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2014-15 school calendar PAGE 2

women in action PAGE 3

cents year-end awards PAGE 9

Nicola Valley’s News Voice Since 1905



RECYCLED FASHION Merritt Secondary Grade 12 students held a talent and fashion show last Tuesday to raise funds for this year’s graduation activities. Pictured in the finale are (back row, from left): Kaitlyn Suzuki, Omegga Clarke, Shane Isaac, Rachael Martindale, Evan Snee, Alisha Kandola, Chloe Gabara, Kevin Kaiser, Amanjot Bhander and Jordanne Sulz. Front row: Kirsten Harder, Emily Maloney, Stephanie Tourand, Kendra Evdokimoff, Amy MacLaren, Athena Forner, Claire Burnham and Fallon Fosbery. All the fashion wear was made of recyclable materials. Ian Webster/Herald

Fate of “Country with attitude” in limbo By Michael Potestio the herald

The fate of Merritt’s new destination branding tagline “Country with attitude” remains in limbo after two notices of motion regarding the slogan were addressed by city council at the regular council meeting last Tuesday. The first motion was to rescind the original unanimous approval of the branding on Feb. 11. That vote also directed staff to begin implementation of the new brand, including holding an open house.

That motion was ineligible to be rescinded because the motion itself had already been acted on. “Through our bylaws, we’re not able to rescind it,” Merritt Mayor Susan Roline said to the group of about 30 people who gathered in council chambers for the March 11 meeting. City of Merritt Deputy Clerk Carole Fraser told the Herald that under the council procedure bylaw, a motion that has already been acted on cannot be rescinded. The second motion was to continue to examine the brand Merritt: Country with

attitude as presented by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), but also to accept alternate proposals from the public at large for consideration in the City of Merritt’s rebranding process. That motion was deferred until after the open house, which took place last Wednesday. No date was set to address the deferred motion. “I would like to defer this motion until after the March 12 open house and TOTA’s process can be explained to the public,” Roline said at council.

Roline told the Herald that even though the first motion couldn’t be rescinded, it is still possible to make changes. “Even though we couldn’t rescind that particular motion, it doesn’t stop us from moving in a bit of a different direction down the road,” Roline said. She said given the city’s commitment to working with TOTA, council will wait and see what recommendations TOTA makes once their work on the branding has been completed. “Council will look at it,

we’ll have discussion and determine where we need to go,” Roline said. When the second motion to consider alternate ideas from the public is addressed depends on when TOTA’s process is complete, Roline said. The mayor said the tagline “Country with attitude” wasn’t chosen arbitrarily and expects TOTA would go back and revisit the process of developing another tagline now knowing the reaction of the tagline that was chosen. At Wednesday’s open house, community develop-





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ment specialist for TOTA Simone Carlysle-Smith said the input gathered from the open house will be taken into consideration as they continue to develop the brand. She also said changing the tagline “Country with attitude” wouldn’t be difficult. Roline said she has not heard from TOTA as to whether or not they plan to revisit the process of developing a tagline. See the Thursday, March 20 edition of the Merritt Herald for more on the open house.


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2 • TUESDAY, March 18, 2014


School calendar planning hits snag By Emily Wessel the herald

A two-week spring break and an extra long weekend around Remembrance Day for the next school year are not a done deal just yet. Earlier this year, School District 58 sent out a survey to teachers and parents about which school calendar they’d prefer for the upcoming 201415 school year, which gave two options for spring break. The first option was to have the two-week spring break from March 16 to 27, 2015. The second option moved the two-week spring break from March 23 to April 3, and students would return to school on Tuesday, April 7 after Easter Monday. Using a statutory holiday for one of the spring break days — Good Friday — would free up one of the district’s allotted non-school days, which the district proposed to move

to Monday, Nov. 10 to create a four-day weekend with Remembrance Day. Of 525 surveys outlining the options, 425 came back in favour of the second option. The motion to accept and implement that configuration of days off was passed at the Feb. 12 school board meeting in Princeton, but an oversight cropped up about a week later, SD 58 superintendent Bob Peacock said at the March 12 meeting in Merritt. Peacock told the board the local teachers’ union was made aware of the two options and agreed to go with the option that won the vote, but the collective agreement specifies that the March break begins on the third Monday of March, which ties into the BCTF’s annual general meeting in Vancouver. Under the option that was selected, March break would begin on the fourth Monday in March. Peacock said he’s since talked

to the union and option B might get the green light after all. “There’s a cost factor associated with option B,” he said at the March 12 board meeting. “I think that both parties should bear some of those costs for option B because we both missed that collective agreement piece until we were well past the process.” Trustee Richie Gage told the board the union is requesting the district cover release time for up to five teachers to attend the AGM in Vancouver, which is about $2,000. Gage made a motion that the district cover up to half the cost, which the board passed. If no agreement between the local union and the district can be reached, the calendar will have to default to option A. As of Friday, Nicola Valley Teachers’ Union president Peter Vogt said the two sides are working on a solution but hadn’t reached one yet.

