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Letters: week of June 13

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Oak tree owner frustrated by poor leaf collection options

Sir: I am writing in response to the front-page article: “Turn over a new leaf,” from the May 23 edition.

The options it describes are simplistic solutions to a major problem for homeowners on Lakeshore Road every fall.

Autumn leaves are included in the description of yard waste, but they are not the same thing. I wouldn’t mind using paper bags for regular yard waste: grass, flower clippings, etc. during the summer, but autumn leaves are another matter.

I had 13 old oak trees on my property. Five have died and had to be removed at a cost of over $1,000 each. It is expensive to own a property with trees.

The remaining eight trees have generated 61 large plastic bags of leaves in total this season, which were compacted, chopped up by my lawn mover and placed four catchers full in each bag. Eighteen bags this spring. How many paper bags will it take to do it now?

Oak trees don’t shed their leaves all at once. The wind blows them around and the people who rake them don’t all do it at the same time. Some people don’t rake at all, and let the wind blow them all over neighbouring yards.

How much, and how many visits, at $100 per visit, would it take for Marcotte to pick up my leaves with a vacuum truck in the fall and spring?

I would still have to do the raking, and how to do it from the back to the curb?

Another option was to deposit the leaves at the composting site at no charge. How am I supposed to take them there? In the trunk of my car?

Finally, there’s the suggested option of composing our oak leaves, or spreading and mulching 60 bags of them on the lawn. This is not a good option for me. Oak leaves are acidic; they kill the grass and take a long time to decompose.

Zig Berzins


Coun. Bird’s very serious allegations should be investigated

Sir: At the May 27 city council meeting Coun. Margaret Bird made very serious allegations about the out-of-chamber conduct of some of her colleagues.

Taken to task for a lack of detail supporting three Notices of Motion she wanted to discuss, Bird defended the omission of substance on the grounds that had she presented her motions with more than mere subject headings other unnamed councillors would have conspired to thwart her intention.

She claimed this had already happened to her on another occasion, and that some councillors had held illegal meetings to plot against her.

If there is any truth whatsoever behind this accusation, it needs to be supported with evidence and must be brought to the Integrity Commissioner for investigation.

If the allegation is verified, Coun. Bird has been very seriously wronged. If the allegation is not verified, Coun. Bird has just as seriously wronged her colleagues.

Proven or unproven, these charges show this new council, after a mere six months, is well on its way to a state of dysfunction and faction as bad as the final twelve months of the previous council.

Coun. Bird has every right to bring forward subjects for council’s consideration. Coun. Bird has every right to express herself on matters of city business without fear of conspiracy to suppress her voice.

Coun. Bird does not have the right to make accusations of unlawful behaviour without evidence, or to smear her colleagues without presenting proof of wrongful behaviour.

Bryan Trothen



Special thanks to the Baxter Park crusaders

Sir: I would like to thank Giselle Owen, Charmaine Wasman and Patrick Marcella for their efforts for the past two and a half years to save Baxter Park, in Sarnia, from urban development. Mayor Mike Bradley and the new city council deserve recognition for their realization that parkland should remain as green space and should be protected. Your dedication to this cause is appreciated far beyond the limits of Sarnia. May we all learn a valuable lesson from this.

With patience, time, effort and passion, you can make a difference. These three people, along with the support of the community, have proven that.

Marion Collop,


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