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 Acupuncturists Atlantic Highlands, NJ

If you're new to holistic healing, acupuncture may seem intimidating. You might be wondering how needles pressed into your skin could possibly make you feel better. Wouldn't someone pushing a needle into your back be painful? As it turns out, acupuncture is far from painful and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after treatments for chronic pain and for regulating issues relating to:

  • Digestion
  • Hormones
  • Breathing
  • Muscles
  • Nerves & Brain
  • Sex & Libido
  • Body Circulation
  • Organs & Heart

In fact, acupuncture has been studied and practiced for over 2,500 years and, more recently, has been researched and supported by many scientific studies. While acupuncture may not be a "miracle" treatment for every type of pain or condition, it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of issues, from depression and allergies to morning sickness and cramps.

Covering the Basics of Acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Acupuncture is a therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that aims to balance the body's energy, called qi, which flows through pathways called meridians. This balance is crucial for overall wellness, as disruptions to qi can lead to health concerns. According to TCM, inserting small stainless-steel needles into specific points called acupoints along the meridians can help rebalance the flow of qi and restore overall health.

These acupoints are believed to release certain chemicals when stimulated, which can trigger an immune response and promote physiological homeostasis. Recent research suggests that this therapy may help alleviate symptoms of various health ailments.

In fact, the National Institute of Health conducted a survey on complementary health approaches, revealing that acupuncture usage in the United States has increased by 50 percent between 2002 and 2012. As of 2012, 6.4 percent of American adults have reported using acupuncture as a form of treatment.

Acupuncture Near Me Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Is Acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ Actually Legit?

One of the most common questions from new patients interested in acupuncture typically revolves around whether it really works or whether it's all "new age" malarky. We get it - for most folks, the thought of inserting stainless-steel needles into one's back, arms, or neck sounds loony. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of acupuncture in New Jersey and other locations, numerous studies centering on acupuncture's effectiveness have taken place.

Extensive research has been conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. A February 2022 analysis published in the BMJ, which evaluated over 2,000 scientific reviews of acupuncture therapies, revealed that acupuncture's efficacy is strongest for:

  • Neck Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Post-Stroke Aphasia
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lactation Issues
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • More

Additionally, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acupuncture is most effective for pain relief in cases of chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and tension headaches. Additionally, a review of 11 clinical trials found that acupuncture may also alleviate symptoms associated with cancer treatment, as noted by the NIH.

What Happens During an Acupuncture Session at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness?

When meeting with your acupuncturist for the first time, they will discuss your condition with you before conducting a physical examination to identify areas of your body that might respond to acupuncture. The needles used in acupuncture are incredibly thin, sterile, and disposable, with your acupuncturist inserting them at different depths ranging from a fraction of an inch to several inches.

Acupuncture needles are less painful than medical needles used for vaccines or blood draws. This is because acupuncture needles are thinner and solid, not hollow. During the treatment, you may experience some muscle sensations like dull aches or tingling.

Your practitioner will ask you to report any deep heaviness or numbness, which are positive signs that the treatment is working. Depending on the condition you're treating and the supplemental treatments you're undergoing, like physical therapy, acupuncture needles will remain in place for several minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Once your first acupuncture treatment is finished, it's normal to feel extra relaxed and calm. For that reason, some patients like to arrange for a ride home after their first or second session. With that said, you shouldn't experience much pain at all, and it's quite possible for you to return to work after acupuncture.

How Many Treatments Until Acupuncture Works?

This is another common question that we get at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness. The simple answer is, "It depends." While we understand that that's not a satisfying answer for some, it's important to understand that every patient is different. Everyone has different bodies and, by proxy, different bodily conditions and issues that need to be addressed.

During your initial consultation at our office, your licensed acupuncturist will go over your needs and goals as it relates to acupuncture therapy. Once your therapist has a good sense of the scope of your needs, they can give you a loose idea of how many sessions you'll need.

Generally speaking, most patients have appointments once a week. Others may require more or less frequent sessions. It's important to note that the full benefits of acupuncture may not be immediately evident after the first or even the second session. It's common for normal patients to undergo up to five treatments to realize the full benefits of acupuncture.

What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ?

There's no question that acupuncture is more popular than ever as a non-invasive, non-addictive way to reclaim balance and well-being. But what types of conditions can this traditional therapy help alleviate in the modern world? Advances in acupuncture techniques and applications have resulted in some very promising benefits.

