Archives for posts with tag: spray park madness

Due to forces beyond my control (the weather, and the presence of patios) I haven’t finished reading the agenda. Except for the letters, the only interesting part of which is the continued (albeit one-sided) correspondence between the anti-spraypark dermatologist and Tiffany Paulsen. He’s doing an impressive job of embodying the unrelenting assault on the senses that he claims the spraypark has.  At this rate she will have to file a human rights complaint that he is negatively affecting her quality of life. Oh and September (I think) is the National Realtors’ Safety Week, in which they raise awareness about safety issues for realtors. I am not quite sure what this entails, possibly things like “Do not turn on the light switch while standing in a pool of water” or “Gas stoves are not a toy” or “If your client shows up carrying a shovel, several large garbage bags, and a bucket of lime, you should probably not spend a lot of time showing them the basement”. I had not realized that it was so dangerous to be a realtor that we needed a national awareness week. At least if a realtor goes missing we won’t have to worry about not having a good picture of them to show on the evening news. Zing! And now I won’t be able to buy a house in this town, ever. Well, at least from the realtors that can read. Ok, I’ll stop with the realtor jokes now. Some of my best Twitter followers are realtors.

There’s also a Q1 update on the city’s progress on various Strategic Goals, which is always hilarious, some guff about the commuter bridge and that’s as far as I got. I will be watching the meeting tonight if my husband doesn’t up and leave me, and I’ve got a couple things up my sleeve.

Also stay tuned, I’ve got some exciting developments, me-wise, not city-wise. I know, change is bad, but you’re just going to have to lump it.

Here I am. I’m all hopped up on beer and discount Easter candy, so I’m  in a great mood to read the letters to council this week.

Alan Thomarat wishes to speak to council next week. (He’s the head of the home builder’s association in Saskatoon.) Since it is Alan Thomarat’s desire to completely blanket the greater Saskatoon area with bestuccoed pressed-cornflake castles, I imagine we all know what he is going to say.  Hello Mr Thomarat! I’m sure you’re doing exactly what you get paid to do and a good job of it as well.

Next, a letter with U of R letterhead. It’s from the Faculty of Social Work, Saskatoon campus. They would like to discuss the adoption of an anti-bullying bylaw. While I most emphatically agree that bullying is a terrible, tragic, and ultimately needless form of persecution that is perpetuated by members of society at all ages and stages of life, I wonder if the adoption of a bylaw would be merely symbolic. (As we all know, bylaws are nothing without enforcement in our current society, my lawn get off it etc. etc.) At any rate, as this is a mainly symbolic gesture I expect Council will fall all over themselves getting it passed.

Apparently the  town of Hanna has an anti-bullying bylaw. Ha, you were expecting me to make a Nickelback joke there, weren’t you? Snoopopaths. You can get fined $100 for being a bully in Hanna, and $250 if it’s not your first offence. No, I am not going to make a Nickelback joke. It’s too predictable, like toothpaste Oreos on April 1.

Jazzfest is June 21 to July 1st this summer. They’re applying for an extension under the noise bylaw. I will be making a very small part of that noise as I have two tickets to Metric this year! Eleven years I have been living in this city and this is the first time I’ve been to Jazzfest. Other things I have managed to avoid doing so far: eating at the Blue Diamond, hearing the Sheepdogs, having my bike stolen, and getting propositioned by a bunch of skeevy dudes in a van on Idylwyld. Oh wait, the last one actually happened. (It was a long night of dancing at the Branch and there were no cabs, a situation we are all familiar with. So we decided to walk home to College Drive at 2 am. In January. In bar clothes. We got to 24th and 2nd before the rest of our friends showed up, in a cab. As you can guess, I am very much for increasing the number of cab licenses.)

Montgomery is holding a “Celebrating our Veterans and Community Heritage” day in the park. They want to set off some fireworks after 10 pm.  I dunno, you guys. This seems risky. Are you sure?

