So long, Theo we will miss you

Dear Editor:

It was an emotional and bittersweet occasion at Penticton’s best-known restaurant, last night.

Although Theo’s is remaining in its present form, owners Theo, Mary, Niko and Linda will no longer be sailing the ship.

These wonderful folks have made brilliant memories, memories for locals and tourists alike. I can’t begin to say what a great part of the last four decades they’ve been. It certainly has been a second home to Pam, myself and our kids. Too many memories to mention.

Happy trails folks. Enjoy a well-earned rest and change in adventure.

This great family is a part of so many milestones in our family and community and will be missed and remembered fondly. We will certainly continue to support Theo’s legacy for the best Greek this side of Athens. See you in Crete.

Gord McLaren

Penticton

Stop attempting to cover up the truth

Dear Editor:

The Daily Courier has had some good moments in its pursuit of journalism in recent years. Unfortunately, last Friday wasn’t one of them.

It was a bit distressing to see that The Courier believes schools should cut back on student testing and ramp up their serving of meals and provision of daycare.

But the truly alarming thing we learned in the June 28 editorial, ‘Students aren’t statistics,” is that our local bastion of journalism wants the provincial government to keep provincial test results secret.

It wasn’t long ago that reporters and editors, on behalf of the public, clamoured for more information from government, saying we all have the right to full disclosure of data gathered by politicians and bureaucrats using taxpayers’ money.

Sadly, it looks like The Courier has traded that grand mission for a narrower agenda pushed by teachers’ unions and social activists, who would gladly hide information for their own purposes.

Why would The Courier call for the government to withhold from the Fraser Institute the results of annual testing of the basic academic skills of B.C.’s Grades 4 and 7 students? And presumably withhold that information from everyone else, lest it become public?

Because, it says, the findings show that students in affluent areas generally score higher (surprise!), and publicizing the results “does nothing for the morale of students and staff”.

The paper adds that the time spent on the province-wide tests is wasted. “Think of the learning that could take place during those days.” Hmm ... as opposed to the potential value of over-all learning assessment?

But not only would The Courier deny data that citizens could arguably use to help improve learning in our schools — it would cavalierly deny the public the truth about province-wide Grade 4 and 7 test results because it has decided some people’s feelings might be hurt.

That misguided action would insult the intelligence of parents and students in poorer areas by sparing them from a truth we already know. And, saddest of all, it would deny government-gathered information to the public, whom The Courier is supposedly eager to inform.

It’s a slippery slope when editors and reporters begin using specious criteria, instead of newsworthiness and the public interest, in deciding which news and information should be published or withheld.

What other news has The Courier decided we are too delicate to hear?

Lawrence McMahen

Naramata

Sorting out takers and the givers

Dear Editor:

Now that the parades, barbecues and fireworks are over, it’s worth asking just what people were celebrating on Canada Day.

Several years ago, Justin Trudeau declared that Canada was the world’s first post national state and that we had no core identity. Maybe he was right.

Human nature and governments don’t change that much. 2000 years ago, the Romans kept the masses tranquilized and diverted with games, bread and cheap wine; and it worked up to the point where their empire collapsed.

You can still see their ruined forums and theatres across Europe and the Middle East. They’ve lasted a lot longer than the Montreal Forum and Maple Leaf Gardens.

Quebec doesn’t celebrate Canada Day. They have their own national day on June 24. We have 634 First Nations, an unknown number of Metis Nations and a hodge-podge of hyphenated Canadians and special interest groups in this country. They’re all demanding special status and rights and pulling at their own corner of the blanket. The one thing they have in common is that they all want to suckle at the Canadian teat. That’s nothing to celebrate.

Canada Day is for everybody, but maybe we should recognize the givers and ignore the takers for a change.

The truest Canadians are the ones who don’t show up at the protest parades or live on the take. They’re too busy working and doing their best to run their own lives, raise families, and contribute to the country in a constructive way. They’re the ones with personal pride and standards who pay taxes, stay out of jail, and are respectful and considerate of others. They put back instead of just taking.

Some years ago a national poll indicated that a majority of Canadians would refuse to take up arms in defence of their country. The numbers were remarkably lower in Quebec. Quelle surprise! That helps sort out the takers and the givers.

Patriotism and notions of service and hard work seem to be quaint ideas from the past in today’s self-interested society. But, that’s what built the country which we now enjoy; thanks to our pioneers and veterans.

