Month: June 2018




Hoboken’s new mayor is facing a new firestorm of criticism after his remarks denigrating a Millenial Hispanic woman from the Bronx running for Congress became public.

The backlash is part of his eye-opening comments and events leading to the upset Democratic primary election Tuesday where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Congressman Joe Crowley, who holds the number four leadership position for the party in the US House of Representatives.

Critics are pointing to Ravi Bhalla’s novel habit of siding with Machine power and opposing women candidates and officials including self-declared progressives as he continually seeks higher elected office out of Hoboken to advance his political career. Read More...


Congressman Joe Crowley stunned in NYC primary upset by socialist upstart


In a stunning primary result with little more than 10% of the eligible voters turning out, Congressman Joe Crowley a 10 term Queens party boss went down to defeat at the hands of a 28-year-old socialist female challenger in the New York City (Queens-Bronx) Democratic primary.

Crowley, a senior member of the Democratic leadership in the US House of Representative saw a double-digit loss at the hands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from the Bronx.

Last weekend, Hoboken mayor Ravi Bhalla joined Crowley on a Facebook Live event crossing two bodies of water for the staged campaign finale in what was believed a layup against token opposition. Read More...


Statement from Councilman DeFusco on Mayor Bhalla’s Arts Bonding Announcement

Official release:

“The city should certainly be doing more to support local artists and Mayor Bhalla’s proposal to allocate one percent of the city’s debt to arts is intriguing, but this announcement leaves more questions than answers as to how the program would actually be implemented and administered. This is the first that members of the City Council have heard about this and it’s disingenuous how Mayor Bhalla continuously claims that Council members won’t work with him and then throws out a completely vague program with no Council or community discussion. The Council takes bonding and the expenditure of taxpayer dollars very seriously and that’s why this necessitates a careful review of debt spending, however, I look forward to working with the administration to elevate the arts as a priority across Hoboken.”

Related: The Jersey Journal published a story on Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s latest executive order diverting bond ordinance funding to “the arts” up to a million dollars in his term.

The Bhalla executive order is available here.


‘First Amendment expression for the rule of law is no crime’

The following guest pieces comes from Hoboken resident and 2017 City Council candidate Joshua Einstein. Councilman Ruben Ramos is abusing his position on the City Council. His public attempts at bullying a member of the community for having a point of view he disagrees with is infantile and his willingness to leverage his position as an elected representative is demonstrable evidence he lacks an understanding of the basic rights all elected officials swear to uphold. Even worse is the fact that his chosen target is a community volunteer who spends his private time on an unpaid public board serving the most underprivileged residents of our city. This man is Hovie Foreman and juxtaposed his apolitical service-driven commitment to the community is Ramos’s taxpayer-supported quest for greater attention – now at the expense of freedom of speech. Forman is being persecuted for expressing his views on illegal immigration on his personal Facebook page. Ramos has stated that Forman has “decided to echo false Trump talking points and attack children.” Yet, were Ramos aware of recent history he would know the national discussion on child immigrants crossing the border illegally, and only declaring asylum once apprehended, has been struggled with prior to the Trump administration. In fact, despite Ramos’s attempts to deploy illegal immigration as a wedge issue dividing American’s, there are many Democrats who know how complex of an issue it is. As a Democrat, Hoboken City Council member, and former NJ State Assemblyman, Ramos should remember the words of former Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, who in a 2014 interview with Christiane Amanpour, argued both for amnesty for longtime illegal immigrants who are integrated into American society and against letting child immigrants stay in our country because “we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.” Not one to let an opportunity to divide Hobokenites go un-abused, Mayor Bhalla chimed in that Forman’s perspective on illegal immigration, shared by 54% of likely voters according to a recent Rasmussen poll, “calls into question his ability to represent the constituency he serves as a commissioner. Hoboken is and remains a fair and welcoming city for all.” This is despite the fact that illegal immigrants are prohibited from living in public house projects such as the Hoboken Housing Authority unless they have a legal resident or citizen family member living there.  Surely, if the immediate former leader of the Democratic Party believes the topic of illegal immigration is one both of nuance and deterrence, Ramos and Bhalla should back away from totalitarian tantrums aimed at fellow citizens over a difference of opinion. Moreover, attempting to claim a simplistic moral high ground rejected even by their party’s most recent standard-bearer, shows how out of touch and hyper-partisan Ramos and Bhalla are. In their respective anti-free speech word vomits, both elected officials purposefully conflate support for immigration law with being anti-poor and ignore the fact that the unskilled labor illegal immigration provides, often at below the legal minimum wage, economically knee-caps the underprivileged Americans they pretend to care for.=&0=&

Ravi on the brink?

The revelation of how Ravi Bhalla subjected a former employee to years-long abuse as the NJ Supreme Court wrote he failed to take “any substantial steps” to see the employee paid over $6,200 shocked many.

Among those shocked are the hardest core supporters, Ravibots!

Is this failure to keep a promise and return the money until 2016 and 2017 the following year after an August 2015 grievance was filed to see the monies returned a mere symptom due to lacking a bookkeeper or something closer to a harsher reality? Read More...


Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: LOTS Up & Coming Including 7/4th Festivities!

Official release:

Dear friends and neighbors: Happy first official Monday of summer!  Hoping the rest of the summer weather follows today’s – sunny, high of 82 and zero chance of rain!  So much is happening that I am going to break this update into a couple of parts – Up and Coming & What You Should Know.  Let’s begin with Up & Coming because there is a lot starting with TONIGHT! 6/25 – MASTER PLAN RE-EXAM 2nd and Potentially Final Public Hearing.  124 Grand / Multi Service Center 7-9pm This is singly the MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT for Hoboken and sets the stage for potential zoning changes including building heights, density, uses.  Included in this plan are some of the more controversial changes: recommendations for up-zoning and 4 structures over 200 feet on the top of the hill for Stevens and changing the designation of the residential areas south of 4th street from R1 to R2 to increase density (ability to build more units & taller structures) and add more ground floor commercial.   My main criticism of the plan are threefold:

  • The City Council was specifically excluded from the process which is astounding.  And again, if you ask anyone, anywhere involved with city planning and governance about what and who should be involved in such an important process, the governing body is at the top of the list.  
  • The re-exam is incomplete on important elements.  Instead of incorporating a review of important elements (official sections) in the plan like Education, Community Facilities, Housing, and Transportation/Circulation needs, the plan recommends that the city undertake these reviews separately, in the future (at additional cost and time that is currently not budgeted).  
  • The plan all but ignores the conclusions and the impacts on everything in our community of the 2018 build out study that suggests that currently, under existing zoning and approved plans, our housing units and population will increase 20+%.  This increase is BEFORE up-zoning contemplated in the plan and any additional residential development approved as part of the North End redevelopment process.  
  • Those who responded to the survey do not reflect the demographic make- up of our community and those more disadvantaged are under-represented.
  •


    City: Weekend Road Closures Begin at 8 p.m. Friday

    Official release:

    Due to construction work being done to upgrade the underground water meter facility, the following roads in southwest Hoboken will be closed this weekend beginning 8 p.m. Friday and reopening at 5 a.m. Monday:

    • Harrison Street will be closed at Paterson Avenue not allowing southbound traffic from Paterson Avenue to Observer
    • Harrison Street will be closed at Observer not allowing southbound traffic from Observer to Newark Street
    • Newark Street from Monroe to Harrison Street will be closed to both east and westbound traffic

    Additionally, westbound lane of Newark (between Madison and Monroe) will be tapered with traffic cones two left turn only lanes onto Grove Street.


    Councilwoman Emily Jabbour declines to vote yea or nay on Patty Waiters

    Outside of the bombshell scandal unveiled before the City Council meeting involving Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his non-payment abuse of an employee pushing a decade leading to the NJ Supreme Court action against him, two Hoboken Housing Authority seats were filled.

    One with zero controversy came by unanimous vote on behalf of Aaron Lewitt, a founder of the Elysian Charter school. He was sponsored by City Council Vice President Jen Giattino and Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.

    The second planned vote for Eduardo Gonzalez was pulled immediately at the start of the meeting and replaced with bomb thrower Patricia Waiters. Read More...


    Municipal Republican Committee Elects New Leadership

    Official release:

    =&0=& The Hoboken Municipal Republican Committee held its biennial re-organization meeting, June 18, 2018, at Willie McBride’s in Hoboken at 6:30pm.

    The meeting was chaired by former Hoboken Republican Committee Chair, Diana Davis, well known in the “Mile Square City” since 2000 for having revitalized the local Republican Party and for building a strong Hoboken Republican presence. Read More...