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Not a model mayor

Re: Ariz. Katz's main home: papers (July 22). I want a 24/7 mayor. I want a mayor that is totally committed to Winnipeg in every way, accessible and highly visible at all civic events and front and centre when the city faces adversity. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi comes to mind.

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Having a principal residence in Arizona and ostensibly spending six months of the year there (to fulfil the principal residency requirement) means Sam Katz is, and has been, a part-time mayor.

He claims he is a successful businessman, which I agree with, but he has failed as mayor.

Robert Milan



So now we know so much about Sam Katz that was heretofore consigned to the ranks of speculation.

Based on his own tax records out of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the hard facts come as news to us, but really, the gist is not that surprising: Katz does not consider himself a Winnipegger in his heart and in his head.

Michael Bagamery


Fringe play fracas

The intimidation that Theresa Thomson has faced for being the lead in Lies of a Promiscuous Woman just reeks of hypocrisy (Fringe flap gets ugly, July 22).

I don't speak to Jesus personally, but there are people who ask "What would Jesus do?"

I can guarantee he wouldn't deface a woman's car with words like "slut" nor threaten her life.

I'd be curious as to how Jesus would feel about the actions of these so-called "protectors of faith."

John Alksnis



I'm stunned that in this day and age, we still have folks intent on imposing their religious fanatacisms on the rest of us.

It's no wonder so many people are abandoning organized religion as an archaic and punitive relic of the past.

Well-done, people. Your extremely un-Christian behavior toward Theresa Thomson for merely expressing herself artistically will no doubt serve to confirm what so many non-religionists are saying today -- that religion is a questionable and potentially dangerous venue.

Steve Oetting



Immaculate Conception refers to Mary herself -- it means she was born without original sin, a perfect human without the tendency to evil. It does not refer to her pregnancy.

I object to anyone using my tax dollars to insult me or anyone else.

Public funding from the three levels of government for the Fringe festival should cease. Stand on your own.

Ernest Dias


DFA program essential

Re: Flood recovery initiatives need better oversight (July 18). In his article, Deveryn Ross states that the current flood-relief funding arrangement "provides ample motivation for local governments to engage in spending that would never occur if the money was coming out of their own budgets."

I think Ross misunderstands what the Disaster Financial Assistance program (DFA) is, as well as the scale and scope of what happened both in 2011 and what we are dealing with in 2014.

Access to DFA is for when a widespread disaster strikes and creates an unreasonable financial burden. The federal and provincial governments recognize that some disaster events will overwhelm local resources. There are very strict rules in place for what is eligible, and comprehensive documentation requirements in order to be reimbursed.

We were very careful with expenditures regarding the 2011 event, as we are with everything. While our small municipality was in very good financial shape, we would have been bankrupted very quickly in 2011 if we had not had access to DFA. We work with small budgets and have no capacity to deal with a major flooding event like that on our own.

We simply cannot protect our residents or recover effectively in such a situation without access to the DFA program. We needed it then, and we need it now.

Amanda Stevenson

Deputy reeve, RM of Coldwell

Hydro clarification key

On behalf of all Hydro ratepayers, Manitoba Hydro should delay construction of Bipole III until it is needed to transmit power from the Keeyask generating station.

Every year Bipole III is delayed saves up to $300 million annual carrying charges. This money could be spent more wisely fixing the aging distribution system without costing so much extra to do so.

Hydro states Bipole III is necessary for reliability. Where is the detailed reliability study to back this up? Since May 1980, no Manitoba customers have had a power outage due to a fault in the existing Bipoles I and II transmission lines.

Rather, ratepayers have suffered a multitude of power outages due to failures in the aging distribution system, which Bipole III would not have helped.

Hydro's response may be that it is too late to delay Bipole III contracts for three years or more. If so, then please supply us with the delay or cancellation charges for the signed Bipole III contracts so we can see whether they even come close to $1 billion saving in accumulated delayed carrying charges.

Dennis Woodford


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2014 A8

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