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Page 359

Ripoff Artists really ‘go to town’

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Marion Trimble unloads a trunk full of art, starting at the Oliver Chronicle, as part of the Ripoff Artists displaying their works at local businesses and establishments.
Marion Trimble unloads a trunk full of art, starting at the Oliver Chronicle, as part of the Ripoff Artists displaying their works at local businesses and establishments.
Marion Trimble unloads a trunk full of art, starting at the Oliver Chronicle, as part of the Ripoff Artists displaying their works at local businesses and establishments.

Wend your way through Oliver southward from the Oliver Chronicle to Alberto’s “Underfoot Flooring” and you will see many renditions of works by famous artists like Van Gogh, Klimt and O’Keefe. In fact, you may see many versions of the same artwork in different media on display until Monday, July 15.

All of these art objects around town are the handiwork of the “Ripoff Artists” whose aim is to rip off a dead artist each year. This collective of local artists works together for a frenzied week to complete their interpretation by deadline.

The seventh annual challenge for the Ripoff Artists will run from July 8-13 at Quail’s Nest Arts Centre. Friends, neighbours, relatives and total strangers are encouraged to cheer on and interact with the artists as they work.

Pick up a map at the Oliver Visitor Centre, the Chronicle or the Oliver library detailing where these works of art are being displayed.

Take your time to visit these friendly establishments and savour the good life that Oliver has to offer.

Black powder buffs step back in time in Oliver

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At top, Jim (Tiny) George from Merritt loads his period rifle during the recent Black Powder Shoot at the Sportmen’s Bowl gun range in Oliver. Above, Stan Siemens from Okanagan Falls relaxes in front of his canvas tent.
At top, Jim (Tiny) George from Merritt loads his period rifle during the recent Black Powder Shoot at the Sportmen’s Bowl gun range in Oliver. Above, Stan Siemens from Okanagan Falls relaxes in front of his canvas tent.
At top, Jim (Tiny) George from Merritt loads his period rifle during the recent Black Powder Shoot at the Sportmen’s Bowl gun range in Oliver. Above, Stan Siemens from Okanagan Falls relaxes in front of his canvas tent.

TinyJim George and his wife Fran don’t need a time machine because they’re already living in the past.

The president and secretary of the BC Black Powder Association demonstrated their love for the sport in Oliver recently at the annual Black Powder Shoot at the Sportsmen’s Bowl.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s cheap to shoot (about 30 cents a shot),” said Jim, whom everyone calls “Tiny.”

Like others who attend these events, Fran and Tiny dress up in period (fur trade) costumes and shoot steel balls from antique rifles. They also throw tomahawks and knives.

“I feel like I’m back in time . . . sometimes I go to places and I get the feeling that I’ve been there before,” said Tiny.

He’s been shooting black powder since 1964 when he competed in the Summer Games in Vancouver. The 70-year-old builds guns, noting he made a 1400s-style matchlock that still fires.

He also gathers wild plants to make hunter’s tea.

Fran said if she had her druthers, she’d wear her costume every day because it’s so comfortable.

Most of her wardrobe consists of period clothing.

Although she loves taking part in these events, Fran admitted she wouldn’t want to travel back in time to live this life.

“It’s a lot of hard work.”

But she got used to it for seven years when she lived in the Northwest Territories where she washed everything by hand and didn’t have the benefit of electricity or a plumbed toilet.

Using candles and oil lamps are old hat for Fran, who knows all about sleeping under canvas. But when she and Tiny don’t feel like setting up tent, they bring their “tin teepee (fifth wheel trailer).

During these black powder shoots, Fran is best known for her fry bread. All she has to do is shout “fry bread” and a line-up of people soon appears.

Lyonel Doherty

Oliver Chronicle

 

Senior service awards

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Top athletes - A recent SOSS awards presentation saw Emily Gideon as top senior girl athlete of the year and top scholastic athlete, and Malcolm Heinrichs as top senior boy athlete of the year.

Lyonel Doherty photos

 

Creating an outdoor sanctuary

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Sadie relaxes in the backyard garden of June and Phil Reynolds - Terry Coble photo
Sadie relaxes in the backyard garden of June and Phil Reynolds - Terry Coble photo
Sadie relaxes in the backyard garden of June and Phil Reynolds – Terry Coble photo

Take a step inside the gate and into the Reynolds’ backyard, and it’s almost like entering another world. Lush, tranquil and full of surprises; it is immediately clear that this is the private sanctuary of a very creative person who loves to be outdoors in the garden.

