Tag Archives: Sarnia

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

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.”

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.

Local Politician Literally Kicks Can Down Road

Sarnia Politician Literally Kicks Can Down Road - Sarnia Post

Sometimes leadership is about resolving to keep going, no matter what obstacles are in your path.

For several decades, Sarnia City Councillor Dave Boushy has been arriving at city hall every month to resume kicking a can down the road.

“Most people want to do their job and go home, but sometimes there’s something inconvenient in your way and you have to kick it out of the way until the next time it ends up in your path,” said Boushy. “You can rest easy knowing someone else will clean up the mess years later or take the blame, it won’t affect you.”

Boushy said that his sentiments are echoed by many longer-serving representatives at city and county council.

“Why should we have to deal with the situation? I don’t want to touch that can, leave it for staff or kids to pick up when they are older.”

Boushy also said that he has noticed a high number of cans rolling around in the last few years and doesn’t understand why.

“We have lots of staff, we pay them money, why are cans on the ground?”

Sarnia Candidate Was Worried Signs Weren’t Big Enough

Sarnia’s newest MP is grateful for the hard work her signs have done, even if she was skeptical.

“I missed a bunch of debates and I had nothing meaningful to say when I did make them. I didn’t know if enough people would see my name next to the Conservative logo and wish we went bigger but I’m just thrilled that it worked out for me,” Conservative candidate Marilyn Gladu said.

Before last night’s election results came in with 41% of the vote in favour of Gladu, Sarnia-Lambton’s next MP was worried that many voters had actually been paying attention to her campaign.

“I hoped people would just stand in awe of my massive signs… I know I said some stupid things and our National team was completely horrible to the public, but I was hoping the good people of Sarnia didn’t notice how abusive Harper’s government had really been,” said Gladu.  “Thank goodness for our electoral system, the other fifty-nine percent that voted against me won’t have anyone to represent their pesky ideas of equality and civil rights in Ottawa.”

 

Public Washrooms Still Too Convenient, Will Remain Closed

City of Sarnia and Point Edward staff have coordinated efforts to ensure that public washrooms  in local parks and public spaces will remain closed for several more weeks. A joint project was initiated last year to study park and washroom usage patterns, which officials say will help them in budgeting maintenance for the next couple of years.

While citizens continue to bolt from parking lot to parking lot, wiggling locked washroom door handles and blanketing public spaces with curse words, personal anxiety and urine driblets, staffers  are betting on their data.

“The last thing we want to do is open the restrooms for public use when people are actually using these public spaces,” explained Roger Locke of the Sarnia Parks and Recreation Department.

“We’re looking to open them all right at that sweet spot when people give up checking to see if they are open or not, which will hopefully be a couple days before we can close them for the cold months again.”

Sarnia Parents Furious Sex-Ed Curriculum Is Reasonable

Ontario Sex-Ed Curriculum

A local family is furious with the latest change in Ontario education. After waiting for this week’s announcement, Sarnia parents Richard & Margaret Sanderson are not pleased.

On Monday, the Ontario government released the long-awaited updates to the K-12 Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Included in the newly-updated sexual education curriculum are highly contentious topics like healthy relationships, how to say no to unwanted advances, the dangers of ‘sexting’, and learning about STIs and sexual health a whole whopping year or two before kids share school halls with 18 year old students.

Margaret said that her and her husband Richard had booked a day off from their respective jobs so that they could travel to a protest in Queen’s Park and are now angry and conflicted.

“We were told they were going to teach our kids all kinds of nasty sexual stuff starting in Kindergarten,” said Richard.

“These Liberals think they can just do whatever they want and waited until we had made plans to release a curriculum that is totally reasonable and will probably help young people avoid getting hurt or worse.”

Margaret is concerned that the government has unfairly consumed her time and attention.

“I’ve signed petitions and sent dozens of emails to my family, friends and church and now what am I supposed to do? Tell them I was wrong? I’m appalled and angry.”

Richard and Margaret believe they may now attend the protest as a means of sharing their frustration with the tame nature of the curriculum.

 

City Council Explores Use Of Typewriters

Typewriter - Sarnia Post

Sarnia city councillors may soon find themselves sifting through a stack of neatly typed paper instead of unwrapping dozens of scrolls every month.

“With today’s post-industrial revolution realities, providing people-sized piles of of hand-inked parchment for every agenda and budget may not be the most effective way to share information in a timely, convenient and inexpensive manner,” wrote City Coun. Brian White in a notice of motion presented at a council meeting this past Monday.

White proposed that city staff investigate and compare the costs of using parchment and hand-mixed inks to the use of typewriters and paper. Staff are also tasked with determining if there are alternatives to training carrier pigeons and carrying chests of parchment by hand to councillor homes.

Some councillors are less than happy about the idea.

“I tried to use one of them typewriters last year, but it was new to me and I didn’t like it so I went back to telling our scribes to craft everything for me by hand” said city/county Coun. Dave Boushy.

“Typewriters might cost a lot of money, we should just tell staff to write faster,” he said.

City/county Coun. Andy Bruziewicz expressed concerns as well.

“If we go ahead with typewriters, maybe next month they will be telling us to replace our abacus with a calculator,” he said. “We should draw the line somewhere.”

 

Sarnia Council Seeks Answers From Egg Hunt

Sarnia Easter In The Park - Egg Hunt

Are the best laid plans sometimes actually “laid?”

This Saturday is Sarnia’s annual Easter In The Park, a family event scheduled every year for the holiday weekend. The popular “egg hunt” activity will bring about something new this year…

After a year of rising tensions and heated rhetoric surrounding a number of controversial local issues and unpopular decisions, city council decided they would stop making their own decisions and would instead place various proposals and solutions in plastic eggs that are to be hidden in the park. Whichever ideas are found and collected will be tallied and rolled into decisions made on several pressing and future issues.

“Why bother anymore?” asks Coun. Bev Macdougall.  “No matter what we decide, we get it wrong and it’s probably time we let some of our young people decide for us.”

“We still want to ultimately make all the decisions but I want to be in control,” Coun. Terry Burrell said. “I’ve personally made sure I like all the possible outcomes that have been hidden in the eggs and placed my favourite ones in plain sight.”

Bradley Davis, 6, says “It will be fun to find all the answers the old people are looking for.”

The egg hunt will begin around 10 am on Saturday in Canatara Park.