Thursday medley: Ravi's policy initiative, DeFusco steals it

Did anyone tell Hoboken's mayoral candidates that it's only August?

Apparently NOT!

The campaigns are working hard: collecting petitions, knocking on doors, adding runningmates, raising money, cranking out nasty press releases (DeFusco), stealing policy initiatives from opponents (DeFusco), creating fake facebook accounts to post opposition research (DeFusco),  and one even rolled out the first major policy initiative of any candidate in this mayoral race (Bhalla).

Here we go!


Bhalla had me at the words "community pool." 

I won't lie.

GA has been lobbying online for a community pool and lamenting Hoboken's FAILURE to provide one for years; read GA's "Hotboken" or  "Hoboken Swimming Hole" or  "There's room for everyone" or "Secaucus Swim Center" or "Revisiting Secaucus" or  "Hoboken's Rooftop Pool".

Or take GA's pool quiz: match the community pool with the Hudson County municipality.
1. North Bergen
2. Union City
3. Jersey City
4. West New York
5. Secaucus
6. Hoboken
(Answers: 1-E, 2-D, 3-A, 4-B, 5-C, 6-F)

If you guessed the shitty backyard bucket was Hoboken's amenity for a city of 50,000+, you are correct!  

Oh, and the backyard bucket was limited to kids ages 5-12.  GA heard that the Boy's and Girl's Club campers had to swim in timed shifts.

In my view, the backyard bucket of fun was a metaphor for the City's inattention to services for poor kids. HoLa was allowed to cannibalize the Boys and Girls Club at 123 Jefferson (Home of the Bucket- not finger lickin' good), hot meals taken away from B&G poor kids, and eventually the site's Green Acre status was removed to seal the deal for HoLa.  Luxury developments with private pools sprang up in Hoboken like mushrooms, but this frigging aluminum bucket- similar to the one in my Queens backyard, was good enough for those kids.

And what about everyone else: adult taxpayers, their families?  We can't all live at Maxwell Place!

Shit outta-luck, no community pool to enjoy as we watched our county taxes inflate like a pool raft. Insult to injury: we watched neighbor Mayor Brian Stack open a world-class public pool for Union City residents.

What about us?  Oh yeah, GA also lobbied offline.  Zimmer folks were not interested.

Well... guess who is interested? 

Ravi Bhalla.

Oh yeah.  Trust me, he's not just open to the idea, Ravi wants a community pool for Hoboken residents.  

While Ravi continues many Zimmer initiatives, but he's got his own vision.  The fact that he introduced this particular initiative first tells you where his head is.  And...

GA will continue lobbying for an OUTDOOR pool, on the rooftop of the new multi-services center at BASF.   

Yes, Ravi we can DO IT.  A state-of-the swimming facility. Outdoors. Even nicer than Union City's (which is hard to beat).  It's about time.

The whole rec initiative is exciting.  Hoboken teens need more activities.  And a city-wide summer camp is an excellent idea.


Welcome aboard, Vanessa Falco!

GA is glad to see some estrogen on that ticket, and a public school parent, to boot!

I believe Vanessa's heart is in the right place, so hope she is wearing a life preserver (or can swim) when DeFusco's Titanic sinks.

GA doesn't know anything about Falco except that she was a BoE candidate in 2013. (I believe Councilman Mike Russo put that ticket together.)

GA thinks that Falco has had a positive influence on DeFusco's ticket already.  Why?

Because in addition to urban wineries and coffee roasters, the DeFusco campaign has endorsed Ravi's initiative for new municipal and recreational services for Hoboken kids, including summer camp. Nice to hear DeFusco's lips move and Ravi's policy proposals come out.  Because aside from non-stop attacks on his opponents, DeFusco has no concrete, fleshed-out policy proposals, just a "list."

And you know, while DeFusco gushes over urban wineries and coffee roasters, Hoboken kids don't have state-of-the-art rec facilities or a community pool.  In fact, Hoboken kids, including teens, don't give a shit about DeFusco's urban wineries and coffee roasters- they want things to do and places to do them. Neither do their parents (give a shit about urban wineries and coffee roasters)- they care more about safe places for their children to play and getting some 'bang' for their overtaxed buck.

No wonder DeFusco poached Ravi Bhalla's first major policy initiative.  

GA wonders if DeFusco will keep blasting out negative press releases now that there's estrogen on the Titanic?

We'll see!


Candidate Ron in GA's hot seat. 
GA was delighted to meet mayoral candidate Ron Bautista for coffee today.

Ron ended up at my house-  I quarantined my cat, Rosie because he's allergic.

Anyway, I will tell you more about him another time. I just want to say that this candidate has been wildly underestimated.   This fella has mad skillz and a serious, lengthy resume of political activism. 

And he's nice.

Not a mean bone in his body.  Expect no nasty press releases, no dirty tricks, no dissing any other candidate.  Bautista presents as uncompromising on his initiatives.  It seems he's largely focused on pedestrian safety, and can recite a litany of fatal pedestrian accidents in Hoboken.

He has the 'magic number' of petitions, but wants to keep collecting signatures.

I like this guy a lot. This native-born Ecuadorean is focusing outreach on Hoboken's Hispanic community.

"Hoboken has 5,000 registered voters who are Hispanic", he told me.

I asked him why he's running for mayor.  Ron explained why, then repeated a saying: "You're either at the table or on the menu."

GA has no doubt this ambitious activist will have a seat at the table someday.


  1. Bhalla must know the long sad history of failed attempts at getting a community pool. The community knows it too. It's going to take some details and some convincing. I should add that since my disappointing experience with the "Develop Rock-Hard Abs While Drinking Beer and Watching the Jets" product last year, I've become a very skeptical consumer.

  2. You know Nancy, it's funny as a Coffee house, HotHouse whose coffee is (Roasted in Seattle) "FONTE" also served at the W, because there are NO ROASTER'S!!! It is nothing new that EVERYONE talked about but especially me that Hoboken needed more of this., as I and 902 Brew had meetings with the Mayor 2 years back and because they applied to do a Brew with me in Hothouse almost two years ago, and because I spoke at length years back about bringing Chelsea Market to Newman Leather with Mayor and VJ and Dan, WAY before anyone else, and because there is a letter that I sent out to Mayor in 2011 for Shake Schack to come here which I can produce again it is nothing amazing that people repeat what someone else's ideas where or should be. It s pretty obvious these things are needed, but trust me, I was lobbying way before anyone on the Coffee roaster Duh? and Brews and Gins and wineries. Just read the newspaper when I won Chamber of Commerce Best New Business a few years back. It was my whole speech word for word about bringing all this like Williamsburg. Think everyone followed the pattern of speaking about it after. Know what I mean?

    1. You're kiddin'... DeFusco lifted your ideas? What a surprise! Well, gotta be honest, I don't know from coffee roasters and urban wineries, they don't do a thing for me . But if those businesses want to operate in Hoboken, there should be no obstacles. Let them come. I just don't see them as platform issues, why would the general public care? Issues like providing a rec center and services for families are matters of public interest and public concern.

    2. Yes I think the public would like all of it!!

    3. Well then, tell DeFusco you want your ideas back!

    4. Karen have you thought of using Hoboken Coffee Roasters? Or maybe beans from the Hoboken based company Empire? Or up the hill in JC at Mod Cup? Just thinking a little closer?

    5. Yes I Love them both!! I chose Fonte to give the folks a bit different taste..they are amazing though and I wanted to be a bit different. I actually wanted Mod Cup to join me they wanted to go on their own. They wanted too much for the machine that they wanted which is amazing! Just saw Abby River from Empire sing on Sinatra Drive tonight she is amazing!!

    6. If you were mayor would you try to support more local businesses? Hoboken coffee instead of Seattle?

  3. I support EVERY Local business Serving a different coffee is giving a choice not about not supporting. Because I serve Amy's Bread in NYC does not mean I do not support local business, I am a local business I am giving people a different option. Otherwise it would be me against a place that serves the same...why would you go to me? It does not mean I do not support local business. If you research me at all, I AM ALL about local business and not crushing any small business Giving a choice is a bit different no? Amy's Bread is not a store next to me..I would not sell Amy's if they were.

    1. I guess I just see it differently then you...i live in the 4th Ward and I try to buy as much pizza as I can from Hot House since I really want a pizza place in the 4th Ward. Good luck with your campaign and remember #shoplocal


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