear anywhere as advertising for any business or promoting the business of Blue Water.  Checked in all of the usual places and come up ZERO!  

If they are in fact running a business out of the second floor, it seems that they are in violation of the Clifton Zoning Code.

Checked that as well. No office or business use of any kind in the zone where the property is located.  Here is the link to the Clifton Zoning Code.  It is all in there. I spoke to  the Zoning Officer to confirm.

It is weird that Mason does all this monkey business with non-functioning paper entities.

Her resume and the description of the company claimed this vast Fortune 500 client base.  People get fired for much less than this kind of fakery.  I guess I just don’t get politics.  

Below is the information from the Clifton Tax Assessor office for 119 Orono Street.
I wonder if the owner is aware that an illegal business is operating out of his building?
There you have it, people.  It's a shell.  Thank you, One-Eye.

52K is a huge sum of money to be handed out 'on the street'. If it was handed it.

If not, where was it handed?

I guess the Mason campaign's Treasurer knows.

Whole Lotta Street Money

GA will have more later... but first the story in pictures.



The above: City Council President Beth Mason's ELEC report filed on 6-24-11 and posted online yesterday, ELEC rules on street money, and the Mason campaign's D-1 ELEC filing.

Props to Da Horsey who broke the story yesterday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deep Uvula: Storm Warning


Look who came out of the woodwork: GA informant Deep Uvula (DU).  

It had been so long since we'd spoken that I nearly said, "Who?" when he/she found me. Ah, well.  I understand.

Silence like a frost has crept through the blogosphere; an eerie winter in June.  And DU, that glistening orb of gossip, didn't say much, his/her sullen gloom forecast a coming storm.

The uvulation:
Sorry about the silence, but the suits are nervous about leaks.  Any leak. Any kind.

The Feds are fuckin with people’s heads.  

That was it.

Kinda cryptic, no?

One can interpret that last statement as either the Feds are just yanking our chains- doubtful they'd dispatch vast resources (Al Sullivan: "...there are between 13 and 15 federal agents involved in the investigation at the moment")  for an elaborate poke in the eye- or  (more likely) their targets are like a captured mouse that a cat playfully tortures.

Before the kill.

That's how the Feds work.  From the bottom up;  mind games which slowly, methodically, steadily loosen tongues up through the ranks of a criminal enterprise; fear the lubricant to make rats from men (or women).  

Don't think that's not happening here. Now.

A friend of mine who was a criminal defense attorney for many years gave me his read on why the FBI came to Hoboken.  His opinion, of course but he knows how the FBI works from personal  experience.

He says they're NOT here for the City Hall IT stuff.

They will prosecute that irregardless. But they didn't come all this way, deploying vast resources, for a handful of City Hall employees and political operatives.  Though indictments will roll in anyway. Including  those for 'peripheral' crimes- things like tax evasion through undeclared money funneled through shell companies. Those indictments are a sure thing- if discovered.  My friend tells me members of a criminal enterprise often end up serving time for things like tax evasion, and not the crime for which they were first investigated.

According to him, Zimmer's request for help regarding the email leak was the FBI's  'foot in the door'. An extremely fortuitous one, because servers in their custody are a road map to all corners of Hoboken where email accounts were illegally tapped, documents illegally accessed, and so on.  And these City Hall workers and political operatives hauled into the FBI's net are the 'small fish' at the bottom of the pool who 'know stuff', stuff the FBI wants to know, stuff the FBI really came for.  

It's all about voter fraud.  The FBI came to clean house.

This should fray a lot of people's nerves.

Anyone, anywhere with any involvement in the November 2nd or May 10th 4th Ward VBM harvest may be on a surveillance tape, a phone tap, or already ratted out by another member of the conspiracy who wishes to save their own skin...   uncertainty being the FBI  'mind game' tactic which so effectively loosens tongues.

And my former-lawyer friend suggested VBMs were always hand-carried  to the Board of Elections to avoid potential mail fraud charges.  Mail fraud, like wire fraud, is viewed by the federal government as a serious offense and carries stiff penalties.  I'll bet he's right.

