Letter: Flood plan comes at what cost?

Gravel pit concerns

In 2013, Red Deer County, with benefit of a full application, denied the 122-acre gravel pit on the same location stating from Red Deer County Minutes reads “Reasons: The proposed discretionary use for Aggregate Removal would negatively affect the quality of life for the area residents; have a negative effect on water quality relative to human consumption, the habitat and the river; and the impact on the air quality would have a negative effect on residents, crops and animals.”

Upon the gravel applicant appealing the decision a city/county Subdivision and Appeal Board upheld the council decision stating, “The Board finds the proposed use of the subject lands for Aggregate Removal, and the design, character, and appearance of o the proposed pit operation are not compatible with the adjacent existing residential and agricultural uses due to the commercial, industrial nature of this proposed development and the nuisances it would create, specifically dust and noise from the extraction, processing and hauling the aggregate.”

What changed in the application that offered no details other than Howell’s desire to excavate the good agricultural land and leave approximately 44 acres of pit scar lake? The bewildering decision to strip and excavate the Flood Plain and Alluvial Aquifer of three erodible major rivers was not unanimous. Councillors Bota, Moore and Mayor Wood said they wanted to read the submissions of the directly affected residents. Removing the aggregate that holds the water removes for all time the reservoir capability to replenish that volume of stored water to the Red Deer River. End pit ponds make easy new flood pathways as has been proven over and over in this area. Range Road 20 continued replacement plus three property buy outs and more. Private profit comes at what compounding cost to existing families and taxpayers?

Dale Christian, Red Deer County

do not be silent

I was surprised at the position taken by some school boards to initiate a direction that students not be permitted to even discuss 13 Reasons Why within their schools. Suicide is a sensitive topic to discuss, but to silence a demographic within the school system, where suicide is one of the leading causes of death amongst its age group, is perilous and not well thought out.

We can debate the necessity of the graphic nature of the suicide depicted in the series finale. We can debate the merit of the exposed and non exposed character flaws of the respective characters. And we can debate the issue of who is to blame in this modern day Shakespearean tragedy. That, I suspect, was the point and the intention of the show – to open up a dialogue on bullying and suicide.

Despite the controversy surrounding the series, it initiated a much needed dialogue about this very important topic and one that no one likes to discuss. But it has to be. The school authorities that wanted to shut down any discussion are simply wrong. We can not turn a blind eye to suicide. We can not be silent.

It needs to be discussed.

I volunteered on the suicide crisis line in this city under the Alternate Futures Society banner many years ago and followed up that experience with board involvement in Fort McMurray with Some Other Solutions for nine years.

Never was silence a preferred option or strategy. I’m encouraged by the proactive involvement of the Centre for Suicide Prevention who have devised a lesson plan to assist health and life skills teachers to deal specifically with suicide through the use of Jay Asher’s novel. To all your readers, I would encourage them to contact their local suicide prevention agencies and inquire about the program and how they can have it implemented in their schools.

Stafford T. Gorsalitz, Red Deer

Re: dentist takes fight to court

In the 1840s dentists were fighting over the use of gold verses silver-mercury fillings. Even today arguments over dental topics are as heated as political disagreements and dentist friends/colleagues can easily become enemies for life.

My battle has raged since 2005 when I began advertising a new brand of orthodontic treatment that I felt could often be an excellent alternative to porcelain veneer makeovers. Years later the treatment option I introduced locally is commonplace – 75% of these specialists may be ‘caught’ advertising something similar. Even ‘cosmetic dentists’ are now straightening teeth prior to placing veneers to reduce the drilling away of health enamel.

Just because something is now common doesn’t mean the rules keep up with the times. The Alberta dental authority non-dentist lawyers used the fears of several competitors (one filed an 87-page complaint) and the fire of a disgruntled former associate’s complaint to make something out of nothing. Words.

The authority knew about a dangerous fad of extreme over-treatment in the name of cosmetic dentistry, which was particularly common in this province. There was a business connection between the Alberta dental authority and the dental lab that promoted dentist-training programs that pushed porcelain work. Could this be considered a serious breach of the public trust? By writing a book exposing the problem I was targeted for punishment. CBC Marketplace and ABC’s 20/20 purchased my book and it inspired several television investigations – one that is ongoing. Words can make a difference.

I appreciate the support of patients who understand the true nature of this dispute. Health professionals need to be able to openly criticize authorities when they fail to perform their duties and should speak out when concerns are hidden from the public. This is going to be a battle, and if I lose there will be fewer words.

Michael Zuk, DDS, Red Deer

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