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Letters: week of July 12

Drug addiction in community becoming epidemic Sir: I read the article "Business owners dismayed by inaction on drug crime" and thought, finally, people are talking about this problem in our community. Maybe now we can find a solution.
Letters to the editor

Drug addiction in community becoming epidemic

Sir: I read the article "Business owners dismayed by inaction on drug crime" and thought, finally, people are talking about this problem in our community. Maybe now we can find a solution.

I am not a business owner but have had many encounters with the drug problem in our community.

On Canada Day I was celebrating with friends and family, with water balloons, a barbecue and fireworks.

Our great time was interrupted by a young woman who stripped off her clothes and flailed around on the street. We quickly rounded up the children, trying to protect their innocence. A few adults called police, concerned the woman was overdosing as she vibrated on the grass.

The other evening I was driving home and sitting at a red light at the Five Corners. Another young woman stood on the sidewalk beside my passenger window, tweaking, yelling, and flailing toward my vehicle.

Picking my children up from school a young woman with sores all over her face and holding a hospital bag shouted things out, walking all over the sidewalk.

Another day, when driving with my children, we saw a man running down the road. He had one shoe on, dirty clothes and ran in and out of the street.

My children asked, “What is wrong with that man?"

And just today, on my way home from work, a woman was standing on the boulevard, her pants around her ankles, peeing while whipping around a piece of material.

My point is, on numerous occasions my family has been exposed to this epidemic.

What bothered me the most about article was the statement that there is no law against being stoned in public on drugs.

Why not?

A bunch of drunken zombies roaming around and causing havoc would be taken care of because it’s the law.

We need to reevaluate the consequences of these actions. What will our future be like if we keep allowing this to continue?

Most of the resources to help addicts are voluntary. Do you think someone high on crystal meth or fentanyl or whatever else can make voluntary decisions?

Kaylyn Amerlinck


Wildlife also at risk

Sir: Recently during one of my walks at Canatara Park I encountered a scene that disturbed me deeply and has haunted me since.

The park has always been a place of reflection and source of comfort for me, a place to commune with nature. But upon reaching Lake Chipican there was noticeable traffic congestion, which is typical this time of year with new families of goslings and ducklings crossing the road.

An elderly couple seated on one of the boulders at the shoreline informed me a vehicle had just struck a mature goose. I turned around I saw it limping away, alive but visibly injured.

It was heart wrenching, and not the first incident. I’ve heard of joyriders and bikers stopping long enough to honk their horns and shout obscenities at the geese who block their trail.

I sympathize with nearby residents on a continuous crusade to control, if not stop, the noise pollution of dragster races after midnight.

Noise is offensive to the senses, but it does not kill. Spring and summer are peak times for the park’s “winged” residents to build nests and raise their broods. That includes crossovers between the lake, ponds and grasslands to forage and rest during the day.

To those drivers who show no respect for their surroundings and who abuse the park to show off their prowess and speed with careless abandon, I say SLOW DOWN and STAY OUT of nature’s way!

Joanne Dixon


There are reasons why some churches fail and others grow

Sir: Regarding the July 5 article, “The gospel truth: Some churches closing while others flourish.”

The great questions continue to be, "What is the meaning of life?" and "What is our (human) place in it?"

Over the past 150 years two competing Explanatory Systems have been jockeying for our attention in this regard.

The first puts forward supernatural/religious solutions, the other science-based. The first has frozen its views in place for centuries, the second follows genetic-biological-archaeological data as it evolves.

The latter has been dominant. The decline of churches has resulted.

Those churches that do hold membership constant, or actually grow, are ones that provide social supports to their members and often have a "community centre" function in their neighbourhoods.

This function is quite valuable in our rush to define ourselves by what we consume. May they continue to prosper in that role.

Frank Higgins


Canada Day spoiled by drug addict hallucinating on street

Sir: Regards to the article “Business owners dismayed by inaction on drug crime” (July 5), I’d like to share my own experience.

I live near the Harry Turnball skate park on Maxwell Street and daily have to deal with drug addicts walking by ‘tweaking out’ and yelling at inanimate objects and themselves.

Numerous phone calls have been made to Sarnia Police, who can take hours to show up. By then, the addict has moved on to another part of the neighbourhood.

On Canada Day, I had a gathering of good friends for a nice get-together. It was an awesome day filled with children playing and enjoying themselves, and adults playing along and catching up with old buddies.

But as we enjoyed the fireworks, a drug addict walked down the street. With about 10 children on my property ranging in age from three to nine, she proceeds to take her clothes off and strut naked down the street, prancing and calling out.

Us ‘Mama Bears’ collected the children and ran them into the backyard. I called police, stated the situation, and noted I had called that morning about the same girl tweaking out in my neighborhood.

The dispatcher replied, “Well I didn’t work this morning.”

