Cleaning up city hall
Don Marks does a lovely job of drawing the comparison of First Nations who get into trouble and our city hall's troubles: Bad budgeting, a lack of transparency and more (Council ripe for third-party rule?, July 22).
One has to wonder if a newly elected city council, a provincial inquiry, or third-party management will make any difference. I don't think so.
In Greek lore, Hercules was given the mammoth job of cleaning the vast Augean stables of the king in one day. He diverted two rivers into the stables and completed the job in time.
Perhaps if we divert the Red and Assiniboine rivers into city hall, it might just do the trick.
Shooting headline cynical
I was dismayed to see the inflammatory headline Man shot by RCMP faces charges on the front page of the July 22 Free Press to report the shooting of Evan Cromarty in Norway House, as if this somehow explains this violent incident.
This shooting has created a volatile situation in the community, requiring a measured approach. But even your most judicious reporting of the response by the First Nations, the RCMP and the province was undone by your carelessly cynical front page.
So many questions remain about this incident -- undoubtedly, some terrible errors in judgment were made. At a time like this, why did the Free Press add another one?
Katz pulls a Duffy
Just when Winnipeggers were expecting mismanagement doyen Phil Sheegl to be proclaimed Manitoba's next Senator-in-waiting, Mayor Sam Katz cuts in line by pulling a Mike Duffy (Ariz. Katz's main home: paper, July 22).
With the extraordinary ethical burden of having to distinguish public from personal business (while simultaneously claiming primary-residence tax relief in two separate jurisdictions), how can a politician ever be expected to remember where he lives?
Of course we understand the possible confusion that Pamela Wallin-like travel can breed, as we do the extraordinary number of errors that are continuously being attributed to junior administrative staff.
North End business proud
Annette Champion-Taylor is right on all points -- improved police interaction, the city cracking down on bylaw infractions and improved recreational facilities have helped improve the North End (Crime rate continues to drop, July 23).
However, she neglects to mention the business community -- we who have put our companies in the North End, giving new life to old buildings.
We bring customers from other parts of the city to the North End, and it's the business owners who are creating employment opportunities for all Winnipeggers.
Let's give a little credit where it's due -- I'm proud to be a North End business owner.
Pallister suddenly low-key
In his letter to the editor, Gary Hook makes the unverified claim that Brian Pallister "absolutely" visited the front lines of the flood fight, but simply avoided contacting the media (Pallister's good judgment, Letters, July 23).
Have any residents seen him sandbagging, or have any municipal leaders come forward to say they met with him to discuss options?
For a politician who took the province to court for the sake of publicity, it's hardly credible that he has suddenly decided to become "low-key."
Crash blame widespread
It would seem 21st-century weapons are in the hands of Stone Age barbarians (Rebels hand over bodies, black boxes (July 22).
How else can anyone explain what has recently happened over eastern Ukraine? This group of paid killers aren't soldiers -- they are cowards hiding behind balaclavas, and will kill for anyone given the right motivation.
Now we see the second line of barbarians who live in the area where the attack and murders took place, desecrating and looting the bodies of the dead. They take credit and debit cards, cash, passports and anything else they can ransom back to the international crash investigators, up to and including aircraft parts that could reveal the full facts of the pitiless attack.
There's enough blood, blame and corruption to go around -- nobody is clean.
The U.S. contends Russia is to be blamed for this tragedy, as it supports and trained the separatists (Crash site tainted, leaders say, July 21).
While this may be the case, others, including the U.S., share the blame. This tragedy is a result of the polarization between the government in Kyiv and the people in eastern Ukraine.
If there was no military conflict, I doubt this tragedy would have occurred. As the main supporter of the government in Kyiv, the U.S. should have encouraged a peaceful resolution to the concerns of eastern Ukraine rather than a military option.
I also wonder why air traffic controllers prescribed a flight path over an area embroiled in military conflict.
While we cannot undo this tragedy, measures should be taken to ensure it does not happen again.
Leadership must come from Kyiv; there is no point asking Russia to halt support for the rebels while ignoring Kyiv.
Destroying CDs dangerous
On July 19, an American minor-league baseball club held a public "demolition" of CDs featuring Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, an event made light of by Doug Speirs in his July 21 column Blowing up bad music an explosive idea.
I'm no fan of either Bieber or Cyrus, but that shouldn't give me the right to deny their freedom of expression by destroying their work.
There's no difference between the destruction of music and the burning of books.