Editor's Notebook

Assumptions

Kincardine Mayor Larry Kraemer seems to have put his foot in his mouth recently when he told the A channel that the majority of people in the municipality want more wind turbines.

At the end of a letter to the editor in last week’s Independent complaining about Kraemer’s comments, we asked people to vote on our web site. Here is the question: Are you in favour of more wind farms in the Kincardine area?

Since the poll went up, the vote has been running 82 per cent against more wind farms. More than 200 people had voted as of Monday morning. (You can only vote once from any computer.)

The poll is now closed.

The province, as you will see elsewhere in this newspaper, is now going to set some standards for wind farms. It should have done that before the battle in the Municipality of Kincardine.

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It’s funny how many people believe they know how everyone else thinks.


Be wary

Former Kincardine resident Dave Thornton has been phoning me for years, suggesting I do

stories on the Ponzi schemes that abound in this country.

I always replied that it was a national story, one that The Toronto Star or The Globe and Mail

should do. We don't have the resources for that kind of investigative work.

Revealing Ponzi schemes has been Thornton’s passion ever since he learned about a decade or so about a Ponzi that operated in Kincardine.

Someone with national reach has finally listened to him.

Friday evening he was on CBC's Marketplace where host Wendy Mesley investigated Business

in Motion (BIM), an apparent Ponzi scheme run by one Alan Kippax.

BIM is selling exotic holiday discounts. In return, you are expected to sell two $3,200

memberships to friends or family and so on.

A gentleman in Kelowna who bought a membership and sold some to friends believes he was


Be careful

Be careful

Fruit cakes seem to be abounding these days. Maybe it’s the snow, I don’t know.

A couple of weeks ago, a television clip said that the Wiarton Willie committee had a weekend in Wiarton for sale on eBay with a minimum bid of $700 plus.

Organizers were apparently surprised that no one had bid on a weekend of standing in the cold watching an albino groundhog forecast six more weeks of winter.

I wouldn’t spend a weekend in Wiarton in February if you paid me $700.

Willie saw his shadow Monday morning and says there will indeed be six more weeks of winter.

*In the U.S.A., the pipe major of an Ohio band, after years of service, was given a six-month suspension from his duties.

Why? When the pipe band marched by President Barak Obama during his inauguration, the pipe major nodded at the president. This is apparently a no, no, although I wonder if Obama even saw the nod.


An ugly project

Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a Canadian.

I’ve been reading Tar Sands Dirty oil and the future of a continent, by Andrew Nikiforuk.

The tar sands in northern Alberta are Canada’s big, dirty secret.

The tar sands boom has become the world’s largest energy project, world‘s largest construction project, and the world’s largest capital project - with no comprehensive assessment of environmental, economic or social impact, says Nikiforuk.

Thanks to the development of the tar sands, Canada is now the largest single exporter of oil to the US.A.

The effect on the environment is staggering. Each barrel of bitumen produces three times as much greenhouse gas as a barrel of conventional oil and each barrel requires the consumption of three barrels of water from the Athabasca River. The cost of mining the tar sands is so great because the tar has the consistency of pavement.


Insanity reigns

Although education takes a big part of the provincial budget each year, students often seem oblivious to the opportunities offered by our well-equipped school system.

Last week, I wrote about taking a tour of the ECHO experimental farm at Fort Myers, Florida.

During the tour, our guide had us sit on benches in what looked like a small barn - with no walls. A former school teacher who once worked in Haiti, he said we were sitting in a typical school in that country.

The cost of going to school, he said, was $2 a month, a lot of money in Haiti. Because of the cost, a family would only be able to send one child to school at a time. If you were one of five children in a family, you would be able to attend school one year out of five. That’s why teachers might have students in their twenties sitting on those benches. The situation is typical in the Third World, he said.


Make love, not war

After a week in the Fort Myers, Florida, area, Dana and I can see why so many people like to go

south. We had seven days of sunshine and 80 degree weather.

The most interesting thing we did while away was tour the ECHO (Educational Concerns for

Hunger Organization) Global Demonstration Farm in Fort Myers.

Agricultural workers from around the world write ECHO with questions about what crops to

plant in their regions, how to deal with problems like erosion, drought and pest control.

The farm has plants from around the world as workers at the farm try experiments to improve

crop yields and find solutions to problems people face in the Third World.

For example, people in slums have no place to grow food and no place to find soil. The solution -

put containers on roof tops and fill them mainly with discarded aluminum cans. That way the


Some good news

The Kincardine hospital was one happy place when I arrived shortly after 7 a.m. Monday.

And why not? The staff had just successfully delivered twins. Fact is, they seldom get the chance to deliver babies in Kincardine any more since the removal of the obstetrics department.

Doctors and nurses deal daily with sickness. I can see how bringing new life into the world would give them a real lift.

Look at a newborn, and you see a miracle.

The weekend weather, closed roads everywhere, and the delivery of the twins shows you how important the hospital is to this community.

 

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Although the daily news is all doom and gloom, there are many in this community whose


A hint for hockey teams

It’s tough playing huffer and puffer hockey - we even had to go back to school last week.

About 20 of us ended up in class for about half an hour for a lesson on the Ambulatory External Defibrillator (AED).

Most arenas in Bruce County are equipped with AEDs today and many people believe they are simple enough to use. You just follow the instructions...

They are easy enough to use - once you have an idea what is involved.

For example, once someone has a heart attack, you have only six minutes to get that defibrillator working on the person who has had a heart attack or you might as well forget it. The quicker you get that AED working, the better the victim’s chance of survival; in other words, two minutes is way better than six..


Exit stage right

My 93-year-old mother phoned last week when the kerfuffle in Parliament was at its peak.

She is an unabashed Tory and would vote for prime minister Stephen Harper if he walked across

the floor of the House of Commons and started beating the opposition with a club. In her mind,

and in those of many Tories, Harper can do no wrong.

I don't know how many of you have mothers that age who want to argue politics, but mine

knows all the answers when it comes to defending the Conservative position.

Of course, I told her what I think of Harper. He's a bully who made a big mistake in Parliament

a couple of weeks ago. You can kick sand in the face of the 90-pound weakling for only so

long before he rebels. Now Harper could lose his government and he is trying to win a public

opinion battle against the coalition by wrapping himself in the flag. The fact that he could cause a


The words of a temperance man

The battle between good and evil has always been with us but evil seems to have the upper hand these days.

What brings this to mind is the death a few weeks ago of a Barrie youngster who ran away from home because his father said he had to quit spending so much time playing with his video game system. Being a parent today seems to be an almost impossible task . Addictive and mind destroying drugs can be found almost anywhere; predators lurk on the internet; and, as in the Barrie case, there are addictive video games.