Week of July 20

I bought them and I planted them, so they are my trees

Sir: I am the owner of a 60-by-157 foot lot in the north end of the city, which was once a farmer’s field.

One of the first things we did after moving in was to plant two trees – one in the front yard and the other in the back.

I now have six very large maples on my lot, two in front and four in the backyard. I like it that way. But if one becomes a problem for whatever reason, I do not feel I should need the city’s permission, plus the cost of a permit, to remove it.

I bought them. I planted them, and I’ve nurtured them. All of those trees are mine, not the city’s!

Does this city not realize that most of the expansion of the city since the 1950’s was on former farm fields? There were no trees except for the very occasional farmer’s tree lot. So the vast majority of the trees that are there now have been planted by the property owners.

If the city wants more tree cover, they should be setting up a program whereby citizens could buy young trees at a reasonable cost, for planting on their property, from the city.

It was done with blue boxes. Why not with trees? They should not be dictating to the property owner and they should stay out of our back pockets!

P. D. McLean

Sarnia

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Desecration of Canadian flag a shameful act 

Sir: We live on Germain Park. To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary my wife purchased a flag that she mounted on two fiberglass poles in our front garden.

A Canadian flag owned by the Joleun family of Sarnia that was descrated by vandals the night of July 7. Submitted Photo

On the night of Friday, July 7th our flag and poles were stolen. On Saturday, my daughter and her boyfriend found our flag in the park, burned to the condition you see in the attached picture.

The desecration of our national flag is a deplorable, shameful act at any time, but even more so during the countrywide celebration of our sesquicentennial year.

It saddens us to see such a lack of respect.  We will probably never know who did this despicable act, but what we do know is, they do not deserve to live in this great country of ours!

Dwayne Joleun

Sarnia

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Perplexing Hydro One bill generates far more heat than light

Sir: I want to thank Hydro One for the propaganda it regularly includes in my mailed statement, and the separate mailings that tell me how I rank, usage-wise, among my neighbours.

If I switch to paperless, will I still have to wade through that stuff? Just asking, because I don’t have Internet and wireless data is expensive.

The reason for my letter is the circular pie chart included with the July bill:  “Shedding Light On Your Hydro One Bill.”

It explains that 51.2 cents of every dollar billed goes to Generation and 36.4 cents is to Delivery cost. Sounds logical that making the electricity costs more than delivering it.

So why is my Hydro One Bill; wherein I used $43.19 of electricity, billing me $49.42 for Delivery?

I’m a senior, so a simple explanation would do.

PS: Should I also be thanking Premier Kathleen Wynne for the 8% provincial rebate and the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan, which my bill claims has save me $16.01?

Or should I just be thankful her new Wind Turbine projects are on hold and my bill will only increase at the rate of inflation?

Elio Comello

Camlachie

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Council’s sale of the Kinsmen parkland was a done deal

Sir: This city council had its mind made up long before it asked for public input on the sale of the Kinsmen lands.

In my opinion, councillors wanted to get money to make up for the money that they threw away on the Centennial Park. So they gave the Kinsmen parkland away to homebuilders so the builders could make a pot full off of a public park.

They had offers to redevelop the Kinsmen building. But that wouldn’t help to replace some of the millions that council has thrown away on bad investment like Centennial.

There is also the loss of Jackson Pool for the kids. And who is paying for this useless dog park? It’s coming out of the taxpayer’s pockets!

I swear this city is run by the Ontario Liberals.

Don Sweet

Sarnia

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Plenty of places our tax dollars wasted

Sir: As a Sarnian born and raised I have kept my mouth shut as long as I can. Where do I start?

How about Jackson Pool. It has been closed for two years now. That’s two years the taxpayers of Sarnia have paid the same taxes for a service that wasn’t provided.

Last year, the city paid to have a “bike route” painted on certain streets. My god, it is obvious that none of our council members have ever tried to ride a bike down any of these rotten, nasty, pothole-riddled back streets!

Far be it for them to actually drive down a street they are being asked to assess.

How much did we spend on the opening of Centennial Park? Wow!

How much have we spent on the old Sarnia General Hospital site? And are still spending? But we who live here can’t drive down a decent, flat road?

I have had it with the way things are done in this city. I ask all others to join me in setting a few rules for where our dollars should be spent.

Christopher English

Sarnia

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Parks master plan offers renewed hope for city green spaces

Sir: It is understandable that Baxter Park-area residents see anything less than the entire subject lands being amalgamated into the park proper as disappointing, but that park needs to be viewed in the wider context of the city.

With so many liabilities and structural debt obligations, we can’t afford to make everyone’s dreams come true.

But all is not lost. In 2018 when the park master plan comes up for review, perhaps we can adopt a more evolved and comprehensive view for our parkland and how it may better serve us, while carving out some space in the budget.

There is a huge opportunity to address and evaluate passive parkland (grass fields, often oversized and underused), on their individual merits and utility.

Designating space, setting it aside and re-naturalizing it with native trees and plants of the Carolinian zone, would create many benefits. Among them are habitat for flora and fauna, quiet restorative spaces for mental and physical well being, reduced grass cutting costs, improved water and air quality, and a larger tree canopy.

That would dovetail perfectly with the proposed tree bylaw and its attempts to restore and preserve habitat, as well as providing a revenue stream to seed the transition.

Any savings in spending for ongoing maintenance could be reallocated to community space and asset renewal, such as Baxter Park, Jackson Pool and many others.

It’s a sustainable path forward and for that, there is hope.

Brad Cullis

Sarnia

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Why is it only this city council that has problems with Mike Bradley?

Sir: Mayor Mike Bradley has successfully steered Sarnia in a positive direction for the past 25 years.

During that time he worked with many people at City Hall, yet how many complaints were made against him?

If he is what the present council says he is, surely some complaint or innuendo about interrelations with City Hall employees would have surfaced before now.

Why is it he could work with other elected councils, and they him, but not this one? Why is it suddenly this council has a problem?

There is a hidden agenda here by this council that has yet to be revealed or come to light, but it will eventually.

Marcie Gruszecki

Sarnia

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