We’d love to hear from you. Letters to the editor of 400 words or less may be emailed to: letters@pentictonherald.

For general comments on the newspaper, feel free to contact managing editor James Miller at: james.miller@ok.bc.ca.

Time we get tough on the drug dealers

Dear Editor:

Re: “Surviving long enough to live,”  by Joe Fries (Herald, Page 1, Dec. 31).

I read with interest the lead article and would like to ask one question.

Why do we never see the drug dealers supplying tainted drugs getting arrested and charged with causing the deaths? More people have died from overdoses than COVID-19.

One can only surmise that the RCMP is totally incompetent or they are being restrained from taking the actions that will bring this epidemic of deaths from drug overdoses to an end.

Besides our politicians addressing the problems in society that cause people to become addicts, it is obvious that a special enforcement unit needs to be set up to eliminate from society the people who are supplying tainted drugs.

The 983 deaths in 2019 due to drug overdoses in B.C. was already passed with 1,068 deaths by the end of August and yet not one supplier of tainted drugs has been arrested and charged.

Clearly, a new approach needs to be taken against the suppliers of drugs, both tainted and otherwise, as the approach taken so far is simply not working.

Brian Sutch


Vaccines take time, but will be effective

Dear Editor:

Seventy years ago, a killer Myxoma virus was released in Australia to curb a massive over-population of European rabbits and 99% of Australia’s European rabbits died.

Now the coronavirus is spreading worldwide through the over-populous human population, killing a few, maiming some, while starting to evolve into who knows what.

Anti-viral vaccinations started with smallpox, and later other vaccines rid us of polio, diphtheria, scarlet fever, etc. Fortunately we have learned from the past, and once COVID-19 arrived, immediately researched, developed, tested and manufactured anti-Covid vaccines. These will evolve in time into the most-effective, the least-harmful, and the simplest-to-distribute possible.

Eventually it will be distributed world-wide, and hopefully COVID will follow polio’s path.

Bradley Houston


New Year’s wishes might be unrealistic

Dear Editor:

A simple wish or two or three would be a great start for 2021, if only dreams came true!

No. 1: I wish the demise of COVID-19 along with some really dumb rules made up on the fly. Wow! Close all liquor outlets by 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve — people with half a brain would just load up before the deadline, doncha think?

No. 2: Politicians caught filling their pockets with theft of taxpayer money, etc. would face the same music of local crooks.

No. 3: Political thieves would remain in the news till the day came they were sentenced to jail time equal to their crime, along with losing the gold-plated pension. Now that is wishful thinking.

No. 4: Canada has a justice system, along with the political arena, that has seldom got out of low gear and remains in neutral if heaven forbid it’s one of their own caught red handed in the public cookie jar.

No. 5: Checking passengers for COVID -19 before a flight was suggested right here in the local newspaper many moons ago.

No. 6: Wonderful that this simple suggestion has become a feather in the cap of some political dunce.

No. 7: I have written many times that rules are made to be broken, but the people I mentioned above lead the parade.

Hopefully the Sun will shine on a brand new normal for all mankind — not just the political trough gurglers.

Tom Isherwood


Thanks for returning purse and all contents

Dear Editor:

I have been looking back on 2020, and, although it has been so trying and tragic for many, it has also been a time of genuine kindnesses to friends, neighbours, families, as well as from perfect strangers.

People have been sharing, and caring for others. Paying it forward, has become a common experience.

A week before Christmas, I was shopping at Walmart, and, when leaving the parking lot, I placed my purchases in the trunk, and left my purse in the cart, deposited the cart in the proper shed and drove off.

I was almost at Industrial Ave., when I noticed that my purse was not on the front seat. Horror struck! I made it back to Walmart (without causing an accident), checked the carts — no purse.

Into the store I went, directly to customer service, and, there, on the shelf, behind the cashier, was my purse. Praise the Lord. My purse, and contents, were totally intact.

My grateful thanks to the honest person, who found my purse, and turned it in. I am so thankful, it was you, my guardian angel.

