Saturday, April 21, 2018

Poor Bob

Bob Sattler is disgusted.
He's tired of cleaning up drug paraphernalia, needles and human excrement from behind his business, Hi-Pro Sports.

"But when he received a $100 fine from City of Vernon bylaw for leaving a shopping cart full of items at the Gateway Shelter, that was the last straw.
Sattler's business is a block away from the shelter. He said he often has some of the street-entrenched population set up camp on his property, making a mess that he has to clean up," according to the Castanet story here.

His business' problem is being located a block from the homeless shelter.

Very annoying too is Mr. Fehr's comment:  "Fehr said he was disappointed that Sattler posted the incident online and invited the business operator to call him anytime about the matter."

Drug paraphernalia including needles, mattresses and human excrement are common.

Bob Sattler should certainly call Mr. Fehr.
...and invite him to help pick up the needles and excrement the next time it occurs.

"It's a short drive to drop it off at Vernon City Hall," Kia would've said.

I hope Bob's $100 fine from the bylaw officer is cancelled by Mayor Mund.

Risky Creek Clean-up

This group of Coldstream children are doing a great service to the community.

But...considering all the recent press about drug paraphernalia (used drug needles) being discovered in Polson Park, the clean-up was remiss in precautions for the youngsters.  This is in addition to the likelihood of the kids stepping in dog poop.

Missing are gloves and boots!

Let's keep these community-minded kids safe!!!

Think, parents!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Could it be Spring?

After what seemed like a mini Ice Age this winter.

Grandson helping Opa mow...
Huge pine cones were raked to prevent twisted ankles.
Looking southeast, the Coldstream Valley is greening up nicely and the gravel pit is almost finished.
Burning day...lots of smoke unfortunately.  Too much rain recently.
All out of marshmallows...

On a more somber note, Roxanne Ronan was the only member of the public in attendance at Coldstream's Monday council meeting where the Temporary Foreign Workers Housing situation was discussed.

She reports that "the end result is that the bylaw goes to public review and open house unchanged at 40 workers per farm with recommendations on what Kelowna, Westbank, and Summerland are doing.  Public input will be the taken into consideration.    I was the only person in attendance."

We'll see what councillors do to prevent squatter shack trailer-towns popping up. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Friends are in Spain

...and they sent this lovely picture from a little town called Benahavis.

...can almost feel the sun's warmth!

I know...I will improve here.

But in the meantime...

...the other day(s)

the other day(s)

But we are wondering what happened to our usual nice sunny Spring days...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Over Four Hundred Bucks for No Water

Yes, we know how Greater Vernon Water's quarterly water billings are calculated.
But that doesn't mean residents agree.
Or look forward to receiving the invoices.

Interestingly enough, Monday's postal delivery consisted of only government mail.
Actually, interesting is the wrong word.

The first was the totally useless--to me--newsletter from the B.C. Liquor Control...all about what defines a "contravention" of liquor policy, yabba yabba yabba.

I'm simply not interested in receiving government "newsletters".
I know the liquor rules well enough to always be in compliance at the golf course.

But to think that my tax--and annual liquor license--dollars are used to send me four pages on glossy full colour stock is, well, frankly irritating.
Probably keeps an entire department of government employees working full time.
And at huge salaries!

And the second government envelope was from our area's Greater Vernon Water Authority (actually the District of Coldstream) sending out the quarterly billings for clubhouse, residence and irrigation meters.  Irrigation invoice?  in early April?  Yup.

The four hundred-plus bucks for January 1/18 to March 31/18?

Clubhouse:  water base $360.00, meter renewal $7.07, total $367.07 for ZERO water consumption.
Irrigation: meter renewal $35.35, fire hydrant $33.00, total $68.35 for ZERO water consumption.
Those two meters total $435.42 for three months!

And the third meter, the residence, where there was actual water consumption.
water base $90.00, consumption 23m3, meter renewal $7.07, total $115.93 for 23 m3 consumption.
That works out to $5.04 per cubic meter of water use.
Yes it does!

Oh...and a newsletter from GVW (albeit on one page, double sided...pictured below)

Yes, indeedy, Greater Vernon Water is getting the most out of our water meter(s).
The most dollars.

Thanks for the mail, government agencies!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Oh, the Irony!

It seems ironic that we bitch and complain about the price of water that we pay Greater Vernon Water...only to have to pump it out of the irrigation pond to prevent flooding the clubhouse, located immediately downhill!


Oh, the irony of conserving water...especially the FREE water from snowmelt.

And then having to rent a pump and lower the water level in the irrigation pond by two inches!

It's almost funny.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Bleeding Hearts Need a Styptic Pencil

Incredible problems in downtown Vernon.

I had no idea, despite having seen--albeit quickly before I turned away--"disadvantaged" folks in and around the downtown core as I drive through on my business errands.

As well as this Beach Radio Vernon News page, this morning's CBC Daybreak program (out of Kelowna included absolutely gruesome details concerning what business owners downtown are faced with relating to the homelessness issue.

And this Take Back Our City story from Castanet expresses business owners' frustrations perfectly!

The radio station's feature stated:  "Last night’s Activate Safety Task Force town hall in Vernon drew close to 160 people.  Chairperson Darrin Taylor says people didn’t mince words but he feels the tone was still constructive.

“I think even those of us that have been around for a long time are beginning to be shocked at the sort of behaviours that people are seeing, but it was an opportunity for us to gather a significant amount of input and data."  ...“Everything from open drug use, prostitution, threatening behaviour, drug trafficking, theft and assault.”

But the CBC radio program--to which I awoke this morning--almost had me gasping in horror!
Some of the comments from business owners included:  "...a man masturbating at the Vernon Shoe store's front window, so I locked the door..." and "when I arrive in the morning, I have to clear away human excrement in front of the door..."

I was--and remain--totally stunned by this assault on decent people's sensibilities!

So now there's a Task Force!
What a bloody waste of time and energy.

I agree with one of the presenters who was featured on CBC this morning:  "Kick them in the ass..."

There has been wayyyyyyy too much "empathy and compassion".
Wayyyyyy too much focus on getting these people a place to shoot up their illicit drugs.
Wayyyyyy too many efforts and meetings to discuss mental health issues and how bad behaviour can be stemmed.

My response is likely because of my age.
I have a decidedly low level of tolerance for bad manners, bad behaviour, and an aggressive sense of entitlement that we--those of us who work hard and pay our bills and respect our neighbours--have had enough of!

Plus now a cynical response to the myriad "agencies" and "government departments" who keep feeding the demands of the "homeless".

why...oh why...does this NOT apply to every segment of society...


And to those bleeding hearts who want to keep complying with all the demands of the homeless, I say the following:

A big styptic pencil will fix your bleeding heart!

Because tolerance no longer works.
So end it!

Think of it this way:  Do we want this town known for these behaviours?


Monday, April 2, 2018

Trudeau's Ongoing Foibles

What an abject embarrassment our Prime Minister is.
By apologizing for what occurred in 1864...(think Canada "started" in 1867)...he may be competing with the American president for the title of Uneducated Idiot.

Here's a letter sent to the Calgary Herald that expresses outrage at T2's lack of knowledge:

"These are yet more reasons why a Drama Queen should not be Prime Minister!
I’m confused. Our prime minister recently apologized in the House of Commons on behalf of all Canadians for the tragic events with respect to the Tsilhqot’in nation, that took place in B.C. in 1864. 

But Canada didn’t even exist until 1867, and B.C. wasn’t a part of Canada until 1871. How can Canada shoulder any responsibility for events that occurred before Canada was even born?
Any and all apologies should come from the province of B.C. (which they have done) and/or the British government.
Our prime minister has issued a lot of apologies of late, but this latest one calls into question the sincerity of those apologies when he is prepared to apologize for events that Canada had nothing to do with. 
Perhaps he owes all Canadians an apology.
Rick Willoughby, Calgary


PM has more apologies to make:

Re: “PM apologizes for 1864 hangings of war chiefs,” March 27.
I wonder when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is going to apologize to the French who were killed by Gen. James Wolfe’s forces in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759?
Alan White, Calgary

Apparently, quite a bit.

Has anybody ever suggested an IQ test for the guy?

Bet it's a two-digit IQ.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

B.C. is an Acronym for Many Things

We residents, when speaking to relatives in other provinces, have always jokingly referred to B.C. as Bring Cash.
The acronym also stands for Bureaucrat Central, for obvious reasons.

Residents and business owners have, for years, struggled to pay massive and never-ending increases in water and property taxes and fuel and hydro, to name only a few.

But it's just not funny anymore.

The price disparity hit home today as I perused a recent story in an oft-read blog by Norm Farrell, blog author par excellence which he entitled "Pushing Back on Site C Disinformation".

This excerpt from the article raised my hackles:

"Power sufficient for 450,000 homes eh? If only we had 450,000 homes that were without electricity. Facts show that demand by BC consumers – BC Hydro’s residential, commercial and industrial customers – has been flat since 2005. In addition, as the NDP knew before they were elected, conservation and small-scale on-site alternative generation offer huge opportunities to reduce demand for grid power.

In fact, BC Hydro’s rapidly rising rates will push more consumers to conserve electricity and utilize self generation methods.

For a few hundred million, BC Hydro could add about half of Site C capacity at Revelstoke. Additionally, even more capacity than Site C could be added by taking back the Canadian Entitlement of downstream power (1,320 MW) generated on the Columbia. We’re selling that now to Americans for 2.6¢/KWh, (my emphasis) which is 20% to 25% of what Site C power will cost."  reprinted without permission from Norm Farrell's blog.

It's the last sentence that sticks in my craw.

We sell electricity to Americans for 2.6 cents a kiloWatt hour?

W h a t ?

While we British Columbians pay 8.5 cents (step 1 to max), increasing to 12.8 cents for step 2.

And my business?
I pay B.C. Hydro's "Small General Service Rate 1300".
And guess what that costs?
11.39 cents per kW hour!

11.39 cents, compared to our electricity going south of the border for 2.6 cents.
Four Hundred and Thirty-Eight Percent more!

My business pays 438% more for British Columbia hydro.

Because they Can. 
Because we're Captive.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Holy Snow-Melt !!!

In 17 years, I've never seen the irrigation pond overflow after winter's snow melt.

And the l'il man, our grandson, is happily rearranging the top-dressing sand pile.

Love it!

Smart Mayor

She's outspoken AND smart.
That's certainly rare given the state of politics...everywhere.

First, a little bit about her:

Lori Ackerman has been mayor of Fort St. John since 2011.  She was born in Manitoba and raised in all four western provinces. She has lived in the Peace region since 1980 and in Fort St. John since 1988.

Pretty impressive credentials, n'est ce pas?

She wrote an open letter to British Columbia residents:

If you want to do something
 about our reliance on fossil fuels
 then address the DEMAND for them not the TRANSPORTATION of them.
Lori Ackerman, mayor Fort St. John, B.C.

Dear British Columbia Citizens,

That is not a current headline but it could be. What would happen to our economy if it was? I would like to talk to you about energy, pipelines and our natural resources. I am a mum and a grandma and I have lived in the north all my life.
I am also the Mayor of Fort St. John – right smack in the middle of one of the world’s largest supplies of oil and gas. I live in a region surrounded by pipelines, wells, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) sites and canola and wheat fields. I have eaten the food we grow here and I drink our water. I understand what it takes to extract our natural resources and what it takes to protect our environment. I live it.
I don’t want to try to convince you of anything but I would like to share with you what I know to be true. I strongly encourage you to do some of your own research. Learn more than what you read in a tweet or a Facebook post.

Where does the petroleum we all use every day come from? Canada has some of the largest petroleum resources in the world and yet Canada imports 634,000 barrels of crude oil from foreign countries every single day. That is $26 BILLION of oil imports every year that we could have supplied to ourselves. That product arrives in tankers and is transported to where it needs to go by truck and train right through our communities. And yet we don’t want our own product to flow in pipelines to our communities for our own use or to our ports so we can export it? That just makes no sense at all to me.

So let’s talk about pipelines. I know pipelines are a safe, cost-efficient means of oil and natural gas transportation and emit fewer greenhouse gases than alternate transportation methods. Canada has 830,000 kilometers of pipelines. Three million barrels of crude oil is transported safely every single day.
B.C. Has over 43,000 kilometers of pipelines. If we took that oil out of the pipelines, we would need 4,200 rail cars to move it. How many of those cars would you like rolling through your community? Between 2002 and 2015, 99.9995% of liquid was transported through our pipelines SAFELY. You probably spill more when you fill up at the gas station.

I understand you don’t want tankers floating down our beautiful B.C. Coast. But did you know the USA has been shipping up to 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Alaska to the Puget Sound through the Salish Sea for the last 20 years? Did you know that B.C. Has a Tanker Exclusion Zone that has been respected for years?

