Letters – April 2018


Re: Leasiders who chose to go home again

Hello, my name is Anne and I am a newbie on the Leaside strip and very comfortable and happy to be here.

It’s a friendly place: people smile, chat, then go about their business. One such chat in the checkout line in the Valu-mart led to much more. We exchanged pleasantries and her transaction completed, mine started. Unfortunately, when I reached for my card case, all I came up with was my hearing aid case, similar in size and colour, but lacking in cash or card.

The cashier and I agreed on storing my goods until I returned with payment. My chat companion opened her wallet to lend me the funds. I declined, saying I would just go home, get the card and return. We, she and I, put everything back into the cart. She insisted on driving me home, retrieving the card case, returning to the store, paying, and finally, driving me back home again.

She is Leaside. I keep looking for her, not for another ride, but another Thank You. While in the car, we exchanged names.

Then, finally, in the February issue of Leaside Life, Page 24, there you are, Kristie. Thank you.

Anne Branson

Re: Leaside Literati

I am a (renting) resident in Leaside. August 2018 will mark my fourth year in a neighbourhood that I love.

I have been travelling on foot more than usual since December, using transit, walking to Bayview and Laird to do my errands, and have noticed how trash is lying on the ground while people walk past. I was one of those people until recently.

I started collecting beer and other alcohol cans and bottles, as I knew that I could cash in on them, but I have since mustered up the courage to take an initiative at bus stops while I wait. When one talks of getting out of their comfort zone…this is a perfect example. I mean, who picks up garbage from the ground that they didn’t place there in the first place?

This attitude is what I’m aiming to change this coming April 22, Earth Day. I would like to build awareness that the trash is there, and that  it’s an eyesore. I’d also like the attitudes to shift from “I’m not cleaning up someone else’s mess” to “for the good of the environment, I’m going to pick up garbage, AND not contribute to any more.”

My challenge is the two bag challenge: individuals will fill two shopping bags with garbage on April 22. I call it Public Displays of Collection, and I will be (hopefully) drumming up the excitement using my Instagram account, and informing my followers of what I’m doing to get the ball rolling. I’ll be using hashtags such as #leaside, #trashcleanup, #earthday, #environment, #publicdisplaysofcollection, #2bagchallenge, #earthdayiseveryday, and whatever else is relevant.

I am writing to you because through Leaside Life, you too can reach so many people about this issue. Thanks for your attention and for reading.

Davida Vineberg, MAT Specialist

Re: Leaside’s growing volunteer problem

I am writing in regards to your excellent article in the February issue entitled “Leaside’s Growing volunteer problem: A dwindling number of stalwarts.” It is interesting to see that many of our neighbourhood churches are dealing with the same issue of aging volunteers, mostly women.

Perhaps though, where a door closes, a window opens and we find new, creative ways for our churches to raise the greatly needed funds for churches and the outreach programs they provide. For example, innovative ideas requiring fewer volunteers may be an opportunity to get the community more involved as St. Anselm’s is doing with opening up space to local artisans and vendors to sell their wares at their fall fair.

Thank you again for highlighting this issue as we think it matters. For now there is a shortage of volunteers as you correctly highlight with the good news being this is driving innovation within churches which should help in the near term. Looking a little further out, there are encouraging signs of growing interest in returning to places of worship as people gravitate to constructive values like kindness, tolerance and forgiveness and being social rather than just being on social media.

Muriel Wissell (Bennington Heights resident) Coordinator, Spring Fair, St. Cuthbert’s Church

PS: come to this year’s Spring Fair at St. Cuthbert’s on April 28 and other spring fairs in the neighbourhood. Let us all support each other.