Letters to the Editor: Sept. 9

Gran Fondo rocks!: A Great Gran Fondo; Teachers strike

Gran Fondo

The Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo 2014 was an outstanding event!

Every base was expertly covered: The ‘tweak’ of the Fondo route, taking riders through Kimberley’s Platzl was fun, festive and we felt like cycling Super stars!

Hats off to the awesome aid stations run by Kimberley Rotary, Wasa Lions and the Western Financial Group.

Thank you to the registration crew, bike mechanics, highway crossing attendants, bike-check team, announcers, the-army-behind-the-scenes, and organizers extrordinaire. Every volunteer was helpful, encouraging and shone with enthusiastic smiles.

Kudos to Taylor Adams and every Sponsor supporting Sunday’s “Gran” ride.

This event supports local cyclists of every level, it showcases the picturesque Kootenay Rockies, provides a healthy, economic stimulant (to Cranbrook & Kimberley), and raises funds that further enrich our “Kootenay World.”

A huge THANK YOU Cranbrook Rotary Sunrise, you’ve created a first-class cycling event.

The Kootenay Rockies Gran FONDO  ROCKS!

Cynthia Peacosh, Diane Manson, Mary Doris Shewan, Marie Kohlman, Shelley Mastaller, Tara Sykes


Gran Fondo

The second Gran Fondo was another great success. More people are entering this well-run event and the Sunrise Rotary Club’s attention to detail makes this a most enjoyable “participaction” event.

The additions to this year’s event included even better signage, more volunteers giving us route directions, and registration and continental breakfast at the St. Eugene Resort. It was a highlight of the day to ride through the Platzl giving us a cobblestone experience like the Tour de France complete with cheering fans.

Thank you to all the Rotarians, sponsors, and the many volunteers who make this incredible event possible. It was a fun day for all of us who participated and I look forward to going in it again next year.

David Stock/Cranbrook

Teachers Strike

There are very few times that Norm Macdonald and I agree on things but I have found a few exceptions.  As a former teacher myself I believe in a strong public education system.  I respect and value our teachers and applaud them for hard they work and the value they bring to the lives of our children.  I believe that teachers deserve an affordable raise and that our children deserve all that can possibly be given in terms of class size and composition.

That said, I find it extremely disappointing that Mr. Macdonald  has taken an opportunity to politicize this serious provincial situation by trying to have us believe that there is a “right side and a wrong side,” that the Premier supports private over public schools and that she is “100 per cent to blame.” These statements are simply irresponsible, inaccurate and misguiding with the expressed intent of inspiring nothing more than emotional responses from people who deserve far better.

Mr. Macdonald neglects to acknowledge that negotiation never labels a right or a wrong side nor will the process ever assign blame to a single person.  Mediated negotiation recognizes opposing sides and the differing opinion held and promotes collaboration as both sides work toward a mutually agreeable settlement.

His blame game neglects to mention that the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) continues to struggle with the concept of concession which is a key element of any bargaining process or that it is puzzling why the BCTF have rejected the government’s offer to reopen schools while mediation continues.

Disturbingly, Mr. Macdonald chose not to reference the fact that the BCTF actually refused to let teachers vote on suspending the strike during continued mediation or equally puzzling why the BCTF seems to want to force government to legislate teachers back to work knowing that this will result in the same dysfunctional relationship that has been the BC experience for the past 30 years.

Mr. Macdonald does not understand that the BCTF refusal to set aside educational issues that are currently before the courts and cannot be negotiated at this time, are keeping kids out of classrooms. Further he neglects to acknowledge that the BCTF wants to go back to the old ridged ratios and formulas that in the past defined class size and composition knowing full well that no other province in Canada manages its classrooms this way.  Why? They are inefficient, ineffective and highly discriminatory towards students with special needs.

Blame is a waste of time and takes the focus off what is most important; getting kids back into classrooms.

Doug Clovechok/Fairmont Hot Springs