Chaos on the Boards

🎡 Ocean City, NJ's only weekly newsletter

The summer is unofficially upon us, which means we have our annual handwringing over what to do with those damn teens.

Let’s get into it.

In the email this week:

📆 Upcoming Events in (and around) Ocean City

Saturday, June 1

  •  🍉 Somers Point Farmers Market (Somers Point) | 1000 Shore Rd. | 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • 🍷 Annual Wine Tasting (Sea Isle) | Kix McNutly’s | Details here — this likely isn’t a pinky’s out sort of event

Sunday, June 2

  • 🦀 Cape May Restaurant Week (Cape May) | June 2-9 | Details here

  • 🚴‍♂️ Le Tour De Downbeach (Margate) | Through Absecon Island | Details here

  • 🏃‍♂️‍➡️ M and M Connect 100,000 Steps Walk | Civic Center (6th Street and Boardwalk) | Details and times here

Wednesday, June 5

  • 🍓 Farmers Market | Tabernacle Grounds | 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 6

  • 🐻 Wonder’s Birthday Bash at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier | Wonderland Pier | 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. — “Happy birthday, Wonder Bear! Will your ferris wheel be running this summer?”

Next Weekend, June 7-9

  • 🌷Flower Show | Music Pier | Times here

You can see the full list of events in all nearby Shore towns with the following links: Ocean City | Sea Isle | Margate | Avalon | Stone Harbor | Somers Point | Wildwood | Cape May | Ventnor

Also note the Ocean City Library has many events for adults and kids alike on their calendar, which can be viewed here.

🚔 Boardwalk Chaos Last Weekend

The mayor and friends held their now annual press conference at the Music Pier on Thursday to discuss the events of Memorial Day Weekend, which this year included a stabbing, fights and more general chaos on the Boardwalk.

As you are likely already aware, a teen was stabbed by an unknown assailant on Saturday night, seemingly as a result of pre-planned fights amongst out-of-town teens.

Here are some highlights of the press conference:

  • The Mayor reiterated that this sort of behavior won’t be tolerated

  • The fights and stabbing were contained amongst a group of teens that apparently planned to throw-down on the Boards

  • The teens involved in fights were from Atlantic City, Mays Landing, and Pleasantville

  • None of the incidents involved or were targeted at tourists or vacationers

  • Police Chief Campbell called out New Jersey state laws which prevent police from issuing citations or arresting underage teens for public drinking or marijuana use

    • In a striking moment, someone asked what would happen to an adult with an open beer in Ocean City vs. a teen— the answer? the adult would probably be issued an ordinance violation, while the teen would get a warning

    • In January, Governor Phil Murphy vetoed a bill that would have allowed police to issue a $50 fine to teens for underage drinking

  • Though Campbell mentioned new city ordinances could be considered by City Council, no hard policies were put in place by Ocean City to combat unruly teens

  • Officials pled to the state to reconsider laws passed by the Murphy administration limiting their ability to question or arrest teens

  • Campbell said that 24 new seasonal officers will join the force next Friday, with 20 of them stationed on the Boardwalk

    • Worth noting: Last year, police said crime in other parts of the city picked up due to increased focus on Boardwalk following events of last Memorial Day Weekend

Our take: The Mayor and city are doing all they can to combat throngs of teens causing general chaos on the Boardwalk. It’s not an Ocean City-specific problem, as there was a STATE OF EMERGENCY issued in Wildwood last weekend and public panic in Seaside Heights over false threats.

It is easy to politicize this issue, and we’ll try not to do that. But local officials along the coast have consistently pled with the state to give them more ability to enforce laws against teens. Progressives in Central and North Jersey are trying to address systemic issues related to teens in high-crime areas by not throwing them into the legal system for otherwise minor offenses.

But it’s a large state, and the Jersey Shore basically functions as its own tourist economy. Not to strain the example, but there’s a reason why armed police line the highway leading to popular all-inclusive resorts outside of Cancun— the expectation for what goes in towns and cities throughout the region is different than what goes in tourist towns. It’s also important to the economy.

I’m not comparing New Jersey to Mexico. I’m just simply trying to illustrate the lengths governments go to in order to protect important tourist areas, which have different expectations.

And so, potentially well-meaning laws aimed to curb non-violent offenses from ruining lives in one part of the state have a disproportionate negative impact on Shore towns. Teens, meanwhile, know there is little consequence for general debauchery. And of course, inevitably, mostly harmless said debauchery devolves amongst a small percentage into fights, and now, life-threatening violence.

So all city officials are left to do is beg the state to allow them to police effectively, and ask parents to know where their kids are at 10 p.m. on weekend nights.

