Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Knock, Knock


Click HERE to see what the Feds came for!

Timmy Misses April ELEC Deadline for 2015

Tim Takes the Cake (literally)

Oh no!   Tim Occhipinti is late on his April 15 ELEC filing for his 2015 campaign!

Back in April, GA reported (current to his January 15 ELEC) Occhipinti had received $12,173.03 in  and spent $9,882.27.   Yep, Timmy had already spent 81% of his campaign contributions for his 2015 municipal campaign.  Wow.

And he spent most of it on charitable and political donations, like the $175 he gave to Brian Stack and the $250 he gave to Abio Sires! (more eamples here.)  Timmy even reimbursed himself for donations to Sandy victims.  Wow.   Imagine that.

The only thing that comes out of Timmy's pocket is lint.

So, where is his April ELEC?  Don't you want to see it?

I wonder if he's using 2015 campaign contributions for his 2013 visits to the Mister Softee truck?  Those ice cream cones- with sprinkles- will run you $2.50, you know.

And what about his classes at Romparoo?   I wonder which he's taking: "Rock N’ Roll”?  “Shake It Up”?  “Bust A Move”?   “Toddler Madness” ? ”Can’t Stop Me Now”?

I hope Timmy's 2015 campaign contributors don't mind kicking in for that, after all it's a great way to stimulate all of  he Councilman's growing senses.. why, he'll get to explore his imagination and practice crawling, walking, or skipping without getting hurt. Watch him as he learns to interact with others and make his or her first friends. Timmy the 2015 candidate will learn to be a little more independent and place emphasis on sharing and being creative. He'll discover that Old MacDonald frequently has a monkey on his farm and on one very special day even had a jellyfish.

Now isn't that worth contribution dollars from your wallet?

So, GA will let you know when Timmy's April ELEC makes it's debut online.  Until then, grab a Mister Softee and give Tony or whomever serves you a big hug.

Monday, April 29, 2013

SofteeGate: Petition Targets the WRONG Mister Softee!


The petition about the 'threat' to Tony the Mister Softee man,  appears to have misidentified which Mr. Softee prompted the one person, 'briank' to complain about him on Hoboken411.

The Chang.org petition to Tim Occhipinti and Terry Castellano is called: "City of Hoboken, NJ: Allow Tony (Mr.Softee) to operate his business in Church Square Park".

But not all is as it appears to be... as Softee-Gate evolves into a 'whodunit.'

Softee-phobe 'briank' writes on Hoboken411: 
Is it a figment of my imagination thy he generally would park on the southeast corner of 5th and Willow? That as soon as the line of customers was down served, he would turn the music back on to try to attract more customers? That I had to write to my councilman to complain?
 An astute GA reader sent me this email: 
playing music?? on the southeast corner of 5th and Willow??? ahhhhh..... this is NOT about Tony at all. The ice cream truck in question belongs to the nice Hispanic gentleman who also stops at Wallace occasionally. HIS "area" is Willow to the west (inclusive of Willow). Tony is east of Willow Ave. 

Ask Tony, he will tell you that. 

Tony can usually be found on 4th and Park, Pier A or driving along the streets EAST OF WILLOW. For many many many years. 

So, Mr Brian write "his Councilman" about this truck, on the southeast corner of 5th and Willow and a petition spreads thru Hoboken and cyber Hoboken like wildfire. Save Tony (again) Did this Councilperson not know that this wasn't Tony? Did he not know where 5th and Willow was? or did he think that this nice Hispanic gentleman wouldn't elicit the appropriate response? 
You're right, astute GA reader!   Tony's spot is on 4th and Park! 

So, the ginned-up controversy to "save Tony" with the orchestrated "save Tony petition" is about   another Mister Softee (I'll have to get his name).

Then why does the petition target the WRONG Mister Softee?

Don't Tim and Terry want to protect the other Mister Softee guy?

This political ploy to rally Old Hoboken voters against 'newcomers' seems to happen every election cycle. From 2005's Save Mister Softee jihad smack in the middle of  the Dave Roberts vs. Carol Marsh campaign (thanks to IndieCom who made this point on MSV.)

Click here to read full letter

Why do Old Guard politicians gin up complaints from a crank (or several cranks) to a full-fledged civil war on your child's ice cream cone? (curiously, the 'attack'  always seems to target the same vendor).

Does this dopey ploy work?  Dunno, but it's got 726 signatures.

That's an awful lot of pissed off ice-cream eaters.  Too bad the issue's a political scam.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

SofteeGate: When Jihads Collide

By InfotainMe

To coin a phrase, it's been cleared up.  The answer was hiding in plain sight in Tim Occhipinti's 'petition' all along. 

This is important, because one person complains about his truck's noise and now he might have to move from his spot where he makes his livelhood [sic]and not serve Hoboken anymore.

