Recent comments

  • Green bin program moving to rural Grand Forks   24 weeks 4 hours ago

    Shara: The reader is correct.

    The District Municipality of North Cowichan implemented a similar program back in 2012. The kitchen scraps from North Cowichan are sent to a privately-operated anaerobic digester composting facility which processes 30 tonnes per day of organic material from over 50,000 mid-Island households.

    With this expansion of the Grand Forks Green Bin service, Area D residents will also gain from being part of a regional service which will now collect between 25 and 30 tonnes per month of kitchen scraps from 3500 Grand Forks homes. That’s small scale.

    The point is that landfills service all residents – rural and urban. Landfill operators in BC must all move towards a more aggressive organics diversion program for the entire wasteshed. 

    The RDKB is in the process of updating the Solid Waste Management Plan - a strategic plan which will guide us in properly managing this component of our waste stream (40%).

    For more information about this Plan and how to participate in the process, follow the ‘Solid Waste Management Plan’ link on RDKB’s homepage: http://rdkb.com/home.aspx . (or 'like' us on Facebook: kNOw Waste-RDKB)

  • Green bin program moving to rural Grand Forks   24 weeks 2 days ago

    I am an avid supporter of composting garden, household and other compostable materials in one’s back yard.  My critical concern with this is, once a municipalities’ residents get used to and count on a municipal supplied free service, a user fee eventually slips into the mix.  This user fee then moves into the area of general revenue.

    I can remember the great promises of Rossland’s water metering system.  It was to be a great saver of water and very cheap to the users.  I attended a council meeting where the water meter and the relationship to user fees were being discussed.  I stood and asked if –everyone- in Rossland would have to have a meter and would there be a penalty for those who did not install a meter.  Yup, every citizen’s household would be forced to install a water usage meter and severe penalties would be charged for those delinquent meter free water users.  My second question was, “Will the users fees ever be used or raised as a way to raise funds for general revenue?”   The response; “Oh goodness no, the money for water used goes right back into our reservoir system.”  Well guess what; and guess what again.  To this date, only about 55% of Rossland households have water meters installed and funds from the water usage has been diverted to general revenue.

    What starts out as something really worth while and free, usually ends up being a profit maker for someone somewhere.

  • COMMENT: When one million job openings may actually mean just 210,000 new jobs   24 weeks 2 days ago

    Politics has always been a rider of the fence of outright lying to shady ambiguous promises using the passive form of grammatical English.   This is why, when dealing with politicians of all stripes, it is best to listen with doubt, question and a knowledge of their historical promises.  Several years ago there was a bill put before the house in Victoria that a campaigning politician can be held liable for promises made but not kept.  Naturally the bill was defeated.  The truth of the matter is, I don’t think God himself could keep half the claims that most politicians want you to believe.  Ambiguity in politics is an acceptable way of life in political circles.   For the most part, I love to listen to the outlandish rhetoric that we hear in federal, provincial and municipal elections. 

    Rossland can sit back and listen to much of this comedy act this coming fall.  We will be voting for a mayor and city councillors.  You can expect great relief from taxes, free shopping at Ferraros, free gas for your cars and everything and anything you desire in the city.  If you don’t believe me, just ask one of the candidates. 

    People want to hear the truth but they won’t vote for someone who tells the truth.  We are a strange lot are we not.

  • Green bin program moving to rural Grand Forks   24 weeks 2 days ago

    A reader sent in this link saying that the RDKB isn't the first regional district to implement a rural composting program. 

  • What's really at stake in the Ukraine?   24 weeks 2 days ago

    So Mr.  Dobbin and the Rossland Telegraph hits us with another Anti Conservative/Anti Harper rhetorical tirade. 

    Maybe before anyone begins to believe this political based diatribe, he or she should do a little research into history of the Ukrain/Crimean region.  The entire region has a storied and unsettled past spanning dozens of human generations.  Having the USA huff and puff their empty threats and hollow rhetoric is hypocritical enough, but having a pro NDP based poster come in to post more political jibberish is almost laughable. 

