LETTERS: Litke will be missed at the council table

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the Oct. 15. 2014 issue.

Litke will be missed at the council table

Kudos, Mayor Garry Litke for standing up for your staff.

Being a senior doesn’t give one the right to harass and bully people whether through Facebook, Twitter, or the newspaper. Bullying is bullying. Stopping harassment is not squelching freedom of speech. We are fortunate to have WorkSafeBC laws to keep employees safe from physical, verbal and mental abuse in the work place.

I wish all employers would stand up for their employees when they are harassed.

Mayor Litke was just being a good boss. For those who were against his actions, I would not want them for an employer.

The positive from this was we had a short break from seeing Elvena Slump’s letters in the paper. I, and many others, skip reading her letters. I’m sorry she seems so deeply unhappy and seems to have nothing better to do than find fault with everything.  I wish she could be more positive.

The city staff, especially the city manager, are paid to manage.  As situations arise, staff have access to information and resources. They are responsible for researching issues, finding solutions and presenting them to council. Council then debates and decides on what action to take. The mayor and councilors don’t have the time nor are they paid enough to do leg work. So, if staff has a lot of input, it means they are doing their jobs.

Sorry to hear Mayor Litke will not be running.  It is unfortunate he inherited so many problems. The hockey dorms, pool and Penticton Hospitality Association lawsuit started with the last mayor.

Even so, it is not a one-man show.  Everyone on council has a say and a vote.

It’s unfortunate all of the mayoral candidates did not attend the UBCM.  I doubt it’s the same workshops year after year. The UBCM provides a chance to hear progressive new ideas, important in a fast-changing world.  It provides an opportunity to talk not only with ministers but also with other mayors and councillors.

Networking is crucial these days.

Letting Ironman go and embracing Challenge was timely. I read Whistler Ironman 2014 had only 1,900 participants. Penticton Ironman had over 3,000 when it was the only Ironman in Canada.  Now there are three.

Thank you, Mayor Litke, for your dedication in promoting Penticton and your hard work on city council.  You’ve been an honourable, approachable and impressive ambassador for the city.

You will be missed.

Evelyn Enns


Snow job on tire regulations

I wonder who the morons were that designed the mandatory rule for the use of winter tires in B.C.?

You have probably heard by now that you need to have winter tires on your vehicle while driving on any highway in the Okanagan between the dates of Oct. 1 and March 31.

We have two vehicles, one of which is rarely if ever driven further south than Penticton and no further north than Kelowna.  This road may have some snow or ice on it from the beginning of December to the middle of February.  That’s when I put my winter tires on that vehicle.

Winter tires are made of softer material allowing for greater traction on ice.  They also wear much more quickly than summer tires on dry pavement and sand.  Used for the mandatory five-month period, they could possibly last only one season, rather than the three or four seasons possible if used discretionally for two months of the year.

Not only is this regulation a hardship on those people who can ill afford it, it puts a lot of extra money into the pockets of the big tire manufacturers, while causing a significant environmental increase in CO2 while producing those tires.

Use some common sense.

Frank Martens



City should retract ideas on shutters

Raging Granny’s. Grey power. Call it what you will.  At times I may have chuckled at some of their antics until I got to be a pensioner. I have some regrets about my thoughts back then.

Today I feel like many other seniors living in Cherry Lane Towers, unwanted pressure from Penticton city hall regarding our sun and heat shields that have been in use going back to 2003.  These roll shutters are extremely safe for use.

So, what’s the problem? Truthfully? It’s the manner and method of city hall that I find objectionable towards a large number of senior residents.  And nobody understands why today’s staff blatantly refuse to accept the fact that since 2003 and up to and near 2011 the owners had received assurance from city hall that no permits were required to install their blinds and venting of gas fireplaces is the responsibility of the B.C. Safety Authority. Facts agreed to by two former mayors and also, I’m told, some councillors.

These seniors, who did nothing wrong, turn out to be victims caught up in the middle of a bureaucracy that seems to invite controversy.  To threaten seniors with a notice on title against their home could distress anyone.  Many of these older people are genuinely frightened and feeling distraught.

What’s left for these senior people to do? The blinds have never ever presented a problem to anyone in many useful years of service that I’ve been made aware of. If the current mayor, council and city staff want to author a new chapter of life for Penticton, so be it. But, let the first volume of chapters going back 11 years remain peacefully in the past.

