$1.25 Includes HST
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010 ISSUE 4, VOL. 75
Her purple prince
Lyonel Doherty photo
Green thumb Rose Whittle from Oliver sure knows how to grow flowers. Her backyard garden is proof of that. Whittle, the vice-president of the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club, bends over to smell a purple prince lily tree that brings her great joy. This is only one of many varieties she has. Amazingly, Whittle can tell you what day each flower will bloom.
Agricultural Area Plan offers farmers flexibility Lyonel Doherty Oliver Chronicle When all is said and done, the Agricultural Area Plan destined for rural Oliver will give farmers more flexibility on what they can do on their land. So says Area C Director Allan Patton, who hosted an open house last week on draft amendments to the plan. Only seven people attended the meeting at the Oliver Community Centre, where RDOS planner Evelyn Riechert presented the proposed changes. As background, local governments are establishing AAPs (mandated by the province) to give some direction on how land-use decisions should be made. In essence, property owners in AG1 and AG2-zoned areas are given a “footprint”
to work with, a space in which they can operate their farms and other non-farming entities. Patton said the purpose is to protect growing areas while giving farmers more flexibility to earn a living without depending entirely on their crops. “Instead of being very prescriptive, we want to let farmers decide what they want to do on their land,” Patton said. Both Riechert and Patton agreed that one of the biggest challenges is dealing with farm operations on small parcels of land. The first proposed change is to create a development permit area adjacent to AG1 and AG2-zoned lands. This will include requirements for screening, landscaping and fencing in order to provide a buffer of all lands within 150 metres of AG1 and AG2 parcels. Riechert said the intent is
to lessen the impact and conflict between farms and nonfarming properties. Under retail space, it is proposed that the total indoor and outdoor sales area be no more than 300 square metres. And at least 50 percent of the sales area is limited to the sale of farm products produced on the farm. “You won’t be able to enforce that,” said Osoyoos resident Grant Montgomery. It is also being proposed that the term “restaurant” be removed from the winery definition and replaced with “winery lounge.” Riechert said they are trying to discourage non-farm use restaurants in agricultural zones. Under agri-tourism accommodation, the following is proposed: remove agri-tourism accommodation as a secondary use in the zoning bylaw, but encourage it in the OfContinued on Pg A2...
Trained lifeguards at the Oliver Community Pool are teaching water safety to young and old.
The tree fruit industry is getting $5 million in funding, but growers asked for $10 million.
The ‘Black and White’ ladies scramble at Nk’ Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course was a big success.
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A2 Oliver Chronicle Wednesday, July 14, 2010
FRUIT & VINE The Oliver Chronicle welcomes comments for our new column highlighting readers’ feelings of appreciation towards an individual or group or sharing comments about experiences they would like to see improved. Submissions must have a name and phone number for verification purposes, but can be published anonymously.. Content may be edited for clarity.
SOUR GRAPES to all the people that walk their dogs on the hot pavement during this hot weather. Thier poor paws must be painful! -A worried resident
A bowl of SWEET CHERRIES to the person who on Tuesday morning June 6, walked the bike trail north of town and pruned off overhanging branches, making the trail safer for foot and bike traffic alike. -A frequent trail user
A bin full of SWEET CHERRIES to Dora Stelkia for helping to organize the July 17th fundraisers for the mudslide victims. - The Oliver Chronicle A bowl of SWEET CHERRIES to all the people that have worked so hard towards Communities In Bloom. -A happy resident
...Continued from Pg A1
Agricultural Area Plan gives people a ‘footprint’ to work with in AG1, AG2 ficial Community Plan; limit the total number of seasonal 0.8 hectares; an additional three percent for farm-related tourist accommodation units to a maximum of 10, includ- structures; and greenhouses will be allowed up to 70 pering B&B rooms. Agri-tourism accommodation is only al- cent coverage. lowed on parcels greater than 10 hectares in size. Riechert said the AAP will allow a maximum “footprint” Another amendment being proposed is to allow second- of 3,450 square metres (37,135 square feet) for AG1 parary suites in AG1 and AG2 zones. (They are cels. Patton admitted this size freaks him currently not permitted.) out, but he said the residential portion of Other amendments under the housing the footprint seems too small and might be category include additional dwellings for Patton said accomincreased. farm labour help, and seasonal accommo- modation dwellings Municipal councillor Jack Bennest quesdation facilities. tioned whether these amendments will are for farm labour Patton said accommodation dwellings only; they are not preserve farmland or result in more buildare for farm labour only; they are not ings cropping up on agricultural land. Patmeant to be rental housing. But this will be meant to be rental ton reiterated the purpose is to reduce the housing. But this will difficult to enforce, he admitted. actual footprint on agricultural land and Proposed zoning amendments to parcel be difficult to enpreserve the growing space. coverage is generating the most discus- force, he admitted. Local resident Bill Ross said if he wants a sion. Amendments include the followbig house on a parcel of land, which is not ing: a maximum of 800 square metres for being used productively for agriculture, all buildings and structures on parcels 0.8 that should be his decision (nobody else’s). hectares or less; an allowance of 450 square Patton said they plan to solicit more inmetres for all residential uses for every parcel larger than put on the AAP at another public meeting this fall.
