A flagger's message

We all drive and experience the same general frustrations of any growing city.

With growth, comes prosperity, and traffic.

Don't tell me you haven't seen somebody do something hazardous and stupid so often that it just seems normal.

There's never a cop around when you need one.

Our safety should be the most protective of all barriers – to and keep us safe from one another while driving a weapon. I see it for a living, every day.  

I'm a flagger. We are highly trained, very safety conscious and are certified by the BC Construction Safety Alliance.

Safety is our main objective – ur safety, our crews' safety and above all your safety.

All our signs tell a short story of what to expect ahead. First, you will see a crew ahead sign. This is when you shoud pay attention and start to slow down. Then you will see a prepare to stop sign; you probably shouldn't speed up.

Next you'll see a flagger ahead sign. Start thinking about stopping.

We do a lot of single-laning to divert traffic around the work. The waits are unavoidable. We are doing the best we can, as safely as possible.

Please try to have a safe day.

Paul Leblanc


Solution in front of us

Emmanuel Church in West Kelowna hosted an outstanding musical “Big Band” night as a fundraiser for Freedoms’ Door, an addiction recovery program in Kelowna.

What a great opportunity a volunteer, not for profit charity, the City of Kelowna, province and federal government could use to solve the urgent and important homeless and addiction issue by working together in a simple and cost-effective way.

Kelowna is proposing a $45-million program to solve homelessness. The province is spending a similar amount locally on “harm reduction" addiction programs, the federal government is pledging hundreds of millions to house people on low incomes, and Freedom’s Door has a need for $4 million to complete its $10-million 52-unit residency project. This is not the recovery program, but a transition back to mainstream society for a group of people after successfully overcoming addictions at other locations. 

Freedom’s Door has 15 years experience in managing and rehabilitating homeless and addicted men from across the region. They follow a program similar to other successful recovery programs like Hope for Freedom, Teen Challenge and others across the country. They have established management and counselling teams; a sound financial program to make it affordable for low-income workers. They have a solid, committed volunteer base and hundreds of graduates working within the community to assist.

They also have the respect of Kelowna council, who approved the rezoning needed for the future housing project, and several faith-based groups in the Okanagan.

Here is a shovel-ready project with a management team, a plan that works and solid community support.

The money is there at a city, provincial and federal level if the political leaders are sincere about tackling addictions and homelessness. This becomes a low-risk, cost-effective, program that would not require more resources of the city or province. In fact, it would reduce policing, social services and hospitalization costs by the return to productive society of these men.

With a joint commitment of $1.4 million each from the three levels of government, this urgently needed project could be underway in weeks. We can only hope the political groups can see the benefits and act to unite in making this successful in a timely manner.

Doug Waines, West Kelowna

Much ado over mining

To the Summerland residents having a fit over mineral exploration behind the town:

You have so many facts wrong.

First of all, mineral exploration that consists of trenching and drilling has very minimal impact on the environment and almost zero on the watershed.

How many water wells get drilled in the area? Ditches dug? There is no difference.

Where are the prostests over that?

I can go watch an excavator digging into flooded creek beds right now, which is causing more harm than any of the said mineral exploration you complain about.

And you mention "acid leaching," which will not be happening in the field, as you make it sound.

These companies send samples away to get assayed.

What about all the pesticides and chemicals the wineries and farmers are spraying, doing 1,000 times more damage to the water supply than a small exploration outfit.

These chemicals and pesticides are being sprayed in town and directly around people, and I havent heard any concern over that. Why don't you get a second opinion from a non-biased company before trying to stop the livelihood of people making a living.

There are laws prospectors and miners must follow to protect the environment. It's hard to take people's concerns seriously when they have no idea what they are talking about. 

Ben van der Valk


Build it, they will come

I think it's wonderful that so many builders are building absolutely gorgeous apartments and condos in Penticton.

They are to be commended.

However, I have a suggestion for them.

Why not get together and build a multiple-storey medical building that would attract doctors to the area?

They could call it the Associated Medical Building and give the option of renting or buying the offices.

Martha Crawford Cantarini


The centre of my local “food store” has been renovated to sell alcoholic products.

They offer free samples to passersby, even those struggling with alcoholism. There is a BC Liquor Store that shares the same parking lot, just a stone's throw away. 

The BCLDB has social responsibilities that I am currently questioning.

Why are tobacco and gaming products hidden from shoppers, yet alcohol is unavoidable as you approach the checkout? This is the only grocery store left within walking distance from my residence.

Ever tried to ask the sales person about smoking, and which blend will taste better with blue cheese? Where is the Marlboro Man offering free organic samples at the farmers market? The store within a store approach that Vancouver is taking is a much smarter plan.

It is my loose understanding that these grocery liquor licences are really a loophole transfer from the BCVQA stores, which were stand-alone stores.

This is not socially responsible.

It is my understanding that the Overwaitea Food Group and owner Jim Pattison are doing very well by the residents of B.C. Mr. Pattison, please give us more real food! We look to you to provide our communities with healthy local options.  

In our local grocery store, the “Wines of BC” area takes up more space than the produce aisle. If they applied the same energy into “Foods of BC,” that would be much more responsible.

There's no need for these licenses. I still have to buy beer at the other end of the parking lot.

Mark Douglas

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