Letters July 14: Maritime Museum location; COVID-19 risk; Central Park problems

Maritime Museum needs to be in Victoria

Re: “Maritime Museum of B.C. charts course for Langford,” July 10.

The article about the planned building in Langford that would house Victoria’s Maritime Museum is incongruous and discouraging.

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Why? Because the thought that our local citizenry, not to mention the city council, would allow this valuable part of our city’s history to be removed from its rightful place on our waterfront is outrageous.

Yet there seems scarcely a ripple of concern, let alone a wave of energetic lobbying and fundraising, to signal what will be a Titanic loss.

Victoria will lose not only historic artifacts but also economic gain from tourist dollars. Where are the sailors, young and old, who will beat against the prevailing wind and ensure our treasured museum can come to permanent anchorage at Victoria?

Joanne Manley
Victoria

All those Americans are putting us at risk

I am confused and very concerned by the growth in the number of American licence plates that I have been seeing in and around Nanaimo during the past couple of weeks.

I was under the impression that our border was closed to American tourist traffic.

I am, despite their abysmal choice in presidents, not anti-American. Under normal circumstances I think we all welcome them to visit, spend and then go home.

Their country has failed miserably in containing the spread of the virus and their presence here risks any gains that we have made in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Our governments have spent tons of our tax dollars supporting workers and others through this crisis and an American-caused second wave of the virus will make the expenditure of that money rather pointless.

What is the RCMP response to these “illegal visitors” and how does the Canada Border Services Agency plan on stopping this influx of potential Typhoid Marys?

Len Dafoe
Nanoose Bay

Wear your mask when riding ferry

The good? The tremendous effort, the lengths that B.C. Ferries have gone to maintain social distancing. A big hoorah to them for their efforts.

Now the bad, perhaps not bad, but definitely contradictory.

To ride the ferry, you must have a mask. You don’t have to wear it. You just have to have one. Yesterday I rode the ferry to the mainland. I was amazed at the number of foot passengers that did not wear their masks.

We sat in socially distanced seats, but there are numerous areas where you can’t distance yourself.

The most obvious? Boarding and disembarking the ferry. B.C. Ferries have gone to great lengths to get people to socially distance and it completely falls apart during boarding and disembarking.

Impatient passengers, many of whom are not wearing masks, immediately crowd into the entrance and exit points. And there is only one B.C. Ferries employee attempting to regulate the flow.

If passengers want to travel on the ferries, require that they wear their masks. Wear them in the cafeteria, wear them in the washroom, wear them when they are moving around the ship. Wear them during boarding and disembarking. Masks work. Use them.

Robert S. Elliott
Youbou

B.C. should do more coronavirus testing

In view of the rapidly expanding rate of COVID-19 infection to the south of us, not just our immediate neighbour, but Central and South America as well, we need to feel confident that the B.C. health authorities are being sufficiently vigilant in tracking any threat to this province’s low infection status.

With points in B.C., and Vancouver Island in particular, being attractive tourist destinations, the likelihood of importing infection is a definite concern as we open up facilities.

Therefore one would think that increased testing would be a key factor in addressing this issue. Notably, however, the testing rate in this province is very low compared to certain other provinces, and what other countries are doing.

Without testing, infected individuals not showing symptoms will go undetected and continue to pass on the disease. A recent review of cases in the United Kingdom revealed that 22 per cent of those testing positive were asymptomatic. This should be a wake-up call.

Finally, we should be better informed as to where the infections are occurring. A high level of awareness is necessary for us to hopefully avoid hazardous situations and act appropriately as individuals in stopping the spread of this disease.

David A. Clark
Saanichton

Quarterly timetable too hard on students

Re: “Move to quarterly timetable in high school has benefits,” Geoff Johnson, July 12.

Geoff Johnson feels that a move to quarterly timetables in high school has benefits, but I ask: whom does it benefit? Teachers and administrators might benefit, but certainly not many students.

Johnson states that he never fully grasped calculus; how would his brain react to three straight hours of calculus every weekday for nine weeks? If he had trouble grasping a concept in the first hour of Monday and had a steady stream of calculus building on the foundation of that first hour, how would he do? No time to study or meet after school for help; not to mention time to absorb the ideas or work on research projects.

What happens to the student who is ill and misses a week and is unable to catch up on 12 missed hours of teaching time when they returned from their illness?

My grandson had problems staying focused for his 1.5-hour classes; many of his friends also had this problem. Would they even stay in school if subjected to three-hour classes of the same subject every morning for more than nine weeks in a row?

Ask yourself how you would have fared and how much calculus you would have learned in high school if this quarterly timetable had been implemented then. Let’s not make it harder on students simply because it benefits administrators and teachers.

Gary Smirfitt
Metchosin

Problems for residents near Central Park

I live across from Central Park, where there are several structures set up for the unhoused.

There are frequent fights in the park, noisy chop stations for stolen bikes, and people are overdosing feet away from where our children play.

According to the 2016 census, North Park is the most diverse neighbourhood in Victoria; we also have the highest proportion of renters. North Park might be poorer, and more diverse, but that doesn’t mean that we are the dumping grounds for the unhoused.

North Park and the core neighbourhoods have been identified as greenspace deficient. We have less to begin with, we cannot afford to give the little that we have.

Unlike Beacon Hill Park, the unhoused in Central Park are only metres from residential properties. My kids wake up to screaming and swearing in the middle of the night — am I supposed to keep their windows closed all through the summer?

Don’t we also have the right to a certain amount of peace and a sense of security in our own homes? Or, are the residents of North Park too poor for those “privileges”?

City council’s conception of justice in solving the problem is one level deep: it considers the needs of the unhoused whilst ignoring the fact that the current approach is impacting some more than others.

This is the time when real leadership is needed. For this to happen we need a council that is open-minded and solution-oriented. But I listened to council’s most recent meeting and all I heard was a bunch of whining about how their hands are tied.

If council cannot fix this problem then we will — at the next election.

D.M. Lambert
Victoria

Give B.C. residents first crack at campsites

This summer, British Columbians have been reserving sites at provincial campgrounds in record numbers and most prime campgrounds are now full throughout July and August.

Considering B.C. Parks is supported by our provincial tax dollars, it makes sense to give B.C. residents the first opportunity to book our campgrounds.

When the reservation system opens, this could mean a dedicated seven-day window when only B.C. residents can reserve sites.

Afterward, the reservation site can be opened up to the rest of Canada and the world. Likewise, we could do the same with our national parks, allowing a similar window when Canadians have the opportunity to reserve first.

If you enjoy camping, email your government officials and let them know.

Suzanne Thur
Duncan

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