At last, a Coast worth reading
Congratulations on the best issue of The Coast I've picked up in ages (May 7). Although I have been reading, and grateful for, this rag since its beginnings, it has for me of late lost its appeal, as I have found it cruising on the fluff of trends and smart-assed gibberish that has been putting me to sleep long before I get to the food and entertainment teasers, my horoscope and Dan's love advice.
But this issue is BRIMMING with substance starting with Saavy Simon (cover story) and the candidly shared dilemma of Madonna Parris (Voice of The City)—both of which, I suspect, would impact all manner of readers in our region, not just the privileged young groovers who've got little more to concern themselves with than the next most avant-garde food, brew or entertainment concoction to spend their parents' money on.
This paper has a such a voice—such an opportunity to make a real difference. KEEP IT UP! —Holly Bell, Halifax
I was appalled to learn that Stephen McNeil's Liberal government has decided to reduce CNIB's funds by 30 percent. CNIB has been the primary provider of essential programs and services for my mother, Louise Gibbons, who is 85 and has had vision problems for a very long time.
She attended monthly group support meetings at CNIB for years and has made many lifelong friends. Over the years, when her vision was continuing to deteriorate, CNIB's staff and services were there to provide her with resources that enabled her to live independently with vision loss and prepare her for when she would eventually become completely blind. CNIB also taught her how to use a white cane that has enabled her to travel freely on her own. CNIB makes this reality possible.
By cutting funds that go toward CNIB's rehabilitation services, the government is stripping away the opportunity for blind Nova Scotians to be independent, self-reliant and safe.
I urge the government to reconsider its decision. —Karen Gibbons, Halifax
When a Nova Scotian requires rehabilitation for reasons other than vision loss—as a result of a stroke, a brain injury or an amputation, for example—rehabilitative services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are provided within our health care system. So, why are Nova Scotians who have lost their sight due to an injury or disease treated differently?
In 2005, a car accident changed my life forever. While the health care system was there to fix my broken body with titanium rods and years of physiotherapy, it was a charity—CNIB—that helped me learn to live independently with limited vision.
I was shocked to learn the McNeil government is cutting CNIB's funding that provides essential programs and services that enable blind Nova Scotians to learn skills and techniques to live safely and independently.
Before I turned to CNIB, I was forced to rely on friends and family to assist with everyday tasks that sighted people take for granted, like cooking, reading food labels and getting to appointments across town. The programs and services I received from CNIB were integral to my recovery, my independence and my ability to lead an active life. I urge the McNeil government not to turn its back on Nova Scotians who are blind or partially sighted, and reinstate funding for CNIB. —Colleen Henderson, Halifax
Don't touch the art
The Rexhepi family, like other immigrants, is actively contributing to Nova Scotia's economy as well as to its cultural life, as we can see with the flap over a Rexhepi mural possibly being removed from the building Freak Lunchbox owns on Barrington Street (The Poll, May 7). Having arrived as an immigrant child many years ago, I'm aware of how difficult it is to become part of a new country. Being told your mural isn't worth keeping is not the best way to welcome newcomers! We urgently need more people in this province, so please show some sensitivity here. Appreciate the art for itself, and show respect for the artistic abilities being brought into the country by one immigrant in particular here. —Anne van Arragon Hutten, Lakeville, NS