Letters to the Editor

Write: letters@pentictonherald.ca, 400 words or less.

Leave Knox Mountain access the way it is

Dear Editor:

I too am dismayed that city staff in Kelowna would consider closing Knox Mountain to vehicle traffic.

Knox Mountain is a public park, a jewel, and should be open to all regardless of age or ability. If that means private vehicles need to transport people up and down the road (that is, after all, the purpose of the road) then so be it.

When I filled out the survey, the first three digits of my postal code weren’t even listed as an option. So, does city staff think people in Rutland in the V1X postal code don’t go to Knox Mountain?

I filled out “other” and entered my three digits. What are the chances the city staff took the time to go through all the “others” to pull out the V1X comments from Kelowna residents?

I am surprised residents along Royal View Drive and at the base of the mountain aren’t advocating for the road to be open. It would stop the congestion and parking problems in both areas.

Please Kelowna residents, don’t just think of yourself and your abilities to walk or hike or mountain bike on Knox. Think of others, the very young and older folks who can’t walk from the bottom of the mountain or even from Royal View Road up to either landing and who want to enjoy the view of the city.

Mayor and city councillors, I urge you to keep Knox Mountain open to traffic with the same hours as occurred pre-pandemic.

Marilyn Strong

Kelowna

Random kindness greatly appreciated

Dear Editor:

Today we met with friends from Vernon and Peachland at Milestones in Kelowna for lunch. We had a wonderful lunch, a great visit, and then when it came time for the bill, our server informed us that a lady who had been sitting at another table with her friends paid for our lunch. Needless to say we were totally surprised, as this wasn't a small tab.

Our friend was able to get out the door and find her to thank her and I want her to know how much we appreciated what she did.

What a wonderful thing to do! I will make sure that I pay this forward. Again, thank you to whomever you are.

Sharon Henderson

Penticton

Travel restriction editorial right on target

Dear Editor:

Re: “Our travel restrictions are too little, too late,” editorial by the Victoria Times Colonist (Courier/Herald, April 30).

The editorial gets two reactions from me:

1. Bravo. It’s right on target.

2. Another headline: “The Times Colonist editorial on travel restrictions is too little, too late.”

Myer Horowitz

Victoria

Blame to go around on money laundering

Dear Editor:

Re: “Coleman denies putting B.C. casino profits first” (Herald, April 30)

As early as 2009. the Mounties were warning the BC Liberal government that dirty money was being laundered in casinos. Former Investigator of Gaming, Larry Vander Graaf said he pushed this view for five years until he was fired.

Yet Rich Coleman denied repeatedly any knowledge of wrongdoing and the difficulty in pursuing accountability while he was Gaming Minister.

At the hearing, Steve Beeksma an anti-money laundering specialist told of an incident where a man went out to the parking lot where someone handed him a shopping bag containing $645.000 which he exchanged for casino chips.

No immediate action was taken to stop the man from continuing to frequent casinos and exchange large sums of money for chips.

The NDP are not free from scandal in this matter: B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says Global News reports showing money laundering in B.C. casinos goes back to the NDP governments of the 1990s.

In August of 1999 Glen Clark, the BC NDP leader and premier since early 1996, resigned after the provincial attorney-general revealed that Clark was under criminal investigation over the granting of a provincial government casino-gambling license to a company that is co-owned by his neighbor and friend, Dimitrios Pilarinos.

Clark was not the first top B.C. social-democrat to be felled by a scandal involving gambling: Exposure of system of kickbacks under which profits from provincially-chartered charity bingos were siphoned into the coffers of the NDP.

When it became apparent that gaming was a serious issue going back to the 1990s, why did the incoming Liberals fail to take remedial to protect the people of B.C.?

Corruption and criminal negligence as yet remain unproven in this enquiry but history amply shows that money corrupts and there is no cure for stupidity.

So you get kicked out of office: Too many fat cats are sitting at home on their rich pensions living comfortable lives. We need jail time for gross negligence and with jail time the loss of pension rights.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

Not all businesses suffered over past year

Dear Editor:

Penticton property taxpayers, the time is now for you to speak up on proposed property tax rates and multipliers.

Council disclosed that the property tax rates and business tax multiplier will be set at the May 4 council meeting. Mayor John Vassilaki is on record to retain a 1.75 the business tax multiplier. Council needs to increase the business tax multiplier to a factor of 2.0 times the residential rate, Council has already committed to the increase in the business tax multiplier in the previous year.

Council needs to explain that the business property assessments for 2021 have not increased (possibly decreased) at the same rate as for residential property assessment values. This fact, will automatically shift additional property taxes to residential taxpayers (look out for residential property assessment rate increases in 2022.)

Council needs to do a targeted rebate of property taxes (to the same of level of property taxes as paid in 2020) to the section of the business community most affected by COVID-19. Not all business have suffered with reduced business incomes and are not entitled to a reduction in property taxes for 2021 when based on need.

It is up to the business community to prove need in order to be eligible for the rebate.The maximum total property tax rebate will need to be determined to reduce to 2020 property tax levels for qualifying businesses.

CFO Jim Bauer, you have a responsibility to educate the Penticton residential taxpayers on the freeze of business tax multiplier and the shift of the property assessment values to residential property owners. Please provide current schedules with comparative figures for the current and prior year, for the different options of the allocation of property taxes for 2021.

Council, explain the 2021 property tax options to the Penticton residents at the May 4 meeting , then hold a special meeting to pass the property tax rates for 2021.

Ted Wiltse

Penticton

Responsibility: most important attribute

Dear Editor:

If one lives alone with no interaction with others and in an area with no government, hence no law and order, he may live life as he wishes.

That is perfect freedom and all the rights he is born with. It is when one lives and interacts with others that he will need to develop a system of interaction that gives each one the maximum freedom without interfering with other’s rights to the same.

Starting with family groups, then tribes, mankind has slowly worked its way to societies.

Over the years, societies have evolved until we have a vast variety from anarchy to theocracy, from totalitarianism to democracy, and various other mixtures.

Each and every one of them have human rights as they see them. They run the gamut from brutal and unjust to kind and lawful. They all have a few things in common — none are perfect, nor can they be, for humans at their best are not perfect.

It is because of the advent of societies that we have a plethora of wonderful advances in all fields, such as the arts, education, science and agriculture. It has been the society as a whole and individuals within it that has been the cause of our greatest achievements.

To claim that you owe nothing to the society you live in is to rebuke all the things that you take for granted, not just the ones you disagree with.

To endanger the life of another person through action or inaction makes one an ill-responsible, ill-informed, unethical or else cowardly person.

You will always have dissidents who feel that they are hard done by and stir the pot of social strife.

Some of these are honest dissenters and others do it for fun or the notoriety. The last two groups do not appear to realize nor care what damage they do to the society they live in.

I believe that the most important attribute to anyone living in a society is responsibility.

So please wear a mask and take the other precautions to protect me and other old fogies from the virus, so I will be able to enjoy you and all others in the twilight of my years. I thank you all in advance.

Barrie Pelland

Kelowna

Write:

In Kelowna: letters@ok.bc.ca

In Penticton: letters@pentictonherald.ca