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No hidden agenda

Dear sir:

I would like to respond to Mr. Robert Dakin’s letter to the editor in the Nov. 2 issue of the Fort Frances Times.

Mr. Dakin, I was shocked (to say the least) when I read your letter to the editor regarding the “Scott Street Scare.” Do you know when the “Scott Street Scare” started? Do you know why it started?

Yourself being a long-time resident of Fort Frances, I am surprised you would accuse local businesses of using this event as a marketing tool to “trick” parents into shopping. I really don’t think you understand the concept.

First of all, the “Scott Street Scare” is not an event created by the BIA or downtown merchants. Sandra McNay created this idea eight years ago, on the basis of International Falls’ “Treat Street.” She continued it even when her store was out of the downtown area for three years.

She solely organizes, fundraisers, and recruits volunteers each year to make this a safe trick-or-treating environment for children.

Yes, she does have the support of numerous businesses (both downtown and others) and the support of many individuals. Not because “they want parents to shop,” but because they believe in the safety of the event. If the stores wanted you to shop during the “Scott Street Scare,” they would ask her to hold it during store hours.

Have you been to the “Scott Street Scare?” No one is shopping. Most stores are closed, other than staff volunteers at the entrances.

No one is asking you to “foot” the bill . . . they’re not increasing your taxes or any such thing. She is merely asking for donations from people who do agree with it—just like many local groups, clubs, and organizations ask for donations.

Do you also feel McDonald’s hosts the “spooky trailer” each year just because they want to sell cheeseburgers?

Times have changed, Mr. Dakin, from when your kids and I trick-or-treated. It is no longer as safe.

I took my son to the “Scott Street Scare” and to neighbouring houses, with lights on. They’re getting fewer and fewer, for whatever reasons . . . maybe beliefs are changing or maybe they’re taking their own children out.

Neighbourhood trick-or-treating is now more like 1,2, skip a few, 3, 4 . . . What! No more (houses with lights on). It can take forever.

Yes, I understand the idea is not to get a hoard of candy, but my son had more fun with all the downtown excitement and seeing so many costumes at once, including his classmates.

Amazingly, he was more interested in the excitement than the candy . . . and isn’t that the idea.

Do you also feel the BIA hosts and organizes the Christmas parade simply for the retail gain of attracting customers downtown? If this were the case, I’m sure they would hold it only during business hours (not evening) and only in the downtown core, not starting at the Shevlin wood yard.

Not everything has a hidden agenda.

It is your right to disagree with the “Scott Street Scare,” so don’t support it. But I do hope you reverse your ideas and retract your negative comments on these events being “sales tools” for stores. How does the “Scott Street Scare” affect or hurt you?

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.


Laurie Beadle

Fort Frances, Ont.

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