At least 10 marches in NJ Saturday call for end to gun violence

OCEAN CITY — Stefany Mayz was a child when the Columbine High School massacre shocked the United States in April 1999.

Now Mayz has two children of her own, who are about the same age as those killed in the latest high-profile mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas last month.

Sometimes, she said, it can be difficult to imagine leaving the world a better one for her kids to inherit.

“Seeing tragedy after tragedy, I’ve felt absolutely paralyzed with, what can I do to help? I need to take action. I need to do something,” Mayz said.

In the short term, what Mayz has done is become the organizer of a March For Our Lives rally in Ocean City on Saturday.

It is one of 10 marches currently scheduled across New Jersey that are officially sanctioned through the March For Our Lives website.

‘Way beyond’ initially expected turnout

The flagship march is on Washington, DC, where the website says participants plan to “demonstrate to our elected officials that we demand and deserve a nation free of gun violence.”

Mayz is expecting a turnout of hundreds to cross the 9th Street bridge in Ocean City, starting on the public sidewalk at the bottom of the bridge at noon.

“When I first put this event together, I thought to myself I would be happy if 50 people showed up, but since then it’s gone way beyond that,” she said.

‘Frustrating … that we have to march again’

Mayz said it’s sad for her to see statistics that suggest a wide majority of gun owners, including National Rifle Association members, support increased or enhanced background checks for gun buyers.

And those feelings intensify every time there is a new threat or scare, or actual incident.

“What’s frustrating about this is the fact that we have to march again, that Sandy Hook happened, Parkland happened, I mean, March for Our Lives was born out of what happened in Parkland,” she said. “The last month, May, there were only five days that a mass shooting didn’t happen in the United States, and some of the worst ones happened over the last couple of weeks. “

The best place to follow updates about the Ocean City march is the event’s Facebook page, Mayz said, and information about how to participate in all scheduled New Jersey marches is at marchforourlives.com.

In addition to Ocean City, marches in Atlantic City and Toms River step off at 12 pm Saturday. One in Springfield begins at 8 am, Newark gets going at 10 am, and Roselle,, Sewelland Somerset start at 11 am

Princeton and Asbury Park are later in the day, beginning at 4 pm and 6 pm respectively.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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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:

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