HMCS Unicorn is notifying Council of the Battle of the Atlantic, scheduled to take place on May 5th, 2013. Wait, what? Oh, it’s the 70th anniversary. Fun fact: Saskatoon is special when it comes to the Navy – we have a boat named after us. (The reason why the naval outpost in Saskatoon is named HMCS Unicorn is that we have more chance of seeing that particular ungulate in Saskatoon rather than the eponymous boat.) The Wiki link about HMCS Saskatoon is brief but informative – the captain’s desk is named Cranberry Flats and Idylwyld Drive is one of the main corridors on the ship. I suppose we can all guess what is the maritime equivalent of Bare-Ass Beach. The top speed of HMCS Saskatoon is a vigorous 27.78 km/h, which makes it a good poster child for the 30 km/h safe neighbourhoods speed limit zone initiative. (I want 30 km/h zones in all neighbourhoods. I figure this should prevent me from ever running for council.)

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (Foot of the Broadway Bridge tm) wants an extension under the noise bylaw, but unlike those hoodlums and yahoos in Montgomery, they want to start before 11 am. If you live near Friendship Park, prepare to be converted by the power of their worship starting at 10:35 am on May 26th which is not May Long, thank…uh, thank Odin, I guess. Some things are still sacred.

Ashu M. G. Solo has filed a human rights complaint, officially, against the city. Oh goodie. I can hardly wait for more hateful, racist rhetoric directed against this individual. I don’t much care for his methods or hill he has chosen to die on, but certain people who declare themselves Christians are the ones who are letting down the side here. I think some people have made the mistake that since I have been known to exhibit snark, I am down with racism and bullying. Let me assure you that this is altogether not the case, and if I have given you any cause to presuppose this, please let me know what I have done or said that I may rectify it.

Tourism Saskatoon is submitting their audited financial statements, if you care. ( I know you do.) It’s on p. 430.

An individual, from, uh, TrojanOne, wants to have a ball-hockey tournament on May 25th. I am not making this up. TrojanOne is “a full-services marketing agency…[who] works with blue-chip clients to plan, develop, execute and evaluate integrated brand marketing solutions, comprising all aspects of sponsorship, event and promotional marketing, from strategic planning and program creation through to communications support and program evaluation.” I have just realized that I am in the entirely wrong field. OK. Let me just say this. You are a brand managing consultancy and you picked the one word that is irrevocably associated with a popular prophylactic. I just…I just…I just feel like there is some negative synergy here. Do you guys feel it? Okay, maybe it is just me.

Saskatchewan in motion (their italics, not mine) have submitted a letter urging Council and the administration to provide opportunities for kids to be physically active and to have safe routes to school and play. I think a lot of woes could be solved or avoided by having infrastructure in place so that children of school age can get to and from school by themselves. Yes, that’s right, I want children to die. (I’m just trying to build up a large stable of controversial statements that can be used against me should I ever fall ill and decide to run for office.)

p. 459 is the agenda for the AGM of the Mendel Art Gallery.

p. 463 is the beginning of a deluge of outraged Avenue I residents who are upset at Councillor Davies’ suggestion last meeting that Avenue I be attached to Circle Drive in order to facilitate Ward 4 traffic flow. I feel that Mr Davies is learning a hard lesson in brand management here. As someone who uses Avenue I occasionally as a bike route to get over to Confed, I concur with their observations that Avenue I is in need of some traffic management already. (Also I have a special fondness for that area since I like the idea of living on Avenue H for purely eponymous reasons.) I won’t go into each individual letter here, but it’s heartening to see a group of citizens who pay close attention to what comes out of councilpersons’ mouths during a publicly broadcast meeting.

Now we have some notices of hearing. Who is being naughty this month?

A developer in Evergreen wants to put up a buttress. Yes, you read that correctly. They want to attach a buttress to their building. Are buttresses a thing now? I feel like they should be a thing. Buttresses.

Yet another person is trying to make their entire backyard into a garage. This happens so frequently, it’s unfortunate. People: stop trying to make your backyards into garages. It’s not cool, and you’re wasting Shellie Bryant’s time. If you want your entire backyard to be a garage you can’t live in the suburbs. I’m afraid that’s how it works.

