In Southampton Village, an environmental advocacy committee is asking the Village Board to prohibit magazine distributors from dropping unwanted publications at businesses — and Patch readers had mixed reactions to the proposal.
Southampton Advocates for the Village Environment, or SAVE, wants legislation put in place that requires distributors to offer businesses an opt-out from receiving magazines. Further, legislation would make the distributors or businesses responsible for removing uncirculated magazines, so they do not end up in sidewalk trash cans, or blowing through the streets.
SAVE co-chair Roger Blaugh told the Village Board that the publishers and distributors of year-round magazine act responsibly, but seasonal magazines are the problem. "In the summer, we are really inundated with them,” he said. By his count, there are around 18 additional publications distributed in the summer.
Patch user Jerry Can commented on the report, "I would require the publishers to get a permit from the village which requires them to provide a list of their drop-off points and an accompanying agreement with the property/business owners allowing the drop and their responsibility for making sure the magazines are in a proper receptacle and that their proper disposal is agreed to. Make it the businesses responsibility to report unauthorized drops so that the enforcement squad and police can go after the publishers for fines and if need be asset forfeitures. There could also be a higher fine and jail time for delivery people that break the law, that would insure the publishers are in compliance. You could also make it illegal to allow people to pick up these publications. Maybe charge them with an accessory charge. After all, if people don't pick up these magazines there is no reason to put them out."
Hope and Change wrote, "Stop talking endlessly about it and doing nothing. Enforce the law that exists. Do your job and stop your crying. OMG, you sound like powerless pathetic do nothings. You saw the truck and did nothing? You see kids with shopping carts and do nothing...do something or stop bitching... committee this and board that. Just enforce the law. Get on with it."
Juss Bean Honest commented, "To see these 100-page, glossy mags dumped in all the driveways on so many Village roads reflects poorly on all of us. We don't seem to care about the environment, or the shoddiness of the content (is anyone except the people in them actually reading them?) They are just advertisements, illegally distributed and nothing more. Why make a committee? Just enforce littering laws and this conversation is done."
Two users suggested putting all the magazines in designated locations where they wouldn't get rained on or be a nuisance.
pat said, "I like them, maybe they need waterproof cabinets to place them in."
Joan Tutt wrote, "How about designated magazine stands that are permanent in nature and weather protected, positioned in various village locations? I've seen them in resort areas of Florida and they seem to work well Makes distribution easier and less costly, saves on waste, and the readership that really wants them, has access."
But Preliator disagreed with pat and Joan Tutt. Preliator responded, "How about no. Our town and villages are not open air magazine racks for out of town slobs to dump hundreds if not thousands of unwanted magazines on our streets and businesses. Why not have PD wait for these slobs, follow them and write them for every spot they drop."
E. Dorothy White commented that the ban may not be constitutional: "Check out the Constitution gang- First Amendment - just like guns... publications are protected and can distribute without penalty or prejudice - Publications that are NOT soliciting (so the real estate company mags aren't included) specifically but contain editorial content. It's called Freedom of the Press. As far as dropping all over the place and using shopping carts that is mostly Hamptons Magazine, LI Pulse and a few of the other "summer" publications. As long as the publication has called the drop spot and they have agreed to have them in their store or at their doorway (not on village property) than it is ALL legit - some like Dan's Papers even provide racks when allowed and drivers pick up returns. The Villages make a POINT of running around and TAKING the publications from in front of stores at 6 a.m. before they open and THROWING them out — check out Sag Village at 5:45 a.m. — it's crazy - making more work for themselves."
But Mary Beth disagreed: "This has nothing to do with the first amendment. Placing a pile of unwanted magazines on the street and then claiming no responsibility for them is not distribution, it is littering."
SadderBudweiser quipped, "Why stop at magazines? Can we ban ugly people from the streets too?"