Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Borowitz Report -- April Fools.

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An Unexpected Twist: A true story by Andy Borowitz, The #1 Bestseller, Available on
Borowitz Report

April 1, 2012

Republicans Reveal that Entire Presidential Race was a Prank

April Fool’s Day Announcement Brings Practical Joke to an End

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In an April Fool’s Day announcement that took the political world by storm, the Republican Party revealed today that its entire presidential race had been an elaborate prank.

“April Fool!” exclaimed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum at a press conference in Washington, where they were joined by fellow merrymakers Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

Moments after revealing that the GOP primary had been one long practical joke, Mr. Santorum explained the rationale behind staging such a complicated and expensive prank.

“A lot of Americans are suffering right now and need a good laugh,” he said.  “I think my colleagues and I can be justifiably proud of the entertainment we provided – even if it meant me wearing these ridiculous sweater vests.”

Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain agreed that the prank had gone well, but added, “I’m just amazed that the American people never figured out we were kidding.”

“I mean, I kept saying ‘9-9-9’ every four seconds, which was total and utter bullshit,” he said.  “And everything out of Michele’s mouth made her sound like a mental patient.”

“True that,” Rep. Bachmann agreed.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said he worried that “every time I screwed up at a debate people would figure out I was pulling their legs,” but added, “The American people seemed to accept the idea that a Governor of Texas could be a blithering idiot.”

When one reporter mentioned that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was not at the press conference, a sudden silence fell over the gathering.

“Did anyone ever tell Ron this was supposed to be a prank?” Mr. Romney asked.  “Holy cow, maybe he’s really serious.”  Get a free subscription to the Borowitz Report here.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

RDNO Press release!


Readers write -- Agricultural Bylaw debate!.

The following messages were submitted by readers in reverse chronological order. Comments are welcome,
Thanks Maria,

Recently CKNW radio had a discussion re the issue of "Country Estates", I couldn't find the story on their website, however, the following article provides an excellent overview re both the issues, and proposed solutions to this troubling trend:

P.S. feel free to pass this info on to the others you have c.c'd
Further information from Councillor Besso. 
-------Original Message-------
Date: 3/29/2012 12:36:21 AM
Perhaps it would be useful to inform the readers that the ALR land in Coldstream is already very heavily parcelized.

57 % of Coldstream's land base is within the ALR. The total land base in Coldstream is 6,429 ha.
According to Map 2.1 of the July 2009 Coldstream Agricultural Plan, there are 824 parcels in Coldstream that are all or partially in the ALR, of those 824 parcels, 640 of them are already less than 4 hectares ( ie 77.6 % of the parcels are NOT sub dividable because they are already under 4ha.)

* note that under the present RU-2, it would imply that the minimum parcel size you could subdivide to would be 2 hectares, since you could not subdivide anything smaller than 4 hectares to arrive at parcels 2 ha or bigger, then all the parcels that are already less than 4 ha are non-subdividable (unless they are excluded from the ALR, or qualify for a homesite severance.)

The reality of owning property in the ALR ( regardless of the implied zoning under the Official Community Plan OCP) is that all subdivision must be approved by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) . In the last 10 years in Coldstream there have been 17 applications for subdivision in the ALR ( apart from ALR exclusions or non-farm use, or Homesite severances ) of these 17 applications to subdivide - all were refused by the ALC. So wether you designate your minimum lot size as 2 ha or 10 ha, if your land is in the ALR, the ALC, for all practical purposes, does NOT approve ANY subdivision.

So designating all the ALR land in Coldstream as RU-10 changes nothing for 77.6% of the parcels. Wether they are called RU-2 or RU-10, they remain the same size that they are, and they are clearly not able to be subdivided. The perceived change comes for the owners of the remaining 184 parcels (22.33% of the parcels), these parcels are over 4ha.

We have already established that the ALC practice is NOT to approve subdivision in the ALR regardless of the minimum parcel size stipulated in a Community's OCP.

So in changing the zoning to RU-10 in our OCP we are simply bringing the Community zoning in line with the reality of the rules of the ALC, and the desire to maintain land in the ALR in the Province of British Columbia, rather than see it cut up into smaller and smaller chunks. In Coldstream there are only 32 parcels totally or partially in the ALR that are larger than 20 ha., so theoretically they may still be sub-dividable into minimum 10 ha. parcels but that is unlikely because it would also require ALC approval. That portion only represents 3.9% of the ALR parcels in Coldstream and the Agricultural Advisory Committee felt that there would not be significantly higher advantage to increase the minimum lot size to 30hectares ( as recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture) because it would be perceived as too harsh. So therefore the 10 ha minimum parcel size is a compromise, but it does not change the reality of ALC policy and historical decisions.

The sad reality is that Coldstream's ALR has already been subdivided into small chunks, it just may not appear that way because many of those smaller chunks may be farmed together as one larger entity. For example; the Coldstream Ranch is made up of 129 parcels, and 47% of these parcels ( 61) are already subdivided into chunks that are less than 4hectares in size.

We have just witnessed the sale of Jamie Kidston's orchard, it had appeared to everyone as one farm, but it was actually made up of 4 parcels ( that were subdivided long ago), three were sold off to separate owners, and they risk becoming Country Estates. Fortunately, for now, the new owners have agreed to keep farming the land as one orchard and pool their resources, hopefully this will set a good example and keep farming viable for those owners.

Gyula please feel free to post this as I hope it will serve to better explain the reasoning behind the changes to zoning proposed in the new Coldstream Agricultural Plan.

Maria Besso

Urgent Message To the CRA membership:

If you are in support of Coldstream Council's Zoning Bylaw Amendment (to preserve ALR land) which specifies that future subdivision of ALR land be limited to a minimum parcel size of 10 hectares, please go to Municipal Hall and fill out the appropriate form, or go to Coldstream's Website:

The deadline for doing this is today (Mar. 28).
Since this is such short notice, please respond at least by supporting the item entitled New Rural 10 (RU.10) Zone – lot area 2ha to 10ha, as it sends the message that you support this council in its endeavours to honour the OCP and protect and preserve our agricultural lands.

Thank you for your support.
Steve Heeren, Acting President,
Coldstream Ratepayers Association

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coldstream Council meeting -- March 26, 2012.


Are your seeds poisoning the bees?

Have you heard of "systemic pesticides"? They are in the neonicotinoid family of pesticides, the ones that are implicated in the bee colony collapse. They work by incorporating themselves into the plant’s tissues, turning the plant itself into a tiny poison factory emitting toxin from its roots, leaves, stems, pollen, and nectar. And they persist in the soil for longer than the older generation pesticides.

Now the really shocking part of this pesticide, is that some of the seeds we buy may already contain this pesticide. This means we may be growing and eating food that contains this poison without realizing it. And because the poisons are right through the plant's tissues, they cannot be washed off. The good news is that treated seeds are dyed a distinct colour. Certified organic seeds do not contain systemic pesticides.

France has banned systemic pesticides after French beekeepers complained of massive losses of bee hives in the mid 1990s. Since then, many other countries and regions of the world are banning or trying to ban them. Some non-organic sunflower seeds, bean seeds, and other popular food seeds have been treated with systemic pesticides in order to protect the seeds from rotting as bean seeds do when planted in soil that is too cold, or to protect sunflowers from seed weevils.

While we may find it a little more difficult to grow perfect sunflowers and beans from seeds that are pesticide free, we at least can be sure that the resulting plants will be worth eating and that we are not poisoning the bees and other pollinators in the process. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

GVAC Special meeting - March 22, 2012 - Agenda.

Agenda for the GVAC Special Meeting, March 22, 2012 is available for your perusal.

An interesting, and perhaps controversial proposal, is to separate the agricultural water from the domestic water instead of the other way around. The proposal would leave significant (yet unknown percentage) of combined water still in the system that would result in using treated water for irrigation. The proposal is also discussing potential 3-4 fold increases in the price of agricultural water. You might be interested in the presentation of the consultants!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Eagle cameras showing nesting eagles.

Eagle nests are monitored by volunteers and viewing is available. Click on the eagle on top of the blog to view some.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Coldstream COW meeting.


Press Release – March 13, 2012 – Immediate release

Guest Professor: Dr. Ross Hickey - “What’s Good about Taxes?”

150 people occupied the Schubert centre to hear UBCO economics professor, Dr. Ross Hickey, present strategies for fair taxation.

“The very rich have been getting very richer over the past 30 years”, he said. “At the same time, their tax rates have dropped from 43% in 1981 to just 29% today.” Their share of income is at pre-depression levels of the 1930s.

Incomes of the top 100 CEOs in Canada increased 27% in one year from 2009 to 2010. Incomes of the average Canadian worker rose a mere 1.1% in the same period. “That’s bad for equity and bad for growth” Dr. Hickey stated.

“Failure to reverse this trend will lead to greater crime, social unrest, & public insecurity. Furthermore, there is no relation between our economic productivity and low tax rates”, he said. “An unfair tax system is unproductive.”

But it’s not enough to target a few high priced CEOs, Professor Hickey maintains. To spread the tax burden fairly, Professor Hickey recommends broadening the tax base on consumer items. “This may seem unpopular but it will capture more revenue from big spenders. However, it will only work”, he warned, “if the increased burden on the poor is offset by substantial increase in transfers to low income earners. At the present time, government transfers & tax credits for things like home purchase and renovations largely benefit high earners. The poor can’t buy into those”.

“The average total rate of all federal, provincial & municipal taxes combined is 40% for those earning above $30,000. For those earning below $30,000, it’s 80%. We know that income is related to success in education, which is related to employment. Over taxing the poor disables them from getting a good education; it leads to poor health, poor social outcomes, and poor labour skills that cost society more in the long run”, he said.

“Canada’s measure of inequality after paying taxes is much worse than the UK and Sweden”, Dr. Hickey noted, “even though it’s quite similar before taxes. Their tax system encourages equity. Coincidentally, their productivity is higher and their measures of social wellbeing are higher.”

Dr. Hickey also recommends returning to a more progressive tax system. “We must create more tax brackets with higher tax rates for higher incomes. We don’t want to discourage people from working but we do want to have a system that is fair and provides sufficient revenue for education, health care, housing, day care & other social programs.” Critics argue that higher taxes will encourage the rich to move away. While that may happen in a few cases, Professor Hickey states that the rich are not as mobile as critics suggest. “Besides, they also appreciate the good things that good taxes provide”.

“Taxpayers must tell politicians they want a fair tax system”, he said. “They must stop saying taxes are bad. Taxes are the price of a productive, civil society. Taxpayers must insist on a fair price”. 

UBC Professor Dr. John Janmaat will be the next GUEST PROFESSOR hosted by the Green Party. He will speak on the economic & ecological costs of pipelines and how to extract sustainability from finite resources.

Hear Professor Janmaat @ 7:00 pm Monday, April 2nd, at Vernon’s Schubert Centre 3505 30th Ave.

 Contact: Greig Crockett, 250-260-5877;


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

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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.