We’d love to hear from you. Letters to the editor of 400 words or less may be emailed to: letters@pentictonherald.

For general comments on the newspaper, feel free to contact managing editor James Miller at: james.miller@ok.bc.ca.

Kettle campaign was another huge success

Dear Editor:

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign has finished for another year.

It was a huge success in spite of COVID-19 challenges and fewer volunteers ringing the bells at four locations in Penticton and in Keremeos — down from eight the previous year.

More than $136,651 was raised in 38 days. The money raised has helped provide over 600 Christmas hampers in Penticton and Cawston (more than 900 people).

It will also support the Family Services Food Bank throughout the year. Thanks to the generosity of our community and consistent donors, the Food Bank is filled in abundance with food.

Because of COVID-19, we want to make sure that we have enough food to reach everyone.

We would like to thank all the volunteers, the media and also the people of the South Okanagan for making this campaign a huge success.

We would also like to thank Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, Walmart and BC Liquor Stores in Penticton and Keremeos for your generosity in allowing the kettles at your location.

Rosemarie Cargill

Kettle Volunteer Coordinator

Salvation Army, Penticton

Tired of those who won’t or refuse to follow rules

Dear Editor:

I have hesitated from sending this letter, but, the flagrant disregarding of COVID-control rules by an unreasoning few have proven too disturbing to refrain further.

Almost everyone is doing their best to comply with the conventions. Yet some have ended up the victims of the selfish actions of that self-indulgent, uncaring minority who disregard the common sense regulations presented by medical experts. Their attempt to mask their wilful stupidity by attempting to confuse the issue of endangering fellow citizens by claiming specious personal freedoms and rights convinces no one.

When these callous individuals contract the disease, as they almost inevitably will, they will be unworthy of medical attention.

Our society norms do not embrace punishments or retribution that so many compliant citizens would happily endorse. If, however, these irresponsible persons cannot be criminally sanctioned, recourse to civil liability laws by their innocent victims may have to obtain.

Nancy Thomas

Okanagan Falls

Care homes need to deliver quality of life

Dear Editor:

As a senior living alone in my own home, I feel very grateful for the freedom I have compared to others living in care homes.

I have no relatives near by (one son in Calgary and one son in London, UK) but I am able to get out and walk every day and take care of myself with some help.

I feel that care homes are far too large and this has been the problem all along. There are staffing difficulties with care workers being over-worked and underpaid. As a result, residents are being neglected or confined to one room.

Others are in rooms for two or more persons. And now with the COVID infection — no visitors or entertainment.

My mother was in a small care home in England for a few years before she died. There were only eight or 10 residents. It was owned and well run by a registered nurse, with a staff of two other RNs, a housekeeper and cook, all of whom lived in. It had been two houses made into one attractive house, with all necessary facilities; a real home-like atmosphere. It had a small garden at the back with easy access for wheelchairs and walkers.

To me, this is the only way that seniors, unable to care for themselves, should be able to end their lives.

Pixie Marriott


Mother Nature is serious this time

Dear Editor:

What are you here for? Were you just put on this planet to “suck it easy?” Were you intended or were you a mistake, an error in judgment perhaps? A moment of loving weakness.

Regardless, you are here and — like it or not — it’s not your fault by any ones imagination.

So now what? Here comes life, and it’s not a rehearsal, you only get one shot at it, it’s sink or swim and there’s no turning back. Accountability is here and the learning curve is soon over — time to stand up and log on, there will be few resets in life.

Are you a cop, a teacher, a doctor, a working stiff, a lawyer, a mechanic, a politician, an editor of a local newspaper, a pharmacist, or just the average Joe or Jane?

Time to stand up.

Mother Nature has just called a halt to everything that we hold dear.. She has put her foot down, and you will now stop and listen, she will be ignored never again, you are at her mercy, you have no say in the matter, it’s no longer negotiable, you need to stop and have a serious rethink, we need to rewind our collective values.

This virus is but a warning of what’s forthcoming if we don’t stop and rethink humanity. The first strain was a warning and the additional strain from the UK was a final jolt of reality that she is deadly serious. This time there is no meteor that will just wipe out the dinosaurs. This time it’s her warning to mankind to stop the international carnage. This time we have a vaccine, next time don’t bet on it.

Don Smithyman


Where is the danger coming from?

Dear Editor:

I would like to address a bike route letter I read from Ted Wiltse (Herald, Dec. 29).

He suggests the route is dangerous and that many people who use a bike “were born with breakfast mush for brains.” He also included a tremendous humblebrag that he paid $300,000 to move some type of power pole or utility on his property.

To suggest the route is “dangerous” begs the question that Mr. Wiltse or others never seem to want to address: Where is the danger coming from? A bike typically weighs 30 to 40 pounds and moves 20 kilometres per hour and is human powered.

The best-selling vehicle in North America, the Ford F-150, is around 5,000 pounds and can go 200 kilometres per hour. It also has large metal walls on all sides. You can drop really big items from heavy equipment right into its bed from 75 feet in the air. You learn this over and over when you try to watch sports on television.

Cars are so dangerous that humans only have a 15% chance of survival when being struck by a motorist going 50 kilometres per hour, the default speed limit within Penticton. That sounds pretty dangerous to even a low IQ bike person like me.

To the extent that pedestrians and people on bikes can be segregated from the danger (cars), the safer they will be. The best way to keep folks safe would be to completely remove the element imposing the danger. The next best thing is segregation. This is what the bike route will do on approximately five kilometres of a 300-kilometre road network.

Mr. Wiltse said many people cannot afford luxury vehicles. Which begs the question: why do we have a built environment that necessitates the use of a vehicle at all?

Making Penticton accessible by bike saves the city money, reduces pollution, reduces noise, begins to address massive equity concerns, and improves public health. OCP data revealed kids aren’t riding their bikes to school because they don’t feel safe.

Perhaps Ted could park his car for a month and see what folks deal with who choose not to, or lack the means to get to the grocery store by car. There are many of them.

As Coun. Campbell Watt stated just prior to the vote on the bike route “this is not for cyclists, it’s to enable cycling.” Can you see the difference?

Matt Hopkins


Penticton could become the Paris of B.C.

Dear Editor:

Recently, I heard of a proposed development from Vancouver-based developer Canadian Horizons (CH) on the Naramata Bench. As a civil engineering student and city planning enthusiast, this piqued my interest. However, upon further investigation, I was thoroughly disappointed with what I saw: in CH’s rendering of the project, sprawling, lifeless suburbia filled with boring, identical McMansions has replaced the pristine Naramata countryside.

We have known that this method of development — sullying nature in order to build a sea of large, single-family homes with no shops or places to hang out — is not good for communities or the environment for decades, so why do we still do it?

Let me be clear, I am not worried that our local planners and politicians don’t understand good development. I find it quite heartening to walk through Penticton and see so many attractive, mixed-use, mid-rise apartments popping up downtown — I am, unfortunately, worried about short-sightedness.

I don’t think that even the most ardent opponent of this project could deny its short-term economic benefits (construction jobs, new home-buyers/taxpayers etc.). But, in the long term, carving up the mountainsides for which our valley is known could cripple our region’s vital tourism economy. Not to mention the negative impacts on the environment.

What then, is the alternative? When it comes to development, we should be focusing on downtown — nature is already beautiful and full of life, it doesn’t need our help. Downtown is the human domain, so let’s make it work for humans. How?

Mainly, build low-rise apartments near downtown, with space on the first floor for shops, cafes, and other businesses; not too unlike those of cities such as Paris or Kitsilano. Not only is this dense, walkable design good for residents, it’s also a favourite among tourists (nobody’s booking a holiday to suburbia). Dense, beautiful cities like Paris and Rome are priceless—the economic return on making a city beautiful is immeasurable.

So, if we want projects that will bring long-term, economic growth to our region, then we should invest in those that will improve downtown, and leave nature alone. I want to see projects that will transform Penticton into a breath-taking city — why shouldn’t we be the Paris of B.C.? Change like this will not be visible until far in the future; but, if we want it, we have to start asking now.

Jonas Henderson

Okanagan Falls

Faith leaders support work of Dr. Henry, Health Minister Dix

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was submitted on Dec. 23 on behalf of several B.C. clergy representing a variety of denominations, including the following signatories from the Interior:

Dear Dr. Henry and Minister Dix:

We are faith leaders from across British Columbia and from multiple denominations within the province. We wanted to publicly reach out to show our deep respect and appreciation for you, your staff and all those in leadership in this most challenging time.

We fully support the work you have done throughout 2020 and appreciate your calm, considerate guidance and wisdom as you work to keep us all safe.

As faith leaders, we have worked hard to keep our communities safe and connected in many imaginative ways. Some of us have remained online throughout this pandemic while others have followed clearly laid-out protocols for in-person worship gatherings and events in the summer and early fall.

Each of us, along with our leadership, has prayerfully made decisions that we felt best cared for our congregations.

