Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tracking Down that "HUD Spokesman"

HUD Spokesman?
Those 14 generators languishing in an HHA parking lot aren't making electricity, but they are generating a buzz.

And thanks to Hoboken's "credentialed media," the buzz just grew louder. 

Because this week, The Hoboken Reporter stepped in to explain-away the appearance of these steel Goliaths still wrapped in their shipping plastic. Since no one who should know why they are there wants to claim them, the HR introduced a nameless "HUD spokesman" who explains that the 14 units of various shapes and sizes "were delivered in fall on purpose"!

Yep. And whose idea was it to ship generators in the Fall when installation is set for Spring?

The manufacturer's!  It's true.  I read it in our "credentialed media."
"Garcia, HUD and the vendor" were aware that the "inclement weather was looming but the manufacturer wanted to prove its  new model generator, more powerful than previous iterations, could withstand the elements."

HUD spokesman?
Well, GA would like to give a shout-out to reader hobojoe, who knows a lot about mechanical engineering; so much so, in fact I would like to offer him a full-time, unpaid position at Grafix Avenger with overtime and no benefits.   hobojoe, are you interested?  You can be GA's Mechanical Engineering/General Contracting Consultant (MEGCC).  The job comes with upsides and downsides.  The upsides, are: um, none actually.  The downsides: you will be sued by Beth Mason, taunted at public meetings, have thousands of midnight flyers with your picture spread citywide  - you may even end up on a Nazi Truck.  Sound good? With 2 weeks of unpaid vacation!  Did I say no benefits?  Zip.   Please join Team GA, hobojoe!

hobojoe said:
 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.
Great point!

So who is this idiot, I mean "HUD spokesman", anyway?  GA emailed reporter Dean DeChiaro yesterday to find out.
Hi Dean,

I thought you did a great job w the VBM story.

I want to know the name of the HUD spokesman who provided you with the information for the Generator story. I’m interesting in contacting him/her. Please get back to me ASAP.

Thanks,
Nancy
No response.  Hmmmm.  Well, the name of a spokesperson of a federal agency talking about the use of taxpayer-dollars is not privileged information.

So GA contacted some HUD officials today to see if any of them know WHO told The Hoboken Reporter that 14 generators were ordered on purpose" to stand outside in a parking lot for 6 months. 
From:(me)
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:37 AM
To: redacted@hcnj.us'

Subject: Hoboken Reporter Attribution to HUD spokesman

Dear (redacted),

I am trying to find out the name of the HUD official spokesperson who provided the following information for the Hoboken Reporter story: HUD: Installation of generators in public housing slated for spring.

The article discusses the future of 14 generators delivered to the Hoboken Housing Authority in “September and October” but sit in a snow-covered parking lot, uninstalled. The article cites an un-named “HUD spokesman” for the explanation. Some of the “HUD spokesman’s” statements do not make sense- including:

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. The HHA is currently in the process of seeking a contractor who will install the generators.

Can you please advise who represented your agency for the information provided to the Hoboken Reporter? Please provide his/her contact information. A spokesman for HUD expenditure of federal dollars should not be anonymously sourced.

I have been writing about these generators since contacted by a resident of the HHA who was concerned about why they have been sitting out all winter and have not been installed.

Very truly yours,
(me)
http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com

In the meantime, maybe Dean will answer his email (?).

Hey Dean, why didn't you name the "HUD spokesman"?  Maybe someone from HUD will have that information handy.

HUD Spokesman?

In the meantime, I've decided to unplug my washing machine and move it outside with the rest of my appliances (did those yesterday).  I'm leaving them outside until Spring, since half of them are under warranty and the other half, oh well.

14 comments:

  1. Awesome, great stuff!!

    To paraphrase: the cover-up (of the stupidity) is worse than the crime (aka, stupidity).

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  2. If you were actually motivated enough, you could actually file a FOIA request (federal OPRA) for all correspondence/phone records between HUD, the HR, the HHA and the MFGR concerning the generators. None of that is privileged. If Dean corresponded with a HUD spokesman via e-mail that would ID them, though it is more likely they spoke over the phone.

    I'll bet there's correspondence between our "spokesman" and CG though, and certainly invoices and delivery receipts and correspondence with the MFGR.

    CG ignores his open records responsibilities so he'll just ignore you but HUD runs these requests through a real legal department and likely will comply (at least somewhat).

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  3. The HR article was done pure and simple to create damage control. The HR was created and owned by Joe Barry of Applied Housing to further his agenda as a big landlord. Who worked for Applied and would sponsor management led rallies in support of Applied in 2001, but Carmelo Garcia? Carmelo helped collect signatures at Applied asking the State Court to drop a lawsuit to defend affordable housing in Applied causing the percentage of affordable housing to be dropped from 90% to 20% when the case was dropped. Shame on You, Mr. Garcia for selling us, your people out! Shame on the HR for defending this self-hating and enemy of the Puerto-Rican people!! No one reads the HR any longer anyway and this is why. No one believes a word in it. Ragsheet. At least the National Enquirer has some real news.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lest we forget Joseph Barry was convicted on felony charges for giving money to Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski..

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  4. ohboyohboyohboy!!!!!!!
    Can I get a cubicle? Or at least draw an outline of a box on the floor so I can sit in it and pretend I have one? Because even that second one would be better than I have now.

    Is there a dress code? Do I have to wear a white short-sleeve dress shirt with a tie that's about 4" too short? Does anyone still make pocket protectors?

    Take that, hobojoe's high school math teacher who said I was too "insolent" to do anything math related!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You, betcha, I already set you up with a cubicle between One Eye and Ear Wax, see you at 9 AM. No dress code, GA keeps it pretty loose... One Eye isn't wearing pants today, hope you don't mind. And please don't touch Ear Wax's pencils.

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  5. Poor Dean seems to be caught between the truth and a paycheck .

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  6. call the manufacturer and ask them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. GA, Google is my homeboy. Try FM Generator Hoboken...

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  8. Interesting, it appears that FM generator actually advertised on their FB page the fact that these were in a parking lot on February 4, before you got involved. I still think the mysterious spokesperson is probably a work, but the general story may check.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The FB post says that the generator installation is sitting in the parking lot because of construction delays due to inclement weather. That makes sense but still makes the "HUD spokesman" claim that they were delivered early to show they could withstand the winter a silly baldfaced lie.

      As for the rest of the post regarding how and why these particular companies/generators were chosen, it's marketing hype that may or may not have any relationship to reality.

      The important questions here, as I see it are:

      1. When did the HHA receive the grant money for these generators? Specifically, was this Irene $$ or Sandy $$?

      2. When were the generators ordered?

      3. If this was Irene $$, could/should these generators have been installed on time to protect the HHA during Sandy? If they could have been but weren't what was the reason for the delay.

      Depending on the answers to these questions, this could be an example of Garcia doing his job well, or it could be an example of his incompetence being the reason that HHA residents were without emergency power during Sandy.

      The BS flying in the HR (plus Garcia's dubious track record) makes me believe it's more likely the latter than the former but without more info its impossible to know.

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    2. I can see weather and other "unforseen circumstances" leading to delays which may prevent installation of a couple of these. Or even half of these. But not being able to install a single one yet when they've been sitting there since the fall? Not a single one was able to be installed according to plan?

      Further, the "all custom built" aspect confirms that these were ordered well in advance of their delivery date.

      Oh well.

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    3. I'll have an update tomorrow. Drip, drip, drip.

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