But combatting disorderly conduct, mostly amongst teens, is getting very old. These are some previous headlines on WTB, all from last June:

🦷 Phil Murphy Says There’s Nothing To See Here, Move Along

Phil Murphy and his lightly-tussled hair disagrees with the sentiment that there was “chaos” along the Jersey Shore last weekend.

He told a News 12 New Jersey host the following about incidents at the Shore:

“On the one hand, you’re taking anything like this deadly seriously - we always have and we always will - including post-mortems on what we as a state can do to help out,” Murphy said before calling out ‘ridiculous’ headlines about the weekend’s incidents.

“There was a hysterical header in the Star-Ledger today, which was ridiculous: the shore did not have a chaotic weekend,” the governor added. “There were three very serious incidents, but this was overwhelmingly a huge memorial day.”

Governor Murphy

He cited signing a bill in January that allows for more effective policing. This bill does allow officers to approach teens without fear of being accused of intimidation or discrimination. But as we mentioned before, Murphy vetoed the ability for officers to issue a $50 fine for underage drinking as a condition to signing the bill.

🏃‍♂️ Registration is Open for First Responder 5k

On a lighter note…

The Emergency Responder 5-kilometer run/walk will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, and registration remains open. Formerly known as the “Cop Chase,” the event now honors all first responders and moves to a new location near the Ocean City Intermediate School. The race starts and finishes at 18th Street and Haven Avenue at 8:30 a.m. with a flat out-and-back course along the Haven Avenue bike route. 

The event also includes a one-mile walk/run (8 a.m.) and kids’ challenges (50-meter and 100-meter dashes, 400-meter obstacle course) at 9 a.m.

Registration is open now, and a discounted pre-registration fee of $25 will be available through June 1. Online registration and further information are available at www.ocnj.us/race-events.    

🍻 The Kelces

Meanwhile in Margate… a Main Line chocolatier accosted the Family Kelce as they went to dine at Steve and Cookies.

Here’s video, which gained traction with the help of my former site, Crossing Broad:

The woman issued a statement apologizing after she was confronted by Philly Mag reporter and Ocean City hater Victor Fiorillo:

"In a heated moment, I said things that were out of character for me and that I regret and for that, I am sorry. Although I apologized directly to the Kelce family on Saturday, I want to publicly apologize to them, and our community. My anger, and my actions, are not who I am, and certainly not indicative of the welcoming community of Margate.

As an adult and proud member of my community, I should have recognized and respected their right to privacy from the onset. I am deeply appreciative of the grace and understanding shown to me by the Kelces and wish them nothing but the best."

I think we can all move on here.

🏖️ Ocean City Voted Second Favorite Beach

For the first time in a decade, Ocean City did not win USA Today’s Best Beach in New Jersey poll, finishing second to - checks notes - Wildwood.

Ugh.

  1. Wildwood

  2. Ocean City

  3. Sea Isle

  4. Atlantic City

  5. Cape May

  6. Long Beach Island

  7. Avalon

  8. Island Beach State Park

  9. Brigantine Beach

  10. Asbury Park

Could snark about the state of emergency in Wildwood last weekend… but, we may want to sit this one out.

🛟 List of Guarded Beaches

From Saturday, June 1, 2024 through Friday, June 7, 2024, the following beaches will be guarded:

• E.  Atlantic Blvd.

• North Street

• Stenton Place (Weekend Only)

• St. Charles Place

• Brighton Place

• 8th Street

• 9th Street

• 10th Street

• 11th Street (Weekend Only)

• 12th Street

• 14th Street (Weekend Only)

• 26th Street

• 30th Street

• 34th Street

• 44th Street

• 58th Street

Please remember:

🌊 Tides

June 1, 2024

  • High Tide: 4:06 AM

  • Low Tide: 10:30 AM

  • High Tide: 4:46 PM

  • Low Tide: 11:12 PM

June 2, 2024

  • High Tide: 5:10 AM

  • Low Tide: 11:22 AM

  • High Tide: 5:45 PM

June 3, 2024

  • Low Tide: 12:09 AM

  • High Tide: 6:11 AM

  • Low Tide: 12:13 PM

  • High Tide: 6:40 PM

June 4, 2024

  • Low Tide: 1:04 AM

  • High Tide: 7:06 AM

  • Low Tide: 1:04 PM

  • High Tide: 7:30 PM

June 5, 2024

  • Low Tide: 1:58 AM

  • High Tide: 7:57 AM

  • Low Tide: 1:54 PM

  • High Tide: 8:17 PM

June 6, 2024

  • Low Tide: 2:51 AM

  • High Tide: 8:45 AM

  • Low Tide: 2:45 PM

  • High Tide: 9:02 PM

June 7, 2024

  • Low Tide: 3:40 AM

  • High Tide: 9:32 AM

  • Low Tide: 3:33 PM

  • High Tide: 9:46 PM

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