North of 50
April 2010 Vol. 8, Issue 4
LOCAL LATITUDE, GLOBAL ATTITUDE
IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN An Okanagan Reality Check
AN EARTHSHIP HOUSE
Darfield Family Goes Green
BACK TO THE EARTH
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
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April 2010 Vol. 8, Issue 4
IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN
Despite the Okanagan’s significant agricultural base, availability of public transit and 2200 hours of glorious sunshine per year, most of us won’t be parking the car, adhering to the 100 Mile Diet or switching to more sustainable sources of energy like wind and solar.
14 FOOD FOR THOUGHT A look at organic home delivery services in the Okanagan Shuswap By Leila Meyer
26 HEALTH MATTERS
6 FROM OUR EDITOR
28 STAYCATIONS Hollyhock, Cortes Island
16 REGIONAL ATTITUDE An interview with Cigdem Eskicioglu
30 AWAY FROM HOME A Visit to Ireland, the Emerald Isle By Patricia Cook
18 CALVIN WHITE Bending to Beauty: A report from Uzbekistan
38 BOOK REVIEW
24 IN DEFENSE OF DANDELIONS A gardener’s arch enemy or best friend By Trudy Frisk
20 EARTHSHIP HOME A Kamloops couple adheres to Rational Environmentalism By Sherry Bennett 32 BACK TO THE EARTH An Oliver couple builds a home that is the first of its kind in the region By Andrea Dujardin-Flexhaug
40 ARTS HAPPENING 41 COMING EVENTS 43 APRIL ACTIVITIES 44 COMMUNITY EVENTS
Earth Day is April 22, 2010. What will you do? 4
36 DON SAWYER Fair Comment. An Olympic Perspective
FROM OUR EDITOR WELL, THAT WAS EXHAUSTING. Who knew changing the layout and design of the magazine would raise so many questions, offer so many choices and ultimately demand so many decisions? This past month, North of 50 has been playing dress-up. We took a dozen or more outfits out of the closet, tried them on, then dissatisfied, discarded them to a heap on the floor. We experimented with different fonts, colours, layouts, and cover shots. Fortunately, we have a small but dedicated team working behind the scenes to write original stories, create interesting design and, ultimately, bring you what you see today. The funny thing is I haven’t seen the final product myself. The magazine will be sent to the press tomorrow. The press will send us back a proof, but it won’t be on the same paper that the magazine will actually be printed on, so we’re not absolutely sure how it will look in its finished form. I’m hoping you are saying to yourself, “Wow! What a great looking magazine.” We considered going glossy, but we wanted a different look, to stand out and be environmentally conscientious at the same time. We think this look is elegant, durable and eco-friendly. With 8 years under our belt, North of 50 has grown to have the largest annual circulation of any regional magazine in the Okanagan Shuswap. People often ask us if North of 50 is a senior’s magazine. Today’s North of 50 is aimed at adults, 30-70. Eight years ago, when we first started on this journey, we thought North of 50 was a delightful play on words. Lake Country, from where we hailed originally, is on the 50th parallel and we were targeting empty nesters, young retirees and baby boomers, most of who are in the North of 50 age group. But the feedback we receive told us that the under 40 group is also reading this magazine for its reliable content and provocative articles. That’s why we’ve come up with a new tag line, Local Latitude, Global Attitude. It’s meant to reflect our content – regional perspective on global issues. You can probably tell by now, we’ve got a theme going in this issue. With earth week coming up, we thought it appropriate to bring you some “earthy” articles. In keeping with this month’s theme of reduce, recycle, reuse, please pass this issue of North of 50 along to others who may find it an interesting read. For this month, at least, our job here is done and we at North of 50 are all going home for a well-deserved rest. Until next month! 6
YOUR LETTERS A Reader’s Response to Don Sawyer’s Fair Comment, March issue Hi Don, Wanted to let you know that Haiti: A Man- Made Catastrophe was very well written and one of the best pieces I have read in a while. Extremely enlightening too. I know Caribbean (and world) history, however some of Haiti’s historic details somehow have eluded me, especially in terms of the reality of the “man-made” situation. How insidious, how outrageous!! You should be writing for the Atlantic Monthly or The Economist! North of 50 is damn lucky to have you onboard. dennis mullen Last Desk / Havana Writers’ Retreat
Sometimes I don’t get the perfect answer and I have always wondered if its me or the puzzle.
Editor’s note: We wholeheartedly agree. We are lucky!
We appreciate your feedback. Please drop us a note and let us know what you think of the new format and our content. Email your comments, good or bad, to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail us at P.O. Box 100, Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0
New Subscriber I received the March issue in the mail today and I just wanted to email to say how much I enjoyed reading it. I didn’t realize you were changing the magazine when I subscribed, but I am looking forward to the April issue. Susan Faithful Victoria, BC Word Search Woes I enjoy your paper and always do the word search.
The March issue however is way out and the correct answer is” Put a spring in your step and a smile in your heart.” Your printed solution Marvelous March is incorrect. John Meaden Retired. Editor’s note: Oops. We made a boo boo. We create the word search puzzles in-house and we really do complete the puzzles ourselves to ensure accuracy. However, this time, while the puzzle is correct, the solution was “Put a spring in your step and a smile in your heart, ” not Marvelous March as we stated on page 22. Thanks to everyone who pointed this out.
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LOCAL LATITUDE, GLOBAL ATTITUDE Publisher Dean Wallis email@example.com Managing Editor TJ Wallis firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Director Cassandra Redding email@example.com Advertising Sales Dean Wallis firstname.lastname@example.org Kamloops & Area email@example.com Ad Design Kristi Carter firstname.lastname@example.org Administration Caralyn Doyle email@example.com Deadline for Ads to be submitted is the 20th of the month for publication the first week of the month Office Location: Suite 102 2516 Patterson Avenue Armstrong, BC Mailing Address: Box 100 Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 ADS & SUBMISSIONS Phone: (250) 546-6064 Fax: (250) 546-8914 Toll Free: 1-877-667-8450 (877)NORTH50 Website: www.northof50.com ISSN 1710-4750 0727724 BC LTD Printed in Canada
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OUR CONTRIBUTORS TJ WALLIS has been the managing editor of North of 50 since 2003, when she and husband, Dean, first started the magazine. TJ has superhuman powers of persuasion and genetically altered thick skin. Her work has been published internationally, in various magazines and newspapers. SHERRY BENNETT is a jack-of-all-trades by day, creative non-fiction writer by night, Sherry’s fondness for the written word developed decades ago in high school. With kids all flown the coop, and a Volkswagen topped up with gas, she’s recaptured her enthusiasm to head out on the road and track down people and stories that inspire the pen. ANDREA DUJARDIN-FLEXHAUG has been living and writing in the South Okanagan for 25-plus years, ever since she graduated from Langara, Vancouver Community College with a Journalism Diploma. She worked for three years as a reporter for the Osoyoos Times, going on to write in various other venues over the years.
TRUDY FRISK is a writer who has flickers, towhees, aggressive deer, and two garter snakes she’s named Sage and Brush, frequenting her yard in Kamloops. Fortunately, she likes wildlife. (She won’t discuss gophers, though.) Visitors who’ve seen the paper piles in her office believe glaciers are regrouping. LEILA MEYER has been a professional writer for over 12 years and specializes in writing about technology, animals, and healthy natural living. She is also a freelance editor and member of the Editors’ Association of Canada. She lives in Salmon Arm, BC with her husband and four cats.
It’s Not Easy Being Green BY TJ WALLIS
A look at the reality of being “green” in the Okanagan KERMIT WAS RIGHT. It’s not easy being green, not even in the sunny Okanagan. Despite our significant agricultural base, availability of public transit, and 2200 hours of glorious sunshine per year, most Okanaganites won’t be parking the car, adhering to the 100 Mile Diet or switching to more sustainable sources of energy like wind and solar. While we’re happy to recycle and to turn out the lights when we leave the room, giving up the family car really isn’t an option. Green experts suggest using public transit, carpooling, cycling or walking to work – all excellent advice in an ideal world, but in reality, not easy to follow. The Ministry of Transportation may hope that the HOV lanes implemented in Kelowna will increase transit ridership and carpooling, thus improving air quality in the valley – but that might just be wishful thinking. To access public transit, rural residents would have to drive their vehicle to the bus stop. Even for city dwellers, transit has its challenges. From my parents’ home in North Glenmore to Kelowna General Hospital, door-to-door by public transit is a forty minute jaunt; by car it takes ten. A monthly bus pass costs far less than car insurance and fuel, but more often than not, convenience and efficiency win out over cost and environmental concerns – and my parents take the car. The few cycling paths that do exist are probably not on the way to your place of work. Cycling may be greener, but it isn’t safer. Ever tried cycling in the snow? Farmers cannot haul livestock, produce or hay in a bicycle basket. As for carpooling – who can find someone who lives near and works at the same place at the same time? Transit and carpooling are out of the question for Maureen Walker, whose job as a financial advisor with Lakefront Capital Management in Vernon necessitates having a car. But that doesn’t mean she can’t make green choices. To reduce her carbon footprint Walker has opened an office in downtown Enderby and when she must drive, she does so in her bright yellow Smart Car. Driving such a teeny weeny car isn’t any kind of sacrifice, says Walker. Not surprising, considering she gets about 50 miles to the gallon. Miles, mind you, not kilometers. Walker took advantage of a $2000 government rebate when she purchased the car two years ago. Since then, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price has dropped, which is a good thing. On the downside, the cost to insure Walkers relatively inexpensive Smart Car is high, comparable to a far
Maureen Walker’s Smart car is an energy efficient way to get around. It’s easy to park and accomodates two sets of golf clubs and an overnight bag easily. Photo: TJ Wallis
more expensive and less environmentally friendly full size truck. No, it’s not easy being green. And how about the 100 Mile Diet, where you consume only what is grown or produced within 100 miles of your home? Any green advocate worth his salt recommends the 100 Mile Diet to reduce emissions from long distance transport. The Okanagan might be famous for its orchards and wineries, but sticking to the 100 Mile Diet is no easy task. Salt is out, for a start. So is coffee. Rice. You weren’t expecting to enjoy olives or olive oil, were you? Or tropical fruits, like bananas and pineapples. Sugar? Nope. Strict adherence to the 100 Mile Diet requires more than a little willpower. It’s not easy being green. That’s why many 100 Mile dieters, like Liberal MLA for Vernon-Monashee, Eric Foster, are adhering to a modified version, which means purchasing locally produced food whenever possible, but breaking the rules for foods not available in their region. But alas, there are those who say the 100 Mile Diet doesn’t actually reduce your carbon footprint at all. Detractors argue that semi trucks, ships and airplanes are very efficient per kilo northof50.com 11
Cathy and Jim Brown with Molly. In 2008, the Browns installed the first wind turbine in the Coldstream area. Photo: Christine Pilgrim
ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOS A good place to learn about business, corporate, government and non-profit environmental initiatives in the Central Okanagan is at the 11th annual Mayor’s Environmental Expo, which will take place at Mission Creek Regional Park (2363 Springfield Road), Kelowna, on May 28. In conjunction with the Expo, the Mayor will present the Environmental Achievement Awards (May 27, 2010), which recognizes businesses, groups and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of the environment. The City of Vernon will also recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses for their contributions to creating and strengthening a culture of sustainability in the community at The Sustainability Awards, which will be presented during Environment Week, May 31 to June 6, 2010. 12 northof50.com
of food and that buying local isn’t any more green than buying imported foods. Oh, the mixed messages! Foster points out that there are other good reasons to stick to the 100 Mile diet – like fresher, better tasting food and support for the local economy. Still, making good decisions about green issues is a complex and often contradictory drill. What’s a consumer to do? Perhaps all consumers cannot follow the same green path, but every consumer can follow a green path that suits their individual situation. As a member of the Premier’s Cabinet Committee on Climate Action, (CCCA) Eric Foster understands that every time he travels by plane to Victoria for his job as MLA, his carbon footprint gets bigger. He takes steps to offset that by making an extra effort to live green while he’s at home, whether it’s buying local, living in a pesticide free zone, or driving a Smart Car to lower harmful emissions. When Foster was the mayor of Lumby, the community stopped using chemical pesticides on village property. Today, Foster continues that practice at his own home; his lawn care service only uses non-chemical natural products to maintain the grass. The CCCA sits every two weeks to “listen to scientific evidence on how to accurately measure and reduce GHG emissions” and to hear suggestions from groups, individuals and businesses on possible actions to address climate change. Part of the Committee’s mandate is to develop alternative green energy initiatives, including wind, solar, tidal, geothermal and biofuels. For some, the term “alternative source of energy” conjures up images of remote back country living with few modern conveniences. No one is suggesting we strive to live off the grid, only that we reduce our energy consumption. Retired school teachers, Cathy and Jim Brown, thought they might be able to lessen their dependency on the grid by harnessing the wind. In October 2008, they installed a 46 ½ foot windmill – to the tune of almost $11,000 - on their 15 acre Coldstream property. It’s a windy spot, high on the hill overlooking the Coldstream Valley. Green; yes. Easy; no. As one of only fifteen BC Hydro customers across the province who are connected to wind turbines, the Browns are truly pioneers in the Okanagan. Because they installed the first wind turbine in the Vernon area that fell under NORD jurisdiction, they faced several bureaucratic challenges. Local authorities didn’t know quite how to categorize this gadget. The turbine was supplied and installed by Paul Wende of Energy West Power Solutions in Falkland, but it was made in China and didn’t have a CSA approval stamp – so it didn’t pass initial inspection. Wende
and the Browns were able to get a CSA sticker by replacing the inverter with one made in Italy, which was exported to the US and then imported into Canada. Even applying for government rebates available to Canadian residents who invest in alternative energy sources proved difficult. The Browns had all the necessary inspections, followed all the rules, sent in the appropriate forms, but the uniqueness of their application caused it to get jumbled up in bureaucracy. It wasn’t until contacting the Ombudsman and MP Colin Mayes’ office that their application was approved – 14 months later. “To be a pioneer, you need patience,” laughs Cathy. Now that the Browns have the ability to measure the wind, they realize it’s not nearly as windy as initially thought. They use about 75 kilowatt hours of power each day, but “the best [they] can do is generate 10 kilowatt hours per day with a decent wind blowing.” Though the Browns haven’t seen the energy savings they’d hoped for, they are not unhappy with their choice to install the wind turbine. With Hydro rates expected to rise, they may see better savings down the road. There are rules and regulations that make installing a wind turbine prohibitive for most homeowners, not the least of which is the required fall zone of 80 feet. Solar is another option in the sunny Okanagan. With more than 2,200 hours of sunshine per year, this part of the world has an abundance of reliable and renewable solar energy. Last year, Energy West Power Solutions (same company that installed the Brown’s wind turbine) completed a 3.2 kilowatt solar electric system on a new home construction in Lake Country. The homeowner also installed solar hot water. With a total cost of around $20,000, this homeowner expects to have a net zero hydro bill. In an effort to encourage homeowners to consider solar hot water systems, SolarBC has details on the more than $3,000 in financial incentives which are available to offset the cost. Speaking of grants, until the end of April 2010 Okanagan and Similkameen residents can save money and reduce air pollution by participating in the Woodstove Change Out Program. With today’s technology, new wood stoves can burn up to 90% cleaner than old wood heating appliances. The Regional Air quality program gives consumers a $250 rebate when they purchase a new EPA/CSA emission-approved wood, gas, pellet or electric appliance to replace their old one. The program has made a significant difference in our air quality. Over the past nine years, 1,258 old wood-burning appliances have been traded out. As a result, approximately 450 tonnes of smoke particulates have been kept out of our airshed. That equates to 15,000 fewer cords of wood burned. Lined up end to end, that would be the length of 363 football fields! As a SolarBC Community, The City of Kelowna is looking
to harness the power of the sun and be a leader in renewable energy use. The City has embarked on several solar projects in recent years including solar-powered lights at a variety of community locations, solar-powered parking kiosks and solar-powered pedestrian signals. Oh, the endless possibilities. True, we cannot all invest in expensive alternatives, however, there there’s a lot we can do to reduce our energy consumption. Turn off the lights and your computer. Unplug appliances when not in use. Consider drought tolerant plants for the yard. Turn down the hot water heater and the thermostat. Buy locally. Recycle. Preserving the planet for future generations is not just a noble cause; it’s an absolute necessity. Our excesses of the past 100 or so years have contaminated the water we drink, the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, and impacted our personal health. It isn’t always easy to be green; but really, what’s the alternative?
WEBSITES WITH GREEN INFORMATION Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency runs the ecoENERGY Retrofit program. Under ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes, you can qualify for federal grants for home improvements that lower energy costs, improve comfort and reduce impacts on the environment. More information about this program is available at: http:// oee.nrcan.gc.ca/ or call: 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 6226232) TTY: 1 800 926-9105 To learn more about smart wood heating and EPA stoves, program information and a list of participating retailers visit the following websites or call Nicole Marzinzik at Regional Services, 250.469.8408 South Okanagan http://www.rdos.bc.ca/index. php?id=23 Central Okanagan http://www.city.kelowna.bc.ca/CM/ Page576.aspx North Okanagan http://www.rdno.ca/wood_stove.php For more information on the incentives for solar hot water, available through the federal government, visit the grants and rebates for organizations page on their website at: www.ecoaction.gc.ca. Or visit http://www. solarbc.ca/ Calculate your carbon footprint at http://www. stopglobalwarming.com/. The site has dozens of suggestions for cutting emissions around your house. northof50.com 13
FOOD FOR THOUGHT O r g a nic Home Deliver y Ser v i c e s By Leila Meyer
YOU PROBABLY KNOW THAT you’re supposed to eat at least seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. And you probably know that organic produce is better for both you and the environment because it’s grown without pesticides and herbicides. But keeping your refrigerator stocked with organic fresh produce can be a challenge. That’s where organic home delivery services can help. Organic home delivery is a service that brings organic produce, other organic foods, and environmentally-friendly products to your door. Two such services in the Okanagan are Kelowna-based Urban Harvest Organic Delivery, which delivers throughout the central Okanagan from Peachland to Winfield, and Salmon Arm-based Leaf and Thistle Organics, which delivers throughout the North Okanagan from Sorrento to Lumby. One of the biggest advantages of home delivery is convenience. Ruth Mellor, an Urban Harvest customer for 10 years, who has a Masters degree in nutrition and is Chair of Central Okanagan Community Gardens says, “I like that I don’t have to go anywhere. Everything is just dropped at my door.” If you are too busy to shop regularly, don’t drive, or just don’t like driving in winter, the service can help you eat a healthy diet all year around. If you are part of the “eat local” movement, organic home delivery can help with that, too. Both Urban Harvest and Leaf and Thistle make an effort to work with local farmers and producers. Lisa McIntosh, co-owner of Urban Harvest says, “last year, we had about 17 weeks over the summer when our boxes were 100% BC and locally grown.” In the winter months, they still try to supply as much local produce as possible. “Even in January, almost half of our bins were local. We plan ahead and work with growers to make sure they’re storing produce for us,” says McIntosh. Fiona McLellan of Leaf and Thistle points out that “it’s pretty tough to survive off just local food in the winter, unless you’re prepared to eat only root vegetables.” And even in the summer, “you can’t get locally grown oranges and bananas in Canada,” she says. The service tries to strike a balance between locally grown produce and imported produce, but if you want to eat locally grown food only, just let them know and they’ll accommodate you. Produce from organic home delivery services is also fresher than produce from the grocery stores. “The farmers pick it on a Sunday or Monday, we get it Monday or Tuesday, and it’s out to you as quickly as we can deliver it,” says Ian McLellan of Leaf and Thistle. And because it’s organic and fresh, the taste is great. Lisa McIntosh has heard customers say, “This tastes like food that I remember when I was growing up!” A box containing enough produce for a small family costs $33/week. Large boxes are also available for $43-44/week.
Each week, the service notifies you what produce will be in the next week’s box, but you can substitute items, so if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you can get carrots instead. If a delivery every week is too much, you can get bi-weekly delivery. Urban Harvest also offers flex delivery. And if you’ll be away for a while, just let the service know, and they’ll suspend your deliveries for that time. You can get more than just produce, too. Other organic products you can add to your order include coffee, tea, free range eggs, and dairy products. Urban Harvest also offers tofu and breads, and Leaf and Thistle offers rice, flour, meats, and even chocolate. In the near future, Leaf and Thistle plans to expand their service to include fresh pasta, soy milk, environmentally friendly laundry detergent, and other products. So if you’ve been trying to eat healthier and organic, but are struggling to keep enough fresh produce on hand, try the organic home delivery service in your area.
Clockwise from top left: Lisa McIntosh, co-owner of Urban Harvest, Fiona and Ian McLellan of Leaf and Thistle, and a Food Box from Urban Harvest.
Cigdem Eskicioglu Every month North of 50 will bring you compelling personal interviews. This month we interviewed Cigdem Eskicioglu, a professor of engineering at UBC Okanagan who is aiming to turn various sources of organic waste into methane for renewable energy and as a highly usable organic fertilizer.
Dr. Cigdem Eskicioglu, your resume is outstanding and includes a B.Sc in Environmental Engineering a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, scholarships, awards, and published articles. What achievement are you most proud of? Some of my scientific results - for example, on the characterization of soluble organic matters before and after microwave irradiation to enhance methane recovery from municipal waste sludge, listed in the top 25 most read articles published in prestigious Water Research journal in 2006. 16 northof50.com
Much of your research interests include identifying ways to find renewable energy, cleaner wastewater and how to minimize waste. Are environmental issues your passion? Where did this interest develop from? I lived for 10 years in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful metropolitan cities in the world. During this time I witnessed the consequences of the most severe environmental issues, such as migration, population growth, deforestation, slow development of public transportation leading to urban smog conditions, industrial air and wastewater pollution from power plants, metallurgy, cement, sugar, leather processing, and textile factories. I think my interest in environmental issues came from my own first-hand experiences with traffic jams, lack of clean water and air, which most of us here in Canada take for granted.
In addition, increasingly more stringent waste disposal/reuse regulations are forcing the municipalities in the region to re-evaluate their waste management strategies. Fuelled by the BC’s Energy Plan for reducing greenhouse emissions and for the goal of obtaining energy self-sufficiency by 2016, the factories and municipalities have begun to investigate ways for waste-to-energy options, which is the key issue being addresses in our research group. What do you like most about your job? I am enamoured with discovering knowledge in the laboratory and sharing it in the classroom. I hope to help students understand that it takes very little effort to contaminate the environment, and a tremendous amount of time, effort, innovative technology and money to make it safe again.
Can you explain your research in the Okanagan in layman’s terms? Can you tell us your biggest challenges? We are working with municipalities, farms, factories and mills in BC to identify effective ways to turn their organic waste into renewable energy -- methane -- and organic fertilizer. In order to achieve this, we develop advanced anaerobic digestion processes -- a treatment that breaks down organic waste in the absence of oxygen --produces a biogas comprised primarily of methane and carbon dioxide that can be used to generate electricity and heat. We are also testing innovative thermal (microwave), ultrasonic and mechanical methods to break down the complex biowaste into a smaller, simpler form of organics to enhance the biodegradation rate, and therefore increase the amount of methane produced. Other benefits of our research is improving energy production from agricultural and industrial waste, while also diverting waste from landfills and reducing pathogens, odour, and greenhouse gas emissions. What brought you to the Okanagan? Do you think the Okanagan is on par with the rest of the world on improving energy production? When I saw the job posting in the area of Environmental Engineering at UBC Okanagan in 2008, I said “this a unique opportunity for me”. Currently, the Okanagan region, as one of the most scenic regions in Canada, is experiencing a rapid population growth. This is stressing natural systems, degrading air and water resources, and reducing critical habitat for nationally and provincially threatened speciesat-risk. Thus, this region provides a living laboratory for addressing global problems in sustainability which aligns with the ultimate goal of our research.
One of the biggest challenges that researchers like me and my colleagues are currently facing is finding the industry matching research funds. Due to the current economic climate, it has now become extremely difficult to find research funds for projects even they are industry goal/ product focused. Specifically, in the area of Environmental Engineering, people do not want to invest in something that they will dispose of. The average citizen does not know where wastewater or garbage goes when they flush the toilet, just like ‘out of sight, out of mind’. What is your personal mission statement? I do not have a specific mission statement but in general I would like to live a meaningful and satisfactory life. How would you like to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as a person who worked tirelessly and with impassioned commitment to increase environmental awareness (as an instructor) and to minimize the environmental deterioration (as a researcher). What’s the one thing about you few people know? I play (terribly) Turkish hand drum, called “dumbek”.
Photo Credit: Ms. Jody Jacob Communications Coordinator Assist. Public Affairs, UBC Okanagan
BENDING TO BEAUTY
Does anyone have the right to tell the story of someone elseâ€™s death? The right to put it out for public perusal as though it was just another item of interest? I have no answer. In this land on the other side of the world, both are a frequent condition. Death and no answers. Once a week we do doctorsâ€™ rounds to all the rooms in TB 2 hospital. TB 2 is 19 kilometres out of town. A bare, two story structure surrounded by some dry garden and then the desert. There are 80 patients here. They all have either multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or extreme drug resistant tuberculosis. Their treatment lasts two years if they can stick it out. They stay in TB 2 until their test results turn negative which will indicate they are no longer infectious. This could take only a month on the heavy cocktail of drugs or as long as 8 months or more. There is no way to tell. Once they turn negative they can go home but must stay on the same drug regimen for the 18 northof50.com
full two years. Sounds simple, except the drugs cause terrible side effects - most commonly nausea, but almost always conbinations of other ailments - joint pain, headache, rashes, fever, depression, hearing loss, diarrhea, kidney and liver problems, dizziness, and on and on. Every morning, the patients awake feeling dread about later having to swallow the mass of pills. They know too well how it will affect them. But if they don’t stay on this medication they will die. And before they die they will become infectious again. I tell them they are warriors, that they fight an invasion just as surely as every patriot throughout history, that they fight for their people, their community, their family, and their future selves. I tell them it matters. Two weeks ago, on doctors’ rounds there were 5 doctors, a nurse, two translators and me going room to room, standing over patients and talking about them. In dull monotones, the condition of each patient was briefly outlined. As usual, we each wore a yellow face mask in the shape of a duck bill. This is the dance of the zoo. We walk about staring at the specimens quiet on their beds. They stare at us, tolerate us who are not entirely human. And there she was in a middle bed of a room with six other women. Only she was completely prone. Frail. Oxygen mask tight around her mouth, lips pulled back and teeth in a steady grimace. Death grimace. We talked far above her, so small and limp on the bed, breathing in short, puffing breaths. Positive again. Only two weeks before, negative and then this serious relapse. Walking about, smiling, legs pushing forward beneath the deep wine coloured woolen overcoat she surely wore in this cold desert. Two weeks ago, breathing the same air as the duck gods above her staring down at her. The visiting Ukrainian doctor walked over and knelt beside her. He took her pulse, lifted her blanket, lifted her sweater, prodded her abdomen. The front. The side. Tapped it. She winced. He didn’t look at her. He never said a word. Then the Kenyan doctor stooped. He did the same. Gentler. She didn’t wince. He never looked at her nor said a word. This small woman. Only flesh, breathing. They all left the room. I stayed behind and went over to her, placed my hand on her forehead, looked into her eyes. She was alarmed. Her eyes darted about. I could see she was thinking, “Why is he doing this? Why? Why?” I was scared that I was frightening her, confusing her. Another duck god acting upon her. I didn’t know what to do or say. But I knew I had to try. So I left my hand on her forehead, rubbed at her shoulder with the other and stayed silent. Minutes passed, and I said to my translator, “Tell her that when she gets better, I will come back to dance with her.” She uttered back, “Why is he saying this to me and not the
other girls?” I told my translator to say, “Because you’re beautiful.” “Thank you,” she whispered. And now, these two weeks have passed and so has she. Her frail wisp of self becoming only the flesh those doctors saw. We forget so easily how to be human, how to be with another human, how easy it is to notice beauty. Bend to it. I said something else to the frail woman as I left her room. I said, “thank you.”
Calvin White is a retired high school counsellor who lives in the North Okanagan. He has over 70 essays published in various Canadian daily newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun and Province. If you have any comments on this column, you can write to Calvin White at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Calvin White c/o North of 50, Box 100, Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 Calvin White is currently working with Doctors Without Borders in Uzbekistan, a landlocked former part of the Soviet Union. He will be there for about a year, working with victims of drug resistant tuberculosis and training counsellors to do the same. He continues to submit his columns to North of 50 from there.
50 Years Ago This April - John Diefenbaker was the PM of Canada; WAC Bennett was the premier of BC - The United States launched the first weather satellite - R Griggs & Co. began the production of Dr. Martens boots under licence in the UK. Known as style 1460, the original product is still in production today. - At the 32nd Academy Awards ceremony, Ben Hur won a record ten Oscars, including Best Picture. - Host of Top Gear, a British television show, Jeremy Clarkson, was born Eric Peugeot, the 4 year old grandson of French automotive tycoon Jean-Pierre Peugeot of Peugeot, was kidnapped from a playground at SaintCloud, near Paris. Eric was released three days later, in exchange for a ransom of $300,000. - Bye Bye Birdie, the first Broadway musical to acknowledge rock ‘n roll score, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre, and introduced such songs as Put On A Happy Face. - Elvis Presley returned to Hollywood for the first time since his return from military service in Germany, to begin filming G.I. Blues. - Born: Valerie Bertinelli, American actress (One Day At a Time), weight-loss spokesperson, and one-time wife of Eddie Van Halen; in Wilmington, Delaware Source: Wikipedia northof50.com 19
EARTHSHIP HOME Kamloops Couple Believes in Rational Environmentalism PHOTOS AND STORY BY SHERRY BENNETT
Chris Newton positions an empty pop can into the Earthshipâ€™s interior wall. Newton and Burkholder will integrate 10,000 aluminium cans into the masonry in an effort to reduce the amount of concrete used in the construction process.
KEY THE WORDS SUSTAINABILITY, carbon footprint, climate change, Kyoto, or Copenhagen into your computer and watch as Google generates 100 million hits. Environmental doomism greets us every time we tune into the TV or flip through the newspaper. In the face of enormous global problems – polar ice caps crumbling into the sea at an unprecedented rate, consumption pushing our planet beyond its ability to sustain life – it is easy to feel overwhelmed and left standing asking the question, “Where do I begin?” “By starting with the small stuff,” says Sandra Burkholder, who with husband Chris Newton, is constructing an Earthship in the small North Thompson community of Darfield. “If you can do the small stuff then I feel the big stuff will start to take care of itself. If you get too caught up in the big, big stuff, you are going to get really, really depressed.” Sandra, Chris, along with children Katie, Stephen and Helen, are travelling the road to sustainability, one cast-off tire and aluminium can at a time. Fatigued from operating a log home building business, the couple sat down two years ago and gave some serious contemplation to where they wanted to see themselves in the future. The consensus was in an environmentally sustainable home, with no mortgage, having more time to spend with their children. An engineer schooled at the University of Toronto, Chris has long held an interest in sustainability. After working with an architect and drawing up a set of plans for a green home, Chris found himself in a place of disconnect when the plans did not jive with what he felt represented truly sustainable architecture. At the same time, by happenstance he says, Chris stumbled upon Mike Reynold’s movie Garbage Warrior and the Earthship concept. The Earthship, as it exists today, began to take shape in the 1970s when U.S. architect Mike Reynolds created a sustainable home using indigenous and recycled materials. Reynolds wife coined the name Earthship because the housing structure was self-sustaining, requiring no outside source of water or electricity. “What really attracted me to Earthships was the whole idea of standing back of the construction process and saying, ‘We have a problem with how we build, maintain and pay for houses,’ says Chris, a Quebec native who moved from San Francisco to Darfield with Sandra 11 years ago. “Earthships address those issues.” Construction of the couple’s 2,000 sq. ft. home (being built to code and chronicled at http://earthship.darfield. com) began a year ago, though collection of 900 ‘steel-belted
The major structural building component of the Earthship is recycled tires filled with compacted earth to form a rammed earth brick encased in steel belted rubber. The bearing walls the tires form are virtually indestructible.
Approximately 17 similar Earthships have been built in Canada. Sandra and Chris believe their Earthship is the first to be built under permits.
