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Week of Dec. 15

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City council dropped the ball on Germain dog park

Sir: What were they thinking? Or not.

Why would the majority of city council approve an off -leash dog park at Germain Park?

I have lived beside this park for 53 years. Nobody from City Hall or this off-the-leash committee called me or banged on my door to see what the neighbours think about having this dog park so close to our homes. I am about 60 yards away from this fenced-in treat.

I am a dog owner and my family walks our dog all the time in Germain, on a leash. Exercise is good for both my dog and my family.

I have some serious questions for city council.

1 – Where do these off-the-leash committee members live? I bet not near Germain.

2 – Why were we, as neighbours, not canvassed? I bet because this committee was turned down on previous proposals following public input. So don’t tell the neighbours.

3 – If I were canvassed, I would have pointed out that regardless the wind direction during the day the wind for the most part swirls and heads down Sycamore Street. So when my wife and I are sitting on the front porch smelling and hearing other dogs, who do I call?

4 – If I decide to sell my family home is the city going to cover the difference, because not all people want to live next to a dog park.

I could go on and on with legitimate questions. But who am I? Oh yah, unlike the dog committee, I live there.

I attended the meeting at the Strangway Centre on very short notice and it was nothing but a joke. I commend my neighbours Jim and Marion Glover for the great work they did getting over 100 signatures in a very short time.

City council really dropped the ball on this one, again.

I remember as a child we would play in the park all day and into the evening. Now both our park and city council have gone to the dogs.

It is truly a sad day for our neighborhood.

Dan MacDonald

Sarnia

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Pet-owning taxpayers deserve to have designated space

Sir: I am astounded by the backlash to the proposal of an off-leash dog area in Germain Park.  I would like to address some of the detractors’ concerns:

Cost:  I have no children. My taxes pay for schools, playgrounds, programs, Tecumseh pool and splash pad, hockey arenas, etc. for which, as a childless person, I have no use, yet as a citizen of Sarnia I recognize my responsibility to pay for these items. I do, however, have a small friendly Shihtzu who would love to play with “some friends,” so where are my rights to a community facility that meets my needs?

Cleanliness:  In my considerable experience with pets and pet owners, an owner who cares enough about their dog to take them to a dog park, will also care enough to ensure that that facility is kept clean, will bring bags (and probably leave extras for others), have vaccinated and well-socialized pets.

Noise:  I listen to loud children all the time.  Also in my experience with dog parks in other communities the dogs are far too busy having fun to bark and growl.

Further, with the multitude of beaches in this community, why are they all posted NO DOGS?  I not only think we should have a dog park, but also a beach in Sarnia designated as dog-friendly.

Years ago, I took my dog to swim, late on a very hot Saturday, at Canatara despite the postings.  A woman got very snippy with me about the dog on the beach. I said, “When my dog and I leave, there will be only footprints in the sand.” I then indicated the condition of the beach.  Tim Horton’s cups, cigarette butts, discarded water bottles, even a dirty diaper.  “Perhaps it is people we should not allow on the beach,” I suggested.  She had not much to reply to that.

The people who take the trouble to bring their dogs to that park will be loving, responsible pet-owning taxpayers who deserve to have a place where their pets and themselves can have fun and socialize. Just as children have parks and playgrounds, and beaches, and arenas, and public pools etc. to have fun and socialize.

Margot Gulliford

Sarnia

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Sarnia has declined economically under Bradley

Sir: There are reasons for having term limits on political positions and the mess Sarnia is experiencing now is one of them.

We married in Sarnia in 1979. It was a vibrant city, exciting, busy and full of promise for all. Though work took us away in 1990, we hated to leave this corner called ‘the best kept secret in Ontario’ – a great place to live.

We chose to retire here, as many former citizens do, because of our memories of a safe, healthy, naturally beautiful environment with everything to satisfy our needs.

After our return, what we found was high unemployment, rampant drug use and petty crime, despite one of the largest and highest paid police forces per capita in Ontario.

Our property taxes have almost doubled since we bought here in 2006, and they are much higher than our property taxes were in downtown Toronto.

There seem to be more city vehicles driving around with one person inspecting than vehicles actually doing work. Communities reflect their leadership. The Bayside Mall is an example of what Sarnia has become – neglected, depressed and nearly empty, if not for government offices.

The economic reality of the world has changed in the last 28 years. Business cannot be conducted with the attitude, “this is how we’ve always done it.” We need a new perspective to reflect the changing times.

I commend the councillor who wanted to save $20,000 on incidentals – it is a lot of money, ask anyone living on a retirement income.

If Mayor Bradley loves this city, he would take care of his health and retire gracefully so that the citizens can thank him and celebrate his long service and commitment to our community.

Then let us move forward to heal this divisive toxic environment that now exists.

W. Beckers Locke

Bright’s Grove

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Coun. White’s honesty about recovery impressive

Sir: I have to admit I am getting a bit tired of reading about the problems Sarnia city council has and I don’t think I’m alone in that regard.

Then I received the Dec. 8 edition and read Coun. Brian Whites story!

I’m sure Sarnia would benefit from having a detox centre, as there are a lot of people suffering from addiction of one kind or another.

But to read that one of the councillors of our city is in recovery? That’s just downright … honest.

What kind of politician is this guy? He isn’t lurking around in the chamber looking for dirt to toss. He bared his soul to the citizens of this great city, and that takes a lot of guts as far as I’m concerned.

I think the world would be a better place if more people like Brian were running it. At least I know I could trust them.

Thanks.

Steve Grant

Sarnia

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Protesting Trump win a misguided endeavour

Sir: Re: Tracey Jutras’ Dec. 1 letter to the editor, “Protesting Donald Trump Was Not a Waste of Time.”

Her letter was a harsh and unfounded critique of Yasmeen Ibrahim’s letter, “Anti-Trump Protests a Waste of Time and Energy.”

Ms. Ibrahim pointed out that if we truly respect and value the democratic process, we must accept the results of democratically held elections – even if we don’t like the outcome.

She suggested that the protestors would have a much better chance of effecting political change by holding the new president accountable though their own representatives in congress and senate, rather than engaging in street protests.

In drawing comparisons to the protests of the Civil Rights Movement and the Boston Tea Party, Ms. Jutras makes it evident that she has missed the point of Ms. Ibrahim’s letter. The protests associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the Boston Tea Party were not in response to election results. Groups who had been effectively disenfranchised and oppressed initiated both of these historical events.

The protestors who filled the streets after the recent U.S. election all had equal opportunity to participate in the entirety of the political process, up to and including the election. They all got a vote. Ms. Ibrahim did not dismiss all forms of protest as a waste of time – just protests against the results of a democratically held election, and the will of the electorate.

Joanne Ward-Iaccino

Sarnia

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Thanks to all for making Santa parade a success

 

Sir: The 2016 Santa Claus Parade of Lights is now in the past and we all look forward to a promising New Year. The theme for this year’s parade was “The Wonder of Christmas” and may this wonder remain in our hearts.

The Kinsmen Club of Sarnia wish to heart-fully thank the hundreds of volunteers who took part in the building and decorating of the 44 floats, and to all the employers and groups who sponsored each float’s decorations.

To all the Sarnia-Lambton residents and companies who sponsored the expenses and travel costs to bring the various bands to Sarnia for our pleasure and entertainment.

To all the band members, thank you, for the Christmas music which is such a big part of wishing everyone watching and listening, A Very Merry Christmas.

The Sarnia Kinsmen would also like to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Next is the 2017 Santa Claus Parade of Lights, on Dec. 2, 2017. We look forward to everyone’s support in the coming year. Mark your calendars!

Thanks again for making this year’s parade a success.

Bob Marks, Parade Chair

Kinsmen Club of Sarnia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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