Thursday, November 28, 2013

Amalgamation - Again!

For more information see also: 

Up to date list            


Sunday, November 24, 2013

AT RANDOM: Who's laughing now?

By Kristin Froneman - Vernon Morning Star
Published: November 22, 2013 1:00 AM
You gotta love the comedy that comes from scandal. We humans really love to laugh at those who succumb to moral woes or plain, old stupidity, especially if their names are Anthony Weiner, (you can’t make that one up), Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and, yes, Rob Ford.

Before you start groaning of yet another opinion about Ford, this former Torontonian isn’t going to stoop to that low. Rather, I’d like to comment on all the hilariousness that has ensued, well except for that crack dealer who is sitting in jail, I don’t think he finds the situation all that funny. Nor do I think my former neighbours are too amused about their city being the laughing stock of the world. But, hey, get over it. There will soon be another scandal that will be spoofed on SNL.

Laughter is how we deal with the misfortune of others, except when those embarrassing moments are happening in your own backyard.

I have to admit I laughed my pants off at Anchorman Ron Burgundy singing Ford’s campaign song to the tune of Loverboy’s Working for the Weekend on the Conan show the other day, but what if it was my town, my mayor they were laughing at.

Oh, wait. I am having a deja vu moment, no crack involved.

Before the train wreck that was Ford Nation or the selfie-loving Weiner, or those secondary dwelling loving senators, we had our own scandal in beautiful Vernon, B.C.

I know many of you (me included) would like to forget, but all this Ford business has reminded me of what happened here in 2005.

For newcomers to this city, the scandal arose when a certain mayor decided to wine n’ dine  some fellow movers and shakers, including then Premier Gordon Campbell, with the city credit card. Problem is those movers and shakers didn’t seem to recall getting a free meal.

(It’s all spelled out on Wikipedia for goodness sakes.) Read more 

For a trip down memory lane  watch also the video below.

Incidentally, if you wonder how we got to our ridiculous water situation, the above  video reveals the reasons for the urgency to develop a new water system regardless of the cost to existing residents. Developments needed water, Vernon exhausted its available water licenses, thus, costs were no object to get more water.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Coldstream Council Regular Meeting - November 25, 2013


Pages 31 - 32 - 5.c.

District of Coldstream Council Remuneration Bylaw No. 1640, 2013

*    Bylaw 1640, a bylaw to provide for the remuneration of elected officials Bylaw 1640 (Final Adoption)


THAT "District of Coldstream Council Remuneration Bylaw No. 1640, 2013" be finally adopted.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Notice of traffic re-routing, Lavington - November 19, 2013

Just to advise everyone that the Ministry of Transportation is repairing the Railway crossing at Highway 6 in Lavington tomorrow.  Traffic will be rerouted along School Road and Learmouth for the day.  Traffic flaggers will be stationed along the route including in the school zone to ensure speed is controlled.  Buchanan was reviewed as an option but is too narrow in locations to allow for large vehicles.  The work is expected to take 1 day.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Readers write - GMO and human health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 15th November 2013

"Genetically Modified Foods and Human Health" comes to Vernon.

November 15th, 2013 , VERNON –  

The Vernon event will occur at the Schubert Centre at 7 PM on Thursday, November 28th. Entrance is Free. 

This public program will feature an illustrated talk by Dr. Thierry Vrain, a retired soil biologist and geneticist who, after a 30-year career with Agriculture Canada, no longer supports Genetic Engineering (GE) technology.   

Alarmed by the avalanche of scientific studies out of Europe raising many concerns about the long-term safety of GE foods, Dr. Vrain is intent on increasing public awareness about this important issue and having federal agencies in the US and Canada take notice. Dr. Vrain will explain what genetic engineering is, how it began, and how it has progressed. Citing the latest scientific studies, he will speak about the documented effects of Genetically Engineered (GE) foods, and what the future holds for us if GE foods are not stopped. 

This program is part of a cross-Canada speakers’ tour on the topic of GE foods and Human Health designed to provide the Canadian public with an opportunity to discuss their concerns around GE foods, including the allergenic potential of GE plants, and the fact that there is no independent testing of GE crops or animals in Canada. 

