Letters to the Editor

Sweetie, left with Milo, two long-haired dachshunds. Trina Murray of Penticton asks in letters to the editor why Penticton can't have 24-7 emergency pet service. At present, pet owners from as far away as Osoyoos have to drive to Kelowna if their pets require after-hours, emergency care.

Penticton needs 24-7 veterinarian service

Dear Editor:

Re: “South Okanagan needs 24-hour pet care clinic” by Jan Johnson (Herald letters, Sept. 29).

I too have recently become aware of a huge concern in our community. We do not have any local 24/7 emergency care for our pets. How is this possible in a city of our size?

I had an emergency this past weekend and had to drive my cat to Kelowna at 3 a.m. He was in serious distress.

First, I had to find someone to watch my child, then brave the icy Highway 97 for an hour to drive to another city where he was later euthanized. This whole time, my cat was crying in agony.

Driving home, again in the dark and on icy roads at 5 a.m., my eyes were flooded with tears, making it even more difficult to drive.

I commented on our local “Penticton” Facebook page and received literally hundreds of comments and support.

Stories of so many others having to do the same, some pets losing thier lives en route to Kelowna. Some people had no vehicle to get to another city. One man shared a story of having to put his pet down himself because there was no help available.

We, as pet owners, are encouraged to give our pets the best care possible, with check-ups, regular vaccines and special diets.

I’m sure we do our best to help them live their best lives, but what are we to do when they truly need us? When they are scared and in pain, bleeding and broken?

According to the Canadian Veterinary Oath: “You are to strive to prevent and relieve animal suffering.”

Penticton and the South Okanagan is now large enough that we should have our own 24-hour emergency vet service. This could be done on a rotating basis.

I encourage others to speak out on this important issue.

To our vets, we need you, our animals need you. Please, be there for your community and our fur babies at all hours of the day.

Trina Murray


The answer generally lies in compromise

Dear Editor:

Re: “Question everything and learn something,” (Herald letters, Jan. 19). Mary-Anne MacDonald’s letter to the editor was bang on.

In today’s “instant-gratification” society, most people won’t look beyond the headlines, the 30-second news bite or the social media post that blips up on their screen. Whether political, societal or environmental, people naively absorb the opinions of the purveyors who would gain from their doctrine, without questioning or researching.

What’s the result?

No middle ground, no compromise, whether political left or right, environmentally green or not or demographically urban or rural.

In my opinion, the answer generally lies in compromise and seeking the middle ground that brings us together. In order to achieve that, we need to feel free to question the messages and think for ourselves.

Andy Richards


Drugs, cannabis, nicotine are killers

Dear Editor:

COVID-19 kills and maims, and is getting all the attention, if not the compliance, needed to lessen the toll it takes until enough vaccines are available to immunize a sufficient number of the populace against this virus and its variants.

Meanwhile, drug additions ruin lives and bodies, killing day in and day out, year in and year out in numbers far beyond what even an uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic would do. The deadliest of the drug group are the opioids, especially the fentanyl family; even more so the “drug-trade” F.

Fentanyl’s potency varies from batch to batch. And when fentanyl is in poor supply, other drugs are mixed in for effect; making them too often potentially lethal, requiring on-the-spot resuscitation to keep the victim alive.

Alcohol is all pervasive in our society, blurring our judgement regarding our actions and our surroundings; creating false cheer, and a disregard for others, too often ruining relationships, personal or job related. Pressures to drink are all pervasive: by providers who are making vast fortunes, all the way to “friends” who can’t fully enjoy themselves unless you “join them” in a drink.

Nicotine is a feel-better drug. It takes years before lung-and-heart damage or cancers appear and kill. Fortunately, cigarettes are no longer all pervasive in our society. However, glamourized “vaping” is trying to make nicotine addicts of our young population to keep money pouring in to the nicotine cartel.

The cannabic family has been around for centuries, but in our society only since the early 1900s and legal for the last few years. There are dozens of pharmaceutically-active compounds derived from the plant; divided into two distinct families with totally different effects. THCs give the highs, CBDs don’t.

