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More motorists getting behind wheel while impaired by drugs By Michael Potestio THE HERALD

It’s one test you should never fail but plenty of British Columbians still do. It’s the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), which is a physical coordination test police use to determine if a person is impaired behind the wheel. RCMP in B.C. are noticing more and more impaired drivers are driving under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. In 2011, police in B.C. conducted 124 drug influenced evaluations and issued 312 24-hour prohibitions for driving under the influence of drugs. Merritt RCMP Const. Dave Fahlman said from his perspective, the provincial trend seems to be mirrored in the Merritt area. As of Aug. 23, police have issued 18 24-hour driving prohibitions and vehicle impoundments to drivers impaired by drugs other than alcohol in Merritt and the immediate area this year. Fahlamn said the SFST test and additional testing done by a drug recognition expert are the only ways police have to determine if a person is impaired by a substance other than alco-

hol. Though the test can’t determine exactly what drug a driver is impaired by, it can point the officer in the right direction. “You can determine based on the indicators. You can gauge an idea of what kind of drug, whether it’s a stimulant, a depressant or those kinds of things,” Fahlman said. Fahlman said failing more than one component of the SFST results in a fail of the test and the penalty of a 24-hour licence suspension and 24-hour vehicle impoundment. The reasoning behind the 24-hour suspension is that it allows enough time for the drug to work its way out of the driver’s system, allowing him or her to drive sober. Based on the results of the test, police can decide if they want to bring in a drug recognition expert to do additional testing to determine the exact drug, Fahlman said. Merritt police typically bring an expert from Kamloops in if the driver fails multiple components of the test and if the RCMP determine the person is highly intoxicated. The expert will administer more physical testing such as a urine test, taking


Herald reporter Michael Potestio watches a demonstration of one of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests by Merritt RCMP Const. Dave Fahlman. Look for Potestio’s thoughts on the tests in Thursday’s edition of the Merritt Herald.

blood pressure, pulse and heart rate to determine what drug the driver is impaired by. It’s an option the Merritt RCMP use quite often, he said.

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look for nystagmus — a condition of involuntary eye movement — in the person’s eyes which can be caused by drug and alcohol use. Fahlman said officers

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Test results indicate type of drug used The first part of the SFST involves tracking an object, such as a pen, with the eyes. At this point, police will

also look for other indicators such as eyelid tremors, dilated pupils and pink eyes. Then there’s the walk and turn test, which aims to determine if the person’s balance and co-ordination have been affected. Fahlman said people who are impaired will usually miss steps, wobble while trying to maintain balance and/or fail to maintain walking in a straight line. People who are on cocaine will often take too many steps, he said. “And you’ll have to run and catch them,” Fahlman said, noting he had one person count out 32 steps, essentially speed-walking down the road before Fahlman could catch him. In the walking test, two major errors will result in a fail. The third component is the one leg stand test, which involves maintaining one foot off the ground while counting one-thousands. Fahlman said people on depressants will count slowly, averaging about 10 or 12 one-thousands in 30 seconds because their internal clocks have slowed down.




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2 • TUESDAY, September 3, 2013


Home-based business concerns lead council briefs Coun. Alastair Murdoch made a notice of motion to look into concerns related to home-based businesses at the regular council meeting on Aug. 27. The motion calls for administration to review the number of meetings per month and attendees per meeting a resident in a residential area is allowed to have under the current bylaws. It also called for the review to specify what the rules are and available options to amend those rules.

The motion was brought to council after they received complaints over too much parking taking place at a home business on Parker Drive. Murdoch said there’s been concerns of the nature of business and other activities in Merritt’s residential zones. He said there needs to be a balance between the rights of residents to have peace and quiet and the desire to make a living. Murdoch added that the rules, in terms of

parking and impact to neighbouring residents, should pertain to business purposes as well as to any others. The vote passed 5-1 with Merritt Mayor Susan Roline opposed. Coun. Dave Baker was absent. Land use amendment Council unanimously approved a land use amendment to be sent to a public hearing regarding land located southeast of the corner of Midday Valley Road and Houston

Street. The land was incorporated into the city’s boundaries last year. The land switched from TNRD zoning to City of Merritt zoning which differ, Roline said. She said the prospective purchasers want it zoned for heavy industrial use. The proposed use of the land would be for aggregate storage and a potential asphalt plant. The public will now get to have their input regarding what is desired to be zoned on that land.

Notice on title Council unanimously approved a notice on title against a home at 1590 Garcia St., which has become unsafe and filled with mould since a fire back in 2010. Roline said there have been issues with squatters inhabiting the house, which causes safety concerns, especially if another fire were to occur. The notice is essentially a first step in the process of demolishing the house, Roline said.

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TUESDAY, September 3, 2013 • 3


Nicola Valley nurses challenged by overcapacity By Emily Wessel THE HERALD

Nurses and patients alike are struggling with overcapacity at the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre. “They’re often running with a couple of extra beds [more] than they’re funded for,” B.C. Nurses’ Union president Debra McPherson said during a stop in Merritt on Aug. 23. McPherson said the hospital has eight acute care beds but often runs at about 11. “That’s an issue, especially if they don’t get additional staff to help deal with the work load,” she said. McPherson said another issue she heard about from nurses in Merritt is some confusion about the use of the emergency room, which she said ends up being used as an ambulatory facility for people who might need clinic-type care or just to see a doctor or healthcare professional. “It feels like the community actually needs an ambulatory care department in there so the emergency people get seen and the ambulatory people get seen in a timely fashion,” she said, adding that problem

