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Letters, week of March 17

Board has pitted school against school Sir: I have no affiliation with SCITS, but I am a taxpayer with a few thoughts that I would like to share with you at this time. SCITS is the anchor in the heart of this city.
Letters to the editor

Board has pitted school against school

Sir: I have no affiliation with SCITS, but I am a taxpayer with a few thoughts that I would like to share with you at this time.

SCITS is the anchor in the heart of this city.

There will be a profound and lasting impact on the residents and small businesses in the SCITS neighbourhood if it is closed. I truly believe that, over time, the impact will extend into the downtown area.

This will decimate the “five corners” and surrounding area, adding to the ever-increasing sense of failure and doom that is becoming more evident around this city with each passing year. We have more than enough empty stores, abandoned buildings and neglected neighbourhoods already. We don’t need more.

I have a profound sense that this decision is already a “done deal.” The Lambton Kent District School Board displays no respect for others. They certainly have no “common sense.” No respect and no common sense, combined, make for a very lethal combination!

Now we have school pitted against school, neighbour against neighbour and tempers are flaring. This, of course, distracts from the real issue and muddies the waters. Perhaps that is the intention of the school board?

Is it possible that the board has undisclosed reasons for wanting to close SCITS? Do they stand to gain financially in the near future? Study the numbers. It is not fiscally responsible to close this school. I wonder if the board has been purposely neglecting to maintain SCITS because they knew they would be closing it.

Is it the intent of this board to leave the south end of Sarnia with only two schools? If so, why?

As citizens we need to ask ourselves how far reaching will the consequences be? Is this honestly what is best for the City of Sarnia, its future and its youth?

Respectfully yours,

Claudette Gasbarini



SCITS is the keeper

Sir: Recently I read some interesting statistics in support of keeping SCITS open, as follows:

SCITS community use totals 1,788 hours, generating $51,118 in revenue to the Board.

St. Clair community use totals 289 hours, generating $4,885 in revenue to the Board.

(The Sarnia Journal, Thurs. March 3, 2016, p. 7.)

So I got out my calculator, and did some math. Here's what I found:

For community use, SCITS has more than six times that of St. Clair, generating over 10 times the revenue for the Board.

Community use during the course of one year averages 4.9 hours per day for SCITS, and less than one hour per day for St. Clair.

After doing this, I concur completely with Sandi Compagnion (Sarnia Observer, Thurs. Feb. 18, 2016), who recommended that we put the students from both high schools into SCITS, and turn St. Clair into the elementary school that is needed in that part of the city. Sounds like a good plan to me!


C.B. Eagles



There are teen-friendly summer camps

Sir: Re: the March 3 letter, Teen Summer Camps Needed

In response Grade 7 student Lucia Schultz-Allison, suggesting Sarnia offer more summer camps for older children, the YMCA has great news for Lucia and other Sarnia-Lambton teens!

Through a unique blend of outdoor adventure, community involvement and skill development, the YMCA Leadership Challenge Centre Summer Camp on Oakdale Avenue in Sarnia offers two Leader Camps each summer. Campers participate in team-building initiatives, challenge course elements, rock climbing and lots of fun!

Challengers Camp – Ages 11-13

Campers will take part in an adventurous week filled with games, sports, team-building activities, rock climbing, bouldering, and high and low rope challenges. The week provides groups and individuals an opportunity to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical, and emotional challenges in a safe environment.

Leaders of Tomorrow Camp – Ages 14-15

This exciting two-week leadership experience includes team building, high and low ropes, as well as a group initiated community project involving event planning, volunteering, fundraising and leadership development. Success is not dependent on individual ability, but rather collaborating as a group to solve problems and navigate change together.

Focusing on YMCA core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and inclusiveness, campers will not only learn to work and cooperate with others; campers will learn a lot about themselves.

Increased self-awareness, improved decision making abilities, problem solving skills, communication methods, leadership skills and new friendships are the result of each camper’s experience.

Parents will be happy to know that the YMCA Leadership Challenge Centre summer camp is delivered by professionally certified YMCA staff, and will not only solve summer boredom syndrome, it will offer loads of activity, entertainment, and skill development for their teens, and will keep them out of trouble.

Through YMCA Strong Kids Campaign funding, the Y provides opportunity for all kids to experience YMCA summer camp, regardless of financial circumstances. For more information on YMCA Leader Camps visit

Krista Gillespie,

General Manager

YMCA Leadership Challenge Centre


Pot a relatively safe drug

Sir: Re: Columnist clarifies pot position, March 3, 2016.

Anti-marijuana-legalization letter-writer Nadine Wark believes that maintaining marijuana prohibition is going to protect the children, but legalizing pot is going to ruin their lives.

In other words, she supports the status quo, in which drug dealers sell pot to teens and entice them into also buying ecstasy, cocaine, meth and heroin.

These drug dealers don’t ask for an ID. Their pot is not checked for pesticides or additives.

It seems to me that a well-regulated legal market would protect kids a lot more effectively than a black market. Unless you’re on the side of legalization, you stand with the drug dealers.

Is cannabis dangerous? Everything we ingest is potentially dangerous. Peanuts can kill some people. Yet, in recorded history, pot has never been known to cause an overdose death. Even the DEA’s administrative law judge concluded that cannabis was “the safest therapeutic substance known to man … safer than most food” … and many times safer than heroin, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, and even caffeine.

As for Ms. Wark’s theory that Tommy Chong would have won “Dancing With the Stars” had he not been stoned, she may not realize that he was stoned on previous rounds and danced well enough to avoid elimination. It should also be said that Chong, the oldest dancer ever on DWTS, has been stoned for most of his 76 years without turning into a raving maniac.

Jeff Meyers

Westlake Village, CA

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