” I am qualified to take on this responsibility “

sueSue McKortoff – For Mayor of Osoyoos

I am very pleased to put my name on the election slate for Mayor of Osoyoos, I am qualified to take on this responsibility after serving as a Town Councillor for the past 3 years. This was a very positive experience for me, working with an interested, energetic council, and a cooperative professional town staff. I continue to learn about town by-laws and policies, the local government act and the community charter, and it is an ongoing priority of mine to read and learn as much about municipal government as I can.

I have lived in Osoyoos for 46 years, was married to Mel and we raised two children- Ryan and Kirstin. I worked as a Primary teacher at Osoyoos Elementary School for 34 years, and I continue to be involved there as a 1-to-1 reading volunteer and as the school liason for the Osoyoos Art Gallery committee. I also volunteer for many community and service groups. Presently I am a member of Soroptimist International of Osoyoos, Market on Main, and the Osoyoos Festival Society, where I recently served as the Chairman of July 1-Cherry Fiesta for 10 years. I was awarded Osoyoos Citizen of the Year in 1992, Osoyoos Volunteer Leadership Award in 2007 and the South Okanagan Leadership Award in 2009.

Green and blue, my favourite colours, make us think of healthy blue waters and green trees. Our lake, our water and our tree fruits, grapes and ground crops are of paramount importance in all planning.

Job creation is very important to our community, so we can continue to prosper. Prospective investors need the facts about working here. What are we good at? We are a world class tourist destination, due to our climate, our warm lake and our positive attitude- giving credence to our logo “Canada’s Warmest Welcome.” Tourism is a huge economic driver and we are pleased to have Destination Osoyoos looking after both tourism and economic development.

Businesses will be pleased to know that our tax rate is 1.6 times the residential rate, the 7th lowest in BC, according to a recent article in the Vancouver Province. Council has recently held a public hearing concerning our zoning bylaws, and we have given 3rd reading to a business friendly amendment to commercial off street-parking regulations.

I feel that I am well qualified to become the mayor of Osoyoos. I am an organized, energetic and positive leader, and a team player. I have the time to listen and I will continue to educate myself on the variety of local issues that are important to our community. Please give me the opportunity to continue working for our town. On November 15, please vote for me, and elect Sue for Osoyoos mayor.


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Board of Education report

Our Board and district staff will be recognizing retirees and long service employees on Wednesday, October 29th at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos. This is our first year for recognizing long service employees with more than 10 years of service in the district, and will be an annual event with the retirement celebration.

Our learning forum, held in Keremeos last week, was on secondary trades and dual credit programs in the district as well as the Yes-2-It In the Classroom program. This year the program will be running in conjunction with the Industry Training Authority’s Yes-2-It Trades Exploration Program under the direction of Boyd Turnbull and other journeymen. All grades 6 and 7 students will build, plumb and wire a wall. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore the trades and to ponder the trades as a career. Thank you to Rod Kitt for this informative presentation.

The next learning forum will be held on November 12th at Oliver Elementary School and the topic will be children and youth anxiety. We invite parents and any interested community members to attend. Anxiety in our students is of great concern to all of us and we are trying many different approaches at school to support students with anxiety issues.

An agreement was reached with the teachers’ union (SOSTU) to make up the August 26, 2014 school plan day at an evening session on October 14th, 2014 in Oliver. The evening was attended by almost 200 teachers, education assistants and administrators and was facilitated by Linda Kaser, co-founder of the Network for Inquiry and Innovation in BC. The evening engaged schools to reflect on their inquiry work and to make plans for this school year. Schools also revisited their school inquiry questions and learning plans. It was wonderful to gather as a district learning community with lots of enthusiasm and positive energy for the new year of learning together. On October 15th Dr. Kaser worked with staff at Osoyoos Elementary and Osoyoos Secondary schools in a focused discussion about their inquiry work and directions for this year.

The Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) and Teacher Education Fund (TEF) process has now been finalized. For 2014/15 the district received $467,723 in Learning Improvement Funds to support class complexities and learning needs. This consisted of $374,178 Teacher Education Funds to be used for additional teacher time and $93,545 in support staff priorities for classrooms These resources will have a positive impact on classrooms in our district.

District staff provided an update on enrollment at the Board of Education meeting and the data showed an overall decrease of about 75 students in the district in comparison to September 30th, 2013. This is concerning to the Board but the good news is that we are still above student numbers projected for this year and our schools are staffed according to projections. We are awaiting final enrolment numbers which are still changing; final numbers are required to be submitted to the Ministry by the end of the month.

Southern Okanagan Secondary (SOSS), Oliver Elementary, Osoyoos Elementary and Osoyoos Secondary students attended We-Day on October 22nd in Vancouver. We hope that this day inspired another year of change by students in our district. We-Day is tied to the year-long We Act program which offers
educational resources, campaigns and support materials to help turn the event’s inspiration into sustained action. Through We Act, students commit to taking on one local and one global action to better the world, earning their way to We Day next year.

Trustee elections will take place on November 15th along with other municipal elections. In this district three candidates were nominated for two trustee positions in Oliver. The Board of Education is disappointed that trustee candidates were not invited to participate in the All-Candidates meeting in Oliver. We feel that this sends a message to communities that trustees are not valued and are not active participants in local government elections. Trustees in the communities of Keremeos/Cawston, Okanagan Falls and Osoyoos were elected by acclamation.

A basketball field trip for SOSS students and their coach, Mo Basso, was approved at the last Board of Education meeting. The basketball players will be travelling to Oahu, Hawaii in December to play basketball against local teams. This will be a great team building experience for them and we are sure that they will have lots of fun. Best of luck to all of you!

Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.

Marieze Tarr, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

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Hope to finish up Sunday

break for lunch22

Sunday October 26th 10-2:30

Planting native trees and shrubs at the road 22 information kiosk

The South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program (SOSPC) and the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society (OSSS) are planting native trees and shrubs around the road 22 information Kiosk. We have already spent a few days at the site removing invasive weeds and planting some native plants. Come on down and see the improvements, get your hands dirty and know that you are helping the environment! Refreshments will be provided, bring a shovel and a reusable cup!

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Halloween Dance at the seniors centre

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Name the stars?

Ron – dressed as Ron

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break for lunch three22

“I hope my owner misses me – I have had my bath now how about dinner?”

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break for lunch four22

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Take a tour – bring the kids

take a tour22

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Great Bear Bites

522 Fairview Road

Launch of new brand and public sales counter

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Morning sunshine…down by the river

gail22Gail Erickson

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Jack Bennest – seeks your vote for Councillor

new jack edit22Jack Bennest – incumbent councillor Town of Oliver.

Served 3 terms in this century.

Presently serving on the Oliver Parks and Recreation Society as town representative

Experience with Okanagan Regional Library board (finance chair), Oliver Heritage (Museum and Archive) representative. Member of Oliver Elks, Royal Canadian Legion and the SO Chamber of Commerce.

Raised and schooled in Oliver – left for 15 year broadcasting career – returned in 1984. Thirty years as community worker/businessman.

Four questions posed to all candidates from ODN: Is homelessness, poverty, low income an issue and what could a Town Council do about it?

Yes they are an issue and I think the local food bank event each Wednesday shows the amount and regularity of the need. Town council is not charged with the care of the homeless or those in need but all elected officials must be aware or be made aware and advocate for change in our social safety nets. I believe Oliver has a good low income housing stock and system – with little or no “sleeping on the streets” community. Support local charity and keep the dollars in Oliver.

At least one report says employees and management in municipalities are paid more than provincial government employees on average – what would you do about it?

This report may be flawed as a number of organizations have stated that opposing view. Quality workers and professional management come at a price. It’s a competitive market to attract new employees. It is however the job of each council to hold the costs down, engage in tough bargaining, and find ways of settling issues and wages without following the lead of other cities. One fact escapes many people. The higher the compensation for ALL workers – the more money there is to fuel the economy. If everyone was paid a minimum wage – would you need banks.

Main Street and Centennial Park – do you think the Town could take a leadership role in enhancing “our look” to the outside world travelling by?

