I am two. I eat cake better with no shirt. Privilege of being young. Goku
Archives for February 2015
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Drivers/owners walk the new track slopes on OIB land. Promoters say there is no noise issue. These race cars do not emit low frequency noise. Tests proved that nothing was heard in the valley during motor sound tests
MLA Linda Larson shown with Jacques Villeneuve and Chief Clarence Louie and other dignitaries.
In response to a previous article on the Ending Violence Association:
Ending Violence Association and member associations around the province are in the process of developing a press release to address issues related to procurement policies and contracts associated with counselling programmes like “Stopping the Violence” and “Children Who Witness Abuse”.
As the local agency here in the South Okanagan that administers those contracts, Desert Sun is very concerned about retaining these vital community programs offered free to anyone that requests services.
What happens in the procurement process is, that larger, more powerful agencies from other parts of the region can come in, compete for those contracts and potentially sub-contract them out to lesser qualified individuals, or take them over completely.
It pits agency against agency in competition for the contracts that one association may have already been delivering for many years with great success!
I would add that the Ministry of Justice contracts are held by the Victims Services and Crime Prevention.
Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), the pioneering agricultural company behind the Arctic® apple, the world’s first non-browning apple. Through the acquisition, Intrexon expands its food programs to include trees yielding fruit that is more appetizing and convenient for consumers while providing economic benefit throughout the tree fruit supply chain.
“We are committed to bringing better versions of consumers’ favourite fruits to their grocery stores and kitchens, while addressing additional novel traits in tree fruits that reduce waste and address supply chain challenges,” said Neal Carter, Founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits. “Joining forces with Intrexon and applying our combined technical know-how is an important step to introducing beneficial products for consumers and growers.”
One of the fastest-growing categories of the fruit and vegetable industry is the fresh-cut segment, bolstered by the convenience factor and upward trend in consumption of healthier foods. Marrying the art of fruit breeding with cutting-edge science results in exciting new products that can benefit consumers and producers alike. For example, the Arctic® apple provides consumers with an answer to a pesky but common food issue without any flavor-altering, anti-browning additives. It is an alternative to current approaches to browning control, which are more costly and require the application of chemical solutions or antioxidants. Additionally, apples will be increasingly accessible to food service outlets, where consumers spend roughly 50% of their food dollars, because Arctic® apples solve both cost per serving and quality concerns associated with pre-cut apples.
“Okanagan is a world leader in the development of fruit-bearing plants to express enhanced, advantageous traits with tremendous potential to revolutionize the tree fruit industry,” said Thomas R. Kasser, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Intrexon’s Food Sector. “Through this acquisition, we can deliver more accessible and affordable choices of high-quality foods for an ever-growing population. We are extremely pleased that Neal Carter will remain with the company providing both the creative spirit and deep understanding of the tree fruit business that will assure continued future success in this expanding business opportunity.”
Pursuant to the definitive agreement, Okanagan’s stockholders will receive $31 million in Intrexon common stock and $10 million in upfront cash. Consummation of the transaction, anticipated in the first half of 2015, is subject to customary closing conditions.
About Okanagan Specialty Fruits
OSF is a dynamic agriculture biotechnology company based in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada that specializes in developing tree fruit varieties with novel attributes that benefit fruit producers and consumers alike. Founded in 1996, OSF is one of the first firms in the commercial tree fruit industry to pursue use of biotechnology directed breeding to deliver product innovations.
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OLIVER – Okanagan Valley residents are invited to attend an open house in Osoyoos on March 11 or in Oliver on March 12 to discuss the impacts of off-road vehicles on sensitive ecosystems on Oliver Mountain and the Osoyoos West Bench.
Each open house will include a presentation on grassland ecosystems and give attendees an opportunity to suggest management options for minimizing environmental impacts. These may include other sites on Crown land that might be suitable for ORV activities. The dates and locations of the open houses are:
Wednesday, March 11, 2015:
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sonora Community Centre
8505 – 68 Ave.
Thursday, March 12, 2015:
6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
477 Bank Ave.
In the interim, to help protect habitat on Oliver Mountain and the Osoyoos West Bench, ORV users are encouraged to use two other riding areas instead. The Bear Creek and Okanagan Falls ORV trail systems are located nearby and are well established.
Ministry staff are also interested in hearing from ORV riders about other less environmentally sensitive areas that may be suitable for riding.
ORV use is expanding in the Okanagan region and its effects on 11 priority ecosystems and 17 federally listed species-at-risk have increased.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is stepping up its public education efforts and enforcing ORV restrictions currently in effect. The long-term goal is to protect the Oliver Mountain and Osoyoos West Bench ecosystems while allowing riders to continue enjoying their sport at other sites in the South Okanagan.
Bear Creek ORV trails:
Okanagan Falls ORV trails:
Ministry of Forests, Lands and
Natural Resource Operations
2015 2A Okanagan Zone Tournament at Valleyview Secondary
Teams involved – 8 teams with total first day results Thursday
Fulton 89 vs vs #7 Summerland 39
South Okanagan 73 vs #6 Pleasant Valley 50
Valleyview 86 vs #8 Kalamalka 44
Princess Margaret 60 vs #5 Westsyde 53
Friday – Hornets lost in a dog fight 69-55 to Clarence Fulton Maroons of Vernon
We had a 4 point half time lead that we let slip away to 17 but we clawed back to within 5 late in the 4th only to make a few bad decision late with some bad turnovers.
Four unanswered third period goals pushed the Coyotes past Princeton 6-3 on Thursday night, eliminating the Posse from the playoffs. Troy Maclise tallied twice and added one assist.
Game one of the Coyotes next series will take place in Osoyoos on March 2. Their opponent in that matchup will be the winner of the Kelowna Chiefs/Summerland Steam series.
Premier’s People’s Choice – top five
•Firehall Brewery (Sid Ruhland) – Oliver
•So Country Radio (Dennis Walker) – Penticton
•Game Quest – Prince George
•Julie’s Edible Bouquets – Quesnel
•Nonna Pia’s Gourmet Sauces – Whistler
•Premier’s People’s Choice – Julie’s Edible Bouquets, Quesnel
Let PARTIES & PIES take the stress out of the catering of your event.
Parties & Pies have been catering to the people of Oliver and the South Okanagan, for over 12 years.
Our full buffet meals consist of:
Main dessert, plus selection of squares, tarts and goodies, cheese platter
Buns and butter
All condiments and pickles
Cost per person $22.00 inclusive
Call for prices on: afternoon teas, birthday parties, light lunches, funeral receptions and private house parties.
Pat and Dave Whalley, doing business as PARTIES & PIES will be happy to cater to your group.
485-0010 email@example.com 5607 Cactus St. Oliver
By Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
After more than 10 years of review and negotiations, it’s time to put the issue of wildlife-harvest allocation behind us and have some certainty.
At the end of the day, all stakeholders want the same thing – healthy wildlife populations that can be sustainably used by all groups.
Obviously the issue is contentious, with a middle ground that was hard to find. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t have taken a marathon 18 months of intensive negotiations to determine how to allocate the 7,500 big-game animals affected by allocation. Under the decision, an estimated 60 total animals have been moved to guide-outfitter hunts. Regardless of this decision, resident hunters will continue to harvest about 92 per cent of the approximately 48,000 big game animals taken annually by hunters.
Many popular big-game species are not affected at all, including mule deer, white-tailed deer, most Rocky Mountain elk populations and black bear. This is because allocation is required only for species in areas that cannot be managed solely by general open season and only in the parts of British Columbia covered by guiding territories.
Hunting and fishing are key parts of many British Columbian families’ lives and I am committed to keeping it this way. In fact, the increase in resident hunters from 82,000 10 years ago to over 102,000 today is in part because of resident hunter recruitment and retention strategies introduced and implemented by our government.
The decision on wildlife-harvest allocation also reflects this commitment. Under the decision, resident hunters continue to be recognized as having priority over non-resident hunters. Resident hunters make an important contribution toward the economy in this province by pursuing their passion for hunting and fishing, and it is anticipated this will continue. They also make large and ongoing contributions to wildlife stewardship.
The guide-outfitter industry also plays a valuable role, encouraging tourism and providing income for British Columbia residents and families. Out-of-province guide-outfitter clients are some of the highest-spending tourists per capita in British Columbia. I am also committed to maintaining the viability of the guide-outfitter industry, and to do that this allocation decision was required.
That said, I am sensitive to concerns of resident hunters. It was for this reason that I revisited my December 2014 determination and found strategic ways to reduce the transfer of animals from 110 down to 60. Guide outfitters were not happy about this shift, but I felt it was important to balance the priority of resident harvest with the need of business certainty for guides.
Government’s intent is for a consistent and transparent policy that is fair to all wildlife user groups, where conservation comes first, First Nations’ needs are met, and resident hunters receive priority allocation. The harvest allocation decision meets this intent, and will ensure that the $350 million that hunting brings to the B.C. economy (from both guides and residents) continues to be viable for years to come.
Now that a decision is made, I am hopeful that resident hunters and the guide-outfitter community can work together with government in support of these goals, which are supported by all hunters.
Steve Thomson is B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
and MLA for Kelowna-Mission.
Valley First has taken down our “Map of the Okanagan” that has been hanging in our window for several years.
We notice lots of people stop to look at it.
It can now be in your business or in your home.
We are holding a Silent Auction for
this item from Feb 27th to end of day March 6th.
