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Letters Jan. 21: Toast to a long life; stay out of Haiti

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With Health Canada issuing new guidelines about drinking alcohol this week, an 84-year-old letter writer intends to continue having a pre-dinner glass of wine. ERIC RISBERG, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Let’s have a toast to a long life

For about 50 years I have enjoyed one glass of red wine almost daily in the company of family or friends. At 84, I remain fit, active and happy. Any heart problems or cancer that arrive in the future will be accepted as my exit plan.

I believe that fast food, soda pop and excess salt and sugar along with smoking cause most health problems. I will continue to enjoy my pre-dinner glass.

Jean Anderson Reid

Saanich

Canada should stay out of Haiti

Re: “Why Canada shouldn’t deploy a military force to Haiti” Jan. 19.

The articles by Major-General Cam Ross (ret’d) provide two interesting sides to the question. I hope that Ottawa has enough sense following the Afghanistan debacle to keep Canada well away from situations such as this.

Unfortunately, I also have a horrible feeling that Prince Charming on the Rideau, a.k.a. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will again attempt a seat for Canada on the UN Security Council and will look at leading a Haitian involvement as justification.

I sincerely hope I am wrong.

Brian Summers

Victoria

We should care about military capability

The two commentaries on Haiti (Jan. 18 and 19) were an excellent analysis of the issues and our Canadian failures to make a meaningful contribution.

Our liberal, ideological, ethical political leadership identifies with Article One without considering the realities of Article Two. The demise of Canada’s military capability is now coming home to roost.

When will Canadians care?

Doug Foreman

Colwood

Now, bring cell service to the Shelbourne Valley

Cell service from Sooke to Port Renfrew is expected by April. Once these remote areas have service, can the Shelbourne Valley expect an upgrade from longstanding zombie status?

Eugene Neufeld

Saanich

Canada geese facts worth considering

I have been reading recent letters about handling Canada geese in Victoria. A few facts about those geese will help put the issue in perspective. Since 1959 or so, my own family and thousands of others hunted and ate Canada geese every year. That resulted in zero impact on goose populations. You simply can’t kill enough to make a dent in population.

Canada geese are enthusiastic consumers of cereal grains. As they are fattening up for the migratory flight south, they eat huge quantities of grain in farmers’ fields. Perhaps the “leave the geese alone” people could explain how exactly that’s a benefit to the environment.

The “Canada” in “Canada goose” has nothing to do with the name of our country. Ask any scientist, and they’ll confirm that the word “Canada” in this case just means “of the field.” It’s exactly the same reason Canada thistle is called that: it’s just a thistle found in the fields. And found far too commonly, if you ask any farm dweller. Nobody gets patriotic about Canada thistle. Why would they about Canada geese?

Goose meat is good eating alright, but one cooking issue is that goose meat is very fat. For that reason, it can easily burn when cooking. On the other hand, extra fat provides excellent calories for the homeless, who need decent food.

Richard Kubik

Victoria

Clover Point fixers should tackle geese

Re: “Ask the geese about their problems,” letter, Jan. 18.

How might we be able to find a humane way of relocating the geese? Stop and think about that for a moment.

How would we go about gathering them and transporting them? Where would we take them and how would we make them stay there? (I am presuming they are the “flying” type of geese.)

This tricky dilemma might only be solved by some of the same folks that came up with the idea of picnic tables in an area too windy to fly a kite, or installing miles of wooden fence on Dallas Road that doesn’t keep anything either “in” or “out.”

I’m sure someone can figure something out, but if not, maybe stick to the original plan to cull the geese. (And then fix the roads).

Don Gorman

Victoria

Development plans must be public

The issue with the missing middle initiative is not the marginal densification of single-family dominant neighbourhoods, it’s more the delegation of final approval to city planners that is the problem.

The City of Victoria planning department already has a close working relationship with developers and their architects as they strive to ensure development proposals conform with zoning and policy. Under this existing process, planning staff are virtually “embedded” with the developer in a privileged relationship whereby all information passing between the two parties is unavailable to other interested parties or affected neighbourhood residents.

Blanket approval to unelected staff is needlessly reckless and will relegate neighbourhood concerns even further onto the backbenches than they already are. Final decisions on development proposals should remain with the publicly accountable elected representatives of the city, notwithstanding the substantial imperfections of that process.

Dave Nonen

Victoria

Walk in the park, get a feel for the sign

Driving into Victoria from Sidney yesterday, the new sign at the entrance to Beaver Lake caught my eye, and not in a good way. It stands out in stark contradiction to the beautiful surroundings.

What happened to “Super Natural” British Columbia? There is nothing natural about this sign. The old style blended in and enhanced the park experience.

Please rethink what you are doing before you go ahead and replace any other signs. What was wrong with the original style anyway?

It seems the designer probably spends their time behind a desk and on a computer — ask them to take a walk in the park and get a feel for what the sign should represent.

Holly McKay

Sidney

All parks signage needs a second look

It was heartening to both hear the outcry and see the Capital Regional District response over the Thetis Lake sign debacle. Parks should be welcoming visitors with signage that is appropriate to a park, and not simply the same as one at recycling depot or landfill.

But what about the other parks? Will Gowlland Todd suffer the ignominious fate that has befallen Elk-Beaver Lake with signs that look more appropriate to those for the neighbouring landfill simply because they are “easier to maintain?”

The outcry over Thetis Lake was only about one sign. While deserved, it truly should be about all CRD parks signage.

As a lifelong resident, I was aghast when some years ago the original, redwood sign at the entrance to Beaver Lake Park was reduced to a pale grey and blue “corporate” version of its former glory. Over time, I accepted it, but I never liked it.

Now even that institutionally tinted sign carving has been replaced by a flat, garishly white institutional sign that may work at the waterworks office, but is in no way appropriate to a glorious regional park. The new sign is exactly what it appears to be: Chosen by a committee for ease of maintenance without a thought to ambience.

Whoever is in charge of “branding” at the CRD needs to understand that not all signs are created equal. Many have merit that exceeds the need for “corporate branding.”

To quote CRD chair Colin Plant: “In this circumstance, I think it is worth a second look.” Indeed, the entire parks signage police needs that second look.

K.M. Fry

Saanich

Right ship, wrong captain

Re: “Museum’s third floor largely intact a year after closing, two major exhibits in works,” Jan. 14.

I was disconcerted to see the reference to the HMS Discovery as Capt. James Cook’s ship. The Discovery and its sister ship HMS Chatham, when in our waters, were captained by George Vancouver in 1792.

Vancouver was a young midshipman on Cook’s final voyage 13 years earlier.

Bob Miers

Saanich

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• Submissions should be no more than 250 words; subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published. Avoid sending your letter as an email attachment.

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