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 2 days ago

    Maybe you mean there are over 25,000 published articles that studied the dangers of RF and EMFs.  And from what the WHO is saying, they found it wasn't dangerous at the levels at which we are exposed. 

    If you mean otherwise, please point to some of those studies and their findings. But I'm only interested in peer reviewed research published in reputable science journals or magazines.

    Please also keep in mind that the terms EMF and RF represent a very wide variety of signals, each with different properties, and many of those studies focus on very specific wavelengths. So findings on one wavelength can't be applied to all other wavelengths.

  • Green bin program moving to rural Grand Forks   24 weeks 2 days ago

    The curbside collection of organic material in a rural region. Really, that is the ultimate of a cash grab. It takes minimal effort to separate organic waste and minimal space for composting. Those that separate waste materials are very likely to already have a composter or could easily begin to compost in a small yard.  Now that its separated, why pay extra for someone to take it away. Reduce Reuse Recycle. I guess there’s no money in the first two.

     

  • Author tackles Lyme Disease in vital new book   24 weeks 3 days ago

    Wow. Isn't it the responsibility of the publisher of this article to point out that there is blatantly false information being quoted by this woman? Or are we just supposed to look that up ourselves? Lyme disease is caused by borrelia bacteria, and nothing more. It's not debatable. For someone who writes a book about a disease and is holding lectures, how can you not know even the basics like that? Maybe this is a misquote? I wouldn't be buying this book or going to the lecture after seeing her say something dead wrong about the basic cause of lyme disease. 

     “One of the many Lyme-related problems that we have here in Canada is the way in which health authorities continue to define Lyme disease in such narrow terms— infection with borrelia bacteria and nothing more—and that's a definition that isn't helpful to patients stuck in a medical nightmare.” 

     

    REALLY??

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 3 days ago

    You do know that hardwired appliances also emit EMFs, right? If you're using AC electricity, you're generating EMFs.

     

    And instead of relying on fear mongering articles, you can go straight to the WHO website and read that there is no evidence of adverse health effects. Allow me to copy and paste it for you to read here:

    "Are there any health effects?

    A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.

    Short-term effects

    Tissue heating is the principal mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency energy and the human body. At the frequencies used by mobile phones, most of the energy is absorbed by the skin and other superficial tissues, resulting in negligible temperature rise in the brain or any other organs of the body.

    A number of studies have investigated the effects of radiofrequency fields on brain electrical activity, cognitive function, sleep, heart rate and blood pressure in volunteers. To date, research does not suggest any consistent evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to radiofrequency fields at levels below those that cause tissue heating. Further, research has not been able to provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and self-reported symptoms, or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”.

    Long-term effects

    Epidemiological research examining potential long-term risks from radiofrequency exposure has mostly looked for an association between brain tumours and mobile phone use. However, because many cancers are not detectable until many years after the interactions that led to the tumour, and since mobile phones were not widely used until the early 1990s, epidemiological studies at present can only assess those cancers that become evident within shorter time periods. However, results of animal studies consistently show no increased cancer risk for long-term exposure to radiofrequency fields.

    Several large multinational epidemiological studies have been completed or are ongoing, including case-control studies and prospective cohort studies examining a number of health endpoints in adults. The largest retrospective case-control study to date on adults, Interphone, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), was designed to determine whether there are links between use of mobile phones and head and neck cancers in adults.

    The international pooled analysis of data gathered from 13 participating countries found no increased risk of glioma or meningioma with mobile phone use of more than 10 years. There are some indications of an increased risk of glioma for those who reported the highest 10% of cumulative hours of cell phone use, although there was no consistent trend of increasing risk with greater duration of use. The researchers concluded that biases and errors limit the strength of these conclusions and prevent a causal interpretation."

