Letters to Trustees

This following letter to school board trustees by a recently-retired teacher was also sent to Herald editor James Miller.

Assessment Centre sends its thanks

Dear Editor:

As we reflect on the past three months, we owe a shout out to our community for rallying behind primary-care providers to set up a Primary Care Assessment Centre in Penticton.

The Assessment Centre allows us to care for patients across the South Okanagan Similkameen who still needed in-person appointments. It remains a vital part of our local preventative approach which is helping to lower transmission rates during the pandemic. And it protects our supplies of personal protective equipment.

As we prepare to move the Primary Care Assessment Centre from McLaren Park Arena to provide the service out of an Interior Health facility, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their continued support.

We’d like to recognize the quick action of the City of Penticton and Emergency Operations Centre staff, who, in just days, helped get the McLaren Park location up and running at the end of March.

In addition, we couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of so many — including Wildstone providing supplies and planning support, Penticton Dental Centre, the South Okanagan Events Centre and dozens of businesses and community members donating personal protective equipment, Shades of Linen cutting fabric for gowns, local quilters sewing gowns, Starbucks providing daily coffee, and neighbours showing their support.

The list of individuals and businesses who are stepping up to help the Assessment Centre is lengthy. We’d like to thank each and every one, and to let them know that all contributions, whether large or small, are very appreciated.

Please note: The Assessment Centre continues to see patients by-appointment. Patients are reminded to continue to first call their family medicine clinic or walk-in clinic to determine if they can be seen via phone, video, or if an in-person appointment is required.

We would also like to remind the community that we are not out of the woods yet, and encourage everyone to continue to follow our provincial health officer’s guidelines.

It is our hope that together we can continue to keep our community safe.

Dr. Greg Selinger, Chair

Tracy St. Claire, Executive Director

SOS Division of Family Practice

Keep the Naramata Bench beautiful

Dear Editor:

I am writing to voice my concerns over the proposed development site by Canadian Horizons, near the Penticton landfill.

After residing in Vancouver and North Vancouver for 34 years, my husband and I decided to move to a quieter, more peaceful, unpopulated area, with more green space, less traffic and more property space, and purchased a four-acre vineyard in Naramata.

We have enjoyed our 13 years here so far, but have noticed way more traffic on our only single-lane Naramata Road, loss of green space when looking east up into the hills above us and less wildlife sighted.

The thoughts of having to contend with a very large subdivision on the Bench, more cars and people, road work, unsightly view, etc. is not what I want here.

Now the orchard at 880 Naramata Road has been replaced with hills of dirt for the last two years. A winery with a vineyard would be acceptable, but certainly not 300-plus homes and double the cars. Heaven forbid, we Naramatians have to pick up and leave in case of a forest fire in our area with only our one-lane road to evacuate us. We would never get out alive.

Also delays, if anyone in Naramata needed an ambulance from Penticton to Naramata and return and be stopped, delayed or detoured due to any upcoming roadwork for this site.

I hope Penticton’s mayor and council members will take a good look at this new proposal and see how this will impact us Naramatians in a very negative way.

Let’s keep the Naramata Bench beautiful, and peaceful with its green hills and bluffs, and not suburbia. I urge everyone to get the word out to all those who will be affected by this ridiculous scheme.

Barbara Smallwood


Public washrooms should be unlocked

Dear Editor:

Is Penticton indeed open for business, as Mayor John Vassilaki implied on the front page of the Herald?

If so,then we can only hope our city council will see fit to unlock the taxpayer-funded public washrooms so we and our guests can do our business.

Soap for washing our hands is essential, as well, in this confusing time. Unlocking the change rooms would go a long way to improving a person’s enjoyment of our wonderful beaches.

I, like many other citizens of Penticton, wonder where my rights and privileges have gone when our council’s answer to vandalism (or the threat thereof) is to deny taxpayers access to facilities that we paid for.

Maybe it’s time to lock council out of city hall, or at the very least, take away their keys to the executive washroom.

Tim Lyons


Court system needs to move swifter

Dear Editor:

The saga of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and her arrest in December 2018 is once again in the news. The Chinese government is now tying her arrest to their imprisonment of the two Canadian Michaels. A concerted effort by noted Canadian figures to urge the Canadian government to take steps with China and arrange some kind of prisoner exchange has been rejected, for good reasons.

I believe that the situation is being made much worse by the serious delays in moving the extradition of Meng through the courts. The Canadian and U.S. legal systems, along with both governments, seem to be in no hurry to resolve the issue.

This has already dragged on for a year- and-a-half and shows every sign of taking at least one more year. The Canadian hostages in China, as well as Meng herself, are not being treated fairly with this drawn-out process.

How can we continue to criticize the Chinese government for their approach to the situation, while delaying our own justice systems?

