Halloween hits Osoyoos

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The Wicked Witch of the West hands out candy at the Johnston Meier office.

The sights of Osoyoos during Halloween day.

Trick or Treat Main Street, presented by Osoyoos Credit Union, took place for the third year today, with businesses opening their door to trick or treaters throughout the day.

The Sonora Centre is the place to be this evening. The Halloween Carnival is now underway.

-Dale Cory

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The scene inside Osoyoos Credit Union.

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SOMHA Peewee hockey team wins gold in Vernon

somha-peewee-hockey-teamCongratulations to a group of hard-working minor hockey players from the South Okanagan.

The South Okanagan Minor Hockey Association (SOMHA) Peewee Rep team brought home gold medals after competing in a tournament hosted by the Vernon Vipers this past weekend.

South Okanagan opened the tournament with an easy 14-0 victory over North Vancouver.

The local squad then fell 9-4 to North Okanagan, before rebounding to post a 16-1 win over Revelstoke.

That put South Okanagan into the championship game, in which the local squad exacted a bit of revenge on its North Okanagan opponent.

The SOMHA team played an excellent, hard-fought game and came through with a 3-2 win in the final.

Check out the team and its gold medals.

-Dale Cory


Going green at Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery

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The view from the top of the scissor lift showing the solar panels recently installed. Swiss Solar Tech utilizes bifacial solar technology. That means each one absorbs sunlight on both sides of the panel – as opposed to just one side – which can lead to about 25 per cent more power.

Given the unbelievable views of the Okanagan Valley, it was somewhat difficult to focus on the reason we were rising rapidly into the air.

We were getting closer to the sun, marginally, and that, essentially, is why we were there – to see how the sun’s energy can be harnessed and used to power buildings and equipment.

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery on Rd. 8 held an open house Saturday to provide details on a new venture which ownership believes can transform the way the wine industry operates.

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Gordon Gehringer, far left, and brother Walter discuss solar energy with a patron.

Swiss Solar Tech, the Summerland company which has helped Gehringer go solar, was on hand to provide details of its green initiatives. Of course, there was a wine tasting, and, the highlight, a lift carrying those with a mild sense of adventure up above the buildings and eye-level with the recently-installed solar system.

Gehringer has just installed a 50kW, grid tied solar PV system. It will be operational within a couple of weeks.

Saturday, those interested had the chance to find out more about Gehringer from brothers Walter and Gordon, and more about Swiss Solar Tech.

“We’re trying to create an awareness. This project that we’ve put together is one of the largest for the winery group, so we’re trying to showcase how an application of this size is put into place,” offered Walter Gehringer during a one-on-one interview. “That’s the idea of having the scissor lift, so you can go up and take a look at how it was physically put together – especially for those people who are on the fence and trying to make a decision. It is a green-sense of energy.”

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Gehringer’s jump into solar energy precipitated out of two things. The fires of 2015 got the brothers thinking much more about the fact the main building at the winery had a lot of cedar shakes on the roof – making it a fire hazard. They also took into account one of the roofs was timed to be re-done.

“So we thought, if we are going to re-roof, we might as well do the whole thing – although part of it wouldn’t have needed to be done if we put (solar) panels up. Then we had Roger Huber from Swiss Solar Tech up, and he said, You just want to do this? C’mon guys, jump in with two feet,” explained Walter, who has installed 144 solar panels to help power the winery. “We hummed and hawed, and finally, said “yes”. What really cinched it was the availability of blue panels.”

Walter is referring to panels which have bifacial solar technology. That means each one absorbs sunlight on both sides of the panel – as opposed to just one side – which can lead to about 25 per cent more power.

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“There is an investment, but you are generating power. Our return on investment is probably around 12 to 15 years. The project’s life expectancy is about 30 to 35 years,” added Walter. “That means we will have a 15-year energy-free period, which is full payback. Hydro rates aren’t going down – so the payback rate at that point will be substantial.”

Walter Gehringer stressed that the payback needs to be felt in general terms – province-wide.

“That is definitely part of the equation as well. We are somewhat complacent in this province, in the sense that all the power we do generate is green hydro, so everybody goes “We’re covered”.  But we have more and more people moving into this province, and our demand is constantly going up, “ said Walter. “Solar power is relatively benign.”

Burrowing Owl is also involved in solar power. Owner Jim Wyse has also been working with Swiss Solar Tech, and, according to Gehringer, Burrowing Owls’ warehouse in Oliver is powered by solar panels.

“Right now, we’re the largest winery to go solar,” said Walter proudly – and without a shred of bragging. “But once Burrowing Owl is done in a year from now, they’ll be larger than we are.”

For further information on this new form of solar energy to hit South Okanagan wineries, give Walter or Gordon a call at Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery. They would be glad to provide the details, and give you a first-hand look. You can check out: www.gehringerwines.ca.

You can also get in contact with Roger Huber by checking out: www.swisssolartech.com.

-Dale Cory

The view of the Okanagan Valley from the scissor lift..
The view of the Okanagan Valley from the scissor lift.

Making a pipe work for us


Foot of Veteran’s Way near Tourism Centre.

Town of Oliver says:

We are currently working on re-purposing a 14″ water mainline pipe that directly feeds to the reservoirs. This line was stagnant and not being used since we shut down our CPR and Lions Pump Houses because of higher uranium levels in the water.

Now we will have a 12″ mainline that comes from the Tuc-el-nuit area, intersecting with the reservoir mainline, giving us more flexibility of filling the reservoirs. It just makes our water system a little more versatile.

Shawn Goodsell | Director of Operations


Eastlink Curling Centre hosts Mixed Sixties Bonspiel

60s curling1Oliver Curling Club held a fun mixed bonspiel Saturday with a 60’s theme.

The overall winning team was a family affair – with John Surovy curling with his daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Al Pratt. They were joined by long-time friend Nicole Nemechuck.

John’s wife Sharon was the lucky winner of the 50/50 draw.

Other two-game winners included Cate and Luke Pierlet curling with Don and Polly McKay, Mike and Faye Kelly curling with Diane and Reg Cameron, and Leo Rivera, Donna Cooke, Al Cade and Susan Thompson.

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The John Surovy foursome

Prizes were also handed out to high one-game winners (not to be confused with the fact it was a “60’s” theme), the friendliest team, double take-out winners, a leads-only prize and a hog line prize. Any player who hogged a rock was required to wear a pig hat until the next rock was hogged. Many players ended up wearing the hat but the eventual winner was Randy Gushulak.

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This event, sponsored by East Link was an amazing success and lots of fun for the 56 curlers who took part. The costumes were amazing.



Rural report with Laird Smith

Halloween tonight
Halloween tonight

Happy Halloween from Laird

Last week I mentioned some of the difficulties that tree fruit farmers encountered while operating in the Okanagan Valley. In going through the Orchard Run columns written by Wally Smith, I came across one that illustrates the plight of the tree fruit farmer.

This column was written on September 30, 1971 and entitled, Short On Cannery Fruit.

One of the weaknesses in our fruit growing industry is estimating the crops weeks before harvest time. This was painfully evident in the report Bill Dell gave at the annual meeting of the Oliver-Osoyoos Co-operative Growers last Thursday in Osoyoos.

According to Mr. Dell’s figures the deliveries of Red Haven and Vee peaches were quite close to estimates, but when it came to Elbertas the actual pick was three times the estimated figure. Missing the target by such a wide margin can put marketing plans far out of kilter. Canners and wholesalers must know weeks ahead of time what amount of fruit to expect from the Okanagan. If our crop forecast is short of normal and it appears we cannot supply our customers with sufficient fruit, they will look elsewhere to make up the shortage.

That’s what happened in our canning industry this year. Our estimate was for a small crop of Elbertas, so the canners signed up for what tonnage we had and went to the United States for the rest of their requirements. But when we got into the harvest of Elbertas we found that there were 300 percent more than estimated. The sales agency pressed the canners to take more of our Elbertas, but the canners had already ordered supplies from the United States and these orders could not be cancelled. That left us with hundreds more Elberta packs than we expected. Hopefully we will find a market for them, but there would be no problem if Elberta growers had made a reasonably close estimate of the crop on their trees.

