Friday, May 31, 2013

BREAKING: Stack has Secret Meeting with Carmelo and Ruben Yesterday


Holy Vision 20/20, Batman!

GA just spoke with an 'insider' who delivered stunning news- and some very juicy dish.

Our conversation went like this:
Stack was in Hoboken yesterday and he met with Carmelo and Ruben but didn't tell any officials he was there. He didn't tell Zimmer.  He just came. Hush-hush. And something else is going on... something about Carmelo sending applications... he's double-dealing on something.

GA: Wow!  I'll bet it was about Vision 20/20... and the deal that got Carmelo the Assembly slot. So what's going on in the Ramos camp?

Vision 20/20 makes sense. There is a relationship between Stack and Ruben and several people think there is something is driving the Ruben camp...some big project driving them and that's why they're trying so hard to push Romano out. Ramos is freaking out at the possibility of Romano entering the race and his campaign is doing everything possible behind the scenes to stop it, twisting every arm they can find.  Ruben's tightest ally is Russo and Russo's trying to push Romano to support Ruben.  

GA: Why is Russo supporting Ruben?

It has to do with the fear that Russo might be challenged in the 3rd Ward, so wants the mayor on his side.  Everbody's split on that side.  Pupie hates Ruben.  He's angy that Ruben's friend Carmelo got the assembly nod and he didn't.

GA: Pupie really thought he'd get it?

Yes, Pupie really thought he'd get it and probably would have.  But once Stack made a truce with Sacco, Stack didn't need Pupie's money anymore.  Pupie feels burned by Ruben.

GA: How is Ruben trying to stop Romano from running?

He's trying to discourage him by spreading rumors about Romano being in league with Zimmer. He's going to Old Hoboken and calling Romano a traitor.  

GA: Does Romano think he can win?

No. If Romano goes in the race Ruben he knows loses.  Pupie and Romano would like to spite Ramos.   

GA: It's clear Stack is behind Ruben.  How about Sacco?

Sacco doesn't like Ruben but Ruben's best friend is Vinny Prieto new HCDO chairman... may get support from that direction or maybe not since Prieto is Sacco's guy.

My goodness, that was dish-a-licious.  

GA is still reeling from the Secret Meeting with Carmelo and Ruben in Hoboken.  I wonder what "applications" Carmelo is sending.  Wouldn't you like to have been a fly on that wall? 

Hmmm... stay tuned. 

$1,000,000 Developer's fee for the first building... and 19 more. Yum-yummy!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Romano in the Ring

Who wants pizza?  Councilwoman Mason and Freeholder Romano!

Zimmer vs. Ruben vs. Romano?

It could be.

Politickernj is reporting that Freeholder Anthony Romano may be dipping his toe in Hoboken mayoral waters (polling), and if he likes the temperature (won't split the BnR vote) he may jump right in.
“I haven’t ruled it out,” said Freeholder Anthony Romano, amid buzz of the local brand putting out his feelers.
Well, GA sure hopes Romano takes a dive!  Why not?

I don't think he's the nasty kind of politician who wants to hurt their opponent- GA sees him as more the laid-back sort... he might even sleep through the entire campaign, then wake up in the Mayor's office!  To congratulate her on her victory.

Of course, someone may remind folks about Romano's $120K/year pension plus a Freeholder's salary plus a lucrative Washington Street bar business... all that and he's living in subsidized housing (MarineView Plaza). 

Someone may bring that up. Someone... like me!

But Romano doesn't read the blogs, doesn't read GA or so I hear.

What will Ruben think about a Romano run?  I can't imagine he'd like it.  Especially when (I hear) he's having trouble staffing his campaign.  The Russos support Ramos now, but don't you think Romano could peel them off?   The scuttlebutt is the Russos want to run a slate.  So... how about Romano and a trio of Russo picks? Edmond Drishti, PSOA President, gave $1,000 to Ramos.  But  future checks would more than likely go to Romano.

Well, who knows...

GA is still rooting for Timmy to jump in.   Can you imagine all of those letters he'll be writing to his constituents in the Kingdom of the 4th Ward in Jersey City?

Feds Flip for Finboy?


Oh, dear.

Look who the F.B.I. Criminal Justice Information Systems is gathering data on:  the mastermind of Nazi trucks, vicious midnight fliers and a conspiracy of political operatives to sue 22 Reform bloggers- SLAPPITY SLAPP; now all that will get you some mighty bad karma.

Bad, bad karma.

But the Feds don't investigate karma. They investigate companies owned by an elected official that show no business activity (Newton Lao Leonard & Locke) that may be a shell to move money around undetected and  501(c)(3) charitable organizations that appear to fund political operations with tax-exempt dollars (Mason Civic League).

That's the kind of stuff the F.B.I.investigates. 

So when MSV got a visit yesterday from the F.B.I. gathering information on Mason's Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, and the Board Trustee for the Mason Civic League, James Barracato, no one should be surprised.

GA will show you that Barracato is at the nexus between Mason's NLLL and  the Mason Civic League.

Here is the business registration for Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, LLC   obtained by  super-sleuth, One-Eye.  Mason registered her LLC on April 16, 2010 at the address 10 Styvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst N.J.   Remember that address.

One-Eye  noted:

What I can say so far about Newton Lao Leonard & Locke.   Beth Mason claims to have founded the company  and worked there from 1993 – 2005.  She is listed as the registered agent as of April, 2011 and the office allegedly is located at 10 Stuyvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ, which is a generic office building with accountants and attorneys as tenants.  No listing of the company at that address per Google.  So it has to be that her accountant or atty is located there.  
 
There is no record of any person named Newton, Lao, Leonard or Locke affiliated with the company. 


