Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
letters Jan. 29
I live in the Toronto area and I am a diehard Chicago Blackhawks fan. The Jets are my second-favourite team. After watching the Jets-Pittsburgh game last night, I felt compelled to write this letter to the people of Winnipeg: Your emotion and energy at those games is magical and awe-inspiring. I look forward to watching the Jets just to see the passion among the fans.
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I was heartbroken for Winnipeg when the Jets left and thrilled for you when they returned. What a difference from Atlanta. It is generally accepted that the loudest rink in the NHL is the United Centre in Chicago, but you guys are quickly taking those bragging rights away. Congrats again on reclaiming your team. You deserve a team more than anybody. I can only imagine what it would be like if you won the Cup.
Right to be informed
Re: Ottawa to pay for credit protection after student loan recipients' info lost (Jan. 26). Since my info is most likely on this "lost" hard drive, as I went to college and had loans at the time, if the government is "protecting the 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program participants," then they must know whose names are in that hard drive. Shouldn't those affected get a call to inform them of this and that they should monitor their credit status with a fine-tooth comb?
How odd, how very, very odd that such a lengthy story complete with pictures and 'history' regarding Inuit art, makes no mention at all about the gift that helped start the Winnipeg Art Gallery's collection.
If memory serves, it was the gift of hundreds of carvings from the Twomey family of Norwood that forms the basis of this extensive collection. One would think such a generous offering would rate at least a sentence in the article.
No food, no brew
I couldn't agree more with your editorial Timid reforms (Jan. 26). I had a recent, baffling experience with the food-to-alcohol sales ratio requirement, which apparently could repeat itself since Dave Chomiak has indicated that there is a "social benefit" to maintaining the status quo in this area of the liquor laws.
I met a friend at a nearby, licensed restaurant at around 8 p.m. to have a somewhat difficult and personal conversation. The restaurant has a cocktail lounge or bar, which was quite busy and loud. So, we sat in the nearly empty restaurant. My friend ordered a meal, but having just eaten at home, I just wanted a beer. A Fort Garry Dark, please. Sorry, you must order some food, too, I was told.
What?! Really? Sorry, but you have to walk 10 steps, through the open doorway there, and into that noisy, crowded area -- then you can have just a beer. She didn't say it that way of course, but that was the situation I was in. I suppose the reason the server relented and let me order my lone beer was that my friend did not order a drink. Just keep your beer on his side of the table, in case my manager comes by.
A dream too far
Somehow the article Combat positions open to women (Jan. 24), brought to mind a quote from Eve Merriam: "I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war?'"
Re: Dad unable to mark son's grave (Jan 25). Really, Jane Saxby? Surely you don't believe the nonsense you are spouting.
If you and the city are that worried that limestone grave markers are a hazard to one's health, I then suggest you also declare that people stay clear of the many structures built from limestone over the years, including the Manitoba legislature.
Last I heard, it was not in trouble due to lack of integrity. Although, that can't be said for the many we elected to supposedly work inside.
Clearly Bob Russell believes that physical punishment is never justified in disciplining children (Correcting behaviour, Letters, Jan. 24), since he asks whether we should also use physical punishment to discipline the misbehaving aged and infirm, who should know better. By the same logic, however, if physical punishment of the young is wrong because we may not treat adults the same way, then time-outs and grounding are off the table as well.
The reason Russell's analogy is so false is that we are no longer raising or training the aged and infirm. We are, however, training up children to become productive members of society, so let the judgment of how best to do that be left with those who know the children best -- their parents.
Jumping to judge
Re: Bill Mahon's letter Denying responsibility (Jan. 26) responding to my Jan. 22 letter. According to Mahon, I, along with all other drivers who dislike getting traffic tickets are irresponsible, out-of-control, whining failures who should take public transit rather than drive.
What pains me is that Mahon attempts to use math to prove his point. If he had done it properly and considered all the factors, he would have realized that just as a driver has a football field of space to stop between a light turning from yellow to red, the same driver, if speed is maintained, will also be a football field's distance past the intersection when the other cars receive their green light. The danger, therefore, is not in driving through a light the second it turns red, the danger lies in attempting to stop and not making it.
Responsibility is not about liking what you have to do, but doing it because you must.
It fascinates me that Mahon is so quick to judge someone's character with so little information and context. I hope that the rest of us don't so the same.
Freedom to grow
It was interesting to read the police say home grow-ops are on the rise. It confirms the view of many people that the prohibition of drugs is a continuing failed policy.
It was further interesting that police officers have turned from law enforcement to social health policy experts and tax collectors. An unidentified drug warrior from the police says homegrown operations carry hidden but real dangers, such as high humidity, mould, fire, structural problems and people breathing in fertilizer chemicals and insect spray. Of course, you will find such problems in large, commercial-style grows, mostly funded by organized crime, who turn profits into corruption of public officials, more insidious substances and battle on our streets for control of the lucrative drug trade.
There are many smaller home grow operations, mostly licensed and unlicensed medical marijuana users who grow solely for themselves and family, in a perfectly safe manner. The government's threat of mandatory minimum sentencing for even small grows and the anticipated prohibition of all grows by licensed medical marijuana users for themselves, certainly is ineffective and will continue to cause more harms to the community than marijuana itself. Based on the population of Manitoba, it will take law enforcement approximately 200 years to eliminate the estimated 4,500 grow operations in this province alone. As a retired police officer, I am aware that the local police can only raid about one or two grows a month using extra officers available on certain days. A make-work project, if you will.
A more sensible drug policy, ending prohibition, would, over time, eliminate the need for most home grow operations.
William (Bill) VanderGraaf
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition -- LEAP Canada
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 29, 2013 A7
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