THE JIG IS PICKING UP PAGE 3
WHAT EARTH DAY MEANS TO ME PAGE 8
RACING SEASON UP IN THE AIR PAGE 9
Nicola Valley’s News Voice Since 1905
MERRITT HERALD FREE
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 • MERRITT NEWSPAPERS
Water already treated: city By Michael Potestio THE HERALD
BUBBLE BOY The fun at Friday’s Easter Eggstravaganza at Rotary Park included music, food, and activities such as face painting, soccer, a bounce house, bubble blowing, and of course, a high-energy egg hunt. For more photos from the Easter Eggstravaganza, turn to page 7. Michael Potestio/Herald
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The City of Merritt’s Public Works Department is warning residents not to believe their water needs to be tested. On April 9, the city received a complaint from a resident saying a company called Eaglewater Treatment Systems was coming to test their water on behalf of the City of Merritt, superintendent of public works Darrell Finnigan stated in an email. The public works department does all testing of water on its own and would not contract out water sampling to anyone, he stated. The email went on to say that the public works department has weekly test sites, and only conducts water tests at a residence if there has been a complaint from the homeowner. Finnigan also stated that Merritt’s water is clean and safe. It is monitored around the clock and tested weekly for total coliforms, CL2 levels and a comprehensive test is done twice annually for all elements in the water. At the time the complaint was made, Eaglewater Treatment Systems did not have a
business licence to operate in Merritt. The company has since acquired one, Finnigan told the Herald. City bylaw officer Bob Davis told the Herald the company wouldn’t be denied a business licence so long as they didn’t misrepresent themselves by saying they are affiliated with the city. A few days after the complaint, Finnigan met with a salesman for the company at the public works yard and was shown a demonstration of what the company does. Finnigan said the tests the salesman showed him are all factual tests that show different traits of the water. “I made him do exactly what he’d do for a homeowner, put him through the ringer, and what he shows is exactly what we know. The City of Merritt has hard water,” Finnigan said. “He never showed anything besides the hardness of the water.” The salesman told him they are telling residents they can help reduce the hardness of their water, Finnigan said, but they are not stressing health risks of the water. Finnigan said in the past, he’s confronted other companies in the
same way he confronted this one only to have them dodge him. “This is the only company that I’ve confronted and they’ve actually got back to me and gave me their presentation,” Finnigan said. For those living in Merritt, the equipment is unnecessary as the water is clean and treated, Finnigan said. However, people living outside the city limits, who draw water from personal water systems, such as ranchers and farmers, may benefit from personal water filtration products. For Merrittonians, the filter equipment can soften the water and take away some of the chlorine taste and smell in it, which is a matter of personal preference, Finnigan said. Finnigan said he only received one complaint stating the company claimed to be affiliated with the City of Merritt. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to make people aware that they have to understand what these salesmen are trying to do or sell them. And if they don’t understand, phone us. We can explain exactly what’s in the water and how it could help them or not,” Finnigan said.
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2 • TUESDAY, April 22, 2014
NICOLA VALLEY NEWS
First local Great Cloth Diaper Change Saturday By Emily Wessel THE HERALD
Merritt families are preparing for the city’s first ever Great Cloth Diaper Change taking place at the local legion on April 26. The event was started by a children’s store owner in California, and in its four years, has expanded to over 300 sites in 20 countries. This year, the goal is to break last year’s Guinness World record-
setting 8,031 babies changed at the events. It’s now put on in partnership with the San Diego-based non-profit Real Diaper Association, and the local event is brought to Merritt by Kamloops-based online cloth diaper retailer Kristie McComb. McComb said she got into the eco-friendly baby product market in Brockville, Ont. while cloth diapering her own
‘They’re much easier to use than anyone imagines until they actually try it.’ — EVENT ORGANIZER KRISTIE MCCOMB
daughter. McComb has organized past
events in Brockville, but upon relocating to Kamloops last summer, found there was already a Great Cloth Diaper Change event in Kamloops and so she decided to establish one in Merritt. “I was kind of familiar with Merritt and there was nothing, and I know there are people there who use cloth diapers, so we thought we’d reach out and try and build some community there,” McComb said.
