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Village board considers how to combat chewing gum nuisance

LAKE GEORGE Every day hes on duty at the Lake George Visitors Center, Village Trustee John Root takes several minutes to combat his pet peeve chewing gum discarded on the sidewalk. Root walks outside and pries some chewing gum off the concrete, so an unsuspecting tourist doesnt have an unpleasant experience of stepping in the sticky, persistent substance. Now, hes wants to take his anti-gum campaign further he wants to install receptacles where visitors to Lake George village can discard their gum and get a minor pleasure out of doing it. Monday, Root proposed to the board they designate tree trunks or erect tree silhouettes in the village where visitors could stick their gum rather than toss it on the sidewalk. These receptacles could be called Adirondack Gum Trees, he said, while they prevent distasteful surprises for pedestrians. I just hate how chewing gum gets all black and sticks to pedestrians shoes, and it gets carried forward as they walk and is smeared on the sidewalks, he said. Root said that similar Gum Tree depositories, he heard, were employed in Detroit. Village Trustee Marisa Muratori scoffed at the idea. We dont want to emulate Detroit, she said, suggesting the board should consider posting sarcastic or creative signs to get people to dispose of gum responsibly. Village Mayor Robert Blais suggested a possible slogan for such signs. How about Swallow Your Gum, he said. I think that one way or another, its a good idea to do something about the problem. Blais said that such pro-active measures often are effective, noting that a dozen smoke stations or obelisk cigarette butt receptacles the village set in strategic places this past year dramatically curbed tobacco litter. Trustee John Earl suggested that the board could make chewing-gum disposal fun for visitors, by providing gum receptacles designed to resemble clown faces with wide grins, so people could enjoy the game of chewing-gum basketball, the challenge of successfully aiming their toss into the clowns smile. Something like this could make Lake George famous, he said. Muratori bristled at the thought of tree-trunks slathered with chewed gum or cut-out silhouette characters scattered through the village. I suggest we form a committee to discuss this, she said.

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