At the Metro Toronto Convention Centre November 29 – Event of the Year 2017
- Grand Prix Ski-doo de Valcourt – Valcourt, QC
- Half Corked Marathon: Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association – Oliver, BC – WINNER
- Supercrawl: Supercrawl Productions – Hamiton, ON
At the Metro Toronto Convention Centre November 29 – Event of the Year 2017
1200 block – Willowbrook Road near Patten Rd and Sawmill Lake turnoff.
Both Willowbrook Volunteers and Oliver Fire Department dispatched to this one at about 12 noon today.
“Last night: Call came in just before 9pm. 3 units and 10 members responded from Willowbrook. Back at the hall just after 10pm. Older Class C Motorhome fully engulfed upon our arrival.” – WVFD spokesman Kyle Fossett
This 1920s photo was taken in Scotland years before the five young McIntosh brothers moved to Canada in 1936. They include (from left) Don, Bob, John (Jock), Al and Jim. Al passed away in Penticton in July 2015 at age 94. The brothers will have their names associated with a patient room in the new tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.
Scottish brothers remembered through PRH donation
Alister McIntosh and his four brothers were all born in the village of Mintlaw, Scotland.
Now they’re being memorialized through a $30,000 donation for Penticton Regional Hospital – the same location where Alister worked for a decade at the end of his varied career.
Alister was born in 1921 – the second youngest child of Robert and Harriet McIntosh. His brothers were Donald, Robert Jr., John and James.
However, their mother died in 1926 when Alister was just five years old. A young local woman, Agnes Smith came to care for the boys and became like a second mother to them. Their father, the village baker, died seven years later.
Alister’s uncle served as a marine engineer with P&O Shipping Lines and upon his retirement, immigrated to Canada and opened a steam laundry and dry cleaning plant in Penticton. Alister’s older brother Robert Jr. later moved to the Okanagan to help with the business.
After their uncle passed away, the rest of the family decided to immigrate to Canada as well.
“So, on May 30, 1936, the boys with their Aunt Kate, Agnes Smith, a Scottish Terrier, and a green Amazon parrot boarded the Canadian Pacific steamship Duchess of Richmond and set sail for Canada,”
Alister said in a family bio.
About two weeks later, they arrived in Penticton. While the three oldest boys worked at the laundry, Alister and his younger brother James attended Penticton High School. After graduating in 1939, Alister worked in the dry cleaning part of the family business before enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War Two.
His older brother John also joined the RCAF, but died after a plane he was on crash-landed while enroute to Alaska. “He survived the crash, but drowned attempting to cross a river in search of help,” Alister stated. “The remaining crew were later rescued.”
Alister was posted to Yarmouth, NS to join an RCAF squadron hunting submarines in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 1943, he was posted overseas to England.
After his discharge from the RCAF, Alister found work on board the CPR tug Naramata (now moored in Penticton next to the landmark sternwheeler SS Sicamous). As a stoker, he earned the princely sum of $99 a month.
“Boxcars were transported by barge, loads varying from manure from the Calgary stockyards to fruit,” he recalled.
Alister soon returned to the dry cleaning business in Summerland, where he met and married Doreen Howard in 1948. He later worked at the former Northwood Mills lumber mill in Penticton from 1972 until its closure in 1977.
He then accepted a job as engineer at Kelowna General Hospital and later was offered a similar position at Penticton Regional Hospital, where he remained until his retirement in the late 1980s.
Doreen passed away in 2013 after a short battle with cancer and Alister died on July 6, 2015 at age 94. They are survived by daughters Linda, who lives in Summerland and Sherri of Kelowna.
The McIntosh brothers were thankful and proud to be Canadians and considered the Penticton area “home.” The donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s PRH equipment campaign signifies their gratitude.
Construction of the hospital’s new six-storey patient care tower is well underway and should be ready for patients by April 2019.
Baldy Mountain Resort to offer Avalanche Skills training
As backcountry travel becomes more popular for skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers the ski area of Baldy Mountain Resort is doing its part to help keep people safe. Along with the Mt Baldy Alpine Club, the resort will host an Avalanche Skills Training course (AST1) on December 28th and 29th. The course teaches the basics of both travel in avalanche terrain and avalanche rescue. Local accredited backcountry expert Finbar O’Sullivan will instruct the course and follow a curriculum set by Avalanche Canada. Participants who successfully complete the course will be issued a formal certificate and qualification.
Baldy Mountain Resort General Manager Andy Foster said that “The Baldy operations team puts a lot of time and effort into ensuring the area within the resort boundary is as safe as possible.” “We don’t recommend people access the uncontrolled backcountry from the resort but those who do should have sufficient training and confidence in their skills.”
Commonly known as the ‘side-country’ the area located outside of the managed resort area carries the same risks as the back-country areas located many miles into the wilderness. “Travelling outside of the resort boundary is done so at your own risk” said Foster “We are working together with groups like the Mt Baldy Alpine Club to spread the word of the dangers of accessing the backcountry and assisting in education for those that would like to learn more.”
We keep hearing B.C. Hydro and ICBC complaining about their lack of money and how they must keep raising rates.
Now if I remember the news reports the previous Government was for the last few years taking over a billion dollars per year out of B.C. Hydro and six hundred million out of ICBC per year and putting that into general revenue ( balancing their books).
So that must mean that the current government is still practicing this taxation without representation or even increasing it for these cash shortages to be happening and these increases to be needed.
How about some truth somewhere just once; but it gets harder to believe anything no matter which pig is at the trough.
A thick blanket of snow
Covers the ground,
Many begin to think,
And their gift list.
For just a moment
Put down your pen.
Imagine you are outside
There is no heat no light,
You have no coat no gloves,
No food, no home.
You are alone
People pass you by
You are invisible.
You are always moving
Moving keeps you warm,
You need a bath, warm food
And a place to lay your head.
You may or may not be
Yet you are likely addicted,
To something far worse “despair”
Now, sitting in your warm surroundings
Ask yourself what would you do?
Here is where compassion begins
Instead of just reaching into your wallet
First recognize him or her
With your attention, with a kind word
acknowledge they are human beings
Don’t look away or ignore them
And always remember
On a snowy gray street
In the bitter cold
“But for the Grace of God Go I”
Next time you walk down the street
Remember the season
Belongs to all of us,
Fred Steele © 2017
Road Scribes of America ™
Editor’s Note – we are about to lose Fred as the president of the BCFGA – hopefully the poet will continue
Family members enjoyed a range of holiday festivities including gingerbread cookie decorating, ornament making and crafts, musical entertainment, and photos with Santa Claus.
The musical entertainment during the event began with the Oliver Elementary School Choir followed by the Oliver Elementary Handbells Team, both directed by Lori Martine.
Finishing up the event, families were treated to the musical talents of Kelan and Laura Harty.
Thanks to volunteers: Pat Aldridge, Dave Aldridge, Bob Cameron, Neha Chahal, Judy Harvey, Innis Harvey, Cody Isted, Gale Kleckner, Special guest – Larry Larson, Polly McKay, Cobie Mackey, Linda Magoffin, Dennis Magoffin, Cathy Pidduck, Ron Pidduck, Ingrid Plattmann, Carol Renninger, Jose Rodrigues, Helen Simpson, Vlasta Svehla, Carol Young, Dale Young, Painted Chair staff member Trish Craik and members Steven, Dayton and Phillip – Oliver Ambassadors – Aaliyah Chapman, Brooke Tanner, and Abby Teigen.
Thank you for all the hard work you have put into setting up and running this holiday event.
Look out for our next event: Saturday December 16th will be the Ugly Sweater Christmas Skate at the Oliver Arena.
From 6:00PM – 8:00PM, enjoy free skating, hot chocolate, and festive decorations. Prizes will be awarded to the best Christmas sweater. Free skate rentals while supplies last.
OLIVER MUSICIAN INVITED TO PRESENT CLINICS FOR B.C. GUILD OF HANDBELL RINGERS
Another instance of the wonderful array of talent found in our little town of Oliver is found in Helen Wollf. Wollf’s background in music has led to an invitation as one of the clinicians at the BCGEHR Spring Ring 2018 where she will present on Beginner Solo Ringing and Small Ensembles with Bells.
“Having such an opportunity as this is really exciting. I was introduced to solo ringing by a performance done at a Guild Spring Ring more than 20 years ago. This is full circle for me,” says Wollf.
Starting private music lessons as a child at the age of 2 before she could read the alphabet and broadening her music training into voice, wind instruments and handbells, and also to conducting under the auspices of Lars Kaario, conductor of the Capilano Singers, Wollf has broad experience and training in music to share.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have a wide variety of learning opportunities in my music education and I enjoy being able to invest that into the South Okanagan both as an elementary school teacher and as a musical director in a community group,” continues Wollf.
