A challenge issued to local school board

I have sent the following letter to all board members of School District #53, the senior staff of School District #53, and am providing it to this media outlet as an open letter to the members of the board.

Dear Ms. Young, Ms. Minnabarriet, and Members of the Board,

The dispute with SD 53 is not about winning or losing. It’s bigger than that. First and foremost, it’s about the people in the Osoyoos Electoral district being deprived of their voting rights. It’s about the school district and board choosing which rules to follow. It’s about Ms. Tarr, a trustee for our community, the board, and district responding like this error is insignificant. It’s about this district and board not being willing to step up and do the right thing. If we let this go, what’s next. How does this district and board decide which rules are important? How do you decide when it’s okay to violate people’s rights?

People’s right to vote is a corner stone of a democracy. People in Canada, and all over the world, fought and died for the right to vote. People all over the world still continue to do so. I never realized how much I believed in this until I discovered that the citizens of our community were denied this right and that the school district thought this to be nothing more than an “error or oversight” that didn’t need to be rectified. This is outraging me on a level, I didn’t realize existed. Perhaps you didn’t realize what this “error or oversight” did. It deprived the voting public of one third of their voting opportunities. When the legislation was drafted, I don’t believe that depriving voters of their right to vote was thought to be an “error or oversight”. This isn’t a spelling mistake. This is a huge issue. How would you feel if you didn’t get to vote because someone decided to omit one day of voting in a municipal, provincial, or federal election? If this happened, would this still be just a minor issue. Would you still consider it an “error or oversight” that didn’t need to be corrected? How do you decide when is it no longer just an “error or oversight”? Why is it that a member of the community is the one standing up for the voting rights of our community? Where are our trustees? Why are they not ensuring the rights of the community they are supposed to be representing? If you can’t do it as a board, and If you truly believe in our democracy, why can’t you stand up as a private citizen and challenge it?

I don’t know if this would have had a material affect on the results of the election. You can’t know that either. The evidence suggests that it did. If advanced voting had no impact, then let’s throw out the first advanced poll. If we did that, the outcome would have been much different. If the first advanced poll had an impact, then it is a fair assumption to make that the second one would as well.

I know the decision to have the election declared invalid is not a decision that the board makes. The legislation is quite clear. I know that it would have to be made by chief election officer, Ms. Minnabarriet. I am reasonably certain that if the board and district requested Ms. Minnabarriet to do so, she would.

I’m not asking for anything extraordinary. I’m asking that you take the necessary steps to make this right. Declare the election invalid, and let’s start again. Let’s do it right so that the elected official can sit at the table knowing that it was done right, and the community, even if they aren’t all happy with the result, are satisfied that the election was fair. It’s not going to tell us what would have happened this time, but at least it will have been done right and the people will not have been denied their voting rights.

Sincerely,

Penny Duperron

Explosive news

Incendiary Device at Penticton Residence

Penticton File # 2018-18364

Photo by Skylar Noe- Vack

skylar-oneOn November 30th, 2016 at 1030 am, the Penticton RCMP responded to a report of an incendiary device causing injury at a residence at 3999 Skaha Lake Road.

Penticton RCMP along with Penticton Fire Department and BC Ambulance Services attended to a residence at Sun Leisure Mobile Home Park where a package was left near a residence by an unknown individual. The 72 year old female resident opened the package causing a detonation of an explosive nature, startling the woman but resulting in minor injuries only. The woman was treated and released on scene by paramedics.

The BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit as well as a Post Blast Forensic Investigator are en route to examine the scene.

The Penticton RCMP General Investigation Section is leading the investigation by interviewing witnesses and neighbours and canvassing for video surveillance in the area.

Police remain at the scene and anyone that may have information are asked to call the Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300

Christmas at Rustico Farm and Cellars Winery

COWBOY CHRISTMAS AT RUSTICOboot22

The Oliver Sagebrushers join Rustico Farm & Cellars Winery In presenting their Annual Cowboy Christmas.

 

Saturday December 3rd 2- 5 pm

Come and enjoy hot chili, buns, warm beverages and music around the old fashioned campfire.

Family and friends are welcome. Dress warmly.

Donations go to the AGNES SUTHERLAND MEMORIAL FUND towards the purchase of a Grand Piano for the foyer of the Frank Venables Theatre for everyone in the community to enjoy.

Paintings by the late Agnes Sutherland may be purchased in the Quail’s Roost Gallery as well as other wonderful gift choices.

Rustico Farm& Cellars Winery will be open their regular hours for Winter in Wine Country Festival.

Baldy’s future is awesome, director says

By ROY WOOD

If raw enthusiasm and optimism are any sorts of guarantors for success, then Mount Baldy can’t miss.

Baldy Mountain Resort managing director Joey O’Brien brought his message of bright future for the recently moribund ski hill to Oliver council on Monday.

He said the hill will open December 1 and close on the Easter weekend in April.

Nearly 2,000 season passes have already been sold and he is aiming for 5,000 this season. And that will just be the beginning.

O’Brien foresees a day when Baldy will approach its permitted capacity of 13 lifts servicing more that 150 ski trails and accommodating upwards of 7,000 skiers per day.

There is potential for a tubing park and nearly 60 kilometres of cross-country and snow shoe trails.

O’Brien envisions significant on-hill accommodations, both owned and for rent, over the years. But for now the real estate focus is on sale of existing properties and building a 20-unit, 50-bedroom chalet on a foundation that was built ad abandoned in 2008.

On the ski hill, the day lodge, barbeque area and staff quarters have been given “lipstick and perfume” renovations to make them passable for the coming season. The double and quad chairs will continue to service the mountains ski terrain.

In the short-term future, the three-year strategy aims for:

  • 5,000 season passes this year and 10,000 in 2018;
  • A customer satisfaction rate of 80 per cent;
  • A significant increase in converting beginner skiers into regulars;
  • 400 people in once-a-week programs by the end of year two;
  • A core customer base of 20,000 within three years supporting 100,000 guests per season; and
  • 2,500 students in school ski programs.

Because of the quality of the snow, location and other advantages, O’Brien believes Baldy can compete for a bigger slice of the Okanagan Valley ski business.

According to his numbers, there were 1.5 million skier days in the valley last season. The target for Baldy is attract 106,000 skier visits in the 2018-2019 season, roughly the same as Apex’s total last season.

ODN goes one-on-one with new South Okanagan Chamber President Jamie Cox

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Chamber President Jamie Cox of Gallagher Lake Resort speaking during the Business Networking Night.

This has been a tough period in the history of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.

Two weeks ago, Chamber Board Members, having lost faith in the current situation, attended a closed door meeting with one main focus – a vote of non-confidence in the President, Corrie Adolph. She was roughly halfway through her term at the time she was informed her services were no longer wanted by the Chamber.

Adolph is currently in Mexico operating her business, Global Village Bed & Breakfast.
At the urging of other Directors, Jamie Cox was named as Adolph’s replacement.

Oliver Daily news recently asked Cox to respond to a few questions regarding the Chamber, it’s stability, and it’s future.

ODN: It’s been about two weeks since you took over as South Okanagan Chamber President. What have you been focussing on accomplishing?
JC: “I have been focusing on getting to know the history of the Chamber and the area. We have been focusing on promoting an environment where business can thrive, and strengthening our communities one business at a time.  UNITE – CONNECT – PROSPER.”

ODN: Has the South Okanagan Board met since the change in presidency?
JC: “The board is to meet on December 13 for our monthly meeting, though I have met with the Executive Director, Denise Blashko a number of times for her insight. I find her to be a very talented and experienced person, with a real passion for the success of the SOCC and the South Okanagan.”

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Chamber Executive Director Denise Blashko at the Business Networking Night Nov. 7 at Interior Savings and Credit Union introducing Alberto Veintimilla.

ODN: The South Okanagan Chamber is actively seeking new board members. Have you had many people come forward?
JC: “We have had five people step forward to be on the board and four new members in the last two weeks. I was asked if we should have interviews, and my reply was, this is a volunteer position and enthusiastic participation is the criteria!”

ODN: If you were stopped on the street by a potential board member and they asked why they should be a part of the group, what would you tell them?
JC: “Having lived in every region in BC, working in the Tourism and business sector, the Lower Okanagan has by far the most potential for growth under a united front, as being proposed by the Executive Director and board of the SOCC.”

ODN: What are some of your short term goals leading into the new year with the SO Chamber?
JC: “Our agenda is comprised of this! Build trust and memberships in the business sector of the South Okanagan, and celebrate the potential of having a democratic direction.”

ODN: Are you considering running for president when the new board is elected?
JC: “Yes Sir! I believe I can continue to be a strong spokesperson and strong team leader allowing the strength of the membership, Executive Director and board to guide the Chamber into these exciting times for the South Okanagan.”

South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce update from Executive Director Denise Blashko:
“Nominations for the 2017 South Okanagan Chamber Board are open until the end of this week.  If you are a current chamber member and you want to play a bigger role in improving the business climate in our region and helping our businesses succeed please contact Denise at manager@sochamber.ca or 250-498-6321. We have board meetings once a month in the evenings and we host monthly events that board members are encouraged to attend – both to help the Chamber grow and to help you grow your own business. If you are not ready for the Board yet – we have several other volunteer opportunities and roles where you can help the South Okanagan Chamber build and strengthen our communities of Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos.”   

‘The Story’

Following is the information provided on the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce website:
“The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce is a member based, nonprofit organization governed by the Boards of Trade Act.  We have a small team made up of our Board of Directors, Staff, Committees and Volunteers who all work tirelessly to support our local business community.

The South Okanagan Chamber officially came to be in May 2009. Prior to that there were three Chambers in our region – Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos Chambers. The Oliver Chamber had been around since 1946. With increasing expenses and declining membership the boards of each chamber met and agreed to become a regional chamber and pool resources and efforts to support the businesses in the three South Okanagan communities.”

Please check out: www.sochamber.ca.

-Dale Cory

Deadline for broadcast of council meetings

By ROY WOOD

Oliver council is giving Eastlink until December 31 to fulfill its obligation under its Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandate to broadcast local council meeting.

Mayor Ron Hovanes conceded the town doesn’t really have tools to force the cable provider to provide coverage, “But we’ll try to put some pressure on them and see what happens.”

It has been 11 months since live broadcasts on the local cable channel was discontinued when the producer retired.

Occasional requests to Eastlink have proved futile, other than the recent installation of a video camera in the council chamber.

Corporate officer Diane Vaykovich has, for the past three meetings, been experimenting with recording them. She said she called Eastlink recently to seek feedback on whether the system worked well.

“It sounded like they were surprised that I was looking for feedback,” she said.

Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said, “We’ve been stumbling around on the is for nearly a full year. Its ridiculous.”

Council agreed to send a letter to Eastlink asking it to fulfill its CRTC mandate by broadcasting the regular and special council meetings and to implement the practice by December 31. The letter will be copied to the CRTC.

Minor tweaks to RDOS growth strategy

 By ROY WOOD

Council listened politely Monday an RDOS planner spent close to half an hour talking about a “minor update” to the district’s regional growth strategy (RGS), which will have essentially no impact on growth in the town.

Evelyn Riechert began her talk by explaining that the update, which came out of an optional five-year review, is minor in nature and that “no new policies” are included in it. Rather there is some re-ordering and some minor wording changes.

She also emphasized that the role of the DGS is advisory and “not regulatory.”

The strategy was launched in 2004 but took until 2010 to be adopted by the RDOS, indicating the difficulty in dealing with the strategy’s inherent regulatory and jurisdictional complexities and potential conflicts.

Mayor Ron Hovanes related a quip from a fellow RDOS board member from earlier discussions, describing RGS as the “regional growth suggestion.”

The most impressive list of items in her PowerPoint talk was the list of things remaining on the RGS to-do list, including:

  • Develop a regional air quality management plan;
  • Support creation of a regional transit plan;
  • Support a health and wellness strategy;
  • Explore the benefits of a regional housing plan;
  • Work toward a regional arts and culture strategy;
  • Support regional economic development; and
  • Develop a regional employment lands strategy.

In response to a reporter’s question, Hovanes said the RGS is really aimed at growth in the rural areas and not in the towns.

He lauded the RGS for its emphasis on focusing development in “serviced areas in designated primary growth areas.”

“Growth should (be) centred in areas where there are (water and sewer) services,” he said.

Councillor Jack Bennest urged a more active role for the district in restraining growth in unincorporated areas. “When does the RDOS say to a place like Gallagher Lake ‘enough?’”

Water Councillor Rick Machial urged the district to take seriously its goal to get involved in air quality management.

He said he recently called the district to complain about someone burning leaves or agricultural waste on a day when burning wasn’t allowed.

“They told me to call 911,” he said.

If the regional district wants to take on air quality protection, they should “step up and have someone there to answer the phone,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to tell people to call 911.”

Departing CFO captures national award

Just weeks before he is to leave his post and move to Summerland, chief financial officer David Svetlichny has received the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting Achievement.

The award is handed out annually by the Government Finance Officers Association.

It was established in 1986 “to encourage and assist Canadian local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles … to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.”

This marks the fourth award for in sixth years for Svetlichny.