Good heavens. A billboard company wants to put up a digital billboard at 25th and Idylwyld. Fortunately the city has not allowed it since there is another billboard close by, but the company is appealing the ruling. In case you missed it, I absolutely loathe electronic billboards. I hate them so, so much. It fills me with joy when they malfunction. They are nasty, distracting, and unnecessary, and I boycott companies that advertise on them. How they are ever allowed, I am not sure. You cannot even see the traffic lights in front of them. Incidentally, if you feel as strongly as I do, send a letter to the Secretary, Development Appeals Board, City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7K OJ5 or email development.appeals.board@saskatoon.ca. For further information etc. call 975-2783.

Spring is in the air – Councillor Paulsen is receiving letters about the Crocus Park spray pad. This time, it is from Dr Peter Hull, a dermatologist and professor at the U of S. He works 12-hour days at the hospital and feels like the use of the spray park is violating his right to have a peaceful environment as well as the Noise Bylaw. He wants a wall around it and does not care if that causes a surge in crime as the rink behind the school is not visible from the road and there has not been a surge in crime there. You know, I have disagreed often with Myles Heidt in the past, but I am becoming rather fond of his phrase “if you want good bus service,  you should buy a house on a bus route.” Aside from recommending that you look up the location of said spray park, I am just going to leave it at that. Far be it from me to take on a dermatologist.

The next letter, from Avenue K N, contains this delightful sentence: “I find it offensive and discriminatory that your eBill system is not set up to deal with Macintosh computers.” This man, he does not mince words. He knows how to get results from a bureaucracy.

Ms Kempt is in favour of food trucks and further suggests that they be allowed in construction zones.

One of the owners of the Hollows, Christie Peters, has a refreshingly erudite submission vis à vis food trucks. She begins with how difficult it is to obtain restaurant premises in Saskatoon – a good point that has not been raised yet, as far as I am aware – and is in favour of reducing the buffer zone to 15 m. She would be happy to see food trucks in her neighbourhood, across the street even, as it would help bring more people in. Also she notes that there is no law barring current restaurant operators from investing in a truck or two either.  She finishes by saying that competition drives the market; currently quick lunch choices are mainly fast-food; and it would be a preferable alternative to drive-thrus. Man, if the Hollows started a food truck I would quit my job and follow that thing around the entire city all day. Not just because of the letter, their food is terrific and they have no worries about competition in their demographic. I’d have a hard time deciding between Bliss, the Hollows, and Prairie Harvest as my favourite fancier place to eat. And yeah, I’ve been to Truffles, Calories, and Weczeria. Let’s not turn this into a food debate, I’m so tired of winning.

The next letter is from someone with the address on the 2100 block of Easthill, which is not a typo as I’d initially thought. Upon perusal of a map, what is going on down in that corner of Eastview? Easthill is like six streets all joined up. Wait. Oh god. All of Eastview is like that. Most of Eastview was developed during the 1960s, under the influence of heavy LSD use I presume. Anyways, this resident with an unfortunate address is thankful for the efforts made by city workers and private contractors to keep the streets cleared this year. If you’d like to know this individual’s name so you can, er, manage his brand, it’s on page 487 of the agenda.

Dr Monte Pishny-Floyd lives on Albert Avenue and has a letter about snow removal.  Both he and his wife are past 70 and due to various health issues are unable to shovel snow or drag out their bins. Fortunately the city staff in that area are sensitive to their situation and have made allowances. Alas, the dastardly weekend snow-clearing crew did not, and managed to neatly impede both their vehicular progress and their garbage collection by means of a windrow of sludge. Dismayed, the professor (since retired) contacted the City and had an employee on his doorstep in a matter of hours, who promptly removed the snow. If you’re wondering why his name sounds familiar, Dr Pishny-Floyd is a composer and was a professor in the Department of Music at the University for many years.

On a different note, Glen from Regina drove up for a bonspiel and got a parking ticket, curling matches being incompatible with a 2-hour time frame. There is a parking lot within an easy ten-minute walk wherein one can park all day but I’m unsure as to whether Glen has any mobility issues so we’ll leave it at that. “Bonspiel” translates to “good story” and this is not true in this case. (Your translation may vary.)

