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Some of my favorite things

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Me and my family were particularly moved by a recent CBC Marketplace investigation about the relative advantages and disadvantages of all-season tires. Turns out there is no such thing as a tire that works well in summer and winter, but tire makers continue to make us believe there is such a thing. When you examine accidents like the one involving Lisa Klassen this week, makes you wonder if snow tires would prevent a lot of mishaps like this from ever happening. Lamentably, Quebec is the only province that legally requires snow tires. Perhaps MPI could get on the snow tire bandwagon by offering discounts to people who can prove they use them four or five months of the year?Meanwhile, my seven-year-old son, who saw the Marketplace piece, asks me every other day when we're getting snow tires. If a wee fellow like him gets it, shouldn't we all get it?*****If you haven't, please stop by Rise and Sprawl, a new blog (new to me at least) that is a wonderful source of intelligent thought about urban planning and other issues related to the quality of life in Winnipeg. Particularly engaging his the author's discussion of the impact of an allegedly soon-to-opn Starbucks on Portage and Main.I'll admit to being a Starbucks junkie, although my attraction to the chain has less to do with the coffee (nothing says 'good morning' like a $5 cup of joe!) and more to do with the wifi. I travel and it's too darn convenient to know that I have a wifi connection that works at every Starbucks in the entire world.I'm particularly interested to see if Starbucks is going for street traffic, or just trying to suck the coffee drinkers out of the Winnipeg Square concourse. Stay tuned.*****A recent article in the New Yorker magazine provides a fascinating take on how something simple can really be the key to better health care. Particulary fascinating is the observation by the author that a medical researcher figured out a way to use something widely employed by wedding planners, accountants and moving companies to save life and limb in hospitals.The article is proof, IMHO, of a new idea in health care: it's not just about how many doctors and nurses and other resources we have, it's about how we use those resources. You'll be reading more in the Free Press in days to come about how the way in which we employ the resources in the health care system often determines the outcome. Waste, duplication, turf wars, dysfunctional information technology and politics in the medical professions do as much to delay or impair care as a lack of doctors and nurses. Stay tuned.-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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