PENTICTON - The conversation about keeping Three Mile Beach as a clothing optional space has moved online. And a lot of people are talking about it.
The issue was most recently brought up on Monday by poster Darren Laughlin. He asked people their thoughts on the issue on the Time For Change Penticton Facebook group, a page that is getting a lot of attention and had almost 3,000 members join in one week.
The majority of people responding to Laughin’s question were positive and supportive of the naturists who chose to be naked on Three Mile Beach, which is historically known as a clothing optional beach in Penticton.
However, the owner of some beachfront private land, Cary Pinkowski, has been battling with the naturists, accusing them of disrespecting his private land, which was fenced off earlier in the summer.
Pinkowski does not believe the naturists have any good intentions because of an incident where a naked man chased a potential buyer off the beach.
Since he fenced off his land, naturists have moved onto the family beach, which Pinkowski refers to as "bullying families and children to move to a dog beach" and is “not the way to go.”
On the Facebook page, a poster named Cary Pinkowski shares the view that, “This is a residential neighbourhood, in which, the homeowners do not want to see lewd sex acts or nudity in front of children.”
But these accusations are second-hand, according to the nudists' spokesperson Dustin Wolchina, since Pinkowski didn’t introduce himself the last time he was in town (from his home in Vancouver).
“He’s never actually ever wanted to meet one of us. He’s just sitting outside the box,” Wolchina told Info News in a phone interview. Those who have been to the beach said the naturists were respectful, and nothing like the “terrorists” they have been accused of being, he said.
“My husband recently took our kids to that beach…when the ‘nudists’ saw young children many of them covered up and some moved a bit down the beach,” Tracy Dodd posted.
Dodd is not the only one who supports the naturists' right to be naked on the public beach — many people on Facebook say they signed the petition and fully support the naturists having their own beach.
The nudists are still collecting signatures for the online petition they started to gain support to keep them on the beach. They currently have over 700 signatures and aren’t looking to stop any time soon, Wolchina said.
For those who want a chance to meet the naturists and learn more about the clothing optional community, the group is hosting their annual potluck lunch at the beach, but this year they hope to bring awareness to their fight for their rights to the beach. Wolchina said the potluck is a great way to engage with the community and meet new people, whether they want to be naked or not.
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