Page 9

OPINION

The voice of North Durham

Thursday, April 25, 2013 • 9

Reader in favour of pulling out the stops To the Editor, It’s roughly one year that the works department, by order of the Mayor and town councillors, removed some stop signs in town and built the first full size roundabout in Durham Region. That was a year ago and since that time I have not heard of any future work to add roundabouts or remove stop signs. Wouldn’t Uxbridge benefit from more roundabouts? Wouldn’t Uxbridge also benefit from more stop sign removals? I personally use the roundabout frequently, and every time I do, I ask myself why didn’t anyone think about this many years ago. When it comes to stop signs however, I do not understand why they are not removed much more frequently from the many small intersections where they are not necessary. I remember the story in our local papers, about a year ago, where-

police told the mayor and town councillors that stop signs do not save lives. They said at the town council meeting that stop signs should never be used for traffic calming and that stop signs do absolutely nothing but cause a lot of air pollution. When cars have to accelerate from a full stop fuel is wasted and the air is polluted. Police and the Department of Transportation stated that stop signs create pollution from brake dust that washes into our streams and lakes. I remember last year’s newspaper articles regarding stop signs and they read that in order to have a stop sign on an intersection, that intersection has to have at least 500 vehicle movements in one hour. Can anyone in town tell me where we have an intersection like that? Hopefully our town officials will get back to where they left off last

year and keep the process of removing unnecessary stop signs going. Uxbridge is lucky that we still have good air quality but our vehicle pollution still effects the entire global community. We simply owe it to our children that we leave them a green planet. Isn’t that worth removing some stop signs that we now know do nothing for traffic safety and only cause pollution? To the best of my knowledge, the roundabout gets nothing but praise. The few removed stop signs saved drivers money, and pollution was reduced. The traffic problems that had been predicted by the removal of stop signs never did occur. I am one of many who support our Mayor and town councillors and encourage them to continue the removal of unnecessary stop signs. Catherine Simpson Uxbridge

Church Chicks thank the community To the Editor, On behalf of the Church Chicks United I would like to thank everyone who participated in Port Perry’s fouth Annual Easter Bonnet Contest. A very special thanks goes out to ALL Scugog Elementary schools who participated in “Crazy Hat Day” on Thursday, March 28th. This event was held in conjunction with the Easter Bonnet Contest and spear-headed by Madame Amy Killeen of R.H. Cornish. Together the students of R.H. Cornish, S.A. Cawker, Prince Albert, Epsom, Greenbank, Good Shepherd & Immaculate Catholic Schools, Children’s House Montessori & Scugog Christian raised $1,403.77 for the Scugog Memorial Library Children’s & Teen area! This year at the Easter Bonnet Contest, we had a record 180 registered participants. During the Bonnet Contest an additional $973.81 was raised

for the library by way of public donation and hat sales- that’s a total of $2,377.58 going to the Scugog Memorial Library. Special thanks goes to Stephanie Tennant of Cakes By Stephanie who was our generous contest sponsor. Thank you judges Bobbie Drew, Jennifer Hardie & Tim Griffin. Many thanks as well to Ken Koury, Todd Soomre, Richie Tripp of Tripp Creative Photography, Nicole Koojge of the Cuddly Bunny, Eric Donnelly & Dr. Daryll Workman. Thank you Port Perry! Your creativity and excitement seems to grow every year and the Church Chicks are as proud as peacocks that the community has embraced this joyful Easter event for all ages. Pam (BoPeep) Hollett Easter Bonnet Contest Church Chicks United

Days gone by I have two friends who live on Ritson Rd. that I pass by most days making the south/north trek into Port Perry. Reliably, in good weather and poor, year round, they are always there waiting by the side of the road. I’ve often taken their photographs, for which they pose patiently. Not bad for being 100-plus years old. Last week, they were in the process of being forcibly evicted from their property by men in uniform. Yes, the old stone house and adjacent silo north of Taunton Rd. are going (possibly both gone, depending on when you read this). You may have seen them in your travels. Unless there is a large rock directly overhead of where you currently reside, this is all in preparation for the long-discussed extension of Hwy. 407, slowly creeping forward across Durham’s midsection. As a result, the rural landscape of my daily commute is now radically altered. Familiar features are gone - the trusty trees and woodlots, the once-functioning barns and fields, all of them another landmark informing me of the distance from work or home, depending on the hour. The silo and house were a fortunate discovery a few summers back, travelling from dropping off my wife

Staying in touch... JOHN O’TOOLE MPP

Gas pains continue at Queen’s Park Ontario’s Auditor General has confirmed what members of the official opposition have been saying all along. The auditor’s report tabled April 15 said Ontarians are on the hook for at least $275 million to cancel the Mississauga gas-powered generating station. That’s $85 million more than the amount originally cited by the government. Remember, there are two gas plants where the Liberal government had signed contracts. The government is cancelling these plants and moving them to Sarnia and Lennox. There’s still no final word on the cost of cancelling the Oakville gas plant. However, some predict the combined cost of cancelling the Oakville and Mississauga plants could hit $1 billion. Look for the Auditor General’s review of the Oakville plant later this year. In my view, the McGuinty-Wynne government failed to recognize the severity of their error in spending hundreds of millions of dollars for no reason other than saving the seats of five government MPPs in the last provincial election. It’s time for this government to be accountable, reveal the true costs of the gas plant fiasco, and tell us who was responsible. The costs will show up on our electricity bills and our tax bills. Update on Highway 407 East Extension Infrastructure Ontario is in the process of seeking potential builders to complete phase two of the Highway 407 East extension. This project includes building Highway 407 east from Harmony Rd. in Oshawa to Highway 35/115 in Clarington. A 10 kilometre north-south link connecting Highway 401 and Highway 407 east of Courtice is part of this initiative. Submissions will be evaluated in order to pre-qualify project teams. The latest plans from the Province indicate three stages of construction. The first phase (to Harmony Rd.) is already under way and scheduled for completion in 2015. The first portion of the second phase (Harmony Rd. to the east Durham connecting link) is to be completed in 2017. The final segment (to Highway 35/115) would be concluded in 2020. More information is available online at www.highway407east.com. I am currently working with a number of property owners who, in my view, are still not being treated fairly regarding the government’s acquisition of their land for the highway. I have no confidence in all the Hwy. 407 construction timelines being met, especially in view of the delays that have occurred in the past. If you have comments or concerns about the Hwy. 407 construction process, please feel free to contact me.

A Thousand Monkeys at GM for work and then-only child at daycare, both more or less situated along Ritson Rd., providing an almost-direct link to Port Perry (barring the slight jaunt west at Raglan to sneak around Purple Woods). That’s when I began to look forward to the morning drive, what with the scenery provided. Then repairs to the formerly nasty intersection at Winchester Rd., the site of several tragic accidents over the years, along with routine summer construction, diverted my commute back to Simcoe and alternately Thornton, also not a bad drive but out of the way. I returned this spring. The silo has since become a favourite photography subject of mine, joining a list of sites in that area - alongside stone houses and barn foundations - which exemplify the days gone long by of the city’s north end, before power lines and now, a highway, sprang up in fields that once grew crops or housed horses. I took what could be described as an obituary photo last week. The next day, the house still stood but the silo was reduced to rubble. I’m glad I stopped when I did. I realize I sound like a 407 hater. I’m really not. No, I don’t (or at least, extremely rarely) make use of it and anything that moves people and goods faster is

BLAKE WOLFE The Standard

@BlakeWolfeEdit

a fine thing indeed. It’s just the location that sucks and I’m already looking to the future. It’ll be a different world when work is completed on the first leg of the 407’s extension, temporarily terminating at Harmony Rd. in the next few years before reaching Hwy. 35/115 by 2020. A toll highway exiting at one of the Region’s main automotive arteries will undoubtedly create for some, well, interesting driving conditions, both here and further south. At least the highway isn’t stopping at Simcoe St. as was originally planned in the 407’s phased-in extension. I also now especially cherish the beauty of the inverted commute, passing fellow working men and women in the opposite direction, but at the designated speed limit as opposed to the crawl that sometimes happens south along the way. As evidenced by my morning/evening drive, the times are indeed already a changin’. I’ve got pictures to prove it.

The Standard Newspaper April 25th, 2013  

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The Standard Newspaper April 25th, 2013  

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