Letters to the Editor

Castlegar area residents weigh in on matters of interest and concern

Taxi service debate

I am concerned with the reactions and comments with regard to the pending closure of the taxi service in both Castlegar and Trail.

First and foremost, there have been issues with the taxi service, or lack thereof, for years. If Foglia is granted a 35 per cent increase, who will be responsible for holding him accountable to improve his service? Or are the citizens going to be paying more for the same inadequate service?

Secondly, the city seems more concerned that this will affect the seniors and I can’t help but stress that this will affect everyone! Transit services for seniors already exist.  It is provided by BC Transit and it is called ‘handyDART’.  It is a door-to-door service that runs Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs much less than that charged by a taxi.  Let us also keep in mind that seniors (55 yrs +) only account for 25 per cent of the population with 50 per cent being ages 18-54.  (Stats estimated based on 2006 demographics – Castlegar only).

If the taxi service closes this will have a negative impact on any and all of the people in the community. This will affect citizens that do not have access to a vehicle, that want to go out for dinner and enjoy a glass of wine or watch the hockey game at their local pub over a couple of beers.  Which equals yet another harmful blow to the local business, where they have already struggled, observing their clientele deplete over the years with the change in smoking and driving laws.

In closing, I think it is time for the city to capitalize on the growth and infrastructure that is encompassing the Kootenays. People are coming into the community to work, make money, and spend money; lets make it easier for them.  If the taxi service is not improved or closes all together it will be detrimental to the community. I do not believe DUI charges will increase; I believe people will stay home, unemployment rates will increase, and our local businesses will suffer greatly.

I think the City (and all people that that entails) needs to make this issue a priority and they need to start thinking outside the box.



Larissa Leason




Christmas can be a pain in the tooth!

With great anticipation of the Christmas Season, my wife and I (from Oliver) were getting all set for our annual trip to Castlegar to see the Lindsey’s, consisting of our daughter, son-in-law and the three much loved grand-kids. Just before leaving on the 23rd, my lower molar tooth started to not feel so good, so I paid a visit to my local dentist. I was given a prescription for an antibiotic and Tylenol 3. So on the 23rd, away we went with the car containing the much anticipated gifts for the grand-kids.

We hadn’t gone very far when the tooth felt like it was going to go through the top of my head. So I started taking the medications … all to no avail.

The pills didn’t even touch the pain, so no sleep that night. On the morning of the 24th, the pain was driving me crazy … I was a total mess. But what can you do about such things on the day before Christmas? Everything was closed, but my daughter advised me that she and her husband were friends with a dentist in town, by the name of Yuro Ihns who has a daughter the same age as our granddaughter. She called him early on the 24th and to my amazement he said to meet him at his office at 9:30 at 2220 Columbia Avenue.

Dr. Ihns and I were in the office by ourselves and just with the one light on where he was looking at my tooth which seemed somewhat surreal without the typical noises and bustling of a dentist’s office. He quickly did an X-ray which showed there was only one logical course of action … pull the tooth, which he did.

I then slept for over two days. We missed the big family Christmas dinner in Rossland. My wife stayed with me and had cheese and crackers for Christmas dinner!!

I am eternally grateful to Dr. Ihns. He wouldn’t even let me pay for his services! Merry Christmas, he said. I hope he and his family had a good Christmas also. Thanks again.


Brian Wensley,

Oliver, BC



Time left to share thoughts with Fortis

Fortis is in the process of applying for approval to the BC Utilities Commission to install the controversial smart meter into your home. March ifs their deadline. This will not happen if BCUC denies their request, or, to be sure, if Fortis decides not to apply!

Fortis apparently applied in 2008 to install the smart meter and was denied for 25 reasons.

The utilities commission wants to hear from us to see if the  public approves of having this kind of meter in our homes.

Please share this information with your friends, neighbours and any contacts you have in the Fortis region – which extends from Princeton to Kelowna to Osoyoos to Creston.

The email address to note is: secretary@bcuc.com.

Regular mail:

BC Utilities Commission Secretary

Box 250

900 Howe St.

Vancouver, BC

V6Z 2N3

There are 30 towns in B.C. that have voted in favour of a moratorium on the installation of the wireless smart meters.


Daphne Fields, Cliff Paluck,




Supporting D.B. Turner’s criticism of council

D.B. Turner is asking for support for his/her criticism of the (city) council, they have got mine Sometime ago a past council member from this area said to me that if ever the council wanted money for anything, they just took it from the taxpayers.

Another subject – The Liberal party voted to legalize marijuana if they ever get back in power (I hope not.) Does that mean they want drugged up, as well as drunk drivers in charge of a motor vehicle? Dope is for dopes.


John Gibson,




Welcome to Castlegar


I was born here in Castlegar and have lived here ever since. I feel very fortunate to live in such a pristine part of the Kootenays.

The one thing I find with Castlegar is a lack of business.

Being a business owner myself, I realize the importance of shopping local but there are a lot of things you just can’t buy locally because they just aren’t here. So we’re forced to buy out-of-town, maybe Trail or Nelson.

We have all heard our mayor talk about shopping local and supporting local business, haven’t we?

There are a lot of empty retail spaces in the downtown core, but people coming into town to maybe open a retail business, are not going to after seeing the condition the City lets these buildings get to.

We will never see anything move forward down here until these places are cleaned up.

I would suggest the mayor look into this now, not later, and help business as not all of us can afford the mall lease rates.

And Mr. Mayor, you guys must have some time on your hands as you made time to issue me a violation ticket for clearing the snow away in front of my business only to keep it safe for my customers.

Oh well, let it snow.


Wayne Popoff,





Dear Karen (Haviland)


Re: “Off the Line” (not “Spots in Time”) column from Jan. 12, 2012.


I was beginning to lose hope that there was anyone with common sense left in the media. You’re a rare sample.

What if that lady had been in Australia where all the “law-abiding” citizens turned in their self defence weapons?

We both know there would have been no story, she and the baby would be in the obituary column.

When Australia registered and then confiscated all the guns of the law-abiding citizens, the next month crime with guns went up by 300 per cent. The old folks were left at the mercy of gun-toting thugs.

All dictatorial-minded governments push gun “control.” Recent history is full of such examples.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If you have a mind to kill someone, anything will do.


Mr. Val Leiding,



P.S. – The reason the Japanese never attacked the U.S. mainland was because they knew every citizen had the right to own a firearm.