Reporter Roundup – 8/7/2007
Continuing the ongoing series, here are a couple highlights from the 8/5/2007 edition of our local (and mostly discarded) paper, The Hoboken Reporter.
Not sure how long this roundup will continue, after this weeks botching of the letters to the editor.
4th Ward Battle: “It’s not over yet”
The Reporter takes an in-depth look at the charges and counter charges between Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer and former Councilman Chris Campos. The article was primarily about the “over 200” allegations of voter fraud launched at Zimmer by Campos and former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann. Most of the charges stem from Zimmer’s acceptance of “help” from the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization, which put David Roberts in the Mayor’s office in 2001, and kept him there in 2005.
Critics say the HCDO has earned a national reputation as one of the strongest, most corrupt political machines in U.S. history, in a class with the old Daley machine in Chicago and Boss Hogg’s reign over Hazzard County. Campos and his new best friend McCann are part of a faction of the HCDO that broke off with Union City Mayor Brian Stack to form the Democrats For Hudson County. The Reporter says Zimmer will launch her own set of charges that illegal votes were cast for Campos. Subpoenas are being served and depositions are underway. The judge will have to sort it out at the trial scheduled for September 10th.
Additionally, it’s alleged that the paper refused to print some derogatory language the McCann team has been using to manipulate voters from the 4th Ward despite witness reports, citing “hearsay” as the reason.
Is this all “pre-trial fluff”, or do you believe something substantial will result from the hearing? Welcome to Hudson County, folks.
Nine attorney contracts up for vote Wednesday
This article notes $1.1 million was spent on legal services in 2006, much of it going to two politically connected law firms. State Senator Bernard Kenny’s firm Florio and Kenny, and Senator Bob Menendez’s friends at Scarinci and Hollenbeck. Former City Attorney Joe Sherman (who is still on the payroll even after the Mayor “fired” him) was working for Scarinci before he was sent to work in Hoboken. Sherman then shoveled billable hours to Scarinci in the form of cases that the city ends up losing.
New City Attorney Steven Kleinman also came from Scarinci to work for the city, and seems to be doing the same thing, including urging the council to continue fighting 2nd ward Councilwoman Beth Mason’s open records request lawsuits rather than turn the documents over to the public. The recent $400,000 judgment for former Parking Authority Director Joann Serrano is also seen as another big loss for the city, and a big gain for the lawyers who told the City Council the case was a slam dunk.
Page 3: Operation Youth Week with the Hoboken Police
This week is the Hoboken Police Department is holding several community outreach events, including the 5k run/walk against crime and drugs and barbecues at Church (Astro-Turf) Square Park and the Hoboken Housing Authority.
Page 4: Mayor’s Photo Op and Briefs
Mayor David Roberts is seen in his weekly smiley photo opportunity, this time on the lawn at Maxwell Place. The caption reads “Roberts stands triumphantly on a patch of grass…” which is hilarious considering the smackdown Construction Code official Al Arezzo put on Roberts the next day.
The briefs include an update on State Senator Kenny’s condition after the mysterious battle he had with a “pothole” at 8th and Bloomfield, and a reminder that the annual “Spaghetti Dinner Block Party” will be held on Thursday, August 30th.
Page 5: Police Beat
This is where the Reporter notes the Jeep up on blocks; tells us about homeless guys from the Hoboken Shelter causing a variety of mayhem, including allegedly stealing bicycles, and a cane from the CVS; and retells the story of how an alert Hoboken Police Officer caught a thief messing around inside someone else’s car on Vezzetti Way.
Page 7: Biking Against Cancer
Here we find a human-interest story about a Hoboken Man raising money for cancer research by riding a bicycle 192 miles… or is it 172 miles? The Article says 192, the photo caption says 172. Either way it’s a long ride for a good cause.
Page 9: High Rise near 1600 Park
Hoboken residents fought for years against high-rise plans for 1600 Park Avenue, only to finally convince the city to purchase the property for a park. Now our neighbors in Weehawken plan to build a high-rise just across the light rail tracks. A 10-story building is going up where the old Gennaro’s nightclub used to be. They are calling it “The Gateway to Weehawken”. More like “The high rise you’ll see on your way into Hoboken.” Thanks Weehawken. Don’t be surprised if we return the favor in NoHo.
Page 47: 7 Letters To The Editor
“If you write, they will come…”: Resident Lorraine Herman thanks editor Caren Lissner and reporter Michael Mullins for their report about the eventual hurricane that will devastate Hoboken. Additionally, she tries to mention Hoboken411.com, but again the editor purposely BOTCHES her letter.
They ambiguously made it harder to decipher by publishing: “The relatively new Hoboken Internet site, 411, is no doubt also a wonderful addition to our community…”, when Lorraine confirmed to me she ACTUALLY wrote: “Hoboken411.com is no doubt a wonderful addition to our community”. Way to go, Caren. Goliath is afraid of Davey.
Lorraine also says “how easy” it is to write a letter to the editor, but failed to realize that they will be subject to edit. So what’s the point?
In other letters, longtime activist Dan Tumpson says David Roberts is ruining Church Square Park. He calls on the mayor to cancel the Astroturf project, noting the Mayor’s modus operandi is to sneak changes to the park in. Tumpson writes, “Nobody knows what is happening until they walk into the park and find trees cut down, fences up, grass gone.”
“Disgusted” follows up on the letter “Anonymous” wrote about “The List” at Marine View Towers… Margaret O’Brien complains longtime coaches are being “bounced out of their jobs” and replaced with “out of town coaches… Fredirich Haas liked “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”… Chris O’Connor thanked all the sponsors of the Mile Square Theater… Hugh Reilly equates the charges against Michael Vick with you eating a cheeseburger. Reilly says if you eat meat or dairy products you are just as guilty of animal cruelty as people who participate in dogfight rings.