Relief from Chronic Pain

Did you know that regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis? In May 2017, a meta-analysis was published, which studied approximately 18,000 patients with chronic pain, such as low back, neck, and shoulder pain, knee OA, and headache or migraine. The analysis found that the benefits of acupuncture therapy in reducing pain lasted for more than 12 months.

That's wonderful news for athletes and other people who push their bodies daily to accomplish goals or bring home money for rent and bills. In fact, many medical experts consider acupuncture as a viable option for managing chronic pain in conjunction with traditional methods like physical therapy and chiropractic care. The idea behind this approach is that acupuncture may trigger the body's natural healing response to alleviate pain.

When a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey inserts an acupuncture needle, it penetrates your fascia, a connective tissue that wraps around your organs and muscles. Like a slight tickle on your arm, your body realizes that something is happening and responds by delivering lymph fluid, blood, and other important nutrients to speed up healing in affected areas like your knees, back, neck, joints, and more.

 Fertility Acupuncture Atlantic Highlands, NJ
 Best Acupuncture Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Migraine Headache Relief

If you're like other people who suffer from migraines, you know that once one of them hits, it can be next to impossible to function properly throughout the day. Fortunately, acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ may be a viable solution if you have to endure migraines often.

A study conducted in 2009 by the Center for Complementary Medicine at the University of Munich analyzed 11 studies involving 2,137 patients who received acupuncture treatment for chronic tension-type headaches. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be an effective non-pharmacological solution for frequent headaches.

The study compared the effects of acupuncture sessions with sham acupuncture and no treatment at all. Both groups that received acupuncture treatment, whether needles were placed randomly or strategically, reported a reduction in headache symptoms, while the control group reported no change. The group that received real acupuncture treatment also reported a decrease in the number of headache days and intensity of pain in a follow-up survey.

Improved Sleep

For individuals who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disturbances, acupuncture is a promising therapy. Although sedatives are commonly prescribed for insomnia, long-term use can lead to negative side effects such as dependence and excessive drowsiness.

A study conducted on 72 participants and published in Sleep Medicine in 2017 found that individuals who received acupuncture three times a week for four weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality and anxiety compared to those who received sham acupuncture.

Similarly, a review of 30 randomized, controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective in improving sleep quality and daytime functioning than sham acupuncture.

 Acupuncture Clinic Atlantic Highlands, NJ
 Facial Acupuncture Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Better Recovery from Surgery

While many patients choose acupuncture as a way to avoid surgery altogether, those who need surgery also use it for improved recovery. Because, at the end of the day, recovering from surgery is no easy feat. Patients may experience various symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain around the incision, restlessness, sleep troubles, constipation, and sore throat.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, healthcare providers may use acupuncture as a way to alleviate some of these symptoms and help with healing. A study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in January 2017 involving 172 participants found that patients who received acupuncture after surgery reported significant improvements in sleep, anxiety, pain, fatigue, nausea, and drowsiness.

 Acupuncture Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

The Surprising Benefits of Supplementing Physical Therapy with Acupuncture

Did you know that supplementing physical therapy with acupuncture and vice versa can have profoundly beneficial effects for patients in New Jersey and across the country? If you're like most, chances are you didn't.

The truth is that acupuncture and physical therapy have both been proven effective in reducing pain and inflammation. While many people view them as separate methods, combining the two modalities can produce a synergistic effect that enhances pain relief and delivers long-lasting benefits to patients.

Physical therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities, from children to elderly adults, to help them overcome physical limitations and improve their quality of life. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists help treat a wide range of conditions, from neck pain and spinal cord injuries to back pain and arthritis.

To effectively reduce pain and treat tissue injury, a combination of acupuncture and physical therapy can be very helpful. Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and release muscle tightness and trigger points, allowing the patient to better receive manual therapy or exercise-based physical therapy techniques. In doing so, acupuncture can actually create a window of time that allows your body to respond better to other treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, such as physical therapy and chiropractic care.

There are many benefits of combining physical therapy with acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, including the following:

  • Increased Range of Motion
  • More Effective Long-Term Pain Relief
  • Enhanced Tissue Repair & Healing
  • Better Response to Physical Therapy Due to Pain Reduction
  • Less of a Need for Pain Medications
  • Boosted Mood & Energy
  • Better Quality of Life Overall

You may be wondering, "Are there any studies showing these benefits?" As it turns out, there are many. One such study, published on the NIH's website, was conducted on patients suffering from frozen shoulder.