McComb said the misconceptions about cloth diapering include that it’s smellier and more complicated than using disposables. “They’re much easier to use than anyone imagines until they actually try it,” she said, adding they have environmental benefits as well as cost savings. The event takes place in the same week as Earth Day.
See ‘No experience’ Page 3
TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 • 3
NICOLA VALLEY NEWS
Métis jigging group dancin’ up a storm By Emily Wessel
because we’re trying to make it go faster,” Ferch said at their practice. Although its current members are all girls between nine and 11, the group is open to boys as well and has no age restrictions. Lucier said the group she dances with in Kamloops is mostly adults, but in Merritt, youth have taken to it. “Our work is to help youth and families feel that sense of belonging, and dancing is a great way and it’s been a fun way to listen to our music and meet our elders and
A new dance group has sprung up in Merritt. The Métis jiggers are a group of young girls who are dancing to connect with their Métis roots. In six months of practices, the four group members have learned jigging steps and five dances. Instructor Colleen Lucier comes from Kamloops at least once a month to teach the dancers Métis jigging steps. Between lessons, the girls practice on their own. So far, the girls’ practice seems to be paying off. While Lucier said it took her about a year to learn one particularly complicated step called “around the world,” 11-yearold Talyn Ferch said it took her one session to learn it. Ferch said she and some of the other girls jig during recess at Diamond Vale Elementary. “They’re all naturals at it,” Lucier said. Lucier is aided by local volunteer Cecilia Dumont, who helps the girls fine-tune their steps. “We wanted to see children and teenagers
learn some of our culture,” she said. Further, she said, you don’t have to be Métis to dance with the jiggers. The troupe will have its first performance at the Métis community potluck on April 25 starting at 5 p.m. at the cadet hall. “We’re available to perform at local functions and highlight our Métis culture and the local Métis culture. There’s a large Métis community in Merritt that I wasn’t aware of until I got connected to the Métis people here,” Lucier said.
Talyn Ferch and Mackenzie Wray, both 11, perform the sash dance as their Metis jigging instructor, Colleen Lucier, looks on. Emily Wessel/Herald
try to find a way to get them off the streets and show them how an activity of the Métis can be,” Dumont said. “They’ve been doing very well,” she added. Ferch said her favourite dance is the sash dance, which involves she and 11-year-old Mackenzie Wray doing the “around the world” step over a pair of crossed sashes. “Your sash dance is
influenced by Scottish dancing because our culture was influenced by First Nations and different Europeans,” Lucier told the girls at a practice at Merritt Moms on April 16. Nine-year-old Jorden Petersen said her favourite dance is the broom dance, in which she passes a broom quickly between her hands underneath her legs. “Right now, we’re practising perfection,
Nine-year-old Jorden Petersen practises the broom dance with Lucier, who stood in for dancer Dani Turmel, also nine, who was away sick. Emily Wessel/Herald
No experience with cloth diapers necessary From Page 2 McComb will also be at Merritt Moms at noon on Wednesday to speak about cloth diapering. Anyone who wants to participate can still join in right up until the event or participate without
registering. Guinness requires a minimum of 25 babies changed per site to qualify for the record, but McComb is hopeful the Merritt event will build up to that in coming years. “It does take a while to spread
the word, but there are quite a few people who’ve never used cloth before, so that’s exciting,” she said. She also said helping break the record isn’t the only goal of the event, which she described as a “big play-date” with a potluck
lunch, family and baby portraits and door prizes. “It’s an opportunity to get out and meet new parents,” she said. The event takes place at the legion on Quilchena Avenue between 9:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. this Saturday.
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GOOD MORNING! Opinion ----------------------- 6 Sports ------------------------- 9 Classified ------------------- 10
REMEMBER WHEN? From the Herald archives: April 1978 Neighbourhood pub opposition mounting The Merritt Ministerial Association is the latest community organization to voice its opposition to two Diamond Vale neighbourhood pub applications currently being considered by Town Council. On behalf of the Ministerial Association, Rev. D. Woodward appeared at the council meeting April 13 to present the aldermen with a petition signed by 160 residents expressing their opposition to the establishment of any more liquor outlets in Merritt, particularly in Diamond Vale. On April 5 at its regular meeting, the school board was of the opinion that it was not desirable to locate a neighbourhood pub in the proximity of its junior secondary school. Both proposed sites are within a half block of the new school.
4 • TUESDAY, April 22, 2014
SANITARY SEWER FLUSHING
Spring 2014 leisure guide Ladies European Handball . 16+ yrs Thursdays, May 15 - June 19 . 6 wks 7:00 - 8:00 pm . $47 Some major benefits to participating in handball are aerobic conditioning, teamwork, friendship, developing athletic skills, learning to compete, learning sportsmanship and learning how to accept coaching and constructive criticism. All About Fitness Tuesdays, April 29 - June 17 . 8 wks 5:30 - 6:30 pm . $40 Thursdays, May 1 - June 19 . 8 wks 5:30 - 6:30 pm . $40 This introductory program uses a variety of exercise classes to encourage group involvement and improve overall health. Including aerobics, strength, cardio, stability ball, bootcamp, and a combination of pilates/ yoga.
Ladies Soccer . 16+ yrs Sundays, April 27 - June 15 . 7 wks 6:00 - 7:30 pm . Free Location: TBA All skill levels welcome. Shin pads and cleats recommended. Call Mary at 315-3234 for more info. (No soccer May 18.) Valley Scrapbooking Crop Weekends . 16+ yrs May 9 - 11 . June 13 - 15 Crop room hours: Friday: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 am Sunday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Registration $25 What is a crop, you ask? It is the scrapbooking word for a weekend retreat. Vendors will offer spotlight classes on new product lines and techniques. The fee covers the full weekend, your own eight-foot table, snacks, coffee, tea and water. There will be gift bags on each table and chances to win door prizes. Come and go as you please.
Bow Hunting . 19+ yrs Monday - Friday, May 5 - 8 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm . $35 This course is aimed at novice to advanced bowhunters. The course covers equipment choices, shooting practice, scouting and hunting tactics, shot placement, bowhunting safety, using sound and scent to attract deer, plus much more to help you achieve success as a bowhunter. The course is richly illustrated with hands-on demonstrations. Each course segment is followed with a question and answer session. Yoga in the Park . 14+ yrs Thursdays, June 19 - July 31 . 7 wks 7:00 - 8:15 pm . $35 Vinyasa is a creative, flowing yoga experience. Based on the Sun Salutation, we move and stretch the whole body while exploring the integration of mind, body and spirit. Suitable for all fitness levels.
May 26-June 1 is Bike to Work Week Can you choose your bike instead of your car to get somewhere one day this May? Join 20,000 others and discover what they enjoy about riding their bikes instead of driving their cars to get places. Register for Bike to Work Week and choose
your bike just once between May 26 and June 1 and you could win prizes! Get fit, feel great, enjoy fresh air, de-stress, and have fun. Bike to work or run errands during Bike to Work Week! To register, visit biketowork.ca/merritt.
MAY 31, 2014 5 P.M. L A MERRITT ANNU RODEO GROUNDS
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FREE SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE will run from both the Merritt Arena & Merritt Travel Lodge starting at 3 pm & will run after the event
COMMUNITY YARD SALE Saturday, April 26 8:00 am – 1:00 pm tables $5/ea
**GIRLS ONLY** SWIM ‘N’ SLUMBER Saturday, May 3 8:00 pm – 9:00 am $30 Ages 8-12
Thursdays, May 1 – June 5 - 6 wks 3:30 – 5:00 pm $30
Call 315-1050 or 378-6662 for more info!
