Dear Editor: There’s an opening for a new dean to administer the party claiming to be Green. But supporters are no longer keen to make donations after what they’ve seen. Soon there will be nowhere to convene and no more mugs of free caffeine. This could all have been foreseen after the leaders proved they were thoughtlessly mean.
Lloyd Atkins, Vernon
An alternative take on Campbell’s reign
Dear Editor: A new investigation by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has revealed the Gordon Campbell government was warned in a November, 2010, report that a critical staffing shortage at its River Forecast Centre could put the B.C. public at risk.
The 38-page report was written by Jim Mattison, a former senior-ranking member of the provincial Ministry of Environment.
Mattison had recommended RFC staffing needed to rise from 5.5 full-time employees to a minimum of 12 employees if the agency was to provide effective critical warnings to vulnerable communities threatened by floods. Yet, the employee levels at the RFC remain unchanged to this day.
So what happened last month? The RFC’s first advisory came at noon on Nov. 13, five days after the first general warning was issued by Washington state officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
With Mattison’s report and The Tragically Hip’s 1989 song “New Orleans Is Sinking” serving as inspiration, what follows is my song rewrite:
BC Land Is Sinking
Blueberries in the deep, sow but not reap
Under skies ominous blue grey
Had to forsake my home that’s a lake
So all we could do was pray
My memory is muddy, what’s this state that I’m in?
BC Land is sinkin’, man, and I don’t wanna swim
Premier John, what’s wrong, what’s goin’ on?
Few forecasters at the RFC
Red sky in mornin’, early flood warnin’
You gotta do what you know is key
Ain’t got no dry belongings, ain’t got no souvenirs
What does the future hold now, I’m thinkin’ ‘bout those years
Pickin’ out highlights of the scenery
Tulameen, Similkameen, Sumas Prairie
Coquihalla, Chilliwack, and the Fraser
Nicola, Spius, Coldwater, see you later
I had my feet in the river, now the sandbags on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above and said, “Hey, man, thanks”
Sometimes I feel so bad I gotta scream
Then said that guy Noah, “I know exactly what you mean”
He said, he said, I swear to God he said
My memory is clearcut, what’s this state that I’m in?
BC Land is floodin’, man, and I don’t wanna swim
BC Land needs new floor plan ‘cause I don’t wanna swim
It seems obvious that B.C. needs not only to increase the River Forecast Centre’s number of employees as soon as possible, but also develop a new “forest floor plan” — aka new Forest Act — with input from everyone: the public at large, Ministry of Forests staff, all B.C. political parties, Indigenous groups, irrigation districts, local watershed groups, foresters and forest management experts, environmental organizations (such as Sierra Club BC), sawmills and other forest products companies, loggers, municipal governments, et. al.
If the Horgan government chooses not to move forward with province-wide discussions, you can rest assured the topic of a new Forest Act will become a major issue in the next B.C. election campaign.
David Buckna, Kelowna
We’re driving right into climate change
Dear editor: An interesting point some writer brought up some months ago was why do we still tolerate cars idling at a fast-food restaurant in a time that we are concerned about climate change?
We have 13 drive-thrus in Penticton. One chain wouldn’t disclose how many cars they serve per day, but did say “lots.”
Natural Resources Canada (2003) says that a vehicle with a three-litre engine uses one cup of fuel, and a five-litre engine uses two cups of fuel when idling for 10 minutes.
NRC also states idling your vehicle for over 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 than turning off and restarting your engine.
In one chain I observed in a non-busy period, it took the driver a full five minutes to go from placing an order to picking up and driving away. I have seen normal lineups of five, 10 and 15 vehicles lined up behind a window, idling for periods way beyond that five minute wait and multiplying the effects of pollution that science knows is linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer.
You are getting more with your burger and coffee over time than you are expecting.
Are the servers in the booth getting compensated for the risk they are taking? With a guess at a very small average of 50 cars per day per each drive-thru at 13 facilities, it is not hard to imagine the huge pollution effect this is having on our health and climate. Is there a mathematician out there that would like to calculate the grams of CO2 being produced?
The option: Park your car, get out and walk to the order booth and talk to your neighbours while you wait with your car turned off. Will it take longer? Why would it? Will it cost more? Why would it if there is already enough room in the parking lot?
Option 2: The drive-thru can hire a curb side server and you can wait in your car. I used to be a curbside server many years ago and loved the job.
We do need to start thinking about concrete changes to our habits. This one is probably doable without pain, nor would it be a difficult to turn off your engine while you wait for your partner to go in and get the groceries. There is probably something simple that every one of us can start doing, let’s throw out the ideas and start supporting some newer and smarter habits to reduce emissions.
Patricia Kristie, Penticton
Using library much more than books
Dear editor: Penticton city Coun. Julius Bloomfield has compared the use of our library to that of the bike “path.” To use the bike route people need a certain level of fitness (even to move and store an E-bike).
Our library is not only for books, magazines and newspapers, but also computers, use of wifi for people’s own devices, DVDs, video and board games. Also available are lectures, meetings, clubs, movies, contests, tutor/student areas, and of course the very important children’s library.
Home delivery is even available, virtual and otherwise. As to comparison with the museum, art gallery, and pool, only the pool makes sense to use every day, and there you also need a certain level of fitness, whereas many people visit the library every day, and even some evenings.
Everyone from infants to the oldest senior can use the library – not so the bike route.
Joy Lang, Penticton