 Acupuncture Therapy Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Patients who received acupuncture experienced a significant reduction in pain, while those who underwent physical therapy saw an improvement in range of motion. However, the best outcome was observed in patients who received a combination of both treatments, with reduced pain, increased their range of motion, and improved quality of life. This study highlights the potential benefits of using acupuncture and physical therapy as complementary treatments for frozen shoulder.

It makes sense, then, that people from all walks of life are combining acupuncture with chiropractic treatments at New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, including:

  • Professional Athletes
  • Football Players
  • Soccer Players
  • Baseball Players
  • Construction Workers
  • Landscapers
  • Accountants and People Working Office Jobs
  • Public Officials
  • Police Officers
  • More

Combining Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief and Wellness

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At New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness, our doctors, practitioners, occupational therapists, and physical therapist specialize in a range of therapies and treatments. Much like physical therapy and acupuncture, combining chiropractic care with acupuncture therapy gives patients a new way to reclaim their mobility, reduce chronic pain, and maintain a healthy quality of life.

Chiropractic care and acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ are natural healing practices that don't rely on drugs to improve the body's health. They focus on correcting imbalances in the body's structural and supportive systems, promoting natural healing, and ultimately leading to better health. These practices have a proven track record of helping patients improve their quality of life and overcome physical difficulties.

 Medical Acupuncture Atlantic Highlands, NJ

What are the Benefits of Using Acupuncture with Chiropractic Care?

Integrating chiropractic and acupuncture as a dual-modality treatment offers the most efficient solution for removing blockages from the body, promoting balance, and accelerating healing. Rather than using these treatments sequentially, a combined approach allows for maximum benefits at one time.

Chiropractic targets subluxations in the nervous system through manual adjustments, facilitating the central nervous system to promote healing, while acupuncture removes blockages that may hinder the body's internal balance. Together, these treatments work synergistically to optimize energy flow and restore harmony in the body.

 Cosmetic Acupuncture Atlantic Highlands, NJ
 Cosmetic Acupuncture Atlantic Highlands, NJ

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care?

When our physical well-being becomes imbalanced, and our innate healing mechanisms are compromised, illnesses can manifest. The integration of acupuncture and chiropractic practices can effectively address a wide range of health conditions that they individually target, such as:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic Conditions Like Diabetes
  • More

Curious if combining chiropractic care or physical therapy with acupuncture is right for your body? The best way to find out is to make an appointment at our sports rehab clinic in New Jersey. Once our team of medical professionals has a chance to evaluate your conditions, we can explore the best options to provide the most relief in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Premier Choice for Professional Acupuncture in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

New Jersey Sports Spine & Wellness consists of a team of athletic trainers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and other professionals. We're very proud and passionate about caring for our patients, many of whom are suffering from debilitating conditions like back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, sports-related injuries, and more. If you're trying to get on the road to pain relief and recovery, acupuncture may be the non-surgical solution you need to reclaim your life. Contact our office today to learn whether this exciting treatment is right for you.

phone-number732-526-2497

Latest News in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Five Atlantic Highlands Council members say they will vote yes on regionalization

By Muriel J. SmithATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — Continuing to reiterate that this is only the first step, and that they ultimately want to see Sea Bright as part of a new school district, five of the sitting members of the Atlantic Highlands Mayor and Council said they are voting yes on the Sept. 26 special election ballot question to regionalize the preK-12 schools in this town and Highlands, without the addition of Sea Bright....

By Muriel J. Smith

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — Continuing to reiterate that this is only the first step, and that they ultimately want to see Sea Bright as part of a new school district, five of the sitting members of the Atlantic Highlands Mayor and Council said they are voting yes on the Sept. 26 special election ballot question to regionalize the preK-12 schools in this town and Highlands, without the addition of Sea Bright. The three school boards that would merge into one — if the voters give their approval — are Atlantic Highlands Elementary, Highlands Elementary and Henry Hudson Regional. Proponents of the plan also want Sea Bright, which sends its students to Oceanport for elementary school and Shore Regional for high school, to join the new district.

