Zimmer, Ramos spar over city’s legal spending
Hoboken mayoral candidate Assemblyman Ruben Ramos took a shot at Mayor Dawn Zimmer on Monday when he issued a press release condemning legal fees that the city has accrued due to several lawsuits, the latest of which was decided recently. Ramos faces Zimmer in a November mayoral election.
A panel of judges ruled that Zimmer’s attempts to fill a vacant City Council seat via a tiebreaking vote last fall were invalid. The four council members who oppose Zimmer had sued to overturn the vote appointing the new member, and emerged victorious a week ago Friday.
That was not the only recent legal loss the city has had.
In the press release, which was signed by the assemblyman as well as the candidates running for City Council on Ramos’ Vision for Hoboken slate, Ramos claims that the city’s legal expenses have risen over 200 percent during Zimmer’s administration, from around $644,000 to over $2 million in 2012. The figures could not be verified by press time. However, records provided by the Vision for Hoboken slate showed at least $1.07 million in legal spending last year.
Ramos focused his criticism specifically on lawsuits that have not ended in Zimmer’s favor, including Friday’s decision and a ruling last month regarding the uptown Monarch development. The developers originally promised to build tennis courts for the city but later proposed building two luxury condominiums instead. A judge ruled against the city's suit to force them to stick to their original plan.
Ramos said that it’s not so much the battles Zimmer chooses to fight, but the manner in which she fights them.
"The problem here isn't just how bad it looks for the city to keep losing lawsuits; the problem is that the administration is using millions of taxpayer dollars to pick these fights,” said the statement. “For all these millions of dollars, the taxpayers of Hoboken still do not have a field for their children to play soccer on, there is still no south west park, still no pedestrian mall next to the PATH station, and no municipal funds in the budget dedicated to infrastructure improvements.”
But Ramos’ statement failed to mention at least one recent legal victory for the city, a decision handed down last month that sided with the city against a class action lawsuit by a group of local landlords who argued that the city’s rent control ordinances were unconstitutionally unfair.
At the time, Zimmer called the ruling a major victory for the city and its residents and used it to justify her legal spending.
“This latest court victory demonstrates once again the importance of making the necessary investment to vigorously defend the city’s interests,” she said.
Zimmer responded to Ramos’ criticisms on Tuesday, claiming that 92 percent of the cases involving the city in 2012 resulted in rulings favorable for the city. Specifically, she noted the rent control victory, an acquisition of one acre of land and $1.5 million from a developer that failed to follow through on a redevelopment agreement with a past administration, and a $500,000 case which allowed Hoboken University Medical Center to stay in town.
“The fact that the city has been unsuccessful in a few litigations is not an indication of whether our total legal costs are necessary or appropriate,” Zimmer said in a statement.
“I will always live up to my fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of the city of Hoboken and its residents,” she continued, “and will never jeopardize those interests by depriving our residents of proper legal representation.”
Maxwell’s to go out with a bang; legendary venue will host block party for Hoboken on its final day in business
Maxwell’s, the legendary Hoboken rock club and restaurant that will close its doors after 35 years at the end of the month, will not leave town quietly. Instead, the venue’s owners plan to throw a block party for all Hoboken residents on the final day in business, July 31, according a report on NJ.com.
The block party will be held that evening, on 11th Street between Washington Street and Hudson Street, and will include food and, of course, music.
The longtime venue, which has hosted performances by Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, not to mention countless smaller bands with cult followings, is closing due to a variety of changes in Hoboken, the owner has said.
103rd St. Ann’s Italian Festival to kick off July 24
The St. Ann’s Church Italian Festival, one of Hoboken’s oldest traditions and a staple of the Hudson County Italian community, will kick off on Wednesday, July 24 and run through Sunday, July 28.
The festival is held around St. Ann’s Church, which is located on the corner of Eighth and Jefferson streets.
Food, drinks and music are a mainstay of the festival, and this year there will be a variety of performances, including one by former New York Yankee Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 25.
Other performers include La Caribena (July 24), Philip Alongi and Friends (July 26), Lime (July 27) and the Bronx Wanderers (July 28).
The festival also includes rides, games, crafts, and raffles.
