Readers' Opinion

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a news conference in the briefing room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President needs a straitjacket

Dear Editor:

Come on U.S. neighbours, it is becoming harder and harder to respect you when you allow the leader of your county to jerk you around the way he is. Do you not see the need for an ambulance call to the White House equipped with a straitjacket and leg irons?

For God’s sake, get a grip.

Paul Crossley

Penticton

No enforcement is merely a suggestion

Dear Editor:

By stubbornly refusing to mandate mask use in all indoor public spaces until now, Bonnie Henry and the provincial government have been shirking their responsibility to protect the citizens of B.C..

Asking businesses to enforce mask use was a ridiculous policy. Business owners have no power to enforce masking, but the government does. This should have been done months ago.

I hope this mandate comes with penalties for people who do not comply. Rules without enforcement are merely suggestions.

Al Martens

Penticton

MP bang on about airlines

Dear Editor:

Yes! In his recent column, South Okanagan West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings wrote: “...Any government funding for airlines must be contingent on passengers receiving full refunds for flights cancelled by the airlines.

“And we must ensure that funding goes to reviving lost service, not to shareholders and airline executive pay." Thank you.

Bang on piece, Richard.

Dave Cursons

Cawston

Questions about CH development

Dear Editor:

In Penticton, the 163-acre subdivision proposed by Canadian Horizons (CH) on their property north of the garbage dump remains a mystery, following their removal of pertinent information from the company’s website in June.

Presumably this project is now being massaged by CH into a form they hope will be acceptable to the public.

That said, the risks of subdividing and building on this land remain. These risks include potential health issues caused by living near a garbage dump. There are also interface fire risks including structure damage and losses, firefighting costs, and insurance implications, as highlighted by the Christie Mountain wildfire last summer in Penticton’s Heritage Hills area.

Concerns regarding slope stability and water runoff have emerged from lawsuits involving recent subdivision developments on similar terrain, further north on the Naramata Bench.

Taxpayers also need to be advised of the extent of future maintenance and repair costs for items such as water and sewer infrastructure, for which CH has apparently agreed to pay construction costs. Will homeowners in this new development pay the same operating rates as urban residents, even though delivery costs for the landfill area subdivision will be higher?

The proposed development would be built in phases. What happens if CH falls on financial difficulties before their development is completed? Will the City of Penticton (the rest of us) have to pay for the remaining infrastructure costs?

Taxpayers need to know whether surety would be provided “up front” to guarantee completion of this subdivision.

Penticton’s residents need to have all the information necessary in order to evaluate and have input on the acceptability of this proposed development. So far, all we’ve only been advised of a possible “information session” with the developers and City staff present to answer questions, in the two-week timeline following Council’s first reading of the bylaw and before its public hearing.

Given the social, environmental and financial risks posed by this proposed project, surely a more in-depth opportunity for public engagement in advance of that public hearing is called for.

Loraine Stephanson

Penticton

Mask madness

Dear Editor:

Few of us would argue that the world has dramatically changed this year, including the relatively small world of beautiful Penticton. We have seen huge numbers of deaths attributed to a deadly virus the world continues to battle, numbering almost a quarter million in the U.S alone. We have seen the downfall of the current U.S. president after recently losing his fight and President-elect, Joseph Robinette Biden, preparing to take the reins. We have seen Peru, after 20 years of turmoil and protests, thrown again into chaos. And we have seen the recent deaths of Canada's beloved, iconic “Jeopardy” host, Alex Trebek and of the equally beloved, multi-talented Scottish actor, Sir Sean Connery.

We have seen all these global changes, these difficult events and yet, the City of Penticton with its population of kind, caring and respectful people band together during this unique time, to protect and help each other.

Well, almost!

We seem to be in the throes of a new phenomenon. It is “mask madness”. But there is hope, fingers crossed.

Over the past several months particularly last summer, there were many hot discussions, in public, about the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a mask.

In August, a group of people outside a liquor store, in front of their children, were shouting obscenities at each other on whether to wear a protective mask. One of the little girls with a rose-coloured backpack, gripping her father's hand, started crying. The hostile shouts quickly stopped and the group broke apart. This was a very unpleasant experience to witness in our lovely city. And dreadful that it occurred in front of children.

But things have a way of changing, of improving, of more tolerance and understanding being happily bandied about.

Last week at one of our city's busy grocery stores, two men at the seafood counter were vigorously arguing the pros and cons of wearing masks. And it was a fiery conversation. Spit flew from the mouth of the man not wearing a mask.

Suddenly, a well-groomed woman, edged near the arguing duo and, with levity, lodged into an impromptu chorus of “You are my sunshine, My only sunshine, You make me happy, When skies are gray.”

Disarmed, the men stopped talking and looked at the woman, who vanished down the frozen food aisle. Gales of laughter soon erupted, including the men in the throes of “mask madness”.

Let's hope that the New Year will continue to bring more positive changes. Let's hope that, working together, will make 2021 a happier and healthier year. Let’s hope!