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WHAT’S INSIDE Students win bursaries. . . . . . . Water safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . Letters start . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dyer and Suzuki. . . . . . . . . . .
Pg A4 Pg A5 Pg A6 Pg A7
30° / 13° 29.9° / 11.3°
30° / 15° 31.5° / 14.1°
28° / 15° 33.9° / 13.9°
29° / 14° 36.5° / 16.6°
28° / 15° 35.6° / 16.4°
25° / 15° 28.5° / 16.1°
25° / 14° 29.7° / 12.2°
Tree fruit funding. . . . . . . . . . Pg A8 Sunshine Festival heats up. . . . . Pg A9 Lifestyle Wise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pg A11 ‘Triangle’ gets facelift. . . . . . . Pg A13
Historical weather data courtesy of Environment Canada, www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca
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250.498.8840 Highway 97 at Gallagher Lake Reservations Recommended
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Oliver Chronicle A3
School board briefs
Literacy coordinator outlines plan
The District Literacy Plan is a comprehensive document with the goal of improving literacy in all age groups. Literacy Coordinator Naomi Ludington presented the plan to School District 53 recently. “A lot of families have real barriers to literacy, and these are the families we want to reach,” she said. Ludington noted they want to do more work with Aboriginals and others who face barriers, such as seniors and youth. She noted that people are signing up to be adult tutors, and the Air Cadet hangar in Oliver is housing a youth tutoring club.
Enrolment figures continue to worry district Oliver continues to be hit with decreasing enrolment figures, which are “alarming and worrisome,” according to Superintendent of Schools Juleen McElgunn. The biggest challenge in the district is Oliver, she said. For example, Oliver Elementary School has lost 13 students from September 2009 to May 31, 2010. Enrolment now stands at approximately 333. Southern Okanagan Secondary School has lost 17 students (from 495 to 478). McElgunn said it was upsetting to her to see a family move out of her neighbourhood. The family only moved in a year ago. McElgunn previously stated that families were moving out of Oliver in order to find work. Decreased enrolment directly affects government
RRSPs, GICs and RRIFs 1 year 2 year 3 year 4 year 5 year
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funding, she pointed out. “Our numbers are softer and softer . . . . dropping and dropping.” McElgunn said it is anticipated that the total enrolment for the district’s three secondary schools will be down to 750 in the next six to seven years. The total enrolment is currently 957. An enrolment drop of 50 to 60 full-time equivalent students is expected next year, and more than 100 is expected in the next two years.
Greyback gets school contract School District 53 has awarded Greyback Construction with the general contract for the SOSS renovation project. The $22.4 million contract includes the partial demolition and renovation of the school. The completion date is expected in the fall of 2012. The project will feature a “Neighbourhoods of Learning” centre for the south wing of the school. District director of facilities Mitch Van Aller said construction work has already begun.
District clarifies LINK Crew funding Superintendent of Schools Juleen McElgunn clarified a previous report in the Chronicle that stated the district no longer provides funding for LINK Crew at SOSS. She noted the board does provide funding for staffing this program. LINK Crew consists of students who take on a leadership role by orienting new students and making them feel comfortable at the school.
During April and May of 2010, Canada Border Services Agency officers at Osoyoos Port of Entry have been vigilant in their duties of protecting the security and safety of Canadians. Here is a snapshot of the significant enforcement actions that have taken place. Some notable events during this period include: A vehicle was seized from a Canadian resident who was referred for secondary examination, failed to report for the inspection and proceeded north into Canada. In cooperation with the local RCMP, the vehicle was located and returned to the port of entry where the driver was assessed a fine for “running the port”. A number of individuals had their vehicles seized for declaring the vehicle’s value lower than the actual price paid. The vehicles were released to the owners once penalties under the Customs Act were paid. Officers intercepted one Canadian resident whose ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. The RCMP attended and issued a 24 hour driving prohibition. In 1999 the government of Canada passed Bill C-18 which granted Border Services Officers the powers and responsibilities of peace officers for the purpose of enforcing the Criminal Code.
Members - Visitors - Guests welcome! Next General Meeting: Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, 2010
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NEXT GENERAL MEETING MONDAY, SEPT. 13th Tracy
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Friday, July 16th: Ham, Potatoes, Yams and Coleslaw
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Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues. - Wed. - Thurs. - Fri. July 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23
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Please come in and support your branch over the summer holidays! Renew your membership now! 50/50 draws Friday evening and Saturday afternoon Every Saturday - Meat Draw 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 3 tickets for a loonie. Please support our troops - magnetic decals, pins & T-shirts for sale. LOUNGE HOURS: Open Tuesday till Sat. every week. 12 noon to earliest closing - 6:00 p.m. Hours extended on Sports Nights. WIRELESS INTERNET AVAILABLE IN THE LOUNGE! HALL RENTALS - for rates call Marion 250-498-2858.
