Letters! Let’s read them first. Life is short.

The Marr Residence is submitting its annual report. Why this is in the Letters section is unclear. The Marr Residence is involved in many worthy initiatives and has some excellent programming throughout the year but all you really need to know is 1. the basement is super haunted, as in they won’t let women go down there (or anyone, really) and 2. they have an unfortunate reliance upon a certain template for all their public announcements. Perhaps I should offer my services for free. On the other hand, they do have impressive visual continuity.

Three people wish to speak about the diverter. That is, if they can make it to City Hall before the meeting’s over. I’m not afraid to make fun of the Avenue C folks. I can see them coming. Then they have to turn and go up a block.

PotashCorp Fireworks Festival is asking for permission to hold itself during the summer.

We have another request from the Saskatchewan Marathon for permission etc.  “This year’s event is the 34th annual and will begin at 7:00AM on Sunday May 26th– starting and finishing in Diefenbaker Park.” I’m not sure why they need permission for such a short race, but whatever. (Yes I know what a marathon is. It’s like a century but involving more pain and less bikes.)

Brian Smiley from Red Bull (the drink) would like to have a free outdoor concert on Broadway in the summer featuring…the Sheepdogs. Because if there’s one thing in Saskatoon that we for sure have not heard enough of and about, it’s those guys.

The Kidney Foundation would like permission to host its run/walk thing on a Sunday in Kiwanis Park. This letter contains the phrase “the greater Saskatchewan kidney community” which I intend to use early and often. Since the greater Saskatchewan kidney community which is participating in this event are mostly people on dialysis, they are all tougher than me.

Something about Centennial auditorium’s AGM. In April.

Oh dear. C. S. Ekdahl – I am not sure I want to use his entire name as if he googles himself I don’t want to be put on his mailing list – C. S. Ekdahl has submitted a magnificent treatise. It is almost two single-spaced pages long and begins like this.

“Over four years ago, I began an epic campaign to change the world and to transform the way people viewed their place in it. This is the fourth time I have written to this Council; and I hope that you will continue to be a part of the change I speak of. I write again of the Honey Bee.”

If there ever was a letter crying out for a dramatic, Shakespearean reading, this is. it. I cannot even get my writing near the levels of prose here. At least not at this hour of the evening.

The City is paying $600 to be part of the NORTH CENTRAL
TRANSPORTATION PLANNING COMMITTEE, whatever that is. It’s based in Shellbrook and clearly violates the three-fonts-only rule on all of its submitted information. Their AGM is on April 11th at the Senior’s Hall (there’s only one) in Blaine Lake. “Supper will be served at 5:30 p.m.”. They really take the “senior” part seriously. I am sure all the city councillors are drawing straws to see who will stay back and hold the fort in Saskatoon that evening. (City Hall, like the U.S. government figures, can’t all be in the same place at once in case of a mass terrorist attack or sudden-onset diabetes.)

The next one is rather piquing. It’s a letter from Tourism Saskatoon – the Sports Tourism section – asking the city to ask the province to put in a provincial commission for “combative sports” since a bill is dangerously close to being passed (!!!) that will outlaw people fighting each other for fame and recognition and possibly money without the approval of a provincial body. Something to do with MMA. Since MMA/UFC whatever is something that I am supremely uninterested in you’ll have to ask Senator Bob Runciman just what shenanigans he is up to.

Look, I am at that stage in my life where my body is not healing as quickly as it used to and I’m getting aches and stuff when the weather changes or I’m tired. I used to wonder when I was younger why people got addicted to pain medication and now I realize how that happens all too easily. So, whenever I see people deliberately destroying themselves or other peoples’ bodies in the name of sport, I just get really sad. Sorry guys. I’m kind of a downer that way.

Community event in Holiday Park! June 22nd, 12-5 pm! On Avenue K South! If they get permission to close the street.

Earth Hour wants to have a street hockey tourney in front of the Main Library during Earth Hour. They also want to have acoustic music and hot chocolate, coffee and baking. I approve. Earth Hour is on March 23. Oh. Perhaps you should just have an actual hockey tourney instead on the street. I’m sure a main will break conveniently.

Ms Prostebby has written again to council. Her missive is impressive in its brevity, grammar, and level of tact. I shall reproduce it in full. “Please remove the diverter at 38th and ave C. It is a eye sore, dangerous. Takes more time to get to my bank on Ave C. I doubt the majority of residents in Mayfair want it there.”

Now that we know where Ms Prostebby keeps her money, let’s move on. Oakwood Nissan is being naughty and not putting enough setback on its addition.

Joan Wyant has sent a very lovely letter in that I shall also reproduce in full precisely because it is unusual and refreshing to have this sort of correspondence.

I meant to send this off last Friday but didn’t. I would like to send a big bouquet of thanks and appreciation to whoever decided to plow Waterbury Road between Thursday evening, February 22nd and Friday morning, February 23rd.    Not only did they do an exemplary job, but they also cleared the snow banks along the road as well as the sidewalks. It was such a wonderful sight when I left for work on Friday morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Too bad mother nature decided to nullify your good work!