As for Beth Mason, GA agrees with him:  what she (or her people) told Al Sullivan is spin.  

The notion that the FBI would dispatch  "13 to 15 federal agents" for leaked emails?  Forget it.  That she convened a meeting with the FBI and negotiated an arrangement with them?  More likely that they called her in for a meetingThe spin is about controlling the story with hopes for a good outcome.   Playing the hand she's got.

We should all find out soon enough. My friend suspects the FBI's going to wind this up soon.  And told me who he expects to be indicted.  But I won't publish that kind of speculation.

Those folks may already know who they are.  The rest of us will, eventually.

Happy Happy, Joy Joy


It's been years since I've attended NYC's Gay Pride parade but with the brilliantly-timed passage of NY's same-sex marriage law, GA  was there yesterday to soak up the joy, celebrate history.

Let the pics do the talking.






Hero of the Day- NY's Governor Cuomo



Senator Chucky!






GA chats up an illustrated man

Saturday, June 25, 2011

CELEBRITY GUEST: bludiamonds????

-

Hello?

How are you?

My name is bludiamonds? I’m entertaining GA’s kindly request that I venture outside my home in the Wild West of the nj.com Hoboken forum to share some thoughts with you today?

I’d like to take this opportunity to share with all of you a lesson for the day, a lesson in semantics?

I am a master of semantics, you see? An absolute master? Semantics is actually a very simple  craft to master when you are in the unique position I am in, which is, namely, being the smartest person in the whole wide world with a slippery, seductive manner of lulling all of you stupid, stupid Zimmer Zombies into a trance with my silver-tongued sermons at each council meeting (on each and every point one can possibly speak on) and in the ghost-writings I of course never write for Mason411, through which I obtain no compensation whatsoever because I have never been paid one penny for my friendship?

 You see? It’s as easy as that? That’s the magic of semantics, right there in a nutshell? But like I said, it might not be as simple for you, because I am uniquely gifted and you are uniquely susceptible, because I’m so super and you’re all so stupid? Still, I’m feeling generous and accommodating today, so I’ll go out on a limb and share some pearls of semantical wisdom with you, on the off chance that you might have eaten a hearty brain-food dinner last night and possibly manage to grasp at least a far-flung kernel of my invaluable insights?

So, in our first example, which for all you stupid people, is what I just demonstrated above, I played a very clever semantical trick on all of you? I assert that I have never, ever received one penny for my “friendship” with Beth Mason? See how I pulled the wool over all of your eyes? By adding on that easily overlooked layer of high-level specificity, I changed the meaning of my statement entirely, and, in essence, answered a very different question than what has been asked, which is whether I derive any compensation for my work for the Councilwoman at all???? Tricky, tricky me???

Here’s another example? At the last council meeting, I took the bull by the horns and dispelled, beyond any question, the rumors dogging me that I am not an altruistic concerned citizen activist at all but in fact a political operative playing the angles in search of a communications job in City Hall, to be granted to me by my countess Beth Mason when she inevitably becomes Mayor? I had expected me or my wife would be rewarded for our service two years ago, but then I accidentally helped her lose the election, so I sucked up to Peter Cammarano in the runoff, and he WON, and I was going to get a job for me or my wife, but then he got arrested and everything was shot to heck? The good of the city means about as much to me as a whale’s wet fart, I’m just in this for a job? And I’m going to GET ONE DAMMIT???

But I digress? I took to the microphone at the last council meeting, dusted off my silver-coated tongue, puffed up my purple pillow, and stated declaratively that I have never sought any “sworn position” in City Hall, and that anyone who says otherwise “is nothing but a contemptible liar”? This was another dose of semantical politrickery? The City Hall jobs that require the swearing of an oath of office are mainly the director’s jobs? So once again I was addressing a different question than the one on the table, and appearing to deny being a job-seeking job-seeker when, by being as semantically specific as I was, I was basically admitting  to it?

But of course you would never have picked up on that had I not just explained it to you, because I’m so super and you’re so stupid? It pays to be an evil genius who talks and acts like a cartoon villain? It really does?

