Tired of the political double talk

Spring seems to be coming early to the Okanagan as the days are sunny and the temperature climbs. But we all know what a tease spring can be, playing hide and seek with our spirits. I for one enthusiastically welcome her back.

Hey! We are finally getting more beds for Vernon Hospital. I was as overjoyed to hear the good news from Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid at her press conference as probably most other people of the North Okanagan. Finally more beds — the finished two top floors to house 60 beds in total. But wait a minute, as we heard more, it comes to light that only 14 more beds are being added, with the rest shuffled around from the old wings to make up the 60 beds designated. I guess I am tired of double talk, flim flam and media events about nothing and the assumption that the public is dumb enough to think things are grand just because politicians tell us they are.

In truth the number of beds with the opening of the two floors will bring the total number of beds to 162 for the whole hospital from a now funded 148, a number grossly inaccurate as the number of daily patients ranges from a low of 170 to 180 with a not uncommon number of 193 patients. This supposedly good news is especially irritating as the province expects $7.6 million of the total to come from the community through our Regional Hospital District and the VJH Foundation. That is us folks, either through donations or taxes. Fourteen beds are better than nothing but I would have felt better if the announcement apologized for the limited number of beds provided and explained the economic restrictions that had to be considered. In other words the truth for a change, how refreshing that would be.

Here’s a chance to really say thank you to one of the many kind souls who offer their time and energy to seniors or others by getting out there and removing snow from walks and roads, preventing falls on ice or snow. If you know of someone who has done this you can nominate them to be part of the Snow Buddies contest. Seniors Information and Resource Bureau  (SIRB)  is hosting this draw that can make your Snow Buddy eligible to win one of five $100 cash prizes from the City of Vernon to acknowledge the contribution volunteers make to our community. Just drop them a line giving the person’s name and address and explaining why you would like to nominate this person as a Snow Buddy. This automatically makes them eligible for the draw. Send your nominations for a Snow Buddy to: email:  or mail it or drop it off at the SIRB office at People Place, #5, 3402-27th Ave., Vernon, B.C.,  V1T 1S1. For more information, call 250- 545-8572.

We are all more aware of our health and try to exercise and to eat in a healthier style. The following comes from the Nutrition Action Health letter 2012 and suggests eight super foods for a better diet:

1. Sweet potatoes — these are nutritional all stars

2. Mangoes — about one cup supplies 3/4 of a day’s Vitamin C

3. Zero per cent plain Greek yogurt — this yogurt has fewer carbs and twice the protein of ordinary yogurt and (about 18 grams in a 175 gram serving)

4. Broccoli — lots of Vitamin C, carotenoids, and foliate

5. Wild salmon — has omega-3 fats and can help reduce the risk of heart attacks

6. Crisp breads — whole-grain rye crackers are loaded with fiber and often fat-free

7. Watermelon — a standard serving has 40 per cent of a day’s Vitamin C

8. Butternut squash — has Vitamins A and C and fiber

If you have any questions or comments you can reach me at 250-542-7928 or e-mail:

Pat Black writes about issues of concern to seniors in the North Okanagan, appearing every other Sunday.

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