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COMMENTARY · 13th June 2012
Merv Ritchie
Once again it appears death will need to occur before brains get into gear. During the 2007 flood in the Terrace region an emergency haul of rock was implemented. Keith Avenue became a through fare at Kenney Street. Flag people were placed to stop traffic as the trucks rolled right through the stop signs in a rush to deliver their load to save homes along banks of the Skeena River.

One flag person was not doing her job; distracted by her own cell phone she did not stop a cyclist who ended up splattered all over the front of a loaded haul truck moving at an estimated 50 kilometers an hour. There was virtually nothing left of him.

Monday afternoon, June 11, 2012, rocks broke a windshield as a highways worker drove a large sweeper down the middle of highway 16. No signs were along the side of the highway before or after the sweeper. No flag truck was seen leading or following. Nothing. Just a large piece of machinery in the middle of the highway obstructing all traffic blowing sand and gravel to the right as it traveled.

Cars and trucks weaved to and fro; some taking risks attempting to pass while the oncoming traffic drove head on into the hazard completely unaware.

Kenneth Lane was driving a sweeper truck for HMC services on the Coquihalla Highway in 1996. He too had no signs out and no flag truck behind him warning approaching motorists. One person died as a result after slamming into the back of the sweeper hidden in a cloud of dust. He was in the fast lane likely doing 120 km/hr. The Judge stated the local highways contractor “paid no heed to Ministry of Highways requirements or its own safety manual." Lane was doing as the local highways contractor, HMC Services, instructed. It saved them money not having to use a second vehicle to warn approaching traffic. They didn’t even use a water truck to reduce the dust, saving even more money. A man died. Court lasted for years.

Monday the highways were wet and there was little to no dust. Does this excuse this negligence?

If someone dies, will anyone face charges? Will there be anyone held responsible? Will anyone learn?

In the case of the man who was splattered all across the windshield of the truck and the road from Johnny’s welding to Kal Tire, it was not investigated or heavily reported on as he was a native man. The statements and claims made at the time was he was wearing a walkman type device listening to music. This as some attempt to excuse the flag person who had the duty to stop all traffic. She didn’t.

If the guy driving the sweeper truck, who received a boldly displayed single digit from yours truly, kills someone, he’d better hope it is a native person or he will be dragged through the courts like Mr. Lane was for years. The company will likely not get any sanction as it is the operator who is ultimately responsible.
If its so bad?
Comment by Danny Nunes on 15th June 2012
If this site is so bad and so full of anonymous and evil opinions then i gotta ask.

Why do you people keep coming back and commenting then?

It makes your arguments and your snide remarks look rather hollow indeed for if you truly did believe what you were saying you would in fact stop coming but here you are again & again.

I assume like facebook, people just like to see and read out their words and seek some pointless validation in somehow winning some online battle in who can be seen as more self righteous.

If some of you people actually read and absorbed what Merv has written over the years he states quite frequently he is not trying to be the mainstream media because that media doesnt cover all news and opinion and advertisers.

which is what is the problem with mainstream news. It exists now only as a means to create news that is neutered and not even news..its PR and press releases & nothing to question or investigate for fear once again..of reprisal.

If you come to this site expecting mainstream news and opinion & then if you dont get it think you can blackmail and threaten it with boycotts so you can sway its content and force it to become what it doesnt want to be then frankly your despicable.

Only dictators would make such demands in a free and open democracy and its no wonder we are in the type of societal and political climate we are in...the citizens gladly do the work of terrorists for them.

This site isnt for the timid or the fearful. If you want to stick your head in the sand then go elsewhere and ignore reality. I suggest a bar.

I am now done and like Merv I am disgusted with whats become of this lot.
Take the time to re-read Merv...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 15th June 2012
Take the time to re-read my contribution, Merv.

If anyone is a bully, perhaps you can look in the mirror.

Being the editor on this site, you tend to always thrive on getting in the last "respectful" word in via "Editor's notes" where people freak out and don't want to comment further as a result; lest they get slammed and shamed into submission.

FYI, there's no "last word" competition game on here. We're simply diaologing together. It's okay, Merv. Enjoy the dialogue.

Kindly don't take my words out of context as you just now did.

The "shut it" comment was made when I challenged people to put their money where their mouth was when they were yet again posting an anonymous posting on site...and if they couldn't post their name to it...perhaps they could just shut it.

Not sure why you call me a bully just cuz I said that in suggestion that people own up to what they print online.

Who's really being the bully now, Merv???!
Comment by Roy Harding on 15th June 2012
Yes – when I referred to "anonymous postings" I was referring to the previous RCMP bashing posts – I apologize for the confusion.

