Sunday, May 31, 2009

Readers write -- Park complaints.

I'm back and I gotta beef but first I want to say that I am pleased with Coldstream council's management of our affairs to date! I fully support council's decision to review and potentially opt out of the GVA management of some of our local parks. Frankly I have been appalled with the performance and management of GVP for some time now, they run a very sloppy ship indeed. Let me just cite the current situation at Creekside Park. The whole park is serviced by just one garbage can when previously there were three. The result is more litter and dog scat with the BBQ grates acting as garbage receptacles. I have complained but no action has been taken to date.

Next we have the Cedar Fiasco, where the GVP, in it's misguided wisdom last summer, planted a number of trees on the lawn along the riparian zone, presumably to become pee posts for the dogs and a slalom course for the lawn mower man. Naturally, the trees did poorly and were removed this spring.

Finally, the skate board park beside the hockey rink is a perpetual litter zone, without a functional garbage receptacle as the kids use it as a play thing. Why not put a no littering sign up and bolt the garbage can to the concrete. The constant flow of junk food litter blows into the riparian zone or is mulched up by the lawnmower man on his weekly rounds. Nobody picks up after the kids.

Now I was quite irritated by Morningstar editorialists [opinion makers]and some Vernon politicians complaining about Coldstream Council wanting to review their participation in the GVS. It seems they view it as a sacred cow beyond reproach and accountability. I resent their meddling and encourage council to pay no attention to their unwarranted pressures. This is no trivial issue as I pay about 14% of my taxes for park services which in my opinion appears wanting.

Peter Peto


Boyle faces the music, takes 2nd in reality show -- By JENNIFER QUINN, Associated Press Writer Jennifer Quinn, Associated Press

LONDON – She may not have won, but unlikely singing star Susan Boyle showed she could face the music.

The 48-year-old church volunteer defied naysayers who doubted her place in "Britain's Got Talent" and gave a polished performance that earned her second place in the finals Saturday night, behind a dance troupe called "Diversity."

It was unlikely to be the end of Boyle's showbiz dream, however, as she told Boyle told broadcaster ITV she hoped to release an album and would "play it by ear" in her new music career.

Boyle, with her show-stopping voice and frumpy appearance, became an Internet phenomenon after she auditioned for the television talent show.

For the finals, she returned to the song that made her a YouTube sensation, "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables." She wore a glamorous but modest sparkly floor-length dress, and her once-grey frizzy hair was a soft brown halo.

"A lot of people said you shouldn't even be in this competition, that you weren't equipped to deal with it," Judge Simon Cowell told Boyle after her performance. "You had the guts to come back here and face your critics, and you beat them."

The past week had been tumultuous for Boyle. She lost her cool during a confrontation with two reporters, and the police intervened. Another contest judge said Boyle had contemplated pulling out of the program to soothe her frazzled nerves.

Millions voted by telephone after Saturday's live show, which Boyle had long been expected to win.

Her hometown of Blackburn, Scotland — a working-class village about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Edinburgh — rallied round her, stringing up signs declaring their support. Her defeat was greeted with shouts of "no" and gasps of disbelief at the Happy Valley Hotel, where neighbors and friends had gathered to watch the program.

"She lost because people didn't bother voting for her because they thought she was going to win it," lamented 21-year-old Gordon Mackenzie. "I didn't vote for her because I thought everyone else would."

Boyle was up against a host of everyman acts determined to find stardom on reality television, including a 12-year-old whose voice was compared to Michael Jackson's, an 11-year-old body-popping dancer and a grandfather-grandaughter singing duo.

Winning group "Diversity" are a 10-person dance troupe who range in age from 12- to 25-years-old. Their act won praise throughout the competition, but they weren't seen as front-runners. Their victory earned them 100,000 pounds ($159,000), and the right to perform for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Show in December.

Boyle's entree into the limelight has become reality-show history, after being viewed millions of times — the fifth-most watched clip ever on YouTube.

She introduced herself on camera as someone who lived alone with her cat, Pebbles, and had never been kissed. Those details, combined with her matronly appearance, had sent the studio audience into titters.

But then she began to sing. And as Boyle hit a high note, Cowell's eyebrows rose along with her voice.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coldstream taxes lower than Vernon -- Posted by Don Quixote


My fellow blogger Coldstreamer had an interesting comparison of taxes for a property in Coldstream when compared to the same valued Property in Vernon. (Click on link for full details.)

He has now updated the tax comparison to include the 2009 tax year.

