LETTERS: Skaha Marina malaise

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the Sept. 24 issue.

Like many people I have some concerns with what is going on at the Skaha Lake Marina.

What happens there concerns me directly because I have been renting a berth there for years. I and most others agree that it is more than time to renovate and upgrade the marina. When they speak of new, large attractions such as waterslides it makes me wonder where they will find the space.

Boat beach is barely adequate for all the people that want to use it and the same is true about the parking there.

I remember the old waterslides fondly and although I would love to have new ones in town I remember how much space the slides and parking required. I believe that if you paved everything from the turtle pond to the green space behind the marina buildings it still would not be enough. Also, without the green spaces it would be as unattractive as the fair that is held in the mall parking lot.

Another item that I have heard bandied about is that there may be a round-about (traffic circle) used to organize people going in and out of the boat launch. That is such an obvious failure waiting to happen that I cannot believe that even our council would consider it.

There is also talk about a restaurant and a beach store. Done right that could be an asset. I repeat, done right.

Finally the docks themselves’ would be upgraded and the marina enclosure will be cleaned up.

Everyone wants that but every offer to the city included this as I understand it. The most important things to be done at the marina location all should be hinged on boating. These include launching, docking, servicing, rentals, seasonal storage and so on.

Restaurants, boutiques and tourist attractions can be accommodated at other locations.

Now we come to the final, and perhaps most important point. If the city actually has an approved plan of what will be undertaken on that spot, then why are they withholding it from the voters and taxpayers of the city?

If on the other hand they do not have plans that show in detail what will be undertaken, what the cost of this undertaking is and proof that the company has the wherewithal to meet these costs, then why is the city giving this company the lease?

I am sorry to say that it sounds like we are being offered a pig in a poke.

Would it not be more businesslike and prudent to have a new company submit their complete plans and proof of financing before we send away the people that have been successfully running the marina for years?

Would that not help to ensure continuity of service and protect the best interest of the people of Penticton?

Kevin Noonan


Support for Aeson

The Dart Dolls of Penticton Legion branch 40 organized a fundraising event for Hope for Aeson.

To support Aeson and his family going through very difficult times, going to and from Vancouver for treatment which is not covered by medicare. Aeson Moen is a little boy of 17 months of age having cancer treatment due a tumor that was found behind a lung. The Dart Dolls with great pride want to give recognition and thanks to the Legion branch 40 which provided the facility and great support in the organization of this event.

We want to thank the community of Penticton in general and everyone who in one way or another contributed with generous support and contributions to this worthy cause. The event was a big success and the Dart Dolls thank community businesses who helped out. Without the Penticton community this event would not have been a success. We hope for a complete recovery of Aeson and that everything returns to normal.

Our prayers are with Aeson.

DART DOLLS of Penticton Legion branch 40


Why aren’t West Bench water records secure?

With regard to the Penticton Western News story ‘Resident urges for audit on West Bench water bills’ (Sept. 3, 2014), I was quite shocked by Bill Newell’s comment, “We don’t have the WBID records of that detail as to how many (exemptions) were approved. They’re just not there.”

This implies that when the West Bench Irrigation District went defunct and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkmaeen took over, all records of the WBID were not passed on to the RDOS. Does that mean that some “public” records remain in the hands of private citizens? Theresa Nolet said, “It wasn’t a secret.  Everything was recorded in our minutes. Our meetings were public.  There was no secrecy.” My question to Theresa Nolet is where are the missing public records? I would like to look at them.

The public expects governments to handle its records with care and I feel that it is simply intolerable that the RDOS did not secure all records from the WBID.  How do Director Michael Brydon and CAO Newell respond to this criticism?  Will they call for the RDOS to initiate an investigation to find these records?

Lastly, if WBID water billing was flawed if not unfair or prejudicial as I allege, then RDOS water billing is the same because the RDOS is using the same billing model.

Why can’t Director Brydon understand that?

Ronald Johnson



Voting on our future

I am writing this letter is in support of Mayor Litke with the hope that he will present himself as a candidate for the position of mayor in the upcoming election.

I have sat on the Agricultural Advisory Counsel for several years and prior to Mayor Litke successfully becoming mayor, we sat together on the same counsel.

