SD22 Superintendent

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 12, 2021
Bev Rundell introduced her second successor as our School District Superintendent.  Dr Christine Perkins’ first Vernon job was some time ago, working for CKAL radio station.  Her teaching & school administration career has seen her in Kelowna, Squamish, Merritt & Nelson, most recently as Superintendent/CEO for SD8.  She started here Aug 1st, contending with the use of one of our high schools as an emergency shelter & meal prep site for Okanagan wildfire evacuees.  Our SD22 now serves 8,900 students in 21 schools, including over 200 international students & a well-established French Immersion program.  District staff are working hand in hand with Interior Health to monitor Covid-19 exposures & cases, & to adjust protocols as needed, based on directives from our Provincial Health Officer & other government officials.  In response to a recent announcement that school boards should develop their own masking policies, Dr Perkins expects a “unified” statement within a few days.  She says both the BCTF & CUPE (teacher & support staff unions) are supportive of masking, & most students, even young ones, are better at following rules than the adult population!  Turning to academics, she explained that many subject area exams are being replaced by literacy & numeracy tests, saying “if a student can read, they will succeed.”  A new “career & life education” course has been introduced, augmenting the former portfolio presentations done by Grade 12 students.  Dr P believes students are more concerned about climate change, First Nations reconciliation & kindness to others than the general population – “they get it!”  She answered questions about scholarships -- they’re critical, & jobs -- many are available.
SD22 Superintendent Colin Heggie 2021-10-12 07:00:00Z 0

Ultra Endurance Athlete Dawna Jodoin

Posted by Calvin Reich on Oct 05, 2021
Calvin Reich hosted Ultra Endurance Athlete Dawna Jodoin, owner of Vernon Bush Babes and Bros.  She turned her enjoyment of "bush" running into a business, by offering tours & clinics to others who want to try new places, or improve their technical skills.  Dawna has been an Ultra Athlete for 17 years and has accomplished some amazing feats, including many competitions.  She has most recently qualified for the Hurt 100 in Hawaii.
Ultra Endurance Athlete Dawna Jodoin Calvin Reich 2021-10-05 07:00:00Z 0

Volunteering for Vernon's 2022 BC Games

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 28, 2021
Teresa Durning Harker introduced Julia Waldo, a retired Saskatchewan special education teacher, who is immersing herself in Vernon by taking a leadership role seeking volunteers for our Greater Vernon 2022 Winter BC Games.  Our community expects to host about 2,000 12 to 17 year old youth, between Feb 24th to 27th, requiring 1,500 to 1,800 volunteers.  The Games will follow Covid-19 protocols, so it’s likely there’ll be minimal spectators allowed, & all volunteers will need proof of vaccinations.  “Victory through Adversity” has been chosen as the theme, appropriately!  20 different sports, including those for “special” athletes, cover a range of indoor & outdoor events.  Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of leadership & less onerous roles in areas including accommodation, drivers, equipment management, food services, logistics & marketing, etc.  Volunteers may include groups, like our Rotary Club, for some chores.  Julia is in particular need of a marketing team, & hopes some of our “seasoned & connected” members might be up for that.  For more information, visit  BC Winter Games ( & go to the Volunteer tab.  Members might also contact our Teresa Durning Harker, who is serving as the Games’ Vice President.
Volunteering for Vernon's 2022 BC Games Colin Heggie 2021-09-28 07:00:00Z 0

Don's Real Estate Trends

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 21, 2021
Don Miller, our Vernon Century 21 realtor since 2002, provided information about our local market, & focused on explaining the Absorption Rate, which is the average number of monthly sales divided by the number of properties for sale.  So, if 97 single family dwellings sold in a month featuring 172 listings, the absorption rate would be 56%, & it would take 1.7 months to sell all the listings.  This rate determines a buyer’s market vs. a seller’s market.  Over time & changing economic, political & regulatory circumstances, the pendulum swings between these two types of market.  Where all listings would typically sell within 5 months or less, it’s considered a seller’s market, & over 7 months is a buyer’s market.  During a seller’s market, one can expect prices to increase, & during a buyer’s market one would look for softening prices.  Our current 1.7 months indicator shows a very strong seller’s market, explaining significant recent price increases.  It should be noted that statistics will vary between property types (eg. SFDs, apartment condos, lakeshore, acreage, bare lots, commercial, industrial, etc.) as they don’t all perform the same way in the marketplace.  It’s always best to have some professional advice to inform your real estate decisions!
Don's Real Estate Trends Colin Heggie 2021-09-21 07:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Review

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 14, 2021
Jim Kanester leads our Scholarship Committee.  He reviewed his most recent report & answered a number of questions.  We provide annual $1,300 scholarships to a Grade 12 graduate from each of our five local high schools; $1,300 to a “trade / technical” grad from one of the schools; $1,000 to an Okanagan College entrant; & five $250 “Special Needs” awards.  Some of the funds are raised each year, historically through 50/50 raffle ticket sales at Vipers hockey games; a slowly growing portion of the funds come from interest on funds invested through the Community Foundation of North Okanagan (CFNO) in our Silver Star Rotary Education Endowment Fund.  This fund now contains nearly $150,000, & typically returns about 3.5 to 4.5% pa on low-risk investments.  Apparently, SSR has been providing scholarships since about 1989.  Records show that since 2009, just over $100,000 has been offered, with about 70% of that actually distributed.  Recipients may claim their funds with proof of registration for any form of higher learning.  Jim explained our selection process favours need, along with academic success.  Often, students from disadvantaged homes benefit from the extra encouragement a scholarship offers, but with the high cost of tuition, books & living expenses, our funds sometimes aren’t enough to persuade a student to carry on with higher learning.  Jim asked each of us to supply him with a letter to a prospective student, outlining something in our experience which might serve to inspire or assist.
Scholarship Review Colin Heggie 2021-09-14 07:00:00Z 0

Protecting Species at Risk

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 07, 2021
Bob France presented a summary of his work on “Species at Risk Partnership on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL).  Beginning in 2016, this pilot program is funded at +/-$100k annually by the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment & Climate Change Canada, using the BC Cattlemen’s Association as “deliverer” of funds to their members.  The goals include engaging members about species at risk, exploring best management practices for species, & demonstrating to the public members’ interest in species at risk.  The original pilot program was targeted at enhancing habitat for the Yellow Breasted Chat & Lewis’s Woodpecker, by fencing to allow only controlled access to riparian areas, planting shrubs or trees in riparian areas, providing off-stream waterers, etc.  Maximum project funding is $15k, which may cover the total cost of a project.  So far, 21 projects in southern BC have been completed, & 4 more are in progress.
Protecting Species at Risk Colin Heggie 2021-09-07 07:00:00Z 0

North Okanagan Trails

Posted by Craig Goplen on Aug 31, 2021
Dave Hoyte welcomed Brad Ackerman, Manager, Parks, Recreation & Culture for the Regional District of North Okanagan, who spoke about parks and trails.  The success of the Okanagan Rail Trail, particularly within the context of Covid-19, has led to an overall increase in hiking trail use.  RDCO is currently working on or helping with other trails, such as the Grey Canal, from Adventure Bay to Noble Canyon -- 50 km in total.  BX trail may eventually be extended from Vernon to Silver Star, plus a connector trail may eventually join Predator Ridge to the Rail Trail.  There may also be another Rail Trail in the works from Armstrong to Sicamous.  These trails will all take years to complete, depending on funding, cooperation of stakeholders such as private land holders, First Nations, all levels of government, and so on, but the future looks very bright.
North Okanagan Trails Craig Goplen 2021-08-31 07:00:00Z 0

Gender Diversity & Pronouns

Posted by Craig Goplen on Aug 17, 2021

Craig Goplen hosted Elmaz Wilder, whom he described as an important leader in our community, & owner / operator of Vernon’s Ritual Barbershop for the last four years.  Elmaz's pronouns are they/he and they spoke today about gender diversity.  Elmaz emphasized acceptance for everyone, and respect for the manner in which people wish to be addressed. "They" for example is not really uncommon, ie. "My cousin is in hospital," "Oh, how are they doing?" It is a pretty universal term, even back to writers such as Shakespeare.  Personal questions to cis or trans people about medications or surgical procedures are not appropriate in most conversations.  They thanked us for the opportunity to come and do some teaching and asked everyone to please be kind.

Gender Diversity & Pronouns Craig Goplen 2021-08-17 07:00:00Z 0

End Polio Now Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 10, 2021
Jim Kanester, our Rotary Foundation Director, shared an Oct 2020 World Polio Update  which announced Africa is now “wild polio-free.”  “The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is a public-private partnership led by national governments with six partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the vaccine alliance. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.”  The last two remaining countries with active cases are Afghanistan & Pakistan.  Rotarians have been fund-raising, helping open doors to vaccine-hesitant countries, & participating in vaccine delivery to children for over 35 years.  It’s estimated over 20m children are alive today as a direct result of the End Polio Now initiative.  Because there are many parallels between the polio vaccine trials of 1954-55, & our current Covid-19 vaccine development & delivery, GPEI contacts & infrastructure are being used to help with the fight against Covid-19.  All Rotarians are encouraged to (continue to) support funding for this important goal.  See also  Ending Polio | Rotary International
End Polio Now Update Colin Heggie 2021-08-10 07:00:00Z 0

Changing the World

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 03, 2021
Admiral William McRaven was a U.S. Navy Seal who became a four-star admiral, leading the Special Operations Command.  He went on to be the Chancellor of the University of Texas System.  In 2014, he delivered a memorable commencement address to graduates of the U of T.  Their slogan is “What starts here changes the world.”  He suggested the average person will meet 10,000 people in their lifetime, & if each of the 8,000 graduates changed the lives of 10 others, & each of them changed another 10, in six generations, the whole world would be changed.  “Changing the world can happen anywhere, & anyone can do it – what will the world look like after you change it?”  His suggestions, related through anecdotes from six months of grueling SEAL training, are “Start each day with a task completed.  Find someone to help you through life.  Respect everyone.  Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often.  But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.”
Changing the World Colin Heggie 2021-08-03 07:00:00Z 0

Racing Siberian Huskies

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 27, 2021
Loredana brought us a Zoom presentation from Tanya McCready, of Winterdance Dog Sled Tours  Winterdance Dogsled Tours in Haliburton, Canada – What are you doing this winter?  She & her husband Hank DeBruin left their careers in 1999 to turn their love of Siberian Huskies into a home-based business.  Their first few years were a struggle – to find a banker willing to lend to them, to build a kennel & a house, & to raise four children.  Now, on their 80 acres near Haliburton, ON, close to Algonquin Park, they have custom-built radiant floor heated kennel facilities for 150 dogs.  They offer a variety of guided tour packages.  Tanya is the business manager / promoter, while Hank is the lead guide, helped by their older children & other seasonal guides.  Hank has competed in two Iditarods & four Yukon Quests, typically using a team of 16 dogs over these long, gruelling, world-famous races.  A huge amount of money, preparation, logistics & training is needed to participate in either of these races, where the weather, race conditions & luck present a variety of challenges.  After Hank’s first unsuccessful race attempt, which included frostbite & a disqualification, he wrote “Iditarod Dreamer.”  His primary lesson & message from this experience is “one has to look after oneself before looking after one’s team.”  Hank & Tanya are a driven couple, who are clearly “living their dream.”
Racing Siberian Huskies Colin Heggie 2021-07-27 07:00:00Z 0

RI President's Address to DGEs

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 20, 2021
Loredana Eisenhauer shared Rotary International 2021-22 President Shekhar Mehta’s Theme Speech, delivered virtually Feb 1st, 2021 to District Governors Elect during the Rotary International Assembly.  Shekhar Mehta says serving others changes lives, including our own | Rotary International  Shekhar is a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India.  This was an impressive delivery of an inspiring address.  Joining Rotary led Shekhar to see the plight of many rural people, & to understand them better.  “Rotary kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity,” he said. “Service became a way of life for me and I, like many others, adopted the guiding philosophy that ‘Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth, and I want to be a good tenant of this earth.’”  He “wants members to focus their efforts on empowering girls and ensuring their access to education, resources, services, and opportunities so that future generations of women leaders will have the tools they need to succeed. Mehta asked members to use Rotary’s belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion is critical in all we do as a compass to guide this work.”  Explaining that Rotary’s global membership has been static at 1.2m for 17 years, he believes our biggest challenge is to increase membership – “Do More, Grow More.”  Each one of us should bring another member, so our numbers grow to 1.3m by July 1st, 2022.  Increasing membership while eradicating polio, fighting Covid-19 & serving our communities is an ambitious goal for all of us.
RI President's Address to DGEs Colin Heggie 2021-07-20 07:00:00Z 0

Allan Brooks Nature Centre Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 13, 2021
Bob Clarke introduced Cheryl Hood, Centre Manager at Allan Brooks Nature Centre.  Coming from a varied background, Cheryl began her work with ABNC in February 2020, perfectly coinciding with the beginning of Covid-19 restrictions.  Overall, ABNC has survived reasonably well, benefitting from Board members’ expertise in maintaining government funding, & from continued support from area schools.  ABNC offers a variety of School & Community Programs aimed at introducing people, especially children, to nature – these include field trips, “Nature in the Classroom,” Stream Science, Kokanee Salmon Outings, etc.  Many were restricted to follow Covid-19 guidelines, but most offerings were fully booked, so interest in programs remains high.  Recent unprecedented heat has not helped attract guests, but indoor activities are now more comfortable, thanks to Kalamalka Rotary’s installation of air conditioning.  Upcoming programs include the “Bug Guy,” who introduces snakes, a salamander & smaller bugs, plus the popular raptor shows.  Online teaching programs are being developed.  Ken Barton’s extensive records are being reviewed by current ABNC Board Chair Jim Popowich.  Cheryl told us one of their priorities is enhancement of the grassland amphitheatre.  Dave Weatherill suggested use of shade cloth & high-pressure misting equipment.
Allan Brooks Nature Centre Update Colin Heggie 2021-07-13 07:00:00Z 0

Canada's Covid-19 Financial Programs

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 06, 2021
Our member Teresa Bartel, a Chartered Professional Accountant & owner/operator of Precision Accounting, described some of the financial impacts of Covid-19 on businesses & individuals, plus various federal relief programs.  These include the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) & Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP).  More info is available at
Canada's Covid-19 Financial Programs Colin Heggie 2021-07-06 07:00:00Z 0

SSR Director Changeover

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 29, 2021
Dave & Ruth Hoyte hosted our members for a lovely breakfast in their rear yard.  Many thanks!  President Teresa thanked her Directors & members for their support through a challenging year.  Several attendees were recognized for membership milestones: Paul Philps, 5 years; Colin Heggie & Martin von Holst, 15 years; Marty Armstrong & Leigh Hewer, 20 years; Michael Wardlow, 30 years; Drs Craig Goplen & John Wheeldon, 35 years!  Rotary Foundation Director Jim Kanester recognized Paul Harris Fellows (PHF) Rob Irving, PHF+3 (that’s US$4k in TRF accumulated donations); Bob Clarke & Leigh Hewer, PHF+2; & Martin von Holst, PHF+1.  The photo above left shows our new 2021-22 Directors, from left: Bev Rundell, Community Service & Grant Committee; Jim Kanester, Rotary Foundation & Scholarships; Penny Trudel, Public Relations; Michael Wardlow, Treasurer; Loredana Eisenhauer, Secretary; Teresa Durning Harker, Past President; Don Miller, Sargeant at Arms; Dave Weatherill, 2nd President; Dr Craig Goplen, 1st President; Calvin Reich, Membership & President Elect; & Leigh Hewer, Director at Large.  The right photo shows 2020-21 President Teresa Durning Harker with Past President Paul Philps.
SSR Director Changeover Colin Heggie 2021-06-29 07:00:00Z 0

North Okanagan Sailing Association

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 15, 2021
Dave Weatherill hosted an onsite meeting, our first since Nov 17th, at his North Okanagan Sailing Association (NOSA), where Commodore Marc Reinarz & sailing instructor Jacob (shown above with Dave) explained their organization.  NOSA is a non-profit combination of a sailing club, school & social group, with a modest waterfront facility, east of Paddlewheel Park, including boat storage, small clubhouse, kitchen & showers.  A full membership costs only $400/yr, plus another $100 to add use of club boats.  Youths & adults are offered Sail Canada’s CANSail 1 through 4 programs, using the club’s Flying Juniors & a new RS Quest dinghy.  Week-long sets of summer lessons are great for kids – incorporating theory, practice sailing, swimming & games.  Sailors are now encouraged (required ?) to wear floating helmets.  Our Rotary club has donated funds in the past, along with other service clubs, to subsidize youngsters unable to pay the $150 cost of lessons.  Lottery funding also helps with purchase & repair of club boats.  Youth sailing lessons provide healthy outdoor activities, plus build life-long skills & confidence.  For adults, Marc says NOSA offers a bit of fun sailing, to go with their social times!
North Okanagan Sailing Association Colin Heggie 2021-06-15 07:00:00Z 0

Crime Prevention in Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 08, 2021
Regan Borisenko is the City of Vernon’s Community Safety Coordinator.  He was hosted by Michael & Dominik.  Formerly a Canada Customs officer & manager of an RV dealership, Regan now has a list of duties as long as his arm, but they all focus on various aspects of community safety.  While Rachel Zubick runs our Community Safety Office, Regan is more involved with developing & supervising a wide variety of programs, including Speed Watch, Distracted Driving, Theft from Vehicles, Personal Safety, Surveillance, Foot Patrols, Marine Vessel Safety, Invasive Species (Mussel) Checks, Emergency Callout/Response Teams, Domestic Violence Monitoring & Special Events, etc.  Among his biggest jobs are running +/-100 Block Watches, keeping neighbourhoods safe & offering emergency preparedness & scam prevention training.  He manages & helps train 55 local RCMP Volunteers, each of whom commit to an annual minimum of 80 hours including training.  A Safe Apartment Living program helps keep illegal activity out of rental properties, & he offers Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which deals with lighting & target hardening to reduce opportunities for crime.  Regan answered questions about mussels endangering our lakes, catalytic converter thefts & other issues.   
Crime Prevention in Vernon Colin Heggie 2021-06-08 07:00:00Z 0

Vernon and District Community Land Trust

Posted on Jun 01, 2021
Tuesday morning we were joined by Cindy Masters who serves as the Executive Director for The Vernon & District Community Land Trust (Land Trust).
The Vernon Land Trust is a not for profit organization committed to providing affordable housing for the North Okanagan.  Current and developing projects center around providing safe, clean and attainable housing.
They work closely with a number of other not for profits to aid not only those who need a helping hand financially but additionally those that require more help but can live independently.
They have a number of new projects that have either broken ground or are in developing to help make housing affordable.
One area of need that was identified is the landscaping at Creekside Village.  Unfortunately this does not fall under the scope of some of their funding and they need to ask the community for assistance for this area.
Vernon and District Community Land Trust 2021-06-01 07:00:00Z 0

MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying)

Posted by Leigh Hewer on May 18, 2021
President Teresa introduced Assistant District Governor Dr. Carmen Larsen who spoke about Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). This has been a legal option for Canadians since 2016 and is publically funded in Canada. MAiD provides for the ability to plan your own death when faced with a grave diagnosis or prognosis. Dr. Larsen talk was about MAiD in the North Okanagan and was not about ethics or morality of this extremely personal choice.  MAiD has been available in the North Okanagan since 2016 and eligibility and options were broadened in March 2021. In 2016 there were 3 requests for this service and since then there have been a total of 1700 requests of which approximately 52% ask for and received the service; 45% used palliative care with 3% other.
To use the service the person must have a medical diagnosis and prognosis, be over 18 years of age and must be capable of informed consent. It is your choice and care is taken to ensure that you are not under any pressure to end your life, which would rule you ineligible. Other ways are looked at to relieve your suffering and it must be a serious and incurable disease/disability or in irreversible decline such as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Other consideration is that natural death will occur or the outcome of death is reasonably foreseeable.  You retain eligibility for waiver of final consent.
Safeguards include proof of identity, assessment and involvement of 2 physicians or nurse practitioners. Assessors are not a beneficiary of the person’s estate, independent witness (also not benefactors of estate), timing of request must be supported by diagnosis and cannot be part of an Advanced Care Plan. Service is provided by physician or nurse practitioner.  Interior Health has a MAiD Care Coordinator Center to assist with service.
MAiD can occur at home, in hospice or in hospital. In the North Okanagan approximately 48% are at home; 27% in acute care; 15% in hospice with 8% in long term care.
MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) Leigh Hewer 2021-05-18 07:00:00Z 0

International Student Trends

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 11, 2021
Donna McGrath (hosted by Colin) is an International Education Consultant, having worked in all aspects of international student recruitment, services, housing & support at Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan & Thompson Rivers University.  She explained that our schools originally invited foreign students to expose Canadians to other cultures & viewpoints.  Over time, foreign students have grown to be major “profit center” for our schools, colleges & universities, becoming an important source of revenue to fill or augment funding gaps.  Between 2010 & 2020, enrollment grew 135%.  In 2019, Canada hosted 642,000 international students, of whom 500,000 were in post-secondary institutions.  For 2020, the numbers dropped about 17%, & going forward, we don’t know how Covid-19 & online learning will impact recruitment.  This is a big business, with tuition, housing, food & other spending bringing close to $20b to the Canadian economy at peak enrollment.  Primary source countries are India & China, representing well over 50% of our international students between them.  Success in attracting & retaining foreign students is highly dependent upon federal student & work visa policies.  Because 60% of international students apply for permanent residency, & many fund their education through jobs during & after their schooling, disconnects between their needs & visa policies will impact their decisions significantly.  Canada is seen as a safe place to get a high-quality education; in return, Canada develops a pool of well-qualified immigrants.  Problem areas include Canada’s reluctance to recognize foreign credentials, & a tendency for Canadian employers to (want to) pay less for foreign workers.  Also, demand for a “western” education will drop as India & China build more & better colleges & universities.  Where their needs align with ours, everybody wins!  For more info, see CBIE | Global Leader in International Education & British Columbia Council for International Education (
International Student Trends Colin Heggie 2021-05-11 07:00:00Z 0

Mackie Lake House

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 04, 2021
Valerie Cherwoniak is Manager of the Mackie Lake House, a well-known historic 1910-built home on five acres of Kalamalka Lake waterfront.  Originally part of Lord Aberdeen’s Coldstream Ranch, the property was occupied over the years by the Buchanan, Layton & Mackie families.  Late in his life, Paddy Mackie had the property “Heritage Designated,” & following his 1999 death, it passed to a foundation for community use.  The Foundation’s mandate is “to preserve & present the buildings, grounds, furnishings, & related history of Mackie Lake House for the enjoyment & education of the public.”  They have education programs for school children, using the Joan Heriot Environmental Centre, often including walks to the nearby bird sanctuary; present annual Kal & Seaton high school grad scholarships; & periodically host an artist in residence, with a showing.  Funds are raised through tours, & rentals for weddings, memorials, seminars, “Music at Mackie,” afternoon teas, & other events.  They have volunteer archivists, & are looking forward to publishing a book about Paddy & the House, by Ken Mather.  Goals include “Artisan Afternoons,” a renovation of the old cottage, & most importantly, addition of an accessible washroom in the grounds.  Unfortunately, Valerie came to the House at the same time Covid-19 restrictions came, so she’s looking forward to ramping up her plans when crowds can return.  She’s coordinating with other local attractions, intending for them to cross-promote & support each other.  
Mackie Lake House Colin Heggie 2021-05-04 07:00:00Z 0

Vernon Search & Rescue

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 27, 2021
Coralie Nairn, from Vernon Search & Rescue, was hosted by Calvin Reich.  Coralie has 32 years of experience in search & rescue, with extensive qualifications in management & instruction.  SAR functions fall under the jurisdiction of Emergency Management BC.  There are 79 BC SAR teams, with 2,500 unpaid volunteers, responding 24/365 to an average of 1,700 incidents annually.  All adhere to a strict code of conduct, receive regular training, & are reimbursed only for out-of-pocket expenses, such as gas & meals.  Callouts come from a variety of agencies, with which they work regularly – most calls come from the RCMP.  Vernon SAR has been operating since 1960, & currently has 59 volunteers, with an enviably low attrition rate.  The average call is about five hours, & 95% of subjects are found within 24 hours.  SAR specialty teams include avalanche / snowmobile, bike / ebike, tracking, helicopter winch rescue, swiftwater / jet boat, ice, technical / rope, incident command, mutual aid, education & funding.  Vernon SAR is particularly known for its snowmobile team, & for initiating BC’s first helicopter winch rescue team.  The recent addition of ebikes has significantly helped with response times.  They’ve outgrown their current facility on Hwy 6, & are on the cusp of finalizing a new location, where they hope to open in 2022.
Vernon Search & Rescue Colin Heggie 2021-04-27 07:00:00Z 0

Club Business Meeting

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 20, 2021
President Teresa hosted our Club Business Meeting – beginning with a report that Area Presidents are looking for someone to organize Athletic Awards for local high school students.  Earth Day, Thu, Apr 22nd will be noted by several of our members joining Silver Star Mountain Resort staff doing a one-hour local creek cleanup – meet in the parking area in the lane between Kal Tire Place & Red Top, at 7:30am.  Penny will be hosting a fund-raising meeting tomorrow.  Dave Hoyte believes our May 15th Garage Sale will be postponed, due to Covid restrictions.  Similarly, Dr Craig Goplen is unsure whether the September Father Daughter Ball will run this year.  As in-person presentations of our scholarships to Grade 12 grads are unlikely, Jim Kanester is asking for a member to write an encouraging note to each of our six recipients.  Dominik Dlouhy noted the Morning Star newspaper printed a nice article & picture of our RCMP volunteer of the year.  PDG Dr Peter Schulz joined us, to present a short video promoting the Zone 28 & 32 Rotary Foundation Virtual Gala & Fundraiser, 5 to 6pm PST, Wed, May 12th.  A variety of speakers & entertainers are lined up.  Tickets are US$110.  Peter noted TRF donations are up 6% this Rotary year, but requests for help have doubled.  For more info  Welcome | Zones 28 & 32 ( Our meeting finished with short updates from all attendees, about how they’re enjoying Spring.
Club Business Meeting Colin Heggie 2021-04-20 07:00:00Z 0

2009/10 RYES Eduarda Salles Lobo

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 13, 2021
Our guest today was Eduarda Salles Lobo, our 2009/10 incoming RYES from Belo Horizonte, Brasil.  Colin & Martin’s wives, Barb & Carol joined the conversation, having been host “Moms.”  Following her year in Vernon, Eduarda was initially thinking about being a doctor (her Dad is an otolaryngologist, or ENT), then switched to civil engineering (her mother is an engineer).  She did a year of study in England, then followed her degree with post-graduate work in renewable energy.  This led to finance work with a renewable energy company.  She’s now working in investor relations for Hotmart, “a leader in the distribution & sale of digital products in Latin America.”  Eduarda works from her parents’ home during the week, then joins her fiancé on weekends in nearby Nova Lima.  He’s a lawyer, apparently “too noisy” to share work space with!  They hope to marry when Covid subsides.  Asked what impact the Rotary Youth Exchange program has had on her life, Eduarda says she’s maintained friendships with other RYES from all over the world, benefitted from personal development through RYES, & greatly improved her English, which is a big advantage.  She had a minor case of Covid, & wonders if her lower energy level might be a lingering effect.  Her family are all well, though her Dad fell off a horse & broke four ribs, while spending time on his ranch!  So great to reconnect with this impressive young lady.
2009/10 RYES Eduarda Salles Lobo Colin Heggie 2021-04-13 07:00:00Z 0

Ghost Orchids & Their Pollinators

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 06, 2021
Our orchid-loving Don Miller shared a National Geographic video describing south Florida’s “Ghost Orchid.”  There are thought to be 25-30,000 species of orchids, with the greatest diversity found in the south Florida swamps, which are among the wildest & most inaccessible parts of the country.  Ghost orchids have long slender white stems, but no leaves.  They have massive root systems wound around trees, & can survive up to 50 years.  However, the chances of pollination are slim, as they were thought to be dependent on a small population of Giant Sphinx moths.  In 2018, conservation photographers Carlton Ward & Mac Stone partnered with tropical ecologist Peter Houlihan, spending weeks with their sophisticated camera equipment in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, northeast of Naples, FL.  They captured incredible photos of ghost orchids, Giant Sphinx moths, & also Fig Sphinx moths.  Their findings now call into question who are the real pollinators of the orchids, raising the possibility that Giant Sphinx moths steal nectar from ghost orchids, whilst Fig Sphinx moths are the real pollinators.  The perseverance of these guys is incredible, as are their photos!
Ghost Orchids & Their Pollinators Colin Heggie 2021-04-06 07:00:00Z 0

Community Foundation of N.O.

