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Massena rec super calls for respect, civility at town beach

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By RYNE R. MARTIN

MASSENA - When the superintendent of the Massena Recreation Department stands at the edge of the pavement at the Massena Town Beach, he looks out over the beachfront at the St. Lawrence River and his thoughts turn back to Europe, his home for several years when he was playing professional hockey.

Richard A. Boprey says the view and tranquility at the town beach would be a huge draw if it was located in Europe with vehicles parked along both sides of state Route 131 for miles and the beachfront filled with people and baskets.

But the Norwood native wonders if the facility isn’t taken for granted by some area residents. He said he has been frustrated in recent weeks by some of the problems that have popped up this summer at the town beach - issues with dogs, broken glass and beach-goers unwilling to leave at closing time.

“It’s a beautiful facility and doesn’t deserve to be abused. It’s frustrating people can’t go there, enjoy themselves and go home. It’s not too much to ask,” he said.

He said the rules at the town beach are fairly clear - no dogs, no glass, and the beachfront closes at 8 p.m. and the beach gates are closed at 8:30 p.m. daily.

Mr. Boprey said it has still been a strong start to the summer season with the pavilions at the beach having been rented since the opening weekend until the end of July. The numbers for the summer recreation program remain strong.

But he said the rules violations and the lack of respect and manners shown to the high school and college age lifeguards when they address those issues is unnecessary.

“Our young staff don’t need to be abused,” he said.

He reiterated dogs are not allowed at the town beach.

“There are still a few people who think taking dogs to the beach is a sensible option. It is not. They shouldn’t be going there and bothering people,” he said.

Mr. Boprey also said more people seem to be violating the no glass rule at the beach, another safety concern.

“It’s not sinking in, and that’s just common courtesy at a beach,” he suggested.

There have also been a few incidents this year when lifeguards have had difficult times when they are trying to close the facility for the night. He said steps have been taken to alleviate that issue.

The beach is open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily, and the waterfront is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“The state police have helped us out by showing a presence out there in the evening hours, and it is appreciated,” the recreation superintendent said.

Mr. Boprey reiterated Massena is blessed with several beautiful park facilities ranging from the town beach to Springs Park and the Massena Creative Playground.

He noted vandalism continues to be an issue at the park with damage this week to a bathroom at Bushnell Field, where a toilet paper dispenser was ripped off a wall and a sink was broken; to the wooden playground, where recreation crews replaced 20 2 x 2s to address railings that are repeatedly being kicked off and broken.

He said some problems at the beach and the parks are an annual occurrence.

“It just seems like the number of situations is on the rise. It’s frustrating, and there is no reason for it,” he said.

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