The opinions in Atlantic Highlands are in sharp contrast to the Highlands Mayor and Council, who made it public at their meeting last week that each is voting against the Sept. 26 ballot since it does not include Sea Bright and would be a costly measure for both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Atlantic Highlands governing body, Mayor Loretta Gluckstein and council members Vito Colasurdo, Eileen Cusack, Brian Dougherty and Lori Hohenleitner all said they plan on voting yes on the question. Councilman Jon Crowley was absent from the meeting and Councilman James Murphy pointed out he has recused himself from any action or meetings on the question. As such, he said, he did not feel it appropriate he announce at a council meeting how or if he is voting.

Murphy's wife, Molly, is the president of the Atlantic Highlands Board of Education.

The agenda for the council meeting was changed to enable the borough’s special attorney on the matter, Matthew Giacobbe, to appear via ZOOM to give the governing body an update on the regionalization issue, as well as to respond to questions from council and the public.

The attorney, whose contract sets his fee at $165 an hour, gave a brief history of the borough’s input with regionalization, explaining the state Commissioner of Education has not yet responded to the request made by the two boroughs, as well as Sea Bright, and the three boards of education involved, to OK a question calling for all four entities to merge. He noted the commissioner had dismissed a complaint filed against Sea Bright by the Oceanport and Shore Regional schools, the two districts where Sea Bright students now attend school, calling for Sea Bright to remain where they are.

However, Oceanport and Shore Regional appealed that decision, he said, resulting in the commissioner taking no further action until that issue is resolved. When thethree local boards of education then filed their own request to regionalize PreK-12 without Sea Bright, the commissioner granted that request and the special election, without Sea Bright involved, was set for Sept. 26.

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The special election gives the power to voters, Giacobbe said, and termed it the first step in forming a regional district that Sea Bright will be able to join, if the commissioner ultimately approves the move. That would require another election, he said, and it was unclear whether it would also require yet another feasibility study similar to what has already been completed by two separate experts, or whether the current studies could simply be updated.

Former councilman Michael Harmon, who also served as a former mayor in Atlantic Highlands, praised the current plan and thanked the governing body for presenting it, saying he too planned on voting for it as a first step. He noted Sea Bright is “in a relationship” and has to be dissolved from that before it can be included in another district.

The polls are open Sept. 26 in all regular voting locations in both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands from noon to 8 p.m. It requires a majority vote from the voters in both towns in order for the question to be approved and a preK-12 regional district formed.

Q&A on Tuesday's regionalization vote in Highlands, Atlantic Highlands

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — Since there is a lot of information circulating regarding the upcoming School Regionalization vote this coming Tuesday — with those supporting and those opposing the regionalization plan on the table often disputing each others' information — one thing that is not in dispute is that the Attorneys of Porzio, Bromberg, & Newman are some of the leading experts on school regionalization in New Jersey.In an effort to provide ...

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — Since there is a lot of information circulating regarding the upcoming School Regionalization vote this coming Tuesday — with those supporting and those opposing the regionalization plan on the table often disputing each others' information — one thing that is not in dispute is that the Attorneys of Porzio, Bromberg, & Newman are some of the leading experts on school regionalization in New Jersey.

In an effort to provide voters with some of the facts surrounding the proposal, PBN Law has provided the following Q&A's for the voters, who will head to the polls next Tuesday, Sept. 26 between noon and 8 p.m. in their regular polling places in Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.

Q. What cost allocation method is being voted on at the upcoming election?A. 100 percent equalized valuation for a PK-12 all purposes school district.

Q. Is this the only method that is allowed?A. No. While rumors have circulated that 100 percent equalized valuation is the only method the Department of Education would approve, this rumor is false. The Department of Education never made such a representation or recommendation. Instead, there are three ways under the law that the costs can be divided between Highlands and Atlantic Highlands: (1) the per pupil method; (2) the equalized valuation method; or (3) a combination of per pupil and equalized valuation.

