Len and the giant tomato stalk
Len’s tomato plant isn’t quite large enough to climb into the clouds upon, in search of the elusive goose that lays golden eggs. He also however, doesn’t have to worry about the blood-thirsty, fee-fi-fo-fumming giants which guard the bullion bearing bird either.
Nonetheless, Len is giving Jack in the Beanstalk a run for his money, as his tomato plant now stands at 6’8” high and is 72” in girth or 203.2 centimetres tall by 182.88 cm wide.
In spite of a colder and wetter summer here in the now not-so-sunny Okanagan; the mutant plant is flourishing with plenty of green grape tomatoes blossoming on the vine.
Len’s plant has reached freakish proportions and is growing, but apparently that’s normal from where it all started, in the Netherlands.
In the 1990s they took the tomato industry by storm by recreating the berry. Hence, this particular plant was given the name Amsterdam, for a city in Holland. Step aside tulips and windmills, for the mighty tomato has taken your place.
Perhaps not surprisingly either is that Len is also of Dutch heritage and has an amazing green thumb and can grow absolutely anything.
Sadly, I, his wife, on the other hand, have the thumbs of death, despite being raised by a grain farmer in Alberta. I scarcely know a plant from a weed in its early stages.
I have even been known to kill desert plants, hence I am only to water our variety of plants under careful instruction. Two gallons a day for Amsterdam, poured all around the base of it, and approximately 24 glug glugs of water for the geraniums. Obviously I am no horticulturist. Silk plants are safest in my care.
I have some big wooden shoes to fill, approximately size 12, men’s.
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the tomatoes of a Dutchman.
Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel, Kelowna
Profit trumps community in local parks
I learned that a “special” council meeting was held in Penticton to push through booze at Skaha park.
Gee, I didn’t see this coming. After all, we were led to believe that booze at the other beach was only a test run, and that study would be done to assess the total impact on our community.
It sounded like that was the thin edge of the wedge, and now the ruse is up.
We can only assume and expect that they will next try to charge for parking at that park. But wait! That’s in the plans too.
I have a friend who now lives in a distant country, and when leaving, he predicted, after witnessing the initial push for waterslides here, that the city would eventually be so hungry for what they consider to be “under utilized” resources that there would be a charge for air at the parks. So, my advice is, don’t hold your breath.
Another friend recalls a time when she and her husband were walking along the Skaha beach, and two RCMP members approached. They were asking people on the beach if they had any alcohol, and were confiscating any that was found. Hmmm. How times have changed from a quiet time to a more rowdy, careless time.
If our council persists in running our community like a business, then we can’t be surprised or disappointed when they apply principles of profit against community well being.
I realize that this push is about fostering market for the abundance of alcohol manufacturing businesses in our area.
There is unfortunately scant awareness of the true value of a park, even an understanding of how much our busy and stressed community seeks and needs at least some space for quiet and the opportunity to absorb the benefits such a mature park as Skaha does provide.
We continue to elect businessmen and women to take care of us, and we are reaping what we have sown.
Still sober and glad of it,
Barry Salaberry, Penticton
Kelowna under threat from invaders
We are being invaded, and we need to repel this invasion.
I was shocked to hear that we recently had 102 new cases of COVID-19, about 60 of them in Kelowna linked to a few inconsiderate party goers.
Is invasion or invader too strong a term? I don’t think so.
The dictionary defines “invasion” as: An attack or onset of something injurious or disagreeable, as a disease, or encroachment by intrusion or trespass that causes injury or death, whether intentional or not.
It also defines “invader” as someone or something that arrives bearing a weapon that can cause injury or death.
Causing that many people to become sick can certainly be defined as causing injury. And although there have been no deaths from this so far — I stress “so far” as Kelowna is a city with a large number of seniors, including me, and the fallout and spread from this incident is far from finished.
From March to June, Kelowna had very few cases of COVID. When our restrictions were eased, we could have easily started shopping, dining and socializing among ourselves without any problems. The problems started when summer arrived and the invaders, otherwise known as visitors or tourists, arrived.
For four months, we couldn’t go to a restaurant for dinner, we couldn’t meet friends for coffee at Tim Hortons, we couldn’t see a show or shop anywhere, but at a store that sold food or hardware. We were waiting for the easing of restrictions so we could visit with friends and family other than on Facetime or Zoom.
Now the invaders have arrived and taken over our city. They’re doing all the things we’d been waiting so long to do.
But we can’t.
Because we’re seniors.
And we’re scared to visit our favourite places.
We don’t know who last touched that door handle, shopping cart or coffee cup.
So we’re staying home instead.
But I’m still paying my taxes while the invaders enjoy my beautiful city.
Does anyone have a solution?
