Drop-off Zone not for pickups
Just about every time I drop someone off at the Langdale ferry there’s someone who’s parked in the segregated drop off lane waiting to pick someone up. Not only is it an inconvenience to be trapped behind their car, it also forces other drivers to make unsafe drop offs in the adjacent bus and through lanes.
I’ve written to BC Ferries about this problem and they responded with a letter informing me that they plan to make changes to the parking lot and drop off area in order to alleviate some of these issues. If you are one of these people who even only occasionally uses the drop off lane as a pick up one, would you please do your fellow ferry users the service of writing to BC Ferries so that they may consider the reasoning behind your choice for not using the proper pick up area in their plans to improve traffic flow at the terminal?
Still questioning ‘harm’
Regarding last week’s letter about ‘A question of harm’.
The writer refers to N.Z. studies where adolescents ‘can lose 8 IQ points’ with cannabis consumption. The petition before B.C. citizens is to eliminate the current form of prohibition. The petition does not promote in any way consumption of cannabis by adolescents (or anyone).
Prohibition does not work. It is an expensive, needless cost on society. Space restrictions prevent me from quoting numerous studies or famous experts on prohibition, except to paraphrase economist Milton Friedman: Prohibition is a subsidy to drug dealers.
Studies have also shown in countries where prohibition of cannabis has been revoked, per capita participation actually declined. It is therefore not a certainty that the end of cannabis prohibition in BC will lead to a stoned out, low IQ society.
Cannabis may reduce IQ scores. But so do many other legal and illegal substances. I personally don’t want our citizens having to live with the threat of a criminal record and incarceration over a puff. Doesn’t that sound sensible?
Residents at risk
(Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the Mayor and Council of Sechelt, and copied to The Local for publication.)
Thank you to Fur Bearer Defenders for placing the full-page ad in the Coast Reporter (Oct 11th) reminding the people of Sechelt that we still don’t have a no-trapping bylaw, and that they, their kids, and dogs are still at risk of stepping into hidden, unmarked traps when enjoying the outdoors.
n debating whether to pass a bylaw, you have again invited input from the BC Trappers Association, whose sole purpose is trapping. They will tell you how “humane” their traps and methods are. There is nothing humane about body-gripping traps. Yes, the “new, improved” leg-hold trap, instead of having jagged metal teeth, now has solid metal bands. But when these snap onto an animal’s leg, it cuts off blood circulation and the animal lies there in pain for about 3 days (trappers are supposed to check traps within this time). Many animals will chew off their own leg in an attempt to escape.
The conibear trap, usually submerged in a creek, slams shut on an animal’s neck or snout when it comes to drink, and it suffocates, drowns. This has happened to many dogs across Canada and a child’s ankle was crushed in such a trap in Abbotsford.
If Council has no regard for the suffering of animals, at least show concern for peoples’ safety. Please be responsible and follow the lead of eight municipalities across Canada and pass a bylaw banning all body-gripping traps.
Public safety should be a priority within our municipality; trappers can go outside the boundaries to indulge in their ‘sport’. For wildlife conflict, there are better methods than body-gripping traps.
At risk from poison, or from medicine?
Last week’s letter from Mary Beth Knechtel contained numerous inaccuracies. She failed to note that the Globe & Mail article she referenced stated that the alleged loss of IQ resulted from chronic use before the age of 18. Neither the article, nor the study discussed, suggests that teenagers engaging in moderate use are subject to this alleged danger.
