Letters – Our readers write: Summer 2013

Comments from local engaged readers.

June 17, 2013 | | Back Issues | Departments | Letters, Our Readers Write | Summer 2013

Food & Water First

The Armstrong Family

Clockwise from left: Kate Martin with Derek (at six weeks), Steve Martin, Mike Watson, Peter Watson (5), Nicholas Watson (1o), Ralph Armstrong, Mary Lynne Armstrong, Anna Armstrong, Margaret Armstrong, Sarah Watson. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Another well composed piece by Tim Shuff (“The Battle Shifts Gear,” spring ’13), obviously the result of considerable and long reflection. Quite a bit of research too. Informative, convincing and beautiful prose. So when’s the book coming out? This is the greatest David and Goliath story I’ve encountered in quite some time.
Carl Michener, Alliston

We thank you for highlighting the mega quarry issue in your spring magazine. In The Hills has played an important part in helping stop the mega quarry – for the moment! Also, thank you for including our family, especially the most beautiful picture!
Ralph and Mary Lynne Armstrong and family, Melancthon

Tim Shuff’s well documented piece on the battle of “corporation versus the people” was balanced, informative and clearly not over. The silent majority are finally speaking up and taking a stand. It’s “Food and Water First” – since somebody has to speak up for Mother Nature, we are “Idle No More.”
Susan Worts, Toronto

To the Ontario Sand, Stone & Gravel Association and the provincial government: If, in the words of Moreen Miller of the OSSGA, “There is definitely a supply shortage coming. There’s no question,” then while you are changing the legislation to put Food and Water First, change the legislation so what aggregate you mine in Ontario stays in Ontario. That should help your supposed supply crunch. And OSSGA, prove your supply crunch statement. Get a website up showing all active pits in Ontario and how many tonnes each mines every year. And while you are at it, add to that website all the unrehabilitated pits that are out there.
Ken Phillips, Melancthon

In the article “The Battle Shifts Gear” (spring ’13), the author intimated that an Ontario government change in policy caused termination of The Highland Companies’ gravel pit.

As I recall, the company decided not to continue with its aggregate mining plan because public opinion was against it. Liberal government policy has not changed. Yet the Town of Caledon is riddled with gravel pit “lakes” because legislation allows pit owners to leave behind unreconstituted holes in the ground if they penetrate the water table. Notwithstanding Highland’s protests in that regard, they would have been legally able to leave a permanent lake in Melancthon Township.

Just by the way, if a million tons of aggregate per annum are moved from a pit to Toronto high-rises, where is the replacement fill and (especially) topsoil to come from?
Charles Hooker, East Garafraxa

Woodland Beauties

The red trillium | The nodding trillium | The painted trillium

The red trillium | The nodding trillium | The painted trillium. Photo by Robert McCaw.

Re: “Spring’s Wild Beauties” (spring ’13): A Palgrave Forest walk yesterday (April 28) revealed a rich panoply of newly blooming early spring flowers at a later-than-usual date – hepatica, spring beauty, blue cohosh, bloodroot, and coltsfoot in flower, and trout lily and white trillium with flower buds. Marvellous colour after a drab early spring.
Ian Anderson, Cedar Mills

The red trillium is one of my favourite spring flowers, but I never grow tired of the trout lily. Another beauty that I enjoy is the marsh marigold, which splashes bright yellow on riverbanks and marshes.
Doug Colter, Brampton

Chicken farmers

Loved Dan Needles’ column, “Chicken for Dinner.” I would like to give a little insight into Ontario chicken farmers. Every chicken farm in Ontario is owned and operated by independent families. Canada has a quota supply management. This means that chicken farmers control the amount of chicken being produced in Ontario. If this system ceases to exist there would be no quality control and every independent chicken farm would go bankrupt.

Ontario chicken farmers are considered the cleanest in the world. Hormones of any kind were banned in Canada in 1978. Supply management also keeps the cost of chicken low. You pay more for chicken in the U.S. and they use hormones in the feed. It takes six to eight weeks to grow a bird in Canada and three to six weeks in the U.S. Big corporations like Tyson own most of the farms in the U.S. and they hire farm managers.

