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Sound Off! -- Aug. 16, 2014

Keep your distance

Motorists, please keep your distance from us pedestrians on the crosswalks. Please allow us time to safely cross the street before you creep up to us while still on the crosswalk. Some of you drivers are at our heels. You put us at risk for injury — its scary, not to mention rude. You are in a vehicle. You are always going to get to where you’re going faster than us pedestrians. What’s the hurry?

Many more modes of transportation

It would appear the City of Brandon is focusing all of its tourist resources on the airport and has neglected the bus depot or any hope of rail service in the city. Not everyone enjoys flying as their primary mode of transportation, and it’s quite sad that Brandon lost the Brandon North Via Rail station a few years back. It would be nice if the city recognized other forms of transportation infrastructure as an investment into the city’s future. The train is a much more luxurious way to travel both long and short distances. As a bonus, it has regular service both east and west in Canada.

Hedges and fences blocking our view

Brandon has a bylaw that limits the height of hedges and fences to 36 inches for 30 feet from the property line of corner lots. We have numerous hedges and some fences that are six to nine feet high on a number of these lots. This bylaw is meant to help limit accidents at intersections. Those who abide by this bylaw are to be commended. Those who don’t follow it are extremely poor citizens and should be ticketed. Come on, bylaw enforcement officers, do your job.

Deep pockets don’t need to get deeper

It is very disheartening that some community leaders are considering handing the Wheat City Golf Course to “people with deep pockets and big ideas.” (Sun editorial). For a city our size, we have few summer tourism calling cards and even much smaller communities nearby maintaining quality courses. Why were the existing dikes not enhanced to protect the course? This beautiful greenspace is there for us all to enjoy year round. Sacrificing this public treasure to make deep pockets deeper is a very bitter pill. Those pockets are deep enough! They don’t need our greenspaces!

Planning all wrong in the flood plain

I think John LoRegio had a great idea — close the golf course. And while he is at it, close Eleanor Kidd Park, Dinsdale Park, get rid of all the houses on the flats as well as the Riverbank Discovery Centre. They all are an expense to the city. I suppose all the paddling pools should be closed as they lose money. We sure don’t need to spend $30 million on an Eighth Street bridge. All these people should be moved anyway because they are on a flood zone! Why don’t we ever do anything right? Instead of building a dike west of 18th Street, why did they not raise the street and then be done with it? I’ll bet you a million dollars that they patch First Street instead of raising it four feet and put 10 four-foot culverts through it. Then it’s done and you can forget about it for 20 years and the water will move through Brandon much faster. If they had raised the dike on the golf course five years ago, it might have still flooded, but they could have still started pumping three weeks sooner and saved the grass. When people do dumb things like build on a flood plain and then dike it, the water has less room to move out and therefore becomes deeper. That’s our problem now. We have dikes and only one way for the water to move through Brandon — the First Street bridge. Those houses on the lower parts of the North Hill, as well as the Corral Centre, should never have been built. We had better figure things out a lot better or the south end development will have the same problem. Just ask Mr. Hoy, who lives just southeast of Brandon. If these things are done right, they work. However, if you cheap out, it is a mess.

Real ‘ground zero’ drainage situation

In response to the last Sound Off on this topic, there can be absolutely no denying that Saskatchewan drainage water is a huge part of our water woes here in Westman and that their ongoing “Wild West” attitudes on ridding themselves of surface water must stop. The point was that here in Manitoba, we should not consider ourselves to be totally innocent victims, as a significant amount of recent flood damage has been self-induced. Many years of government and even municipalities turning a blind eye to what was going on with the landscape with drainage issues right here has finally caught up with us. Obviously, our remaining wetlands cannot begin to totally stop the amounts of water now moving across the landscape. But with the preservation and restoration of sloughs and potholes, the difference would become very apparent.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 16, 2014

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Keep your distance

Motorists, please keep your distance from us pedestrians on the crosswalks. Please allow us time to safely cross the street before you creep up to us while still on the crosswalk. Some of you drivers are at our heels. You put us at risk for injury — its scary, not to mention rude. You are in a vehicle. You are always going to get to where you’re going faster than us pedestrians. What’s the hurry?

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Keep your distance

Motorists, please keep your distance from us pedestrians on the crosswalks. Please allow us time to safely cross the street before you creep up to us while still on the crosswalk. Some of you drivers are at our heels. You put us at risk for injury — its scary, not to mention rude. You are in a vehicle. You are always going to get to where you’re going faster than us pedestrians. What’s the hurry?

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