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Council meeting goes to 1 a.m. Southwest redevelopment area established; mayor's open space pledges meets skepticism

The goals for the southwest corner of Hoboken are easy enough to express. It's a traffic-clogged, flood-prone, park-starved area that has century-old sewers. It could use traffic planning, new open space, and major infrastructure improvements.

Those needs are largely uncontested, but there is controversy over how to make them happen.

A packed council chamber More than 150 people looked on as the Hoboken City Council debated until 1 a.m. Wednesday night. They finally voted 5-4 to create a Southwest "Industrial Transition" District Redevelopment Area.

Menendez seeking Musto testimony. Kean has demanded release of transcripts

Responding to a challenge by his Republican opponent, Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday took a first step toward making public the grand jury testimony he gave 25 years ago in the federal corruption case against former Union City Mayor William Musto.

Seniors get shaft with elevator out. Some prisoners in own homes pols vow help

HOBOKEN - In the past week and a half, Juan Sepulveda has left his Washington Street apartment only once - when a back injury forced him to go to the hospital.

With the building's elevator out of service, Sepulveda felt he no choice but to ask his daughter and son-in-law to carry him down the four flights of stairs.

"We wanted to call an ambulance, but he is too proud," said Lily Sepulveda, Juan's daughter.

Juan Sepulveda and his wife Carmen are among dozens of seniors living in one of two adjoining subsidized apartment buildings on Washington Street near Observer Highway.

Two weeks ago, the Applied Companies - the owner of the buildings - sent a letter advising the tenants that the only elevator serving roughly 77 units would be down for 10 weeks while a new one is installed.

Council rejects bids for garage. Now $5mil budget hole presents problem again

In the mad dash to plug a $5 million budget gap by June 30, a divided Hoboken City Council was left in a precarious position Wednesday night.

On the table were two bids from development groups that want to buy the city's municipal garage on Observer Highway and build high-end condos.

The council's lawyers deemed both of the bids - for $22.1 million and $18 million respectively - deficient. Yet, there were those on the council that wanted to approve the high bid as a way to instantly shore up the city's budget and reap a cash windfall.

Pay-to-play ban working ... some say too well Analysis shows many once-generous companies have cut back on donations in N.J.

ACS State & Local Solutions once was a great source of campaign cash for New Jersey politicians.

The company, which operates the state's E-ZPass toll collection system and also is a major contractor with the Department of Human Services, sank $250,000 into political war chests in 2002 through 2004 -- most of it to ruling Democrats.

All that changed in September 2004, when Gov. James E. McGreevey issued an executive order, which later became law, broadening curbs on political donations by state, county and local contractors.

ACS hasn't given a dime since. And it is not alone.

For 9/11 widows, book adds insult to injury. Writer says they relish husbands' deaths

No one is much surprised that outspoken conservative columnist Ann Coulter attacks environmentalists and Bill Clinton in her new book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism."

But Coulter has raised eyebrows by taking aim at a different target: The widows of 9/11 victims.

Calling them "broads" who are "enjoying" their husbands' deaths, Coulter made her attack on the widows public yesterday, through the publication of the book and during a raucous appearance on NBC's "The Today Show."