This past Tuesday I was in a store downtown Courtenay, with my two grandsons, when my grandson accidentally backed into a display and a small glass shelf was broken. Much to my chagrin, a grown salesman behind the counter (I hope he was not the owner) bellowed out “SOB.” I couldn’t believe what I heard. I apologized for the broken shelf but due to his unruly conduct and profanity I did not suggest paying for the said broken piece of glass. My grandsons were both shocked at this outburst and to this day still talk about it. We immediately left the store never to return again! This man’s conduct was totally unacceptable.
Welcome back — I am so happy to have the former Zeller’s pharmacists Chris and Merleen back in the Valley once again, this time in the target Store and with them their assistant Erin. Those of us in the Valley who missed them can now stop by and say welcome back renew your friendship and meet their new assistant Christine.
Many standing ovations for the performance of Fairy Island by Kymme Patrick’s TheatreWorks. I just got home from the show, and can hardly stop talking about how great all the performances were, how amazing the set by Ross Stephanson was, and how the costumes were to die for. What makes it all the more amazing is that Kymme wrote and adapted this play with the actual kid/teenager performers in mind — and does that ever show! And I loved the subtle but underlying theme of homelessness and Maple Pool Campsite. I sure hope that members of the City of Courtenay council took advantage of their apparent invitations to the show. So take a bow everybody — great work and I am inspired by you!
They say good ideas are hard to find, well how about these. Apply a minimum of $1 deposit on all returnable glass, aluminium and plastic cans and bottles. This will ensure anyone who isn’t rich or environmentally conscience will think twice before discarding their empties in the garbage, streets, parks or your hedges. It will also give our less-fortunate some extra spending money as well. Win, win, right! Secondly, anybody who doesn’t think rail travel is a great alternative to automobile travel, please stop reading my letter now. The answer is toll gates on the Inland Island Highway. This will slow down travel on our roads and put some money towards the revival of our rail system. Hey, I can remember coal-fired steam engines; think of the possibilities. User pay is the future — get used to it. And finally the bad idea. This is to those twisted folks who, while walking their pets, believe it’s a better idea to pick up after their pets and then throw or drop their bag in the bush or beside the trail. Really?
We just visited the new store in Courtenay and no big surprises were anticipated. The only surprise we run into was the fact that when our grandson bought a sale item for $1 he was charged $1.37 plus tax. When my sweetheart mentioned that the item was listed for $1 the cashier said that she could not make the changes instead referred them to the return counter to make the needed adjustments. In the meantime I just returned from the men’s bathroom where I almost fell because the floor was probably just cleaned and therefore quite slippery. I quickly informed an employee and was addressed in a thankful manner for mentioning it. When meeting my sweetheart she told me the reason why they were still standing in line. This was overheard by another customer who apparently was not a happy patron. She mumbled something like, “This was the first time and also the last time that I am shopping here.” My point of view was a little different. Yes, it was annoying but if taken into account that the store had just hired 150 new employees, therefore I think we might show some courtesy on our side of the counter. I know the customer is always right but showing some understanding and patience toward a new business and a new member of the staff I think has merit, too. Building a pleasant society is the right “target,” not just for the company but for all of us.
It’s too bad Jon Ambler has to defend himself against the perception of being “a wasteful spender of taxpayers’ dollars.” Perhaps if you had not proclaimed at a council meeting once: “I love to spend other peoples’ money” you would not find yourself the lightning rod for a lot of taxpayers?’frustrations concerning public spending in this town. Just like Fuzzy Zoeller’s chicken dinner comment about Tiger Woods at the Masters or BP CEO Tony Haywards’ “I want my life back” after the Gulf oil spill, I’m afraid you’re stuck with yours. Perhaps you could create a new budget line item to hire a PR firm to rebrand and put a new, fresh face on our local council. This might be a good idea because at the moment the brand (Courtenay or CVRD, same thing) seems to be: Borrow for the frills (gyms, artificial grass, running empty buses, toy trains, curling rinks, etc.) then raise taxes and fees for the important stuff when it wears out or breaks down (water/ sewer). I suggest that this approach is completely backwards, John! We should be borrowing to upgrade our water and sewer systems (and borrowing heavily given the current state of these assets). Our roads need money, too. As for the long list of frills from the countless lobby groups that are constantly asking you for money to fund their particular hobby or cause, these should be funded by tax increases. Only then would we truly know if there is a real need and/or appetite for such facilities by the majority taxpayers. It’s called a democracy. Demanding that existing facilities recover all of their operational expenses (for adult programs) through user fees would be a step in the right direction as well. Have fun spending my money, John. My taxes went up 8.5 per cent this year and I still can’t wash my car for three weeks in the spring and about the same amount of time in August. There is a three-foot pipe buried on the beach below Willemar Bluffs that carries all of our wastewater to the Brent Road sewage treatment plant. It is way past its “expiry date” and cannot be rebuilt in the same location. Any plans for that or where the money will come from? Or are we just going to wait till it fails? We will all be on the eleven o’clock news when that happens! Courtenay — a city with world-class arts, culture, adult recreation and Third World infrastructure.
A huge bouquet of thank yous. The Comox Valley Transition Society wishes to gratefully acknowledge all of the wonderful people from the Shepherd of the Valley Church for their years of support with much-needed and appreciated donations. We offer our heartfelt thanks to all of you and wish you all the best in the future.
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