Now is not the time for excess
During the recent county budget deliberations, a number of councilors voted to reduce the councillor ward and the office mayor’s budgets by $10,000 for 2021 and ($15,000, respectively) as a cost-saving effort. It was defeated by a vote of 5-4, with my Ward 8 Coun. Katie Berghofer, voting to not reduce these budgets.
I thought I would look through the $27,000 of tax dollars that Ms. Berghoffer’s spent in 2019 to view her spending priorities.
Here are a few snippets of her choices for our tax dollars: $1,760 to register for seven golf tournaments, $226 for county-branded golf balls, $182 for mileage reimbursement to attend ballroom dancing lessons (yup, can’t make this up, ballroom dancing lessons), $1,970 for LED pet lights, water bottles, and pet waste dispensers as silent auction items.
I am all for spending and investing our tax dollars to promote and improve the county and our local economy, but I deplore waste and excess, like reimbursing Coun. Berghofer’s expenses to drive to St. Albert for dancing lessons.
The municipal election cannot come soon enough.
Jim McLeod, Sherwood Park
Masks: It’s not about safety, it’s about compliance
Fifty years of science and empirical data tells us masks will not stop the spread of a COVID type virus. Yet we throw that out for three or four recently commissioned studies (with extremely questionable motives) suggesting that they may do some good. Countering studies are ignored of course. Empirical data comparing states that masked up and those that did not also show no effective results from those mandating masks. Of equal importance is the fact that using masks improperly, or the wrong type, is actually counterproductive. Masks are rarely handled or maintained properly by the populace. Moreover, cloth masks (which are absolutely not healthy) are the norm, and surgical masks have an effective lifespan of minutes in unsterile environments. The fact that they do not hinder the spread of COVID in the first place is not to be lost on the discussion, but with these other factors in play, we find that they are arguably causing more problems than they are preventing.
News organizations, politicians, and social media actively work to stamp out any form of discussion or dissent against the mask-wearing agenda. Why?
Masks do force compliance and obedience. They force conformity. And most importantly, in the case of the COVID craze, they serve to wear down the populace. They remove our individuality and remove our will to fight. It is one more hurdle, one more lockdown, one more freedom removed for a virus that is non-lethal to 99.96 per cent of the populace. They show that the state, for no betterment to its populace, can force its will upon you. Masks are the symbol revealing all that is insidious with the overreach of the state at the expense of personal liberty.
Of course, this letter will never make print. It is well-reasoned, based on fact, and logical in its structure. And it runs counter to the allowed discussion. But even if it is only the editor that reads it, reads one more letter echoing the fact that our new normal rings more like 1984 and Lord of the Flies than it does an open and free society. Maybe just one more letter that lets those controlling the discussion know that their efforts to silence discussion makes them as complicit in the destruction of freedom and liberty as any dictator.
Is debate and discussion dead? It certainly appears so. I genuinely hope I am wrong. I do know I will not comply.
— Tyler Myler, Sherwood Park
Editor’s note: The News is trying to provide a platform for debate during the pandemic, however, COVID-19 is a virus that should be taken seriously. It is not a “COVID” craze and as stated by the federal government; “Strong public health orders are needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” Masks help reduce the risk of both pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission Mask wearing policies have been approved in the Strathcona County’s bylaw and a provincial mandate for the Edmonton and Calgary Zones and surrounding areas based on the direction of medical scientists and experts.
Angels among us
On Monday, Nov. 23, I lost my purse in the parking lot at Costco in Sherwood Park at around 3:30 pm. I thought for sure it would be gone forever — cash, cell phone, keys — everything gone. I am an 80-year old widow with a severe lung disease and can’t get around well. As soon as I realized my purse was missing, my daughter checked in the parking lot and at customer service, but no luck. I was so upset and mad at myself.
When we got home, we called Costco and low and behold, some beautiful soul had found my purse and turned it in. It was locked up in their security area. While I was overjoyed, I thought for sure that things would be missing. We raced in to get my purse, and when I opened it up, absolutely everything was there — the cash, credit cards, my cell phone, keys, and my handicapped parking placard. I felt bad for being so pessimistic in thinking that my purse would be empty. It just lifted my spirits completely and renewed my faith in humanity. Especially in these difficult COVID times, it’s heart-warming to know that there are truly good people in the world who do the right thing.
I wanted to personally thank the good samaritan for their thoughtful act of kindness, but they didn’t leave their name with the employees at Costco. All I could think of doing was writing a thank you letter to the editor, in the hopes of it being published and the ‘do-gooder’ seeing it in the paper. A million thank you’s to this wonderful person! I intend to pay it forward. There truly are angels amongst us.
— Shirley Poole, Sherwood Park