There is going to be A LOT of people in Highlands on Saturday 4/27


Planning a low key Saturday working on your house this coming weekend? Get ready for Comcast, the Today Show and Fortheshore  to converge on Highlands.

There are probably going to be more of them than of us. Hopefully it’ll be like back in November when volunteers went through the town and just showed up at your house.  (they were AWESOME).

At 6:30 am (yeah that early) at Veterans Park The Today Show will be broadcasting the weather, then the Comcast volunteers will be (after the nice free advertising for Comcast)  helping per-determined homes & businesses.  I say we show up with Pitch forks and torches.. We can call it operation SMORES. (Social Media Offers Residents Extra Support).

The For The Shore Folks are doing their regular beach sweeps at the Rec Beach and Popamora Point on Shore Drive (2-4pm). You have to register for this.


For anyone planning to go to take part in any of the festivities in town, the Waterwitch Coffee shop is having their Grand Opening..  As well, the Inlet Cafe is opening on Saturday..

58 comments

    • wrote what letter? the memo on waiving fees? I called community affairs in Trenton on Friday: 609 984 7720 – who indicated that fees were at the municipalities discretion, however they did set some standards on what types of permits were necessary after Sandy:

      http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/alerts/pdfs/storm_recovery_information.pdf

      Net/Net: Plumbing (water heaters/boilers/furnaces) and Electrical if it was major (your box was underwater) and if you did major renovation (i.e. you decided to knock down walls and expand your kitchen because the walls were open) minor rebuilding: dry wall, insulation, outlets were not required by the state to have permits and the town could not require permits for these types of rebuild as well.

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  1. No one needs to. The answer is painfully obvious. With the massive loss of ratables due to sandy, the town is desperate for any income it can get its grubby hands on. Otherwise, they wouldnt have resorted to voting for something that was akin to political suicide! It shows you how bad things are, and people better lube up to take the tax screwing that is coming!
    The council members that voted not to waive the fees are betting that the voters will forget all about this when they run for re election. Its the only reason Nolan voted for it because hes up this year. Things in this town are totally about the politics at this point! totally!

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  2. If enough people show up with pitchforks maybe something will happen. But those that are out there filling the air with “hope for highlands” , and “everything is going to be better than ever” will be also there blowing smoke up everyones butts! This will be an interesting event to be sure!

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    • Trust me…nothing is getting on the “Today” show unless the “Today” show wants it on! This is not “60 Minutes” it’s “Weekend Today!” Don’t kid yourself – it will be a few cut aways in between a cooking segment and catching up with Jenna Bush and her new baby!

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  3. “Highlands, NJ – Highlands is a 1.5 square mile, working-class borough in Monmouth County, NJ. Like many coastal communities in NJ, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the community. Comcast Cares Day projects in Highlands will include 250 volunteers working on a community-wide cleanup, restoration of two community parks, boardwalk repairs, a beach cleanup and helping residents with a variety of projects as they prepare to move back into their homes.”

    Wait till Comcast finds out there’s “no boardwalk” to repair!

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  4. I think this is the “pitchfork and torches moment” People need to come out and voice their concerns. If anyone is looking for things that are “newsworthy” there is a plenty. The problem will be the local policos, town council, etc etc etc will be out in force to put a happy face on things, monopolize any media coverage, and to minimize and manage anyone that wants to tell it like it is.

    For example, Im sure a certain prominent member of the HBP will be out telling people what a great town Highalnds is and that businesses should come here. I wonder however, if they will be talking about how their daughter was arrested recently for buying drugs in the house of a documented drug dealer and gang member in Keansburg? I wonder if the drug business is what the HBP will be supporting in the future? Maybe thats one of the only viable forms of commerce the town can support at this point?

    Im sure that Nolan and the gang will be pounding their chests talking about how in charge they are and how much they things are all under control. And of course have a political answer for not waiving permit fees and kicking people while they are down.

    And not to forget anyone from the fire dept. OEM, etc etc etc, wanting once again, for the millionth time, wanting to be patted on the back for the response after Sandy. Not that it is not appreciated, but enough already! Maybe if the third time is the charm, they will have yet another opportunity to play heros next year.

    So, it will be interesting to see who shows up, and the miriad of agendas that will attempt to be promoted.

