Source: Town of Oliver
Archives for February 26, 2019
By ROY WOOD
As part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness of her organization, Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre executive director Marieze Tarr updated Oliver council on Monday on several of the programs and resources available to the community.
Tarr was appointed last January last year, shortly after stepping away from 16 years as a school trustee, including six as board chair.
With nine full-time and nine part-time staffers and a large group of volunteers, Desert Sun provides an array of programs covering women’s and men’s counselling, affordable housing, effective parenting, seniors’ support and more. Some of the programs Tarr mentioned to council included:
Community Kitchen. Once a week in Oliver and Osoyoos. Aimed at moms but open to anyone, the program leader and the clients cook a meal in the kitchen and then eat it together. There are leftovers, which clients take home to provide another meal. There is a child minder available and a support worker to provide parenting advice for anyone who needs it.
Better at Home takes the view that seniors are often better off in their own homes than in institutions and offers supports to make life at home possible, including yard care and snow removal as well as transporting seniors to appointments and on errands.
Men’s Shed starts April 1 at Sandalwood in Oliver. It offers a meeting place for single, older men for five hours a day Monday to Friday. Social workers say that many solitary seniors can become isolated and depressed, particularly in winter. Clients will be encouraged to socialize and pursue hobbies. And there will be computer training.
Fearlessly Facing Forward was a summer camp aimed at helping children dealing with anxiety. Tarr said the group hopes to expand the program to two one-week camps, one for Osoyoos and one for Oliver.
A Youth Drop-In Centre is a project Desert Sun is working on and hopes to have running shortly. The idea is to provide youth with a place to go and positive things to in the after-school hours.
Sandalwood Court, an 18-unit apartment building on Main Street in Oliver, was recently purchased by Desert Sun as an affordable housing project. Tarr said the group inherited the current tenants, but hopes, “through attrition to meet affordable housing needs.”
Roots of Empathy is a program Tarr coordinated at the school district and has taken with her to Desert Sun. Kids from kindergarten to grade eight learn empathy and emotional intelligence through interaction with a volunteer mother and baby.
Safe Home is a program for women in abusive relationships. The program offers a crisis line and a safe place for women and children fleeing the relationships to stay.
Desert Sun partners with several organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, United Way. School District 53, Interior Health, Osoyoos Rotary and OneSky Community Resources in Penticton.
I’m walking in the park feeling free and unafraid. Thinking to myself, this is how women should feel in a public space but am also aware this is not always the case. However, I’m in Oliver, a small friendly town. Various people are walking their dogs and all stop to chat and introduce their pets – Sadie, Willy, Rusty and Max – I’ll get to know them all soon and will start carrying milk bones in my pocket. Up ahead is a long wire fence dividing the park walkway from private property. I see a man with his dog talking to a large light grey horse and he is holding out an apple.
Spotting me he asks, “Did you bring anything?”
“Uh, no,” is my response.
“Well!” exclaims the man. “If you are going to walk around here, you should bring an apple or carrot to share.”
“Oh. I’m new here and didn’t know the protocol involved just circling the park,” I said.
“His name is Darryl and he will come when you call him,” said the man.
“Oh, okay, I’ll remember that,” I replied and resumed walking. A pleasant interlude.
The park pathway navigates around the Community Centre. I stop to read the window notices. There is so much going on here and something for everyone’s interest to say nothing of being surrounded by golf courses and wineries.
I wind my way over a small bridge (circa 1955) and head to the library. On the way, I step aside as tiny tots are being led that way by rope. A teacher in front and back with the pre-schoolers down the middle grasping onto the rope with tiny hands. Oh, the pleasure of seeing all their innocent faces. Once inside the library, their coats and boots are shucked off and piled in a heap. They are welcomed to lay on a large rug or sit in little chairs, while one of the teachers reads to them – it’s a lovely small town sight. No security officers needed here! I use my time to order a couple of books I’ve been looking for. Pleasant, efficient service and they will call me in a few days to pick up same. So easy.