Come on in to Valley First to make your bid.
All funds raised will go to FEED THE VALLEY – our signature cause that supports our local food bank
The map is professionally mounted. It measures 34in X 24in.
We would like to congratulate all of our education partners and especially Jim Insley, our educators, and the Aboriginal Education Advisory Council on the excellent graduation results of 2014. We received a letter from the Minister of Education, Peter Fassbender congratulating the Board of Education on the 75%, six year completion rate of our Aboriginal students. Our district is well above the provincial average of 62%. We are very proud of the hard work of our Aboriginal students and all of our partners. We will continue to work hard for the success of all of our students.
The Aboriginal Education Advisory Council meeting was held on Tuesday February 17th. The meeting was hosted by the Osoyoos Indian Band at Tuc-el-Nuit School. The committees of the council are working on several projects and events: Pow-Wow will be on April 10th and 11th at Osoyoos Secondary, the Aboriginal graduation will be held in Oliver on June 16th at the Venables Theatre and a “new “committee this year, which includes one elementary and one secondary teacher from the district as well as Dave Foster (principal Osoyoos Elementary), are working on a dinner with a Residential School presentation by Brad Marsden on March 4th from 4-7.30 pm.
The intent of this committee is to become familiar with the Residential School curriculum for grades 5 and 10 teachers. This new curriculum will be introduced next year. They will receive two full days of information given by our Aboriginal knowledge keepers.
Student forums will be held at South Okanagan Secondary, Osoyoos Secondary and Similkameen Elementary Secondary schools. At the forums teachers and administrators are hoping to gather input from students that will inform their school goals, inquiry work and direction for the next year. A facilitator will lead these forums and we are looking forward to hearing the results of the student conversations.
Foundations Skills Assessment (FSA) for 2015 was administered to grades 4 and 7 students in February. The FSA assesses students’ skills in reading, writing and numeracy. The FSA’s were marked on February 21st and a big thank you to our FSA lead scorers: Shannon Miller (writing), Scott Tremblay (reading), and Shendah Benoit (numeracy). Dave Foster coordinated the administration and marking plan for the district – thank you Dave!
Bev Young, superintendent, received information about a $5,000 Skills Training Access Support grant available upon application to the Ministry of Education. The intent of this grant is to support rural districts in developing local solutions to improve access opportunities for students living in areas that do not have a post-secondary institution or sufficient local support to pursue their career interests. We will be submitting an application by the February 27th due date and will be notified by March 6th if we are selected.
The Board saw firsthand what a difference the trades programs are making in the lives of our students. At the last Board meeting Kelsey Gorgichuk and Rod Kitt, Career Prep teacher, made a presentation to the Board. Kelsey graduated from OSS last year and is well on her way to be a fully qualified welder, she did her training at Thompson River University and is currently working in Saskatchewan as a welder. In September 2014 we had nine students enrolled in the ACE IT/Dual credit program and in February 2015 we now have 19 students enrolled. These students are working towards becoming carpenters, mechanics, welders, chefs, plumbers, estheticians and aircraft maintenance engineers while completing their high school diplomas. We need to provide these options for students to ensure multiple pathways to graduation and the success of all students in school.
We are urging parents with kindergarten age students, who will be attending school in our district, to please register at their neighborhood school. Early registration helps us in our planning, staffing and grade configurations for elementary schools next year.
Graduation times and dates for our secondary schools are as follow:
Osoyoos Secondary School – Thursday, June 25th at 6 pm in the OSS gym.
Similkameen Elementary Secondary School – Thursday, June 25th at 4 pm in the SESS gym
Southern Okanagan Secondary School – Thursday, June 25th at 7 pm in the SOSS gym
YouLearn.ca – Thursday, June 18th at 6 pm in the SOSS Atrium
Effective May 1st, 2015 Victoria would no longer be funding upgrading courses for adults who have graduated with a dogwood certificate. The Ministry will continue to fund graduated adults with a dogwood certificate if they enroll in Literacy Foundation courses. Students who have completed school with a BC School Completion Certificate will continue to be funded if they enroll in upgrading courses. In 2013/14 the district received $51,775 through this grant. We anticipate revenue to be reduced due to these changes.
The Ministry of Education has been working with districts to upgrade district networks. The Next Generation Network (NGN) will enable faster Internet connections, greater bandwidth capacity and improve reliability of technology and provide improved security features. Districts throughout the province are transitioning to the NGN over a three year period. SD53 is part of the 2015 transition plan and expects to be converted to the NGN by fall. In order to access the new network, the district requires upgraded technology equipment that will cost approximately $50,000, however, the improved speed and other features with improve school and student connectivity.
