Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dodi Morrison: Action needed

The following appeared in the August 05, 2008, edition of the Western News:

Probably generations younger than mine will not know the name Anna Russell. She was an English singer and humourist who delighted in poking fun at all pompous institutions. One of her most hilarious renditions was a take-off of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. (It really is a funny story.) At one point one of the characters does something he immediately regrets.

“And then, of course,” says Anna, “he’s sorry; (so like a man),” she adds. And that reminded me of a downcast article I read in a Calgary paper last year. The city council was grovelling over the fact that it had torn down a 90-year-old school — against strong community opposition. The backlash was such that they had quickly proposed a moratorium on tearing down older buildings — well, buildings older than 25 years, in fact — without public consultation. A bit extreme, you say? Well, having huge community opposition is quite uncomfortable.

Two people told me recently the province had offered to build affordable housing if the city would donate the land, and was refused. I gave their remarks little credit, until a third person, certainly in a position to know, told me the same thing. Yet they gave away land and money for a concert hall. I love classical music, dance etc. — but I long more for a way to keep young families and much-needed service persons in Penticton. And I am truly worried about the obesity I see so commonly, especially among the very young. Are these not legitimate concerns?

Everywhere we are hearing, “Don’t give up.” All very well — but a few shoulders have carried this load for all of you.

Take action.

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