HAVE YOUR SAY: Selling water bottles to build new sign nonsense

Why is the Comox Valley soliciting donations and selling water bottles to raise $100K+ to build a new Comox Valley sign on the northbound highway when there is already a stone sign that simply needs a facelift? Couldn't the funds of those generous donors be better spent in this community for a greater good, such as homelessness or the food bank? And if the waste is not bad enough, why is the new sign going near Exit 117 when the Valley technically starts south of Fanny Bay (where the current welcome sign is)? The only communities that are proposed to be listed on the new sign are Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox ... so what welcomes people to the Comox Valley? Apparently, businesses and residents in Black Creek and Merville, Fanny Bay, Union Bay, and Royston aren't worthy of being included in "the Comox Valley," which leaves tourists with a stilted impression of what our Valley has to offer. Ironically, the small committee of business people who made this location and fundraising decision with CVEDS are all in Courtenay/Comox, with no representation from outlying areas of the Valley or much input from any tourist-related businesses. And, part of the rationale for the new sign is that nobody seems to know who owns the current stone structure. What a disappointment! CVEDS works hard to "market" the Comox Valley as a whole, yet the new sign won't even mention Comox Valley (nor represent its boundaries geographically). What's up with that? By the way, there is no "Comox Valley" sign at all on the highway for southbound tourists — and none is budgeted, with the whole budget going to just the northbound sign.

On April 3, I received a call from my boss to come in to the office to “pick something up.” The “office” is the Comox Valley Record, and my boss is Terry Marshall. I arrived at the office, and was told “someone” had dropped something off for me. I was presented with an envelope with $585 in it, obviously collected from many people. I extend a huge “THANK YOU” to all those anonymous donors who have contributed so generously to help me out during my chemotherapy treatments. It was most unexpected and is gratefully received. The overwhelming support of the Record, my co-workers, customers and carriers is absolutely amazing, and I cannot begin to tell you all how much your concern and support means to me as I work through this difficult time.

The John Howard Society of North Island (JHSNI) would like to thank all of our KidStart mentors for making a difference in the lives of local children and youth every week. You are an inspiration!  Happy National Volunteer Week! For more info about KidStart, visit www.jhsni.bc.ca/kidstartchampion.html.

What a great letter from Ken Piercy in last Tuesday's Record! I loved his nautical analogies for this large, complex world. Well, said, Ken!

Another soccer bag full of gratitude to all the Courtenay Superstore customers who donated to the Comox Valley Millennium Girls U13 soccer team during its second "bagging" fundraiser. The team would also like to thank Brad, the cashiers, and the rest of the Superstore team who cheerfully provided their support. Not only did the girls raise funds for travel to a coming tournament in Kamloops, Millennium shared $100 with the President's Choice Children's Charity in the process. It was a fabulous experience for our girls and a win all around. Thanks again, everyone!

A big spray of roses to the Catholic church for welcoming back all Catholics who have drifted away for whatever reason. In the Bible (Luke 15; 11-32) it tells a great story of a father and his two sons. One had insisted on his inheritance and left and squandered it all; and the story goes on — well worth reading. By the way; did you know that Catholic means "worldwide" and that includes Church of England (Anglican), Baptists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, United Church of Canada, and all non-denominational churches in the world that are practising Christians? Fifty or 60 years ago, the Catholic Church was more often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, because the pope was the head of their church. We Christians are all united in "the faith." Amen.

Why do local businesses here go out of the Valley for suppliers/consultants/vendors without approaching local firms with those services to at least apprise them of a bid opportunity? Couldn't the Chamber create a "Bid" page for local businesses to post services they need, and a deadline for reply, so local businesses can easily learn of these opportunities before a company here hires someone from the mainland while there are qualified people here?

Why doesn't the Valley create the equivalent of the Coombs Market (even without the goats) with little stores/studios attached to a great produce and international market — a place that is open normal retail hours, instead of our once-a-week farmers' market, is much more limited in its offerings that that which is available at Coombs? The Coombs market and adjacent boutiques were packed last weekend despite it being a rainy day. As a Shop Local initiative (and a tourist attraction), can't CVEDS spearhead such a project with the farmers' market, home-based retailers who might want to sell in a market setting (shared retail space), and artisan groups? Look how the Little Red Church — a one-woman effort —has built a multi-use venue with "go-to" markets and sense of community among small vendors who don't have their own retail space. Let's use some of vacant retail space or even a school;  classrooms would be perfect for small business owners to share without the high cost of traditional retail commitments. Too many tourists and residents go to Coombs year 'round, and that's money that could stay in our valley.

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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 250-338-7816, 2309.


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