Recent comments

  • City spares us stink; offers indoor composters   3 years 37 weeks ago
    Hey, I'm all for composting, in fact we've got a kitchen composter under the sink and it works great.....but, these are available for purchase at most hardware stores. I hope the City is purchasing these locally....if not, should you really be competing with your commercial taxpayers? If you really want to promote these things, perhaps a better idea is to offer a discount coupon or a voucher redeemable at a local business.....just saying!
  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 37 weeks ago
    Some of those demands seem pretty ridiculous. About the only one that makes sense is the 5 paid days for professional development per year. And from what I hear, that's the one that was pushed to the teachers when the union asked for a strike mandate. I think it's important to note that this is a negotiation. It's in each party' interest to ask for more than they realistically hope to get, so they have room for negotiation. Apart from that, I think a modest increase in wages isn't unreasonable either, at least enough to keep up with inflation. I don't think the Liberal government is in any position to offer less without being highly hypocritical, considering they gave themselves massive increases a while back.
  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 37 weeks ago
    The thing about the teaching profession is that the Union has the last word and teachers must go along with the official party line so to speak but also must be part of the union to keep their teaching license. I took my BEd in University (didn't finish due to burnout, but that's another story) and I learned very quickly this was the case. Perhaps there are teachers out there who don't agree with how the union is bargaining but can't voice their opinions too loudly, who knows. But because of the official union stance, the public doesn't have much sympathy with the teaching profession and the the myth that that all teachers have it easy and cushy and are overpaid is perpetuated. ( Not just in BC but everywhere.) I can assure you that beginning teachers especially have a really hard job, doing unit and lesson plans from scratch and trying to build up their teaching skills. In my practicums I got very little sleep and literally lived in the library, doing lesson plans and suchlike. I have a lot of respect for good teachers now that I am a parent, but I think the bad teachers who coast along need to be somehow weeded out. And I do think the teaching unions need to lose the mood.
  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 37 weeks ago
    BCTF should work on their propaganda material. $74,353 is actually the maximum rate for the average teacher catergory. Salaries start around $45,909 (if a new teacher can actually get a job with all the lifers hanging on). This shows a better breakdown, would be nice to see average salaries though: http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/BargainingContracts/2011-12SalaryRankings.pdf
  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 37 weeks ago

    "Two weeks' paid leave upon the death of any friend"? "Two days sick pay per month which can be saved up"? I'm a teacher (in the college system) and married to a teacher and I'll defend to the death the hard and unheralded work that most educators do, but sometimes I have to shake my head at the sheer nerve of the BCTF.

    In a province where the minimum wage is a hellish $8.75/hour and in an economy that's on the verge of collapse, I'd say it might be a good idea to keep some sense of perspective and humility when bargaining--and I know many teachers agree with me.

    That two weeks' paid leave upon the death of a friend (at a salary of $74K/year) is the equivalent of two months' pay for a minimum wage worker. Over the course of a 25 year career, those two sick days a month would add up to almost two and a half years of benefits! These demands are childish and will not only be met--they will earn teachers the emnity of the general public.

    I don't think most people would object to a reasonable cost-of-living increase for our educators, but demands like this will do nothing but earn scorn and contempt from the average British Columbian.

    Personally, I'd rather see all this energy going toward achieving across-the-board social justice for our most vulnerable citizens--and their children.

  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 37 weeks ago
    Just noticed that BC teachers are making a meager $74,353/year, from BCTF's own comparisons: http://www.bctf.ca/BargainingAndContracts.aspx?id=23599 If only I could be so impoverished. Just because other teacher unions acted like thugs and are paid ridiculous salaries doesn't mean BC needs to follow suit. Focus on class sizes, you make lots of money.
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    I stand corrected, I just liked that particular link because it showed various pictures of dear and loved kitties in action. Sorry, it appears that cats may kill somewhere between 100's of millions to billions of songs birds, or maybe just birds in general (I will leave you to do you own Google searches). Like much of the human/wildlife confrontation in our communities, much is to be blamed on our actions. Coyotes (and bears and other wildlife) learn our habits like leaving garbage out, not tending fruit trees and not properly tending domesticated animals (including cats) and act accordingly. In short, keep your cat out of my yard and a coyote won't have an opportunity to kill it there.
  • Hurricane Irene and the staggering costs of climate change   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Your opinion seems very valid and quite educated based on your ability to form complex sentences with excellent punctuation. Could you please provide some sources for your evidence and claims?
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Your info link says: "It is estimated that in the United States, cats kill over a billion small mammals and millions of birds a year." You said: "Cats kill billions of songbirds in North America every year..." That is quite the jump in numbers and quite the leap from estimate to statement. Regardless, these types of comments skirt and detract from the real issue. This is about Rossland, coyotes and cats. Why are coyotes decimating Rossland's cat population? What has brought coyotes into town in such numbers this year in particular? Is it the recent trend to keep chickens in town? Last night I clearly saw a large coyote (approximate height: 3 feet from front paw to ear tip) about 25 feet away walking down a well lit midtown Rossland street? If my cat, dog or grandchild was sitting on the front doorstep or in my yard, they and any other small animal would have clearly been in danger. Should they all be "cooped up"?
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    For all those who have lost a cat or suffered the loss of one recently in Rossland, I offer my heartfelt, shared sympathies and hope that the sunny little faces and paws that shined up our lives somehow make it safely back home again!
  • Hurricane Irene and the staggering costs of climate change   3 years 38 weeks ago