I am very proud of the fact that I have been an Ontario chicken farmer for over 20 years.
Sonya Vannetten, past Ontario chicken farmer

Dances with coyotes

If you encounter a coyote, Coyote Watch Canada advises following five steps: stop; stand still; shout, wave arms and throw something; back away slowly; share the experience – others may learn from it. Photo by Robert McCaw.

If you encounter a coyote, Coyote Watch Canada advises following five steps: stop; stand still; shout, wave arms and throw something; back away slowly; share the experience – others may learn from it. Photo by Robert McCaw.

It is good to see the coyote story from a non-headline viewpoint (“Dances with Coyotes,” spring ’13). I, too, have seen coyotes out our way, and have never had them approach me, even though I normally walk alone. My experience is that they are very wary indeed of humans. We hear them at night as well, and it sounds as though there are a lot of them around our place (100 miles or so east of Toronto).

It seems to me that it is more the coyotes than the humans who are the victims in the current situation. We have ruined their environment in North America, and now that they are forced into contact with us, against their natural instincts, we want to kill them off to protect ourselves.

I know that if I were a sheep farmer, I could not afford to see this larger historical picture, but this picture is true nonetheless. No matter how we proceed in dealing with the presence of these animals in our lives, we must keep this historical view in mind, and be fair to these creatures of (slightly) less intelligence than ourselves.

Many thanks for the article. I only wish it would make the national news, as do all the fear-creating stories we see and hear in commercial media.
Brian Naulls, Grafton

Thank you for this informative and well-balanced article. It is frustrating and tiresome to read so many negative opinions about the inaccurately and unfairly maligned coyote. It is stunning that so many people actually choose to live in ignorance and to perpetuate fear among others. I’ll be happy to pass this article along in hopes it would instill understanding and compassion for coyotes in those who have not yet fallen prey to misinformation about this amazing animal.
Gail Clark, Northeastern U.S.

Thank you for celebrating the magnificent coyote in such a kind and compassionate way. Having spent so many years dispelling the “myth information” about our native Song Dogs, I do thank you for a brilliant, refreshingly balanced and uplifting article. To truly know these creatures in all of their mystery, intelligence and beauty, one just has to be open to the possibilities of inspiration, devotion and perseverance…in the likeness of Coyote. Cheers!
Lesley Sampson, co-founder Coyote Watch Canada

What an enlightening article! We have 128 acres with a horse facility and hear coyotes more than we see them. I now have a much better appreciation and understanding of how they benefit the ecosystem, which is so important to the balance of everything.

Well done and thank you.
Rosemary Mesley, Glen Huron

Happy birthday!

Congratulations to In The Hills on your 20th anniversary. We at the Dufferin Arts Council, who have already entered our second generation (year one), are delighted to welcome such younger but well respected organizations as In The Hills, Dufferin County Museum and Archives, and Theatre Orangeville to the ranks of those who survived the first 20 years. We quite like being in our second generation. We are sure you will too.
Harvey Kolodny, President, Dufferin Arts Council

Having known you since your very early days with the magazine, I want to congratulate you on consistently excellent magazine journalism that has also evolved over the years. You have been an inspiration to others and the magazine remains one to emulate in our own way.
Gloria Hildebrandt, Editor & Co-publisher, Niagara Escarpment View

Congratulations! My wife, Luella, just burst through the door and in a loud voice exclaimed, “Wow, look at this!” thrusting an extremely healthy copy of In The Hills into my hands. Now then, having invested many years with Weekend Magazine and The Globe and Mail, I fully appreciate your 20 years accomplishment!

In The Hills makes a refreshing read – full of information and delightful “goodies.” Wishing you many more successes.
Jim Thomson, Mono
P.S. Becoming enthused all over again as I reopen the copy.

I have just finished reading your recent edition of In The Hills and want to send my best wishes and a big thank you for your marvelous magazine! To you and all your writers and staff – it is a joy to receive each and every season’s treasury of articles and stories about this wonderful part of the world and the people in it, today and in history. Congratulations and may you continue the initiative for many more years.

It’s hard to believe that these 20 years have flown by so quickly. Thank you for your dedication and brilliance in making the In The Hills so special and significant to all of your readers. Each issue is a keepsake for sure! Happy 20th!
Carol Seglins, Caledon

I want to add my congratulations for the wonderful efforts associated with In The Hills. I know it is a labour of love. It really is a remarkable, beautiful publication. Thank you and all the best for 20-plus years more!
Joe Grogan, Caledon

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