Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Diana takes one for the team

NOPE Communications Director Diana Piotrowski once again hit the nail on the head in this Letter to the Editor of the Asbury Park Press, published Tuesday.

The funny thing about the APP is the peanut gallery "In Your Voice" commentary that follows such news articles and opinion pieces. More often than not, the comments are vitrioloic and ill-informed, so it is best for readers to take them with a grain of salt.

To be sure, everyone is entitled to free speech (a right defended by the same people we're battling), but it is laughable how outsiders to NOPE's cause view this as some sort of pitched class or anti-housing battle, which it is not, or some kind of Colts Neck-only effort (the homes are there, but the base is spread across a half-dozen towns). NOPE has thousands of supporters throughout Monmouth County and backing all the way up to the U.S. Senate.

The root of NOPE's effort is to convince the Department of Navy that cutting a hole in the security fencing and paving a free-for-all civilian access road through the base to a cluster of mostly empty homes (which the Navy should not have built in the first place) on an active weapons dump is not the best for base, local and service-member security post 9-11, but is also fiscally irresponsible -- just go and ask Senators Menendez and Lautenberg, Representatives Smith and Holt, state and local legislators across the board. We calculate the unfunded mandate on local and N.J. taxpayers at $500 the least.

The Laurelwood housing issue at Weapons Station Earle cannot be viewed in a vacuum. There are many issues that make this extremely complex - even so for NOPE's core volunteer leaders that have spent two years and thousands of hours picking this issue apart. So it is unfair to put any weight in anonymous, blog-type attacks from ill-informed aggressors who would rather complain aloud than actually step up and do something for the benefit of his or her community. Renting homes to anyone smack dab in the middle of a weapons dump is no benefit to anyone and is, in light of Diana's reference to the Kitsap-Bangor break-in (and implicit reference to the Fort Hood massacre), a total recipe for disaster.

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