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Letters to the editor, May 2, 2013 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

click to enlarge opinion_letters.jpg

Portland's place
There are so many good small businesses in Dartmouth, it must have been tough to choose the ones to include in Allison Saunders' ShopTalk Guided Tour last week. My new favourite place was passed over: Cafe Brea on Portland Street, across from the Penhorn Terminal (i.e. lots of public transit service!). The owner Melita Scott and staff really know their coffee, and this place must be the friendliest espresso bar in HRM. They roast the coffee they serve, and the treats are carefully chosen and locally sourced. —Dave Chapman, Dartmouth


Tex hex
Developers are trying to knock down attractive, solidly built 19th-century buildings just blocks away, even as this lot sits empty and ripe for development ("New twist to sisters site," Reality Bites by Tim Bousquet, April 25). Pretty bad city building. This is among the greatest opportunity sites in all of HRM for a developer---a full block, a total blank slate, right in the centre of the city.

United Gulf squandered the chance to develop it with their ill-considered brinksmanship on the height issue, so if the city can legally take it back and offer them fair compensation, why should we be stuck with it in this embarassing state for god knows how many more years?

My only fear about this site is that United Gulf's proposals, despite that they flouted the city's height rules, were both excellent from an architectural standpoint. Whatever gets built should have to meet certain design guidelines, given how high-profile the site is. —posted by pigeon at thecoast.ca


Cat-sitting
We should leave the coyotes and all other wildlife alone ("Urban coyotes are coming for your cat," Reality Bites by Chris Benjamin, April 11). After all, we are the ones that decided to sprawl our city and towns into their habitats and clear-cut their neighbourhoods. We can make the decision to avoid coyotes, skunks, raccoons, foxes, et cetera and keep an eye on our children and pets a little more, rather than blaming wildlife for our losses. —posted by OptimismSucks!

Feral cats? Spoiled house cats killing our beautiful song birds? Council wastes time and money trying to deal with both issues and, voila---mother nature has the solution. —posted by TrevorP


Overhaul
I have a bit of an issue with Overheard on the Letters & Comments page ("I can't wait to go home and never drink again," April 25). I've enjoyed the feature and always assumed that this was literally something that someone at the paper had overheard, out loud. However, I know for a fact that this week's was actually a tweet of Amelia Curran's.

It's one thing to write down a quote, without attribution, that you actually overhear somewhere, but it doesn't seem right to print someone else's writing (even if it was just a tweet, and something that the writer overheard themselves, not an original thought of theirs) without giving credit where it's due.

Perhaps you obtained permission to print the tweet, which would at least be better. That said, without acknowledging the original poster or explaining that permission was given, it still gives the appearance of having been "stolen" to anyone who read the original tweet. It also makes me wonder how many other tweets and similar things have been printed without attribution.

I love The Coast and don't want to think ill of you all, but this particular issue gives me pause. —Jen Ochej, Halifax

Editor's note: You're absolutely right, Overheards are supposed to be literally overheard. In cases where The Coast's ears really don't pick up anything worth sharing, and The Coast's eyes go searching instead, we should credit the original publisher, whether tweet, graffito or fortune cookie. Thanks for speaking up.

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