Letters to the Editor

Write: letters@pentictonherald.ca

COVID bonus: no cruise ships

Dear Editor:

One benefit of the pandemic is that the cruise-ship industry has been stopped.

More than 30 billion litres of polluting sewage, grey water and scrubber washwater are dumped in Canadian coastal waters every year by the cruise-ship industry alone.

These waste streams contain a variety of pollutants, including fecal coliform, ammonia, heavy metals and poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

All are harmful to aquatic organisms and coastal ecosystems.

In 2019, more than one million passengers and crew — just from large cruise ships — visited the Victoria cruise-ship terminal on their way to and from Alaska.

All the waste produced by this traffic went untreated into the ocean.

At-risk are killer whales and sea otters — and the food sources and habitats on which they depend. Wild salmon also face substantial risks.

The cruise-ship industry gets a free pass on the air- and water-pollution regulations imposed on land-based industries.

When cruise ships are allowed to return to Canadian waters post-pandemic, the federal government must act immediately to update regulations to protect coastal communities and ecosystems.

Al Bruton


On Hwy. 97 don’t hog passing lane

Dear Editor:

Recent letter writer, Tom Isherwood, related his recent trip to Summerland and admitted to driving at the speed limit, obstructing traffic travelling in the passing lane of the highway.

There a large signs on Highway 97 imploring drivers to “Keep right except to pass.”

Mr. Isherwood puts others at risk by forcing drivers to make a pass on the right, not knowing the intentions of the scofflaw hogging the passing lane.

John Dorn


Consider opening casino to locals only

Dear Editor:

Right now, Manitoba and B.C. are the only two provinces that have not either reopened their casinos already, or are in the final phase of doing so.

I understand that a major issue with opening casinos is the mixing of locals and strangers, but what about opening them for use by locals only? Call it a local casino bubble. Masks would be mandatory and all IDs checked at the door.

If you are not local then you do not get in.

Cascades Casino in Penticton, for instance, could allow only residents of the South Okanagan. Compared to the number of people I see packed in along the beach every day, with hardly a mask in sight, a hundred or so masked locals sitting at every other slot machine seems reasonably safe to me.

If B.C. waits for Phase 4, then casinos in this province will not reopen until next spring at best. I can fly to Calgary, visit a number of casinos there, and then come back to Penticton, but I can’t go to the local casino.

I am just saying. Let’s use some common sense.

David Korinetz


Looking to the south on what not to do

Dear Editor:

Who wants to be Miami North?

Joe Schwarz


Lights by two malls need to be upgraded

Dear Editor:

Like Andy Rooney from “60 Minutes,” something has been bothering me. It is regarding the traffic control lights at Main and McDougall streets.

For those of you unfamiliar with this junction, it is the street that joins the two shopping malls (Cherry Lane and the Superstore).

My question is why does this light cycle like a normal intersection, when its only purpose is to join two shopping plazas? Even early morning you will get a red light there, even if there is no traffic. Then you must wait for the advanced left turn to cycle through.

Can this not be upgraded so that this light only changes when someone is actually waiting to cross over or to get onto Main?

The way it is set up now is not very conducive to good traffic flow, in this reader’s humble opinion.

Mark Billesberger


We can learn from history, warts and all

Dear Editor:

If the term “politically correct” has to be condensed into one word, it has to be stupidity.

Whether or not white still is a colour — or Caucasian is the new white — really doesn’t matter, but Justin Trudeau insisting on painting us all by colour is beyond the absurd.

Let’s hope the term “people of colour” will mark the end of Trudeau’s obsession with insisting Canadians are racist, bigoted, and full of hate, when they are expressing their opposition to his immigration policies.

The mayor of Summerland’s recent handling of the Confederate flag was a very un-Canadian attempt at scoring political points.

Her, “I can do anything I want here” attitude when she demanded the Confederate flags from a local business owner, and then proceeded to chop them up with a pair of scissors in a planned photo-op in front of the store, was unbelievably ignorant.

Removing statues and changing the names of sports teams will not change history.

And how are we to learn from history, if we insist on erasing it?

This whole movement, although well intended, is stupidity in many ways.

Andy Thomsen


Mayor could have been discreet

Dear Editor:

After reading Allan Carter’s letter (Herald, July 22) and then watching the Global news coverage regarding the the Confederate banner fiasco, I am extremely disappointed in the manner in which our mayor addressed her concerns about the racist implications associated with this symbol of oppression when advancing on his store and staff to extract and destroy the remaining banners, which I understand had already been removed from the store’s shelves.

This situation could and should have been dealt with on a discreet basis and not turned into the confrontation it has which will now be hard to reduce the tension it has caused within the community.

