Sunday, July 24, 2016

Deathknell Rings for MWP Peer Review


As though we didn't know this would be the result.
The MWP 2012 "will not be reviewed by an independent engineer" begins the Morning Star story today by Roger Knox.

Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan "had pushed for a peer review of the water plan, but that request was denied by the stakeholders," summarizes the wordy article.

Concluding paragraphs are:

"The full scope of the master water plan is about $108 million
 over 50 years
 but the cost could depend on factors such as
 government grants and filtration being deferred or not occurring at Duteau.
While another referendum is possible,
 funds could also come from reserves and existing revenue."

Reserves?
Existing revenue?
Think, folks!

If that monumental amount of money is to come from reserves, it'll come from increased base rates!
If that monumental amount of money is to come from "existing(?) revenue", it'll come from drastically increased consumption rates!

Greater Vernon Water wouldn't dare hold another borrowing referendum!!!!
It'd fail just like the last one in 2014.

GVW's gouging continues...

"And funds could also come from an exit interview fee as people leave the community," sighs Kia.

It's been said GVW wants a Cadillac water system.
For residents who are selling their second vehicles.

 

Communicating...Albeit a Tad Late


Oh for heaven's sake!

Today's RDNO blurb in the newspaper, entitled "Coldstream Locates" stated:

"The Regional District of North Okanagan - Greater Vernon Water
would like to notify District of Coldstream customers
that a GVW representative is in their area
completing locates for water meter service valves, meters
 and property posts.
This is being done to ensure efficient operation of the GVW system
and possibly prepare for future infrastructure upgrades.
If you have any questions, please contact our office
at 250.550.3700 or engineering@rdno.ca"

Well, that explains it.
A bit.

GVW previously committed to improving communications/notifications with their customers--especially since the failed water referendum in November 2014--of planned projects.  

But the RDNO notice should've preceded the visit by the Gentech technician (story here "Now I'm Really Confused").



"Late communication is still an improvement over bureaucratic doublespeak," offers Kia.

Suppose so.

However the RDNO notice in the newspaper should've actually preceded the technician's visit, "Lavington Questionnaire" in hand.

Neighbours wouldn't have called and asked what the heck was going on with the MWP.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Industry Smoke-n-Mirrors Goes to DoC Council


Mark your calendars, Coldstream residents.

Go see Mr. Allen Langdon make a MMBC recycling presentation to the Council of Coldstream on Monday, July 5th.

Or don't go.

You'll recall he's the managing director of MMBC, multi-material B.C., our area's recycling program.
Unaffectionately renamed Mini-Material B.C. by residents, by the way, because they take fewer "acceptable" items than the old blue bag system did.  And residents all loved that blue bag system!

His 9-page powerpoint presentation is here, so you can save yourself the aggravation of wanting to shout aloud against his patronizing and condescending bafflegab (remember when he suggested residents combine trips to the recycling depot with grocery errands???)


Hopefully Coldstream council will see through the smoke and mirrors.
Many of us want one question asked:

Why...when the largest Bakery in Canada is Weston...are their (and others') plastic bread bags NOT allowed in the curbside collection boxes?
  (after all, Weston is one of the big boys who bring us this decidedly-shoddy program!)

And Mr. Langdon still doesn't get it, evidenced by the last statement on his presentation:

"In addition, MMBC is willing to work
in partnership with the District of Coldstream
to help address any specific issues
with their residents through targeted education activities."
 
 
Yeah, right!  "targeted education activities".
Translation:  we residents will be further educated!
 
 
 
"How about they get Mr. Langdon up to the garbage dump--media reporter and camera as witnesses--and have Langdon do 'an audit' of garbage bags.  Place everything that could've gone into a blue bin (or taken by a resident to a recycling depot) into one ever-growing pile," offers Kia.
 
 
That'd suit residents nicely, as long as the Morning Star takes a giant panoramic shot of the pile Langdon discovers.
 
