Letters: Resolution difficult when reality is idealistic

Reader says both sides in teachers' dispute need to give a little and think about the students whose lives their affecting

Here we are at the end of the school year with teachers and the government entrenched and battle lines becoming more drawn.

Shots have been fired on both sides, some of which are, in essence, ricochet shots fired 10-15 years ago but failed to hit the targets. The bullets are still errant to this day and the targets remain untouched, let alone hitting the bulls-eye! In any battle, there has to be a winner, although not without fallout of some kind. There is a price to pay in most victories. The ongoing teacher-government agree to disagree scenario entails collateral damage but it is not a major point of concern.

The collateral damage is the educational process of students. Both sides pay token lip-service to this issue, however, neither one seems to take the students’ educational goals as a first and foremost priority.  It seems to center around the dollars and the infusion and spending of same.

From my perspective as a former and witnessing the progress, or lack of progress is more apt, it appears that reality has been thrown out or totally forgotten by both sides.

Until both sides agree on what is reality, not much will change.  The demands will go on along with finger-pointing, innuendoes and accusations. The students will pay. The agree to disagree scenario will prevail. The students will pay.

The realization on both sides needs to be that this is not a chess game where pawns are expendable and the king must be protected.

From the teacher’s point of view the king might be salary and working and learning conditions whereas from the government’s point of view, demands and money seem to be at the forefront.

In both cases, the students are being used as pawns to achieve an end even though both seem to show concern for the students albeit in a somewhat self-interest way.

For things to change, both sides need to change. If both sides started with some small issues and came to some resolution on those, then the more difficult ones could be dealt with intent to reach an amicable agreement.

The I want what I want scenario will not accomplish anything. Reality is the key here. It’s time to experience reality and take the real best interests of students to heart.

The question might be, how does one eat an elephant?

The answer is, one bite at a time.

Ron Barillaro



Carmi Grade 5 grateful

Thank you to all community and school members who came to breakfast and made donations. Thank you to the staff of the Penticton Herald and the Penticton Western News for attending and publishing such great photos of our event.

Thank you to the Carmi parents, teachers, principal and staff for supporting this initiative with your time and energy. Finally thank you to the children and parents for their enthusiasm in spite of the rain.

The success of events such as this really highlights our supportive and involved community.

Carmi 2014 Gr. 5 Fundraising Committee



Stamp Club says thank you

Penticton had another highlight event enjoyed by over 150 people. They came to the opening of the Steamfest celebrations marked by the unveiling of the limited edition picture postage stamp painting depicting the S.S. Sicamous and the Naramata tug, created by well-known local historian and artist Randy Manuel.

As with many events, nothing can and will be accomplished without the help of many.

The Penticton and District Stamp Club would like to recognize some of the hard working people behind the scenes.

The Stamp Club members who over two years ago agreed to seek someone who could help produce a stamp depicting the S.S. Sicamous and asked Canada Post to produce a national stamp in honour of the 100th anniversary of the launching of the Sicamous.

Randy Manuel produced a painting we could use as an example for the postage stamp. Harv Baessler arranged matters with Canada Post to have a picture postage stamp printed in limited numbers. Bob Otway, retired Penticton Postmaster, agreed to cancel stamps on the day of the event. The local people at Canada Post – Penticton Depot helped make sure our official Canada Post Cancel arrived in time.  This event was pulled off with the valuable help of Andrina Iliffe who co-ordinated the activities of all parties involved making the official opening of the Steamfest Celebrations a success.

We owe thanks to the many volunteers who helped greeting people coming aboard, serving cake and refreshments, displaying original era postcards, etc.

I personally have to thank Nigel Skermer for stepping into the breach when I got sick. Andrina managed to get the attention of a number of local politicians and media who attended the event and reported on it in their media.

We were gratified by the acceptance of the public and the media in helping our community celebrate this auspicious event.

Some limited-edition special covers with picture postage cancelled and signatures are still available.  We sincerely thank everyone who had anything to do with the great success of this launch of our stamp.

On behalf of all the club members,

Gus Boersma, President

Penticton and District Stamp Club


Pond all splash, misses boat

(re: Back from the bottom; Western News; May 28)

Michael Pond claims he is genetically predisposed to alcoholism, There is absolutely no proof  that alcoholism is passed genetically. Countless alcoholics have used this to rationalize their drinking and to throw blame elsewhere.

Pond thinks that living vicariously through his clients’ traumas led to his downfall, He is most likely right as alcohol is a downer and alcoholism is an addiction to all downers (depressants) in any form, when used by the individual to seek escape from a condition that he or she is unsatisfied with, in what appears to them as the shortest possible time and route.

When the drug’s effect wears off the escape route is re-sought again and again until the user perceives the drug induced  condition as  normal.

Pond says he was in a recovery house that was based on a dated 12-step program and  got sober despite the recovery house. He doesn’t understand that the recovery house is part of his road to his possible recovery. Pond goes on to say, “I got sober, I believe, because I said I’m not going to let you … take me down and I just got very defiant.” If the ‘you’ in this statement refers to the drug alcohol then Pond has just affirmed a principal component of AA philosophy . Pond claimed 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are based on religion and folklore, not science, and while great for camaraderie and support, do not constitute treatment. Pond obviously does not understand the AA 12-step program, or what he is up against.

Pond is calling on the government to treat addiction as it would any other disease and begin pumping money into finding ways to curb it.

First, the government makes billions of dollars suppling alcohol to the people.

Second, there is a massive pharmaceutical industry in Canada supplying millions with  a multitude  of  types of downers (among other things of course). Third, to treat addiction like any other disease implies that a pharmaceutical company may find a cure .

I have been lucky enough and lived long enough to have been through five different government-funded treatment programs, and have attended hundreds  of  AA and NA meetings. I have also been lucky enough to have had a lot of very good counsel and some, unfortunately not-so-good counsel.

I have the wisdom to know the difference.

Timothy H. Birmingham



Media, justice dismiss evidence

(re: Explosives found in home; Western News, June 11)

If you own a diesel truck, some lawn fertilizer, some spare computer or telephone cables and some old coffeepots with timers, you are a potential terrorist, because you have bomb-making material in your possession.

This is how law enforcement officers interpret the evidence. If you, in addition to the evidence, are looking at alternative media, which they call right-wing extremist or white supremacist, you are definitively a terrorist and a menace to the establishment.

The judges do not look at the presented evidence. They are taking the word of law enforcement at face value.

Most people believe what the media presents is the holy truth. Fortunately, there are millions of intelligent people that see a bit further and they question the evidence. They see there is a concerted effort to push for gun control.

They also see the war on terror is an invention by the establishment. The kingpins see there is a revolution on the horizon, by the intellect with guns and ropes, against those behind the scene, which pull the strings. By the way, I know who pulls the strings.

Most people think everything is just fine and are not much concerned that they are satisfied slaves and are the greatest defenders of their slave condition. Most people do not know that we are in a war of truth against lies. Unfortunately the liars are still in the driver’s seat, but that seems to be changing all over the world, as more and more people are unemployed and have more time to look into alternative media. If someone has a business or tries to make a go of politics, such person better watches that he never tells the truth, because his career is over as soon as he opens his mouth for truth, because there is a holy cow which one cannot criticize. You are of course OK, if you have a political correct way of expressing your sentiments, even if you have to lie.

If one wants to know, who rules the ruler of the country, he has to look for those that he cannot criticize. We do not live in a democracy we live in a mediacracy.

Otto Sturhahn



Bigfoot does not exist

Here I am judging a book by its cover again. I have watched Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet for three years hoping the title of the program would come true. But not to my surprise, it did not.

The program has produced not one hair, foot print, photograph, or video. Just the same comical interviews with nutty eye witnesses, and walking through the woods at night speculating about noises and sounds. Animal Planet please change the title of the program to Not Finding Bigfoot.

I could have been watching the Canucks not make the playoffs.

Richard vanRyswyk