B.C. Nurses’ Union president Debra McPherson stopped by the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre and Gillis House to meet with local nurses and discuss some of the challenges they face in their workplaces last Friday. Emily Wessel/Herald

could also be impacted by doctors’ availability. McPherson said getting nurses to work in the Merritt area is another challenge the local healthcare industry faces, although that problem is one she sees in rural sites around the province. McPherson said that is one of the issues she’s heard from nurses in many areas of the province. McPherson said the extra training required to work in a

rural facility comes down to the smaller workforce, which requires nurses to be able to handle a wide variety of situations. “These nurses need to be able to manage emergencies, maternaty, critical care type situations with monitoring.... A lot of people won’t move to rural communities because they have debts to pay or families to support. It’s a real challenge,” McPherson said, adding it’s not just a challenge

in the Nicola Valley. BCNU Steward for the hospital Brenda Swoboda said the extra training and qualifications rural nurses require puts a lot of financial pressure on applicants. Swoboda said it takes about a year to complete the rural training and it’s at the nurse’s expense, unless he or she can access funding. Although full-time funding is easier to access, the hospital needs more part-time and casual employees to cover nurses for short-notice absences such as compassionate or sick leave. There are between 40 and 50 nurses at the local hospital, including full and part time registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. “Needless to say, a lot of nurses are going out to work because they have loans to repay, so they’re not focusing on getting these extra courses to work in a rural site,” Swoboda said. Another province-wide issue in hospitals and health centres reflected in Merritt is the province’s model of “doit-yourself ” healthcare, which creates a revolving door at hospitals, union president and steward said.

“We’re sending home seniors to their senior partners who may be just as unwell as they are and they’ve barely been out of bed. Suddenly this partner has to help them to the toilet and everything else,” she said. “I think it’s a tragedy that runs under the radar. People maybe don’t realize these people are struggling until they end up back in emergency because there’s been a fall or a bed sore or something else has happened to them.” McPherson said she dealt with the problem of early discharge herself when she broke her foot and was ordered to keep the foot elevated at a 60-degree angle and had to outsource help to do basic tasks until she was mobile again. Patients and nurses face challenges right now with the rapid in and out with the clients.” The BCNU president’s Merritt stop was part of a two-week tour through the region to meet with nurses one-on-one. McPherson also stopped at Gillis House while in Merritt during the second week of the tour.

Attitude toward driving while high on marijuana too relaxed: RCMP From Page 1 “And that’s usally a strong indication of a depressant like marijuana,” Fahlman said. Impaired people will show signs of imbalance, sometimes jerking quickly to try and maintain their balance. Two strong indicators will result in a fail of that component as well, Fahlman said. The training for an officer to administer the SFST is a three-day course, while training to operate a breathalyzer requires only three hours because it’s a foolproof device,


Fahlman said. “With this [the SFST test], you have to know what to look for and you have to use some judgement,” Fahlman said. If a police officer has an indication a driver is impaired and requests the driver takes the SFST and the driver refuses, she or he is given the same consequence as someone who fails the test, Fahlman said. “We’re finding that we’re doing quite a lot of these tests,” he said. Fahlman said the

‘They think having a toke and going for a drive is perfectly fine, because they feel fine.’ — MERRITT RCMP’S DAVE FAHLMAN

majority of the drivers Merritt RCMP deal with are impaired by marijuana, alone or in combination with another drug. “Our biggest problem is the awareness. People don’t think

they’re impaired by drugs,” Fahlman said. “They think having a toke and going for a drive is perfectly fine, because they feel fine. They’re not realizing the number of things that their body is going to be required to do when they’re driving.” He said marijuana in particular inhibits a person’s balance, reaction time and ability to multi-task, which is very important while driving as there are multiple things to focus on, Fahlman said. “It’s really a complex task. When you’re high on drugs, especially

marijuana, for example, you can only really concentrate on one thing at a time.” However, RCMP officers have noticed a trend in drivers being impaired by other forms of legal drugs too, Cpl. Tim Lyons said. “We’re getting into a culture where it’s not just your drug addicts or your alcoholics, it’s your soccer mom who’s on an anti-depressant who has a glass of wine, gets in a vehicle and drives,” Lyons said. Police continue to see greater prevalence in the number of people operating motor

vehicles while on prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, even though they’re not supposed to, Lyons said. The implementation of the Immediate Roadside Prohibition program has been helpful to police in dealing with impaired drivers, saving them and the court system time, Lyons said. Lyons said the number of officers trained to be drug recognition experts and to administer the SFST test is increasing as the issue of drug impairment becomes more prevalent in B.C.

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REMEMBER WHEN? From the Herald archives, Sept. 1934 Four persons hurt when car topples down embankment A Merritt party of four, two young men and two young ladies, had a miraculous escape from death last weekend when the car they were riding in shot over the bank and plunged down the grade to near the railroad track at the Ten-Mile Hill on the Merritt-Spences Bridge highway, ten miles east of Spences Bridge. John Cassidy, Terry John, Miss Mary McMann of Vancouver, who was visiting here, and another visitor, Miss Billy May Allred of San Francisco, were in the car and Mr. Cassidy was driving. The auto had been borrowed from Mr. A. Goodall of Merritt. It was an open Ford and is a total wreck. The party left here at 10:45 p.m. Friday night with the intention of taking to Spences Bridge miss McMann who was to return to Vancouver by train from there.

4 • TUESDAY, September 3, 2013

NICOLA VALLEY NEWS ALL HELPING HANDS ON DECK Navy cadet Carter Wilkins proudly displays the cheque for $950 Wal-Mart manager Dave Colville (left) presented to the organization last week. The store matched what the navy league cadets raised in their car wash and hot dog fundraiser in June, navy cadets president Debra Raymond (right) said.

Susan Haynes Investment Advisor

Emily Wessel/Herald

As of Market Close on August 29, 2013

Indexes S&P/TSX DJIA S&P 500

City’s gas tax share to be allocated during budgets By Emily Wessel THE HERALD

Merritt’s latest share of the federal gas tax payments will stay in a reserve account until the next budget deliberations. The payment of $166,000 — the first of two for the fiscal 2013-14 year — was made in July and stays in a special account until the city starts looking for funding for projects during its annual budget planning process. Part of the reason

the funding distribution isn’t planned beforehand is because projects must meet certain eligibility requirements outlined by the province before the funds are allocated, Merritt Mayor Susan Roline said. These criteria ensure the outcomes of the projects align with the gas tax purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in cleaner air and water. Roline said the project eligibility requirements to access the funding vary by

province. “What you may think is eligible to reduce your greenhouse gases, they might think is not,” she said, adding the city has gone after some projects that were found ineligible to use gas tax funding. “We’ve got a fair chunk of money sitting there now.” The gas tax payments are determined by community populations, and are distributed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

Roline said she saw some of the gas tax funds put toward upgrades on community halls on a recent Thompson-Nicola Regional District educational tour through Clearwater. She said using the funding to prevent community halls from deteriorating is one way communities in the area have benefited from the money. Upgrades to the Lower Nicola Community Hall’s kitchen and washrooms are one example of an eligible project.

“It saves those people from having to drive to bigger centres, so you’re saving on the gas,” Roline said. “That’s why those funds are usable for that type of project.” She said it also saves communities from losing staple meeting places, such as community halls, that might have costly upkeep. “It’s a great thing the federal government has set up because it gives [communities] the ability to do those projects,” she said.


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Susan is an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities specializing in retirement and estate planning. Any questions or comments can be directed to her at 1-855-445-8312 or e-mail


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Grandparent’s day is September 8th in both the USA and Canada.. This article is supplied by Susan Haynes, an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC Dominion Securities is a member company under RBC Investments. The member company and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities that are afÄliated. Member CIPF. (tm) Trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license. ©Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

TUESDAY, September 3, 2013 • 5


New principals ready for school year By Michael Potestio THE HERALD

This year in Merritt, September marks the first day of school not just for students, but for two new principals. Lori Stewart is the new principal of Bench Elementary and Bruce Bidney has taken on the job at Diamond Vale Elementary. This will be Bidney’s second stint as a principal but it’s Stewart’s first principalship. “This is my first principalship, so it really is a steep learning curve for me but I have over 30 years of education in my background,” Stewart said, noting her passion for educating. Stewart worked in the Comox School District for 16 years, teaching from kindergarten to Grade 7 before taking this job. Stewart said she was born in Ocean Falls B.C., went to high school in Richmond and has worked as a teacher in places such as Uranium City, Sask., Yellowknife, N.W.T., and Toronto. She said she decid-

New Bench Elementary principal Lori Stewart

New Diamond Vale Elementary principal Bruce Bidney

ed to move to Merritt for work to take on the administration side of education. “I was looking for the next step for myself and I had completed my master’s in 2008 and it’s always been a dream for me to go into administration,” Stewart said. She and her husband were looking for a bit of adventure and change when she found this job. Bidney said he moved to Merritt to be closer to his family who live in the Lower Mainland and because it seems like a great place to raise his own family. Bidney, who’s originally from Victoria, first worked as a teacher in Vancouver before catching the travel bug. He went to Mexico City, Korea and Shanghai, where he lived and taught for

four years before coming back to Canada and settling in Prince Rupert. For the last five years, Bidney has been in the Burns Lake region, teaching for three years and working in administration for two. He said he finished a master’s degree last year. During his first year as a vice-principal, Bidney said he was a bit intimidated by his elementary school students — having only taught high school — and would often ask the principal to deal with issues. “Any time there was a problem down in the Kindergarten to [Grade] 3 area, I was like, ‘You go do it, I can’t, I’m scared of those little guys,” Bidney said with a laugh, adding he quickly became comfortable with children

once he had his own. Bidney said his goals for the year include building relationships, learning about the community and instilling school pride in his students. “You want to be here first and then you can start working on your learning, your academics,” Bidney said. As for Stewart’s goals for the school year, she believes it’s important to find out what the teachers and community value. To gauge that, she will be holding a meeting later this month to discuss important issues with stakeholders such as parents and teachers, as well as Grade 7 students and

support staff. She said her main focus this year will be on building relationships with the teachers, staff and students of her new school. “I also intend to roll up my sleeves and work alongside my staff as well because I am, in my heart, a teacher,” Stewart said. Stewart said she views Merritt as her new permanent home, and will also have family close by as her two sons have found work in Merritt. Bidney also said he can see himself settling down in Merritt. “It’s got [the] best of both worlds. It’s got amenities of a city but you also have that small town for raising



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HERALD MERRITT Runners convene for Merritt race ’s Nicola Valley merritthera



2013 • MERRITT


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disorders, with mental than those and becomes the statement says. Review Board royal assent B.C. ing, it gets In 2011, the escorted visits Cordon. the Schoenborn law. five-year-old that reminds from the Port old Max, and Galt have worked boards granted “This is a bill into the community facility where provincial reviewit is Clarke and of victims all psychiatric courts and Minister Stephen Coquitlam held. That permission we – the families– have been asking matter. In fact, Rob with Prime that victims reminder that victims he was being after opposition from Attorney GeneralHeritage across Canada not criminally a By soon be found more than than Harper, and Canadian was revoked who said she was for: people will hopefully THE HERALD the bill Nicholson get better supports matter — it statement says. Moore on Clarke’s family, responsible in place; the communewsroom@merritthe Minister Jamesyears. 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Act. with a vote from a facility, change the ly opposes Galt, on the by a in the Selkirk last month or escapes with The act would those found not leavesMARCH now be reviewed she has family site was found for classifying those on before 34 and will treating and MADNESS release reviews from annual Allan Schoenborn by reason committee and reported historiesThedifferently Merritt Secondary responsible lengthy violent criminally responsibleevery three School class not criminally for the murhearings its third reading. its third readof 2013 hearings to Darcie Clarke’s family children, of mental disorder hit the streets G If the bill basses HOMES and Clarke’s TIN for their years, which will correct an imbalFEATURE eight-yearders of his grand march G LIS Kaitlynne, system. down Voght members say TIN W 10-year-old current review Street on G LIS NE ance in the being proposed is what Frid for Friday TIN commencem W By “What is Michael LIS ent. Full story on Potestio NE W THE HERALD page 3, more photos NE reporter@merrit It was in section 2 bth rancher Manager Financial Services B. Emily Wessel/Herald nice, 2 bed, shop w/addi™ Pat Sibilleau’s • Very detached Fort Merritt ½ • 32x18 McMurra water The City city Duplex Immaculate council including, last tions “It’s w/ fruit trees, y. down two of Merritt Road • before upgrades meeting• 51 acresand more! a new Kane Valley is much • Many she moves paint. & on managers M3957 it’s nothing adventure Áooring position 1.6 acres log home • siding, She said •will to a new feature be working and ; 3 bedroom quiet cul-de-sac in Alberta. off -grid the job on tank & •a 3 level, will be a $285,000 Privacy, in any way,”against Merritt through • Located to H/W M3954 staff shortage After • Seclusion& busy one. there • Upgrades said Sibilleau. with a council “I had a City of two years with -6181 250-378-6184 “I’ll be of living Merritt the summer, for mostM3953 $154,000 more! Merritt, the great run 250-378 9 kms from is quite rewarding time, what doing there, the fullI think I’ve 1B8 • Fax: is moving Sibilleau Chief • 20 acres, here, and more Administr Phone: BC V1K ,” www.realto $195,000 ative on to pursue fencing, Creek contribute M3832 of my desk I do off a corner “Pat’s Ave., Merritt, • All new At the Sibilleau said. Officer d merritt 1988 Quilchena productiv given us some cil gave meeting, coun$199,000 with a,” sh administr inside she said real her Review Herald. ation and and she’s ity improvements www.royall applause a round of Estate Sibilleau council, Merritt when full Real said she time here,”invested a lot of the proud of See our is most her departure discussing of edition Mayor Susan . 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6 • TUESDAY, September 3, 2013

HERALD OPINION Back to school labour disputes By Tom Fletcher BLACK PRESS

VICTORIA – Another school year dawns in B.C., with the prospect of disruptive labour disputes. First up are 27,000 support staff, in a legal strike position. These are the teacher aides, custodians, bus drivers and crossing guards. Most are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, with a few Teamsters and other locals scattered around the 60 school districts. Public discussion about these disputes usually focuses on wage increases, which CUPE members in schools haven’t seen for four years. Their current deals expired more than a year ago, after they were subject to the same two-year wage freeze imposed on the rest of government. The B.C. government moved from the post-recession wage freeze to a system they call “co-operative gains,” where raises must be financed by savings in other areas of the operation. Only two provincial employee groups have yet to do this: school support staff and teachers. (Education Minister Peter Fassbender confirmed last week that teacher raises will be funded by extra transfers from the provincial treasury as they try to get a long-term deal. But that’s a topic for another day.) CUPE, the largest union in the country, has a sophisticated media campaign to generate public sympathy. We are repeatedly reminded not only that the last raise was 2009, but that the “average” pay is a mere $24,000 a year. If that number is accurate, it reflects a large number of part-timers. Let’s look at a few provisions CUPE doesn’t talk about, on behalf of those selfemployed taxpayers who have no paid holidays, no employer pension or benefits and no paid overtime, but are expected to help pay all of the above to government workers. The 60 contracts have many variations, but core elements are the same. In the Central Okanagan school district, the starting CUPE wage rate is $17.37 an hour. The top rate is $26.59, or $28.78 for workers who qualify for a “trades adjustment.”

See ‘Savings possible’ Page 7

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Falling head-first into the season Emily Wessel Merritt MUSINGS For some, ’tis the season for the dreaded backto-school. For others, the joyous beginning of hunting season. For someone who’s neither a student nor a hunter, it means one thing: sweater weather. Ah, fall. My second-favourite season. (Summer

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is Number 1, obviously and indisputably.) Anyway, back to autumn. Because I know you’re dying to know, here’s a list of things I’m looking forward to this fall. • Busting out the boots, scarves, and extra-cosy jackets. I’ll take any excuse to whip out warm socks (even if that excuse is constant drizzles from grey skies) and the cooler temperatures of fall give me the perfect reason. • The colours. When it’s not covered by a grey sky, fall is the most beautiful season. Although the colour changes tend to be short-

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lived, the bright orange, red and yellow leaves change the whole look of the Nicola Valley and bring out its beauty in a new colour scheme before the white duvet of snow tucks Merritt in for winter. • The cooler temperatures. More manageable morning and evening temperatures mean there’s no more rush to beat the heat by getting outside to exercise before the sun comes up in the morning. Plus, being free of the insufferable, oppressive, blaring midday sun means our skin and eyes catch a bit of a break, and I don’t need to lather up with SPF 60

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before stepping so much as a big toe out the door. • Pumpkins. Bring on the pumpkin. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, toasted pumpkin on spinach salad, toasted pumpkin seeds... and don’t forget pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is so versatile and can be savoury or sweet, and it’s one of the ingredients that makes fall so delectable. • Guilt-free couch potato-ing. As the weather gets cooler, it becomes easier and easier to grab a blanket and that sweet spot on the couch and read, indulge in a much-needed nap,

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or binge on Netflix offerings (or rejoice in the new seasons of your favourite shows if you’ve got cable). • Seasonal events around the valley. The fall fair and rodeo kick off the season, the bountiful offerings at the farmers’ market continue, the Garlic Festival is coming up, the arts council is starting a new concert series, and the film society’s season of criticallyacclaimed films is about to kick off. So grab a wool sweater and socks, find that super-comfy groove in your couch, settle in with a warm mug of pumpkin spice tea and embrace the fabulousness of fall.

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This Merritt Herald is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to

TUESDAY, September 3, 2013 • 7

YOUR OPINION GRINNING FOR GARLIC Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area N Director Herb Graham and Area M Director and Chairman Randy Murray presented Lower Nicola Garlic Festival organizers Becky and Pete Ratzlaff with a cheque for $1,000 on Friday. The Ratzlaffs said the money is earmarked for general operations, including prizes, music events and concessions. (From left) Arla Brynjolfson, Herb Graham, Becky Ratzlaff, Randy Murray and Pete Ratzlaff.

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Savings possible Hunting promotion up to in public sector other groups, not just city From Page 6 All contracts have rigid seniority and “bumping” clauses to ensure that new employees absorb any reductions in working hours. From a taxpayers’ perspective, this leads to the maximum number of employees making the highest wages. Overtime in Central Okanagan is time and a half for the first two hours, and double time after that. Contracts also include the provision that unscheduled overtime is subject to a four-hour minimum. It’s amazing how often an unexpected hour of work can arise when it’s paid at quadruple time. The Surrey school district contract details how even “spare board” employees are to be enrolled in the municipal pension plan, a defined-benefit system most private-sector employees can only dream about. Then there are paid sick days. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation reports that the average B.C. private sector worker took 7.4 sick days last year. The public sector average was 12. The Surrey contract details the windfall of unused sick days that must be paid out to employees who retire as early as age 55. The maximum is 150 days, for a lavish perk only available to employees hired before July 1, 1996. Even so, we’ll be paying these bonuses out for years to come. It goes on and on. Six weeks’ paid vacation after 20 years, with an extra day added for every year after that. There are many little things, such as a $60 “swimsuit allowance” for teacher aides who take part in swimming instruction. This is not to devalue the work done by these people. It is to suggest that given the growing gap between public and private employment benefits, finding savings is reasonable. Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and

Dear Editor, Re: Hunter rethinks Merritt shopping, Aug. 22 It almost brings tears to my eyes when I read letters such as the one from this fellow hunter from Campbell River because of my involvement in the business community. It confounds me why Mr. Vohringer expects a politician to be anything other than ‘politically correct’ as a way to get out of potentially catering to one group at the expense of another. At this point, I’m not even sure why he even spoke to ‘a city councillor’ about promoting hunting when there are so many other organizations that would’ve been a better choice and which are better suited to promoting the adventure of outdoor recreation and tourism in Merritt. What about the other councillors? Speaking to someone ‘a number of years ago’ is so vague in this fast-paced day and age that there is no guarantee the current councillors are even of the same opinion. How about the local fish and game club, an orga-

nization that he has been a part of for a very long time, which has done nothing to promote Merritt as a hunting and fishing centre? Wouldn’t that be the logical choice? Except they are too busy being an old boys club obsessed with exclusivity and wasting money on fighting for public access to a lake that is one out of a thousand others that have no public restrictions. What kind of image does that portray for the community? Not a good one in my opinion. It is clear that he should stick to fishing advice and leave the economics to the business professionals. Mr. Craig, I hope you do not stop visiting our wonderful city based on this one man’s commentary, or the hearsay spewing forth from his pen. Please visit the chamber of commerce next time you are in our great city as I would love to shake your hand and introduce you to the membership of businessmen and women who value the patronage.

Millions of children are back to school, but not in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or the Middle East. Around the world, almost 57 million elementary school-aged children — especially girls — don’t go to school at all. Millions more receive a poor-quality education and will not be able to read, write or count. Investing in basic education is one of the best ways to fight poverty. Over the last 12 years, the number of out-of-school primary school-aged children has decreased from 102 million to 57 million, with support from mechanisms like the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Such a decrease will surely have a huge impact on reducing poverty over a long period of time. The GPE is an effective global partnership devoted to ensuring that all children are enrolled and receiving a quality basic education. Through its pooled funding model, the GPE provides development partner

PREVIOUS QUESTION Are your kids ready to go back to school? YES: 36% NO: 63%

Darrel Brooks Merritt

Ensuring education for everyone Dear Editor,

Are unsightly properties an issue in Merritt?

countries with additional incentives to develop and implement sound national education plans. As more countries recognize the importance of basic education, there has been an unprecedented demand for educational resources globally. Canada is among the rich countries contributing to the GPE, but is still not contributing its five per cent share as a developed country. To do so, it would need to increase its contribution from $45 million to $125 million over a period of three years. Let’s just hope Canada will make this move in the right direction over the next months. One hundred twenty-five million dollars over three years is not such a big commitment for a country like Canada. Let’s remember that by restoring corporate tax rates to their rate before 2008, Canada would have saved $5.4 billion two years ago and $11.2 billion last year. Bruno Marquis Gatineau, Que.

LETTERS POLICY The Merritt Herald welcomes your letters, on any subject, addressed to the editor. Letters must be signed and include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification purposes. Letters may be edited for length, taste and clarity. Please keep letters to 300 words or less. Email letters to: newsroom@ merrittherald. com.

8 • TUESDAY, September 3, 2013


Intoxicated pair’s “amorous expressions” confused for fighting: police briefs On Aug. 25 at approximately 4 a.m., Merritt RCMP responded to a citizen’s complaint of a disturbance in the 1700 block of Menzies Street. Information received was of a male and a female yelling at each other and the female appeared to be pushing the male. The investigation into this interrupted a large party where there were grossly intoxicated persons. While officers were identifying people and attempting to find out who the male and female were, the homeowner pointed out someone who wasn’t known to anyone living at the residence. This male, a 51-year-old from Kamloops, was arrested and held in custody due to his gross intoxication. While dealing with this, officers managed to identify the male and female who were the subject of the original call for service. The male, age 20, and the female, age 33, (both from Merritt) told officers that they were expressing themselves amorously and were not fighting. They were both grossly intoxicated and the disarray of their clothing added credibility to their story. Both were arrested and held in custody. Once sober and able to care for themselves, each was released without charge. Man slashed in chest On Aug. 26 at approximately 7 a.m., Merritt RCMP responded to a report that a 21-year-old local man had been attacked by a group of unknown males while

he was walking on Nicola Avenue. The group is described as four males in their late 20s, wearing ball caps with two of them in hoodies and one in a black T-shirt. The group asked the man a question, then punched him in the back of his head as he walked away. One male in particular, who was wearing a yellow Pittsburgh Pirates hat, a black T-shirt, blue jeans and weighed approximately 220 pounds, pulled out a pocket knife and slashed the victim on the chest. The victim was treated in hospital for minor injuries. The investigation is continuing.

