Letters to the Editor

Promote trades to youth
The Record – 12 Apr 2006

Editor, The Record: Over the last year, my brother Ramon and I have donated over $4,000 in cash and labour to the NWSS drag racing team. The program is operated as an extracurricular activity through the NWSS automotive shop class. The auto shop instructor and a now-retired NWSS staff member volunteer their time and money to ensure the success of this program.

As a drag racer, I was recently asked to attend a race and help the students with some on-track instruction. While at the track, I was introduced to a member of the parents’ advisory council. He thanked me for my assistance and said that my efforts would really help these kids at risk. He went on to explain that kids involved in vocational programs are at greater risk of getting involved with drugs and alcohol. This may or may not be true, but I can guarantee that the kids who drop out of school are at the greatest risk.

The demand for trades people has never been greater. The trades are a legitimate, honourable alternative to a career as a professional. As the service manager of a large equipment distributor, I have hired two apprentices in the last year, both graduates of NWSS. As a graduate of NWSS, I have seen a steady decline in trades training at the high school. The proposed space for the auto shop in the new school is almost non-existent. We have to reverse this trend.

Are kids involved in the trades at risk? You bet: They’re at risk of earning a good living.

Brad Porcellato, New Westminster

BIAs are just another added tax
New West Record, February 5, 2014

Dear Editor:
Business Improvement Associations: The good, the bad, the ugly!

As a businessman I’ve paid little to no attention to BIAs. For starters, I’m in business to make money. My efforts to satisfy customers are fiscally motivated.

I’m not in business to build a better community, or assist with the cost of municipal renovations, or supplement the cost of policing, etc.

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that those things have nothing to do with business, unless it can be proved that they contributed to the bottom line.

James Crosty has voiced multiple concerns (Uptown plan raises too many questions, In My Opinion, The Record, Jan. 31). So he, and all business persons, should. A few minutes spent researching BIAs from their humble beginnings in a Toronto suburb in 1968 to the bloated beasts they’ve become, yield few business cases to support their existence.

The good: Plenty of well-attended festivals of food, drink and music to rave about, but did the profits generated cover the tax increases to business?

The bad: BIAs are a not-so-clever way of shifting the tax base. Decorative lighting, landscaping and artsy banners on lamp posts are great, but how did they become the responsibility of the business community? Shouldn’t those costs be borne by all taxpayers?

The ugly: Well, that’s the truth as usual. The best way to improve business is to let business figure it out for themselves. Some complain about cheque cashing services, while others go on about dollar stores. Like it or not, folks, business knows more about this fine city than you do.

When we change, so will business. There is no amount of landscaping or fancy sidewalk pavers that will change that reality.

New West has the good fortune of having a fabulous urban garage winery, Pacific Breeze. When was the last time you picked up a bottle of their Killer Cab? I was excited to learn that Steel & Oak will be continuing on with the Royal City’s history of brewing beer. Will you join me in supporting them?

Loyalty is given, not taken. Taxation weakens business. It’s only we, the collective us, that strengthens it.

Brad Porcellato, New Westminster

The Hyack debate: Put me in the plaid coat camp
New West Record, October 8, 2013

“I want a Hyack that represents New Westminster in a modern, meaningful way,” and I want a unicorn that farts rainbows and sh**s gold nuggets.

Patrick Johnstone did a fabulous job producing Hyack, one of his recent blog topics. I read, then reread his Coles notes version of the Hyack fiasco with great interest. He was careful not to stir the proverbial pot, but that is exactly what’s happening with Hyack.

In my opinion Hyack should remain steeped in tradition. Put me in the plaid coat camp. Attempts to modernize Hyack should be resisted. The contingent that suggests the latter increasingly pisses me off. They seem to envision a loosely organized, ever-changing community network.

I’ve lived in New Westminster for 47 of my 48 years, I’m not part of the community. I’m a resident.

“Community” suggests that we all agree and get along. We don’t.

I’ve always felt like Hyack was my hometown’s last bastion of Anglo-Saxon conservative history. The last 40 years of socialism are a mere blip on our city’s historical radar.

It appears that Hyack is under attack. The NextNW, “how to win friends and influence people” types have an agenda. The problem? It isn’t mine.

I hope Hyack finds the strength to admit who they really are.

I hope the old guard stands firm and rebuts this infiltration.

Plaid coats won’t be in style 100 years from now, either, but the values the wearers of those coats impart on the city will be.

Brad Porcellato, New Westminster

Royal City Record, December 28, 2012

Dear Editor:

Chuck Puchmayr’s letter, The Port Mann: A bridge too far (Dec. 24) failed to recognize what appears to be obvious to me and many others: the likely construction of the Stormont Connector.

One would think he would welcome these transportation infrastructure improvements with opens arms as they help to increase productivity without punishing labour. If I were him I’d be assisting with the selection of attractive noise abatement panels that will eventually line McBride Boulevard.

Brad Porcellato, New Westminster

Back to Curriculum Vitae

Porcellato Engineering, (aka porcellato.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.