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Letters May 24: Pandora campers; overdose prevention; stop complaining

Bylaw officers clear camps in the 900 block of Pandora Avenue on May 16. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Let’s work together to  help the unhoused

After reading all the letters on the Pandora Avenue sweep, yes it was badly and inhumanly handled. All the letters written by us, sitting in our warm and comfortable living rooms sending emails pointing fingers at who “should” be doing what.

When people are unhoused and hungry and/or addicted, it’s everyone’s problem — all of us living in Victoria. We’re a community and it involves all of us.

Instead of leaving homelessness up to the authorities and charities to deal with, there are multiple ways to become involved. Donate, join an organization, make sandwiches, find solutions.

Each one of us or each family helping just one person in whatever way we can would make a huge difference.

I helped two people living on the street and they now have jobs and are doing well. It’s all too easy to criticize and leave it up to someone else to solve. We’re a village, let’s work together.

Lara Martell


Humane treatment needed on our streets

The “sweep” of the encampment on Pandora on May 17 was cruel and inhumane in the extreme. Taking people who are already suffering and desperate, and stealing their tents, backpacks, clothing, money and medication? Seriously?

This should be illegal. As another writer noted, “Refugee camps in Third World countries are more humane places than what we are offering.” It’s disgusting. I also question the timing: Who gave the order to do this right before a long weekend? It sure looks like the city didn’t want any tourists to see the suffering there.

City bylaw officers need to be ordered to treat these people more humanely and stop stealing their clothing and shelter, everything they own, when they’re just trying to survive.

P.J. Perdue


More money for us, but there is a price

Re: “Indifference to the people on ­Pandora,” letter, May 22.

I was bemused at the reaction to the, admittedly brutal, clearing of the tents and campers from the median on Pandora Avenue. But I note that there seems to be a lack of understanding of why those people are there and why we don’t treat them better.

At the risk of sounding like an old-fashioned socialist I should point out that in a sense these campers represent the foundation on which the whole North American economic system is based.

We depend on them to set the low point of our neo-capitalist system, just as we need the Gateses and the Musks to represent the upper end of the wealth scale.

As for the heiress who wrote charmingly last week that she would not mind paying a higher tax rate on her billions. No! No! Hang on like a leech to every last penny. We depend on people like you to keep our system running smoothly.

It would be horrible to have clean streets and everyone housed if the cost were to adopt the Scandinavian system of high tax rates with the state taking care of the problems.

We like the system we have: We like the lowest possible taxes, money in our pocket and the freedom to spend it however we want. I see no change in the near future.

Enjoy the brightly coloured tents on Pandora.

Joe Harvey


Prevention trumps damage control

I’d like to thank the writers who offered their counterpoint to the toxic drug death commentary involving the university and emergency health services; you beat me to it.

Too many people were implicated in this tragedy, which has now mustered various personnel to implement a tighter safety net to give victims a better chance of survival.

My fear is that a false sense of security might dampen the fear of risk-taking students, relying on this fallible system to revive them from their suicide attempt.

Dear Students: Do you have any idea what your parents went through to raise you from birth and how they watched you fledge and stood by to support you when you needed it?

Your lives are too precious to risk in an experiment where your careless action could be your last one.

Society needs you to realize your potential and you must not throw away your lives with one frivolous and final decision.

JoAnne Drew


Stop complaining, be more positive

As an avid cyclist and pedestrian who travels on the bike trails every day, I would like to stop the frustrated rants that keep appearing in the opinion column.

Of course we have inconsiderate cyclists and pedestrians on the trails, but this scenario is no different than driving on the roads.

We all cope with other drivers, ­pedestrians and cyclists who disregard others.

May we all agree that society is not perfect, and do our best to get along while considering others before ourselves?

Please stop complaining and ­whining about the bike lanes that are enjoyed by every type of cyclist and pedestrian. Instead, let us focus on the positive aspects of society that we all share.

Karen Cartwright

View Royal

With major rock shows, timing does matter

Two musical events are coming up at the Royal and McPherson Theatres, each scheduled for the evening of Friday, June 14.

Both are rock shows, with Queen — It’s a Kinda Magic at the former and Bowie Forever at the latter.

As these shows are likely to appeal to the same audience, I am left wishing that they had been scheduled for different evenings.

We are lucky to have a choice of two great shows and I appreciate that those dates were all that were likely available, but wishing I could have seen both.

Ken McFarlan


E-bike replaced a car on 80-km commute

I guess the community has spoken. I have thighs of buttermilk, not steel, so I am not allowed to commute along the network of paths and trails in the region on my e-bike.

I go up to 32 km/h, as allowed by law, ring my bell at every person I pass and slow down if it’s crowded or if a child or animal might be involved. I also get zero response from about 90 per cent of them because they’re nose deep in their phones or oblivious to the world in their ear buds.

Oh and those Lycra warriors pass me regularly, rarely signalling or announcing their presence. Somehow I’m the enemy, though, because of my chosen means of travel.

If these writers have their way maybe I’ll just have to get back into my car for my 80-kilometre round-trip commute from Langford to Sidney.

One thing I can agree on is the illegally modified scooters and uni-wheeled devices that travel in excess of 50 km/h. They have no place on trails.

Richard Despres


E-bikes should be seen as motorcycles

Re: “Imagine if vehicle drivers behaved like some cyclists,” column, May 19.

Patricia Coppard has hit the mark: Cyclists, for the most part, act like entitled, spoiled children.

They, for the most part, ride where they want, disregarding traffic signs and speed limits.

Ride the sidewalk when they feel like it, ride in traffic while ignoring the millions of dollars spent for their entitled bike lanes, and are quite rude when addressed about their behaviour.

At one time, I lived near the Lochside Trail.

Every Sunday morning a swarm of 30 or so wannabe Tour de France riders would scream through, where the lead rider would yell, “Clear!” and every rider would ignore the stop signs and the speed limit of the area.

Now, with the popularity of e-bikes, speed limits are a joke. No enforcement against bikes. After all they are the “darlings” of the green movement.

It’s time ICBC steps in. ICBC needs to demand insurance, licence plates and appropriate behaviour from especially e-bike riders.

After all, they are “motorcycles!”

Dewane Ollech


Let’s not wait until someone is killed

Re: “Imagine if vehicle drivers behaved like some cyclists,” column, May 19.

My partner and I have stopped walking across the Gorge Trestle since an incident a year or so ago. We were starting off at the Admirals side and got startled by a cyclist riding fast down an approach path, from behind us, that had a sign saying please walk.

I have balance problems so this was potentially dangerous for me. We got sworn at by that bicyclist.

Then while walking along the right-hand side of the bridge many cyclists passed us at a good speed with no warnings. Where is the bicycle bell we all had to have in the past?

As Patricia Coppard says, what would happen if drivers behaved like this?

With the promotion of cycling and the use of electric bicycles comes responsibility. They share the trails with pedestrians, disabled people, children and pets.

It is time for regulation.

Cyclists need training, licensing and registration.

There need to be speed limits on trails that are city thoroughfares now.

The city has to be realistic when designing the bike paths. Cars will always be with us so remember to design for them too.

As a lifelong bike rider, until about 10 years ago, let’s not wait for someone to get killed or maimed for life before action is taken to train bike riders, car drivers and pedestrians the safe way to get around together.

Catherine Chapman



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