Letters to the editor: Week of May 8

A plea to save Coronation Park nursery

Sir: Re: Recommendation to close Coronation Park Day Nursery (CPDN)

I am deeply saddened to hear about this possibility, both as a community member and parent who has used the facility daily for my children for almost two years. No other daycare options I have tried (including facilities and home daycare) compares with the excellent level of care my toddler receives.

Each staff member is qualified in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Pathways is affiliated with the daycare, and, because of this, my son was diagnosed with a speech delay at 16 months. Earlier diagnosis and treatment has improves his chances of overcoming his speech difficulties.

At a previous daycare facility there was frequent staff turnover. I would often have to leave my son with someone whom he’d never met.  If she was busy, I had to leave him crying so I could get to work. A few tears upon departure are normal, but at CPDN, when my son was upset a staff member would pick him up and console him. Usually, his tears were gone before I reached the door.

There is a waiting list at CPDN for new children. With the closing of Lambton College’s daycare, even more families will be looking for alternatives, with current facilities already at maximum capacity with long wait lists. If CPDN closes in September, what choices will we have?

Parents may have to leave jobs and stay home, increasing demand on social assistance. Leaving my employment is not an option, so I don’t know how we will manage if CPDN closes.

I am already starting to panic over my options for daycare when I thought I had it prearranged.

CPDN has been in operation 42 years, and the recommendation to close it is based solely on budgetary concerns. It is drastic to close a successful, thriving daycare, without first trying to seek alternatives.

Please consider the families and their bleak options for this fall when voting. My son and I are comfortable there and I truly believe that if he can’t be with his mommy, then his next best option is people who love him and nurture him.

Please vote to keep Coronation Park Daycare Nursery OPEN.

Jennifer Latta

Sarnia

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 An explanation for UFO sightings

Sir: I read with great interest the small article on UFO sightings over Sarnia on March 30/2014.

I am a believer in the existence of extra-terrestrial beings visiting Earth, but in this case I think I have an explanation.

Since Chris Hadfield was commander of the International Space Station I have followed it on a NASA website. They send me notices when it will be travelling overhead, and I have seen it many times.

From the description in the article I believe what the writer saw was in fact the Space Station. I do recall watching it on a recent night, and the description and the flight path sound very familiar.

NASA keeps people up to date as to when it is passing over and the website is readily available.

Although I don’t keep records of the nights I have seen it, I am almost positive this is what the letter writer saw.

Robert Howard

Sarnia

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 Thanking a Good Samaritan

Sir: We were taking out about 30 feet of an old, established hedge, roots and all, creating lots of brush debris.

Hearing a chipper working on the next block over, my sister went to see if they could be hired to chip the brush. It would be much easier for us not having to wrestle the brush into tied bundles.

It certainly would be better that the neighbours didn’t have to look at the piles waiting at the curb for city pick up, and the city would be saved the expense.

It was a county company and the owner agreed to chip the brush. Boy, they did it in quick order, even cleaning the road of stray chips.

When I asked how much, the owner replied: “It’s a late Christmas present. Remember me when you have a larger project.”

Well, two seniors would like to say a thank you.

Charles R. Bailey

Sarnia

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 Clean up of Watson Nature Trail a success

Sir: The Lambton Outdoor Club wishes to thank everyone who helped us celebrate Earth Day this year by volunteering time to clean up garbage along the Howard Watson Trail.

Approximately 100 people from various groups such as the 4T’s group, Scouts & Cubs, Air Cadets, Northern High School, Nova Chemicals, Worley Parsons, Enbridge and local neighbors gave their time to this effort.

All sections of the trail were cleaned from Mandaumin Road to McGregor Sideroad. The efforts of these people help keep the most successful nature trail in Lambton County in pristine condition. Thank you.

We also thank our sponsors Tim Horton’s and Waste Management, which donated valuable supplies to ensure our venture is a success. We look forward to continuing support from everyone as the club continues this annual event.

As a side note, a boy’s bicycle was found abandoned on the trail. The 22-inch CCM echo 15-speed is in good condition. If you own this bicycle please contact Tony Abbott at 519-542 6273.

Tony Abbott

Treasurer

Lambton Outdoor Club

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 Council ignores public on arena closure

Sir: I’m addressing this to those who will listen, because Mayor Mike Bradley and Councillors Dave Boushy, Jim Foubister, Andy Bruziewicz and Mike Kelch have not.

As a taxpayer, member of the Arena Task Force (ATF) and Ice Scheduler for Sarnia Hockey/Lambton AAA, I want an answer to why the mayor and four councillors voted to proceed with the sale of RBC2 to Lambton College.

In the April 29th edition of The Observer, Councillor Mike Kelch told staff, “I don’t want to extend (the decision-making process), but if we say public input is important, then we haven’t collected it for this.”

Since November 2013 the city has always maintained that public input is important.  Not in this case. The “Arena Strategy Cover Report” presented Monday was only given to the ATF late Wednesday (April 23) and only after the group requested a copy.

There was no public input because the public wasn’t aware of this report until Monday.

The task force asked to speak at the April 28th meeting. This request was denied.  According to city guidelines on speaking to City Council: “Anyone desiring to address Council must contact the City by noon on the Wednesday prior to the council meeting.” They didn’t follow these guidelines.  The ATF asks council to postpone any decisions until all the facts are gathered and the feasibility study completed.

To quote Mr. Ian Smith, “Germain Arena has also not aged well and, with the sand floor, its use is restricted to only ice events. The smaller than average-sized ice surface is a challenge for user groups.”

So why is this arena staying open?

Mayor Bradley said taxes would increase 2%.  The BMA Management Consulting Inc. Nov 22 reports on page 5 (on the City website) indicates the tax levy would increase 0.99%.

The City needs to operate RBC in its entity for one year to see where the mismanagement is and find ways to generate revenue.  With proper arena management our arenas would be viable.

Taxpayers must insist the City postpone the sale of RBC2 until the feasibility study is completed.  City Council must reconsider their decision and allow for public input.

Linda Lauzon

Sarnia