Is large development in public’s best interest?

Dear Editor:

In 2016 the Golder Hydrogeological Study was written for the purpose of assessing water availability for a proposed phase 1 development (50 dwellings but now reduced to 36) at the Twin Lake Golf Course. All must recognize that land use is water use. Without water land value is decreased.

Golder used: 1) a large water variance, 2) use of increased “water- in” by adding in an assumed bedrock recharge, 3) not including any ranch/domestic surface water licences. Golder stated that with onsite visits to this area no ranch irrigation was observed, and 4) monitoring the water in a wet year cycle 2010 to 2020 to meet the recommended aquifer capacity.

Aquifer #261 is the only possible water source for the Twin Lake Area. The aquifer is fed mainly by the springtime runoff in Horn Creek. The lakes and streams known as surface water is hydraulically connected to the aquifer which is under Upper and Lower Twin Lake, the Twin Lake Golf Course, Trout Lake and Marama Creek (empties into Marron Lake). The aquifer is also under a large field adjacent to Myers (Park Rill) Creek. Water moves around Parker Mt. in 2 directions.

Even though there is no other possible water source, RDOS has now passed the zoning for phase 1 & 2 - 232 dwellings, 79 RV sites, a Village Centre with shops, a swimming pool and the Wastewater Treatment System that requires water to treat water & sewage. In 2016 Golder predicted that with only Phase 1 and the active surface water licence withdrawals, Lower Twin Lake will decrease to only the south deep end.

RDOS has a covenant attached to the zoning bylaw which is believed to give control for sustainable water. The covenant states that after the 36 dwellings have an occupancy permit (no water use is stipulated) then RDOS will assess for sustainable groundwater availability for Phase 2. We ask how sustainable water will be assessed without water use for 36 units and no passage of time. There will be no going back for the wells, lake, wildlife and the ecosystems of the Twin Lake Area. Is this a comfortable outcome for anyone?

When there is high risk such as unproven facts –“proof of sustainable water”- it is prudent to use the Precautionary Principle.

Coral Brown

Twin Lakes Resident

and Waterway Monitor

Society’s problem is the abuse of power

Dear Editor:

I wanted to say a few words regarding the homeless problem in Penticton and provide a different perspective.

There is a far more serious problem in Penticton and other cities than the homeless problem, but it does contribute to the homelessness.

The problem is abuse of power.

Abuse of power exists in every institution; government, the medical profession and policing. We are clearly seeing evidence of it today in the military.

I recall in Penticton about 10 years ago an abuse of power I personally experienced. That abuse of power could have had two outcomes. Homelessness, mental health and addiction issues or fighting back and surviving. Although not an easy choice, I chose to fight back. The institution and abuse of power was the RCMP who is now facing its fourth multi-million class action lawsuit.

Sadly, the abuse of power also involved the medical profession, as I later learned, and how complicit institutions become in covering up abuses.

While I am a survivor, others are not so lucky. Some committed suicide, others face life-long debilitating mental health and addictions. Families have suffered and friendships lost.

I was displaced several times and have faced numerous challenges to discredit me, but I have remained committed.

So homelessness can be the result of many issues. Mine is one story, but I believe every story involves institutional abuse.

So city hall can choose to go down the road of court challenges, but the money could be better spent on resources, education and supports to find solutions.

I am not however surprised to see the same attitude still exists here as it did 10 years ago.

Norma Bates

Penticton

Thank you volunteers for community service

Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my greatest gratitude and thanks to all volunteers and staffing of One Sky and the Seniors Wellness Society, which includes Better at Home and the Safe Senior Strong Community Initiative.

I have received excellent, considerate and kind service for several years.

All things changed March of 2020 when the grocery stores no longer offered deliveries because of COVID.

There were new restrictions necessary.

The staff and volunteers brought in new programs to meet the needs of their clients.

The volunteers have gone over and above all expectations by working to get their clients the groceries and specialty items, even though the items were in short supply or just not available.

The volunteers I have had the privilege of meeting are considerate in following the guidelines given by the health authorities to ensure our safety.

They wear masks, keep a safe distance and find the best way to get the items to you and in the easiest way for you.

The volunteers also were able to get me to appointments at the hospital, laboratory, and to the vaccination centre.

The volunteers give of their own free time by taking on challenges to assist others even in these difficult times.

I can not thank you enough!

Always recognize how much we appreciate your volunteering for us all.

Please take care and be safe! Thank you.

Maryjo Ware

Penticton

Ill-advised to spend $300K on lawsuit

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, Penticton City Council voted to spend up to $300,000 to possibly take legal action against the Province over BC Housing’s operation of the Winnipeg Street shelter without a temporary use permit issued by the City.

A key piece of information has been all but missing from mayor and council’s public statements on the matter: Provincial legislation exempts BC Housing from complying with a municipality’s bylaws governing the use of a building.

Pursuant to subsection 14(2) of British Columbia’s Interpretation Act, no statute, regulation or bylaw governing the use or development of land or a building binds the Provincial Government, including BC Housing. This was confirmed by the BC Supreme Court in Buechler v Island Crisis Care Society, 2019 BCSC 1899 (which is available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s website at www.canlii.org).

In that case, BC Housing installed modular units within the City of Nanaimo to temporarily house homeless persons. Neighbours went to court arguing that the modular units must comply with the City’s bylaws. The Court dismissed the case based on the Interpretation Act.

