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Letters  

They need care

It is my personal opinion that illegal drugs should never be legal.

My grandson died from them last June 30 2020. He was only 37. He worked.

He was not a street person. He had a family, but it had broken up because of the drug situation. He was a good person, a loving person.

He started using when he was only 16, smoking “pot”. He got addicted to it, and from there went to other things. I don’t know what.

When he died last June, my daughter said something about there being numerous drugs in his body including Fentanyl. His friend found him passed away when he went to wake him to go to work.

176 died of drug overdose just in BC last month. But it’s only the COVID that gets any attention. The real pandemic in Canada is drug abuse.

Illicit drugs should never be legal. Anyone who makes it legal, should have thier head examined.

The addicts should be put in treatment centre until they are clean. It is possible.

It would be cheaper to treat them in a provincial facility, than to charge them to stay in a treatment centre, because it should be compulsory. They don’t have the finances to pay for treatment themselves, and they won’t stay because they want to continue doing it. it’s an addiction. They need treatment to get off of it. It’s psychological to begin with, then addiction. They need care.

Thanks for listening to me. I was a psychiatric nurse, before they closed Riverview Hospital down in 1998.


Andre’ Chequer





Fight for our freedom

I had a chuckle over coffee after finding out that Xi Jinping disagrees with my position on socio-political matters (Robert Brown, Let Him Write). Thanks for the laughs, Robert. Compliments to the Castanet editorial team for accepting correspondence from people with positions contrary to an overwhelmingly powerful manipulative narrative. In other media, I'm tired of seeing self appointed “factcheckers” trolling peoples private personal accounts. Paid and funded factcheckers with entrenched political and extreme sociopolitical ideologies.

I also chuckled at the thought of the humble pie seconds being ordered after finding out that, to our surprise (not) hydrochloroquine + zinc could be an effect treatment. Who knew? Well apparently we did all know back in March, and some guy who Canadian Liberals despise actually mentioned it, but he was publicly ridiculed. Need further proof?

Finding out that governments and medical health tyrants lied to us leaves a bitter taste. All this misery and suffering, 1m deaths, all for an agenda. Question everything, especially the Narrative. Now we find out that masks and health restrictions are deemed unconstitutional (in Kentucky), is this a blueprint for other legal challenges? After all, legal precedent has been set. I wondered by it was strange that Bankrupt Bonnie had suddenly rolled out firm concrete timelines for reopening. To me, it seemed remarkably 180 degree in nature. There may be a feeling that they need to lift unconstitutional regulations to avoid the forthcoming slew of legal challenges. Some jurisdictions move ahead with ever more totalitarian regulations while others back off and normalize. Just this very week Pennsylvania voted to end the state of emergency and health tyranny. What gives? It's hard to keep up with the growing division and even harder to trust the word of “experts”.

In response to the ranting of Shane Nevdoff (Enough of Ricky Daytona) I am actually pro choice, indeed the words of the JCCF reflects my own position:

“Governments should make the Covid vaccines available to those who choose it, and that should be the end of their involvement in the personal health decisions of Canadians. To do otherwise is a violation of the rights to freedom of conscience and belief, mobility, and life, liberty and security of the person under the Charter. There is simply no rational basis for the infringement of these rights, and it sets a concerning precedent for government control over Canadians’ basic liberties for other reasons in the future”.

And the same with masks. In my view, you may multimask, swim, shower, eat, have sex, or sunbathe in a mask to your hearts content.

I was actually amazed and very impressed at the actions of Renee Merrifield who despite personal opposing views on the matter, submitted a petition on behalf of a sizeable anti-mask group of parents. This shows real personal integrity, something rare in politicians these days. Is Renee part of a new breed? Will this sense of integrity get ground down over the next few years? I hope not. Just this week, Chrystia Freeland was caught twice putting on a mask just for the cameras. Such theatre. We really need leaders with integrity.

Live free or die, as they say. I'm willing to fight for my/our freedom. Are you, or is it all just too much hassle?

Ricky Daytona, West Kelowna



Blame roads, not the modes

All the criticism directed at e-scooters applies in stronger measure to automobiles. Let’s look at safety:

  • Annually in Canada over the past 20 years automobiles accounted for roughly 2,000 fatalities, 11,000 serious injuries, and 175,000 total injuries. Granted, more people drive than take other modes and these stats include rural incidents, but the urban numbers are still very high. (NCDB)
  • Castanet can confirm, but in 2021 so far, the Kelowna area has had over 10 vehicles hit buildings causing extensive damage.
  • A SUV recently drove at high speed into the crowded City Park in Kelowna.
  • The leading cause of death for people under 20 is automobile incidents, this was tragically witnessed last month in Kelowna. (Stats Canada)
  • The leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and concussions for adults under 60 is riding in automobiles. In 2017, in the US, for people between the ages of 15 to 55, motor vehicle crashes accounted for approximately 20% of all TBI. A distant second was unintentional falls at around 9%. (Public Health Agency Canada, US CDC)
  • Collisions with a vehicle make up 73% of fatal cycling events. (Stats Canada)
  • Each year, 67 people in BC die in crashes involving impaired driving, 22% of car crash fatalities are related to impaired driving. (ICBC)
  • Automobiles are increasingly being weaponized at an alarming rate.

If Dr. Steven Krywulak, chief orthopedic surgeon at KGH, confidently generalizes that e-scooters are “fracture machines” (Castanet May 28, 2021), what does he call much deadlier automobiles? Imagine all these automobile deaths become only bone fractures and minor injuries…Further to safety, prioritizing private automobiles in cities on all roads and streets brings a host of other detrimental effects when viewed through the lens of inequality, the environment, noise, equity, liveability, economy, and liberty.

Fundamentally, the incompatibility of automobiles with city streets is a problem of geometry. As residential and commercial land-uses shrink their demand for land, automobiles do the opposite. In evolving cities, all human uses of the land get more compact. The land necessary to serve a "use" effectively shrinks as land parcels shrink and it shrinks further as we stack "uses" on top of each other and densify. Evolving cities find ways to do more with less land, except, it seems, when it comes to automobile infrastructure which competes with productive and efficient land-uses for land. Blame the roads, not the modes.

Last century’s road design methods have not solved the geometry and physics problems associated with cars. And despite 100 years of strict government intervention, enforcement, licensing, hoping, and pleading, all drivers are still imperfect and many drivers are still careless. Automobiles are too heavy, too fast, and too big to be prioritized as land use evolves and becomes more efficient. They can certainly continue to be accommodated, just not prioritized in evolving cities. They’re the wrong tool for the job. They are and will continue to be the best way to get between cities less than 500km apart, but different modes are better suited to trips within a city, just like planes are best for traveling across the country.

Marginalization of un-carred people on city streets is both literal and figurative. Cars continue to be unquestioningly gifted the middle of the road on all roads, while all other modes are given the margins on the fringe. The margins are getting crowded and the spaces on the edge of the road are so small they are incompatible with a wide range of speeds. The city is running up against the limitations of perpetually marginalizing all people that aren’t in a car. There is only one piece of micromobility infrastructure in Kelowna, the Rail Trail. Everything else is automobile infrastructure with varying degrees of accommodation for micromobility, including Ethel and Sutherland.

If paint lines were first generation micromobility infrastructure followed by second generation infrastructure that was separate and protected, a third generation of micromobility infrastructure can bring equity to our transportation network. Going back to the well for another “more cars, wider roads” solution won’t work, even if the cars are electric. The solution is simple and inexpensive: Build a Complete Network. Forget “Complete Streets” and think more network-level. No street, “complete” or not, can give equal priority to all modes and these complicated streets are a mess not fit for All Ages and Abilities. However, the network taken as a whole can bring mode equity and social equity.

Think of a Complete Network as three component networks woven together like a basket to make one larger network: the pedestrian network, the fast micromobility and cycling network, and the automobile network. A new Complete Network can be achieved by repurposing infrastructure instead of costly rebuilding like Ethel Street. A complete network offers reach, permeability, and connectivity to all modes equitably, meeting the diverse needs of citizens.

Each component network must be designed in compliance with the 5 Rules of Prioritization. A piece of infrastructure prioritizes a mode if the following conditions are met:

  • The mode gets the most direct path through the Right-of-Way - which is the public land that the roads are built within.
  • The mode gets the most efficient left turns at intersections.
  • The mode gets the most dedicated space in the Right-of-Way. This is negotiable since bikes and people take up 10% of the space automobiles do, but it has to be proportional.
  • The mode sets the speed for all other modes using the space.
  • The mode has the fewest discontinuous grade changes and abrupt vertical deflections.

Start with intersections and work out from there because that’s where the real engineering is needed. Start on the smallest roads (lanes and locals) for the first few years to get people used to the idea and get ridership numbers up; however, make sure there is a network that is connected, is permeable, and takes people where they want to go, no orphan segments.

To minimize the consequences of inevitable mistakes, smaller, lighter, and slower modes must take precedence on more (not all) roads as the city densifies. Think of it as harm reduction on roadways. When diverse land-uses demand less land, so should transportation. All you need is a measuring tape and some rationality and you’ll realize that compact, efficient cities need compact, efficient transportation modes to take priority. This transition also works to solve problems of inequality, environmental degradation, noise pollution, light pollution, equity, liveability, and liberty associated with the current single-mode system. It’s important to note: Transformative change takes more than one month and system overhauls need systems thinking.

Rental scooters may not be the solution to our urban transportation problems, but electrified micromobility is. This doesn’t just mean bicycles and scooters. A range of ultralight electrified vehicles should be hitting city streets soon. Many of which will be adapted to winter, to carrying cargo, and to all the other constraints within our beloved city. We need to get our infrastructure ready for the transition. It’s time for Kelowna to make the move.

Justin VannPashak, Kelowna





Water your own trees

Re: Help out thirsty trees

I was a bit shocked and dismayed to see a representative from the City asking homeowners to help water trees outside their home on the City owned boulevard that are City trees. Don’t get me wrong I love trees, and have many inside my yard. But for a retiree on a government pension who already pays for water through my water meter I watch it carefully. Also my taxes went up almost 4% this year, my pension did not. Since the City should have the money they can pay their high salaried employees to water the damn trees! Or they can pay my water bill.


Carole Kormendy, Kelowna



Vaccination a process

I think the government of BC has to get better at educating our younger generations about how getting a vaccination is not instantaneous — that it is slow drawn-out process that can take weeks from registering to being vaccinated. And secondly, inform them that you determine your own shot timeframe, not the government. There is a sense you register, and better show up immediately when 'we' tell you — which is not the case.

From personal experience, I know younger, fairly well informed individuals who are completely clueless as to the process being a registration, and then wait a couple of weeks before getting an email to book your shot some time in the future , my 'process' took about 7-8 weeks from initial registration to getting a first shot.

Others have taken less time, but it is not something happening 'overnight'.

Many people think it is situation of register, and you are booked for a shot immediately ... and they don't want that, erroneously believing, because their schedule is full for the next couple of days and they are working, they just can't find the time.

It just takes time, patience and an understanding that absolutely nothing in our health system happens quickly, including vaccinations.

So register, sit back and relax ... wait for the process. But do it.

Neil Stephenson, Kelowna



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