June and Phil Reynolds have lived on their property for 32 years, during which time they have completely renovated the house inside and out, and landscaped the yard.  There is a huge variety of trees, shrubbery and perennials, a vegetable garden, a pond . . . one could sit for hours gazing around and still miss the finer details.

“I love gardening,” said June. “I could stay out here all day.”  She said that after many years of work, she finally has everything pretty much how she wants it, but then, she says that every year.

One of the things that makes the Reynolds’ garden so unique and beautiful are all of the repurposed structures and elements, from an arbor built out of an old door to a greenhouse built using windows from a variety of sources.

“The old door was from a dilapidated house somewhere up around Okanagan Falls, we took the door off, and the house was built of two layers of these wood boards with newspaper in between for insulation. It was from the First World War, with articles advertising deluxe penthouse suites in Vancouver renting for $25 a month!” June said laughing.

June gets a lot of her ideas for her garden from magazines; she will see a design and then build it herself, whether it is a wheelbarrow plant holder or an ingenious weeding tool that works like a Dutch hoe.

“It helps to have some carpentry skills,” June acknowledged. “It’s a labour of love.”

Creativity, love and patience – this is not something that happens overnight, no question.

Gardening can be an expensive enterprise if one were to go out and buy a garden full of plants and shrubs in one shot. A garden as lush and diverse as June’s comes from years of adding plants here and there.

“I do a lot of trading with the garden club, which saves a lot of money.  Every year we go on what we call a shop hop, where we tour down to Osoyoos and back and go to all the garden centres and get our flowers for the year,” June revealed. “It’s a lot of fun!”

Do you love to garden, or do you know somebody who does?  The Oliver Chronicle is looking for gardens to showcase over the summer, and it could be yours!

It is not a contest, just a way to share the beauty in our town. We are hoping to share ideas and innovations, and inspire others to take up the trowel and beautify their own spaces. Call me at 250-408-9061 or email me at tiffanybeckedorf@gmail.com.

Tiffany Beckedorf

The finish line

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Max Todd (forefront) from Keremeos crosses the finish line in the boy’s marathon event at the district track meet in Oliver last Friday. Behind him is Justin Davis from Osoyoos.
Max Todd (forefront) from Keremeos crosses the finish line in the boy’s marathon event at the district track meet in Oliver last Friday. Behind him is Justin Davis from Osoyoos.
Max Todd (forefront) from Keremeos crosses the finish line in the boy’s marathon event at the district track meet in Oliver last Friday. Behind him is Justin Davis from Osoyoos.

Marathon Girls

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Last Friday’s district track meet at Oliver Elementary School featured a marathon event for boys and girls. Here, the girls set out on their race. Oliver Elementary finished fourth place overall. Similkameen Elementary School and Cawston Primary finished first.
Last Friday’s district track meet at Oliver Elementary School featured a marathon event for boys and girls. Here, the girls set out on their race. Oliver Elementary finished fourth place overall. Similkameen Elementary School and Cawston Primary finished first.
Last Friday’s district track meet at Oliver Elementary School featured a marathon event for boys and girls. Here, the girls set out on their race. Oliver Elementary finished fourth place overall. Similkameen Elementary School and Cawston Primary finished first.

Cancer survivor prepares for Relay for Life

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Joan Wilson vertYou don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself when you’re diagnosed with cancer, says Joan Collins.

The former Osoyoos teacher – she taught at Osoyoos Elementary School for several years in the 1970s- and long-time cherry orchardist was diagnosed with breast cancer last April.

She has spent the last 14 months battling the dreaded disease after undergoing a long series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and a lumpectomy operation.

The great news is Collins is feeling good and really looking forward to participating once again in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, set for Saturday in Gyro Park in Osoyoos.

“For years and years, I did regular breast exams and there was never a problem, but I detected something last April and it was small, invasive and aggressive,” said Collins. “Some people question why me when they are diagnosed with cancer, but I didn’t have any time to feel sorry for myself and I decided I was going to do something about this.

“I prepared myself immediately to begin chemotherapy and thankfully I had a great network of family and friends who were there for me to help and support me and that’s crucial when something like this happens to you. I was very lucky that way.”

After having the lumpectomy performed last June, Collins endured two long cycles of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and is recovering well as she prepares to participate in Saturday’s Relay for Life.

