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Plunge in Hudson war support to only 14.7 per cent - from 57.9 per cent in 2003
Home away from home
Home away from home


Plunge in Hudson war support

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
By GREG HANLON
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Support for the American war in Iraq among Hudson County residents has dropped dramatically since the war began, four years ago this week, according to a recent Jersey Journal/ New Jersey City University Poll.

The poll shows that only 14.7 per cent of Hudson County respondents now approve of the war, a striking dropoff from 57.9 per cent who supported the war in March 2003.

"Clearly, patience with the war in Iraq is running out in the county," remarked the poll's authors, NJCU political science professor Fran Moran and English professor Bruce Chadwick.

While the county overwhelmingly doesn't approve of the war, the poll shows that many Hudson County residents are either related to or know somebody serving in Iraq. Four out of 10 residents said they personally know somebody serving in Iraq; 17.7 percent said they have a relative there.

In fact, according to the poll, disapproval of the war is strongest among those who have this personal connection to people in the military; 70.7 percent of those who have relatives serving and 74.5 per cent of those who know someone in the military expressed disapproval with how the war is being handled.

The poll reports that the direct, personal connection to the soldiers was highest among blacks and Hispanics and lowest among whites, numbers that are consistent with the Army's own demographics that show a higher proportional registration among non-whites.

The drop-off of support for the war from the 2003 poll to this year's can be explained, in part, by the fact that the conflict has dragged on far longer than most people expected. When polled in 2003, 78.1 per cent of respondents who supported the war said that their support would weaken if the war lasted for more than a year.

More than half of Hudson County residents support an immediate withdrawal of the troops, with an additional 16 percent saying that America should leave within a year. Only 15.5 percent favor a more open-ended commitment of staying as long as it takes to win.

Immediate withdrawal is especially favored among minority residents - 62.9 percent of blacks and 73.5 percent of Hispanics surveyed wanted troops out now, "no doubt due in part to the fact that a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanic respondents reported having family members or knowing someone serving in Iraq," Moran and Chadwick wrote.

Posted on: 2007/3/21 7:54
Top


Re: So much for all of you folks who predicted a JC/NYC RE Crash
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Quote:

wibbit wrote:
To the original poster, what are you smoking? and where can i get some.

The full effect of the subprime implosion hasnt started to trickle down and felt by the average home seller/buyer yet. But they sure will in the near future (~6months), that's a fact.

Most people really dont understand the gravity of the situation in the subprime mortgage fallout. Yes i am sure you read the news and saw mortgage firms lined up to file for bankruptcy protection and all the investment banks rushing for the door to hedge against their exposures.

But what it really means for the buyer(even those with good credit) is a large percentage of them will not be able to get the mortgage they currently can, actually far from it. For example, before with 650 rating you can qualify for a 250k loan, now you can only get a 200k or 150k loan etc. On top of that, the market is very nervous about the current mortgage approval process (which is a joke), they will tighten that up significantly as well, you will actually required to have the income you wrote down on the application, imagine that! All of this translates to a much more difficult mortgage approval = less people able to buy real estate.

For sellers, it's even worse as the <5 yr arms are now due, the estimated default/foreclosure rate is 20% for the next few years on those loans. That's 1 in every 5! The market will be flooded with supply, on top of reduced demand mentioned above.

It doesnt take a genius to figure out what will happen to the price.. it may not crash, but you sure will find some very nice deals by next year.



WSJArticle differs with your doom and gloom

Economy Can Withstand
More Mortgage Foreclosures
As payments jump on ARMs made in recent years, 1.1 million foreclosures could result, but the majority of borrowers will be fine, a new study shows.

http://www.realestatejournal.com/buys ... erty.html?rejcontent=mail

With the speed and extent of production cuts in new homes nationally i'm just not worried about most markets. I do agree with the dangers in overly speculative places like miami and phoenix and parts of cali but investor groups are already buying packages of properties in bulk. The markets remember the late 80's. The markets are much better prepared to handle this this time around.

Posted on: 2007/3/21 3:50
Top


Re: So much for all of you folks who predicted a JC/NYC RE Crash
Home away from home
Home away from home


I agree with you wholeheartedly right up to the end. Great deals will be in markets that are so distressed that foreclosures go through and properties are auctioned. The residual strength in our area means that, while prices will fall somewhat, most distressed owners will be able to sell at "some" price, or if they are foreclosed, it will be sold by a broker rather than at auction. I guess I define a great deal as <60% of peak, and I don't think they'll fall that far, more like 20%. I bought here 10 years, ago so 20% off peak doesn't get me excited, but I'm sure others will be thrilled.

