Archives for category: Letters to Council

p. 483 is a list of requests to speak. These are, in order:
Bruce Frogley on rent subsidies;
Jack Grover on homelessness;
Kent-Smith-Windsor on the property tax.

p. 484 is a summary of letters. This month: waste water management, excess noise, a CFIB info bit on “Property Tax Fairness”, snow removal, the fire on Brightsand Crescent, recycling, infrastructure costs, barking dogs, parking tickets, fluoride, fluoride, multi-unit recycling, THE BUS INCIDENT YOU KNOW WHICH ONE, my friend Phil on cycling, and snow removal.

p. 487 is Mr Grover’s letter. Hang on, I need to update my list of “Top Ten Most Terrifying Letters”. I hope the Commissionaires are on their game tomorrow night. I was super into graphology stuff in high school and this sample here would put any graphologist to Defcon-5.

Kent-Smith-Windsor is, unsurprisingly, lobbying to lower business taxes in this city. p. 490 is the report, if you’re interested. It’s in Calibri, so we can safely ignore it. I don’t take anything that uses the default font seriously. It’s a snappy method of determining whether you should care about something or not. I strongly recommend it; it simplifies your life greatly.

Also there’s a chart on p. 494 that shows property taxes are at an all-time low, almost, in the last decade. (2009 was the lowest). I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this seems like an argument against your position? Perhaps? Taxes were higher during the early half of this decade, you know, when everyone started coming back to Saskatchewan. Also, we’re still struggling with the massive infrastructure deficit caused by chronic underfunding (that is still going on, mind you) of previous administrations.

I understand it’s Kent-Smith-Windsor’s job to lobby for lower taxes, but it’s a bit tone-deaf to do it after we’ve had weeks of people begging council to raise their taxes in order to pay for residential snow clearing. What was the additional cost? $7 per year on the average tax bill? Even the slash-and-burn ideologues, I suspect, are having a hard time defending that one.

Here’s a fun thing from the Atlantic Cities that posits economic incentives (such as tax breaks) actually do nothing.

I have a modest proposal. We all know Saskatchewan is full of hardy types, those who have weathered the, er, weather, and economic adversity, and years of discrimination for being Ukrainian in some cases, and mostly public healthcare. People who have built things on the lands that were questionably acquired from others. People who worked hard plowing until they realized summerfallow was a good thing in the 30’s. People who drink GW and wear green. People who put in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, and who shun taking charity when they don’t need it. In Saskatchewan, success is based on hard work and not government handouts. We sneer in the face of “tax breaks” or “credits”. Did people in the 1930’s go on strike? No! They just kept eating dirt and saying “Next year we’ll get those bastards!” Look at those snivelling filmmakers, scraping out of the province on their yellow bellies as soon as their crummy tax credit was rightly denied. And those farmers, painfully picketing the Legislature! Get back in the field! They don’t deserve any breaks. They should be lucky to have a job. So should you! Higher taxes only serves to temper our will to that of adamantine, to increase our determination to succeed against all odds. The rallying cry of the business community is “Raise my taxes? I’ll just make more money to spite you!” And the government responds with equal fervour: “Right then! We’ll just take all your money and put it into boring things like sewer pipes and roads. Not even a fucking statue in your name for all those millions of dollars we’re taking!” It’s war out there, I tell you. War! So my proposal is this: businesses voluntarily give up their tax incentives, since they don’t work anyways, and we put that money towards roadways. It’s a win-win situation. The business community gets some good PR at a low cost, and we can have an “attractive business environment” i.e. one with proper 20th-century roads.

p. 503 is a letter from a MP proposing a bill subsidizing waste water treatment for rural areas.

Kit Deux approves of the City’s recent overtures to noise control.

Now we have some notice of hearings. People are being naughty and building high fences.

p. 511. The CFIB is concerned that if the City raises taxes they will lose their prestigious position (second place) on the CFIB’s list of Top Entrepreneurial Cities. It’s rather tedious and includes the bit that businesses pay 1.78 times the amount residents pay for property tax, which is killing businesses. Don’t believe everything you read in the business mags, boys. The economy in Saskatoon stands upon the edge of a knife.

Here’s the report: “WANTED: Property Tax Fairness in Saskatchewan”. Seems legit. Business types (and all people, really) if you want your report to be taken seriously: 1. avoid moral judgements in the title 2. avoid using all-caps in the title. It’s not hard! Otherwise, you are needlessly antagonizing the people who have make the decisions about tax rates. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that people don’t like to be criticized. (Another thing I know is that some people really enjoy being needlessly antagonized.) Bottom line: don’t make your report sound like some aggrieved libertarian blog post.

Edward Kozowy is not impressed with the $94,000,000 snow dump. He offers his expertise in the area (unknown).

Wallace Frie is a brave man. He is criticizing the efforts of the Fire Department in putting out a house fire across the street. “I saw little effort to put out the fire on the roof of the second house for at lease 30 minutes.” He also wants to know why the hydrant in front of his property was eventually abandoned for one further down the street, especially since his says “Does not drain”. I am certain in the event of a conflagration at Mr Frie’s house, the firefighters will be sure to consult him first upon the appropriate course of action for quelling the flames.

We now pause while I read up on fire hydrants.

Well! That was interesting. So, fire hydrants in cold climates are designed with the valve well below the frost line, so the water doesn’t freeze and we end up with hydrants looking like beer you put out on the back step during a good party and then remembered three days later. (This is also why, if you attack a fire hydrant with a motor vehicle, there is usually not a resulting geyser of water.) These are called “dry hydrants” and they have a drain system so that water doesn’t remain in the hydrant where it will freeze once the fire department is done. However, not all the hydrants in the city are dry hydrants, so we have the “does not drain” circles to identify which ones need special attention after being opened in winter. Ta-da.

