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The Royal Canadian Navy�s HMCS Regina plies Chinese waters in Shanghai.

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The Royal Canadian Navy�s HMCS Regina plies Chinese waters in Shanghai.

Ford looks bad in red

Re: Ford apology accepted (Dec. 19). The Canadian media is so super-saturated with the "sorry" saga of Toronto's mayor that I'm convinced I am beginning to see Rob Ford everywhere -- at the mall, in the grocery aisle, at the gas bar, in the coffee shop, on the street, invading my dreams at night even.

I fully expect when I set out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve, that the large-girthed man coming down the chimney will not be Kris Kringle. And if that disappoints the kids, he's sorry.




I read with amusement that a person has set up a fund to help with Rob Ford's legal fees. Let's face it, nothing embodies the holiday spirit like collecting money for a politician from an affluent family, one who drives a Cadillac Escalade and still has pocket money to purchase illegal drugs.

Here's a thought. How about sending that money to a food bank or Christmas Cheer board. Charities which are noble and deserving, something which Rob Ford is not.



Salt retards growth

In her letter of Dec. 16, A wall of greenery, Sara Jane Schmidt suggests that Virginia creepers be planted along Route 90 so they can grow into the chain-link fences that line the route.

That is a great idea, except for one problem. Nothing will grow along Route 90 due to the huge amount of salt the city puts down on the road. Only a few hardy weeds survive, and any trees they planted along there are long dead or grotesquely stunted.

It simply won't work, unless they remove all the soil, replace it with good soil and then somehow stop the salt, sand and grit from getting on the boulevard.




Winnipeg Taxicab Board regulations require taxis to take the shortest route between points. Using Route 90 and Portage Avenue to transport visitors from the airport to downtown Winnipeg is two kilometres longer than using the shortest route along Sargent Avenue.

Even using Notre Dame Ave is shorter. Therefore, a plan to beautify Route 90 is a waste of money, and any taxi using it will be doing so illegally. And it will cost the taxi user an extra $2.80 to view scenic Route 90.




I agree with Matt Henderson (Letters, Dec. 7) that urban sprawl and poor planning add to Winnipeg's infrastructure problems.

However, I feel beautifying or sprucing up Route 90 with trees would greatly enhance Winnipeg's image.



UN affects nothing

In her Dec. 14 letter, Illustrating bias, Israeli apologist Leigh Halprin has again raised the issue of bias against Israel in the UN General Assembly (against "the Jewish state," as Halprin puts it, which is telling in that Israel isn't a state for all its citizens, such as Israeli Arabs).

Once again, the question that needs to be asked is: what is the net effect of the UN resolutions? And the answer is, as always: nothing.

Israel has never had to actually face the effects of any resolutions thanks to the veto power the U.S. uses to protect Israel. And that is in spite of Israel's continuing disregard for international laws and humanitarian norms.



Stabilizing premiums

I agree with the decision made by Public Utilities Board not to increase Autopac rates beyond the inflation rate (Rate hike less than MPI sought, Dec. 17).

Winter came early this year, and snow accumulation becomes one of the major contributors to traffic accidents. One way to address the problem is to make it mandatory to install winter ties.

This will reduce the number of accident claims and thus help to stabilize insurance premiums.



Extending the circle

Protecting creatures both great and small (Dec. 17). Where does Erin Cornelius draw the line?" An interesting question, that. Many people extend their circle of compassion to include non-human animals, but often stop at those they find cute or otherwise appealing.

As a society, we have compartmentalized animals into those we eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or love as pets. The laws of the land become our lines.

There are some who feel that we are part of the great web of life and there are no lines to be drawn. But there are also many in this world who have set their boundaries firmly at places such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

We are all on the wrong side of someone's line and thus have the potential to be in a position to want mercy from the person who drew it. Perhaps we should keep this in mind before being too quick to deny it to other beings.



Resources are finite

When speaking of the development of the oil sands, Lindsay Johnson writes in her Dec. 12 letter, Neil needs cold shower, that "we need these resources to survive" and suggests that we "do the math."

Well, here is the math as I see it.

-- Natural resources (such as fossil fuels and fresh water) are finite. The sun and the wind, while variable, are infinite.

-- Population and fossil fuel consumption are growing exponentially, not linearly.

There will come a time when the non-renewable natural resources are used up, and we will have no choice but to survive without them. It is sooner than you think.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 23, 2013 A12

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