Letters to the editor for Sept. 11

Comfort of carriage horses must be considered

I would like to address the people who wrote regarding December van den Bergs letter protesting the use of carriage horses in 90 to 100 degree weather.

Some of the writers have used the historical facts that horses were once used on farms and for business before the invention of the car as justification for working the carriage horses in extreme heat.

Ok let’s delve into history a little bit. The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was organized in England in 1824, primarily to prevent the abuse of carriage horses in the days before automobiles.

Interesting correlation of facts I think.

The SPCA at that time helped to pass laws that regulated the carriage-horse business. With this success, the society expanded to include dogs and other animals in its fight against cruelty during the 1800’s.

So, by the account of history, December is supported in her concern of the horses working in extreme heat as not being acceptable.

Another fact of history is that in 1875 in New York a child was the property of their parents and had no legal rights, that is until a young girl known as Mary Ellen was discovered by a church worker, beaten and chained in a room by the couple who took her from a charitable institution.

When it was revealed that police were helpless to intervene due to the lack of laws protecting children, the worker made a plea to the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, stating that Mary Ellen was an animal in need of protection.

The SPCA took the case on and won. The guardian was sentenced to jail and the child was removed. With this, the New York SPCA incorporated child protective services.

Setting history aside and dealing with the carriage issue in current times, the U.S. SPCA recommends rental horses not be worked when the air temperature is 18 or below, or 90 F or above.

In Canada a release from the Montreal SPCA, dated July 2013, states it is opposed to the use of horses in cities for the pulling of carriages because it subjects the animals to unacceptable levels of mortal risk, including collisions with cars, trucks and buses.

The release also states carriage horses must endure the noise and smells of traffic, temperature extremes, and lameness caused by standing on hard pavement, and adds carriage horses in the city of Montreal present a danger to humans, as horses are prone to spooking in response to loud noises from cars and traffic.

So the point of my letter is to state that I agree with December, horses should not be working in extreme heat or cold, and their comfort must be a consideration.

Living in the past will not give us a future.

Theresa Nolet

Penticton

O.A.T.S Horse Rescue

 

Grandmothers gather to help African grandmothers

The South Okanagan Grandmothers for Africa are kicking off their eighth year of fundraising in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation with their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. in Rm 2, Penticton Community Centre (upstairs across from Cleland Theatre).

New members will be warmly welcomed, there are no dues and you do not have to be a grandmother to come out and help.

In the past seven years this group has raised close to $95,000 to help fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and to make the lives of African grandmothers just a little better.

We’ve had considerable fun doing it too!

If you have been thinking of joining or want more information this is a great time to come out. Penticton will be hosting a Regional Gathering of Grannies on Saturday, Sept. 28 that will feature speakers from both Africa and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

If you want more details call Rita at 250-493-0076 or Lynn at 778-476-0609.

Colleen Levesque

Penticton

 

A big thank you to hospital staff

I was recently hospitalized for four days and I would like to comment on the care I received while there.

From the moment I arrived in emergency, through the admission process and while I was being treated in emergency, I received first class attention and care.

The doctors were professional, attentive and the nurses did their utmost to make me comfortable. A big thank you to the emergency room team.

Special thanks to Dr. Ade-Conde who looked after me.

He followed my case and treated me until my release.

You were very reassuring and took the time to ensure I understood my condition and what you had done to help me.

Thank you also to those individuals who helped me get to my appointments in X-ray.

Whether I was pushed in the bed or in a wheelchair you were all very cheery and uplifting in spirit.

To those nurses in the operating room who put me at ease and ensured I was warm enough, thank you.

And last, but certainly not least, my stay was in the OB/GYN unit on the second floor and I would certainly be remiss if I did not comment on the nurses who work there.

I was somewhat mobile and not quite as reliant on them for assistance, but their treatment of others less fortunate than I touched my heart.

They were so kind, considerate, helpful, gentle and caring with those who were bedridden or needed their help.

They were soft-spoken and reassuring and took care of their patient’s needs.

Thank you to my nurses, Melanie, Joanne, Crystal, Caroline and Melanie (there were two) and the rest of the OB/GYN staff for being the kind individuals that you are!

In all, thank you to everyone — you all make the world a better place.

Colleen Levesque

Penticton

 

Evidence does support theory of evolution

(re: Evolution just a made up story, Letters, Western News, Aug. 23)

Mr. David Mercier recently wrote a letter to the editor regarding the validity of the theory of evolution.

The amount of misinformed arguments held within this short piece of prose is rather astonishing to me.

While it is very true the theory of evolution is not entirely complete and absolute, it is by far the best scientific theory we have in regards to the origin of species on Earth, also for that matter the only theory based on facts, verifiable evidence, and repeated scientific experiment.

It is constantly being refined as new evidence is found, and incorrect information corrected.

Not understanding how science works or being willfully ignorant is not a justifiable position to critique a theory that for over 150 years has helped man across all fields of science in ways too varied to mention.

While I am very sure Mr. Mercier is honest in his personal belief that evolution is in his eyes a religion and can only be taken on faith.

It is only his personal belief.

I don’t pretend to understand what it is he thinks he is explaining with statements like, “So dead cells came to life, somehow,” etc.

I can only point out that the theory of evolution says absolutely nothing about the origin of life on Earth or in proper terms abiogenesis.

These are two separate and distinct theories. In short, evolution is not a religion, there is no dogma, no scripture, and no rules as to how man must live their lives.

No faith is necessary in the acceptance of the theory of evolution, nor in fact does the theory of evolution preclude any persons belief in a personal deity.

I only humbly suggest that Mr. Mercier avail himself to the quite literal mountains of evidence included in the theory of evolution to perhaps moderate his misunderstanding in these regards.

There are myriads of videos available on YouTube by credible scientists that can help anyone at just about any age and education level. Not to mention books and websites.

Colin McGee

Penticton

 

Model aviators are rude

I would like to relate an experience that happened to me on Sept. 1.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. I launched my kayak from the north end of Pyramid Park, intending to paddle south to Soorimpt Park, a little less than a kilometre away.

The model aviators club which meets at Pyramid Park Sunday mornings were busy doing their thing, flying models aircraft around the area.

As I paddled along the east side of the park, one or two of the aviators started shouting from shore, “Get out of here! You are in our airspace” and “You’re in our flightpath, get out.”

Excuse me?

At what point did the FAA give this club exclusive rights to the area around Pyramid Park?

Was I home sick at the time and missed it? This is a public facility and should be open for use by anyone who wishes to do so.

I was even more astonished when one of the aviators deliberately skimmed his plane along the surface six feet off my right side and then made an abrupt left turn in front of my bow.

I could have leaned forward, extended my paddle and touched his wingtip.

I turned my head towards shore and yelled “I wouldn’t try that again if I were you.”

If these people are going to be that arrogant, I think maybe the powers that be who gave them the nod to use Pyramid Park in the first place should seriously consider revoking the permission slip for next year.

I was absolutely appalled by this immature behaviour.

Mark Billesberger

Penticton

 

Market needs new rules

I have some serious concerns about rules that need to be adopted by those in charge of the Penticton Farmers Market next season.

They are:

1. Allowing people to bring their dogs to the market.

I hear stories of people tripping over small dogs, over leashes, trying to maneuver around dogs, dogs relieving themselves.

Dogs do not belong in a market of any kind let alone where food is sold and served.

2. People allowed to whiz through the market on their bikes.

I have known elderly people almost knocked down by these rude people. Then they stop to talk to friends right in front of displays so people can’t get near them.

3. Skate boards. Today my 86 year old friend who attends the market every week was almost knocked down by someone on a skate board.

When she complained she was answered very rudely.

One of these times someone is going to be seriously hurt and would certainly be entitled to sue those running the market.

Come on people! Smarten up before it is too late.

Norma Painter

Okanagan Falls