Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge – June 27th

Today’s column may smack of being all over the emotional map, from delightfully hard to believe – to perplexingly hard to comprehend. Sort of a Hodgpodge Microcosm of life.Despite the reality it’s a definite indication I am no longer a spring chicken, I was blessed with the honour of becoming a great grandfather earlier this week. On Tuesday, granddaughter Chelsea gave birth to seven-pound, 12 ounce Arya Rae.Teresa and I managed to meet the little bundle of joy Wednesday.Marvelling over the squirming, gurgling, smiling wee Arya I found it boggling to comprehend it’s been more than 21 years since the day Chelsea entered my world -looking much the sameWhile there is no genetic link granddaughter Chelsea has meant much to me in the way of a personal validation for my existence as a mentor and a protector. She is, in many ways, my living legacy of lineage and life. On Tuesday, that whole life chain lengthened another link.Congratulations to Chelsea and daddy Connor as a new and marvellous chapter in their life begins,***Further congratulations and best wishes to good friends Cindy and Pete Clarke who tied the wedding knot June 15.Friends and relatives from around the country took part in the couple’s beautiful outdoor ceremony at in Oyama, followed by a reception and celebration in Rutland.Apparently the newlyweds have formed a recent attachment to collecting garden gnomes, and received quite a number as gag wedding gifts. Anyone missing any gnomes from their Rutland gardens may want to call them.All the best to two of the best.***From relationships destined for long and joyful memories – to one that is likely to turn into a disaster quickly – one must seriously contemplate the rational (or lack of) behind the Vancouver Canucks  hiring John Tortorella as their new head coach,Many fans who loudly protested the move announced Tuesday say the hiring is only further proof that Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis is the one who should have lost his job last month – not former head coach Alain Vigneault.I find the move disappointing and a major blunder that signals and it may be time for me to toss away my Canuck fan club card and give up the dream of watching the Stanley Cup in GM Place.John Tortorella is a Jerk with a capital J.The only guy currently in the NHL on the same obnoxious level of rudeness and throwback is Mr. Mouth himself – Don Cherry.Ironically, Tortorella leaves the New York Rangers as a replacement for Vigneault.  Vigneault was hired last week as Tortorella’s replacement in New York.***Just when most British Columbians figured things could not get a whole lot weirder in the world of BC politics, things just got weirder.Instead of a one or two horse race it seems a small percentage of the entire eligible voter population in the West Kelowna/Kelowna by-election riding have joined the fray. A total of eight folks have filed papers to take part in the upcoming by election – which pretty well makes a quagmire of the whole election.I find it boggling and disappointing.While I am a huge supporter of the democratic process, and encourage people to get involved – I also believe that running for political office at any level should involve some serious consideration and logic.I am sure most of the candidates have entered with the genuine desire to make a difference – however some are likely involved as a lark or some form of odd protest vote.Recently I suggested Christy Clark could be defeated on the long shot that a very high profile independent candidate were to take part.What we now have is a well known reigning premier versus a recognized NDP and Conservative candidate, and five relatively unknown or unsuccessful independent candidates. Some might suggest it’s become a bit of a circus, which most pundits suggest only assists the incumbent – or in this case – Christy.When candidates take part in an election with little or no local political experience and actually expect to win a job such as Mayor or an MLA it borders on possible naivety or arrogance, and seems more self-centered than actually a concern for the community.If Castanet’s election polls are any indication Clark seems pretty safe.That poll shows 49.7 per cent of respondents saying they would choose Clark, compared to 39.38 per cent support for NDP Carole Gordon. Independent candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk is third with 5.92 per cent of the poll and Sean Upshaw of the Conservative Party ended up with 2.43 per cent.The other four candidates vying for the seat did not crack the one per cent mark. They are Korry Zepik, Jag Bhandari of BC Vision; John Marks, and Silverado Socrates.If the upcoming by-election has much chance of changing anything I suggest at least one or two candidates will need to step aside before Election Day.

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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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