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 30, 2021
Jim Kanester filled in for his no-show speaker, talking about the Community Foundation of North Okanagan, found online at  Founded in 1975, the Foundation now has over $16m in assets, & has distributed over $7.5m.  Recent improvements their website allow more flexibility in donations to a wide variety of designated, donor advised, “Smart & Caring Community,” & term endowment funds.  Of particular interest is the “Vital Signs” section of the CFNO website.  This is an annual check-up to measure community vitality through data on significant social & economic trends, with analysis in areas critical to quality of life.  There are sustainable development goals, plus reports on arts & culture, belonging & leadership, environment, getting around, health & wellness, housing, income gap, learning, work & economy, & safety.  Four downloadable reports, from 2011, 2013, 2017 & 2020, allow users to look at trends & emerging issues.
Community Foundation of N.O. Colin Heggie 2021-03-30 07:00:00Z 0

Was ist eigentich bier ?

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 23, 2021
Martin von Holst hosted our 2011-12 incoming youth exchange student, Lukas Viebahn, from Munich, Germany, along with his partner Beth & their beautiful new dog.  In one month, he’ll complete his MSc degree, & begin a PhD program focusing on the chemistry of beer-making.  He’s also working on a new method of malting in the production of whiskey, which he hopes to patent.  His university is close to the world’s oldest brewery, founded in 1040!  Lukas told us beer is made from water, hops, malt & yeast.  He took us through the steps in making beer, explaining how variations in the primary components, & different production methods, yield a huge variety of beers.  Lukas hopes to work as a rep for a beer-making equipment manufacturer, or eventually as an independent consultant to the industry.  Along with a few others, he recently helped found a satellite Rotary e-club.  
Was ist eigentich bier ? Colin Heggie 2021-03-23 07:00:00Z 0

Marilyn Waring-Unpaid work GDP ignores

Leigh Hewer introduced a TED talk featuring Marilyn Joy Waring. Marilyn is a New Zealand public policy scholar, international development consultant, former politician, environmentalist, feminist and a principal founder of feminist economics. In 1975, aged 23, she became New Zealand's youngest member of parliament for the conservative New Zealand National Party.
Marilyn’s talk, focus is on the errors in the current world wide Gross Domestic Product calculations. If you: do laundry, are (or have been) pregnant, tidy up, shop for your household or do similar labor, then by GDP standards, you're unproductive. In this visionary talk, economist Marilyn Waring seeks to correct the failures of this narrow-minded system, detailing why we deserve a better way to measure growth that values not just our own livelihood but the planet's as well.
Cut and paste the following to view video 17.19 minutes.
Marilyn Waring-Unpaid work GDP ignores Leigh Hewer 2021-03-16 07:00:00Z 0

Opioid Overdose Crisis

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 09, 2021
Colleen McEwan, a Kelowna Rotarian hosted by Rob Irving, is Director of Interior Health’s North Okanagan Mental Health & Substance Abuse programs.  She described our ongoing Opioid Overdose Crisis, which took over 1,700 BC residents in 2020 – more than suicides, road accidents, homicides & prescription drug overdoses combined.  In fact, opioid deaths have mostly outnumbered Covid-19 fatalities.  Since BC declared opioid overdoses a crisis in 2016, well over $300m has been committed to save lives, end stigma & improve access to services.  These measures succeeded in reducing overdose deaths by 2019, but Covid-19 impacts have led to a resurgence in deaths.  Over 80% of victims are male; over half occur in private residences, & less than 15% outdoors.  Almost 100 of these deaths took place in Vernon in the past five years.  Lifesaving measures include naloxone, overdose prevention sites (32 in BC), & a “Lifeguard App” for solitary users.  Treatments include opioid agonist therapy, new treatment beds, outreach teams, attempts to improve the safety of the drug supply, & (tacit) decriminalization of small amounts of drugs for personal use.  Vernon’s Overdose Prevention Site was one of the last in BC to open, partially due to significant local resistance.  Colleen says we should assume more & more toxic levels of fentanyl are in all street drugs, & that marijuana is no longer considered a “gateway” drug to harder substances, any more than alcohol.  Many people get addicted to pain killers after surgery or rehab, then turn to illicit drugs when their physician stops writing prescriptions.  Additionally, some physicians & dentists tend to over-prescribe pain medication, leading to addiction.  Clearly, this is a multi-faceted problem, calling for a variety of evidence-based solutions.
Opioid Overdose Crisis Colin Heggie 2021-03-09 08:00:00Z 0

Brain Bikes -- Exercise2Learn

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 02, 2021
Dave Weatherill hosted School District 22 pediatric occupational therapist Brittany Weber, one of eight specialists on the Student Support Services Team.  Their dream is “that every student & staff member have access to the tools they require to learn, & that every child can engage & participate in the learning opportunities school provides.”  Covid-19 has greatly exacerbated struggles of both students & teachers – there are many more requests for help, & needs are more complex.  A more sedentary lifestyle also inhibits one’s ability to self-regulate our energy state, emotions, behaviours & attention.  Brittany & other professionals believe a solution is the “Brain Bikes – Move2Learn” program, which aims to provide a stationary exercise bike in every classroom, & ideally, a “spin studio” in every school.  The bikes are a tool, not a toy.  High quality, low maintenance junior & senior sized bikes are available through Sparks – A Program at prices ranging from C$655 + tax to C$825, shipping included, depending upon size & quantity ordered.  The Salmon Arm school district, in partnership with Shuswap Rotary, has a program underway.  Brittany hopes to pilot a Vernon program through Alexis Park & Kidston schools, & invites our sponsorship.  Dave believes this could fit well with our club vision, the Rotary wheel, & our Rotary Ride event.
Brain Bikes -- Exercise2Learn Colin Heggie 2021-03-02 08:00:00Z 0

BrainTrust Canada update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 23, 2021
Leigh hosted Carly Suddard, Marketing & Prevention Manager for BrainTrust Canada, which our club periodically supports.  Through Covid-19 restrictions, BrainTrust’s in-person group sessions have been suspended.  They've accessed federal funding for non-profits, & used this past year to update their strategic & marketing plans, including upgrades to their website.  Many of their clients have difficulty understanding Covid restrictions & are vulnerable to conspiracy theories, etc.  Among leading injuries & diseases recorded annually in America, traumatic brain injuries significantly outnumber breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injuries & multiple sclerosis combined.  Brain injuries are caused by tumors or other medical conditions, but primarily through concussions from car accidents, falls, sports or workplace injuries.  Impacts include physical & mental health, cognition, mobility, employment, finances & relationships.  Many concussion injuries heal in several weeks, but a common hindrance to healing is an early return to work & other activities, not allowing sufficient time for a full or better recovery.  BrainTrust offers a variety of prevention & recovery resources for both youth & adult clients, including their “Skullwise” & Helmet Safety for kids, Prevent Alcohol & Risk-related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) Program for teenagers; life skills, group support & clinical counselling for adults (on hold, due to Covid), plus their new Kelowna “NeuroRecovery Centre.”
BrainTrust Canada update Colin Heggie 2021-02-23 08:00:00Z 0

TED Talk: Rebecca Knill on Being Deaf

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 16, 2021
Colin Heggie shared Rebecca Knill: How technology has changed what it's like to be deaf | TED Talk  Rebecca is a business systems consultant with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.  She was born profoundly deaf, opting in 2003 to have a cochlear implant, ie- she has 32 computer chips inside her head, coupled with external devices, which allow her to hear.  5% of the world’s population have significant hearing loss – by 2050 that is expected to be about 900m people, including 1 out of 3 seniors.  Hearing people assume that the deaf live in a perpetual state of wanting to hear, but she just wanted to be part of a community like her – she wanted everyone else to be deaf!  Rebecca says “complete silence is very addictive.”  In the absence of sound, her imagination is free to “hear” it.  Plus, with control over her hearing technology, she has the option of turning it off.  Her biggest obstacle as a deaf person is the outdated way people respond to her deafness – with pity, patronization or anger.  Technology has been both a help & a hindrance for her.  Voicemail is a problem, particularly when those around her who know she can’t hear (well), continue to send them.  Email & texting, however, make her life easier, allowing her to participate fully.  She’s on a mission to promote visual options whenever there’s audio.  We need to be connected.
TED Talk: Rebecca Knill on Being Deaf Colin Heggie 2021-02-16 08:00:00Z 0

Simon Sinek -- "Start with Why"

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 09, 2021
Loredana Eisenhauer shared Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk or “Start With Why.”  Simon drew three concentric circles, the smallest labelled “Why,” the next “How,” & the largest or outside one labelled “What.”  He says most people or companies describe their ideas or products by defining What they’re selling, whilst our most successful leaders (his examples are Apple, Dr Martin Luther King & the Wright brothers) start with the Why.  By defining Why we believe what we believe, people are much more attracted to What we’re promoting.  People don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it.  Simon says by addressing the limbic or emotional brain, we access decision-making at a fundamental level, where people who believe what we believe are seriously attracted.  He goes on to describe the “Law of Diffusion of Innovation,” with a graph showing typical sections of (idea or product) adopters, broken down into 2½% innovators, 13½% early adopters, 34% early majority, 34% late majority & 16% laggards, where a critical 15 to 18% adoption rate, or tipping point, must be reached in order for a product or idea to survive & have any chance of mass adoption.  (He described “laggards” as those who only bought a touch-tone phone when rotary dial phones were no longer made.)  Innovators & early adopters are those motivated by what they believe, not simply by what is available.  Those are the highly motivated folks who the rest of us look to when deciding if an idea of product is worth following.  They're the ones we want working for or with us.
Simon Sinek -- "Start with Why" Colin Heggie 2021-02-09 08:00:00Z 0

Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Feb 02, 2021
Bob France introduced Izabela Szelest of Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society (CAUDS) and Aaron McRann with Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen (CFSOS). CAUD is a new Society that was formed in September 2020 to formalize the efforts of Dr Jeff Harries of Penticton, BC who treated patients with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).  Dr. Jeff Harries has been providing medical treatment for patients with AUD for years, but in 2017, he came to realize that a majority of patients and providers didn’t have access to the latest proven and effective medical treatments. He saw this knowledge and practice gap as a challenge and a call to action. AUD is misunderstood and mistreated chronic disease and it contributes to other diseases, e.g. cancer or liver disease. Less than 8% of individuals with AUD seek treatment and less than 1% receive treatment. The impact is significant and directly affects 18% of the population, and indirectly almost everyone. In 2017 alcohol accounted for $16.6 billion of the total cost of substance use (opioids - $5.9 billion), including healthcare, loss of productivity, criminal justice, and other Healthcare costs: $5.4 billion (opioids - $439 million). From Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms Report, 2015 2017
There are 6 available medications to treat AUD, 4 approved in the BC clinical management of high-risk-drinking. These treatments have been available since 90s, so efficacy is approved and available on the market. Costs range from $25 - $150 per month with some are covered by provincial plans. Treatments are non-habit forming and need to be taken only for a few months.
The purpose of the Society is to provide hope and improve quality of life by advancing proven and effective treatments of AUD, and to facilitate a more compassionate perception of this disorder. The Society develops and promotes scientific knowledge relating to AUD as well as create a sense of hope to care providers, patients, families, and the general public. Provide support and advocate for change in policy and practice with support and to increase awareness.
The CFSOS is the backbone organization for the CAUD Society, assisting with grant applications, fundraising, donations and strategic direction. The Foundation is also committed to leveraging the vast nationwide network of community foundations to help spread the word, at a grassroots level, about the work of CAUDS and expand it to a national scope.
For more information visit
Canadian Alcohol Use Disorder Society Leigh Hewer 2021-02-02 08:00:00Z 0

What is a Respiratory Therapist ?

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 26, 2021
Ventilators are closely monitored by an RT for each patient.
Dr Craig Goplen hosted his daughter Laura, a respiratory therapist, to tell us about her career & how RTs are involved in Covid-19 treatments.  Following an undergraduate degree,  TRU in Kamloops offers a three-year program to train RTs.  This includes a year of hospital & community practical work, with a rotation through Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.  RTs work in various clinics; in care homes; in private homes assisting those with home oxygen; assisting with air & ground transport of patients; in hospital ER departments, neonatal, ICU, operating rooms & general wards – assisting with all cardiac arrests, & “wherever they’re needed quickly;” in diagnostics with bronchoscopy, etc.; & in rehabilitation, helping those with chronic lung disease.  RTs manage oxygen therapy, intubation, ventilation, extubation & tracheostomy tubes.  They’re often involved in the beginning & end of life issues.  Vernon’s hospital has ten ventilators, plus three transport ventilators.  Two RTs are always on shift.  The demands on RTs have skyrocketed through Covid treatment, which adds significantly not only to patient volume & complexity, but also to the requirement that medical practitioners change their PPE for each patient.  A change of PPE takes about five minutes, with a “buddy” to assist.  Covid patients also need negative pressure isolation rooms for safe treatment.  Because RTs are always working in patients’ faces, they’re exposed to a high risk of disease transmission.  Laura asks everyone to please follow mask guidelines, & use credible sources for information about vaccines.
What is a Respiratory Therapist ? Colin Heggie 2021-01-26 08:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Rail Trail

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 12, 2021
Bob Clarke hosted his wife Debbie as our speaker.  Debbie is a Director of “Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail,” & recently retired from a long career with Parks Canada.  She described how our Rotary Ride events were the first & last fundraisers for the trail, & how all three Vernon Rotary clubs have been supportive.  Last year’s fundraising helped create native landscaping as the first phase of the trail’s northern gateway at Km 0.  As funding allows, future development will include additional trailside interpretive/rest areas, aiming for the high standard shown by the Weatherill Interpretive Sites.  In response to questions about the Trail, Debbie agreed there are some concerns about the speeds of some e-bike users, acknowledged there’s a need for a few sitting areas for walkers, & explained a variety of trail-focused events would be regulated by adjoining host municipalities, the Regional Districts &/or First Nations.  There’s no doubt usage & support of the Trail has exceeded even the most ambitious estimates.
Okanagan Rail Trail Colin Heggie 2021-01-12 08:00:00Z 0