It has all the earmarks of someone's "shell" or "front" company, i.e. a business in name only that is used to funnel expenses and make payments, receive payments that they don’t want associated with their name directly. 

GA's monocular wizard didn't stop there. He pulled a  Dun & Bradstreet report for Mason's Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, LLC.  D&B reports show a company's credit transaction history, purchases (office supplies, presentation materials, equipment, furnishings), payments to vendors, consultants, business travel, business entertainment and so on.

Here is the D&B for Mason's Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, LLP.

Result: no activity whatsoever

No credit records, no expenses, no payment to vendors, no payments to consultants, no office supplies, no equipment purchased, no business travel; nothing... ZERO.

Remember, Mason listed herself as Founder/President of NLL from 1993-2005 on her resume, along with a list of Fortune 500 clients and purported activities.  Yet the D&B for NLLL shows ZERO business activity, and was not even registered with the State of New Jersey until April 16, 2010.

Back in 2006 Mason used 720 Monroe Street, for her NLLL address.  GA was told she did have an office there.  Not any more.

Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, LLC is registered at 10 Styvesant Avenue in Lyndhurst.

Enter Beth Mason's non-profit 501(c)(3) Mason Civic League, Inc, filed with the NJ State Treasury as a non-profit corporation on July 21, 2010.  Here is their Certificate of Incorporation, and note the Trustees listed at the bottom who comprise the charity's Board.  There's Beth Mason, hubby Richard Mason...


And one more Trustee...


James Barracato.  His address: 10 Stuvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst - the SAME address as Mason's shell company, registered 5 months earlier.

Why is Finboy listing his address as the same for a Mason shell company (Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, LLP) registered around the same time frame as the  'charity' he is Trustee for (Mason Civic League)?

Here's what One-Eye had to say:
Note the names of the three Trustees which appear on the Certificate of Formation for the Inc. version: Richard and Elizabeth Mason along with James Barracato, who lists 10 Stuyvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ  as his address.


I don’t think that the IRS will like a political operative like him as a director of a charitable organization that appears to be nothing more than a front to shelter income to support Beth Mason’s political career.


The only available information relating to Barracato and that address was the Cratos Group, which appeared in some prior work I did for you related to Beth Mason and her ties to the 10 Stuyvesant address and her collection of shell companies. However, the Cratos Group is no longer listed as a tenant at that office building.
COINCIDENCE: Cratos Group used to have offices at 10 Stuyvesant Avenue in Lyndhurst.
So what does all this mean?

 N.J.S. 15A:2-8(9) requires the names of the trustees along with either their home address or an address which is not the same as the entity, but at which the trustee regularly receives mail. That is not a problem for the Masons, but is a potential issue for Barracato, given his current lack of affiliation with the 10 Stuyvesant Ave.

Remember, this information has to be updated annually, and amended in mid-year if there has been any change of address.
Let's recap.
So many questions....

How many political employees (other than Calicchio and Garcia) being paid by the charity with tax-exempt dollars?  Is the taxpayer underwriting any of the Mason Civic League political operations?  Yes?  No?

No one has accused Finboy of a crime. But he is at the epicenter of so many questions.    Which one can assume is why he's captured the attention of he Feds.

Here are some of the things the Feds might want to ask him:
  1. What does he know about Newton Lao Leonard & Locke, LLP?  
  2. Why did he give that address on the charity's certificate of formation?  
  3. Can he tell us what NLLL does?  
  4. Is he paid by NLLL, by the charity, by Mason or by another person or entity?  
  5. What expenses does the 501(c)3 write off?  
  6. Why does the 501(c)3 file an e-Postcard federal tax return for non-profits with gross receipts under $50K?  The Civic League's rent alone at 1200 Washington street probably comes close to that.
  7. Who else has been paid by the 501(c)3 and what work did they do?
GA and MSV have been asking such questions for a long time- hence Mason's SLAPP to shut us up, and to silence the rest of 'Hoboken Questioners'.   GA predicted the Mason SLAPP suit months before it was filed. 


Screenshot courtesy of MSV
  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Earwitness News: Ruben Hires Ex-Reporters and Pablo Fonseca


So, you'd think politicos would come up for air on a holiday weekend, right?

Wrong!

Today's Earwitness News report has a couple of moving parts, and they came from several well-placed sources.

On the heels of that Fulop thumpin' in Jersey City, seismic shifts in the HCDO's power structure (congrats to Tom Bertoli its new Executive Director), and Hudson County political loyalties flipping like pancakes, we've got a hotly contested mayoral race right here in Hoboken. 

What does one have to do with the other? 

A lot, it seems.

Because it looks like some folks outside the Mile Square really want Ruben Ramos to win.  Really.  Enough to send troops to Hoboken to help Ruben slay the Giant, Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

And a giant she is.  According to a source, a recent independent poll found Zimmer so far ahead of Ramos we can't see him in her clouds of dust.  Oh, but he's there and with the help he's getting, it's going to get very dirty.

Part -1 Stack Supports Ruben, Makes a Move on Hoboken
It's no secret that Ruben Ramos orchestrated the selection of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia for Assembly with Union City Mayor Brian Stack.

It's no secret that Carmelo has done everything but start digging the foundation with his bare knuckles to break ground on Phase 1 of the Vision 20/20 Plan, the redevelopment of the HHA.  GA estimates the developer's fees alone to be at least $20 million.

It's no secret that Brian Stack needs cash; the scuttlebutt is that he has $1 million of debt.

According to a source, Stack is eyeing Hoboken and it's huge development potential, because if Ruben wins there will be "lots of money to be made".  Hence, Stack has dispatched 'people' to help Ruben; most of them come from the vanquished West New York Mayor Felix Roque's administration.

And, guess who's working for Stack now?

Hint: fishy Beth Mason political operative who steered Mason's political career into a dumpster.

Yep!  GA hears that Stack hired the hapless Finboy, which explains the explosion of garbage postings on MSV of late. Stack must really be out-of-touch with Hoboken's political scene, because everything this untalented urchin touches fails gloriously.  Fellow bloggers: expect that rancid tuna to appear under a flurry of screen names spewing his signature politi-spam.

Part -2 Ruben Hires Pablo Fonseca
One former Roque person dispatched to Hoboken for a top level post in Ruben's campaign is none other than Pablo Fonseca.   Fonseca was Newark Mayor Corey Booker's former Chief of Staff  and in 2011, was named in a corruption indictment of Newark's Deputy Mayor Ronald Salahuddin;   Fonseca was not indicted. In February 2013, Salahuddin was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in federal prison for conspiracy to commit extortion while serving as Newark deputy mayor.  The Star-Ledger excerpted this from the indictment:
Salahuddin said he needed help pulling strings in City Hall to ensure the contracts went to Mazzocchi, according to the indictment. And for that, authorities say, he claimed to have recruited Fonseca.

"I got to have (Fonseca) take the lead," Salahuddin said, according to the indictment.

During a meeting with the undercover informant in December 2006, Salahuddin said Fonseca asked him to raise $10,000 in donations for "a charity supported by City of Newark officials," according to the indictment. One week later, Mazzocchi gave a $5,000 check to Salahuddin, who then mentioned the demolition contracts, authorities said.

"When the demolition comes up ... I’ve already told (Fonseca) ... I hand him this ($5,000 check) ... it’s locked in," Salahuddin said, according to the indictment.

In August 2007, Salahuddin said Fonseca had pressured a city employee with authority to award contracts, authorities said. "He just told (the employee), point blank, that we are now trying to help our friends," Salahuddin said, according to the indictment.

Each time Cooper landed a contract, authorities say Salahuddin made money, too. He had invested $900,000 in Cooper Trucking in 2004 after mortgaging his home and a rental property. Authorities say Salahuddin failed to disclose his stake in the firm. He did, however, list Cooper Trucking in 2008 on a state disclosure form requiring officials to list sources of income exceeding $2,000.

Fonseca was a top campaign strategist for Booker in his unsuccessful attempt to unseat Mayor Sharpe James in 2002. After being elected in 2006, Booker named Fonseca his chief of staff.
And now Fonseca is running the Ramos campaign.  Birds of a feather?

What do Mindak, Miani and Gonzales have to say about this?

Part 3- Ramos Using 2 Ex-Reporters to Lobby The Hoboken Reporter
GA hears that 2 former reporters are now working for the Ramos campaign and actively trying to influence their former paper, The Hoboken Reporter to publish slanted news stories that portray Mayor Zimmer as weak, and being abandoned by her supporters.

GA hears that another ex-reporter Tim Carroll from The Hoboken Reporter was hired by Ramos, but quit shortly after.  After Carroll quit, the 2 ex-reporters were hired.

Wow, a pretty dirty strategy. Hiring former newspaper 'insiders' to plant campaign propaganda as 'news' with their former peers.

Will The Hoboken Reporter gobble the garbage and regurgitate it in print?  We'll wait and see.  But GA hears the campaign's mandate is to trash Zimmer in the HR and to keep it coming until Election Day.

Interestingly, the page 3 Beth Mason ad was BACK in the Hoboken Reporter this week.

Methinks that Mason, the Energizer Bunny of  Political Scheming, is attempting a comeback by helping Stack take down Zimmer.  Where else has she got to go?  Hence, moving her fish-filet to Stack's office.

Oh Jeez, like a flurry of Finboy's moronic web-postings is going to carry Ruben across the Finish line.   More like the 'FinishED line; Mason and her Gang are better known in Hoboken as the 'Kiss of Death' to any campaign they touch.   Ask Healy what Mason's $46K did for him.

Earwitness News, over and out.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day


GA's not sure how America's Day of Mourning it's dead sons and daughters morphed into a fun-fest of parades, barbecues and parties at the beach, but over time it's meaning has become so obscured that even an elected official doesn't know why he's marched in the Memorial Day parade, he just knows he "loved it".


Granted, Tim is a doofus.  Perhaps the biggest doofus to hold elected office in the history of Hudson County.  Perhaps the biggest doofus to hold elected office in the history of the State of New Jersey.

For Timmy, Memorial Day is a "favorite event", a day to play with fire trucks.  A doofus of his magnitude may not be expected to understand the solemnity of his "favorite event".

But sadly, too many non-doofuses don't know that Memorial Day is not the day to honor Veterans.  It is the day to preserve the  memory of our men and women who never came home, who never lived to see their children grow up, who never got to experience the rest of the things we all can and do because of THEM.  And we go on as a Republic thanks to THEM.

That is Memorial Day. 

Today we reflect, remember, mourn, feel deeply, deeply thankful to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice- for US.   And pray for the families who go on living with holes in their lives, pain that is there on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and every day. 

GA honors, remembers and prays for their souls and for those who loved them and miss them.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Much Ado About Cummins

GA reader

GA's noted the victory lap from our friends on The Dark Side following May 23rd's dismissal of charges against Hoboken IT official Johnathan Cummins.  Cummins was the assistant to convicted City Hall email hacker Patrick Ricciardi;  he'd initially confessed to the FBI- then retracted it later.

As reported in Patch:
All charges against Jonathan Cummins — the city's former IT official who was fired in May 2011 and accused of forwarding hacked emails to third parties — have been dismissed by Administrative Judge Evelyn Marose.

