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Floaty engineers with rock crews assemble ” Inuksuk ” south of Rd 9 Bridge.

River is low and moving slow  – ideal conditions for a Sunday work project……

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Praemonitus, Praemunitus –

Political Nudge

Last week, I wrote about nudging. Party names and party mission statements are nudges.

I searched for the mission statements of each of eight Canadian national political parties. I was able to find a mission-like statement for each party – with two exceptions. I was unable to find a constitution for one of the parties and another party couldn’t summarize their vision in a single statement.

After finding them, I tried to determine which one resonated for me. You can too.

Below are eight statements from seven of the Canadian national political parties.

Choose the one mission-like statement that resonates for you.

Then go find out which party you have chosen. To be fair, choose before googling.


    1. We stand for a Canada that is strong, united, independent, and free.
    2. We hold high the banner of peace –  Canadian independence, democracy and socialism.
    3. The dignity of each individual person is the cardinal principle of democratic society and the primary purpose of all political organization and activity.
    4. To commit ourselves, and encourage everyone, to promote enhanced and socially engaged caring and compassionate values through research, dialogue, and example.
    5. We believe the purpose of civil government is to ensure freedom and justice for a nation’s citizens by upholding law and order in accordance with Biblical principles.
    6. Canada is a great country. We believe we can be a better one.
    7. We acknowledge the wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the world.
    8. Our vision is for a freer and more prosperous Canada by getting government out of the way.

Surprised? I was surprised.

Three of the statements were enough to keep me from reading any more about them. The statement of one of the major parties came across as insipid – I can’t find a better word though mawkish is close. Another statement caught my attention and I took a longer read on their website where I found their implementation strategy weak and doomed to failure. Another took me into a surprising party history of which I was not previously aware.

In any case, I continue to search for a candidate or a party for whom to vote and I’m glad I started early.

Stu Syme

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The Steele report

Happy Birthday Canada.  Tomorrow we celebrate one hundred fifty-two years of accomplishment and contradictions.  We will celebrate in towns and villages with the swearing in of any number of new Canadians.

 In our past and present we are surrounded by Canadian Inventions, we commonly use on a daily basis at least by most of us.  When you look at your watch be reminded Standard Time is a Canadian invention.  While in your vehicle the odometer is a Canadian idea.  Take the garbage out?  The garbage bag is Canadian.  So what else.

Insulin, peanut butter, the first wheelchair accessible vehicle, the first electric wheelchair, the walkie talkie, the snowplow, the snowmobile, the baggage tag for travel, and more.

In sports, lacrosse, basketball and hockey.  The instant replay. In entertainment the IMAX Movie experience, in science the Canadarm,  If you are into super hero’s even Superman has a Canadian connection.

The truth is Canadians have come up with hundreds of inventions from the zipper to czar cocktails, and things we don’t even know are Canadian ideas.

We are a nation who’s children came from everywhere and built a collective society with room for all.  Each group that has come here has contributed to the society we have.  We all have to work hard to live up to the standard to qualify to be called a Canadian.   This has been your history lesson, now go out and enjoy the Birthday celebration.

Happy Canada Day

Fred Steele

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Help fund the Cancer Car – have a lunch as well







MONDAY, 1ST JULY, 10.30am -2.00pm



Have you or your family ever needed a ride in the Cancer Car, If not, you are very lucky.  Rides in the car are only for those people suffering from cancer and need to make the daily trip to Kelowna for treatment.  Usually treatments run from 21 to 42 days.  The car is provided and maintained by the local Freemasons and is a free service to all who need the service.

The object is to relieve some of the worries and frustration of making the daily  round trip up the valley, usually 2 to 6 patients are transported per day.  All drivers are volunteers and do all they can to make your ride comfortable.

There is no charge for the rides but the Order of the Eastern Star put on a Barbeque each summer to raise funds to assist the project.

Anyone needing the service will be have their rides arranged on their initial visit to the Cancer Clinic.  It is a ride that none of us want to take but we can all help by buying lunch from the Eastern Star Members who will be smiling over the grill from 10.30 till 2.00pm on Canada Day.  Many thanks to Buy Low Foods who will providing the supplies for this event.

Cost is by donation.

submitted by Pat Whalley

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Pee Wee hockey 45 years ago – does this relate?

