ANTABANEZ ATTENDS HILLTOP PLANNING MEETING
on august 7, 2001 freeholder joseph scarpelli hosted a planning meeting at bourough hall in north caldwell to discuss trespassing on the sanatorium property. i read about the meeting in the caldwell progress and couldnt resist attending.
in preparing for the meeting i managed to obtain one monstrously fat joint and two slightly warm budweisers which i ingested minutes before walking through the door. as i stumbled my way into enemy territory i took time to review the faces of all the people in attendance and it became clear that only about a quarter of the room recognized me for who i was. i smiled at my relative anonymity and used the time before the meeting to take a look at some maps of the hilltop property that were on display.
the maps were fascinating because they revealed a hilltop, which i could never have imagined. these were maps of the future detailing the suburban sprawl that will replace our beloved sanatorium. i studied the maps for awhile until some fat lady started asking me questions at which time i decided to sit down.
as the meeting began freeholder joseph scarpelli outlined the problems the county has been facing with vandals at the sanatorium and opened the floor to complaints from the local residents.
the first lady to rear her ugly head was the same fat bitch who was asking me questions in the beginning. she had a prepared speech, which she read to the freeholders in true third grade fashion. she started out in the usual way "i want to um thank the um joseph scarpelli, ummm the freeholders, um the north caldwell police department, um especially chief wiggum, um the essex county improvement authority umm ummm ummmm ummmmm etc etc
this retard read her speech for about five minutes and even though she is my enemy i found myself feeling sorry for her. if she could hear a tape of what she sounded like she would be truly mortified at her mechanically illiterate performance. she complained at length about vomit in the streets, broken bottles and kids hiding in her bushes. her entire speech was delivered in a droning monotone that left no indication of emotion or intelligence.
when she was done the floor was reopened to concerned citizens. one by one they all stood up offering ludicrous solutions to the trespassing problem and touching on the same boring points ad-nauseum. my attention drifted from the meeting and i began to think that maybe i had wasted my time, but then to my delight north caldwell police chief joseph clark took control of the floor.
clark explained in cool efficient detail the problem of my web site attracting kids from all over nj. he gave a summary of the arrests and summonses issued to both minors and adults. he made it clear that they had all found the sanatorium through welcometohell.net and sited instances where people caught at the sanatorium carried maps found on my site. i was surprised that more focus wasnt placed on weird nj (it was only mentioned once and they didnt even get the name right) and i was equally surprised that mountainsanatorium.net wasnt mentioned at all. the chief revealed law enforcements revised anti-trespassing tactics to the community and one of the freeholders requested that the star ledger reporter who was sitting in the first row not reveal the new police strategies to the public.
after chief clark was done addressing the meeting the floor went to william abele who is the chief of staff to county executive james treffinger. abele began with some shocking news. he proudly reported that the first of the remaining five sanatorium buildings has been demolished and the others have cleared epa demolition standards. the four remaining buildings will be gone within the next few weeks. he then moved on to what he felt was the most important issue at hand the removal of my web site.
"we feel that razing the hilltop buildings is an important step to stopping the allure of trespassers on the hilltop property, but our biggest problem is really the web site. once we get this site down everyone will forget about the hilltop and stop coming," said abele.
he then went on to explain to the crowd in an informative voice about my arrest and all the subsequent charges that were involved. "its a long shot, but we successfully shut down the creator of this web site last year and were going to try and do it again." abele said, "county executive james treffinger has placed a formal request with the essex county prosecutor to investigate matt kents web sites in order to find an indictable offense."
it was all i could do stop myself from howling with laughter as he outlined the countys plan to indict me. throughout his speech it became quite obvious that although his facts about my case and my site were accurate he had failed to recognize me sitting in the back of the room. abele had done his homework in preparation for the meeting but he wasnt going to get the extra credit points for applied knowledge. as the meeting moved on i made a mental note of his weakness and decided he would make a convenient target for my attack.
the rest of the meeting was mainly focused on reassuring the citizens that the buildings will soon be completely demolished and every effort will be put forth to take my sites off the web. the floor was once again opened for further comments from the residents and i decided it was time for me to open my big mouth.
i raised my hand as one of the freeholders was about to finish a long-winded sermon about the power of the internet and the immediate need to remove welcometohell from the web. this particular freeholder must have known who i was because when he saw my hand raised he continued to speak, trying to stall long enough that i might put my hand down. he stumbled over his words for a few minutes until he realized that i wasnt going to relent and finally with great reluctance gave up the floor to your friend and hero wheeler antabanez.
i deliberately directed my question at chief of staff william abele. "do you really think that you can get this web site taken off the internet?"
his reply, "as i stated earlier we shut down the creator of these sites last year and even though its a long shot there might be a chance we can do it again"
my second question: "what ever happened to the creator of those web sites?"
at this point most of the people in the room had realized who i was. as abele was responding to my second question i scanned the room and noticed an extreme uneasiness written across the faces of all the freeholders, the chief of police and almost all the people in the audience. abele responded to my second question with surprising accuracy. he dutifully reported back to me the full story of my arrest, incarceration and courtroom logistics down to the obscure facts that i thought only i would remember. he looked directly in my eyes as he dazzled us all with his knowledge of my case. it was this very knowledge which ironically made him, look like a complete fool.
abele went on and on and on. scarpelli attempted to interrupt him several times but abele was on a talking streak. abele was on a roll. abele was a speaking genius. abele knew all the important points about matt kent except for the simple fact of what i look like. by the time he was done everyone in the room was obviously embarrassed for abele, but he still didnt realize his mistake. he just sat there in front of everyone glowing from his performance and looking proud. i cannot take full credit for abeles foolishness i merely provided him the opportunity to let his true colors shine, but i wish i could have seen his face when he was told that he was speaking directly to wheeler antabanez.
soon after abeles embarrassing speech the meeting was adjourned and i exited the building post haste. though i had done absolutely nothing to save the sanatorium i felt triumphant. my intention for attending the hilltop planning meeting was not to preserve or stall the demolition of the sanatorium. i do not suffer from the illusion that the sanatorium can or will be saved. i just wanted one last chance to say fuck you to all the boring assholes that run this world. i just wanted to let them know that they may have all the power but it doesnt mean that theyre smarter than us.
so now the sanatorium has begun to fall and will continue to fall until it is no more. i have no regrets about missed opportunities or fun times that will never happen because i took full advantage of the abandoned hospital while it stood. the sanatorium helped shape the man who i have become and marked itself as an indelible piece of my personal history. the sanatorium may be gone forever but in truth i never left the shadow of the buildings.