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Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Atlantic Highlands, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Atlantic Highlands, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Atlantic Highlands, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Atlantic Highlands, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

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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