April 21, 2008

A Fine Whine

I'm in an ongoing discussion with my sons about the city we live in. Burlington is growing fiercely, which some find fabulous, and of course, some find a little unsettling. I can sound a hundred years old and go on about how there were orchards and farms where the malls are now, but change is inevitable.

Well, at least I recognize that it is. If the letters to the editor of our local missive, The Post, are any indication, nobody will be happy until we are permanently mired in 1950, and all that nasty change will just go away.

They've buggered up a deal to bring a McMaster campus here. Well, at least to the downtown core, which would have made parking a mess, but it still belonged there. Now, it'll be up on the service road, another building everyone flies by on the highway, never to be incorporated as a strength. As usual.

A proposed new arts centre is not only wanted, it's needed. But no, not to listen to the outpouring of grousing from people with nothing better to do than bitch. Why is it that this damned city can have a thousand arenas, but no decent place for the arts? What if my kid wants to play music instead of hockey? And, here's the question I really want to ask these whiners - how about future generations? Why is it that you're only able to consider your own self?

Burlington has had the lowest taxes in the region for years. Seriously. Check out Hamilton - brutal. Council has done a decent job, though thrusting a Wal-Mart in the core has me wanting to move out. Stupidest decision, ever. A university campus? Perfect. An arts centre? Thank you. Wal-Mart? You must be joking. Our hospital needs help (thanks to an endless chain of useless reps in Ottawa for that). They overhauled the main library so it now looks like an airplane hangar, but I just don't look at it except from the inside. Burlington is rich in parks, arenas, pools. My kids (and me before them) have attended the oldest schools in the city, and no air conditioning or astroturf is hardly the end of the world.

I can't afford most of the restaurants in the downtown I can walk to, but they're an integral part of this city just the same. I don't usually go to the Sound of Music Festival, or the Lobster thing, but I support those who do. It can't just be about stuff I want. Being part of a community means supporting those things that many will enjoy, whether I do or not.

We've just changed over to green bins and had a change in how our recycling works. Right on cue, the bitching started the first week out. "I had to wait 3 days for pick up...this is outrageous!" Are you kidding me? An entirely new plan, a few growing pains, but a terrific move forward for garbage collection. They're even taking big stuff now! I don't have to drive to the dump! And what do we get? The usual. I pay attention to the wording of the whiners. Rarely is there a constructive, helpful approach. Whine, complain, bitch.

Well, I get it. The most vocal among you don't want art *you* don't recognize, you don't want a school *you* will never attend, you don't want an arts centre if it's not something *you* will use. You don't want a change that will benefit the environment if it means *you* will be put out a little.

Put on your Think Ahead hat, and try to decide what causes are worth investing in. Well, look at that. All those things you don't want will have a positive impact on this community. Of course council has to be careful with our tax dollars - if they're not, hold them accountable. Vote. Pay attention. Still not buying it?

Well, I don't want your Wal-Mart.


Blogger DJW said...

First of all...
...YOU don't do lobster?

K, that aside, the Green Bin debacle is due in part to, (are you ready for this?)unanticipated high compliance in the first week.

Hamilton has been at it for a few years and still hovers around 50% compliance, Halton had 75% in its first week.

The Region did such a good job of promoting the plan that the contractor couldn't keep up.

As for Walmart, they are like a bad smell, you can't stop it from going where it wants.


April 21, 2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Oh, I love lobster. I just don't like eating it in big lines of people - ditto for the rib fest thing. Not my scene.

I figure the majority of Burlingtonians are more positive people - but like me, they're too busy to keep writing crap to the editor every 3 days.

April 21, 2008 4:59 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

How 'bout chili?

Al's 3 day chili has won trophies!


April 22, 2008 11:07 PM  

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