"She could not find him guilty," said Marcia Tapia, Cummins' attorney, in a phone interview on Thursday morning.

Marose ruled that Cummins is entitled to get his job as an agency aide back,  effective immediately, and that he will receive back pay for the two years he hasn't worked for the city as well as attorney fees, Tapia said.
The joyful bleatings following Cummins' dismissal have sounded like this: nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah with a dash of  f*ck you.  

Not so fast, my Dark Side friends. 

Before you go out and purchase your hula skirts and tiki accesories, GA wants to pierce a big hole in your happy-balloon.

Because GA heard a rumor... true or not? 

Maybe not.  But here it is: the City had evidence for its case against Cummins (and perhaps against some of you sniggering out there) only it never made it to Court.

Why not?

It's all in F.B.I. custody. 

Here's what they've got, as reported by Ray Smith on November 25, 2011:
But what did the agents take from City Hall?

A response to an Open Public Records Act request filed by The Reporter shows exactly what the FBI seized during the May 26 raid, and the items taken from City Hall seem to resemble those of a Best Buy department store.

Forty-five DVD’s were taken from City Hall by the agents, according to the inventory sheet. The sheet does not state which movies were taken. The agents also took five CD’s, including one labeled “My Stuff.” The agents seized a Galaxy Tablet, which, according to BestBuy.com, goes for anywhere between $500 and $600. Also taken were six cell phones (three Blackberry’s and three Sprint phones).

Four laptops, six service tags, and 35 hard drives were also removed from the Information Technology office, according to the inventory sheet.

And the F.B.I. still has them.

So, if the rumor is true....how in the world can the City get a conviction against those involved in electronic theft or in crimes proven through digital fingerprints?

It can't.  Not until we get our digital 'fingerprints' back.  But as the rumor has it, the F.B.I. isn't 'done' with them yet.

So, sniggering Dark Siders: make of that what you will. 

If the Feds still have the servers, then they're well aware of the 'issues' they've created for Hoboken by keeping our 'fingerprints' in their custody.

So are the Feds willing to let some little fishies swim away as they cast their net for bigger ones? 

Who knows.  But some of you may want to put down your pina colada and put your attorney on speed-dial.

Have a nice weekend!

XO,
GA

Friday, May 24, 2013

Timmy vs. Ruben: ELEC Wars


GA took a looksy at mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos' ELECs...

Ramos opened up his Vision for Hoboken Committee on February 27, 2013. Vision for Hoboken is Ramos, and at-Large City Council Candidates Joe Mindak, Laura Miani and Eduardo Gonzales.

The election is on November 5, 2013, about 8 months away.

As of the April 12 filing, Ramos raised a modest amount; $9,166.99. Only $350 came from 'small' contributions ($300 or less)- that's 4%.  The rest of Ruben's money came from large contributions; Edmond Drishti, President of the Hoboken Police Superior Officer’s Association gave $1,000 and Former Mayor Dave Roberts gave the odd amount of $1,316.99.  (GA wonders why he didn't throw in another penny for an uneven $1,317.  How come, Dave?)


Dave Roberts loves GA, and the feeling is mutual.
Out of that $9,166.99,  the Ramos campaign spent $1,052.75 or 11% of it's contributions.

The trend for Ramos appears to be  few 'small' contributors, tapping political friends for bigger bucks. 

But it's still early, and that can change.

On the other hand, Councilman Tim Occhipinti who has stated  he'd "love" to run for mayor, seems to have no trouble with small donors- nor with large ones. 

Timmy opened up his Occhipinti for Council  Committee on April 20, 2012 for an election that's 43 months away, on November 12, 2015 and raised a total of $13,673.03!  How much of that came from 'small' donors?  $8098.03 or 60%.

What's even MORE amazing than that? According to Timmy's ELEC, he has received $13,673.03 and spent $13,399.56- that's 98% of contributions received.  Wow.

Timmy has spent 98% of his contributions for a municipal election 43 months away!

WOW.  So, as Ruben may struggle to raise money, Tim is a veritable money-making machine, and is spending it as fast as it's coming in. 

What's Timmy got that Assemblyman Ramos doesn't?

Beth Mason.  That's the difference.

But now that she's adrift politically- all bets are off since her $46K losing gamble in Jersey City, where Mason double-crossed longtime ally Steve Fulop for incumbent HCDO-candidate Healy. 

So what's the point of pouring cash into the Occhipinti money-hole?  Now that Fulop's got the HCDO, Mason is in Siberia and buying Timmy an election does nothing for her.  So, will Timmy continue to float on Mason-moola River?


Timmy's bad bet

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ramos Tried to Sink Hospital Sale

Ruben MIA:  no "Hospital Saver" Ruben Ramos at the HUMC ribbon cutting on December 1, 2011


"Saving St. Mary's Hospital is something I'm really proud of."
-Ruben Ramos, Vision For Hoboken Campaign Video- May 19, 2013


And that, folks, is the kind of revisionist history that tells you Ruben Ramos has chosen to run a fundamentally dishonest campaign.

Ramos' message that he "saved St. Mary's Hospital" is aimed at voters who either slept through the hospital sale process or believe the Hoboken University Medical Center still goes by the name "St. Mary's".

If you slept through the hospital sale, here's some background.

It began in in the summer of 2010 when the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority (HMHA) sent out nearly 200 Requests for Proposals to sell the public hospital to a private entity.  Some may recall how our hospital was bleeding cash on the order of millions of dollars annually and that the $52 million dollar bond used to purchase the hospital was near due:  tick tock, tick tock.  Without a buyer to retire out $52 million debt, Hoboken taxpayers would have been forced to pony up $52,000,000 in a SINGLE TAX YEAR. 

