Tuesday, May 30, 2017

DeFusco video contradicts ZBA Vote: 115-131 Grand St.


The above video is dedicated to the source who tipped me off:
Nancy,
I notice Michael DeFusco using a video snip of the demolition of 115-131 Grand Street as his example of an old historic building he'd work to save - however - I'm a little confused about his example based on this document: http://www.hobokennj.org/content/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/115-131-Grand-Resolution-of-Denia

 It appears that Mr. DeFusco voted in the minority (these plans were denied) and actually voted in favor of a much larger residential development with even bigger variances on the exact site.  

Wow, that's right.

On December 16, 2014, ZBA Commissioner DeFusco voted to approve multiple variances for an application which included the teardown of 115-131 Grand Street.   

In 2017, mayoral candidate DeFusco uses footage of the teardown of 115-131 Grand Street in his kickoff video. While a huge crane rips into the building, DeFusco's voiceover says:
"I'm tired of watching historic buildings being torn down, displacing tenants and forever altering the charm of our city. I know that we can be doing better."
-Candidate DeFusco's campaign video
Fascinating!

DeFusco wasn't "tired" enough to vote NO to these 8 variances for 115-131 Grand Street:

 

In fact, the ZBA transcript shows Commissioner DeFusco didn't utter a word about saving 115-131 Grand Street from teardown.

He was one of the (2) Commissioners  who voted to approve the application- the rest voted "NO"; the application was DENIED.

Candidate DeFusco's lecturing the City on historic preservation is like the bear lecturing the honey jar. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day


We honor them on this day and every day.

Friday, May 26, 2017

HUGE turnout for Brian Stack Rally (Video, Photos)


2,000 supporters  turned out last night for the Unity Rally hosted by LD33 State Senator Brian Stack, with Special Guest, NJ Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy!

The rally was held in advance of the Democratic Primary election Tuesday, June 6th!

Hudson County View covered the event, and noted that in addition to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer:
"Other dignitaries in attendance included Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), state Senators Sandra Cunningham (D-31) and Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Assembly members Nick Chiaravalloti, Angela McKnight (both D-31), Raj Mukherji and Annette Chaparro (both D-33), Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Freeholders Kenny Kopacz (D-1), Bill O’Dea (D-2), E. Junior Maldonado (D-4) and Caridad Rodriguez (D-7), Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Union City Commissioners Lucio Fernandez, Tilo Rivas, Maryury Martinetti and Celin Valdivia, former state Senate Majority Leader Bernie Kenny, among many others."
Impressive.

These pics were provided to GA:







Thursday, May 25, 2017

RALLY with PHIL & the GANG Tonight!!!


Yeah, it's raining.  When it rains on a wedding, it's supposed to be good luck.

When it rains on Special Guest Phil Murphy, Host LD33 Senator Brian Stack and Mayors Zimmer and Fulop, that means Column E is gonna SWEEP on June 6th!

Tonight's election rally will show the unity in CommUNITY.  There's way too much infighting these days in Hudson County... how about some Kumbaya between local municipalities?

Meanwhile, GA thanks Senator Brian Stack for stuffing Hoboken mailboxes (constantly) with reminders that a big vote is coming up on June 6th. As you can see in the above image, GA has depicted him with a heart 3 sizes too big-- unlike the Grinch whose heart was 3 sizes too small.

Democrats (like myself) are so energized locally now, because the decisions we make at the local level reverberate at the state, then nationally.

Democracy works from the bottom-up, not the other way around.  

No joke, people.  If you can, please come out tonight and show your love for free and fair democratic elections (sans Russian interference), good government and UNITY.

And bring your umbrella (or bumbershoot, if you prefer.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

UPDATED--"Dliebler07030" leaves name on "anonymous" pro-DeFusco graphic* (*PROFANITY)

UPDATED: GA just spoke to David Liebler.

  • Liebler denies any knowledge or involvement about the Zimmer graphic.
  • Liebler denies he is the "David" that reported this site to Blogger
  • Liebler denies posting here period
  • Liebler says he has not been involved in Hoboken politics in "2-4 years."  

I am unconvinced.  However, in deference to Liebler's denials, I've 'adjusted' the original post accordingly.

 ____________________



We know the alleged identity of the person who posted this:


How?

All one had to do was copy-paste the  link "https://ibb.co/jTwAAv" into their browser. The link would have taken you to an image hosting web site called imgbb.com.

What's an "image host"?

An image host lets you upload images to their server, and provides you with links to share the image or embed it in social media or on a website.

All one needs to do to use free image host imgbb.com is register.

So, if you had followed "Anonymous"'s link https://ibb.co/jTwAAv, you would have seen an image.

The image was called  "Screenshot 2017 05 23" and was uploaded by the registered account-holder at 2:18 PM.  This was it:


Oh, there was other information on https://ibb.co/jTwAAv...

The registered name of the account-holder.

Yes, the account holder went to great pains to register at an image-host, then to upload his juvenile handiwork there, then 8 minutes later, to post a link to it as "Anonymous" on Grafix Avenger.


Here's what happened, all in one image (which is hosted on Blogger:)


Oh, and here is another fun fact.

On April 20, 2017, "David" reported a GA post to Blogger:   https://grafixavenger.blogspot.ca/2016/12/liebler-demand-150k-from-city-with-90.html then posted a mocking "bye bye" on my site.

So while the Plaintiff of the money-grab First Amendment lawsuit  shows utter intolerance to the political speech of others,  he clearly ENJOYS his own free speech privileges and has for years:

 Nice campaign Mike DeFusco is running.   

GA note: "Dliebler07030" took down the DeFusco campaign graphic-  https://ibb.co/jTwAAv is a dead link.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Will DeFusco pay a price for dissing Romano?


Whoa...  never a dull moment in Hoboken politics!

Sources close to Anthony 'Stick' Romano report that the 2017 Freeholder candidate is planning payback for alleged disrespect he's been shown by Team DeFusco: specifically, by Frank 'Pupie' Raia and Perry Belfiore.  

The sources accuse DeFusco's team of working to undermine Stick's race- up to and including trying to "force him out."  

Romano's sources allege the Freeholder candidate is being trashed by DeFusco's team, including spreading false rumors about a shadowy"secret meeting" between Romano and Mayor Zimmer, an apparent move to drive Stick's voters "off the line."   

Romano sources allege Raia is Waiters' underwriter
Romano sources also point the finger at Raia for underwriting the campaign of Freeholder candidate challenger, Patty Waiters,  paying for her "website,  posters, doorknockers."  

Reportedly, Romano has been pushed to the edge by the "disrespect" of the organized opposition against him, and is not having it.  

So what kind of "payback" does Stick have in mind?

After the June 6 election, Romano may run for   for Hoboken mayor, in return for Team DeFusco's extreme disrespect.   Not a joke.  GA is told he is "more yes than no."

The source put like this:  "Romano don't let nobody shit on him."

Folks, this is no idle threat. 

GA reached out to Romano's campaign manager, Pablo Fonseca, who would neither confirm nor deny the source's claim about Romano's "payback."    Fonseca told GA that "Romano is focused 100% on the June 6th election"... and so on. 

In the meantime, some 'dish' on yesterday's DeFusco announcement...

Folks had the impression that DeFusco's announcement would be an event held in the evening at LuLu's in the W Hotel.  No invitation were sent, but it appears this went around by "word of mouth."

Hence, many were surprised by the noon time announcement on Facebook, in lieu of something more formal, more personal, with press in attendance,  at the Hoboken hotspot.

If true, why the change of venue?

Who knows.

Stay tuned folks, shoes are  dropping fast...

Monday, May 22, 2017

DeFusco announces solo (no slate)

click to read
Beware of those Baby Blues

A little past noon today, the fourth Hoboken mayoral candidate finally threw his hat into the ring... on Facebook.

That's one hat, not four.  No slate, yet.

No "Mike for Mayor" ELEC report on file yet, either.

The April filing of "Mike DeFusco for Hoboken City Council" reported a closing balance of $88,676.10.  That balance plus $250k developers PAC "pledges" leaked to InsiderNJ makes Mayor Zimmer, Karen Nason, and Ron Baptista the cash underdogs in the 2017 race.

The fact that DeFusco announced sans-slate seems to indicate the candidate was not yet ready to announce, but was forced to "shit or get off the pot," by big-money backers.  Ruben Ramos appears to have been ready to step into his place.

One can assume that DeFusco has not assembled a slate to his satisfaction nor to the satisfaction of his big-money backers.

He's also failed to push out Karen Nason. Nason is backed by Terry Castellano, who has neither forgiven nor forgotten that DeFusco unseated her in 2015. Karen has also assembled a stellar line-up of campaign staff, including nationally-known pollster Adam Geller.

But, sources say that DeFusco's campaign will have deep pockets from the Hoboken-based development community.  His major supporters (ka-ching) are rumored to be developers Dave Barry, Pupie Raia and Greg Dell'Aquila,  and Academy Bus's Tedesco family.

Well folks, GA is personally glad DeFusco has finally thrown in.  Instead of running a shadow mayoral campaign with no campaign reporting mechanism, he will have to play by the same rules as everyone else in the race.

Here is DeFusco's kick-off video.  What do you think?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Happiness is

GA's shopping cart

...a Trader Joe's in Hoboken.  High quality food at low prices... yeah!

This morning was my very first trip to our city's new Trader Joe's.

Look at all of that great stuff in my cart! TJ's tempura chicken (white meat chicken, sweet and sour sauce), beef meatballs (GA secret: boil for 20-30 minutes first to reduce fat and salt), frozen cod, peas, fresh brussel sprouts, canned green chillies and black beans, pesto-filled tortellini...  yum.

So you ask: how does this store compare with TJ's in Edgewater?

The inventory is at least the same, but the interior layout is more spacious; aisle widths feel at least double.

Not kidding people, this store feels wide and open. Though crowded today, shopping cart navigation was easy; no ass-bumping with strangers, no waiting to get through an aisle.  Also, the (21) cashiers are in a separate, dedicated area that doesn't overlap with customer circulation (like Edgewater's does).

And for those who want to drive there, TJ's will validate up to (1) hour of parking in the building garage.

My review: 4 thumbs up!  Trader Joe's is a great addition to our great little city.

But...  please note that  TJ's cannot replace our local supermarkets, ShopRite and ACME, which have the full range of foods and household products- but it sure complements them.

Of interest to note, Mike DeFusco took a victory lap for "voting on the building" that houses TJ's! I kid you not:


Yes, that's true.

GA, a ZBA Commissioner who served with Mike, voted on this application too.

For the record, when Mike and I heard the 1350 Willow application, it had already received preliminary site plan approvals for height and density variances- in either 2007, 2008 or 2009.  Like other applications that came back to us after receiving preliminary plan approvals, the 'fix was in' on height and density.  Once a variance is granted, it cannot be rescinded.

So, I cannot say personally, I am "proud" of a building of this height and density in an R-2 district.

I don't want to second-guess why the original board granted these variances. But they did.

I do recall my board got the Applicant's agreement for modest improvements. There were no tenants noted in the application, just ground floor space designated for commercial use.  The hearing transcript is no longer online- I'l try to find it.

Anyway, GA is thankful that 1350 Willow's tenant is Trader Joe's.

But GA and other members of the Zoning Board who approved the application had no part of luring this tenant.  Thus, taking credit for the building- being "proud" to have voted for a building that required multiple variances to be built before it lucked into a great tenant is-- in my opinion, a stretch.

It's also telling.  Telling about the attitude of a politician who is "proud" of voting for a building in an R-2 residential zone that required the granting of so many variances to exist.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Being there for Hoboken's LGBTQ Community



GA is still floored by Councilman DeFusco's narcissistic rant about Councilman Bhalla "selectivity" in prosecuting 'hate speech'; that Bhalla never stood up for him (DeFusco) when he alleged to be slurred online, but he (Bhalla) responded when a private citizen was assaulted with hate speech on the streets of Hoboken.

DeFusco called it  "selectivity."

In other words, the councilman equated anonymous message board attacks on himself, a politician, with a private citizen seen verbally assaulted on the streets of Hoboken by a licensed vendor on YouTube.

In a DeFusco-centric universe, those are the same. The rest of us live in the real world.

Then (incredibly), DeFusco said to Bhalla:
 " ...you have not been there for the LGBTQ Community." 
Time for a reality check.

2011
Where was Mike Defusco?

Mike DeFusco wasn't here. 

He was here:


In 2011 ZBA Commissioner DeFusco was networking with anti-Reform politicians, operatives and activists.

Bajardi v Pincus exhibit- Pincus' MSJ

In fact, GA has found no record of Mike Defusco publicly supporting the LGBTQ community prior to his 2015 election.   

So, let's keep it real.

Watch Hudson County View's 2015 interview with then-candidate DeFusco and see if you can find the part where he discusses how he's "been there for the LGBTQ community."


Neither could I.

The fact is, nobody ever questioned him about it and nobody cared... not until he attacked Councilman Bhalla for  "not being there for the LGBTQ community." 

In fact, Bhalla has been there for Hoboken's LGBTQ community.

Here is one example.

In 2015, Councilman Bhalla sponsored an ordinance amending a 1959 law banning cross-dressing in Hoboken; Bhalla's ordinance passed on September 2, 2015.  



Thank you, Councilman Bhalla for "being there" for Hoboken's LGBTQ community.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DeFusco to Bhalla: "You have not been there for the LGBTQ Community"



In case you weren't among the 25 streaming last night's council meeting, you missed another Kodak moment courtesy of (presumed candidate) Councilman Mike DeFusco.

The target was (candidate) Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who along with (candidate) Mayor Zimmer, led the City's response to the Vape Van 'hate speech' incident.

GA was watching MSNBC (and doing a happy dance) so I missed the beginning... but apparently the City reached a settlement with the Vape Van vendor prior to the meeting.

According to the settlement, Vape Van owner Joe Ruggiero will attend 10 "anger management and diversity classes" prior to May 31, and will refrain from operating his business until classes are complete.

Public speakers were largely supportive of Ruggiero. When the Council weighed in, most handled the matter with gravitas.

And then there was Councilman DeFusco.

DeFusco's prepared remarks alleged that the City was "selective" about responding to hate speech. To illustrate his point, he compared himself  (as a victim of hate speechwith the Vape Van victim- and singled out Bhalla, with an allegation that he hasn't "been there" for him or for the LGBTQ community.



Note: As a politician,  DeFusco is a public figure.  Because he makes decisions which effect the lives of Hoboken residents the Constitution does not spare him the slings and arrows of public opinion, and yes- offensive speech.

It's the same for everyone else on the dais.

Does DeFusco really think that a guy wearing a turban doesn't get more shit every day than a guy who doesn't?

Yet, the whiny public-figure baby petulantly accused Bhalla that he never "stood up" against alleged hate speech targeting him (the whiny baby). Imagine that!

Oh yeah: the victim of the Vape Van owner's tirade is a private citizen.

And so in his prepared remarks, public figure DeFusco compares boo-boo's accumulated in the rough and tumble full-contact sport of Hoboken politics to a private citizen verbally assaulted on the streets of Hoboken- like they are the same.   

Not only aren't they the same, it is amazing to witness one politician ('A') attacking another politician ('B') for not "standing up" for 'A' when big, bad, meanies attack.

Has 'A' ever stood up for 'B'- who's gotten more shit than most of the alphabet on that dais?

If DeFusco is not being disingenuous then he's out-to-lunch. He's not out-to-lunch.

But what came across to me was the arrogant, oblivious one-sided expectation on behalf of the white, gay letter of alphabet that the brown, Sikh letter of the alphabet be "there" for him.

Call it whatever you want.   I'll let Ravi have the last word:

"He doesn't know me. I would die for this principle. That is what my religion teaches me. Where was he during the Oak Creek massacre? Dawn was out with Stan and the kids and Fulop were all there. There was also a hate crime against a Sikh in Jersey City a few years ago, JC came together to show support. I don't expect anything from him but he's wrong to attack me." 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Karen Nason offered spot on DeFusco Ticket



GA checked in with Karen Nason this morning for her reaction to yesterday's post- an overheard conversation between her and her campaign manager.

Karen was overheard loudly recounting a meeting called by Frank Raia... and lo and behold,  when she got there, Ruben Ramos was there with Frank!   Ruben asked Karen to drop out of the race, promising her a spot on DeFusco's ticket.  Karen declined.

This morning, Nason confirmed the witness had gotten it right, adding:
"It was obvious to anyone with a brain that Ramos was with Defusco but I was quite shocked with Frank. Because I really like Frank."
-Hoboken Mayoral candidate Karen Nason

GA can confirm Nason is genuinely shocked that Raia, always supportive, was wheeling and dealing behind her back on behalf of Mike DeFusco.
"You want a friend in Hoboken? Get a dog." 
-not said by Harry S. Truman
Yes, she is shocked.

GA told Karen that if her 'friend' could make a buck from it, he'd run her over and throw her dead body off a ... nevermind.

True, Reformers are dullards- a bunch of nerds, but we don't shiv our friends for (alleged) personal profit.

Watch your back, Karen!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Overheard at the Hothouse...


Seeing is not believing... 

'Cause some folks saw this at Karen Nason's Friday night fundraiser:

Mayoral candidate Karen Nason with Frank 'Pupie' Raia and her campaign manager, Donald Goncalves

They look like best buddies, right?

Well, guess what?  One person in that photo is not a 'Nason for Mayor' supporter.  Eenie, meenie, miney moe....

Here's the story folks.

A GA reader stopped by the Hothouse last evening and spotted Nason sitting with her campaign manager.
Karen looked upset. She was speaking loudly. Real loudly. Her manager just listened. This is what I remember:

"Frank asked me to meet with him tonight... When I got there he was with Ruben Ramos. Ruben did all the talking. He told me if I drop out they'll give me position on Defusco's slate!  I said NO.
Ramos said "The numbers... the numbers... you CAN'T WIN!  I asked " Where are the poll numbers?" Ruben said "What poll?" I kept asking where are the poll numbers? I hear Mike did lousy."  Ruben said "I hear he did pretty good" Then he asked me again to drop out. So I asked "What are YOU getting out of this?" Ramos said "Mike's The Man." I asked Ruben "when is he going to announce?" Ruben said "Monday."  I had enough. So I got up and said "You can keep your council position, I'm gonna go big or go home."
Wow.  Can you smell the desperation?  Ramos is practically begging!

Ooooo... please pretty please.... 

And how 'bout Frank Raia, (a.k.a. 'Benedict Pupie') pretending to support Nason, but he's really on Team DeFusco and trying to push her out of the race!

Well folks, if you didn't believe the poll results were grim for DeFusco, do you now?  Because here we have Pupie Raia calling a sit-down with Nason to play 'Let's Make a Deal': a spot on DeFusco's ticket if she drops out of the race!

GA supposes that the poll showed Nason's candidacy is a mortal wound to DeFusco's.

I guess the woman has to drop out to make way for the man. Or "The Man" as Ramos put it. 

Such chutzpah!

Maybe Nason should have asked the same question to Raia: "What are YOU getting out of this?"

To be continued...

Monday, May 15, 2017

The (North Bergen) Things that Wouldn't Leave


The Jersey Journal's Political Insider, Augie Torres, wrote:

"In Hoboken you also have Stack helping Zimmer with her selection of party county committee people because Sacco and Prieto's political operative, Joey Muniz, is helping mayoral candidate and 1st Ward City Councilman Mike DeFusco. You'd think sides are being picked in the county sandlot game. How long before the bean balls begin?"

Wait a minute... didn't 33rd Legislative District Overlord Senator Brian Stack put the kibosh on LD32's interference in Hoboken's mayoral election?

Apparently NOT!

Hey Brian, wassup?  Furthermore, what's a "sandlot game"?

And by "help", does Augie mean use of Sacco's political operative? And a poll?

GA told you that DeFusco's polling results were rumored to be "grim", perhaps even forcing one prospective candidate to drop out before he dropped in.

In fact, no one has dropped in lately.

