Year in Review: A look at the Market News from 2015

January to June: The first six months appear in this issue, the rest will follow next week.

  • Jan. 1, 2015 8:00 p.m.
A woman walks her dog along the foreshore in 2015.

A woman walks her dog along the foreshore in 2015.


• Some 30 dedicated birdwatchers set off in all directions on the annual bird count in thick fog. Despite conditions, about 70 different species were seen in a 15-mile circle around Salmon Arm.

• Long-term public needs were the priority as a local First Nation brought its neighbours together. The Splatsin obtained 29 acres of the abandoned Canadian Pacific rail line and it hoped to work out a plan for the remainder of the Spallumcheen-to-Sicamous corridor with area jurisdictions.

• Hockey fans were glued to their TV sets as Team Canada captain Curtis Lazar helped lead Canada to the quarter finals of the 2015 world junior championship.

• Salmon Arm didn’t score a record with the 46 centimetres of snow measured at the Salmon Arm Airport, but was the “winner” in the amount of snow dumped in the Thompson-Okanagan region during the two-day storm, Jan. 4 and 5, that smothered the Shuswap. The storm wreaked havoc, closing schools and challenging travellers, city road crews and businesses.

• A well-known Hells Angel and an associate who were caught driving on the outskirts of Salmon Arm with a significant cache of weapons, could ride out the rest of the decade behind bars. Joseph Skreptak and Corey Montemurro were each handed a five-year prison sentence Tuesday, Jan. 13, less time served, for a series of firearms charges related to the Nov. 25, 2010 incident.

• A moose caused a collision on the Trans-Canada Highway at the 21st Street exit across from the RCMP detachment at 5 p.m. on Jan. 12. A 2005 Toyota sedan was travelling on the highway when it collided with a moose. The vehicle occupants were uninjured, but the vehicle sustained major damage and was towed. The moose was euthanized by police.

• No criminal charges were laid against a student who made a fake bomb threat at Shuswap Middle School on Tuesday, Jan. 20, but the school district was going to take disciplinary action. The student responsible was identified by police and school district officials just a few hours after the threat was made.

• The chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band was re-elected for a third term. Judy Wilson retained her seat versus challengers Bonnie Thomas and Randy Narcisse. Of the nine candidates vying for the five band councillor positions, incumbents Art Anthony, Karen R. August and Joan Manuel-Hooper were returned. Newly elected was Fay Ginther, while Louis Thomas was acclaimed as the band councillor for Salmon Arm.

• Copper Island Seniors Resource Centre was granted $20,000 through the province’s 2015 Age Friendly Community Planning and Projects. The money was intended to support age-friendly community planning.

• One person was found dead in a residence following a fire in the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park. Chase RCMP reported that police and the Village of Chase Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 16. One victim was located in the residence and the cause of the fire was unknown. Evidence of foul play was not suspected.

• Columbia Shuswap Regional District Utilities team leader Terry Langlois got the go-ahead from the board of directors to apply for a General Strategic Priorities Fund grant in the amount of $1.7 million for the Sunnybrae Water System upgrade project. A community meeting was held in 2012 to review an initial engineering assessment and discuss available options for water users. From it came unanimous support for the CSRD to secure grant funding, move forward with public assent and take ownership of the water system.

• It was election time. The Adams Lake Indian Band was holding its band council elections in February, following the Neskonlith elections in January. Vying for chief of the Adams Lake Band were incumbent Chief Nelson Leon and challenger Robin Billy. Seventeen people were running for the five council spots: incumbents Henry Anthony, Frederick (Cliff) Arnouse, Karen Everard and Gina Johnny, as well as candidates Trevor Andrew, Thomas Phil Dennis, Deborah (Saul) Hall, Doris Johnny, Brandy Jules, Doreen Kenoras, Joyce Kenoras, Norma Manuel, Winifred (Marie) Narcisse, Howard Nordquist, Stephan Sam, Lorne (Jr.) Sampson and Gregory Witzky.

• Tiger the cat’s first outdoor adventure was a big one, considered by some to be a miracle. After six weeks on the lam, a two-year-old tabby was reunited with his Calgary family on New Year’s Day. On Nov. 21, the declawed, indoor cat was travelling along the Trans-Canada Highway when his owner Paul Bussiere lost control of his truck near Linberg Road in Sorrento. Bussiere was transported to hospital, the vehicle was towed away – and Tiger was nowhere to be found. On New Year’s Day the cat showed up at the home of Paul and Christine Wist, who took him in and got in touch with Bussiere. The next day, Bussiere made the trip from Calgary to pick up the cat.

• The Chase Heat Hockey Club was on a six-game winning streak when they hosted the Summerland Steam on Jan. 10.  In the second overtime the visitors spoiled the streak with a highlight-reel goal, giving them a 3-2 win, but the tie in regulation gave the Heat a point in the tight division standings. The team was tied with the Sicamous Eagles for second spot in the division.

• The society that oversees Chase’s junior hockey team received a $15,000 community gaming grant from the B.C. government. The grant will help cover expenses such as equipment costs and ice time at the Art Holding Memorial Arena. The organization announced the position of team captain will be filled by 6’3” defenceman Trevor Okino. The 20-year-old Richmond native was named the KIJHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player for the 2014/15 season.




• Layoffs began among Shuswap businesses feeling the strain of the slowdown in Canada’s oil industry. Sicamous’ TA Structures, which builds mobile living quarters for worksite camps, had to lay off up to 40 employees in response to the sudden apprehension in the energy resource sector at home and abroad.

• A Kamloops court heard that a speedboat that crashed into a houseboat on Shuswap Lake in 2010 had been zig-zagging at a high rate of speed before colliding head-on with the other vessel, killing the man piloting the houseboat. Leon Reinbrecht, who was behind the wheel of the speedboat at the time of the crash, was facing one count each of criminal negligence causing the death of Ken Brown and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. His trial in B.C. Supreme Court began on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

• Miss P (P for Peyton), a four-year-old beagle co-owned by the Enderby mother-daughter duo of Lori and Kaitlyn Crandlemire, and American breeder Eddie Dziuk, was named Best in Show Tuesday at the 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show – the Super Bowl of dog shows – in front of 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

• Selling vacant or under-used school district properties injected more than $1 million into School District #83’s capital coffers. The previous year, the school district put six properties on the market and only one still remained listed. The sold properties total a value of $1,085,000.

• The wet weather took its toll on a portion of Foothill Road, which was closed indefinitely. On Feb. 17, city crews were called to a stretch of Foothill just west of Mount Ida Cemetery, when the lower edge of the road began sloughing down the bank.

• A Kelowna man who recently went to prison for charges relating to a heavily armed drive through the Shuswap was set free, for the time being. Cory Joseph Montemurro, 45, was granted  judicial interim release pending the hearing of his appeal of the conviction. Release was granted with a list of 22 conditions. He had been sentenced to five years in prison a month earlier.

• Several Shuswap communities were investigating a far-flung approach to attracting a physician. Representatives from Sicamous, Malakwa, South Shuswap and North Shuswap attended a  meeting to hear how Vernon-based Global Medics could help.

• At the January board meeting of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, operations manager Darcy Mooney sought and received approval for $50,000 from the Electoral Area C Community Works Fund to investigate a potential sewer infiltration site in Sorrento. The 2002 Area C Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) identified the cumulative impact of septic systems on the environment was a problem in the making, noted Mooney in his report. Continuous monitoring of the groundwater in the area had identified that on-site septic systems have a negative impact on the environment and the foreshore.

• The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce was marking Chamber week, Feb. 16 to 20, with a sense of satisfaction and a drive to include more members. “Based on our success, we went from zero to 100 in 12 months,” said enthusiastic general manager Karen Brown of the previously dormant organization.

• Mother, miner, heavy equipment operator and reality TV star, Nika Guilbault expressed her love for life in the wild. The Sorrento resident delivered twins in the family truck on Jan. 28 and felt their arrival might postpone her return to the Yukon, where she and husband Chris St. Jean operate a small mining company. The couple were featured in the third season of Yukon Gold, History Channel’s Canadian “docu-series.” Producers bill the show as a character-based documentary that captures the physical and emotional struggles four sets of miners face in their search for gold during the 16-week mining season.

• The trial of Norman John Jerrett, who is accused of the murder of a Tappen man, opened in Edmonton. Jerrett, a 48-year-old Barrhead, Alta. resident, pleaded not guilty to 10 charges, the most serious being murder, in relation to the death of Valentine Degenhardt.

• What began as a request for a letter of support, became a resolution to two government associations. At the January board meeting, Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors heard a request from Area C South Shuswap Paul Demenok to send a letter to the B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake asking for operating funds for Sorrento’s Community Health Centre. The centre, which opened in November 2013, proved to be highly successful. Nurse practitioner Judy Deringer had increased her patient load to more than 900 by the end of February.

• Their thunder was stolen but they were happy nonetheless. Lona Heinzig and Ryan Kurz went to the Feb. 19 board of directors meeting to ask for $24,478 in support for the newly minted Arts Council for the South Shuswap. When they arrived for their 10 a.m. delegation appointment, they were told the money had already been approved with other grant-in-aid requests.

• Shuswap Lake salmonid will have improved habitat, thanks to a partnership between the Little Shuswap Indian Band and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. With $18,000 in funding provided by the BC Conservation Foundation through the federal Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program, 25 linear metres of the Shuswap Lake foreshore at Silvery Beach are being restored. But a larger problem is hidden beneath the waves. On-shore, an abandoned house, chunks of concrete and an estimated 200 tires are being removed from the beach, which is located beside the Trans-Canada Highway just west of the Squilax-Anglemont turn-off.

• The Chase & District Chamber of Commerce board members for 2015 elected were: Tracy Holloway, Linda Kynoch, Carmen Miller, Joan Anderson, Tristan Cavers, Darlene Trowsse, Donna Smith-Bradley, Brock Endean and Barbara Maher.

• The first round of the playoffs are well underway between the Chase Heat and the 100 Mile House Wranglers. Game one on Friday, Feb. 20 saw the visiting Wranglers squeak out a 4-3 victory in double overtime. Game two saw the 340 attendees – the largest and loudest crowd of the season, bolster the locals to a 5-3 victory. Off to the Cariboo Mecca for games three and four. On Monday the 23rd, the Wranglers took over scoring four straight to claim a 4-1 win. Game four on Tuesday the 24th was an epic nail biter from start to finish in double overtime, with Chase victorious, 4-3.




• A spring cleaning of sorts took place in the Adams Lake Indian Band elections held Saturday, Feb. 28. The incumbent chief and all five councillors were replaced with newcomers, none of whom have been on the band council before. Nelson Leon, who served as chief for nine years – a total of three terms – was not re-elected. New chief is Robin Billy, who received 171 votes to Leon’s 97. Incumbent councillors Henry Anthony, Cliff Arnouse, Karen Everard and Gina Johnny were not re-elected, while incumbent councillor Ron Jules did not run. The five new councillors, in order of ballots received, were: Brandy Jules, Gregory Witzky, Deborah Hall, Norma Manuel and Doris Johnny.

• Unwelcome visitors zoomed their way through the Larch Hills ski area Sunday, March 8. Blain Carson, volunteer trail co-ordinator, reported: “On Sunday we had extensive damage to our groomed ski area in the Larch Hills by at least six quads who probably came in from the multi-use South Canoe access and past the signs indicating ‘skis only.’”

• The public was given 60 days to provide input to the school board on the proposed closure of Silver Creek Elementary and reconfiguration of the grade levels at four other elementary schools. At the March 10 board meeting, trustees voted to accept the long-term facility report and proceed with community consultation on the five recommendations, which include the closure of Silver Creek Elementary.

• Foothill Road re-opened to traffic sooner than expected. Blocked off on Feb. 17 from 14th Street SE to 30th Street SE, the road was re-opened March 10, three weeks after the closure.

• Trains are longer and they carry dangerous goods. That was the message CP Rail Director of Government Affairs Mike LoVecchio delivered to members of the board of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District March 19. But LoVecchio also provided details on how new regulations and company commitment have led to safer transport of goods by rail. He said crude oil is one of the more dangerous commodities but assured directors not a lot of it moves through the regional district directly. But other commodities do – including various hydrocarbon liquids, propane and chlorine.

• In the wake of the sockeye salmon, visitors to the Salmon Arm Visitor Centre also have dominant years as they wind their way up the Trans-Canada Highway. In October 2010 and again in October 2014 – years with dominant salmon runs – numbers of visitors to the visitor centre were about triple what they were during October in the three interim years.

• The Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) was at a critical juncture. A feasibility study which provided recommendations regarding future governance, service delivery and funding was currently undergoing review by the funding partners including: Regional District of North Okanagan, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, City of Salmon Arm, District of Sicamous, and the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. Decisions made by the political bodies would define the future of the SWC, whether it would continue to exist and, if so, how it would operate and be funded.

• A mobile home in Eagle Bay was damaged by fire but not destroyed Friday. About 11 a.m. Feb. 27, fire services coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Kenn Mount, said firefighters, upon arrival, could see smoke coming out of all the vents and the roof attic space of the mobile home. They were able to attack quickly. Mount said the fire appears to have started in the bedroom, spreading to the attic, but the investigation is not complete yet. No one was reported injured in the fire.

• International a-ward-winning Elvis tribute artist Adam Fitzpatrick was performing to raise funds for the Copper Island Seniors Resource Centre that provides information and support services for local seniors.

• Crown counsel approved criminal charges in relation to an assault that took place more than 14 months earlier near the Blind Bay Village Grocery Store. Colby Richard Woodhead, 50, was facing a charge of aggravated assault in connection with the incident, which took place on Jan. 3, 2014.

• Anisha Husseinali Moore, 55, of Sorrento, died in a three-vehicle collision on the Trans-Canada Highway at Hilltop Road on March 16. Moore was fatally injured upon impact when one of two trucks in the crash collided with her small car. A man driving one of the trucks suffered minor injuries.

• An electrical fault was suspected of causing a house fire that spread to surrounding bush. On Wednesday, March 4 around noon, alarms went off for a residential structure fire in the 5100 block of Squilax-Anglemont Road. When crews arrived, smoke was showing out of the upper level of a three-storey cottage-type home. The resident was not home at the time but arrived while firefighters were on scene. The blaze spread to the forest and was running about 20 metres up an adjacent hill. About 20 emergency personnel responded and the fire was extinguished in an hour.

• With the KIJHL season wrapped up, the Chase Heat held its Annual Banquet and Awards Night. On Saturday, March 7 at the Adams Lake Recreation Centre, 180 parents, billets, fans, volunteers, staff and players congregated.  Director of Hockey Operations Brad Fox presented the many player awards: Most Valuable Player (tie) Kaleb Boyle, Trevor Okino; Top Defenceman Trevor Okino; Top Scorer                                             Cody Hodges; Warrior of the Year (tie) Kolten Moore, Travis Beaubien; Most Sportsmanlike Alex Durbeniuk; Unsung Hero Braden Hughes; Most Improved Zachary Fournier; Rookie of the Year (tie) Travis Beaubien, Kolten Moore; Most Dedicated Nic Bruyere; Top Scholastic Spencer Farstad;  Game Star (tie)                                      Michael Byer, Kaleb Boyle; Playoff MVP  Logan Mostat; Fan Favourite Kaleb Boyle. Boyle and Byer as 20 year olds have completed their Junior Hockey eligibility and were presented with framed mementoes, personalized travel bags and Heat golf shirts. Team Captain Boyle as the KIJHL all-time leading power-play goal scorer also received a window box from the Heat organization with the record-breaking puck, a plaque and action photo.

• The provincial government says it is proceeding with improvements to B.C. highways, including those around Chase. Transportation Minister Todd Stone spoke to a meeting of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 20, outlining the province’s new 10-year transportation plan. It includes variable speed limits. Stone told reporters three pilot areas – west of Revelstoke, around the Coquihalla Highway’s snowshed and at a location on the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler – will be operational with variable speed limits in time for next winter. “The 120-km/h speed limit in the case of the Coquihalla might not be appropriate based on a big dump of snow,” Stone said. “In a matter of minutes, we’ll be able to dial that speed limit down.”

• The Chase Rotary Club joined the Chase Hamper Society for its second annual spring food drive to benefit families in need in the Chase area. The program was planned to coincide with the major spring food drive held by the five Kamloops Rotary Clubs and the Kamloops Food Bank. The goal was to raise 5,000 pounds of food in Chase, or two pounds for every Chase resident.




• Even when you’re doing everything right when sledding in the backcountry, things can still go terribly wrong. Curtis Johnson, Gord Bushell, Bruce Moores and Dan Morin learned this during an outing at Blue Lake. The four experienced snowmobilers were out for a day’s sledding in the backcountry above the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club’s chalet. While the avalanche rating was high, the snow conditions were good in the early morning. But, as it warmed up, conditions started to degrade and snow started sloughing. They then went to an area where there’s not a big incline and thought they were playing it safe. However, Johnson ended up getting bumped uphill, which got him up on a side hill. It let go and swallowed him up. It took about 10 minutes to free him completely, and Bushell said it was a wake-up call about how slight a slope can slide.

• The BC Fruit Growers Association raised concerns when, on Feb. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the Arctic Apple produced by Okanagan Specialty Fruits in Summerland. The Arctic Apple is promoted as a ‘non-browning’ apple because a genetic trait has been altered. On March 20, Health Canada announced its approval of the Arctic Apple. This quick approval surprised the fruit growers association, which is concerned Arctic apples, if unlabelled as genetically altered, could drive away consumers from all apples.

• May 12 was designated a D-Day of sorts for the students, parents and teachers of Silver Creek Elementary. That will be when trustees will make a final decision on the Silver Creek School closure bylaw, which received first reading at the April 14 regular meeting.

• Salmon Arm RCMP recommended charges of arson against a 60-year-old man they said is well-known to them. On April 15, just after midnight, police and the Salmon Arm Fire Department responded to a fire at Nufloors situated on Lakeshore Drive SW. Two pallets were lit on fire behind the premises and flames scorched the side of the building. The fire was put out before it took hold and damage was limited to the exterior concrete wall.

• A massive fire accompanied by several explosions levelled a Silver Creek barn that housed a legal marijuana grow operation and stored hay. Two residents and livestock were unharmed. Columbia Shuswap Regional Fire Chief Kenn Mount says the first call reporting the fire in the 1100 block of Salmon River Road was sounded at 9:11 p.m. Monday, April 20. Sixteen Silver Creek firefighters responded and managed to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures.

• Oscar Long said his decision to train as a registered onsite waste water practitioner stemmed from witnessing the damage that has progressed in White Lake and Shuswap Lake due to poorly treated waste water practices. Now, Long operates Rhino Environmental Services and designs, installs, inspects and maintains septic systems.

• Shuswap Tourism provides substantial economic paybacks. In 2010, tourism contributed $1.73 billion to the regional (Thompson Okanagan) economy. According to the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), key reasons why visitors come to the region include opportunities for sightseeing, nature experiences, wildlife viewing and visiting friends and family; however, other activities commonly participated in included shopping, hiking and visiting wineries.

• Sunnybrae B&B scored big in the world of travel., billed as the world’s number one accommodation site, unveiled a selection of top accommodations. With headquarters in Amsterdam, listed Sunnybrae B&B one of the top-10 bed and breakfast accommodations in North America – with a score of 9.8 out of a possible 10 points. “What a great honour it is to be recognized as one of the world’s best properties,” says owner Lianne Jansen.

• The Shuswap’s Coast Guard Auxiliary was working to expand its presence with the purchase of a new boat that will possibly be stationed in Blind Bay. The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) Shuswap Station 106, located on Shuswap Lake and based in Sicamous, made application to its headquarters in Sooke, to add a second marine search and rescue vessel for use on the Shuswap and Mara lake systems, says Shuswap Station leader Rob Sutherland. A vessel suited to the task of marine rescue in the Shuswap had already been located – a 2007 Titan, currently assigned to RCMSAR Station 35 in Victoria.

• School District #83 decided to review the space available at Sorrento Elementary with a view to closing off a portion of the school to save money. The elementary school was operating well below the building’s capacity for students and enrolment is not projected to increase in the near future.

• The Shuswap Trail Alliance launched a Love Your Trails fundraiser to build and maintain more trails – metre by metre. The annual Trail Party in February raised $38,000, and the alliance was hoping to almost double the fundraising total to $75,000. Money raised would be used for 2015 trail projects and would allow the hiring of a stewardship co-ordinator.

• Adam Fitzpatrick performed to a full house at the Shuswap Lake Estates Community Centre April 17. The enthusiastic crowd enjoyed a long list of old favourites, presented with humour and style by this award-winning Elvis tribute artist.

