Bedbugs & beyond
I am a bit concerned about the pessimistic nature of your cover story on bedbugs ("While you were sleeping," feature by Hillary Windsor, November 19). It seems to suggest that people who live in more modest apartments should be seen as "lepers" by the rich people who matter. As an autistic, I know that there are sometimes very limited jobs available to us, and those jobs do not guarantee we would have enough to afford "proper" housing which is becoming far too cost-prohibitive. It is bad enough we sometimes get marginalized by being labelled "freaks" without suggesting that people "forced" to live in more modest housing should be considered lepers.
I also feel that giving the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now any credence was a mistake. They are a collection of professional agitators who have a very swollen idea of people's "rights" without responsibilities. Too often The Coast is a rag which gives a voice to people who want to be so mad at the world, and you can do better than that. —Allistair Fraser, Halifax
Your journalist Hillary Windsor forgot to mention one extremely easy (but costly) way to get rid of bedbugs...a heat treatment. I had bedbugs and discovered, to my horror, that I am allergic to the bites, so I was covered in huge fluid-filled blisters on my wrists and neck. I contacted Adams Pest Control, and they came in and did a heat treatment and a spray. Then three weeks later, another heat treatment and a spray to ensure all were eliminated. I haven't had a problem since. And I lost a minimum of my sanity, which is priceless. —Sue, Halifax
Generally, people who have not experienced bedbugs can't imagine the distress it causes. Lack of sleep will kill faster than starvation! —posted by Paul Maloney at thecoast.ca
Street for sharing
I am writing to thank the Halifax city roads crew. They have taken the planned re-paving of Devonshire Road as an opportunity to show us the way forward. Along with re-paving the road comes slimming it down to a two-lane street with bike lanes, parking enclaves and pedestrian bump-outs. Additional bump-outs will slow down right and left turns. These are the hallmarks of a shared street with the changes required to encourage walkers and bikers in a traffic-calmed space.
The pebble is tossed. May the ripples of sustainability, safety and mobility options spread as we build our city. This bold watershed moment comes as we begin to do our part to tackle the problem of global warming. Congratulations to the roads team for their inspirational leadership. —Claude, Halifax
Don't wreck rec
Dear mayor Savage and city councillors,
It is with great disappointment that I hear Halifax's Capital Program Budget proposes to reduce the Sports Fields/Courts—State of Good Repair budget line from $1.5M to $230k in 2016. Halifax's sport fields and courts are critical to the health, well-being and, ultimately, productivity of many Haligonians. As an individual who regularly uses these facilities, I know first-hand that many are already in a state of disrepair. Reducing the budget for maintenance and repair to 15 percent of an already under-funded budget line will inevitably render many of these facilities unsafe and unusable.
I am sure you can imagine the effects of letting our recreational facilities fall to a state of disrepair. The result will decrease quality of life for individuals who are actively trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and decrease the attractiveness of our city to individuals who are currently (or may consider) living here. There is no shortage of scientific data supporting the importance of public recreation facilities. Well-maintained facilities are also considered important for psychological health, the promotion of positive social interaction and even a reduction in crime rates.
I urge you to be outspoken and oppose this change, to ensure that our existing recreational facilities are properly maintained. Let us not make the mistake of letting these facilities fall into a state of disrepair that will cost us a lot more in the long run compared to the small savings achieved in the short-term. —Chris Cowper-Smith. Halifax