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THURSDAY, November 24, 2011 ™

www.kamloopsthisweek.com

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YOUROPINION

KAMLOOPS

THIS WEEK

An end to anonymous comments online

Speak up You can comment on any story you read @ kamloopsthisweek.com

A selection of comments on KTW stories, culled online

Re: From the outside looking in: “Thanks to KTW for your excellent coverage throughout the campaign.” — posted by Chris Ortner

Re: Did Alexander save Milobar? “No offence to Dieter Dudy, but I think this was more a protest against Peter Milobar than it was core support for the challenger.” — posted by ModerateKam Exactly! Dudy could have nominated one of his sacks of spuds and the results would have been the same. “He was just a decent guy in the right place at the right time.” — posted br RonWatt

Re: Foulds column: Civic election almost a Dewey beats Truman: “Remember the 235 who made a difference! “Less than one out of three equals serious voter apathy.” — posted by ofoab

For the last few years, as BCLocalNews. com and its family of websites, including Kamloops This Week, have garnered more attention, some readers have raised concerns about one issue in particular — the fact we allow visitors to post anonymous comments. The policy has led to some unpleasant and mean-spirited postings. It’s also raised an inconsistency in our editorial

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linked to the statements they post. BCLocalNews.com and Kamloops This Week are not alone in making this shift. Several media companies, equally troubled by the vitriolic trend of anonymous comments, are turning to Facebook to power their website commenting. These include the Los Angeles Times, SeattlePI.com and Gannett newspapers. This new approach

won’t be perfect. People without a Facebook account won’t be able to participate in online discussions. Still, we’re enthused to be in the vanguard of this movement. It shows we’re listening to our readers and responding. It places us more deeply into the powerful world of social media: By using Facebook comments, we’re embracing a social medium with 800-million users worldwide.

For those of you who choose not to create a Facebook account, remember we will continue to run letters to the editor in print. So, please continue to be a part of the discussion. Your comments are part of an important dialogue that enlivens and enriches civic life in our communities. For answers to frequently asked questions, go online to bclocalnews. com/commentfaq.

We all either pay now or we play later Editor: Seems to me there’s a lot of talking going on — with poverty and housing, that is. The latest story in KTW about the tragic death of John Gibbons and the response from ASK Wellness executive director Bob Hughes is the local story. I’m not sure what else can be said to get the government to cough up the money to address the issue of housing. Let’s face it — if you’re only getting $375 per month for housing, (yes this means a room or an apartment, not a mat on the floor of a church), where do you turn? Programs like the ASH, MASH program offered by ASK Wellness are critically important in keeping people in stable housing and need to be recognized. Without them, the homeless count in October would have been much higher. ASK Wellness has taken a huge gamble with these programs. We can find money to help people quit smoking, currently estimated at $3 million, but we can’t find the money to give people the dignity of having a place to call home. How many more people will have to die before the housing rates reflect the current rental rates in B.C.? If a person is given the opportunity to have a stable place, it is the first step in dealing with other issues. Without stability, the addiction continues to cost society not only in dollars, but common sense. Think of the cost associated with health care, homeless shelters, law

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policy. Kamloops This Week does not print anonymous letters, yet we have allowed our website to become a place where people can hide their identity while occasionally taking shots at one another. Starting on Dec. 1, that policy will change. People will only be able to comment by using their Facebook account, which means their name, often even their photograph, will be

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Q&A WE ASKED Will Mayor Peter Milobar win re-election in the Saturday, Nov. 16 civic election? SURVEY RESULTS

YES 47% NO 53% WHAT’S YOUR TAKE? Are you satisfied with the makeup of Kamloops city council following the Nov. 19 civic election?

VOTE ONLINE kamloopsthisweek.com

John Gibbons died on Nov. 22, 2009. KTW reader Teal Quin says addressing homelessness needs to be done to save future deaths such as Gibbons’. KTW file photo

enforcement and the justice system. Put the money where it will make a difference, in supportive housing like that offered by ASK Wellness. We aren’t solving the homeless issue if we’re not giving the person enough money to even collect that shelter amount monthly through income assistance. Too often when I talk about the housing issue, I receive the same response: If we give more money for shelter, landlords will increase the rents. However, not one person has acknowledged the government has the ability to regulate rents through the

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Residential Tenancy Act. We either have to pay now or pay later. After the Legislated Poverty Awareness Rally in Kamloops, I decided the place for me to be is as a volunteer with the Kamloops Homeless Action Plan. I have just prepared my first report on alternative housing and will be continuing to do research to see what other cities are doing to address this issue. Perhaps my voice will help the John Gibbons of the world. Teal Quin Kamloops

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Kamloops This Week is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent within 45 days to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 1-888-687-2213 or go to bcpresscouncil.org.

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Nov. 24  
Nov. 24  

Grey Cup Week in full swing Page A37 Thursday, November 24, 2011 Volume 24 No. 94 Kamloops, B.C., Canada 30 cents at Newsstands T H U R S...

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