To to the editor:
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Melanie for sharing her personal story with Central Okanagan readers, and to the Kelowna Capital News for publishing it (Dec. 23 edition), that was both wonderfully written and so eloquently highlighted some of the intolerance and bigotry with the Kelowna and West Kelowna municipalities that, sadly, may be a bit more pervasive than many people realize.
Her story of a visit to a local laundromat, which she did not name, in the Lower Mission district of Kelowna as a paying customer spotlighted a pervasive and inhumane attitude among many retail businesses by trying to hide persons who exhibit certain characteristics from public view. The unnamed laundromat’s owner/manager seeing a shopping cart being pushed prior to her entry into the establishment and then having her wait outside under false pretense of “doing a favour” by doing her laundry for her, for which she otherwise fully paid, was so blatantly intolerant and rude.
Businesses do this all the time and, while they may have a right to limit the number of personal belongings one brings in to their establishment for safety and security reasons, what would be the harm in allowing someone to sit in a comfortable chair in a warm environment on an otherwise terribly cold day inside an otherwise completely empty bank branch or a Wal-Mart owned and operated McDonald’s location (as just two examples)?
Separately, on an unrelated but similar note, I would like to thank the Kelowna Capital News for having that conviction and fortitude that I know history will look back on and concur that it was on the right side of supporting both overdose prevention and supervised consumption facilities that are badly needed in terms of harm reduction and prevention initiatives as, too often, local news outlets (both print and all-digital ones) lack such conviction to take an issue either way for fear of, I guess, potentially alienating advertising sponsors.
I am so pleased for the Kelowna Capital News’ support, both in its allocation of significant editorial department resources to looking in to this important issue but also in its poignant, topical “Our View” editorials that expressly state a position.
Doug Mehus, West Kelowna