Saturday, June 20, 2009

Navy Puts Spin on Earle Housing

A letter to the editor from yours truly appeared in Friday's Asbury Park Press.

The part that was omitted was near the end, where I encouraged Mr. Snow to reverse the Navy's extremely poor decision.

Please continue to press your legislators on this issue and keep your friends and neighbors informed of any developments on the issue.

And Happy Father's Day!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

U.S. Military - A defense agency, or a REIT?

The notion of private citizens potentially living on an active military base is not only confined to Weapons Station Earle, but to other bases as well, such as Hanscom AFB in Massachussets.

According to this story in the Concord Journal, a developer will build 720 homes on base by 2011, even as the demographics suggest this might not be such a wise move; 95% of the units would need to be occupied by active duty personnel before a pecking order of others (reserves, retired military personnel, contractors, general public) are then entertained as potential tenants.

The point is that, much like the housing situation at Earle, the military appears to be lacking in understanding the financial viability of housing construction contracts. Clearly military personnel need and deserve housing, but it seems someone in Washington needs to step up with a more-feasible plan for addressing such needs. Any notion of civilians interfering with the regular operations of a military base is absurd and should never happen, in my view.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tinton Falls Borough Council in a holding pattern

I went to the TF borough council meeting last night not expecting much (i.e. with a new mayor and two new council members to be sworn in July 7...and considering the budget was the urgent item on the docket), but wanted to ask publicly on behalf of NOPE about the borough's posture on the Navy's decision to open the access route to Laurelwood; more specifically, whether TF would consider filing a suit against the Navy to challenge the validity of the EIS, much like Colts Neck's Township Committee (or so we understand).

Borough Attorney Mr. Berube informed the public that the borough is considering all options and remains supportive of NOPE, and reminded us of the borough's resolution backing the "Accettola Plan" of veterans housing at Laurelwood (in the event civilian residents ever live there). Although I am steadfastly opposed to anyone ever living at Laurelwood (other than enlisted military personnel with the proper credentials, background checks and base access), it was reassuring to learn that Mr. Berube/TF has consulted with Colts Neck's attorneys regarding Colts Neck's own pursuit of legal action vs. the Navy, so this is something worth watching, as NOPE endorses the notion of Tinton Falls either filing its own suit or joining with Colts Neck to challenge the validity of the EIS on which the Navy decision is based.

The EIS is extremely flawed and non-compliant, and should be redone from scratch to explore the "No Build Option," which was written off as impossible in the EIS but is by far the best of the five options "studied."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Frustrated by Lack of Navy Concern

It continues to be apparent that the Navy has an agenda that we mere mortals are unable to comprehend. They have flaunted the process by completely dismissing the "no build" option and refusing to meet with the owner of Laurelwood in order to negotiate a settlement. Now would be a perfect time to meet with the owner since the economy is in turmoil and housing prices have hit the skids. What better opportunity vis-a-vis negotiating power versus waiting for the economy to recover and housing prices to firm up. You can really tell the difference between a businessman and a government employee. A businessman would have cut to the chase and sorted this out years ago versus a government employee who does not have a bottom line to protect. We hear nothing from the government but concerns over the "budget" and yet in this instance millions of dollars have been wasted as the Navy "dithers". What will it take for the Navy to "mediate" this problem and make it go away????? I also guess that the Navy is not concerned about any potential "terror" threats with unimpeded access to NWS Earle. The recent spate of home grown terrorists (Fort Dix, NY synagogues, Arkansas Army recruiting depot, etc, etc) does not seem to register with Washington. I guess all of our senior Navy civilians live in the cloistered world of Washington, DC and do not worry about what is happening in the REAL world.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Remember to Write President Obama today!

Remember to write to President Obama today. As written here a few days ago, we are encouraging all NOPE supporters to seek Mr. Obama's help on the Laurelwood housing front. Please write today to the President at
Many thanks!