• School trustees heard a mixed bag of opinions at their first public consultation meeting March 31 in the North Shuswap. Of primary importance was the need to keep the North Shuswap Elementary school open – even though a school closure for North Shuswap isn’t even part of the recommendations being considered for the 2015-2016 school year. School closure was brought up but that wasn’t in the plans. For the North Shuswap, the report suggested a switch at the school from a K-7 to a K-8 structure. This would increase the school’s population by about a dozen for the upcoming year and would also alleviate the situation where North Shuswap students attend Carlin Middle School for only one year before heading to high school in Salmon Arm.

• Douglas Fir lumber donated by Interfor Corporation from its sawmill in Adams Lake will be providing good cover to a market in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of Canada’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The wood forms part of a structure dubbed the Lions Marquee and used at a conference to show 1,000 of the world’s leading thinkers and doers the beauty of wood. Built for TED2015, the marquee was designed by 17 students from the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Emily Carr University of Art and  Design under the direction of the not-for-profit DBR – Design Build Research Institute. The marquee will be moved to the DTES Street Market, which runs every Sunday and supports hundreds of local residents.




• Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors expressed unhappiness with the government’s funding of the education system and called on the province to undertake a complete review. Directors approved a resolution asking the Union of BC Municipalities to lobby the provincial government to complete an independent review of the funding formula used to fund public education. Extolling the virtues of Silver Creek school and its Parent Advisory Council, Area D director Rene Talbot said closing rural schools kills the community.

• Two more stores are coming to the SmartCentres shopping centre in Salmon Arm. SmartCentres confirmed that a Winners store and a Dollarama will be locating in the shopping centre. A Winners spokesperson said the store will be opening in the spring of 2016.

• Students entered classrooms at Silver Creek Elementary in September after the School District #83 board voted against closing the school. The school, which had 36 students enrolled, had been proposed for closure as part of a long-term facilities plan in response to low numbers and the need to reduce costs. Parents and school district staff rallied to prevent the shut down, arguing in favour of converting the school to a Montessori education model.

• A standing-room only crowd at Ranchero Firehall was almost silent – until the issue of boat access to Gardom Lake was raised. Anger and frustration were unleashed about one hour into a 90-minute meeting facilitated by the Fraser Basin Council to get public input on a draft management plan for the lake. Many said they were not trying to prevent access to the lake, but were adamant in their opposition to trailer access. Several others expressed their anger about the possibility of establishing boat trailer access at the popular community park, something they say will destroy the riparian area along with beach and swimming access for park users.

• The Ministry of Environment was investigating reports of algae blooms in Shuswap and Mara lakes. Reports of a yellow-brown substance in Mara Lake began to surface May 21. On Friday, May 22, Salmon Arm biologist Jeremy Ayotte said he and five others were on a canoe excursion, paddling along the east side of Shuswap Lake toward Anstey Arm, when they encountered a yellow-orange mat of algae hovering about a metre below the surface. The Ministry of Environment said on Tuesday, May 26, that its water quality section staff were aware of the bloom and were “monitoring the situation by reviewing water-quality monitoring information,” and were also in contact with Interior Health.




• Boaters could be left high and dry on parts of the Shuswap River and that is generating debate. The Regional District of the North Okanagan were currently seeking feedback on proposed regulations for the river, including no motorized vessels from south Mabel Lake upstream to Shuswap Falls and from Trinity Valley Road upstream to the eastern end of Skookumchuck Rapids Park. The entire process has been biased, said Mike Steiner, who owns 1,500 feet of riverfront in Mara. However, the process was defended by the Lower Shuswap Stewardship Society, stating there was lots of consultation.

• Although the Neskonlith Indian Band held an election of chief and council in January, another election was planned. Electoral officer Bruce Mack posted notice that an election will be held on Thursday, July 30 for chief and four councillors. Coun. Louis Thomas, who was acclaimed as councillor for Salmon Arm in the January election, will retain his seat on council. Unofficial results from a June 9 nomination meeting show three people were nominated as candidates for chief and  10 for the four council positions. Mack said there was an appeal of the election which was upheld by an adjudicator. He emphasized there wasn’t any inappropriate behaviour or action on the part of any candidate.

