Greg Perry

This editorial cartoon by Greg Perry appeared in the Friday, June 10, 2022 edition of The Herald and Kelowna Daily Courier.

Public art celebrating inclusion works

Dear Editor:

Re: Summerland’s rainbow crosswalks.

I figure I taught more than 200 LGBTQ2+ kids over the span of my teaching career and many were bullied and traumatized as teens. One student wrote to say they were never coming home again as they had such bad memories growing up in Summerland.

After the crosswalks were painted in Summerland they came to terms with that past. They attended their high school reunion and were embraced and accepted by their peers. I applaud the mural on the middle school and behind the school tennis courts. Public art celebrating inclusion works.

Linda Beaven

Summerland

Let’s be known for rural ambiance

Dear Editor:

The Naramata Bench is not — or ever been — noted for subdivisions, but for its green space, rolling hills, vineyards, orchards and B&Bs.

If Canadian Horizons intends to build a mega subdivision, why not closer to Penticton proper, near the hospital and amenities. There are many developments in Naramata now: Stonebrook, Kettle Ridge, Workman Place, Outlook, Vista and Grace Estates.

The continuous summer traffic is not only due to wineries. Naramata draws tourists every year, including cyclists, RVs, boats. As Naramata Road is the only road to Penticton, increasing vehicles by several hundred would mean more traffic, and might require massive roadwork changes for these vehicles going/coming from Penticton.

The proposed area Canadian Horizons is contemplating, is considered “wine country” to both Pentictonites and Naramatians, which is/was to be accessed from Naramata Roadd. This will affect all who reside in Naramata.

Whether this site is “visible” or not, there would be hundreds more vehicles utilizing Naramata Road, as well as both Upper and Lower Bench Roads, to get to town and back.

Previously mentioned that this subdivision would require a new route for fire safety — would this be at taxpayers’ cost? And where does water come from to supply hundreds of homes, when we are on water rationing all summer?

I agree change is inevitable, and change can be good, if well planned and not removing green space and replacing it with a concrete jungle, nor removing wildlife from their natural habitat in order to make a buck.

More than 10,000 petitions were previously signed by those living in Naramata and Penticton. That’s a substantial amount of people who were against this proposal initially, and probably for this new proposal.

I am not in favour of council spending more time on this ridiculous scheme. Let's continue to be known for rural ambiance and not the look of Surrey or West Kelowna.

In closing, an excerpt from Discover Naramata: “The journey to Naramata begins with sinuous curves in the road, warm sunshine, and a growing sense of well-being as you leave behind city life and delve into the heart of wine country.”

Let’s not ruin a good thing.

Barbara Smallwood

Naramata

Bench will grow by expanding agriculture

Dear Editor:

There seems to be a perception that Penticton and Naramata will have to grow to survive.

And worse, that the City and the RDOS must anticipate this growth by destroying the environment around us so that people have somewhere to live. To me, this is like killing the golden goose, and far from creating prosperity for us all, our beautiful environment will be strangled by developers trying to make as much money as they can.

The Naramata Bench can only grow by expanding agriculture and wine or tourism. These are the mainstays of our local economy, and related service industries will rise and fall with the fortunes of these key local industries.

Consider what is already starting to limit this growth:

• There has already been unsustainable growth on the Naramata Bench in the last few years and there are now at least 29 wineries Surely there is little room for more;

• More wineries need more grapes in order to reach economic production levels. At the same time, arable land is declining and leaving little scope for increasing needed production;

• the scars on our beautiful landscape created by the Outlook and Vista Developments above Naramata, and the proposed development by Canadian Horizons at Spiller Road will hardly attract more tourists. Recent flooding from these areas is a direct result of clearcutting these lands.

• Destruction of the landscape and the environment is already eroding the wildlife habitat which is key to attracting tourists.

• the notion of creating “affordable” housing is a myth because the people who most need it can’t afford to buy these houses which developers insist on building. Obviously, this is because they make more money building luxury homes than by building affordable infill housing in more appropriate parts of the City.

Do we really think that tourists will continue to visit the area if the Naramata hillsides become littered with expensive houses and the overcrowded road systems? The City and the RDOS seem to think they can manage this dichotomy.

They point to studies of population growth and are proud of the fact that they are ahead of projected demand in ensuring there are homes for people to live in.

This is very short-term thinking and their appetite for creating more and more urban subdivisions on the Naramata hills must be curbed with urgency or we will all be paying for our inaction.

