Breast cancer brunch is Oct. 28
A brunch hosted by the Madeline Fiadini LoRe Foundation for Cancer Prevention will be held on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at the W Hotel, 225 River St., Hoboken. The brunch is in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and will feature keynote speaker Lillie Shockney, a two-time breast cancer survivor and nationally recognized speaker and author. Mayor Dawn Zimmer is serving as the event’s honorary chairwoman.
Tickets for the brunch are $50 each and are available by calling (201) 437-9100 or visit mflfoundation.com.
‘Nazi truck’ drives around Hoboken, related to school board election
Hoboken’s political campaigns are notoriously heated, but never have they used Nazi graphics in their campaigns.
That is, until Tuesday and Wednesday night, when a truck drove around displaying Nazi imagery that had appeared two years ago as part of political satire on local blogs. The ad voice-over criticized the Kids First school board slate for not condemning the images. Similar imagery had appeared two years ago on a blog of a strong supporter and one-time graphic artist for the slate.
The blogger in question, Nancy Pincus, had apologized to a Jewish group for the imagery in 2010. Recently, she said she is not directly involved in the current school board campaign.
The school board slate that is opposed to Kids First, Move Forward, has publicly denied that they hired the truck.
Pincus’ blog contained a parody two years ago in which she took aim at Councilwoman Beth Mason, taking the Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Wills” and changing it to “Triumph of the Shills.” Beth Mason is a political rival of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, whom Pincus supports.
At the time, a minority of council members who are politically opposed to Pincus and Zimmer took issue with her use of the imagery. Pincus and Mason are both Jewish.
Apparently, supporters of the Move Forward school board ticket, which opposes the Kids First ticket whom Pincus supports, are making her a focus of a campaign, saying Kids First should condemn Pincus.
When contacted for comment on Thursday, Pincus said she would have her attorney contact the newspaper regarding her response. Pincus later sent a response but said the Reporter could not use it unless the entire statement was published verbatim.
When contacted Thursday, Move Forward campaign co-chairman John Castellano said, in part, “The Move Forward campaign is not responsible for the video truck or content it was playing outside of the Hoboken BOE meeting [on Tuesday]. We do not support sensationalism of that nature; however, we also do not condone Ms. Pincus’ long history of inappropriate behavior on her blog.”
Pincus was recently at the receiving end of a $2 million defamation lawsuit from a Hoboken couple, Lane and Kim Bajardi, who are strong supporters of Councilwoman Mason. The couple were frequently a target of Pincus on her blog. The couple’s lawsuit noted that on an internet website, someone with Pincus’ screen name repeatedly made posts saying that people should call the state Divison of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) on the couple, who have a toddler. The couple also mentioned other posts Pincus had made on her blog and around the web that targeted them, making claims they said were completely untrue. The suit also alleged that Pincus had written a letter to Bajardi’s employer.
Pincus has said in the past that the suit is an attempt to silence her blog.
Castellano said Pincus should not protest the use of an image she has used.
“Our position is simple,” he said. “We denounce the bully tactics used by Ms. Pincus, and we call on Kids First to do the same. Now it is time to get back to discussing ways to improve test scores [and other school issues].”
Two rabbis in Hoboken weighed in on Friday on the controversy, condemning the truck.
Rabbi Moshe Schapiro of Chabad in Hoboken said he hadn’t seen the truck himself, but said, “I’ve seen pictures and I think it’s despicable. I’m appalled and shocked that anyone can use an image of such hatred and bigotry. I don’t know whose side, what side, if they’re repeating something, but how can one be so insensitive to Holocaust survivors who will walk by, or people who had grandparents who survived the camps, and have to witness such an image driving around the city? Whoever is responsible should immediately remove it and apologize.”
Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, who two years ago issued a statement on his website after the other incident, said this time around, “Using Nazi imagery in a local Hoboken election, trivializing the cataclysmic events of World War II, is completely inexcusable. I would urge whoever is responsible for these projected images to follow the example of the local blogger who, two years ago, publicly apologized for her use of such images on her blog and immediately removed them.”
Ruth McAllister, a Jewish school board member allied with Kids First, said, “The people who should be denounced are the people who hired the truck that is driving around Hoboken waving a Nazi flag.”
For more on this issue, including reader comments, see the two earlier items posted Thursday and Friday at hudsonreporter.com.
Testimony brings revelations in Hoboken personnel email theft hearing
Testimony continued for three days last week in a Newark court personnel hearing involving the 2011 termination of Jonathan Cummins, the former assistant to the head of information technology in Hoboken City Hall.
Former city attorney Mark Tabakin testified in the proceedings Monday.
The testimony shed light on an ongoing FBI investigation into the alleged theft of thousands of e-mails in City Hall last year.
In 2011, the FBI arrested Hoboken’s information technology director, Patrick Ricciardi, and charged him with allegedly intercepting e-mails for and from Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her aides. According to the 2011 complaint, Ricciardi allegedly forwarded the e-mails to a present and former city official, although the FBI failed to name them at the time. Rumors have said that the information in the e-mails could have been used for politics or in union negotiations.
Former City Business Administrator Arch Liston testified a week ago Friday that the e-mails were allegedly given to former Public Safety Director Angel Alicea and current Fire Chief Richard Blohm.
The hearing took place because Ricciardi’s assistant had been terminated by Hoboken City Hall in 2011 after his own alleged confession to city officials about his possible involvement in the scheme.
However, at his hearing last week, Cummins said he had never confessed.
Cummins said that when Tabakin and Liston interviewed him last year, he thought that they were asking about humorous e-mails he may have forwarded, according to a published article.
When the FBI arrested Ricciardi in November of 2011, they had weighed in on this matter in their complaint, and chose not to arrest Cummins.
According to the 2011 FBI complaint, Cummins allegedly confessed to involvement to city officials, but Ricciardi told the FBI that Cummins only confessed due to his friendship with Ricciardi.
A 2011 press release about bullying prevention erroneously ran last week on page 10 of the Reporter. The release referred to an upcoming theater event involving Stevens Cooperative School. In fact, the release was from last year and was only published last week due to a filing error. A release published on page 12 of the same edition regarding the school’s new head of school was correct.
Be afraid… be very afraid… (At least you won’t be alone in the dark….)
Elysian Park among beneficiaries of Assembly vote on $3.75M Green Acres bill
Last week the Assembly Environment Committee released legislation that appropriates more than $55 million to Green Acres project throughout the state. The bill, A3369, specifically designates $3.75 million to projects in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, and Weehawken.
“I know how important open space projects are in densely-populated areas like the 33rd district,” said Assemblyman Ruben Ramos (D-33rd Dist.), who sponsored the legislation. “This appropriation will ensure that municipalities in Hudson County receive essential resources for creating and updating parks and other open spaces.”
The funds for these improvements come from the 2009 Green Acres fund and the Green Acres, Farmland and Historic Preservation, and Blue Acres Bond Act of 1995. In the 33rd Legislative District, funds will be specifically targeted to: Skyway Riverfront Park, and Paulus Hook Park in Jersey City; the acquisition of the Union City Reservoir in Union City and Weehawken; Elysian Park in Hoboken; and the development of the Hudson County Recreation Center;
Assembly Bill 3369 received unanimous approval from the Assembly Environment Committee and is currently awaiting consideration by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.