Elisabeth E. Paterson

Penticton

No new tax on Kelowna drivers

Dear Editor:

The article, “New tax on drivers framed as gridlock buster” (Daily Courier, Nov. 17; Herald online) contains some inaccuracies, in particular that a new tax on drivers was to be considered by Kelowna City Council on Monday.

To clarify, no new tax on drivers is proposed for Kelowna.

Nor would any new charges be proposed without significant public dialogue.

Currently, gas taxes help fund transportation infrastructure projects. As electric vehicles become more commonplace, new funding sources will need to be identified. The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) simply suggests that we monitor trends related to “mobility pricing” — a blanket term that can refer to a wide variety of approaches to collecting funds in exchange for use of the transportation system. This is a prudent step aimed at keeping funding for transportation stable in the future.

Making this one item the focus of the story comes at the expense to readers of learning about the many other concrete actions proposed in the Regional Transportation Plan. The plan sets the direction for Central Okanagan governments to work together to move people and goods more efficiently, achieve fast and reliable transit, create a safe and convenient regional bicycling and trails network, and incorporate new mobility options.

Recommendations in the RTP follow more than two years of public and stakeholder consultation, technical studies, and collaboration between Central Okanagan governments, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and BC Transit.

Some of the plan’s key features include creating a fast and reliable transit spine along the Highway 97 corridor, adding 81 new kilometres of regional bicycling and trails facilities, and investing in transportation improvements to better connect people to regional destinations such as UBC Okanagan and the Kelowna International Airport, among others.

More information about the Regional Transportation Plan is available online at smarttrips.ca.

Mariah VanZerr

Strategic TransportationPlanning Manager, City of Kelowna

How do you like the NDP now?

Dear Editor:

Just a short month ago, B.C. residents voted for a majority NDP government simply based on Dr. Bonnie Henry’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

John Horgan and Adrian Dix glowed in the media spotlight as they absorbed the, over-the-top, worship of the good doctor based on her calm and kind demeanor and the belief that it was all going right and B.C. was the envy of the Canada.

So how do you like them now?

Numbers are off the charts on the coast and the kind and calm has turned to threats of draconian action from Horgan, Dix and Dr. Henry. While numbers remain low outside Fraser and Coastal Health areas, there is still a danger of province-wide restrictions which could lead to the demise of many small and large businesses.

When Dr. Henry made the recent statement that we should have a vaccine widely available this time next year, was that supposed to give us hope? This time next year? How many businesses will fail? How many personal bankruptcies? How many seniors will die in care homes without being able to see their loved ones?

I am not denying the dangers of COVID-19 but am questioning the response of the B.C. government. I sincerely hope the media starts doing the same and begins to ask the hard questions. It’s time to take off the rose-coloured glasses folks.

Andy Richards

Summerland

Great job by election workers

Dear Editor:

As the scrutinizer of NDP candidate Rolly Russell in the Boundary Similkameen riding, I had the privilege of observing the administration of seven days of advance voting, general voting and final count mail-in-ballots.

I would like to commend the Election BC personnel and supervisors for doing an excellent job of carrying out their duties so as to ensure that ballots were properly handled at all stages of the voting process.

Their scrupulous attention to proper ballot-handling procedures helped ensure the democratic integrity of the election process in our riding. I would like to suggest that the electorate should make it known that they would like to see a similarly high standard of professionalism in town/municipal elections and referenda, possibly by having administered by the same group of supervisors who oversaw this provincial vote.

Sy Murseli

Osoyoos

Churches must close, but not pubs?

Dear Editor:

Re: “COVID-19: B.C. extends private gathering ban province-wide” (Courier/Herald, Nov. 20).

Additionally, recreational travel and religious services are banned until Dec. 7.

Shutting down religious services while pubs remain open seems unnecessarily draconian at this stressful time when people need spiritual support.

To my knowledge, churches have not been COVID-19 incubators.

Roland Gebauer

Kelowna

Being part of Kelowna’s future

Dear Editor:

PARC Retirement Living appreciates the opportunity to join and serve the community of Pandosy Village.

Older adults will be able to remain in the neighbourhood they love, close to all their familiar shops and services.

We wanted to respond to Richard Drinnan’s letter (Courier, Nov. 19) with a few numerical corrections regarding our project.

• Council approved a development permit for a 132-suite mixed use building, not 235 suites.

• At peak we have capacity for approximately 145 residents, and up to 20 employees at a given time. Commercial units might accommodate an additional 20 -30 people during business hours. At the most, the building would hold under 200 people not 430 residents, employees and commercial customers.

• PARC has signed a three-year contract with MODO which involves purchasing two cars at the cost of $59,000. One stall is off site, one stall will be accessible 24/7 from our parkade. MODO set the terms of the contract and will retain the two MODO cars whether or not they renew the contract after three years.

We look forward to being part of Kelowna’s future.

Margaret Lucas

Director of Business Development

PARC Retirement Living

Kelowna