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Fios Reports!

Fios1 News, which I must confess I never heard of before yesterday, visited the boardwalk to report on the dispute over Doherty’s plans for the donated Buy-a-Board funds:

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Notice Doherty always talks about the legality of it, like his resolution expanding the permitted uses of the money—which none of the actual donors voted for—or the approval of his cronies at the Department of Community Affairs.  But he never addresses the morality of it.

It was a lie.

Please Google:  Belmar “actual boards” or click here.

Look how many times we were told “actual boards”.  Hundreds.

But now we’re told that what was meant by “boards” was a two inch parcel of real estate with your name on it on a sign board for a year or two.

Did anyone notice Doherty’s quote from last week’s APP story?

“No one actually bought a board; they bought a board that has their name on it that’s on the boardwalk, everybody who provided financial assistance to us is up there.”

Did a single person out there think that that’s what “Buy a Board” meant?

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GIFT CARDS LEFT BEGGING TO BE STOLEN!

SUSPECTS IN DISAPPEARANCE:  EVERYBODY!

From the prosecutor’s office:

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Now what was that about another $7 million you want to borrow?

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Epically Litigious

Robert Epifano Sr. is the founder and chairman of Epic Construction, the company that built the boardwalk and will build the pavilions if the $7 million bond passes.  Through his work for the Laborers Union, the Carpenters Union, and also apparently by lending his name as a plaintiff for the bricklayers union, he has used the courts quite a lot over the years.

If you Google:  “robert epifano” plaintiff

And then at the bottom of page 2 click on “repeat the search with the omitted results included” you will get the 20 pages of lawsuits shown here.

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The Week

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Perfect Together

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From the Washington Post:

Andrew Cuomo’s Republican challenger is angry with Chris Christie

The long-shot Republican challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) wants more help from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

If he doesn’t get it. Well, then maybe Christie should quit, he says.

“Clearly he can come across the bridge and not just raise money for himself, but raise money for the Republican candidate here — unless he is unable or unwilling because of an issue that we don’t know about with Andrew Cuomo and the ‘Bridge-gate’ scandal,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) told Fred Dicker Tuesday on WGDJ-AM.

“And if that’s the the case and he feels he can’t do it,” Astorino continued, “then maybe he should step down as chairman.”

Christie signaled in Connecticut on Monday that he probably won’t be campaigning for Astorino……………………………..

Star Ledger Takes Another Swing At Conti Group

Yesterday:

$9.6 million Fenimore cleanup contract is 23 percent more than state estimated

ROXBURY — New Jersey has awarded a $9.6 million dollar contract to Conti Enterprises to cap the Fenimore landfill — about $1.8 million more than the state estimated the project would cost earlier this year.

The controversial project is meant to address Roxbury’s troubles with the site — which in late 2012 began spreading rotten egg-like smells for miles. The smells were blamed on hydrogen sulfide, generated by debris brought in by developer Strategic Environmental Partners as part of a state-approved plan to cap the site — a landfill that shut down in 1979 — and install a solar facility.

The state Department of Environmental Protection took over the site last summer, saying Strategic mismanaged the project — though Strategic and the state continue to litigate several aspects of their dispute over the site. The DEP installed a gas collection and burnoff system that has greatly diminished hydrogen sulfide emissions, but the cap Conti will install is meant as a more permanent solution.

The cap project awarded to Conti only covers the area where Strategic began its work — about 19 acres of the 65 acre landfill. Strategic’s project, halted when the state took over the site last year, was meant to eventually address the full landfill, which a 2005 state report identified as in need of remediation.

It’s also costlier than the DEP estimated in March, when officials came to Roxbury to make a public presentation about their capping plan — arguing it would be far cheaper and less problematic than removing debris Strategic brought into the site.

In that presentation, the DEP estimated the cost of installing its cap to be $7.8 million………………………………

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…………………………Last year, a Star-Ledger report drew attention to Conti’s political connections.

Days after the state hired Florida-based Ashbritt with a no-bid contract to remove superstorm Sandy Debris, AshBritt hired Conti, based in Edison, to help manage its efforts and identify local subcontractors. Conti hired Maggie Moran — a former top aide to Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine whose husband is the mayor of Belmar — to help develop a marketing campaign she said “educated stakeholders about what the state contract offered in terms of debris removal and cleanup.”

Moran’s role in has drawn attention to her personal ties in Belmar — which hired Ferreira Construction of Branchburg to clean debris days after the storm, before it too became an Ashbritt subcontractor. In addition to working for Conti, Moran is a longtime consultant for Ferriera Construction.

Moran has said she recused herself from any dealings Conti had with Belmar “to avoid even an appearance of impropriety.”

The Star-Ledger also found that over the last two decades, Conti donated $129,350 to Republicans in the state and $3,850 to Democrats, according to state Election Law Enforcement Commission records. Company executives have personally contributed an additional $55,250 to Republicans.

