“Freakin’ Ridiculous” Regulation

(p. A1) REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.—Capt. Kent Buckson’s radio crackled with word of a situation on the beach. A lifeguard had spotted a large canopy amid the sea of umbrellas. That meant one thing. Time for a takedown.

“We’ve got to get to that one,” said Mr. Buckson, the soft-spoken beach patrol boss. He and his deputy, Aaron Tartal, jumped into an all-terrain vehicle and headed over. Mr. Tartal, shirtless and in red swim trunks, strode over to the canopy owner.

“Good morning, sir. I’ve got bad news,” Mr. Tartal told the man. Then he laid out the new law on the two-mile beach. No tents or canopies allowed, except baby tents up to 3 feet high, wide or deep.

“Freakin’ ridiculous,” groused the man, who declined to give his name, as he dismantled the black 8-by-10-foot canopy he had just erected.

“New city ordinance, it’s a little bit of a learning curve,” Mr. Tartal gamely replied, pointing out the nearby shacks that rent umbrellas for $12 a day.

. . .

(p. A14) . . . , the 25-year-old Mr. Tartal, who is a lifeguard in addition to Capt. Buckson’s beach patrol deputy, told Marjorie Danko, a receptionist from Hershey, Pa., that the $40 three-sided tent she bought for her grandchildren didn’t pass muster, either.

“I don’t understand this,” she said. “I think umbrellas are much more dangerous. What kind of ordinance is that? I mean, really dumb.”

Mr. Tartal apologized but didn’t debate her. “We don’t write the ordinances,” he said, “we just enforce them.”

Clutching some cash, Ms. Danko marched off to go rent an umbrella.

For the full story, see:

Scott Calvert. “Beach Patrol Draws a Line In the Sand: No More Tents.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, July 5, 2017): A1 & A10.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 4, 2017, and the title “Beach Patrol Confronts a New Menace: Oversize Tents.”)

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