More information on this project can be found at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5cs6TQO4Q&feature=youtube
At the last regular Board of Education meeting the Board approved our revamped smoke-free policy. This policy includes smokeless tobacco-free and electronic smoking products. The revised trustee code of conduct as well as the transportation of students policy (revisions to regulations) also received notice of motion. The Board also approved the 2014/2015 Amended Annual Budget. Our amended budget reflects a decrease in our Provincial grant money from the Ministry of Education due to the labor dispute and a decline in our student population. We will end the year with a projected deficit of $585,767 which will be funded from our surplus.
Trustees will be attending the BCSTA Thompson Okanagan Branch meeting on the weekend of February 27th in Vernon. At the Branch meeting we will be visiting the Winter House and we will attend presentations from a variety of educators in the Vernon school district who will be presenting on new education initiatives in their district.
Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.
Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)
C-51: A LOSS OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
There has been a great deal in the news over the past few weeks about C-51, the government’s news Anti-Terrorism Act. It is another one in a series of omnibus bills and contains 62 pages covering everything from expanding the mandate of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to allowing police to seize terrorist propaganda while making it easier to share information between government departments.
On the surface, it appears fairly clear: we are faced with a terrorist threat. C-51 will make our country a safer place.
The reality, however, is not that simplistic. I have been monitoring what the mainstream media have been saying about this piece of legislation and have learned that there is a lot of concern about the threat to our rights and freedoms.
As Campbell Clark stated in his Globe and Mail Op-ed: “Two things are clear: First the Conservatives think this bill will help them win an election, and second, they don’t want people to understand it. That’s a bad combination for a bill that will change things in secret, in ways we won’t know for years.”
In spite of the fact that the two tragic deaths of Canadian service men were not directly related to a “terrorist plot” against Canada, the government has justified C-51 using the threat of a Jihadist invasion. If we recall, the individuals who murdered our two soldiers were mentally deranged fanatics with no connection to any international terrorist organization.
Canadians have a right to worry about their safety. It is a duty of a government to address this concern in a responsible manner, and not to play on the “fear factor”. As our Leader Tom Mulcair stated, “The Prime Minister is telling Canadians they need to choose between their security and their rights – that safety and freedom are mutually exclusive. Instead of putting forward concrete measures to make Canadians safer and protect freedoms Conservatives have put politics over principle and introduced a bill that is dangerously vague and likely ineffective.”
In the 1960s and 1970s, the RCMP had been engaged in illegal disruptive activities. The McDonald Commission was created and CSIS was established to collect and analyze information and produce intelligence about potential national security threats to Canada. Now, with C-51, CSIS will be allowed to engage in this type of activity and do legally what the RCMP had been doing illegally. This should be of great concern to all Canadians
Those of us that recall the War Measures Act of 1970, remember the sweeping powers it gave the police. Hundreds of innocent people were arrested, interrogated and detained as a result. This must not happen ever again.
History, as we know, is full of examples of irresponsible leaders rallying their citizens by exaggerating threats to their security. As a former CSIS officer, Francois Lavigne states, “Some of these tactics are taken right out of the fascist playbook. Create an enemy that is hard to identify. Make it an enemy that is nebulous and seems to be able to do things that nobody else can. Don’t define the enemy. Just identify. Generate fear around that enemy. Then, send out the message that the only people who can deal with this enemy are us.”
The Conservatives have defined the “enemy” and are ramming legislation through that is supposedly going to protect us. They have limited debate at Second Reading and are only allowing 3 meetings at Committee to hear witnesses. To put this in context, after Sept 11, 2001, the Liberal government held 10 Committee sessions and heard from 80 witnesses before passing major anti-terrorism legislation. (I find it hard to understand why the Liberals have given unconditional support to C-51).
It is my opinion that this ideologically driven piece of legislation is a very real threat to our rights and freedoms.
Alex Atamanenko, MP
“Yes, it is time to hang up my spurs!!!! I will be done March 31 to make room for some “new blood”!!!”
Crime Stoppers regional co-ordinator Al Sismey, the only paid staff person with a volunteer-driven organization that started in Penticton about 23 years ago. Crime Stoppers at that time was new program created in the U.S. to generate tips for police based on the promise of cash rewards. Most people phoning in tips don’t want the cash says Sismey, a retired Mountie and former local business owner.
Sismey says it’s time for some for a change in his life and the Crime Stoppers organization which works throughout the regional district and gets some funding from the RDOS>
A well earned holiday is next for Sismey.
Since our project received approval from the Osoyoos Indian Band, we have been moving forward with construction planning. One of the key next steps is to finalize track engineering in advance of earth moving. This requires a site visit by our track designer. Area 27 members and media will tour the track and site with track designer Jacques Villeneuve on the weekend. They will be able to see the precise location of each corner, elevation changes, and straightaway lengths: Promoter Bill Drossos