Mr Rahman, P. Eng, is questioning the size restriction on secondary suites (700 sq ft.) and requesting that it be increased to at least 1000 due to the fact that you have to squeeze in a stair, laundry room, and mechanical room (or so he claims). OK, so I’m curious. I found the guidelines for upgrading a secondary suite and it says that the basement itself must have a gross floor area (including the basement) of at least 100 square metres (1076 sq ft.) in order to qualify.  The secondary suite itself must not exceed 65 sq m (700 sq ft rounding up.) I think as long as he can manage to fit the mechanical and laundry rooms outside the suite he should be ok. I mean, why would you want to have your furnace located in the suite, as you’d have to provide 24 hour notice in order to enter and maintain it (unless the resident of the suite is there to grant access at the time of entry)?

River’s Edge, they of the bouncy castles, would like to thank the City for letting them enter it. Having seen some of the pictures of Range Road 3045 in the weeks after this letter was written (March 6th) I wonder if at any point forthwith they regretted sending this.

Holiday Park Community Association (which has a logo that looks like that bit in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with the “square candies that look round”) would like to recycle styrofoam in the blue bins since they buy an awful lot of it. I agree, styrofoam is terrible, but if you soak it in gasoline and then set it on fire you can enrage all environmentalists within a five-mile radius. Do not do this or I will be forced to visit you in the small hours and put a bat up your night-dress.

Patricia has a nice letter about how she moved to Saskatoon one year ago, how much she likes it here, how she’s lived in many small northern communities across Canada, and how ineffective the snow removal and her councillor are. Patricia lives in Briarwood, on Braeburn Court, a small loop off Braeburn Crescent, which connects Braeburn Court and Braeburn Place to Braeside View. Braeside View loops around and joins Braemar Crescent and its children, Braemar Place, Braemar Court and Braemar Bay, to Briarwood Road. Pay attention though, because Braeshire Lane and its offshoot, Braeshire Rise, also exit onto Braeside View, as well as smaller appendices such as Braeside Place, Braeside View, Braeside Terrace, Braeside Bay and Braeside Court. (That is not a typo. Braeside View is a tiny crescent connecting to Braeside View. This will all be on the test.) The other end of Braeside View (the main street) connects to Briargate Road which connects to – but no, I shall spare you. The quality of mercy is not strain’d; it droppeth as the gentle snow from heaven.

You know, I’m really not sure I can ever top that previous paragraph. I’ve peaked, everyone. Go home.

Sue Letwin laments the lack of Citycards for the parking meters. She doesn’t go downtown anymore since they discontinued them. I admire a good boycott effort as much as the next person. (Aside: did you know there is someone on Kijiji buying up any old Citycards for $50 a pop, regardless of balance? My god, these things are like gold.) Anyway, time for my downtown parking diatribe. Cheap parking is not going to get more people to shop downtown, as those who are cost-conscious are just schlepping themselves to the suburban box stores anyways. Permit me to generalize. They are not interested in shopping at boutiques (except Lululemon). It is useless to offer reduced or free rates to lure these people as it will simply result in a race to the bottom (THIS ALSO APPLIES TO THE BUSINESS TAX DEBATE AHEM YOU ARE SUBSIDIZING MEDIOCRITY). Turnover is key and free parking is antithetical to good turnover rates. Even coffee shops expect you to buy something occasionally (and now I see more and more “reminders” to patrons about this.) The exception is Tim Horton’s, the big box of coffee shops, where you can fritter away your afternoon without any consequences.

Barbara from Botting Bay is wondering if there is a bylaw that requires all lots to be developed in an area within a certain period of time. (I’ll pause for you to collectively wipe off your screens.) Her house was built in 2009 and there is still an empty lot in the bay! Well, to be precise, it’s not empty. It’s full of weeds and dirt. And regret, presumably. Be kind to Barbara. She lives in Willowgrove and is not used to the harsh realities of city life.

Mr Potter is confused about the special garbage collection situation. I’m confused too, and I’m really sure the city is confused, if the amount of media releases in my inbox are any metric. Garbage! What is it, really? Whence doth it came? Wherefore might it leave?

