Here at the IWK, we really enjoyed reading your article about local clowns who have helped to bring much joy to our community ("Clown town," Feature by Beth Brown, November 14). We couldn't agree more about the healing power and therapeutic benefit of clowning---the art of clowning offers great opportunity for some meaningful connections.
We do believe, however, that you missed one very important and dedicated clown---Buddington, arguably the region's expert in the healing power of clowning! Buddington is the IWK's very own therapeutic clown. As a member of the Child Life team, he uses play, magic and humour to assist children, youth and their families to cope with potential stress associated with illness, injury and health care experiences. Buddington offers children, youth, families and staff the opportunity to play and laugh in a manner that is gentle, inclusive and sensitive to the hospital environment, continually adapting his approach to meet the developmental, emotional and physical needs and abilities of the child or youth he is interacting with.
He has a spark that appeals to all ages, and it seems the lights shine brighter when you hear the sound of Buddington's ukulele, harmonica, rubber chicken or infamous snort coming down the hallway. He is a presence that is admired, adored and greatly valued by patients, families and staff alike. Buddington has been working at the IWK since 2006.
We are so lucky to have him.
—LeeAnn Larocque, director of Children's Health, IWK Health Centre
Thank you The Coast for a wonderful article on something that I have become very involved with ("We're here to kill our friends," Feature by Adria Young, November 14). I love being a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and we hope that the readers will want to try it out.
—posted by Roberta Read at thecoast.ca
The next in tech
We rely on drivers to respond to pedestrians in crosswalks. The onus is on the driver see, react and defer to the pedestrian. The hazard is obvious---the driver might not see the pedestrian, might decide not to defer, might misinterpret the pedestrian's intentions.
A tidal wave of in car technologies is about to change the equation, among them hazard alert alarms and cameras. The current generation of vehicles has blind spot alerts and rear- view cameras.
The next generation is almost certain to include scanning technologies that respond to people moving---or potentially moving---into a collision path with the equipped vehicle. It is also likely to include forward pointing cameras that monitor the motion of the vehicle: Does it stop at intersections? Does it stay in lane? Does it obey speed restrictions? Does it give space to cyclists? And does it stop for pedestrians at crosswalks?
It is easy to visualise that the video stream captured by the camera will be transmitted to a processing centre, which will search for infractions and assign the appropriate penalties to the vehicle/driver.
The prospect of instant fines (or worse) can be counted on to have a salutary effect on drivers.
—Michael Poulton, Halifax
The whole St. Pat's-Alexandra situation has been a terrible waste of time and money for all concerned ("School plans in," Reality Bites by Hilary Beaumont, November 14). The site is HUGE. There is more than enough space to accommodate the non-profits and allow for new development. If space was made for both, the non-profits would get to expand on their good work, while allowing for new development in the urban centre is more sustainable and a goal of the Regional Plan.
—posted by spaustin