Letters to the Editor

Write: letters@pentictonherald.ca, 400 words or less.

Free speech, but to a point

Dear Editor:

Thank you, James Miller for taking a stand for public health by calling out the irresponsible behavior and messaging of the anti-maskers (Herald editorial, Dec. 15).

Were it not for the potential this disease has to overwhelm our medical-care system, their right to free speech and assembly would be acceptable and even welcomed. Alas, we face a public health emergency and the collapse of hospitals under the sheer weight of the numbers of seriously ill people.

At the same time, medical professionals who staff those hospitals are falling ill from COVID-19, overwork, depression and burn-out.

It is time for everybody to pull together: to mask-up, keep distance, disinfect, help others, feed the poor, help house the homeless and support public health.

Canadians have only to look south to see the results of mixed messages: selfishness, libertarian focus, adherence to conspiracy theory. The richest nation in the world has the world’s worst record in dealing with the pandemic. It is not that they lack resources, scientists, technology, intelligence or common sense. They have all those and still the world’ worst record.

Now, Canada’s anti-mask freedom fighters want Canada to be like our American neighbors and rush madly off in all directions. Nonsense!

Keep writing, James. Keep getting the word out. We need another hundred days of self-discipline, of public-health restrictions and concern for each other to get through to the point where vaccines begin to blunt the force of this pandemic.

It is time to push or pull, or get out of the way.

Richard W. Hall

Penticton

Alarm bells getting louder at Site C

Dear Editor:

The Site C Dam has always been a controversial project, but new safety and financial problems identified this fall are ringing alarm bells. We have learned the project is over budget by $4 billion with BC Hydro admitting it has no idea of the final costs.

Engineers concede that the challenging design and instability of the dam’s shale foundation are still problematic. Hundreds of earthquakes caused by fracking are adding to the region’s geological instability.

Site C is being built for LNG Canada made up of profitable foreign-owned multinationals like Royal Dutch Shell, Petronas, and PetroChina. These companies receive millions of dollars in annual subsidies, royalty credits, and tax breaks from the B.C. government; 100% of Site C project’s costs and the subsides to LNG are being paid for by you and me.

The sad thing is that in 2017 our own BC Utilities Commission told the new NDP government that the project was not only over budget, but likely not needed because existing hydro infrastructure could be used. And now the B.C. government is discouraging independent small hydro and solar power producers.

British Columbians have a right to ask their government for third-party oversight of this project and to give us transparent information on the financial, technical and safety risks of continuing Site C dam construction.

As a climate action advocacy organization, we believe that it is ill-advised to keep Site C afloat with billions more dollars, as well as subsidize an LNG industry which will add significantly to B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions. British Columbia has committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 40% below 2007 levels by 2030 scaling up to 80% by 2050. So far, the province is falling far short of these goals. Site C and LNG may make the task unattainable.

Margaret Holm

Citizens Climate Lobby Canada

Okanagan Chapter

Thanks to unknown Good Samaritan

Dear Editor:

Thank you to whoever is responsible for putting a cover over the Osprey nest at the corner of Warren Ave. and the bypass.

We really enjoy watching the birds as they go about their summer business.

Ken and Marjorie Carlson

Penticton

Our community will miss Vince Rabbitte

Dear Editor:

I was saddened to read of Vince’s passing in today’s Herald.

I first met Vince Rabbitte in the 1950s when we were both gamblers in New York City. He certainly had a way with the dice!

OK, it was a local production of “Guys and Dolls”; Anne was stage manager, Vince was an obviously well-seasoned performer and I was flailing off the deep end in my first role in a musical. Vince was instantly friendly, helpful and supportive to a greenhorn.

I enjoyed sharing the stage with Vince in a number of further productions and also bumped into him in the audience at many plays and concerts over the years. I was always greeted like a long-lost friend, even though I didn’t know him really well.

(I always thought he was English — the things you learn reading obituaries- —sorry Vince! That’s probably a grave insult to a Kiwi, but Vince would be the last person to make a big deal of it.)

Vince was such a supporter of local talent. I can’t say how many letters to the editor he wrote; always a mini-review, enthusiastic in its praise and exhorting everyone to get out and see this one.

Vince, remember when we sang, “I dreamed last night I got on the boat to Heaven,” and by some chance I had brought my dice along.

And there I stood and I hollered “Someone fade me!”, but the passengers they new right from wrong.

I’ll fade you, pal.

And miss you, and I think the Penticton arts community will too.

Gordon Houston

Penticton

Water should be top Summerland priority

Dear Editor:

I wish to respond to the article “Province threatens fines at landfil.” (Herald, Dec. 16).

It appears as though the Ministry of Environment’s study of Summerland’s landfill is missing something. Here are the facts:

1. Summerland’s landfill is the closest landfill to a drinking water reservoir in the province. Provincial law states landfills must be at least 300 metres away from a water source. Summerland’s is exactly 300 metres

2. The water reservoir is not man-made. It is a glacial lake.

3. According to Dr. Donald Kvill (1975), this glacial lake is fed from ground water that flows directly underneath the entire landfill site

4. The so called “mounding effect” protects only the eastern quarter of the reservoir (Golder 1996).

5. Dr. Myles Parsons, hydrogeology specialist and probably Summerland’s most qualified engineer stated, “its not if contaminants will enter the reservoir its when.” (1998).

6. In 1998, municipal council identified Summerland’s three most important capital projects: a water-treatment plant; improvement and expansion of Thirsk dam; a lined and expanded water reservoir

7. Council fast forwarded extraction of a large gravel pit for a new lined reservoir.

8. “A lined and expanded reservoir” fell off the table

The Ministry of the Environment’s greatest concern should be protection of the drinking water reservoir. Missing

David Gregory

Summerland

Costco, keep us safe, enforce your rules!

Dear Editor:

In Costco yesterday I observed a woman walking around the store with a little piece of plastic hanging off her chin. It wasn’t ever covering her mouth, never mind her nose. Her grown son was wearing his appropriate mask under his nose.

Why was she let in, especially during the highly infectious time? I say either you comply with the rules everyone else is following or you should not be allowed to shop when most people are trying their best to not infect others and keep themselves safe.

Enforce the rules Costco.

Heidi Garnett

Kelowna

The season of hope in time of COVID

Dear Editor:

Our world in the time of COVID-19 is in dire need of a symbol of hope — a simple wooden cross of the resurrected Jesus.

Dec. 26 is St. Stephen’s Day (the martyr) and could be a day for the whole world to stop for a moment of reflection, each person in their own way.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton