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Grievously mistaken

There is no disputing that Tiger Woods is a talented golfer, just as there is no denying his lack of character, but the implication in Gary Lawless's April 13 column, Tiger's a golfer, not a role model, that we watch sports merely for the "competition and excellence," is grievously mistaken.

If that were the case, Lawless would be out of a job, the sports section would not be filled with pages of Jets stories on game days, and our licence plates would not carry such slogans as "fuelled by passion."

We watch sports for so much more than just the competition. It is the combination of identifying with the athletes and living vicariously through their ups and downs, their losses and their victories, that makes it so special. It is making the entire event personal that explains our passion, our anger and the reason we can become a couch potatoes over the weekend.




Lockheed estimate dubious

Re: Lockheed visits to boost F-35 (April 13): Lockheed Martin's estimate of $75 million per F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is dubious. U.S. Air Force Lt.-Gen. Chris Bogdan, head of the Pentagon's JSF program office, told Australian defence officials last month that each F-35A would cost Aussie taxpayers $90 million to $92 million.

Importantly, JSFs for the Royal Australian Air Force do not require the significant engineering and modification work needed for F-35As for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Why not? For starters, the RAAF has the right type of aerial tankers and the RCAF does not (and Ottawa does not have the money to buy the requisite fleet).


Kelowna, B.C.


Cheap window dressing

I ask Peter Jessiman (RBC does extraordinary things, Letters, April 15), if the Royal Bank has accomplished extraordinary achievements in the past, how then does such a bright, rich business so blatantly dismiss some of its best frontline workers and replace them with untrained foreign workers?

It tells me the Royal Bank's achievements are cheap window dressings to cover the fact that it has absolutely no compassion for my fellow Canadians and places no value at all on their workers, who often have been with them for decades. You cannot tell me that they did not know precisely what they were doing and didn't give a damn about their workers.




Worm infection unlikely

Re: Ice cubes in drink may carry dreaded worm (April 12). Ascaris lumbricoides parasite infections in humans are primarily a result of environmental contamination with human feces and are much more common in tropical, developing nations with poor sanitation where there is a greater risk of inadvertently ingesting parasite eggs. The risk of an infected dog transmitting Ascaris lumbricoides to a human in Canada is very remote.

In Canada, there are potential risks of humans becoming infected with parasites from animals, such as roundworm eggs (Toxocara) and hookworm larvae (Ancylostoma). Veterinarians like myself can provide advice on appropriate parasite prevention programs and deworming of pets that can help avoid potential infections.

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis is a concern with all rodents, including hamsters. This virus typically only causes disease in people with compromised immune systems. The risk of a hamster carrying this virus would be greatest in animals coming from large rodent breeding facilities, or when there is contact with wild rodents.

To minimize the risk of infection, handwashing is imperative after touching any animal.




The old double standard

Re: Katz's woes not over? (April 10). It's nice to see Joe Chan planning to appeal his case against the mayor. Perhaps next time, the presiding justice will have realized that politicians aren't supposed to dip into the public cookie jar every time they wish to indulge themselves and their friends.

Then again, there exists a double standard for elected people in this country, so we shouldn't be too surprised at the verdict.




Hey, and you, too!

To add to Rolf Zimmer's April 10 letter, You know who you are, with regard to people throwing garbage out of their vehicle: Dog walkers, please clean up after your pets.

The melt will eventually come and with it the disgustingly unhealthy mess of thawing waste that people are too lazy to pick up.




Poor role model

Re: I am deeply disappointed the Free Press chose to use a common swear word on the front page of its Homes section (It's spring, damn it!, April 13). As an influential corporate citizen and role model to our community, your paper has an extra duty of care to make sure that you use the English language politely and in good taste.

How can we teach young people to show respect to other people by not swearing when they can readily see that their major daily newspaper condones the use of swear words? By your action of using swear words, you are undermining our ability to build a respectful community.

As a gardener, I am particularly disturbed that you would choose to place this headline atop nature's beautiful phlox flowers. To me, you have spoiled their beauty.




Faith story refreshes

Re: Klassen sisters share story of faith (April 12). It's so refreshing to read about something positive like the Klassen sisters' testimony of faith. It would greatly benefit your reading community to have more articles like that.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 16, 2013 A8

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