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Letters Feb. 10: Troubling traffic flow at Starlight Stadium; councils need to show fiscal restraint; short-term rentals in Parksville

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An aerial view of Starlight Stadium in Langford in 2021. CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT

Starlight Stadium has issues with flow

As someone who regularly attends events at Starlight Stadium, I was once again appalled at the lack of pedestrian and vehicle controls Wednesday night at the Tigres vs. Whitecaps Champions Cup match.

At the west gate, there was no staff assisting with crowd management, resulting in long lines and confusion as people spilled onto the busy Langford Parkway and mixed with traffic in overflowing parking lots.

Post-game, the disorder intensified. People were funneled through ­chokepoint exits that ejected onto the road along a sidewalk-free Langford Parkway.

Pedestrians were forced to walk on the roads or navigate a parking lot filled with stressed drivers, and we witnessed a near collision between a pedestrian and a semi-trailer truck at a roundabout.

The absence of public transportation to and from Starlight only exacerbates the situation and increases the number of vehicles needed to get fans to and from the stadium.

While Langford and the various sports partners deserve much praise for creating a beautiful and intimate stadium, the infrastructure around the stadium fails to accommodate even modest crowds of 5,000.

If plans to expand to 10,000 seats are someday realized, then there needs to be serious infrastructure improvements made.

Better sidewalks, public transportation options, and adequate personnel to manage pedestrian and vehicle flows before and after events are essential.

Without changes it is just a matter of time before a pedestrian tragedy occurs.

Clint Lalonde

Saanich

Local economies depend on short-term rentals

Re: “Parksville keeps battling for a break from B.C.’s new short-term-rental rules,” Feb. 8.

I support Mayor Doug O’Brien’s ­position on allowing short-term rentals for some specific properties (75) in Resort Row. I have lived in Parksville for two years and in that short time have seen a tremendous amount of development to support rental housing.

Tourism is the life blood of this town and we need all the available housing to accommodate visitors and continue to fuel our local economy.

I applaud the government for their stance but also appeal to them to please begin to make some exceptions to keep local economies buoyant.

Dale Urquhart

Parksville

Note to councils: Money does not grow on trees

It seems that our local elected officials think homeowners are happy to pay for whatever idea they may dream up.

The latest example of good intentions gone wrong is Saanich council’s property tax exemption for to multi-unit residential buildings. If a property owner changes their space and/or hot water heating to electric they can be exempt from paying property tax for up to 10 years or 100 per cent of the cost of the project.

Now I am 100 per cent in favour of fighting climate change but, in most cases, the costs to upgrade an old boiler to a new high efficiency boiler can ­usually be recovered through energy ­savings.

Saanich homeowners are facing an 8.03 per cent property tax increase in 2024 on top of last year’s 7.19 per cent increase and now we are being asked to pay for upgrades on profitable buildings at a time they are collecting record setting rents…well sure, that makes sense.

How about we ask Saanich to spend $10 million for park upgrades that further restrict off-leash dogs … oh wait, they already did that.

It is time to remind every municipal councillor that money does not grow on trees, it is supplied by hardworking individuals living in our community.

In a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet a little fiscal restraint would go a long way.

Spencer Evans

Saanich

Now, let’s discuss the Canadian Shield

Everyone is shocked … appalled. Selina Robinson’s gaffe – the inadvertent speaking of a truth – did not even include a four-letter word or a real insult, such as the one by the former U.S. president who spoke with disdain of all the “****hole” countries in the world.

Would anyone notice or care if a politician talked about “crappy pieces of land” in our rock-strewn Canadian Shield?

Chris Lawless

Victoria

From northern Alberta? Better not read this

Grande Prairie, Alberta, is a crappy piece of land.

Am I going to be fired now?

Patrick Ferguson

Victoria

We are lucky to live in a place without fear

Selina Robinson has, justly or unjustly, been pilloried for her ill-judged (to be charitable) comments on Palestine, but she has not been without supporters, many of whom, like one of the Feb. 7 letter-writers, defend her right to free speech.

In response, I would ask how that right has been infringed upon. Was she imprisoned? Was her house bulldozed? Was her business destroyed by a bomb, or by an occupying force?

Obviously not.

In fact, the only punishment she suffered was the loss of her post in the provincial cabinet, a post for which she was clearly unfit, given her inability to rein in her disdainful opinions.

We in B.C., and I include Robinson’s supporters and detractors, are incredibly lucky to live in a place where we can say whatever we like without fear of anything worse than a demotion.

Darwyn Stickle

Victoria

Do not cave in to vocal minorities

Two recent letters made reference to Selina Robinson’s party caving in to a vocal minority out of fear, and of political representatives afraid to speak up if it will anger certain groups.

Both very true statements, and if not careful we will end up in the same ­situation as U.S. members of Parliament.

Not too long ago Sir David Ames MP was stabbed to death by an Islamic State supporter. A few weeks earlier the attacker had visited the office of Mike Freer MP, who was not there at the time and in retrospect probably very lucky.

Freer represents a large Jewish constituency in north London. He is not Jewish but is a strong supporter of Israel. He also is gay.

Being gay and a supporter of Israel has resulted in threats against his life from certain groups. His office was recently firebombed. He and his staff now wear anti-stab vests when out in public as do many other U.K. MPs.

Freer recently announced he will not seek re-election, fearing for his safety and that of his family and staff. A disgraceful situation for an MP to be faced with.

To our political representatives – do not cave in to vocal minorities, do not be afraid to speak up and anger certain groups, but have the moral fortitude to stand your ground.

Brian Summers

Victoria

Succumbing to history revisionism

The first British census of Palestine was taken in 1922. They counted 590,890 Muslims, 83,794 Jews, and 73,024 Christians.

Reading recent letters, one might wonder how all these people supported themselves. There was a thriving agriculture, some of it animal husbandry and some of it horticulture.

There are still today centuries old olive groves, although some have been destroyed by the Israeli army, citing the need for security.

Some of the arguments put forward lately may offer comfort and reassurance to supporters of Israel.

But when they are brought before a larger public, they are seen for what they are, threadbare and unconvincing.

Ken Hiebert

Ladysmith

Last Lancaster flight was one to remember

Re: “Don’t forget Ken Brown in ­Lancaster story,” letter, Jan. 27.

I served under Squadron Leader Ken Brown on 408 Squadron in the mid-1950s. Just before leaving the squadron for an overseas posting, he asked me to go on a test flight with him.

Off we went and after performing all the checks, he said, have you ever seen some low flying? I said, a few, so he replied, “watch this.” We were in a wooded area northeast of Ottawa and weaved along lakes and rivers, barely clearing the treetops.

I was impressed with his flying skill. He had been well trained as a dambuster!

That was my last Lanc flight, and one to remember.

Richard Acton

Victoria

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