UPPER NICOLA BAND Candidates for Chief Daniel (Danny) Manuel Harvey Mcleod

REGULAR ELECTION POLLS March 22, 2014: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Upper Nicola Health Centre & Band Office

BALLOT COUNT March 23, 2014: 9 a.m. N’Kwala School Gym

Candidates for Councillor Brian Holmes David L. Lindley Debra Manuel Dennis Macdonald Fred Holmes George Saddleman Kevin Ned Raymond Saddleman Sylvester Cohen Jr. Wallace Michel

For more information call Bernard Manuel, UNB Electoral Officer at 250-315-3457

INTERIOR TO LOWER MAINLAND TRANSMISSION LINE PROJECT 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.

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. When: Sunday, March 30, 2014 Where: Logan Lake and outlying areas, including Lac La Jeune, Meadow Creek Road, Tunkwa Road and Hwy 97C

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.

We will be making electrical system improvements in Logan Lake and outlying areas on March 30, 2014. To ensure the safety of our work crews, it will be necessary to interrupt electrical service for approximately 8 hours.

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.

To prepare for this interruption and protect your equipment from damage, turn off all lights, electric heaters, major appliances and unplug all electronics. For the first hour after the power comes back on, please only plug in or turn on those electronics and appliances that you really need. This will help ensure the electrical system does not get overloaded.


If you have any questions, please contact BC Hydro Stakeholder Engagement: 1 866 647 3334 or 604 623 4472 or send an email to


For more information on the project please visit:

We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will restore your power as soon as we can. Prepare for outages and stay informed by visiting or from your handheld device. Please call 1 888 POWERON (1 888 769 3766) for more information.

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 • 3


Local women honoured at event

Women in Action host 10th annual event By Michael Potestio the herald

With a single rose, certificate of recognition, kind words from speakers and congratulations from Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon, 10 women from around the Nicola Valley were honoured for their contributions to the community. On March 7, in celebration of International Women’s Day, about 90 people gathered at the Civic Centre to pay tribute to the 10 honourees: Cecilia Dumont, Elaine Grant-Gill, Judy Hatoum, Sandra Haynes, May Moses, Bobbi Parkes, Stayce Rogers, Donna Smith, Sue Sterling and Melvina White. The evening began with a half-hour performance by the Nicola Valley Community Band followed by Guichon’s entrance, which included drumming from the Nlaka’pamux nation drummers. The old saying “a woman’s work is never done” rang true that night — honouree Elaine Grant-Gill also catered the event. Each honouree was introduced by a friend or family member who prepared a few words to say about them. May Moses was called first. Moses, 91, is probably best known for her roots in ranching in the area. Stayce Rogers, a mother of three, has used her jobs to serve children, youth and women ministries and she is connected to a mission based in Guatemala.


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Nicola Valley Women in Action director Shelley Cressy-Hassel (right) congratulates Sue Sterling, who was honoured along with nine other women for their contributions to the community at the 10th annual Celebrate Women event on March 7. Michael Potestio/Herald

Judy Hatoum has been involved in various Parent Advisory Committee events, and helped fundraise for, design and build a local playground. Honouree Sandra Haynes has served as a nurse in remote areas of Canada. Sue Sterling is a woman with many titles. She’s the current president of the Rotary



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Club of Merritt Sunrise, president of Nicola Valley Therapy, treasurer for the BC Aboriginal Childcare Society, a board member of the aboriginal steering committee for the human early learning partnership research team at UBC, and a mother of three. Melvina White is the owner of the Merritt Desert Inn and serves

as vice president of Tourism Nicola Valley and volunteers with the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce. Bobbi Parks is director of Ask Wellness operations in Merritt and has not only helped people with health and housing issues, but also worked with youth at risk as the co-ordinator of the youth mural proj-

ect in Merritt. Mother of four Donna Smith was active in sports organizations such as the Nicola Valley Figure Skating Club, Merritt Minor Hockey and coached girls soccer when her children were young. Today, she works part-time with people with special needs at the Ska-Lu-La workshop in the life skills program. In addition to cater-

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ing the event, Elaine Grant-Gill is also the president of the Nicola Valley Kennel Club. She’s a member of the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo and Merritt Minor Hockey Association and works at Merritt Secondary School. Cecilia Dumont works at the Community Policing Office as a volunteer no less than two days a week for about three hours a day, and has been volunteering at Gillis House for the past 19 years three times per week. Prior to presenting the awards, Guichon made a speech to the crowd. Guichon said there is still much to improve for the lives of women around the world and in Canada, noting the recent release of the Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry by Attorney General Wally Oppal. “There are many recommendations in that report yet to be acted upon,” Guichon said, “so there is still much for us women to accomplish. We have come so very far and we in Canada are much, much more fortunate than [women] in so many parts of the world.” This year is the 10th year the Nicola Valley Women in Action society has hosted an International Women’s Day celebration. Nicola Valley Women in Action is a voluntary society of individuals who are concerned about conditions facing women and families.

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GOOD MORNING! Business ---------------------- 5 Opinion --------------------- 6-7 Sports ------------------------- 9 Classified ------------------- 10

REMEMBER WHEN? From the Herald archives: March 1978 No hot sandy beaches but much winter warmth in Merritt for Australian family It almost goes without saying that when Australian exchange teacher Keith Johnson, his wife Mavis and their two boys arrived in Merritt in mid-January, experiencing winter for the first time was the biggest excitement of those first few days. While many other differences in the Canadian way of life would soon become apparent, the presence of snow and cold affected in a way they will never forget. Australia’s hot, sandy beaches suddenly seemed a very long way away. As a math teacher at Merritt Secondary School, Keith quickly came to realize that many aspects of the teaching profession are also different from his homeland.

Open Monday - Friday 11 am - 8:30 pm Saturday: 4 pm - 8:30 pm Sunday: Closed 103 - 2102 Nicola Avenue Merritt BC

4 • TUESDAY, March 18, 2014

Sidewalk on Voght not feasible The following is an excerpt from the city council meeting agenda from the regular meeting on March 11. At the May 7, 2013 council workshop, direction was given to complete the design work for a sidewalk on the south side of Voght Street from Lions Park to the existing crosswalk on Voght Street (about 350 metres northeast). The purpose of this sidewalk would be twofold. It would alleviate some pedestrian traffic from Central Park

during large events as pedestrians would have the option of using the south side of Voght Street as well as the north side. The sidewalk would also alleviate drainage problems along the south side of Voght Street including the annual sandbagging of the corner near the large willow tree. The design has progressed and various options have been considered. The challenge has been the proximity of the Nicola River just north of Lions Park. This necessitates a retaining wall con-

structed along the corner. The design includes curb and gutter, storm drainage and repaving to suit. Financial implications The value of this particular project has come in higher than anticipated with a range of $530,000 to $670,000. It has not been brought forward for budget consideration during the 2014 budget deliberations as in consultation with the financial services manager it was determined to not be feasible at this time.

Three new business licences in Feb.

February 2014 bylaw report

The city was able to get an early jump on sending out the business licence renewal letter for the 2014 remittance. As a result of those efforts, business licensing renewals have been brisk in January through February with a total paid to date of 485, leaving 99 businesses to make inactive or submit their 2014 payments. The office will continue to pur-

sue businesses that have not yet paid or attempt to operate in the city without a business licence in contravention of our business licence bylaw. February was a slow month for new business starts but we have welcomed three new businesses to our corporate community. News continues to surface regarding new business starts in our community and 2014 is beginning to look very promising.

Open House at the Fire Station Thursday, March 20th, 2014 3:30 PM - 7:00 PM MERRITT FIRE RESCUE DEPARTMENT

The Open House is intended to offer the Public an opportunity to tour the Fire Station and review our plans for expansion which are intended to increase the building's longevity until it is again matched by growth or service demands. 1799 Nicola Ave, Merritt, BC Phone: (250) 378-5626 Fax: (250) 378-5621 Office Hours Monday - Friday 8:30AM to 4:30PM

Next council meeting: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 Council agendas and minutes at

TAKE PART IN ONE OF OUR MANY CLASSES OFFERED THROUGH THE CIVIC CENTRE First Sticks . 2-5 yrs Thursdays, April 17 - May 22 . 6 wks 3:30 - 4:15 pm . $24 This introduction program teaches basic skills of hockey, including teamwork, passing, shooting and game play. Game playing is an integral part of each day with all participants enjoying success in a positive, fun-filled atmosphere. Sticks provided. Hop Skip Jump . 2-5 yrs Wednesdays, April 16 - May 21 . 6 wks 6:00 - 6:45 pm . $24 Ensure your kids get off on the right foot to keep them active for life. This program teaches the basic movement skills such as throwing, running, jumping and kicking, using kid friendly language, play and exploration. Instructed by Raymond Blake What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’ . 6-12 yrs Wednesdays, April 9 - 30 . 4 wks 3:30 - 5:00 pm . $46 Another winner: more delicious, homemade cookies and scrumptious treats. For kids who want to improve their kitchen survival skills! You’ve Been Framed “Portrait” . 4-12 yrs Mondays, April 28 - May 5 . 2 wks 3:30 - 4:30 pm . $25 Students will be learning how to re-purpose found objects to make some amazing picture frames. This bright and colourful project will be finished off with a candid pose of each student taken by a professional artist. Jewellry Making . 4-12 yrs Mondays, June 2 - 9 . 2 wks 3:30 - 4:30 pm . $25 1a.Stringing beads, buttons and fancy stuff to make some super cool wearable art. Be prepared to have fun! 1b. Create a good luck bangle... wire, semi-precious stones and an imagination are all that are required to create something that can be enjoyed forever! Instructed by Meriel Barber Sport School . Grade 3-5 Track ‘n’ Field Wednesdays, May 7 - June 11 . 6 wks 4:00 - 5:30 pm . $30 Learn basic movement and sport skills in a creative and dynamic environment that builds your child’s confidence in a multi-sport setting. Swim ‘n’ Slumber . 8-12 yrs Friday, April 11 8:00 pm - 9:00 am . $30 **Girls Only** Join us for an overnight adventure! Enjoy a swim, movie, pizza and sleep over with all your best friends while away from home for the whole night!