Helen Kaulbach, Kelowna
Invitation to the world backfires
Well, thanks so much Kelowna city council and the Downtown Kelowna Association. You invited the world to Kelowna, and they came with COVID-19.
Now since you shot yourselves in the foot, most people are scared to come anywhere near downtown Kelowna.
Gord Marshall, Kelowna
Marxists want to take our freedom
Conservative leadership candidate Derek Sloan recently sent out a letter with the headline: “Communism Rears Its Ugly Head in Ottawa.”
Said he, “We often talk about the growth of ultra-leftist ideology within the Canadian government, education system, and other institutions.
“Sometimes we call it ‘cultural Marxism,’ and there’s a tendency to see it as just a collection of objectionable ideas and words that people profess to believe.
“Many of those who suffered under communism thought it could never come to their nation. But it did.”
Our government flirts with too many Marxists while distancing us from the United States – an ally that saved us from oppression by the Swastika, Hammer and Scythe, Rising Sun and Tiananmen Gate armies.
A Chinese doctor, Li-Meng Yan, is in hiding, hoping to reveal the truth about the Chinese COVID cover-up. She claims she will be “disappeared and killed” if she is captured by the Chinese government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he ‘admires’ China’s ‘basic dictatorship’ and is flying empty airplanes to China to pick up full loads of medical supplies, making us dependent on the nation that kept the COVID-19 virus secret as long as it could and then passed the blame while Chinese doctors and reporters who made its source public disappeared.
Our schools and universities have become embedded with Marxist/
communist thinkers that have weaseled themselves into control positions to indoctrinate our children and remove parents’ rights to guide them.
They have fiercely attacked our Judeo-Christian principles of liberty, freedom of speech, assembly and religion.
It is the wicked policies and actions of the regimes of Marx, Mao, Stalin and Hitler that we fought against to save current generations from the pain and slavery of those corrupt government systems.
We should never “admire” their dictatorship. They are not to be admired. They are evil.
This generation has no idea. They have always enjoyed freedom and never had to fight the fight of their lives like doctor Li-Meng Yan.
To destroy historical monuments, stifle free speech, control news and opposing voices, indoctrinate students, create chaos, increase massive federal debt, defund police, buy votes and corrupt moral values is only the beginning of Marxism’s psychotic path.
“Cultural Marxist” ideas and words that people profess to believe, killed a hundred million people and will destroy freedom in Canada if we do not stop it.
Garry Rayner, West Kelowna
Disagreeable folks clearly are leftists
It’s unfortunate that some could be so ideologically blinkered , they regard character assassination as preferable to the realization that the emperors they revere have no clothes but the selfishness and misrepresentation they wrap themselves in .
This present federal government remains one whose entire focus has been the improvement of the lot of Canadians: the rate of child poverty being just one example .
The Liberal leader rendering the Senate non-partisan was history making. Think of it: true sober second thought instead of toadying.
Shocking, particularly to the present Opposition party who set a new behavioral low by authoring a 200-page instruction manual in 2006 , on how to obstruct and manipulate Commons committees.
The Conservative minority government was so incensed by the leak, all committee members were ordered to return their copies, in order to determine who the “whistle blower” was. This attitude leads them to believe it is impossible for anyone else to behave in anything but a self-serving devious manner.
So now Black Lives Matter is Marxist? Why? Because Rudy Giuliani says so? What is next? McCarthyism? “Communism infiltration?” Oh wait, we’ve been there.
During each W.A.C. Bennett campaign, hydro poles throughout B.C. were adorned with something like “The Commies Are At The Gate.”
Mitt Romney, in the same vein , said “50% of the population think we should pay for them.”
In other words , it’s not just Black Lives that don’t matter. It’s also the Indigenous and those who aren’t your nationality or colour or as well off or are disadvantaged in any way. They are all leftist radicals, aren’t they?
It’s obvious Jesus Christ himself would be a pariah in some circles today, just as he was 2,000 years ago.
Zoltan Lawrence, Kelowna
Day passes for parks a bad idea
B.C. Parks is now requiring users to obtain free day-use passes to attend six provincial parks (none in the Okanagan).
This is stupid. Worst idea ever. Exclusive use of parks now available to those willing to get on the internet and compete for a spot months in advance.
Thanks for completely ruining the camping experience and now bringing that same stupid methodology to the day-use experience.
The Discover Camping reservation system needs to go. Reservations in BC Parks needs to be rolled back entirely. Instead you are expanding it.
I am unbelievably aggravated by all this as you slowly take away my camping options.
BC Parks, you stink!
Jeff Frank, Kelowna
U.S., China should nuke coronavirus
The U.S. No Trust White House patient to play the war card and join China in eliminating the world coronavirus plague with the nuclear bomb
Joe Schwarz, Penticton