Nora McInerny - Dealing with Grief

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 01, 2020
Through our Zoom meeting, Teresa Bartel shared Nora McInerny’s 15-minute 2018 TEDWomen talk, at   Nora McInerny: We don't "move on" from grief. We move forward with it | TED Talk .  Nora is an author, speaker & podcaster, who makes her living talking to people about life’s hardest moments.  This talk is about grief – she says “We don’t ‘move on’ from grief.  We move forward with it.”  In 2014, Nora had a miscarriage, lost her father within a week & her husband within a few months.  She describes peoples’ discomfort dealing with her, & the range of emotional responses she had.  Nora’s wonderful sense of humour & humanity shines throughout this presentation.  Her 2019 book releases were “The Hot Young Widows Club: Lessons on Survival from the Front Lines of Grief,” & “No Happy Endings: A Memoir.”  (Colin’s note: spending 15 minutes to watch or re-watch this presentation is well worth your time.  Brilliant stuff.)
Nora McInerny - Dealing with Grief Colin Heggie 2020-12-01 08:00:00Z 0

97.9 Valley FM

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 24, 2020
We’re back to Zoom meetings!  Dave Weatherill hosted Gord Leighton & Vicki Proulx, from the Vernon Community Radio Society.  Gord is a 50-year veteran of commercial radio & leads the Society; Vicki is a Board member, & Executive Director of our Vernon Winter Carnival.  In July 2018, Kal Rotary provided $8,000 in seed money to finance the Society’s bid for regulatory approval.  Just a few weeks ago, the CRTC granted approval to operate 97.9 Valley FM, serving +/-60,000 people in the Vernon area, from a transmitter located on Vernon Hill.  A small paid staff is anticipated, with most work performed by a variety of volunteers.  Initially, about $220,000 is required to build the station.  The funding model calls for modest government grants, public fund-raising, & a small revenue stream from advertisements.  Fund-raising will begin in early 2021.  The planned format is 20% “spoken word,” plus a variety of music genres dominated by pop/rock, including about 40% Canadian content.  July 1st, 2021 would be an ideal starting date, but between now & then, a lot of people have to be engaged in the build.  About 1,500 square feet of office space within Vernon’s downtown must be found.  Community radio is intended to be more creative & spontaneous than commercial radio, offering a platform for a variety of respectfully delivered opinions.  Gord, being familiar with Rotary, holds the 4-Way Test as a guide to Valley FM’s operations, with the addition of having fun to the mix.
97.9 Valley FM Colin Heggie 2020-11-24 08:00:00Z 0

Silver Star Mountain Resort update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 17, 2020
Michael Wardlow, a long-time season passholder at Silver Star Mountain Resort, hosted their Ginny Scott (Local Sales Manager) & Chantelle Deacon (Media Relations & Sponsorship Manager), for an update.  Silver Star began operation in 1958, progressing through several different sets of owners, & growing to become the 3rd largest ski resort in BC, unique in having a “mid-mountain” village, with all ski in/out accommodation.  It was purchased in late 2019 by POWDR, a Park City, Utah based “Adventure Lifestyle Company®” owned by the Cumming brothers.  POWDR operates 10 ski resorts in the U.S., & has several other associated businesses.  Ginny previously worked at Whistler Blackcomb, which went through a sale in 2016.  She claims Silver Star’s sale has been a much happier experience for staff & locals, saying POWDR is focused on contributing to the communities they serve.  More investment in the ski experience is planned, though the impact of Covid-19 will likely slow new developments.  Chantelle says the mountain is planning a Dec 4th opening for passholders only, with a parking reservation system in place to help control the number of people on the mountain, as they respect social distancing guidelines.  Staff accommodation on the hill must be lower-density, so supplemental rooms are being provided at Vernon partner hotels.  It looks like snow will be abundant, but everyone will need to adjust to new procedures designed to keep everyone safe during a Covid-19 winter.
Silver Star Mountain Resort update Colin Heggie 2020-11-17 08:00:00Z 0

N.O. Youth & Family Services

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 10, 2020
Martin von Holst hosted Dean Francks, Executive Director of North Okanagan Youth & Family Services Society.  NOYFSS began serving families in 1974, & have grown to over 22 different programs supported by over 90 staff & an annual budget exceeding $5m.  Counselling & support services to individuals & families include help for troubled youth, young parents, foster parents, pregnant teens, addictions, AD(H)D, etc., etc.  They also have two staffed residential facilities.  Much of their work involves problem-solving for both groups & individuals, such as cyber-bullying.  Their many in-person group counselling sessions were cancelled due to Covid-19, but are now restarting.  Masks & social distancing are difficult or impossible with some of their clients, so this has been a huge challenge.  A large portion of NOYFSS’s funding comes from contractual arrangements with the provincial Ministry of Children & Family Development, with whom they have a close working relationship.  In answering a question from one of our members, Dean admitted they presently don’t have a program to assist working adults who care for their aging parents.  Dean briefly described their annual Christmas “Adopt A Family” program, in its 20th year, matching sponsors with needy local families.
N.O. Youth & Family Services Colin Heggie 2020-11-10 08:00:00Z 0

City of Vernon Recreation Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 27, 2020
Bev Rundell introduced our City of Vernon Director of Recreation, Doug Ross, a 37-year City employee, looking forward to his retirement, perhaps next year.  Doug was following up on a previous presentation, with Covid & project planning updates.  Recreation facilities closed in March of this year, due to Covid-19.  Over 100 employees were laid off.  Previously, only the Acquatic Centre closed annually for two or three weeks for maintenance & cleaning.  This long unplanned closure has been used for deep cleaning, painting & more complicated repairs of all facilities.  All facilities have now partially re-opened, with far fewer users.  Each user group, ie. swimmers, ringette, hockey, etc., must follow a myriad of rules set by various levels of government, health authorities, sports organizations, etc.  The City, as a facility operator, must be familiar with everyone’s rules – a full-time job for one or more employees!  Hopes for a "new normal" are anticipated for Fall 2021.  Doug also talked about planning underway for our “Active Living Centre,” which will include a 50m pool, leisure pool, double gymnasium, fitness centre & a walking/running track, occupying about 8 acres of the 38 acre former Kin Race Track site.  It’s projected to cost about $90m.  The agreement the City has with Coldstream & Electoral Areas B & C, calls for 100% buy-in on major facility decisions, so there’s a lot to negotiate.  The feasibility study recommended a “phased” build, however Vernon City Council voted in favour of a full buildout, expressing concern that second or third phases would be at risk of not being undertaken.  At this time, the City's partners have expressed they don’t want to proceed with discussions on the ALC project until construction of the “Cultural Centre” (museum, art gallery, etc.), is underway.  Financing of the $40m budget for that project is a "work in progress."
City of Vernon Recreation Update Colin Heggie 2020-10-27 07:00:00Z 0

City of Vernon update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 20, 2020
City of Vernon Councillor & former Mayor, Akbal Mund, was hosted by Calvin Reich.  Akbal provided an update & answered questions on a variety of topics.  About 80% of taxpayers have made their property tax payments on schedule, despite Covid-related problems, & the City has reserves which may be used to cover revenue shortfalls.  Among businesses, he thinks retailers, especially clothing stores, are suffering most.  Many restaurants are adapting well to take-out.  Discussions among stakeholders are proceeding for a re-opening of recreation facilities, & planning is underway for both the “Active Living” & Cultural Centres, as well as the former Civic Arena site.  At the end of this year, loans for the original Kal Tire Place & Performing Arts Centre will be repaid.  Construction will start soon on a new Search & Rescue facility on PV Rd.  A new sewer main along Okanagan Landing Rd is underway, prompted & partially paid for by Okanagan Springs Brewery.  Water rates have been set for the next four years – reflecting increases for agricultural users, who use about 50% of the water, but provide under 5% of the revenue.  Akbal pointed out though, that agricultural users are the ones who originally obtained water licences & built our water systems.  Real estate sales are booming, & Ontarians are prevalent among buyers.  Rail Trail plans & improvements are proceeding well, with new paths through Polson Park & town underway, plus parking & washrooms.  As well, there’s only about 150m of Grey Canal access left to be negotiated, it won’t be long before hikers & bikers are well-served in Vernon.   
City of Vernon update Colin Heggie 2020-10-20 07:00:00Z 0

"The Med" through Covid

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 13, 2020
James Fradley, of Vernon’s Med Restaurant ( , formerly the Eclectic Med), was introduced by Jim Kanester.  James began his life in Reading, UK.  In the early 1990s, his father moved the family to Portugal, where he marketed holiday apartments.  This was followed by a 1996 move to Burlington, ON.  During a family holiday, James’ mother called on a childhood friend in Vernon, leading the family to establish The Eclectic Med.  While his parents’ restaurant flourished, James attended the University of Alberta, began a study of Japanese, relocated to Japan, & supported himself by helping non-Japanese people adapt to Japan.  He became a Tokyo-based recruiter for foreign companies with Japanese operations, eventually being recruited himself, to help Google grow their Tokyo office.  Moves with Google to London & Zurich followed.  After 14 years with Google, James returned in late 2018 to Vernon, where he joined the Med.  His contributions included physical upgrades to their building, & involvement in menu changes.  When Covid-19 hit, James used his technology skills to help pivot the restaurant, with considerable success, to a take-out heat & serve model, which sustained them through nine weeks of closure.  Re-opening May 22nd, 2020, with reduced seating, the Med continues to provide take-out meals in addition to regular in-house dining, & is considering an expansion of their offerings.  James is an engaging gentleman, with an eclectic English, Portuguese, Japanese background!
"The Med" through Covid Colin Heggie 2020-10-13 07:00:00Z 0

Allan Brooks Nature Centre visit

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 06, 2020
Jim Kanester arranged an onsite meeting at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, catered by Dominic Dlouhy’s wife Marilyn’s “Boarding House Café.”  It was a perfect fall morning for an outdoor meeting.  Jim introduced ABNC’s new Centre Manager, Cheryl Hood, & their Board Chair, Jim Popowich.  Cheryl started with ABNC in February 2020, almost immediately diving into uncharted “Covid-19 territory,” & navigating a multitude of operational restrictions, safety protocols & major revenue reductions.  She credits a talented Board, adaptable staff & a dedicated group of volunteers for their success in pulling through a very challenging year of reduced visits.  Our late long-time SSR member, Ken Barton, & current member Bob Clarke (with wife Debbie), were founding members of ABNC.  Cheryl described adaptions made to their “Ken Barton Learning Centre,” & a new childrens’ play area, with unique log climbing structures, sponsored by the Kal Tire Foundation.  Walkabout tours, led by Cheryl & Bob, revealed numerous improvements to the buildings & property, including the amphitheater used for live raptor shows & other events, plus a large sundial, explained by Jim, who built much of the structure himself, along with colleagues from his Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Okanagan Centre.
Allan Brooks Nature Centre visit Colin Heggie 2020-10-06 07:00:00Z 0

Lakeshore Road Tour

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Sep 22, 2020
Donna Irving introduced, from the City of Vernon, Kim Flick, Director of Community Infrastructures and Erik Mustonen, Park Planner. We met at a yet undeveloped lot toward the south end of Lakeshore Road. Kim and Erik explained what the City of Vernon's general long term plans are for area development over the next 5-40 years. The current vision includes increased parks, a possible lake front board walk from Paddelwheel Park to Lakeshore Road along with commercial and residential development. The eventual real estate development may include retail and service businesses at street level with residential above with view to creating a vibrant residential and tourist water front area for Vernon. They spoke about a new development being built across the road and the need for real estate acquisition over time as properties become available as well as the parking challenges that will need to be addressed going forward. We walked down to the newly completed beautiful Lakeshore Park where we learned about the park and in addition both the short and long term plans, potential opportunities and challenges in the area.
Lakeshore Road Tour Leigh Hewer 2020-09-22 07:00:00Z 0

Jim Kanester early life

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Aug 25, 2020
President Teresa introduced member Jim Kanester, who was late arriving and received the appropriate welcome. Jim had earlier teased us with an email telling us to listen to the song “The Girl from Ipanema’. Jim began by telling us of his early life and memories of growing up in Kamloops then moving across the river to North Kamloops and subsequently re-locating to Penticton. Stories of the fun he had as a child growing up and although times were not easy, they were fun.  Entertainment was self-made as they had no television early on and they didn’t spend much time listening to the radio. In addition he spoke how he would go out to play and show up in time for lunch then be off again, being dropped off for the 1st day of school by his Mom her staying there for a few hours then she left and his shock as he had to get home on his own. Obviously he made it, the walking to and from school unchaperoned through areas of no homes and the woods, going to the big library in Kamloops which was enormous compared to the North Kamloops one. To get to the ‘big” library he had to go across the new “Overlanders” bridge. He reminisced about the time he walked to town across the bridge to go to the theater to see the 1964 Disney classic animation “The Sword in the Stone” and to get there and find out it was sold out and he couldn’t get in. Jim then walked home only to return two hours later to get into see it. In Penticton riding his bike exploring and playing, delivering the Province newspaper and the freedom the earnings gave him, riding between the lakes and generally how enjoyable and different to was growing up in the 60’s.  Some (okay most) of the members related to Jim’s talk, his experiences and the simplicity of the time.
The teaser email, in 1963-64 Jim 1st   heard “The Girl from Ipanema” on the Ed Sullivan Show which was originally released in 1962. He became infatuated with the song its Bosa Nova and Jazz stylings. The song featured music by composer Antonio Carlos Jobin and the Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel. There are numerous versions of the song but Jim’s favourite, that he played for the members present and available on YouTube, featured piano and Portuguese lyrics of Jobin, sultry sax stylings of Stan Getz and vocals of Astrud Gilberto. Astrud was watching the recording in the studio and she stepped in to do the English lyrics as Jobin was having difficulty. Astrud have not sung professionally previously. The “Girl” was Helô Pinheiro, a seventeen-year-old girl living on Montenegro Street in Ipanema. Daily, she would stroll past the Veloso bar-café, not just to the beach ("each day when she walks to the sea"), but in the everyday course of her life. She would sometimes enter the bar to buy cigarettes for her mother much to the delight on the male patrons (now politically incorrect). Later a version of the song was modified to “The Boy from Ipanema” being originally recorded by Ella Fitzgerald along with many others.
Jim’s favourite song and early life appears to have actually impacted his adult life as he has learned Portuguese, traveled to Brazil and Portugal as well as numerous other locations, the paper route gave him responsibility, handling of money and finance; Jim is a CPA.  Jim stated it was the 2nd most “downloaded” song next to “Yesterday” by the Beatles, Sgt-At-Arms Don corrected Jim as it was actually the 2nd most “recorded” song of all time, thanks for the $1.00 Jim.
Sorry Jim only photo I could find.
Jim Kanester early life Leigh Hewer 2020-08-25 07:00:00Z 0

