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Litter Law Lunacy

We have complained of the City Council's and state Legislature's paralysis. On second thought, that may be a blessing.

Take state and city legislation regulating "lawn litter": fliers, ads, menus and circulars left at people's doors. The state has a law authored by state Sen. Frank Padavan instructing homeowners who do not want the circulars to post a 5-by-7-inch sign on their property with stating "Do Not Place Unsolicited Advertising Materials On This Property." Anyone disobeying could be punished under law.

The city then set fines at $250 to $1,000. But the city law stipulates that owners filing a complaint must fill out and sign an affidavit form, have it notarized, submit the paperwork along with the unsolicited advertisement left on the property to the city Sanitation Department and be available to attend a hearing on the matter.

The insane fines are matched by a stunning level of bureaucracy.

Kew Gardens Civic Association Executive Chairman Murray Berger called the rules "asinine."

We agree. A $1,000 fine for leaving a circular at someone's door is also asinine and may infringe free speech. The law seems insensitive to small business owners looking for an affordable way to attract new customers.

How hard is it to pick up a flier and put it in the recycle bin? Do we really need to have our lives legislated? Often legislative knees jerk when they get a call from a community leader or constituent, even when the problem is imaginary.

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