Bike lanes required for safety
On September 6, while walking on the sidewalk along Joyce Avenue near the old Max Cameron School, I was knocked down from behind by a boy riding his bike [“Event encourages commuters to pedal,” May 25]. He apologized, asked if I was okay and then left. A nice man stopped and took me to the grocery store, replaced the glass jar of milk I was carrying that had broken, and drove me home. I ended up going to the hospital and an X-ray showed I had fractured my wrist. My arm was put into a cast.
While the boy certainly could have been paying greater attention to where he was riding, it is hard to blame him as there is no dedicated place in Powell River for children to ride their bikes. Some signs have been put up to share the road. There is room on the road for cars to drive and park, and there is a sidewalk for pedestrians, but there is nothing for the bicycles; they have to navigate around the parked cars and compete in traffic so alternatively they go on the sidewalk and compete with pedestrians.
Vancouver has created many dedicated bike lanes. My grandchildren love riding in the bike park in Coquitlam, but there are no similar facilities here. We built a track in Powell River for $1 million, and a boat harbour for $7 million. With childhood obesity on the rise, we need a place for children to ride their bikes safely and not injure pedestrians. Let’s start with creating bike lanes on the major routes such as Joyce, Marine and Manson avenues.
No opting out
BC Hydro seems not too worried about the high levels of radiation given off from the smart meters, yet the World Health Organization is [“BC Hydro maintains meters are safe and essential,” September 21]. It says meters can cause cancer.
This is just one of many issues concerning the meters. Hydro states it is nowhere near as bad as other electronic devices in the home. But the reality is that the pulses from smart meters are far stronger than most wireless devices in the home, and cannot be turned off.
Now here is the real issue. Hydro tells me that there is no opting out of the plan. It will install the new meters and charge us big bucks to have them removed. This sounds like a corporate, profit-driven dictatorship to me. It is shocking that we have no say in the matter. And to top it off, Hydro wants us to trust it and what it says when it comes to our health and safety.
Follow the science for truth
There is a lot of controversy over the coming installation of smart meters in our homes [“BC Hydro maintains meters are safe and essential,” September 21]. As City of Powell River Councillor Aaron Pinch said, “We’re surrounded by wireless signals that are actually greater than these smart meters.” That is where my agreement with him ends. If there is even a possibility that these signals are harmful, adding one more small one is not a good idea. It could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
I believe in the scientific method and look to the actual studies when I want to know the truth of something. It always bothers me that the people on both sides of an argument twist what the scientists actually say to support their own argument. At this point, the studies are leaning toward health risks with long-term exposure.
Unfortunately, the only reliable way of continuing the studies is to increase our exposure for a few more years and see how it affects us and our children. I prefer to err on the side of caution. Our safety regulatory bodies prefer to err on the side of industry.
An independent study on the smart meters in California shows that in certain circumstances they are exposing residents to much higher levels than the Federal Communications Commission has considered safe. It seems the utilities tell us one thing, but do another. Without regulation, industry will always get away with whatever it can. Without our shouting, the regulatory agencies will side with industry.
We don’t really know the health risks of adding smart meters to all of our homes. I don’t want to be a guinea pig in this particular study.