Friday, November 20, 2009

Terrorists Inside the U.S.: Bloomberg News

Our thanks to NOPE supporter Tom Schulte, who shares with us this Bloomberg News article summarizing a U.S. Senate panel hearing Thursday into homegrown terrorism that, in particular, targets military personnel - something we hope the Navy will reconsider in its ill-hatched plan to open Weapons Station Earle to civilian housing in 2010. In the meantime, we would encourage other supporters to share their tips and ideas with us at or

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"NOPE is right"

The words of Mark Rosman, managing editor for Greater Media Newspapers: Navy must kill plan for civilian housing. We found it in the News Transcript (Colts Neck and its neighbors in Freehold, Manalapan, Englishtown and Marlboro) and Edison-Metuchen Sentinel so far and will find out tomorrow whether it runs in the Red Bank Hub and elsewhere.

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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Background checks and counterterrorism

It is impossible for NOPE to sift through the thousands of news articles, commentary and opinions about the senseless Fort Hood massacre for something objective, but this article from the November 14 Houston Chronicle touches upon two topics relevant to our objection to the Department of Navy's plan to rent the Laurelwood homes on Naval Weapons Station Earle to civilians by next year: background checks (i.e. military readiness) and coordination between U.S. intelligence services.

Those new to NOPE's case may be shocked to find that the Navy is willing to create an unimpeded (i.e. no main gate, no background checks to residents and any visitors) access road to the 300 Laurelwood homes within NWS Earle's fenceline, simply as an out to a bad "privatized" housing contract from the 1980s. This not only comes as an unfunded mandate to New Jersey's taxpayers and local citizenry, but also will severely compromise the base's mission and the quality of life for active military and contractors residing in other homes inside NWS Earle.

The point matter where you stand in the aftermath of Fort Hood, it is clear to the humble constituents of NOPE (and in the Houston Chronicle's piece about the U.S. Army) that, somehow, the security of the U.S. Military's own bases appears secondary to military decision-makers, and that our nation's counterterrorism efforts may need a fresh perspective. For, how else could you explain the preposterous notion of opening underutilized military housing on an active, secure and strategically significant Naval munitions storage facility to anyone that can merely pay the rent?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christie win could prove valuable to NOPE

As political outsiders, we find the inclusion of District 13 (Middletown) Sen. Joseph Kryillos on Governor-elect Chris Christie's 10-member transition team may prove vital to NOPE's goal to prevent the Department of Navy from turning NWS Earle into a civilian rental community where residents and visitors are granted unimpeded access to the Laurelwood homes.

Mr. Kryillos is the co-primary sponsor, along with District 12 Sen. (and NOPE supporter) Jennifer Beck, of S3017, which would "require the State Treasurer to issue cost benefit analysis and security report for conversion of military housing to civilian housing at Earle Naval Weapons Station and places moratorium on issuance of certain State permits and plan approvals." In short, the DEP and DOT would be prohibited from issuing any road construction permits to the DoN until the study is complete, throwing a potentially significant wrench into its plans to house civilians by 2010.

Although we were somewhat surprised the Mr. Christie never made light of the Earle situation within the context of his campaign (considering his office was the one that fiercely prosecuted the case against Earle hacker Gary McKinnon, starting around the time of 9/11), we are hopeful that the Beck-Kryillos bill will pass this lame duck session in Trenton, and remind any NOPE SUPPORTERS who still have the WHITE NOPE POSTCARDS in their possession to sign and return them to his or her primary NOPE contact ASAP (or mail to us at P.O. Box 261, Colts Neck, NJ 07722). These are the ones we need to submit in Trenton when the day comes (presumably this month) to lobby for S3017 passage.

Otherwise, please continue to return the other four-color postcards to your NOPE contacts ASAP (or mail them yourselves) as we prepare a second bulk mailing around Thanksgiving.