LETTERS: Boonstock to city council, residents have their say

Letters to the editor in the Penticton Western News Aug. 20 issue.

New movement

Congratulations to the Penticton Indian Band, the Kruger family, the organizers and safety and support staff of Boonstock, who against all odds and without the support of the City of Penticton, the B.C. Liquor Control Board and so many pessimists, did a great job putting on a very successful festival.

We all agree that there is room for improvements, but all in all there were not many complaints.

Sadly a young life was snuffed out, but please do not blame this tragedy on the organizers.

Speaking of money, how can our mayor have the nerve and tell us with a straight face that the total cost of the city’s latest colossal mistake will only cost us $42,000. My guess is that after all the accounts are settled the cost will be more likely closer to $100,000. Litke also stated “that it is a fact that there’s almost always a daily, call for police services to correctional facilities.”

Checking into this, I found out that the new jail is on Indian property and in the District of Oliver. The RCMP is almost never involved in correctional facilities except in a riot etc. If by any chance the RCMP would be called, the Oliver detachment would attend and the cost would be covered by the province.

So why Mr. Mayor worry the Penticton taxpayers with costs that will never occur. The new jail will, after construction, employ over 400 employees with excellent wages . That should more then make up for the cost the city would have for additional infrastructure to serve any new subdivisions required.

For over 60 years I have followed the political scene in Penticton from Mayor Oscar Matson to Garry Litke and I have never seen the city in a bigger mess and involved in more lawsuits than in the last three years.

The legal team of the city will be very sad when Mr. Litke leaves in November.  But, with a new hospital, a new jail, new festivals and events like Boonstock and Challenge and several large subdivisions on the drawing boards, and most of all with a new city council in November,  I see a bright future for our beautiful city.

Sorry no comment on Mrs.Robinson, that’s just to much.

Bernie Strohmann


Letter is spot on

Re Mark Billesberger’s letter in Penticton Western News, Aug. 13 issue.

Great letter Mark.  You’re absolutely right in all you say, ”prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to serve as a warning to any other politicians out there perhaps doing the same things as Alison Redford.

I’m sure if it were someone like ourselves, we’d definitely be sent to jail.

To others reading this, get the word out there every chance you get.

Joan Johnson


No animals left behind

Kudos to Home Hardware for its alert and compassionate decision posted on its entrance door inviting customers to bring their animals into the store and not leave them in vehicles in this extreme heat.

Merle Kindred


PHA decision a huge hit to council

RE: Penticton Hospitality Association levels accusations towards city (Wednesday, Aug. 17).

Thank you Helena Konanz for taking full responsibility on behalf of the entire council for the debacle that is the Penticton Hospitality Association affair.

I understand that there are a number of, theoretically, highly qualified people who serve as city managers who’s job it is to advise council on matters that may be beyond their personal realm of expertise. Mayors and councils come and go but these people carry on year after year.

This was a major faux pas, costing lots of taxpayers money while leaving you and your compatriots with major egg on your face. Are these the same wizards behind the tax notice screw up?

Do Penticton taxpayers a favour, while you are in power, fire the people who are responsible for leading us/you down this path. Their repeated incompetence is not acceptable. We will take care of the rest of you in October. Let your legacy be that you did something positive for the City of Penticton.

PS. Deputy Mayor Konanz, aren’t you the councillor who won the highest expense claim prize this year?

You were shocked when you learned how expensive your stay was at the Four Seasons in Vancouver, really?

Good luck in October, deputy mayor … ouch!

D. Martin


Farewell Boonstock

Well I guess we can bid fair thee well to the doomed Boonstock.

I hope they will be back when they can’t stay so long next year.

We do owe them a debt of gratitude for injecting some moola into the poor economy of this ailing town. Yes, we do have to make hay while the sun shines, it’s true. For a moment there I could have sworn we had a divine intervention that being the waters parting in the channel and blowing the rafters back to whence they came, with lungs a-wheezing from the dust storm.

On the upside of this disaster, I witnessed the last of the feral deer with a raccoon in tow, heading east towards Midway, like it just took a near miss with an old .303 Lee Enfield 185 grain projectile, so in fact by the time we add up the dollars, we just about broke even.

I don’t know about the rest of the survivors of this weekend but I had to wonder how many other folk were straightening the pictures on their living room wall, plus removing the folded cardboard from the window tracks in order to stop the glass from shaking out.

Well, at least you can vacate an intersection on a green light after a crack head pulls up next to you in an intersection with his boom bass box cranked to the nines, thank goodness for sleep meds and deafness in us old kill joys.

Andy Homan


Rethink your stance on festival

Does anybody remember the exact date when it became the civic duty of all Penticton and area residents to wholeheartedly support any activity, however distasteful, to boost the marginal income of motel owners, booze purveyors and fast food joints?

Before chambers of commerce effectively took control of the civic matters of our towns, supply and demand and the common sense of citizens prevailed.  If a hotel was needed – one was built, along with a bar and restaurant if the need was felt and prospective clientele were in place.

Now, however, under the aegis of the chambers (however grandiloquently named), whose only economic beliefs are growth is good, and bigger is better, motels are built, drinking emporiums opened, and the effort must be made by all to make and keep them viable.

Such was the case with controversial Boonstock.  The owner of the for-profit organization aped the chamber spokesman’s platitudes about the city, economic benefits for all, and, of course, future growth courtesy of the unbounded enthusiasm by the revellers who will doubtlessly come to live in our pristine area.  There would be no city or provincial involvement because the event would be held on Indian land and no financial expenses by either civic group would be involved.  Didn’t work out that way though did it?

Unless of course Boonstock, the chamber, or the reassuring spokesperson pays the hospital bills for the intensive care treatments and other medical costs incurred by the alarming number of self-induced drug and alcohol overdoses.

No doubt city hall will also be reimbursed for the countless necessary hours worked by paid city senior staff and less visible but very real employee physical involvement.

At first it seemed, owing to the non-stop insistence of the promoters and spokesmen, that because a liquor licence was an absolute necessity to ensure event success, the event was actually a festival for alcoholics.  Not the case however. Drugs took centre stage as the central concern, and this raises a more general and more worrisome concern.  If nearly 8,000 people attended and many took drugs to alter their perception of the entertainment offered, how many young people doped for the first time? How many of this number will continue use to the point of social uselessness?  How many of the festival’s converts will become a real social burden for the rest of us to shoulder?  Will it be worth it for the few extra beds, drinks and burgers sold on an otherwise busy weekend? This was something for council to think about!

Predictably the show featured some vulgar moments and a minority shirtless lowbrow element graced our retail establishments long enough to elicit marked discomfit among our more thoughtful and generally senior regular patrons.

City officials, and especially the chamber of commerce, should recognize that each transitory, disruptive, uncomfortable or harmful money grubbing endeavour takes some of the grace and ambiance of our city down another notch, not to mention the potential harm to our easily led youth.

It  is time for them to consider the long term effects on an otherwise agreeable city.  Let the print media reconsider its unequivocal endorsement of every commercial event and the tendency to belittle thoughtful and constructive critics.

One can only salute the courage and wisdom of councillor Robinson for her prescient concern and her refusal to follow the full-throated pack of followers who blindly promote unhelpful schemes for a few more retail dollars.

Endorsement of socially harmful events would seem to resemble a milder form of someone pimping his sister.

JD Thomas





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