Sally Nowaselski is 93 and on a fixed income. She can’t afford the blue bins in front of her house and doesn’t want one. I’m impressed she’s still living in her house, really. Also some of her neighbours have “4 or 5 families” living in a 1 bedroom house” and they are not paying taxes but buying new cars instead. She also suggests that the correctional centre inhabitants be enlisted to shovel the sidewalks.

Brian Geller pins the blame of the infrastructure deficit on sprawl and urges the city to stop subsidizing far-flung crescents at the expense of the central grid.

Wendy Wehner would like to know if there is a way we can stop “the dogs” from barking. “To fill out a log for a week is bull.”

Andy (Yuhou) Hu is angry at the parking ticket his wife received at SIAST. Reading his letter, I’m inclined to agree that this parking situation is also “bull”. She plugged the meter but did not register her plate at the front office. This seems like an extraneous step to me, especially if, as Mr Hu outlines, there is a lack of signs explaining this is the case. Also, as SIAST is now home to most of the EAL learners, signs in additional languages would be an asset. Don’t laugh, you guys, due to the stupid way our city is set up, it mandates car ownership. The resulting scenario is you have people driving cars who are still learning to read English. (Or in some cases, who’ve never learned to read English at all. The literacy level in this burgeoning metropolis is not as high as you’d think.)

Two fluoride letters, covering the same ground as before;

Marjory Gammel is displeased with the two-tier level of service regarding recycling. (Namely, multi-unit buildings have to sort their recycling and can’t recycle as many different things as houses.) She supports Cosmo but says the system makes no sense; why can’t Loraas just do it and then send it over to Cosmo after it’s been sorted?

Arthur Cordell has input on that stupid bus incident. You know which one. Everyone in this situation is frustrated, but everyone is also acting like an inconsiderate asshole. And don’t get me started on the “team pedestrian”, “team bus driver” foolishness. If you haven’t let your precious ass touch a bus seat in a decade, stay out of it.

Phil Siebert, my new friend, is asking about the awful state of affairs of the Meewasin bike trail behind Walmart-Cabela’s. Ohhhh you guys. I have been stewing over this all summer and have managed to forget about it until now. Perhaps I may create a titanic post based around this over the Christmas break, complete with hand-drawn illustrations and rage arrows. I am not quite sure why I am so upset about this, except for the fact I go through there every day in the fair seasons. (I have a series of email exchanges with a City traffic engineer on this point. Are any of you traffic engineers? I have some questions for you and they’re not very nice.)  That crosswalk behind Cabela’s as a viable solution is bullshit. Bullshit! Oh I am so mad again. And the worst part is this is such a puny little infrastructure problem, like focusing on that sliver in your nail when your leg is rotting off. But you can get that sliver out! You can’t do too much about the leg without outside help.

Shirley Bird has a blockage on her sidewalk caused by the city graders. So she is parking in her neighbour’s spot. (She lives at 103 108th St, to inform those of you next door.) Herein lies the dilemma: if you live on a snow route or bus route, your road gets cleared and your driveway blocked. If you live off the routes, your driveway gets cleared (by yourself) and the road gets blocked. Everyone: so miserable! Even I am miserable this year, and I quite like snow.

And that’s it! I’m done. I’ve been getting later and later on these. I’d apologize, except for I’m not getting paid to do this and I’m not quite sure why I’m doing this anymore anyways. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, both of you.

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Normally I type everything out in a separate text-editing program, saving regularly, and then just copy and paste it in here. Well, I had to get fancy this evening and glomp, WordPress swallowed all the new edits I made so now I have to go back and redo them again.

And now it’s eaten the previous post. MADDENING.

Oh, wait, it’s retained the goddamn tags. What is this I don’t even.

Ohh my god you guys, I made so many edits in the browser window, I don’t know if I can face doing it again. Well, this one will be much shorter and more punchy, let me assure you. I felt like I have spent all day typing.

Well, this exercise in procrastination (caring about city council) has now resulted in me procrastinating from my procrastination and actually getting the things done I was avoiding in the first place. Alas, the casualty is you, dear reader (there’s only one of you, I think). I’m sure you’ve resorted to the methadone of reading the letters yourself, but as you pull at your rapidly-thinning (or non-existent) hair, nothing funny comes to mind. Fear not! For I have read them. I’m not funny though. For that you’ll have to go elsewhere. (I’m not sure where). Much like the abject authors of these missives, I fire this off tentatively into cyberspace, hoping someone reads them. Failing that, I just hope that when I read this again in six months I’ll still think it’s funny.

So.

Speakers for tomorrow evening: Alan Thomarat, of the Saskatoon Home Builders Association. I have absolutely NO IDEA of what Mr Thomarat will raise. (Aside from “the bar” of course. Zing! Oh, zing.) Also, Adam Pollock, he of the VISUALS from last time. He’s had two weeks to generate more 3-D renderings of his possible bridge solutions. Adam Pollock: the one-man solution to Fixing The Cattle Bridge. Yes, we are calling it that now. Well, I am.

Highlights of the letter summaries:
“Commenting on deer in developing neighbourhoods”
“Commenting on snow accumulation and civic matters”
And, of course, a fair bit about councillor’s salaries.

First off, is one from Councillor Fred Baran, of the RM of Dundurn. He’s outlining the current state of affairs that Blackstrap Park finds itself in. Namely, they are being given the run-around by the province. Do not hold your breath waiting for it to re-open. Mr Baran recognizes the irony in this situation, which bodes well for his mental health.

Drew Preston would like the council to consider other alternatives than tax hikes for funding road repairs. Tossed under the bus in this letter: people who live outside Saskatoon, and people who rent. Mr Preston’s solution is a gas and/or city sales tax.  People benefiting from this solution: businesses located outside Saskatoon, and people who don’t drive. Also, people who rent, since according to Mr Preston, we don’t pay taxes. If the property taxes don’t go up, we’re not affected. (This makes sense; just give your brain a bit to process.)

