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Council Gaffe Brings Extra Hour Of Drinking To City Bars

The City Council meant to adjust the holiday schedule for later hours, but instead passed an ordinance that allows bars to stay open until 3 a.m. three nights a week.

The City Council accidentally passed an ordinance last month that allows Hoboken's bars to stay open until 3 a.m. three nights a week, rather than two.

The ordinance was passed in a unanimous vote in early May. It permits bars to remain open until 3 a.m. on Friday mornings, as well as Saturday and Sunday morning. 

The ordinance was meant to adjust the city's holiday calendar, which was outdated. Bars are allowed to stay open later on the eve of federal holidays. 

While the first part of the ordinance updates the holiday schedule, the second part of the ordinance states that establishments with liquor licenses "shall impose a closing time of 3 a.m. in the morning on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday and 2 a.m. in the morning on all other nights."

According to city spokesman Juan Melli, that was not the city's intent.

"It's going to be corrected," Melli said. A new ordinance will be proposed, likely at the next city council meeting, he added. Melli said that ordinances are drafted by the city's legal department. 

If a new ordinance is introduced at the June 20 council meeting, the measure will need a second vote before it can be adopted. This means that bars can have an extra hour a week until at least the first week of July.

Councilman David Mello, who sponsored the new law together with Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino, explained that the ordinance was supposed to update an "incomplete list" of official holidays. 

Mello, in a phone interview on Thursday, said it was his understanding that the ordinance adjusted the holiday schedule, not the closing times. 

Giattino said the ordinance was meant to make sure that bars would be allowed to stay open late on holdiays. In the old version, some holidays were linked to specific dates and some holidays weren't included, she said.

rtrux June 08, 2012 at 06:17 PM
"The people who I ran into every day in Hoboken talked about property values, crime, noise, restaurants, parking, festivals, parks and overall quality of life. City politics, to most people, is not front-of-mind." tom, i'd say "crime" and "city politics" oftentimes overlap in this town. ;)
Hoboken1653 June 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
A known Hoboken politico allegedly harassing a 5 year old girl and her single Mom because she is on the oppostite side of the fence politically seems like a big deal to me. Considering this same person has a history of harassing political enemies and of stealing campaign signs of opponents from store windows, saying it was a "city ordinance" you might want to rethink this. A reporter giving a fair and unbiased summary of this case and history would seem like a story worth covering.
Tom Troncone (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 06:25 PM
@rtux Touché
Rory Chadwick June 08, 2012 at 06:30 PM
@Tom T Did your grandparents ever find parking back in the 30's??
Tom Troncone (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@Rory -- I never asked about that. I do know that my grandfather owned a horse and a fruit and vegetable cart, which he kept in a stable in Hoboken. He got through the Depression by taking the horse on the ferry across the river every day and selling fruits and vegetables on the street in Lower Manhattan. Between that and working in his cousin's pizzeria, he saved enough money to buy an 8 family building on the corner of Second and Adams with a bar he ran on the ground floor. The entire extended family lived in the 8 apartments above, and they would get together and have dinner every night, all of them. My grandmother forced him to sell the bar and the apartment building in the 1950s because she didn't like all of the hookers and wiseguys who came in every night. He sold the whole building for -- gasp! -- $5000 in like 1955 and bought a house in Paterson. My grandmother was born on Monroe Street and grew up with Sinatra. She used to tell me the stories about when he was a kid, and would play piano in the basement of the building and all the neighborhood kids would look in the window and laugh at him. Then he got in with some wiseguys, she said, who paid girls to go to Radio City Music Hall and scream for him. The papers picked up on the craze over this kid from Hoboken that the girls were screaming for and the rest is history. Lots of great old stories from those days.
professorpinetop June 08, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Tom - you are right that you should not cover this story because anonymous bloggers want you to. You should not cover this story because a political faction wants you to. You should cover this story because its news and its your job to cover it. Your statement that it was a civil complaint is factually incorrect. It was a type of criminal charge called a"disorderly persons offense" and Patch has a history of covering these extensively when it has chosen to do so. As Steve points out, reports elsewhere seem to say that a judge castigated Mr. Calliccio for engaging in highly inappropriate, if not ultimately criminal behavior on behalf of his employer, a major Hoboken political figure. That you would assert this, if true, is not newsworthy because it appeals only to a small group of overly obsessed political junkies is simply astounding. Please get the transcript, assess it objectively, and write an honest story complete with an honest headline.
CuriousGal June 08, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Steve Sternberg/Tom- it can also be a story about an elected political figure with city hall backing who uses alleged harassment charges against her political opponents ...always with babe in arms (this is at least the second time it has happened-last time it was thrown out of court). This time, an objective judge knowing the politics of this situation saw it for what it was from BOTH sides (read: including Minutillo's trumped up charges) and correctly decided the defendant was NOT GUILTY of criminal harassment and abuse. To say nothing of the harm Minutillo does to every woman who is ACTUALLY abused and harassed. But an objective decision by a judge is not enough for the partisan bullies who continue to drag the defendant's name around and continue the charade of trying to use the legal system for political intimidation.
Napoleon Complex June 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM
"To say nothing of the harm Minutillo does to every woman who is ACTUALLY abused and harassed." This coming from the hubby and wife team who advise Beth Mason, and write her statements, to compare herself to Gabby Giffords, or a Holocaust victim. You really take the cake Kimmie. And we know your hubby takes the Pizza too when he is upset. Remember that meeting? The little general stormed out but demanded his fair share of the Pizza first. What a pair you 2 are I challenge anyone to sit within 15 feet Callichio at a city council or BOE meeting and determine for yourself whether he is a thug or not. It will take you 10 minutes to arrive at a conclusion
xtreme June 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Just don't go all "low carb" on us Patch and readers will continue to come. I for one would like to see more restaurant and bar reviews.
Steve Sternberg June 08, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Hi CuriousGal- I agree with you that if what you say is true it should be included in the story. That's my whole point. You are offering your perception and opinion of events, while others I've read here are taking the opposite stance. I don't know if your view or theirs are politically motivated or ethically motivated, but it doesn't matter in the blogosphere - it does for objective journalism. Hoboken Patch can look at both sides and (I would hope) write an objective story. I, for one, would like to see Mason, Calicchio, Minutillo, et.al, as well as all the witnesses be interviewed by Patch and ask the tough questions to both sides. Is not being guilty of criminal harrassment equivalent to not harrassing? Are some people too thin-skinned? If someone feels threatened does that mean there is actually a threat? If the judge calls someone a liar is that just an opinion? There seems to be a heckuva lot that can go into a good story here.
CuriousGal June 08, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Steve Sternberg- fair enough. I agree with you very much.
cassandra June 08, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Stick to your guns Tom. Ignore all these political hacks on both sides! They don't care about Hoboken. All they care about is blowing their horn and boosting their political friends. As you say, a small but vocal minority. Stick to the real news.
professorpinetop June 08, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Steve I agree except that much of the work has been done more reliably than the press could do it. The actual parties to the incident have testified under oath. Their testimony together with the judge's comments are the story. The only interviews that need be conducted are with non-witnesses or for the purpose of clarifying questions raised by the testimony or not covered by the testimony. This is not a he said/she said story starting from scratch. I do agree that both Mr. Calliccios and Ms. Minutilo's histories are fair game and should be explored. With all due respect to curiousgal, I don't think a focus on those histories would give much credence to curiousgal's imaginative theory. If that's really a discussion you'd like to have let's bring it on. Patch would be doing a huge service to the community if it chose to explore the entirety of Ms. Minutilo and Mr. Callicchios histories in our community so that readers could evaluate for themselves the credibility of the parties.
rtrux June 08, 2012 at 11:16 PM
actually, tom seems to be calling out phony partisans like you.
