Life's a beach ... for some

James
James McLeod
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Woman dismayed by lack of accessibility at Topsail Beach

When you pull into the parking lot of Topsail Beach, you'll see the four bright blue parking spots set aside for people with disabilities.

But when Goldie Baird - who has had to use a wheelchair since she was in an ATV accident nine years ago - went to the beach on a Sunday in late June, the parking lot was about as far as she could get.

After a recent visit to Topsail Beach, Goldie Baird is upset there is no wheelchair ramp leading down to the beach area. Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

When you pull into the parking lot of Topsail Beach, you'll see the four bright blue parking spots set aside for people with disabilities.

But when Goldie Baird - who has had to use a wheelchair since she was in an ATV accident nine years ago - went to the beach on a Sunday in late June, the parking lot was about as far as she could get.

There are concrete steps leading down the steep grassy embankments to the fire pits and to the water, but not a wheelchair ramp in sight.

"(My family) had to wheel me down over the banks, which is pretty dangerous, because the grass is wet and they were slipping," Baird said.

"Why did they put the wheelchair signs around? Why did they put (disabled) parking here?"

In fact, when the Northeast Avalon Rotary Club developed the beach from its humble beginnings as a gravel pit a few years ago, they did put in a ramp.

"There was some wheelchair accessibility there some years ago, but it was wooden," said Doug Russell, president of the club. "Because there are fire pits on Topsail Beach, take a wild guess what happened. ... It got dismantled and burned as firewood."

Russell said the lack of a ramp was brought up last summer, but it still hasn't been replaced.

"I'm disappointed, quite frankly, it's not in place yet, but it's not totally within our control," he said.

"Ideally, it should have been done before the busy season this year. I think, hopefully, it'll be done relatively soon."

The Town of Conception Bay South operates the beach now.

When contacted by The Telegram, Mayor Woodrow French said he hadn't heard about the matter, but would look into it. After getting in touch with town staff, he said something would be done about wheelchair access in a couple of weeks.

"I guess in my ignorance, I thought it was wheelchair accessible, you know, as much as possible," he said of the beach.

"We're trying to achieve the goals of making it accessible, yet we've got to preserve the beach ... and you can't pave over beach rocks."

On hearing that the town would put in a new ramp soon, Baird said she was pleasantly surprised by the town's quick response. She said she's looking forward to going to the beach with her granddaughter before the end of the summer.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Northeast Avalon Rotary Club

Geographic location: Topsail Beach

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Recent comments

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    1. Can she actually use the wheel chair on the beach?? Just try using a bicycle there and you will have your answer.

    2. Given that you can not push a wheel chair on the beach, the next question is is the view, better down at the edge of the beach or up overlooking the beach.

    Maybe we (the public) are being put on a guilt trip for something that is less practical than the status quo.

  • Will
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Why not just close public access to the beach...then no one will have to worry about the access, or lack thereof. Geez, no pleasing you all is there!

  • david
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    if you put in a ramp she still not going to be able to go over the rocks.

  • SC
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Handicapped & generally accessability was a problem @ Canada day Celebrations on Confed Hill. Security was such that you had to drive in from Higgins line & then if you parked behind either of the confed bldg's, had to enter through the corner of the bldg - only to have to go (7 at a time) into one of 2 working elevators to get to the Confed bldg lobby. Then, if you wanted to go to one of the 2 Eurest (food) stations w long line-ups, you probably had to get help if you were in a wheelchair or had a baby carriage. At the same time, there was a thoroughfare from back parking lot to front of confed bldg with exit marked on both sides. Seemed to me that it would have been more sensible to have these doors opened - still could be staffed by security - as I expect most people would have wanted to go through there. I believe that the same old entertainment, running out of Canada Day cake within the 1st hr, expensive Eurest stations & long lines & difficulty getting around - esp to the parking lots will be a deterrent in the future. Central Dairies did run out of milk - however, I would suggest that free water be available - even if city water from a dispeser w paper cups or bottled water w recycling bins. The whole crowd management & difficulty getting in & out & old entertainment made it not so good as last years. The new Canadian groups were excellent & interspercing them through the afternoon was good. i would have liked more entertainment - going later inside - so if you weren't fussy w something outside, you had an inside option. I'd recommend the free Irish bands on the bandstand at George St during the afternoon - less bother.

  • Catherine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    I always find it interesting when people start bashing those who have gone public about an issue (fishermen, disabled, etc) with comments like, tax payers money... . Aren't the fishermen and those with short and long term disability tax payers too!?! So, therefore, don't they deserve to have a say or give a suggestion about how that money could be spent??

    I wish this lady all the best, as I cannot imagine not being able to walk on the beach next to the ocean.

  • chrissy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    jim i hope u dont break ur back on topsail beach and end up in a wheelchair like goldie, people like u are to sick to talk about goldie is a young woman who as a life which is alot better then urs, u just stay on ur computer and get ur dole u low life pig

  • S
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Jim, I'm a bit skeptical that you feel for Goldie, judging by the ignorance of your comment. She's perfectly justified in requesting that people with disabilities be able to access Topsail beach. I hope you're not a member of the CBS town council.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I do not see any of you out putting in a ramp for this person or others today. All talk no action. If you want to support or help, what are you doing sitting on your duffs at home typing up a storm when your money and labour would do far more good?

    Just the same old harping about this or that, but lord forbid any of of get out and do anything about it.

    I have no issues with the access, so you will not see me out spending my time and money on this venture. But those of you that feel it is such a cause need to put a little effort into correcting a problem for a change. Your words do nothing but give you a false sense of self importance while doing nothing to mitigate the problems you seem to think involve you.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Re Sid: No, It's not societies responsibility. Canada is a great country due to it's social programs which are funded by the tax payer. Accessibility for those with disabilities is a human right. I use a wheelchair. It was the drunk driver's fault, not mine. I work full time, I don't want handouts or sympathy. Where I reside there is modified public transit, accessible public buildings and I am able to go about my business without being a burden to the taxpayer. I visit St. John's and there is barrier after barrier for those with disabilities. One opinion of mine - the tax payer here would rather see a person like me physically / finacially housebound in some public housing unit drawing welfare then you complain that I'm on wefare. This young lady has every right to access this beach and for every entrance to a public building or outdoor venue wheelchair access should be available. People like you need a good shaking or as the saying goes walk in my shoes for a week. You should be advocating lest a social program that directly benifits you is stripped away thus making you a burden on society.

  • Derrick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Open Mouth, Remove Foot



    Comments that compare the appearance or ability of a person with a disability to a person without a disability have the same underlying message as saying to a woman, 'Your report was well done, for a girl,' says Susan Henderson, managing director of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF). We understand the impact of that statement on our daughters and our culture--the same is true for comparative comments about disability.



    Josie Byzek, managing editor of New Mobility magazine, has multiple sclerosis. Over the course of her disease, she has heard more than that she looks so good.



    I also get the 'Well, everyone has memory problems as they age,' and 'That happens to everyone,' and lots of other stuff that's supposed to be comforting but is actually awfully minimizing, she says.



    Other real-life hurtful comments that should not be uttered to a person with a disability, and why:



    1. It's probably just stress. This undermines a diagnosis given by a qualified medical professional and makes it seem as though the person with a disability is exaggerating.
    2. My [insert relative] had that, and she manages just fine. The effects of a disease can and often do manifest themselves differently from one person to the next. Measuring the extent of a person's disability against the condition of another person is insulting.
    3. No pain, no gain! This cliché does not apply when it comes to disability.
    4. It's all in your head. This is especially infuriating for people who struggled to get a diagnosis for their symptoms. Just because symptoms are not visible to others doesn't mean a person doesn't have an illness or disability. Leave the medical interpretations to the experts. This occurs frequently for those with mental illnesses. According to the Mayo Clinic, To some, the word 'mental' suggests that the illness is not a legitimate medical condition but rather a problem caused by your own choices and actions.
    5. You're just looking for attention/pity. Hardly. Many people think that those with disabilities are helpless, broken and weak. The stigma is one that newly diagnosed people often have to grapple with in their own minds, which makes it even more hurtful to hear this from other people. But the stigma is wrong.
    6. You're here! You must finally be better. This fallacy can be maddening. For those with chronic illness, there is no cure, and hearing a comment such as this one proves that the illness is not understood--and that no effort was made to understand it. Becoming accustomed to an illness or disability is a personal journey that everyone makes at his or her own pace.
    7. I really admire your courage/how you pretend nothing's wrong. People with disabilities learn to adapt their lives around their disability. It is not a show of courage or denial to carry on, and to insinuate such is offensive.



    Mobilization



    This year, Sept. 10-16 is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. Since 2002, the week has been recognized nationally each year to unite and mobilize people with non-visible disabilities and illnesses and their allies to educate government, healthcare companies, and the general public about the 133 million people living with a chronic condition. That number is expected to increase by more than one percent a year to 150 million by 2030, according to a study for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and 42 million of those will be limited in their ability to go to school, to work, or to live independently. Read the full study.



    This Means You



    If you think this won't be a concern until old age, take note: 75 percent of people with chronic conditions are younger than 65.



    One of the biggest obstacles in the disability community is the attitude of the temporarily able-bodied. When Lawrence Carter-Long, director of advocacy for the Disabilities Network of New York City, gives lectures to college students, he asks, What is the difference between a person with disability and a person without? After getting the usual answers--having a wheelchair, using a cane or a hearing aid--Carter-Long reveals the real answer: About five seconds.



    Most of the problems regarding access have more to do with proximity than with malice. If it's not you, it could be your brother coming back from Iraq, it could be your aging parents, it could be your niece being born with a disability, he says.



    Carter-Long and other disability-rights advocates urge action by those who think it's not going to happen to me so that when disability does affect you, access to basic needs--such as housing, employment, healthcare, assistance--won't be a problem.



    Byzek says, The greatest gift the independent-living and disability-rights movements can give our society is the freedom to just be people. We've created a society that wants people to adjust to systems. This is backwards. SYSTEMS should adjust to PEOPLE. We come along with our limps, our canes, our wheelchairs, our dodgy eyesight, our brilliant minds wrapped in fatigued bodies and say, 'Hey, can you just wiggle this rule?' and are becoming adept at pointing out how this is actually civil rights.



    She continues, We have the right, as citizens, to participate fully in our own society. What would happen if everybody had the ability to wiggle their environment, our systems, to make their lives easier? We'd be a happier, more relaxed society. We'd have fewer stress diseases, we'd live longer, we'd be more productive.

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    To Jean.....I realize that my response seemed like a cold response but there are so many accessibility issues for folks confined to wheelchairs and and I think money could be put to better use to help these folks than access to a beach. I apologize to Goldie and her family for my comment!!!

  • Matt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Nicole,
    Try not to let them get to you. The internet allows all gutless weasels the anonymity to write things they wouldn't have the nerve to say to your face. They might have a pair of working legs, too bad they don't have a pair of balls to go along with them.

  • past fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    The beautiful Topsail Beach has become less beautified, since the Rotary has installed a rotary parking lot. They have cut off many areas that were once accesable, including the fact that now one must use several stairs, to access the beach area of the beach. Life's a beach I guess. Looks like the Rotary should complete the mess with a Pink Hotel, a Boutique, and a swinging hot spot.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I feel certain that no one is in a wheelchair by choice. It seems to me that poor accesibility is not an issue for many around here. We have a long way to go.

  • Mother's Daughter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I feel for Ms. Baird. Nobody should be excluded from enjoying Topsail Beach. Not long ago, I brought my elderly mother there. The risers in the stairs are so tall, she couldn't manage to go down the stairs to the beach. It hurt her a lot to see the rest of her family down on the beach below. She sat in her car and was miserable, but insisted on staying so she could 'be there' for her grandchildren. Besides the fact that it wasn't until later in June that the washrooms were open!! How family friendly is that??

  • Give
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Time for a better chair then. I have seen others in proper chairs down on the edge. She spent the money on an ATV to put herself in that chair, she sure could use some of the insurance money to obtain a chair that would get her back into trouble pretty quick if she really wanted to.

    Gotta luv the oh poor me stories these day.

  • Justice & Karma
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    People with disabilities do have rights and should enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of the population, it's nice that Ms. Baird can spend time with her Granddaughter and did not lose her life in that accident 9 years ago.

    That said, I believe the Telegram should run another article regarding the paternal rights of children and how easily an angry, vengeful pair of bitter women can steal a child from a father who adores her for no other reason then the relationship did not work out between the parents. Thus leaving that man with no alternative but to endure a lengthy court battle seeking access and visitation and a little girl who loves her father and is left alone, feeling abandoned and wondering what happened to Daddy? That sounds like a very unjust and criminal matter to me.

    Wouldn't the tax dollars being wasted in that senseless court battle be better spent on wheelchair ramps so every family can enjoy areas like Topsail Beach, mothers AND fathers alike. I'm sure that would lead to much more positivity being spread around our communities as opposed to a little girl preparing for an adult life with a chip on her shoulder and a grandmother seeking headlines for what?

    I'm sure Nicole's daughter would love to spend the day at the beach with her father. I believe it is every childs right to a father just like it's every humans right to enjoy a public beach. Why is it that these people can get a front page article seeking help and sympathy yet there is no one to speak for the grandchild she'd like us all to believe she seeks the best for!?!!

    Just a thought

  • Not Amused
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Moved away from the province 7 years ago and it's obvious to me that nothing has changed since then especially the closeness of the community...can't agree on nothing!

  • Peter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    What is just as peculiar about the New Topsail Beach is the intersection of Topsail Beach Road and Route 60. Originally the proposal was to build a new access road via Topsail River valley, but this was probably too expensive.

    Nevertheless when this section of Route 60 was upgraded several years ago there was not any attempt to improve this (or any other) intersection. Not only is it on a turn with limited visibility for pedestrians, but vehicles leaving the Beach are on a steep grade and often spin their tires in haste to get on Route 60 in time.

    During the last Polar Bear Dip held there, the entire road and parking lot was congested to the point that the ambulance attendants had their vehicle trapped halfway down and chose to get out and direct traffic.

    Hard to know where to spend money on victims of accidents or preventing future ones?

  • Willie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Harry,
    Jim and Donny Dooley may be ignorant as pigs but they have a right to say what they feel. It's good to know that people are thinking this way and not try to cover it up.
    I believe if Ms. Baird wants to get closer to the ocean and risk getting swept out to sea by a rogue wave then she should be able to. Last September we almost lost 4 in Middle Cove just up the road from where I live. She has rights too!

    Willie Hunt
    Pouch Cove NL

  • Jean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Well Jim from NL, that's a pretty COLD response. This Lady deserves to be able to access the beach as well as any person that can walk to it. I feel so sad for people that can be this heartless. But maybe one day Jim you'll know what it feels like to be left on the outside. Keep your head up Goldie, I know how you feel!!

  • ½ wit
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Northeast Avalon Rotary Club DID put in a ramp. Notice that this is an NGO which did this work in the first place, not a government office. Now because this GIFT by an NGO to the community was partially destroyed, the community now EXPECTS full amenities. One good deed doesn't go unpunished huh ?

    I would suggest any further gifts by NGOs to any community meet with further scrutiny upon application. Else the inadvertent loss of such gift will be met with community disdain and the onus put on government to do full reparations. In other words... government should't allow gifts to the community unless the government is prepared to take on full financial responsibility for them, which could cost much more than the initial gift itself down the road.

    Don't give a naughty child a toy if it isn't going to be taken care of. You'll be buying that toy over and over again. But you can't stop buying toys now either because the child now expects to have this toy. No more toys - no more demands - no more reparation costs. Simple.

    Yup, unruly citizens used the ramp as firewood. Topsail beach is a haven for unruly people the past few years. Talk to anyone with property there and they'll tell you horror stories of out-of-control 'children' speeding, peeling tires, extremely loud music very late into the night, massive trash problems, drunkness, urinating in people's gardens, drugs, vandalism all along Topsail Beach Road.

    If the town can't afford to repair it now and into the future, REMOVE ALL OF IT and bring it back to it's original and natural state.

    This might even help the folks resume a normal life on Topsail Beach Road.

    The other option is to make it a PAY Beach with a guard and a time schedule.

  • Matt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Oh please, Jim. The five to ten grand it would cost to put in a ramp and maybe even a little deck or walkway there is laughable. What about the percentage, probably majority, of the population who never visit the beach? Why are they paying for the services at all? Why not get rid of the tax funding and put a toll booth there so only the people using it need to pay for it?

    Because it's a public beach, not a private one, that's why. Building a false analogy like Madigan's Pond is a poor, badly-reasoned argument.

    I suggest you take your own get over yourself advice.

  • Smart
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    The typical ''worldly'' people commenting on issues they think they are experts on.

    Walk a mile in someone's shoes and you will realise the challenges, obstacles, benefits, advantages and disadvantages that person faces daily.

    I'm willing to bet that if every person volunteered two hours of their precious upcoming weekend a wheelchair ramp would have been designed and completed by Sunday evening.

    But unfortunately, Jim and Donny Dooley will be hitting up Tol's time out lounge while J from All over and Nasty Nate will be hanging out in the Village Mall food court hitting on girls aged between 14-85.

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Well Said Nicole Baird from Paradise.

    You have helped bring an additional portion of humanity to this story.

    I hope your mother is able to enjoy all the simple things the majority of people take for granted.

  • sandy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Topsail Beach is NOT a family beach....have you visited lately?

    More than a wheelchair ramp, it needs full time security to make it a family beach.

    Mayor French and his staff should visit the place several time a week and they will find out what needs to be done.

  • Sid
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    While I feel terrible for Ms. Baird and would certainly feel the same way she does if I were in a wheelchair, I don't know what one can do. Unfortunately, her disability prevents her from partaking in a lot of life pleasures but the cold hard fact of the matter is her disability is not the fault or responsibility of society as a whole. I'm sure that there are blind people who would love to be in her position to at least enjoy the beauty seeing the beach and ocean. Not much comfort I know, but something to ponder.

  • Use Your Brian People!!
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I question the thought process of a family trying to wheel Ms. Baird down a steep bank in the first place. She could have ended up a quadrapalegic instead of just a parapalegic. I feel for her but the decision making is questionable at best.

    I wonder if the same careless thought process put her in that wheelchair in the first place. Only speculation on my part though.

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Dear Nicole Biard,

    Of course people in wheelchairs have rights but they are not exhaustive. How much taxes do you expect the rest of us to pay so someone can go on a beach in a wheelchair.

    What about the person in the wheelchair who wants to go into 3rd madigan's pond trouting, do we plow a road in the country and pave it so they can trout??

    Access to a beach is not a god given right. Get over yourself.

    Commonsense is in short supply these days and all everyone does is want, want, want.

    You want your mother to have access to the beach then have a fundraising and go build a ramp. Leave the rest of us out of it.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Hey Helen,
    Good point about the able bodied students lending a hand but you can't expect them to carry a handicapped person to the shoreline. How about they use an ATV to drive the handicapped people down to the water until the ramp is built. Always thinking outside the box!

  • Tony
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Jim, what an ignorant comment. Thank God I have two good legs, and by your piggish remarks, I can assume you do as well. If you were in this ladies position wouldn't you want access to a public place? Yes, I think so.

  • nicole
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Goldie Baird is my mother andI want to thank some of you for the positive remarks, for those who are just plain rude and pigs I want to tell you i hope to god that nothing will ever happen to you my mother didnt ask to be in a wheelchair its called enjoying life and having an accident she didnt ask for it like you could be driving and hitting a moose im sure you didnt ask to hit a moose!. So i guess no one should be driving or havn fun. people dont give up because your afraid that your going to have an accident!. I guess people with disabilities should all be in homes and treated like dogs.... My mother is trying to enjoy life as much as normal with her grandchildren is that alound? shes not asking it for just herself what about these childeren who are born in a wheelchair? i guess they dont have any rights on going to a beach and havn fires? you tell me in st.john's where is a family beach to!!!! that people in whelechairs can go and have fires..... shes human like your self i guess you can call your selfs human i call you guys pigs. Were not asking for a hand out

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Here is a genius idea, if vandals are a problem because they burn the wooden ramps make the ramps out of concrete. It isn't rocket science people, it is just money of which the Town of CBS has none. But that isn't any excuse.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Why should Ms Baird be denied access to Topsail Beach? Why not modify the steps to the beach to a ramp so everyone can get there? I know there is a cost to all of these items. If an able body person was denied access to Topsail Beach, would this be tolerated so easily? Accesibility issues should have input from the disabled community. As a recently disabled person myself, I am discovering this new world sand I am finding there are many issues that are seriously misinterpreted by the able bodied community Rotary is to be Commended for the work they do in the community overall, but it is a big dispointment with issues like this.No body is asking for a lot. Just to be able to get some place without jumpnig through hoops. Conditions at Topsail are not safe if the existing conditions remain as they are.

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Like it or not, the sad reality is that the poor lady is in a wheelchair and must accept the fact that this limits her from doing things that people who are not in wheelchairs can do. The same as as the blind not being able to see a movie, the deaf not being able to hear a chirping bird and so on. Just sayng what most are thinking.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    That's a tough area and the local yokels will be making 'splits' out of the new ramp in no time flat. Nothing says burnin' like pressure treated wheelchair ramps!

  • Edward
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    goldie is one of the most kindest people that i have met.
    i cannot believe some of the ignorant comments posted here.
    she didnt ask to be confined to a wheel chair.
    all she wants is the beach to be wheel chair accessible so she can spend time there with her granddaughter.
    this is not only for herself.
    its for other people with the same disability.
    shame on you people.

  • Mikalah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I can't believe how ignorant and rude you people are - Jim- really!!! At least we can walk to the beach, this lady is in a wheelchair - Newfoundlanders are so rude!!! Don't give up Goldie - you go girl!!!

  • Ted
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Jim from NL wrote
    ...What will her next request be, special sand so she can wheel up and down the beach?

    =======================
    If everyone subscribed to your philosophy, the disabled would still be in nursing homes. I don't think a concrete wheelchair ramp is a lot to ask for.

    Here's an idea... for the next week, live your life out a wheelchair. Everything from using the washroom to going to the supermarket and work etc.... Then you will realize the insensitivity and ignorance of your comments. My guess, is you won't last for more than an hour before getting up and walking away.

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I would just like to add to my previous comments this is a typical case of survival of the fittest.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to run along Topsail Beach

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Though I do feel for Goldie, what will her next request be, special sand so she can wheel up and down the beach?

  • harry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    telly ,,, please dont let jim comment on here any more and donny from that awful name place either theyre so ignorant n gross they should be banned

  • DeeBee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    So... whoever said life was fair? I appreciate Goldie Baird's situation, but in all seriousness... who should be expected to pay the bill to make this beach wheelchair-accessible... or for ongoing maintenance? (Obviously, there is a problem with vandalism in the area, I mean.) Going to a beach is not a life necessity. Instead of her family going there, maybe they could find one nearby where there are ramps... or, at least, one that's more easily accessible. To echo Jim's sentiment above, I mean no insult and I'm not trying to be heartless, but if life was fair, she wouldn't be in a wheelchair in the first place, I'd have the money to buy an ATV and we'd all have our turn flying above the pigeons and seagulls for a change. So, should someone drive around to all the beaches in the province - indeed, the whole country - and see if they are wheelchair-accessible? Who would pay for this? Who would have the time? How is getting to a beach a 'human right'? Once this lady, for example, gets on the beach... how will she move through all the sand? And over rocks? Should we pave the beach so that she can move about on it as some think is her 'right'? I understand this is a plight by a Telegram writer to garner sympathy for this person and this situation, but there are far more important things going on in the world than a person in a wheelchair getting onto a beach. I am sorry.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Give Jim a break, for heavens sake. Yes, it was insensitive but he admitted that and apologized.
    Everyone in the world has problems, this just happens to be the one publicized today.
    I feel for Ms. Baird.
    Yes, improvements need to be made for wheelchair accessibility.
    And for those visually impaired, hearing impaired, the elderly, the ill etc. etc. etc.!!

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Special sand?

    Maybe they should just pave it over so she can roll herself up and down the beach next to the water.

    While I feel for the lady she is in a wheelchair and this does exclude her from some of life's simple pleasures.

    Next she'll be complaining she can't go in the woods trouting because ATV paths don't allow for wheelchairs.

  • no to fires
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    A poster mentioned fires on the Beach. Fires have ruined that beach. I have seen burned out tires and other sorts of refuse left on the beach which makes it a mess and a hazard to those who simply wish to enjoy it in it's natural state.

  • Maggie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    My heavens above, I just cannot believe some of the comments here.
    I know some so-thought smart person will tell me not to read them if I don't like them. What happened to plain
    human compassion ?

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I'm not suprised in the least. On a recent visit to St. John's and area I was amazed at how many individuals who use a wheelchair are limited by the provinces lack of understanding of the needs of this population. People are expected to yet are restricted in taking care of their day to day needs as well as social outlets. This includes access and transportation. Another strike against French and his blindfolded council. Given the paramount issues of individuals with disabilities this council should be aware. Your still in the stone age.

  • Helen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Hi, Why don't the Beach hire a few able bodied summer students and let them look out to persons coming to the Beach that need a hand. Where's their ingenuity?? Life is a Beach!! Let's enjoy it!!

  • Sparkey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Hi Guys & Gals: I can`t believe, the Crap ,some of those Assholes out there,take time to write! I would like to say that: I hope the Town Of C.B.S can find-it in there hearts to put-in a Wheel Chair Ramp,not only for Goldie but for others,who are in Wheel Chairs & would like to visit the Topsil Beach,its not a Outer Ring Road the people are asking for.

  • ³
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Telling it like it is (aka little barking dog on second floor balcony) from St. Johns, NL mind your threats, there is always someone bigger than you.

  • Sue
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    My family had to wheel me down over the slippery dangerous bank ---That my friend says a lot about YOU.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    To Jim from NL

    I will gladly volunteer my services so you may know what life is like in a wheelchair.

    Maybe you won't be such a ignorant moron then.

    Nuff Said

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Doesn't really surprise me CBS is so far behind the times when it come to that sort of thing.If you want to look at another example they do even force the issue about providing playgrounds in new subdivisions.I think if the contractor is building a subdivision they sould be made provide one for the families.I know of one new subdivision that has one I just moved there and was very pleased that the contractor took it upon themselves to put one in.Happy to see though that they will do something about the ramp.

  • turn back the page
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Topsail Beach has had a lot of money and work put into it by the Rotarians, which has transformed this location from a dead end dirt road into what we see today. If Ms Baird had attempted to get to the beach in it's former state, she would have been suck up to her axles in beach, at least now she can park on the grass and enjoy a lovely sunset or a cool ocean breeze.

    Look, it doesn't matter what you do in this world, somebody will find fault with it. If you are unable to please 100% of the people 100% of the time, your a shmuck.

    One poster even complained, that the risers of the steps were too high for her elderly mom, well I would be surprised if these steps were not built to code, but at least her mom has stairs to use now as opposed to a time when she would have had to negotiate a steep rocky dunne to get to the beach.

    I am not in a wheel chair, and for that I can consider myself very fortunate, but it is rediculous to expect every beach or publically accessible area to be 100% accesible to ALL people....ALL the time.

    Perhaps those who are concerned about this can approach the Town of CBS and/or the Rotarians to work towards the facilitation of a ramp, and while they are at it donate a little cash towards the project. Talk is cheap, ramps are not.

  • Snuffalupagus
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    hey Sparky it already is an outer ring road have u been there?

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    1. Can she actually use the wheel chair on the beach?? Just try using a bicycle there and you will have your answer.

    2. Given that you can not push a wheel chair on the beach, the next question is is the view, better down at the edge of the beach or up overlooking the beach.

    Maybe we (the public) are being put on a guilt trip for something that is less practical than the status quo.

  • Will
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Why not just close public access to the beach...then no one will have to worry about the access, or lack thereof. Geez, no pleasing you all is there!

  • david
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    if you put in a ramp she still not going to be able to go over the rocks.

  • SC
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Handicapped & generally accessability was a problem @ Canada day Celebrations on Confed Hill. Security was such that you had to drive in from Higgins line & then if you parked behind either of the confed bldg's, had to enter through the corner of the bldg - only to have to go (7 at a time) into one of 2 working elevators to get to the Confed bldg lobby. Then, if you wanted to go to one of the 2 Eurest (food) stations w long line-ups, you probably had to get help if you were in a wheelchair or had a baby carriage. At the same time, there was a thoroughfare from back parking lot to front of confed bldg with exit marked on both sides. Seemed to me that it would have been more sensible to have these doors opened - still could be staffed by security - as I expect most people would have wanted to go through there. I believe that the same old entertainment, running out of Canada Day cake within the 1st hr, expensive Eurest stations & long lines & difficulty getting around - esp to the parking lots will be a deterrent in the future. Central Dairies did run out of milk - however, I would suggest that free water be available - even if city water from a dispeser w paper cups or bottled water w recycling bins. The whole crowd management & difficulty getting in & out & old entertainment made it not so good as last years. The new Canadian groups were excellent & interspercing them through the afternoon was good. i would have liked more entertainment - going later inside - so if you weren't fussy w something outside, you had an inside option. I'd recommend the free Irish bands on the bandstand at George St during the afternoon - less bother.

  • Catherine
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    I always find it interesting when people start bashing those who have gone public about an issue (fishermen, disabled, etc) with comments like, tax payers money... . Aren't the fishermen and those with short and long term disability tax payers too!?! So, therefore, don't they deserve to have a say or give a suggestion about how that money could be spent??

    I wish this lady all the best, as I cannot imagine not being able to walk on the beach next to the ocean.

  • chrissy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    jim i hope u dont break ur back on topsail beach and end up in a wheelchair like goldie, people like u are to sick to talk about goldie is a young woman who as a life which is alot better then urs, u just stay on ur computer and get ur dole u low life pig

  • S
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Jim, I'm a bit skeptical that you feel for Goldie, judging by the ignorance of your comment. She's perfectly justified in requesting that people with disabilities be able to access Topsail beach. I hope you're not a member of the CBS town council.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I do not see any of you out putting in a ramp for this person or others today. All talk no action. If you want to support or help, what are you doing sitting on your duffs at home typing up a storm when your money and labour would do far more good?

    Just the same old harping about this or that, but lord forbid any of of get out and do anything about it.

    I have no issues with the access, so you will not see me out spending my time and money on this venture. But those of you that feel it is such a cause need to put a little effort into correcting a problem for a change. Your words do nothing but give you a false sense of self importance while doing nothing to mitigate the problems you seem to think involve you.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Re Sid: No, It's not societies responsibility. Canada is a great country due to it's social programs which are funded by the tax payer. Accessibility for those with disabilities is a human right. I use a wheelchair. It was the drunk driver's fault, not mine. I work full time, I don't want handouts or sympathy. Where I reside there is modified public transit, accessible public buildings and I am able to go about my business without being a burden to the taxpayer. I visit St. John's and there is barrier after barrier for those with disabilities. One opinion of mine - the tax payer here would rather see a person like me physically / finacially housebound in some public housing unit drawing welfare then you complain that I'm on wefare. This young lady has every right to access this beach and for every entrance to a public building or outdoor venue wheelchair access should be available. People like you need a good shaking or as the saying goes walk in my shoes for a week. You should be advocating lest a social program that directly benifits you is stripped away thus making you a burden on society.

  • Derrick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Open Mouth, Remove Foot



    Comments that compare the appearance or ability of a person with a disability to a person without a disability have the same underlying message as saying to a woman, 'Your report was well done, for a girl,' says Susan Henderson, managing director of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF). We understand the impact of that statement on our daughters and our culture--the same is true for comparative comments about disability.



    Josie Byzek, managing editor of New Mobility magazine, has multiple sclerosis. Over the course of her disease, she has heard more than that she looks so good.



    I also get the 'Well, everyone has memory problems as they age,' and 'That happens to everyone,' and lots of other stuff that's supposed to be comforting but is actually awfully minimizing, she says.



    Other real-life hurtful comments that should not be uttered to a person with a disability, and why:



    1. It's probably just stress. This undermines a diagnosis given by a qualified medical professional and makes it seem as though the person with a disability is exaggerating.
    2. My [insert relative] had that, and she manages just fine. The effects of a disease can and often do manifest themselves differently from one person to the next. Measuring the extent of a person's disability against the condition of another person is insulting.
    3. No pain, no gain! This cliché does not apply when it comes to disability.
    4. It's all in your head. This is especially infuriating for people who struggled to get a diagnosis for their symptoms. Just because symptoms are not visible to others doesn't mean a person doesn't have an illness or disability. Leave the medical interpretations to the experts. This occurs frequently for those with mental illnesses. According to the Mayo Clinic, To some, the word 'mental' suggests that the illness is not a legitimate medical condition but rather a problem caused by your own choices and actions.
    5. You're just looking for attention/pity. Hardly. Many people think that those with disabilities are helpless, broken and weak. The stigma is one that newly diagnosed people often have to grapple with in their own minds, which makes it even more hurtful to hear this from other people. But the stigma is wrong.
    6. You're here! You must finally be better. This fallacy can be maddening. For those with chronic illness, there is no cure, and hearing a comment such as this one proves that the illness is not understood--and that no effort was made to understand it. Becoming accustomed to an illness or disability is a personal journey that everyone makes at his or her own pace.
    7. I really admire your courage/how you pretend nothing's wrong. People with disabilities learn to adapt their lives around their disability. It is not a show of courage or denial to carry on, and to insinuate such is offensive.



    Mobilization



    This year, Sept. 10-16 is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. Since 2002, the week has been recognized nationally each year to unite and mobilize people with non-visible disabilities and illnesses and their allies to educate government, healthcare companies, and the general public about the 133 million people living with a chronic condition. That number is expected to increase by more than one percent a year to 150 million by 2030, according to a study for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and 42 million of those will be limited in their ability to go to school, to work, or to live independently. Read the full study.



    This Means You



    If you think this won't be a concern until old age, take note: 75 percent of people with chronic conditions are younger than 65.



    One of the biggest obstacles in the disability community is the attitude of the temporarily able-bodied. When Lawrence Carter-Long, director of advocacy for the Disabilities Network of New York City, gives lectures to college students, he asks, What is the difference between a person with disability and a person without? After getting the usual answers--having a wheelchair, using a cane or a hearing aid--Carter-Long reveals the real answer: About five seconds.



    Most of the problems regarding access have more to do with proximity than with malice. If it's not you, it could be your brother coming back from Iraq, it could be your aging parents, it could be your niece being born with a disability, he says.



    Carter-Long and other disability-rights advocates urge action by those who think it's not going to happen to me so that when disability does affect you, access to basic needs--such as housing, employment, healthcare, assistance--won't be a problem.



    Byzek says, The greatest gift the independent-living and disability-rights movements can give our society is the freedom to just be people. We've created a society that wants people to adjust to systems. This is backwards. SYSTEMS should adjust to PEOPLE. We come along with our limps, our canes, our wheelchairs, our dodgy eyesight, our brilliant minds wrapped in fatigued bodies and say, 'Hey, can you just wiggle this rule?' and are becoming adept at pointing out how this is actually civil rights.



    She continues, We have the right, as citizens, to participate fully in our own society. What would happen if everybody had the ability to wiggle their environment, our systems, to make their lives easier? We'd be a happier, more relaxed society. We'd have fewer stress diseases, we'd live longer, we'd be more productive.

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    To Jean.....I realize that my response seemed like a cold response but there are so many accessibility issues for folks confined to wheelchairs and and I think money could be put to better use to help these folks than access to a beach. I apologize to Goldie and her family for my comment!!!

  • Matt
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Nicole,
    Try not to let them get to you. The internet allows all gutless weasels the anonymity to write things they wouldn't have the nerve to say to your face. They might have a pair of working legs, too bad they don't have a pair of balls to go along with them.

  • past fan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    The beautiful Topsail Beach has become less beautified, since the Rotary has installed a rotary parking lot. They have cut off many areas that were once accesable, including the fact that now one must use several stairs, to access the beach area of the beach. Life's a beach I guess. Looks like the Rotary should complete the mess with a Pink Hotel, a Boutique, and a swinging hot spot.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I feel certain that no one is in a wheelchair by choice. It seems to me that poor accesibility is not an issue for many around here. We have a long way to go.

  • Mother's Daughter
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I feel for Ms. Baird. Nobody should be excluded from enjoying Topsail Beach. Not long ago, I brought my elderly mother there. The risers in the stairs are so tall, she couldn't manage to go down the stairs to the beach. It hurt her a lot to see the rest of her family down on the beach below. She sat in her car and was miserable, but insisted on staying so she could 'be there' for her grandchildren. Besides the fact that it wasn't until later in June that the washrooms were open!! How family friendly is that??

  • Give
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Time for a better chair then. I have seen others in proper chairs down on the edge. She spent the money on an ATV to put herself in that chair, she sure could use some of the insurance money to obtain a chair that would get her back into trouble pretty quick if she really wanted to.

    Gotta luv the oh poor me stories these day.

  • Justice & Karma
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    People with disabilities do have rights and should enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of the population, it's nice that Ms. Baird can spend time with her Granddaughter and did not lose her life in that accident 9 years ago.

    That said, I believe the Telegram should run another article regarding the paternal rights of children and how easily an angry, vengeful pair of bitter women can steal a child from a father who adores her for no other reason then the relationship did not work out between the parents. Thus leaving that man with no alternative but to endure a lengthy court battle seeking access and visitation and a little girl who loves her father and is left alone, feeling abandoned and wondering what happened to Daddy? That sounds like a very unjust and criminal matter to me.

    Wouldn't the tax dollars being wasted in that senseless court battle be better spent on wheelchair ramps so every family can enjoy areas like Topsail Beach, mothers AND fathers alike. I'm sure that would lead to much more positivity being spread around our communities as opposed to a little girl preparing for an adult life with a chip on her shoulder and a grandmother seeking headlines for what?

    I'm sure Nicole's daughter would love to spend the day at the beach with her father. I believe it is every childs right to a father just like it's every humans right to enjoy a public beach. Why is it that these people can get a front page article seeking help and sympathy yet there is no one to speak for the grandchild she'd like us all to believe she seeks the best for!?!!

    Just a thought

  • Not Amused
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Moved away from the province 7 years ago and it's obvious to me that nothing has changed since then especially the closeness of the community...can't agree on nothing!

  • Peter
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    What is just as peculiar about the New Topsail Beach is the intersection of Topsail Beach Road and Route 60. Originally the proposal was to build a new access road via Topsail River valley, but this was probably too expensive.

    Nevertheless when this section of Route 60 was upgraded several years ago there was not any attempt to improve this (or any other) intersection. Not only is it on a turn with limited visibility for pedestrians, but vehicles leaving the Beach are on a steep grade and often spin their tires in haste to get on Route 60 in time.

    During the last Polar Bear Dip held there, the entire road and parking lot was congested to the point that the ambulance attendants had their vehicle trapped halfway down and chose to get out and direct traffic.

    Hard to know where to spend money on victims of accidents or preventing future ones?

  • Willie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Harry,
    Jim and Donny Dooley may be ignorant as pigs but they have a right to say what they feel. It's good to know that people are thinking this way and not try to cover it up.
    I believe if Ms. Baird wants to get closer to the ocean and risk getting swept out to sea by a rogue wave then she should be able to. Last September we almost lost 4 in Middle Cove just up the road from where I live. She has rights too!

    Willie Hunt
    Pouch Cove NL

  • Jean
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Well Jim from NL, that's a pretty COLD response. This Lady deserves to be able to access the beach as well as any person that can walk to it. I feel so sad for people that can be this heartless. But maybe one day Jim you'll know what it feels like to be left on the outside. Keep your head up Goldie, I know how you feel!!

  • ½ wit
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Northeast Avalon Rotary Club DID put in a ramp. Notice that this is an NGO which did this work in the first place, not a government office. Now because this GIFT by an NGO to the community was partially destroyed, the community now EXPECTS full amenities. One good deed doesn't go unpunished huh ?

    I would suggest any further gifts by NGOs to any community meet with further scrutiny upon application. Else the inadvertent loss of such gift will be met with community disdain and the onus put on government to do full reparations. In other words... government should't allow gifts to the community unless the government is prepared to take on full financial responsibility for them, which could cost much more than the initial gift itself down the road.

    Don't give a naughty child a toy if it isn't going to be taken care of. You'll be buying that toy over and over again. But you can't stop buying toys now either because the child now expects to have this toy. No more toys - no more demands - no more reparation costs. Simple.

    Yup, unruly citizens used the ramp as firewood. Topsail beach is a haven for unruly people the past few years. Talk to anyone with property there and they'll tell you horror stories of out-of-control 'children' speeding, peeling tires, extremely loud music very late into the night, massive trash problems, drunkness, urinating in people's gardens, drugs, vandalism all along Topsail Beach Road.

    If the town can't afford to repair it now and into the future, REMOVE ALL OF IT and bring it back to it's original and natural state.

    This might even help the folks resume a normal life on Topsail Beach Road.

    The other option is to make it a PAY Beach with a guard and a time schedule.

  • Matt
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Oh please, Jim. The five to ten grand it would cost to put in a ramp and maybe even a little deck or walkway there is laughable. What about the percentage, probably majority, of the population who never visit the beach? Why are they paying for the services at all? Why not get rid of the tax funding and put a toll booth there so only the people using it need to pay for it?

    Because it's a public beach, not a private one, that's why. Building a false analogy like Madigan's Pond is a poor, badly-reasoned argument.

    I suggest you take your own get over yourself advice.

  • Smart
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    The typical ''worldly'' people commenting on issues they think they are experts on.

    Walk a mile in someone's shoes and you will realise the challenges, obstacles, benefits, advantages and disadvantages that person faces daily.

    I'm willing to bet that if every person volunteered two hours of their precious upcoming weekend a wheelchair ramp would have been designed and completed by Sunday evening.

    But unfortunately, Jim and Donny Dooley will be hitting up Tol's time out lounge while J from All over and Nasty Nate will be hanging out in the Village Mall food court hitting on girls aged between 14-85.

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Well Said Nicole Baird from Paradise.

    You have helped bring an additional portion of humanity to this story.

    I hope your mother is able to enjoy all the simple things the majority of people take for granted.

  • sandy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Topsail Beach is NOT a family beach....have you visited lately?

    More than a wheelchair ramp, it needs full time security to make it a family beach.

    Mayor French and his staff should visit the place several time a week and they will find out what needs to be done.

  • Sid
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    While I feel terrible for Ms. Baird and would certainly feel the same way she does if I were in a wheelchair, I don't know what one can do. Unfortunately, her disability prevents her from partaking in a lot of life pleasures but the cold hard fact of the matter is her disability is not the fault or responsibility of society as a whole. I'm sure that there are blind people who would love to be in her position to at least enjoy the beauty seeing the beach and ocean. Not much comfort I know, but something to ponder.

  • Use Your Brian People!!
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    I question the thought process of a family trying to wheel Ms. Baird down a steep bank in the first place. She could have ended up a quadrapalegic instead of just a parapalegic. I feel for her but the decision making is questionable at best.

    I wonder if the same careless thought process put her in that wheelchair in the first place. Only speculation on my part though.

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Dear Nicole Biard,

    Of course people in wheelchairs have rights but they are not exhaustive. How much taxes do you expect the rest of us to pay so someone can go on a beach in a wheelchair.

    What about the person in the wheelchair who wants to go into 3rd madigan's pond trouting, do we plow a road in the country and pave it so they can trout??

    Access to a beach is not a god given right. Get over yourself.

    Commonsense is in short supply these days and all everyone does is want, want, want.

    You want your mother to have access to the beach then have a fundraising and go build a ramp. Leave the rest of us out of it.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Hey Helen,
    Good point about the able bodied students lending a hand but you can't expect them to carry a handicapped person to the shoreline. How about they use an ATV to drive the handicapped people down to the water until the ramp is built. Always thinking outside the box!

  • Tony
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Jim, what an ignorant comment. Thank God I have two good legs, and by your piggish remarks, I can assume you do as well. If you were in this ladies position wouldn't you want access to a public place? Yes, I think so.

  • nicole
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Goldie Baird is my mother andI want to thank some of you for the positive remarks, for those who are just plain rude and pigs I want to tell you i hope to god that nothing will ever happen to you my mother didnt ask to be in a wheelchair its called enjoying life and having an accident she didnt ask for it like you could be driving and hitting a moose im sure you didnt ask to hit a moose!. So i guess no one should be driving or havn fun. people dont give up because your afraid that your going to have an accident!. I guess people with disabilities should all be in homes and treated like dogs.... My mother is trying to enjoy life as much as normal with her grandchildren is that alound? shes not asking it for just herself what about these childeren who are born in a wheelchair? i guess they dont have any rights on going to a beach and havn fires? you tell me in st.john's where is a family beach to!!!! that people in whelechairs can go and have fires..... shes human like your self i guess you can call your selfs human i call you guys pigs. Were not asking for a hand out

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Here is a genius idea, if vandals are a problem because they burn the wooden ramps make the ramps out of concrete. It isn't rocket science people, it is just money of which the Town of CBS has none. But that isn't any excuse.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Why should Ms Baird be denied access to Topsail Beach? Why not modify the steps to the beach to a ramp so everyone can get there? I know there is a cost to all of these items. If an able body person was denied access to Topsail Beach, would this be tolerated so easily? Accesibility issues should have input from the disabled community. As a recently disabled person myself, I am discovering this new world sand I am finding there are many issues that are seriously misinterpreted by the able bodied community Rotary is to be Commended for the work they do in the community overall, but it is a big dispointment with issues like this.No body is asking for a lot. Just to be able to get some place without jumpnig through hoops. Conditions at Topsail are not safe if the existing conditions remain as they are.

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Like it or not, the sad reality is that the poor lady is in a wheelchair and must accept the fact that this limits her from doing things that people who are not in wheelchairs can do. The same as as the blind not being able to see a movie, the deaf not being able to hear a chirping bird and so on. Just sayng what most are thinking.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    That's a tough area and the local yokels will be making 'splits' out of the new ramp in no time flat. Nothing says burnin' like pressure treated wheelchair ramps!

  • Edward
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    goldie is one of the most kindest people that i have met.
    i cannot believe some of the ignorant comments posted here.
    she didnt ask to be confined to a wheel chair.
    all she wants is the beach to be wheel chair accessible so she can spend time there with her granddaughter.
    this is not only for herself.
    its for other people with the same disability.
    shame on you people.

  • Mikalah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I can't believe how ignorant and rude you people are - Jim- really!!! At least we can walk to the beach, this lady is in a wheelchair - Newfoundlanders are so rude!!! Don't give up Goldie - you go girl!!!

  • Ted
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Jim from NL wrote
    ...What will her next request be, special sand so she can wheel up and down the beach?

    =======================
    If everyone subscribed to your philosophy, the disabled would still be in nursing homes. I don't think a concrete wheelchair ramp is a lot to ask for.

    Here's an idea... for the next week, live your life out a wheelchair. Everything from using the washroom to going to the supermarket and work etc.... Then you will realize the insensitivity and ignorance of your comments. My guess, is you won't last for more than an hour before getting up and walking away.

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I would just like to add to my previous comments this is a typical case of survival of the fittest.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to run along Topsail Beach

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Though I do feel for Goldie, what will her next request be, special sand so she can wheel up and down the beach?

  • harry
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    telly ,,, please dont let jim comment on here any more and donny from that awful name place either theyre so ignorant n gross they should be banned

  • DeeBee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    So... whoever said life was fair? I appreciate Goldie Baird's situation, but in all seriousness... who should be expected to pay the bill to make this beach wheelchair-accessible... or for ongoing maintenance? (Obviously, there is a problem with vandalism in the area, I mean.) Going to a beach is not a life necessity. Instead of her family going there, maybe they could find one nearby where there are ramps... or, at least, one that's more easily accessible. To echo Jim's sentiment above, I mean no insult and I'm not trying to be heartless, but if life was fair, she wouldn't be in a wheelchair in the first place, I'd have the money to buy an ATV and we'd all have our turn flying above the pigeons and seagulls for a change. So, should someone drive around to all the beaches in the province - indeed, the whole country - and see if they are wheelchair-accessible? Who would pay for this? Who would have the time? How is getting to a beach a 'human right'? Once this lady, for example, gets on the beach... how will she move through all the sand? And over rocks? Should we pave the beach so that she can move about on it as some think is her 'right'? I understand this is a plight by a Telegram writer to garner sympathy for this person and this situation, but there are far more important things going on in the world than a person in a wheelchair getting onto a beach. I am sorry.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Give Jim a break, for heavens sake. Yes, it was insensitive but he admitted that and apologized.
    Everyone in the world has problems, this just happens to be the one publicized today.
    I feel for Ms. Baird.
    Yes, improvements need to be made for wheelchair accessibility.
    And for those visually impaired, hearing impaired, the elderly, the ill etc. etc. etc.!!

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Special sand?

    Maybe they should just pave it over so she can roll herself up and down the beach next to the water.

    While I feel for the lady she is in a wheelchair and this does exclude her from some of life's simple pleasures.

    Next she'll be complaining she can't go in the woods trouting because ATV paths don't allow for wheelchairs.

  • no to fires
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    A poster mentioned fires on the Beach. Fires have ruined that beach. I have seen burned out tires and other sorts of refuse left on the beach which makes it a mess and a hazard to those who simply wish to enjoy it in it's natural state.

  • Maggie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    My heavens above, I just cannot believe some of the comments here.
    I know some so-thought smart person will tell me not to read them if I don't like them. What happened to plain
    human compassion ?

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    I'm not suprised in the least. On a recent visit to St. John's and area I was amazed at how many individuals who use a wheelchair are limited by the provinces lack of understanding of the needs of this population. People are expected to yet are restricted in taking care of their day to day needs as well as social outlets. This includes access and transportation. Another strike against French and his blindfolded council. Given the paramount issues of individuals with disabilities this council should be aware. Your still in the stone age.

  • Helen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Hi, Why don't the Beach hire a few able bodied summer students and let them look out to persons coming to the Beach that need a hand. Where's their ingenuity?? Life is a Beach!! Let's enjoy it!!

  • Sparkey
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Hi Guys & Gals: I can`t believe, the Crap ,some of those Assholes out there,take time to write! I would like to say that: I hope the Town Of C.B.S can find-it in there hearts to put-in a Wheel Chair Ramp,not only for Goldie but for others,who are in Wheel Chairs & would like to visit the Topsil Beach,its not a Outer Ring Road the people are asking for.

  • ³
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Telling it like it is (aka little barking dog on second floor balcony) from St. Johns, NL mind your threats, there is always someone bigger than you.

  • Sue
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    My family had to wheel me down over the slippery dangerous bank ---That my friend says a lot about YOU.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    To Jim from NL

    I will gladly volunteer my services so you may know what life is like in a wheelchair.

    Maybe you won't be such a ignorant moron then.

    Nuff Said

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Doesn't really surprise me CBS is so far behind the times when it come to that sort of thing.If you want to look at another example they do even force the issue about providing playgrounds in new subdivisions.I think if the contractor is building a subdivision they sould be made provide one for the families.I know of one new subdivision that has one I just moved there and was very pleased that the contractor took it upon themselves to put one in.Happy to see though that they will do something about the ramp.

  • turn back the page
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Topsail Beach has had a lot of money and work put into it by the Rotarians, which has transformed this location from a dead end dirt road into what we see today. If Ms Baird had attempted to get to the beach in it's former state, she would have been suck up to her axles in beach, at least now she can park on the grass and enjoy a lovely sunset or a cool ocean breeze.

    Look, it doesn't matter what you do in this world, somebody will find fault with it. If you are unable to please 100% of the people 100% of the time, your a shmuck.

    One poster even complained, that the risers of the steps were too high for her elderly mom, well I would be surprised if these steps were not built to code, but at least her mom has stairs to use now as opposed to a time when she would have had to negotiate a steep rocky dunne to get to the beach.

    I am not in a wheel chair, and for that I can consider myself very fortunate, but it is rediculous to expect every beach or publically accessible area to be 100% accesible to ALL people....ALL the time.

    Perhaps those who are concerned about this can approach the Town of CBS and/or the Rotarians to work towards the facilitation of a ramp, and while they are at it donate a little cash towards the project. Talk is cheap, ramps are not.

  • Snuffalupagus
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    hey Sparky it already is an outer ring road have u been there?