Dan Norton, an ex-landscaper, has some thoughts on the construction (or lack thereof) of the Circle Drive south bridge. He is also a fan of parking and drinking coffee from Tim Horton’s while observing said construction (or lack thereof).

Next is an invoice from FCM. If you care, the city’s membership in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities costs $41,225. This is 4.123% of the proposed cost of the new website. (The new website, for my calculating purposes, will cost one meeeellion dollars. Whatever, I can’t be arsed to scroll back through the agenda here.)

Frank Regier has problems with buses, dump trucks, garbage trucks, emergency vehicles, semis, and cars racing in his area. This sounds suspiciously familiar to the mechanics of a particular racing game (available on the Playstation 2). Naturally, Mr Regier is not best pleased with living in the real-life version of Need For Speed and pleads with the administration to reconsider tax hikes, mandatory recycling, and car allowances (!) as well as urging Council to consider the plight of the economy (it’s fragile) and the homeless (without homes).

Raissa Graumans wants food trucks and pours salt on this wound by pointing out Regina has food trucks and we do not. How much longer will we suffer this indignity? (A while).

Connie Berko is not overjoyed about Pat Lorje’s news release. Specifically, she objects to the part where Lorje refers to $52,000 salary per year as a poverty wage. (Disclaimer, I haven’t read Lorje’s release.) She ends the letter with “DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT YOUR PAY IS A POVERTY LEVEL INCOME!” which I think technically requires a question mark but I’m not about to wade into that here.  Unfortunately this is a point where I (caution, thinking ahead) think they’re both right, and both wrong. 52K is fairly respectable if, like me, you are a child-free working person in a dual-income household. 52K, incidentally, is also the baseline for housing assistance if you have dependents. So, yes and no. Anyways, the thing to remember here is that there is always someone who makes less than you and that there is always someone else willing to remind you of it.

Byron Shaw agrees with M(r)s Berko above and further states that “this whole city is becoming overun [sic] with greed”. He ends it with a parting fusillade at the mayor, suggesting that His Worship take a pay cut since all he does is “running around to various ceremonys [sic], and golfing.” To make his point clear he says, “It sounds to me like its [sic] the councillors that get the work done anyway.”

In case you weren’t getting tired of the salary review comments, here is a letter from Susan Mak. She takes a different tack, raising the spectre of Greece, Spain, the USA, and our current federal government.

Terry Yaskowich thinks tolls are a good idea. (If you’re wondering what I think, I was initially in favour of tolls, because I like sticking it to people, but after further reading and consideration, I am not. Tolls are a roundabout and inefficient way of making people pay for their infrastructure maintenance required to fix the deleterious effects of rubber on asphalt, whereas removing subsidies for oil and gas/raising taxes on fuel attacks the problem at its source. Sorry, John Gormley, our alliance was but brief and tenuous.) Anyways Mr Yaskowich suggests the Coquihalla as a model – they tolled the ever-loving Odin out of it and then removed the toll once everything was paid for.

Clayton Leach watches the news. He saw the bit on the possibility of tolls. As a commercial driver, he drives to make money, and there is “no way” he’d use the bridge that you have to pay for. He puts on up to 200 km in the city in a day, if you were wondering, and crosses the river several times. If you see a flaw in his reasoning, please send your answer and a self-addressed stamped envelope to 102-104th St., Saskatoon.

Blair Wooff would like the Caswell Hill area to be considered for a parking-permit program. People are parking there and walking to downtown, which absolutely shocks me as I didn’t realize there are people who walk this far in Saskatoon. Also, the new cop shop is going in, and that will put constraints on parking. He’s unhappy at being told first one thing and then another. If the City goes forward with his proposal, I suggest that it be called the “Blair Wooff Project” or I shall be sorely disappointed. (Normally I don’t make fun of people for their names but how do you resist that.) (Quite easily, my husband informs me.)

Notices of hearings for refusal to issue development permits type things. These are all standard issue, aside from one bold auto body shop owner whose proposal has a setback deficiency of, er, 94.45%. Encroach big or croach home, as the saying goes.

A solitary anti-fluoride letter.

Shannan McKay is disgusted with the pathetic level of service in the north end (Lawson, not industrial). Her beef is with the 70/80, unsurprisingly; I take this bus often but on the Sutherland leg. Let’s just say I am shocked when it shows up at the appointed time, and I’m getting on it just outside the PAC on campus. At any rate, Shannan used to encourage people to take transit but is now seriously reconsidering this plan of action.

Tammy Hrycan has lived in Montgomery for 24 years. She is concerned about a herd of deer that live on a piece of land that is now being developed. She would like more signs for the deer, or attempts made to relocate the deer. If you think I’m about to castigate M(r)s Hrycan for her soft-hearted concerns, you would be wrong. Despite being personally responsible for the deaths of 2 deer via 1998 Suburban, I agree with her that the deer were here first and deserve consideration. Unless they are eating my dad’s hay bales, in which case, bust out the .303 and the cats are eating meat tonight. (In case you were wondering, the cats did not eat venison very often despite my father’s threats. They mostly subsisted on porridge and expired Boost shakes.)

Juan Serrano would like the City to advise him of the proper steps to take in order to remove the mandatory recycling program. There is a large number of people he has spoken to that do not like this program.

No, I did not make that last letter up.

In a remarkable fit of coincidence, Jean Hein also has beef with the 70/80. She adheres to her schedule and wants to know why this route is particularly unable to do so.

Renita Lefebvre is concerned about nobody removing the snow at the bus stop at 1000 Central Ave. The gist of it is, she uses a walker and gets stuck frequently. There’s also a bit in there about train tracks, so I am not sure if she is referring also to my own personal Issue about the railway crossing at Central between 112th and Gray. (It is about 2 feet wide, icy, with traffic whipping past at 50+ km/hr. Seriously, if a truck came along at the right time with those extendable mirrors, I would not be typing this.)

