Saturday, September 26, 2009

Visit NOPE at Tinton Falls Day

Please stop by and visit NOPE's Communications Director Diana Piotrowski and Business Analyst Fulton Wilcox at Tinton Falls Day, today from 3p-7p at the Sycamore Avenue Soccer Complex (next to Mahala F. Atchison School). Diana and Fulton will be there not only to promote NOPE's Oct. 27 rally, but also to distribute literature and answer any questions about the Laurelwood housing situation at Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck, and the impact it will have, particularly on the Tinton Falls and Colts Neck communities.

Friday, September 25, 2009

U.S. terror suspects accused of targeting Marine base

On the heels of our analysis yesterday of the terror attack drill conducted at Fort Monmouth and how it relates to our case at Earle, Reuters reports that the two men charged in North Carolina last month with plotting terror attacks overseas also planned to attack the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, authorities said on Thursday.

A new indictment against "alleged" ringleader Daniel Patrick Boyd (see past NOPE blogs about Mr. Boyd, about a month ago) and Hysen Sherifi charges the men with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel and possessing armor piercing ammunition. Clearly these are wonderful, upstanding civilians .... As Reuters reports:
"These additional charges hammer home the grim reality that today's home-grown terrorists are not limiting their violent plans to locations overseas, but instead are willing to set their sights on American citizens and American targets, right here at home," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said.

Reiterating yesterday's commentary, NOPE scratches its collective head wondering why, considering the wealth of knowledge we have on global terrorism and military bases now on the radars of terrorists, U.S. Navy leaders in Washington are so eager to build an unimpeded civilian access road thru the heart of Weapons Station Earle, all for the sake of obligating a 30-year housing privatization contract that has nothing to do with enhancing the base's mission. We encourage our supporters to challenge their elected officials and the U.S. Navy on this, and to attend our October 27 rally at Colts Neck High School.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fort Monmouth drill validates NOPE's concern about proposed civilian housing at Earle and threat of base attack

Roughly a month after we blogged here about a hostage drill at Weapons Station Earle, we find Fort Monmouth conducting an emergency readiness drill, simulating a terror attack. Interesting, in that by 2012 there will presumably be no more U.S. Army mission at Fort Monmouth, but that's another story...

Our takeaway from Fort Monmouth's drill (read the full text of the story in today's Asbury Park Press), other than the emergency responders did such a great job that the commander wrapped up the exercise two hours ahead of schedule (Miller time!), is that the drill was designed to simulate a rocket-propelled grenade attack on a building on the base, fired by a terrorist from the parking lot of a nearby dentist's office!
"We never try to test the "powder puff' scenarios," said Michael Ruane of the
James Thomas Group, a garrison contractor that designed and ran Wednesday's
NOPE recognizes the need of our nearby military bases to conduct emergency response drills, but the respective planning by the U.S. Navy for a hostage drill and the U.S. Army of a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the base suggest to us that opening an active U.S. military munitions facility (NWS Earle) to civilians is idiotic to the highest order.

The notion of opening an unimpeded, roughly 2-mile long access road to the Laurelwood houses at Earle from Rt. 34 in Colts Neck and cutting, in essence, right behind the extremely well guarded main gate at the Navy base flies in the face of reason, and will leave open the possibility of more than just a "drill" at one of our most important weapons installations.

Imagine, if you will, droves of unchecked cars coming and going to the Laurelwood homes, traversing the new "Alternate 4" road selected by the U.S. Navy, and the possibility of one car stopping along the shoulder of this new $12 million road (cordoned off from the active base by a mere 7 feet of rented security fencing but running squarely thru the base) to launch a grenade attack on a U.S. Navy train ready to move explosives to a U.S. Navy ship at the harborside base in Middletown, or perhaps to fire upon a building that houses active Navy service members or private contractors working within the confines of a supposedly secure Naval Weapons Station Earle...

How would Navy leaders in Washington explain to the U.S. public that a dozen of its own service members were killed because of its own stubbornness to get out of an 80s-era privatized housing contract?

Again, the options are: a) no unimpeded access route, no civilian housing at Weapons Station Earle, and diminished threat of an attack within the boundaries of the Navy base, or b) free access to Laurelwood for the 1,200 or more presumed civilian residents at Earle and ANY visitors from 2010-2040, compromised base security, and the possibility of a disaster at a strategically important mission.

YOU decide...attend our RALLY at Colts Neck High, Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 730pm, and visit our table at Tinton Falls Day, this Saturday, September 26 from 3p-7p, at the Sycamore Soccer Complex along Sycamore Avenue, next to Atchison School.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SAVE THE DATE: NOPE RALLY, Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Specifics to follow, but NOPE will be staging an autumn rally at the Colts Neck High School auditorium on Tuesday, October 27 at 730 p.m. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Civilian housing at Earle would cost U.S. taxpayers AT LEAST $360 MILLION

Roughly a month away from a big community rally we are planning, it is appropriate on a slow Monday in the NOPE news cycle to redirect readers' attention to the business case analysis we released last November, justifying the financial merits of an outright revocation or buyout of the Laurelwoood housing "outlease" (i.e. the portion covering civilian housing).

Candidly, your Navy leaders in Washington have been remiss to address such analysis, billing it as "too complicated" to analyze (see the Laurelwood EIS for full text). We are hopeful, however, that the Senate's GAO will expose what NAVFAC egregiously ignored throughout the Laurelwood Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and public comment process - that unless OUR local communities speak up, Laurelwood becomes OUR financial mess - and that the Navy and its developer will amicably reach a resolution and alleviate our headache.

The analysis considers perpetual and one-time costs and risks not only to the U.S. taxpayer through 2040 (at least a $300 million obligation, mostly to Earle-area residents, largely in terms of educational costs), but to the U.S. Navy itself (at least $60 million) if it goes thru with the civilian outlease. We would encourage all visitors to take a look at this easy-to-follow 8-page brief and invite any questions or comments at and/or