HAVE YOUR SAY: September 25

A societal problem of today is that everyone is an “expert” at everything, whether it be a teacher, doctor, nurse, police officer etc. Unless you are thoroughly educated and trained in these fields you need to re-think your positions with regard your comments. I’m afraid you have behaved exactly as the governments of today want you to. No matter what the issue, their media propaganda has successfully divided and conquered the public. We are exactly where they want us to be; at each others’ throats, so that they can carry on with their own agenda behind the scenes without any public interference.

The more weird behaviour I see, the less I understand people. This message is to the two middle-aged dark-haired men and one woman, with the shopping cart and large plastic bags filled with bottles, who ran down 5th Street around 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.  I’d like to know why you dumped sexual lubricant all over the handlebars of my bike, which was chained to the fence outside Shipwrecked Beads. Obviously it wasn’t because you were jealous, because my 25-year-old transportation is covered in rust and held together with electrical tape. It probably wasn’t a personal vendetta either, since I didn’t recognize any of you and it is unlikely any of you three have ever met me. While I heard the “clang” when you hit the chain link fence with your projectiles, I had no idea what you had done until I leaned over to unlock my bike and got your stinky red goo all over my hands, shirt, and the beautiful necklace I’d just finished making for myself. Write in and please tell the rest of us what motivated you to ruin my day.

Here are some “straight” facts about Baybrook House: 1) Mack Laing sold this property in 1949. His will does not apply to it. 2) Even if it did, a private individual’s will does not supersede neighborhood covenants, zoning regulations, or an official community plan. 3) The residents of Baybrook Drive and Orchard Park Drive will be most affected by the proposed development. Two of the eight MLHS directors live on these streets. The rest of the residents are almost unanimously opposed. 4) Generating revenue from a variety of commercial enterprises is the only way this development can possibly succeed without tax dollars. According to the 2014 MLHS report, these will include a pre-school, school tours, a bed and breakfast, guided group walks, a meeting/conference centre, and visitors in residence. Pre-schoolers do not walk or cycle to class, school groups travel by school bus, and out-of-town conservation tourists will travel by car. The narrow streets in this area have no sidewalks, limited parking, and are not designed for heavy daily traffic. 5) The Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary is a dubious comparison. It was established almost 40 years ago on a large rural property. It includes a parking lot and bus stop, and is bordered by the Lochside Trail (cycling) and the Pat Bay Highway. Over half of the Swan Lake’s 2012 Operating Revenue ($310,000) came from the municipality of Saanich and the Sanctuary needs over $700,000 to repair aging infrastructure (Victoria News, Oct. 30, 2013). 6) Nobody is trying to “force” anything on the Filberg. People are merely pointing out that the Filberg already has structurally sound buildings, covered areas, toilet and kitchen facilities, parking, access to public transportation, and proximity to the beach and Mack Laing Park. Duplicating these facilities in a quiet residential neighborhood would be excessively disruptive, fiscally irresponsible, and probably illegal.

The Village of Cumberland did not “invite” the Hell’s Angels to “spend a weekend in our town”. They attended a Motorcycle Rally in the Village of Cumberland as vendors.   The Village of Cumberland is not part of the committee which organizes the Cumberland Motorcycle Rally. There are a lot of “not nice people” in the Comox Valley.  The Canadian Charter/Constitution provides all Canadians with the “right to associate”. All Canadians have the same rights, except as restricted by courts from time to time. This enables all Canadians to travel about  Canada as they please, whether they are the Hell’s Angels, politicians, the P.M., Mike Duffy, polluters of the environment, rip off artists, drunk drivers, released prisoners, politicians, saints or sinners. We are still a free and democratic society.

A question for the outliers. They are the people that live outside the boundaries of Courtenay and you only hear from them through letters to the editor when a civic election is imminent and they wish to offer their opinion regarding the campaign. Considering they are not citizens or taxpayers of the city I really can’t understand what their motivation might be. Perhaps because their districts historically are just acclaimed and they don’t get to vote period or just plain partisan politics. Why they believe that anyone who can vote would be interested in what they are thinking is a puzzle. Personally I  can only say that I usually don’t take much stock in advice for open heart surgery from my plumber, consult on brain surgery with my auto mechanic, take much stock of the opinion of a rock singer regarding oil sands or see much upside to taking election advice from people who don’t even live here. However if their egos tell them that someone wants to read what they have to say they should probably go for it if for no other reason than they will probably add a comedic component to a process that most Courtenay voters don’t take very seriously anyway.

To those of you that purchased orchids from Wal-Mart on their anniversary sale, and are not familiar with their health requirements, please read this guidance tip: The basics, of maintaining a healthy orchid: Your orchid needs to breathe, not drink. Your orchid came in two pots. The reason for this is that any water in the first pot, will drain away in the second pot. Choose one convenient day of the week to tend your orchid. (We chose Sunday) Sit your flower in a pan of water (we prefer rain water)  to soak through for about 10 or 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and stand in the sink for 15 minutes to drain all the excess water. (Never leave your plant standing in water for more than 15 minutes). Place into the second container (dry) and find a spot in your room that is bright, but not in the direct sun light, as the leaves don’t like the direct sun. Over a short span of time, the roots will grow out of the soil, (a greyish colour). These are the orchids’ ‘noses’ and must be permitted to breathe. Never cut them off! Enjoy your flower until next Sunday and repeat the process. Good luck with your new hobby.

Last week I read a lot of negative letters with regard the current education dispute. To these people I have just one question. When was the last time you visited a functioning K-12 public school? Also, I invite you to visit your nearest public school when it resumes, and ask to “shadow” a teacher for a day or two.

A thumbs down to S.D.#71 for keeping a school open for foreign students while local students languish at home. Is this not creating divisiveness, amongst other things? The premise is that foreign students have paid good money to be educated here and that we need their money. Well, believe it or not, local taxpayers, parents and grandparents, have also paid good money to have our students educated here. Didn’t we pay to purchase the school property, have the schools built and maintained and for all the resources within, not to mention for teacher training. Isn’t this good money? Supt. Elwood expresses concerns about the long term impact of the strike on the IEP and the money it generates. Aren’t you playing into the hands of the government? If you didn’t open the schools and the foreign students left, wouldn’t that put more pressure on the two sides to settle to “protect our International reputation” and regain this foreign income? I think principals, who are still getting paid through this strike, are not supporting public education by crossing the picket line to teach. I look forward to a speedy resolution of this strike so that we can welcome all students, both local and foreign, back into our schools on an equal footing. Not to be misunderstood, I fully support the IEP and the opportunities it presents.

The BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, I support you, and I hope many others gave as well! I also hope to see this happen several times a year so that our local food bank never goes empty.  It is so easy to do, thanks to volunteers, and costs so little of my family’s food budget.  I feel more involved contributing this way rather than just giving some loose pocket change or dropping a few items in the grocery store bins. Thank You!


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