MOUNTAIN BIKE racer Evan Guthrie is in Champery, France to take part in the 2011 World Mountain Bike Championships.
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FRIDAY September 2, 2011 The Central Okanagan’s Best-Read Newspaper www.kelownacapnews.com
TO Bobbi-Sue Menard CONTRIBUTOR
f you’ve had a busy summer, the trilling of the school bell might just be music to your ears. Many parents will miss the fun of summer with their kids, but rare is the parent who isn’t at least a little relieved to think about the routine of the school year launching again. Getting ready for the first Tuesday after Labour Day is a process fraught with expectation. Some of it is simple consumerism—the right backpack needs to be found, etc. Other issues are far more important, like how to find the best and right after school care. The litany of items to be checked off the list is daunting, school supplies (or a cheque to the school), extra-curricular activities and the attendant scheduling, plus making certain your child is mentally and emotionally ready to go back to the daily grind. It all adds up to the last few days of summer being anything but carefree for mom and dad. There are some tips and tricks to make back to school better and community organizations which go the extra mile to step into the breach when writing another cheque is simply not an option. For many kids back to school is a source of anticipatory joy. That is just how Grade 2 teacher Deb Winsby likes them. Winsby has taught at Helen Gorman Elementary in West Kelowna since 1993, most of that has been teaching the primary grades. “I like them to walk in with some confidence, excitement. In Grade 2 that is easy, kids have been through Grade 1, they get it. So in Grade 2 there is some optimism.” DOUG FARROW/CONTRIBUTOR
CLINT AND LIZA PONTE of West Kelowna and their kids, Grace (left to right), Kirsten and Zack get ready for
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For whom the (school) bell tolls Winsby has the experience to realize that a parent knows their child best and one of the top ways to prepare a nervous little one is to encourage them to think about school in a positive way. “If you have a nervous child, try to get at the reason why they are not excited about school and listen to them. Then talk about and encourage the positive things they do like.” If back to school is emotional for your child despite your best efforts, then Winsby recommends a quick visit to the teacher. “I like a parent to come in and see me so I’m prepared. We aren’t mind readers and with 23 little bodies and people to get to know it helps to understand when maybe a little extra attention is needed.” Strong communication between the parent and teacher combined with a steady routine at school can usually overcome initial jitters. When it comes to the routine of homework Winsby hopes parents remember that a five-hour day is a long time for younger children and the homework rule of thumb is about 10 minutes per day per grade. “My personal philosophy in the younger grades is to have a routine where you read every day and do a little math and you should be fine.” One school-related item that can be difficult to deal with is the back to school fee sheet that comes home the first day or two of school. The fees cover cultural events and
in our schools,” she says, “yet our democracy rests on the education of our students.” You can help with lightening the load on teachers and parents who need a little extra this fall. Staples, at the Dilworth Shopping Centre fundraises with their customers to supply students in need. The store takes donations at the till and puts them towards in-house gift certificates which are distributed through local teachers. It is done so that teachers can assess students in the greatest need and make sure there are new supplies for students who might otherwise go without or feel stigmatized for not having the latest equipment. One of the most visible signs of back to school is the backpack. Each year hundreds of Kelowna families participate in the Victory Life Fellowship Back to School Bash. Last week, 675 people attended the event and 500 backpacks were handed out, while 180 free haircuts were done to help get ready for the big first day at school. “There are people who really do need it,” says Diana Tripke, the event’s organizer. “This is a fun event and it is about our generous community giving back. The events keep increasing in size,” says Tripke. Getting your child to the opening bell requires different planning for working parents than the bell at the end of the school day. After school care for children of work-
a school supply bill. At many elementary schools there are standardized lists of school supplies bought in bulk by the district and then parents have the option of purchasing the complete kit from the school. At middle school and high school, there is a text book caution fee and the field trips certainly do not cost less than elementary school. “The downloading of fees onto parents is happening because the schools are being starved of funds,” says Alice Rees, president of the Central Okanagan Teachers Association. The direct fees hit people at the economic margins the hardest, says Rees. Usually it is single parents, mostly mothers who find the fees unmanageable. Rees estimates that about one in 30 children in the school system will have a parent who cannot make the fees. Usually the school will find supplies somewhere or the teacher will step in to fill in the gap with the general classroom supplies many teachers fund themselves. Rees says it is a well known fact that teachers spend an average of $1,000 to $1,500 per year from their own pocket on assorted items for the classroom. It has not been a welcome trend in the profession but a move of desperation. That need should be met with government funding declares Rees: “The costs of public education are being downloaded to the parent.” “We are recognizing the greater losses of services and programming
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since the beginning of August, from school bags to shoes,” laughs Jeffery. “The oldest one had a summer job, so she bought more of what she liked this year. The younger ones have some handme-downs.” One mom of three girls visiting Kelowna from Chilliwack was equally blunt. “One brand new outfit only. Everything else gets spread out
into fall until the weather gets cooler. It is just too much all at once. While it is still warm in the fall they can wear their summer clothes.” But the back to school budget somehow gets managed, and every year is a big year for a child. A positive start is not necessarily the perfect pair of jeans, but embracing the bountiful opportunities ahead.
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ing parents is always a primary concern. Alison Graf, the general manager of community and strategic initiatives for the YM-YWCA recommends that parents look for a licensed program, ideally close to their own school or neighborhood to build familiarity and a healthy staff/student ratio. “Be confident that the program you choose supports your family values,” says Graf. “Remember school is a big day and kids need to relax too.” For parents whose children participate or want to participate in after school activities the scheduling can be a logistical puzzle worthy of military precision. The new expansion at the Rutland YM-YWCA has a huge new slate of programming for fall for all ages to take advantage of the new gym and play spaces. For extracurricular sports with intensity Graf urges parents to remember, “Not ever sport is going to fly with your child. Create a balance and go with what resonates in your child.” There comes an age when parents role in picking and choosing evolves. At some point in the early teen years the environment changes and the priorities veer to social cues. For retailers, the “tween” and early teen cohort are big business. You can see the tribes stalking the racks at Orchard Park mall. Mothers and daughters go through hanger after hanger in search of the perfect outfit with varying degrees
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Kelowna issues antiabortion proclamation September 24 to October 2 has quietly been proclaimed as Protect Human Life Week in Kelowna. It is the fourth consecutive year the Mayor Sharon Shepherd has granted the pro life proclamation at the request of the Kelowna Right to Life Society. In part, the proclamation reads: “It is the intention of this proclamation to promote respect and protection to all human life, especially the infirm, the aged, the handicapped and the unborn.” Kelowna Right to Life executive director Marlon Bartram said that the statements contained within
the document come at a crucial time. The society claims abortion—what it calls “the destruction of unborn life”—continues “unabated” and that legal protection for those at the end of life is coming under attack. “At KGH, the killing of unborn children continues,” said Bartram. Abortion has been a core medical service at Kelowna General Hospital for the last 11 years. Meanwhile, Canada’s laws prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia are being challenged in the courts. “Abortion, euthanasia,
assisted suicide, even embryonic stem cell research; all these acts are direct affronts to the dignity of human life and violate the very basic principle that it is wrong to kill innocent human beings.” Kelowna Right to Life has a number of events planned for the week-long event, including a Walk for Life fundraiser in Mission Creek Park on Sept. 24, a free informational session, a pro-life film festival and the annual Life Chain. For more information on Protect Human Life Week and the Kelowna Right to Life Society go to prolifekelowna.com or call 250 862-8202.
THE COMFORT I WANT
KELOWNA MAYOR Sharon Shepherd signs the Pink Bus, the province’s first breast cancer education
centre on wheels. The bus pulled into Kelowna Thursday and during its stop here featured speeches by cancer foundation and cancer agency officials, as well as handing out information and giving women an opportunity to sign up for mammograms. The bus is winding up a tour of the province and has seen 13,198 British Columbian visit it during the tour. The tour will wrap up in Merritt Sept. 5.
