Letters to the editor, August 29, 2013

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

The straight honey

Great story on urban beekeeping in Halifax ("Plan bee," Feature by Sam Littlefair-Wallace, August 22). While I have made my living as a beekeeper for almost 30 years and work with bees almost every day the fun and fascination of working with these amazing creatures has never faded.

I do have one quibble with your story. The statement that "most supermarket honeys come from chemically dusted monocultures" is certainly an exagerration, and as far as our Nova Scotia honey is concerned it is simply untrue.

While some of our honey that is sold widely in farm markets and grocery stores in the Halifax region comes from agricultural areas, none of these locations are chemically dusted monocultures. In fact, most of our honey comes from pristine wildflower meadows. —Tom Cosman, Cosman and Whidden Honey

Noise track

In "Noisy train pesters neighbours" (Reality Bites by Tim Bousquet, August 22), it says, "since the recent schedule change the train has been adjacent to the residential area 100 hours or more each week." With the new schedule, the train departs three days each week. It arrives Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and leaves the next day. With an arrival time of 5:18pm and a departure of 12:20pm the next day, that means the train is in Halifax for just 19 hours at a time. At three times a week, that only adds up to 57 hours. That's only half the time the article suggests. The schedule change dropped the train from running six days a week to three, so it has considerably reduced the amount of time the train will be there rather than increasing it.

In that sense, Ms. Ghazal and Mr. Donovan should be grateful that the new schedule, as much of an inconvenience as it is to the travelling public, means they only have to hear the train running half as often! —posted by Tim H. at thecoast.ca

Amal Ghazal has a valid point.Noise is noise and when it comes to excessive noise in the city, there are two sets of rules. The citizen always loses while the greedy, money-grabbing giants from most industries and especially railway companies always win and get away with murder. (Ask anyone from Lac-Megantic.)

The same goes with air pollution, which includes noise by the way. Engines running idle for extended periods in order to have the brakes on? Again two sets of rules. It is more than past the time to use another way to secure the trains. The train situation in HRM is unacceptable. Because it has been like that for a long time doesn't make it right. —posted by peace

The trains have a right to be there. The legislation is grandfathered. The train did start up last week at 1am, and it was at about 80 percent of full volume. The problem has gotten unbearable in the last six months. We have been here for five years, and now it is too much. People who don't live in this neighbourhood should keep their asinine comments to themselves. We will be moving soon. Pointless to complain. —posted by You Don't Live Here

A simpler question: Is there an alternative to leaving the trains running for a day or more at a time? This seems a waste of fuel and is unnecessarily noisy. Many of the train engines are parked with their engines not running, so why these?

As for grandfathering or "it was already there" why not make the downtown a better place to live? We are steadily improving all kinds of health standards (lead paint, car mufflers, lead in gasoline), so why not reduce the air and noise pollution downtown? Would you say to people who live in Sydney that they should just live with the tar ponds? —posted by Robert D


In our August 15 feature "Red-light, greenlight," we had the wrong first name for Amy Lebovitch, and referred to her as a sex worker, fetishist, activist and criminologist. She is not a fetishist or criminologist. We apologize for the mistakes.

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