Letters to the editor: Saturday, May 1, 2021 | Notice
Leave access to Knox Mountain as it is
I am also appalled that staff in the City of Kelowna are considering closing Knox Mountain to vehicular traffic.
Knox Mountain is a public park, a gem, and should be open to anyone, regardless of age or ability. If that means private vehicles have to carry people on the road (this is, after all, the purpose of the road), so be it.
When I took the survey, the first three digits of my postal code weren’t even listed as an option. So, do the city staff think the folks in Rutland in the V1X zip code aren’t going to Knox Mountain?
I filled in “other” and entered my three digits. What are the chances that city staff took the time to go through all the “others” to remove V1X comments from Kelowna residents?
I am surprised that residents along Royal View Drive and at the foot of the mountain are not advocating that the road be open. This would put an end to congestion and parking problems in both areas.
Please Kelowna residents don’t just think about yourself and your walking or hiking or mountain biking abilities on Knox. Think of others, very young and old people who can’t walk from the bottom of the mountain or even Royal View Road to either of the landings and want to enjoy the view of the city.
Mayor and city councilors, I urge you to keep Knox Mountain open to traffic with the same hours that occurred before the pandemic.
Random cuteness greatly appreciated
Today we met some friends from Vernon and Peachland at Milestones in Kelowna for lunch. We had a wonderful lunch, a great visit, then upon check-in our server informed us that a lady who was sitting at another table with her friends had paid for our lunch. Needless to say, we were totally surprised, as it wasn’t a small tab.
Our friend was able to come out and find her to thank her and I want her to know how much we enjoyed what she did.
What a wonderful thing to do! I’ll make sure to pay this up front. Once again, thank you to whoever you are.
Travel restriction editorial right on target
Re: “Our travel restrictions are too low, too late,” Victoria Times Colonist editorial (Courier / Herald, April 30).
The editorial receives two reactions from me:
1. Well done. It’s right on target.
2. Another headline: “Times Colonist Editorial on Travel Restrictions Is Too Little, Too Late.”
Blame for money laundering
Re: “Coleman Denies Prioritizing BC Casino Profits” (Herald, April 30)
As early as 2009. the police warned the Liberal government of British Columbia that dirty money was being laundered in casinos. Former games investigator Larry Vander Graaf said he pushed that view for five years until he was fired.
Yet Rich Coleman has repeatedly denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and difficulty in getting to account while he was games minister.
During the hearing, Steve Beeksma, an anti-money laundering specialist, recounted an incident in which a man went to the parking lot where someone handed him a grocery bag containing 645 $ 000 which he exchanged for casino chips.
No immediate action was taken to prevent the man from continuing to frequent casinos and exchanging large sums of money for tokens.
NDP is not free from scandal in this case: BC Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says Global News reports showing BC casino money laundering is on the rise to the NDP governments of the 1990s.
In August 1999, Glen Clark, leader of the British Columbia NDP and premier since early 1996, resigned after the provincial attorney general revealed that Clark was under criminal investigation for the granting of a casino gaming license by the provincial government to a company which is co-owned by its neighbor and friend, Dimitrios Pilarinos.
Clark was not the first B.C. Social Democrat to be shot down by a gambling scandal: revelation of a bribe system whereby profits from provincially chartered charity bingos were siphoned off in the NDP coffers.
When it became clear that gambling had been a serious problem since the 1990s, why did the new Liberals not take corrective action to protect the people of British Columbia?
Corruption and criminal negligence have yet to be proven in this investigation, but history amply shows that money corrupts and there is no cure for stupidity.
So you are kicked out of the office: too many big cats are sitting at home on their rich pensions and living comfortable lives. We need jail time for gross negligence and jail time for loss of pension rights.
Not all businesses have suffered in the past year
Penticton property taxpayers, now is the time for you to comment on proposed property tax rates and multipliers.
Council revealed that property tax rates and the business tax multiplier will be set at the May 4 meeting. Mayor John Vassilaki said he kept a business tax multiplier of 1.75. Council must increase the business tax multiplier to a factor of 2.0 times the residential rate. The Council has already committed to increasing the business tax multiplier during the previous year.
Council should explain that commercial property assessments for 2021 have not increased (perhaps decreased) at the same rate as residential property assessments. This fact will automatically shift additional property taxes to residential taxpayers (watch for increases in residential property assessment rates in 2022.)
Council must make a targeted refund of property taxes (at the same level as property taxes paid in 2020) to the section of the business community most affected by COVID-19. Not all businesses have suffered from reduced business revenues and are not entitled to reduced property taxes for 2021 as needed.
It is up to the business community to prove the need in order to be eligible for reimbursement. The maximum reimbursement of the total property tax will have to be determined in order to reduce property tax levels for eligible businesses by 2020.
Chief Financial Officer Jim Bauer, you are responsible for educating residential taxpayers in Penticton on the business tax multiplier freeze and the transfer of property assessment values to residential property owners. Please provide current tables with comparative figures for the current year and the previous year, for the different property tax allocation options for 2021.
Tip, explain 2021 property tax options to Penticton residents at the May 4 meeting, then hold a special meeting to adopt property tax rates for 2021.
Responsibility: most important attribute
If someone lives alone without interaction with others and in a region without government, therefore without law and order, he can live his life as he sees fit.
It is perfect freedom and all the rights he was born with. It is when one lives and interacts with others that he will need to develop a system of interaction that gives everyone the maximum freedom without interfering with the rights of others to the same.
Beginning with family groups, then tribes, humanity slowly progressed into societies.
Over the years, societies have evolved until we have a great variety from anarchy to theocracy, from totalitarianism to democracy, and various other mixtures.
Each of them has human rights as they perceive them. They range from brutal and unfair to nice and legal. They all have a few things in common – none are perfect, nor can they be, as humans at their best are not perfect.
It is because of the advent of societies that we have a plethora of wonderful advancements in all fields, such as the arts, education, science and agriculture. It is society as a whole and the individuals who make it up that have been the cause of our greatest achievements.
To pretend that you owe nothing to the society you live in is to berate all the things you take for granted, not just the things you don’t agree with.
Putting another person’s life at risk through action or inaction makes someone misguided, uninformed, unethical, or even cowardly.
You will always have dissidents who feel badly done and shake the pot of social strife.
Some of them are honest dissidents and others do it for fun or notoriety. The latter two groups do not seem to realize or care about the damage they are doing to the society in which they live.
I believe that the most important attribute of any person living in a society is responsibility.
So please wear a mask and take the other precautions to protect me and the other old fogies from the virus so that I can take advantage of you and everyone else in the twilight of my years. Thank you all in advance.
In Kelowna: [email protected]
In Penticton: [email protected]