Editor’s note: Four of the following letters, including one by Trish Elliott, are in response to a June 13 letter by Prairie Dog reader Jo Katera, who criticized Elliott’s May 30 article on the demolition of Regina’s indoor skatepark. Katera weighs in after the letters with an additional and surprise-filled response to my comments on Katera’s original letter. Sincere thanks to everyone who wrote in for contributing to both constructive dialogue and entertaining squawking.  /Stephen Whitworth [hr]


Jo Katera’s letter regarding the article about the skatepark closing is such a load of shit, in my opinion. First of all, don’t read Prairie Dog if you don’t like it — it’s that simple.

Second, the complaint wasn’t about the loss of a building. It was about the loss of a place for us skaters to go. Sure, we have two outdoor skateparks, but what about the six-plus months of winter? What about the rainy days? You may not know this, but we can’t skate in the rain or snow! We are perfectly happy skating in parkades, but they’re dangerous, and we’re always told to leave any place that isn’t “designated” for skating anyway.

Do you realize how boring it is to skate the same two parks day-in and day-out for four to five months out of the year? It certainly doesn’t affect you in any way, but it affects us greatly. Skateboarding is pretty much all about breaking boundaries, and keeping us caged up in two itty-bitty parks will only result in us trying to get out and skate wherever, whenever and on whatever we can. Give us a place to go and we won’t be on the streets, or bothering you in your precious public areas.

Which, if you ask me, is another load of shit. Why can’t we skate in the new plaza downtown? Oh, that’s right — skateboarding is a crime. I mean, it’s a little ridiculous when a person can’t even skate home through downtown without getting hassled by the cops, and now we have one less place to go, when we already have extremely limited options.

So yes, we will complain about it. Just because the “majority” of Regina doesn’t give a crap about us doesn’t make us any less important, our opinions any less valid or our desire for a place to go any less real.

As for Prairie Dog itself, I think you’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work!!

Natalie Desruisseaux, Regina[hr]


What a misguided joke! Jo Katera’s June 13 letter to the editor states: “The stadium is a multi-million-dollar legacy project. It will create hundreds, even thousands of jobs. It will increase Regina‘s stature, profile, and ability to host world-class events. It will free up the land around Mosaic Stadium for hundreds of affordable housing units, something this city desperately needs. It’s a sound economic investment in the future of the city and the province on every level… housing, job creation, retail investment, image enhancement, etc, etc.”

In fact, the real legacy here will be the 20 years of 4.5 per cent property tax increases. And jobs? Try exacerbating an overheated construction industry! We already can’t fill the current positions.

As for the profile: what, Grey Cup and Paul McCartney not enough? Will we now qualify to host the World Cup? Get real.

And affordable housing? Have you read the way City Council defines it? Utter nonsense.

Your arguments are misinformed on every level.

Marc Spooner, Regina[hr]


Jo, In your letter, you ask if there is ONE positive thing that could be said about the development of this magnitude (i.e. the stadium). Here’s my attempt to suggest a few positives.

1.) It will free up the land for hundreds of affordable housing units…Wait, no: affordable “market-rent” units — which anyone can tell you is an oxymoron, because affordable is not market rent and vice versa. And when was this housing going to be made? Oh, right: AFTER the existing stadium is torn down, everything is re-zoned, and then they can start building — so 10-15 years?

2.) It will have more seating capacity…Oh, wait, no: same amount of seats.

3.) It will have a roof — wait, NO, “roof ready” was the term. We live in Saskatchewan, where winter is six to eight months long, but we can only use this stadium when the weather is nice.

4.) It will be a green building leveraging renewable resources like solar, wind… Wait, what’s that? Wind howling around the building, but not being harnessed. Blind eye to climate change.

5.) It will have more parking…Whoops, sorry. It’s removing parking because it’s being built on the parking lot of Evraz Place.

6.) It will reduce the noise/parking/crime in an already plagued community…Oh, but we’re only moving it a block or so.

7.) It will “increase Regina’s stature, profile and ability to host world-class events” — how so, exactly? See previous statements.

8.) It will create jobs…But for who? The last article I saw regarding the City’s RFP process has three multi-national conglomerates bidding on the job. No jobs for local people. By the way, where will these imported people live? In the housing we haven’t made yet?

I commend Prairie Dog not only for its articles and news but for reporting on what people actually want to hear, instead of going blindly where so many have gone before.

Dawn Thomas, Regina[hr]


Thanks to the many youngsters and a few oldsters for their handshakes, tweets, texts and social media sharing of my skatepark article around North America. I guess it struck a chord. As for the letter writer who objected, perhaps you couldn’t follow the key themes because you lack a soul and compassion for others with less power in society, such as youth. But enjoy your football game!

