On the beach

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, May 23, 2003

Sandy Beach has been trashed. Never in all the decades I've lived here have I seen it look (or smell) so bad. In acts of sheer selfishness, utter brainlessness, and criminal moronity, some individuals had themselves an orgy of drunken pyromania at the expense of our community. From one end of the beach to the other, these people not only lit "campfires," but indiscriminately set fire to logs (possibly using pieces of driftwood as torches) close to the grass line the entire length of the beach. Evidence of drinking can especially be found at the far end of the beach at an area where there is a partially burned box from a case of alcohol and bottle caps. Freshly burned driftwood can be found strewn all up and down the beach.

My biggest concern is that any one of those spots near the grass line could have caused fire to spread from the trees on up to the houses above. I'm wondering how close Douglas came to being set on fire. There is a sign saying "no fires" posted near the shelter. But statements such as these, and the good advice the public received to be careful when using campfires due to our recent hot, dry weather, tend to go unheeded by the very people who pose the biggest threat to all of us.

It seems the price of alcohol must be too low, if vandalism to the point of possibly lethal consequences such as this is taking place in our public recreation spots. Perhaps an additional tax on alcohol is needed to fund more patrols of our parks - especially when so many are near people's dwellings and lives could be lost. A bigger tax on alcohol could also be used for things such as beach restoration.

If anyone has any good ideas about how we can protect this priceless haven we call home from such wanton piggishness, please let the rest of the public know. These acts seem cruel indeed, given the blessings divine providence recently bestowed on us in the form of some breathtakingly beautiful days. Maybe people who are seemingly blind to all of this are to be pitied, but being locked up for such crimes is likely the only teaching method they'll learn anything from.

Karen Dupere


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