Beer beach

Booze on the beach will soon be allowed in Summerland, too.

Kelowna can learn from Penticton

Dear Editor:

I read with some interest an article that described how Penticton’s pilot project for the legalization of beach drinking was successfully made permanent. In particular, I noted the unanimous support of city council, bylaw and the RCMP in the matter.

As Kelowna continues to densify, more and more young professionals, families, and service workers will live in the Pandosy and downtown urban cores.

Apartment buildings, although more affordable than detached homes, don’t have the same capacity for socialization and responsible relaxation that backyards provide. If any senior, young professional, or service worker wished to have a single beer on the beach with their friends, they would risk a fine of $230 under the City of Kelowna’s Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw section 3.27.

As a society, we should push for what works best for everyone without quivering in fear of the irresponsible few. Laws against public intoxication would remain on the books and would be enforced against irresponsible users like in Penticton, but the vast majority of residents could see a small improvement to their quality of life with this bylaw change.

I hope city council will arrange for a trial on a beach or beach access in both the Mission and downtown this summer, so that the RCMP and bylaw can assess the relative benefits against the “few” costs experienced by our neighbors to the south.

Davis Kyle


Why should Tory resign as mayor?

Dear Editor:

John Tory was elected to serve the city of Toronto as mayor, not once but three times, which must say something about his capability to hold that position. Is his resignation necessary?

Now it has been suggested he stay on, to see through the budget process for Toronto, for which he has obviously worked diligently.

And he is fully supported by Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

What people, of any rank or status do with their private lives is not necessarily linked to their work, which is what they are paid to do. The young woman in this matter did resign from the city, which was sensible and right to do and that should have been an end to it. But no, as happens so often nowadays somehow, somewhere, some time, some busy body found out and started the whole unpleasant scenario which now will go on and on as usual.

It seems he was an excellent appointment for the position he held so well, so maybe a little cooling off time, an apology and let Toronto get on with their problems, which seem to be many and to which he surely would be usefully involved.

As for all the criticism from those not actually involved in the matter: surely it was not necessary for Chrystia Freeland to appear on TV with her thoughts — one would think she has enough to do, deputizing for the currently absent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jetting away to the sunshine — yet again.

Marjorie M. Montgomery


Police need to earn their respect

Dear Editor:

Re: “Respect ouf police, they deserve it,” (Herald letters, Feb. 15).

Dave Smith suggests that the police should get more respect. Well, young man, may I remind you that respect is earned and does not come with the job regardless of who you are be it a copper, teacher, judge, politician, editor, mayor, doctor, nurse or your trusty bin man. You say the coppers put their lives on the line each day. Hmm. Don’t we all these days? Do you watch the news?

In terms of dangerous jobs, policing is way down the list in terms of danger.

Getting back to our police force, be it the RCMP or a city force, they all suffer from the same fault, a serious lack of being able to de-escalate. The bad bully cop regardless if he or she is first on scene will bully the back-up good cop. The good cop fearing the lunch room backlash will do as they told, it’s called “The Brotherhood” or the “Thin Blue Line.”

This, of course, comes down from the top, the old boys club so to speak. Headlines going back months and years do little to garner respect for the upper brass, lies, cover ups, timely resignations, cop outs, it’s all regular fodder these days.

I am an ex-Limey, one with more than a passing interest in law and order and policing, and avid cop watcher, not just the local Canadian lads and lasses but those in the UK and France and Germany plus the U.S. and Australia. I can assure you that the respect problem is not just in Canada, it is worldwide. Law and order is in free fall.

Many police agencies now having to resort to offering big signing bonuses to get new recruits. In the UK town where my current wife and I used to live shows older people now too scared to use public transport, preferring to stay in more and using a taxi when they need to go out. A police person not to be seen anywhere re shortage of members — members who have quit the force in favour of a more sincere occupation.

The police should know that it only takes one bad, unfair encounter with a police person to turn your feelings against them, be you a kid or a senior.

Don Smithyman


It’s the responsibility of provincial government

Dear Editor:

Re: “Council must resolve homeless situation,” (Herald letters, Feb. 16).

The writer is misguided in his saintly defense of the homeless. We had housed a majority of our homeless three years ago. Many homeless that are here now are not residents or former residents of Penticton.

What we are experiencing is an unprecedented influx of homeless with addictions. It is not the responsibility of the citizens of Penticton to accept or help the homeless from all over B.C. or the rest of Canada.

Penticton has created more shelter beds than any other surrounding city, including Kelowna. We have created a first-of-its-kind transition house for addiction. We do not have treatment facilities or the medical expertise to address drug addiction. We are not going to allow our city to become a dumping ground or attraction for all the drug-addicted homeless. It is the responsibility of the provincial /federal government to create these facilities.

The socialist NDP government refuses to open or reopen psychiatric facilities. Centralize these services provincially on inexpensive land not located in the expensive urban areas.

The writer wants a homeless daycare ... is he out of his mind? Let’s permanently kill the tourist economy and quality of life of our city. We could be like the Vancouver’s downtown east-side or create the same fiasco that happened on Leon Ave. in Kelowna. The compassion of this city has been pushed to the limits and citizens are fed up.

All these bleeding hearts that are encouraging the influx are a part of the problem. None of these people care for what the citizens have experienced by this influx or how it affects their lives. Our medical services and facilities are being pushed beyond the limits to deal with drug addicted, costing taxpayer millions. We’re forced to hire more bylaw officers and RCMP to protect our citizens. One of the highest crime rates in Canada. Garbage left all over our city. More drugs coming to our city to service the drug addicted. Constant theft of shopping carts loaded with items taken off private property.

The writer should be happy as the previous Penticton council created a multimillion-dollar lake-to-lake shopping cart highway for them to access.

Mike Hawley


Get rid of the free downtown parking

Dear Editor:

I walk through our downtown Penticton core daily. I am amazed and saddened by the ever-increasing number of empty storefronts. One thing I have noticed about the free parking downtown is that it has done absolutely nothing to slow that trend down.

I will risk the wrath of downtown shop owners with this suggestion. Abandon the free parking downtown early and let the parking meters/machines pay for themselves and contribute to city coffers, as was originally planned.

George Murai