Like most of the participants in this year’s event, Collins knows how devastating being diagnosed with cancer can be, but she also knows the disease can be beat. Her brother, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer 14 years ago, is also a survivor.

“He’s doing great 14 years later and I plan on beating it too,” she said.

The Relay for Life is a wonderful event that allows cancer survivors to show support and share stories with others who have lost loved ones to cancer to participate in an event that raises tens of millions of dollars across this country each and every year, said Collins.

“Everyone is there for the same reason in that we’ve all been touched by cancer,” she said. “There is truly a feeling of community because of that and that makes for a very special day.

“This is all about remembering loved ones who we’ve lost, honouring the survivors who have beat cancer and raising as much money as we can to spend on research to hopefully one day find a cure.”

The lighting of the luminaries to remember and honour those who lost their battle with cancer is always the most emotional and difficult part of the day, said Collins.

“It’s an emotional day all-round, but it gets very emotional for a lot of us when the luminaries are lit,” she said.

Her husband Danny Gerela has shown tremendous support since she was diagnosed and you need that kind of support from loved ones when you’re battling this dreaded disease, said Collins.

“My husband has been wonderful,” she said. “He not only takes me to all my treatments, but he’s helped keep the house clean, done the dishes and made sure the fridge is full with good food.

“You worry a lot about things like that when you get sick, but it’s nice to know everything is taken care of and you only have to worry about getting better.”

Wilson’s granddaughter Paige said she’s very proud of her grandmother for battling as hard as she has over these past 14 difficult months. “I’m going to college in Vancouver, but I try and get back as often as I can to be with her and spend time with her,” she said. “I try and help out as much as I can and I’ve developed skills I honestly didn’t know I had.”

 

By Keith Lacey

Special to the Chronicle

No smart meters: OIB

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On behalf of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Chief Clarence Louie announced last week that he and all band council members have  signed  a  governing document prohibiting Fortis BC,  the  local  utility company, from installing  “smart  meters” on  the  approximately 703 homes and businesses  on  the Osoyoos  Indian Reserve.

“Having  been  presented  with  science-based  evidence,  the  band  council  and  I  are  convinced  that  Fortis’ proposed  wireless  smart  meters  in  meshed-grid  networks  have  the  potential to  harm our children and our environment. No  scientist on the planet  has  been  able  to  verify  the  safety  of  these  extremely dangerous   devices that emit microwave radiation 24/7 in perpetuity  and  which  cannot  be  turned  off,” Louie said.

“As chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, my first  duty  is  to protect my  people,  our  future  generations  and our  lands.  For  that  reason,  the  band  council  and  I  believe we need to err on the side of caution and respect the world’s leading independent scientists who say – and have evidence to prove – that electromagnetic radiation, especially pulsed radio and microwave frequency radiation is harmful to all living things.”

Louie said he is proud of the band council for standing up and voting to prohibit the installation of smart meters on reserve lands in order to protect  everyone who resides and works there.

 

Oliver, B.C.

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The Town of Oliver, B.C. began long before anyone here at the time heard of the name.

Click for Oliver's 2014 Visitors' Guide
Click for Oliver’s 2014 Visitors’ Guide

With the discovery of gold in the Camp McKinney area and later in Fairview, and until the construction of the irrigation system—it was just one of many mining districts in the British Columbia Interior.

We are, of course, no longer a frontier outpost, a pioneer settlement, nor even a rural farm town. We are a thoroughly sophisticated semi-urban society with all the amenities that seem necessary and desirable. Oliver B.C.’s economy is a sound one, anchored on a thriving agriculture industry and supplanted by light industry and wine tourism. The very stability provided by that economy, and our climate, has provided the tone that makes our community attractive to many in their retirement years. Oliver’s population is approximately 4,500.

The Town of Oliver, located along the banks of the inviting Okanagan River, incorporated in 1945. It is located 33 km south of Penticton and 10 km north of Osoyoos.

Residents and visitors alike enjoy the semi-desert climate at the northern most tip of the Great Basin Desert with plenty of lakes, world-class golf courses and an abundance of family attractions, restaurants and parks. The International Hike and Bike path runs right through town! Oliver and other Okanagan communities are renowned for its estate wineries and vineyards.

 

 

 

 

Fun in the sun in Oliver | Oliver Chronicle photo
Fun in the sun in Oliver | Oliver Chronicle photo

Tourism facts about Oliver, B.C.:

Sunshine: 2,040 hours per year
Elevation: 350 meters above sea level
Frost free days: Average 173.
Average annual rainfall: 9.8 inches
Average annual snowfall: 2.1 inches
Climate 
Mean daily mimimum: January -6C(11F) July 12C(54F)
Mean daily maximum: January 1C(34F) July 30C(82F)
Mean daily Jan -2C(27F July 20C(68F)

Bylaw officer felt pressured to leave job

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Above, Area C director Allan Patton, Loose Bay camper Shyvano Joly and Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes stand behind a declaration signed by 100 campers stating that Loose Bay provides all of the amenities they need. At left is former bylaw enforcement officer Marie-Eve Roberge, who is trying to help farm workers in Oliver and Osoyoos. Lyonel Doherty photos

Abuse from the public too much for young woman to deal with

Above, Area C director Allan Patton, Loose Bay camper Shyvano Joly and Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes stand behind a declaration signed by 100 campers stating that Loose Bay provides all of the amenities they need. At left is former bylaw enforcement officer Marie-Eve Roberge, who is trying to help farm workers in Oliver and Osoyoos. Lyonel Doherty photos
Above, Area C director Allan Patton, Loose Bay camper Shyvano Joly and Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes stand behind a declaration signed by 100 campers stating that Loose Bay provides all of the amenities they need. At left is former bylaw enforcement officer Marie-Eve Roberge, who is trying to help farm workers in Oliver and Osoyoos.
Lyonel Doherty photos

Roberge 1A former bylaw enforcement officer for the Town of Oliver has learned that speaking your mind can jeopardize your job.

Marie-Eve Roberge thinks that may have led to her demise a month after being hired to enforce the rules in this community.

Roberge was expected to bridge the communication gap between French-speaking fruit pickers and the Town.

In a previous interview with the Chronicle, she voiced her opinion of Loose Bay campground, saying it is not the ideal place for workers because of frequent parties that make it difficult to sleep.

“You can call it a camp, but it’s not a picker’s camp.”

She also noted that many pickers who come to Oliver and Osoyoos are not given access to clean water, showers or toilets. (Loose Bay has all of these amenities, while Osoyoos does not have an official camp for migrant workers.)

Roberge voiced a concern about some farmers not paying their workers on a timely basis.

The young woman said that soon after putting on her bylaw officer uniform, she encountered verbal abuse from both workers and the public.

“A lot of things happened and people were treating me like a bitch . . . I think people don’t want me in Osoyoos and Oliver.”

Roberge said some individuals think she was trying to close Loose Bay down, but she denied that.

“I gave my opinion of Loose Bay and they don’t like that.”

Because of the abuse she was taking, Roberge was considering quitting her job. She told her employer (Marshall Enforcement Services) that she wanted to think about it.

But Roberge said someone apparently called the RCMP about a domestic dispute between her and her boyfriend at an Osoyoos motel. She stated there was no violence other than a police officer pushing her against a wall.

However, Sgt. Kevin Schur of the Osoyoos RCMP said the female at that location was arrested for obstructing a police officer while they were trying to apprehend a man on an outstanding warrant for theft.

“As the police attempted to handcuff the female, she twisted and pulled away from the police officer, attempting to break free,” Schur said.

The RCMP did not forward charges on the female and determined that no assault had occurred, he pointed out.

As a bylaw enforcement officer, Roberge said she didn’t want to work with police who are this aggressive.

 

In fact, she admitted that bylaw enforcement work does not really suit her.

“The wage is not good (putting up with people’s abuse for $12 an hour).”

Pat Marshall from Marshall Enforcement Services confirmed they let Roberge go for personal reasons. She wasn’t fired because it was a mutual agreement.

“She wasn’t suitable for the position . . . it’s hard, it’s not an easy job.

Marshall said employees are personally trained by the company, but “taking abuse from the public is something you can’t teach.”

Marshall pointed out they are currently looking for another French liaison person to fill the void.

Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells was asked if he thought such services are sorely needed when it comes to encouraging transients from Quebec to follow the Town’s rules.

“I think sorely needed to be a bit overstated, (but) a liaison person communicating with the visitors would always be an asset. So many problems may be averted with sound, concise communication leading to understanding.”

Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes said he wasn’t aware of the reason why Roberge was no longer employed by Marshall.

“I am hoping we can continue with the approach of having a bilingual officer employed (if the right person can be found).”

