, Salem, MA

August 27, 2013

Letter: Not a welcome feeling at Brackenbury

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

At the end of Brackenbury Lane are two signs. One sign says “public beach.” The other sign says “Dogs not allowed Memorial Day to Labor Day.” In the summertime, there is a third sign, put up by the Beverly Health Department, which informs the public when the beach is tested for safe levels of bacteria and, if need be, when the beach is closed. As a employee of a local health department, I know that only public beaches are tested by city government.

I have been going to Brackenbury Beach for years. It is one of the most beautiful spots on the North Shore. Unfortunately, I have also been made to feel uneasy about being on the beach. I have had people tell me “this is a private beach.” When I pointed out the “public beach” sign, they have said, “Of course, that’s what the city says.” It is obvious from this article (“Rope draws the line at Beverly’s Brackenbury Beach,” Aug. 20) and a query I made to the city of Beverly in 2010, that even the city does not know where the lines are. There is obviously a section of this beach that is public. If the private residents are enjoying city services that only public beaches enjoy, then they either need to share or the city needs to get its story straight.

In the meantime, I encourage people to visit my new hometown of Rockport — all public beaches here, everyone welcome.

Jen Keough