ADG -Dr. Carmen Larsen

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Aug 18, 2020
President Teresa (left) introduced newly appointed Assistant District Governor Dr. Carmen Larsen. Dr. Larsen was Kalamalka Rotary President 2019-20 and their Rotarian of the year in 2017 before taking on her new roll as ADG. Carmen became a Rotarian in 2014 after her family relocated to Vernon BC, she is married to Jacek Szudek (local otolaryngologist) and they have three daughters. Larsen is a family physician who works in Vernon and Armstrong as a locum physician, operating room assist, walk-in clinic physician, site director for the Southern Medical Program, Vernon Cadet Training Centre medical officer and training of 3rd year UBC medical students. Carmen initiated the Rotary Starfish Pack Program that provides a backpack full of food for underprivileged children in the area to take home for the weekend.
Carmen’s involvement in community began at a young age helping her parents with church fundraisers; she was a candy stripper at the local hospital in Courtney BC and was indirectly involved with Rotary through her Dad’s 24 year association with the Courtney BC Club (1986-2010). That involved hosting Rotary Exchange Students, car rallies and Rotary Group Study Exchanges etc.  Carmen was selected, after a competitive speech at the Courtney Club, to be their selection as a RYLA participant in 1988 in Tacoma Washington, 1990-91 she was selected as a Rotary Exchange Student to Belgium, later Carmen worked for a mining company in China, then after entrance to medical school Carmen. After each of these events she would return to speak at her Dad’s Club. Carmen also spoke one week after her fathers’ untimely death at age 65 of a sudden heart attack in 2011. In addition to Carmen’s Rotary involvement her brother is also a member of the Parksville Club.
Today Carmen spoke to us about heart attacks, the importance of being aware and not ignoring even the sometimes mild warning signs. Changes in one’s health, chest tightness, discomfort or pain, shortness of breath where three months ago there was no issue, pain in your arms or jaw, feeling of unusual indigestion or gas. Having to sit longer to catch your breath after activity, for women the feeling is often more a feeling of indigestion or gas. Do not wait to see if it will go away, do not wait because you might feel silly or embarrassed if it turns out that you are not having heart-related pain. Do not feel you are wasting the doctor’s time or health care resources or that it is unsafe to go the hospital in the time of COVID-19. Just go it is better to be wrong in the hospital than dead at home, your family, friends and community need you. In closing Dr. Larsen thanked Silver Star Rotary for our long association with our mass CPR initiative and the importance of its continuance.
ADG -Dr. Carmen Larsen Leigh Hewer 2020-08-18 07:00:00Z 0

Vernon Pickleball

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 28, 2020
Vernon Pickleball Colin Heggie 2020-07-28 07:00:00Z 0

The Fig Bistro

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 14, 2020
Bev Rundell introduced 22-year old David, owner of Vernon’s Fig Bistro  David dropped out of high school early, wanting real world experience.  He worked three years at Nature’s Fare, then purchased his restaurant across the street.  With the March 2020 onset of Covid-19, a sudden drop in sales, & operational rules changing daily, he quickly realized the key to his survival would be take-out meals.  He had to let half his staff go, then invested in Facebook marketing.  Facebook reached a different clientele, producing a 50% increase in sales volume – all take-out, or pick-up & heat at home.  Soon, he launched a “Free Meals for Seniors” campaign, & with the help of volunteer drivers, has provided over 1,000 meals for struggling seniors.  He feels his business has benefitted from this gesture, & his success in pivoting to a new model of operation.  Asked what advice he might offer start-up restauranteurs, he said “get a good bookkeeper early on!”  David has an interest in politics, which may play a role in his future.
The Fig Bistro Colin Heggie 2020-07-14 07:00:00Z 0

New Directors for 2020-21

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 30, 2020
Member Dominik Dlouhy & his wife Marilyn Courtenay, who opened her “Boarding House Café” early this year, hosted our club’s first “in person” meeting since March 10th.  The spacious layout allowed social distancing, & we appreciated the “no host” breakfast goodies & drinks.  Assistant District Governor Bev Rundell presided over the handover to our new Directors.  Shown above are Bev Rundell (President Elect), Penny Trudel (Public Relations), Keith Johnston (Membership), Don Miller (Sargeant at Arms), Gillian Canniff (International Service), Teresa Durning Harker (President), Paul Philps (Past President), Loredana Eisenhauer (Secretary), Jim Kanester (Rotary Foundation), & Leigh Hewer (Director at Large); missing is Michael Wardlow (Treasurer).  Teresa outlined her objectives for the next year, & presented outgoing President Paul with an impressive basket of goodies, & thanks for his leadership.
New Directors for 2020-21 Colin Heggie 2020-06-30 07:00:00Z 0

ZOOM Meetings Continue

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 16, 2020
In respect of continuing Covid-19 restrictions, Silver Star Rotarians continue to meet online weekly at 7am on Tuesdays.  This week, Dr Craig Goplen discussed the cancellation of our annual Father Daughter Ball, asking for ideas about how an online or virtual event might be held in lieu of the real thing.  He also noted the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program is currently considering how they might operate through 2020.  In July, it's expected we'll begin trial meetings at the Schubert Centre, using their covered rear patio area.  Jim Kanester thanked participants in his vocabulary contest, held over the past few weeks.  He supplied definitions, & club members supplied the word he was looking for.  Scoring 10 out of 11, our champion was Janet Green, followed closely by Gillian Canniff & Dave Hoyte, each with 9 correct answers.
ZOOM Meetings Continue Colin Heggie 2020-06-16 07:00:00Z 0

Vernon Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 26, 2020
President Paul Philps hosted Dan Proulx, representing the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, to our online meeting.  The Chamber is a non-profit with over 600 members, supporting economic development of our region.  Funding comes from a combination of member investment & Chamber-hosted events.  During the current Covid-19 pandemic, events are cancelled, but the Chamber remains active.  Their regular work includes training & education for members, business advocacy to all levels of government, & support of local business through online listings & gift certificate programs.  An important new initiative: “Relaunch Vernon Toolkit,” at , gathers a wide variety of information & tools local businesses can use to help them survive the pandemic.  Components include creating a back to work task force, preparing your office or workspace, preparing your employees, & preparing to do business.  Members are encouraged to “Be Prepared” for a second wave of the pandemic, for the loss of government subsidies, for employees working at home, & to initiate or expand their online & virtual presence.  Everyone is asked to patronize local businesses when possible, remembering that, unlike Amazon or other multi-nationals, they in turn support our local causes.
Vernon Chamber of Commerce Colin Heggie 2020-05-26 07:00:00Z 0

Online Meetings

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 24, 2020
Since March 17th, 2020, our weekly Tuesday meetings have been hosted on Zoom, from 7:00 to 7:40am, by Bev Rundell.  Jim Kanester has supplied a weekly definition of a word – members email him their guess to identify the word, & he promises wine prizes for those with good vocabularies (no dictionary or online searches permitted!).  Bob Clarke has continued with announcing birthdays & anniversaries; Don Miller continues to throw in weird trivia questions.  It’s not like meeting in person, but at least we’re staying in touch.
Online Meetings Colin Heggie 2020-03-24 07:00:00Z 0

All Meetings Cancelled

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 17, 2020
All Silver Star Rotary Meetings & functions are cancelled due to the Coronavirus.  Our Club Directors are reported to be in discussions with other local clubs regarding actions we might take to help support those in our community in need of assistance.  Keep well !
All Meetings Cancelled Colin Heggie 2020-03-17 07:00:00Z 0

Teen Junction Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 10, 2020
Sara Morgan (L) is Program Coordinator for Teen Junction in Vernon, & Sarah MacKinnon (R) is a Regional Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Okanagan.  BGCO “adopted” Teen Junction at the request of the Literacy Society in about 2017, bringing extensive experience & partnerships in running a wide variety of youth programs.  Teen Junction is open to 13 to 19 year olds, Monday to Friday, from 3:30pm to 7:30pm, with two staff members offering services, typically including kitchen prep instruction, a hot meal, employment & job search help, computer skills, games, discussions, individual support, & sometimes just a safe place to hang out.  From an average of 11 to 15 daily clients initially, attendance jumped to over 50, & has settled back to about 30.  Many attendees present problems with addictions, homelessness, etc.  Teen Junction aims to provide a refuge & learning opportunities for youth with minimal support elsewhere.  An example of a successful strategy is their “Youth in Residence” program, which gives selected participants responsibility for keeping others safe – they essentially take the role of staff members, intervening when trouble arises, & sometimes engaging outside help from first responders or parents.  This can quickly show them the burden of responsibility, & teach valuable life lessons, while being shadowed by real staff.  Our club’s connection with Teen Junction goes back to its beginnings, & we continue to help finance the 4,400 meals served in 2019.
Teen Junction Update Colin Heggie 2020-03-10 07:00:00Z 0

Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 03, 2020
Ward Mercer, with Community Futures, was Janet Green’s guest today.  Ward was recently hired to administer Vernon’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program, “designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live” here.  We’re one of 11 Canadian communities selected as a pilot.  The program will run for three years, beginning Feb 1st, 2020 & each of the 11 sites may approve up to 100 applicants.  Federal eligibility guidelines specify education & language requirements, at least one year of continuous work experience, an intention to live in the community, & proof of finances to support the transition.  Further, local program committees set additional requirements for qualifying employers, minimum wages ($25/hr in Vernon), & award applicants priority points for recommendation.  Our local committee is most interested in mid-career applicants with families, who have skills for “hard to fill” local jobs.  This program is not for family unification, or refugees – it’s intended to supplement existing routes to permanent residency & citizenship for skilled workers & their families who will add to the economic health of the pilot communities.   
Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot Colin Heggie 2020-03-03 08:00:00Z 0

Vernon's Proposed "Active Living Centre"

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 25, 2020
Dave Hoyte hosted Doug Ross, the City of Vernon’s Director of Recreation Services, to tell us about their feasibility study for a new “Active Living Centre.”  Following a 2018 recreation master plan, a statistically valid survey of residents revealed that 59% want new facilities, 16% don’t, & 25% are unsure – perhaps until they know what’s on offer.  The top choices for indoor facilities are a leisure swim pool, multi-purpose rooms, a 50m pool, fitness rooms, a walking/running track, ice arena, gymnasium, etc.  68% of respondents were willing to pay up to $100 per year in additional property taxes to fund the capital cost of constructing facilities.  Proposed options will include replacing & adding to our existing Rec Centre facilities, or building new ones on the Kin Racetrack lands.  Three rough proposals range in cost from $60m to $90m.  A new questionnaire is being developed for distribution to a representative sample of 5,000 residents, asking for more detailed information about wants, needs, willingness to pay, etc.  The ongoing annual costs of operation & maintenance will also need to be considered, as will the timing of financing & construction vis-à-vis our proposed new cultural centre & needed improvements to our water system.  Doug noted that Vernon opened the interior BC’s first indoor ice rink in 1937, & first indoor civic pool in 1966.  He said it’s important to look at building efficiently for both present & future needs, & to provide amenities that will attract both new residents & visitors.
Vernon's Proposed "Active Living Centre" Colin Heggie 2020-02-25 08:00:00Z 0

Grassland Ecosystems

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Feb 18, 2020
Member Bob France spoke today about the grasslands eco-system in Alberta and BC. The grasslands eco system in Canada is one of the most endangered eco systems in the world and is similar to the rainforests and coral reefs in other areas of the world. In western Canada less than 20% of the grassland are left and that is contributing to environmental damage with some 80% of species relying on the grasslands and the underground grassroots. Above ground the grasses pull carbon from the air with below ground providing a long term and stable eco-system. Cattle are extremely important to the grassland eco-system, previously it was the large bison herds that roamed the prairies before the arrival of the Europeans and cattle ranching. Grazing benefits grasslands by removing old growth for new growth in the spring, fire can be beneficial for removal of top growth as well. In approximately 1988, Grasslands National Park was established in southeast Alberta and was left as a park, without the previous grazing the grasslands were lost. Grazing has been re-established in the Park and the grassland eco-system has come back, providing strong evidence that the survival of the grasslands requires grazers. Bob noted that when grassland are tilled and farmed and then left to return a natural state it never goes back to natural grasslands. Other areas of the world where grasslands are present and have been farmed or the grazers removed, ie: elephants in Africa, the grasslands have been lost forever. We need to care for the grasslands be grazing so that they don't become extinct. Grazing not overgrazing is an important distinction as overgrazing can have very detrimental effects on grassland health .
In BC only 1% of the Provincial land base in classified as grasslands of which, 40% is private, 10% on reserve lands with 50% on Crown Land. Of the Crown land a very high percentage is with grazing tenures which are managed. 1/3 of the BC red and blue listed species live in the grasslands, so its preservation is very important. Closer to home with the development of housing, cultivation etc 39% of the grasslands in the Okanagan Boundary regions have been lost (45% in Vernon and 81% in the Kelowna area). Important grasslands in BC include Douglas Lake Plateau, White Lake Protected Area and the proposed National Park in the South Okanagan. Kal Lake Park is stated as grassland however based on historical photos and without active management it is being over grown with brush and trees effectively eliminating the grassland characteristic. The Grassland Conservation Council, Society of Range Management, Nature Conservancy and Nature Trust all play important rolls in the preservation of the grasslands.
Grassland Ecosystems Leigh Hewer 2020-02-18 08:00:00Z 0

City of Vernon Composting

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 04, 2020
Laurie Cordell is the City of Vernon’s Manager of Long Range Planning & Sustainability.  She was hosted by Lore Eisenhauer, to speak about composting.  A couple of trial compost collection bins, where residents could drop their organic waste, until Nov 2019, were overly successful, demonstrating a demand for some type of compost collection.  This demand was also reflected in a recent survey.  The City & Regional District, which operates our landfill, are motivated to explore efficient methods of composting, simply as a way to reduce landfill use.  A study is currently underway, to explore benefits & costs of more centrally located collection bins for organics, or possibly curbside pickups.  Local contractors, who would likely be involved in either scenario, are also looking at various alternatives.  Meantime, as we await a Fall 2020 report, the City intends to soon provide six collection bins, strategically located.  There were numerous questions about the efficacy of composting, as a method of reducing greenhouse gases, & about what is included/excluded in the definition of organic material.
City of Vernon Composting Colin Heggie 2020-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

