Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge

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I’m going to chalk it all up to heat inspired stupidity. I shudder to think such incidents could happen without a justification or reason. Certainly if I was a police officer or tow truck driver I would be shaking my head in disbelief.I make reference to a couple of collisions in the Kelowna area of recent – the most amusing (or at least mind-boggling) being a demolition run by a local driver earlier this week.According to RCMP a 61-year-old Kelowna man is responsible for an afternoon car collision cavalcade on Tuesday. The unidentified driver began his bump and run party in the Dilworth area of Glenmore and left a swath of battered reminders of his bad driving along the route.Said driver, operating a  Ford F150, began with a rear-end collision on Dilworth Drive nailing another vehicle from behind which had stopped in a traffic lineup in a construction area.Apparently after exchanging contact information with the owner of the vehicle he struck, the Ford driver then rear-ended the same vehicle a second time before leaving the scene.While fleeing at high speed the driver allegedly crashed into three other parked cars and then continued his chaotic course through a residential yard before reaching Bernard Avenue.Sadly not even a three-lane paved highway was room enough for the road barbarian. RCMP report the offender then collided with several poles, a sign post, and a gate. The driver then apparently made his way into a cemetery. It is unclear what, if any, damage occurred there.Mixed reports have been filed on the incident with a total of at least nine cars damaged before the chaos ended.The scenario finally concluded when police arrested the driver but not before he rear-ended yet another vehicle.Surprise, surprise,  police say they “detected signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication” from the driver and he was apprehended.He will have a chat with a judge on Nov. 7.RCMP are encouraging witnesses to contact the Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section at 250-980-5353.

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Speaking of an out-of-control collision course – is it just me or is anyone else beginning to be a little concerned about the presidential race going on south of the border?I admit to a lifetime lack of caring regarding US politics, however the absurdity and trepidation of a man like Donald Trump actually seeking the office of President has caught my attention. All joking aside there is much more at stake in this political race than the economic stability of America.There is no question our world already sits in a precarious position regarding world peace. Not only do we continue to have an unsettled Middle East, likewise there is great cause for concern by the actions of such countries as North Korea.Redneck, aggressive, and threatening comments and actions as predicated by the likes of the Donald place our world in a dangerous times. Those contentious issues are already disconcerting enough without inflaming them through bullish and childish comments and actions.Clearly it is those concerns amongst others that inspired or motivated current president Obama to speak out disapprovingly regarding Trump’s recent diatribes. It is rare for a sitting president to critique one running for office, however there is no question such admonishment is deserved and needed. Unfortunately, Trump is such a moron that he will simply step up his stupidity in reaction to Obama, instead of recognizing it is time to grow up and shut up.Trump is yet to comprehend the reality that for every action there is a reaction and that when you represent the voice of a nation – the nation will pay the price of your comments. Immature bully that he is, Trump seems incapable of recognizing that the world is a bigger place than he.The big question now is will American voters comprehend that enough is enough and Trump needs to be trumped?

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Last but not least I gather that Trump is not the only one having a hard time getting his act together. Seems Rio de Janeiro is having a rough time getting ready for the Summer Olympics.I struggle to comprehend how the organizing body of such an event could pick a country not financially or politically able to handle the needs, security, and finances to run such a gigantic event.It is clear from recent reports that residents of Brazil are already paying a tremendous price for the whole scheme of the giant sports event. While I am the first to admire and acknowledge the goodwill, fellowship, and understanding that such games can foster – they should never supersede the health (in all ways) of those countries.In addition, there are some serious concerns in Rio with security issues regarding combating terrorism. Allegedly the lack of funds and preparedness from a safety perspective are further cause for caution.It is a sad state of affairs when supposed peaceful sporting events are placed in significant jeopardy by those with evil intent. It is difficult to foster trust and friendship beneath the watchful eye of machine gun nests.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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