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Letters to the Editor

Don't risk them, texting

December 15, 2010

Dear Sir,

This letter is for the attention of the blonde lady driving the dark grey car on Front Street today at 3.15pm in busy city traffic, with two toddlers in baby seats in the back of the car.

I really think you should be thinking more about your two beautiful children rather than texting messages on your purple BlackBerry.

You are more likely to have a wonderful, safe Christmas, and so are your children and their father.

STOP THEN TEXTKENT SMITH

City of Hamilton

Surprised by wall defence

December 15, 2010

Dear Sir,

I was quite surprised to see a private construction company owner defend the use of a public construction crew on a private job. Perhaps the construction industry is not hurting as much as everyone claims.

St George's

Ps: The “what goes around, comes around” comment wasn't very constructive either.

Priorities, responsibilities

December 17, 2010

Dear Sir,

I am told that the foreign sculptures cost less than the local sculptures. Do not most things in Bermuda cost more than those from elsewhere? I expect that if we could import foreign politicians we would probably find some more talented that would cost less! But we have to settle for locals.

More than that, Blacks have voted for the PLP because it was a “black party” but those black politicians who have benefited have not always returned the compliment (or the trust). When a wealthy white women has to tell black men and women who have been elected by the black community some basics on how to address the poverty in the black community, we know that there is something wrong with the thinking and priorities of those we, as a black community, have elected.

It is not that the black politicians have not solved the economic disparity and psychic problems in the black community, it is the fact that they have not even been prepared to seriously talk about possible solutions. They seem not to have felt “any responsibility to address the racial injustices of the past” because their concern about the feelings of the white community have taken precedence over, and been of more importance to them than the problems of the black community.

I believe that even their relationship with the International companies would have been very different if, ten or 12 years ago, they had impressed on them that they were more than welcome and our infrastructure would do all that it could to accommodate them and in return we hoped that they would use some of their millions to help us create a more just society. Instead we seem to have given them the message that everyone with decision-making power, including them, have only themselves to be concerned about.

EVA N. HODGSON

Hamilton Parish

Tiger show shock

December 18, 2010

Dear Sir,

I write to express my shock at the announced plan by Sandys Rotary Club to display a captive white tiger purely for entertainment and generation of funds.

Apparently it is the stated intent to donate money raised (presumably over and above costs) to local charities and polio eradication, which in no way ameliorates this crass example of sustained cruelty to, and abuse of an individual white tiger.

If the Rotarians go ahead with staging this sad “show” a spectacle designed to give an adrenalin rush to human spectators, a short thrill or high, and a photo opportunity it certainly will demonstrate to Bermuda's youngsters an ignorant willingness to contribute to the exploitation of a magnificent, and highly endangered species, of which only about 200 remain in the wild.

This is in a league with bear-dancing of the middle ages, when bears in chains were goaded into dancing for the entertainment of those gathered in the town square....Is this really what members of the hospitality and business industry so prominent on the Committee of the Sandys Rotary Club website (www.clubrunner.ca/Portal/Home/.aspx?cid=3079) think will attract discerning, high-income visitors to Bermuda?

Several years have passed since the depressing arrival of the caged Esso tiger, placed on display for advertising purposes at the opening of the Tigermarket on Par-la-Ville Road. Then came the arrival of various animal circus acts in Bermuda, which included chained, tethered elephants kept below the flight path of aircraft between circus performances, and in the last visiting animal circus, housed in shipping containers in the heat of summer on Penno's Wharf. A bear, (which I photographed through the bars of the container, and whose groans of stress and discomfort I recorded and sent for analysis to a specialist working for C.A.P.S.) was forced during shows to ride a cycle. It rebelled and refused to continue during one of the final performances.

I was hopeful Bermuda had finally matured beyond this form of tawdry entertainment.

The committee of Sandys Rotary Club will no doubt make their case to the Department of Environmental Protection for the required animal import permit, and perhaps the DofEP will see themselves pressured into issuing documents for this poor creature, which will be subjected to long hours of extreme stress in over-land transport, followed by transfer to the cargo hold of one or more aircraft.

