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Write: letters@pentictonherald.ca (Letters may not exceed 400 words and must be accompanied by a phone number for verification.)

Many thanks to city’s bylaw department

Dear Editor:

A big thank you to Darren, a bylaw officer in Penticton and his buddy.

My wife and I were busy shovelling the snow off our driveway when Darren and his buddy came along and offered their help. What a pleasant surprise for two old folks!

They completed the job while we watched in awe.

Thank you, it was much appreciated.

Elmer and Veronica Pellerine

Penticton

Learning experience is a very weak excuse

Dear Editor:

Re: “Moral voices must be raised in 2022,” by Fr. Harry Clarke (Herald, Jan. 6).

If I found out the babysitter was hitting my child, I wouldn’t look at it as a learning opportunity for the babysitter to grow, I would make sure they never babysat again.

Also, maybe it’s time the churches pay some taxes like the rest of us.

James Carter

Penticton

Respecting heritage on Penticton’s lakeshore

Dear Editor:

Much has been articulated with respect to the opposition to the proposed development at 602 Lakeshore Drive in Penticton.

We agree with the concerns regarding setbacks, laneway safety, congestion, loss of green space and attendant climate issues. However, the larger issue is what do we want our city to look like in the years to come?

Most corporations and some cities are now guided by and aspire to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles and policies.

This is an opportunity for Penticton to demonstrate its leadership.

City staff have recommended the public should be engaged in the creation of a heritage conservation area for Front Street, Lakeshore Drive and Windsor Avenue.

Our Official Community Plan specifically speaks to:

• Housing compatible with the existing neighbourhood’s character, with form and character guided by development permit guidelines.

• Create developments that are appropriately scaled and respectful of their context

• New residential developments are to be compatible with the neighbourhood in scale and design

The proposed development is asking for four major variances for front and back setbacks; increasing hard surfacing from 60% to 84% and allow a landscaping buffer to be interrupted by a parking lot.

These are not minor variances; they violate spirit and intentions of the OCP, development permit guidelines and ESG principles.

There remain only 17 homes on Lakeshore Drive and if this application is approved, there are at least six more homes waiting to cash in on the development bonanza that will change the face of this historic neighbourhood and for that matter the character of our city.

This is not just a one-off approval, it is the thin edge of the wedge with irrevocable consequences. The real issue is do we want to retain the feel and character of our beautiful historic community or become another Kelowna-like city with no long-term plan. It is time to take a step back and develop a thoughtful strategy.

Council, you have the power to shape Penticton into a city we can all be proud of.

We urge you to put this development on hold and let the city staff proceed with their investigation of a Heritage Conservation Area.

Dennis and Kate Hayashi

Penticton

The lake-to-lake bike lane saga continues

Dear Editor:

I read, with interest, Eva Durance’s reference to bike lane negativity (Herald, Jan. 5). Some points are well taken and yet others not so cut and dried. There are several questions that arise in what she has stated.

Most of us realize that climate change is and probably will be an issue for some time to come. There is no “silver bullet solution” to quickly resolve this issue.

It seems that Ms., Durance may be operating on the premise that “build it and they will come” and as a result the world would be a much better place without fossil fuel vehicles.

I have travelled the bike route (in my car…pshaw!) several times prior to the first snowfall. Once I saw four cyclists through the entire length of the bike lane. This hardly justifies the bike lanes as being a necessity and a real contributor to climate change.

I would ask Ms. Durance as to how one might do family grocery shopping without using a vehicular mode? Can she envision transporting a grocery order for a family of four or more on a bicycle? If so, it would be interesting to see. Does this, in any way make the bike lane justifiable?

A reference is made to the last year B.C. hasn’t made clear what awaits if we don’t quell our so-called “addiction to fossil fuels.” It would seem that we must abandon all forms of vehicular fossil-fuel/electric powered vehicles in favour of bicycles. It would seem that she would have us believe that this is “the silver bullet” that I alluded to that didn’t exist.

Ms. Durance makes reference to various uses for the bike lane. I would ask her if it was designated as a bike lane, how can it be considered as being utilitarian so that scooters, wheelchairs, pedestrians et al. can be accommodated? Pretty expensive for a “one size fits all event.”

In summary, it would seem, that Ms. Durance feels that the demise of fossil-fueled vehicles and the prime use of bicycles would fully address the climate change problem.

How this would make a monumental difference, I am wondering as without trains, planes, trucks and automobiles how would we travel provincially, nationally, and internationally?

Also, how would we maintain our domestic services — food, agriculture, etc.

Somehow I cannot picture the average person riding a bike to Montreal, New York or Mexico City.

Ron Barillaro

Penticton

Don’t impose religious beliefs on others

Dear Editor:

In a letter to the editor dated Dec. 29, Garry Rayner decried “the destruction of religious freedom.”

As I see it, he wants the religious freedom to impose his beliefs on others. I believe all people must be treated respectfully.

Too many religious believers disagree.

Some schools now teach that being healthfully and wholly human includes wide spectra of gender identity, expression, and sexual attraction.

As far as I know, Mr. Rayner can have his children exempted from these teachings, and he is free to teach his children whatever he wants at home.

It seems he does not want other people’s children learning that “doctrine” because it offends his religious belief.

He wants to be free of threats of government reprisals for expressing beliefs “dear to their heart” regarding “gender or birth issues.”

Many religious people frequently, freely, publicly, and without government reprisal, attack gender and sexual minorities as sinners, immoral, criminal, depraved, unnatural, flawed, mentally disordered, evil persons, doers of evil deeds, condemned to Hell, and worse. This hurts and kills people.

How much farther should religious freedoms extend? Shall we respect certain religious beliefs and return to the time when, in Canada, people manifesting diverse genders and sexualities were denied equal rights in housing, employment, and business dealings? Imprisoned? How about execution? Religious beliefs in other parts of the world endorse all these, they are imposed by law in some places.

He states secular politicians are “destroying religious freedom.” For ages, societies everywhere have accepted evil originating in religious teaching.

Politicians have enshrined that evil in law. Colonialism, racism, misogyny, sexism, environmental degradation, persecution of minorities, and many other evils have been and still are preached by religious groups who wield far too much political power.

In Canada, many people freely expound their faith in public spaces. Those who do not want to hear are disregarded or told to go elsewhere. Free expression of religious belief in public outranks the right to be free from religion in public.

Religious believers presently have the right to impose their beliefs on others. Religious beliefs have privileged status, allowing believers to criticize, mock, persecute, and attack others with impunity.

I would rather live in a world where every person holds only themselves to their beliefs and accepts others without imposing religious judgements on them.

That is real religious freedom.

Marie Sorge

Penticton