Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/1/2011 (2601 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Impossible to tap
Larry Kusch reports deputy premier Rosann Wowchuk as saying the NDP decision to build the Bipole III transmission line down the west side of the province "brings us that much closer" to the Saskatchewan market (Hydro to power up Saskatchewan?, Jan. 11).
The minister is mistaken. As a retired vice-president of Manitoba Hydro in charge of transmission planning, I can say it will be impossible to tap power from the high-voltage direct current Bipole III line at the Saskatchewan border.
Direct current transmission is used for point-to-point transmission. For this and other technical reasons, the proper solution will be to build Bipole III on the east side of Lake Winnipeg and an additional 500-kilovolt AC line towards the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, if power is to be provided to Saskatchewan. Power can, of course, be taken from the AC line.
Re: Dozens shun jury duty (Jan. 7). Although answering the call for jury duty and to serve willingly should be a given, not all are capable of giving their time.
When you are called, you have no way of knowing how long a trial might last. If you are a caregiver of either children, disabled people or seniors, it can be difficult to be replaced for an extended period of time.
I'm sure many would serve without compensation out of simple interest in the judicial process. But the $30 per day currently provided for jury duty is simply unrealistic for the majority of people.
Re: Post office denies late mail (Jan. 8). How about no mail received from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5 and delivery every second day for the previous 21/2 weeks to St. Germain, Grande Pointe and Ste. Adolphe? Several businesses and neighbours kept track of their mail deliveries and have confirmed these dates.
Upon complaining to the supervisor at the St. Vital depot, we were told there was a problem with replacing a carrier, who was off work due to illness. Calls to the supervisor seem to stop there. Calls to the 1-866 number are not answered. Instead, the message indicates they are receiving a high volume of calls and they value our business, so please go to the website or call back later.
Canada Post spokeswoman Kathi Neal indicates there is no problem with mail getting out on time. People in these areas know there is a problem.
In mid-December, my teenage daughter absent-mindedly mailed an important letter with no return address and without a stamp. At that time of year, considering how busy Canada Post is, I considered the letter lost.
However, she taped a note to our community mailbox, addressing it to "Mr. Letter Carrier," and asking Canada Post to retrieve the letter so she could affix the correct postage.
The very next morning, we received a phone call from the St. Anne's letter carrier depot advising us they received her note, had the letter and would hold it for us until we came down with a stamp.
My hat is off to Canada Post and these individuals who took the time out of their busy day to help my daughter rectify her problem.
Canada Post is an easy target for criticism, and its employees are often maligned for people's perceptions of their poor work ethic. I have never had a negative experience with anything I have ever mailed.
I invite everyone to consider the number of houses and buildings Canada Post has to deliver to every day. I defy any private enterprise to do a better job.
As a former resident of Portage la Prairie, I must comment on the letter written by Jeff Bereza (If Portage did it, so should we, Jan. 4).
I would like to clear up two points. First, he feels that if Portage can build a state-of-the-art community centre for $4 million, Winnipeg should have no problem building a $180-million stadium.
Bereza fails to see that Portage does not equal Winnipeg, $4 million is astronomically less than $180 million and that the Portage Credit Union Centre will pale in comparison to the artist's conception of what is coming to the University of Manitoba.
Second, Bereza says the citizens of Portage swept the "forward-thinking council" out of office in the last election.
He seems to forget that out of Portage's six councillors, only one ran for re-election (and won). Bereza, himself a former councillor for one term, left his council seat, ran for mayor and lost.
Jeff Bereza intimates Portagers were opposed to the building of the community centre because of the $4-million price tag. This is only partly true. He fails to mention that the main opposition (which, by the way, included a sizable petition and public meeting) were opposed chiefly to the location. I repeat, location.
It was also feared the cost of the building would be reflected in the location chosen, that is Portage's unique Island Park, a unique sanctuary of natural beauty. A commercial enterprise of the magnitude of the present Portage Credit Union Centre is not in keeping with its serene surroundings.
There is no argument the centre with its many services is needed and is thoroughly enjoyed. The platform and subsequent election of the past council confirmed this. Their high-handed methods in achieving this goal, however, turned off the electorate in the recent fall election in which they were soundly ousted. Perhaps those involved in planning for the Winnipeg Stadium might take note of this.
Portage la Prairie
The latest political murders in the U.S. (of a federal judge and five others) are not surprising given the functional illiteracy of that country's Supreme Court. The so-called learned judges ruled recently that the constitutional right for "the people" to bear arms means every individual is entitled to do so.
Those of us familiar with the English language know "the people" refers to a collective — in this case the army and the police.
Only if the constitution had read "people" — without the definite article "the" — it would have given individuals free rein in this context. Pity our American neighbours for having linguistic illiterates running (ruining?) that magnificent country.
Lahr deserves applause
Re: $200 million wanted for Convention Centre (Jan. 6). I heartily applaud the dedication and vision of Klaus Lahr, Winnipeg Convention Centre general manager, for taking action to ensure Winnipeg's convention and exhibition Centre are expanded.
The easiest thing in the world would be for him to sit back and do nothing and watch while every other city in this country expands or builds completely new, attractive convention facilities that will trump Winnipeg's ability to attract the best and biggest conferences.
I know from my own experiences that other cities, like Halifax, took the lead years ago and spearheaded a move to ensure their convention facilities were top notch.
In any conversation with our hospitality and hotel industry, they repeatedly cite the lack of adequate convention facilities as an impediment to attracting business tourists to the city.
I also know many organizations that would like to have their conventions held here as a result of the pending opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights cannot do so because our facilities right now are simply too small and inadequate to accommodate them.
For some time now, I have despaired at the decline of that invaluable character, the comma. It seems to be on its way to extinction, like the dinosaur. In recent years I have found myself lamenting in sad song: "Where have all the commas gone?"
Therefore, my heart leapt when I read Morley Walker's Jan. 7 article, Stop bad grammar, period!, in which he laments a missing comma. His perseverance in ensuring it was retrieved and placed in its rightful position is praiseworthy.
In his concern for the survival and use of the comma he joins the greatest of minds. One such example of that concern is illustrated by the following answer given by the writer Oscar Wilde at a dinner party in London.
"Did you work today, Oscar?" someone asked.
"I did. I worked very hard."
"What did you do?"
"In the morning I inserted a comma; in the afternoon I removed it."
The residents of Wildwood Park are justified in having concerns about adverse health effects due to the proposed cellphone antenna in their area (Hanging up on new cell tower, Jan. 10).
There is ample evidence for these concerns: Both credible scientific studies described in the Bio-Initiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), as well as anecdotal information from people whose health has deteriorated after placement of antennas near their homes.
Martin Weatherall's e-newsletter, Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News, contains news and updates from around the world on electromagnetic field health issues — there are many.
The experiences of Colwood, B.C., residents relating to a nearby cell-transmission tower may be helpful in making an informed decision on the siting of this and other antennas.
A petition regarding placing a moratorium on new cellular and wireless antennas, as well as revising Health Canada's Safety Code 6, is currently being circulated for signatures and will soon be presented to the Government of Canada.