DEP, seek greater threat than dogs | June 30 letter
Dogs can harm park habitats
As a longtime volunteer at Honeymoon Island State Park, please allow me to respond to Ken Mayeaux's letter written after he was cited for violating the animal leash regulations at the park. He asks if a DEP officer doesn't have "something more important to do," and writes that the officer should issue tickets to those causing harm to the environment. Well, Mr. Mayeaux, that's exactly what the officer was doing.
Honeymoon Island had 1.2 million visitors in the last year. Thousands of those guests also brought their canine friends — a privilege not afforded at most beaches. Due to critical nesting bird habitats, defecation and uncontrolled vicious animals, the hand-held leash law is a necessity.
For several years, violators had been receiving verbal warnings. But, as often happens, the actions of a few cause stricter enforcement. Pet Beach, in particular, where Mr. Mayeaux received his citation, has numerous colonies of terns and plovers that are in peril due to the problem of loose dogs running rampant over their nesting areas.
My dogs are always on leash, not only to abide by the law and protect the habitat, but also due to the potentially dangerous marine life in Hurricane Pass and the occasional rattlesnake in the dunes.
We see it every day at the park: A few people feel that these regulations do not apply to them. I'm sorry to hear about the $75 fine, Mr. Mayeaux, but hopefully it will be a deterrent to others.
It is imperative that dogs are controlled in sensitive environmental areas.
Ray Dabkowski, Dunedin
8-footer is more than sidewalk
I live on Sunset Point Road in Clearwater. The county is planning on widening the road in the very near future. Their plan is to construct an 8-foot-wide sidewalk from Douglas Avenue to Alt. U.S. 19.
We have no sidewalks now and need one badly, but 8 feet is not a sidewalk, it is a promenade. This is a residential neighborhood, not a tourist area. On this section of Sunset Point, we have no businesses, motels or condos.
I have been unable to locate any sidewalks this wide in town, except on the beach. I was told it was to connect the bike trail to the bay. There are already many roads with sidewalks connecting the trail to the water. This is just frill — 4 feet wide is plenty. Save some money to spend on things we really need.
Greg Sherry, Clearwater
Countryside activist dies June 25 story
We need more John Wisers
John Wiser was a gentleman who had the right name. He was much wiser than most of us, not only about what was right and proper, but he was not afraid to speak up and say so. If nothing was done, then he got out and tried to do it himself.
We need more John Wisers in our community today and then maybe more people would come together for the good of everyone. Many seem to be working just for self today. How sad.
May John's heavenly home be as nice as he tried to make his earthly home for one and all.
Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater
Why not enforce 10 items or less?
Yesterday I was at the Publix on Island Estates in Clearwater and was purchasing a few items for the evening dinner. The gentleman in front of me had 13 items and was arguing the cost of one. Several people behind me were agitated as the wait was lengthy.
Now, I feel you should not complain unless you have a solution, so here it is. I think all stores that have "10 items or less" lines should program their registers to allow only 10 items or less. Any more will not be taken and items will have to be returned to the shelves or you would need to go to another line.
Question is, will this irritate customers? Will the store lose customers? Well, I saw two people simply put their items down and walk out of the store.
Of course, if a store is going to operate like this, ample signage should be given.
Chris Daily, Clearwater
Motorcyclists free of rules
As I came across the Memorial Causeway, I was greeted by an illuminated sign saying that I could be pulled over and ticketed for not wearing a seat belt — just as seven motorcyclists passed me not wearing seat belts or helmets. What am I missing?
Anne Rose, Clearwater