Florida and the sunbelt markets will freefall, as they always do, as will some of the recovering rustbelt where the subprimes were pushed hard.


Quote:

wibbit wrote:
To the original poster, what are you smoking? and where can i get some.

The full effect of the subprime implosion hasnt started to trickle down and felt by the average home seller/buyer yet. But they sure will in the near future (~6months), that's a fact.

Most people really dont understand the gravity of the situation in the subprime mortgage fallout. Yes i am sure you read the news and saw mortgage firms lined up to file for bankruptcy protection and all the investment banks rushing for the door to hedge against their exposures.

But what it really means for the buyer(even those with good credit) is a large percentage of them will not be able to get the mortgage they currently can, actually far from it. For example, before with 650 rating you can qualify for a 250k loan, now you can only get a 200k or 150k loan etc. On top of that, the market is very nervous about the current mortgage approval process (which is a joke), they will tighten that up significantly as well, you will actually required to have the income you wrote down on the application, imagine that! All of this translates to a much more difficult mortgage approval = less people able to buy real estate.

For sellers, it's even worse as the <5 yr arms are now due, the estimated default/foreclosure rate is 20% for the next few years on those loans. That's 1 in every 5! The market will be flooded with supply, on top of reduced demand mentioned above.

It doesnt take a genius to figure out what will happen to the price.. it may not crash, but you sure will find some very nice deals by next year.

Posted on: 2007/3/21 1:56
Top


Re: So much for all of you folks who predicted a JC/NYC RE Crash
Home away from home
Home away from home


To the original poster, what are you smoking? and where can i get some.

The full effect of the subprime implosion hasnt started to trickle down and felt by the average home seller/buyer yet. But they sure will in the near future (~6months), that's a fact.

Most people really dont understand the gravity of the situation in the subprime mortgage fallout. Yes i am sure you read the news and saw mortgage firms lined up to file for bankruptcy protection and all the investment banks rushing for the door to hedge against their exposures.

But what it really means for the buyer(even those with good credit) is a large percentage of them will not be able to get the mortgage they currently can, actually far from it. For example, before with 650 rating you can qualify for a 250k loan, now you can only get a 200k or 150k loan etc. On top of that, the market is very nervous about the current mortgage approval process (which is a joke), they will tighten that up significantly as well, you will actually required to have the income you wrote down on the application, imagine that! All of this translates to a much more difficult mortgage approval = less people able to buy real estate.

For sellers, it's even worse as the <5 yr arms are now due, the estimated default/foreclosure rate is 20% for the next few years on those loans. That's 1 in every 5! The market will be flooded with supply, on top of reduced demand mentioned above.

It doesnt take a genius to figure out what will happen to the price.. it may not crash, but you sure will find some very nice deals by next year.

Posted on: 2007/3/21 1:24
Top


Re: So much for all of you folks who predicted a JC/NYC RE Crash
Home away from home
Home away from home


"Supply/Demand" is kind of like "survival of the fittest" - it's circular reasoning that doesn't fully explain anything by itself. Things are because they are because they are, etc.

I'm talking about the things that impact demand - in this case sub-prime loans, speculation and unscrupulous mortgage practices.

Posted on: 2007/3/21 0:01
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Newbie
Newbie


A special thanks to Steve for posting the designs. I would encourage as many familes with children to attend this meeting as the current plans are extremely family and child friendly.

Shelley Skinner

Posted on: 2007/3/20 22:43
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Home away from home
Home away from home


Schoor DePalma is the engineering firm that won the bid to draft the construction plans. T&M bid, but lost.

The only difference that I see between 1 & 2 is concept 1 has gardens in the NE corner. I don't see the putting green or extra active space in the concept 2 drawing.

I like concept 3 the best. Only one tennis court, and more active space.

One aspect not included in the drawings that is VERY important - demarcation of the pet free area.

Quote:

DanL wrote:
as explained, the text/renderings are dificult to read.

I cannot easily see any differences between Concept A and B.

