Armchair Mayor

By: Mel Rothenburger

Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). He continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, and did regular commentary for CBC Radio.

No skating around it, Parliament Hill rink is a boondoggle

December 5, 2017 - 5:01am Updated: December 5, 2017 - 11:30am

KAMLOOPS — If you’re planning to hop a plane to Ottawa and go for a skate on the brand new $5.6-million outdoor rink on Parliament Hill, better get moving.

Tickets to skate on the rink are available online as of today, and you’ll have to reserve two days in advance. They’re free, but you’ll only be allowed 45 minutes of skating time, along with 199 other people.

Why not put outdoor rink on McArthur Island?

December 4, 2017 - 5:35am

KAMLOOPS — Good turnout this past weekend at the first open house on what to do with the old golf course on McArthur Island — lots of standing around discussing possibilities, and posting of sticky notes on maps with preferred options.

Among the many ideas were RV parking, pickle ball courts, a botanical garden, disc golf, a nature park — and yes, I saw one for a dog park.

NP or GP for me? No longer a healthcare orphan

December 2, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — I want Terry Lake to pay attention. For the last couple of years, I’ve ranted about the doctor shortage. When my GP of many years shut down his service, I became a stray, like a homeless waif wandering the back alleys of the healthcare system. 

With no prospects of landing a new family physician, I stood in walk-in clinic lineups and sat in a waiting room full of hacking and coughing sick people until my number was called and I was given an appointment. 

Will KTW changes prove to be winning formula?

December 1, 2017 - 6:54am Updated: December 1, 2017 - 12:03pm

KAMLOOPS — A scant four days after a massive swap-and-shutdown of daily and community papers by Canadian media giants Torstar and Postmedia, the virus that has the newspaper industry on its knees has struck closer to home, though not with such a virulent strain.

Symptoms of the malady afflicting the industry include dropping revenues and matching cost cutting.

Intolerance towards senior citizens is alive in the ‘Loops

November 29, 2017 - 5:35am Updated: November 29, 2017 - 4:11pm

KAMLOOPS — I seem to have hit a sore spot with my thoughts on the friendliness, or unfriendliness, of cashiers.

The reaction has been quite interesting — a lot of people seem to think the fault is with the customers. They reason that it’s a tough job being a cashier, and if one is having a bad day, he or she shouldn’t have to engage in pleasantries with customers.

Would it kill the cashier to notice that I'm a person

November 28, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: November 28, 2017 - 1:08pm

KAMLOOPS — I have mixed feelings about shopping at the best of times. If I’m looking for a new power saw or some electronics, I’m in. The everyday bread and milk, not so much.

The problem with the Christmas season is that it all gets mixed in together. You never know who you’re going to be spending time with in the lineup.

Words we hate to hear: ‘Would you care to donate….’

November 25, 2017 - 12:46pm

KAMLOOPS — I walked out of the super market very recently with a small bag of groceries (about $50 worth) and started heading for the truck when I heard a voice say, “Good afternoon, Sir, would you care to support those with Parkinson’s and autism?”

Startled, I turned and said, “Uh, no thanks, not today.”

“Thank you very much, you have a great rest of your day.”

On the way home, I thought to myself, “You handled that really badly, Mel. You were caught off guard, you were flustered, and you didn’t do the right thing.”