Blessings and all the best wishes for a healthy and happy 2021.

Patti Skinner


Let’s all be grateful, even our politicians

Dear Editor:

We are very grateful going into the New Year 2021 with our taken-for-granted Canadian parliamentary system of governance.

Joe Schwarz


RDOS, City needs to trim renumerations

Dear Editor:

The City of Penticton’s April 2020 impact survey shows devastating losses for business in Penticton.

• 67% stated the economic impact to their business was ‘significant’ and 16% said it was ‘substantial’

• 69% reported seeing a drop in revenues or deal flow

• 52% have had to temporarily/indefinitely shut down their office

• 36% have laid off staff

• Nearly half (48%) indicated they feel they can only continue for another one to three months under current conditions.

Despite bailouts business remains in trouble in Penticton.

Penticton Council: Participation in B.C. MSP; extended health-and-dental benefits are optional and 100 percent of the premium cost is at council members’ expense.

While incapacitated,  Jake Kimberley receives six months remuneration through the Council Remuneration and Expense bylaw (half of $27,553). His age disqualifies him from the supplementary insurance coverage after the six month period; which covers participants under the age of 70.

This indicates insurance companies consider anyone over the age of 70 and working at high risk and declines to cover them.

Council needs to reconsider their current policy. Taxpayers should not cover anyone when insurance companies will not. Anyone sitting on council over the age of 70 should not be receiving remuneration if they are unable to work due to illness. The bylaw needs changing to reflect current insurance standards. It is baffling during these uncertain times, when many face an unknown future, that Penticton council is taking care of its own on the taxpayers’ dime.

Perilous financial times notwithstanding, the City has gone ahead with a $10 million bike path plan.

Repeated actions by Penticton Council have shown it doesn’t understand the economic trauma facing taxpayers: lost wages; increasing taxes; even scarier — an unknown future. Many people are using the food banks for the first time in their lives.

Well into the pandemic in June 2020, the RDOS signed a bylaw giving themselves an automatic pay raise every Jan. 1 for five years.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation: Lethbridge; Vancouver and Burnaby city councils have all taken a 10 percent pay cut. An MLA in Alberta is pushing for politicians and top bureaucrats to take a 20% pay cut. When can we expect Penticton Council and the RDOS to do the same or better?

The RDOS should cut by 50% its committee meeting remuneration and expense accounts. In most cases this cash cow is an excuse to rip off unsuspecting taxpayers.

Elvena Slump


What in heavens happened here?

Dear Editor:

I read the following quote online somewhere: “People ask, is America ready for a woman president or even a gay president?”

Funny thing is, never heard anyone ask if America (or the world for that matter) was ready for an incompetent, vindictive, mentally-unstable, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, traitorous egomaniac and yet, here we are, suffering through a bastardized U.S. presidency that will undoubtedly have future generations ask “what in heavens happened here?”

Somehow he avoided serious vetting. It’s painful. He is rotten to the core!

Everything with him is underhanded, fraudulent and dirty. It is pathetically amazing as to how a sitting president can drag down a great country. Joe Biden has a tough row to hoe ahead of him.

When the pandemic has ended, he will have to embark on a monumental effort to lobotomize the 73,902,604 Trump supporters who stupidly voted for this loathsome man. The aberration and novelty experiment (if that what it was) is coming to an end in a few short weeks and hopefully the world can repudiate all fears of U.S. citizens electing another president like him.

Paul Crossley


Politicians, stay home like the rest of us

Dear Editor:

The area of politics, as most of us know, encompasses what might be termed “inconsistencies.” A case in point is the recent case of ignoring policies set by in power governments. Ontario and Alberta governments seem to be the most overt provincial double standards provinces.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford got caught between a rock and a hard place with Finance Minister Rod Phillips. Ford pulled the “mea culpa plea” with reference to Phillips’ Caribbean escapade. Ford knew that Phillips had left the country and yet did nothing until the issue came to light because of “the Phillips subterfuge expose.” Phillips “fell on his sword” and resigned before Ford could formally fire him.

