Don’t penalize those who can’t walk up Knox

Dear Editor:

Banning vehicles from Knox Mountain is ludicrous. Ron Seymour, in his well-researched article, notes that there were no recorded collisions between vehicles and pedestrians on Knox Mountain from 2009-19. The facts show there is no issue here.

For those who are “vehicle averse,” there are miles of trails on Knox Mountain for foot traffic only, quite removed from the roadway. I have hiked many of these trails as well as the paved road. To hike the road, a person must have a fairly high level of fitness.  People who are thus not able to walk up the mountain are still entitled to enjoy the views via vehicle access.

The city touts looking at results of its online survey. The results of this will be meaningless in that it is not designed with proper statistical research protocols.  This is typical of “opt-in” surveys.

Pedestrians on the Knox Mountain Road are in far more danger from bicyclists speeding downhill than from carefully and courteously driven motor vehicles.

Bob Sherman, Kelowna

Kelsey endorses Miller for council

Dear Editor:

With the Penticton byelection coming up on June 19, I have had many people ask me if I was running. Unfortunately, my family and doctor have dissuaded me because of the number of health issues I've been through this past year.

However, it is critical that I be invested in the election. I want to encourage everyone to vote.

Advance polls are on June 6, 9 and 12. Election day is June 19. All voting is at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can also request a mail-in ballot from city hall.

There are 10 candidates running. My choice is James Miller. James is up to date on issues facing Penticton; he has spent years asking the tough questions and is ready to provide some good answers. It is a steep learning curve coming onto council and James' years of experience means he is the best equipped to handle the job.

I believe in James' principles and integrity. I feel James is the strongest candidate for council. It's Miller time. Make sure you vote.

Lynn Kelsey, Penticton

Mayor should brush up on his governance

Dear Editor:

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran needs a civics lesson.

In Ron Seymour’s article from May 13, Basran wishes that individuals seeking answers about irregularities in his 2018 campaign finances had “come to him directly” instead of filing complaints with Elections BC.

I can certainly empathize with the mayor here. I used to hate when another kid would “tell on me" to the teacher for swearing at recess! Why didn’t they just come to me? We could’ve handled the issue without any adult supervision.

Unfortunately for Basran, this is not a schoolyard disagreement and the amount of money in question is an awful lot more than what’s sitting in my swear jar.

Elections BC has a mandate to administer electoral processes in accordance with the Election Act, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act, Recall and Initiative Act, and Referendum Act. Elections BC is independent and non-partisan; as a politician looking to get re-elected, Basran is neither. Elections BC is here to ensure that (non) compliance with said laws is handled in an unbiased manner. What Basran “wishes” had happened in this case is the very definition of a conflict of interest. This goes to the heart of our democracy, and the corners Basran is seemingly fine with cutting to keep his office.

Basran may pride himself in the “level of sophistication” he’s brought to Kelowna municipal politics, but it’s clear to me that needs a lesson in statesmanship.

Sarah MacDonald, Kelowna

Land should be restored, not sold

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express my concern about Summerland council’s proposal to sell lakeshore land to private individuals in the location of 2450 to 2590 Landry Cres.

The land in question formerly supported a black cottonwood riparian ecosystem. Very limited natural habitat remains, but there is an opportunity to restore this important lakeshore habitat for fish and wildlife.

Summerland has the ability to re-plant and restore this rare plant community. There are several examples of successful riparian restoration projects throughout the Summerland area. Many have been community-planting efforts as part of Earth Day events.

This opportunity will be lost if this public land is sold, and the “death by a thousand cuts” to our precious foreshore habitat will continue.

Riparian vegetation is essential to water quality and soil conservation. Unfortunately, we have lost an estimated 85% of valley bottom riparian habitat in the Okanagan. The conservation and restoration of remaining riparian areas is essential to maintaining healthy natural landscapes and providing economic sustainability.

Lakeshore habitat is a natural asset that we all enjoy. The public has the opportunity to express their opposition to the sale of this important lakeshore habitat.

Take a moment to share your concerns with Summerland council before May 25 and urge them to retain the current dedication and restore riparian vegetation to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

Lisa Scott, Chair, Summerland Environmental Science Group