Email your letters to: letters@pentictonherald.ca

Protests buying our planet time

Dear editor:

Re: “Protest on your own dime,” Herald, Opinion, Aug. 1

Almost every paragraph Kris Sims wrote is about saving jobs and the almighty buck.

Kris asks “what are we getting in exchange for this opposition?” The answer is quite clear. It may be futile for the dream of the opposition trying to stop the greed and stupidity of man who continues raping Mother Nature, leaving scars that will never heal.

I don’t believe potatoes will grow in abandoned tar sands or sea life will survive in oil-polluted seas and oceans.

The opposition is trying to cure a planet put in dire straits by man and his greed for that almighty buck,

The dream for a clean healthy world for future generations of all God’s creatures living on polluted land, sea and air is the answer to your question, Kris. After all, money can’t pay to fix all broken health or build or bring back the mistakes made by mankind.

One planet equals one home for earthlings, and attempting proper care is only a word on the horizon filled with doom and gloom.

Tom Isherwood


Abstinence not a realistic solution

Dear editor:

Re: “Don’t feed the beast,” Herald, Editorial, Aug. 16

Your editorial has used the all-too-familiar tactic of the alt-right and distilled the complex opioid crisis down into three words: “Just Say No.”

Nancy Reagan said the same thing 40 years ago when her husband launched his now infamous 'war on drugs.”

How’s that working out for you so far?  Highest incarceration rate in the developed world, particularly inequitable to peoples of colour and immigrants. Private prisons to handle the overflow.

Mandatory minimum sentences that put people away for life for non-violent drug offences. How much do you think it costs to warehouse all those prisoners ?

And, if you think we’re somehow better at it north of our border, you’re sadly mistaken. Our record of jailing our aboriginal peoples far exceeds their proportion of the population.

Bottom line: preaching abstinence “does not work” (three words that are true whether it’s drugs, sex or rock and roll).

What is truly “mind boggling” (your writer’s words) is that he does not already know that the programs he advocates for are already taking place in the here and now. Every day and in every safe-injection site, drug treatment facility, shelter, street mission.

Contrary to the misinformation on (anti-) social media “free drugs and free needles” is not the intent. Getting people off drugs safely, inside their world, when they are ready, not on your schedule or timeline.

Your writer needs to take Drug Crisis 101 and learn about the four pillars strategy to combat the drug crisis: education/prevention, enforcement, treatment, harm reduction. Short-change or try to eliminate any component and the whole thing collapses.

It’s proven that the median time to get folks off drugs is 240 days if they have immediate access to: detox (four days), clinical treatment (16 days), long-term residential treatment (90 days) and outpatient treatment/supportive housing (130 days). In a sequential  consecutive order. We don’t have those systems in place to support all four pillars.

The only solution is to follow Portugal’s lead, de-criminalize all drugs, open safe consumption sites, drug-testing labs and harm-reduction centres, especially next to schools... and drown out the ill-conceived calls for abstinence as the answer.

Richard Rafton


Weak reasoning  for EIZ extension

Dear editor:

Let us examine the decisions made by the various members of Penticton council on the matter of extending the time limit for Wildstone Construction to complete the Ellis One project and qualify for the 10-year tax relief to see which ones make sense and which do not.

First the council members that voted no:

Mayor Vassilaki said: "We have to listen to the people out there. They don't want us to keep giving tax money away when it is not necessary." (True. What is the sense of running an expensive engagement program to get the residents’ opinions, and then ignoring the results?)

Coun. Regehr said: “If a taxpayer paying their annual tax bill is day late, I don't think that that taxpayer gets to come forward and argue that they ought to be forgiven this.” (How true, a deadline is indeed that.)

Coun. Jake Kimberley, a long-time opponent of the EIZ program called the initiative “a farce.” (Again true, as there is no evidence that this program has led to projects being completed by developers that would not have occurred otherwise while costing the taxpayer significant revenue. Many other cities in B C without this type of incentive program have grown faster than Penticton.)

Next the members that voted yes.

Coun. Watt argued that the extension would not result in a loss of tax revenue, but rather a delay in it. (This statement is completely false as the forgone tax revenue for the 10-year period is indeed lost. I wonder whether Jim Bauer, Penticton's CFO, would agree with Coun Watt's financial assessment?)

Coun. Katie Robinson noted even the city has run into cost overruns and delays on some of its own projects. (This reasoning is completely unrelated to the issue at hand and irrelevant.)

Coun. Bloomfield said: “If we deny this, the benefit that we're taking away is not to the developer, but it’s those people who have bought into the development.” (Again, this is not relevant, as the obligation is on Wildstone to meet their commitment to their customer.)

Coun. Sentes said: Such one off requests like the one from Wildstone are exactly what elected officials are supposed to decide. (Again irrelevant, as this explanation provides no basis for the decision made.)

I leave it to the voters to decide which councillors made a better case for their decision regarding this issue.

Claude Bergman


Telco’s apology misses the mark

Dear editor:

A $10 credit on our bill is totally out of line with the level of frustration and anxiety we experienced during a Telus email outage over a three-day period.

I was a volunteer with the communications committee at the Osoyoos Golf Course for a Golf Canada event. 

Thursday, Aug. 15, at approximately 7 a.m. was the absolute worst possible time not to be able send/receive emails for an event with golfers from as far away as Australia and Hawaii, let alone someone who lives in Osoyoos, as were the subsequent three days.

Telus is offering residential subscribers a measly $10 credit.

The Telus choice of an additional option is entirely useless to us as we do not subscribe to those Telus services and that is on purpose. 

Telus has hopefully learned not to put all their data storage with one cloud service.  As consumers, we already knew not to put our media, internet and email requirements with one provider. 

One month of internet, as a credit on our bill, would be much more palatable. 

Karen Hutchinson


Addicts are doing

it to themselves

Dear Editor:

To the entire RCMP detachment.

I’ve wanted to write this letter for some time and, because I  just celebrated my birthday, I got down and wrote some letters to people I’ve wanted to say thank you to for a long time.

For years I’ve had admiration, respect and appreciation for the RCMP. I can remember years ago when I was maybe 10 or 11, I met the superintendent of the 4th Maple Ridge Detachment, Kelly Irving at my school. He shook my hand, I was so proud.

And then, years later, as a council member in Pitt Meadows, I was appointed chair of the RCMP and fire department during my 11 years on council.

I can not begin to tell you how much I, as well as my family, admire what you do for us (the public) and our city.

Each time you go out into the public, you put your life on the line. The stress, trauma and the things you see and do, and the strength you show, amazes me.

I want to send thanks along to your families as well, I know there must be many times when it is extremely difficult for them. Also, I want to thank you for all you do and for who you are.

Thank you and please stay safe.

R.Leigh Campbell