Next council meeting: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Council agendas and minutes at www.merritt.ca
The City of Merritt Public Works Department would like to remind residents that it is that time of year again for our annual maintenance program for sewer flushing and camera work. We apologize for any inconvenience and your patience is greatly appreciated. If you have had any problems with your toilet bubbling up in the past it is recommended that you place a towel or saran wrap over your bowl and put the lid down. Also, if you experience any foul smelling odour it is advised to run a little water through the household’s sinks and bathtubs. This is scheduled to begin on April 14 and run until about May 30th approximately.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR DIRECTIONAL SIGNAGE COMMITTEE The City is looking for interested persons to sit on its advisory Directional Signage Committee. The purpose of the committee is to review and recommend to Council progressive steps for initiating consistent directional signage guidelines; review and recommend to Council budget and strategic plan measures to deliver said guidelines; interact with City of Merritt Technical Planning Committee; Review and recommend to Council ways in which directional signage can be used to promote Merritt as a destination for tourists and investors. Committee meetings are generally once a month, in the late afternoon or evening. Interested applicants should fill in a Committee Volunteer application form (available on the City’s website or at City Hall), or send a letter indicating their name, address, telephone and email contacts, and the reason they would like serve on this committee. Carole Fraser Deputy Clerk/Human Resources Manager
City of Merritt ★ 2185 Voght Street, Box 189 Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 ★ Phone: 250-378-4224
TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 • 5
BCTF prepares for strike action By Tom Fletcher BLACK PRESS firstname.lastname@example.org
VICTORIA – After rejecting an offer from the school district bargaining agency for a long-term contract, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation went to the Labour Relations Board this week to establish essential service levels for strike action. BCTF members voted 89 per cent in March to endorse a three-stage strike plan that can begin with 72 hours notice. Phase one includes restricting communication with school managers, arriv-
ing no more than an hour before and leaving an hour after school hours, and refusing supervision of students outside class time. It does not affect pre-arranged voluntary activities such as coaching, but the refusal of supervision requires essential service levels that compel some teachers to assure the safety of students while they are out of classes. Peter Cameron, chief negotiator for B.C.’s 60 school districts, said there are some rural schools with no management staff to supervise playgrounds.
Typically it is the employers’ association that seeks an essential services order, but this time the BCTF applied. That’s unusual for a union that has a history of opposing essential service orders at the LRB and the International Labour Organization, Cameron said. It is also a sign that the BCTF is preparing for strike action after the Easter break. Cameron said if stage one strike action begins, the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association will seek an order that the union pay for its extended
benefits during any withdrawal of service. That would cost about $5 million a month for 41,000 public school teachers. “In order that there is in fact pressure on both sides, BCPSEA needs to respond to any phase one activities with measures that put corresponding pressure on the union,” Cameron wrote in a letter to BCTF president Jim Iker. Cameron’s initial offer is for a 10-year agreement with pay increases totalling 6.5 per cent over the first six years and additional
wage increases to be negotiated for the final four years. BCTF negotiators countered with a threeyear proposal with three per cent plus a cost-of-living increase in each year. With compounding and current estimates of inflation, BCPSEA calculates that could amount to 13.5 per cent over three years. Phase two of the BCTF plan is rotating one-day walkouts in districts around the province. Phase three, a full-scale strike, would require a second vote by members to authorize.
900 social insurance numbers stolen in Heartbleed CRA breach By Jeff Nagel
BLACK PRESS email@example.com
The Canada Revenue Agency says the social insurance numbers of 900 taxpayers were stolen last week by someone using the Heartbleed encryption vulnerability before the taxation agency shut down public access to its online services. It happened over a six-hour period by someone exploiting the vulnerability in many supposedly secure websites that used an open-source encryption system. The CRA said it will send registered letters to affected taxpayers and will not be emailing them because it doesn’t want fraudsters to use phishing schemes to further exploit the privacy breach. “I want to express regret to Canadians for this service interruption,” CRA commissioner Andrew Treusch said. “I share the concern and dismay of those individuals whose privacy has been impacted by this malicious act.” Other personal data and possibly businesses’ information may also have been lost. “We are currently going through the
painstaking process of analyzing other fragments of data, some that may relate to businesses, that were also removed,” Treusch said. Taxpayers whose data was compromised will get bolstered CRA account protection and free access to credit protection services. Canada’s Privacy Commissioner is also investigating. Online services, including the E-file
and Netfile online income tax portals, were patched and relaunched Sunday after what the CRA called a vigorous test to ensure they are safe and secure. The CRA cut off access to those services April 8 as word spread that the Heartbleed bug had given hackers access to passwords, credit card numbers and other information at many websites. People whose
income tax filing was delayed by last week’s CRA interruption have been given until May 5 – beyond the usual April 30 filing deadline – to file returns without being penalized. The Heartbleed vulnerability compromised secure web browsing for up to two years at some sites despite the display of a closed padlock that indicates an encrypted connection.