For almost a decade of service Mayor Litke has developed experience consisting of knowledge and skill gained through involvement in our community. I especially appreciate his ability in the care of his staff and that he can handle an issue unilaterally. He has demonstrated that he can respond in a quick decisive manor and is an example of fairness, support and leadership. The very qualities that we need in a mayor.

Not that Mayor Litke and I are without our differences as one can see by our stance on the issue of firefighters. There will always be issues through which there will be a need for negotiation. However my belief with Mayor Litke is one of equality and I sense that he listens.

The example of fireman will be solved by this election and by negotiations with people who are willing to do the same.

I believe that this mayor and I can work together on the basis of similar beliefs and values, the safety of our citizens, the expansion of education and economic development for our city.

To the citizens of Penticton, I thank all those who vote. By doing so we show that the matters of community and citizenship are important and deserve our attention for ourselves and future generations.

It is always the future that we are voting on.

Steve Boultbee


Thanks you teachers

“When something is wrong, you need to stand up and do something about it.”

This is a direct quote from my Grade 4 teacher that has stayed with me for many years.

I wish to thank all the teachers of B.C., particularly the teachers and CUPE workers from Okanagan Skaha School District, for standing up for the children of this province.  Many parents and students joined in to support you.

What you have sacrificed both emotionally and financially has, I’m sure, been difficult to bare.  But your resilience has not gone unnoticed and is appreciated by many.

Hopefully, the small gains made, in the new contract, you and your students will benefit from, in your classrooms, this fall.

Remember you are excellent role models for your students. You make a powerful difference in their lives every day.

Thank you again for your passionate determination to do the right thing in a province where public education should always be more important than a new roof for B.C. Place.

Beth Stewart


Response to Putin comments

My letter is not intended to defend or justify Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Crimea. Rather, it is a response to Donald E Thorsteinson’s letter (Penticton Western News, Sept 19,2014) in which he engages in a simplistic assessment of Putin’s “evil” ways and offers superficial advice with respect to Canada’s foreign policy and economic strategies as they relate to Russia.

To get a comprehensive understanding of the crisis in Ukraine, I recommend that Mr. Thorsteinson reads two essays in the September/October 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine: Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault, by Professor of Political Science John J. Mearsheimer at the University of Chicago; and A Broken Promise?

What the West Really Told Moscow about NATO Expansion, by Professor of History Mary Ellen Sarotte at The University of Southern California.

These objective and scholarly essays will give Mr. Thorsteinson a good picture of what really is going on in the region, and what actions by the West motivated Mr. Putin to pursue his course of military action. For the record,, Putin is not a madman as Mr. Thorsteinson claims. Rather, he’s a pretty good military strategist who knows how to play to the people of Russia. He should not be underestimated or subjected to simplistic character/personality analysis.

Related to this is USA’s belief that it has a God-given right to export democracy all over the world, even into regions like the Middle East where it has no chance at all of taking hold.

The US and NATO have played a significant role (I call it meddling) in precipitating the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea. I’m sad to note that Canada’s Harper government has bought into this American mantra by flexing our limited military muscle when we should be leading the charge to defuse the situation.

What will we do if (when) Mr Harper gets us into a real war?

Please take note, Mr. Thorsteinson: for every complex problem there is a simple solution, but it’s usually wrong.

Allan Markin


Boater saves the day

I would like to thank the doctors and staff at the Penticton Regional Hospital for the great care given to me during my recent hospitalization.

In particular, I would like to let the person who noticed my (spectacular) fall on a Vancouver Hill trail know how much I appreciate you calling 911 from your boat in Okanagan Lake. If you hadn’t noticed and called 911, I could very well have laid there unconscious with a broken arm, bruises and cuts for a very long time.

The trail entrance has a sign that indicates it may not be suitable for all people. That, I feel is an understatement. I would recommend a sign saying, “Trecherous terrain due to extremely, steep, sandy and slippery areas.”

Nevertheless, I look forward to enjoying this beautiful oasis again, but probably not until springtime, when hopefully my guardian angel will see to it that some upgrades are made.

Edith Tingle