5 Ways The “Save the Tilt Up Page” Lies To You

We all know art is subjective and have heard the saying, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’  With regard to the structure on Snug Harbor beach aka “Shorehenge”, there is a small contingency that would like to keep it and have tried to do a grass roots movement to garnish support. Nobody can blame them or hold malice for that. However, when they insist on twisting the facts, blatantly lying and randomly vomiting statements without backing up their assertions with evidence, that’s where people will have issues.

The following are 5 statements that are outright false:

  1.  The Bunker Project was built with proper permits.

    Maybe they meant it was kinda sorta, but not really built with proper permits? The zoning permit was issued after the fact and backdated to 8/17
    permit tilt upFurther note, that the DEP permits were never applied for. Even though, it states in the zoning permit above, that all applications within a flood zone require submission to the NJDEP.

See the building permit, 1) It was issued 9/22, well after it was constructed and not until it was called in question, and 2) it says “rehabilitation” not New Construction, which contradicts the zoning permit and what actually happened.

building permit


2.  The Current Council Deemed It unsafe and erected a fence out of spite.

It was always maintained that the fence installation was due to the bunker’s liability issue. The safety of the structure was never brought into question.

fence tilt up


3.  ” A survey monkey was done and less than 150 people out of 5000 in the town participated.”

survey results

  • As of 2015, the population of Highlands was 4867,  which includes children.
  • Highlands has approximately 3100 registered voters (as of the 2012 election) of which less than 2000 voted.

4.  The Survey alone determined Shorehenge’s Outcome

The ultimate decision for the removal of the Bunker came from:

  • The multiple council meetings that people showed up to ask for its removal.
  • A formal petition circulated for the removal of the Shorehenge.
  • A Highlands Town Hall Meeting where the majority of people spoke against the Bunker.
  • The Survey which confirmed the majority of people wanted it taken down.
  • The letter from the DEP that required action must be taken.

5.  The survey was only available online and advertised via Facebook.

The survey was advertised on Facebook, however, it was also advertised:

  • On the Highlandsnj.com main web page
  • In Borough Trailer
  • During several council meetings
  • Via flyers that were handed out throughout the town
  • Via SWIFT email/Text notification
  • In newspapers/news outlets.  See 3/22 Asbury Park Press article  AND 4/7 Asbury Park Press article which again gives results as of that date and contends the survey would remain open until 4/30.

An offline “paper” survey was made available and collected from those without internet access.



Tilt Up: Should It Stay Or Should It Go Now?

community center now

At last night’s council meeting, the Mayor and Council decided to move forward with a survey to collect input regarding the Tilt-Up project on the Community Center beach.

As part of this process, they have put together a short questionnaire. (2 Questions) One of which is a validation question, so that all residents and property owners will have fair input into the process. You will be asked for either your voter registration number (if you don’t know your voter id number, you can contact your Superintendent of Elections or Commissioner of Registration  or call 732-431-7780) or use your sewer account number as a part of the validation. (Your sewer account number is the 4 digit number before the dash (-)on your paper or online sewer bill)

There is also a paper version of the survey for those that do not have internet access.  Paper copies will also be available at and can be dropped off at the Borough Trailers (42 Shore Drive). You can also FB private message,  call, or text Jen Olson (732-945-4680) with any requests, and she can bring a copy to anyone who needs it.

LINK to survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TiltUp

The survey will be open until April 4, 2016, and the results will be shared at the Council meeting on Wednesday, April 6.

It will cost roughly $17,500 to be compliant [CAFRA Permit, site plan, soil samples, environmental impact study, soil erosion/sediment control plan, tidal water study. Does not include Threatened and Endangered Species Evaluation or Tidelands License] to keep the structure.

The Borough received costs from the RFP ranging from $9,600 to $36,500 [5 Bids: $36,500; $35,800; $20,000; $17,000; $9,600] for a contractor to remove it.

