Highlands Restaurant Gets $50K Stronger NJ Grant

IMG_0714Havana Tropical Café, a Cuban Restaurant which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, was awarded a $50,000 Stronger NJ Business Grant by the Christie Administration this week, according to a release by the NJ Economic Development Authority.

The Stronger NJ Business Grant program is funded through New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Similar to other Sandy relief grant programs, there are strict federal eligibility requirements to which the EDA and applicants must comply. To date, 374 grants have been approved totaling $18.1 million. An additional $24 million in loans have been approved by EDA through the program. This includes 11 grants in Highlands and 60 in all of Monmouth County.

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Posted: April 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: EDA, Highlands, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Wednesday, April 2-Sherlock’s First Adventure at Henry Hudson Regional School

SherlockThe Henry Hudson Regional Junior Admiral Players Present their annual middle school play.

Beginning tonight at 7PM, SHERLOCK’S FIRST ADVENTURE will run from through Saturday, April 5th at Henry Hudson Regional School, 1 Grand Tour, Highlands.
(All performances begin at 7pm).
Tickets will be sold at the door, and are $7 general admission, and
$5 for students/seniors.
Light dessert refreshments will be available.

TONIGHT ( Wednesday) ALL tickets are just $5!!!!!

The play, by award-winning playwright Craig Sodaro, is a two-act
mystery-comedy inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic character, Sherlock Holmes.  The story introduces us to a young Holmes, who,
along with his friend John Watson, unravels his first real case while still a student at a Victorian-era London boarding school.

Featuring a cast of 22, all 7th and 8th graders at Henry Hudson Middle School will present .

For more information, visit the school’s website, at www.hhrs.us or
call, 732-872-0900.

Information Brought to you by
Lynn Humphrey, Administrator/Owner
BizEturtle:Events in Monmouth
contact me at lynn@bizeturtle.com or 732-759-0485

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art, BizEturtle, Highlands | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Hornik: COAH funds should be used to help Sandy Victims

By Mayor Jonathan Hornik, Marlboro Township

Jon Hornik2Forgotten among the latest round of finger-pointing and investigations regarding the use of Superstorm Sandy funds are displaced low and moderate-income homeowners and renters who need help. This immediate and pressing need, combined with resources available from communities like Marlboro Township, in the form of affordable housing trust funds, present a unique opportunity for regional cooperation. Now all we need is some action in Trenton.

The funds, collected from developer fees, now totaling at least $180 million state-wide (and which the State has been trying to take for its own budget problems), are to be used to meet the need for affordable housing under the Supreme Court’s Mt. Laurel rulings. Those cases decreed that every town has an obligation to provide for its region’s need for affordable housing. We have long argued that the doctrine should be meaningfully applied – let’s build the housing where the need is the greatest.

Yet to this day the planners in Trenton wrangle over rules to determine how towns must address their affordable housing, going on 15 years now, when it should be painfully obvious that the need for our community (and our region) is staring us in the face. Current state laws prohibit Marlboro from helping those communities who are in desperate need for housing assistance after Sandy.  There is no mechanism for Marlboro to spend its trust funds for the benefit of, for example, Union Beach or the Highlands, because there are no rules that allow us to do so. We can’t fulfill a fundamental tenet of Mt. Laurel, and help our neighbors because the authority to do so isn’t there. And why not?

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Posted: March 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: COAH, Housing, Marlboro, Opinion, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Hurricane Sandy victims make do in trailers as they wait to rebuild

Hurricane Sandy victims make do in trailers as they wait to rebuild (via NJ.com)

Tina Napalo lived in a bungalow-style house on Fourth Street in Union Beach for more than 20 years. “I didn’t have everything,” said the 40-year-old mother of four, but, “it took me a long time to get what I had.” Then Hurricane Sandy hit.…

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Posted: March 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Highlands, Hurricane Sandy, Keansburg, Middletown, Monmouth County, Obama Administration, RREM, Sea Bright, Superstorm Sandy, Union Beach | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Tea Parties Take Credit For Obama’s Electoral Victories

sandwitch shopFour New Jersey Tea Party groups and a Southern California Tea Party group joined forces today in warning national Republicans not to nominate a moderate for president in 2016.  In their joint statement released this morning, the Bayshore Tea Party Group, the East Jersey Tea Party Group, the NJ TEA Party Caucus and the Ventura County Tea Party from California claimed credit for the 2008 and 2012 electoral victories on President Barack Obama and promised more of the same if a moderate or liberal Republican is nominated in 2016.

