The Penticton Tune-Agers in concert during a past Christmas special.

Tune-Agers: 50 years of great music

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the article that was included in Friday’s All-Good News edition, celebrating the Penticton Tune-Agers 50th anniversary.

I would like to add that there is an amazing display at the Penticton Museum of our history. Included in that display are not only pictures of the years that the Tune-agers travelled to perform, but there are the conductors who have helped make the orchestra and choir who we are today with their passion for music.

After Helene Scott, there was Patti Craig, Gerald Nadeau, Gordon Dawson, Annabelle Redman and now Nick Kelly who is also an up-and-coming composer. We also have the accompanists for the choir and these include Helene Scott, Gwen Marsh, Orma Baker, Sandy Andres and Katie Shumaker.

Without these dedicated people, the orchestra and choir would not have continued through the years. We look forward to another 50 years entertaining this community and want to thank all who have supported the Penticton Tune-Agers through the years by attending our concerts.

We all love to sing and play and look forward to the time when life is back to “normal”and virtual practices are a thing of the past.

Sarah Tupholme, Penticton

Sober second look needed at bike route

Dear Editor:

In general terms, the stated aim of the Lake-to-Lake cycling project as stated in shapeyourcitypenticton is to: “provide cyclists of all ages/abilities with a direct route between the two lakes and provide alternative transportation.

I urged the city council to take a sober look at the status of this project in light of the following:

• Identify persons/agencies who will directly benefit on a daily basis from this direct route, including those vehemently opposed, those unable to voice their concerns and those who will be adversely affected in order to get better grasp of the human demographic interested in supporting this project.

For example:

• The restricted mobility of retirees, seniors, residents of care and retirement homes who make some 30%-plus of the population.

• The hospital, firemen, police, concessions, shoppers, doctors, offices and bank workers who drive to work because of their commitments, convenience or long distance from their residence.

• The occasional recreational weekend bikers and members of the Penticton Cycling Association who are promoting this project without analyzing the potential nefarious effects it would have on seniors, retirees, businesses and the community at large and on costs, funding and timing.

• The visitors, the iffy holding of an annual triathlon, Peachfest, festivals as long as COVID is with us for a projected long time

• The City is awash in red ink due to COVID, lost revenues from a dormant casino, closed boutiques and concessions, etc. The City should abandon and defer all non-essential projects until they are in the green.

• The Martin Street corridor is unacceptable as the City spent over $2 millions in refurbishing that street only two years ago and now is proposing to demolish much- needed parking and install two bike lanes at a cost still unresolved.

The Martin Street corridor is also home to several businesses, senior retirement complexes and others who would be adversely affected in their daily living and operations and not seriously considered by the City.

I do not comprehend why the City has remained silent and not considered the existing bike route from The Peach along the Lakeshore to the junction of Penticton Indian Reserve paved bike pathway at the Eckardt bridge, Highway 97, Red Wing bridge located on the west side of the Channel leading directly to Sakha Lake away from traffic, in a serene bucolic environment.

There is a Channel agreement between the two parties under the Parks and Recreation Master Plan to enhance and beautify the west side of the Channel bike pathway.

What is the status of this agreement?

This downtown route is already in use on a daily basis by cyclists, pedestrians and their dogs.

Claude Filiatrault, Penticton

The key to victory in the war vs COVID

Dear Editor:

Some people liken fighting COVID to fighting a war. I think they’re right.

Wars aren’t won by surrendering or defending. The key to victory is to be aggressive and take the fight to the enemy. We’ve seen a lot of surrender to this point with economic shutdowns, unemployment and massive government spending and debt. We’ve also employed defensive measures like social distancing, personal hygiene and masks.

This is necessary and useful in the absence of a COVID vaccine, but it isn’t carrying the fight to the enemy. An aggressive testing program is the best strategy beyond defensive measures.

Testing tells us the enemy’s potency and location. It allows COVID to be traced and victims and contacts isolated to limit the spread of this killer.

Testing data beats modelling as a reliable intelligence source for planning and action. As we’ve seen with both COVID and climate predictions, modelling has consistently exaggerated the risks.

We’re far downrange and are still short on testing capacity. School re-openings have highlighted the need for testing, but why have politicians and health bureaucrats let this slide? They’ve had eight months to sort this out.

Don’t be surrender monkeys!

We need more effective communications to reach the age 20-40 cohort where most of the cases are now emerging. We’ve had lots of advice from politicians and health authorities, which is falling on deaf ears. It’s no surprise that the selfie culture is determined to indulge itself, no matter what.

Forget about repetitive TV press conferences from politicians and public health officials. Even though their messages are worthy, the messengers are poker-faced and pedantic, and just aren’t catching with the target audience.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and “Smokey the Bear” Doug Ford are exceptions; their sincerity and encouragement seems to resonate.

Justin Trudeau lacks credibility on COVID. He preaches precautions, and then pops up in the middle of an anti-racism demonstration for political points. He’s a surrender monkey.

Flash up the social media and smart phones where younger people live. If they can get excited about racism, or banalities like Kim Kardashian’s dress and grooming, maybe they can get energized about defeating COVID and making more responsible social choices.

We need more appealing messengers who can generate a social media following, and make smart behaviour seem cool and unsafe social habits look nasty. Let’s have full disclosure too; the troops fight better when they know the full story.

John Thompson, Kaleden

Let's face it, many Americans still love Trump

Dear Editor:

Could  U.S. President Donald Trump be an alien conceived in outer space sent to Planet Earth as an unwanted misfit?

No mater how weird, stupid, or dangerous Trump may appear to many people, he is still adored by millions of Americans.

Trump certainly gets plenty of attention on the front pages of daily newspapers around the world. Broadcast media such as CNN, led by Wolf Blizter and crew, appear to love ripping Trump  apart with the same news repeated  constantly — mixed with commercials, of course.

