• The Salmon Arm RCMP continued to search for missing person Roy Sharp who was presumed dead after being caught in the Robinson Creek landslide in Sunnybrae on May 3. In addition to Shuswap Search and Rescue, a special team was brought in from Vancouver to search during the first few days after the slide, but were called off when it became unlikely that Sharp could have survived.
• In his column, Director’s Notes, Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area C Director Paul Demenok invited people to the upcoming Area C Governance Study Committee that will include guest speakers who will speak on the pros and cons of incorporation.
• The Shuswap is a beautiful and bountiful place – a region of spectacular watercourses, mountains, micro-climates, biodiversity, and home to many species, including humans. All of this and more are richly described in environmentalist Jim Cooperman’s new book, Everything Shuswap: A Geographic Handbook – Volume 1.
Through his Shuswap Market News column, Shuswap Passion, Cooperman has provided stories and observations about the 1.55 million hectare region.
• Armed with brushes and paint, a dozen artists were invited to fight it out in support of Shuswap General Hospital Foundation. The artists signed on to compete in an art battle slated to take place on June 3 at Westgate Public Market in the former Canadian Tire site. Proceeds from the Art Battle ticket sales and silent auction will go to the Shuswap Hospital Foundation.
• Quaaout Lodge celebrated its 25th anniversary. They planned to kick off their celebrations on June 25, Aboriginal Day in Canada, with the launching of two cottonwood canoes.
• According to documents on the website of the Adams Lake Band, Chief Paul Michael was removed from his position. The document stated the band’s community panel received a petition submitted by Nelson Frederick Leon for the removal of Paul Fergus Michael. The panel rendered a decision to remove him from office for five violations of breach of his “oath of office.” Michael has been in office since December 2016.
• Carlin Hall continued to be a venue that supports live music and world-class musicians. Living up to their standard of excellence, Carlin Hall organizers hosted world-renowned guitarist Claude Bourbon and highly acclaimed blue-grassers the Slocan Ramblers.
• Tori Jewell, Sharon Dyck and Diane Jewell performed at Carlin Hall on Sunday, June 4 in a concert to raise funds for the victims of the Sunnybrae mudslide.
• Feeling the loss of one of their own in the Robinson Creek mudslide, Sunnybrae residents are hoping to honour the memory of Roy Sharp. Bastion Ranch owner David Miege said support for a petition to be delivered to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District has also come from Tappen and Salmon Arm. He said people who did not know Sharp personally, recognized him from his friendly waves as they drove along Sunnybrae-Canoe Point Road.
“Roy Sharp was a well-loved and respected member of our community who was always willing to help out his friends and neighbours,” read Miege’s preamble to the petition, asking that Robinson Creek Park be renamed in Sharp’s honour.
• Golf carts have taken their place alongside cars and trucks in Chase, following a grand opening event on Tuesday, June 5. To mark the grand opening, Chase’s MLA Todd Stone was on hand to say a few words about the Neighbourhood Golf Cart Program, as was Chase Mayor Rick Berrigan. He noted that 11 golf carts were already on the streets, having purchased their permit from the village as well as insurance from ICBC.
The pilot program will last for two years, at which time Chase can make a decision whether to continue. Golf carts must be equipped with seat belts, a horn, lights, signals and a rear-view mirror.
• Columbia Shuswap Regional District lifted boil water advisories for South Shuswap’s Lakeview Place Water System and Cedar Heights Water System.
• In its first season as a team, Sorrento U12 Girls Fastball team brought home a silver medal from U12 Fastball Regionals in Kelowna. The girls had a nine-game season before arriving at regionals. They played their regional games with only nine players, battling their way through round-robin play, one playoff and semifinals before making it to the the championship game. It was a hard-fought game that they forced into extra innings with a late comeback in the fourth inning.
• The weather forecast didn’t bode well for the Shuswap’s high-water levels. David Campbell, head of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations River Forecast Centre, said that while water levels in the Shuswap have declined somewhat over the last few days, the forecast for rain was a very real concern. He said the water level in Shuswap is close to 2012 levels, but two-and-a-half weeks earlier than the usual spring freshet.
• For the most part, the 45 members of the nine Syrian refugee families who now call Salmon Arm home are doing very well. But there is still need for community support.
“There are two essentials; one is English, two is employment, and English comes first,” said Brian Ayotte, chair of the Salmon Arm Refugee Coalition. “Three of the families are now at the end of their sponsorship so they are becoming independent and there is a serious need for low-rent accommodation.”
Seven of the male refugees are now employed, four full-time in the building trades and three part-time as custodians in the school district.
• The Salmon Arm Synergy U16 Boys’ Club Basketball Team won gold in the U16/17 Basketball BC Club Championships in Langley. Synergy defeated the Kootenay Bulls 54-44 in the final at the Langley Event Centre.
• Artists battle it out for charity in a fun event held at Westgate Public Market. The fundraiser was organized by the Barley Station Brew Pub and raised more than $10,000 for the Shuswap Lake Hospital Foundation.
• Jen Dies was exhausted but exhilarated following the Relay for Life event that exceeded her expectations.
“We did so much better than last year; we’re sitting just over $91,000 while last year was $76,000. Our community is so amazing, it leaves me speechless sometimes.”
• While BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) internal memos described the Salmon Arm Rapattack base amenities and treatment as elitism, the man who introduced Rapattack to the province titles it teamwork. BCWS removed catering services from the base in January and will be removing accommodation next January. Their rational is that “Elitism and special treatment have combined to create a barrier between rappel crews and other firefighting crews around the province.”
But Jim Dunlop, who introduced Rapattack to the province, disagreed. “I can’t grasp the rationale. They seem to say it’s unfair to other crews who don’t have those services. There’s a certain amount of truth in that. When I was a director, you would normally try to correct those inequities. But you wouldn’t do it by taking people down, you’d do it by building people up.”
• A flashy paint job on the former school board building drew a lot of attention from passersby. The red, yellow, green, blue, and orange radiate from the formerly beige building on Shuswap Street. Owner Bill Laird said the colourful plan was simple: “That building is a square box. So I wanted to do something different that would make it stand out and add a bit of colour to town. I think it’s good for the town to a have a few buildings that are little bit different.”
He added that he wasn’t finished with the outside yet. “I’m going to do one other thing, but I’ll leave it as a surprise.”
• More learning is taking place outside the classroom as North Okanagan students head outdoors. The movement towards outdoor learning is gaining momentum and the school district explored an expansion of programming, including the possibility of creating an outdoor school based in South Canoe. Several teachers gave a presentation to Official Trustee Mike McKay about outdoor education in the school district. McKay gave approval to staff to continue research.
• It was a record-breaking year for the Annual Kid’s Fishing Derby at the Salmon Arm wharf. Over 300 people attended the event and 90 fish were caught.
“I now have young people coming who were in the derby who are now bringing their kids,” said James Murray, who started the event 21 years ago. Cohen Coppel reeled in 18 fish single-handedly, setting a derby record. Julian Hudson caught the largest one of the day (3.558 kg), and Carson Blair caught the first fish of the day.