4 The Local - Thursday, May 3, 2012
There’s no place like home
any of us have parents who live far away and, according to some psychologists, that’s a good sign. It means that we’ve been raised to be confident and independent, able to ‘leave the nest’ and strike out on our own. But it doesn’t mean we don’t need our parents anymore. When we run into a streak of trouble or suffer from a health problem, that’s when we want to talk to our parents, especially our moms. They offer sympathy, gentle advice and background information on our genetic disposition for any potential health problems. Often, just talking things over with her is enough to put things into perspective and make the world a less scary place. We’ll always be their children, even when our hair is just as white and we have almost as many wrinkles! With aging parents, the roles reverse. We worry about them as their health begins to fail, and make plans to spend more time with them. This involves taking time off work, considering the cost of traveling home and making arrangements for the care of the house and family pets while away. There are some who will uproot their own families and change jobs to move closer to aging parents; some are spared that overwhelming sense of responsibility by siblings who already live nearby and give regular reports. There are only two places where you ever experience that sense of ‘home’ – your own and that of your parents. Once your parents are gone, you’ve not only lost the two people you cherish, you’ve also lost that link to your childhood and the home where you felt comfortable, safe and loved, where someone else solved problems, where holidays and family gatherings were exciting times and there was the magic and mystery of the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Parents are not only the hub of your family, linking siblings and relatives, they also hold the genealogical key to your past. Too often, we regret never having sat down with our parents (or grandparents) to learn more about our own family histories (with all the interesting skeletons in the closet!). Once we’ve lost that sense of ‘home’ when our parents are gone, it’s up to us to create our own precious legacy of love and take on the job of making holidays wonderful, keeping the magic and mystery alive and solving problems. It’ll be worth all the heartache, headache and pains in the backside because, as Dorothy said when she clicked her red slippers together, “There’s no place like home!”
Letters to the Editor Weston not listening? John Weston MP had a ‘town’ meeting in Sechelt. Despite pulling every string to suppress turnout (late and minimal advertising, a 5:30 pm start time on the opening day of the NHL playoffs), a standing room only crowd arrived. After a half hour of platitudes and talking points, the people took over. All but one of many criticized the Conservative policies and budget, raising everything from the Tar Sands, pipelines, tanker traffic, warplanes, AIDS drugs, retirement age, robocalls and everything in between. There was virtually no support (save one voice) for the direction that the Harperites are taking our fair country.
In the end, Weston chose to simply insult the large crowd by suggesting that only those who were disenchanted came out to open meetings. It is unclear that he actually heard any of the offered opinions. Did we elect a representative to speak for us, or a person to act as a message carrier for Stephen Harper? Weston is clearly the latter. Paul Johnston, Roberts Creek
Smoother sailing for passenger ship Do you know what would be a really good idea? A short, smooth boat ride to Horseshoe Bay from Langdale where there’s lots of parking. I’m really surprised the local governments haven’t lobbied for
Letters to the Editor – Opinions this before now, as it would just make total sense. I guess they didn’t want to upset the Provincial Government folks. Then catch the fast bus to North or West Van or even Vancouver and points beyond. This easy and smooth trip on the water would be so much quicker than going all the way around to Vancouver only from Langdale, which would limit the destinations too, and would be way less expensive as it’s cheaper to run a bus than a boat and it can get really nasty out there in the Salish Sea. (I could tell a few hair raising stories having been out there a bit!) Bill Howe, Gibsons
Ferry means friends and family moving away Please accept this letter as a reflection of my dissatisfaction with current ferry service and rates being imposed on residents of the Sunshine Coast. Not only have I been told by my potential buyers that rates, schedules and cut off times at the Langdale ferry terminal have been factors which have resulted in their choosing other areas to invest in, but the cost of getting my family to and from Vancouver has become prohibitive. Bringing up my three daughters in the Pender Harbour area, we are faced with regular trips into Vancouver for field trips, sporting events, training sessions and medical appointments. When we made the decision to move to the area, we
factored in the costs we expected to be paying for fuel and transportation, however, fuel costs and ferry fees have skyrocketed compared to the rest of the economy. We have numerous personal friends who have unfortunately left the Sunshine Coast with their children as a result of the growing costs of raising families here. As a result, our school system funding suffers and we are forced to make even more trips to Vancouver to give our children well-rounded upbringings. It’s a vicious cycle which BC Ferries has an opportunity to stop by providing regular and reasonable passenger and vehicle fares to and from Vancouver. I find it absurd that 12 year-old children are charged a full adult fare of over $11 and I would ask that BC Ferries consider maintaining a child rate for all high school aged children. Is there some additional expense incurred by BC Ferries in moving 12 year-olds versus 11 year-olds? I implore BC Ferries to consider the impact of the current pricing schedule and lack of a passenger only service to and from Langdale from the Sunshine Coast. Alan Stewart, Pender Harbour
Crazy idea or good plan? I can quite understand the need for a foot passenger only ferry. I wonder how many times we have been told, “We would love to live on the Sunshine Coast; houses are affordable. I work in Vancouver,
but that ferry ...!” Well it has been tried – the private enterprise route. Go to Google Canada and call up COASTAL LINK FERRIES, a story for which Gilbert and Sullivan would have been proud. Even a boat with a name: MV Coastal Runner, under Captain Shaker. Rumours started flying around in April 2008 – a 75-passenger ferry at $10 a head, and it would start from Gibsons in October 2008. And yes, there would be a few trial runs. Fast forward to January 2010. “We are able to secure docking at Hopkins Landing. Ferry service starts on the first of March 2010.”A sad ending followed. Walk on, walk off the Queen of Surrey, no problem; lots of room. At Horseshoe Bay, there’s a reliable blue bus to take you to downtown Vancouver. The issue is not the availability it is the scheduling and its reliability. If you have a car, for the businessman or businesswoman, forget it: Lots of two-hour waits at the terminals. “At least we’re not going to Nanaimo,” is the only thought that gives one pleasure. The lesson – if you are a 9 to 5 businessman or woman working in the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast is not for you – even if you can arrange carpooling. Now to a crazy idea, but the more I think about it, the less crazy it seems. It applies to those who would like an evening in Van-
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couver – a game, a show, a restaurant but with no way of catching the 9:15 pm ferry. Pre-World War II, my father often took me on the Liverpool to Dublin overnight boat. Get on the boat at around 7 pm and enjoy a cabin for two or a comfortable chair. Wake up alongside in Dublin, have breakfast onboard and disembark. Now, what about a small boat fitted ‘a la business-class plane’ waiting in Horseshoe Bay? You arrive late at night, have a snack and settle down for a snooze. Wake up in the morning and you are in Langdale. What happens then? I don’t know. Maybe Keats, Gambier, etc. This could be a crazy idea that just needs some work. Bernard McGrath, Langdale
Cement plant another example Re: Clark Hamilton’s letter to the Editor It’s called democracy, Mr. Hamilton, governing by the rule of law in order to protect individual rights from being steamrolled by the rich and powerful. And it’s worth every penny. Blame for the $80,000 cost for re-doing Target Marine lies with the government of Sechelt and its advisors who made a mistake, and not on the individuals who are trying to save their right to the quiet enjoyment of their residential property. This typical push for maximum profit for companies (Letters continued on page 5) Jeff Smith
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