A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – Interview provides some insights

Random thoughts that may (or may not) be of interest to the community - volunteerism, viral caribou droppings and support for veterans.

The struggle faced by local community groups in attracting and retaining volunteers is a recurring theme in discussions throughout the Boundary. A recent CBC Radio interview with two Okanagan groups offers some food for thought.

One group, the Kelowna General Hospital Winfield Auxiliary group is struggling filling executive officer positions. All eight of the current volunteers are in their 70’s or older. Their treasurer is 93. The group raises money by catering dinners for weddings, funerals and dinners.

The Okanagan Fruit Tree Project, on the other hand, has grown from 70 members in their first year to over 400 in their third year. The short interview provides some insights that may be valuable for local groups. It can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/ljkxuvy.

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There was a student uprising at Greenwood Elementary School last week. It involved only the older students. The Grade 6-7 students from West Boundary Elementary were bussed over to join the Grade 4-7 kids from Greenwood Elementary for an all candidates forum. Chairs had been set out for the audience, but between the chairs the table where the candidates were sitting they had laid out rubber mats for the kids to sit and lie on during the two-hour program.

Just before the program got started one of the teachers did a quick head count and determined there were enough chairs for the older students to sit in the front row. On her cue they all moved to the chairs – hence the student uprising. It was the most orderly uprising ever!

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The Jurassic Park storyline is showing signs of plausibility with the recent announcement that a research team from the University of California has reconstituted a virus found in caribou droppings that were frozen in the subarctic for the past 700 years.

Lovely stuff – and there’s little doubt that somewhere some mad scientist is being paid to figure out if this kind of technology can be used as a weapon.

Maybe we won’t need that mad scientist though—given the pace that the ice at the poles is melting maybe these ancient germs won’t need any more help then you and I stopping at the gas station for yet another fill-up.

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A Hometown Battlefield a song written by a Nova Scotia musician about veterans and their families dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has gone viral on YouTube (http://tinyurl.com/l7k6jxh). It reminds us that the things witnessed by members of the military have the potential for prolonged and profound negative psychological impacts on these veterans.

Their battle does not end when they return home. And unfortunately their battle must now be fought with politicians and bureaucrats.

The Royal Canadian Legion is currently conducting a letter writing campaign to demand changes to the New Veterans Charter.

The Legion is calling on all it’s members and all Canadians who care about our Veterans and their families, to send a letter prepared by the Legion to their Member of Parliament demanding the Government take the needed action now to improve the New Veterans Charter.

Too little, too late is the message that the Legion wants to convey. The Legion says their concerns remain valid, yet unanswered. The Government continues to say that these recommendations require further study and analysis.

The projected timeline for implementation will not bring about needed improvements to the lives of veterans until late Fall 2015 or even 2016. “Our Veterans and their families cannot wait that long, they need the support now,” says the letter. More info can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/llfamr6.