    Re: Hurricane Irene and the staggering costs of climate change

    To the editor:

    It is unlikely that global warming will cause increased extreme weather. If the world warms due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures at high latitudes are forecast to rise most, reducing the difference between arctic and tropical temperatures.

    Since this differential drives weather, we should see less weather extremes, not more.

    It is also a mistake to blame human activities for current weather extremes. For example, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (www.nipccreport.com) includes a study published this year about the causes of the 2010 Russian heat wave.

    Researchers concluded that "it is unlikely that the warming attributable to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations contributed significantly to the magnitude of the heat wave."

    It is also important notice decreasing trends in extreme weather. For example, we are now near a 30 year low in worldwide "accumulated cyclone energy"* ("hurricanes" in the North Atlantic), something that was not supposed to be happening if the forecasts of climate models were correct.

    Instead of futilely trying to stop extreme weather events, we need to prepare for them by burying electrical cables underground, reinforcing infrastructure and ensuring reliable energy sources so that we have the power to heat and cool our dwellings as needed.

    Tom Harris, executive director
    International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), Ottawa

  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 38 weeks ago
    I support any efforts teachers make to reduce class sizes and improve education for BC children. Beyond that, go to SK, AB, or ON. We can all make more money working there but we choose to live here. Those provinces have higher salaries in general and therefore a higher tax base to pay pubic service employees. There are countless qualified teachers waiting for a chance to live in the Kootenays (and BC in general). I have no doubt that we can maintain our current teacher base without giving in to such ridiculous financial demands. Unemployment is high; families are struggling. Be happy you have a secure job with good benefits and retirement plan. Holding our kids ransom for these extravagant demands is just wrong.
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Cats are not native to Rossland either. They have been introduced to the area, by humans. Cats are the most destructive predator on earth and have been the cause of extinctions of many species in both New Zealand and Australia. Now, you tell me which is the bigger problem, not only in Rossland BC, but worldwide. Cats or coyotes ??? In New Zealand cats have been responsible for the extinction of six endemic bird species and over 70 localised subspecies as well as depleting bird and lizard species. Cats in Australia have caused the decline and extinction of animals on islands as they have been shown to cause a significant impact on ground birds and small native mammals. Cats have also stopped any attempts to re-introduce threatened species back into areas where they have become extinct as the cats have simply hunted and killed the newly released animals. Numerous Australian environmentalists claim the cat has been an ecological disaster in Australia, inhabiting most ecosystems except dense rainforest, and being implicated in the extinction of several marsupial and placental mammal species.
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago

    If you watched the original cat video, you have to hear the song...

