Highlands Hero Gets RREM’d

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

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.

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Posted: October 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, DCA, Department of Community Affairs, FEMA, Flooding, Highlands, Housing, Hurricane Sandy, Monmouth County, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

State Wants Sewer Plants to Plan for 500-Year Storms, Extended Outages

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Posted: September 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Christie Administration, DEP, Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey, News, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Documentary About Coastal Development in New Jersey To Be Shown in Rumson

Soldier_and_RuinsThe 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.

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Posted: September 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Community Announcements, Hurricane Sandy, Monmouth County, New Jersey, New Jersey Future, News, Press Release, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Use of Christie in Sandy ads cleared by feds

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Posted: September 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Frank Pallone, Hurricane Sandy, Stronger Than The Storm, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Christie in Keansburg Monday Morning

MMM photo/Art Gallagher

MMM photo/Art Gallagher

Governor Chris Christie is scheduled to be in Keansburg on Monday morning, 10:30am, to make an announcement and give updates on the Homeowners’ Elevation Program.

The event is scheduled to take place at a private residence at 57 Beaconlight Ave.

Posted: July 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy, Keansburg, Monmouth County, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The List: Ten Ways Sandy’s Impact Continues to Be Felt At the Jersey Shore

The List: Ten Ways Sandy’s Impact Continues to Be Felt At the Jersey Shore (via NJSpotlight)

Kids are getting out of school, the weather is getting nicer, and many people are starting to flock to the Shore as they do each year around this time. Early indicators like pre-season beach tag sales and vacation rental bookings seem to point to a…

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Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama diverts $1 billion in Sandy funds away from New Jersey

Kyrillos and Holzapfel cry foul

Sen. Joe Kyrillos

Sen. Joe Kyrillos

President Barack Obama announced that he is diverting nearly $1 billion in Hurricane Sandy recovery funds away from New Jersey and New York to fund a nationwide resiliency competition that will ostensibly help the winning communities build infrastructure to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Obama announced the competition last weekend at the University of California Irvine’s commencement, according to The Star Ledger. 

“In some parts of the country, weather-related disasters like droughts and fires and storms and floods are going to get … harsher and they’re going to get costlier,” Obama said during the speech. “That’s why today I’m announcing a new one billion dollar competitive fund to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and build more resilient infrastructure across the country.”

State Senators Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth)and Jim Holzapfel (R-Ocean)l condemned the diversion of recovery funds away from their constituents.

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Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Hurricane Sandy, Joe Kyrillos, News, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments »

Communications Upgrades in the Works for Sandy-damaged Shore Towns

Communications Upgrades in the Works for Sandy-damaged Shore Towns, Part 2 (via NJ Tech Weekly)

Mayor William Curtis of Bay Head | Courtesy William Curtis This is the second of a two-part story on technological upgrades being implemented in New Jersey shore towns in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Police communications systems. New websites…

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Posted: June 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , | Comments Off

Sweeney in Sea Bright: “Republicans Shaming Themselves” Over Sandy Bill of Rights

Beck: “Hubris and Ego have no place in this recovery process. We have all made some mistakes. Now we need to fix them.”

Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey's gutted living room prior to Sweeney's press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

Thomas P. Largey, 82, and Senate President Steve Sweeney talk in Largey’s gutted Sea Bright home prior to Sweeney’s press conference. May 30, 2014. Photo by Art Gallagher

Senate President Steve Sweeney held a politically charged press conference in a partially gutted Sea Bright home this morning, ostensibly to create political pressure on Republicans in the State Legislature to join Democrats in overriding Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of the Sandy Bill of Rights.

Sweeney’s comments sounded like a campaign rally against Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Senator Jennifer Beck and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, JR.

The “Sandy Bill of Rights” passed both houses of the State Legislature unanimously in March.  Christie conditionally vetoed the bill earlier this month, making over 150 changes to it.  Some of the changes were to bring the law into compliance with federal Housing and Urban Development regulations, others removed what Christie called “partisan language.”  One of Christie changes removed the requirement on the State that applicants for RREM grants be able to access the status of their applications online.

Sweeney penned an OpEd published in The Asbury Park Press last week wherein he appealed to Republican legislators who had unanimously voted for his bill “to do something they have yet to do under this (Christie) administration, and that’s to put aside their partisanship and override the governor’s veto.”

O’Scanlon responded with an OpEd of his own, wherein he said, “after further analysis we found a number of critical flaws that the Governor wisely and reasonably addresses in his conditional veto.”

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Declan O'Scanlon, Dina Long, Hurricane Sandy, LD 13, Legislature, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

N.J. Congressman: Sandy funds still needed for infrastructure, businesses

N.J. Congressman: Sandy funds still needed for infrastructure, businesses (via NJ.com)

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – While public officials welcomed the news that the latest round of Hurricane Sandy recovery money will cover the New Jersey’s unmet need for housing funds, one congressman says that the funding does not go far enough. U.S. Rep…

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Hurricane Sandy, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »