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Must we have dog races on Sunday?

I recently read that Derby Lane, the greyhound race track on Gandy Boulevard, is going to feature Sunday races.

Dog wagering on a Sunday? I cannot imagine how this benefits anyone other than the Derby Lane owners and operators.

As a resident of Pinewood Mobile Village across the street from Derby Lane, I speak for myself (and possibly a few others) when I say we could use a break from the heavy automobile traffic, especially on Sundays.

Please explain how and why this has happened.

Richard MacAulay

P.S. I'm no "trailer bat." I'm 34 years old.

Response: According to Derby Lane spokesman Jay Black, the move to Sunday matinees "was a business decision because Tuesday night is historically poor and we felt more business could be generated on Sunday afternoons. It all boils down to that."

The track is now closed Tuesday evenings.

You should also be aware that starting this year, Derby Lane's season will last longer. The track will stay open until June 30.

Many years ago, Black explained, the dog tracks in Tampa, Sarasota and St. Petersburg had overlapping seasons. They voluntarily agreed to stop stepping on each others' toes by splitting the season three ways.

Last year, Black said, because business was down, the Tampa and St. Petersburg tracks agreed to divide the season between them. Sarasota, left to do as it pleased, took the better months of the tourist season, which puts it in competition with the other two tracks.

Of course, Black pointed out, all these changes must get and did receive approval from the necessary state agencies.

Because these agencies have a policy of running proposed changes past other pari-mutuel businesses in the area but not past local residents, you might wish to make your feelings known by writing to the following:

Department of Business Regulation, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, 725 S Bronough St., Tallahassee 32399.

Pari-Mutuel Commission, Athens Blvd., Suite C-240, 8405 NW 53rd St., Miami 33166-4561.

Rug backing disintegrated

Could you straighten something out for me please?

I had two rugs and a hall runner taken to be cleaned by Tinney Rug Cleaners about three weeks ago. When the rugs came back, they were completely ruined. These rugs were in very good condition and now they are ripply and the burlap backing has almost completely pulled away.

I am 82 years old. I loved those rugs and hoped they would last me the rest of my life. I can't get that kind anymore and I am sick about it.

The price I paid to have them cleaned was $168.75. I said I would give Tinney's one week to have a refund check in the mail but I have heard nothing.

Please help if you can.

Olivine Newton

Response: We passed your complaint along to Preston VanGorder of Tinney's. He said your rugs cleaned up beautifully but the backing did disintegrate. The rugs were old, he said, and you can't expect jute backing to last forever.

VanGorder said he offered to vulcanize the backs for $50 each but you insisted on getting your money back.

We're sorry we couldn't help.

Who won the sweepstakes?

Can you tell us the results of the recent American Family Publishers Millionaire Sweepstakes? Have the grand prize winners been notified yet? If not, then when, where and how?

If they have, then where is a list of the winners available?

B.D.

Response: The winning number was announced Jan. 24 on the Tonight Show. Call (800) 237-2400 to get the answers to your other questions.

Reaction:

Please accept my thanks for your prompt action. It was not the $3.65 that bothered me but the principal of the thing _ charging for something that wasn't even on the bill.

In appreciation for your trouble, I have donated the refund of $3.65 and an additional check of my own to the Pinellas Association for Retarded Children.

Dorothy Baxter

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, c/o the City Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request for Action.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or on our voice mail system; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Upon request, names will not be published.

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