Are the Olympic Games becoming too expensive?

I don’t know about all of you but I will not be glued to the television set watching the London Summer Olympics

I don’t know about all of you but I will not be glued to the television set watching the London Summer Olympics for the next two weeks, but I will of course cheer frantically for our Canadian team, and will likely tune in on the finals.

But then again, in this great weather we all need to get outside and enjoy our own “Olympic” activities, such as going to the beach, camping, fishing and all those other games that we can play at our own pace, with absolutely no stress, and where everyone is a winner.

Like many others I did watch that long, but magnificent opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but I can’t help but wonder if that financially challenged nation can really afford to host one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events? While the Chinese invested $40 billion to host the last summer competition, the British had to survive on a budget of less than $15 billion, with $40 million set aside for that patriotic opening extravaganza.

Whatever the case, both the Winter and Summer Olympics are the supreme showcases for international athletes to proudly compete and represent their nations against the best of the best in both the amateur and professional ranks of the major sports. Hopefully, long after the excitement of the games has settled, the legacy that has been left behind will benefit the economy and progress for all areas of those host nations long into their future. Bottom line, the efforts and pride of all of those participating athletes is wonderful to see, but if the price tag or the politics becomes too much to stage these sports spectaculars, what will the future be for the world’s most friendly and peaceful games?

The law versus the ice cream man

I was really shocked last week when I read an article announcing that some areas of our vibrant and free nation are currently waging a war against the traditional and extremely popular travelling ice cream vendors. Apparently some municipalities are actually preparing restrictions to limit the noise levels of the neat music and jingles that these frozen treat vendors make to attract their excited and happy neighbourhood customers.

Others are pushing bylaws that would allow most of the street vendors to sell their goodies only in commercial areas or complexes, and not on the streets, where they claim that it is unsafe for the children to run across the road to catch up to the treat trucks. As if our courts are not completely full and backed up with many more important cases, a judge of the Ontario Supreme Court recently took a long time to write a 60-page report ruling against an appeal of ice cream vendors to have the mobility rights of pursuing their livelihoods. On the other hand, Toronto, one of the largest and busiest cities in Canada, has absolutely no problem with street vendors, and actually openly encourages their service to the public. In Kelowna, B.C. city council moved to ban all music from ice cream vendors but after thousands of angry emails and letters from the public, they rescinded and allowed them to go on their merry way, only having to tune it down a little when they were parked.

As kids, and later as parents some years ago in Ponoka, we will never forget the exciting arrival on a hot summer day of the Dickie Dee ice cream bike or other cool and sweet treat vendors into our neighbourhood or at countless community events. Call me old-fashioned if you want, but I do say bah humbug to those who would dare to pick on any of those hardy street vendors, who have faithfully plied their trade with a cheerful personal touch for so many years, while making many friends and customers along the way, wherever they appear in communities, large or small.

See you at the fair

Hopefully everyone has swung into summer and are busy getting their entries ready for the Ponoka Agricultural Society on Aug. 10 and 11 at the Ponoka Ag Event Centre. Along with the many divisions of home, hobby and horticultural competitions for all ages, the 2012 event will also offer special treats and fun for the whole family. Pick up a fair information booklet around town; entries will be accepted on Thursday, Aug. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Friday, Aug. 10 from 8 until 11 a.m.

Then just get out there and have a great week, all of you!

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