sandy memorial demasi
PHOTO: The Sandy Memorial Monument at the Wilson Community Center, Snug Harbor Avenue, Highlands.

HIGHLANDS, NJ – Photographer Marc Demasi of Demasi Photography has created many beautiful images of places and people.  In this photo he captures the new Sandy Memorial Monument which was erected in Highlands last week. 

The image was captured in a process called light painting. Demasi said, “It uses a long exposure and during the exposure I use an off camera flash to paint in light.”

“(The flash) is being fired by me in multiple spots going from side to side firing it to paint in the light. Then I had my assistant inside, hidden, firing at the ceiling to illuminate it. I wanted it to look like the ceiling was glowing,” Demasi said.


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The structure erected on the beachfront in Highlands has caused some controversy in this community hard hit by Superstorm Sandy.  More than 1300 homes and businesses were damaged by the flooding due to Sandy.  Some residents have called the concrete structure a “bunker” that does not belong on the beach.  Others say it embodies the indominable spirit of the community and its will to rebuild.

Many residents, however, are upset with the Borough Council for failing to discuss the project with the community.   The council discussed the project briefly at it January 21st meeting.  However, the resolution that passed unanimously did not reflect that discussion.  In the discussion, councilmembers were assured that the resolution was only for the purpose of exploration of the project.

It was necessary to pass the resolution, “so they don’t pass us up and go to another municipality” with the project according to Council President Rebecca Kane on the video of the meeting.  Councilman Redmond said, “This is non-binding” and Councilwoman Ryan interjected, “This is just showing them we are interested.  We are not committing to anything. We are not spending any money.”

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(discussion begins at 19:30)

“It is a Sandy monument that was donated to our town but not open to public input on the structure or location at any point in the process and given the go ahead without full council discussion or vote by Becky (Kane), Tara (Ryan) and Tim (Hill). Folks are upset that something like this bunker could be erected on public land without any public discussion or full council vote,” said Annemarie Tierney of Highlands.”

Many homes in the community have been raised on new concrete foundations.

“Our town now has a street scape of high foundation walls and concrete pilings, a significant change from our pre-Sandy neighborhood flavor. I, for one, don’t need to see high concrete walls in the middle of our one community beach to remember what Sandy cost our town.”

The structure was donated by the Tilt-Up Concerete Association members who used it as a demonstration project during its annual conference held this year in New Brunswick.

The Highlands Borough Council will meet tonight in Executive Session at 7:00 PM and the Regular Meeting open to the public at 8:00 PM.  The meeting is held at the Highlands Elementary School.


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...