Sandra Burkholder and Chris Newton mix an adobe-like mixture to cover the 700 tires that constitute the Earthship’s interior walls. While some of the work of building is simple to do, it also tends to be very labour intensive.
bricks’ (discarded rubber tires) began six months prior. The tires have since, by family, friends and neighbours, been rammed with earth and stacked nine high to serve as walls. This spring 10,000 (7,000 still to be collected) pop and beer cans will be pressed into a form of cement for interior walls and covered with an adobe-like mud. The total cost of the Earthship, which will incorporate south-facing windows to capture seasonal sun, a grey water collection system, composting toilets and a greenhouse, is estimated at $60,000. While the family will hook up to the power grid at the onset, they do not anticipate their energy usage registering more than a blip. And here lies the rub. Despite building the most extreme of green homes, the Darfield couple refute the label of environmentalists living outside the mainstream. They instead see themselves as frugalists simply building upon thrifty principles. “When you talk about frugality it is kind of like a dirty 22 northof50.com
word,” says Sandra, a Barriere native, while speaking via Skype from the 600 sq. ft. home she has shared with husband and children for the past two years. “When people think frugal they think cheap and they really are two different things… When you don’t spend as much, when you don’t have to service debt, you have more money to spend on things that mean something to you.” “We all kind of picture ourselves as saving the world – going off on some mad environmental crusade,” says Chris. “But by not doing things, by being frugal, we are not using up resources. By not doing things we are actually accomplishing our goals.” Lindsay Coulter, the David Suzuki Foundation’s ‘Queen of Green,’ says it is people like Sandra and Chris that inspire and illustrate the power of the individual. “They show that you can begin with what you are passionate about and go from there.” “People inspire other people,” says Lindsay during a
“Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth takes no effort at all, but can save up to four gallons per minute. That’s almost 3,000 gallons of water per year that won’t have to be taken from the river...” telephone interview. “Sometimes we might think ‘I could never do that. It’s too much sacrifice.’ But if we take a moment to think about it, we realize we can take smaller steps in our daily life. “If you are a cycling athlete, you can cycle to work. If you are into fashion you can check out the local consignment store down the street. You can take that angle with no matter what it is.” Each year Sandra and Chris integrate one new green principle into their daily lives and while many of the decisions made in their home are made in the context of fiscal sustainability, their mindful use of resources does trickle into the global state of affairs. Gisela Ruckert, vice-chair of the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association’s Kamloops chapter says cultural shifts do start with a few individuals committed to change. As awareness increases the behaviours eventually become the norm. “Thirty years ago, it was unusual to wear seat belts in vehicles – now just about everyone ‘buckles up’ without even thinking,” Gisela says. “The same process will happen with sustainability – our habits will eventually change to reflect our greater awareness of the environment.” Ruckert, who with other BCSEA volunteers works to bring the Energy Fair to Kamloops each June, points out that although individual actions may seem small, they can, and do, make a significant difference. “Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth takes no effort at all, but can save up to four gallons per minute. That’s almost 3,000 gallons of water per year that won’t have to be taken from the river, treated, pumped into residences and possibly heated before being washed down the drain, and treated again. That’s a huge payoff for a small individual action.” Significant in the light that Statistics Canada cites per capita Canadian water usage as being the second highest in the world (behind the U.S.) “Although individual action is rooted in what we do on our own, it has ripple effects,” says Lindsay. “So we can vote
with our dollar for example. When we buy fair trade, organic and bird-friendly coffee that purchase makes a difference in the countries where coffee is grown. “Your morning cup of java impacts the lives of people in other countries and even the migrant song birds we’ll see return to North America come spring. This is why it’s so important – because we do not live in individual bubbles.”
TRAVELLING THE ROAD TO SUSTAINABILITY Burkholder/Newton Earthship Construction blog http://earthship.darfield.com Earthship Biotecture Sustainable Green Buildings http://earthship.net/ B.C. Sustainable Energy Association – Kamloops Branch (includes carbon footprint calculator) http://www.bcsea.org/get-involved/chapters/kamloops Sustainability at Home Toolkit for British Columbians – David Suzuki Foundation www.davidsuzuki.org Greendex – Consumer Choice and the Environment – A Worldwide Tracking System http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greendex/index. html Living Water Smart http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/get_involved/homeassessment.html Vampire Power (electricity used by appliances and electronics while they are turned off) http://standby.lbl.gov/faq.html Connexions and Contradictions (Tuula Helin’s blog on environmental and social justice) http://connexionsandcontradictions.blogspot.com City of Kamloops – Sustainability Plan http://188.8.131.52/default.htm Fresh Outlook Foundation - Lake Country based nonprofit inspiring sustainable ways in B.C. http://www.freshoutlookfoundation.com/ northof50.com 23
IN DEFENSE OF
DANDELIONS By Trudy Frisk
THEY’RE EVERY MOTHER’S FIRST BOUQUET. To a toddler nothing could be more beautiful than those fuzzy, golden flowers. Unfortunately, most people don’t greet dandelions with the joyous glee of a small child. Spring’s arrival is announced by a rising cacophonous chorus from members of the species ‘Lawnus Harrummphus’ emerging from their winter dens to discover dandelions blooming everywhere. Immediately, the anti-dandelion factions muster every physical and chemical method available to eradicate them. Dandelions are North America’s irrefutable example of the power of peer pressure. The general populous has held more contempt for this colourful spring flower than it has for corrupt politicians, accounting-challenged CEOs and criminal biker gangs. Any free-spirited individual who tolerates dandelions receives swift condemnation from all levels of society and will soon be forced to conform. This attitude would have puzzled our ancestors. Tenth century Arabian physicians recorded dandelion cures. Medieval gardeners cultivated dandelions. They were relished as vegetables, served as salads and recommended as medicines. Healers of the Middle Ages couldn’t isolate the minerals and vitamins in dandelions, so they worked from observation. When ancient monks and village wise women treated their patients with dandelions, they noticed beneficial results. The dandelion, we now know, holds greater amounts of vitamins C and A than almost any other vegetable or fruit. Thus, the dandelion supplied important nutrients to medieval people who were at risk of contracting scurvy after long winters with no fresh fruits or prepackaged vitamins. Dandelion greens are rich in vitamins B1, B2, iron, calcium and copper. Ancient herbals offered numerous recipes for dandelion teas, tinctures and beers. North American homesteaders, demonstrating some of the same folk wisdom, along with an understandable desire to forget the dreary winter, made dandelion wine. Many a 24 northof50.com
country Saturday night was enlivened by a jug of this brew which had the added advantage of providing necessary nutrients. Humans aren’t the only ones to benefit from the dandelion in all its stages. Wild and domestic bees sip from these earliest of flowers. Pheasants and Canada geese forage on the greens and seed-eating song birds feast on the seed heads. Why is such a useful plant so detested? To be fair, dandelions do exude an ethylene gas which discourages the growth of neighbouring plants. But, their long tap roots bring up iron, copper and other minerals from deep in the soil. When dandelions are mowed and the clippings left on the ground to decompose, those minerals are made available to shallow rooted plants which otherwise couldn’t have reached them. No, the dislike of dandelions isn’t based on science. It’s a reflection of our desire to impose strict control on nature. A lawn dotted with yellow blooms, buzzing with bees which will soon pollinate other plants, a yard where a casual pheasant may wander in hopes of a tasty meal of dandelion leaves, have become symbols of someone who’s either too lazy or too rebellious to keep up the standard. It’s a sign that someone is not maintaining control of their allotted portion of this chaotic world. Humans, say scientists, evolved in a savannah-like region dotted with copses, ponds, rocky outcroppings, shrubs and grasses. In fact, suburban yards have been described as an attempt to recreate that primitive landscape. Did we take the wrong path on the way back to our roots? That savannah was anything but simple and uniform; it was complex and diverse. Our ancestors thrived there. Despite the anti-dandelion folks, there are encouraging signs. Gently trimmed ‘natural’ yards are becoming popular. Some schools and cities just mow dandelions on playing fields and parks instead of spraying them. In Kamloops, beginning on March 15, 2010, a new by-law requires all homeowners wanting to spray for cosmetic purposes to be accredited with Plant Health B.C., hold a valid applicator’s licence and post twenty-four hours advance notice so neighbours will be aware. Homeowners are encouraged to achieve healthy lawns by non-pestcide means; aerating, watering, and mowing. The City itself aims to reduce the quantity of pesticides used while maintaining high quality parks and playing fields. There are different levels of service depending on how the fields are used. A field for kid’s soccer, for example, will receive less intensity of care than professional playing fields. The City’s goal is to use pesticides only as a last resort. We may soon think of the dandelions’ cheerful blooms as signs of health in our yards and communities. northof50.com 25
HEALTH MATTERS Canadian Researcher Studies Microbial “Communities” in Our Bodies WE TEND TO THINK of ourselves as single entities – one body, made up of human cells. In reality, our bodies are home to many other living things. We are walking, talking ecosystems that can change depending on our state of health. Dr. Josh Neufeld, an environmental microbiologist at the University of Waterloo, and his colleagues are exploring these ecosystems, trying to determine what the bacterial populations in different parts of the body look like in healthy people. “Our bodies are just another type of environment,” explains Dr. Neufeld. “It’s important for us to understand how the organisms living in that environment influence our health.” Researchers have understood for a long time that bacteria play an important role in maintaining – and sometimes threatening – our health. But the tools they used limited their ability to identify what species were present in the body and what role they played in preventing or causing disease. The mapping of the human genome created fast and powerful tools that researchers like Dr. Neufeld could adapt to get a nearly complete picture of the bacterial communities that live in locations throughout the digestive system. Dr. Neufeld and his team are actively developing and applying new technologies that will allow researchers to describe bacterial populations by sequencing genetic material found within the bacteria’s ribosomes (proteinmaking structures inside the cell). “For this project, we decided to take advantage of a technique we’d developed, which profiles communities to great depth – even the rare organisms are sampled with this approach,” says Dr. Neufeld. With the help of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the researchers will collect and identify bacteria from mouth, stomach, small and large intestines, and feces, creating a snapshot of the bacterial communities living in healthy men and women. According to Dr. Neufeld, the number of sequences they will generate will be unprecedented. “Once we’ve demonstrated that this is an affordable, comprehensive way of studying bacterial communities, and described the bacteria that inhabit our bodies under normal, healthy circumstances, then we will look at how these communities shift in various disease states,” says Neufeld. 26 northof50.com
Worldwide, the research community has already identified some conditions, such as ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and obesity, in which the bacterial populations at certain sites of the body change in dramatic and distinctive ways. But little is understood about why these changes take place, or what role these changes play in the disease process. “There may be some benefit to having a high diversity of organisms in our bodies, offering some form of stability to communities. These are some of the questions we are hoping to address,” says Dr. Neufeld. (newscanada.com)
WARNING Health Canada is warning Canadians that an unauthorized health product, “Herbal Diet Natural” has been found on the Canadian market and contains an undeclared pharmaceutical ingredient similar to the prescription drug sibutramine. Sibutramine may pose serious health risks, particularly to people with heart problems. Consumers who have purchased “Herbal Diet Natural” are advised to consult with a medical professional if they have used the product or have concerns about their health. For more information, please visit: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisoriesavis/_2010/2010_48-eng.php
