We are certainly hearing loud opinions from those against the jail. No shortage of “talk” on this topic. As such, I challenge everyone who has voiced their opinion in a letter to editor, in blog posting, etc. and, I issue a
SPECIFIC, POINTED CHALLENGE
to those responsible for the photoshopped “Welcome to Summerland” sign to read welcome to prisonland. I challenge you to DO something positive, constructive and helpful… now.
As Chief Louie said “Buck up or Shut up”.
I compiled some ideas to put forward as positive alternatives to those who believe Summerland will be tarnished if a prison comes here.
If you think any or all of these have any or some merit, then please step up and get involved in helping the Chamber. The Chamber cannot do it all and cannot do it alone. It is time to be involved and helpful, especially if you have spoken out against the prison. If you genuinely believe Summerland should pursue other avenues for economic prosperity than a prison, maybe you will find your way to step into a leadership role with one of these ideas. Not fair to just poo poo something unless you are prepared to DO something. And def not fair to say “why doesn’t the chamber do it”.
Evidence the recent Summerland Outllook Conference…Chamber was a huge help to get it done, but I had to drive it. Could not have done it without all their help. (The chamber staff were the last ones to leave…) So, please, if you are against the prison, fine. But DO something positive now. And I can say from personal experience the Chamber is ready, willing and ABLE to work hard to help you drive a POSITIVE initiative.
So, here’s some possible ideas you may want to consider:
1) I have had discussions with the creator of a tourist destination community based “GALAXY GARDEN” who is VERY EAGER to assist with this economic generator coming to Summerland. This gentleman is a world renowned artist whose paintings of the solar system are on display at the Smithsonian Institute. He has designed and built the concept of a planted garden based on the solar system. There is only 1 (one) in the whole world!
The garden grows particular plants, flowers and shrubs, and the design is such as to represent teachable and learnable lessons for people (and student tours) who travel in to walk thru the garden, learning and experiencing SPACE, in the Galaxy Garden.
The idea is to have Summerland Children (with lots of energy, and a love for learning) combine with Summerland Seniors (with lots of experience, and a love for gardening) combine to build this. THEY WILL COME.
Mr Lomberg has personally expressed his DESIRE, not his willingness… HIS DESIRE to come to Summerland and make this happen. Just needs a leader. I can be involved but will not drive the bus.
2) Name the Highway. The great new 4 lane highway coming into Summerland needs to be promoted with a name the highway contest. Marketing opportunities are obvious. For example, have you ever heard of “The SEA TO SKY HIGHWAY”? School kids can be invited to “name the highway”. With the somewhat famous mountain goat herd we all cherish, including the story of the “Rastah Blastah” who gave mouth to mouth to save a kid after a blasting/construction incident…this is a slam dunk.
Just need a leader to step up, I can be involved but will not drive the bus.
3) from the Pee Heretic (Penticton Herald) BC SENIORS GAMES
“Jeff Plant, sport tourism coordinator with Penticton and Wine Country Tourism, had been working with the B.C. Senior Games Society and had submitted a proposal to council to commit $60,000 in cash and $55,000 of in-kind services. ”
“The money and services were to be applied to the Seniors Games in either 2013 or 2014. The only opportunity for us at this stage would be to partner with another community, he said, adding he hasn’t had a chance to explore that possibility yet.”
A great opportunity on Summerland’s door step. Just need a leader to step up, I can be involved but will not drive the bus.
4) Back in January, I communicated with SCEDT about the District of Summerland announcement of Wharton not proceeding and the end of the contract with a competing development firm. I asked the chamber to ensure that the free advertising of a competing developer be removed from City Land asap, including the detrimentally offensive website with misleading advertising about Summerland. May I please have an update in that regard.