    Someone asked me recently if I thought the town would be able to rebound after Sandy and wanted my honest opinion. So I gave to them. I dont see it under the present circumstances, the economy, the massive problems involved, confusion over rebuilding, and lack of real leadership.

    The reality is the Titanic is sinking and its every man for themselves!

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    • You forgot to put a little blame on “Weekend Today” and their parent company – COMCAST! You don’t think they’re coming here for anything else than a “feel good” story?

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  5. Duncan ,I do have to agree with most of what your saying . Perhaps you could ease up on the family issues here. I don’t know of any parent who wants to see their child destroyed by drugs . Things like this are out of our control and are heartbreaking to say the least. Let’s just wish them and us well and continue to fight for what we want and need.

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    • I have to agree with KK, @duncan makes some valid points, however, if certain families are going through stuff just remember its the Today Show that is going to be here not Dr Phil, why would they talk about it. – Stay Classy Highlands

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    • Yes…I agree Duncan has valid points but this is not a forum to attack or discuss people’s family issues. Also I think everyone participating on this blog has investment in town and want it to succeed so lets try to work on trying to do what is in our power to make it happen and less about going down. If we are going to down let go down fighting for whats in all our best interest ….protecting our property and holding our elected official are accountable.

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  6. My GC was from out of town and went to get permits and indicated the total amount of projected repairs. A woman from the town permits office called me to tell me that my contractors were going to end up paying substantially more for permits than they needed to. Then she explained to me how a local contractor would estimate for permits purposes. Then she corrected all of the permit documents to comply with local practice. This lady in the permit office ended up saving me hundreds of dollars if not more for which I am very thankful.

    Highlands is clearly not going to die for lack of effort. People seem to be working hard to reopen their businesses (go Waterwich!). And if 250 people from neighboring communities give up their Saturday to come and help our town, I guess my first response would be a great big “thank you.”

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    • Well your very lucky Frank as some have had terrible permit experiences and I agree that it is cool for people from out of town to come help us cause we haven’t had much help from inside. And yes people on their own are trying to get home despite the town’s cold and ignorant policies.

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  7. I agree that we need to stay on message, but as far as the person I mentioned, it goes to the character of the people that are in charge in this town and thats the last I will say about it. but we dont needs elements like drug dealers and gangs being attracted to this town becuase they have ties to people that live her. We dont need abandoned homes turning into crack dens. At this point the town is fertile ground for all kinds of unsavory activity by anyone looking to take advantage of the town while its down. Which is ultimately my point mentioning what I did.

    As far as the rest goes, it still comes down to how mad people are willing to get about things and how much they are willing to get involved.

    One major point for instance is the town insisting that all homes be brought up to the latest codes and standards, to which I say fine. But how can you insist on that, if you are unwilling to enforce the codes and ordinances on all of the junk hoarders and sanford and sons we have in town. Whats the use of making your home nice, being forced to bring everything up to the latest codes, and having to live next to a junkyard. That doesnt sound fair to me!!!!

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    • Some guy’s kid getting caught buying in a different town is (1) his sad problem to deal with (2) the child’s indiscretions are not really relevant to the parent’s character (apples often roll from the tree upon landing) and (3) irrelevant to whether our town can be the place we want to live in. If you are so sure of your facts, Duncan, name names. Truth is an absolute defense to a libel/slander suit. Scurrilous allegations and innuendo aren’t advancing your otherwise legitimate positions. Besides if we had a half way decent crack house in town our neighbors’ kids wouldn’t have to go all the way to Keyport. I say show a little Highlands pride and spend your drug money locally! 🙂 Your point about unkempt houses is however excellent and should be addressed by the city fathers.

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  8. Blogger – I’m relatively new to town and not in construction, I pay what they tell me to pay. I have no idea how the permits are priced in reality. All I know is that someone whom I’ve never met (before or since) in the Highlands permit department called to let me know they thought I was paying too much and corrected the application for me. She didn’t have to do that and I appreciate her trying to make the permit process less burdensome. All anyone does in this town is complain. I felt the need to give plaudits to someone who works in a much maligned position.

