Where the St Paddy’s Are 2015

It’s that time of year again, St Paddy’s day month. As known in NJ, there is going to be St Paddy’s parades almost every weekend. The following list are the parades near us:

Mar 1  BELMAR  WHEN: 12:30 p.m. INFO: http://www.belmarparade.com

Mar 8 RUMSON WHEN: 1 p.m INFO: rumsonstpatricksdayparade.org

ASBURY PARK  WHEN: 1:30 p.m asburyparkstpatricksparade.com

Mar 21 HIGHLANDS WHEN: 2 p.m Bay Ave


Raising your Highlands House 2015

For the last two years I’ve surveyed on where people are with regard to their housing raising. I wanted to run this again to see house raising surveyhow things progressed..

In 2013, 36.5% were waiting on the FEMA standards to be finalized. In 2014, 35% were waiting on approvals of a grant. Any grant even though the FEMA standards were not officially adopted.  In 2013, 36% we NOT going to lift, in 2014 that number dropped to 22.5%.  In 2013, 21% were actively looking for a lifter or had already hired a lifter.  In 2014, 20% had lifted.  In 2014, 10% were in the process of hiring a lifter.

So NOW in 2015, where are you with your lift:

POLL: Where are the WORST pot holes in Highlands ?

There has been many “noise” on where the worst potholes in Highlands are. Administrator Tim Hill even acknowledged there was a “new” tool acquired by DPW to aid in combatting the Highlands pothole issues moving forward. Where do you think the worst streets in Highlands are?

What happened with the Highlands Newsletter?


carolyn fbAnybody remember the Highlands Newsletter?  We received what, 2-3 times? Then Nada. Apparently money was the issue in reproduction. I’m all for fiscal responsibility, especially after Sandy,  however according to Carolyn Broullon potential alternatives were not going to be considered.

What other ways could they do the newsletter on the cheap?

Online -  Pros:  FREE    Cons:  not everyone has online access – IMO, some communication is better than none.

Print & Have Local Business Sponsor the newsletter  Pros:  Local Business Pays for Printing & Mailing  Cons: Not All Costs may be Covered, requires reaching out to local business to get sponsorship

Print & Send out in Quarterly Tax Statements/Sewer Bills – Pros: Cost effective with mailing costs   Cons: Leaves out Renters, not totally free.

What other ideas do you have?


Navesink Shores is Now Harborside at Hudson’s Ferry

Apparently Highlands 30 + million dollar townhouse project has been sold to Pulte Homes over permit issues. Hopefully Pulte has more money to throw at the permit issues and can actually pull off construction completion by the end of 2015.  The marina and restaurant will still be spearheaded by Navesink Shores.

harbor side

Suicide on Sandy Hook

sandy hook mapPolice from Highlands and Sea Bright were called Saturday night Feb 7 to search an area on Sandy Hook when a car was found empty in a parking lot after the park had closed. Authorities found a body early Sunday morning in an undisclosed location. Charles Webster, spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office, said that the death appeared to be a suicide.

Artist John Ward to exhibit in Highlands

john wardWater Witch Coffee in Highlands New Jersey, is holding an exhibition of the works of local painter John Ward. A brightly colored installation inspired by music, surfing the Jersey shore and shredding the mountains, will run from February 7 thru March 31, 2015.

A meet-the-artist reception will be held on February 7, 2015, 7pm – 9pm

John’s almost psychedelic paintings have been displayed around Monmouth County, Hoboken, Jersey City, as well as a benefit at VOLCOM NYC flagship store where he donated a piece for skateboarding pioneer, Andy Kessler.

John utilizes acrylic paint, spray paint, oil based paint pens, house paint, prismacolor, markers and black pen to create his works on canvas, skateboards and a bass guitar. Accompanying his painted guitar will be photographs by Christine M. Scarano, a freelance photographer in the music industry.

Opening Reception Feb 7, 2015 7pm- 9pm

For more information:

Valerie McLaughlin
Waterwitchcoffee@gmail.comwwc logo

Water Witch Coffee
67 Waterwitch Ave,
Highlands, NJ, 07732

5 Things From Feb 4th Council Meeting

51. R -15 -31 Resolution Establishing Additional Public Portion Comment Period – This in essence would allow questions and comments from residents on the consent agenda items before the council voted on them in addition to at the end of the meeting. The scope would be limited to the consent agenda items being voted on and the 3 min time limit would apply.

