Vision for 435 Green Ave. W.

An artistic rendering of one of two six-storey apartment buildings on the property once home to David Kampe.

Kampe property could be put to better use

Dear Editor:

How would you react if you woke up to a sign on your neighbour's property stating their intention to build, not one — but two — six-storey apartment buildings.

You might think, “This could not happen to me, this area is zoned for single-family homes.”

Think again!

On May 4, the mayor and city council (two were absent) unanimously gave first reading to develop the Kampe property at 435 Green Ave. West, to proceed to Public Hearing on May 17 at 6:30 p.m. by Zoom. Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with Zoom, hindering community feedback in this time of COVID.

The next decision will be made May 18 at the regular council meeting. All this despite the already overwhelming 66% opposition from the feedback survey of 337 respondents which concluded April 19.

What good did it do? What was it for?

Council's unanimous approval (despite a two-third majority not in favour from the feedback survey), seems totally unacceptable. Council could have stopped this development “dead in its tracks” by denying first reading.

In fairness, the mayor did agree that the lifestyle of the surrounding neighbours is going to be changed and expressed skepticism about the project’s ability to provide affordable rental homes.

The proposed change to our new Official Community Plan is too radical a jump in population density in one swoop. Townhouses or a Sandbridge concept would be a much softer impact on the local residents and would be much more welcomed, with less traffic than the proposal and a much softer environmental impact on the surrounding oxbows.

Let council know how you feel… it could happen to you, Join the Zoom meeting or please e-mail publichearings@penticton.ca to be included in council's decision making process.

Jim Moring

Penticton

BC Housing forces council into a corner

Dear Editor:

According to the Penticton Herald, RCMP attended 145 calls to the Victory Church, 110 to Compass Court shelter; 45 to Burdock House and 19 to the Fairhaven supportive housing complex: Calls ranged from nuisances and mischief to thefts and assaults.

Penticton Council asked the Province to delay building more supportive housing complexes until a third-party review of existing facilities was complete. Instead, BC Housing has struck a deal with ASK and the Ooknakane Friendship Centre to operate the new housing complex to build up to 54 permanent supportive homes.

This housing project is next door to the Best Western. Many of you will recall that this multi-million dollar hotel was sold only a few years ago to new owners. Now if they survive COVID they will have to contend with recovering addicts and the attendant problems on their doorstep. This could have a serious effect on repeat business. The liability to the City could be extensive.

Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious heartbreaking problem for families. The operators will provide wraparound support services 24/7 to provide meals, life and employment skills training, health and wellness, education, counselling, mentorship and connection to culture. The residents will also have access to health services.

There is a link between criminal activity and the use of psychoactive substances. Financial need is associated with the crimes committed by offenders addicted to cocaine and heroin, as these drugs command a high price on the black market.

Chronic use of some drugs can lead to both short- and long-term changes in the brain, resulting in mental health issues including paranoia, depression, anxiety, aggression, hallucinations, etc.

BC Housing needs to supply the City with the recidivism rates in prior similar projects.

The housing project on Skaha Lake Road is the first phase: The remainder of the site will be kept for future affordable housing projects for seniors, singles, families and/or people with a disability.

According to ASK Wellness communications manager Michael McDonald, the programming is recovery focused.

“Hopefully this is more in line with the form of housing the community is looking for,” McDonald says.

I would suggest the people of Penticton would have had no problem with badly- needed new housing for seniors, singles, families and people with a disability.

BC Housing is forcing City Council into a corner by focusing on substance abusers and the homeless while possibly leaving taxpayers liable for a civil lawsuit for damages.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

Poem pays tribute to mystery of cats

Dear Editor:

Many years ago when the musical “Cats” was at its most popular in London’s West End, I wrote the following verse after the style of T.S. Elliot, whose poems about cats were the inspiration for the musical.

I knew of two families who owned cats they called “Charlie.” Oddly enough, both cats were females! Hence, the following verse:

OUR CHARLIE

Although the name disguises that our Charlie is a female cat

Just watch as she her will imposes

Upon her hosts when ‘ere she chooses

Because her jib is cut so fine

Her power seems almost masculine

Her pointy ears are sheer perfection

Her tail becomes a proud erection

Her ‘meew’ is made without pretention

And yet demands complete attention

But if her gender’s still in doubt

Just watch the way she struts about

Oh No! there’s no denying that

Our Charlie IS a female cat

James Wood

Penticton

Skaha Park is perfect without alcohol

Dear Editor:

I have a few thoughts about our lovely Skaha Lake Park.

We join the old, young and in-between as they walk, run, ride and exercise their dogs.

The park is a magnet for littles ones in Rotary Park World, teens having a basketball game or folks in a soccer game.

We enjoy watching the boats, kites, kayaks, canoes and dragon boats. Our family prefers Skaha Park for picnics and friends enjoy meeting for coffee under the trees.

Please don’t ruin paradise!

We don’t need alcohol to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Thanks to Penticton workers and gardners.