So... when the HMHA sent out 200 RFPs to purchase the hospital (and Hoboken's debt) what do you think happened?   Did bidders line up to buy our bleeding asset? 

NO.

Out of 200 RFPs, the HMHA got 8 bids (4%).  Only ONE of the 8 was viable; the bidder had financing to buy the hospital outright.  That was HoldCo.   

Enter the politicians: Beth Mason, Mike Russo, Tim Occhipinti, Terry Castellano and Ruben Ramos.  

These politicians swung brick bats at the volunteer, unpaid members of the HUMC, at the Buyer, HoldCo and at Mayor Zimmer in an effort to STOP the sale of the hospital.  The HMHA's Toni Tomarrazo, a lawyer who donated 35 hours a week to the hospital sale on top of her full-time job was brutalized on Mason's Hoboken411.  Mason actively rooted for the demise of the HoldCo sale on Hoboken411, declaring the HUMC "DOA" and paid for a cable tv media campaign trashing the sale.

No one tried HARDER to kill the hospital sale than Beth Mason.


And WHO stood by Nurse Kevorkian's side?
Ruben Ramos.
  • Ramos OPPOSED  the $5 Million cash infusion to creditors needed to settle a mountain of debt with the hospital. 
  • Ramos SUPPORTED the Mason Council minority's 'NO' vote which killed the $5M bond resolution, with it the ability to sell the hospital. 
  • Ramos ISSUED this statement on September 22, 2011, the day after the $5 Million bond was voted down (he called Mason & Co. "courageous"):
I particularly commend Councilpersons Mason, Russo, Castellano, and Occhipinti for their courageous vote last night. By voting against the Administration’s efforts to extort more money from the Hoboken taxpayers to further fund the Mayor’s incompetent and flawed attempt sell HUMC, the Council minority made clear that it is unwilling to be a party to backroom dealings conducted without the benefit of meaningful public input.

Let’s not forget that Mayor Zimmer is a member of the Municipal Hospital Authority Board. She also appoints all the members to the board, as well as the Chief Operating Officer. Zimmer has also repeatedly stated that the Council has no role in the sale of hospital – that was until she needed $5 million of taxpayer money to bail her out of a deal that she and the buyers were completely inept at completing.
So, Ruben stood tall with those who voted down every City Council resolution to keep the hospital operations afloat.

Ruben stood tall with Beth Mason as she and the Council minority tried at every turn to KILL the sale of the hospital and bankrupt Hoboken.

Ruben politicized the sale of the hospital; opposing it when it was politically expedient and  now running on it's successful sale.

Now Ramos is trying to steal credit from the true heroes of the hospital sale:   Mayor Zimmer, Toni Tomarazzo,  and the HMHA.



GA Note: Ray Smith wrote an excellent recap of the HUMC sale called  "How the Deal Went Down". 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DOJ Two-Fer

click to enlarge

                       

Morning Cinema



  
"You cannot legislate character... it's not going to stop me from accepting an illegal bribe from someone"

-Ruben Ramos, June 5, 2007

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma Monster

 Child pulled from school rubble--credit: Associated Press
Terrible!

An F4 mile-wide monster, on the ground in Oklahoma City for 40 minutes yesterday, killed 51 (20 of them children) but that number is expected to rise sharply. 

The tornado struck just before recess at 3 PM; two elementary schools were destroyed, Briarwood and Plaza Towers, and parents still are looking for their missing children. 

Prayers for survivors and the dead.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Castellano Rides Again


GA hadn't planned to dignify the hairball spit up by Terry Castellano in The Hoboken Reporter this week, so I have a reader to thank for this:
GA,

I read Castellano's vile letter in the reporter.

I remember what a useless polyp she was loitering in the Marine View Towers lobby while a small army of young adults were assigned to help out distressed residents immediately after Hurricane Sandy. As the group was planning a course of action, in running up the stairs to deliver water and supplies, she stood idly by.  Watching us, doing nothing.  Later on when an ambulance squad came to help some specific residents, but were found to have left the building, Terry said, "Well, that's just poor communication from City Hall."  Standing in the same spot, not lifting a finger to help, just flapping her jawbone.  

She had nothing nice to say about all the effort that was around her, but was quite comfortable to stay in place and complain.

I was disgusted by her uselessness, then dragging down people who were there to help. She's lost power, relevance, and respect. 
Thanks, reader.  I heard that same story from someone else who spent days running around Hoboken helping seniors and witnessed Castellano whining and bitching about the mayor in Marineview while she did nothing.  Dawn, Dawn, Dawn...  was all that came from her useless mouth.  

This letter is an insult to the thousands of residents who have yet to recover from Sandy, and Castellano should ask some of the children of this city about that.

So instead of mocking the mayor's efforts, "Theresa" should get her ass over to D.C. and try to get the insurance industry's attention like Zimmer did on  December 13, 2012 when she spoke to the U.S. Senate Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

A recap of Zimmer's appearance before the Senate Committee"
She said that insurance does not address Hoboken's urban-garden style businesses and asked the Committee to "take action" and have Congress change the definition of "basement" and '"address the unfair basement issue".   When questioned by Chairwoman Landrieu about how the federal government can assist Hoboken's recovery, Zimmer asked for lower interest rates and more federal grants, stressing the need for grants.   Zimmer was asked how low the interest-rates for small business (current 4-6%) should go- the mayor answered the rates should be comparable to those available for individuals (1.3%),  more data-sharing with FEMA and the SBA.  Zimmer was questioned about the basement coverage issue, Zimmer stated she was told by FEMA that it would be required by Congress to change the basement issue.  Zimmer  spoke about how FEMA only covers water tank boiler cover electrical panels, no stored inventory covered.  Zimmer was told by Senator Riche he was going to examine the basement issue.  Chairman Landrieu told Zimmer that her statement was "excellent."

