Archives for March 2018
The Town of Oliver submitted a joint application with the Town of Osoyoos for the Emergency Social Services funding. The grant application was successful at the full amount of $25,000.
- The intent of this funding stream is to support eligible applicants to build local capacity to provide emergency social services through training, volunteer recruitment and retention, and the purchase of equipment.
Also the Town of Oliver submitted an Emergency Operations Centres & Training grant and was successful at full funding of $25,000.
- The intent of this funding stream is to support the purchase of equipment and supplies required to maintain or improve Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) and to enhance EOC capacity through training and exercises.
- The Town intends to purchase equipment to establish an independent EOC at the Oliver Fire Hall.
Both grants are to build capacity and was not already identified for in the current budget.
Source: Town of Oliver
Last day of concrete work – repairing the floor bottom on the canal between Road 3 and 2. Silver Springs Concrete Services is the contractor the Town hired to help with the work and Town employees prepped the floor of the ditch.
H&M Excavating assisting the Town on a mainline irrigation repair on Road 2 at Primrose lane. This is a major T – intersection in the irrigation system which involves the intersection of a 24”, 18” and 10” pipe. A ‘speciality tee’ had to be made/ shipped to us for this project to get a properly sized fitting. This project was supposed to be completed a week and half ago but the part took longer than anticipated to arrive. Work will be complete this morning.
Emergency Operations Centre Update:
Declaration of a Local State of Emergency for the community of Willowbrook in Electoral Area C.
Due to the threat of flooding and possible damage to properties in the vicinity of Kearns Creek near Willowbrook in Electoral Area C, Regional District Chair, Karla Kozakevich has declared a Local State of Emergency.
When safe access or egress to residents is threatened, the RDOS can request a Local State of Emergency be imposed to provide additional resources in the event that an evacuation of residents or emergency works in the community becomes necessary.
There has already been active sandbagging and precautionary preparedness by the community. Provincial agencies are on the ground assessing culverts and local dam infrastructure and working with the RDOS on this localized emergency response event.
The Emergency Operations Centre is continuing to remain open.
For inquiries, please call the 250-490-4225
Emergency Operations Centre: Willowbrook Shows Community Spirit
The RDOS and Willowbrook residents along Kearns Creek were advised late yesterday that the flow in Kearns Creek, which meanders through the community, would begin to rise slowly overnight and persist over the next couple of days. This was due to a ‘draw down’ order from the Province on the Kearns Creek dam near Willowbrook. Up to a 6 inch rise was cautiously predicted.
The RDOS had previously delivered 2000 sandbags and several loads of sand, but added to that after hours last evening with an additional 24 yards of sand and 4,000 more sandbags.
Last night, the community rallied together with 50 volunteers, alongside Willowbrook Fire Services to fill and deploy sandbags. This community effort was greatly assisted through mutual aid agreements sending personnel from nearby Keremeos and Oliver Fire Services. On-site Incident Command to coordinate these efforts was provided by Willowbrook Fire Services.
The RDOS Water Operations staff also worked late into the evening armouring the water system pump house and wellhead.
The RDOS Emergency Operations is in contact with the dam owner, Provincial agencies and those undertaking the draw down. The Emergency Operations Centre will keep residents informed of any additional situations as they arise.
The RDOS wishes to acknowledge the quick and helpful residents in the community and the Fire Departments for stepping up during this unexpected event.
Rushing creek ( Kearne’s ) passes within feet of front door of home. Last night dozens and dozens of people helped the community to make, distribute, and pack hundred and hundreds of sandbags late into the night. The situation has stabilized a bit but much work to be done to ensure the creek can flow properly through culverts – heading to the river down stream.
Some roads closed (sandbags) some flooded but passable.
Huge ponds created by “way too much” water – and spring run-off no where near its peak. There are two main concerns – upstream water being released from dams by owners and the blockages near Meyer’s Flat (park) that is a real obstacle.
Council voted unanimously last night to support a new funding formula for additional transit services that will see bus service Osoyoos to Kelowna and return.
Presently the Town of Oliver budgets for $11 697 for a service that goes to Penticton week days.
