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Craft-beer interest brewing

Steve Lafleur scarcely even mentions the biggest players in the Manitoba beer retail system -- Manitoba hotel beer vendors (Time to brew up Manitoba craft beer biz, July 29).

Over 80 per cent of beer in the province is retailed by hotel beer vendors, conveniently located in almost every neighbourhood and rural community across Manitoba.

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Since 1934, beer-vendor licences have remained the sole domain of hotels. When it overhauled the liquor laws earlier this year, the province affirmed the role of hotel beer vendors, enshrining in legislation that beer-vendor licences may only be issued to hotels.

Manitoba beer vendors recognize that craft and specialty beers are an important and growing segment of the beer market, and many beer vendors are enthusiastic to offer a wider selection of these beers.

The Manitoba Hotel Association is in ongoing discussions with Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries to address barriers in the distribution and ordering systems that currently prevent beer vendors from offering many smaller, new and specialty beer brands. We have also expressed strong interest in participating in the recently announced growler pilot project this fall.

Jim Baker

President and CEO

Manitoba Hotel Association


Two sides to photo-radar flap

"I don't deserve to pay this," says Jared Narine (Photo-radar refunds on way, July 31).

Is he glad he did not kill a roadside construction worker or is he just happy to have money in his pocket?

Speeding is speeding, no matter how you word it. If speeders don't have to pay the fines, they should at least be given demerits. Or even better -- if they get caught breaking the law, drivers' licences should be suspended.

Speeders should talk to the families of construction workers who have been killed by reckless drivers before making a judgment call on this. I guarantee they would then pay the fines.

Diana Frantz



It's very nice the city of Winnipeg has decided to refund a million dollars worth of photo-radar tickets to offenders, but does anybody else find it extremely disturbing a million dollars worth of fines were given out in just four days?

Somehow city officials continue to act like this is a safety issue, and not about revenue. Speeding in construction zones can be deterred with a much more reasonable fine.

Ian Thompson



Officialdom screws up, and I'm supposed to think them noble for admitting it -- that's what I got from the self-serving (and somewhat suspect) explanation for the Kenaston speeding snafu.

What I'm waiting for is what drivers involved should have received: an apology.

Barry Craig



Reduce city rail yards

Re: Study to examine future of Arlington overpass (July 31). There's another option the city should be considering -- removing or downsizing the CP rail yards.

There are so many benefits for the city and the railway in developing this important real estate -- commercial, social and environmental. Not only do we need a study, but we need politicians with vision and courage to take on this opportunity.

Dennis Lewycky



Aerial spraying suspect

Re: Cut mosquito-fogging buffer zones: Steeves (July 30). Winnipeg continues to use pesticides banned in many, more health-conscious and progressive provinces.

Malathion is a nerve gas, killing beneficial insects along with the dreaded mosquito; aerial spraying then affects our bird population, as random winds are more prevalent above the tree level.

I don't like mosquitoes, and don't want my summers spoiled, but knowing we continue to use our stockpiles of poison, I'm beginning to gravitate toward the buffer zone.

Charlotte Tataryn



Mideast conflict polarizing

It was disappointing to read Gwynne Dyer's article Victory in Gaza hard to define (July 30) and realize that this correspondent, whose articles get published in many countries, has obviously decided which side should get all the support and where to direct all the criticism.

Nowhere in his article does he mention the thousands of rockets Hamas shot into Israel or their ongoing pledge to rid Israel of all Israelis. Nor does Dyer seem to think Israel has a right to defend itself.

Issie Oiring



If anyone ever had a question about what part of the political spectrum is occupied by Stephen Harper, John Baird et al., the article U.S. right-wing radio host lauds Baird on air (July 26) should have cleared things up.

In Baird's mind, the government is unfairly treated by the "left-wing" media. Perhaps Baird should consider when one is as far to the right politically as he and Harper are, all media seem to have a left-wing bias.

In his discussion with Mark Levin about the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, he barks out the standard line Israel has a right to defend itself and that Hamas is a terrorist organization, the typical simple-minded rhetoric that refuses to recognize the complex history and current issues of the Middle East.

Canada is already perceived in many respects as a rogue nation internationally. The Harper government's position on the Israeli-Gaza conflict cements this perception.

Bill Toews



Develop downtown instead

Re: A little compassion (Letters, July 30). After learning about human-rights atrocities (as well as successes) at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, what are we to do with our raised consciousness and emotional reactions to this content?

Letter-writer Helme Rogge Rehders suggests a crucial need for an immediate space to contemplate, ponder, and heal. In time, the Garden of Compassion at Parcel 4 would be known and sought out as an inspired, world-class space that fosters what all great religions, care systems, disciplines and endeavours strive to do: love thy neighbour as thyself.

Residential development at The Forks should be strictly limited; residential density should instead be fostered downtown where the Exchange District meets traditionally forgotten residential areas.

Creative heritage-warehouse conversions ringed by varied and accessible housing and service initiatives can create a vibrant, democratized downtown dense with life.

Shirley Kowalchuk


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 1, 2014 A8

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