Myles Green



Barely surviving on disability

I recently read a letter from Edna and Gordon Johnson regarding disability rates for B.C. (Western News, Sept. 17).

I would also like to voice my opinion regarding the amount of income a person in B.C. gets to try to survive on. I emphasize the word “try.” In my opinion, it’s next to impossible for one to pay for shelter and utilities, let alone buy food, toiletries etc. The rents in this town and in B.C. are outrageously high. People working on a minimum wage cannot afford the rents in this province.  So how can one expect people on disability to survive, notice I am not saying live, because we are not living we are barely surviving.

Did you know the disability rates in Alberta are $1,600 per month? My inner voice is saying I should move just so I don’t have to worry every day and night about making ends meet.  This, by the way, isn’t the best for one’s disability (worrying). I was born and raised in this province. I am 60 years old.  And, I am thinking of moving to Alberta because the government of this province is trying to get rid of the deficient on the back of the poor.

How fair is that? And, what does that tell you about the liberals? Just what have they done for the poor lately? Or ever for that matter? We the poor, the ones on disability, have never had an income increase since this government got in. Has your cost of living gone up in those seven years? I know mine has. If the provincial government gave subsidies for the people on disabilities to help with the shelter costs and subsidies for utilities instead of increasing shelter rates we might be able to make things work a little better. Also, an increase for food support.

One more thing, this is for all people living in the dead zone (an area which there is nothing for people between the ages of 55-65). There is absolutely nothing out there for help. When I am 65 I am eligible for the safer program to help with my shelter costs.  You are not eligible for it if you have some kind of provincial income. Why not? The provincial income is far from reasonable to live on, why not subsidize?

This province has to do something, because the way things are going there will be more crime, more homeless, more deaths and yes, more fraud. The provincial government has increased the amount of money one is allowed to make in a year.  That’s great if you can find an employer who doesn’t discriminate when you walk in with a resume using a walker and you are 60.  Believe me, I have tried. If you figure you have a part-time position for me, then I say call me, I will bring you the best resume ever.

I say its time the government looked after its low income families and disabled instead of making deals that are not good for the environment. I just heard on the news the other night that the government realizes that the income of people on disability is not enough to live on, and yet again the poor get put on the back burner.  Shame on you Christy Clark. Why not take action now and increase our income.  Again, big business is much more important than the poor people of this province. I dare the government to live what we live on for a month paying for high cost of shelter, buying food with today’s cost of living and paying utilities. Go for it, and see how you fair.

Wendy Chalmers


Mental Illness Awareness Week 2014 declared a success

Thanks to everyone who attended the fundraiser dinner at the Barley Mill Brew Pub.

Great food, great service, great company, great entertainment, and great silent auction purchasing raised $2,500 to promote mental health in our community. On behalf of the boards and members of the Mental Wellness Centre (BC Schizophrenia Society Penticton Branch) and Canadian Mental Health Association South Okanagan Similkameen Branch, thank you.

The 7th Annual Psychiatric Art Show Beyond Words also continues at the Penticton Art Gallery.

Mental Illness Awareness Week series by the Western News’s Mark Brett has been diverse and sensitive to the contributors. For more information and help, readers are invited to contact the Mental Wellness Centre 250-493-7338.

We are dedicated to creating a caring community when a person has a mental illness by support and education for the person, their support network and the community. A reason to hope, the means to cope and recovery is possible.

Sharon Evans President BCSS Penticton Branch

Colleen Caron President CMHA SOS


Dental gold

I recently heard of a person going to the dentist for some dental work.

An old filling was removed and a new filling was done. Here’s the catch. The old filling was a gold filling.  She forgot to ask the dentist for its return to her, and now is embarrassed to go in and ask for that gold filling. It being just so small, why bother right?

Well, how many other persons out there have gone through this very same experience? Can you imagine, say over a 20 year period, how much gold could be accumulated?

I think the board of dentists, or whatever it is called, should instill into all dentists, that when they remove gold from a patients mouth, they should put it into a little plastic bag and return it without question to that patient prior to their leaving the dental office, rather than stock pile it for themselves. That would be the ethical thing to do.

Joan Johnson


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