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Posted: 07/8/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0


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A bone-jarring shock

After I spent most of a month travelling in England, Scotland and Ireland, it was indeed a bone-jarring shock to return to the universally hideous condition of Winnipeg streets. Even the cobblestoned streets of Dublin are smoother.

I was recently in Fargo, N.D., where my car encountered exactly one pothole. They have a similar climate, surely we can copy the technology. Why don't we?

Perhaps their civic leadership is not obsessed with useless projects such as go-nowhere high-speed transit, water parks (maximum use two months) and football fields (use ditto) for losers, rather than providing citizens with what they need and deserve.




While driving in Winnipeg the last few days, I was astounded to learn that automobile dealerships are allowed to sell vehicles without turn-signal lights!

This sales practice must be stopped immediately.




Time to address overpass

Thanks to Brian Clark for his July 3 letter, Cycling system 'inane.' While any bike-lane development in Winnipeg is appreciated, the recent effort on Pembina Highway is overpriced and wildly misguided.

As Clark mentions, having cyclists and pedestrians comingle at bus stops is an accident waiting to happen. This path has cyclists veering up onto the sidewalk at least four times in the kilometre-or-so-long path. It's inefficient and dangerous.

Furthermore, this bike path does not deal with the most dangerous section of Pembina for cyclists: the Jubilee overpass. Until this is made bike- and pedestrian-friendly, biking to the University of Manitoba will be restricted to those willing to risk their lives on these treacherous roads.




Health vs. dandelions

Letter writer Terry Meindl (Removing choice, July 4) deplores removal of freedom of choice in relation to Manitoba's recent pesticide ban. Do we have a choice to harm or not to harm? After all, we live in a civilized society.

Recently medical studies sponsored by the prestigious Toronto-based group Environmental Defence determined that umbilical cords obtained from newborns in Canada contain residues from hundreds of toxic chemicals.

Did these newborns choose to be exposed to all of these poisons while still in the womb? Hardly.

Dandelion-free lawns versus child-cancer epidemics and contaminated water -- is there really a choice? What is more important -- human health, particularly children's health or a lawn sprayed with a toxic chemical?

I live in a suburb of Ottawa, Nepean, where there are a lot of lawns. However, none is drowning in dandelions. To obtain a good looking lawn without the use of pesticides, mow high (three inches), add topsoil and over seed. As well, add seeds of white Dutch clover -- this provides nitrogen and moisture. Dutch clover makes lawns truly green. Leave grass clippings behind -- this adds nitrogen too.


Nepean, Ont.


Myopic and pugnacious

In her June 29 letter, Too busy to sing along?, pooh-poohing a complaint by a Taylor Swift concert-goer about drunken patrons, Christine Johnson breezily states: "The fact that two concert-goers drank in excess is really none of her business. They too paid to be there."

Really? So their paying for admission gave them licence to ruin everyone else's right to not endure obnoxious behaviour? I think not. It is precisely this myopic, pugnacious attitude that explains so clearly why we see such collective bad behaviour in public every day.

The prevalent public attitude has become: "No one counts but me. I will run roughshod over whomever I feel like. I will act however offensively and provokingly I please wherever and whenever I want, and no one better expect anything else." Luckily for these cretins, they have people like Johnson to endorse their actions.




Abortion can't be good

I disagree with Patrick Lowe's June 29 letter, Abortion can be social good. After hearing a woman who was with Silent No More tell her regrets of having an abortion at the last Winnipeg March For Life, I feel there is no way abortion can be equated with anything good.

Life begins at conception and is something to be treated with dignity and respect. How many great leaders and souls have been killed by the deception of convenient abortions?




Harming tourism

Regarding Kevin Rollason's June 29 article 'The lake is not dead', I believe that Manitoba's inland sea is in need of immediate stewardship and I will purchase a Lake Winnipeg Foundation membership for $50. I also believe, however, that the foundation has done a great disservice to Manitoba's tourism industry by promoting a German-based ecological association's assertion that Lake Winnipeg is the most threatened lake in the world for 2013.

Tourism (estimated at $100 million in the article) has been foundering on the big lake and its neighbours, Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis, since the wet summers of 2006 and 2007. Manitoba has a difficult enough task drawing tourists without the negativity created by Boyd, Burns, et al. Are we incapable of cleaning up our own backyard without announcing to the world that we have a problem that needs to be addressed?

Having spent 40 years boating, fishing and swimming on the inland sea, I can tell you that the amount of blue-green algae in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg has been grossly overstated by recent pictures that show the undesirable flora on a couple of sticks washed ashore on a beach. The majority of the algal bloom (this occurs every summer) consists of green algae, a non-toxic botanic that is sometimes prescribed to improve human skin health.




Flaws in his thinking

Re: Some Canada Day counselling from Bart Kives (SundayExtra, June 30). I'm not sure how Kives figures the Métis are original inhabitants since their existence is subsequent to European entry. Were that the worst flaw in his thinking, this letter would be unnecessary.

Kives is arguing for racially restricting the appointment of governors general to aboriginals in perpetuity; it would be "a hell of a symbol." It certainly would be. How many of those future appointees will consider themselves as belonging to the nation of Canada first and foremost and not their respective nations which, by definition, exclude most Canadians?

A head of state, even a symbolic one, that is reserved for people of a particular racial ancestry symbolizes a degradation of liberal democracy.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 8, 2013 0

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