Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Vernon Gets Charged Up

Vernon is the site of a significant milestone in BC's electric vehicle charging network.
A BC Hydro pilot project to install 30 direct current fast charging stations throughout the province saw the final station, located on 31st Avenue near the Greyhound bus station in downtown Vernon, opened today.
Energy Minister Bill Bennett told a news conference, BC has the largest charging infrastructure network in Canada.
"Transportation is responsible for about 30 to 35 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that we put into the atmosphere. Transportation is an area where we can really make a difference, and getting more electric vehicles on the road is obviously a positive thing," says Bennett, the Liberal MLA from Cranbrook, who is leaving provincial politics after 16 years next May.

Fast charging stations can charge an electric vehicle battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.

BC Hydro has been installing the stations since 2012 with support from all the levels of government.

"This type of infrastructure doesn't happen without everybody being on side," Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster told the gathering. "That includes the folks from the electric car associations who have lobbied throughout Canada, but certainly here in BC. We lead the country, not only in electric cars, but in all the climate action files, and we're very proud of that."
“BC Hydro is focused on removing barriers for our customers who want to own an electric vehicle,” says Keith Anderson, BC Hydro's vice president, Customer Service.  “Electric vehicles can help British Columbians save money. Our electricity rates are among the lowest in North America, which means by switching to an electric vehicle you could save 75 per cent on fuel costs.”

The 30 fast charging stations, which currently can be used free of charge,  connect drivers from the Lower Mainland to Merritt and Kamloops, up to Whistler, Vancouver Island and the Southern Interior.

"This is another clean, green initiative for our community, and communities all around BC. Environment is important," said Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund, who took a ride in an electric vehicle and couldn't believe how quiet it was.
While this report is not new there is some additional information is worth reporting.

The charging station is excellent according to a user. It does charge up to 80% of full in half an hour. The only complaint was the lack of signage to the station. Perhaps it would be worth spending a few extra dollars to ensure that the station is well advertised so potential users can located it easier.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thank you!

I wish to express my heart felt appreciation to the many friends who joined my family and I for the celebration of Debbie's life. It was nice to chat and remember the "good old days", her many achievements and have a final send off for my beloved wife and best friend.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lavington Glass Plant changes hands!


Monday, October 3, 2016

We’re very excited to let you know about a special workshop coming to the Okanagan, co-hosted by the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, and the Irrigation Industry Association of BC (IIABC).
“FLOW & GROW – Balancing Economy, Ecology and Settlement in the Okanagan” is a day-long workshop on Nov. 29th, 2016 at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna (1171 Harvey Ave.), from 7:45 am – 4:30 pm, featuring:
·BC’s Bob McDonald, host of the award-winning radio program “Quirks and Quarks,”
 Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief Aaron Sam, lawyer and
lllong-time advocate for sustainable use of lands and waters,

·Bob Sandford, EPCOR Chair for Water & Climate Security at
the UN University Institute for Water, Environment & Health,
Michael Blackstock, speaking on the Blue Ecology,

        plus MANY others!

Together, we will be looking at water sustainability – how to respect ecosystem and cultural values, ensure food security and build water-resilient communities.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Five bomb threats in 1 hour


Police in the Halifax area say they responded to five unfounded bomb threats within about an hour early Sunday.

The RCMP say they received a call at about 1:30 a.m. from an anonymous male who claimed he was in the parking lot of a sports facility in Cole Harbour with bombs and a hunting rifle.

Shortly after 2 a.m., the RCMP office received an automated phone message from an anonymous person indicating there was a bomb at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Around the same time, Dalhousie University received a threatening automated phone message, and while police were investigating that, nearby Saint Mary's University also received a bomb threat from an anonymous person.

Seven minutes later, Halifax Regional Police received reports of a bomb threat against a downtown Halifax library.

Nothing suspicious was found in any case.

School districts in four Canadian provinces and territories received unfounded bomb threats last week, with one faxed threat in Prince Edward Island prompting a province-wide evacuation of public schools and colleges.

There were also threats made against schools in Nova Scotia, Winnipeg and Nunavut.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

GVWU - Duteau Creek Water Level - September 15,2016

The following information is important when viewing the above graph:
                 Maximum reservoir capacity is 18,300 ML/y - most years full capacity is achieved;
                 Annual agricultural consumption is between 7,000-8,000 ML/y;
                 System is designed for 17,000 ML annual consumption.    

I remember my mother telling me to eat all the food on my plate because some people in the World are starving. I never understood the logic of such reasoning. How could cleaning up my plate help the starving millions? 

Similarly, excessive saving of water when there is plenty of it in our reservoirs is not going to help other users who are not connected to our system. Using reasonable amounts of water would keep our properties a little greener, reduce our per cubic meter rates (getting more water for the same price) and keep ratepayers happier. Conserved water will not stay here: it goes down to the ocean (some of it through Lumby with undesirable consequences at times). 

Obviously, when there is a shortage, conservation is important. That is why GVWU developed a Drought Management Plan to ensure conservation is enforced when it needs to be enforced.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Comments on the GVAC Special Meeting, September 1, 2016

An apology!

First of all, I would like to apologize to my faithful followers for a long pause I had in maintaining my blog. My family went through a trying time and I was unable to concentrate on the water issues. I intend to restart the provision of information to taxpayers of the community even though my peers have removed me from active duty at GVAC. 

Just to reassure you that I am not a hack pretending to be an expert let me re-present to you my qualifications. I obtained a diploma in Forest Engineering and subsequently a Master of Science Degree. I also have worked on a PhD which remains incomplete. In 1967 I was hired by the BC Ministry of Forest as a Research Scientist and charged with the development of a tree breeding program for the interior spruces of British Columbia. I have completed the plans for the project in 1967 and the plan is continuing to evolve to this day by my successors.

One of the project of my plan was to develop a forest research station in the Okanagan as it was necessary for the success of the breeding program. I have encountered major opposition from my peers in the BCFS Research Branch but, thanks to my superiors trust in me, I prevailed.The resulting Research Station can be seen at the south entrance to the City of Vernon. An unintended but very important consequence of my plan is the present siting of the Okanagan College in Coldstream. Additional benefits to Greater Vernon are the seed orchards that sprung up as climatic benefit to forest tree seed production was recognized by the Forest Service and the private forest sector.

Closer to home and to the subject of water: In 1990 I was elected to Coldstream Council as an Alderman. The first major challenge I faced as an Alderman was to vote on a request from VID for a grant of $10,000 from each of Vernon, Coldstream and the North Okanagan Regional District ostensibly to investigate ways to improve  water quality to VID's domestic customers. I considered the request, did some investigation and concluded that VID could only solve its problem either by treating all of their water supply, including that used for crop irrigation, to domestic quality or separate off the domestic customers from the irrigation system and supply them by a new domestic distribution system. It was a bad business plan by VID to try to sell something they did not have: domestic water. That report can be found here.

In future reports I will try to explain why a relatively simple solution to VID's dilemma developed into such a huge project. How a less than $100 million project developed into a plan costing $200 million or more without actually resolving the problem. I will also explore way how we could return to a sane Master Water Plan with no more costs than what we are facing now. I will also continue to attempt to convince my peers to agree to a fair and equitable water rate structure.

The report below is the first one of my information dissemination effort. I will explain my interpretation of data supplied by consultants and GVWU staff. The readers should examine my position, compare it to staff's interpretation and draw their own conclusions.

Let me turn to the evaluation of the data provided by staff at the September 1st Special GVAC Meeting. The staff report can be accessed here.

Thank you!  
The purpose of the special meeting was to provide statistical information on water consumption patterns staff collected during  2015. They also included revenue patterns during the same period. Staff presented several charts and tables to review so I summarized the more relevant information in simple terms.

Schedule B

The first chart provided by staff demonstrates the distribution of revenues in a visual format. Note the very high percentage of base fees (referred to by staff as “Infrastructure Base Fee”) contributed by the domestic customers.

RDNO’s stated policy on rate structure is: “50% paid by base fees, 50% by consumption fees”. As illustrated by the graph, this policy is not met by the rate structure. Domestic customers pay the majority of the “infrastructure costs”. Customers using less than 80 cu. m. always pay more base fees than consumption fees. This defeats the "user pay" policy GVWU adopted.

The capacity (size) of the infrastructure must be designed to meet the maximum daily demand. That is driven by large daily consumers like ICI (Industrial, Commercial, Institutional). As the chart demonstrates none-domestic users contribute 5% of the total base fee while the domestic customers shell out 92% while they could be served by a significantly smaller infrastructure.

Another note of interest is that the variable revenues from ICI customers are derived from a preferential rate of $1.58 per cubic meter regardless of consumption. The question may be asked: Why should large users get a preferential rate? Domestic customers are discouraged increased usage by penalty rates of $2.37 per cubic meter above 80 cu. m. per quarter. All customers should pay the same rate for a cubic meter of water.

The table below the GVWU chart summarizes the revenues in a tabular form. I prepared a summary of that table and it is presented below.

Total domestic+non-domestic revenue:         $18,246,978

The above table illustrates the unequal distribution of “Infrastructure Base Fees”: Domestic customers pay 63% of total, None-domestic 14.7% of total base fees.

In an earlier report (July 21, 2016, Schedule A, page 4 of 29) staff summarized the GVW average water consumption and revenue by class (see above table). Only 17.7% of customers used more than 80 m3 of water per quarter. A rough calculation (sum of all quarter consumption of the reporting jurisdictions divided by 12) of average consumption per domestic accounts was 56.4 m3 per quarter or $2.83 per m3 for a ratio of 64% base fee 36% user fee. Hardly a 50-50 ratio.

