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.

Shutdown of Sagebrush Theatre raises the PAC issue again

February 19, 2019 - 7:28am Updated: February 19, 2019 - 11:32am

KAMLOOPS — WESTERN CANADA THEATRE is trying to put the best possible face on the shutdown of Sagebrush Theatre for roof repairs, characterizing the massive reshuffling of productions to other venues as some sort of grand adventure.

I admire their stiff-upper-lip approach but, in reality, it’s no fun.

The Pinantan chicken and other tales of being grounded in the polar vortex

February 16, 2019 - 7:00am

WHEN EVEN winter-hardened veterans from our neck of the woods complain about the weather, you know things aren’t normal. I haven’t heard this much bitching since Tim Hortons put chicken strips on the menu.

We in the colonies still get a good laugh at the moaning and groaning coming from the Coast and over on the Island, where they’ve never heard of snowplows and winter tires. But anyone travelling from here to Vancouver and Victoria, or returning from either of those cities during the past two weeks, wasn’t laughing.

Lack of change station in men’s washroom a First World problem

February 14, 2019 - 5:00am Updated: February 14, 2019 - 11:03am

IF YOU HAD ANY DOUBTS that we live in a nanny state, read up on the case of the Kamloops dad who was “shocked” to find the men’s washroom in a Kamloops McDonalds didn’t have a diaper change station.

He asked an employee about it who confirmed the only place to change diapers was in the women’s washroom, which was briefly closed to other customers while he did the change.

Scandals here and in Ottawa overshadow boring B.C. Throne Speech

February 13, 2019 - 5:39am Updated: February 13, 2019 - 11:12am

KAMLOOPS — IN NORMAL TIMES, yesterday’s Speech from the Throne in the B.C. Legislature would have dominated the news for a couple of days.

But these aren’t normal times. Instead of the Throne Speech, everybody was talking about continued fallout from the Plecas Report, including charges supposedly being contemplated against unknown MLAs for unknown reasons, and the resignation of Linda Reid as assistant deputy speaker.

There’s a big difference between listening and empowering

February 9, 2019 - 6:59am

ENGAGEMENT, CONSULTATION AND TRANSPARENCY are big words in governments at all levels right now.

Issues like pipeline expansion, electoral reform and First Nations rights come to mind but let’s stick close to home. The McArthur Island issue has made Kamloops City council sensitive to the meaning of communication with citizens.

There’s another important word to add to the list — empowerment. It means giving someone the authority to do something.

Weapons haul indicates a need for a lot more ‘disrupting’

February 7, 2019 - 5:00am Updated: February 7, 2019 - 1:55pm

DID YOU SEE THE LIST of weaponry collected by police after the two shootings in Kamloops a couple of weeks ago?

If you missed it, here it is: four sets of brass knuckles, two spring-loaded knives, three machetes, eight axes, one butterfly knife, nine fixed-blade knives, one can of pepper spray, four hatchets, nine folding knives, one magazine for a .22 calibre firearm, one box of .22 calibre ammunition, one empty pistol holster, and one lock picking kit.

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