RCMP seeks input, offers assurances




About 200 people gathered at the Oliver Community Centre on Monday to be reassured that policing in their community is up to snuff and to politely vent about what they see as some shortcomings.

A panel of senior and street-level Mounties proffered some reassurance and, at the same time, reminded local residents that crime fighting needs to involve the citizenry as well as the cops.

Leading the discussion was RCMP Superintendant Kevin Hewco, the officer in charge of the Penticton detachment with responsibility for the smaller units as far south as Osoyoos and west to Princeton.

The spark that led to Monday’s meeting was a complaint to the town council late last year about the increase in crimes against businesses, particularly in the industrial park.

Hewco said Oliver wasn’t alone and that the whole province has seen a sharp increase in property crimes, but he offered some statistics on the spike in the Oliver area in between 2010 and 2015:

  • Breaking and entering of businesses up from nine to 53;
  • Vehicle thefts up from zero to 84;
  • Overall property crime up 61 per cent.

As for solutions, Hewco pointed to the RCMP’s Prolific Offender Management (POM) program, which targets the most active criminals and concentrates resources against them. “We designate targets and we work them hard,” he said.

He read out a press release about a three-person gang of criminals who had been working between the Okanagan and west-central Alberta. They were on the POM list and were busted last week in Edson, AB with a large quantity of illegal drugs and stolen property.

But police work alone isn’t enough, he said. Solving property crimes depends on intelligence and information from the public and witnesses who are willing to go to court when charges are brought.

Hewco told the crowd that, faced with the opening of the provincial jail just north of town later this year, he has made a “business case” to have two more officers assigned to the Oliver detachment. They would supplement the current nine unformed officers and two detectives.police five22

Cindy Stewart was first to the microphone in the question period, seeking help regarding a “well-known crack head” who has “terrorized” her home and even duped her father, who suffers from dementia, into letting her into the house.

Oliver officer-in-charge Blaine Gervais said the woman is well known to police and that if a member of the public comes forward with evidence of a criminal act, they will pursue charges.

Mayor Ron Hovanes, who hosted the evening, said the by-law enforcement officers have an “active file” on the woman, who lives in a trailer that isn’t suitable for occupancy.

Allan Patton, of rural Oliver, told the panel that a gasoline tank on his property was broken into “five or six times last year. He said he provided videotape of one of the thefts along with the licence number to the RCMP.

“I didn’t get the feeling that much was done about it,” he said.

Gervais acknowledged that the detachment should have been more aggressive in pursuing the case. “I fully apologize,” he said.

Norm Beaumont, a retired Mountie who recently moved to Vaseux Lake, described the local property crime stats as at a crisis level, said there needs to be better communication inside the local detachment.

On the crime prevention side, Ron Johnson of the Oliver Citizens On Patrol group told the audience the group does good work “two old farts driving around at midnight.”

But, he said, the 22 members need reinforcements and pleaded for volunteers. “We don’t get out of the car. We don’t carry guns. We’re not vigilantes.”
police six22

Champs on ice – locals heading to Smithers


The South Okanagan Minor Hockey Association Bantam Rep team has had a very successful year. They finished at the top of their league, winning the OMHA League banner, and then went on to win the playoff banner.

This has secured their spot to play in the BC Minor Hockey Provincials March 13-18th in Smithers.

The team will be travelling a great distance to attend the Provincials and needs support to help cover travel, hotel and coach costs. Our town businesses, community members and groups have always shown tremendous generosity. We are asking for your continued support. If you are able to make a donation in the form of a retail or promotional item, a gift certificate, or cash donation it would be greatly appreciated to help the team participate in the Provincial Competition.

See listing in FREE events for a place to show your support.

Good sized crowd listens to police presentation

Hot off the press – pictures from a forum put on by the Town of Oliver and the RCMP.

Keynote speaker – Superintendent Kevin Hewco – regional commander. Hosted by Mayor Ron Hovanes.

A visual and audio presentation of police crime stats for the Oliver area in last five years and a recent spike in thefts and break-ins by prolific offenders.

A number of questions from the audience following the presentation dealt with specific cases where the public felt let down by a lack of communication or quick action.

police three22police one22police four22

Affordable housing – a proposed project

forbes one22

Open House – Oliver Legion – small crowd of interested people with a visit from local MP Dick Cannings and several members of the local Town Council.

Canadian Wetlands – ecosystem management wants to buy and develop the Forbes property next to the river at the foot of Co-op Avenue. The plan for a mixed development of single family and multi-family homes.

David Perehudoff – senior project manager of Osoyoos is the local contact. (david@canadianwetlands.ca)

The company with offices in Calgary and Vancouver have done a number of projects – this one touted as prestigious properties – riverfront living close to stores and shopping. Designed for seniors and the young active lifestyle with parks and pathways nearby.

forbes two22

Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit to support farmers and charities

OLIVER – Local residents who use food banks and school lunch programs will now have greater access to healthy, local food that has been donated by their neighbours, thanks to the new Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit, Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson said today.

 “The hard-working people who grow food in Boundary-Similkameen give back to our communities in so many ways,” Larson said. “This program will put even more of our region’s world-class agricultural products on more tables.”

 The tax credit, worth 25 per cent of the fair market value, is available to individuals and corporations that carry on the business of a farming and donate a qualifying agricultural product to a registered charity.

 The agricultural product may include meat products, eggs or dairy products, fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, herbs, honey, maple syrup, mushrooms, nuts or other produce that has been grown, raised or harvested on a farm in B.C.

 The tax credit was introduced with Budget 2016, the B.C. government’s fourth-consecutive balanced budget. The credit is available for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 tax years, after which the credit will be reviewed.

Providing services to their community

group22Hello Oliver! We would like to introduce you to the Road Hunters. We are a group of like-minded individuals with a simple goal of giving back to people in local communities and neighborhoods, by providing assistance and support to those in need. In 2015, we were able to provide Christmas dinner to 13 different local families as well as collecting and donating clothing, shoes and personal amenties to the South Okanagan Women in Need Society. In addition to supplying winter gear for the RCMP to disperse at their discretion on an ongoing basis, we are supplying healthy lunches for students in need at Oliver Elementary School.

We will be doing a variety of fundraising events to enable us to continue providing these services for the community.

For our first event this year, on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 starting at 10 am, we will be doing a bottle drive door to door. We would appreciate any donations that you may have. Empties can also be dropped off to our members at T-2 Market Bottle Depot located at 5980 Sawmill Road in Oliver between 10 am – 3 pm.

We would also like to ask for any non-perishable food items for the Food Bank that you would like to donate.

We appreciate your support in helping us help our community !

Want to help: Mike Kriesel (250) 485-8432

In transition

Almost there!

Three sites !!!




Working together to bring current and relevant news. A place to advertise, chat, insert free classifieds, and free events.

Contact info: okanagandailynews@gmail.com



Thanks to Laurena of Write This Down for the technical work of making this possible.

Derrick Robson will be working the streets in Penticton and Ok Falls and could be calling on you.

Rural report with Laird Smith

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about volunteering and how important it is to the success of any organization. Non profit groups need volunteers and profitable businesses need their employees to be engaged in volunteering in the community.

Take Wally Smith, for example, he had memberships in the BC Fruit Growers Association and the United Church of Canada. In both organizations he was an active participant.

He also took an active role in reporting the agricultural concerns of the Okanagan Valley farming community, as many of you know from reading his weekly columns in your local newspaper.

CBC radio last week was talking about the failure of Canada’s newspapers. They had a guest who identified some issues. The guest said that the internet is playing a huge role in the decline of the newspaper, but there is also another major contributing factor.

That factor is community involvement. The Winnipeg Free Press ( WFP ), for example, is currently the most successful newspaper in Canada. The reason? The employees and management are invested in the community of Winnipeg. They volunteer on boards, societies, leagues, and actively participate in projects in the City.

That volunteering yields confidence and appreciation with the advertisers so they continue to buy space in the news paper. As long as the WFP continues to invest in the community, their success should continue.

On the other hand, companies such as Post Media who own 200 news papers Canada wide, stack their management with people who are not community minded, who haven’t taken the time to develop relationships within the city the news paper is serving. Until Post Media adopts a similar WFP model, the company’s news papers will experience declines.

Local folks actively participating in volunteering; that is what makes a business and a community vibrant and interesting to live in.

Where does that leave a new business moving into town? If the business follows the model that works, then all should be well, but if it ignores the model then problems will arise.

It makes sense to me.


Letter to the editor

New Legislation now allows licensing of off road vehicles. (ORV)

The RDOS trail system should have priority to spend money first on the area of public access to trails as a first priority to prevent future restrictions or closures.

ORV riders need access to booklets and courses as to riding, identifying flora and fauna and geological sites. It would be useful to review mechanical systems of the ATV and how to set up the front end to-in of the tires to prevent tearing up the landscape. The value of lower powered engines and use of a geared transmission instead of automatic. The importance of a front end non slip differential.
All should carry a folding saw to remove small brush or trees from the trail thus preventing going around and perhaps injuring themselves or the riders with you.

I have an objection of a concentrated use of the area between Shuttleworth Creek and Mclean Creek because it is a prime area for Bighorn Sheep known as the Thomas Herd. I am sure the SOSA will be in agreement with me.

A reminder that ATV are licensed and pedal bikes are not licensed and therefor do not contribute financially.

Below a list of blocked or restrict access in the area.

David G Evans

Kapoola Lake area. And area beyond. Restricted and gated.
Richter Lake, old access road. And from Richter Ranch to Richter Mountain and Kobo Mountain. No access.
Mica Creek no access
Testalinda Creek, no access
Tin Horn Creek restricted access
Read Creek to Tin Horn Creek, known as Golden Mile Trail. Fairview Cemetery, Old Sky Hill, cross over to North side of Reed Creek. Old road up to Piper’s, Old trail up to pipeline. All areas closed.
Old road from Fairview Mine to Reed Creek, restricted.
From Upper Suzie Mine to Madden Lake. Gated
From Suzie Mine to Victoria Creek, Gated.
Orofino Mine Site East side Gate locked, West side from Twin Lakes road de-activated.
Horn Lake west to highway, closed
McIntire Creek gated, from McIntire Creek to Shuttleworth Creek, gated. From McIntire Creek to Grouse Mountain, gated.
West Side of Vaseaux Lake, restricted or closed
Manual’s Canyon, closed. Best area for Reptiles.
McIntire Canyon, closed. One of our best geological sites.
Okanagan River Dykes. Not open to powered wheels
Rail Road – most areas closed.
Many Orchards & Vineyards are fenced with a deer fence as a requirement of Crop Insurance. Can be considered as restricted or closed asses to Crown Lands.
All lands belonging to Nature Trust. Restricted or closed

Letter to the editor

Do You Value Your Water?

Would you join me on March 22, “World Water Day” to turn off your taps for 4 to 6 hours when you are at home? You can prepare for this by filling containers, the bathtub and sinks, and then do not turn on a tap or push the flush handle. This will give you a sense of value for the convenience of your water taps, but not an absolute sense of being without water.

We do need to have an appreciation for both water quantity, and quality. Those who have their own wells or lake intakes have likely been without water at some time, a consequence that gives water appreciation.

Water quality became a big issue in the English River system north of Kenora, Ontario in the early 1960s when the river and fish had mercury poisoning from an upstream discharge of a paper mill chemical plant. Unfortunately, it took lasting neurological problems in the people at Grassy Narrows to bring an investigation and a close of the fishing and area drinking water use.

It would be interesting to know how many in the RDOS D1 area take up this challenge. Please respond on the Lower Nipit Improvement District face book site, if you were challenged on March 22. Nipit is the descriptive name for Lower Twin Lake.

Coral Brown of Twin Lakes

Feed the birds by Pat Whalley


Feed the birds, twopence a bag………that is one of the songs from the Mary Poppins film.  Obviously it was written many years ago as our bird seed costs us $20.00 a bag and they go through two bags a month.

We love watching our visiting birds and have a hanging feeder, outside the kitchen window, also a ground feeder out in the yard.  The ground area is good for the quail while the perching birds enjoy the hanging feeder.  Their antics while getting seeds is very amusing and many times we have nine or ten little birds balanced on the feeder.

I would appreciate it if they would not manage to poop on my windows, but intake is always followed by output, so it is to be expected.

One thing I have noticed is that while the birds will quarrel within their own groups, the different species to not seem to bother with one another and all eat together peacefully.  Maybe human beings could learn something from the birds!!!

Several years ago we were thrilled to have a pair of collared doves arrive, they are really beautiful and we were thrilled when they raised a chick, now we had three.  The following year they brought as couple of pals along, five doves, they were lovely.

Now, it is five years since the appearance of our first pair and we have a yard full of doves, at least twenty of them, hard to count as they keep moving about.  Dave’s exclamations have changed from “oh look at the beautiful pair of doves”, to “those damn pigeons are stealing all the seed”.

We still enjoy the doves but they leave nothing for the quail who visit us a couple of times each day.  The doves stay all day and if we refresh the seed for the quail, the doves pinch it before the quail arrive.  This leaves the quail scratching for seeds which have already gone.

The past few days the doves have discovered that we have food in the hanging feeder and we often have two of them balancing precariously on the edge of it.  The small birds try to get in there to eat, but the doves take up all the room.  There weight tips the feeder and most of the seeds fall to the floor, where they obligingly gobble it up.

Is there any kind way to get rid of an overpopulation of doves, so we can feed all species of birds.  We love to see the collared doves but they have taken over the back yard.

Where is Elmer Fudd when you need him!

$37,000 in bursaries to local students

Community Foundation offers more $$

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen will award $11,000 more in bursaries than the previous year to students throughout the RDOS. Two of the bursary funds will make awards to arts students, one bursary fund is for Aboriginal students and the largest bursary fund is open to any student for any area of study.

Applications are now being accepted for all four bursary funds with the application deadline being April 18th, 2016. “We’re really excited about the bursary program this year,” said Aaron McRann, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “With the amount of money we have available to students we are anticipating even more applications than in previous years,” added McRann.

Continue reading “$37,000 in bursaries to local students”

On the Sunnyside


A large evergreen tree stands not far from our home. We can watch the antics of birds on that tree from our kitchen window. Often several birds sit near the very tips of the tree to scout out the scenery or look for enemies. Sometimes there is a whole flock of birds in or on the tree having an exuberant choir practice. Sometimes I see a small bird in full flight dive into the depths of the tree. Why would the bird do that? Could it be simply overjoyed to come home? Could it be that a hawk is chasing it and it is frantic about finding a safe place?

We experience the same range of emotions in our life. Sometimes we wonder at the beauty around us, sometimes there is joyful celebration, sometimes overwhelming disappointment,  sometimes a dash for safety. At such times we can rely on the One who really cares about us. As the psalmist put it: “Trust in him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Ps.62:8

Keeping on the sunnyside,

henry-weibe4Henry Wiebe

Keep fit with Kandice Davidson

Six week walking plan:

Week 3:  Walking for a minimum of 15 minutes per day.

Week 2:  Walking for a minimum of 10 minutes per day.

Week 1:  Walking for a minimum of 5 minutes per day.

March in place, walk in the house or outside, ride a stationary bike or use treadmill, elliptical… whatever you have.

15 minutes every day of the week.  If you can do the whole 15 minutes in one block then that’s what you should do.  If 15 minutes seems to difficult then break it up into 5 minutes three times a day.

If you are unable to stand & walk or march, then march while sitting or do alternating toe taps.

Be careful if you’re walking around in your house.  Make sure any throw rugs & other hazards are removed or made safe.  Wear comfortable clothing & supportive shoes.  Your walking time does NOT include walking to the fridge or toilet :)  It has to be intentional/purposeful walking or other cardio equipment that you own but have not been using.

Keeping track of what you do each day may be helpful.  You can mark it down on the calendar.  You can use an app on your phone.  You can partner up with a friend & encourage each other.  You MUST be accountable!  You can comment below what you’ve done for the day or for the week.  Feel free to email me if that will help you be accountable.

There’s no excuses for this one.  What’s 15 minutes out of your day?  Consistency is key!

Please comment or contact me privately:


90-49 – runaway victory – Hornet rule

hornet one22
hornets eight22hornets five22

hornets six22

Tough final game between Kamloops (Sa-hali Secondary) and the SOSS Hornets Saturday in Oliver.
Valley Championship games Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Tonight’s game tight at the half with an even score of 39-39
Hornets urged on to become a bit more aggressive in the last half of the game.
SOSS had the size and height – Sa-Hali – small but fast with great shooters.

hornets seven22hornets ten22hornets nine22hornets two22

Seedy Sunday… in Oliver

seeds of diversity22

Oliver Seedy Sunday

Sunday February 28, 2016 10 to 2pm
Oliver Community Centre Main Hall
6359 Park Drive

Seeds, bedding plants, local produce, honey, nuts, and much more. Workshops tba

Contact: LAUREL BURNHAM at 250.492.7717 laburnham@shaw.ca


A new type of trade show is coming to town this Sunday. After many years of great success in Kelowna and Penticton, the Seedy Sunday show is coming to Oliver. Concentrating mainly of gardening and other all things natural, approximately 20 vendors will be showing their wares at Oliver’s Community Centre from 10.00am until 2.00pm on Sunday, 28th February. Organic cheeses and natural beauty products will also be on display.

POLL – to the right

BC government is planning to increase powers of authorities (RCMP) to remove residents from homes inside a fire zone. This is contentious to some.

Express your feelings in a POLL to the right. Many people have in the past stayed near their homes to save them or attempting to do so. The authorities in Emergency Measures Management want more power to ge people to a safe place away from a fire zone.

See story below

A man who saved his home from the Rock Creek wildfire last August is calling a proposed amendment that would allow police to arrest those not following evacuation orders “ludicrous,” “stupid” and “just wrong.”

A discussion paper recently released by the provincial government recommends following Manitoba’s lead, in giving police greater authority in times of emergency.

This would include providing police with the right of entry to a home, which under usual circumstances requires a warrant, the use of reasonable force to enforce an evacuation order, and the authority of the province to force the apprehended individual to pay for the costs incurred in the arrest.

This past August, as the Rock Creek wildfire came barrelling down on his home, Michael Fenwick-Wilson, along with his neighbours, defied an evacuation order and saved their homes.

“We saved all of our houses and a huge amount of area that would have definitely burned. There’s no doubt about it, we definitely would have lost it,” Fenwick-Wilson said. “The police were, in my situation, quite good. They just took our names, and asked if we had a plan if things went bad, and we did.”

Fenwick-Wilson said the proposed changes to B.C.’s Emergency Program Act don’t make sense in rural areas like Rock Creek.

“We’re not in the city here where you’ve got fire trucks that can come help you out,” he said.

The discussion paper notes that when a person decides to ignore an evacuation order, it “can have serious implications not only for themselves, but also other people in the affected area,” like emergency crews.

Source: Castanet