On the idealistic 'South'

Re: It is more complex than that

Great letter. Not entirely accurate but well written nonetheless.

I will concede that William Thompson may not have created the flag in question. Because of your response, I looked a bit deeper and I did find some potentially contradictory information. It has been stated however that there is no 100% proof of who did but his name is mentioned in this vein of possibly being the one. That is the problem with not having been there at the time.

In fairness, so is William Porcher Miles. But in the end, they were both pro-seccession and pro slavery.

The Stainless Banner is the flag in question having been roundly supported by Mr. Thompson and no matter where you go on the old internet, the quotes I attributed to him were his words and are undisputed which is why today, that flag, the iron cross and the simple white field upon which it is emblazoned, is and was a symbol for racism and hatred.

While Summerland may be "far removed from the complicated South," you don't have to live in Germany to understand the symbolism behind a Swastika either.

It's sort of insulting that you seem to suggest that those of us from the sticks may not be capable of understanding the "true intent" when one waves a re-creation of this particular flag during a supportive parade for a family of colour.

You seem to see the South as this romantic, idealistic place where everyone spoke in that slow Southern drawl and sipped Mint Juleps and walked along the promenade and life was just dandy, which I guess it was, if you were white.

I have a large family contingent in the US including the South so I am not entirely ignorant as to the nature of Southerners. I make no claim that the vast majority or even the majority of these folk are racist but the region in which they live is recognized widely, rightly or wrongly, as the birthplace of both slavery and the attendant prejudicial attitude that lives on today.

I would agree with you that if one were to examine all of the flags of all of the countries of the world that today, there are more than enough Karens to go around to make a case to take them all down and replace them with flags whose designs offer no opportunity for criticism nor controversy.

Bottom line here is that the Stainless Banner and most notably, the canton situated in the top left corner was born of the belief that white men were superior to people of colour and today, if one chooses to fly that particular flag or selected portion of that flag, they are supporting that ideal.

Peter Haslock, West Kelowna

Planters over barriers

I would like to suggest that for next year at least, if we continue to close Bernard St. to vehicle traffic (I sure hope we do) in the summer months, I am asking City Works to please replace the unwelcoming cement road barriers with the beautiful traffic island planters we have at major intersections.  

The planters would make the downtown experience much more inviting. Thus, all the planters along main street traffic islands should be replaced with full length traffic barriers that we now are using downtown. As for the safety of pedestrians walking and considering some terrorist event using a vehicle, I believe the planters are as good deterrent and safety measure as the  present cement barriers. 

Driving public will already notice the planters are being used as garbage cans and are doing a poor job of deterring panhandling.  Also,  not only will the cost and safety to maintain planters be less if placed in the downtown area, the planters will add life and beauty. As for the planter replacements to deter panhandling, simple put the road barriers in their place. 

If some feel that this is too unsightly, then I suggest we have local artist paint each barrier  with a certain theme for each intersection. We have some very talented artist in Kelowna so I think the city would see some real beautiful paintings to look at instead of beautiful planters being abused. Just keep the commercial aspect out of the mix, we all know how the Pattison Company has managed to destroy the beautiful approach to our wonderful city with those ugly billboards.

Stay safe and be strong.

Roberto Basso

The abuse of farm land

British Columbia has about 3 per cent arable land called “farm land." The farm land in the warm valleys is very important to growing foods. I have been in Kelowna since 1963 so I am witness to many changes. I saw Orchard Park grow from a large pear orchard to a paved parking lot—no fruit. 

I watched 110 acres of prime farm land at the south end of the airport become a golf course, never to grow food again. There are 25 acres between the mega churches on Springfield Road just waiting to be developed to condominiums and shopping as soon as it is released from the ALR. The City of Kelowna bought 33 acres to build future sewer plant—there will only be smell developed there. 

Now for the abuse: we see prime farm land covered in weeds, gravel piles from Mission Creek, top soil stripped away to be sold, salty snow dumped on farmland thus ruining the soil and so on.  The owners do not care what happens to the farm land—they wait for the ALR and the city to OK the release of the land to build on it. 

Where are the city by-law officers with respect to the noxious weeds growing wildly on farm land?  Do they wait for a complaint before writing a summons to cut the weeds?  If you own farm land, should some form of “farming” not occur so the soil is treated with respect?  We will just have to import all our food from California and Mexico—the hell with our farm land, especially if I can afford to have it sit idle until I am able to build on it—yes, we need more shopping etc. 

Jorgen Hansen, Kelowna

Floater traffic a nightmare

Re: Solution to floater crowds?

The City of Penticton has made a bad situation worse for channel goers and local residents by closing the parking lot at the end of the channel to all except bus and taxi traffic. For many years now, the “under-utilized lot near the airport” already served as overflow parking for the channel and beach during the summer months.

The decision to close the main parking lot to traffic has not only greatly decreased the number of spots available for channel parking, but has created a traffic nightmare for the residents of the Sun Leisure mobile home park who live at the end of the parking lot. People looking for parking are double-parking to unload passengers and cargo, causing traffic to back up until they are finished. People driving through the entire lot only to find that it is full are forced to turn around right at the entrance to the mobile home park, causing headaches for residents trying to leave.

The parking lot entrance off of Highway 97 is the only entrance and exit for these residents, who sometimes find themselves waiting as long as ten minutes to enter or exit the park. People force open a metal gate that leads from the park to the highway, intended as an emergency route, to either park in that area or to drive through the mobile home park looking for parking. Some even drive through residents’ yards and gardens causing property damage. What are residents or emergency crews expected to do if this route is blocked with parked vehicles? With nowhere for traffic to go in the event of an emergency, how are residents or emergency crews supposed to enter or exit the park when they can’t get through all of the backed-up traffic looking for parking spots?

There is no highway crossing from the adjacent beach to this parking lot, other than to walk up to the channel bridge and go through a sketchy pedestrian underpass that leads to the recently closed channel parking lot. Numerous people each day tempt fate by squeezing through the narrow opening in a locked gate in the chain link fence on the beach side of the highway, and then run across the four lanes, many with small children, to get to their vehicles.

There are no sidewalks for pedestrians walking through the lot to their vehicles, so they are forced to walk on the roadway, some carrying large floaties that stick out further into traffic. Before the city decided to turn this area into a high-traffic route, they should have addressed concerns which already hamper visibility and safety when attempting to turn onto the highway. Overgrown trees and signage obstruct your view of traffic coming from the channel bridge and heading towards the airport.

The 60km/h posted speed limit is followed by very few motorists, and making a left-hand turn onto the highway can be a nail biting experience to say the least. This area is the site of numerous accidents each year, especially during the summer months when traffic flow on the highway increases.

The safest option it to make a right-hand turn onto the highway and turn at the traffic lights at the beginning of Airport Road, but how many tourists are aware that this is even an option? There is a large empty lot between the two parking lots in question, which the city has made a walking path through to join the two lots. Why didn’t they look at purchasing or leasing this land and turning it into a parking lot? There would be no need to pave it, as it could be left as a dirt lot. Sure, there are a lot of fallen trees that would need to be removed, but the amount of parking would be at least double what is currently available, if not more, and it would have its own entrance and exit joining it to the highway without the need to affect the nearby residents.

Dean Thacker

Unscheduled but routine

Re: Unscheduled landing

It happens just about every time a hot air balloon lands somewhere out of the ordinary, there is at least one person who knows everything. Steve Wraith knew exactly why that balloon had to land. It was because the outside air and the air inside the balloon had almost the same temperature. What a bunch of BS.

The reasons the balloons are up that early is because the air is still relatively cool and they do not need as much fuel to go up. The air inside the balloon is way hotter than the outside air and if they wanted to, they could go up in the afternoon as well, however, they would use way more propane and on top of it the ride would not be as smooth as in the early morning.

I have been up dozens of time down in Albuquerque and we landed just about anywhere, desert field, on a road, on a parking lot, in residential areas - nobody cares. They come out and help to pack up and that's it. So if you don't know better, just keep the comments to yourself

Roger von Dach, Kelowna

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