Penticton’s Involved Care Dialysis Unit A First in BC Penticton Regional Hospital’s Renal Department launched the Involved Care Dialysis Unit in March, the first of its kind in BC. This innovative program helps patients develop the skills and confidence they need to administer their own dialysis treatments. “It is good news for British Columbia patients, residents, and families that they now have the option to become more involved in administering their dialysis treatments,” said Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff. “I’d like to commend the staff at Penticton Regional Hospital for creating such an innovative program to benefit dialysis patients in the South Okanagan.” Prior to implementation of the Involved Care Dialysis Unit, patients received training on how to perform their own dialysis, but it became apparent that training alone was insufficient to build the comfort level they required. The new program combines the will of the patient with the skill of the team. Patients still come to the hospital, but they do as much of their treatment as they can on their own. The nurses are always on hand to provide coaching or assistance as needed. For some patients, their goal is to be able to administer their treatments at home and for others, the goal may be to be a more active participant in their treatment at the hospital. By allowing patients time to practice with nursing support nearby, patients are able to build their confidence, making the transition to independence much easier. “Dialysis treatments involve the use of specialized equipment that cleans the blood through a filter and returns it to the body,” says Dr. Gerry Karr, Medical Director IH Kidney Services. “Hospital-based dialysis usually involves four to five hour treatments three times per week. Patients who are able to do independent dialysis at home have more freedom and flexibility in their lives since they don’t have to travel to the hospital to receive treatment and can administer their treatment overnight.” “It’s been amazing to see how positively the patients have responded to the program,” says Dawn Pethybridge, Nurse Manager, Renal Program. “The patients support each other and are excited to be active participants in their treatment. It’s really empowering.” Anthony Liu, a client of the program, values both the independence and the support available to him. “I do almost everything myself but if I have any questions or need help the nurses are right there,” says Liu. “The staff are really excellent.” The Involved Care Dialysis Unit was launched in February 2010. There are currently 40 patients participating in the program; 26 are active participants in their care, and another eight are totally independent. northof50.com 27
HOLLYHOCK Cortes Island
NESTLED BETWEEN THE FOREST AND OCEAN on the south-eastern tip of Cortes Island, British Columbia, about 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Vancouver, lies Hollyhock, one of Canada’s leading educational retreats. One of several islands on the north end of the Strait of Georgia, Cortes is set between the glaciers of Vancouver Island and the Coast mountain range of the mainland. This setting provides a beautiful backdrop to the retreat that states its mission statement as “existing to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better.” Ocean-side private rooms with private bathrooms, dorm rooms, hand-built West Coast style, and outstanding tent sites create many options for enjoying the rustic luxury. From meditation to kayaking; health to leadership training, exceptional learning opportunities abound with Hollyhock’s international reputation as an intimate gathering place of people intent on making a better world. Their 2010 program calendar offers many meaningful ways to live more fully and more lightly on the planet. It’s in Hollyhock’s kitchen where their best practices come together and their on-site chefs want to share this knowledge with cooks of all skill levels this spring. They believe that the time to try something new could not 28 northof50.com
be better, with the cherry blossoms bursting, daffodils sprouting, and the bees buzzing. Spring is the time to start thinking about the delicious and lovely foods you want to produce this year to create healthy, local, vibrant meals for yourself, family and friends. Chefs Rebeka Carpenter and Heidi Lescanec will explore how to bring passion and creativity back into the kitchen with the Passionate Cook program at Hollyhock, May 6 10, August 27 – September 1 and October 6-10, 2010. Using the organically-inspired Hollyhock kitchen as the palate, participants will explore and prepare West Coast and internationally inspired meals. In these busy times, we have turned away from understanding the journey of our food, from the field to our kitchens, and have turned to quick, processed alternatives. It is time to reconnect with our food by learning how to prepare meals from local gardens, orchards and seas. “Cooking delicious and inspired meals can be an incredible creative outlet that is both nourishing and nurturing,” says Rebeka Carpenter, Lead Team Chef at Hollyhock. “Your daily diet can impact your energy, mood, and overall health.” Carpenter, a resident of Cortes Island, leads the kitchen team at Hollyhock. She has a passion for baking, as well as preparing
locally-grown fresh food and seafood, particularly shellfish from Manson’s Lagoon on Cortes Island. Hollyhock has an organic garden that is not just beautiful, but also functional. The French-Intensive style garden supplies vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers to the Hollyhock kitchen, gracing guests’ tables with food that is nourished with care every step of the way. “The fresher the produce the better the dish. The more local the ingredients the better they’ll be,” Heidi Lescanec says. “At Hollyhock you can walk in the garden and see the lettuce you are going to be eating that night for dinner.” Lescanec, a resident of Vancouver, is a naturopathic doctor and talented cook and teacher who brings her diverse culinary experience and knowledge of food as medicine to the kitchen with zest. Heidi is passionate about good food, nutrition and the art of creating nourishing and beautiful meals. She has cooked at backcountry lodges, retreat centres, the movie industry and at Hollyhock on Cortes. The not-for-profit Hollyhock, exists to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better. Topics include: leadership, health and wellness, professional development, social change, arts and culture, and other areas of interest. Hollyhock is also committed to ecological practices that maintain and restore the health of natural ecosystems, local economies and the well-being of their staff and guests. They make efforts to step evermore lightly on the earth and to increase the ecological sustainability of our operations. They are committed to reducing the burdens people place on living systems and are making continual progress towards ecological sustainability (a “closed loop system” of cyclical material flow) and are committed to achieve this goal within a generation. They buy ecologically responsible products, and hope to support other progressive businesses and help create markets for alternative, green products. By embodying the principles of sustainability, Hollyhock hopes to encourage creative dialogue on how to reduce human impact on the natural environment as well as develop and demonstrate model systems. Hollyhock also endeavours to expand the community of people who understand the functioning of natural systems and our impact on them by being a living example and through educational programming. Hollyhock is committed to ensuring the well being of their staff and guests as well as teaching and promoting holistic living and personal well being as key elements of sustainability. For more information and workshop registration, please go to www.hollyhock.ca.
[Button] Pronunciation: stā-kā-shen Function: noun Etymology: blend of stay and vacation Date: 2005 : a vacation spent at home or nearby Source: Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary
A staycation is a bit like being a tourist in your own town. Instead of travelling afar for a vacation, you stay home and relax, taking day trips close to home. Living in the Thompson Okanagan is a bonus for staycationers, considering all there is to do here. You might be sleeping in your own bed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find new experiences close to home. Plan your staycation just like you would a regular vacation. Set a time and date for your ‘departure’. Buy a local guidebook. o on a winery tour. Spend a day at the beach. Have dinner out. Visit a museum or art gallery. Tee off one of the more than 50 golf courses in the Thompson Okanagan. Experience live theatre. Attend a musical festival or sports event. Find a new hiking trail. The trick to enjoying a staycation is to make sure you do what you would do if you were on vacation: relax and explore!
AWAY FROM HOME 52°N 04’N
Travel to the Emerald Isle
INTERESTED IN VISITING THE EMERALD ISLE? KILLARNEY IN COUNTRY KERRY HAS BEEN A POPULAR TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 250 YEARS. HERE’S WHY. With its three famous lakes and great mountain ranges, Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland has been the inspiration of poets and painters for centuries. The Killarney National Park is internationally renowned both for its scenic beauty and scientific interest. Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas which have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives. Added to the beauty of the three main lakes are many other lakes in the folds of the mountains, numerous picturesque cascades and, rising to the west of the valley, the peaks of MacGillicuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s tallest mountains. Killarney is also home to Ireland’s oldest golf course, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, which will be hosting the Irish Open, July 29th to August 1st, 2010. Killarney proved to be an irresistible choice for Irish Open organizers when deciding where to hold the 2010 event, which is expected to draw some 75,000 people to the area. With its world famous scenery, lively town centre and plentiful accommodation, Killarney has all the ingredients to be the perfect venue. The Irish Open is a major highlight on the sporting calendar in Ireland and it is sure to attract some of the world’s best golfers. It is hosted just weeks before the Ryder Cup when many of the golfers will hope to impress and be selected on the European team to play the USA. For non-golfers, there’s plenty of activities to enjoy, too. Walks and trails abound near Killarney ranging in distance from a two hour tourist trail around the town itself to the 215km long distance walking route (“The Kerry Way”) from Killarney around the Ring of Kerry. Visitors can enjoy various day trips. The Gap of Dunloe Tour is highly recommended and discovers Killarney at its mystical best. Torc Waterfall is one of the finest waterfalls in Ireland and Ladies View offers some of the most spectacular views of the Killarney valley. Visitors without their own transport can travel in the traditional jaunting-cars, water buses or in modern coaches around the area. There are many places of interest and of historical importance to visit in Killarney. The colourful town itself is always buzzing especially during the summer months, with delightful shops, boutiques, traditional pubs, disco bars, nightclubs and restaurants. There’s also a wide range of
accommodation from hotels and B&Bs to guesthouses, self catering and hostels. For the sporting enthusiast there is angling and water sports, riding, orienteering and canoeing and,of course, golf. Evenings you can enjoy activities at singing pubs, banqueting, cabarets, dancing and drama. A particularly popular tourist attraction is Ross Castle which overlooks the Lower Lake in Killarney and also looks out on the 7th century monastery and a 12th century oratory on Innisfallen Island. Boats can be hired here and guided tours of the castle are offered every hour. Whether you are drawn to Killarney for the scenery, the history or the golf, you will no doubt find more than you came for. Photo left: Ross Castle, built in the 15th century overlooks Lough Sheelin, one of Irelands preeminent midland lakes and is said to be haunted. The noises of the evening winds howling from the lake into the ancient trees and the knocking on windows add to the spine chilling ambience.
Back to the Earth BY ANDREA DUJARDIN-FLEXHAUG
With walls made out of rammed earth, homeowners Kathy Molloy and Stanley Zappa, have made use of a method of house-building that has been around for thousands of years, and been in use in countries from China to the U.S..
Oliver couple builds a home that is the first of its kind in the region IT SITS NESTLED BESIDE a rock bluff along a windy, quiet street in the small town of Oliver. This two-storey earthtoned house is different from all the neighbouhood abodes. In fact, the home is the first of its kind in mainland BC. With walls made out of rammed earth, homeowners Kathy Molloy and Stanley Zappa, have made use of a method of house-building that has been around for thousands of years. In these days of attention to conservation and “green” issues, rammed earth construction is edging more into the public interest. What better material to build with than the soil of the earth, which is sustainable and inexpensive, not to mention non-toxic and readily available. The concoction of ingredients is simple, and consists of soil, sand and limestone tailings, which are then mixed with cement and water. Although tamped by hand in olden days, now it is pneumatically tamped layer by layer. When it dries, it is rock solid. Molloy and Zappa hold fast to the philosophy that the best way to preserve nature is to leave it be, and adapt to the land, rather than the other way around. The rammed earth style of building fits that way of thinking and is also well-suited to the South Okanagan semi-desert climate and landscape. Molloy has taken education in rammed earth construction and was the designer and general contractor for their home. Zappa had practical experience working on the much heralded rammed earth feature wall at the Nk’Mip
Close up of the outside wall of the rammed earth house.
Kathy Molloy outside her one-of-a-kind home.