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 3 days ago

    Phil F:

    It disturbs me when people who are unreceptive to the established body of scientific knowledge use "fear mongering" as a label to entrench their position.  I certainly don't expect you to take my word for it as I am not a scientist.  However, I have been discovering more about what could be the most important health game-changer in recent history.  Please take the time to visit the following website:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5udG8OCZWY

    You also asked if I knew what the background radiation was in Grand Forks.  Actually, I do.  My Electrosmog meter (from EMF Solutions) tells me that it is generally between .001 and 1.000, mW/m2 with regular spikes up to 5.000 every few minutes or so (we do not have WiFi or cell phones, and our computers are hard-wired).  This is about the limit for safety according to the EU Assembly and the Bioinitiative Report.  You also asked what additional radiation the water meters would add for the average person and that, I don't know.  I certainly would love to have that question answered by the City Council before they go putting the water meters on our homes.

     

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 3 days ago

    Thanks for your response - a lot of information in there.  My comment is to the changing of Health Canada guidelines for EMF and RF.  I heard that a group from Health Canada asked for information from Dr. Ollie Johansson, PhD of the Dept. of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden as recently as last November (2013).  Dr. Johansson is the scientist behind the Bioinitiative Report that prompted the EU to lower their rates from the ICNIRP standards which Canada abides by, by 10,000 (yes, you read that right).  Perhaps those people are seriously looking at the scientific data that's out there (over 25,000 published papers on the dangerous effects of EMF and RF radiation), and will soon be making changes to Canada's guidelines.  What might be expected of city planners if the guidelines were to change, say, within a few months of having installed water meters on our homes?

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 3 days ago

    I don't get this mass hysteria over wireless meters specifically, and other wireless devices.  I find it particularly amusing, in a sad kind of way, that GPS devices are included in this list.  While GPS devices do use radio signals to triangulate a global position for the user, they actually emit no wireless signal of their own - they use signals (very weak ones) sent by satellites. That means you get the same exposure, regardless of whether or not you use a GPS device, which is barely above background radiation from our sun and other stars. It is in fact the weakness of this signal that makes GPS devices lose their accuracy in heavily wooded areas, buildings, canyons...

    Beverly, before you complain of lack safety regulations regarding microwave radiation in Canada, and particularly regarding water meters in Grand Forks, do you know what the background radiation is in Grand Forks, and how much additional radiation exposure (on a daily average) these water meters would add for the average person? Or are you just jumping on a fear mongering bandwagon?

    And no, I don't think a consumer e-magazine article is a credible info source on this subject - they make their money selling advertising to people by publishing just that kind of emotionally charged article. Fear based marketing is fantastically successful, probably second only to sexually charged advertising.

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 3 days ago

    Ok here is another suggestion for protecting you and your kids in the home from Radiation.

    These days a lot of kids are spending a lot of time indoors in front of computers and game consoles. If yours are in the basement you might consider opening the wndows a bit and letting the air exhange with fresh from the outside.

    What has that to do with Radiation?

    Well this area is one of the worst for Radon gas. That's because of naturally occuring Uranium in the soil and rock.

    And, unlike Electromagnetic Radiation, Radon actually is radio-active. Like Fukushima but not as hot. But unlike Fukushima, Radon gas here will cause cancers here.

    Health Canada states: "radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada next to smoking."

    The solution is the allow the air in your basement / home to not get stagnant.

    Or move to somewhere that Radon gas is not so prevalant ...

     

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 4 days ago

    Well I guess if Taser International can make up medical conditions to suit their purposes (Excited Delirium) then anyone can do the same, like 'low-level tasering'.

    But let's be clear: both of these terms are made up to try and make a point.

    While it is true that the IARC is part of WHO and is tasked with conducting and coordinating research on Cancer it is also worth noting that IARC is a political entity as well..

    The British Medical Journal the Lancet Oncology has opined in an editorial, that IARC's reputation is being eroded by the political fighting and secrecy.

    After all the research and studies are done, IARC's classification, the 'Group' designation, is achieved through a vote just like other political decisions.

    Unfortunately organizations within the U.N. have histories of being co-opted by 'sides' and, just like all political entities, political wrangling causes the 'official' stances on issues to change with the political winds.

    I'm not saying that scientists are not involved, that scientific research is not done, but that some of that research is in aid of agendas and the final decisions are 'voted on'.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Agency_for_Research_on_Cancer

    Heck I'm not denying that EMFs will interact with the material we are made of.

