Letters to the Editor: Dec. 1

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University District Safety Initiative ‘a success’

I recently spent a day in court. This was the day when those charged with liquor and noise violations during Queen’s University Orientation and Homecoming faced a court appearance, pursuant to the new University District Safety Initiative.

Gone was the anonymity of the street crowd. One by one, alone, each defendant stepped before the magistrate. Each pleaded guilty. Each listened as the prosecutor stated that liquor violations are not socially acceptable, nor tolerated in the city of Kingston. Each was reminded that the citizens of Kingston should not have to bear the additional expense of police and emergency services required to deal with the situation.

Most of the liquor offenders were assessed a fine of $125. Noise violations ran in the $250 range. The prosecutor requested, and got, a $500 fine for one defendant who had three previous convictions and apparently had not gotten the message!

Several of these young defendants apologized to the court for their actions. Some addressed an apology to the citizens of Kingston at large. Clearly, being held to account individually in a court of law had caused many of the defendants to reflect on the consequences of their actions. This probably would not have happened if they were able to simply pay a fine online without a court appearance.

This was the first test of the University District Safety Initiative pilot project, and it was a success. The initiative should be maintained.

Don B. Rogers


Have compassion for homeless

I fully support Scott Drader on his kind efforts to give shelter to homeless people. No one likes to think there are homeless people, but when you see people begging on the streets, reality comes to all. I think a lot of us have been most fortunate, and “there but for the grace of God go I.”

How the Town of Greater Napanee can hold up its head I do not know. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, especially the town council, who readily amend laws to accommodate builders but shun their down-and-out local people. I would like to see the town mayor and the rest of them spend just one night in a tent, with an empty belly to boot. I think the bylaws would very quickly change.

Shame on you, Napanee, and bah humbug. 

Elizabeth A. Macdonald