S/Sgt. Kirsten Marshall – NCO in charge of South Okanagan-Simikameen Regional Detachment – Rural Supervisor
S/Sgt. Kirsten Marshall – NCO in charge of South Okanagan-Simikameen Regional Detachment – Rural Supervisor
Presentation to School District 53
Ray Haddow, SD 53 Unit Chair, CUPE 523
Our K-12 membership is diverse and vital in the public school system: from the bus drivers and crossing guards who help children arrive at school to those who support students in the system – including IT support, education assistants, education support workers, lunch hour supervisors, library assistants, aboriginal education workers – to maintaining our schools – including maintenance and grounds keepers – through to clerical functions such as school office administration, secretaries, mail delivery drivers, and warehouse clerks.
We thank the trustees for the opportunity to discuss the School District 53 budget process and for providing a budget learning forum. This is an important process for partnership and an appreciated exercise in transparency.
We understand that due to significant and chronic underfunding of K-12 education in the province, the Board is under considerable financial restraint and has had to make some difficult decisions.
This being the case, we must state that we strenuously object to any cuts that would further reduce service delivery, and thus the quality of the educational environment in K-12 in our district.
In particular, the recent consideration of the closure of Osoyoos Secondary School has caused much concern in the community, and amongst CUPE members who take pride in helping to create safe, healthy and vibrant educational environments. We question the value of school closures for a number of reasons.
School closures are devastating to families and communities, as was witnessed by the 100s of parents that have spoken out against the school closures in their communities. Schools are the heart of a community, providing public space as a community hub, in some cases housing programs like strong start, childcare and Ulearn!
While we recognize the pressure put upon the board by the downloading of cuts from the province. Furthermore, school closures may provide a dangerous opening wherein valuable public assets become privatized,. This would drastically alter the community nature of these schools, and make it next to impossible to bring them back into the K-12 system when enrolments increase again.
What is more, school closures make future growth difficult to facilitate. In her response to public concerns over school closures, Premier Christy Clark said “the solution to school closures is to grow the economy”. This is an absurd comment when a critical part of growing the economy is having thriving schools in the community. And, as many parents have pointed out, they chose their communities, in many cases, because of the school in the area.
For these reasons, we feel that collectively we must push back against the 95% capacity rate requirement. It is unclear what purpose the 95% utilization rate is meant to serve. This rate, seemingly determined arbitrarily, has no educational basis. On the contrary, it appears to be based only on a business model that is indifferent to educational and community needs.
The 95% occupancy rate is an issue particularly for rural schools. It really affects communities in the Okanagan where we have small communities. Arbitrary occupancy rates put up another roadblock to keeping schools open and make it difficult for communities to grow.
Our members in the K-12 system are already stretched from years of underfunding, and now the province is asking for even more. While we are all too aware of the constraints school boards find themselves in due to underfunding, we also suggest that at a certain point the strain becomes too much, and we have to push back. For this reason, we are against any of the suggestions that schools be closed, or that staffing levels and programming be cut.
We thank the board for the information that was provided to us earlier, but without knowing the precise nature of these cuts we are limited to talking about the harm of further cuts in very broad terms. However, unsustainable underfunding, and the closure of 242 schools across BC under the current provincial government, does provide some indication of what we are facing. Of course, year after year of subsequent underfunding has a cumulative effect so that we have all witnessed the situation become even more acute with each passing year.
It’s difficult to imagine that already over-stretched staff could be asked to shoulder the burden of even more staffing cuts. And in such case, it is not just CUPE workers and other educational workers who shoulder the burden of underfunding, but ultimately students who lose support services, educational programming, and the guarantee of safe and clean schools. Suggestions that custodial services and secretarial hours will be cut, along with reductions in library support and EA hours, to name just a few, speak to these very concerns. Custodians across the province are already raising concerns about the inability to adequately clean schools. They feel that external expectations of cleanliness are being lowered to levels that they are not comfortable, and to levels that compromise the health of students and staff. They simply do not have the time to clean to a level they deem acceptable. Consequently, we think that any further reduction in custodial hours is highly disagreeable.