    And obviously not all of those interactions will be beneficial.

    BUT until we know what is actually happening and under what conditions and why not at other times and under other conditions - are we supposed to just put a halt to everything related to wireless communications?

    Many seem to get issue-related-amnesia when it comes to the thing that stokes their fears and passions.

    What about the effects of plastics in our environment? Increasing amounts of steroids and bio-medical substances in the water? nth-generational effects of environmental stressors on your parents and grandparents? Elevated levels of background radiation from 2000 nuclear tests?

    Back at the end of the 70s the EPA (in the USA) identified dozens of 'Superfund' sites. Places that were so contaminated they would require huge amounts of money to clean up.

    They also recognized that there were thousands of 'ticking timebombs' all over the nation. Places where nasty pollutants had been stored in containers doomed to fail after a while. And many of them are the results of 'midnight dumpers' so no one knows what was dumped, where, and when, in a lot of cases.

    When large studies are done to see the effects of something on the human body it is really difficult to account for all the possible sources that might also be contributing to the results.

    And people / groups doing studies to 'look for something' or 'prove a point' are in very grave danger of not doing science at all. That goes for those who think they are fighting the good fight as well as those who are paid by industry.

    Health Canada is, ultimately, a child of political process that must try and find the truth and balance the pleas of disparate forces that may show evidence of 'mutually exclusive truths'.

    I do not envy their position but I do suggest that until the guidelines are changed we should not be trying to make our local government behave as if the changes we wish to see had come to pass. Just as I do not wish to see our health care dollars wasted on treatments and procedures with no basis in medical fact. It ticks me off that we cannot have babies in our hospital anymore but somewhere in this province somebody's getting medical support to pay for 'healing touch' or some other non-proven alternative medical treatment. (I'm sure this won't endear me with many people but where's the science in that?)

    To insist otherwise is to tell those we elected (local govt) to make spending and infrastructure decisions not based on higher authorities but on opinions.

    With all that said … if Health Canada were about to change it’s guidelines and we really knew that then it would be prudent for city planning to pay attention.

  • OP/ED: Water metres -- not that scary   24 weeks 4 days ago

    I heard water referred to as an amenity by the first person to get up and complain to council a few meetings back. He used to be a teacher and should know better but I suspect he was just being 'flexible' with definitions to 'make his point'.

    What is an Amenity?

    It's a 'desirable' thing. Like the Library. The Pool. The Rink. The Skate Park.

    What is an Essential Service?

    Water. Sewer. Electricity. Policing. Fire Fighting. Health Care.

    One BIG difference is that not everyone NEEDS all the amenities BUT everyone NEEDS the essential services.

    When Essential Services are called Amenities someone is either making a sloppy mistake OR being sly.

    The effect on the casual (or passionate) reader / listener is to fall into a fallacious argument and believe it is truth.

    If it, water, was an amenity then every new house would have to pay for every single meter of water line going from the street to the vicinity of their house AND the labour costs involed in doing that. Or not. You could construct houses that have no water hookups.

    Obviously that is not allowed. And you don't foot the complete bill alone. Everyone knows that would be stupid AND wrong.

    So why is correct to cast an essential service as an amenity just to 'win an argument'? Is that also not wrong?

    And when I am presented with that argument by someone I have to wonder if they think I'm that stupid ... and then I feel just a bit insulted. Or I wonder if they're that stupid ... and then what they're trying to tell me gets filtered because if they made a mistake with that then what else is wrong with what they are telling me?

     

  • Relief From Those Annoying Aches and Pains   24 weeks 4 days ago

    Again Leperman you are right on point.

    Again, I am continuously shocked that people buy into this stuff. And you're right, there apparently is a lot of gullible people who want to believe in something. No different really than the religious, who in blind faith will believe, contrary to all the evidence before them, that the world is flat, that the world is 6000 or so years old, that evolution is not happening. They aren't much different than those who will just believe whatever someone tells them about their health. They even defend it with the same amount of vigor.

