Demote Him

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 Dear Editor:

Does anybody know to whom at the Parks Department I should complain about the crew that was driving east on the beach at 101st Street at about 8 p.m. on Friday, August 6 and had the job of picking up the trash? I had been on the beach since about four in the afternoon with neighbors who were marking a year since the death of our friend (daughter, sister) Jessica Sperling. After they left, I stayed on the beach and read. The light and the waves were amazing. Couples came and sat too close to me and played music and fed sea gulls, but I outlasted them.

Around sunset, two men drove up in a Parks Dept. pickup to bag up the trash, which was overflowing the can. Did I mention that we had just had a wake? The driver used his arm to sweep the overflow off the can and onto the sand before tying up the bag. As he was driving away, I said, “You’re leaving that there?” He said, “Yeah.” There was a suggestion of “What are you going to do about it?”

What I did about it was what I would have expected him to do about it: I picked up the trash. It was not too disgusting—pizza boxes, plastic cups, beer cans, maybe a diaper—and dropped it in the fresh bag they had put in the can. Then I came home and showered. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but unless a second crew was following to pick up after the first, this guy was doing the opposite of his job: he was making a mess on the beach. Demote him.

Mary Norris


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