Lawn Bowling . all ages Thursdays, April 17 - May 22 . 6 wks 3:30 - 5:00 pm . $30 @ the Merritt Lawn Bowling Club Lawn bowls is a precision sport in which the goal is to roll a slightly asymmetrical ball (called bowls) closer to a smaller white ball (the ‘jack’) than your opponent. Lawn bowls is played for challenge and competition, personal enjoyment, activity, the pleasure of spending time outdoors and for social interaction. Mad Magic . 6-9 yrs Mondays, April 28 - June 9 . 6 wks 4:30 - 5:30 pm . $50 Magic, juggling and other circus skills… “Mad Magic” entertains and teaches children fun and attainable magic, juggling and other circus skills. This unique program is energetic, entertaining and educational. (No class May 19) Instructed by Raymond Blake Boys Only Fun Night . 8-12 yrs Saturday, May 24 6:00 pm - Midnight . $15 **Boys Only** Enjoy a private swim, free gym time, a movie, video games, pizza and much more! After School Camp . K-7 Mondays & Tuesdays: March 31 - June 17 . 12 wks or 6 wks 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm . $360 or 6 wks . $190 After school programs play an important positive role in the academic and personal development of children, especially in an era when many parents work full time. Upon arrival, children will learn how to make healthy snacks. Dog Obedience Monday, April 28 - June 9 . 6 wks 7:00 - 8:00 pm . $42 The focus is on clicker training to teach dogs whatever their owners want to teach them. Working on sits, heeling, downs and recalls, we are also going to learn high fives, leave it, targeting, jumping, go out, retrieve and release, tunnel, soccer, plus some beginning nosework. The trick is using positive methods of encouragement to make you more successful and faster! (No class May 19.) Instructed by Yvonne Lord K9 Nose Work Clinic . $55 Sunday, April 6 #1 Intro to Nose Work: 9:00 - 11:00 am #2 Continuing Nosework: 1:00 - 3:00 pm What is K9 Nose Work? Inspired by working detection dogs, K9 Nose Work is the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy-to-learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise. Instructed by Lia Bijsterveld

City of Merritt ★ 2185 Voght Street, Box 189 Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 ★ Phone: 250-378-4224

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 • 5


Making retirement financially sustainable DAVID L. BROWN Managing YOUR MONEY One dictionary definition of “sustainable” is “able to be maintained” – and it’s something we hear often these days, mostly in relation to maintaining the ecological balance of our world. That’s the big picture of sustainability but, on a very personal level, sustainability is of vital importance to you. Will your retirement income be sufficient to sustain the lifestyle you want for all the years of your retirement? Here are some things to consider as you try to ensure your financial life is sustainable throughout your retirement. Decide when you want to retire If you choose to retire earlier than age 65, you’ll have fewer years to save to retirement and more post-retirement years to fund. If you choose to retire after 65, you can opt to enjoy the tax-saving, income-build-

ing advantages of your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) until the end of the year in which you turn 71 – and you can further extend RRSP benefits after 71 by continuing to pay into a plan for your spouse who is younger than 71. Decide on your lifestyle What you want to do and how you want to live in retirement will dictate its cost. Stay close to home and your costs may be lower. Travel regularly and your costs may escalate. You may choose to add to your income by continuing to work full or part time, on a contract basis, or even by starting your own business. Add up your costs Estimate your retirement spending requirements in three categories: • Essential expenses that can’t be reduced. • Discretionary expenses you can control. • Additional expenses such as health care that typically come along with aging. Calculate the income you’ll need to cover your essential and discretionary retirement costs as well as the additional

income you’ll need to cover the ‘extra’ expenses of aging. Add up your income from all sources Take stock of every post-retirement income source, including personal savings, company pensions, investments held in your RRSPs, Tax Free Savings Accounts, nonregistered investments, and government sources such as the Canada Pension Plan, Québec Pension Plan and Old Age Security. Bridge the gap If there is a shortfall between what you need and what you have, you should determine the level and frequency of income you will need via withdrawals from your registered and other income-producing investments – and keep in mind that your retirement could span 40 years or more. Reset your strategy If your estimated withdrawal rate is not sustainable based on projected returns from your current savings and investments, you should reset your income strategy or reset your retirement plans. And before doing anything else, talk to

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your professional advisor – the sustainability expert who can help ensure your retirement income will maintain for all your retirement years. This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant. Contact David Brown at 250-315-0241 or at to book your appointment.

