This week, Penticton city council passed a new series of bylaws aimed at addressing petty crime and safety in the downtown.

Controversial, definitely. Draconian, perhaps. Necessary, absolutely.

I support council’s decision.

There’s a serious problem and it needs to be addressed.

Whether you agree with it or not, I believe council members had a tough decision. The issue wasn’t about buildings, sidewalks or public parks.

The issue was about human beings.

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Penticton musician Gord McLaren has penned one of his famous Weird Al Yankovic-style novelty songs written to the tune of “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” by Petula Clark.

“Don’t sit on the sidewalk... don’t busk in Nanaimo Square...”

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Donald’s Trump’s latest Twitter war is with ... Bette Midler. Why Bette Midler? What does she have to do with foreign or domestic policy?

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I’m thrilled to see that Loverboy will be playing the South Okanagan Events Centre on Sept. 4... finally, although as an opening act to Styx (now featuring Larry Gowen on lead vocals, the man who gave Canadians such ‘80s chestnuts as “A Criminal Mind” and “You’re A Strange Animal.”) For those who don’t know, Loverboy’s lead singer and co-writer Mike Reno hails from Penticton.

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I caught “Rocketman,” the new Elton John biopic. It’s different in that the supporting characters sing. So it’s cool to see an eight-year-old break into “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.”

Historical inaccuracies aside (“Crocodile Rock” was written in 1972; Elton borrowed his stage name from Long John Baldry), I was disappointed it made no mention of his friendship with John Lennon or any reference to the phenomenal Elton John Band, which includes members such as Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone, both who are still with him today. Kiki Dee shows up briefly. There was no reference to his epic album, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

The many great hit songs — except “Your Song — were abridged.

But, if you love Elton, don’t listen to me. You will likely enjoy the movie.

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Speaking of classic rock, I was in the crowd last Saturday at the Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd concert, part of Summerland’s Action Festival. Nick, for being in his late-60s, still sounds great and looks great. A phenomenal show.

Amazingly, Gilder pulled a hamstring early in the set and was in complete agony. He sat for a few of the songs, and apologized to the audience. It didn’t matter. It was still an A-plus performance.

Although he did his own hits (“Roxy Roller,” “Hot Child in the City”) and hits he wrote for others (“Rated X,” “The Warrior”), he also covered “Rebel Yell” and “Radar Love.”

Running wild and looking pretty!

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We will now have a random draw for two sets of free tickets to join me for a showing of the new movie “Rocketman” (no substitutes). The winners ... Lee Ann Tiede and Amy Geistlinger. To claim your prize, please see me at the next Central Okanagan school board meeting.

James Miller is valley editor for Okanagan Newspaper Group.

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