Letters to the editor, January 19, 2017

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Fools Russian
The American presidential inauguration may be happening Friday, but I'm still wondering: Were Vladimir Putin and the Russians responsible for Donald Trump's win?

One evident thing about Trump—among so much else—is that he is petrified that his occupancy of the US presidency will be seen as due to Putin and the Russians. His fear and discomfort is reinforced by the fact Hillary Clinton got more than two and a half million more votes than he did, and despite Trump's lies and spinning things to give a contrary impression, his electoral college win was not "huge" as evidenced by the fact that a large majority of electoral college votes cast in US presidential elections had wider margins of victory than in his own case.

Being very fearful of widespread public perception that Trump's presidency was due to Russian meddling and propaganda, and the implications of this, Trump himself and Republicans like Paul Ryan concentrate on the fact, supported by US intelligence, of there having been no (successful anyway) interference in the mechanics of the actual vote (such as tampering with voting machines). However—and this is critical—the question remains whether or not other Russian activity such as the timed releases of hacked information detrimental to Clinton and responsibility for the deliberate spreading of harmful untruths about her (by state and social media) tipped the balance in favour of Trump.

Let's not let this one go, but instead urge a much closer look at the evidence with a view to at least getting a better handle on the probability or otherwise of the US having a certain president in office thanks to Putin and the Russians. Shouldn't truth still count? —David Blackwell, Eastern Passage


Invest in heritage
Many thanks to Wendy Scott for her excellent letter about the loss of heritage properties ("Development's war on history," Reply all, January 5). She makes excellent points about the damage done socially, economically, historically and to the very fabric of our community by the deliberate demolition of so much of our built heritage.

The sad thing, of course, is that she had to write it at all, because in essence what she was bringing our attention to is simply what pretty much every "world-class city" already knows and is capitalizing on, including our close neighbours in Charlottetown and St. John's. Halifax, on the other hand, seems to be further away than ever from "getting it."

Heritage preservation is economic development. Doubt that? Try an online search for the topic "heritage preservation economic development." Happy reading! —Beverly W. Miller, Halifax


Controlling guns
Hello Mr. Parks, I am writing to you in regards to your recent email referencing the police media release following a weapons complaint at Saint Mary's University (published as the letter "Shot in the dark," Reply all by Darren Parks, January 12). I can fully appreciate the questions and concerns that you raised regarding the incident. I wanted you to be aware that HRP has posted a clarification email to our social media sites regarding the earlier release by Sgt. Lowther. 

I trust that this is will clarify HRP's position and the intent of the Supervisor involved. If not, please feel free to contact me directly. —Inspector Lindsay Hernden, Halifax Regional Police, Divisional Commander— Central Division

Editor's note: After the HRP published a warning that posting photos with real or fake guns "could result in various charges," the follow-up that inspector Hernden is talking about reads, in part: For clarification, our intent was to remind citizens that some pictures that include firearms (real or not) can cause fear and disruption to our community. We have a responsibility to investigate complaints we receive, and when responding to a weapons complaint, we must operate under the assumption that the firearm is real until we can prove otherwise. This can involve a significant use of police resources. Depending on the situation, the investigation may result in firearms charges under the Criminal Code or Firearms Act or public mischief charges.

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