Notable changes from prior draft plan;

it looks like the children's playground while currently large, get larger under all concepts. In comparision, the prior plans split the existing one in two.

there is a small area, the width of a tennis court that is in the same location for Concept A and B, and is moved in C that I cannot deterime what it is.

concept C eliminates a tennis court, but then perhaps could not the dog run be moved to that location, away from residential buildings on Hamilton Pl W and 9th St. (edited)

lastly, a "PUTTING GREEN"????? where did this come from? Could not find any mention in the HPNA survey...

all three concepts appear to lead to more active and fenced in elements in the park.

Since, these concepts were not prepared by the city's consultants, T&M, why? and who is "Schoor and Depalma" the designer of these concepts working for - city or whom ....

I like the Friends of Liberty State Park slogan - FREE AND GREEN

Posted on: 2007/3/20 22:22
Top


Re: O'Conells in JC
Newbie
Newbie


I have been there on numerous occassions both in the restaurant and the bar, and each time found that the food and service was great. The servers were very attentive to me and the group I was with. The prices to me seem to be very reasonable considering the quality of the food that you are receiving, and can not be compared to the mexican restaraunt next store. I do know that they have Shephards Pie and Fish N Chips, I've had them both while sitting at the bar. (Definently worth trying!)

It is a new restaraunt, so I am sure that they are going to have some gliches here and there, but for most part, they're on the money!

Posted on: 2007/3/20 19:45
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Home away from home
Home away from home


as explained, the text/renderings are dificult to read.

I cannot easily see any differences between Concept A and B.

Notable changes from prior draft plan;

it looks like the children's playground while currently large, get larger under all concepts. In comparision, the prior plans split the existing one in two.

there is a small area, the width of a tennis court that is in the same location for Concept A and B, and is moved in C that I cannot deterime what it is.

concept C eliminates a tennis court, but then perhaps could not the dog run be moved to that location, away from residential buildings on Hamilton Pl W and 9th St. (edited)

lastly, a "PUTTING GREEN"????? where did this come from? Could not find any mention in the HPNA survey...

all three concepts appear to lead to more active and fenced in elements in the park.

Since, these concepts were not prepared by the city's consultants, T&M, why? and who is "Schoor and Depalma" the designer of these concepts working for - city or whom ....

I like the Friends of Liberty State Park slogan - FREE AND GREEN

Posted on: 2007/3/20 18:11
Top


Re: O'Conells in JC
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


I ate there twice. First time service and food was excellent. Second time, service and food were mediocre. Have not been back since.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 16:56
Top


Re: BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES PUBLIC FORUM ON APRIL 5TH
Home away from home
Home away from home


Oh abolutely. They want to know who, what, where, why, when. They want candidates really dedicated to education and not looking to step up into a political position.

Those who founded JCFBS, believe this is a community wide issue, meaning you don't have to have kids, and every year the BOE election turn out is low and no one has a clear idea who to vote for.

Some how this forum will be recorded and made available for all those who were not able to attend.

Althea

Posted on: 2007/3/20 15:51
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home


Like this news really surprised anyone ???

Come on, Thugs with no talent .

Goes to show their Cd's didn;t top the Charts !!!! LOL LOL

CK

Posted on: 2007/3/20 15:16
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

lostgirl wrote:
Finally. Did someone really think people were getting hair cuts at 2am. Or do owners of basement, hole-in-the-wall barber shop usually drive fancy ass cars?


Sorry about my innocence, but were these the people who drove around in "rolling billboard" SUVs with posters for releases "Show Me The $$$oney$$$" on them?

I really didn't pay any attention to those SUVs. Now I wish I'd looked at them a little harder, and I wish I'd looked at the barber shop harder when I went into the "gallery" there for that arts festival a few months ago. I remember thinking that the gallery wasn't as nice as the Jersey Journal reporter had implied, but I didn't notice giant bales of drugs or anything like that.

Anyhow, I wonder if these folks had any ties to the guys on Wayne or the guys in the apartment building next to C Town. If so, maybe the police will be able to calm things down in the rest of the neighborhood now that they've dealt with the distribution center.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 14:54
Top


Re: BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES PUBLIC FORUM ON APRIL 5TH
Home away from home
Home away from home


I'd love to see Tris McCall's take on this, too.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 14:50
Top


Re: BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES PUBLIC FORUM ON APRIL 5TH
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Is JCFBS planning to endorse a slate of Board of Ed candidates? I think it would be helpful to people who traditionally don't bother voting in BoE elections if groups such as this or Civic JC would let it be known (by posting here or through Op-Eds and letters to the editor in the JJ and JCReporter) who they think the best candidates are.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 14:43
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home


Everyone knows that. *Clearly* the writer never saw Be Cool.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 14:09
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:


rogue segments of the music industry ...


which segments of the music industry are NOT rogue?

