Natural beauty can’t be developed

Dear Editor:

Why do we use words to confuse, and worse, to deceive ourselves and others? Lately in the letters addressed to you, Mr. Editor, I have read in noun, verb, adverb and adjective genre words like development, revitalization, improvement, progress, change regarding our fair city, our parks, our streets, our green areas and the water slide that is proposed for our beautiful Skaha Lake Park.

To apply the word development to something that is well designed, maintained and enjoyed by many people year round, like our beloved Skaha Lake Park, is actually proposing destruction, loss and crass disregard for the natural beauty that can not be improved or developed. The proposed change is neither improvement nor progress but a loss to regret.

I am grateful to those who saved Skaha Lake Park from the proposed cabana that Ms. Donoghue mentions in the July 23 letter to the editor and also grateful to those who saved Okanagan Lake Park from a proposed lakefront hotel in or about Y2K, the year the world was supposed to end.

Revitalization does not come about by indiscriminate change but through carefully thought through improvements that assure progress rather than regression to former and forgotten mistakes like installation of parking meters that devitalize our downtown by sending shoppers elsewhere.

Improvement does not come about through destroying something beautiful and replacing it with a modern novelty that may be enjoyable in summer but forlorn, entrance forbidden most of the year. Change is not automatically progress; it can easily be regression when instituted without knowledge of what has been tried unsuccessfully before like the hotel on Okanagan Lake Park, the cabana in Skaha Park, or widening then narrowing streets and sidewalks for bicycle lanes or leaving power poles in the roadway. There is no progress in doing something just to redo it a few years later.

What would we think of a crew that was sent to install a waterline under a new road? They came prepared with their jackhammers, shovels and plenty of materials but stood there in bewilderment? A passer-by noticed and inquired, “Why aren’t you laying the waterline across the road?” They answered, “We can’t, the road hasn’t been paved yet.”

Does that not illustrate leadership that cannot do anything without the need of destroying or tearing up something that was done before?

Under such circumstances it is unlikely that any of the uplifting, italicized words will be realized in our community.

Harry G. Kapeikis

Penticton