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A defective product

Re: Drug-trade war behind killing (Sept. 28). I know what the Winnipeg police mean when they say the public is not at risk just because a couple of guys involved in the brisk Winnipeg street drug trade got shot. But semi-automatics will be semi-automatics, and the grim reality of six or seven bullet holes in a window speaks for itself.

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The new semi-automatic handguns are essentially a defective product that will never get a recall. Even the police have trouble handling them with restraint.

When they get in the hands of a callous punk, his life and the life of those he trains the weapon on are as good as over. Even the gang that can't shoot straight can score a sure kill out of a hail of bullets, with plenty of crossfire injuries to boot.



Asking for too much

I have been a hockey fan for more than 50 years. I was privileged while growing up in Montreal to see the Canadiens win 15 Stanley Cups.

And, yes, I've witnessed the changes in the NHL and growth in player salaries. Do I think today's players are overpaid? By today's standards, not really. They get what the market will bear and I don't blame them for that.

However, for the NHL players association to think they should take 57 per cent of overall revenues is absurd.

I, for one, support Gary Bettman and the league's stand as a business to offer the players 43 per cent of the profits, and I believe that's what it will be when the dust settles.

If the players and their union don't think this is fair, they should start up their own league. And I would be willing to wager that they as owners would not want to pay their employees 57 per cent of the revenues, which they feel they deserve.


Pilot Mound

Lack of consideration

Re: Bold undertaking for U of M (Sept. 27). The former Southwood golf course isn't downtown and it isn't The Forks. There are more than 300 homes in the residential areas to the north and east of the Southwood lands, including University Heights and River Pointe in St. Vital. This is a quiet residential area.

There seems to be no consideration of this fact in the vision that has been outlined. Six thousand people make a lot of noise. The residents of our community don't want boats buzzing around at all hours of the day and night. We don't want to live next to a 24/7 work-and-play environment.

We don't want outdoor cafés broadcasting music until the early hours of the morning, and we don't want people looking into our backyards from 15 storeys up.

It is time for city and provincial officials to step in and send the University of Manitoba a reality check. Noise-abatement strategies are essential for this development to coexist with the established residential areas, and they need to be incorporated into development plans from the outset.

There should be no development along the river. There should be a green-space buffer zone beside the river. And there should be graduated height restrictions so that high-density, highrise buildings are closest to Pembina Highway.



Procurement incentives

The word "procurement" can have such unseemly connotations. In the case of the responsibility owed by Winnipeg's chief administrative officer in procuring a single new fire-paramedic station in return for the fire-sale price negotiated on the three swapped properties in question, the newly commissioned outside review may yet find no technical malfeasance to have occurred in the procurement or reporting processes (External probe of fire-hall deals, Sept. 25).

It may rule that all negotiations and disclosures did indeed conform to the letter of city policy. However, the elephant that entirely fills the council chamber is the potential for any "procurement" incentive received to broker such an apparently one-sided and poorly disguised boon.

One simply does not divide up the pie and then claim that each individual slice -- and not the whole -- now falls below reporting requirements without being either wilfully blind to public duty or without having "procured" some incentive for what many see as possible misdirection.

Article 5 of the review mandate gives the outside agency the power to "review the processes that resulted in a proposed three-for-one land swap." One hopes its authority will allow it to look under the table as well as above it for any questionable procurement processes.




Re: Big cost hike for fire hall feared (Sept. 27). In order to completely review the construction of our new fire halls, it is imperative to analyze the site-selection process. Building construction on clover leafs is very unusual. Could it lead to more accidents?

The long-term costs of more accidents could pose a greater problem than construction-cost overruns.



Different meanings

Upon reading Edward Katz's rebuttal (Geothermal has problems, Letters, Sept. 24) to Shane Nestruck's earlier letter espousing geothermal energy, all I can think of is the difference between cleave and cleave. Same word, you say? Yes, but with two wholly different meanings. Same with geothermal, as presented by Nestruck and understood by Katz.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 1, 2012 A8

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