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Letters, May 24

Economic hardship in our area

Many local businesses including shops, restaurants, live and movie theaters, sports venues, river rafting, tour boats, airlines and religious venues cannot operate at full capacity due to social distancing health requirements. Additionally, many businesses cannot run at full staffing.

Consequently, there is enormous economic hardship suffered by the entire community. This condition will continue as long as there is the risk of COVID spreading.

It seems quite possible that unless we reach herd immunity, in order for businesses to be able to operate at full capacity, at some time in the future they will find it necessary to limit their customers and/or employees to those who have been vaccinated. Until either of the above occur, businesses in our community will continue to suffer.

I would like to think that if those who are hesitating to be vaccinated understood how their reluctance so dramatically affects others as well as themselves, they might reconsider. In addition to important health considerations, the sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner businesses in our area can return to financial health which will benefit us all.

Jerry Wisnia


Lithia Park dogs: civility please

A May 7 letter about unwelcome dogs in Lithia Park describes those who bring dogs to Lithia Park and are rude to walkers who object.

Another form of verbal abuse also happens: I am regularly accosted by other walkers with angry words about “No dogs allowed in the park.” They ignore the clearly marked service dog vest my hearing-assist dog wears and assume because I look “normal” that I’m not disabled. In fact, I have significant deafness and my dog alerts me to sounds I do not hear as I walk.

One part of the problem is the Parks Department’s approach to the dog problem in Lithia Park. In bold, on all signs we read “No Animals.” In small print and easy to miss is an add-on: Service Dogs Allowed or a vague reference to the American Disability Act.

Even if the signage is confusing, even if some people are either oblivious or are scofflaws, is not civility appropriate? Could we also leave policing to the police? And could we all consider the one and all of us who love Lithia Park as just the imperfect people we are, who nonetheless deserve kindness?

Anne Beaufort


The homeless

I personally do not want to drive the homeless out of town. Many of them are homeless because of situations over which they have no control. But if they would just clean up after themselves and quit stealing and lighting fires, we’d all be a lot better off.

Noni McCrillis