MAIL BAG

Phil K Ollenberg,Wade Murray,J.M. Kuntz,5 more... January 29 2007

MAIL BAG

Phil K Ollenberg,Wade Murray,J.M. Kuntz,5 more... January 29 2007

MAIL BAG

‘You brought North Central into the national spotlight. Thank you for doing us justice.1

REGINA REACTS

I TRULY WISH I could disagree with Jonathon Gatehouse about Regina (“Canada’s worst neighbourhood,” National, Jan. 15). We have lived in North Central for many years. We own our house and I have worked darn hard to earn a paycheque since I was a teenager. I file my income taxes early, make charitable donations, and am active in the arts community and a national political party. I am in the thin minority in this community. Increased police presence, neighbourhood improvement programs and revitalization projects have had no visible impact on improving the quality of life here. I have had my own run-ins, finding my car broken into, lawn decorations stolen, flower beds vandalized, or drunks relieving their bladders on my lawn. Gatehouse wrote a valid article. I am glad he brought North Central into the national spotlight. Thank you for doing us justice. Phil K Ollenberg, Regina

I HAVE BEEN ASKED by dozens of my fellow friends and neighbours to write you. I’m frustrated that as a twice-elected city councillor, I was not asked for my input, although I don’t think it would have mattered anyway. We live in a diverse community with many peoples, languages, colours and religions. Over the past 15 years, we have lived in North Central raising our two kids, running a business and investing right here, and we have seen so much done to improve our community, none of which was included in this article. It’s my hope you will consider returning to do a story on all the positives we havecommunity programs, family centres and other investments. I’m sure if you only look for one thing, that’s all you’ll find. Wade Murray, City Councillor, Regina

AFTER YOUR ARTICLE, there has been a furor of remarks by certain locals defending our city and its people. Regina has a lot going for it, but crime just happens to be one of our biggest recreations. The problem arises from the fact that a huge number in our population seem to approach social assistance as a career option. We have a glut of layabouts who have nothing better to do than collect a cheque and somehow feel it is owed to them. The unfortunate truth is that many people here do not want to work because it is more profitable to be on assistance. Various levels of government would have us believe that throwing money at social programs is the answer. How about only allowing people to receive assistance if they graduate high school? Oh, wait. Silly me. This is common sense and there is no room for that in politics or the law. Still, I really do love the city. Despite its flaws, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

J.M. Kuntz, Regina

GATEHOUSE’S ARTICLE has brought our city’s public secret into full pan-Canadian view, and I hope merely bandaging the issue is no longer an option for our policy-makers. Regina is a great town, my home. But as much as I love it, its racial tensions and inner-city problems have matched my appreciation with downright disgust. While it’s unfortunate that national embarrassment may be the necessary catalyst for change, one can only hope that something positive—and permanent-will come of this.

Jonathan Epp, Regina

REGINA IS, bar none, the best place I have ever lived. My wife and I were surprised, amazed even, at the number of great neighborhoods in Regina. North Central is not pretty, but the city is working on correcting that; it just doesn’t happen overnight. If you would be interested in doing a really enlightening piece on why Regina is the best place in Canada to live, work and raise a family, you can come here and I will show you around and you can stay in my house while you are here. I never would have offered such a thing to a stranger before, but the attitude and cheer of the people here has rubbed off on me.

Jason Hill, Regina

WITHIN LEGAL BOUNDARIES, Maclean’s has the right to print what it pleases. However, you have responsibilities for a balanced representation and accuracy. Both of these are missing in the Regina article. There are, without question, very serious problems in the neighbourhoods you talked about. However, there are also people working hard to improve things and having small successes. To ignore these people and their work is irresponsible. I was also concerned about quotes from so-called experts who are not named and a very inflammatory quote from a national newspaper. However, the accuracy of the story was really called into question

for me when I realized that the picture you ran on the last page of the story to illustrate the mess in North Central or the Core was not from either of those neighbourhoods, but rather of a demolition site across the street from the Regina Police Station.

Pat Arndt, Esterhazy, Sask.

WHO’S COUNTING CALORIES?

IT’S NICE TO SEE some space devoted to diet (“A recipe for disaster, or the skinny on living long?” Health, Jan. 15). When Danylo Hawaleshka’s article on Calorie Restriction talked about the claims of better intestinal health as a result of better eating habits, I was reminded of something. I’m not that skinny, but I have been on a diet prescribed specifically for me by my alternative practitioner. In a nutshell, this is it: no sugar, no dairy, no wheat. After being on the diet for just a few months, I went for my quarterly appointment with my dental hygienist. He did a double take when he looked in my mouth. In fact, he called the dentist right in to take a look. They wanted to know: what was I doing differently? The tissues in my mouth were that much healthier. Appropriate diet equals healthier me.

Andrea Percy, Lindsay, Ont.

CALORIE REDUCTION is a nutritional program that followers believe will cause them to live longer while remaining totally healthy throughout every year along the way. The statement by Hélène Payette of the Institute of Aging indicating that people who follow CR will suffer malnutrition for 30 or 50 years is ridiculous. As the interview with my son Michael Rae makes clear, CR practitioners are extremely concerned with packing optimal nutrition into their daily food consumption and go to great lengths to accomplish that goal. Pierrette Gaudreau of the University of Montreal makes the statement that Michael will have to “start eating again” at an advanced age. How goofy is that? He has never stopped eating. In fact, like many CR practitioners, Michael eats huge quantities of food, every meal carefully planned to be loaded with nutrition. If professor Gaudreau means to say that he will have to increase his caloric intake when he reaches an advanced age, how could this be considered a negative? Increasing his caloric intake surely beats the suffering many of his contemporaries will be enduring from diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Judith Dutton, Okotoks, Alta.

MY GREAT AUNT passed away just before Christmas at the age of 104Several other women in our town have also lived to more than 100. They did not diet. They were pioneers who lived a hard life opening up the

Prairies, and ate large robust meals but burned off the calories as part of their everyday lives. It is not Calorie Restriction, but exercise and sensible eating that are the secrets to a long, healthy life. CR disciples sound like anorexics by another name. Paul Nevakshonoff, The Pas, Manitoba

‘It’s not Calorie Restriction, but exercise and sensible eating that the secrets to a long, healthy life. CR disciples sound like anorexics.’

YOUR STORY and your interview with CR diet proponent Michael Rae neglected a major dissenting voice.

Shortly before the end of the Second World War, at the request of the U.S.

Department of Defense, nutritionist Ancel Keyes gathered a volunteer collection of male University of Minnesota undergrads to study the effects of semi-starvation. The human effects of major calorie restriction were astonishing. In addition to the expected physical effects, many previously healthy young men became suicidal, while others developed various eating disorders. Sixty years later, this seminal study is still quoted. Life-threatening eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are often directly linked with earlier restrictive diets. I shudder to think of the highrisk individuals who may now be tempted to experiment with this dangerous nutritional protocol.

Dr. Stan Litch, Eating Disorders Program, Homewood Elealth Centre, Guelph, Ont.

I PERSONALLY don’t see the point of extending your life to celebrate those few extra birthdays if you’re not even going to bother to enjoy the cake.

Shanna Meunier, Vancouver

GENTLY DOWN THE ROAD

AS A BUYER of a hybrid, I read Barbara Righton’s piece about the EPA’s new fuel efficiency ratings with interest (“Driving gets real,” Environment, Jan. 15). I would like to make a couple of points. She said “drivers have no accurate idea of their car’s real fuel consumption.” This is not true in the case of my 2007 Civic Hybrid. It gives me information on both instantaneous and “trip” fuel consumption in litres/100 km. I’ve only had the vehicle for three days, but I am starting to see how I can adjust my driv-

ing habits to reduce CO2 emissions, which I guess is the whole point. Righton also said that the Mazda 3, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla were “sensible” cars. “Zoom Zoom Zoom” doesn’t come without a price: the Mazda 3’s engine displacement is two litres compared to my hybrid’s 1.3. I’m all in favour of more accurate fuel efficiency ratings, but I just hope they will not be based on highway driving at 130 km/h. As she quoted EPA spokesman John Millet, “it bears repeating that if you drive more gently, you get better gas mileage.”

Stephen Burnside, St. Catharines, Ont.

RED TAPE REDUX

I VERY MUCH enjoyed your compilation of photos for 2006 (“The year in pictures,” Jan. l). There were so many incredible moments caught on film. I particularly liked the December full-page spread of former Liberal leaders like Jean Chrétien, John Turner and Paul Martin who, along with Stéphane Dion, were caught at the leadership convention in their natural habitat— literally drowning in red tape. You can’t pay for irony that thick.

Collin Sawatzky, Mississauga, Ont.