Other NJ News

Roxbury Man Wants Something Done About Unwanted Tossed Newspapers

366f65e8aa1bb0cb3c47_37cca5d05e488fd853ba_paper.jpg
Uninvited guest; A free sample of a newspaper tossed on a Roxbury front yard
366f65e8aa1bb0cb3c47_37cca5d05e488fd853ba_paper.jpg

ROXBURY, NJ - Thanks to the Internet, print newspapers have been declining for a decade. There’s at least one Roxbury resident who won’t miss a method used by the struggling industry to stay afloat: The free sample paper thrown on front yards.

That person is Emil Ruesch of Landing. He came last week to a Roxbury Mayor and Council meeting and spoke his mind.

“I’m here to get support in banning these free publications that are ruining our community,” Ruesch told the town officials.

Sign Up for E-News

He said the freebie papers are a form of littering he’s been unsuccessfully battling for years. “I’ve been unable to stop it,” Ruesch said. He said it’s bad enough when the tossed and unclaimed newspapers stay inside their plastic wrappers, but that’s not always what happens.

“Everything comes out,” said Ruesch, noting the subsequent explosion of loose paper and wind-borne plastic bags end up ruining his view of Lake Musconetcong.

“The pages are found in the lake,” he said. “They are going down our storm drains. They are adding pollution in town that we don’t need. It has to be stopped.”

Winter brings more headaches, Ruesch told the council. “A couple of years ago we had a snowstorm,” he said. “The paper was sucked into the auger of my snowblower and it broke the shear pin so I had to shovel through a couple of feet of snow. Where do my rights come in as a taxpayer?”

Then there’s the security aspect. Ruesch said “any burglar with an ounce of brains” can tell when a resident is away on vacation; the pile of free papers out front are a pretty clear indication.

Roxbury Township Attorney Anthony Bucco, who also represents a number of other New Jersey municipalities, told Ruesch he’s not alone in hating the newspaper solicitation method. While he said there are measures that can be taken, Bucco warned “there are some legal ramifications” in attempting to outlaw the practice. “There are Constitutional protections for these media outlets,” he said. “They are there and we have to be cognizant of them.”

Nevertheless, Bucco - who is also a state assemblyman - promised Ruesch he will “look at it, from a legal standpoint,” at the state level. “I agree with you 100 percent,” he said, noting that one municipality took on the newspapers and settled on an ordinance that forced the papers to give - to all it hoped to bless with free samples - “an address, phone number and contact person to call to stop delivery.”

Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall said he agreed with Ruesch, particularly about the security aspect. “When you go away on vacation, the last thing you want to have is any indication the house is empty,” he said. “Where does free speech come in conflict with the ability to protect your home?”

Ruesch said he is not suggesting newspaper delivery via the throw-it-on-the-ground method become illegal in all cases. “I am looking for a choice,” he said “They are not giving me a choice.”

He told the council he came to be on a first-name basis with one newspaper’s circulation department due to his efforts to stop the unwanted deliveries. As for the papers’ Constitutional rights, Ruesch repeatedly suggested that tossing plastic wrapped newspapers is a throwback to days gone by when media outlets had no other way of displaying their wares.

“We are in the 21st century,” he said, urging the council to take on the matter legally. “Any judge in his or her right mind would say we are in the 21st century … Somebody is going to have to take it by the horns and wrestle with it.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

Rutgers Takes Over Police Dispatch Services

June 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University will provide the city’s police dispatching services in a move that New Brunswick says will cut costs and put an end to dispatcher shortages that resulted in officers doing the job.

The city’s 12 current dispatchers will be laid off at the end of the day on June 30, and Rutgers will supply dispatchers as of July 1 under an agreement that city ...

Thousands Expected in Hillsborough for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 14, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Bag-of-Books Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Middlesex County: Free Music, Fireworks and Fun in “A Revolutionary Celebration”

June 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ -  Want your 4th of July fun to last 7 days? Then bring your family and join in Middlesex County’s “Revolutionary Celebration” for 2018! Our Office of Arts and History has planned events for June 30 and July 1-7 that are fun, educational, and a great way to honor the spirit of Independence Day. Explore Highland Park, New ...

More than the Fourth of July, Make it a Star Spangled Week in the Long Beach Island Region of NJ

June 22, 2018

STAFFORD AND LONG BEACH ISLAND - Summer 2018 starts now, so time to enjoy the beauty of the Jersey Shore. As families and friends gather for the summer holiday, there is plenty of options to assist in rounding out July 4 vacation and getaways.

With July 4 falling on a Wednesday, there are many events surrounding the holiday.

The award winning Surf and Sip Brew Trail itinerary is available ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...