Friday, March 21, 2014

Readers write - When is a user, not a user?

When is a user, not a user?
--> Or: wha's wrong with our money dudes?
Letter to Editor, Morning Star: "The A Word". Herb Thorburn: re Coldstream and BX residents not paying our "fair" share:
File this under: 
"Bull-pate": Why does the Morning Star publish uninformed comments which omit well-published facts?... And, who does it serve ;) ?
"Shaming":  Raising the "U" word, as in: the bumpkins take unfair advantage of their long-suffering "Caretaker".
"Duh": Why, oh why, would I want a Vernon based Mayor and council responsible for MY community?
"Identity/pride": Coldstream luuuv, or how the Amalgos have challenged me to go into deep reflection about what our community means to me (my  brief survey of Coldstream treats and treasures down the page...sans history making icons, community leaders and historical events: ie: Mayor Garlick's Rembrance Day photographic display revealing a mostly unknown Coldstreamer contribution to the Canadian military).

I so enjoy this comment for its rich comedic value: "Coldstream and BX have few commercial outlets. No significant grocery stores, no big box stores, no hardware and building supply stores, few eating places and few if any doctors, dentists and other professionals."
Yup, wouldn't the amalgos just love it if businesses,  or non-profits for that matter, ached to migrate to Bumpkinville?, by which I mean: they know they'd take a blistering fiscal hit if could shop locally (I'd love to ride my two-wheeled thingy to shop).
So, let's get real: if only I could almost exclusively shop closer to home-- why would I spend time and gas money to be engulfed by an over-riding, spirit-killing ugliness to shop in the land of micro-beaches (don't blink as you pass), strip malls, pawn shops, tattoo and piercing parlours, asphalt-smothered treeless parking lots, peeling paint,  tired, kitchy street art, an environment built for vehicles, chain stores, gas stations and liquor outlets? (I know you're trying Vernon but sheesh, what's up with the Soviet-style shabby rec centre and the "planned" new and less improved, Visitor Preventer?).
Vernon merchants and service providers depend on dollars spent by their regional customers, and the Vernon tax base in turn, depends on the tax dollars contributed by its merchants. Simple, non?
"We use your roads" (we. being the bumpkins): Ya, how else would we spend money in the Big Smoke or get to our regional hospital?  And, don't forget that we plug Vernon's hungry, restless parking meters:  a shopper turn-off, only  the most devious of anti-business minds could devise.  
Street lights? We know about street lights, we have to obey them too...Ahem, do you use a hover-craft or fly when you come to Coldstream?"
Coldstream roads are travelled by many visitors (whom I welcome when they don't speed)--a few of their destinations:
Kal Beach, Farmer Val's: beloved farm tours, birthday parties, weddings and Christmas Nativity, hay from Johnson's on Cosens Bay Road...
A newish, thriving pre-school in the Town Centre...the tennis courts, the Lagoon...
Remembrance Day service and refreshments , Halloween spook-fest-dazzling fire-works and magical Christmas Light-Up at our Community church (an event, which,  without the dedicated, ultra-fabulous  Coldstream VOLUNTEER Fire Department likely would die: a la Okanagan Landing Halloween fireworks celebration)...
A place of deep repose, beauty and history: Coldstream Cemetary...
Coldstream Ranch, where Lord and Lady Aberdeen planted the first orchard in the Okanagan. And they even grew hops, and that is a story on its own...
Lavington yoga, churches, Friesens,  Kal Park, lumber sales: recycled, or not (Meyers), Coldstream Willows Nursery, events and Friday Farmer's Market at the Women's Institute, Alexander's, awesome golf at two stunning courses, popular garage sales,  Mackie House special events, farmgate sales, and Coldstream's FIRST organic orchard, Zelaney's, made famous on BC Almanac, White's Christmas tree farm, RV sales, a charming specialty natural soap and cosmetic boutique in Lavington, leafy summer weddings in Coldstream Creek Park, artists and artisans, hairdressers, massage therapists, Coldstream Riding Club, welders, mechanics, feed store and tack shop at highway six and Aberdeen...there's much more, please add to this impressive list...
And ya know, most of our parking is freeeeeee!!!!
Well, as for Coldstream being a bastion of past and present privilege, well that is a little wishful hyperbole? Agricultural and other workers built this community with their toil. Many in our community have silently bust a backside for a crust, here or out of town. Half a dozen, a dozen!  neighbours on my little street work far away, leaving family behind. Take a stroll through our subdivisions, and REALLY look. Note the secondary suite mortgage helpers. Notice the shabby homes, and neglected, parched drab yards. Do you think the renters have a Platinum Card? My  guess is that food bank use is a silent  necessity for some Coldstream taxpayers who have fallen behind because of the mega-project aficionados. btw Coldstreamers always step-up to help our food banks.
We all pay for the same luxury-water infrastructure, no Vernon passport needed to empty our wallets....
We all contribute to parks, rec, library, hospital etc, no Vernon passport needed to empty our wallets....
And...and maybe file this under:  "What happens when you get too popular, and what I really dread":  the motorized craft cacophony, and the boatish dog-beach bogarts. 
Don't entice us to flirt with your business tax base: luring them with cut-rate taxes, or making a proposal to annex the College...
... And, btw: hey Ikea, hey Costco....



Anonymous said...

Isn't it amusing how Vernon's road craters were patiently left to add "character" to Vernon's roads until they were duly noted by diligent Coldstreamers?

Anonymous said...

I wrote a similar letter to TMS re Vernon totally reliant on those outside the official limits. inc, most of their professional folk who don't live 'in town'. They'd best warn the shoppers from Lumby, Cherryville, Nakusp, Enderby, Armstrong, Falkland etc not to drive on Vernon roads.
However, my letter met the cutting room floor as usual. Too much of a loose cannonball I guess :)

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About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.