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    • What I’m trying to figure out is how they saved you money, did they say instead of $3500 put $1500 for electrical or did they say something like ‘oh your GC put in for drywall for your overall costs and you don’t actually need permits for drywall..’ or explanation #3..
      Maybe the people are in a maligned position because its deserved..
      But I’ll make you deal, I won’t assume that everybody had the bad experiences I’ve had, if you acknowledge that maybe not everyone has had as positive experience you’ve had. fair enough?

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    • Not sure how new you are to town but when your “city fathers” continually ignore your legitimate issues on a regular basis never mind a post Sandy situation you probably would be a lot more frustrated. We are not here to complain but want action for a change. If you had a positive experience good for you but most of us have just heard a lot of talk or should I say double talk and dishonestly. This is just not acceptable anymore. When a storm like Sandy comes along and knocks us over they have made it more difficult for many and gave the last kick to knock us down. We are on this blog cause we all feel enough is enough and to help each other through and knowing others feel the same gives solace and maybe hope in a bad situation.

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    • You’re “relatively new” in town? So you’ve moved here sometime since 1945! Lesson One – if your family hasn’t been digging clams since Henry Hudson landed….your opinion won’t matter.

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  9. Frank,
    My “facts” are right on the money, and the incident I pointed out was reported and can be seen under Keansburg, in the APP.com. I didnt mention names, well just because I didnt, I didnt see that as relevent. As far as slander or libel are concerned, it isnt libel or slander if what is posted is true, which in the sad case it is.

    My point is that people doing drugs and having ties to gangs and drug dealers can easily serve as a magnet to bring them back here to town.

    Also, I think that this speaks badly for the person whos child(who is actually an adult) was involved in this. Who by the way has had a bad habit for many years of airing everyones dirtly laundry all over this town, while having a direct impact over town funds, and many functions of the town. So, in these circumstances character is in question and does count.

    I know that this particular person in question will try to spin the facts and blame other third parties, that is the usual procedure.

    So, something like this combined with the present wrecked state of the town, becomes very relevent. Who do you think landlords will be tempted to rent to in a desparate attempt to keep their properties? Who is going to want to buy or rent in good old flood town.

    The business district is a wreck with the rest of the downtown. I am hearing constant stories and complaints about a rise in crime, mainly in the form of house break ins and theft. Its starting to get that if it isnt nailed down it will probably be stolen. The vultures are definately circiing to clean off the bones of the town.

    So, thats it, if no one has a problem with people being a magnet to attract drug users, dealers, and gang members to town, then I guess I dont have a problem with it.

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    • Again…”Drug Arrest” in Keansburg? You need to be more specific! And unless the article specifically says, “So and So’s son/daughter was arrested”….a lot of us still don’t know who you’re talking about!

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  10. Frank,

    Also, one other point. The points that people have been expressing here are much much more than scurilous “complaints” Im glad you got some help in your situation, but many here will agree that that has not been the general experience, along with some very questionable things going on, and things generally being confusing and frustrating for people trying to put their lives back together.

    If anyone is being “maligned” it is for a reason. People are not bringing up all these points and concerns because they dont exist or they dont have anything else to do. People have had enough happy, happy, joy, joy, rainbow, smoke blown up their butss and know its just not so!

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  11. I just re read your post and wondering who predetermined what homes got help? I know event was mentioned in the last town hall but I don’t recall being asked if anybody wanted to considered we will pick name out if hat or tell your story….wouldn’t that be fair to consider all residents? Just sayin!

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    • This is a BID sanctioned event and its my understanding that they decided who would be helped, there is a small set # of businesses and residents as well as projects within the town. I don’t know how they were chosen. But I don’t know how the Hope for Highlands grants were determined either.

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    • Okay…the only name in the article from Highlands is “Hoffman.” I’m not familiar with any town official named “Hoffman.” Please forgive me if I don’t know how everybody in town is related. I know Parkers, Millers, and Hartshorne….I’m not familiar with the Hoffmans.

      Maybe they could put together some kind of souveneir family tree map for Clam Fiasco.

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    • @duncan I think we’ve all seen the article and know who you are talking about, we just don’t think its relevant.

      you bring some valid points in other conversations, please stay on topic

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  12. Bringing peoples kids into a beef always struck me a good way to get punched in the mouth by an irate father – but Duncan to your credit at least you put your name on it. Good luck with that.

