Letters March 13: In praise of Deuce Days; with freedom comes responsibility; pick up after your dog

Thanks to the organizer of Northwest Deuce Days

A sincere thank you to Al Clark, his family, friends and supporters, for all the hard work and organizing it took for Northwest Deuce Days to have been such a success.

As a former Victoria resident, it was one of the few reasons to spend time on the causeway. Deuce Days will be missed.

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Allen Skene

One less reason to visit downtown

It wasn’t long ago that Victoria had many festivals and events in the downtown core.

We used to enjoy Luminara, but it was cancelled because there was too much damage to Beacon Hill Park. It’s hard to imagine it damaged the park any more than campers.

I used to go to the buskers festival every year. It was fantastic, but then the downtown business association took it over and when my friend and I attended, there was no seating anymore. You had to sit on the concrete or stand. I never attended that event again.

I also enjoyed the chalk art festival, which is gone. Now there will be no more Deuce Days, another great event.

I am not sure what else goes on besides the Car Free Day, but sorry, that doesn’t interest us.

There isn’t much to attract us to the core now that all the events we enjoyed no longer exist.

Eileen Cannon

Picking daffodils is a great experience

Re: “Petal to the mettle: Daffodils ready to harvest,” March 4

Millions of daffodils to pick and only 11 workers from Mexico to pick them?

I’m sure we can do better than that.

We have hundreds of people right now who are languishing in our parks and living in tents with nothing constructive to do, and could use the work.

I’m sure if buses were provided to take some of them out for a day’s work in the fresh air, those who haven’t worked in a long time would experience a great sense of accomplishment.

There is nothing better than seeing these cheery yellow narcissus go to market.

Anyone who is physically able can participate in this annual ritual. What a waste if so many are left to wilt without ever being picked.

I remember when I was young going out there when it was advertised in the schools that they needed pickers.

I earned enough to take a little trip. An excellent experience is waiting for those willing to give it a try.

E.C. Jewsbury

With freedom comes responsibility

Tenters in Beacon Hill Park are offered three meals a day, free laundry services, a supervised drug-consumption site, health care and medications to induce them to move to a temporary shelter.

Yet many decades of attempted community-based treatment for street people have only seen the numbers skyrocket. These dysfunctional internal refugees have little hope of successful integration into broader society.

Gone are the days when their small numbers could be discretely accommodated beneath the old Johnson Street bridge.

When we incentivize dysfunctional life on the margins, why would anyone want to change their behaviour to become productive citizens or avoid returning to a life of drugs and alcohol?

Our social-policy approaches are all wrong: Individual freedom has a correlate, personal responsibility. With most treatments for addiction having been shown ineffective, we need to reconsider implementing confinement and close monitoring of these populations.

This applies equally to the seriously mentally ill. In the modern age, there is no longer any space for people to live self-destructive lives away from or within society.

Meanwhile, the daffodil growers on the Saanich Peninsula are desperate for pickers and must depend on temporary foreign workers for help.

And we’ve just learned, from Minister David Eby, that March this year has 61 days and will end on April 30.

Brian Mason

Council deserves ‘dis’ from James Bay resident

Re: “Narrower Dallas Road bad news when tourists return,” comment, March 10

The commentary by the disgruntled James Bay resident is a “dis” worth discussing. The discourse of letters recently published displays the abhorrent discord to the wishes of the public.

This disjunctive has made many ­disinterested in this disgustful reasoning from City Hall.

Why should we be in disbelief? The disenfranchisement of supposed public consultation has been a ruse for the past seven years.

With the disproportionate amount of unnecessary personal pet projects, it is a certainty all disjointed bike lanes will be a reality whether one likes it, or disapproves.

Case in point is the discombobulating of Vancouver Street, and the dispositive disapprobation of Clover Point

It is a disgrace to witness the discord of Victoria citizens being bullied. It is time to become disaffected by this biased mayor and council. Now is the time of our discontent, and we should no longer disguise our dissatisfaction in the next election.

Mur Meadows

Stephen Hammond raised valid points

Re: “Isitt’s biggest challenge is his own hypocrisy,” comment, March 6

After reading the three letters criticizing Stephen Hammond for his commentary in Saturday’s paper, I had to go back to see if I had read the same article these letter writers had read.

Nowhere did Hammond “personally attack” Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt. All he did was point out Isitt’s unbelievable hypocrisy of supporting tenting everywhere … except near his family.

Nowhere did Hammond suggest homeless people be thrown out into the street. He just pointed out the criminal activity that plagues these kinds of encampments and hence the need to protect those inside and outside these encampments.

And then one writer suggested the police take care of criminal activities so they can be prosecuted. Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If you want to defund the police, or reduce their budget, you can’t then say Victoria police need to do their job. It appears that the letter writers would turn a blind eye to the very real dangers of permanent tenting in the parks in order to support every edict that comes out of City Hall.

We need more people like Hammond willing to speak up to present another point of view from Victoria citizens.

Peter Tomlinson
Vic West

In case you missed it: Pick up after your dog

I consider myself an expert in the matter of FLDPBs (fully loaded dog-poop bags) as I am the FLDPB picker-upper fairy.

In my capacity as a dog owner and volunteer in Mount Douglas Park, I have picked up thousands of other people’s bags. They are left at the side of the trail, hidden in stumps, left for the tide to carry away and tossed into the undergrowth.

I try not to let it ruin my zen, but often feel bitter at what I consider to be one of the greatest mysteries of our time: Why the bag if you’re not prepared to take it to a bin?

It is certainly more puzzling than those dog owners who would have us do the doggie-do two-step. Still, however unpleasant, it is a task that I can remedy.

What troubles me more are those who allow their dogs to run wild in our natural areas. These special places are home to many creatures (it is coming up to nesting season) and plants that cannot survive elsewhere. They are places that all people should be able to enjoy — even those that have concerns about dogs — without attention from our four-legged friends.

I digress, though. Please pick up after your dog.

Deborah McEwen

Today’s viruses can have long-term impacts

Re: “Take heart from history of polio mass vaccination,” Charla Huber, March 7

In her Sunday column, Charla Huber uses the example of mass vaccinations for polio that protected communities and future generations. So very true, but an extremely important fact was omitted from her column.

Individuals such as my wife who suffered the scourges of polio are still living with repercussions from that disease to this day. Post-polio effects sneak up and change your life, decades after the initial disease. Similarly, we see long-term after-effects from chickenpox, which can resurface as shingles many years later.

The lesson is that by vaccinating the population, you protect against the immediate concern, as well as unknown potential repercussions from the disease in the future.

We will likely not know for decades about long-term effects for those unlucky enough to have contracted COVID-19.

Les Swain


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