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Week of July 9

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Thank you, Sarnia, for taking care of Howard Watson nature trail

Sir: Recent letters to the editor have painted an unflattering picture of Sarnia’s management of the Howard Watson Nature Trail, especially around the planned use of the trail under the Highway 402 overpass.

There is another side to this issue.

Before 1980 and before the nature trail existed, the Town of Clearwater (which later merged with Sarnia) bought a parcel of land that included the abandoned rail line, with the explicit plan to someday take advantage of the Hwy. 402 crossover.

After amalgamation, Sarnia inherited the plan and years later – circa 1980 – the HWNT was born. It ran along the abandoned rail line between Michigan Road and Mandaumin Road. Note: it then ended at Michigan.

From that point to the present, Sarnia has contributed much to the trail:

1 – The city extended the trail from Michigan Road to Confederation Street.

2 – It formed a committee of council to help manage the trail.

3 – The mayor officiated at a trail opening

4 – The city took an active part in trail maintenance, particularly in dealing with vegetation overgrowth.

5 – The trail committee received large grants to surface the trail with crushed limestone. That encouraged the same in Plympton Township, where a footpath was turned into a trail that now runs from Camlachie to Confederation in Sarnia.

6 – The committee set up a trailhead unit at the Michigan crossing.

7 – The city recently installed traffic control lights and signage, most noticeably at the Exmouth Street crossing.

Sarnia has been very generous and cares about its trail.

The Rapids Parkway extension is controversial. But the city has the right and needs to follow the long inherited plan, and will do so with minimal adverse impact. It is not a mindless, uncaring exercise.

Thank you Sarnia, for taking care of this wonderful trail.

Fernand Noel


Lessons to be learned from 122-year-old woman

Sir: A local columnist recently asked readers to “Imagine a world with less cancer.”

She went on to iterate how cancer affects the individual and the families of cancer patients.

We all know of smokers who say things like, “I’m 75 years of age and have smoked since I was 15. I’m not going to get cancer at this rate.”

That person is correct, to a point. He or she will eventually get cancer because the preventative steps needed to stave it off have not been taken and, I need add, that individual is tempting fate.

I recall my work at the London Regional Cancer Centre when some Sarnia patients, staying at the Lodge due to distance from home, would complete their chemotherapy or radiotherapy session and then light up a cigarette. They continued with a risky behaviour, doing a major disservice to themselves and their families.

There are plenty of websites that provide excellent hints and viewpoints on how to lengthen one’s life, and thereby reduce the statistics on premature cancer deaths.

A recent New Yorker magazine article profiled Jeanne Calmet, who lived to the age of 122. It featured a face-off between researchers who believed she stole the identity of her daughter and so, they concluded, never lived to the age that other researchers claimed.

It turned out Jeanne Calmet did live for 122 years, and her life was depicted by temperance and abstemiousness.

We can learn important lessons from the life led by Jeanne Calmet and by the lifestyle suggestions provided by the Canadian Cancer Society.

When we apply these suggestions, we should keep in mind that when the campaign for your charitable dollars becomes intense, even a few dollars more than last year will help us all eventually appreciate their work, and reduce a world with a high rate of cancer to one with less.

Richard Sourkes


Cemetery’s grave decision leaves sisters miffed

Sir: Regarding the June 25 letter, “Turning off the water supply ridiculous.”

I and many others would agree the cemetery’s lame excuse for this decision is absolutely ridiculous.
My sister and I, both in our 80s, find it no easy feat to lug heavy containers of water from the trunks of our cars over uneven ground to our grave sites, when, several feet away, sits a turned off tap.
Shame on them.

Dorothy Hyde


We have bylaws, so why aren’t they being enforced?

Sir: I have lived in my house for 47 years and have had a lot of neighbours.

I find now that many people are putting out their garbage, leaves, grass and furniture long before the pick-up date.

And now that cars are allowed to park on the street at night during snow-less months, they are being left there for days at a time.

I thought they had to be moved after 12 hours, so as not to use the street as a driveway.

There are bylaws against these things, and I wonder why they aren’t being enforced?

All Mitchell






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