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Bridge Closing and March Madness

Web posted on February 24, 2017

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

After 43 years the temporary bridge on Niska Road will be shut down indefinitely on the 28th by the city for safety reasons. Not bad for something that was supposed to be a temporary fix and considering the number of vehicles that use it every day. They certainly don't build them like they used to.

Unfortunately our elected representatives in their infinite wisdom voted to replace the bridge with a new two lane bridge (that may not last 43 years) and so called road "improvements" in spite of overwhelming opposition. Currently that decision is under environmental review by the province. This process might take a while to complete. We can only hope that they make a wise decision. Let's face it, the Niska/Downey Road area is becoming a disaster area thanks to poor planning in the first place. No matter what happens we might not see a new bridge built this year.

The closure will inconvenience thousands of people who are currently using Niska Road as a short cut to the Hanlon going east and Cambridge/Kitchener going west. This would not be happening if the Stone Road extension had been build when originally proposed. The environmental impact would have been nowhere near what will happen if they build the two lane bridge. The side effect would have been a much longer lifespan for the current bridge and a much quieter and safer neighbourhood for us humans and our four legged friends. Sooner or later that option might have to be considered is there is more development in the west end.

City Council should have listened, and voted to replace the bridge with a similar structure. That would have caused the least disruption, would probably be complete by now, and saved some money. Not that our elected officials have ever cared about saving money. Is it too late to reconsider the two lane bridge and do the right thing?

They don't listen to the concerns of the voters. The decision to allow an apartment building next to Central School is just another recent example. No matter what they say, once elected the tune changes. Please remember this when election time comes around next year. I will keep reminding you of these wonderful well thought out decisions and a few others as we get closer to next year's elections. Get rid of them all and drain the cess pool.

We need candidates who are there to do what's best for the city, and not for any political ideology or hidden agenda. For too long we have lived with a split council and look at consequences. Both sides have earned my contempt over the years with their actions and their votes on many issues. It is time to shake things up. New faces and ideas are desperately needed at 1 Carden Street. A bold new vision is needed, who is up to the task?

March will soon be upon us with all sorts of things happening. On the first we have Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent. It also marks the first day of Meteorological Spring. With the warm weather we have been having of late, it is tempting to think that spring might be here early. The sap is running and we should have some fresh maple syrup very soon.

On the 12th we do our involuntary time travel thing and set the clocks forward by one hour. The 13th is the first day of March Break for the kids. Of course these days' people want to get away as early as possible so the airports and roads will be busier than normal as early as the ninth. March Break weather has always been like Forest Gump's box of chocolate. There have been storms and bitterly cold weather, and on the other hand there were times when our weather was nicer than down south.

On the 15th we have the Ides of March. If you are planning to visit the Senate and your name is Julius, you just might want to consider wearing a Kevlar vest under your toga just in case. Better yet, just don't go. In the Roman calendar, Ides refers to the approximate middle of the month. For the months of March, May, July, and October it is the 15th. For all other months it is the 13th if you follow the Roman calendar.

Next we have St. Patrick's Day on the 17th. It is an official holiday only in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Caribbean island of Montserrat, and Newfoundland and Labrador where it is celebrated on the Monday closest to the 17th. This year it is celebrated on the 20th. Everywhere else it seems to celebrate the copious consumption of alcohol especially with the university crowd. Enjoy responsibly, I am sure that there will be all sorts of Ride checks out there.

On the 18th we have what I call the first official garage sale of the season. It is run by Chalmers Community Services and held at Harcourt United Church on Dean Ave. They will be excepting donations of quality household goods, books, videos, and collectibles on the 16th and 17th. Check out their ad in the Garage Sales section of Kijiji. This is one of my very few unsolicited endorsements for events around town. I have no involvement in the organizing of this event, other than being a customer for many years. This year I plan to help out with some donations. It also means that my annual garage sale rant will be coming soon.

On the 20th we have the first day of Astronomical Spring. Let's hope there aren't any nasty surprises out there, and we can get on with spring.

If you are a baseball fan, spring training is under way. Will there be joy for the Jays fans this season? Then there is a basketball tournament down south that some people seem to get all excited about. The Formula 1 season also begins at the end of the month.

Have fun with whatever activities you have planned.

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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