Ian Hornby-Smith

Penticton

Kelowna said no to Canadian Horizons

Dear Editor:

Why did Kelowna reject Canadian Horizon’s proposal for the hillside development for Thomson Flats in 2021? The project was eight years into the approval process.

Kelowna council’s rationale was that this project was at odds with changing policies in Kelowna’s growth strategy that was needed to reduce carbon emissions, limit urban sprawl, and think long term on the expense of infrastructure maintenance costs associated with hillside development on the outskirts of the city.

It did not meet the needs of local residents to either afford to own nor rent, there were concerns with major traffic congestion, and there were no sustainable transportation options such as walking or biking.

Sound familiar?

Canadian Horizons is attempting to get the Spiller Road land rezoned to meet their needs to build a densified housing project on the hillside of the Naramata Bench.

Kelowna’s city planners took a bold step and recommended the project get turned down for so many good reasons. Yet at the same time, Penticton’s planning department are bending over backwards to accommodate Canadian Horizons and choosing instead to ignore all of these viable and current concerns.

Perhaps they need to take a hard look at Kelowna’s award-winning ModelCity Infrastructure (MCI) analysis tool and see that 70 to 80% of the life-cycle cost of infrastructure is after capital costs are paid by the developer.

Maybe the City of Penticton could look at their own Community Climate Action plan and consider long term ramifications of this proposed hillside development. Do we really want to go down this path, or I mean road and build a suburb in the country? Do we really want to rip down all these trees and mess with nature?

There are so many reasons this is a very bad idea.

The City of Penticton’s public engagement are telling folks, “Something has to be developed at 1050 Spiller Road.”

Actually, it doesn’t. Kelowna went one step further; they excluded Thomson Flats from Kelowna’s permanent growth boundary in their 2040 OCP. Bravo!

Future generations will thank us all for our long-term thinking.

Gjoa Taylor

Penticton

Music can help soothe senior souls

Dear Editor:

On June 5, B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie gave a presentation at Penticton’s Okanagan College campus as part of Seniors' Week 2022.

For those who reside in full-care facilities, I think it should be mandatory to include the following two questions on the intake form that the resident’s designated family member fills out:

1. What are/were some of your family member’s favourite songs and types of music?

2. Will you be providing a music system? e.g. CD player & CDs, radio, iPod loaded with favourite songs and earbuds, etc.

I think it would be wonderful if CBC Radio produced a one-hour daily music program tailored to seniors in their 70s and up who are unable to play their own music.

Perhaps someone like singer-songwriter Jann Arden would be interested in hosting it; her father had dementia, and her mother had Alzheimer's. Or perhaps CBC producers could choose seven hosts, with each person hosting one episode per week. 

In the 2014 documentary Alive Inside, filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicled the experiences of seniors who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. The full documentary can be viewed on YouTube.

In the documentary, Dr. Bill Thomas, gerontologist, was asked why all residents don't have their own personal music.

He replied: “What we’re spending on drugs that mostly don’t work, dwarfs what it would take to deliver personal music to every nursing home resident in America … In today’s really crazy system, I can sit down and write out a prescription for a thousand dollar a month antidepressant, no problem. Nobody asks any questions.

“If I want to provide a person with a $40 personal music system, that will take a lot of work, because personal music doesn't count as a medical intervention.

“The real business, trust me, is in the pill bottle … We haven’t done anything, medically speaking, to touch the heart and soul of a patient."  

Many care homes have a sound system and/or CD players.

An ideal time to play music to all residents would be during the dinner hour. Play a variety of songs.

Care homes are wasting a golden opportunity to help their residents in this regard. It’s not uncommon for residents who have few to no visitors to be left alone for large parts of the day, with no one to engage them in conversation, or play them music.

In 2017, I learned of a Kelowna care home that offered every resident the use of an iPod and earbuds, funded by a benefactor. For family members who wished to participate, they were required to download a playlist for the resident.

David Buckna

Kelowna

Need a passport: good luck!

Dear Editor:

Seven hours. That is how long it took so I could renew my passport to visit my brother in hospice care in California.

Seven hours and not one chair or bench to sit. In the last two hours we got to sit in a holding pen. No food or drink allowed.

Finally a 20-minute meeting to submit the paperwork. Yes, we can apply online … if the form works. Yes, we can mail it in, with a three- to six-month response. Pathetic.

Alyssa Grace

Cowichan Bay