Letters of the week – Aug. 11

Busking versus panhandling, bikes and museums spurred on letters to the editor this week.

Buskers or panhandlers—does it really matter?

To the Editor,

Re: Buskers bring music to Harbour Quay, AV News—July 28

Love the idea of having buskers at Harbour Quay this summer and applaud anything that encourages musicians developing and showcasing their craft, especially with the added bonus of having a venue where they can share with the community.

As far as “the difference between busking and panhandling…”

Whether people “have their hands right out and just ask for money from anyone and everyone” or have perhaps the greater fortune to be blessed with some musical talent they

talent they are able to share, if there is a hat, tin-cup, or other such receptacle strategically placed to entice passers-by to contribute then the “busker” is just a “talented panhandler”.

So perhaps there’s a greater opportunity here “about teaching both performers and the public” about inclusiveness in our community by reminding everyone that poverty which drives some to panhandle, whether they can “busk” or not, knows no bounds.

There’s no class differential here, as we’re all just individual souls that’re each having their own personal human experience.

Meanwhile, thanks to all for making music at the Harbour Quay.  I’m all ears!

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni

 

Bike lanes are good business

To the Editor,

We are owners of Pedego Electric Bikes located in Qualicum Beach and servicing the catchment area of Vancouver Island north of the Malahat. As a rental and tour operation including service we offer you insight from our customers.

The most requested information from tourists visiting from off the island is where family and friends can bike that is safe with access to scenic viewpoints or markets or activities.

The most requested information from our local customers on Vancouver Island is where to bike that is safe and gain access to the communities and their outlying scenery.

After a few months of owning electric bikes most people get excited about seeing the whole island and with Pedego bikes they could travel Port Hardy to Port McNeil and Port Alice on a staycation or they could travel all through out the Port Alberni Valley to beyond the Cherry Creek area out to China Creek, Sproat Lake and the McLean Mill area. For us to recommend this we need to know from the owners here about safe routes.  To gain the confidence of your local riders is to spread the word to the world about safe biking and then we have home growth in new tourism based on the smiles of the local commuters.

There is evidence all around the world that the bicycle will dominate safe, green, efficient transportation and to be left off the safe biking map is a mistake for any island community growing tourism and effective transit. The Regional District of Nanaimo provides a great transit map with bike lanes on the back. They can’t keep up to the demand printing this and evidence is now showing on their trails that people are using this pathway system for efficiency and for fun. The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is launching a similar effort in mapping their region for locals commuting, going to schools, businesses and the ever increasing tourists seeking new healthy experiences on Vancouver Island.

Shopping in local businesses is known to increase with better bicycle access.

We located in Qualicum Beach because it is a safe place to bicycle and there is steady increase in bike awareness and paths being built in Oceanside. Tofino and Ucluelet will soon be linked with a bike path the full length of the peninsula. The bike business is robust on Vancouver Island and we encourage you to applaud all the bike owners using this green alternative by providing safe and effective routes.

Julie Edwards,

Qualicum Beach

(Editor’s note: Julie Edwards owns Pedego Electric Bikes in Qualicum Beach.)

Another great museum exhibit

To the Editor,

Once again our local museum is offering us an exhibit of quality and interest equal to any we could find in any major city.

Tourism is often a topic of conversation today, but you may be surprised to learn how early it began here in the Alberni Valley.  Through great mural sized images, interesting objects, and readable text, you’ll get drawn into the stories about the local lodges and chalets and the people who operated them. You’ll find out what attracted people here, what forces were at play that allowed the beginning of tourism in  the Alberni Valley and the pioneers of the recreational activities that abounded.

Get in to see this fabulous exhibit, take your summer visitors, take your kids, but make sure you see it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Jean McIntosh,

Port Alberni

(Editor’s note: Jean McIntosh is the former manager for the Alberni Valley Museum.)

 

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