Letter of the Day

Mike Hawley notes the rising costs of rentals in Penticton.

Need to make $25/hr to afford basic rent

Dear Editor:

Re: developers jacking up rents.

They should not be allowed to build in this city. The above property is on Edmonton Ave. in Penticton, behind the high school.

This is how California housing went. Build new buildings and jack up the rents. The City of Penticton should impose a rental tax for overpriced rental properties.

A single person would need to make a minimum of $25 per hour to afford this.

Homelessness is exasperated by developers with this mentality.

Mike Hawley

Penticton

High school needs to support our locals

Dear Editor:

I have just heard that the principal of Princess Margaret Secondary School, Roger Wiebe, has awarded our grad photo job to a Vancouver photographer MountainWest Studios. Since Mr. Wiebe is originally from the Lower Mainland, he has chosen to give our money to that operation instead of having it stay in Penticton.

Stuart Bish Photography has been taking grad students photos in Penticton since 1972. He has taken my daughter’s and now my granddaughter’s grad photos.

He also has in his archives past grads who can have their grad photo reprinted along with their children and grandchildren as a family group grad photo.

Bye bye local history.

By using a Vancouver firm, how does that teach our kids to buy and support local?

Pentictonites, we urge you to call Mr. Wiebe or your school board trustees to utilize Bish Photography as Pen-Hi has for years. Let’s not lose this year’s grad student photos to an out-of-town firm.

Let’s support our local businesses.

Karen Brownlee

Penticton

Parents, speak up against FSA tests

Dear Parents:

Once again, the B.C. government has decided to proceed with its controversial practice of standardized province-wide testing by administering the Foundation Skills Assessment to all Grade 4 and 7 students across B.C. in the coming weeks.

What you aren’t told is that the FSA is not a required part of the B.C. curriculum, and that you have the right to withdraw your child from the test in the case of a family emergency, lengthy illness, or other extenuating circumstances.

I know you care deeply about your child’s education, as do their teachers. Our mutual commitment to your child is why we want to help you make an informed choice regarding the FSA.

B.C. teachers oppose the FSA for two main reasons: It’s not helpful to students, teachers, or families; and it’s making existing inequities worse. Here’s what we mean by that:

• It’s not helpful to students, teachers, or parents

• Test results do not lead to increased supports for students.

• Additional resources are not allocated to schools due to FSA results.

• The test is not a reliable set of data for measuring individual student success, rather it was designed as a system-wide check.

• Test preparation and administration takes away from valuable classroom teaching and learning time.

• Standardized testing creates anxiety for many students.

• It’s making existing inequities worse

• The Fraser Institute misuses FSA results to unscientifically and inappropriately rank BC schools, entrenching both real and perceived inequities.

• These tests disproportionately affect students in low-income and racialized communities, often resulting in a diminished sense of pride and community for students and families.

• Standardized testing cannot accommodate for unique and varied student needs and may create feelings of inadequacy for diverse learners.

Teachers believe the FSA is unreliable, unhelpful, and a distraction from the important learning and authentic individualized assessment happening in your child’s classroom.

We support parents having the right to make decisions for their children, especially regarding activities that fall outside of provincial curriculum, such as the FSA.

Many parents over the last several years have decided to withdraw their children from the FSA, and you can too. Please know you have the support of teachers from across the province.

For more information and to download an FSA withdrawal letter, visit bctf.ca/fsa.

Teri Moring, President

B.C. Teachers Federations

Kudos to staff at regional hospital

Dear Staff:

I’d like to join the other letter writers in praise about the regional hospital in Penticton.

From the time the paramedics picked me up on the road, until I was dismissed three days later, I was met with professionalism and kindness.

I was treated very well by all of the staff, from the doctors, nurses, and technicians, to the young lady who wheeled me from my room to CT scan and to x-rays.

I don’t recommend falling and cracking a hip, but if you do, the people at the Penticon Regional Hospital will take care good care of you.

Annie Smirmaul

Summerland

Penticton’s citizens constantly ignored

Dear Editor:

This week’s Herald had a full-page invitation to “Get Involved” in the future of our “Civic Places and Spaces” in Penticton.

It sounds like such a good idea, however, I and many people I know have participated in surveys and have offered our opinions on how to improve our city and make it an excellent place to live and to attract tourists only to be totally ignored by our elected representatives.

For example, those ridiculous parking meters on Main Street. They are a major inconvenience for anyone wishing to shop in our downtown core.

If I want to shop at Teas and Weaves for 10 minutes, why on earth would I want to walk to the other end of the block to get to a parking meter?

Why would any businessperson — and we have several on council — think it’s a good idea to have paid parking in a small downtown that is already struggling to attract customers.

Another example is the $8 million bike lane. I like to support local businesses so am often downtown. Most days the bike lane is totally empty. The most people I’ve seen on it at one time is three — an adult with two children.

Penticton has an incredibly high crime rate and homeless population yet the city council refused to hire the five new police officers necessary to handle the caseload and yet, these same councillors thought it was a good idea to have an $8 million lake-to-lake bike lane.

Another point that rankles is why is a person allowed to run for — and be elected — in Penticton when that person does not live in our city?

I’m looking forward to the next election.

I have three questions for each of the candidates:

1. Did you vote for the bike lane?

2. Did you vote for paid parking on Main Street.

3. Do you live in Penticton?

The answers will definitely impact my decision.

Diane Alcott

Penticton