Letters to the Editor

A wake-up call

Every once in a while, I experience something in my life that motivates me to put it in words, and to share it with others of further wake us up from this seemingly deep sleep that we are in.

I was doing a bit of research the other day on the net with regards to our current situation as humans. In only a few minutes, I found these statistics, from various sources. All are readily accessible to anyone on the net.

At any given time, four to seven per cent of the population suffers from generalized anxiety disorder; although the jury is out, and it depends who you talk to, from one to 10 per cent of the population has bipolar disorder; 10 per cent struggle with depression; 1.1 per cent schizophrenia; 1.7 per cent have a panic disorder; and 2.3 per cent continually try to manage obsessive compulsive disorder. Eight per cent register in with an eating disorder; seven per cent run around with intermittent explosive disorder; and still some 10 per cent are consumed with an addiction to either drugs or alcohol.

I have not even mentioned the 60 per cent-plus divorce rate, heart disease or the numerous cancers. On top of all of this, many experts sport evidence that all of the above are increasing.

We have all heard many times when those proud folks waving their flags to the south talk of the “American dream.” This “dream” as sorts is a universal idealism that in the past has run rampant throughout the industrialized nations I believe this “dream” to have done nothing more than have created the nightmare that is the main contributing factor in not only the above, but the current state of climate change. In a nutshell, the “system” is failing, crashing — has a virus.

Yet when we become aware of this failure and silently opt out of this system, the one where the stressed out parents run around frantically delivering their burned out teens sporting made in sweat shop named brand everything to every sport venue in and out of the area — the same venues that justify fighting by youngsters only now just sprouting body hair — when you say this is not working, this is not right — you are chastised.

When you wake up from the matrix, you don’t — you can’t go back.

Park would preserve land

In the Keremeos public meeting on the national park one of the predominant themes was how the landscape would change.

One speaker mentioned the changes that have occurred in the Kelowna area while a lady talked about the proposed subdivisions in our area. If no park is established, the Crown land could have an uncertain future with the possibility of various types of development be they agricultural, subdivisions etc. in the future.

A park would preserve the Crown land as it is today and guarantee that it would remain as is in perpetuity.

Happy campers

On behalf of the board of directors for the Agur Lake Camp Society, I would like to thank Doug McNee and the staff of Canada Safeway Ltd., Penticton for choosing our organization as their target charity for the 2008 We Care Program. There was a lot of excitement when this news began to spread to our directors, members, friends and supporters.

When our society applied to partner with Safeway for their 2008 campaign, we were struck with the similarity between Safeway’s current charity focus and our mission statement. Like Safeway, Agur Lake Camp Society is working hard to “support children and families living with physical and developmental disabilities and help them live life to their full potential.” Agur Lake Camp will provide a barrier-free lodge, cabins and trails for children with special needs as well as their families or caregiver. Our facility will be unique in British Columbia in that it will provide respite, support and fun for families who may not be able to attend a camp without the kinds of adaptations we will offer.

Safeway’s We Care program will certainly help to spread the word about Agur Lake Camp, and the financial support from customers of Safeway could not come at a better time. We are looking forward to working with manager Doug McNee and his staff and meeting customers in-store to explain how they might become involved. Programs such as We Care are a great example of how everyone wins. We are honored to have been chosen as this year’s We Care partner with Canada Safeway — Penticton.

Take care this Christmas

It’s a time for vacations from school, getting together with friends both old and new, exchanging gifts and being with loved ones. Unfortunately, it is also a time for increased risk of accidents.

Imagine spending Christmas Eve in an emergency room or not being able to recall whether you went to a party or not. Imagine walking out of your house in the snow and returning three months later as the forsythias bloom.

It happens too often, and a brain injury can be forever.

There are many reasons for your increased risk during the holidays. More people are on the roads. More people are drinking. More people are preoccupied, thinking of shopping, party plans and the like as they drive. The weather conditions are quickly changeable and roads can become treacherous in minutes in the valley.

Inexperienced drivers, no matter how good, are fighting the odds. Be extra cautious this year. The best gift you can give your loved ones is your conscious effort to preserve your health and safety. If you plan to drink, plan to have someone else drive.

If you failed to plan ahead, ask to stay over, or call your family, neighbour, friend or relative or call a taxi. Do not risk your life and brain by driving with your ability impaired or by driving with someone else who should not be on the road.

When snowmobiling or skiing, be cautious of hidden rocks, trees, low limbs and other hazards. Wear a helmet when using ATVs or snowmobiles.

Have a happy and safe holiday.

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