Saturday's letters: Why enforce school zones when kids aren't around?

I just opened my mail and got a cash-cow surprise, which happened at 9:45 a.m., when every kid is at their desk. I got a $105 photo radar ticket for driving 40 km/h in a 30-km/h school zone.

I have written to the city about this ridiculous speed. A flashing light that was previously on the street worked well and only flashed when the kids were out and about. Since the city has done away with the flashing light, many innocent drivers have gotten unnecessary tickets.

We do not need to drive 30 km/h when the kids are in their desks. I taught school for 50-plus years in Edmonton and know of no casualties because of speed.

Helen Gabert, Edmonton

If it moos like a cash cow, it is one

Revenues up to $52 million from $16 million in 2011? Is it just me, or was photo radar supposed to bring down the amount of speeding?

These numbers mean we have five times the speeders. Oh, but it’s not a cash cow. Did I mention the city secretly dropped the tolerance for speeding another five km/h and then ramped up deployment of units to make $52 million.

I’m not sure what other proof the NDP government needs to prove it is a cash cow. Six other provinces don’t have photo radar, and our roads are no safer than theirs. 

If anything, photo radar makes drivers drive under the speed limit to avoid staring at their speedometers worrying about getting a ticket, frustrating everyone else on the road.

D.W. Stolk, St. Albert

Homeowners can’t afford this council

Here’s to the last year with a city council that does not have the foggiest idea on how to contain their spending.

For those of you who just received your 2017 property tax notice, do take a look at what you paid last year compared to this bill. If you are like me, and I reside in an older home constructed in the 1950s, my assessment (the value) went up by a measly .006 per cent while my tax bill increased by 7.34 per cent.

I’m a senior and I believe we need to seriously replace most of council before they force us all out of our homes because we can no longer afford these kinds of tax increases.

Patrick McKenna, Edmonton

Helping select people still rates as altruism

The letters decrying the results of the Angus Reid poll on religious faith and altruism show that for the anti-religious, there is no nit too small to pick. The letter writers claim that altruism is somehow diminished if donors give to those who are at all similar to them, who live nearby or have similar beliefs.

According to the writers, the only altruism that matters is that directed to those diametrically different from the donor. Do the writers apply this ridiculous standard to their own charitable giving?  Have they always opened their houses’ doors to any and all strangers, especially those of different political leanings?

Or do they only invoke such an absurd, unworkable concept because doing so provides the opportunity to criticize religious peoples’ charitable acts?

Gene Hochachka, Edmonton

Traditional teaching not necessarily the best

Re. “Social studies revamp threatens to turn any grasp of history into a thing of the past,” David Staples, May 24

The views David Staples incessantly propagates on education (i.e. the disproportionate importance he believes should be placed on standardized testing as well as traditional teaching practices) makes me think he is not consulting current educational research. 

Most importantly is his belief that he has all the answers. His use of language such as “educational travesty” as well as “the new social studies curriculum is shaping up to fail spectacularly” is worrisome.

The result of having a broad audience is that he has a great responsibility to inform readers of a variety of perspectives. This is not a platform for him to transmit often primitive ideas on education. 

With regards to math, social studies and standardized testing, please remember that you would not want a physician operating on you using the preferred techniques of 25 years ago. 

Dan Jackson, Edmonton

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Source: EDMONTON