“I think the biggest savings will be in the reduced energy costs” Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. By doing the bulk of the work themselves, with interested helpers along the way, Molloy estimates they saved about $100 per square foot, in comparison to a conventional stick frame home. Any home-building endeavour entails a lot of hard work, but the paybacks of a rammed earth house are worth the effort. The house is made to last much longer than a standard house, does not need painting and requires little maintenance. The home’s 18-inch thick outer rammed earth walls, with four inches of insulation, make for a high thermal mass. They serve as an excellent barrier against the hot Okanagan summers, with no air conditioner required. Zappa and Malloy use ceiling fans only on the hottest days. “I think the biggest savings will be in the reduced energy costs,” observes Molloy, “Our heating costs this wonderful winter were $30 a month.” The couple’s only source of heat at the moment is a woodstove, although they have heating loops in the floor and will install the boiler when funds allow. A major benefit of this house is that it is fireproof, a definite plus in an area prone to summer wildfires. The house is also insect and bug proof. Inside, salvage materials are the name of the game. There isn’t a single new door installed and by reusing new materials that other homeowners have decided against, the couple not only adhered to green principles, but saved money as well. The kitchen sink backsplash, for example, is a beautiful piece of salvaged marble. The stove was purchased from the local Elks Lodge and the granite kitchen countertop had been rejected by Whistler homeowners, who felt the granite “wasn’t fashionable enough.” It would’ve cost a small fortune for the homeowners to dispose of, so Molloy and Zappa jumped at the chance to take it away for free. Sunlight filters through salvaged, but good quality, sliding 34 northof50.com
doors lining a hallway flush with greenery. Every window in this house is either from salvage in Kelowna, or from the “boneyard” in Penticton. Molloy explains that the boneyard is a Penticton millwork’s background “for things that didn’t work out.” Across the hall is the cozy master bedroom, with its convenient on-demand power switch, minimizing phantom loads for electricity savings. In the nearby bathroom, the fixtures, amenities and countertops are all from salvage, as is the curved clawfoot tub, which was being discarded from a house in Osoyoos. A low window alongside the tub allows for pleasant wildlife viewing, as quail and deer are frequent passers-by. A sense of tranquility and easy-on-the-eye artistry is evident throughout this rammed earth home and the owners have added their own individual creative touches to the walls. Artistic by nature, Molloy has added pleasing layers of blue shades to the more neutral sandy tones in the walls. Iron oxides can be included in the earth mixture to create a wide array of colours and to make each wall unique in appearance. An avid rockhound, Molloy has embedded pretty pink rocks, calcite and rose quartz, peach and green coloured feldspar and crystals in the walls. The concrete floors also feature rich earthy tones. The second floor boasts a preponderance of arts and crafts supplies (Molloy’s) and musical equipment (Zappa’s ). The circular staircase leading upstairs has its own unique origins, creatively re-fabricated from a salvaged Honda ATV steel pallet, courtesy the creativity and handiwork of their neighbour, Jim. Above the staircase, light filters in through salvaged glass block windows onto the expanse of wall above. As well as being aesthetically pleasing and compatible with the green philosophy, the thick walls of this rammed earth home offers an added benefit - soundproofing. “The house is very quiet, and our guests remark on how calm and well-rested they feel when they visit,” says Molloy. Molloy hopes that people reading this article will “understand how simple and universal earth construction is, and may be inspired to explore more on their own.” With this in mind, Molloy has two blogs and a pamphlet about rammed earth and will serve as a consultant to anyone who wants to pursue this ancient craft. For more information, write to Kathy Molloy at email@example.com. The blogs can be found at: www.rammedearth.blogspot.com www.sonoramarammedearth.blogspot.com
Olympic Heartbreak I CONFESS. I watched a whole lot of the Olympics. Sure, I’m not happy how the VANOC circus soaked up money from dozens of critical programs ranging from school lunches and fall fairs to support for adult literacy and arts initiatives, but I figured we’d paid for them (and would continue to do so for many years), so why not enjoy them? And I did. For a while. Certainly the athletic prowess on display was always impressive and at times nothing short of super-human. (What’s with the half pipe and aerials? They’ve turned winter sports into aerobatics.) But as the days went on, I found myself getting worn down by the relentless hype, hysterical commentary, unrelenting commercial promotion and frantic nationalism. Initially I found comments such as “This race gives (insert athletes’ name) a chance to redeem herself,” and “This is a bitter defeat for Canada” puzzling and mildly offensive, but as they went on and the hyperbole increased, the comments – and attitudes behind them – became downright disturbing. After one young woman finished a few milliseconds 36 northof50.com
behind a handful of other young women who had jumped on upscale Flexible Flyers and slid down an icy course on their backs, a callous reporter pushed the athlete, already in tears, to “tell us how you’re feeling right now.” The poor woman could hardly speak. “I’ve let down my team. I’ve let down Canada,” she tearfully confessed. “No! No!” I found myself yelling at the screen. “Get this into perspective. I don’t feel let down. You rode a sled a little slower than some other girls! That’s it!” Then I turned my attention to the reporter, who continued shoving the mike in her face while the cameraman recorded each tear welling out of her eyes. “Give her a break, you creep!” I shouted. As TVs are one-way communication devices, neither heard me. The only result was that my dog looked at me in alarm. The whole “Canada is coming to an end because we didn’t own the podium after all” reached a low point for me when I turned on CTV around Day 6 or so to hear a commentator intone gloomily, “And now here is more heartbreaking news for Canada.” And what was this shattering news, Canada? (Hope you’re sitting down.) It seems that one Canadian young man, who makes his living going down snowy slopes very fast and jumping over big bumps, had fallen toward the end of a race, “denying Canada a bronze medal.” Oh my god. As I pondered this scenario, I thought about some of the headlines I’d seen over that week of the games. Canada, if you want some real heartbreaking news, try a few of these: • “Almost half of all the world’s primates face imminent extinction” • “27 Afghan civilians killed in Nato air strike” • “Cocaine byproduct turning Argentina’s slum children into the living dead” • “Acidifying oceans foretell grim future for coral reefs” • “Haiti’s suffering is a result of calculated impoverishment”
lives when the real contests, the life and death struggles such as averting environmental disaster and dealing with global poverty, seem to evoke so little of that same passion. T’was always thus, I hear you say. And indeed, it was in 100 AD that Roman poet Juvenal lamented Roman citizens’ forfeiture of civil engagement and responsibility for “bread and games.” But that is hardly reassuring. While the Romans spent their last years whooping it up at the Collosseum and eventually pulled that culture down around their heads, this time it won’t be restricted to Italy. This time the collapse will be worldwide. So I’ve got a great idea for some real global games. How about a competition, with the same level of funding and commercial support, as well as the screaming crowds, that has nations matching wits in solving global problems. Can’t you hear it? “And winning gold for Canada in the Poverty Alleviation Long Course event…” Now that’s a victory I’d sing O’Canada for any day. Don Sawyer is a writer, educator and former director of Okanagan College’s International Development Centre. He lives with his wife in Salmon Arm. You can contact Don Sawyer by email at donsawyer@ telus.net or by mail at Don Sawyer c/o North of 50, Box 100, Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0. For more information on Don’s writing and development work, visit his web site at www.northerned.com.
I realize, of course, that there is so much real heartbreak in the world we need to occasionally take shelter in diversions, whether they are computer games or Olympic games. But when the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” apply only to ski cross or Auto Theft 3, there is something seriously wrong. We are living in, as Chris Hedges puts it, an “empire of illusion,” where spectacle has triumphed not only over literacy, but also rationality, global consciousness, compassion, engagement and caring. As the days wore on, I wondered at the energy and emotion expended not only by the athletes, but by the thousands of onlookers that choked Vancouver’s streets and clanged and clammered support for their favourite athletes at the various venues. I also wondered how it is that games somehow take on such importance, such centrality in our northof50.com 37
BOOK REVIEW by Bob Harrington
STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN
The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and our Last Chance to Save Humanity By James Hansen Published by Bloomsbury, New York USA, 2009 Hardcover 303pp Dr. James Hansen brought global warming to the world’s attention in the 1980s and stands out as one of the world’s leading climatologist. He shows clearly that governments, industry and status quo addicts have endeavored to shush him for years, while putting the finger on the many banalities of technological domination. Storms of My Grandchildren reveals facts we would perhaps rather not hear, because they are unpalatable. I feel it necessary to recommend that Dr. Hansen’s book should be widely read because it does not evade the
truth that the path of life we are following is suicidal. At present the “elite” (politicians and entrepreneurs) are destroying the integrity of Planet Earth to fulfill their questionable ambitions. Hansen reminds us that scientists know more about paleoclimate and the waxing and waning of ice sheets than is ordinarily publicized. A mere 20,000 years ago most of Canada was under an ice sheet as much as three kilometers thick. Not stopped by the US border, the ice covered Seattle, Minneapolis, and New York. At the site of the Empire State Building it was thick enough to crush the present city to powder. Substances that increase global warming are called “forcings”. Carbon dioxide is the main forcing and following it the two largest forcings are methane and black carbon (black soot). Additionally, volcanic eruptions frequently inject sulfur dioxide gas into earth lower stratosphere (altitude ten to twenty miles).
Weathering of rocks is also a source and a sink (storage medium) for carbon dioxide. Sedimentation of organic materials, a prelude to the formation of methyl hydrate, has long been known to occur in oceans, lakes, and bogs. At this time methane increase causes about half as much forcing as carbon dioxide. Methane warming also affects tropospheric ozone and stratospheric water vapor by increasing these forcings through chemical reactions. Notably some methane is captured at coal mines and water management facilities and when burned loses 97 percent of its warming effect. Dr. Hansen reveals that much methane is stored as methyl hydrates in ocean coastal zones where a steady rain of degraded organic materials occurs. A warming ocean can expand each liter of methyl hydrate into 160 litres of methane gas. It is hypothesized that a prior major extinction of species was caused by melting of ocean-stored methyl hydrate. Geologic history reveals that there have been “five mass extinctions during the past five hundred million years – geologic periods in which about half or more of the species on Earth disappeared forever…these mass extinctions were associated with large and relatively rapid changes of atmospheric composition and climates.” The most recent extinction, the end-Permian extinction, 25l million years ago eliminated “nearly all life on Earth - more than 90 percent of terrestrial and marine species.” Hansen states that unfortunately, not only is the methane gun now fully loaded, but has a charge larger than that which existed prior to the PETM. He further states that “enough is now known to provide an invaluable perspective for what is already being called the sixth mass extinction, the human-caused destruction of species.” Although atmospheric carbon dioxide levels now stand at 387 ppm, Hansen contends they should be reduced to a maximum of 350 ppm, preferably lower. He states that, “The current extinction rate is at least one hundred times greater than the average natural rate.” This makes it easier to understand the idea that we are initiating the sixth mass extinction. He extrapolates, “I will argue that if we continue on a business- as- usual path with a global warming of several degrees Celsius, then we will drive a large fraction of species, conceivably all species, to extinction. On the other hand, just as in the case of ice sheet stability, if we bring atmospheric composition under control in the near future, it is still possible to keep human-caused extinctions to a moderate level.” Regarding industrial expectations he contends “it obviously would be exceedingly foolish and dangerous to allow carbon dioxide to approach 450 ppm.” It is his conviction that it makes sense to phase out the use of coal. “Coal is exceedingly dirty stuff. Its mercury, arsenic, sulfates and other constituents are a major source of global air and water pollution, leading to increased
birth defects, impaired intelligence, asthma and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Coal’s effect on air and water pollution is global – nobody escapes its reach…. Unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands and shale oils … are as dirty and polluting as coal, must be left in the ground if we wish future generations to have a livable planet.” That he speaks of fourth generation nuclear energy as being part of the solution bears pondering. Hansen states that, “We have all the ingredients we need to meet this challenge – except leadership willing to buck the special financial interests benefiting from business at usual.” He checked in 2008 and learned that there were 2,340 registered energy lobbyists in Washington D.C. One lobbyist he names, a former House Democrat leader, received $120,000 per quarter year, from Peabody Energy in 2008. That Storms of My Grandchildren should be widely read is climactically emphasized in Dr. Hansen’s revelation that as the result of political and industrial irresponsibility the continued existence of Planet Earth as a life support system is now in question. He heavily stresses the need to educate young people about the need to prevent the plight that our leaders are creating for them. He comments that “a planet in peril” has become a popular phrase although people using in do not “understand the full implications” of this statement. He is seriously concerned that the ineptness of leadership, and the refusal to let people know how serious problems are, could well lead us to “The Venus Syndrome.” As he reminds us, Venus “has so much carbon dioxide in its atmosphere that it has a greenhouse warming of several hundred degrees, with the surface, at 450 degrees Celsius (about 850 degrees Fahrenheit), hot enough to melt lead.” Obviously much can be learned from reading the book. The chapter on The Venus Syndrome is particularly of interest to Canadians as the last paragraph of that chapter states: “After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to the conclusion that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.” It is an old idea that, “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first render insane!” Certainly we have become a species that has been carried away by its frenzied worship of power and wealth. We are closely approaching the fatal moment when efforts made will be “too little and too late.” Bob Harrington lives at Galena Bay, B.C. His latest books are Testimony for Earth and a new edition of The Soul Solution with a foreword by Dr. David Suzuki. See reviews at www.hancockhouse.com or telephone 250 369-2281 for autographed copies.