• The Salmon Arm RCMP Detachment was to be led by the current top cop in Sicamous, come the end of this month. Sgt. Andrew Hunter, acting detachment commander, introduced a new face to Salmon Arm council on June 8. Sgt. Scott West was leaving the Sicamous detachment to take over as Salmon Arm’s new detachment commander, tentatively on June 22.

• A new way of doing things was a theme of sorts for the latest Moving Forward Together Workshop on June 10. Keynote speaker Chief Robin Billy of the Adams Lake Indian Band spoke on integrating Secwepemc knowledge and traditional wisdom with today’s community planning. He referred to environmental devastation such as the Mt. Polley Mine disaster and others.

• Residents were going to get a chance to see what the design for the upgrading of the Trans-Canada Highway at the west end of Salmon Arm looked like. B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone addressed the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce. He announced that a public information meeting was set for Wednesday, June 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort. He said the ministry’s intention was to four-lane from where four-laning ends west of Salmon Arm, over a new Salmon River Bridge and through Salmon Arm. He said it’s a $120 million project.

• Electoral Area C South Shuswap director Paul Demenok praised the non-profit volunteer organization, the North and South Shuswap Community Resources Association that has worked to provide great programs for children in the area since 2007. Leigh Robinson and Christine Tough have been so busy developing and providing a wide range of programs for kids, that they haven’t taken much time to promote their programs to the community.

• The 2015 Shuswap Festival of the Arts was going to take place July 23 to 26 in the South Shuswap.  The festival was going to take on a few format, seeing all forms of art represented – visual, performing and culinary.

• Live music in a marvellous setting was what the Arts Council for the Shuswap would be serving up with Music in the Bay. People were invited to bring their lawnchairs or blankets to Centennial Field Thursday evenings, from July 2 to Aug. 20, to enjoy the series of complementary concerts. The shows would run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with refreshments available on site.

• The Arts Council for the South Shuswap issued a call for artists in order to make the Shuswap Festival of the Arts sustainable. The 2015 festival would take place July 23 to 26 in the South Shuswap with a new format, incorporating all forms of art – visual, performing and culinary. Those taking in the festival could enjoy complimentary access to many venues in Sorrento and Blind Bay to view works of art. Each evening on Centennial Field in Blind Bay, they could enjoy fabulous musical entertainment, including Cod Gone Wild on July 24. The festival offered many workshops in felting and fibre arts, pottery, painting and more.

• Despite pleas for approval by Area F director Larry Morgan, a request for a development variance permit for Captain’s Village Marina was rejected. Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors pondered the matter at the May 21 board meeting and followed a staff recommendation when it came time to vote. The applicant was proposing to build a large indoor boat storage facility on the Captain’s Village Marina site located in Scotch Creek. In order to build the 277- by 218-foot storage facility he asked the board to relax the minimum building height for a principal building from 11.5 metres to 22.5 metres.

• Chase’s Art Holding Memorial Arena will look much different by this time next year. The Thompson-Nicola Regional District board of directors gave the village $45,000 from the Federal Gas Tax-Community Works Fund to help with upgrades to the community’s lone indoor rink. The updates include repairs to the boards, the glass and the penalty boxes. There will also be updates made to the scoreboard and the sound system, while all lights in the arena will be replaced.

• Material from an osprey nest near Pritchard ignited atop a power pole. A BC Hydro crew extinguished the fire and relocated the nest, which was not damaged, to a new, safer location. Osprey, a protected species in B.C., build bulky stick nests on top of trees and other tall structures. The nest, which was about four feet wide, was successfully lifted off the pole and set on a new platform just a few feet away.

• Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors unanimously approved $5,500 from the Electoral Area F North Shuswap Community Works Fund to the Village of Chase for the rebuild of their Ice Kube Compressor. Infrastructure upgrades to the tune of $30,000-plus were needed at the Chase and District Art Holding Memorial Arena, but not all upgrades were eligible for gas tax funds.

• Fire crews extinguished a wildfire believed to have been person-caused near Golf Course Road in Anglemont on June 10. The fire grew to half a hectare and was burning in standing timber and showing rank two and three behaviour. With rank two, open flame is on the ground and three starts climbing trees and candling.


Salmon Arm Observer

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