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.

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.”

Give Allen Schoenborn the best possible treatment, but keep him inside

November 23, 2017 - 5:01am

KAMLOOPS — One of the foundations of our Canadian justice system is the belief that even those guilty of the most unthinkable acts are capable of being rehabilitated, of being returned to society.

So, we give them the tools and the trust to become different people than they were when they committed their transgressions. We offer them treatment, training and the opportunity of freedom.

This is a worthy sentiment — we don’t want a legal system based on revenge.

Fast action needed to fix Stuart Wood homeless-shelter issues

November 22, 2017 - 5:05am Updated: November 22, 2017 - 11:04am

KAMLOOPS — Sometimes good intentions aren’t enough to make an idea work the way it should.

Worries were expressed about using the Stuart Wood school gym for an interim winter shelter for the homeless before the doors opened three weeks ago — things like needles on the grounds, the fact that kids play there, and the pickup and drop-off of Beattie elementary students.

God should have picked somebody else to look after animals

November 21, 2017 - 6:43am

KAMLOOPS — When God gave humans stewardship over all creatures great and small, She really screwed up.

According to scientists, some 322 species of birds, mammals and reptiles have gone extinct in the past 500 years, thanks to humans.

We’re all familiar with the passenger pigeon — which once numbered in the billions — and the Dodo bird. We ate both of them into extinction.

Twenty thousand species of plants and animals are at high risk, and we’re losing several species every day.