by Henryka Mrzljak

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Top stories of the year

July, August, and September 2019

Oliver Parade needs help, change of route? , new organizers and more volunteers

Small Wheels Park wins BCAA cash award, RDOS pitches in, Kiwanis finance large part of project

Fire Camp being constructed

Eagle Bluff fire – big event in Oliver and the entire province in a year that saw less forest fires

National Golf Championship held at Osoyoos Course

Federal Election campaign begins – Jagmeet Singh only Federal Leader to visit Oliver

Birding at Vaseux Lake

Crime and Safety Committee in high gear – broadens scope to Osoyoos area as well and social services

Vacation Rentals and B and B’s – rules under scrutiny by Town

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by Audrey MacNaughton

Western Blue Bird

sticking around the lake hoping to survive a winter

The western bluebird is a small thrush, easily recognized by its bright blue and rust plumage, with males much brighter than the grayish-brown females.

Where does this species live?

Western bluebirds can be found in open woodlands. They make their nests in existing cavities in trees, dead wood or nest boxes.


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by Edwin Dukes

“Way up in the air in my beautiful balloon.
If you’ll hold my hand, we’ll chase your dream across the sky”

“Up, Up and Away” is a 1967 song written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by the 5th Dimension that became a major pop hit in July 1967 and it reached No. 1 in Canada on the radio charts.

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Ok Tire cc

Left to right Steve, Gilbert, Trent, Chris and Kristina

Happy Holidays – We do TIRES, and a lot more

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by Pat Whalley


It is that strange time of the year, the in-between time, we feel like we are at a bit of a loose end, just filling in time in a rather useless fashion.  It is that part of the year between Christmas and New Year, when things just sort of stand still, like we are waiting for something to happen, but not sure what it is.

Relatives have now returned to their homes and the house seems rather silent after the laughter and non stop noise of the past few days.

The Christmas tree looks a bit sad, the decorations so lovingly placed a few days ago, now look a bit tawdry and we can’t wait to get rid of it all.  The gaily wrapped gifts have all been received and opened,  the hours spent choosing and wrapping them all now in the past.  The only evidence of all that excitement is the assorted recycling awaiting collection.

The turkey has made too many appearances on the dinner table and the bones are in the freezer, waiting to be made into soup, to warm the soul in the cold days of January.  Left over baked treats are reduced to broken bits in the bottom of various tins and the inevitable fruit cake sits abandoned.

When Christmas falls midweek, there are always one or two days when people have to go back to work, but it seems like a waste of effort to go in for just one day and it is usually a rather unenthusiastic workforce that reports for duty.

What is it about these mid festivity days, why is it such a blah time, a time of waiting for something to happen?  In another few days it will be New Year’s Eve which, to many people is such a special time, however as I age, seems less special to me.

As a teenager it was a time of planning what to wear to the inevitable dance on the eve of the

new year.  A new dress was almost mandatory as were matching shoes, hair would be fussed over and make-up carefully applied for the evening of dancing and excitement.  If you were not with someone very special at midnight, you would be hugged and kissed by the nearest stranger, but to not be in the arms of someone you wanted to kiss was rather sad.

There was always the mad scramble to get your coat from the coat check and woe betide anyone who lost his ticket, who had to wait until all others had retrieved their coat, before being allowed to claim the left over, lonely coat, hanging on the rail.  This happened to Dave one year and the resulting delay caused us to miss the last bus home.  The three mile walk home, in four inch stiletto heels, didn’t really bother me.  In those days I wore these kind of shoes all the time and walking home was just a romantic stroll.

Roll on a few years and four young children meant not going out as we never had money, or even the thought, of baby sitters.  After a full day of wrestling with four little ones, there was very little desire to dress up and go partying, so neither of us felt we were missing out on much.

Over time, our daughters started attending their own New Year’s festivities and we would often host parties but jointly, with Dave’s parents.  They were both raised close to the Scottish borders, where |Hogmanay is strongly celebrated, so they loved to celebrate the New Year.  We held these parties every year and they usually lasted long past midnight, when the banquet would be brought out.

To be honest, I have never thought there was much point in the big to-do about the changing of the number of the year.  If we use it as a time to change our bad habits, OK, but most of us immediately find this new, good behaviour too difficult to maintain and, if we really want to make a new start, we can do that any time of the year.

I must say, that after declaring it is not a special time, I am using the date to face forward in my recently single status.  Christmas was a very difficult time, not being with the one I spent my life with, but that’s OK, it reminds me that I do indeed have a new life to live and, there is no reason at all not to make it a great one.  I am blessed with many excellent friends and a loving family, and for this I will be eternally grateful.

Also I am so thankful to have the support of Jack Bennest, writing my column is such an important part of my life, so to you Jack and to everyone reading this, the very best to you all in 2020.

