Letters to the Editor: Thursday, August 11, 2022 | Opinion

What’s next for our city if Eby is premier?

Dear Editor:

So, our mayor John has dulled his blade when it comes to David Eby (Herald, July 23) but that doesn’t mean the rest of us have.

There’s a reason Penticton has the highest number of mental health calls along with the highest number of crime calls. All this ties in nicely with our overdose records.

If Mr. Hardrock has done this to us when only in partial provincial change, what will he do when he can run the whole show?

Joy Lang

Penticton

Peachfest makes great efforts to recycle

Dear Editor:

Re: “On recycling, Peachfest can learn from Ribfest,” by Alf Norrish (Herald letters, Aug. 10).

I would like to respond to the letter submitted this week regarding recycling at the Penticton Peach Festival. There were 16 blue, recycling bins located throughout Okanagan Lake Park that were regularly emptied into two, six-yard bins that were located adjacent to the park. Vendors recycled their cardboard, etc. directly into the bins.

Many people were given permission, during the festival, to collect cans and bottles that have a recycling deposit. One morning, before the gates opened, I saw a person leaving the park with seven large plastic bags full of cans and bottles.

The problem is a percentage of the public does not recycle. Every garbage bin in the park contained recyclable materials. And every recycling bin, contained garbage. Our volunteers did some sorting, but it is unreasonable, if not impossible, to expect them to separate those materials when they are in the bins.

I commend Rotary Ribfest and the city’s other major events who make a real effort to promote recycling.

It is important to remember that the people who stage these events are volunteers. If Mr. Norrish feels strongly about recycling as his letter indicates, we would be happy to add him as a volunteer next year.

Don Kendall, President

Penticton Peach Festival

Boys aggressively targeted on Snapchat, Instagram

Dear Editor:

Adolescent boys are being targeted primarily on social media giants Instagram and Snapchat as part of an ongoing sextortion crisis, an analysis of July Cybertip.ca data by the Canadian Center for Child Protection shows.

Over the past several weeks, law enforcement agencies across Canada, the US, and Australia have repeatedly issued warnings to the public about a massive spike in sextortion cases, the center said in a press release.

Through the operation of Cybertip.ca, the center has been receiving an unprecedented volume of reports from youth and sometimes their concerned parents about falling prey to aggressive sextortion tactics.

For the month of July 2022, Cybertip.ca has opened case files for 322 victims of sextortion:

• When the gender victim was known, 92 per cent of cases involved boys or young men;

• Sixty-three per cent of victims reported they did not disclose the incident to trusted person;

• Fifty per cent of victims were younger than 18 years of age, 37 were 18 years or older. In 13 per cent of cases, the victim’s age was unknown;

• When the platform used to facilitate the harm was disclosed, Instagram (42 per cent) and Snapchat (38 per cent) were by far the most frequently used social media environments where victims were targeted. Whatsapp (5.6 per cent), Facebook (3.6 per cent), and Apple’s iMessage (1.2 per cent) were the next closest platforms in terms of frequency. Harm mostly occurs on popular social media platforms, Cybertip.ca data suggests.

This analysis makes it clear that offenders seek out children where they are easily found: on the social platforms they engage with for hours each day, says Lianna McDonald, executive director for the centre. This is an ongoing problem that is getting worse, and so it really does beg the question about what are these companies doing to keep children safe?

It is incredulous that social media platforms allow total adult strangers to directly reach out and target our children without any consequence.

The analysis also reveals two distinct tactics used by sextortionists. Both begin when children are duped into believing they are interacting with someone their age, often in the context of a sexualized conversation.

If the victim sends intimate images of themselves, the offender behind the account will immediately make aggressive demands for money, while threatening to release the images to their family and friends.

The review also showed an emerging tactic where the victim is sent nude images of children from the person behind the fake account.

The offender will then threaten to report the victim to police, claiming they are in possession of child sexual abuse material. Demands for money follow immediately.

This continues to reinforce the need for the public to ask questions and for the government to step in and impose regulatory guardrails for the technology industry.

The Canadian Center for Child Protection is a national charity dedicated to personal safety of all children. The organization’s goal is to reduce the sexual abuse and exploitation of children through programs, services, and resources for Canadian families, educators, child‑serving organizations, law enforcement, and other parties. C3P also operates Cybertip.ca, Canada’s national tipline to report child sexual abuse and exploitation on the internet, and Project Arachnid, a web platform designed to detect known images of child sexual abuse material on the clear and dark web and issue removal notices to industry .

Canadian Center for Child Protection

Winnipeg

www.protectchildren.ca

How do they decide on traffic lights?

Dear Editor:

There is a traffic light at the intersection of Hwy. 97 at Redwing Resorts subdivision. There is now a traffic light at the intersection of Hwy 97 and the subdivision at the north end of Skaha Lake.

Both of these are relatively new developments. There is no traffic light at the intersection of two major highways: Hwy 97 and 3A. This in spite of the fact that the amount of traffic has increased exponentially since it was built and there have been several significant accidents and at least two fatalities at that location.

Curiously, going south, there is no left turn access for established businesses on the west side of Hwy 97 on the Kaleden flats, but going north, there is a left turn lane for a business that has been defunct for at least 25-30 years .

Go figure.

Eleanor Walker

Okanagan Falls

Penticton continues to support kids

Dear Editor:

Recently the local business community joined the major sponsor, Greyback Construction in supporting the 19th KidSport Penticton Golf Tournament.

This event, which was held at, and supported by the wonderful staff at the Penticton Golf and Country Club drew over 160 golfers. Everyone involved generously contributed to our cause — to help kids from low-income families access sport in our community. As a result, $26,700 was raised this year. With youth sport ramping up after the COVID shut down, this pent-up demand for funding is timely.

A big thank you to all of the volunteers involved, including the organizing committee of Dick Ante, Jocko Bidlake, Cy Gladish, Bernie and Garth Bathgate, Joy Jack, Marcus Matthews, Katie Hicks, John Buckley, Connie Dewdney, Brenda Blatz, and Colin Evans. And special thanks to long-time committee member, Don Jack, who passed away last year.

KidSport Penticton is grateful to you all.

Dave Lieskovsky, Chair

KidSport Penticton

Bees are essential if we are going to survive

Dear Editor:

With the bad news of the decline of honey bees, I feel there is a lot we can do.

There are hundreds of solitary wild bees that do a great job of pollinating, which as we know, is essential if we are going to survive (they do not sting, by the way!)

I have many different flowers in my garden, and have noticed how each bee seems to prefer a certain flower. For instance: I have several delphiniums, that when in bloom, are a buzz with bumble bees. One small bee loves monada (bee balm). Another prefers gaillardia.

By the way, don’t pull out all your dandelions. Keep a bit of your lawn especially for them. Solitary bees do not make hives, but lay their egg in a crevice or hole, seal it off with clay or mud ready for the larva to grow.

Our orchards need all these wild bees.

Pixie Marriott

summerland

Preventative care is quickly disappearing

Dear Editor:

When you visit your family doctor, there are usually two agendas that require consideration. The first is the problem you’ve planned to discuss. The second is the wide array of topics that your doctor likely has on the preventive medicine agenda that you may not have considered at all.

These topics include:

• Update meds and lab work.

• Update complete immunization status.

• Update any new allergies/reactions.

• Update over-the-counter meds.

• Check new/unseen skin lesions for cancer.

• Update bone densities, Pap smears, breast exams (men too), pelvic exam, mammograms, sleep apnea review, prostate exams, PSA review, colonoscopies, etc.

• Review of health promotion issues like proper diet, ideal weight, stop smoking, exercise prescription, drug and alcohol abuse, dental and eye care, socialization and mental health, sleep history, etc.

In another era, over a number of visits or on a general health review, this material would optimistically be covered. But what family doc now has the time, the inclination, or the payment schedule to achieve this end, and record it? Probably close to no one.

As one of my family-doc colleagues recently lamented: “Traditional anticipatory care is going the way of the dodo bird.”

What a loss. It diminishes the quality of care across the board. Who even notices?

Neil Finnie, MD (retired GP)

Victoria

Lest we forget: those bombs did save lives

Dear Editor:

Once again a letter has declared the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, claiming they were “non-military targets,” implying that the 230,000 dead were unnecessary and demanding Canada “express regret for the death and suffering they caused.” Perhaps a little actual history is in order.

According to the memoirs of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, the casualties taken during the occupation of Iwo Jima and Okinawa were significantly heavier due to civilian suicide attacks.

Based on that experience, the estimated casualties for an attack on the Japanese mainland were in excess of one million allied soldiers and at least 10 million civilians.

To make matters worse, the Japanese government refused to negotiate an end to the conflict it had started. The choice, therefore, was between 230,000 strictly enemy casualties and a minimum of 11 million, many of whom would be our own troops, and demonstrating our ability to destroy Japan without losing our own troops.

Should we regret the loss of those civilian lives? Of course, but we should be aware that their deaths brought the Japanese ruling elite to face reality and saved the lives of a million of our own citizens.

Given the circumstances, the use of the atomic bomb was strategically and morally justified. As someone whose own father was training for that attack when the war ended, I admit I may be biased, but I cannot be sorry he survived long enough to raise a family and (incidentally) enjoy a long career in the Victoria Times Colonist newsroom.

David Lowther

Measchie Lake

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