Email your letters to: letters@pentictonherald.ca

Fires should be hit hard and fast

Dear editor:

As the widow of a B.C. Forest Service firefighter and also a resident of this area since 1950, my concern is over the government's current policy for handling forest fires.

In the past, the fires were hit fast and hard, necessitating using few pieces of equipment, far less resources and relatively small suppression crews. Now, instead of sending a small crew to extinguish fires in their early stages, the government policy seems to be to put fires on hold until they have grown large enough to necessitate plenty of equipment, manpower and support management.

Evidence is the Richter Pass fire, which is over 403 hectares, requiring 140-plus fire fighters, helicopters, water bombers and plenty of overseeing personnel and resources. Also adding smoke contamination to the Valley,

disruption of traffic and services and it could have resulted in possible loss of property or life, as has been the history of fires the last number of years.

Over the past few years the history shows it is obvious this current policy is not beneficial. So, is this one of the ways the current government is using to create employment? My tax dollars at work!

It is time for other concerned persons to speak out.

Joanne Grimaldi


Life’s a beach at new tent city

Dear editor:

Herald reporter Melanie Eksal wrote (July 24, A1) that the tent city across from the Penticton RCMP station has mysteriously vanished. Let me spare you the trouble of looking for this special little city and of believing what bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert said to you that the group members have split up and gone their separate ways.

Look no further than the lovely, heretofore unspoiled beach a few yards beyond the Penticton Tennis Club. The city has given this beach to the vagrant community, so I am told by one of them moving in yesterday. Yes, given! 

I have seen dozens of young vagrants with their bikes and tents and huge bags of paraphernalia moving in. I even saw a couple coming in a taxi. Would I, a taxpaying, elderly woman go there now to walk my dog and read my book by the water? 

The beach is already littered with broken glass, cigarette butts and plastic, now added to the abomination of nature will be needles embedded in the sand.

I saw two RCMP officers come to check out the scene. They walked no further than the first tent, about 250 feet from the tennis court, and then left. How lucky can you get to get free exclusive camping on a beautiful beach and probably enough money from the province to support a sublime summer free of responsibility and work and all your friends can come and party with you?

My own family history includes grandparents who, during the Depression, were on welfare for a brief time.  In order to collect that dollar, the men had to go to work daily on park projects. 

My grandfather helped to build the exquisite and large rock gardens in Hamilton, both a tourist attraction and a place for newlyweds to bring their families for photos. It helped him maintain his dignity and he never

complained that his human rights were being violated in order to deserve that money for his family. He was grateful.

I think the solution that city council has come up with is both ignorant and cowardly.  And it now robs me in my retirement of a peaceful place to go in safety. Families beware, do not take your children to this beach this weekend. It is no longer yours to enjoy as a citizen of Penticton.

Patricia Kristie


Do the crime, pay with time

Dear editor:

One expensive manhunt for two British Columbia homicide suspects.

It certainly not an impossible thought to think the alleged suspects if indeed found guilty in their own heart and mind decide to take the easy way out.

I ended my career working behind the razor wire surrounding a federal Institution. For many years I supervised some of Canada’s worst offenders.

Just think if you were sentenced to life in Stanley Park where you were free to roam, eat steak and lobster everyday and sleep in a feather bed. The catch being you could never leave the park boundaries or you would be shot on sight.

How long would it take before you longed for the freedom to roam outside the confines of the park?

In prison, danger lurks for the meek who can’t defend against those inmates who control life in a living unit made of concrete.  Serving a life term or a few years is no picnic when a choice to live or die can become a lonely decision.

Tom Isherwood


Pendulum has swung too far

Dear editor:

Back in the day there were political and citizen groups determined to make changes to everyone’s lives. Movements formed to bring about advances in human rights, women’s reproductive rights, homosexual rights, to end the Vietnam War and to eliminate racial segregation.

Myriad institutional changes that many take for granted today began taking root about 60 years ago. Some things moved at quite a rapid pace, while others took longer to become acceptable as the “new normal.”

An easy example is climate change; anyone who dares question what a self-proclaimed environmental expert dictates is immediately labeled a Climate Change Denier.

Then comes the delicate topic of sexuality, which has expanded to encompass an alphabet of preferences referred to as LGBTTIQQ2SA. It apparently stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Two-Spirit, Asexual.

If any perplexed person dares to question any of these terms, they are immediately labelled Homophobic Bigots. Same label is attached to anyone foolish enough to wonder out loud why pride parade organizers eliminate groups — such as uniformed police officers, for example —   whom they deem unsuitable participants in a parade that is supposed to honour inclusivity.

In the little city where I live, there’s a large berm just across the highway from the RCMP detachment, where the city plants a flower bed with a different intricate design each year.

This year it has five or six panels of pictographs of male figures, like those symbols used on public washroom doors, they appear to be holding hands in what might be referred to as a daisy-chain. This magnificent floral display may possibly be something to do with gay pride, but I’m afraid to ask, as it may hurt somebody’s feelings.

Bernie Smith