Tuesday, July 28th22.8°C

Safe riding

The tribute by Kelowna Critical Mass today in honour of the cyclist who was killed by "dooring" was a wonderful gesture. It was especially nice to see them all wearing their helmets when we usually see so many riding every day without one. Also they did not practice safe riding when at least 20-30 riders went through the red light at Bernard & Ellis. I realize they would have had to wait for the light to change and catch up with the other riders but perhaps they could have arranged for someone to direct traffic or follow the road rules which so many don't feel they apply to them.

Barbara Maynard

Gas prices around BC

Here are some gas prices around BC, July 24th.

Prince George - 110.9, Fort St. John 128.9, Golden 130.9, Revelstoke 127.9, Kamloops 124.9, Vernon 120.9, Penticton 126.9, Osoyoos 127.9, Merritt 122.9, Oliver 124.9, and Lake Country 124.9. Vancouver is averaging 126.9 to 131.9 including an added transit tax. On the Island we have: Courtney 121.9, Comox 123.9, Nanaimo 124.9, Tofino 125.9, and Ucluelet at 125.9. 

Here in Kelowna we are currently getting gouged at 130.9 to 131.9. The current price of a barrel of oil is $48.30. Draw your own conclusions!

Janice Cartier

Child care benefits

Child care benefit, what a travesty. I dare say there are lots of folks who could use the money and I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is those making $75-$100 thousand a year (plus) getting that same benefit. They don’t need the money for heaven sakes so why is the govn’t just throwing it at them? It’s the same with social insurance. Why is it automatically dolled out to people who really don’t need it when there are lots of us who could use the extra cash?
What a waste! Does anybody with a brain actually think this through?
Corinne Broten


Telecommunications pricing

Regarding modern telecommunications pricing here in Kelowna.

I had a good chat with a Telus salesperson on my lawn recently offering some deal or another. Shaw will be increasing their prices soon, he tells me. I ask about a home phone - it costs about the same as a cell. I lament the good old days when you could get basic phone service for $15, and the loss of the idea that internet service providers would ever lower prices to compete with global norms. He mentions the sheer size of Canada, the difficulty in bringing service to so large an area... I pointed out that it was no excuse for the current obscene pricing schemes. I did a bit of research just out of curiosity - lo and behold, our other common northern neighbour with a large surface area fares similarly to us in internet speed, averaging 30 mbps from a google search on today's date (July 21, 2015), would be Russia. A comparison in cost of living shows some interesting stats also - while perhaps not strictly accurate, might still provide a good measure of comparison - average cost of 10 mbps internet, Canada - $54; average cost of 10 mbps internet, Russia - $7.50. Cell service shows a similar disparity in cost. While not purely accurate data, this does show that a country of very comparable size to ours (somewhat larger) and internet service level maintains a much lower price point. 

How can a home phone today cost 2x what it did 10 years ago when technology is supposed to be improving? Shouldn't it cost the operator less given the improvements in efficiency and volume? We can do better than this, by far, and are being gouged in the same way gas prices increase as oil prices drop and supplies stabilize. Hurray, free market economics.

James Tomelin

Sweet Dean

After a speech to Conservative supporters at his riding association’s annual Stampede barbecue, Stephen Harper was joined by his band, the Van Cats, to entertain the crowd. He played three songs with reporters present, including Sweet Caroline (google all 4:36 minutes of it on Youtube - if you dare!)

On June 25, Dean Del Mastro - Harper's former parliamentary secretary - was sentenced to a month in jail after being convicted of cheating during the 2008 federal election and covering up his crime. He was granted bail, but not before spending a night in jail after being marched to a waiting police van wearing handcuffs and leg shackles.

NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus noted that Del Mastro was picked out of the Conservative caucus "to stand up and speak for the prime minister on issues of ethics and accountability."

"The fact that Dean Del Mastro is being sent to the crowbar hotel sends a message," he said in an interview with CBC News.

Here's some new lyrics for Sweet Caroline, titled Dean Del Mastro. Hopefully Harper will add it to his song repertoire on the summer barbecue circuit. 

Perhaps Jason Scott (local Neil Diamond performance artist) will consider singing both versions when he performs at the Royal Canadian Legion in Kelowna on July 25.

Dean Del Mastro

When it began, I can't begin to knowin'
But then I know it's growin' strong
Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who'd have believed you were so wrong

Hands, shackled hands
Reaching out, shackled feet, touching you

Dean Del Mastro
Bad times never seemed so bad
I'd be inclined
To believe that you are sad
But now I

Look at the jail and it don't seem so lonely
You filled it up for just one night
And when you hurt
Hurtin' runs off your shoulders
Now pack your bag and board a flight

One, just pack one
Flyin' out, don't blame me, just blame you

Dean Del Mastro
Bad times never seemed so bad
I'd be inclined
To believe that you are sad
Oh no, no

David Buckna

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