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New School Mascot Is Literally A Salvaged Copper Pipe

Following the closure of SCI&TS, Sarnia’s new combined high school has chosen its mascot and colours.

The Urban Decay will represent Great Lakes Secondary School in various shades of brown, red and grey.

“Urban Decay affects all of us, its tendrils reaching into our lives little by little, revealing the inevitability of our own folly over our lives as high school students,” said May Branding, co-chair of the identity committee that developed the name and colours.

The mascot, named “Copper,” has special meaning to the students and community.

“We’re reminded that we need to find solace in each other until the end of our days, and the copper pipe mascot represents the value we can find in the ruins all around us, in each other… that it can feed us just long enough that we may become adults, university applicants and living echoes of an economy that ate itself alive long before our time. ”

 

 

Mayor Upset He Can’t ‘Angry’ Scrapbook On Weekends

Sarnia Post - Bradley Upset He Can't Access Angry Scrapbook

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley learned this past weekend that he was no longer permitted access to city hall during off-hours, preventing him from working on his latest scrapbooking project.

“I can be mad at whoever I want and talk to them however I want, It’s not fair of them to micromanage my behaviour like this,” said Bradley.

“When I’m done, if I want to paste pictures of staff next to famous despots and draw birds pooping on them, I could always do that too but that’s apparently a problem now.”

Bradley went on to explain how the city could have saved “a dollar fifty” if they just left his keycard alone.

“Do the taxpayers of Sarnia really want to foot the bill for this vendetta? Nobody can be held accountable if I can’t make people feel bad about themselves without the constraints of being held accountable myself, or workplace regulations.”

Pokémon Players Can’t Find Elusive Comms Strategy At City Hall

Pokémon Players Can't Find Elusive Communications Plan At City Hall - Sarnia

Pokémon Go was released to Canadians a few days ago, but Sarnia players have yet to locate a fabled communication strategy at City Hall.

“There are rumours that there’s supposed to be a plan around here for disseminating information between city departments and the public in a clear, complete and accessible manner,” said 18-year-old Kieran Clarke.

“…but all I kept finding were a lot of Pidgey and motions from council.”

Kieran’s 14-year-old sister, Sarah, says she’s confident they will find it eventually.

“I see rustling in the bushes on the app, and I see something on my tracking that must be a some kind of reasonable communication strategy… maybe we just need to use more lures or get more elected officials helping us.”

Kieran said “If all else fails, I guess we can keep catching council motions until we have enough to evolve them into a communication strategy in a few years – by then we’ll have enough experience to start taking things over for ourselves anyway.”

Man Insists On Using Sidewalk, Traffic Signals During Artwalk

Artwalk - Downtown Sarnia - Traffic Lights

Several downtown Sarnia streets have been partially blocked off since Friday night as Artwalk kicks off and the streets fill with vendors, performers and pedestrians, but one pedestrian still respects the rules.

Don Bowman was visiting from Petrolia and was sure to remain on sidewalks and obey all pedestrian rules as if there was no Artwalk at all.

“It’s crazy, nobody will move out of my way, the sidewalks are full of people just standing there,” said Don Bowman of Petrolia.

Sarnian Brad Thomas was watching a performance where he said he witnessed Mr. Bowman wait for a walk signal at the Davis & Christina St. traffic lights before crossing toward him on the sidewalk.

“I don’t know what his problem was, this old man just kind of stood there staring at me on the sidewalk, he could have just walked around the crowd through the street,” said Brad.

Before leaving, Mr. Bowman insisted that pedestrians need to respect what he called the “rules of society.”

“It’s this kind of thing that leads to pandemonium, someone’s going to get hurt! Maybe I’ve had enough so-called art for one day.”

Artwalk made its 14th annual return to Sarnia’s downtown, continuing through Saturday and Sunday

Couple Gives Up On Fresh Air Due To Full Parking At Bridge

Parking lot under Bluewater Bridge in Point Edward

After being stuck inside at work and home for several days, a local couple decided it was time for some fresh air. What they did not expect to find was a full parking lot under the Bluewater Bridge.

“It was pretty disappointing,” said Josie Brown.

“We really just wanted some sunshine but everyone in Sarnia had the same idea.”

Brett, Josie’s husband, said “It’s like everyone thinks the only place they can go enjoy the outdoors is at a paved parking lot near the river.”

“I don’t know when we’re going to have another chance to go outside like that, it’d be nice if someone left room for our truck once in awhile at our special spot near the river.”

Rather than wait for several other couples to leave, the couple immediately returned home and watched shows about nature on Netflix.

City Considering Facebook Users To Guard Canatara Park

Canatara Park - City of Sarnia

In the face of the rising costs of vandalism at Canatara and other parks maintained by the city, Sarnia Police and the parks department are looking to tap into Sarnia’s plentiful reservoir of important Facebook comments to resolve the issues easily and cheaply.

“We were looking for complicated solutions when the simplest ones were right in front of us,” said Deputy Police Chief Bob Farlow .

According to Farlow, the plan would assign several dozen individuals to a post somewhere in one of Sarnia’s parks on a daily basis, where they are instructed to solve all the vandalism problems in their area according to advice they’ve given in their own Facebook comments on the matter.

Farlow said “Everyone in Sarnia with a Facebook account knows exactly who is responsible for all the problems and how to fix it, and they’re so quick and reliable in letting us know. We’re just cutting out the middle man and letting them handle it.”

Dozens of Facebook comments have filled community pages since the city began talks to tackle the problem, individuals offering detailed advice on how to stop the vandalism.

“I’d just hang them upside down by their toes” – Robert Fraser.

“Where are their mothers?? I’d just drag their mothers down there and make them explain what they did!” – Elaine Foster

“I don’t understand why someone from the city can’t just go and sit near each building around the clock and catch them in the act and PANTS THEM!” – Jim Smith. 

“WHY!?!?! STOP! SARNIAS SO STUPID” – Jennifer McDonald

“This is what happens when you don’t teach kids cursive writing and tell them its ok to wear shorts in a learning environment” – Bill Vandermeer

“MAYBE IF YOU LEGALIZE, PEOPLE WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO DO AND PUT POLICE OUT OF BIZNESS” – Sean Laker.

Beth Gignac, Sarnia Parks and Recreation Director said “The citizens are an untapped resource of really smart ideas and skills that a well-funded, well-staffed municipality could never compete with and we should have thought to use them sooner.”

Jackson Pool Closing For Coin Hunt

Sarnia’s municipal council has approved a plan to close down the Jackson Memorial Pool this summer to hunt for loose change.

“Sometimes kids forget to take the coins out of their swim trunk pockets before jumping in,” said City Councillor Mike Kelch. “That change might have found it’s way into various cracks, drains and holes that can be more explored by city staff without water or children in the pool.”

The plan is considered a continuation of efforts that began last summer when staff were sent to Canatara Beach with pails, metal detectors and instructions to “fix” the parks and recreation budget. They found $2.35 and “some metal thing that looks like a whistle, but doesn’t make any sound when (they) blow on it.”

A Guide To Serving & Eating Food In Sarnia

In this guest feature, Ron Thomas shares his perspective with Sarnia Post readers who enjoy eating or dream of one day opening a restaurant of their own in Sarnia. Ron has years of experience cooking for himself and dining in the Lambton County area and recently decided to become a chef after a friend told him his burgers and fried eggs were “pretty good.”


 

How To Run A Restaurant in Sarnia

Flavour = Salt + Sugar

Don’t get complicated by balancing flavours or using spices people don’t already have at home. When people dine in Sarnia, don’t patronize them by allowing them to taste any of the hard ingredients you put into a dish either. Find ways of using sugar and salt to blast away those flavours and leave your guests feeling like they’ve successfully satisfied the call of their baser cravings. When in doubt, reach for a bottle that says “sauce” somewhere on the label, anything will do. They’ll always say your food was “good” when asked and thank you, and they will be back when their addiction to salt and sugar brings them back.

Get exotic!

Set aside two or more menu items and take them international! Pick cuisines you have no cultural attachment to and absolutely zero experience in preparing and theme your dish. Add an ingredient you’ve heard is associated with that cuisine, and when naming the dish, include a word you think you’ve heard before even if you aren’t sure of it’s meaning. Pay no attention to the people that say “there’s no cheddar cheese in Thai food,” “What the hell is a Sicilian breakfast burrito?”  or that there’s “no such thing as Mexican Tilapia, Tilapia is a garbage fish anyway!”