    Contrary to all evidence and science, the naturopaths, homeopaths and some chiropractors will just continue to sell any kind of alternative way of thinking to those who don't want to buy into modern science and technology. The thing I don't understand though is why most people, nearly everyone, will then turn and come running for our western science and medicine when they actually get sick. They distrust and speak badly about science and medicine when they're healthy and refuse to let their children benefit from it (vaccines), but when something goes awry and someone gets sick, they show up on the taxpayers door asking for help. Too bad you can't opt out of our health care system completely and buy into the alternative world totally, because then the supporters of these quacks would really have to think hard and long about what they believe. No, you can't come to our ER with a heart attack or stroke or cancer, I think your local naturopath would have some vitamins you could buy though!

    I'll say it again, I would have no problem with alternative medicine for people without real health issues, or as an adjunct to real medicine, if they didn't lie and mislead their clients. But it bothers me to see blatantly false information being posted in a news page, and wish they'd clean up their act and be truthful to people.

  • New medical clinic proposed near Kootenay Lake Hospital — IH gives thumbs up   24 weeks 4 days ago

    Of course IHA is applauding this effort. Dr Kirsten, while he means well, is pulling the plays straight from the IHA playbook. Forget about what the patients and community actually needs to make health care better - which is more doctors and nurses, surgery back in our hospital, etc - just make a nice building with sliding automatic doors in the front, new paint, more spacious environment. That way, when the patients come to recieve care, they think that IHA must be trying to improve things - just look around at this new place! Meanwhile, in the guts of the operation, they cut beds, remove services, replace nurses with care aids, and then wonder why GP's are leaving the community? 

    The answer to getting more doctors to work in Nelson is not making new buildings and renovations and parking spots. There were never any of those things before, and there was no problem with doctor shortage in the past. The reason some doctors don't want to live in this great city is because the working environment has taken such a hit with the removal of services and relocation to trail. The medical community has lost their identity and their sense of togetherness that was there when the hospital was full service. Speaking from first-hand accounts of young physicians who have spent some time in Nelson, it is not a good working environment in Nelson for physicians, especially those working in the busy ER with no backup and difficult relationships with the Trail specialists. I personally know one of the doctors who left for those very reasons.

    Although this clinic would make patients feel better about what's happening to their health care in Nelson, it will fail to actually improve the doctor shortage or real problems with the health care model in Nelson that the IHA shoved down our throats. But the fight has been folded - the doctors learned the hard way to stop complaining about what happened, and have all but accepted it now, because of how the IHA treated those doctors who did try to speak out. It's too bad for Nelson.

  • Relief From Those Annoying Aches and Pains   24 weeks 4 days ago

    It is very strange to hear that people are suffering from Vitamin deficiencies here in BC. Because it is simply not true. This is why there have been warnings recently that vitamin supplements may be harmful to your health not just your pocket book. All of the statements here are made up science. There is no role of vitamins in waste removal, There is no role of licorice in rebalancing your adrenals. Taking vitamin C or B vitamins above what is required just get passed in your urine. Vitamin E and antioxidants do not decrease cancer rates or aging. In fact Vitamin E and Carotene have been shown to be harmful above what is required. The body does not become acidic from eating fruit. What a crock.

    Naturopaths. More made up science than there are people on earth.

  • LETTER: Who’s Paying Attention to the WHO?   24 weeks 5 days ago

    I never linked this to the water meters. Good point. Maybe people could oped for an old fashioned type meter. I wonder what else besides turning off the wifi we could do in our homes to protect our kids?

  • REVIEW: Footloose   24 weeks 5 days ago
    Great article!
  • OP/ED: Water metres -- not that scary   24 weeks 5 days ago
    People will never be held accountable and act responsible unless there wallets are being hit. Good for you for standing up and expressing your opinion when it isn't the most popular at the moment.
  • OP/ED: Water metres -- not that scary   24 weeks 6 days ago
    When you look at your water bill the amount actually charged for the water is very small. The main costs are associated with delivery. Everyone is welcome to collect and store as much water as they like as it falls from the sky. (no license required for that yet I think). But I don't think it unreasonable to pay to have the water treated and delivered.
  • OP/ED: Water metres -- not that scary   25 weeks 9 hours ago

    Good points. But I stand by original thoughts. :) 

    I don't think it's fair that people should have unlimited access to this precious resource at the expense of everyone in the community. What has been happening is an abusive use of this service, in my opinion.