I cross over to the drugstore to pick up a prescription. I’m greeted by name and sit down for a short wait. The pharmacist comes from around the counter and sits with me for a bit just inquiring as to how I am feeling in general. I’m impressed – one doesn’t usually get this type of caring service – nope – only in Oliver, as the saying goes. Feeling good, I head uphill to a neat, funky little coffee shop located in an old church building.
They serve good local coffee, as well as homemade muffins or scones baked right on the premises. No “trucked” in goodies sold here. Local art work covers the walls and one feels ever so comfortable relaxing in one of their arm chairs. I see friends greeting friends- there are hugs galore and I’m part of that loving feeling that fills the room.
Across the street is a “real” post office. No lining up at drugstores or wherever for stamps and parcels – they do it all right here – all so handy. One wintry icy day, as I gingerly picked my way across the road to access the post office, a young man stopped, and parking his car, got out and offered me his arm. He guided me inside and then waited to assist with my return. I was so grateful and regretted not getting his name. Had I been in a major urban city, a young man or men might have stopped just long enough to grab my purse! Nope, this is small town Oliver. A similar experience happened at one of the grocery stores, as I navigated the icy parking lot. A woman got out of her car and assisted me to the main door and even pulled out a shopping cart for me. The kindness of a stranger!
With spring comes walking beside the river on the well maintained hike and bike trail. Bird life abounds and it is a pleasure to hear the blackbirds trill amongst the bulrushes. I decide to sit on one of the stone benches provided at intervals along the way. And so I’m just resting and drinking in the greenery and watching the ducks foraging or simply paddling around. Suddenly my reverie is broken by the raucous sound of a bicycle bell. A Senior Citizen woman is pedaling towards me and is topless! As she bobs and bicycles past, she merrily sings out, “Good morning!” I am too astounded to reply to her. An elderly couple is approaching me walking arm in arm.
“Did you see that?” I question them.
“Oh yes,” replied the woman calmly.
“Didn’t do a thing for me,” he replies.
“Likely be arrested riding publicly like that elsewhere but then this IS Oliver.” I said.
The three of us share a laugh and resume our walking in opposing directions. I’m still smiling when a delicate perfume surrounds me. What is it? Then I spot the wild roses on either side of the trail sharing their pink pastel beauty, as well as their pleasant scent. I feel honoured to be aware and accept this gift from nature.
Returning to my car, I decide to check in at the hospital lab for some previously scheduled blood tests that I had been putting off. It’s five minutes to anywhere in central Oliver, so I drive straight in to the hospital parking area and am grateful for the spaces provided and no parking charges. What a privilege! Inside service is quick and efficient at the lab. There are no people lying on cots in hallways waiting for admission here. All is calm despite staffing issues.
We decide to go to the movie theatre one night. Unbelievable value at $5.50 each, the seniors rate. My husband enjoys the popcorn made right on site and the “real” butter gushed over all. Of course, there are no parking charges, so we enjoy a cheap evening out; as well as it’s only maybe seven minutes from home. Another evening, we have tickets for a live performance at the Venables theatre. No parking problems here either and not a bad seat in the house. Wine (of course) is served at intermission, in keeping with Oliver’s reputation as wine capital of Canada. The local theatre troupe is A-1 in all its performances. There is so much talent offered both on stage and behind the scenes.
The harvest is in! Orchards and large gardens offer food of your choosing. Drive up any side road and buy directly from farmers or pick your own at a reduced cost. Also, there are many fruit stands lining the highway, an abundance of fruits, vegetables, honey, jams and syrups. It is indeed a great privilege to live in this agricultural area of plenty.
I have lived in many places and come from far away –
But little old Oliver is where I intend to stay.
August 25, 1962 – February 14, 2019
It is with great sadness we announce the sudden and untimely passing of Dwayne Edmond Emery in Oliver, BC on February 14, 2019 at the age of 56.
