Archives for January 2019
Osoyoos council met with the public last night to introduce the 2019 overall Town budget
Finance Manager Jim Zakall talked to an overall total balanced budget of $28+ million with an average homeowner increase of taxes and utilities of $62 in 2019.
Council heard from 4 civic groups asking for support:
- Osoyoos Elks requesting $20 thousand for a Blues Festival in seed funding
- Cactus Jalopies Event seeking $11 thousand – general subsidy
- Dragon Boat racing asking for $5 thousand for a race director
- Lawn Bowling group requesting$25 thousand for lighting
Council will review all submissions and reconvene discussions on the budget at a later date
As a public service here is the entire budget document
ODN wishes to apologize for not publishing these reports in a timely fashion. They were sent by volunteers on time but not received by my email program which has now been fixed.
Jan 12, 2019 my son was involved in a single vehicle accident in Kamloops on his way home from work at New Gold Mine – recently hired at. My son grew up in Hedley and graduated in Keremeos. He had lived in Oliver with his fiancé Denise Lalonde and worked on the Stelkia Ranch.
Denise and Leon left Oliver in October heading for Grand Prairie. They stopped in Kamloops to visit with family for the night and ended up staying when Denise found work and Leon was just hired on at New Gold Mine in Kamloops.
On about January 3, 2019. Leon and his wife were excited to learn they were expecting their first child. Leon was thrilled with the idea of becoming a first time father. Life was beginning to look up for the couple.
5:20 pm January 12th – my son was taken from his beloved family. Denise has moved back to Oliver with her father and sister.
My son was laid to rest January 18, 2019 in Hedley. BC. The funeral procession was lead by 30 horses, my sons horse was saddled and lead with out a rider.
I am reaching out to the communities in which they lived in to help Denise through the tragic loss of Leon.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help. Use google www.gofundme.com and enter Leon Marchand or Denise Lalonde
Information supplied by Marty Marchand, father
Denise’s father is Frank Lalonde
Town of Oliver’s list of General Fund – Capital Projects approved:
Earle Crescent Resurfacing – Okanagan Street to Veterans Avenue to Kootenay Street $600 thousand
Veterans Avene & Church Avenues – resurfacing $148 thousand
Airport Street – Lane rehab – Skagit Avenue to Road 1 – $138K
Tuc-El-Nuit Elementary – Parking & Sidewalk – $66K
Fairview Rd & Nicola Street – Access to Rainbow Crosswalk – $22.5K
Sawmill Road – Line repainting/flexible bollards – $21.7K
In addition, new Bridge Park will be completed this year. Estimated cost has not yet been finalized however the money for this project is coming out of the Parks Development Cost Charge fund and not general taxation.
Banner pix captured
by Carolyn Madge
at Turtle Bay
MacKinnon has closed down her business in order to seek treatment in her home country of China for the chronic pain she’s been experiencing since she was rear-ended in a traffic collision in 2017.
“I’m young. I still want to work but I can’t work,” she said. In closing the bar, MacKinnon has had to lay off six employees and say goodbye to dozens of regular customers.
“I love this small town. Our bar is just like a family. Ninety per cent of our customers come here every day. I feel like I’ve just lost my family,” MacKinnon said
MacKinnon has seen her family doctor, been to the emergency room for an X-ray, had an MRI scan and has been treated by three chiropractors, but no one has been able to properly diagnose her pain, she said. Her family doctor ordered a second MRI scan but MacKinnion has become frustrated with the waiting time and the lack of progress in treating her pain.
‘I’m done. I need to go back to China,'” she said. “When I go to China and see a doctor, the next day I can get an MRI.”
Wait times for an MRI scan in the South Okanagan range from three to six months according to Tim Rode, program director for medical imaging with the Interior Health Authority.
“It is somewhat on the high side and this can be quite a frustrating experience for someone waiting for an MRI,” Rode says.
Last year the provincial government increased funding for MRIs to allow for more scans to be conducted each year. The South Okanagan region is expected to get a new MRI machine and be up and running by this spring.
Murphy’s has pool tables, widescreen TVs playing sports highlights, a weekly special for chicken wings and a cast of regular customers who all know the staff and each other by name.
For bar manager Gabby Campbell, who has worked for MacKinnon for the past four years, the sadness she feels about Murphy’s closing is less about losing a regular paycheque, and more about the loss of community.
“I’m really down about it,” Campbell said. “I’m going to miss my customers, I’m going to miss my boss. We are all a big family here.”The sentiment is shared among a group of regulars sitting at a table in the corner of the pub.
MacKinnon feels the weight of what closing Murphy’s will mean for her customers’ and employees’ lives — but she aims to return to the community with a new venture.
“I am not sure I can come back to open the pub, but I want to open another business,” she said. “I want all my employees back to work for me.”
Photo one: ODN
Photo two: CBC
Files from CBC
For the 2nd year in a row – Council has decided to increase taxes by nine percent exactly – in anticipation of a hefty cost for policing once the Village/Town reaches the magic marker number of 5000+ in population and becomes a CITY.
That is anticipated in the 2021 Census.
At that time Oliver will pay 70 percent of the cost of policing, cost of a RCMP building, costs of officers, cost or civilian staff etc. That cost could be more than one million dollars – tacked onto – regular spending for water, sewer, roads, general administration etc. Council was informed the cost of each officer – over $175 Thousand and the Town would require 6. Four other officers would work there as well for rural area policing and paid for by a provincial contract.
Town council met today for 4 hours to deal only with the Operating Budget for the General Fund plus capital. All water and sewer issues ( self sustaining operations ) dealt with prior to December 31st so that utility bills could be sent out after the new year.
The 9% tax plan often confuses the general public BUT is actually a good one. There is no general budget cost for policing now. So to make the ratepayers aware of a huge cost in the future the nine percent is introduced or re-introduced now and spent on capital projects and funding reserves.
Council was able to cut back about $60 thousand from the requests of staff on the operating side of things for 2019.
Council was able to determine exactly which capital projects would be funded in 2019 and future years.
Those details will come out over time.
Fairview (Bridge Park) – council decided not to include any budget figure until a cost analysis made on exactly what will be done.
Council did agree on a number of street, sidewalk, safety, paving overlays etc. Those work projects will be examined and publicized over time on ODN.
There is likely to be street speed calming measures made again on Fairview Rd.
A four way stop introduced at Spartan and Fairview in a previous year considered by many as a great success.
SOCS Third Concert – Friday, February 15th, 2019
Young, spirited and beautiful, pianists Amelie Fortin and Marie-Christine Poirier, have distinguished themselves with fiery four-hand interpretations, remarkable for their vitality and wit. Referring to what is happening with their quite spectacular career success under the name Duo Fortin-Poirier, they like to joke that if ten fingers are good then twenty fingers are better.
When they arrive on stage at Venables Theatre at 7:30 pm Friday, February 15th, be prepared to see one grand piano on stage with two pianist and four hands showing off the close affinity between their playing styles and a keen shared sensitivity fueling their ensemble playing.
Of special note, is a new presentation device where a camera captures the pianists fingers on the keyboard and projects it onto a screen at the back of the stage. No matter where you sit in the audience you can see every nuance on the keyboard and marvel at the speed and dexterity with which all 20 fingers create a blend of hard driving rhythm that has made waves in performance in Quebec and Canada and, more recently, internationally.
The program, entitled “Memoires” includes piano duo selections from Grieg, Dvorak, Piazzolla, Rachmaninoff and others.
Tickets are on sale at www.venablestheatre.ca or at the box office Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 to 3 pm. Thanks to our very generous sponsors, tickets are affordable. Two or more tickets in advance cost $21/ticket. A single ticket in advance is $23. Single tickets at the door are $25. Children and youth are $2.50.
Amelie and Marie-Christine are also doing a Master Class at the Shatford Centre in Penticton and will have three local duos performing for instruction from 10 am to 12:30 on concert day. The Master Class is open to the public for auditing. Also, if you arrive at 6:15 at Venables these local duos will be entertaining on the grand piano in the theatre foyer prior to the concert.
Since their inception in 2005, Duo Fortin-Poirier have garnered many distinctions. (1st prize in the Canadian Music Competition; 2nd prize at the 2013 Concorso Pianistico Internazional Roma; finalist in 2011 Liszt 200 Chicago International Duo Piano Competition and many more). Recently the Duo have toured the Maritimes, enjoyed a Prairie debut and toured the western USA.
Do come and enjoy the beautiful new Venables theatre complete with a fine grand piano and accoustics to warm the soul.
Obituary for the late
On Friday, January 18, 2019, Mrs. Else Muller of Oliver passed away at the Penticton Regional Hospital at the age of 90 years.
She was predeceased by her parents Ludwig and Julianna; her husband Alfred and eight siblings.
Else will be fondly remembered by her loving family including son Wilfred Muller (Brenda); grandson Jeffrey (Amber) and great-grandchildren Brannon and Emily; grandson Lee (Melissa) and great-grandchild Kayden; daughter Eleanor Long; granddaughter Stephanie and great-great-granddaughter Rose; granddaughter Kelly; grandson Phillip and grandson Bryan; daughter Ingrid Rossell and granddaughter Jessica; grandson Mathew (Lia) and great-grandson Cam; son Erwin Muller; brother Erwin Irving as well as many relatives in Germany.
She worked hard in the home and on the farm looking after her family, was a good cook and also worked in the Packinghouse.
Over the years, Else and Alfred enjoyed travelling to Olympus, WA and North Dakota to visit friends as well as to Germany many times to visit with friends and family.
Else volunteered her time and talent making many pots of soup, bread and crocheted pieces at Grace Lutheran Church as well as St. Paul Lutheran Church.
She was a great gardener, sewer, knitter and crocheter.
Donations are gratefully accepted for the BC Heart & Stroke Foundation or St. Paul Lutheran Church.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, February 2, 2019 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Oliver, BC. Interment and committal will follow at the Oliver Municipal Cemetery followed by a reception in the church hall.
Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting www.nunes-pottinger.com
They decided to meet halfway on neutral grounds. He was driving north from his city condo and she was headed south from her country cottage. They had not seen each other since their divorce fifteen years ago. This lunch meeting was a first. He had suggested it, ostensibly over their mutual concerns regarding their son.
Their marriage had produced one child, whom they had raised together and proudly assisted through medical school. He was a doctor now with the World Health Organization and traveled the world. Communication was always erratic, but neither of them had heard from him since he went to Cape Town, South Africa, a year ago.
They were meeting at The Old Mountain Inn, which was located in the Provincial Park. It was known far and wide for its delicious food and woodsy ambience. The exterior of The Inn was made from natural cobble stones, coupled with heavy wooden fir doors for entry. It was a beautiful setting nestled in the mountains, with the meadows alive with various coloured wildflowers and the melodious songs of resident birds. The inside had cedar walls, oak floors and a floor to ceiling stone fireplace. The walls were peppered throughout with old black and white photographs. There was a piano and even a piano player. He played softly while people drank tea from bone china cups or tinkled their crystal wine glasses. A romantic setting, but they were both married to others now and somewhere along the way had lost each other.
Initially, they were separated by hundreds of miles and by distance of another kind far greater.
Still, she wondered if time could be turned back – would they? Could they? Was this type of thinking another sign of the regrets that go along with aging? All the tomorrows that one can never see and no one says a word about the sorrows they may contain.
Turning into the parking lot, she spotted a man waving to her. He was certainly older, balding and paunchy but she noted the same great long legs, still muscular and suntanned. He had been a runner when they were young and she smiled in remembrance, as she exited the car.
Watching her, he immediately flashed back to the long haired blonde, blue-eyed beauty of years ago. Today he was not seeing her as a seventy year old woman with short grey hair and wearing glasses, which blocked her vivid blue eyes. He was experiencing the reality of how much he had missed her. That smile, that humour and her wit. Suddenly their years of laughter echoed in his ears. Wasn’t it only yesterday when they were young?
They ordered their lunch and complimented themselves on how civilized this was for a meeting. How good they both looked after all the years. Their talk revolved around their common interests – books recently read, live stage plays, foreign films, works of art, plants, gardening and birds. Neither mentioned their current partner. They reminisced about favourite old times and old places. She found herself giggling at some of their early marriage mishaps. She was bemused by his still sharp wit, that half smile always hovering. Now he was laughing with her as they enjoyed seeing themselves the way they were. What and when did changes occur to separate them? With a jolt, he realized he wanted to hold her one more time. He wanted to be back in the hospital holding her and their first born child. He recalled the jubilation of that time and the deep feeling of connection. Does it only occur once in a lifetime?
Reminded of their son, he told her that an email from the WHO administrator had been received this morning, advising that their son was alive and very busy. He was working in a refugee compound with no access to communication devices. He sent his love to both of them. So, he had knowledge of their son that morning, but did not call her and cancel their lunch meeting. She was glad of this as she now admitted to herself that she had often imagined just such a reunion. The truth was she had thought about it for years. It was like old times today. She so enjoyed his company. What had happened? Where had they gone wrong?
It was time to say good-bye. A handshake, a quick hug at the door. Great seeing you again, all the polite farewell phrases. The piano player started to play a slow, sentimental tune. They looked at each other. Should they? Would a jury find them guilty?
They went back in to the tiny dance area. They waltzed slowly, looking at each other. He, with a fond half smile. She, with eyes that were still sparkling after all the years. The eyes he fell in love with the first time. Her eyes, his son’s eyes.
Was this a dance to the end of love? The music faded. They walked out holding hands.
He said, “In everything my inner spirit embraces, I’ll always see you.”
She nodded, but her throat was too constricted to respond.
She wanted to say, “I will always love you.”
Was it only by parting that they knew what they loved?
They returned to their respective vehicles. He slowly turned his car south. She turned to go north, fixating on the road ahead.
Neither one trusted themselves to look back.
Last night he did as he had promised to do and persisted in asking this new council to reverse a decision made in 2018 that barred Water Councillors from sitting at all local government meetings in Oliver.