Posted on: 2007/3/20 13:54
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Quote:

"... and the ancillary connection to rogue segments of the music industry ..."
.


I love that line.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 13:43
Top


BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES PUBLIC FORUM ON APRIL 5TH
Home away from home
Home away from home


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Shelley Skinner
JC Families for Better Schools
sleepygirlproductions@comcast.net
201-876-8470

CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF JERSEY CITY INVITE BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES TO A PUBLIC FORUM ON APRIL 5TH

JERSEY CITY, March 20, 2007 -- JC Families for Better Schools (JCFBS) announced today that it has invited all 11 candidates running for three available seats on The Board of Education to a public forum. The forum will take place on April 5th at 7pm at Rafael Cordero Elementary School, 158 Erie Street, Jersey City, NJ.

JCFBS has organized this question and answer session in order for candidates to address issues facing the school system and what they intend to do if elected. Furthermore, this forum will allow the members of the community to make knowledgeable choices about which candidates to vote for come Election Day on April 17, 2007

"Voter turn out is traditionally very low for Board of Education elections. We want to encourage as many people as possible to come out and vote," says Shelley Skinner, JCFBS Founder. "This is an opportunity for parents and community members to meet the candidates in order to make an informed decision come Election Day. This an important first step in making positive changes in our Public Schools."

About Jersey City Families for Better Schools:

Jersey City Families for Better Schools (JCFBS) has been founded by community parents, who are deeply concerned about the shortage of quality schools in Jersey City. We have come together with a love for our community and a desire to raise our children with the highest quality of education possible. JCFBS is an organization representing a diverse group of parents, individuals, administrators and educators in Jersey City. For further information about JCFBS please log on to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jcschools/ or email us at jcschools-owner@yahoogroups.com.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 13:23
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home


Wow! Who didn't know about this place?
Even Helen Keller, bless her heart, were she
alive today would know about the downstairs
barber shop on Columbus and the various "back
room" businesses associated with it.
It is lovely how the narcs and the papers always
present these stories like they are news.
Yawn, yawn. Is it time for The Price is Right?

Posted on: 2007/3/20 12:19
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home



Posted on: 2007/3/20 12:14
Top


Re: Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Quite a regular
Quite a regular


Finally. Did someone really think people were getting hair cuts at 2am. Or do owners of basement, hole-in-the-wall barber shop usually drive fancy ass cars?

Posted on: 2007/3/20 12:12
Top


Downtown Jersey City Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Home away from home
Home away from home


Rap label drug bust, 23 arrests
Rap label drug bust in Jersey City; 14 held

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By MICHAELANGELO CONTE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Jersey City cops made a huge drug bust at the Downtown offices of a Jersey City rap recording label, reports said.

Cops said two pounds of cocaine and heroin were recovered and a total of 23 people were arrested and connected to the Block Royal label, which was founded as "Capital B" several years ago by a man shot to death in 2004 in the parking lot of a Jersey City bar.

Block Royal - located on Christopher Columbus Drive near Grove Street, with its front entrance inside a barber shop - was the meeting place for the upper echelon of a drug-dealing enterprise, said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio.

"The inter-relationship among drug distribution, violence and the ancillary connection to rogue segments of the music industry have been documented for many years," said DeFazio, whose office conducted the probe with the DEA and Jersey City police.

"Clearly, Block Royal was a front for an illegal drug distribution enterprise."

Attempts to reach Block Royal by phone yesterday were unsuccessful and workers in the barbershop said they couldn't let anyone in because the boss was out.

Block Royal president Fabian Orriols, 41, of Jersey City, was arrested after he was found with 100 grams of packaged heroin with a street value of $75,000, DeFazio said.

Other Jersey City residents arrested, on a variety of charges, were Jayson Santiago, 32; Walter Cedeno, 20; Catalina Sacasa, 24; Raul Morales, 25; Carlos Narvaez, 31; Daniel Acevedo, 26; Eliseo Ledesma, 24; Erick Perez, 23; Martin Arzola, 35; Alfredo O'Neill, 31; and Michael J. Perrier, 35, DeFazio said.

