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

According to coverage in The Atlantic, a reputable news agency, the U.S. president referred to the war dead as “losers” and “suckers” and wasn’t sure of “who the good guys” were in the First World War.

While much of the content in the article has already been proven (“John McCain is not a hero — he was captured;” insulting gold-star parents), it’s unfortunate The Atlantic was unable to identify its unnamed sources.

With so many veterans battling mental illness and already feeling marginalized — especially those who fought in unpopular conflicts — it’s tragic the Commander in Chief treats them with so much


As someone with five deferments from Vietnam because of supposed bone spurs — which never sidelined him from golfing or playing competitive sports — the 45th president really isn’t in a position to

criticize anyone’s military record.

The lifestyle his family enjoys, along with the freedom to spout off and the freedom of fair elections, are all courtesy of veterans.


Penticton has lost one of its best-known residents. Paraskevi Nanouri Vassilakaki — “Mama” to the locals — was 94. She and her husband are best remembered for being hard workers, but few of the online tributes recognized that she was a trailblazer. In the 1960s, it was uncommon for a woman to take such an active and hands-on role in a large operation such as the Vassilakaki empire.

Until recently, Mama was a regular at the Farmers Market, stores in the downtown and she’d often pop her head in the door at The Cellar, a restaurant operated by her son and daughter.

Mama was truly one of a kind.


On a lighter note:

I’m glad to see Steve Nash back in the NBA as head coach in Brooklyn. An A-plus guy. Detractors note he has a lack of coaching experience. That never stopped Larry Bird, who within three years in Indiana took the Pacers to a seventh and deciding game against Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Steve will be fine.


Okanagan College is offering free parking for the fall semester at all campuses, officials announced Wednesday. Meanwhile, for frosh week, all freshmen will also receive a get-out-of-jail free card.


Erin O’Toole named Candice Bergen his new deputy leader of the Conservative party. I loved “Murphy Brown.”


New theme song for the second wave of COVID-19: “Tiny Bubbles,” by Don Ho.


Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam advises that people wear masks and avoid kissing when having sex. Is that dating advice or a COVID warning?


Two great COVID-19 jokes:

• Best way to stay socially distanced from someone — lend them money

• In Germany, they prepared for quarantine by stocking up on sausage and cheese — the Wurst Kase scenario.

James Miller is editor of The Penticton Herald.