But Area C director Allan Patton said he likes the fact that Roberge isn’t working for the Town anymore.

“I didn’t know her but was told by those who administer and manage Loose Bay that they felt she was part of the problem instead of the solution. I and the Loose Bay society did not appreciate her negative comments about Loose Bay in the press.”

Patton said the Town of Oliver, and especially the mayor, could have handled this much better by contacting the society prior to making pronouncements and hiring people who work contrary to the interests of migrant workers.

“I am in favour of the Town hiring a bylaw officer or liaison to deal with migrant workers within the Town boundaries, however, statements from the mayor indicate that the problem should be dealt with area-wide. The procedure dealing with area-wide has been inadequate to date.”

Greg Norton, chair of the Loose Bay society, acknowledged that Roberge “got off to a rough start” in the community. But he doesn’t see the absence of her position as a major setback.

“We’ve been operating for years without such a person.”

However, Norton sees the merits of having a French liaison person work with fruit pickers.

“It’s a special role. You can’t go to school to train for that job.”

Roberge said she plans to continue working on a personal project she calls “Okanagan Pickers,” a farm labour management initiative. She wants to establish a real work camp with toilets and showers on a piece of land between Osoyoos and Oliver. She also hopes to establish a shuttle service to help workers with transportation.

 

Park Place residents given notice to vacate

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Strata council president Joy Vangen is one of approximately 60 residents of Park Place that must vacate the building this summer. Lyonel Doherty photo

Suspected earthquake damage subject of claim

Strata council president Joy Vangen is one of approximately 60 residents of Park Place that must vacate the building this summer. Lyonel Doherty photo
Strata council president Joy Vangen is one of approximately 60 residents of Park Place that must vacate the building this summer.
Lyonel Doherty photo

Some of people’s worst fears in Park Place have been realized as they must vacate their homes this summer.

That was the word of a professional engineer in a report documenting ongoing structural damage to the building as a result of a seismic event that occurred on November 18, 2011.

“The entire building is now being influenced by heaving and settlement movements, which appear to be a result of fluctuating groundwater levels,” said Lawrence Riding from Riding Engineering. “These movements are causing the structural elements of the entire building to be stressed.”

Riding said the stressing of structural support members has the potential to cause serious damage, which would deem the building unsafe and trigger an emergency situation.

He said the main floor of the building on McKinney Road must be vacated no later than August 15. All remaining strata lots on the second and third floors must be vacated no later than September 1.

“It would be in the best interest of everyone for all strata lot owners to immediately begin securing alternative accommodations and storage.”

The engineering firm believes that the earthquake in 2011 resulted in a significant amount of cracking throughout the common areas of the main floor.

Park Place spokesman Stuart Syme gave the Chronicle a tour of the building, pointing out the numerous cracks and shifting of beams and walls.

He said the next step is a study to determine what it will take to repair the damage. He confirmed the building has earthquake insurance.

Syme said approximately 60 people are impacted by the notice to vacate.

“The first hurdle is comprehending that you have to move. During one briefing in April, I told them it would be prudent to find another place to move. I don’t think anyone believed me,” Syme said.

He noted the most important thing residents can do now is speak to their own insurance company regarding their individual claims.

Syme said if all goes according to hope, residents could be back in Park Place within 18 months after the repairs are completed.

Lyonel Doherty

Oliver Chronicle

 

Bylaw enforcement hard and thankless

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Wanted: Man or woman of steel to enforce town bylaws. Requirements: A thick skin and the ability to put up with abuse from the public. Wage: Depending on experience, but don’t expect to live off it.

It was unfortunate to hear that Marie-Eve Roberge left her position only after a month on the job. Apparently, she was subjected to a litany of abuse from the public, which is appalling to hear.

If you contravene a bylaw, you can expect either a warning or a ticket, and often a discount if you pay the fine within a certain period. Those are the rules and people are expected to abide by them. If the Town didn’t have rules, imagine the chaos that would ensue.

There is no need or excuse to berate an employee for doing his or her job. If you park downtown, you should know the rules. If you’re a visitor with a tent, you should find out where you’re allowed to camp. If you contravene a bylaw and get caught, you should be expected to pay the fine or have a really good excuse not to.

But don’t verbally abuse the bylaw enforcement officer if he or she doesn’t show you the discretion you think you deserve. Take your lumps and learn from the experience.

We give bylaw enforcement officers a lot of credit for what they do. It’s a thankless job, and the public often looks upon these people as the enemy. But we often forget that these individuals are working on our behalf to keep the order in and the chaos out.

Roberge acknowledged that she wasn’t suited for the job. She’s accustomed to people being nice to her, not treating her like an incorrigible leper.

We also suspect that her comments about Loose Bay didn’t help her cause in the community. Despite this, she has valid concerns about the treatment of migrant workers in Oliver and Osoyoos.

We are encouraged to hear that Marshall Enforcement Services are looking for a replacement for Roberge to act as a liaison between the community and French Canadian pickers. But again, that person will need nerves of steel to put up with all the abuse.

Look at how the RCMP does it. They have a special aboriginal constable (Sue Harper) to deal with issues on the Indian reserves in Oliver and Keremeos. It works well and bridges an important gap in these communities.

Pot on stove culprit at Woodside

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Oliver firefighters await instruction as senior officers investigate the origin of smoke reported by a resident at Woodside Villa on the corner of Co-Op Avenue and Kootenay Street Monday. The culprit was a burning pot on the stove in a ground-floor apartment. Nobody was injured, but at least two units sustained smoke damage. Lyonel Doherty photo
Oliver firefighters await instruction as senior officers investigate the origin of smoke reported by a resident at Woodside Villa on the corner of Co-Op Avenue and Kootenay Street Monday. The culprit was a burning pot on the stove in a ground-floor apartment. Nobody was injured, but at least two units sustained smoke damage.        													                   Lyonel Doherty photo
Oliver firefighters await instruction as senior officers investigate the origin of smoke reported by a resident at Woodside Villa on the corner of Co-Op Avenue and Kootenay Street Monday. The culprit was a burning pot on the stove in a ground-floor apartment. Nobody was injured, but at least two units sustained smoke damage. Lyonel Doherty photo

Oliver firefighters had a mystery on their hands Monday when smoke filled a top-floor unit of Woodside Villa at Co-Op Avenue and Kootenay Street.

But it turned out to be a pot on the stove that burned some nearby combustibles in a bottom-floor apartment.

Firefighters were called to the scene at approximately 1 pm when the occupant of the top-floor unit reported black smoke coming out of his kitchen fan. But he wasn’t using the fan, he told the Chronicle.

Firefighters began searching the building for the smoke’s origin and found it in the first-floor unit, where the occupants had left a pot on the stove. Firefighters used fans to clear out the smoke, and had a water hose line at the ready.

The owner of the top-floor unit voiced his concern about the cause, saying it could have been devastating for everyone in the building. The units sustained smoke damage, but nobody was injured.

In another call the fire department attended to on June 7, members had some tense moments fighting a blaze that destroyed a mobile home on Thorp Road.

Media relations spokesman Rob Graham said the trailer was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. He noted the occupants were outside at the time and heard a noise inside the trailer. It wasn’t long before flames were shooting out of the structure, Graham said.

The tense moments came when a propane tank caught fire and erupted into a fireball, he pointed out. Firefighters kept cooling the tank with water until the propane bled out, which took about half an hour, Graham said. He noted that firefighters did a good job under the trying circumstances.

No injuries were reported, and no cause was immediately determined. But it wasn’t suspicious, Graham stated. He also noted that the owners did not have insurance.

Lyonel Doherty

Oliver Chronicle

 

Oliver ranchers honoured with stewardship award

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Dave and Wanda Casorso from Oliver have won the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award for their commitment to the grassland ecosystem. Photo contributed

Dave, Wanda Casorso committed to ecosystem

Dave and Wanda Casorso from Oliver have won the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award for their commitment to the grassland ecosystem. Photo contributed
Dave and Wanda Casorso from Oliver have won the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Stewardship Award for their commitment to the grassland ecosystem.
Photo contributed

The BC Cattlemen’s Association is pleased to congratulate Dave and Wanda Casorso, owners of Casorso Ranch, for receiving the 2013 BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) Environmental Stewardship Award.

Casorso Ranch is a cow/calf operation located north of Oliver on a series of sensitive grassland benches above Vaseux Lake.

Doug Fossen, BCCA Environmental Stewardship chair, sees Dave and Wanda as leaders in environmental stewardship.

“They have made their ranch fit the environment they live in, instead of trying to change the environment to fit their ranch,” said Fossen. “They have built a large, healthy working cattle ranch in a severely challenging climate. The Casorsos are a great example of a resourceful and dedicated BC ranching family.”

