Safety – do not interfere! – keep your distance. They seem friendly and talk if you can listen.
Very interesting to say the least… Not something you see every day.
Press image to enlarge…BIG
Hospice Walk in Osoyoos and Oliver – times locations
Oliver Lions Park Sunday at 11 am – hike begins at 12 noon
Osoyoos Irrigation Canal Walkway near OSS
same times as above
Desert Valley Hospice Society
28th Annual SORCO Open House – Sunday 10 to 3pm – Admission by Donation
8965 Highway 97 just before Vaseux Lake
The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is pleased to announce the results of the 2016 British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards tonight, marking the official launch of the 22nd Spring Okanagan Wine Festival. The competition featured 24 different varietal categories, with a record total of 567 wines entered. Within each of the categories, the judges narrowed the selection down to 122 finalists with one overall clear winner being declared THE BEST in each category.
Originally founded in 1994 as the “Winemaker’s Awards” with three red and three white wine categories, the competition has evolved significantly since that time with this year’s awards witnessing over a 200% increase in entries over the past decade. The contest is open to all licensed British Columbia wineries that use 100% fruit grown in the province. An exceptional aspect of the judging is that judges are chosen from the trade including renowned sommeliers, restaurateurs and recognized wine media from across western Canada and features a unique judging process that allows each panel of judges to evaluate all of the wines in any given category enabling a direct comparison for selecting the best wines.
2016 winners of the British Columbia Best of Varietal Wine Awards –
Wine of the Year
St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery – St. Hubertus Vineyard Riesling 2013
Best Cabernet Franc
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards – Cabernet Franc 2013
Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Black Sage Vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
CedarCreek Estate Winery – Estate Chardonnay 2014
Best Dessert Style Wine
Golden Age Meadery – Hearth and Fire Mead
Wild Goose Vineyards – Mystic River Gewürztraminer 2015
Inniskillin Okanagan – Dark Horse Vineyard Riesling Icewine 2012
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards – Oldfield Series Merlot 2012
Best North American Hybrid
Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Frontenac Gris 2015
Best Pinot Blanc
Evolve Cellars – Pinot Blanc 2014
Best Pinot Gris
Arrowleaf Cellars – Pinot Gris 2015
Best Pinot Noir
Ciao Bella Winery – Pinot Nero 2014
Best Red Meritage Blend Cabernet Dominated
Cassini Cellars – MAXIUMUX Collector’s Series 2012
Best Red Meritage Blend Merlot Dominated
Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery – Obra Prima 2010
Best Red Blend
Bordertown Vineyard & Estate Winery – Living Desert Red 2013
Best Single Red Variety “Other”
Sandhill Vineyards Esate Wines – Small Lots Barbera Sandhill Estate Vineyard 2013
Best Single White Variety “Other”
Township 7 Vineyards & Winery – Muscat 2015
St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery – St. Hubertus Vineyard Riesling 2013
Perseus Winery – Pinot Noir Rosé 2015
Best Sauvignon Blanc
Therapy Vineyards – Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Gray Monk Estate Winery – Odyssey Rosé Brut 2012
Best Syrah / Shiraz
Bench 1775 – Syrah 2013
Best Syrah Based Blend
CedarCreek Estate Winery – Senator’s Red 2013
Black Hills Estate Winery – Viognier 2014
Best White Blend
Arrowleaf Cellars – Snow Tropics 2015
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Spring has sprung across Canada, and with the return of the warmer weather we have other annual traditions that come with this time of the year– hockey play-offs, getting together with family at Easter and getting the garden ready for summer. Another spring activity is one that we don’t tend to look forward to but still needs to be done: filing of our income taxes.
Whether we do our own taxes or get a professional to prepare them, the vast majority of Canadians take to this task every year and pay their fair share. They do their part to help ensure that the society that we have helped to build continues to keep providing for all of us.
But as we have seen recently in the news, some Canadians have both the intent and means to avoid or evade paying their fair share. We have seen the Panama Papers story, where thousands of wealthy people around the world have used shady tax havens to avoid paying their taxes. We have seen the case of KPMG, which is accused of having used tax avoidance and evasion strategies for the accounts of a number of its clients. In this case, The Canada Revenue Agency allegedly offered amnesty to multi-millionaire clients caught using their strategy on the Isle of Man. This allowed the clients to be free from any future civil or criminal prosecution, including any penalties or fines. All that the clients had to do was agree to repay what they owed.
