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Saving the station

Re: What might have been at pumping station (July 12). I would invite Leon Moryl and Keith Budd, or any others for that matter, to please consider reprising their idea for the historic pumping station.

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Maybe the current sitting of city councillors can see the benefits and spinoff revenue from allowing an outside investor to create a vision that works with the downtown Exchange District and waterfront areas.

Unfortunately, after living in Winnipeg for 34 years, I have come to accept the poor vision and lack of foresight in city planning. A plan that keeps the integrity of the history of the pumping station, and allows people to use and enjoy the facility, is worth much more to the city than keeping a derelict building as an eyesore on a beautiful strip of riverfront property.

Let's allow people to make this city great. Sell the building for $1 and invite this project back. Allow a large riverbank patio over the Red River on the building across the street.

I would assume the property taxes for this type of development would pay for selling the building for $1. But I guess it's just as well to hang on to a derelict building in hopes of someone attempting to build at some point in the distant future at a price the city will never get.




Winnipeg's best resource is its cultural heritage. By its nature, our cultural heritage is a story of constant change. As Brent Bellamy describes in his July 9 column, Pumping-station conundrum, no other heritage building is able to physically demonstrate, on such a large scale, such profound transformative change as the James Avenue Pumping Station.

The station holds a vast piece of the story of the Department of Waterworks, reflects the basic resource that built Manitoba Hydro (water to energy generation) and it remains the place for official readings to determine risk from flood. The triumphs, tragedies and heroism of the City of Winnipeg's firefighting department over time can all be directly recounted through the station. All these stakeholders should come together. They should push to create a world-class, fascinating showplace for their histories. It would be an intriguing local complement to the national museum rising nearby.




I couldn't agree more with Lisa Abram regarding the conversion of the James Avenue Pumping Station to a mixed-use market (Pining for a produce market, Letters, July 11).

I am a former Montrealer now living in the Exchange and I think this is exactly what the district could use.




Regarding the pumping station, I suggest raising the roof line (as with the similar-era Forks buildings) and, using an appropriately placed Plexiglas flooring system, build over top of the wonderful steam-punk equipment located therein. Voila! A bird's-eye view of the era's technology.

This preserves the important historical vibe, solves the pesky problem of just what to do with all that stuff and creates a unique museum/restaurant/bar.



We've spent too much

Re: War on the truth (Letters, July 13). I think people need to back up a bit and not condemn Stephen Harper for all the federal cuts. Look to Europe; they're broke.

Quebec is there already. We've spent too much. Harper is like the head of a company. He tells his staff cuts must be made. These staff members (government offices) are the ones cutting the costs. They are civil servants who are axing the scientists to meet the new spending targets. Does Bill Gates get the blame if Microsoft lays off workers?


Cooks Creek


It was a sad day for Canada when the Harper government decided to cut research. A nation progresses because of research. It stagnates without it.

Without research on the environment, how can we make reasonable choices for future development? Can you imagine a world without modern appliances or communication devices? Can we afford to stagnate while the rest of the world moves ahead?


Seven Sisters Falls

A ludicrous waste

It seems ludicrous to us that $56,000 was spent on celebrating the demise of the penny (A Pretty penny, July 11). We have just returned from two weeks in El Salvador spent with the very poor.

Did you know this amount would buy a tract of land enabling 14 farmers to provide for their families? To us, it seems such a waste when money is needed to better the lives of needy and hard-working people.



Valuable source

In your July 10 story Memo on Holodomor fails to quell concern, Angela Cassie, the director of communications for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, states there's insufficient research material or information on the Holodomor.

An excellent source on the subject is the recently released documentary Genocide Revealed by Canadian filmmaker Yurij Luhovy. The film has won 12 international awards.

Another invaluable resource for the museum's Canadian human rights' journey is acclaimed National Film Board co-production Freedom Had a Price: Canada's First Internment Operation 1914-1920 on the internment of over 5,000 Ukrainians during the First World War.



Honest work

Garbagemen have honest working jobs that don't require much education or training. Winnipeg has lots of men who want to work but lack skills. The city, I assume, employs some to pick up garbage bags.

Now the city, because there are complications in employing these guys, wants to fire them and put a machine-loadable garbage bin in my garage.

I don't want a garbage bin in my garage and I don't want to be paying in some other way for the unemployed man that used to be picking up my garbage.



Too cold to bus

I take issue with your July 9 editorial, Parking rates that pay off, which agrees with the city's proposed parking increases. I work downtown in the afternoon and evening. I tried taking the bus, but when it is -30 C and I have to wait at a bus stop for half an hour and the cold wind is whipping down the streets, it is too difficult.

If the buses ran more often late at night, it might be an option. I would like to walk, and have done so, but I have to walk through the West Broadway area, which is somewhat daunting in the dark at night.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 16, 2012 A11

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