Ms Knechtel also failed to note that the validity of the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in August 2012, was questioned by researchers who later noted in the same journal “other differences among the study group including education, occupation and other socioeconomic factors that showed the same effect on IQ as cannabis use.” Madeline Meier did not, of course, agree with this assessment, but the fact remains that scientific studies are far more reliable when they don’t contain numerous variables, not to mention that there do not appear to be any corollary studies examining the effect on IQ of excessive underage drinking. Ironically, the Globe & Mail article and the study itself pointed to allegedly supporting third-party anecdotal evidence, while many medical ‘experts’ routinely reject first-party anecdotal evidence of the medical benefits of marijuana for those suffering from glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and other serious medical conditions. It’s also interesting to note that the Globe & Mail chose to highlight this dubious study, while ignoring a 2006 diffusion MRI study concluding that moderate cannabis use during adolescence is not neurotoxic, and an even more significant 2012 UC San Diego study of brain scans “taken before-and-after of subjects aged 16–20 years who consumed alcohol and compared them to subjects of the same age who used cannabis instead. … While teen alcohol use resulted in observable reduced white matter brain tissue health, cannabis use was not linked to any damage.”
The first inaccuracy in Ms Knechtel’s letter was her confusion about the current petition, as nobody is suggesting that persons under the age of 18 should have access to legal marijuana. But perhaps the most important point, which Ms Knechtel overlooked in her eagerness to maintain the futile war on marijuana, is that – even if it were proven conclusively that excessive marijuana consumption between the ages of thirteen and eighteen causes slightly reduced performance on IQ tests – this would mean nothing more than that marijuana is also subject to the dictum of the prominent 16th century physician Paracelsus, who famously stated that the difference between a medicine and a poison is the dosage.
Gibsons and the coast community are being handed a gift. An opportunity to create a thriving destination location from what is now a vacant building sitting on prime land next to the Marina. The Gibsons Public Market [GPM] will be a dynamic meeting place for locals and visitors alike, with a green grocer, deli outlets, cafe, services, and space for art and music events. It will reclaim an unused asset, become the south cornerstone of an exceptional waterfront corridor, and be a source of pride for all.
The GPM was the inspiration of three local families and is backed by Community Futures and the Town of Gibsons. To date, all parties have committed large sums of money and effort to make this a reality.
But wishing and hoping will not make it happen. What will carry the GPM over the finish line is individuals, families, groups, clubs and businesses reaching into their coffers and writing a cheque. These funds will finalize the purchase of the property and be held in trust until we know that we have reached our goal of $250,000. Tax receipts will be issued by the Town of Gibsons.
My sister and I are local business people who have lived on the coast for many years. We are avid supporters of town events and initiatives and have donated to the GPM because we believe that it will benefit the entire Sunshine Coast.
We urge you to join those folks who have already contributed to this request for funding. Cheques can be written to the Gibsons Public Market and delivered C/O the Town of Gibsons. The clock stops at midnight October 31, 2013.
Carpe Diem. Let’s seize the moment; this gift will not come around again.
Patricia and Joann Hetherington
Silver Founder Circle Donor
Proposed Air Park viability questioned
All references to any commercial interest in the Sechelt airport have been removed from the official plans that are found on the District web site. All commercial operators approached were “reluctant” to get involved as reported in the minutes of August 27, so the committee directed the removal of the references to commercial carriers.
Interestingly, the references to commercial interests were allowed to remain in recent presentations made by delegation to the SCRD and the town of Gibsons. It was again stated as a goal to have six commercial Dash 8 flights per day.
Residential through the fence (RTTF) airport access and secure public commercial flights are mutually exclusive. It will be impossible for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to provide security and it will be prohibitive to insure for commercial carriers.
The federal authorities will consider a change to the Sechelt Airport only as long as the action protects, advances or benefits the public interest in civil aviation. There is a strict requirement for the sponsor, users and the government stakeholders at all levels to ascertain the benefit to aviation in real and documented terms. The interests of real-estate developers, businesses or other non-aviation interests do not take precedence over the aviation interests, especially in this federally obligated airport
To propose to build an Air Park on a federally obligated airport is exposing us to the very serious risk of the federal government’s reverter clause being enacted. The Sunshine Coast could find itself without a public airport altogether if the current approach to funding by “pre-selling” residential lease lots is allowed to progress any further.