LETTERS: If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the May 7 issue.

I read with interest the recent statement from Penticton RCMP Insp. Kevin Hewco.

It seems ironic that for the last number of years, Crime Stoppers has been working fine. Now, in a short time, after being transferred here, Hewco would seek to fine tune Crime Stoppers.  Once again, economics, rather than track record seems to be speaking. I would ask, “what’s broken with Crime Stoppers?”

The track record is exemplary. One only has to look at statistics to see that the efficacy is there as this unit is in the top 10 per cent of all units in the province as far as success goes. Anonymity would seem to speak volumes. True, there is always room for improvement, as we all know.

Crime Stoppers has had one, possibly two paid staff over the years. The board itself is made up of volunteers that meet regularly to assess and adjudicate each tip before any monies are allocated.

Hewco would have two RCMP officers as part of the Crime Stopper team. It would seem that anonymity would be compromised, as Crime Stoppers has operated as an independent agency up to now. The average person might deem this action as a conflict of interest and tips might not be coming in as much as they have been.

I am sure that the officers have duties that are more pressing than being involved with Crime Stoppers. Besides, emphasizing police duties that are 70 per cent paid for by the province and 30 per cent by the Federal government should come into account here. By taking on any additional duty in Crime Stoppers, would this be deemed as fiscally responsible?

Would the RDOS then be responsible for a portion of their salaries?

Where is the tax dollar saving here?

If  Hewco would have us believe his references to Crime Stopper improvements are being made from a humility standpoint, why is so much emphasis being put on cost to the RDOS or taxpayers in general? He has admitted that more consultation with those involved needed to be done. I would ask Why wasn’t it done prior to the press release of the integration plan?

Would it have not been more prudent to have a mutually agreed to game plan rather than fixing something that might not be broken?

From a fiscal standpoint, Hewco might have justification.  However, from a practical standpoint, in my opinion, it may make Crime Stoppers less effective.

Ron Barillaro


Fawlt-less performance

I had the opportunity to see the Pen Hi Arts Media Entertainment Fawlty Towers play at the Shatford Centre recently.

I had watched many shows of Fawlty Towers on TV many years ago. May I say the students who played all the parts of the actors in the play did an excellent job.  They had the audience laughing throughout the whole show.

Their mingling with the audience was so well done.   Congratulations to their drama instructors for an excellent performance.

The Hot horderves  that were served were absolutely delicious and the buffet as well.

Sharron Johnston



Credit Card fees stick it to buyers

Has anyone other than me not been paying attention to their credit card bill and information? It’s odd how it’s presented by credit companies as being low finance fees if you act yesterday.

Yes, credit is wonderful if you are in a pinch to, let’s say to book a motel, hotel or whatever that’s on a giveaway price. But if you are not on the ball and pay back your creditor one hour later you are on the hook. Let’s say hypothetically an item is 70 per cent off, use your credit card and brace yourself when the invoice comes in the mail. Your 70 per cent purchase at 19.99 per cent and balance transfer fees at 19.99 per cent at a daily rate of 0.05476 per cent equals $47 for 30 days borrowing rate, etc.

In other words, your financial institution just took you for a walk up the yellow brick road.

Hey, don’t despair, if you are as old as me your credit card statement says if you make only the minimum payment required each month, it will take approximately 46 years and one month to repay the balance shown on this month’s statement. Yes, if I were immortal.

Well, guess what I just saw, a motorhome for sale at the convention centre so excuse me, I’m on a mission.

Andy Homan