John McLeod


Nova Scotians deserved answers

Dear Editor:

The recent reporting of people being unnecessarily killed by police both in Canada and the U.S. makes me wonder what it is in police firearms training that appears to ingrain a shoot-to-kill mentality in armed police officers.

It is worth noting here that this applies not only in North America, but also in Europe.

In particular the U.K., where most police officers are unarmed and those authorized to use firearms must first pass a rigorous course, the shoot-to-kill mentality seems to be applied even where it would be more appropriate to simply disable the suspect.

Here in Canada, the recent spate of killings by a single person in Nova Scotia was ended by the suspect being fatally shot by police.

As reported, the suspect was filling a stolen car with gas and was spotted by police in an unmarked vehicle filling up at the same gas station.

If the suspect was engaged in filling up the vehicle, he is unlikely to have had a gun in his hand whilst doing so.

He may have been carrying a gun on his person, but it would likely have been in a pocket or holster. Thus it should have been possible for the officers to confront him with guns drawn and arrest him. If he had attempted to pull a gun, a well-directed shot to his gun hand should have been sufficient.

Instead, the officers shot him dead, thereby denying the people of Nova Scotia a trial at which the suspect’s motives could have been determined and a life sentence in either a prison or a psychiatric institution imposed.

Yes, it would have been expensive, but I think the people of Nova Scotia would have willingly borne those costs given the circumstances.

Brian Butler


Martin Street is the best option

Dear Editor:

Re: proposed lake-to-lake cycling route includes Winnipeg Street as an option.

I am a long-time volunteer driver delivering Meals On Wheels from Penticton Regional Hospital throughout the region, Naramata to Okanagan Falls.

The majority of our deliveries are to seniors living in apartments/ condos. I have delivered numerous times to residents living on Winnipeg Street.

Finding a parking spot is always a challenge, in some cases I have to park a block or more away from my destination.

During the winter months, I have to be very aware of my footing in icy, snowy, wet conditions, so the closer I am to my delivery location, the better.

If parking on Winnipeg Street is gone, I am not sure how our drivers will make out or where we would be able to park, as I am sure off Winnipeg Street parking will be filled with cars that used to park on Winnipeg, and this will probably put us even further away from our destination. There would be other delivery services that could be impacted such as drug stores, pharmacies, groceries, cleaning services and health-care providers.

After reading Matt Hopkins’ column (Herald, June 26), I agree Martin Street is the best option.

Keray Levant


Awesome service by Herald classifieds

Dear Editor:

Just placed a “congratulations” notice in the classifieds (Herald, June 26, June 27) congratulating our granddaughter on her achievement at Pacific Rim Collage in Victoria. Penny Brown-Alvord of The Herald made the work so easy for us and is very friendly and professional at her job.

Cliff and Verna Brownlee


Mong Wang was dragged by her feet

Dear Editor:

Lies and exaggerations will lose, not win, in the battle for pubic opinion support.

The wild distortion phrased David Trifunov’s guest column introduction (Herald, June 26) obliterates any hope of influential credibility and is an insult to informed readers.

Allow a quote of his inflammatory framing of another article to castigate the RCMP and our police in general.

He baldly states that Mona Wong is suing the RCMP and its overseers “after she was dragged by her hair from her home to hospital.” That is a very long way to drag someone by the hair.

Anyone evenly remotely aware of this unfortunate incident will know that she was was tugged, unresponsive, down a hallway by her feet. At the end of the hallway her head was raised unceremoniously from the floor by her hair.

Other details are unknown.Was the female RCMP officer unable to carry her? What occurred prior inside? All that is said and shown is the dragging, feet first, and the expected shrill media condemnation once again, sans related information.

It is high time for sensationalist TV to get off the bandwagon of universally condemning the entire police service for egregious, but isolated, behaviour incidents. Give fair play to related situational facts. Perhaps writers such as Trifunov should spend some time in the shoes of their much- maligned adversaries out in the real world of trying to maintain public order.

A wise man wrote that we are entitled to our own opinions — but not our own facts. The fact is, Mr. Trifunov, she was dragged by her feet, not by her hair.

John Thomas

Okanagan Falls

“Equal” means equally abhorrent

Dear Editor:

Re: Kelowna Mountie “wellness check”:

One small step for man, one giant leap for people abused by women.

Equal means equally abhorrent.

Scott Robinson


People will be too scared to comment

Dear Editor:

Re: “VSB trustee Fraser Ballantyne should resign,” (www.pentictonherald.ca).

Are we all becoming daft? This Georgia Straight column is way over the top. Is there a right?, Yes , Is there a left?, yes, Is there a wrong?, Yes.

I hold Ballantyne to no standard but some of the comments by Patti Bacchus may reflect poorly on the democratic choice and what opinions people are allowed to harbour. The PC movement will soon have most everyone marching to the same drummer and/or never uttering a word on Facebook, social media or in public ever.

It is truly shameful when we have to have a civil rights lawyer vet all our opinions.

Jack Bennest