OPINION: Nothing but the facts, ma’am

Large quantities of information cross The Journal’s news desk each week, and some of it is even interesting.

Here are seven bits of bumpf about our city that for one reason or another couldn’t a home anywhere else in the newspaper.

1- Sarnia’s average household income in 2012 was $93,283.  That ranks us in the “mid-range” of Ontario municipalities, and close to the regional average of $93,952. But it’s higher than that of many cities generally perceived as being well off, including London ($85,068), Stratford ($77,343) and Lambton Shores ($75,896), according to FT Markets Canadian Demographic.

The richest municipality in the region, by the way, is the Township of Woolwich. Taking in the communities of Elmira and St. Jacobs, it has an average household income of $146,517.

2 – The domain name of “CityOfSarnia.com” is for sale. You can buy it for $1,595.

3 – And while we’re in the online world: A company called Time is Ticking Inc. has produced a 24K gold-plated wristwatch commemorating Sarnia’s Centennial. It features the city crest on the watch face with the words, Sarnia, 1914-2014. It can be yours for $75, plus $12 postage and handling.

But wait! Order now and you can …

4 – Sarnia residents pay a lot for their fire protection. In 2012 the bill came to $2,579 per $100,000 of tax assessment, one of the highest rates in the province, according to the latest annual analysis of 84 Ontario municipalities by BMA Management Consulting.

5 – However, the same study found we pay just 3.7% of household income on all services provided by city hall, including water and sewer. That was 12th best among the 82 municipalities.

6  – We suck at recycling. Just 38% of residential trash is diverted from landfill. That’s far below the provincial average of 53%, and one of the worst showings among the municipalities that keep score (not all do). Our neighbours to the north earn the gold star. Lambton Shores residents recycle 72% of waste, best in Ontario.

7 – It’s well known Sarnia’s early arts community had close ties to the Group of Seven. The collection at the Judith and Norman Art Gallery, Sarnia’s early abstract painter Lowrie Warrener and the Sarnia Artists’ Workshop each had connections. But the Group of Seven didn’t have seven members, as it turns out. It had nine, or 10, depending on how you count them.

– George Mathewson