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1975/76 submitted by Lindsay Peterson

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by Jessica Murphy


In a box of old papers in a second-hand store I found a postcard.  No address, no date.  It was short but poignant.

It read:  “My Dearest Daddy  I am having a lovely time at Grandmas.  Gee but I wish you were with us and I miss you so.  To-day I helped grandma in her shop and sold such a lot of sweets.  To-day is mothers birthday so I bought a pretty compact for her.  Well good bye.  Emily.”

The postcard was a sepia city street scene, with ornate stone buildings, dated automobiles and buses, and a round-about centred by a raised concrete plinth complete with street lights and the de-rigour statues of recent British royalty.  In the margin the card was titled ‘Colmore Row, Birmingham’.

The writer was away from home and missing her father. She was visiting her grandmother but somehow the tone of the letter did not suggest a holiday.  The untold story of the card kept resonating in my head.  So I decided to ask my Uncle Fred about it.  Just on the off chance that he could throw any light on it, see things I had missed, know something about something…basically solve the mystery of Emily.

My uncle is a retired RCMP Inspector, but that does not nearly describe him.  For years now he has been consulting on seemingly impossible cases, a kind of Sherlock Holmesian specialist, working from the scantest of clues he nets amazing results.  Sometimes.  As he reminded me, when I asked him about the letter on the back of the photograph.

After a welcoming hug, Uncle Fred ushers me into his study.  A real study, with leather-covered furniture, warm amber lamps, and walls of books.  Glasses half way down his rather patrician nose, he studies the postcard, first the photo side, then the written note.

“The vehicles date the photo from the late 1920s to the mid 1930s,” I say, proud of my research.  “So is that when the letter was written?”

He looks at me, over his glasses.  “Probably not.”  Then he goes to a closed cupboard in the library shelves, opens it to reveal a fully stocked drinks cabinet, and asks “A bit of Scotch?  It always helps me think.”  I nod.  He pours.  “Anyway, it tastes good.  Maybe the bit about thinking is only an excuse.”

Whiskey glasses in hand, we settle in.

“This would have been a quasi-historical photo when the card was sent.  Just think about it.  No one sends a postcard of the current traffic conditions in a city.  No, you always pick an old scene, for its quaintness.”  He peers closely at the photo.  “And perhaps, sometimes, for its content.”

I nod my agreement.  “So, can you date it?”

“Reasonably closely.  But why the interest?” he asks, looking at me intently.

“Just something about the letter.  I want to know about the writer, and her dad.  I want to know the rest of the story.”  I grin and shake my head.  “Just plain nosiness, I guess.  But if I can I want to trace them, find out what happened.”

“Okay,” says my uncle.  “Here is what we have got.  Emily was about ten, perhaps eleven when she wrote this.  And until she went to ‘Grandma’s’, probably lived in British Columbia.”

Besides wanting to know about Emily, I also want to know how my uncle works.

“How do you know that?”

“The word ‘gee’.  Only a North American would ever use that word.  Her cursive forms are typical of the MacLean Method of Writing taught in every school in British Columbia from the 20’s to the early 70’s.  The big wide ‘a’s and the curlicues on the capital ‘G’s are giveaways.”

He looks at the writing again.  “But she was not a particularly talented calligrapher.  Her other capitals are cramped, the bottom flourishes not well formed.”  He pauses for a sip of Scotch.  “She didn’t read much, so writing this would have been a chore.  The two usually go together.”

“Now how…?”

“She didn’t place an apostrophe in ‘Grandmas’ or ‘mothers’ to indicate the possessive.  And she placed a hyphen in today.  Twice.  Not a reader.  But she was a loving child.  You can see she added the words ‘and I miss you so’ after she had finished the letter.  She crowded that in, because she very much wanted to say that.  When she wrote this she had been in England for some time.  She uses the word ‘sweets’ instead of candy.”

He pauses, and smiles at me.  “That was all factual.  Now, do you want the supposition?”

“Yes please.”

“Emily’s father was a Canadian soldier in World War II.  Her mother was a war bride, a British girl.  In the late 40’s they came to live in BC, and had Emily.  But the mother missed England, and when Emily was ten or so she took the child and returned to Birmingham, or a nearby village.  Emily wrote the letter on her mother’s birthday.  She had probably dreamed, wished, prayed perhaps, that her father would magically appear that day.  When he didn’t she wrote the letter.  Emily was hoping her father would come to take them home, but by then her mother was looking for a new man.”