Currently Wollf is on partial maternity leave from School District 53, Wollf shares her time and talents as the Musical Director of the Oliver Handbell Ringers and will be performing a solo as part of their Christmas concerts entitled “One Winter’s Night” held at Christ the King Catholic Church, Friday, December 15th at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 17th at 3:00pm.
“Handbells are such an amazing instrument – impressive to see and brilliant to hear. They thrilled me at age 11, and still do the same today!” says Wollf, “Come experience their magic this Christmas season!”
Council mulls use of $172K tax windfall
By ROY WOOD
Oliver homeowners are likely facing a 2018 tax hike of between $73 and $157, depending on how town council chooses to use a $172,000 tax windfall.
At a “for information only” peek at town tax plans for 2018, chief financial officer Devon Wannop told the mayor and councillors that preliminary analysis indicates “the average resident … would expect an approximate increase of $157.46 when compared to 2017.”
The total tax bill for an average Oliver home this year was $2,516.97.
The rounded increase breaks down like this:
The town portion of the increase includes nearly $30 per household toward a fund that will help soften the blow of policing cost increases likely to hit in five years.
When Oliver’s population tops 5,000, as it is expected to do in the 2022 census, the town’s share of policing costs will jump from 30 per cent to 70 per cent. The increase would be more that $200,000 per year.
The largest chunk of the RDOS increase is for badly needed repairs at the hockey arena.
As for the windfall, Wannop told council that as a result of significant development in Oliver in 2017, a so-called “non-market change” (NMC) will see the overall value of assessments in Oliver jump by as much as $30 million.
Using 2017 tax rates, that would translate into $172,300 in potential tax revenue. “This could be used to offset the increase for 2018, which could result in an approximate decrease of $84 per residence,” he wrote.
Wannop cautioned that the analysis is preliminary and none of the values in question have been confirmed for 2018.
He pointed out that other municipalities often use such NMCs to bolster reserve funds or for contingencies.
If Oliver decides to do that, the average tax increase will be about 6.3 per cent or $157. Or council could decide to use some or all of the NMC to mitigate the 2018 tax increase.
“Times are pretty good in Oliver right now,” said Mayor Ron Hovanes. “When I look at 6.3 per cent, it doesn’t seem that stark.”
Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger pointed out that the town is only responsible for $53 of the possible tax increase, musing that might be the appropriate amount to cover with the NMC.
Council will begin formal deliberations on the town’s general budget in January. The final budget is due in May.
“We will have to discuss what we are comfortable with taking to the taxpayer,” Hovanes said.
Meanwhile, council gave first, second and third readings to the sewer and water tax bylaws. As reported on ODN last week, their contributions to the total tax increase are $12 and $10 respectively.
WORLD AIDS DAY
This year Canadian Grandmothers have launched a wonderful book, “Powered by Love” that is already a critical read for anyone who is working on HIV&AIDS policy and funding internationally. It puts grandmothers at the heart of the response to AIDS and gives voice to their expertise in sub-Saharan Africa at the frontlines around AIDS and in Canada around fundraising, awareness raising, and a new solidarity model.
The publishers of “Powered by Love” have been bowled over by the way Canadian grandmothers have mobilized to ensure that African grandmothers are heard and heeded and given prominence in sharing their stories of triumphs over adversity. You can purchase the book at Coles in Penticton.
The Canadian grandmothers movement is now celebrated the world over. There are 240 groups across Canada including the Oliver group that meets the first Thursday of each month at 1 pm in the United Church basement and is aways happy to welcome new members. We are all part of a remarkable solidarity and social justice journey.
Stephen Lewis sums up the Canadian Grandmothers Campaign: “It’s really quite remarkable to see what time and generosity and compassion have wrought. Out of the despair of AIDS has come a powerful social movement, uniting two continents in abashed solidarity.”
Since its beginning in 2006, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaing has exploded into an unstoppable movement of dynamic women who, alongside the Stephen Lewis Foundation, developed an entirely new model of development, built on a mutual respect and a deep appreciation for the dignity, intelligence and courage of African grandmothers. More than $25 million has been raised to fund grassroots project in the Africas.
Fall 2017 surveys of kokanee in main valley Okanagan Lakes show fluctuating numbers, according to Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development biologists.
The Wood Lake kokanee population continues to demonstrate signs of recovery after poor in-lake conditions led to a significant increase in mortality rates for kokanee of all ages in 2011. In 2017, over 34,000 kokanee returned to the tributaries of Wood Lake to spawn. Given the high number of returning kokanee, the ministry will continue to allow a fishery on Wood Lake from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2018. Ministry staff are working collaboratively with the District of Lake Country, Oceola Fish and Game Club, and the Okanagan Indian Band to improve spawning conditions in Middle Vernon Creek.