Who is this dastardly figure?  Doesn't he know that ice cream is for the children????  Does he not care that he has forced our 4th Ward Councilman into an act of reluctant heroism for which he is so clearly unsuited?  I'm referring of course to writing a lucid english sentence.  See above.  Ouch.
Well, the good news is that we only have to look for one person.  It's not a movement or anything like that, not like say, the Aryan Brotherhood or Al Qaeda.  Worst case it's the Aryan Brother.  Or Al Qaedum.
A petition does seem like an extreme way to go about dealing with one person though, doesn't it?  Should the Hoboken City Council really be publically attacking one person's  right to free speech this way?  Intimidating, no?  Or "chilling", as they say in court papers while deciding how many zeroes should be on the check? 

I can see where you'd do a petition with a politician or public official.  They represent larger interests and have the power to convert their petulance into public policy.

But a petition against some anonymous crank?  It's not just overkill.  It's signing the city's name to a legally dubious course of action.  What happens when the crank in question starts exploring his legal options?  Just last week council person Beth Mason loudly and publicly with much waving of hands instructed council person Jenn Giattino to withhold information from a member of the public so as not to grant him "legitimacy."  And now this?  Don't we have enough people suing the city  already.  Must we go looking for them, prodding them with discriminatory treatment and petitions until they become enraged and strike back?

Fortunately, the "suspect", who has acted alone as Mr Occhipinti assures us, has been located.  He's none other than Hoboken411 regular BrianK.

If Mr Occhipinti is certain enough to create a public petition to tell us it's one person, that's good enough for me.  So this must be the guy.

True , Special K is just picking up the thread from fellow 411 misanthrope "Arseny".  (Hey, I don't make up these names...) 

I am not sure what point the Big A is making about "gluttony".  He seems to say that it's not gluttony to eat a "tub of ice cream at home" but, in public, it is.  To be fair, this is the perennially miserable, seldom rational, Fox Newsy readership 411 has remaining.  It's not a group disposed to noticing that we are at the apex of the spring bloom let alone over-thinking incongruous terms of their endless complaints.  So let's just focus on Special K.

Wow, so he took his complaints to his councilman?  Wait, so why is the Hoboken City Council publically attacking this one person  if he has come to the Hoboken City Council in good faith.  Why is the Hoboken City Council making this one person  the subject of a public backlash that could have serious repercussions for him - and thus for the City of Hoboken itself should this one person decide to take us all to ta$k for the action$ of a few council people?

Let me suggest an obvious and far less reckless course of action for before this little publicity stunt finds its way into our tax bills in the form of a seven-figure damage claim.  Mr Occhipinti just needs to use his abundant leverage at Hoboken411 to smooth this over.

Consider.  BrianK is merely echoing the sentiments of his routinely cranky host, ie, 411.  Kids in bars, the size of strollers, you name it, it pisses Klaussen off.  That's his right.  He naturally attracts a like-minded crowd, including one person  so wrapped up in his own swaddling narcissism that he would actually tell an ice cream vendor next to public park to "at least kill the music and move."  Oh, that's all?  So I don't have to kill myself too?  Phew.

I could see having a petition if all these anti-Softee sentiments were emanating from GA or MSV where Tim and Terri wouldn't expect a very sympathetic ear.  But why is it needed for dealing with Hoboken411 and his self-selected terminally gloomy readership?

That site has been as sympathetic to Tim Occhipinti's wants and needs as it has been unsympathetic to the Ruben Ramos campaign for mayor (announced over 2 months ago and still not mentioned once).  Surely, he can bank on his personal influence there without assembling a mob of angry cyber-villagers first.  After all, those, um, citizens in the 411 punchbowl are Tim's target audience.  He even had a press release on 411 this week to explain  the moral justification for stiffing the retiring firefighters.  Hell, he's even a blogger there.

So, Tim, rather than fire up a petition against one of your fellow Hoboken411 bloggers who is only following the script of his equally grumpy host, why don't you talk to these two gentlemen yourself?  Surely a meeting can be arranged.  You, Perry, BrianK.  Add "Arseny" if he magically turns out to be a separate entity.

Sit them down for a few cold ones and tell them how you believe that their actions and statements are detrimental to all Hobokenites.  You can even log on to your account on Hoboken411 and tell Special K yourself what you think of him.  Or maybe an awkwardly written but sincere letter to Klaussen a la the one from "Arseny" would do the trick.  Whatever you do, kill the petition before the rest of us end up having to pay for it.

We have found the enemy, Tim, and it isn't reform, or anti-traditionalism, or any of your usual strawman proxies for Dawn Zimmer.  It's none of that.  No, it's...

the incessant whining of your favorite website.

There's no need for petitions.  Your anti-Zimmer jihad has simply crashed smack into Hoboken411's anti-stroller set jihad.  Both of you need to throw your jihads into reverse, fill out an accident report, and get the hell out of there.  A crowd is starting to gather.  Some of them look like lawyers, capisci?

Friday, April 26, 2013

City Council Softee

What do you do with City Council members that scare children about the demise of Mister Softee but won't pay their grandparents' HFD retirement benefits?

(The rumor about Mr. Softee is FALSE- he's NOT being kicked out from selling his delicious ice cream at Church Square Park.  The FAKE controversy was started by Council members Tim Occhipinti and Terry Castellano  in THEIR petition on Changeorg:

Is it true that Timmy called in the complaint about the truck's noise so he could post his petition and politicize an ice cream truck? Rumors, rumors, everywhere.  I don't believe that one myself.

