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Recycling praise


Being a person retired after many years of government employ, I must admit that I am somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to services provided to the public at their expense through taxation.

However, I congratulate the City of Richmond in the operation of the recycling depot on Lynas Lane. The other day I attended at the recycling depot-I had not been there for a long time. I was impressed with what a good deal for the residents of Richmond the recycling depot indeed is.

There are huge bins for the recyclable material to be placed in and most are locked with only small access doors. The security is good with helpful employees always in attendance.

What impressed me most at the recycling depot was the ample signage of what can be placed in the various bins and the equally ample signage warning that scavenging is not allowed. This is a good move on the part of our city officials. Residents can attend at the recycling depot without fear of harassment from those who only wish to take.

One can certainly understand and have empathy for the unfortunate of our society who do scavenge out of the desperation the poverty of their situation weighs upon them. But most scavenging in the past at the recycling depot, I have been so advised, was done by individuals not desperate but driven by the thrust of their own greed.

It's nice to know that materials deposited at the Richmond recycling depot bring revenue for the benefit of the entire community. It's nice to know that a few selfish individuals can no longer make personal profit at the expense of our city.

Lorne Laukkonen

Richmond is happy with full serve


Pertaining to the gas station bylaw for no self serve in Richmond. I find it interesting that the issue has come up, not by complaints or petitions from the citizens of Richmond wishing this, rather the businesses themselves.

1. Are these gas stations in the gas or convenience store business if they make that much money on junk food why bother with gas?

2. If these businesses are having problems being profitable, is this not an issue with their parent company?

3. It's rather ironic how these very same companies we feel are "gouging" us with gas prices (oil companies own/rule most of the gas stations) now want us to change our bylaw to make more money!

4. Will council consider the impact this will have on present corner/convenience stores that want to make ends meet too?

5. It is insulting to say there would be "full serve" as well, when everyone knows one would pay at least 4ยข more per litre for that service. The prices are unreasonable as it is-this isn't a choice!

6. Many self serve stations have credit card payments right at the pumps therefore people still wouldn't go into the "store."

7. I find it hard to believe the reason "7,000" Richmond residents don't buy gas here is because of no self serve. Besides do you realize how small a percentage that is?

8. There are enough gas stations here. Some of the closures I know of are due to having the same company gas station cross the road; others have had development squeezing them out. It had nothing to do with no self serve.

9. The police stated it would decrease falsifying credit cards as card payments are right at the pumps. Very true, but how does that help get people out of their cars?

10. Richmond is known for being the healthiest community. Could it be because with no self-serve gas stations we don't go in and buy junk food?

Please remember, the residents of Richmond are satisfied, they didn't bring it up.

D.M North

It was the non-issue issue


Re: "DFO lands inch closer," page 3, Dec. 6-7.

I fail to understand why a newspaper like The Richmond Review would cater to such a non-issue as this. It's fine that these politicians want publicity (we all know how badly Joe Peschisolido needs any kind of input) but I think it belittles The Review to actually take part in printing it.

There's probably a ton of real meaningful issues that could have been printed in this space.

Gary Nelson

Paying the Piper


We don't need more $9 an hour jobs in B.C.

Gordon Campbell's Liberals like to say they're creating jobs. The reality is they're creating a wage ghetto in B.C. While the prices we pay for most goods and services seem to increase daily, the B.C. Liberals are on an all-out attack to cut workers wages and benefits. Yes, that means yours.

While profits continue to increase, Gordon Campbell's Liberals give corporations the unprecedented ability to slash and burn existing legal contracts without any input or consultation from the people or the communities they affect.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority thinks it's imperative to have workers earning wages well below $20 an hour in order to make the system "efficient." I would suggest it's imperative we have fewer bureaucrats making more than $100,000 in order to make our society "civil."

As a proud B.C. civil servant with more than 30 years of University of B.C. training and experience, my annual salary is under $40,000. The average support worker at UBC earns $34,000. Evidently, both Martha Piper and Gordon Campbell think that's too much.

After receiving a total 7.5 per cent increase over the previous 10 years, Mr. Campbell legislated university workers back to work and froze our salaries for another three years. Dr. Piper walked away with a 63 per cent increase driving her current salary to $330,384.

What we desperately need in this province is more people making livable wages. People that can then go out and spend money-eat in restaurants, shop in stores, maybe even pay bills, thereby generating more work for others who can then go out and do the same.

The Americas already have one of the most unequal distribution of wealth of any region in the world and with the help of community "leaders" like Dr. Piper and Mr. Campbell, the inequality will continue to grow.

Nancy M. Forhan

Closer to home


I would like to address the options suggested by the school district to solve the problem of overcrowding at Hugh McRoberts High School.

I support an option that would leave the English and French programs in the same high school. Do not discriminate against students from these program by segregating them into different high schools.

A school board brochure promoting French immersion and English programs in the same school states that this system creates a school environment which "promotes tolerance and understanding among our students."

I also support an option that provides an opportunity for students to attend a school in their catchment area.

Sophie So

Ever heard of a desk drawer?


I was outraged to read of the renovations being undertaken at Richmond City Hall at the behest of Mr. George Duncan. My outrage only increases with his self-serving response.

In his response, Mr. Duncan neglected to point out that he was the city manager at the time the new city hall was built and that he had approved the design and layout of his personal office. Now, it seems, it just doesn't suit his purpose. He needs separate areas so that those coming into his office won't see confidential material on his desk.

Mr. Duncan, we all know your management style and find it hard to believe that anybody would be able to enter your office unannounced. Besides, you do have space to secure these documents from prying eyes. That's what desk drawers are commonly used for.

Mr. Duncan, you told us that these necessary renovations were for the benefit of 21 people working in that area. Tell me Mr. Duncan, will they all have access to the new washroom and shower facility being put in your newly renovated office or will it just be for your private business?

Do you really think you are so important that the regular washroom facilities used by your city staff are unacceptable to you? Are you afraid that city secrets might leak out in there?

Mr. Duncan disappoints me. At my current tax rate, should I live for another 25 years, every penny of tax that I pay to the City of Richmond will not cover the cost of your megalomania.

Mr. Mayor and councillors, as it turns out I voted for every one of you. You all promised fiscal responsibility. The only thing I know for sure right now is that none of you will get my vote next election.

R.J. MacKinnon

The Thief of 1980


The other week, I took advantage of a last opportunity to walk the halls of Richmond High Senior Secondary. My wife and I are both graduates of the class of 1980, and had only once stepped back inside since then, for our 10th reunion.

With the new, modern replacement now completed and ready to open, the old school's days are numbered. We arranged to meet some close friends to see if we could scare up a fond memory or two.

Inside, we joined a throng of past and present Colts fans, eager for a last visit. Some, like us, were with dear friends who have remained close these past 23 years. Some-with a puzzled look, then a smile, then a hug or a handshake-reconnected with long-lost buddies. All the usual exchanges of "What do you do?", "Where have you been?" and "Wife, husband, kids?" ensued. Let's do the time warp again!

While walking the halls, most people were looking up to the beautifully-framed class photos that date back decades. Frame upon frame of happy, hopeful youth about to embark on life's journey. What a treat to watch parents and their kids look, point, smile and yes, laugh at the pictures on the wall!

Unfortunately, there is nothing but space in between 1979 and 1981. You see, in the year following our graduation, some bright spark broke into the school and stole, of all things, our class photo. One might argue that if someone was that attached to the class of 1980, then more power to them! But the truth is, that theft has left the rest of us without a home, so to speak, in this school and the next.

You see, for me the school is just a building. Yes, I smiled as I walked the halls where I had strategically waited to bump into my dream girl 'by coincidence.' I enjoyed a laugh visiting classrooms formerly inhabited by teachers we either loved or hated. It was a shame to find the fabulous painting by "DJB" now painted over. And it was special to spend time in the theatre room, remembering many, many hours toiling over sets, lights and miles of electrical cable, finding a hobby I enjoyed.

But in the end, the building is simply the stage upon which the act of our adolescence was staged. The real magic, and the most important memories, came not from the building, but from the people whose friendship and experience we shared within it. With the class of 1980 scattered throughout the world, a simple picture holds a thousand memories.

And so I appeal to the Thief of 1980 to please consider returning our class picture. Wrap it up, leave it at the school, no questions asked. Just bring it back. There will be a place waiting for it in the new Richmond High, and that's where it belongs.

Roy Oostergo

Palace coup


Grigory Rasputin came from humble Siberian beginnings to become the most powerful man in Russia. St. Petersburg's residents were amazed at his unusual control over Russia's royalty. He was rumoured to have mystical powers, and these rumours were reinforced when appeared to return from the dead after being poisoned and shot.

Mr. Duncan holds a similar power over Richmond's royalty. Like St Petersburg's residents, Richmond's citizens are amazed at how he retains so much influence. Even the skeptical start to believe that he may indeed have supernatural powers when they witness his miraculous return from London, Ont. as a metaphor for Rasputin's return from the dead.

While council eats from Mr. Duncan's hands, this peasant is unimpressed with his letter to your paper ("Why city hall is being renovated," Nov. 29-30) attempting to validate the renovations. What he says is true; that many people find that after three years in a new house the design isn't perfect. Unlike Mr Duncan though, most new homeowners are struggling with a mortgage and simply can't afford the luxury or major alterations so soon after moving in.

He then tries to placate us with the fact the budget is only $80,000, not the $125,000 originally reported. Only a seasoned bureaucrat could find $80,000 to be a trifling sum.

Should we wait until Richmond's 2003 annual report is published to find the truth? Expensive goof-ups which occurred during Duncan's previous reign (the million dollar bond redemption and $400,000 tall ships losses) weren't line items in the 2002 report, so these renovation expenses will be similarly camouflaged in the 2003 report.

Eventually the royal family split over Rasputin. The power bloc of ruling royals, the Tsar and Tsarina, were circumvented by other family members, who took Rasputin from power via a dip in the freezing Neva River. No one wishes Rasputin's fate on Mr. Duncan, but many residents do want to see a palace coup that changes the power structure, and puts control back in the hands of elected officials who are accountable to us voters.

Robert Evans

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