Dwayne’s passing has left a great emptiness in the lives of his parents Edmond & Norma Emery; his children Rebecca (Steven) Fields and her mother Corky & Dana (Heather) Emery and his mother Diane; grandchildren Isla & Emilia Emery; sister Shirley (John) Williams; niece Kayla Williams and younger brother Dale (Laura) Emery; nieces Nicole & Michelle Appelhoff.
Dwayne is also survived by his Uncle Albert & Aunt Barbara Emery; cousins Shelley Coxen, Stephen (Donna) Emery; his Uncle Don (Jean) Stephens; cousins Rik (Suzie), Greg, Danny (Melanie) Stephens, Tabatha Pawlyshyn & Bekki Kennedy and numerous cousins across BC and Alberta.
Dwayne’s departure also leaves a hole in his partner, Jo Tanner and her children Kim Marsh, Korry Martin, Kevin & Shelby Smith’s everyday lives.
Dwayne is predeceased by Grandparents Charlie & Donna Stephens of Oliver BC;
Lloyd & Lora Emery of Armstrong BC, Uncle Glen & June Emery, Aunt Ruby& Bill Careless and Aunt Della Smith.
Dwayne was born in Dawson Creek, BC on August 25,1962 and attended school in Aldergrove, Fernie, Westbank and Kamloops as the family traveled together following BC Hydro Construction. He made Oliver his home after graduating at SOSS in 1981.
Dwayne’s enthusiasm, strong work ethic, unique outlook on life, sense of humor, ever-readiness to help those in need and smile rewarded him with many life long friends in his employment at Chevron, OK Tire, RDOS Landfill, Rapid Transfer and Growers Supply South Valley.
Dwayne valued family, which included his Oliver Fire Department Brothers and Sister. His 20 years of volunteer service found him always ready to serve in community, emergency services and fire safety for WCRA events. Dwayne will be missed by many in the community he served but the loss will be greatest for those family that awake to every new day without his smile.
The funeral service will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the Oliver Community Center. A reception will follow at the Oliver Fire Department Hall.
No Flowers by Request of the Family
Donations gratefully accepted to the BC Heart and Stoke Foundation, #4 – 1551 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 9M9.
Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting www.nunes-pottinger
Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association Calls on Provincial Government to Act on Milfoil and Siltation Issues
The Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association Board would like to thanks the RDOS and Laratt Aquatic for the study on Vaseux Lake’s water quality, siltation and milfoil proliferation. The study identified some good recommendations for milfoil control and highlighted the serious siltation problem at the north end of Vaseux Lake.
The Association does have one concern relating to the conclusion that milfoil growth in Vaseux Lake is the same as 40 years ago without having any kind of context relating to the record flooding in 2017 and 2018 added in the study.
It was obvious to all home owners on Vaseux Lake that there had been a major reduction in milfoil in 2017 and 2018 which was not the norm and the Association advised RDOS in early August 2017 when water levels were still at record highs at Vaseux Lake that it was not a good time to start the water study. It was felt the flooding would impact key results especially around the milfoil proliferation and overall water quality since the lake was being flushed out twice a week and water levels had been at record highs for months. During certain points in both the spring 2018 and summer of 2017, Okanagan River broke 100 years of water flow records at the mouth of Vaseux Lake dating back to 1913. Water levels at Vaseux Lake in the spring 2018 and summer 2017 were also broken dating back to when Vaseux Lake water level data collection started in 1991.
It is well documented that milfoil growth is very much impacted by an increase or decrease in water flow, water depth, water clarity or temperature variations and all these parameters were affected by the flooding.
The study does provide some good insight on the siltation and various water quality issues that would not have been impacted by the flooding and does make some sound recommendations.
There is no doubt that within a few years milfoil will be back in Vaseux Lake unless the rototiller is authorized.
It is more important than ever to get the rototiller in the lake in 2019 to keep the milfoil from proliferating again. After 3 years of waiting, the Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association is calling on the Provincial Government to authorize a pilot project that has been requested by the Okanagan Basin Water Board in partnership with the Okanagan Nation Alliance to test the Rototiller in Vaseux Lake.