Donna Gladish

Penticton

Headline writer uses political correctness

Dear Editor:

Re: “Pedestrians on Main Street causing safety issues,” (Herald, May 4).

The letter about the street-crossing problems at Compass House could have been more aptly titled.

Now I know what political correctness is.

The writer referred to homeless people darting needlessly across the street, not just pedestrians, but cyclists, too.

This area is not Main Street as a whole, it’s just that one block — definitely not a general pedestrian problem.

Joy Lang

Penticton

City could buy Kampe land for hospice?

Dear Editor:

Penticton might consider acquiring the Kampe property and make it a hospice, not unlike the Moog and Friends Hospice.

This would be in keeping with Mr. Kampe’s incredible generosity to the medical community and would also be a lasting and unforgettable tribute to an original Summerlander.

Gordon Boothe

Summerland

Tired of daily COVID contradictions

Dear Editor:

In my humble opinion, a change is as good as a rest when it comes down to the monotonous, ear-burning, forever-changing pandemic flipflop jargon.

A new voice along with a new pair of shoes on different feet is needed, along with a change from the present baloney delivered by the Ministry of Health.

Boring Keith Baldrey is like a fish out of water along with the no-credentials Health Minister Adrian Dix who likely can’t thread a needle yet alone pop one in the arm.

I wonder if a modern day Three Stooges — Curly, Larry and Moe — are available to take over this pandemic comedy.

I wonder if Dr. Bonnie Henry was replaced with a mug face like Frankenstein’s Monster if anybody would listen to all the repeat and repeat 24/7 of the still unproven unknown.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

It’s time for hockey to clean up its act

Dear Editor:

Re: “NHL embarrassing itself — again,” by Paul Newberry (Herald, May 7).

Paul Newberry, what a brave column. I applaud your willingness to state the obvious. These are the very reasons why I will not watch the NHL. My husband and I are big sports fans. We watch the Blue Jays, the Toronto Raptors, tennis, curling, football and golf.

While he continues to watch the Montreal Canadiens, I will not.

I love the World Juniors (hockey) and look forward to it every year. I also love Olympic hockey.

Why? In large part because there are not fights. These highly-skilled players are able to play at the highest level without fighting. Don’t tell me it can’t be done.

I was so completely turned off hockey when, as a guest of one of our two local newspapers, my husband and I got to go to their box to watch the Kelowna Rockets play. Seconds after the first puck dropped, so did the gloves. People were standing and cheering all over the arena. Some with binoculars! I was so sick about what I witnessed, that it ruined the evening, and I vowed I would never watch another game. This was 20 years ago.

Society is taking a good look at itself in our current climate. It is time for hockey to do the same.

Janice Henry

Kelowna

A little hummingbird desperate to fly away

Dear Editor:

I realized the little chick on my hummingbird feeder, for about two weeks now, was the little male I found on the grass verge. He was just developing his bright back green feathers.

When I found him, I nearly stepped on him. He was nestled in the grass beneath the tree, trying desperately to fly only to find he was turning around in circles because he only had one wing. The other had been ripped from his body. Also an open wound on his back was bleeding. For four hours wrapped in a warm cloth, he happily drank from my dropper.

The Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre has a pickup centre about 15 minutes from my home; I thought about it. I either wrap him up and bring him indoors where he may or may not die, or ask for help.

Alternatively, a cage could be used to keep him outdoors since he couldn’t fly, but there was the issue of the stabbed back, he must be in pain.

And so my husband and I drove to the Wild ARC rescue centre. “We have to save as many as we can,” said the assistant as I handed over the little chick, still trying desperately to use his wing to fly away.

Apparently, the rescue centre has a warm facility there for injured birds and this tiny soul wanted so badly to fly away.

Meanwhile, his parents have been flying back and forth here at the ­feeders and surrounds … crying, as am I, at the destruction caused by a domestic cat that is allowed to roam neighbourhood gardens terrorizing the lives of our songbirds during the ­nesting season.

Sheenagh E. Rose

Victoria

Learn from Ontario, it didn’t work there

Dear Editor:

I lived in Thunder Bay during the first part of the 1980s when the government closed the mental health hospitals in Ontario.

Politicians assured us these people would just fit in. We as a society should be looking after these people, but because of a government failure they are now living in tents.

Our tax dollars would be better spent building new facilities for the mental health persons, where they would be looked after properly, not in motels and other inadequate facilities. It’s not going to work.

Donald Thomas

Comox

It’s hard to sleep with Walmart across street

Dear Editor:

I live across the street from Walmart.

For about five years, we have listened to a generator running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The noise is deafening especially at night. It interrupts our sleep and our quality of life.

I have tried to no avail to find a solution to the noise and, of course, nothing is being done. I emailed each member of city council and have yet to receive a single reply.

On the issue of parking meters in the downtown core.

I do not own or operate a business. During COVID, we are trying to support small businesses which are downtown. Now they install meters!

Seems to me the City is trying to recoup losses by nailing shoppers and the small stores.

We are all suffering from COVID fatigue.

Mary Ferrier

Penticton