It’s good that the men of Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach weren’t around to hear a Canadian prime minister babbling about being a post national state and issuing trite apologies for our past history. If they were, they would have frog marched him to the door.

John Thompson

Kaleden

Parliamentarians acting like children

Dear Editor:

This letter is also proof of a waste of time along with wishful thinking.

Here is my answer to the question submitted by member of Parliament Dan Albas (Herald, June 28).

“Do you support Members of Parliament drafting and proposing PMBs (private members bills) even if there is a small chance of success, or do you view it as a complete waste of time?,” Albas asked.

It appears to be a complete waste of time when so many apparently smart people take forever to to separate the good, bad, ugly and at times ridiculous PMBs or dumber-than-dumb ideas.

My opinion is the outdated Canadian government, Senate and all connected need a complete makeover.

Paying elected grown-ups to argue and delay the good just because it’s not the bright idea of the party in charge is bordering on insanity.

In my opinion, the entire government is a complete waste of time and should be replaced with a council of experienced  people who know how to make decisions before the next century rolls around — not led by a modern-day rich Robin Hood — minus the tights

To debate is one thing, but this is childish. Perhaps consider sucking on a pacifier while sharing some pabulum while in that childish state of mind.

Tom Isherwood

Olalla

More swamps by BC Housing

Dear Editor:

Members of Kelowna city council say that here in Kelowna, there is very little choice when it comes to accepting low-barrier supportive housing being provided by BC Housing.  

BC Housing authorities and city leaders, please explain how an individual dries out and cleans up when he or she is immersed in a swamp.

We need to advocate strongly for a favourable ration of dry to wet facilities.

Currently, we see the shortcomings of the current plan — just building more swamps!

William Campbell

Kelowna

Rutland changing for the worse

Dear Editor:

Between MLA Selina Robinson and our mayor Colin Basran, it’s open season on Rutland.

I live here. I grew up and graduated from RSS, as I understand his worship Colin Basran did as well. In what universe does convulsing, vomiting junkies, overdosing on the sidewalks in front of Rutland Middle School as young impressionable teenagers walk home seem OK?

I have seen that already and it sickens me. I grew up in “The Hood” and back in the day (1970-1980s) it was not like this. Sure, we had the odd scrap or rumble between RSS and KSS, but never ever would wee see heroin addicts doing the hee-bee-gee-bees in front of the 7/11. Never.

I recently signed a petition against the wet facility. The gentleman presenting the petition told me it’s free rent, drugs and booze. If that’s accurate, the scumbag junkies/boozers should all thank John Horgan, Basran and Andrew Weaver of the Green party.

What purpose does that concept serve? What is the narrative here? You’re welcome to retire in B.C. as long as you are a junkie or alcoholic. Free housing, booze, drugs and if you get your dose wrong, hell, we’ll give you a free narcan or maloxone kit for free courtesy of our premier.

The NDP and the soft leadership of Basran are making hard-working, blue collar people (like me) really upset. I used to think Mayor Basran was the real deal.

I am going to work tomorrow so I can help someone shoot up.

Anyone can jump on the fentinol crisis bandwagon for political gain. That is the failure of our federal government’s inability to stop the inflows of fentanol earmarked to kill Canadians from our Chinese friends.

Doug Rosen

Kelowna

Minister is lawyer, not a scientist

Dear Editor:

Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment in our federal government, claims that the science of climate change is settled. That being the case, I thought I would ask her some science questions.

My first request was to have her give me a list of what causes climate change and what percent they each contribute. Secondly, I pointed out to her that there are three main greenhouse gases, namely water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane.

I asked her to give me the percent that each of these gases contribute to climate change. Next, I told her that the present level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 414 ppm (parts per million) and is much easier to measure than average global temperature.

Then I asked her what carbon dioxide ppm has to be reduced to in order to stop climate change in its tracks. Secondly, what does carbon dioxide ppm have to be reduced to in order that average global temperature does not increase by more than 2 degrees C? A sub question is how will these levels affect agriculture and life on earth?

So far I have not had a response from Minister McKenna. She is not a scientist, but a lawyer and I suspect she might be consulting her science experts. I will write a subsequent letter when I hear from her.

Laird Stovel

BASc (Engineering)

Kelowna

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