I want to ride my bicycle

A pack of approximately 200 cyclists head out for their first official ride on the Lake-to-Lake bike lane, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021 on Martin Street in Penticton.

Bike lanes will not cost taxpayers $12 million

Dear Editor:

I read with interest the letter of Franco DeMichelis (Herald, Nov. 17). The bike lane is going to cost $12 million? That is untrue. Let me try a proclamation and see if it makes the paper: the bike lane is going to cost $1 billion. I’ll now do my best Dr. Evil impersonation.

Last year, after committing $2.2 million to pay for the first two sections in year’s budget, the city received two grants for a total of $2 million to be put to that particular section of the bike lane.

Promoting James Miller as some sort of fiscal saviour is interesting. I find this to be true as I sometimes follow what the council does and how they vote.

Miller voted against adding 130 homes to the tax roll in July on a proposed multi-family development on Green Avenue. These homes were literally a block from a grocery store and shopping mall. Then he voted against building another 219 homes on Timmins Street last month.

There is nothing more efficient or better for the city’s bottom line than multi-family housing in infill neighbourhoods. Not only is the tax collection efficient, but the burden of the city to provide services is at a fraction of the cost compared to a single-family area.

Back in 2020, when he was the type of local newspaper editor who was able to editorialize about local issues without causing a huge conflict of interest inquiry, he said allowing the city and taxpayer to collect parking revenue downtown was a bad idea. It is estimated this revenue could come in at $900,000 this year.

I respect Miller for stepping up and doing an essential job for the community with long hours for meager pay. But calling him some type of budget hawk belies every big decision he’s made since pulling up a stump to the council desk.

Matt Hopkins

Penticton

Raising awareness of gender-based violence

Dear Editor:

Every year from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, Canadians observe the 16 days of activism to raise awareness of gender-based violence. It is an opportunity to call out, speak up and re-new our commitment to end the words, actions and attitudes that contribute to misogyny which results in violence against women. (Government of Canada, women and gender equality).

According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, in 2020 a woman in Canada died every two-and-a-half days due to violence.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the White Ribbon campaign founded by the late Jack Layton in 1991, following the Montreal Massacre in 1989.

It is now a global movement of men and boys who pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about all forms of discrimination against women.

The 16 days of activism to end gender based violence, is an opportunity for government leaders, community leaders, institutions, workplaces and all of us be a part of the solution through conversations and awareness campaigns.

We all have a responsibility to ensure discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and gender based violence have no place in our communities.

Norma Bates

Penticton

Phase 2 of bike lanes simply ludicrous

Dear Editor:

I refer to two excellent recent letters in the Herald: “Bike lanes and tax bill,” by Elvena Slump (Nov. 4) and “Make Penticton great again,” by Clifford Martin (Nov. 6).

I might expand on two items mentioned in the above letters.

Budget: The 2022 budget proposed a 8.5% hike imposed on the taxpayers. This is considered irresponsible. Included in the budget is $4.7 million proposed by a non-resident councillor and earmarked for Phase 2 of the bike lanes. The only dissenting and prudent council vote was by James Miller, stressing the need to take a pause in this frenzied (out-of-control) budget until various programs are prioritized; projects that would benefit all Penticton residents rather than pet council projects benefitting very few!

It might be a propitious time to pursue the co-operation between the PIB and the City re: the existing direct lake-to-lake Channel Parkway recreation/bike trail and join it to the completed Martin/ Fairview section at Green Mountain Road at a must lower cost, possibly less than $2 million, rather than the $4.7 million earmarked for the Phase 2 section). Staff and Council should think outside the box, without bias, rather than stick to a concept already 3-5 years old. It might be timely to assess the mistakes made, unnecessary costs in design, snow clearing, and several other unsafe problems which should not be repeated.

COVID Restart Program: CFO Bauer stated that there is $2.5 million remaining from the initial program of $4.7 million. A judicious Council should have allocated the funds to help on related COVID projects, i.e commerce, gyms, and other social programs on the brink of bankruptcy or failure?

The suggestion that the $2.5 million might be blended with general revenues to pay for the Phase 2 bike lanes or by borrowing for Phase 2 is simply ludicrous, immoral and smack of absconding (conceal) funds, possibly a legal matter?

In summary, city council should be more involved on how the residents are consulted and feel on million-dollar-projects via a city-wide referendum on the future of the multi-million bike lanes, which has been requested on several occasions; is Council uncomfortable or worried with the potential results?

Major Claude Filiatrault

Penticton

Three wishes if he finds a magic genie

Dear Editor:

If I found the magic lamp and the genie granted me three wishes they would be:

1. World peace;

2. Good Health;

3. The Herald would raise the subscription rate a little and publish a Monday paper.

It was a toss-up between world peace and getting rid of that ugly, unwanted bike lane. I think that just might be the current mayor’s waterslide.

Bob Sherbino

Penticton

What would BCers do without Baldrey?

Dear Editor:

I can't heap enough praise on Keith Baldrey for reporting everything but the leak in a kitchen sink on the COVID Global News Channel.

I have no idea what British Columbians would do with Keith.

On second thought, I do have an idea.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla