Development already ruining neighbourhoods around hospital

Dear Editor:

I opposed the five-storey potential nightmare development across the street from my home, which city council turned down on Tuesday.

I’ve lived on Speer Street for 23 years and what was once a cute little quiet street has turned into a major parking lot at the end of Rose and Speer.

Houses have been torn down. Interior Health now owns all but four houses across the street on Speer and cars are piled into the driveways and overflow on to the street.

It’s impossible to get a parking spot most days. I approached the city and asked to put in a driveway so I would be able to access my house with groceries and such.

I fought for five years to get the driveway.

The city required that I go door to door in the neighbourhood and get signatures of the residents supporting my driveway application.

My proposal finally got approved, but, with a restrictive covenant on the title of my property stating that if I didn’t sell my house to someone with a handicap, then I would be required to rip out this very expensive, impressive driveway. How ridiculous is that!

I had to jump through so many hoops for the city and council.

To have this monster of a development proposal in this high-density area would have been ridiculous.

This area is marsh land.

When the hospital constructed the high building with the helicopter landing pad, I had water in my back yard.

There were concerns of older homes having cracking foundations with all the work that was done.

Then the lab was constructed, blocking most of the views on this street. It changed the amount of sunlight my gardens receive.

The city and Interior Health don’t have any concern for the residents here. They’ve recently completed a blast-through passage on Royal Avenue, which will eventually be a street that dead ends on Richter

What is the point of having even more traffic through this area when it will be backed up on Richter.

All major streets from upper Mission and areas are jammed by 2:30 p.m. each day, including Pandosy, Richter and Gordon.

Ethel Street has been blocked off for way too long to allow this continued expansion.

The City of Kelowna has to realize that this continued growth is destroying the quality of life.

Council should think about the impact it’s having with all these rushed developments.

For the mayor to vote in favor of this proposal shows me that he needs to step aside and allow common sense to prevail in Kelowna.

Marilea Sharpe, Kelowna

Protests need to show more love, we need to love protesters more

Dear Editor:

There have been sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent protests in the name of Black Americans.

Many of the protesters hail from white, privileged backgrounds with some of the worst violence was offered by young lawyers in New York and Los Angeles.

We didn’t notice anywhere in the sloganheavy protests, any kind of personal self-examination, of the sort Russian writer Solzhenitsyn applied to himself: “if only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being … Socrates taught us: Know thyself!”

The protests on the whole seem to suffer from a collective amnesia regarding Socrates’ appeal to every human being: know thyself.

It also recalls Jesus in dealing with those who protested against the woman taken in adultery. (John 8.3-11)

Pope Francis, commented: “Jesus, did not come into the world to judge and condemn, but rather to save and to offer people new life. He reminds us that when we speak badly against others, we throw stones. So Jesus said: ‘Let those without sin be the first to stone her.’” These protesters, to their credit, dropped their stones and left the scene, beginning with the elders.

How do we learn to love? It is remarkable, how in spite of our deep-rooted longing for love, we regard everything else as more important: success, sex, status, money, power. We use almost all of our energy in learning how to reach these goals. And we devote hardly any effort at all to learning the art of loving.

Being right is not everything. Only the unmerited gift of love conquers division in families and unites the world. It begins in the human heart.

Fr. Harry Clarke, Penticton

Council rejects five-storey abomination

Dear Editor:

Re: Council’s reject of a five-storey building with hotel near KGH.

Can you believe it? Our city council has actually denied a development proposal.

This, in spite of our mayor’s — and in particular Coun. Gail Given’s — admiration of this monstrous overbuilding abomination.

In the present city landscape this, of course, will only require a few tweaks of the great many variances involved to achieve application success after two or three new stabs at their desired overuse of the heritage Collett House property

Is it even slightly possible that — aside from our trusted Charlie Hodge — other councillors might — a fairy tale hope — finally understand that all the written and vocal concerns of those that elected them should be as important as city egos and wishes and frantic universal development success! I wonder.

Joy Lambrick, Kelowna

Coyotes follow woman on scooter and dog

Dear Editor:

Alarmingly, I could hear several coyotes howling, yipping and screaming right behind us. They were on top of the hill, in an open field, and closing in.

I didn’t know the coyotes were even there until we got home and I had stopped the mobility scooter on the parking pad, ready to put it in the garage.

Quickly, I put my dog into the house and then grabbed my Monster Sound Superstar, bluetooth speaker and went looking for them, alone, on my scooter. Three of my neighbours were standing on the road, peering into that same grassland, as they had heard the ruckus too. Apparently, there were four coyotes originally, but they ran off at the sight of the human pack.

I played coyote sounds on my phone, amplified by the mini speaker, figuring that wild canids would think there was a rival group answering, and would permanently drive them off. Thankfully, the wily ones weren’t about to approach four people, with or without strange canid noises, and disappeared into the enveloping darkness.

A close call once again for my dog and I, as we earlier had an encounter with coyotes back in March. They howled, barked and then mimicked my dog’s yodeling-yowling type sound, which really set her off.

Tig’ger was at the end of the retractable leash, lunging, barking and snarling at the coyotes, which were hidden in the nearby forest. Their game plan is to get a dog to chase after them and will then ambush and kill it.

However, I hazed them by shouting, but they still seemed in pursuit when we retreated and headed back home, as my dog kept trying to turn around to look behind us.

Some hunters apparently use mid-sized dogs like mine, to lure coyotes, and whereas that was not my intent, it would seem that going out at dusk with my pet was attracting them. Coyotes also have the ability to throw their voices to make it sound like there are more of them, which is† a tactic used mostly to frighten off trespassers too close to their den of pups.

I was relieved to see a police cruiser drive slowly by unexpectedly, soon thereafter, before carrying on his way, at a snail’s pace. The partial escort home was a welcomed presence, and most reassuring. Thank you, RCMP.

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel, Kelowna

Only students benefit from WE contract

Dear Editor:

Dan Albas is one of three Conservative MPs who sent a letter to the Auditor General complaining that outsourcing the Student Services Grant to third parties circumvents opposition scrutiny — even though Conservatives have the poorest parliamentary attendance record of any party during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defends the government’s decision to enlist the Toronto-based WE charity, with close ties to his family, to administer its student volunteer program, saying “the WE Charity is the only organization capable of executing a nationwide program at this scale.”

It was federal civil servants, not the prime minister, who concluded WE has the resources and network in place through its existing activities that will allow it to connect with thousands of students seeking volunteer opportunities with organizations across the country.

The grant for students will be worth between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the number of hours completed. For every 100 hours worked, a student is eligible for $1,000, which means someone must volunteer 500 hours to receive the full grant.

The WE Charity can not make a profit, but will be paid a fee to administer the program. Under a contribution agreement, the government has set high-level funding parameters, including the objectives, desired outcomes, eligible expenditures and performance measurements.

However the government will not dictate or direct how the recipient will carry out their project. But the government has the power to recover the cost of claims that are later deemed ineligible.

Trudeau and his wife has been a frequent guest speaker at WE Day events that draw thousands of young people.

The PM said “this is an extremely ambitious program to get young people serving their communities. I’ve worked with WE in the past because I believe strongly in promoting opportunities for young people.”

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

Mountie didn’t drag woman by the hair

Dear Editor:

Lies and exaggerations will lose, not win, in the battle for pubic opinion.

The wild distortion phrased in Managing Editor David Trifunov’s June 25 column obliterates any hope of influential credibility and is an insult to informed readers.

He states that Mona Wong is suing the RCMP and its overseers “after she was dragged by her hair from her home to hospital.” That is a very long way to drag someone by the hair.

Anyone evenly remotely aware of this unfortunate incident will know that she was was tugged, unresponsive, down a hallway by her feet. At the end of the hallway her head was raised unceremoniously from the floor by her hair.

Other details are unknown. Was the female RCMP officer unable to carry her? What occurred prior inside? All that is said and shown is the dragging, feet first, and the expected shrill media condemnation once again, sans related information.

It is high time for sensationalist TV to get off the bandwagon of universally condemning the entire police service for egregious but isolated behaviour incidents. Give fair play to related situational facts.

Perhaps writers such as Trifunov should spend some time in the shoes of their much maligned adversaries out in the real world of trying to maintain public order.

A wise man wrote that we are entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. The fact is, Mr. Trifunov, she was dragged by her feet, not by her hair.

John Thomas, Okanagan Falls

Water project destroying Peachland trees

Dear Editor:

The park behind Sixth Avenue in Peachland is going to be assaulted by city representatives. Mature, healthy trees will be cut to connect the Ponderosa and Trepanier water systems, to which we have no objections.

A petition was started, and after four days, 29 Peachland taxpayers signed it to show their opposition and displeasure to the destruction of these trees on the edge of the park.

We needed to present our petition to council on June 23, so we enlisted the help of John Youngblut, who is knowledgable on municipal matters and a member of the Peachland Water Protection Alliance.

John is a dedicated person who spends countless hours trying to save our water and trees for posterity. We are thankful to him, as well as the PWPA that lends its support to our fight to have decent green spaces around us.

Some neighbours and I intend to join this great association that vouches for the well being of the community. We should support it by becoming members.

Our petition was presented to council, and even if there is an alternative to the path chosen by the municipality, council decided to proceed with their plan.

It is fair to say nobody on council lives near Sixth Avenue and are not affected by the decision.

Louise Williams, Peachland