Letters to the Editor


Heartless thief steals poppy box

Dear Editor:

The poppy campaign is underway.

Kelowna is the most generous in all of the province. Last year, the money raised went towards providing veterans and their families the support they needed, a huge donation to JoeAnna’s House, a donation to the mobile dental van, our three cadet cores, just to name a few.

It disturbs me that our first poppy box was stolen out of the Grand Hotel. It must have been a desperate person who was in need more than our veterans. For those that gave their hard-earned money to that box, I am sorry.

We still have 10 days remaining in our poppy campaign and have several empty locations where you can volunteer. If you can spare three hours of your time, we sure could use you.

Contact the poppy office at 250-762-2961 and see if there is a shift that would interest you.

Greg Vasey

Royal Canadian Legion

Branch No. 26

Poppy Office Manager

You can’t trust the weatherman

Dear Editor:

Where do you get the daily weather statistics published in your “Yesterday’s Almanac” feature?

It has been raining cats and dogs all month, but you never fail to report the day’s precipitation as 0.0 mm. The month-to-date precipitation in the Oct. 30 edition of The Daily Courier is reported as both 0.0 mm and 25.1 mm.

I suppose that readers are invited to take their choice; however, 25.1 mm is less than an inch and we have had, at least, a dozen days in the month with periods of rain that exceeded one inch per hour.

I don’t know how much you pay to get these summary reports but, whatever it is, you are getting ripped off. You might also ask your feature editor to book a consultation with his, or her, optometrist soon.

William Taylor

West Kelowna

Kelowna Council disregards heritage

Dear Editor:

The Abbott Street Heritage Conservation Area (AHCA) is in jeopardy due to city council’s decision at the public hearing Oct. 22 to support Davara Holdings’ application for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement. The HRA will allow Davara to take a heritage house, the Murchison House at 1781 Abbott Street and move it, rotate it, change it, make it 100% commercial and construct two three-bedroom modern units, all under the guise of an HRA.

No rezoning is required.

Davara knew they were buying a residential home in the AHCA which is zoned RU1, but proceeded anyway. Although their project broke rules, the mayor and five members of council chose to ignore the evidence and support it.

To their credit, Couns. Charlie Hodge, Brad Sieben and Ryan Donn were opposed. This project jeopardizes the AHCA as it ignores the rules, regulations, and guidelines in place to protect the AHCA; it is a flagrant abuse of a Heritage Revitalization Agreement.

Despite 66 letters written in opposition and presentations at the public hearing by local residents and the presidents of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society, the Historical Society and the Kelowna South Central Association of Neighbourhoods, the majority of council chose to hear only developer Dave Sargent and his team.

All the developer has to do in the future to make further changes to this project is to apply for a Heritage Alteration Permit. What is going on here? This is a slippery slope to convert heritage houses in the Heritage Conservation Area to commercial and undo all of the good work, joy, and protection that has gone into preserving this small, well known gem in the City of Kelowna.

How will the City say no to the next, and next, and next application to convert heritage homes to commercial and allow inappropriate infill and undo our AHCA?

Heads up, Kelowna!

Erica Bell-Lowther, PhD

President, Kelowna South-Central Association of Neighbourhoods (KSAN)

Daily atrocities across the world

Dear Editor:

I get a daily newsletter from Country X somewhere outside of the Western World. In order to get this letter printed, I have tried as much as possible to disguise the participants. Here are just one day’s stories from Country X.

• Soldiers from this country abduct 12 of its minority citizens.

• Soldiers from this country prevent local farmers from entering their own orchards.

• A female prisoner on a hunger strike for 35 days is finally moved to a hospital.

• Soldier who deliberately killed a child from the minority group in this country is sentenced to one-month community service.

• A minority woman who was shot and seriously injured by a member of the ruling army is hooked to life support machines.

• Country X’s ruling army destroys minority village homes for the 165th time.

• Illegal settlers belonging to the ruling party attack and injure farmers on their own land.

• Army of the ruling party abduct 18 members from the minority citizens, including a child and three siblings.

• Soldiers demolish home, barns and structures of a minority citizen.

• Soldiers shot and seriously injured a minority woman while she was worshipping at her church.

And so on, every day of the year.

And it is all about religion, greed, racism, and an undisguised superiority complex.

Frank Martens


Bring back the regatta, aquatics

Dear Editor:

OK, here’s a wild one, but as I have always been an out-of-the-box type of thinker, maybe it might resonate with some of you.

In light of the fact that Kelowna’s aging community theatre of 850 seats is nearing the end of its life, and that the property previously inhabited by the RCMP is now vacant, maybe an innovative and forward- thinking council and some form of provincial, private venture might consider a unique development to re-establish Kelowna’s trademark — the Kelowna International Regatta.

This city abandoned the aquatic event when it burned down in 1968, then 18 years later, we abandoned the regatta due to youthful unrest.

I am sure that many long-time Kelowna residents have very fond memories of the aquatic and the regatta, complete with spot-lit sailboats and evening performances with our beautiful lake as a backdrop.

There are such things as floating stadiums, they have been developed in other lakeside spots around the world.

Imagine if you will, a facility made up of cleverly-engineered floating sections much like our floating bridge that could be reconfigured for various different events. Let’s see if we can bring back diving competitions, swimming races,s ailing races, even hydroplane races by recreating the Kelowna Aquatic. This would free up the land where the community theatre now sits and make the combination of it and the RCMP space available for development.

Said developers could contribute to the huge funds necessary to rebuild the aquatic as well as fund the ongoing maintenance and operating costs. As an added plus, the existing community theatre would still be available during the construction of this mega-project, which would include,of course, the development of a parkade where the present parking lot is in City Park.

Out-of-the-box thinking, I grant you, but to me it looks like a win for the city, a win for our cultural endeavours and a win for aquatic sports.

Fred Way


Just too smart for our own good

Dear Editor:

This is my follow-up to John Thomson’s sensible letter regarding climate change (Herald, Oct. 30, Courier, Oct. 31).

I don’t know if the people demanding to save the planet realize how much they have to give up. In 1965, the world consumed 30 million barrels of oil per day. That’s a staggering amount to visualize and burn every day. Follow the consumption-graph to today, and we are now at 90 million barrels per day (and rising).

The same curve applies to natural gas and coal (although coal is only recently starting to level off). Those of us living in the First World are responsible for a portion of this, but the majority is the result of a world population increase over the same period from just under 3 billion people to almost 8 billion.

Furthermore, each year tens of millions of people living in abject poverty are coming online to enjoy things like more food, electricity, better homes, heating and cooling, vehicles, travel, plastics and so on.

The world needs to reduce consumption by two-thirds just to get back to the 1960s (if this level will stop climate change.)

But morally, I doubt we can expect the poorest (and largest per centage of the population) to cut back by two-thirds when they are just now consuming the basics. Rather, it’s those of us in the First World that need to reduce consumption by upwards of 90% if we are truly to make a difference.

The bottom line is that technology, innovation and globalization (preventing disease and extending longevity) have largely prevented what generations ago was nature’s way of keeping population growth in check.

We are just too smart for our own good.

Asking Canadians to cut back 10 or even 30% and setting off a chain reaction of job losses and reduced living standards will amount to nothing toward fixing the climate.

Our country could become very poor and vulnerable (but I suppose we will live with less guilt). That’s sort of like watching a massive wildfire approach your home and you expect a garden hose will make a difference. Some things are just part of nature’s amazing ability to re-balance the planet, and this time it appears humans are on her agenda.

Rather than being distressed or apocalyptic, let’s instead be aware, less wasteful, less intent on growth-for-the-sake-of-growth, and plan for the inevitable climate changes. 

Maybe once the 8 billion people currently on our planet have lived a full life, the next generations will be smaller and bring humanity back into balance with what nature can sustain.

Michael Neill


Show respect for our educators

Dear Editor:

I am a public school educator in Saanich and I have been teaching children for 23 years. If someone had told my 20-year-old self that my biggest struggle in my profession would involve unions and politics, I would have changed my university path.

The passion that I have for teaching is constantly being hammered by a culture that has so little respect for educators. I spend six hours a day, five days a week, 10 months of the year teaching and learning with people’s most cherished humans, but society shows constant disdain toward me. “You get paid too much.” “Teachers barely work.” “Must be nice to play with kids all day and then get the summers off.”

There are few professions that get criticized more than teachers, yet I spend almost every day of my life planning, thinking, exploring, brainstorming and preparing little children for the world. How is so little respect possible?

People may say: “If you don’t like your job … quit.” The problem is, I LOVE my job.

I can usually let all the negative noise around my profession just stay in the background, but then we have a week like this week. Politicians and unions are once again keeping me from doing my job. But I can’t just blame the school board or the premier or the union leaders because we elected them.

British Columbians, we need to rethink our priorities. If you say that education and children are important in our society, then pay CUPE workers in Saanich a living wage that matches the wages being paid for the same job in Victoria or Sooke.

Show some respect for educators and for our children and let us do our job.

Lisa Wergeland

Central Saanich