Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 08-08-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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18 SMITHFIELD AUGUST 8-14, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION lifeguard said the piles were due to geese landing on the peninsula to take a break. Aubin disagreed, pointing to large dog prints in the sand. "This is a slap in the face to the people in the town. They don't want anybody using it," Aubin said. Smithfield Parks and Recreation Director Robert Caine also asserted that the droppings were from geese. He said the problem with geese droppings at Slacks has been going on for at least 100 years. He said while the beach portion of the peninsula is raked daily to keep it clean, the end of the sandbar is not and feces pile up there. "It looks like dog poop. It's huge," Caine said. Dogs are not allowed on the beach, Caine said. People do not follow the rules, though, and Caine said people still bring their dogs there. "There are signs all over the place to make sure you pick up the dog poop," he said. He noted that lifeguards are not responsible for picking up the geese droppings. Parks and Recreation conducts monthly water testing for bacteria caused by human and animal fecal matter. The blue-green algae test is done twice a month. Potential risks of exposure to fecal matter in water, specifically the enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria, may cause eye, ear, nose, throat, skin, respiratory, and gastro- intestinal diseases, according to the SLACKS From Page One ALBERT AUBIN said the town should be ashamed of the situation at Slacks Pond Beach where he said the area is 70 percent covered in animal droppings. BREEZE PHOTO BY JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Environmental Protection Agency. Caine said the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management recently switched the water-testing fee schedule, forcing municipalities to cover the costs of testing the water. For a blue-green algae test, the town pays $250 each time. The bacteria test for fecal matter is $50. With Slacks being free to Smithfield residents, and Georgiaville charging low annual rates of $10 for residents and $20 for non-residents, Caine said oper- ating local beaches is not a profit- able venture. He said the Slacks Reservoir Association also conducts water testing of the pond. Representatives from the association did not respond to comment. Aubin suggests that the town or association put up fences by the entrance to keep dogs from getting onto the beach. Though he said the mess should be cleaned up, he said he is worried about the health and safety of the lifeguards as well as beach-goers. "It's a putrid minefield of infected dung," Augin said. He said the attitude keeping the mess on the beach is as poisonous as the mess itself. The fecal mat- ter feeds the blue-green algae, he warned. Over the years, Slacks Pond Beach has repeatedly closed due to blue- green algae. It was reported in 2016 that the beach had been closed for four years from 2012 to 2016. At the time, the town said it was unable to find lifeguards to staff the beach. Slacks had three lifeguards on duty last Friday and Georgiaville Pond Beach has two. Georgiaville Beach reopened as of Aug. 2 following two water tests for blue-green algae that were within the suitable range. Story times announced at East Smithfield Library SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., pres- ents story time programs for children throughout August. Toddler Story Time, for children ages 2-3, is on Mondays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Tiny Tots Story Time, for children ages 1-2, is on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m., on Aug. 20 and 27. A par- ent or guardian must participate in these programs. Call 401-231-5150 to register. IN BRIEF Can't figure out how? Let us help! We can help you manage your Facebook account (Instagram, too!) Contact Brad to get started today! E-mail: or call: 508.801.6147 We can also help create your own manageable website with really useful features: •Mobile Optimization • Lead Generation & Lead Notifications • Monthly Reporting • Including Hosting Running Your Business on Facebook alone? Is that enough Should you do more ?

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