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Farewell from us at NewsKamloops

Nov 25 2016
By: Mel Rothenburger
Categories: Media

We regretfully announce that NewsKamloops will cease publication today, Sept. 30, 2016.

We’ve enjoyed the experiment of publishing an independent, online newspaper owned and written by Kamloops people, and we thank readers who have made us their news source over the past 14 months. Likewise, we’re sincerely grateful to our correspondents and contributors who have brought news and views to the public via NewsKamloops during that time.

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The Armchair Mayor lives on

Oct 1 2016

Though NewsKamloops.com is no longer active, The Armchair Mayor category lives on, returning to its own website. Columnists who have contributed to The Armchair Mayor will keep on writing and they can be found at ArmchairMayor.ca.

While contributors will carry on with their usual publishing schedule, there will be some changes to the way the Armchair Mayor site looks over the next while as we update the design.

Armchair Mayor will focus on commentary rather than traditional news reporting, and our readers are invited to take part in the discussion.

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GINTA - Could corporations sponsor free thinking?

Sep 30 2016
By: Mel Rothenburger
Categories: Columns

SO MUCH has happened in the last week it's hard to know where to start in choosing a topic for this piece. The crushing news, in my opinion, was the approval of the Pacifice Northwest LNG export terminal by the federal government. Communicated by none other than the Environment Minister Catherine McKenna (oh, and climate change, too), the news hit many like a stack of bricks.

Of course, the project might not go ahead after all if the LNG prices are too low, so there's the saving grace. Unlike our federal government it'd be nice if Canada could actually keep a promise.

Yes, I am thinking of the one made in Paris last year regarding the greenhouse gases. We ought to.

The next big thing that crowds made bigger was the visit of Prince William and Princess Kate, still unfolding, still leaving a trail of stardust behind. Facebook photo albums are already flooded with glimpses of the two and their children. It's nice to have nice people visit our province (they really seem so) but I sure hope that in the whirlwind of criss-crossing this beautiful land they got wind of the most pressing issues.

Not that they would be able to do much to pressure either our premier or prime minister to change their ways and opt for keeping promises to First Nations, Canadians in general, and leading our economy towards greener pastures and helping Canadians reap the benefits rather than allow foreign corporations trot in.

Not to be raining on anyone's parade with the royal visit and all, but there is a big need for money in various sectors in British Columbia - education and health to name but two. Hospitable as we are as a people, there is little if any money to spare for visits when so much is needed and many are told there is no money to help them. Children are always among the needy. Let's also not forget the black eye of British Columbia: there are still a lot of hungry children among us. That is not acceptable.

Speaking of children and food, there is a new development that seems to create some discord. Senator Nancy Greene Raine brought forth a bill which might become law, proposing that children under 13 be spared the branding by fast-food companies when it comes to the sports they play. It's complicated, you're right to think that.

Many teams of young players rely on sponsorships such as the ones bestowed by fast-food companies to make their magic happen. Kind of counterintuitive though. After all, playing sports is a great healthy endeavour. Eating fast food is not. The two combined? Little more than an early exposure to double standards and principle bending if you will.

Nowadays more than ever children need to learn about real food, the price of growing it right, the need to grow it ethically; they need to understand that eating is not an isolated act but one of the many that keeps humans in a circle where they can influence their own well-being and that of the world they live in; it's a tall order, it's true.

Yet when we teach them that and encourage them to ditch the fast food in favour of some nutiritous, clean and local yummy grub, they learn more than the taste of food. They learn about their own community and how sticking together does wonders for everyone.

Sponsorship that keeps kids playing is not easy to find, many said. That may be true yet I do believe that there could be local businesses that are willing to help.

We have way too many overweight children, and way too many overweight people in general. We have become quite comfortable with letting it be and telling children they should be confident and happty no matter what the scale says. Yet it's not the scale that really counts but their health. And good health is most important. It's a shame to teach our children anything else and not allow them the space to think freely of their food choices.

Daniela Ginta is a Kamloops mother, scientist and blogger who writes about social and environmental issues.

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Oscar Peterson was one of the greats

Sep 30 2016
By: Mel Rothenburger
Categories: Music

SINCE THIS this will be the last RAATJ, I would like to close with one of my favourites, Oscar Peterson.  I have never liked the phrase “the greatest” of anything.  It is a purely subjective thing, usually they are all great and it’s a matter of personal taste.  However, when it comes to jazz piano players, I think they all have to line up behind Oscar Peterson.  Just a personal opinion, I know, but this guy could do everything and usually just a bit better than anyone else.

There is so much material to choose from it’s hard to know where to start.  Try this; go to his treatment of an old one, C Jam Blues, a very simple melody, until Oscar gets hold of it.                                                       

Then go to Boogie Blues Etude, it’s a wonder that the piano doesn’t catch fire! 

That should whet your appetite, there are countless albums from which to choose.  A few of my favourites are, A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra, the Paris Concert and Oscar with Count Basie and Joe Pas.  Oscar played with many of the greats, or more correctly, many of the greats played with Oscar.  Just too many to mention, but they’re all on youtube music.  Oscar was a Canadian boy from Montreal, his biography is very interesting and will give you an excellent insight into what made him great (mostly hard work).

I feel very fortunate to have seen him and his original trio in person, in a small venue.  It is an experience I will never forget.

He left us in 2007 and gave us with a legacy that will last forever.  Thankfully there are literally thousands of recordings for us to enjoy.

RIP Oscar and thank you.

crichmond@newskamloops.com

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