Thursday, January 31, 2013
Opinion Who we are The Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows TIMES newspaper is a division of LMP Publication Limited Partnership. We’re located at 22345 North Avenue, Maple Ridge, B.C. The TIMES has a CCAB audited circulation of 29,950.
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Keep warm, and carry on It’s just like your mom always said when you were a kid: put on a sweater. FortisBC is teaming up with local business groups, including right here in Maple Ridge, to promote energy conservation and helping the less fortunate. This Feb. 2 to 9 is Turn Down the Heat Week in a number of B.C. communities, in which homeowners and business proprietors are being urged to set the thermostat just a little bit lower. Simultaneously, local Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) and member merchants are taking in donations of sweaters for those in need. It’s easy to push the thermostat up and bask as warm air comes out of the vents. But that air is warmed by the combustion of non-renewable natural gas, or in some rare cases, by electricity created by damming mighty B.C. rivers. Saving energy is a good philosophy, and one that shouldn’t be practised just one week of the year. We have four to six damp and cool months every year in B.C., sometimes including June. A sweater, a pair of warm socks, and blanket while settled in for a night of TV are easier on both environment and bank balance than cranking up the furnace. The simple lesson from our mothers’ call to put on a sweater can be expanded out from there. Which is cheaper, putting more insulation in a house, or putting in a bigger furnace? In the long run, it’s no contest, even if high-grade insulation is a bigger up-front cost. In the summer, the same thing applies to air conditioning. The way we build our homes and offices, from double-glazed windows to the colour of paint to the use of shade trees, can make a big difference and cut down on the energy we expend. Here in B.C., we’re not known for dealing well with the cold, compared to the rest of Canada. We should acknowledge that making a home a couple of degrees cooler is still better than moving to Winnipeg. – M.C.
This Week’s Question Maple Ridge council is considering updating its tree bylaw.
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Have you had your flu shot?
I will very soon.
Still haven’t decided.
No, taking a chance this year.
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Gambling will invariably cost us
Martha, the walls are up. one of his predecessors – assumWhere’s the kids’ college money? ing that the increase in jobs and At long last, the proposed gamtax revenue would be worth it in bling casino on the Lougheed the long run. Highway at 227th Street is taking All water under the bridge now. shape, and Maple Ridge is schedThe best we can do is tell potenuled to become Vegas North. tial gamblers to go home after Will it be long before Celine the grocery money is lost and Dion and Anne Murray are booked give them the phone number of into the arts centre to entertain the Gamblers Anonymous. Or acquire tourists that flock to this town to a taste for pet food. by Tim Tyler gamble? Someone must have weighed email@example.com I don’t gamble myself, not in the odds of making a turnoff the the popular sense anyway. I don’t Lougheed Highway onto River play cards or the slot machines or bet on horses Road in Whonnock, because wouldn’t you know or other sporting events. It’s just too stressful, it, we’ve got a new traffic light out here in the all that excitement when you win, followed by hinterlands. And don’t think the locals weren’t the inevitable disappointment of losing. I restrict excited about it: a couple hundred people turned myself to the occasional lottery ticket. out to witness the official “Switching On” cereMy gambling is more of the lifestyle variety: mony last weekend, and as it turned out, the first I eat foods that aren’t good for me and drink “running of the red light” by a motorist who was too much, I cross the Lougheed Highway in the pulled over by the police and issued a warning. middle of the street, I shake hands and hug and This will happen until everyone is used to don’t wipe down the door handles when I enter the presence of the new signal at this notoria room. I’ve engaged in unprotected sex, I’ve ously risky intersection. Rumour has it that the voted for the NDP, I’ve ridden a bike without a Whonnockians were simply jealous of the traffic helmet, sat down in a portable toilet, travelled to light in Ruskin at 280th Street that has been in Mexico, etc. place for some time now. I’m assuming it won’t So, the appearance of a casino doesn’t bother be long before Thornhill is lobbying for a light, me. Unless you factor in the social costs and and before you know it, our trip to town has whether or not my taxes will end up paying for increased by 10 minutes. them. More than one study has cited increased And now the sports: I’m in love with Jennifer crime, lost work time, bankruptcies, and other Jones. It’s that time of the year again when curlfinancial hardships, child abuse, and domestic ing at the national level starts to get serious with violence as among some of the problems that the men’s and women’s championships. And it’s casinos drag along in their wake. time for my annual crush on Jennifer – arguably These costs invariably are higher than the Canada’s best female curler – not to mention actual benefits to the community, especially when the fact she’s is blonde and beautiful and a lawthe clientele are local and from the poorer ecoyer to boot. Unfortunately, she’s committed to nomic groups. Gambling has been described as another curler, the father of her child, and is not an addictive and destructive behaviour and bad answering any of my fan mail. So I have to make government policy. do with TV time and hope Jenny comes to her senses and drops that loser. I am sure Ernie et al took all this into conSee, hockey players aren’t the only ones with sideration when they gave the go-ahead for the their obsessions. casino – if it indeed was Mayor Daykin and not
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Times January 31 2013