Letters to the editor: Sept. 22

Secret meetings at city hall need to stop says one writer, while evolution debate rages on for others

Secret meetings at city hall need to stop

There are too many secret meetings going on at Penticton City Hall.

New heights of arrogance and disrespect were reached at a recent council meeting, not only for the right of the press to question council’s decisions but also the overriding right of the taxpayer to know what their city council is doing.

We have a right to know why council is making certain decisions and whether those decisions made on our behalf are in our best interest.

When questioned by the press about the cemetery report being discussed in camera prior to the discussion around the council table, Deputy Mayor Wes Hopkin chairing the council meeting, said it was an informal workshop but admitted the public was not informed of the meeting.

The issue according to Hopkin was that it was an informal meeting where they have more time to ask questions and it is sometimes easier to have a conversation about these issues in an informal setting.

I would suggest for the words informal setting,  which Hopkin used, readers substitute secret meetings by council to discuss issues without the knowledge or benefit of public input.

Councillor Vassilaki claiming nothing was hidden said it was a cemetery workshop where they asked questions in the workshop then asked the same questions later in the regular council meeting.

These two councillors, by their statements, have made it pretty plain that secret meetings are being held.

When questioned about council promises to openness and accountability, Hopkin replied the issue was whether it was an issue that the public had an interest in.

Perhaps Hopkin uses a crystal ball to ascertain the interest of the public.

It is not surprising this council seems reluctant to return to Committee of the Whole.

Further attempts at questioning about significant pay raises for senior staff of 10 to 15 per cent just prior to upcoming union negotiations was interrupted and overruled by Hopkin as inappropriate claiming that the press was fishing for a story.

Garry Litke now running for election as mayor, recently said, “Both systems work. There is nothing wrong with the way we are operating at the moment so if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I would suggest it is broke.

I would suggest that Committee of the Whole meetings are still being held except now they are secret tribunals with the public and press restricted from participation.

Apparently 10 to 15 per cent raises for senior staff at city hall are none of our business either.

When was the last time you had that kind of a raise?

Elvena Slump

Penticton

*****

Evolution concocted by dead scientists

(re: Thanks for the wake up call, Letters, Western News, Aug. 28)

Mr. Bish is arrogant to assert that all thinking people would naturally accept the scientific conclusions about the theory of evolution.

First of all, not all thinking people are scientists and therefore not all thinking people necessarily are even interested in the theory of evolution.   As for the theory of evolution, it is my theory that it was concocted by a bunch of long dead “scientists” who were less scientifically minded than they were utter athiests.

I do not even remember this theory being addressed in school when I took science, then again I stopped studying science after a certain grade.  Science and the knowledge of science has had many benefits but it also has had many ill effects, such as the development of the atomic bomb and other forms of munitions.

The theory of evolution, as I understand it, has utterly no value at all to this thinking and questioning person and I am not one who puts scientists and their wisdom on a high pedestal as Stuart appears guilty of doing.

I suggest, Stuart, that you stop generalizing about others and stop assuming you know the truth, especially when it comes to the conflict between science and faith or religion.

Patrick Longworth

Okanagan Falls

*****

Scientists dropping evolution

Mr. Bish thank you for your reply but as I have seen with many others and so many times, it is filled with claims. Those that do not believe in evolution do not have their head in the sand or have some blind faith.

I cannot deny my personal experiences nor the mountains of evidence I have witnessed or experienced over the years.

As with so many who think like you, they say something is not real because they themselves have not seen nor experienced it.

As with many like you, they like to claim that only they think and have all the facts.

Anyone who disagrees is not a thinker. You insult in hopes of shutting people up.

I noticed that you failed to mention that there is a growing number of scientists who are dropping evolution.

You should also point out that there is plenty of division with evolutionists as there are many different theories in it.

You claim it has been analysed by “the best inquiring minds of the human race” which is a typical statement from an evolutionist.

It is also another claim presented as a fact.

You insult the many brilliant people who disagree with evolution.

Not all who disagree or walk away from this belief are religious people either.

Scientific research and evolution are two different things.

They are lumped together but science actually benefits humanity and has a reason. All areas of science exists without evolution, yet it is forced on them.

The mountain of proof you claim is disputable and remains as such.

There are highly intelligent people, who are scientists, who have and continue to show these so called facts are not so and again not all of them are religious.

No matter what is presented it can be disputed.

So Mr. Bish you can continue to say that those that disagree with evolution are not thinkers or insane, I am okay with that.

I could say the same about those who believe in evolution.

Of course we could banter on and on with this subject, but those who only look at the ground will never see the moon.

I have to say something off topic. Awesome day Challenge Penticton.

The vision of this event surpasses anything IMC had or has.

Challenge has put the fun back in! It is truly something unique, and I know many others who participated are excited for next year.

David Mercier

Penticton

*****

Road to Syria is costly

The road  to Damascus via cruise missiles or other war moves by the bankrupt U.S. against Syria in response to alleged chemical attacks against its people is walking into a  fatal trap set by the devil himself with long term disasterous consequences which makes the waste in Afghanistan and Iraq a side show.

The road to Damascus attack is not supported by the vast number of  world citizens, citing the Middle East history as one of constant war and turmoil from the beginning of time and has to be resolved amongst themselves however painful.

Joe Schwarz

Penticton

*****

Congratulations to Challenge Penticton

I want to first  thank Challange Penticton and the society for keeping alive the spirit of Iron distance racing in the south Okanagan. I am a three time finisher of Ironman Canada, back when there were only 800 competitors.

I will have to race this one now. You put on a great show.

I also want to thank Jennifer Andrews for the phone call to be lead bike for the run. The best seat in the house.

I have had the honour to be lead bike in a number of running races that Jeff Symonds has entered and lead him to the finish line in all of them.

Jeff, you were amazing to watch out there and a true professional with the other triathletes.

I would like to share more about the run but space is limited.

Thank you Challange Penticton and Jeff Symonds.

See you in the pool Jeff.  I’ll have the fast lane warmed up for you.

Patrick J. Buchanan

Penticton

*****

Elks Grateful

The Penticton Elks #51 would like to give a big thank you to all the public that supported our annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser, and made the event a huge success.

We would also like to say thank you to the following sponsors,  Van Houtte Coffee, Coca-Cola and Summerland Sweets for their donation.

It is through fundraising events such as this that our lodge is able to give back to the community through various programs, families and bursaries.

To all the volunteers, you were awesome.

Without your support this event wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. Thank you.

Valerie Folk

Elks Lodge #51