Comment Of The Week

From Tom Burke:

Does anyone but me see an attempt to cover up the “BBP” (Belmar Business Partners) invite to all by calling the committee Ms.Grosshandler is on the “RBP”. I think this is a subtle attempt to distort the facts. No-one heard of the “RBP” until this letter. The simple fact is that someone messed up when the Belmar Business Partners invite went out for all to attend the meeting in question.

Don’t try to cover up mistakes like this in the manner you choose. The people of Belmar are much smarter than you give them credit for Ms. Grosshandler, when you have lived here longer than a few months you may find this to be true.

Janet Grosshandler’s Letter

Janet Grosshandler, a member of the committee to stick Belmar with $7 million more debt, wrote a letter to the Star which was published today.  Ms. Grosshandler was the treasurer for the Magovern-Blackburn campaign last year and lived in Wall at the time.  She has since moved to an apartment in Belmar.  To my knowledge she has never seen a Belmar property tax bill with her name on it and if she registered to vote in Belmar she did so only very recently.

Here is her letter with my comments in red italics.

 

I’m clarifying what happened at our meeting last week to promote passing Belmar’s public question to rebuild the pavilions. Here is information I believe as truth instead of innuendos that a handful of people promote. I am a member of the Rebuild Belmar Pavilions [RBP] committee and we are tired of what I feel is misinformation that a small group pushes around Belmar.  (The mayor, the Democrats on the Council, the administrator and borough attorney are a small group.  She must be talking about them.)

Mostly spread by word-of-mouth, (and an email “inviting all”) our RBP committee meeting was held to get information out to dispel the insinuations that this Belmar recovery opposition is trying to feed people. There were Democrats, Republicans and Independents present, in other words, (hand selected) Belmar townspeople and business owners who care about our town and want to move forward.  (BTW, every time these people say “recovery” think “debtor’s prison”)

Of course RBP asked the mayor and supporting council members to come to tell us the process that created the Pavilions plan- like the 11-member (Democrat campaign-contributor) committee that met for months, including members of police, first aid, lifeguards, water rescue team, to clarify the needs. We are people who care about Belmar and its pavilions. There was no “violation of the law” as printed in a recent Coast Star article about this meeting. It was a private meeting.  (“All are invited”)

As to the claim that a Jim Bean was “not allowed” into the meeting [also a quote from last week’s article], I believe that this was just another planned grandstanding ploy from Jim Bean. I believe he stood there yelling to get attention and then stormed out, perhaps having The Coast Star’s reporter on speed dial to get his name in the paper.  (Jim Bean was not allowed into the meeting.)

As to DeSanctis’ (Her name is Joy, Grosshandler!) comment in the same Coast Star article that the mayor “using his position to pick sides,” duh. The public question is to say “yes” to the mayor and council’s hard work to complete Belmar’s recovery (debtor’s prison). The mayor and council (following orders) already said “yes” to this vote. The Aug. 19 vote is to pass the council approved bond ordinance. Hundreds of us are on “this side” and over 55 residents attended our meeting about voting “yes” on Aug. 19.  (I don’t know where she gets her “hundreds” from.  Did they do a vote already?  One thing we do know is that over 300 people signed the petitions calling for the referendum.  And this time, Gene Murray didn’t “accidentally” sign.)

Belmar residents, we need these pavilions. (Please drop the “we”.  You haven’t even been living here a year.  And while pavilions will be nice, the beach does seem to be thriving without them.)  They have been scaled down to being functional to meet Belmar’s needs. (And why were they “scaled down?  Because the ones originally presented to us were completely ridiculous.)  There are no frills here. We are replacing and rebuilding what was there. (If only that were so.)  In order to make it ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant, FEMA approved so we can get reimbursement and built to comply with V zone construction requirements, it is going to cost money.  (The issue is, for the umpteenth time, how much money?)

When I hear someone say, “vote this down so we can build it cheaper,” I cringe. I believe that starting over again can only mean more money down the line. Delaying this for months will not serve Belmar. Build one pavilion at a time? I think that would cost more. Send it out for other bids? I believe that there’s a very strong chance a new lowest bid will be more than what we have now.  (That’s what you believe.  I believe that a different mayor will get these pavilions built for a lot less money.)

The Rebuild Belmar Pavilions committee wants you to vote “yes” on Aug. 19. We are on the side of moving Belmar forward, of rebuilding what we have lost and completing our recovery (debtor’s prison.). Do you want this tiny group to keep holding us back? (Tiny? Over 300 people signed the petition.) The “nay-sayers” will not stop us who want Belmar to thrive. Vote

yes!  (Vote no.)

Belmar In The News

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They Won’t Even Tell The State

That it’s about the $7 Million

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