Saturday, June 5, 2021

May Flower: Bad Deal in New Jersey

3, 9, and 67 now, and that's enough.

"NJ beaches paid for by all, but parking keeps outsiders away" by Wayne Parry Associated Press, May 21, 2021

DEAL, N.J. — New Jersey’s wide, sandy beaches have been paid for by taxpayers across the US, from wheat farmers in Kansas to fishermen in Alaska, but for decades, local governments in some Jersey Shore towns — and elsewhere around the country — have used a variety of tactics to keep outsiders off their sand.

One of the most effective methods has been restricting parking near the beach. The practical effect in shore towns like Deal, a wealthy enclave popular with New York doctors, lawyers, and business executives, has been that people who don’t live within walking distance of the sand are often not able to use it.

This is happening despite numerous requirements that the state’s beaches be equally accessible to all, including a state law incorporating a legal concept stretching back to the Roman emperor Justinian that the tidal waters are the common property of all, held in trust by the state, and the ongoing federally funded replenishment of beaches along the coast by the US Army Corps of Engineers comes with a requirement that adequate parking be provided near the taxpayer-funded sand, but Deal has a long history of wanting to keep its beaches to itself. It would ticket or arrest surfers before a court decision ended the practice.

It has vacated street endings that terminate at the beach and sold the land to adjacent property owners, in some cases closing off access points to the beach that the public had long used. It toyed with selling parking permits for streets near the beach for $100 apiece before backing down, and it is trying, yet again, to restrict summer weekend parking in streets closest to the ocean; residents would be given placards to put on their dashboards indicating their right to park on the street. Everyone else would have to park several blocks away, needing to cross a busy main street known for heavy traffic in the summer.

“The only way to the to the beach for the rest of us is walking, in sometimes dangerous situations,” said Patty Verrochi, who lives in a nearby shore town and likes to take short trips to Deal’s beach. “Say you have children in a stroller, and your beach cooler and a chair, or you’re handicapped. I had a couple incidents last year when I just gave up and went home.”

That, according to Deal’s critics, is precisely what the tony seaside enclave wants.

“There is a long and shameful history of beach towns trying to keep people off their sand,” said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, which is suing Deal over its sale of a street end popular with surfers to an adjacent homeowner. “The law in New Jersey is clear: you cannot deny people access to the shore. This is becoming a big public issue, and the people in these residential areas are some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the state.”

“This is getting to be an annual thing every spring,” added John Weber, a councilmember in Bradley Beach and an executive with the Surfrider Foundation, which sued Deal over its prosecution of surfers for violating a “no swimming” ordinance.

Deal’s mayor and administrator did not respond to numerous requests for comment. Their proposed residents-only parking law is up for a final vote June 2.

Deal has a year-round population of just over 500, but it’s summer population swells to more than 10 times that amount. It is over 90 percent white; the average property is worth $2.2 million.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, which is in charge of enforcing New Jersey’s beach access laws, says it has spoken with Deal officials about the proposed law.

“I land conceptually on the side to make sure everyone has access,” Democratic Governor Phil Murphy said.

Two state lawmakers recently wrote to Deal’s leaders asking them to scrap the parking ordinance, writing that the beaches “belong to everyone, equally.”

"No government body has a right to restrict access to the ocean and beaches to provide exclusivity to people who are fortunate enough to live along the beachfront,” they added.

Deal is far from the only town in New Jersey — or the country, for that matter — to impose onerous parking restrictions near its beaches. Although it has a public parking lot at its main beach, Sea Bright bans public parking along a majority of its nearly 5-mile oceanfront sea wall; the only ones allowed to park there are people who own homes on the opposite side of Ocean Avenue, and who can easily walk to the beach. Parking on many side streets is also restricted to residents.

California is rife with tales of conflict between Pacific coast homeowners clashing with surfers, and towns prohibiting parking in ritzy beach areas. In New York City’s Rockaway section, designation of one beach neighborhood as a “fire zone” prohibits all on-street parking. Other nearby areas ban all weekend street parking from May 15 through Sept. 30.

Did you see what washed up on the beach?

Far be it from me to sympathizing with elite landowners; however, what you read above is an attack on property rights once the agenda-pushing sand is cleared away.

I $uppo$e you can always move to Bo$ton!

I mean, the job market is sluggish and you will likely need to search for a job; however, you will have access to one of the fine$t new$papers in the country:

"Tribune Publishing, owner of some of the biggest metropolitan newspapers in the United States, is poised to be acquired by a hedge fund with a reputation for slashing costs and cutting jobs, after the company’s shareholders voted to approve the deal. Shareholders of Tribune, whose titles include The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and The New York Daily News, voted Friday to approve the company’s sale to Alden Global Capital, The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune reported. The bid by Alden, which already owns about 200 local newspapers, had faced resistance: Journalists at Tribune’s papers protested the sale and publicly pleaded for another buyer to step in. Stewart Bainum, a Maryland hotel executive who had planned to buy The Baltimore Sun, offered a glimmer of hope when he emerged with a last-minute offer for the entire company. He was backed for a brief time by a Swiss billionaire, but the rival bid never fully came together, so the choice facing Tribune’s shareholders was to approve or reject Alden’s offer. Tribune’s board had recommended that they vote for the sale....."

Who needs a pre$$ when you can just check your i Phone?


Also see:

"The controversy over the use of a racial slur that has embroiled a public law school in New Jersey began with a student quoting from case law during a professor’s virtual office hours. The first-year student at Rutgers Law School in Newark, who is white, repeated a line from a 1993 legal opinion, including the epithet, when discussing a case. What followed has jolted the state institution, unleashing a polarizing debate over the constitutional right to free speech on campus and the power of a hateful word at a moment of intense national introspection over race, equity and systemic bias. The tension comes at a time of heightened sensitivity to offensive words on college and law school campuses, where recent uses of slurs by professors during lessons have resulted in discipline and dismissal....."

The mask is off, now go get your mandates shot of toxic poison so you can be allowed on campus.

"It took a pandemic to halt smoking inside more than 1,000 US gambling venues. Now that the economy is reopening, tobacco opponents are urging elected officials and casino operators to make the restriction permanent. In New Jersey, the casino smoking ban — like indoor masking, capacity restrictions, and other statewide emergency rules — will be lifted next month, so long as hospitalization and vaccination trends continue. Many state officials say they’re not ready to advocate for a smoke-free Atlantic City as the industry continues to struggle."