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Lots are welcome

I work downtown and must disagree with the endless rhetoric and assertions by the spin doctors and others with vested interests.

There is nothing unsafe or unsightly about surface parking lots. For the majority of downtown workers who must drive, these lots are welcome. Parking in them has become very expensive, and it is more expensive in the parkades.

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I have not felt safer in parkades. Motorists need surface lots. Their open format allows us to see other vehicles and pedestrians in order to safely navigate and park. Take a walk downtown during the work day and observe the usage of these lots -- most of them are full and each parked car represents a significant expense for the motorist and significant revenue stream for the lot owner.

Why should city hall be interfering with what is a simple case of supply and demand? What's the real story behind this interference?

It is tough to find parking downtown, and reducing the supply of these spots will lead only to further driver frustration and discourage downtown activity.




Award took time

I was happy to see the Free Press acknowledge the anniversary of Andrew Mynarski's Victoria Cross winning heroics in the June 13 This Day in Manitoba, but your writeup wasn't exactly correct.

While it is true that Mynarski's valiant effort in the night sky over France in 1944 was the earliest act of valour by a member of the RCAF to earn a VC, he wasn't the first member of the RCAF to win a Victoria Cross in the Second World War.

That's because it took some time to put the whole story together. It wasn't until 1945 that Mynarski's crew was reunited and first heard the incredible story from Pat Brophy, the tail gunner Mynarski so heroically tried to save.

Brophy and the crew were determined that Mynarski's valour should be recognized and began petitioning for a suitable military award. In due time, the military decided to award the Winnipeg man its highest award, and on Oct. 11, 1946, Mynarski became the last Canadian airman and the last Canadian to win the Victoria Cross.

Nearly 2 1/2 years had passed since that night in June 1944 when Mynarski departed on his 13th mission, which came to an end in the early hours of Friday the 13th.




Blocking the sun

I concur wholeheartedly with Brenda Miller's June 16 column, The suburbanization of Falcon Lake. As a past president of the Whiteshell Cottagers Association, I wrote a similar article several years ago for the Whiteshell Echo.

At that time, and the same holds true today, cottages were being torn down and 100-year-old trees felled to build mansions from lot line to lot line. This not only blocks the sunrise on one side but also the sunset on the other side.

Many of the new homes have five or six bedrooms and several bathrooms. The newly constructed boathouses are larger than the cottages that were torn down. The Parks Branch was not prepared for the deluge of waste water requiring disposal and it is still working on upgrading the sewage-disposal lagoons.

This is not progress. It is destruction of natural park lands.


Falcon Lake


Bestial prosecutions

Mindy Lichtman writes in her June 15 letter, The new racism, that all animals are valuable, and discrimination against them is a form of racism; she suggests that killing them is a form of murder. Her clear implication is that all animals must have rights, just as humans do.

In this case, must we not establish a zoological court wherein to prosecute any animal that violates any other animal's rights? Wolves must be served notice that they must henceforth refrain from murdering caribou, spiders must no longer murder flies, and so forth.

"Necessity" is no excuse. When starving, I cannot plead "necessity" when I dine on my neighbour against his will.




Gun fight has begun

Re: Winnipeg man gets life sentence for fatal shooting of bystander (Online, June 18): The assailant in this incident used a rapidly discharging semi-automatic gun, similar to the kind of weapon that killed and wounded people at Toronto's Eaton's Centre and now Toronto's Little Italy -- both prime tourist destinations.

Winnipeggers may be heartened to know that there is a great deal of renewed interest in banning handguns and the sale of handgun bullets in the Greater Toronto Area, and that the fight to do so has just begun.

Toronto police Chief Blair admits that some 30 per cent of all crime guns were stolen or bought from legal owners. Putting an end to the home ownership of these crazy weapons will not only drive up their street price, but it will send a message to the amoral firearms companies in the United States that we would prefer our cities remain gun-free environments.




Welcome context

In light of your June 19 reports on the federal government's planned funding cuts to the refugee health services and the Environmental Lakes Area programs, the article by Nelson Peters in the same edition, Do we really need the CBC anymore, is a refreshing eye-opener.

A big bravo to the Free Press for including these articles. They allow readers to comprehend the unfairness of the planned cuts and then understand and agree with Peters that, in the broader picture, the CBC is a liability to taxpayers.




Nelson Peters writes: "Who the #@*$ watches Coronation Street?" Millions of people watch it. It's the longest-running TV soap in history.

It has been on for more than 51 years. I believe June 19 was the 7,893rd episode.




Investigation closed

Mia Rabson's June 16 article Opposition to lakes sale grows quotes a biologist, John Smol, from Queen's University saying that the Experimental Lakes Area has started to investigate the impact of the oilsands development on aquatic life. Therein lies the reason for its closure.




Years of inclusion

Your June 2 article New synagogue plans to attract unaffiliated Jews implies that Winnipeg has lacked an egalitarian synagogue until now.

To the contrary, Temple Shalom was founded 50 years ago on the principles of inclusion, welcoming diversity of race, sexual orientation, gender, age, geographic and cultural background. Our members already include Jews of differing racial and cultural backgrounds, Jews by accident and Jews by choice, Jews with many differing theologies (including atheists), and Jews who fit into every category of uniqueness that Laurelle Harris Pinsker names.

Temple Shalom was the first synagogue in Winnipeg to take part in Pride Week and the first to marry a same-sex couple. Our members in interfaith relationships need not be buried in a fenced-off section of our cemetery; we honour those in death who supported our community and Jewish life during their lives. We provide numerous and varied study opportunities and boast a dedicated lay leadership for services and classes.

How wonderful that other congregations in Winnipeg are beginning to follow our lead. There is this difference: Temple Shalom belongs to the Union for Reform Judaism, with more than 900 congregations in North America and 34 in Israel.


Temple Shalom president


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 20, 2012 A11

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