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Gum Chewing Banned at Liberty and Ellis Islands

March 28, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ Miss Manners would be pleased - no gum chewing allowed at the Statue of Liberty or the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

It’s not that the hordes of gum-chewing visitors are offensive to the senses. The problem is what happens to the gum when it’s deposited all over the national monument, museum and grounds.

″The statue is becoming one big glob of chewing gum,″ says M. Ann Belkov, who became superintendent of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island two months ago.

One of Ms. Belkov’s first official acts is the edict banning gum chewing.

Visitors are warned of the ban while being ferried to the islands and will be reminded when they disembark by specially marked trash cans, she said.

Five workers on the 60-member daytime maintenance staff have been assigned exclusively to gum detail and they pick up about 1,000 pieces a day, said Ms. Belkov.

Chewing gum isn’t against the law, and National Park Service rangers are only empowered to remind visitors of the problem, Ms. Belkov said. However, improperly disposing of a wad of gum is subject to a $250 fine for defacing federal property.

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