N’Kwala campsite on Highway 8. Information received was of a male who was threatening campers while riding a horse. Police identified a 65-year-old man of no fixed address who was intoxicated and found sleeping beside his dog and horse in the area. The man was arrested for uttering threats and causing a distur-

bance. However, the campers did not wish to pursue the issue criminally. He was held in custody until he sobered up and could safely take care of himself. Stolen gaming console On Aug. 23, Merritt RCMP responded to a break, enter and theft

from a residence in the 1300 block of Spruce Avenue. Unknown person(s) broke in and stole a Playstation 3. The investigation is continuing. Drunk driver caught On Aug. 25 at approximately 2:30 a.m., Merritt RCMP observed a Toyota truck operate without

passenger side brake lights illuminated. The truck was stopped and the driver, a 32-yearold male from Ashcroft, was found to have been drinking and his ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired. He was served with a threeday driving prohibition. Since Aug. 23, Mer-

ritt police officers responded to: 108 calls for service, nine false or abandoned 911 calls and one false alarm, and made 13 drunk in public arrests. Merritt detachment: 378-4262 Crimestoppers: 1-800-222-TIPS

Cocaine, morphine seized from house in drug trafficking investigation On the evening of Aug. 28, Merritt RCMP executed a search warrant in the 1800 block of Blair Street as part of a street-level drug trafficking investigation. Two local males and a male from Kelowna were found inside the residence, arrested and each was subsequently released on a promise to appear. A quantity of cocaine and morphine was seized from the residence, as well as other items related to drug trafficking. Several weapons were found inside the residence. Once the investigation is complete, charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking are expected to be laid. Intoxicated man on horse threatens campers On Aug. 24 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Merritt RCMP responded to a citizen’s complaint of a disturbance at the



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TUESDAY, September 3, 2013 • 9

HERALD SPORTS Have a sports story tip? Tell us about it by calling 250-378-4241 or emailing

Local triathlete more than meets the Challenge By Ian Webster THE HERALD

We all know that sometimes in life, things just don’t go as planned. And that the real measure of a person’s character and mettle is how they respond to the unforeseen and deal with the unexpected. Merritt triathlete Shayne Cavaliere had one of those experiences this past weekend while participating in the inaugural Penticton Challenge – an Ironmandistance competition that includes a 3.8 kilometre swim, followed by a 180 kilometre bike ride and finally a 42.2 kilometre marathon run. Cavaliere, 34, an experienced short-course triathlete with a successful half-Ironman under his belt, had trained meticulously for over nine months for the Challenge in Penticton. He had put in hundreds of hours of practice in the pool and local lakes, and on the roads in preparation for this penultimate endurance test. “I was more prepared for the race than for anything I’ve prepared for in my life,” said Cavaliere. “I had complete confidence. I knew how the day was going to go in my head. I had every scenario thought out…except for what did happen.” Cavaliere got a small inkling that things weren’t quite right in the days leading up to the Challenge race which was held on Aug. 25. He and his wife, Lisa, had gone over to Penticton a few days early to take in all the build-up events and activities prior to Sunday’s race. “During my taper (wind-down in training), I had hoped to put on a few

pounds because I was a little lighter than I wanted to be,” said Cavaliere. “The day before the race, I just happened to hop on the scales and found out that I had been losing weight, not gaining it, during the week. I figured it had something to do with a cold I’d caught a few days earlier.” That night, on the eve of the Challenge, Cavaliere woke up in the middle of the night, soaked with sweat. “I knew then that it wasn’t just a cold I was dealing with, and that I’d picked up a bit of a bug.” When Cavaliere awoke the following morning, he didn’t feel terrible, but he didn’t feel good either. Nevertheless, he reported to the beach and the beginning of the swim portion of the Challenge race. “Waiting at the start, I had no nerves,” Cavaliere said. “In fact, I was probably the only person on the whole beach with a smile on their face.” The swim actually went great for Cavaliere, despite a strong wind that made the water quite choppy and his inability to find a fellow swimmer that he could draft behind. “The only real problem I encountered was on the way back in,” said Cavaliere. “We were swimming into the sun and my goggles had fogged up so I couldn’t see very well. I was having trouble sighting, and the accompanying canoeists had to steer me back on course several times. I have an expensive Garmin watch that tracks me, and when I finished the swim, I discovered that I had actually swum 4.4 kilometres rather than 3.8 kilometres.”

PEDAL POWER Merritt triathlete Shayne Cavaliere gives a thumbs up during the early stages of the 180-kilometre bike section of the Penticton Challenge. Things would get a lot tougher. Photo submitted

Despite the added distance, Cavaliere wasn’t too far off his projected time for the swim and, more importantly, didn’t feel too bad. A carefully-planned swimto-bike transition should have helped to set Cavaliere up for a successful phase two of the Challenge, but it wasn’t to be.

“My plan for the bike was to break the ride into three 60-kilometre sections mentally. The first section, from Penticton to the Richter Pass (outside Osoyoos), I was going to do easy, and then begin to step it up from there. The first section was going to set up the rest of my day.”

Unfortunately, Cavaliere’s opening leg on the bike didn’t go as planned at all. “The first 10 kilometres into the ride, I knew that my heart rate had spiked up to 160 beats per minute which was way too high,” he said. “I slowed right down to 15 kilometres per hour to try to get my heart rate to drop but it wouldn’t. That’s when I knew something was seriously wrong. At the time, I didn’t know what to do. I never thought to just plain stop and rest for a while. In hindsight, I probably should have pulled over.” Instead, Cavaliere pushed on, struggling to ride efficiently as his heart raced. “With my heart rate up and not wanting to come down, and with over 150 kilometres still to do on the bike, and a marathon to run as well, I began to realize how difficult the rest of my day and night was going to be.” Cavaliere struggled through the 180-kilometre bike course, which includes two horrendous uphill climbs, functioning largely in an anaerobic state. It took him almost seven hours. “Ultimately, I blew up between 120 and 150 kilometres out on course,” he said. “I had a miserable ride back into Penticton. What was worse was knowing what still lay ahead. “I basically went into survival mode on the marathon. I wouldn’t even look at my watch. I didn’t want to know. I spent the whole time just trying to focus on the four basics: relax, electrolytes, fluids and food. My body was wanting to shut right down even though my heart rate contined to be highly elevat-