I look skeptical.  Uncle Fred shrugs.  “The reference to a pretty compact.”

I knock back my Scotch.  “Anything else?”

“Sure.  ‘Daddy’ worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway.”

“How could you possibly know he worked for the CPR?  What have I missed?”

“The photo is kind of ugly.  Right?  Most little girls would pick postcards of birds or flowers.  This card, a street scene, from the past, is…well, weird.  But in the background, on the first floor of the large commercial building, you can just make out the names of the businesses.  On the storefront next to the ‘Blue Star Line’, clear as a bell is ‘Canadian Pacific’.  No, her Daddy worked for Canadian Pacific.  And, in this small way she was letting him know how important he was to her, how she loved him, everything about him.”

I am stunned by what my uncle has seen, and what I have missed.

He goes on.  “But now you can trace Emily.  The CPR kept records of their employees, their spouses and their children’s birthdays, always sent cards.  Kind of a feel good thing that got dropped when patriarchy began to be frowned on and unions took its place.  Emily was born between 1948 and say…1955.  Shouldn’t be too many Emilys in that time frame.”

Then Uncle Fred says sadly.  “She really missed him.  God only knows how long it took her to find this particular post card.”

Please note Jessica is a Fiction writer

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by Pat Whalley

THOSE LAZY, HAZY, CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER                        

We are slowly getting into summer, a few hiccups but the weather is mainly hot and sunny,  time to climb out of bed early to start my day while it is cool.  Linger under the sheet too long and the day is getting warm and soon it is too hot to do outdoor work.

Even though this time of year makes us want to move more slowly to avoid working up a sweat, the garden still seems eager to produce all sorts of greenery, including weeds.  The border round my patio decided to go on a growing frenzy which resulted in roses sprouting three feet of thorny branches and grasses growing a minimum of eighteen inches in about ten days.  What is with the stuff?  I didn’t put any miracle hormones on them they just went crazy with out any help.

Three weeks ago I had a huge bank of snow white blossom that hung over my patio wall and inspired Dave to take photographs, the same plant is now just a huge cloud of dead heads that look untidy.  The result of this meant two long bouts of pulling grass and dead heads, also some selective pruning of the stray rose branches.  Two separate three hour sessions saw the border looking really neat and tidy again, with all my summer flowers able to be seen, however each of the sessions turned me into a sweaty, exhausted mess.  I know that ladies are supposed to “glow”, not sweat, but I was glowing so much that it was running down my legs and puddling in my shoes.  It was all I could do to drag myself into the shower.

Afterwards I rested in my recliner and dreamed about summers of the past.  Remember the days when kids would go out after breakfast, take a bottle of water and some jam sandwiches in a bag and disappear until dinner time?  One of us would gather up all the neighbourhood kids and we would disappear into the countryside, which was only a short walk from our homes.  My grandma lived on the edge of the village so it was only minutes until we were in open fields where there were streams, wild flowers and all sorts of adventures.

Mornings were spent in fields of hay, cut and left to dry, what a great game we had of burying ourselves in huge mounds of the sweet smelling stuff.  Once the hay had been gathered in we would go into the hay barns and spend an hilarious couple of hours jumping from high ledges into the soft hay.  When we tired of that we would head across the field to the stream which ran into a waterfall.  This was quite small but still a big adventure for us to wade in the deep water that accumulated before it dropped over the edge, into the cascade of white water.  It was only about four foot deep above the falls but great for rafting and paddling about.  We girls used to stuff our dresses into our underwear but still get soaked.  Nobody had shorts in those days and young boys wore short pants, made of the same suiting material as long trousers, so I’m sure that a day of getting soaked did nothing for the fabric.

Later on we would go to the grotto at the bottom of the falls and enjoy our lunch on the grassy bank of the stream.  It was always interesting to see what other kids had brought for lunch.  It was always sandwiches but what a variety.  I always had home made jam but one of the boys loved malt vinegar soaked onto his bread.  It would make your mouth pucker to eat it but it tasted delicious when you were hungry.  One girl brought sugar sprinkled on her bread and butter and others had bacon fat.  No peanut butter in England at that time, well certainly not in our area, but it was great to share the bounty that our joint picnic brought.   England was still experiencing food rationing until 1952 so none of us expected anything more exotic than our humble fare.   Afternoons would be spent making daisy chains to adorn our heads and necks while the boys would find sticks and race them in the shallow water.

