From our mailbox

One of Norman Rockwell's many famous paintings of a traditional holiday.

Get back to basics this holiday season

Dear Editor:

With Halloween just flown by, people are now being drawn into the pre-December mindset.

Commercialism is rampant and everywhere — newspaper, computer, TV, mailbox, flyers, malls, grocery stores, pharmacies. How about not being influenced by that craze?

Pause and make a concerted effort to step back by reminiscing good old times and returning to basic principles. Visit memory lane, flip through photo albums, dig out treasured recipes, recall and relearn favourite carols, relax and listen to uplifting calming music, celebrate family traditional activities of the holiday season, share meals together all sitting at the same time at the table with no phone or computer to taunt you and make quality time for yourself by sharing togetherness with family.

Bring out the board games and enjoy watching good old classic movies that convey meaning and purpose without violence, despair, grotesque distorted looking characters and morbid scenarios.

Avoid the urge to buy. Engage in the mindset of doing with less. Count your blessings and exercise gratefulness by being thankful for the things that you do have in your life and that you may even take for granted.

Get out into nature and gather items that can be used to create wreaths in and around the home. Participate with children in the making of crafts, designing homemade gifts and conveying creativity and artistic expression.

Connect with dear grandparents and involve them in participating in family activities. Make come-alive lovely memories of the past by reliving tradition in the present. The gift of cherishing what one has, making wonderful fun and happy times with simplicity and giving quality time with love can be so amazing and fulfilling.

And come and think of it, engaging in those basic and genuine character behaviours do not cost a nickel. Happy holidays!

CLAUDIA KARGL, WEST KELOWNA

Without vaccines, we are vulnerable

Dear Editor:

I’m a masker vaxxer. I’m not a scientist or a scientific informant. I do not research the internet ever for personal health or wellbeing issues. But I am very comfortable with where I am in relation to my fellow human community.

Perhaps to some I appear naïve, to others a bit vague. Maybe even a bit suspicious. I love the suspense.

But none of these apply. I am one who trusts. I trust my wife. I trust the system.

I trust my family input. I trust my faith. I trust there is a COVID virus out there and I trust the measures society has taken to combat this killer virus.

So much so that I believe heart and soul that being double vaccinated and awaiting a booster that contracting COVID in this state will reduce my chances of serious illness and save me from the depths of death. I believe I can be a carrier of the virus and can infect others.

What I find hard to understand are those who do not understand the impact a killer virus has on a community. A virus that goes around seeking out a "host" that is willing to allow it invade their body and cause undo distress to that person. A society where the virus can move around the willing "hosts" over and over and over again as well as moving around the unwilling in a less offensive manner.

Because we have a divided opinion, those of us who are vaxxers must remain diligent and continue to wear our masks; continue to relate to community activities that require mask wearing and proof of vaccination.

Why? Because each of us is an uniquely created human being and will have our own individual relationship with the vaccine. I trust the vaccine running around my body but I do not know whether I am personally more or less safe. I do believe without the vaccinations I am 100% vulnerable.

Thanks be to God I am Canadian receiving all the benefits of one of the best country communities in the world. Where I am and where I have been allows me to be trustful.

My prayer and hope is the same for all.

Perhaps when this is all over, there will be an individual one of us may meet who can profess they survived the pandemic without following the health protocols put into place by health authorities.

How wonderful for them! How sad for those for who may not survive to experience their joy.

We will never know in this lifetime.

DALLAS ELLIOTT, KELOWNA

Joe Clark was the only admirable Tory

Dear Editor:

Regarding John Thompson of Kaleden’s recent long letter, I am not sure which is more disturbing — his perspective or mine.

Definitely I would not write of what John wrote — the idiocy of Tiktok campaigning or observing Jagmeet Singh’s beard pulling.

In my life-long experience, I can perhaps recall one or two trustworthy politicians namely the non-politician Chuck Cadman and perhaps the First Nations representatives such as Elijah Harper.

No leader of the Liberals has ever had my trust and the only admirable Tory was the arguably-incompetent Joe Clark.

We cannot simply trust power seekers to be honest with us. We must watch them like hawks.

PATRICK LONGWORTH, PENTICTON

The future of the beef industry

Dear Editor:

Climate change with methane gas creates a big beef with beef and could put a possible end to steak barbecues and hamburger days.

But there is hope.

It may be replaced by Okanagan ingenuity with open-faced grape paddies.

Joe SCHWARZ, PENTICTON

Be fearful of Trudeau, the actor

Dear Editor:

Justin Trudeau, speaking at the climate summits, looks good, sounds good. Some mock him for his acting career, but we should respect and fear those skills, for they taught him how to oh so sincerely promise the electorate everything and then delivers nothing (wanna buy a pipeline, anyone?)

JOY LANG, PENTICTON

Let's make Penticton great again

Dear Editor:

Is overspending on redundant projects out of control once again in Penticton?

