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Letters Sept. 18: Rifflandia was much too loud; Rifflandia was beautiful music; being inconsistent about two-tier

We heard Rifflandia because we had no choice

Once again we didn’t purchase tickets to Rifflandia. We didn’t want to attend but had no choice!

Rifflandia literally hurled shock waves across the city, so powerful that walls vibrated, and with doors and windows shut, our bodies and ear drums were physically assaulted. Escape was literally impossible.

We are all for entertainment and exuberance! Sure, enjoy, blow off steam, have a ball! But there must be limits.

Subjecting us, a couple of miles away from the Saturday evening “concert,” to the unmistakable deep audio vibrations and thumping exceeds any reasonable standard.

At times it was continuous thunder. Come on, Victoria city council — it’s well past the time to impose limits.

Either that, or tax the event to supply future hearing aids!

Rick Lee


That was not noise, that was beautiful music

I have heard there have been some complaints about the “noise” coming from Rifflandia at Royal Athletic Park. I would like to clarify that is not noise.

That is the art of many talented performers that have graced this city with their profound talents. That is entertainment at its finest set in a very relaxed venue.

I have not heard of any negative situations that have arose from this festival. After years of being locked down and unable to socialize with fellow humans I found Rifflandia to be a great setting to go out and consort in a like-minded music loving crowd.

Perhaps the complainers should follow Iggy’s lyrics and go out and find their Lust for Life.

Linda Pierson


No more shirtless Iggy, it’s not a great image

Note to Rifflandia booking agents: When booking aging rock singers such as Iggy Pop, as we saw in Saturday’s TC, please include in the contract that the singer/pensioner must wear a shirt during the performance. An image I want to forget but it lingers on.

Robert Kaiser

Campbell River

Too many inconsistencies on two-tier services

I find it somewhat hypocritical of the NDP government doing everything in its power to prevent a two-tier medical system in B.C. while at the same time allowing a two-tier system for alcohol and cannabis sales through government and private outlets, a two-tier K-12 education system through public and independent schools, and a two-tier vehicle insurance system through government and optional insurance.

Inconsistencies abound, which makes it all the more hypocritical when considering the intransigence of the government when it comes to the medical system in this province.

The Ministry of Education actually subsidizes “eligible” independent schools in British Columbia by providing them per-pupil government operating grants between 35 and 50 per cent of those granted to public schools.

After purchasing our basic vehicle insurance through ICBC, we can purchase additional, optional insurance through a private insurer if we so choose.

So why are these, and probably other, services allowed to exist in both the public and private domains but not the medical system?

And has anyone noticed, the dental system in this province is 100 per cent private?

Steve Murphy

Oak Bay

Don’t expect new drug rules to have much impact

Re: “Drug possession near parks and playgrounds banned,” Sept. 15.

The report states “possession of illicit drugs is being banned near playgrounds and parks” followed by “no details were released about the additional changes.” As usual, the devil will be in the details.

We now have an amended provincial drug decriminalization policy that still fails to protect children. There has been no integration down to the municipal level to protect parks and playgrounds.

Victoria continues to permit camping in parks where children frequent; toddlers remain at risk from discovered drugs and needles in city parks.

This reality diminishes any value to be gained from the government’s announcement that children will be protected.

Already, I find myself inspecting Pemberton Park’s trails for needles ahead of a Saturday family-oriented neighbourhood festival. It does not have to be like this. The city needs to ban camping in parks where children play.

Phil Hoen


illicit drugs and playgrounds

Re: “Drug possession near parks and playgrounds banned,” Sept. 15.

You might want to grab a tape measure before the prices go up as our anointed leader has decided that should you happen to have a doobie or a forgotten joint in the corner of a pocket it will now be a criminal offence if you are strip searched 15 feet from a school or playground.

If you are 16 feet away prepare to be dragged closer if you are deemed suspicious by our police. Where do they get these people? Is this the best our tough on crime Premier David Eby can do?

I am starting to have trouble sleeping. Meanwhile the province burns, I can’t get my teeth cleaned and people are dying from overdoses and, oh yeah, I can’t afford to live here in Victoria, Vancouver in Canada for that matter.

Did I mention I can’t get my teeth cleaned?

