Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/3/2014 (1199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Child literacy crucial
As a certified reading clinician and learning specialist, I sincerely appreciated Nick Martin's March 15 article Success highest for young readers.
Other than fresh water, there's nothing more important to a child's future success and health than learning to read at a young age.
There are so many diversions in the school day. And while there are many important things for children to learn, including human rights education, a teacher's first responsibility is that their students become increasingly literate.
The teaching of reading and writing needs to be the responsibility of teachers in all subject areas -- not just the elementary classroom teachers or the English high school teachers.
Science talk scintillating
I was sorry to read that Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon was disappointed by the Dream Big lecture given by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos host doesn't impress, Letters, March 15).
Tyson aimed his delivery at the non-specialist, but was able to engage the audience with his passion for the science of space and his fellow curious earthlings. It's no easy task to captivate a large audience while at the same time communicating his message of the value of a scientific approach to problem-solving.
With his jovial way of presenting ideas, Tyson encourages young students toward science literacy.
I thoroughly enjoyed Neil deGrasse Tyson's lecture last week and thought his use of humour was enjoyable and not belittling whatsoever.
The great thing about scientists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye and the late Carl Sagan is that they're able to make science interesting and approachable to everyone, not just the highly educated. Dry, monotone lectures that only physics majors can appreciate won't accomplish that goal.
The slide of students who said they would get drunk if the world were to end worked well to further Tyson's argument that we must collectively look forward and plan for the future rather than ignore it. I highly doubt he was trying to insult us.
Scientific advancement has an important role in our future, and people such as Tyson can make the world of science more accessible to the general public.
Ukraine letter misses the point
We should not forget how our government maltreated early Ukrainian settlers (Canada's dark past, Letters, March 17).
However, using that to somehow malign Canada's current position misses the point (and I'm no John Baird fan).
There are no parallels between today's Russian occupation and the "blight" of the early 1900s. Canada didn't invade Ukraine.
Defining 'partisanship' subjective
Re: Rights museum must perform balancing act, Editorial, March 14.
Friday's editorial on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is quite correct in defending the museum's right (and perhaps obligation) to ensure that the organization does not become a conduit for partisanship.
It appears, however, that the definition of partisanship is quite subjective.
The editorial states that "It was a sweeping and unsubstantiated editorial opinion, which (Veronica) Strong-Boag subsequently bolstered with a few details about how the Conservatives wouldn't support abortion in foreign countries, cancelled plans for a national daycare plan and cut funding to the Status of Women Canada."
It's clear to me that the Conservatives routinely place right-wing ideology ahead of human rights when making funding and policy decisions, but I suppose that this is just a subjective perspective.
Indian Wells, Calif.
West-side land not Hydro-owned
I have news for letter writer Per Stokke: The route where the west-side line is being built is not Hydro's property either (Bipole III decision political, Letters, March 14).
At least 400 owners of the prime agricultural land the west-side line will cross are still asking for fair treatment despite the fact that Hydro is essentially trespassing already.
Choosing to bully the landowners instead, Hydro has not even been willing to come to the table with a landowners' group recently formed to negotiate a fair deal on behalf of all affected landowners.
The west-side decision was nothing more than an ill-conceived political decision, and it will have devastating, long-lasting effects on the many landowners involved.
Pharmacy fees hurt poor
Re: Meds-fee disclosure may not help poor, March 1.
Beyond the fact that pharmacy dispensing fees aren't displayed, there's a much more serious issue: Pharmacies in this province charge the same price whether you order a small amount or a large amount of medication.
If the dispensing fee is $12, you get charged that $12 whether you buy $15 or $150 worth of pills.
This means that the poor, who can't afford to buy large quantities of medication at once, pay a disproportionate amount for their order.
The same goes for people who can't tolerate drugs and who have to experiment, buying small quantities at a time.
Paying price for potholes
I loved the pothole photos spanning the past 60 years that appeared in Saturday's Free Press (A road well-travelled, March 15).
It's a shame the drivers are just now finally paying off their MPI-added premiums.