Editor's Notebook

James Miller is valley editor for Okanagan Newspaper Group. This column was published in the March 21, 2020 print edition. Email: james.miller@ok.bc.ca

Moderator did terrible job

My favourite headline of the week from several news outlets was “Pretty fly for a white guy,” in reference to the special guest at Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate. For those who are not into 1990s grunge music, it was the title of a popular song by The Offspring, which sampled from Def Leppard’s Rock of Ages.

Also on the topic of the debate, Susan Page did a terrible job as moderator. Her questions were very good, but she allowed Mike Pence to ignore the format. Susan, you’re in charge. It’s your show.


Trivia. The three vice-presidential debates to receive the highest ratings in history all involved a female. Sarah Palin versus Joe Biden in 2008 had by far the highest ratings. This week’s debate between Pence and Kamala Harris was second. For third, we have to go all the way back to 1984 when Geraldine Ferraro debated George Bush Sr.


With the passing of Eddie Van Halen came the Ginger-or-Mary Ann debate of the ’90s — David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar? I was never a huge Van Halen fan, but as a casual one, I believe Sammy was by far the better musician and vocalist, but Diamond Dave was an entertainer. Forgotten was Dave’s solo career when he had the two funniest videos in the history of MTV, remakes of California Girls and Just A Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody.


Congratulations to the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce for a great job with their Fire and Ice Business Excellence Awards. They did it at three separate locations and even with a few technical hiccups, it was a successful evening.

I was glad to see my friend, the late Neil Jamieson, honoured with the David Kampe Legacy Award. It was the second year the award was presented and last year’s winner was Bruce Johnson. Two extraordinary individuals. I miss them both.

And the La La Land/Moonlight of the year was Paul Crawford, curator of the Penticton Art Gallery, winning business leader of the year.

Even Paul thought perhaps he was in the wrong category (like when Matt Damon was nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press for best comedic actor for The Martian) and considered the nomination to be a victory.

But after a lot of thought, the Bob Ross display brought more people to the Okanagan Valley then any other event this summer (due mostly to cancellations) and no matter what day of the week or time of day you went, there was a line.

Paul, his staff and volunteers helped put little old Penticton on the map. Penticton is only one of two venues in all of North America to host the Ross exhibition.


Happy Thanksgiving Day everybody. Please use common sense with social distancing and go easy on the turkey and mashed potatoes — it will put you asleep by 6 p.m.

And in the true spirit of the occasion, I give thanks for the greatest blessings in my life — my wife, family, friends, co-workers and community.


Gosh, do I miss 2016.

James Miller is managing editor of the Penticton Herald. Email: James.miller@ok.bc.ca