John Evans

Brentwood Bay

Those new bike lanes should be one-way

Fort Street has new bike lanes, and like Pandora Avenue, they are two-way lanes. Why they are two-way?

As a pedestrian I am challenged to make sure I am first looking one way for cars and then both ways for bicycles, skateboards and electric scooters.

As a sometimes cyclist I don’t like having two narrow lanes with people going in opposite directions. It seems like a crash would not be as bad if people were both going in the same direction.

It would also mean a bike lane could be twice as wide and people could safely pass each other.

As a motorist (car and motorcycle in my case) I really find the extra required signage to be distracting in the least. I’m busy enough keeping track of folks in the two-way bike lane.

And lastly, give over a floor of the city parkades for decent covered bike parking so that bikers can shop in town without worrying about their bikes and we can have lots of space on the sidewalks for pedestrians.

OK, I’m done ranting now.

Nigel Beattie


Those cement barriers will cause other problems

No doubt cyclists find the use of cement blocks to separate auto lanes from cycle lanes a “safety” feature, as we now see them proliferate on so many streets.

But perhaps the cure is worse than the disease when the negatives are exposed.

Recently I observed a fire truck blocked by traffic on Shelbourne because autos could not pull over to the curb because of the cement blocks.

In winter we must anticipate snow removal from time to time and the cement blocks will prevent snow being cleared right to the curb. The snow cannot be cleared in both the auto and cycle lanes, and will be dumped from the auto lane into the cycle lane.

No doubt the snow plow may well damage many of the cement blocks buried (unseen) under the snow, causing repair costs. I believe these cement block separations are more of a hazard, despite the safety aspects intended.

Stanley Brygadyr


We need to have votes to decide on city spending

Watching what is happening in the city we love is more than heartbreaking.

As a resident of Victoria since 1956, I am of course a senior as are about 26 percent of the population of this city. Victoria has been torn apart and turned into another high-rise jungle like many major cities in Canada.

Victoria used to have a charm about it that drew all kinds of visitors in the thousands because of its charm and uniqueness.

Special interest groups, developers, and extremely poor management is responsible for the terrible changes.

If you want something in Victoria, you just have to lobby the right people and bring them close to you and without the rest of the population realizing what is happening, you are able to get what you want without the thoughts of others.

The other people are expected to help contribute by way of higher taxes for things they did not vote for.

I thought cities put away some of the taxation funds they collected to be able to pay for situations that arise, but sadly this seems not to be the case.

People who govern should be accountable for finances in a responsible manner and plan ahead for the needs of the city, not just push forward changes, in some cases borrowing money, which again costs the taxpayers more.

Does anyone know, as an example, where the funds for the bike lanes are coming from? Back in the day bicycles were required to pay for a licence to ride the on roads. Also wondering why electric vehicles aren’t paying a road tax, as are gas cars.

Some problems are out of control but could have been handled and managed well before the situation we are in now. The downtown homeless is an example, as is helping the addicted.

With the cost of living where it is now, seniors on a fixed income should not be expected to contribute to the wishes and wants of other people.

We need a vote on why it is necessary and how much will it cost. And finally, is it necessary and are the funds available. That would be very interesting.

Anthony Berry


Huge negative impact from short-term rentals

Kudos to Cortes Island residents for realizing that short-term vacation rentals are a major reason for the lack of affordable housing when other politicians haven’t managed to figure it out!

This affects many other tourist areas in B.C. – including Victoria and Vancouver – and besides all the ferry workers, health-care workers and hospitality workers (among others) who are unable to find affordable accommodation, hundreds of students, seniors and others on fixed incomes are being evicted as their apartments/houses are turned into STVRs.

It’s not surprising that home-owners who used to get $1,200 to $1,500 a month from renting out a basement suite or guest cottage to a ferry worker jumped at the chance to get $250 a night from tourists, but both they and our politicians need to understand the huge negative impact this has on the inventory of affordable rental accommodation that these communities require in order to function!

If allowed to continue, this will inevitably reduce their quality of life as local businesses, medical facilities, cultural events etc. shut down due to lack of staffing (and ferry services deteriorate even further).

Ann Jessey

Qualicum Beach


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