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Anti-propane cannon sentiment in Kelowna is continuing to expand, and a new group of residents are starting to express their frustration with propane cannon noise levels. The following is another letter to the editor from an irate cannon victim in Kelowna.

If you wish to read more about the problems in Kelowna, please see our first Kelowna page, and if you would like to read about the success that this group of residents had, please read our "Sanity in Kelowna" page.

The letter from the latest anti-cannon resident follows:

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To the Editor:

I am writing this letter at 4 a.m. I usually do not have trouble sleeping, but lately (the past two months) an undeclared war has taken place on all living things in central Lakeview Heights.

This morning, the propane cannon started shortly after 4 a.m. but only every five minutes or so. It has been worse. It has been fired as often as 120 times per hour.
We must have Olympic quality birds in this neighbourhood. To fly away and then return in 30 seconds must be some sort of a record.

I am not aware of other deterrents being used by growers except for a hand unit which is louder than the cannon.

Upon speaking to the landowner, it was indicated that the cannon really doesn't work that well. The Olympian birds get used to the noise and quickly return to the feast. Similar to a starter's gun at a track event, I guess. There seems to be a mindset of "I bought this thing and somehow I will make it work."

Progressive growers and good neighbours in this area seem to have found that netting and other forms of deterrent work best. I understand that netting is costly. In fact, early in the war, one of the owners told me I should petition the neighbourhood for funds to purchase netting.

If, and when,I do start a petition, it will not be to subsidize the grower but rather to have the regional district enact the policies they currently have, but which, I understand, are unenforceable. The owners of the property currently have a parcel of land containing their house for sale. Who could blame them?

Why put up with the noise they have inflicted on the rest of us? The growers operate from Peachland, so they may be out of earshot.

Farmers are business people. It is only right that they be allowed to replant crops that may be more profitable. Having said that, it is only right and prudent that the growers are good citizens.

The residents have been here much longer than the new crop and it seems to me that the two can co-exist.

I do not expect farmers to quit farming. But I do expect the elected officials to intervene and enact laws that fairly represent all of their constituents.

The regional district and the RCMP have told me that currently, residents have no rights whatsoever in their situation. I have been told, and assume it is true, that bylaw enforcement officers can stop your dog from barking, put a noise curfew on your residence and stop you from making noise in your yard prior to specific times.

These are good things for the neighbourhood, its residents and our society as a whole.

But our dog refuses to go outside most of the time. She seems to be suffering from shell shock.

As I write this letter I can hear human activity in the vineyard. Maybe sanity has come home to roost. Maybe netting is being installed as I write. Maybe not. It is still too dark to see. Welcome to our own little Beirut.

If this travesty of rights is of concern to you, I would urge you to personally contact your elected officials. If not, you are likely still asleep. Lucky you.

Q, from Lakeview Heights

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Grape growers make sound neighbours
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