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Editorials

Merry Christmas 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013   by: Mac Headrick

Please allow me the opportunity to wish you a happy holiday. Now apparently some Canadians choose not to celebrate Christmas. I respect their personal beliefs. At the same time I recognize Christmas is still a very important holiday to many Canadians. The following poem is completely unoriginal. Any reference to any fictional legend is intentional. Without further adieu and in the spirit of the season I present the following. 

It Was the Night before Christmas 2013 
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not evening a politician,
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
 
Our pets Dante, Chloe, Sanchez, Raji and Beau were nestled all snug in our (their?) bed
While visions of dog and cat treats danced in their heads,
And Linda in flannel and myself in a Green Bay Packer’s cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.
 
When out on the lawn there arose such chatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter,
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the slash.
 
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,
A large red sleigh pulled by eight reindeer,
With a large old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be “Old Saint Nick.”
 
I didn’t know Santa was allowed to fly over the Sault,
City Council had concerns and again didn’t know what to do,
Some citizens had complained and said the city should charge a fee.
The final decision was to send the issue to the OMB.
 
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,
Santa urged the reindeers to give it their all,
So up on the roof of the house they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and Santa too.
 
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The reindeer debating football and calling each other goofs,
I drew my head in from the window and was turning around,
Down the chimney someone came with a bound.
 
He was dressed all in fur, from the head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished from coffee and soot,
His eyes - how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
 
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old self,
And the size of his girth reminded me of myself,
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
 
He looked at me with nothing but me cap, and screamed put on some flannel!
He had read my letter to him and quickly hooked up all the sports channels,
Under the tree he put the presents including some Molson Big Bubba cans,
In my stocking was a picture of Lambeau Field to their biggest fan.
 
With a smile he asked if there was anything else I would like,
I told him I wished I had the ability to write,
There was a silence in the room that seemed to last for an hour,
I was told to fulfill that wish would require the help of a higher power.
 
I gave the reindeers some treats and fresh water,
Fortunately that evening I had flushed the pipes for an hour,
Santa had some cookies, a sandwich and the lasagna he eat the whole pan,
He told me my annual Christmas Diet was his favourite food plan.
 
Santa finished his work, and then sprang to sleigh with a loud whistle,
Away his team of reindeer flew like eight guided missiles,
I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

As I see it whether you choose to celebrate Christmas or not is fine with me.

The following greeting is directed at those who do embrace the festive season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Comments
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fatafr 12/22/2013 2:41:27 PM Report

Mac, A Very Merry Christmas 2013 to you, all your fine readers and your whole family. Let us hope that 2014 brings with it some wonderful happenings, of course, good health and some important good fortune with the likes of the OLG, Essar Steel and maybe some creative cost cutting measures at City Hall.
Here's a few wishes that I would like to see come to fruition for Sault Ste. Marie and, especially, its Taxpayers, in 2014:

1- That the OLG finally announces that SSM will be the true Head Office for its operations. With that, more personnel are relocated here and the big prizes are to be picked up right here in Sault Ste. Marie.
2- That retired teachers do just that, retire, and let the graduate teachers do what the retired teachers were able do when they were starting up; begin their teaching careers without interference. Just retire and move on with your healthy pension in place.
3- That there be more mutual cooperation between SSM and its neighbours. If we work together, especially with our First Nations neighbours, we all benefit economically. For example, our by-pass needs completion and property on Black Rd could be developed and create necessary jobs for the region. If we work togther, we all benefit, right neighbours ?
4- landlords should fix up old, dilapidated residential buildings so people can find suitable, affordable housing in livable buildings.
5- Commercial and Industrial owners should stop using vacant buildings as tax write-offs. Let perspective buyers take these, fix them up and again, pay higher property taxes and certainly hire more people. Be a good coporate citizen.
6- That the PUC is able to find a solution to our water problems. We all want our fresh, tasty water back.
7- That more Canadians find it worthwhile to shop Canadian and that local businesses become more creative in keeping shoppers on this side of the river. Again, let's be good neighbours. We all benefit, right ?
8- Residential landlords, who pay hefty property taxes should receive the rent for their units directly from Social Services. Hopefully a Landlords' Association will lobby for this. It just makes sense for all concerned.
9- Social Services must be more aggressive in finding creative ways to get able-bodied people off welfare. It was always meant to be a short term stay, not a way of life. From management to caseworkers, let's see more accountability.
10- City Hall must find a way to get costs under control. City Council and city staff must take an aggressive stand and search out all ways to cut spending. This is imperative. The Association of Ratepayers is prepared to apply its resources here and a cooperative approach with City Hall would be in all our best interests.

Mac, 2014 will be a real challenge for the vast majority of Saultites. I strongly believe that the average taxpayer and those many average taxpayers who are now on pension will not be able to keep up with the current trend. It is imperative that we work together; leave no rock unturned to cut costs. The Economic Development Corp. better come up with some very creative and aggressive ideas and soon. We don't have the time to continue with costly studies. We need action and we need it now, in 2014.

Mac, again, a Very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. Let's look towards 2014 with optimism and creative opportunities. All the best to each and every one of you. � � �
shakespeare 12/22/2013 7:03:20 PM Report

That is possibly the worst travesty of a poem that I have ever read ... with no quarter given to meter, rhyme, spelling or anything!
Good for you Mac ... Merry Christmas!
soowat 12/23/2013 7:23:34 AM Report

FATAFR

Gee somebody might think you are running for office. Never too early to start campaigning I guess. Appears that,in your opinion,using social assistance recipients as a whipping boy is a good strategy.

FATAFr,when people talk about achieving a classless society,they are not talking about giving you a license to prove that you have none

Retreaded 12/23/2013 8:12:42 AM Report

Mr.Fata.....you are obsessed with number 2 on your re-election hoping list. This is old news. How many retired teachers are STILL teaching? Did it ever occur to you that the board is calling SOME of these teachers because they are the only ones QUALIFIED in certain specialty areas?(French...physics...biology etc). Why don't you go after the SCHOOL BOARDS if you are so concerned? THESE RETIRED TEACHERS COULD NOT EBTER THE CLASSROOM UNLESS THE SCHOOL BOARD calls them !!!Why don't you give Mr. Stadnyk a call and ask him why he would do such a dastardly deed ??? It is my understanding you took up this issue years ago when your daughter could not get on with the local boards. Did she get a local job? Did she perhaps go elsewhere like so many of our young people have?
fatafr 12/23/2013 12:18:57 PM Report

I'm certainly not standing on a pedestal and pretending to preach to anyone. I'm a believer that resolutions to problems don't occur in a vacuum. City Council has to initiate things and take the bull by the horns. But it is the collective body, namely anyone in Sault Ste. Marie and area that has concerns and feel that their opinion matters and actions count.
This City was built on the backs of Immigrants. It is these people that, I believe, continue to carry the bulk of the taxing load and that continues. But, many of these mainly middle class residents are now on pension and they can't continue to bear this responsibility without help. That help includes people taking responsibility for their own actions. So, whether it's the EDC being aggressive and creating jobs and opportunities, retired teachers must stop creating road blocks so younger people can teach or able-bodied people getting off welfare dependency, we all must play a part for the benefit of everyone in our City.
Taxpayers need help and the course we're on now can not be sustained. Those of you who pay hefty property taxes can appreciate this. If some of you don't like the tone of this message, well, you know what they say, if you can't please all the people, then at least try and please the majority of them.
And by the way, retreaded, retired teachers, for the most part, hang around only because they can. My concern on this matter is to try and focus on them enough that taxpayers will notice, maybe speak up, or at the very least, embarrass some of these retired teachers enough so that they will simply go away. Yes, that's right folks, much easier said then done.�
�
Retreaded 12/23/2013 2:04:28 PM Report

Are you aware that these retired teachers....by law...have every right to work? It is not a problem in Canada, so far, to take a job after retirement. Since you do not know the financial status of these retired teachers...you should just keep quiet.
Oldie Goldie 12/23/2013 4:17:26 PM Report

I, too, am opposed to Retired Teachers working---That is called Double-Dipping and is based on GREED not qualifications.

I worked for 37 years at my Profession and was asked---several times---to return to work. I refused every time because I had trained a young fellow with a wife and 2 children to do my job and he needed the job more than I did.

I ask those Retired Teachers who continue to work to refuse any further appointments and let them train someone else.

That is what allows younger Teachers to ply their Trade.

I was a Master of my Trade and I told my Company that others need to become Masters of my Trade too and they will only get that experience from being placed in a position to learn by trying.
Oldie Goldie 12/23/2013 4:21:34 PM Report

Retreaded---A Retired Teacher in Ontario has a Pension that anyone can live on so don't give me that " money needed attitude "

Their desire to work after Retirement is based on " GREED " not " NEED "
in my opinion.
soowat 12/23/2013 6:56:38 PM Report

fatafr

Why are you taking a feel good Christmas message (Thanks Mac) and turning it into one of your pet diatribes?

Silly man!
fatafr 12/23/2013 10:51:35 PM Report

In regards to soowat's comments, I do have a couple of excuses. First, Mac did make reference to politicians and City Council in his Christmas message. I know it's a bit of a stretch but I took advantage of it and for that I will apologize. Secondly, I did make my Christmas wish list and for that I'm fine with my comments. If the things that I wished for came true, it would create good things for a lot of deserving residents in Sault Ste. Marie. My wish list includes more jobs, more tax dollars for the City, more happy parents and grand parents who's children would have jobs and be able to stay in SSM ( ie. graduate teachers). More pensioners would be able to afford to stay in their homes. As to the matter of able bodied people lingering indefinitely on welfare; this could be viewed as responsible discipline. Common sense tells me that the longer someone can stay receiving free money without having to do anything in return, the harder it will be to weed that person off this generous broken system. And for those who think it isn't a lot of tax money, why do people stay on it for years and years. Maybe because they simply can.
Again, a Very Merry Christmas to everyone. May each of you have a Christmas wish that does come true. Take care Mac. � �
Retreaded 12/24/2013 8:16:46 AM Report

I WOULD LIKE YOU, AS A COUNCILLOR, TO STAND UP AND MAKE SOME NOISE AT A COUNCIL MEETING REGARDING THE BROWN WATER PROBLEM. We expect councillors to speak for us....that's what you were elected to do.
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