Saturday, July 21, 2007


Rig-tone free zone in B.C.?

Thirty-five...yeah, thirty-five years ago, I lived in British Columbia’s Slocan Valley for quite a while. We try to go up and visit every year, see old friends, rehash nice memories.

Back then, the Slocan, like the west Kootenay area in general was a haven for people disgusted with the U.S.’s invasion and war against Viet Nam. Many went to the Slocan rather than get drafted into the killing machine of the U.S. Army.

I was in no danger of being drafted, but I was utterly disgusted with the war.

The Slocan remains a lovely area: sophisticated and rural, rugged and domesticated. If it wasn’t for the foul winters...I’d have a Canadian accent, yeah. More power to the folks in the Slocan Valley. Way to go!

B.C. Interior community goes for ring-tone-free zone
Last Updated: Friday, July 20, 2007 | 9:34 AM PT
CBC News
People in the Slocan Valley are trying to stop Telus from bringing cellphone service to their neck of the woods so they can market the area as a ring-tone-free zone.

'We see this as being a tremendous competitive advantage.'—Bill Roberts of the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission

Telus has said it will decide whether to install technology, which would allow for cellphone service in the area, later this month.

But Bill Roberts, with the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission, thinks becoming a cellphone dead-zone will attract tourists and new residents to the rural community in B.C.'s Southern Interior.

"We see this as being a tremendous competitive advantage that allows us to set ourselves apart from other areas that are practising the 'me too' form of development, saying, 'Well, they've got a bigger airport. They've got cellphones,' and following blindly down the same path," Roberts said Thursday.

Some residents have also expressed concerns about the potential health risks of having a cellphone transmitter within 500 metres of houses.

Telus, however, insists cellphone technology is safe, and spokesman Shawn Hall says the company has received requests from many valley residents for service.

"I think a lot of communities actually see cell service as a real economic driver that brings them into the 21st century," says Hall.

If Telus chooses not to provide cellphone service, the economic development commission plans to market the Slocan Valley as a cellphone-free area, says Roberts.

The commission argues there are other ways to improve communications — it's finalizing a plan to bring high-speed internet access to the valley.

Bill Roberts is an idiot who will certainly be drummed off the Slocan Valley Ecomonic Development Commission.

If Mr. Roberts had his way, we'd still be lighting with kerosene lanterns and washing our clothes in the river.
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