  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    The point is its not natural, cats were imported so should be controlled in order to save natural species. As for more attention, why do you want a cat if you are not inclined to give it? Plus as has been shown indoor cats don't cost big on Vet bills. With millions of cats running wild and reproducing at a phenomenal rate what hope is there for our naturally occurring birds ? If a person wants a cat be responsible!!
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Cats are perfectly happy as indoor creatures if they never are allowed to run wild. As for loving to hunt that is for the owner to take time to play with them they love to chase and play with toys. Save our wild life keep cats indoors.
  • Hurricane Irene and the staggering costs of climate change   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Hurricane Irene left billions of dollars in damages in its wake. To add insult to injury, thousands now have to face the prospect of pricey repairs to their damaged homes. Many compassionate souls are feeling motivated to give to those sufferers in need. But tragedies like these also bring out the crooks, eager to make a fast buck off the already-suffering. The Better Business Bureau has offered some tips in selecting legitimate workers and charitable groups. Source of article: Some contractors and charities taking advantage of Hurricane Irene
  • B.C. Teachers issue 72-hour strike notice in effort to speed up bargaining with Liberal government   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Two weeks paid leave for the death of a friend ???? Twenty six weeks paid leave to look after someone who is not even a family member???? One full year of pay as a bonus for retiring teachers ???? That, in my opinion, is abuse of tax payers money. Those demands are not even reasonable. What ever happened to teaching just for the love of it?? From it's inception in 1917, it was 54 years before the BCTF took province wide strike action over retiring teachers pensions. 54 years !!! Now it is almost every year and the demands are just getting ridiculous. It isn't about teaching anymore. It is about greed and only greed. It isn't about providing a good education for children. It's about getting more for less. We are after all, talking about people who get at least 12 weeks a year off from work. I can understand demanding class sizes being capped. I can understand extra help for special needs students. I can understand a lot of things but I can not understand the " give me or I refuse to work" mentality of today's teachers. It sickens me and I feel very sorry for the children and the parents of those children. A good majority of those parents are working low wage jobs with little to no benefits at all and still having to pay taxes to support public education. If my children were still of school age, I would refuse to publicly educate them. I think it is time for parents to say "enough already" and pull their children from the public education system and then see what happens to those unreasonable demands. If there are no children to teach, no pay coming in, I bet the teachers would soon sing a different song !!!
  • Trail police field the weird and wacky this morning   3 years 38 weeks ago
    this is junk. you must be short on stories.
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago

    Thanks for bringing up this aspect of the issue, ssanders! Those owners who love to have their cats roam free willingly let them kill other animals, so need to be somewhat philosophical about the possibility of their animal getting killed in turn. That's what animals do!

    As for those who insist on keeping cats indoors, I'd like to learn more about the mental well-being of solitary predators that spend their lives cooped up in close proximity to other creatures while denied the right to hunt...Anybody out there care to educate me?

    I'm not a cat person, but if I was, I'd let mine take its chances outdoors and if it ended up as a coyote's lunch, I'd feel that at least it got to live while it was alive.

  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    And let's not forget all the rodents that cats kill. Probably the reason they were domesticated in the first place.
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    While I sympathize with those who have lost a pet, I agree that cat owners need to take more responsibility for their roaming cats. Cats kill billions of songbirds in North America every year and are major contributor to the decimation of songbird populations. Domesticated cats are a non-indigenous (invasive ) predator. Keep your cats under control or don't complain when nature takes its course. Cats are a predator that competes for prey with wild predators, including coyotes. It is natural for competing predators to kill the competition. And yes, even your outdoor cat kills songbirds. More info: http://audubonawe.squarespace.com/storage/OUTDOOR%20CATS.pdf
  • Hurricane Irene and the staggering costs of climate change   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Why the alarmists keep harping on every weather aberration as AGW is ridiculous . 31000 scientiasts -not Al Gore's minions- have dispelled the alarmists claim that Climate has anything to do with man made activity . Carbon yes! Gore no !!
  • Why, oh, why, Wile-E? Local cats fast becoming a favourite snack for area coyotes   3 years 38 weeks ago
    First I would caution those that are quick to say that we moved into the coyotes range and that they are 'natural' and therefore somehow deserving of special treatment (when they kill someone else's pet). Coyotes are probably not native to the Rossland area. Like the whitetail deer they have been expanding their range over the last century, following and using man as a facilitator. Most old-time woodsmen will tell you that if there are wolves around you will have few if any coyotes. Coyotes are extremely adaptable carnivores. The reason they are so adaptable is because they are very intelligent and opportunistic. The have discovered an easy food supply (pets) and that the risk to them of exploiting this food supply is almost nil. Unlike the prairies, almost no-one in this area targets coyotes. On the prairies there is a healthy population of coyotes but, by and large, they are very respectful of man. We don't need to eradicate coyotes. We can respect them for what they are, but unless they respect us there will be increasing confrontation with them. Soon they'll be trying out children as an easy target. We should support sportsmen who enjoy the opportunity to get out and try their skill at hunting this predator and support laws that encourage responsible harvest.
  • ATAMANENKO: Do corporate tax cuts really create jobs?   3 years 38 weeks ago
    Wow, that’s a wealth of information, especially the links to other websites online on this subject. Thanks for sharing guys! I had been unaware that it was possible to find all these information online for free, so it was a pleasant discovery!