Reader's opinion

The motorized ASH glider in the air over Penticton. Mark Brett/Local Journalsim Initiative

Whatever happened to all of the gliders?

Dear Editor:

Re: “Up in the air,” by Mark Brett (Herald, Aug. 23).

Interesting story in The Herald about gliders. When my wife and I first moved to Penticton in early 1999, you could frequently watch gliders soaring above our fair city. Does anyone know where they have all gone?

Paul Crossley

Penticton

Opposed to trapping beavers in Skaha pond

Dear Editor:

Open letter to Penticton city council:

Re: “Three beavers culled from Skaha pond,” (Herald, Page 1, July 15)

The Fur-Bearers is a non-partisan charitable organization founded in 1953 to protect fur-bearing animals through conservation, advocacy, research and education. While we are based in the Lower Mainland, we have over 100 supporters who reside in the city of Penticton. We are writing on their behalf about the recent trapping of beavers in Skaha Park pond.

While beavers and their damming activities can present many challenges to communities, beavers also bring many ecological and social benefits. Beavers increase biodiversity (including fish populations) and their wetlands can help absorb carbon.

In a recent peer-reviewed study, scientists have valued their environmental services at close to US $179,000 per square mile annually. They are incredible animals and co-existing with beavers is worth your time and consideration.

While you may have received information that Conibear traps (typically used for beavers) are “certified humane” under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards, this information is misleading. The AIHTS is a 23-year-old trade agreement and is the continued subject of much controversy.

In short, the AIHTS allows for a variety of injuries and horrific animal suffering. Conibear, leg-hold and snare traps are inhumane, dangerous and out of touch with today’s societal values.

We implore the City of Penticton to consider non-lethal alternatives such as flow devices and exclusion fencing to protect waterways, culverts and trees. Flow devices are cage-pipe systems that manage water levels associated with beaver activity. These techniques are cost-effective, long-lasting and require little maintenance. They are also scientifically proven and used in cities across North America.

You might be interested to know, The Fur-Bearers offers a scholarship to The Beaver Institute, where individuals (such as municipal staff) can learn how and when to implement various flow devices, and protect infrastructure, from experts in this field. This program involves an online written curriculum as well as in-field practicums.

We are hopeful that Penticton will take advantage of these tools and end trapping activities that put people, pets and other wildlife at risk.

Lesley Fox, Executive Director

The Fur-Bearers

Vancouver

Elect those who want to serve the community

Dear Editor:

As a successful businessman, my goal always was to help my community when I was on councils. At no time was it to benefit financially or get free health and dental benefits like many politicians today.

It seems like not a week goes by where councils here in the valley are figuring out how to fleece the taxpayers for more money via salaries and benefits. They say that they are doing it for others who need the money.

Right.

Serving on councils or regional boards in the past was about doing your part to help the community: give back, be a sounding board for staff, interact with the public and resolve issues.

When the issue of compensation came up in the past for me, we always put it off because to those of us leading, we were not in it for financial gain, but to help the community.

Councils are supposed to focus on the 3 Rs but increasingly, especially in Summerland, they focus on all their progressive left-wing ideals like money-losing solar batteries and more and more studies:

Real Estate: Rezonings and planning to take care of who is here, who is born here and who wants to come here. For 3 1/2 years, it has not been a focus and now, with an election coming, they are happy to speed things up.

Roads: In Summerland, we have some of the worst roads in the Valley. Council would rather grant themselves a pay raise and benefits before fixing the roads.

Recreation: A few things have been done, but many issues remain. A popular trail on Peach Bottom Road has been impassable and off-limits since a storm in 2017-2018.

Many councils seem to be focusing on anything but the 3Rs. They focus on diversity, inclusivity and equity issues over helping taxpayers. They focus on nice-sounding proclamations and make lousy business decisions.

Council is no place for party politics. It’s no place for non-businesspeople who want to hurt those in business. It's no place for people who only care about lining up at the public trough.

There are two types of people: those that do and those that don’t. Right now, we have a lot of people who don't do anything but think they are worth way more than they really are.

Say no to candidates who want more money and don't know about running a business. Let’s elect people who want to serve the community and not themselves

Ron Kubek

Summerland

Council ignoring efforts to have fair elections

Dear Editor:

The City of Penticton pays thousands of dollars for expert opinions every year. That includes experienced staff used to provide services needed by the residents of the City.

For information they are lacking, our mayor and council do not hesitate to hire outside agencies to do studies relating to whatever objective is on their current agenda. We are awash with such reports.

Yet when it comes to elections all caution is thrown to the wind. During the 2018 election I made a presentation to Penticton City Council requesting permission to set up a scrutineer service that would oversee civic elections. City council refused my request as they saw no need for such a service.

I subsequently approached then-CAO Peter Weeber who gave his wholehearted support to my endeavour. What followed was months of hard work that included negotiations with City staff to streamline civic elections and make them accountable to the voters they serve.

Thanks to the hard work of Hannah Hyland; City staff and myself we had a successful accountable streamlined election.

I think I can say without doubt that I and Hannah Hyland are the only two experienced civic scrutineer organizers that Penticton has. As I oversaw the whole operation which included negotiations with the City on the operation of the election and the securing of the vote; I would say that by default that makes me the only expert on this issue in the City.

Given the success of the 2018 election I would have expected that City council would have at the very least sought my opinion before embarking on the new rules for the 2022 civic election. This was not done.

Instead council set their own rules apparently adding that candidates are expected to have one scrutineer whereas previously it was optional. This haphazard system of candidates asking friends to scrutineer for them did not serve the public well in the past; so why would it work better now?

I am very disappointed by council. I am disappointed they didn’t even have the courtesy to consult with me before reverting back to old ways. It shows disrespect and a lack of consideration and appreciation for the hard work of civic-minded individuals in the community. It shows bias towards an old comfortable closed system that is centered at City Hall and works well for them.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

Cartoonist’s Trump comparison inaccurate

Dear Editor:

I just need to state I am totally tired or cartoonist, Greg Perry’s continuing, unfair comparison of Pierre Poilievre to Donald Trump (Herald, Aug. 23).

If voters are intelligent enough not to get their voting recommendations from a left- wing cartoonist, and even just look Poilievre up in Wikipedia, they will discover that he was adopted into a middle-class family, not the fortunate, spoiled son of a rich family.

Poilievre has worked for everything he has accomplished and — unlike Trump — knows middle class as he has lived it. The only similarities I see to Trump is that they have keyed into the frustrations of the middle class who are being crushed by left thinking politicians and bureaucrats.

The difference is that Poilievre actually means it.

Andy Richards

Summerland