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Old tires can be made into fine playgrounds

Re: Using old ground-up tires for playgrounds.

I have been reading about the controversy concerning using shredded tires for playgrounds.

I am from Akron, Ohio, the old "Rubber Capital of the World," and we use the old shredded tires for our children's playgrounds! We don't have the same problems they have here about the fumes and "tracking in" of the tire shreds because up there they treat the shredded tires with some kind of substance that holds it all together and then they pour it on the playgrounds _ something that looks like asphalt, but is rubber instead!

I have been to many parks, especially Goodyear Tire's Wingfoot Park, where this substance is put on the roadways, footpaths and playground where the children play so they don't hurt themselves.

It's too bad this formula couldn't be shared with other cities that would want to help rid the environment of used tires.

Someone from Leisure Services or the Parks Department could maybe contact Goodyear in Akron or the Akron Parks Department, and they could give you a clue about how best to treat the tire shreds. I'm sure the extra money that would be spent would be worth it if it gave the playgrounds a longer life and saved injuries to children.

Bettie Ruip, St. Petersburg

High, fixed-span bridge favored for Bayway

Re: Low-level drawbridge is the way to go, letter, April 15.

The letter writer says he has been in this area for 19 years and has never had to wait anywhere near 20 minutes at the drawbridge. This is probably because, like most residents of Isla del Sol, he doesn't use the bridge very often.

To get the real story, you need to talk to the people who use the bridge every day to get to work. They will tell you about 20-minute-and-longer delays and the almost daily frustration of sitting in line waiting when their jobs demand that they be on the move. These are the people who vote for the high, fixed-span bridge.

The desires of local residents who occasionally use the bridge should be considered. However, far greater weight should be given to the needs and desires of the people who use the bridge several times a day.

It is important to remember that the Department of Transportation has always had a 200-foot right-of-way for the Pinellas Bayway and to remember that the Bayway was built before Isla del Sol was developed. It was always planned to construct a new bridge; that's why the Bayway tolls were collected. Isla del Sol has enjoyed the privilege of using part of this right-of-way over the years, but it has no right to determine how it is to be used in the future.

The high, fixed-span bridge is best for automobile traffic, for boat traffic and for emergency evacuation. In addition, it costs a lot less. The bridge users' needs will be served best by the high bridge, and that should be the determining factor.

Joseph A. Mahon, St. Petersburg

Behavior, not gatherings, the problem at Bartlett

Re: Bartlett parties invite neighbors' ire, April 19.

As a resident of the Old Southeast neighborhood, I read your article regarding the Sunday gatherings at the park. The gatherings are not the problem, but observation of laws related to health and safety cannot be discarded to avoid the perception that trouble might start if laws are enforced.

For example, I don't go to the park and pull my car on the grass to have a picnic, as I see blocks of cars parked on Sunday having done with tacit permission of authorities. I don't drink alcohol in the park nor do I walk the streets with an open alcoholic beverage.

The youth of today should be able to gather

but public health, safety and welfare are equally compelling interests that deserve protection.

Brett Buggeln, St. Petersburg

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