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.

Cabinet shuffle could shift strategy on electoral reform

January 11, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: January 11, 2017 - 6:09pm

Most of the attention on yesterday’s federal cabinet shuffle has been on the exit of Stéphane Dion and John McCallum and the rise of Chrystia Freeland.

Freeland, to be sure, is an up and comer, well-qualified to take on her new role as Minister of Foreign Affairs after negotiating a difficult deal with the European Union last fall when she was International Trade Minister.

And the departure of Dion and McCallum, two long-serving veterans, emphasizes Justin Trudeau’s focus on youth.

Constant repetition of Trump's shortcomings has become boring

January 9, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Isn’t it time we all stop whining about what a bad guy Donald Trump is?

Every time his name is mentioned, it seems, we must remind each other that he is a name caller, a school yard bully, an egoist, narcissist, misogynist, chauvinist braggart who makes fun of handicapped people.

Only then are we able to get to the reason for mentioning him in the first place, which is usually in the context of his latest outrageous, unsubstantiated, misdirected or insulting tweet (or, all of the above).

Walk-in clinics and a very 'chilling' first week of the year

January 7, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — I don’t want to hear one more person say, “It’s positively balmy” every time the temperature creeps above minus 20. But there’s nothing like a prolonged period of feeling as though you’re living in a refrigerator to make you think about the fundamentals.

Walk-in clinics, for example. Standing in line at 7:30 in the morning waiting to get through the front door when it opens is nobody’s idea of a good time, ever. I know; I’ve done it quite a few times.

Fortunately, this past week wasn’t one of them. Others, however, weren’t so lucky.

Pearls of wisdom about life and death in 2016

December 31, 2016 - 5:00am Updated: December 31, 2016 - 6:32am

KAMLOOPS — Mostly, 2016 sucked. The weather was awful, politics was a mess, and a lot of good people died.

We all look at the past through our own filters. Here are some abbreviated pearls of wisdom, offered by this biased observer as the year unfolded, that give but a taste of 2016.

Jan. 12 – It seemed Monday as though the tributes to the late rock star David Bowie would never end….

Indeed, Bowie, who died Monday from cancer at the age of 69, was a legend who did music differently and arguably better than anyone else.

Cenotaph vandalism both reprehensible and misguided

December 29, 2016 - 10:52am

KAMLOOPS — The graffiti vandalism at the Kamloops cenotaph that occurred over the holiday season is disturbing on two fronts.

First, the desecration of a revered community monument is outrageous. Second, the words “The native did lots” in the graffiti raise special concerns.

There is no art in this graffiti; it’s vandalism in its crudest and purest form, scrawled with a marker pen. Therefore, we must be careful not to give credence to whatever message — if there really was one — the criminals who did it were trying to convey.

Kamloops has a history of gutsy female councillors

December 28, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Our governments have a shortage of representation from women — that’s nothing new. In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tried to address it, appointing 15 women to his cabinet of 30 members. Still, of the 335 Members of Parliament, far less than half — 88 — are women.

In B.C., we have a woman premier but of the 22 cabinet ministers, nine are women, and of 85 MLAs, 32 are women.

Frootloops city council makes up its Christmas wish list

December 24, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE, and the Frootloops Council is holding its AGM in the former Kamloops Daily Snooze building — they have to use it for something, after all — to tidy up some important last-minute business before heading out for the holiday. His Plentiousness Mayor Kris Mistletoe, resplendent in his amazing Technicolor Christmas coat, peeks his head in the door.

MAYOR MISTLETOE: Is it OK to come in yet?

COUN. TINA TINSEL: Come on in, Your Snowflake, we’re finished talking about the Acme project for now.