Monday, February 24, 2014

The Hoboken Reporter Generates Cover Up?

GA surveying a whole lotta generators

Folks, I was as surprised as you were to see The Hoboken Reporter had followed up on GA's exclusives:  "Snowy Generators at the HHA" and "HHA Generator Mystery" with their own 'investigation' into 14 generators languishing in an HHA parking lot:"HUD: Installation of generators in public housing slated for Spring."

And you know, after reading Dean DeChiaro's excellent cover story on VBMs, GA had high hopes for this one.  Like a big, juicy low hanging fruit, this story was ripe for plucking off the blogs for the mainstream press to sink it's teeth into.   

Then I read it.

If our Fourth Estate ever had teeth, it's got no balls.

All GA can say is, shame.  The residents of public housing deserve much, much better.  

Did you read the article?  Here it is in a nutshell: the nut was delivered in fall and left in its shell outside in a parking lot at the HHA, because the nut-farmer wanted to prove that its new species of nut- more crunchy and delicious than previous iterations, could withstand the elements, and guess what?  This nut was Sandy-proof!   What better way to prove how weather-resistant this new breed of nut was than to order it in September, leave it out all winter, then eat it in Spring!

Isn't that clever?

If you bought that bullshit, then you believed The Hudson Reporter's version, as told by a nameless "HUD spokesman" to reporter Dean DeChiaro.  (GA emailed Dean DeChiaro to get the name of this "HUD spokesman"-- I'm waiting for a reply).

I think the identity of the "HUD spokesman" is even more mysterious than the provenance of those 14 generators!    (Maybe the HR got a couple of paragraphs on HUD letter head?)  Well, here are a few questions raised by whomever the sources were:

The article says "... the agency [HHA]was able to order 14 new ones this past fall."  

Followed by "The generators were delivered last September and October and are stacked in a lot at Fourth and Harrison streets." 

Really? 

How were these "new model generators" ordered and delivered in Fall?  There's no lead time to fabricate a generator?  GA imagines it's weeks, if not months between an order, fabrication and delivery of a large mechanical piece of equipment.   Generators are not typically an off-the-shelf item.  The HHA generators were all different sizes and shapes. For a September delivery, GA is guessing the order was placed in July or August, at the latest.  By whom?  The article says the HHA is looking for a contractor to install.  Who sized and specified the generators? 

Are you ready to swallow some more?

 "The risk that the current cold weather poses to residents is not worth taking right now, said Garcia, who added that for the time being, there is no rush to install the new generators." 

Followed by: "In fact, HUD said, the generators were delivered in fall on purpose. At the time, HUD, Garcia and the vendor were aware that inclement weather might be looming, but the manufacturer wanted to prove that its new model generator, more powerful than previous iterations, could withstand the elements."

Don't pee on my leg (or my door) and tell me it's raining.

Which is it: (A) the installation was delayed because of inclement weather, or (B) delayed for inclement weather?

I would fire the idiot that came up with (B).  (You know, I left my boots outside all year to prove they were waterproof.)

 Now, did you catch this:

"The HHA's smaller buildings... have never been outfitted with emergency generators before."  

Which means they don't have them nowAnd that's not a problem?  

So, why isn't the installation of generators where none exist a priority?  Why wouldn't that have been done before cold weather hit?

GA was told by an HHA resident that this generator is "dead"

It's one thing to cover a politician's ass when it's simply politics.  It's entirely another when public housing tenants' safety is at stake.   

So when The Hoboken Reporter publishes an unnamed HUD-spokesperson's B.S. about an HVAC manufacturer wanting its product to sit uninstalled in winter "on purpose" to "prove" it could withstand the elements... 

I think it's time to hang a "FOR SALE" sign outside of 1400 Washington Street.

15 comments:

  1. Its funny the HR didn't credit your blog for reporting this first. They were afraid they wouldn't get their biscuit from BM?

