Wednesday, November 26th0.3°C

Kelowna pet friendly??

Dear Editor,

You must be joking!!!

Kelowna being voted the most pet friendly city in Canada just goes to show what you can weasel your way into anything if you have the right connections. 

As a dog owner all my adult life, and having lived in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and California I can say without hesitation Kelowna is the most dog phobic community I have ever encountered. 

While veterinary care and dog day care options may be superb, simply owning a dog is travail.  Most parks do not allow them, period. Those that do "allow" dogs have signs posted warning you to keep them on the pavement, not allowed on the grass, folks, even in summer when pavement temperatures reach paw-scorching levels

Most people have to drive their dogs to the nearest off-leash dog park, how environmentally friendly! There is only one lake-accessible dog park on this side of the bridge, and one on the West Side - both require vehicles to access from Kelowna proper.

The limits on what you can do with your dog are formidable - maximum six foot leashes, I know of exactly one dog friendly restaurant, dog control can come onto your property at any time without warning or warrant, and heaven help you. 

If a complaint is filed against your animal (excessive barking, for example), you are guilty until proven innocent. Just one (anonymous) neighbour's complaint can land you in trouble, never mind what all your other neighbours say.

I don't know who voted Kelowna pet friendly, but they definitely need to take off the rose coloured glasses.

Trish Boileau


Lack of services for mentally ill

Dear editor,

Like troublesome wildlife, due to lack of government funding available to conservation efforts, more and more we are seeing wildlife simply killed rather than conserved.  As awful as that has been to read on an escalating level, is this next degrading step in human evolution creating targets of mentally-ill or challenged people now? 

After reading yet another sad story of the death of a BC man who had threateningly been swinging a 2x4 in the Vancouver area this weekend, it's horrifying how people across Canada are now being simply shot to death when they are exhibiting troublesome behaviour in public. 

I understand when it's a matter of life and death situation sometimes law enforcement has no choice in the situation, but what concerns me is that this line that is being crossed seems to becoming more and more blurred, and are mentally ill people being killed unnecessarily?

Is it from lack of funding resulting in the shortage of proper care and placement for the mentally ill, improper training, impatience of attending officers and/or just due to their overwhelming numbers on the streets that the life of what might be considered by law enforcement a "nuisance" human being, has become of such little value? 

It seems there are countless aftermath "investigations" already ongoing in BC alone with no end in sight. 

Given all of the above there is an obvious need for a dramatic and immediate increase in government funding tax to help those in need where they can live safely and receive the resources they need to survive as a valued member of our society. 

I hope the government sees this need and acts upon it without further 

-Cynthia Preston

Christmas Hamper Programs

I am truly amazed at how low some people will go. I have now heard from a few different individuals, that they collect anywhere from 4-7 Christmas Hampers from various agencies. We are talking either single people or a family on income assistance that each one collects this many.... I do not know about you but this is so totally out of control. We are hard working family who struggle to make it and don't qualify for a one because we work, yet if we were on income assistance we could potentially collect 7 or more Christmas Hampers because the agencies don't share their information. How wrong is that? I now have changed how I will be doing my donations as I can't be assured that the different agencies I donate too aren't giving one person all my donations. I think it is time these agencies work together and stop the abuse of the generous donations of the people of Penticton. Thanks

Kathy Giguere


Radon: Nursing Students' Perspective

RE: Radon awareness and the risk to your health. 

Cigarettes, second-hand smoke, asbestos, and pollution are all well-known cancer causing agents. However, many people do not know that radon is actually the first leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause in smokers. 
With November being Radon Action Month, we felt it important to address the lack of awareness around what radon is and its effects on one’s lung health. 
Radon is a colourless, tasteless, odourless, and lethal gas. You would never know it is present in your home unless you tested for it. The best time to test for radon in your home is from October to April, so right now is prime time for testing. Testing is relatively inexpensive and can be done by either you or a professional. Do-it-yourself radon test kits can be purchased over the phone or internet and are available at some home improvement retailers across Canada. 
There is no known level of safe exposure to radon; however, Health Canada recommends homeowners take action if radon levels are 200 Bq/m3 or above. Lung cancer takes the lives of more Canadians than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer combined. The risk of developing lung cancer depends on the amount and duration of radon exposure, as well as whether or not you smoke. Radon is much more likely to cause cancer in those who smoke or have a history of smoking than in life-long non-smokers. However, everyone is still at risk if you are exposed to radon. 
As third year nursing students, we were shocked to find out how much of an impact radon has on lung health as well as the prevalence of radon in Canada. Despite practical experience on Kelowna General Hospital’s cancer ward as well as having learned about cancer and various carcinogens in our nursing program, we have yet to discuss radon. 

As future health care providers, it is astonishing that this is the case for us. It is only through our research in association with the Canadian Cancer Society that we have come to recognize the importance of radon awareness. We can only imagine the lack of knowledge present in the general population despite having information available.  As members of the community, we believe it is everyone’s responsibility to help spread the word and implement testing in their homes. 

We realize it is impossible to expect people to take any action to protect themselves against the harmful effects of radon if they don’t know what it is or the importance of it. As students we are working to raise awareness of radon in the Interior and Kootenay regions, two areas with high radon potential.

It is essential that this information be shared and that the public take it upon themselves to further their knowledge and understanding of radon. Radon affects everyone, and is something we can avoid. 

Please, protect your loved ones from the harmful effects of radon by testing your home and ensuring you also do your part in raising awareness. To learn more, visit

Courtney Pankow and Jackie Girard,
Third Year Nursing Students,
University of British Columbia - Okanagan

Car and pedestrian safety

I am very concerned with the safety of my children and myself when walking them to and from school.  We have to cross a very busy, very wide intersection to get to and from school.  At least 2-3 times a week, we are almost run over by hasty drivers turning in front of us, driving directly behind us or not even stopping for us when we have the pedestrian signal that tells us it is safe to cross. Many of these are parents from the school! As a driver, I know how it can feel like I know I see the pedestrian and I am slowing down.  However, as a pedestrian, I do not know if you see us and are stopping unless you actually stop, so please do so behind the stop line.  It is not until you are fully stopped that I know you see us and will step in front of your vehicle with my precious children. 

Also, for those who think it is safe to dart directly in front of or behind us while we are crossing, please consider that I have children, and that while I try my best to hang on to them, they sometimes wiggle free and run ahead.  They have run back behind us to pick up an interesting rock they saw; we have lost hats, stuffed animals and shoes; and my children and I have almost been run over trying to retrieve them.  We have even almost been hit when someone started sneaking into the intersection while waiting for us to cross - blocking oncoming traffic - and my child tripped and fell and hurt himself pretty badly.  I had to scoop up one child, run ahead to the injured child and run with both to the other side to avoid being hit because this person could not just wait a few more seconds and in doing so, put us all in danger. 

Please, please, please; I beg you, for the safety of our children, have some patience and just wait until we are all safely across the street before driving over the crosswalk we are using.  Even if you don’t hit us, someone else might, and we could end up needing your help.  You just never know. 

Amanda Martin
Concerned Parent

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