2011-11-30 / Letters

With mission accomplished, group disbands

Neighbors Opposed to Privatization at Earle (NOPE) is happy to inform our supporters that all of the 300 Laurelwood housing units at Naval Weapons Station Earle, Colts Neck, have been demolished.

Is it a shame these houses were torn down when so many people are losing their homes and need adequate living arrangements? Absolutely yes, but because of the location of these homes and the fact that NWS Earle is an active military facility, the public’s concerns for security prevailed.

Your contributions and in-kind donations helped to defray the costs of this five-year effort; however, because there is no longer a need for NOPE to exist, the NOPE bank account had to be closed and a decision made regarding the distribution of the remaining funds.

After paying the appropriate fees to the state of New Jersey there was approximately $934 left in the account. The executive committee felt it was appropriate to donate these funds to two organizations that work with and assist our service personnel; therefore, the money was divided equally between the following organizations:

 Veterans Transition Initiative. This is an organization that was set up by Lt. Col. Jim Sfayer, USMC (ret). He and Chris Placitella (also of Colts Neck) and other volunteers work with recently discharged service personnel helping them with job interviews, résumé writing, legal assistance, benefit counseling and many other services in their transition from military to civilian life. You can visit www.veteranstransition.net.

 Homes for Our Troops. This is an organization based out of Taunton, Mass. They build specially equipped homes for our military veterans who have become disabled during their service. You can visit the Internet website at www.homesforourtroops.org.

Without the tremendous community and bipartisan legislative involvement in stopping the U.S. Department of Defense’s misguided attempt to privatize these 300 Laurelwood housing units, the final chapter in this saga would be decidedly different.

To that end the NOPE Executive Committee would like to truly thank all of our supporters who stood by us during those five years. There were a great many highs and lows, but you all continued to give us the backing we needed to persevere. Happily we achieved the successful conclusion we had hoped for.

Bill Holobowski
Ernest Janssen
Executive Committee
Colts Neck

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