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Stephens County Sheriffs Department These three young men are charged in Oklahoma shooting.

Alcohol affects pregnancy

Re: Economist questions pregnancy rules (Aug. 20). I'm sure Emily Oster wouldn't like to see any child harmed in the womb, but it's hard to understand why she irresponsibly advocates that it's OK to consume alcohol when pregnant.

She obviously has never encountered anyone who suffers with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It's 100 per cent preventable. Its effects are devastating to everyone involved, not only the person with FASD, but his or her parents, siblings, family, school and society in general.

There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

LAURA MIKUSKA

Winnipeg

 

Apparently, obstetricians and gynecologists have been overcautious in their recommendations for women during pregnancy. The medical literature is so complex it takes an economist from the University of Chicago business school to show the ob/gyn community where it's been going wrong.

Who knew? After all, economists told us deregulating the derivatives market would be good for the economy. Anybody who can prove bad debt is a desirable component of an investment instrument has got to know something the rest of us don't. The next time I need medical advice, I'm calling an economist.

BRIAN FRISTENSKY

Winnipeg

 

Hypocritical stance

Re: PM voices concern on jailed Canucks (Aug. 20). Filmmaker John Greyson, like Nero, is one who fiddles while Rome burns.

He is a gay man who advocates for LGBT rights but who may face grave danger in Arab countries should his sexual orientation be learned. Nevertheless, this maverick adopts a vociferous stance against Israel, a country that is a sought-after sanctuary for LGBT Arabs who face persecution, violence and even death in their own countries.

He travels to Gaza to document alleged Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israelis, rather than the human rights abuses perpetrated by the terrorist Hamas government.

The fact there are more than 100,000 dead in Syria and more than 1,000 in Egypt due to abuses hasn't merited a film trip. Greyson would rather carry out a Quixotic mission that has him travelling into a war zone en route to a terrorist hotbed in an exercise of self-importance and delusion. And now Canadians are expected to pay for his rescue from Egypt?

LEIGH HALPRIN

Winnipeg

 

Business in the bedroom

Re: Judge's expenses questioned (Aug. 21). My old newspaper colleague Martin O'Malley coined the phrase: "The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation."

But I think it darn well is our business when a family court judge is off work more than three years over a sexual harassment case involving nude photos of her, yet gets paid, so far, $1 million in salary off the job.

In law it's called a fancy name: due process. For everybody else it's called welfare.

BARRY CRAIG

Winnipeg

 

Food value retained

Re: Stop asking at the till (Letters, Aug. 19). Winnipeg Harvest graciously accepts a variety of non-perishable food items, including the canned soup Kim Gainer refers to. All products go through a thorough review by our team of trained volunteers, many of whom are clients, who look for the dates marked as "best before" or "expiry."

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are quite different.

Best-before dates are found on most consumable products. Gainer is right that some products in cans will retain some food value after their best-before date.

Winnipeg Harvest does not distribute food more than a year after its best-before date, following Food Banks Canada guidelines that are based on manufacturers' recommendations.

Expiry dates apply to far fewer food items, including infant formula, baby food and nutritional supplements.

Winnipeg Harvest does not distribute any items after their expiry date.

Winnipeg Harvest apologizes for any miscommunication regarding Gainer's proposed donation. We thank Gainer for thinking of others in need and hope she reconsiders her donation if it meets our food safety guidelines.

DAVID NORTHCOTT

Winnipeg Harvest

 

What a mean-spirited letter from Kim Gainer. If she doesn't want to donate to a charity at the till, she can simply say "not today." There is no need to be embarrassed.

While it may make some cashiers uncomfortable to ask her, it clearly makes her more uncomfortable to say no.

Perhaps a solution is to say "yes" once in a while and forget about the tax receipt.

SHARON HICKAWAY

Winnipeg

 

Today's coaching traits

Re: Time to honour Bud Grant with stadium statue (Aug 20). With apologies to Gordon Sinclair, here are the current requirements of a Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach:

  • He should be of good character and appearance, whether tall, medium or short. XXL may be special order.
  • He can be any age. Remember, 60 is the new 40. He must be fearless when dealing with a rabid sports press. All vaccinations must be up-to-date.
  • He must have superior aim and know how to kick a football and a player's posterior.
  • He must have knowledge of stadium construction lawsuits, with easy access to crack-repair material.
  • He must know that if he fails as coach, Wally Buono may be available.

DON WARKENTIN

Winnipeg

 

A Bud Grant statue? He's only 86. Get him to coach.

RICK LOEWEN

Landmark

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2013 A12

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