By ROY WOOD
The school board is taking its plea for consistent and predictable funding directly to the minister of education, citing the premier’s claim that BC’s economy is leading the nation.
Trustees of the Okanagan-Similkameen school district will send a letter thanking Education Minister Mike Bernier for the money announced this summer to keep Osoyoos Secondary School open.
However, the letter added: “Although this has been very positive, we are hopeful that this is not just one-time funding, but that these additional dollars will now become part of the consistent, stable and predictable long-term funding that we will be able to rely on.”
Parents, students and others in the community depend on the school board to provide well-planned, quality education programs, the letter continues. “For us to be able to provide this we need predicable, stable and sustainable funding especially in an environment of ever increasing costs.”
The letter points to a claim by Premier Christy Clark that the BC economy is tops in the country and that increases in tax revenues will be “sustainable over time.”
The letter continues: “Investing in classrooms and educational leaders, we believe, will ensure the continued success of our students.”
Elsewhere at Wednesday’s meeting, trustees offered similar ideas to be brought forward at an upcoming BC School Trustees Association issues session.
“The challenge (for school boards) is to plan long-term when (funding) is all so unpredictable,” said board chair Marieze Tarr.
She also pointed out that BC has the second lowest per-student funding level among the provinces.
It’s been 14 years since the district received money to upgrade school buildings, she said, and the condition of most of them has been classified as poor or very poor.
Trustee Rob Zandee suggested that provincial funding should include an “escalator” to allow for inevitable increases in utilities and other costs.
Tarr added that while the district welcomes new programs introduced by the province, such as the recently announced compute coding course, the ministry needs to provide funding for the extra training ad other associated costs.
Reporter Roy Wood
Culinary arts coming to SOSS
A new culinary arts program will get under way in February at Southern Okanagan Secondary in partnership with Camosun College.
Students will take technical training on-line from Camosun and attend a once-a-week lab in the foods room at SOSS, led by a chef from Terrafina restaurant.
Superintendent Bev Young told the board Wednesday that so far just four students are registered for the six available seats. She said the program might end up being offered just every two years, depending on demand.
Anti-bullying policy expanding
The ministry of education will create a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) education advisor role to help BC school districts with establishing or enhancing anti-bullying policies as they relate to LGBTQ students.
The new role follows an announcement last month from the ministry of education that all boards must include explicit reference to “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression” in the anti-bullying policies.
Superintendent Bev Young and one teacher will attend a “SOGI policy summit” in Richmond later this month. An updated policy incorporating the mandated language will be discussed at the November policy committee meeting.
Enrollment up in Oliver and Osoyoos
Year-over-year enrollment numbers are up in the district, leading to the addition of a class at each of Oliver Elementary and Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary.
From Oct. 2, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016 total full-time equivalent students in the District are up by almost 87 students.
The increase has occurred in the three schools in Oliver and two in Osoyoos, all of which saw their numbers rise. FTE counts fell in all of the schools in Keremeos, Cawston and Okanagan Falls.
The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce held its monthly Business Networking event Wednesday evening.
The host for the October event was South Okanagan Immigrant and Communty Services (SOICS), located on Main Street in downtown Oliver.
An enthusiastic group of more than 30 turned out to enjoy great food, the chance to network with other businesses, and to hear from a few business leaders, such as Joey O’Brien from Baldy Mountain Resort, who is excited about the fact there is indeed snow on Baldy.
President Corrie Adolph acknowledged the fact it’s Small Business Month, and the importance of getting involved in Chamber activities.
Tahira Saeed, Program Manager at SOICS, provided some inspiring details on how the SOICS team can help people.
“In the last year, we served more than 1,500 clients, from over 60 countries, and we provide a variety of services. Our services are free for all immigrants and refugees, and that includes temporary foreign workers. We have language classes. We provide paperwork for their immigration-related processes. We also have one-on-one tutoring. We have child-minding. We have workshops. We are a staff of 19 people. We speak 12 languages, and we have two offices – in Oliver and in Penticton. And we do remote services in Osoyoos.”
You can find out more information at: www.soics.ca.
Several reports to ODN of unsafe driver action around School Bus off loading.
We asked the School District about it:
We are not aware of any statistics/ increases of this concern; however, there is a province wide concern and it has happened in our district. We are seeking funding for exterior mounted cameras on buses to capture offenders not heeding the stop arm. These cameras will enable us to provide clear information to the RCMP and get the word out that they exist. We are hoping this can be accomplished this school year. Meanwhile, if there is anything that the media or RCMP can do to encourage drivers to watch for flashing lights and stop arms and obey the law, we would be appreciative of this as
Superintendent of Schools
We asked the RCMP about it:
We did receive a call last week from someone about this but the caller had no specific information to provide. They were told that we would absolutely investigate reports of unsafe driving around school buses and to call back anytime they witness this. For us to successfully investigate these types of incidents a licence plate of the vehicle involved and location of where this is happening helps.