PREVENT THEFTS FROM YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE Here a few helpful hints to help prevent motor vehilcle break-ins: 1 Don’t leave purses or valuables inside vehicles overnight. 2 Lock vehicles when exiting, make it a habit. 3 If leaving valuables in a vehicle; hide from sight. 4 Park in a well lit area. 5 Report any thefts, damage or suspicious persons to police This message brought to you by


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NOTICE OF SCHEDULED POWER INTERRUPTION FOR LOGAN LAKE AND OUTLYING AREAS Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. When: Sunday, March 23, 2014 Where: Logan Lake and outlying areas, including Lac La Jeune, Meadow Creek Road, Tunkwa Road and Hwy 97C We will be making electrical system improvements in Logan Lake and outlying areas on March 23, 2014. To ensure the safety of our work crews, it will be necessary to interrupt electrical service for approximately 8 hours. To prepare for this interruption and protect your equipment from damage, turn off all lights, electric heaters, major appliances and unplug all electronics.


Sheba was tied to a tree last year and left. She was rescued but now that kind lady is having health issues and she needs to rehome this beautiful girl to a loving, permanent home.


Zip is a 1 year old Shepherd Cross. Zip will try really hard and will do the best to always please you. Just be patient with Zip for a little while and you can be best friends!

Donations desperately needed for spay and neuter services. Donations can be to made to The Angel’s Animal Rescue Society at The Interior Savings Credit Union, Account #1193739.


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We’ve got all you need at Purity Feed Horse, Poultry, Livestock & Pet Supplies KAMLOOPS: 471 Okanagan Way 250-372-2233

MERRITT: 1690 Voght Street 250-378-4432

We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will restore your power as soon as we can. Prepare for outages and stay informed by visiting or from your handheld device. Please call 1 888 POWERON (1 888 769 3766) for more information. 4156


Honey is approx 1 1/2 yrs old, spayed female, Pitty cross. She is wonderful with other dogs and kids, very playful, walks well on or off leash and always comes when called. Honey is extremely affectionate and needs a gentle and loving person.

For the first hour after the power comes back on, please only plug in or turn on those electronics and appliances that you really need. This will help ensure the electrical system does not get overloaded.

6 • TUESDAY, March 18, 2014


Even revolution can’t keep capitalism at bay By Christopher Foulds


For a few years, I worked with a reporter who was born in what was then East Germany. His family managed to escape the satellite Soviet Union country and settle in Canada. During my years working with him, the reporter would remind one and all of the death and destruction caused in the name of communism. He was particularly vocal every time condemnation of Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini or Francisco Franco was the topic of discussion. No, he was not a fan of any fascist dictator. In fact, like most of us, he abhorred the brutal legacies of such madmen. But, he would always be quick to remind us of the death and destruction caused by madmen of the left — Joseph Stalin in particular. The reporter was adamant — and his argument is solid — that communist dictatorships have killed far more innocent people than have fascist dictatorships. In such cases, there is hardly a lesser of two evils — when the bodies on both sides are stacked into the millions, does it really matter who wins in the cadaver count? I can only imagine what my newsroom friend would have thought had he walked into the Irving Barber Centre for Learning at Thompson Rivers University a week ago today, where Cuban ambassador to Canada Julio Garmendia Pena and first secretary Miraly Gonzalez Gonzalez spoke to a crowd of 55. True, when an event is organized and presented by the TRU Socialist Club, you know what you are getting into by walking through the door.

See ‘Choices’ Page 7

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Ghost towns disappearing before our eyes

Emily Wessel Merritt MUSINGS School’s out for spring break, and what a glorious time. The weather’s nice (mostly, though it changes quickly), the birds are back and the rivers are thawing. With the sun beaming down on the beautiful grasslands surrounding Merritt, it’s a perfect time to hit the road and explore some more of the countryside of B.C. In searching for a day or weekend trip recently, I

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hatched the grand scheme of visiting a ghost town and have since become quite taken with the idea. Sure, there are some falling down barns in the Nicola Valley I could go look at, but a falling down barn is just not the same as an entire town deserted but left standing in the wake of economic downfall. It’s the history and transience of these derelict communities that’s appealing to me and the many people who seek out ghost towns to visit. Those decrepit, abandoned man-made establishments juxtaposed with the beauty of the natural landscapes surrounding them adds to my fascination. This province is something of a gold mine for pioneer towns that sprung up alongside primarily mines and then dried up

when the resources did. Phoenix was the name of the one I wanted to visit. The town was active between the late 1890s and June 1919, when the thriving community founded 4,630 feet above sea level started emptying quickly once the copper mine was shut down. But at its peak, the town had about 4,000 residents, 20 hotels and a reputation across Canada for having rabid hockey fans and copper-crazed citizens. All but three men cleared out of the town and one particularly eccentric bloke moved in to city hall and self-appointed as mayor and police chief. Eventually, the three remaining men passed away and Phoenix was left with its ghosts. But true to its name, Phoenix was to rise from

Editor Emily Wessel newsroom@

RANITE AVE., PO BOX 9, MERRITT, B.C. PHONE (250) 378-4241

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its ashes — in a way. In the 1950s, the better part of the town site became an open pit mine. It, too, was eventually abandoned in the 1970s and is now a lake. Today, just about all that’s standing in the town that was formerly Phoenix is a memorial to the First World War and a cemetery restored by people from the nearby town of Greenwood. Greenwood is also home to a massive sculpture of a phoenix bird, which was erected in the 1970s to commemorate the historic little town by miners. The rarity of communities full of empty buildings still standing is part of their appeal. I can understand how these places come to cease existence, both in terms of population and formerly populated buildings. Sometimes we’re eager to tear down buildings we

Sports writer Ian Webster sports@

find are eyesores and make way for newer, bigger, better things. Sometimes that haste to move foward actually seems a little backwards. In 2002, a movie set known as Wild Horse Town was erected outside of Kamloops and built to resemble an old western ghost town. Granted, overgrown and inaccessible authentic ghost towns probably can’t compete with the 360-degree countryside vistas Wild Horse Town offers. So, my dreams of visiting one mountainous, authentic ghost town with a wild history are all but dashed, but with the wealth of mining history and towns founded for such purposes in B.C., I am hopeful I’ll see some still-standing ruins yet. I just have to get there before they’re gone for good.

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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

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 • 7

YOUR OPINION Shelters, breeders not at odds over dogs Dear Editor,

Re: Pick puppy from responsible breeder by Chloe Gravelle, March 11. Ms. Gravelle’s letter prompts me to address her suggestions and recommendations regarding the acquisition of dogs from responsible breeders. First of all, let me say that not all registered breeders are necessarily responsible, caring individuals. As with any type of animal breeder, there are those persons who ought not to even own dogs, much less breed them. As reputable as the Canadian Kennel Club strives to be, there are those few members who do not necessarily or consistently adhere to the five basic freedoms of the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which guides the care and well-being of most animals. Further, there is no ironclad guarantee that purchased pups, bitches and studs not conforming to the breed’s strict standards may not be passed over by prospective owners or quite possibly even euthanized by the breeder, simply for being less than “perfect.” So you want a perfect dog? It doesn’t exist. Perfection would require their owners, animal shelter advocates and breeders to be perfect, and that just isn’t about to happen. We live in an imperfect world in which, good or bad, many dogs mirror their owners’ behaviour and demeanour.

It is safe to say that while their 57 dogs and/or rescue dogs don’t usually come with a fancy pedigree, they do come with a variety of traits, characteristics and behaviours not unique to one particular breed. It doesn’t take a Cesar Milan to realize that most dogs, if given a chance, can be every bit as affectionate, engaging, loving, loyal, trustworthy, dependable and reliable as purebred dogs. Always, we need to be mindful that the shaping of the dog’s characteristics rests with the owner. As for the barking dogs in pens and enclosures somewhere “out there,” I would strongly urge you to visit Angel’s Animal Rescue, located in the Sunshine Valley. I have done a fair amount of animal rescue work over a period of several decades and Angel’s is one of the most humane facilities I have ever seen for rescue dogs. Are the dogs psychologically suffering? Please go out there and see for yourself. I do not purport to be a dog psychologist, but it is my strong and lasting impression that the dogs are leading healthy, happy, “normal” full lives. The dogs are cared for lovingly and respectfully, something each of us as dog owners should aspire toward being. Judanna and George Caros do a stellar, exemplary job of caring for unwanted, stray, abandoned, neglected and abused dogs. Most of the dogs, thanks

to their tremendous efforts, find loving, adoptive homes and there are many happy new beginnings for both dog and new owner. Please do not bite the hands that do so much good for animal welfare here in Merritt as well as in the Nicola Valley. And please do not criticize or judge before you see and learn first hand what joys rescue dogs can and do bring. I have had nothing but rescue dogs all my life, and I can certainly attest to what a marvellous difference each dog has made to me personally as well as to my family. It seems as if there is a place for both responsible, reputable dog breeders as well as animal rescue societies. One is not better than the other; they are simply different in focus and perspective. To everyone considering adopting a dog or puppy, please give Angel’s Animal Rescue or the SPCA in Kamloops some serious thought. In my view, there are very few bad dogs, there are only bad owners. And while a pedigree may be nice, it’s only one part of the picture when it comes to choosing a dog for you and your family. Give a rescue dog a second chance. I can almost guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Dear Editor,

Bonnie Cowan Merritt

Susanna Hobbs Merritt

Re: Pick puppy from responsible breeder by Chloe Gravelle, March 11. I feel compelled to respond to the letter. There are a few points which are inaccurate and misconceptions which I would like to clarify. 1. The puppy mill described by Ms. Dawn in her letter (Choose adoption over puppy mills by Judanna Dawn, Feb. 18) has been visited by the SPCA three times in the last seven years. 2. In Ms. Dawn’s last paragraph, she says, “If buying from a breeder, research them,” which is what a responsible guardian would do. 3. As a long-time volunteer (five years) of, to quote, “a place outside of Merritt,” I can testify with first-hand knowledge of daily life there. Angel’s Animal Rescue Society is a registered charity and a fully approved rescue by the SPCA. 4. I have two beautiful mutts from there and approximately 2,000 other dogs from Angel’s have been adopted into very appreciative homes in the last five years. 5. All the mutts and purebreds receive veterinary care if required. All are spayed, neutered, inoculated, socialized and loved. They are walked daily by volunteers. There are no cages. They live in big, quarter-acre pens with shade in summer, and heated kennels with doggy doors in the winter. They have plenty of water, food, attention and exercise. I’ve noticed in just five years a ripple effect in the Nicola Valley. There are not so many unwanted dogs due to these compassionate actions I’ve been witness to, plus education. In closing, I wonder what would have happened to the two 10-week old puppies I found last month freezing, starving and dehydrated at the end of a logging road if I had not been able to immediately bring them to loving care at Angel’s Animal Rescue Society.

Choices more appealing than communism From Page 6 Still, I imagine the iconic portrait of Che Guevera, looming as large as a national flag above all the auditorium, would have had my East German friend listing the reasons why Ernesto Lynch (the given name of the Argentinianborn Cuban legend who never did become a Cuban citizen) was a terrorist and not a freedom fighter or martyr.

He would point to Guevera, Fidel Castro, the Chinese communist regime and the successive Soviet administrations as examples of butchery. Then again, my friend from the old country may indeed have been swayed by the words of the Cuban ambassador, who was blunt in his assessment of the dire situation in Cuba and selfdeprecating when explaining why things don’t change all that quickly on the Caribbean


ANNUAL GENErAL MEEtiNG tuesday, March 25 at 7 PM 2336 Jackson Avenue FOr MOrE iNFO CONtACt: 250-378-4961 or 250-378-4687

island. It is no secret the Cuban economy collapsed when the Soviet Union died and took with it the subsidies it had been granting the island country. While Pena noted a strengthened post-Soviet U.S. economic blockade and low sugar and nickel prices contributed to the financial crisis, he admitted culpability among the Castro regime. “We are not perfect. We

have committed mistakes,” he said. “We have been inefficient in productivity.” To remedy that, Pena said, Cuba has granted permission for some forms of self-employment, has given local government control over investment decisions and is courting foreign investment. If that sounds like the revolution is giving way to capitalism — and it does — Pena will object. “We are not called reform-

ists because that would be a change in the model,” Pena told KTW. “We are updating the model.” One suspects the Cuban people will increasingly like the freedom to make more money and venture to other lands with that cash as the country shifts more and more toward a free-market, capitalist system. Sooner or later, it happens in all communist countries.



PO Box 98 Merritt, BC V1K 1B8

Custom welding and bending. On radiators and mufflers.

894 Coldwater Road, Merritt, B.C.

Speak up You can comment on any story you read @


HERALD QUESTION OF THE WEEK To vote, go online to

Did you take part in the winter challenge?

PREVIOUS QUESTION Will you check out where Merritt’s schools fall on the recently released Fraser Institute school report card? YES: 40% NO: 60%

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@

8 • TUESDAY, March 18, 2014

The BC Government is proposing to offload the province’s world-class recycling programs, run by local municipalities, to an association led by big multi-national corporations. The idea is that we’ll get a better, more efficient program that costs taxpayers less.

Currently, BC homeowners only pay, on average, $35 a year for curbside recycling. Under the proposed regime, you’ll pay more. Every time you bring home a pizza, buy toilet paper,

Unfortunately, what we’ll really end up with is anyone’s guess.

How much more? Well, nobody’s saying.

The association isn’t guaranteeing that we’ll get a better program, or even one as good as the current Blue Box program already in place. Since the association is led by big businesses outside of BC, many of whom are not even headquartered in Canada, one could presume that profits will come before environmental stewardship. They usually do. They also won’t guarantee that there won’t be any job cuts here in BC.

Here’s the only thing anyone does know: we already have a Blue Box program that works, is efficient, managed locally and puts the BC environment first. So why is the BC government flipping a coin, bringing in a questionable recycling program that some of our local elected officials are already calling a “scam?”

And how is this supposed to make things better for BC?

or pretty much anything else that comes in a package, businesses will be passing their increased costs on to you.

It’s time to contact Premier Clark and ask her.

What’s going on here?

Email Christy Clark at or call 250-387-1715. For more info, visit #RethinkItBC. This Message is brought to you by:

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 • 9

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

Centennials hand out year-end awards By Ian Webster THE HERALD

Over 150 people squeezed into the beautifully decorated mezzanine at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena on Friday night for the Merritt Centennials’ 2013-14 Awards Night. The gathering included Cents’ players, coaches and directors, along with many of the hockey club’s hard-

THE GRADUATES Each year, the Merritt Centennials hockey club honours its graduating 20-year-old players by presenting them with graduation rings and their game-worn jerseys. This year’s 20-year-olds were (from left) Merritt’s own Payton Schaefer, Scotty Patterson (North Vancouver), Tyler Martin (Port Coquitlam), Sebastien Paré (Surrey) and Jason Bird (Toronto). Schaefer and Martin were with the Centennials for three full seasons, while both Patterson and Paré wore the red, white and black for two years. Bird was a trade deadline acquisition this season from the Vernon Vipers. All photos by Ian Webster/Herald

working volunteers and billet families. Also in attendance was a large contingent of player family members who had made the trip to Merritt from as far away as Ontario and Minnesota. Centennials’ chaplain Dave McCauley was master of ceremonies. Fifteen individual player awards were handed out.