2016 Sandy Hook Beach Concerts



Wednesday nights 6:00 PM
Beach Ebeach concert

Call the office at 732-291-7733 or check the web site after 2:00 pm day of concert

June 15 The Nerds

June 22 The Weeklings   **

June 29  The Matt O’Ree Band  **

July 6 Tim McLoone and The Shirleys

July 13 Bob Bandiera Band

July 20 Sensational Soul Cruisers

July 27 The Carl Gentry Band

August 3 Rain Date

August 10 RipTide with Special Guest: The Sam Sims Band (Special 5:30 start)

August 17 Jobonanno and The Godsons of Soul


** Change from original list

FOR SALE: Cement Memorial

00f0f_arhlrqbw0lq_600x450The town of Highlands (or a resident with a really good sense of humor) has posted the Snug Harbor Sandy Memorial for sale on Craigslist.  It states

Town doesn’t want memorial structure. For sale. Purchaser must arrange for relocation. Contact borough hall in Highlands.

The monument which has been featured in NY Times, Chasing NJ, APP as well as other news outlets due to its clandestine appearance on the Snug Harbor beach, is listed for sale for a mere $500,000. I’m sure that’s a deal for such a piece of art.

Some people are trying the most creative way to decorate Shorehenge, others are trying to find the most creative way to get rid of it.


5 Things From Last Night Council Meeting

5 1.  The Council passed Ordinance O-16-1 to combine the Planning & Zoning boards.  The rationale is efficiency and cost savings. With other small towns that have moved to one “Land Use Board”, the savings may only be under $10K,  However, in difficult economic times, every penny counts.

2.  Speaking of every penny counting, the Council also introduced O-16-3 For the Mayor and Council to serve without compensation, which will be voted on 2/17.

3.  Because of FEMA delaying the adoption of the new flood maps again, because of the appeals process in the NYC metropolitan areas, Highlands is looking to expedite an Amendment with FEMA to accept the Highlands specific maps from Shore Drive to the water. This will facilitate resident benefits with potential delays with RREM grants and rebuilding (i.e. you are currently in a V, and are supposed to be changed to an AE) and with the insurance companies. (You are currently in a V, built to an AE because it was supposed to be adopted in 2013, and there is no drop dead date for the adoption of the new zones) and your premiums are inflated due to the delay in adoption. Details will be forthcoming from Dale, our Flood Plain Administrator.

4. Tilt up came to speak to the Council about ‘Shorehedge’. Some answers include, there was no contract because it was ‘donated’. Tilt up felt they did everything they were supposed to do, including providing renderings and a physical model to Mr. Hill and it wasn’t their fault that the Highlands’ liaisons didn’t relay the information to residents or socialize the project.  Many residents spoke out against structure and the how it got there.  The current council wants to investigate and come to a decision on future path to either pay for the proper DEP process which includes permits or to look into ways to demolish the structure. Tilt up is unwilling to fund the demolition of Shorehedge.

5.  A young man by the name of Jack Eikens came with his dad to ask for support to redo the skate park. They are applying to the Tony Hawk foundation to fund the project so it doesn’t cost the town any money. It would require to reconfigure the layout of the current skate park, i.e. putting the ramps closer to the community center, using cement ramps instead of the metal ramps which will be quieter to neighbors, require less maintenance and increase durability. To show your support for this you can click here.  (Tilt up could learn something from this kid.)

Highlands Has Full Moon On Christmas

moon over hartshorne woods

For the first time in 38 years, the last full moon of the year will fall on Dec. 25.

The last time this happened was in 1977, and we won’t see another celestial event like it until 2034.

So on early Christmas morning, be sure to steal a glance at the sky to catch the rare full moon.

The moon will be full at exactly 6:11 a.m. ET, according to NASA — about an hour before sunrise.

So Has The ‘Sandy Memorial’ Grown On You?

community center nowSo its been approximately 2 months since the infamous new “Sandy Memorial” previewed on Snug Harbor Beach, has it grown on you yet?

