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open letter to Konrad Yakabuski about the island airport

Just sent an email to Konrad Yakabuski at the Globe, who wrote an op ed today praying that the Ford brothers will be defeated, but berating Olivia Chow for opposing the island airport expansion, “a critical advantage for the city’s businesses.” Here’s what I sent him:

Dear Mr. Yakabuski:

Too bad an interesting and balanced article was upended by an endorsement of Porter’s high-powered expansion plans. The tragedy of this city – besides the disastrous amalgamation and our current disastrous regime – is lack of green space. New York is the great city it is partly because of the pressure release valve of that vast and beautiful park in its centre, packed to bursting on good days. London has huge Regent Park, Paris has numerous glorious local parks. We have one park stuck off way to the west, some ravines, and to the south, we have a lake, almost completely hidden behind an expressway and a million high-rises. 
The expansion of the island airport would guarantee that what we see, when we sit contemplating the tiny glimpse of nature afforded us by our city, is a constant series of jets arriving and taking off. We already see planes, of course. But you think we need to see, hear and smell many more. 
How short-sighted to write that what this city needs in the short term is a faster commute time for American and downtown business people, instead of more tranquil green space for our current citizens and our citizen to come, our children and grandchildren. Sometimes the long view, the overview, affords the best view. 
Ten minutes, later, I received this:
If you re-read the piece, you’ll notice that I did not ‘endorse’ the Porter proposal. But the issue of the expansion deserves a fuller hearing than Ms. Chow will allow. I think Porter’s plan likely needs to be scaled back. But the C-Series planes are superior to the Dash-8s on most fronts, likely even on noise. I do not think there is an overabundance of air traffic over Toronto’s waterfront – now or under an Island Airport expansion — compared to most cities including NYC. I lived in Washington DC and Reagan National (which takes much bigger jets than Porter is proposing for YTZ) is a valuable asset that most Washingtonians would agree is worth the traffic overhead.
I agree we need a city park. But  perhaps the Pan Am Games and redevelopment of the eastern waterfront is the best hope for that.
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Write to your local journalists! They’re listening. 

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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