Yes. The look down town is starting to upset me and many others and it is time to act. Council has the power and resources to become an active partner in the downtown. Consistent leadership is needed to make this happen. Council has stated it plans to make changes on Station Street with park improvements. Time to act.

What unique subject is on your mind – suggestions for Oliver’s future?

The town cannot do it all. It needs partners. RDOS, School Board, business, community leaders and everyone who lives here. We can do more and should use our energy and dollars to make our small part of the world – better, greener, safer and prosperous. I believe you will see more park space, walking trails, more hike and bike routes in the next 4 years and this council is committed to it. We need to find a way to deal with apathy and complacency. We must engage our community – seek new ideas and approach the future by thinking outside of the rut.

Vote for consistency. Vote for leadership. Vote for a better Oliver.

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‘Tiny’ at SORCO

tinyAt four inches high and weighing under three ounces little ‘Tiny’ the Northern Pygmy Owl is in need of help.

The South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls (SORCO) has been looking after the bird named ‘Tiny’ along with several of his extended Raptor family members (Hawks, Eagles, Osprey and Falcons).

Ray Putnam, of SORCO, says this year has seen a dramatic increase in injured birds coming to the rehab centre for treatment.

“This has created a significant increase in medical care and food costs,” he explains. “It takes about one dollar a day per bird for these two items alone. So, for an average 3 month stay, they cost about $100.”

Putnam jokes the birds cannot pay for their room and board but the issue of funding for the centre is no laughing matter.

“SORCO is a  non-profit organization, run by volunteers, and we rely on public donations to operate.”

Those donations often come in via the internet but recently someone hacked the SORCO website and it had to be shut down and completely rebuilt.

A costly expense to the centre.

“It means another expensive project and no funds are coming in.”

For Tiny to be released back into the wild SORCO is putting out a plea to the public, asking for donations.

If you would like to help Tiny and his family please mail a cheque to:

Box 1166
Oliver BC
V0H 1T0

or call  Ray Putnam (250-763-4480 or rayputnam@shaw.ca) to make a donation via cash, cheque, Visa or MasterCard.

source: Castanet

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SOSS wins morning round – finat at 2:30pm


kenzie22The SOSS field hockey team hosts the Okanagan Valley AA High School Championships today at the SOSS fields.

Our SOSS team plays at 9:00am and if they win, again at 2:30pm in the final. Bring a chair and blanket and come support the girls!!!

Pictured grade 10 player Kenzie Harrington

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Chainsaw art carving – brand relaunch for Great Bear

open house paws

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The Great Bear

stag22 Launch of new brand ( Great Bear ) and grand opening of public sales counter. Great Bear Bites – paleorganic, gluten free, vegan, extreme natural nutrition for the grizzly within.

Tracy Lydiatt, young entrepreneur – operating a cookie factory in Oliver in the former Catholic Church basement on Fairview Rd. She expanded to a 2nd floor.

Tracy is making (processing) vegan cookies – gluten free and she is winning awards and wants to grow her business.

The BC Food Processors Association has nominated Tracy for two awards: Rising Star and Best Product of the year.

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bob mckayObituary for the late Robert Russel (Bob) McKay  November 20, 1949 – October 22, 2014

On Wednesday October 22, 2014, surrounded by his family, Robert Russel (Bob) McKay at the age of 64, peacefully went to be with his Lord after a courageous three year battle with cancer. He will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his family:  Christine, his wife of 44 years, his daughter Melanie Bailey, son-in-law Daniel and granddaughter Eliana; his daughter Karen Jansen, son-in-law Chris, and grandchildren Alyssa, Malachi and Eden, all of Winnipeg.  Also surviving Bob is his mother Peggy of Oakbank, MB, brothers Harry (Cathy) of Dugald, MB, Jock (Elaine) of Stony Plain, AB, and sister Lori Reimer(Gerald) of Giroux, MB.  He was predeceased by his father Russel in 2013.