According to the October 2nd Article on the AHHerald.com “Billie Tsien said, I think this the kind of place that will grow on people over time.  I think anything that’s new and comes into your community is always an adjustment.  This was build in the spirit and celebration of the people of the community.”




TBW: How to successfully do a coup d’état in Highlands

Back in the spring of 2013,  I blogged about how to structure a Coup in Highlands,pitchforks and torches

Then I blogged about “Now its time to put this in ACTION, below are some steps to do to pull this off:”

a) Make sure your Spell Check is On  (CHECK)

b) Get people to sign a petition to change from a Partisan to Non-Partisan Government in Highlands  (CHECK) –

d) When it passes the ballot process in November, a new election for council will happen in May, which can allow for “new” people to run for office regardless of political affiliation. (CHECK)

This is a Pitchfork & Torches moment where in the wise words of Twisted Sister “We’re not going to take it, no we’re not going to take it, we’re not going to take it, any more…”  (CHECK)

I think it was very telling that in the Highlands Survey that went out in 2013, most Highlanders felt they were most satisfied with their neighbors that helped them & most dissatisfied with the current council’s leadership. That stuck with residents 3 years later.

Dear Highlands, Thank you For Structuring a successful coup d’état!  ~ You matter..🙂

Election Time 2015, Vote Tomorrow

Last year, I did a blog post on the 2014 elections.  At the time I listed the accomplishments from the incumbents, and thought I would do the same this year, for those in office and running for re-election.

a) Flood mitigation – No then and no now

b) Cut Spending  – No then and no now

c) Brought back business on Bay Ave? – I’ll give them a few businesses opening, Porcini, the T-shirt shop, the Tailor.

d) Limit the time constituents have to speak at council meetings, so they don’t have to hear about not accomplishing important things, – Yes and still in effect.

e) Vote in a Resolution that all volunteers(regardless of when/how they volunteered) must add a disclosure on Facebook as an intimidation tactic so that they don’t have to read about their short comings on Facebook? – Yes, Ms Ryan was suppose to work on rewording the ordinance as to not to include volunteers, but that has not transpired.


f) Web Site Committee – Stalled

g) Newsletter – Stalled

h) Clam Plant Lease, spent money on consultants but no New lease has been signed to date.

i) Borough Hall/PD out of trailers – Nope

j)  Tilt-up Memorial on Snug Harbor Beach – Yup, and without proper notifications to surrounding residents.

k) Community Center – complete as of Sunday, however the end cost of the repairs was at approximately $800,000 and FEMA covered 90%.

I also blogged about what had been accomplished 2 years after Sandy, take a look now we’re 3 years in..

So Tomorrow remember this when you Vote..

Do You Know Who Is Running For Highlands Council?

Want to Find Out And Ask Them Questions?


Candidate Forum Monday 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Henry Hudson High School


– Each candidate will give a 2 minute bio;
– There will be 4 questions that will be asked of each candidate to start the forum, which they will have prior to Monday night.
-the 4 most popular question requested by the public will be provided to them hopefully on Friday.
– They will have one minute to answer each question. (10 seconds will be the most overtime they will have, Rosemary Ryan the moderator will have someone timing this)


– the Moderator will then start asking the questions from the box and ask until 8:25.
– The candidates will have a 1 minute closing statement.

How to Ask Questions:
– There will be index cards at the check in table at the high school. Each person (audience) will be able to write down one question and drop it into the clear box that will be at the door.

****If you cannot make it and would still like to send a question, PM Rosemary Ryan on Facebook or email her at roryan720@gmail.com

You can also post questions on the Borough of Highlands Facebook Page (Please note you will have to join that page to post a question)

Any questions PM’d, emailed or Posted will be added to the box at the Forum for the running Candidates to answer.

There should be a video tape made available after, for those who can not attend.

What’s Going On This Weekend In/Around Highlands


Clean Ocean Action: 9 – 12;00 Beach Sweeps & Bunker Tours, Recreation Beach, Snug Harbor Blvd Highlands

Seastreak Oktoberfest at the Beach 12:30 – 4:30pm Seastreak Parking Lot, Shore Drive This authentic festival will include live musicians, dancers, and performers and promises to bring some of Germany’s best beers, wines, and foods to a giant Bavarian-style tented beer garden on the beach each weekend in October!

Highlands Zombie Walk Parade Saturday at 2:00pm

Make-up artists will be available at 10AM in Huddy Park to complete your transformation! (Optional purchase)

The parade begins promptly at 2PM. Immediately following the parade, there will be a costume contest at Veterans Park with CASH prizes You must be registered to be judged in the following categories:
Overall Best Zombie Costume
Best Zombie Male
Best Zombie Female
Best Zombie Child

The Zombie Pub Crawl will be held from 3:00-700PM


Sandy Foot Society, Pumpkins in the Park (RSVP a must) Sunday at 9:30am – 11:00am Huddy Park

This is a great way to meet new Highlands’ mommy and daddy friends and have some fun! Please dress warm, bring a picnic blanket and your little ghost or goblin. They will provide pumpkins and crafting supplies. If it gets too chilly we can visit our friends at Waterwitch Coffee or et al🙂
The target age range is elementary school and younger. Please RSVP

Seastreak Oktoberfest at the Beach 12:30 – 4:30pm  Seastreak Parking Lot, Shore Drive This authentic festival will include live musicians, dancers, and performers and promises to bring some of Germany’s best beers, wines, and foods to a giant Bavarian-style tented beer garden on the beach each weekend in October!

Sandy Hook, Fort Hancock Day 12:00pm – 4:30pm 26 Hudson Road Highlands, New Jersey

On Fort Hancock Day, volunteers from the Army Ground Forces Association (AGFA) in World War II uniform will bring Battery Gunnison and its 6-inch guns to life as they were in 1943. Visitors can watch or help AGFA members conduct gun drills at Battery Gunnison, track ships, see how an original Model 1900 six-inch gun (over 25 feet long and weighing 10 tons) was aimed and loaded, learn about Fort Hancock Army medical support, see machinists making parts for the historic M1900 6-inch rifles, and more.

5 Things from Last Night’s Council Meeting (10/21)

5   1. Street Scape is progressing on Bay Ave & Shore Drive. However, the ripper uppers are working quicker than the concrete pourer’s and stampers. Weather is going to play a factor in the completion date. To see the plans click here

2. Pulte is requesting that street names within their project, they are considering, Harborside Way or View Point Drive, The Marina owner was requesting Willow St be renamed Harbor Way. The residents in the surrounding areas were sent out a letter Oct 7 that explained the request and were looking for feedback. Residents can either call the Borough or email the Borough.

3. Vacant Planning Board Member seats were filled.  Greg Wells & Christian Lee were moved up from Alternate Members to regular members, and Rosemary Ryan was appointed to Alternate #1 and Katie Reed was appointed to Alternate #2.

4. Sandy Memorial, a motion was offered up to amend the June minutes to reflect that Tim Hill did not actually mention the Tilt Up Project, and the council agreed to strike that portion of the minutes from the record. Further, Mayor Nolan asked to explore the possibility of requesting the Tilt Up to move the structure to a different location.

5.  Clam Plant Lease, It may or may not be put out to Bid. The Lease ended in August of 2015. We hired an independent consultant, Fisheries Technology Associates, Inc in May for $32,000 to determine what the going rent rate for that building would be.

Does The ‘Sandy Memorial’ Block views?

You Decide,,

community center 2

The Structure On Snug Harbor, How Did This Happen??

Art is subjective, and very emotional. Some people look at “art’ and find solace, others find angst. It’s not something to be argued. Art is meant to be that, controversial, and to start discussion. You can’t expect people to change their opinion.

