TRENTON – A South Jersey senator said the state needs a comprehensive plan for dealing with pop-up parties promoted on social media like the one in Wildwood over the weekend in which two people died.
An unsanctioned pop-up car rally called H2Oi/H2022 drew rowdy crowds to the Shore town and led to several crashes, including the one where one pedestrian and a car passenger were allegedly killed by a driver who tried to flee the scene.
The Wildwood chaos was the latest in a series of pop-up parties that have concerned some mayors, coming on top of the challenges posed by the legalization of marijuana for use by adults and limits on how police can interact with youths using the drug.
Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cumberland, whose district includes Cape May County, said “the problem will only continue to get worse” unless Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration works with legislators and local officials on a coordinated plan.
“The Murphy administration’s continued inaction in helping towns respond to pop-up parties that have overwhelmed a growing number of Shore communities is disturbing,” Testa said. “There aren’t many small towns that can maintain public safety and effectively protect their communities when thousands of rowdy people suddenly show up with little or no warning.”
The Wildwood Police Department includes 44 officers, according to a state database. It’s a town of roughly 5,100 full-time residents though significantly more between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The members of Wildwood’s governing body – Mayor Pete Byron and Commissioners Krista Fitzsimmons and Steve Mikulski – said they were grateful that the Governor’s Office had helped secure assistance from all available state troopers as well as Atlantic City and Ocean City police.
Man charged with 2 deaths at Wildwood, NJ H2Oi pop-up car rally
Dad in hospital after Wildwood, NJ crash seen in viral H2Oi video
NJ’s pop-up party tab: A $500,000 grant to Long Branch police
Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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Every NJ pizza joint Barstool's Dave Portnoy has reviewed
Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here is every New Jersey pizzeria Dave has stopped in, along with the score he gave them.
These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.
Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.
If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.
You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: