Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Community Corner: Great Aurora “love-in” currently at Town Park

Posted by elizabethbishenden on December 19, 2009

One of our readers submitted this piece.

Our initial reaction was not to publish, but on sober second thought we chose to let you make your own decisions on its merits.

The Aurora Citizen in no way endorses any of the opinions expressed.  However, we’re not about to tell people what to think.  We’re just asking them to think, and to discuss.

In order to provide some context, the quote in the post comes from a letter to the editor “Great Aurora “love-in” currently at Town Park” by Heidi G. A. Stoecklin and Dave Philp published in The Auroran, Volume 10, Number 9, Week of December 15, 2009 (pages 3 & 8).

Perhaps a discussion of this letter is necessary.

 “The experiences of the Palestinians and the Red Man in Canada are parallel. In both cases, one country is bullying another and suppressing the truth from the public.  Do Canadians realize that part of the conflict in the middle east is because the Arabs and the Palestinians are trying to hold another party accountable for Jesus’s execution?  This Christmas, please consider with family and friends, who killed Jesus and why.”

 This letter is blatantly anti-semetic and has no place in today’s society. This evangelical christian bullshit belongs in history during the times of the European pogroms and the dreaded era of Nazism.

It has no place in todays Aurora. Whats troubling is not that this type of opinion exists but that a newspaper in a modern affluent town like Aurora would think it is acceptable to publish. Shame on Ron Wallace and the Auroran.”

 The Auroran has  this Editorial Policy: “Opinions expressed by columnists, contributors, and letter writers are not necessarily those of The Auroran.  Letters must include name a phone number, although number will not be published, and limited to 600 words.  Letters may be edited or refused.  All contents protected by copyright.”

 While The Auroran certainly seems to have bent the rules about the length of the letter, it certainly doesn’t endorse the content, either.

 At the Aurora Citizen we have a policy about what we’ll publish.  You can read it on our “About” page.  Opinions that are supported by weak or bad reasoning will be published.  Why?  Because they are opinions.  We respect our readers and we believe they can recognize a lack of logic.  You can publish crap on this blog.  Just be prepared to have it called crap.

 Publish a brilliant idea, though, and you’ll see how it inspires our readers and writers.

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20 Responses to “Community Corner: Great Aurora “love-in” currently at Town Park”

  1. Older than dirt said

    Broderick and Horrified and others,
    If you had your way every newspaper, magazine,TV station and radio station would be closed or off the air.Each one of these media outlets,at times, have published something that might seem racist or go against what we see as right or wrong.
    It is the news or a social comment, it is what happens in a free Canada.It is everyone’s right to say and write what they want. Don’t read it if you don’t want to. Don’t watch television, don’t listen to the radio and God forbid don’t read any newspaper as something might offend you. You do not have to agree with everything that is written nor what is on TV.Listen to some of the songs that you hear on the radio. As a young adult growing up, I used to watch All in the Family, and thought that it was racist and only good for bigots. But then I spoke with a priest one day and mentioned my feelings and he said that while he disareed with what was being said, he did enjoy the show as a form of laughing at the narrow mind of Archie.He sais that we should all learn from people like Archie.To me this is the same as Heidi and her Love In.We can learn from someone who really is misguided in her thoughts of what is right or wrong.
    Ron Wallace, for sure meant no harm by printing the letter but he truly believes in freedom of the press.
    This blog has seen and heard everything from people like Horrified,Broderick,Walt and many no-names who also have the right to say what they choose to say since they believe that they are right. I can choose not to read it but I too learn from people like you.Whether I agree or not,it is your right.You call Mr Wallace an idiot,Mr Kean an idiot and spinless polititian,Mr Dawe as being wrong in his statements.
    I look at Kean as far from spinless, nor an idiot,but rather a person who will put his name to what he believes in, and he uses his real name, so who is spinless.He also stands behind his friends and to me that shows that he is caring and a friend like that everyone should have.He doesn’t hide behind what this mayor called transparancy when she was elected.I also consider Ron Wallace as a person who has given Aurora a platform to air good and bad laundry but more than that a paper that believes in Aurora.He also allows so many charitable groups in Aurora to get the press that they need.
    So to you all, freedom of speech does not trump all else, but it is allowed in Canada.
    Lastly, to Walt, what do you consider journalism? I think the Auroran does a great job of informing Aurorans as to what is happening in Aurora.

    • Broderick Epps said

      OTD. Your response was quite informative. I especially liked your Archie Bunker analogy.Quite compelling.Since reading your response, I have done some research. Mainstream media like the Star/Globe/Sun/Post have not found it fit to print Ms Heidi S’ writings/teachings .I actually had to go to the Al Jazeerah website to find another host for Ms Heidi S’ writings/teachings ( http://www.ccun.org/Opinion%20Editorials/2009/July/18%20o/Canadian%20Government%20Pollutes%20Water%20at%20Dump%20Site%2041%20By%20Heidi%20G.%20A.htm). Those that consider Ms Stoeklin a little off may want to reconsider.

    • walt said

      An attempt to explain what I do consider journalism has been difficult, as suggested by my lengthy silence on your question, . I am reminded that back in 1964, the American judge Potter Stewart tried to explain what is obscene, by saying, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced, but I know it when I see it.”

      I’m quite sure others would derive much mirth in my suggestion that journalism is like porn.

      Anyway, Merry Christmas, people.

      Here’s to better 2010, for all of us.

  2. Geoffrey Dawe said

    To suggest that Ron Wallace is an idiot for publishing a Letter to the Editor because you disagree with the contents, is simply a matter of shooting the messenger because you don’t like the message.

    It should perhaps be pointed out that we are not too far past Remembrance Day where we celebrated those who gave their lives in defence of our freedom.

    A freedom that allows the Auroran newspaper, and the Aurora Citizen to exist and allows us mere mortals to post our thoughts. Without censorship.

    Remember this next time you are tempted to shoot the messenger.

  3. Horrified said

    So, let’s see if I get this straight:

    Person X is a nice guy and has done a lot of good. Therefore, when he publishes hate speech, we should cut him some slack.

    Mr Kean, you just wrote, in the context of anti-Jewish commentary, that Mr Wallace “has chsen (sic) to print most of what regular Aurorans think.”

    Not this Auroran. I can’t vote for that.

    • Nigel Kean said

      To Horrified,
      I am the furthest thing from a person who is anti-Jewish, or anti any group. I still support Ron Wallace and the Auroran, as neither is Anti-Jewish. Ron printed a story that was written by a person who has wrongly misplaced her knowledge of what is right or wrong. I disagreed with the context, but in todays world where ” To Kill a Mockingbird” has been banned from certain schoolboards because it uses racist words, these type of problems pop up and need to be dealt with.Unfortunetly, those words were used back then and as a free Canada, we should never forget that, and this book does actually remind people about the way things used to be, and hopefully never return again.
      The person who wrote this piece has created a dialogue that is needed to understand why things like this are said.
      If you decide not to vote for me that is your choice although I disagree with your reason. If you ever want to sit down over a coffee with me to discuss please call me.

    • Broderick Epps said

      Thanks Horrified. You wrote exactly what I would of wrote. I guess based on G Dawe and the wannabe mayor, freedom of speech trumps all. Thus someone should tell the likes of Daniel Carver that in Aurora his beliefs are okay because in Aurora we enjoy “A freedom that allows the Auroran newspaper, and the Aurora Citizen to exist and allows us mere mortals to post our thoughts. Without censorship.”

  4. David Heard said

    If it were not for Ron Wallace and some others who have posted on this topic ,we would have not raised $1500.00 during the “Aurora Spirit Walk “.
    Because of community caring and coming together several groups (Kerrys Place ,The Aurora Food Pantry and Youth assisting Youth )received the benefits and others felt good doing it .
    Ron was , and is an amazing help to many who ask .
    We may not always agree ,but in the end the love for Aurora is truely strong .
    Freedom of speech is threatened in todays society ,heck I was even bullied for standing up for it and applauding something .
    A little good news cant hurt ,and freedom of speech still surviving is good news .

    Chris ,Kelley you will be well rewarded by Santa this year .
    Nigel thanks for helping me get started at the Market several years ago .Santa loves big kids like you too .

  5. Kelley Howard said

    This letter also made me slap my forehead and say “WTF”? However, I also found it rather amusing. It’s one person’s opinion – that’s all. And as much as I think she is talking out her derriere, she is entitled to her opinion. I don’t agree with what she says, but I defend to the death her right to say it.

    Isn’t that what free speech is all about?

    Everyone jumping on Ron Wallace is ridiculous. If you don’t like the letter, don’t read it. That is also your choice.

  6. Nigel Kean said

    I am proud to say that I know and respect Ron Wallace. While at times I disagree what is written, at least Ron has put his money where his mouth is. Over the past 5 years, Ron Wallace has given everything to maintain a newspaper where Aurora residents can voice their opinions. He has given Aurora a newspaper, that promotes everything that happens in Aurora good and bad. The Seniors,The Legion, sports groups,historical pictures and information, charities who always come to the Auroran for free advertising,the Chamber of Commerce, etc. The list goes on and on. Whether you agree or not, at least Ron puts his name on line every edition he prints. He doesn’t hide behind anonymous or names that mean nothing.
    To call him an idiot is only showing that you do not know the man. Ron, has in the past and I sure always will put Aurora first. This blog is a good forum to write what you want without any negative results against those who hide behind fake names.

    To me, Ron Wallace, has done nothing but good for Aurora and should be respected for that and not slandered by no names. He has chsen to print most of what regular Aurorans think and he gives them a platform to say it.

    Ron, keep up the great work.

    • Broderick Epps said

      Nigel Kean’s response to this thread certainly outs him as just another spineless politician. His over the top defense of Ron Wallace is laughable.This thread I thought was about whether a comment in a letter to the editor in Ron’s rag was bigotry/anti-semetic and whether he should have printed it.Freedom of speech as I said earlier has its limits. One cannot disparage an identifiable group in Canada. The hate laws are very succinct whether you agree with them or not. I still stand by my stance that Ron is an idiot for dragging himself into this vortex.And Nigel is also an idiot for defending him!

    • Nigel Kean said

      To Broderick Epps,
      I am glad that you support freedom of speech. I guess freedom of speech is OK if it deals with what you agree with.
      All I can say is that I still support Ron for everything that he has done for Aurora, both through the Auroran and by being on council.
      What is on your resume?

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    • walt said

      Pretty lousy argument, Mr. Keen, when you stoop to comparing resumes in order to buttress Mr. Wallace in our eyes. This isn’t about what Mr. Epps has or hasn’t done. It is about the Auroran and Mr. Wallace.

      Look, its a given that Mr. Wallace is a good guy, and has done pretty much everything for this town – I’ve heard it personally from any number of people. We are not arguing that.

      However, Mr. Wallace’s editorial policies do seem sadly lacking. In Mr Epp’s case, he questions the paper’s policy on letters to the editor, and in my case, his lack of gumption, for lack of a better word, when it comes to addressing the hard issues of governance in Aurora.

      I just wish Mr would please start acting like a real newspaper editor, and, stop publishing every letter from every crank in and (in Hugo’s case) out of town. And actually cover, if not have opinions on, what the hell is really going at Town Hall, instead of sitting quietly on the sidelines.

      The Auroran does a disservice to the a town by publishing nonsensical or worse letters and ignoring real issues. I expect better, especially from a man of Mr. Walllace’s character.

  7. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    Reading the letter by Heidi G. A. Stoecklin was painful. It was long, nonsensical and diverged across so many points.

    It failed to be a true call to action for its so called “Love in”. The letter spanned two pages and would have equated to almost a whole page. What was said could have been whittled down to a paragraph.

    Obviously like its writer it went nowhere.

    First off who is stupid enough to resurrect a hippie “love fest” now closing in on 2010? And to boot who would market it as a “Love-in” that implies an orgy…..ewww.

    Secondly did you read her goals? She herself claimed them lofty…well duh. Ending world conflict and returning troops before the end of this year, as a direct consequence of holding a love-in in our town park.

    John Lennon claimed “War is over, if you want it” but he certainly didn’t attach any lofty goals to his statement.

    I drove by Town park around 3pm to see if I could catch a glimpse of the crowds of people all in their tie-dye outfits with big placards playing Yoko Ono tunes while munching granola.

    They said they were there to answer questions, I had a bunch. But low and behold no one was at town park. Was it F’n cold? yes, but should it break your conviction? No.

    Not if you’re calling for the head of our Prime Minister to answer for supposed sins of our nation.

    This Heidi is a whack job, no doubt.

    I wasn’t too surprised to the collapse of this event as Heidi was responsible for the protest against the trails recently which amassed only 8 supporters….what a joke. Her effectiveness as a political activist is less than admirable.

    No doubt a supporter of the Mayor’s prayer breakfast, I’m not even going to comment on Heidi’s blatantly Evangelical Christian overtones that were sewn into to this piece.

    For Heidi’s sake, given that she is so imbalanced I suggest that someone call CAMH and have someone check in on her and re-adjust her meds.

    In regards to The Auroran, I’m surprised at the backlash.

    I commend Ron’s Journalistic experience and approach. The Auroran is the only paper in town that provides freedom of speech. Everyone here that is calling for Ron’s head, do you really need an editor to censor offending materials for you? Do you actually lack the ability to think for yourselves?

    What is that saying? : “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

    Shooting the messenger is a waste of bullets.

    By comparison The Toronto Star, which owns The Era Banner is filled with ridiculous preachy and offensive letters and articles, so to come down on the Auroran is a little hypocritical.

    As far as I’m concerned The “Mayora Banner” is a piece of crap that wraps around a phone book worth of advertising.

    The advertising I keep but the paper itself goes directly into my blue bin among with the convenient plastic wrapper so that I never have to endure the Grade 3 writing styles of Sean Pearce. Unfortunately someone always brings my attentions to his bias laden nonsensical ramblings and I then have to shake my head.

    I’ll take a free flow of information where I am allowed to make up my own mind as opposed to the blatant bias that we see from the Era Banner.

    And above all else it’s nice to have such a screwball piece injected into the paper, with all the crap going on in our town we could all do with a laugh.

  8. Horrified said

    I read that letter, and was also disgusted at the nasty and devious anti-Jewish reference. The quoted paragraph is certainly in a class beyond mere garden variety crank.

    The Auroran is a private enterprise, and has no obligation to publish every piece of trash that comes it’s way. I think Mr. Wallace showed poor judgement letting this one through as printed, or was asleep at the switch when it arrived.

    Right now, I’d be embarrassed to be an advertiser in that paper. Who would want to foot the bill for something so odious?

    I’ll be reading next week’s issue in the hopes of seeing some sort of atonement from the Publisher, as well as a commitment to a serious editorial policy appropriate to a modern Canadian community newspaper.

  9. walt said

    This not the first time Ron’s been burned by his ever-ceaseless quest for free filler (aka his b.s. letters to the editor policy) for his fish wrap.

    The Auroran is not journalism. Never has been, never will be as long as current editorial direction holds sway. It is simply a local freebie put out to make a little coin for the man.

    Anybody who thinks otherwise is terribly deluded. Food for thought: who actually raises real questions about things going on in Aurora? Look through past issues carefully and you’ll see that, softball as it is, the only paper asking questions on even a semi-regular basis is the Banner. Horrible to contemplate that, isn’t it?

    Sitting on that fence for as long as he has must make Mr. Wallace’s bottom very sore.

    If the man really cares for this town as much as Mr. Wallace says he does, he would actually take a stand on something. But for some reason he chooses not to. Instead he chooses to focus the Auroran on the soft and banal, concentrating on minutia of the past or piffling trivia like whether Longo’s gets another turn lane instead of addressing the Town’s serious issues of governance.

    I know I’ve said this before, but really, will the man ever grow a spine?

    p.s. Ron: Bonnie Tifflin is a lunatic. So’s Hugo. Stop printing their nonsense.

  10. Positive 2010 said

    I have more recently tried to be open minded to all tragic periods of our hitory and take from it what will help me to be a more tolerant and compassionate person .

    May sound a little crazy to some however if we never learn from our mistakes , and the mistakes however large ,that are drafted by others ,then we will never progress .

    How many times have we seen a handful of so called leaders convince followers to believe and then evil is cast upon others .
    The pages are full of horrific stories of present day ,not just the past ,and what are we doing to change this .

    Change begins in one , following the basic principles of Integrity , empathy ,and hope .
    Hope you may think is questionable however it is the most important I think because so many have lost it and cast stones at others to get rid of the weight and guilt they carry from their past or family tree .

    Letting go and moving forward and learning from our mistakes through time is a rewarding and an unselfish gift .
    Unselfish because when you choose to let go ,you then cause an incredible ripple to stop the negative and a positive ripple takes over .

    In our community we have just the opposite happening .
    If any of you do not think that what is happening to our current local leaders and their battles ,is not trickling down on the town ,
    Well I protest and ask Mr. Wallace at the Auroran to set aside one week a month and seek positive stories and press .

    If you do not think anyone wants to read that kind of fluff I say we have tried Centuries of the other and look how far its got us .
    Create the ripple Ron ,right here in Aurora .
    2010 is only two years away from our next ” End of the world as we know it ” some are trying to say .

    What have we got to loose .

    What say you Mr. Editor maybe the “Love In ” could start on your pages with some good news .
    To the community ,I challenge you to create that News .

    And then we will Party like its 2013 .

    • anonymous said

      The positive will start when this so-called mayor and her merry idiots (GOS) are no longer in power.
      Now, that is positive.

  11. Broderick Epps said

    The contributor of this discussion point has certainly hit a nerve. Too bad the Auroran saw fit to print anything from the lunatic fringe that is Heidi Stoeklin.Ron Wallace is an idiot for printing this letter. While against censorship, if it has to be applied it must be applied uniformly. If it is okay to blame one group rightly or wrongly for an historical event where do you draw the line? Other identifiable groups could also be held to account for historical events rightly or wrongly. Who is to judge what is bigotry/racism? The lunatic left? Evangelical Christianity? The loons in our society? Heaven help us all. Thanks Ron for opening pandora’s box!

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