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Parks and Recreation Director Sherry Kalish asked last week for a sign with the rules in Spanish because some beachgoers can’t read the existing sign in English.
But Town Councilors Finlay Rothhaus and Michael Malzone say signs should only be in English.
Malzone said immigrants should learn English and respect the cultural and municipal rules if they want to live and work in the state.
Lt. Michael Dudash said the request originated in the police department. He said Latino visitors complained they couldn’t read the rules because they are posted in English.
The rules at the beach at Wasserman Park include no horseplay, no alcohol, no littering and a requirement that children under 12 be supervised.
Dudash said there have been problems with beachgoers bringing alcohol or being too loud.
“They have claimed they cannot read the signs several times, and the police department has recommended signs in Spanish to combat any defenses,” he said.
Steve Rand of Silver Lake State Park in Hollis said that that beach draws as many as 700 people on the weekends, and 50 to 75 percent of those visitors are Spanish speaking. Silver Lake has had signs in English and Spanish since the mid-1990s, he said.
(Posted on August 2, 2007)