Friday, June 26, 2009

Fair Haven mayor calls out Rush Holt

Mike Halfacre's letter to the editor in the June 25 Asbury Park Press offers anecdotal perspective on the difficulties encountered by a nonpartisan grassroots organization such as NOPE in engaging leaders of our state on this issue, and why we need people such as you to call your elected STATE AND FEDERAL officials to press them on where they stand on Laurelwood. To be sure, the extensive communication (nearly a year's worth) between NOPE legislative liaison Elaine Mann and yours truly with Robert Menendez's office has yielded zilch in terms of public response from the Senator's office, and we are left to wonder whether the phones or email in Frank Lautenberg's office even work or if he's even on the job. That is not a partisan jab; just a simple fact.

Tinton Falls residents can take solace in District 12 Representative Rush Holt's sharing of NOPE's view of the financial perspectives of the Laurelwood housing case, but challenge the Congressman on his view that civilian housing at Earle would not compromise area security. To be sure, it seemed to us that only after showing up en masse to Mr. Holt's open house meeting in late December 2008 at Ranney Prep did he come around in any sort of fashion for Tinton Falls residents, many of which have been particularly critical of his seemingly passive posture (Mr. Holt's aides suggest he will not "grandstand" on issues...something they contend Mr. Smith does too often) as well in handling of the Ft. Monmouth closure. (Interestingly, Smith is the one whose name is on the bill to prevent the Ft. Monmouth closure - Mr. Holt later "signed on".)

Ouside viewers, and often NOPE's critics, look at Mainside Earle as largely a Colts Neck theme, but satellite images and the Navy's EIS on whether to open the homes to civilians clearly shows a significant number of strategic weapons bunkers on Tinton Falls land, so anyone who lives a) near the southern border along Shafto Road, b) along Wayside Rd. and Hockhocksen in the North End of town, or c) those living at the extreme north of town, along Normandy Road, lives near Earle's two-mile "explosive arcs" (i.e. in harms way when things go "boom.")

Unfortunately it took Rep. Holt a long time to come around to even admitting the financial pitfalls of the Laurelwood housing issue, but his letter to the Navy (co-signed by Washington Congressman Norm Dicks) suggests a more-active pursuit of Tinton Falls' interests, though not as deeply as those of Chris Smith, whom Mike Halfacre correctly notes has been a far bigger advocate on issues crucial to District 12 (i.e., Tinton Falls) than its own elected "representative" in Washington.

Sorry, Mr. Holt.

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