This has been a very eventful week on this blog – but people coming here now will never know it – I’ve removed several posts, and the associated comments that went with them. I do that from time to time when I think the comments are starting to get a little bit out of order, or that people are starting to get too emotional about the topic that’s being talked about. And in this case – the comments were beginning to become way too unsubstantiated and the people posting were just trying to negate each other out so much that it was starting to get a little bit ridiculous. The posts initially were about a letter that I wrote to the Editor at the Coast magazine and how they had absolutely trashed and changed around the meaning of what I had originally said – it was in regards to “Willows Pet Place” being voted by their readers as the best pet store in the HRM. I believed it to be one of the worst pet stores. At this point now it’s neither here nor there because I have absolutely lost all interest in that aspect of this story. And since this blog belongs to me – I’m going to write about the things that interest me – and what I want to talk about is something that’s been going on since 2005 that very few people know about, until now.
Maybe very few people will continue to know about it – if “Willows Pet Place” can be voted best pet store in the city – maybe the people who don’t really care to spend time with their dogs really are forging ahead here in Halifax. I find it really interesting though that I’ve never gotten an email from anyone asking why I don’t have that store listed on my Resources page. I get emails from people daily asking me to list different stores and telling me about new places that are dog friendly, and places that are great to go with your dog – but I have never gotten any emails about Willows Pet Place. You’d think that if it was such a great store with a huge clientele that I would’ve gotten at least one email. Maybe there are two distinct tiers of dog owners in this city – the type who shop at Willows – and the type who go to my website and blog and actually spend time with their dog… but anyway, I digress.
With the approval of the cast of characters I’m going to talk about (except for one of them – and you’ll know which one I mean) – I’m going to tell you a true story of what’s happened to a local small business owner in this city since 2005 because of one woman’s seemingly boundless capacity for hatred and pettiness. It is the story of Janet Chernin and Kyra Foster.
Janet and Kyra have become sworn enemies – In a comment left in one of the aforementioned deleted posts, Kyra will tell you that the bad blood between her and Janet started when “she called Janet out in the middle of Point Pleasant Park for punching a dog in the head” – which I believe about as much as everything else I read in all the other comments left by Kyra that I had to delete - but I certainly have heard Janet's story.
Janet says it all started when our friend Adina had to get a restraining order against Kyra and Janet and Kyra had a shouting match at Point Pleasant Park over Kyra's treatment of Adina - who is a close personal friend of Janet, and Janet wanted to protect her. Since then Kyra seems to have been doing nothing but trying to drive Janet out of business.
In 2005 - a couple days, I think it may have been 3 or 4 days - before Paws and Play closed their doors for good - Bylaw enforcement received a complaint about the Canine Casbah - a "query" as to the legality of the business going on at 6430 Oak Street. The person making the complaint wanted it investigated to see if the in home occupation there was legal.
In one of Kyra's protracted comments to my posts this week - it turns out she knew all along that Janet - and every business like hers - was breaking the zoning bylaws. But for some reason, she only chose to make a complaint about Janet's business. Here is an exact quote from the comment Kyra left this week:
“When looking for a new building for daycare I found a great space (R zoned) and proceeded to get approval for our plans through the Planning and Development Office in HRM. I was told we needed commercial zoning and could not proceed to open. I ask the clerk to double check as there were several daycares operating in residential zones, one in Sackville, one in Dartmouth, one in Hammonds Plains, one in Halifax, etc... It turned out that daycares really did need commercial zoning and I stopped helping former clients at my house.”
So in other words - Kyra could have ALSO put in a bylaw enforcement complaint about inhome daycares breaking zoning bylaws in Sackville, Dartmouth, and Hammonds Plains - but she only chose to put one in against Janet Chernin. Why was that? Because she had a personal vendetta against that woman for some reason? I don't know. You should ask Kyra and maybe she'll tell you.
So Kyra's complaint against Janet's business - which is like many other in home occupations in the HRM - started - and has cost Janet untold heartbreak and more than $20,000 in legal bills to date. And yes, since she's one of my best friends - I am damn pissed off at Kyra for that. That is a low down deep and dirty thing to do to another human being. Trying to take away their livelihood for no good reason except that you want to get back at them. That is cattiness gone all to hell. That is cattiness gone completely off their meds. This is bordering on pure evil. For what? I have no idea.
The real kicker in this story is that Kyra Foster offers in-home boarding herself. She is breaking the same land use bylaws that she turned Janet Chernin in for! And she actively advertises that she does! She has it right on the “Willows Pet Place” business cards – she calls it “in home pet care”. So when – thanks to Janet’s money and hard work and blood and toil and emotional upheaval – the laws are changed – it will be people like Kyra – who will benefit from it. Is that fair? You ask Janet Chernin and see what HER answer is.
So really, why CAN’T we all just get along? Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally a very friendly person who does like dogs way more than she likes people – but still – I’m not hard to get along with. And really, this fight between Kyra and Janet doesn’t even involve me.
It only involves me because I’ve seen Kyra get away with it for the last almost 3 years. No one knows the evil thing she did. And now, maybe a few people will know it, and they can make their own judgment. The truth has come out. It was Kyra Foster who put in the “query” – or the “complaint” against Janet Chernin’s in home doggy day care. And why didn’t she put one in against every in home doggy day care in the HRM when she knew every one of them was in violation of the land use bylaws? I don’t know – that’s a question that is only in the head of Kyra Foster. Is it because Janet’s business was in the neighbourhood that Kyra wanted to open up? I don’t know.
I’ll let you decide your own conclusions to this story about the major players in it, and decide who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I figure I know who they are.