Q. How do the three methods to divide the educational costs between Highland and Atlantic Highlands differ?A. As mentioned above, the three ways the costs can be divided between Highland and Atlantic Highlands are: (1) the per pupil method; (2) the equalized valuation method; or (3) a combination of per pupil and equalized valuation.Per Pupil Method: The per pupil method is based on the principle that each municipality should pay a percentage of the costs based on the percentage of students it sends. Therefore, if one municipality sent 20 percent of the students that make up the school, it would be responsible for 20 percent of the school’scosts required to be collected through taxes.Equalized Valuation MethodEach year the Division of Taxation in the New Jersey Department of the Treasury releases its table of equalized valuations, which provides the “equalized value” of property in each municipality in the State. Equalized valuation is an attempt by the State to calculate the total market value of all taxable property within a municipality. Under the equalized valuation, each community’s contribution to the school’s expenses is based on the percentage of the total market value. Therefore, if one municipality’s total market value represents 60 percent of the combined total market value of both municipalities, that municipality would be responsible for60 percent of the school’s costs required to be collected through taxes. By way of example, if Community A has an equalized value of $60 million and Community B has an equalized value of $40 million, Community A would be responsible for 60 percent of the costs and Community B would be responsible for 40 percent of the costs. The number of students each community sends is not relevant for this calculation. CombinationThe law allows the apportionment of costs in a regional school district to be based on a combination of the per pupil method and the equalized valuation method.

Q. Will the apportionment of costs between Highland and Atlantic Highlands remain the same?A. No. While there are rumors circulating that this will remain the same, there will be differences if the referendum passes. While the method may appear to be the same, there is an important difference that may result in one community receiving a greater share of the cost. Presently, Highlands and Atlantic Highlands use a 100 percent equalized valuation method for a limited purpose 9-12 school district (a “limited purpose” regional school district means that the school does not serve all grades). The upcoming vote would modify the apportionment method to be 100 percent equalized valuation for an all-purpose PK-12 regional school district (an “all purpose” regional school district means it serves all grades).

Q. Is Sea Bright part of the upcoming vote?A. No. The vote only includes Highlands and Atlantic Highlands forming a PK-12 regional school district.

Q. Will Highlands and Atlantic Highlands continue to receive substantial savings with Sea Bright not included?A. No, since Sea Bright is not part of this vote, the substantial annual savings that the experts calculated (collectively, over $1 million dollars annually) would not occur due to Sea Bright not being included as part of this regionalization.

Q. Will Highlands and Atlantic Highlands both continue to receive tax savings if the upcoming vote passes?A. No, since Sea Bright is not part of this vote both Highlands and Atlantic Highlands will not receive a tax reduction. Instead, according to the tax analysis performed by the Tri-District, residents in Atlantic Highlands would expect to receive a tax increase due to the regionalization.

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Q. Does this vote need to pass for Sea Bright to join?

Q. Does the vote passing make it easier for Sea Bright to join?A. No. If the vote passes, Sea Bright could join at a later date regardless. If the vote does not pass, Sea Bright, Atlantic Highlands and Highlands can still move to create a new all-purpose PK-12 regional school district. However, the vote passing does not make it easier for Sea Bright to join Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.

Q. Is Sea Bright required to join a PK-12 School District?A. No. We understand that recent news articles included statements that Highlands and Atlantic Highlands must first become a PK-12 regional district and only then could the voters be asked to vote on Sea Bright joining. That is not correct. Under the law, with the Commissioner’s approval, Sea Bright is allowed to withdraw from the schools where its students currently attend in order to “form or enlarge a limited purpose or all purpose regional district.” This means that the law allows Sea Bright to: (1) form a K-12 all-purpose regional school district with Highlands and Atlantic Highlands at the same time in one single vote; or (2) enlarge a currently existing K-12 all-purpose regional school district (if Highlands and Atlantic Highlands form such an arrangement before Sea Bright joins). While not as relevant to our current situation, Sea Bright also is allowed under the law to join Highlands School District or Atlantic Highlands School District by becoming a regional K-8 school district (with one of them), or enlarge Henry Hudson Regional by seeking to join the currently existing regional high school district. All of these options are allowed under the law.

Atlantic Highlands again honored by Sustainable Jersey

By Muriel J. SmithATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — The borough of Atlantic Highlands, once again, attained certification and this year received the Small Town Champion Award from Sustainable Jersey, a major accomplishment for the town.Sustainable Jersey is a statewide organization that certifies municipalities who are the nation’s leaders in implementing solutions for challenges to reduce waste, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Municipalities also have to certify they have tak...

By Muriel J. Smith

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — The borough of Atlantic Highlands, once again, attained certification and this year received the Small Town Champion Award from Sustainable Jersey, a major accomplishment for the town.

