Letters, week of June 18

City overreacted to my yard waste

Sir: It never ceases to amaze me that compostable items and brush are only collected once a month when the growing season is at its height.

If you are like me, you have pride of ownership and like to keep your lawn and gardens manicured in spring, summer and fall.

You can also probably relate to the frustration of having a bag of stinking, sopping soup waiting in your hot garage for a month until collection time.

The other night, I placed a half-full, clear plastic bag of cuttings and clippings at the end of my driveway so it could aerate before I could dispose of it myself. The following morning, I received a letter in my door from a City By-law officer.

The letter berated me for having placed the innocuous bag on city property, and gave me two days to remove it or be fined. I called the officer the next day to insist the bag was well within my property boundaries. He advised, “Far too many people are staging their compostable items before the designated pick up date.”

Perhaps the source of the problem is people are tired of waiting for city collection and taking matters into their own hands. Methinks, perhaps, there is a solution.

Other cities, instead of paying time-and-a-half, plus in-lieu time, for garbage collection on Statutory holidays, delay pickup to the next day, paying straight time and creating room in the budget for increased collection of recyclables, bulk and compostable items.

Have City officials not noticed the oversized RVs, boats and utility trailers in this charming residential neighbourhood that block the skyline and view of the lake? What about the countless black/neon advertising signs in the Grove that pose a threat to drivers and pedestrians and continue to assault one’s eye?

I propose the City focus on the larger issues at hand, and not waste their time, energy and taxpayer dollars on such a petty issue as a silly little bag of grass.

Kathy Elliott

Bright’s Grove

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

School curriculum is not political

Sir: I do not think I know Bob Thiessen, but I do know Allan McKeown, and I am surprised that you would even print the letter from Mr. Thiessen in your issue of June 4th, 2015. Further I am reasonably sure that Allan is a not a member of the Liberal Party.

So why does Mr. Thiessen go to such great lengths to indicate that this is some sort of “Liberal” plot. Could it be a “Conservative Plot” to simply attack other parties?

The Ontario Ministry of Education is responsible for providing curriculum for use in the schools. Sex education has been part of the Physical and Health Curriculum for as long as I can remember. These curriculum documents are developed by education professionals. They are NOT political documents.

If you do not like what is being taught, your local board of education, I am sure, will listen to your complaints and explain the curriculum.

Education is a provincial responsibility. It is NOT a plank in some political party agenda. And the teaching of the subject is NOT a Liberal tactic! Nor a Conservative one for that matter!

Sincerely,

Bill Blake

Sarnia

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Down with religious dogma

Sir: You have published a number of opinions recently from fervently religious persons, most recently Ms. Ann Allen, that have tended to raise my ire.

Yet another Sarnian believes there will be no goodies for homosexuals after death.

Personally I don’t think they need to worry about it too much.  She states that Luke 17:2 condemns abortion.  Looks to me that Luke simply states don’t hurt children, nothing more.

But beyond that there are plenty of moral reasons to abort a fetus; save the mother’s life, terminate the result of a rape, extinguish the development of a significantly deficient organism.

Her next gem is a statement that fornication is a sin. Thessalonians 4:3 says we should actually abstain from it!  Really? Something so inherently central and key to the continuance of life on this planet and it’s sinful. How can that be?  She’s also against sex ed.

I certainly believe that we should teach our children about STD’s, predators, date rape, freedom of choice and the freedom to say no.  To not do so seems like sticking our heads in the sand, and certainly does not benefit our children.

She states that when biblical values are followed people are happier and live life with a purpose. Humans don’t need the bible to live a moral life.  But when people live their lives by following a literal interpretation of a book thousands of years old their dogma can keep them in the Dark Ages.

It is not liberating to remain prejudiced against those that follow different paths, to disavow efforts to advance the knowledge of our children with education, to deny the simple human pleasure of enjoying what nature has given us.

I say down with religious dogma.  It has seldom led to anything good!

Fraser Williams

Sarnia

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bible also condones slavery, killings

 

Sir: The letter of June 11, 2015, “Bible has answers to life’s question,” gave me a good chuckle.

Cherry-picking sections of a bronze age book to be the guideposts in today’s world is ludicrous. Sure, there are sections that “prove” your statements, but what about all of the other sections (genocide, misogyny, infanticide, etc.).

The author states that Bible adherents are happier, with fewer problems, and have a life with purpose. If belief is so important to morality, why don’t prison populations show a higher percentage of Atheists?

The 99.3% of American inmates that profess to be Believers definitely outnumber the Atheistic (0.2%) despite Atheists being 10% of the outside population.

And what’s the deal with Christians and gays? Estimates suggest gays comprise 3% to 7% of the population. Why do Christians get so concerned? What compels them to interfere in the lives of consenting adults? (emphasis on both consenting and adults, as our Criminal Code does set the standard for these things).

Four of the Ten Commandments establish God’s importance (and insecurities). The rest seem obvious – don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t cheat on your spouse and don’t lie.

Society had to evolve rules or we would never form larger groups and would remain nomads.

If the Bible is a good source of morality and respect, why does it condone slavery and killing? The whole “it was a different time” or “that’s only the Old Testament” is foolish, as God should be able to manufacture a universally understood and indestructible message. Instead it is poorly written and lacks clarity.

Shouldn’t a few nuggets of information that only an omniscient God would know show up? Maybe a heads-up on vaccines – I’m sure the Black Plague death toll could have been reduced.

Some 30,000 Christian denominations profess their Christianity as the “right one.” All others are going to Hell. A book with obscure meanings is our standard? Can’t see that ending badly …

If not for their Bible, and the fear of their God, the Christians would be bloodthirsty savages? Scary.

Treat each other with respect. Treat yourself with respect. Simple enough?

Gord Kennedy

Sarnia

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Two local choirs put on great show

Sir: On June 5 the Bluewater Chamber Choir, directed by Cy Giacomin, and the Sursum Corda Male Chorus, directed by Rachel Giacomin, performed the benefit concert Voicedance at Grace United Church, with proceeds to “Lunches for Lansdowne.”

The musical smorgasbord of a capella music sung by this 22-voice choir was amazing. It featured songs that spanned five centuries and captured the hearts and spirit of every person seated in the sanctuary.

The special guest was Sursum Corda, a local choir made up of at least 25 men, which tends to tour local churches. They delivered spiritual and traditional music pieces; my favourite being the new Ode to Hope, arranged by Cy Giacomin.

Each on its own was a delight to the senses, and when they joined forces to sing together they made an amazing sound.

I really hope more people in Lambton County will seek out concerts by the BCC choir and Sursum Corda Male Chorus. They are a ‘musical force’ to be reckoned with!

Brenda Joan Bandy

Sarnia