file phot by Boyd Loving

September 12,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in recent years this has become a recurrent theme in town , where does privacy end and news begin ?  While we do try to be sensitive to residents privacy needs we sense there is something more afoot than righteous indignation  over invasions of privacy .  In a recent post in a Facebook group:

“I wanted to share with you all a situation I found concerning that occurred recently to a friend and fellow member of the Ridgewood
community this week. During an emergency situation that impacted one of her children, as the first responders came to assist based on a 911
call made to receive ambulatory assistance, another resident of Ridgewood came to the scene of the incident and took multiple pictures
of the situation. While at the hospital, my friend began receiving text…s from other concerned friends that pictures of her, a family
caregiver, and her children (thankfully with the children’s faces blurred) had been posted on the photographer’s private Facebook page
as well as on The Ridgewood Blog.

She asked me to help her get the pictures taken down as she was focused on handling the matter they
were dealing with. I reached out to the photographer and to the Ridgewood Blog who had posted some of the photgrapher’s pictures,
respectfully asking for any of the pictures of the incident that included my friend or her family members be removed (there were other
pictures that were not an issue). The Ridgewood Blog immediately removed the concerning pictures, which we greatly appreciate. The
private photographer refused to due so stating it was his legal right to share the images.

Although I understand the desire to report on the use of municipal services within Ridgewood, I don’t understand his unwillingness to be compassionate at a time when a member of our community needed it and comply with a request to remove personal identifiers of a family in crisis. I tell this story because I have
since learned that others in our community have dealt with the same issue. If I ever find myself in an emergent situation that requires a
call to 911, do I need to be in fear of my picture being posted all around town? Based on this situation, if a person calls for emergency
services and doesn’t want their moments of crisis publicized for all to see, do they need someone on hand to intercede with pictures being
taken? I would love to know from someone with any expertise in this area, if there is anything that can be done in situations like this to
protect the right to privacy.”

Unfortunately  in our view what we need is a lot more local news not less . So we have a few  suggestions we have assembled over the last 10 plus years we have run the Ridgewood blog . While accidents happen and accidents with children are particularly difficult , most readers are very sympathetic to the child  and only wish the warmest sympathies and a speedy recovery. Most people are very supportive of their neighbors.  If it is being suggested otherwise by anyone , you need new friends .

Years of reporting on accidents in the Village has taught us a few things . Most accidents on Village streets are totally avoidable and usually caused by distracted driving or impaired judgment .

No one wants to be caught in and embarrassing situation as a news item so we would suggest residents follow theses rules;

  1. Don’t text and drive
  2. Don’t use your cell phone while you drive
  3. don’t drink till after 5 pm
  4. Keep your speed within 30 mph of the posted speed limit
  5. Shade trees are a precious resource try not to hit them

Boyd Loving does and excellent job covering local events and the Village is lucky to have him . If you do something reckless and stupid , it is still reckless and stupid if it makes news or not .  Remember the next kid you hit may be your own . Looking for scape goats and blaming others for ones failings never solves the problem and only works for politicians . In real life its best to accept responsibility .