Why Toronto should get used to higher than normal lake levels

Plus, Trump's migrant "concentration camps," Israel visit question for Raptors and another Vision Zero cycling statistic in Letters To The Editor this week

Building resilience to climate change

We read with interest the article by Christian Mittelstaedt, Toronto Islands Flood: Why Is This Happening (Again)? (NOW, June 20-26.)

The article touches on the question of whether Plan 2014 contributed to the record floods on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River this year and in 2017. 

The flooding in both years was caused by persistent and at times exceptionally wet weather across the Great Lakes basin along with extremely high inflows to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

During the late summer and fall of 2018, the rules and provisions of Plan 2014 enabled us to set and maintain record or near-record flows, which helped to reduce the effects of flooding we are experiencing now.

During the spring of 2019, high outflows from Lake Ontario were somewhat constrained by conditions in the St. Lawrence River, including the need to avoid the formation of ice jams, downstream flooding as the Ottawa River was flowing into the St. Lawrence River and the need for navigational safety. 

In recognition of the limited ability of the any regulation to prevent flooding, it is vital that all coastal communities make high and low water levels a part of everyday planning and practice. 

Building for resilience is the most reliable way to reduce damages and effects in the future. 

Dr. Geneviève Béchard, Canadian co-chair

Stephen Durrett, Alternate U.S. co-chair, International Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Board

A close-up of rising lake water 

Regarding Toronto Islands Flood: Why Is This Happening (Again)? 

I boated from Oakville to the foot of Wellington this year. All the old dock and harbour structures are fine, all the new installations and houses are sandbagged. Most of the places that are in trouble are built far too close to shore. Remember a few years ago when global warming was going to dry up the lakes, and preparations were being made for permanent low water?

Craig Austin, From nowtoronto.com

A brief history of concentration camps

Are U.S. Immigration Centres Concentration Camps? by Bernie Farber (NOW Online, June 23). The term “concentration camp” isn’t related exclusively to what happened to Jewish people during the Second World War as people were put in concentration camps before then. The sad thing is that we as humans have yet to stop repeating this mistake.

Eliscia McPhee, From Facebook.com

Treatment of migrants down to semantics

Regarding Are U.S. Immigration Centres Concentration Camps? The fact that this debate has shifted into an argument over semantics is chilling. At the end of the day, can we all not agree that it is simply wrong for the Trump administration to treat people this way? Have we learned nothing?

Abigail Van Den Broek, From Facebook.com

Raptors should say no to Israel visit

Regarding Raptors Rapture by Gelek Badheytsang (NOW, June 20-26)

According to a June 12 news report on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency website, Raptors’ co-owner Larry Tanenbaum said he will take the team to visit Israel if it won the NBA championship.

Well, the Raptors won, but I would urge team members to support the Palestinian struggle and not go on such a trip. Raptors, don’t go!

Ted Turner, Toronto

Cindy Blackman Santana is her name

The Best (And Worst) Of The Toronto Raptors’ Championship Run (NOW, Online, June 18) mentions that the wife of Carlos Santana performed on drums during the 2018 NBA Finals in Oakland. Her name is Cindy Blackman Santana and she has had a heavy career of her own. I happened to know that, but it would have taken you 30 seconds to look it up.

Topher Stott, From nowtoronto.com

Long overdue road safety changes

As difficult as it must be for Bronwyn Graves to replay her accident in her head (NOW Online, June 25), all Torontonians appreciate her personal insight into a life-altering ordeal. 

Long overdue change, necessary to the reasonable shift in local urban mobility policy, depends upon a better public understanding of the fact that any one of us or our loved ones, regardless of personal mobility preferences, could be maimed or taken next. 

Allan Wayne Scott, Toronto

Cycling tragedies can push change

Thanks to Bronwyn Graves for her honesty, strength and story about recovering from her cycling accident. We can only hope that stories like this shared widely will help affect change.

Ben Singer, From nowtoronto.com

A Jarmusch film that didn’t catch cult wave 

Regarding Norman Wilner’s review of The Dead Don’t Die (NOW Online, June 11). Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (with Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and John Hurt) looks like a precursor but didn’t make any cult film waves. Maybe it’s too literary. 

Albin Foro, From nowtoronto.com

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