RING BEARERS The Centennials organization also honoured the four under-20-year-old players who will be likely leaving the team because of scholarships: (from left) Dane Birks, Shane Poulsen, Devin Kero and Jeff Wight.

Most Improved Player #10 Adam Tracey

Academic Scholar #14 Daniel Nachbaur

Most Promising Player #19 James Neil

Most Game-Winning Goals #8 Diego Cuglietta

Coaches’ Choice #18 Payton Schaefer

Most Gentlemanly Player #2 Tyler Martin

Rookie of the Year #16 Gavin Gould

Leading Scorer #8 Diego Cuglietta

Best Defenceman #7 Dane Birks

Unsung Hero #15 Sam Johnson

Joe Tennant - Most Dedicated #7 Dane Birks

Ska-Lu-La Award #8 Diego Cuglietta #15 Sam Johnson #18 Payton Schaefer

Playoff MVP #2 Tyler Martin

Leadership & Ability #8 Diego Cuglietta

Most Valuable Player #31 Devin Kero

10 • TUESDAY, March 18, 2014

Your community. Your classifieds.

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Copyright and/or properties subsist in all advertisements and in all other material appearing in this edition of bcclassiÀ Permission to reproduce wholly or in part and in any form whatsoever, particularly by a photographic or offset process in a publication must be obtained in writing from the publisher. Any unauthorized reproduction will be subject to recourse in law.

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UP TO $400 cash daily FT & PT outdoors, Spring/Summer work. Seeking honest, hard working staff. Visit us online at:

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Pets & Livestock

Help Wanted


Security Company is now hiring licensed, dependable, security guards for a large project in Merritt. A vehicle is preferred but not essential as the site is on a transit route. Have you thought about getting a security job but are not yet licensed we may be able to help. Fair wages with bonus programs and opportunities for advancement, for the right candidates. We encourage exservice persons to join our team. Send us your resume and include 1 personal and 1 work reference to: or Fax: 866-999-1964 (toll free fax) or call us at 866-999-4911

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Trades, Technical

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Misc for Rent Basement for rent, shared laundry, kitchen, internet hookup, shared utilities. $600/month. $600 safety deposit. Non drinker, no smoking. Employed mature woman preferred. No pets. Call 250378-6020 or 250-280-2264 for interview

Mobile Homes & Pads 3 bdrm 2 bath double wide trailer in L.N. Newly reno, 1/2 acre, quiet spot $975 plus damage deposit. Avail Mar. 1st. Call 250-378-4166

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Rentals Apt/Condo for Rent Avail Mar. 1/14 One bdrm for one adult only. N/S, N/P, heat & cable incl. $525/mon. Ref’s. 250-378-2954 Sandpiper Unit 109 2 bdrm w/laundry. $750/mon + Hydro Avail Mar. 1/14. 250-378-8104

Help Wanted

LOCAL MANUFACTURING PLANT IS LOOKING TO FILL AN ENTRY-LEVEL FULL TIME POSITION. This position involves running various machines, repetitive tasks and standing for long periods of time. Interested applicants are to drop off resumes to 1120A McFarlane Way mornings before noon, Monday - Friday only.



Available immediately, 2 bedroom mobile home with mud room, small deck and large yard. Washer, dryer, fridge, stove and utilities included. $950 month. 250-378-0887

Homes for Rent 2000’sqft rancher, 2 bdrm + den, 1 1/2 bath, w/d incl., private courtyard, pool, n/s, no pets, $1200/mon. Avail Mar. 15th or Apr. 1st. 250-378-5519

Rooms for Rent Furnished room avail. Apr 15. $465/mon. Incl. util. Call 250378-5128 Furnished room for rent $415/mon. Incl. util. Call 250378-5128 Looking for mature boarders. Furnished rooms, beautiful home. Must be working, prefer contract workers, close to down town core. Not for permanent residence. Basement for 600 hundred, or upstairs room for 500 hundred. Includes utilities, but does not include food. Call Tracey at 250378-8852 Room for rent in large house on golf course. Cable, internet, furnished. $450/mon. 250-378-7154

Suites, Upper 2 bdrm suite, laminate floors, recently reno’d, shared laundry $650 incl. util. Avail immed. N/s, N/p, ref. and credit check req. 778-228-6378

Townhouses 3 bdrm townhouse, quiet culde-sac, 1 1/2 bath, sm fenced yd, pets neg. $950 incl. gas. 250-682-0844


TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 • 11



1800 Garcia Street


1951 Garcia Street



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PLANET HAIR & SPA 2049 Nicola Street



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FIRMAN AUTO PARTS LTD. 2114 Nicola Avenue


& Appliances Ltd.

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12 • TUESDAY, March 18, 2014

Merritt Herald - March 18, 2014  
Merritt Herald - March 18, 2014  

Merritt Herald - March 18, 2014