RANDOLPH – Playing tennis in the parking lot really isn’t good enough.
So, Jennifer Rogers, the owner of the Randolph Tennis Center in this affluent Morris County town, is ready to take action.
She plans to host a protest at her center on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. on behalf of small businesses closed via executive order because of the pandemic.
Rogers says she had lines painted and nets constructed in the parking lot when outdoor tennis was allowed to reopen a few weeks ago. But with indoor tennis still prohibited, she said many of her resident
“pros” are still unemployed.
“This has become a cause for me,” she said.
And apparently for others. Many other local businesses are expected to attend Saturday’s event, she said.
Notwithstanding what happens Saturday in Randolph, Phil Murphy said today that the state is getting close to its “stage two” reopening. He spoke specifically about youth sports, more small businesses reopening and outdoor dining.
But he also said he is worried about indoor activities where the virus can more easily spread. New Jersey now has had almost 158,000 cases of COVID-19 and 11,401 deaths. These numbers have been decreasing, but Murphy said hospitalizations increased in the last 24 hours, which the governor hopes is not a trend.
Back in Randolph, Rogers seems sincere in saying she wants the Saturday event to show public support for small businesses and their owners, not an outright defiance of the governor.
But politics will be on stage. Elected officials scheduled to speak are Heather Darling, the Morris County surrogate, and Freeholder Sylvia Petillo of nearby Sussex County. Both are Republicans.
Other scheduled speakers are Anthony Colandro, the owner of a Woodland Park shooting range, and U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta. Suffice to say, Second Amendment boosters and the governor don’t share the same views.