Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flooding in Europe - the raging Danube River

Our Okanagan Valley is not the only place flooding is taken place. The raging Danube River is causing major disruption of life in Europe.
Budapest is one of the major cities affected by the flooding. While living in Hungary decades ago I personally witnessed the  rage of the river. Click on the title of the article to read the whole story.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Kalavista boat launch - May 19, 2017

Kalavista boat launch is underneath the barrels and sandbags in the foreground.It will be closed for the foreseeable future!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kinloch boat launch - May 17, 2017


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Media Release - Coldstream. Important flood water warning!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Media Release - RDNO. Important flood water warning!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Greater Vernon Water Utility Boil Water Advisory!!

Note: Okanagan Lake appears to be OK both in Vernon and in Kelowna!  


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pickleball Scores Grant and Site - KISS FM News

A large crowd of pickle ball players attended the GVAC meeting this morning!

The Vernon Pickleball Association has scored a major victory with local government.

 The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has agreed in principle to provide the club with a $300,000 grant, and a site in Marshall Fields for a 12 court facility.

Group spokesman Don Friesen says they could have the courts open in three months.

“I suspect, and I really hope, we will have something to show for the BC 55 plus Games (in September). Whether or not they will be completed, I don’t have that answer. There are too many variables, ” Friesen told the media.

The association has over 300 members and not enough courts.

The club will provide the rest of the estimated 600-thousand dollar cost, and will work out an agreement with RDNO for the group to operate the new facility.

The government action came after a staff report that estimated the cost of a pickleball facility at 1.4 million dollars, an estimate RDNO staff got from an engineering firm.

Friesen got the interest of GVAC directors when he stated he could complete the project for far less, about $600,000.

“One of the things that was in that (RDNO estimate) was $400,000 in contingencies. I’ve researched every aspect, and in doing that I was able to present that to contractors and get real numbers, rather than contingency numbers. As well we’ve got in-kind donations, for instance, M and K Redi Mix is giving us $36,000 worth of foundation blocks at no charge — the president plays pickleball.”

Friesen says his group, which has so far raised $53,000 for the facility, also plans to apply for grants, and get sponsors.

“It will show that Vernon is ready to hold some really good tournaments for pickleball and bring a lot of revenue into the community, the same as Funtastic and the 55 Plus Games. We will run tournaments on a regular basis,” adds Friesen.

The price does not include a roof on the facility which would cost another one million dollars.
RDNO would get its $300,000 from short term borrowing or from reserve funds.

About 60 pickleball players packed the RDNO boardroom for Thursday’s GVAC meeting.


Greater Vernon Water - Water Storage Update


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

BC Elections News - 2017, 2,450 have voted already


A total of 2,450 people voted at advance polls in Vernon and Lumby over the weekend ahead of the May 9th provincial election.

Vernon Monashee District electoral officer Janice Mori said this is the first time voting has been held so far in advance of the election.

Mori said 2,200 people voted in Vernon and 250 in Lumby on Saturday and Sunday.

During the B.C. election four years ago, a total of 6,700 people in the district voted in advance polls at three locations.

The next advance polls take place at:

  • Vernon Rec Centre and Schubert Centre from Wednesday to Saturday, May 3-6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • White Valley Community Centre in Lumby on Friday and Saturday, May 5-6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mori encourages voters to bring their 'Where To Vote' cards that have arrived in the mail and to ensure they have photo ID.
"Voters can also come and vote in our office," Mori said.

The office is located at 1150 Kalamalka Lake Road and is open Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Wednesday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A total of 47,373 people are registered to vote in the Vernon-Monashee district, according to the Elections BC website.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pressure grows for water plan

“The (failed water plan) referendum is coming up on three years and we’re marginally coming along on how to finance it,” said Doug Dirk, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee director.

 Director Dirk is too kind!

Actually, the Master Water Plan has been going on since 2001, for over 15 years. It was supposed to be completed by 2007 (see MWP 2002 page 11-1). Then politics came in. Over $70 million later, amazingly,  we are irrigating agricultural crops with treated water, a huge waste of ratepayers money. Treatment cost runs about $1.5 million a year. Unfortunately, this water has chlorination only for disinfection while it serves about 20% of the domestic customers. It needs more treatment.
Now GVWU is planning to spend additional $8+ million so they can irrigate crops with even more expensive ultraviolet treated water. That is an extra treatment cost on top of the $1.5 million for a total of likely over $2 million annually. As the Chair person remarked, with UV we hope to be able to defer (but not eliminate) filtration for a bit longer. If filtration also has to be installed that will make the $8 million UV treatment redundant. It will also make the treatment costs significantly higher.

Kelowna and the South East Irrigation District (SEKID) were facing the same problem as Greater Vernon and VID did. Kelowna chose to take the gradual improvement plan by improving the water quality for the greater population of Kelowna first by installing UV treatment on the Okanagan Lake water supply. They have deferred filtration as the lake water quality was good without filtration.

When the problem with SEKID finally came to a crunch Kelowna went to the Government with the problem. They succeeded in obtaining a $44 million grant that will be used for total separation of the irrigation and the domestic water supply.

Greater Vernon Utility officials believed that government grants could only be used for treatment plant construction. Kelowna proved it not to be so! GVU wasted our money (and government grants as well) for constructing an ill-advised, money sucking treatment plant at Duteau because "...grants were available for treatment plant construction".

Kelowna is getting to work on a totally separated system that will provide highly treated Okanagan Lake water for both SEKID and Kelowna customers.

There is still time to reverse the current MWP direction. Projected additional cost to complete the MWP as it currently planned is roughly $150 million. About $110 million of that is proposed for Duteau Plant projects. In addition there will still remain the annual treatment cost of about $2 million or more. These moneys would be more than adequate to cover the total separation costs.

The current masters of the MWP have been at it for nearly 17 years with little to show for their efforts. They are now bogged down in protecting the current direction. Since the construction of the Duteau Creek WTP there was a desperate effort to maintain the plant in the system even if it costs more to the taxpayers. They would not admit that there were mistakes made. New information has not been incorporated into the plans. For instance, the initial projections for water demand were hugely overestimated. We are still using those estimates in our plans to create larger than necessary infrastructure at higher than necessary costs

It is obvious that a second opinion is needed to evaluate the MWP. When a potential expenditure for the plan is  over $215 million we should not rely on the opinion of a single group that ruled for over 15 years with questionable success. We must insist on getting a second opinion.

Staff and politicians try to eliminate further input from the ratepayers by using inflated water rates to collect funding for the financing of the water plan. This way they would not have to go for another referendum. It's kind of an "end run" to avoid the repeat of the 2014 defeat of the referendum.

However, this action is totally inappropriate as the current ratepayers will not get the benefit of what they are paying for. The benefits will only come after the moneys are collected and the projects are completed. For many that might be too late! Talk to your elected politicians and express your opinion to them!

My earlier activities: In 1991 I wrote a report with supportive evidence that total separation of the domestic and agriculture systems is the most cost effective option to follow.  MWP 2002 affirmed the same principle.

In 2006 I appeared in front of the RDNO Board of Directors requesting a Judicial Review (click for news report) of the direction of the MWP. It was refused. Instead, staff wrote a report stating that the Plan, which is incomplete even today,  was heading in the right direction. It seems that was not true.

This might be my last effort to appeal to my colleagues and to the Greater Vernon Water customers to demand an independent review of the plans. I have no more voice on GVAC. Neither staff nor politicians wish to hear opposing opinion.

Perhaps they will have to start listening to you, the customers! So voice your opinion or pay the price!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss;


We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

My photo
I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.