Congratulations on Progress 2016

Dear Editor:

We want to thank you for the Progress 2016 supplement in Wednesday’s print edition of The Herald. We read The Herald every morning with our coffee and enjoy local news and articles and this we feel was very well done and made for an interesting read.

Ken Carlson

Penticton

Inaccuracies on the Middle East

Dear Editor:

Letter writer Joe Schwarz (Herald, Sept. 14) concocts a history of the Middle East that begins with Britain promising a country to the Jews, and in just six causally-linked steps, finishes with Bin Laden

attacking America and then later ISIS rebuilding its caliphate.

But Mr. Schwarz makes several improper links between events. First, he writes that, as a result of the creation of Israel, “the Palestinians beget perpetual homelessness, suffering,” and so on. What he fails to mention is that it didn’t have to be this way.

The Jews in Palestine accepted the UN’s 1947 partition plan to create two states for two peoples. The Arabs rejected it and launched a deadly war against the one-day old State of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab lands became refugees, and hundreds of thousands of Arabs from what was Palestine became refugees. Since then, Arab nations have launched several more wars to try to destroy the Jewish state, and the Palestinians have rejected two additional offers of statehood from Israel in 2000 and 2007.

Second, Mr. Schwarz falsely links the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Gulf War and the launch of global terrorism, claiming that the Arab support of the Palestinians led to wars, which led President George H. W. Bush to launch Operation Desert Storm in 1990, which angered Bin Laden. Arab hatred of Israel has indeed led to wars, but not this one.

The Gulf War began when Saddam Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait — an invasion that had nothing to do with Israel. Once this causal link is rejected, Mr. Schwarz’ entire narrative cannot withstand scrutiny.

There is no way to spin the creation of the State of Israel as the initiator or cause of Bin Laden’s terrorism or ISIS’ barbarism.

Elliot Kaufman, Research Analyst,

Honest Reporting Canada

Concerns about motocross track in Summerland

Dear Editor:

A motocross track has been built on a 20-acre piece of prime farmland west of Summerland. The Leitner property is within the Meadow Valley irrigation district and, more importantly, within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The Leitner family has been involved with motocross for many years in Alberta. Brock Leitner’s father Rick is the president of the Beaverlodge Motocross Club and both parents have been active with the Grand Prairie Peace Motocross Association.

I am not sure what the policies are in Alberta, but in B.C. the rules for land use within the ALR are clearly defined. If there is a proposed use on agricultural land that is not a “permitted use” there is a standard protocol. There are rules, regulations, permits, applications and public hearings.

Is this yet another example of asking for forgiveness after the fact?

The use of a motocross track, private or not, is not at all in the “character of the area.” One person’s dream destroys many others in a place we all call home. A motocross track should be located somewhere more secluded. The mix is not compatible.

No one would want to hear this noise in their bedroom and/or backyard.

Mickie Felker

Summerland

This visit needs a royal flush

Dear Editor:

“Royal Visit not worth the money” by Gord McLaren (Herald, Sept. 15).

His letter to the editor was right on the money and I couldn’t have expressed my feeling of grain bin feeding, freeloaders much better than Gord did. The B.C. taxpayer should not be on the hook for their junket to Canada.

I arrived here alone, separated from a tattered family that was left after the war and was described as diseased tissue along with 27 other of Fagan’s urchins that had to be removed from the streets of England.

The Royal Family at the time knew what was happening to their own children who never had the chance to survive the life-long gauntlet of no return awarded to these children by a British Empire that has crumbled over time and hopefully sinks into the sea.

Any letters containing flack coming from loyal royal hearts are welcome as my parrot is in desperate need of change in his Royal Palace — his bird cage.

I don’t believe there is — and never was — such a thing as Royal blood and if mine fit the bill if needed, sorry, the answer will still be no.

