Take down that monstrous fence

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I came back from my regular walk on the harbour front again today with tears in my eyes — angry and upset. Because of the despicable fencing recently installed, I can no longer enjoy my walk nor my view of the Narrows, Signal Hill, The Battery, the marina and Southside Hills, etc. 

That horrible wire barrier makes me feel like a prisoner trying to get a view of the outside world or a chicken in a coop! And I’m sure the majority of our citizens would say the same thing.

In addition, the sidewalk is in terrible shape and the benches have all been removed so there is no place to rest after a hike downtown.  Any other city in Canada with such a beautiful waterfront would take full advantage of what we have and not deliberately block it off from its citizens and tourists. 

What were you thinking about, Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and councillors? Or does the blame fall on the provincial or federal government?

I heard that it might be because of safety concerns. That is absolute nonsense. For hundreds of years people have been freely walking up and down the waterfront without too many incidents. Even when the German U-boats were invading our waters during the Second World War we didn’t have a monstrous wire fence on the harbour front.

Is our mayor and city council trying to justify that eyesore of a fence for the safety of the few cruiseships that visit our harbour in the summertime? Have they seriously considered how that fence is destroying the pleasure and freedom of all of us who live here all year long? 

Instead of sealing off access to the harbour, they should be opening it up, and beautifying it like in other cities, so that it will be more attractive to people, so that it will be one of the highlights of a visit downtown.

In 1987, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in speaking about the Berlin Wall, challenged the Soviet Union leader by emphatically stating, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” 

On behalf of the citizens of St. John’s, and all visitors to our beautiful city, I challenge Mayor O’Keefe and his city councillors (or the provincial or federal government officials involved) to “tear down this abominable wire fence around our harbour.” 

And do it now!

 

Marilyn Tulk

St. John’s

Geographic location: Signal Hill, Canada, U.S. Berlin Wall Soviet Union

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Recent comments

  • Marilyn
    July 09, 2013 - 01:46

    Seems like I stirred up a bit of a hornets' nest by submitting the above letter protesting the harbour fence! I've been accused of being dramatic, told to "grow up", walk somewhere else, and to accept change and move on. Thankfully other comments were more positive. If you agree with what I said about removing that "monstrous fence", please contact Mayor O'Keefe and/or the City Councillors, your local MP, Port Authority, Telegram, local talk shows etc. The more people have the courage to voice their opinions on issues that matter, the louder and clearer the message might be received! And maybe mistakes will be reversed! As far as my friends, family and I are concerned, that ugly fencing would be better used to block the moose from our highways and prevent further injuries and deaths!

  • Stephen
    July 07, 2013 - 19:10

    A fence installed so that the port can meet US security demands. Such is the global tragedy of the National Security state.

  • James WIlliams
    July 07, 2013 - 16:04

    A hundred years ago your gender was not even permitted to vote. Times change.....Move On!

  • John
    July 07, 2013 - 07:55

    I agree with the above comments, grow up it is 2013 safety is a priority just look at at recent charges to the city.

  • gord
    July 06, 2013 - 22:55

    Big pile of bunkam using safety as a reason for implementing a desired change. The gov't does it all the time and uses this line just to shut NAPE up, and it works. Problem is that many of the changes are non safety threats but can be argued under that!! It's tabu to question "safety" within the gov't system.

  • RKB
    July 06, 2013 - 22:04

    How dramatic Marilyn.It is not worth it to have someone seriously injured or worst for the sake of a view who want to walk on the harbor apron.

  • Danny
    July 06, 2013 - 09:44

    The fence ...is to protect the tourists from the local lowlife.Much like when you go south to Cuba or DR & walk the beach.

  • Eastender
    July 06, 2013 - 09:07

    I also walked there many times as you know if someone gets hurt there at the harbor while doing work it's a big law suit,not like the old days if someone got hurt or killed then that was it.I do not agree that the city should spend our tax dollars by funding half of this wall but it is time for you to grow up Marilyn accept it,get over it,get with the times,take a walk somewhere else if it bothers you that much.I can look out my front door and looking the harbor it don,t bother us as much as it bothers you and others.What bothers us is that we can,t put nice windows in my home because we got people like you and others that don,t live down this way telling us to keep our heritage alive.WALK SOMEWHERE ELSE!