Dancing in the Street

What to do on a Tuesday night?

GA had heard a particularly nasty infestation was afflicting recent School Board meetings, so armed with a can of Raid and a red plastic flyswatter, I went over to check it out.

Mama Russo was there, so was Theresa Burns.

I introduced myself to Ms. Burns and we exchanged a few words.  I like smart gals with moxie, you know.

So was last night (another) circus at the BoE? 

I'm pleased to report that decorum and order ruled the day.  No outbursts, grandstanding, bone-headed theatrics or weird antics... well, strike that last one.

I'll get to that.

But first, it was an upbeat and substantive meeting.  

Superintendent Toback gave a Powerpoint presentation on our district's QSAC results:

You can see they were all excellent except for Instruction and Program, where we failed to meet 80% of eligible points (we scored 69%).

But Toback is determined  to raise those results and submitted the required NJQSAC District Improvement Plan, which the Board approved. A critical element of the plan is to raise performance on the state standardized HSPA exam,  which is required for graduation from high school. As noted in Patch:  "21 percent of high school students graduate by passing the Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) instead of the standardized HSPA."

Roll up your sleeves, Toback!

And props to my pal, Julie Steinberg, on her eloquent appeal for the Calabro School After-Care Program, which the Board approved.

Also, GA was glad to hear about the expansion of the Gifted and Talented program to ALL grades.  Which reminds me... have I bragged yet today about LA (Little Avenger) whose overall score was 101% in last year's G&T program, and who will be recognized with an award in her name at an upcoming Johns Hopkins G&T ceremony?  Have I done that yet?

Well folks, I could go on.

For more about what's going on in our schools, check out our district's slammin' new web site. It''s a terrific one-stop information resource on our public school system for parents and.. anyone.

Moving on.

So you want dish?  I'm sorry to disappoint but everyone was too well-behaved except for...

Oh my goodness, what a performance!

Bravo!  Bravo!

None other than prima ballerina Matt Calicchio (a.k.a. Matterina) showed up late  (perhaps he was taking curtain calls at the City Council?)

There he was on stage... I mean, seated in front of Mama Russo.  

Matterina beckoned GA over during the break, and when I approached he muttered something about "shooting Board members".

Yikes!  I moved back to my seat.  Fast.

The meeting ended shortly thereafter.  As we all left the room, Matterina twisted his hand into a 'gun' and pretended to shoot it into the air, while blurting out something about having a "gun"...

GA was thankful to run into Hoboken Reporter's Ray Smith.

I like Ray,  he's the BEST reporter that paper's got (hmmm... have I forgotten someone?)

Ray and I then struck up a nice chat, walked outside and continued our conversation on the sidewalk.

What happened next?

Matterina bursts out of the building screaming "someone's been shot!" and runs over to a black SUV double parked outside.

The black SUV looks like the one that Beth Mason has been seen going into with Matterina on several occasions.    Do you know that Matterina attends Mason political strategy sessions?  He's in her inside circle now. 

Impressive.  Wow, talk about having the 'A Team'.

Well, what happened next is how he earned his new dancing moniker.  

As GA stood with the adorable Ray Smith, Calicchio proceeded to circle us like a dancer... round and round and round.... he kept circling and circling and circling.... so graceful... like a ballerina... 

A Star is Born.


Now, Ray's a pretty enthralling guy, so I wasn't paying attention to the whirling Matterina, except for once when I caught his eye and he made a gun hand gesture... then proceeded with his sidewalk ballet.

And this went on for quite some time- at least 10 or 15 minutes. In addition to Ray, there were 5 or 6 witnesses.  Who were likewise enchanted by the pirouetting twinkle-toes.

But all good things must come to an end.

Matterina finally wrapped up his performance, hopped in the black SUV and as it drove off,  yelled "BANG!  BANG!" out of the  car window.

Bravo!  Bravo!   

And there went Beth Mason's brain trust, off into the night. 

Bang!  Bang!


  1. Would you please ask your friends at the FBI to provide you with a hidden camera you can wear so you can upload that sort of stuff for all our viewing pleasure?

  2. I am telling you, Red. In addition to his intellectual heft (bang, bang), he is one heckuva dancer!

  3. Classic Hudson Co. Goon behavior.
    Reminds me of a similar story about John Corea (& what's up w/Metergate-?). His antics, when called-out for electioneering on work time--- including using a City vehicle & a HPA employee. Something in the water, perhaps-?

    Meanwhile, GA's charming anecdote had me humming Sonny & Cher's "Bang, Bang."

  4. ricky must be proud of how his wife is spending the family fortune.

  5. I wish this had been recorded and posted. That way when the old guard claim we would only defend GA free speech I could say, "I disagree with what Matterina did and said, but would defend to the death his right to look like a complete fool."

  6. Nice addition, GA! The Nancy Sinatra version especially for Hoboken (& "Kill Bill").

    Bravo to MC, for his debut as the Primo Ballerino in Le Ballet Russo!

  7. He's their primal ballerina, pretty in pink!

  8. Matt pretended to shoot you? bang bang? Not funny. Parents United is a sick crew.


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