Adam Pollock thinks the Traffic Bridge replacement is bollocks, and that the north bridge is where it’s at. He’s got an idea and he wants to present it.

The next letter is from exemplary citizen, Prof. J. L. Grover. He wants to talk about homelessness and affordable housing.

Ted Popel would like to address the subject of committees of council. He does not elaborate further.

The Chamber of Commerce would like to address Council for being declared the “business friendliest Canadian city”. (It appears that the Chamber has dropped the hammer portion of their logo, an issue which I have struggled mightily with in various forms. They sponsor a lot of things which I have to print ads etc. for, and the logo is only available in some bullshit 72 dpi minuscule jpeg.)

Patti from the Heritage Council just wants to welcome new members and remind them that the Saskatoon Heritage Society is always watching.

CUPE wants to talk about the library workers.

Oh, I see. The situation at Marquis Court is that there’s only one exit. It’s for Richardson House of Fixtures and Supplies, in the new area in the Marquis Drive vicinity (which is why it doesn’t show up on the map.) She’s concerned that if there is a fire, they will not be able to leave the property. I am going to suggest that the City abolish their unfortunate plan of surrounding new developments with steep-walled moats full of wild boars. Hopefully the administration will come to their senses and approve another exit, so the good citizens of this development do not suffer an awful and untimely death in case of a totally unforeseen fire. I am also sure that the property managers at this location have installed adequate smoke detectors and other fire-suppression systems. It would be horrible to be responsible, even indirectly, for the deaths of other people.

Neale Hall is, uh, wanting to talk about the disrespectful attitude of the Saskatoon Police Service towards Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Canadian citizens. (He makes no mention of international visitors.) He states that he doubts Premier Wall is going to let this situation continue.

Mrs Gaynor Baker wishes to address the issue of fireworks. She lives on Rayner Ave; there is a convenience store on that same street that sells fireworks. She suffers from PTSD and loud bangs are understandably distressing for her. She would like the sale and use of fireworks limited to public holidays.

The FCM is acknowledging receipt of payment for a thing.

The Santa Claus(e) Parade is taking place on the 18th. The theme is “A Cartoon Christmas”.

Craig Allan says everyone he knows has nothing good to say about the “eighty million dollar art gallery”. He states that it is “for the rich” and that “less the [sic] one percent of the population is into art”. He is also concerned about the South Bridge project. Calgary was able to build their ring road in less time; perhaps the City engineers could go on a field trip and learn how to speed things up. Craig Allan is not taking any of your bullshit. This is my own interpretation of Craig Allan’s position.

The Polaris Institute has sent a helpful paper about P3’s. (No, it is not People Pavement Progress). Sadly, he has sent it to the wrong people, as he says it will help “counsellors” who might have questions or concerns about P3s. In case you were wondering, it appears that the Polaris Institute has goals and positions that are diametrically opposed to those of, say, the Fraser Institute. If you would like to read further, the report is on p. 330. I, for one, look forward to our new Cameco North Bridge To Future Prosperity. It will be a great architectural and engineering feat to sleep under.

Mary Parent is concerned about the sale of the Saskatoon Inn. Those dastardly Winnipeggers are coming in to mineral-spa(m) the place. She says that the name of the hotel represents our city, an irrefutable fact. Anyways, with the loss of the KG and the Victoria Bridge, this is the last straw. She wants to know what we will lose next; I am sure the administration will be delighted to inform her.

Stephen Holinaty would like the smoking ban to include all businesses, instituting a 10-metre zone outside. At this point, I would like to suggest that perhaps it is easier to enforce smoking zones as opposed to non-smoking zones.

p. 334 is a letter to, uh, everyone involved in either governance or health care. It is, ah, a bit difficult to summarize, but it’s mainly about the failure of levels of government to responsibly co-operate on health-care strategy. Parts of it are in both official languages of Canada. He has also copied-and-pasted other communications with government officials.

SEIU-West is concerned about CETA (Canadian-European Trade Agreement). I don’t know too much about this at this point. You do the work. I’ve gotta go back to school so I can participate in this new thing they call the knowledge-based economy.

Sandra Finney would just like to make sure your motives are pure, newly-appointed City Mothers and Fathers. Some people, she says, are being left out of our current economic munificence. Booms are for everyone (unless you are Mrs Gaynor Baker).

Donna Roller says IMAX is planning 110 to 125 new theatres next year and that we should try to get one. The city will get back to you with a PO, Donna. Actually, they can just make out the PO to me and I’ll arrange it. (It’s OK, just leave the amount line blank. I’ll fill it in once I get a final answer from the IMAX people.) Wait, we might want to check if we can get a cheaper one from Europe.

Allan Regehr is an expert on the City. Well, maybe not an expert. But he knows how the city works. He urges Council to get things done and  is rather prescient about the length of time to finish the South Bridge (his letter was submitted before the “whoops, we won’t finish the bridge till July 31, 2013” story which I am not forgetting about despite the fact it was released on a Friday before the long weekend.). He’s upset about the effect the finished bridge will have upon the Circle/Ave C/Idylwyld intersection (a valid concern) and angry that the engineer he contacted didn’t have a solution. I think there was a report on this intersection in a previous agenda, and it’s a big terrible mess but there’s no room to put in a proper cloverleaf intersection without buying out a lot of lucrative business property.

(I should really brush up on the law as pertaining to libel and/or slander. I think I’m covered under fair comment here but not entirely sure as technically I’m not a journalist.)

The Broadway BID wants to be sole vendor for an event, Broadway Spirit of Christmas 2012. They are also wishing to close 11th Street between Broadway and Dufferin. It’s unclear if the jumping green men will be present.

Now some notices of Appeals Board Hearings.

D&S Homes is trying to build a care home that exceeds the maximum site coverage zoned for that property (4.825% over).

Ryan Thiessen, owner of 66 & 68 Davidson Crescent, is trying to shoehorn a 3rd unit into a 2-unit building without a permit.

1302/1304 Avenue D North is another illegal four-unit dwelling conversion. They’re complying with the order but want more time to fix it.

The rest are all fairly generic, the usual setback or site coverage or parking deficiencies.

p. 369. Mr Daniel Hagen, of Bornstein Cres. has some comments about bridges. He is in favour of raising taxes by 1% to specifically target the infrastructure deficit, and an additional 1% for the North Bridge. Incidentally Mr Hagen’s address is on file in the agenda, those of you who feel your tax load is unjust.

Allan Herman is doing the math and is not pleased with the results of the latest infrastructure report.

Jonas Kiedrowski congratulates the Mayor on his election but is concerned with his comments on CBC dismissing the concerns of the people who did not vote for him. Mr Kiedrowski can also do math, and points out that with the current turnout, only 19% of voters chose Mr Atchison as mayor.

Don Sturm wants to know “what is up” with the entrance to the City from the west side. It’s not very…cohesive.

Shelby Trautman believes that if we were to invest in a more efficient system it will be a benefit to the city. High-fives to Shelby. She’s tired of receiving vague platitudes. We all are, Shelby. We all are.

Alex Pfeifer thinks we need to have a police presence directing traffic at Sask Place for all events, not just the major ones. He’s also concerned with pushy motorists endangering themselves by not respecting (or acknowledging) the physics involved with the operation of large semi tractors and trailers that are also present at the Husky station.

Shane Kartz is from Hampton Village and he is convinced the city is trying to make lives miserable for the residents therein. His letter is quite detailed. It involves stop signs and lines of vehicles over a kilometre long. He also threatens to smack himself over the head with a hammer if the situation isn’t resolved. You’re doing it wrong, Shane. You have to threaten to smack someone else. If you take yourself out of commission, all the City gets is less irate missives, so there’s little incentive for them to acknowledge your concerns.

Christine White is concerned about the speeding on McClocklin Road. Motorists aren’t stopping for children to cross the road (at a crosswalk) in order to get to school.

Charlcie Vidmar has had her garbage can run over and the city is not replacing it quickly enough. (The wheels are smashed off so she can’t drag it up into her yard.)  There are a lot of exclamation points used here.

Pat Tymchatyn is angry that Idylwyld traffic northbound is blocking the 31st street intersection during rush hour(s).

Margi Corbett is inquiring about the current status of Parcel Y.

Jennifer Jungwirth has some suggestions for the improvement of the Circle Drive – Airport Drive intersection.

Anita Hrytsak didn’t get her garbage picked up this week (September 25th). Neither did her neighbours. She would like to know when they plan on coming back? Please come back.

Marie Villeneau wants to know when Junor & 37th street will be opened.

Reid Schmidt is disappointed that there will still be an at-grade railway crossing as part of the Circle Drive South project. Wait, we will have an at-grade crossing there? Has anyone been on the Ring Road, like, ever?

