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Born in the U.S.A.?
Re Bianca Andreescu’s Crazy Ride Keeps On Rolling As She Reaches The U.S. Open Final (Online, Sept. 6): Bianca Andreescu is advancing to the U.S. Open final not because she “is an American” in her attitude to winning, as suggested by columnist Cathal Kelly. Winning is not a uniquely American trait, and in itself does not guarantee victory.
Did Serena Williams win after her major meltdown at last year’s U.S. Open? No. Are Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, plus other top European players that have their share of drama on the court, American? No.
Raw talent is needed, obviously, but also money for the programs that spot and nurture tennis talent. The United States has a much bigger population from which to find those with unique athletic abilities, and historically has poured much more money into the development of young players into future champions.
Canada has started to do the same, and we are seeing the results. Go Andreescu!
Jennet Sandler Toronto
Canadian golfer Brooke Henderson is cited as an example by Cathal Kelly of someone who shows that "it is okay to both be good at sports and occasionally win at sports.” I’m sure Bianca Andreescu believes, like Tiger Woods in his prime, that she will win every match that she plays. I expect that Brooke Henderson believes the same thing; the difference is that she doesn’t talk about it.
I encourage my daughter to have the passion and confidence of Ms. Andreescu with the grace and humility of Ms. Henderson. Perhaps that’s a more appropriate persona for Canadian athletes to aspire to.
Kirk Layton Oakville, Ont.
Re Making The World Barrier-free? There’s An App For That (Sept. 3): Maayan Ziv’s AccessNow app is an important contribution to accessibility around the world. Take, for instance, my mother, who has been in a wheelchair for 16 years. Through her eyes, I have seen how inaccessible Toronto really is.
I attended a condo board meeting with my mother a few years ago. She was upset that the wheelchair lift had been out of service for months and raised this issue in a somewhat irate manner. The general annoyance that I witnessed on her neighbours’ faces was shocking. Someone had the audacity to say that the issue applied to only two people in the building, and could she make her point quickly.
Maybe we also need an app for empathy and understanding before the world can become truly accessible.
Zaiba Mian Toronto
Do buy it
Re Don’t Buy It (Opinion, Aug. 31): The direct selling industry in Canada, including companies who use a multilevel sales model, has a proud history of delivering excellent products to consumers, while providing economic opportunity for independent sales consultants. Canada’s system of regulating direct sales provides strong protection to these customers and consultants.
The Direct Sellers Association, which advocates on behalf of the leading companies in this channel, works closely with the Competition Bureau to ensure that the Canadian industry remains the envy of the world in terms of fairness, transparency and integrity. Furthermore, DSA member companies commit to a self-regulated code of ethics. This code is overseen by independent legal professionals, who have the ability to mediate issues received from consumers and consultants, and to enforce resolutions and remedies.
DSA’s member companies work diligently to help participants succeed, and it is in their best interests to promote personal success. For consultants, the barriers to starting their own business are minimal compared to other entrepreneurial opportunities, and it is easy to exit if it’s not for them.
Direct selling is focused on promoting realistic opportunity and serving consumers. More than anyone, we endorse the adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Peter Maddox President, Direct Sellers Association of Canada; Toronto
Pay up, kid
Re Putting Life Back Into City Streets (Editorial, Sept. 3): At the root of the editorial is the premise that so often the handiest play space for kids is their street. I agree, and if so, they should be safe. But in some communities there are other lost scenarios.
Here in our Ottawa East neighbourhood, the alternative was a local school. The sports field at Immaculata High School was perennially open to the community after school, on weekends and holidays and during the summer. But last year, the rights outside of school hours were sold off for 21 years, without community consultations. Kids now look through fences and locked gates at a pay-for-play private venture, wondering what happened to their playground.
We now have four on-street basketball nets on a two-block stretch. Gone are the free-spirited impromptu games and kids running on school grass.
I suppose we should be thankful we at least have streets, because sometimes simpler options are taken away.
M. R. (Mitch) Vlad Ottawa
The humanity behind the drugs
Re Memento: More Than 10,000 People Have Died From Drug Overdoses In Canada In Recent Years. But My Dad Was More Than A Number (Opinion, Aug. 31): Too often we put drug users in a box, but Jackie Dives speaks life into her deeply flawed and deeply loved father.
In Canada, there are many among us who we judge, who we turn away from. By courageously looking at the complexity of her father and many others, Ms. Dives takes us on a journey into the darkness and lightness of each of us. Daring to look into the eyes of an addict and seeing the humanity within him or her takes us into the depths of our own humanity.
Let us remember everyone who is neglected and forgotten.
Susan Kohlhepp Toronto
Memories of St. Lawrence
Re When ‘Industrial Carnage’ Came To St. Lawrence (Opinion, Aug. 31): Linden MacIntyre’s article brought back memories for me. Seventy-six years ago, I was a crew member on board a small freighter in St. Lawrence, Nfld.
Our ship was taking on a load of fluorspar from the local mine. The mineral, used in the production of aluminum, was trucked to our jetty from the mine, and loaded by conveyor belt into the ship’s hold. This procedure took several days, so crew members were invited to visit the mine, which I did.
And a year earlier in 1942, two U.S. warships were driven aground and wrecked in a vicious winter snowstorm within a few miles of the mine. The miners and local residents quickly began rescue operations. Of the 389 sailors on board the two ships, 203 died and 186 were rescued, with most of them taken to the mine for refuge. In 1954, the U.S. government presented a fully equipped hospital to the village in gratitude.
LCdr. (Ret’d) Jim Williamson Victoria
As a valued letter writer…
Re Correcting Dangling Modifiers Is Worth Going To War Over (Online, Sept. 1): I am exasperated by requests for donations that come in the mail beginning: “Dear Ms. Miller, as a valued donor to our organization, I am writing to ask you…” I wonder which of us is the valued donor, the writer of the request or I? And don’t get me started on begging the question.
Ruth Miller Toronto
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