Summarizing the past 10 years of incompetence and negative developments:

• Public funds wasted on a hockey dorm

• Skaha Park legal fees, public meetings, a buyout for Trio

• Costs for ridiculous raised intersections on Main Street

• Excessive spending on the bike lane

• Costs to install Main Street parking meters and losses to downtown merchants because of the meters

Furthermore, what are the costs and the reasons for continuously narrowing the intersections? What are the reasons for making these intersections unsafe for trucks with trailers, fire trucks, delivery trucks and emergency responders? Have pedestrians suddenly forgotten how to cross the street? Were the fire department, city bus drivers, emergency services and delivery trucks consulted before making any intersection changes in the name of safety and easy access?

With the millions in excessive spending on bike lanes, why did the city not consult with Penticton Indian Band and repave and beautify the Channel pathway where there is almost zero vehicle traffic? How much was spent on the never-used road beside City Hall and Gyro Park that removed green space?

Are senior staff, city planners and engineering not supposed to work in the best interests of those they represent or are they representing their own ideas to totally change Penticton into what they want?

As recently as 25 years ago, Penticton was the best place in all of Western Canada. City Hall has since destroyed the city we once knew. They are making changes for tourists yet are quick to rezone campgrounds and RV parks to high-density housing rather than providing tax breaks and incentives to retain them.

Is incompetence and overspending the new normal rather than charm, heritage and preservation?

Should we protest for the resignation of involved city planners and city directors before any last resemblance of Penticton is gone and the parks once again are put at risk of development?

Should we, in the next election, clean house and get a mayor and council who will remove downtown meters, stop wasting the taxpayers’ money and try to preserve some of Penticton’s heritage and slow overdevelopment in areas not suitable?

The only councillor I think worthy is James Miller, who I hope runs for mayor in the next election.

CLIFFORD MARTIN, PENTICTON

Trudeau’s climate strategy is lame

Dear Editor:

Canadians wake up. Our great leader Justin and his new Environment Minister have stated they will try over the next four years to get rid of fossil fuels.

Steven Guilbeault even went further and stated it is his intention to close every pipeline. They have four years to do this unless Justin Trudeau brings back proroguing Parliament which I believe he will as he loves power and is on record as he wants to be prime minister for life.

This means they want to ban natural gas in all homes. Millions of homes and buildings rely on natural gas for their heat and for cooking. The stoves will have to be sent to the landfills, adding to the pollution issue.

Homeowners will have to pay for the conversion in their homes, which will cost a fortune. Those with a big mortgage outstanding will still have to make monthly payments or else declare bankruptcy as their homes will become basically worthless

To replace the millions of gas furnaces and stoves will take years because, for stoves there is not enough being manufactured. It is estimated the backlog is two years. So once the gas is cut off homes will have no stoves or heat for years.

Plus there is not enough infrastructure and labour. These changes will make no change in our environment and will result in unneeded expenses across the global economy since there will be a huge increase in demand for cement, copper wiring, lumber and so on, all which depend on fossil fuels.

All landfills will be overflowing

Most drug stores will close down because most of our medicines have natural gas in them and, of course, are all packaged in plastic.

The good news is that we will be able to buy the drugs from the U.S. and Trudeau’s favourite country, China. For us Canadians, the price of all medicines will go sky high.

Have you noticed that Trudeau and Guilbeault have not offered what is to replace natural gas.

This is top secret to all Greens. Canada is estimated to contribute 1.2% of all world GHGs. Actually, we are already carbon neutral. It is our 3-billion-plus trees that everyday consume CO2 and reward us with our oxygen.

Canadians have a choice — go backwards like the Greens want or try to go forward and prosper. Canada has the best opportunities in the world, but no one in Ottawa wants to develop our potential, just tear us apart.

BRIAN MERRIAM, PENTICTON

School boards must mandate vaccines

Dear Editor:

Recent news reports have shown that there is a complacency on the part of government to set a vaccination mandate for the teaching profession and auxiliary staff as a whole.

Common sense here would seem to be that to do so would not only benefit those members involved, but also the mass student population.

My reference point is the Surrey School District (of which I was once a part). It seems that the board has decided to play hit, miss and guess with the COVID situation by not requiring teachers and other staff to get vaccinated.

I am wondering as to what the rationale was here in this decision.

Current polls taken would seem to indicate that those who are not in favour of vaccination have two basic reasons for not taking the shot.

One reason is personal freedom and the other is scientific concern.

It seems strange that pandemic/epidemic types of issues in the past (polio, TB, measles, Ebola etc.) had minor concern or resistance to vaccines made for them. What seems to be the problem now? What is so different?

How is it that the Surrey district has separated teachers and support staff from the vaccination decision? This lack of policy would seem to indicate that there is no real pandemic problem or that they are afraid of any repercussions from teachers. They seem to lose sight of the fact that teachers are on the front line and that students’ safety is a priority.

I am wondering what the majority of parents think of this decision, irrespective of what side of the vaccination program they are on.

It appears that Pandora’s Box has been opened in this instance. Unfortunately, the situation cannot be equated to a damned-if-you-do or damned-if-you-don’t scenario.

The real losers here, I feel, are the teachers and thousands of students who be will exposed to this scenario and can only wonder, “Could I be a victim?”

RON BARILLARO, PENTICTON