Increase in back woods dumping

Okanagan Forest Task Force has been finding many new dump sites along Okanagan backcountry roads.

Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force says “illegal dumping is on the rise at the moment and growing fast. “The task force’s goal is simple, working to keep our forests clean and to bring public awareness to the issue of illegal dumping and it’s impact on forested areas.

Blake attributes some of the new dump sites to people hiring non reputable haulers during their spring cleaning. Another possibility is because of Covid19 many more people are home doing more cleaning and the line ups the landfill are far longer then they usually are this time of year. “We have been doing more yard work recently and spent about 35 minutes in the line up just last week.” Blake says. He says “A simple Facebook search shows lots of people looking to hire people for Dump Runs but the real question is how much of it is actually making it to the landfill.”

Blake would like to tell people if there going to hire someone to take your stuff to the landfill please keep the names and conversations as well as proof of payment. This way if your information is found in a dump site you can possibly help to prove who dumped it. “We need to start holding people accountable and not let them think this is ok to do.” Blake says.

The group is hoping to get back to clean up’s even if they are just small ones “I just hate to see our beautiful forests turning into landfills from ignorant people being too lazy to go to the landfill.” Blake says. Kane and a couple members of the task force will continue to travel the back roads and document all the spots they find.

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Loose Bay to open under new direction


The Loose Bay campground for itinerant farm workers will open on Friday under new leadership after the society that formerly ran the place dissolved itself and passed responsibility to the regional district and assorted fruit growers’ associations.

Boundary Similkameen MLA Linda Larson says she is happy with the new arrangement and hopeful for the future.

“Something better should have been done (years ago) for these transient workers who come every year,” Larson said in an interview this afternoon. 

“I’m comfortable that the regional district will, at least this year, do the management and administration … then maybe next year some other group could step up.”

Al Patton, who has headed up the Loose Bay Society, said in an interview the group decided on Monday to fold because it doesn’t have “the resources, the time or the ability to do all  this Covid-19 stuff” and because of the increased legal liability for the small band of local citizens.

Patton said all members of the society remain committed to helping out at Loose Bay as much as they can.

Responsibility has passed to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and the BC Fruit Growers Association and some of its affiliates, Patton said.

He said Covid-19 protocols have been developed for the campsite. They include:

  • Staff and bylaw officials to ensure compliance;
  • Regular cleaning of washroom facilities;
  • Pamphlets for campers outlining procedures;
  • Measures to accommodate self-isolation; and 
  • Signage will be arriving soon for the site.

As well, Patton said, the kitchen and other communal areas are closed and no will be campfires permitted. “We don’t want gathering spots.”

The camp will start with the two current staffers in place and will be added to as the numbers of campers increase.

The usual pattern, said Patton, is for there to be a rush on opening day, then a levelling off followed by a gradual increase until the first cherries come in.

Larson said she has spoken with a contact in the picker community, who will try to get the word out through their networks that “the camp will be open, but there are certain rules and protocols that have to be abided by … Hopefully they will come and go into the camp and stay there.”

She added: “I hope those already here, who are drifting around … and are out in our forestry camps like Madden Lake, (will) come down to the camp. It would make everybody a lot more comfortable.”

Larson said she has sent a request to Emergency Measures BC to “step up and help out here.”

EMBC is the branch of the solicitor general’s office given responsibility for dealing with Covid-19 in the province.

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by Mike Monaghan

Can tell from blur – can tell because of the quick capture – this was difficult to get.

Wildlife on the move – an art form to capture them posing for you.

Mike said (facetiously) the coyote kept its distance – observant of current rules….

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The Steele report

I thought for a moment that my life had been one long dream.

We have reverted back in time in so many way. To start with for the moment gas is cheap. The price on the sign is less than a dollar. Yes I know that’s a liter when I started driving it was a mere twenty-five cents a gallon.
As I looked around I was intrigued to see my daughters writing out a shopping list for the store to fill the order, they would pick up. I remember my mother making a list and phoning the old general store. The clerk filled the order and dad picked it up after work.

There have been a few thicker pages of buys lately aside from Princess Auto, or Avon which are more like catalogs. Took me back to the Sears and Eatons catalogs. Most wouldn’t believe a hundred years ago you could even buy a house from the catalog. It came on the train and you assembled yourself, just like you assemble everything from the internet sites today.