Methinks there's a vacuum created by DeFusco’s reticence to dip his toe into election waters; an opening for another candidate with an anti-Zimmer agenda.

GA gets laughed at when I bring up Freeholder Anthony 'Stick' Romano as a possibility.

Is it so funny?

GA wonders why BoE Trustee Peter Bianacamano bailed on the BOE's budget vote last Tuesday (the ole politician's trick to avoid taking a stance on a potential campaign issue.) He's a Stick loyalist and no longer in consideration for Karen Nason's slate. Seems to me he plans to run for something.

Maybe three time's the charm?


Saturday, May 13, 2017

UPDATE: DeFusco "absent" for 901 Bloomfield ZBA hearings

Just when you think you've driven a stake through the heart of an alternative fact, it pops out of its coffin!

Oh, boy.  Apparently 901 Bloomfield test-polled well, because it has risen from its eternal rest!

Check out this load of reanimated BS:


Now see original post below.

In short: Mike DeFusco blew off (3) ZBA hearings for the condo-conversion variance at 901 Bloomfield. 

Uh-huh.

He didn't care about the 901 Bloomfield condo conversion when he could have made a difference.

Read the post.

DeFusco's new argument about $600K "wasted" on a pop-up park which will serve an area of high-residential density, and which can be used by the entire Hoboken community, is entirely subjective.  I'd say the majority of taxpayers don't see a park which will serve the community for a couple of years a "waste."

Oh, and historic preservation of 901 Bloomfield in its present state would require far more than $600,000; the developer has pledged $1,000,000 to repair/repurpose the existing structure.

Finally, just remember that the revival of this politician's alternative fact was triggered by a poll which pitched alternative facts.

Where was Mike DeFusco to pitch a community arts center when 901 Bloomfield was vacant, before it was sold to a developer?  
______________

Original post: March 6, 2017

How does this..
 

 Jive with this?

"Crocodile tears" derives from an ancient belief that 
crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey.  


It doesn't. 

In 2015, Mike Defusco had an opportunity with his vote and his voice as a Commissioner on the quasi-judicial Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustments to speak for/against variances requested for the 901 Bloomfield application; the variances needed to convert the existing church to 6 condo units.

In 2015, with his quasi-judicial powers, DeFusco had a voice in the outcome of the project, the decision to allow the variances to be granted, to discuss his community center proposal with the owner.

So where was he?

The 1st zoning board hearing for 901 Bloomfield was on August 11, 2015.  The transcript reads:


When a ZBA Commissioner is absent from a hearing that's carried, all he/she has to do is read the transcript before the next meeting.

The 2nd zoning board hearing for 901 Bloomfield was on October 20, 2015. The transcript reads:


The vote took place on October 20, 2015.  

The 901 Bloomfield resolution was finalized at the next meeting, on December 22, 2015.  DeFusco was absent, but technically was precluded from the discussion because he did not participate in the application.

Why does this matter? 

Commissioner DeFusco's dereliction of duty for the 901 Bloomfield Street application was not a matter of public interest and public concern until  he made it the subject of  a toothless resolution, positing that the church interior could be "saved" if only the City could intervene (it has tried), suggesting that "bulk" could be dumped into the 1st Ward instead (the 1st Ward would never stand for it), and anyone who could not vote "yes" hates puppies (I prefer kittens). 

This resolution is has already backfired for DeFusco, politically. 

The resolution only highlights DeFusco's indifference to the 901 Bloomfield condo conversion in 2015 back when he had the power to influence a different outcome as a Zoning Commissioner.   It is a little too late now, the variances were granted. 

Speaking of variances, there's a mistake on the resolution- there was no "change of use" variance; the church is in an R-1 residential district, it is zoned as residential.   


Finally, at the City Council, in a heated exchange with Councilmen Ravi Bhalla and Jim Doyle who accused him of political grandstanding,  DeFusco defended himself, said he had been rallying for  adaptive reuse for 901 Bloomfield for the past year, and to check his "social media feeds."

I did, and found this on Facebook:


I really, really wish Mike would run a better campaign- as a former ZBA colleague, it pains me to see him going this route.   Obviously he is listening to idiots.  One in particular.

Friday, May 12, 2017

BREAKING Earwitness News: DeFusco's Poll Results!


It's a day of mourning in Hoboken politics- in the DeFusco camp, that is.

GA had cast out a wide net for the results of last weekend's citywide phone poll that some believe was the handiwork of a Sacco political operative tapped for the mayoral campaign of Councilman Mike DeFusco. 

Well... I'm afraid to say that various ears were garbed in black and waxy.  Because what was expected to be encouraging news, turned into a massacre for the mayoral prospects of Councilman DeFusco.

The press was not even notified about Defusco's poll results- not even after the numbers  were pumped with embalming fluid.

Nope, these poll numbers will be quietly buried... "What poll?"  "That wasn't OUR poll- it was a Union poll!"

In fact, DeFusco associates were seen running away from the poll results faster than Hussein Bolt around the 200 meter track.

Those sad, sad ears tell GA that the DeFusco camp is reeling; the poll-massacre has put DeFusco's scheduled announcement on ice... for the  moment.

