SANDY HOOK – A fisherman discovered a man’s dead body in a shipping channel off Sandy Hook on Monday morning. At approximately 6:30 a.m. Monday, a fisherman from Staten Island discovered a dead body in the Ambrose Channel – a major shipping channel…
“Raise your hand if this is your first time here,” Eddie Segall religiously started off his nightly sunset ceremonies at the Sea Gull’s Nest. “Now raise your hand if this is your last time here,” Segall barked as 10’s of customers raised their hands in laughter, just as they had the night or the week before. The joke never got old.
Photo by Paul Scharff
We’ve raised our hands, sung God Bless American along with a Kate Smith recording and watched the octogenarian Segall challenge much younger men to 50 push ups for the last time.
Sandy, and the federal bureaucracy, has claimed the iconic Monmouth County attraction that was a favorite of tourists and locals alike.
The Sea Gull’s Nest at Sandy Hook will not be reopening, according to a report on Highlandsblog. The blog quotes Daphne Yun, spokesperson for Gateway National Recreation Area, ” the lease for the popular Sea Gull’s Nest Restaurant has not been renewed. Sea Gull’s Nest will not be reopened.”
Like many young teens in the mid-to-late 1960s, Julie Hankinson spent some of her best days at Sandy Hook. Hankinson, though, had an advantage. She didn’t have to leave after the sun set or when the school year started. She lived there year-round…
The remains were found near Gateway National Recreation Area on Saturday. The remains discovered in Sandy Hook bay on Saturday were not of human origin, New Jersey State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said Sunday. The remains were found near the Gateway National…
Gateway National Recreation Area will reopen the Sandy Hook Unit to the public for the first time since Hurricane Sandy beginning Wednesday, May 1. A ceremony at 10 A.M. will mark the reopening, with U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone in attendance.
“We have been looking forward to this moment since the storm hit us and we’ve worked hard to make it happen this soon,” said Sandy Hook Unit Coordinator Pete McCarthy. “Employees and volunteers have literally dug out beach centers and parking lots, and pumped out flooded basements, we’ve even rebuilt sand dunes and replanted beach grasses.” Work will continue this summer as more services are restored and roads continue to be repaved.
After the opening ceremony Congressman Pallone will address the group, which will include the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST) Color Guard who will be on hand to present the colors. These MAST high school students’ campus is located in the park and their campus was flooded during the storm. The students will finish the school year at an alternate location, host their graduation at Ft. Hancock and will return to Sandy Hook for fall classes.
Concerned about the potential impact on the Bayshore region’s economy of a prolonged closure of the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area, Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth) has introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to make reopening Sandy Hook a priority.
“Sandy Hook sustained enormous damage during Hurricane Sandy along with the homes and businesses of Bayshore residents,” Kyrillos said. “But there is more devastation in store if this economic engine for our region is not restored and reopened in time for the 2013 tourism season. The Sandy Hook Recreation Area is the source of millions of dollars of economic activity every year and an affordable summer getaway for tourists from near and far who will lose out on a treasured summer tradition if it is not reopened. We cannot afford to lose the economic activity generated by Sandy Hook as we seek to rebuild our shoreline.”
Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area is federally owned property that is maintained and operated by the National Park Service.
So Francis favors transparency. Well that’s terrific. The first step down that long hallway toward redemption for Mr. Pallone you ask?
An article in the Atlanticville, interestingly enough dated for tomorrow, talks about how the public will be completely shut out of the decision-making process regarding the future of Sandy Hook’s Ft. Hancock. Perpetual “I don’t give a rat’s ass about New Jersey Forts” Congressman Francis “Waddles” Pallone weighs in on that process:
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th District), who has opposed Rumson developer James Wassel’s controversial plan to rehabilitate historic buildings at the fort, said Monday the park service should be “very transparent at every point” of the process concerning planning for the fort’s future.
Good start, right? After literally defecating on the bed for years when it came to saving Ft. Monmouth from extinction, all of a sudden Francis cares about what happens to Ft. Hancock, albeit when no jobs are at stake.
Wrong, of course:
What comes out of the meetings should be quickly announced, he said.
Pallone said that transparency was needed because of the “Wassel experience,” where “a lot of the decisions” were made “without transparency.”
Ah. Now I get it. “Transparency” means making huge decisions without being, ya know, “transparent”, and then delivering the goods to the unwashed masses “quickly”.
Thanks for the update big guy! Remind me to email whatever dictionary company is still publishing dictionaries. Do they still publish dictionaries?
I don’t have enough Scotch on hand tonight to chronicle Frank’s other myriad “definition malfunctions” throughout the years, but suffice to say the man has quite an issue with both ethics and simple English.
Pallone, Lautenberg and Menendez should put up. The Asbury Park Press should shut up
By Art Gallagher
In their editorial today, Sad chapter ends at fort, the Asbury Park Press editorial board demonstrates that their grasp of reality is insufficient for a newspaper of record for the Monmouth-Ocean region.
The press rehashes the sorry history of Sandy Hook Partners’ failed plans to redevelop Fort Hancock. They fault the National Park Service for granting the developer nine years of extensions to obtain financing for the redevelopment plans. They fail to mention that SHP’s ability to finance the project was thwarted by litigation and grassroots opposition to the commercialization of the park. The litigation and opposition was supported by the APP and by Congressman Frank Pallone.
Now the APP says,
Fort Hancock must be preserved for future generations. In order for that to happen, a developer or developers with both the money and sound plans need to be found. The park service would do well to heed the suggestion by Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, both D-N.J., that the historic buildings be leased to entities one by one, rather than as a package.
Clearly, neither the Neptune Nudniks nor the Congressmen have even an elementary understanding of how development works.
Where does Pallone, Holt and the APP think the Park Service will find a developer, or developers, with an extra $60-$100 million sitting in the bank who would be willing to commit it to Fort Hancock after what Sandy Hook Partners went through? James Wassel, the head of SHP is no slouch. His experience and personal committment to our community made him the right developer, if a public-private partnership was the best method to redevelop the fort.
Private partners were, and apparently still are, sought because federal dollars are not available to rehabilitate the park. Said another way, Frank Pallone, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez (and Jon Corzine, as U.S. Senator before Menedez) either did not have the clout or commiment to secure federal funding to rehabilitate Fort Hancock.
The Pallone/Holt/APP idea of leasing the 36 buildings of the fort one by one, to non-profits, rather than as a package, is crazy. Even if 36 organizations “with both money and sound plans” on hand could be found, managing 36 separate projects with 36 separate project managers is not feasible.
Wassel’s plan to “commercialise” Sandy Hook would not have turned the park into Times Square or the Monmouth Mall. He would have developed the fort into an educational and cultural campus.
As a neighbor of and frequent visitor to Sandy Hook, I never understood how Wassel’s plans would have been commercially viable or returned the investment required for the rehabilitation, given the location and climate of the site. Yet, I supported the plan because the proposed usage would have been an enhancement of the park. If private investors or lenders were willing to risk their capital on a project that enhanced the park while giving the National Park Service control of what could be done with the site in the event of failure, there was no downside for the public. Yes, I read the master lease. The public was protected from turning Fort Hancock into an amusement park or shopping mall.
Now that Wassel’s is out of the picture, it is incumbent upon our federal representitives to secure funding to preserve the fort. Failing that, the Park Service should fence it off and install Keep Out-Hazardous signs like there has been for most of the fort’s ruins for decades.
Alternatively, the Park Service should either level the buildings and convert the land to a recreational use like a marina and camp ground.