ed. I could hardly even walk at times. I tell you, I sure went to some dark places on that run.” In spite of the physical agony and mental anguish he was going through, Cavaliere said that he never thought of giving up. “There was no way I wasn’t going to finish. There was too much time and too much money invested.” Cavaliere completed the 42.2-kilometre run in six hours and four minutes, almost two hours over his desired time. His total time out on course was 14 hours and 48 minutes. Cavaliere began his day at 6:30 in the morning, and didn’t cross the finish line until almost 9:30 at night. His words at the finish line to the medical attendants that grabbed him were, “I feel like hell. I think I want to die.” Cavaliere didn’t die, and actually recovered relatively quickly — such that by Tuesday of this week he was feeling quite good. He has also reconciled with his result. “I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the time that I wanted,” Cavaliere said, “but I’ve come to terms with what happened. I’m happy with what I accomplished given the circumstances.” In actual fact, Cavaliere finished in 284th place, in the top half of the 751 competitors who completed the entire Challenge. Cavaliere is determined to redeem himself, and definitely plans to do the Challenge (in Penticton or wherever) again. Asked if it will be as early as next year, he said with a laugh, “That you’ll have to ask my wife.”

The Penticton Challenge: a family event The Challenge Family is a global series of long distance triathlons that is changing the face of Iron-distance racing around the world. Featuring spectacular courses at iconic locations, Challenge Family events focus on delivering the race of a lifetime to athletes of all ages and abilities, and creating a memorable spectator experience that captures all the excitement and emotion of this inspirational sport.

This was the first year for the Challenge Family in the beautiful south Okanagan region of British Columbia. Over 1,400 competitors took part in the inaugural event. The European-based organization replaced Ironman Canada, which had called Penticton home for over 20 years. While Merritt’s Shayne

Cavaliere was the only person from the Nicola Valley to actually compete in this year’s Challenge event, he and his wife, Lisa, who is also a triathlete, both embraced the many festivities that were held in conjunction with Challenge week. They were joined by their two daughters for Sunday’s thrilling race. “Everything started on

the Wednesday before the race, with a big Expo at Gyro Park, a barbecue, and a parade with the theme ‘Tribute to Sport,’ said Lisa. “On Thursday, we went to see the movie Second Chance, which tells the inspirational story of Janelle Morrison, an elite Penticton triathlete who was almost killed in a car accident back in 2010.

“Friday was the athletes dinner at the Penticton Convention Centre for competitors and their families. It was fantastic. The meal was outstanding. “All week long, there were seminars led by the pro triathletes who were in town for Sunday’s race. Their presence was everywhere. Even after the race on Sunday, the three top male

and female finishers stayed around and gave out medals to others at the finish line. “The Challenge is very family oriented,” Lisa said. “The highlight for us was when all three of us got to cross the finish line with Shayne. We walked the red carpet with him. “They did a spectacular job and I’m sure next year will be even bigger.”

10 • TUESDAY, September 3, 2013

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Help Wanted

Help Wanted

An Alberta Oilfield Company is hiring dozer and excavator operators. Lodging and meals provided. Drug testing required. Call (780)723-5051 Edson, Alta. FIELD CLERK Needed for out of town work site (21/7 schedule). Mature, flexible and positive communicator, understanding of importance of safety culture. Reporting to onsite foreman & Edmonton HO. Transportation to & from work site provided. Potential to grow with company; Fax 780-488-3002. Quilchena Active Solutions is looking for individuals to join our dynamic, growing organization that offers outstanding income potential, personal growth opportunities, recognition and incentive rewards. Full and part time positions are available. We are located at 2064 Coutlee Ave. For 60 years, we’ve been helping people eat healthier with our advanced cookware system. Healthy food and the joy of cooking come together. Join our team and make a life changing difference. Call 250378-2877 or

Help Wanted

Lower Nicola Indian Band Accounts Receivable Clerk – Full time

White Bear Daycare requires an

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR for our busy Infant/Toddler Program. Criminal Record Check, First Aid and Medical Clearance Required. Wage Negotiable. Contact Heather at 250-315-1331 or email:

Upper Nicola Band EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY The Upper Nicola Band “Head Start” program is looking for a positive, motivated and enthusiastic individual to be a part of the Head Start team at Douglas Lake. The successful applicant will possess a current Early Childhood Educator certiÀcate with infant/toddlers and special needs certiÀcation. • A drivers license is required • A criminal record check is mandatory. • References required Please forward your resume to the: Upper Nicola Head Start Program Box 3700 Merritt BC, V1K 1B8 or email it to: Attention: Lynne Bomford CLOSING DATE: SEPTEMBER 19, 2013

Start Date: Immediately Primary Role: Reporting to the Finance Manager the Accounting Clerk I – Accounts Receivable is responsible for recording revenue transactions, maintaining all A/R Àles in a timely, organized, and complete manner, and reconciling the A/R Control Accounts. The Accounting Clerk I – Accounts Receivable works in a team environment and assists in the Finance Department in support of all accounting functions as required. QualiÀcations: • At least one year of a two-year accounting certiÀcate or equivalent. • Two years previous accounting experience preferably with a First Nations organization. • Experience with MS Excel, MS Word, Ànancial accounting software is required. • Good knowledge of general accounting concepts, and basic typing skills. • Ability to communicate respectfully with band members and business partners. • Ability to work independently, meet deadlines, multi-task, follow direction, and verify own work. • Good judgement and problem solving skills. • Willing to learn, and assist in all areas of the Finance Department as required. • Integrity and honesty are essential in this position of trust. • Ability to speak or willingness to learn the Nlaka’pamux language is a pre-requisite. Deadline: September 18, 2013 by 4:30 pm

Submit Resume and Cover Letter with three references to: Lower Nicola Indian Band Attention: Finance Manager 181 Nawishaskin Lane Merritt BC V1K 0A7 Fax: (250) 378-6188 or Email:

