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To sell or not to sell

Re: Steeves lists more assets to sell, Aug. 2). I have lived near Kildonan Park and the Kildonan Park Golf Course my whole life. The green space afforded our city by the golf course is valuable in many ways; the trees contribute to the well-being of all, for example, and the course provides a reasonably priced sporting opportunity.

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The golf course is a profitable, useful amenity. Why not make it a winter destination like the wonderful asset the Windsor Park Nordic Centre has become? Winter use would provide a wonderful opportunity for the children of the surrounding Seven Oaks School Division.

Our children are in desperate need of outdoor activities in order to learn about and practice respect for the natural world. Those with the mindset of selling and developing the golf course should consider it a tranquil, park-like amenity to be cherished and protected.

Diane Cameron

Winnipeg

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I seriously question the thinking and business acumen of Gord Steeves with his pledge to sell assets to pay for road repairs.

The City of Winnipeg is a corporation and as such, its assets are the greatest business tool when it comes to investment by capital markets.

Then, to add salt to the wound, Steeves intends a buy-back 30 years down the road? It seems his approach to financial management is to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Glen Miller

Winnipeg

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Winnipeg's infrastructure is in dire straits. Gord Steeves, a former city councillor, has made three daring announcements, including the proposed selling of city golf courses and the police station.

It is refreshing to listen to someone who is thinking of ways to deal with the infrastructure problem without continually going to the taxpayers. The city has not been able to adequately maintain its assets, and the assets have been deteriorating.

Our city needs to get back to basics to restore itself.

Norma Jones

Winnipeg

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I would love to hear proponents of selling off the public golf courses explain to nearby homeowners how they plan on compensating them for the tanking of their property values once developers move in and lay waste to what any progressive city would realize are invaluable assets.

In the wake of everything that's occurred at city hall over the past decade, it's mind-boggling that anyone running for office would include further kowtowing to developers in their election platform as the prescription for what ails us.

The golf courses, whether simply permitted to return to a natural state or retained as recreational venues, are net assets, the values of which will only grow over time. They provide the means to both finance other endeavours and ensure future generations aren't reduced to living in a city devoid of aesthetic appeal.

This isn't about short-sighted thinking -- it's about an absence of much thought at all.

Dan Donahue

Winnipeg

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The problem with Gord Steeves' proposal is a private-public partnership (PPP) does not result in an automatic savings of money and, in fact, commonly results in excess costs.

It is common sense that the private sector wants to make a profit, and there is no assurance that they will operate any more efficiently for the city without civic oversight on the entire process.

There will be some conflict, as any landlord and lessee knows, between the interests of the private company and the public need. In Winnipeg, recent memory shows that conflict doesn't necessarily work in favour of the public.

Terry Robert

Winnipeg

The myths of declawing cats

It's too bad the myths about cat declawing keep being perpetuated (Brandon vet urges ban on declawing of cats, Aug. 2).

Declawing is not the "amputation of every toe" -- it is the removal of the distal phalanx, which includes the claw and first toe section. There is no weight put on a cat's distal phalanx when walking, and there is no interference with foot pads, so there's no difference between being declawed or walking with claws retracted.

Anesthesia and painkillers are used in the operation, so there's no more pain to a cat than there would be in an operation such as spaying -- an operation nobody makes a big deal about when it comes to pain to the cat.

Two of my three cats were declawed, and never had any personality or behaviour changes. They still "claw" the scratching post, and knead and dig their "claws" into blankets.

Declawing is not a bad choice in itself -- any horror stories are the result of botched operations, incompetence or poorly trained vets.

Janis Wierbicki

Winnipeg

Sentence no deterrent

Re: Killer driver gets 54 months (Aug. 1). Our justice system is supposed to protect innocent people, punish criminals and act as a deterrent.

With Adam Langan's sentence, Judge Kelly Moar did none of these.

William McCowan

Winnipeg

Winnipeg in bloom

I am visiting my folks in Winnipeg, and am very much enjoying this beautiful city.

I'm impressed with all the wonderful hanging flowers, flower pots and flower plots throughout the city. I have been across Canada twice in the last five years, and have to say that Winnipeg and the people in charge of these displays have done a fantastic job.

The St. Vital area is ablaze with pink. Thank you to those that planned, planted and maintain them -- a job well done.

Kim MacDonald

Heatherton, N.S.

Groceries needed downtown

We are still without a grocery store downtown that is connected to a skywalk, and with winter approaching, downtown residents certainly hope somebody will take care of this.

The people running for mayor don't seem to be mentioning anything about supporting our need for a grocery store.

We're desperate, and cannot face another winter like the past year. I will not vote for someone who does nothing for us.

Betty Curnew

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 6, 2014 A8

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