It is time for the mayor and council to be candid with Penticton residents about BC Housing’s obligation to comply with municipal bylaws and the likely success of the lawsuit they unanimously support. If they believe the Interpretation Act does not doom their lawsuit to failure, they should explain why this is the case to Penticton residents. If their intent is to spend $300,000 on a lawsuit that is destined to fail before it begins, they should explain why this is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

Mayor and council keep repeating that they are open and willing to work with BC Housing. If this is the case, they need stop threatening BC Housing with expensive, ill-advised litigation and find a path to working productively and collaboratively with BC Housing.

Drew Tyler

Penticton

Just because you can doesn't mean you have to

Dear Editor:

Someone’s courageous choice to stop using alcohol or drugs in an effort to improve their life leaves me awe-inspired as do the compassionate souls that are there to support them.

Pathways offers the best opportunity to learn tools imperative to their difficult journey. It has an atmosphere that is void of judgement and very comforting to know this is not the first rodeo for the staff at Pathways. I’m so curious how these experienced people can be replaced. Where is Interior Health going to find them?

From all sectors of IH their caseloads are overwhelming. Pathways’ priority is people’s needs whereas at IH you will be passed around either by phone or person to person for assessment to determine whether your needs will be met. This process adds immeasurable stress to the client’s struggle, shaking the brave resolve they have to change their life.

Shutting down a successful addiction resource centre without dropping in to gain personal insight is neglectful. By not doing her homework, the IH CEO’s public statement of falsehoods regarding Pathways intake and tracking clients shows little respect or concern for public opinion.

Firstly Pathways’ intake is not restricted to 1 -2:30 p.m. Tuesdays. This time is for the public’s knowledge and serves well for people that need time to digest and gather energy for their life-changing commitment. Those in urgent need will be seen anytime.

It appears that IH CEO Susan Brown doesn’t know what goes on in her own backyard as illustrated by her emphasizing misinformation that Pathways is unable to track client progress.

I experienced IH’s inability to locate important records of paperwork detailing two years of services they provided it caused a lot of frustration, uncertainty and valuable time spent to recover copies of the records they could not find.

Many others have shared similar or more serious situations resulting in varying levels of distress, what was consistent for everyone was the absence of an apology or anyone taking responsibility for it.

Their lofty goals of efficiency and compassion lack real merit by not allowing clients the time they need to transition into a new system. It’s blatantly clear that IH doesn’t have the fundamental knowledge of what’s involved for success in the recovery process.

Their action to close Pathways in three months deliberately left insufficient time for an alternative. Possibly with the growing numbers of supporters a solution will come to light.

Save Pathways https://ca.gofundme.com

Michelle McLelland

Penticton

Yes you can, but you don’t have to do it

Dear Editor:

Re: “Snowbirds unfairly vilified over COVID,” (Herald, April 20).

It is will disgust and disbelief that I read a letter to the editor from Doug “I’ll Do As I Please” Yeast.

Such attributes of negativity, self-serving arrogance and egotistically are seldom found in one letter.

First. The decision cancel non-essential travel was made by the Government of Canada (the people of Canada) not some “fearless leader” on March 13.

Second. When you have two people in your “bubble” in Yuma and four other people show up, you now have a group of six (Grade 2 math). Not four as he noted.

Furthermore, just because people show up at your door does not mean that they are “in you bubble” that is defined by health authorities as “their immediate family” or people who live in the same residence.

Third. Getting vaccinated in Yuma. He fails to mention that he and his cohorts took the place of American taxpayers who paid for the vaccine and that somewhere down the line some deserving Americans could possibly be deprived of their shot.

He later justifies this arrogant behaviour by adding that he “was not in the line for a shot in from of any Canadian.” Really how does this justify such self-centered behaviour?

Fourth. Many of us maintain homes in the United States, but most of us have not yielded to the temptation (not right) to circumvent for our own selfish desires but rather to sacrifice for the “common good.” There is no “jealously” here, only pity for you.

Fifth. As to your question regarding how may COVID-19 cases have come across our border, I hope this doesn’t surprise you but of course the answer is 100%. The virus is not native to Canada.

Mr. “I’ll Do It My Way,” you did nothing original except disobey an order put in place to keep All Canadian from the peril of a deadly virus.

It is lesson to the wise (obviously not Mr. Yeast ) “just because you CAN do something does not mean you HAVE to do it”

Kerrigan Baxter

Penticton

 

Blind dogs recognize voices of kind people

Dear Editor:

While my wife and I were out for a walk, we met a woman with a brown, curly-haired Labradoodle, which is a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. 

As we approached, the dog barked several times in our general direction, without making eye contact.

The lady told us her dog had developed ulcers in his eyes a few years earlier and was now blind. 

When we started talking her dog came over to ‘check out’ the sources of these new voices. He welcomed being touched and patted by unseen strangers.  

The remarkable thing was how friendly and trusting he was, which I took to be a tribute to the compassion and character of the owner.

As we started to part, the dog was standing beside his owner, who was holding the longish leash. That’s when I asked what the dog’s name was.  She said, “Navajo,” and then placed her end of the leash on the dog’s back and said, “Call him.”  When I did, Navajo followed the sound of my voice and came to me for another patting. 

After checking out the source of my wife’s voice, he returned to his owner.

Navajo is an admirable example of how to deal with adversity.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon

Science, truth ignored with latest guidelines

Dear Editor:

B.C. Premier John Horgan is banning all “non-essential” travel outside of our respective health areas. Where is the science for that restriction on our rights?

Where is the science behind the four-month delay in getting a second dose of the Pfizer (so-called) vaccine.

Vaccines are supposed to make one immune from diseases by stimulating the production of antibodies. This is not happening. So are all the COVID vaccines no better than flu shots, which help but are not foolproof?

Is the media not telling the masses the whole unvarnished truth?

Barry D. Cochrane

Kelowna