Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More good news from Menendez and Lautenberg

For those unable to attend the first of NOPE's two summer information sessions (our next one is at Tinton Falls Borough Hall on Monday, August 3 @ 73op), we were pleased to have Jeff Sagnip from Congressman Smith's office and Kellie Drakeford from Senator Menendez's office stop by to address the latest initiatives on Capitol Hill in their fight against the U.S. Navy's Laurelwood housing plan. We otherwise received written correspondence from Representative Holt's office, expressing his continued efforts in support of our battle against civilian housing plans for Weapons Station Earle.

Senator Menendez filed an amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Lautenberg, to the Senate Defense Authorization bill requesting a GAO study for Earle, using similar language crafted by Congressman Smith and included in the House passage of the F2010 (starting October 2009)Defense Authorization Bill. This development, in our opinion, would suggest that the measure has a decent chance of passage, particularly considering the unified, bipartisan support vis-a-vis the requests of the respected Messrs. Smith, Menendez and Lautenberg, and suggests the GAO study will a) fill the obvious void left by the Laurelwood EIS and its lack of fundamental financial analysis, b) erect another barrier for the Navy's intended conversion of the Laurelwood homes for civilian access and c) validate the common sense argument of a contract buyout or outright revocation by the U.S. Navy, within the Navy's contractual rights.

NOPE continues to thank our elected officials for coming thru in defense of our local communities, and in the interests of local security and national defense, and encourages our local constituents to keep making phone calls to their elected officials, expressing their opposition to the Laurelwood housing plan. Also plan to attend our Community Briefing on Sept. 24 and anticipated NOPE rally on October 12 (Columbus Day, site and time TBA).

Otherwise, we will keep you posted of any media developments pertaining to our story. A reporter from the Newark Star-Ledger was kind enough to visit our meeting and spent a lot of time with us afterward discussing our case.

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