Councillor Pager recently brought up the neglected state of Cottonwood Creek which he described as a “gemstone” in the downtown core, and all the City Mangler and Mayor Ghoulie could do was talk about how the ruined waterway is still “on their radar” and how itʼs probably time to bring out some old studies and research which the CoN itself had mothballed all the way back in 2013, when they told the Rod & Gunner Club to stop healing the river for future fishing because they still had to make some land-use decisions around the transfer station which have supposedly now been made (whatever they are). Does, weʼll “try and figure out what we have and we will re-circulate it and have some further conversations” sound promising to you in any way? Or, how about, “the city has had many conversations with CP over the creek throughout the years”? 

Talk about hollow words from spineless leaders! Isnʼt it nice to know that the Ghoulie Gang has been keeping half an eye on their destroyed spawning grounds and the loss of our creek-side trail for more than a decade while doing nothing about them in the slightest, and that theyʼll be the unholy ones representing us in more useless “negotiations” with their good old boys at CPR who are giving the CoN predictable “challenges” according to Pager, who is at least smart enough to recognize that Railtown maybe shouldnʼt be all about celebrating a passenger-less railway which nobody can access without “trespassing” on stolen lands? 

Wormtongue at the Crypt of Commerce buried in the tarnished heart of unwelcoming Railtown freely admits that even his Saruman-like voice hasnʼt been able to negotiate a ground-level pedestrian crossing outside the CoNʼs conniving tourist temple for his cor- porate train landlords after too many futile years of trying and giving up at the first sign of resistance. Similarly, the Ghouls at Shitty Hall complain that the dictators in the CPRʼs Cowtown ivory towers wonʼt even consider giving them an overhead railroad crossing to access the low-income grocery store from downtown, so why on goddessʼ green earth would we continue to trust these incompetent losers who blithely give up all of our civic leverage for unknown reasons that seem more complicity corrupt than anything else? 

Overall, what has the obsequious CoN ever done past or present to resist the fascistic CPRʼs iron-clad grip on our indigenous land-base, other than kowtow to their unsafe keystone cops and sycophantically surrender to the train-track totalitarians by granting them whatever colonial submissiveness they demand in return for their annual bribe-like payments to the civic coffers? You used to be able to walk from the industrialized mouth of Cottonwood Creek along the running water past the foot of Baked Street to the majestic waterfall (surrounded by roadways), before the deceptive CoN encouraged the overzealous Queensmen to block our rightful pedestrian access at the train station to Hades via their increased “Safety Blitz” enforcement and sanctioned threats of jail-time plus $10,000 fines in an ongoing pandemic, not to mention the metal barricade and obstructive box-cars to seal the unfair deal in which the dominant CPR wins and we all lose. 

Instead of completing the loop of a beautiful walking circuit round the whole of Nelsonia, the crystalline current which used to bear salmon and trout currently has to flow from the scenic falls downstream past the abandoned market, the dingy recycling centre, the grimy oiler dealership & the beefy fast-food joint before running into the nonsensical gauntlet of concrete abattoirs created by the abominable CPR along its hostile military zone declared by studies to be the most degraded area by far from source to lake. 

At least the domineering CPR used to provide more than a handful of local jobs for its tithe of destruction and devastation that they refuse to clean up because they donʼt have to and nobodyʼs going to make them, so there! Now all the US Army-led macho men do is rudely divide our waterfront city in half and insist that the redirected creek-bed under their supposed care remains inaccessible and unproductive, while they transport dangerously harmful stolen goods through our flammable town while denying any local requests to improve an obvious eyesore where a promised waterfront park and a preexisting creek-side path should officially be by now after being “on the radar” at the acquiescent CoN for far too many negligent decades. 

In general it makes one wonder what the conspiratorial CoN is actually up to down there with its Railtown squeeze, where it owns key pricey real-estate in a gentrifying market that inspires Shitty Hall to talk about building a developerʼs wet-dream condo handout where the hippie market used to be before they knocked it down without an adequate replacement for years, so that they can have private “eyes on the park” to rat out the sequestered drug-dealing cultural environment which doesnʼt seem like the most fun place to live, let alone raise a kid. 

Because no matter what monstrosity gets built in the central green-space of the oxymoronic Railtown where you canʼt catch a train to anywhere, youʼre still smack-dab in the shadow of a highway embankment where any drunk skunk can drive his hot-rod off the roadside straight down into the brand-new poorly designed soundstage which the moronic CoN has failed to protect from uphill harm in any way. And lest you defend the CoNʼs piss-poor safety track-record that is well documented in media reports with city dump-trucks fatally crashing into schoolyard fields, etc., the shiny new stop-sign across from the burger joint by the creek bridge before you cross Baked Street to access the unholy rail shrine wasnʼt there for years beforehand, even though itʼs always been needed right where it is for liabilityʼs sake. Though hard to believe to this day, it took the repeated pleadings of a gentle watch-bird to get the absentee CoN to admit that it belatedly needed an essential stop-sign to avoid t-boned legal prosecutions sloughed off as “preventable accidents”. 

So good luck to the imperial CoNʼs hapless negotiators on our behalf in their flailing efforts to budge CPRʼs intransigence an inch, as thereʼs much more likelihood Major Ghoulieʼs cronies will be able to push a stalled diesel engine than summon up the willingness and fortitude to dare offend their corporate grandmasters at the unhallowed railroad headquarters in the flaming heart of Greater Alberta. The perceptive among us know that the CoNʼs underhanded plan will be to ignore the issue at hand as long as they can until everyone moves on to the next disaster, just as they have in their time-honoured tradition on this file by claiming that theyʼre having a tough time negotiating with the railway henchmen; yet at the same time they are somehow just the lads to convince them this time to maybe — just maybe, pretty please! — remove some of their contaminated toxicity from our abused creek and native landscape for good. 

Councillor Pagerʼs shared vision of a fish-bearing pedestrian-accessible creek is more than welcome by many like-minded citizens. However, relying on the same old white dudes who got us here in the first place is not a wise move. Until the morbid CoN stops giving the sadistic CPR whatever the heck it wants, while accepting every single one of its negative rejections with obedient clicks of their jackboot heels, Cottonwood Creek will always be a sad reminder of what a wondrous place this used to be until the merciless railyard villains effed it the hell up!

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