Reporter Roundup – 10/1/2007
9/30/07 Reporter Roundup:
If you judge the Hoboken Reporter by its cover you might think there wasn’t much going on this week, but there was plenty of action inside and on the letters pages. Here is our weekly condensed review, complete with a side order of Hoboken411 analysis. We read every word so you don’t have to, and maybe point out some things that you missed. Read on…
Cover Stories: WWII Memorial Finally Underway
Piles are finally being driven for the World War II Memorial. The latest delay was due to the ongoing pissing match between Mayor David Roberts and Construction Code Official Al Arezzo, who refused to issue permits. Arezzo claimed he did not have jurisdiction, but the city produced papers that proved otherwise. Once again the state Division of Community Affairs was brought in to mediate.
Spotlight on Teenage Single Motherhood
The other story is an odd choice for the front page. HHA resident La-Trenda Ross is one of 45 women whose story will be included in a book about single mothers. Ross had her first child when she was 18 and her second five years later. After raising them Ross worked to help other young mothers.
Read “beneath the cover” after the jump!
Page 2: More Alleged HCDO Corruption
The lead story in the “Briefs” outlines the indictment of yet another HCDO-affiliated public official. This time the cuffs were slapped on Guttenberg Mayor David Delle Donna and his wife (and Planning Board member) Anna, who face federal corruption charges they received inappropriate gifts from a bar owner who was later charged with running a human trafficking ring involving Honduran slaves. There is much more on the many charges the Delle Donnas are facing on PoliticsNJ.com.
In the HCDO every indicted official is considered innocent until proven no longer politically effective, which is why Jersey City Mayor and HCDO Chairman Jerramiah Healy has been defending Delle Donna in the press. More on him later.
Mailing it in on Marineview
The Reporter’s coverage of the Marineview Towers lottery was limited to a picture of the line outside the building, followed by a brief caption. Many of the comments posted about this story on Hoboken411 were longer and more informative than the caption.
Page 3: Another Sitcom set in Hoboken
No, not the latest episode of Hoboken City Council on Channel 78. The Reporter checks in on an upcoming Fox TV show starring Parker Posey called The Return of Jezebel James. Posey plays a career woman who works at a Manhattan publishing house, but lives in a Hoboken Brownstone. The Reporter wonders if it will be more successful than the Hoboken-set Tony Danza vehicle “Hudson Street” which flopped in 1995-96.
Page 4: Police Briefs
Watch out criminals! Officer Nick Burke is on the beat with his eyes wide open. This former candidate for school board is the star of this week’s edition of Police Briefs. Burke and P.O. Elias Colon are credited in the successful investigation of the latest assault at the Big Banner shopping center at 4th and Jackson.
Burke also gets the “eagle eye” award for spotting a suspicious man riding a brand new $500 mountain bike and having the instincts to stop him and ask questions. It turns out the man was homeless with a long rap sheet, the bike was stolen, and the owner didn’t even know it was gone. Kudos to Hoboken P.O. Nick Burke!
Page 5: Expanding Hi-Tech High School
Hudson County Schools of Technology (also known as State Senator Nick Sacco’s HCDO Patronage Mill) has two branches in North Bergen and Jersey City. Discussion has been going on for several years on how to expand the schools, including talk of building a new campus in Secaucus. The Reporter teases us with the idea that a branch could be built in Hoboken, but we have so little juice in county politics it is not likely.
Page 6: Not much Between The Lines
The only mention of Hoboken in Al Sullivan’s political gossip column comes within speculation about who will be running for County Freeholder. Sullivan predicts Brian Stack’s DFHC will likely support incumbent “freeloader” Maurice Fitzgibbons, who is likely to face an HCDO-backed Frank “Pupie” Raia. The millionaire developer is never shy about spending a piece of his fortune on political races. In the eyes of the county machine that puts him head and shoulders above the other name mentioned in the column as a potential HCDO candidate.
Page 7: Get Drunk, Get Arrested, Get ELECTED
No, this story is not about former 4th ward councilman Chris Campos. T-shirts that say “Get Drunk, Get Naked, Get Arrested, Get Elected – Jersey City, NJ” have become the latest fashion. They are designed to poke fun at J.C. Mayor Jerry Healy. The HCDO chairman holds office despite wide distribution of photos of him drunk and naked on his front steps, and an arrest in Bradley Beach following an altercation in front of his brother-in-law’s bar. Unlike the HSPC’s I Like Grass shirts, these T’s are being given out for free.
Pages 49 and 50: Letters to the Editor
There must be another election coming, because the letters page has expanded to two, although once again elected officials are taking up free space that many believe should be given to the public.
- The lead letter comes from Mayor David Roberts, who continues to be criticized for coming far short of his open space commitments. The Mayor points to Maxwell Place Park as progress, but is rebutted on the same letters page by Ron Hine of the Fund for a Better Waterfront, who points out how it could have been much more.
- This could be a record. For the third week in a row the Reporter printed a letter from Dawn Zimmer. This time she catches up with Chris Campos, who was quick to endorse the Hoboken Southwest Parks Coalition SW6 Action Plan.
- Sky Club resident Narenda Varsani also writes an enthusiastic letter in support of SW6.
- Marianne Camporeale writes a particularly nasty letter for Campos. This Fox Hill resident once again shows why she is known as a “Newcomer Hater”. Camporeale is also known for voting for many developer variances from her seat on the Zoning Board.
- Councilwoman-at-Large Terry LaBruno once again shows her Born-and-Raised blood is thicker than HCDO water in a letter endorsing Campos over Zimmer.
- Barbie Roman also writes a letter of endorsement for Campos. Some of the key talking points are curiously similar to the Camporeale letter. Who edits these letters for the Reporter, anyway?
- Margaret Bellotti seems to be running for President of the “Al Arezzo Fan Club”. She writes an open letter to Governor Corzine asking him to stop helping Dave Roberts in his effort to get the DCA to step in on projects like Maxwell Place and Sybill’s Cave. Belloti says the Mayor “has a long track record of doing construction work on his buildings and his home without building permits”.
- School Board Member Tricia Snyder talks about how the new board is making strides in opening up the way the school system does business. She credits 2nd ward councilwoman Beth Mason for getting the school board meetings televised, though the district has yet to begin airing them on Channel 77.
- Halley Wolowiec pens a letter in support of the councilpersons who insisted on getting answers about the funding of Pier C Park before they voted to support the bonding plan.
- Ryn Melberg returns to the letters page to discuss the latest developments regarding the Church of the Holy Innocents, including an exclamation from the All Saints team that “you have to shut the public down” at the last zoning board meeting on the high-rise condo plan.
- Philip Dieckow becomes the first person to write a letter saying he was unhappy an ambulance did NOT take him to Hoboken University Medical Center.
- Educator John Bredin has a thoughtful letter about teachers and music that is hard to summarize.
- The prolific “T. Weed” suggests Hoboken give in to the flooding and prepare to become a “new Venice”.
- The Quality of Life Coalition educates us on the evils of plastic bags, and what we can do to stop them from polluting our environment. The QLC sold reusable Hemp/Cotton tote bags at the Arts and Music Festival.