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Writer & Historian

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Leola’s 2020 Summer Fruit & Flower Show – A Covid Breather

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August 2, 2020

Early August in the garden of lovely Leola. A welcome breather from Trump and that other virus. Beauty provides a little respite from an ugly time. Perhaps a moment of hope. “Fleurs de mal,” wrote the poet long ago, but flowers of love and enchantment as well. Enjoy!
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Winning $7K – A Social Commentary

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August 1, 2020
Winning $7K – A Social Commentary

I’m pretty sure I just won $7,000 a week for the rest of my life. Don’t believe me. Envious of my good fortune? Well, Deborah Holland, executive vice-president of Publishers Clearing House says right here that I “could definitely become the winning number.” I can’t see how I can lose. If Deb says I’m...
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Meet Jimmie Peever – A Book Review

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June 14, 2020
Meet Jimmie Peever – A Book Review

Keith G. Powell, In the Shadow of Elephants (Cranbrook: Wild Horse Creek Press, 2019), 302 pages (paper), $21.95. Billed as a historical novel, Kootenay writer-publisher Keith G. Powell has crafted a multi-tasking book that doubles as a local history and triples as a photographic tour of the pioneer days of the East and West Kootenays. The...
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Fighting Hate – A Book Review

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May 21, 2020
Fighting Hate – A Book Review

Tony McAleer, The Cure for Hate: A Former White Supremacist’s Journey From Violent Extremism to Radical Compassion (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019), 320 pages (soft cover), $22.95. As a Canadian living in the United States, I am witnessing an era of deepening tensions fueled by racial, class and gender hate. Tony McAleer’s book seemed a possible...
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Vancouver Junkie Hunter – A Book Review

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April 29, 2020
Vancouver Junkie Hunter – A Book Review

Norm Boucher, Horseplay: My Time Undercover on the Granville Strip (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2020), 181 pages, (paper). We’re on the toughest section of Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The hookers and dopers mingle with the gays and straights all of them looking to score something. We could be in a scene from DaVinci’s Inquest, the top-quality TV...
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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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Books