    This blog is long on bitching, innuendo and aliases and short on practical solutions. Only two days until the Waterwich opens and I can get my gossip in person.

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    • What exactly wasn’t practical? The fact I offered up alternatives to “filling the town in” and was very specific on short term and long term ways to do so? I think my ideas were good starting points in having intelligent discussions on how to tackle the problem of being below sea level and having huge amounts of run off from the hill in a small geographical location. How about the fact I included a house lifter page on the blog to help people narrow down the list and give the opportunity for feed back or add/delete based on personal experience. How about I’ve promoted all the local fundraisers to get our businesses back? Or even the fact I’m including a FREE STUFF page so people can possibly find stuff they need or offer up stuff they’d like to donate without having to deal with Hope For Highlands or the HSC. How about the fact that we now have streaming video of the council and town meetings (Thank you Carolyn) which aren’t perfect but are definitely a step in the right direction to include and involve more people in the process (especially those not currently living in town)- None of that was practical in your opinion?

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  13. I should have been more specific – My negative comments were referring to the particular thread about Saturday’s Events. The blog itself overall is invaluable and a great resource for the community. My apologies for not being specific. Also this particular thread started out in a positive informational way providing specific information about a town event (which was great, thanks for keeping us updated) and then warped into something pretty negative (not your fault). Keep up the good work. You are my primary source for information about our town during our family’s displacement.

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    • I’m very glad you corrected yourself as HB has been invaluable as far as I’m concerned. Please do not suddenly come on to blog and disrespect it because you don’t like a particular post or viewpoint as its not cool!.

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  14. Getting back to who got picked .It is a woman who has a 17 Yr old son, they both are on the first aid squad. They worked for days without worrying about their own flooded home. Yes, the inner circle got picked, not a name out of a hat.

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    • Duncan – I sincerely hope that cooler heads prevail and no one clouts you in the head (although now that I just realized that you are likely using a pseudonym from one of my favorite movies, I don’t worry so much 🙂 ). But the fact that you don’t get why that might be the response if you prattle on negatively about someone’s beloved (albeit wayward, if not yet convicted) child is a little troubling. Maybe you don’t have daughters. Maybe you do and they have to fend for themselves if they screw up.

      Katie, I’m not sure what the point is though. I think you are implying that certain public figures run this town for their own family and friends benefit. That is a very legitimate concern, best solved at the ballot box.

      RockemSockem – I didn’t come on the blog to disrespect it. Enough said.

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  15. Frank,
    you were the one that issued the challenge to name names remember? In a rather confrontational way if I recall.So more discussion on it and the like is your fault. As far as geeting punched goes, I dont think Im the one that deserves to be smacked up side the head. I didnt buy the drugs! The father should direct his attention where it is obviously needed. The relevence is clear to those who understand they dynamics of how situations like this work and the relationships involved, and thats the last thing Im going to say about it.

    Back to topic, I think everyone needs to be there Sat. Certainly the forces that be out there will be!

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  16. Hoffman is the daughter of the HBP president. What is ironic is that she always portrays herself and her family as upstanding citizens. When in reality she is the mouth in the mayor’s ear, has caused more controversy than solutions, and is the biggest gossip monger out there.
    We all know that it’s not what you know, but who you know. Because family ties run deep in town, we will never see someone with any intelligence as our mayor or on council. Think about it, the future of our town is in the hands of an auto parts manager, a secretary, an alcohol salesman, a pre-Alzheimer patient and a retired arts administrator. The people voted and this is what we got.

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  17. Hmmmm…. Harry Truman was a haberdasher and presided over the end of WWII and Ron Reagan was pre-Alzheimers and brought down the Steel Curtain. This is a working class town, it is probably reasonable to think that it will be run by working people who have an interest in the town. But you can always vote them out and see what changes that brings.

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    • Ronald Reagan was also a movie actor who fired all the air traffic controllers and thought ketchup was a vegetable – what’s your point?

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  18. Frank,
    Frank,

    I would like to correct and add to your comment about history. Yes, Truman was indeed a failed habberdasher, but was also successful as a county judge and other elected and appointed positions. Ronald Reagan was a successful actor, and politician, before he ever had alzheimers. So, your point is?

