Let’s do something more

Cruising in the Caribbean many years back, we decided to walk about a little town, rather than take a shore excursion.

Pulling into port we saw a beautiful building, right on the ocean with a lovely sandy beach.  It was  obviously a time share resort from the size of the huge balconies.

We wandered over to that large complex and the front entrance was guarded and gated.  With some difficulty we  skirted around the building and found ourselves on that lovely beach.  “My goodness” I said to hubby, “look, they have even provided lounge chairs  to sit in.” We were about to park ourselves for a delightful sit in the sun when a young man in a uniform came up to us and said, “ Pardon me, these chairs are for guests of the resort only!”

It made me wonder how the natives on that Caribbean island must feel. In fact, as guests ourselves, (tourists) in time shares, so many times in Hawaii and Mexico, it made me understand how native residents are not so crazy about the paying tourist of haoles and gringos occupying  their beaches. Luckily, those islands and Mexico have a great many beaches to share with tourists.  And Penticton is happy to share our limited beaches too; but not with a commercial enterprise – viz, a  waterslide park.

In our South Okanagan, from a taxpayer viewpoint, I would love to see something done for we “natives” first;  programs to benefit the people who live here. What comes to mind is a soft seat, purpose built, performing arts centre (SOPAC) large enough and financially viable enough to bring in professional talent at a reasonable cost to consumers.

Just as the hockey school has done for sports, the talented artists in our south Okanagan, need mentors. And a section of Penticton folks need entertainment, not of the SOEC type, although I certainly supported that building when it came to town. The SOEC has cost the taxpayers dearly but certainly worthwhile for those who enjoy hockey and big noisy bands in our region.

The FAQ sheet I received from the city, “Skaha Marina & Waterpark” said “the objective was to establish Penticton as a destination and have more amenities and energy to Skaha Lake.”

Lets do something to give more energy to the whole of the region and for the  tax paying locals first. Just who are the Trio Group pleasing? Tourists or residents?

Donna Schellenberg

Penticton