Trish Elliott, Regina[hr]


Editor Stephen Whitworth’s response to my letter make me laugh. You take exception in print, and deny that your writers and your magazine bashes Christians… And after a comma, you begin a rant bashing Christians. How can you legitimately deny such a thing, when your so-called “Christmas“ issue was all about ways to eradicate Jesus Christ and Christmas from the holiday that bears His name?

I find it utterly hilarious that you find “creationism“ a strange topic. Can anything exist that was not created? I‘d be hard pressed to find something that exists and is made of matter that was not created. I‘d like to challenge you and your “newspaper“ to a little fun thing. I will put a closed package of Kool-Aid, a jug, a closed pitcher of water, some sugar, and a wooden spoon in your office.

Then, we will let it sit for 60 billion years, or whatever ridiculous number atheists claim, and see if it evolves into a drinkable jug of Kool-Aid. Ain’t gonna happen, but according to y‘all, it could, it would, and it miraculously has. And the chair you sit on to type your funny rants just kind of evolved into a chair too. LMAO.

That big ol‘ tree in Wascana Park just kinda fell over, splintered, and decided on its own merit:“I think I‘ll evolve into a chair to help those humans out.“ Sound ridiculous yet? That‘s what I thought.

AND, well, you call it “reproductive choice”. Those of us who care about LIFE call it what it is: murder, or slaughtering defenceless children. Take your pick. Your type of people are SO outraged about cruelty to animals, and you attempt to legitimize and make murdering children an acceptable lifestyle choice.

Bottom line: EVERYONE knows God exists. We are born knowing that. Even demons and Satanists know God exists. It is whether you choose to accept His free and wondrous gift of eternal life. You choose not to.

I do pray for you and your staff. Prayer is powerful and the “magic dude in the sky“, a.k.a. God, works his power in mysterious ways. I can‘t wait for the day when you resign from your bigoted, closed-minded, hate-filled newspaper because you finally believe truth!

Jo Katera, Regina[hr]

DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID IT’S TRYING TO EVOLVE Send letters by e-mail to feedback@prairiedogmag.com or snail mail to #201-1836 Scarth St., Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 2G3. Letters will be edited for grammar, spelling, style and length (300 words maximum). Please include your full name, city of residence and a daytime phone number. This page isn’t an open forum — we only print signed letters about Prairie Dog articles and other editorial content (if you have an enlightening anonymous rant, send it to Queen City Confidential). Letters sent to Prairie Dog may also be printed in Planet S, our sister publication in Saskatoon. Next letters deadline is Wednesday, July 3.


7 thoughts on “Letters”

  1. How…was…Katera’s…letter…about…the…skatepark?
    But I’d actually like to respond to it anyway because she makes some really good points about stuff that I have difficulty connecting to a skatepark… as a member of the Slayer generation, who used to wear a Deicide shirt that said ‘Fuck Your God’ in public as a teenager, I consider the Prairie Dog’s blatant war on Christianity a positive thing, and I enjoy seeing the winter solstice reclaiming it’s pre-Christian historical role as a semi-religious but largely secular community celebration of abundance at the least abundant time of the year held in some form or another by every historic and current human culture on the planet living in any geographic area with any semblance of what we call winter.
    But the Kool-Aid thing is a great argument, I like the metaphor, because a being with a consciousness and ability to manifest the materialization of it’s thoughts is a very complex being, much more complex than anything it can create. In other words, it would be easier for the kool-aid to make itself than for the kool-aid to create an entire other person to make it.
    But it’s when she touches on abortion… I would be a card carrying member of pro-life if they would stick to that topic, but largely they’re a Christian Conservative front group who use the abortion issue to get people on board with a political agenda that has killed far more children than Morgentaller.
    To me, environmental issues are pro-life issues and vice versa, life is precious and shouldn’t be devalued for the sake of economic convenience whether it’s an endangered species or an unborn child or the planet that child is born on. I’m offended by anti-abortion groups and environmental groups for the way the organizational activistocrats on both sides, indoctrinated in the same system and using the same media and connected to the same politicians, teamed up to manipulate the discussions on those issues to make that one widely supported position into 2 opposing sides.
    The friends that I’ve had that have had abortions didn’t feel like it was a choice, they felt like they were forced against their will by economic conditions created by conservative economic policies, or sometimes told by social workers that if they didn’t they would lose their other kids, because the social workers serving the economy want more people in the work force to keep up competition to keep wages down.
    Also, the arguments about how horrible abortions were when it was illegal are irrellevent with the collapse of the Christian moral regime that once ruled over our political system. Birth control and even condoms that would have prevented abortions were heavily restricted under pressure from the same churches that were most vocally opposed to abortion.
    Women pregnant out of marriage got dangerous illegal abortions because bad things happened to them if they didn’t, their families would be harassed and rejected in the community if they didn’t reject them, the children who were born in that situation were often identified by teachers, etc., and subjected to ridicule, they were also more likely to be ‘helped’ by social workers into the living hell of various institutions poor children of single mothers often ended up in. Now that the churches no longer have that power, phasing out abortion, while increasing birth control availability and information and easier access to morning after pills, etc., and now that churches no longer have as much power over our society, people are realizing that the environment is not a Satanic tree-hugger myth and that we actually do need clean water to survive and no god’s going to step and save us if we wreck it all.
    Also, good job on the skatepark article.