In the event a moderate or liberal republican is nominated by the GOP in 2016, the Tea Party groups that joined together in this statement, have pledged to refuse any support for that nominee and urge all concerned Americans who believe in liberty, prosperity, smaller government and fiscal responsibility, to join them in their action. Other groups throughout the nation are expected to join within the weeks and months to come.

A moderate Republican will result in the continuation of lower Conservative Republican voter turnout that began in the late 1990′s and was a significant contributor to Republican Presidential loses in 2008 and 2012.

Bayshore Tea Party Group Co-founder Barbara Gonzalez said the groups have polled their members and found that the majority will not support a Republican nominee who does not pass their litmus tests. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Barbara Gonzalez, Bayshore Tea Party Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

More Duplicity From Vin Gopal

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal just can’t help himself from practicing the “politics of yesterday,” as Governor Chris Christie said of him last year.

Friday evening on the Political Roundtable segment of the NJTV News with Mike Schneider, Gopal reacted to the news that the federal government had cleared Christie Administration of any errors or wrong doing with the AshBrit contract for cleaning up much of New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy by sticking to the Democratic/Star Ledger talking points. “The bigger issue is,” Gopal said, “why was so much money wasted in the process?”   “Costs were higher,” he said, without saying higher than what. Certainly they were not higher than what the Army Corp of Engineers charged New York for their clean up.

What Gopal didn’t say is that he was busy helping AshBrit get business in the aftermath of Superstrom Sandy.

Click here to read an email Gopal sent me three weeks after Sandy hit asking for my help in introducing AshBrit’s agent, Laura Matos of M Public Affairs, a veteran of the Corzine administration, to Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan.

GOP political consultant Chris Russell joked on the segment that he was waiting for apologies from all the Democrats who criticized Christie over the AshBrit contract. Gopal should have apologized on the spot, especially since he was an active participant in recruiting municipalities to sign with the clean up company.

I don’t know if Gopal got paid for helping AshBrit get business but it is a safe bet that Matos and her fellow Corzine administration veterans at M Public Affairs did.  Vin should ask Matos why the AshBrit contract cost so much.

I didn’t get paid.  Nolan had Highlands almost entirely cleaned up without AshBrit before Vin reached out to me.

 

Posted: March 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Frank Nolan, Superstorm Sandy, Vin Gopal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

SEA BRIGHT RISING TO HELP REBUILD HOMES

SEA BRIGHT RISING TO HELP REBUILD HOMES (via redbankgreen)

Sea Bright homes being elevated last June. Officials estimate 80 percent of the town’s homes are still vacant. Below, Chris Wood, flanked by Pete Forlenza and Zack Rosenburg, addresses a gathering in Rumson Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge) By JOHN…

Posted: February 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Highlands, Rumson, Sea Bright, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Super Bowl More Than a Game to Highlands, New Jersey Kids

The Robert D. Wilson Memorial Community Center and the Snug Harbor Park will be having repairs to damage from Hurricane Sandy thanks to

NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

 

Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan, Jets owner Woody Johnson, and Douglas Eagles, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County at November 2 announcement of NY/NJ Snowflake Foundation Grant for Highlands

Highlands Mayor Frank Nolan, Jets owner Woody Johnson, and Douglas Eagles, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County at November 2, 2013 announcement of NY/NJ Snowflake Foundation Grant for Highlands

Highlands, NJ (January 30) – Long after this year’s Super Bowl Most Valuable Player is named, the game will continue to have an impact on youngsters throughout the State of New Jersey. The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation (SYF), the charitable arm of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, is refurbishing run-down or damaged youth-serving organizations throughout the Garden State. Today, the Borough of Highlands announced that it is one of at least 23 sites benefiting from a $1.5 million grant for repairs and renovations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to SYF through the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

 

Although some of these sites were in need of repairs and upgrades long before Hurricane Sandy came along, the superstorm had a huge impact. Many facilities were forced to shut their doors entirely, and more than a year after Sandy made landfall, the repair work continues. The funds provided will assist with the Community Center main room flooring replacement, installation of a new playground and renovations to the basketball and tennis courts that were undermined during the storm.