Typical consent agenda items are routine, procedural decisions, like approval of minutes and decisions that are would not be considered to be noncontroversial and most likely not invite public comment.  However, the council has in the past have included controversial items to this agenda, such as the Facebook item R-14-220 knowing full well it couldn’t be discussed by the public until after the vote was executed.

The end result was it was voted down.  Mayor Nolan stated he didn’t like hearing some people at the end of the council meeting so he didn’t want to have to listen to them twice during a meeting. Apparently Councilpersons Rebecca Kone and Kevin Redman agreed with as they both voted “No.”

2. R-15-55  Resolution Authorizing Bid for Lease of Clam Depuration Plant, the clam plant which is owned by the town has a 20 year lease up in August. They want to get a more of a market value for the building as with Sandy and all our taxes have increased as our property values have decreased any increase revenue stream is gravely needed. Its really just a negotiation tactic because the 20 year lease is up. If two companies bid on it, Highlands has a fair shake at getting a higher value for the lease. Reality being (and everybody knows this) Highlands is hurting since Sandy. We still have to pay the cops and if you even suggest that they tighten their belts you’re labeled a cop hater. We still have to staff and run the schools and if you suggest they tighten their belts you must hate children. We still have to pay for the engineering and lawyer fees and if you suggest they tighten their belts the council says it did by posting the notice for RFP on the highlandsnj.us web site and its not their fault nobody else bid on those positions.

The bid for the lease is expected to go out in March of this year and the minimum bid is expected to be set at $76,000 a year. Normally an industrial lease would go for between $3 – $15 a square foot, depending on the area, the building etc. I’m lumping that in to all industrial real estate, I have no idea what a clam plant lease should go for.

3. R-15-36 Resolution Awarding Professional Engineering Service – Street Scape – remember the grant we got last year? Then at the last council meeting they table awarding the job but said they were going to start sometime this year?  They awarded the job and are planning on doing sometime this year. So they say..

4. Presentation from Gateway National Recreation Area about the three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for leasing up to six historic Army buildings within the Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark, which encompasses all of Gateway’s Sandy Hook Unit. The park will accept lease applications through April 17, 2015. Maybe the Park service could throw some of the rejected RFP’s Highlands way, we could use some more business in town..

Sandy Hook lease project5. Borough Trailers & PD – Tim Hill in his report indicated that he is meeting with FEMA this Friday to go over rebuilding 171 Bay Ave. Where have I heard that before? Oh I know last August in a Two River Times article about Highlands running business out of trailers.

“We’re not closing the door on any options” said Borough Administrator Tim Hill, who hopes to have a more definitive direction by next month.”

I guess by “next month” he meant……

To see the meeting in its entirety click here

Random Act of Kindness Month in Highlands

heartsFebruary is Random Acts of Kindness Month.. As a tribute I wanted to put some ideas you can do this month to see how many you actually accomplish..

1. Donate food to the OLPH food bank

2. Buy a gallon of gas to person behind you waiting in line.

3. Pay for the toll for someone behind you on the parkway/turnpike

4. Offer to pay for lunch for a busy co-worker

5. Give up your seat to someone standing on the bus/subway/boat

6. Out of the blue send a friend flowers without sending a card

7. Send someone an anonymous valentines day card to someone not expecting it.

8. Honestly listen to someone and don’t interrupt.

9. Give a struggling local store/restaurant your business for a day that you normally don’t frequent.

10. Buy 3 people behind you a cup of coffee as you are leaving.hearts

11. Buy a complete stranger a beer from across the bar.

12. Smile at 10 strangers and say hello.

13. Post a nice review of a local Highlands establishment on the Highlands FB page or Yelp.

14. Shovel your neighbors walkway

15. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in months just to say hi

16. Leave a gift basket of food to an elderly neighbor

17. Leave encouraging notes where people least expect it.

Where the Superbowl Specials Are in Highlands



Off The Hook

Chubby Pickle


Highlands: Beware of drunk guy in Black Car Luring Children

This afternoon, a child walking home from school and was approached by a white older male with gray hair inside a black car with a dent in the front fender and tried to get her inside his car by the Welsh Farms on Bay Ave.