Everyone we've talked to is putting most "recyclables" into garbage bags again.
Poor Mother Earth.
And it's MMBC's fault.
And Langdon's.
 
For more on which companies are the corporate biggies who are force-feeding us with this bullshit, click here.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Insanity and Greed Rule


Whether it's the uber-volatile Vancouver and Toronto housing markets--where 90 year old sawdust insulated falldown-in-the-next-windstorm shacks are being snapped up for $2 million, and Canadian banks are actually giving people mortgages when the family's data proves they'll need 145 per cent of their income to service the debt (for 35 years)--or the sheer ludicrosity of participants leading up to the United States' election, total nutcases appear to be in charge.

Toronto and Vancouver house of cards?

This time I'm not talking about local politics.

Stories epitomizing insanity and greed are no longer rare, they're news.
Or a facsimle thereof.
Sometimes breaking news, in a global industry that otherwise has nothing newsworthy to report, especially considering they're on the air daily for three hours to all day!


Examples permeate mainstream media daily, to the point where my family isn't alone in shunning TV or most print publications.

Just one more example from Gyula Kiss' excellent blog coldstreamernews:

But before the cut-n-paste from his blog...a story link that'll whet your whistle.
Or raise your ire, as it did mine.

Among other notable folks, read the excerpt about George W. Bush's daughter buying an aquifer:

"Jenna Bush (daughter of former President George W. Bush
 and granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush)
 reportedly bought 98,840 acres of land in Chaco, Paraguay, near the
 Triple Frontier (Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay).
 This land is said to be near the 200,000 acres purchased by her
 grandfather, George H.W. Bush, in 2005.
The lands purchased by the Bush family sit over not only
 South America’s largest aquifer — but the
 world’s as well — Acuifero Guaraní, which runs beneath
 Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
 This aquifer is larger than Texas and California combined."

And I'll begin the (author referenced) story from Gyula's blog with his wonderfully-timely closing statement:

The idea is almost as good as
 dumping highly treated domestic water
 on hayfields and other agricultural crops!


Here it is:

Nestlé’s bright idea: a water bottling plant in the desert




The world’s biggest water bottler is entering new territory: bone-dry Phoenix, Ariz., in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. The Arizona Republic reports that Nestlé plans to open a $35 million water bottling plant in the city that would produce 264 million half-liter bottles of water per year.

This news comes around the same time that Lake Mead (which supplies water to 25 million people in Arizona, California, and Nevada) just hit its lowest levels ever. Phoenix officials insist that the city has more water than it needs at the moment thanks to its supply from the Colorado River. No matter that the river is slowly emptying due to climate change!

That’s just one part of Nestlé’s water problems in the West. Last week, Oregon voters approved the nation’s first ban on commercial water bottling in Hood River County, effectively shutting down the corporation’s proposal to open its first bottling facility in the Pacific Northwest. And in California, Nestlé is currently under investigation for bottling water from a national forest, despite claiming that its water rights there date back to the 1800s.

You wouldn’t know it from the company’s actions, but Nestlé’s execs are actually pretty freaked out about water shortages. A 2009 leaked cable revealed that Nestlé predicted one-third of people worldwide would be affected by water scarcity by 2025, noting that water problems would be particularly severe in the western United States.

In the face of drought and dwindling freshwater resources, the irony of bottling water in a desert is … almost too much to be believed. But crazier shit has definitely happened  Kate Yoder



Add caption


"Nestle learned it from that French company who had a TV commercial about building a city in the middle of a desert," Kia reminds us.

Yup.

Insanity.
Greed.
Nutcases.
Barons.

I just may throw the bigscreen out the window.
Or into the garbage with the rest of the unrecyclables.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Refuting Darwin?


Gosh, one would think his theory doesn't hold water sometimes.
Both of fraudsters and the victims.

Today's Morning Star story "Public warned of Canada Revenue scam involving ITunes" seems to challenge Darwin's Theory that states all species evolve, arising and developing through natural selection.

In the latest scam, "a person is contacted by phone and told they owe thousands of dollars to the Canada Revenue Agency and instructed to buy iTunes cards, activate them and provide the codes to the fraudsters."





"Seniors may be immune to this scam," offers Kia, "with most unfamiliar with what iTune cards are."


The gene pool.
Occasionally murky and muddy.
Which makes one surprised that THAT one sperm made it!

But it has given rise to the much-enjoyed Darwin Awards.



Friday, July 15, 2016

Down Three Per Cent in a Year


Not three per cent fewer property tax accounts were paid in 2016 versus last year, but three per cent fewer dollars!

The deadline of July 4th came and went, and tax revenue is three per cent lower at the City of Vernon.

"The difference could be a large property owner not paying on time," said a City communications officer, according to the Morning Star today.




"So once he or she pays up--more likely a whole whack of small property owners", grins Kia "the city's coffers will again be bulging."  


Maybe the next 160-word Morning Star story will actually provide some substantive information.

...the drivel that masquerades as a story these days!



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Predicting the Unpredictable


Wow.
Some internet stuff that arrives via email is worth keeping.
Or trying to get one's head around.

Here goes:  (author unknown)



"The Future Is Here!


In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide.  Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.
What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years - and most people don't see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again?

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore's law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Welcome to the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.
Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 time more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don't want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver's license and will never own a car. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year.

Most car companies might become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. I spoke to a lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; they are completely terrified of Tesla.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.
Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.
Electric cars will become mainstream until 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electric. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean: Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.
With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There will be companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free.

3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.
At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-story office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: "in the future, do you think we will have that?" and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century.

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.

Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields. Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as "alternative protein source" (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects).

There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you are. Until 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed when they are telling the truth and when not.

Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the default reserve currency.

Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more that one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. Until 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to world class education. Every child can use Khan academy for everything a child learns at school in First World countries. We have already released our software in Indonesia and will release it in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese this Summer, because I see an enormous potential. We will give the English app for free, so that children in Africa can become fluent in English within half a year."



Not that I see some of it coming about in the manner described.
But the only constant appears to be change.

"What will people live on without jobs?" says Kia, "and where does their paycheque originate?" 

I doubt either of us will be around... 

Only SOME Squeaky Wheels...


Rolke's editorial in the Morning Star today on Nexus Community Resource Center being denied--and then having reinstated--funding as a result of the Squeaky Wheel Syndrome really only applies to some things, especially with a provincial election schedule for May, 2017.

Two excerpts from the editorial are:

"Government frequently buckles
 when faced with negative headlines,
editorials and letters to the editor."

and

"The bottom line is that the squeaky wheel
 got the grease initially
 and the government backed off
on its earlier decision..."


Not everything gets that treatment...

Think back to November 2014 when the majority of Greater Vernon Water customers soundly rejected the $70 million borrowing referendum.

But a stakeholders' advisory committee of residents was formed, you say?
And they ultimately recommended keeping two water sources and two water treatment plants...albeit with the "real plus" of forcing filtration first at Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant (versus bureaucrats' plans to filter Duteau Creek first).

Yes, but...
Think back to all those local politicians who--during the last municipal election (OK, you may feign surprise at the timing!)--agreed with residents and said they themselves would not support Master Water Plan 2012.
Then did an about-face and supported the plan?

Well...is the squeaky wheel getting greased now?
Are residents getting a streamlined MWP that minimizes domestic costs as a result of agricultural separation?  
Nope.

Gyula Kiss said it best:

"SAC members could have learned a lot by asking the politicians why they publicly rejected the referendum during their election campaign after they supported the MWP. They could have saved a lot of time.  Even Director Macnabb wondered about why there was a change of heart by many of the politicians...."

As it happened the Staff supported Option 2 prevailed, eliminating all of the options that would have used Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes for fully separated domestic supplies. Never mind the threat of climate change and higher treatment costs. 