Throughout all of these decisions it has been incredibly helpful to have strong guidance from the provincial health officer, the BC-CDC and the provincial government. None of us have served in ministry through a global pandemic before and we look to experts to help us through these times.

Your work has been invaluable to us. We have been deeply disappointed in the multiple times that the voices of a particular group of faith leaders have been spotlighted and amplified publicly criticizing your work and your mandates.

As you are already aware, those voices do not speak for all of us. We want to publicly reiterate our gratitude and support for your work.

We are deeply grateful that you have, from the beginning, taken time to be in conversation with faith leaders and have spoken publicly many times in support of the work we are doing. We are looking forward to working with Dr. Robert Daum to continue those conversations.

Thank you for your hard work. We continue to hold each of you, your staff, our government, BC’s front line workers and all impacted by COVID-19 in our prayers.

Rev. Curtis Aguirre

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penticton

The Rev. Patricia Giannelia

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kelowna

Rev. Brian Krushel

Faith Lutheran Church, Kelowna

Rev. Robin Jacobson

Trinity United Church, Vernon

The Rev. Canon Chris Harwood-Jones

All Saints Anglican Church, Vernon

Rev. Erik Bjorgan

Deo Lutheran Church, Salmon Arm

Rev. David Hunter

Peach Lutheran Congregation, Vernon

Rev. Jane Gingrich

Hills of Peace Lutheran Church, Kamloops

Rev. John Caswell Boyd

St. George’s Anglican Parish, Kamloops

Andrew Stephens-Rennie

Valhalla Parish, Castlegar

Rev. Dr. Gregory Mohr, Bishop, B.C. Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

And all you gotta do is act naturally

Dear Editor:

Re: “Wants to have nature coverage,” (Herald, letters, Dec. 31).

On first read, I thought, “what a great idea” Patricia Kristie had in her recent letter to the letter. I would like to see more nature news. There was a recent discussion on the type of gulls at the lake and finally, a naturalist answered that online query. I can see articles on the birds we are likely to see now and as spring approaches and what blooms first, etc.

But then, I had a second thought. Do you not already have someone writing on nature items? I know we have regular columns from Ken Tapping and Lisa Scott. So, do we need more? Perhaps or perhaps not.

You are doing a great job keeping up with local news items. I enjoy your newspaper and missed it greatly over the holidays. Thanks for doing a good job keeping us up to date on local items.

Jan Higgins


Canada is chasing a false climate grail

Dear Editor:

The COVID bogeyman is bad enough, but now they’re flashing up the climate bogeyman again. Maybe a change is as good as a rest.

Human-influenced climate change is more a function of an increased number of people consuming energy and resources, rather than the sources of energy themselves. It’s no surprise that temperature graphs track right along with population graphs.

Population doubled from 4 to 8 billion since 1974 with an accompanying increase in consumption. Urbanization, which amplifies warming, increased from 37 to 56 percent during the same period. The economic demands of increased populations have also caused large scale deforestation and other environmental damage which contributes significantly to the climate.

Nobody worried about climate change in 1974. That was before the emergence of an industrialized China with its insatiable demand for energy and resources. China now creates 28 percent of carbon emissions. In retrospect, out-sourcing industry to China wasn’t very smart.

Maybe 4 or 5 billion people are the population capacity of the globe. Maybe the world has a people problem, not a carbon problem.

Non-scientist, non-doctor, Bill Gates talks a lot about climate. He blames electrical generation, agriculture (mostly cows), manufacturing, transportation, and buildings. Problems in these areas are caused by more consumption by more people. Don’t blame cows for 4 billion more hamburger eaters.

Gates has a fascination with vaccines, birth control, and implanted microchips, but at least he’s talking about population. Now he wants to cool the world by seeding the atmosphere with sun blocking particles. It’s tough to locate this guy along a line from Mister Rogers to Dr. Evil.

The climate movement ignores the population factor when devising their goals and strategies. We’ll never hear Al Gore or Greta Thunberg haranguing us about it. It’s a lot easier to ban oil, plastics and cows than people.

Canada is chasing a false grail. The climate movement, and the Trudeau government, picked our oil sands as a sacrificial icon, in addition to killing fossil fuels and pursuing alternative energy sources.

Self-flagellation, virtue signalling, denying ourselves the economic benefits of our abundant energy reserves, spending large on alternative energy¯ and carbon taxing ourselves to perdition does nothing to address the underlying causes.

If we want to make a difference, we should be pursuing strategies of population limitation, de-urbanization, industrial self-sufficiency and improvements in fossil fuel technology. Individuals can also choose to consume less.

John Thompson