Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing. (Western News file)

Letter: Who’s going to police the drinking?

“We can promote Penticton as a safe, respectable community, or we can promote booze on the beach.”

Dear editor,

I was born and raised in Penticton. My grandfather owned a tent and trailer park on Power Street in the early 1950s. This is where the tennis courts are now. Every year there was an increase in the number of tourist families that came to enjoy our town. Penticton was blossoming with new motels, restaurants, and a new arena; and of course our World Champion Penticton Vees in 1955.

Many tourists moved to Penticton after experiencing the wonderful attractions here.

READ MORE: Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

Then in the early 90s something happened. It started with an advertisement in a major Vancouver newspaper. It read: “It’s party time in Penticton on the long weekend.” That’s all it said. On the long weekend hundreds of party people showed up. They were unruly and rude. I often wondered who put that ad in the Vancouver paper.

READ MORE: Decades don’t diminish memories of riot

By the second summer, the long weekends got worse. As the long weekend came along, more and more party people came. They left the city dirty and messy. The more weekends these partiers came, the more families there were that stayed away. It didn’t take long and the tourists that came were almost all “party people.”

The families were almost all gone. Penticton had become a “party city.”

Near the end of the second summer our party guests paraded down Main Street in the early hours of Sunday morning, after the bars had closed. They smashed windows and destroyed city property. They even damaged our beloved peach on the lakeshore.

City council and the citizens final said, “that’s enough.”

From that weekend on, and at great expense to the city and taxpayers, extra police were brought in from throughout the Okanagan to maintain law and order. It took about a year for the police to get their message across to the party tourists. Finally, the partiers could see that Penticton was no fun anymore. Good job police and city council.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP express concern over allowing public drinking

With some time and good attractions, like the antique car show, Elvis festival, a rejuvenated Peach Festival and triathlon, the family tourists came back again. This brings us to where we are now.

Now someone comes up with the bright idea to allow booze on the beach and in the parks. History has a way of repeating itself.

When happens when little Johnny cuts his feet on broken glass or a tin can that’s under the sand? Lawsuits. What happens when an inebriated person drowns and his family sues the city for allowing the guy to drink and swim? Lawsuits and more lawsuits.

Who’s going to police the drinking? Who will watch people who drink on the beach and then get into their vehicles to drive home? The police are stretched thin and to their limits already.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP overworked while crime rate, danger to police rises: superintendent

I want to thank the elected officials who voted against this bylaw. They showed intelligence and wisdom. The ones that passed the bylaw, not so much.

We can promote Penticton as a safe, respectable community, or we can promote “booze on the beach.” We can’t promote both. They don’t mix.

Al Formo Sr., Penticton

Want to add to this conversation? Email us: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

READ MORE: Poll: Should Penticton allow drinks on the beach?

READ MORE: City of Penticton seeks feedback on allowing alcohol in outdoor spaces

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: COVID-19 statistics are the stories of people

This pandemic is ultimately about people, not just about numbers

How to not have your bike stolen in Penticton

Police are considering new initiatives like ‘bait bikes’

Kiera Bourque sentenced to one year in jail for death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Crash closes southbound traffic on Government Street

The collision occurred around 2:40 p.m.

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

EDITORIAL: Clearing the smoke

Wildfires have resulted in heavy smoke and poor air quality

Kelowna man’s child porn collection ‘traversed the spectrum of depravity,’ court hears

Terry Krock was caught in possession of between 7,000 and 12,000 child porn files

COVID-19 exposure at Merritt pub

The exposure happened on Sept. 19 at the pub of the Coldwater Hotel

UPDATE: Person safely pulled from Vernon creek culvert

First responders from multiple agencies assist in getting individual out of the creek

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read