Former Guttenberg councilman guilty
Vincent Tabbachino, a former Guttenberg councilman, was found guilty of bribery and extortion on Oct. 27, according to published reports.
According to the Department of Justice, Tabbachino was arrested in last year’s “Operation Bid Rig,” with caused 44 New Jersey and New York politicians and members of the Syrian Jewish Community to be ensnared.
Tabbachino, 69, of Fairview, allegedly accepted $10,000 from government informant Solomon Dwek, who posed as a real estate developer, to be given to Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez as a bribe for preferential treatment in the town.
Tabbachino claimed that he had returned the money, but in a video, Tabbachino states that they are “in business” after giving the money in a FedEx envelope to Dwek, according to published reports.
Suarez was found not guilty of the charges against him on Wednesday, according to published reports.
High Tech celebrates Spirit Day
On Oct. 20 the High Tech High School Student Council and the Council of the Diversity promoted Spirit Day, in which they memorialized the seven teenagers who took their own lives within the last eight weeks.
It was done to promote awareness of a “growing, disturbing” trend of teenage suicides, said High Tech High School and Academy of Architectural and Contemporary Themes Director Dr. Joseph Giammarella.
Students and teachers wore purple clothing and ribbons in tribute to these young Americans who killed themselves after being victims to the bullying and taunting of their homophobic peers. Spirit Day was used not only to honor these lives, but to demonstrate that the High Tech community supports those who endure bullying, due to race ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference.
Gov. Christie kills tunnel project, again
A little more than two weeks after Gov. Christopher Christie agreed to give the Access to the Regions Core (ARC) tunnel a two-week reprieve, he once again announced on Oct. 27 that the $8.7 billion project was cancelled, after initially cancelling it earlier this month.
According to Christie spokesperson Michael Drewniak, U.S. Secretary LaHood confirmed that the ARC Tunnel was projected to be over budget from $9.775 billion to $12.708 billion. He said that in August federal transportation officials provided New Jersey Transit, which is in charge of the project, with cost estimates that ranged from $10.88 billion to $13.7 billion. He said both numbers do not include a $775 million bridge that New Jersey would have to build to connect the Northeast Corridor line to the ARC tunnel.
“The hurdle remains unchanged,” said Drewniak. “Governor Christie continues to recognize the need and advantages of expanding rail capacity between New Jersey and New York. But as Governor Christie has repeatedly stated, he is not willing to saddle New Jersey taxpayers with a public works project with such a large, indeterminate cost overrun projection with no way to fund it. Critics who seem to be using the moment for political advantage need to answer the question that remains today and was brought into focus by Secretary LaHood: how would they pay for potentially billions of dollars in cost overruns?”
Ending construction of the project will leave New Jersey faced with paying the $300 million that has already been spent back to the federal government.
Critics have also said that the end of the tunnel will also mean killing 6,000 construction jobs and 40,000 permanent jobs.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ had said that the feds have offered a new financing plan that would reduce or eliminate the state’s financial risk of paying for cost overruns and has also offered that a private company could help finance the remaining bill.
Others critics believe that Christie is trying to use some of the $2.7 billion originally committed by New Jersey in order to fund the nearly broke state Transportation Trust Fund.
The $3 billion promised by the federal government was the largest contribution ever given to any transportation project in history. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey matched it by an additional $3 billion.
“The governor’s short-sighted decision to kill one of the most important infrastructure projects in the country will be detrimental to our state in the short-term, costing us thousands of jobs,” said State Senate Transportation Committee Chairperson and Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “But the long-term effects will linger for years, stagnating home values and increasing pollution and traffic in the most congested part of the state.”
Guttenberg hires new employees
At Guttenberg’s Oct. 25 council meeting, Linda Verigan was hired as secretary to the Fire Prevention Department, a job that will begin on Nov. 1 with a salary that ranges from $15,000 to $30,000.
Jose Frometa and Marco Machuca were also hired as employees beginning on Nov. 1 to the Department of Public Works, which has a salary range from $23,000 to $35,000.
Gerry Baker was hired as the secretary to the Planning and Zoning boards, which has a salary from $6,000 to $12,000. His appointment began on Oct. 19 and will last until Jan. 17, 2011.
Special Police Officers Joseph Borer and Chad Smith were named as police officers of the month of September.
The 30th Annual Artists Studio Tour on Nov. 6 and 7
On Saturday, Nov. 6 and Sunday, Nov. 7, from noon until 6 p.m., Mayor Dawn Zimmer, The City of Hoboken, The Hudson Reporter, and the Hudson County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs will present The Hoboken 30th Annual Artists Studio Tour, a free self-guided walking tour of artists’ studios, galleries, and community exhibition spaces. Over 150 artists’ works will be showcased in 41 venues. The tour takes place all throughout Hoboken, at spots that include The Monroe Center, the Friary, 619 Jefferson St., and the Neumann Leather building at 300 Observer Hwy. For directions or further information, visit the city website at www.hobokennj.org, or call (201) 420-2207.