“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit.”

~~ Napoleon Hill -- American Author -- Oct 26, 1883 to Nov 8, 1970

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Thankfully, and to give her credit, it was however posted to the opinion section of the paper

The Vancouver Observer, and in particular Sandy Garossino, have / has sparked a little controversy recently.  For me it was an article she wrote entitled, “Taxes are for the little people - Withpermanent tax exemption, Christy Clark takes care of the beleaguered 1%.”  
For me, I found the story extremely slanted, and I believed it to be more of an opinion, or editorial piece, rather than a news story. Thankfully, and to give her credit, it was however posted to the opinion section of the paper. 
That said, in posting an opinion piece, one would expect that it should be accurate – I do not believe it was as it simply parroted the long held mantra of the BCTF that those in the private education system come from elitist families … private schools take away valuable resources from the public education system, and of course that it’s only the ‘little people’ that pay their fair share of taxes (more of a socialist opinion). 
All of these much trotted out comments, in my personal opinion, are wrong. Of course anyone who knows me, would understand that I was quick to dispute those comments. (insert laugh here). 
The latest disagreement I had with Sandy at the VO was over another piece she wrote with regards to Tim Horton’s caving in to an enviro group (SumOfUs), based in large part in the United States, that managed to get Tim Horton’s to cancel a contract they had with Enbridge to run soft promo’s ads on Timmy’s in house tv system.  An article by Vivian Krause, in the National Post correctly, again in my opinion identified them as the ‘same old tar sands campaigner’
Here is the exact quote, from Sandy’s opinion piece in the VO, that I took exception too:
“…as everybody in the country now knows, Alberta and Conservatives had a mass freakout over Tim Hortons' decision to decline screening Enbridge ads on its in-house TV screens …” 

Couple of things here … it wasn’t a ‘mass freakout’ … and it wasn’t just Conservatives upset.  It was every day Canadians, many of whom work in the Canadian energy industry, have family members in the industry, or who have jobs because of this vital part of Canada’s economy.  AND … they DID NOT decline they ads, they CANCELLED a contract Enbridge had in place with them. 

Twice I pointed this out to them … this is just one of them:
@VanObserver Please correct error. Tim Horton's didn't DECLINE ads, they CANCELLED the contracted airing of them #BoycottTims #cdnpoli 

UPDATE TO: Kamloops City Councillor Tina Lange; “It's the next step to Kamloops coming of age.”

On Tuesday I did a post entitled; Kamloops City Councillor Tina Lange; “It's the next step to Kamloops coming of age.” 
Today (June 9th) a Kamloops couple decided they wanted to be a part of ensuring the new Performing Arts facility gets approved by the people of Kamloops.  Here’s a story from Kamloops own TV7: 
A Kamloops couple is putting some muscle behind their support for the proposed performing arts centre. Ron and Rae Fawcett, who own Kelson Group Property Management, have committed to donate $5 million to the project if it passes a city-wide referendum on November 7. 
Kamloops will be asking residents whether they're ok with the city borrowing $49 million to have the centre built at the old Daily News building on Seymour Street. 
This is great news, and the kind of spark that can lead to Kamloops residents voting yes to approve the go-ahead on this important addition to our community. 
I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Kamloops City Councillor Tina Lange; “It's the next step to Kamloops coming of age.”

While Canadians debate the right or wrong of Canadian coffee / donut icon Tim Horton’s pulling ads for Enbridge (by the way they were indeed wrong), all is still quiet in Kamloops when it comes to discussions and debate regarding the new proposed Performing Arts Centre for Kamloops.
Meantime the former Kamloops Daily News building and parking lot, site of the centre, continues to look like a bigger and bigger eyesore in our community.
Downtown Kamloops
It would seem Kamloops City Councilor Tina Lange agrees, telling me that a new performing arts centre would provide us with many benefits including giving our downtown a jump start providing an amazing anchor … creating quality jobs to build it … and because Seymour street is pretty dismal at the moment, it would drive investment in the existing properties.
As the preliminary report of the performing arts centre states, the discussion on the need in our community for a facility of this kind, has been a process that has gone on now for over a dozen years:
In 2002, the City commenced a public engagement process by initiating the development of a Cultural Strategic Plan. Adopted by Council in 2003, the Cultural Strategic Plan validated this need and put forward as one of its five key recommendations, that a new Kamloops Arts and Heritage Centre be constructed as part of the “blueprint” for cultural development for the City over the next decade. 
Now I don’t negate the need for time to be allocated for major decisions that affect and impact the people of our city, it sure does seem like it takes us a LONG time to get to a final decision on big ticket items. 
Cases in point … discussions around building a new City Hall (still stalled) … the possibility of a new museum facility (or simply spreading out the exhibits to other facilities) … a long-term plan for where the Big Little Science Centre can permanently call home … where to put a new parkade in the downtown area … and good grief how long did it take before a shovel finally went in the ground for what is now called the Interior Savings Centre … and of course we have the recreational facilities at TRU which are a huge draw for our city every year.  They, along with ISC are two big reasons why we can take pride in being the Tournament Capitol of Canada! 
What’s the next step?  Well Tina Lange, a proponent of a new Performing Arts facility, says, It's the next step to Kamloops coming of age.”
All of that leads me to say thankfully, the discussion of whether to go ahead with a new performing arts centre, with the much needed parking required for downtown, will culminate at long last in a taxpayer decision late this year.  A decision which I for one hope will be favorable, and there’s good reason why! 
Here’ another comment from the preliminary report I noted above:
A review of booking dates (a rental / activity event for one client occurring in a 24 hour period) confirmed that the Sagebrush Theatre is highly utilized with 72% of calendar and 88% of prime dates booked. 
This in fact was news to me until the other day when I was talking with a friend, who was considering bring in a concert act, only to find they could not get a date at the Sagebrush Theatre (which will hold just over 700 people) due to the high bookings it already has just with the School District and Western Canada Theatre Company alone. 
I am going to pull a bit more information from the feasibility study to refresh and remind you of what we currently have available for the performing arts in Kamloops:
The Interior Savings Centre is an arena and home to the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. Total seating capacity is 5,158, which can be reduced for theatre events (746 or 960 seats) and concerts (1,099 seats to 4,430 seats). Performances are generally touring music concerts brought in by local and regional promoters. However, the venue is often bypassed by notable artists because the limited seating capacity means they can’t sell enough tickets for the show to be profitable. Other artists decline to perform here due to the lack of intimacy, ambiance and acoustics for their performance.  
Sagebrush Theatre is a 706 seat proscenium theatre owned by the City and the School District, and, operated by the Western Canada Theatre Company (WCTC). As the only commercial theatre venue in the community, it is booked to its maximum. Priority is given to bookings by the WCTC and the School Board as per the facility’s Joint Use Management Agreement, resulting in limited availability for other arts groups. The Theatre is consistently fully booked, with scheduling of events up to two years in advance
The Pavilion Theatre is a 165 seat “black box” studio theatre operated by WCTC. While it is sufficiently fit out for performances, it is generally used as the WCTC’s rehearsal hall. The WCTC’s administration offices and production shops are located in the venue. Limited bookings are available and the form of the theatre as a “studio” makes it conducive to a limited number of uses and is undesirable by several arts and performance groups in the City. 
Coast Hotel Conference Centre Theatre is a proscenium style theatre within the hotel’s conference centre. Its seating capacity, 475 in the theatre format and 350 in the dinner theatre format, functions very well for conventions, conferences and meeting events. 
Thompson Rivers University has several facilities including the Grand Hall, Barber Centre, Alumni Theatre, and Black Box Theatre that are available for booking by the local community. 
Local churches (Calvary Community, Kamloops Alliance, Summit Drive, St. Andrew’s on the Square) and community venues (Old Courthouse Cultural Centre, Paramount Theatre) are also being used for arts productions and cultural events. While such converted use venues serve to help establish programs and audiences, they are not conducive to long term growth of the performing arts and do not meet the standards required for professional and commercial groups
So, we have local church and community facilities that will hold up to several hundred people … the Pavilion Theater that holds 165 … the Coast Hotel with seating up to 475 … followed by the Sagebrush (which again is fully booked year-round) with 706 seats … and finally the Interior Savings Centre with concert seating of between 1,100 to 4,400 people, and theater seating of between 750 to 950. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The on-going and continuous media reporting on this (especially CBC News) drives me crazy

Have you by chance happened to read the editorial in the National Post by Conrad Black, entitled "Canada’s treatment of aboriginals was shameful, but it was not genocide"?

I know some (many?) will find it 'shameful' that I am not filled with righteous outrage at the the treatment of first nation people, at residential schools, however --- ENOUGH already!

YES ... there were many things in our past that we can now look back on, with the viewpoint of today's enlightened culture, however our forefathers / mothers do not have that same opportunity.  They did things they way they were accustomed too ... at that time ... based on the prejudices they grew up with, in the society of that time period.  

No surprise there.  They were biased by what they saw at the time, by their upbringing, and by their own wrongly held feelings of superiority.

There were many hard-working people at the time who truly did want to improve the lives of First Nations people, and they dedicated their lives to that.  Do we ever hear of any of those individuals?  Perhaps even one or two, to temper the extremely negative aspects of what I beleive to be a minority of horrible individuals would be appropriate.