We’d all like it if a government agency would bend over backwards to help us if we actively tried to avoid paying our taxes, but I think that most of us have had very different experiences–and that’s not a bad thing. Canada Revenue Agency should be vigilant in ensuring that everyone pays their fair share and should be treating everyone the same in that way. This is a matter of simple fairness, something that we expect to come from our government.
I believe that all Canadians must be treated fairly, regardless of income. My New Democrat colleagues and I are determined to target tax evasion and take the necessary measures to protect the integrity of our tax system. We will continue to hold the Liberal government to account to ensure that it walks the talk and reinvests additional resources to target tax evasion, as they promised to do during the election campaign. The government must maintain public trust, but that has been seriously shaken with these recent stories.
By Linda Larson
The Town of Osoyoos is known throughout North America as a retirement mecca and one of the best vacation places in the Okanagan. Millions of dollars in marketing has been spent over the past 20 years to encourage retirees, snowbirds and tourists to come here, with incredible success.
The community more than lives up to its trademarked slogan, “Canada’s Warmest Welcome.”
The provincial government contributes to building Osoyoos’s tourism infrastructure through the Resort Municipality Initiative. Osoyoos is one of 14 B.C. communities designated as resort municipalities, and a lot of government funding for community projects has come through that designation. More than $400,000 in funding was used last year to make major improvements around Gyro Beach, for example.
Realtors and developers have capitalized for years on the senior migration from the Lower Mainland, and that will continue to bring people to Osoyoos. Seniors are a valuable resource for any community. They bring ideas, skills and volunteer hours, which are a benefit to any community.
The only downside to this migration is that there are few children in that movement. Families need industry with good wages to attract them to communities. The tourism Industry has an abundance of work for people, but is still catching up in the family-supportive wage category.
During the past two months the community has been faced with the very real and very emotional issue of schooling for senior students. I have faced criticism, along with the government, over funding levels for Osoyoos Secondary School, that it should operate regardless of the number of students enrolled.
I have also been criticized for not attending the public meetings on the issue. We elected good people to represent the best interests of all students in the district. It would have been inappropriate to use my MLA position in any other capacity than to support the school board in its efforts to do its job, and the Town of Osoyoos and parents’ group to engage and look at all possible options. The focus needed to remain on the community and the issue: What are the optimum numbers of students to ensure the best education possible?
I made every effort to remain in contact and support the entire community during that time and I continue to do that.
The closure of OSS will not signal the demise of the community. Osoyoos is a thriving community and will continue to be.
There are many ways for a beautiful place like Osoyoos to encourage younger families to move here. Many industries are clean, green and tourist friendly and have supportive wages for families. I know Mayor Sue McKortoff and council are working hard to attract new employers and family-supportive jobs to Osoyoos and I will continue to support their efforts.
I believe the students from Osoyoos will not suffer either emotionally or from an education standpoint by finishing their schooling in Oliver. The teachers from SOSS and OSS will ensure all students are treated fairly and receive the best education possible by providing a welcoming environment for all.
NATIONAL GARAGE SALE FOR SHELTER
SOUTHWINDS CROSSING – Oliver, BC
8:00 AM – 1:00 May 7th, 2016
Please call 250-498-6222 for more information
The National Garage Sale for Shelter is an annual one-day charity garage sale to raise money for women’s shelters and violence prevention programs with the support of Royal LePage offices across Canada. Since 2009, we’ve raised $2 million dollars at the National Garage Sale for Shelter in order to stop the cycle of violence and provide a safe haven and new beginnings to women and children.
Mark your calendars! The 8th Annual National Garage Sale for Shelter and BBQ will take place Saturday, May 7th, 2016.
WE ARE ACCEPTING DONATIONS GENTLY USED ITEMS FROM NOW UNTIL MAY 6TH. CALL ROYAL LEPAGE (250-498-6222) TO ARRANGE FOR A SUITABLE DROP-OFF TIME.
Want to help but don’t want to donate? We also accept volunteers!
All proceeds of the Garage Sale stay here locally: Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre
West Bench Director Michael Brydon proposed in a committee meeting that each home in Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton, Summerland and points between could pay $10 each and fund the initiative.
Two directors from Penticton voted against the concept with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit stating that all the priorities of the district should be discussed in the context of taxes and budget – not isolated ideas in the middle of the year.
The idea goes to a meeting of the full board in May.
The proposal is for a quicker process of assent than a referendum – called the AAP – Alternative Approval Process – where the public is asked to indicate a negative point of view that could force a referendum if opposition is strong.
There is no guarantee this initiative will pass as the RDOS board has been quite conservative in its spending in the last budget cycle.
