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Letters to the Editor: SUV is a necessity, not a luxury

February 22, 2011

Dear Sir,

I would like to respond to the letter submitted by “SUVs Should RIP” in today's

Gazette (February 22, 2011). RIP, I find your letter to be as ignorant as it is offensive. Clearly you have no idea why some people need to use an SUV or minivan. To some, it is a necessity, not a luxury, as you describe it. I can say this with certainty because my husband is in a wheelchair. For ten years, his family was using a Dodge Grand Caravan as his means of transportation. A large car, yes, but it allowed him to wheel into the car easily and have his chair strapped in without the inconvenience and discomfort of transferring out of the wheelchair into a regular car seat.

We have experienced first hand what it's like trying to help a person from their wheelchair into a regular car, when that person cannot walk; believe me, it is not an easy exercise; it is painful and difficult for a person in my husband's position. Many regular sized car trunks cannot accommodate a wheelchair, and not all wheelchairs have the capacity to be folded up. I would argue that bad driving in general (which I witness daily) is the real problem in Bermuda, not the SUVs. Too many people do not take their time, or look where they are going. That includes people who are not in an SUV, too.

You ask why is it necessary to have these SUVs here? Because our Government has not seen fit to provide a means for disabled persons to get around. There is no paratransit system in place here, other than Project Action for seniors. It was promised long ago, yet it never materialised. Millions of dollars were spent on “wheelchair” buses, yet people in wheelchairs cannot ride those buses (in fact, they have been forbidden to, according to one individual who wrote in to this paper, not long ago.)

Last year, we were fortunate enough to get an SUV that is actually equipped to allow my husband to drive the car himself, instead of having to depend on a family member to drive him anywhere he needs to go (imagine if you yourself were in that position). He worked hard to get his license; he is now an excellent driver. But of course you are ignorant of the fact that some SUVs are PC vehicles (which means that they used for disabled persons.)

I guess you also feel that disabled people do not have the right to be transported anywhere in Bermuda. By calling for SUVs to be banned, that is essentially what you are doing taking away their only means of independence and transportation. That is just selfish and insensitive. Why should Government ban SUVs because people like you simply don't like it? My advice is: get over it.

PROUD OWNER OF AN SUV

City of Hamilton

UBP must address race

February 28, 2011

Dear Sir,

I was rather impressed with the response to the budget by the Shadow Minister of Finance. I even agreed with much that he had to say. However, the majority of Bermudians seem to have decided that they are not interested in any prosperity that might follow a UBP Government, as long as they are not prepared to address the economic racial disparity that they so carefully maintained when they governed. This majority has seen a prosperous Bermuda before which ensured that only the minority Community really prospered while the majority had to be satisfied with the “leftovers” or whatever happened to “trickle down” even though the PLP has chosen not to adopt an Affirmative Action policy, and seems not to know how to create employment for the increasing number of unemployed, as the Government did during the 1929 depression.

EVA N. HODGSONMURIEL M. WADE-SMITH, PhD

Hamilton Parish

Why name grandmother?

February 24, 2011

Dear Sir,

“In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6

On the front page of the February 23 edition of The Royal Gazette, in the article entitled, “Man spoke of gang as he assaulted female cousin”, reference is made about Chantice Butterfield being the grand-daughter of Cabinet Minister Neletha Butterfield. On Page 3, there is a picture of Minister Butterfield and her grand-daughter when they were involved in a fire. Personally, I do not know why you have to mention that these children are the grand-children of Cabinet Minister Neletha Butterfield. Grandparents are not responsible for the behaviour of their grandchildren. Where are the parents? When they become 16 and over, they make their own choices. I am sure Minister Butterfield has done her part as a grandmother. In this day and age, I find that many grandparents go beyond the call of duty and are compelled to be involved with their grandchildren to provide love and stability. I believe the above proverb is one that Minister Butterfield has always used to guide her grand-children.

Smith's

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Published March 10, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated March 10, 2011 at 9:19 am)

Letters to the Editor: SUV is a necessity, not a luxury

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