Letters to the editor
I did what Elicia L. suggested and researched brown recluse spiders. I could't find any reputable source that states these spiders are in BC.
However, within the top Google search results, I found an interesting article from an expert at the Royal BC Museum. Dr Bennett writes, "Over the last 20 or 30 years a large number of peer-reviewed articles published in professional medical journals, ranging from Canadian Family Physician to Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, have completely debunked the popular mythology surrounding brown recluse spiders and their bites..."
Before criticizing Castanet for inaccurate reporting please get your facts straight.
After finally stopping laughing at this silly notion and going to change my shorts (I am still laughing even now 20 minutes later).
I must say that the trails these people see are the vapor trails given off by the very hot engine exhaust and not some silly notion that various and sundry peoples or countries are spreading chemicals over our country to cause all kinds of mayhem to our planet.
A person would have to be partially brain dead to believe in this junk being spread by so few people. But then again Al Gore has made well over a billion dollars trying to shove global warming down peoples throats.
The article posted regarding spiders and their reputation to hurt, being debunked, is a fallacy.
Yes, I agree that spiders should be given a lot more credit for what they do (I, myself, find that I need to fear these creatures less, as my 3 year old is extremely intrigued by them - but is sadly beginning to acquire my fear). They eat flies and other insects considered nuisances in your house.
Yes, I agree they [spiders] are getting increasingly scared of your home, the farther they travel in. And that they cannot travel up your pipes. Unless you just tried to wash them down and they crawled back up. I speak on behalf of every person who has ever washed an alive spider down the drain, and watched in horror as it crawled back up.
I also agree, the 'wolf spider' doesn't exist in BC. And I agree that, generally, they do not harm you.
But this is where the article is incorrect, and it doesn't take an entomologist to find the error in the statement.
Black widows are the only spider species in BC that can harm a human. Wrong!
What this statement is doing, is telling all the unfortunate victims of Brown Recluse Spider bites, that their skin did not disintegrate away, and that the spider that bit them, did not cause the flesh eating disease attacking the bite location. And that all those people (myself included) who have been (extremely painfully) bitten by a Black Widow spider, that we are lucky to be alive.
That is wrong. Yes the black widow bite hurt like heck, and yes I know FOR SURE that it was a Black Widow, but in no way was I in danger for my life. Did I go to a doctor? Not even.
Please edit your story to include Brown Recluse and any other spider that is actually really found in BC, that harms people. If you read print with any scientific value, or speak to a doctor who has treated a Brown Recluse bite victim, you will edit your article. And perhaps do research before an article is put out like this! It is extremely dangerous to tell people not to worry about the Brown Recluse!
You know what can drop property values? An absence of working cellular service.
There are far more studies (by actual credible scientists) That show how it is physically impossible for cell towers to adversely affect people. Anyone claiming that cell towers cause cancer are 100% wrong, and will be unable to provide any actual evidence, or any real knowledge of how the EMR spectrum, or physics and biology work.
Cell phone towers have just as much place in residential neighbourhoods as power lines, or cable lines, or sewer pipes. You're right that residents have a right to stop construction of things that can pose health hazards, but cell towers are not one of those things.
I received a letter home today from my child's school asking for money to cover fees. We have a lot of supplies left over from previous years (reuse, recycle) so I thought that I would call the school and ask for a list of the needed supplies.
The person that answered the phone said that they do have a list of the needed supplies but that my children would not be able to partake in any projects that required other supplies not included on the list if we didn't buy them; we'd need to buy our own paint, plasticine, pastels, construction paper, etc. They also said that I have to supply a package of paper (500 sheets) for any photocopies throughout the year.
I was very surprised with this statement. I have no problem paying for the basic supplies (pencils, notebooks, erasers, felts, etc) but I was always under the belief that the school supplied the rest. With this in mind I decided to do some research and was very surprised with what I found. In 2006 the BC School Board was sued over the charging of schools fees and the Courts ruled that the schools cannot charge for any materials or equipment required to finish a course leading to graduation.
Also the BC Schools Act states in section 82 that the School Board must provide free of charge educational resource materials necessary to participate in the educational program. I think that we should all question what we are paying for and what our children are entitled to while attending school.
There are also currently two other cases in BC before the Courts for these very same reasons. I understand that the schools need money to operate, but is that not what we pay taxes for?
Jeff B, West Kelowna
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