By Charlie Hodge.

A true HodgePodge of issues within limited space. The majority of today’s column is not overly cheerful.

Foremost a sad farewell to Donna Horning and sincere condolences to friend Al Horning on the rapid downturn and subsequent death of his wife last week from cancer. Donna was not feeling great around Christmas and went into hospital on Dec.27. She died just four days later on Dec. 31.

“It was all very sudden,” Al told media members. Donna was 78.
Horning had a previous battle with cancer some five years ago, but seemed to have beaten it and was largely feeling well. A recent routine visit to the doctor resulted in discovery that the cancer had returned.

Donna and Al were an item since high school, married 59 years ago, and had three children.

As most readers are aware Al Horning is one of Kelowna’s better known and popular politicians, having served in all three political spheres: municipal, provincial and federal. Deepest sympathy and hugs Al.


Speaking of cancer and health issues a special smile and hug to my dear and long time friend Carol Taylor who is currently in a battle with the horrible disease. My positive energy and support goes out to you Carol.

A true advocate for peace, love, and tolerance Carol and I have known each other since she first arrived here in the Okanagan in 1970. Always feisty and close to the edge Carol believes in standing up to injustice and supporting human rights. (We battled 2-4,D, Roundup and Uranium mining issues together for several years). She is truly a wonderful, caring person that Kelowna should be proud to call one of our citizens. Hope things go well for you Carol.


I admit that perhaps I have lost all tolerance and use for the idiot but why do I feel that the recent violence and death in Iran began simply as a classic deflection play by U.S. President Donald Trump?

I maintain Trump’s ordered execution Jan. 2 of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite military force classic was more a strategic distraction move than a necessary action needed dealing with now. For several weeks the American news networks largely focused on the rapidly growing impeachment proceedings against Trump. Suddenly its hardly mentioned. It’s a classic deflection move. (When the kaka hits the fan, buy a new fan). As things escalate with Iran one can expect even more time and news will be deflected away from Trump’s corruption, manipulation and traitor like actions.

Just because Trump occasionally shows signs of being a moron he’s not totally stupid. Donald very well comprehends many Americans are fixated with war, especially if it involves Iran, the middle east, Korea, Russia, or China. To many of those riding the fence on his impeachment this latest headline grabbing killing of a foreign mad man makes their own mad man seem like a fearless leader.

Trump supposedly ordered the killing of Soleimani after the death of an American contractor in Iraq. Really? He goes to such length for one worker in Iraq after so many others have been ignored or conveniently forgot about? Hmm.

Regardless my greatest concern is this does not escalate into greater bloodshed and that Canadian troops over there are safe and come home.

I’m also saddened by the death of 63 Canadians in a plane crash near a runway in Iran Tuesday. I am hoping it has no connection to the Soleimani killing.


Congratulations Team Canada on a gold medal at the world junior hockey championship.

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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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