Year in Review – May – August, 2012

Clearwater Secondary students Katie Bieber and Reid Rebinsky encouraged local residents to reduce and then refuse plastic bags

(L-r) Thompson Rivers University local coordinator Sylvia Arduini presents the two largest scholarships presented during Clearwater Secondary School's graduation ceremonies in June to Emma Persad and Dayna Koroll. Persad won the four-year TRU Ambassadors scholarship, valued at $20,000, while Koroll took home the TRU Board of Governors' scholarship, worth $3,000.

(L-r) Thompson Rivers University local coordinator Sylvia Arduini presents the two largest scholarships presented during Clearwater Secondary School's graduation ceremonies in June to Emma Persad and Dayna Koroll. Persad won the four-year TRU Ambassadors scholarship, valued at $20,000, while Koroll took home the TRU Board of Governors' scholarship, worth $3,000.


Clearwater Secondary students Katie Bieber and Reid Rebinsky encouraged local residents to reduce and then refuse plastic bags. Other small Canadian communities had successfully eliminated single use plastic bags, they wrote in an article in the Times.

Samantha Charlton, a masters of resource management candidate at Simon Fraser University, wrote about the problems and opportunities around non-timber forest resources for community forests and First Nations. Less timber could be available in the future and NTFR could begin to fill the gap, she felt.

Former Little Fort resident Dr. Kee Jim gave a talk on how to bolster the industry to the North Okanagan Livestock Association during its annual education seminar. Jim was managing director of Feedlot Health Management Services in Alberta.

A lady manager from Ghana, Leticia Ahiabu, was to join the Interior Savings Credit Union branch in Clearwater for three days as part of the Canadian Cooperative Association’s Women’s Mentorship Program. “It’s like winning a lottery for her. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Clearwater manager Gina Walchuk.

Clearwater Minor Ball president Melody Romeo asked town council for assistance in hosting the Peewee/Midget provincial softball championships in July.

Clearwater council gave the go-ahead to apply for $1.9 million in federal gas funding to help pay for a sewer extension to the area south and west of Dutch Lake. The funding would pay 2/3 of the projected $2.8 million cost. Affected property owners would pay a large share of the local cost.

David Shearing, convicted of killing six members of the Johnson-Bentley family in 1982, applied for parole for a second time. The former local resident had been sentenced to life with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.

An article and photos submitted by Robson Beaudry gave a taste of his life during two years spent studying in Hong Kong. The Clearwater youth was attending the United World College there, one of 13 around the world.

An impressive total of 193 people gathered at Rotary Sports Park for a Zumba session as part of Healthy Families BC’s Move for Health Day.

BC Hydro board chair Dan Doyle announced a $50 million upgrade to its Valemount distribution system during an economic development meeting in Blue River. The meeting was a follow-up on one held in January to promote the Barriere-to-McBride corridor.

Clearwater’s Jordie Akers was presented with Scouting’s top badge, the Queen’s Venturer Award, during a ceremony at Government House in Victoria.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake cut the ribbon to officially open the new WorksBC Employment Services Center in Clearwater. Helping him out were Clearwater Mayor John Harwood, Wells Gray Country director Tim Pennell, Yellowhead Community Services executive director Jack Keough and center manager Jocelyn Ansell.

Clearwater Stingers won a 10-team slow-pitch tournament at Capostinsky Park.

People from all over the province visited Clearwater as Raft River Rockhounds hosted the BC Lapidary Society Rendezvous over the Victoria Day weekend.


Wells Gray Country (Area A) director Tim Pennell was at the top of the list for TNRD directors’ remuneration and expenses, with remuneration of $27,000 and expenses of $20,000. Willow MacDonald, the new director for Thompson Headwaters (Area B) defended Pennell by noting that he was on the Fraser Basin Council and other external committees the bring in extra pay but also involve extra expenses.

A spokesperson for Fisheries and Oceans Canada confirmed that the Clearwater fisheries office was to close permanently sometime during the next two years. “Larger, consolidated offices will provide better overall results,” he said.

About 45 kids participated in a Bike Rodeo put on by Clearwater RCMP and Victims Services at the Sportsplex. Of these, 31 took part in a ChildFind BC fingerprint clinic.

Yellowhead Community Services received $256,000 from the federal government for its Community Connections for Women’s Safety project. Cathy McLeod, M.P. for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, announced the funding.

