Trees are undervalued in our community

Keefer Street proposal should be adjusted to save trees, some readers say

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Subject: Four trees prevent construction of social housing for Vancouver seniors

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The word “fair” in the title speaks volumes about the undervaluation of the city’s woodland sentries. For decades, entire residential lots were stripped of all living things, especially trees, and except for the few voices of avocados in the desert, they were relegated to chainsaws. Finally, the city genuinely enforces its tree policies and they are again challenged, this time for the “ease” of housing. Even the housing consultant says the plan can be changed, but at likely additional costs. I say this is the best and most logical answer.

Trees are so much more than an inconvenience – they’re there to serve us all in a myriad of ways we barely understand.

Terri ClarkVancouver

Let the trees be

The four trees that the Chau Luen company asked to be removed could eventually remain where they are.

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This is because the company has a good sized parking lot on the other side of their building and part of it is leased to a trucking company.

We could surely find something different to benefit everyone and let the trees be.

Carole Itter, Vancouver

Chau Luen Tower proposal expected to be approved

Re: Vancouver mayor sympathizes with stalled plan for new Chinatown tower for low-income seniors

I can’t believe that city staff would reject a proposal to expand the existing Chau Luen tower for the elderly because of “four trees that are in a city-owned space just outside the property line” which should not be removed.

It appears that City staff have placed more emphasis or importance on maintaining these four trees than on providing affordable housing for the more than hundreds of seniors in Chinatown. Where is their priority?

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Politicians and city staff keep talking about revitalizing Chinatown and bringing more people to live, work and shop in this historic part of Vancouver. Now there is an opportunity for the city to do something about it, but the staff is pouring cold water on it!

I hope that the mayor and council will be able to convince their staff to approve this proposal and make it a reality soon!

Kelly IP, Vancouver

On MAID, the voices of the suffering must be heard

There were four articles in the Vancouver Sun on May 3 — all on the subject of “mental” illness: one was about Naomi Judd, who appears to have committed suicide after decades of suffering from what is called “treatment-resistant depression” (which is as devastating as it sounds); two others reminded us that it is Mental Health Month, which urged us, among other things, to end the stigma; and the fourth was the MAID article that ended with the line that Canada may be on the verge of expanding eligibility to people “whose only underlying condition is mental illness.”

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The first was tragic to read, two others instructive but uplifting, and the third was a parody, demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge about serious chronic psychiatric illnesses.

On the one hand, the people who are afflicted with it are, sometimes, perfectly competent to make the decision to put an end to their days.

It is true that there may be times when they are really sick, going through a depressive or psychotic episode and are unable to make that decision rationally, but it is so obvious when that is the case that no doctor would never administer MAID.

However, there are other times when they are “in their right mind”, completely rational but just can’t cope with another inevitable episode.

For some, presumably like the beloved Naomi Judd who wouldn’t have had access to MAID, the only choice is suicide, which is a lonely, terrifying and always shameful death – so shameful that no one will use the l-word. accompanying euphemisms such as the one Naomi’s daughters used ‘we lost a beautiful mother to mental illness’

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Whether severe and persistent psychiatric illness should qualify for MAID is fair to vigorously debate, but only if the voice of those who suffer prevails.

I remember something a psychiatrist told me years ago that these illnesses are as painful as any physical illness, and in a way, even more so, partly because of how the rest of us misunderstand and judge them.

Jane Harris, Vancouver


Letters to the editor should be sent to sunletters@vancouversun.com. CLICK HERE to report a typo.

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