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Outstanding display

Bravo to the city of Winnipeg for orchestrating the best summer planting we have ever seen along our downtown streets and boulevards.

The men and women from the city of Winnipeg who designed, planted and maintain this outstanding display must be congratulated. The size, colour, texture, and variety of the plant material so well-arranged together make a walk or drive through our beautiful city that much more enjoyable.

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So often we only hear about city staff when there are problems. However, a wide variety of city staff have been helping us with the Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth for the last nine years.

Throughout that time, they have always been extremely helpful. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty to insure water wagons were there when we needed them for plantings. They have supplied mulch, made and installed benches and commemoration plaques, planted trees, weeded, maintained the labyrinth gardens and gave us much-needed advice.

Most important, city representatives met tirelessly with us for over five years and attended numerous meetings to help us create the beautiful architectural design. And now city staff is stepping up to the bat again.

The Waverley gardeners are diligently working to give the gardens a facelift. We appreciate their hard work and commitment to maintain the Carol Shields Memorial Labyrinth as a unique memorial that befits a world renowned author.




Harmful speculation

In Julian Assange, political martyr? (Aug. 23), Gwynne Dyer summarizes the Swedish sexual misconduct allegations against Assange as: "There probably wasn't a rape either, but that's for the Swedish courts to decide."

Journalists don't presume the guilt or innocence of accused parties, so why is Dyer speculating that the alleged victims are making false allegations? Don't the accused and the alleged victims deserve the same benefit of the doubt?

This kind of thinking contributes to the victim-blaming culture surrounding sexual assault.




Re: A Kafkaesque situation (Letters, Aug. 21). Julian Assange is wanted in Sweden on sexual assault charges. Governments in the West are hardly afraid of information Assange has. They were outraged once when he mentioned agents in Islamic countries a few years ago. Assange put their lives in danger.

Assange is basically a narcissistic exhibitionist who deals in gossip. That the gossip is about government and military procedures doesn't make it any less gossip.




Models are attractive

Re: Insidious slant (Letters, Aug. 16). The young woman referred to by letter writer Glenn Morison was an aspiring model whose career has been put on hold due to an accident caused by an impaired driver. The case should be closed.

Of course, as is the case with most models, she is young and attractive. Yes, she is Caucasian, but aren't most models male or female, young and attractive? Where does this lead to the "splitting of humanity" as Morrison suggests?

If the victim were an average Joe, or Josephine, and no picture were included, would this be more to his liking? What if it was an athlete who lost his career or a pianist who lost her hands, would this still not be not newsworthy?




Sculpture, not a stage

Re: Safer Cube promised for next year's performances (Aug. 23). A few years ago at Old Market Square, the city of Winnipeg bulldozed an architecturally well-designed, functional and loved public stage to make way for "the Cube."

As a former city planner and urban designer, I say the Cube is an ego-driven, non-functional and technically unresolved sculpture posing as a potentially disastrous performance stage.




Superior reputation

Re: Family sues nursing home (Aug. 21). I wish to state unequivocally that the Sharon Home has a reputation in the medical field that is much superior to that of other nursing homes in the city.

My mother has been a resident of the Sharon Home (or the Simkin Centre) for six years. In my opinion, the delivery of care at the Simkin Centre has gone from good to very good. Furthermore, I think that the staff is striving for excellence.




Confusing the markets

Chris Buors (Friedman intervened, Letters, Aug. 13) has apparently completely misunderstood Milton Friedman's admonition to regulate the market. Friedman was referring to the stock market, not the real market.

In the real market, where wealth is created as Adam Smith said it is, people make things and sell them at a reasonable price, or provide service at a reasonable fee and everyone benefits. The "hidden hand" regulates things there reasonably well. If someone is overcharging, then someone else will supply the goods or services at a competitive price.

In the stock market, however, where traders manipulate the price of stocks with no reference at all to their value, it is a vastly different matter. It is this market Friedman suggested needs to be closely regulated. This is the market that crashed and it has nothing to do with creating wealth or jobs.




Cross-border compliment

We were in your city and province last week on vacation. It was a first for us. I would like to compliment your fine citizens for their hospitality and friendliness.

We found all the Canadians we spoke with to be friendly and helpful, and your area attractions and weather were outstanding. We hope to treat your citizens with the same sincere welcome when they are in or near Houston.


Spring, Tex.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2012 A11


Updated on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM CDT: adds links

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