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Letters, week of Nov. 27

Columnist’s treatment in restaurant was shocking Sir: Re: Sheila Kozman’s guest column: Pet names a form of ageism. Sheila, I am disturbed to read about your experience in the restaurant.

Columnist’s treatment in restaurant was shocking

Sir: Re: Sheila Kozman’s guest column: Pet names a form of ageism.

Sheila, I am disturbed to read about your experience in the restaurant. It was bad enough that the staff are not trained in the etiquette of addressing customers in a professional manner, but to have anyone make such a shocking suggestion that you be called bitch is unacceptable!

Did they think they were at a hockey game? Perhaps that is a term of endearment in their home?

I can imagine the rest of your dining experience was colored by this performance too. I hate confrontation, yet I think I would have been tempted to leave the restaurant after letting the management know why.

Yes, I would have been bullied out of my meal, but the evening would have been ruined in any case.

I sincerely hope I'm never in that position myself.

Shelby Sim 



Ma’am, you bullied your server

Sir: I would like to reply to a recent column you published called “Pet names a form of ageism.”

I am 30 years old, I have worked in both the hospitality and retail industries, and I am truly stunned and insulted by this article.

When did a kind word become offensive? It seems to me that this author is the one having a problem with her “mature age” and is projecting her own insecurities on the poor people who have to wait on her.

I have been guilty of calling people “Doll,” “Hun,” “Sweetie,” “Love,” you name it, and I’ve probably said it to men and women, young and old; ageism has nothing to do with it.

Servers and sales clerks are put in the awkward position of greeting countless patrons and customers without the luxury of knowing their names. Short of filling out a “hello my name is…” at the door, how would you propose the staff learn hundreds of names during a dinner rush?

Would you have preferred the nice salesman to say, “How would you like to pay for that lady?” or your server to ask, “What would you like to order Ma’am?”

Being called ma’am happens to make me feel old, but I would never have the bad manners to reprimand someone for my own issue. Had I been a witness to you bullying that poor girl I would have given that man a standing ovation for speaking up, and to top it all off, you expect her to defend your rude behaviour?

Shame on you, you are old enough to know better that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Holly-Anne Toogood



Complaint about Halloween display was ridiculous

Sir: It was with shock and disbelief that I saw your photo on the front page of the Sarnia Journal, issue 37.

I particularly was offended regarding Shelley Machine and Marine's exploiting the Steam Engine 6069. Only recently (July, 2013) we in Canada witnessed the tragedy in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which made us all aware of the dangers of rail systems all around this world.

If the above concern sounds ridiculous to you, then I am not alone. I was genuinely surprised to see M.A. Long's commentary in the recent issue of this paper, and while I am sure you will have received dozens of letters in defence of decorating one's home for Halloween, I felt I had to contribute as well.

I drove by the Cathcart Boulevard display often throughout October, and each time I did so, I felt admiration for the time and expense involved in creating such a creative display.

Never once did I think to myself, well, that's surely a boon for ISIS. Terrorists win!

Taking Long's opinion further, I suppose then that every department store that sells Halloween decorations every year also supports ISIS. Every plastic severed leg Wal-Mart sells is another slap in the face of our troops. I feel that terrorists win when we disrupt our ordinary lives due to fear, when we decide not to decorate our homes, not because we do.

I wonder how Long feels about snowmen. If, during a storm, a gust of wind were to blow its head off, then ISIS would get free publicity at my house, too.

Matt Armstrong



Ontario wasting a forest resource

Sir: In the past year the last remain coal-fired plants were closed in Ontario under the Liberal plan to cut greenhouse gases and improve air quality and lower carbon emissions.

Then why is the Ministry of Natural Resources burning thousands of acres of piled tree tops left from lumber harvest?

These piles are not light brush. Many of them contain limbs and trunk areas of four to six inches in diameter.

The photo here, taken north of North Bay, Ont. gives some idea of the destruction.

If burning is necessary it should be done in stoves and furnaces in homes. But the ministry makes it difficult for individuals to cut this wood for their own use; after all it is Crown Land.

There is an alternative to this waste and pollution. There are huge chipping machines in this area capable of chipping these piles and spreading the chips on the forest floor, thus regenerating soil for new growth.

It has also been trucked and sold to factories to produce steam and generate power.

The present government needs to back up, regroup and keep jobs in Ontario, and stop this unnecessary waste and pollution.

D. W. Marshall

Bright’s Grove


Easier to complain than help out

Sir: Response to the Nov. 6 “lack of respect” letter.

I am very proud to be the president of the Point Edward Ex-Servicemen’s Association. It was disturbing to read the comments about our organization.

It would have been much more constructive for the letter-writer to come in and talk to us regarding her issue (with the lowering of the flag to half-mast.)

We would have set things right with regard to the facts.

Sadly, it is easier to have something negative to say about others and what they are doing than take the effort to contribute to your community every day to make a positive difference.

The volunteers at the Association believe that helping our community through assisting veterans and service people is incredibly important and worth our effort.

It is for them that we work and strive to do more.

 Bob Willshire

President, Point Edward Ex-Servicemen’s Association

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