Bob was raised on the family farm near Dugald, MB. He met and married Chris in 1971 and eventually returned to Dugald where they raised Melanie and Karen.  Bob was employed for 32 years with the
C N Police from which he elected early retirement at the age of 48.   Shortly after his retirement Bob and Chris moved to Oliver, BC, where he has spent many years pursuing his love of nature. This included his enjoyment of birding, camping, travelling and spending time with his family. Bob also served his community, volunteering with the Kiwanis Club and the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory.  He has been active as an Elder in the Valley Congregational Church.

Bob enjoyed and excelled at a variety of sports throughout his life. Even into his senior years he stayed active in curling, hockey and hiking. He especially enjoyed participating in the Seniors Games, earning many medals in field events.  Bob’s passion, however, has been his birding where he was actively adding to his life list.  He also became a skilled photographer and many of his photos of wildlife, birds, and nature have been published.

The family wished to express gratitude to Dr Solano, Dr Holmes and all the wonderful nursing staff in ICUW Kelowna General.  Thank you for the good care you gave Bob. Gratitude is also extended to the staff at the Penticton Oncology Department for your excellent care during his two years of treatments.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, October 27, 2:00 pm at Valley Congregational Church, 4312 Black Sage Road, Oliver BC.  A Manitoba service will take place in early November.  Donations can be made in Bob’s memory to Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory through the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance.

Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting www.nunes-pottinger.com
Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium, Oliver & Osoyoos.

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One week away


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Message from our MP

I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Sikh community in BC Southern Interior my best wishes for Diwali and a joyous new year. Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrates hope and inner strength and welcomes in the coming New Year. It is an opportunity to reflect on the past year, to look ahead and to make plans for the future with renewed optimism.

People in this community, across the country and all over the world, will take this time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the victory of goodness in all of us.

I believe every Canadian can share in the hope for the future that Diwali represents. Around the world, our multicultural nation is a beacon of hope. We pride ourselves on our openness and continually strive to build an inclusive society. As Diwali brings in another new year let us all remember to draw upon the good that can be found in all of us.

Alex Atamanenko

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Moon and sun – black and white

helene sun

Partial solar eclipse over Northwestern America, yesterday afternoon. Picture taken from our home on Anarchist just using our hand-held digital camera to the 7 “M-C telescope (equipped with a solar mylar filter) eye-piece. We were inside (so pictures taken through a double pane window) as it was too windy outside to install the telescope.

Supplied by
Hélène Godin

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Boy without license given ticket by traffic cops

West Kelowna – The driver and passenger of a rental car both received violation tickets after police conducted a traffic stop late Wednesday night.

On October 22, 2014 at 10:53 pm, a member of the Kelowna Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) conducted a vehicle stop on a red Chevy Impala on Bartley Road near Capri Road. The car, which had been observed leaving a liquor store nearby, was found to be a rental vehicle and had two occupants. The driver, a 14-year-old boy from West Kelowna, was apparently acting as chauffeur and designated driver for his 47-year-old father, who happened to be under the influence of alcohol.

The boy was unlicenced to drive because one cannot obtain a British Columbia Learner’s Licence until they are at least 16 years of age.

The rental car agreement showed the father listed as the only approved operator and the car was subsequently removed from the roadway for retrieval by the rental company.

The boy received a Violation Ticket for No Driver’s Licence while his father was issued a Violation Ticket for Allowing an Unlicenced Minor To Drive.

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November 8th – Gala Makeover

shopper november

November 8th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets $10.00
call 250-498-3663 for more information

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Friday travel pix – thanks – fini

friday travel mary fry22Photograph submitted by Mary Fry

Evening cruise on the Danube River in April 2013

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November 1st

curling22Eastlink Curling Centre will be having a Curling Improvement Clinic on Saturday, Nov 1.  It is a drop in affair anytime from noon to 4 pm

There will be Club Coaches on hand to help with beginners and with problems you might have with any aspect of your game.  And there will be coaches on hand, as well, for those of you who want to try Stick Curling. 

Over half of the Day League curlers now are stick curlers.  This innovation has truly made curling a life time sport, so if your knees or back are bothering you, give this a try. 

