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Favourite place to go

Thank you, Free Press, for publishing full pages of Random Acts of Kindness the past two Saturdays. It is my favourite place to go.

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With so much bad news always, this is a pleasure to read and to know that Winnipeggers truly do care and help each other. I love the Tim Hortons promo also; it's a fun way to encourage people to share their own experiences.

I myself read the letter about the wonderful 13-year-old boy who has started Lunches With Love.

Because of it, I joined his Facebook page and am now in touch with him and making donations to help his cause. How great is that?

Thank you, again, and let's hope you continue with your full page of Random Acts; it certainly is chicken soup for our Winnipeg souls.




I am so very disappointed in the Winnipeg Free Press. I used to read Random Acts of Kindness all the time. Since you started offering a prize, I no longer read them because I can't help but wonder which ones are true and which ones are just made up in order to win a Tim Hortons card.

I thought Random Acts of Kindness was a wonderful addition to your paper, but you've spoiled it big-time.




I just wanted to extend my kudos. I am loving the expanded Random Acts of Kindness on Saturday. In fact, if you have enough material, I would like to see some featured during the week. It gives me hope and places a smile on my face.



Lesson from Down Under

After reading Michael Madigan's March 28 column, Oz prepares to pay Afghanistan 'bill,' about all the Australian soldiers' deep mental scars, from seeing, among the many war-related horrors, the hand of an Iraqi soldier who was buried alive in the trenches by tank bulldozers. I am not surprised that the much-beloved Second World War British cartoonist Giles said, "I had finally become anti- any kind of war for whatever reason."



Province needs to act

Bravo for listing some of the obvious and unfortunate evidences of the corruption at city hall (Cookies a gift from you, Editorials, March 27).

The first definition of "corrupt" is "rotten." The second is "depraved" and the third is "wicked." Only then does "influenced by bribery" enter the definition. While there is not yet irrefutable evidence of bribery, there is ample evidence that much of what is happening to our city is the result of the corrupt atmosphere of deal-making, entitlement and arrogance.

Most unfortunately, the greatest reason for this degeneration of the public service is the continued operation of executive policy committee, the "mayor's cabinet," which still meets behind closed doors, publishes no minutes and arrives at council with a majority and an agenda often unknown to the other councillors.

The legislation that enables this EPC back-room governance is the responsibility of the provincial government. Every other province has corrected their legislation except Manitoba.

Until the backroom dealings of EPC, so similar to the conditions at city hall that led to the 1919 General Strike, are made illegal, corruption will continue to grow and flourish at Winnipeg City Hall.



Cold streets, warm hearts

I have spent the last three months in Winnipeg helping family with some serious health problems. I want the people in Winnipeg to know that I enjoyed my time with you.

I loved all your live music, including a Tragically Hip concert. I met a lot of nice people. Yes, considering your awful winter, I found people nice, caring and helpful.

I did a lot of skating and walking and, of course, I was at the hospital a lot. It was a challenge to drive and keep my tires inflated. I just want to thank you for you kindness to me and my family.



MPI's social obligation

The possible absence of a housing component to Longboat Development Corporation's partnership with Manitoba Public Insurance for development of its provincially controlled downtown south Portage surface parking lot (No residential for vital new core development, March 13), highlights the obligation of MPI to factor in social components in its economic decisions.

The need for more housing and residential options in Winnipeg's downtown has been painfully obvious for many years, and the recent closing of the food store in the Hudson's Bay building and some restaurant operations demonstrates the "chicken and egg" conundrum facing downtown revitalization.

But wherever we grab this nettle, downtown development will need to include more housing options and hence more people on the streets to get us past lingering safety issues and an impending downtown food desert. In other words, decision-making will need to be more than market-driven and must be made in an integrated fashion that includes the social and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Since Longboat already has a 170-condominum residential component to its Hargrave Street project, it may be loath to include a potentially competitive residential element to the South Portage development. The province, MPI, the city and CentreVenture will need to make their private-sector partner aware that project design will need to be multi-faceted and address sustainability.

The public plaza, if it is to be truly public space, is a good start. A reasonably affordable residential component would be another. No, MPI is not a social agency, but it does operate within a legislated sustainability mandate.



Ramone produced 'Peggers

Further to your April 1 obituary on the passing of legendary record producer Phil Ramone (Music loses the 'man with the golden ears'), Winnipeg band Mood Jga Jga's brilliant eponymous 1974 debut album was produced by Ramone at his A&R Studios in New York, the same studio in which the Guess Who recorded its breakthrough Wheatfield Soul album (including the million-selling single These Eyes).

The Guess Who later recorded the singles Laughing and Undun at Ramone's studio.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 3, 2013 A8

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