I am writing in response to the wonderful letter from Corinne Croxall about the disbanding of the Pine Ridge Chorus [‘Letters’, Oct. 15 edition].
“Friday Nights at the Foster” has become a community institution, and the Pine Ridge Chorus has been one of the regular mainstays of the programs presented at the Foster each week. Their delightful four part “barber shop” style of harmony makes their music relatable to the listeners. When Pine Ridge was performing, our audiences were always at capacity. After a Pine Ridge concert, we were sure that everyone would leave with a song in their hearts and lightness in their step.
Yes, members of Pine Ridge Chorus – thanks so much for the memories – our committee will indeed miss you!
Hilary A. Balmer, Vice-President, Foster Memorial Committee
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a citizens’ meeting on Planks Lane, organized by Donna Webster and attended by 25 residents. The meeting was held to discuss the sub-par rollout of the Planks Lane reconstruction project with its main proponent, Ward 3 councillor Bruce Garrod. This event followed months of emails exchanged with Mr. Garrod and the mayor about the adverse effects of the project on homes, trees, water quality, and the overall aesthetic of the neighbourhood.
The most salient concern was that lack of information provided to local residents. When asked for details, Mr. Garrod said that an event was held last October at the Seniors Center, where an ‘overwhelming majority’ of attendees favoured one of four proposals presented.
I spoke with some of the attendees, only to learn that the event was brief, sparsely attended, and that, while there were four different proposals, no vote was held, nor were there any substantive answers to questions.
When pressed on this fib, Mr. Garrod came clean and noted the project was not voted on, nor was there any intention to garner feedback from residents. In other words, it was only meant to be an information session with little in the way of information.
In his defense, Mr. Garrod argued that it is typical for municipalities to proceed with projects without any form of consultation or communication with residents – an extremely dubious claim. Even if this claim were true, why would Uxbridge set its standards at worst possible practice?
There is no reason why there could not have been more communication, information, and public input. This complete lack of communication was clear when residents were surprised to find that the durable concrete sidewalk in front of their homes was replaced by an unformed 6.5-foot wide encroaching asphalt pathway.
When residents voiced different concerns about their homes being damaged, their water coming out sludgy and black, and that fresh sod was being placed over gravel and chunks of asphalt, Mr. Garrod recommended that they take up their concerns with the construction foreman, since there was nothing that he could do about it. This type of answer might be expected from a politician in another branch of government that is further away and representing far more constituents, but it is quite alarming to hear it uttered by a municipal ward councillor. If representation is not possible at this level then where is it possible?
Chalk this up again to setting the bar extremely low and aiming for worst practice. The best outcome of the reconstruction project was the insight into how the Uxbridge municipal government works and how taxpayers are treated by local representatives. I suggest that after reconstructing Planks Lane, the focus should be on Town Hall next.
Jeremy Voisin, Uxbridge
In 85 per cent of birds, both parents feed their young. Think of the disaster to these young ones in their nest if a parent dies at the claws of your cat. Keep your cats indoors. Cats kill over 300 million birds a year in Canada alone.
Bob Kirvan, Uxbridge
Very interesting letters to the editor regarding my COVID/mask letter from a few weeks ago. My reason for writing was to get a dialogue going. I never told anyone what to do. Every person is responsible for their own well-being. Never did I say that COVID-19 is a lie. Neither did I call anyone wearing a mask dumb.
When it comes to my body and my health, never would I believe in totally one-sided research like we have with COVID-19. We are bombarded with one-sided information, simply to scare the living daylights out of everyone. People are not dying by COVID-19 but by anxiety, depression and suicide.
Why does our news never show the millions of people protesting around the world against masks, distancing and lock downs, even in Canada?
I’m not responsible for what you understand. Even the warnings to be careful of what I say will not stop me speaking out. In my eyes, the moment that you’re afraid of your own shadow, or to hug someone or show affection, you’ve basically lost the ability to call yourself human.
Heinz Nitschke, Uxbridge