Allegedly substantial amounts of cash have been "pledged"- but will these pledges materialize now that his poll numbers have crashed like the Hindenberg?

GA doesn't know, but if DeFusco had announced last October- instead of a drip, drip drip of leaks, by now he would have citywide name recognitiopiles of money in his account (not "pledges"), and would be much further along.

Tragically, any momentum he might have had sank with his "Shake Shack" swan song.

SAD. Everybody sing along...


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vape Van Politics

Hoboken City Council, misc. licensing for vendors approved at April 5, 2017 meeting


Like everything in Hoboken, GA predicts a Vape Van vendor's license will become a political football.

It shouldn't, but it will.

Some idiot at the City Council will grandstand, perhaps even create a false equivalency between a vendor's anti-immigrant slurs and the "butt buddies" text-misfire.  

It's not the same.  A vendor's license to do business in Hoboken is at stake, and the legal issues surrounding the revocation of that license are complex.

According to a lawyer-friend: "Where a license is issued the licensee is limited by the contractual terms to which he is bound.  The license itself can be challenged on legal grounds but that is the first consideration. As simple as it may seem, it's not."

Now add "hate speech" to the mix, which implicates the First Amendment...

Oh, boy. I'm no lawyer, the legal issues are over my head, and probably yours.

And...

It is possible that factors unrelated to First Amendment issues may impact the City's determination of this matter.

For example, did Hoboken's Supervisor of Licenses investigate the applicant before the license was approved as required by statute?
"§ 146-8 Granting of licenses.  
A. Following the filing of the application, the original shall be referred to the Supervisor of Licenses who shall cause such investigation of the applicant's moral character, license history and general personal history to be made and return said application with his findings thereon to the City Clerk.
B. If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's moral character is found to be unsatisfactory, the Supervisor of Licenses shall endorse on said application his disapproval and his reasons for the same and return said application to the City Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that his application is disapproved and that no license will be issued.
C. If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant is found to be of good moral character, the Supervisor of Licenses shall endorse on the application his approval, and a license shall be issued by the City Clerk upon payment of the license fee.
Did the applicant disclose to the City that he was terminated for cause as a Hoboken Parking Enforcement Officer on September 12, 2013?   (The NJ Civil Service Commission denied his appeal on September 3, 2014.)

The public is not privy to more material fact than we can see on the YouTube video.  

GA, a victim of a First Amendment SLAPP suit (Bajardi v Pincus), understands that the New Jersey Constitution protects insults and slurs like the ones on this Facebook screencap sent by a reader:
An old post from the vape guy. I think this kind of speaks for itself.

PROTECTED (SHITTY) SPEECH


Yes, the NJ Constitution provides wide protection for everyone: from saints to bigots. 

So, the vigorous public debate continues online: whether or not the City should revoke the Vape Van's vendor's license.

Debate is all good. But the issues are serious, people's lives are impacted, so for once I hope this matter does not devolve into junk political theater at the next Council meeting.

GA Note:
Today Chris Halloran of hMag, makes a compelling argument for letting the free market render it's verdict on the Vape Van, lest we turn the Vape Van vendor into a "civil liberties hero."    Food for thought.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vape Van: To revoke or not to revoke its vendor's license



The following question is not theoretical:  can the Hoboken City Council revoke a vendor's license after its operator's racist tirade at a member of the public (captured on viral video)?

Or: as a matter of constitutional rights, is a vendor's racist rant against a member of the public protected speech?

GA's talking about the incident captured in a viral video; an apparent dispute over a parking spot on Washington Street. The video shows the owner of a 9th Cloud Vape Van unleashing a racist tirade at the driver of a van parked in front of him: "Immi!...Go back to your country!"



In response, the City Council and Mayor are sponsoring a resolution to revoke the vendor's license of the Vape Van's owner.

So, back to the questions: (1) can the City (legally) revoke the vendor's license for his racist tirade against a member of the public or (2) is the vendor's rant  protected  speech?

GA's no lawyer.... but  in my opinion the answer is "Yes" to both.

"Yes" the City Council can revoke the vendors license, and "Yes" the foul tirade is protected speech.

IMO, there is no contradiction.

As a citizen, his offensive speech is protected; as a licensed vendor in Hoboken,  his conduct appears to violate provisions of Hoboken's municipal code, Chapter 146, Article 1- Vendors, Peddlers and Itinerant Merchants.  This chapter of Hoboken's municipal code relates to the regulating and granting of vendors' licenses in the City of Hoboken.

Excerpts as follows:

§ 146-3 Purpose.The purpose of this chapter is to prevent dishonest business practices, to provide protection to the citizens of the City from unregulated itinerant or transient salesmen and the annoyance consonant thereto, the safety of the residents of this community and the best interests of its welfare and to eliminate noise disturbing to the peace and tranquility of the community.

§ 146-7 Qualifications of applicants.The general standard herein set out, relative to the qualifications of every applicant, shall be considered and applied by the Supervisor of Licenses. The applicant shall:
A. Be of good moral character.

