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A pro works his magic

Kevin Prokosh's story about Father Edward Danlo Evanko (Blessing in disguise, Nov. 19) is fascinating, interesting, honest and impressive.

It does not involve alcohol, violence, graphic language or any form of criticism or hatred, unlike so many stories I read in your paper.

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It is one of the finest things ever printed in the Free Press. It should be not only an inspiration to all reporters, but a guide to quality reporting.




Fear-mongering agenda

In his Nov. 15 column, Philippines' early warning, Dyer continues to push a fear-mongering agenda and provide misleading information.

First, strong typhoons have always occurred in the Philippine area and will continue no matter what we do. Other than moving, the only thing residents there can do is prepare for these events and have reliable warnings. They have actually failed by settling in low-lying areas recently because it is cheaper.

Dyer wonders whether Haiyan is an early warning of strong storms. History has already provided that answer. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Haiyan ranks only No. 7 among the strongest storms, in terms of wind, to hit the Philippines. The strongest occurred between 1970 and 1991, not in the last 10 years.

Dyer makes erroneous comments about the storm surge, stating it was caused by pressure so low a "hump" of water six metres high was pushed up beneath the eye and travelled with it.

Not even close. Haiyan's central pressure was not very low. As well, storm surges are caused by long duration of strong winds over a long fetch of water.

Dyer further suggests Haiyan offers an early warning of what is to come. Obviously, he has not read about typhoons in 1881, 1975 and 1780, which killed 300,000, 229,000, and 100,000 respectively in other countries.




Off-loading medicare

The Nov. 14 story Aging boomers not a worry to feds is misleading. If The Canadian Press really got its information from Doug Porter, the chief economist for the Bank of Montreal, all I can say is I'm very fortunate to be dealing with the Royal Bank.

The real reason for the future federal surplus, and the federal "what, me worry?" attitude, is that medicare is an underfunded Ponzi scheme that is being off-loaded to the provinces.

When medical care for seniors is about six times more costly than that for 20-somethings, and the ratio of seniors to the rest of the population is increasing, proportionately more money will need to be spent -- by the province.

Aging boomers and everyone else will see more extra-billing for medicare, because the associated transfer-payment agreement ends in 2014.




Ending needless pain

In his Nov. 13 letter, Generalizing guilt, Michael Melanson wonders why I generalize guilt to the public regarding Brian Sinclair's death.

If we, as a community, put our minds to achieving anything, we do it. Witness the return of the Jets, the MTS Centre, the new stadium.

Just imagine what we, as a community, could accomplish if we put our collective minds towards ending needless pain and suffering in the midst of our collective resources.




Echoes of America

Brian Lee Crowley's concept of an effective Senate (Elections the only fix for Senate, Nov. 16) sounds very much like the system they have in the U.S., which doesn't seem to be functioning very well just now.

The trouble with the present makeup of the Senate is that a succession of prime ministers have appointed party flacks who are guaranteed to support the party position. The senators do not need to be angels; they merely need to be people of probity and integrity who will give sober consideration to legislation and bring any flaws to the attention of the public so that the Commons can reconsider it.




A recurring theme

A recurring theme in your letters to the editor seems to be "why is the city spending money on (insert project name here) instead of fixing the roads?"

Robert Collings (Letters, Nov. 20) is the latest to insist that the $7 million proposed to be used to beautify the stretch along Route 90 would be better spent on potholes.

These complaints seem contradictory to the reality whenever you try to drive somewhere in the summer.

It is a frustrating and time-consuming experience, since you are held up constantly, in all parts of the city, because of all the construction. If the city were to fix all the roads at once, it would be shut down to any traffic flow. So I think people like Collings should be realistic and appreciate the fact that their complaints are being dealt with as the roads are being fixed.




Airport passengers leaving the western part of Winnipeg must be departing with a negative lasting impression of Winnipeg after experiencing the deplorable road surface of Ferry Road and Berry Street.




Our city would look much nicer if we cleaned up the vagrants, homeless, druggies and thugs, whatever their race or ethnicity, through whatever channels and means are available.

Every citizen should be embarrassed by this problem. Cleaning it up would greatly improve the view and opinion of Winnipeg by outsiders and by Winnipeggers themselves.




May I suggest that if the sight of the back lanes from the airport bothers the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, a simpler solution would be to order all taxicabs to continue down Sargent Avenue and turn right at Erin Street.

I will pay taxi drivers to stop at my showroom at 803 Erin if their fares are in need of custom-made or made-to-order sofas. It is a prettier route and it will increase business in the city.


Elan Designs


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 21, 2013 A14

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