Sustainable Jersey is a statewide organization that certifies municipalities who are the nation’s leaders in implementing solutions for challenges to reduce waste, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Municipalities also have to certify they have taken measures to improve public health, among other things, which also stimulates the local economy and offers grants to accomplish even more for a town.

Just about every municipality in New Jersey is registered with Sustainable New Jersey, but not many have achieved the successes that Atlantic Highlands has.

Enter Ellen O’Dwyer, the captain of the Green Team, who also chairs the borough’s Environmental Commission, a quiet but hardworking group of dedicated residents following O'Dwyer's penchant for getting things done. O'Dwyer is also one of the council candidates waiting to see what the final count will be for the close Nov. 7 vote, which is currently being reviewed.

The borough had first registered with Sustainable Jersey in 2009, earning several bronze certifications every three years, including the last recertification of Bronze in 2022. The certification expires after three years, so while the town did not have to go for silver, O'Dwyer said, “ I just knew we could achieve silver, and do it in about a year. So we forged ahead and did it in record time."

This year, in addition to achieving the Silver Award, this ambitious group were awarded the Champion Award for being the very best Small town (under 5,000 residents) for sustainability.

Sustainabile New Jersey, under the Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, doesn’t make it easy to achieve their awards. They set a high bar and have an entire team of professionals who verify what each town says it has done.

The Awards were presented by Christine Guhl-Sadovy, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Champions for each of the three groups, Atlantic Highlands for communities with populations under 5,000; Madison for population higher than 5,000 to 40,000 and Woodbridge, with populations more than 40,000.

O'Dwyer is passionate about the environment and served for one year on the Beautification Committee and Environmental commission before Mayor Loretta Gluckstein named her to the Shade Tree as well as the Green Team Committee, an advisory group to the governing body.

O'Dwyer said as an environmental commissioner and former Shade Tree Commissioner, it was important experience for her to have in order to achieve what she did with the Green Team.

In the past, the borough was interested in maintaining its certification as a member of Sustainable New Jersey, but O'Dwyer strove to go higher. She did a lot of research, and found that as far as recycling and reusing goes, the borough has done an awful lot over the years, thanks to a great Public Works Department and residents who take pride in their neighborhood. But moving even higher seemed like a better idea, so O'Dwyer did more research and documented all the accomplishments of the town, and memorialized them.

That earned the Bronze medal last year.

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This year, rather than simply being recognized for maintaining the bronze status, taking the silver award also enabled the borough to receive the Best award for small municipalities.

“We could have rested on our laurels for three years, but we didn’t,” she said. “Atlantic Highlands deserves the credit for all the work that it is already doing, and with a community whose heart is in it. We went for Silver, and achieved it in one year by completing some innovative projects, like being the first community to adopt a ban on plastic straws and bags, and partnering with a local company on biodegradable packaging solutions."

O'Dwyer continued, "We applied for and received two grants, educated on native species, shared wildflowers and milkweed, and encouraged green solutions to anything and everything.”

At the League of Municipalities annual conventionin Atlantic City, Sustainable New Jersey had a luncheon to honor all the municipalities who received honors. In her acceptance talk, in which she praised both Sustainable New Jersey’s efforts and her own team and borough residents, O'Dwyer said, “We’ve got a real “walking” town where the sidewalk outside your door can lead you to anywhere you would want to go in the borough, and our tree-lined streets are the result of our Tree City USA commitment of 42 years. We also established new and innovative ways to reach and educate the public, having a column in the local Atlantic Highlands Living magazine, hosting our first “Envirossance Faire” and an “Earth Day Walkabout” where visitors walked to various "Green Stops" throughout town.

She explained that with limited resources, "we networked beyond the borough teams and commissions to collaborate with the local arts council, the library, the schools, Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, Garden Club and even the Historical Society. With a new organization called “Wild About Atlantic Highlands,” the entire town is a Certified Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. This involved 100 residential and business gardens."

O'Dwyer said with other programs like “No Mow May,” “Grass – Cut it and Leave It,” “Don’t Spray” and “Leave the Leaves,” the group was able to get the public to learn, engage and commit to being stewards of the town.

