Try compassion before law when panhandlers seek cash

Letters for Friday, Dec. 21, 2012

Kamloops Daily News
December 21, 2012 01:00 AM

In response to Panhandlers Big Downtown Problem (The Daily News, Dec. 17), I fear that engaging in a battle "using every legal law and means available to us" will do nothing but exacerbate the problem of panhandlers in the downtown area.

These people have been neglected by society and the government and face daily ridicule, abuse, hunger, and illness - whether mental and physical - and addiction.

It seems abhorrent to me that people would seek to make the lives of the less fortunate even harder instead of trying to help those in need.

I empathize with those who have been turned out from mental institutions because of a lack of government funding or closures.

I empathize with those who are hungry and cold during our winter season regardless of why they are experiencing that hardship.

I empathize with those who feel threatened when asking for a few dollars and are consequently spit on or yelled at or pushed away, and I sympathize with those who feel threatened by aggressive panhandlers.

Homelessness is a serious problem all over North America. We have let the less fortunate slip through the cracks, moved them around geographically and punished them for self-treating their mental illnesses with drugs or alcohol when that's all they can manage to do.

Maybe it's time for us to try a different technique. Maybe it's time for us to show compassion, to petition our local and provincial governments, to help those who cannot help themselves or give them that dollar with the faith that they will use it to feed themselves.

You may feel threatened when panhandlers ask you for change - and it is unacceptable that they are being aggressive - but that anxiety is nothing compared to not knowing whether you are going to freeze to death tonight, or starve to death this week.

Let's try and solve this problem instead of pushing it out of the way. Let's seriously try to give the homeless some change that can't be found in our pockets but in the compassion, attention, and support that all Canadians should expect from each other and our government.

All societies and all nations are judged on the basis of how they treat their weakest members - the last, the least, the littlest, said Cardinal Roger Mahony, in his 1998 letter Creating a Culture of Life.



Better to chastise teens in person

A recent letter (Bully Boards Show Kids Not Learning Lesson, The Daily News, Dec. 19) describes overhearing one half of a cell phone conversation on a bus. The writer describes vitriolic and profane dialogue by a teenager about another student. Although the letter is addressed to the news, it is pointed at the verbally violent 16-year-old female.

Sadly, I doubt that letter will reach the eyes of even one teen in Kamloops, and is ineffective in its evident goal of correcting behaviour. Expressing censure directly at the time would have had the desired educational effect, if not on her, then certainly on many of the teens on the bus.



RIH parking woe

I had the unfortunate experience of having a family member in RIH. Doubly so, as I also had to deal with the parkade and Imperial Parking. On two occasions, I had my parking money seized by the machines and not returned or recorded.

For my family member, I purchased a week's parking at a rate of $36 on the Saturday, which was good for seven days. By Monday morning, not 36 hours later, we received a parking ticket.

On contacting Imperial Park, I was informed that the onus is on me to prove I had paid, as they have no way of checking. So fair warning - I've learned my lesson - don't lose any of your receipts.

My question is, if they can't check that I've paid, how can they determine that I haven't? Dishonest.



Schools should be patrolled by security officers

A bad thing has happened today. A sick man has shot up a school of young kids. My heart goes out to those who have lost today. But don't think that making more gun laws or taking guns away from gun owners will make it better. This is not so!

Try to imagine a utopian society where no one has guns, not the army's, police, you or me and not even the criminals. Now how long do you think it will be before someone starts making guns from their black market gunsmith shop? Not long because as long as you have people you will have the need for some people to want to control others.

That is just the way people are and we can't change it! But most people are cowards so put armed security officers in our schools, malls, parks and streets this will help put a stop to these cowardly acts! Because a coward does not want to confront someone who can fight back! That's why we don't see this happening in police stations!

Let's put guns in the hands of people who are brave enough to stand up to these cowardly and sick people who would do these dastardly things to our loved ones. We protect our money with armed guards. Why do we not protect our children and our loved ones with the same diligence and care? I know that I love my children more than I love money! And I would give all my money to protect them.

It's a shame that there was not one armed security officer at this school it could have been stopped before this mad man ever got in the door!


Security Enforcement Officer


Common sense says don't rush the environmental process

In reply to Mayor Peter Milobar on Ajax article:

I applaud the suggestion Peter, as any person in the public eye that would offer an opinion before all the facts are in, opens themselves to public ridicule possibly? I don't blame them.

I am perfectly willing and content 100% to wait for whatever time is required for the E.A.O. process to complete and/or any other process's offering more facts.

Common sense says that you wouldn't want to rush an environmental process that is this involved, any faster than it takes. After all, when all that detailed knowledge is available and becomes publicly known, would be the time to act by looking at the whole picture and then reporting back to the Kamloops public. I agree 100%.

The 23-year mine life forecast and that valuable mineralogy isn't going to move anywhere else, in the meantime. Environmental results of this magnitude and importance to Kamloopsians, isn't something that any sensible person would want to push through as a rush job.

In the meantime I suspect KGHM is addressing any pitfalls environmentally that are coming up in order to meet with a rigorous E.A.O. mandate, and the requirements - that are put upon them.

No doubt in my mind, on that one.

I hope all enjoy a Merry Christmas whether for or against the mine.



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