Mayor blames homeless problems on cops


From today’s Journal:

Roberts criticizes top cop for being lax on vagrants

Hoboken Mayor David Roberts may soon be getting into another public feud with a top-ranking city official.

Roberts says he’s fed up with “vagrants” – i.e. homeless people – panhandling, relieving themselves in public and using Pier A as their own urban resort when they bathe in the fountain and sleep on the park’s benches.

He says the city has ordinances on the books that prohibit such behavior, but Police Chief Carmen LaBruno has not made enforcing these public nuisance laws a priority.

“I believe we can do better a job,” Roberts said. “I am a supporter of the homeless and have supported the city’s homeless shelter, but that doesn’t mean our residents should have to put up with what they have to put up with.”

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Roberts said a number of factors make the Mile Square City a favorite spot for the region’s homeless, including the lack of homeless shelters in nearby towns, NJ Transit’s push to remove squatters from its old train terminal property and the “generosity” of local residents toward panhandlers.

LaBruno could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Jersey City is close to inking a deal with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over the relocation of the Powerhouse substation that will help pave the way for highly-anticipated renovation of the historic Powerhouse building itself.

Port Authority officials have already agreed that the substation needs to be removed and replaced, but exactly where the new station will be built still needs to be resolved.

The two targeted locations are a triangle-shaped piece of city-owned land just north of the Powerhouse, on Washington Boulevard, and a 10,000-square-foot piece of property adjacent to the Butler building, owned by developer Bob Lier.

Sources tell me that the city prefers the Butler building property, but such a move presents a host of problems.

Lier had made it no secret that he wants to erect a high-rise residential tower through the heart of the historic Butler building, a proposal that city officials – who label the building iconic -are dead set against.

City officials are willing to allow Lier to add 100 feet to a proposed 250-foot building slated for parking lot to the south of the Butler building in exchange for placing the substation on his property.

That does not appear to be enough of a carrot for Lier, and city officials appear reluctant to force the substation on the property through eminent domain – out of fear of lengthy and costly litigation.

That being said, residents can expect the substation to land at the triangle park. At this pace, city officials said the Powerhouse building, scheduled to become a world-class arts and entertainment center, will be at least partially operational within five years.

Toll Brothers officials met with members of the Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association last week to discuss their controversial plans for the historic Manischewitz building on Bay Street.

Tight-lipped company officials provided the group with their “conceptual” plans, and last night they held a work session with PADNA members who want to voice their problems.

Company officials told me they want to work with the neighborhood residents and they say the meetings are a vehicle to gauge public opinion and make changes if necessary – a point that would be commendable if it were true.

Just yesterday, sources tell me, the company was planning to submit its planning board application for zoning changes, just hours before they were scheduled to meet with PADNA members about their concerns.

The premature submission of the application raises serious questions about how seriously company officials took the meetings, reducing them to a typical public relations tactic that is more window dressing than private-public cooperation.

Such tactics are going to make an already skeptical neighborhood group even more critical, especially in the face of substantial zoning changes required for the company to erect three residential towers ranging from roughly 300 to 400 feet, along with a host of other controversial plans.

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Cops: Knife found on sex offender in park

Thursday, October 11, 2007

HOBOKEN – Police arrested an armed sex offender who was sleeping on a bench in Pier A Park early Tuesday morning, police reports said.

Erik A. Davis, 30, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, failure to appear for outstanding warrants out of Jersey City and failure to register as a sex offender, reports said.

Police found Davis lying on a bench shortly before 6 a.m. with an 8-inch knife under the bench, reports said. He told police that he sometimes stayed at a Hoboken shelter on Bloomfield Street, and if that was closed, then at Pier A Park, reports said.

Davis denied owning the knife, reports said.

Police said they checked the National Crime Information Center and found him to be a sex offender. When asked, he claimed that he was registered as a sex offender, police said. But after cops asked if he was registered in Hoboken, he changed his story, saying that he does not stay in Hoboken, reports said.




Change? Spare some change? — how did they solve the problem in South Park? I forget.


Here’s an idea …kill 2 birds with one stone

let’s put the homeless to work

picking tomatoes in the 4th ward….sell’em to the Italian deli’s and presto cash in hand, roof over their head!!!!


Get to work homeless ….stop dumpster diving for cans…..You can start farming in the 4th WARD!!!!

We’ll even make Progressive Toilet ( I mean John) the Farm Laborer Honcho!



I just hope more cities don’t catch onto the trend of setting them on fire like we do.


[quote comment=”47017″]Teaching creative writing is treating people as humans, something obviously you do not believe those who are homeless are…point #3 is very unnerving and disturbing. My partner has worked with the Paterson community for 10+ years and your minimization of Camden and Paterson as no a real community, just one that exists for the left over Hoboken people that just can’t make it strikes me as a philosophy since rejected after WW II.[/quote] You are completely and totally misreading my point. Dude, you are so far out there that you see demons and ill intentions where there are none. Trust me, I see homeless people as way more human than you do since I don’t try to force my opinion through a prism of “progressive politics”. Homeless people do not need creative writing classes, they need a permanent roof over their heads. By teaching them “creative writing” as if they’re helpless juveniles, you’re casting yourself as the cultured savior trying to raise up the barbarian to your lofty perch, extending the olive branch of culture to the unlearned. Great for your ego, but not too good for getting off the street. Screw that. They need a permanent roof over their head, not journaling classes. What would you do if you were homeless and someone wanted to teach you creative writing instead of working to get you a real place to live??? I hope you’d say. “Creative writing? I’m living on the street, you moron!” I love how you fantasize… Read more »