Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Beaches, buses and Scary Monsters
So the NDP will spend $100,000 on studying how the beaches at Victoria Beach can be saved by high water levels and big waves. Freep reporter Bill Redekop and shooter Joe Bryksa covered the story in Thursday’s Free Press.
A short time after Selkirk NDP MLA Greg Dewar made the announcement in Victoria Beach, I got this email from Alice Dent, a cottager at Twin Beaches on Lake Manitoba:
"I cannot begin to tell you how angry I am right now. At Lake Manitoba we have been facing high water levels and total destruction of our shoreline for the last 20 years. We have had many meetings with Mr. (Steve) Topping but to no avail. Now, some people get angry about not being able to walk on the beach at Victoria and ‘WOW’ there is action. We have lost OVER 100 feet of shoreline in the last 20 years.
"Could this be because some high ranking government officials have cottages there and not at Twin Beaches. We have moved our cottage and boathouse numerous times in order to protect them but have still had property destroyed and no one cares. There is absolutely no reimbursement for damage and nothing done to help solve the situation whether from insurance or the government.
"I pay taxes like everyone else, and as cottage owners we have the luxury of paying school taxes twice, but still we get nothing in return.
"You can dump all the sand you want on the shoreline, but until water levels are dropped and left to fluctuate naturally, you haven’t got a hope. Our beach and shoreline had started to rebuild and then......GONE, again because the lake is ALWAYS maintained at the highest point of the range. Why? No reason. But I will tell you that if you add all the rain we had last year on top of a lake that is already overflowing, you will get erosion and damage.
"Maybe what should really happen is that water stewardship should properly maintain our lakes, rivers and control structures.
"When erosion happens, the sand that was on the beach is sucked into the lake, thereby raising the bottom of the lake and forcing water to spread. So maybe you should revisit current lake levels and see that what was good in 1972 is no longer applicable today."
What Dent didn’t say, but I will, is that is if Twin Beaches was in an NDP-held constituency, maybe they’d get some money, too, to help protect them against the waves.
But it isn’t. It straddles Lakeside and Portage la Prairie, both held by Hugh McFadyen’s Progressive Conservatives.
Cynical? Yup. Guilty all the way.
I like cars, the older the better. Until a few years ago (until kids, actually) my daily driver was a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere.
I got rid of it because it didn’t have seat belts in the back. The body had been re-done, the bench seats re-upholstered and the bumpers re-chromed. My summer ride is a 1975 MGB. Over the years I’ve had the body, engine and interior redone, mostly by John at BMG in Fort Garry.
Which is a long way of saying I like cars, and one of the reasons I’ve taken an interest in the Manitoba government’s relationship with mega-corp Mitsubishi and testing all-electric cars and buses.
The other day an alert reader sent me this link for Cyclone Power. Cyclone’s "modern day steam engine" is still in development, but what’s interesting is that it can run on almost anything.
"The Cyclone Engine is capable of running on virtually any fuel (or combination of fuels) including today’s promising new bio fuels, while emitting far fewer pollutants than traditional gas or diesel powered internal combustion engines," its website says.
The knock against all-electric vehicles is keeping the interior warm during winter. What’s the drain on the batteries running the heater to fight off frostbite?
I’ve briefly driven Mitsubishi’s new i-MiEV, but that was on a nice spring day. How would that same drive be in January?
What I’ll be watching for after Monday’s federal election is how many "young people" turn out to vote. And if that turn-out has any impact on our new Parliament.
If what we’re being told now holds true, increased participation by voters 18-24 could see the NDP’s Jack Layton likely elected the new leader of the opposition.
My gut feeling now is that -- again, if what we’re being told now by pollsters and pundits holds true – younger voters haven’t bought into the message the NDP are scary monsters who would drive the corporate Canada out of the country and bankrupt the nation through their proposed carbon tax.
Maybe many older voters haven’t bought into it, either, especially after watching the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc in power for so long.
Maybe it’s as simple as many voters think it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to give another guy a kick at the cat.
Anyway, here’s what Bowie and Frank Black think about Scary Monsters.
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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen
Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.
Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.
At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.
Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.
He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.
Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.
In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.
You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.
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