Hoarder needs help, not to be subjected to media circus
Over the last six months, culminating in a flurry of reports and articles recently, the ‘Beech Avenue hoarder’ has been made the subject of a number of stories which I do not feel serve either the public interest or, most especially, the ‘hoarder’s’ right of privacy.
Last week, Beech Avenue in front of ‘the hoarder’s’ home was blocked off to traffic for two days so that the city could clean out her home of ‘toxic’ materials.
While I understand the need for such an intervention, why was it necessary or even warranted for seven television and radio setups to record and report on the process, sometimes every 20 minutes? This woman, who suffers from a mental illness, was humiliated and made an object of ridicule.
While never identified by name (with the exception of the National Post), she, and the exact location of her home, are now known to the entire city.
I should think that reintegrating herself back into this community is now almost impossible.
Had she been suffering from another psychiatric disorder that may have required an intervention by the city or police, would news outlets have covered it in the same way?
In my experience, people with mental illness are often protected from negative news coverage (for example suicides and attempted suicides), so why make such a production over another type of mental illness – hoarding?
Criticizing free food not good manners
Re: ‘Food bank leaves bad taste in mouth for newcomers,’ Letters to the Editor, May 27:
In Canada, and nearly every country and society globally, it is considered bad manners to criticize the people who are feeding you, especially with your mouth full. Understand that no one, government or NGO, is obligated to provide you with free food or any other service.
Canned goods are able to last many years beyond their expiry dates. Some simple research is freely available about this topic at libraries and online. Expiry dates mainly provide the manufacturer a means to keep products circulating and to generate profit.
Since much of this food is donated, the food bank staff, largely made up of volunteers, work very hard to stock and distribute the food to families like yours.
If a few expiry dates get missed, exercise your option not to accept them, or better yet, to not eat them.
I’d suggest perhaps you might consider volunteering your own time at a food bank, and see what work and effort the people there put out, before criticizing a free service provided by the country you chose to live in.
Dog inspector needed
I’ve been watching the dog letters and swore I wouldn’t jump in, until this past week.
I walk the boardwalk four times a week. In my head I keep an account of the number of dogs off-leash – it’s about 20 to 25 per cent of dogs along the boardwalk.
In the past week a dog (Rottweiler mix) charged at me, and when I jumped behind my taller friend, I said to the owner, “not cool, put your dog on a leash.”
I got back, “you must be new to the Beaches”
Really? Nope, I’ve been here 18 years.
The next incident was a Sunday, when I asked an owner to leash his dog at the Woodbine pond because the male swan was getting aggressive, protecting his nesting partner from the unleashed dog.
The father of a five year-old yelled at me, “what are you gonna do, call the police?”
I told him the area was not an off-leash area and the female swan was nesting. He accused me of harassing him, but at that point the swan went for his dog. He had no leash with him.
These people RUIN it for all dog owners, for us, and for the ducks and swans. Can’t we hire a permanent dog inspector for the Beach to ticket these less than law abiding dog owners, then use the money to make more off-leash areas for the good dog owners?
Dog owners are the problem
Karen McCall’s letter [Letters to the Editor, May 27] is a perfect example of the ever more serious problem in the Beach. It’s not the dogs, it’s the dog owners that are the problem.
Some dogs bite, some people (seniors and children primarily) are intimidated by large dogs running amok, and people are regularly chased by dogs while jogging or skating. Not all of us know that a particular dog ‘doesn’t bite’.
How incredibly unfortunate that the one spot specifically chosen and developed for dogs to be off-leash happens to be the one place in the Beach apparently unsafe for them. Strange that responsible dog owners (the majority of dog owners, thankfully) don’t seem to find it dangerous. I’m unaware of any dogs that have been injured by small sharp rocks.
My polite requests to dog owners to perhaps consider the off leash area for their (unleashed) dog have inevitably been met with streams of profanity, suggestions that I do things to myself that are physically impossible, and sometimes quite threatening physical intimidation.
I think there are many more decent, responsible dog owners in the Beach than in the past, but there are still a considerable number that think laws don’t apply to them.
Animal control has only given out 22 citations in the entire province in the past two years so McCall’s suggestion that dog owners “have it hard enough” is a complete joke.
Since it’s difficult to enjoy a leisurely walk or jog along the boardwalk these days (I’m too old to jump over the 20 foot-long leashes that crisscross the boardwalk) could I at least ask that the dogs start to pay some property taxes to maintain the areas I am paying for, but am no longer able to enjoy?
That seems a more reasonable request than to have dog owners act considerately and even – gasp – obey the law.