Letter: Catch and release

Catch and release

I am writing this letter after a 48-hour grace period. I say 48 as 24 hours isn’t long enough to absorb what transpired this weekend in Enderby. In fact, 48 hours isn’t enough.

Some background before I get to my point. The bad guy was being hunted down for outstanding warrants a week or so prior to the event. The RCMP knew he was close. The bad guy made the mistake of skulking around a house where the residents knew who he was. They had had enough as well and I have been told and were going to take the bad guy to an "Enderby Dance" where he would be the only one dancing. The clown retreated to the hotel and hunkered down. The RCMP arrived and surrounded the place and began negotiating to get him to give up.

Now this isn’t some distraught 20 something who had a death in the family and wasn’t dealing with it very well as was earlier reported. This was a 36 year-old hardened pathological career criminal with a background in narcissistic crime looking to rip another victim off.

I get a call about what was unfolding and grab my camera’s and walk to the perimeter documenting events. This is at 8 p.m. Nothing was going to get out of that building. There was a prime vantage point kitty corner and two stories up that I positioned myself at and began documenting events.

The RCMP deserve utmost praise and respect for the entire night. Every member to a man handled themselves professionally and with concern for the public and its safety. They were firm but polite and respectful. Eventually the TAC tank rolled up and began communication.

They would ask for him to come out, then nail him with sirens and lights, then request his surrender again. This went on for some time until a percussion round was fired. Then talk then another round. Eventually the tear gas flew and like pouring a bucket of water down a gopher hole he emerged. He was handcuffed and hauled away at about 2:25 a.m. Exceptional job RCMP.

This is the irony of it all and in my humble opinion every law-abiding citizen should be concerned with this. There was a lot of well-deserved firepower focused on this clown. He is a sociopath with zero respect for property rights. But they got their man. Off to the "Buffalo Motel". Haul his sorry ass out of Enderby. Thanks guys.

The next day I head off to Vernon for supplies. Just before the 27th Street off ramp I see this.

As I drove by I told myself, damn, same track pants. What a coincidence. Approaching the lights I said it can’t be and made the call to drive back. It was the bad guy. Hitch-hiking his way back towards Enderby. This is two in the afternoon. Not even 12 hours had passed and he’s out.

Now I can tell you for a fact this wasn’t an RCMP decision. It came from higher up. Whether it was Corrections or the Prosecutors office who knows. But it wasn’t an RCMP call. Whoever made that call needs to be called out and explain themselves to the public, to everyone out there who asks themselves, how the hell does this happen? Can you imagine being on that TAC team and after the arrest you go home to get a few hours deserved sleep, dress for work the next day and as you roll up after a damn good night’s work you see that clown walking out the door?

I’d be choked. DAMN choked.

I think the public deserves a serious explanation. I think the person that gave the order to release that clown should stand front centre and address this decision to the public because this one bad guy isn’t the only one being let out. He’s just one of many. We have professional officers putting their lives on the line to apprehend clowns like this and they have to let the idiot out on some other clown’s decision. What’s with that?

Now, to summarize and put this all-in perspective, and I hope you higher powers that be that supersede and over-ride public safety and our hard-working officer’s dedication to the safety and well-being of our society consider this and reflect on it seriously.

You demoralize the officers that take an oath to serve and protect, to do their best to make our environment safe. You do nothing to inspire confidence in the justice system. You are becoming worse than the career criminals as you erode the justice system. You are career bureaucrats with huge career pensions with no seemingly serious concern for the common citizen who strives to advance their dreams and desire to make an honest living. You reward these criminal clowns with a get out of jail free card to further their sociopathic behaviour. What the hell are you thinking? This COVID threat crap has become a blank cheque for the criminal element. They understand how you think better than you do. They realize they can push it to the limit, they highlight the hysteria surrounding their rights to not be exposed and commit pre-meditated heinous crime only to be released before an officer gets their well- deserved sleep and returns to duty.

You release them. You create this dilemma. You sit back and hide behind this dilemma using it as an excuse and it is affecting the honest citizens who work hard only to be traumatized by these clowns that you release to continue their spree. Who’s worse? The ones that commit the crime or the ones that released them?

If I was going to be sincerely honest, I’d tell you to grow some balls. Tell these career criminal clowns if they wish to continue their spree they’re going to be locked down and to suck it up. Can any sound mind comprehend and make sense of the fact this guy didn’t spend 12 hours in jail and he’s heading back to the scene of a 6-hour standoff that cost $50,000 grand if not more.

Who made the call to release him? What’s wrong with this picture?

Mark McMahon

Letter: We don't need more retail

We don't need more retail

It appears that both city hall and the developers have not woken up to the new reality: we do not need any more retail space in the city. In fact we do not need much of what we already have.

I was in retail for 25 years and I thank god everyday that I am no longer. The writing has been on the wall for years now, Amazon and Ebay have changed the way many people shop, even existing bricks and mortar stores have established an online sales platform.  Remember the days when there was never any empty space in the mall? Now there are lots of empty spaces, and they won't be getting filled any time soon.

