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Writer & Historian

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My Covid-19 Heroine – An Appreciation

2
May 15, 2020
My Covid-19 Heroine – An Appreciation

The Covid-19 crisis created a new heroine in my eyes: my dear partner and spouse, Leola Olive Jewett-Verzuh. When the virus hit, she pondered what she could do to help. Within a few days, she began making beautiful face masks that she sent to all her family members. Some of them work in hospitals...
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Drop Your Guns, Pardner – A Comment

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March 5, 2020
Drop Your Guns, Pardner – A Comment

I don’t know what it is that attracts the National Rifle Association to me. The closest I ever came to owning a gun was as a young boy when I had a second-hand BB gun that usually didn’t work. So why, decades later, has the NRA decided to target me as a potential member?...
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Golden City Yarns – A Book Review

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February 28, 2020
Golden City Yarns – A Book Review

Ron Shearer, Chicanery, Civility & Celebrations: Tales of Early Rossland (Rossland: Rossland Heritage Commission, 2019), 170 pages, $24.95 (paper). Kootenay history buffs have long savoured the storytelling talents of Ron Shearer, a retired UBC economics professor turned amateur historian. Now, in a randomly presented selection of stories, he takes us back to the mining...
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Follow the Black Cat – A Book Review

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February 26, 2020
Follow the Black Cat – A Book Review

Graphic History Collective, Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2019), large format, 60 pages, $14.95 (soft cover).             I just barely squeaked through my high school history class. I liked it, but I wasn’t good at memorizing dates and I had questions about...
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Stop subsidizing private health care insurance – A Comment

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December 17, 2019
Stop subsidizing private health care insurance – A Comment

Recently, a friend blasted the skeptics who have been poo-pooing Medicare for All as proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. His argument pours cold water on the halfway measures that other candidates like Peter Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are promoting. Here’s his succinct and compelling reason why. “Medicare for All...
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Portugal and Basque Spain – Four Travel Essays

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December 17, 2019
Portugal and Basque Spain – Four Travel Essays

In September and October 2019, I travelled with family members to Lisbon and Porto in Portugal and to the Spanish and French Basque Country in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. These four essays are my attempt to capture some aspects of the cultures we observed.
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Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

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October 18, 2019
Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

Raymond Caballero, McCarthyism vs. Clinton Jencks (Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), 320 pages, $29.95 (paper). Just when books about the history of Communist trade unions seem to have waned, Portland historian Raymond Caballero brings to life the horrors of the Second Red Scare in the 1950s through an account of the trials and tribulations...
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New Play Features Paul Robeson’s Legacy – An Update

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August 3, 2019
New Play Features Paul Robeson’s Legacy – An Update

African-American singer-actor-activist Paul Robeson continues to inspire and raise awareness of the controversial politics that surrounded the man, as the new play 8 Hotels attests. Early reviews of the play, playing on the London stage August 1-24, 2019, do not indicate that playwright Nicholas Wright’s script includes Robeson’s famed Peace Arch concerts in the...
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Union Hall Named National Historic Site – A Labour History Update

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July 29, 2019
Union Hall Named National Historic Site – A Labour History Update

Parks Canada officially designated the Rossland Miners’ Union Hall as a national historic site on July 20, 2019. The subject of my 2013 documentary film Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout, the 1898 building has been the meeting place for many historic events in the history of the B.C. labour movement. The Parks Canada web...
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Old-Timers Back “Climate Change Kids” in Lawsuit – An Op-Ed Article

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July 15, 2019
Old-Timers Back “Climate Change Kids” in Lawsuit – An Op-Ed Article

The lawsuit now before the Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit calls on the federal government to protect today’s young people and future generations from the effects of climate change. We old people need to support their case and the Green New Deal for the sake of our grandchildren and great grandchildren. The...
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