Thoughts, suggestions & odds n’ ends

Elections coming up, weather extremes and paying attention on the roads, all discussed in this week's Ponoka News column.

I’ve taken a u-turn and gone a bit offside in my column this week, choosing to rattle and ramble on about a few topics I clearly want to get out of my head though don’t quite have enough material to fill a page with.


No, this has nothing to do with politics either locally or south of the 49th regardless of how accurate that word may describe the present state of affairs.

It’s more about how crazy, wacky and weird the past week has seen weather extremes from Vancouver to Newfoundland.

From the chilling blast of cold ravaging most of the country to the more than a metre of snow falling to close an Alberta highway for two days and the several days of snowy weather causing havoc in Greater Vancouver, the strangest things keep happening in the oddest places.

It must be driving those challenging the fact the climate is changing worldwide just plain batty (Okay, you can make a Trump joke here).

On the opposite side of that fence, the environmental/climate change lobby are taking full advantage to explain why the world needs to walk more, bike more and live more responsibly all the while hopping on expensive, fuel guzzling jets and living it up as celebrities.

However, to sum up a more scientific viewpoint, the earth is gradually getting warmer and the weather patterns are generating more extreme swings across the planet. That said, to affect real change and slow the process even further, the big culprits in the world need to start doing their part or else the efforts of the small ones (like Canada) will be meaningless.

Forest for the trees

This is the year that the public will once again have to sift through the forest full of weeds to find the trees and flowers.

Yes, it’s municipal election time and the posturing from the current elected officials has already begun, from attempting to plow through fiscal agendas to pushing out trial balloons about grandiose projects regardless of the present economic instability.

And that promise of ‘greater things in the future’ isn’t limited to those wanting to get re-elected, since there are already potential candidates spouting ideas and plans about what will occur when they win. That makes for a very long road, as nominations for the municipal elections won’t open until later this fall.

No wonder I have to carry a shovel along with my pen, paper and camera. The only problem is people are too busy with weeding to notice the real stories growing around them. Can’t wait for the silly season to finally be flushed away.

Slow down

Many people know I’m a firefighter and an issue that continues to pop up when talking to other emergency responders is how many close calls they have while working on the highways.

In recent months, there have been firefighters and tow truck drivers injured in collisions caused by drivers not obeying the law.

Regardless of the colour of the lights, when a tow truck or emergency vehicle is stopped on the highway with its lights operating, ALL vehicles must slow to 60 km/h when passing OR have one lane between them and the emergency vehicle.

Drivers need to realize a few things speeding through a scene puts everyone’s lives at risk, the extra few seconds it takes to obey the law won’t make a difference to your trip, the people on that scene simply want to do the job of helping people and can’t do that if they are hurt due to someone else’s carelessness.

What it really boils down to is a lack of respect for the people whose job it is to serve the public, for the laws designed to make their job safe and for the families, friends and others those people care for and care about.

So, do me and yourself a favour, next time you see flashing lights on a highway, slow down or get over. It could be a lifesaving decision.

But that is…just an observation.