Week of March 25

Plastic just isn’t my bag

Sir: In response to Peter Smith’s Feb. 25 letter, “Plastic surgery needed,” I fully concur that the general public needs a major awareness check in regards to our plastic-polluted environment.

I admit to months of retraining my own shopping habits. Now, if I forget my reusable bags, I opt for no plastic bags when they are offered, a lesson for me to remember next time.

Salesclerks also need to step up their game and ask, “Do you need a bag?” When checking out at a store recently I was asked repeatedly, “Are you sure you don’t want a bag?”

When I gave my courteous response, he just looked dismayed!

Such longtime conditioning is overdue for change. Some stores have paper bags available, which need to be visible to the buyer not hidden sight unseen.

To quote Peter, “We can do better!”

Joanne Dixon


Daylight Savings Time puts the dark before the dawn

Sir: Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey has commented on the positive impact Daylight Saving Time has on our society, and the overwhelming response his office has received to end the clock-changing practice.

Of course, there are positive impacts of having extra daylight hours after supper, especially when the kids are on summer vacation.

However, research has shown that the time change in spring causes increased heart attacks, strokes, weight gain, anxiety and more vehicle accidents. This is due in part to the sleep lost when clocks get “pushed ahead an hour.”

We already lose sleep in summer because of the increased natural light, so this sleep deficit can build and cause health problems over time.

Research has also shown that staying on Standard Time, and not changing to Daylight Saving Time, could avoid disrupting our biological clocks and sleep habits.

Have you thought what would happen in November if we stayed on Daylight Saving Time? With the shorter days we’d be going to work and school in the dark. We would have crossing guards helping our children across intersections before the sun comes up. Would crossing guards have extra lights?

I shudder to think what could happen with a driver who has slept in, is late for work, and not paying attention. Not all intersections have stoplights, and with little or no sunlight before 9 a.m. we could see disastrous consequences with Daylight Saving Time.

Though our politicians have already voted to go to permanent Daylight Saving Time, and are waiting for approval in Michigan and Quebec, they haven’t thought ahead to what the winter months will bring with this change.

Not having to change our clocks twice a year is a great idea. But is Daylight Savings Time the correct choice?

Perhaps our politicians should give this a closer look. Perhaps Standard Time is the much better idea!

Dini Taylor


Good time to raise fish? You betta believe it

Sir: As a proud and long-time member of the Sarnia Aquarium Society I feel lucky to have a nice hobby during this time of stress and uncertainty.

Fish-keeping keeps me indoors, and although it involves certain chores and responsibilities, fish don’t need to be walked or require smelly litter boxes.

And a tank housing tropical fish is far more interesting than watching television.

COVID-19 has disrupted many lives.  People are restless and bored, at times to the point of becoming argumentative. Gazing into a colourful and lively fish tank is mesmerizing, and therapeutic.

Also, my beautiful, significant other knows where to find me at any time.

Aquariums are easy to get, as are fish.  If money is an issue, someone will know someone who knows where to find a used tank.  If that fails, someone in our Club can help.

Rich or poor, young or old, people will find that maintaining an aquarium can help immensely, especially now during this pandemic.

The Sarnia Aquarium Society keeps an 85-gallon aquarium clean and stocked in the children’s department at St. Joseph’s Hospice. Kids love this tank, and it helps them cope with the grief and anguish associated with losing a loved one.

So if you’re looking for a relaxing and educational hobby that can be shared by the whole family, consider an aquarium.

Jack VanderAa


Hydroelectric power a better alternative to fossil fuels

Sir: For many years we have been hearing green energy activists claim solar and wind power are the best alterative to coal and other fossil fuels.

They either don’t know or don’t want to know that solar and wind energy are totally unreliable. The output of an average size solar panel on a sunny day is approximately 290 watts per hour, and at night zero output. Orientation of the solar panel is a factor, and the panels only last about 20 years.

An average size wind turbine can produce approximately 250 watts per hour, but requires a certain wind velocity. If you travel along Lake Huron from Sarnia to Grand Bend, or from Sarnia to London, you will notice the turbines are often not turning.

Solar and wind produce relatively small amounts of electrical power, and only under certain conditions.

The alternative to coal and fossil fuels should be more hydroelectric dams, which produce massive amounts of power without damaging the environment. For example, the James Bay complex and hydroelectric dam on Muskrat Falls, which is near completion.

Hydro dams create an excellent environment for animals, and aren’t an eyesore like solar and wind turbines.

Joe Kusnir   


Help available to begin electrifying buses

Sir: Just over a year ago, on March 2, Sarnia city council heard a presentation from interested citizens about electric buses for Sarnia Transit. Council directed staff to investigate the feasibility of electric buses.

Now the federal government has announced an additional $2.7 billion to fund electric buses for transit.

Sarnia Transit should be at the front of the line for new buses!

Marshall Kern


Sammy the cat deserved better fate

Sir: God forbid anyone’s pet gets sick and needs emergency care on weekends or holidays in Sarnia.

Our cat Sammy was very ill one recent Saturday. I called our veterinary clinic and the answering machine stating their office hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and in an emergency to stay on the line and speak to a triage nurse (technician).

I was asked a few questions about Sammy’s condition, and she recommended I take him to the animal hospital in London.

I called all the veterinary clinics in Sarnia. The outcome was always – take your cat to London.

Some clinics asked if I was a client, and if I wasn’t, they weren’t taking any more patients.

I wasn’t going to drive to London in the middle of the night to look for the animal hospital. Being a senior, my night vision isn’t the best.

First thing in the morning I drove my cat, who was barely hanging on, to London. They took him in right away.

After about three hours of tests the veterinarian recommended Sammy be euthanized.

I cannot understand why all the veterinary clinics in this area can’t get together and rotate weekends and holidays for pet emergencies.

Driving to London in the winter, when the weather and highways are unpredictable, should not be the only option. I hope other pet owners don’t find themselves in the same situation.

Sammy was a really good cat. He deserved a better fate.

Andrew Golian


Let’s help the homeless, and fix up derelict houses

Sir: Instead of giving money away freely the government should invest in drug rehabilitation to help those homeless people who are addicted to drugs.

There have been so many deaths and families losing their loved ones to suicide.

Then the government should take down or fix up all these derelict buildings that are fire damaged or boarded up. Or give the property owners 30 days to fix them up.

I strongly believe these are the most important issues to address. We want to help the homeless, and we want to have nice neighbourhoods we can be proud of.

Debra Mills


Swept away by kindness of strangers

Sir: I am writing about an act of kindness that was so unexpected and happened to me this past winter.

It happened after the big snowstorm in February. I was observed cleaning my front porch, and moments later two people arrived and cleaned all the snow from my sidewalk and driveway. What a kind gesture from strangers.

I wish the teenage daughter the best success with her college studies, and offer a big thank you to both of them.

The people of Sarnia are blessed to live in such a caring community.

Betty MacDonald