Our clerical staff, already stretched by the implementation of the problematic MyEdBC data management system will be further challenged by summer reductions, not to mention the influx of students that will come from Osoyoos Secondary when that school is closed. Clerical staff perform a plethora of duties every day that keep schools running smoothly – including confirming attendance and making calls to confirm children are safe and accounted for; helping parents and students with permission slips forms needed for the curriculum; and daily communications including announcements, emails, helping school visitors, and relaying maintenance needs to staff. In most cases our library workers also provide clerical services as well as keeping the library running effectively, helping students and staff find materials and sourcing items not readily available.
Our mechanic maintains the safe mechanical operation of all fleet vehicles – including buses and mini buses – inspects all buses and equipment to certify them for safety, and also deals with day-to-day breakdowns and issues. All CUPE members in SD 53 are an important part of our education system.
We believe that CUPE 523’s working environment is also the learning environment for students in School District 53. We keep this in mind in all the work that we do. This is a board that has always been transparent with us; we welcome the opportunity to work with you to meet these challenges.
I want to let you know that CUPE will be fighting the BC Liberal government’s plan to implement attendance management in B.C. schools. Many school boards are allocating funds to keep this unilateral process into place that largely duplicates the Joint Early Intervention Service (JEIS) program that is widely respected across the country for its innovation and success. JEIS is 100 per cent funded by the Ministry through PEBT and already allows for people to be contacted to assist in their return to work. They are automatically contacted by JEIS after their sixth day being away. It’s ridiculous that the government would even consider saddling school districts with even more costs in addition to increased hydro and MSP rates.
Finally, we believe that those of us that are committed to maintaining a vibrant K-12 public education system must challenge the amount of funding being directed to private schools in the province. Funding for private schools in British Columbia has increased 61.1% since 2005-06, while the public system remains woefully underfunded, and now we are being asked to bear the brunt of more cuts.
The amount of public funding provided to the province’s private schools is approximately $311 million for 2015-16, and expected to rise to $358 in 2015-17 – an additional 15.1%. This is simply disgraceful in the face of school closures and programming cuts in the public system.
In closing, we thank the board for listening to our concerns, and respectfully make the following requests and recommendations:
We recommend/ask that this school board:
We look forward to continuing to work together with our other partner groups,school board and trustees to support students in K-12, and am asking this board to stand up together with other trustee boards across the province to a government that is out of touch with the needs of citizens. I urge you to reject BC Liberal cuts. Our kids deserve a better K-12 system that is properly funded.
Budget and enrollment
The 2016/17 annual budget bylaw is attached for your approval. The budget has been prepared based on information available as of the June 8 Finance & Facilities Committee meeting.
Any further financial decisions made by the Board that impact the 2016/17 budget will be incorporated in the 2016/17 Amended Annual Budget.
In order to eliminate the structural deficit and present a balanced budget, the following reductions were
– staffing and other expense reductions due to the closure of Osoyoos Secondary School at June 30, 2016
– reduction in school principal/vice principal administration time
– reduction of 5% in supplies and services budgets
– reduction in staffing and supplies at YouLearn
– reduction in district and school clerical time
– reduction in teacher pension plan premiums and benefit premiums
– elimination of Gifted Teacher allocation
Total operating revenue is projected at $23.9 million and total operating expense at $23.8 million. Net operating revenue for the year is projected at $164 thousand. Net transfers to capital funds is projected at $284 thousand and this calls for a prior year surplus appropriation of $120 thousand.
The total bylaw amount for 2016/17 is $27.85 million. This is a $585 thousand reduction from 2015/16 amended budget.
Enrolment Report for May 2016
An overall increase of 89.0625 from October 2, 2015.
Elementary enrolment increased by 21, secondary enrolment decreased by +23 and YouLearn.ca enrolment increased by +91.
I ended my story last week about Easy Jet and their baggage handling procedures after running afoul of their system. This week we are departing the British Isles.
Our plane was to leave Gatwick at 11am but we would not learn our gate number until 40 minutes before the plane was to leave. We passed through security. Even the metal eyelets of my shoes triggered the security alarms as did the security covers of my credit cards.
