Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘letters to the editor

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

leave a comment »

If you’re a summertime visitor to Southampton and you don’t know your way around town – all you have to do is look up – look waaaay up – and we’ll point you in the right direction.

There are big blue signs – WayFinding Signs – as the municipality calls them – strategically placed at the side of streets in town and roads leading in and out of town, showing you the way to all of our fabled attractions.

And while these WayFinding Signs are probably helpful to first-time tourists, some locals and summer people are not happy with the way they’ve suddenly popped up all over town. Words like ‘ugly,’ ‘unnecessary,’ ‘waste of our tax dollars,’ ‘can’t read and drive at the same time,’ have appeared in the Letters to the Editor column of our weekly newspaper.

Some folks who live here full or part-time are insulted at the insinuation that they might not where the town dump is. In fact one letter-writer was upset that council approved the idea while he was spending winter down south…the cheek of those public servants getting on with business and not waiting for his return. Truth is this WayFInding Sign concept has been on the books for a while. Public meetings have been held and Southampton media outlets have filed stories. You would have to be blind, deaf, illiterate or just not here to miss it.

Anyway, it is my observation that small town folks like to have their say at the strangest times. Reacting after the fact will never convince council to take the signs down. Money has been spent and that’s that.

So, if you’re up our way this summer you can still stop and ask someone how to find the beach.

Or you can just follow the signs.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

June 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM

WINTER BLAH’S AND OTHER STUFF

leave a comment »

“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer…”

Ah yes, Richard, Duke of Glouster pontificating on how good things are…or can be…or at least appear to be. And in our realm of reality, as we look forward to summer…what is it that we have to wax poetic about?

Folks up here have just about had it with winter. I’ve heard many long time residents complain that it has gone on long enough. Those that take a break down south and return are dismayed to see nothing has changed. Winter hasn’t gone anywhere.

It is cold now. Some grass is showing. Ice is back in the river. And even though spring is just around the corner, the word is – enough!

What else? Well! Tim Hortons (after much controversy) is here and thriving. Walmart (after much controversy) arrived this winter. Is it hurting local business? One look down Port Elgin’s main street will have you wondering where all the cars are…they’re in Walmart’s gigantic parking lot. Are main street merchants suffering? Some say yes. Some say I told you so.

Still, Council forges on allowing monster Drug Store chains (with much controversy) to keep building bigger. How many drug stores does a population of approximately 12,000 people really need?

The Port Elgin library opens its doors with bright, new bigger space…and debt. Fund raising is tough these days.

There’s one hell of a debate at Council, in the newspapers, on-line, in editorials, and letters to the editor about the need (or not) for a new swimming pool. Everyone has an opinion and an idea of what and where it should be. Everyone, though, takes pause with the nine million plus price tag. There’s an insightful letter to the editor about it at www.saugeentimes.com. Read it if you live in Saugeen Shores and be amazed at what is going on and what we seem to have gotten ourselves into.

There’s not much one can do about any of this…except tough it out. Things always look better in the warm sunshine.