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Letters to the editor, November 22, 2018

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.

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There goes Bilby

I just read the story on residents getting priced out of Bilby Street by development ("Bilby Street's unaffordable future," The City story by Sandra C. Hannebohm, November 8). We bought our first home on the street in 1992. Great location for the city. I could walk to work, the kids to school or various activities, grocery stores were close. Lots of good memories on that street. We attended a few parties, had one or two, and it was all good. Painted the house, reshingled a part of it, built a backyard fence, planted a garden and had a great time. So many fond memories of our home on that street.

But the north end vibe is being replaced by the gentrification of the street and the area in general. I just noticed our old home was on the market for close to $500,000 and it sold. The house next door is on the market for $600,000.

We are blue-collar workers, who could never buy a house again on that street. When we moved to that street, it had a regular neighbourhood vibe, and it certainly felt like home to us. Now when I see real estate listings or drive on the street, I feel like an alien. Both the old cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, and perhaps other areas, are experiencing this. Where are young families supposed to go? —Brenda Walmsley, Halifax

I live smack dab in the middle of the construction between Isleville and Gottingen Streets. I'm becoming increasingly stressed about the strain it's putting on the neighbourhood, and wondering about the likelihood of a rent increase in the near future. Even as a "young professional," these developments are not appealing to me. —posted at thecoast.ca by Kari Plaggenborg

I'm pretty sure the homeowners on Bilby are elated as a result of these changes. The new developments have gotten rid of a lot of dilapidated and dangerous tenements, and as a result have increased the current property values exponentially. Go Bilby! —posted by Agra Phol

You think it's expensive now? Wait another two years! Also, I don't think they got rid of any dilapidated crap. Most homes in HRM are old, need work and are expensive for no reason. —posted by Randomness

Learning respect

Thank you to Jacob Boon for his much-needed exposure of racism as it rears its malignant head in our city of Halifax ("United by hate," cover story, November 15). One wonders what is really motivating these people. Is it that they get a kick out of exercising the license to spew out hatred towards others that they see themselves as having? I suspect that this is part of it. And also that as "whites" advocating the supremacy of their own race they are trying to satisfy a deep-down need for the self-esteem that we all experience in one way or another.

It may well be that an important way of neutralizing hate is showing open and genuine support for those targeted, and our political and community leaders speaking out compassionately and convincingly on behalf of decency and of showing respect to others regardless of race, religion (or no religion), sexual orientation, political affiliation, among much else, and doing so because the latter are our human sisters and brothers. Have we learned nothing from the history and barbarism of the last century, not least that committed by self-described Christian countries, in the name of the claimed superiority of the white race and its right to dominate over others who do not belong to it?

What are our educational institutions in the province doing by way of teaching history and what we used to call civics? What are children in our schools and colleges (including technical and trade ones) learning about the values and norms that are basic to democracy, such as the importance of respecting others and upholding the rule of law and due process? With all the emphasis currently being placed on "how-to" skills, it is worth asking if schools are teaching these other key aspects of education.

I write this as an old-timer born before World War II, who can remember the aftermath of that war and learning about its unspeakable horrors. Now seeing those manifestations in our own city of the base racism that so informed that war brings a shudder to the heart. —David Blackwell, Eastern Passage

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