Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
July 23, 2024
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Letters May 22

Service animals in restaurants, whether the County is an island, Bailey's Casual Dining new “Members Only” club, and Fawcettville feature in this week's letters.

Official Plan vs. The Forces of Greed

The editorial Visions and Realities (May 9) and the Letters to the Editor regarding the Fawcettville development highlight the old ways that developers mandated the terms of agreement for housing tracts.  The willingness of recalcitrant developers to destroy the environment while creating their idea of affordable housing is notable. 

The statement that a developer needs to clearcut a forest and destroy 16 mature, protected butternut trees while willingly paying the fine for doing so means two things: a complete lack of consideration for the environment and that the fine is much too low.

Consideration for the environment is mandated in the County’s Official Plan.  Muscle for the plan comes from laws enacted by Council.  The forces of greed can be checked.

Barbara Dahlman, Picton 

Service Animal Turned Away

As winter turns to spring, so did my thoughts of visiting The County — and as an added bonus, Countylicious was in full swing.

I made the plans, booked my favorite place to stay, and headed down to enjoy a spell of County time.

A very good friend of mine who is in need of a Service Animal for a serious medical condition felt it would do her good to get away. I was only too happy to include her in the experience.

We looked at all the great things on offer as part of Countylicious and picked out a few places to go. As a courtesy to the restaurants we planned to visit, I emailed to let them know one of our party required a service animal and to ask if we could be seated in a quiet corner.

To my surprise, rather then being happy to accommodate, the hosts sent quite rude replies, asking, “is the person visibly disabled,” and telling me we needed to bring a Doctor’s letter. One place even said that as the establishment was small, “it would be difficult to accommodate a service animal.” The animal in question is 10 lbs!

As a long time visitor to The County — I visit at least five times a year to enjoy the bounty of the county — I was surprised and embarrassed by these upsetting responses. We elected to get some good food at Ralph’s and Onesta, bought some amazing County wine, and ate at home. I will not be in a rush to return to any of the restaurants who made my friend so unwelcome.

I must add that we did go to Cressy Mustard for fish and chips, a long time family tradition, and they made us all, including the service animal, very welcome.

We would appreciate that this letter become available to local restaurants as things could have been rectified very easily and feel that other patrons should be aware.

Jean Caldwell, Wellington

County not an Island

Re: Around the Island. No one, ever, born and raised in the County, referred to this area as an “island.” It is an affectation of newcomers. Perhaps to try to make their “discovery” seem a bit more special?

Only people not from here, would ever call the county an “island.”

PLEASE stop doing so. It disrespects the County’s heritage, as well as all of those  people who were born and raised here. There is more than enough “change” being rammed down our throats.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would refrain from using the term island in The Picton Gazette, when referring to the County. You would be recognizing and respecting one aspect of our heritage and community — our name — the County ( not the Island ).

Don Montgomery, Prince Edward County

Members Only Club Leaves Bad Taste

Re: Members Only (May 1). I read with interest the story that Bailey’s Casual Dining is now restricting parts of its restaurant to “Members Only,” and has started a membership club requiring proof of a local address to join. 

I watched with dismay the outpouring of congratulations (?!) to Bailey’s for taking this bold and unusual step, to protect locals from the busy season, when they might have to wait in line at their favourite breakfast.

The same article notes that Bailey’s has  accomplished a much-needed expansion. Perhaps this was what the congratulations were for? They are certainly in order. Renovation is never fun and always expensive. 

Perhaps with this additional space, Bailey’s doesn’t have to start a Members Only club?  Surely there is room for all?   

While the regulars think this is a great idea, and I do understand why — who doesn’t enjoy preferential seating and preferential treatment — I am wondering, what would happen if every restaurant in the County decided to pursue this plan, and created a Members Only club, where the sole requirement is proof of address.

The County would very soon become not such a welcoming place to visit. In fact, not a place to visit at all.

Part of being a great place to live is being able to welcome visitors. But then again, maybe this isn’t such a great place to live. And maybe all the tourists are right to be staying away. Post-pandemic, numbers are down by at least a third. Many businesses are struggling, year round. Many are up for sale, unable to continue the fight any longer. It might be worth thinking that over the next time you are led to your specially reserved spot at the local diner. Bailey’s is lucky to have the business it does. What happens if the visitors it turns away go elsewhere. Permanently.

Dorothy Ludgren, Glenora

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 21 edition of The Picton Gazette
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