Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/8/2011 (2228 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Asper deserves credit
Re: Stadium naming rights in play (Aug. 13). There cannot be a single honest Winnipegger who doubts that had not David Asper stirred up the stadium issue, we would still be talking about it in endless committees, if indeed talking at all.
Now things may not have worked out as Asper had hoped, but the credit is still his. So let's call it David Asper Stadium.
If this conflicts with the lucrative sale of naming rights, it would be easy to install a permanent Tyndall cornerstone acknowledging Asper's contribution. Corporate sponsors' names could be mounted in bold plastic or cloth for so long as their profits endured.
This idea comes from my buddy Chris, a longtime Bomber fan (even when he lived in Saskatchewan). In the spirit of the old Winnipeg Arena being so eloquently nicknamed The Old Barn, I propose that the new stadium be nicknamed The Schoolyard.
Media will delight in the many turns of phrases, puns and metaphors that will flow from this nickname. It also pays homage to the great bastion of education on whose grounds the new stadium sits and which many of us claim as our alma mater.
Finally, it's just a really cool name: "I'm heading down to watch a rumble in The Schoolyard." Awesome!
Thank you to Bill and Shirley Loewen and to Richard Turner, principal harpist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, for presenting the beautiful weekly free concerts at the Millennium Centre on Main Street.
The overflow audience of businesspeople, seniors, children and their parents thoroughly enjoyed several WSO artists every Tuesday lunch hour.
It is gratifying to have philanthropists such as the Loewens and musicians such as Turner who believe in bringing beautiful music to us during our hot summer days.
Time to do more
My wife and I have a non-waterfront cottage at Victoria Beach, and it's truly sad to see the shoreline erosion and erosion mitigation measures that have occurred over the last 12 months and the resultant conflicts this has created within the community.
Manitoba Hydro president Bob Brennan's assertion in his Aug. 11 letter, Lake levels constant, that Lake Winnipeg has remained at "essentially its pre-regulation level" is probably correct, or at least defendable, but the lake has been experiencing seriously high water levels for more than a year, creating significant erosion to private and public shorelines.
Manitoba Hydro appears to be comfortable in having lived up to its obligations, but it's time for it and the province to do more to manage the waterways more effectively. If the flows into the lake are significantly greater than the flows out, even before the new channel from Lake Manitoba, then the control structure at Jenpeg and the waterways downstream should be reassessed and modified to discharge water faster.
The 1970s regulation did not anticipate global warming and its effects on precipitation in the northern latitudes, nor did it anticipate enhanced agricultural land drainage practices in the Prairies which again increase flows into the lake. Jenpeg may be providing more outflow than pre-regulation amounts, but it's not enough. Something should be done.
I spent my early summers at Victoria Beach, and while I've long since opted for the lakes of northwest Ontario, those childhood memories remain deeply meaningful to me.
Watching the decimation of the once-pristine beaches of Victoria Beach is both disheartening and sickening to anyone who stands by the belief that our lakes, parks and natural habitats belong to all of us, and hence the protection of them is a responsibility no one ought to shirk.
The seemingly endless issues involving Lake Winnipeg's health are beginning to drive people eastward into Ontario, where it appears those who work, play and do business there have taken a much more co-operative approach to dealing with matters relative to the health of the lakes and the preservation of one of the world's most beautiful natural habitats.
Lake Winnipeg is in dire need of people working together to mitigate that which threatens it. The stopgap efforts on behalf of a handful of beachfront property owners to stem a problem that isn't going away at the expense of everyone else is, to put it plainly, pathetic.
These folks don't own the shoreline, and even more perplexing is the apparent lack of will on the part of the provincial government to defend what they are entrusted to protect, namely our natural spaces, on behalf of all of us.
Michael Cudjoe's Aug. 15 letter, CWB coverage balanced, is commendable. However, there is one aspect of the federal government's plan to abolish the board which, if my careful reading is correct, has not recently been addressed in the Free Press.
Under Canada's free-trade agreement with (at least) the United States, once publicly mandated collective commerce has been cancelled, it is dead forever. The Harper government is therefore truly revolutionary, although probably not of the type of revolution that serves the great majority of our farmers, but only big business.
Re: Overdose deaths among youth require action (Aug. 13). The action that is required to save the lives of youths who overdose is called education. Safe injection sites in Vancouver and elsewhere provide the evidence that many lives can be saved that would otherwise be lost to overdose.
More police to enforce prohibition will certainly fill our jails. Those who clamour for a crackdown on doctors writing prescriptions should consider the consequences.
People who need these drugs for pain control will suffer because doctors will fear losing their licences and be stingy. Those persons who need these drugs will turn to the black market or may even commit suicide to escape their pain.
The solution to saving lives is to repeal drug prohibition and to educate the public. People who choose to use drugs for pleasure purposes will have access to a safe supply from the pharmacy where they can get professional advice on safe usage.
Story for our time
I would like to add my comments to Dorothy Vannan's Aug. 13 letter, Review is beyond Help. I did not see the Aug. 10 review of The Help, but we went to the movie on Aug. 12 and found it not only extremely well done and informative of the treatment of black help in the U.S., but true to Kathryn Stockett's novel, which I am now reading and fully engrossed in the incredible story.
It's a story for our times, as well, as we work out our own attitudes toward and treatment of new people coming to Canada as potential citizens. I'm convinced this movie will be an Oscar front-runner.