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Letters May 22: Music of Stan Rogers; stripping the rights of everyday citizens; being able to parallel park

Stan Rogers' album Home in Halifax.

Stan Rogers gave us a magical performance

Forty years ago this month, Stan Rogers gave a memorable performance on the floating stage at the Victoria Harbour Festival.

That floating stage (supplied by the Queen’s Harbourmaster — RCN) long pre-dated the Symphony Splash. It was Rogers’ last concert in Canada. A week later he died in an airplane accident in Cincinnati.

Rogers played that evening to a huge crowd in front of the Parliament Buildings. I had never heard his song White Squall before that evening, and the power of his voice coming from Paul Flanagan’s huge speaker stacks was unforgettable.

So was the momentary hush that fell over the crowd when the song finished … and the rapturous applause that followed. It was a magical performance; a magical evening.

Mike Elcock


Travel back to the days of no personal agendas

Victoria Coun. Dave Thompson states that we’re not going to go back to the 20th century when it comes to automobile traffic, but it appears that Thompson and like-minded councillors would not mind going back to the 19th century, when there were no cars.

I’m thinking there are probably a goodly number of older Victorians that would love to jump into a time travelling DeLorean and go back to the mid 20th century where Victoria had a council that didn’t have personal agendas front and centre!

Bob Beckwith


Downtown strategy ignores the real problem

Victoria will be paying close to one million dollars on police, bylaw, cleanup and so on, but what are they cleaning up after and policing?

The proverbial elephant in the room is the addicted and mentally ill people living on the streets. One need only read the letters to the editor to get a realistic view of what happens in our downtown.

That million dollars could be spent opening treatment beds, getting our ill and addicted the help they so desperately need, not prolonging the misery of a drug addicted life by handing out free drugs when what they deserve is hope, help and healing.

Do we have a cost of what policing, bylaw, cleanup, ER visits, and ambulance calls, not only in dollar amounts but in the mental well-being of those who respond to these calls day after day if we continue on the present course of inaction?

Collecting this money through parking fees has added untold dollars to the pleasure of having a meal downtown, not to mention worrying about the time left on the meter in the middle of a meal.

Victoria council has honoured the rights of the drug addicted to continue on that path. In the process council has stripped the rights of businesses to conduct their business free from threats, harassment, broken windows and so much more.

Council has stripped the rights of the everyday citizen from feeling safe in our downtown.

Merle Somers


Can’t parallel park? Then get off the road

Re: “Better parking needed when a walker is required,” letter, May 20.

It is understandable that persons requiring a walker would find easy access parking difficult to find.

I was dismayed, however, to read that “it’s hard for the elderly to parallel park.” Anyone who finds that properly operating a motor vehicle is too difficult should not be driving.

Anyone who could not pass a driving test should not be selfishly endangering others by continuing to take to the road.

As a driver, motorcycle rider, cyclist, and pedestrian, I should not be endangered by driver incompetence.

Ken Allen


Inhumane screeching sound is hurting some good people

The irony of the situation with the inhumane electronic screeching device is that the residents of Muncie Place are not the people who are causing problems for the merchants, yet owing to the acoustics of the place, the front of the main building of Muncie Place gets the brunt of the ear-splitting electronic noise.

The loiterers are not the people who live here!

The screamer evidently does not turn on only when a loiterer walks by; I have never seen anybody anywhere near the thing when it is screeching; further, it goes on for many hours at a stretch, long after any interloper has vanished.

The staff work 12-hour shifts and they can hear the damnable thing inside the main building. As for the rest of us, we live here.

Most of us here are honest, hard-working people who, through no fault of our own, have fallen on very hard times.

I was evicted from the land I was farming when the owner reneged on our agreement and put the land up for sale. I did not have $1.7 million so I lost my cabin and my registered herd.

I also lost my life’s work and my place in my community, where I had volunteered for decades. I used to feed people – that’s what farmers do.

In addition to breeding prize-winning, disease-free and productive animals, I had 35 to 45 direct regular customers, including physicians and a mayor.

Most of the residents in Muncie Place are in poor health, broken down from years of hard work, and unspeakable trauma. I have yet to meet a “lazy bum” who doesn`t want to work! And despite the stereotypes, many of us have never even smoked “pot.”

If this were Oak Bay, this would not be tolerated. That we are considered to be garbage is abundantly clear; members of the public sometimes drive through and scream obscenities at us; some weeks ago a can was thrown at my door.

If it were legal, I’m sure they would want us rounded up and shot.