How it got to be “art” can be discussed. January 2015, it was stipulated that the resolution at hand was to be temporary, not binding. So it was misleading and purposefully stated in order to get a unanimous vote.  So it could be argued , deception occurred

Would Council person’s Card, Ryan and Redmond  vote “yes” if they knew that the resolution in question “was binding” and an “absolute” ?

Add to this the  June 17th meeting minutes Tim Hill had reported in his administrative report that the Tilt Up staff was to begin construction Oct 1. But here’s the problem when you review the video, Tim Hill never talked about that at all. So apparently a fraud transpired. (doh).

The whole situation’s very “Highlands, a-typical”, let’s lie and worry about it after the fact.

Regardless, where you like the structure or not, you may not like how it came into being.  Please let the council know, you do not like the underhandedness.

Either show up at the 10/7 council meeting OR email them and let them know that non-communication will not be tolerated  Here are their email addresses:

Frank Nolan fnolan@highlandsborough.org
Council President
Rebecca Kane councilwoman.kane@highlandsnj.us
Kevin Redmond councilman.redmond@highlandsnj.us
Doug Card dcard@highlandsborough.org
Tara Ryan councilwoman.ryan@highlandsnj.us

You matter in Highlands!

APP Does Article On Highlands Sandy Memorial

Seastreak hosting Okoberfest – ALL October Long

As a way to promote and get people into Highlands, Seastreak is celebrating Oktoberfest in Highlands.

Starting Sept 26/27th & every weekend in October between 12:30 and 4:30 pm in the Seastreak parking lot, an authentic German festival will include live musicians, dancers, and performers as well as Germany’s best beers, wines, and foods to a giant Bavarian-style tented beer garden.

Watch or take part in contests, fun games and entertainment.

octoberfest 2Or at least know what’s going on when you see people in Bavarian garb walking through Highlands.  Seastreak is offering $10 off adult tickets from NYC by dressing-up in traditional Oktoberfest outfits.

And this is totally different from the OTHER Oktoberfest held October 3rd from 2 – 9 p.m.  in Veterans Park.
octoberfest 3


We’re Number 5!

Roadsnacks, a N.C. firm that  uses data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine the dirt on places across the country, put together the “The 10 Drunkest Cities In New Jersey” and Highlands made the # 5 place on the list.

Having the 31st most liquor stores in a small town doesn’t sound that impressive. But keep in mind, we looked at more than 250 cities in New Jersey.

Highlands is close enough to Red Bank that the drunk people can most likely walk back and forth between the cities. Some probably do.

Highlands is home to director Kevin Smith, who undoubtedly based his drunken and stoned comedy style on growing up in this part of the state.”

The criteria they used to determine this:

  • Number of bars and pubs per capita
  • Number of wineries per capita
  • Number of liquor stores per capita
  • Each city’s drunk related tweets within the last week
  • Each city’s divorce rate

For geo-located tweets, they measured the following raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general area with the following hashtags:  “#Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails” within a one week time frame.

To see the complete list click here

It could be worse, we could be on their 10 worst places to live in N.J.

Sept 27 = Super Blood Moon

Flickr: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

What is it?

A rare phenomenon where the moon will be closer to us than ever — 222,000 miles away instead of the typical 240,000 and appear to have a reddish hue. The supermoon this year will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter in the sky than the average 2015.

When to see it?

Peak eclipse will be at 10:47 pm ET on Sunday, September 27th. The moon will start darkening at 8:11 pm ET, and it will start to pass through the Earth’s dark umbral shadow at 9:07 pm. It’ll be completely shaded for about an hour starting around 10 pm.

Why you may want to see it?

It’s a combination of curiosities that hasn’t happened since 1982, and won’t happen again until 2033.

Also, High Tide is 8:16 pm in Highlands, so you might want to move your cars..