Whistle Stopped

Keep a lid on it.

That's the message one of Penticton's biggest tourist attractions has been given by it's neighbours. Some residents along Lakeshore Drive have grown tired of hearing the loud horn blast of the S.S. Sicamous throughout the day and have asked that it be silenced. One man claimed the unexpected noise was damaging his wife's health.

Alexa La Madrid, General Manager of Restoration Society, says the whistle hasn't been in use for about three weeks.

“We've had two published editorials in the paper last year as well as a couple of complaints that came through our Visitor's Information Centre about the noise. We felt that after the second one that we were being accused of being bad neighbours,” says La Madrid.

She says that after a few weeks, she did an informal survey to find out if people missed the whistle or not.

“Nobody said to me that they were glad the whistle was gone. I took the initiative to write a letter to the editor explaining to people why we took the whistle away because I'd like to get some dialog going in the community about this to find out how people really feel,” says La Madrid.

She says that the Restoration Society is losing a valuable source of funding. For a twoonie, visitors to the Sicamous could play captain and blow the whistle, a fund raiser that brings in about $900 a month.

“We understand that there is some validity to the complaints, depending on some person's circumstances. We felt that the complaints were valid and that's why we have stopped the whistle for now. On the other hand, we very seldom blow the whistle after September 15th and it is never blown before 10 am or after 6 pm. It's a hard call,” says La Madrid.

She says they are hoping to come to a middle ground with their neighbours that everyone can live with.

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