Month: November 2012


City: It’s a free ride to Newport on Light Rail!

City of Hoboken announces:

Community: NJ Transit to Cross-Honor PATH Tickets On Light Rail Service Between Hoboken & Newport
** NJ Transit Ferry Service to Continue Until Hoboken PATH is Restored; Additional Bicycle Parking Available at Newport ** 
Until the transportation network in Hoboken is fully restored, the City is continuing to work with all transit agencies to provide alternatives for commuters. 
In order to accommodate commuters who are traveling to Newport for PATH service, Mayor Zimmer asked NJ Transit to offer free light rail service between Hoboken and Newport until PATH service is restored to Hoboken, and NJ Transit has agreed to cross-honor PATH tickets effective Monday, December 3, 2012. 
“NJ Transit has been working tirelessly under very difficult conditions to restore normalcy to our transportation system,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I am so thankful that they have agreed to cross-honor PATH tickets on their light rail service between Hoboken and Newport in order to make commutes a little bit easier during this difficult time.” 
Commuters can take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail from 9th Street, 2nd Street and Hoboken Terminal directly to Newport. Until PATH service is restored to Hoboken, PATH tickets will be cross-honored between these stations. 
In addition, since many commuters are bicycling to Newport, there has been an increase in demand for bicycle parking at Newport, which Mayor Zimmer has also requested. 
“I appreciate Mayor Healy and Jamie LeFrak’s willingness to work with us to provide additional temporary bicycle parking at Newport,” added Mayor Zimmer. “The Port Authority has also been accommodating of the large increase in bicyclists.” 
NJ Transit will continue operating the subsidized ($10 round trip) ferry service between Hoboken Terminal and Pier 79 at 39th Street in Midtown Manhattan until PATH service is restored to Hoboken. The service operates Monday through Friday, 6am-10am and 4pm-8pm. 
NJ Transit has added 200 extra bus trips per day on the 126 bus line to accommodate an increase in ridership from 4,000 daily customers to more than 9,000 customers. They continue to work with the Zimmer Administration to make adjustments to service based on rider feedback, including running empty express buses to begin pickup mid-route. 
As a result of construction work by Spectra Energy on the Newport waterfront, the waterfront walkway between Hoboken and Jersey City will be closed from Friday 8pm until Monday 5am. Free 24 hour shuttle service will be provided every 20 minutes while the walkway is closed. The shuttle will stop at Hoboken Terminal, 14th Street & Washington Boulevard in Jersey City, and Newport PATH. 
The Port Authority has hundreds of employees working to restore PATH service following nearly $300 million in damage to the PATH system. 
“We recognize the Port Authority faced a historic level of damage and they are working around the clock to restore PATH service as quickly as possible,” added Mayor Zimmer. “I know their employees worked during Thanksgiving to make repairs, and we appreciate their dedication and sacrifice.”

Sign of the Times: Kids First Celebrates the Sweep

Last night dozens of Hobokenites came out to share in the grassroots victory of Kids First sweeping the BoE election against the monied Move Forward slate backed by Frank “Pupie” Raia and Beth Mason.   Even with word a recount request is expected on December 5th by fourth place finisher Liz Markovitch, spirits were high and laughter was in the air. =&0=&
BoE trustees Irene Sobolov and Theresa Minutillo hugged it out
with trustee-elect Jean Marie Mitchell.

Talking Ed Note: There was nothing but positives shared through the night with Mayor Zimmer and council members Ravi Bhalla, Peter Cunningham and Jen Giattino joining dozens of other Hoboken residents toasting the win.

No fear and trepidation was spoken by anyone regarding the recount request and it’s viewed as perfunctory nothing more although a real lawyer will be paid.  If it isn’t part of a retainer in Beth Mason’s allowance money, well bill her hourly for the impending defeat anyway! Read More...


BoE election rivals weigh in on the results in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

The Board of Education election results are official and the battle over its $63 million budget is over for this election cycle.  Some of its trustees: new, returning and existing reflected on the election and the circumstances surrounding the challenges, unique to any other in living history.