The proposed service for 2019 would take the buses right through to Kelowna – Monday to Friday at an additional cost of $7419.
According to CFO Devon Wannop – the cost new cost per household will be $5.72 up from $3.39. This is not a bus fare but a municipal subsidy.
The city of Penticton has also endorsed the new concept and other rural areas and municipalities in the RDOS are being asked for their go ahead.
If some areas say NO – costs will rise. The good news is that some areas north of Penticton ( Peachland and Westbank ) have indicated they may share in the cost
which would help with the overall budget.
23rd annual SOSS Enrichment Fund Society – golf tournament – will be held April 7 and 8th in Oliver.
“I’m happy to say our SOSS Enrichment Fund Scramble will NOT be delayed. We may have to make some slight adjustments but we are delighted to be playing on the scheduled days.” states Sue Capyk
The tournament is a major fund raising for scholarships (over 21 thousand dollars to be given to 27 students) this year.
Most Willowbrook Volunteer firefighters and many others in the community called together tonight to sand bag and help protect more than 18 homes in the “bowl.”
The bowl is the lowest elevations next to Kearne’s Creek which because of early runoff is starting to flood roads and homes.
Pat Lantz – Fire Chief said his volunteers did a great job tonight and thanked all community volunteers for their efforts
More sand is needed and expected soon.
Some input stating that two good things happened today and both not confirmed
1. The dam that was expected to break did not and a controlled flow has been engineered
2. Permission may have been granted to dig on the parkland near Cooke’s to allow the runoff water to flow etter
Boil Water Notice Rural Water Systems 8 & 9 for 7 months
The Town of Osoyoos has issued a BOIL WATER NOTICE for Domestic Water Customers served by Rural Water Systems 8 & 9 Effective April 1, 2018 until November 16, 2018. Please refer to the first three digits (008 or 009) of the account number on your annual utilities invoice, or click System 8 or System 9.
During this time period the water source is switched from groundwater (wells) to surface water supplied from Lake Osoyoos.
While the Osoyoos Lake water is chlorinated, the current disinfection process is not adequate to protect from bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens that may be present in the surface water source. The Town of Osoyoos and Interior Health recommend individuals drink boiled water or a safe alternative until further notice.
Rural Water Systems 8 & 9 customers, water intended for drinking, washing ready to eat fruits and vegetables, making beverages, ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute.
Interior Health has been consulted, and the public will be notified when conditions change or water quality has improved. The Town of Osoyoos is in the process of separating irrigation lines from domestic lines to improve water quality. The public will be notified when these projects are completed.
Large pix above and below
Mud and water coming through orchard (Sumac Drive) from Fairview Mtn. area – believed the clean up work at golf course has altered the course of the water from mountain.
Below south of Goldtau Rd in Willowbrook – large amount of water heading into Meyer’s Flat Park land
A lot of sandbagging going on in the subdivision – two roads flooded but passable. One road closed.
Government officials on hand Sunday, Argo on site today. Global crews there to do story.
The south Okanagan Native tribes knew better than to set any permanent settlements down in the bottomlands surrounding Okanagan River. They just shook their heads at the advancement of European settlers into the wet areas of Penticton’s townsite.
Right from the humble beginnings of Penticton, Naramata, and Okanagan Falls; floods were a regular spring event. As colonial imports, we ignored warnings and just weren’t prepared for the annual freshet.
The pattern was clear in reports from the press: “Penticton Creek Dam Overflows Spillway” May 25, 1912. “Creek Breaks Bounds – Freshets cause washouts” May 17, 1913. “Creek Breaks Bounds – Property Damaged” May 16, 1914. Then the worst in 1921, “Creeks Rampage; Flood Working Havoc” “Ellis Reservoir is a Total Loss”.
Property owners who suffered great losses petitioned the town for compensation to no avail. The Board of Trade insisted something be done to drain the water away from arable lands. There had been catastrophic damage to over 1000 acres. The Board blamed this flood on the fact that dredging of Okanagan River had been suspended for the past three years.
The citizenry stepped in and stopped any advancement of capital projects that would raise their taxes. They would rather take their chances with the floods than pay a penny more for controls. This seemed a strange attitude for the day. It was seven years before flood controls were a reality on Okanagan River.
In 1928, flood gates were installed at the intake to Okanagan River. This removed any chance of navigation to the river for the perceivable future. As is always the way, the gates had no effect on the devastating flood of the same year.
Outside City Superintendant, T. Finnie, the man in charge of the annual cleanup of flood debris; suggested several improvements to the creek bed. In 1934, he suggested a dredging of the lower creek bed and installation of a cement liner. He suggested the use of relief labour. Mr. Finnie was the originator of the diversion idea. Turn Penticton Creek and have it drain in Ellis creek. This idea fell on deaf ears and Superintendant Finnie was told to continue hand work on the creek bed.
In 1935 during July 1st celebrations, a storm drenched the town and the creek could not drain the water away. By morning the entire town from Westminster Avenue north was a lake.
That was enough for the council. They searched and found an engineer who had worked many years for the City of Los Angeles. Mr. A.R. MacCleave was an Engineering graduate of Dalhousie University and an experienced civil engineer. He was appointed to solve the problem.
After considerable study, Mr. MacCleave proposed a diversion of Penticton Creek into the Ellis Creek Channel. A channel would be prepared from the rock dam above Forestbrook Drive and join Ellis Creek 200 yards east of Main Street (around Penticton Avenue toward the hospital at Carmi School today). The channel bottom would be only seven feet wide as the slope would provide rapid disposal of water.
Superintendant MacCleave continued his mapping and geological study of the area and in 1937, it appeared his plan was to be launched. Council put together a cost effective budget, taking advantage of Federal work programs to provide labour. That’s when a strange series of events came to pass.
A citizens group led by Major Hugh Fraser came forward to oppose the diversion plan. It was stated that in the midst of the depression, the taxpayers of Penticton could not absorb the cost of the project.
Major Fraser stated, “If God wanted the creek diverted, he would step up and do it.”
Pressure on Reeve Wilkins and council was too powerful. Even though the Province had given approval in principal for funding and federal financial assistance was a matter of course; the plan was dumped. In August, Engineer MacCleave was terminated.
In May, 1942, God moved the creek and wiped out the town core.
Written by Brian Wilson – Archivos Magazine – Okanagan Archives Trust Society
From Spain to Mexico and back to Canada, Flamenco Rosario invites audiences on a global voyage through dance. This April on the Frank Venables Theatre Stage the rhythm and song, hand-clapping and sweeping movements of “La Monarca” will be a unique experience.
Flamenco’s beautifully rhythmic style highlights these artists’ passion, raw emotional power and disciplined musicality. “La Monarca” gives insight into the motivation and driving forces of immigration through the creative exploration of the monarch butterfly’s amazing migration.
Rosario Ancer and her husband, guitarist Victor Kolstee moved to Vancouver in 1989 after a successful career in Spain. They co-founded the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival along with their school Centro Flamenco, and The Flamenco Rosario Arts Society.
As an interpreter of flamenco, Rosario is continuing the growth of the art form by exploring new possibilities. She brings with her an 8 member company of dancers and musicians to share this emergent, beautiful and unexpected new work.
Flamenco Rosario arrives on stage with “La Monarca” Monday April 9th at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd.) Oliver is a dance town and these highly sought after tickets are now available. Visit www.venablestheatre.ca or the Theatre Box Office Tuesday to Thursday from 10 – 3 for tickets and more information.
Image Credit: David Cooper / Pictured are Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee
Thanks to Penelope Johnson, Oliver Community Arts Council
From: Stephanie Salsnek
As a resident of Willowbrook Valley for over 30 years, I’ve seen many changes but only recently very serious problems. The inaccurate gossip about water shortages have plagued new buyers and affected the value of our homes, yet we have no idea who started that malicious and false rumour. NOW… we are really faced with problems and no one is listening!!
Since the transfer of responsibility to the RDOS under the auspices of a water advisory board, we are now faced with an increase of 230% but we are facing a significant decrease in support and service. Much more seriously, the lack of sensible improvements to the water system and drainage infrastructure has led to serious, health threatening flooding and no monitoring of blatant mismanagement by property owners. I watched helplessly last season as one homeowner surreptitiously pumped water into a neighbour’s yard.