If you want to get feeling better while this pandemic rages on, give Trump a time out, and get back to the problems at home, right here in Canada. Help clean up our own backyard before pointing fingers toward the neighbour’s back yard.

I know it’s easier said than done.

I’m going for my morning  coffee and the Penticton Herald fix to read news that has happened and see who is bitching on the letters page or the latest dribble from the lips of President Trump and the political landfill dribble here at home.

Just a question.

How many Americans have died from other causes during the same period of time that reported over  200,000 deaths by COVID?

Tom Isherwood, Olalla

As forests burn, PM fiddles with pipelines

Dear Editor:

As I write this, the Trudeau government is spending tens of billions of dollars on the Trans Mountain pipeline. I believe the climate impact of this project is the equivalent of adding 34 million cars to Canada’s road every year. In other words, the government may as well be pouring fuel on the West Coast wildfires.

Just weeks ago, communities across Canada were breathing in smoke from climate driven wildfires on the West Coast. The climate emergency is at our doorstep. Why aren’t we responding with the urgency that it demands?

Instead of needlessly wasting money on a climate wrecking pipeline, why doesn’t the Trudeau government invest in meaningful action to build back better from the pandemic and economic crisis?

It’s time for a Green New Deal that retools our economy to tackle the climate crisis while generating millions of jobs.

Tina Rader, Kelowna

Numbers don’t tell whole COVID story

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for your article about the flat curve of Covid-19 in our region (“Valley’s virus curve virtually flat,” Oct. 3).  I am so tired of the fear-mongering narrative about “case” numbers, when I believe those numbers include many false positives, and people who have no symptoms. 

Hospitalizations and deaths are the only numbers that matter (and even then they include people who have other serious co-morbidities). So refreshing to see a newspaper publish the facts for a change.

Dawn Meier, Kelowna

Greens have only themselves to blame

Dear Editor:

Sonia Furstenau continues to rage against John Horgan for calling this election and catching the Green party unprepared.

The Greens had three years to get organized. Adam Olsen was the interim leader of the Greens for nine months.

Clearly he did not do nearly enough work to create a solid province-wide Green organization. It is the Green party that is at fault for their lack of preparedness, not the NDP.

If the Greens are unable to manage their own affairs with any competency why do they think we’ll trust them to run the province?

Bert Slater, North Saanich

Reader-to-reader: hybrid engine failure

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to help determine if our Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a one-off faulty vehicle or if the issue we encountered is systemic with Hyundai Sonata Hybrids. I am concerned that there may be more Hyundai Sonata Hybrid owners out there that have had the engines in their vehicle fail, and because of the failure, have had their safety put at risk.

The safety issue is a major concern because on the late evening on Aug. 14, we were driving our 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid on the highway when suddenly the engine light came on and the vehicle was rendered inoperable.

We had to pull over immediately leaving us stranded along a busy two-lane highway.

It could have turned out far more serious. The vehicle was emergency towed back to Kelowna. Long story short, after a hefty pre-repair bill the Hyundai service technicians informed me that the gasoline engine on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was seized and needed to be replaced, hugely increasing the total repair cost.

I was astounded as the vehicle only has 86,935 km and is a hybrid so quite a bit less miles on the actual gas motor itself. Hyundai Canada has had a multitude of engine recalls from 2011 onward, but as of yet, no engine recall on the Hybrid model.

Hyundai owners should check out the link to Hyundai Canada’s recall page to see if your vehicle is affected or at Transport Canada web page. If you are a Hyundai Hybrid Sonata owner and have experienced a shutdown/stall situation or if you have experienced and engine failure which has put safety at risk, then you need to contact Transport Canada at: 1-866-995-9737 and report your experience. This will strengthen the ongoing safety and recall investigation.

Roberto Basso, Kelowna

Invest in the future, not in the past

Dear Editor:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently laid out his priorities in his Speech from the Throne, promising to “Build Back Better” from COVID‑19. Now, as members of Parliament return to their seats in the House of Commons, it’s clear that billions in stimulus and recovery efforts will continue to flow in response to this moment.

This spending is necessary and entirely justified. Everyday Canadians are struggling to make ends meet and our government must support them.

But, with billions flowing in all different directions, it’s up to us to make clear where we expect that money to go.

We can choose to pour this money into the declining oil and gas industry or we can decide to build a more resilient economy by investing in healthcare and education, public transit, and green technology.

The choice seems clear but it demands action. Investing in the future demands that Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government divest from the past.

We must defund the Trans ­Mountain pipeline and finally invest in solutions that fit the scale of the crises we face.

Janet Hacker, Victoria

Paramedic pleads take virus seriously

Dear Editor:

After 20 plus years as a paramedic and playing high-impact sports, I spend a third of my time in Prince George for medical treatment and am very concerned our citizens aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously.

No distancing, few masks, and I have been to many stores with signs saying masks are required, yet maybe 20 per cent of customers had masks. Staff appeared oblivious.

I constantly have to ask if the person behind me would kindly back up. I predict within 14 days a surge that will be dark and last until May 2021. You have the right to get sick, but not to make me or my family sick. I hope the safety apparatus in town is paying attention.

Testing, tracing and isolation is a issue I believe must be done fastidiously .

Stay safe and be well.

D. Lasalle, Chetwynd

Pandemic predicts future of elections

Dear Editor:

By calling the provincial election during the pandemic, I think the government has changed the way many people will vote in the future.

I received my mail-in provincial ballot today. After reading everything and discussing with my husband, I don’t think I will ever line up again to vote. I will ensure my ballot is dropped at a secure mailbox or Elections B.C. site. Thanks to the NDP for opening my eyes to mail-in voting.

Eileen Cannon, Victoria