§ 146-11 Regulations to be observed.All persons to whom a license shall be issued hereunder shall observe the following regulations:
A. No person or vehicle shall stand or be parked in a fixed location for the purpose of displaying or selling wares, merchandise or services on any public or private property where to do so causes or is likely to cause a crowd, impede vehicular or pedestrian traffic, produce annoying sounds, noise or disturbances, which interfere with the comfort of the residents,

§ 146-12 Revocation and suspension.A license may be revoked by the City Council by reason of the violation of the terms of the license, the violation of any municipal ordinance, state or federal statute or falsification in applying for a license.  
The City Council has the authority to decide appropriateness of revoking a vendor's license in concert with the regulations and standards of its municipal code; in  this case, does the vendor's 'hate speech' and public conduct comport with the City's regulations, or violate them?   

Yes, free speech is a right.

The granting of a vendor' license is not a right, its a privilege.

The City has the right to regulate the granting of vendors licenses.  

If the vendor wishes to exercise "hate-speech" on members of the public, it is likely most likely incompatible with the "privilege" accorded with the granting of the license.  

City Council, take it away! 

In the meantime, check out the vox populi on the 9th Cloud Vape Facebook page.  My retinas are burning!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Cruel Crapademic targets Special Education enrollment


The bile in "Dr." Anthony Petrosino that lay dormant for several weeks has exploded with ugliness and cruelty.

Some weeks ago, it appears HoLa's Administrators had told him to lay off the vile blog-attacks on the Hoboken District until after the Appellate hearing.

The "Dr." obeyed.  His blog went quiet. For weeks he only posted braggadocio about his Academic accomplishments... enough to convince us that the "Dr." knows how to analyze data.

Which is why his latest cyber-excretion, "No Difference in Special Education Enrollment in Hoboken, NJ Among Traditional Public and Public Charter Schools" is truly disgusting.

This cyber-turd is disinformation with a capital "D.

The QUACKademic ignores that there is a whole spectrum of classifications for Special Education kids- instead he treats these very special individuals like undifferentiated "units" to embellish his crappy, homemade graph. The Hackademic's trick-graph shows the big bar that says 'District" and the big bar that says "Charter" are almost the same height!  He uses visual trickery to create a false equivalency: that District and Charters have the "NO DIFFERENCE" in special education enrollment.

It is false.

It is immoral.

Special Ed children are not numbers, Petrosino. 

Of course the enrollment is different.   If the QUACKademic really wants to do an "apples to apples" comparison of Special Education enrollment between districts, then do it with the NJDOE classification a.k.a. diagnosis.

The 'Dr." does not want to tell you how the Hoboken District Special Education enrollment includes the full spectrum of classifications that the Charters, by law, do not have to accept.  The law is written to allow for charters to serve the children who can function within their programs,  if such children cannot function within those parameters, they remand them to the traditional school district.

A former Special Education teacher told GA, ""SLD" (Specific Learning Disabilities) and "SLI" (Speech Language Impairment) are the mildest handicapped population.  They generally have average IQs but have a deficiency in one or more areas of either language arts or math. Recommendations for such children can be as slight as redirection from the teacher, teacher writes homework down, resource room services, to a self contained classroom."

"The other classifications are generally more intense and many if not most times, require self contained classrooms- which max out at 12:1 teaching staff and for Autism and Multiply Disabled populations. Class size recommendations can be as small as 6:1 with an aide for each student.  Some require outside placement which generally costs from $60k- $125k  per student depending on IEP, etc."

In contrast to the QUACKademic's  homemade joke-bar graph lumping special ed kids like baskets of fruit, GA has the NJDOE data.  That tells the story.

This is the most current NJDOE data (2014-2015) showing disability and placement for the Hoboken District school and all 3 charters.  


Clearly, the respective district populations are not "apples to apples".

In 2014-2015, the Hoboken district enrolled Special Education students in the following Groups: Autism (AUT), Emotional disturbance (EMN), Mental retardation (MR), Other health impairments or "chronically ill" (OHI), Specific  learning disabilities (SLD) Speech language impairments (SLI).
  • 11 students spent 40%-70% of the day in class, 
  • 27 students spent less than 40% of the day in class,   
  • 13 went to separate schools.  
In total, in 2014-2015 the Hoboken District enrolled 205 Special Education children.

That same year, the Charter Special Education enrollments were as follows:
Hoboken Charter: OHI, SLI and SLD groups for a total of 36 
Elysian:  SLD Group for a total of 23 
HoLa:  SLD Group for a total of 11 
  • All students spent 80-100% of the day in class 
So, what have we learned today, Folks?

We learned what many of us already knew: the Hoboken District educates the full spectrum of Special Education kids.  From the mildest to the most intensive to educate.

The Charters do not; they educate a portion of the spectrum.  The least intensive, least expensive to educate.

So why is an alleged Academic, "Dr." Petrosino fudging data to create a false narrative that traditional district and the Charters have "no difference" in the Special Education enrollment they educate?   

Because he's a mean-spirited, dishonest CREEP.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

WARNING: DeFusco PHONE POLL!



Stay alert, people! 

Councilman Mike DeFusco's hefty war chest has bought him a phone poll, which has been dirtying up telephones (and ears) citywide!