Journey’s Into Tomorrow Transition House


Position Duties: Under the direction of the Program Director, the successful applicant will carry out the Vision and Mission of Journey’s Into Tomorrow Transition House and provides support to women and their children in a nonjudgemental and conÀdential atmosphere. Duties include the following: • To create an atmosphere of safety and trust by providing conÀdential and non-judgemental support • To assist clients recognize their rights and responsibilities • To provide necessary referrals and/or case planning with other organizations/agencies • Intake procedures including assessing eligibility • Handle crisis calls and to provide emotional support, information and referrals over the phone • Record keeping in compliance with the Privacy Act and Journey’s Into Tomorrow policies, as well as maintain statistical activity reports Position QualiÀcations and Requirements: • College CertiÀcate in the Social Services discipline or two years’ experience In the Social Services Sector • Crisis and Suicide Intervention/Prevention • Food safe, Level 1 First Aide • Effective and respectful interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with colleagues • Reliable and self motivated • Maintains professional standards of practice including ethical boundaries and protecting the conÀdentiality of the House, families and colleagues • Reliable vehicle and valid BC Driver’s License • Complies with the Criminal Records Review Act Employment type: On call casual Start date: Immediately Wage: Dependent on qualiÀcations and previous experience. Please fax or email resumes to the attention of Sharon Collins, Program Director, Journey’s Into Tomorrow Transition House Fax # 250-378-6172 Email Only selected interviews






TUESDAY, September 3, 2013 • 11


Merchandise for Sale

Trades, Technical

Misc. for Sale

GUARANTEED JOB Placement: General laborers and tradesmen for oil and gas industry. Call 24hr Free Recorded Message. For Information 1-800-972-0209.

STEEL BUILDINGS, Metal buildings 60% off! 20x28, 30x40, 40x62, 45x90, 50x120, 60x150, 80x100 sell for balance owed! Call 1-800-4572206

Become a GREEN SHOPPER! WRANGLER RENTALS LTD. is now recruiting Excavator Operators. Rig experience an asset. Camp jobs, day rates, health benefits & steady work rain or shine. Contact Monika 780-980-1331 or email resume:

Misc. Wanted Genuine Coin Collector Buyer Collections, Olympic Gold & Silver Coins etc 778-281-0030



Apt/Condo for Rent

Financial Services


DROWNING IN Debt? Cut debts more than 50% and debt free in half the time! Avoid bankruptcy! Free consultation. or Toll Free 1-877-556-3500 BBB Rated A+ GET BACK ON TRACK! Bad credit? Bills? Unemployed? Need Money? We Lend! If you own your own home - you qualify. Pioneer Acceptance Corp. Member BBB. 1-877-987-1420 IF YOU own a home or real estate, Alpine Credits can lend you money: it’s that simple. Your credit/age/income is not an issue. 1-800-587-2161. M O N E Y P R OV I D E R . C O M . $500 Loan and +. No Credit Refused. Fast, Easy, 100% Secure. 1-877-776-1660.

Spacious 1 & 3 bedroom apartments.

F/S, heat and hot water included. Ask about move-in incentives For appointment call

Ph: 250-378-9880 Homes for Rent

Avail. Sept. 1, 2 bdrm mobile home, w/ small add-on. Washer/Dryer, fridge/stove, & util. included. Fenced yard, close to schools & town. $975/mth. Ph: 250-378-0887.

Room & Board Room for rent available Sept. 1st in beautiful home. Must be working and clean. 500 for furnish bedroom upstairs, or 700 for basement, includes all utilities, no pets, no drugs. Call Tracey 250-378-8852 Close to down town Merritt

Legal Services AT LAST! An iron filter that works. IronEater! Fully patented Canada/U.S.A. Removes iron, hardness, smell, manganese. Since 1957. Visit our 29 innovative inventions; w w w. b i g i r o n d r i l l i n g . c o m . Phone 1-800-BIG-IRON. CRIMINAL RECORD? Don’t let it block employment, travel, education, professional, certification, adoption property rental opportunities. For peace of mind and a free consultation call 1-800-347-2540.

Suites, Upper 3 bdrm suite for rent. Close to downtown. N/s, N/d, no pets,ref. req., fenced yard. $750/month. 250-378-9560


Auto Financing

Merchandise for Sale

Heavy Duty Machinery A-STEEL SHIPPING DRY STORAGE CONTAINERS Used 20’40’45’53’ in stock. SPECIAL 44’X40’ Container Shop w/steel trusses $13,800! Sets up in one day! 40’ Containers under $2500! Call Toll Free Also JD 544 & 644 wheel loaders JD 892D LC Excavator Ph 1-866-528-7108 Delivery BC and AB

Misc. for Sale RESTLESS LEG Syndrome and leg cramps? Fast relief in one hour. Sleep at night. Proven for over 32 years. Mon-Fri 8-4 EST 1-800-765-8660.

DreamTeam Auto Financing “0” Down, Bankruptcy OK Cash Back ! 15 min Approvals

1-800-961-7022 DL# 7557

Recreational/Sale DUE TO HEALTH MUST SELL 2011 23’9” Wildwood travel trailer, incl. 2500V inverter, 4000V gas generator. Can be viewed at 2548 Corkle St. Lower Nicola 250-378-9157 or 250-378-4009

12 • TUESDAY, September 3, 2013

Quilchena Active Solutions For a better, healthier life

Bring fun and healthy living back into cooking with

s d i K r o f Fu n Ve n d o rs t n e m n i E n te r t a Fo o d s n o i t a r t Demons

2064 Coutlee Ave. Tuesday, September 3rd 10 am to 6 pm GIFT CERTIFICATE This certificate entitles your family to a free dinner presentation! What’s on the menu? Crispy fried chicken, potatoes, four vegetables, salad, and cake for dessert! Please call 250-378-2877 to book your presentation. Expires October 1, 2013

Merritt Herald, September 03, 2013  

September 03, 2013 edition of the Merritt Herald

Merritt Herald, September 03, 2013  

September 03, 2013 edition of the Merritt Herald