Who is the WORST bar Neighbor?

Every summer there are complaints from residents that live close to certain bars about noise, loud patrons, drunken foolishness… Who is the worst bar to live next to in the summer months?

AH Food & Art Festival

The “Eats & Arts” Festival, sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, is intended to create a broad array of art experiences, nurture the development of diverse art forms, and encourage the expanding strength of cultural life in Atlantic Highlands, while providing community interaction.

Tickets are $40 and will be available online at aharts.org on April 21; tickets are limited. Participating restaurants and galleries are: AJ Dillon, Christine’s, Copper Canyon, Harborside, Hudson Café, Kunya Siam Thai, Memphis Pig Out, Second Story Art Gallery, Town & Surf Diner and the new restaurant opening on First Avenue.

When: Sunday, June 1, 2014 from 1-4pm,

Each restaurant will introduce its chef and offer guests tastes of a favorite and popular menu item(s) from its restaurant, while featuring several local artists and live artist demonstrations. The local galleries will also be participating in this “artistic” afternoon by offering food, beverages and a tour of its gallery.

Why You May Want to Set Your Alarm for 3 AM Saturday

Chart via Experts are predicting we may be in for quite a show: a brand spanking new meteor shower that will peak on the evening of Friday, May 23, 2014.

The peak night of the shower is predicted for May 23-24, 2014. Models suggest that the best viewing hours are between 2 and 4 a.m. EDT.

The meteors will radiate from the constellation Camelopardalis, a very obscure northern constellation.

If its raining and you still want to see it, you can look online: Virtual Telescope Project

If you can go outside, look up toward the Northern sky and if you have a decent camera, you might be able to  get some fun pictures of the event.


Operation Hope Offering Financial Advice at Bayshore Resource Center

operation HopeWhen?  Friday, May 23 from 2-5PM.

Where? Bayshore Resource Center in Highlands. Which is located at 426 Route 36 (426 Navesink Avenue) at the intersection of Route 36 and Linden Avenue. It is located in the same building as Bahr’s Real Estate.

Operation Hope, a financial literacy organization that offers banking services to the under-served, will be on-hand for Operation Hope administers Project Restore HOPE: Hurricane Sandy which provides long-term financial guidance and recovery services to small businesses, families and individuals affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Those who cannot attend are encouraged to contact Operation Hope at 732-451-2068 to speak to an associate about receiving assistance.


Goats Are Back At Sandy Hook

goats sandy hookFor the second year in a row, the poison ivy goats are back at Sandy Hook tackling the poison ivy issues.

Summer visitors can see the workers around some of the tourist areas.

As much as you’d like to pet them, (and they are friendly) you’d better refrain as their coats are full of poison ivy oils and are very contagious.


Insurance Companies Holding Local Municipalities Responsible for failing to prepare for flooding

Good Night Irene 013 - Copy According to May’s Christian Monitor,

“Farmers Insurance filed class action lawsuit last month against nearly 200 communities in the Chicago area for failing to prepare for flooding. The suits argue towns should have known climate change would produce more flooding.”

The premise being that insurance companies want to push cities to invest in prevention as a way to avoid future lawsuits and ultimately future payouts to policy holders.

What do you think ?

Ocean Fun & Coastal Defense Day at Sandy Hook

sandy hook batteryWhen:  May 18th (11 am – 3 pm)

Sea Grant will have many ocean related children’s activities & crafts while park rangers along with Volunteers-in-Parks (VIPs) will conduct tours of the Mortar, Gunnison, and Potter gun batteries found throughout the fort grounds. The Nike Radar Site (Lot L) will also have Army veterans as visitor guides. ~cw http://njseagrant.org/education/special-events/ocean-fun-days/

FYI – the Rutgers Studio Study as presented to Highlands


Rutgers Study High Level…

Originally posted on dougcard4highlands:

this that Chris Francy went back in the classroom and worked closely with students in supplying data and information about Highlands for a Rutgers Planning course. Thank you Chris for getting us such a professional insight for Highlands.

The class project and recommendations from the Rutgers Studio Study was presented to Highlands last night as the last phase of the course. The students also worked off the results of an online survey answered by about 108 Highlands residents. The Rutgers presentation was fascinating and interesting.  Professor Carlos Rodríguez, Professional Planner, ran the course and the students (seeking Masters credit) presented their vision of a specific waterfront area of Highlands – which they called from “Valley to Vets”.

The objective was to maximize our very underutilized access to the waterfront, as well as to plan and accommodate for a population capacity that could sustain our town and our businesses.  It introduced new areas of market driven…

View original 161 more words

Gas Leak in Highlands

snug harbor According to MC PD/FD & EMS  Construction workers hit a gas pipe at 9 Snug Harbor in Highlands, NJNG had secured the line by 1:30 pm.