Routine surveys of fish returning to spawn along the main valley shorelines and lake tributaries help the ministry monitor the health of the fishery and set angling regulations. The 2017 results indicate:
* Okanagan Lake kokanee spawners totalled 182,500. Stream-spawning kokanee totalled 28,500 and shore-spawning kokanee totalled 154,000 fish. These returns approximate the 10-year average return.
* In Kalamalka Lake, kokanee numbers totalled 67,000. This is the highest return on record, and the run was largely dominated by shore-spawning kokanee.
* In Skaha Lake, kokanee and sockeye numbers totalled 32,000.
Kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon found in all of the Okanagan main valley lakes. They represent a fishery resource and an important part of the natural ecosystem. The ministry and its partners will continue efforts to restore spawning and rearing habitats and ensure the long-term health of kokanee populations.
Locked in the Vault…Emergency Measure Failure
When I started working at the Kelowna and District Credit Union, I was taken on a tour of the building. It was two stories high and had offices on the main floor that were tucked in here and there. Upstairs was the boardroom, lunchroom, washrooms and an open air office for Mrs. Hyde. I loved her office. You could stand at the railing and survey the whole bottom half of the building except for the Collections Office.
Since I would be training new tellers I was given the combination to the vault and instructed on what to do in a variety of emergencies…power failure and robberies were two main emergencies that we paid special attention to.
In the event of a power failure, the main vault door was swung shut and the combination turned off. We understood this would be a 12 hour shutdown. In the event of a robbery, whoever was closest would step into the vault and shut the door from the inside and turn off the combination. There was a telephone inside and we would wait until it rang. The vault could be opened right away from the inside only if it was shut from the inside. If the vault door was closed from the outside, it was a 12 hour wait. It all seemed simple enough.
One afternoon the secretary and I were standing inside the vault talking as I sorted old bills to be destroyed. All of a sudden we heard the ping of the silent alarm and before we could move to the door, it swung shut and we heard the unmistakable sound of the combination being turned off. Well crap…what in heck would we do now?
We rang our Manager’s extension but he didn’t answer. We started to ring every extension in the building with no answer. We could only assume that the place was being robbed because the phones worked in the event of a power failure.
After a half hour wait, we tried phoning again..this time we got Ron on the phone. He was frantic as everyone was looking for the two of us! Well, Ron…someone was supposed to COME into the vault to shut the door..instead it was slammed shut from outside and locked and Val and I are inside.
It turned out that one of the tellers thought she was about to be robbed and Sharon, our office manager just slid her chair back and casually shut the vault door not realizing we were inside. It was a false alarm but that did not do anything for the two of us inside.
As thick as the vault door is, we could clearly hear the laughter when Ron explained where we were. Maybe they thought it was funny but we realized that we might be spending the next 12 hours locked in the vault…no food or drink..no bathroom..no smoke break.
The phone rang and Ron said that a technician from the Vault Company was just coming in the door. Unbeknownst to us, there was a built in code that would open the door at any time but only by a Vault employee with the special code.
When the door finally swung open, there stood our Manager with two cups of coffee and two cigarettes and a big goofy smile on his face. We were no worse for the wear but demanded hazard pay! Absolutely Ron responded as he produced a plate of fresh donuts as he knew neither Val nor I could go more than one hour without food!!!
Yes, it was just another day in an otherwise normal day LOL. I have to admit I was pretty leery about going into the vault to work and started taking my work out to Val’s desk instead.
If something stupid was going to happen, you can bet I would be somewhere in the mix of it all!!
On Snowbrush Street – just north of Rd 4 (east side of street)
First arriving officer confirmed that there was a trailer fully involved. 2 pumpers and 1 water tender responded with 13 firefighters. Fire was quickly extinguished. No one is believed to be living in the trailer at the time.
The cause is undetermined and is under investigation. The trailer adjacent to a home that appears unoccupied.
Oliver Fire Department
Oliver Town council meeting today and tomorrow with regular business and the second go at the water and sewer budgets.
Council has approved a $3000 grant to the 232 Bighorn Squadron, Air Cadets – a part share of a $35,000 cost of 42 solar panels at a unit price of $700. The squadron has raised $9000 so far including the Town grant. Fund raising continues. The organization expects to save $4000 in electrical fees once the project is complete. Decision confirmed at regular meeting.