Debbie on Avenue K has several vehicles on her street that have not moved in months and yet her brother’s truck, parked for a scant 48 hours outside her house, gets hauled away. I could respond sententiously with a “Life’s not fair”, but that’s not very nice to Debbie. Report those bastards, Debbie. The phone number for Parking Enforcement is 306-975-8344 and I can confirm that they are lovely people who like getting tips.

Gwen has cancer and can’t haul her bins to the back or the front and she doesn’t have any neighbours who will help. She’d like to be put on the list of people who are unable to manage for themselves but this list is full (really, City?) and she helpfully points out some of her other neighbours who are on the list and are able to shovel their property with no problems. Gwen lives at 2809 Arlington Ave, if anybody who is planning to challenge Mairin Loewen next election would like to get some brownie points.

Brendan is wondering if the police are aware that there are two “Bawdy” shops on 33rd as well as one on Idylwyld. Don’t worry, good sir, the police are zealously checking up on these places and issuing any unlicensed prostitutes fines. One wonders where the money to pay the fines comes from when they could just pay the license fee in the first place and not be hassled, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Steve O, from Wakabayashi Way (side note: a lot of home businesses are based on this street) wants a light at some point between 51st and 71st so he can get onto Millar. Probably not the worst idea, as the median speed down Millar is most definitely above the limit.

Craig Allan has three (3) grievances. People entering the intersection when the light is red (boo), people who are speeding (hiss) and the third one is snow removal (surprise!). He wants photo radar and residential snow clearing. AMEN. He does say people enter the intersection when the light is “partially or totally red” which is a rather interesting situation. These partially red lights must be located down in Eastview.

Lorene has been gaming Loraas Recycling by slightly overfilling her bin, but now that they’re contracted out for the city they’re refusing to put up with her schemes. She’s threatening to toss her recycling into the garbage. If only there were another place that you could drop off at least some of your recycling. Sadly this situation appears to be without any sort of solution.

Kurt wants to know what is up with the deforestation of the downtown. I would make a snarky remark here about trees generally not growing so hot in the winter but I have more class than that. He also notes that it appears that the City buys their roadway paint from Giant Tiger (my words). I think there was a shortage of paint last year or the year before, if I remember correctly, so a lot of lanes went unrefreshed while the City scrambled to find a new supplier.

Now we’re onto some proclamations. These are actually quite good, as they go.

The first is from enrique gaudite (the lack of caps means he’s a creative). He would like the City to declare May 25th as “World Interiors Day” as sanctioned by the idc (also no caps), the interior designers of canada (ditto). Sadly this letter is not set in Comic Sans, but in Helvetica, as proscribed by all serious creatives. He attaches a sweet-ass Proclamation from the Mayor of New York (now they know how to make a statement) declaring May 25th as “WORLD INTERIORS DAY”. The entire Proclamation is set in ALL CAPS because they are BOSS.

The Saskatoon Chimo Chordsmen – stay with me here – would like next week to be proclaimed Barbershop Harmony Week. We now pause while I read up on barbershop quartets since I don’t really know anything about them except that they wear bright colours and boater hats and there’s usually four people involved. OK. Weeeoooo. Like a lot of good music, barbershop quartets were appropriated from black culture and then incorporated into white culture via minstrel shows (aka blackface). I’m reasonably sure it’s no longer racist, but it definitely is wack. Ho ho, they even had the boaters to submit a blank Proclamation for the Mayor to fill out and sign. Too bad it says “March” so we can’t use it. Looks like their harmonies are the only thing they’ve got together. (If I go missing, question the quartets first.)

The next letter is from the Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, asking May to be declared Hearing Awareness Month. Serendipitously, this is to start after the Barbershop Harmony Week.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (for a second there I was in Latin mode and thought another hearing-related thing) would like May to be also declared International Internal Audit Awareness Month. I like auditors, especially auditors that report to the public. Bonnie Lysyk, Kevin Page, and Sheila Fraser, to name a few. You guys are terrific. We love you. No really, we do. Where are you going? Come back.

And that’s it! I’m off to supper at Prairie Harvest. Maple bacon doughnuts are no match for the rest of the agenda, even if there is a potentially Problematic Development in Stonebridge, among other things.

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.