Bev Petersen – gift basket – Oliver Shoes
Georgette Veillette – frame black and white Photograph – the Gallery
Joaquim (Jack) Rosa Fontinha
1933 – 2016
Joaquim (Jack) Rosa Fontinha, born in Faro, Algarve, Portugal on November 3, 1933, died peacefully after a brief illness on April 22, 2016 in Oliver, B.C. at the age of 82.
Joaquim was predeceased by his parents: João Fontinha and Isabel Rosa do Carmo Fontinha. He is loved and will be remembered by: his wife, Maria Francisca, Oliver; his brother, Crisostimo Fontinha, sister Maria Madalena Pereira, and nephews and nieces in Algarve, Portugal; daughter Celia (Roger) Thomas, Oliver; sons Carlos (Christine) Fontinha and Walter (Lisa) Fontinha, Penticton; and grandchildren Daniel, Matthew (Charlotte), Lenae (Ben), Jordan, Kurtis, Rachel, Jodie, Jared and Sierra.
Some of Joaquim’s greatest joys were family occasions with children and grandchildren gathered around. He enjoyed visiting and playings cards with friends. He loved inventing or redesigning machinery for specialized purposes; it was fulfilling for him to make things stronger or better.
A welder by trade and orchardist by profession, Jack contributed to the economy of the South Okanagan for several decades. He was a long-time member of the Oliver Curling Club and also of the Portuguese Club in Oliver where he served terms as a director and president.
In the words of a family friend: He’ll be remembered “as a good-humoured mechanical genius – a hard-working family guy…”
A funeral mass will be officiated by Fr. Neil Lustado at 11:00 am Wednesday May 4, 2016 at Christ the King Catholic Church. A reception will follow in the church lower hall. Interment and committal will follow at the Oliver Municipal Cemetery.
Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting www.nunes-pottinger.com
Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium. Oliver & Osoyoos.
KEREMEOS – Keremeos, Midway and Greenwood are among 73 rural and remote B.C. communities that will welcome community paramedicine, a program that offers residents enhanced health services from paramedics. Keremeos is receiving one full-time paramedic and Midway and Greenwood are each receiving a half-time equivalent.
The program is part of the B.C. government’s plan to enhance primary care service delivery to British Columbians. Under the program, paramedics will provide basic health-care services, within their scope of practice, in partnership with local health-care providers, delivered in non-urgent settings, in patients’ homes or in the community.
“Getting access to health-care services to rural areas of this large region can be a challenge,” Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson said. “This program is an innovative solution that will improve health supports for residents in and around Greenwood, Midway and Keremeos.”
Community paramedics are expected to be delivering community health services in Interior B.C., including Keremeos, Midway and Greenwood, in early 2017.
The services provided may include checking blood pressure, assisting with diabetic care, helping to identify fall hazards, medication assessment, post-injury or illness evaluation, and assisting with respiratory conditions. The paramedics will perform assessments requested by the referring health-care professional, and record their findings for the patient’s file. The enhanced role will not replace care provided by health professionals such as nurses, but will complement and support their work.
Initially introduced in the province in 2015 in nine communities, the community paramedicine initiative is now expanding provincewide, including 31 communities in the Interior.
BC Emergency Health Services has been co-ordinating the implementation of community paramedicine with the Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, the Ambulance Paramedics of BC (CUPE 873), the First Nations Health Authority and others.
The builders expect to hand over the building in October – time for a grand opening and lots of training before inmates move in in January and February of 2017.
Warden Steve DiCastri on the hot seat at the Regional District talking about emergency programs, fire suppression, facilities, statistics and cooperation with other agencies.
A few facts stated today: Staffing about 240 FTE and 60 contract workers. Only 35% of the entire staff transferring in – with 65% being hired as new employees to BC Corrections.
DiCastri was asked where are the BC Corrections staff locating: Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos and all points in between. Housing is only an issue for rentals with many having to find apartments in bigger centres. Number of persons housed: 378 in the beginning 45 percent on remaind and 65 percent serving sentences. On remand average stay 34 days. If sentenced average stay 60 days. Some persons convicted of a serious crime will be house awaiting an appeal before moving to the a federal prison.
The first building to be used will be pod A as it contains a women’s unit for 20. The prison has three sections – Open, Medium level custody and high security. The catchment area for prisoners is Vernon south to the Kootenays. The warden says all effort will be made to assist persons leaving the jail to get back to the community from which the original charges were laid. “They will NOT be dropped off at the local bus depot!”
The facility offers many provincial training programs and the warden was proud in say they have a very large greenhouse to supply their demands for vegetables and will distribute an excess to local food banks. DiCastri also assured director that local supplier and local tradesmen will be utilized by the jail.