Lest anyone think she is content with simply garnering the Best Small Town and silver swards, O'Dwyer put the League on notice that, “We are now aiming for “Gold Star,” which will set a new precedent for small, historic communities with classic infrastructure. I will leverage this status and other tactics to elevate Atlantic Highlands as a unique entity in order to preserve this unique ecosystem of mountains to bayside beaches to forested lands in the face of potential overdevelopment.”

Looking toward the future, another of Ellen’s aims, endorsed by the entire commission, is to save and protect the water utility through grants and other support. Municipalities can play a significant role in creating a holistic approach to the management of water, she said. Each municipality in New Jersey has its own water profile, shaped by its geography, infrastructure and local concerns. The Gold Star in Water identifies specific actions and level of performance for municipalities to achieve improvements in water quality, quantity and use.

“We can do this,” O'Dwyer said.

Currently there are only four municipalities in the state that have achieved a gold star: Maplewood, Princeton, Readington Township and Woodbbridge, which has earned it twice. All four townships are much larger that Atlantic Highlands.

Judging from O'Dwyer's energy level and the hard working members of the commission, together with residents proud of their community, it will not come as any surprise when Atlantic Highlands reaches the gold award next year.

Highlands Council says vote no on regionalization proposal

By Muriel J. SmithHIGHLANDS — All five members of the Highlands Borough Council made it loud and clear at last night’s meeting of the governing body: A no vote in the special school election Sept. 26 is the best thing for borough residents.Councilman Donald Melnyk also indicated the way the election was called by the school boards of education leaves a concern that “the intent is less than above-board.”As Mayor Carolyn Broullon has said several ti...

By Muriel J. Smith

HIGHLANDS — All five members of the Highlands Borough Council made it loud and clear at last night’s meeting of the governing body: A no vote in the special school election Sept. 26 is the best thing for borough residents.

Councilman Donald Melnyk also indicated the way the election was called by the school boards of education leaves a concern that “the intent is less than above-board.”

As Mayor Carolyn Broullon has said several times in the past, she would not be presumptuous enough to ever tell anyone how to vote, however, she is definite her vote on Sept. 26 will be no simply because it is not a good thing for Highlands and Atlantic Highlands to regionalize without the inclusion of Sea Bright. The New Jersey State Commissioner of Education has OK'd the regionalization question to move forward, with voters being asked if the three districts should merge. The question will not, however, include asking Sea Bright voters if they want to join the new district, as issues with Sea Bright's current agreements to send elementary school students to Oceanport and high school students to Shore Regional High School are worked out.

Each of the other four members of the governing body also put on record their concern for the current proposal to merge the Atlantic Highlands, Highlands and Henry Hudson school districts into one, saying it is unfair for Highlands voters, taxpayers and students at the schools.

Melnyk said he has given the question a lot of consideration and questioned once again why it is necessary to have a special election only six weeks before a regular election. Traditionally, fewer voters turn out for special elections, and the hours for this school election are from noon to 8 p.m., depriving early morning voters from getting to the polls. There have to be reasons for this, Melnyk said, questioning if the intent is less than above-board.

Council President Joann Olszewski, a retired teacher and school department head in Teaneck, said it would be “dangerous” to vote yes for regionalization without Sea Bright and challenged the method of financing for the new district as outlined in the question being decided Sept. 26 by the voters of Highlands and Atlantic Highlands.

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Olszewski pointed out the school boards approved a resolution and the question on the ballot that splits financing of education between Highlands and Atlantic Highlands strictly by assessed valuation and does not include student enrollment.

Olszewski pointed out, “This year, Atlantic Highlands paid “more than $1 million for the Elementary School than Highlands did for our Elementary School."

Why?” she asked. “Because they have 135 more students than Highlands does," as she answered her own question.

Such a formula, at this time, considering only equalized valuation and not student enrollment, forces Highlands taxpayers to underwrite the cost of their neighboring town’s student enrollment. The council president publically thanked the school board members for serving in elected positions sometimes difficult to fill, but said they should wait until it was possible to include Sea Bright before making any changes in regionalization.

Experts retained both by the school boards and the boroughs have all said the inclusion of Sea Bright in the regionalization plan would immediately bring in millions of dollars, while at the same time splitting the cost of education among three, rather than two, towns.

Both council members Karen Chelak and Leo Cervantes agreed with the statements made by the mayor, council president and Councilman Melnick, with Cervantes adding a yes vote Sept. 26 “makes no sense."

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