Regardless, the comment at the end of the editorial pretty, by Conrad Black, much sums things up, and I agree with it. I am honestly at the point now when the on-going and continuous media reporting on this (especially CBC News which now gets turned off as soon as another story comes on) drives me crazy ... and honestly is infuriating me:

"Let us all repent past wrongdoing without demeaning histrionics and hyperbole, and be proud of whatever we are ethnically: all cultures and nationalities have their distinctions. The whole country must do what it can to atone for the past, but a continuing orgy of recriminations will be unjust in itself, produce a nasty backlash, and will aggravate grievances"

I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops ... care to share you thoughts on this?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Most are so smug in their own elitist diatribe, I hope you’ll ram it right down their throats

The latest rant against the private education system in British Columbia continues to be a part of social media this week.  with that in mind, and since my original post on this earlier this week, I thought I would do a follow-up.
Did you know there are 76,000 children who are part of the private school education system in BC.  To move ALL of these students into the public system, the government would need to build, or create, an additional 3,040 classrooms.  On top of that there would of course be the necessary and required libraries, gyms, staff rooms, science and computer labs, metal and wood shops, offices, washrooms, etc.  Anyone care to guess what that would cost?

The private education system receives an FTE (full time equivalent) grant of $4,000 for each student, vs. the $8,000 grant required by school boards for every student in the public school system.  To move the entire 76,000 students from the private school system, to the public system, would cost BC taxpayers an additional $304,000,000 a year --- that’s Three Hundred and Four Million dollars a year!
In addition private schools are responsible for their own facilities … in other words the government (aka taxpayers) … do not pay for these facilities to be built.
I know I have said often enough, however it bears mentioning again.  The VAST majority of parents with children in private schools are NOT the elitists families that the BCTFA and their supporters claim them to be. 
They are mainly just everyday middle class families, living in the same neighbourhoods as you and I.
Instead of buying summer lakefront properties, expensive recreational equipment, 80+ inch plasma TV, and any other number of toys, they choose to instead invest in their children’s education.
Next time you hear someone say that private schools are elitist and ripping off the public system, I hope you’ll remember this information.  Most are so smug in their own elitist diatribe, I hope you’ll ram it right down their throats.
I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops ... would you care to share your thoughts on this?



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Parents of students in private schools, are in fact SUBSIDIZING students in public education

Sandy Garossino, the editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Observer, is the latest in a long line of individuals who appear to take delight in bashing the private school system, because of the alleged, and totally miss-placed insinuation that private schools don’t pay their fair share into the system, AND that they take valuable resources from the public school system. (http://www.vancouverobserver.com/contributors/sandy-garossino)

Neither of these assertions is true.

She starts her piece by stating, “Christy Clark never met a millionaire she didn’t like. And that goes double for their little darlings.”  Even the subtitle to her piece, “With permanent tax exemption, Christy Clark takes care of the beleaguered 1%” is in fact a slap in the face to the thousands of parents in BC – who are in large part in the middle class – that make financial sacrifices to have their children in the private school system for a variety of reasons.  And in large part, they are NOT parents whose children attend ‘St. George’s senior campus (the junior school is nearby), an exclusive high school for 700 boys located in Vancouver’s affluent Dunbar neighbourhood.’

I get VERY tired about hearing how much independent schools are hurting the public school system, because they take financial resource away.

For those who have refused to believe this is untrue, or are being brainwashed by partisan comments from the BCTF and its partners, here are the FACTS:

Grants To Independent Schools:
The district operating grant consists of the per-pupil base allocation plus supplementary amounts added to produce the per-student district operating grant amount. Supplementary amounts are included for unique student needs (including learning disabilities, learning assistance, speech and language services, mild intellectual disabilities, English Language Learning, aboriginal education, and adult education programs), enrolment decline (greater than one percent per year), salary differentials, transportation and housing, and unique geographic factors. The supplementary factors account for the difference in school district operating grant amounts.

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) eligible students enrolled in an independent school is a key component to calculating school grants. A full grant is paid for each full-time student who is enrolled for a minimum of 600 hours from July 1 to May 15 of the school year. Partial grants are paid for eligible partial students who receive less than 600 hours of instruction.

The designated percentages are as follows:

Group 1 = 50 percent of the local district's per-student grant amount

Group 2 = 35 percent of the local district's per-student grant amount

In others words, each student in private education, provides an additional 50% of their grants TOO the public school system. Parents of students in private schools, are in fact SUBSIDIZING students in public education.

FURTHER … what have the grants been to public schools over the past 5 schools years?  Let’s have a look:

Monday, June 1, 2015

To (site) C or not to (site) C ... with apologies to Shakespeare

To (site) C or not to (site) C ... that is the question (sorry Shakespeare)I

It seems some people, when called to justify their action, and or statements, become master of the duck, dive, and weave method of politics.  On Wednesday Keith Baldrey posted this note on Twitter, “NDP denounces deal struck between BC Hydro-Building Trades Union to build Site C dam. #bcpoli”. 
This was picked up by Emile Scheffel who referenced Baldreys post and made his own comment stating, “Today's #BCNDP: opposed to 10,000 family-supporting jobs for union, non-union, and Aboriginal workers. https://twitter.com/keithbaldrey/status/603677885522640896 … #bcpoli” 
Both comments are fair and accurate, given that anyone can go online and check the facts for themselves.  For example: