Thursday, October 22, 2009

City of Long Branch Arbitrarily Age Discriminates

The City of Long Branch (New Jersey) has officially advised that:

A curfew has been established for all persons within the City of Long Branch under 17 years of age, to be invoked on October 30, and 31, 2009. The curfew will extend from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 am. each night. Director of Public Safety, William Richards has been directed by the Mayor to strictly enforce the policy.

I have to say that "when I was your age..." I would trick or treat with Mom and Dad all over Keansburg, all day long, where I grew up, and then we would head over to Keyport until 9-10 at night. It was a good time and once it was dark out, the general (unwritten) rule was don't go knock on doors where the lights are all out and bother people. Must have been simpler times ALL of those years ago.

And why 17? Isn't the magical number to be an adult 18? or is it 21? I think it might even be 40 to purchase cigarettes now. So when did it become 17? And why 17 for this curfew, why not 37, or all ages. Isn't this age discrimination? This NYRA Analysis is worth a read.

And if this is due to a concern of annoying the neighbors, then I can state for the record that I'll be more annoyed at a 62 year old grandma, or a 18 year old trick-or-treater for that matter, ringing my door bell at 1am than I would be at a 13 year old. I expect the kids to be out in the dark on Halloween begging for free candy - Religious Zealots beware - it's a day for the kids to have some fun with the ghosts and goblins, no harm no foul, no one is indoctrinating witches on the 31st to the best of my knowledge.

And if the claim is safety for these youngsters, then I'd say maybe the Mayor could ask Mr. Richards to have the clowns over at public works report the street light that is out in front of their public works yard on Branchport Ave (pole number is 53434, nearest address is 164 Branchport Ave, and nearest cross street is Irving Pl). I'd report it but I much prefer to be nearly run over by Long Branch police officers who speed through the lot on their cell phones at night (ok, since this has only happened to me 4 times in the 3 years I've been walking the dog past this location every night), plus it's fun for me to wait and see how long it takes the police, who are supposed to look out for public safety, ignore the street lights that are out. As a FYI - the light right beside this one is also out (#466 if you care to report it that one too). There are also two lights out in front of the Board of Ed building on Broadway which I refuse to report myself, call me negligent.

Curfew's stink, regardless of age. They aren't preventing any crimes, only preventing the good citizens from enjoying a night out. Those who are going to commit crimes could care less about the date and time, or the existence of a curfew.

P.S. - For the record, I'm thinking about going out trick-or-treating myself after 8pm, free candy and thanks to the mayor discriminating against them, no competition from the kids.

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