Why crime is on the rise in B.C.

Dear Editor:

People in general are becoming very concerned and upset by the marked increase in criminal activity and general vagrancy and vandalism, and in certain centres are blaming the mayors and setting up picket lines.

We know that similar problems exist in Penticton which are also very costly for the taxpaying public.

In actual fact, the pickets should be located in the Parliament buildings in both Ottawa and Victoria where the federal and provincial government offices are located.

The mayors can do only so much, and the problem has been downloaded on them by policies that have been developed over many years at those higher levels, and it is only getting worse.

Basically we are attacking the symptoms of a range of other social problems that have developed over time such as:

1. The justice system has been revised by governments to the point where it is both costly and ineffective — almost useless. The time and cost to get any criminal incarcerated is excessive, and the sentence given (if, in fact, there is one) is minimal.

The police basically run a catch-and- release program, where the criminal is in the front door and shortly out the back door to commit further crimes. A lot of this stems from the human rights initiative that in certain areas is overdone. Over the years people have lost any sense of responsibility for their actions.

2. The parole system is far too lenient, with criminals being released only to reoffend.

3. The police policy of the RCMP to suspend a member with pay is ridiculous and the time to make a final determination of innocence is far too long (in a case in Osoyoos, a member was suspended for two years with pay, and then the case dropped.) That suspended member results in one less active law enforcement officer to counteract crime.

4. The mental health institutions were basically shut down in B.C. years ago and the mentally ill put out on the streets to fend for themselves and make up part of the problem group.

5. The system to fight addiction to drugs is ineffective and enabling.

6. Wage disparity and poverty of the working poor. Children raised in poverty are disadvantage and statistically more end up in the problem groups.

7. Governments encourage people to gamble because they themselves have become addicted to their profit share from  the people’s losses. Some addicted gamblers sign agreements to not be allowed to enter gaming establishments, but reportedly are rarely refused entrance.

Claude Bergman


Elvis Festival is king with Hospice Society

Dear Editor:

The Penticton & District Hospice Society would like to express gratitude to Margaret Ashley and all members of the Penticton Elvis Society and our volunteers for their support.

PDHS would also like to extend a special thank you to the enthusiastic crowd that attended the Elvis Gospel event in Penticton on Sunday morning in Gyro Park and generously donated close to $2,700.

The funds will help ensure that people on the palliative program receive exceptional and compassionate care at Moog & Friends Hospice House or in their own home as they are nearing life’s end.

Catey Brenton, Administrator

Penticton & District

Hospice Society

Inmates have taken over the asylum

Dear Editor:

Good Lord, the inmates have taken over the asylum!

I seldom, if ever, have written one letter a year to the editor, but this week it is two in one week.

I read with horror the report of the meeting between Interior Health and Penticton city council by Melanie Eksal (Herald, July 3). By my count, the number of needles per person that IH gives out is almost 350 needles per year.

And 1-in-10% of those are never returned. That makes it upwards of 16,000 needles that never get returned.

Can this be correct?

Mathematics was never my best subject. If so, this means that in a city of 35,000 people there are approximately 16,000 possible needles laying around the beaches, parks and schools.

But it’s “not their job" to pick them up or ensure that our children or visitors won’t be stuck with them unaware. What on earth are we paying these people for?

But oh, Interior Health has “plans”. They are “planning” to work with the SDs to have the needles cleaned up and “address concerns.” More sharp bins are “going to be installed” ... in the "near future.”

I guess IH is taking a page from the RCMP’s playbook — ignore the mess and then demand the city and the SDs clean it up.

Ruth Duff


Summerland lacking an expert opinion

Dear Editor:

In 2016, the District of Summerland was successful in obtaining grant funding through the provincial Rural Dividend Fund ($100,000) to undertake an initial investigation into the feasibility of a solar energy project.

Funding from this program allowed the district to hire industry experts to assist with a review of possible locations and to provide analysis of the technical and financial feasibility of a solar energy generation project.

After reading the two available reports (a third is pending) I have had several concerns regarding this venture.

There is no expert opinion in any of the reports that show how the Summerland integrated solar project will result in a significant decrease in GHG emissions.

Why not? Where are the projected savings to the ratepayer?

A secondary property was not analyzed for comparison because staff had determined the other properties did not meet the “desktop analysis” for a solar site. Where is the expert opinion on this?

One report considered another site.

But, no further reference is made. The preferred site recommended by staff is in the urban growth area.

The rationale by staff is that it is not “an ideal location for future residential or commercial development due to distance from town, schools, walkable amenities, etc’.” Yet one only has to look at West Kelowna on the west side of Okanagan Lake and they have managed quite successfully to build on a rock mountain with steep slopes. Anything can be done with money.

I don’t feel a public consultation of 100 people (of 11,000) is a true representation.

Did any of us who took science classes simply rely on the data from one experiment? No, we had to — at least I did — repeat it several times to see if our data was correct. But does anyone do that today?

Or should one “experiment” be good enough and we’ll just use the facts and figures, as presented.

While I support the Green initiative and feel solar power is becoming better managed and certainly more affordable, I get the feeling I am being manipulated and misled. If, as council has stated, they are committed to good governance shouldn’t that also require a comparison analysis of another suitable site?

Mary-Anne MacDonald


How honest are the lotteries?

Dear Editor:

I regularly pay a voluntary tax on suckers. It’s also referred to as a tax on people who are bad at math. I mean of course, playing the lottery.

I know when I do so that every combination of numbers stands a chance of approximately 1-in-10 billion of occurring. The odds for any combination are the same.

But wait! Is the system gaming the players? Is there a computer checking to make sure that the numbers drawn are not held on any ticket? Of course, that is the case.

It is being done by the CIA and the KGB, who report to alien lizard overlords who are scamming the whole lottery thing to fund an invasion to install a colonial global government.

Ron Smuin


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