 Here's what do-nothing Theresa wrote about the mayor's Congressional appearance:
Her trip to Washington D.C., was another grab at a headline and what did that accomplish?
Enough said from the embittered do- nothing Theresa Castellano? 

Thank goodness for the generosity of Councilman Tim Occhipinti, who donated $362.25 for supplies to Sandy victims, then repaid himself with contributors' dollars from his 2015 Municipal campaign funds. 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Russo Fashions

click to enlarge

Admit it, no one works a pillow case like Mike Russo! 

Why They're Playing the Race Card


Every now and then something flies right over GA's head- whoosh! like a rocket.

This time it was the developer's fee for the Vision 20/20 redevelopment of the HHA.  Somehow, I missed the fact that the $1,000,000 fee was for just one building- until someone brought it to my attention yesterday.

A $1,000,000 fee for ONE BUILDING!

And there are 19 more according to the Vision 20/20 Concept Plan.

At that rate, that's a projected $20,000,000 developer's fee.

You may think of this $20,000,000 as public money- it is.  Or as $20,000,000  squeezed from the project itself- money that could be used for the buildings or landscaping or playground equipment. It is.

GA thinks of the $20,000,00 as a big, roast turkey to be carved up among many.  The ones screaming the loudest- like we heard on Wednesday night- are worried their plates will stay empty.


But that's just for starters.  Because every building involves the awarding of multiple contracts: plumbing, electrical, mechanical, steel, windows, doors, drywall, mill work, painting, flooring elevators, and on and on. 

And a private developer is not required to reveal who gets contracts and their amounts.  So the public will never know. 

You get it?  This Vision 20/20 is a cash cow in the magnitude of perhaps a 100 million dollars for the players.

Executive Director Carmelo Garcia is pulling out all stops to 'deliver' the project (GA wonders what, if any, his direction of Vision 20/20 played into his selection for the HCDO Assembly ticket), the urgency to throw Stuiver off and replace him with a friend (she works with Garcia's wife at HOPES), the inflammatory race-baiting rhetoric (Garcia called Forde P. a "racist" on Wednesday night- off camera)...

And Mike Russo and Tim Occhipinti are flailing like drowning men.  Calling a colleague a "Klu Klux Klan" member,  a "joke", flinging insults at Reform colleagues like monkeys chucking turds at the zoo.  Why do you think they're so desperate?

In the closing minutes of Wednesday's meeting, Timmy says:


That's all you need to know about where Timmy's concern lies. 

Not with the people of the HHA who are about to get fleeced by piggies lined up for substantial public monies squeezed from their buildings.

And Russo, Timmy call the people- reformers-  who want to protect them and the integrity of the project "racists".

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No Class, No Manners


GA hadn't planned to post again, but...  I can hardly believe my ears.  From last night's City Council meeting:  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/32891279 ,cue to 14:00.
Timmy: (to Ravi Bhalla) How did you think you could be an assemblyman.   Honestly.  I don't really see it.

Bhalla: I won't answer that.

Timmy: I'd love to know your record.  Maybe a list of your accomplishments that qualify you to run for the 33rd District.

Bhalla: Would you like to run for mayor?

Timmy: I'd love to.

Bhalla: I think you should.

(City Clerk Jimmy Farina begins call for next vote)

Timmy: Wake up.
And, cue to 45:09:
Timmy: (to Leo Pellegrini) Complaining?  Watch your language with  me, Director.
WHO does that twit think he is?

Pillow Cases! KKK! Snake Oil! Bloggers!


Wow!

That'll teach GA for going to bed before the 1AM showing of "City Council Drama Queen Theater" STARRING:
  • Mike  'Lives in all-white publicly subsidized housingRusso 
  • Tim  'I Bark for Dollars'  Occhipinti
  • Terry  'I'm not sucking lemons, it's my face'  Castellano 
  • Beth  'I dropped $46K in Jersey City and all I got is this lousy-shirt'  Mason

GA woke up to 192 emails about the meeting (yes!), then read MSV's re-cap. 

Apparently, the fireworks started in the final 2 hours. If you missed them, the KKK attack (launched by Russo) is at the END of Part 3 of 4: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/32886193

Here is how a reader described it:
Russo said something like:

why don't you just go home, get a pillow case , cut 2 holes in it and put it over your head so everyone can see who you really are...that's right you are a member of the klu klux klan
Statesman Russo calls CC President a Ku Klux Klan member
Wow!

The exchange resumes at the start of  Part 4 of 4: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/32891279 with Ravi Bhalla angrily challenging Russo that "as the only person of color" on the Council, was he accusing him of being a member of the Klu Klux Klan!  So Russo clarifies that no, he'd fired the Klan-missile at Council President Cunningham!

Well...

Not only is the suggestion that Cunningham ruin a pillowcase conduct unbecoming of a City Council member, but does Mrs. Russo let him cut up their pillowcases?  No?  Then why suggest it to Peter?  Why not suggest Cunningham  throw a bucket of paint over his living room furniture?  Or shrink his wife's wool sweaters?  Or take a piss on their dinner table? (Please let Timmy read that excerpt at your next meeting).

There is really something wrong with a City Council member inviting another to cut up his wife's pillowcases.

And folks, if you think the discourse got all high-brow after that, guess again!