Community Land Trust

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 28, 2020
Cindy Masters, Executive Director of the Vernon & District Community Land Trust, was hosted by Teresa Durning Harker.  The Land Trust seeks & manages public & private donations & purchases of land & buildings, which will contribute to a permanent supply of affordable rental housing.  They work with a variety of partner agencies, such as BC Housing, Habitat, Heartwood Homes, Okanagan College’s construction trade program, etc., to identify, acquire, design, build & populate modest housing for families & individuals whose income is insufficient to cover the market cost of housing.  Successfully completed projects include a 2010-built six-plex, & a 2012 major renovation of a 75-unit apartment block.  A new project is expected to be announced next month.  The Land Trust is always pro-actively working on a “shovel-ready” project or two, in anticipation of funding being made available.  They are also looking for new Directors, with experience, skills, & an interest in affordable housing.
Community Land Trust Colin Heggie 2020-01-28 08:00:00Z 0

OC Trades Training

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 21, 2020
This morning we met at Okanagan College’s Trades Building, opened in 2018.  Bob Clarke arranged a talk & tour with Rob Kjarsgaard, OC’s Program Administrator for Trades & Apprenticeships.  OC is BC’s 2nd largest trades trainer, after BCIT.  The Kelowna campus of OC recently received a $36m upgrade to their trades building, while Vernon, Penticton & Salmon Arm have new facilities to allow rotating intakes of various trades through multi-purpose shops.  The Vernon facility has a large classroom area, three shops & ancillary rooms.  High school students are invited to “Student for a Day” hands-on experiences, & there are several special programs, such as “Women in Trades.”  A wide variety of apprenticeship & foundation programs, leading to diplomas or Red Seal National Endorsements, include aircraft maintenance; automotive service, collision repair & refinishing; carpentry & joinery; culinary arts; electrical; heavy mechanics; metal fabricating & fitting; pastry arts; plumbing & pipe fitting; RV service; refrigeration & air conditioning; residential construction; sheet metal work; studio woodworking; & welding.  There are numerous options within most of these categories.  Rob claims an overall 97% employment rate among all graduates of trades training, most of whom alternate between classrooms & on the job experience, where they can be earning progressively better wages throughout their training.  He calculates a typical trades student can earn a good living through their four typical years of training, whilst a typical university student accumulates substantial debt.  Pictures show shops set up for plumbing & welding.
OC Trades Training Colin Heggie 2020-01-21 08:00:00Z 0

Work BC's Employ! Youth Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 14, 2020
Gillian Canniff hosted WorkBC’s Angie Fisher & her colleague Angela, who described their newly funded “Employ! Youth Centre,” a comprehensive employability skills program for youth 16 – 25.  The program is directed to youth who want to work, but face barriers such as anxiety, depression, FASD, poor literacy, or lack of family support, routine, transportation, housing, high school completion or confidence.  Each intake of 12 to 16 participants receives 6 weeks of classroom study, followed by 9 weeks of employment supported by a Job Coach.  Federal funding provides wages, help with barrier issues above, & may also include appropriate clothing for interviews, work gear, training, counselling & mentoring.  Mentors are sought, to job shadow, spend social time with youth, & provide practical encouragement.  Outcomes observed among previous clients include major improvements in confidence, hope, recognition of skills & abilities, coupled with a decrease in anxiety & depression.  Though an expensive program, many participants become valued employees, with better, more productive & balanced lives.
Work BC's Employ! Youth Centre Colin Heggie 2020-01-14 08:00:00Z 0

Medical Marijuana - Panacea or Conundrum ?

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 07, 2020
Leigh Hewer introduced Teresa Bartel’s speaker, pharmacist Gerard Kampman, owner of North End Pharmacy Remedies Rx.  He spoke about medical uses of cannabis, which contain over 450 compounds, including 80 to 100 phyto-cannabinoids, the best known being THCs & CBDs.  Cannabinoids are often used to treat chronic pain, especially neuropathic pain; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis; chemotherapy triggered nausea & vomiting; & epilepsy.  Studies have shown that cannabinoids are less effective than most pharmaceuticals in treating neuropathic pain, but interestingly, these same studies show panaceas being more effective than any treatment!  Cannabinoids also present more side effects than conventional drugs.  Separating medicinal from recreational marijuana is complicated, but a clear danger of using non-medicinal grade product is the growing use of inappropriate anti-mildew or anti-fungal products in the growing process, leading to some highly undesirable results.  (This was attested to by Dave Weatherill, who knows about agricultural supplies.)  Where people are seeking medical treatment or pain relief, using a pharmacist to help with selection, dosage, monitoring, records & sourcing, is likely to produce better results.
Medical Marijuana - Panacea or Conundrum ? Colin Heggie 2020-01-07 08:00:00Z 0

Annual Christmas Meeting

 Leigh Hewer, Bob Clarke and Jim Kanester
For today's meeting Members were to wear an ugly sweater, Xmas tie etc with prizes received after voting with best costume being awarded to Bob Clarke with Leigh Hewer, Janet Green and Jim Kanester receiving runner up prizes. Thanks to Gillian and Bev for arranging prizes and Gillian for unbiased selection of winners. President Paul tried to auction off a couple of plates/serving dishes that were left after Friday nights Christmas party to no avail, if they are yours please contact Paul.
There was lively discussion as to the future of the "Rotary Ride" in 2020 and beyond and there will be more to come in the New Year.
Our next meeting is January 7, 2020. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and see you in 2020.
Annual Christmas Meeting Leigh Hewer 2019-12-17 08:00:00Z 0

2019 AGM and meeting

Posted by Leigh Hewer
 Breakfast with Santa Dec 7, Hillview Elementary School.
Our Annual General Meeting was held today with 23 Members present. A full slate of officers was elected/appointed or reconfirmed for 2020-21. Our Directors and Officers for 2020-21 are President Teresa Durning; Past President-Paul Philps; Treasurer Mike Wardlow; Secretary Loredana Eirenhauer; Public Relations Penny Trudel; Membership Keith Johnston; Foundation Jim Kanester; Grants Bev Rundell; International Gillian Canniff and President Elect is Bev Rundell for 2021-2022. Thanks to all for your contribution and support of Vernon Silver Star Rotary.
Teresa Bartel advised that there was another successful "Rotary Exchange Student Weekend at Silver Star Mountain Resort" this past weekend with 23 international students attending from all through out District 5060. Shout out of Bev and Dave H for their assistance. Bob France stated that the Santa Breakfast at Hillview Elementary on Saturday Dec 7 was a great success with 275 breakfast served and thanks to all members for their support. Jim Kanester will be sending out a notification to members relative to his annual initiative in support of our scholarship program. Also members have fully subscribed to 2020 Scholarship presentation. Thanks Jim for your continued support and leadership of our Scholarship program.
2019 AGM and meeting Leigh Hewer 2019-12-10 08:00:00Z 0

North Okanagan Valley Gleaners update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 03, 2019
North Okanagan Valley Gleaners board chair Brad Egerton was hosted by Marty Armstrong.  One of about a half dozen Canadian gleaner societies, the NOV group has now been operating for ten years.  In 2018, they collected 1.2m lbs of donated vegetables, which after processing, drying & mixing by 300 volunteers, produced dried soup mix for 7m meals, at a cost of C$0.02 per meal !  Large batches of soup mix are provided to a select group of vetted organizations, which organize & supply shipping to recipients in the Caribbean, Ukraine, North Korea & other needy destinations.  With the help of more mechanized processes, & more volunteers, NOVG hopes to increase production to 13m meals per annum.  The Canada-wide goal is 100m meals.  New gleaner societies are expected to open in Calgary & Montreal, but perhaps more importantly, a “test” society in Bolivia will hopefully begin production in a location close to where product is needed.  NOVG also collects serviceable used medical equipment for shipment overseas.  In the past five years, C$30m worth of used goods, at 20% of their original cost, have been recycled – again, using partner organizations to ship & distribute.  Both soup mix & medical supply operations, based in their donated rural Lavington facility, are partially funded by income from the Gleaner’s used furniture & appliance store, which relies on donated goods & volunteer labour.  The store also supplies free furniture & appliances to selected needy local families.  Our members may visit NOVG’s Lavington facility in the new year.  Meanwhile, any SS Rotarians interested in joining a small group of volunteers are asked to contact Colin.  
North Okanagan Valley Gleaners update Colin Heggie 2019-12-03 08:00:00Z 0

Mysis Shrimp & Piscine Energetics

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 19, 2019
Dave Weatherill hosted Nuri Fisher, owner & CEO of Piscine Energetics (PE), a local “boutique” company which harvests, flash-freezes, packages & sells Mysis Shrimp, from Okanagan Lake, to feed fresh & saltwater fish in aquariums.  In the late 1960’s, our provincial government attempted to remedy seriously dwindling Okanagan Lake stocks of Kokanee salmon, by introducing Mysis Shrimp.  Unfortunately, the Kokanee couldn’t feed on shrimp that spent their days in deep, cool water, ascending nearer the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton – the Kokanees main source of food – so the introduction of the shrimp exacerbated Kokanee losses.  PE has developed trawling technologies to capture shrimp at night, ridding the lake of over-abundant “invasive” shrimp, & giving young Kokanee a renewed opportunity to prosper.  Their slow-moving small mesh nets, combined with a vacuum tube to a “catch boat,” is able to separate shrimp from other species.  BC’s Ministry of Environment sees this as a win-win situation, & is encouraging PE to expand their operation.  Mysis Shrimp provides excellent nutrition to young fish, but is not considered a viable competitor to those who sell fish food to more mature stock.  Over time, if stocks of Kokanee salmon in Okanagan Lake return to previous levels, a recreational fishing industry could be restored.  Our lake is the only one without a viable sport fishery, especially in relation to the size of our lake & population.
Mysis Shrimp & Piscine Energetics Colin Heggie 2019-11-19 08:00:00Z 0

Club Business

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 12, 2019
President Paul Philps showed a 2017 Rotary Foundation video, celebrating 100 years of contributions, & over US$3B in support for a wide variety of health, education, peace & leadership projects around the world.  Jim Kanester followed with an explanation of Foundation recognition awards & points.  Members can go to , click on My Rotary, login, click on Manage, Contributions, Donor History Report, View report, Individual Reports & Donor History Report, to see an Overview of contributions.  A second tab shows all your Transaction Details.  Jim moved on to a review of our scholarship program, where our Community Futures endowment fund has achieved returns of 3.67% & 3.5% in 2017 & 2018.  He presented Don Miller with a bottle of wine to recognize his continuing support of Vipers 50/50 Raffle tickets, with support from his wife Anne.  Jim is surrendering management of our 50/50 ticket sales to Gillian Canniff.  A discussion of membership retention & recruitment, through new & varied options, for busy people, ensued.
Club Business Colin Heggie 2019-11-12 08:00:00Z 0

BC Dragoons

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 05, 2019
Long-time Vernonite Richard Hamilton was installed in 2018 as Honorary Colonel of the BC Dragoons, following a career including The Bay, Seymour Equipment & Kal Tire, alongside his decades of involvement with the Dragoons.  He was introduced by his friend Michael Wardlow.  His role is community outreach.  Richard introduced the Dragoons’ current Commanding Officer, LtCol Kevin Mead, who was raised in Kelowna.  Kevin joined the military in 1994 & has had three overseas tours.   The role of the BC Dragoons is to generate trained armoured reconnaissance reserve troops.  There are presently about 130 members, including many new recruits.  They receive extensive training in the use of armoured vehicles, such as our Coyotes, Leopards & Light Armoured Vehicles.  These come in a variety of specifications, with sophisticated weapons, navigation & reconnaissance tools, but they definitely aren’t built for comfort!  Committed reservists really have a full-time job in addition to their civilian jobs.  Following an active (overseas) engagement, where they bond tightly with each other & with regular troops, they often find the return to civilian life challenging.  The Vernon Military Camp originated with 1884 Okanagan meetings, the return of Boer War soldiers, & the 1914 Military Act.  Dragoons participated meaningfully in both World Wars, & still play an important role in the Canadian Army.
BC Dragoons Colin Heggie 2019-11-05 08:00:00Z 0

Potable Water for Haiti

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 29, 2019
Martin von Holst introduced the Kelowna Rotary Club’s Carol Eamer, who serves as International Service Director for both her club & District 5060.  She spoke about the extensive & chronic problems the people of Haiti have with lack of potable water, due to poverty, deforestation, corruption & other factors, all exacerbated by the 2010 hurricane.  She explained “HANWASH – Haiti National Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Strategy – is a collaborative national initiative to provide thoughtfully managed & sustainable clean water & sanitation to all citizens of Haiti, along with the associated health, community & economic benefits.  The initiative is led by (Caribbean) Rotary District 7020 & DINEPA (The Haitian Government’s National Water & Sanitation Agency), along with other NGOs.”  Current RI President Barry Rassin, of Nassau, Bahamas, is a supporter of HANWASH.  To begin, four of Haiti’s 145 communes have been selected for pilot projects.  Meillac, a small village in the Ferrier commune, in the northeast, next to the Dominican Republic border, will be supported by our District 5060, led by the Rotary Club of Wenatchee.  They’ve asked all 5060 clubs to help.  The initial goal is to raise US$15,000 for engineering studies.  About 80% of this goal has been pledged.  Members approved a motion by Martin to contribute C$1,000.
Potable Water for Haiti Colin Heggie 2019-10-29 07:00:00Z 0

Queen Silver Star Excellence Program

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 22, 2019
Penny Trudel hosted Queen Silver Star Excellence Program Committee member Celine Grosch, Queen Hayley Rakos, Princess Madison Barrett & our club’s current candidate Jessie-Leonia Knight.  Our Dr Craig Goplen & Martin von Holst have been involved with QSSEP for many years.  Celine told us this is the 60th anniversary year of the program, which has graduated 692 candidates.  The program has evolved significantly from a beauty pageant, to include training in automotive maintenance, dance, etiquette, financial awareness, fitness, hair care, health, interview skills, local history, make up/skin care, modelling & deportment, nutrition, resume writing, self-defense & speechcraft.  Being a candidate is like a half-time job for these girls, who are kept running to a wide variety of local events, plus travel as Vernon’s ambassadors.  Media nights, speech competitions & talent shows supplement the debut & fashion show, proclamation & coronation events, in coordination with our annual Winter Carnival.  Candidates are all matched with at least one 6 to 8-year old “Little Miss.”  Scholarships are offered to candidates, dependent upon the generosity of program sponsors.  
Queen Silver Star Excellence Program Colin Heggie 2019-10-22 07:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Learning Foundation

