Letters, Week of July 17

UFO sightings over Sarnia explained

Sir: I am very happy to hear that people are looking up and asking questions about what is in the universe.

From the statements in The Journal from the people who claim to have seen Unidentified Flying Objects, I might be able to identify them.

The “Orange Orb” that seems to get brighter, glow, and then disappear, is an Iridium Flare or “Satellite Glint,” which is the sun reflecting down to earth off antenna or solar panels on satellites. That creates a bright flare and then disappears because it is out of the sun’s rays.

The white light that was constant and bright, sounds like the International Space Station on a high magnitude pass.  Both satellites and the ISS can be tracked using an app (ISS detector), as well as websites like Heavens Above or NASA.

It is fun to go out on a clear night and see how many satellites you can spot.  Also, seeing the ISS go overhead is a thrill.

 Laura Austin

Sarnia

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Beach lawsuit? Bring it on

Sir: What is going on at the Old Lakeshore Road beach?  Some have long been concerned about the windfall some residents have apparently received from a natural disaster.

I may not have all of the facts and apologize for that, nevertheless, I am going to throw in my two cents.

A gentleman claims his deed includes property up to the water’s edge.  Can this be so if there was a road between his property and the lake?

He says he has spent $10,000 on shoreline maintenance.  So what? I live on the lake. I didn’t own the beach but spent considerably more than $10,000 on groynes and seawalls with the approval of the beach owner and the Ministry.  And I am not alone.

Are residents threatening legal action?  I say, bring it on.  I am quite willing to have a few mils or a surcharge added to my taxes to cover any legal fees of the city.

So the township was sloppy.  I think there should have been some kind of land leasing arrangement after the storm.  Based on some reasonable rate, it could be calculated what each landowner might now owe.  The costs of improvements could be subtracted.  A tax credit or debit could be established. The city might waive any historical charges, but should come down hard from this point on.

Lease arrangements that reflect the value of beach property should be set up.  If no lease, any structures that have been installed need to be removed or become public property.

 Peter Banks

Bright’s Grove

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Euthanasia further erodes our morality

Sir: In a July 3 letter, Allan McKeown accused Rev. Barry Van Dusen’s guest editorial on euthanasia of being untrue and fear mongering.

Actually, Rev. Van Dusen’s article was very conservative, and it is McKeown who hasn’t done his homework. People like him aren’t interested in facts; they want their way, and will shout anyone down that gets in the way. This is the new way here in Canada.

People use different names for killing people in the Netherlands. They have euthanasia, assisted suicide, and now mercy killing. They all have the same result.

As you read this, there really isn’t anyone in the Netherlands that doesn’t have access to one of these options. Once you make a law it isn’t long before it is adjusted.

They have practiced euthanasia since the ‘70’s in the Netherlands, and it only became law in 2002. I cannot find any reference to any doctor being charged over there, because they cover most of it up with forged death certificates and little if any record keeping.

Once you have been killing people that long you lose your sense of humanity and the importance dies. McKeown’s argument about strict rules is lame, and couldn’t be further from the truth.

How often have you seen a doctor charged in Canada for malpractice? I could tell you a few horror stories right here in Sarnia but you couldn’t print them.

Mercy killings are what they now call the elimination of sick and handicapped children in the Netherlands. Troubled and depressed teenagers also have access to these services. I suppose here in Canada, where we kill tens of thousands of babies a year, it would be no big deal to get rid some handicapped kids, troubled teenagers, and a few old people for this vocal group.

We are already losing our moral compass here in Canada and we don’t need this. Allan McKeown should take a few hours and do some actual research and see what lies ahead, but I doubt he is interested in the real facts.

Harold Buchner

Sarnia  

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 Keep up Modeland Road plaza fight

Sir: Re: your article of June 26, 2014, “Plaza Plan Gets Rough Ride.”

I wish the best of luck to the impacted residents in their fight against commercial development on Modeland Road. Some five years ago my neighbours and I fought against a re-zoning of institutional land to commercial use.  We lost.

We lost because of the almighty dollar figure whereby commercial property taxes brightened the eyes of some city councillors, enough to go ahead with the re-zoning.

So across from my home on Murphy Road today sits a Shoppers Drug Mart. The area of Murphy and Michigan was busy enough when we first moved here 11 years ago, with already established businesses, churches, schools and seniors homes. My neighbours and I wanted the land to remain institutional for that purpose only, such as another nursing home, special needs group home, etc.

Now we live with more congested in-and-out driveways, delivery traffic, car lights and store lights. Believe me, that Shoppers Drug Mart sign does not dim by much after 10 p.m.

A warning to the residents of the St. Anne’s school area, please beware of what developers tell you about how a building will be placed in order to accommodate nearby homes. I was told the front of Shoppers would face Michigan, so my home would face the side of the building, with much less lighting and vehicle parking.

But in the end, the building and large parking lot faced our homes on Murphy. We were told this was for the better, as the delivery trucks would be tucked in further from our homes. Only this year did the true reason become apparent as to why the building was flipped around. But that’s another story.

We were only a small group of six neighbours trying to fight against more unnecessary commercial property, but the residents of the St. Anne’s area seem to have a larger voice. Please, continue to voice your concerns about keeping a neighbourhood for the people, not about the corporation.

 Louise Lamb

Sarnia

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Mom wins fight with school

Sir: I am writing this letter to thank the Sarnia Journal for its support and reporting the story of my son Michael and his friend Jesse.

The support I received on Facebook, and in public, was unbelievable.

All of the support has helped get Michael back into residence at the Robarts School for the Deaf for the school year 2014-15.

The final meeting that I had with the school was a bit of a surprise. One of the options Michael was offered was daily transportation back and forth from Sarnia to London, which we have done before and was very stressful.  The other offer was to have Michael attend school in Milton, which is a three-hour drive in all kinds of weather. It was also suggested that he maybe return to his home school board.

With all of that behind us now, Michael has been offered a section in the same area as the hearing students. He will have staff that can communicate with him, and help him get ready for his next chapter in life.

I want people to realize that children and students have rights, but sometimes parents have to fight for them.  It seems we have had to fight for a few things for Michael over the years, and I have labeled myself Momma Bear. I believe in this day and age we should not have to fight for our children’s education, and sometimes you need to take that step and stand up for your child and his rights.

There is also a group of people from Toronto from the child advocates’ office I would like to thank as well. Sometimes in life ‘No’ is not the correct answer, and this group of people have helped me change the minds of some of the naysayers.

Thank you Sarnia-Lambton for your support

Lynn Mathieson

a.k.a. Momma Bear

Sarnia