That zone stipulates that full tankers must travel on the west side of the zone but those that are not transporting goods can stay inside the protective zone. Other than one natural gas pipeline, Vancouver Island receives all of their petroleum by barge every day. I don’t remember ever hearing anyone complain about that.

According to Transport Canada over 197,000 vessels arrived or departed from west coast ports in 2015 – 1487 of them were tankers. 400,000 barrels of crude oil is safely transported off the B.C. Coast every single day. Sooo…. I think we are OK there. Emissions? 80% of the emissions associated with fossil fuels are generated in their combustion – not their extraction and transportation.

If you want to do something about our reliance on fossil fuels then address the demand for them not the transportation of them. Change starts with consumers not industry.

A large part of the demand for fossil fuels in B.C. Is transportation. 33% of our fossil fuels are used to operate cars, trucks, planes, trains and ferries. If we switched all of that over to electricity we would need not just one Site C dam but 15 of them. Which communities do you want to flood to provide the energy for your electric cars? Remember I live 7 km from Site C dam so I have a pretty good understanding of them.

I love this quote from Blair King an Environmental Scientist and Writer: “We live in a world where all the work we do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. can be undone with the flick of a pen in China or India. No matter what we do, those developing countries are going to get electrical power to their populations – if not with LNG, then with coal; and if not with B.C. LNG, then with lower intensity (read: dirtier) LNG from one of our competitors. In both cases the end result is higher global GHG emissions than if B.C. LNG was used.”

He is telling us to look outside our province and see the impact we can have on Greenhouse Gasses on our planet. Our LNG is cleaner than the stuff already on the market because our regulations are tougher and we emit far less GHG in our production than in other countries.

Our natural gas industry is committed to continuous improvement. I understand that you are concerned about safety. I am too. In Canada we have some of the strictest safety requirements in the world. Canada’s oil and gas producers are continuously improving the safety of their operations and transportation of their products.

Emergency Response Plans are customized for each community, covering key areas such as public safety, protection of community infrastructure, and a clear plan of action with local emergency responders. And we have the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission to oversee B.C. projects and the National Energy Board oversees the larger multi-jurisdictional projects.

The Oil and Gas Commission is our provincial agency responsible for regulating oil and gas activities in British Columbia, including exploration, development, pipeline transportation and reclamation.

Core responsibilities include reviewing and assessing applications for proposed industry activities, engaging with First Nations, cooperating with partner agencies, and ensuring industry complies with provincial legislation and all regulatory requirements. International delegations come to B.C., as world leaders, to learn how we have partnered environmental protection with resource extraction. I think the Oil and Gas Commission does a good job of protecting the interests of citizens.

Many of you have concerns about the rights of our Indigenous Peoples. I will not speak for them but I will provide you with a quote from Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council: “I think industry is now willing to be a partner (with First Nations). They want to come with the First Nations together. We are depending on these pipelines for the success of the Canadian economy.”

So let’s talk about the economy. B.C.’s energy sector offers some of the largest provincial economic opportunities in a generation. It is estimated that, in 2010, 11.2% of the provincial exports came from the natural resource sector. That was over $21 billion worth.

Canada’s oil and natural gas sector contributes $1.5 billion to the provincial government but it is estimated that it could go as high as $2.4 billion per year. This is money for health care, education and infrastructure. The resource sector is the foundational stone upon which the B.C. economy was built, and it is as important today as ever. 440,000 Canadians are employed because of the oil and gas sector.

A recent study by Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada, shows the huge economic value of the natural resource industry in B.C., and in particular the Lower Mainland. Cross’ report demonstrates that over 55 percent of resource-related jobs and income (direct, indirect and induced) flow to the Lower Mainland.

This means those workers contribute to our economy by renting or buying homes, buying groceries, enjoying a quality life and shopping their local businesses. Let’s lead the world in resource extraction, continuous improvements and long term planning.

Let’s be leaders in reliable and renewable energy development.
Let’s support Canadian industry and stop buying foreign oil.
Let’s grow our economy by meeting our domestic needs and exporting our abundant resources.
Let’s live well now and in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to be an informed citizen."
 Lori Ackerman

Lori Ackerman is decidedly right of center in this graphic.

 "Maybe she has a sister who will run for mayor here," Kia would've offered.

We can dream...