However, CBDs have beneficial medical effects against a variety of conditions, and are being researched. In a few years, we will truly know their good and ill effects.

Bradley Houston


Naramata Bench unique, tourist draw

Dear Editor:

I am strongly opposed to the development proposed by Canadian Horizons to develop the Naramata Bench.

I fully support the Penticton Indian Band in their objection to this development. In addition, the massive number of more than 12,000 signatures on a petition that opposes this development clearly demonstrates that there is something fundamentally wrong with the current process of approval for these projects.

The development will ruin the tourist appeal that Penticton currently enjoys. The Naramata Bench is a unique attraction having a rural appeal that showcases the orchards and vineyards of the area. There are not a lot of places left, especially in Canada, where this exists and this development would be one large step to the destruction of this unique attraction.

We see Penticton as our Napa Valley. A high density housing development is not a feature people come to see. Given that Penticton relies on tourism, this makes no sense and is an economic disaster waiting to happen. Reduced tourism affects many parts of Penticton: wineries, hotels, motels, restaurants, local shops, tourism companies, and vacation rentals. This past summer it wasn’t tax dollars local business needed it was the dollars tourists spend here.

The development is proposed to be adjacent to the Campbell Mountain landfill. How long before there are complaints about smell, noise, debris, too many birds, etc., and the fight is on for the landfill to either relocate or to mitigate the problems which are currently annoying the new residents?

Don’t think this is real — ask many airports if their new neighbours are happy. There is also the potential of future claims of health issues that the city is now exposed to with this development.

Also, what does the City do when the next developer comes along and proposes a new high-density project in the Naramata Bench? How is it possible to approve one and not the other, especially when the city has approved changes to zoning to allow Canadian Horizons to go ahead?

Where and when does it all stop when the Naramata Bench is now a high-density housing area and the orchards and vineyards are all gone? Once you start down this path it will be one that there is no turning back on and a major tourist attraction of the area will be gone forever.

Brad Magyar


First Mouse could offer Trump advice

Dear Editor:

Just had to comment.

The White House experienced resident mouse would have told Trump he’d still be the big cheese if he’d kept his trap shut.

Joe Schwarz


Seniors prefer not to be institutionalized

Dear Editor:

In spite of the perennial handwringing about long-term care, we have been well aware of what needs to change.

We don’t even need to re-invent the wheel; we have the highest nursing home death rate in the world, so we can learn from almost any other country.

However, Denmark is an especially good example. 90% of LTC dollars here go to nursing homes, 10% to home care.

In Denmark, it’s just he opposite; at-home care, or apartment units with care included, instead of our LTC “warehouses.”

As a result, only 30% of COVID deaths there were in LTC compared to 82% here.

Seniors prefer not to be institutionalized, and as a bonus, the Danish way is cheaper!

Joy Lang


BC Housing must be more forthcoming

Dear Editor:

I am writing to add my support to Mayor John Vassilaki’s request to BC Housing for expanded consultation and more detailed information on their proposed housing project in Penticton (Herald, Jan. 19).

The mayor’s request is important for many reasons. If you look on the website of 100 More Homes Penticton, their mandate in 2016 was to provide housing and support to 100 vulnerable people in this city. At that time, many organizations worked together to fulfill this mandate, and within 18 months, 133 people were housed.

Since then, BC Housing has built or expanded many projects here, including Burdock House, Compass Court and Compass House. Even so, our homeless population continues to grow. Furthermore, between 2018 and 2019 the crime rate in our community rose by a record 63%, and in 2020 the number of 911 calls for overdoses more than doubled.

Penticton residents deserve to know whether the original commitments made by BC Housing were fulfilled, including promised mental health and addiction services. Our most vulnerable citizens deserve these services.

With thorough public consultation and data provided from BC Housing, we can discover vital information, including how the facilities they have built to date have impacted citizens and businesses in our city, the best locations for these projects, and a better understanding of why the homeless population here continues to grow.

