LETTERS: Teachers’ give thanks to community

Penticton Western News letters to the editor for the Sept. 19 issue.

The Queen’s Park teaching staff would like to thank the Queen’s Park community and general public for the support shown us while on the picket line.

Numerous parents, students, CUPE colleagues, retired teachers and principals, as well as visitors to the Okanagan stopped with kind words of support, goodies, home baking, coffee, water, juice, etc.

To all the people that drove by, waved, smiled and gave us a thumbs up in support — thank you. Many of you took the time to ask about the issues that were, and remain, important to us.

We were truly grateful for those conversations where we could explain our position and dedication to improve the learning environment of all students, as well as working conditions for teachers.

Your trust and faith in us was, and is, greatly appreciated.

Queen’s Park Teaching Staff


Putting their stamp on donations

The Penticton and District Stamp Club is ready to start another season of stamp collecting and serving at the same time the community with the opportunity of making stamp donations which in turn are converted into cash for our chosen charities.

Our charities this year are: Moog and Friends Hospice House, Cancer Research, CNIB, and the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

Over the last six years, as a club, we have made close to $10,000 in cash donations. All are welcome to have a look and see what and how we are enjoying an afternoon of auctioning and talking stamps.

If you have specific questions about your stamp collection, find your answers at one of our meetings or call Gus, or any other club member you know, for advice.

Annual membership fees are $15 for adults and $5 for youths. Visiting is free of charge but one has to be a member to place items in the auction. No membership needed to bid and buy.

Donations towards the auction and in turn to our charities can be made by calling: Gus Boersma at 250-492-3875 or email: gboersma@telus.net or deliver at 2600 Cornwall Dr., Penticton, B.C., V2A 6X3. Gus will pick up if so desired.

Over the summer months we have received many donations which will start to be auctioned off at our first meeting in September – come and find out how this works.

We thank all who have contributed cash and donations towards our auctions.

Gus Boersma



Putin an egomaniac

President Putin of Russia is now the most dangerous person on Earth.

He is proving to be a madman, an egomaniac, with little regard for the human race. We are now on the verge of another world war and all because of this evil person that seems to think that he is another Napoleon.

Recently he has taunted the west with warlike rhetoric up to and including the insinuation that nuclear strikes are not out of the question. Does he honestly believe that Russia can attack the west with nuclear weapons without retaliation, or does he not care what would happen to the citizens of his country?

The western nations must stand up to this madman and not necessarily with threats of another war, but we must convince the Russian people to get rid of this despot. He is hurting his own people by inviting the sanctions that are being felt by all Russian civilians.

Of course he has convinced his people that it is the fault of the west, but sooner or later the major Russian corporations and their billionaire owners will feel the pinch and they might pressure the Russian parliament to rid themselves of this tyrant. Their foreign assets are being frozen and trade between the east and west is fast drying up which will destroy their domestic economy.

Oil and diamonds and other natural resources are the biggest Russian export but the west can survive the loss of these important resources in the short term until other supplies are found which could greatly help the Canadian economy.

Canada is blessed with a great supply of natural resources and the only problem is the transport of these resources to Europe, but a way could be found that would ensure a safe, economical system that is backed by a stable government.

The Russian government must be made to understand that no nation can stand alone and that they should not fear the west, but to look very carefully at the main reason for any conflict, real or imagined, is that madman called Putin.

Donald E Thorsteinson



Mental health an eye-opener

After reading about depression, one could only surmise that for every person that suffers from high blood pressure or diabetes, there are persons equally suffering from a never talked about mental health problem, namely depression.

You could almost say that the words mental health carry a stigma as a gay person holding what he or she perceives as a disease that may be transferred or holds dire consequences to an individual who harboured such a supposedly unacceptable disposition and would be shunned by society?

I would suspect as many lost souls have succumbed to what they perceived as guilt of being a statistic in an unacceptable category. It’s a real eye opener to one’s family or closest acquaintances when an individual speaks out (so as to speak) but more and more every day folk are accepting unacceptable situations.

Unfortunately, far too many good family and friends are no longer with us to enlighten us to their dark secrets and sufferings, one of the most successful distractions used by a person (in my mind’s eye) is the deceit of, if I may be so bold as to use that phrase, being that of a funny guy.

A prime example would be of late comedian Robin Williams. As a columnist pointed out, he is a prime example of an individual that was and is able to bring to light that which is in this day and age, so taboo.

In closing, I would like to praise the unsung heroes that have saved as many lives and rescued people who thought they were beyond help.

Some cancers are incurable even with all the money in the world. Depression can be kept on hold indefinitely if professional help is sought before the inevitable.

Andy Homan



Advocates needed

It is with trepidation that I submit this letter for publication. Recently, I read a letter that was submitted by Patrick Longworth, concerning the working class.

Thank you Patrick for having the courage to write about this problem.

The decent, hard-working people of this community need advocates like you to raise awareness of the policies and procedures of some government agencies. Mr. Longworth too was hesitant to write his letter to the editor.

In November of 2012, I suffered a concussion from a fall that happened at my place of employment. The accident was due to an unsafe working environment.  The concussion left me with severe vertigo, loss of balance, confusion as well as other health issues associated with a fall.

My body had a lot of healing to do. My battle with government agencies that were supposed to help me in this situation has left me with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. I feel that I have been stripped of my self-esteem, self-dignity and worthiness. I was subjected to exhausting sessions with psychologists, and after reading their reports that were referring to me as an uneducated walking disorder.

The report portrayed me as an individual who was already damaged prior to the fall and suggested that my inability to continue working was due to past depression and incidents from my childhood. Rubbish.

I was subsequently fired from my job, after they determined that there was nothing I could do there due to my injury that happened at their establishment. Something about that just isn’t right.

I have been discontinued from financial support from the government agency that is supposed to be there for the worker.  I am unsuccessful in obtaining a job, primarily to physical barriers due to my injury. What is left for me and others in my situation?

The agencies involved have failed me. We contribute to these agencies all of our working lives, we trust that they will be there for us. My experience has been very negative and without compassion by these agencies. Are we just a file number? Have government employees become complacent?

Barbara Pigeon