So as you can see, I am truly an expert in semantics? I am currently in the process of working my semantical magic on the good fellows I meet with regularly down in Newark? Yes, even the FBI is susceptible to semantics? You see, any information I may or may not have been involved in obtaining illegally from city computers was public information anyway? Sort of like if I break into your house and breathe your air? It’s not breaking and entering if all I’m doing is taking what’s available for free anyway? See how clever I am? The FBI boys do? I’m showing them my evil genius and it will surely work wonders? I’ll show them? I’ll show you?

I’LL SHOW YOU ALL????



GA Note: GA wishes to thank local celebrity bludiamonds for appearing as our first CELEBRITY Guest.  Luv ya, blu!
XO,
GA

If any other celebrities out there would like to appear here just have your people email my people at grafixavenger666@gmail.com

Mazeltov!


Last night, New York became the became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage!

42 years after Stonewall, and gay people have finally earned the legal right to be miserable.

Congratulations!!!

Now listen up, gay people.  Now that you've been permitted into the sacred institution of holy matrimony, remember these six letters of the alphabet: P-R-E-N-U-P.  New York is NOT a generous state like California.  No, if you want to get your piece of the pie, you'd better get it in writing.  First.

So remember that, gay people.

And here's something for you peeps here in New Jersey: New York does not require residency for a marriage license. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

BREAKING: Appleseed Scrubs H411 Off Petition


See the new, improved, disinfected petition for yourself.

Within hours of Grafix Avenger exposing  the NJ Appleseed- Hoboken411 'Stop the HUMC sale'  petition partnership--  complete with Klaussen graphic, H411 launch, and H411 on  the distribution (but not Councilman Ravi Bhalla nor Councilman Dave Mello)   all visible traces of the Mason political operative have been removed.

Hoboken411's unflattering photoshop of the Hoboken Hospital Authority's  Toni Tomarazzo?  

Gone.

Scrub-a-dub.

Which kinda validates the shame-factor Appleseed must feel for their partnership with the politically partisan smear merchant. Otherwise, why take a bath?

More Proof of a Tainted Appleseed

Evidence of NJ Appleseed's collusion with Mason political operative Hoboken411 keeps piling up.

The Appleseed petition to stop the sale of the HUMC, emblazoned  with a Perry Klaussen banner-graphic and launched on Hoboken411 is now at 63 signatures.  Well, one of the petition signers forwarded a screen shot of the message that appeared after signing-- the distribution list of all those copied on the petition.


Too  small?  OK, I'll zoom in:


Do you see who Appleseed copied on the petition?  Hoboken411.

Do you see which members of the City Council are NOT getting copied  on the petition? Ravi Bhalla and Dave Mello.

Can anyone explain that?

NJ Appleseed Partners with Hoboken411


Those words, written by the Director of NJ Appleseed, Renee Steinhagen to Tony Soares on March 6, 2011, denounced his suggestion that she was advocating against the HUMC sale for buddy Beth Mason and Mason's anti-Zimmer allies.  Soares had written:

Perhaps you can "shine some light" on who the officers are of your client "The Coalition for Quality Healthcare Hoboken".

As I understand it, it is made up of a group including politicos and Ms Mason herself.

You may recall Steinhagen's March 2 letter requesting a public hearing on the hospital sale- addressed to Mayor Zimmer and City Council President Beth Mason- two politicians- instead of the apolitical HUMC Board, whose jurisdiction it is to hear such requests.  A red flag right there.  And the Coalition for Quality Healthcare?  A political entity Co-Chaired by Mason ally and former mayoral candidate, Kim Glatt.

Fast forward to June 23rd, 2011.

NJ Appleseed Director Steinhagen launches an Appleseed petition to stop the HUMC sale on Hoboken411.


The only other local media outlet to feature the story, Hoboken Now, published it after it appeared in Hoboken411.  Further, another lovingly-crafted, labor-intensive Klaussen graphic hints this news didn't just drop in his lap.

Now, even MORE evidence of collusion between supposedly independent, public interest group NJ Appleseed and Mason political operative Hoboken411.   Check out their online petition.  Here's a screen shot.



