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KATHY OWENS, San Clemente

Here goes our city council again. The following activities have been canceled this year either by the city or the related organizations: monthly Avenida Del Mar Craft Fair, the Ocean Festival, the Fourth of July fireworks on the Pier, and the Fiesta is being postponed.

But they think it is just fine to have a city-sponsored mini-Fiesta every Sunday by closing off Avenida Del Mar and have restaurants with tables/chairs and merchandise and the sidewalks and street/parking lots. When was the last time the city cleaned these sidewalks?

This latest idea was promoted by newcomer Coucilmember Gene James. While it is a good idea to promote and help small businesses, this ill-fated idea could be a breeding ground for the COVID-19 virus.

We now have had 73 people in San Clemente contract this virus as of Monday, June 15. On March 27, when city-by-city statistics first became available, there had been 10 cases in San Clemente.

Since Orange County has opened businesses, the weekly infection record is 22% higher and hospitalizations are up 34% from a month ago, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

And where is the parking when 150-plus parking spaces and more parking lots are closed? The staff report stated that the city encourages people to walk and bicycle. Hello! Small businesses depend upon available parking, and we do not have the Trolley this year.

Who wants to eat seated on dirty sidewalks/streets or handle or buy merchandise/clothes on racks that have been touched by dozens of people passing by? Not me. Let’s promote our downtown businesses by eating inside a more sanitized place and shopping for merchandise inside stores that promote social distancing and sanitized their stores and merchandise.

San Clemente’s mission statement’s first priority is maintaining the health and safety of its residents. Our city council has once again failed us. Vote in the next election.

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