We are bombarded daily to be safe, tolerant, stop any bullying and especially be kind, and in my humble opinion, it would be in the best interests of all for the mayor to at least acknowledge that the actions taken by her and the individuals involved went above and beyond what was necessary to make their point.

I’m reminded that not everyone sees evil in our symbols of history whether they be statues or flags and the removal or destruction of them will not change history or how individuals elect to view it.

Harry DeRosier


Bernard Ave. now a COVID petri dish

Dear Editor:

Congratulations Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and city officials for creating a COVID-19 petri dish on Bernard Avenue, and possibly another shutdown for Kelowna residents.

Case count for your decision to create a Bernard block party 35 (as of Friday) and counting, with over 700 on watch list.

Ian Jaschinsky


Give U.S. vehicles, date sticker at border

Dear Editor:

Any vehicle entering Canada with United States licence plates should have a date sticker attached to the back, with hefty fines if it is removed, that lets everyone know when it entered Canada.

If the drivers are off-route to Alaska or not self-quarantining, then everyone will know about it and they can be reported to the authorities.

Pat Rosin


Behave like mature adults or stay home

Dear Editor:

In a grocery store in Langford yesterday, the majority of customers were unmasked.

Clearly people are either too obtuse to get it, or too self-absorbed to care.

Little wonder the COVID-19 numbers are on the upswing.

If you can’t bring yourself to behave like a mature adult, stay home.

Greg Longphee


Mayor committing political suicide

Dear Editor:

I’d like to give Summerland Mayor Toni Boot a big thumbs up for performing one of greatest examples of political suicide I have ever witnessed.

You see, Mayor Boot, we have in Canada what is known as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and within this Charter lies a section known as Freedom of Expression.

What you tore up is not the Confederate flag and never has been.

It is a battle flag or a navel jack but never a flag of the Confederacy, but even if it was it is a person’s protected right to display it.

Regardless of whatever context you may assign to it.

You are not the censorship police and you may very well have opened yourself up to a human rights tribunal hearing.

The icing on the cake is the complaint filed to police about your conduct.

It may say “Mayor” on your door, but that does not give you the right to barge into a person’s place of business and threaten them.

To those that think she is some sort of hero, know this, the same laws that apply to rainbow sidewalks apply to any flag a person chooses to display or sell.

You can’t cherry pick.

Back in the 80s during the “Dukes of Hazzard” heyday, I came across a tee-shirt shop in Spokane displaying a rebel flag sleeveless t-shirt.

I had to have that shirt and wore the heck out of it for years. Oh, I almost forgot. A black woman sold it to me.

Daniel Pontes


Appalled, worried and disgusted

Dear Editor:

Due to the total disregard by many members of our population of the safe-protocol guidelines, the provincial and federal health authorities have established we are now having an upsurge of the COVID-19 cases.

Many businesses are trying to recover the devastating losses they have incurred due to the prolonged shutdown as well as the expense and limitations of re-opening. Now we are seeing some businesses being forced to close temporarily or permanently due to members of the population becoming infected.

This is due to the open inter-provincial borders, Americans giving false information to cross our country borders and the general population not practicing safe protocols. Perhaps travelers should submit, at their own expense, laboratory documentation they are not infected within 72 hours prior to travel outside their local area.

Now further restrictions are pending not to mention the risk of returning to a total shutdown of many establishments other than pharmacy and grocery stores in the future if the virus continues to escalate.

Many grocery stores and pharmacies are now permitting customers to bring in their own bags, no further sanitation of the grocery carts as well as not cleaning the surfaces of the check-out counters

The danger has not been resolved so why are reverting back to unsafe practices.

Yes, tourism is a major income for our Province and specifically for the Okanagan region where the upsurge of cases are now evident and increasing daily but not at the expense of our health and local economy.

Caroline Alger


Require a negative test before flying

Dear Editor:

We are seeing news about many airline flights carrying passengers with COVID-19.

Airlines have stopped leaving middle seats empty, making it more likely for the virus to spread. Why not make it a requirement to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of flying?

It is not perfect, as the test can miss positive cases. However, if you combine that with mandatory masks on flights, it would make flying a lot safer.

Similarly, if Americans (or others) want to visit, make them show a negative test from an accredited laboratory within three days of entry. People from very high risk states and countries should just stay home right now.

Cases of the virus in B.C. are surging. This is not surprising, as people are not wearing masks and have become sloppy about distancing.

Wearing a mask is not about your freedom. It is about public safety.

Do we let people drive while drunk?

No, they are putting the lives of others at risk.

Not wearing a mask puts other people’s lives at risk.

John Miller