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NY Times comes to Hoboken reporting ‘On the Waterfront’

‘The New York Times posted a feature story on the woes of the Hoboken waterfront and it wasn’t surrounding the landmark film of the same name.  The feature quotes Mayor Dawn Zimmer who declines to point fingers at her predecessors for the incompetence in creating and maintaining the jewel of Hoboken.

Not long ago, there was a political operation to pin the blame for problems of the waterfront on Mayor Zimmer.  Inane remarks began appearing on local internet websites such as the NJ.com Hoboken Forum, where rumors and less than savory (or truthful) political attacks go to germinate.

The City not long after having extensively researched the issue going back to the 1990’s released a comprehensive history for the public showing all the history known to that point.  Councilman Mike Russo took the fight and political task to the City Council where he complained about the waterfront problems and pointed a rhetorical finger saying, “What did she know (Zimmer) and when did she know it?”

When it became clear problems stemmed in part to the time of his father’s “stewardship,” – Mayor Anthony Russo, he stopped bringing it up.

Here’s a key part from their story:

Weeks after Ms. Zimmer took office — she was elected in her own right in fall 2009 — a chunk of Sinatra Field slumped into the river. The park, with a heavily used soccer field and riverfront walk, sits on century-old timbers that were riddled with shipworms, or teredos, tiny mollusks that bore into wood. Engineers had warned of this problem when the field was being developed in the 1990s and had recommended replacing the pilings, but that advice was disregarded.

“I think the attitude was, ‘Well, we’ll fix it later,’ ” Ms. Manogue said.

Last February, another small piece of the promenade collapsed, near Weehawken Cove.

The city hired engineers to examine the damage, develop a repair plan and, while they were at it, take a look at Pier A, where another park was built in the ’90s. That pier, just north of the train station and ferry terminal, sits on more than 1,000 steel beams that were encased in concrete down to the mud.

“We didn’t have an inkling there would be a problem” with the pier, Ms. Zimmer said, but the city decided an inspection would be prudent. “Honestly, we expected it to be fine.”

It was not. The mud had receded below the concrete jackets, exposing the steel to corrosive salt water. There is no structural danger yet, but inspectors say that without repairs, there will be.

For the complete story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/nyregion/08hoboken.html?

Talking Ed Note: Reader p1ywood notes a suspect Mazin push poll Sunday:

Got a call from an 800 number Sunday, asking about our upcoming municipal elections, was I favorable or unfavorable, or extremely so on each incumbent running for re-election, etc. Enough questions about Ms Mason to have clear suspicion it was paid for by our 2nd Ward Councilperson, or one of her “wheel”s.

My favorite question I was asked during the phone poll: “We hope you are aware that Hoboken is having problems with failing infrastructure such as costly water main breaks and a crumbling waterfront. Do you attribute these problems to Dawn Zimmer, or a prior mayor?” Wow, I guess they think it’s possible to get people to believe 50 year old pipes and 20 year old piers have been compromised to the point of failure in a year and a half due to a change in administration.

So it seems there is actually push-polling going on 4 months pre-election to perpetuate this line of thought.  And I guess the premise for the line of thought is as the old saying goes “whatever works”.

The near-total disconnect from reality and the level of desperation is scary.
And stay tuned for more. I think it’s safe to say “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.

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