Also arrested were: Union City residents John DeValle, 25; Luis Ortiz, 23; Orlando Bayona, 26; and Norberto Martel, 40; Hoboken resident Jose Santiago, 31; and Secaucus resident Daniel R. Orriols, 37.

Out-of-county residents busted include Ronald Bodnar, 49; of Ramsey; George Bello, 35, of Rochelle Park; Luanna Colon, 42, of South Bound Brook, and Jamesburg residents Marcus Marcano, 25, and Joseph Marcano, 25, DeFazio said.

Also seized was more than 700 grams of cocaine, $30,000 in cash, four handguns, hollow-point bullets, a bulletproof vest and four vehicles, DeFazio said.

The arrests were made during December and February but only became public yesterday because investigators were chasing down leads that eventually fell through, DeFazio said.

"This was a highly successful investigation which took down a large group of individuals," said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. "These drug organizations ruin lives, scar neighborhoods and breed gun violence. It's good to see another one put out of business."

Orriols was convicted on manslaughter charges, along with the founder of Capital B, Robert "Tito" Montanez, in the slaying of Jose "Joker" Martinez, who was shot in 1995 in a Baldwin Avenue doorway, officials said. Orriols served almost three years and Montanez almost four years on that conviction, state corrections officials said.

Montanez was shot and killed outside the Ringside Bar on Tonnelle Avenue on Dec. 16, 2004, after a party attended by rap stars Cappone and Akon, authorities said.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 11:38
Top


Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


I have posted to my website (www.stevenfulop.com) drawings of the three sketches for the park renovation so you can review before Thursday.

On Thursday, Schor Depalma will explain the drawings and then we intend to have the community vote on a seperate publicized date in the park for the plan they prefer. At that point, we will move forward to the next stage

The drawinsg that I posted incorporate all the feedback from the initial meeting including,

1) children's garden
2) shade area
3) message boards
4) more gardens
5) dog run moving more to the middle with a seperation of trees
6) Expanded children's playground

The basic difference between the three drawings you will see are:

1) basic feedback from the first meeting and HPNA ballots
2) feedback with added active areas including putting green
3) feedback with elimniation of one tennis court and inclusion of more passive area in its place

I recognize the font is small that explains the features in more detail however, Schor Depalma will have better printouts at the meeting on Thursday.

Hope this is helpful
Steven Fulop

Posted on: 2007/3/20 10:16
Top


Re: So much for all of you folks who predicted a JC/NYC RE Crash
Home away from home
Home away from home


What's the profit margin like on these new construction high rises? And if the market starts to suck, are they more likely to drop prices or just sit on their buildings and wait?

Posted on: 2007/3/20 10:13
Top


Re: So much for all of you folks who predicted a JC/NYC RE Crash
Newbie
Newbie


You do live in such a country. The area is called Kansas. Move there.

Supply - Demand.

Posted on: 2007/3/20 9:15
Top


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

Binky wrote:
Maybe this is payback for the PILOT program, with which JC shafts the county.


Touche!

It really is amazing that it's legal for the city to make PILOT deals that cut off the county from it's taxbase growth.

Posted on: 2007/3/19 16:06
Top


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
Home away from home
Home away from home


Maybe this is payback for the PILOT program, with which JC shafts the county.

Posted on: 2007/3/19 15:45
Top


Re: JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
Home away from home
Home away from home


Here is another Jersey Journal article about this subject:

Probe may illuminate pork-barrel grants

Monday, March 19, 2007
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The secretive practice of state lawmakers funneling millions of dollars to their home districts in last-minute budget sessions has come under fire in Trenton, sparked by news of a federal investigation into the offices of the state's most powerful politicians.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie has served a host of subpoenas on the offices of the state's top elected officials - including Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, and Gov. Jon Corzine - as federal investigators try to bring some light to one of the darkest parts of New Jersey's budget process.

What started as a probe into state Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Camden, the powerful former Senate budget committee chairman, has now expanded into an investigation into the so-called "Christmas tree" spending on pork-barrel projects that lawmakers add to the budget every year through a secretive process.

