Letters July 14: replace Crystal with 2 pools; harmful development in Langford

Two local pools could replace the Crystal

When the present Crystal Pool was in the predesign stages, I, being an engineer who had designed the Colwood Pool, visited the Pan-Am Pool, a 50-metre pool in Winnipeg. The manager asked me why they wanted to build a 50-metre pool as they are extremely costly to maintain and one costs more than two 25-metre neighbourhood pools.

A 50-metre pool contains four times as much water, which needs to to be treated and filtered, which is the reason the present pool equipment requires replacement.

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I brought this to the attention of a councillor and was told that the McPherson bequest specified a “building of significance.” A neighbourhood pool did not rate.

This leads to a strategy of building two neighbourhood pools. One would be built in another part of the city, and the other on the site of the existing pool when the first can can be a temporary stand-in until the second is finished.

This would lead to a solution to the neighbourhood concerns, parking problems and cost less. It would also decrease travel times for many people, thus improving traffic, generally.

With regard to competitive events, Saanich already has a 50-metre pool, but has divided it with a removable barrier.

Ramsay Murray


Langford development would hurt environment

I am appalled by the planned 450-home development in south Langford.

Ridley Bros. Development Ltd. plans to turn 70 acres of forest into a mix of small family homes, townhouses, a school and a community centre. The City of Langford proposes to allow the development by creating new zoning called R5 to accommodate proposed land uses.

This land is presently designated R2, rural residential. Here we go again, decimating green spaces in Langford.

Even the discussed 30 per cent of green space to be left, up from the proposed 25 per cent, is not enough. The Langford Official Community Plan is being ignored.

It calls for 40 per cent of the area to be returned as open space and designates the land as rural with heritage low-density development. The developer’s plans are definitely not low-density housing.

The developer plans to use the playing fields of a school as part of the green space.

Langford’s land use rules call for 43-metre-wide riparian protection on each side of the two creeks yet the development is proposing 10 to 15 metres.

I am in favour of affordable housing (and recreation centres and schools, if they are indeed needed) but not at the expense of our natural areas. We are already losing way too much.

Not only do these lands mitigate climate change they also house endangered flora and fauna and have a huge impact on human health.

Can we not learn to develop in ways that do not demolish significant green space?

Patricia Johnston


Trees in Langford?What about Sooke?

Quite a few people are upset about the green space in Langford. They are aghast at the trees being cut down when all climate-change experts say we should be planting, not cutting, trees.

In the past few months I have been to Sooke many times. If people haven’t been there for a long time, they should go.

Wait a few minutes, and you will see logging truck after logging truck full of logs.

All the new subdivisions out there used to be forest and they are still cutting trees down at an alarming rate.

As everything in our world this is greed. Greed of developers and greed by the people who own mills. Most humans these days seem to be driven by money, possessions and getting their many toys. I see no hope as this is the way of the world now.

Greed is good, apparently.

Carol Dunsmuir


Proper consultationwas missed again

Re: “Court rejects Victoria bag ban,” July 12.

With the B.C. Supreme Court ruling striking down Victoria’s ban on single-use plastic bags, once again city council’s determined will to move ahead without proper consultation is brought to bright, embarrassing light.

Mayor Lisa Helps and her council, over and over, refuse to conduct proper consultation before stomping ahead with various projects.

Did council consult the public before spending $10 million on seven blocks of bike lanes? No.

Did they conduct proper consultation before removing the statue of John A. Macdonald? Nope.

Did they consult the public before establishing a Bike Mayor? No way.

And the list goes on. So it should be no surprise that they dropped the ball with respect to the plastic bag ban.

Council’s basis for banning the bags was an environmental one and as such needed to go through, by law, the Environment Ministry.

Did Helps and her crew do that? No. Helps claims this is a process of determining what municipal governments’ roles are in environmental control and legislation, but in reality the path had already been laid out. She just needed the will (or knowledge) to follow it.

If council had just followed the proper path in the first place, the ban would have been a slam dunk and they would not have had to back-pedal and make up ludicrous excuses as to why this isn’t going right.

Andrew Mueller


Hiking alone can be safe and enjoyable

Re: “Stay alive while hiking by staying with others,” letter, July 10.

I must object to the writer who, in reference to the lost hiker in Strathcona Park, asserts that one should “never hike alone,” somehow arguing that the sole cause of the needed rescue was solo hiking.

After all, in this case where a hiker became stranded on a cliff ledge after getting lost in dense fog, the presence of a second person with him on the ledge would have done no good at all. Whether solo or in a group, being lost is being lost.

Countless rescues of lost hikers in B.C. have involved groups, not just individuals.

I often hike alone and I have met thousands of other solo hikers on the trails, none of whom came to any grief.

Yes, a second person could go for help in the event of injury, but a satellite messenger beacon is even better than a second person.

Moreover, there are many instances where the only alternative to not hiking alone is not hiking at all; not everyone has a hiking partner who has both the free time and the inclination to accompany him/her on every trek.

So to say that one should never hike alone would be to deny countless people many very pleasurable experiences in the mountains.

We do not all need to live bubble-wrapped lives.

As always, prudent planning and appropriate safety gear is called for, but if an experienced hiker wants to do an outdoor venture and can find no partner, just do it.

Jim Scott


Our doctor solutionis south of the border

While on vacation I came across the June 23 issue of the Times Colonist with the article on the shortage of family physicians in B.C.

As a family physician who has been in practice for 35 years, this article touched a chord.

I practise within Kaiser Permanente, a large multi-specialty group where medical care is fully integrated. All records are digital, from the time of birth to hospice care, with these records accessible by all involved clinicians.

The Kaiser model would fit in very well with Canadian healthcare.

Kaiser has particular focus on health maintenance and prevention. Physicians are paid to keep their patients healthy. Patients have timely access to state-of-the-art facilities and diagnostic technologies.

No one waits six months to be seen by a physician, whether a specialist or a generalist. Quality of care is closely monitored. Continuing medical education is a priority for all physicians. Kaiser is a non-profit corporation.

The ultimate solution to Canada’s problem of a shortage of primary-care physicians should encompass continuity of care, efficient management of resources, quality of care and shared access to medical information.

And that is what Kaiser Permanente is all about.

William T. Wake, M.D.
Baldwin Park, California


Another question for those who smoke

If people care so little for their own body by damaging it by smoking cigarettes, how can we expect those same people to take care of the body of the Earth?

Lia Fraser

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