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.

Bill of rights for airline passengers long overdue

April 19, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: April 19, 2017 - 5:50pm

KAMLOOPS — We all know flying economy isn’t a bed of roses at the best of times. Seats designed for short, skinny people, cramming carry-ons into the overheads, some lout beside you snoring, babies wailing. The video screen on your seatback conks out. And the food, or lack of it. We’ve all been there.

Then there’s the worst of times. That’s when the airline overbooks and tells a passenger to get off the plane, and when he doesn’t, three burly airline guys come aboard and haul him away. That’s what happened on United Airlines recently.

From coffee cups to bombs, we’re obsessed with big

April 15, 2017 - 5:00am

I was out and about one morning this week when I felt a need for caffeine. Not a lot of caffeine, just enough to say hello to the day.

Pulled into the drive thru.

“Hi, what can I get for you today?!” asked the cheery voice on the speaker.

“I’d like a small regular coffee, with cream,” I said.

“Definitely! Would you like cream in that?!”

“Yes, I would definitely like cream.”

“Anything else?!”

“No, that’s it.”

“Right, tall regular coffee with cream!”

Why candidates shouldn’t attend single-issue forums

April 14, 2017 - 5:00am

Some people are concerned about the fact B.C. Liberal candidates Peter Milobar and Tod Stone haven’t accepted invitations to attend certain forums. It came up again with respect to last night’s (April 13, 2017) forum at TRU co-sponsored by the TRU Faculty Association, CUPE 3500, CUPE 4879, and Kamloops Thompson Teachers Association. 

I’ve commented here a couple of times about the Liberal record on avoiding some of the forums, but I can see their point of view.

There are, actually, several good reasons why candidates should not attend so-called single-issue forums:

Horgan would ding the Interior to remove bridge tolls at Coast

April 13, 2017 - 12:00pm

I can remember the last time I drove across the Golden Ears Bridge. It was a couple of years ago. It was actually the first and only time.

Paying the toll was relatively painless. We received a notice in the mail a few days later, for four bucks, I think it was. In the old days, you used to have to line up at a toll booth and pay your money on the spot. The cars were lined up for miles and it took forever.

When I heard NDP leader John Horgan’s plan to eliminate tolls on the Golden Ears and Port Mann bridge,s my first thought was, “Right on!”

C’mon, let’s just admit we like those attack ads

April 12, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: April 12, 2017 - 3:35pm

KAMLOOPS — Fellow columnist Doug Collins wrote this week that he doesn’t think much of political attack ads.

That’s one man’s opinion, and many would agree, but I’m here to suggest it’s not the majority view.

Thing is, attack ads work. If they didn’t work, politicians wouldn’t use them. And they work because they influence how we vote.

How one man helped build a nation at Vimy Ridge

April 8, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Tomorrow, I’m going down to Merritt to emcee an event honoring a man I’ve admired much of my life, though I never knew him.

He was the son of a brother of my great-grandfather. I know, family trees can be complicated.

Since Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, it seemed like a good time to pay our respects to George McLean, who won the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry at Vimy.

His father was Allen McLean, who was hanged for murder in 1881 along with two brothers and another kid. I guess no family is perfect.

Trivia abounds about Kamloops' connection to Hollywood

April 1, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Harrison Ford, in his own words, is a “schmuck.”

He’s been in the news lately, for the wrong reason — getting in a scrape with one of his airplanes as he came close to an airliner while he was landing at a California airport. Audio has now been released in which he tells the control tower, “I’m the schmuck that landed on the taxiway.”

While the actor hasn’t impressed U.S. aviation officials with his flying skills, quite a few people in Kamloops remember him much more fondly.

Local candidates can’t avoid two key election issues

March 31, 2017 - 10:30am

KAMLOOPS — A lot of things are coming together at once to shape the provincial election in the Kamloops-South Thompson and Kamloops-North Thompson ridings.

I harken back to a Feb. 17 editorial in which I predicted there would be two key issues in this election: health care and Ajax. Today (Friday, March 31, 2017) that looks more than ever to be the case.

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