WHERE is this Mr. Softee complaint?  Maybe GA will OPRA it.

What kind of people scare kids about Mr. Softee getting the boot?

The kind who would distract you with a ginned-up ice cream controversy so you don't notice they won't pay retirement benefits to our City's courageous HFD.

Yep, that's right.

City Council members Tim Occhipinti and Terry Castellano were so busy collecting signatures for their imaginary Mr. Softee Jihad they NO-SHOWED at last night's City Council meeting for a VOTE on retirement benefits for Hoboken's retired firefighters.

They CAN'T blame this one on Zimmer- or Bhalla, Mello, Giattino and Cunningham. THEY SHOWED UP for the HFD.

Timmy (and Terry) care more about the fate of an ice cream cone than the fate of retired firefighters!
HFD: Timmy, Terry, Mikey, and Bethy are playing POLITICS with your RETIREMENT benefits. Imagine that.

Well, GA has a quiz for Tim Occhipinti, Terry Castellano, Mike Russo and Beth Mason.  It's written for Timmy to understand:


Okay, now that you know what these clowns did last night-- SKIP the meeting to SKIP the vote on retirement benefits for Hoboken's brave and courageous firefighters, who NEVER skipped out on US when it came to putting their lives on the line...

GA broke it down for you, what the benefits ARE ("terminal pay") and what they are NOT (the Council obstructionists continue to blow smoke up our a---es- they lie like a rug).

Terminal Leave FUN FACTS
  1. Terminal leave is not salary.
  2. Terminal leave is not a pension cost.
  3. It is a retirement benefit based upon number of years of service. 
  4. The State permits Terminal leave to be spread out over five years-- for budget purposes. 
  5. The City is allowed to finance the cost with the use of short term five year notes so that the firefighters can be paid immediately upon retirement. 
  6. Spreading the cost out in this way protects taxpayers from a tax hike when a large number retire in a single year. 
  7. A large number of HFD took early retirement in 2012 to avoid Gov. Christie's pension cuts.
  8. Occhipinti, Russo, Castellano and Mason FAILED to show up last night to VOTE to finance Terminal leave with 5 year notes.  Their refusal to support financing Terminal leave is 100% guaranteed to DRIVE UP TAXES.
  9. Occhipinti ALWAYS shows up for Mr. Softee.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Timmy's Mr. Softee Scam

GA featured a loving tribute to Mr. Softee in May 2010

In an effort to market himself to 'Old Hoboken,' Timmy Inc. has ginned up a fake Yuppie lynch mob after Mr. Softee's nuts!

Chopped nuts, that is.

And sprinkles, and syrup and yummy soft custard in a delicious wafer cone... excuse me, I just got a craving for a freshly-dipped brown bonnet... gotta run to Church Square Park to get one from Tony!   GA buys more often at the Mr. Softee in front of Wallace School- after LA (Little Avenger) gets out.

What kind of a jerk would try use Mr. Softee to drive a wedge between neighbors... for POLITICAL gain?

This kind:

Folks, I am not kidding.

Timmy (with backup from Terry Castellano) has a Change.org petition entitled: City of Hoboken, NJ: Allow Tony (Mr.Softee) to operate his business in Church Square Park. 

These two have ginned up a divisive 'Us (BnRs) vs. THEM' war over an alleged threat to Mr. Softee.

GA always tells it like it is: the Mr. Softee threat is a load of horse sh*t.  Timmy and Terry are pandering to their political base, trying to stir up hatred among neighbors over ice cream.

GA's a public school mom.  My kid, the kids at school, in Church Square Park, Columbus Park, etc. and their parents- enjoy Mr. Softee no matter where they were born and raised.  In my case, Queens New York.

My only problem with Mr. Softee is, it's too delicious.  And too much Mr. Softee leads to too much GA, especially in the rear.

Timmy and Terry fomenting hatred against non-BnRs

Liebler's List

My goodness, what an intriguing post on Patch by David A. Liebler!

On April 18, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Mr. Liebler published this to anonymous blogger Ojo Rojo:
Ojo, I can not wait till I find out who you really are....we have a pretty complete list of everyone who blogs under fake names, looking forward to getting yours! 
Wow, this raises so many questions, possibly in the hundreds.  Maybe even thousands.

They fall into the following categories:
  1. WHO 
  2. WHAT
  3. WHEN
  4. HOW
  5. WHY
Now, every production has co-stars and a supporting cast.  The more elaborate the production, the more expensive to produce.

A list is one kind of production, a film is another. 

Let's take the Titanic (the movie, not Beth Mason's political career).  It was produced and distributed by Paramount and 20th Century Fox at a cost of roughly $200 million.  That was one expensive production!

GA is sure that lists are much cheaper to produce.  The one I made yesterday for my trip to A&P yesterday said:
 And it didn't cost me a penny to produce!  Oh yes, I make lists all the time.  Reminder lists, 'To Do' lists, shopping lists, schedules, birthday lists, holiday lists, etc.   All for free!

Have I ever made a list with other people?   No.

Have I ever "looked forward" to making a list?  No.

Have I ever made a list with other people about other people?  No.

Have I ever made a list with other people about other people then told a person presumably on the list  that I was "looking forward to it"?   No.

So you can see, GA has no experience with Mr. Liebler's kind of list.

Liebler's List is: "a pretty complete list of everyone who blogs under fake names."

Thank you for letting us know!

But...  how can a list of "people who blog under fake names" ever be "complete" when there is an infinite supply of "fake names" in the Universe?

Liebler's statement doesn't make sense unless you are talking about  limited group of people- such as the Reform blogging community in Hoboken, which Ojo Rojo belongs to.  For example.

Well, the Titanic had a $200 million dollar price tag.  GA's shopping list was free.

What about Liebler's list?   How many others are involved in it's production?

Can Mr. Liebler be compelled to reveal the names on his list and what he plans to do with the information and on whose behalf the list is being made and who is making it with him?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chilling Free Speech: Are you on THEIR "List?"

But what GA really wants to know is, who is "we"? 

Folks, can that be interpreted as anything other than a threat from 2 or more individuals, one is the author of this post on Patch? 

Who is part of this cabal to intimidate bloggers into silence?

Da Horsey reported in his subscriber content on April 14, 2013 that the previous Friday, he had witnessed the author of this post inside Councilwoman Beth Mason headquarters at 1200 Washington Street with her political operatives James Barracato and Adam Alonso.  Da Horsey also wrote he had heard the author of this post admit to working for Mason on "web sites" and "charity" work.

GA has no idea if these are the other people who have the "pretty complete list of everyone who blogs under fake names."  I'll have to ask.

By the way, "fake names" are also called 'screen names', 'monikers' and 'pseudonyms.'

Now, what do "THEY" intend to do with this 'list of names'?  I'll have to ask.

Ready to talk, Finboy?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dead Body, Meth Lab, No Fire Suppression, Pee in Elevators...

OUCH, but true

...are just some of the hot potatoes roasting on HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's grill.

It leads one to speculate whether Garcia is in over his head on the one job he has, never mind taking another in Trenton.

Case in point: the pee in HHA elevators.  Is it acceptable to 'diaper' an elevator in $385K vinyl flooring?   Garcia stated at a February meeting the vinyl was installed to keep pee from leaking out onto the elevator controls.  And that's OK?  So non-peeing tenants (and their children) should  have to ride in an elevator wearing Pampers?


Were I ED, I'd install cameras with a zero-tolerance pee policy: one squirt and you're OUT.   That's just me.  Whether it's Maxwell Place or the HHA, building management should not tolerate public urination. 

As for the meth lab, I understand HHA Commissioner Eduardo Gonzales reads GA.

As seen on Da Horsey:
Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez raised questions about the HHA unit recently raided by police found to be illicitly producing methamphetamine.  Gonzalez referenced seeing a local website outlining environmental damage to the apartment and building itself, a clear reference to a recent story appearing on Grafix Avenger.  Director Garcia said a contracted cleaning service would be responsible for the cleanup and if not able to adequately manage it, would subcontract the required work.  
Aw, c'mon Eduardo... say it!  G-R-A-F-I-X A-V-E-N-G-E-R.  It won't hurt, promise.  (Just teasin'...)

Well, the meth lab was found on April 4th.  It's 2 1/2 weeks later.  Has the place been tested for contamination? Has it been de-contaminated?

Or is it wearing a diaper?

If that wasn't taken care of immediately, well... that's up to the oversight authority, the HHA Board to deal with.  But if my kid lived on that floor at 501 Marshall I'd be screaming my head off.

And let's not forget the recent findings that SIX HHA buildings (including the one with the meth lab) had no working generators, hence no fire suppression.
On October 20, 2012, Executive Director Garcia announced that  HHA's Fire Protection contract was "being awarded to Total Fire Safety" (meeting transcript- page 49) On February 14, 2013- 4 months later- Hoboken Fire Department Chief Blohm presented the results of his department's recent inspection: abysmal safety violations, life threatening conditions-- SIX buildings with NO fire suppression, non-working electric panels, non-working generators among others.  If the contract was awarded in October, how were such egregious, hazardous safety conditions allowed to languish for months?
So, clearly there is plenty of work to do over there to make the place safe,  sanitary and contamination-free.  The HHA Executive Director has his hands full without a second career.

Which brings me to my next question: why is Vision 20/20 proposing to increase current resident population by 25% when management is struggling with the population we HAVE?


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ruben's Misfire

In a letter to the HR, Ruben Ramos complains about the installation of a traffic light at this dangerous corner.

GA knows elections aren't won by praising one's opponent.  A candidate must impress upon the public that they will do a better job than the other guy.

In this case, the guy's a gal: incumbent Mayor  Dawn Zimmer, and the candidate is Assemblyman Ruben Ramos.

Which is why I was scratching my head at the letter Ramos and running-mate Laura Miani put in this week's Hoboken Reporter.  (Note neither running-mate Joe Mindak nor Eduardo Gonzales would sign it)

It was plain D-U-M-B.

Ruben's first point:
On Tuesday, the City announced that the construction at 1600 Park will be further delayed for additional testing of the soil...After five years of waiting, the latest delay is inexcusable. We need to stop sitting on our hands and get to work to make this long-promised park become a reality.
(1) In other words, Ramos complains because the opening of 1600 Park has been delayed to guarantee the safety of the public which is "inexcusable" Boo hiss. 

This is what actually happened (City Hall press release).
During construction of 1600 Park, the contractor encountered unexpected debris, organics, and softer than expected soil conditions based on previous analysis and testing.
In other words, subsoil conditions were found during construction which were not determined in earlier testing. What would Ramos and Miano suggest?  Forging ahead and not adapting the structural engineering of the park for softer soil? Did the Mayor create the subsoil conditions?  We already know she makes the sun rise in the East and set in the West.

Would Ramos prefer another Sinatra Park-type collapse from a project that was poorly-planned and inadequately designed?

Sinatra Park was built on 100-year old timber pilings a.k.a. a shipworm-smorgasbord.  GA saw those structural design plans when doing a renderings for a grant proposal and I've never seen a worse set of structural drawings- I wrote about it back in November of 2010, An Anecdote About Something Missing.

The Sinatra Park structural drawings were alarming in their absence of engineering design and scope. 

These are the renderings I made in 2010.  The kind of disaster you see in the photos is exactly what the Mayor wishes to PREVENT.

Zimmer's legacy will be Parks that don't collapse or sink into oblivion, like Sinatra Park.

That's always been the problem with Old Guard, like Ruben Ramos.  They kick the can down the road, even when it comes to matters of public safety.

Ruben's next point was a flat-out head scratcher.  You ready for this one?
Since she took office, the Mayor has held up construction for studies on the site and stalled the project for installation of a traffic light. 
Ummm...  a traffic light at a busy intersection across the street from a park is a problem for Ramos and Miani?

As the mom of a kid who will  be playing in 1600 Park, GA would like to THANK whomever is responsible for installing that traffic light- from the guys who dug the foundation and ran the power, to it to the Mayor, to the County.   I don't care WHO did it.  The installation of a traffic light at a kids' park is not about politics, it's about SAFETY for KIDS (and adults).

What kind of nudnik would turn that into a negative?

Ummm...   Of course Ramos will have to bash the Mayor about something.  But making our streets safer to cross and our parks safer to play in? 

Better luck next time, Ruben.  No wonder neither Mindak nor Gonzales would put their name on that stinker...  yikes.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stack Un-Hatched

Yesterday's headline from Hudson Superior Court was that HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia was declared ineligible to appear on the June 4, 2013 Primary election ballot for 33rd District Assembly.

But Judge Bariso didn't stop there.

He made another ruling of consequence: that the HCDO can't replace Garcia-- the slot on the ballot stays empty.  So anyone who thought Beth Mason or Frank Raia might slide into the spot...  nope.

Oops. Not "legally cognizable". And furthermore:

Did Bariso make himself perfectly clear...

"Having done so knowing and at their peril, they cannot be heard to complain now."   POW! 

Which makes one wonder, what led Brian Stack to be this reckless?  Who was advising him?  Why take the risk?

Bariso ruled changes to the Hatch Act at the federal level don't trump the more stringent interpretation of the State's.  Which was always a possible outcome.  And neither  Raia nor Mason who both wooed Stack, can replace Garcia. Which  means he may end up with the guy he reportedly didn't want: you-know-who.  

The kid with the beard.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Abernathy vs. Garcia OPINION

click to read

BREAKING: Carmelo Garcia OFF Ballot

Judge Bariso ruling in, no details yet.

Delivered Justice

Still from the 8-year chronicle of  Hoboken gentrification, Delivered Vacant

At 2PM today, the fate of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's run for Assembly will be decided by Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso.

From PolitickerNJ:

So what do you think will happen?

GA has no idea.

But last week, something on MSV caught my eye.  It was buried in a comment by  Mi Reinona!, who had posted an essay called "Why I became an elected official"  by Carmelo Garcia. Here's what Garcia wrote:
Growing up, I witnessed many injustices to minorities and to those of the underprivileged class... In the 1980s my family lost our home due to arson. We were forced to leap from a third-story window to escape the flames. This was during a time in Hoboken, N.J. when Hispanic families were being burned out to make room for the gentrification of the condo development.
Garcia tells us of his life experience of being burned out of his home for the gentrification of Hoboken, depicted in Nora Jacobsen's brilliant documentary Delivered Vacant.

How ironic then, that one of the tenant's rights activists featured in the movie, a fighter for tenants like Garcia and his family, is Sheilah Scully, one of 5 Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Carmelo Garcia.

From The Hoboken Reporter, Apr 23, 2007:
One of the tenant activists featured in the movie, Sheilah Scully, hasn't been involved in town politics in recent years but still resides in Hoboken. She told the Reporter in 1997 that things have definitely changed since the 1980s.

