Other news from the BoE...

Councilman Mike Russo addressed the Board to request that Demarest School be used this year for the Russo Civic Association's  Haunted House.   The answer was "Yes", by a unanimous vote.

And the turnout of Russo family friends like Stick Romano and Mike Holmes may have been in response to Michele Russo's Facebook appeal:
We were told a week ago that we couldn't use the old church on 6th and Willow, I requested to use Demarest School for the Haunted House. But it seems that they want to make it political. So please try to come and support the Russo Civic Association so we can have our 20th year Haunted House.
GA heard that Mama Russo seemed genuinely surprised the vote was unanimous and thanked  all Board members after.

So what was the reason why the Russo's weren't permitted to use the church?  Did they have a certificate of insurance?   Anybody know?

(Updated, 6:10 pm)
Responses have come in to GA's query.   Contrary to Ma Russo's complaint that the church was making the event "political",  here's what happened...

Last year, the All Saint's parish voted no more Russo Civic Association Haunted House because they were offended by the political slogans on the tombstones and had received many complaints- not from politicians, but from ordinary people (as told by a member of the church board). GA was told the church was never particularly comfortable with the pagan holiday celebration taking place on its hallowed grounds. I suppose the tombstone graffiti was the proverbial last straw.

The Russos should have known about this decision for some time.

photo credit: Dave Mello

Now for the Haunted House kerfuffle from the City Council meeting of November 3rd 2010, as reported on Patch:
Councilman-at-Large Mello, during the new business section of the meeting, expressed his disappointment with the fact that his name was captured on a fake tombstone at the Russo Civic Association haunted house during Halloween weekend.

The tomb stone read "Dave, he gave and gave, wound up alone in a cave!" A photo of the tomb stone provided by Mello is attached to this article.

"I think I'm owed an apology and some of my council colleagues are owed an apology," said Mello. Mello said that by putting the council members' names on the tombstones, the reputation of the Russo Civic Association was sullied.

Mello said also that he wouldn't want his daughter to see her father's name on a tomb stone at a haunted house.

In return Russo accused Mello of unnecessarily including his father (former Mayor Anthony Russo who went to jail for mail fraud and extortion) in every conversation. "The man is married, David," Russo snapped. Mello countered by calling Russo's comment "juvenile."

First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano, co-organizer of the haunted house, said it's a long standing tradition to have all council members' names on the fake tomb stones, and "the mayor in the coffin," she said.

"You need to get some thick skin," Castellano told Mello.

Unfortunately with the cast of characters behind this Halloween stagecraft, it all seems too close to wishful thinking.  And that's creepy.


  1. The fragile, historically-significant Holy Innocents (certainly eerily-atmospheric for a Hallowe'en event), should never have been used for this ritual "display" of Russo "largesse." That family of ghouls has already haunted Hoboken for far too long....

    And anyway, do children really enjoy it?

    One wonders if there may be some falling out between Rev. Curtiss (The Poster Pastor of "God-Complex") & the Russos. Curtiss is a notorious political animal---perhaps he wants to maintain some facade of seeming unsullied, in the current climate of possible Old Guard instability (& possible incarceration).

    As for all the well-entrenched miscreants & the BoE (as well as other elections), it will all come down to voter turn-out. As ever. Until "Reform" can mobilize the apathetic masses, positive change will always remain tenuous. Separate from any FBI/AG, et al involvement. It's been the same problem in Hoboken forever. Perhaps someone can now devise some new, more effective strategy for getting the chronically-apathetic to at least register & then vote for progress & better government. Good luck with that one, though.

  2. Mama Russo doesn't care about the truth and neither do her constituents. No matter that the board voted unanimously or that it was never political Mama and her crew have already scored with their constituents promoting once again the very lucrative myth of the siege of old Hoboken by newcomers. Never mind the truth of Mama Russo's big real estate payday from the listing fees from condos she sold to those very same newcomers. Mama Russo plans to take that myth all the way to the bank with a win in April and a defeat of the reform majority on the BoE. How else is Mama going to get a job with benefits and access to new piggy bank?

  3. what would ricky, bajardi and h411 say if a reformer council member put beth's name on a gravestone, or in a coffin?

  4. While all these political intrigue conspiracy theories are entertaining, it remains that many Christians do not celebrate Halloween, period. Make of that what you want, it just is. So there is plenty of sentiment not to house this event or any Halloween event in ANY church.

    It is the pumpkin heads in the Old Guard who love to spin everything as a political witch hunt. Unless they are out trick or treating for goodies as the majority. Then everything is a grave matter "for the good of Hoboken", while being serendipitously self-serving, like taking candy from a baby. Whatever. I hope this article has ample readership so the local political news for the next two weeks isn't contrived spin scared up on how they were "politically wronged" on their annual Halloween publicity stunt, which is always replete with their name in huge type on everything surrounding the event. But I have a feeling such posts will be popping up from costumed characters all over the internet in the dead of night, trying hard, but not really saying "boo".

  5. There wasn't one word against Michael's request. That is difference between the 2 sides. One has vitriol when their overpaid diva gets the boot. Our side saw the request as reasonable and even though they don't agree with the Russo's passed it unanimously.

  6. If the Demarest School is still a public building, there should be no other non-educational use of this space by an outside party - not for a haunted house, a religious congregation or anything else.

    That the Russos with All Saints permission was able to celebrate a pagan holiday on consecrated ground for so many years speaks volumes about how both parties feel about that church; let them take their request to OLG or the synagogue and see what kind of reception they get.

    The scariest haunted house in town is Church Towers, where life-sucking parasites never leave and dead grandmothers can pass their leases on to their grandsons, thereby allowing them to skip the fictitious waiting list.


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