All-round student award at Clearwater Secondary School went to Baylee Sallenbach. She also won the Fred Allen Memorial Bursary of $500 plus had been one of the top recipients of scholarships at the school’s graduation ceremonies.

District of Clearwater was undertaking a seniors needs assessment as a first step in creating an age-friendly community. “We want to ensure that we have the services and amenities that will allow seniors living in Clearwater and the surrounding area to remain here,” said CAO Leslie Groulx.

Katrina Link was presented with a Gold Medal of Merit during a Caribou-Thompson Guiding District weekend camp for the 35-plus years she had given to Guiding.

A petition calling on the national Parole Board to deny parole to convicted murderer David (Shearing) Ennis was getting a strong response. “Lots of people are signing this year,” said Judy Briggs, one of the organizers. His application was to be heard in September.

Rita Matthew was sworn in as chief of the Simpcw First Nation in Chu Chua. “We must work together to make the community the way that we know it can be,” she said.

Kinder Morgan was reminding people to make use of the BC OneCall service when digging near possible buried pipelines, electrical cables and so on. A local contractor had recently been discovered digging with an excavator on top of the Transmountain pipeline to repair a collapsed billboard.

About 40 people gathered in the Upper Clearwater Hall to hear concerns by members of the Upper Clearwater referral group regarding Canfor’s plans to log in the area. The forest company’s proposal would involved 14 cut-blocks totalling over 1,000 ha, and would violate a document called Guiding Principles for the Management of Land and Resources in the Upper Clearwater Valley, members of the referral group felt.

Clearwater council voted to bring in a free Saturday bus service for the summer. The bus would make one round-trip from Vavenby and back each Saturday.

Kinder Morgan was just beginning a five-year process to twin its Transmountain pipeline, project manager Greg Toth told Clearwater council. “Where practical it will follow the existing pipeline, except a lot has changed in 60 years,” he said.

Clearwater’s own Interior Whitewater Expeditions was accepted into the Canadian Tourism Commission’s prestigious Signature Experiences Collection. The five-day “Do You Believe In Magic” tour included canoeing on Mahood Lake, a hike from Mahood to the Clearwater River, and whitewater rafting on the Clearwater.


About 40 contractors, members of Clearwater Fire Department and others took part in a pipeline safety breakfast organized by Kinder Morgan at Clearwater ski hill. “Call before you dig,” was the message.

Liquid Lifestyles shelved a plan to offer motor-assisted float trips on the Clearwater River because of the controversy created. “We’ll hold off for one season and then review it with BC Parks in the fall,” said owner Scott Streadwick. “We want to be seen as good corporate citizens.”

A drinking water engineer with Urban Systems would like to see District of Clearwater implement a water conservation plan. Water use per capita was much higher than in Kamloops, she said.

Members of the Brown family from Seattle celebrated 50 years of visits to Moose Camp Fishing Resort. Three brothers began the trek in 1962. Women came for the first couple of years only.

Blue River celebrated its 100th anniversary on Canada Day. A display of photos and memorabilia made the community hall an interesting place to visit.

Linda Zieffle arrived to take the place of Peter Persad as vice-principal of Clearwater Secondary School. A teacher for 23 years, she had been a vice-principal in Mission School District for four.

Custodian Monika Menard used her dog, Ellie, to find a ball python that was loose in Clearwater Secondary School for several days. “He’s quite a hunter,” said Menard. “He alerted as soon as he went into the room.” Reginald, a non-poisonous, docile snake, had been a fixture in the science lab for several years.

Vavenby sheep rancher Ian Moilliet confirmed that June had been a record-setting wet month, with 112.4 mm of rain, 40 per cent above average. His family had been keeping weather records since 1913.

Members of the Bampton family opened the Bampton Recreation Area next to Dutch Lake Park on Canada Day. “It was an emotional experience to donate the land to the citizens of Clearwater,” said Barry Bampton. The family formerly owned Dutch Lake Motel.

Vavenby’s Cory Graffunder became the first Canadian to win a medal in men’s Enduro X when he took third place during an event in Los Angeles. His ESPN biography described him as “Canada’s best off road racer”.

Clearwater council voted to award a $475,000 contract to a Quesnel company to complete the installation of an ultraviolet disinfection system in the Russell Creek water system. A Towns for Tomorrow grant of $400,000 would help pay for the project.

Clearwater’s new public works superintendent, Jared Brounstein, started work. Previously with the City of Chilliwack, he had diplomas in public sector management and civil engineering.