Finally the siltation at the North end of the Lake is getting so bad that large section of Vaseux Lake is now being lost. The Province needs to look at dredging the mouth of Vaseux Lake and create a large sedimentary pond to slow the siltation of the lake.
The small pond in Shuttleworth Creek is simply not large enough to contain the silt that comes down the creek every spring.
There also needs to be a more comprehensive study to determine the cause of the increase in silt flowing into Vaseux Lake and how to reduce it.
Submitted by Norm Gaumont
Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association
You can send in a consultation survey form – the period ends March 15th
Consultation with stakeholders ends Thursday of this week
There is NO opportunity for public meetings with Parks Canada
It is a top down system of seeing who Parks Canada wants to see and when
There are countless documents, websites, videos, colour paper presentations but no way to sit down and talk.
You the reader are the student – Parks Canada is the instructor, the expert
Oliver Council is asking for a referendum prior to the establishment of such a reserve in the South Okanagan
Don’t you think the decision has been made? – and all of this is just public relations, PR, and expensive flackery?
The Oliver Hospital Thrift Shop have made a $15,000.00 donation to the Masonic Cancer Car program. Your continued support of our program is a perfect example of volunteers helping volunteers. By your hard work in raising this amount in the thrift shop, you make it possible for our volunteers to assist cancer patients from the South Okanagan in their quest to travel to and from Kelowna for their treatments.
The Cancer Car conveys patients for daily treatment to Kelowna at no cost to them or the Canadian Cancer Society. Since the inception of the program in 1998 we have been able to provide 38,000 patient trips covering more than 1,020,000 Kilometers from the South Okanagan all with volunteer drivers.
We have every intention of continuing the program so long as there is a need, which at this time there appears to be no end.
Okanagan Cancer Car Project
Okanagan Cancer Car project
By ROY WOOD
Oliver council this evening adopted its strategic plan for the four-year term members were elected to in November.
Council met with staff twice in January to rank and prioritize all the things that it wants to accomplish and to develop an action plan to reach the goals.
Also included are the “Mayor and Council Guiding Principles.” They are:
- Open for business, customer service is important.
- Downtown is more healthy through revitalization.
- Consultation and communication is important for council decision making.
- Cost conscious through knowing where value lies and how value can impact the operation as a whole.
- Council believes in downtown business momentum.
- Council decisions will be based on business cases.
- Setting the tone from the top through ethical integrity leadership.
- Economy of Oliver is balanced and growing.
- Affordable comfortable community.
- Tax rates supportable by the community.
- Community strengths:
- The skills and talents of individual people
- Resources offered by local associations and organizations
- The arts, culture and heritage of the community
- Diversity in the economy.
- Innovative through continuous improvement to municipal systems and processes.
According to a report from chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan, council will receive quarterly updates on progress being made on the strategic plan.
After being approved by council tonight, the complete strategic plan will be on the town’s website soon.
By ROY WOOD
As expected, Councillor Dave Mattes cast the deciding vote this evening in favour of Oliver council asking the federal government to hold a referendum on the question of a national park reserve in the South Okanagan.
The vote came after Mayor Martin Johansen used a provision of the Community Charter to bring back a motion that failed on a tie two weeks ago when Mattes was absent.
Johansen and Councillor Aimee Grice once again voted in favour, both indicating that they believe the residents of the area should have a voice in the decision.
Councillor Petra Veintimilla, who again voted against the motion, referred to the Parks Canada’s survey of public opinion on the issue: “There is a way for people to be part of the conversation.”
She added, however, that she would support a motion for a referendum if it included some timing guidelines for a referendum. Chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan pointed out that a motion up for reconsideration cannot be amended.
Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger continues to believe that council needs to remain neutral on the entire national park issue and that endorsing a referendum may be seen as taking sides.
The mayor reiterated that, “All we’re doing is saying that people should have a voice in the decision.”
The resolution reads: “That Council direct staff to prepare a letter requesting the Federal Government to undertake a referendum in the South Okanagan-Similkameen area on the creation of the National Park Reserve.”