Grace Kuhn (why does this name sound familiar) also has issues with bus stops and the removal of snow thereabouts. Also: taxes, councillors’ salaries, the skating rinks formerly known as roads, and children’s welfare on said roadways.

Trevor Daviduke would like the city to update its website more often. Well, Trevor, you are in luck. The bad news is, your taxes are most probably going to go up as a result.

Paul C. Hamilton (Hey, one of my old profs!) is also concerned about the timeliness of news (or lack thereof) on the city website. Since the city couldn’t be arsed to update the website stating there was a water main break in their area, he, and dozens of his neighbours, tied up the phone lines calling the City to find out. He points out, rightly, that if the City just bloody updated the bloody website with actual useful bloody information it would free up the phone lines for people who don’t use the internet and everyone wins. (Um, I may have added some strong language for emphasis here.)

Anda Ciurezu wants to know if it’s legal to keep foxes as pets. Domestic foxes, not wild ones. If she can’t get the native varieties of foxes as pets, she’s hedged her bets here by asking if non-native (i.e. fennecs) can be kept. Anda Ciurezu really likes foxes.

Danielle White is asking the City to consider a senior’s leisure pass. Sure, why the hell not. Wait, we don’t have a senior’s leisure pass? I suppose they do get a lot of exercise just trying to get on the bus, if previous letters are any indication, but that’s a bit extreme.

Casey Cherry has a comment about the shortage of indoor ice surfaces available for rent in the city. I’d make a joke about the roads here but I’ve had a long day. His son’s team practices at 7 am on Tuesdays. Ooof.

The next letter is flipped 90 degrees. At the risk of incurring a headache, I will read it. OK. It’s about the train in the Kinsmen Park. Something about moving it to Wakaw. John Diefenbaker is mentioned. Wakaw is the obvious choice since it’s in the middle of the area circumscribed by Saskatoon, Melfort, Prince Albert, and Humboldt. That was a lot harder to read than I’d anticipated.

Some letters from CUPE notifying that the Union wishes to continue negotiations for revisions to the Collective Bargaining Agreements. There’s also a letter from the ATU Local 615 about negotiations as their collective agreement expires in December of this year.

And that’s it, huzzah. Now I am going to bed. If you’re wondering, I will most likely be watching the council meeting at home, since my chairs are significantly more comfortable and I don’t have to look the Mayor in the eye.

Speakers:

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.

Next up is the report of the naming committee. Cosford, Isbister are added to the list. Dalmeny Road will be renamed “Neault Road” within city limits; 63rd street is now 64th which I am sure will not be confusing to anyone at all, and Rosewood zzzz. There is a nice little background on the respective names (p. 174). Neault is obviously named after Captain Thomas “Buttermilk Teeth” Neault, the doughty seaman who first sighted the verdant shores of Saskatoon after a long and dangerous crossing of the North East Passage. Upon arriving at what is now the Power Station, Neault proceeded to starve to death due to his refusal to eat anything other than fresh Yorkshire puddings topped with yak cheese.

Tim Halstead is appointed to the Saskatoon Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Always Towing got the towing contract (at $350,000 per year, taxes included.) They weren’t the lowest bid, but the City felt they were best equipped to handle City needs. Remember this, it will be important later. Other competitors were Affordable Towing, Astro Towing, Auto Rescue Towing, Brad’s Towing and Dispatch & Tracking Solutions. Anyways, the Executive Committee made this decision (all the councillors and the mayor.) This will also be on the test.

Saskatoon Safe Streets Commission wants some more money. $5k to be specific.

OK, on to the requests to speak to council.

Cathy Watts from Saskatoon Cycles wants to remind the City Mothers and Fathers that we’re here, we’re tired of being hit by cars and we don’t want any more bears. (Just kidding bears, you are cool.) Full disclosure: I know Cathy, she is persistent and a great advocate for cycling. Also persistent.

Daeran Gall wishes to address Council about fluoride.

Doug Murray would like to talk about civic issues. This could be anything, but most likely I bet it will involve at least one of the following: roads, taxes, policing/safety, and why you can’t get a decent milkshake in this city anymore. Seriously, if I want chunks of ice cream, I’ll buy a tub of ice cream. We need to bring back an old-time soda fountain. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Soda jerks: the new barista? (Related: my youngest sister was pronouncing it “bar-tista”. I corrected her, but then I wondered juuuust how long she had been saying it that way, as she is now going into her third year of university. She has some mean friends, is all I can say. Wow, I’m not sure what happened to this paragraph, but I enjoyed writing it.

Ron Pearson from Astro Towing wants to talk about the RFP for towing services. FORESHADOWING ANVIL.

(I wonder if the recommendation following the speakers listed ever reads “RECOMMENDATION: that X not be heard”. I suppose that doesn’t happen, I mean we had to listen to that guy talking about timed orgasms two meetings ago. No, I am not going to let that drop.)

Aww yiss. “Items which require the direction of City Council” aka LETTERS. I know you are all just Ctrl-F’ing “letters” anyways, you sick freaks, relishing in the mental distress of other citizens. I will admit though, this is better than watching Hoarders. I can’t watch that show, I just feel disgusted at the exploitation of people with an obvious need for mental health assistance (in addition to, you know, the cleansing power of fire.) Speaking of assistance, there are five letters addressing the fluoridation issue. I will give you a hint, none of them are from dentists or public health professionals.

The one letter is summarized neatly as “Commenting on street closures for special events.” Initially I thought this was about Park(ing) Day, but as you’ll see, I was delightfully wrong.

There’s actually an OK spectrum of letters here, considering it’s only been two weeks since the last meeting. I must say, I do enjoy the summaries of the letters, especially the crank ones. What was that quote? “A good British insult is when the insultee doesn’t even realize that they’ve been insulted”, which is a terrific way to go about it, I think. Or, I don’t know, the frazzled employee is just copying and pasting from a list of stock subjects. “Commenting on roads” “Commenting on snow removal” “Commenting on the god damn bridge lights again” I should write a letter in, just so they have to summarize it as “Commenting on comments submitted by other commenters”, meta like a forklift.