There's something about that Appleseed graphic that looks familiar... where have we seen that before?

Oh, HERE:


Now, if anyone thinks that Klaussen did not offer his original graphic to Appleseed, you don't know the guy.  All images, graphics and photographs, including intellectual property he's lifted from others (such as weather.com's weather graphics) are all published with the watermark 'Hoboken411'.  He does not allow anyone to reproduce his watermarked graphics while he helps himself to the property of others.

Klaussen even reported me to Blogger.com once for posting a screen shot- here's the take down notice GA received:

Blogger has been notified,according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to "draft" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.)

Now that's what we, The Chosen, call some big-ass chutzpah!  The guy who never met an online weather graphic he didn't steal, reports me to Blogger!   So I guess GA does have a criminal record.  Sort-of.  (I scrubbed the offending image and re-posted).

Back to Steinhagen's public position:


Really?  Joint-venturing with a virulently anti-Zimmer political-operative that published this:


Does Director Steinhagen think Mayor Zimmer resembles a chimp?

Can NJ Appleseed seriously claim NOT to have joined anti-Zimmer political partisans in opposing the sale of the HUMC?  GA can't understand why a great organization like Appleseed would toss it's credibility in this mud pit.
 
Hoboken411 and NJ Appleseed: perfect together?

Appleseed's petition has attracted worldwide attention.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alleged H411 Scheme Mars High School Graduation

A source has told GA that goons were dispatched to boo Mayor Zimmer at yesterday's Hoboken High School graduation,  in an attack planned days earlier and coordinated with Hoboken411.

Compelling evidence which supports this claim is the Hoboken411 smear-piece itself.

Early this morning- 5:45 AM- the 'story' materialized  with a Klaussen-original graphic.  GA can tell you this image was labor-intensive; take a look at the original photo swiped from Google Images of the booing kids, which had to be cut out pixel by pixel. Other features such as the complex word collage in the purple-tinted sky lead GA to conclude this was done in advance of the event, and sat in the can waiting to be sprung on the public.

No, this artwork was not done on the fly, like some of Klaussen's other crap.  


Don't take my word for it.

It looks like at least one other person heard what I did; blogger greenhaven posted this on Patch:


Quite a nasty bit of work, dragging political battles into a High School auditorium. On a milestone, a day of achievement in hundreds of young lives and the lives of their families. Whomever dispatched these goons to boo the mayor on such a day, a youngster's rite of passage to the adult world,  so that the H411 smear-merchant could  post his lovingly crafted photoshop and hit-piece, is a cold piece of work.

Truly gross. The pathology of anti-Zimmer zealotry knows no bounds, has no shame.

GA wonders, has the FBI spoken with Hoboken411's proprietor, Perry Klaussen, yet on the publication of leaked confidential City material? 

Have you seen this, FBI guys and gals?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Busted?

Look what popped up on MSV:

Did GA get it right?

Cammy Talking to the Feds? - UPDATE

A fellow posting under the moniker 'IagoJones' hinted that former mayor Peter Cammarano had reduced his 24-month prison sentence by helping the Feds with their investigation here.

That makes an awful lot of sense.

Cammy is mouldering in a prison cell in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, abandoned by his former friends, his future bleak, each long, miserable day a reminder of how far he's fallen, his debased status in life.  Surely he wanted to get the hell out yesterday to rebuild his life and perhaps settle scores. Stripped of his dignity,  his law license, the promising future ahead, what's he got to lose by telling the FBI whatever they want to know?

Here's what he's got to lose: time. Time in Hell.  He'd be a fool not to take it.

And for the Feds.  It's likely this investigation started after Cammy's imprisonment, which is why this Let's Make a Deal may be happening now.

Or is it?

Cammarano was remanded to Lewisburg on October 4, 2010 for a 24-month sentence.  That would mean his release would be early October 2012.

According the the data available online, his release is scheduled for early March 2012.   

7 months earlier, or 17 months time served.


That's about a 30% reduction, almost 1/3. Was Cammy rewarded for eating his vegetables? Or keeping his cell neat as a pin?

Doubt it.  So how was his sentence reduced so substantially?

