PHOTO: John Schneider behind his video camera.
HIGHLANDS, NJ - John Schneider, 64, of Highlands, is a videographer, musician, actor, retired marketing executive from AT&T, and community activist on a mission. Through a series of short videos highlighting his hometown and other towns along the Jersey Bayshore, and using his original music, John has opened a window to the Bayshore area.
John is a 5th generation transplant. His father is a 1938 graduate of Highlands Elementary School. John grew up in Florida, but is now drawn to his ancestral roots in Highlands. He moved to Gravelly Point Road from Washington, DC, during the summer before Sandy and spent months after the storm restoring the first floor of his home which was totally wiped out.
As a musician, John goes by the stage name, John Nicole (www.JohnNicoleMusic.com). He performs at local clubs and for the occasional wedding. When he is not shooting footage, he is a substitute teacher at Henry Hudson Regional and Red Bank Regional Schools. He recently played at no cost to help Jon Bon Jovi’s restaurant, Soul Kitchen, in Red Bank.
Mr. Schneider is passionate about many things, but especially passionate about his community.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT/TOWN HALL MEETING
Highlands was hit hard by Sandy. Several homes and businesses have been raised, some have been razed, some have been abandoned, and others are in limbo. The community has been focused on recovery, and making plans to handle the perpetual flooding, and a series of committees to address long-range development planning.
On October 23, 2013, Mayor Frank Nolan convened a town hall meeting to hear a series of proposals from the community. John posted videos of all 11 proposals covering topics like: economic development, enhancing slump stability, housing, recreation, and sanitary sewer lines.
These are arranged by topic and available for viewing here:
Highlands is also having a Mayoral election on November 5th. Three candidates, Frank Nolan (R), Rebecca Kane (D), and Douglas Card (I) are running for the office. John interviewed - more than once – all three candidates on a wide range of topics important to Highlands.
The Mayoral videos have been produced in mini-debate format and are available, by topic, at the link above. All three candidates are asked the same question and the viewer can see their responses for comparison.
INTERNET TALK RADIO
John is also engaging the community with talk radio. Two weeks ago, he hosted the inaugural broadcast of Jersey Bayshore Talk Radio at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jerseybayshore. It is broadcast live for one hour on Sundays starting at 8:00 pm. Past shows are archived online. He has interviewed the Highlands mayoral candidates on the broadcast. This Sunday he will interview the third and final candidate. On Wednesday, October 31, he will host a special two-hour Halloween broadcast beginning at 8:00 pm featuring a psychic from Atlantic Highlands and other special guests.
John Schneider has embraced his new hometown in many ways. He has formed Facebook groups to engage the residents in communities along the Bayshore. One group, Open the Henry Hudson Trail, has more than 700 members. The pedestrian/bicycle trail that links Atlantic Highlands and Highlands has been closed since Sandy. Under John’s leadership, residents, businesses and local politicians gathered at the Monmouth County Freeholders Meeting earlier this month and presented a citizen’s petition and municipal resolutions from both towns. As a result, the Trail will be open before the end of November.