Monday, July 18, 2016

Those meddling commissioners!

There is an interesting news story about a former camp in Clarington, Ont. used to hold German prisoners of war during WWII.  This is the only intact camp used to hold German prisoners of war left in the world, so it is kind of a big deal, though it isn't in an obvious touristic location (about 1/3 of the way between Toronto and Kingston).   Still, it is near the 401, so not too remote.

So there is a deal worked out with a developer to try to salvage 5 of the core buildings and turn it into a historic site of sorts.  I hope it succeeds, though it will certainly require some government funding to keep going.

What gives me a bit of pause is that according to the article the vandalism is pretty extreme, with people coming over and spray-painting security cameras and then graffiti'ing up the place and trying to break down the walls with ATVs.  It strikes me as the kind of thing that a small group of teens or bored young adults would do, and might have been doing for some time, escalating their mischief over time.  I assume that they now consider the place more or less theirs, and it might take quite a bit of work to dislodge them.  This being Canada, it might take less work than in the States, but it still won't be easy.  I have a tiny bit of sympathy for people who probably don't have a lot, and just want a hangout where they can smoke weed or whatevs, but if they just hang on a bit longer it will be legal...  That doesn't excuse the fact that they are being extremely destructive vandals and are claiming a space to which they have no rights.

I have this weird mental picture that this is a Scooby Do episode where the Gang is trying to figure out who is scaring everyone from the abandoned fun house or campground, and it turns out in this case to be a bunch of rowdy teenagers who want the place to themselves, though in a typical episode, it will turn out to be some businessman who doesn't want competition or a scientist who thinks there are valuable oil or mineral rights associated with the property.

Anyway, I am not enough of a WWII buff to go even if they do restore the property and chase away the vandals, but as I said it would be nice if they do succeed.

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