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A4 Oliver Chronicle Wednesday, July 14, 2010
SOSS students win many bursaries, awards Contributed To the Chronicle Students from Southern Okanagan Secondary School reaped thousands of dollars in bursaries and awards recently. The following are $1,000 award winners: Ryan Skaros (Old Stockers Award); Aman Brar (Okanagan College Community Spirit); Brady Rush (Okanagan Falls Lions Club Scholarship); Calvin Frederiksson (SYSCO Food Products Scholarship); Manmeet Aulakh (Rotary Club of Oliver Scholarship); Drew Craik (Dogwood District Authority Scholarship); Stevie Kingsfield (Dogwood District Authority Scholarship); Jordan Townsend (Okanagan Falls Lions Club Scholarship); Chris Souto (Dorothy and Ron Bonnett Memorial Scholarship, and Dogwood District Scholarship); JJ Zakall (SOMHA Scholarship); Renee Savaia (Dogwood District); Riley Martin (RJ Shannon Memorial Bursary);
Mark DesBrisay (Okanagan Falls Legion Scholarship, and Okanagan Falls Lions Club Scholarship); Melissa Wheeler (Oliver Legion Scholarship); Bal Sidhu (SOGH Scholarship); Depinder Mann (Valley First Scholarship); Ashley Hitchens (Okanagan Falls Women’s Institute Scholarship, and Okanagan Falls Legion Ladies Auxiliary Scholarship); Alastair Heinrichs (Dogwood District); Jorden Harty (SD 53 Trades Scholarship, and Dogwood District); Tanner Philipps (Kiwanis Club of Oliver Scholarship); Shana-Marie Thayer (Okanagan Falls Legion, and Ladies Auxiliary scholarship); and Jasmine Dhillon (Interior Savings Credit Union). Heather Smith and Alastair Heinrichs won the SOSTU Scholarships for $1,250 each. The following students were recipients of $1,500 awards: Jeremy Casorso (Sheila Bull Memorial); Kenna Riplinger (Charlotte Campbell Memorial); Shallu Toor (Dr. George and Carolyn Cope Scholarship); Bal Sidhu (Charlotte Campbell Memorial);
Notice of Application and Workshop FortisBC Inc.
Application for Approval of the 2011 Capital Expenditure Plan WORKSHOP
DATE /TIME: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2010 9:00 am – 2:00 pm LOCATION: MANTEO RESORT, 3762 LAKESHORE ROAD, KELOWNA BC THE APPLICATION On June 18, 2010 FortisBC Inc. (FortisBC) filed a 2011 Capital Expenditure Plan (the Application) with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (the Commission) pursuant to Sections 44.2 (1) (a) and (b) and 45 (2) of the Utilities Commission Act (the Act). FortisBC states these expenditures are necessary to continue to provide reliable service, ensure public and employee safety, and to deliver Demand Side Management (DSM) programs to the Company's growing customer base. The FortisBC 2011 Capital Expenditure Plan consists of expenditures of $103.3 million in 2011 and $5.3 million in 2012. These expenditures are necessary to continue to provide reliable service, ensure public and employee safety, and to deliver DSM programs to the Company's growing customer base. The 2011 Capital Expenditure Plan will also address total new expenditures on Plant and Equipment for 2011 that is forecasted at $91.3 million.
THE REGULATORY PROCESS The Commission has established a Regulatory Timetable for a Written Public Hearing process to review the Application. WORKSHOP Persons wishing to attend the FortisBC Workshop should notify the Commission, in writing or by electronic submission, no later than Friday, July 30, 2010. INTERVENTIONS—REGISTERING TO PARTICIPATE Persons who expect to actively participate in the FortisBC proceeding should register as Interveners with the Commission, in writing or by electronic submission, no later than Wednesday, August 11, 2010. Interveners are requested to identify their interest in the Application. Interveners will each receive a copy of the Application and all correspondence and filed documentation in accordance with the Commission's Document Filing Protocols. Persons not expecting to actively participate, but who have an interest in the proceeding, should register as Interested Parties with the Commission, in writing, by the same date. Interested Parties will receive a copy of the Applicant's Executive Summary and the Commission's Decision when issued. All submissions and/or correspondence received from active participants or the public relating to the Application will be placed on the public record and posted to the Commission's web site at www.bcuc.com. The Commission Panel in a proceeding may award costs for participation, pursuant to the Participant Assistance/Cost Award Guidelines, under section 118 of the Utilities Commission Act. The Guidelines are available at www.bcuc.com. Participants intending to apply for participant assistance must file a budget by Friday, August 13, 2010.
PUBLIC INSPECTION OF THE DOCUMENTS The Application and supporting materials will be available for inspection at the following locations: FortisBC Inc. Head Office: Suite 100-1975 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC V1Y 7V7 Trail Office: 1290 Esplanade, Trail, BC, V1R 4L4 British Columbia Utilities Commission Sixth Floor, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2N3 Websites
FURTHER INFORMATION For further information, please contact Ms. Erica Hamilton, Commission Secretary, as follows: Telephone: (604) 660-4700 BC Toll Free: 1-800-663-1385 Facsimile: (604) 660-1102 E-mail: email@example.com
Shana-Marie Thayer and Jasmine Dhillon won the SD 53 scholarships ($2,000 each). Winning the $2,500 President’s Entrance Scholarship were Renee Savaia, Kenna Riplinger, Mark DesBrisay, Shallu Toor, Bal Sidhu, Depinder Mann, Aperrna Sasheendren, Tanner Philipps, Shana-Marie Thayer, and Jasmine Dhillon. Alastair Heinrichs won the $2,500 Francis Family Scholarship, while Jasmine Dhillon won the South Okanagan Health Care Auxiliary Scholarship for $2,500. Depinder Mann won the $3,500 Community Builders award, while Shallu Toor won the Entrance Scholarship for $4,000. Pavan Brar won the Okanagan College President’s Entrance Scholarship for $5,000, and Shana-Marie Thayer won the $20,000 Major Entrance Award. Many other students won bursaries under $1,000 and will use that money towards furthering their education.
Apprenticeship students prepare for their careers Sous chef, mechanic, welder get experience in career prep program where sky is the limit Lyonel Doherty Oliver Chronicle Colton Hauer is only 16, yet he’s a junior sous chef in Osoyoos and speaks three languages. Fellow student Chris Souto completed a transmission job in his first week at work, and now runs an auto shop part time. And after school, Calvin Frederiksson installs air conditioners and furnaces, and plans to acquire his gas fitting certificate. The list of successful students in the Secondary School Apprenticeship program goes on. For example, Raymond Marcy is a welder, Ryan McDonald is a forklift mechanic, Josh Irwin is a commercial transport vehicle mechanic, Erin Irwin is a hair stylist, Caley Howard is a professional cook, Joey Gray is an RV technician, and Ryan Skaros is an automotive service technician. The career preparation program in School District 53 is seeing some great things from a number of great students. That was evident during educator/facilitator Ron Lee’s recent presentation to the board. Lee has been praised for doing an amazing job with the students, who earn money and credits while working at local businesses. “The key thing is finding an employer willing to hire a student,” Lee said. For example, Hauer, who speaks French and German, works for Walnut Beach Resort. Souto works for Darrell’s Mobile Auto and Marine, and Frederiksson works for Sarson’s Mechanical Service. “The big kick for me is getting students into an occupation and getting them trained in the field,” said Lee, who’s retiring from Southern Okanagan Secondary School. Lee sees a lot of local employment opportunities for students, noting that Greyback Construction has been awarded the general contract for the SOSS renovation project. Lee said there should also be some work opportunities associated with the new Southwinds Crossing shopping centre. Souto initially didn’t know what trade to get into and was considering carpentry. But his father introduced him to an automotive shop. “It’s incredible. I’m learning how to run a business and do bookings.” Frederiksson offers this advice to other students: “If you like the trades, go for it. Don’t sit back and wait for something to hit you.” School board chair June Harrington said Lee has left the district a wonderful legacy in preparing students for the careers.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Oliver Chronicle A5
Motorcyclist killed after night collision with van A westbound motorcyclist crossed over the centre line and collided head-on with a Ford Freestar van that was eastbound on July 8 at approximately 8:25 p.m. about 7 km east of Osoyoos on Anarchist Mountain. The subsequent collision caused the motorcyclist to be ejected from his motorcycle, and the van continued into the ditch. Lance McKay, 55, from Spruce Grove, Alberta, died immediately as a result of the collision. The occupants of the van were taken to South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver
where they were treated for minor injuries and released. The occupants of the minivan were from the Lower Mainland. South Okanagan Traffic Services in Keremeos is continuing with this investigation, and it is too early to determine if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash. Corporal Bryce Petersen said it is unlikely that criminal charges will be pursued. Police are working with the BC Coroners Service.
Lyonel Doherty photo
There are lots of turtles in the sea, but this is a special group of “Sea Turtles” in the Oliver Community Pool, where water safety lessons are taught. At right, senior lifeguard Renee Savaia leads a group of water-wise children on a swimming safari where safety is the key.
Oliver lifeguard urges water safety for all ages By Lyonel Doherty Oliver Chronicle
People never expect to be the victim of a water-related accident, but it can happen in seconds. In fact, more than 500 water-related deaths occur each year in Canada, and all of them are preventable, says an Oliver lifeguard. Bobbi-Jean Batchelor, head lifeguard at the Oliver Community Pool, urges people of all ages to be water smart, not only for themselves but for others. “I worry about this generation,” she says, noting the number of people enrolled in water safety courses is dwindling. Batchelor believes there needs to be a shift in attitude when it comes to water safety. For example, instead of wearing their lifejackets, people are storing them in their vessels while boating. “That’s like putting on your seatbelt instantly before a crash.” Batchelor says the 12 staff members at the Oliver Community Pool work extremely hard to become certified lifeguards and to teach water safety. Four are certified to teach “bronze medallion” and “bronze cross,” and the “Junior Lifeguard Club.” All staff members are certified to teach the Red Cross water safety course.
“Prevention is the key,” Batchelor says, adding the course teach valuable life-saving skills. She points out that everyone can benefit since you don’t have to be a great swimmer. To participate in the bronze medallion and bronze cross courses, you have to be 13 years of age or older and must possess basic swimming skills. The Junior Lifeguard Club is for youth between the age of 11 to 13. Batchelor says the bronze medallion and bronze cross courses are not just for aspiring lifeguards, they’re for anyone who wants to learn life-saving skills for water emergencies. Batchelor notes the most common emergencies on the water relate to the following: excessive speed while operating boats; not wearing a lifejacket; drinking alcohol; not knowing how to swim; and engaging in high-risk behaviours, such as cliff jumping. “We try to be good role models as lifeguards,” Batchelor says. Staff members also teach the importance of sun safety by promoting the use of sun screen, sun glasses and hats. “Even lifeguards have to be cautious about heat stroke and heat exhaustion.’ For more information about water safety course at the Oliver Community Pool, please call 485-0999.
‘Climate Action Planning’ contract awarded Lyonel Doherty Oliver Chronicle
The RDOS has awarded a contract to Stantec Consulting to carry out work on the “Climate Action Planning” project. The project, established to gain compliance under Bill 27 (the “Green Communities” initiative), tackles the following: Reducing greenhouse gases and meeting those targets in official community plans and the district’s Regional Growth Strategy. The RDOS has voluntarily committed to: being carbon neutral for corporate operations by 2012; measuring and reporting greenhouse gases and future emissions; and encouraging compact and efficient communities.
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Why do people need reading glasses when they get older? Inside the eye, just behind the coloured iris, there is a small lens. When you look in the distance, the lens is flat and when you look up close, it is signaled to change shape and become rounder. This change increases the eye’s power and allows you to focus on near objects. When people enter their mid-40s, the lens gets stiff. Because the lens cannot change shape as much, it makes it difficult to see objects up close. This condition is called presbyopia and everyone eventually experiences it. Reading glasses are worn in order to provide the extra visual power needed with this condition.
A6 Oliver Chronicle Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The following information came from Marion Smith, daughter of Wally Smith: On the left is John (Jack) Smith, father of Wallace J. Smith (other is unknown). This waterwheel was built by Wallace, and was used to irrigate a portion of his orchard that could not receive water from the Irrigation District. During the life of the waterwheel, beavers would block the sluice box and break the supports and paddles on a daily basis.
THE OLIVER CHRONICLE WELCOMES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR on subjects of interest to our readers. Short letters are most likely to be chosen for publication, but the use of any material is at the discretion of the editor. The editor reserves the right to edit letters to meet space requirements, clarity or to avoid obscenity, libel or invasion of privacy. Upon request, we will use a pseudonym only, but only rarely and for compelling reasons. Letters published do not necessarily reflect the editorial policies or beliefs of this newspaper. All letters must include your first and last name, contact number, town or city of residence to be considered.
Grads need a positive attitude early in life
eeing SOSS grads say goodbye to teachers and friends reminds many of the classic film, “To Sir With Love.” Those schoolgirl days, of telling tales and biting nails are gone. But in my mind, I know they will still live on and on. But how do you thank someone, who has taken you from crayons to perfume? It isn’t easy, but I’ll try – Lulu, 1967. Remember those days of closing books and long last looks? Of finding love or what you thought was love? Those broken hearts didn’t realize how many fish were in the sea until they walked through those big doors for the last time. For some, leaving high school was hard to do because it was their comfort zone, their familiarity with life . . . it was their second home. For others, they couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there, away from all the rules and timelines, only to run into more of the same in the real world. A great adventure or a dismal existence awaits these grads – it all depends on their attitude. They can see many windows of opportunity or they can see many pitfalls – it’s totally up to them. One thing is for certain: If they don’t develop a positive attitude early on, it’s going to be a tough road from the start, and change won’t come easy. And will you gather daydreams or will you gather wealth? How can you find your fortune when you cannot find yourself? – “Sit Down Young Stranger” by Gordon Lightfoot. Bless our teachers, whose responsibility of educating our children is huge. They have given the grads most of the tools necessary to succeed, now it’s up to them to carve their own way. Regardless of the path they choose, it won’t be all Corn Flakes and honey. Like the yellow brick road, there will be many trials and tribulations, but with them come the joys of discovery and personal fulfillment. As our aspiring grads close this book and open yet another, here’s some advice: Help others down on their luck, don’t burn your bridges, own up to your mistakes, apologize when you’ve wronged somebody, learn to say no, when you fall, get back up again, take chances, and don’t carry a chip on your shoulder. We know many of the grads will make us proud in Oliver. Some will go on and do great things, perhaps even change the world. Others won’t, and that’s okay. Just think, if we were all the same, life wouldn’t be a box of chocolates.
The Oliver Chronicle welcomes letters to the editor. firstname.lastname@example.org
Roma Pedersen, Archives Volunteer Photograph Number: OLP.988.118 Date: 1938 Photo: Courtesy of Oliver and District Archives, 250-498-4027
Lesson learned, time to move on Editor, Oliver Chronicle: I am shocked at the amount of publicity against the firemen who take their lives in their hands by just doing their duty, time and again. How would a person feel if their property was burning and not enough firemen to help? I imagine some of the volunteer firemen would be ready to quit, which I hope they don’t.