OK, first letter is from Daeran Gall, he who wishes to speak to council about fluoride. Here is the Wikipedia article on fluoride, which I am inclined to take at face value. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoride The letter (and no doubt his speech) touch on all aspects of opposition to fluoridated water outlined in the Wikipedia article.

Anyways, I swallowed my toothpaste for sixteen years and I turned out perfectly salad cardboard yak-breath.

OK, now he is quoting some seriously fallacious things. “There is no difference in the cavity rate among the upper and middle class children studied.” Yes, that is because upper-and middle-class children are more likely to brush their teeth and have parents with lovely full dental coverage (something the province of Saskatchewan does not cover with your health card unless your parents fall under a certain income level.) Upper and middle class people generally enjoy a better standard of living, including health, than the lower orders. For some odd reason.

The next letter is from Mr Douglas Murray. His handwriting, as I have noted elsewhere, bears an uncanny resemblance to the Zodiac Killer’s. He would like to speak to Council and congratulate them on saving money and well-wish the ones who are leaving. He also likes the idea that the national anthem is played at the council meeting. You know, they never did find out who the Zodiac was.

Rob Pearson is the President and Solicitor for Astro Towing (1988) Ltd. Their bid was lower than the one accepted by Council, and he wants to know why. Or at least to defer the decision until next meeting. Towing: the next recycling debate?

Next letter. In case you didn’t know, Saskatoon has an Age-friendly Initiative. I hope this means better sidewalk maintenance, more curb cuts, and slower speed limits on residential streets, along with improved transit. The cynical side of me suspects that it just means bigger street signs.

October 7th to 13th is Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is “Have 2 Ways Out”. The fire halls would like to block off Diefenbaker Drive between 22nd and Laurier, on October 9th.

Ralph and Nancy Sheldrick, from Winchester, Ontario, were in no way paid to say that they had a lovely time in our wonderful city with all the welcoming residents. They received no compensation for stating that the residents and business owners here have an “obvious sense of pride in their city and province”. Ralph and Nancy would also like to say, unbidden, that they were struck by the beauty of Saskatoon and its “picturesque” bridges with “breathtaking views”. They noted, with unforced joy, that there was no refuse or clutter throughout the downtown or in construction sites; that the University is still white after all these years; and that Wanuskewin was “surprisingly spiritual”. The Sheldricks are recommending Saskatoon as a destination to all their friends, and have also enclosed an invoice for services rendered.

(Incidentally there is no Street View of their address, which looks to be like a rather small grain farm near Winchester. The town itself isn’t half bad – lots of wide sidewalks and some rather interesting parking choices. I didn’t know you could just drive up on the verge like that. Oh nevermind, I thought that was a bike lane but they’ve just paved over the grass between the sidewalk and the road so people can just park up wherever they like. Evidently some people are extending the privilege to non-paved areas of town.)

More fluoride letters. At least this guy can spell “fluoride”.

The next letter is from Yvonne Trainer. I am just going to repost it here in its entirety, as I doubt I can do it justice.

I am writing to you about the persistent problems on Broadway Ave. Today, Sept. 8, I drove across the bridge to Broadway planning to have a quiet breakfast and go to some yard sales, do shopping etc. Instead, I had to detour about ten times, because the entire Broadway area was closed off so that a bunch of people dressed in lime green could jump up and down. I finally parked the car, because it was early morning, the sun was directly in my eyes and it was as though everyone had lost their senses. People on broadway were caught up in the mood and I suspect half drunk in many cases. I got out of my car and this group of people surrounded me, wearing these green suits. They raned in agefrom about 30-60. The one guy kept leaping up and down in front of me. I told him I didn’t appreciate his behavior, and he just kept leaing in front of me. I turned ot walk away, tripped over crap boards etc. they had pt on the sidewalk, hurt both knees, my shoulder, and hand. I have no idea how I’m going to walk to work at SIAST on Tues. as I have to walk blocks and blocks–bad enough on damaged knees at the best of times and worse now, because people on Broadway were acting “stupid” and rude. I asked one what was going on there, and why they were blocking the roads. She said if you don’t like it move. i have lived in Alberta, Manitoba and now here. I am sick of being told to move by people who are behaving like three year olds. I have a right to live in any city in this country, under the universal charter of human rights, and I should have a right to safety on the streets etc. I was here for 13 months before finding a short-term contrat that is actually out of another city. I have never met so many rude people in my life. If Saskaoon is going to have these constant street parties, then why are the police not controlling them, and why is the city not making sure that the sidewalks are properly kept clear of crap that people can all over. It will likely be weeks before the pain goes out of my hand, arm, and knees. it’s time people faced reality in this city, and started acting like adults rather than three year old children. Please post police on Broadway to put a stop to harrassment by the very people running these events, and please put some safety codes for the sidewalks there in place.

I’m not going to say anything here, as Yvonne has bad knees. It’s no fun to have bad knees, especially when drunken be-limed people are leaping at you. Her commute is indeed blocks and blocks, all 1.2 km of it. The MUP they’re putting in along that corridor will no doubt help her. And, if I may be so forward, bikes are very low-impact and suitable for those with reduced knee mobility – in fact, it’s the main form of rehabilitation for knee injuries.

Hey, an aside here. Did you know that walking from anywhere in City Park (even right up to 33rd) down to Broadway is under 30 minutes? And that’s according to Google Maps, which overestimates the time needed. Sub 30 min! My god, even I thought it would be 30 at least to just get downtown. Years of misinformation from my concern troll friends (“That’s like an hour to get to the mall! Here we’ll just drive WHY IS THERE NO PARKING”) All the more justification to buy a Rolser grocery carrier . Don’t tell my husband how much they cost. It’s cheaper than knee replacements, is what I say.

