HAVE YOUR SAY: Comox Valley’s out-of-phase spring break hindering minor hockey tournaments

School District 71 has a different spring break schedule (March 23 to April 7) than other school districts.

School District 71 has a different spring break schedule (March 23 to April 7) than other school districts, thus making it extremely hard on the Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association to schedule their annual spring break house hockey tournaments. Most others districts’ spring break starts March 16 and ends April 1.

The Second Stage Players of the Florence Filberg Senior Centre in Courtenay recently performed Murphy’s Wake, a play written and directed by our own Betty Annand. What a joy to work with her for a second year. We entertained over 400 patrons who enjoyed every minute of the production. We would like to thank the entire cast and crew who rehearsed two to three times a week for over two months. A special thank you to Niel Buchan (Jeeves the Butler). Under the direction of Betty, he was mainly a one-man stage crew who supplied all the tarping to hide the wings of the stage and give us a space in which to perform, he performed this task many times and we are so grateful. Thank you to all the actors some of whom had never performed before. Thank you to the cast for supplying stage furniture, costumes, props and so much more. A huge thank you to the Record for printing our press release. And to our patrons without you we would not have a show.

More good things are happening at Courtenay Elementary School, I am happy to say! Thank you to the Canadian Federation of University Women, Comox Valley for your donation to Courtenay Elementary School for new books. We appreciate your dedication to learning.

A few years back a mattress and a boat was dropped off near the Logging Road and Forbidden Plateau intersection. Many families live below this newly found garbage dump and receive their water supply from wells. When I called in for a cleanup. I was surprised the authorities took many weeks to return my call. It was eventually cleaned up. Recently, a retired man collected some garbage and called the authorities for help to get it removed. A neighbour who is a Snowbird and just returned home verified the story from the other neighbour. Apparently they collected garbage on their walks. They asked for free garbage removal. They would take it to the garbage dump but did not want to pay. They were denied the waiver of the garbage dump fee because the garbage could be theirs. On Sunday a truck had a mattress and was preparing to dump it. We let him know we were watching. As we followed him, he pulled over and waited. It was obvious he was going to dump it as soon as we passed. Maybe the city should have spring and fall pickup for large items like they do in cities? Not everyone has trucks to remove these items and they end up on porches or alleys looking disgusting.

Here’s to the beginning of the end of plea bargains. With all the attention that legal firearms possession gets these days, let’s all watch and see what sentence Andrew Tavis Ball gets for his March 13 concealed loaded handgun incident. Let’s hope that an example is set and the full use of the current stiff firearm laws is applied to his case. We all should be alarmed that many of the weapons charges are plea-bargained away. We do not need or want anyone wandering the streets of the Comox Valley with concealed loaded handguns and especially if they are also involved with drugs. Instead of working so hard on pleas bargains, may the judicial system start working for our safety, by letting the full impact of the law be the consequence for any firearm charges with no plea bargains ever.

Another big beef to BC Hydro. We also have seen our hydro bill increase by 20 per cent (over last year at this time) since the smart meters went in. We and other newspaper contributors and neighbours and folks at my gym and on and on and on. How do they get away with this?

Congratulations to early childhood educators Laurel Hodgins, Holly Edwards and Carlene Steeves for being nominated for the Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence. Courtenay Elementary School is lucky to have your enthusiasm and talent.

So people have been complaining about their hydro bills and the new smart meters and some of us have been just waiting to see if there are going to be any real issues that develop. Well, I sure got a surprise on my last two bills from BC Hydro. I don’t know if it’s related to the new smart meter they installed, the price hike implemented last April or that they are guesstimating the consumption from my usage last year. Last year there were five adults living in my home, all taking hot showers, washing their clothes in warm water, running the dishwasher, using the large stove and keeping the heat at a comfortable level. This made my hydro bills for the billing period of January 2012 $566.71 and March 2012 $686.70. This year, due to our finances taking a substantial drop in income because of my husband’s death we have been very diligent watching our power consumption. Our household now has only three adults. We have all kept a strict schedule of five-minute showers, wash our clothes only in cold water, do our dishes by hand, cook in a small counter convection oven bought just for that purpose, shut off any heat in any rooms not being used and keep the thermostats in the rooms being used to around 62-64 degrees. Luckily the weather has not been very harsh this year, so if it cooled down we could just add a sweater. So what was my billing for this January and March? It was $566.31 and $608.99. All that diligence managed to save us $69.61.

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Do you have somebody to praise or something you have to get off your chest? Have your say by submitting to editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com. You can also get a written submission to 765 McPhee Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2Z7 or fax to 250-338-5568. If you wish to talk to the editor, phone Mark Allan at 250-338-7816, 2309.

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