Opinion

HAVE YOUR SAY: Dawn to Dawn great choice by Comox Valley Chamber

A dais loaded with thank you awards to the Unordinary- Extraordinary Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce and their members for selecting Dawn to Dawn as the recipient of the proceeds from this year's Silent Auction at the annual Awards Night Gala. The Chamber's support to help house an otherwise homeless person is sincerely appreciated!

I appreciate the City Of Courtenay CAO David Allen's letters to the editor to clarify issues. Refreshing! Interesting that Mr. Allen says that there are three people in the building department and they reduced staff by attrition, with slower business and growth. I'm wondering how the CVRD CAO will justify increasing staff during this long pause in growth. According to the CVRD organization charts, there are six or seven staff in the building department, and an opening for an assistant manager. Wondering why directors are not asking a few questions about CVRD budgets?

Heartfelt gratitude and thanks to everyone who made my recent retirement from St. Joe's a wonderful occasion. Thank you for the cards, gifts and well wishes. It has been a true pleasure working with you all over the last 36+ years. I am proud to have been a part of a team of amazing professionals who truly deliver care with compassion. Thanks and special mention goes to all my hard-working, dedicated colleagues in rehab. You rock! I will miss you all, Ali.

The Second World War icon story (Record, Feb. 4) was interesting. However, the Evergreen Choristers are not the only ones to have done a tribute to veterans. The Co-Val Choristers did a two-night tribute in November 2005 that featured Vera Lynn songs. Lest we forget.

I'm looking for people in the Comox Valley who enjoy playing Scrabble to contact me if they would be interested in participating in a weekly local Scrabble club.  Each session would consist of three rounds of games, and players of any skill level would be invited. Games can be played on a recreational or a competitive basis. I'd like potential players to bring their own equipment with them — boards, tiles, racks, and timers if they have them. I also need help deciding on where the club should hold its weekly meetings. There used to be a Scrabble club here in the Comox Valley, run by the late Ed and Winnie Skalazub, and I would like to see the club come back to life. Would you be able to help me get the word out? Phone David E. Nelson at 250-871-1087.

By definition, citizenship is the quality of the individual’s response to membership in a community. A citizen offers the good qualities that will contribute to upholding the correct path for the community. The focus must be on the collective good and not on the selfishness of personal aggrandizement. Everyone has potential, however it is what we do that defines us. The community must somehow draw out the good deeds from difficult personalities. Any deviation from social norms is to disavow the responsibility of citizenship. This creates pains for the community to cope. Are some people so infatuated with personal civil rights and freedoms that they would discount another person’s rights and freedoms? Some people are aggressive individuals who intimidate, abuse, bully, or otherwise leverage their own ideals onto a community. We see these types of people become gangs, murderers, fraudsters, predators or just plain irresponsible actor citizens who interfere with the quality of a civilized community. We need to encourage those who lack responsibility for their actions to become better practitioners of citizenship. We need to encourage the justice system and lawyers to uphold the citizenship expectations that are defined by our civilized standards and morals. Loyalty, duty, and honour need to be reasserted as life-giving goals of citizenship by all people in the community.

On the front page of the Record on Feb. 4 was “World war icon alive” a touching article about Dame Vera Lynn now 96, yet on the opinion page of the same paper, someone’s act was called a “cruel, barbaric act, not hunting.” Vera Lynn, the greatest singer in a “barbaric” time of our life, gave us all goosebumps when her songs White Cliffs of Dover and We’ll Meet Again came through in our living rooms. In her thank you note recently, she reminded us to “never forget those that gave their lives for us.” How cruel life can be at times. It was as cruel in those days as it is in the present day. Even though we are not shot down by an enemy, yet others like ducks are brutally murdered which is called “hunting.” Living on the border of a bird sanctuary, we are witnessing the sounds of the hunting season right from our living room as well. It is indeed “cruel and barbaric.” We are living in a world where beautiful things are happening, yet hunting and killing for the sake of a sport is not one of them. I, too, hope that those who do kill those innocent birds will take care and at least “prevent unnecessary suffering.”

The student-run Art Event is a free and fun public event! Come join us Feb. 15 from 7 to 11 p.m. at 2300 Ryan Road. This Saturday, the students of the School of Fine Art and Design at North Island College will showcase a dynamic selection of work produced from their courses including sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, photography, design, and installations. The event is open to all ages. There will be live entertainment, refreshments, and a silent auction. Artwork is also available for purchase during the event. Funds raised from donations and the silent auction support future art events and the graduating students art show. At the Art Event you will have the opportunity to meet many of the students who are displaying their works like Denise and Matthew Lawson, who are both following their dreams of expressing themselves as artists. Although they have found their bliss to create at different stages of their life. Mother and son are meant to be local artists and have both enrolled in the North Island College Fine Art and Design Diploma and Emily Carr University Dual Admission BFA Program. This incredible artistic duo are an inspiration to others at NIC. They support each other in realizing their dreams and help each other through their very different creative processes, they also share their love of the arts at home and in the community. Matt is in his first year of the NIC Fine Arts Diploma program and is enjoying the artistic exploration in the various studio courses he is taking working for his first time with many new materials. Denise is in second- and third-year courses working towards her BFA. She also loves the exploration of materials in a variety of mediums, and has found a love for printmaking. She credits the amazing instructors of the fine arts program for their individually remarkable teaching styles and encouragement. They both agree that being in this program with other like minded individuals creating each day leads to a motivation to express themselves in ways that they have explored, researched, shared with the fellow students and learned while at the college. If you miss the Art Event on Feb. 15 at NIC, come and view a showcase of the students' work Feb. 17 to 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. This show will be in NIC's Shadbolt Studio and the public is welcome to enjoy the students' artwork.

Once again, the Under the Glacier cartoon is right on. As Edwin Grieve pointed out so well recently, "The times are a changin'." Continual income growth is just not happening here, but continual CVRD spending is. We are blessed with a water resource that very few communities enjoy. My career was in an industry that had an economic edge in the global economy — low-cost power, based on low-cost, plentiful water. Good resource-based Canadian jobs. Fewer now. The Comox Valley water budget for 2014 is proposed to be some 61 per cent higher than the actual 2013 cost of delivering safe, bulk water to 40,000 customers. CVRD has accumulated a $14.7 million surplus , by increasing bulk water rates. Comox  Lake is the most valuable resource in the Comox Valley. Low-cost, plentiful water to benefit all Comox Valley residents — especially those who can't afford continual increases in fees and taxes — about 20,000 lower-income residents. In just one normal day, BC Hydro uses as much Comox Lake water as 40,000 Comox Valley water customer use in months. There is no water shortage here. No need for high bulk water rates. So, in March, CVRD directors will vote on 2014 CVRD budget costs. We will see if times are a changin' or if it's time to change directors.

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Do you have somebody to praise or something you have to get off your chest? Have your say by submitting to editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com. Please focus on people's ideas rather than speculating about their character. You can also get a written submission to 765 McPhee Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2Z7 or fax to 250-338-5568. If you wish to talk to the editor, phone Mark Allan at 250-338-7816, 2309.

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