OPINION

The heat was hot!

By Kevin Woodhouse The Suburban "The heat is hot from the hot, hot heat. The hot, hot heat makes the heat feel hot..." Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live While the summer, silly season is upon us and a good number of folks are getting a chance to put up their feet, we at The Suburban have been working hard. There were many noteworthy news events to cover this past week but I must admit, most people I saw wanted to talk to me about the heat we've been experiencing. Everyone had a story about coping with the 40-plus weather as well as strategies for beating the heat. Air conditioners were lifelines for a way of just trying to stay cool. While I have never been one to adopt the use of an air conditioner, I did have one in storage and last Wednesday morning at 5 a.m., I brought it out of my shed and plugged it into my bedroom which, I kid you not, was registering above 30 C. Well above. And while we will certainly be able to share "where were you" stories about the heat wave, that is due for a second wave real soon, I have to say I was humbled after talking to some of our members of the Canadian Armed Forces (for next week's very special edition) who told me that during their Afghanistan tours, temperatures could reach 60 C. And this while the soldiers are humping 90plus pounds of gear. I was getting the vapours reading a half, from twice weekly to once a week? Why is it that we're stuck with smelly garbage in our garage for an entire week in the torrid summer heat, increasing the possibility of attracting vermin into our homes? Hampstead council meetings where these issues should normally be discussed, have recently been turned into circuses. Dedicated citizens, including a highly respected former Hampstead municipal councillor, were escorted out by security guards under the mayor's orders at last Monday's meeting. This mentality and management style are certainly not to the benefit of the Hampstead taxpayers, but rather to their detriment. Adriana Kotler , Hampstead

Hampstead 'performing arts'

I read the Abe Gonshor letter "I refuse" last week as an appetizer to the "Just for Laughs" festival; it appeared to well complement the continuing soap opera of childish Hampstead politics. It was well written, focused and elicited the following response: Excluding a politician from council meetings appears to be illegal and harassment deserving of an apology; politicians may disagree but require access to council to discuss, fine tune, and put forward acceptable solutions. No one should be forced to sign any acknowledgment hindering their freedom to well represent constituents for whom they were elected. Time is of the essence; a legal contestation would be expensive for all including residents who in the interim, will be without full representation. I invite Abe and Bill to "take it to the stage" in this year's performance of "Friendly Persuasion" (an outstanding "Snowdon newspaper in shorts and flip flops on my deck at sunrise and for them, a typical work day was dealing with armed insurgent forces and twice the heat. My first real foray with living in constant heat came from a winter three buddies and I spent on a very bad apartment complex in downtown Montreal. We got robbed and there was a house of ill repute next door - kind of bad - and our ground floor apartment was just above the boiler room. It was the middle of January but I was sleeping in a sheet with the window open. It was crazy hot like that last week, but inside. It was late at night and as I dressed in winter clothes to go outside to get a cold drink I noticed Tim's light was on. "I'm on low broil," was all he said before coming with me to fight through a storm to get something to hydrate ourselves. We didn't have an air conditioner then and have never used one until last week when it was medically necessary. Otherwise the overhead fan simply blows around the hot and stagnant air. But can that be worse than two Playhouse" frequented by both, friends can provide the level playing field). This will permit our children to be appropriately educated by better adult example; they must be encouraged to do it for others and their community in the future. Show them you are big enough to admit an error, move on and finally put to rest the "War Of The West"! Michael Shafter, Montreal

Spies among us

When Chen Yonglin, former First secretary and Consul for Political Affairs in Sydney, visited Montreal on his Canadian tour in 2007, he exposed the Chinese regime's mandate for all Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide to influence government officials, mobilize Chinese students and the Chinese community, and control the Chinese media to influence public policy on China. Like Fadden, Chen revealed that the tactics include putting pressure on the officials of various western governments and exchanging political benefits by economic means. He stated that one of the most effective methods used to develop influence over political leaders is to provide them with allexpenses-paid travel to China and lavish entertainment while they are there. This method is common to all Chinese foreign missions in the West and should come as no surprise to anyone. As well, it was made known that one of their prime targets is the Falun Gong spiritual group and that influencing VIPs in thinking that they are a cult - thus discouraging any form of support and denying social programs for the group - is one of their top priorities. Knowing the nature of the beast and its ability to erode our Canadian values, one may wonder why politicians still insist on accepting freebies from the Chinese regime and other countries without weighing the consequences. What were they thinking? If it were not for Mr. Fadden's frank talk apprising Canadians of the reality of the situation we might still be going down a slippery slope continuing to take advice from a totalitarian regime. How democratic is that? It's time to stop whining and do what's right to protect our democracy and sovereignty. Marie Beaulieu, Victoria BC

Beaconsfield zoning

Since when do a group of tennis players have the right to decide what we should be doing with our investments? We don't tell them what to do with their investments. They should not have the right to impose their selfish motives on others and also cause all citizens to lose tax revenue. Demolition of the old dilapidated tennis courts would best serve the interests of our entire community and also increase much needed tax revenue. Beaconsfield seniors wishing to rent should not be held hostage by a few property owners. Henry J. Yersh, Beaconsfield

No honour in killing

Why is the media hooked on using the word honour in the same sentence as a violent act? Stabbing or shooting someone are criminal acts of violence. There is no honour in that! Why must a cultural or ideological spin be put on it? This is Canada! Who do they think they are reporting to? Why hasn't someone immediately adults sleeping in a sealed off room breathing recycled, cold air? My vehicle does not have A/C either and last Friday morning, I drove into our fair metropolis. It was almost 11 a.m. and the streets were quiet. It was simply too hot for folks to walk around outside it seemed, so air conditioning living was the way to go. But if you work or live outdoors, what choice do you have? One advantage of driving with my windows down is that I can get some form of hot asphalt breeze going and do my civic duty which I personally insist on every cold or hot spell. Whenever I'm downtown I usually bring extra change for our city's homeless and when the mercury really dips or soars I fill my pockets, or in this case, the car ashtray with change and nobody gets ignored. At the end of the day, I can find some shade on my own property but I cannot imagine what it must be like to have no fixed address in crazy weather days such as these. Stay cool. n stopped this nonsense - this way too subjective reporting! Michael Labbee

CP Rail noise

Your article last week on the CP yard noise quoted me as being a resident of Côte St. Luc. In fact we live in Montreal West which gives you an idea of the distance the noise is really traveling. When we moved here over 50 years ago the train yard was quiet, we could sleep with our windows open at night, and the only disturbance was the sound of a lawn mower. It is with the closing of the various yards around Montreal that work has intensified in these residential neighbourhoods being heard last week for example at 10:30 p.m. Friday night and 2 a.m. Saturday morning. People who today sleep with their windows closed still complain about the noise. If a next door neighbour decided to start a heavy metal band and practice at all hours of the night, I am sure the police would be at his house very quickly and fines would be levied. I fail to see why the law about disturbing the peace does not apply to everyone. It was CP's decision to bring this work to a yard beside a residential area. In Lachine where houses were recently built beside an existing highway, walls were erected to lessen the noise disturbing the residents. How much effort is really being made to resolve the problem here? If they ever come to develop Meadowbrook good luck to the new home owners, I hope a quiet supper hour and a good night's sleep are not important to them. Rachel Irwin, Montreal West THE SUBURBAN, WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010 * 15

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