Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NOPE's goals for the homestretch

NOPE leadership met last night to discuss actions inside of five weeks until expiration of the military-use phase of the 52-year Laurelwood lease and proposed conversion to unvetted rental and unimpeded access thru NWS Earle to civilians this year. Owing to the outpouring of community support, NOPE has made great strides, but the job is not yet complete, so we need all of our supporters to remain focused on our mission - no civilian housing at NWS Earle.

By month's end, we hope to see thru the passage of S-762/A-2014 and signature by Governor Christie, setting the wheels in motion for postponement of DOT and DEP permit issuance to the Department of Navy for proposed construction of its 1.7-mile "Road to Nowhere" (the Laurelwood homes, in this case) until the N.J. Treasurer's office can conduct a cost-benefits analysis, which we are confident will reveal an enormous unfunded federal mandate on N.J. We will keep our eye on whether A-2014 gets posted for vote in either committee or by the full Assembly Session, and understand that a number of NOPE supporters answered our call to contact Assemblyman Conners, respectfully encouraging him to post A-2014 ASAP.

Meanwhile, we will follow up with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week on the progress of its investigation into the Laurelwood housing situation (from security, financial and environmental perspectives missing from the Navy's own "Environmental Impact Statement" of 2008) and hope for a report before the lease's "military-use" phase expires on April 30, although we recognize that the release could come after that date. Regardless, we are confident that the probe will validate NOPE's case from multiple fronts and prove that the Laurelwood EIS was incomplete and a waste of everyone's time and dollars.

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