"[I]t was very, very traumatic," Scully said. "People were dying. The issues were very visceral, very profound. It seemed very black and white. It just doesn't feel that way now. I have a strong sense of 'we're all in this together.' " 
Isn't that ironic?

I thought it was.  Because the subtext of Garcia's schtick is that those who burned him out of his home (yuppies) are the ones trying to scalp him now, and that his ethnicity, Hispanic, is a factor.

Sheilah's long history of community activism, her battles for clean elections, and her fight against powerful interests for the rights of (Garcia's words) the "minorities and the underprivileged class" in the days of gentrification-by-fire, obliterates playing the ethnicity card.

Boy, does it ever.

Props to Law Enforcement

Suspects of massacre identified
Aren't they incredible? 

Thanks to the law enforcement community for their amazing work in identifying the 2 perps of Monday's massacre so quickly, out of thousands of Boston Marathon attendees.

Sincere condolences to the family and friends of MIT security officer who was killed by them last night.

One down, one to go. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Kinder, Gentler Mason?

GA found this in my Inbox yesterday:
Good morning. 
The Queen of mean was trolling the ferry line this morning. Smiling and handing out the attached. Seems like she is using the pretense of art patron and caring for moms to draw the unsuspecting into her lair. (a palindrome for liar). 
Have a nice day.

Absent from my last two Zoning Board meetings were Mason's camera boy and his Dad, who've been regular attendees since March 27, 2012.  Gathering stock footage was never the point, as they've shot enough of me to circle the equator.  The idea was to be there with one, sometimes 2 cameras pointed at yours truly. It's become a joke on the board, in fact. 

Then of course, there's that weird press release that came out after the water main breaks, a 2-part mystery.  Part one, the the tossing of Anthony Russo under the bus:
In an open letter, Mason calls for cooperation between factions of the City Council, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and North Hudson Sewerage Authority to work together "to stabilize and strengthen our infrastructure." 

Like Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Mason put the blame for the failing infrastructure on "previous administrations" for allowing "campaign contributors to adversely influence important city planning decisions."


Part Two, kissy-face with Mayor Zimmer and Frank Raia.  From Mason's release:
Although debate among government officials is sometimes contentious, Mayor Zimmer, my City Council colleagues, and I all believe that protecting the health, welfare, and safety of residents is our number one priority. North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioner Frank Raia assures me that he will provide whatever support is necessary to stabilize and strengthen our infrastructure.
Mason's press release on March 28, came a day after Stack's pick for the Hoboken's Assembly slot was reported in PolitickerNJ, HHA Director Carmelo Garcia.   It's rumored that Ruben Ramos' machinations behind-the-scenes made it all happen. The buzz is that Mason and Raia were pissed.  Mason has ignored Ramos' mayoral candidacy from Day 1, signs are the blackout of coverage on her tabloid Hoboken411.com and the burying of Ruben's announcement on page 2 of the Hoboken Reporter.  Russo is said to be supporting Ramos.  Rumor has it that Masons tired of being 'used' by the Russos.  And Frank's been the guy running the VBM harvests over at the HHA.

What does this all mean?  Who knows.  But that was one big suck-up to Raia. And, as many have already pointed out, the Hudson Sewage Authority has nothing to do with Hoboken water mains or maintaining them.

Then of course there's my friend Al Sullivan, who has NEVER smoked crack but occasionally writes like he has... (aw, just kiddin' ya, Al).

Now he's been reporting about overtures to the Mayor, making peace, and so forth.

Well, look.  We know that Mason's anchovy is constantly on the horn with the folks over at the Reporter, plying them with nonsense.  So, here's what Sully wrote, in part:

Mason has already made peace overtures to Zimmer, and it is likely that there will be more.

 Oh, Al honey.  There ARE no peace overtures until Mason STOPS underwriting that crappy Doyle lawsuit.  NONE.  Anything else is window dressing.  Until that junk lawsuit withers up and blows away, there's not a Kumbaya to be heard in the Mile Square.

Beth Mason reminds me of the Lucille Ball character in I Love Lucy.

It's one scheme after another, one crazy stunt on top of another crazy stunt- over and over and over;  this didn't work so let's try that... that didn't work so let's try this...  all because she wants to be a STAR.  Swap 'Hollywood' with 'Washington D.C.'.

But the Lucy character was funny and endearing. Nobody ever got hurt from one of her schemes.  No taxpayers ever got ripped off paying for bogus lawsuits.  She never tried to close a hospital, she never stopped infrastructure improvements in her city, she never shut down Pier C park.

GA believes people can change for good, or bad.  Let's see.


It's never, ever coming out.  Ever.
Hello, folks. My contractor handed back my house  last Thursday... and except for some punch-list work, renovations are done! 


For folks who may not know, GA's house got whacked by superstorm Sandy last October. Renovations began mid-February; my first floor was gutted down to the floor joists. *Sigh*  It is so nice to have a kitchen again... 
So, GA's spent the last few days getting my house in order- literally.  Moving back, acquiring furniture then trying to fit it through the front door.

Think I'm kidding?

I fell in love with the antique chair pictured above, measured it, and thought it would just fit. Well, no.... it got stuck on the ornamental carving on the legs. (These legs don't come off- the thing is solid cherry.  And must weigh 60 lbs) So, had to remove the storm door and frame... didn't fit.  Then the front door... still didn't fit.  It was too big to go through the window.  So we took off the door strike hardware and shims... prayed, then huffed and we puffed and pushed it through. Truly a reverse-birth experience, like shoving the baby back through the birth canal--a living room was born!

Without an epidural.  Though I could use back surgery...

No kidding, GA's no worker-ant that can haul 800 times it's body weight. Can anybody recommend a good acupuncturist?  Or chiropractor?  Or a chiropractor with needles?

I am ecstatic it's 'over' but my heart goes out to friends and neighbors still displaced, or those who haven't begun yet for various reasons.   If anyone is interested, my contractor is absolutely FANTASTIC...  if you would like a referral, contact: grafixavenger666@gmail.com

In the meantime, I have been not following the goings-on in Hoboken and have to catch up.

And in our crazy town, that means I've missed a half-dozen news cycles. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hoboken411 Attacks ANOTHER Hoboken Business

This time it's a dog-walker.

Klaussen's been on a jihad against this woman, a professional dog trainer, since last December when he posted photos of her walking a pack of dogs with this caption:

How do you feel about over-doing the dog walks? Are they doing it because it’s a good thing? Or because they need the money?

In one fell swoop he accused her of "overdoing" dog walks impugning her integrity and motivation, questioning whether her business was for the good of the pooches or to rake in more cash.

He also posted a "simplified for brevity" police report of claims by a bystander that this dog walker was abusive to one dog. The dog walker explained to the policeman's satisfaction that the pup was not mistreated; she'd put the dog on his back as a technique to maintain control and correct the problems the dog had with the pack. No abuse was involved. But of course, the "simplified for brevity" spin to imply something sinister had transpired in this dog walker's care was clearly communicated in the Hoboken411 attack piece.

GA has questions for Hoboken411:

 How do you feel about attacking Hoboken businesses online? Are you  doing it because it’s a good thing? Or because you need the money?

GA doesn't know from dogs- I'm a cat-lover and owner.   

I do like dogs though- except for the yappy little ones.  Anyway, I've never even walked a dog.  So don't ask me how to do it.   But the internationally acclaimed dog behavioral expert/trainer/dog rescuer, Cesar Millan, star of The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel advocates walking dogs in large packs.  If you want to know why, then buy the book.

Cesar Millan, leader of the pack.
Anyway, it is disheartening to see Hoboken elected officials and aspiring office-holders endorse Hoboken411's behavior toward our business community (last week it was Trinity Bar) by using that web site to promote themselves.

Why try to hurt members of our business community?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meth Lab Accused a BoE Campaign Worker

Last week, GA broke the news that the woman accused of operating a meth lab at her HHA apartment, Cynthia Rivera of 501 Marshall Drive,was paid by Councilman Tim Occhipinti in 2010 and 2011 for "campaign work".

Rivera was charged with operating a drug production facility, fortified premises, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school and 500 feet of public housing, and possession of methamphetamine, hypodermic syringe, and toxic chemicals.

Well, that same Ms. Rivera was also tapped for the Hoboken School Board election, which was on  April 27, 2011.

Ms. Rivera was an election day worker for the "Independents for Education" slate (which opposed Kids First).   The 'Independents' slate was HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, Frances Rhodes-Kearns and Peter Biancamano; they paid Ms Rivera $35 on April 27, 2011 (election Day).

Here's the whole she-bang by-numbers.

1- The ELEC report for the 'Independents for Education" filed in July 2011 with lists of campaign workers, including Ms. Rivera (page 8) paid on Election Day- 4/27/11.  On line 2 of this report, a single contribution of $7,540 is shown.

2- The April 4, 2013 Jersey Journal article with the details of Ms. Rivera's arrest.

3- Richard Mason of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz- onetime campaign Treasurer for his wife Councilwoman Beth Mason, is the contributor of $7,540.  His donation was used for "palm cards, t-shirts and election day workers."

4-ELEC line item for payment of Election day worker, Cynthia Rivera, now charged with running a drug production facility (meth lab) out of her HHA apartment.

So, Ms. Rivera was paid by both Tim Occhipinti and Carmelo Garcia, Frances Rhodes Kearns and Peter B. campaigns.  Not surprisingly, the Move Forward ELECs are BLANK. Otherwise GA would not be surprised to see Rivera's name pop up there, too.

After the Nazi Truck debacle, no one seems to want to touch that campaign's accounting.  NO ONE.

The Move Forward ELEC does not show who paid for the Nazi Truck,  though we know who filmed and produced that offensive video.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Who Gave Timmy THAT $2,000?

Folks, seeing is believing.

GA told you that Tim Occhipinti filed 'Occhipinti for Council' on April 20, 2012- at 10:36AM according to his D-1 filing with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

He submitted his first ELEC report 10 days later on May 1, 2012 at 8:18:37 AM- his April Quarterly. 

Line 2 showed a $2,000 contribution "cumulative to date."  From who?  Checking Schedule A....

Oh my, it's BLANK.

Maybe Timmy transferred a balance from a previous account?  

Not according to Timmy.

Timmy's reported a large contribution- $2,000- a mere 10 days after his campaign is opened, but won't disclose the source.

What's he hiding?   It's a mystery.   But this isn't;  according to his latest 2015 campaign filing  Occhipinti has received $12,173.03 and spent $9,882.27.

Yup, he's spent 81% of his contributions-to-date for his 2015 municipal campaign.

Wow.  Check out another parasite gorging himself (literally) on campaign funds...  Jeez, what is it with New Jersey? (article by Ted Sherman, The Star Ledger)

joe_divincenzo.jpgCampaign money helps feed DiVincenzo, with thousands in restaurant tabs

Joseph DiVincenzo appears to campaign on his stomach.
The Essex County executive does not face re-election until 2014, but in the past year he has used his campaign to cover the cost of $15,222 in meals at 30 different restaurants — all labeled as campaign meetings — according to reports filed with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

There was the $302.86 tab at the pricey Sea Grill in Rockefeller Center last March (along with a $47 parking fee at the West 48th Street Parking Garage). The $480 bill that the campaign covered for a February 2012 meeting at the exclusive Palm restaurant at the El San Juan Hotel & Casino in Carolina, Puerto Rico. And the 36 times he dined at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange last year, with his re-election campaign picking up the check each time. 

Wow, meetings at The Sea Grill.  Nice- check out the menu!

Timmy's skipped the Sea Grill meetings- he's using 2015 campaign funds for petty cash expenses: political contributions to local and state politicians, tickets to charity lunches, charity dinners, salaries to campaign staff among them.

Well, that's a heads-up to folks who may be compelled to give their hard-earned money to him.  He's doing fine.  If he were worried about 2015 he wouldn't be spending your money on Albio Sires and reimbursing himself for Hurricane Sandy donations.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Occhi-Shady ELECs

Well, looky here!  On April 20, 2012 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti filed his candidacy with ELEC for the 2015 municipal election.  

Here is his brand new logo and web site, where you can see he is soliciting contributions for "Occhipinti for Council."

Why so soon?  Perhaps Occhipinti wants to build an enormous war chest for the November 2015 election?

GA took a look through Timmy's 2015 ELEC filings.

As of the last (1/17/13), Occhipinti has received $12,173.03 and spent $9,882.27.

Timmy has spent 81% of his contributions-to-date for his 2015 municipal campaign.

A campaign which hasn't started yet.

Rather than building a war chest (saving), Occhipinti is spending his "Occhipinti for Council" cash contributions like gangbusters.  On what?

It looks to me like he is soliciting donations and using them as a personal petty cash fund.  He's spending campaign contributions in lieu of paying out of pocket for charity events, donations and even donations to Hudson County and New Jersey politicians.

Legal?  Probably.  Ethical? You decide.

 Folks, take a look for yourself:  http://www.elec.state.nj.us/ELECReport/DetailFilingReport.aspx?ID=321994&Page=1&LastName=occhipinti

Here are some examples, and you should think about these before you reach into your pocket to give this guy another penny:

1- $300 for a "Charitable Event" for Rebuild Hoboken Relief fund.  Did Timmy pay for his $300 ticket to the W Hotel fundraiser with political contributions?

2- $175 to "Union City First"- a Brian Stack Civic Association. Timmy's giving his donors' cash to Brian Stack!!!!

3- $48 for a plaque paid to Stan's for a charitable luncheon, likely the annual Richard Hicks Black Youth Empowerment Luncheon at the Boys & Girls Club on 2/25/12.

4-$100 to The Real Democrats of Hoboken for "future and present political donations"  and "Lincoln Dinner."

5- $100 to the NAACP for...  newspaper advertising and program donation?  Advertising what? What program?  GA couldn't find anything around that time on Google.

6- $75 to HEARTS for "advertising and program donation".  Never heard of it so GA asked around.  BoE Trustee Irene Sobolov replied: 
Hoboken Education Assoc of Retired Teachers. They had a big anniversary... Had a program with sponsors wishing them well.... We donated in our OWN names with our OWN money!!! Not campaign money... Disgusting
All 4 members of Kids First who attended donated their OWN money, not campaign funds.

7-  $250 to Albio Sires!  (Why give his own money when he can give yours?)

8- $100 to Panorama Tours for a 'Family Day Event".  Panorama Tours operates a Charter bus company.  July 26, 2012 (date of payment) was the final night of the St. Ann's Festival- it was a Thursday.  What was that?

9- $300 to the "Mason Civil League" for "Charitable Contributions/Hurricane Sandy Donation."  Was this for his ticket to Mason's sham charity fundraiser?

and... are you ready for THIS????

10- $362.25 to Tim Occhipinti!  Yep, Timmy reimbursed HIMSELF with CAMPAIGN MONEY for money he paid from his "personal account" for Hurricane Sandy supplies!  What a cheapskate!

Folks, there are many more examples of this, but I haven't got all day.