Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maya Angelou Passes at 86

Sad she's gone, even though I hadn't seen her on television for many years.
Maya Angelou had a profound impact on me almost 40 years ago.

It was a little thing really.
Yet the admiration I felt for the woman--nearly 40 years ago--has stayed with me to this day.
I can't even remember what TV show it was.
Or its host.

Today's headline in The Province "Writer Maya Angelou inspired optimism" and quote "You'll never hear me complain.  I will protest, but I will not complain," (January 2009 Bloomberg News)  reminded me of a program where Ms. Angelou was being interviewed.

Seated beside Maya was Leslie Caron, the French film actress.  Maya Angelou immediately had a strong impact on me...and no doubt, also on Leslie Caron.

The topic came around to the Presidential inauguration (again--forgot whether they referred to Gerald Ford, or Carter two years later).  The topic of the Presidential inauguration was raised and a lively discussion followed about the throngs of people who lined the streets to welcome the new President. 

Leslie Caron sat silently during the minutes-long discussion between Maya and the host, Leslie wearing the "pouty" self-aggrandizing expression which had become her public face following film successes.

As the topic waned, the host asked Leslie Caron what she thought of the Presidential inauguration, presumably because she was working in America at the time.

Her reply:  "Too much pomp and circumstance!" to which Maya Angelou turned to Leslie Caron--in a very deliberate shifting in her chair--and replied:  "And you'd know all about pomp and circumstance, wouldn't you?"

Leslie Caron's ashen visage almost shattered.
I think I cheered.
If anyone knows pomp and circumstance, it is the French.

That was the day Maya Angelou became my role model.
Even before she read her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at Clinton's inauguration in 1993

She didn't complain; she protested.
Matter-of-factly to Leslie Caron's stony face.

"Me doth think you protest too much," offers Kia, grinning.

Rest in peace, Maya Angelou, the world will remember you with admiration.

Maya Angelou, dead at 86.

"I will protest, but I will not complain."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spallumcheen stays with Blue Bag System

So why can't other areas "reach an agreement with the Regional District of North Okanagan..?"
And why not for another year?
Or two?
or forever?

The cost of the Township of Spallumcheen's recycling is more than doubling from $17.61 annually, but residents will no doubt be pleased they can continue to recycle the items they've been used to recycling in the past.

And Enderby is fighting to keep rural collection depots which MMBC has unceremoniously removed.  Those depots were necessary repositories for all manner of products that MMBC now refuses to accept.

I'd happily pay $39.05 for a year of blue bag recycling, versus the "free" (ya, right!) MMBC program, which will see the retail cost of products increase to include the program.

It's typical yabba yabba yabba from the corporate mafia of multinational producers who designed and implemented the program after they convinced the B.C. government to let them run it.

We consumers will always pay in the end.

So we opt for the system we've had.
How come nobody said we in Coldstream--or Vernon--could "extend the existing program?"

"Ask Greg Betts how to do that," suggests Kia.

So...if MMBC gave each of 18 Regional Districts in B.C. a million bucks as incentive to jettison the former program--and Spallumcheen isn't participating for one year, but charging their residents more--sounds like the Regional District is raking in pretty good coin.

Something stinks.
And it's not the cheese wrapper.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We're not ALWAYS about bad news and criticism

No, not always anyway.

Time for an introduction.

Welcome to this world, grandson numero uno.

Theron Roberts, 7 lbs. 8 oz.,  born May 20th, 2014, at 7:30 pm

Highlands was in the middle of our Tuesday Men's Night when the good news arrived, immediately followed by loud cheers from our patrons. 

Looks like he already has joined the Coldstream Corner complaint staff...

"Does his birth mean that Grandma's gonna mellow?", asks Kia.

Nah...unless there's a simultaneous end to smoke 'n mirrors and bullshit.


Civil Disobedience Warranted?

Probably the only way for we grass roots folks--who have always been told how important our views are--to get the message out once and for all.

The topic is the new MMBC recycling program, which is an absolute scam created by the corporate mafia with head offices in Ontario.

It should fail in B.C.
And it must.

And here's another revelation:
Are you sitting down?
Glass wasn't allowed in the previous recycling system either, but we were encouraged to take glass to an approved depot "for proper recycling".  Well, guess what happened to that glass under the old--and will happen under the new--recycling system?  Turns out that since the Consumers Glass plant in Lavington closed in 1997, glass jars and bottles are crushed and used as fill at the Landfill.  (anonymous, very reliable source).

This is NOT happening to glass that we recycle...but this is HOW it should be done!

Yup...used as fill, just like household garbage.


We grass roots folks can make the MMBC recycling system fail, despite its management touting that MMBC is a "legal entity", condoned by the B.C. government.

The hue and cry from the public continues.