I bet you a lot of money Joan Wyant is a librarian. Or the super nice teacher we all had at some point during junior high.

Carolyn Fraser writes in with the news that people are using their phones to take pictures in the change rooms at Lakewood civic centre. When I first saw the subject I thought “uh oh, someone saw me texting at Harry Bailey and now I’m a pedophile” but it appears I am in the clear. What would possess you to take pictures of anything in a change room? Do I need to start yelling at kids again?

An unfortunate visitor from Yorkton is trying to claim damages from the City for damage to their SUV from an urban pothole (It blew out their tire). I will tell you, after driving this car for 5 years I know exactly where the edge of the car is and exactly where the tires will go from all these years of pothole-dodging. You rubes from Yorkton don’t stand a chance.

Dean Cook doesn’t want to pay $5 to replace his broken transit fare card. Mysteriously, he doesn’t say how it was broken. The City has unfortunately worded their policy to account for lost cards but not broken ones. Personally I think the fee is bullshit, but I also understand not wanting to hand out cards like confetti. Also…how did he break his card?

A letter supporting library workers. In case you cared, I support them too. Union workers bolster the middle class, yo. If you’re going to argue with me here, just save your breath. I mean that in the nicest possible way. It’s not worth it.

There are grooves on Greaves Crescent and Mark Brolund is not amused. He ruptured his air-con line in his vehicle on them. Since the City doesn’t have enough money to clear residential roads properly, he is threatening to not pay his taxes since he doesn’t have the money to fix his car. One would thing that Mr Brolund could empathise with the City on the subject of budgeting and unexpected maintenance and/or weather events but it appears this is not the case. Also, with the way this winter is going, I suspect Mr Brolund will not need air-conditioning for a while.

Update: Greaves Crescent is in Willowgrove. I am increasingly suspicious that Willowgrove and other similar areas are getting preferential treatment when it comes to snow clearing and maintenance. Whenever I’m lost in Hellogrove (that’s “hell” as in fire, not “hello” as in ni hao) I notice that their ruts are suffering from razor burn. I’m now rather concerned for Mr Brolund’s finances, since he doesn’t have room in his budget for an emergency vehicle repair. Especially when you consider he’s bought a new, large house in a car-dependent suburb. He doesn’t even have a back lane where he could operate a snowmobile in case of extreme snowfall or vehicle malfunction. (Our neighbours in Sutherland are very prepared for this eventuality and take practice runs up and down the easement.)

The next letter is an exercise in how small Saskatchewan is, since I’m reasonably certain it’s written by someone from China who is now married to someone else I went to high-school with (and his parents know my parents and now live on the same street as my brother. I went to a very small, rural high school that is several hours from Saskatoon.)  The letter is in support of garage/attic/secondary suites. Another fun exercise in Saskatchewan smallness: Donna Birkmaier is my grandmother’s cousin. (I have never met her and I’m reasonably certain she is totally unaware of my existence.) I am sure I can connect any person in Saskatoon with any other person in Saskatoon with only one or two degrees of separation. I bet you could do all of Saskatchewan with like, four.

The next next letter can be summed up thusly: Bedford Road is a rutty hell and you should most definitely avoid it.

A resident of the 1700 block of 1st Avenue North is rather fed up with  a City-mandated involuntary commitment to reducing her water use and increasing her levels of physical activity. The city keeps shutting off her water with little notice and schlepping buckets from the trailer is undignified. I think the City only has two water trailers? Which is abysmal. If true. I could be totally making this up. Also, come on you guys. I think you can give her a little bit more notice than that. As soon as the main breaks, you tell people. Surely there’s some student you can send around with a flyer or something. The email also includes correspondence with a Public Works employee who indicates there is, in at least two of the cases, an hour between when the main broke and when they shut off the water. Are you still able to get water out of your tap after the main breaks? You can do a lot in an hour.

Arvid Luhning, who also sounds familiar, has had enough of being treated like a second-class citizen since he chose to live in a condo. Yes, this is about the multi-unit recycling. The faint rumbling you hear is the massive amount of shit (A) about to hit fan (B). Also I did not realize how much condo properties have to pay for services vs the equivalent area covered in single-family homes. Single-family homes are getting a sweet ride. But you knew that already.

The next letter is from Lloyd Ehrmantraut.

It’s an anti-food truck letter. A cursory Google reveals Ehrmantraut owns and/or operates the Grandma Lee’s, presumably downtown. I am not surprised that he is concerned about any competition raising its head due to the reviews, or lack thereof, of Grandma Lee’s on Urbanspoon. He proposes, instead, that the city create an “upscale outdoor dining experience”. (Burrrn, Taste of Saskatchewan). He is “not complaining” about other events that he “gives up sales for” like Taste of Saskatchewan, “charity BBQs” and pancake breakfasts. I can tell you this: if a food truck opens up that serves the same coffee and food that Grandma Lee’s does, you can rest assured that I will not frequent it.

And that’s it! The greater Saskatchewan kidney community, and I, wish you good day. It is 12:45 am. I fear that the coffee I had earlier was not as decaffeinated as I had hoped.