Oh, and speaking of NJNG, they have this nifty Blanket Permit Program, whereas Municipalities who participate in it can now access the current proposed work schedule online. NJNG currently partners with several municipalities on this program which reduces the administrative work required for processing permits and provides more timely information.
Click here to view NJNG’s Pending Work Schedule. (Updated 05/07/2014)

Oh yeah, Highlands doesn’t participate. (Nevermind)

Who Ya Going to Call?? – in Highlands

Ok, I think we all know there is an election on Tuesday. What is influencing your decision?


Scammers hitting Sandy Survivors

In recent days, a number of participants in Sandy recovery programs have reported that they were visited at their homes by people who claimed to be part of the program and who requested access to their homes.  Other program participants reported receiving visits to their homes, telephone calls and emails from people who claimed to be part of the program and who asked for money transfers or personal financial data.
There are a number of simple precautions you can take to stop these Sandy scams and avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
·         There are no fees to enroll or participate in any Sandy recovery program administered by the State of New Jersey. Therefore, never give money to anyone in person at your home or over the phone or by electronic transfer regarding your participation in a Sandy recovery program. Any questions, contact your Housing Recovery Center or your Housing Advisor. 
·         Anyone visiting your home to conduct an inspection will have proper company photo ID. Therefore, demand the person visiting your home show his or her photo ID.
·         If you have any doubts or questions about the legitimacy of anyone who comes to your home claiming to be part of the Sandy Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, Mitigation (RREM) Program, you can call the following Sandy hotlines:
o   If your program manager is CBI-Shaw, call 1-855-287-7736 to identify who is scheduled to inspect your home.
o   If your program manager is Gilbane, call 1-609-671-4300 to identify who is scheduled to inspect your home.
If you do not know who your program manager is, please contact your Housing Recovery Center or your Housing Advisor.  If you have not yet been assigned a housing advisor or a program manager, or if you have any questions, please contact the Sandy call center at 1-800-SandyHM (1-800-726-3946).
To report suspected fraud in any Sandy recovery program administered by the State of New Jersey, call the Sandy Fraud Hotline at 1-855-Sandy39 (1-855-726-3939).

Rutgers Presenting their Findings for Highlands

bay ave future 2Remember the survey you might have taken in February of this year?

Well the Rutgers group conducting the survey and study are presenting their findings to Highlands in a town hall meeting next wednesday May 14 at the gym at OLPH.

What time: 7:30 PM


ACE Notes from May 7th Meeting

They Army Corp of Engineers on March 12 announced the plan for the feasibility study for Highlands for Zone 2. It initially decided to break the town into 7 zones. The thought process is that instead of just putting up one type of wall, take the town in chunks and figure out if the proper mitigation is a wall or a berm depending on the topography and current coastline of each section.  The ACE people said regarding the meetings, that instead of doing each zone separately, they decided to do zones 3-7 in one meeting (hence the May 7th meeting) because of lack of response from the residents in the first meeting in March for Zone 2, which initiated grumbling with residents due to lack of communication when the meetings were happening or why ACE required feedback from residents. (There was a meeting held earlier for businesses that was also inadequately announced or communicated and had only sparse attendance as well.)

Note that the terms “wall,” bulkhead,” and “seawall” are used interchangeably but mean the same thing, a corrugated metal wall placed on the water side of the existing bulkhead or inland from the current beachfront.

Regarding the berm, it is 12 feet wide and 3 feet high. There will be walk-overs, but they won’t be able to be walked on. There would be planted sea grass. The smaller walls would be a 5 feet high and a foot wide. There would be walk-overs here as well, but you could put a beach chair on either side of the wall without issue.ace zones

Unit 1 – Paradise Park and adjacent property – This actually fell off the list due to the Navesink Shores doing their own mitigation project with the new development.

Unit 2- Willow to Snug Harbor – this area can have either a berm or small wall; both options are on the table, and they are looking for resident feedback in making the final decision.

Unit 3- Snug Harbor to Sea Drift – this is a a wall similar to what is there now and a two feet higher with a cement cap. On the Captain Cove, the bulkheads will be higher matching marine place and it also includes walk overs for the marina and viewing stairs to look over the wall. The new bulkhead will be placed, according to the current plan, on the water side of the current bulkhead and will effectively line the marina. This option was chosen as more cost-effective than a flood gate for the marina.

Unit 4- Sea Drift to Cedar – this area can have either a berm or small seawall; both options are on the table, and they are looking for resident feedback in making the final decision.

Unit 5- Cedar to Miller St – this area can have either a berm or small wall; both options are on the table, and they are looking for resident feedback in making the final decision.

Unit 6 – Miller Street to South Street (Shrewsbury Ave properties) – wall similar to Marine Place with cement cap.

Unit 7 – South Street to Bridge – this actually wasn’t discussed.

Its going to take approximately 2 years to do the feasibility study and approval from the town in order to move forward.

Some other highlights:

Funding is allocated by Congress; however, ACE won’t move forward until a) they finish the feasibility study and 2)they get the green light from town.

ACE would also re-evaluate pumps and determine whether they needed to be replaced or current pumps would be sufficient.

The cost is estimated at $55 million with 65% federal and 35% non-federal split. The town would be required to pay 9%. They also said there could be County Funding to assist with this.

The town (or at least the residents Tuesday night) didn’t seem to agree on whether it should be green-lighted.

Concerns included things like:

  • “this wouldn’t be a silver bullet to stop total flooding in Highlands,” it would keep most (note this is most and not completely) surge out also it wouldn’t not stop run-off from the hill
  • the amount of space the berms would take up,
  • the height of the walls,
  • the overall look of the walls,
  • ADA access (or lack there of)
  • beach vehicle access to private beaches (ie Gravelly),
  • blocking views,
  • easements versus eminent domain,
  • neighbors wanting different options (berm vs small wall),
  • the varying height of the barrier at different parts of town
  • the fact that it might not get done because of the dissent of owners on the water front
  • the cost of paying for it vs the cost of not doing it
  • etc

It hasn’t been determined whether the final green light will be given solely by the council or if the council will put it out to a referendum for residents to vote on.

Either way this is going to be a *hot* topic and further resident involvement is a must.



NYC Flood Gate Being Considered from Sandy Hook

barrier flood gate nycUsing more than 500 flood simulations, scientists were able to calculate roughly how much cash NYC should expect to spend on flooding every year, plus how much the city will lose over the next century if it does absolutely nothing. The results aren’t surprising but no less ugly: Another century floor would cost NYC $2.2 billion. A 1,000 year flood would cost NYC $25 billion.

A barrier stretching from Sandy Hook to the tip of the Rockaways, for example, would protect Lower Manhattan. It could also protect the Jersey Bayshore.

This is exactly why flood mitigation shouldn’t be looked at municipality by municipality – it should be looked at a region and interstate level.

It is estimated that blocking off the entire harbor would cost between $11 – $24 billion. I think splitting the cost on this makes way more sense than individually trying to fight this.

What do you think?


What is Highlands Spending Money on?

moneyIn this morning’s APP.com article “Federal worker bonuses cut in half, new figures show” it stated that the Federal Workers bonuses “dropping nearly 50 percent as a result of draconian budget cuts tied to a partial government shutdown and recent caps on employee awards.”

Which, when you are in financial straights, it makes sense you cut things.

It also went on to state the highest paid Federal employee in NJ is medical officer, Veterans Health Administration who is paid  $330,843.  Which totally got me thinking of our newly appointed CFO Patrick Deblasio, you know the one they couldn’t advertise his job and just hired him on the recommendation of retiring CFO Stephen Pfeffer.

In case you forgot this is what he got paid in 2012: (from USA Today):

$126,896, Carteret borough chief financial officer
$8,000, Carteret schools treasurer of school monies
$29,774, Highlands tax collector
$39,996, Keansburg chief financial officer
$39,940, North Plainfield chief financial officer

So that means in  2012, DeBlasio’s annual compensation totaled $244,606, more than Gov. Chris Christie or state Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff, who earn $175,000 and $141,000, respectively.

In the new 2014 budget Financial Administration Salaries & wages = $121,175, to be fair a portion may be to pay for the part time purchasing agent and finance clerk, who salaries were approx $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. (Numbers may not be actual, I remember them saying the total was approximately $30k for both salaries.)

Pfeffer in 2013 was paid $117,850 had one other job and no assistants.

Deblasio is to be paid in 2014 $121,175, plus $58,000 for Tax Collector just from Highlands AND has 4 other known jobs.

I typed this before and I’ll type it again, lack of attention can cost the town of Highlands.



Highlands Residents Come together at OLPH

Residents of Highlands got together Friday to discuss long-term Sandy rebuilding plans.

Four sessions were held so that neighbors could talk about the future of their community. Topics ranged from how maximize the waterfront to summer camps for kids, and even how to make the arts a more prevalent part of their neighborhoods.

The event was hosted by a group called Creative New Jersey, which banned Power Points and formal speeches in favor of small groups working creatively.


Full NJ 12 Story

Highlands Art Council

creative NJ in OLPH

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