Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reader Comments on Jailed Historian

Note: Some people are having trouble navigating Google's comment menu. It's not the greatest. If you want to email AsburyRadio@aol.com your comment, I'll post it myself. Same rules apply, if you want to withhold your true identity so that you can hit and run like a coward, your comments won't appear here. If you're afraid of recriminations - what is locally known as getting "Wernerized", then tell me and that label will appear instead of your name. However, I expect the writer to provide his or her identity to this blogger.

Maureen: it looks like you took down the obscene messages you've been getting in your defense of Werner. Please put them back up and let the residents of Asbury Park know the kind of "anonymous" people who would like to see Werner buried alive in the penal system because he dared to speak out about the lousy redevelopment plans of the city. Pathetic. It also turns out that some of the anonymous writers are also so incredibly thin-skinned that if Werner dared to mention something negative about their precious home remodeling plans, their only way of redress is to throw him in jail. Disgusting.

To all right-thinking people: please help Werner Baumgartner. Remember, you could be next.

Maire Martello
Joan Schnorbus has left a new comment on your post "OUTRAGE!!!":
Outrage is right! In a city riddled with decaying structures, it would be interesting to learn how many Asbury Park property owners are now, or have been, incarcerated for property code violations. My guess is there wouldn’t be enough jail cells in the entire state to accommodate them.Jailing someone for code violations, which prevents him from working to address the issues and the fines the code violations engender, is tantamount to debtors’ prison, which history has proven to be impractical and which has been frowned upon throughout U.S. history. So, what is the ploy here? To keep Werner from working to get his house up to code or even to be able to maintain it, and then seize it? To drive him out of town (don’t forget the tar and feathers!), and bestow some cheaply-obtained prime real estate on someone more friendly to the city? It appears that Werner has become Asbury Park’s own political prisoner because of the attention he has brought to neglected historical landmarks and his robust dissention with city practices pursued in the name of redevelopment. And it also appears that a voice like his is sorely needed when the Elks/Charms building, named to Preservation NJ’s 2009 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in NJ, is quietly torn down over the Christmas holidays -- a time when the attention of the populace is usually focused elsewhere (and apparently so was the APP’s). The Charms building demolition was another move prompted by a city inspection.As long as Werner Baumgartner is persecuted/incarcerated by the city’s actions, I will refrain from doing any business within Asbury Park. It’s not the only game in Monmouth County.
Joan Schnorbus
My response to what is happening to Werner Baumgartner is total and complete outrage. I attended many of Werner's historical lectures about Asbury Park. This is a man whose heartfelt concerns for the preservation of the history and historical buildings in Asbury Park shows his love for our beloved city even though he is also an outspoken critic of the way our short-sighted and misguided electorate has made decisions. Is this not part of our constitution, the right to protest? Is he to be marginalized, sent to jail and punished because he was unable to "paydown a veritable mountain of alleged code violations",that contributed to his financial ruin, and accused of "contempt of court", a misnomer. It is appalling that our electorate continues to lead the way in environmental and social injustices by their inability to make good, postive choices for our city. A city is only as good as its community, and we have a great community, including Werner, who want to make it a thriving, sustainable, and economically healthy city. It is only hindered by a unenlightened electorate.
Joyce Grant, Community and Environmental Activist
Asbury Park
P. Schnorbus has left a new comment on your post "OUTRAGE!!!":
Werner Baumgartner cares deeply about Asbury Park, which was a summer destination for our family when we were children 40-50 years ago. It wasn't a scary place but an inviting one for families. It isn't one that I would recommend to families nowadays because what is there really to do, and how safe is it after dark? Werner may get visibly exasperated because he sees the jewels and the history of the city going by the wayside.

It appears that because Werner takes an avid interest in his UNPAID job that he has been thrown into the slammer! If Werner has repairs to make on his house, please allow him to do so. This will not get accomplished if he is in jail.

The bottom line is this: Werner's incarceration doesn't reflect well on how city officials operate. There are more important things to take care of and to implement to make the city a better place -- a great place -- akin to the one that I remember from years gone by.

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