Water at ADSS; I told you so

To the Editor,

To the Editor,

Re: Water an issue at new ADSS, Jan. 28

Largely because of that problem (excess water not draining properly), according to my source, the cost of the project could be as high as $82 million. Plus the additional cost of about $5 million for the Klitsa ball fields and the demolition of the present ADSS. The new school budget is only $58 million, so this is a very large shortfall.

There is no rationale whatsoever for replacing the present school and for building over a bog/swamp and a creek. More than one person should be hung out to dry for the moronic decision to build at the present location. And, of course, construction is cost plus, so there’s no upper limit on expenses.

And why the Ministry of Education approved this unnecessary and very costly boondoggle is indeed a mystery, especially when growing Surrey desperately needs new schools and has received no new approvals since 2004-05. Nuts!

What we’ve now got in Port Alberni, aided and abetted by city council and the school board, is a hugely expensive disservice to the environment, tax gouging on an unprecedented scale, and more and more garbage for the residential taxpayer at all levels.

Richard Berg,

Port Alberni

(Editor’s note: Richard Berg first brought up the issue of bad drainage at the new ADSS site in a letter to the editor in the fall of 2010. He said he’s been waiting since then for an admission of cost overruns “which we now have”.)

Why bother giving input?

To the Editor,

Surprise: not many people showed up at the city’s budget meeting Jan. 18, and residents of this town are apathetic and lazy.

I used to show up, thinking that in a community of this size, individuals could be heard, and make a difference. But trying to change anything is worse than hitting your head against a brick wall. It’s more like being flattened by a bulldozer.

I don’t pretend to understand the way a city is run, but I know that since I moved here, nothing has been done to make the place more livable.

Billboards, car dealerships and junkyards on the main road greet visitors. Add to that a potential federal penitentiary, and mountains of coal… charming.

Sometimes I drive through Chemainus, just for fun. It is always full of tourists, strolling around the pretty streets, filling cafes and hotels. What does Chemainus have that we don’t? The physical environment is no more spectacular than here. But they have pride of place, and creative thinking, whereas here, we are hell-bent to destroy what we have.

One of the questions on the Ipsos-Reid poll was about city planning. Really now, is there a site planner? If so, he or she wields no power at all. My wish is that the famous community heart would extend to the environment.

Rayana Erland,

Port Alberni

Prison farm

a better option

To the Editor,

Coal port or federal prison for the Alberni Valley? A prison, of course, but according to local law enforcement, not needed.

Mayor Ken McRae wants a large infrastructure program, like a prison. Jobs, jobs, jobs, at any cost. The prison I could support, if one was needed (which it’s not), is the Swiss-style, self-sufficient, farming prison, practicing the principles of permaculture, sharing surplus food and farm products with Vancouver Islanders at accessible prices.

The infrastructure project that we should lobby for is methane capture from our sewage ponds. Here is a ready form of energy that would re-localize the community, helping prepare us for climate change and peak oil.

The proposed coal port project will highlight the baseline debate; is climate change real or a figment of our imagination? In other words, is science credible?

This brings me to what I don’t get. Workers want their children to get an education and have access to all the potential that living in Canada offers. But when it comes to science there is suspicion, derision and denial. The fact that more youth in the Alberni Valley are not speaking out about climate change and peak oil, and what that will do to their life plans, validates my point.

I see more enthusiasm for hockey than for food security, climate change and peak oil adaptation. It’s unbalanced, making us all vulnerable.

Jen Fisher-Bradley,

Port Alberni

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