Recent comments

  • LETTER: Jimenez death in CBSA Vancouver - Oh Canada - a land of Prisons and pipelines   24 weeks 3 days ago

    Read Susan Delacourt's book "Shopping for Votes". It is an excellent history and analysis of how we got to where we are. If democracy is to mean anything at all in Canada's future, it will depend very much on our behaviour. Do we see ourselves as citizens, responsible and accountable to ourselves, or do we see ourselves as customers of governments, just as we are customers of Walmart (too bad for locally owned stores).

     

  • LETTER: Jimenez death in CBSA Vancouver - Oh Canada - a land of Prisons and pipelines   24 weeks 3 days ago

    The only ones that can ever expect  a break in this so called democracy are polititions and the corporate world what else is new. But then again who gets voted in but the parties that are financed by the corporate giants what can we expect from these mega giants and their paid off cronies? Wake up Canada and smell the corruption

  • Castlegar fired up to become Kraft Hockeyville 2014   24 weeks 4 days ago

    Castlegars Kraft Hockeyville site has been picking up momentum in the past 4 or 5 days with a decent increase in nominations but we need more, a lot more. We are not going to get a second chance at this. It's all or nothing. Just like a game of hockey or any sport for that matter. If you leave everything on the ice, then we can say we gave it our best shot and can finish with our heads held high. Not everyone can win but we can with your votes. You don't have to be a hockey player or even like the game. It's about much more then that. It's about community. It takes a community to raise a child and having places for them to play and grow is part of the puzzle. So let's get our nominations in and make them count because there are no second chances!    Castlegar is Kraft Hockeyville!

  • GF and area offer free Family Day (weekend) events   24 weeks 5 days ago

    Correction: The Grand Forks Rotary Club will be selling their kettle corn as usual. This is one of their typical fundraisers. Originally we understood it was part of the free activities and food for Family Day events. 

    Also, the golf will be held on Market Avenue. Not at the CL Golf Course. 

    The article has been updated. 

  • COMMENT: Where are all the grown-ups overseeing our health care?   24 weeks 5 days ago

    I agree with what Kyra has said. Our local governments will never agree. These decisions must be made by an unbiased outside party. This is what was done when Trail was chosen as the "temporary" regional hospital. There was no local agreement and the IHA knew that the decisions had to be made elsewhere and they were.  At that time, the IHA said they would work on the location and details of a centralized regional hospital for the West Kootenay within five years. That was twelve years ago but not a peep from the IHA. I learned not to trust the IHA brass many years ago and so it comes as no surprise that we have been lied to. Where is this promised work on a central hospital? 

    Those that have the most to lose (Trail) have no interest in discussing this issue and it is in their own self interest to keep it at a minimum. It's worked so far...

  • Midway RCMP bust grow-op in Beaverdell   24 weeks 6 days ago

    I bet the police feel super great and neat for catching a grow op. I can't wait to see what happens april 1st, when the medical marijuana program changes and everyone is forced to buy there meds from selectively licensed monopolized suppliers. What is even more funny.... is they expect all mmar card holders to destroy all there meds on march 29th with kitty litter and water. I don't think police will enforce the new law, maybe atless the mmar card holder is still growing and selling on the black market. I do expect some mmar card holders to goto jail, only if they don't get an injuction...etc
    Good luck with the pre shredded mail-order cannabis program.

  • GF contest video rapidly gaining views   25 weeks 2 days ago

    Participants have until Feb. 7 to let Les Johnson know that they will be entering a video. Videos will be judged at the end of February. See the link in the article for more information. 

  • COMMENT: MLA makes connections with seniors   25 weeks 5 days ago

    I am vary Glad to read this blog page i also shared some useful info about it !!!!Another year is an incredible chance to impart my energy for my dedication to buckle down for British Columbia's seniors and their families. As Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors, I anticipate keeping on uniting with the same number British Columbians as I can all around the region.

    What better opportunity to reconnect with B.c's. seniors than in January, Alzheimer Awareness Month. Up to 70,000 British Columbians are right now living with Alzheimer's infection, or an alternate dementia, and very nearly 10,000 of the aforementioned people are under the age of 65. These are our companions, relatives and our neighbours... 

  • LETTER: UBC students support ban on candy-flavoured cigarettes   25 weeks 5 days ago

    Sorry, the headline is misleading. It should cigarillos, not cigarettes. If I change it now, the link won't work. 

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   25 weeks 5 days ago

    Meetings of the Trail Area Health & Environment Committee are open to the media and the public.  This is an opportunity for members of the media and the public to ask questions, if they so choose.

    For more information, please contact the Community Program Office at 250-368-3256 ext. 53257 or visit our website: http://www.thep.ca/

  • The state of climate change negotiations at COP 17   26 weeks 15 hours ago

    Thanks for sharing the information. Love your idea on the topic. Looking forward for more interesting posts. ways to gain Twitter Re tweets

  • Senior Curling Championships take over Nelson Club   26 weeks 1 day ago

    This blog is very interesting .  i like it very much , i really enjoyed reading this.

    MGT201 midterm solved papers

  • COMMENT: The Pathology of Wealth   26 weeks 1 day ago
    Art, you're nailing some answers to this question that's been rising into public consciousness. Thank you! If we understand roots of problems, there's hope yet that we can turn things around for this beautiful place and generations to come .... I'm still not sure how, but these thoughts of yours are a darn good place to start. And, a salute to Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Is Canada a nation adrift?   26 weeks 4 days ago

    Remember when Conservatives were conservative? When 'conservatism' meant protecting what we had? I could consider voting for the Joe Clark of today or even the Joe  Clark of the 1970s or 80s. But the current 'Conservatives' are dangerous radicals who would do anything for a buck--and we all know this. Canada is definitely headed down the wrong path--and it's across the board, not just Harper and his crew.

  • OP/ED: GFRec needs more flexible pool rates   26 weeks 6 days ago

    There are monthly passes to the pool but only for individuals. If I was to buy one for each of my family members it would cost $196 a month. 

    They also have a new 10 swipe family pass for $105.00. That's getting better, but is still more than most monthly rates and more than regular family drop in rate in Hope. 

  • Water and sewer rates, proposal for RDCK move, downtown sculpture switch, and more: Nelson City Council meeting January 6, 2013   26 weeks 6 days ago

    Thanks Candace. I fixed it. 

  • COMMENT: The Pathology of Wealth   26 weeks 6 days ago

    As if in answer to my own essay, this wonderful poem from Kurt Vonnegut popped up in a Google search. http://www.brainpickings.org/page/3/

    It addresses the true cure to the addiction of wealth: knowing what is enough.

     

    JOE HELLER by Kurt Vonnegut

    True story, Word of Honor:
    Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
    now dead,
    and I were at a party given by a billionaire
    on Shelter Island.

    I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel
    to know that our host only yesterday
    may have made more money
    than your novel ‘Catch-22′
    has earned in its entire history?”
    And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
    And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
    And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
    Not bad! Rest in peace!”

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 15 hours ago

    The CDC never said 5 is safe. They are careful to repeat over and over again that there is no level is safe level of lead and only set the level of concern at 5 so they could focus on the highest 2.5% in the US. In Trail 5 is accepted as fine and pretty well the normal. It's been that way for a dozen years with no sign of decreasing. In the US those children with levels >5 need follow up, to see that it is decreasing. 

    Other than IQ lead levels are connected with attention deficit disorder and criminal behaviour. I don't live in Trail but if Trailites (or Trailonians) are OK with this they can expect nothing to change

    I can tell you in the USA companies have been required to pay for the removal of 1 foot of topsoil in contaminated towns like Trail. Alas, in Canada it seems large companies are above the law and everyone else.

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 16 hours ago

     

    The CDC seems to indicate a blood level of 5mcg/dl as acceptable. I don't know where you get your data. But at any rate, getting into a snit about it isn't going to help. The fact is people are continuously looking to reduce exposure to lead. Spending more time and effort to get a slightly more accurate handle on the level of lead exposure isn't the most effective allocation of resources. Yes, perhaps the sampling is slightly underrepresenting people with bad higiene, but then if we can't convince them to participate in testing programs, do you really believe we'll convince them to take action to reduce their exposure? It's not like Teck or the city can go and test their soil, much less remediate it, without their consent. There's probably also a significant number of of old homes where Teck employees brought lead inadvertently into the house on their clothes. This dust probably continues to live in nooks and crannies in these homes, ready to come out at a future date. Somehow, I don't think your statistically perfect studies will put us any closer to a solution.

    There also comes a point where you have to decide how much effort you want to put into a solution. Yes, no lead is probably best, but at some point it isn't economical to try and lower it (we're not there yet). There comes a point when other priorities take precedence. Spend $100,000,00 on reducing lead levels by 1 or 2mcg/dl, or spend that on better schools or health care?

     

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 16 hours ago

     

    Lead does leave the body, otherwise lead poisining wouldn't be treatable. Yes, it does accumulate in bones, but when your blood lead levels go down, it leaches back out of your bones. The process isn't instant of course, but if you reduce your exposure, first your blood lead goes down, then this allows it to leave other tissues. This is will result downward curve with a progessively less steep slope. So the closer to baseline lead levels you get the slower that it leaves your body. Four to eight weeks without exposure to lead and most people can get their blood lead levels back within acceptable range

     

     

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 17 hours ago

    Again, what Phil says is only partially right. It is true that you become "contaminated" fast but it is not true that you become "uncontaminated" fast, unless he's talking about what's on your skin and clothes.

    The increase in body lead burden is believed to be based on the weighted time average of the exposure. In other words the longer the exposure and the higher the levels, the more you end up with in your body. Lead is not rapidly eliminated. In fact much of it ends up bound in the bone and other tissues much like calcium. When women have been exposed to lead as a child become pregnant and/or lactating the lead in their bones is mobilized along with the calcium and into the blood and milk. Lead is just a gift that keeps on giving.

    But the real concern is for young children (preschool) not school age kids because they end up with more dirt and grime in their mouths and are more sensitive to the neurologic effects of lead poisoning.

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 17 hours ago

    I agree whole heartedly with the idea of lead testing being made available to people that want to have their children tested for lead.

    But the data is being interpreted as if though it was representative of the children of Trail and decreasing. It does not show this. What it does show is that the specific portion of the population that attends these clinics have an average level of about 5 which has not decreased at all over the past twelve years.

    The point is, these results should be alarming anough that we should all want a much better epidemiologic study which attempts to be more inclusive and represenatative of the population of Trail. To just throw your hands up and say "oh well, what can you do if people don't volunteer" shows a lack of understanding about how such a study could/would/should be done. I'm sure there is a segment in Trail that doesn't vacuum and wash the kids hands as much as these parents that go to the clinic. So perhaps we don't know how bad the problem lead is in the children of Trail.

    The present data only shows there is a problem and the actions of the past twelve years have had no effect. The US and Australia have done extensive population studies of lead levels and they can tell you of how they have tried to address these challenges, but to provide a simple example of what kinds of things can be done, people are chosen at random and then contacted by phone/in person and encouraged to participate by emphasizing the importance of the study, discussing any concerns about the tests and privacy issues, how it might be good for the child(ren) and parents, and occasionally offering rewards for participation. 

    And once again, the main point here is that there is no safe level of lead. Two is even too high. This is accepted by the US CDC and researchers in the field today. Five is way too high and so far the evidence is that it is not getting any better over the past twelve years (at least in this population). This isn't good enough to just stay with the status quo.

    If the lead levels in Trail are due to other factors, then the children in Nelson, Rossland and Salmo should be likewise effected . But as you indicated, the high lead levels are likely the result of dust and soil in Trail, the legacy of a century of poorly and uncontrolled emmisions from the smelter.

    If the people of Trail don't care, no one will. And there are some that hope you don't. 

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 20 hours ago

    To answer some your questions Lisa, it doesn't take long for an individual to become contaminated if they are exposed to lead, but on the plus side it also doesn't take too long to "decontaminate" oneself.

    Contamination usually takes two routes: ingestion, or inhalation.  Inhalation is from airborne lead dust from such sources as smokestack emissions, industrial dust emissions, construction dust emissions (such as demolition or renovation of old buildings - think sanding off lead paint), and smoking cigarettes.  Ingestion is usually from hand contact with lead, lead dust, or lead imbued products and then transferring to food when handling food. It can also be ingested when drinking water high lead (often due to old lead pipes).

    Rossland students attending JL Crowe are probably at minimal risk of exposure because JL Crowe is a new school.  Students at the old RSS are probably much more at risk. I still don't think they've removed the cause of the lead contamination of the water there.  And being recently renovated, there may have been some release of lead from lead paint or lead pipes.

