Women deserve better facility from PRH

Dear Editor:

On Oct. 8, I underwent major surgery including a full hysterectomy. I was welcomed awake in the new hospital by excellent nurses.

Eventually it was time to take me to my room. I was taken to the women’s ward in the old part of the hospital. Wheeled into a small dark room with no light or fresh air. Joining me was a 90-year-old woman with severe dementia.

24/7 she would cry out in pain, begging to die. It was heartbreaking. I could hear babies being born in the rooms next to me. I had just lost my uterus at 36. As difficult it was to hear, I knew I was lucky to have two healthy children at home.

But, what about the woman who never got to have a family, due to endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy, or precancerous cells? Those women don’t have a choice and no one should have to experience that side by side. The pain was difficult, but on top of it there was no edible food, no quiet, no sleep, no visitors, no light, no fresh air. It felt like torture. It was in no way conducive to healing.

I couldn’t believe women had to birth babies and recover in such a dilapidated and depressing place. I couldn’t believe women who lose their reproductive system have to listen to babies being born, and that women who are mentally ill and dying share these same awful rooms, and that with today’s knowledge around nutrition, patients are fed rehydrated, processed foods instead of real foods that aid in constipation and support recovery.

It’s not just an oversight, it’s a huge problem.

We have top surgeons here, doing incredible work, only to be completely undermined by the disconnect in the post-surgery care. The day of my release I used the shower before heading home. The bathroom was falling apart and the room was being used as a utility closet. The whole place is bursting from the seams.

Do women and children, old and young, not deserve better? Let’s rent this 1950s women’s ward out to a horror film production and build the new wing that we were promised, the one we deserve.

Lastly, thank you again to my entire surgical team, the hard-working nurses and hospital staff who make PRH tick. I am very grateful to the volunteers and donors who continue to make the expansion possible.

Zara Kinash

Penticton

Desperately seeking scooter storage space

Dear Editor:

I am a young senior in Penticton, living in an apartment on Brunswick Ave. between Westminster and Churchill. My four-wheel scooter is a disability aide and acts as my lifeline to live independently and with dignity.

I have several physical issues and having use of a scooter helps me in many ways. It supports my spine and neck problems; acts as my legs for balance and walking; and overall, assists me with many physical ailments left over from several operations and a rough bout with cancer.

The elevator in my building is too small to allow me to get the scooter up to my suite and where I have been allowed to store it for two years, is now not allowed due to fire regulations re: an exit. There is no place elsewhere in my building to store it. It needs a safe, out-of- weather space (I have locks for it) and access to an electrical outlet with which to charge it.

I normally go out in the afternoons for appointments and errands. If someone within a few blocks of my locale, has a storage area or space in a garage, that I can rent for a reasonable fee, I would really appreciate the help. It needs to be close enough to my apartment so that I can use my walker or walking stick to get to the scooter.

I only have until May 31 to find storage space. I can be reached at: 250-487-9264 or at: sunnydays58@hotmail.com. It does not take up a lot of space, but it is huge in that it gives me freedom and options in my life.

Please help, if you seriously can, I am relying on the kindness that I know Pentictonites have. It can be either a spot in a business or a residential space.

Kali Chycoski

Penticton

Penticton desperately in need of housing

Dear Editor:

I’m desperately trying to find better things to do with my time than watch council meetings, but I decided to tune in last week to watch the discussion of 435 Green Avenue West, in which the proponent wishes to demolish a single-family home to make way for 158 purpose-built rental units.

As a resident with a heartbeat, I have huge concerns about the cost of housing. Relative to many other communities in the Okanagan, the median income in Penticton is low. Vacancy is also very low, driving up prices.

I’m for this project, and many, many, many more like it. We desperately need more housing supply at all levels, particularly rental.

Mayor John Vassilaki said “in my estimation what the people need and can afford, their prices (in regards to the proponent’s rent prices) are outrageous.”

From a public policy point of view, the mayor could be making reforms to get more supply into the marketplace, and instead chooses not to do so.

Costly parking mandates drive up building costs, and in turn, rent prices. They also force everyone to pay for parking, whether they want it or not. This can add up to 20% more to rent prices.

Exclusionary zoning makes it illegal to increase housing supply in many areas.

Coun. Frank Regehr surmised that Penticton must be growing faster than anticipated, as the rental demand continues to be very high in spite of many recent large rental buildings being constructed. I respect Coun. Regehr and his comments, but one thing that was missed was the prevalence of Airbnb.

We’re adding all these big purpose rental buildings the last few years, but I’d be curious if we’ve even added any net units after the Airbnb effect.

This service, and vacation rentals in general, remove more and more rentals from the long-term pool, into the hotel market. This will continue to drive up the prices of the remaining housing as the current marketplace incentivizes landlords turning into hoteliers.

I can complain all I want about having no ice cream left in my freezer, but if my wife doesn’t like cookies and cream and my son can’t reach the freezer handle, there isn’t much point in lamenting where I find myself.

As long as Mayor Vassilaki sits on the sidelines refusing to take significant policy actions to get more housing supply, his complaining is just a man talking to his empty freezer.

Matt Hopkins

Penticton

End paid parking in Penticton’s downtown

Dear Editor:

I have been a resident in this once-beautiful city since 1956.

This morning, I had to go to a place of business in the 600 block of Main Street in Penticton. I couldn’t believe what I encountered. Paid parking.

It was not with a convenient parking meter on the sidewalk by your car, but at least a city block to get to the spitter to pay. This was in the pouring rain.