Dave and Wanda are committed to environmental stewardship; every day they take care of the land, water, livestock and wildlife.

“We are honoured to receive this award from our peers and fellow stewards of the land,” said Dave.  “We saw the successes of other ranches and we realized the potential on our land to improve sustainability.”

Through the Environmental Farm Plan, Dave and Wanda were able to develop a plan to improve their ranch sustainability.

“Part of our plan included creating several irrigated pastures to better utilize our grass,” said Dave.  “Now we can put more cattle on less acres and that leaves us with a better habitat for wildlife and a cleaner water source.”

Raising cattle in one of Canada’s driest climates, Dave and Wanda knew they needed to manage for the sensitivity of the grassland ecosystem and for water efficiency.

The South Okanagan region receives only six inches of precipitation annually – that is less than half the precipitation of Lillooet and approximately 10 per cent of the precipitation of Abbotsford.

Other aspects of their plan included new riparian fencing along sections of a creek flowing through the ranch to allow natural re-vegetation and an innovative gravity- fed irrigation system with upgraded high efficiency irrigation equipment.

“Water is critical to our ranch. These improvements have allowed us to do more with less water,” said Dave.

Casorso Ranch was presented with the award at the annual general meeting of the BCCA on May 24 in Vernon.  It is a prestigious award that annually recognizes a British Columbia beef cattle producer or a group of local cattle producers for innovative stewardship practices and management tools aimed at improving the environmentally sustainability of the ranch.

As the recipients of the BCCA award, the Casorsos are entered in the national environmental stewardship award offered by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association will announce the recipient in August.

Contributed

To the Chronicle

 

Miss Teen Shelby LePage empowering youth

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Shelby LePage from Osoyoos is representing BC at the national Miss Teen Canada World in Toronto on July 20. She invites people to attend her fundraiser for “Free the Children” at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre this Saturday. Photo contributed
Shelby LePage from Osoyoos is representing BC at the national Miss Teen Canada World in Toronto on July 20. She invites people to attend her fundraiser for “Free the Children” at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre this Saturday.                Photo contributed
Shelby LePage from Osoyoos is representing BC at the national Miss Teen Canada World in Toronto on July 20. She invites people to attend her fundraiser for “Free the Children” at Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre this Saturday. Photo contributed

(Miss Teen Southern BC Shelby LePage from Osoyoos will represent BC at the national Miss Teen Canada World in Toronto on July 20. The following is an interview with the Chronicle).

 

Q: Why did you get involved in this endeavour?

A: At 15 I was very shy and wanted to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I got involved in the royalty/ambassador program and I am a 2010 former Osoyoos princess. From that I gained a lot of confidence and life-long skills.

Q: What does the Miss Teen Canada World pageant offer?

A: It offers youth the opportunity to act as role models for other girls and bring awareness to many worthy causes. I have chosen to bring more awareness to “children in care” as my family has fostered most of my life. I want to give children a voice and to break stereotypes; most importantly I want them to know they matter and to encourage other families to consider fostering.

Q: What do you want to accomplish?

A: I really just want to be a positive role model for other youth. Miss Teen Canada World would allow me to do this at a national level. I am also interested in pursuing a career in modelling or the fashion industry.

Q: Why have you chosen “Free the Children” as your national charity, and why is it important to you?

A: I really believe that youth and children can make a difference in the world. Free the Children gives youth the opportunity to bring awareness to causes that they find meaningful. They help bring education, clean water, food and proper medical care to children in third world countries.

Q: What are you doing to prepare for Miss Teen Canada World?

A: I primarily have been focusing on fundraising for Free the Children. I have held a hot dog sale sponsored by Buy-Low Foods. I did a bike run on June 8, and I’m hosting a dinner and gala at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre on June 15, where I’m hoping people will attend and support Free the Children. There will be lots of entertainment and food. For more information, email missteensouthernbc@live.com. I’m also looking for sponsorship from any businesses and individuals to help cover my entrance and travel costs to attend the national pageant. I also do a weekly blog to bring awareness to my platform, issues, my journey and charity fundraising.

Q: What difference do you want to make in this world?

A: For youth to have more of a voice and be able to empower other youth to be themselves. I wish to inspire other young women to have the courage to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. There is nothing more beautiful then believing in yourself.

Lyonel Doherty

Oliver Chronicle