An overturned hot water heater with the top and bottom cut off is NOT a culvert. A drainage ditch that has been dammed by the property owner to enhance landscaping should NOT be allowed.
The unchecked flooding, not managed properly by culverts or drainage has led to major concerns: sewer leaching into drinking water, the potential of no water supply in case of power outage rendering us with no fire protection, an arbitrary boil water advisory in place for over a year, serious damage to homes and very upsetting disruption to the families affected, to name but a few. The stress of being displaced from your home, the costs of repairs that insurance may or may not cover, the extreme difficulties that are desperately frustrating are but a few of the challenges facing families.
It is baffling and a waste of money, time and resources that the RDOS wants to conduct another study on what needs to be done rather than use the one that was done prior to them taking over the system. We Willowbrookians are fully aware that if just ONE of the RDOS staffers lived here, we would NOT be in this mess.
RDOS, step up! Be different than other bureaucracies and actually DO something for your constituents.
We are counting on you, just this once!
Among the many things I enjoy about Oliver, the one that stands out the most is how quiet the winter night is. At 10 pm while standing on the street and listening, all I hear is the silence and the stillness of the night. No barking dogs, no noisy motorcycles, no whine of the racetrack, and no truck jake brakes, unlike Osoyoos with its Anarchist Mountain highway winding its way into the Valley, rife with jake braking transport trucks.
Many an evening I have appreciated the full benefit of the Oliver quietness while standing on the blacktop and looking at the stars. As a child being raised by fruit growing parents, I don’t remember appreciating the quiet, quite like I do now.
In my pre-teen years, I remember waking up in the peacefulness of the morning after sleeping outside under the stars. The evening before, we would drag a canvass groundsheet onto the lawn, place a mattress on top of it along with sheets and blankets and we fell asleep watching the shooting stars as well as the odd satellite going over. I wasn’t aware of the evening stillness because our irrigation pump was usually running and it was nearby.
As a young teenager I enjoyed sleeping outside but didn’t enjoy hauling the mattress to the sawdust bin so it could dry out from the night dew while resting on the upside down apple boxes. Then having to haul it back to the lawn in the evening to sleep on it again. Finally, I just left the mattress on the over turned apple boxes, put sheets on it and slept on it as it was. I was still outside but protected from the elements and I slept wonderfully well! There didn’t seem to be many mosquitoes then either. I didn’t connect the dots at the time, but there seemed to be fewer Mosquito Hawks too.
In July of 2014, I wrote a bit for ODN about sleeping outside one summer night in Oliver during that year and the inconveniences of the night noises. Two years ago, one of my sisters gave me a blow up mattress complete with foot pump, so I could sleep outside in Edmonton. My first night was an experience! You must understand, our residence is .5 km from a major thoroughfare called The Whitemud Freeway.There were loud motorcycles, loud cars, jake braking trucks, emergency sirens blaring intermittently, and mosquitoes! The positive aspect was that the mattress was comfortable and I was warm enough.
I bought a mosquito net and ear plugs for the next night and slept like a baby, well… one that sleeps all night. My sleeping outside that summer ended with a down pour.
This year, I intend to sleep outside again, now that I’ve got it all figured out. I’ll still be subject to down pours, but I’ll take that risk.
When we return to Oliver for a visit during the warmer months, I’ll be looking forward to enjoying the evening silence. Hopefully, it will be as quiet as the winter nights were.
Just south and west of the stream going OVER the road – firefighters, friends of a neighbor sandbagging a house at the corner – one of the lowest in the rural area community.
The community is rallying to action to help neighbours totally frustrated with government generally. The problem was there last year and limited action taken.
The culprit this time is Kearne’s creek which is “really moving” and providing more than enough water to cause problems for residents.
Locals took out two large culverts on private problem yesterday to help release the backups but nothing seems to be enough and the pooling and NEW lakes forming are causing problems.
Above is high resolution – press with mouse.
Thanks to Jim and Susan Stanley for the heads up.