Such innocent sun filled days of unsupervised fun.  Nobody drowned, nobody caused any problems and the most mischief we got into was chasing the cows in the nearby field, I think the eldest of us was only about nine years old but none of the parents seemed to worry about harm coming to us.  Indeed a much simpler time.

As the sun started to head west, we would all amble home together, nobody wanting to go in their homes yet but we knew we had to be within earshot for when the dinner call came out of each kitchen door.   After dinner, it was time for dishes, no point arguing about that, and then it was time to get washed and undressed.  Quite often there would be a radio show on that grandma and I sat and listened to, Dan Dare or Journey into Space, or a comedy show.

No tv in those days and certainly no electronic games.  Most families owned a Ludo game, and some dominoes or a pack of cards, but these were family games usually kept for Sundays when playing outdoors, at least in our home, was forbidden.  I was usually allowed a half hour to read in bed before lights out, by which time I was ready to sleep anyway.  I wonder what kids today would think of our “poor childhood”, they would probably be horrified at how impoverished we were, we didn’t even have a telephone to talk to our friends.  There were no such things as sleep overs and usually bed time was strictly observed, even in summer.

Looking back it sounds like we were hard done to, by today’s standards, but how many of your grandchildren know the joy of hiding in piles of sweet hay, paddling without supervision and enjoying grubby sandwiches and tepid water that five or six of us shared from the same bottle.  What were we really missing?  I think very little!

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Think about it with Joseph Seiler


Seriously? That is to question the validity, solemnity, gravitas, genuineness, believability and severity of something. Is this seriously true? Do you seriously mean that you want me to do what you just asked of me? Serious is not just kidding, nothing comic about it, true and not to be made little of. Serious matters deserve my complete attention, now. Serious is life or death. Serious is unavoidable with dire consequences. Yikes!

A person can be serious about some activity, say, playing bridge. A serious bridge player does not, for instance, chatter away while the group is playing. Serious bridge is pretty quiet. Except when it comes to the post mortem of a hand. Every detail of play and strategy and what might have been is discussed, because a serious bridge player wants to improve their play, maybe even earn Masters points from the ACBL

Did you ever meet someone having an attack of seriousness? You know, high drama, the world is definitely ending, sky falling, ahhhhhh! These attacks are almost always self imposed. A person decides that something that is normal or at least close to normal, for others, is just too too much for them. We are not talking about real danger here. It is made up and boys oh boys everyone is going to hear of it

To be serious is to apply full attention. I would be very serious if I were defusing a bomb. Decisions can be serious. The decision to have a baby is, I think, serious stuff. In this case the level of responsibility is serious because the responsibility that comes with that decision affects many people, and for decades btw.  Serious things are surrounded by serious ramifications if not given serious attention

No there is no such thing as a serious cloud. Get serious. We need to go back to the top of the article. Serious has gravitas. Serious has consequences. Serious demands attention, focus, thought, care and shepherding. We don’t have serious for a second or two, not if it is truly serious. So, I need to pay attention to what is truly serious. A lot of news these days that asks, ‘are you really serious?’

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by Gail Prior


He wasn’t begging, that much she had observed, after seeing him several times in various locations around town. He was using a dirty piece of green rag to pull an old metal grocery cart. The cart was loaded down with what appeared to be his earthly possessions. A deflated balloon hung forlornly from a corner.  Various lengths of wood pieces were crisscrossed in the cart with pieces of cloth.  A dirty blanket, plastic containers and an old bible rode on top, the cover indicating it had seen a lot of water damage. The outstanding difference about him, compared to the other homeless people pushing their carts, were the flowers. She had noticed this immediately, as they were so incongruous standing in a jar, which was kept in the cup holder of the cart. Today it was purple irises and a small, pink rose.

She had returned to the town on a whim, just a look around, she told herself. Would anything seem familiar? She had been a young child when her mother moved the two of them to a large city. She said they would be better off on their own. That was thirty years ago and neither had returned until now. It was still a modest and friendly small town. She could walk around it with ease, and was enjoying the pleasant weather and the freedom from city traffic and sirens.

He had stopped his cart just ahead of her. There was a short stone wall on which he sat, enjoying some respite from his cart pulling efforts. She was curious about the flowers and decided to speak to him. He seemed okay and did not appear drunk or crazy. His hair and long beard were grey. He was clean and she guessed his age as fifty plus.

