Category Archives: Business

Highlands Pancake House to Reopen and Corresponding Resolution To Be Anticipated


HighlandsPancakehouseThe Highlands Pancake is house is set to reopen, and as such, the Highlands Council is set to offer a new resolution about possible future communication taking place in the Highlands Pancake House. Their fear is, they may receive of 3 to 4 hours a day of phone calls to the Borough from residents overhearing conversations from other diners in the Highlands Pancake House about what is going on in Highlands and want clarification on what is official communications from the Borough of Highlands. Simply, they just want to mitigate the fact that residents might confuse the Highlands Pancake house with an Official Highlands Communications outlet. So if residents are in the Highlands Pancake House eating breakfast and overhear conversations from elected officials, employees or volunteers, that unless those folks specifically state otherwise, those conversations might be somehow interpreted as “official communications” from the Borough of Highlands.

The proposed resolution shall read:

BOROUGH OF HIGHLANDS
COUNTY OF MONMOUTH

A Resolution Concerning “The Highlands Pancake House”, And any conversations Therein, Or, In Any  Breakfast Establishment within the Borough of Highlands, N.J., By Elected Officials Of The Borough Of Highlands As Well As, Other Officials, Employees, Agents, Representatives And Volunteers,

WHEREAS, the restaurant “Highlands Pancake House” has been established on Bay Avenue in Highlands, NJ, and, as of the date of preparing this Resolution, has had thousands of local Highlands patrons; and

WHEREAS, elected and other officials of the Borough could be approached by residents and employees concerning information overheard therein said restaurant which may not true nor accurate; and

WHEREAS, as a result, it is necessary to clarify that the “Highlands Pancake House” is not an official media outlet of the Borough of Highlands; and

WHEREAS, the governing body recognizes that individuals possess a First Amendment right to comment and converse in any restaurant; and

WHEREAS, the governing body further deems that it is necessary to adopt protocols for its elected officials, other officials, employees, representatives and volunteers, so that statements overheard in any restaurant by those individuals are not misinterpreted as official statements of the Borough of Highlands; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any elected Borough official, or other Borough official, employee, agent, representative or volunteer, including appointees to boards, commissions, committees and or subcommittees, who wishes to speak within the “Highlands Pancake House” over breakfast, lunch or any other meal, as well as, in any other similar breakfast establishments, which are currently established or may be in the future established, shall state out loud, before speaking that any comment, conversation or statement from that individual is a statement, comment or conversation of that individual only and does not represent an official statement, comment or communication on behalf of the Borough of Highlands.

When speaking to residents over the proposed new resolution, the reaction was mixed. One stated they felt it was “a violation of [their] right to free speech, and [they] should not have to preface breakfast conversation with a disclaimer, stating what [they are] about to say is not an official Borough statement.”

Another resident did not feel the resolution was infringing at all, stating, “I mean really, if they [the restaurant owners] just changed the name of the restaurant to something besides ‘Highlands’ pancake house this actually wouldn’t be an issue.”

—-

Disclaimer:

The above post is an April Fool’s Day post.  The Highlands Pancake House is not opening in the near future, the Highlands Council is not planning on introducing a resolution against speaking in breakfast establishments without disclaimers .. (yet). And no residents were interviewed for the comments about the fictitious resolution.

Guinness Run in Highlands – CHANGED AGAIN


guinness run

Again with the changes, if anyone shows up I’ll be amazed..

WhenSaturday SUNDAY March 14, 2pm

Cost: Registration is $20.00 $25.00 and includes a t-shirt, a pint of Guinness Beer and access to the Post-Race Party at Chubby Pickle.

The race will begin at Chubby Pickle, where contestants will fill their cup and race to Miller St., and back to the finish line at Chubby Pickle. The contestant with the most liquid in their cup at the finish line, wins the 1st Place trophy and $100 in Bid Bucks. 2nd Place will receive a $50 Bid Buck. Something.

Kilts optional..

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?

 

What Do You Want For Highlands in 2015


A year ago I did a post with a poll on what you wanted to see for Highlands in the year 2014. The results were:

results jan 2014

What did we accomplish?

We did NOT start any of the flood mitigation projects. And when I say start, I mean actually start, voting on starting does not count as actually starting the projects.

We did NOT stabilize taxes, Highlands incurred a 9% municipal tax increase.