Yes, GA got it.

The pollster addressed me by name (creepy),  identified her organization, then asked if I would take a poll about "local issues".  I replied "Is this the DeFusco campaign poll?"  She didn't respond,  just repeated that the poll was about "local issues."

Then she asked: (1) "Are you affiliated with the media, broadcast or a radio station, etc?" and (2) "Do you have any political affiliations..?"   When I told her I was a political advocate, she cut me off. Buh-bye. 

So, this poll is really not about surveying registered voters- which I am.

The poll is about staying off the grid (no media) to spread disinformation about Mayor Zimmer and 'brand' Mike DeFusco to voters who are more open to suggestion (not connected to politics).

GA calls this a "push poll"; because cherry-picking who can participate shows that collecting information from a cross-section of voters was not the purpose of the call.  And "no media" to report its 'alternative facts'.

From the NY Times article, "Push-Poll Defined":
“Push polls” — which are not really polls at all — are often criticized as a particularly sleazy form of negative political campaigning. Voters pick up the phone to hear what sounds like a research poll. But there is no effort to collect information, which is what a legitimate poll does. The questions are skewed to one side of an issue or candidate, the goal being to sway large numbers of voters under the guise of survey research.
Folks who took the poll have contacted me; one person had this to say:
I just finished a Defusco for mayor telephone poll. It was hard not to laugh through every question!  It was a live person. And a big push poll. Surprised Shake Shack did not come up but did described how he fought for green space and then got on zoning board and fought to preserve the character of Hoboken.

“Do I have more/less doubt on voting for DZ since she decided on plan for 10 foot wall that doesn't protect NE or train station”

“Do I have more/less doubt on voting for DZ as she was mayor when the city lost the discrimination suit by the director of public safety”

Asked if I thought DZ was ready to fight the Trump anti-urban agenda

Pollster said DZ raised taxes but nothing about fixing budget and credit rating.  The 10 foot wall thing was wrong.  It would come across really bad if you didn't know the history and background of each issue

Asked to choose: Very Favorable, Somewhat Favorable, Neutral, Somewhat unfavorable, Very Unfavorable for:
Dawn Zimmer
Anthony Romano
Karen Nason
Michael DeFusco
Tiffanie Fisher
Jen Giattino
Ruben Ramos
Michael DeFusco
Tony Soares

Do not remember Bautista coming up at all.

DeFusco was described as fighting for character of Hoboken, his work on zoning and council, all great stuff. Like Superman. DZ was described as focused on bike lanes and pet parks while there were still pot holes, parking problems and crumbling infrastructure leaving people without water... "So who would I vote for: DZ or DeFusco?"  I swear the lady was chuckling at me every time I said I'd still vote for Dawn after the ridiculous questions

One open question towards the beginning what are Hoboken's 3 biggest problems.

Then who I would vote for if it was between DZ/Defusco/Nason/Jen  
There are lies, then there are lies-by-omission. Check and check.  

You've been warned!

Friday, May 5, 2017

MEET Ron Bautista, candidate for Hoboken Mayor!




Before you dismiss him as the "Bike Hoboken Guy", there's more to Hoboken mayoral candidate Ron Bautista.

He's a young Ecuadorean immigrant and activist; On his LinkedIn page he cites the following as the "Causes [he] Cares About":
Civil Rights and Social Action
Economic Empowerment
Education
Human Rights
Politics
Poverty Alleviation
Also on LinkedIn, he notes his Candidacy for Hoboken Mayor: 
I'm running for Mayor of Hoboken so that together we can build a clear mandate, that we want to have a city that is more friendly for people. As a community we're creating a social contract that sets initial clear goals and they are the backbone of our campaign:
  • Participatory Budgeting: have a percentage of the budget to be for projects developed and chosen by voters in an election process
  • EasyBudget: make it easier for everyone to know where our tax money goes 
  • FreeofTraffic options: a network of express bus lanes and a protected bicycle lane on every street
  • EveryStreet so safe an 8-year-old kid can bike them and an 80-year-old person can walk them. 
  • Sport fields for free use: keep a public calendar of times the public fields are available to free pickup games
  • Promote diverse street art and music year-round
  • Strengthen the Hoboken Public Library as the hub for education, arts, music, and public services
  • Make it easier for local entrepreneurs to start, operate, and grow by providing direct assistance
Bautista's video on his campaign website, explains his vision for Hoboken;  to make our City "people friendly" and create a "social contract" with the community.

GA thinks that Bautista's youth and idealism will appeal to the '30 and under' folks- hopefully he'll leave a few votes for Mike DeFusco!

Needless to say, Bautista's candidacy will energize our Hispanic community and folks far left of center.

As of today, he has not announced a slate.  Nor has he criticized the Mayor or City Council.

GA does like Bautista's idea about promoting street art; our neighbor Jersey City has so many amazing murals, even invites prestigious artists to paint them. ... while in Hoboken, we paint over murals because ONE cranky bitch complains to NJ Transit.  (Note, the foul bitch bought the condo within view of the iconic mural, long after it was painted.)

Let's get more public art in Hoboken! 


Jersey City Murals

click any image to enlarge