On another note, we have Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who seems to be the “the great cover-up artist.” He, too, like Ford attempted the “mea culpa thing” with reference to Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard.

It seems that it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask permission. She left the country while her constituents held fast to government requests for no travelling. Shades of a double standard or what! At this point, I am not trying to paint a picture that our province is “squeaky clean like the newly driven snow.” I would suspect that there are some skeletons in the closet here as well.

Allard first apologized last Thursday for an ill-advised trip to Hawaii which saw her leave for Hawaii on Dec. 19. During a media conference, She gave the lame-duck excuse that the trip was a long-standing tradition for her family. Allard was quoted as saying, “We have been going to Hawaii for most of the past 17 years since our youngest child was born.” If I were an Albertan my thoughts on would be “so what?”

Allard also said that her family was impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions which prevented her from seeing her two sons. Boo hoo, poor baby! She still made the decision to travel with her husband and daughter. She felt safe following Alberta’s border testing pilot program. Lame duck excuse or what?

After all is said and done, she escapes unblemished, with no knuckles rapped and a premier who makes a statement that Allard was working all of the time that she was away. By so doing, he appears to have “swept everything under the rug and show that all is well with the world.” I ask you, “Ain’t politics grand?”

Ron Barillaro


Politicians must lead by positive example

Dear Editor:

I, probably along with many other people, was appalled by the fact that after listening to politician after politician telling me I needed to stay home for Christmas, it is revealed that many of them went on overseas vacations.

One even selfishly declared "It’s a yearly tradition for our family to vacation in Hawaii over the Christmas holidays.”

Well lah dee dah and cry me a river.

As a politician, one of your basic duties is to lead by example. And when that statement is made, we don’t mean a bad example.

Every one of these entitled idiots who disregarded the health orders should be disciplined and heavily fined just like every other person who wantonly, recklessly and needlessly endangers Canadian lives.

Mark Billesberger


Save Sickle Point for our grandchildren

Dear Editor:

The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen has just started the alternate approval process for Area I (Kaleden) for a bylaw to partially fund the purchase of the lake-front Sickle Point property on the north side of Kaleden. The KVR Trail is adjacent the property.

I say “partially funded” because the Save Sickle Point Committee intends to raise a substantial amount of the purchase price so that the borrowing bylaw will only be used in part. The committee expects that various foundations and the provincial government will be contributors to the fund.

Some people have expressed opposition to this purchase being funded in part by taxpayers on the basis that they don’t use the KVR Trail or they don’t go to the beach, or they don’t live near it, etc. and therefore shouldn’t be asked to help pay for it.

One of the great things about living in a society like we have in Canada is that we support one another, both through our taxes and individually. It doesn’t matter whether you have children or not, you pay school taxes, because an educated society is good for everyone.

Likewise, even if you never read a book, you pay a library tax to fund the library system because that is good for society.

Here in the Okanagan, even if you don’t have an apple tree, you pay the Sterile Insect Release Program tax, because that benefits more than just apple growers. When people have flood problems, as they recently did in Willowbrook, Trout Creek and Twin Lakes, taxpayers all across the RDOS and B.C. contributed to helping alleviate the problems. I am not aware of the taxpayers in Williams Lake or Princeton objecting to helping out those residents.

And all of the taxpayers in the RDOS have been funding multi-year studies of the water situation in various parts of the District.

Saving an endangered piece of lake-front property will be recognized 20 years from now as having been the right thing to do and our grandchildren will applaud our foresight.

How many times do we say to ourselves, oh, if only they (meaning society in general) had done this or that 40 years ago.

Do not let them say about us — they had a chance to save Sickle Point and blew it! Imagine if past generations of Pentictonites had decided Skaha Lake Park wasn’t worth saving — the community would be the poorer for it.

You won’t get a charitable donation receipt for your taxes but you will for a donation to the Save Sickle Point fund.

You can help save Sickle Point by making a donation to the fund.

More information is available online at: kaledencommunity.com/sicklepoint

Robert Handfield


Write: letters@pentictonherald.ca