Approaching him with some caution, she said, “Hello, isn’t this a lovely day?”

Nodding in agreement, he told her that he had come to town to see a doctor, and had gone to the

free walk-in clinic. He was staying a week pending some test results.

“Nothing to worry about,” he said, adding that it was easy to camp out in such nice weather.

Camping? Was that what the dirty blanket was for?

He was very talkative, and told her he had friends with a truck, who would be driving him home.

“Where is that?” she asked.

He told her that he had a small trailer in the hills outside of town. It was on Native land but they didn’t bother him.

She admired the flowers. Their colourful beauty stood in such contrast to his shabby goods. It was a homeless person’s cart of trash! Yet she believed he did have a trailer on the reserve land, as primitive as it likely was. There was something about him that was drawing her to exchange more dialogue.

She said, “I’m going on a trip in a few days.”

“Oh, I bet a nice lady like you is going to Hawaii?” he questioned.

“No, I’m going back to my home. It’s in another province, but I used to live here.”

“I’d like you to have one of my flowers. The iris may be too big, but here’s a nice little rose,” he said.

He pulled it out of the waterless jar. It was faded and long past its prime, with a very short stem. She did not want it, but accepted it graciously. She felt overwhelmed by this gesture. Was she going to tear up? He obviously had no material goods of value. The only beauty on his cart were the flowers and yet he was willing to share them, all because a stranger stopped to speak kindly with him and showed some personal interest. Meeting his direct gaze, she suddenly remembered reading somewhere that love, no matter where you find it, is like a flower.

Continuing on her way, she suddenly thought that she should have given him a few dollars, or enough, at least, for a cup of coffee. She had plenty of cash with her, and the hotel and flight were paid.

Would he have found it offensive? Insulting? Walking back to the hotel she decided that if she sighted him again she would offer a five dollar bill. Chiding herself, she wondered if one could even go to Timmy’s for that?  Stopping in a mini park rest area she withdrew ten dollars from her wallet and sat down on one of the park benches to wait.

There he was just across the street, pulling his cart uphill going somewhere. Nowhere? Nearly sprinting across the intersection, she met him on the sidewalk.

“Hello, again,” she said. Then immediately she blurted out, “I hope you won’t take offence but I would like to give you some cash. Maybe get something for yourself somewhere?”

“No offence,” he said, taking the proffered bill and adding a “God bless you.” He then turned and went the other way, back to the mall for a much needed sandwich.

His thoughts were a jumble. There was something oddly familiar about that young woman.

What was it? Her eyes so blue and such kindness shining through them. He started to vaguely recall another woman and a comfortable bed from long ago. Was it a dream? Had there been a girl? Where was the girl? Where was the woman? And what about Sandy? Where was he now? The two of them had traveled around together for a few years. One day a uniformed woman had accosted him on the street and persuaded him to release Sandy to her society’s care, saying it was best for the dog. He would have good food and water all the time and also a warm bed, in a nice new home. She had people waiting for his Sandy. He had loved that dog but relinquished him to a better life.

She watched him walk away, pulling the cart behind him. There was a feeling nagging her that she couldn’t shake. She wished she had given him twenty dollars, not a paltry ten dollar bill. Returning to the hotel, she phoned her mother and questioned her. How old would “he” be now? Were his eyes blue?

What else could her mother tell her about a man from the past?

The responses caused her to delay her trip. Next day, she again roamed the town but did not see him anywhere. She went to the walk-in clinic. Not there. The receptionist would not advise her if he was known to them, stating confidentiality. Blah.Blah.Blah. She rented a car and searched the highway leading away from town for many hours. Up and down, round and round. Finally in desperation, she drove onto the Reserve land and went to the Band office.

“Do you know of an older man living in a trailer nearby, or anywhere on your acres of land?” she asked. “It is important.”

The two women in the office were not helpful. They said squatters were not allowed on their land and they had never heard of him. Further, what was she doing on their land? Didn’t she read the no trespassing sign at the gate? She apologized and left reluctantly.

She returned the rental car at the airport.

Safely home, she unpacked her suitcase. Yes! There it was! She pressed the small, faded pink rose into her scrapbook of childhood memories.

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On the Sunnyside


Building or Wrecking?