    The point made previously, and as we have seen in recent history of the council are people with virtually no education and limited or no prior experience in running well…….anything! Not to mention that several of them have very sorted and shady pasts that I will not recount here.

    The point being made is that maybe, especially in a time of great need like now, the town really needs a more educated, professional, and capable kind of persons to be running things.

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  19. Per NJ.Com LT Gov. will be there tomorrow
    HELPING OUT HIGHLANDS

    HIGHLANDS — Hundreds of volunteers will pitch in this weekend to help rebuild this storm-decimated borough along Raritan Bay.

    As part of “Comcast Cares Day” some 250 local Comcast employees and their families and friends will join with community organizations, local residents and government officials on Saturday to work on a number of projects in Highlands, including cleaning up parks and beaches and the Bay Avenue business district.

    The volunteers — who are taking part in one of the more than 700 “Comcast Cares Day” projects that will be happening across the country — will also help restore the American Legion Post and two restaurants, as well as assist residents who are moving back into their homes.

    New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan are expected to be among the participants in “Highlands Rebuilding Day,” which will run from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Just another FYI Sandy Hook reopens May 1st
    http://www.nps.gov/gate/parknews/sandy-hook-reopens-to-public-on-may-1st.htm

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    • As far as negativity or how newsworthy an item is, I don’t have a problem with anyone’s prior comments on either side, for what it’s worth. This is the only place where I can find out what’s really happening. I keep hearing from the media and the politically connected how great the recovery is going because a few restaurants are open. Maybe this blog doesn’t change things vastly, but it really makes me feel better read here and know that I’m not alone.I and the advice from others has been great.

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  20. Frustrated, you view of what is going on is unfortuneately very accurate and your experiences are very common. What you are seeing by the smoke being blown up peoples butts are people, many businesses and such desperately trying to put a happy face on things as their incomes are dangling by a thread that is ready to break, so who can blame them? They want the world to believe that we are all singing around the camp fire, and holding hands, everyone is selflessly helping out his neighbor.

    yes, much of that has happened as far as the helping part, but mostly right after the storm and the month after. Now, its all just a PR campaign to the world, and a lot of feel good stuff to convince everyone things are going to be better than ever. Well just wait for the first huge tax increase that is sure to come. Even Mayor Nolan Acknoledges that the crap is going to hit the fan on this issue.

    The fact that the town wold not waive permit fees, as so many other towns have, shows their desperation for income. Im sure Steve Pfeiffer, the towns CFO has already informed the governing body of the dire financial circumstances the town is in. Otherwise, why not refund the permit fees.

    Even if people rebuild, can they afford the taxes to stay? If they can afford them, why would they pay them when they can live elsewhere for cheaper? And if the expense gets too burdensome, why not walk away altogether if they can?

    As far as the businesses, if no one is here to patronized them, well……….. you figure out the rest. At the end of the day, its going to come down to a simple dollars and cents issue. All the happy happy joy joy in the world is not going to change that!

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  21. HIghlands is a decent town, Except for the inbred families and the alcoholic council members, and of course the HoRRible police department who instead of solving real crimes decided to pick on out of towners and like to investigate and accuse people of normalcy of doing things bad, they love to ticket out of towners. THis TOWN needs MAJOR changes. IF your not related to the original CLAM DIggers of this town or a resident of longer than 20 years you better watch out for the police and you’ll never have a say about change in this town, HOPEFULLY one day the decrepit houses and trailer parks will be replaced with Nicer homes and sky rises. After this storm and the power that be, decided not to waive the permit fees ect, most people will probably move out of town and this town will again be a place where people of low class will be moving in because the rent will be so cheap and the houses that haven’t been fixed will be available for sqatters and drug addicts!! ITs a shame along with the police department not caring about drug dealers named JASMINE MCLEoud who has been involved in corrupting our youth and the police just don’t care, HALf of the police department grew up in this town and like I said previously IF your part of the inbred families like they are, you have nothing to worry about , but for the few normal new residents we DO have to worry about their favortism and corrupt ways…ITs really a shame because this town has a lot of potential!!! Maybe somehow someone will read this and start the process of CHANGING THIS TOWN>>>i DOUbt it…but who knowS!!

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