So long, Theo, we will miss you

Dear Editor:

It was an emotional and bittersweet occasion at Penticton’s best-known restaurant, last night.

Although Theo’s is remaining in its present form, owners Theo, Mary, Niko and Linda will no longer be sailing the ship.

These wonderful folks have made brilliant memories, memories for locals and tourists alike. I can’t begin to say what a great part of the last four decades they’ve been. It certainly has been a second home to Pam, myself and our kids. Too many memories to mention.

Happy trails folks. Enjoy a well-earned rest and change in adventure.

This great family is a part of so many milestones in our family and community and will be missed and remembered fondly. We will certainly continue to support Theo’s legacy for the best Greek this side of Athens.

See you in Crete.

Gord McLaren


Great staff at our Penticton Library

Dear Editor:

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting our  library. I had just purchased a Koboe reader which was driving me “bananas” trying to download books. 

I met with Stephanie James on three occasions. She not only devoted her time to me, she taught me how to set up the Kobo. While Stephanie was on a well-deserved holiday, Lara stepped in to help. These two women went “above and beyond” to assist an old man trying to understand computers.

The staff is more than accommodating and helpful. Kudos to all of you and especially Stephanie and Lara.

Phil Williams 


Cops should have better things to do

Dear Editor:

Re: “Top Cop warns against vigilantism,” (Herald, June 28).

Personally I feel it unconscionable that the “top cop” in Penticton should be literally threatening the populace of Penticton in this fashion.

This, while at the same time, he appears to deploy highly-trained and highly-paid officers to monitor social media sites.

It seems to me that if he were to better deploy his resources, he would not have to be nearly so concerned with peasant rebellions.  

Tom Crawford 


We don’t need booze on ferries

Dear Editor:

What on Earth is going on with B.C. Ferries? We encourage people not to drink and drive and here the ferries will be offering an opportunity to do that. What is the logic?

We do not need this just to put more money in the coffers. I am disappointed in levels of governments approving this.

Gabriele Osborne

Port Alberni

Entire legal system needs an overhaul

Dear Editor:

Here are some of the antics reported on the “Penticton All-Crime Exposed” Facebook page between June 18-27, 2019.

June 18: 2004 Honda Civic stolen (Washington plates). The car was eventually recovered.

June 19: Someone's carport was defecated in.

June 19: Someone was seen with a shopping cart with four wheels and tires from a vehicle. Huber Chevrolet found one of their vehicles on blocks the same morning.

June 20: Carjacking which led police on a chase into Okanagan Falls.

June 20: Same aggressive individual who has assaulted four people now (5'9, 120 pounds, dreadlocks and a scruffy grey beard) threatened a woman after her boyfriend refused to give him a cigarette, dumped her garbage out onto the road, then 30 minutes later returned and flung her garbage cans into her yard, narrowly missing her dog (but according to RCMP, is not dangerous, just a nuisance.) I beg to differ.

June 21: Husky dog stolen.

June 21: Man on orange BMX bike casing out backyards; became belligerent when confronted by resident who lives in the area.

June 22: Penticton Ave., two prowlers scared off from a resident’s driveway. This occurred at 7:20 in the morning.

Now on another note, 22-year-old Thomas Kruger-Allen, the man accused of allegedly putting a Penticton man in a coma while awaiting trial for a 2017 assault, apparently has another case pending from 2018. In this case, RCMP recommended charges, but Crown counsel has so far declined to proceed.

Let’s see now: an assault from 2017, one from 2018, and one from 2019 that very nearly killed a man. And he was granted bail at $5,000. He only needs to come up with 10 per cent of that.

What is wrong with this picture?

Once again, the Crown counsel seems to be the entity dragging their heels. This man is obviously violent and the system continues to do nothing to protect the law-abiding citizens of this country.

The entire Canadian legal system needs a complete overhaul, as does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms so that it will reflect modern times and offer stiffer punishments for offenders and at least some rights to the victims.

Mark Billesberger


Parliamentarians acting like children

Dear Editor:

This letter is also proof of a waste of time along with wishful thinking.

Here is my answer to the question submitted by member of Parliament Dan Albas (Herald, June 28).

“Do you support Members of Parliament drafting and proposing PMBs (private members bills) even if there is a small chance of success, or do you view it as a complete waste of time?,” Albas asked.

It appears to be a complete waste of time when so many apparently smart people take forever to to separate the good, bad, ugly and at times ridiculous PMBs or dumber than dumb ideas.

My opinion is the outdated Canadian government, Senate and all connected need  a complete makeover

Paying elected grown-ups to argue and delay the good just because it’s not the bright idea of the party in charge is bordering on insanity.

In my opinion, the entire government is a complete waste of time and should be

replaced with a council of experienced  people who know how to make decisions before the next century rolls around, not led by a modern-day rich Robin Hood, minus the tights.

To debate is one thing, but this is childish. Perhaps consider sucking on a pacifier while sharing some pabulum while in that childish state of mind.

Tom Isherwood


RCMP is the Old Boys Club

Dear Editor:

Once again the Okanagan’s top cop, Supt. Ted De Jager is voicing his aversion to the talk of vigilantism and, as per usual, his spiel comes across as talking down and threatening to the people.