The process will totally dismantle the original VID irrigation system and replace it with a complicated new system. There will be three supply lines (domestic only from Mission Hill, mixed irrigation/domestic water from the Duteau Treatment Plant and a new untreated irrigation water supply directly from Harvey Lake). All those systems will be the financial responsibility of the domestic customers. They will pay the cost of construction, operation and maintenance and the replacement value of the total system. The current 4% agriculture contribution of the total budget is a smidgen of those costs."  From Coldstreamernews, June 21/16 article.

So is our local government backing off?
All those biased politicians who were in office when they themselves approved the MWP?
Not a chance.

Because bureaucrats run the show.
Aided by consultants they've hired.
And bureaucrats want that Master Water Plan to proceed, hang the costs (because they themselves make up to three times the salaries that working residents earn, and easily tenfold what retirees have to live on).

So where's the squeaky wheel syndrome?


Not here.
Not for GVW customers.
Not for the Master Water Plan.
Not for procedural fairness and parity.

"The wheel has fallen off," offers Kia, "from sheer neglect."

The lubricant went elsewhere.
Maybe it was given away.

NexusBC's Lynn Belsher knows how it goes...lucky NexusBC.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bird Strike Sadness


Brutally sad.

Majestic and beautiful birds die when striking windows that reflect the sky and trees around them.


a Blackpoll Warbler?

Truly sad.

The lucky ones seem to recover after a sideways strike at the large clubhouse windows.
After some time they shake off the shock and fly away.

But today's beauty did not survive.

"So stop cleaning the windows," suggests Kia, "maybe the dust coating will deter them."

I just may do that.

Anything to help wildlife survive. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

School's Out


...and parents are already groaning.

But several overheard comments made me realize that the following article--which I, at first, dismissed--is indeed the way parents today feel about what their kids are learning in school.

Reprinted (from Turf & Recreation June 2016), "Duffer"...what's become of school?, by Ian Robinson

"Every year around this time, the people who get paid to make the rest of us feel bad publish the results of international educational studies showing that, compared to kids living in China and Hong Kong and places I can't even begin to spell, let alone find on a map (like Ulan Bator, for instance), our children are...well...dumb asses.

This is occasionally demonstrated by my lovely and intelligent daughter who, for reasons that escape me, sometimes experiments to see if it's possible to skate by on looks alone and brings home a report card that puts me in mind of the ones that I got when I was her age.  Which for the record, is not a good thing.  I'm a guy who spent the '70s dragging down the academic average of the entire Ontario secondary school system.  Also, for the record, I wasn't skating by on good looks.

Trust me.  I like the drawing that illustrates this column, because compared to the way I REALLY look, the drawing makes me look like Antonio Banderas.

Anyway, after my daughter brings home the kind of report card that somebody like Pam Anderson or a geranium would get, she usually manages to rectify her problem the following term after a conversation with her father that involves modern and compassionate child rearing methods.

You know these methods.  They're probably the ones you use, too--screaming, grounding and threats of terrible violence.

Anyway, the international study shows our kids are idiots.  Doofuses.  Or maybe that's 'doofi.'  Who knows?  Who cares?

So we spend our billions and pay big bucks to figure out how to spend our billions, and STILL our kids are getting aced out by foreign kids who are doing math by drawing in the dirt with a stick.  And not a fancy, $1,100, ergonomically-designed, politically-correct (pale green rather than sexist boy blue or girlie pink), school board-approved stick, either.  Just a freaking stick that someone reached up and broke off a tree.  Of course, in our educational system, there'd be some kind of kinghell mother of a fuss over that now, wouldn't there?  Because, aside from producing kids that can't do math like the stick children in the Third World, the eco-Nazis have gone and taken over school curriculums.

Which leads us to the reason our kids aren't kicking the butts of those kids from other countries in real subjects like math, science and English.  It's because they aren't spending much time doing THOSE subjects.  My girl just brought home a list of elective courses that she spends at least half her school day on.  Here's a sampling with actual quotes from the course curriculum:

  • ENVOE:  Environmental and Outdoor Education.  Units include:  wilderness first aid, environmental ethics, trip planning, climbing, hiking, skiing, winter activities and kayaking.
Where I come from, this isn't a course of study, it's a freaking vacation, got it?  It's CAMPING!  Environmental ethics?  What the heck are those?  And the ethics of camping are pretty simply.  Clean up the camp site, don't start forest fires and don't poop on the trail.  Not a course of study.  Common sense.

  • GERMAN.  The grade 9 German program is meant to be introductory.  The emphasis is on fun.
OK, at the risk of sounding like somebody who can't let go of the past...the emphasis is on fun?  The subject is GERMAN, isn't it?  When was the last time somebody back from a round-the-world trip made reference to Those Wacky, Fun-Loving Germans?
  • LEADERSHIP/SERVICE:  Students will plan a major project for the school such as a Talent Show or Fitness Day.
Again, this is a course?  When I was in high school we had plenty of students willing to organize geeky events.  They were called, shockingly enough, geeks and getting to carry a clipboard and suck up to teachers was its own reward for these creatures.  You don't need to worry about them.  They grow up to (reluctantly, it is said) participate in the parliamentary pension plan as alliance MPs.
  • DESIGN/COMMUNICATIONS.  Students will explore Internet graphics and use education as well as electronic presentation.
Memo to school board:  The dot.com revolution is over, babies.  The companies all tanked.  Aside from Amazon.com and eBay, the oly people making money on the web are the people who run porno sites.  So you're training my daughter to do WHAT exactly?  I'm waiting.
  • DRAMA.  Students in this program will develop skills learned in Grade 7 and/or 8 drama.
You're teaching adolescent children about DRAMA?  You want drama?  Just listen to a 14-year-old girl on the phone.  'OH MY GOD!  AND THEN TOMMY, YOU KNOW, HE LIKE PUT HIS HAND ON CHERYL'S...WELL, YOU KNOW! AND THEN, I CAN'T BELIEVE HE DID THIS..."
Adolescent children don't need drama lessons.  They need anti-drama vaccines.
  • LEGAL STUDIES.  Students will examine the law from the perspective of a junior high student.  Students will cover...Young Offenders Act/Youth Criminal Justice Act...
Lemme get this straight.  You're teaching something from the perspective of a junior high school student?  Do you morons know any ACTUAL junior high school students?  A junior high school student is, essentially, a self-involved psychopath.  Your role as an educator is to get junior high school students to STOP ACTING LIKE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!  It's to get them to act like responsible, taxpaying adults without hopes or dreams.  Just like you or me.

And you're teaching them about the Young Offenders Act?  This is like giving every felon in the country who can't yet grow a decent mustache a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.  We do not want to teach young criminals their rights!  We want to leave them in a state of ignorances so maybe, just maybe, the cops will have a fighting chance with the little beggars.

The list of crap my kid can take that will NOT add to a useful skill-set goes on and on.

Hint to educators:  Just 'cause you're bored teaching useful stuff, and the kids are bored learning useful stuff, doesn't mean you should quit teaching useful stuff.

Doesn't mean you ought to teach them how to camp.  I can teach my kid how to camp.  I have taught my kid how to camp.  And when we camp, we don't sweat it when somebody breaks a stick off a freaking tree, got it?

If there's anything my kid doesn't know about drama, she can watch me and her mom fight.

And when it comes to leadership, I don't want my kid to be a leader.  Leaders usually cause nothing but trouble.  Pierre Trudeau was a great leader.  He led us into national bankruptcy.  Chretien is a leader.  Don't get me started.  Teachers want to run a leadership course, run a course that teaches my kid to ignore leaders, OK?  Starting with you."

