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2010 was great

Re: Morley Walker's review of 2010: The Concert (Jan. 4). We attended the concert and we loved it. We know there is a huge array of potential artists for such an event in this town. To us, it was a great representation of the range of genres and the talent that is here. We loved the event from beginning to end. We thought the production work in keeping it running so smoothly was excellent.

I was sorry to read Walker's criticisms of the event -- I would have loved to have seen less judgment and more of a positive response.

Pam Poulter Friesen



Re: Winnipeg fiddler, family being sued (Jan. 5). My family and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend 2010: The Concert at the Concert Hall. We enjoyed seeing all the culture in Manitoba. We especially enjoyed the two performances that Sierra Noble shared with us. It saddened me to see the report on her legal problems. She is not responsible for the choices her family made when she was 15. She still will shine in our eyes.

Pat Jones


Positive role model

Re: He's more than a torchbearer (Jan. 4). What a pleasant change it was to read the good-news story about Noah Palansky. Way to go kid, you've got heart! Your determined efforts in raising $60,000 in donations for cancer research has rekindled faith in some of our youth today. Way to go, Free Press, for carrying the story.

We readers are usually blasted with gloom and doom stories about scumbag young people stealing, stabbing and killing on our city streets on an almost-daily basis. Noah's story was uplifting to say the least! You did us proud by carrying the Olympic torch. You are a positive influence to other young people and to the rest of society. You've got your head and heart in the right place. Keep it up.

Peter Klassen


Buy a book

I have followed the troubles at McNally Robinson Booksellers with more than passing interest (especially since it cost my wife her job). The first thing we did was to go to the Grant Park store to put our money where our mouth is and buy something. We then found Paul McNally to assure him that we will continue to shop in his store.

It struck me that if Eaton's hadn't given 25 or so of us our walking papers way back when, Paul, Holly and I would never have started the store that has served this community so well. As former prime minister John Diefenbaker was so fond of quoting, " I'll lay me down and bleed a while,/ And then I'll rise and fight again." Of that I have no doubt.

Ron Robinson



It dismays me to see that local independent bookseller, McNally-Robinson, has been forced into bankruptcy. It bespeaks of our times: a period of economic shortcoming coupled with a turn towards alternative methods of buying the printed word, primarily, online. Yet it also says something about our place. Winnipeg just will not support the purchase of recently released books that are not drastically discounted. And because this is so, whole areas of the city are not serviced by a single retail outlet.

This is shameful. If you are interested in new literary offerings, you must go mostly west or south, usually to a major chain, which you'll notice, is devoting ever more of its retail space to items other than books. I hope McNally survives. I hope reading a newly purchased, newly published book from a bookstore survives.

Tom Sherbrook


Security solution?

Re: City hall should be secure (Dec. 18).

I have a suggestion for a solution to the recent security issues at city hall. Mayor Sam Katz should arrange to fill the gallery with a variety of people representing the issue of the day, regardless of whether they reside in the City of Winnipeg or not. They can even be paid actors for that matter. Have them all wear the same clothing, such as an Olywest apron. That way, no one will ever get past the police line-up or the security guards. The councillors would never have to worry for their safety again. If democracy was really being played out at city hall, there would no need for worry.

Louise Hedman


Winter riding is fun

Stephen Sutherland in his letter Take the bus (Jan. 5) says: "I just cannot understand why someone would want to ride their bike on snow-packed streets."

Most people can only imagine biking as a summer activity. I bicycle to work year-round and often get asked about riding in winter. I answer by asking if they know anyone who cross-country skis, because it's very similar. I'm outside, dressed appropriately and exercising on packed snow -- it's very enjoyable.

On top of the enjoyment, I pollute less, save money, get to work faster than the bus, get daily exercise and I'm warmer than I would be walking to a cold bus shelter to wait. Given the option of riding my bike to work, why would I want to ride the bus?

Stuart Williams


Dangerous precedent

Cellphone users will likely applaud the government's decision to allow a new company to enter the market. Prices will likely fall as a result of this market-based solution to the highest price regime in the world.

Industry Canada has found that this new entrant to the cellphone market qualifies as a Canadian company, contrary to the judgment of the regulatory body, which is tasked with determining what level of foreign ownership is consistent with Canadian law and, more importantly, with international agreements such as the FTA and NAFTA. A dangerous precedent has been set, not by Industry Canada, but by the Harper government, which undoubtedly ordered the department to come up with the policy it wanted.

So, you might see your cellphone costs go down, but at what price? Suppose cash-strapped Canwest sought out a large majority share of capital from Fox, installed a largely Canadian board of governors and used the cellphone decision to argue that its Global TV network, bankrolled by Rupert Murdoch, qualified as a Canadian entity. Do Canadians really want that type of ideological and political sewage emanating from Canadian TV stations?



No facts in story

It was quite fitting that Tom Ford began his column, Ugly truth is we're building a crass society (Dec. 28) by making clear he had no facts or statistics to support his assertion that Western civilization is descending into some sort of unprecedented social and moral decline. Instead, he elects to use a series of anecdotes and second-hand rumours -- in the time-honoured tradition of the grumbling uncle or curmudgeonly grandfather -- to complain about teenage hooligans, scantly dressed women and the decline of "some churches."

As a young member of the current generation, I take it upon myself to apologize to Tom Ford. I wasn't alive, but I'll take his word for it that in his day, airplane seats were more comfortable, every driver on the road was polite, sports fans were sober, and not one 13-year-old was ever discovered in any sort of embarrassing convenience store debacle. However, as for his assertion that "economists say we have a strong economy," has he been too busy lamenting the decline of all things good to pay attention to anything over the past year and a half? I'm sure when Ford was a young man, he absolutely detested those newfangled miniskirts that were destroying the very fabric of everything.



Accessibility needed?

Re: Sufferer won't yield to arthritis (Jan. 2). The author says that having rheumatoid arthritis does not mean being confined to your home. As someone who has this disease, I find myself confined to my home because in many public places the toilets in the washrooms are very low (15 inches tall). There needs to be taller toilets (chair height of 18 inches) for people who cannot sit down or get up off low seats. It was suggested to me that I should take a portable raised seat when going out. If I am sitting in a movie theatre, where do I put the portable raised seat, on the floor? Someone might trip on it. Where do I put it when I'm eating in a restaurant? How do I carry it around when I'm shopping as my hands are damaged by this disease? Public places should be accessible to everyone.

Joanne Wowczuk


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 7, 2010 A11

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