Morinville can take pride in the summer it offered its residents. Commencing with St. Jean Baptiste Festival 2012 and winding its way through programs for children and adults, the community has once again made sure the ducks were in a row with things to do. Whether it was the weekly Farmers’ Market or summer student concerts, there were a variety of things for people to see and do in and out of Morinville this summer.
And though each day grows shorter as we make our way to fall and the winter that resides beyond, some of us are thankful the diminishing days of summer will also result in a diminishing amount of vandalism and hooligan crime. Vandalized fences, Canada Post group boxes, and smashed garden lights have tarred the community’s vision of itself as the family choice. Though such random or planned acts of hooliganism are the works of a small number of miscreants, drunk or otherwise, it sets neighbourhoods on edge and angers those affected directly or indirectly.
Just this past weekend a pair of late-night revelers could be heard cursing, swearing and yelping through my neighbourhood near Notre Dame School. If not for being awoken by their barbarian-like yelps I may not have been able to avert one of the drunken miscreants from tossing a large hunk of rubber matting at my own vehicle. A verbal directive to keep moving was all that was needed to have the heavy rubber chucked on the street rather than at my car’s side window. What ultimately became of them, I do not know. Police tend to be busy weekends but do a good job responding to calls.
Even the local community garden has recently been victim to having its vegetables harvested and chucked about the streets. Initiatives like the community garden project are good for the community, but the work of volunteers is diminished and frustrated by those who would simply prefer to be posterior orifices for the sake of their own amusement.
That local youth or adults would think so little of their own neighbourhoods or others as to deface them is shameful, but we can take comfort that RCMP statistics show property crime has a marked decrease when vandals, like troublesome flies, go dormant in colder weather.
So we say good riddance to summer, even though we have a full 28 days of summer remaining. The fall always brings interesting programs and activities for us to report on rather than yet another story about damaged public and private property.
As a community we need to ensure our local policing partners, including Citizens on Patrol and Sturgeon Rural Crime Watch are well stocked in volunteers and in funding. We can build swimming pools and hold dances and concerts, but dirt bags will be dirt bags regardless of the age or alternative opportunities available in the community.