We did NOT merge with another town in 2014.

We DID get more people in living in town in 2014, although many are still not back yet.

We DID alter zoning so that if people rebuilt in their footprint it wouldn’t be as onerous.

We did NOT start building down by the Oyster, unfortunately there were more hurdles, but the property has been cleaned up.

We DID streamline the process to open a business by changing  just doing background checks instead of fingerprinting.

We did NOT revamp the Masterplan in 2014 however, it’s not off table for 2015.

We did NOT build a hi-rise in Shadow lawn.

We DID have more rides at Clamfest.

What do you want to see for 2015? (Top 3)

Holiday Artisan Fair Nov 29th


ornamentUnique Handcrafted Gifts from Local Artisans

Saturday, November 29th 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Francesco’s Garden Terrace 279 Bay Avenue, Highlands

Celebrate the centuries old holiday tradition of treating yourself and others to unique handcrafted gifts. Pick from a range of artisan gifts … from silk scarfs, to felted wraps, to framed photography, to jewelry, furniture and more! Find the perfect gift for those special people in your life. Work with our artisans to craft a hand-written note to accompany the gift you select.

We are featuring local artisans from the Highlands/Atlantic Highlands area. These artisans reflect the diversity and core fabric of our community … these artisans include classically trained as well as self-taught individuals, they range in age from 17 to 70+, and their materials and inspirations include local and global influences. Please join us in celebrating their expression! Representative artists are listed below:

Arnie Fuog Natural Furniture & Furnishings Integration of native & reclaimed materials to create functional yet soulful furnishings

Barbara Lipton Hand Made Scarfs & Wraps Blending of traditional techniques and natural fibers to create one-of-a-kind wearable art

Cheryl Cummings Artisan Bread Various home-made crusted breads

CJ O’Farrell Poet, Illustrator & Storyteller Inspired by everyday life. Acrylics, hand inked zines, and original comics

Judith Heredia Painter & Sculptor Paintings and rock sculptures influenced by nature

Knut Molhman Sculpture Artist Mixed media artist combines wood and metal to create three-dimensional art

Laury Egan Author & Photographer Book signing for award-winning author and photographer

Lola Adolf Photographer & Painter Award winning artist featuring local scenery and historic sites and homes

Marty Rosen Bottle Cap Artist Use of bottle caps to create folk inspired mosaic art

Maureen McCrink Singer & Songwriter Christmas CD from the McCrink sisters

Mischele Diebold Textile Jewelry Hand sewn bracelets and earrings embellished with crystals

Paula Corris Driftwood Artist Masterful manipulation of driftwood to create unique three-dimensional art objects

Phoebe/Beth Allen Mother Nature’s Beauty Hand crafted soaps

Rene English Potter and Jewelry Maker Sea is the source of inspiration for distinctive pottery and jewelry

Stacey Pritchard Petals and Stone Jewelry as an extension of sculpture integrating silver, precious stones and natural objects

Virginia Pointon Sea Glass & PMC Jewelry Extraordinary sea glass and precious metal clay pendants

Wendy Cassaday Multi-Dimensional Artist An eclectic group of hand-made gifts from paintings to pens

Winfield Matthews Painter Diverse range of paintings from playful childhood characters to rich Biblical interpretations

 

Francesco’s has been in continuous operation in Highlands for over 30 years. Proprietor Giorgio Migliaccio offers high quality Italian food in a casual family-friendly atmosphere. This event will be held in the Garden Terrace … a heated space overlooking the herb and flower garden that helps to flavor the food and adorn the tables at Francesco’s.

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.

Where are we in Highlands 2 years after Sandy


October 2013 we went to Henry Hudson and listened to the Highlands Prioritization Report at the FEMA recovery meeting.  I wanted to give an update of where we are.

