5th March 2024

A Virtual World of Live Pictures

Technology and Computer

Get rid of traffic calming devices; social media harmful

Traffic calming is causing problems

The other day a truck turning onto Catherine Street in Vic West tried to avoid hitting the “traffic calming” obstacle and parked cars.

It ended up taking a huge chunk of the power pole, leaving our block of Skinner Street without power for five hours while the pole was being replaced.

Thankfully, B.C. Hydro did a great job in having power on sooner than the expected repair time.

That same day a postal truck was trying to make a turn from Esquimalt Road onto Rothwell Street and was unable to get past the “traffic calming” obstacle and the big truck parked on the road.

These “traffic calming” obstacles are completely unnecessary, and more to the point, provide obstructions for city vehicles such as garbage trucks and snowplows, and emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances.

They should all be removed, as they do the exact opposite of what they were intended to do.

JoAnne Bonnyman

Victoria

Social media companies need to be legislated

Social media firms need to be accountable for the harms they cause. For too long, they have hidden behind the lie that they not responsible for the actions of their users; that they do their “best” to prevent harm.

These companies are focused on maximizing the profit from advertisers seeking your attention. Expensive content monitoring is not part of that equation.

Unfortunately, we are all complicit. When enable them when we use these “free” services. When we own their shares (though a mutual fund?), we benefit financially.

Make no mistake, money is being made from the tragic deaths and crimes described in this newspaper, and legislation is the only way to make those firms take responsibility.

Kevin Cuddihy

Saanich

Ignore the pro-oil crowd, go for cheap renewables

Pro-oil politicians like Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe are lying to Canadians about renewable energy and I’m sick of it.

The risk of losing power during a brutal cold snap like the one Alberta just had is terrifying. The province’s power grid struggled because extreme temperatures took out multiple gas generators, not because of renewables.

Wind and solar actually helped Alberta make up the shortfall and avoid disaster.

Scientists have warned for decades that messing up our climate with fossil fuels would cause chaos – not just extreme heat, but extreme cold too.

Canada is getting a taste of that right now, as we lurch from a unseasonably warm December into this record-breaking cold.

But doubling down on oil, gas, and coal is not the answer. Cheap, clean, renewable energy is the key to a better future.

Our governments must ignore the fear-mongering and accelerate the energy transition now.

Roz Isaac

View Royal

Cheap renewable energy is the future

I’ve lived in Clayoquot Sound for more than 30 years. I am watching the temperate rainforest change before my eyes. The rainforest I went to jail for!

Trees are dying, summers are too hot. We are experiencing a climate breakdown. I live off the grid, but renewable energy is now the cheapest way to generate electricity.

The Site C dam in my province is a horror show.

Let’s make this the year that Canada breaks free from the expensive, unequal, and wildly destructive fossil fuel economy.

Cheap, clean, renewable energy is the key to a better future. What we need is courage and leadership from our federal representatives.

If they invest in a renewable future now, they will lay the foundation for safer and more affordable lives for all of us.

With bills rising and extreme weather worsening, we can’t afford to keep stalling. Later is too late.

Christine Lowther

Tofino

Clayoquot Sound

Time to learn more about education today

A few weeks ago, it was bemoaning math teachers and now it is an attack on using computers in schools.

Citing a “worldwide study” in a recent letter, the statement is made that technology in schools provides “more harm than good.”

The writer accuses teachers of excusing teaching practices rather than improving them.

It would seem that the writer has a bone to pick with teachers.

I would guess that this person has never spoken to either teachers or students that are involved in technology classes. Students having unsupervised access to the internet through the use of cellphones is the current issue involving technology in schools, not Computer Science 11 classes.

My suggestion is that the letter writer work at their own best practices. Rather than vague references to studies and the poor state of education, let’s see some of that “overwhelming evidence.”

I was a teacher for 35 years and this person seems to have no clue about the current state of education in our schools.

Get off the internet and get into schools and then write a letter.

Mark R. Fetterly

Victoria

Haultain changes stopped this cyclist

I see the City of Victoria is planning more street closures. I am glad they are going to consult with neighbours to ensure they don’t make areas dangerous.

I am a senior who lives off Haultain on the Cook Street side and used to ride my bike on Haultain Street but when they changed the intersection at Haultain and Fernwood my bike riding days stopped.

I find that intersection unsafe for inexperienced riders and I also no longer walk up Haultain.

Haultain was my comfort zone, I used to ride all the way to Willows Beach and home but no more, my bike sits in the garage with a flat tire.

So much for making my neighbourhood safer.

Eileen Cannon

Victoria

After a safer supply, what will come next?

The British Columbia government has recently authorized the provision of “safer supply” fentanyl to youth across the province, regardless if parents are informed of, or agree to, this measure.

Oh, to be young again! I’m sure this policy will help to reduce addiction and all of the associated drug-related problems in B.C. We’ve all seen how the current drug policies by the government have successfully addressed the drug/homeless/criminal activities of the ne’er-do-wells on the streets.

But what a blatant example of ageism. We senior citizens should be demanding equality and a free, limitless supply of fentanyl and the other “happy” drugs for our consumption and pleasure!

As long as we don’t have to get our parents’ consent! (And maybe demand free coffee from the government as well!)

Peter Davis

James Bay

All those new taxes are not helping us

It seems to me that most of society’s problems stem from inept politicians’ attempts to garner favour with the voters.

At the first sign of a problem, they impose new taxes or regulations to “save the day.” Every new tax and new requirement adds to the cost of products and depletes a taxpayer’s income. And it doesn’t solve it. Smoke and mirrors.

These convenient solutions used so often must be fought against. We pay too much in taxes. We are already over-regulated.

In order to control the conduct of the citizenry, any requirement must be enforced. It does no good to further impede the lives of the law-abiding when the risk to a “short-cutter” is zero. Will the law-abiding taxpayer be forced to fund the cost of enforcing any new law? Of course. The government has no other source of income.

Here’s a thought, Mr. or Ms. Politician. Just leave it the hell alone!

If it’s expensive to live in Victoria and a restaurant can’t attract employees at the wages they are willing to pay, so be it.

Either pay your people more or go broke. Simple. If I want to eat at your restaurant, I will have to pay more. Simple.

Any attempt to tax or regulate a way around “supply and demand” is futile. It won’t work. Simple.

Don Boult

Saanich

Heat pump disappoints, so bring back logs

Re: “We need to plan for future energy needs,” letter, Jan. 19.

Like the letter writer, I made what I thought to be the environmental choice and installed a heat pump at considerable cost last year, only to watch helplessly during the January cold spell as my power bill soared and my house would not warm up beyond 16 C.

So I cleaned out the old fireplace, threw on a few logs and basked in the warmth knowing full well I was stepping back while trying to move forward.

D.G. Forbes

Oak Bay

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• Email: [email protected]

• Mail: Letters to the editor, Times Colonist, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5

• Aim for no more than 250 words; ­subject to editing for length and clarity. Provide your contact information; it will not be published.


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