You may notice that only a small number of people order the dish at first, but remember that so long as it is there, your guests will have a tool to dishonestly lure their friends and family with the promise of something interesting at least once before they strike your establishment from their consciousness.

Ranch it up!

Make sure half of your dishes are covered in ranch dressing, preferably fresh from a bulk can or jar. If diners can distinguish a difference between the dishes in a blind tasting, it’s probably a sign that you are not using enough ranch dressing. Nobody in Sarnia really knows what ranch dressing is, but they might get scared if they taste other flavours unfamiliar to them. If you have trouble securing a regular supply of ranch, try complimenting each dish with soggy vegetables and a small cup of ranch dressing. Some may feel threatened and leave, but it may be enough to hold their interest until you can work out the kinks with your suppliers.

Fresh is just a buzzword. 

Nobody cares if your food is fresh and actually tastes like food. Sourcing food locally just leads to more expense and less time away from your work. Make sure all your food comes frozen or in cans from a corporate supplier who makes your life easier by bringing you items already familiar to your patrons from their experiences at every other restaurant in town.

You may win them over faster if you are able to co-ordinate your deliveries so that they can witness a GFS truck beside your establishment as they arrive. They will see the truck and smile comfortably, knowing the food will taste as much like real food as the last place they went to before they even walk into the place.

Potatoes are a vegetable.

Don’t ever expect your customers to enjoy a dish they can’t swap some kind of fried potatoes into. There will be people on a health kick who will want a salad with extra ranch dressing instead of fries with their ranch burger with extra ranch dressing, but if you don’t allow fries at all, you may begin to lose trust with everyone else.

A growing number of people are finding enjoyment and merit in forming their eating habits around a vegetarian diet. It is important that they too learn to understand that potatoes are a vegetable. You may sometimes be able to include a vegetarian option on your menu, like a pasta dish of some kind (just keep cheap vegetables in the freezer in case anyone orders it, that’s all they could ever want). Be careful though, feature these items too prominently or have too many of them and you risk being labelled “weird” or “alternative” or a “health food place” and next time your restaurant comes up in conversation as a lunch possibility, someone’s friend will say “No, I’m in the mood for real food” and they’ll go have ranch burgers somewhere else.

How To Eat in Sarnia

Learn the lingo. 

Make sure to say the food is “good”. Don’t confuse yourself by trying to explain what it is that you like about your dish or think too hard about the fact that you’re probably only responding to salt and sugar and don’t actually know what food tastes like.

Use words like “different” to politely describe food that you’re afraid of. It’s not your fault it isn’t white bread and overcooked meat, but they’re nice people.

Don’t worry about actually trying to taste it, just act as if the single mouthful you’ve had was enough to satisfy your appetite. You can also ask for a box so you can take it home and smother it in ranch dressing or pitch it out when they’re not near to see it.

If they’re nice, tip nice

When you’re out enjoying a meal with your own hard-earned dollars, you should expect all the best service and some. Whoever is serving you should be smiling at all times and speaking to you like you’re royalty. Whether or not they just worked a double shift, slept a total of 4 hours in 2 days, just had their car stolen while they were busing tables or buried a loved one, you have no way of knowing anything but what your needs are and how you should be treated.

If they stop smiling for a moment, make sure to lean over to your friends and family to talk about what a bitch or asshole you think they are. See how your friends respond and create a secret consensus to tip poorly before your server gets back to the table.

Keep this in mind when waiting for your food. If you remember that you’re hungry and forget that you waited too long to visit the restaurant, make sure to blame the amount of time it takes to safely prepare food on your server, especially if you saw them talk with another employee for a moment. They may not have anything to do with the preparation of your food, but why should they stop and chat when your stomach is growling? Make sure to make a mental note so that you can penalize them further.

Also, if they forget anything or your food isn’t salty/sweet enough, they are probably a horrible human being and deserve to be paid less.

Make sure to pretend that you have nothing to gain by keeping money for yourself rather than tipping. Surely the only thing you could be accused of is caring about others and the integrity of the establishment. Spend the savings on a burnt drive-through coffee on the way home or go out for a beer somewhere else. You deserve it!

Make the space your space. 

All restaurant dining rooms are just thrown together with no consideration for anything. Nobody planned or organized anything, and they want nothing more than for you to re-arrange everything so that you can have the seat you want when you want it.

Either ask a server if they mind if you drag tables around to form an inconvenient super table, or just do it without asking. It doesn’t make a difference if you’re going to demand it anyway. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you can guilt someone into doing it for you while you stand awkwardly watching them in your jacket and outerwear.

Don’t think for a moment there was any benefit to planning ahead, making a reservation or finding a location more suitable for the size of your party. You’ll just get angry and have to give your server a smaller tip.

Bonus: Be insufferable about how warm/cool you feel while your body adjusts from the outdoors being a slightly different temperature than the dining room.

Get the drinks right.

When ordering drinks, it is important to stress your emotional attachment to your preferred brand of carbonated garbage drink. When your server asks “We only have __(cola brand)__, is that OK?”, you need to pause long enough and make just the right sounds that your server knows that they will never be able to make you happy. This will help prepare them for the low tip they will likely receive. If you are ordering beer and the server offers you things you’ve “never heard of” in the two times a year you drink in public, make sure to ask them if they have “anything domestic”, regardless of where the brew is from.

Ranch it up!

When your dish arrives, don’t spend too much time trying to taste it. Whoever made your food, designed the menu and tested dishes out for 3 months before opening probably doesn’t know what they’re doing, and you can repair it all with just the right amount of whatever salt-sugar-creme combination comes out of your favourite squeeze bottle. Start flailing your arms around to attract one of the servers and ask for ranch dressing or ketchup. Make a mental note to tip them less for not having it on the table before you got there. You’ll want to be quietly disappointed when they bring you a small cup rather than entrust you with an entire bottle, so make sure to ask for more after dumping it all on your first three tastes.

Letters: About My Tax Dollars

Dominion of Canada Money - 1900 25 Cents

RE: Current Issues, Whatever They Are

About my tax dollars. My tax dollars are my tax dollars. Tax dollars? Tax dollars. I’m a tax payer. And I’ve had it up to here because of my tax dollars. Tax dollars. Tax dollars and tax dollars and tax payers are what you should be thinking about. Tax dollars are what I’m thinking about.

When you make a decision about tax dollars, do you think about tax dollars? The crooks who made a decision about something today probably didn’t because they don’t know what it’s like to think about tax dollars every day. Politicians are all the same. They make decisions and use tax dollars. Even if they’ve been collected from me, don’t belong to me anymore and I have no idea what is happening in this city or what it needs because I’d have to stop watching CSI and baseball to find out, I’m mad because tax dollars were spent. Sometimes I see a newspaper when I go get a coffee and they’re always talking about spending my tax dollars. TAX DOLLARS? Yes, tax dollars. Tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars. My tax dollars. Tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars.

Our tax dollars, my tax dollars. Tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars, tax dollars.
Tax dollars. Tax, dollars. My tax dollars. Mine. My tax dollars and your tax dollars, my tax dollars and your tax dollars, the more we tax dollars together, the more tax dollars we’ll be. Tax dollars, tax dollars. Tax dollars. Tax dollars. This little tax dollars went to the market but got stuck there because of tax dollars. These tax dollars are too cold. These tax dollars are too hot. My tax dollars are just right. All tax dollars and no tax dollars make Robert a poor boy. I didn’t work my whole life so that people could spend my tax dollars on things.

Tax dollars. Tax dollars.

Get a grip, and remember at election time. Tax dollars.

Robert McCleary, Sarnia

 

(image: Jbeaulieu/wikimediacommons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Man Finally Gets To Show Adults Cool Treehouse Plans

A new vision for Bayside Mall

After decades of yanking on pant legs and pleading with grownups to look at his drawing, a man finally has their attention.

Several downtown residents and business owners attended an information session Monday night where plans were unveiled by a developer who recently acquired the Bayside Centre and five surrounding properties.

“It’s really cool, I think they think it’s cool too, because climbing into a tree house and going inside where you putted all your stuff is cool,” said Gordon Laschinger of Wilsondale Assets Management.

The drawing took two entire recesses at school, explained Laschinger.

“Before nobody would look when I showed it to them, but now that we bought half of downtown with some of our own money, all the adults near by have to look at my picture of it and it’s really fun.”

Laschinger is confident in the plans, but remains open to feedback.

“Some of the big people didn’t like all my ideas but we made it better for them and they might like it now,” he said.