Some things just need to be said...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Debris Beachs in Kelowna

Flooding in BC's interior continues and more expected.

Here you can see the result on Okanagan Lake beaches, this one off Lakeshore Road at Kelowna's Rotary Beach.

The debris is being swept into the lake from among the many overflowing creeks entering the lake.

Just a couple of days ago the beach was the usual for the Okanagan, pristine and clean.

This morning debris covered the beach including an array of footwear, plastics and of this example of the Okanagan lifestyle...

uh ummm a condom pkg.

Dixie Chicks take it back

The Dixie Chicks have done it again.

The popular American country group, The Dixie Chicks have taken back their apology to George W Bush. In 2003 the group was appearing in London England when Natalie Maines, a member of the group said she was ashamed the President came from Texas.

The group saw album sales fall and radio stations refused to play their records. Mainses was pressured into apologising, "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect." In an article published today in Time magazine Mainse takes it back and says, "I don't feel that way anymore. I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever."

Taking the Long Way, the Dixie Chicks album to be released Tuesday has a tune titled, "Not Ready to Make Nice." The lyrics include "I'm still mad as hell," and "wouldn't kiss all the ass that they told me to." You can here the song when you go to their website.

Many in the music industry have been quiet about their views of the President though it appears more are speaking out in their music. The most recent other artist to do so was Neil Young, a Canadian living in Los Angelas for the last 20 years.

Young's newest album, Living with War has created quite a stir. Young's boldest track on the album, "Let's Impeach the President," opens with a trumpet sounding "Taps". Young is then heard leading a chorus of voices,
"Let's impeach the president for lying
Misleading our country into war."

With President Bush's popularity continuing to fall I expect we will hear more big name artists joining the anti war, anti Bush parade. Let's hope so.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Campbell Government dropped ball

Hughes report was released to the public. Will future reports be released? Here is a reason the Gordon Campbell Liberal government maybe reluctant in future to release reports in a timely manner if at all...

Today BC's Chief Coroner, Terry Smith told CanWest the (BC Liberal) government should be blamed for child death review mistakes not his service. Smith said Hughes' critical words ''got it right,'' but that the ball was dropped in the government's court not his.
''I think there were some real issues around the transition plans that didn't get communicated properly, and I think the disparity between the resources assigned to the Children's Commission and those given to the coroners service speak very loudly to that,'' he told the Vancouver Sun.

The Premier should have apoligised as it was clearly his government's budget cuts that led to Child death reviews not being conducted by the BC Coroner's Office. Today, the Chief Coroner says it loud and clear. I hope he is appointed by the legislature or his job could disappear.

Key recommendations in Ted Hughes's report.

BC Children and Youth Review report

Friday, May 12, 2006

Public Eye Radio

What are you doing Saturday at 6:30pm?

Your trusty blogger here will be on CFAX radio this Saturday, addressing a few issues affecting this province including the code purple crisis at Kelowna General Hospital. Tune in and find out whats going on in BC's most troubled hospital.

Public Eye Radio is hosted by Sean Holman. Most of you know Sean via his scuttlebut blog, Public Eye Online that manages to break the news before the big guys get it or the stuff CannedWest (Canwest) folks ignore. I may not always agree with Sean, I have to say however he does make news and pulls back the blinds for all to see!

CFAX Radio is 1070 on the am dial or the internet here

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Alzeimer's drugs - Not in BC

Is the BC Liberal Government going to announce inclusion of Alzeimer's drugs within Pharmacare in the face of more pressure being brought to bear upon it by the Alzeimer's Society of BC and the public? A rally will be held at the BC Legislative grounds on Monday May 15, 2006 at 11:00 am.

Kelowna psychiatrist Dr. Lee Rasmusen is speaking out and he plans to be among those at the rally. Patients unable to afford the medications now available in every other province in Canada simply go without Rasmusen says. He warns refusing to pay potentially causes a greater burden on the health care system. This is not a new issue. Anne Harker of Kelowna, a person living with Alzeimer's, wrote in a letter to the Vancouver Sun on August 1, 2003 of the incredible burden the drug costs are for her family...
"I am in the early stages of Alzheimer's and my husband, aged 68, has had to go to work as a Wal-Mart greeter in order to afford my medication, Aricept. My husband is a retired minister and I was a single parent for many
years, so we struggle financially. He is a diabetic.I was diagnosed at age 49 and was forced to leave my employment as a social worker. I am now 52 years old, unable to drive and unable to read or write. (A volunteer scribe with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. helped me with this letter.)

I require help to dress myself and am very limited in the ways I can contribute to looking after our home. There must be many people in this same position, but perhaps not as young as myself. We have evidence that Aricept is
crucial to the quality of life for persons diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

When I visited family in England two years ago, they noticed how much better I was doing than I had been when they'd seen me the year before because I had been taking Aricept for the intervening year. Aricept reduces the confusion and has made a huge difference in my quality of life. However, the cost is forcing my husband and I to readdress our total lifestyle because this category of medication is not included under PharmaCare's formulary.

It is unconscionable that the provincial government does not have any medication on the formulary for Alzheimer's and related dementias. Surely, officials are aware of the increase in numbers of people being diagnosed with dementia. It is so very important for our quality of life that PharmaCare fund this
medication." -
Anne Harker, Vancouver Sun, Friday, August 01, 2003

Today, three years after Anne Harker's letter, the BC Government still refuses to pay for Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl. Nicole Bertand, the daughter of a woman who suffered with Alzheimer's and current first vice-president of the BC Alzheimer's Society wrote on April 13, 2006, "On the research front, B.C. is a global pacesetter. On the policy front, however, B.C.’s record is less stellar." She goes on to say that she remains hopeful the province will pay for these important drugs, but warned "...but for thousands of people, time is running out."

Time is running out and strangely enough, I expect that some of those people occupying much needed acute-care beds in Kelowna General Hospital and elsewhere around BC could have been helped if they had affordable access these important Alzheimer'sdrug treatments.

Beer, sweet water and dogs!

I am back for a bit!

I am back in BC for four to six weeks as I pack and clean up a few things then wing back to the east! I have a few photos to show you what I have been up too below.

I am the one in the middle, with the Kokanee beer. See the Easterner's have not yet discovered the "Beer Out Here!"

Making Maple Syrup was awesome!

It takes forty litres to make one litre of syrup to use! That's a lot of boiling, lots of hauling sap from the maple bush but well worth it.

And a few late night hot dogs can make life seem a little too good eh!

I will be posting more about the experiance and just what some of those easterner's think of us westerners and of the Harper Government.

Government painting contract for Kelowna?

Wow, what a difference a couple of months make.

No same old stuff, same colour too!

Code purple at Kelowna General Hospital again. Not long before I winged east KGH had issued at least three Code Purple's in a 24 hour span. Minister George Abbott was quick to point out that relief was on the way, some long term care beds would be opened for seniors currently in acute care hospital beds thus releiving some of the pressure.

Guess what, still no beds, still no action on reducing the pressure at KGH and contrary to Minister Abbot's statement in the BC legislature yesterday, the problem is getting worse. The Minister stated that the code purple was the result of two automobile accidents. I have news for Minister Abbot, the emergency room should be able to handle two automobile accidents. It couldn't this time because the emergency room was over capacity again (as usual), with patients needing access to acute care or long term care beds.

The Minister needs to look at the mess in Kelowna, maybe he could just paint the Emergency Room purple. Now that would cost much less than building acute care or long-term care beds. It would save staff time in declaring code purple's and remind staff in the hospital that job one was evicting dead beat patients!

CBC Story: Overloaded Kelowna hospital declares 'code purple'

* Code purple is a term used when admin staff are directed to empty hospital beds of any non urgent patients to make room for more critical cases. Who are the patients "evicted" during code purple? They are those that have just had surgery, people in hospital for observation, those awaiting surgery.