Turning away from Trump

Someone asked me recently what I would do if given the opportunity to meet Donald Trump. 

Despite my respect for the office to which he was voted, I would turn my back on him. 

Turn away in disgust. Turn away in protest of who he is, how he acts, and what he says. 

He is a grotesque. The embodiment of all that seems wrong with the United States, crowned by willful ignorance.

I would turn away as America has turned away from the reason, science, and community of the progressive world.

I would turn away as the rest of the world turns away from him, and his country.

The United States, now, is not a leader of the free world but a joke within it. A shabby marketplace where it is possible to sell a great many things, eat a great deal, and perhaps be shot while doing so.

The joke is not funny. And they don't get it.

The United States is reaping the culture it has sown - the worship of celebrity. Worship of the vacuous over the substantive. They might well have elected a Kardashian for President. We cannot tell the difference. There is no difference.

Americans have turned away from the light, and embraced the darkness.

The world, in kind, is rightly turning away, and the light that America once shone upon our globe grows dim, sick, twisted.

We turn away as their republican cynicism and ignorance spread, and the slimy tentacles of hate gain purchase.

We turn away from their darkening shores, to hold tightly the world of love, compassion, and warmth. 

Our American friends, sadly, are turning away from their generous stewardship of freedom and democracy in this world, only to find themselves become a fading star, crowning their new, vainglorious king.

Farewell, America.

Go play with your guns.

David Crawford

Penticton's history

The Memorial Arena will become Penticton's “hot button” item in the upcoming provincial election. I truly believe Dan Ashton will be front and centre on this, as the B.C. Government will be asked to get involved in assisting in saving our Memorial arena. 

First thing that must be done, is to get an independent engineering report on infrastructure updated needed on this building. The reason being is the cities assessment is just out of the realm of being a true figure. 

Let's do this right and get a 3rd party engineer assessment done and then we will know for sure what the true costs are. At that time we can then move forward on what should be done. Save the building or let it fade into history.  

This projects evaluation is so important to Penticton's history. No building in this city has had 100's of thousands of people go thru its doors and been able to leave so many great memories behind. 

This building’s history is staggering.

Bruce Manery

A matter of democracy

It seems to me there are clear parallels when looking at Kelowna's proposed tourist centre, West Kelowna's proposed city hall, and proposed changes to Penticton's Skaha Lake Park.  

Our civic governments invariably fail to properly consult the public about these large projects.  Once the public makes their wishes known loud and clear, they're still ignored as far as governments can possibly push it. 

When the noise is truly crushing or opponents hire legal representation, new options might appear as if by magic long after the developer's favourite has been promoted, if not approved, by mayors and councils.

Such is not the case in Kelowna.  Tourism Kelowna has flapped its wings about having faithfully responded to public concerns over plunking this commercial centre on the public waterfront, yet it's still envisioned to be plunked on the waterfront, apparently to the satisfaction of Colin Basran and his councillors.

At this point we should take a trip down memory lane.  During the 2014 municipal election, at public forum after public forum, citizens lined up at the mic to express their deep anger and frustration over being ignored. 

Neighbourhood associations were regularly left out in the cold, they said.  Letters to mayor and council went unanswered. 

The Alternative Approval Process was roundly criticized for being a fundamentally undemocratic mechanism nearly guaranteed to result in project approvals.  (According to a B.C. government survey, between 2008 and 2011, electors were unable to defeat AAP proposals 80 per cent of the time.) 

What was the reply from those candidates on the stage?  Open ears and open doors were pledged.  Without skipping a beat, all candidates supported the AAP.  More disturbing than that, numerous candidates believed that with election to office came absolute decision-making. 

“It’s your job to elect those who will make the decisions,” said Charlie Hodge.  “It’s our job to make them.” 

“Trust the experience we bring,” said Tracy Gray, “we’ll make the tough decisions.” 

“We’ll do the heavy lifting,” said Ryan Donn.

Off-stage, Colin Basran sought to give me his personal email address.  The address listed at the city’s website, [email protected], was one he never checked, he said.

They didn’t get it then, and they still don’t get it.  Basran won more votes than any other candidate in 2014, yet only 17 per cent of eligible voters voted for him.  This city belongs to the people, its streets belong to the people – including the homeless – and its waterfront belongs to the people, not to a barely supported Basran, his councillors and his business friends.

The people want not only to be heard, but they want democratic involvement in decision-making.  As in Penticton, they especially want their views on public parkland – the jewels of any city – to be observed and respected.

Mayors and councillors come and go, come and go.  Once parkland is gone, it’s gone forever. 

Dianne Varga

Camille's is a special place

Open letter to Regional District of North Okanagan, Director Mike McNabb, Director Bob Fleming, Hank Cameron & Herman Halvorson

My name is Brook Perkins and I am 7 years old. I live in Langley, BC. When my mom told me that Camille’s gym might close down I felt very sad, disappointed, and I cried.

I first found out about rhythmic gymnastics when I visited Camille a few years ago. I love rhythmic gymnastics because it is interesting and not plain like regular gymnastics. I like using the different apparatus like the ball, ribbon and hoop. My favourite is using the ball. Camille gave me a real hoop the last time I visited her. This year for Christmas I got a real rhythmic gymnastics ribbon and rope too. I love them and I practice gymnastics at home a lot. One day I want to be in the Olympics like Camille.

I trained at Camille's gym in Vernon one summer. I liked training at Camille's gym because it wasn’t crowded, I liked my coaches (Ani Martens, Camille's daughter was one of my coaches), and we got to do a show for our parents at the end. Camille let me try on some special gymnastics suits. One of them was from Japan. I loved that they had all different kinds of music that we could dance to. I love to dance and do gymnastics at Camille's gym. I feel awesome when I am doing rhythmics at Camille's gym and like to try different things with my body and make up new moves.

I don't want Camille's gym to close because it such a fun place to be. Also, Camille has 80 athletes, some of them are the top in Canada and they will be let down and will have no place to train.

Camille's gym is a special place. I want to do rhythmic gymnastics in Langley but there aren't any gyms that are nearly as good as Camille's gym. Please do not close down her gym. I hope you can find a way to keep it open for all the children and teenagers who train at her gym and for Camille and her family. I am praying every night that the gym can be saved.

Brook Perkins

40 years of transit

I have never written in before, but wanted to thank you for this story, and to the City of Kelowna for the time line. 

I recall as a kid taking the bus to meet my Mom at the mall. We also took the bus together as she couldn't drive. As a teen I also took the bus to work and downtown. 

Great memories and amazing to see the old schedules. I can recall studying them to make sure I caught the bus on time. 

Thanks again.

Lori Sameshima

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