Moving forward, all Penticton residents have a right to more information and meaningful participation in any further B.C. Housing project planned for this community.

Helena Konanz


Everyone’s uptight because of COVID

Dear Editor:

On my latest shopping trips to several large department stores, I found most salespeople were quite rude. I finally asked one saleswoman why the staff was so tense. She said that customers are yelling at them because they don’t have the stock.

COVID is creating shortages of some products. I replied that I wasn’t one of them who raised my voice when the item I wanted wasn’t available; she had no response, and just walked away in a huff.

Moments earlier, they reprimanded me for reaching around the Plexiglass to point at an item with a little tap. He said to go back on the other side and not tap. I can appreciate that the barrier is there for a reason and I wasn’t deliberately trying to invade anyone’s space. I am notably visually impaired as I sport “Coke-bottle lenses.” It’s difficult to see the product with the double barrier of Plexiglass and a glass cabinet with the light reflecting off them, along with trying to hear a muffled voice obstructed by the face mask.

With age, I have lost some of my hearing and it doesn’t help that I can’t read lips anymore.

On another occasion, a saleswoman yelled at me to step back because I had leaned slightly on the wide counter. She was at least two meters away with Plexiglass and an enormous desk between us, along with both wearing masks. I apologized and asked if I did something wrong, and she replied that I wasn’t properly socially distancing.

In a chain pharmacy before Christmas, I was told to move out of the way, by yet another salesperson. It puzzled me since I was appropriately spaced, but apparently blocking an aisle. I froze and then asked where exactly I was supposed to stand as it wasn’t obvious. She told me to go around the corner. Who would have guessed?

Her tone reminded me of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, who made the customers rigidly conduct themselves in a certain way, kowtowing to his demands or he’d tell them, “No soup for you.”

No money from me today, I wished to say, but needed my merchandise, so I caved. No decency for anyone, it seems.

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel


Close the border now, rebuild economy later

Dear Editor:

I’m sure most people appreciate what the tourism industry is going through during this COVID crisis, but I think this is being narrow-minded. The main priority should be to get rid of the crisis as soon as possible, and then shift priorities to other things such as the tourism industry.

Vancouver Islanders have done what we were told to do to fight this virus and it has paid off, and we are still fighting it and it’s paying off. Our lower rates of infection has shown this and we can’t let up now.

People from other provinces, such as Quebec and Ontario, where the rates of infection have been a lot higher, should stay in their provinces for their sake and ours, and the idea of snowbirds coming here for the milder weather or “because the rate of infection in their province is higher” is ludicrous and dangerous.

Close the eastern border and let’s get rid of the virus, then concentrate on rebuilding.

Larry Zilkinsky


Tourists still coming to Revelstoke

Dear Editor:

I live in Revelstoke, a small city of about 7,000. We typically grow substantially due to tourism. We’re a resort community, like Whistler, and people come for snowmobiling and ski vacations.

Actually, people are still coming. Licence plates from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

I don’t blame them, I guess. Some visitors explained they came because bars are closed in Calgary and they miss going out. The local brewery they visited is now closed. The owner contracted COVID-19, but surely that’s a coincidence.

Some visitors explained there’s less COVID-19 here than Ontario so it’s good they can get away. And the restaurant that closed due to COVID-19 exposure couldn’t have been because of the rows of Albertan vehicles parked out front, right?

I know Revelstoke has the worst case per capita rate in the province and one of my friends had it, but they “recovered.” They don’t like to eat anymore because they can’t taste or smell and they usually like to ski, but the vertigo kills the vibe.

But at least they’re alive, right?

You wouldn’t mind if I come vacation in Victoria there for a bit to get away from it all? My nephews and parents live there and, apparently, I’ve been hiding for no reason.

The Sandman Hotel chain ­literally emailed a promo for 45 per cent off standard room rates for “my next ­adventure.”

See you soon?

Ian Ward