I DID read the posts in question, and I DID absorb the messages. I even visited the original blogs to ascertain if the authors had an obvious agenda or where being mis-represented on the Terrace Daily. I am satisfied that the authors DO have an agenda – and although I have no problem with anonymous blogs – after all, they are only preaching to the choir, I DO have a problem with a “news” source (The Terrace Daily), which has aspirations of becoming a RESPONSIBLE alternate news source, publishing such blogs as if they were news. Mr. Ritchie didn’t give “a voice to those that don’t always have one” – he REPEATED what they said, in the SAME medium the original was made (on the Internet) – Mr. Ritchie didn’t have to “give them a voice”, they already HAVE one.

What Mr. Ritchie did, was to (re)post anonymous blogs as if they were NEWS – they are NOT news, they are OPINIONS.

I have no idea where you got the idea that I want to “deprive local business” and “force them to alter their opinion”. I simply stated that I would no longer have MY business associated with the yellow journalism and clear agendas that have become obvious on the Terrace Daily in the past week or so. So, I withdrew my ad. That’s all – I’m not trying to “force” anybody to do anything.

You have the right to boycott my business, just as I have the right to NOT advertise on the Terrace Daily. You go ahead with your boycott, and I’ll go ahead with mine.

I don’t DO anonymous, which is why I called someone’s bluff and put my business name out there. I understand (although I disagree with their decision) that some of those making COMMENTS on articles may wish to remain anonymous for various reasons. I DON’T agree that anonymous BLOG postings constitute NEWS articles.

I don’t owe Mr. Ritchie anything – he’s had my support in the past when he’s been (in my opinion) right, and he’s had my criticism in the past when he’s been (again in my opinion) wrong.

What I DON’T do, Danny, is twist someone else’s words and actions around in order to claim that they are trying to do something they clearly are not. That’s a pretty neat trick – perhaps you could give lessons on the technique.
About anonymous - Maggie
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 15th June 2012
Many news organization hide peoples identity. It is very common. Especially when safety is concerned. Whether it be about Hells Angels, terrorists or police forces. Some people deserve to get our protection while still having their story told.

And don't tell people to shut up. That is what bullies do.
RCMP postings aside...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 15th June 2012
RCMP postings aside where people apparently "Fear for their safety" lest they speak out, I have to once again side with Mr Harding on this one.

There are too many repeated anonymous articl'ed posts on this site. I'm not talking about anonymous contributions to an article. I am talking about anonymous ARTICLED POSTINGS!

Just that I'm sure you can understand how hard it is to take these "Journalistic" postings seriously, when a posting is presented in repeated anonymous form. Who is the contributor? Who are they affiliated with? Are they even local? Why isn't the Journalist proud of his/her article to attach a name to? Get my drift? Is this a TRUE form of journalism or....????

Can you imagine watching CTV nightly news and hearing an article on TV ... and then the reporter ends with..."And this was brought to you, let's just keep my name outta it."

Get my drift?

Someone wants to make news? DO IT! And do it like you mean it. But, please attach your name underneathe it as well.

At least Merv has the intestinal fortitude to include his name in a posted article, even if his article offends his readers.

Sorry, Danny. Please don't take it personally, but I'm siding with Harding on this one.

Just that one of my mandates is: Put your money where your mouth is. If you're not able to do so...then shut it.

Eeeks...sorry for sounding offensive. But just saying ... that true journalism deserves a name printed underneathe the contributed article. Any others who choose not to do so? The City of Terrace now allows coops around town that house chickens.

There. I said it. (GULP!)
Comment by Danny Nunes on 15th June 2012
Last time I checked this very commentary your commenting on isnt in fact anonymous. It has a name attached to it.

Oh do you mean the recent RCMP posts?

If you read the posts and actually took the time to absorb some of the message you would realize one of two things.

Those posts relate to people who have genuine concern and fear of RCMP and wish to remain anon and get the word out because they believe they have no other option and Mr Ritchie
is doing what he always has. Given a voice to those that dont always have one through so called legitimate means.

So now you sit there and not only want to deprive local business and force them to alter their opinion and reporting to suit your version of things and how you interpret, you also want to also potentially expose people who seem genuinely fearful of reprisal from authority figures who investigate themselves to more fear and intimidation or worse.

Damn right I am boycotting your business although sadly its one of little interest to me and many I know.

The only thing I respect from you is that you did give the name of your business...we will see if Michael has the same guts.

You owe Mr Ritchie and apology.
In defense of Roy...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 15th June 2012
In defense of Mr Harding, perhaps he may have removed his ad out of exasperation from the comments provided on line; not so much the commentaries themselves.

That being said, I have enjoyed reading Mr Harding's comments as he tends to present his contributions backed with sound principles and possible solutions. It appears he has a wealth of life experience that he can share with the rest of us in moving forward in a most productive manner. We can't discount life experience, that is for sure. I really enjoy his responses (as long as there are no personal attacks involved) and it would be sad if he no longer participated in this venue.

Kindly reconsider Mr Harding...and join back in on the "feather-fluffing fun". With our joint sharing dialogues, we all really do help bring things to light...even if we argue about it all the while with our differing views.

I see this TerraceDaily venue like a "Sound Wormy" - you know...with limited sound knots and other imperfections allowed, but not commonly available.