This is not how our children should remember Canada Day. Something should be done when a drug addict is repeatedly called about, causing distress in an area such as the skate park or Mitton Village.

I can’t speak as a business owner, like those in the article. But as a homeowner I am just as irate.

This is supposed to be my domain, my sanctuary, and most of all, the place my children feel safe to call home.

It has reached the point that when people who are high on drugs walk by my house, my daughter gets completely freaked out and runs inside, asking if they’re going to come back.

Sarnia has a drug problem, and there needs to be a law about arresting those who are high.

Who would you be more scared of? A drunk staggering around, or someone hallucinating and arguing with inanimate objects? My choice is quite clear.

Leah Marshall


Gladu’s comments about Mexicans taken out of context

Sir: Stanton Earle, in his letter of June 28, “MP Gladu’s prejudiced comments about Mexicans appalling,” takes the comments made by Marilyn Gladu in the House of Commons totally out of context.

Mr. Stanton appears to have taken his facts directly from an article written by CBC news. Since the CBC receives over a billion dollars a year from the Liberal government, it is understandable it will portray a member of the Conservative Party in a negative manner.

If a Member of Parliament made the comments as stated, then they should be taken to task. However, MP Gladu did not make the remarks as stated in Mr. Earle’s letter.

I would suggest he take the time to view the video from the House of Commons, with Ms. Gladu making her remarks about legalizing marijuana, to find out what she really said, before embarking on a crusade.

There is one thing we do agree on, and that is change needs to happen on the federal level next year.

Unfortunately, in the last federal election Canadians voted for style instead of substance.

Russ McPhee


City quick to pass bylaws, but enforcement’s another thing

Sir: Regarding the June 28 article, “Rage against the machine.”

It loved it, and it's about time the city enforced the noise abatement bylaw (96 of 2009-Quiet Zone), as the updated vehicle exhaust systems don’t necessarily improve the performance of a vehicle, except in the drivers’ ears.

The bigger question is —who will follow up on the bylaw enforcement?

There’s nothing worse than walking on Canatara beach and stepping in dog feces. Dogs urinate on the beach, but if a human were to do it I’m sure they would be charged with 'indecency.'

When one dog owner was asked why they brought their dog to the beach (bylaw #206 of 1999), the owner told me they’d been bringing the dog there for 30 years.

Excuse me, but the bylaw has been in effect since 1999. Maybe the signs should be bigger, as at Blackwell Park where dogs are supposed to be leashed.

Sadly, that doesn't work either, because loose dogs there have charged at me. While many dog owners follow the rules, plenty just 'don't care' and have little respect for others.

Take the idling bylaw, and fresh air. Try parking at the Blue Water Bridge to enjoy the nice breeze, while people pull up beside you and let their vehicle idle, and you have to breathe the fumes.

Yes, the city needs signs. That bylaw has been in effect since 2014.

Bylaw enforcement is the responsibility of the city. Yet when I approached the bylaw office about dogs on the beach, I was told there aren’t enough officers to enforce the bylaws.

Maybe the councillors who passed them should take a little time to enforce them. If there aren’t enough officers, then cut back on a councillor and use the money to enlighten the public and enforce these bylaws.

And if the enforcement hours don’t coincide with the timing of the breaches, then reschedule the officers to meet “the needs of the business.”

Jakub Tarnowski


Cathcart flip-flop shows why City Hall change long overdue

Sir: A city council and a city administration are there to serve the best interests of its taxpayers. At least, that is a common view espoused by candidates at election time.

Yet how often has the reverse proven true for Sarnia? As the latest example of a council disconnect, consider the painting of bicycle lanes on Cathcart Boulevard.

Six months ago, citizens presented petitions and gave presentations against the idea of bicycle lanes at Cathcart and council accepted their arguments. The bicycle lanes were subsequently dropped. Well, ratepayers thought bicycle lanes were cancelled.

Last week, an intolerable mish-mash of newly painted lines appeared on the surface of Cathcart Boulevard - a solution to a problem that has yet to happen but is very cherished by someone.

This situation is appalling. Not only have citizens concerns and a council commitment been ignored, but additional hazards have been introduced on the north side of the boulevard. As a cyclist, I am loath to use the new arrangement.

Should we have expected a different outcome? Perhaps not. The current council has been a nightmare since its inauguration four years ago. I struggle to think of anything positive that has been achieved.

One could claim its main thrust and sole ambition has been to hobble the mayor and make his life intolerable but at what cost to the ratepayers and progress of the city?

The fab-five (Councillors MacDougall, Scholten-Holt, White and Mitro led by Coun. Gillis) stand guilty in this regard as does Coun. Bruziewicz.

Fortunately, electors have a chance to change the situation soon. Vote for the fab-five cohorts if you want four more years of purgatory.

Vote for prudent new faces if you value progress, sensible ideas and a return of financial accountability to city administration.

Sarnia deserves better.

Brian Wallace