We have not received any reports from bus drivers nor has the SD asked or requested any observation or enforcement.
Cpl. Christiana Tarasoff
Oliver Detachment, RCMP
With a by-election set to take place in a couple of weeks – voters in the Town of Osoyoos and Regional District Area A Trustee Electoral Area will go to the polls to select one school trustee replacing June Harrington.
Three candidates have put their name forward.
Advance voting day: October 26, 2016 – Osoyoos Elementary School library
Election day: November 5, 2016 – Osoyoos Elementary School library
Penny Duperron has jumped out of the gate early, and now has a couple of signs visible along Main Street in Osoyoos.
Casey Brouwer and John Redenbach are also in the race.
This is what I was doing in France. My son, Steve Boyd, went with me to the battle fields of the Somme. We wanted to be there on Oct. 8th because my grandmother’s little brother was killed there that day along with a huge number of other Canadian men. Steve wanted to play laments on his bagpipes at the gravesite near the actual place Alexander was killed 100 years later and he did. Alexander’s body was never recovered. Most the young men killed that day (there were hundreds of them) ended up lost in the mud and have no known graves.
Photo and liners submitted by Marion Boyd
Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa are preparing for their Fall Frenzy at Medici’s Gelateria on Friday, October 21st from 10 am to 2 pm. This is a perfect opportunity to get a head start on Christmas shopping. Bring friends, treat yourself to a latte or gelato and select gifts from a unique variety of handmade items from Africa as well as some items made locally.
It is a time for fun while knowing your purchases are doing good in a troubled world. All the proceeds from sales are donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation which supports community based organizations that are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa. We support women who are ill and struggling to survive; assist orphans and other AIDS affected children; reach heroic grandmothers caring for their orphan grandchildren; and sustain associations of people living with HIV and AIDS. Since 2003 the Foundation has funded over 1,400 initiatives and partnered with over 300 community based organizations in 15 countries.
When you arrive at Medici’s expect to see Woza Moya dolls, beaded zebras and giraffes in Zulu colours. There will be woven bowls, bowl buddies and water bottle carriers as well as many many hand crafted Christmas ornaments, beaded greeting cards, exotic Fair Trade jewellry and Pashminas. If you start to feel frazzled, just buy one of the African themed colouring books and colour yourself into a meditative state while sipping a latte with a friend. It is a ‘no guilt’ occasion where every cent you spend goes to help African kids survive and thrive.
Last year the Oliver Fall Frenzy raised well in excess of $1000. It truly is amazing the way the Grandmother to Grandmother idea spreads. Collaborative, inclusive and respectful, it has become a global movement. Together we sing and we laugh and we move forward. African grandmothers with Canadian grandmothers at their side have found voice, regained a sense of optimism and continue to be the best hope for healing a new generation of African kids despite the terrible trauma and loss of their early years.
Come join us at Medici’s and celebrate the expertise and resilience of African grandmothers. They are moving forward and we are deeply connected to them as we raise money to help fund the grassroots programs they now run. Set problems aside for a bit and be part of the solution!!
Anyone interested in joining the local Grandmothers group will be warmly welcomed.
Susan Elizabeth Schaffrick 1951 – 2016
Susan E. Schaffrick passed away at home in her sleep, Sunday, October 9th, 2016 at age 64 years. She was the daughter of a pioneer Osoyoos family Jack and Pam Field. She was born December 4, 1951 at St. Martin’s Hospital, Oliver.
Sue will be missed by her son Jason Scharien (Bridget); brother Chris Field; sister-in-law Wendy Field; nephew James; nieces Lucy and Gloria; mother-in-law Linda Field as well as other relatives and friends
She was predeceased by her husband Erwin Schaffrick of Oliver (June 2016); her parents Jack and Pamela Field and first husband Gerry Scharien. Sue graduated from South Okanagan Secondary School and owned a small accounting business. She loved her flower garden, bird watching, travelling and shared fishing trips to local lakes with Erwin. We are thankful to the doctors, hospital staff in Oliver and Penticton as well as Daryn Pottinger and John Nunes for their care and compassion.
Cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral service at Sue’s request. Friends and family can drop by the house to offer condolences.
Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium, Oliver & Osoyoos.
Protecting our past so that today’s youth will have a connection to the accomplishments of their forefathers.