Note:  Ian Robinson's 'best of Duffer' column is reprinted from April/May 2002 (likely the reason for the Chretien reference!)




image from "Greater Fool" blog


Maybe it was just a silly story.

"Maybe the wish to have his child ignore leaders hit home... thinking of the local Master Water Plan?" suggests Kia.
 

Maybe more than parents identify with the sentiments therein.

Non-Committal Garlick


He'd likely say that he didn't want to blow his own horn.

But as Chair of the Stakeholders' Advisory Committee--the appointed group of Greater Vernon residents who applied to review Master Water Plan 2012--you'd believe there'd be something of a more substantive statement in a Mayor's annual address to ~10,000 Coldstream residents than what it contained:



from June's 12-page District of Coldstream Community News here.

Coldstream's non-committal mayor seriously downplays he was--and remains--an integral part of the manipulative and biased team of politicians who were in office during the consultants' submission--and acceptance by GVAC--of the Master Water Plan 2012...indeed even earlier versions, prior to the failure of the 2014 borrowing referendum for the plan.
The team included bureaucrats of GVW who were prepared to have the status quo (MWP 2012) prevail at all cost...that is, residents' costs.

Let's see if non-committal fits:




"Yup, that not only fits," affirms Kia, "but his 'leading' role should've included a photo with the description."

"Impacts on the community."
No kidding.





As Buchanan Road residents receive a questionnaire from a consultant, no-one knows what's happening.  Didn't GVW say they'd need to do a better job of communicating?  When?





Sounds as though a 900mm chlorinated line will soon front Buchanan Road properties...and we residents were each asked by the consulting technician to indicate where/if our non-potable / potable water connections are (or should be) located.  Presumably the existing 750mm chlorinated water line will become raw water?  (according to the technician).

No-one along the street has received any communication from GVW bureaucrats.
Shhhhhh....maybe they're speaking in tongues...



MWP Silence?


Didn't see or hear anything about the most recent GVAC meeting at which the Stakeholders' Advisory Committee's recommendations on the Master Water Plan were to have been presented.
Presumably how GVW was going to proceed?
Maybe everyone's terrified of doing a story on what happened at the meeting?
In case they get it wrong?

Nada on Kiss-FM News.
Nada in yesterday's Morning Star.
Nada on Castanet yesterday.
Nada on CHBC-TV's online stories.

Maybe they're all wondering how to describe what foregone conclusion means.

Nada yet on Bob Spiers' blog.
Nada yet on Gyula Kiss' blog, with note of the following posted June 21/16 in anticipation of what occurs next:



“....As it happened the Staff-supported Option 2 prevailed, eliminating all of the options that would have used Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes for fully separated domestic supplies. Never mind the threat of climate change and higher treatment costs.

The process will totally dismantle the original VID irrigation system and replace it with a complicated new system. There will be three supply lines (domestic only from Mission Hill, mixed irrigation/domestic water from the Duteau Treatment Plant and a new untreated irrigation water supply directly from Harvey Lake). All those systems will be the financial responsibility of the domestic customers. They will pay the cost of construction, operation and maintenance and the replacement value of the total system. The current 4% agriculture contribution of the total budget is a smidgen of those costs."
 

So, while the public is wondering what is going on, GVW obviously knows where they're heading.
And it's obviously not toward another water referendum.

Here is a link to Non-Potable Water Rates, as well as a 17-page GVW schedule of procedures for administering service rates and construction of separation projects.

I found it odd, really, that the attachment (the map just ahead of two "draft" resident letters) "GVW Completed Non-Potable Projects" doesn't delineate the properties North of Buchanan Road at all!
As an aside, the penultimate letter the 17-page document contains is for residents who already have a non-potable water connection to their property, the last letter is for those residents who do not.

Look at the map, with its scale of 1:125,000 and try to find Highlands Golf location.  No property boundaries are shown on the north side of Buchanan!  Actually, at first glance, that led me to believe the (legend) line marking Buchanan Road was actually the northern boundary of my--and neighbours'--properties.  But it's not!  That legend road line is Buchanan Road.  The road frontage line! 

So are we going to get non-potable water?
Despite a previous consultant (in a TM) stating that north Buchanan Road "irrigators" (West Buchanan Road) didn't use sufficient water for irrigation to justify separating us from the chlorinated line?

I suppose we'll all find out soon enough what's next.

But in the meantime, some compelling and thoughtful opinions have been shared:
An anonymous sampling follows:

"The concern of Joe/Jane Ratepayer is his/her water bill. A dual system costs at least twice as much . The benefits are, at best, questionable.  Equally questionable are how rates have been set at levels far above cost recovery. Hence, the big reserves. Focus on the dollars. Everyone relates to that. Everyone relates to the waste of using expensively treated to drinking standards water then used to grow hay or silage corn. Joe or Jane Ratepayer could care less about where their water comes from. What they care about is what it costs and not being cut off in drought years. That is where the GVW bureaucrats  and GVAC political appointees  are vulnerable.  Vernon is unique in its billing structure. No other community, to my knowledge, charges so much for not a single drop of water."


And another:
 

"...built a wealth of knowledge about why but the reality is the rates are too high. They need to offer a solution that reduces rates, our elected reps need to take that message to the budgeting process."
And another:
"...there is need to significantly change the way the two systems are operated to improve efficiency and reduce costs e.g. cease treating water to potable standards for agricultural uses; identify and prosecute individuals/enterprises who are 'stealing' water upstream of meters; identify and repair system leaks; establish fair rates for all users based on volume and quality of water used; terminate exorbitant base fees; develop and use better models for predicting watershed inflow, reservoir volumes and droughts.

And another:
 
"...I believe GVW management and staff do not rank cost of service as a high priority in their decision making and they feel water rates are the responsibility of their political masters.  The formation of the GVW utility has a legacy of commitments to the original agricultural utility which no one is prepared to correct. Unfortunately, the multiple levels of governance (GVW, GVAC, GVW, City of Vernon, City of Coldstream, Regional Districts, Interior Health, etc. etc. make it inevitable that everyone will blame someone else and do nothing to find a solution. 
GVW should NOT raise the height of the dams on the Aberdeen reservoirs.  This work will be significantly more costly than estimated; the ability to store more water is uncertain and the benefits are questionable given GVW's demonstrated inability to effectively mange the reservoirs they have now. If reservoir storage were to be successfully increased, instream flows would be further altered, currently a sore point with government agencies responsible for fisheries habitat.
Note also that new construction is not appropriate given that the Duteau water intake has not yet been completed as designed to withstand a flood event."


And another:
 
"...The decisions ... made in the past, to include large areas of agricultural lands in the Greater Vernon Water Utility area, in order to convert largely Irrigation Water License to domestic use and now choosing a plan that forces us to treat all the water to domestic drinking water standards (without separating pipes for and no treatment for irrigation water) and put it on agricultural fields will drive the price of domestic water so high that people will revolt (or move away) or force up the price of Agricultural Users which will further kill the economics of agriculture."


And another:
 
"...the water authority intends to carry on with their development plans bypassing any referendum to uber-fund over the next 20 years.  The Capital Expenditure amount of $5.1 million is the first installment in a pay-as-you go formula designed to bypass the 2014 failed water referendum.  This allows MWP2012 to proceed, financed by high rates to be borne by current residential users while no real benefit accrues to all except the small group  (Areas B and C) who would see the benefits of partial separation.  Benefit should accrue equitably among users."





Is it any wonder confusion exists among the public?  See June 22, 2016 blog story entitled "Now I'm Really Confused..."


"No time to shave with all this stuff happenin'," mumbles Kia.
 

Important Documents:
2015 Greater Vernon Water Annual Report
Regular Agenda (only) for GVAC Meeting July 7, 2016, 103 pages.
Special Agenda for GVAC Meeting June 29, 2016, 163 pages