Tiffany Paulsen has the patience of…well something that is very, very patient. Like a rock, or a Galapagos tortoise. Or  one of those giant lurking fungi that grow underground so you think it’s just a scattering of mushrooms here and there because you don’t realize it is an absolutely massive organism covering square kilometres and weighing hundreds of tons. (Incidentally did you know some of the oldest living animals are coral? Like 4,265 years old. SAVE THE REEFS.)

Anyways, the Crocus Park spray pad is ruining everyone’s summer there at 230 Emmeline Road, what with the shrieks of joyous watered children and the gentle drumming of gallons of fresh drinking water besmacking the concrete. Also, Diana is concerned that the exponential growth of the Rosewood neighbourhood (personally, I would have used “cancerous” but  it’s a minor point) that it will…well, actually she doesn’t say what will happen aside from more people being there, which I suppose means more noise. It would definitely lower the water-use ratio, however, which would effectively make it “greener”. She points out that the City is currently engaged in a round of building concrete walls for sound attenuation along freeways. I imagine you can guess what my suggestion would be in this case.

Anyways, Tiffany has forwarded this missive on to Council, as Diana is being rather a bit of a passive-aggressive (“I hope this will NOT reach your SPAM box”) and Council will debate the entirely unreasonable hours of operation for spray parks (Daily, from 10 AM to 8 PM.)

The next letter is from what must be the cutest old lady in Saskatoon, if you will permit me a (hopefully rare) moment of patronization. She would like more efforts put towards getting some proper curb cuts and sidewalks downtown so that she can get to the library safely. Since there are no proper curb cuts at the three intersections lying between her abode and the library, she must walk on the street with her book-laden walker, an entirely unsatisfactory and unsafe turn of events. Granted, she admits that she could take another, circuitous route past the liquor store but she is “loath to quit reading and take to the bottle.” She also praises the Access Transit system, which allowed her to spend every day with her husband during his final year. [kleenex break.] I would like her to speak at the council meeting!

People are racing ATVs and letting their dogs run riot off Claypool Drive. (Perhaps one will take care of the other, albeit in a rather messy way.)

There is no sidewalk on Avenue B between 19th and 20th. Len would like this remedied, especially in light of recent events where that unfortunate man was knocked off his scooter by a horrible person driving a car. (At least I think this is the same incident.) Seriously, if you believe in hell, I think that knocking a person with disabilities off their power chair is a surefire way to get a ticket there. I agree with Len, if we want to make Saskatoon friendly to all ages, we must update the sidewalks and trails. Otherwise your city is only accessible to the young and fit, and we really have evolved past Darwinian principles in city planning, or at least I fervently hope so.

William Young is disgusted with the entirely unnecessary redesign of his bus shelter on the corner of Kenderdine and 115th Street. Since this is on my weekly loop of Library-Bank-Grocery Store, I can vouch for the truthfulness of his observations. You can tell he is serious, because he states “I am a committed user of public transportation. I am not interested in purchasing a motor vehicle.” GO WILLIAM.

Darrick Gross is having problems with his garbage pick-up. It is not picked up on the days it is supposed to be. (He lives in Brevoort Park.) He has called the City to say that they haven’t taken away his garbage and they unjustifiably accuse him of overflowing his bin. He ends his letter with a parting shot at the condition of roads. I would suggest to Darrick that he perhaps check the serial number on his bin, to make sure he is not paying the price of his neighbour’s transgressions. (Also, perhaps, to keep an eye on his bin in case it is being tampered with before garbage truck arrives.) I can tell you that most of the actions of the City can be attributed to stupidity (or apathy) instead of malice. Pursuing individual vendettas against citizens takes effort, insert your city worker joke here. Then again, it might be because of his last name. “Our garbage didn’t get picked up, it’s Gross” can be interpreted any number of ways over the phone.

The next couple of letters concern fluoridation and all the possible ways you can spell it.

Theresa from Stonebridge would like some recycling bins in Stonebridge. Goodness knows that they have enough parking space they could put in several depots and nobody would notice, since they’re all busy picketing the Value Village.

Bruce is disgusted with the faltering, roundabout and frankly fossilized approach Council has taken towards curbside recycling.

Avalon is pissed with the Clarence and Wilson Crescent intersection. I think we can all agree that it is a right cock-up, giving people the potential (or excuse) to maim and kill each other on a daily basis. (This is the wonky four way stop as you head out of Stone-Age Values Village.) I think that this intersection is on the list for traffic lights? Yes it is, but it’s not happening soon enough according to our intrepid correspondent. I agree, this wanton slaughter of people by other people who happen to be driving cars must stop. Incidentally, dangerous driving can be written up as a summary or indictable offense, which, if you remember your Law 30, are two rather different levels of punishment. If you cause injury or kill someone, it’s an indictable offense. Of course, most defense lawyers will try to argue that down to Careless Driving, which is muuuuuch less severe (and why people who knock over grannies get away with it.) You shouldn’t be able to get away with “negligent driving”. You can kill someone! You should be bolt-upright holding the wheel, employing your best fighter-pilot calmness and focussing techniques. “I didn’t see them” will give any cyclist chills, as it is something we experience pretty much every day on these roads. OK, breathing from my diaphragm now. In-one-two-three-four, out-one-two-three-four. I’m going to my happy place, which is just a Google Image search for “interior Swedish cottage”.

The Saskatchewan Ostomy Association would like the Mayor to declare September 29th Ostomy Day. I could make a crude joke here about “Have 2 Ways Out” but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s not to make jokes about ostomates as they won’t put up with *your* shit. …OH HEY my husband would like to state here that I am an awful person and I’m rather inclined to agree. Anyways, ostomy procedures have come a long way, and I salute you, people who have one that I have no idea who have one since they’re hard to detect. I sincerely hope that you are managing well.

