Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Bring back the park benches

It made the statement that the marginalized of Penticton are not worthy of sitting on park benches

Would the individuals at city hall who were responsible for the upgrades (or should I say downgrades) to Penticton Creek walkway please identify yourselves?

Great ingenuity if you were my mom and I was five. I’m referring to the stretch between Nanaimo Street bridge and the taco stand. For years I’ve been stumbling home after a few too many at the pub and resting on the park benches along the way. For years I’ve been going to the market on Saturday morning and being pleasantly greeted by Penticton’s marginalized folk on the same path.

These benches were removed this summer. No doubt to deter street people from congregating there. On that day I was embarrassed of being a member of the community. Granted there are genuine concerns from the stakeholders close by, for the most part they are issues of inconvenience, not the end of the world.

For the record this action did not work. A five year old is quite capable of out-smarting their mother. It did however make the statement that the marginalized of Penticton are not worthy of sitting on park benches. And then the kicker. Another spot to congregate was small grass area by the Nanaimo Street bridge, and we’re talking small, maybe 20 by 20 feet. I walk by one morning this fall and it looked like a banking commercial was taking place.

All these kids, complete with bank logos on their T-shirts and some virtuous meme about helping the community and planet Earth were planting shrubs where the grass area used to be. As if this 20 foot plot of planting would somehow benefit humanity.

I’m wondering if the kids and the parents had any idea that they were displacing the less fortunate and denying them the simple pleasure of laying on the grass beside a creek.

Any candidate who will put these park benches back has my vote.

Mike Bell

Penticton

Penticton Western News