  2. *should have read ‘Now that the churches no longer have that power, phasing out or at least dramatically reducing the necessity of abortion, while increasing birth control availability and information and easier access to morning after pills, etc., is possible without forcing women to have children they don’t want.’

  3. I’m also confused – Jo Katera’s original issue was with the article on the skate park? and it somehow tied into the merits of the new stadium??

    No matter. I have no intention of going back to find it after seeing this ‘response’.

    Jo, let me get this straight: your biggest argument in favor of creationism is forcing us to consider (however briefly) your two ‘thought’ experiments that involve man-made products/activities?

    I see.

    I will admit, however, that I have suspected some pad kee mao I’ve eaten at 3 am to have experienced some divine intervention.

  4. Hello Jo Katera,

    I am an atheist, and this is my story.

    The universe was created out of a singularity 13.8 billion years ago, from which erupted 1.6E+60 kilograms of matter (that’s 16 followed by 59 zeros!) in a gloriously bright Big Bang.

    Figuratively, of course.

    For the same reason there is no sound on the moon, there was no sound in these first moments. In truth, creation began with a whimper, not a bang. Moreover, the universe was so dense that it was not until several hundred thousand years later that it was reduced to a cool 3,500 degrees Celsius.

    It was also at this time that matter could finally begin to form bonds, stabilize, and produce the simplest element of all: hydrogen.

    As gravity took over and clouds of this simple gas began to collapse to a dense central core, the first baby fusion generators began to form. But these were no ordinary children. The first stars would have provided some of the most frighteningly intense displays of fireworks that the universe has ever known.

    It would have made for one highly memorable birthday.

    They lit up, one after another, as if being turned on by billions of cosmic light switches. For this, we can thank the strong nuclear force, which was finally able to do what it does best – bond elements to form increasingly heavier ones. Truly, it is the duct tape of the universe.

    Sadly, the first generation of stars was short lived. Like rockstars, the brighter and more furiously they burned, the faster their careers came to a blistering and painful end.

    But their death is not something we should mourn. It is only when a star dies in a brilliant supernova that the heaviest and most complex elements can form. It is these elements that are necessary for life.

    Stars died so that you could live.

    Like a phoenix, another generation of stars was born from the ashes of the first. Trillions of galaxies have formed around the universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars, each star having potentially dozens of planets orbiting it.

    Yet it was not around the most brilliant, nor the largest, nor even the most powerful star in the sky that the next part of our narrative took place. Rather, it was around a moderately sized, entirely average, and totally unsuspecting star that a series of very particular planets began to form.

    It was on one of these planets, nothing more than a pale blue dot in the sky, that there happened to be just the right amount of complex elements and sunlight for complex life to form.

    If Goldilocks had been a planet, that planet would be Earth.

    But it wasn’t always easy. Evolution is a cruel mistress, and takes more than it gives back. Most of the life that has ever existed on Earth is not only dead, but extinct. If Earth could speak, it would weep.

    But we must be thankful, because without the harsh reality of evolution, you and I would not exist.

    I can’t tell you what, if anything, existed before our 13.8-billion year journey took place. We don’t know all the answers, but we do know more than any other living creature that has ever existed on our incredible planet.

    And we’re learning more every day.

    I’ve debated with many Creationists, and I’ve found that many of them are just as curious about our origins as I am. This is something we have in common.

    However, if I were to suggest one general difference between us, it is this: Creationists are steadfastly concerned with the answers. I admire this, but the answers will come. We do not have to rush to the finish line or, worse, assume we’re finished before we’ve truly begun.

    The beauty of knowledge lies not with the answers, but with the questions we ask in getting there.

    – Kalen Christensen, Regina

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