Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/6/2010 (2614 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Value of a raise
Re: the editorial NDP in union's pockets (June 19). OK, so you have seen some inconsistency in the rhetoric about public employees salaries and this nurses contract. But is this because you see nurses work as already well-paid? By comparing Manitoba nurses' salaries with other provinces, are you comparing underpaid women to underpaid women? Have you thought of comparing a heavy machinery operator's wages with a nurse's? Have you considered the huge difference between nurses' and doctors' salaries? No, you've jumped right in and ignored all the realities and imposed your misogynist, specious rhetoric on a discussion that should have included all those factors and many more.
Recently, I received excellent nursing during and after my day surgery. The value of those nurses' work far outweighs much of the far higher paid work in our society.
Perhaps it is time the unsigned editorials started having a signature so we can evaluate the salary of the writer compared to the value of the rhetoric.
Thanks to the Free Press for pointing out the lack of transparency and fairness demonstrated by the provincial government in its contract settlement with the nurses' union. While I can fully appreciate the dedication of these medical professionals and their contributions to our way of life, there are countless others living in the province who toil each and every day and are facing the stark realities of the dawning of a very different economy that will impact us all.
The ever-widening gap between public- and private-sector workers cannot be swept under the rug, nor can it be shrouded in the sleight of hand of union and government bargaining when those who foot the bill are played for fools.
It's bad enough we've been asked to subsidize poor investment decisions relative to the nurses' pension fund, but to exercise such entitlements such as wage bonuses and cost-of-living increments only adds insult to injury. This mentality is far from sustainable and it will be proven in the not-too-distant future.
Make room on road
Both motorists and cyclists need to read up on the rules of the road. On my way home from school, a vehicle honked at me and the people inside said: "Aren't you supposed to be on the right side of the road?" I was on the left side of the middle lane on Ness Avenue headed west towards Route 90. I explained that I was going to be making a left turn after Route 90 and I am supposed to be on the left side, which after Route 90 would be the curb lane.
Then after I cross Route 90 another vehicle passes me a "little too close." I could have reached in the vehicle's window.
So I yelled at the driver: "You're a little too close!" And all he did was point to the right lane. Cyclists have to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. I refuse to ride on the sidewalk as it is against the law to do so but it seems with the uneducated motorists we have it would be the safe thing to do.
I ride my bike to and from work, as well as for recreational purposes every day and ever day I see things that scare me into thinking maybe giving up the bike is best for my health.
In my five-kilometre commute home from work, I had two cars come at me while illegally driving on bicycle-only roads and then one minivan physically ran me off the road while trying to pass me as I was slowing for a stop sign. To the driver, I would say: As you were forcing me into the curb and eventually off my bike, I could not help but notice you had your kids with you in your van. What kind of lesson are you teaching your children with your actions?
I have been witness to many examples of horrible driving while on my bike and I think motorists should ask themselves how would I respond if someone treated my child the way I am treating this cyclist?
Future of hybrids
Electric cars are fine for urban use but need an infrastructure for recharging. For longer trips, something else must be considered.
I think the series hybrid system (Chevy Volt) is the way to go in the near term as opposed to parallel hybrid systems (Toyota Prius). The reason is that you would use strictly batteries for daily commutes of less than 40 miles in autos like the Volt but are always burning gas in cars like the Prius except for short distances at low speeds.
For longer trips, series hybrid vehicles have an unlimited range as they draw on the power of a small auxiliary engine to keep their batteries charged.
As for hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars, why is there so little discussion of hydrogen on demand systems to power them? The chemistry is proven and no new refuelling infrastructure is required, nor are heavy pressurized hydrogen tanks.
Existing gas stations could be modified to supply elemental zinc which when oxidized with hot water, produces pure hydrogen. The depleted zinc oxide would be exchanged for recycling when refuelling at the gas station.
The best part is that the zinc oxide would be converted back to elemental zinc using solar energy and the resulting pure zinc would be safe to store and ship to the point of sale.
I want to thank James Babb (Unfounded criticism, June 17) for clarifying that Jenny McCarthy is not a medical doctor. I suppose Jim Carrey isn't a cable guy either. But there is a less humorous message to Babb's letter: If you have an opinion, shut your mouth. If you have helped your autistic child recover or are performing research or are suspicious of a cover-up regarding vaccines, genetics and autism, keep it to yourself and don't put it in a public forum like a newspaper.
Given that he has his own opinion and has a right to express it, it's odd that he would advocate the silencing of others.
Who do they work for?
The Supreme Court has declared "there is no general right of access to information." Silly me! I was under the impression that the government was supposed to work in the interest of its citizens. My confusion might stem from all that "transparency" rhetoric they're always jabbering about. I'm glad the issue has been clarified: Protecting their own interests is officially top priority for the Canadian government. Wake up, Canada! This is what fascism sounds like.
A solution to flood problem
Manitoba Water Stewardship has invited the public to provide input on changes to the rules of operating the floodway. The deadline for submission is slated for Sept. 1, late as usual, which is how they operate the floodway now.
Just ask the hundreds of homeowners needlessly hit with thousands of dollars in losses and damage from the last high water due to the huge rain storm in the Red River Valley.
The floodway was not put into action until the Red River hit 18 feet above normal summit level. At that level, the Winnipeg sewer systems were overwhelmed and millions of dollars of damage occurred.
The "rules of operation" of the floodway were established at the time of construction. Times and conditions have changed.
A simple solution is remove the earthen berm at the inlet to the floodway channel and allow the Red River to flow naturally into the floodway channel and operate the floodway gates under a simple rule: gates to be operated to maintain normal summer level on the Red River at all times during summer months north of the floodway gates.
East St. Paul