Things that make you go hmmmm...

What and WHO could Cammy be giving up, if he is talking?

Whatever he may have told them, it was valuable enough to reduce his sentence by 1/3. Conjecture.

But it does seem likely that the Feds WOULD go there, and that Cammy WOULD exchange what he knows for time.  


(Update, 10:26 AM)
Being no expert on criminal law matters, I rang up Not-Stempler, who serves as GA's Legal Department for no compensation- except "friendship".  GA has no shell companies from which to funnel money to Not-Stempler for his services anyway, though I do have a shell collection: conches, cowries, mollusks, bivalves- you name it.  I could pay Not-Stempler in seashells, but he prefers cash.  Lots of it.  Which he already has, so he doesn't need my limpets.

So I called him and told him about Cammarano's new release date and he replied with these 2 words: "He's talking."

There you have it.  In case you didn't know, Not-Stempler knows about this kind of stuff.

(Update, 2:00 PM)
Thanks to GA contributor extraordinaire, InfotainMe, for providing us with the answer to the question: Was Cammy's sentence reduced for good behavior?

NO.

Info forwarded an FAQ on 'good time' credit earned by a group called Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), with the excerpt:
The statute says that good time is counted at the end of each year that the prisoner is incarcerated, beginning at the end of the person’s first year in prison. The BOP gives itself 15 days from the last day of each year of the sentence to calculate good time. For example, if a prisoner’s first day in prison was April 1, 2008, the end of the first year in prison is April 1, 2009, and the BOP must calculate the good time earned by April 16, 2009 (15 days from the last day of each year of the sentence). The last day of this 15-day period is called the “vested date.”
When the BOP has to credit good time for a partial year (when the prisoner has less than a full year left to serve), the BOP gives itself 6 weeks before the last day of the sentence to calculate how much prorated good time to credit. In this case, the vested date is the last day of the prisoner’s sentence. On the vested date, good time is officially “credited.” If the BOP does not calculate the earned good time by the vested date, the BOP must give the prisoner the full award of good time. Good time also cannot be awarded before it has been earned. See 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) (2008).
 
Cammarano has been imprisoned for less than a year and not eligible for good time credit.  In fact, his good time credit won't be calculated until October 19, 2011- about 4 months from now.

Then the sentence reduction was due to...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Iago Strikes Again!


Who is this IagoJones?   Things that make you go hmmmm...

Pot Meet Kettle

If GA's not mistaken, the accusation of playing politics with the City web site coming from the City Council lame duck majority preceded the email- jihad on Dan Bryan and Juan Melli.

It started when Mayor Zimmer posted the transcription of the FBI surveillance tape of Mike Russo's meeting with FBI informant Solomon Dwek.

Here's where one man's right-to-know how an elected official uses the power of his office meets another's accusation of playing politics.

GA's opinion?  Guess.

I think the transcript democratizes the availability of information for those without computers or access to the internet- like the elderly, or those non-users amongst us (they exist).

Anyway, old story.

What's funny here is the complaint that the Zimmer administration uses the taxpayer-financed City Hall web site to promote a Zimmer political agenda is coming from politicians who use the taxpayer-financed City Hall web site to promote their own political agenda. 

Funny in a ha-ha sort-of way.

Check it out.  Email-jihadess Beth Mason uses the taxpayer-funded City Hall web site as a portal to her campaign web site via her campaign email address.  Who's been her web site's administrator?  Partisan political operative James Barracato.


IMO, this is not an egregious offense.

What's egregious is trying to destroy 2 young men's livelihoods on a baseless claim that they're engaged in activities the accuser is doing in plain sight.  Mason wants to nail these  2 for coordinating with local media and bloggers on the City's dime, as she uses the City web site as a portal to her political campaign. 

Huh?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Some have asked GA to discuss my past email correspondence with City Hall- specifically Dan Bryan and Juan Melli.

Frankly, I don't wish to dignify a politically-motivated witch hunt.

It's clear that Mason wishes to exact her pound of flesh on Mayor Zimmer by destroying the careers and reputations of her 2 closest aides. I believe Mason's already read illegally-obtained emails that in her mind will embarrass these men.  And she can't OPRA them because to do so she needs the kind of information which would give her up as having already read them.