He recently announced he is leaving Oliver to take over the CFO post in Summerland.

Reporter: Roy Wood

Condolences to the family

paul-obitObituary for the late Paul Baryluk July 25, 1919 – November 25, 2016

It is with sorrow we announce the peaceful passing of Paul Baryluk of Oliver at Sunnybank Centre at the age of 97.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Joyce Adrietta in 2002 and his step daughter Joan Erickson.

Paul is survived by daughters Nell Howard and Beverly Foster; brothers Mike and Bill; sisters Rose Thompson and Sophia Gress as well as numerous grandchildren and extended families and friends. Paul worked for 30 years at the smelter in Trail, retiring to Oliver in 1982. For many years after retirement Paul and Joyce spent winters in Desert Hot Springs, California where the climate rivalled that of Oliver. Paul never missed a family reunion. Paul and Joyce were faithful church attendees and believed in a simple, honest life. Paul continued to embrace life without Joyce, supported many charities and was known for his friendly smile and long walks every morning. Paul enjoyed living independently until his 95th year when he moved to Sunnybank Centre. In his final years he was a joy to be with. He treasured his relatives and family and friends and always looked forward to telephone calls, personal visits and mail. Throughout his life he enjoyed watching hockey games and playing cards, especially crib. He spent many happy hours with family and friends winning more games than he lost.

A memorial service will be officiated by Rev. Darren Siegle at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday November 30, 2016 at the Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Chapel, 5855 Hemlock Street, Oliver, BC. A graveside urn interment and committal will follow at the Oliver Municipal Cemetery
Donations gratefully accepted for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

A special thank you to the staff at Sunnybank Centre for their compassion, kindness and caring.

Condolences may be directed to the family by visiting www.nunes-pottinger.com

Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium, Oliver & Osoyoos.

Hornets ready to hit the hardwood

soss-hornetsAnother high school basketball season is upon us.

Southern Okanagan Secondary School is ready – with the boys primed to host their annual tournament this weekend.

The 56th annual Okana-Qen high school boys basketball tournament is set to tip off Thursday.

Six teams will take part.

SOSS, along with Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School from West Kelowna and Penticton High School will compete in Pool B, with G.W. Graham from Chilliwack, Kelowna Christian School, and Clarence Fulton Secondary School from Vernon competing in Pool A.

Games begin Thursday with the host Hornets facing Mount Boucherie at 6:30 p.m.

SOSS will be back on the floor  Friday at 11:30 a.m. against Pen Hi.

Playoff games are set for Saturday, with third place teams in each pool meeting at 10 a.m., and second place teams at 11:45 a.m.

The championship game between the two pool winners through round robin play takes place at 1:15 p.m. in the SOSS main gym.

We will have a feature story on the host Hornets later in the week.

-Dale Cory

Creating amazing art using alcohol

Glenda Cameron shows off her stained glass creations.
Glenda Cameron shows off her stained glass creations.

Head down to any of the many craft fairs which take place this time of the year – and you will find creativity at its best.

During a walk through the The Christmas Craft Fair and Bake Sale Saturday at the Osoyoos Seniors Center, one could purchase virtually anything – from Santa’s Underwear for a mere $5, to custom-made cribbage boards, homemade chicken-pot pies, jewellery, knitted toques, and much more.

One of the more-interesting vendor tables offered stained-glass designs which could be displayed anywhere in the home.

Glenda Cameron was the creator of this form of art, and gladly offered some detail on how it’s made.

The most interesting detail?

These creations are made using alcohol!

As Glenda explained – as a member of the Artist Co-op in Prince George, she experimented with alcohol inks during a mix media class.

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“I find alcohol inks to be a less structured media and lots of fun. During the class I was taken back by the Yupo paper techniques – blending the alcohol ink with Alcohol Blending Solution or Isopropyl alcohol,” explained Glenda, who was attending her first craft fair as a vendor. “Using three-to-five different inks and some basic tools like a straw, a stir stick, felt applicator and a small brush, these vibrant colours started to explode into different shapes and mix into other colours. Then you start to use your imagination and create your own pictures.”

Glenda attended the Osoyoos Senior Centre Craft fair to gage the reactions to this art technique. She is open to chatting more about her stained glass creations, and asks other artists to share their experiences with this art form.

You can discuss all of this in more detail with Glenda Cameron – as she will be attending the Osoyoos Legion craft fair this Saturday, Dec 3.

And the best part – Glenda says all proceeds from her sales will be donated to the BC SPCA.

-Dale Cory

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