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6 • TUESDAY, April 22, 2014
HERALD OPINION Trudeau fights good fight against Harpertocracy By Dale Bass
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I’m starting to like this new generation of Trudeau politician. When he announced he wanted to be leader of the federal Liberal party, I was aghast. What exactly had Justin Trudeau done to warrant that kind of a reward — other than be born with the right surname? When the Liberals then elected him on the first ballot, I wondered if mass confusion had overtaken the delegates at the conference They chose him by a strong margin — 24,668 votes. Second place went to Joyce Murray, with 3,139 votes. Immediately, Conservative spin doctor Fred DeLorey issued a press release congratulating the former teacher, but noting Trudeau “may have a famous name but, in a time of global economic uncertainty, he doesn’t have the judgment or experience to be prime minister.” Trudeau may not have the experience but, more and more, he’s showing he has the judgment for the job — if you believe we need a prime minister who seems accessible, does not mind actually getting involved with people and loves speaking his mind. This week’s announcement was, quite simply, brilliant as Trudeau stepped in front of the press gallery reporters in Ottawa — a group with whom Prime Minister Stephen Harper chooses to not deal — and promised to repeal the truly horrific and potentially undemocratic Fair Elections Act if he becomes prime minister. Just as he did when he disowned Liberal senators, Trudeau has summed up what NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has been hammering away at for weeks, but he did it with the kind of panache his old man had for the game of politics.
Publisher Theresa Arnold publisher@ merrittherald.com
Is job-hopping good or bad on the résumé? By Emily Wessel THE HERALD
A new poll released by employment website Workopolis finds a new trend with Canadian workers is toward less commitment to their jobs. Just over half (51 per cent) reported they’d been in the same job for less than two years, while 30 per cent had been in one job for more than four years. Compare that to the 1990-1999 results, where 16 per cent reported having the same job for less than two years and 60 per cent had been in the same job more than four years. The survey also found that nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents reported having three or more separate career paths.
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The polls were conducted with samples of between 1,000 and 5,000 Workopolis users, but no margin of error accompanied the results as they weren’t truly random samples of Canadians. This new trend also can’t be assigned to a specific generation either because the responders’ ages weren’t recorded. However, this pattern of “job hopping” sounds like quite a few people I know, who work at a job for a year or less and move on to something else. Most of these people I know cite being “bored” as their reason for moving on. Many moons ago, in my long-lost youth, I went through some of those jobs because I didn’t like the work, the environment or because something better came along. And that’s
fair enough — why should someone stick it out at a place they don’t fit in when there are so many workplaces out there? Commitment to a job is something of a catch-22 in an age when bosses cover the whole spectrum from the old-school, work hard, suck-it-up, stick-it-out mentality to wanting to foster their employees’ quest to find the elusive “perfect job.” The problem with working toward the “perfect job” is that there will always be aspects of a job we don’t like. This is not intended to be depressing, but instead to be realistic. It’s simply not realistic to expect everything to align with exactly what you want at all times. Even when you’re your own boss, you face challenges and encounter surprises —
Editor Emily Wessel newsroom@ merrittherald.com
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Reporter Michael Potestio reporter@ merrittherald.com
sometimes unpleasant. You never know what your potential employer could think when looking over your résumé, and that goes for everyone: those with spotty work histories of a thousand short-lived jobs and those with a thousand years in one position at one company. Maybe the employer thinks the worker with various jobs is adaptable and seeks new experiences, and can bring a fresh perspective to the workplace. Or maybe that the person is unreliable, unwilling to deal with conflict and flaky. Maybe the employer thinks the person with a long-term job is a complete stick in the mud and is just a cog in a machine that doesn’t want new challenges. In my line of work, it’s
Sports writer Ian Webster sports@ merrittherald.com
almost expected of new reporters to cut their teeth in a few communities. Much of the early movement in media is lateral, from one media outlet to another in the same position, but with this kind of “job hopping,” you get so much exposure to new ideas, new people, new experiences, and new environments that you are forced to develop a variety of skills quickly and under pressure. Still, that’s not to say you can’t advance and increase your skill set at a job you have had for four years or more. It all comes down to who you work for, where you work and where you’re at in your career. Goals can change as new experiences enter, and there’s really no telling how we can benefit from being open to those experiences.