We have a couple letters about Fairmont and 22nd St intersection, which has been resolved if news reports are correct. I am relieved.

Elsie Hanel-Jones is upset that the city is thinking about tossing out two faithful golf course employees. Also Holiday Park in particular is looking terribly shabby these days.

Tamara Wiebe wants traffic lights on Highway 11 and Warman Road (another person who refuses to use the name “Wanuskewin”) (Look, I like Wanuskewin, It is a lovely place. I don’t care for renaming roads halfway through the intersection just because.)

Jacklyn Regnier is embarrassed at the level of service 105th Street receives, specifically concerning street cleaning. Her car is dirty and she will not be voting for Mayor Atchison in her first election for which she is eligible to vote. It’s like we live in some backwards flat town…oh.

Joe Penner had a very bad surprise on the exit off Warman Road to Circle Drive East. It “turns suddenly into a sharp corner without warning”. This is alarming to me, as I use that exit often and I’m concerned about any sharp corners that may be installed there. Anyways, he ended up on the boulevard across the road in a “totalled off” car and his wife has a broken hand. I am trying to figure how he did this in my head and I’m saddened he didn’t include some sort of diagram. At any rate, he’s written a letter to council, so his wife’s hand is, er, in their hands. After close reading, the injury is implied to be a result of the crash but not specifically stated so. Someone should have a city lawyer call up and clarify that. It could be important later.
Gary Harbottle is upset that the Circle and Clancy Drive intersection will be restricted for the foreseeable future due to the Circle Drive South project. I hope Gary doesn’t get his hopes up that they’ll open it up over the winter.

Bret Donnelly got lost trying to go to Rosetown and wants some better signs showing the detour around the Shaw Centre. Or, he would have been lost if he didn’t live here.

Miss Gladys Hall has called the “HOT LINE” and has further information pertaining to the “rodent infested trash pile” on 2nd Avenue North between 25th and 24th. She has included a helpful and detailed map of the area. It’s across from the Pat, insert trash-pile joke here.

Lorena Friesen lives in Stonebridge and works at RUH. She is trying to take the bus to work, but the buses fill up at Place Riel and blow by her without stopping while she is waiting at College and Munroe. There’s a half-hour wait between buses and she doesn’t have enough time to boot it to Place before the bus leaves there. I am sure that the current Remembrance Day-themed messages on the bus LED displays are not helping. “Lest We Forget” indeed. She also has children and every half-hour is precious. Come on, buses, just stop for her.

Courtney Reinhardt has a creative solution for garbage at the landfill. She wants to build a “Pre-Loved Depot” for things people don’t want anymore but that other people can still use. OK, she finishes it off with stating she is in grade 10. I would very likely have written the same letter at her age. (Wait till she finds out that the charity she donates her used clothing to most likely just sells her good intentions to the rag merchants. We are drowning in cheap shit here. There’s a reason why Reduce is the first R.)

Iva Beck would like the Lakewood pool to be salt, instead of chlorine (she’s allergic.)

The Water Finance Research Foundation, with a truly awful letterhead, would like to submit a report about water main break rates in North America. If you’re interested, it starts on p. 399. It’s actually somewhat interesting?

Ken Ellis has a grievance about his Evergreen lot. He bought it, realized that it wasn’t a good fit, and then returned it to the store, he estimates, 6 months later. Unfortunately the store charged him a restocking fee, it appears, of some 13 grand and change. And then the store turned around and sold it for 17 grand more than he paid for it. (He states that this is “ludicrous” but if the City were indeed a private business, this would be termed “good business practice” and applauded by the shareholders.) He’s thinking about going to the local press (journalists take note). I am not quite sure of his next point but I believe his premise is that if the City sold the lots for a third of their market value, the bedroom communities wouldn’t be booming and the city would have all this glorious taxable new properties for themselves. Ourselves? Itself? Anyways he gets in a crack about how Saskatoon is just copying Calgary. Zing!

I am so glad that Ken Ellis and I agree on the importance of government-subsidized affordable housing. It is an affront that the government is asking us to pay market value for a public good.

(But seriously, I am somewhat interested to find out whether they ripped Mr Ellis off or if there is indeed a “restocking fee”.)

More Fairlight/Fairmont/Diefenbaker/22nd St traffic woes. There are a surprising amount of letters this month concerning this so I wonder what is going on down there.
The Andres would like to know if they can just add a teensy bit of lane on Circle Drive northbound between Taylor and 8th so they wouldn’t have to do the pesky merge-thing every time they want to go to the Centre mall. Related: did you know the parkade under the Circle Centre mall has 2 levels?? SORCERY. Well, not sorcery, just engineering. Now I need a reason to go to the Centre mall.