I stood on the street of a busy town watching men tear a building down.

With a ‘ho, heave, ho’ and a lusty yell they swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman of the crew, “Are those men as skilled

as those you’d hire if you wanted to build?”

“Ah, no”, he said, “no indeed. Just common labor is all I need.

I can tear down as much in a day or two as would take skilled men a year to do.”

And then I thought, as I went on my way,

just which of those roles am I trying to play?

Have I walked life’s road with care, measuring each deed with rule and square?

Or am I one of those who roam the town, content with the labor of tearing down?

Author unknown,

Henry Wiebe

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FVT 4 or 4

Link to Tickets

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Saturday morning – three new stories – drop in

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High above ….

by Sandra Smith

Coming down the hill

Note to photographers – context – a picture of a cloud is one thing

A picture that is a painting and tells a story is another thing.

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Down the aisle

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Severe weather warning – ends late Friday

Environment Canada predicts a major storm by noon today


6:24 PM PDT Friday 28 June 2019
Severe thunderstorm watch ended for:
•Central Okanagan – including Kelowna
•North Okanagan – including Vernon
•South Okanagan – including Penticton

Publisher: Not aware of any Severe warning today and nothing materialized.
Some showers, bit of wind, a pole or two down, no thunder or lightning seen!!


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by Audrey MacNaughton

3 small swallows or an early version Moe, Curly and Larry

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by Huia Martin

When you see these flying low – you know

It is cherry season

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Quotes of the week

From Judge Gregory Koturbush,  Penticton provincial court


“Across the criminal justice spectrum, there is a clear and strong consensus that something has gone painfully awry and that we have lost our way,” said Koturbash.

“Canadian jails, and B.C. is no exception, have become mental health facilities — a role for which they are ill equipped,” Koturbash said, adding the mental health system is “stretched to its limits” with psychiatric beds a “precious commodity.”

The judge pointed to B.C.’s move of deinstitutionalization decades back, that saw psychiatric institutions like Riverview closed in favour of community-based supports. He said the mental health services that were supposed to be created in the wake of deinstitutionalization “never seemed to materialize to the extent that they should have.”

“Prisons were not designed to treat the mentally ill, this is what hospitals and psychiatric wards are for,” Koturbash said.

“With the closure of psychiatric hospitals and reduction of bed space for the mentally ill, the correctional system has become the institution of last resort.”


From Superintendent Ted De Jager RCMP

“”To go out, as a community, and say that we are going to target the people that have absolutely nothing left, nothing left to lose, is a pretty startling indictment against our beautiful city,” said De Jager.

“Vigilante comments toward the more vulnerable or street-entrenched population…I don’t know what more you can take away from people that have everything in their life taken away already.”


Both quotes from Castanet articles published Thursday

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MLA Column, July 2019


We have seen a lot in the media lately relating to the Climate Change targets for 2040 and the move to zero-emission vehicles. There are many “experts” that have been consulted about the realities of actually electrifying our transportation system in North America so I thought I would share one of those from the Manhattan Institute:

 “Scientists have yet to discover and entrepreneurs have yet to invent, anything as remarkable as hydrocarbons in terms of the combination of low-cost, high-energy density, stability, safety and portability.” In practical terms that means spending $1 million on utility-scale wind turbines, or solar panels, will each, over 30 years of operation produce about 50 million kilowatt hours. An equivalent $1 million spent on a shale rig produces enough natural gas over 30 years to generate over 300 million kilowatt hours. Solar technologies have improved greatly and will continue to become cheaper and more efficient. But the huge gains in this technology have already reached 26% of the possible 34% of conversion that is possible. Wind power technology has also improved greatly, but here too, the maximum gains have nearly been reached. The annual output of Tesla’s Giga Factory, the world’s largest battery factory, could store three minutes worth of the annual U.S. electricity demand. It would require 1000 years of production to make enough batteries for two days worth of U.S. power demand with our current technologies. And 50-100 pounds of materials are mined, moved, and processed for every pound of battery produced. “

While electrifying the entire Province seems totally impossible given the current technologies, I still believe, as individuals, we can make changes to lesson our carbon footprint even in small ways, and if enough people make small changes it really does make a difference. For those of us who live in rural BC, public transportation is not readily available and will most likely never be as it is impractical unless in higher density populations, but there are hybrid vehicles that will enable travelling longer distances while lessening fuel consumption, so perhaps the next time you change vehicles consider a hybrid. If you don’t travel more than just around your local community then an electric vehicle that you can plug in at night is a great option. And certainly there are more charging stations popping up around the country all the time. It is important for everyone to do what they can, when they can, to reduce our carbon footprint.