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    1. It's HR at its most Pravda-like. Responding to an article from one of the imperialist newspapers but not acknowledging that such a newspaper exists or published anything to which they are responding.

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  2. More bad PR ( no pun intended) is the last thing Exec. Director Garcia needs and they did some damage control.

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  3. Why was there no mention in the Distorter's article about the alleged quarter million Garcia received to elevate generators after the last hurricane - work that was never done?

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  4. I got some beef that's good til Friday, so I'm leaving it on the counter until then to make sure that's true.

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  5. I have a watch that's waterproof so I leave it in the tub.

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  6. I wear flame-resistant pajamas so I set myself on fire.

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  7. I've never personally dealt with this generator company (or actually heard of them until now, but they don't seem to raise any flags) so I don't have any contacts there, but the line where the manufacturer wanted them to sit around in a lot on purpose sends the bs meter off the charts. They're proving how powerful their brand new models are by... leaving them sitting uninstalled in the corner of a parking lot for half a year? Seems like the best way to make sure your product can withstand the elements is to actually OPERATE THEM in the cold weather - you know, make sure the diesel engine fires up when the temps are near zero and things start to turn to gel; make sure the charging system keeps the batteries in top shape during weeks of temperatures in the teens, etc. What a load of crap.

    I have no idea if this is the case here, but manufacturers will keep a couple of units "in stock" for emergency deliveries. Did HHA just go and buy everything they had in stock to spend the money quickly? That's why they're a hodgepodge of sizes and types? Or more likely was there an advance order placed? Lead time for an order this size, unless coincidentally all right out of stock, is not typically measured in days.

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    1. Thanks for the thoughts and clarifications on this post, Hobojoe. God forbid the Hoboken Reporter make a phone call to an industry expert like yourself to verify any of the "HHA spokesperson's" dubious-to-anyone-paying-attention claims.

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  8. I bet they ordered the wrong generators. I wonder how to find out who are they contracted with for electrical work?

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  9. Wasn't sure there was anything to this but then the HR had to go and publish more of Carmelo Garcia's absolute bullshit. Gee, show some love for Applied and development in Hoboken and they will cover for your sorry ass.

    They did a pretty good story after Horsey's exclusive on the VBM court case but they kinda him out of that one too.

    They really hate you guys for kicking their asses up and down Washington Street week in and week out. Dean's definitely a good reporter and improving but the laundry gets washed in a bad way with those editors and the dirty publisher.

    Viva Reform! Nice work again exposing another of Carmelo Garcia's follies. Now when are the senior members of the board going to hold this guy accountable? It's time.

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  10. And the position of the Reform members of the HHA board is....?

    Is.....??

    Is..............??????

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    1. Position on what? In any event, if you want to know any public official's position on anything, why don't you ask them? If you choose not to attend an HHA meeting and ask publicly, I'm sure their contact info is available for you to ask privately. But I don't know why this story even requires a position. It raises questions and depending on the answers, it may or may not be a real issue. Board members may or may not know the answers. If they do and if Garcia is not telling the truth they should certainly raise that at a meeting. If they don't, they should try to find out and take whatever action is appropriate.

      Equipping HHA buildings with back-up generators seems like a good thing, so I would hope that the position of the "reform" members of the HHA board is in general supportive of that goal. That doesn't mean questions shouldn't be asked about the odd way the process of getting to that worthy goal seems to be unfolding, but your implied criticism of the reform Board members seems to me to be not just unwarranted but incredibly silly.

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  11. Who came up with the story that generators were ordered on purpose to sit out all winter - the bar keep, the corrections guy, the mole or...?

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  12. Story is they weren't bought for the HHA, but ordered for the private developer who was to profit from Vision $/$. In other words, Garcia didn't order them for the disabled, elderly, unemployed, or minimum wage workers of the HHA, but the wealthy tenants that were to inhabit the Vision $/$ buildings.

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