In just the first few minutes of Part 4,  Russo reads 3 comments posted on MSV (one was mine; naturally I'm the only one mentioned by screen name) and calls Council President Peter Cunningham "a joke".   Then, when Mello starts talking about how no one on the Council "gives more time to people who are impoverished..."  (Mello is a public school teacher in the Bronx), Russo lights up like a Roman candle: KABOOM! Prompting this 3-bagger exchange: (3 bags of popcorn)
Russo: Move into a unit (HHA), move into a unit then we'll talk!

Mello: Let somebody move into your unit (Church Towers), let somebody move into your unit!  Desegregate your building!   (addressing HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia) You want to talk about the conversations... who do you think burned out people's families?   Director, why don't  you talk about who burned down peoples families 20 years ago? Why don't we have those comments?

Russo: Let's have them, Councilman!

Mello: Be my guest, Director!

 Russo: Where were you when the shootings were going on?  Where were you when the stabbings were going on?

 Mello: Director, why don't you talk about whose funeral you refused to go to because you because you blame him for the burnings?

Russo: You're a joke!

Mello: You're a joke in a segregated complex!
WOW!  And that was just the first 10 minutes!

All the fuss was about 2 resolutions pulled out after midnight: a 'Resolution of need' and one for a  30-year PILOT.

GA will reserve specific comment until after I've heard it all but one thing is clear: the strident desperation displayed with cries of  "Klu Klux Klan!" led by Russo, the urgency to shove an UNEXAMINED massive redevelopment of our City through in the wee hours of the morning-- with a 30-year developer tax break, raises enough red flags for reasonable, responsible people to ask: what's that smell?

Cause it really stinks.

Martha says: "Don't cut my pillowcases, motherf*cker."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peek-a-boo!

Hiding in the back room: Beth Mason at Healy headquarters last night

So, which Hoboken politicos were at Healy headquarters in Jersey City yesterday?

According to a witness, they were Councilwoman Beth Mason, her Chief of Staff Matt Calicchio, Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, Mason political operative Ryan Yacco, Mason political operative Adam Alonso, and Russo-loyalist Mike Holmes.  

Conspicuously absent: Mason's Weekhawken fish stick.  Doing damage control?

JC Blogger Calls Mason "Biggest Loser"

The Jersey City Desk is Johnny Action Space Punk's blog, started in 2007

Jeez, word's really gotten around.  Hey Johnny, what do you think she'll get from the HCDO for that pile of loot?

Fulop Wins BIG, Mason Loses BIG


GA was at a Zoning Board meeting tonight, so didn't find out about Steve Fulop's incredible victory until later this evening... wow!  I must admit, I figured there'd be a run-off.   

O me of little faith!

Well, this sure is great news for the Fulop folks and his many supporters in Jersey City.

What tells you Fulop was the better choice?

Take a look at who was with Healy tonight in the video of his concession speech: Mason's Chief of Staff Matt Calicchio, Mike Holmes, Stick Romano... but who DON'T you see?

The BIGGEST LOSER of them all- that's Beth Mason!

Not only did she flush an estimated $52,000 down the toilet, she flushed any chance for a place on a future HCDO ticket by making enemies who won't forgive and forget her double-cross. 

And that goes for her slippery Weehawken salamander.

Whoooooooosh!  

If Healy had won, you would see her out in front, making sure snapping cameras caught her at the side of the victorious candidate.  But he lost, so Mason stayed far away from the camera- oh, she was there, but avoided being photographed with the loser. That's the kind of 'friend' Mason is.  At least Mike Holmes was right by Healy's side, looking genuinely sad. 

Like his boss, Masons 'Chief of Staff' Matt Calicchio ran as the cameras started to roll at Healy headquarters- take a look!



Okay folks, there'll be more about this tomorrow.

Congratulations, winners!

Bertoli & Fulop: winning team

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Price Was Right


Good morning, folks.  It's fine weather for an election, isn't it?  I'm talking about the one today in Jersey City, the race between incumbent Mayor Jerry Healy and challenger Steve Fulop.

Now, GA does not believe that a Hoboken blogger should endorse another another city's mayoral candidate. Oh, no.

So when my friends in Jersey City ask me who they should vote for, I tell them: "Don't ask me! It's your choice: either the naked, drunk guy who says three Hispanic girls stole his towel and took $46K from Beth Mason for some future 'favor' from the HCDO or the Iraq war veteran.

Now, Horsey was kind enough to note that it was GA who exposed the $46K donation (probably $52K when all is said and done).  The so-called mainstream local media will never acknowledge the Reform blogs; not when they are getting hefty ad revenues from the politicians these blogs sharply criticize.  

So GA wasn't surprised when my friend Al Sullivan wrote this:
Money had been traveling from bigwigs into both races, including more than $40,000 donated by Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason and her husband to the Healy campaign, according to two Mason political operatives.
Note the "more than $40,000" description is by-design, meant to soften the impact of the actual figure and place no limit on the amount the Masons will ultimately give Healy; the legal maximum is $52,000. Now the next part is interesting, it's spin planted by the "two Mason political operatives":
Rumors suggest that this was $10,000 less than Fulop asked of Mason, although Fulop supposedly offered to back her later for a race to fill the congressional currently occupied by Rep. Albio Sires – which could explain why Sires is supporting Healy.
GA can tell you this is pure BS.  

But it is funny BS, and reveals how dumb Mason's people are; they've turned her into a frigging pimp shopping for the cheapest ho, and tell us she found one "10K" cheaper!

(How does a woman with all that dough employ such nincompoops?  Can't she find a smarter bunch?)

Anyway, that's the spin they've put out. And Sullivan correctly observed that Mason's double-cross "has has resulted in a falling out of friendships."