For people who simply want to practice and throw a few rocks, there should be space available for you too.  The best part?  It is all free!

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Change indicated

FREE Events ( dated events and sales )

Three simple rules

Free events must have a date – yard sales, garage sales, bazaars etc.

Commercial events should be advertised – contact Publisher – Ticket prices above $10 cannot be shown

Don’t try to use FREE classifieds for events, yard sales or anything with a date including ticket sales

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RDOS notice

rdos animal

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Larry Schwartzenberger – Incumbent

larry best22
My wife Claire and I moved to Oliver 23 years ago from Calgary. After 40 years of marriage, we have 3 grown children who all graduated from SOSS and 6 wonderful grandchildren. I work for Growers Supply here in Oliver as their Packaging Manager.
In September of 2013, I was honoured to be elected to Town Council in a by-election.  Prior to my election to Council, I volunteered my time as the PAC Chair at SOSS for 7 years while my children attended school there, as a member of the Economic Development Society (ODCEDS), and as a member of the Airport Advisory Committee.
In addition to my Council duties, I am a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, a member of the Heritage Society, on the Executive of the Knights of Columbus and a volunteer for the Christmas Food Hamper Drive.
I have enjoyed the opportunity of working with Mayor Hovanes and Councillors Doerr, Mattes & Bennest to make Oliver an even better place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Four questions asked to all candidates for the position of councillor: Is homelessness, poverty, low income an issue and what could a Town Council do about it?

a. Homeless and poverty are an issue in any community and there are no easy answers for a quick fix. I was pleased to see an announcement from the BC Government with a program for specific groups of individuals providing monetary support to avoid homelessness. The targeted groups are aboriginals, women who have or may encounter violence and youth transitioning from foster care. For Oliver I would like to explore a couple of options to try and address this issue:
1) Discuss with Council ideas for having new development create a fund for lower cost housing.
2) Invite Habitat For Humanity to Council and see if we can get them to consider Oliver for an    upcoming project.

At least one report says employees and management in municipalities are paid more than provincial government employees on average – what would you do about it?

b. Employees in Oliver are unionized and their pay is consistent with the collective agreement    that they have negotiated with the Town of Oliver. Management salaries seem to be in keeping with the Municipal norms. Having just gone through the process of hiring a new CAO for the Town, I feel that Council has always kept the taxpayer in mind when we are negotiating union and management salaries.

Main Street and Centennial Park – do you think the Town could take a leadership role in enhancing “our look” to the outside world travelling by?

c. Oliver would certainly benefit from a hotel and new businesses to fill in some the holes in Main Street. I am confident that new jobs from the Correction Centre and the spin off benefits to the local economy will encourage new business & employment opportunities along Main Street and elsewhere. Council has in place incentives for new business with parking relaxation and reduced property taxes over a limited time in targeted areas.

What unique subject is on your mind? – suggestions for Oliver’s future.

d. I would like to see more Wine Capital business promotion in our downtown core. If we are the Wine Capital of Canada, we need to show it more than just on the 2 entrance signs into Town. I would like to see more funds allocated for increased education and by-law enforcement in our Parks and along our Hike & Bike Trails. I would like to see our youth get more involved in Civic Government by creating a Youth Advisory Committee to provide input for Council on issues that are of concern to them.

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National champion


Junior Chamber International (JCI) – Most effective speaker in Canada. Carol Sheridan, Manager of Oliver Parks and Recreation.

JCI Penticton wins top award at National Convention

JCI Penticton member Carol Sheridan travelled to Ajax Ontario (near Toronto) last month to compete in the national round of JCI’s Effective Speaking competition at the National Convention held Sept 17-21.

In May of this year, Sheridan won the regional competition held in Penticton and went on to represent the BC/Yukon tremendously in Ajax by delivering a prepared speech with the topic “The Time is Now”. In the end, she received the highest scores from the judges and was named JCI Canada’s 2014 National Effective Speaking Champion.

“It was such an honour to represent the BC/Yukon region and my Penticton chapter at the national level, says Sheridan. To compete at National Convention was my goal, so I’m absolutely thrilled with the result.”

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