Congressman Chris Smith, center, meet with Middletown Administrator Anthony Mercantante, Public Works Director Ted Maloney, Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore (right) in the Township’s new Emergency Command Center on the 2nd Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
Congressman Chris Smith visited Howell and Middletown Townships on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to assess the progress of recovery and determine remaining needs to be fought for in Washington.
Smith joined Mayor Bill Gato and Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro at the Mariners Cover community along the Manasasquan River to the the sites of four demolished homes that had been damaged by Sandy and Hurricane Irene in 2011, and one remaining home that is slated for demolition. The homes were purchased by the township with state and federal funding.
In Middletown, Smith joined Mayor Stephanie Murray, Committeeman Tony Fiore, Administrator Anthony Mercantante and Public Works Director Ted Maloney in the Township’s Emergency Command Center from where Fiore directed the rescue and recovery efforts two years earlier in the aftermath of the storm, before touring three sites in the Township still in need of federal support. While in the command center Smith recalled that NBC’s Andrea Mitchell showed up and asked to interview him. “I told her to interview Fiore because he was the one doing the work. She refused, so I spent the interview talking about him and the amazing work he was doing protecting the lives and property of his community.” Fiore was Mayor during the recoveries of Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.
After Closing On A RREM Grant, DCA Says A New Home For Vietnam Vet Is Not In The Cards
By Art Gallagher
Russell Card Jr removes his “family crest” from his family’s home in Highlands in preparation for demolition . Photo via facebook
A Vietnam Veteran from Highlands and his 65 year-old wife had their expectations of a new home crushed last week when their RREM approved builder informed them that a stop work order had been placed on their project by the Department of Community Affairs, with no explanation. The family had prepared their house for demolition, based upon promises from DCA/RREM, and now fear they will be without a home.
Russell Card, a 72 year-old Vietnam Veteran from Highlands closed on his $150,000 RREM grant on July 28. He put up his $18,000 escrow to cover the difference between the cost of the project and the amount granted. Card, his wife Maureen and son Russell Jr, 35, prepared their home (which was built in the 1890’s and in the family since 1933) for demolition. They moved most of their belongings into a POD on their immaculately maintained property and moved themselves into an apartment the size of the living room in the Bay Avenue house they have lived in since 1986. By mid-September all the utilities were disconnected at the house and it was ready for demolition before their new home would be built. The funding for the new home was the RREM grant, a gap grant of $30,000 from Gap Funding Initiative and $17,762 that was remaining from a $55,000 grant Mrs. Card had received from her employer, CareOne, after Sandy filled their home with eight feet of water on October 29, 2012.
The documentary film Shored Up, which examines the collision between coastal development and severe weather in New Jersey and North Carolina, will be shown Sept. 20 at a special screening in Rumson.
The planning advocacy group New Jersey Future, which is working with Sea Bright and Highlands on long-term recovery planning after Hurricane Sandy, is sponsoring the screening with Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long.
At the conclusion of the film, there will be a panel discussion and question-and-answer session featuring the film’s director and several local coastal and environmental scientists.
New Jersey Future has teamed up with a research scientist from Carnegie Mellon University to support Highlands and Sea Bright in our effort to develop a long-term resiliency plan. One part of this support involves reaching out to and engaging with the public to talk about flooding risk and plausible solutions. To that end, they developed a short survey to understand how best to talk about these issues with community members.
Please help our community in its plan for recovery and resiliency.This 10-15 minute survey will ask about your beliefs on flooding and flooding risk. Your answers will help Highlands, Sea Bright and New Jersey Future make plans for long-term community resiliency. In a few months, New Jersey Future will publish a summary of the answers given by the community.
Maybe the Azzolina and Scaduto families that run Food Circus-Foodtown bought a marketing program that spits out rewards for products their customers like, but the “NOT COUPONS” I received the last couple of days are not motivating me to fill the freezer by Thursday by purchasing another $350.19 worth of groceries.
The four sticks of free butter if I spend $350.19 by Thursday doesn’t make me feel appreciated either.
That their staff greets with me a smile and some of them know me by name makes me feel appreciated. The gift cards, free turkeys or hams, at Thanksgiving and Christmas make me feel appreciated. But I would shop there even if they didn’t do those giveaways.
That Food Circus-Foodtown opened in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, before they had power, so that Bayshore residents could get non-perishable food, really makes me appreciate them.
Lou Scaduto and his team run a fine business. They missed the mark with this promotion.
The Foundation to Save the Jersey Shore is hosting a “high-spirited, beach-casual” fundraiser at Windows on the Water, Thursday July 24 at 6 PM. Tickets are only $75, almost all of which will go directly to families and individuals who are still displaced after Hurricane Sandy. The food, alcohol and entertainment have all been donated.
“The news media may have moved on from the devastation of Sandy, but we haven’t,” Diamond said, “Although much of the visual damage has been addressed through repair and demolition, we are looking at thousands of our neighbors who are still struggling to get back into their homes. They are committed and tenacious—they refuse to walk away, and that keeps us focused and inspired.”
Dr. Dale Whilden, President of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Assoc, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Sen Jennifer Beck, Gov Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith and Neptune Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley cut the ribbon of Ocean Grove’s rebuilt boardwalk
After being twice denied funding from FEMA before finally getting $2.4 million on their second appeal, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association re-opened their boardwalk to the public today with a ceremonial ribbon cutting lead by Governor Chris Christie, Congressman Chris Smith, Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Neptune Township Mayor Dr. Michael Brantley and Dr. Dale C. Whilden, President of the OGCMA.
“Today is truly a great day for Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, Monmouth County, and the Jersey Shore, and a critical step forward in our recovery from Sandy,” said Smith.”This boardwalk is an integral part of Ocean Grove the neighboring Jersey Shore community, a fact we reinforced during our efforts to reverse FEMA’s original decision at the local level—and yet another at the regional level—to deny critical funding.”