The following questions arise again: why should domestic customers pay so disproportionate amount for infrastructure when the size and therefore cost of infrastructure is driven by high maximum daily demand for water? Also: why should domestic customers and small businesses subsidize high consuming ICI customers with consumption rates?

Schedule J

The Table: GVW Water Accounting & and Water Loss illustrates consumption and consumption distribution among GVW customers as summarized in the Table below.

For comparison the table below presents the Predicted consumption figures from Technical Memorandum #1:

The difference between the predicted and actual consumption is quite significant (27,260 ML vs. 14,228 ML or ~92%). The significance of discrepancy shows up in increased infrastructure cost. Part of the high infrastructure cost is due to the oversized infrastructure.

The water loss (unaccounted-for-water) is quite significant. Of the 19,000 + ML inflow only  14,000 ML is metered on the consumer end. That is a loss of almost 5,000 ML or ~35% (as a percentage of the consumed water). The value of this lost water is anywhere from $3.9 million to $12 million depending on what water rate we consider ($0.79/ m3 or $2.37/m3).

Schedule K

A great deal of effort was spent on justifying the low agricultural contribution to revenue. My concern with the agricultural subsidy is that it is spent on treating agricultural water. This has no benefit for agriculture and it is a huge drain on domestic customers' pockets. If we were to provide cash to agriculture in lieu of compensation for water licenses obtained from agriculture it would benefit both parties.

According to the Summary Table the difference between agriculture expenses and revenue is only $63,349. It drastically differs from consultants estimates of between 12 to 18% of annual costs attributed to agriculture.

Schedule L

Debt payments are listed as $2,911,957 (capital of about $41.6 M) whereas the borrowing costs in Schedule K are shown as $2,176,545 (a capital of about $31.1 M).

There is a lot of information provided in the staff report and it is hoped that Directors utilize them properly. A proper distribution of rates would significantly reduce the burden born by domestic customers. It would be a lot fairer distribution of water rates. Domestic customers do not need preferential treatment, they just need fair treatment especially those who use the least amount of water.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Coldstream Council Agenda - September 12, 2016 - LAVINGTON!

Click on - Agenda, in new window click on "document print version"! 

Remember, the meeting is in the Fire Hall! 


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Who was the winner here? - The Huffington Post.

Fox News has reached a settlement with former “Fox and Friends” host Gretchen Carlson over allegations that the network’s disgraced former CEO sexually harassed her, the network said in a statement Tuesday.

Fox will pay Carlson $20 million to end her lawsuit against Roger Ailes, Vanity Fair reported. Ailes received a $40 million severance package. Read more.
Winner $20 million loser $40 million!
Sometimes the winner appears to be the loser. 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Readers write - Former Cirque du Soleil Performer teaching in Lumby!

This week, twenty four children aged 5 to 11 are learning acrobatics, juggling, trapeze, theatrical games and yoga from former Cirque du Soleil performer Alvin Tam who has recently arrived from Las Vegas!

Alvin and his team are also helping the children create a Circus Show that will occur this coming Friday at noon at Cedar Bridge School. This extraordinary team includes Barefoot Sanctuary's co-founder Jada Tam, current Cirque du Soleil KA performer Marylene Hickok Cameron and local talent Neave Allen and Nathan Allen. 

This is a one of a kind opportunity to meet these phenomenal artists!
  • WHAT: Kids Circus Show and Meet the Artists
  • WHERE: Cedar Bridge School, 730 Whitevale Rd., Lumby.
  • WHEN: Friday, August 12, noon
For more information, contact: me or Alvin at (778) 212-3294 or email


Monday, August 8, 2016

Fines Issued for Mud Slide - KISS FM

Posted on 8/5/2016 11:03 AM by Ron Manz

A final report from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources into a mud slide near Sugar Lake four years ago has been finalized.

Logging practices taking place in the area have been blamed for causing the slide as local residents suspected.

It's something Cherryville Regional Director Hank Cameron has claimed all along.

"There are a number of infractions relating to drainage. It's a sensitive area and the area below it is terrain class 4, very steep and unstable and that was the area where it actually let go."

Weyerhaeuser has been fined $14,500, while Tolko was given a $12,000 fine.

The investigator's report says Tolko's harvesting on steep ground failed to maintain surface drainage which resulted in a landslide that caused damage to crown timber, soils, water, biodiversity and endangered the public."

Local regional district director Hank Cameron says he hopes logging practices in the area change now.

"I hope that we look at a longer term stewardship. You know the way that this was done it didn't take into account the unique nature of that site.  It didn't taken into account the steep slope."

Cameron says better practices need to be taken now at Cherry Ridge next door where clear-cut logging is being proposed.

"Now where they are going into is a sweet bench up there. Some beautiful wood up there, but it's the pace of what they want to do.  It's very industrial.  I think when you are adjacent to the neighbourhood you should have more respect for the community in how they go about things."

Both Tolko and Weyerhaeuser are appealing the decision.

A hearing date has yet to be set.


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.