Alan June 09, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Wow, RTux, you just can't let it go, can you? The headline of this piece is 'council gaffe brings...' and that was enough to get a bunch of hacks yelling at claire over what was a legitimate news story that apparently they wanted covered up. Why do we need anonymous bloggers who, perhaps on behalf of Hoboken City Hall, beat up a reporter for covering a legit news story (like this one) and try to intimidate her about it? Sends a message that reporters in this town who write legit stories involving anything negative about City Hall will get personally attacked. If Tom wasn't here to answer on Claire's behalf and save her from a back and forth then these nasty comments would have continued unabated. I think someone should write a story about ALL of the harassment going on. And before I hear from RTUX again, no I do not condone Calicchio or think this is equivalent but the beating that these people tried to give Claire is intimidation of a different kind and is meant to send a message not to dare write anything critical about town hall. Would we expect to see this story on the blogs? WILL we? You bet it'd never see the light of day. Talk about coverups.
Steve Sternberg June 09, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Hi Alan- Not all bloggers here are anonymous. And I don't think Claire is or should be intimidated by anyone who blogs here. That would really be thin-skinned. Hoboken Patch has a right to write about whatever they want, and anyone has the right to complain if they don't think an important story is being covered. That's why makes our country so great. Look at what happens to dissenting voices in Syria.
Tom Troncone (Editor) June 09, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Do you actually think people would go on record with any of this stuff? We'd need credible -- credible -- sources either with direct knowledge or hard evidence to be able to print anything. One of the most difficult positions to be in as a journalist is a flashpoint between opposing sides, especially in a city like Hoboken, and even more-so when there are two people who offer disparate narratives of the event. Sure, you can -- to quote one of our now-erstwhile editors, Myles Ma of Paramus -- use contextual clues, but printing something requires more than that. It has to. Look, in all seriousness, if some of you want to lose the aliases and blog for us about the "politics" side of politics, we'd be open to the idea. We're going to continue to focus on taxes, development, the business community, public safety, open space and the school system. And, yeah, the occasional "whoops, bars are going to be open an extra hour because of some ambiguous language in an ordinance" talker. My question is, "did anyone read read it first, or just vote?"
Hobbs June 09, 2012 at 12:58 AM
BINGO ! :-)
Alan June 09, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Stephen, your comments here have been reasonable and legit, but many have not made reasonable comments. And this story was a legitimate story. If people are concerned about coverage they should call or email the editor/reporter who can then have a conversation with them and can explain why a story isn't being covered or maybe tell them taht it will be covered soon, rather than being draggfed into an ugly back and forth. Calling them out on a completely different story and pretending this story shouldn't have been covered is wrong.
Alan June 09, 2012 at 01:12 AM
As for Syria, I don't think we should all feel better about ourselves because we aren't killing babies. If that's the standard in Hoboken, things have sunk pretty low. What spurred you to comment on this topic? It was the anonymous voices hijacking a story that was about city hall and making the comments about something else.
rtrux June 09, 2012 at 01:25 AM
hey einstein, why don't you check the VERY FIRST COMMENT on this story? :)
Rory Chadwick June 09, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Tom I would like to blog about local business in town. If there is any interest please let me know. Lots of great places to eat drink and shop in town and they should have a voice.
professorpinetop June 09, 2012 at 03:02 AM
There is a record Tom. its called a trial transcript and the Judge's decision. You have sworn testimony and a Judge's ruling. Read it and write the story (or have Claire do it). Give people like Mason who may be implicated by the testimony but did not testify themselves a chance to comment. Its not rocket science - its journalism and journalists do it every day. I haven't read the transcript and don't know what the testimony really was. Neither do most of your readers. We rely on the press to bring us this information but all I'm reading from you sadly are cop out excuses.
Tom Troncone (Editor) June 09, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Right, professor, transcripts that I said we were going to get twice in this thread.
Vince June 09, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Just a note to all those who keep talking about how Patch should just get the transcript. In NJ, court transcripts currently cost $3.97 per page and with the amount of on the record talking that happens at even what sounds like a short hearing like this, that can amount to a lot. It also sometimes takes a week or two for them to create the transcript once the request is put in. Patch has to decide if it is worth the investment for a case like this. I just want to make sure that this is clear to people who think you can just make an OPRA request and have the transcripts appear instantaneously and at minimal cost.
Redrider765 June 09, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Completely understandable that getting people to say things on the record can be tough in this town especially when so much of the juicy stuff you want to report on involves unethical behavior and potential criminal behavior that those in the know don't want anyone to uncover. But that is also why court proceedings and other public events are fertile grounds for a reporter to attend. Everything that gets said in front of the camera, the court reporter or at a public venue in front of witnesses IMO is fair game for a reporter to report on. BTW, thanks for the comments and for agreeing to look at those transcripts.
Redrider765 June 09, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I knew it might take a few weeks to get the transcripts but that price tag is outrageous! I hope everyone pools their resources to buy just 1 copy and share it.
rtrux June 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM
true, but for a newspaper or other journalistic enterprise, isn't that just the cost of doing business?
rtrux June 09, 2012 at 03:51 PM
kudos to stephen lamarca for his balanced, objective reporting on this story in today's print edition of the reporter (i don't think that article is posted online, so out of town operatives like finboy and outofcontrol will meet to hop in the car and drive into town to get a copy). this longer article clearly states the judge's belief that matt and tania were lying on the stand under oath, and that he believed theresa's side of the story. according to the article, the judge apparently let matt off the hook because the magnitude of his harassment didn't quite reach the level of criminal behavior. but the judge clearly said matt did in fact harass her and her child.
Bob R June 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
It's funny how for news venues that doggedly report important stories, the layers of the onion keep peeling away to reveal even more stories behind the story, as evidenced below. Sorry, Tom, but while yes, Patch caters to an audience that goes beyond government and politics, you have simply dropped the ball on high-impact reporting too many times and it's fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that for whatever reason, the Mason and Russo faction of Hoboken politics get the kid-glove treatment. You couldn't run your own story on the Calicchio trial because it was in Union City? Seriously? Something tells me if Zimmer or any of her allies got arrested for anything, even a traffic violation, it'd be a different story. Looking at the two stories pasted below, I'd be pretty embarrassed if I were you. It's like, "Hey Woodward, I got the Nixon tapes!" "Not now, Bernstein, haven't you heard the huge news? Someone made a clerical error and it's going to need to be corrected, and some bars might stay open an hour later for a few weekends as a result! Stop the presses!" http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2012/06/tax-exempt-beth-and-ricky-mason-civic.html http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2012/06/bombshell-mason-finboy-non-profit-sham.html

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