Joanne Schenn, bus pass #147526, chooses to ride the bus from Erindale downtown for work. (High five, Joanne.) However, her experience riding transit has become “impossible, unsafe and unpleasant”. She would like the University Only buses to scour the route first and strain out the students like so much plankton. This way she will have a place to sit or stand without being compressed or pushed over.

John Allen hopes that the newly-elected Council will not cater exclusively to the “ultra-rich”. He also calls out Mr Atchison’s comments on the 47% who did not vote for him and brings up the spectre of Mitt Romney’s similar remarks. Unfortunately for Mr Romney he made the key mistake of uttering this before the election instead of afterwards.

Adam Libke is frustrated with the pathetic level of service received in trying to pave 2 squares of sidewalk. Adam is in Ward 7; I suggest he get in touch with Councillor Loewen, if he hasn’t already done so. She can be surprisingly effective with cases like this, which is good, since it’s her job. Based on my impressive Google Map deducing skills, this is the offending sidewalk and offending alley.

Man, I sure hope they update those Google Maps images soon, otherwise I’m going to be making some unkind assumptions about the level of landscaping present in that fair suburb.

Trevor Larose has lived in both Edmonton and Cold Lake and says our current recycling situation is “well below either standard”. My sister lived in Cold Lake for a couple years and trust me, being below Cold Lake standards is not an accolade. He wants to know why we’re so far behind, but fortunately we have reams and reams of documentation, and past city council agendas, to prove it.

Here comes the snow-removal letters. I’m not going to summarize each one, I’ll just cherry-pick the best repartee.

Shauna Beattie, formerly of New Brunswick, is astonished we don’t plow the residential roads. She is also amazed that some people here clear their sidewalks with “LEAF BLOWERS”, instead of a shovel, implying laziness on their part. Especially when we get much less snow than NB. (Seriously though, guys. Leaf blowers?) Her letter is pretty great, actually, p. 434. This is what 6 million bucks gets you, Shauna. (Also, nice touch on the children part. That always plays well.)

Now we are being compared to Winnipeg. The indignities will never cease. Winnipeg salts their streets like McDonald’s does their fries – early and often. Saskatoon salts our streets like they’re heart-healthy.

Ramona wants to know why the graders will leave a spot for her neighbours’ driveways but don’t clear a concurrent space for her car. (She doesn’t have a driveway.) I guess 6 million bucks only gets you a certain level of consideration from the grader operator.

Time for the Edmonton comparison. They have 130 sanding trucks, 20-30 plows etc. Taxes in Edmonton are also lower, she adds, to pour (road) salt in the wound.

Brian would like to know in advance if his left-turn arrow suggestion for Diefenbaker and Fairlight is going to get shot down.

Phyllis Schmidt would like to have signs posted on the bus that no swearing and/or foul talk is permitted. Also, the bus driver was listening to the radio and it was on too loud and she had to hear an interview with “a witch” as well as some “heavy metal music”. Her third request is that the advertising on bus windows be moved up so that she can see out and know where she is. I agree, window perf is technically see-through, but only when the conditions outside are lighter than the environment inside. As for the witches, I can’t really help there. I’ve watched 5.5 seasons of Buffy but that’s it.
Alana Zimmerman moved to Evergreen and is dismayed to find out that there is no bus service there. Since she is a student, she is paying to take the bus which doesn’t exist (yet, we hope). I’d make a crack about subsidies cutting both ways here, but I remember being a student. I’d make another crack about Evergreenwashing but I’ve done that already in other venues. And I just did it here. Again. Moving on.

(Seriously though, your main selling point for Evergreen is that it’s a “sustainable development” and you can’t even get public transit out there? Oh great, now I’m the one yelling at the city administration.)

The fluoride/florine/floride/flouride brigade (platoon?) is out in fine feather this month.

Westcon is concerned about the 60th Street and Idylwyld. I agree, having the three way stop there is dumb and does not accommodate large trucks. He also says it’s a speed trap and that the speed limit should be higher on the service road.

The rest is just proclamations of assorted days, weeks, or months to celebrate/commemorate/bring awareness to assorted causes, diseases, and organizations. I must leave you here because Autism Services has written in, using their letterhead, featuring their giant logo in Comic Sans, and I am now blind.