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Recently, a woman got trapped in a donation box in Toronto and died. A week earlier, a man died in a West Vancouver donation box. The media found that since 2015, eight people have died trying to get inside these clothing bins.
Critics called the bins “death traps.” A witness to the Toronto woman’s death said, “She was just utterly pinned in there… It was like an animal trap designed not to release her.”
In a collection of panicky responses, West Vancouver ordered all donation bins in the city locked. Vancouver considered banning them completely. Diabetes Canada decided to retrofit all of its 4000 clothing donation bins across the country. Burnaby called for the removal of all bins.
All of which seems to imply that hundreds of charities – national, regional, or local – are at fault for risking the public’s health.
No one seems to be asking why the public is getting into the bins anyway.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Lake Country, Thrift Shop, Food Bank, theft
This is the 1172th column I have written for the Lake Country Calendar newspaper. In the autumn of 1995, Jack McCarthy called me. “How’d you like to write a column for us?” he asked.
That’s how it began.
Jack was the owner and publisher of The Calendar, a weekly newspaper serving the four small unincorporated communities of Winfield, Okanagan Centre, Oyama, and Carr’s Landing.
The Calendar hadn’t always been a newspaper. It has started as, quite literally, a calendar of local events, started by the Women’s Institute in 1951 and published monthly -- several sheets of letter-size paper, mimeographed and stapled.
Jack McCarthy and a partner bought the old Calendar, and turned it into a weekly newspaper. He risked investing in typesetting equipment. For a former plumber, a Nashville musician (who for a while had the great Chet Atkins as backup guitarist!), and a man who planned to be a psychiatric nurse, it was a whole new career.
But he turned the Calendar into much more than just a newspaper.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Jack McCarthy, Calendar, Lake Country, newspapers