Letter to the Editor

Businesses with heart I would like to commend a couple of businesses in our territory that proved to me that they do care about the people of the…

Businesses with heart

I would like to commend a couple of businesses in our territory that proved to me that they do care about the people of the Yukon.

A couple of weeks ago,  I had the misfortune to have my mother pass away back in Manitoba.

I immediately got on the phone to Air North to see about getting a flight out of Dawson City to Whitehorse and then on to Calgary.

Right from the first person I talked to — booking my tickets, right on to the counter people and the flight crew — they were all very caring and did a fantastic job at getting everything all booked.

Even on my flights back everyone was just like family. We as residents of the Yukon should be very proud of  Air North.

Thanks to Joe and his staff for a great job.

On my overnight in Whitehorse, I stayed at the Airport Chalet. The staff and manager went out of their way to make sure all my connections our of Calgary were booked and made sure I got my flight out of Whitehorse with no mishaps.

A big bouquet to all the staff at the Airport Chalet.

These two businesses certainly knew how to help me at a difficult time and made everything go very smoothly.

Beverley Fischer

Dawson City

Outside attention

During my visit to the Yukon, I noticed the recent discussion concerning a proposal for a new licence plate.

So far the discussion has been preoccupied with the choice of keeping the current goldpanner plate or adopting the proposed raven plate.

It is strange that there have been no serious discussions questioning the inherent design merits of the proposed raven plate.

As a visitor it makes no difference to me which image is used; however, as a graphic designer I am very interested in whether or not a particular design is suitable to its purpose.

Therefore, I offer these purely aesthetic considerations regarding the proposed raven plate:

The overall shape is ambiguous. The right-hand outline of the plate — the backside of the bird — presents a stronger and more forceful shape than does the left-hand outline of the plate — the front side of the bird.

From a car length or two, the viewer’s eye will naturally focus first on the stronger outline in order to determine what the whole shape represents.

In this case that stronger outline will be the backside of the bird which, when viewed that way, looks more like the front side of a terrier dog, or any number of other spiked and hairy creatures.

At a distance, this design becomes a moving inkblot test for other drivers not familiar with Yukon iconography.

To avoid this confusion the right-hand side should be subordinated to the left-hand side.

An ambiguous plate will attract the kind of attention, and jokes, outside the Yukon that you do not want.

The requirements of forcing the shape of a raven onto the bolt positions and dimensions of the plate have not been attractively resolved — and such a distinctive plate should at least be attractive.

As it is, this flattened bird looks like road kill. Any professional designer should know that design constraints are no excuse for a bad design.

And any professional designer should recognize when a idea has become a matter of forcing a square peg into a round hole, and when it is time to consider a new idea.

In this respect the present design will inevitably make an embarrassing comparison to the clean, form-follows-function design of the NWT plate — albeit, the bear’s shortened neck.

A circulated description of the plate described the raven design as having an “attitude.”

Since Yukoners might be living with this design for a long time, it is worth asking yourselves what kind of attitude this bird represents, and if it is an attitude that suits the general public.

The ragged, spiky outline, circa 1970s, looks suitable as a logo for a heavy metal rock band. It would also look suitable on the back of a Harley chopper, but it really is stretching it to say it reflects the “attitude” of any general population.

Give it sober, serious thought, folks: A licence plate is no place for an “attitude” statement.

It is tempting to read what we “know” or what want to see into any design, regardless of what is really there.

In this respect a graphic designer should be disciplined to separate the wheat from the chaff, and obviously this raven design has not yet benefited from this process.

If it becomes your plate in this present form, it could become a source of national bemusement rather than the respect the NWT precedent has garnered. Solicit some professional design advice before you finalize it.

Stop, look, and think about it-seriously.

Tom MacLeod

Calgary, Alberta

Forget party politics, join independent party

I once heard a saying “ the only good politician is the one that stay’s out of party politics….”

This makes sense.

Recently, in the territorial and federal media we have heard many issues in regards to party politics.

What is party politics anyway?

It is a system of governance for a certain set-in-stone platform of values and beliefs.

Under it, potential politicians go out into the public and try to be voted in under such value and beliefs and are, forever, sworn to live, eat and operate under this realm of out-touch governance.

I recently had an opportunity to speak with a leader of a party-style government.

I mentioned to him that I would personally like to reform this approach here in the Yukon.

His main comment was “It is working for us, why not in the Yukon?”

I can see this applicable to a place with millions of people, but for a populous under 30,000, wouldn’t a consensus government make more sense?

My theory is that, since most Yukoners know just about everyone in this great territory, we could safely support a friend, a colleague or an associate that we know to advocate certain values and believes if we voted for him or her to do so.

Do we need to have party policies to convolute the issues? Do we need to negate true representational elected officials by boxing them by following a party platform and not the people they represent?

Elected government officials should represent the people and not a certain government party.

Within the party system, the leaders sometimes lose focus on the people in favour of their own focus of power and greed.

Some might have to take a step back and focus on the issues and less time on expending energy on making the other guy look bad.

And in party politics not too much time is actually used finding faults to concentrate on.

How many times have you heard someone negatively comment on the work of party politics?

As we are all aware, there will be a new election soon. If you would like to look at changing the way government is operated, then you have an opportunity to make changes for the good.

Represent the people, and not a box style of government.

Start or support a Yukon Independence Party (Consensus Party).

To the future territorial leaders in the Yukon, who are supported by their communities and ridings, please meet at the following link:

http://groups.msn.com/YukonIndependenceParty/homepage

This is an opportunity to group and strategize. It is a start, and the leaders can take it from there.

Kenn Roberts

Whitehorse

Website excellent!

As a parent with a kid in the Arctic Winter Games, I want to say how grateful I’ve been for the Sport Yukon website which has made it extremely easy to get information and keep up on results.

Certainly it made keeping up on the return schedule easy.

And thanks to all who’s efforts it has been to foster such a worthwhile event.

Arlin McFarlane

Whitehorse

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