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 15, 2019
Charlene Silvester hosted WL Seaton French Immersion teacher Stephanie Hewson, who spoke about her Okanagan Learning Foundation.  Seaton’s “feeder” elementary schools have “Starfish” programs, providing food to needy students each Friday, to supplement their weekend diets.  It occurred to Stephanie that these students’ needs don’t disappear when they move to secondary school, so in 2017 she began offering Friday food supplements to selected Seaton students.  At present, the Okanagan Learning Foundation serves 25 Seaton students, plus 10 at Fulton Secondary.  Plans are afoot to serve VSS, & in the future, more schools.  Proteins, carbs, fresh fruit, vegetables, some snacks, hygiene products, & clothes are offered on Fridays to one student at a time, to maintain privacy.  Students are involved in purchasing the food, & receive hints on meal preparation.  Teachers, counsellors & administrators make referrals to the program, then parents are contacted to complete annual applications.  OKLF also provides scholarships to students, & professional education grants to teachers.  About $35,000 has been spent since 2017.  Funding comes from private & corporate donations.
Okanagan Learning Foundation Colin Heggie 2019-10-15 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor Peter Schultz

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Oct 01, 2019

Bev Rundell introduced District Governor Peter Schultz who addressed Club and spoke of his involvement with Rotary and some of changes in Rotary. In Kelowna they have formed a “Chapter One Club” based on the first chapter of Rotary Procedures Manual; the Club is for those interested in Rotary but can’t commit to a full time membership for various reasons. They follow Rotary’s guiding principles and the moral compass of the 4 Way Test, they meet twice a month in a non-formal setting with their focus on Fellowship and Service. The Vernon Rotary Clubs are collectively working toward the establishment on a “Friends of Rotary Club” along the lines of the Kelowna based “Chapter One Club”. Peter spoke of Rotary’s core values of Fellowship, Service, Integrity, Leadership and Diversity and asked the question of members “You joined Rotary but when did you become a Rotarian?” Discussion took place and for Peter is was a two week Rotary trip to Ethiopia with 20 people including 3 plastic surgeons, nurses and support people to assist burn victims. Peter had roles of stewardship, quartermaster and photo journalist and this was when Peter became a “Rotarian”. Peter spoke with emotion of the trip and stated “truth leaks out your eyes” as he wiped his eye.

DG Peter and President Paul awarded Anne Marie Kanester a "Club Supporter of the Year" award, graciously accepted by Jim Kanester. On behalf of the club thank you Anne Marie for your ongoing support of Vernon Silver Star Rotary.

Reminder: District Conference in Kelowna, BC April 23-26, 2020, for registration and details go to the District 5060 website.

District Governor Peter Schultz Leigh Hewer 2019-10-01 07:00:00Z 0

Vernon Fire Rescue

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Sep 24, 2019

Calvin Reich introduced his wife Allyson, Lieutenant with Vernon Fire Rescue (VFR). When Allyson was approximately 12 a neighbour suggested that she should look to become a fire fighter as she was tall and athletic. Without any further thought as to becoming a firefighter life continued for Allyson. She eventually moved to Sun Peaks outside of Kamloops to help her parents with their convenience/liquor store and was also working as a ski-instructor; the thought of being a fire fighter was rekindled as a volunteer with the Sun Peaks Fire Service where she received training and experience. In August of 2005 Allyson applied for and was accepted as the 1st female fire fighter for VFR and has risen to the position of Lieutenant and is relief Fire Chief (when the Fire Chief is absent). There is considerable time spent training as each piece of equipment requires 30 hours of operating experience (ladder trucks, engines etc). People are surprised when they see a woman driving the ladder truck!! In addition to firefighting, VFR is 1st responder for motor vehicle accidents and medical assistance and are often at the scene prior to the ambulance which may be delayed. As a Lieutenant, Allyson is in charge of the truck and rides in front right seat. Vernon Fire Rescue covers a large geographic area and also assists on responses to Falkland as necessary. Fire Hall 1 is across from Vernon City Hall, Fire Hall 2 is the Okanagan Landing Hall and the Predator Ridge location is an Auxiliary Hall handled by Auxiliary Staff (in conjunction with Hall 1). VFR has 28 fulltime firefighters and are supported by 25 paid auxiliary members. Public buildings are set up with a lock box with VFS for emergency access. Allyson challenged SSR members to check their smoke detectors and reminded us that “the most important factor in fire prevention is YOU”.

Vernon Fire Rescue Leigh Hewer 2019-09-24 07:00:00Z 0

Tourism Vernon Visitor Services

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 17, 2019
Our Teresa Durning Harker described her contract work with Tourism Vernon Visitor Services.  Their office at 3004 39th Ave, on the north side of the former Civic Arena site, is on the evolving bike path through Vernon, & may soon be part of a newly developed park.  Though walk-in tourist inquiries remain an important part of their work, they’ve dropped significantly, as travelers make more use of online tools to plan their trips.  It’s no longer good enough to wait till tourists come to us – we must find & interact with them, if we want to remain competitive.  Teresa & her staff make extensive & growing use of social media tools to monitor inquiries & comments about the Vernon area, responding to questions, & posting comments.  Hootsuite, a social media management platform, is used daily to work with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube & other tools, to build & maintain a positive online presence.  Their work includes visitor surveys & regular local promotional events. Vernon Visitor Services work for stakeholders (hotels, motels, tourist attractions & businesses) in an unbiased, inclusive manner throughout the Greater Vernon, believing they only succeed if everyone succeeds.
Tourism Vernon Visitor Services Colin Heggie 2019-09-17 07:00:00Z 0

Queen Silver Star candidate Jessie

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 10, 2019
Our Queen Silver Star Excellence Program candidate for 2019-20, Jessie Knight, was introduced by Dr Craig Goplen.  Jessie is a Grade 11 student at Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
Queen Silver Star candidate Jessie Colin Heggie 2019-09-10 07:00:00Z 0

Greater Vernon Museum & Archives

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 10, 2019
Jim Kanester hosted Steve Fleck, who became the new Executive Director of our Greater Vernon Museum & Archives in March 2019.  He’s had a long career in education, including time spent in southern China.  These experiences have increased his awareness of the impact & importance of culture in our lives.  Following approval of a spending referendum to finance a new museum & art gallery, Vernon, neighbouring municipalities & provincial & federal partners are considering how best to develop a new “cultural facility.”  Steve described culture as “an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief & behaviour -- the outlook, attitudes, values, morals, goals & customs shared by a society.  Culture is the myriad of stories we learn & share that tell us who we are.  It is created & reborn every day.”  He feels it’s important to engage people through providing space for different groups to share their stories.  He also envisions opportunities for other local attractions & groups, such as the O’Keefe Ranch, Mackie House, & Science Center, to collaborate & share resources.  
Greater Vernon Museum & Archives Colin Heggie 2019-09-10 07:00:00Z 0

Club Business Meeting

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 03, 2019
President Paul Philps & ADG Bev Rundell announced our three Vernon Rotary Clubs will each donate $200 to seed a local “Friends of Rotary” group, catering to people who’ll support our projects.  They’ll meet less often, less formally, & at less cost than a traditional Rotary Club.  There’ll be no “poaching” of current club members.  Our club members are encouraged to provide names of prospective “Friends” to Paul, Bev, Teresa Durning Harker or Martin von Holst.  The first meeting of Friends of Rotary will be 5:30pm, Thu, Sep 5th at Wings Vernon, 5200 Anderson Way.
Jim Kanester asked members to support Vipers 50/50 Raffles scheduled for Sat, Sep 21st & Sat, Oct 19th.  Both games start at 6pm, so members should arrive by about 5pm to begin sales.
Dr Craig Goplen reported good pre-sales of tickets for our Fri, Sep 20th Father Daughter Ball.  He expects a surge of sales with girls returning to school & chatting up the event on social media.  Members are asked to help with set-up on the Friday morning, through the event on Friday evening, & with take-down on Sat AM.  Craig will also be bringing our Queen Silver Star candidate to an upcoming meeting.
Other upcoming events include school BBQs:  Harwood on Sep 11th, Mission Hill on Sep 17th; RLI training in Kelowna Oct 5th & 6th; & a Polio Night Dinner on Wed, Oct 23rd.
Club Business Meeting Colin Heggie 2019-09-03 07:00:00Z 0

Climate Science

Posted by Mike Wardlow on Aug 27, 2019
The REAL Inconvenient Truth About Climate Change
Our own Keith Johnston spoke about the other side of and still unsettled controversy that recent (last 120 years) of human activity has contributed growing amounts of carbon (CO2) into earth’s atmosphere. This is suggested to have increased green house gasses in the air effectively warming the global atmosphere and is the cause of disturbing changes observed in earth’s climate.
Climate, as we know has been evolutionary cyclical since the beginning of time and there is no denial that it will continue to be so. Keith contends human involvement amounts to one CO2 molecule in over 86,000 or little more than 0.001% in the air that conceivably cannot influence nor change climate. He backed his conclusion with a powerful, science based, power point showing numerous graph’s indicating that there is no correlation between increased carbon and global warming.
CO2 is a building block of life. Increasing it hugely benefits all plant life as witnessed by the increased greening of the earth and generating oxygen essential to human and animal survival.
His opening remarks refuted a recent insulting quote by David Suzuki that one would have to be uneducated, with no common sense and invested in the oil industry not to believe that humans, by burning fossil fuels, have caused extreme climate changes. Well over 37,000 US accredited scientists of varying disciplines would disagree with Suzuki.
The first short video from Australia demonstrated the .04% carbon fact to make the successful case against the imposition of a carbon tax. Keith followed with a series of slides featuring 6000 years of climate cycles lasting in various lengths from 100 to 1,000 where the highs coincided with historically successful civilizations such as the Egyptians, Romans etc., who prospered in climates much warmer than we have presently.
Proponents for reduced carbon emissions champion conversion to wind and solar power.  Keith demonstrated not only the inefficiency of wind and solar, working only when the wind blows and the sun shines, but also the devastating environmental damage, including radioactive waste, caused by the need for magnets and rare earth metals (controlled 98% by China) in manufacturing windmills.
Hurricanes and cyclones, contrary to popular belief, are not increasing in frequency and intensity. The worst hit Galveston, Texas in 1900 with 6,000 killed. Despite visuals of melting glaciers and icecaps, NASA photos from space indicate that Antarctic and Greenland ice is actually expanding. Finally, Keith quoted Dr. Judith Curry whose studies indicate the probability the earth is entering a cooling period.
Climate Science Mike Wardlow 2019-08-27 07:00:00Z 0

Mega Polio Campaign

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 20, 2019
Ross & Fiona Harris of the Salmon Arm Rotary Club talked about their most recent polio immunization work in India, as two of about 80 Rotarians, in January 2019.  Ross was diagnosed with polio in 1950, so this work holds special significance for him.  He’s one of about 25m post-polio sufferers.  Polio eradication by Rotarians started in the Philippines in 1979.  Drs Jonas Salk & Albert Sabin invented polio vaccines in the 1950s -- neither made any money by patenting their work, but both received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  From Jan 3rd to 5th, 2020, the Rotary Club of Tajmahal Agra is hosting a Mega Polio Campaign.  Conditions & practices for Indian vaccinations are basic, but the program is successful, & the recipients grateful.  Food supplements supplied by the Indian government, for needy people in rural areas, are also distributed.  Costs for Rotary participants in the 2020 Agra campaign will run from +/-US$1,800/pp for the basic program (without airfares), to about US$6k/pp, including airfares & about 3 weeks of hotels, food, touring, etc.
Mega Polio Campaign Colin Heggie 2019-08-20 07:00:00Z 0

Club Business Meeting

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 13, 2019
Dr Craig Goplen reported that plans for the Fri, Sep 20th Father Daughter Ball are coming along well.  He asked members to be available for one or more of the Friday morning setup, Saturday morning take-down, or the Friday evening event.  Craig enjoys running this annual event, but would like to mentor a replacement or assistant.
Upcoming BBQs include Venture Training on Wed, Aug 21st;  Harwood Elementary on Wed, Sep 11th; & Mission Hill Elementary on Tue, Sep 17th.  Colin will deliver the BBQ trailer for the Venture Training event, & possibly the two schools as well.
Bev Rundell is meeting with our three local Rotary club Presidents to discuss their support of “Friends of Rotary,” a program to attract younger professionals to participate in periodic social events & community projects.  These are folks we’d like eventually to attract as full members, but for now, they’re typically not able to participate in traditional weekly Rotary meetings.  Each year, about 10% of our global Rotary members are lost, & replaced by new people.  To increase overall retention & new memberships, Rotary International is looking at various models of “non-traditional” participation.
Jim Kanester has applied for us to run Vipers 50/50 Raffles; if we’re assigned one over the Thanksgiving weekend, he’ll be away & need someone else to coordinate.  Jim reported that we’ll no longer be able to participate in the selection of recipients of our Okanagan College business student bursary, as the Community Foundation sees that as their role.
Club Business Meeting Colin Heggie 2019-08-13 07:00:00Z 0

Brain Trust Canada

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Aug 06, 2019

Jim Kanester introduced Dawn Charles and Carly Suddard of Brain Trust Canada. Dawn is the Resource Development and Community Engagement Manager and Carly in the Marketing and Events Coordinator. Carly spoke movingly about her own personal experience with brain injury this summer due a recent motor vehicle accident. SSR has donated to Brain Trust in the past and this year they were the named benefactor for our Rotary Ride. 1986 marked the beginnings of BrainTrust Canada which took shape under the direction of a small group of committed people who recognized a need for greater support and resources for those affected by brain injury.  It's their mission to bring the issue of brain injury to the forefront, maximize the potential of those who have been affected by brain injury, and reduce preventable brain injuries, especially among youth. Brain Trust provide direct service to persons with acquired brain injury.  The needs of those with brain injury are as varied and unique as the people themselves. Approximately 1.5 million people in Canada are living with a brain injury. The incidence of acquired brain injury outnumbers breast cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS combined.  There is a growing number of brain injuries coming from those drug users who go into overdose. Naloxone may bring them back but there is very significant costs associated with the resulting brain injuries from having no oxygen for a prolonged period.
Dawn thanked members for the support, provided through Rotary Ride 2019, and look forward to expanding their involvement next year and improving how we can work together to increase participation. This would include utilizing their existing Kelowna and Vernon partners and their direct association with Kelowna area Rotary Clubs, in addition to supporting the Ride anyway then can.
Brain Trust Canada Leigh Hewer 2019-08-06 07:00:00Z 0

