Having two trained English springers as wonderful and loving members of our family, I believe the city ordinances allowing dogs to share our dining space have gone too far.
The operative word here being "trained." Unfortunately, there are too many dog owners who won't follow the guidelines set by the shared dining ordinances, leaving the restaurant servers as subjective enforcers. These "dine-in" dog owners are the same people who don't pick up their "used dog food" when they walk through our neighborhoods, in our parks and on our beaches.
The dining ordinances are backed by a very vocal minority who can't seem to eat a meal without their precious pups sitting at the table, often in chairs or on their laps.
My dogs don't like me sharing their meals and consequently, I prefer not to have them hovering around me waiting for a dropped tidbit. Worse, I don't want to deal with someone else's pampered pooch while I'm trying to enjoy my meal.
Harvey A. Smith, Palm Harbor
Pier 60 play area: $440K story, April 17
Clearwater needs revised priorities
One has to wonder how the city of Clearwater can find $440,000 for a playground and another $100,000 for flags honoring our military organizations, while dismantling neighborhood playgrounds due to lack of funds to maintain these parks.
Joelle Castelli, representing the city, stated that a park playground can be dismantled when another is "nearby." So, if I have this figured out correctly, a child shows up at his or her neighborhood park this summer, paid for by his or her parents' taxes, only to find out that this playground is too old and our leaders have determined that this child should trek to another park "nearby." How far is "nearby"?
But Clearwater found enough money to spend on traffic calming all over Clearwater while our major park area, Crest Lake Park, stands in pitiful condition due to lack of money and concern. Seems to me to be a question of priorities.
R. Padgett, Clearwater
Remember whom you represent
So let me see if I have this straight. We have demolished 26 percent of our neighborhood playgrounds in the last six years because we can't afford to maintain/replace them. These are the playgrounds that are used by residents and paid for with property taxes paid by residents.
These are decisions being made by the same city that was going to spend a half-million dollars to build a playground to attract tourists to our beaches.
I wonder who our City Council members think they are representing?
Teddy Buell, Clearwater
Bring quiet back to Belleair nights
Belleair is no longer quaint and quiet. Mayor Gary Katica and the town commissioners have approved lighting the rec field until 11 p.m. (for years it was 9:30) so that this nightmare of noise and crowds and traffic with concerts on the Sabbath in our strictly residential community can occur. They have brought the masses to our quiet town.
I have lived here for almost 25 years and am truly bewildered at what they have made us, the residents who live close by, deal with several times a year.
Belleair is not Coachman Park. The masses are not residents. The noise levels and volume are extreme.
Turn the lights off and go back to no lighting and no sound on the field after 9:30 p.m. as it has been and should be for our town residents.
I realize some residents might enjoy a small musical event, but these "rock concerts" have been allowed to become a colossal nightmare for some of us, lasting not only hours but days! Move it to down by the water with stadium seating if you want these masses. Stay away from residents' homes and lives.
Belleair readers, even if these happenings have not yet affected you, please realize that this is commercialism and big business now occurring in our once quiet, residential town.
Please, take back your quaint and quiet town and support your neighbors. Voice to the mayor and commissioners your thoughts. Remember, they are supposed to work for us, the residents of the town of Belleair.
Pamela Hendrick, Belleair