The NDP Government Bill that created the Community Benefits Agreements Legislation will continue to cause the costs of Public Projects to rise. BC Building Trades, that were on a select list of NDP supporters, have been awarded all Public Project contracts to supply workers. But, only 15 percent of BC’s 250,000 construction workers are affiliated with those selected traditional unions. The rest have moved onto more flexible models that give workers greater choice, career options and participation in profit sharing and bonus plans. To justify this act of favouritism the Government cited the desperate need for more apprenticeship programs and training and that only these favoured unions could fill that role. The facts tell a different story. The favoured unions only train 15% of the apprentices in BC. The other 85% are trained by employee associations, progressive unions or those who work for construction companies not affiliated with the favoured unions. The ITA (Industry Training Authority) stats show that 23,172 of BC’s 28,432 registered construction apprentices aren’t affiliated with a union. That is 81.5% of all construction apprentices are not sponsored by unions at all but are under the umbrella of Independent Contractors, Business Associations and open-shop companies-in other words – the free enterprise system.

And, some good news! Okanagan College in Penticton has been awarded a $1.75 million grant over the next five years from the Federal College- Community Innovation Fund. The grant will be used to establish and operate a technology access centre that is focused on BC wine, cider, craft beer, and spirits. The Centre (BCBTAC) will give medium and small businesses in these fields an opportunity to grow with the help of applied research and innovation through analytic and sensory services. Congratulations to Okanagan College and its many partners in the Industry who worked on this successful grant proposal.

It is summer holiday time for some, and unfortunately tragedy can strike anytime, anywhere. Our deepest sympathy to those affected by the boat accident on Osoyoos Lake. Please take extra care on our lakes and on the roads as the number of visitors increases dramatically over the summer in the beautiful Okanagan-Similkameen and Boundary country.

Finally, to report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1 800 663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone) as soon as possible.


Linda Larson, MLA


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by Abby Teigen

What if I told you that 30% of the graduates sitting on this stage today were not on the graduating list last week. Nothing like not seeing your name on a list to get your blood pumping, am I right?

This grad class has had its obstacles.

Our initial introduction to the school was after an abnormally long summer, and all that we had was a rushed introduction on who the teachers were and how to unlock our lockers. That first day of school was a time where we all felt the same thing, vulnerable. But as Dr. Brene Brown puts it, “vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.” Over the past 5 years I have been able to watch my friends and classmates live in their vulnerability and thrive. People have lived in their vulnerability by auditioning for musicals, by moving to a new school in grade 11 or 12, by singing in front of the school, by trying out and being on sports teams, by being a friend for those who needed it the most, by seeking help from adults when some of us didn’t know if we would ever make it to this point in our lives.

We are all vulnerable and without a strong foundation to build ourselves upon, we would not have been able to be successful in our learning and growth throughout our adolescence.

I would like to thank the community of support that has helped me and my classmates persevere through our time at school. I can say that every single graduate on this stage has had a mentor to guide them, whether it be a parent or guardian, a teacher, an EA, a coach, or a counsellor. You have made a significant impact on our lives, building on our foundations so that we may succeed, and we are extremely grateful.

There is a stigma around vulnerability, but the thing is, the word vulnerable can be used in a variety of different ways such as, “stepping out of your comfort zone, being outside of your element, or pushing your limits”.

These phrases are all saying the same thing: be vulnerable and seek discomfort. Nobody ever did anything important without stepping into discomfort. Average and normalcy are the result of living in your comfort zone. We have reached a pinnacle at this stage in our lives, and might I say this school feels a lot smaller and more like home now. It is quite the feat to have accomplished 13 years of education.

Now it is time to build a new path to continue forging on new accomplishments. As we head off to do different things next year, we are all leaving something that we have known for the majority of our lives, we are not going to be in the structured school system anymore with the people you have been going to school with since preschool. We are all going to be vulnerable. But whatever you do, do not be afraid of discomfort or failure as they will teach you more than any other lesson in school.

I ask every single one of you to use what you have learned over the past 13 years to create a change in this world, as everything we do will create an impact on the world and on those around us. Congratulations to the Southern Okanagan Secondary School graduates of 2019, we did it!

Valedictorian’s Address to Grads 2019 at SOSS

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splash 1 of 5

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The Steele report


Here I go, sticking my toe into painfully hot water again.  This time let’s look at the carbon tax issue.  For deniers yes the climate is changing.  Yes, man has caused the change at a more rapid rate.  And yes we have to do something constructive to mend our way before it is too late.

At present many regions of the world are reacting like spoiled children refusing to clean their room.  Others are pointing fingers and claiming their mess is bigger than our mess.  There are those who don’t see a mess and still others that don’t care as long as the make a profit.

The next level features a group that will pay extra to continue to make a mess.  Also known as cap and trade.  The final group is the committee, working on how we measure things and who gets what.   I want to inform you of a sad fact.  Do you know what a camel is?  A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

Governments and think tanks want to put the onus on you and I.  Punish us for using what they want to sell us.  Put a value on everything and charge for every bit of product.  When I started to drive gas was twenty-five cents a gallon.  Cigarettes were thirty-five cents per pack.  Soft drinks a dime with two cent deposit.   When they raised the gas price I didn’t board a transit bus, the reason I quit smoking twenty-three years ago had nothing to do with price, I realized the health risk.  Price is not the main factor in changing behavior.

Smoking became socially unacceptable through education and the same goes for drunk driving.  It had nothing to do with price.  It became socially unacceptable because we bought into the concept it was the right thing to do.  Opinions and social norms can be changed with the right message and a well thought out plan.

So what is the resistance to the climate change message?  To start with there is more than one message, some more dire than others.  People see through insincerity pretty fast.  Then there is the message the little guy is going to pay.  Combine that with the message we are all in this together.  The translation.  “We are all equal except that some are more equal than others”

Public perception is the carbon tax system is unfair, therefore there is no public buy in.  There are some remedies that could improve things and increase the perception of fairness.

First set international emission standards, for vehicles, and set a mandatory pollution reduction program.   Prosecute companies that violate the law with board of director prison sentences.  Impossible?  No. Iceland set the bar when they imprisoned crooked bankers in that country in the economic collapse in 2008.

One of the worst offenders is the manufacturing sector.  They put small amounts of product in oversized packaging and in many cases they use environmentally unfriendly packaging.

Instead of saying consumers should pay for the mess, make the manufacturer responsible for their product and packaging.

Real change would match the jolt to their bottom line.  In addition those who pollute should pay in relation to the damage they have done.  For serious and repeat offenders revoke their permits and licenses to operate.

With a shared responsibility the success rate of community or social buy in would increase.   So at the consumer level we have the argument plastic vs paper for example.  The answer is neither you bring your own cloth bags and we keep garbage out of the landfill.

There are any number of solutions before we engage in consumer carbon taxes.  To be open minded if things don’t change a carbon tax may be part of the future as a consequence of bad behavior.

The issue is not carbon tax, vs cap and trade,   It is about changing the mindset to recognize we have a shared responsibility to ourselves and each other.  This should be the work of our nations leaders on a world scale.  Instead what is happening is governments collectively are protecting the most serious offenders at the expense of consumers.  It is punishing us for buying their products.  But at the same time lets face it folks as complacent as we are it’s time to clean up our room,

Fred Steele

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rip off 2019 3 of 4

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Rick Rock on stage Saturday

Sonic Flower Entertainment & Oliver Music and Entertainment present
Saturday June 29
7:30 p.m.
Venables Theatre

Simply Queen is Canada’s premier Queen tribute. They have headlined theatre and outdoor festival shows to thousands all over Canada and the United States.

Simply Queen is fronted by Freddie Mercury impersonator Rick Rock. Guitarist Bob Wegner (hand-picked by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor to play guitar in the award-winning “We Will Rock You” musical), Drummer Phil Charrette and bassist Mitch Taylor.

The band performs all the iconic songs that made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, and faithfully recreates the grand scope of Queen’s live shows, both musically and visually, with superb attention to detail. It’s all live, and “guaranteed to blow your mind!”

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A sign that says welcome

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A field in the meadows….

land clearing for development?

annual cleaning of weeds and trees?

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Test for weatherman

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Commencement – an evening to remember

Large format picture
Grad of 2019 SOSS

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