In a nutshell, that’s why the Fairview Heritage Townsite Society exists.
However, the future of the Society was in serious jeopardy heading into its Annual General Meeting, held Monday evening at Oliver Community Centre.
In fact, early into the meeting, a motion was passed to waive membership fees in anticipation of the society’s disbandment.
“The existing board does not feel that it wants to continue or that it can continue,” said Fred Wiley, acting chairperson for Monday’s important meeting. “My attitude tonight is that we’re looking to reinvigorate the Society, get as many new people in here as we can with talents in various areas.”
First, a bit of background.
This past February, the RDOS granted a license of occupation for one year. The Society’s directors didn’t think they could attract a developer within that time frame, and began to question if it should stay in existence.
“The mission is to protect, preserve, conserve, and present through education and display the unique history and environment that is the gold mining town of Fairview,” continued Wiley. “Considering recent commercial development interests in Area C and the Osoyoos Band lands, the Society believes that the hotel project and the site enhancement should be pursued by the Fairview Heritage Townsite Society. To do so, it requires legal tenure. – in other words, renewal of the sublease agreement for the lands from the RDOS.”
The goal of the Society is to help preserve the heritage and ecological nature of the area, located up Fairview Rd. and west of the Town of Oliver.
The Fairview Townsite is essentially the historical birth-site of Oliver.
Fairview began as a small claim staked by Fred Gwatkins and George Sheenan in 1887. From there interest in the area snowballed and a great many other claims were staked. The population increased steadily until 1897, when a proper townsite was laid out. It wasn’t long before the amenities of town life arrived at the settlement – a livery, businesses and offices, a drug store, a butcher shop, a Government Building, and hotels with liquor parlours. At its peak, the population of Fairview reached 5,000 and boasted of five operating mines. By the time the Big Tepee Hotel was destroyed by fire in November, 1902, the settlement was beginning to decline.
Now, flip the calendar ahead to 2016, and the society is attempting to secure a developer who would become a partner in attracting tourists to the site, which has a view of the valley all to the way to Osoyoos. The society would like to build a 40 room hotel or even a smaller 10 bed country inn. They’ve even gone so far as to work with an architect to give them some plans and details about layout and viewscapes.
“I think the RDOS has to be convinced to secure the lease again and renew it for at least 10 years,” summarized Wiley. “If you go up there at night – winter, spring, summer or fall – it’s phenomenal to see the geography. The view you have is amazing. The potential for the place is immense.”
In the end, the Society, which was incorporated in 2000, voted to keep pressing forward, elected new directors, and will hold another meeting in the near future with the goal of moving its agenda forward – and attracting new members.
There will be another meeting to discuss the future of the Fairview Townsite.
Watch for more details on ODN.
We’ve had some people ask why? Why does Oliver need another playground? Why can’t we just use the other parks in town? Why is this park important?
It’s important for the children in our community. Community Park with the arena, rec centre, swimming pool, baseball diamonds, band shell and numerous community events is the heart of our small town yet it now lacks a playground. Oliver is blessed with fabulous playgrounds that are used on a daily basis. We don’t deny that. These playgrounds simply aren’t designed for small children. The slides are too long, the gaps too wide, and the monkey bars too high. The grass, gravel and sand also makes these playground difficult for some children and parents to access.
The Oliver Community Park Project has a vision for this playground to be the first fully accessible playground in our community. We teach our children to be inclusive yet we don’t have a playground that is fully inclusive. For those still asking why, THIS is why – Oliver Community Park Project simply wants a place for all children to play. When asked about the playground, Leanne Scott and Dale Fuhr, parents of six year old Callum shared how this accessible playground would benefit their family. [Read more…]
The Spirit of Leadership Forum — an opportunity for young leaders to create a positive, exciting start to the school year and build relationships and bonds with other students and teachers — is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on October 24.
Speakers for the event include Montreal Canadiens legend Ryan Walter, Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie, Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff, Baldy Mountain Resort’s Snowy Joey O’Brien and Spirit of the Games Mike Campol
The event will focus on providing instruction and building leadership capacity among the community’s young leaders.
Grade 7 students from both Osoyoos Elementary, and Sen Pok Chin are invited to the event.
An overnight leadership retreat was planned for Pine’s Bible Camp on Oct. 6/7. Unfortunately, three days before the event, Pine’s had to cancel, citing financial and staffing reasons.
The Spirit of the Game’s Mike Campol was able to arrange space at Spirit Ridge for the event. An overnight component will be scheduled for spring.
For more information, please check out: www.sotgsociety.com.
