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Letters Dec. 7: A long wait for cancer treatment; arguing in favour of flashing lights for cyclists; need for multi-lane Malahat

The blur of a cyclist with white and red lights, travelling on a Lochside Trail trestle. TIMES COLONIST

The long, long wait with stage 4 cancer

Trust me, I completely understand and sympathize with people who are diagnosed with cancer and told that they have to wait for treatment.

They should try being in the shoes of people like me. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer over two years ago and in all that time, all I’ve had is five days of radiation.

I am blessed, though with a slow moving cancer and an obstinate, stubborn personality.

When I ask about treatment, I’m told that they’re waiting for my cancer to start moving quicker than it is now.

Pretty scary, right? Damn right.

Diane Ball

James Bay

Make it easier for others to see on the road

While we are on the subject of bicycle lights, how about some reflection on the bozo pickup truck and SUV drivers who think it is cool to have their so called fog lights on all the time?

Fog lights only help a little, when visibility is limited.

Be assured, we can see you! At the same time as we are being blinded by these monsters we must see through all the unnecessary glare, and still drive safely.

Emergency vehicles could also use a high/lower setting. When drivers pass such blinding strobes, there are quite a few moments of poor vision until eyes regain a measure of night vision again.

Blinded by the (fog) light!

David Kelsey

Qualicum Beach

Flashing lights, visibility and the safety margin

When “opinions” — as “educated” and well-intended as they may feel — are motivated by emotion (for example, a pet peeve that leads to even the mildest form of “road rage”), are we actually adding to, or taking away from, safety?

Why do airplanes, helicopters and emergency vehicles use high intensity strobes? Why do motor vehicles have four-way flashers as “hazard lights”?

Personally (my opinion now) when I ride my bikes, I want to be seen day or night. So my lights will flash front and back until someone shows me safety stats that refute my (and apparently first responders’ and aviation’s) understanding.

Sadly, some (especially the cheap) bike lights will not auto-select flash mode when the battery is approaching empty. Instead, these lights just go dark! What is “safe” about that?

Are readers and light users fully aware that, when available, flash mode prolongs battery life by using less energy? If in doubt, consult your device’s consumption charts.

Bike safety should never be a “win vs. lose” conversation tied up in someone’s “emotional” response but rather a neutral conversation with the objective of achieving the highest safety margins possible. End of story.

A separate and subordinate (in my opinion) conversation would be about light intensity and installation that targets the ground in front of the vehicle vs. the eyes of oncoming traffic, fellow road users and pedestrians.

James Barry

Career pilot, former flight instructor, avid cyclist and motor vehicle operator for four decades


Stop the stampede, manage Canada better

A perusal of local and national news, with its endless parade of critical shortages, would lead us to believe we are living in a Third World country: Not enough housing, not enough schools or hospitals, traffic jammed on highways that are too narrow, future tunnels and bridges begging for funds, ferries too old to sail.

And the prime minister’s response to all these issues is to add more people: more than a million last year and half a million more each year for the next several!

A knee-jerk reaction to yet another crisis: an aging demographic. Which, with all the building and added infrastructure demanded by a burgeoning population is hurtling us head on into the climate crisis. We have crises in chaos!

A more sober look at demographics soon reveals that Canada is not growing old alone; most industrial nations have been trending that way for years and almost 20 other developed countries including the likes of Japan, Italy, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Serbia, and France have older populations than ours. Yet panic does not emanate from their capitals.

Perhaps there is yet another crisis lurking silently behind all the others: the spending crisis. In just four years, the national debt has ballooned 50 per cent from just over $1 trillion to almost $1.6 trillion today.

The easy answer: bring in more taxpayers — more dollars tomorrow to pay for yesterday’s spending.

Lasso the panic. Stop the stampede and manage responsibly the people and resources we are blessed with.

Iain Donaldson


12-game suspension for hockey players is a joke

“We want them to learn and be better,” says Al McCulloch, president of the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association.

The three players of the Juan de Fuca Grizzlies that jumped the Victoria Admirals player, with 1.3 seconds left, after a faceoff, clearly had pre-planned this attack. This wasn’t a random check from behind in the corner.

The Admirals player sustained internal bleeding and will not be back this season. If McCulloch and the disciplinary committee really want these three players to “learn and be better,” then suspensions for as long as the injured player remains out would have been the most appropriate disciplinary response.

But wait, the players also have to write letters of apology. Well then, that will certainly have an impact on their learning experience won’t it … bully!

Ted Daly


Replace Malahat Highway with wider road

The real traffic issue Saturday evening was not the decorated truck parade using the Malahat Highway.

It is the Malahat’s substandard single-lane-only road out of our region that far too many residents seem quite content with. Other communities look at us and laugh.

We are engineers of our own ineptitude with our unwillingness to lobby for and demand a new six-lane well-designed highway that can link Langford to the south end of the Nanaimo Parkway.

We need it for the economic future of our region and Vancouver Island. It is time for the voices of the daily frustrated drivers on the Malahat to drone out the NIMBY attitudes in Victoria who couldn’t solve this issue if their lives depended on it.

We need a well engineered solution that anywhere else in the country would have already found.

Chris Foord

Oak Bay

Take capitalism out of housing

No-strings-attached public loans to developers, a shortage of construction workers and trades, and all that will be built are high-end condos.

To make housing affordable, government should build — meaning only approve and finance — truly and forever cost-plus housing for everyone.

Capital in private hands should not be invested in extracting ridiculously inflated rents from the productive economy, driving up the cost of living and doing business, but in import substitution manufacturing and developing innovative technologies, goods, and services for domestic consumption and global trade.

Bill Appledorf


Many lawbreakers on our roads

I agree that photo radar isn’t evil but first let’s fix the flow of traffic.

Seattle had synchronized traffic lights 46 years ago and yet here all they do is make traffic flow more difficult every day in the Capital Regional District. While we are at it, let’s fine pedestrians for jaywalking and walking at crosswalks when the red hand is up and bike riders for not wearing helmets, riding side by side and blowing through red lights.

Let’s catch all the lawbreakers!

Dennis Bourne



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