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Copyright subsists in all display advertising in this edition of the Merritt Herald. Permission to reproduce in any form, must be obtained in writing from the publisher. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities.
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 www.bcpresscouncil.org
TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 • 7
NICOLA VALLEY NEWS
AN EGGSTRAVAGANT EASTER HUNT
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Are you worried about the Heartbleed bug?
PREVIOUS QUESTION Will higher fines for texting and driving reduce collisions? YES: 62% NO: 38%
The sun may not have been out, but that didn’t stop a large crowd of Merrittonians from gathering at Rotary Park on Good Friday for the city’s Easter Eggstravaganza. The event featured an egg hunt and other activities such as soccer and face painting. There was also plenty of music and food. The Easter Bunny even hopped by for a visit and to hand out candy amongst the many smiling faces. Michael Potestio/Herald
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.
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8 • TUESDAY, April 22, 2014
NICOLA VALLEY NEWS
Renew commitment to planet on Earth Day
Public Safety Notice – Winter recreationalists and snowmobilers Winter recreationalists and snowmobilers should be aware that construction of the Interior to Lower Mainland (ILM) Transmission Line continues. On-site activities include clearing of the right-of-way; construction of access roads and tower foundations; and tower assembly and erection. The ILM right-of-way continues to be a construction zone with restricted access. Restricted access is required for worker and public safety to avoid risks associated with such things as guy lines, partially constructed foundations, construction materials, or other potential hazards that may be hidden or partially hidden by the snow. Please avoid using the right-of-way for your activities. If you are in the area, use extra care when traveling around the right-of-way. The ILM project is a new 247 kilometre 500 kilovolt transmission line between Merritt and Coquitlam that will expand the electrical system so that BC Hydro can continue to deliver clean and reliable energy to homes and businesses in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Nathan Anderson munches on cabbage from his aunt Kate’s garden. Submitted
were reluctant gardeners. After calculating our footprint, our family was more on board and the appreciation for food definitely increased. The conversations about the earth continue to be a passion for us all, and I am so proud of our grown kids and how they have adopted being Earth-minded into how they conduct their lives. They now teach me things around sustainable food choices. Food is what I choose to focus on for Earth Day. I love food, I love growing food, I love getting dirt under my fingernails and watching things grow. I love experimenting with plants and finding out how to grow more things. I love the fact that I can start gardening in my awesome space downstairs, where the light and heat soak into my bones, even when the wind is howling and the snow is melting outside. The average tomato plant produces 20 pounds of fruit and is easy to grow. They taste amazing, especially on toasted sourdough
topped with some sprouts started in jars on my kitchen counter and homemade mayo from local eggs. We do what we can, wherever we are. I believe we all love the earth in our way and give what and to whom we can. So, with Earth Day upon us, I am writing out my love letter
to the planet and planting more seeds … and I think it’s time to get another load of compost and see if I can extend my raspberry patch. Celebrate well, in whatever way you see fit and give thanks for this amazing planet that we call home.
For more information on the project please visit: bchydro.com/ilm. If you have any questions, please contact BC Hydro Stakeholder Engagement: 1 866 647 3334 or 604 623 4472 or send an email to email@example.com. 4187
Earth Day has been an international event since 1990 and is celebrated in 192 countries worldwide. In Canada, it has been recognized since 1980. We do our best to celebrate the earth in Merritt. There is opportunity to participate with recycling, farmers markets, Footprints Harvest and more availability in the grocery store to buy sustainable food every time I go shopping. Earth Day makes me take a breath and helps me check in with my own personal commitment to the planet. I continue to have great opportunities to learn about the earth. Our primary life work is ranching and we take pride in how we raise our beef. I’m also an owner of the Good Earth Company and make compost, which helps supply organic matter needed to grow sustainably. It is often said that if you grow food, every day is Earth Day. To live a life connected to the seasons and to be able to make our living by what the earth provides gives me a profound appreciation for Mother Nature. One of my biggest inspirations to eat locally came from the concept of the ecological footprint. At that time, I had three teenage boys living at home who played hockey and worked on our ranch and had huge appetites. I tracked everything we consumed in a week and then did the math. The results were astounding. I finished my assignment literally in tears, but I knew that I needed to do something positive and proactive, so I expanded my garden. To find out more about your global footprint, go to footprintnetwork.org or for a basic test, go to myfootprint. org. There were grumblings about the amount of time I spent in the garden and my boys
INTERIOR TO LOWER MAINLAND TRANSMISSION LINE PROJECT
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TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 • 9
HERALD SPORTS Have a sports story tip? Tell us about it by calling 250-378-4241 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Eagle Motorplex’s drag racing season in jeopardy By Ian Webster THE HERALD
Unless something very constructive happens in the next couple of weeks, there is not going to be much of a drag racing season this year at the Eagle Motorplex facility, located just outside of Ashcroft. And that has a contingent of close to a dozen local racers from the Nicola Valley more than a little disappointed. “I’m devastated,” said long-time racer Rae Caswell from Lower Nicola. “I’ve been competing there since 1987. It’s been my home away from home. I love it over there.” “It doesn’t end racing for us, but it certainly puts a spin on things,” said Jen Eaton. All four members of the Eaton family had been planning to participate at the Eagleplex this coming season with Jen, daughter Danielle, 17, and son Wyatt, 15, actually behind the wheel, and husband Mike acting as crew chief and as a volunteer member of the track’s technical crew. The Ashcroft Indian
Band — owners of the Eagleplex — announced earlier this month that they were officially cancelling the majority of their regular racing schedule for 2014. The reasons given had to do with ongoing financial concerns and recent staffing issues. In a press release, the AIB stated: “The track has been running at a loss for the past several seasons, and last year the loss was over $70,000. “The AIB has had to make some tough decisions. The band and track management had meetings to discuss the viability of continuing with racing. Unfortunately, an agreement could not be reached, and the current racetrack manager (Joe Sye) has decided to resign. “With the resignation of the race director, some staff unfortunately also decided not to return to the Eagle for this season. With the race season so close, replacing valued members of the staff is an overwhelming and difficult task.” Local racer Al
The cancellation of the 2014 drag racing season at the Eagle Motoplex outside Ashcroft has forced local racers like Rae Caswell (above) from Lower Nicola to make alternative arrangements and travel farther afield in order to compete this year. Ian Webster/Herald
Mackay-Smith summarized the situation as follows: “There’s been an unfortunate falling out between the management team at the Eagleplex and the Ashcroft Indian Band, and as a consequence the Indian Band has chosen to cancel the large part of the racing season.” Mackay-Smith added that the timing of the announcement — just weeks prior to the opening of the season on the
April 26 weekend — couldn’t have been worse. “The fallout around the province has been pretty significant,” he said. “I know of one gentleman over in Kelowna who has spent tens of thousands of dollars getting a car ready just to come and race at Ashcroft.” “The timing was poor, that’s for sure,” said Caswell. “I was all ready to go. I was even putting tools in my trailer.”
Merritt’s drag racing community has been left scrambling to find alternatives. There are tracks in Mission, Prince George and at Thunder Mountain (located east of Kelowna near Big White Mountain). “I’ll probably go to Mission, and my son Matt will probably come with me,” said MackaySmith. “I’ve never been to Prince George. With the cost of fuel, the extra distance people are going
60MKC winter session sees double the participants By Ian Webster THE HERALD
The success of the 60 Minutes Kids’ Club locally continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Over 280 students, representing all five area elementary schools, took part in the winter session, which ran from Jan. 15 to Mar.15. “That’s more than double our first session,” said 60MKC spokesperson Josée Warren, who co-ordinates the youthoriented, active-living initiative on behalf of the Interior branch of PacificSports in co-operation with the City of Merritt’s Leisure Services Department. The 60 Minutes Kids’ Club aims to empower children and their families with the knowledge
and skills to live a healthy and active lifestyle. The program engages kids through an online, interactive medium with goal setting, accountability and fun incentives. Diamond Vale School came out as the big winners in the 60MKC winter session with over 80 participants from Grades K to 7. As a school, they finished sixth out of 66 schools in the province of B.C., and 11th out of 177 schools nation-wide. “There was definitely more competition across the country this time around,” said Warren, noting that Diamond Vale’s participation numbers this past session would have topped the province back in the fall. “There’s more kids getting involved, and we hope to see the increase
continue with each new challenge,” said Warren. The “most active” winter-session 60MKC participants at each local elementary school were invited to a wrap-up party on Thursday of last week. “We met at the Civic Centre and played some games,” said Warren, “then headed to the Aquatic Centre for an hour of swimming and free time.” The 60MKC’s spring challenge officially kicked off Apr. 15 and runs through until June 1.
