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One Pleasant Day

From: "D. O.


    "Donna Jones",

Subject: "One Pleasant Day"

Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 12:55:53 -0700

Honourable John van Dongen
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E2

Dear Mr. van Dongen,
I haven't received a reply to my e-mail to you sent 7/25/2002 (copy at bottom). The problems continue! Is anybody listening?

We had a rare experience yesterday. My notes show "a pleasant day" referring to no bothersome cannons (heard from our position) blasting outside of your published guidelines. Since my last note to you, I have heard another 10 cannon excursions outside of your guidelines -- that is 10 in 13 days! With so many farms within earshot (BVD indicates 40 farms), I cannot comment on a frequency problem, but cannons before 6:30 AM and after 8:00 PM are easily noted and are our main irritation. During the mentioned 13 days, we did spend 3 days and 2 QUIET nights on Vancouver Island. Over there they do sell blueberries, but no one knows what a propane cannon is! Then this morning -- I was awakened at 2:12 AM with cannons which lasted until about 3:40 AM. (single shot every 3 to 4 minutes)

Then a (different) very loud cannon at 5:30 AM followed by another blast at 5:40 AM. This seems to come from the large farm on the east side of 168 St. at about 33rd. This farm has no mailbox number or sign for identification. Since this farm houses blueberry pickers out back in a separate building, what are the chances these two explosions are "wake-up calls" for the workers?

Concerning your 64 page THE USE OF AUDIBLE BIRD SCARE DEVICES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA IN 2001: Recommendations can be found starting on page 54 through page 60. I suggest you read them again. NOTHING has been done as promised!

What I found interesting -- Bert Van Dalfsen at MAFF has told a friend "that according to a North American survey the average crop loss was 10% on acreages that used no nets or bird scare devices". Nowhere in the 64 page report did I find that statistic! How convenient! In the report, BVD writes that there are increasing acreages of blueberries, while the starling, the main preditor of the crops, is declining. Are cannons really necessary then? Or is it a competition amongst some of the farmers to see who can make the most noise and annoy the most residents? Personally, I compare it to "dogs pissing on fire hydrants"!

Mr. Minister, you did mention back in April that your memory span was 3 days -- should I resend this to you over the week-end if I haven't heard back from you?

D. O.
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