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.