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Book Sale, Water, and Team Names

Web posted on October 18, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

The Giant Book Sale is coming up this weekend. I decided to have a closer look at this years location on Huron Street. Wow, the place is huge, but parking will certainly be a challenge. I am estimating that there is less than half the number of parking spaces on site this year. The layout appears to be very awkward at best. The parking lot volunteers will have their work cut out for them, so please be nice. The streets are narrow and there will probably be a lot of congestion. Watch out for pedestrians. Drive safely and very slowly. If they could get a donation of transportation, (Red Car Service, are you reading this?) and space it would be nice to have a shuttle from the Italian Canadian Club parking lot. This would certainly be a thought for next year if they use the same venue.

I have been doing some downsizing over the past little while. It was only natural that I try to clean up my bookshelves. They had reached critical mass, and stuff had to go. I donated five loads of books, CDs, and videos. About half were new donations, and the rest were "rentals." Well, that's what I call the stuff I buy and return the next year. All that work, but I think I am the only one who would notice a change. There are a lot more books I plan to donate, but I want to read them one more time. This year my support is in donations rather than purchases. I will probably drop by and look around, but my buying will be very limited. I hope that they set another record for sales this year. Good Luck.

Breaking News! Call CNN! Two adult cyclists wearing proper headgear, and safety vests, obeying the rules of the road have been spotted in Guelph over the past ten days. They were spotted in different sections of town on roads with no bike lanes. I thought this sort of thing was urban legend. I really need to get a dash cam so that I can prove these things happen.

There has been a lot of discussion of late about how much water Nestle should be allowed to take, and how little they are paying. Just a few thoughts here. First of all, except for an emergency supply, I do not use bottled water. I refresh this supply about once a year. I have never understood the concept of buying bottled water for everyday use. I do not buy any carbonated beverages. My beverage of choice is home brewed iced tea, using my own secret recipe. I have re-useable containers for those occasions when needed.

I believe that there must be a minimum one dollar deposit on all plastic bottles and most plastic containers. The plastic and bottling industry should be responsible for setting this up as soon as possible. Why aren't governments doing anything serious about this? This should be an immediate priority. I would vote for any party (with one exception and you know who I mean) that has this idea as a part of their platform in the next election. The industry must be responsible for recycling these things and keeping them out of landfills. There was a report last Friday on CTV news indicating that only 14% of water bottles are recycled in Ontario. This needs to change.

It looks like the government is going to change some of the rules. As usual, not enough. Municipalities should be allowed to charge a one to three cent per litre royalty on water taken out of their jurisdiction. There should be strict limits on the amount of water taken during drought conditions.

With the Blue Jays playing the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series the subject of aboriginal team names has come up again. I have the greatest respect for our First Nations people and feel that they have not been treated fairly in way too many circumstances. Just to put things into perspective I grew up in and around London and got to know quite a few members of the Muncee-Delaware Nation. Their students were bussed to the high school I went to in London. Later on I got to know the director of the Ska-Nah-Doht Village located just southwest of London. I learned a lot about First Nations people and their culture from Max and considered him a friend. He also had a truly warped sense of humour even by my standards.

If we are to accept the logic of the people wishing to change the team names to something less offensive then there are a lot of other team names that will have to be changed. There are the Vikings, Celtics, Texans, Saints, Cowboys, Yankees, Spartans, Padres, Canadiens, and Canucks just to name a few. Why are these names not considered offensive? I don't see the residents of Montreal screaming to have the team name changed. These names honour great warriors or local heritage.

I realize that names like Indians, Redskins and Eskimos were picked in less politically correct times. However, we need to look at the spirit in which the names were given. The names were picked to honour, not disparage. What needs to change is the attitude by some home town fans towards the name. Stop using the stereotypes. Change to logo and the mascot to something more appropriate. The team names need to be respected in the spirit in which they were given. I could see a change in the Washington Redskins name to perhaps "Proud Warriors" in the language of one of the local First Nations with the appropriate ceremony. There is room for compromise. If any of the Aboriginal team names are changed away from honouring the spirit in which they were named, all similar team names must be changed as well. You can't have it both ways.

I find it curious that some people are making a big deal this year. I question their motives.

What is truly offensive and degrading is naming a silly urban vehicle after the Cherokee Nation. That I find downright disgusting. It is simply a marketing ploy. If anything is to be changed it must be this.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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