-Spirit of the Games Society Press Release
Interior Savings employees are rolling up their sleeves to lend a hand in their community and the Credit Union is offering up cash for others who’d like to get in on this act of local good.
This mass volunteering effort marks the third annual Interior Savings’ Day of Difference and will include over 500 employees in 14 communities across the Interior of BC. Interior Savings’ Day of Difference coincides with International Credit Union Day, an annual event commemorating the credit union movement’s impact and achievements globally, nationally, and in local communities – all made possible by the support of its’ members.
Here at home, branches will open up at 9:30 am with treats and gifts for members. Then, at 2:00 pm, Interior Savings will close its doors a little early and employees from Osoyoos to Clearwater will lend a helping hand to those community organizations who work tirelessly for the benefit of others.
The team in Osoyoos will be sorting and repackaging bulk food at the Food Bank. In Oliver, they’ll be helping with fall garden clean up at the Sunnybank Retirement Centre. And a little further north in Okanagan Falls, the garden clean up continues. That team will be working to prepare the Blasted Church Heritage Site for winter while also taking the opportunity to plant perennials for everyone’s enjoyment come spring.
In an added twist, Interior Savings is launching their $10,000 Local Give. Members and local residents will have the opportunity to share what good they would do with $100. The first 100 qualified applicants will receive the cash to make their good idea happen.
Lakeside Travel’s 10th Annual Getaway Gals a Huge Success- once again!
25 woman flew to Porto, Portugal where they explored sights and ‘port wine’ – then bused to Lugo – in Northern Spain to begin a 100km walk in the Camino Pilgrimage! After an amazing week – on their own two legs- they reached Santiago de Compostela – all in great form! What an accomplishment to be proud of! Then they bused to Cascais, Portugal for four days of relaxation. Shopping, touring Lisbon and pool time in the sun! Thanks once again… Lakeside Travel – Deb McCallum
October is Community Living Month in BC. It is important all year long to recognize and thank the organizations that make the lives of our developmentally disabled adults better, but special events during October raise that awareness for all of us. The workers and volunteers who spend their days with the developmentally disabled demonstrate a compassion and caring that is as unique as the adults they help every day. And those with varying degrees of ability contribute in many ways to the fabric of our society. They are skilled in wood working, painting, bike repair and salesmanship, just to mention a few. They are valuable contributing members of our communities.
One year ago, our government launched the Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) to help single parents further their education to those who wish to obtain a job to support their family. Barriers such as the need for child care, transportation, tuition and continuing financial support were all addressed in the SPEI. One of the most important things that government can do for people is give them the opportunities they need to live fulfilling lives, and that starts with a permanent, stable, secure job that allows parents to provide for their families. Since its inception, over 3,600 single parents have taken on the challenge to get back in the workforce and off of social assistance.
This month the Okanagan-Similkameen School District signed their third Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. It was an honour to attend this signing with the Chiefs, School District 53, Ministry of Education, support workers and volunteers who all work together to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students. Through programming that supports Aboriginal history, culture and language, this agreement will build on the knowledge gained from the districts first two enhancement agreements. The school district is to be commended for the work they have done and continue to do to improve outcomes for First Nations students. There are 56 school districts throughout B.C. who participate in these Agreements.
October is also Small Business Month. The goal of the Government of B.C. is to create the best environment for Small Business in Canada. The Boundary-Similkameen has 18 distinct communities and all are dependent on small businesses to create jobs and supply services. The introduction of an Open for Business Award has encouraged local governments to implement policies to enhance small business and cut red tape. The Small Business Roundtable, which I chaired from 2005-2011, focuses on Red Tape Reduction and introduced the Mobile Business Licence and Biz Pal. The Roundtable continues to give input to government on the health of small business in B.C., and make recommendations to improve the small business environment. These businesses are generally owner-operated and depend on the support of their communities. Please shop locally whenever possible and support these hard working business owners.
B.C. agriculture continues to grow its market share worldwide. B.C. is home to over 200 agriculture commodities, 100 harvest-seafood species and over 2,500 businesses that produce food and beverage, ranging from breakfast cereal, to wine, to nutraceuticals. The Taste of British Columbia celebrates B.C.’s agriculture and seafood sector and the importance of this $13 billion industry to our provincial economy.
As our wine festivals and harvesting wind down for another year, perhaps you’ll find time to read a good book. October is Library Month in B.C. With the computer and paperless age we live in you might think that books were no longer important, but statistics tell us that we still read books- real books with pages that you turn by hand. We also continue to use our libraries more than ever, perhaps not just for books anymore, but for the wealth of information in all forms of media that our libraries supply. Who hasn’t seen the wonder on a child’s face when they hold their first book or participate for the first time in Storytime at our local library? Thanks to all the librarians and volunteers who keep our libraries alive and relevant to an ever changing society. Visit your local library- you will be pleasantly surprised at how relevant they still are in today’s world of media offerings.
