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Clueless decisions

After reading Gordon Sinclair's Aug. 16 column, Bombers office pours cold water on fan, I don't know who is making decisions at their office, but they appear to be clueless.

I have had season tickets for 12 years. I bring a bottle of water to every game. I usually buy two beers and a foot-long hot dog, all overpriced, but I understand the concessions need to be supported and I do.

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Now I cannot bring my own water to the game. Instead I have to buy their ridiculously overpriced water. It appears their goal is to make the game-day experience as expensive as possible and drive as many long-term fans away as possible.




I concur with the feelings expressed by Kathy Brown in her Aug. 16 letter, Ticking off the fans, and by Lorraine Mocarski in Gordon Sinclair's column that behaviour by the Bomber staff and stadium officials has been poor this season.

I attended a recent game and had a small backpack with me, since I was coming from the Fringe Festival. In the bag, which was searched, of course, was an energy bar, which I couldn't take in. Really? That's how strict you're going to be?

It's pathetic. I'd had the bar, because I thought I might need a snack at the Fringe. It was simply still in my bag. I gave it to Winnipeg Harvest.

That kind of treatment seems too much to me. And it is the kind of thing that would keep me, a season-ticket holder for more than a decade, from going to Bomber games if it continues.




Contributing to confusion

Your Aug. 16 editorial, Develop computer policy, is rightly skeptical about compulsory-laptop policies for schools. But it doesn't give solid reasons for such skepticism, and it makes a number of points that can only contribute to the confusion over what is really at stake.

To begin with, "the research" should be treated with much caution, beyond noting that it provides inconclusive evidence. Applied social research on its own can never provide conclusive evidence for anything. It always requires thought and interpretation. Unfortunately, the people who do this kind of research and the people who interpret it into education policy tend, on the whole, to vastly underestimate the seriousness and complexity of the thought and interpretation called for.

One of the greatest dangers of the unthinking use of technology in the classroom is that it may further erode the ability to think well and deeply: for example, by forcing kids to be "always on," by teaching them to expect an immediate answer to everything, or by leading them to believe that anything that can be said can be said in PowerPoint.




Once again, we see a situation whereby education is simplified and debated without the voice of students or teachers.

The editorial raises concern as to the merit of one-to-one laptop programs and their effectiveness in the classroom. It suggests there is no research that indicates whether this type of technology actually aids in the learning process. Is there evidence, given this argument, that textbooks enhance the learning experience? What about the use of hard-boiled eggs?

My point is that their are many technologies teachers use in the classroom (pencils, iPads, books), but the research does indicate that the greatest learning occurs in environments where teachers are passionate and have authentic connections with the students. Perhaps we need to pay better attention to how students are engaged through their teachers as oppose to debating the merits of laptops or dusty textbooks.




Informed citizens only

I would rather see 60 per cent of informed citizens vote in electing a government and let the uninformed stay at home, since they would not have a clue on any issues.

A case in point is your Aug. 14 letter Great waste of Waverley, wherein the writer chastised Mayor Sam Katz about the Waverley West development, obviously uninformed that the province owned the land and it was Gary Doer and the NDP that brought this subdivision in to being. I loath living under a government elected by such uninformed people.




Ignoring an elephant

In the debate over the moving of the CP rail yard, everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room: the CN mainline tracks through the centre of Winnipeg. Every day, an average of 50 freight trains, some carrying volatile petrochemicals, creak and groan their way through the centre of our city.

Are all the levels of government waiting until a cataclysmic catastrophe occurs, with loss of lives and property, before they react and have CN Rail build separate freight-line tracks outside the Perimeter Highway?

CN had relocated mainline tracks outside of Edmonton centre years ago. The CN Winnipeg bypass should have been built yesterday. The existing track through our city may still be retained for passenger service only. Traffic disruptions at major intersections would be minimal.

The millions of dollars to be spent on future underpasses may well be allocated for the bypass.




Insensitive statement

I was shocked at the insensitivity exhibited by Bruce Owen in his Aug. 11 article about Winnipeg's tunnel system, What lies beneath. I found his statement "(S)ome say if you listen closely, and tune out the traffic on Broadway and Main, you can still hear the muffled screams of a dying prostitute" to be completely disgraceful and disrespectful when real women are being murdered in our city.




Peculiarly American

I am afraid that my friend and fellow veteran Ian Thomson (Letters, Aug. 14) is mistaken when he claims that idolization of the national flag is a worldwide custom. This is, in fact, a peculiarly American phenomenon.

American citizens take an oath of allegiance to the flag and are taught to show an inordinate level of reverence for it. Citizens of monarchies swear allegiance to the monarch, and the flag is simply the national logo. For most other countries, the oath is to the fatherland or some other symbol but not the flag.




No need to apologize

I heard a self-declared alcoholic, when celebrating his 36th anniversary of sobriety due to membership in Alcoholics Anonymous, state that AA had only a 10 per cent success rate. He expressed gratitude that he was among that 10 per cent.

In his Aug. 15 column, Making progress, one kid at a time, Don Marks admits apologetically that the drop-in centre for inner-city youth where he worked had only a 10 per cent success rate. I don't see it as a failure, any more than I see AA, one of the blessings of humanity, as a failure.




A better way

Re: Landfill search 'a long shot' (Aug. 16). I am trying to put this in a politically correct way, but I think the search for Tanya Nepinak is a waste of time and money. The police are not even 100 per cent sure that her body is even there.

Why do we not take this money and build a community centre in memory of Nepinak? In that way, some good may come out of all this.



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


Updated on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM CDT: adds links

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