Opinion

Hodge: Canucks demise was predictable; help local musician

There is little sense having a column titled HodgePodge unless you occasionally craft it as precisely that.

Thus, here are a few belated thoughts, a clarification or two, a request, and a couple of “I told you so’s.”

In the “I told you so” (but actually not very happy about it) category, the Vancouver Canucks have officially been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

When I predicted such would be the case early in the season it was accompanied with the suggestion that goaltender Roberto Luongo would be  injured for part of the season.

He was injured twice in Vancouver, which indeed played a key role in the team’s elimination from the playoffs.

More significant, however, was the lousy overall team play, decimating injuries, a coach with anger management issues, and a couple of gonzo moves that left the club with no veteran goaltending to help the rookies along.

Ironically, Luongo wound up injured (again) while playing for Florida—on the same evening (Tuesday) the Canucks were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Not surprising, the first victim of disgruntlement the very next day was team president and general manager Mike Gillis, whose demise was long overdue in the minds of many.

Many fans are hoping Gillis was only the start of a sweep and that the bombastic coach John Tortorella will be the next to lose his hockey head.

If the Canucks owners are going to demonstrate they actually have some intestinal fortitude, then Torts has to go now and some significant trades and free agent signings must take place ASAP.

Hiring popular Trevor Linden to replace Gillis may be a great public relations move—but it will take much more to pull the club back into Stanley Cup contention.

•••

In the support your local musician category, local rock’n roll singer songwriter Jim LeGuilloux is doing very well in an online song writing contest and could use your vote support to move into the finals.

Jim’s original song Kaisha has advanced to the second round of the Searchlight 2014 contest.

He is now within the top 25 regional artists and wants to advance to the final 10. Standings are based on voting with the end of the current voting timeline this Sunday at noon B.C. time.

To vote go to CBC Music-Free Streaming Radio, Videos, Songs, Concerts and Playlists at music.cbc.ca. Look under Kelowna radio or type in Jim LeGuilloux’s name .

•••

Speaking of musicians, former star Okanagan rock drummer Don Burnett, also known for his gardening knowledge, Capital News garden column writing and numerous other skills, helped organize a rally last Saturday to rebuild the former aquatic facility in City Park.

Along with concept creator Brian Sprout and a couple of other long-time locals, Burnett managed to draw some 50 interested residents to the gathering.

Well done, boys.

Among those attending were current city councillor Colin Basran,  the only council representative to show up.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column regarding City Hall and city issues and gave the gears to Basran among others.

In fair comment, I tip my hat today to Basran for taking time out of his Saturday to take part in the last-minute gathering and sharing his private time.

•••

Seems the communications department at Kelowna City Hall has been given direction to craft a media rebuttal page on the city’s website, titled ‘Media Room.’

Under the For the Record category, the communications department now chooses to “set the record straight” on articles or opinions the city feels have factual errors.

I was directed to the site after a response was posted to my column which ran on the Capital News website March 21.

Among the comments posted included: “Hodge’s column suggests some election procedures or technical glitch affected the tally of votes during the 2011 municipal election. Your readers should know that election results were audited after the election and no irregularities were found.

“All of the polling station books were audited over a three-week period after the election by representatives of an unsuccessful candidate for office. There was no subsequent application to the city, or to the courts, for a recount, or a challenge to the election due to improper process…”

Apparently the city manager contacted the Capital News prior to the city’s web response, taking exception to the fact I had “blamed staff” for the alleged fiasco.

To clarify, I never stated that city staff directly manipulated the election results.

I have nothing but total respect for Kelowna deputy clerk Stephen Fleming and his superb policy and procedure staff.

In my three years on council, I found Stephen to be tremendously helpful, astute  and sharp as a tack regarding municipal guidelines, regulations, protocol, etc.

I often sought his knowledge and advice and, next to the amazing Jan Johnston, likely counted on Fleming the most for assistance, logic and process.

What I did suggest was some “disconcerting” things took place election day and during the election, and I still believe that.

I made it clear I did not suggest those concerns directly impacted my failure to secure a seat on council, but I do believe they may have impacted others.

For further clarification, I was not the election candidate that filed an official look at the results, but I find it interesting that someone did.

Clearly someone else also felt things were not quite right in Mudville.

 

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