Though one can argue such persons were never 'friends' just users.

These 'friends' double-crossed Team Fulop--photo: MSV
Well, we'll see what happens today.

In the meantime, Mason's half-wit operatives have framed her contribution as "The Price Was Right"- minus Bob Barker.

Certainly it was a political calculation on how to get 'something' from the HCDO.

And she bet on Healy to do that.

But many, including Al, suggested that Mason is really gunning for Albio Sires' Congressional seat.   He is, in fact, eligible for a full pension after age 62 if he's served at least 5 years, so he does get that if she knocks him off. 

Watch out, Albio.

Because who knows what price will be 'right' for your 'friends' to throw you under the bus.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Nudie-Healy Goes National!

So GA just took a look at the Huffington Post and, holy cow: Nudie-Gate's gone national!

The HuffPo article: "Mayor Jerramiah Healy Blames Nude Photo On Hispanic Girls, Angering Latino Community" features their own webcast about blowback from the Jersey City mayor's remarks to the Star Ledger about "three Hispanic girls" luring him out of the house, naked except for a towel.

Here's a clip of HuffPo's webcast- for the full version click here. 
  


Wow... now that he's gone national, maybe $46K Healy-donor Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason can buy him a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame?

The comments below are a hoot, 277 so far.


Well, who knows what effect- if any, Nudie-gate will have on tomorrow's election results and if it has softened support among Hispanic voters.  We shall see.

Hey, did you know that Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason gave Jersey City Mayor Healy 50% more than FBI informant Solomon Dwek offered him?

Generous pair

HHA's Meth Lab Time-Bomb?

Children at risk: neurological defects, respiratory problems, birth defects from exposure to toxic chemicals

I've gotta tell you, GA is finding the midnight push by Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti, Mike Russo and Terry Castellano to increase the population of HHA public housing disgusting and this one is NOT just about politics.

It's about the health and safety of HHA residents we already have who depend on ED Carmelo Garcia and his 'staff' to keep their facilities safe and clean, but have been a failure on both counts.

The  HHA with it's current population is a place where some have felt at liberty to manufacture meth and sell heroin.

With that, and the unclean condition of the facilities (urine-filled elevators), buildings without fire suppression,  plus the occasional dead  body turning up (the latest was found in a stairwell, surrounded by drug paraphenalia), does anyone believe that management can handle the proposed 25% population increase?

Tell that to City Council members Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Castellano who tried to push through developer tax-breaks for the proposal to increase the overall population of the HHA.  These politicians don't look at the HHA residents as people;  they are next year's crop of VBMs and paid 'campaign workers.' 

Child suffering from exposure to lead, a waste product from meth manufacturing

Beth Mason's long-term employee lives at 501 Marshall Drive, the building that housed the meth lab.  Tim Occhipinti's campaign worker rented the meth lab apartment.  HHA ED Carmelo Garcia  also employed the meth lab's 'owner' in his 2011 BoE race.  Mason's husband, Ricky Mason, gave $7,540 on April 27, 2011-- the same day the meth lab 'owner' got paid $35 for her 'work'.  (What a coincidence!)



Are you geting the picture?

The cheerleaders for building bigger, higher HHA housing, and cramming in MORE HHA residents (25% more at least)  don't care that the current HHA management let 6 buildings go for months without fire suppression systems, did not use a FEMA grant from Hurricane Irene to raise building generators, allows residents to pee in elevators, has meth labs, heroin dealers and the occasional dead body on his premises... none of that matters to these four .

Russo cries "racist" while living in segregated (nearly all-white) PILOTed housing.  Are the Russos forced to ride in elevators wearing rubber diapers that stink like urine?  Where meth is manufactured and heroin is sold?  What a phony.

And there's Tim Occhipinti, who employed the meth lab 'owner' in TWO campaigns (2010 and 2011) threatening litigation if developer give-backs aren't voted on.

Terry Castellano is a landlord- does she allow her tenants to piss in public areas in her buildings?  What kind of management allows that behavior?

But the most unforgivable aspect to all of this is lack of attention or concern for the inhabitants of 501 Marshall Drive.  GA was told at last week's HHA meeting, Carmelo Garcia said the meth lab apartment was "cleaned up".   Is that it?  Has anyone inquired further?  Was the apartment tested, before and after?  Did a certified contractor with hazardous waste clean-up experience do the job?

In March 2013, the EPA has issued  'Guidelines for Voluntary Methamphetamine Laboratory Clean-Up": http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/meth_lab_guidelines.pdf  It is a frightening read.  

If 501 Marhall Drive was not properly cleaned and decontaminated, then it is a ticking time bomb for it's residents- especially children and those yet to be born.



Children may be more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults because their bodily systems are still developing; they eat more, drink more and breathe more in proportion to their body size; and their behavior can expose them more to chemicals and organisms.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP), children who live in or visit meth labs or are present during drug production face acute health and safety risks. The age-related behaviors of young children (such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact and physical contact with their environment) increase the likelihood that they will inhale, absorb or ingest toxic chemicals, drugs or contaminated food. Their physiological characteristics (such as higher metabolic and respiratory rates and a developing central nervous system) leave them particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemical exposures.

Children may also have a special vulnerability to certain harmful materials that may be present during meth lab remediation activities, including lead, asbestos and mercury. For these reasons, special care should betaken when cleaning up a former meth lab if a child lives or will live in the residence.

The EPA guidelines are very clear that a certified specialist in hazardous waste cleanup should be used.

Has the meth lab at 501 Marchall been properly cleaned?  Are the residents safe? 

These are the questions Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Castellano should be asking, instead of "How can we increase the population of the HHA?"