I’ll be limiting my shopping downtown and I really do feel the merchants are getting the shaft. How much more can they endure? I shake my head in wonder who comes up with these ideas and those who approve them.

I consider myself a fit person but what about people who have mobility challenges? What schooling did our so-called planners have? Surely we can do better than this.

I have a few other items on my dumb list but I won’t get into that.

Myrna McLaren

Penticton

Get out, talk to those who are suffering

Dear Editor:

Re: “Mayor calls on Horgan to help with shelter issue,” (Herald, A1, May 12).

The letter and the plea sent to our premier from city hall brought a chuckle to me as well as one of sympathy.

I imagine you are now experiencing a little bit of what we residents of Penticton feel when our elected officials blow us off, change game rules midway or when a "new" person is brought in and the direction changes because after all that is supposed to be their expertise. (Minister Eby, case in point).

As well, when the pleas of people fall on deaf ears of supposed leadership, how the frustration mounts to possible anger and potential retribution.

While I agree wholeheartedly with this letter and it’s about time our elected officials grew a set, there is much work to be done properly and healthily for all of our Pentictonites to live in safety and comfort year-round.

As it stands now, all we are doing is Band-Aiding situations as they arise such as hiring more bylaw enforcement who is now taking on some of the roles of RCMP, but who don't have the legal support of law enforcement that RCMP has. It isn't fixing the problem and may in fact be adding more fuel to the fire.

I believe if you all stand back and go back to square one with the knowledge you have acquired in these last few years of what the homeless needs are, people with addictions and people who suffer from mental health, you can then begin anew with a more solid foundation of improving this situation not only for the homeless but also for the residents who live in their homes.

We as residents are looking to you, our elected officials to ensure our city is well run for all who live here. Clearly the job you are doing on this situation is not working well for anyone.

My advice for you all is to get out of council chambers and out of your safe and cozy homes and talk to those who are homeless, people who suffer from addictions or suffer from mental health to actually determine their levels of suffering to properly address their individual needs so they can be properly placed where the care they receive is actually working and not enabling.

Karen Brownlee

Byelection candidate

Penticton

The corner of shame?

Dear Editor:

The proposed housing development for the Kampe property is somewhat of a sick joke. What’s wrong with the pundits at 171 Main Street? The proverbial council train seems to have jumped the track to even consider rezoning the property for multi-purpose development.

Almost everyone knows what a truly great philanthropist David Kampe was. The city benefitted in several ways from his philanthropic gestures: such as monies put forward to Penticton Regional Hospital for building improvement and equipment purchase and scholarship funds for deserving Penticton students to name two of many gifts for community betterment.

These philanthropic acts should not be overshadowed by the city’s desire to rezone this once pristine area for the benefit of corporate development in the way of multi- story housing. To do so might be considered to be an insult to the legacy of a man who cherished the city and added character to the city.

It would seem that council might be looking at this development as a tax “cash cow” only. Not only would such a development be out of character for the area but also an eyesore as one proceeds north on Channel Parkway. Such a development would add more confusion to an already busy corner. One only has to check records to see how many accidents have taken place there up to now.

The Corner of Shame

Travelling Northward on the channel on any given day

We may be pleasantly surprised at what it is that we might see

With sun and shadows showing trees and flowers in array

The luscious private corner so pristine for all to want to be

Should the city go the rezone route and grant the right to build

The memory of David Kampe’s legacy snuffed out

Through the need for city coffers to be filled

Now is the time to let the city know and make a loud “No” shout

 

To think the city in its wisdom had but one thought that’s money

To rain upon David Kampe’s generosity and allow the build to be

To overshadow this serene garden spot’s not funny

And make a mockery of David Kampe’s legacy.

Ron Barillaro

Penticton

Canadian companies should come first

Dear Editor:

Re: “American firm gets no-bid contract for bike project,” (Herald, May 11).

I was shocked to read the front page of the Herald on Tuesday to discover that an American firm was awarded the contract for the protective barriers on the lake-to-lake cycling route. And a no-bid contract at that.

Is there honestly no company in Canada that could provide a similar product? How hard did city staff search for a Canadian company?

Does city council and city staff not realize that the pandemic has caused much economic hardship. Jobs have been lost and many individuals and businesses are suffering. Meanwhile, the City goes ahead with this very controversial and expensive bike lane with no thought for Canadian citizens. The City should be doing everything in its power to create jobs and opportunity for Canadians and not sourcing out to American companies.

This lake-to-lake route would never have been accepted if it had gone to a referendum. I find it even more unacceptable now that the construction is not going to at least totally be a benefit to Canadian workers.

Patricia DesBrisay

Penticton

Time to pull the plug on funding the CBC

Dear Editor:

The CBC’s best-before date has expired and it’s time to cut them off the taxpayers’ money.

Our federal government pays $1.3 billion per year, much of which goes to a huge top-heavy bureaucracy that sets their own salaries and are not required to divulge annual financial statements.

Seven vice presidents, 10 directors general and five directors of finance — but somehow they are above having to produce financial statements listing their salaries.

A recent study by the CRTC found that only 28% of Canadians consider the CBC to be vital, I personally don’t know anyone who watches or listens to them as I suspect is the case for most who are reading this.

I am not suggesting that the CBC be shut down, but simply to no longer be funded by the taxpayer.

Other media outlets manage to cover their costs and make a profit or they would not be on the air, why should the CBC be treated differently?

Guy Bissonnette

Lake Country