Then we entered into a vast hall-like facility where there were eateries of all kinds, numerous shops such as duty free goods, clothing shops, and book shops to name a few. Or you could just sit in one of the many comfortable chairs provided by Gatwick Airport Authority.
There were large screens showing every flight leaving Gatwick. Beside each flight number was a message indicating when your gate number would be available. All you had to do was wait for it.
When our gate number was posted, we headed for the gate and sat in the pre-boarding lounge, you all know the drill. Eventually we got into the air and in 2 hours made it to Porto. We flew around the airport for half an hour before landing.
We went through customs, picked up our bag and met with the relatives. We stopped for soup and espressos then made tracks for the seven house hamlet of Val de Ovelha, some 2.5 hours south east of Porto.
Four of the seven houses were occupied, the other three in desperate need of repair by their absentee owners. The hamlet once had a population of over 70 people and even had their own school. The opportunities outside of this rural community reduced their numbers to what it is today, under 10, all adults.
The hillsides around the area had overgrown terraces on which the residents had once farmed. The rock walls supporting the terraces were still in good shape, although some had been uprooted by feral pigs seeking chestnuts which had fallen among the stones. The pigs currently are hunted and eaten by villagers.
Portugal is a country which has springs everywhere, and everywhere there is a spring there is a house or two or seven. Some are are inhabited and some are not.
Each day we would see a different sight. After leaving the hamlet, we always stopped for espressos at a village cafe somewhere and then got on with the business of sight seeing.
One afternoon we had a late lunch at a restaurant beside a lake. Each of us ordered an entree which came with french fries and cooked vegetables. Placed in the centre of the table came more dishes of black beans in sauce, rice, a cooked green leafy shredded vegetable likely cabbage mixed with spiced, toasted bread crumbs, and a basket of bread.
Way too much food. The table of four people next to us ordered two entrees, that was a sensible decision, something I took note of for next time.
The day before we returned to Great Britain, we explored a sanctuary up in the hills that was built in 1892. There were 12 buildings about 600 square feet each and housing one of the Twelve Stations of Christ. Below the buildings was a large square with a fountain in the center.
There were workmen on the site preparing it for the coming tourist season.
The sanctuary had a small community built next to it which had its own large church.
Instead of returning the way we came, we drove higher up the mountain road, which, by the way was paved, until we came to a fork. After consulting a map, we chose the lower running fork, and as the roadway narrowed, it took us to the the edge of a mountain.
The road at this point was only six feet wide and descended the mountain in a series of dizzying switchbacks. Each switchback was widened to accommodate a vehicle with a trailer allowing it to make the corner. One corner was so sharp we had to back up to get around it and our vehicle was a small SUV.
On either side of the road in places were ten foot high yellow flowering shrubs, quite spectacular really, and provided a distraction from the narrowness of the road.
We didn’t meet anyone coming up. If we had done so, one of us would have had to back around to the nearest switchback.
Eventually we made it down safely and returned to the hamlet to prepare for our flight out.
Easy Jet did not have a flight out of Portugal when we needed it, so we chose British Air for our return trip.
We pre-boarded from the computer, we registered our bag. Our fare was less expensive than Easy Jet. British Air even fed us a sandwich and didn’t charge us extra such as West Jet now does for those on the economy fare.
The West Jet economy meals are alright but certainly not worth the extra price we paid. You would be better off bringing your own food on board. There are fountains in the secure area of the airports to fill water bottles.
Two hours of flying and we were on British soil and back to the Premier Hotel at Gatwick where we again bought the “meal deal ” and settled in for the night.
The next day, May 27th, we met with Roy and Carol Scott at Market Harborough, an hour north of London by train. We missed some train connections and were an hour late in meeting with them. Fortunately for us they waited.
Roy hasn’t changed much, he is a few pounds heavier but then so am I. Carol looks pretty much the same as I remembered her. We climbed into their British made 4 door sedan. To sit behind the front seat passenger who is also sitting on the left side of the car is very strange to me.
We drove to a series of locks called the Foxton Locks, on the Grand Union Canal, which are still in operation. At one time the boats were hauled overland until 1911, that is an interesting process, then the locks were built to do the job instead.
We drove to a pub in a neighboring town for a traditional English lunch. My meal is the only one I remember, I had mashed potatoes, gravy and sausages, good food.
We returned to Market Harborough and walked the streets a bit then stopped for espressos. Too soon it was time to return to Gatwick to prepare for our return to Edmonton. We said our goodbyes and boarded the train for London.
In London, at Victoria Station, we turned in our Oyster passes for a refund of our cash and our 5 GBP pass deposit, and then boarded the Gatwick Express for the last time using our Brit Rail passes for the last time for our last train to Gatwick to spend our last night at the Premier Hotel.
Out of the three countries, England is the one I’d like to see more of. There is so much history. Something as simple as walking down the streets, looking at the old buildings and the cobblestones is a marvelous thing to do.
I found the British so helpful, As soon as they heard us wondering out loud what to do and discerned our accent, they reached out to help. It happened all the time, especially in the underground. I’d go back again in a heartbeat.
Technically, the summer solstice isn’t the entire day, but the moment when the Earth’s northern axis of rotation is most tilted toward the sun — this year, that happens at 9:34 p.m. PT on June 20.
How many decades it’s been since that last happened depends on what time zone you’re in — the last time it happened for those in Western and Central Canada was in 1986, 30 years ago, but those in Atlantic Canada haven’t had a summer solstice full moon since 1967, according to J. Randy Attwood, executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
That’s because the 1986 full moon occurred at 11:42 p.m. on June 21 — the day of the solstice — in Toronto, but 12:42 a.m. the next day in Halifax, the day after the solstice.
As it should be the commitment is forever – John wanting his family to experience all the fun that life offers. In 2009 Riley was in a motor vehicle accident that left him a paraplegic. Nothing has slowed him down. Getting back to school to graduate and then on to Okanagan College in Kelowna working on a degree in business.
May 1st – opening day at the race track in the Street Bracket – Riley Martin 1980 Mustage modified with air from Oliver won the Mustang showdown.
Reaction time: Two perfect .500 lights were picked up that day with a trophy to Riley Martin (Oliver)
Riley plays wheel chair basketball very well and participates in other sport activity – he lives a full life and does what many of us would love to do. Having a supportive mother and father sure helps.
All picture taken June 19 – Father’s Day
Nu Beginnings Hair Salon is located at the
corner of Fairview Rd and Station Street (339 Fairview)
Look for a button on the phone at the top of the ODN page “Current Post”
Works like “Recent Comments” – you can see the list of both better on a phone.
UPGRADES AND NEW INSTALLATIONS OF SIDEWALK, STORM DRAINS AND ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
The Town of Oliver has awarded the project to reconstruct, upgrade and pave a portion of Fairview Road between Main Street and Nicola Street to Mike Johnson Excavating Ltd. The project includes constructing a new sidewalk, curb and storm on Spartan Street between Fairview Road and Rockcliffe Road.
There will be times that residents and businesses will not have vehicular access to their property from Fairview Road because of temporary shut downs, but back alley access behind the properties will still be available at all times.
During most of the project there will be access to businesses on the north side of Fairview Road; the west bound lane will be open with access to parking stalls.
Mike Johnson Excavating Ltd. will do their best to notify businesses and residents in advance and to keep these interruptions as short as possible. The south side properties of Fairview Road will be affected the most during construction, but will have back alley access for the duration of the project.
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity, as vice-chair of the Natural Resources committee in the House of Commons, to be part of the Canadian delegation to the Clean Energy Ministerial. Energy and environment ministers from around the world met in San Francisco to discuss ways to accelerate the shift to renewable energy, the shift to decarbonize the world economy.
This was the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial, a meeting that in many senses functions as the implementation part of the Paris climate accord. As one of the speakers said, the meeting was founded in the gloomy aftermath of the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, felt by most observers to be an utter failure. In contrast, most of the veteran attendees I spoke to said this was the most positive Clean Energy Ministerial yet.
There was a real sense that the world had reached a great divide of sorts; that the switch to renewable energy was happening much faster than was predicted even a year ago. Prices for solar and wind energy are now competitive or even below those for fossil fuels, and the political will to drive economies toward renewable energy seems to be unstoppable. Many speakers used the word “inevitable” to describe the shift.
And the cost of renewable energy technology will continue to fall—the price of solar panels is predicted to drop by 50 percent over the next decade, while wind energy costs will decline by 15 percent over the same period.
The German energy minister pointed out that there is now a business model for renewable energy, and convincingly claimed that his country had led the way in creating the mass markets necessary to bring prices for green energy technology down. This path was initially expensive for Germany but the pay-off is that German industries now lead the world in this sector.
It is not only the broad use of renewable energy that is changing the map of energy demands around the world. As one industry executive said, the best new fuel on the horizon is efficiency. Stephen Chu, the former US Secretary of Energy, pointed out that new appliances are not only cheaper each year but significantly more energy efficient. The annual energy savings across the USA from new refrigerators alone is equal to the total energy consumption of Italy. Many of the entrepreneurs—several of them proudly Canadian– showing their wares in the CEM trade show had developed intriguing new paths to energy efficiency.
We still have a long way to go in Canada to catch up to the rest of the world in the renewable energy shift. We need strong government action in the form of carbon price policies, incentives for purchases of new clean energy technology and green infrastructure investments. The good news is that now we can embrace renewable energy and not only feel good about it, but save money doing it.
Many thanks to Mo Doerr at Beyond Bliss, for selling tickets for the annual Strawberry Tea, hosted by Order of the Eastern Star. The event will be at the Elks Hall, Saturday 25th June at 2.00pm. Tickets till available at Beyond Bliss, cost $5.00.
Seen here, with Pat Whalley, are Cassandra and Sherry-Lee about to sample some of the goodies that will be served at the tea.
They are a secret society, they hold strange rites, they are secretive and do weird things. Most of them are well to do and use their positions to get on in the world. They are Freemasons!!!!!
These are some of the things that I have heard about the masons.
Being married to one for many years, all this stuff seems laughable, especially being well to do. If Dave has any money, he is keeping it to himself. Aahh, you say, yes they keep secrets.
I have been around Freemasons for many years and have found they are just regular guys, no worse and no better than anyone else. Sure they have secret words, secret handshakes and their own ritual, which is conducted at every meeting, but doesn’t every kind of fraternal lodge have a ritual?
The secret words and handshakes are to make themselves known to other masons and to keep strangers from attending meetings. However, new members are warmly welcomed and much needed. Everything that is said and done in their meetings and Initiations is publicly available in any library or on the internet.
I belong to the Order of the Eastern Star, which is an organization for both men and women but, for women to become a member, she must be related to a mason. This seems rather sexist and old fashioned, but those are the rules. We also have secret words and a member’s handshake, which most of us forget to use. We are just a bunch of people who enjoy one another’s company, while raising money for Cancer and for things needed in the community.
In both Masonic and Eastern Star meetings, there is an altar . No it is not for sacrificing virgins, or any strange rites. Upon the altar lies an open bible, as being a Christian or a faithful believer in one’s own God, is a requirement of the order. In fact, the motto for the Masons is “we take a good man and make him better”. The Masonic apron is worn as a symbol of the stonemasons who built King Solomon’s Temple.
The Masonic family consists of several different organizations, the most widely known are the Shriners, in their silly red fezes. Everyone thinks of the Shriners as the fun group, which they are. However, you need to be a mason before you can be a shriner. They act as clowns, ride round on motor bikes and attend many parades. The guys on motor bikes have to buy their own machine. Most of the guys do not have money to spend on fancy bikes so they go for a cheaper way of entertaining the public.
My husband and most of the local Shriners dress as arabs, they call themselves the Arabian Band. Band is a rather loose term for what they are. They ride on a float, banging on drums, gongs, triangles and anything else that requires no talent as, most of them, have no talent for music. However, they enjoy one another’s company and they raise lots of money for charity.
What is the point of these organizations? Well the Freemasons donate money to buy and maintain “Cancer Cars”. These are ten passenger vans that transport patients to and from the Cancer Lodge, for daily treatments. No charge for this service. There are three of these vans in the Okanagan region and they are driven five days a week, by masons who volunteer their time to drive the patients. You do not have to be a mason to be a driver, but most of them are. On the coast there are dozens of vehicles used daily, to transport the many patients.
The Shriners work to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars each year which is used to operate hospitals for burned children or for those kids who need orthopaedic work done, to help them walk. All the services offered are free to any child needing assistance. Rides to and from hospitals are arranged, at no charge, for kids and parents and some of these kids need to use the hospitals for many years as they are in much need of the specialized care they receive.
So, next time you see the Shriner in his silly hat or meet a local guy wearing a tuxedo, they are probably off to a lodge meeting and doing their part to help the community.
If you want to help us raise funds, while enjoying a good time, come to the Eastern Star Strawberry Tea, this Saturday, at the Elks Hall, in Oliver. Our men will serve you in their tuxedos and later on serenade you as the Soggy Bottom Boys. We will also be holding a bbq, outside Buy Low on July 1st, 10.00 – 1.00pm to raise money for SOSS student bursar
If you haven’t started to strength train yet, here are some simple tips to get you started. Strength training is good for ALL Bodies! Muscle balance in strength training will aid in preventing injuries.
When you work the front of the body, you need to work the back of the body. Similar to the seemingly obvious, when you work one side of the body, you work the other side. If you work the chest, you need to work the back also. A push exercise (push up) should be accompanied with a pull exercise (row). With these two exercises we are working the chest & back.
Exercises involve more than one muscle, but today only the main muscle that is used for each exercise is mentioned. Below exercise examples are given but there are several exercises one can do to target those same muscles. To keep things simple, I have suggested lunges as an exercise to target the glutes, but squats, deadlifts, step ups & other exercises can also be used and should be practiced to strengthen the glutes and other accompanying muscles. Balance is beautiful :)
Listed below are muscles (body location) – name of exercises to target those muscles.
Biceps/Triceps (upper arms front & back) – bicep curls & tricep kickbacks
Delts/Lats (shoulder/back) – lateral raises & pull downs
Pecs/Traps (chest/upper back) – push up & row
Rectus Abdominis/Erector Spinae (belly/back) – leg raise & deadlift
Iliopsoas/Gluteus Maximus (hip & thigh/butt) – hanging leg/knee raises & lunges
Quadriceps/Hamstrings (front thigh/back thigh) – squat & leg curl
Hip Adductor/Gluteus Medius (inner thigh/butt) – side leg raise & single leg squat
Tibialis Anterior/Gastrocnemius (front lower leg/back lower leg) – calf raises
I can’t stress enough to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL doing research on the internet. Safety is most important. And the quality of the exercise is much more important than the quantity. Exercise instruction may be featured in a future article. Please contact myself or another qualified trainer for more help.
Move more to feel better.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way & I can find a way that works well for you :)
2:45 p.m., June 17, fire just west of the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 3A.
One-hectare fire was burning in a mix of grass and brush in an old junkyard on a steep slope above the road.
Because there were old tires, metal and other hazardous materials, firefighters had to use breathing apparatus.
Kaleden firefighters and a B.C. Wildfire initial attack team took about six hours to get the blaze under control, even with help from an air tanker above.
A beige Toyota Camry was travelling northbound on Paris Street when it was t-boned on the passenger side by a westbound green van at the intersection of Paris Street and Brandon Avenue, according to the witness.
The resident says the driver and a passenger of the van immediately fled the scene on foot while a third occupant of the van tried to walk away from the scene, before being apprehended by police.
An RCMP helicopter, several police vehicles and officers on foot were searching a section of Penticton’s south end.
Witnesses say the two occupants in the beige Toyota Camry walked out of the vehicle and appeared to have minor injuries but were transported by B.C. Ambulance.
Thanks to Castant, Global News and Wendy Cassel