Entertainment has reverted back too movie theaters were also a place to run news reels before the entertainment. Today the news channels are running entertainment specials with a variety of talented souls. They had the traveling shows for the troops, except this time the comediennes and traveling minstrels are entertaining us confined to our homes. We watch it all on large TV screens and big sound systems. There is a facebook page out of Nova Scotia featuring a virtual kitchen party. Been to a few of those in my time, the talent varies but it is the pure honesty of the event that counts.

Over the past few years change and adaptation has been reverting back to a time that did exist. Record players, I have more than one, they’re making a comeback. I have an entire record room 45 RPM, LP’s, old seventy-eight speed and I still prefer them to CD’s or even mp3.

Then there is the outdoor cloths line, we have had one for decades. They were always better than a dryer anyway.

The only things we need now are door to door milk delivery and the Saturday Evening Pose with a Norman Rockwell cover illustration. Well I suppose we won’t go that far back but we are going to revert back to a lot of practical economical solutions as part of the new normal before this virus scare is over.

Fred Steele

Fred is a former radio broadcaster in the Okanagan, a farmer, an orchardist and the former president of BC Fruit Growers Association. ODN is very lucky to have him and his different point of view.

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$5000 to OCAC to help up arts council

Provincial Funding to OCAC
The BC Arts Council has provided the arts council with a relief package of $5000 to cover any costs related to COVID-19, including loss of revenue from event cancellations, changes to programming and facility operations, and additional administrative costs. This funding is on top of the annual operational funding of $17,000 awarded to the arts council in early 2020 for its performance the previous year.

In addition, the BC Arts Council has advanced 50% of its operational funding for 2021, an amount totalling $8500, for any emergency measures. Because we are frugal with our events and programs, and have no paid staff, we do not anticipate using this advance. Instead it will be deposited and earmarked for 2021, as would be usual.

We thank the BC Arts Council for its prompt response to the COVID crisis, and its support for this very vulnerable economic sector.

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So what is the good news?

Manitoba is set to open up

This follow the Province of Saskatchewan

We hear Quebec will open day-cares and schools

BC – will keep the tough clamp down / locked order until May 12 and maybe then we will get a hint as to our fate.

Loose Bay is opening this Friday

Java, flowers and ice cream at Eastside

The streams are beginning to flow – Hester Creek is running well

The weather is getting warmer

The blossoms are glorious

The golfers are smiling

The winter long quietness of Area 27 is over

Ladies and Gents in tank tops and shorts

Dogs walking, people strolling – a picnic in a park

Grads might be able to celebrate their final year on a banner, in a magazine or even at the school they attend.

It’s a decision folks. Do it on Canada Day, have fireworks, a free swim at a pool or lake.

Let us get out of this tight grip as soon as possible!

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6 of 5 h and r block

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Parson’s Pink

by Marianne Parsons

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Gates will be open Friday at Loose Bay

Loose Bay 2020

BC government will support the establishment in the 2020 fruit season a picker’s campsite at Loose Bay.

Alan Patton told ODN this morning that the small organization – Loose Bay Society has dissolved and the head lease holder – the Regional District will work with many interested parties and stakeholder to ensure the camp is healthy and safe.

Oliver Daily News hopes to have expanded coverage of this development in the days ahead.

The interested parties include, the BC Fruit Growers Association, provincial government departments, the RDOS and the Town of Oliver.

Friday is May 1st and the management and staff at Loose Bay will open the gates to visitors.

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A safe place…..

VICTORIA – Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has issued the following statement on the Province’s ongoing support for women and children experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Home should be a safe place for everyone, but for many, that is not the case. Women, children and non-binary people are often at a higher risk of domestic and targeted violence, and this danger has only increased during this stressful time. As this pandemic requires us to stay home and keep our distance from friends and extended family, people facing violence or abuse – many with children – need our help more than ever to find a safe place to stay.

“As of today, the Province has secured nearly 300 additional spaces in communities throughout B.C. for people leaving violent or unstable situations, with more spaces to come. These are in addition to more than 100 transition houses and safe homes that the Province funds on an ongoing basis.

“Domestic and sexual abuse is not a private matter to be kept behind closed doors.

Violence should never be tolerated – not during this pandemic and not ever.

It’s wrong, and we will be there for people who need our help and a safe place to go, day or night.”

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