Email your letters to: letters@pentictonherald.ca

Youth had a shot at city council

Dear editor:

Re: “Losing mayor’s job hard, says Jakubeit,” Herald, A1, June 7

There is a time to be gracious and former Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit lost it when he said, “having one member under 60 on the current council is not a reflection of our community.”

Pentictonites tried voting for young people on council and found the cost too high in poor decision-making and failure of common sense.

However Jakubeit must be lauded for his part in bringing public consultation to a new level with Shape Your City.

While forced by previous rash actions, nevertheless it was an important and necessary adjunct to citizen involvement and democratic rule in Penticton.

A classic example of poor decision-making is Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt, who wants the municipal taxpayer off the hook for the cost of commemorative military events like Remembrance Day.

The yardstick to measure cost is whether it is a service to the community, the size of the turnout and whether local citizens have the right to expect their tax dollars be used to fund events that are important to them.

Isitt is bellyaching over $15,000 in a $20-million budget while failing to understand he expects the wrong people to pay for it.

Apparently the surrounding satellite regions use Victoria’s facilities and events at will.

As in Penticton, living in the satellite communities is a cheap way to use recreational services and keep taxes low if you can get away with it.

Victoria like Penticton needs to ensure that the satellite communities are paying their fair share of the costs of events and recreational facilities that are there for the common good.

Isitt can’t see the forest for the trees. The satellite communities owe the City of Victoria for the use of their facilities the same as the satellites surrounding Penticton should be paying their fair share based on population for their use of our facilities.

Many of Penticton’s current council were elected on their promise to rectify this wrong.

Isitt should forget about the feds and concentrate on giving the citizens of his city a break by ensuring that the satellites pay their fair share of the costs.

Elvena Slump


Nanaimo Square belongs to public

Dear editor:

I understand why it is not wise to allow sitting or lying on the sidewalks in the city,  especially the downtown core.

That’s just common sense.

But to cordon off Nanaimo Square for use only by one business to me smacks of what the city almost allowed with Skaha Park.

That’s a pretty little spot in the downtown core that should be accessible to all.

Stuart Gorner


Seniors’ Week was just the start

Dear editor:

Penticton’s inaugural Seniors’ Week has come to a close with smiles and wonderful memories. 

As we look back at more than 40 events and activities, we are thrilled that attendance exceeded all expectations.

Thanks to the tremendous support of guest speakers, retirement residences, community organizations and facilities as well as many sponsors and donors, Penticton Senior’s Week was able to recognize local area seniors and thank them for their many contributions to our community.

Particular thanks to Mayor John Vassilaki and city council as well as city staff for the grant and in-kind contributions that helped launch the first Penticton Seniors Week celebrations.

We especially appreciate the support of city staff during the early planning.

The kindness and support from our sponsors and donors provided seniors with opportunities to meet new people, learn new skills and enjoy special outings for little or no cost.

Thank you to everyone who made these wonderful activities possible.

Our organization will continue to pursue an age-friendly city designation for Penticton and we are committed to finding more opportunities to engage area seniors in ways that will enrich their lives and strengthen our community.

Thanks to the success of the first ever Penticton Seniors’ Week, we are brimming with ideas and optimism.

Elmie Saaltink and Mignonne Wood

Penticton Seniors’ Community Action Committee

Carbon tax could see better use

Dear editor:

We are all hearing about the amount of plastic in our oceans and landfills.

I, for one, have been very careful about recycling, and did not realize that after all my work to ready the plastic for recycling it was just being thrown into the dump or the ocean.

I understood that the countries that were buying our plastic waste were doing so to produce items made from waste and create industry for their people.

I had no idea it was being dumped in the ocean.

My point though is why not recycle the plastic here?

We are paying a carbon tax to the federal government which they pay back to us, it just doesn't make any sense. Why not use that money to build recycling plants here?

I expect they would not be profitable, but would get our own plastic and other waste cleaned up.

The expense to the government to collect and then redistribute the carbon tax money couldn't cost any less.

These are just my thoughts.

Jennifer McLeod


How many times do we apologize?

Dear editor:

How many apologies will it take before problems from the past regarding indigenous history goes away?

Many of us were children who suffered at the hands of our own people and have received little, if any, apologies.

Today a person doesn't have to be a Rhodes Scholar or a saint to smell what appears to be fowl political air here in Canada.

Fighting the impossible task to change the climate is one thing, but maybe eliminating all that stinks in politics would at least clear the air we breathe.

Whom will I vote for in the next federal election?

Likely no party as sometimes a change isn’t as good as a rest, unless all the political outhouses are emptied and sanitized.

Perhaps then I will dive in to vote or do my business.

Tom Isherwood


Russia AWOL for D-Day event

Dear editor:

While watching the ceremonies of

D-Day’s 75th anniversary televised from England and France, it pleased me that major emphasis was put on the few hundred remaining veterans who were present.

All were in their 90s, of course, and I remembered my own father who was a sapper in the Royal Engineers, and part of the British Army force which landed on Gold Beach in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

He died 50 years ago, and never talked very much about his service in the Second World War; that’s not unusual for many veterans who experienced the horrors of war.

Along with the Queen and Prince Charles were government representatives from the UK, U.S., Canada, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Australia, New Zealand and Germany.

All those countries had roles in the war, but none suffered as many casualties as the USSR. According to some records, as many as 11 million Soviet soldiers died in combat, and as many as 15 million civilians perished, many of whom were victims of disease and starvation.

Yet, despite these staggering numbers, there was nobody to represent Russia in Portsmouth.  Maybe organizers wanted to stress the importance of NATO and the unification of Europe following the war, or maybe President Putin's unpopularity in the West played a part in his absence.

Bernie Smith