Letters of the week – June 9

Street names, parks and more spurred on letters to the editor this week.

ADHS says no to city street name change

To the Editor,

At the annual general meeting of the Alberni District Historical Society on May 19, a motion was passed unanimously to let Port Alberni City Council know of our concern over the proposed renaming of three of our city streets (Gertrude Street, Stamp Avenue and Third Avenue).

The members present felt that making this change would be a loss of part of our city’s history, and would serve no useful purpose.

Rather than eliminating confusion, it would likely create more.

This is because there is an innate conservatism in the human mind regarding names, and a new one, however well-chosen, will not come as readily to the tongue as the old ones do. Instruction-givers will default to the original street names, which the bewildered newcomer will never be able to find.

(We have all heard the story of the traveler getting to Sproat Lake, still looking for the “Orange Bridge”.)

There are perfectly valid reasons for the existence of the names Gertrude, Third, and Stamp, having to do with the separate histories of the two original towns. We do not want to see them lost, to say nothing of the inconvenience it would cause to the residents and businesses along those streets, having to inform all their correspondents of such an address change.

We support change when it would lead to an improved result.  We do not feel that replacing these names will simplify direction finding or direction giving.

We feel our community would be best served by leaving the names as they are.

Judy Carlson,

Alberni District Historical Society

 

How about aboriginal street name?

To the Editor,

Re: Street re-naming.

It’s quite surprising to have so much negative feedback on finding new, more appropriate names for our main north-south streets. As it is, I think the present mix is confusing.

Understandably, residents and businesses located on those streets will find any changes costly and annoying. A nice compromise would be to consult the native community, and add a name in one of their languages above the existing street signs, using a different colour plate.

I grew up in a bilingual city, where every street had two nameplates. Such arrangement would be both respectful and pleasing.

Rayana Erland,

Port Alberni

Transparency missing over park talks

To the Editor,

In 2015, a vote by mayor and councillors defeated the motion to allow Westcoast Native Health Care Society, which operates Rainbow Gardens, to purchase Westporte Park.

At that time, Mayor Mike Ruttan told me personally that in the future, all parties affected would be notified to take part in negotiation and processes to arrive at a compromised solution.

Westporte residents learned of the latest Rainbow Gardens and Westporte Place Park proposal of a new housing development in the Alberni Valley News. We understand that a rezoning process will take place, including a public hearing.

We have researched to gather information that would help us understand the decision at hand. We cannot find any reference to the project either in planning or council meeting agendas or minutes.

The sale of the park must be discussed in a public format so all persons affected understand the process and have a chance to contribute to the solution. What happened to transparency?

Arnie and Monique Begg,

Port Alberni

Cycling a great lifestyle habit to have

To the Editor,

Cycling to work, school or any place else you need to go is a great way to incorporate regular exercise into your day.

In Victoria a whopping 16 per cent of people do it. But it has taken a concerted effort to achieve these stats.

That’s why Port Alberni City Council has adopted an Active Transportation Plan that will support the development of bike routes and other cycling infrastructure and why Cycle Alberni coordinated Bike to Work and School week.

John Mayba,

Port Alberni

 

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