Now to May 20, JIM KALNIN: ONE PLANET
April 3 to May 1, LEAVING MY FOUND EDEN, poetography by Ron L. Zheng, Sponsor: Clixel Cameras and Computers
Now to April 15, School District #22 (Elementary Schools):ART FROM THE HEART
April 1, 15 & 29, THURSDAY JAZZ NIGHT, 7pm to 9pm, Admission by donation (suggested minimum $5)First and Third Thursday Night Jazz hosted by Sandy Cameron and Brian PrattJohnson.
April 22 to May 20 School District #22 (High Schools): ART AND SOUL
Now to May 23, THE ART OF JOICE M. HALL. The show will give local residents and visitors the opportunity to consider the full career of this important and insightful artist who lives in our midst.
PENTICTON ART ART GALLERY pentictonartgallery.com
Now to May 16, LAURIE PAPOU: STORM. The works draw upon the age old theme of nature and examine the human resilience to adversity and change through acts of reinvention and the ultimate acceptance of the absence of control.
GALLERY VERTIGO galleryvertigo.com
Now to April 17, TIA MCLENNAN CORPOREAL FANCIES at Kalamalka Vertigo. Sensitively-executed, biomorphicallyinspired drawings produced while the artist was completing her BFA at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design.
PERFORMANCES SUNSHINE THEATRE sunshinetheatre.org
April 13 to 17, APRIL 14, 1912 In honour of the 98th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, April 14, 1912 will be coming to Kelowna through April 13-17th at 8:00 pm. April 24, KEVIN FOX,7:30PM Tree Brewing presents The RCA Spotlight Series. April 29, CANEFIRE, 7:30PM Tree Brewing presents The RCA Spotlight Series.
VERNON PERFORMING ARTS ticketseller.ca
April 18, BEAUTY AND BEAST, This unpredictable performance is a hilarious experience for all ages and a truly unique interactive theatrical event where the dream of living the story actually does come true! April 23, LE VENT DU NORD, 7:30 pm,This exciting young quartet brings us new interpretations of music from the Quebecois, Celtic and Acadian traditions.
COMING EVENTS April 1 to 25, 6 pm. SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. This is the shocking 19th century tale of an unjustly exiled barber who returns to London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The Kelowna’s Actors Studio. TICKETS: $32.00 - $66.00. Info at 250.862.2827 April 9, CANADIAN ACTRESS/SUPERMODEL MONIKA SCHNARRE will be at the Kelowna Vein Clinic & Aesthetic Solutions. This event is a fundraiser for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Many local businesses will be present and giving away prizes throughout the day. A portion of the clinic’s proceeds that day will be donated to the Kelowna Habitat for Humanity Chapter. Call the clinic at 250.868.3070 or visit their website for more information. Time: 9:00 am April 10, 10 am to 7 pm, April 11, 10 am to 5 pm, THE SHOPARAMA SPRING MARKET boasts a sweeping bunch of entrepreneurs, crafters, and home based business. Entertainment, a visit from The Spring Bunnies with goodies for the kids and door prizes. Vernon Recreation Centre 3310 37 Avenue. Admission is free, however you are invited to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank.
april April 16, SONGWRITERS’ SHOWCASE CONCERT – Presented by Ken Smedley and The George Ryga Centre “The 15th Annual Bill Henderson/Roy Forbes Songwriters Showcase” featuring Songwriters from across Western Canada. Centre Stage Theatre in Summerland. Tickets at Martin’s Flowers (next to Nester’s), Summerland 250.494.5432 and The Dragon’s Den Penticton 250.492.3011. April 17, 10 am to 6 pm, ANNUAL SPRING ART SHOW. Live entertainment will be provided by the Little Big Band and desserts by Cob’s Bakery. First Lutheran Church, 4091 Lakeshore Drive. For inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org April 17, FAMILY DAY, The Vernon Public Art Gallery is pleased to present family-oriented fun on Saturdays. Come in to the Gallery for a casual tour of the exhibitions and a creative hands-on art activity relating to the current exhibitions. Please visit vernonpublicartgallery.com for specific times.
April 10, MICHAEL BOLTON, Global Spectrum Facility Management presents “HAVE A HEART” with MICHAEL BOLTON at the South Okanagan Events Centre, Doors: 7:30 p.m. Show: 8:30 p.m. Charge by phone at 1.877.763.2849 April 17, OKANAGAN REGIONAL HISTORY FAIR OPEN HOUSE. 11am-2pm. Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna. Students from across the Okanagan prepare a project based on a person, event, or theme from Canadian history and then present to a panel of community judges. Free of charge. 250.763.2417. www. KelownaMuseums.ca April 16, 7 pm, THE WORLD FAMOUS HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS, MAGICAL MEMORIES TOUR at the South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, Tickets (incl GST): $77, $33, $22(plus FMF and service charges) available at SOEC Box Office, Wine Country Visitors Centre, Charge by phone at 1.877.763.2849 northof50.com 41
April 18, 2 and 4 pm, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. DuffleBag Theatre Company is well known for their zany interpretations of fairy tales. Get ready for a high-energy fairytale experience. Vernon Performing Arts Centre $10 All seats, $5 eyeGO, $7 Members Plus. 250.549.SHOW
of seven musicians - four Cubans, two Canadians and a Trinidadian, Canefire produces an exciting kaleidoscope of sounds by combining Trinidadian calypso, Latin rhythms, jazz and blues. LOCAL ARTIST PRE-SHOW: Cats Without Hats - 6:30 p.m. Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna..
April 22, RON JAMES, MENTAL AS ANYTHING With an unprecedented five television comedy specials under his belt and a new CBC-TV comedy series launching Sept. 25 at 8pm, Canada’s busiest and best-selling comedian Ron James takes to the road with a new “gut-bustingly, knee-slappingly funny” 90-minute rant Mental as Anything. Vernon Performing Arts Centre. Tickets thru ticketmaster.ca.
April 29, 7:30 pm RANDY TRAVIS WITH VICTORIA BANKS. Randy Travis has been a mainstay of the country scene for 25 years, with amazing accolades including over 25 million albums sold with 22 number one hits, 6 number one albums, 6 Grammy’s, 6 CMA’s, 9 ACM’s, 10 AMA’s and 7 Dove awards – and of course, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. South Okanagan Events Centre Penticton Tickets: $55 and $40 (incl. GST)
April 24 FAMILY ENVIRONMENT DAY at ECCO Centre, Mission Creek Regional Park, 2363A Springfield Road. www.regionaldistrict.com 250.469.6140 April 29, at 7:30 pm CANEFIRE is a high-energy Caribbean music experience that features the steelpan (steel drum) in a way you’ve never heard it before. Comprised
April 30 – May 9 OKANAGAN SPRING WINE FESTIVAL “The Okanagan Spring Wine Festival is a perfect marriage of wine and culinary tourism. For the first ten days in May each year, it offers a tantalizing experience for anyone who loves fabulous wine accompanied by fine cuisine. At various locations throughout the Okanagan Valley. More info at www.owfs.com or 250.861.6654.
APRIL ACTIVITIES WORDSEARCH ACID AIR BIN BLUE BURN CARS CLEAN EARTH EARTHDAY ECOFRIENDLY ECOLOGY ENERGY ENVIRONMENT FAR FUEL GAS GLASS GREEN
ACROSS 1 Ode 5 Pro 8 Former USSR’s secret police 11 Cars 13 Regret 14 Wrath 15 Goddess 16 Possessive pronoun 17 Limb 18 Official canine registry (abbr.) 20 Furs 22 Below genus 26 Bridge 27 Horse game 28 Terminal 30 High naval rank (abbr.) 31 Plastic wrap 32 American Football Conference (abbr.) 35 Take off the paint 36 Costa __ 37 Not well cooked
HABITAT HELP HYBRID IMPACT LED LIVE LOCAL MILE NEWSPAPER ORGANIC PAPER PLANET PLANT PLASTIC POLLUTION PRESERVE PULP RAIN
RECYCLE REDUCE RESOURCE REUSE RIVER SAFE SAVE SPECIES STOP SUN TREE TREK TRIP USE WALK WASTE WATER WAY
10 Prays 12 Rice wine 19 Chest wood 21 Choose 22 Resort hotel 23 Pea holder 24 Tree 25 Stems of letters 29 Book material 31 Dry grassy lands 32 Atmosphere 33 Farm credit administration (abbr.) 34 California (abbr.) DOWN 35 __ Lanka 1 Tablet 36 Shrink 2 French “yes” 3 Estimated time of ar- 37 Utilize 38 Wild sheep rival 4 European country 40 Prank 5 Day of the week (abbr.) 41 Counterfeit coin 42 End of a loaf 6 Not ins 46 Wooden sheet 7 Leans (2 wds.) 48 Kilohertz 8 “To __ Mockingbird” 49 Be incorrect (2 wds.) 9 Untrained 50 Body of water 39 Type of government 41 Letter decorating 43 Free of 44 Drag 45 High-school club 47 Nobleman 51 North American nation 52 Conger 53 Orange yellow 54 Hair stuff 55 Shifty 56 Jewish scribe
Community Events ARMSTRONG Knitting Circle. You are invited to a relaxing evening of sharing, learning & meeting new friends. Bring a project, needles & yarn or just yourself. Beginners always welcome. Now accepting yarn donations for local charitable projects. Judy at 250.546.9475 or Marlene at 250.546.6325. www.knittingcircle.ca Armstrong Toastmasters. All ages welcome! Come try Armstrong Toastmasters, the best communication & leadership training you can get in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Every Tuesday, 7:20pm to 9:30pm. Coffee, tea & snacks. Armstrong Spall Chamber of Commerce, 3550 Bridge Street. 250.546.3276 or 250.558.8110 or visit www.freewebs.com/ armstrongtoastmasters/ ENDERBY Enderby Women in Business Meeting, Thursday. April 15, 7:30 am, Enderby Chamber. Doors open 7 am. Breakfast $20. Come network, guests welcome! Joanne 250.838-0636. Enderby and District Wheels to Meals Society Luncheon held every Wed. at the Seniors Complex. 1101 George St. Come for a home cooked meal & visit with friends. Meals $6 & you must be 65 or older. Enderby Cliff Quilters meet at Enderby Evangelical Chapel, 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month, 1pm to 5pm. Call Sonia at 250.838.0685 or June at 250.903.1799. KELOWNA The Kelowna Newcomers Club Meetings 7pm, 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Seniors’ Centre on Water Street. Enjoy interesting and informative speakers & join some of the many activities available. Coffee & goodies served 250.764.9686. Ballroom dancing to good music every Sunday evening. 7:30 to 10:30pm at the Water Street Senior Centre, 1360 Water Street Dress code: no jeans, runners, or sandals. Dance lessons 1/2 hour before the dance. Cost $6.00 Tea, coffee and cookies included. Mah Jong drop-in every Wednesday 1pm at Branch #17 Seniors Centre 1353 Richter Street. Refresher sessions available. 250.763.9410. Raging Grannies a group of concerned ladies who express their concerns with satirical songs & other activities. Meet 2nd & 4th Mondays, 11 am, Kelowna Legion, 1380 Bertam. 250.860.1576. Kelowna Singles Club Dances. Bored, nothing to do? Why not come to the Kelowna Singles Club’ Dance held at Rutland Centennial Hall at 180A Rutland Rd. N. Doors open 7pm. 44 northof50.com
