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Letters: Week of Aug. 3

We should all be more like Virginia, a very special lady Sir: This is a tribute to a very special lady, one of the most amazing I’ve ever met. Virginia Huggins had a very warm and caring smile.
Letters to the editor

We should all be more like Virginia, a very special lady

Sir: This is a tribute to a very special lady, one of the most amazing I’ve ever met.

Virginia Huggins had a very warm and caring smile. She always wanted to know how you were doing, and really did care. She was fast with an encouraging word or a gentle hug.

Virginia’s whole life was family, children and volunteering. She was an active member of our Sarnia Lambton Sunshine Foundation chapter, sparked by her grand daughter Kelly. As she aged and wasn’t able to work the events, she always came and supported us.

Her favourite event was our Irish dinner. You could see the sparkle in her eyes. She loved music, the fiddlers and the dancers.

Virginia had the best love story, having married her high school sweetheart at the age of 78.

I remember her showing me her diamond. I asked, “When are you getting married?” She winked and replied, “At my age you don’t want to wait too long.”

I called Virginia to tell her I couldn’t attend her 90th birthday party, because my son was getting married out of town.

She’d known him as a little guy and said, “Tell him I’m so pleased he picked my special day to get married on.”

Life will go on, but Virginia will be deeply missed. We all need to be more like Virginia, with a Big Loving Heart.

We were so fortunate to have known and loved her.

Marie Cebulski


Green bin program would be rewarding for all of Sarnia

Sir: Re: the July 27 article, “Every Sarnia kitchen might soon have a compost bucket.”

On The Journal’s Facebook page there were negative comments about the green bin program. I had been using a green bin in the Hamilton area for 10 years before I moved to Sarnia, and after reading the article I would have been turned off if I hadn’t had experience with it.

Once people get in the habit of doing it and getting their head around it, it becomes as simple as throwing out your organics in the garbage, but instead they go into a green bin.

The article neglected to mention the positives. Not just diverting garbage from landfills, but reusing the material for compost material and turning the methane from the material to make fuel.

As quoted in: June 08, 2016, the province recently announced their climate change plan, and it included some positive news for waste: the province is supporting the use of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) as one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario.

RNG can be made from methane captured from food waste in an anaerobic digester – a big processing facility that breaks down food waste while capturing the methane that is produced. Toronto has two anaerobic digesters to process Green Bin waste.

If we all participated it would be worthwhile for Sarnia to do it. It could become a citywide team effort that would be rewarding in the long run, unless we want a cesspool of filth in the future that our children and grandchildren will be living with.

Linda MacGregor


Surely $5 isn’t too much for a great evening of entertainment

Sir: It was another beautiful night under the Blue Water bridges for Point Edward’s annual Bridge Bash, with the stage all lit up, food vendors and volunteers busy, and the Optimist Clubs’ latest conquest, a splash pad, under construction in the background.

One thing, however, stood out, and that was the number of people who brought lawn chairs to enjoy the event from outside the gate.

There was a licensed area and also a non-licensed area that had plenty of room, three good bands playing and a very professional sound and lighting rig.

You got an awful lot for the $5 entrance fee, and remember this is an Optimist fundraiser that makes Point Edward a better place to live and visit.

They need everyone to chip in to be able to offer this event to the community, and times are not that tough!

Mark Moran

Bright’s Grove

We need to think before making negative comments

Sir: The article about the lawyer offering a reward to expose the person(s) behind a social media account making negative comments about local politicians and the more recent letter “Sticks and stones” make me cringe.

The public seems to be under the impression we have ‘freedom of speech’ in our great country of Canada, but alas we do not.

Here is what I know.

First: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants us the freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and of other media of communication.

Second: The Criminal Code forbids ‘hate propaganda’ and defines that as any means of writing, sign, or visible representation that advocates or promotes genocide. The Code defines ‘genocide’ as the destruction of an ‘identifiable group’ distinguishable by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

Third: The Human Rights Code defines defamation as communication that hurts a person’s reputation, either by of slander or libel (spoken or written).

Fourth: Under the Criminal Code, making a false statement that accuses another person of having committed an offence can be found guilty of public mischief.

We do not have freedom of speech in Canada, we have freedom of expression and opinion, except when it is hateful, defamatory, or makes a false accusation.

It occurs to me that the person(s) responsible for the social media posts are blatant cowards, attempting to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.

If they made defamatory comments they should be held accountable, and anyone who defends such childish behaviour is just as guilty.

We need to stop and think about what we say, write, or post BEFORE we say it. We cannot make accusations and comments that negatively affect a person’s reputation; even if we don’t like them.

I don’t always like the way our elected politicians work, but you won’t see or hear me making defamatory comments.

If you don’t like our current politicians then vote them out at the next election, or better yet – run yourself.

I implore all of us to be more conscientious of not just what, but also of how we speak and write.

Michael Van De Weghe


Euthanize, don’t neuter feral cats

Re: July 27 story: "That's 5,000 neutered cats and many more to go, group says."

Has anyone examined Ms. Symington's "scientific proof" that gradually re-abandoning feral cats on your streets will reduce the population?

You would have to catch 90% of them all at once and then wait several years for them - miserable years for the feral cats – to die of disease, infection, trauma, starvation, inclement weather, predation or human cruelty before you would see a difference.

Unlike my pets, they are not given the gift of humane euthanasia (Greek for "easy death") while cuddled in loving arms.

Meanwhile, free-roaming cats will continue to kill birds, reptiles and small mammals in staggering numbers. The more you feed them, the more energy they have for their favorite activity: hunting anything that moves.

Real scientists have proven well-fed, free-roaming pets still kill, but only consume about 1/4 of their prey - check the "Kitty Cam study" at

TNRed cats also continue mingling with wildlife attracted by their food, or by them as food, so they can catch and spread rabies. In the USA, people are far likelier to need post-exposure rabies shots from cats than from any other animal.

Felines are also the only vector for toxoplasmosis, a brain-invading parasite that can infect any warm-blooded animal, including humans, simply by inhaling or ingesting one toxoplasma gondii oocyst from cat feces. It is implicated in miscarriage, fetal deformity or death, blindness, dementia, schizophrenia and death for the immunocompromised.

I love cats. I'm all in favor of adopting socialized strays. I own an indoor-only micro-chipped cat and clean her litter daily, disposing of feces in a sanitary fashion.

But I don't want other people's cats eliminating in my garden or stalking under my bird feeder. For the sake of the people, cats and wildlife of Sarnia, I hope that you will soon wise up and get serious about animal control, so that all cats are either in loving homes or safely in kitty heaven.

Science and public health do not support your present plan, and your medical bills for zoonotic diseases will eventually skyrocket.

Page S. Williams

Houston, Texas

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