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Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby speaks to reporters during a news conference in New York, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby speaks to reporters during a news conference in New York, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

What readers think

Sept. 17: Hockey highs and lows, and other letters to the editor Add to ...

Puck drop

How ironic that we are reading about the 1972 Summit Series (Game Changer: Canada’s Trial On Ice – Focus, Sept. 15) on the same day as What? No Hockey? That’s The Best Thing To Happen To Canadians Since ... – Sports, Sept. 15. I’m living that irony, as the memories flood in, in spite of my lack of interest in NHL hockey.

We arrived in Moscow about three weeks before the Summit, as my father assumed his post at the Canadian embassy.

We wore red and white Canada jackets at all times. At the first Moscow game I was interviewed by the CBC, a result, I am sure, of our almost hysterical support of our team. My brother and I watched the final game at home, our parents at the arena. As the puck went in the Soviet goal, the signal was cut off. We had to wait for our parents to come home to be sure we had won. The intensity of the Summit stays with me; the Canadians who played are my heroes still.

The Summit taught me that even if states can’t get along, people can. The experience shared with Russia’s people showed us we always have common ground that makes life richer for all. That’s the beauty of sport.

Ann Peel, Toronto


Eric Duhatschek’s story (With Players Officially Locked Out, Where Does NHL Go From Here? – Online, Sept. 16) discusses the inability of the NHL owners and players to “divide the spoils of an industry that produced a record $3.3-billion in revenue last year.” The whole thing reminds me of an old Ukrainian saying: it’s better to lose a fortune with a wise man than find one with a fool.

Peter Gardiner, Toronto


Now that the NHL lockout is official, I assume that Prime Minister Harper will waste no time in passing legislation to order this “essential service” back to work.

David Bright, St. Catharines, Ont.


Asbestos ‘hypocrisy’

So the federal Industry Minister says it would be “illogical” to oppose the inclusion of asbestos on a global list of hazardous substances, now that, according to him, Quebec plans to prohibit asbestos mining in the province (Canada To Cease Defending Asbestos Mining – Sept. 14).

Flipping this around, it would seem the only reason the federal government spent years saying asbestos is safe was that Quebec allowed it to be mined.

The hypocrisy and lack of principle simply take my breath away.

Geoff Noxon, Ottawa


Up in arms

As we contemplate the appalling response of jihadist groups across the Middle East to the video made by an ex-convict in California (U.S. Braces As Protests Spread – Sept. 14), we should be thinking of the likely effect on international relations of a bombing attack on Iran, currently being urged on Israel and the U.S. by influential voices.

The picture would present itself of two non-Islamic nations, with an arsenal of nuclear weapons, attacking an Islamic state that might be on its way to getting one. Since Iran’s nuclear facilities are dispersed and buried, the bombing would have to be widespread. There would be civilian casualties. The Iranian nuclear program would be delayed, but thereafter strongly reinforced by Iran as a protection against future attacks.

This delay would be dearly purchased, as recent events should remind us. The effect would be to poison relations with the Muslim world for decades.

John Polanyi, Toronto


Faith, anti-bullying

I was heartened to read Lorna Dueck’s column (Religious Values, Not Web Charity – Sept. 14) highlighting the need to incorporate spiritual values in anti-bullying strategies.

Compassion and wisdom are found in all faiths, provided we take the time to explore. While it is a delicate balance for an institution that is at its core neutral on religion, to ignore this heritage would do a disservice to our young people. Why not mine faith for all it can do to steer students toward embracing – not just tolerating – their peers’ differences?

Bill 13 is an important step toward creating welcoming spaces for all; faith communities should be a part of its success.

Amira Elghawaby, Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations


Iron’s hard truths

In considering the impact of iron deficiency on our athletes (Triathlon Canada To Investigate Why Findlay’s Anemia Went Undetected – Sept. 13), it is important to note that iron is important not only for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the muscles, but also for the muscle protein myoglobin.

Myoglobin is an iron-containing compound with a much shorter half-life than hemoglobin, and so is depleted earlier in the course of iron deficiency. Thus fatigue from iron deficiency may occur before the patient becomes anemic, due to lack of myoglobin in the muscle.

This makes it even more important that athletes not be sent into competition iron deficient. Given that iron deficiency is common in women in the reproductive years, it should be sought and treated.

Gwendoline Spurll, hematologist, Montreal


Snow therapy

I am sure the bullied bus monitor was impotent in her attempt to deal with the bullies (A Reward’s Rationale – Sept. 14). I was reminded of an incident that occurred on my school bus in the 1960s. A student who had been acting up refused to listen to our driver, Charlie.

Charlie simply pulled the bus to the side of the road, grabbed the kid’s hat, exited the bus, filled it with snow, re-entered the bus and pulled it down over the unruly kid’s head. The student settled right down and we all had a pleasant ride the rest of the way home.

M. Hunt, Toronto


Dear Pete …

Man, did I ever relate to Sofi Papamarko’s teen romance with Conan O’Brien (My Late-night Lesson In Love – Facts & Arguments, Sept. 14).

In 1982, when I was 12, I fell madly in love with Pete Townshend of The Who. I spent months trying to get an address for him and finally struck gold. My aching adolescent self sent off scads of horribly embarrassing personal letters.

One day, I received an autographed photo. But my stubborn persistence was eventually rewarded with four letters in return (one with teeth marks clear through from our family dog grabbing the mail). True, the letters were obviously typed by an assistant, but had been added to by Pete’s handwriting, too.

Still have the letters (of course!), although the obsession faded over the years. So far, Pete’s never taken me up on the offer to crash at my place any time he’s in town, but the offer still stands.

Tuula Talvila, Ottawa

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