By Boardwalk Bob Ingram
At 11 o’clock this morning – Saturday – several hundred yellow-shirted protestors stood at solemn attention on the beach as the Boardwalk P.A. system played the national anthem.
They were there, along with the kind of inflatable rat usually seen at union protests, to make their voices heard against the 80-unit RV park proposed for the Wildwood beach across from the bocce court.
Under a scorching sun and with the humidity nearing sauna proportions, their signs read “Eyesore At the Shore,” “Hands Off God’s Beach,” “Save Our Children’s Beaches,” “Keep the Beaches Clean, and “Oil & Sand Do Not mix,” among other refrains.
At 11 o’clock, the time their permit allowed them to take to the Boardwalk, the throng made an orderly climb up the stairs and marched between the Tramcar tracks.
Earlier, on the beach, Tom Danese of Springfield, Delaware County, Pa., vice president of the Ocean Towers Condo Association, addressed the crowd, stating that the protestors’ attorney, Karim Kaspar of the firm Lowenstein Sandler in Roseland, NJ, had filed a brief stating five issues with the proposed park, and stating that the City of Wildwood had violated four of those issues.
Danese went on that the Ocean Towers Association had sent a letter to NJ Governor Christie, but had received no reply. He said that when the first RV enters the proposed park, it will be met with protestors, whether one or 100. Only 25 percent of those present were from the Towers, Danese noted, saying that the remainder were there as a result of the fliers handed out over the last several days within a four-street area around the embattled site.
Attorney Kaspar said that the $1 million bond required for the protest was obtained through Charlie Vogdes at the J. Byrne Agency and that Kaspar was able to get a consent order for the protest on First Amendment free speech grounds after a teleconference with Judge William Todd of Atlantic County.
Kaspar went on that he knows many politically connected people on the island and “they’re laughing at Ernie” – meaning Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano, who is spear-heading the RV park site.
At noon, the crowd gathered around a NBC-40 cameraman and chanted and waved their signs. Reporters from The Press of AC and The Herald were also at the rally, at which flyers were passed out stating the following concerns: beach safety, RV waste and garbage, RV pollution, traffic hazards, and property values.
One suntanned gentleman seated on a bench held a home-made sign that said, “’Jersey Shore’ now looks good.”
Yeah? When’s the last time Snooki protested anything but the price of gin?