Opinion

HAVE YOUR SAY: School trustees have tough job at budget time

The school board of trustees is once again at that time of year of making decisions on how to make too little money go far enough so that all the students in SD71 get a good education. It is not an easy task. If we were to provide the board with one guiding principle, however, it would be to make sure that there are an adequate number of teachers to make students’ education a success. When we think of teachers, we think of classroom teachers who are the primary source of support for students. The teachers who work in the background providing support for our most vulnerable and needy students, however, are often overlooked. The Learning Support Teachers who co-ordinate all the special services in the school and teach students with various learning disabilities, speech language pathologists who provide support to students for whom communication limits their academic progress, the autism support teacher, teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing, educational psychologists who assess students to determine their learning needs, the occupational therapist who works with students on self regulation and the physiotherapist who makes sure students with physical needs are accommodated, are all educators that most people don’t ever see or think about. When these services are cut or when these teachers are not replaced when they are sick, the students they serve suffer. These specialists make the difference in whether many students succeed. The board should be applauded for making the budget-setting process a public process and we can hope that all who participate keep in mind that the success of every child lies with the classroom and specialist teachers.

We've been hearing recently about sea lions with wires and various things tangled around their necks and bodies. How much more at risk would all aquatic wildlife be if we have a huge aquaculture industry ruining our relatively pristine waters? This is just one of a hundred reasons why this application and all subsequent ones must be rejected. I can't believe there is no public hearing on the issue. This corporation is hoping to wear down the public, and the authorities in charge, by continuing to submit application after application, just like the developers with Stotan Falls. What part of NO do they not understand? We do NOT want this massive aquaculture project in our waters, in any shape or form.

A Valley-wide shout-out from Dawn to Dawn to everyone who supported the recent Turn Down the Heat and Raising the Roof warm clothes and toque campaign in aid of the homeless. Many thanks to all who donated warm clothes, bought a toque or participated in the Pancake Brunch or the Toque Toss! Special thanks to the Downtown BIA, the merchants who acted as dropoff locations and/or sold the iconic toques — the Elks Hall, the Glacier Kings, Mayors Larry and Paul, the Record, Thrifty Foods and the Comox firefighters and thanks, too, to the Care-a-Van, Foursquare's free store, the Salvation Army and the Comox Valley Transition Centre, which will ensure the clothing gets to those in need. Together we do make a difference in our community!

New tennis courts in Comox enjoyed by skateboarders!?

This is my response to the Perfume Police People. I have some expensive French perfume, on my dresser and I refuse to stop using it, despite your incessant nagging. For one thing, I disagree with your logic. While cigarette smells linger long after the smoker has departed, perfume sticks to the wearer. Therefore, if anyone is offended by the scent, they can back up several feet and no longer be affected. That's what I do, if someone's odour — chemical, natural, or otherwise — bothers me, and believe me over the years I have smelled perfumes that have given me headaches. (BTW, I got into the habit of not wearing it if I'm visiting the hospital, doctor's office, or other meeting places where sensitive people might be unable to escape, long before you started writing to the local papers.) As for the idea that it's always the harmful chemicals in perfumed products that are causing the reactions, let me point out that some people can't grow roses, lavender, or Asian lilies because of their sensitivities to the natural and non-chemical — not to mention non-carcinogenic — odours of these flowers. Anyhow, if someone has such a toxic overload that it causes them to be sensitive to the chemicals in cleaning or skin care products when other people use them, perhaps it's time to visit one of the local naturopaths for a systemic detox program.

I have a really silly story idea. We all go gaga about our eagles in their nests. In fact, we have a couple right out the door of our house. What we don't really give much thought to is seagulls. And there is a special little guy who lives on Cliffe Road near Mulligans Public Golf Course. He was first introduced to me by my mechanic. He pointed out a little grey bird sitting on the lamppost outside his shop. When he poked his nose out, "Frank" flew down for a visit. He hangs out on that lamp post most of the time, but the guys in the shop began feeding him, and now he wonders about the shop when the bay doors are open. On warm summer days he'll sit inside the waiting room as though he were waiting for his keys back like the rest of the customers. He is leery of new faces and loud cars, but has come to know which humans feed him. With them he is friendly. My kids and I look out for Frank now. You can pretty much see him any day hanging out on the lamppost right outside of Midas. When he is missing we have caught ourselves making a special trip the next day to be sure he is back. It makes me wonder how many other of these so-called nuisance birds have made homes for themselves among humans in our community. OK, it's a silly story. But it brought to me the light of why we chose to move here. A small but growing town with heart. Busy enough to have the services we need, but slow enough to notice and feed the seagulls ... even if you are a burly mechanic.

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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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