LETTERS: And the beat goes on

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the Sept. 12 issue.

And the beat goes on

The battle with government and teachers has been ongoing, in some way, shape or form, since the days of W.A.C. Bennett and successive governments thereafter.

Resolution has not been achieved and will not, in all probability, be achieved based on the sycophantical attitude of both players.

The losers here, irrespective of the prevailing political attitudes are the students, plain and simple. The David and Goliath scenario does not apply here.

From my perspective nothing much will change with things if the I’m right; they are wrong attitude doesn’t go away on both sides. Common ground must be found on some smaller basic issues if any progress towards addressing and resolving larger issues is to occur.

The overall picture that I see, as a retired teacher, is one where teachers have to practice what they preach i.e. student needs come first aside from salary, health benefits et al.

On the other hand, the omnipotent government needs to sharpen its pencil to address the true cost of educating students on a per-student basis.

After all is said and done, both sides are playing the money game instead of addressing the real issues regarding student well-being. What is there to take to arbitration if both sides are light years apart?

There can be no arbitration based on the dictates of one side or the other.

The one-size-fits-all rule does not apply here. Challenges by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and staunch refusals by the government are not benefitting the key players here, the students, our next generation.

Both the teachers and the government are acting as Judas goats, if you will. Under the guise of concern for student education, both parties are leading students in a direction going nowhere.

True reality needs to be the order of the day. There should not be this bantering back and forth with accusations and excuses by either side. Common sense dictates that excuses don’t get things done. Demands by teachers and dangling of small carrots by the government are not, in any way, benefitting student education. Until reality sets in on both sides, not much will change and the students will still be hung out to dry.

Ron Barillaro



Marina woes

I understand that the mayor and council have decided that the citizens of Penticton no longer need the marina or the adjacent parking lot.

They have decided to lease the property for the opening of yet another restaurant in Penticton.

They are also leasing out the area that all the boaters from the area and tourists park in the summer. I am all for good restaurants but there is a lot of vacant land that could be used.  The boaters use that part of the park constantly.

I find it disturbing that we as taxpayers and citizens were not involved in a decision of this magnitude. Why has this not been on the front page of al the papers?

Lisa Sheaves


Hey ICBC, responsibility should have a price

I strongly object to ICBCs planned five per cent rate increase to cover the rising costs of claims due to irresponsible distracted drivers.

These drivers should be treated as impaired drivers, bearing the brunt of punitive legislation and rate increases. When will we responsible drivers get an equivalent rate decrease?

I have had the same good driver discount as long as I have been eligible and yet, I have to pay the same rate increase every time the rates go up to cover the rising costs of claims of irresponsible drivers. Further, I drive no more than 12,000 kilometres per year,so I pay more per km for my insurance than the average driver that drives 25,000 km per year. Being on a fixed income, and I mean fixed, I literally cannot afford to pay for irresponsible drivers.

Let’s get serious with drivers who make a conscious choice to endanger the lives of other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. In the case of consciously driving distracted the first offence should cost $500, three points and double for the next offense, plus five points and loss of license for three months for any offence after that.

In the case of the conscious choice to drive distracted that results in death, a lifetime ban on driving. Forget the argument that the licence is need for work; driving is a matter of life and death and responsibility has a price.

Laurie Rockwell



Government will starve the teachers

I expect some or most readers will thumb their noses, or even go so far as to call it absurd, but it’s so predictable to guess the final outcome.

I understand the teachers are not going to give up ground they so bravely fought for and financially sacrificed to accomplish. But enough is enough. This government will starve them out of house and home to make their point. Meanwhile the children’s education is being sacrificed to make a stand on these issues confronting both parties’ goals.

To see the empty classrooms through the windows and observe the desks and chairs, then  look into the cloakrooms at the empty coat racks with a child’s name tag affixed is chilling to the bone to say the least.

No amount of money can replace the hardship being endured by our new generation. The lesson being portrayed by todays’ workforce can’t be very encouraging to them, especially while it involves our children’s educators.

And if by chance the teachers ever get to claim a victory, the money our government has saved during this time of unrest will be more than they need to meet the teachers demands. The irony of it all is, it will be the money lost in wages they receive, only to have to hand it over to the mortgage mongers and creditors who have been waiting with baited breath to see which way this nightmare would conclude.

In the end, no one wins, only our children have everything to lose.

Another point that home owners seem to be missing is the fact that we paid school taxes and we don’t have any schooling taking place.

I think they should be starting a class action lawsuit against the government to reclaim some of the taxes they have paid. Even home owners that don’t have children in school have to pay school taxes, and nowhere on your tax bill does is say taxes to pay for child care.

Hopefully someone will take this ball and run with it.

Andy Homan



Today’s headlines fit the past

It was on Sept. 3, 1939, at 12 years, four-and-a-half months old, living in the Cadbury brotherns late 19th century planned village of Bournville, now a suburb of England’s second largest city, Birmingham, three miles from the Austin Motor works, where twin-engine Fairy Battle Bombers are being manufactured, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain took to the airwaves.

On BBC Radio (the wireless) hearing Prime Minister Chamberlain declares “…consequently for the second time in 25 years we are at war with Germany.”

Back-to-school was supposed to happen next week but now we faced evacuation from cities; first time separation from parents and siblings, being sure to take our gas masks along.

Headlines last week, locally, Students Fear For Future, Protest Not Where Kids Wanted to be Tuesday, and  Future Unsure For Arts Council would have fit for the first week of September 1939 in Great Britain.

So 75 years later (OK you can do the math) here I am in Summerland. Mistaken by some to be between 70 and 75 years of age.

Perhaps I could be a poster boy for the retired life here; or for the single independent life since age 50;  but more significantly and  particularly for 27 years at Legion Village, conceived and constructed back in 1972 by Second World War veterans, members of Branch 22 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Any which way, I should have lived this long.

Dick Clements



Time to tune in

It’s early September, time for a certain group of singers and musicians to start practising again so that they can entertain the rest of the community later in the year.

The weekly practices are more than the music; they are a great opportunity to enjoy new friendships, to challenge our ability and our memory, and to have the pleasure of working together to produce an entertaining performance.

The Tune-Agers will be offering Christmas concerts in Summerland and Penticton this December, and will be presenting their spring concerts in April 2015.

If you would like to be part of all this, give Gordon Dawson a call at 250-492-9844, or drop in at the Shatford Centre next Tuesday or Thursday.

Peggy Whitley, Tune-Ager


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