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Letters Aug. 3: Herring vital to Gorge ecosystem; where's the Splash barge?

The one-time abundance of herring in the Gorge Waterway was a catalyst for the presence of other wildlife that are now greatly missed, a letter-writer suggests. REBECCA BENJAMIN-CAREY

Bring herring back to the Gorge

Re: “As clock ticks, a summer bucket list,” Jack Knox, July 31.

I’d like to commend the bucket list as most exceptional — with just one exception.

You can walk from the legislature up along the Gorge Waterway, probably the most scenic walk in the entire known urban universe, but alas you can no longer watch herring run at the Craigflower Bridge. Last spring only five were caught and nothing of spawn was seen.

Which is a darned crying shame. Many volunteers have cleaned the old fridges and plastic garbage out. Volunteers have watched for pollution, fixed up parks and also enhanced the coho salmon in the Colquitz River.

In addition to this clean environment, there are also great meadows of eelgrass, the preferred spawning bed of the Pacific herring.

If we could just get herring to spawn in the Gorge, the sea lions, salmon, halibut, whales, sea birds, raptors and more would return to the Gorge in spades.

That would definitely make the legislature to Craigflower walk the most scenic walk in the entire known urban universe.

Jim Shortreed

Splash is great, but bring back the barge

It was so wonderful to have Symphony Splash return to the Inner Harbour. And what an evening for it! Fabulous weather and a crowd who have obviously missed this magical longstanding summer Victoria tradition.

Everyone was in fine form, and loved “being back.”

But as a Splash volunteer, I was asked so many times: “Why isn’t it on the barge this year?” or “I hope they bring the barge back next year.”

So, thank you Victoria Symphony for another outstanding evening, but can’t wait for the barge to return.

Joanne Wiggins

A reminder: Pets, fireworks don’t mix

Why, oh why, do people bring their dogs to fireworks displays? On B.C. Day another panicked dog flew down Songhees Road to escape the noise of the fireworks accompanying the 1812 Overture!

On another such occasion it was a tiny Yorkshire terrier that just took off in sheer terror. Each time I tried to find these dogs but they were nowhere to be seen.

I could only hope that they managed to stay clear of the busy traffic following the fireworks, found a safe refuge and were able to be returned to their owners.

Please, if you care at all for your pets, leave them at home! Your pet will be safer and you’ll get more enjoyment out of the fireworks display.

Susan M. Woods

Bennett fought for fairness from Ottawa

Re: “When politicial posturing overshadowed an engineering feat,” column, July 31.

Perhaps Monique Keiran is not old enough to have lived through the Premier W.A.C. Bennett years, now often fondly referred to as the Golden Age of British Columbia?

If so she can be forgiven for not remembering the endless, and largely fruitless, struggle Bennett had to get the federal government to acknowledge that the cost of highway construction through the mountainous terrain of Interior British Columbia was vastly more expensive than building other sections of the Trans-Canada Highway through all the provinces east of B.C. And that the amount of their portion of the funding required shouldn’t be limited to a similar cost per mile expended in those provinces.

This, and a number of other inequities, such as the fact that B.C. Ferries received no federal subsidies as did similar ferry services in the Maritimes, even though both were, and are, vital links in the Trans-Canada Highway system, were a sore spot between his government and various regimes in Ottawa for years.

Considering the amount of money B.C. contributed to Ottawa through equalization payments in our first Social Credit government’s 20 years in office versus what we received back from Ottawa in that same period, is it any wonder that Bennett often complained that B.C. was treated “like a goblet to be drained”?

Pre-empting the federal opening ceremony at Rogers Pass, and later changing the Trans-Canada Highway signs to B.C. Highway 1, were but two small steps to express a growing frustration at that time, and often since, to this very day, with Ottawa claiming credit for the lion’s share of efforts that weren’t rightfully theirs.

Joe Thomson

Risky driving does not help anyone

Re: “A reminder: Pull over, let others pass,” letter, Aug. 2.

Right before my eyes, a letter justifying road rage and risky driving.

“Clueless” and “stupid” tourists and someone actually not driving the posted maximum speed on the road to Sooke and there goes the writer’s ire. Oh my goodness, two or three minutes lost out of the day was all it took to generate a letter demanding tickets for offenders and signs for the “out-of-province” dullards not keeping to the posted maximum.

I am going to suggest that the writer uses all the time saved dashing up and down Highway 14 to practise some controlled breathing.

In the long run, no one benefits from rage and risky driving.

Mark R. Fetterly


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