Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/6/2019 (769 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Art of no deal
Let me get this straight.
Iran agreed to, and lived up to, an international agreement to not proceed with its nuclear program. U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from that deal and he also claimed millions were paid to Iran (which was apparently their money to start with).
The rest of the countries that signed on have remained, as Iran has lived up to its commitment.
The U.S. has thousands of troops in many of the countries surrounding Iran, and may send more. They have ramped up major sanctions, sabre-rattling and threatened Iran with obliteration. Reminiscent of the "coalition of the willing" a few years back, the U.S. is calling for partners for whatever comes next.
Iran has announced it is resuming its nuclear program and sees no reason to enter negotiations.
Let’s be fair: Iran may be behind some bad acts. Also, the U.S. has been wary of international agreements for over a century, and avoided or withdrawn from many. Brinksmanship may work for Trump in real estate, but in this case, he may get people killed.
Re: A clinic in persistence (June 22)
I want to congratulate Allan Levine for the article on Dr. Donalda Huggins. I was very pleased to know that, after many years, she was recognized for her efforts to establish an independent department for anesthesia.
I was a resident on the post-graduate program under Dr. Huggins and in 1966 was accepted to a staff position. I was very much aware of her many efforts on behalf of the department. I remained on staff under Dr. Huggins until Dr. James Parkhouse took the position.
With Dr. Huggins’ encouragement, I was the first anesthetist in Manitoba to earn a fellowship in anesthesia in 1966. Dr. Huggins remained a friend of my wife and myself until her death. As an executor of her estate, I was in part responsible for establishing an anesthetic scholarship in perpetuity in her memory.
My wife, Shirley, and I were very pleased to read your article and know that my colleague and friend had finally received the recognition she so greatly deserved. Thank you.
Dr. Walter B. Syslak
Down a dangerous road
If ever there was an example of just how numb we’ve become to the planetary crisis we all face, it’s surely playing out in plain sight right here, right now, in Shoal Lake. As many of my neighbours will already know, big dump trucks have been lumbering by in front of our homes for about a week now. Beginning before dawn, they sometimes become a steady stream that lasts much of each day, coming and going, until about dusk.
These heavy diesel 22-wheelers, with long, steel boxes, have been moving gravel (or some similar material) from a big mine along the Yellowhead to the west, to some sort of maintenance project along Highway 21 to the south.
Since the trucks pass right by our front window, I’ve been able to do a rough count. At about 150 round trips per day, they must be set to move hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of material before the operation ends. Make no mistake, folks. This is one big job.
The mine supplying the raw product has been expanding for years along the banks of the Birdtail River. I’ve been out there a few times over the past few years. I’ve captured shots of the copious dust it kicks up when in full operation. You can also hear the din of the machines echoing up and down an otherwise peaceful valley. Prevailing westerlies carry the dust from the mine right over (and no doubt into) the river. Such sediment has long been proven to be bad news for fish and other aquatic life.
This seems to matter not, however. Neither does the fact that internal combustion engines are significant emitters of greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change, which the experts are warning will be in "runaway mode," or beyond our ability to turn around, in about a decade.
Apparently, we are also supposed to ignore the fact that being exposed to diesel fumes, even for a short time, can cause coughing and irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. Long-term exposure can lead to even more serious health effects, including cancer. So just how long will this highway "improvement" project last? I have no idea, do you?
And by the way, did you take part in the vote that gave them our permission to do this? Oh, that’s right — there wasn’t one!
So how do we maintain our roads and standard of living to the degree to which we’ve become accustomed without producing these downsides? I personally believe — while it’s not something many will want to hear — that maybe we cannot! Surely, at least part of the solution must include lowering our expectations by travelling less and driving more energy-efficient vehicles.
One thing I know: The way we are doing things now is taking us all down a dangerous, and very congested, road.
Shoal Lake, Man.
Re: Zebra mussel fight complicated for boaters (June 24)
Your editorial, while getting many things right, did a disservice to the actions of the province to combat zebra mussels over the past 20 years. In fairness, the province has been operating inspection/education stations for years, and if, as the evidence suggests, adult zebra mussels entered Lake Winnipeg via the Red River, inspection stations at the border would have been ineffective.
When it comes to managing the risk of zebra mussel spread to other lakes and rivers, the most effective actions Manitoba needs to take are a combination of boater education and the availability of permanent boat-washing stations at hot spots to clean boats as they are removed from waterways that are infested, and also portable stations for fishing derbies or other hot spots of boater movement. The province and the federal government need to also move forward on legalizing treatment options such as potash and ionic copper as pesticides, so they are available for rapid response of new invasions. These may not be cost effective or appropriate for large systems like Lake Winnipeg, but having this tool in the toolbox may be very useful for the many smaller lakes across the province.
Research scientist, IISD Experimental Lakes Area
Turning the page
Judith Krantz was a legendary romance novelist. Her first novel, Scruples, was a bestseller. Her other novels included Princess Daisy, Mistral’s Daughter, Lovers, I’ll Take Manhattan and The Jewels of Tessa Kent.
Her books have been translated into 52 languages. They inspired a series of hit TV miniseries with the help of her husband, film and TV producer Steve Krantz.
We will remember Judith Krantz as a legendary romance novelist, always and forever.
Judith Krantz, RIP.
Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Re: Schofield’s narrative brings shades of Beckett (June 22)
One of the great pleasures of my life is a Saturday morning spent drinking tea and reading the Winnipeg Free Press. Especially the book reviews.
And this past Saturday, especially Maurice Mierau’s review of Anakana Schofield’s book Bina.
And especially this line: "Apart from the awards, which Canadian readers and publishers often confuse with an indication of quality...."