Reporter Roundup – 6/18/2007
Continuing the ongoing series, here are a couple highlights from the 6/17/2007 edition of our local paper, The Hoboken Reporter.
Seems like everyone uptown got their paper this week. Anyone miss theirs? Well, not saying you’d actually miss it, but you know what I mean.
In the future, if you anyone has the desire to submit their writeup, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anybody Know a Good Proofreader?
The top story was the council runoff, with the headline “Three new council members; division still exits”. Umm… I think they meant “division still exists”. Oh well. Nobody’s perfect. Typos and grammatical errors happen, sort of like on this site every week!
What’s that she’s flashing?
The front page pictures included Chris Campos addressing supporters at city hall on the left, and Dawn Zimmer with friends and family on the right. Sharp eyes notice the young woman next to Dawn flashing a “sign” with her left hand. Hmmm… anybody know what kind of message she was trying to send to her friends?
The “never ending” 4th Ward race
The story about the 4th Ward race was very detailed, with much of the information already available here on 411. Campos again said he plans to fight some of Zimmer’s 145 absentee ballots. The name of former 4th Ward councilman Andrew Amato was in the paper almost as much as Campos and Zimmer. According to the Reporter, Amato was indicted in 1997 on charges he paid seven people $40 to apply for false absentee ballots, although he was ultimately not convicted of those charges. Zimmer says Amato helped her collect absentees, but denies any wrongdoing.
Elsewhere in the paper, political columnist Al Sullivan speculates that Amato may have helped Zimmer because he may be “seeking an appointment as the city’s senior citizens programs director.” Additionally, he failed to “attribute” the “411 factor” to the outcome of the election. Maybe he’s right. Perhaps it’s Al Sullivan that caused Dawn to win?
The Reporter also noted the crowd at Zimmer headquarters included several HCDO personalities, including Hudson County Executive Tom Degise and HCDO Political Consultant Paul Swibinski. City Clerk Jimmy Farina still hasn’t certified the fourth ward vote, but plans to do it by Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. That may give Campos more time to prepare his legal challenge. Many folks around town assume his challenge will eventually be dropped. Only time will tell.
Fifth Ward Near-Fraud
The Reporter also recounts the story of the Jersey City man who said he was paid ten bucks to vote in Hoboken’s 5th Ward race. Nice overhead picture of councilman-elect Peter Cunningham with the cops and the perp. The paper noted allegations of voter fraud have surrounded past Hoboken elections but that there were no proven cases of someone being paid to vote under someone else’s name in recent years.
The Reporter said this was the only report of suspected voter fraud Tuesday that led to anyone being questioned. The always overactive Hoboken rumor mill has turned this one incident into stories of several dozen voter fraudsters that supposedly roamed the city last week.
Sybil’s Cave update
The saga of Sybil’s cave also made the front page, as the paper recounted the story of how Construction Code Official Al Arezzo slapped a stop-work order on one of Mayor David Roberts’ many long-stalled pet projects. Much like anyone else in Hoboken looking to get a project done, Roberts would rather not deal with Arezzo directly. What’s the Mayor to do? He assigned the job of dealing with Arezzo to Police Chief Carmen LaBruno, who is now working on the Sybil’s Cave project for Roberts.
Page 3: Kids rethink Hoboken
Kids at the Hoboken Charter School taking a shot at creating a “model city” based on Hoboken. They called it the “Mixed-up City.” The kids put more park space in their plans, saying all the parks in Hoboken are crowded. I bet a few of these kids would do better than some of our council members!
Page 5: County Politics
The ongoing saga of the split in the HCDO was updated following committee meetings of the County Machine, and the people who broke off from the HCDO to form the DFHC group. Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner will chair the DFHC group, while Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healey. There is more on that in the Sullivan column, along with more on the Hoboken City Council elections, including a prediction that Councilwoman-at-Large Terry Labruno “will likely finish out this term and fade from local politics” as lame-duck Mayor David Roberts “leaves the scene” at the end of his term in two years.
Page 8: Puerto Rican Festival
The Hoboken Puerto Rican Cultural Committee holds it’s annual festival at Pier A next Sunday. The flag of Puerto Rico will be raised at City Hall in a ceremony at 11am on Saturday.
Page 9: Reporter Vacation pictures
Do you think these people actually read the reporter? Or were they just “showing off” to everyone that they went to Egypt?
Page 11: Pots and Pans
North Hudson Regional Firefighter John Repetti has a better idea for saving energy through better cookware. The Hoboken native is looking for a company to take his idea and make it as popular as the George Forman Grill. Any takers?
Letters to the Editor Pages Down to two
- Terry LaBruno welcomes new members to the city council, and calls for an end to “nastiness and ugliness”. Dawn Zimmer declares the 4th ward race over, and looks forward to getting to work, while Chris Campos lays out his case for why Zimmer’s ballots need another look, and that he is not conceding.
- 6th Ward Councilman Nino Giacchi thanks the voters for returning him to office, and writes a long letter about how he will approach the job differently after this race. The man he defeated, Tom Foley, wrote a letter that seemed to launch his 2009 candidacy for something.
- Thomas Molta of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps wrote a history of his organization, and clarified some things about what they do, while Tom O’Keefe complained about the HVAC in another letter.
- Debra wrote a letter outlining her concern about being priced out of Hoboken, and called for more affordable housing for born-and-raised people like her and her disabled husband, each in their mid-50’s.
- Sara Stojkovic of Hoboken Southwest Parks Coalition wrote a letter about the new Madison Street Park thanking those involved in the redesign and installation of the water features, and calling for more park space in Southwest Hoboken.
- A letter from the Hoboken Quality Of Life Coalition criticized the All Saints’ plan for Church of the Holy Innocents.
- And in the letter of the week, “Sal T.” writes in outrage (411 style) about taxpayer money being spent on 24/7 police presence at Sybil’s Cave. Sal calls the Roberts Administration “half baked”, and this saga “an embarrassment”.