* Sunday – January 15, 2017 says Okanagan Boundary constituency president Rhonda Bruce*.
The association still setting up details of where and the time.
Mattes says Brenda Dorosz of Osoyoos has been vetted by the party but the local group has not been told of any other candidate for nomination cleared by the provincial organization.
Allan Patton of Oliver is interested and Colleen Ross of Grand Forks area may seek election.
Ross is a farmer and sitting City of Grand Forks councillor. Patton is a farmer and a former RDOS Director.
The election is in May. The incumbent is Liberal MLA Linda Larson of Oliver.
* Denotes changes and corrections
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan revealed Monday it is buying the Canadian operations of U.S. alcohol company Constellation Brands for $1.03 billion.
The purchase will see Teachers acquire Mississauga – based Constellation Brands Canada, which holds three commercial wineries, five estate wineries, and 163 Wine Rack stores throughout Ontario.
The pension plan said Constellation’s Canadian division has approximately three times the market share of its closest competitor and seven of the top 20 wine brands in the Canadian market.
Constellation Brands’ labels include Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs, Kim Crawford, Robert Mondavi, Ruffino, Sawmill Creek and Wallaroo Trail.
Constellation is “already the undisputed market leader in the Canadian wine industry and has excellent potential for continued growth and value creation,” said Jane Rowe, who is senior vice-president of private capital at Teachers.
18:49 pm Monday – McGowan Subdivision – “Homeowners had their irrigation blown out and there was a valve inside the house as a drain that had a ‘build up’ of dust behind it. Valve let go or failed and the dust filled the house causing the home owners to call 911 thinking they had a fire because of the smoke.”
Oliver Fire Department spokesman Rob Graham
Smoke detected from a parked van on a lot off Park Drive. Nothing too serious but fire volunteers on the scene to prevent any fire from spreading.
BC Education Minister Mike Bernier has fired all nine elected Vancouver School Board trustees.
It’s a rare move, but a decision trustees knew could be coming since they rejected a proposal from the government to balance their budget last June, which was required by law.
Bernier said the board was dismissed for missing that deadline, and other issues including bullying accusations.
“What we have witnessed from the Vancouver School Board is a misplaced focus on political tactics rather than responsible stewardship,” said Bernier.
The school board was set to finally pass a balanced budget tonight, because the minister made it clear it was a requirement to receive seismic upgrade funding.
But Bernier’s called it “impossible to have any confidence that a potential last-minute change of position.”
Over the years, the B.C. government has fired at least four other school boards for refusing to balance their budget, including Cowichan Valley in 2012 and North Vancouver in 1996. It last happened in Vancouver in 1985.
It’s the 1960’s and with planes getting faster, it’s becoming more of a challenge for suave bachelor Bernard to juggle his three stewardess fiancees. Armed with his timetable and the help of his loyal but weary housekeeper Bertha, as well as his unworldly old schoolmate, Robert, Bernard tries desperately to manipulate the situation as it unravels in the face of a big storm that sends all three women hurtling his way.
An overnight crash on the William R. Bennet Bridge which temporarily trapped a woman inside her car had the potential for serious injuries
On October 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm, RCMP in West Kelowna responded to a collision after a woman called police to report that she was trapped inside her car after being broadsided by a logging truck on the William R. Bennett Bridge. Emergency crews arrived on scene to discover that the woman had since managed to escape her vehicle. Police have determined that the Kenworth logging truck and Mazda 3 were westbound on the bridge when the semi sideswiped the Mazda as it pulled into the right hand slow lane from the centre lane.
The grey Mazda 3, which sustained significant damage down the driver’s side of the vehicle, was towed from the scene. It’s driver, a 20-year-old Kelowna woman, escaped the crash uninjured.
The driver of the Kenworth was identified as a 53-year-old Revelstoke man.
“RCMP would like to ensure that motorists are aware that commercial vehicles have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles,” states Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Driving alongside a commercial vehicle can be dangerous. Driver’s should consider slowing down to allow these vehicles to pull ahead or pass them when it is safe to do so,” he adds.
“Both commercial vehicle and personal vehicle drivers are urged to take the extra time and precautions to ensure they clear their blind spots of any vehicles and properly signal their lane change,” add O’Donaghey.
If you witnessed this crash and have not yet spoken to police you are asked to contact the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.