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Letters, week of April 7

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SCITS is the school to save

Sir: I am a former S.C.I.T.S Blue Bomber, as well as a former St. Clair Colt.

That said, the biggest regret of my educational career is that I ended my high school years at St. Clair.

Through all this discussion about closing S.C.I.T.S, the question I find myself asking is, why?

Why is S.C.I.T.S the one to be closed, and not St. Clair? S.C.I.T.S is much larger to accommodate the students, has elevator access, a heated pool, auditorium, incredible art and tech programs, wrestling room, weight room, two gyms, etc. S.C.I.T.S was built to last.

It’s been said there could possibly be funding to enhance the St. Clair building with additional features, though that’s very unlikely to happen. If they used just a quarter of the millions of dollars needed to upgrade St. Clair on S.C.I.T.S., just imagine how amazing that school could be.

St. Clair has only two things to distinguish itself, a track and a greenhouse. Would it not be easier and more cost-effective to equip S.C.I.T.S with St. Clair’s standout features, than the opposite?

S.C.I.T.S does not have a track on campus, but the school has used the former St. Pat’s track for years. In other words, the only separating factor that St. Clair has is its greenhouse.

I would also like to point out that during the merging of St. Pat’s and St. Christopher high schools, there was not much fuss about it.

I don’t recall the students, parents, teachers and alumni fighting as a community to keep a school open. Take a drive around Sarnia and you can see the ‘Save SCITS’ signs everywhere, on front lawns and businesses alike.

One problem with our educational system is that students never feel like they have a voice in their education. They are speaking up now, with help from the entire community backing them up.

I hope you will all take the time to listen to what they are fighting for and really consider what is best for this community on all levels.

I pray we find a solution that best fits us all.

Sincerely,

Chelsea Thibodeau

Sarnia


 

Sting entertained us

Sir: It has been fun watching the Sarnia Sting this year.

They were young at the beginning, and hung in there most games. They came on strong at the end of a lot of games and pulled out the two points.

After the trade deadline, we learned about some kids named Konecny, Studnicka, Mistele and Graham. We started to believe they could beat anybody, and they did. With work and discipline they took first place.

At the time this was written, it wasn’t clear how far they could go in the playoffs.

Can they do it? Yup.

These players are playing Junior “A” hockey because somewhere along the line, they have been behind in a series and came back.

We believe in them. They have entertained us all season long. We want more, and it’s time to believe.

We call on the veterans and the young guns. A team means everybody: coaches, president, trainers, waterboys and players.

We, the fans, we know you can do it.

Go Sting go!

Cam Ross

Sarnia


 

Gladu criticism was unfair

Sir: I take extreme umbrage at the letter from Eileen Viola, President of Sarnia-Lambton Federal Liberal Association, who accused our Conservative MP, Marilyn Gladu, of praising Donald Trump’s championing of free speech in America.

Viola suggests that championing free speech somehow also endorses bullying, boorishness, sexism, racism and incitement to violence.

What Ms. Viola appears to miss is the concept of free speech. Free speech is not confined to what is agreeable, but is absolute and without bounds. One cannot pick and choose.

Notwithstanding that, I cannot find anywhere that Ms. Gladu endorsed what Trump said. She merely supports the concept of free speech.

I challenge Ms. Viola to provide any proof whatsoever that Ms. Gladu supports what she alleges.

Rich Kneller

Sarnia


 

Liberals a party of over-educated elites

Sir: I am disappointed that the shadow Sarnia-Lambton Federal Liberal Association had to chime in on comments made by the actual MP, Marilyn Gladu, in order to promote itself and its attitude that only a Liberal government is allowed to govern Canada.

As a Canadian whose family has fought in every war from the First World War to Afghanistan, I am enraged by this party’s arrogance towards anyone, even a Yankee running for president, who stands up to the elites and says what the average person really believes.

Free speech runs both ways, and citizens have the right to call for something other then the leftist, vote-buying ways the Liberal Party has tried to enshrine into Canada.

The Donald running for president must worry the Liberal Party, maybe because they fear the day when someone in Canada other then them might form a government and end the over-taxation social engineering experiment begun by the dear leaders father, Pierre Trudeau.

They also detest Mike Harris, Stephen Harper and the late Rob Ford because they dared to speak for the average citizen and expose the Liberal chattering classes for what they are, a group of over-educated elites that feel entitled to rule Canada.

Tim Haslip

Point Edward


 

Liberal Party corrupt, inept

Sir: Re: the March 31 letter, “Praise of Trump was disappointing.”

It seems Eileen Viola was disappointed that MP Marilyn Gladu made some remarks in support of Donald Trump.

She questioned the MPs standards and moral values for doing so. I must ask Ms. Viola, if she is so worried about standards, moral values and ethics, what in the world is she doing supporting the Liberal Party?

This party is the most corrupt and inept group I have seen in my lifetime. In a fair and just society, both its present leader, Kathleen Wynne, and previous leader, Dalton McGuinty, would be in prison for a long time.

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Harold Buchner

Sarnia


 

The financial case for closing St. Clair

Sir: Re: St. Clair-SCITS consolidation

I am not an alumnus although my husband and son did go to SCITS. I do however live in the SCITS area.

When I heard that SCITS was on the chopping block I was worried, but was keeping an open mind. When the tours were offered I attended both. I thought maybe St. Clair (SCSS ) would offer more for the kids. After taking both tours it became abundantly clear that SCSS didn’t offer anything of greater value than SCITS.

I keep hearing about how much it costs to run SCITS. When the initial report came in that the Lambton Kent District School Board was considering closing SCITS, we heard doing so would save $1.1 million a year. Everyone was on board with closing SCITS because who doesn’t want to save all that money?

Well, let’s look at the savings. Let’s look at what we would save if we closed SCSS.

First, would be the extra principal, vice-principal, secretary, librarian and cleaning staff. This is a savings of $775,000 and would happen regardless of which school is closed.

We then save the gas/hydro from SCSS, which cost $181,358.14. The gas/hydro at SCITS is about $144,000 more per year, but when you factor in the auditorium, the air conditioning throughout the school, heated pool, the many hours of community use and a manufacturing course with machines that draw large amounts of hydro, it becomes pretty clear as to why.

So, in summing it up, we will save $1.1 million by closing SCITS, but we will save about $950,000 and the $12 million in backlogged work by closing SCSS.

Plus, we won’t have to ask the Education Ministry for $14 million to build at SCSS all the things that SCITS already has. Savings had for all!

I could list a dozen and one different reasons why SCITS is necessary for this neighbourhood. Bottom line is this neighbourhood deserves to be considered. We deserve a chance at success and the only way this happens is by leaving SCITS open.

Katherine Baker

Sarnia

 

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