SUPER ACTIVE! Top students from (clockwise from top left) Bench, Central, Diamond Vale, Collettville and Nicola Canford Schools show off their 60MKC certificates following the completion of the winter session. Photos submitted.
to have to travel is going to make things quite prohibitive.” Thunder Mountain isn’t an option for the Mackay-Smiths as it’s an eighth-mile drag strip as opposed to Ashcroft’s quarter-mile track. The same holds true for Eaton, who said the Thunder facility presents traction issues for faster vehicles. “Danielle could race, but the rest of us would just be watching,” said Eaton. As for the junior member of the Eatonracing quartet, his racing season is essentially toast. “Wyatt could have raced under-age in the team event at Ashcroft this year,” said his mom. “Unfortunately, he’s not eligible to race anywhere else until he’s 16.” The Eatons, Caswell and a few others are contemplating one road trip up to Prince George, but have ruled out Mission. “They’re an NHRAsanctioned track, and the majority of us are IHRA certified,” explained Caswell in reference to the rival racing associations. “My licence is no
good, my chassis certification is no good. I’d have to redo things to their specs, and I can’t afford to do that.” “It’s like changing provinces with your vehicle,” said Eaton. “And when you have more than one vehicle like us, it becomes very costly.” Ryan and Carrie Ware were planning to take this year off from racing any way, but the husband-and-wife team was still saddened by the news of the Eagleplex’s difficulties. “It’s a nice track, with a great bunch of racers and a real family atmosphere,” said Ryan. “Everyone’s real friendly.” “I’m going to miss that family environment,” said MackaySmith, whose daughter, Amelia, also raced at the track whenever she could. “Places like Mission won’t be as intimate.” The only racing weekend still firmly set on the Eagleplex’s calendar is the Langley Loafers’ Old Time Drags, scheduled for June 6 to 8.
10 â€˘ TUESDAY, April 22, 2014
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MERRITT HERALD Ph: 378-4241 Fax: 378-6818 Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: email@example.com Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Production: email@example.com www.merrittherald.com 2090 Granite Avenue, P.O. Box 9, Merritt, B.C.
Donâ€™t miss the Celebration of Rural Living Expo & Trade Show April 26-27, 2014 9am-5pm daily NT Agriplex & Fall Fair Facility 4872 Dunn Lake Rd., Barriere Over 100 booths & displays to peruse. Music, concessions, giveaways. A full lineup of feature speakers. Free draws every hour. $5/adult, $3/stud. or senior, children 12 & under Free. Vendor and Expo info at: www.ruralexpobarriere.com 250-319-8023
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GRASS cutting contractor with own machinery for Mobile Home Park required. Must be dependable, excellent remuneration. send resume, ref. to firstname.lastname@example.org Vernon Service Company requires Journeyman Service Plumbers/GasďŹ tters, $36.00/hr Call (250)549-4444 or fax 250-549-4416
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SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 58 (NICOLA-SIMILKAMEEN)
RELIEF BUS DRIVER Applications are invited for the position of Relief Bus Driver with School District No. 58 (Nicola-Similkameen) in Merritt, BC. Successful applicants will be required to have a Class 2 with air or higher license and provide a Driverâ€™s Abstract The district has a high percentage of First Nations and other multicultural students and so being sensitive to cultural diversities would be an asset.
Please help us.
Application forms are available at the School Board ofďŹ ce, 1550 Chapman Street, or on-line at www.sd58.bc.ca , click on Jobs/ Support Positions/Job Postings listed un Job Code # 122390 and follow the prompts provided. Applications, including a detailed resume with a minimum of three references will be accepted until April 30, 2014, and should be forward to: Attn: Secretary Treasurer School District No. 58 (Nicola-Similkameen) P.O. Box 4100, 1550 Chapman St. Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 Fax: (250) 378-6263 For further information, contact Mr. Jim GarďŹ eld at 315-1113. Only those applicants being interviewed will be contacted.
TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 â€˘ 11
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