Are Fashion Trucks in Highlands A Good Idea

According to this weeks Business Insider, Fashion Trucks are popping all over America.   In Highlands a few days a week, you’ve probably noticed Penelope’s Traveling Boutique either by Huddy Park or by Vets Park.  American Mobile Retail Association (AMRA)  told BI that there are about 500 fashion trucks spread across all 50 states. They began popping up four years ago, but the trend has exploded in the past year as new entrepreneurs learn from the successes and failures of the movement’s pioneers.

Part of the business idea’s appeal is the low-cost of entry, and not having to go through the traditional mercantile processes that a traditional store front would. So the risk is lower.


(RAIN DATE 10/5/14)

Wine and lighter beers will also be available for purchase.

Admission is $5.00 for anyone over age 10.


Performing at the 2014 Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival…
It’s a mix of Irish Music, Blues, Funk, Pop, Rock and Roll and much, much more!



farmers marketThe Borough of Highlands Recreation Dept. will be registering participants for the 2014 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program from Sept. 22nd – Sept. 26th. Eligible participants AGES 60 AND OVER will receive $20.00 in vouchers to be used at local Farmers’ Markets in our area. Income guidelines for this program are as follows:

Family Size of 1: $21,590 annually and Family Size of 2: $29,101 annually.

If you are eligible and would like to receive the vouchers please call the Recreation Dept. at 732-872-1224 ext. 232 to set up an intake appointment at the Borough Hall Trailer located at 42 Shore Dr.

You will need to bring a Driver’s License or photo ID and proof of income, such as Income Tax Return, Social Security Statement, Bank Statement showing Direct Deposit, SSI, Pension, etc.

You will also be required to sign a client eligibility and certification form. If you have any additional questions regarding this program, please call 732-872-1224 ext. 232.

How to Increase Revenue & Save Money in Highlands

Attached is a pdf from 2010 that address some ideas on how to cut spending increase revenues.

Some of the ideas at a high level include:

  • Code Enforcement
  • Recycling
  • Selling off some Boro vehicles
  • Admin/Shared Services
  • Hydro Alternative Energy
  • Streamline Mercantile process

To review Down Load the .pdf –>FY2010 Budget committee recommendations  (You will need adobe acrobat to view)

What other ideas can be included to either cut spending or create revenue?


Bikes to Over Take Highlands

twin lights rideEvery September, the Bike of New York does their annual Twin Lights regional rides to give New Yorkers a taste of rural riding and engage the City’s neighbors in safe cycling practices.  Proceeds from these rides fund Bike New York’s Education Programs.

Mileage Options100, 75, 55, or 30

Arriving: There will be masses of people arriving on the Ferry and taking off from Huddy Park.


5 Things From 9/18 Council Meeting

5 1)R-14-199 Resolution Approving Strategic Planning Report – Steve Nelson spoke briefly and answered some questions from the residents.  The plan was approved by the council and now goes to the state for approval.  The state generally approves these quickly and Steve Nelson said he expects approval within a week.  The town can then start applying for grants.  The aggregate maximum of the grants is $300k and there are line item limits.  For example, there is a maximum grant amount for rewriting ordinances, a maximum grant amount (I think $50k) for rewriting the Master Plan, etc.

To view presentation from town hall CLICK HERE
To view NJ Future’s Report CLICK HERE


2) Captain’s Cove – The Zoning change request from RA Multimedia aka Captain’s Cove was requested to be postponed.  Councilman Card asked to move forward on the town’s clean up of Captain’s Cove parking lot and placing a lien on the property.  The council agreed to move forward on this.

3) O-14-26 – Bonding for the Community Center Playground and Shore Drive Phase II project: This did not move forward and no public hearing date was set.  There was some concern on the other costs of the projects in their entirety.  So such as, the playground there is a $90k snowflake grant that needs to be used for the playground only, the entire project could be in the hundred’s of thousands of dollars, can we afford the differential in costs to get a playground?

Tim Hill is looking into our minimum requirements to use these funds or if we may have to give up the funds if we can’t come up with the additional monies to complete the projects.

4) R-14-202 – Increased the 2 minute rule to 3 minutes.

5) Finance Committee – Mayor Nolan appointed 2 additional people, the two residents he appointed where: Chris Francy and Kim Skorka


To see the meeting in its entirety click here:

Town Hall Meeting notes from 9/15

NJ Future logoMonday night’s town hall meeting, wasn’t necessarily a “town hall meeting” like past meetings have been conducted. Steve Nelson from NJ Future presented a summary of the SRPR (Strategic Recovery Planning Report).  – If you hear people speak about the SRPR you now know what it stands for.

The SRPR was worked on by Steve Nelson (who also handles the SRPR in Sea Bright as well as Highlands) and a Steering Committee in Highlands made up of Art Gallagher, Larry Colby, Mayor Nolan, Tim Hill and Kevin Redmond.  I don’t know how they were chosen to make up the steering committee, I would personally put someone else on just to have a different perspective, but that’s just me.)

The council is going to go through the report in its entirety and then vote on adopting the report as a road map to move the town forward (R-14-199) in Wednesday’s Night Council Meeting.

Chapter 1 of the report – goes over the demographics of Highlands (Although admittedly they used pre-sandy demographics).

Chapter 2 of the report – goes over the impact assessment of what Sandy did to Highlands.

Chapter 3 of the report – goes over future risk assessment

  • Future Hazards
  • Risks
  • Potential Impacts/exposure of Sea Level Rising
  • Cohesion of the community
  • Governmental Services

Chapter 4 of the report covers Getting Resilient

  • Communication and outreach

In this chapter they looked at the current Master plan, current zoning, the Planning Documents from Rutgers studio and the recommended FEMA plan

Chapter 5 Assessment of Existing Planning and Zoning Documents (such as)

  • Clam Plant Zoning
  • Bayshore Region Strategic Plan (from before Sandy)
  • Masterplan from 2004 and the re-examination of MP in 2008
  • Monmouth County Haz Mitigation plan (2009)
  • Current Zoning Ordinance for Highlands Recovery Strategy

Chapter 6 Recommendations (not in order of priority)

  • Storm water piping from Rt 36
  • Property maintenance and code compliance
  • Steep Slope mitigation
  • Municipal Facilities Plan (i.e. where to put Town Hall/PD)
  • Obtain NFIP compliance & apply for CRS certification
  • Sewer upgrades (I&I)
  • Pump Station Repairs, install “new” catch basins, pipes etc
  • Economic viability of Clamming Study
  • Determine the need of redevelopment and where it should be
  • Update Boro Haz Mitigation Plan
  • Update municipal codes, plans and strategies to handle future flooding risks, hazards and vulnerabilities
  • Update the latest version of the FEMA’s flood maps using “best available flood hazard data or most stringent version”

Chapter 7 includes the Who, What, When and dollar amount to achieve the recommendations.

To view presentation from town hall CLICK HERE

To view NJ Future’s Report CLICK HERE

Who’s Job Is it Anyway?

finger pointingAnybody remember the story of  four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

The following is the Highlands Version:

There was an important job in Highlands to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody in Highlands did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought that Anybody in Highlands could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody in Highlands could have done.

There are 3 main reasons why Highlands should move past blame and into effective action.

1) It is far more productive to focus on corrective action in the future.

2) It’s less expensive to get on to a solution instead of investing good money after bad simply to point the finger of blame.  i.e. like why we (Highlands) didn’t have flood insurance on our municipal buildings. The reality is we didn’t have it, we can’t change that, how do we put our town buildings back together without it and make sure we’re covered in the future.

3) Even if you can perfectly decide who was to blame, most likely those to blame will never ever admit to it and you still have to solve the problems at hand. Energy is better spent and figuring on how can we move on, get better, learn from this, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Leadership is very much needed in Highlands and we have to be able to get past simple blame games and exhibit  positive leadership if we want to move forward as a community.



A New Borough Hall on a Beer Budget

highlands boro hallWhat do you do when your municipal building was destroyed by Sandy, then you left it sit for almost 2 years, you are almost out of money you can bond and FEMA is going to stop reimbursing you for the trailers you are renting as a short-term fix for a municipal building?

Get creative..

Some options that are being considered:

Using the Solution Center as Borough Hall.

Using the Community Center as Borough Hall.

Consolidate buildings with another town and run out of one of their buildings. (Mayor Nolan noted in the last council meetings that 2 towns have offered, but he has declined.)


5 Things You Should Know About Sept 3rd’s Highlands Council Meeting

5I. DCA & Unsafe Housing Funds

Sept 22 DCA will be out and about in lower Highlands looking at houses that meet the criteria for unsafe housing funds. The unsafe housing fund is a program run by the state to demolish unsafe Sandy-damaged structures in order to alleviate blight and address threats to public health and welfare.

Some items that can make a house that may be on the list not eligible are:

  • Open Permits on the Structure or current construction.
  • Property Owner that is unwilling to allow for the demolition
  • Oil tanks on the property
  • Lien holders that are unresponsive in signing off on the demolition

So if you see people in orange vests around Highlands Sept 22, that’s what that is about.

II.  Electronic Tax Sale (R-14-197)

Highlands is going forward with the electronic tax sale option. So instead of the tax sale taking place in Ptak or the Borough Trailer, it will happen online. The thought process is the online environment provides a greater pool of potential lien buyers, thus creating the environment for a more competitive tax sale process.

III. Bonding Capacity Amounts

In the last Council meeting, the CFO stated we were $2 1/2 million away from our cap. In this meeting he stated he was incorrect and we’re more like $5.3 million away from our cap.

IV. Two Minute Rule was discussed in executive session (Again)

It was the attorney’s recommendation to increase the two minute rule to 3 minutes and the Council will vote on that in the next meeting.

V. Peddler Licenses

They are increasing the number of licenses for peddlers from 6 to 10. (There are apparently 30 people on a waiting list for this.) Also they are increasing the yearly fee from twenty-five dollars ($25) to fifty dollars ($50).

There were a lot more stuff discussed to see the ustream click here



Things Going on Sept 5 – 7 around Highlands

End of Summer Party – Sandy Hook

The Sandy Hook Foundation presents its annual fond farewell to the season of summer concerts and activities on the Hook, with some of the area’s finest restaurants and caterers doing their thing they do so well, plus live music and auction items offered by a selection of local merchants. Proceeds support restoration, maintenance and education projects of the National Park Service. Party entrance is at the North Beach Pavilion near the Fort Hancock area; please call the Foundation office at 732-291-7733 or e-mail if you are interested in going.


oysterfest2014 Asbury Park Oyster Festival

Asbury Park Oysterfest is one of Monmouth County’s flagship festivals; a 3-day event that promises to be the ultimate end-of-summer experience for oysters, fun festival foods, live music, children’s amusements, over 75 crafters and vendors, beer, wine and even signature sodas. The festival runs Friday, September 5th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, September 6th from noon to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 7th, from noon to 6:00 p.m. This year’s event will be held just outside the iconic Carousel building where the downtown meets the Asbury Park waterfront.


Skimbash 2014 September 6-7, 2014 (Sea Bright, NJ)skimbash

Skimboarders of all ages, from beginners to professionals, gather for this annual action-packed 2-day event to show off their skills, and compete for prizes and cash. To register CLICK HERE

2014 Iron Girl – Sandy Hook

The Iron Girl event series is an opportunity for women of all ages to come together as a community. To be fit, to be healthy, and to celebrate the joy of living well – that is the Iron Girl lifestyle. We invite you to join us at one of our fun and inspirational events in 2014!

Sunday, September 7, 2014
Location: Gateway National Recreation AreaIron girl
Women’s Only Triathlon
1/3 mile swim/15 mile bike/3 mile run
Triathlon: 7:00 a.m.
Bike-Run Only: 7:30 a.m.


Atlantic Highlands Annual Flea Market

The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society will be holding its annual outdoor flea market on Saturday September 13th from 10AM until 4PM. at the Atlantic Highlands Marina.  Rain date Sept. 20h.
Our Annual Flea Market features many antiques, collectibles, as well as crafts, new merchandise and those second time around goodies one and all can use.
A variety of household items, furniture, jewelry, tools, toys, clothing, bottles, books,  postcards, fishing equipment, old and new,  and lots more. If you can name it, it will probably be there. There will be something for everyone.



The Evolution of Miller Beach in 2014

miller beach evolution

Shrewsbury Avenue has historically had issues with patrons of local bars leaving the establishments. Back on Aug 13, 2012 it was addressed in a town hall meeting

Chief Blewett disclosed that since July 20, 2012 there have been 38 calls from the Shrewsbury Avenue area, of which 19 can be directly attributed to Wind & Sea. He also stated that Wind & Sea owners have hired an additional officer to assist with incidents between the hours of 10 PM – 2 AM. He further summarized that with occupancy limit of 300 inside and an additional 100 outside at the Tiki bar, all of which leave approximately the same time, one additional officer is some what outnumbered.

For what ever reason, it seems as though this year things have gotten worse. Resident concerns included:

  • Wind n Sea being over capacity and safety issues
  • Unruly Patrons leaving the bar
  • Public urination and vomiting on residents properties
  • Loitering at Miller Beach after Wind n Sea closed

Some of the business responses included:

  • You live in a shore town, expect loud people in the summer
  • If they are making money, let them make money
  • Picking up broken bottles isn’t a big deal
  • Don’t complain if you chose to live near a bar

We’ve also seen many different attempts of addressing the residents concerns by trying to discourage the loitering aspect at Miller Beach.

Attempt 1) The big blinky sign “Beach Closes at Dusk”

Attempt 2) Beat cop

Attempt 3) Closing the beach parking and ticketing cars left there past dusk

Attempt 4) White luminescent cones and ticketing cars