We also got into difficulties with prunes. Canneries use a lot of prunes and the big co-op was given a quota to fill. Mr Dell reported that this year the house fell far short of filling the cannery quota because the growers did not leave enough on the trees for cannery maturity. The canners, as they did for Elberta peaches, went elsewhere for supplies they could not get from us. This sort of thing does nothing to enhance good relations between canners and our fruit growing industry.

End of Wally’s column.

This was the state of the industry before it became fractured with some growers doing their own packing, storing, and marketing. I can’t imagine how the co-operative growers and the canneries handle the supplies now with the industry changing so radically.

I wonder if there is someone out there who would care to write about the current state of the co-operative packing houses and how they are doing? I would be interested in being informed and I’m sure there are many readers of this column who also would be interested in a report.


Runway light blocked by trees ?

Photographer not known
Stock photo

Penticton media outlets reporting:

A number of flights over the weekend  cancelled if they arrived or departed in the dark.

“Out of an abundance of caution, WestJet is currently not flying into Penticton at night because of a safety issue we are having with the runway lights being blocked by trees,” said Lauren Stewart, media spokesperson with WestJet, who added they cancelled Monday’s early morning flight as well.

Stewart apologized for the inconvenience and said WestJet is recommending daytime flights and they hope the situation will be resolved soon.

Message from the local RCMP

trick-oneOliver RCMP would like to invite kids to come by the Oliver Detachment on October 31st between 3:00 and 3:30 pm to show off their Halloween costumes to us! We will have goodies and fun grab bags for the kids.
Monsters, ghosts and goblins are welcome!
We would also like to remind families to be safe out there while Trick or Treating. Some tips to help with safety:
  • Try decorating costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen.
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals or crosswalks.
  • Try to always walk on sidewalks or paths.
Be safe and we hope you have a Spook-tacular Halloween!

Coyotes sweep Chiefs – move into first place

coyotes kelowna2A dominating opening period which saw the Coyotes out shoot visiting Kelowna 21-11 and outscore them 1-0, led to a weekend sweep of the Chiefs, and a first place tie in the Okanagan Division.

Osoyoos beat Kelowna 4-1 in Kootenay International Junior B Hockey League action Sunday at Sun Bowl Arena, with 350 fans in attendance, many dressed in Halloween costume.

The win moved the Coyotes to 11-3, good for 22 points, and a first-place tie with Summerland in the Okanagan Division.

Osoyoos has two games in hand on the Steam.

Osoyoos also recorded a weekend sweep of the Chiefs, now 9-5-1, and three points behind the Coyotes.

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Colin Bell scored a pair of goals, while Daniel Stone and Austin Cleaver added single markers. Bell added an assist for a three point night.

The Coyotes built up a 4-0 lead before Kelowna broke Adam Jones’ shutout bid with just 5:21 left in the third period.

Osoyoos outshot Kelowna 60-30 through the 60-minute hockey game.

The game sponsor was Buy Low Foods, and fans in attendance were given a bag filled with fresh fruit, water, and juice boxes.

The Coyotes entertain Summerland Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Sun Bowl Arena.

-Dale Cory

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A great way to end the season

Fairview1The sun was out, the temperature was in the mid-teens – it was a perfect day to hit the links. But today was a little different for Members.

At Fairview Mountain Golf Course, players had their final opportunity to play a round.

Yes, sadly, it’s the final day of the season.


Time to put the clubs away – unless you are travelling south for the winter.

The smiles on the faces of these golfers – quick to point out they were not in their normal golfing attire – showed just how much fun they had on their final day at the course.

Don’t worry guys, April will come soon enough!

-Dale Cory


Coyotes rally for win

coyotesTwo unanswered third period goals lifted the visiting Osoyoos Coyotes to a 7-5 victory over the Kelowna Chiefs in Kootenay International Junior B Hockey League action Saturday at Rutland Arena.

The Coyotes held a 4-1 lead at one point, but Kelowna battled back with three third-period goals during a 4:05 span to tie the game at five.

Jackson Glimpel’s even-strength goal with 10:38 to go regained the lead for the Coyotes, and Carter Robinson’s empty-netter sealed the deal.

Ryan Roseboom finished with two goals and an assist, while Carter had a two-goal game.

Daniel Stone had a goal and an assist, while Carter Shannon, Judd Repole, Colin Bell and Kyle Rosolowski all had a pair of helpers.

Osoyoos outshot Kelowna 53-40, with Adam Jones stopping 35 of 40 shots in the Osoyoos goal.

The win improved the Coyotes’ record to 10-3 on the season, good for 20 points and second place in the Okanagan Division, one point ahead of Kelowna with a game in hand, and two points behind Division-leading Summerland with three games in hand.

Osoyoos hosts Kelowna this evening at 7:30 p.m. at Sun Bowl Arena.

-Dale Cory

Are you concerned about the environment ?

The RDOS is pleased to be able to co-sponsor a series of workshops, partnering with the RBC Blue Water Project Grant Fund and the South Okanagan and Similkameen Conservation Program. These free workshops focus on properties on or adjacent to lakefront, wetland and creek sides. Waterside property owners are encouraged to attend.
By definition, riparian areas link water to land. They border streams, lakes, and wetlands. The blend of streambed, water, trees, shrubs and grasses in a riparian area provides fish habitat, and directly influences water quality. Unfortunately, upwards of 57% of the water’s edge along our main-stem lakes and creeks has been modified, damaged or affected by human habitation. The need to understand these natural buffers is of critical importance to all of us living or visiting the Okanagan – Similkameen.
Three experts have come together to discuss why we need to care about protecting our shoreline habitats. These introductory workshops will show you how to recognize and maintain healthy habitats along our shorelines and riparian areas.
Workshop participants will gain an understanding of:
• Function of riparian areas and how they contribute to ecosystem health and water quality
• Regulations of riparian areas for homeowners along waterways, shorelines and beach fronts, as they protect both the land value and biological value of waterfront properties. Regulations can differ depending on where you live, therefore the information will be specific to each location
• Landscaping with easy-care, hardy native plants, shrubs and trees suitable to plant along the shoreline to act as buffers and to protect banks from erosion
• Invasive species, aquatic/ terrestrial species information and control

The first introductory workshops in this series:
Nov 5, 2016 10 am – 12:30 pm at the RDOS Office 101 Martin St. Penticton
Nov 19, 2016 10 am – 12:30 pm in Room 1 at the Oliver Recreation Centre – 6359 Park Dr. Oliver
Watch for information on ‘Hands on’ neighbourhood field days that will follow these workshops beginning in the spring of 2017.

Day of the dead – event ends November 6th

turner-one1Here’s a sneak peek at the Ripoff Artists’ tribute to our artistic ancestor, Pablo Picasso.

We based our display on traditional requirements for Dia de Los Muertos altars, with added artistic flair of our own. We have photos of Pablo and his family, prints of some of his works, our own versions of his pieces, gifts to thank him for his inspiration, little tributes to some of his interests (check out the teeny tiny bullfighting section!), as well as traditional paper flowers, candles, fruit, beans, skulls, salt and bread.

The Day of the Dead is a celebration of our honoured dead, to thank them for what they’ve given us and to continue to include them in our own lives. Mexico’s version is the best known, but Christians all over the world will be visiting churchyards and holding services in the next few days for All Souls Day and All Saints Day, and many religions set up altars for their ancestors at this time of year. Hallowe’en, or All Hallows Eve, is traditionally just the start of what can be 3 or 4 days of honouring the dead, our ancestors and the continuity of life as the seasons turn from light into the darkness of winter.

There are 3 other altars by arts groups, including Oliver’s Sagebrushers, each honouring a different artist, in Room 108 at the Shatford Centre in Penticton, or in the first floor hallway. Come check them all out!

The altars will be there for viewing until November 6.

Submitted by JoAnn Turner

Senior’s Halloween Party

a-senior-122Winners for best costumes

At Oliver Senior Center

Most Original Costume…1st : John & Fern Gould from Oliver [first pic]

Funniest Costume…2nd : Georgena Forsythe from Oliver [2nd pic]

Best dressed couple..3rd :Don & Shirley Brady from Osoyoos [3rd pic]

There were 74 dancers for the Saturday morning dance.