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Posted: January 31st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Highlands, Press Release, Super Bowl | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Monmouth Mayors Cast Doubt On Zimmer’s Quid Pro Quo Claims

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki, January 18, 2014

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer on MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki, January 18, 2014

Monmouth County mayors and other municipal officials are reacting to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations that her city is not receiving Sandy Relief funds because she hasn’t pushed through a redevelopment approval coveted by Governor Chris Christie with a high degree of skepticism, because their storm ravaged communities have yet to see significant money yet either.

One elected official who asked not to be quoted said, “If Hoboken had approved that Rockefeller project, Zimmer would still be standing on her head at a Hoboken street corner looking for her Sandy money. The money hasn’t started to flow yet.”

“Is it believable that Guadagno (Lt. Governor Kim Guadango) or Constable (DCA Commissioner Richard Constable) encouraged Zimmer to expedite an project? Yes.  As a quid pro quo for Sandy dollars? No way,” another official said.

Zimmer alleged on MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki this morning that Guadagno pulled her aside at a Hoboken ribbon cutting and warned that Sandy Relief money to Hoboken was contingent on a development application by the Rockefeller Group being approved by the city. Zimmer said that Constable told her at a Monmouth University symposium on Sandy recovery that relief dollars would flow if the Rockefeller application was approved.

After talking to local and state officials today, MMM understands that the federal money for Sandy Relief is flowing dripping through four sources; FEMA, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) which administers relief for homeowners, the New Jersey Economic Development Agency(EDA) and County Governments which are administering Hazard Mitigation Grants.  The Hazard Mitigation Grants are funded by FEMA and distributed to the counties by the State Office of Emergency Management.

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Posted: January 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Dawn Zimmer, EDA, FEMA, Hoboken | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Highlands Council Votes To Give DeBlasio His 6th Government Job

The Highlands Borough Council passed a resolution last night, in a 3-2 vote, to appoint Patrick DeBlasio to be the borough’s Chief Financial Officer effective May 1, 2014. DeBlasio is the CFO of Carteret, North Plainfield, and Keansburg. He is the treasurer of the Carteret Board of Education and the tax collector in Highlands.

In Carteret, DeBlasio also serves as a member of the Parking Commission.

The 40,000 salary that comes with the appointment will bring his total compensation from his six jobs to $284,606. All of DeBlasio’s jobs provide a pension. The borough plans to hire him an assistant for an undetermined salary.

Governor Chris Christie earns $175,000, as do U.S. Senators and Members of Congress. State Cabinet Officers earn $141,000. Superior Court Judges earn $165,000

The borough did not advertise the position or explore a shared services agreement with another town, as Mayor Frank Nolan and Councilman Chris Francy advocated. Rather, they voted to hire DeBlasio on the recommendation of retiring CFO Stephen Pfeffer, according to Council President Rebecca Kane and Councilwoman Tara Ryan’s remarks explaining the hire when they moved and seconded the resolution.  Pfeffer earns $69,580 as CFO in Highlands and $157,738 as the CFO of Tinton Falls.

During the public portion of the council meeting, Kane said she would reevaluate the decision after one year. However Borough Attorney Bruce Padula said that the appointment is for a four year term.  DeBlasio would be tenured after the initial four years.  Kane’s term on the council expires in June, due to a referendum passed by Highlands voters in November making the borough’s election non-partisan.  She is expected to run for another term.

In his remarks opposing DeBlasio’s appointment, Nolan said, “We are often the laughing stock of Monmouth County. This is one of the reasons why.”

Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Francy, Frank Nolan, Highlands | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »