I read the article about parents collecting dirty needles in a park, rather than waiting two days for the city to do so. As an infectious disease specialist (and father of three daughters), I was concerned by the comments of the VCH spokesperson minimizing the risk of exposure to discarded needles. I would agree that the risk of HIV transmission is negligible.
However, there is a significant risk of transmission of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or even tetanus, not to mention the higher risk of bacterial infections of the skin and deeper tissues. Any child who sustains a needle stick injury from a discarded needle should be assessed immediately to determine the risk the injury carries and to review their immunization status of hepatitis B and tetanus. Discarded needles and injection equipment constitute a significant health hazard (especially to children) and must be removed with haste.
Brian Conway MD, FRCPC, President & Medical Director, Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre
Housing report alarming
The article regarding the report from Vancouver City Council, with Mayor Kennedy Stewart at the helm is alarming. It appears Stewart is in favour of leading Vancouver in the direction of the misery that we recently saw occurring in Burnaby’s Metrotown area. Hundreds of long-term residents, seniors, and low-income families were displaced in the name of densification. Stewart was a Burnaby resident at that time, and he maintained a deaf ear to the issue.
The destruction of older, affordable two- and three-storey apartments and replacements with new, unaffordable units is senseless and should not be viewed as a positive. The mayor and council should focus on the residents of Vancouver by improving the services, amenities and livability of the region.
We should question whose agenda the mayor and the Vision leftovers in city planning are attempting to further.
Glen Pederson, Vancouver
There are other options for bottle return
Too much work? Having to sort them? Wasting valuable time at the dropoff?
If you have beer cans, wine or liquor bottles, I presume you purchased the products at a BC Liquor outlet, or the equivalent. If you have pop cans, juice bottles, I presume you bought the products at a grocery store. In either case, I would also assume that you would return them to these venders for more supplies.
Both establishments will accept your empties. Whether it is a pittance to you, it is all a part of cleaning up our environment by reusing glass, metals and plastics.
If this is still too much of a chore, put your empties in a bin, a very poor chap will bless you.
J.M Reimann, Vancouver
Bullies have many faces
As a survivor of a lifetime of bullying in school from teachers and students and in workplaces where co-workers, supervisors and managers all took their turns abusing me and other victims, I can relate to student athletes who were pushed over the edge by coaches who are credited with having been so wonderful to some, while destroying others along the way.
While I’m not a witness to the alleged bullying and abuse associated with coach Barney Williams, I can certainly say that so many bullies have two or more faces for everyone they associate with. They can be great actors and they can be predators trying to find their ideal victims. I’ve grown sick and tired of hearing how wonderful or nice a bullying boss or teacher was from those who defend their successes but never had to endure the abuse that affected so many others.
Even my half sister, who retired two years ago after a 28-year career with the FBI and had a Phd in forensic psychology, shared with me how “the monsters who walk among us hide behind a smile and charm that can impress anyone.” I’ve never been impressed with award-winning champions who earned their success while leaving so many casualties along the way as bullies and predators do.
Leslie Benisz, Vancouver
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