Willi Boepple


Don’t like that noise? Here, try this idea

Re: “Mall’s noise to deter loitering disturbs supportive-housing residents,” May 16.

Here’s a cheap and easy solution: offer free earplugs.


Sue Doman


Additional screening could help find cancer

Re: “Hormones should be optional for more menopausal women,” May 16.

This article failed to mention breast density as an increased risk factor for breast cancer when HRT is used.

The American Cancer Society states that post-menopausal women with dense breasts are at increased risk of invasive lobular breast cancer, which is difficult to detect on routine mammograms.

I had breast cancer missed, probably on more than one screening mammogram, due to dense breasts. By the time I had an indication of a problem, the cancer had invaded a lymph node, so I underwent surgery, chemo and radiation therapies.

Additional ultrasound screening probably would have found my cancer before I had lymph node involvement, thus eliminating the need for chemo and radiation therapies.

Newer technology such as AI assisted interpretation may improve diagnosis, as would routine ultrasound screening for dense breasts.

Expensive options, but probably less so than chemo and radiation therapy.

For women with dense breasts who consider HRT, be very vigilant and advocate for additional screening.

Cathy Jardine


Clean energy would provide local manufacturing jobs

After 10 years of the federal government “thinking” about the Bay of Fundy’s immense tidal energy potential, the latest iteration of renewable energy from those tides has been terminated by the government’s “studying” (once again) this clean electricity generating power source.

The government invited the firm Sustainable Marine Energy (UK) to apply for a 12-month licence to prove that fish would avoid the tidal turbines even though, for two years the underwater propellers were videotaped showing fish avoiding the blades of the turbines.

Why should renewable energy tidal turbines be only a Nova Scotia/ New Brunswick possibility on the Bay of Fundy?

Here on Vancouver Island, off Trial Island, we have a fast flowing tidal race. There was an underwater tidal turbine setup at Race Rocks by Pearson College of the Pacific in 2006.

Due to marine organism fouling of the turbine blades and problems with the bearing, the project was abandoned. That company’s improved tidal turbines are now in use in European countries.

But if the provincial government with its BC Clean Energy policies has a chance of lowering provincial greenhouse gas emissions (to reverse the global heating crises) from LNG fracking of methane for export, maybe they should consider tidal energy.

Clean energy would provide local manufacturing jobs and the clean electricity required by the cruise ship industry for plugging into shore power.

Tidal energy can achieve a pollution-free James Bay. Cruise ships could be charged a reasonable rate for this locally produced electricity and joint funding for this project could be negotiated with the cruise ship industry.

Rafe Sunshine


When Russia has a veto, the system has no teeth

With the war in the Ukraine and the attempted imposition of sanctions, the UN Security Council is unable to discharge its moral duties since Russia is one of the permanent members of that institution.

The council is a lion without teeth and will continue to be so until it changes its rules to enable it to prevent a vote by an aggressor nation.

In this case, Russia should not have the power of veto when it is the very nation against which the council is attempting to sanction.

If in fact the council is unable to sanction Russia and its oligarchs because of Russia’s power of veto, and if it is unable to expel a member from its council, the only solution is to create a similar institution with sensible rules that would pre-empt a country or its oligarchs for whom censure is sought from casting a vote.

Eric J. Ronse

Shawnigan Lake

Aerial spraying is bad for the environment

We are again subject to spongy moth aerial spraying.

It is 60 years since Rachel Carson spawned the environmental movement with her book Silent Spring.

She showed that the attempt to eradicate individual “pests,” such as the spongy moth, also known as gypsy moth or gipsy moth, by costly area-wide application of unspecific poisons is not only ineffective but counterproductive, as it causes an unrepairable disruption of the ecosystem, that usually is able to control the pests.

Why is the Forests Ministry insisting on continuing this long outdated practice? It does not eliminate spongy moths, but eliminates practical all lepidoptera – butterflies and/or moths – and probably many other creatures, which could be helpful in containing the targeted spongy moths.

Why is the ministry suggesting it is using a specific antidote, when Btk is anything but?

Why is Victoria – so proud of its gardens and once renowned for the abundance of butterflies – tolerating the elimination of the latter?

It may be that the ministry’s traps occasionally catch a spongy moth. But lepidopterists more experienced than I assure me they never spotted an egg mass, or caterpillars, let alone adults, despite searching in allegedly infested locations. So, there is no established infestation.

Why are we forced into a costly, unnecessary, ineffective and destructive disturbance of our environment and biodiversity?

Jochen Moehr



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