We encourage everyone, and particularly elected officials, to attend as the perspective on GE foods is often overshadowed or discounted by the proponents of GE technology and the Canadian Government,” states Sigrid Ann Thors, Chair of SENS. “Given that within Canada, GE salmon, apples, and alfalfa are close to entering the marketplace, it is more important than ever for Canadians to have the opportunity to learn and discuss the repercussions of growing and eating GMO and to discover how they can advocate for change.”

During November and December, Dr. Vrain and his colleague, Dr. Shiv Chopra, will speak in over 30 communities in Western Canada, and in many others in Eastern Canada in the coming year. The tour is sponsored by the Society for a GE Free BC and Greenpeace Vancouver, and locally by SENS and SENS and the Food Action Society (FASNO). The Vernon event will occur at the Schubert Centre at 7 PM on Thursday, November 28th. Entrance is Free.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Letters to the Editor - Morning Star Newsclips

For reference I am including the previous letters  below.


Mayor Garlick's Remembrance Day Address

One of the blog readers requested the text of Mayor Garlick's Remembrance Day Address. He agreed to provide the requested Address and it is presented below with thanks.

Remembrance Day Address

Hello and welcome.

On behalf the Coldstream Council and the District of Coldstream, I would like to thank you for taking the time to come out to this ceremony to remember veterans and members of our military forces serving today around the world. I also believe this is a day to reflect on how to avoid such conflicts in the future and to consider the hardship and sorrow war brings to many innocent civilians.

The Vernon Army Camp and this Cenotaph Park are reminders of a long, important history that Coldstream and the North Okanagan played in the First and Second World Wars. We have also had Coldstream residents who were in the Crimean and Boer Wars.

The Coldstream Battle School was an extension of the Vernon Army Camp operations during the Second World War. It was located on the Coldstream Ranch. It is said that 20,000 soldiers were trained in the Battle School in preparation for the invasions of Europe. They trained with live ammunition in the area around Deep Lake and Kal Park. I have had several pictures of soldiers training at this battle school made up to display today at the fire hall.

Originally, this cenotaph was at the intersection of Aberdeen Road and Kalamalka Road. It was moved to the front of the old municipal hall that was connected to the old fire hall here. This gathering place was once the site of a home belonging to a long-time resident, Jackie Nicholson. The property was bought from Mr. Nicholson to provide a library to the community. The library was later moved into the old fire hall next door and the cenotaph found a permanent home here. The District has recently added to this site with the purchase of the WI Hall next door which I hope to include in future Remembrance Day Ceremonies with displays of photos and artifacts from our community.

In closing I would like to thank Yvonne Leduc of the WI for organizing this ceremony, Al Saliga our trumpet player, the choir, and the Coldstream public works employees. 

Thank you all once more for coming out today.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Up-to-date list of Amalgamation/Unification petition

An up-to-date alphabetical list of signatories to the petition for an Amalgamation/Unification Referendum is available for interested readers at this website: List


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Coldstream Council Meeting TUESDAY, November 12, 2013

Note: Purchase of Coldstream Women's Institute Hall, Pages 35-36


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Candid report on the Greater Vernon Water Master Water plan. Part 1.

It is time to discuss Greater Vernon’s new Master Water Plan (GVMWP). Let us investigate how much we have spent on it to date, what we have received for our money, what is still due from our pockets and what benefits we can still expect.

Directors of the Regional District approved the latest version of the GVMWP and forwarded it to Interior Health for approval.
At the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee level I was the only one voting against the Plan.

I would like to explain why I think the Plan is defective and does not meet our needs and expectations. It is up to you to decide if I am right or wrong based on this report. If you think I am right you, the ratepayers, should take steps to have your views heard by your political representatives at each level of governments.
This is the situation today:

We have spent between $66 to $68 millions for the GVMWP. For this we have received the following benefits:    
About 80% of mainly Vernon customers receive improved secondary treated (UV disinfected) domestic water from Kalamalka Lake (the Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant or MHWTP). Treatment costs in 2011 amounted to $625,577 or $0.13 per cubic meter (based on 4,828,000 cubic meters of billed volume). In 2012 treatment costs were $524,475 or $0.12 per cubic meter.
The rest of the domestic customers received treated water from the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant (DCWTP). This water is clarified using the DAF treatment system and chlorinated and is about the same quality as water from the MHWTP prior to UV disinfection. Treatment costs in 2011 amounted to $1,702,202 or about $1.11 per cubic meter (based on 1,530,000 cubic meters of billed volume). In 2012 treatment costs were $1,451,830 or $1.06 per cubic meter.
Two observations are clear:    
    1. The water treatment at the MHWTP is of higher quality than that of the DCWTP and

    2. The treatment costs of the lesser treated water at the DCWTP is still in the order of 7.5 times higher per cubic meter than the secondary treated domestic water at the MHWTP. Note that only a very small percentage of the water treated at Duteau Creek is for Domestic Drinking water consumption.  A total of 13,375 megalitres of water were treated at the DCWTP, with an operating cost of $1.7 million dollars. In the peak demand of summer 2011 the plant treated 160 megaliters of water per day. In the winter time, the water treatment plant only treated around 6 megalitres per day. That means that in the summer of 2011, approximately 96 % of the water treated at the DCWTP, was used for outdoor sprinkling and irrigation purposes .

    3. Most of the funds spent on treatment at the DCWTP is wasted on agriculture irrigation since irrigation water customers are not charged for the treatment costs, as the treatment is not needed for agriculture, then these costs are passed on to domestic customers only.

If we included the annual amortization costs for the construction of the treatment plant ($29 million plus) the unit cost of Duteau Creek water is even more expensive.
 It is safe to conclude that having spent 12 years and $68 million of taxpayers' money we did not achieve very much. What we did achieve is that we converted the low cost agricultural water to a high cost domestic system for all users.  
Unintended consequences?
The first major unintended consequence is that domestic customers are now paying at least four times as much for a cubic meter of water as they did prior to the year 2000. Current costs are about $1.80 per cubic meter if they use a lot of water and about $4.72 per cubic meter if their consumption is 20 cubic meters per quarter.

The second major unintended consequence is that agriculture customers with agricultural land classification and agriculture water allocation must fulfill rigorous requirements in order to receive the low rate for their land. Without affordable agricultural water there is no agricultural land in the Okanagan.
This has issue raises another problem. If a landowner does not get affordable water for his land, theoretically, he might apply to have his land removed from the land reserve. This would jeopardize the intent of the agricultural land reserve act.
The first MWP of 2002 clearly identified the problem with our water system and offered the most cost effective solution:

“Separation of the existing combined water system will provide the most cost effective water management in the long term."
Initially, all concerned endorsed the plan. For political reasons this direction was changed in 2004 and, as the authors of the 2002 MWP predicted, we have been paying for the water dearly and will continue to do so in the future. Plans for the future include filtration treatment at both the DCWTP and at the MHWTP resulting in even more expensive water to be used for agricultural irrigation.

To conclude this part of the discussions I am including various financial predictions and actual costs to document the accuracy of cost predictions.
The first table shows predicted costs for total separation as presented in MWP 2002. Note the total costs of $71.56 million by 2011. Compare it with the actual cost incurred of $66.4 million .

The second table demonstrates the projected costs prior to the 2004 referendum. Note what was promised for the $35 million and how much was spent. One might wonder if the additional $38 million spent was legal or at least ethical. What would the ratepayers think of a 90% overrun on the proposed sports field?

The third table demonstrates the difference between the predicted and actual expenditures from 2004-2013. Quite a discrepancy. One might wonder of the accuracy of predictions presented in the next table.

The fourth table presents the projected expenditures for the final version of the MWP. The additional expenditures of $108.2 million will provide a system that would dispose up to 10,000,000 cubic meters of filtered domestic water annually on agricultural crops. Based on previous evidence these cost estimates are highly suspect with regards to accuracy.

The last table provides an example of water budget escalations from 2006 to 2013. What will it look like once the additional $108.2 million is added?

How did we get to this new plan?

What will be the future with the approved plan?

I will discuss those issues in future postings. 


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.