LETTERS to the Editor: Blethering Place, Israeli apartheid, Estevan parking, Runnymede home

Re: Effort to seek facts applauded (Our View, Jan. 28)

Your editorial talks about making decisions based on “sound science” and refers to an article on page A23 entitled “Citizens advocate for science-based politics” which talks about employing only  “… credible medical evidence …” when making political and policy decisions.

On the surface, to be against such a concept is to be against mom and apple pie. But can we trust the “sound science” and the “credible medical evidence?”

Some years ago, medical journal The Lancet published peer-reviewed research as credible medical evidence that the MMR Vaccine was a probable cause of infant autism. The Lancet has now discredited that research and is claiming it to be fraudulent.

Last year a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of the American Medical Association [(JAMA) 303(20): 2058-64] found that more than 40 percent of the top, peer-reviewed scientific papers published in the most respected medical journals misrepresented the actual findings of the research.

Perhaps you would write an editorial informing us of when to trust peer-reviewed “sound science” and “credible medical evidence” and when we should disregard it.

John MacRae

Oak Bay

Longtime restaurant

promoted community

While much has been said about the Blethering Place and its contributions to the Oak Bay community these past 35 years, I would like to lift up the role it has played in providing a social venue for people of all ages to gather and celebrate important family occasions.

Affordable and friendly, this restaurant was an establishment where families with young children and/or aging seniors knew they would be welcomed warmly and served graciously.

But nothing is forever. A new bistro will open soon in its place. Will it be a place where all the generations of Oak Bay can gather and mark life’s special moments together? Or will it cater to the needs of a niche market with deep pockets and few loyalties?

Time will tell, but hats off to Ken Agate and all that he has done to promote family and community life in our municipality. If we believe that our community is stronger if all the generations can live, work and play together, then let’s support businesses that enhance those family values and encourage diverse participation.

Susan Draper

Oak Bay

Jewish settlements pale next to other atrocities

In response to Terri Hunter’s impassioned defence of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (Letters, Jan. 12), she offers the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, Presbyterian and Methodist churches, Jimmy Carter, etc. as proof of Israel’s misdeeds, and as justification for the CAIA’s activities.

I, as a Liberal Jew, have to wonder why the Jewish ‘settlements’ in the West Bank and Jerusalem are so inflammatory to the CAIA, particularly in this world where the murder of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of innocent people in countries such as China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan, to mention a few that come readily to mind, seem to pass without raising much outcry.

Are Terri Hunter and cohorts picketing stores that sell Chinese goods? Are they equally incensed with Lebanon’s treatment of Palestinians where they are herded into camps, their movements severely restricted and they are prevented from entering into the Lebanese work force and general society?

To me the CAIA’s focus on Israel’s putative transgressions is more of the “Zionism is Racism” rhetoric and is at root sanctimonious hypocrisy and thinly disguised anti-Semitism, as was the UN’s Zionism is Racism vote. The names change but all else is the same.

Stan Fisher

Oak Bay

Commercial impact

should be considered

Re: Village boom bane for residents (News, Jan. 26)

I was taken aback by Mayor Causton’s remarks in Vivian Moreau’s article: “Those signs (residential parking only) are all around Victoria and I hate them.”

Certainly the interests of residents in what is essentially a residential area of the city should be considered when the impacts of commercial activities are identified. It is the city’s elected government, after all, which makes the rules that permit commercial activities and while residents don’t own the streets, they do help pay for them.

Irene Robertson

Oak Bay

Letter writer ignores

important detail

Re: Committee ignorant of proposal details (Letters, Jan. 26)

Donald Sher either doesn’t know or chooses not to mention the important fact about the developers applying for sub-division of the heritage house and garden at 2031 Runnymede Ave.

While Sher claims they have a history of creating or enhancing gardens and homes in Oak Bay, they are responsible for building what has been described as the greatest eyesore in Oak Bay, if not Victoria, namely a bunker-like monstrosity at 285 King George Cres.

Ewa and Alan Lupin

Oak Bay