Gustavson Column: So this is how you treat a scenic byway?

This is an open letter to the person responsible for throwing empty Budweiser can after empty Budweiser can on the side of the otherwise pristine Narrow River Road in Orient. We will find you, my friend, if it is the last thing we do. In fact, we have a pretty good idea who you are, based on preliminary DNA samples taken from your saliva on the multitude of empty cans. We also have a blurry, motion-activated game camera image of the last three digits of your license plate. Your pickup truck appears to be blue. Or is it gray?

Tentative profile: ambidextrous male of limited intelligence. Protruding beer belly and enlarged prostate likely to cause frequent urge to urinate. (So far, no used Depends found roadside.)

Recent Narrow River Road litter patrol also recovered reading glasses and one men’s sneaker sized 13, indicating the suspect recently has been bumping into things and/or limping. In any event, we trust he is uncomfortable and retains the ability to read this.

Assuming the dozens of beer cans dumped in recent months (since last cleanup) were dumped separately, total fine exposure is $12,975.00. Failure to pay in full promptly will result in immediate incarceration, with key to cell hopefully “lost” on the side of Narrow River Road.

OK, OK, there’s some serious hyperbole and outsized wishful thinking contained in the preceding paragraphs, but the litterbug in question is quite real and must be stopped — either voluntarily or involuntarily. So, if you are personally responsible for this barrage of beer cans, please cease and desist immediately. Or if you know who is responsible, please “drop a dime” to the Southold Town Police Department at your earliest convenience.

One of Long Island’s most scenic byways deserves much better treatment than this.

• And I always thought the obituaries were the best-read section of any newspaper. But Times/Review’s year-end analysis of best-read articles online suggests that police/crime news is clearly the most popular content. Yes, it’s true: 2014 produced some particularly compelling local coverage of this sort, but something tells me this past year was no exception. Readers will always be fascinated by what the bad guys (and the unfortunate guys) are up to. Which explains why seven of the top 10 best-read stories of 2014 dealt with police-related news.

• Up until three weeks ago, I had no idea what a podcast was. But then I read an article in The Other Times about “Serial,” a podcast about a murder case in Baltimore that has gone viral, as they say, with an audience measured in the millions. Word of warning: If you decide to check it out, be prepared to spend about 12 straight hours bound to your computer, tablet or smartphone. It’s that addictive. How good is it? Podcasts are free, but that didn’t stop me from contributing $50 when the people behind the broadcast asked for financial support to ensure a second “season.” At just over $4 per mesmerizing hour, it was well worth the voluntary investment. Not since the 1960s and the days of legendary monologist Jean Shepherd have I been so glued to my “radio.”

Try it, you’ll like it.

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