Letters of the week – March 31

Alcohol issues, girls playing hockey and NIMBYs spurred on letters to the editor this week.

Girls can too play hockey with boys!

To the Editor,

Re: This girl loves her hockey, Feb. 16, by Malika McDonald of Port Alberni.

I live in Surrey, BC and through relatives we received this article. We are astounded at the small-mindedness of some people.

We have a daughter named Emily who plays hockey with boys.

She is on a team with two other girls, and there is another girl in Emily’s league on another team.

It’s not unusual to find girls playing with boys here in the Lower Mainland.

I talked to the parents of her team and they were all surprised that someone would do what that mom or dad did in Malika’s story and complain about a girl playing with boys.

All the players, parents and coaching staff on our Cloverdale team are behind Malika playing hockey with the boys and want her to know that they are all supporting her.

She should never be dismayed by what some backward thinking individual thinks.

I have permission by the team and all the parents to send a team photo to show their support.

Emily also said that if Malika is ever in Surrey that she’d like to go skating with her.

Whether or not Malika knows it or intended it, she might have become a little bit of a hero to some girl hockey players by speaking up.

Stuart Taylor,

Surrey

Editor’s note: The Cloverdale Minor Hockey 3 Penguins aren’t the only hockey players impressed with Malika McDonald for speaking up: five-time Olympic medalist Hayley Wickenheiser sent Malika a personal video message encouraging her not to give up pursuing her love of hockey.

To the Editor,

I welcomed the article on Dave Cusson’s upcoming Yes 2 Know conference on drug awareness. It is unfortunate, however, that alcohol is excluded from the conversation.

Alcohol is a drug that kills more teenagers than all other drugs combined. It is a consistent factor in vehicle accidents, violent crimes, suicides and homicides.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the socially destructive nature of alcohol, our governments continue to loosen alcohol laws while advocating a frenzied construction of more liquor outlets.

It’s time we stopped turning a blind eye to the most dangerous and destructive drug of all. Our children deserve to know the truth about alcohol.

Mark Blackham

Port Alberni

NIMBYs part of social problems

To the Editor,

Who are these neighbourhood NIMBYs, like cockroaches in a cheap skidrow rental, who scurry out of their hiding places once municipal and/or provincial authorities step up to provide housing and built-in supports for homeless street-folk?

Granted, a low-barrier rooming house is typical of government providing people with what it thinks they should have rather than what they actually need, for it’s perhaps not as ideal as self-contained units.

But kudos to Rich Coleman anyway:  for provided with two daily meals and other supports, this kind of housing is a healthy transition from living rough on the streets.

At least it gets them out of offended eye of NIMBYs front yards and alley ways, but that still doesn’t seem good enough for some.

I’ve toured proposed build sites for Habitat 4 Humanity, only to hear neighbours suspiciously question “How do we know that those kind of people will keep up their end of the bargain,” referring to Habitat’s contract that clients contribute sweat-equity toward construction and pay towards a small mortgage.

I’ve been further disgusted upon attending a community meeting to discuss the local homeless shelter’s bid to erect a much-needed expansion on a nearby vacant lot, only to hear vociferous objections from neighbours like “a better use for the land would be as a place to take my dog to [defecate]!”

Just what do these people expect authorities to do, and where do they expect the homeless to go?

If NIMBYs put the same amount of energy they expend complaining about their fellow citizens into actually lobbying for the real supports they need, they could be a part of the solution instead of the negativity.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni