Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Entitlement and greed

Yesterday I witnessed yet another step in what has become
a steady march to ruin good things here at the Jersey Shore.
Telephone poles were strategically placed in the sand and dirt
parking lot at the beach. Looks like the city is about to make
people pay for parking in the lot. Only a month ago the city installed
parking meters on the street where, for decades, surfers and fishermen
have parked for free. The lot and the spots aren't really near
anything but the ocean and jetty. No bathrooms, no porto johns, or
places to eat. Just a beach and a jetty.

Perhaps the lot and beach had become too popular, used by too many
people for the city to ignore. One of the few places on the Jersey Shore
where you could pull your car up, San Onofre style, check the surf,
hang out and enjoy. True it made the surf a bit more crowded, but
it provided a nice vibe. Guess the city didn't see it that way, they
probably see dollar signs. $10 bucks a car maybe 100 cars with
some turnover, a real cash cow. After all the city needs money.
The guy who has, for years, run his surf school from the lot
told me that the city now demands he pay them $500 for a permit.
Nice... pay to park, pay a mercantile permit, pay a beach badge fee
for eachstudent, where will it end.

Add to the mix the current controversy about beach access here in NJ.
The wealthy towns and beach front homeowners don't want us rif raf
coming to and using "their" beaches. They've established restrictive
parking regulations, hidden and well disguised access points, put up
illegal signs, and clearly don't want us there. Oh but wait...they do
want us to pay to protect their property by renourishing the beach in
front of their homes.

The state wants to abrogate it's responsibility to establish regulations
thatwould force towns to provide well defined, reasonable access.
Our governor, Chris Christie, wants to let local towns establish access
rules. Let the fox guard the hen house. Hey, he's got a state owned,
secure beach house on Long Beach Island ( that we pay for)and his
brother owns ocean front property in a town that hired private security
to keep people away. He can get to the beach, he and his family can
get to the ocean to fish or surf.

Greed and entitlement seem the enemies of us all. Be it on Wall Street,
in the corporate world, amongst insurance companies, or on the
shoreline. Seems to put a different spin on the "golden rule", something
like "do unto others in a manner as to get yours and to hell with
the rest of them".