We need them, regardless of a mistake by one or two. I was happy after reading some of the letters of support the fire department got. The publicity was much overdone. The one or two involved have learned their lesson, so please let us leave them be! Monique McKeage, Oliver
Action against volunteers by our officials was a little ‘mini-minded’ Editor, Oliver Chronicle: Only mini-minded, pencil-pushing officials could come up with such a dumb disciplinary action against volunteer firemen who drop everything to scrape bodies off the highway, rescue people and pets from burning buildings, inhale toxic cancer-causing fumes for not great and only temporary pay and benefits. The beer in the kegs would certainly be discarded and therefore putting it to a good wind-down and calming use after doing a great job, stopping the fire from completely
burning down Main Street was deserved. I feel our firemen have been abused and under the circumstances I would feel most understanding if our fire department withdrew their services in protest. Then we could see how much volunteering the officials would do. Finally, to the firemen, should my house burn down, please feel free to relax with any intact bottles of beer, wine or liquor you can pick out of the embers. James Moore, Oliver
Suspending hometown heroes is a big black mark on our community Editor, Oliver Chronicle: When I heard Global TV news on July the 5th, I was shocked to hear that our whole fire department is facing suspension due to poor judgment during the Mesa Hotel fire. Oh, my God! What is wrong with our town council? To me, this has been blown out of porportion. These brave and loyal firefighters need our support, not our criticism. To suspend our hometown heroes would be a slap in the face and a black mark on our community. We had a fire seven months ago and thanks to our fire-
fighters lives were saved as well as the building. They put their lives on the line every time they are called out and this is what they get in return. I am appalled by the lack of consideration and support givin to our volunteers. Let’s hope that none of the people who made this idiotic decision have a fire in their homes or businesses while these ridiculous suspensions are in place. Many, many thanks to the Oliver firefighters who put their lives on the line each and every time they are called to a burn and to their families who support them... I raise my glass to you all..cheers!! Kathy Roveredo, Oliver Letters continued on Pg A10...
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Oliver Chronicle A7
Iraq: Goodbye, good luck as troops withdraw
As the American withdrawal gains speed, there are fewer American troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan for the first time since 2003. By the end of August there will be no US combat troops left in Iraq, though some tens of thousands of support troops will remain until next year. And still there is no new Iraqi government, although it is now four months since the election on 7 March. US Vice-President Joe Biden was in Baghdad at the week-end urging Iraqi politicians to end the political deadlock, but America’s influence over events in Gwynne Iraq has been falling as fast as its troop numbers. In the end, the same broad coalition of Shia Arabs and Kurds that ran the country before will probably rule again, excluding the Sunni Arabs, but it’s unclear who will lead the new coalition. The last election made Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic rivalries even sharper, if that is possible. The corruption is universal and shameless. Dozens of people are still being killed by suicide bombers every week. But the country cannot really fail, because there is just so much oil. After three decades of foreign wars, UN sanctions and American occupation, Iraq’s oil exports bottomed out at 1.8 million barrels per day in 2008, but they are already back up to 2.5 million b/d – and Baghdad plans to be producing 9.9 million b/d only ten years from now. That would make it the world’s first, second or third-largest exporter (depending on what happens to Saudi Arabian and Russian production), and drown it in a tidal wave of cash. The target is plausible, because this is not speculation about production from new oilfields; it is just enhanced
production from existing fields. Contracts to build the infrastructure to pump that extra oil have already been signed with two dozen foreign oil companies. Since the foreigners are only paid a fee per barrel, Iraq gets most of the profits. On the reasonable assumption that the price of oil will not drop below $50 per barrel in the next decade, that means that the Iraqi government will have an oil income of at least $150 billion a year by 2020. Twothirds of the current government’s income is stolen by the political elite and there is no reason to think that this will change, but Dyer that would still allow some $50 billion a year to trickle through and serve the needs of ordinary Iraqis. That is probably enough to buy the grudging loyalty of most Shia Arabs to the Iraqi state. The Kurds are a different case, but the hostility of all their neighbours to full Kurdish independence will probably persuade them to maintain their current semi-detached relationship with Baghdad. And the Sunni Arab minority can be either bought off or repressed. In the old days, there might have been a popular revolution to sweep away the emigre elite that came back from the US, Europe and Iran to feed off the long-suffering Iraqi people, but those days are gone. After Abdulkarim Qasim, the Baathists, Saddam Hussein, and the Americans – fifty years of disappointment – the Iraqis don’t believe in saviours any more. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” could be the national anthem. All the Iraqis can reasonably hope for, in the aftermath of the US occupation, is corrupt governments riven by sectarian and ethnic divisions, but that is probably a stable
outcome provided there is enough money. And to be fair to the Americans, no other post-Saddam, post-occupation outcome was ever likely. So what happens in the next few months? The union last month between outgoing prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s secular but overwhelmingly Shia State of Law Party and the two religious Shia parties in the Iraqi National Alliance creates a bloc that is within striking distance of a parliamentary majority. Recreate the alliance with the Kurds that Maliki had in the last coalition, and the deal is done. That coalition has not yet happened because Maliki would almost certainly not be the prime minister in it: one of the Shia religious parties, led by Moqtada al-Sadr, hates him too much. The coalition talks may continue at a stately pace down to September as Maliki seeks to stay in power, but he will probably fail. His only hope is to make a deal instead with Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiyya party, which got most Sunni Arabs’ votes across the west and north of the country, but also significant support from secular Shias in and around Baghdad. But the Kurds would probably not join such a coalition, because Iraqiyyah ran on an anti-Kurdish platform across northern Iraq – and besides, Allawi and Maliki cannot stand each other. Some sort of deal will be done in the end, because the spoils of power are just too tempting – and meanwhile, the Americans are leaving as quietly as possible. As quietly, that is, as you can move 1,900 heavy tanks and fighting vehicles, 43,000 trucks, 600 helicopters, and 34,000 tonnes of ammunition. Some of this stuff will go straight back to the United States, but quite a lot of it will be repaired in Kuwait and then sent on to Afghanistan. The “dumb war,” as President Obama called it, is over. The almost-as-dumb war continues.