His calculations are that for a house valued at $457,000 ( with Land at $260,000 and Improvements at $197,000) that:
  • 2008 Municipal Taxes would be 41% Lower in Coldstream and total taxes would be 12.36% Lower in Coldstream. ($ difference on total Taxes would be $ 295.71)
  • 2009 Municipal Taxes would be 43% Lower in Coldstream and total taxes would be 13.28% Lower in Coldstream. ($ difference on total Taxes would be $ 331.25)
You can use the Vernon City tax calculator to calculate the taxes for any property in Vernon and then use the tax rates in Coldstream from the tax comparison sheet to compare taxes.



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Message from the Deputy Minister of Healthy Living and Sport in Recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, 2009

Message from the Deputy Minister of Healthy Living and Sport
in Recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, 2009

In 2009, for the fourth year in a row, the Government of British Columbia has joined jurisdictions around the world in recognizing June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD).

The Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport works to promote healthy, active, independent aging for all British Columbians, and that includes freedom from abuse. WEAAD posters and fact sheets, providing important information and resources on elder abuse, are available on the BC Seniors website, In recognition of WEAAD, I invite you to participate in raising awareness of elder abuse by displaying WEAAD posters, reading the fact sheets, and sharing them with others.

The provincial government continues to recognize WEAAD each June 15th because elder abuse – in all of its forms – is unacceptable. This day is a reminder to each of us that elder abuse affects individuals, families and communities across the province, and that we must all work together to end it.


Grant Main
Deputy Minister


Remember, I am one of those Elders so no abusive comments and emails! Please!(Kidding, keep sending those emails!)


Readers write - Information

Here's an interesting read. I don't understand why people are still buying farmed fish. Also try to use the following guides to help you make informed choices when buying seafood. Our consumer choices are what is driving most of these unsustainable fishing practices and we need to be informed. (this you'll have to copy and paste)

Message from Alexandra Morton in Norway:

Disease and sea lice are not under control in Norwegian salmon farms and BC stands to lose all.

I have been in Norway for 10 days because 92% of fish farming in British Columbia is Norwegian owned. I have met with many Norwegian scientists, members of the Mainstream and Marine Harvest boards, been to their AGMs, toured the area with fishermen, examined a closed-containment facility, met the Norwegians fighting for their fish and joined a scientific cruise.

I thought Norway had this industry handled and I expected to learn how marine salmon farming could work, but this has not been the case. My eyes have really been opened. This industry still has major issues that are growing and has no business expanding throughout the temperate coastlines of the world. The way they have been treating sea lice in Norway has caused high drug resistance. The only solution in sight is increasingly toxic chemicals. In the past two years (2007, 8) sea lice levels have actually increased on both the farm and wild fish. The scientists I met with are holding their breath to see if drug-resistant sea lice populations will explode and attack the last wild salmon and sea trout. The same treatment methods have been used in BC and we can expect this to occur as well.

I am not hearing how the industry can possibly safeguard British Columbia from contamination with their ISA virus. Infectious Salmon Anemia is a salmon virus that is spreading worldwide, wherever there are salmon farms. In Chile, the Norwegian strain of ISA has destroyed 60% of the industry, 17,000 jobs and unmeasured environmental damage. The industry is pushing into new territory. If this gets to BC no one can predict what it will do to the Pacific salmon and steelhead, it will be unleashed into new habitat and we know this is a very serious threat to life.

Professor Are Nylund head of the Fish Diseases Group at the University of Bergen, Norway, reports that, “based on 20 years of experience, I can guarantee that if British Columbia continues to import salmon eggs from the eastern Atlantic infectious salmon diseases, such as ISA, will arrive in Western Canada. Here in Hardangerfjord we have sacrificed our wild salmon stocks in exchange for farm salmon. With all your 5 species of wild salmon, BC is the last place you should have salmon farms.”

New diseases and parasites are being identified. The most serious is a sea lice parasite that attacks the salmon immune system. There is concern that this new parasite is responsible for accelerating wild salmon declines. The Norwegian scientists agree with many of us in BC. If you want wild salmon you must reduce the number of farm salmon. There are three options.

The future for salmon farming will have to include:
permanently reduction of not just the number of sea lice, but also the number of farm salmon per fjord,

removing farm salmon for periods of time to delouse the fjords and not restocking until after the out-migration of the wild salmon and sea trout.

But where wild salmon are considered essential they say the only certain measure is to remove the farms completely.
There are many people here like me. I met a man who has devoted his life to the science of restoring the Voss River, where the largest Atlantic salmon in the world, a national treasure, have vanished due to sea lice from salmon farms. Interestingly he is using the method I was not allowed to use last spring... Towing the fish past the farms out to sea. Another man is working with scientists and communities to keep the sea trout of the Hardangerfjord alive. There are so many tragic stories familiar to British Columbia.

The corporate fish farmers are unrelenting in their push to expand. With Chile so highly contaminated with the Norwegian strain of ISA all fish farmed coasts including Norway are threatened with expansion. I made the best case I could to Mainstream and Marine Harvest for removing the salmon feedlots from our wild salmon migration routes, but they will not accept that they are harming wild salmon. They say they want to improve, but they don’t say how. Norway has different social policies which include encouraging people to populate the remote areas and so fish farming seemed a good opportunity to these people. BC has the opposite policy, but the line that fish farms are good for small coastal communities has been used in BC anyway. I have not seen any evidence that it has even replaced the jobs it has impacted in wild fisheries and tourism.

It is becoming increasingly clear to protect wild Pacific salmon from the virus ISA the BC border absolutely has to be closed to importation of salmon eggs immediately and salmon farms MUST be removed from the Fraser River migration routes and any other narrow waterways where wild salmon are considered valuable.

Our letter asking government that the Fisheries Act, which is the law in Canada be applied to protect our salmon from fish farms has been signed by 14,000 people to date at has still not been answered.

Please forward this letter and encourage more people to sign our letter to government as it is building a community of concerned people word wide and we will prevail as there is really no rock for this industry to hide under and longer.

Alexandra Morton


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Water fight in the north - Greater Vernon

Water fight in the north - Greater Vernon. (CHBC News!)

Interesting situation! We have all been paying progressively increasing water rates since 2002 (rates increased from about $0.35 to the present $0.84) yet the only beneficiaries in terms of improved quality water are basically City residents and new development in the City (a small number of residents in Coldstream are also benefiting). By the year 2000 the City had no water licenses to continue its growth. Thus, it was a great present to have all those additional water licenses made available to the City courtesy of Coldstream and The North Okanagan Water Authority.

Now the City achieved its major goal, got water. Good bye chaps, have a good life!


Visit Coldstream's new, user friendly website!

Coldstream now has a new, user friendly website!

Friday, May 22, 2009



6:00 PM




Page 141

a. Approval of Audited Financial Statements

The District Auditor will be in attendance to speak to this matter (I hope!).

Page 31 b. Barbara Mitchell (Highlands Golf) Application for a Liquor-Primary Licence at 7961 Buchanan Road

There may be persons in attendance wishing to speak to this matter.

Note the new format: Agenda packages can be found at the same site as the Agenda.


Sewage plant carries sweet smell of phosphorus -- Mark Hume, Globe and Mail

When the delegates at an international conference on wastewater gathered in Vancouver last week they found themselves pretty much ignored by the media.

No TV cameras trained on the podium. No reporters waiting to interview the authors of the 90 papers from 30 different countries.

With speakers talking about such things as "a thermochemical approach for struvite precipitation modelling," the indifference of the mass media was perhaps understandable.

But Ken Ashley, an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and one of the conference organizers, thinks the world missed out on a big story - about how to take sewage and turn it into highly valuable fertilizer.

"It may be the biggest uncovered news story on the planet," he said in a post-conference interview.

What brought the 200 delegates to Vancouver was a looming global shortage of phosphorus and a groundbreaking nutrient recovery system developed at UBC.

Phosphorus is one of the essential elements of fertilizer. Without it crops whither.

The phosphorous in fertilizer comes from rock phosphate, which is mined primarily in Morocco, China and the United States.

Like oil, rock phosphate is running out.

The United States, historically the world's biggest producer, is expected to exhaust its reserves in 25 years. China recently slapped a 135 per cent export tariff on phosphate, choking off exports. That leaves Morocco sitting on one-third of the world's remaining supply - and reserves there are declining in quality and quantity.

"Phosphate production is going to peak around 2035 and then tail off," Dr. Ashley said. "If we don't do something we are looking at mass starvation."

Almost nobody is talking about the problem, however, because it doesn't seem real.

"Food is so abundant now the idea that there could be serious shortages just isn't on anyone's radar," he said. "Food is so cheap you just don't think about it not being available ... but all that food is based on the fact that farmers are fertilizing crops with phosphate ... and when we run out of phosphate, it will be worse than when we run out of oil."

There are alternatives to oil. But phosphate can't be manufactured - so once the natural supply is gone, food production will plummet.

That's where the conference on wastewater and the UBC innovation comes in.

Several years ago Dr. Ashley was researching how to restore nutrient-poor salmon streams by adding slow-release bricks of phosphorous.

He was looking for a supplier when he learned a team at UBC, led by Don Mavinic, an environmental engineer, and Fred Koch, a research associate, was working on a method of recovering a substance known as struvite from wastewater.

Struvite is a chemical compound (magnesium ammonium phosphate) that forms as hard crystals inside the pipes in sewage treatment plants, where it creates expensive maintenance problems.

The UBC team had figured out a way to capture struvite.

Dr. Ashley wanted to get some to fertilize nutrient-poor watersheds and was able to persuade BC Hydro, which has a fisheries compensation program, to come up with about $400,000 to fund the UBC research.

The result was the development of a struvite reactor, a recovery system that is so cost effective that within five years a sewage treatment plant can pay for the system by selling the fertilizer it produces.

Half a dozen plants are now in operation, including one in Edmonton that gets 300 kilograms of struvite a day from the effluent produced by 200,000 people.

Dr. Ashley said if the reaction of delegates at the Vancouver conference was any indication, similar systems will soon be in place around the globe.

In Canada, sewage plants discharge three trillion litres of effluent a year. That wastewater is often so rich in nutrients it pollutes watersheds. A private company formed to licence the UBC discovery, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., can take that sewage, strip out the phosphorous and other nutrients, and produce a fertilizer, called Crystal Green, that is cleaner than the fertilizer produced from rock phosphate.

In a recent paper, Dana Cordell, a PhD student at Linköping University in Sweden, calculated the world's human population excretes about three million tonnes of phosphorus in urine and feces every year.

If that could be recovered, it would go a long way toward addressing the world's looming phosphorous shortage.

"Given that more than half the world's population now lives in urban centres, and urbanization is set to increase, cities are becoming phosphorus 'hotspots' and urine is the largest single source of phosphorous emerging from cities," she wrote in the journal Global Environmental Change.

Sewage plants have long been a big part of the pollution problem. Now, thanks to the work at UBC, they are about to become a big part of the solution.

One of the delegates at the Vancouver conference was Robert Kennedy Jr., an environmental activist and lawyer, who over the past 25 years has sued hundreds of U.S. sewage treatment plants for polluting rivers with effluent.

He is now a member of the Ostara board of directors.


Readers write -- Response to Mr Rolke.

On the surface, Mr. Rolke's editorial seems reasoned and well-balanced. However, hunters have no more or no less common sense than anyone else and accidents are bound to happen.

Council has a responsibility to all who enjoy activities in this finite valley. The safety of runners, bird-watchers, equestrians, hang-gliders etc has to be taken in to account when humans and deadly-force are in close proximity.

The protection of our children must be our primary concern: there are always those who are irresistibly drawn to the adventure presented by our wild spaces and on more than one occasion I have warned them off our property for their own safety.

We are fortunate to have community leaders who will listen to the concerns voiced by individual citizens. However, the greater good must always come first, that is the council's duty.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Selected articles, Morning Star -- May 20, 2009


Council will address the issues raised by Richard.

Richard’s article, nevertheless, revealed something I should have known before, namely that “Even that plastic-wrapped steak you purchase in the grocery store was once a living creature”. This is truly a revelation for me.

Something puzzles me though. How many taxpayers’ should complain before Council considers action? As Richard says: “ can the views of one person be allowed to negatively impact countless others?” Perhaps he could suggest a reasonable number! On the other hand, if he does that he should collect a number of other individuals supporting his numbers or else Council cannot act upon it!

Regardless the language of the new Firearm Bylaw, farmers and orchardists always had the right to protect their crop through the Right to Farm legislation. It was noted at the last meeting though that deer are nocturnal and shooting them is not allowed after dusk. As well, the Wildlife Act also regulates hunting that seems to supersede the right to farm legislation. So, in the end, regardless of the new, improved bylaw farmers might still have their actions controlled and might have to protect their crops by fencing.


Monday, May 18, 2009

NORD meeting -- May 20, 2009

Agenda Package.

One of the important issues coming up in the meeting is a motion by Director Macnabb as follows:

Those interested may wish to attend the meeting.


Sunday, May 17, 2009



4:30 PM
A G E N D A (Note Agenda and Agenda package can be accessed at the same site)



Page 1 a. Bicycle & Pedestrian Master Plan and Middleton Mountain Trail
Ingrid Neumann of Ribbons of Green Trail Society will be in attendance to speak to this matter.


Page 3 • Minutes of the Technical Advisory Committee Meeting held April 20,


a. Update on status of Kalavista Parking Lot and road issues.

· Verbal report from Chief Administrative Officer

Page 9 b. Project List

· Report from Chief Administrative Officer, dated April 22, 2009


Page 13 a. Red Gate Parking Infractions

· Email from Steve Pelkey, dated April 28, 2009

Mr. Pelkey will be in attendance to speak to this matter.

Page 15 b. Bike Lane on Middleton Way

· Email from Dianne Shore, dated May 1, 2009


Tuesday, June 16th, 2009


More Selected articles, Morning Star -- May 17, 2009


Selected articles, Morning Star -- May 17, 2009

Interesting view from the Editorial! The director of Parks acknowledged that there are differential degrees of maintenance for different parks. Local parks get minimal maintenance, others are getting much more attention.

Should elected officials ignore their constituents desires of providing the service they require for their parks? They would do that at their peril. As a Coldstream Councillor I believe my obligation is to look after the interests of the taxpayers who elected me. Thus, when taxpayers complain I must look for ways to remedy their complaints.

Lavington Park is far removed from Vernon. The City is the contractor looking after parks. The contractor's representative has to travel 20 kilometers one way to do maintenance at that park. Maintenance include opening and closing the washrooms daily, opening the pool during summer months and various other maintenance work on the grounds as needed to maintain the park in top condition.

Now the issues: is it economical to have a maintenance worker travel 80 km's daily to open and close the washroom and the pool? Is there a better option? Could the level of service be improved so Lavington residents will not have to put up with roots like the ones below? I believe there should be some solution that would give the taxpayers of Lavington the service they are paying for.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Readers write. Parenthood! Do they ever leave?

The next generation of house finches. (Photo by Debbie Gibson).


Water costs questioned -- By Peter McIntyre, KISS FM News

Some Greater Vernon Advisory directors wonder if health officials are pouring taxpayers money down the drain.

Interior Health wants NORD to add a filtration system to the Duteau Creek Treatment Plant in the next few years, saying it will prevent diseases like crypto-sporidium.

BX Silver Star director Mike Macnabb questions spending up to $10 million when there's never been any cases of crypto in this area.

"That is a huge increase for perhaps a very small diminishment of any kind of potential problem. That's my concern, that we may be chasing too few bugs with way too much money."

He says it hasn't been proven scientifically that illnesses people experience on a yearly basis are directly related to the water.

Macnabb suggests the better idea would be to protect the Duteau Creek watershed.

Interior Health's Roger Parsonage told the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee they can't provide funding for filtration, but would support NORD in grant applications.

The agency wants the filtration added by 2015.


It is easy to demand when money is no object since money is the responsibility of another jurisdiction. When overcrowded hospitals need extra funding Interior Health claims lack of funding as a reason for overcrowding. However, they make unreasonable demands on local governments disregarding the fact that local governments are also stripped of cash and they cannot exceed their borrowing limits.

Here we have a situation where the utility has to provide good quality water for the domestic user but the same delivery system is used for both domestic and agricultural use. Agriculture uses about 80% of the water and, although they don't need to have it treated, by necessity they use the treated water for irrigation. This is a great waste of money.

The solution is not simple. We could separate the distribution lines and only treat the water for domestic customers. That requires additional money. The alternative is the treatment of all the water at ever increasing costs. In order to treat all the water agriculture needs we have to construct a huge treatment plant at extra cost and then filter all the water regardless of use. Filtration is very expensive and either solution (separation or extra filtering costs) require more funds than the community can afford. Even if we would decide to pay for the increased costs our borrowing limits might prevent us from doing so.

These are some facts that Interior Health needs to consider before they place unreasonable demands on local governments. Local governments would love to be able to provide the best quality water but they must find a way to make it affordable to the taxpayers. Any chance of some extra grants IH?


Friday, May 15, 2009

Lavington May Day celebrations.

Councillor Besso has taken these lovely photos of the activities at the Lavington May Day celebrations. Thank you Maria!


Selected articles, Morning Star -- May 15, 2009



Councillor Spiers is correct: The example below demonstrates that the following home in Vernon would have a Municipal tax increase of 7.2% based on the City's Tax Calculation Guide (see below)


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.