Also at the RDOS today Superintendent Kevin Hewco who reported that many criminals are in jail at the moment and the crime stats in the South Okanagan reflect that. Hewco says he is looking forward to working with the Okanagan Correctional Centre – a large mock-up event will be held in September with fire, EMS, RCMP and Corrections. Hewco says a request for two new positions to handle case load from the prison has yet to be answered by Victoria.
To Board of Education
RE: Osoyoos Secondary Closure
In reference to the School Board # 53 decision to Close Osoyoos Secondary School June30, 2016.
On behalf of this committee, parents, students and residents of Osoyoos , it is FORMALLY REQUESTED that:
ALL previous Graduation Photographs, ALL previous awards -sports and otherwise-and ALL items of historical nature presently on location at Osoyoos Secondary School be transferred to the Town of Osoyoos or the Osoyoos Museum.
This has been discussed with parents, students and residents. It is NOT acceptable for these items to be transferred to SOSS or any location outside of Osoyoos!
A written response is requested in a timely manner.
Brenda Dorosz Chair – SAVE OUR SCHOOLS
Board puts final nail in OSS coffin
By ROY WOOD
In the end it was just a formality. But the last hope for keeping Osoyoos Secondary School open was snuffed out Wednesday when the school board gave third and final reading to a closure bylaw.
Barring a successful legal action by the town, the closure is effective at the end of June. The grade 8-12 students will be transferred to Southern Okanagan Secondary in Oliver.
In a packed and emotionally charged meeting room at the Okanagan-Similkameen school district office, about 140 OSS advocates watched, at times not quietly, as the trustees voted 4-3 to shutter the school.
The vote was the same as April 6 when trustees Sam Hancheroff of Okanagan Falls, Robert Zandee and Rachel Allenbrand of Oliver and Debbie Marten of Keremeos voted to close. Chair Marieze Tarr of Osoyoos, and Trustees June Harrington of Osoyoos and Myrna Coates of Keremeos voted against the motion.
In an interview, Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff repeated the town’s intention to seek legal remedies to stop the closure. She said town lawyers will begin action Thursday based on the contention that the closure and consultation process was flawed.
During a 30-minute “public forum” prior to the vote, a succession of parents, students and politicians pleaded with the board to vote against the bylaw and give Osoyoos a year’s delay so they might develop solutions to the conjoined problems of declining enrollments and budget deficits.
McKortoff reiterated the recent offer of a grant from the town to the school district of about $350,000 a year for three years to ease the financial concerns that led the decision to close OSS.
“We are asking for a one-year delay” to allow the town to work with the board and other jurisdictions to find solutions.
Brenda Dorosz, head of the local Save Our Schools group, told the board: “At the end of the day, our kids have the right to go to school in their community. … I implore you to do the right thing. Accept the money (from the town).”
Provincial NDP education critic Rob Fleming took the opportunity to lay the blame for the financial trouble of the school district at the feet of the Liberal government.
“We have an under-funding problem in public education,” he said, pointing out that under Premier Christy Clark’s government, education funding in BC has gone from being the second best in the country to the second worst.
“We can deal with the underfunding crisis in the election cycle,” he said, “but that’s for next year.” Under the province’s fixed election legislation, there will be a general election on May 9, 2017.
During discussion of the bylaw, several board members, including Coates, lamented shoddy the treatment trustees have faced by the public and the media “often encouraged by community leaders.”
Trustee Marten took time to defend board chair Tarr, who, she said, has taken considerable abuse on social media. “She has done nothing wrong. She is the face of the board and she has been treated very unfairly.”
At several points in the proceedings outbursts from the audience had to be gaveled down by chair Tarr. The most vocal seemed to be Osoyoos Councillor Mike Campol, who interrupted Tarr, Zandee and others over the course of the nearly two-hour meeting.
The decision Wednesday brings an end to a process that began in January when the board unveiled a “facilities plan” aimed at eliminating a structural budget deficit of $530,000 this year and growing to $1.4 million by 2017/18.
The board estimated that closing OSS would save about $400,000 per year.
Public consultations meetings were held in Osoyoos in February and in March, leading to the April 6 meeting at which the closure bylaw received first and second reading. Because the vote was not unanimous, third reading had to wait until Wednesday.
District superintendant Bev Young told the meeting on Wednesday that the transition process to the amalgamated high school is already under way.
Teachers and administrators from both schools met today, she said. “Everybody will do everything to make sure the transition is successful.”
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