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

It’s both repulsive and frightening that a handful of people took to social media to support an unknown individual in Summerland who placed a Confederate flag in the window of his unit, facing Gyro Park on Canada Day.

Some believe the flag is not racist, even suggesting it was used on “Dukes of Hazzard.” People, do your homework. NASCAR and the State of Louisiana have both banned the flag and logo because ... it’s racist.

While the vast majority of people are appalled, some confuse free speech with hate speech. There’s a difference.

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Allow me to extend my best wishes and a get-well-soon message to Penticton city councillor, former three-term mayor, fellow Beatles’ fan and local actor Jake Kimberley. Due to COVID-19, there are absolutely no visitors allowed at Penticton Regional Hospital Anyone wishing to send Jake their regards can mail or drop off a card at PRH or email: chafox7@icloud.com.

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Note to fans of national affairs columnist Chantal Hebert. Due to her many commitments, she does not submit a syndicated column on a weekly basis. It’s recurring. When her column is available, we definitely run it.

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One of the benefits of the COVID-19 lockdown for me was I seem to have more money in the bank. There wasn’t a lot to spend it on over the past three months. If you were among those who were fortunate enough to still be drawing a full paycheque, please consider a charitable donation to a worthwhile local cause.

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Just in case you don’t want to feel old, Ringo Starr turns 80 on Tuesday. The oldest of the four Beatles, the famed drummer became a great-grandfather in 2016. I said, “no, no, no, no....”

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Two books I will be reading this summer: “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” by Mary L. Trump and “The Room Where It Happened” by John Bolton. If you see a tent on Bernard Ave. on the day of the release, don’t call bylaw services, it’s me camping out to get my copy at Mosaic Books.

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It’s unfortunate that with the limited police resources available, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, that Erin O’Toole’s camp is calling on police to investigate one of his opponents over supposed internet hacking. Are police not busy enough? Shouldn’t investigations be conducted internally by the party?

If the Tories want to knock off Justin Trudeau in the next election (prediction: spring 2021), they need to be united. When the Liberals and NDP held their most recent leadership races, everyone accepted the outcome and backed the winner. Conservatives need to do that. Stateside, so do the Democrats.

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Baseball and hockey can shut down over labour disputes, but not a global pandemic that’s still not under control in the United States. As much as I love both sports, shouldn’t they be safe, not sorry? And, why just the professional leagues? How about junior hockey programs where players are still in the development stages of their careers? If the pros get the green light, so should the amateurs.

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Thinking back to a wonderful era known as the 1980s, it was legitimate phone solicitors, nice people trying to make an honest living, who we all hung up on. Flash ahead 40 years and it’s the scammers — posing as Canada Revenue Agency banks, insurance companies and grandchildren who were arrested — who we hate.

If I don’t have a column next week, it’s because I’ve been arrested for not paying my taxes. I could have avoided this by phoning a specific number and then wiring them $4,000.

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Happy Fourth of July to my American friends.

James Miller is managing editor of the Penticton Herald.