▼ STANLEY CUP RIOT
Police were badly outnumbered Tom Fletcher BLACK PRESS
Fewer than 500 police officers found themselves dealing with a crowd of 155,000 hockey fans
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and troublemakers much more quickly than they expected, a review of the Vancouver Stanley Cup riot has found. Police started out with 446 officers on the streets of downtown Vancouver the night of June 15, and had 928 on duty by the time the situation was brought under control, said a report issued Thursday by two reviewers appointed by the B.C. government. Unlike the 1994 Stanley Cup riot, police from different cities were able to communicate, but due to a lack of practice working together, there was still confusion, the report said. Another difference from 1994 was the expansion of the SkyTrain service in the region, which rapidly delivered many
more people to the downtown core. The police “meet and greet” technique that was effective during similar downtown gatherings at the Olympics in February could not function because of the size and early arrival of the crowd, said Doug Keefe, the former Nova Scotia deputy minister who conducted the review along with former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong. The report makes 53 recommendations to prevent or contain future incidents, including having the RCMP and Vancouver Police tactical squads train together. Police and fire services across the region should have a clear framework for covering major regional events. Only two charges were
laid as of this week against rioters. Vancouver Police launched a website Tuesday with pictures to help the public identify offenders caught by the many cameras that were used the night of the riot. VPD Chief Jim Chu said he wants a full review of the pictures, 1,600 hours of video and other evidence so people who committed major offences don’t get off with lesser punishment. Premier Christy Clark said she is as frustrated as anyone that more charges haven’t been laid, but police are trying to be as thorough as possible. “It was those drunken louts who caused this problem,” Clark said. “It wasn’t police, it wasn’t other citizens. It was them.”
Capital News Friday, September 2, 2011
NEWS â–ź ACCIDENT
Crash closes Highway 97 stretch
BRUCE MCAULIFFE/VERNON MORNING STAR
AN ACCIDENT during the morning rush on Highway 97 Thursday, near Wood
Central Okanagan Traffic Services are continuing to investigate a two-vehicle crash on Hiway 97 near Wood Lake just south of Oyama Thursday morning that closed the highway for two hours. The accident occurred around at 8:30 a.m. Investigators say a Honda Civic traveling southbound on Highway 97 drifted off the road and onto the right soft shoulder and then veered left, over correcting, crossed the center line and struck a northbound
minivan head-on. Witnesses also report that it appeared as though the driver was not paying attention to the road. The 42-year-old driver of the Honda Civic was taken to Kelowna General Hospital with serious internal injuries. He was not believed to be wearing a seatbelt, said police. The 32-year-old driver of the minivan and an adult male passenger received minor injuries and were also transported to hospital.
Both have since been released. Both drivers and the passenger are from Kelowna. The police investigation is continuing and police spoke to several witnesses at the scene. Once all of the information is gathered, police will be able to determine the cause of the collision and if the driver was distracted. Alcohol is not considered to be a factor. Vernon Morningstar
Lake, closed the highway for two hours and sent three people to hospital.
Teacher strike will shorten school day Mantler court date set Alistair Waters ASSISTANT EDITOR
The B.C. Teacherâ€™s Federation served strike notice on the Central Okanagan School District late Wednesday afternoon. The move means that unless ordered by the B.C. Labour Relations Board to stop, teachers will start their job action at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, the first day back to school for thousands of local elementary and secondary students. According to the school district, it has been told by the BCTF that the first phase of the action will include a withdrawal of administrative services and the removal of teacher
Hugh Gloster supervision responsibilities outside of instructional time. Regular classes will continue. Superintendent of schools Hugh Gloster said an immediate result will the elimination of the 15-minute break during the day for elemen-
tary students and that will mean the school day will be 15 minutes shorter than usual. â€œAccordingly, at the end of the day, students in all schools will be excused 15 minutes earlier than usual,â€? he said. School bus services will have their schedules adjusted to accommodate the earlier dismissal. The school district plans to send home a letter with students on Tuesday explaining the ramifications of the initial phase of job action by the teachers. The letter will also go to parent groups and individual school parent advisory councils. Anyone with ques-
tions is asked to contact Gloster. In the letter, the school district includes a lengthy list of activities the teachers will not participate in and advises parents of students who do not ride the school bus to have their children arrive as close to the school starting time as possible and leave immediately after dismissal at the end of the day. It also says principals and vice-principals may be limited in their abilities to talk to parents about their childrensâ€™ progress in school due to carrying an extra workload as a result of the teachersâ€™ job action. email@example.com
Civic election candidate list grows The current cast of Kelowna city council are queuing up to take another run at political office in the Nov. 19 election. All incumbents, except for Coun. Andre Blanleil, have now publicly signalled their intentions to run again, picking up nomination papers or issuing press releases. Mayor Sharon Shepherd was first out of the gate, announcing earlier this month that she would run for a third term and the rest are falling in line. The latest incumbent to signal his intentions, and pick up a nomination package from City Hall, is first-term councillor Charlie Hodge, who announced his decision to run for a second term Thursday. â€œFor the past three years Iâ€™ve had the honour and privilege to serve residents of Kelowna as a member of council. Itâ€™s been a lot of work, not all of it easy, but I love the
job,â€? he said. â€œIâ€™m proud of my efforts to assist the community and hope Iâ€™m bestowed the honour of serving Kelowna folks for another term.â€? Also seeking another term is Coun. Robert Hobson, who announced Wednesday heâ€™s ready for his ninth election campaign. The perennial political favourite said it will be his last should he be elected. Coun. Luke Stack came out of the gate, and announced his desire for another term in office earlier in the week, saying heâ€™s enthusiastic about the many initiatives council is currently working on, such as implementing the new Downtown Plan, designing a long-term plan for Kelowna Police and Protective Services, constructing the new Seniors Centre, and planning a new recreation park in Glenmore. â€œThese projects are
crucial for the wellbeing of Kelowna residents, and I believe we can negotiate a way to accomplish them while keeping property taxes in check,â€? he said. Another first-time councillor, Graeme James, has also picked up a nomination papers, for the upcoming election, as have Couns. Michele Rule and Kevin Craig. Angela Reid-Nagy has said she will run again. While picking up a package is the first big step in the election process, city clerk Stephen Fleming pointed out that thereâ€™s a big difference between getting the paperwork and going through with the process. â€œWe had 64 individuals pick up one or more packages in 2008â€”five mayor; 51 councillor and 15 school trustee packages went outâ€”while the ballot had two mayoral, 36 councillor and 10 school trustee names on it,â€? he said.
Other people who have picked up packages and have allowed their names to be public include: Mayor: James Murphy Kim Ouellette Diana Van Beest Councillor: James Murphy Carol Gran Bobby Kennedy Mary-Ann Graham Tisha Kalmanovitch Peter McFadden Andrew Powell Elizabeth Fehr Mohini Singh Larry Gray Ken Chung Colin Basran Gail Given Ron Ready Graeme James William Kovacic Michael Fraser Darrin Fiddler David Boyko Scott A. Ross Luke Stack Shane Herrington Raja Wariach JC Rathwell
Kathy Michaels STAFF REPORTER
The Kelowna Mountie charged with assault last winter after he was filmed kicking a suspect who was on all fours in the head, finally has a court date. Const. Geoff Mantler will be in court for three weeks starting Nov. 26, 2012, to deal with an assault charge that stemmed from injuring Kelowna resident Buddy Tavar-
es, 51, as he apprehended him after a call from the Harvest Golf Club. After the arrest, Tavares faced a charge for careless use of a firearm, which related to the 911 call that brought police to the scene. That charge was later dropped. Mantlerâ€™s lawyer, Neville McDougall, said what RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler knew and believed before he kicked Buddy Tavares in the head
will be the keystone of his defence when his case goes to trial next year, pointing out that police were responding to more than a complaint about birds being shot at the golf course. Mantler, who is currently suspended without pay, will also be in court July 2012 to face another charge of assault causing bodily harm stemming from the arrest of Manjit Singh Bhatti.
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