Ice-cream and pie was served at breaktime…a free treat every Halloween !

submitted by Georgena Forsythe


Curling 60’s style

curling spiel1There were no straw brooms slapping back and forth across the ice surface, but there was plenty of long hair, bandanas and shades Saturday at Eastlink Curling Centre, site of a one-day bonspiel hosted by the Oliver Curling Club.

A total of 14 rinks participated in the event, with each foursome playing a pair of games, and enjoying supper after.

-Dale Corycurling spiel2

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A crafty day at Elks Hall

Elks craft fair1Oliver Royal Purple Lodge #63 held its 14th Annual Craft Sale Saturday afternoon at Oliver Elks Hall.

There were many knitted items, along with baked goods, cat beds, handmade soaps, and plenty more.

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The Royal Purple has another Craft Sale coming up – this time in Osoyoos – on Nov. 14.

-Dale Cory

Keep fit with Kandice Davidson

Wishful Thinking…

I want to lose weight, I want to get more fit, I want to be stronger etc.  If you want it, you have to work for it.  It is not going to happen any other way, not permanently anyway.  If you really want to lose weight in a healthy way, you will cut back on processed foods & eat more whole foods.  If you really want to get more fit, you will move more, regularly throughout the day.  If you exercise every day even for an hour, but you spend the rest of the day sitting, you must get up & move more.  If you want to get stronger, you need to build muscle.  It really doesn’t take much.  A little bit goes a long way.

What about the other way around?  Can one do too much?  Yes one can.  It is easier to over do it especially if one has a chronic health condition. One may be so determined to make improvements that he/she works so hard that it causes more stress & harm by working to complete fatigue when they were already fatigued to begin with.  One should work towards improving of course, but after a session you should feel good, you should feel refreshed & you should feel better when you are done, even though you also feel as though you worked hard & you may be tired, but not fatigued to the point of not being able to carry on with your day at least as you normally would have otherwise.  With regular exercise, you should notice an increase in your energy, not a decline.   Daily tasks should feel easier, not more of a burden.

Don’t just sit & wish.  Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.  With time, you will get leaner, stronger& more fit.  Practice makes Permanent :)

Disclaimer:  It is my pleasure to answer your questions regarding exercises.  I am not however able to help you if you’ve recently had an injury or surgery & have not yet received your doctors approval to exercise.  You must have the green light to start an exercise program before I can recommend appropriate exercises for you.  I am all about safety first!

Move more to feel better.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way & I can find a way that works well for you :)

On the sunnyside


I was impressed! The tour of the new prison gave me a clearer picture of what will be going on in there and what the administrations goals are as opposed to some public perceptions. When I lived in the Lower Mainland of B.C. I served as an M2 sponsor for about 20 years. An M2 sponsor relates to, visits and hopefully helps an inmate prepare for a better life after release. The plan was good, the results varied.

In the Okanagan Correctional Center the design, programs and technologies used are leaders in Canada. But that is not the most impressive part. From what I understand in the tour I was part of, they plan to interview each inmate as he/she comes in so as to assign the appropriate level of security for that person, direct him/her to the right work (carpentry, metal work, electronics, greenhouse, laundry, janitor type work, etc.) and/or educational program opportunities. Contraband is removed and all requirements made clear. The aim is to do what they can to prepare that person for a more successful life out in society. This means getting them into a scheduled routine of work, meals, courses, recreation, etc. These would be life skills that many of them don’t have. The average length of stay in OCC is about 67 days so they want to accomplish a lot in a short time. Cameras are everywhere, staff is watching, schedules are enforced, consequences are looming over the reluctant but help is also available. Come to think of it, the Lord watches over everything we do, say or even think (Ps. 121 and 139). He also does this with our best interests in mind. OCC has huge plans for success! If they achieve that with even some of them they deserve our respect.

Undoubtedly there will be disappointments but ‘kudos’ to the staff for setting such meaningful goals! However, I still don’t want to move in.

Thank you and best wishes to the OCC,
Henry Wiebe