Propaganda from Teachers’ Union

Dear Editor:

Now I’ve seen it all!

James Miller, the self-appointed or newly- recruited spokesman for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation comes out against the province- wide Grades 4 and 7 student tests conducted every year in British Columbia in his editorial of June 28.   

And every year, as regular as every year before, the Teachers Fed comes out with their litany of accusations that the tests are invalid and are biased because of socio-economic conditions variances from one district to another. 

Besides that, the tests are invalid because the private schools, which often rank higher than the government-run schools, don’t play fair. The Fed complains that private schools do not allow lower achieving or “problem” students to enroll and they do not allow what lower-achieving students they have to write the tests.

Their complaints are full of inaccuracies, innuendo, half-truths and blatant lies.

Now, we all know that students’ academic performance reflects the quality of teaching they are provided. This fact is the one less often (never) cited by the Fed for differences in student performance from one school to the next, but it’s one we parents see all the time and which never gets the publicity it deserves.

We get that from them every year.

But now, they have James Miller to present their case, as lame as it ever was. Rather disgusting I would say.

Who am I?

A dad, who at age 60, adopted my grandson, and for 13 years attended every PAC meeting (as treasurer most years) and observed both student and teacher performances.  

Unfortunately, most working parents do not have the time or interest to look more closely into the education of their students. 

Too bad — it would be good to have more parents involved.

John Rempel

West Kelowna

The new math from BC Housing

Dear Editor:

There is an article about the homeless situation in Penticton which reports that in April 2018, the provincial government funded a study and determined that the homeless population in the City was 108 (Herald, June 26).

Adding up the number of units which were to be provided through BC Housing by the spring of this year, there were 222 units to be built or provided by the conversion of a former motel

That is the only one which has in fact opened and provides 24 shelter beds and 40 transition homes. I assume the shelter beds are for people needing a place on an emergency basis.

Is there any reason why BC Housing would provide 222 units after having estimated the number of people needing a home was 108?

One can assume that they reasonably projected an increase by the time the units were to be finished a year later, but more than twice as many?

There is obviously an urgent need for housing for the homeless in the entire Okanagan and I believe that tax funds for the provision of extra units in Penticton could have better been spent in some other communities.

Robert Mason


BC Housing plan disastrous

Dear Editor:

The BC Housing initiatives to help the homeless is a one-size-fits-all disaster. It’s no wonder so many people are demonstrating in frustration.

If you are homeless and penniless, you need food and a safe place to sleep. If you are mentally ill, you need a home with psychological support and medications.

If you are seriously drug-addicted, you need a home that provides drugs and keeps others safe from you.

However, if you put all these people in the same facility, you are instilling fear, creating more addicts and making matters worse.

If you are none of the aforementioned but seize the opportunity to sell drugs to the disadvantaged, then you are an a--hole and need to go to jail.

Michael Neill


Amusement park designation works

Dear Editor:

Penticton is one of the 10 best places in the world to visit, according to a survey of Facebook users by the online publication The Huffington Post.

The publication says it analyzed more than 200-million comments and other travel references on the social network site to come up with the list.

The article says Penticton — nestled in the Okanagan Valley about a five hour drive east of Vancouver — is becoming a year-round vacation hot spot with its beautiful beaches, a blossoming wine industry and many outdoor activities.

Not to minimize the appeal of the beaches, wine industry and other outdoor

activities, an attraction that has been in the news as of late is Coyote Cruises. This attraction has been here for decades and always draws people from all parts of everywhere.

At present, this attraction is going through a reimaging.

The modus operandi will be entirely different. There is a joint venture between the Penticton Indian Band and private investors.

In light of the reimaging, the group has applied for a 20-year lease from city council.

There have been meetings and open houses thus far through the process. There may be sentiment out there that says that 20 years is too long.

Others say that this would be great especially if it were to come to fruition where taxpayer dollars would not come into play. Granting a lease would allow for significant future development to enhance the attraction.

Recently, there has been much ado about public park commercial development. This concern need not be felt if the city were to rezone from a P2 designation to an amusement park designation.

Included in that amusement park title could be, Loco Landing; the skateboard park and Coyote Cruises. Amusement park would take away any concerns of public park status.

The city would benefit from collectivizing these venues as an amusement park. It could be advertised collectively as an amusement park and the venues would probably see more tourists than they have in the past.

Think of it this way. Here is a local tourist attraction reimaged that will, undoubtedly, bring more tourist traffic and promote fond memories at no taxpayer dollar expense. City pundit ... are you listening?

Ron Barillaro


Citizens frustrated by increased crime

Dear Editor:

Reading Karl Crosby’s letter (Herald, July 26), all I could think was, “That’s my letter,” or at least the one I should have been writing. Every sentence of his was exactly what I have been thinking and what I have posting on Facebook.

Thank you, Mr. Crosby for saying publicly what so many of us are thinking.

And this after reading the article about “vigilantism” by our top cop in the same section and on the same day. Here we go, love the sinner, hate the sinned against.

What the article said to me was that we should thank the people who are not only breaking into private buildings and property, stealing from us, but we should also do their job of policing for them. All this while the police monitor the frustration expressed by people on the blog and warn that vigilantism will have charges against the people that might possibly perpetrate it.

C’mon, Supt. Ted De Jager!

Get those boys in blue out on the street to stop all this theft, not sitting in the office monitoring people’s Facebook posts that are merely venting the huge frustration that the law-abiding people of this town are trying to hold in. If you have actually been monitoring blogs, you will know that all we ask is that the police have a presence out on the street. Holding the hand of the people that are doing the crimes is not police work. Leave that to the social services.

Do your job. That’s all we ask.

Ruth Duff


Electric vehicles are impractical

Dear Editor:

Jim Church raised some good points about electric vehicles in his letter to the editor (Herald, July 27).

Not only will all hydro users subsidize EVs in providing charging stations and highly-subsidized electricity. These vehicles also escape the road taxes that all other motorists pay at the pump.

If the majority were to convert to EVs, where will all the money for road improvements come from?

On another note, it is claimed that the super fast-charging stations take about 20 to 30 minutes to get a reasonable charge. Should be interesting when we get to around 20,000 EVs in Kelowna. Where will they all get charged?

It costs over $1,000 currently to install a home charger and that only works if you have access at your residence. Just imagine the lineups at charging stations compared to the fuel stations we have today, many with eight or more pumps and still have lineups. Each vehicle taking at least 20 minutes one should pack a lunch.

BC Hydro claims they have enough charging stations for motorists from Kelowna going to the coast would not have to worry.  I have serious doubts about that based on the ones I have seen. We don’t have enough rest stops let alone charging stations.

Gord Marshall


We can learn so much from elders

Dear Editor:

We are being tyrannized by youth culture. Have you noticed the internet is a clogged quagmire? Humans can’t digest staccato images, commercials that cause ADHD in the old as well as the young, voice-to-skull technology.

We are not able to relax anymore. That will kill us faster than anything. Those perpetuating it may be what used to be called the “suits”. Now the suits are ugly, skinny, and stick to the body, but stale control freaks they remain ... good music was taken out long time ago in public places — either co-opted, or remade. You can’t hear easy listening music without John Tesh telling you what to do every five minutes or a DJ commenting how they loved the ‘80s.

Just listen.

Generation X was the pinnacle of carefree existence. Cheap and good haircuts, breathable clothes. To move in. Energy to take on the world. The ‘90s brought in grunge and clothing that was sticky to your body and made from recycled garbage. The agenda was to forever label the ‘80s “cheezy.”

Now of course, we have a backlash and it’s going to get worse. As the Gen Xers had children and now grandchildren, we have an entitled group of humanity that is lost and not asking for directions.

“The Simpsons” depicted it long ago when a character didn’t even know whether he was being sarcastic anymore.

The word economy should mean to people frugality, thrift, using your faculties to make ends meet and the dignity that one can engender in oneself.

Economy is now a juggernaut.

We need to respect the elders... and I don’t mean jack-hammering wheelchair access all over town. The ageing of the future will hopefully wake up before wine tours is all that gets them through. They may not want to see what culture has become.

We already have everything mankind needs to know. As we look forward into our dystopian future with no grades for children in our schools, yet traumatic images in their books, desensitizing and even credit card lifestyle. As the artificial intimacy of the cell phone and dangling moving invasions into our eyeballs wreak their effects, we will do well to turn our attention to what is of utmost importance.

Our elders.

Our relationship with them, and them with us. Perhaps end the division of generation gap, as it’s mostly the pawn of advertising.

Look to experience, remembering rightly, sifting the useful and the useless.

Even wolves respect their elders.

Susan Sayer

West Kelowna

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