Guess Blogger: Should Highlands Change its Name?

Always Love a Guest Blogger, all I have to do is Cut & Paste..

—With the threat of a large property tax increase looming, a growing number of folks in town, including long time residents fear we are being driven toward bankruptcy unless we can attract and keep new residents and businesses. One way would be to adopt a more accurate and historic name for our town so that our identity would stand out.

The name Highlands was arbitrarily assigned when we were split off from Middletown and has no real link to our famous past. As you know, are always confused with Atlantic Highlands and folks trying to find our struggling businesses, esp. restaurants, often end up there. NJ people, who don’t live in this immediate area, think that Highlands is a place up in Warren County. And although its painful to admit, we may have an image problem. This could have come from the 1960s and 70s, when, as you may remember, partying got a little wild here.

Here are names folks have suggested, vote for the one you like most:

    Highlands Beach Old town name, area on Sandy Hook

   Twin Lights First built 1828

    Highlands By The Sea

    Water Witch Old town name and book by James Fenimore Cooper, written in 1830

    Parkertown First Clamming family here in early 1800s, many descendents still here.

    Cardville First Cards here in 1814, many descendants still in town


Editors Notes: I kinda of like Highlands, just Highlands. But that being said if we are using old names in Highlands others might include:



Ahern by the Sea


Why You Should Go To Wednesday’s Highlands Council Meeting?

Well, I’d tell you what its going to be about, but the town has failed to post the Agenda AGAIN.agenda416  According to the Open Public Meetings Law, which is commonly referred to as the “Sunshine Law”, they are supposed to not only give adequate notice but also to extent known the agenda of the meeting.

Could there be penalties for violating this? The penalty section provides for fines of $100 for the first offense, and between $100 and $500 for any subsequent offenses.

The Council likes to complain that residents don’t attend meetings, but they are also very culpable for not posting agendas.

TBT: How’s the Council Doing NOW?

A year ago I did a poll on how residents thought the Council was doing with Sandy Recovery, I wanted to do a re-poll and see how you’re thoughts have changed?

2013 poll

Poll Results April 2013


Do We Need A New Master Plan? Speak out at Public Hearing – Wednesday April 16th.


Why you may want to attend Wedesday’s Council Meeting..

Originally posted on dougcard4highlands:

image This Wednesday, April 16th, the Highlands Council will be holding a Public Hearing on Ordinance 0-14-11:   ‘Special Emergency Appropriation for Master Plan’.

The ordinance allocates $100,000 for a new Master Plan which will allow the Planning Board, with a committee already selected, to move forward on this task.

The Council is not going out to bid for this project and instead will be handing it over to Marty of T&M who has “done this in the past”.

There are many pros & cons about the need of a new Master Plan at this point in time.  There is particular concern among taxpayers about the appropriation of $100,000 for such a project after the Council has already approved large expenditures for recovery bonds.

Some officials and residents argue that now is the opportune time to define zones, etc. for a new vision – a new Highlands – which just may finally…

View original 270 more words

Lunar Eclipse on Tuesday in Highlands

hunter moonThe first Lunar Eclipse since December 2011 is occurring early Tuesday Morning.

\During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes behind our planet so that Earth blocks the sun’s rays from striking the moon. Due to the moon’s tilted orbit around the Earth, one doesn’t occur every month. And total eclipses usually happen once every few years, though there are sometimes more than one in a year.

Lunar eclipses occur only when there is a full moon and the sun, Earth, and moon are precisely aligned for our planet’s shadow to turn out the lunar lights.

When the show begins:

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) – April 15, 2014
Partial eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m.
Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m.
Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m.


The good news is, an eclipse does not affect the tides at all.

Seastreak to add new runs to Jersey City & Hoboken

seastreakDue to the Pulaski skyway being shut down for repairs, a new ferry service will be added on the Seastreak ferry from Atlantic Highlands to Paulus Hook in Jersey City and Hoboken Terminal at a cost of $12 each way.The new service is just one of many to assist some of the 40,000 people that normally travel northbound on the Skyway every day to work..

The 3.5-mile steel truss bridge, opened in 1932, is an iconic New Jersey symbol, featured in Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, and in the opening credits of the television series The Sopranos.

Car Accident on Bay Ave by Chilangos

On Wednesday Evening approximately 10:40 pm a sedan  traveling west bound on Bay Avenue slammed into a parked car in front of Action Realty pushing it onto Sea Drift Avenue and coming to a complete stop in front of Francescos.

No reported injuries except for the car being driven which apparently lost a wheel.

The car that was parked belonged a Chilangos patron.

Sandy, Tax Cap Exclusions & Highlands

tax capHave you heard about the 2% tax increase cap for property tax?  In 2010 Governor Chris Christie  signed into law a more stringent property tax cap, a compromise that supporters hope will slow the growth in local spending and property taxes.

However there are exceptions to the cap. Those exceptions include:

  • Capital expenditures and debt service
  • Pension contributions and accrued liability
  • Health care costs
  • Extraordinary costs associated with a declared emergency (aka Sandy expenditures)

What does that mean for Highlands Residents? Your property taxes could go up over the 2% cap.

The next council meeting the council is voting on O-14-9

the Governing Body of the Borough of Highlands in the County of Monmouth finds it advisable and necessary to increase its CY 2014 budget by up to 3.5%over the previous year’s final appropriations, in the interest of promoting the health,safety and welfare of its citizens; and,
the Governing Body of the Borough of Highlands hereby determines that a 3.5% increase in the budget for said year, amounting to $200,923.34 in excess of the increase in final appropriations otherwise permitted by the Local Government Cap Law, is advisable and necessary.

What can you do about it? Pay attention to what the council is spending money on and bonding out. Hold them accountable for their spending.

For example: hiring Deblasio (new CFO) for a 4 year term without looking for options.


Home-In-A-Box available to Sandy Survivors

beddingNeed help replacing household stuff still from Sandy?In an effort to help ease the burden of displaced Sandy survivors moving back home, the St. Vincent de Paul Society is offering the “House in a Box” program to provide residents with home furnishings.including furniture, bedding, dishes, cookware, and towels.

Please contact the providers at the numbers below for a complete list.

Prospective applicants need a FEMA number to apply. Applications may be submitted through local St. Vincent de Paul conferences, Catholic Charities, or Visitation Relief Center in Brick. Residents do not have to be Roman Catholic to apply, nor do they need to belong to any other faith group. Applicants will be interviewed to verify the need and when approved the items may be picked up at St. Vincent de Paul’s warehouse in Ocean Township. Residents are asked to arrange their own transportation but St. Vincent de Paul is willing to help if appropriate transportation cannot be obtained.

Interested residents may contact Catholic Charities at 800-652-2080×4210, Visitation Relief Center at 732-746-3456, or their local Catholic Church to be connected to the nearest St. Vincent de Paul Society to apply.

The closest St. Vincent de Paul Society near Highlands is:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
141 Navesink Avenue
Highlands, NJ 07732
732-872-1290, ext. 6
- Highlands
- Sea Bright

Limited amounts are available.

CALL the local message center and they will reach out to you and set up an appointment to visit with you as soon as possible.


Small Businesses Met at Francescos to Voice Frustrations

francescopizzaopeningNew Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald met with the NJ Main Street Alliance and fifteen small business owners (From Hoboken to LBI) Monday, in a roundtable event discussing the Economic Development Authority’s grossly mismanaged administration of the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant program.

The event, which took place at Francesco’s Italian Restaurant in Highlands, New Jersey, featured several business owners from across the state expressing serious frustrations about lengthy, unexplained delays, being bounced from caseworker to caseworker, and a lack of transparency surrounding the process.


Easter Egg Hunt in Highlands

easter eggThe Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Highlands is here:

WHEN: Saturday April 12, 2014  10 AM Hunting Begins

WHERE: Highlands Elementary School Field

Groups are as Follows:

  • Toddlers (2 & Younger)
  • 3 & 4 year olds
  • 5 & 6 year olds
  • 7 & 8 year olds
  • 9 & 10 year olds
  • 11 and up

Prizes are awarded and refreshments served.

BYOB – (Bring your own Basket)

easter bunny



Rain Date: Sunday April 13, 1pm


Rain – Slick Roads Factor in RT 36 Crash

SUV rt 36Approximately 7pm Friday evening a silver SUV traveling between the Highlands Bridge and Miller street lost control and struck a pole near the empty lot. Residents reporting hearing a loud crash. A young female driver sustained serious injuries and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

Although no one reported power out, reports of cable and phone disruptions were noted.

It is not known exactly what caused the accident and there were no other vehicles involved.

Which Highlands Restuarant are you Going to Miss Most this summer?

Clam Hut


Do you plan to vote in May for Highlands Council?

May elections725 residents voted for Non-Partisan elections in November. Don’t forget you need to get out and vote in May..


What’s with the Sewers in Highlands?

sewerHave you heard about the I&I project?  Apparently we have a bunch of fresh/sea water infiltrating our sewers and that’s why our flow has not changed since Sandy. (cough)

For Throw Back Thursday, I send you here: Things that make you go HMMM: Sewer Charges

April 2013,  when I brought up that ” our “flow”  had not decreased since Sandy, and it should be a huge RED FLAG.

What I got from the council was, Mayor Nolan “All the residents are still living in Highlands, just not in their homes” and that was why it was the same.

What I got from Councilman Francy, “Are you an engineer? I don’t have the time or patience to explain I&I to you”

Well, I’m not an engineer, however, any explanation that we could possibly have the same amount of flow before and after Sandy was illogical.

So now the summation is that we have failing pipes that have to be upgraded (See Highlands Recovery Plan)  pp 28 – 30

So here’s the real story, we have failing pipes and infrastructure and even putting meters on residents/businesses isn’t going to change the fact ‘as a town’ we owe $x every month in waste treatment.  However, I do find it a little unfair, that the businesses aren’t covering more of this expense than what they are.

We can’t change the overall bill until certain aspects of the infrastructure is fixed, but we can sure as heck redivide up the bill to make it more fair across the board.

So what do you think we should do about the Sewer situation in Highlands?



What Should Highlands Recovery Priorities Be?

Putting the Humpty Dumpty of Highlands back together again, has proven to be financially straining, extremely prolonged and emotionally draining.

We have 2 seats open in the May elections, what do you think Highlands priorities should be?

Edward Broderick Found

puppetNJ State Police, officially identified the body found last Friday in Captain’s Cove Marina as Edward Broderick, the clammer that went missing last December, when his submerged vessel was found at the base of Barberie Avenue.

Related Stories: Police Activity at Captains Cove

NJSP Searching the bay

Remains Found on Sandy Hook

Puppet Fundraiser



Nor’Easter in Highlands on Tuesday

rogue waveWarning, Warning..According to Stewart  Farrell, director of the Coastal Research Center at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey,  a nor’easter like the December 1992 storm could cause “breakthroughs” along the Jersey Shore.

The weather service forecast for Neptune on Friday called for a chance of rain, snow and heavy surf on Tuesday, with rain and snow likely on Tuesday night and a chance of snow on Wednesday.

The post-winter storm could add another frozen white layer on top of one of New Jersey’s snowiest seasons in 120 years. It also could cause coastal flooding and pound beaches pummeled by Sandy in October 2012.