Sedation of the animal will bring its own risks: perhaps en route, a cardio-vascular collapse; or upon final arrival at the Bermuda International Airport, a paradoxical excitation.

And then what? How would that be managed? More injections? Who will administer and handle these controlled substances? And contingency plans in an o.o.c emergency? Who will carry the necessary firearm?... All in the name of Las Vegas-style entertainment in Bermuda!

If there is one observation I have made during a quarter of a century of veterinary practice in Hamilton, it is the close connection between domestic violence and animal abuse. In the search for the causes of the current unrest and violent behaviour in many young Bermudians, one must examine the mixed messages so-called successful adults constantly impose on them. Youngsters see through this instinctively and feel the conflict. Apart from final, explosive physical acts of anger, there are many other forms of sustained violence exhibited by human society, especially in our highly confined local society.

Caging a supremely powerful predator, irrespective of its purported provenance, depriving it of normal social contact with its own kind, transporting it long distances, and causing it to perform in ways un-natural to the species, is a sustained act of violence against this individual tiger, and in a less literally way, against this highly endangered rare wild species.

Can the Rotary Club really wish to dispatch the dramatic message to young Bermudians: this form of abusive entertainment is OK because profits will go to our selected “good causes”? Frankly, although clearly not condoning the act, a youngster who commits a breaking and entering offence, in order to help his mother pay an exorbitant Bermudian rent, stands on higher moral ground.

Very encouraging this time, however, is the SPCA's immediate and firm stand in opposing the plan and acting to inform the public of the ethical concerns.

MAUREEN WARE-CIETERS MRCVS

St David's

Did he mean parents?

December 20, 2010

Dear Sir,

Regarding Prisons Commissioner Edward Lamb telling MPs that a lack of love was to blame for turning Bermudian boys into angry young gang members, he said: “We have neglected to teach them respect, we have neglected to show them love, we have neglected to teach them discipline, we have neglected to teach them godliness, we have neglected to teach them moral values.”

Surely the Prisons Commissioner is referring to the biological parents both married and unmarried, as the case may be these days ... when he continually says “we”?

BRUCE MCCLARRONCARLOS AMARAL

Arizona

Carrot questions answered

December 19, 2010

Dear Sir,

I am writing with the hopes of shedding some light on some questions Looking for Carrots (December 7) posed about the importation of carrots.

Firstly, let me begin by touching on the carrot embargo. The carrot embargo has been in place since 1970 to prevent the accidental introduction of the Carrot Rust Fly. The larvae or maggots of this pest enter the fine rootlets of the carrot before burrowing into the main tap root, resulting in distorted misshapen carrots that would be unmarketable.

This pest is already well established in almost all European countries. It can also be found across Canada and the US, particularly in the more northern states and including parts of California. The Carrot Rust Fly is also a pest in New Zealand and Tasmania. The Carrot Rust Fly is a pest of economic importance to Bermuda and is not present here. It therefore meets the geographical and regulatory criteria that define a “quarantine pest”.

The question was posed as “... to why can we not have the cleaned, washed, sliced and 'baby' versions imported if shredded ones are acceptable”. To answer that question, only the finer shredded carrots are allowed, since the process of shredding itself would destroy any potential larvae that are in that carrot product.

As far as the statement that “carrots are available a few weeks during the year”, that is totally incorrect. There have been carrots available up until the end of October this year. Amazing, when you consider that as growers we had to deal with another dry January, unusually high and persistent gale force winds in February and then another dry spring. Our “early” carrots are planted from mid-July onwards and the Thanksgiving and Christmas crops are sown in mid-August and early September.

With constant care and attention, the crop is usually up in two weeks. This year, Hurricane Igor rolls in around the third week into the crop, and wipes out all the fields with the high, salt laden winds. As diligent as we try to be, sowing new fields prior to, and after the hurricane, we cannot make up that lost time.

From a growing standpoint, the elements are our biggest adversary without having the added stress of managing this pest if it were to be accidentally introduced.

Should you, Looking for Carrots, wish to try and grow your own, we are more than willing to offer advice on how to do so. One thing we cannot advise on is how to control Mother Nature.

For and on Behalf of the Bermuda Farmers Association

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 22, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 22, 2010 at 6:57 am)

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