A motion was made and seconded by the Water Councillor Parm Sidhu to reverse the decision and then discussed briefly before being deferred until a meeting in February.
Machial was emotional in stating that he was an adult, his fellow councillor was an adult but they were being treated like children bullied in the school yard.
Points he made:
1. Much of the decision making of council is for a large water utility and many non-water related issues are affected by the supply of water
2. The local government act allows for permission to be granted for some people to be allowed at all meetings of council
3. His investigation and discussions with water councillors in Osoyoos has determined that they are not and never have been told to leave the meeting as is the new practice in Oliver
4. The legal arguments presented last year on meeting procedures was the opinion of one lawyer and not tested in court nor consistent with the Order in Council that broke up SOLID in 1990
5. The council is wrong in discussing the issue behind closed doors when it affects governance of the water utility
6. That he felt uncomfortable being in this position and would not appreciate it for four years. Machial said it was not the atmosphere that would be conducive to cooperation on some very important and large financial decisions that require unanimous approval.
Machial did admit to making some comments over the years on non-water matters but insisted he lived in the community as well and having different opinions was good. He admitted some of the comments may have rankled some feathers but in the 28 years – no one challenged the participation of water councillors.
Other councilors reacted by saying that they were considering the statements of Machial but had not reached a decision yet. Mayor Martin Johansen stated that an answer could be made sometime in February. Councillor Dave Mattes said the discussion was in-camera as it was based on a legal opinion sought by the last council. Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger stated that it was unfinished business and he moved to defer the motion for up to 4 weeks. Councillor Petra Veintimilla said she appreciated the comments of Councillor Machial but would not agree to vote on it at the meeting Monday.
The legal decision was published in Oliver Daily News and a number of public discussions took place initiated by the incumbent water councillors Andre Miller and Machial in late 2018. Even the decision to seek a legal opinion was held in private without consulting water councillors.
It was the opinion of former Mayor Ron Hovanes that he and a number of his fellow council members had concerns about water councillors talking about issues before council that did not involve water matters.
Council (Town of Oliver) will write to Interior Health again asking for an explanation to the question – what is being done to ensure local doctors are paid well for service doing ER shifts at So General Hospital.
In a letter from Interior Health dated January 17 several assertions weremade that short term and long term solutions to this problem are being discussed and worked upon. At council, Petra Veintimilla says the communication from IH was long on known history and short on any form of detail as to what is being discussed or agreed upon
After a council meeting in December – Councillor Petra Veintimilla wrote a letter to IH expressing concerns of her peers on the Doctor – staff levels at SO General Hospital. Here is the reply (below) that will be discussed tonight at a regular session of Oliver Town Council. Local doctors had claimed there were 90 shifts per month with 1/3 of those not filled or scheduled – could or might mean closures.
22 doctors have permission to work at SOGH but only 11 opt to work ER shifts
A request for Alternate Payment Plan was denied (APP), which would see doctors paid for their time and not per patient.
Oliver is a rural hospital and if it exceeds 20 doctors (FTE) working there it could be classified in a different category with negative results.
IH says it has reached some agreement for staffing but is not specific as to the details.
A woman presumed to have perished when a Penticton home caught fire more than a year ago was officially declared dead by a judge Monday, bringing to a close a case that baffled investigators.
Mary Ruth Esta was 92 and lived alone when her Lakeside Road home was devoured in a spectacular blaze on Oct. 11, 2017.
“It is strongly believed by the family of Mary Ruth Esta that she was in the house at the time of the said fire, although her remains were not located after the fire was extinguished, despite extensive and meticulous searching by the RCMP and the fire department,” explains an petition filed in B.C. Supreme Court filed by one of Esta’s children.
Fire Chief Larry Watkinson told the media at the time that he didn’t believe the fire burned hot enough to completely destroy any traces of human remains, and the case was then handed over to police as a missing-person case.
Thanks to Penticton Herald
Two homes totally gone in a fire that erupted about 6:00 pm on Lakeside Rd – just south of Skaha Marina. One house at 3923 Lakeside collapsed and the occupant, a 92 year old woman (Mary Esta) has not yet been found. A family spokesperson is quoted as saying her remains should have been found but both RCMP and Penticton Fire Department say there is no trace of her.
This a table inside an agenda which I cannot change.
The RDOS have re-issued some information that I will show below. Time will tell.
Total Requisition to Town of Oliver taxpayers for 2019 ( RDOS Services and Joint Services)
$1,457,735 down $47,653 from last year.
Average homeowner getting a tax bill lower than 2018 by $27.28. On one item separate from RDOS there is a saving of $31 per average resident for SIR – Sterile Insect Release (Programme)
RDOS quick to point out that the budget has not been finalized and will be by the end of March.