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Keep pavilion open while making repairs

Re: Conflicts of interest can appear troublesome, editorial, Sept. 24.

As president of the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce, I sent an e-mail to the Clearwater mayor and City Council members requesting that they keep the South Beach Pavilion open while it underwent repairs and until a new Request For Proposals has been issued and a leasing agreement entered into.

I also appeared before them at their Sept. 16 meeting urging that they take the matter up during council discussion, but no one saw fit to raise the issue.

The pavilion provides a vital service to our visitors, even during the slow months from October to January. Your editorial chastised council member Hoyt Hamilton for being angry about the matter because it affected his family. I am not sure that it is his family he is worried about, since they would surely lose money on the pavilion during the slow months anyway.

I think he is more concerned, as is the chamber, about removing a service that has become expected by our tourists and local beachgoers alike. If it is impossible to make the repairs while a limited operation continues, then the council should say so, and that will end the matter. Otherwise, there is no rational reason the city should not make every effort to accommodate visitors to our beach, which has too few amenities as it is.

Jack Heckert, president, Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce

Sheriff's cars desperately needed on U.S. 19 patrol

We had occasion to drive U.S. 19 from Dunedin to Port Richey several times a week while guests were here. They were aghast at the cars running red lights and cutting in and out of traffic. They finally asked, "Where are the police? In all the times we have driven back and forth, the only police we saw on U.S. 19 were in Tarpon Springs."

Sorry to say, we had no answer. There were never any Pinellas County sheriff cars to be seen on U.S. 19. Yes, we did see them on quiet Alderman Road once in a while, but never on U.S. 19, where they are so badly needed. Are they afraid they may have to do some work if they travel U.S. 19?

Marilyn Joy, Dunedin

Coyotes shouldn't prowl neighborhoods unchecked

Re: Coyote problem deserves immediate attention, letter, Sept. 16.

Like the letter writer from Palm Harbor, I am bothered by the coyote problem in northern Pinellas. My 10-year-old cat, Julie, is now missing after getting out one night when coyotes were spotted in my neighborhood. Animal Services has said that coyotes feed on cats and dogs and haven't affected humans in Florida.

First of all, my cat has been in my life as long as I can remember, and now that she's gone, do you really think that doesn't "affect" me?

How can coyotes tell a baby from a cat? The coyote that killed a 2-year-old in California couldn't. Is that what we are waiting for _ a coyote to kill a human in Florida?

Animal Services advised that if you are walking your dog on a leash and you come across a coyote, you should drop the leash and let the coyote have your dog so you don't get hurt. My sister walks to school in the dark and also was advised if she came across a coyote, she should carry a big stick. Well, she'll get suspended from school for that!

I find it silly that Pinellas County has an ordinance against house cats going outside, yet Animal Services finds it perfectly acceptable that non-native, invasive predators prowl residential neighborhoods unchecked.

Anna Moran, Dunedin

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