Do you think that 2020 is a significant number and means we are all going to view the world a little clearer?  Lets hope so, better clarity may make us realise what is really important in our lives, who is important in our lives and give us the appreciation that makes us all thankful to be alive.  If we are to make resolutions, let the most important one be the need to be kind to those we meet along life’s highway, some of them may be angels in disguise.

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Top Stories of the year

April May and June 2019

Plans for cannabis retail stores in Oliver and Osoyoos

Boaters die on Osoyoos Lake

Funding raising for Small Wheels park begins

Suspicious death of young man up McKinney Rd – cops say no mystery

Linda Larson will not run again

National Park issue dominates the news

Improved staffing arrangement for ER Doctors  at SO General Hospital

No funding forthcoming from Ottawa for repairs to syphon buried in rock at Gallagher Lake

Local hunting guide gets stiff penalty in court

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Praemonitus, Praemunitus –

Back & Forth

I thought I would finish the year with a somber look back and a sober look forth but I’m having difficulty getting that into words. Why? Because I’m in a major back & forth with our resident teenager. We are having a battle of wills.

2019 began with our son turning fifty and a family member dying. Those are big events and they took place a day apart just two weeks into the year. The family had gathered at our place to celebrate son’s milestone birthday. Four of us went looking for Ryan who had been living with the dearly departed in another town but was unable to care for himself.

We had all known him since early days but none of us had visited with him for two years. The family member who had custody had been living alone with him during that period. There was little or no communication between us and her during that time. We didn’t know she was so ill.

We were searching the house when daughter found him. We knew because she screamed. Ryan was lying lifeless under the dining room table. We feared he was dead. His hair was all matted. He was stretched out on his side. His eyes were closed. He didn’t lift his head.

We brought him to our house. We gave him food and water. Within a few hours, as proof that he was recovering, he investigated every corner of every room before joining all of us in the kitchen. We shaved off the mats. As soon as I could get an appointment, I took him to the doctor. Under five pounds and needing daily thyroid meds but otherwise healthy. Good.

We established a routine. I fed him whatever he wanted and as much as he would eat and eventually, he decided that he only wanted a certain kibble and lots of fresh water. He got that. I cleaned his litter daily. There was clear evidence that what was going in was coming out. I gave him his pills morning and night. He got his treats. I combed him frequently. He slept when and where he wanted. He greeted visitors. He liked to be close and since we were renovating and unpacking, he had use of several cardboard boxes. After six months he had gained almost four pounds. His fur was sleek and shiny. The vet was happy. He had learned to sit on command. He had learned to get off the table while we were eating. We were happy. Ryan was happy.

We were three happy seniors until this past week. We had pretty much finished our kitchen renovation, so I moved his food. I had told him that this would be happening. He hadn’t argued. But he stopped eating. After two days, I started him on some soft food. He ate it … all of it … licked the bowl clean. But then he stopped taking his pills. And so, it began.

Us, applying sanctions: No pill – no treats. Him, absorbing the pressure: OK – no treats and no pill. Us, upping the ante: No pill – no keys to the car. Him: I’ll walk. Us, taking the nuclear option: No pill – no special soft food. Him, from his perch on the moral high ground: That’s cruel and unusual punishment. Us, our bluff was called, and we were forced to accept his position: You’re right – we can’t do that. Us, resorting to diplomacy and reason: The pills are important. You have to take them. Him, taking a stand: Make me. I put one in his special soft food. When he finished, the pill was laying, lonely and unloved, in the bottom of the bowl. He was sitting on his favourite cardboard box, having a wash, and looking smug.

I suppose that it says something about the state of the world, when looking back, that the most important story of the year is about a teenaged long-haired tuxedo and his recovery from near death.

I suppose it says something about the state of the world, when looking forward, that the most pressing problem of the coming year is to find a way to get a friend to do something that is good for him.


Stuart Syme

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Top stories of the year

In the News – January February March 2019

Clarence Louie – re elected Chief of Osoyoos Indian Band – 17 th time


Council first boots – Water Councillors from the table – then invites Machial and Sidhu back

Montreal Canadians – old timers play Oliver Old Stockers at charity game

Food Share Hut planned

New committee on Crime and Safety to be organized

The rise of MMA star Marlan Hall (pictured with Theresa Gabriel

Mayor Sue McKortoff (in red) to chair Okanagan Basin Water Board


Publisher’s note:
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday – more pixs and headlines
Sometime during the same period we will announce three things

1. Newsmaker of the Year
2. Story of the Year
2. Volunteer of the Year

and BTW none of the above in competition with Spirit of Oliver Awards

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Part of crèche stolen from local church

According to sources at St. Paul’s Lutheran – part of the display disappeared under a veil of mystery.

Baby Jesus was gone prior to Christmas Day – reported to the RCMP





a model or tableau representing the scene of Jesus Christ’s birth, displayed at public places at Christmas


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