Wear helmets on scooters

I am employed as a driver in Vernon and wish to address the use of helmets on the e-scooter and e-bike fleets deployed here and in Kelowna.

In my observation, at least 90% of the users of these vehicles do not wear the helmet provided, and make risky decisions on how to ride them. I have a bike, I ride motorcycle, cars, SUV’s, as well as drive for a living. It is just a matter of time before someone dies or is seriously, permanently injured due to this behaviour.

I commend the thought process behind the initiative to provide these vehicles but a rethink needs to happen to avoid, or seriously limit, the dangers.

Is there no way to link the helmet to the vehicles electronics, only allowing the use if the helmet is secured and at a reasonable distance from the controller?

Martin Roehling


Canada compared to Russia

A bill of rights and a constitution only have power if we stand up for them.

They are to act as guard rails to prevent government and police from overreach and abuse of power. They exist to protect us from government, not each other. There is no “greater good” that is more important than keeping governments accountable.

We take these documents for granted, believing they are static and absolute, meaning we do not have to do anything to protect and enforce them. They will just always be there and they will always be followed and respected.

How many of you feel that Russia is a free country, with freedom of press, free to speak, free from government oppression, where political opponents are not killed, arrested or charged with crimes to prevent opposition?

We have all watched Russia jail political opponents, the press and citizens for challenging the government. Protesting is not allowed if the government is embarrassed. People routinely die in custody under mysterious circumstances.

Most would say Russia is not a democracy, and the press, political opponents and others would agree. Speak out against Russia and pay the price.

Here is some news for you. Russia is a democracy. It is a republic with powers divided among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, similar to the U.S. It even has a constitution and a bill of rights, which "guarantee" many of the same rights we supposedly have in Canada and the U.S.

But those documents mean nothing in Russia if the government determines its actions are for the “greater good” of Mother Russia.


For those of you who supported (recent Canadian) government and police “overreach,” claiming it was for the greater good, you really need to look at Russia. Its citizens have most of the same protections and rights we do, yet no one will ever say it is a free country. In fact, it is rated very low on human rights and freedoms.

Why are the public, press and political opponents so fearful of the Russia government? Over history. Russian leaders used fear to prevent people from standing up and fighting back. If the press does not align with the government narrative, (reporter and editors) are arrested for spreading "disinformation".

This just happened in Russia over the Ukraine war.

If political opposition starts to threaten the establishment, the justice system will fabricate crimes to arrest and imprison opponents, and in some cases assassinate them. If people protest against the government, they are arrested and held in jail for a long periods of time, charged with petty crimes that normally are not even enforced. These are all fear-based tactics to warn people. Do not oppose us, or else.

Where else are we seeing these same tactics?

For me and others like me, we are the last few who continue to demand accountability of police and governments. There is nothing a government should impose in the name of the greater good.

We need to push back, everyday, with determination and resolve, for the "real" greater good, or, we will wake up one day in a Russian-style state, and not know how we got here.

Well, some of us will know exactly how we got here.

Kim Dobranski, Kelowna

'Privilege' gets him X-ray

Re. Jeffrey M Simon’s letter X-ray wait times ‘nonsense’ (Castanet, Aug. 11)

After my letter last week, I learned from a friend, once again what privilege means, and that I am privileged.

We, in B.C., like to think everyone in major centres has access to healthcare equally. It is simply not true. Forget about the issue of needing more family practitioners and more remote regions, I am talking about medical imaging in a major centre.

My doctor requested X-ray images for me but the wait in Kelowna will (more than) 60 days. In many cases, it is far longer.

I began making a stink publicly that the waiting was (nonsense). As a result, friends of mine shared with me that if I drive 1.5 hours north to Salmon Arm, the hospital there has a walk-in X Ray department operating seven days a week.

Learning this, I called my doctor and requested the requisition be sent to the Salmon Arm/Shuswap Hospital. Recently, I drove the 1.5 hours each way and got the imaging completed. I arrived Monday morning at 8:53 a.m. and was done by 9:12 a.m.

Privilege, you better believe it! Not everyone has a car. Not everyone can afford to take a full day off work for something that one would think is a medical necessity and sould be available locally in the largest city in the B.C. Interior, which is also B.C.’s 3rd largest (urban area).

Not everyone has the luxury of access. That is wrong, full stop.

Jeffrey M. Simon, Kelowna

Supports indigenous training

Re. Poll: Should Indigenous-language training be offered to federal employees? (Castanet, Aug. 15)

In reference to the poll on offering training to federal employees, I agree with this.

As a retired federal employee, French language training is offered as well. My understanding is all federal departments must have some English and French bilingual federal staff and managers available to respond in the language needed by the recipient.

This was in place in my department for many years.

Departments could hire and train Indigenous staff for various federal employment positions to respond to the need as well.

In my department I worked with some Indigenous co-workers and managers that were in various positions throughout my career. Non Indigenous staff could be offered training.

Mary Lou Siemens, Kelowna

Trump's little boxes

Little Boxes is a song written and composed by American folk/blues singer-songwriter Malvina Reynolds in 1962, which became a hit for folk singer-social activist Pete Seeger in 1963, when he released his cover version.

The song is a political satire about the development of suburbia and conformist middle-class attitudes.

On Aug. 8, FBI agents searched former U.S. president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home. They seized 11 sets of documents marked as classified—one set at the highest classification level, "top secret/sensitive compartmented information" (TS/SCI), four sets at the "top secret" level, three sets at the "secret" level and three sets at the "confidential" level.

What follows is a rewrite of Little Boxes for these times.

Trumpy Boxes

Trumpy boxes in the basement

Trumpy boxes full of documents

Trumpy boxes are classified

Trumpy boxes not the same

There's confidential and secret

Top secret, TS/SCI

That were taken from the White House

And they all don't look the same

The subpoena he did receive

For the documents not turned over

The plastic and cardboard boxes

That the FBI reclaimed

And there's Trumpers and his lawyers

And the far-right wacky media

And they all spew propaganda

And they all sound just the same

The Loser plays on his golf course

And guzzles down his Diet Coke

And then adds some extra ketchup

To cheeseburgers on his plate

And he can only play checkers

While Merrick Garland plays 3-D chess

Donald's being out-maneuvered

Doesn't grasp the bigger game

At the New York deposition

He had taken the Fifth Amendment

Over four hundred forty times

And each time, it was the same

Who's the mole on the inside?

Is it Jared or Ivanka?

Or maybe wife Melania?

Inner circle is in play

Files confidential and secret

Top secret, TS/SCI

Now retrieved from Mar-a-Lago

He took them, what was his aim?

David Buckna

Hard to get fourth vax in BC

Re. Quebec offers fifth dose (Castanet, Aug. 15)

How is it Quebec is now offering firth COVID-19 vaccine (shot) and here in B.C. I can’t even get a fourth (dose because I am not 70 years of age.

I am only 67 and (have an) auto immune (issue). Sadly, recently, I had a nasty breakthrough case of COVID that I got from out-of-country family who came to visit for the first time to Canada.

Carole Kormendy

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