Also receiving scrutiny is a grant to a non-profit Union City day care operated by the estranged wife of Mayor Brian Stack. The $100,000 grant, awarded in 2005, was used for capital improvements at a playground adjacent to the Union City Day Care Center.

Since 2005, Hudson County municipalities grabbed nearly $18 million through these grants, with West New York bringing down 40 percent of all the money - perhaps because Albio Sires, who is now a U.S. Congressman, was at the time Assembly speaker as well as West New York's mayor.

Local lawmakers told The Jersey Journal that they request the grants at different times throughout the year; they say they remain in the dark on approvals until after the decisions are made in last-minute deals to get the budget passed. Typically, the lion's share of the funding goes to districts controlled by the party in power.

Lawmakers don't sign their names to these grants and there is little, if any, public debate on the merits of the spending, widely believed to be controlled by the party leaders who control the Statehouse.

Lawmakers now vow to bring some transparency to the process.

Under proposals being debated in Trenton, lawmakers must submit requests for budget additions to the appropriations committee at least 21 days before the Legislature on the budget. Members also will be required to disclose whether they or their family members have any business relationship with the grant recipient.

"I have always been proud of the money I was able to bring home, so I would like more transparency in the process. I want the recipients of those grants to know that I was able to help them," said Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, D-Jersey City.

Assemblyman Lou Manzo, D-Jersey City, said the "whole process is broken."

Newhouse News Service Contributed to this report.

Posted on: 2007/3/19 15:26
Top


JC shafted for county funds! Here's a pretty picture of how the game is played in Hudson county
Home away from home
Home away from home


The state assembly speaker's city got nearly 11 times the discretionary county cash per capita as did JC. I voted against this guy for congressman. I don't know what's worse, his actions or JC's pols sitting still for it. You'd think having the largest voter bloc in the county would count for something. Apparently it ain't how big it is, but how you use it.

Kudos to the JJ for some actual reportage!


Jersey Journal
Monday, March 19, 2007
By JARRETT RENSHAW
For the last two years, Christmas time is a year-round celebration in West New York.

A Jersey Journal analysis of the practice of discretionary state grants - commonly referred to as "Christmas tree" grants - doled out by Hudson County's legislators through a secretive budget process reveals that West New York received the overwhelming majority of the pork-barrel spending since 2005.

Among the expenditures were $2.75 million on refurbishments and renovations to the town's Department of Public Works garage and $450,000 on improvements to McEldowney Park.

Some say the wide disparity underscores the power and influence that party leaders wield as they divvy up the discretionary funding among the various legislative districts, as well as raising questions about how those party leaders steer money into their home districts.

Freshman U.S. Congressman Albio Sires doubled as Assembly speaker and West New York mayor during this time period, and the bulk of the pork-barrel money was earmarked toward expensive capital projects in West New York that would have otherwise put a massive strain - or been impossible - to complete using municipal funds.

Sires declined to comment on the issue, referring all questions to a spokesman for the state's Democratic Assembly Office. However, Joe Connolly, a spokesman for that office, said he didn't know Sires had re-directed questions to him, and declined to comment.

Since 2005, West New York nabbed $7.2 million - or 40 percent of all the Christmas tree grants provided to Hudson County over that time period, according to an analysis of records from the state's Treasury Department obtained under the Open Public Records Act.

By comparison, the much larger Jersey City received $3.56 million, or 20 percent of the funds allocated to Hudson, during the same period.

In addition, unlike in West New York, the bulk of Jersey City's money went toward non-profit organizations, such as after-school tutoring and medical care for low-weight and HIV-exposed infants.

The latest U.S. Census numbers show Jersey City with a population of 240,055, compared to West New York's population of 45,768.

Mayor Jerramiah Healy said Jersey City put its $3.6 million "to good use" and deserved more.

"As the largest city in the county, Jersey City should have received more of these discretionary funds to support and meet the demand for services that our diverse and growing population requires," Healy said in a written statement.

Overall, Hoboken finished third in amount of funding at $2.4 million. State Sen. Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, could not be reached for comment.

Two municipalities in Hudson County haven't received a single dollar in discretionary grants since 2005: Kearny and East Newark.

Political insiders say Kearny hasn't received any money because Mayor Albert Santos is out of favor with state lawmakers.

Asked about the lack of funding, Santos replied: "To be frank, I don't know the answer to that. I know it's a political process."

Posted on: 2007/3/19 14:35
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