Blue heron

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel snapped this stunning photo.

Private show from blue heron

Dear Editor:

All mammals have fight, flight or freeze as survival instincts. Therefore I was rather amused by the blue heron that I saw that had the freeze thing down pat.

Driving on Bulman Road on Sunday morning, I saw a woman close to a blue heron that was standing there motionless in the open field. I turned my car around and pulled out my camera. By this time, another vehicle had stopped to take a look at this peculiar sight as well. I rolled down the window and took a photo and the bird didn’t move a muscle.

I got out of the vehicle and walked slowly towards it, then stopped and again nothing happened, the bird was one cool cucumber, like a statue, not even blinking an eye.

It seemed to have nerves of steel and if it had a mantra, it would have been, “Think like a lawn ornament, be the lawn ornament.”

“You are invisible; or just maybe the humans will think you are one of those cheesy metal birds in their gardens.”

“Just breathe, don’t hyperventilate, you got this.”

I smiled at the bird and couldn’t help but wonder how well that freeze-frame tactic worked with coyotes or other predators that live close by and would see this heron as a really nice-sized dinner for the family.

Tentatively, I walked even closer and this game of chicken seemed to be getting a bit bizarre. Maybe the heron had some secret weapon this human was too dense to realize, like that really massive beak that looks like a pickaxe in the middle of its face.

Getting a bit unnerved, I therefore decided to see if the heron would fly away, and so I flapped my shawl-covered arms like a bird ready to take flight. I got the heron’s attention this time and he took a few steps, flapped his wings and effortless took to the skies.

I got several more photos, as he turned around and went in the opposite direction, then landed again. I didn’t want to bother the lovely giant bird by becoming its nemesis paparazzi and so I thanked it graciously for choosing freeze and flight instead of fight, then exited stage left, back into the safety of my car and drove away.

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel


Trump’s strategy will backfire

Dear Editor:

Natural disaster constantly test global supply chains.

The earthquake in Japan revealed that country produces the bulk of chemicals and materials required to make microchips for the entire digital world. Within today’s global electronic supply chain, components pass from one firm to another, each firm adding a bit of value. Some components cross the oceans several times. In some cases only one or two providers of a particular system exist.

That means the lanes of these global supply chains converge into choke points that can be squeezed. The Trump administration is using America’s role as the nerve centre of the global economy to leverage advantage by blocking the free-flow of goods, data, ideas and money across borders through the supply chains that underpins globalization; weaponizing economic disruption.

Punishing tariffs, or economic sanctions, or strike at the commanding heights of global commerce through executive orders that can blacklist firms choking them off from critical supply chain or financial payment system.

America controls over 50% of the world’s cross-border bandwidth and controls the dollar payment systems; 88% of currency trades use greenbacks. Across the globe it is normal to use a Visa card; all exports invoice in dollars. Blacklisting China’s tech giant Huawei severed it from a needed component from a company in San Diego that makes half the world’s baseband processors. Being denied access to crucial supply chain and dollar payment system can cripple targeted firms.

Globalization and technology made the U.S. network more powerful, even though America’s share of world GDP has fallen from 38% to 24%. China will redouble efforts to become technologically independent. The European Union is building a new payment system; and the rest of the world looks for ways to end its dependence on semiconductors from Silicon Valley.

Being the head of the global supply chain network does give America vast power, for now; but Trump’s strategy of angling gains at the cost of established alliances and trade agreements that gave America this power in the first place will backfire.

The shift to reconfigure global supply chains has already begun and technology will accelerate that shift.

Canada too must become a little more self-sufficient in this new poly-centric world.

Jon Peter Christoff

West Kelowna

No love for the cruiseline industry

Dear Editor:

I’m wondering if anyone else caught the CTV News from Vancouver when someone from the tourism branch was boasting about how many cruise ships would be bringing tourists to Vancouver?

According to this report, 241 ships into the harbour were bringing millions of dollars to Vancouver and area.

We all know these ships don’t run on water — they run on heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil. Did you ever wonder how much oil these ship use? They can burn up 80,000 gallon a day. So, at 241 ships that’s 19 million gallons of oil per day.

B.C. wants to be a tree hugger and leaf licker to save our coastline from a disaster. Maybe we should stop all the cruise lines that depend on this offensive oil, you know, that stuff that you don’t want flowing through our province.

Wayne McMahon


Homeless can’t wait any longer

Dear Editor:

Re: “Experienced with the homeless,” (Courier letters, June 26).

While I want to recognize MLA Norm

Let nick for his work that he outlines in your paper to support people experiencing homelessness, I seriously question his idea that governments and supportive agencies should hit the pause button while people are still living on the streets with no support.

How does he think we find ourselves in this situation in the first place?

The actions or, more accurately, inaction of his government created a housing crisis where even families and people with good jobs are struggling to afford housing or are at risk of becoming homeless.

We cannot ask the hundreds of people in Kelowna without homes today to wait any longer.

Our government is working with cities like Kelowna, and other partners, to take quick action to address their needs using the proven Housing First approach – providing people with a roof over their heads and the services they need. We’ve learned from the more than 1,400 homes already completed across the province that building supportive housing, complete with wrap-around services, benefits the entire community.

I want to assure people in Rutland that we are committed to working with the community to address their concerns. The most important security feature, both for

residents and the community, is 24-hour, seven-days-a-week staffing. Staff at the McCurdy Road project will be available around the clock to ensure that residents are supported and that any concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

The 49 homes on McCurdy Road are just one piece of our broader efforts to address the housing needs of a range of people in Kelowna. We are working in partnership to build more than 500 homes in the community, including affordable rental homes for families, seniors and Indigenous peoples, transition homes for women and children leaving violence and rental homes for middle-income families.

We will continue to work closely with the city and community partners to make sure everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.

Selina Robinson

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

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