- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2001

National Park Service crews had a relatively easy time cleaning up the National Mall yesterday , after about a half-million rain-soaked revelers celebrated the nation's independence on the Fourth of July.
William I. Newman Jr., associate superintendent of maintenance for the National Capital Parks-Central, said this year's garbage should total between 27 and 30 tons, about the same as it has in past years.
The power behind the cleanup was supplied by a staff of 85 persons, who worked 12-hour shifts and accrued overtime. Crews began the trash pickup at 11 p.m. Wednesday and should finish about noon today.
After 18 years of supervising the Mall disposal efforts, Mr. Newman said the production is orchestrated almost as much as the fireworks display.
"We start on the Washington Monument grounds and work our way towards the Capitol. Then we go to the Lincoln Memorial and then back to the Monument," he said. "We have it down to a science now."
Most law enforcement agencies around the area reported an uneventful holiday.
Officials for the D.C. Office of Public Works, responsible for collecting trash in the downtown commercial areas, said it was business as usual as they emptied trash cans around the city, picking up firework debris along the way.
Metropolitan Police and U.S. Capitol Police officials said they had a quiet Fourth of July, reporting no incidents relating to or involving visitors to the Mall festivities.
Sgt. Rob MacLean of the U.S. Park Police said he hasn't seen a major incident during Fourth of July celebrations in many years, crediting the agency's 1997 prohibition of alcohol on all park grounds, which includes the Mall.
"Since then, there is a noticeable difference in the number of incidents and crowd demeanor," Sgt. MacLean said.
The agency reported several arrests on Independence Day — 14 for illegal vendors and two for possession of narcotics. The Park Police also confiscated a lot of alcohol before it entered the Mall grounds.
Leaving the grounds proved to be a surmountable obstacle. Metro spokeswoman Cheryl Johnson said 468,509 persons rode the subway Wednesday and only three of the transit agency's 937 trains had minor problems.
The highest July Fourth ridership for the rail service occurred last year, with 544,293 passengers. On a normal weekday, Metro has about 650,000 passengers. Police said traffic was reported to be normal under the circumstances.
Some people on the Mall yesterday expressed relief they didn't spend their holiday there.
George and Wanda Derussy and their two children, of Cocoa, Fla., said they couldn't tell that the area had been flooded with patriotic partyers and lots of litter just a day earlier.
"I can't believe it. It's an impressive job," Mrs. Derussy said. "I'm glad we weren't there."
Some people enjoyed the constant flow of people on the Fourth to the routine business on the day after. Yolanda Bishop spent both days selling food in front of the National Museum of American History.
"It was better yesterday. When there are more people, it seems more exciting and makes your day go by quicker," Miss Bishop said, adding that there was a big difference between the two days for her.
"Yesterday, it wasn't my birthday. Today, it is," Miss Bishop said as she sold ice cream to tourists on her 31st birthday.
Be it the nation's 225th birthday or Miss Bishop's 31st, Mr. Newman said his job is the same every day.
"We are here to serve the public and keep the park ready," he said. "Just because you have that one event, people are still coming the next morning."

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