Logs should be processed in the same administrative jurisdiction they are harvested in, Mayor John Harwood told the provincial legislature’s special committee on timber supply in Kamloops. “I’m concerned that this area will be used to fill for those areas where the forest industry is not survivable,” he said.

After Hours Theatre presented It’s All An Act, three short one-act plays at Serenity Center for the Performing Arts near Vavenby.

Clearwater kick-boxer Damon Chase won two silver medals at the West Coast Can-Am Championships in Vancouver.

A total of 14 teams and hundreds of family members were in Clearwater as the community hosted the U14 Boys Rep and U18 Boys C provincial softball championships. Clearwater Peewees placed second in the first event, while Clearwater Midgets won the second. “I would love to see the town host events like this again,” said Durvene Gal, the Softball BC rep.

Eleanor Collins was appointed as Clearwater’s new community recreation/healthy living coordinator. She took the place of Christine Parsons.

Wells Gray Community Forest hoped to keep its annual allowable cut at 33,000 cubic meters per year, said manager George Brcko. The initial cut of 20,000 cubic meters had been uplifted by 13,000 for beetle salvage. The community forest was using improved modelling to show that the AAC could be kept at the higher level.

Fire destroyed a load of logs near five km on Forest Service Road Two. There were no injuries and the cause was not determined, said Canfor spokesperson Dave Poole.

Clearwater Chamber of Commerce asked town council for help in paying for its tourist information desk at the Wells Gray Infocenter. Staff at the desk are often the first point of contact for new businesses and residents thinking of moving to the area, said Chamber president Jeff Lamond.


Kathy Kendall, the BC NDP candidate for the Kamloops-North Thompson riding, was campaigning in Clearwater. “The polls right now favor the NDP but, as they say, the only poll that counts is on election day,” she said.

Environment Minister Terry Lake said B.C. might pursue a per barrel levy on oil that would flow through a twinned Kinder Morgan pipeline. A $5 toll on Kinder Morgan’s post-expansion pipeline, which would move 750,000 barrels a day, would generate close to $1.4 billion annually.

Lisalee Campbell sang O’Canada to open the first ever Clearwater Children’s Festival. Youngsters got their passports stamped as they participated in each of the activity tents set up around Weyerhaeuser Park.

A slow economy and an improved method of asking for tenders were saving the TNRD millions of dollars in solid waste disposal, said Wells Gray Country director Tim Pennell. Overall waste disposal in the regional district had declined by 55 per cent since the regional solid waste management plan was implemented in 2008.

Thompson Rivers University announced World Heritage Year for Wells Gray Park. Dean of science Tom Dickinson and Upper Clearwater resident Trevor Goward were organizing a year-long series of guided tours, hikes, field courses, lectures and children events. Purpose was to celebrate the opening of the Wells Gray TRU Wilderness Center in 2013.

More than 150 people took part in Clearwater’s sixth Star Gazing Festival. Bill Burnyeat, the community astronomer at the H.R. Macmillan Space Center, was the main presenter.

Former Clearwater resident Peter Haring, an inspector with the RCMP, and his wife June received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee awards during a presentation in Prince George.

Survey work for a proposed roundabout at the junction of Highway 5 and the road to Wells Gray Park was about to begin, according to Mayor John Harwood. “I think it’s an excellent idea,” he said. The roundabout would reduce the speed of traffic and highlight the road to the park, the mayor said.

Estimated total revenue generated within the community by day visitors who gave Wells Gray and North Thompson provincial parks as their primary reason to visit was $2.8 million, according to a report from Brad Bradbury, the tourism-marketing manager with Tourism Wells Gray. Estimated total revenue from visitors that stayed a minimum of one night within the provincial parks was just over $400,000.

The Wells Gray World Heritage Committee sent an open letter to Canfor CEO Don Kayne, asking him to rethink plans to log near Upper Clearwater. Earlier clear-cuts on the same slopes were largely responsible for five major flash floods between 1997 and 2001, the committee charged.

Clearwater’s Taylor Rhodes won a gold medal at the provincial U16 softball championships and a bronze at the Western Canadians while playing with the Chiliwack Vipers. There was no Bantam softball team in Clearwater.


David Black, owner of the Clearwater Times and more than 70 other newspapers, proposed building an oil refinery at Kitimat. Processing the bitumen from the Alberta oil sands before putting it on ships would help protect the coast, he argued.



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