Council has agreed with a staff request to arrange a 30 year lease from the BC Government on a 3.290 ha piece of Crown land south of the old Rustico Winery (it is called the Road 16 pit and has been used by SOLID/Town for many years. There is no fee but the province does have some concerns about it use.
Council has okayed a plan to expand it’s “Good Citizens” and Volunteer Appreciation events. Staff will work with the Regional Director and the Oliver Parks and Recreation Society to finance the project.
Tonight Council is expected to award a contract to Munday Media and Design for a new look at corporate branding for the municipality. The cost just over $44,000 – much of which will be paid for by a grant from the provincial government. Munday Media is a local company. The recommendation came from the Downtown Action Plan committee. Oliver’s corporate branding was designed in the 1990 and all concerned believe it has merit but needs to redefined with a focus to making it better known. Decision confirmed at regular council meeting.
Have your say
Rotary Park & Beach is located at 6759 Lakeside Drive and includes a beach, picnic area, playground equipment, and washrooms. A number of issues had been identified, and the section below identifies a variety of potential solutions for each which have been discussed thus far.
Issue Potential Solution
1. Geese Create Natural Barrier – Create barrier between water’s edge and grass – riparian area, cattails, etc. Motion sprinklers? Dummy-birds? Continue egg addling. Work with neighbouring property owners to develop a
2. Slope on east side is difficult to mow. Naturalize Slope – Allow portions of the slope to naturalize to minimize mowing steep areas.
3. Irrigation problems: Adjust Irrigation Timing – Adjust the timing so water doesn’t pond near slope toe. Adjust the heads to remove those closest to the sand that get jammed.
4. Unused west side: Introduce paddling center with dock. Lease to others at first? Storage area for boats. Reduce mowing on the west side to maybe once or twice per year to allow it to naturalize. Create meadow look around boating area (it will get worn down anyway by boat loading, etc.).
5. Not enough picnic tables (only 5-6) Introduce more benches and tables. Move away from concrete tables, but create larger cement pads for tables (current ones are too small). Install composite on the cement terrace so it’s friendlier for sitting.
6. Park Accessibility Increase Accessibility – Open up the main pedestrian entrance to provide a more welcoming entrance to the park and include wheelchair accessible ramp(s). Develop a less formal walkway down to the dock/water as part of the paddling centre. Create a couple of accessible picnic tables. Washrooms will need fixing to make them accessible (currently steps).
7. Swimming area poorly defined and lacking interest. Invest in swimming area – Waterslide. Buoys to define the swim area. Water Quality – Publicize the current water testing on site and in paper. Public perception that the water is dirty, but it gets tested every week.
8. Park Upgrades Bathroom roof – Plant green roof on bathroom building (currently sheet metal view).Fence on eastern side (Lakeside resort barbed wire fence) – Install a neighbor-friendly fence or planting to discourage access to the barbed wire.
Manager Carol Sheridan made a recent presentation to the Oliver Rotary Club to suggest a legacy project for the local club in the next few years. ODN toured Rotary Beach with Sheridan today.
LIBERALS ADOPT NDP PROPOSAL TO CLOSE LOOPHOLE IN SPECIES AT RISK ACT
OTTAWA – Today the Liberal government announced that they have adopted an NDP proposal to close a loophole in the Species at Risk Act. In September 2017, Richard Cannings, MP (South Okanagan – West Kootenay) introduced Bill C-363, An Act to amend the Species at Risk Act (amendment of the List) in the House of Commons which proposed closing a loophole that the Canadian government has used for years to delay or deny protection for species deemed to be at risk.
“The Species at Risk Act was designed to provide governments with a transparent and timely process to accept scientific advice on which species require protection. Under the Act, that advice comes from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and the Minister has 9 months to make a decision—to list or not—after receiving that advice. Unfortunately previous governments found the wording of the Act ambiguous and often chose to ignore those timelines. In fact, the Conservative government made no decisions at all about listing between 2011 and 2015, despite the fact that 82 species were assessed as needing that protection” said Cannings.
Bill C-363 proposed to amend the Act to make it clear that the clock starts when the advice is received, and will give the Minister of Environment and Climate Change a clear deadline to make a decision as to whether or not a species will be added to the lists in the Act. At a meeting of COSEWIC, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna today announced that the government would be enacting Mr.Cannings’ proposal in government policy. “I’m glad the government has seen the merit in my proposal and I want to thank them for working with me to ensure that the Species at Risk act functions as it was intended to all along. “ said Cannings.