Gord, your letter was right on the mark and I would have to be blindfolded before crossing the street to view something as ridiculous as royalty that should be kept in Limey Land where it needs a royal flush.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

Dragonboaters were in disbelief

Dear Editor:

I have lived in Penticton for 47 years, worked here and brought up my children. We have always lived in the vicinity of Skaha Lake and I appreciate what the park has developed into over the years of wise council decisions.

I walk there almost every day and admire its beauty and the sense of community I feel among those gathered to play, relax and enjoy the ambiance.

I went on Sunday to see the dragonboat races and saw what a wonderful setting it is for such a race destination. I talked to many of the participants who couldn’t believe that the area they were in would be gone if the park was going to be a waterslide with fences around it. What a shame!

That group brought in thousands and thousands of dollars for hotels, restaurants and shopping.

We were very fortunate back in the day when we almost lost the Okanagan Lake Park land to developers. Thank goodness the council at the time listened to the voices of the residents.

It makes me feel sick when I think of that serene, restful part of Skaha Lake Park being destroyed. Where is any common sense? I wish I could vote you all out right now!

Janet DeKezel

Penticton

Drivers need to watch for signs

Dear Editor:

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.

What do they mean? To most people they have relevance; to others it seems that they are meant for everybody else. Think of any large city that you have driven in. I suspect that you recall many incidences where signs are ignored and it made your blood boil and road rage thoughts came out,

including many expletives. Ring any bells?

For the record, those sorts of incidents don’t happen in large cities alone. We have many of the incidents that I refer to right here in little old Penticton.

No they are not limited to new drivers; young drivers or seniors but drivers of all ages. The following are a few noticeable incidents around our city.

1. Four-way stop and single stop intersections where cars proceed through the signs without stopping because there is no other vehicle in sight or at the stop signs.

2. Approaching a traffic signal whose light changes to red and cruising right through the red light to make a right turn without coming to a complete stop

3. Following another vehicle (tailgating) as though you can get the car ahead of you to speed up by exceeding the posted speed limit

4. When coming into town past Red Wing and totally ignoring posted speed signs. In light of two large truck and one car accident due to speeding.

There are many others, however, these seem to be the most obvious. I guess the question that we should be asking is “How many of these have I been guilty of?” It’s quite easy to rationalize things by thinking that “I’ve never do any of those,” and go on your way. However, have you given any thought to passengers riding with you as to what they might be thinking and feeling?

This is especially true if you have youngsters with you and you exhibit any of these. What sort of message does it convey to them? It will be more or less a monkey see, monkey do scenario when they get the opportunity to drive.

I am sure that there are those out there that feel that these issues aren’t all that big. However, familiarity does breed contempt not so much where other people are concerned but for things such as the above mentioned.

We may get so used to doing these things that one day we will take things for granted and not be as cautious as we should be and wham... an accident!

Is it time for a self-check? Only you know the answer to that!

Ron Barillaro

Penticton

Column should be a wake-up call

Dear Editor:

A very good column, by Jim Taylor, about our “runaway planet” in Okanagan Sunday on Sept. 4.

By “good,” I don’t mean that Wall Street tycoons, financial institutions, CEOs and big oil companies are “content to let the planet crash, as long as they get their bonuses.”

No, I’m glad Taylor is “angry and terrified,” and it’s hopefully a wake-up call for other people, to the warnings of documentary filmmaker Sir David Attenborough that, “we’re a plague to the world.”

And, “can human beings survive the 21st century?” as Noam Chomsky, America’s greatest intellectual, asked.

And, Pope Francis warns of grave consequences, if climate change is ignored.

And, to what Vice President Joe Biden said, “how urgently we need to stop climate change … I’m not talking about leaving our children a better future. What is at stake is whether we have a future at all.”

There is no eureka, but possible solutions can emerge in conversations with open-minded people, and the challenging words of Thomas Hardy: “If a path to the better there be … it begins with a full look at the very worst.”

Gunther Ostermann

Kelowna

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