Part of the change had to do with the calendar. A bruising battle over holding November elections saw Hoboken join the vast majority of NJ school boards approving a move to Election Day in the fall last February.  The charged differences saw almost the entire City Council minority show up with other of their backers to oppose the move when the decisive 5-4 vote approving the move was held. The battle between Old Guard forces and the reform oriented Kids First majority played out as the first battle in a pre-election 2013 skirmish for Mayor Zimmer’s office and three at-large council seats.  The BoE election has been viewed as a precursor to the larger citywide municipal election in recent years. With a pitched battle set for 2013, the BoE election became a focus with large stakes for all sides.   Then Hurricane Sandy slammed into town and curtailed most election efforts freezing the support as power came back barely in time for the polling stations to set up for the City’s voters. Jean Marie Mitchell who served in a previous one year term on the BoE, came back after a loss the previous year and remarked on some of the differences in this election cycle: “The first two elections I canvassed in April. For this November’s election, people were much more receptive. I was appreciative of the increased interest in the School Board election.  While intending to vote for the President, many more people participated in making a difference in Hoboken’s local elections too.”
The Hoboken Board of Education’s nine member body will see a six vote Kids First coalition come January.
Their victory means continuing efforts to put money into the classroom and elevate the entire district.
Boe Trustee Commissioner Trustee Peter Biancamano backed the Move Forward slate and offered his view as a current member. “I supported three exceptional candidates in this race, each would be a superb board member. To say I am disappointed in the results is an understatement.” He added he was ready to work with all the members of the board for the betterment of the Hoboken school district.
The sole returning board member, Ruth McAllister looked at the results with her re-election as vindication for several years of effort.  When Kids First became the majority in 2009 it uncovered and addressed numerous audit violations going back over several years.  The election was tinged with trepidation a change in the majority would see pre-election bluster against the current superintendent Dr. Mark Toback ousted in favor of a patronage selection.
McAllister said in a statement, “Personally speaking, as an incumbent who was running for re-election, this victory is more rewarding then my election in 2009.  Re-election means that the public believes I have proven that I deserve to be on the Hoboken Board of Education.”
Speaking of her fellow running mates McAllister added, “They are going to be great assets to the board.” Joe Branco the co-campaign manager for the vanquished Move Forward slate, offered a sanguine perspective saying by phone “Good luck to the newly elected Board trustees. I hope they do a great job for the district and in representing Hoboken as a whole.” In the end, it’s not clear how much money was spent on the BoE election and based on whispered reports, the true figure may never be known but it may surpass six figures on the Move Forward side alone.  Some observers on both sides noted the true costs can’t be totaled with the SLAPP launched last August against a dozen Hoboken residents.   Close observers on both sides suggest the move to November elections and the timing of the lawsuit was not coincidental and in part designed to level the playing field for the Old Guard, silencing strong voices against corruption and the problems in the BoE’s history.  That gambit clearly failed along with the now infamous Nazi Truck. Councilwoman Beth Mason has not addressed the role multiple independent sources say her paid political operatives played in producing the Nazi Truck’s five appearances in Hoboken.  Both the Nazi Truck and a failed internet strategy against Kids First, Grafix Avenger, MSV and on Hoboken Patch all contributed in leading to an embarrassing defeat.
The Move Forward Nazi Truck rumbles uptown on the night of the election playing the TV commercial
 for its candidates exposing the thinly veiled denial of its connection to the campaign.

Related: A Grafix Avenger story says Move Forward candidate Liz Markovitch is asking for a recount.  A reference to ballots found in the Zimmer-Cammarano race back in 2009 is mentioned but MSV recalls those ballots were legitimate and besides, no change is likely to occur in the BoE race. Read More...


Hoboken Fair Housing Association thanks supporters

Hoboken Fair Housing Associations announces:

Dear Friends and Neighbors;

What can we say but THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts? The verdict took 22 nail-biting days, but the results are finally in and we can DECLARE VICTORY. Defeating this attack on rent control will take its place in Hoboken’s election-history books, and we could not be prouder of, or more grateful to, our community.

Thank you one and all for contributing to a very hard- fought win. Thank you for volunteering to make calls, for distributing flyers, for participating in our fundraisers, for tabling, for designing our posters, for sending out emails, for wearing our t-shirts, for writing letters to the paper, for commenting on blogs, for making some very generous donations to the effort and for making others aware of this critical vote. 

Please JOIN the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA) on Friday November 30th at CORK CITY, 239 Bloomfield St., and raise a glass to our sweet sweet Victory! 

We looking forward to seeing everyone’s smiling face Friday at 7:00. 

With gratitude to every one of you.


City Council: Looks to pass $4.2 million note to cover hurricane

UPDATE: The City Council passed the initiative to raise $4.2 million to cover costs related to Hurricane Sandy 8-0.

The approval was part of two resolutions with authorization in another for $3.5 million in expenditures.  Both FEMA and the City’s insurance are part of this recovery process but it’s believed a one to two year timeline will be needed in recovering most of the expenditures related to costs in the storm.

Business Administrator Quentin Wiest said most of the FEMA related costs are reimbursed at 75%. Read More...


Kids First thanks Hoboken, Thursday victory party set

Dear Friends,

The results are finally in and it’s a sweep for Kids First! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this grassroots campaign. Thank you for volunteering to hit the streets and get out the vote. Thank you for making a donation. Thank you for talking to your friends and neighbors and putting a sign in your window. Thanks to everyone for your continued commitment to improving Hoboken’s Public Schools!
Join the Kids First team at our victory party Thursday, Nov. 29th at the Wicked Wolf, 120 Sinatra Drive at 8:30 PM. Beforehand consider joining us at the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps fundraiser at Trinity, 306 Sinatra Drive at 7 PM.
=&0=&: More than 24 hours after the main election results were announced on MSV and there’s an odd silence from the other media not even mentioning the certified numbers from the Hudson County Clerk’s Office. Are the other medial awaiting instructions from the Old Guard as they prepare to make some hail mary attempt dragging Hoboken to court.  Again?  Perhaps someone should ask Beth Mason. The =&1=& is beginning to look suspicious.

Update: The Hudson Reporter posted its story on the election results.  At least someone finally did.  Maybe everyone else is just seeing red and that’s not their favorite color.  How odd.

Tonight there’s a council meeting and much of it will deal with the Hurricane Sandy aftermath.


Titanic swan song: Nearer to hell in the Nazi Truck for Beth Mason and the MFers

The aftermath of this election with the demise of the Nazi Truck is a secret to some Hoboken residents, as commenter InfotainMe wittingly put it, the BoE (and Hoboken) election results remain unfulfilled in local reports.  It’s coming and they’ll be good efforts among them but will they ask Beth Mason about the BoE campaign and her fellow Move Forwarders?

After all, backing the Move Forwarders, the Nazi Truck production and its five trips into the Mile Square doesn’t come cheap and some reports said the Mason family invested $60,000 into the whole shebang. Read More...



The official numbers will be released later today but the news is all but official – the Kids First BoE slate has swept the election over the Move Forward challengers.

The race for third and fourth place grew from the six vote lead for Jean Marie Mitchell over Liz Markovitch but came in at a difference of less than 100 votes.

The majority for Kids First was not fully in doubt in the battle for the BoE but the sixth seat was in play by most close observers who looked at the outstanding ballots attempting to decipher where the votes came in the provisionals. Read More...


Sign of the Times: Kids First Day?

Three weeks ago the Kids First grassroots campaign took to the streets united in spirit to face down an opponent with signs of heavy expenditures against it visible everywhere.  In the battle of Reform vs. the Old Guard, there was no bigger showdown since Dawn Zimmer vs. Peter Cammarano in 2009.  On that day, Hoboken looked like it had been overtaken with backing for Cammarano as his signs and street workers were seen in every corner of town.

If you were there and didn’t think Cammarano was a safe reasonable option, it appeared the election wasn’t in doubt.  A chance passing on the street with MSV Executive Publisher Jimmy the K said the opposite as he headed to the airpot, “It’s going to be close,” he stated matter of factly.  So it was. Read More...


County self-promotion Beth Mason’s objective in midst of massive Hoboken losses

Councilwoman Beth Mason in her usual pattern of doubling down when exposed in unsavory acts ran a second page three ad in the weekend paper via the Mason Civic League on behalf of her Hudson County recovers website. The ad further demonstrates her investment in self-promotion even as Hoboken struggles to overcome the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

That exposure comes directly on the back of revelations on Grafix Avenger that Mason paid political operatives including a board member of her Mason Civic League produced and directed the videos appearing on the Nazi Truck.  The five trips by the Nazi Truck sought to leverage support for the Mason backed Move Forward BoE slate but backfired spectacularly with attacks defaming Grafix Avenger, MSV, Kids First, Council members Peter Cunningham, Jen Giattino and Mayor Zimmer while flashing a Nazi swastika as it rolled all over town. Read More...