    I would be curious to see the difference though.

     

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 20 hours ago

    I like truth and science. But I think you're mistaking the intent of the testing. The intent of the testing is NOT to do a statistical analysis of Trail population's exposure to lead.  It is to identify children at risk from high lead levels, so that corrective action can be taken.

    So I don't understand what you're trying to prove by arguing that these results are an example of poor methodology or science.  Just by writing misleading statements about the number of children that may have blood lead levels above 5mcg/dl shows your lack of comprehension of science and the purpose of this testing.  Average level says NOTHING of the distribution of data points by itself. The only clue from this article as to distribution is that it says 7% of children tested above 10mcg/dl.  Considering the lowest possible result is probably 1mcg/dl (due to testing accuracy), for all we know there may only be 7% who test above 5mcg/dl (though that's not likely).

    You also don't seem to understand that if the purpose of these blood tests was to give an accurate representation of Trail children's population exposure to lead, then statistical manipulation to the data collected could be done after the tests if certain pertinent information was also collected from the parents at the time of the testing.  There is nothing wrong with voluntary participation, in fact there is little choice.  But once again, that isn't the primary purpose of the testing.

    No one is "making excuses" here. No one is trivializing or lacking concern about the children with high lead levels.  I'm not denying Teck's role in environmental lead levels, but it is NOT the only cause.  A perusal of Stats Can will show you that homes older than 50 years increase occupant risk of high lead levels compared with occupants of a house less than 20 years old.  Household income also is a determinant factor in blood levels.   That's right there on Stat Can's website.  It's also important to differentiate between current pollution and past pollution.  Lead is persistent in the environment, so past practices regarding lead still have an effect on present levels.  Just like old houses probably have lead paint that might be a contaminant, the soil in most Trail yards probably have some contamination that pre-dates Teck's focus on reducing lead emissions.  Teck is aware of this, and I think they've even offered in the past to test yard soil for lead and to remediate the soil in certain cases.

    Once again, the purpose of these tests is to identify children at risk from elevated blood levels, so that corrective measures can be made.  I imagine that those corrective measures might include such things as trying to identify the source of contamination, by asking such things as "do you eat vegetables from your garden?", or "how old is your house, and are you actively renovating your house?", or "does your child spend a lot of time in your yard?"... If the only source of lead contamination was from airborne lead from current Teck emissions, it would stand to reason that for a given geographic area children in it would have very little deviation in their test results since they more or less all breathe the same air.  And Teck is working on their end to both reduce current emissions, and to remediate environments that might show high lead from past practices.

    On a final note, don't on the one hand state how you find this "study" unscientific, and on the other hand use that very "study" to justify saying "many more than half of Trail's children are being damaged right now".  You can't have it both ways.

  • Results of 2013 children's blood lead testing clinic released   27 weeks 1 day ago

    Hey Phil,

    You don't have to force people to give samples to have a real epidemiologic study but it does take more effort than just setting up shop and asking for volunteers, as done here. This problem was recognized long ago and there is statsitical methodology to try and get around this problem of an obvious bias. It takes work and is done all the time in population studies when a REAL, meaningful epidemiologic study is done. I am sorry to hear that the IHA hasn't figured it out how to do this while the rest of the medical world has.

    Quibbling about the mean and median is pointless, I didn't say it was 50.0% of kids but half and with the significant figures of this study this is an entirely correct statement. Anyway lead levels of 2, 3 and 4 have been shown to decrease IQ so the argument of whether its 45 or 50% of kids is pointless.

    Teck is THE source of the lead. It has contaminated the soil so bad for many miles along the Columbia river that it will be centuries before Trail residents have lead levels in line with the rest of North America

    I'm sorry the kids of Trail have been poisoned but making excuses of why it is OK and  not Tecks fault are only meant appease the already biased residents of Trail. Trail is polluted with lead and the kids that live there will never reach their full potential. This is the bottom line and what these levels indicate. The literature indicates that going from a level of 1-10 causes a larger drop in IQ than going from 10-20 so its not like 5 is a marginally low level, this level is KNOWN to cause a drop in IQ. So many more  than half of TRail's children are being damaged right now.

    You may not like the truth or science but it says that the lead levels in the kids of Trail are way too high and will cause a significant drop in their IQs.