Tag Archives: highlands

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.

New:

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?

When/Where:

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

Agenda:

– 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)

Break

– 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


Saturday:

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

Sunday:

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.

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..

Bikes to Over Take Highlands Sunday – Plan Accordingly


It’s that time of year again, Every September, the Bike of New York does their annual Twin Lights regional bikenyc2015rides that start and end at Huddy Park.

Start times for longer rides will be about 7:30 AM

Mileage Options100, 75, 55, 30 or 15

At the end of the ride there will be a ‘Finish Festival.’ Local restaurants will be in Huddy Park to serve up the riders and their friends and family.

Blue Moon & Clam Fest Collide


moon over hartshorne woods‘Once in a blue moon’ to describe the rare occurrence of an event or appearance of a person. The ‘Blue Moon’ refers to a fact when we have 13 full moon in a year in place of 12. When the blue moon appears, we have two full moons in a month.

This year it’s July 31st, which is a Friday and also coincides with Clam Fest.

I predict crazy behavior, possible arrests and street flooding.

Possible Shared Services Between Sea Bright & Highlands


According to Word On The Shore, Sea Bright’s borough’s department of public works (DPW) could be on the move in the future across the bridge to Highlands.

Sea Bright Councilman Marc Leckstein, who is a member of the borough’s DPW’s committee, said there have been discussions to share DPW services with Highlands.

“We are still working with Highlands to develop a plan of a possibility of sharing services and moving over a lot of our equipment and storage over there,” Leckstein said. “We just do not have the room in Sea Bright, and it’s causing a lot of animosity in places where we do store it. A lot of residents are complaining.”

To read the whole story click here

Sewer Bills And Council Seats


On the 17th Highlands Council Meeting, during the public portion section. It was asked if all the council were up to date on their Highlands Sewer Bills and stated if they were not, it wasn’t right. Especially after Sandy when so many people were displaced and still required to pay Sewer bills for properties that were not habitable.

Previously, it was indicated that there was no way the town could waive any sewer fees because our I&I was the same, and the town’s bill had to be paid.

So doesn’t it seem unreasonable that if the town “must” pay their “town” sewer bill, and regular Joe residents must pay “their” bills, that the individual council members must pay “their” bills.

BTW – you can now pay your bill online. Makes it even easier..

Discount to Highlands Women Running in Iron Girl


Iron girlThe Iron Girl sprint triathlon and 5K coming to Sandy Hook, NJ on September 13th, 2015. Set on the scenic grounds of Gateway National Recreation area, amenities include: a post-race café, performance shirts sized for women, professional timing, personalized race bibs, new custom finisher medals, and much more.

Registration is now open  CLICK HERE   for the sprint triathlon and 5K. Relay team options are also available for the triathlon. They created the discount code TRYIG15 for Highlands to share.

The code is good for 10% off any registration category.

Why You Might Want to Attend Wednesday’s Council Meeting


CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF QUORUM

1) The Hi-Rise is Back – Public portion on whether to allow 10 story buildings on the hill takes place Wednesday Night.

2) No Smoking Ordinance, to make it safe for everyone, Highlands is proposed going smoke free at all Borough Properties including the maintenance yard, all Highlands beaches, all parks, & the VFW.

Master Plan Meeting Tonight @ Highlands Fire House


bay ave futureThe Borough of Highlands will conduct workshop and public meetings regarding the Masterplan of Highlands on the following dates: June 1 – cancelled, 8, 29, 2015. July 20, 2015. August 10, 31, 2015. September 21, 2015. October 5, 19, 2015. November 9, 23, 2015. December 7, 2015.

The meetings start at 7:30 PM and take place at the Borough Fire House located at 17-1 Shore Drive, Highlands, NJ 07732. The public is invited to attend all of these meetings however the public will only be allowed to participate and give testimony and submit documents at some of these meetings.

TBT – Where the abandoned Properties are?


This is a most improved addition… All three have been touched since 2013:

1. Bay Ave and Miller

miller and bay

2. Miller and Shore

miller and shore

3. Shore by Seastreak

shore drive by ferry

 

Highlands Targets New Business et al


et containerEver notice the container on the back part of the et al parking lot? I never paid attention to it either.

Apparently someone did though.

In January of this year, the owner Kim Ramin went through the proper channels with the town to get a container that resides on her property and was using for some storage as she was getting her new place together.

You can see the permit here:

et al permit

Note the container removal date is “TBD” – To be determined, meaning no fixed date of when it has to be off premises.

Then on May 6th, we have a council meeting where the building owner, Katie Reed requested that the abandoned properties around her house and around Highlands be addressed. You can see her addressing the issue here:

Then, and here’s the weird part, the next day May 7th, her tenant, Kim Ramin, is issued a summons for illegally having a container on her property – and its mailed (not brought over, but mailed).

summons

So this week she receives the summons that states she has a June 2nd court date for a container she has a permit for and if she doesn’t remove it by *this* Saturday (which is Memorial Day weekend) she will be fined everyday until it’s removed.

Kim called Hecht the container company and surprisingly they couldn’t schedule a pick up within 3 days. She did go and schedule one which unfortunately can’t be until June 14th.

In last night’s council meeting, this was brought up and our town administrator said he knew about it and our code enforcement officer was responding to a complaint about the container.

To which Ms. Reed responded, how is it possible that I’ve been complaining about the same properties for 2 years and not a summons was issued, but “someone” complains about “my” property and a summons was issued within 2 weeks, AND my tenant has a permit? You can listen to the comments here

Welcome to Highlands et al!

Tonight’s Highlands Council Meeting: Its all about the Budget 2015


If you have concerns or questions on the Highlands Budget, tonight (Highlands Elementary School 8 pm) you should show up and ask questions on how the budget was constructed and what it means to future tax hikes in Highlands.

highlands budget 2015

Questions to ask:
How much were they able to cut this year?
Is the $800k for the rec center repairs included?
Where is the repair/relocation of the borough trailers and PD in the budget?
Does the insurance cover Flood insurance?
Do the PD absolutely need raises?
What exactly is “Other”?
How much is this budget going to raise “my taxes”?
What Revenue Generation plans are there in 2015 that can offset the costs?
What Revenue Generation plans are there in 2016 that can offset the costs?

“add your questions here”

Much like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it, you have to show up and ask questions, otherwise the  council will assume you don’t care and are totally okay with another tax hike.

TBT Abandoned House Tour – Where Are They Now?


house tour sea drift 2015a

Sea Drift Ave

house tour shore b

Shore Drive

Sea Drift/Cheerful

Sea Drift/Cheerful

In July of 2014, Highlands was one of six towns to be awarded monies to cover the costs of razing Sandy-damaged buildings through the Unsafe Structure Demolition Program. To date there doesn’t seem to be may homes that have been razed.

There is an argument that you may lose rateables if you demolish properties, the structures can’t be worth that much, the land retains its value. Plus, you bring down the value of the surrounding homes that are close in proximity to abandon homes.

According to Moneytips  one in 10 Americans want to move.   Poor neighborhood is one of the top reasons for wanting to move. While living in next to abandoned properties might make you want to move, it also makes it harder to sell your house.  The term now for abandoned homes is “Zombie homes.”