Highlands Project Prioritization Oct 2013 V I D Final Priority Ranking Completed by Oct 2014
STORM WATER DRAINAGE & FLOOD MITIGATION 58 5 0 Vital N
DIRECT PIPING OF STORM WATER FROM RT 36 TO RIVER 55 7 1 Vital N
ASSESS, REPAIR, & UPGRADE SANITARY SYSTEM TO REDUCE I &I, LOWER RATES TO CUSTOMERS 49 9 2 Vital N
US ARM CORP OF ENGINEERS IDEAS 41 3 1 Vital N
BAY AVE RENAISSANCE 34 13 8 Vital N
HOUSING ADVOCATE 24 12 7 Vital N
CAPITALIZING ON SANDY HOOK & HIGHLANDS WATERFRONT 24 16 10 Important N
ENHANCE STEEP SLOPE STABILITY TOWN WIDE 21 22 4 Important N
CODE COMPLIANCE & ENFORCEMENT 21 18 13 Important N*
COMMUNITY CENTER REDEVELOPMENT 16 20 15 Important N
WATERFRONT PROMOTION MARITIME HISTORY & THE ARTS 11 18 20 Important N
BIKE PATH 5 19 30 Desirable N

* October 22, 2014 an ordinance was passed to give the town more leverage to go after abandoned/foreclosed homes.

 

Quick Chek Highlands to get Grant


Quick_ChekAccording to APP.com,  State of NJ announced this week that 33 gas stations (one of which is Quick Chek on Route 36 on the western edge of Highlands)— using $1.8 million in government grants — have been approved to move forward with plans to retrofit their operations for a backup power supply, so they can continue to sell gas during a crisis with widespread power outages.

The approved stations, which were eligible for the grant because of their strategic location along shore evacuation routes, will be either installing connection points for mobile generators or buying and fitting permanent backup generators.

During Sandy I think most of us remember having to either drive down 36 to either Sunaco or Wawa and waiting on-line.

Question: What’s New & Coming to Highlands?


Hint #1:  Home Made Sausage

Hint #2:  Home Cured Bacon

Hint #3: Porchetta

Answer:

What’s Going on With The Zoning Board Tonight


proposed lux apts bay ave

Bay Ave/Waterwitch

THURSDAY  OCTOBER 2, 2014

7:30 P.M.
Meeting Location:
Highlands Elementary School, 360 Navesink Ave
Hearings on New Business:
ZB#2014 13 Shanagan, Francis Block 69 Lot 15.20 15 Cedar St #20
ZB#2014-15 Grover, Chris, Block 88 Lot 5–321 Bay Ave
ZB#2014- 16 Seylaz, Geraldine Block 79 Lot 13– 27 Washington Ave
ZB#2014-17 Fitzpatrick,Andrew Block 100 Lot 26.30 – 30 Gravelly Pt
Rumor has it, there are people going tonight that are against this development happening, if you want a positive outcome that will make the corner look nicer, increase ratables and support business, please come to zoning board meeting tonight.
There will be free beer and cookies. — (Ok, that part’s not true) But your support is needed.
UPDATE:
The Zoning ALL voted Yes for the new plans for the building on Bay/Waterwitch aka Old Pharmacy – There were a few caveats that were positive in resolving:
a) Garbage – which other businesses in the area offered up sharing dumpsters to help him facilitate that part.
b) Parking – which the retail part is already taken care of with the municipal lot being within 1000 feet from the building, on the residential side, there were several ways he *could* accommodate this that were being explored and as long as he could accommodate the parking, no issues.
c) The sizes of the apartments, there was a min of 1000 SQ ft needed per apartment, however it is currently grandfathered in a nonconforming use with the size of the existing apartments as one is 750 sq ft, the new apartments would be over Krankys bike shop where there is nothing currently. It could be looked into to make 2 of the apartments conforming. His architect was confident that he could work on some changes that could accommodate, if the zoning recognized there was one existing that was non-conforming.
All in all – a very positive meeting. All public comments (which there were many) were FOR the new building.

October Festivities Calendar 2014


RAIN DATE: SUN OCT 5th

oktoberfest Highlands Oktoberfest

When: Saturday, Oct 4th,  2– 9PM  – RAIN DATE: OCT 5th

Where: Veterans Park
(Rain Date: Sunday, October 5th) Attendance – Free
An Authentic German Experience
German Food, Beers and Oompah Bands.

Asbury Park Zombie Walk

This year it’s Zombies vs. Brain Cancer! To help us fight the war against brain cancer we are calling on the most powerful army we know, the undead.  The 2014 New Jersey Zombie Walk will kick off “GREY MATTERS,” a campaign that spreads awareness about brain cancer.

Where: Asbury Park Boardwalk
1300 Ocean Ave

10:00am to 4:00pm:

NO REGISTRATION  REQUIRED! zombie

– Undead Festival of vendors is open

  to the public in the Casino

– GREY MATTERS area is open for info and fundraising

  1. Makeup Artists are available for professional

   Zombie Makeovers

  1. Zombie Blood Drive will be accepting donations in front of the Stone Pony

  2. Zombie Food Drive, bring canned

11:00am – 3:00pm:

  • HAUNTED HALL

4:oopm – 4:30pm

 THE ZOMBIE WALK BEGINS

6:00pm – 8:00pm:

MAIN STAGE EVENTS AND ZOMBIE STREET FAIR!

Live music and festivities continue Downtown and at local businesses throughout Asbury Park.

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.

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?

 

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 shfinc@monmouth.com 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

5 Things From The Highlands 8/20 Council Meeting


5There are MANY things going on in town. The following are just 5 Highlights, to see everything you’re going to have to watch the video:

To view the full meeting click here:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/highlands-meetings

I.  R – 14 – 145/146 Declarations of Clam Purification Appointments (All the terms ended May 31) Before assigning new appointees, the CP committee was supposed to provide a report. Which they to date have not. So technically there isn’t a full committee but they need a report from the full committee in order to re-appoint certain members of the committee.   For those that didn’t realize, the Borough of Highlands actually “owns” the clam purification plant in town and receives rent from the business that is there. Although, the lease was written a long time ago and very inexpensive. It was up for renewal in 2015. Whether it auto-renews at the same rate or we renegotiated the rental receivables is still up in the air because “we don’t have a report from the clam purification committee.”  And to be fair most of our committees don’t seem to meet regularly.  – End all be all , council pushed this back until September meeting.  I personally would rather see action than inaction here, there is potential increase in rental revenue at stake.  Even more irritating, there were 2 members of the Clam Purification Committee at the council meeting. (Francy & Nolan) No excuses on why no meetings and why no report and what the heck is going on.

II.  Finance Report (From CFO) An audit started last week & constant Reviewing of the Budget is occurring, preparing for delinquent 2013 taxes, CFO recommended considering online tax sale to save money. The 3/4 qtr sewer bills were mailed out and they were due on Aug 11 with a 30 day grace period.

III.   Bonding capacity is limited to 3 1/2% of the net town evaluation (What the town is worth), Right now we’re at capacity and we have $ 2 1/2 million away from our cap. The real concern (according to the new CFO, you know one of the highest paid NJ employee) is any new projects, i.e. new municipal building, a new police station, repairing the current crappy sewer system, repairing the community center, add any other project here could put us over our cap.  What is a bond, its kind of like a credit card and our limit is based on what the town is worth. So based on everything we’ve borrowed, we’re almost at our limit with only $2 1/2 million to spare.  (If this doesn’t scare you, it should)  Our CFO suggests that we need to re prioritize our projects. (You can listen to 35 min to 45 min mark)

IV.    Two Minute Rule was discussed in executive session, the following points were brought up there-

   a) There have been times were they go around the room more than once asking for public input. (Of course this was before they put the 2 min rule in play.)

   b) Sometimes in the past it was just informal and people just spoke out.

   c) Maybe if its less people, letting speaking longer is an option and if there is a ton of people the 2 minute rule will take effect.

       Net/net – the lawyer needs to do some investigation and they pushed off until September to make any decisions. (Shocker) Oh and by the way *we* as in the town tax payers have to pay for him to do this research. This should be a no brainer and a decision made, then move on. If you ask why? Look at point #3.

V. Also in the public portion it was brought up about the APP.com article stipulating that under current policy that predates Sandy, FEMA will credit disaster-stricken communities for the free labor that volunteer firefighters, first aid squad members as well as private individuals and volunteer groups provided, and for other “donated resources,” such as free meals, bottled water and cleaning supplies. Highlands has yet to collect the hours or a donated resource list or started the paperwork.

According to the council, “we have not missed out on this yet”, however, it wasn’t explained when the drop dead date for the application actually is and why this information needed to be submitted was not collected yet.

Progress where Clam Hut was


Clam Hut NewBack in June 2014, I did a post on how a new restaurant was trying to open where the Clam Hut was.

Although they were trying to open in the summer season 2014, and now the season is almost over, they are making progress.

Take a walk down Atlantic Street or take a notice if you go by on a boat.