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Letters to the Editor – Opinions

Stop, look, listen

Bill Conway, Chair of Sechelt’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, recently indicated he is very  concerned that the buttons used to activate the operation of crosswalk lights at Inlet and Teredo are not grouped together and the timer controlling the length of time of operation of lights does not give many people time to cross the street. It appears installation is not in accordance with the BC Ministry of Transportation guidelines for traffic signals for crosswalks. He is requesting that people contact the District of Sechelt to ask that this be corrected.

Arthur Whistler, Sechelt

Go! It’s green

With so many activities occurring on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the good crowd of people that participated in the Green Jobs BC forum in Gibsons reflected the general concern with climate change and employment

Green Jobs BC is a joint effort of BC’s Labour and Environmental movements.  The intent is to develop a program that actually addresses the root causes of the climate change crisis while looking towards a full employment economy.  The initial work presented at the Gibsons workshop identified four areas to be addressed – energy production, building retrofits, transportation alternatives and intelligent, value added forestry practices.  The local participants noted the agenda to date was somewhat urban centred and discussed the need to include agriculture, fisheries and strengthened public services, particularly post secondary education.

There is a brief post on the Sunshine Coast Labour Council Facebook page that looks at the event.  To a great extent the issue is not whether alternative directions exist and should be pursued, but rather that there is no political will in the governing parties.  For this reason it was gratifying that two BC MLAs, Nicholas Simon and George Heyman both participated.

Paul Johnston, Roberts Creek

Code grey for nurses?

Our St.Mary’s hospital hardworking caring nurses are stressed out by the increasing number of patients needing care. Our wonderful nurses work load has increased from one nurse for five patients to one nurse for nine patients; nearly twice as many patients per nurse; is this good? This intolerable pressure on nurses is making it difficult for a nurse to answer important  patient call bells in a timely manner.This is not good for patients health and nurses morale. There is a need for more nurses now.

Meanwhile PM Harper is wasting peoples’ hard-earned tax dollars sending six costly CF-18 fighter jets and military officers to North Atlantic Treaty Organization bases in volatile eastern Europe. The money will be better spent hiring more nurses and improving our public health and child care services.  Nurses not fighter jets!

Arnet Tuffs, Sechelt


I am replying to your letter in the Local on April 10 from Tim McDowell (Is arnica effective? Science disagrees) regarding homeopathy.

Even his subject line is misinformed.  Only recently, two leading universities in Italy conducted research on a homeopathic medicine and found it influences genetic expression associated with nerve cells. (

The big problem with Tim McDowell’s thinking (other than that it is simplistic) is that he has missed out a third and equally significant major tenet of homoeopathy and that is that it treats the WHOLE PERSON and THE INDIVIDUAL. It is for this reason that one cannot evaluate it with the same criteria as one would allopathic medicine, because randomized double blind trials are based on groups of people, regardless of their susceptibility. Remedies are always prescribed on an individual basis according to similarity of symptoms. This is a long established and recognized practice even in allopathic medical history…ie: The hair of the dog that bit you.

There are many different accounts and statistics to support the efficacy of remedies in treatment.  For example, in the treatment of the outbreak of Spanish flu at the turn of the last century, homeopathy was significantly more effective than allopathy or indeed of no treatment.

If, as Mr. McDowell suggests, homeopathy is merely a placebo, why does it work on babies and animals?

It seems that if Mr. McDowell cannot smell, taste or touch it, then it doesn’t exist or cannot be beneficial.  Does he perhaps not believe in radiation?

Sarah Payne, RN, MA, Sechelt

Where do cats belong?

Re: I. Sarama’s assertion that cats belong indoors (Letters, The Local Weekly, May 1): Obviously the writer has never owned a cat and I only wish the issue was this black and white.  Only a person who has never taken in an abandoned, abused and otherwise discarded cat would say something like this.  It would be great if it was that easy.  The situation is multifaceted, and by the way, cats, just like dogs, have been an ‘introduced species’ for hundreds of years.

If you adopt or chose to own a cat or kitten that has always been kept indoors there is no problem.  However, I’ve learned from experience that when you take in a cat that’s used to being outdoors, particularly those that have been abandoned or abused you can’t just turn it into an indoor animal.  I know, I’ve tried, and I tell you at least from my experience, it is beyond stressful and just not possible. I took in a cat once that was so freaked out it wouldn’t come out from under the bed for a month, and if you tried to pat it, it would bite and dig it’s claws in your hand.  My husband called it the cat from hell and said he wouldn’t have anything to do with it. However, after going through ‘Marsha’s rehab’ (the cat that is) which included much patience and kindness, ‘Willy’ turned into what my husband then called the most wonderful cat he’d ever known.

When you adopt a cat and it’s fed regularly, it will kill very few birds.  A cat will usually bring its prey back to you because it’s proud. The trick is to remain calm, praise the cat for its prowess, then hold its jaw firmly and stroke its neck.The cat will then release the bird.  Most of the time the bird isn’t injured but it is in shock.  I would then keep the cat indoors, and place the bird loosely in a tented tea towel outside on a patio table. I don’t remember a time that it wouldn’t gradually come out of shock and fly away.  Only a few times I’ve had to take injured birds to be cared for.

Coyotes are a very real danger to dogs and cats.  Remember the incident of the woman in Gibson’s where a coyote entered the back door that was left open and made off with her dog! Coyotes will also ‘hunt’ in twos and lure a dog from it’ yard, take it back to the pack, then attack and kill it. Yes, keep your cat or dog in at night or be kept safe in a fenced area.

Marsha Andrews, Sechelt

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