Fix Highway 97 first

Widening the W.R. Bennett Bridge would be a waste of time and money at this point.

Right now, the traffic has no place to go. The highway through town is a parking lot most of the day.

Until they do something to the highway through town, like building some overpasses and removing the lights nothing will improve except more traffic sitting on the bridge.

Robert Taylor


Issue is not Bennett Bridge

Re. Wider bridge suggested (Castanet, Sept, 28)

After reading the article, I had to ask myself what a wider bridge (over Okanagan Lake between Kelowna and West Kelowna) would do.

I remember the old bridge we had, and it was the very same problem. Why is it the bridge's fault if traffic does not move?

What would an extra lane do? All it would do is add a couple dozen more standing places for traffic that the city can't handle.

There are way too many traffic lights (on the Highway 97) and they all have a brain on their own. Why the province refuses to synchronize the lights is beyond me.

How many millions of dollars have been spent for no, or not much, improvement?

If traffic comes to a standstill, it has nothing to do with the bridge.

Roger von Dach, Kelowna

Wants vote on loan proposal

Open letter to Kelowna Mayer Tom Dyas and Kelowna city council

I am writing to you today with information I learned over the past six weeks. This knowledge was learned from being out in the community every day, speaking with your constituents.

I am a typical Kelowna resident and I started a conversation by talking about the (proposed) $241 million loan (to replace the Parkinson Recreation Centre and provide more recreation facilities), the Alternative Approval Process and the PRC.

Kelowna residents regularly express deep disappointment with city council. I would like to pass on these sentiments from hardworking (residents) who have a lot to say and feel they are not truly being heard at City Hall.

A significant number of people are afraid to sign the AAP form, even though they strongly oppose (the borrowing), because of its public nature. They are afraid because they may be a city employee, are seeking a development permit from the city, they have such a distrust of city hall and don't want to expose themselves to being known as a dissenter.

The right to vote anonymously is the only way to truly get a clearer picture of what the populace thinks.

There is a lot of anger and frustration with how city councillors, "sat down right there last year and promised us they would be there for us."

"They came to us asking for votes just one year ago and are today ignoring or deflecting our concerns."

"Of course they'll vote for that, it's not their money."

If there was a survey about confidence and trust in local government, I would not be surprised to find the level at an all-time, disturbing, low. I spend a significant amount of time with residents and they are fed up with, and hurt by, a lack of direct councillor communication.

They don't want to be told what to do by city staff because we voted for you (mayor and councillors) to be an extension of our voice. That's why campaign promises matter.

City staff and councillors seem to always turn the Alternative Approval Process issue into a PRC issue.

The mayor has been silent on this. People want to express themselves in a meaningful way and all the evidence points to that being a referendum.

Please take some time this weekend, get back to the roots. Please go speak with the (person) on the street just like you did when campaigning. Please listen to and hear what they say.

Yes, we want recreation development, but not at any cost.

Renee Del Colle

Development plan lacking

Re. Mill plans 'underwhelming' (Castanet, Sept. 25)

Tolko’s proposals for the development of its mill site in Kelowna is pretty much what most of us were expecting—high density, many high rises, many low rises, minimal greenspace, no sight of the lake, no easy access and no connection to the community.

Those 40 acres are the only remaining open lakeshore in our city and this is our last opportunity to insist that we want better use of that lakeshore.

We need meaningful open spaces. We need trees and green canopy and physical and visual access to our lake. Our climate is changing and those who live here will needs alternatives to air-conditioned cocoons.

We need amenities and access for all the community, not just for those who will live in this elite project.

Aside from Coun. Loyal Wooldridge, city council doesn’t seem to have an opinion about whether the proposals are good or bad, need changing or what they are looking for.

Surely, we can aspire to something more creative, something more imaginative and beautiful, a development that celebrates our unique city.

Please, attend the open houses and contact city councillors and tell them you want more from this development than what is being offered.

Sharron J Simpson, Kelowna

'Best we forget'

Re. Poll: Should names of former Nazi soldiers, allowed to immigrate to Canada after the Second World War, be made public? (Castanet, Sept. 27)

War criminals, sure but not regular army, navy and airmen who were just doing as their leaders demanded at the time.

We could be the “losers” (of a war) someday and just trying to put it all behind us. How would we feel about it then? We really need a new motto. Rather than “Lest we forget,” it should be, “Best we forget.”

Perhaps (then) there would be less animosity amongst nations.

A Bray

Fossil fuels still needed

Re. Zena Ryder's letter Make companies pay (Castanet, Sept. 21)

After reading the letter submitted by Zena Ryder regarding climate change and how fossil fuels have contributed to it, I would like to remind the writer that without fossil fuels she would not have been able to contribute her letter.

Plastics are derived from fossil fuels, so if you look around your home or office and take note of how much we rely on plastic in our every day lives it’s an eye opener.

Your laptop, (desk-top) computer, cell phone, electrical outlets and light switches, the insulator on electrical wires, kitchen appliances, medical equipment and a lot of the car parts that will be needed for building the electric vehicles (are plastic). Plastic is even used in the making of solar panels.

It’s questionable if solar and wind-generated electricity can generate the volume of electricity required to power the electrical devices we use but they definitely cannot provide the plastics needed to build them, so we are—and will continue to be—reliant on fossil fuels for decades to come.

I am not now, nor ever was, employed or invested in the oil industry but I can see both sides. The earth’s climate has been constantly changing since the beginning of time. The dinosaur age ended due to the ice age. Since then, the earth’s climate has been warming. Have fossil fuels contributed to accelerating that change, I believe so.

Sadly, if only the advanced nations buy into climate change initiatives and the world’s largest populations (India and China) do not, I don’t see how humans can make much of a difference.

We are in a true dilemma. Scientists tell us we need to evolve away from fossil fuels but what is the workable alternative and how do we force all countries to adhere to whatever that alternative is once it’s discovered?

It’s easy to protest the way things are but when you do it’s best if you have a viable and workable alternative. Until that happens, humans will continue to depend on fossil fuels and suffer the ill effects that accompany that dependence.

In the meantime, those who wish to use their computers to write letters of protest against the oil companies can do so. I won’t call it hypocritical but what does one call it when you use your computer to compose and send a letter of protest against the oil companies suggesting they be fined for producing the raw materials required to make the plastics needed to build that computer?

It is not realistic to compare the oil industry to the tobacco companies. The latter contributes nothing positive to our lives but (we) cannot live without plastics at this time.

Guy Bissonnette, Lake Country

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