Shinearama is scheduled for September 20th. Huh. I thought it involved cars somehow, but nope, it’s just shining shoes. Do people still wear leather shoes in such quantities that this is a feasible fundraiser? Anyways, Cystic Fibrosis is no joke, a friend’s friend’s girlfriend has it and had three high-stress trips to Edmonton before she finally got a set of lungs. Even then she has to take serious immuno-suppressants for the rest of her cruelly shortened life (or mercifully extended, depending on how you look at it.) It’s massively unfair.

SHR would also like to remind everyone that October is “in motion” month. I hope it does not involve people in lime-green jumpsuits. Hey, you know what would help people keep in motion? Having sidewalks that go everywhere and accommodate people with disabilities! Also separated bike lanes, but I’ll let Cathy do the talking on that.

Final letter is from Heather at the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan (LDAS). Funny story, I was making some decals for them several years ago when my then-boyfriend walks up. “Haha, it says ‘L-SAD’!”, he says, pleased with his astute observation. Fortunately I had their phone number handy. Reader, I married him.

Alright, that is it. I must go press my lime-green jumpsuit, as tomorrow is Another Big Day.

Darryl on Spinks Drive is of the opinion that the city does not employ any traffic engineers, so he is helpfully offering solutions. Someone should also tell him the cost of installing traffic lights (I think it varies from 100-200k per intersection.)

Michael is in Grade 8 and has challenged himself to carpool, use public transit or cycle to school. Well done, Mike. He’s asking that if the pedestrian portion of the south bridge is done, could they open it to foot/bike traffic right away? It’s an hour and a half bus ride to his school, and the south bridge means he can bike it in 45 minutes or so (he estimates.) My husband would like to note that so far Michael has better spelling, grammar, and manners than most of the letters we’ve seen.

I notice that he hasn’t asked for improvements in bus service, but I’ll just share something I saw on another blog: we also need to consider the importance of suburb to suburb transit, not just suburb to downtown and vice versa. It should not take me 90 minutes to visit a friend in Briarwood when I live in Forest Grove.

Gavin Sheppard lives by Mayfair pool. He has tried to reserve a parking spot in front of his house with a chair but people are moving it. To stop people from taking his hard-earned spot on a public roadway, he wants the city to pave paradise and put up a parking lot. Or at least the (dying, needle-infested) trees next to the current lot.

Maryanne wants to know if anyone on City Council has ridden the bus lately. Confederation terminal is not big enough anymore to handle the sheer amount of buses so people are forced to jog across Diefenbaker. Another deplorable state of affairs.

Alan from Priel Place (hm, I seem to have overlooked this street while on my funny name quest) wants work crews to cover and/or remove signs when they are not working because he has a right to travel uninterrupted (he doesn’t.) He’s talking about the repair work to the pedestrian overpass on the north end of Circle headed east, just east of the Warman on-ramp. Anyways, I’ve read the news release and they said that they left the barriers up while the concrete cured. He threatened that it would be a major issue during the election. I’ll say. If that pedestrian overpass crumbles during rush hour, it will be a major issue.

September is Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month.

October 14th to 20th is Poverty Awareness Week. (Every week should be Poverty Awareness Week, but that’s just me.)

September 28-30th is Culture Days.

September 8th is International Literacy Day.

And that’s it! No death threats or chemtrail conspiracy theorists. Rather a tame bunch.

Since I am going to be spending the foreseeable future helping my sibling(s) move, starting bright and early Thursday night, I’ll have to limit the council analysis.

Section E is the start of where I’m going to start reading tonight, since I just want to get to the juicy part. (Page 196). I’m thinking this month’s crop is going to be about as juicy as my mom’s extremely well-done steak. We weren’t going to die of food poisoning under her watch, by golly.

Anyways, first item is from Carrie Catherine re. Parking Day. I’d just like to take the time to thank John Gormley for raising awareness about this event. It’s nice of him to take an interest, and as a result, many more people know about this than normally would. You see, with these events, it often turns out to be the same crowd shuffling along from one wine-and-cheese art opening to another interpretive drum circle, so it’s a welcome change to bring in a bit of colour.

Anyways, we all know what Parking Day is or isn’t now, or think we know, thanks to the media et al, so I’ll move on. Consult the appropriate media outlet in order to confirm your biases, if you have any questions.

Reading further…Ho ho, to boil the blood of the antiparkers, (Pro-parking?) the Park(ing) Day unwashed incense-eaters will not have to pay for hooding the meters. In addition to that, the loading zone outside the Broadway Theatre will also be turned into a Free Love area/patchouli orgy on Thursday night, before Park(ing) Day.

Anyways, the parking and curb lanes will be Off Limits between Ave B and D on 20th. Doubtless this loss of [squints at Google Maps] approximately 20 parking spots will throw off the balance of the universe, yea, shift Atlas from his very moorings, bring on Ragnarök and wake Cthulu and the Kraken etc. etc.  Traffic will be “squeezed” into a single lane, much like how Fenrir squeezes the tasty morsel that is Odin, or Jörmungandr’s scaly coils squeeze Midgard. (Incidentally, did you know that Loki is the father of Fenrir and Jörmungandr? Anyways you guys should really read up on Ragnarök, it is rather specific and also disgusting.)

So yes, Traffic marshals will be on hand to marshal traffic, and woe betide anyone who goes against the Hon. Brad Wall’s decree and gaily runs a marshal over. Everyone who owns a business or a Mac product on 20th Street is in favour of Park(ing) Day, so it should be a lovely event, enjoyed by all (except the traffic marshals.) Also there are “no environmental implications” to this event, so John Gormley can rest easy. They didn’t say anything about political implications but we wouldn’t want to run around stifling any sort of political displays, would we?

Oops, looks like I started reading this a little early. Next thing is a change order for ASL for their patching duties due to poor environmental conditions. Doubtless there are no environmental implications for this item as well.

OK, skipping over the change orders.