Some recent excerpts from the Morning Star follow:

" of the 4 Rs of recycling is to reduce, so I do try to purchase products with
a minimum of packaging.  Usually this means plastic overwrap (which isn't allowed in the new system).  So, where is the incentive to reduce?   My plastic bags and overwrap will now go into my
garbage and then to the landfill."  Jackie Bland

"...perhaps if everyone like myself feels the same way, then they should also set out
their new boxes with a note to pick up the two blue boxes to recycle and use the blue bags instead."
Jean McMullin

"Too bad we British Columbians have to learn what to do from Thomas Jefferson," states Kia.

Doesn't matter, Kia.
It doesn't matter from whom we learn matters only that we do learn. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Multi (Mini) Material BC

Yes it is.
Anybody notice that plastic bread bags are not permitted in the blue boxes?
I did.

Remember that Loblaws Company is one of the "industry" companies that developed British Columbia's new recycling program that starts May 19th.
And hood-winked our government to accept the program.

So what's the problem with Loblaws?

Well, as it turns out, Loblaws is owned by George Weston Ltd.
Among other things, George Weston Ltd. is the largest producer of bakery goods in Canada.

Bakery goods. 
Bread.  Buns.
In plastic wrap.
The wrap that isn't allowed in the blue box program they developed with other industry "heavies".


Even this senior--in a letter to the editor today--expressed disgust at this poorly designed system.  Excerpts from the letter follow:

"An open letter to Environment Minister Mary Polak about reycling bins and MMBC.  

I received the two blue boxes.  They are so heavy that I will never be able to carry them when filled.  I am 76 years old.  How am I going to get them down the eight concrete steps to the sidewalk in good weather, never mind at 7 a.m. in the winter with the snow and ice?

...Because you will not accept some of the plastics that we are already recycling very nicely, I have to find a place to store plastics as well, until I can also take them to a depot.

The blue bags worked perfectly.  I could carry the bag, sometimes with difficulty, but at worst I could drag it.  The material was kept clean and dry.

I cannot tell you just how angry I am about this new system, as are my friends and neighbours.   

...I cannot carry the blue boxes with anything in them, so I will not be using them.  Neither will my senior or disabled friends.  You have effectively shut down recycling for us and we will certainly all remember this come election time."  
Jean Collier  

"The corporate mafia screwed up," offers Kia.

They're responsible for what will happen...plastics will go back into landfills, unfortunately.

The blue boxes?
They're good plant pots for large specimens.

Friday, May 9, 2014

RBC Cup Week Visitors

Vernon Viper alumni Aaron Volpatti and Troy Cherwinski played a round of golf at Highlands, joining a six-some (yes, six!) for the short-game challenge.

Former Vernon Viper, Troy Cherwinski (at left) and Aaron Volpatti, who now plays for the NHL's Washington Capitals.

And Tuesday night's Men's Night saw current Vipers Captain Ryan Renz and Assistant Captain Josh Bryan joining us for golf and steak BBQ.

"Hockey guys are great golfers," attests Kia.

A patio visitor intoned "The Canucks and Maple Leafs are the best golfers in hockey."

Great action coming up during RBC Cup Week in Vernon, running May 10 through 18, 2014. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MMBC? Mini Material BC

So far, as recyclables continue to accumulate--prior to the May 19th launch of the area's new recycling program--items that my location recycles have proven a definite FAIL to the program.

Printed material isn't a problem...newspapers and periodicals and flyers.

Paper printed material isn't a problem...mostly flyers and unsolicited material.

But it's the "plastic" bin that's the problem.
Each of the items shown in the plastic bin--with the exception of the bleach bottle--is not allowed under the MMBC recycling program.

But all were accepted under the program that's being abandoned.
No plastic overwrap from bottled water or Gatorade flats (we always buy in bulk), no ice cube bags, no plastic shopping bags, no plastic bread or buns bags.  So those items will be removed before I place the bin at the curb at the program's inception.

"The new program is disgraceful," says Kia, adding "landfills will take the unnecessary hit."

Poorly conceived by the Big Boys.  Corporate multinationals (out of Ontario) telling the B.C. government how they'll run recycling on the British Columbia government's behalf.

Ya sure.

Obviously a low biorhythm day when Christy Clark approved this nonsense! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Conner Kozak ... all grown up

He started golfing at Highlands when he was just a youngster as a member of the Kal Tire Junior Linkster Tour under the direction of Scott Harnett.

And he proved that short game skills are as important as the tee shot...then and now.

So it was with considerable home-course pride that I opened up the sports section in the Morning Star on April 30th and saw an adult Conner Kozak photographed--with his textbook golf swing--in a story reporting he had won the first AII banner for the UBC Thunderbirds since 2011.

Wilson Wong photo, from Morning Star newspaper

A young Conner Kozak (pardon flash glare) from Highlands Wall of Fame for 2 holes-in-one here that day.

Conner shot a 3-under par round at the Men's Golf Championship in Bremerton, Washington.

Congratulations Conner.
We're all proud of your achievements at university.

"Attaboy, Conner," says Kia.