Anyone with any information, please contact HPD:  (732) 872-1158

HBAC presents FilmNite @ Bahrs


A Walk in Other Peoples Shoes – A UN Human Trilogy

Friday Jan 30 7 – 9 pm, Bahrs Landing 2 Bay Avenue Highlands

Gill Fickling kicks off the 2015 TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE FilmNITE Film Festival at Bahrs Landing this Friday

January 30th. FilmNITE, co-sponsored by HBAC (Highlands Borough Arts Council) and Bahrs Landing, is an interactive experience where local filmmakers and photographers introduce their work, present their work, and discuss their work with audience participants within the intimate confines of the newly created grotto-like space downstairs at Bahrs Landing.

Featuring three films Ms. Fickling filmed on location and produced for the United Nations, A Walk in Other Peoples Shoes takes us to the Solomon Islands, West Africa and Greece to experience the challenges and triumphs of the local people.

“Akhtar’s Story” Migrating to another country in pursuit of safety and a better life has long been a way of coping with crisis; but for some, the quest can be tortuous and seemingly without end.

“The Wood for the Trees” In a remote corner of the Solomon Islands, a land of dense trees once populated by head-hunters, a struggle is underway – how to keep up with the 21st Century, while also protecting a way of life.

“People of the Forest” For most of us, owning a passport or identity card is something we take for granted. Observe how the pygmies of West Africa have never been recognized as citizens of their own country.


For the past 12 years, Highlands-based film-maker, Gill Fickling, has been traveling the world making films for the United Nations covering issues of UN priority – human rights, climate change, women’s health and safety, indigenous people’s struggles, and the fight for democracy. The films tell the stories of people’s lives and how they are impacted by these themes, their brave struggles for survival and their courage overcoming challenges of the world’s forgotten stories. Gill’s films have been shown at Film Festivals around the world as well as at numerous high-level events where global policy-makers are brought together under the UN umbrella.

ABOUT HBAC Highlands Borough Arts Council
HBAC mission: Improve the quality of life in Highlands Borough by helping the arts to flourish. For more information on HBAC including a listing of events and upcoming programs, please see our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/highlandsborough.artscouncil or email us at highlandsartscouncil@gmail.com.

Highlands is Hunkering Down For Blizzard

Reminder: No Parking on Bay Ave when it snows

The Intrepids Bird Sandy Hook


Birdwatchers blog about beaches, birds & Bahrs

Originally posted on njwildbeauty:

Jeanette Hooban in quest of migrant warblers, Lifesaving Station of Sandy Hook in Background Jeanette Hooban in quest of migrant warblers, Lifesaving Station of Sandy Hook in Background

NJWILDBEAUTY readers know I recently relished the glories of Island Beach in a Nor’easter, with three friends I have come to name “The Intrepids”.  Three-quarters of us hit Sandy Hook this week, on a day when gales were predicted, though not rain.  We lunched, as ever, at Bahrs, on splendid seafood, with the barrier island otherwise known as “The Hook” shimmering like Shangri La off to our right.

Quintessential Fresh Seafood Lunch at Bahrs Quintessential Fresh Seafood Lunch at Bahrs

The Navesink and the Shrewsbury Rivers come together at Rumson.  (I always wonder if it was named in rum-running days.)  The combined flow passes below our table at Bahrs, brushing ‘The Hook’ on its way to the Atlantic.

Where the River Meets the Sea, Sandy Hook on Horizon Where the River Meets the Sea, Sandy Hook on Horizon

Usually, birdwatching at table is pretty spectacular.  But, for some reason, the serious fishing…

View original 1,002 more words

5 Things From Last Nights Council Meeting

5  1. The Streetscape services contract for Bay Ave was not awarded and tabled. However, they are planning on starting that project this year. The project which is broken out in 3 business zones on Bay Ave includes:

Replacing the sidewalks with stamp colored concrete
Adding Light Posts
Adding Planters

2. Army Corps update: They plan to have their report done by the end of 2015. As part of the report they will be having one on one mandatory sessions with home owners that will be affected by their plan. There will also be public meetings in May/June 2015 and August/Sept 2015. Highlands is under no obligation to comply with their recommendations, but if we don’t work with them in completing their report it could cost the town in the future with no help offered.