For more information call (201) 659-1114 or visit www.st-annchurch.com.
Party With Purpose announces 9th Annual Hoboken 5K and other activities
The Party With Purpose 9thAnnual Hoboken 5K, Kids’ Fun Run and After Party will take place this Tuesday, July 16. Party With Purpose (PWP), an official not-for-profit organization, marked its 10th anniversary this year and is looking forward to the biggest 5k race to date. This main event for the charity, produced by dedicated volunteers, started with just 300 runners and has grown to attract over 1,500 runners.
The proceeds from the race go directly to supporting local children related charities including the Hoboken Boys & Girls Club and Jubilee Center with close to $50,000 raised in 2012.
“As we continue to enjoy our tenth anniversary, we ask the community to join us in celebration with a day of fitness for the whole family. Moreover, the proceeds from this race will help us support over 10 children’s charities in our neighborhood.” said Scott Delea, Founder of Party With Purpose.
This USA Track & Field sanctioned race is timed and welcomes runners and walkers of all levels who will enjoy an unparalleled race course along the banks of the gorgeous Hudson River. To help kick off the race, the Jersey Follettes, an up-and-coming performance group, will sing the National Anthem. Bethany Watson from Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show will also be on hand. Local children are welcome to come out and participate in a Fun Run and in various games hosted by ZogSports along Pier A in the afternoon.
After the race, run right over to the After Party where you will enjoy food, drinks and live entertainment by band Almost Easy with the skyline backdrop of New York City at night.
We encourage you to sign up early to secure a spot and a goody bag. Pick up your race number and performance t-shirt in advance at Fleet Feet (604 Washington St.) on Saturday July, 13 (12-5 p.m.), Sunday July, 14 (12-5 p.m.) or Monday July, 15 (5-9 p.m.). It can also be picked up day-of at the starting line on Pier A at 5 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall male and female participants as well as the top three male and female participants for each age group. Teams will be awarded as well, so sign up with your friends, family, or neighbors and earn various prizes.
For more information about PWP or to sign up for the 5K run, please visit www.partywithpurpose.org/5k.
Barclays announces ‘Tickets Fore Charity’ fundraising opportunity
The Barclays, an event on the 2013 PGA Tour, announced this week that it is offering various charities around New York and New Jersey the chance to sell tickets to the PGA golf tournament held at Liberty National in Jersey City from Aug. 20 through Aug. 25. The goal of the program, called Tickets Fore Charity, is aimed at improving the quality of life in the communities where PGA events are held.
Through the program, The Barclays is providing 501(c)(3) organizations with the opportunity to promote tournament tickets to benefit their organization. 100 percent of the net proceeds from the ticket sales (net proceeds exclude tax or processing fees) will go to charity – 75 percent to the charity promoting the tickets; and 25 percent to The First Tee of Metropolitan New York.
The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation aimed at positively impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.
There are two types of tickets available through the program – a weekly grounds ticket for $125 and a good-any-one-day grounds ticket for $55. The weekly grounds ticket is valid for each day of the tournament from Tuesday, Aug. 20, through Sunday, Aug. 25. Tickets can be purchased at www.buytfc.com.
Historic ferry will now dock at Red Hook, Brooklyn
A historic 1907 ferry that couldn't continue to stay in Hoboken was tugged to the Gowanus Bay Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn last week. It will now stay in that general vicinity.
The SS Yankee was used in the 1920s to shuttle newly-arrived immigrants from Ellis Island to New York City.
Last month, the city of Hoboken told the private owners of the historic ship that it could no longer continue to dock in its Hoboken location unless it fixed alleged electric violations and other matters.
The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance "was able to link up the owners with concrete titan John Quadrozzi Jr. of the Gowanus Bay Terminal. He allowed the crew to dock the boat on the Henry Street pier," according to a story in The Brooklyn Paper.
Last month, before the ship had to leave Hoboken, five rooms in the ferry were being advertised on the website airbnb.com for rent for $165 to $197 per night, and it was $3,687 per night to rent the boat for up to 20 guests. The rooms were advertised as being in Hoboken, near Times Square. The listing has since come down, but the ferry also appears on Tripadvisor.com and Bedandbreakfast.com.