    Some of it, is the fault of government laws for requiring us to use clean drinking water for things like flushing our toilets instead of reusing grey water.  But the rest is just laziness, habit and -- dare I say for some -- a sense of entitlement. Washing cars with clean drinking water? Watering the lawn with water that has been purified? Yikes. 

    I think that taxpayers will be even more frustrated when all of their funds go to a massive system overhaul at the expense of other services -- like roads. That will happen if people don't learn to conserve. It's scary at first, but I think most people will be surprised at the end result.

    If you remember things like turning the water off when you aren't using it, filling up the washer and dishwasher before you turn it on, use water conserving toilets/appliances, keep showers as short as possible, definitely set up a rainbarrel system for gardeners, ... those brave souls that are willing to set up a composting toilet will see phenomenal savings.

    The average older style toilet uses something like 3 to 4 gallons of clean drinking water each time it is flushed. Even the best low flow toilets use around 1 to 1.5 gallons per flush. Toiletsuse around 30 per cent of the water usage each day. So at the very least people should be upgrading to low-flow toilets, if not trying other waterless approaches. Or you could follow the "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down approach!" Ha!

    Once you start thinking about how wasteful we really are, it's crazy not to put a limit on the amount of water we use. 

    Many people in our rural communities have spent $20,000+ to dig a well and pay for the infrastructure to bring it to their home, only to have limited levels of water in the hottest months. They have already learned what a precious resource water is and how to conserve. And they pay taxes just like we do.

    Same as many other communities in BC. The smaller Gulf Islands often have a huge water shortage. The residents all have rainbarrels set up for their garden and sometimes for personal use like outside summer showers. They call it a 'lifestyle choice' to live in a beautiful location where they learn to live with nature and (from my experience) are often grateful for the lessons they have learned.

    We can learn to conserve too. It will just be an adjustment. 

    If you liked that video, you'll probably enjoy this one that shows how to set up a DIY drip irrigation system in more detail. A drip system and a heavy mulch will really limit the amount of water used for gardeners. Probably enough that you can use your rainbarrels exclusively for water in the summer ;) That with low-flow toilets and high-efficiency appliances and you'll probably end up saving money. :) And those that are worried about not letting their children play in sprinklers... well, we should be getting a spray park in the next couple of years and there are still lakes, rivers and a swimming pool for water play. 

  • OP/ED: Water metres -- not that scary   25 weeks 21 hours ago

    Shara,

    Thank you for your comments, some good points made, and also for the video clip on the rain barrel.  Very helpful.

    I did want to respond to your comment about water being necesary, and that it should be free.  As you say, water is necessary; it's necessary for life, like food and air.  The issue, as you have also pointed to, is about water delivery.  You say that "no-one is charging you if you have a drink from the river or lake."  That statement, in my opinion, is not very well thought through. 

    As residents of this community, we pay taxes for PUBLIC services, i.e. services that provide the collective community with amenities that we all benefit from and are responsible for carrying the cost of maintaining.  What if I were to say, "I don't have children and have not used the public education system here so please charge those who use the school system and reduce my taxes because I want schooling to be a pay-per-use affair?"  I doubt you'd think that was the right way to run that public service, and you'd be right.  Yet you think that people should either a) have to get their water "free" from the river or lake, or b) be made to pay for the use of something that is a public resource for the residents, businesses and industries who pay taxes here.

    My point is: water has always been free.  It falls from sky to water the ground, then it evaporates back up to come down again as rain (or snow).  Water meters are rationing devices that have nothing to do with water delivery, and everything to do with commodifying water, and that, I fundamentally disagree with.

  • City staff and developer will meet with the public about Nelson Landing   25 weeks 2 days ago

    I have updated the story. Thanks.