Museum money for health

Re. Horgan calls for funding (Castanet, May 27)

I read the article about healthcare funding from the meeting (of Western premiers) in Regina.

I agree, health care funding needs to happen. But if it is such a priority, the $789 million of taxpayer money for (rebuilding the Royal B.C.) Museum should be allocated to healthcare as well, in addition to other non-essential funding. Draw from gambling revenues as well.

It’s time to take care of, and invest in, B.C. healthcare. Don’t just blame the federal government.

Mary Lou Siemens, Kelowna

Photo radar a 'win-win-win'

Re. Mathieu Nouquet's letter No city photo radar (Castanet, May 25)

In response to letter writer Mathieu Nouquet, don't follow his logic as to why photo radar needs to be "avoided at all costs".

In his mind, do "all costs" include the number of crashes, injuries and deaths that occur on our streets and highways directly attributed to speeding?

According to the Government of Canada’s website, in 2019 there were 1,762 deaths, 8,917 serious injuries and 140,801 injuries in Canada due to car crashes, of which 30% were due to speeding.

Of course we should do absolutely all that we can in order to protect people from those who seem to think that it's their God-given right to speed.

If (people) don't like photo radar, then, rather than complain about it, don't speed. Simple solution. Without speeders, there would be no worry about the problems Mr. Nouquet anticipates—no quotas to hit, no bylaw officers transformed into money collectors and struggling taxpayers won't have to worry about another tax grab.

Slower speeds burn less gasoline per kilometre (a good thing with prices over $2 per litre and rising) and, best of all, fewer crashes, injuries and deaths.

It would be a win-win-win (situation).

Lloyd Vinish

Song rewrite after shooting

The well-known protest song Blowin' in the Wind was written by Bob Dylan in 1962, and released as a single and on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963. Fifty-nine years later, a student sang it at the North Charleston "March For Our Lives" rally on March 24, 2018.

Last week, on May 26, an 18-year-old gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and massacred 19 Grade 4 children and their two teachers. The crisis came to an end after a group of border patrol tactical officers entered the school roughly an hour later and engaged in a shootout with the gunman, killing him.

According to Wikipedia, this was the 19th school shooting in the U.S. in 2022.

(Editor's note: Education Week, which has been tracking school shootings since 2018, says there have been 27 school shootings with injuries or deaths this year in the U.S)

For these times, what follows is my rewrite of Dylan's iconic song:

Blowin' in the Wind 2.0

How many halls must a child walk down

Before someone calls 9-1-1?

Yes, 'n' how many minutes must armed officers take

Before they stop a crazed son?

Yes, 'n' how many times must AR-15s fire

Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many years can gun show loopholes exist

Before they're forever closed?

Yes, 'n' how many years should all people exist

Before guns to them can be sold?

Yes, 'n' how many times can Republicans turn their heads

Pretending they just do not see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many years before universal background checks

And a gun sale database?

Yes, 'n' how many years before mental health services

Are given more funding and space?

Yes, 'n' how many years will it take to allow

Gun research by the CDC?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind

How many times will there be red flags

Before they can see the signs?

Yes, 'n' how many NRA dollars will they take

Before they can hear people cry?

Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till they know

That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind

David Buckna, Kelowna

(Editor's note: Education Week, which has tracked school shootings since 2018, reports there have been 27 school shootings with injuries or deaths this year in the U.S. and of the 27 people killed in those shootings, 24 were children.)

Be more aware of bears

Re. Fed up with killing bears (Castanet May 25)

Did anybody else notice the word "euthanize" in the story about bears in Summerland.

These were not sick bears. They were bears killed because humans are too inconsiderate to take care of their garbage properly.

What is their excuse for putting the garbage out the night before? Can they not have it ready to put it out in five minutes before you go to work in the morning? Because of them, bears are being killed.

If people don't wait until the morning (to put their garbage out), fines should be issued, and bear-proof garbage bins need to be enforced.

Six hundred and fifty bears were killed last year, and that is 650 too many. They are hungry because they have had a rough couple of years with the weather too. They don't like wildfires, heat domes and endless winters either.

Come on people, have a heart and make an effort.

F. Coupland

More bike lanes needed

The number of e-bikes and bicycles has increased in West Kelowna, first due to COVID-19 when folks were actively looking for ways to get out during (pandemic restrictions) and now due to high gasoline prices.

On the surface, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, the City of West Kelowna has been caught without enough bike lanes to accommodate the need.

As a senior enjoying my new e-bike, I fear for my life whenever I ride (in the city). Kelowna has done a much better job of bike lanes than West Kelowna.

My fear is cyclists in West Kelowna will be injured, or worse, as this bike-riding trend rises. Beware on the roads of West Kelowna. If you are a motorist, look for bike riders on your right (when) on the roads. Share the road. Know that e-bikes are faster than a regular pedal bikes and expect them to travel faster than expected. Cyclists ride defensively and wear a helmet, it could save your life.

To West Kelowna city council, please respond to this with infrastructure to keep your residents safe. Let’s make proper bike lanes a priority in our city.

Laurie Munday

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