He must be a slow learner, methinks. Does he not wonder why there is a growing movement towards taking the law into your own hands? Could it be remotely possible the people don’t feel safe in his culpable hands? Does he not query the lack of respect he garners?

His not-so-humble rhetoric is serving no one. It would be better spent if he would publicly voice his displeasure at the justice system and the absolute lack of justice that our courts are handing out, the farce of the sentences and the back pedaling on what is right.

But, he is not going to do that as he — sad to say — is part of the Old Boys Club network of the RCMP and he is not about to muddy the waters and set a precedent.

Don Smithyman


Minister is lawyer, not a scientist

Dear Editor:

Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment in our federal government, claims that the science of climate change is settled. That being the case, I thought I would ask her some science questions.

My first request was to have her give me a list of what causes climate change and what percent they each contribute. Secondly, I pointed out to her that there are three main greenhouse gases, namely water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane.

I asked her to give me the percent that each of these gases contribute to climate change. Next, I told her that the present level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 414 ppm (parts per million) and is much easier to measure than average global temperature.

Then I asked her what carbon dioxide ppm has to be reduced to in order to stop climate change in its tracks. Secondly, what does carbon dioxide ppm have to be reduced to in order that average global temperature does not increase by more than 2 degrees C? A sub question is how will these levels affect agriculture and life on earth?

So far I have not had a response from Minister McKenna. She is not a scientist, but a lawyer and I suspect she might be consulting her science experts. I will write a subsequent letter when I hear from her.

Laird Stovel

BASc (Engineering)


Stop attempting to cover up the truth

Dear Editor:

The Penticton Herald has had some good moments in its pursuit of journalism in recent years. Unfortunately, last Friday wasn’t one of them.

It was a bit distressing to see that The Herald believes schools should cut back on student testing and ramp up their serving of meals and provision of daycare.

But the truly alarming thing we learned in the June 28 editorial, ‘Students aren’t statistics,” is that our local bastion of journalism wants the provincial government to keep provincial test results secret.

It wasn’t long ago that reporters and editors, on behalf of the public, clamoured for more information from government, saying we all have the right to full disclosure of data gathered by politicians and bureaucrats using taxpayers’ money.

Sadly, it looks like The Herald has traded that grand mission for a narrower agenda pushed by teachers’ unions and social activists, who would gladly hide information for their own purposes.

Why would The Herald call for the government to withhold from the Fraser Institute the results of annual testing of the basic academic skills of B.C.’s Grades 4 and 7 students? And presumably withhold that information from everyone else, lest it become public?

Because, it says, the findings show that students in affluent areas generally score higher (surprise!), and publicizing the results “does nothing for the morale of

students and staff”.

The paper adds that the time spent on the province-wide tests is wasted. “Think of the learning that could take place during those days.” Hmm ... as opposed to the potential value of over-all learning assessment?

But not only would The Herald deny data that citizens could arguably use to help improve learning in our schools — it would cavalierly deny the public the truth about province-wide Grade 4 and 7 test results because it has decided some people’s feelings might be hurt.

That misguided action would insult the intelligence of parents and students in poorer areas by sparing them from a truth we already know. And, saddest of all, it would deny government-gathered information to the public, whom The Herald is supposedly eager to inform.

It’s a slippery slope when editors and reporters begin using specious criteria, instead of newsworthiness and the public interest, in deciding which news and information should be published or withheld.

What other news has the Herald decided we are too delicate to hear?

Lawrence McMahen


Sorting out takers and the givers

Dear Editor:

Now that the parades, barbecues and fireworks are over, it’s worth asking just what people were celebrating on Canada Day.

Several years ago, Justin Trudeau declared that Canada was the world’s first post national state and that we had no core identity. Maybe he was right.

Human nature and governments don’t change that much. 2000 years ago, the Romans kept the masses tranquilized and diverted with games, bread and cheap wine; and it worked up to the point where their empire collapsed. You can still see their ruined forums and theatres across Europe and the Middle East. They’ve lasted a lot longer than the Montreal Forum and Maple Leaf Gardens.

Quebec doesn’t celebrate Canada Day. They have their own national day on June 24. We have 634 First Nations, an unknown number of Metis Nations and a hodge-podge of hyphenated Canadians and special interest groups in this country. They’re all demanding special status and rights and pulling at their own corner of the blanket. The one thing they have in common is that they all want to suckle at the Canadian teat. That’s nothing to celebrate.

Canada Day is for everybody, but maybe we should recognize the givers and ignore the takers for a change.

The truest Canadians are the ones who don’t show up at the protest parades or live on the take. They’re too busy working and doing their best to run their own lives, raise families, and contribute to the country in a constructive way. They’re the ones with personal pride and standards who pay taxes, stay out of jail, and are respectful and considerate of others. They put back instead of just taking.

Some years ago a national poll indicated that a majority of Canadians would refuse to take up arms in defence of their country. The numbers were remarkably lower in Quebec. Quelle surprise! That helps sort out the takers and the givers.

Patriotism and notions of service and hard work seem to be quaint ideas from the past in today’s self-interested society. But that’s what built the country which we now enjoy; thanks to our pioneers and veterans. It’s good that the men of Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach weren’t around to hear a Canadian prime minister babbling about being a post national state and issuing trite apologies for our past history. If they were, they would have frog marched him to the door.

John Thompson


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