Now some sole-source agreements seeking to be legitimized. The City needs some half-ton trucks and they want to get them from one buyer. I can personally corroborate this, as my sister worked for the city in an outdoor fashion, and her coworkers’ truck caught on fire in a spectacular and alarming manner several weeks ago on a public and well-used roadway. The truck was going to be written off before said conflagration occurred but a mechanic managed to breathe new life into it. There are also no environmental implications for the purchasing of eight new vehicles and (one assumes) the disposal of eight used vehicles, at least one of which is deliciously flame-broiled. Naturally these vehicles will just decompose back into the earth, bringing forth new life in the form of Smart cars and those bobbly little Fiats.

Skipping, skipping. There are some great old photographs in the Heritage Policy and Program review, reproduced in full in this month’s agenda.

P. 360. Make a note of this, the city wants to petition the provincial gov’t to amend the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act “so as to exclude from the provisions of the Act all personal political or constituency records of an elected member of a local public body”. Apparently this is “similar” to what Alberta and Manitoba does. That noise you hear is duly diligent journalists thwacking their curiosity and conscience with a meat tenderizer. I would like it to be clarified what “political and constituency records” are, exactly. I mean, the FOIA ensures that we can check up on exactly what politicians are doing, yes? Nobody likes their work email to be, um, front page news on the local paper, but you’re a public official with a public job, representing the public and using public money. Also, the discerning politician will have a private email address.

OK, letters. here we are. P. 371 if you’re following along.

First one is from the esteemed Randy Pshebylo, director of the fashionably pinko Riversdale Business Improvement District.

Next letter is from a concerned Hamptonian. (Hamptonite? Hamptoner?) It opens with an ultimatum, or an expression of defeat, depending on context. Anyways, they are upset that the City has not planned development in such a way that entire neighbourhoods are built and finished before anyone is allowed to move in. The writer also sprinkles question marks and exclamation points liberally throughout the missive. Anyways they are seeking damages in the form of $42,500 to cover the last five months of discomfort experienced by this individual in their domicile, who, unfortunately, must remain at home all day and suffer “unsupportable” noise from the construction across the street. I can empathize, as the beeping backup noise would be an effective method of extracting confessions from incarcerated persons. I highly doubt they will get the remuneration they are seeking, though. At least they have recused the City from sending a letter in apology, although I recommend that the Clerk consider it. Then the author will have a much-needed break while recovering from cardiac surgery and/or a major psychological meltdown.

The next one opens with “Honourable Mothers and Fathers of the City”, actually it doesn’t, but I just wanted to use that phrase. Moving on. Petition for the removal of a section of Jörmungandr, er, the traffic diverter, on Ave C. I must say, Avenue C is much more pleasant to bike down with that segmented off. Regardless, the letter writer would like to be notified of meetings dealing with this issue, so doubtless she has been informed. If not, someone please call Helen Rempel, of 1622 Avenue D North. Wait, she doesn’t live on Ave. C? Does anyone who signed this petition live on Avenue C? …OK, there are two self-hating people. And one person who dots her i’s with hearts.

Anyways, the neighbouring street dwellers want to re-sacrifice Avenue C to the traffic gods in order to reduce flow on their roadways.  This issue is pitting the good citizens of Avenue C who, according to non-Avenue-C dwellers, are “friends” (their quotes) with Counsellor (sic) Darren Hill, against the equally good but horribly wronged denizens of Avenue D, F, et al. In order to be sure if the aforementioned Avenue C people are indeed “friends” with the Counsellor (sic), I propose we subpoena Mr. Hill’s correspondence. (Too soon?)

Also there are no sidewalks on 37th and 38th. This I can also relate to as there are no sidewalks in my area of town either. I should start a Sidewalk Awareness Committee. Related: I rather want to petition the City to do a traffic analysis on 39th, all the way from 1at Ave North to where it ends on the west side. There are a lot of people walking and biking along the edges of this heavily trafficked street, as it serves as a corridor to the commercial bits on Idylwyld and the surrounding industrial area. There are absolutely no sidewalks, and one of my acquaintances was harassed by a motorist for walking on the roadway. Where else was he supposed to go?

P. 386 is starting to get rather juicy. After levelling accusations at the “friends” of the Counsellor (sic), we get into some unsigned testimonials. Not to discount the anguish experienced by these good people (exceeded, perhaps, only by the embeepened Hamptonian above), but an unverified statement carries about the same weight as an online anonymous comment, something that I would do well to remember when I make the unfortunate mistake of reading the Star-Phoenix comment sections. It also carries the same weight as unsolicited advice, which is about 80% of what I write on here. I should also note that I just made up that statistic, as well.

Wowowow. These are starting to rival the Star-Phoenix online comments in vituperativeness and choler. Page 386 is where you want to go. I’d reproduce the entire thing here, but I am of delicate constitution and these poorly-worded tirades are raising my blood pressure.

I would like to point out here that I can get through the barrier on a bicycle but I pride myself on having somewhat above-average bike-handling skills. (My husband snorted when he read this.) Anyways, I do agree that it is difficult to navigate in a non-vehicular manner.

Next letter is from Gerry Ritz, of the thousand cold cuts’ fame, agreeing that honeybees are, indeed, important. I suppose this is not the place to bring up that bees are most likely dying from pesticide poisoning brought on by monoculture, Big Food, and multinational agricultural companies but there are no environmental implications listed.

Next item, the United Way would like a noise exemption. I hope this event is not going through Hampton Village…no, it is not. Anyways, if you are sleeping in the Vimy Memorial Band Shell, be prepared for a United Awakening at 8 am. There will “only” be 4-6 members of a marching band present, in order to keep the noise “to a minimum.”

And I’ve gotta end it here, this evening. Tomorrow promises to be a rather full day, what with moving my sister’s entire house during a 6 hour window after a full 8 hours of work. I should fine her $42,500 for pain and suffering. She’s a pharmacist, she can afford it.