In response to Vern May’s last article, I think he was spot on with referencing a good number of Portagers with the doom and gloom attitude.
I come from generations of Portagers and I have heard my fair share of negativity. Psychology tells us that people who are negative are usually depressed and are fearful of disappointment. Having said that we certainly have had our fair share of misfortunes and rotten luck, not only in disappearing industry but small businesses as well, from losing M&M’s food market to losing Reitman’s, to losing our young people in tragic accidents that should never have happened.
So please cut us some slack, we just need some really positive things to happen to give us a more optimistic attitude.  Imagine my elation at seeing the sign for a Mr. Mikes, only to quickly learn it was just advertising a franchise opportunity…disappointed.
So, let’s talk about positive things that we could make happen without the help of industry or business right here, and right now. After seeing the spectacle on the bridge last night I wondered how on earth we could tear it down and be happy about that. It may not be the prettiest bridge but it could be a tourist attraction. Last nights dinner for 600 made me so proud to live here! Could we not keep the bridge for pedestrian traffic only, people love to walk across bridges, having lived on Kingston Row in Winnipeg for 13 years I can certainly attest to that. The BDI bridge is a perfect example of saving a bridge for pedestrians and bicycles only, it is chock a block every summer Sunday afternoon, yes, there is an ice cream store but an ice cream truck would do the same job. Our bridge could also be used for the farmers market on Saturdays, it could have a metal roof installed over part of it like the roofs on the park shelters, volunteers could paint the bridge but best of all we could watch the wildlife on the water. Does it really matter that the bridge has humps?
I am definitely in favour of a new causeway, why could we not extend it from Tupper Ave. to directly across the lake?
I am a big fan of cheap and cheerful and believe there are so many ways to make improvements to our little town, I really do believe it is the prettiest town in Manitoba, and that is the reason my husband and I moved back to my hometown.  Let’s add more flower pots to the entrance of the park, let’s have every business in town put up an awning and have certain architectural guidelines to follow, we have some beautiful, and precious old buildings let’s highlight them. Contrary to popular belief people love to look at and admire old buildings
Why, oh why can we not close off Crescent Road from Royal to 18th street every Sunday in the summer so families can stroll or ride their bikes without the incessant noise of traffic and trucks without mufflers.
These things that I have suggested do not cost a lot of money and do make people feel good about where they live, so let’s forget about Roquette for a week and ponder on how we can make things better for ourselves.
If we could have 600 people in white on the bridge last night, maybe we could have a lot more than 600 people in white to let the powers that be know how we feel about losing this precious asset to our town.
Jeanette McSorley