Shane Olson from Shercom and Frank Regier, serial letter-writer, would like to speak.

Some requests from the Broadway BID for the Art Fest, to be held on June 22nd of this year. An auspicious date. (I like numbers composed of the same, er, number.)

We only have a handful of letters from people about snow removal. I speak from experience, you can only stay angry for so long. Then you need to conserve energy in order to leave your house.

Some proclamations. And we’re on to the juicy marrow of the agenda, a poor analogy since the letters are actually at the end. The juicy carrot at the end of the weedy stalk, as it were.

Shane Olson, from Shercom, would like the City to know they recycle tires and have lots of things the City might be interested in using. Go Shane. You will be in business for centuries.

Frank Regier would like to speak at city council about “promoting city council members to donate blood”. See, this is the part where I like that we live in Canada, because if this were the States, Mr Regier would be strip-searched to an inch of his life to make sure he wasn’t planning on generating some involuntary blood donations.

Graham MacDonald implores the City to reverse their position on chickens. He is not coming to council to speak, so the executive committee won’t have a chance to mock his appearance or issue like they did with the last pro-chicken woman. (At least I remember some disrespectful attitudes towards her. Those of you with longer memories or access to journalistic archives prove me wrong.) I don’t care much for chickens, but then my neighbour welds on his back deck, so. Chickens would be an improvement.

513 Empress St, if you’re in the vicinity, is being illegally occupied. Specifically, there is an illegal suite in the basement. Since it is (according to Google Maps) already a duplex, I can see why City Hall is a bit tetchy.

Next one is from Alan Manson. He has a rather unique email address, and I think he’s written before. Yes, he has, July 18th last year. It was the rambling one, if you remember, about the centre of the city moving? Let me see if I can find it here. It is pretty great, so I’ll reproduce it in full. The brackets are all his doing, not mine.

Thank you for your service on behalf of the Citizens of Saskatoon [hereafter CofS], and maybe Greystone…my letter speaks as an observer of recent 2012 Star Phoenix front· page stories; not as a deliberate searcher for information. So excuse any sense of irritation and alarm.

Did I miss the Public City·Meeting[s], and/or of Wards to provide feedback and even alarm/dissent on the Plan/Decision [?] to recreate Saskatoon as a single hub [present Downtowh on the West bank of the River] for 500,000 people, rather than a group of Hubs/Villages? Is this now ‘accepted’ by the ‘public/ residents/citizens of Saskatoon [CofS]? Is it ‘irrevocable’?

Such News was released by the Star Phoenix [SP] months ago [Early Jan]…I was not able to respond to that idea/Vision/Plan. Very new parts of Saskatoon, such as ‘Willow Grove’, and the area bordering on the Willows Golf Club’, are still developing…their places in the SP News Release of Jan 2012 and now the Second News Release of the ‘infill’ scenario for “8th and 22nd Streets” [SP Monday June 18th] are very difficult to imagine or predict.

Eg 1 in ‘Victoria’ BC, houses 5 minutes NE from Downtown are in the Saanich District [separate Council/Taxes/responsibility] not Central Victoria. Such are in ‘larger Victoria’.
Such Districts for Saskatoon would protect home·owners in Willow Grove, or Greystone or Broadway, or the southern ‘Willows’ from loss of investment, security, peace and community from a centralized ‘Bureaucracy’. Without such local voices [the present Ward·system is quite ineffectual, and increasingly so], small groups of home-owners can be literally swept aside by the zeal of those with Grand Visions.

How is Urban Spra1vl to be minimized when we already have it…with Willow Grove and the southern ‘Willows’? Hence Eg 2: why is Willow-Grove not to be a ‘District’ with [its own] council and business/entertainment hub? The ‘Mall’ there is now very large, comprehensive and growing as we speak. Why not some movement of Downtown Headquarters of major companies to Willow Grove? Indeed, many of us seldom go ‘downtown’.in non-summer months it is dirty with gravel and mud; the snow and ice are not cleared; policed by ‘parking zealots’, and without ease of Parking. I do not understand how the Mayor can drive into his Office each day from Nov-April and not be dismayed!

The changes now planned [SP June 18] turns [parts of?] 8th St into rows of condominiums/condensed living apartments, with buses flying up and qown to deliver ‘worker- bees’ to the present downtown. With the present 8th St [Cumberland to a few blocks east of the Circle Crossover] now very rich with Malls and Centres [this only within the last decade]…we have no idea how these two apparent opposites are to be reconciled.

Instead, the SP News of June 18 on “8th St and 22nd” was confusing at best [likely not the SP's fault]: the word ‘public’ had two meanings at least. First it was the City’s actions [they apparently working on behalf of us, the CofS], then it was us, the CofS. The University Prof interviewed likes all this: although the city-examples of tree-lined road-side stores on 8th St, for strolling along [as along Broadway] are all from cities at lower latitudes and much warmer climates than here. Where spring begins in January and February!

What of the fairly recent plans that changed 8th St to what we have now? Eg, as Wallace remarks    “… affecting    private    property    and. real    change … hundreds    of    km    of    [changed]    roads.” The latter will involve “roads…connecting via College Drive to UofS and across the “Uni- Bridge… “

This is of concern to Greystone residents, as any new roads will lower many house-values, our community, and relative peace. In the greater scheme of things we don’t matter…but each home destroyed by the City Plans [so far that is all they are] will be psychologically tough and highly unpleasant. When will I know if I should/must sell our home, and maybe move to where, maybe Warman, to save our investment and quality of life?

The latest News Release [and it is really not even that] mentioned “public consultations held to get feedback”, which could be anything from little ‘flyers’ placed in our mail boxes giving us a month or so to leave the house, at conveniently low $-restitution from the City…to Public Meetings. Somehow I do not see there being too many of these latter…based upon the process now started, why should I have trust in the Council? And the City/Council will “keep residents apprised of the plans”. As above, a flyer could be all we see, just as today such told me the lane next to us was to be improved/serviced.

Is there to be any opportunity for an alternate vision to be provided to us, the CofS? How could we provide strong disagreement? What have cities at high semi-Arctic winter locations dealt with this matter of living, with trade from a market place, with commerce, entertainment and the arts, a place for our spirits to flourish, for the young and the old, as well as those in between.all with local governance which approaches democracy in nature, Matters of choice, or dogmatism with the Mayor/Council dictating the future? When do the CofS have a chance to see several different visions of Saskatoon, provided by legitimate architects of the near future, rather than Council deciding on the ‘Hub-Issue': a Central Metropolis or a cluster of Significant Villages in Greater Saskatoon?

The existing notion of ‘Issue Think Do’ has advantages but enormous problems…when the ‘thinking’ processes are undefined, or not possible to effectively challenge. And if the “doing” is started before the CofS REALLY ‘get it’. Why not a City Plebiscite?

Good Luck to Us All
Alan Manson Greystone
Professor Alan Manson, Ph.D., Emeritus Executive Secretary, “Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies” (ISAS) Distinguished Research Professor (ISAS) Department of Physics &Engineering Physics University of Saskatchewan

His earlier “letter” had a Lot of “stylistic” Flourishes, which is why I “remember” him. This one, I’m afraid, isn’t much better, delving into the abstract world of grit, sand, dust, and silt. I had forgotten he was a prof, although I’m not surprised. He does get in a nice dig, ending with “If only we could all live near the Willows Golf Course.”

We have an announcement from the Minister of Government Relations about the Asbestos Information webpage. Jim Reiter, by the way, has a truly awful signature although it’s par for the course when it comes to politicians. Not only is it bloated, obfuscating, and illegible, he also has scrawled a line through his entire name, not a good sign.

Robert Bone would like to offer support to Alan Wallace concerning the latter’s plans for 8th St. He inquires if the mayor and council also feel the same way.

Byron Studer would like some clarification on exactly how high the taxes will be. He also points out that one of the metrics used was the listed price of houses in the area, not the sale price, which can differ despite what realtors are telling you.

Karalasingham Sadadcharam would like to know when the bus shelter on 25th and 5th will be repaired. Since the letter is addressed “Dear Sirs” this appears to be a Man’s Problem.

Bonnie Desjardins has a caps-lock problem and a neighbour problem – it “seems” that her neighbour doesn’t possess a garbage cart and is mistakenly depositing their refuse in the Desjardin bin. (I believe you can get fined for that.) I’m not inclined to give her neighbours the benefit of the doubt here. Keep your neighbours close, but keep your garbage cart closer.  Another puzzling thing is that her house does not exist – Avenue P jumps from 349 to 355, at least according to Google Maps. (I especially like the forlorn Tim’s cups expiring gracefully on the roadway.) Sure, she could have entered her address wrong, but I prefer to believe we now have ghosts writing in. Plaintive, unassertive ghosts who can’t toss out their garbage.

Shaun Unger from Hague is wondering if anyone else has noticed that the Idylwyld and Circle intersection is…problematic. Especially since there are a couple of prominent bridges in the works.

Tyson Haines of 32nd St W is “extremely upset”. His truck has been repeatedly ticketed and then towed and impounded. Mr Haines is understandably distressed since he’s paying $600 a month for his truck. (Also he can’t pay his internet bill as a result of the impound fees, so don’t bother emailing him.) He bought a new truck after getting a parking permit and switched the permit to his new truck. I think I am sensing what the problem is here, as he asserts “the pass was damaged but still in the window”. Perhaps Mr Haines might want to inform the city that the aforementioned truck is indeed registered in his name.

Another fluoride letter, this time from a university student.

p. 237 is a handwritten letter from Mr Philip Dyck, of Langham. I’ll do you a public service and type it out, since it’s rather intriguing and he’s put a lot of work in so it’d be a shame to skip over it.

To: Saskatoon City Council, Mayor and Councillors.
Re. Surplus water over 11th St W. and more coming from 33rd St. W. and RM of Corman Park. Water must move under or over CN Yard.
[This is also cc'd to Gord Wyant, Corman Park council and the "Minister of Water Security" which doesn't exist but should.]

RE: Water drain requirement west side of Saskatoon.

Jurisdictions (1) City of Saskatoon
(2) RM of Corman Park
(3) CN Railway Inc – nt subject to Prov. Waterway
(4) Ministry of Water Security

The Catchment Basin requires managed drainage of ongoing surplus water. There is now a water body 6 mi. in length north of Highway 14. Commuter gravel roads will be under water with 2013 spring melt. Water could start flowing under No. 14 and possibly swamp No. 7. The CN Freight Yard is a massive dam on a natural waterway.

2 possibilities.
I. a culvert 200′ in length needs to be ['punched' or possibly 'pushed'] under the freight yard to connect to CN’s internal 36″ drainage system. The punched culvert should be 24″ diameter with a central gate, 38 cu. m/min or 10,000 gal/min
II. Pump water over the surface under the rail lines. Capacity needed [5000 or 8000, not sure] gal/min. to move 25 acre ft./day.

The cost of inaction
A. Commuter and commercial travel into a RM pop of 2000 will be severely obstructed. Alternate roads will be smashed up. Child education in rural areas will be difficult.
B. Post disaster costs POAP etc. will be substantial. Preemptive Action is Imperative.

History of the World [I like this guy.]
A city was founded. Marshland was drained. Crops were planted. Roads were built and trade flourished.
S a s k a t o o n – the only potential metropolitan area in Sask. for the foreseeable future. [Take that, Pile o'Bones.]
Drain the marshland? It was a forbidden concept.
July 2007. Corman Park Council meeting. Idea raised and shot down. I vigorously promoted drainage at the 2007 October annual meeting.
2011. RM Community Professional Planner opposed to drainage is terminated [!] and some tentative progress in drainage of surplus water from the floodplain north of Saskatoon is made.
2012. CN chopped [?] freight yard. A million cubic yards of 2″ crush dumped in a natural waterway forms the perfect dam to flood 11th  St W in Saskatoon. No. 7 highway is about 2 feet above water. There is no provision to move water through the freight yard. CN is federally incorporated and denies prov. waterway legislation jurisdiction.
2012. An 800 acre lake forms west of Saskatoon. Precipitation in 2013 could result in highway 7, 33rd St W and Auction Mart Road going under water leaving only highway 14. What about Rice Lake over 14? The 800 acre lake may expand and start flowing under No. 14 and flood No. 7.
Coordination is needed. RM of Corman Park, City of Saskatoon, CN railway & Prov. of Sask -through Sask. Water Management – needs to lead. MP Kelly Block might assist re. CN Federal Incorporation.

Then we have a map outlining the affected areas. I’d be interested to hear a City engineer’s position (or any engineer in the field, really) on this issue and whether it is indeed an issue.

Alvin Horyn would like to know if Gropper Crescent could get a quick scrape for the Parkridge people. “Remember they all ride in wheel chairs strapped in place.” (I rode one of these short buses the other day and the ride is appalling. I’m not sure how something with that wheelbase length feels like a tin toboggan jouncing over frozen cow shit.)

Yolanda Van Petten, another prolific writer, is “aghast” at the quality of service provided by city transit. “Saskatoon’s transit system currently is no more than an expensive token gesture. If the council is serious about getting us to use it instead of our cars they had better start financing it and hire someone with a clue to redesign it properly. It took me all day to buy knitting needles!” This is me in 40 years, in case you were wondering. Shaking my walker at the sky outside the Field House. (No disrespect to Yolanda. I enjoy her letters.)

Two letters requesting February be declared “Heart Month”, with a third calling for the 18th to be “Family in motion Day”.

We finish off this agenda with the reproduction again of Shane Olson and Frank Regier’s letters. So nice, you have to read them twice. Don’t forget to give blood, councillors! We have your sweat and tears. Now we’re out for the valuable stuff.