3. Monmouth County FEMA Meeting Feb 20th @ Henry Hudson High School between 4 – 8 pm. You can meet with a representative and discuss your specific property. This is part of the process of approving the new FEMA maps.

4.  The HBP budget of $60k was approved by the council. The budget was $10k higher than last year.

5.  The town is looking at potentially reversing the decision to make Valley a one way street. After multiple complaints from residents affected, Councilperson Ryan is surveying additional residents for feedback. To weigh in: councilwoman.ryan@highlandsnj.us

To view the meeting in its entirety click here

Learning From Other Towns

all in this together I would like to share the goals and objectives that Sea Bright’s Mayor has mapped out for her town. Believe it or not – it is not that far off from what could be said for Highlands. After all we shared the same resources in developing our FEMA Long Term Recovery Plan and our SRPR report for our upcoming Master Plan. The only difference is that we have no defined action plan publicly placed before us as a community.

What we do have are agenda minutes, studies and options buried in folders on the desks of various town officials and department heads – with no cohesive attempt to put it all together into one concise focus. We have developers and financial interests that recognize the potential of Highlands. We even have concerned residents attending meetings and requesting many of the same objectives you read in Mayor Long’s list. For example: Town Hall & PD buildings; CRS program; pump stations; written reports from committees; website interaction; business development on Bay Ave; streetscape projects; and attention to abandoned properties, etc.

What’s missing? Leadership? Focus? Competence? Communication? Public Forums?

I urge residents to keep attending our town meetings to help make this happen. Especially when it comes to public participation in the Master Plan. Get informed. Read the many reports and studies those outside agencies have publicly provided pro bono to the town Highlands. Speak out and demand feedback. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

I urge the Highlands Council and our Borough Administrator to listen to the residents, to step up our game, and to take a good look outside of Highlands to see how things can get done.

Councilman Doug Card (Highlands)

HBAC Launches FilmNITE at Bahrs Landing

Highlands, NJ is most often associated with clamming, national park beaches, great restaurants, prohibition rum-running, and Marconi’s transmission from the highest point on the Eastern seaboard.  Rich in natural beauty and historically significant, Highlands and the surrounding area is also home to many world class filmmakers and photographers.

In recognition of this amazing resource, Highlands Borough Arts Council (HBAC) and Bahrs Landing Restaurant will be hosting FilmNITE on selected Friday evenings from January through April. FilmNITE is an interactive experience where local filmmakers and photographers introduce their work, present their work, and discuss their work with audience participants within the intimate confines of the newly created grotto-like space downstairs at Bahrs Landing.  While FilmNITE features local film artists, the subject matter spans local and global themes and ranges from the serious, to the silly, to the sublime.

This year’s program features world renowned, award winning filmmakers and photographers.  The variety of styles and mediums being featured illustrate how film and photography have become an integral part of our daily life and how images represent a universal language.  The documentary films, short video vines, and still photography being presented capture and chronicle the mundane and the monumental … and everything in between.

The program is rich in diversity, reflecting experiences and issues that transcend time and place.  Collectively entitled Take a Walk on the Wild Side … the program takes us from the Arctic to the Antarctic.  In addition to featuring a screening of a newly released music video, the program highlights a people’s struggle in the wilderness of West Africa, the intricate symmetry of light fractals found in the wild, and life in Wildwood, N.J.

Please join us in celebrating these local artists as they share their work and their stories with us at Bahrs Landing, 2 Bay Avenue, Highlands NJ
FilmNITE filmfest calendar mini for press

ABOUT HBAC Highlands Borough Arts Council

HBAC mission: Improve the quality of life in Highlands Borough by helping the arts to flourish.  For more information on HBAC including a listing of events and upcoming programs and events, please see our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/highlandsborough.artscouncil or email us at highlandsartscouncil@gmail.com.

Highlands Borough Arts Council (HBAC) is a committee of Atlantic Highlands Arts Council (AHAC), a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  This program is made possible in part by Monmouth Arts through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council the Arts.