Sure Danny
Comment by Roy Harding on 15th June 2012
My business is Olde Bulle Woodworks.

I have no problem with Merv expressing opinions. I have a REAL problem when he publishes ANONYMOUS blogs with an obvious agenda and tries to pass them off as NEWS.

To Michael & Roy
Comment by Danny Nunes on 15th June 2012
Since you two were so kind as to deny Merv Ritchie his right to an opinion on his website and want to boycott his business...May I ask you both for the names of whom you work for or what business you run so I can have the pleasure of boycotting it and telling many of my local friends to boycott said businesses as well.

If you want to bully local business then expect to have your own BS called and the exact same tactics done to you as well.

Have a nice day. :)
rocks on road
Comment by j.mcleod on 14th June 2012
last winter while driving the terrace-kitimat highway my car was struck several times by large rocks damaging my wind sheild.since contractors took over highway matinence this seems to happen to often.obviosly screening of materials is lacking,its just a matter of time before this causes an accedent
Comment by Tara Lynn on 14th June 2012
I saw that response to your comment the other day, I found that highly unprofessional! We should all be entitled to our views at the end of the day without feeling attacked. I read your comments on here and hope you continue to comment despite being openly criticized.
Alternative views...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 14th June 2012
After being recently publicly cited by Merv onsite (after I provided a comment in another article), I was shocked to read his response that he was ashamed to live in my midst because he disagreed with me. OUCH!

I love Merv's robust drive and willingness to "put it out there". But when I or others do the same as he does...while he disagrees with the comment(s) in question...he publishes that he is ashamed to live in our midst?! Okay, that kind'a stings.

We all appreciate this online service where we can all speak freely (within etiquette form), as I feel confident that Merv appreciates that democratic right as well.

And then we get this?! Why is a Native death more of a tragedy than if the death involved an East Indian...or a Portuguese... or an Italian...or a blue person...or a handicapped person...or God forbid a white person? A death is a death and I trust is investigated thoroughly despite the color of one's skin. (And skin color rocks the roost lest the Authorities are deemed they didn't investigate ENUF due to a "colored" person being killed/injured.)

That being said, Merve is onto something here in this article where Safety is paramount and when it is most apparently lacking due to cutting costs or for whatever reason? Yes. That's unacceptable and needs to be most promptly addressed. So, in that respect...I appreciate Merv bringing this issue to light.
Enourmous value for money
Comment by Samantha. on 14th June 2012
The site gets an enourmous amount of hits each day week and month. It is good value for the money. I'm sure nobody agrees with everything in the standard or on the radio either.

The fact is business wise, it's a good value. Whether you agree or not. Many people appreciate coming here for alternative view points.
Comment by KBoult on 14th June 2012
I was driving behind the rock truck which hit the man on his bicycle. I see no need to bring up this horrible accident. It does not benefit anyone and only brings up horrible memories for those at the scene and guilt for those involved.

Your "commentary" is nothing short of disgusting which sadly is surely the reaction you were hoping for. Leave things be.
Good Point Mr. Bruce
Comment by Roy Harding on 14th June 2012
I've removed my (admittedly free) ad.

I won't have my business associated (even for free) with the type of BS which has been published on this site lately.
@ manion denise
Comment by Michael Bruce on 14th June 2012
...and did you report this?
If not, then you are just gossiping.
Comment by Michael Bruce on 14th June 2012
I wonder if the businesses that advertise on your online rag are aware that they support your rants and unsubstantiated opinions? I wonder if they want to be associated with inflammatory remarks and just plain strange behaviour?

Do you think the flagger involved in that tragedy really needs you to say things like this? Does the death and subsequent investigation of the cyclist really need to be associated with his ethnicity?

I'm surprised that you aren't get sued off the internet.
Seriously Merv?
Comment by Steve on 13th June 2012
What difference would it make what race or colour the man on the bicycle was? Did you report on the races of the equipment operators as well? Im sure the family of the poor man killed at Keith and Kenney just loves seeing your descriptive terminlogy comparing him to a bug on a windshield?

Stay focussed buddy, youre losing the handle
Kenney & Keith Streets death
Comment by Manion Denise on 13th June 2012
Apparently yesterday was the anniversary of that young man's death at Kenny and Keith Streets. I used to live on Kenney and happened to be there shortly after this terrible tragedy occurred. Earlier that same day, BOTH traffic control people were twirling their signs around, obviously very bored and confusing passing motorists, me being one of them. I didn't know if she meant I can go through or not on 3 different occasions that I had to pass through that intersection and it was obvious other motorists were equally confused. Then the accident occurred in the afternoon. May he RIP. As for anybody learning from this, I guess we'll see if the water levels continue to rise and "they" think it's best to hire traffic control people like the ones that were there in '07 so the big trucks can cruise right through the stop signs again.
public safety
Comment by Allan Mc on 13th June 2012
If the section of road being swept has warning signage at beggining and end that would be good.But at least they are sweeping, sometimes they don't even do that.