Letters April 22: Face mask showdown; embracing geothermal energy

Hey! Raeside stole my face-mask idea

Re: “What face masks say about a person,” Adrian Raeside cartoon, April 17.

I am appalled and dismayed that Adrian Raeside has not only purloined but disparaged my design for a practical face mask!

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I am seeking legal advice with a view to an IP and defamation suit.

Peter E. Vivian
Sidney

Woman in distress yet help unavailable

I woke early today to screams and cries for help. Upon investigating, I found a very distraught, half-naked woman sitting in an alleyway, clearly mentally ill with very disordered thoughts. She was very unkempt, filthy dirty, and crying because she’d been unable to go in to McDonald’s to use the bathroom.

She was naked from the waist down, sitting on a pair of yellow hospital pyjama pants, so I called an ambulance for her. When the ambulance arrived, the attendants determined that this woman wasn’t “accepted” at the hospital.

When I asked them where she could get help if not at the hospital, they said there was no place. Not one place in Victoria could provide medical care for this woman who clearly, clearly was very ill. What is wrong with our health care system that we cannot provide proper hospital oversight to such a clearly in-need individual?

Susan Bond
Victoria

Easter ferry riders likely not all innocent

Re: “Don’t be too quick to judge ferry travellers,” Jack Knox, April 14.

Perhaps some or even most of the passengers travelling on our ferries over the Easter weekend needed to be there. But it’s more likely that the modest traffic surge over the long weekend was the result of opportunistic travellers, for whatever reason.

We have a single son living in Edmonton recently back from seven months military service in Iraq. We have not seen much of him during the past year. In normal times, we would have gone over in a shot to spend Easter with him. But we didn’t — it would have been irresponsible.

I am not looking for a pat on the back but I am skeptical about the reasons why some travelled on ferries over the long weekend.

David B. Collins
Victoria

Fresh thinking needed to handle crisis

When I look at Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ idea to use empty motel rooms to house homeless people and the reaction by some hoteliers, I think on past lessons on lateral thinking.

A linear thinker reacts negatively to the mayor’s notion quoting danger to motel staff, assuming they need be involved. What I understand the problem to be is the spectre of homeless people wandering the streets, endangering themselves and all with whom they come in close proximity.

A solution might be to sequester and lock off a portion of a motel, strip out and store the bedding and furniture, making it easy to sanitize before and after the pandemic. Then allow the use thereof with just a TV and a stack of movies. This is better for the occupant than living in a tent and offers a reasonable chance they might stay indoors.

Nev Hircock
Victoria

Shout out to local comic-book store

The upcoming birthday of our grandson resulted in a very positive experience of shopping locally.

A call to Curious Comics for advice on all things Star Wars for a new fan resulted in great suggestions that were purchased and then delivered to our door within hours (and even included a few extra comics for the birthday boy.) We were so impressed that we wanted to give Curious Comics a shout out.

When researching your purchases during this time of isolation, we recommend thinking local first.

Retailers have become very creative in meeting your needs. They need our support.

Leslie and John Albers
Victoria

Rock for Relief shining light in dark times

Re: “Rock for Relief show: Fund rises by $5,000 a minute in matching challenge,” April 17.

Many thanks to CHEK TV and all the performers and supporters on the Rock for Relief show Friday who gave us an amazing example of what can be done to bring people together in support of a good cause.

Now it is time for us to give back and donate what we can to help those in need during this trying time.

Thanks also to Dr. Bonnie Henry, Dr. Theresa Tam and Adrian Dix for their calm and responsible approach to ease the strain we are all going through at this time. Follow their advice and stay the course.

Dorothy Mullen
Victoria

Geothermal energy’s time has come

Re: “Federal oilpatch bailout focus on cleanup of abandoned wells, reduced emissions,” April 17.

The news that the federal government has provided financial support for petroleum industry workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, is very welcome. It is of particular importance that the focus is on remediation of abandoned oil and gas wells, an action that presents a tantalizing opportunity to kick-start the development of the abundant geothermal energy resource in these provinces.

A study by the Pembina Institute states that using existing oil and gas wells significantly reduces the cost of geothermal development because drilling to access geothermal energy accounts for 30% to 40% of project costs. In addition, repurposing inactive oil and gas wells converts a liability into a productive geothermal asset.

The federal and provincial governments must take seriously the findings and recommendations of the Pembina Institute in their 2017 publication, Heat Seeking.

The abandoned oil and gas wells offer an opportunity to access a valuable source of alternative energy that has many benefits for the three provinces and provides employment for workers whose skills might otherwise go to waste.

This opportunity must not be wasted.

Let the remediation proceed, with the concomitant birth of a vibrant geothermal energy industry.

Barrie Webster, PhD
Victoria

Oil firms should pay for cleanup of wells

Re: “Federal oilpatch bailout focus on cleanup of abandoned wells, reduced emissions,” April 17.

The oilpatch bailout is a victory for the environment, but a defeat for Canadian taxpayers.

Why didn’t the petroleum-producing provinces have the forethought to insist on damage deposits to clean up afterward when these leases were given out?

Yes, if the oil companies had to pay more then the price of oil would have gone up for everyone.

Surely that is a better solution than to have cleanup expenses grow as these wells deteriorate, and it would have had the benefit of returning usable farmland back to agriculture.

Now all taxpayers have to foot the bill, and what about the abandoned sites not covered by this program? Once the pandemic is over, this problem will once more be pushed to the back burner.

David Hogg
Saanich

Grumpy Taxpayers need to get specific

Re: “Ping pong and poets, or potholes and police?” comment, April 18.

I read with an open mind the musings of Stan Bartlett and his Grumpy Taxpayer$ group to see if they presented any substance within the endless rhetoric of “reducing costs, improving service effectiveness and improving efficiency of service delivery.”

These catch words and phrases flower up the meaning of budget cuts. Nowhere in five columns of banter did the author mention one cut in spending he would make.

Not one suggested cut.

The armchair quarterbacking of this group is tiring and an insult to those who step forward, get elected and make decisions.

It is even more disrespectful to the councils and civic workers who spend their careers making this area the gem it is.

They are the doers, not the talkers.

Perhaps next time the editors of the comment page could make the Grumpy Taxpayer$ submit five columns of cuts to jobs, services and projects they propose to bring about this “frugal” utopia they long for. Their own ivory tower would surely follow.

Max Miller
Saanich

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