Murphy Says Yes To Fort Monmouth Liquor Licenses
After arriving at his desk earlier this summer, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law Aug. 17 allowing for more liquor licenses at the U.S. Army’s former Fort Monmouth property.
The three towns that have property within Fort Monmouth’s redevelopment area – Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls – will benefit greatly, said state Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11), who initially sponsored the legislation.
“The area has suffered since the military’s departure from Fort Monmouth and this legislation will help spur economic growth in the district,” Gopal said. “Revitalizing Monmouth County is one of our key objectives and the introduction of additional liquor licenses in this area is a key step in achieving that goal. The licenses will attract restaurateurs, which will draw new customers into the area and in turn, attract new businesses and development.”
A total of 12 new liquor licenses will be granted. Eatontown is due to receive six, while Tinton Falls is issued four, and Oceanport will get two.
Legislators on the local and state level believe this law will allow for more opportunity at the former fort property. Fort redevelopment officials had been working toward transforming the 89-acre Johnson Gates section in Eatontown into a “centerpiece” for Fort Monmouth. Other locations throughout the vast 1,127-acre property have liquor licenses in place, like the Marina at Oceanport restaurant and the Suneagles golf course.
These new licenses, however, can only be obtained after going through the formal procedures under the Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan.
O’Scanlon Bill Calls For Harsher Animal Abuse Penalties
Just weeks removed from the heroic rescue of a pit bull puppy left to drown on the edge of the Shrewsbury River in Highlands, state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) has announced his plans to introduce legislation that would create stiffer penalties for animal abusers.
The bill would establish “Aggravated Animal Abuse” as a new criminal offense and increase penalties for the cruel treatment of animals.
“Only a cruel coward would have the audacity to abuse or kill an innocent dog,” O’Scanlon said in a media release. “No living creature should suffer through such catastrophic levels of abuse.”
“For many of us our pets are family. Regardless, these are living creatures. We have to do everything we can to stop malicious people from endangering them. It is high time that the punishment for animal cruelty fits the crime. The cases we have seen throughout New Jersey prove that a stronger deterrent is necessary to keep our pets out of harm’s way,” O’Scanlon added.
Under this legislation, a person convicted of the new offense would either be convicted of a second degree or third degree crime – depending on the severity of the case – and face associated penalties. The bill would also require an individual convicted of aggravated animal abuse to undergo mandatory mental health counseling.
“It is widely recognized that the penalties for animal abuse are not nearly severe enough to deter people in New Jersey from committing these atrocious crimes,” O’Scanlon said. “Anyone who abuses an animal should not be able to walk away with a slap on the wrist.”
O’Scanlon and DiMaso Move to Bell Works
State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso have found a home in Holmdel’s ‘metroburb.’
The pair of representatives from Legislative District 13 have opened new offices on the third floor of Bell Works at 101 Crawfords Corner Road. The offices will be supported by five legislative staff members.
“We’re thrilled to make Bell Works our new home as we represent our constituents in District 13,” O’Scanlon said in a media release. “Being able to share this inspiring space alongside private-sector technological giants and innovative co-working offices can’t help but inspire our creativity. It also serves as a spectacular public space for our constituents.”
DiMaso, who served as the mayor of Holmdel from 2006 to 2010, called the building “iconic” and said the “reimagined building represents an amazing opportunity for my office. There are multiple spaces and services within Bell Works that will allow us to hold new events for our residents.”
Red Bank League of Women Voters Honored
The League of Women Voters of Greater Red Bank (LWVGRB) was honored earlier this summer for their advocacy on women’s issues.
Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-11) presented the group with a resolution from the state thanking the LWVGRB for a number of events, public meetings and discussions they’ve held for women over the years. This year, they continued the Running and Winning program at Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls, to connect young women with female legislators. An Internship In Democracy event was held at Middletown High School North, as well.
This article was first published in the Sept. 6-13, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
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