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Creative design example

In your March 2 sidebar to your feature about options for the Bay downtown, Here's what 10 other cities have done with their old downtown department stores, you could have included Les Aisles de la Mode in Montreal.

This vertical shopping mall composed of several storeys of retail and office space was fashioned from the former Eaton's store. It is an excellent example of creative design applied to a former department store.

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In Chicago, the former Sears on State Street has been converted into a community college with several floors of office space. This conversion resulted in a general renewal and renovation of that area of the downtown.

Montreal and Toronto led the way in choosing a site for a new hockey arena. Both cities decided to attach their new arenas to existing railway stations, giving them lots of room to expand and easy access to rapid transit.

Here in Winnipeg, city leaders chose to demolish the Eaton's building and build a 15,000-seat arena, which remains empty most of the time.

The community college built on the fringe of the Exchange District has little or no impact on redevelopment in the area.




On March 14 Zellers will close and everyone downtown within a 20-block radius will not have a grocery store. It would revitalize downtown if the governments would make some grants and tax breaks to bring Walmart into the basement and first floor of the Bay.

Downtown right now is just a throughway for traffic. As the saying goes, "Build it and they will come."




Uncontrollably negative

I have read my last column written by Gary Lawless because he is so uncontrollably negative about the Jets.

In the team's gritty 3-1 win on Feb. 28 over the New Jersey Devils, which was not pretty, I'll admit, there were far more positives than negatives.

Yet Lawless lards his March 1 column, Jets starting to believe in Jets, with such negative words as "lots to hate," "gaffes," "miscues," "clumsy," "dog," "poor," "not good enough" and "sub-par effort."

I suspect that Lawless and coach Claude Noel must have had a falling out along the way, for why else would Lawless say of Noel: "He can sneer at his team and rant and rave." Sneer? Where did that come from?

Anyway, I can't stand any more of his bile.




Comments out of sync

In his March 1 letter, Blind to common sense, about Earls' recent decision to stop using the term "albino" to market its house beer, David Sherwood acerbically defends the Albino Rhino brand by referring to the human rights complaint by people with albinism in B.C. as "nitpicking."

Ironically, his comments are out of sync with Earls' current position on the matter. In a press release, Earls now states that, prior to participating in this human rights complaint process, the corporation "knew very little about the condition or the very real discrimination persons with albinism experience, both in Canada and around the world."

With this new awareness, Earls now also acknowledges that "many persons with albinism are genuinely offended and feel that their dignity is negatively impacted by the use of the word 'albino' in our marketing."

Kudos to Earls for recognizing that times have changed and for taking action to correct an unintended offence. When Earls originally branded their Albino Rhino beer 25 years ago, many of us were also guilty of ignorantly misusing a variety of other medical and racial terms in ways that we would never consider appropriate today. Sadly, as per the old adage, "time goes fast but learning goes slow."




Other options on table

In his Feb. 28 column, Have-not provinces greased by energy sector, Gwyn Morgan makes some interesting points but fails to address certain economic and environmental issues regarding Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Even "have-not" provinces such as our own can still be energy exporters. It is also notable that Alberta is facing a budget shortfall despite its prized oil sector.

Morgan would likely blame this on the pipelines not being built, but I think it would be more prudent to look at government mismanagement of public funds and to keep in mind that these pipelines are not the only option on the table.

It would be interesting to see Morgan acknowledge Enbridge's gross negligence in the Kalamazoo spill and explain why they are a desirable company to put in the pipeline to Kitimat.




Dangerous and irresponsible

Re: War on natural remedies raises suspicions (March 1). The rest of Dr. W. Gifford-Jones' column may be valid, but all he writes is called into question with his statement at the end: "Prescription drugs can kill; natural remedies never."

What a dangerous and irresponsible blanket statement. Both can kill, depending upon how they're used.

So many natural remedies are the basis for pharmaceutical products. And with both, knowing what you're ingesting -- and how much -- is vital. One drop heals, one more kills. Digitalis, belladonna, stachis, cheladonium, even aloe and various herbs (rosemary, rue, savory, etc.), can harm and even kill when overused.




Peters plays key role

With regard to Carol Sanders' excellent piece on March 4, Putting together a piece of history, in which I am quoted, it should be emphasized that Evelyn Peters, the Canada Research Chair at the University of Winnipeg, plays a key role in planning, guiding and helping fund the project.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 6, 2013 A10


Updated on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM CST: corrects typo, adds links

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