Driving debate continues
Re: Drivers won't put the brakes on cell use (July 15). It's pretty sad there are numerous drivers who feel they have the right to disobey traffic laws. When they get ticketed and fined, these drivers simply view it as a cash grab rather than punishment.
In addition to increasing fines and demerit points, the government should go one step further -- Manitoba Public Insurance should not pay for the repairs to a vehicle driven by a driver if the driver causes an accident while disobeying traffic laws. This should apply to any driver who causes an accident while using a cellphone, being drunk, speeding, running a red light, etc.
Perhaps, then the delinquent drivers would think twice before risking the invalidation of their auto insurance and the majority of us who are responsible drivers would not have to pay for them.
The city's speeding crackdown is nothing but a money grab, and I don't think it has the public's support.
The fines are way out of proportion, hurting people rather than providing safe zones for the children and public.
It's ridiculous to fine people hundreds of dollars for travelling 71 km/h in what is regularly an 80 km/h zone without properly displaying the reduced construction-zone speed limit.
Photo-radar setups, meanwhile, aren't intended for safety, but to generate revenue.
Hopefully, Winnipeggers will make this an election issue to get rid of this cash grab.
Where the water goes
Letter-writer Frieda Krpan from St. Laurent writes "they have allowed the emergency channel to be opened, which should help" (Flood a federal issue, Letters, July 12).
There is no emergency channel for Lake Manitoba -- there is an emergency channel for Lake St. Martin. The Assiniboine River diversion was built in the 1960s as part of an aborted government plan. The 100-kilometre channel to Lake Winnipeg was never built.
In addition to the natural water that flows into the lake, Lake Manitoba has as much as 35,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) flowing in at the Assiniboine River diversion. The only outlet, the Fairford dam, has the limited maximum capacity of 12,000 cfs, all of which is required by the natural inflow.
The emergency channel is one of several myths spread in 2011. It's time to put it to rest.
City hall exit strategies
Sam Katz can do Winnipeg's next mayor no greater service than to remove his desk plaque when he leaves office in October (Constant stream of ugly revelations simply maddening, July 16).
Years of blame and misdirection that marked his public style are no better affirmed than in the chiselled motto "the buck stops there."
And as a final act of civic consciousness -- his lasting legacy, perhaps -- I'm sure Winnipeg would welcome his endowing a trophy awarded yearly to the person displaying the greatest incompetence and mismanagement at city hall. Let's call it "the Sheegl."
Bartley Kives's article was well-done -- right on the money.
I do, however, have a concern with the recommendation Mayor Sam Katz purchase an erasable sign.
If Mayor Katz follows his pattern, Phil Sheegl will be hired as a consultant as to size and colour, and Sandy Shindleman will do the installation. Mayor Katz will hold a news conference, beaming with pride that the project was on time and within budget.
The administration will then advise Mayor Katz there is no pen and eraser, adding several thousands to the project.
Katz will then issue a news release blaming the administration for cost overruns.
Animal permits not to scale
Re: No reptile dysfunction (July 14). To work with native wild animals in Manitoba, one must obtain a wildlife handling permit.
It appears the only proof of qualification one needs to obtain exotic pets -- that is, wild species native to other countries -- is a credit card.
Images tough to take
I thank serendipity Tuesday's Winnipeg Free Press was placed on my worktable, so I could see Adam Muller's comments on the Photrocity exhibition (Haunting photos question our ability to comprehend inhumanity, July 15).
Being a post-Second World War product of Germany, born in 1942, I spent my formative years trying to understand the horrors committed by my countrymen.
In his closing paragraphs, Muller quotes Susan Sonntag: "harrowing photographs do not inevitably lose their power to shock... Narratives can make us understand. Photographs do something else: They haunt us."
In our present era of consciousness, repeated images of past and present atrocities should be banished from press, TV, exhibitions and in all public discourse. We should uncouple atrocity pictorials from our storytelling, engaging in narratives that reason the interminable good human spirit, ultimately no longer giving credence to acts of violence and atrocity perpetrated toward our natural world and us.
Helma Rogge Rehders
Lake's last line of defence
Re: No one thinks developer's crazy now (July 14). The story of the damage to the marsh where Siglavik now sprouts is heartbreaking. Contrary to Bill Redekop, this was not "worthless" land -- it was, however, the last line of defence to keep nutrients out of Lake Winnipeg.
And contrary to Willie Arnason's comments, you really can "do that today." Just three years ago the minister of conservation licensed ill-advised development across the lake at Beaconia Marsh.
Siglavik, Miklavik and Beaconia are destined to be studied by anthropologists seeking to explain why the people of an earlier era compromised their life-support systems.
C. Hugh Arklie