Hence the City Council resolution.

So, GA's 'email release' series to Juan Melli and Dan Bryan tells you all you need to know about my opinion of this mining expedition.  'Nuff said.

But for those who care to know more, I will go on record to say there's no 'there' there. I've sent/received few emails to these men over the years. I do get City Hall public notices, at my request.  So why Mason threw me into the pot is a head- scratcher. But I'm grateful, because it's provided a ton of material for the blog.  A ton.

This witch hunt's the gift that keeps on giving!

On the subject, my very first email contact with Dan Bryan was in January 2010.  He was putting together a proposal for state funding for the soccer field walkway repairs and needed an AutoCAD drawing.  So we emailed a bit back and forth while I did the work. On a voluntary basis; I turned down compensation.  That's the extent of any sustained contact with Mr. Bryan.

Whoop-di-frickin'-doo. I'll bet that gets the heavy breathing started at 921 Hudson.  Ooooh, baby.

GA even blogged about my work for City Hall last November, so I'll re-post it again below.

The experience came with a shock which had nothing to do with Dan Bryan or Juan Melli, but a set of structural drawings which appeared to be missing... the structure.

That's something worth talking about.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An Anecdote About Something Missing  
(Nov 5, 2010)

City's Hall's release of the Sinatra Drive Collapse Timeline yesterday brought something I've thought about for awhile off the back burner.

It's anecdotal.

Sometime last January, I was contacted by Dan Bryan, the mayor's aide, to ask if I might help them with a proposal to get funding for repairing the collapsed walkways in Sinatra Park and Castle Point.

They needed a simple diagrammatic drawing of Sinatra Park in the written proposal to 'tell the story' of the collapse-- showing the affected area and extent of damage to it. The problem: there were no digital files, only an old set structural drawings. The area had to be drawn to-scale first before any rendering could be done. So, I was asked to help.

The process would be drawing the Sinatra Park plan in AutoCAD, then rendering it in PhotoShop. It sounded like my kind of fun. So I picked up the structural set from City Hall and took it home to work.

What to do next?

In order to document the failure I had to understand what was there, meaning both existing structure (original) and new (added in the Sinatra walkway construction).

So I looked for the Steel Schedule. And a (plan) layout drawing of ALL the new steel in the built-out area.

There were NONE.

What's a Steel Schedule?

Basically a list of all the new steel on the project, member shapes, sizes, and detail references back to the drawings, and any notes specific to that member. New steel would be tagged on the plan, located on 'x' and 'y' grid lines.

Now, it is possible that a written specifications book containing schedules may have been issued with the project, but there were no references to that on the plans, and still there would have to be a plan-drawing showing scope and locations to reference back to the schedule.

No plan, No schedule.

So what the hell was there and how did they build it?

And how did they price it? What was bought?

And how was it engineered? Live load, dead load calculations and such...


There should be a set of As-Builts, done after project completion to document all new construction with all changes to the scope made during construction.

Or was there? I didn't have As-Builts in any case.

What about Shop Drawings, the subcontractor's drawings which are final design documentation prior to fabrication and installation and which would have required review and approval by the project's Structural engineer prior to furnishing and installing work?

Maybe long gone. Shop drawings are generated from the design and specifications on the contract documents- in this case the structural drawings and specifications book, if there was one.

Now, I am no structural engineer. I can tell you what was shown on the drawings was a cut-away plan-view of one corner of the walkway which showed several existing wood timber piles with new supplemental steel supports. A part-plan.

Because I had wanted to show the timber piles and new steel locations on the diagram and information was missing, I had to do something more simple.

With City Hall's permission, here are the completed renderings:

click to enlarge


Now, let me repeat that I am not an engineer, and these were just my observations about one set of drawings, but... these were supposed to show the project scope and design, and those fundamentals were glaringly absent.

Maybe they exist elsewhere.

If they don't, be very afraid.

No matter where your politics lie, this affects all of us and the people we know and love.

Now, go back and read this.