Dancing 8:00pm to 12:00am. Bar & refreshments. Light lunch at 10:30pm. Members $9 per person. Non-members $12. 250.763.1355 or 250.763.1867 The Good Time Entertainers are looking for members! This is a choir of men and women who sing all the popular oldies at Seniors’ Residences on Wednesday afternoons. Merilyn Schram at 250.826.8080 The Alzheimer Society of BC holds a support group for people in the early stage of Alzheimer Disease & related dementia on Tuesday mornings at 865 Bernard Ave. 250.860.0305 or email@example.com. Also a support group for caregivers of people with Alzheimer Disease & related dementia on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the evenings. The Rug Hooking Circle meets every second Monday at 1pm in Room 204, Rotary Centre for the Arts. Practice a traditional Canadian art form in a group setting. Angela at 250.767.0206 www.rughookingteacher.ca Westside Jam. Open mike jam every 1st and 3rd Friday, 6:30 to 9pm. C & W, blues, bluegrass; old-time, gospel, etc. Meets at Westside Seniors Hall in Westbank. Carl 250.707.1030 or Gerry 250.768.4421 LUMBY Lumby Legion.Join us Thursday for darts, Friday for Pool, Saturday for our meat draws & keep your eyes open for our specialty dances & events! 250.547.2338. PENTICTON The Penticton Seniors Computer Club drop-in days at the Leisure Centre, 439 Winnipeg Street, are: Monday 1 to 3pm, Wednesday 1 to 2pm, Friday 1 to 3pm. Mac Computer Support Monday 10 am to 11 am. Members and visitors welcome. 250.492.7373. The Penticton Concert Band rehearses under the leadership of Gerald Nadeau on Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30pm at the SeventhDay Adventist Church Hall in preparation for upcoming concerts & for the sheer enjoyment of playing a variety of music selections in concert band. Intermediate to advanced players www. pentictonconcertband.ca or 250.809.2087 Penticton South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society 696 Main St. Programs for the community. Volunteer Development, Friendly Visitor Program, Health Education, Elders Leading & Adopt-A-Grandparent. 250.487.7455. Royal Canadian Legion.Monday Night is Miser Monday with chicken wings & Baron/Beef $3 each, bar specials. Entertainment
5 to 9:00pm every Monday. Friday is Membership appreciation Night with 5:30 to 6:30pm full course meal & entertainment, 6:30 to 10:30pm. Wednesday is Bingo Day, 1:00pm & 6:30 pm Bingo. Meat Draw every Saturday & Sunday; 250.493.0870 The Franco 50+ group meets Thursdays to socialize in French, from 1:30 to 3:30pm. Lina at 250.492.2549 SALMON ARM Salmon Arm Duplicate Bridge club meets at 6:45pm every Tuesday at the downtown Activity Centre & every Sunday at 12:45 pm at Branch 109. 250.832.7454 or 250.832.7323. Fletcher Park Seniors Resource Centre 320A 2nd Ave., N.E. Meals on Wheels, Lunch With Friends, Monday Morning Market, Shop & Drop, Income Tax Service, Advocacy, Foot Care, Volunteer Drivers for medically related appointments, Day Away, Senior Advisor, Frozen Dinners at Home, Seniors Housing List, Home Services List, Good Food Box & Caregivers Group. 250.832.7000. SICAMOUS Senior Citizen’s Meals (Wheels to Meals) at the Eagle Valley Haven in the C o m m o n R o o m . Phone ahead, 250.836.2437 or 250.836.4718 or 250.836.4302 or 250.836.2031. Sicamous Family Market at the Seniors Activity Centre, Saturdays 8:30am to 2pm. 250.836.2587. TAPPEN Carlin Hall, Bluegrass/Slowpitch Jam. Tuesday nights 7 to 9pm. Bluegrass instruments only. 250.835.2322. VERNON North Okanagan Seniors Action Network Meetings at the Shubert Centre every 2nd Tuesday of each month. Hosted by seniors Resource Bureau. 250.545.8572 The Vernon Seniors Choir under the direction of Lyn Taron rehearses each Wednesday from 12:30 to 2:30 pm at the Halina Complex in the Vernon Rec Centre. Our motto is “ Music is our contribution.” 250.545.3119 or 250.542.2264 Elks Lodge, 3103-30th Street. Every Friday Nite, Supper at 6pm Cost $7.50 for Home cooked meal & Mini Meat Draw, 50/50 draw after dinner. Everyone Welcome, members & non-members.
First Tuesday of every month the Vernon Placer Miner Club (gold panning club) meets at 7 pm, bsmt of Peace Lutheran Church at 1204-30 Ave. Guests welcome. Memberships for family, $20/ yr. Donna Smith 250.545.3832 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Jerry Stainer 250.549.4395. Brazilian Embroidery Chapter Stitching group gathers every second Thursday of the month, 7 pm. Pat at 250.549.2219 or Mary 250.545.3939. Sunshine Seniors meet 2nd & 4th Friday of the month, downstairs at the Peace Lutheran Church, 1204-30th Ave. 1:30 pm. All 55+ invited to fellowship, devotions, games & always excellent treats & coffee. Annual membership is $3. The Vernon Lapidary & Mineral Club (Rockhounders) meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month, 7:30 pm. (except July and August) in the Art Centre, 2704A Hwy 6, in Polson Park. 250.545.1274, or 250.542.0616. Schubert Centre, 3505 30th Ave. Shuffleboard, Monday to Friday at 8 am 250.549.4201 First & third Saturday of every month from 10 am to noon. Knitting Circle at Gallery Vertigo. For knitters & crocheters of all experience levels. Admission is a $5 donation to Gallery Vertigo’s Smarties Family Sunday Art Program. 250.503.2297 or see www.galleryvertigo.com WINFIELD Cribbage Tournament at the Seniors Activity Center 9832-Bottomwood Lake Rd. Each 3rd Sunday of the month. Entree fee $12. Excellent lunch included. Games start at 10am. Play partners & meet new friends. John 250.766.3026
List your community event by calling toll free 1-877-667-8450 or email details to email@example.com. Wordsearch Solution: It’s Not Easy Being Green Crossword Solution:
Vernon Singles Club. Upcoming Dances, held at the Eagles Hall, 5101-25th Ave. or at the Schubert Center - 3505-30th Ave. Dawn 250.558.9974 or Lottie 250.549.2495 Fun Time Seniors 50+ Thursdays at the Schubert Centre from 10 to 11:30am. Free event including games, entertainment, talks & videos. 250.545.5984 or 250.549.4201. Oil Painting. Drop-in Fridays 1 to 4 pm at the Vernon Community Arts Centre. Fee is $3 for members, $4 for non-members. northof50.com 45
Classified & Directory Guitar Guild model JF 30 with hard shell case. Maple back. Like new $1200 firm. 1997 Travel Mate camper. Stove, fridge, N/S Bed, toilet. 8ft long, clean and bright. $4500. 250.838.7496
HOUSE FOR SALE: 2 bedroom house in sunny Lillooet. $159,000, 1056 sq. feet, 1/2 acre lot, fruit trees, nice view. Email for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (250) 256-7775
Looking for rental cabin or place to park 27ft travel trailer 250.838.6774 Saw mill motor 4 cylinder $100. Older Ski-Doo $50. Dodge Van runs but needs battery & key $100. Camper older needs work, $200, 250.838.0473 Musical Instruments for Sale. Accoustic Guitar $125. Strad Copy Violin $375. Alto Saxophone $350. Selmer B Flat Clarinet $135. 250.503.5249 Pride Mobility Scooter, sharp turning, excellent shape, new battery. Capacity 350 lbs. Adjustable seat, basket & built in charge unit. 10 inch wheels asking $800.00 250.765.7521 Dave. Cedar Chest, on casters. new condition L-42” W-19” D-18” $125. Mens Leather Jacket waist (L) $125, Mens ¾ length Leather jacket c/w liner size 44 $100. 250.768.8331 Free, 2003 Epson scanner with all cords &installation CD - still works! Email: email@example.com Tool Chest, red, two units. 10 drawers at top 18x26x20” high Bottom 12 drawers 18x26x42” high. Solid, Excellent condition $500. 250.549.1798 Gas & Electric lawnmowers, rototillers,weed eaters. Bargain prices. Wanted: riding lawn mowers in need of repair. 250.492.8501 anytime Soloflex Home Gym. Used once. Includes Butterfly and Leg attachments, plus two weight strap sets. $999.99. Revelstoke 250.837.3741 Telex Noise cancelling aviation headset. Brand new never used. $300. Revelstoke 403.836.9908 Solid Oak dining room Set. Oval table, 3 extensions, 4 chairs, china cabinet, good condition. $449 OBO 250.862.5096 Trademaster 8 1/4” Compound Mitre Saw; Timeworks fitness machine; Eurosport fitness machine; hppsc 2175 all-in-one printer - scanner copier. Best offer. 250.862.5096 Kenmore floor model humidifier in good working order, $25. Invacare lifet chair, full reclining positions, excellent condition, $400. Kenmore dryer, free to handyman, needs minor repairs. 250.493.1524 Accommodation available, April 22 to 26th in Nakusp area in exchange for looking after 2 dogs, 2 cats and 14 chickens on 25 acre property, 30 kms south of Nakusp. 250.265.4379
Free Classified Ad Policy We’ll place your ad, up to 25 words FREE, as long as the value of the item you are selling is under $1000. This offer is available to individuals only and is not available to buisinesses or commercial enterprises. One ad per household, space permitting. The rate for business / commercial ads or for items valued over $1,000 is $14 plus tax up to 25 words then 25 cents for each additional word. Email your ad details, along with your phone number and address to: firstname.lastname@example.org fax to: 250.546.8914
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Livestock & Pet Care when you can’t be there
Over 30 Years Experience • Bonded • Licensed • Insured • References Available Call: @50-832-7308 Cell: 250-550-7429 or email@example.com
Heritage Creek Gifts & Confectionary
• Books & Journals • British Sweets • Candy Gift Trays • Childrens Clothing • Daniel’s Chocolates • Toys & Games • Clocks & Wall Art • First Nations Art • Home Decor • Jewellery • Music Boxes • Fashion Accessories • Handbags • Pashmina & Scarves • And more great gift ideas!
2516C Patterson Ave, Armstrong 250.546.3096 northof50.com 47