I came to live in Penticton seven years ago. I flew into Kelowna, a city disturbingly like the one I had moved from, and crossed my fingers for the whole drive in hopes that Penticton did not share these same similarities. I was overwhelming relieved when I saw that it did not.
Penticton, as everyone that lives here knows, is a geographical gold mine. A small (but not too small) beach town cozily nestled between two lakes and cradled in the warm embrace of semi-arid mountain ranges.
It is not only the natural beauty and all the activities that are availed; it is the atmosphere of the town itself, that laid-back vibe and small-town charm that has me convinced I will never again call another place ‘home’. I don’t feel that I need to gush further. Pentictonites know.
That being said and my love of this town firmly established, I do feel it is necessary to speak out against what is slowly being done to it right under our laid–back noses. It was recently brought to my attention, thanks to Jake Kimberley’s letter on April 24, that the newest proposal for the Okanagan Beach makeover is a hideous concrete retaining wall.
I understand that because our wise city council has decided to disallow any sort of concert, festival or revenue-generating activity that does not comply with their own personal tastes and biases, our town needs to take the cheaper route on things like city planning, maintenance and improvements.
Well, since they have, so far, effectively killed our tourism industry and our nightlife and are working on the death of small local business by giving the green light to more big-box stores and highrise condo/shopping plazas, why not take that final step towards taking Penticton off the map: let’s make this place ugly. That is exactly what more big-box stores, more downtown highrises and cheap city “improvements” will do.
I know that I cannot be the only Pentictonite that is mildly outraged and offended by this latest proposal and the effect it will have on our beach and our town. I alone, however, do not know what to do about it except write to the newspaper in hopes that my plea to stop the nonsense will be heard.