Monday, April 20, 2015


Painting parties, fundraisers, and night outs are becoming more and more popular.  This winter, I took my mother to a "paint night" at a local chain art studio.  Neither one of us had ever painted on a canvas before and we expected, well, not much for our artistic abilities.  We could not have had a better time and with the step-by-step instruction over a two hour paint class, our paintings actually looked quite good!

This past weekend, we went to a birthday party at The Artistic Giraffe, 193 1/2 Main Street.  The experience was completely different--better!  Needless to say, next time we paint again, it will be with The Artistic Giraffe!

At the chain art studios, classes are run as a step-by-step tutorial where the class paints the same picture.  It can be quite frustrating to stalk the schedule of the studio looking for a picture that you want to paint--too get sold out before you can register for a seat.  Not at The Artistic Giraffe!

At The Artistic Giraffe, everyone chooses their own painting.  There are hundreds available for you to choose from, or you can even bring your own picture or landscape to paint.  Stephanie O'Connor gives a quick crash course in drawing followed by a tutorial in painting and mixing colors.  Over the next two and a half hours, she somehow gives individual attention and assistance to every one of the class attendees.  It is truly amazing considering there were 48 people in attendance for our class!

And all this at almost half the price of the big chain competitors.  The standard class rate at The Artistic Giraffe is $25.  And you can bring your own food, beverages, etc.

We were a party of ten, and everyone had an amazing time.  If you are looking for a fundraiser idea, a fun night out, or even a new hobby, The Artistic Giraffe will not disappoint!

The Artistic Giraffe 
 193 1/2 Main Street 
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 
Phone: 201 – 362 – 3462 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hackensack Rotary holding annual raffle for scholarships!

The Hackensack Rotary Club is holding their annual raffle to benefit the High School Scholarship Fund.  Hackensack Rotary scholarships are made available to graduating seniors who are residents of Hackensack.  Last year, the Scholarship Fund awarded more than $21,000 in scholarships to local High School seniors.

Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Hackensack Rotarian or by emailing  Each raffle ticket has six chances to win.  Drawings to win $200 will be held on April 23, May 7, May 14, May 21, and June 12.  On June 18th, a $1,000 winner will be drawn.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Councilman's spouse has rescinded raise restored

Sorry loyal readers, things have been a little hectic lately.  But your tips have all been logged, your gripes with the council duly noted, and HACKENSACK SCOOP is on it....

Remember that time that Anthony Rottino, Rose Greenman, and their minions fabricated that the Hackensack Police received a 22% increase?  Well don't count on it, cause it just ain't true (see: Hackensack Police got a 22% raise? Don't count on it!).  Maybe they were all just making a stink because they were a little upset that (in their eyes) the PBA got 1% more than Councilman Battaglia's wife.... Yes, a Councilman's wife was arbitrarily awarded a staggering 21% raise (a 21% raise that no one else in her department received)... Yes, again, you read that right, 21% (see: Councilman's wife receives 21% raise)!

After HACKENSACK SCOOP released that story, there was public outcry.  Former City Attorney and Municipal Prosecutor Richard Salkin dutifully led the crusade to reverse this outrageous, fiscally irresponsible, and arbitrary increase of salary.  For months Salkin came to every meeting demanding not only answers, but a recision of the raise.

The City finally relented, well kind of.  The city did not reverse the raise, instead they reduced Maria Helena Battaglia's salary by $4,000 (reducing her raise to 13%).  They also charged her back the prorated portion of $4,000 that she had already received.   Rather than admitting the raise was egregious, the City's position was that the salary for Battaglia's position was limited by ordinance, and the 21% raise pushed her salary beyond that cap.

Well, just as the smoke has settled and they thought no one was looking...... City Manager David Troast has authorized that Maria Helena Battaglia not only get back that $4,000, but is given a RETROACTIVE raise for the 2014 year.

While it is said that City Manager David Troast is advising all department heads to cut their budgets by 10% and rumors of layoffs and consolidations buzz the halls, he has authorized an arbitrary 21% raise (RETROACTIVE FOR A YEAR!) for a Councilman's wife!

Is Kathy "THE MONEY GIRL" Canestrino really watching the City pocketbook?  Certainly she can't know about this.  Right? Perhaps it slipped by because she was just too busy selling the city on why we need to spend $100,000 to LOOK INTO building "Estadio de Battaglia."  Yes, we are spending $100,000 to talk about building an indoor soccer stadium (sorry, multi-purpose dome--four council members, a city manager, clerk, and attorney couldn't come up with the term "recreation"when voting on the resolution).

If I didn't know any better, this looks like nothing more than insider politics (with $110,000 of your tax dollars) to win over an estranged political ally, and his once so loyal vote.....