Protecting the planet is a sacred and scientific duty If we were to judge our priorities by the amount of space devoted to stories in the news, we’d have to figure that the World Cup, controversy at a hot-dogeating contest, and the shenanigans of Paris and Lindsay were the most important issues. Meanwhile, news about vanishing species, climate change, and loss of topsoil appears briefly, often buried in the David B section of the newspaper, before vanishing. It’s been this way for a while. Back in 1992, some of the world’s most prominent scientists issued an urgent warning about imminent ecological collapse. The World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, signed by 1,700 top scientists from 71 countries, including 104 Nobel laureates, began with the statement: “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course.” Major television networks and newspapers ignored the warning. Yet the same news media continue to play up the pronouncements of economic pundits who weren’t even able to anticipate the 2008 economic meltdown. I have long maintained that what distinguishes us from other animals is our ability to use our accumulated knowledge, experience, and insight to look ahead, to see where the dangers and opportunities lie, and to choose a path that allows us to avoid the hazards and exploit the opportunities. Foresight has been the key to our enormous success as a species. Yet today, we are turning our backs on this great survival attribute as we ignore the perilous warnings of scientists while focusing on the latest shift in the Dow Jones average, the value of the Canadian dollar (to four decimal points), and the activities of Donald Trump, Jim Balsillie, and Steve Jobs. Two years before the World Scientists’ Warning, astronomer Carl Sagan presented a remarkable appeal from scientists to religious leaders at the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human
Survival in Moscow. It was signed by 32 Nobel Prize– winning and other scientists and is well worth quoting at length: “The Earth is the birthplace of our species and, as far as we know, our only home. When our numbers were small and our technology feeble, we were powerless to influence the environment of our world. But today, suddenly…our Suzuki numbers have become immense and our technology has achieved vast, even awesome, powers. Intentionally or inadvertently, we are now able to make devastating changes in the global environment, an environment to which we and all other beings with which we share the Earth are meticulously and exquisitely adapted.” The appeal listed numerous threats, including “depletion of the protective ozone layer; a global warming unprecedented in the last 150 millennia; the obliteration of an acre of forest every second; the rapidfire extinction of species; and the prospect of a global nuclear war which would put at risk most of the population of the Earth.” It also called on spiritual leaders to view the situation as a common cause: “Problems of such magnitude, and solutions demanding so broad a perspective, must be recognized from the outset as having a religious as well as a scientific dimension. Mindful of our common responsibility, we scientists, many of us long engaged in combating the environmental crisis, urgently appeal to the world religious community to commit, in word and deed, and as boldly as is required, to preserve the environment of the Earth.” This remarkable document ends with a moving statement about an underlying congruence of science and religion: “As scientists, many of us have had profound experiences of awe and reverence before the universe. We understand that what is regarded as sacred is more likely to be treated with care and respect. Our plan-
etary home should be so regarded. Efforts to safeguard and cherish the environment need to be infused with a vision of the sacred. At the same time, a much wider and deeper understanding of science and technology is needed. If we do not understand the problem, it is unlikely we will be able to fix it. Thus, there is a vital role for both religion and science.”
At the conference, 271 spiritual leaders from 83 countries – patriarchs, lamas, chief rabbis, cardinals, mullahs, archbishops, and professors of theology – added their names to the document. Now, 20 years later, we must regain our foresight and remember these powerful warnings from scientific and religious leaders. They’re even more relevant today.
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A8 Oliver Chronicle Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Funding for tree fruit industry announced Wendy Johnson Special to the Chronicle Fruit bowl half full or half empty…the answer to that question will probably take months if not years to determine. The debate stems from the recent announcement of a $5 million infusion of provincial and federal funds into the tree fruit industry and earmarked for innovative projects. What growers are getting though differs substantially from what they asked for—$10 million in direct assistance. “The main difference is that none of this funding will flow to growers directly; it was made very clear to us that it was to move the tree fruit industry forward strategically,” stated BCFGA president, Joe Sardinha, a few days later. “But all along we had made a case that growers were cashshort and that lack would probably be an issue for some of them with respect to the quality of fruit they are going to produce this year, especially if they don’t have the financial resources to put on adequate sprays or commit the dollars needed to do a very good thinning job.” Those expenditures are hampered by both nature and regulations. Last fall orchardists suffered heavy losses due to the deep unseasonable cold that bullied its way through the area in October. Growers had asked for help from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriRecovery program, which allows federal and provincial governments
to jointly respond to natural disasters such as disease and weather; officials denied the request saying that particular incident belongs under production insurance and AgriRecovery doesn’t deal with issues already covered by other programs. A moot point, countered Sardinha, because most growers would not have qualified for production assistance anyway, given the percentages of crop left on their trees. Nevertheless, successful association presidents come with a healthy degree of pragmatism in their veins and Sardinha is no exception when it comes to discussing this stimulus funding that will be delivered jointly on a 60-40 basis, with Ottawa contributing $3 million and BC chipping in the rest. “Let’s not kid ourselves; it is still $5 million the industry is going to have access to that we didn’t have before. We’ve all heard about the fiscal challenges both provincially and federally and we’ve seen where cuts in spending are affecting other areas of the economy, such as education. “So from that point of view we have to consider ourselves fortunate. But the main challenge is going to be finding out exactly what projects will qualify and how we are going to be able to spend that money in the most effective manner possible.” Some ideas under discussion are innovations on the packinghouse side such as new cold storage and packing line technologies, but the BCFGA is also hoping issues like domestic marketing will be addressed too. Up to now that idea has gained short shrift with governments more interested in programs geared towards developing international markets, but Sardinha said the times call for more flexible thinking in this regard.
Already, current thinking outside the proverbial fruit box has the potential to yield financial dividends eventually for growers, especially with respect to the Sterile Insect Release program. “We’ve recently submitted an application to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the establishment of an Area of Low Pest Prevalence (ALPP), based on the areawide codling moth management of the SIR program. ALPP would be a unique designation to Canada; it has never been tried before in any other production region in the country and we would be the first.” A “branding” like this would build a differentiation point for products coming out of the Okanagan, he noted, and once you have the backing and endorsement from the CFIA, it becomes an international designation and the CFIA becomes the verification point for countries in terms of developing trade relationships with BC. But all that is in the future and growers still have to get through today and a slew of tomorrows. And pragmatism aside, Sardinha is aware the cost of food production continues to outdistance harvest returns, Washington state is an ever-present threat on the horizon and now the “loonie” has turned from friend to foe as it nears parity. “If there is another huge apple crop south of the border we could be in for a bit of a fight marketwise. And the Canadian dollar is going in the wrong direction for us too, which has a big impact on our bottom line. To date, no timeline has been determined for the funding’s arrival. However, Oliver grower, Swaran Chahal voiced the sentiments held by other Okanagan orchardists, regarding the news. “I think this money should have gone to the growers.”
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Reading rocks! Will Stroet performs at the Oliver Library to promote the fun of reading. In fact, the Summer Reading Club has begun.
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The Oliver Library is always full of surprises, such as this “Check Out Five” contest won by Kiyomi and Miko Ogi, who went home with a gift basket. They put their name in for a draw after checking out five books and came up winners.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Oliver Chronicle A9
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Can you see it? Russell Work recently created a unique project as part of his interpretation of Lawren Harrisâ€™s painting of Mount Lefroy. The digital photographer created a washboard effect of Mount Lefroy, so you had to look at it from a certain angle to see the real image. What a great way to enjoy art at Quailâ€™s Nest Art Centre in Oliver.
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Ray Marcy from Southern Okanagan Secondary School has won a FortisBC scholarship for his high academic achievements. Marcy is one of five youth in the South Okanagan chosen for the scholarship program. FortisBC provides scholarships to students who plan to pursue a post-secondary education related to careers in the electrical industry. Each recipient receives $500 to support the costs of tuition and students fees. Marcy participated in the Secondary School Apprenticeship program and works as a welder with Interior Stainless. Jordan Scott from Osoyoos Secondary School is the other recipient of the FortisBC scholarship.
Oliver Sunshine Festival heats up Lyonel Doherty Oliver Chronicle Donâ€™t miss the Oliver Sunshine Festival this Saturday, July 17. The parade along 97 Street begins at 11 a.m. Be sure to stock up on water guns and water balloons to take on the fire department on 93 Street just past the BC Ambulance Service building. All proceeds from afternoon activities at the community park will go towards the families impacted by the Testalinden mudslide. Free swimming at the pool, a barbecue and volleyball games begin at noon. From 12:30 to 2:30, a slip â€˜n slide will be set up on the hospital hill. Face painting and a bouncy house for kids will begin at 1 p.m. A beverage garden also opens at 1 p.m. Musical entertainment will begin at 1:30, with Mikie Spillett, Flashback, Toasted Blokes, Forever Young and Dale Seaman. The almighty tug-o-war begins at 2 p.m. This will feature teams of 10 people at a cost of $100 per team. Raffle ticket prizes include an electric bike, a Harrison Resort and Spa certificate, and a Watermark Beach Resort certificate. A loonie auction will feature many gift baskets representing various themes. For more information about these fundraisers, contact Dora Stelkia at 250-498-3961.
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