Editor's Notebook

A good legacy

Fred and Sylvia Kirby never had any children, but that didn’t mean they weren’t interested in young people.

I don’t really remember how Fred ended up being a columnist for The Independent. He likely brought in an article for Amnesty International or the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and we likely started talking. Fred liked nothing more than a good discussion.

His column, Municipal Musings, started running in July of 2004 on a regular basis and was always to the point. He believed in open government and judged politicians on their actions, not their personalities; and that’s how the world should work in a democracy. Unfortunately, many amongst us don’t like our actions questioned. In that respect, you could call him fearless. There were a few people, and not always politicians, who wanted to “punch him out” because of  columns that he wrote.


We're number one

Ever since The Independent was founded in 1975, we’ve had to listen to advertisers say the other newspaper in town had more readers, etc.

I’ve often doubted that assertion, but what can you say?

That’s why a couple of years ago I decided to get involved in ComBase, North America’s largest media study, measuring more than 400 Canadian markets. ComBase provides consistent and accurate market-by-market information to assist in the buying and selling of community newspaper space.

ComBase 2008 was conducted by Leger Marketing of Montreal in three time frames: January to June and September to October of 2008 and from January to April of this year.


They have certain skills

It’s been an interesting week.

According to the auditor general, the Harper government would have trouble making money if it had the pay toilet concessions at a rock concert. The auditor general says the country is just not prepared to handle any major emergency.

Well, I believe it’s time someone came to the defence of our federal and provincial politicians. They are at the top of the class in some areas.

*For example, the federal government now knows how to cause panic in the streets of the country. The government simply says there is a pandemic sweeping the land and that it has a vaccine for said pandemic. Once the nation is primed – the feds say there isn’t enough vaccine to go around.


From Durham to Germany

As regular readers are aware, the plant in Durham where The Independent has been printed for decades was leveled by a tornado in late August.

 

Since then, our paper has been printed in either Barrie or Hamilton. Because of the distances involved, the delivery time of the paper to Kincardine each week has been erratic and on the late side.

 

Fortunately, the post office staff in Kincardine and readers who pick up the paper at the office and area stores have been understanding.

 


Dreams

In a dream you are never eighty. – Anne Sexton (1928 – 1974), American poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1967.

Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man. – from Leon Trotsky’s diary, May 8, 1935
Maybe old Trotsky knew what was coming when he penned those words because he was assassinated in 1940 in his 61st year. He was Lenin’s right hand man during the 1917 Russian Revolution but later ran afoul of Joseph Stalin, the erratic dictator who ran the Soviet Union. Trotsky was killed in Mexico by a Soviet agent.

But who knows what Trotsky was thinking?

And when do you enter old age?

Some people are old at 50 and others are still going strong in their eighties.


Are you covered?

I learned Friday that I’ve been walking around without health coverage since July 2.

I find this rather surprising since a few weeks ago I saw a news item that said people come from all over the world to illegally use Canada’s health system.

My coverage disappeared, I was told, because my address had not been changed. I guess the government figured I’d left the province or died.

Two-and-a-half years ago, I moved three blocks north on the same street, and the bureaucracy cancelled my coverage in July 2009.

So how does someone fly in from a foreign country and have a baby or an operation on our dime?


Efficiency is the answer

I’m having serious doubts these days about Queen’s Park.

Is Premier Dalton McGuinty in charge or have the inmates from the province’s insane asylums secretly taken  control?

A phone call to Queen’s Park left me in the dark.

Mr. Premier, why is the OPP targeting truck drivers who smoke in their vehicles?

McGuinty:  That’s an easy one, Eric. Our government believes that the “no smoking ban” in the workplace will make Ontario a more efficient province. In other words, it will make our truckers better workers and help Ontario compete on the world market.

How could you spend $1-billion on an eHealth network and end up without a network?


Efficiency is the answer

I’m having serious doubts these days about Queen’s Park.

Is Premier Dalton McGuinty in charge or have the inmates from the province’s insane asylums secretly taken  control?

A phone call to Queen’s Park left me in the dark.

Mr. Premier, why is the OPP targeting truck drivers who smoke in their vehicles?

McGuinty:  That’s an easy one, Eric. Our government believes that the “no smoking ban” in the workplace will make Ontario a more efficient province. In other words, it will make our truckers better workers and help Ontario compete on the world market.

How could you spend $1-billion on an eHealth network and end up without a network?


The fund raising game

According to news reports last week, the fund raising head for the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto has received a $2.7 million severance package.

It makes you wonder why people in this province bother contributing to or working for all the non-profit groups that exist.

Cancer, heart, MS and all the other societies as well as hospitals and hospital foundations are constantly asking us for money.

And like big business and big government, many of these organizations have been in the centralization mode in the past few years.


Herding cats

Kincardine council continually receives a bad rap when it comes to leadership.

 

But does council have a chance?

 

This crossed my mind Saturday evening when I heard the guest speaker at the 160th anniversary dinner for Knox Presbyterian Church.

 

Leadership is a challenge in the Presbyterian Church, said Rev. John Congram. It’s like trying to herd cats. Everyone has an opinion but everyone also wants the minister to be a leader.