Pick up a newspaper or read online nearly any day, and there will be a story of another well known retailer filing for bankruptcy. Now to make matters worse we have the great pandemic, forcing many businesses to close, and we know that a lot of the smaller stores will not be returning.  That means empty units in established shopping areas like downtown, Pandosy, Rutland and everywhere else.

This seems to have escaped the notice of our leaders who continue to issue building permits for blocks of condos with a default setting of retail in the ground floor units. Who do they imagine is going to occupy it? 

The latest proposal for 3340 Lakeshore Road includes retail. Perhaps before they go ahead with this they should wander across the street to a well known drug mart. If you like to shop in quiet places then this is the place to go. The only times I have been there, the customers are outnumbered by staff.

Look at the big development on Clement, yet more retail units. I thought the city was supposed to be encouraging people to get out of their cars, and yet here is a development that 99% of the population will have to drive to get to, brilliant. There is absolutely no walk-by traffic in that area.

We reached peak retail about 15 years ago, subsequent events including two recessions have changed the picture. Instead of building more retail the city should support existing retailers who have paid their property taxes and need to have more traffic, not less, walking through their doors.

Peter Emery, Kelowna

Letter: Deal with it yourself

Deal with it yourself

Re: Why bother calling RCMP

Here is an idea: get off your couch, be a man, walk next door and talk to your neighbour yourself and ask him to turn down the music. The police are already burdened with too many tasks that waste their own time, not to mention the general public's tax dollars.

If you simply spoke to your neighbour, like people used to do in the good old days, and you get assaulted in the process, then call the police, as that is a crime. The police should ONLY be called to actual crimes they can investigate and do something about. The police are not mental health professionals, they are not psychologists, they should not be called to loud music complaints, my neighbour's dog is barking or I didn't get sauce on the burger I ordered.

I doubt you or anyone else, me included, knows enough about the "yanking on a victim's arm" to armchair quarterback any situation where you don't know what happened in the apartment. They are the only people running into the gun fight while everyone else is running away, and I'm thankful they choose to do so. Yet keyboard warriors still feel it's necessary to bash the police for doing every little job most people are too lazy to do themselves.

It's a completely thankless job that even after stopping a mass shooter in Penticton and Nova Scotia, people in the public still find a way to say they didn't do enough. Yet no one else is willing to step up. And if you seriously think private police is the way to go, good call, they will only show up to a call that will make them money. I would bet this police officer didn't do anything the second time because they were dealing with an actual crime against a person or business. 

Ashley Depres

Letter: Seven incredible people

Seven incredible people

I wanted to write this to say thank you to the seven incredible people that helped me on Knox last week.

On June 27th I took Pauls Tomb from the back side of Knox in hopes I would get a good hike in for the day.

Little did I know my blood sugar was getting dangerously low and I was brushing off the warning signs as ‘all in my head’ Halfway up Pauls tomb the shakes, confusion and panic set in and I knew I was in serious trouble. Barely making it down to the bottom trail, I managed to drag myself to the sitting bench where I tried to focus on staying conscious.
To the family of four visiting from Vancouver, thank you so so much for stopping and checking on my wellness and not leaving me and seeing I was in distress.

You walked with me all the way to your car and even drove me in your own car back to mine. Your parents gave up their seat and walked, I have not seen kindness like that in a long time.
Thank you to the young girl with the small Italian greyhound, you stayed with us as well and asked people passing by for sugar and even offered to walk me all the way to my car.
Thank you to the two hikers who amazingly kept peach candies in your backpacks. The granola bar and candies definitely woke me up.
I would have had a different ending had these seven people not offered me their water, food, transportation and company to get me from point A to B.
Especially in these times, kindness and help does not go unnoticed.  I will from now on be more prepared on hikes as I have learned a huge lesson from this experience.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Crystal MacGregor

Letter: Trees should be saved

Trees should be saved

The Park behind 6th Avenue is going to be assaulted and raped by the city representatives (mayor, councillors, employees, contractors). Mature healthy trees will be cut to connect both Ponderosa arid Trepanier Water systems to which we have no objections.

A petition was started and after four days, 39 taxpayers/residents of Peachland signed it to show their opposition and displeasure to the destruction of these trees that are on the edge of the park.

We needed help to present our petition to the Council on June 23. So, we enlisted the help of Mr. John Youngblut who is very knowledgeable in municipal matters and is also a member of the Peachland Water Protection Alliance. John is a very dedicated person who spend countless time and efforts to save our water and trees for the posterity. We are thankful to him as well as the PWPA that lends its support to our fight to have decent green spaces around us. Myself and some of our neighbours intend to join this great Association that vouch for the wellbeing of the community. We should support it by becoming members.

Our petition was presented to the council and even if there is an alternative to the path chosen by the City the Council decided to proceed with their plan. lt is fair to say that nobody from the council lives near 6th Avenue and are not affected by their decision!

Louise Williams, Peachland

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