Regional District Water update

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Jul 30, 2019

Dave Hoyte introduced Zee Marcolin, General Manager Utilities with the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO). Zee briefly reviewed water quality history in our area and stated that the results of Walkerton in May 2000 led to BC Legislation  in 2001 and 2003 for water quality and standards. RDNO uses a multi barrier approach to ensure water quality is safe. Moving to a regional water source was started in 2003 with RDNO taking responsibility for supply and distribution of domestic and agricultural water in the Vernon area with the total costs since 2003 of $106 million. The focus now is on infrastructure renewal.  Zee also spoke of some of the challenges with the  Kal Lake source resulting in 3-7 shut downs a year for turbidity and milfoil cutting etc. 
The Master Water Plan is a living document to ensure present and future water needs are met. In 2017 a request for borrowing was turned down by the electorate (for approximately $68 million) for a 5 year improvement that has now be re-scheduled over 20-30 years due to the costs of these improvements. Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant did not qualify for conventional treatment credits and was non-compliant with  provincial health guidelines for surface water treatment and with the request to borrow the required $30 million for a filtration plant mandated by Interior Health being defeated (2017) another solution was required. RDNO with WSP came up with an innovative, economical and sustainable solution of UV disinfection. The total cost was under budget of $7 million versus $30 million for the filtration plant and of the $7 million $5.8 million was funded by grants with no borrowing as the balance was funded through user rates. This technology was developed and eventually approved by Interior Health. Our regional water system serves more than 58,000 residential, commercial, institutional and farming customers with both domestic and agricultural water.
Regional District Water update Leigh Hewer 2019-07-30 07:00:00Z 0

Climate Change in Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 23, 2019
Colin Heggie hosted Dr Brian Guy & Bill Darnell, co-chairs of Vernon’s Climate Action Advisory Committee.  Brian was a founder of Summit Environmental Consultants; Brian was a teacher & founding member of Greenpeace.  Their Committee is tasked with providing a report to City Council in Sep 2020, following a process including public input.  Brian distinguished between climate change adaptation & mitigation.  He pointed out that climate changes are more evident in higher latitudes – Canada, Russia & the Scandinavian countries.  One in eight flora & fauna species are at risk.  Costs of repair, following serious weather & fire events are skyrocketing, so insurance industry professionals are among those best informed about climate change.  There are substantial short-term benefits from taking steps now to mitigate against future impacts.  We were invited to send our thoughts about how to adapt (prepare for change), & mitigate (reduce sources of greenhouse gases), to the Committee through  
Climate Change in Vernon Colin Heggie 2019-07-23 07:00:00Z 0

Tolko Industries

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Jul 09, 2019


Janet Green introduced Murray Wilson who is a woodlands manager with Tolko Industries. He spoke about forest management and the 2017/18 wild fires in B.C. In British Columbia Tolko has a woodlands management team in the Cariboo and the southern interior area, covering a total area of about 3,000,000 hectares.  The Woodlands Teams are held to the highest standard in planning forest management. They develop comprehensive plans guided by our Sustainable Forest Initiatives (SFI) forest certification, along with Federal, Provincial and local principles. These plans are then subject to extensive review involving Indigenous peoples and stakeholders in our communities. This is the key to success in managing our forests. The  2017/18 wild fires created a huge negative economic impact on forestry, tourism, ranching and business in the local communities adjacent to the fires not only during the particular year but effects are longer lasting. He stated that current years’ vacation numbers are showing decreased bookings  for the July and August periods and are attributable to recent years forest fires.

Some 60% of the burned timber from a fire is not recoverable according to Murray and government and stakeholders need to do more to improve forest conditions, forests are dynamic and go through a life cycle and need to be rejuvenated. Post fire recovery needs improved urgency with harvesting and replanting, when forest companies are allowed to harvest the burned stands they are responsible for the re-planting and management for some 20 years whereas if the stands are not harvested there is no action on replanting consequently the forest is not restored. It was noted from aerial photos that when wild fires reach new younger stands of replanted forests the spread of the wild fire is curtailed.

The Tolko website will provide much more information about their business and how they handle forest management -

Tolko Industries Leigh Hewer 2019-07-09 07:00:00Z 0

President Paul's 1st Meeting

Posted by Leigh Hewer

2019/20 Silver Star Rotary President Paul Philps presented a video from District Governor Peter Schultz outlining district goals and resources available at District 5060 website. All are invited to circle the dates of April 23-26, 2020 to make plans to attend the District Conference in Kelowna, BC.

Paul briefly talked about his Club goals to attract new members, make “life easier” for members and ensure Rotary is accessible, with more information to come.

President Paul's 1st Meeting Leigh Hewer 2019-07-02 07:00:00Z 0

Men's Shed Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 18, 2019
Dr Craig Goplen introduced Ray Verlage, a founder of Men’s Shed Vernon.  Rays says retirement means different things to different people, but it doesn’t mean stop!  He prefers the term “redeploy.”  Some people get lonely after retirement, particularly those who’ve worked hard at jobs involving a lot of people contact.  Men’s sheds focus on building projects & healthy social interactions amongst members, & with local non-profits.  New members are warned that if they’re not careful, they might learn something, or feel better about themselves!  There are three types of projects: 1) self-financed for individuals or groups, 2) enterprises for selling goods or services, & 3) community service.  There are presently about 6,500 Vernon men over 65 – a demographic growing at 15% annually.  The Vernon Men’s Shed started in 2018.  It aims to capture 5% of those men as members, & to acquire a suitable meeting place of 3,000 to 4,000 square feet.  They presently meet 9am to 1pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays, at Elephant Storage, 6136 Okanagan Ave.  Visit
Men's Shed Vernon Colin Heggie 2019-06-18 07:00:00Z 0

Trends in Healthcare 

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 11, 2019
Our member Eric Gombrich travels North America for his marketing job in the healthcare industry.  Today, he talked about trends in healthcare.  An aging population translates to a gradual increase in healthcare spending as a % of GDP.  Compared to the USA, Canada has fewer physicians per 1,000 people, but we use them more.  This is largely a function of the remuneration model, which encourages doctors to see more people, particularly for simple complaints.  Eric believes how we pay for, & how we deliver healthcare, need to be split, to facilitate systemic improvements.  He thinks our Canadian single-payer system is good, but more options in delivering care would allow innovations & cost-savings.  The way doctors are paid is inefficient & obstructs a re-alignment of resources.  Politics & our own delusions also prevent positive change.  Treatments need to become more preventative vs. acute; we need “decentralization,” & “consumerization” of care.  He talked about the growth & impact of technology, through telemedicine, use of robotics in surgery, & “polyclinics,” where patients, even in small communities, can see multiple practitioners under a single roof, in a single day.  Advances in technology, & investments in integrating pharmacies, health clinics & major grocery chains is moving the healthcare agenda into the hands of consumers & business, away from governments either unable or unwilling to make changes.
Trends in Healthcare Colin Heggie 2019-06-11 07:00:00Z 0

Naloxone Training

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Jun 04, 2019
Bev Rundell introduced Holly Vanjoff and Jennifer Glen from Interior Health Overdose Prevention to speak about the overdose crises in BC and their rolls in prevention and education. The goal is to reduce overdose fatalities by providing awareness and training to the public, both those who use drugs and people who can help victims when they are in crisis. This is achieved through group presentations, one on one with drug users on the streets, concerts and anywhere there is potential drug use. Illicit drug fatalities have increased significantly since 2015 and are in direct correlation with the use of fentanyl in the production of illicit drugs. This has led to the overdose crisis not just with street drug users but recreational user as well. Prior to 2015 fatalities from drugs were relatively consistent.
There is no part of our population that is unaffected by this crisis and Naloxone is effective in the reduction in deaths when administered. Naloxone can restore breathing within 2 to 5 minutes. When someone takes an opioid, it affects certain receptors in your brain. Naloxone works by kicking opioids off the receptors in your brain and binding to those receptors instead. This reverses or blocks the effects of opioids on your body. Naloxone only works if you have opioids in your system, such as:
  • fentanyl
  • heroin
  • morphine
  • codeine
While naloxone is only active in the body for 20 to 90 minutes, the effects of most opioids last longer. This means that the effects of naloxone are likely to wear off before the opioids are gone from the body, which causes breathing to stop again. Naloxone may need to be used again, depending on the amount or type of opioid taken. Naloxone is safe for all ages. It only works if you have opioids in your system. You cannot use naloxone improperly and does not create dependence. It is safe to keep a naloxone kit on hand.
Naloxone kits were made available and a review of how to use the kits was provided. In addition members were given hands on training on how to administer Naloxone including loading the syringe and injecting in the thigh or shoulder. Kits are provided free to the public in BC.  Anyone can administer Naloxone, you are not required to be licensed and are protected under the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.
For more information visit: ,
Naloxone Training Leigh Hewer 2019-06-04 07:00:00Z 0

Cybersecurity Tips

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 28, 2019
Loredana Eisenhauer introduced local computer security contractor Robert Spraggs, COO of Aegis Systems Canada, which provides cybersecurity for a variety clients.  He claims that in 2018, 40% of small & medium-sized businesses were attacked, because 1 - protection is expensive, 2 – security is often outsourced, & 3 – remote access increases risk.  Hackers will access your files, encrypt them, then demand a ransom for an encryption key.  Even in cases where a ransom is paid quickly, typical downtime is at least a week, so the cost of downtime is added to the cost of the ransom, & all the resources needed to solve the problems.  Windows 10 allows some protection from ransomware, through use of OneDrive, but all files then become subject to US law & NSA scrutiny.  One’s best protection is through daily off-site or off-line backups, testing your preparedness, & ensuring your protection software is always up-to-date, including firmware on routers & firewalls.
Cybersecurity Tips Colin Heggie 2019-05-28 07:00:00Z 0

Shingles Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 21, 2019
Teresa Bartel introduced her Railway Plaza neighbour, pharmacist Gerard Kampman, owner of North End Pharmacy Remedy’s Rx.  Gerard provided an update on shingles, the herpes zoster, which is the same virus as chicken pox.  Chicken pox in children is very contagious, but relatively benign, whereas shingles in adults is painful, & can have a significant impact on quality of life, particularly if a chronic phase produces ongoing pain.  Risk factors for shingles increase with age, lack of previous chicken pox or the vaccine, a compromised immune system or co-existing medical conditions.  Since the mid-1990’s, vaccines have been available for children, to prevent chicken pox.  In 2006, the Zostavax® vaccine was introduced to help prevent shingles in adults.  A new, more effective vaccine, “Shingrix,” is now available.  It requires two intramuscular injections, several weeks apart, with some local discomfort &/or fever, at a total cost of around $300.  Neither Zostavax® or Shingrix is guaranteed to eliminate shingles, but they will reduce the severity of the condition, & the likelihood of an ongoing painful chronic phase.  
Shingles Update Colin Heggie 2019-05-21 07:00:00Z 0

Councillor Ruth Hoyte

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 14, 2019
Givonna DeBruin hosted Ruth Hoyte, elected for the first time as a District of Coldstream Councillor in October 2018.  Though Ruth had no previous political experience, she was well-known for her work with the Downtown Vernon Association, the insurance business, dance instruction, & her outgoing personality.  Appointed to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, & alternate to the Regional District of North Okanagan Board, being a Councillor is serious business, requiring a lot of reading, preparation & research, aside from being a patient listener.  Ruth is enjoying her new role, & the daily challenges it presents.
Councillor Ruth Hoyte Colin Heggie 2019-05-14 07:00:00Z 0

Kai Rogers in Bolivia

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 29, 2019
Bob Clarke hosted Kai Rogers, 2017-18 outbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Santa Cruz, the largest city in Bolivia.  Kai learned that about 60% of Bolivia’s 12m residents live in poverty.  The government provides an annual subsidy of about US$28 per child, to help parents pay for school supplies, in hopes of encouraging all children to stay in school through at least grade six.  Most schools are fenced, both to keep students in, & non-students out.  He noted cultural & attitudinal differences between indigenous people, & those descended from European stock.  Throughout Bolivian history, political coups, both successful & unsuccessful, have been frequent.  Kai had two host families, & enjoyed them both.  Rotary arranged for he & other RYES to do a 2½ week tour of the country.  He participated in Carnaval (3 festival days over Lent), navigated his way through visa & border challenges following a few days in Argentina, & also visited Machu Picchu.  Kai is very grateful for his RYES experience.
Kai Rogers in Bolivia Colin Heggie 2019-04-29 07:00:00Z 0

Ken Barton Memorial

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 28, 2019
On Sunday afternoon, Apr 28th, 2019, a large gathering at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre honored the life & legacy of our long-time member, Ken Barton, who left us Jan 10th.  Over a dozen of our current & past members attended.  The first part of the program, hosted by our club's Dr John Wheeldon, included contributions from Dave Weatherill, President Gillian Canniff, & past members Dennis Windsor & Keray Regan, about Ken's long & distinguished membership in Rotary.  ABNC Board Chair Jim Popowich, Director David Guscott, & past Director Ken Finch then spoke about Ken’s 24 years of contributions to their organization.  He held many positions, including Treasurer, Chairman, & most recently Director Emeritus.  It would not be an exaggeration to say Ken’s work with ABNC, in a wide variety of ways, was integral to its success.  In honour of his work, & particularly in recognition of his interest in educating youth about nature, ABNC has named their educational facility the “Ken Barton Learning Centre.”  A scholarship in Ken's name is also being established, to support a worthy student in an environmental field.
Ken Barton Memorial Colin Heggie 2019-04-28 07:00:00Z 0

Virtual Field Trip Technology

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 23, 2019
Bob France took our meeting to Hillview Elementary, where we were welcomed by Parent Advisory Council member Marina, Principal Brian Smyth, VP Ken Wandeler & teacher librarian Tracey Barrie.  Hillview currently has 368 students & about 40 staff.  Through their PAC’s annual December “Breakfast with Santa” program, which our club cooks for, about $10,000 has been raised in the past three years.  These funds support their school library, which is morphing into a “Learning Commons.”  Tracey explained that BC’s two-year old curriculum changes have introduced more collaborative & team-based learning.  Teachers now assess more “competencies” & less “content.”  PAC-raised funds have added furniture to the library, & most importantly, “virtual field trip technology,” supported by BC’s “Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium” (ERAC), offering a huge variety of interesting & popular low-cost “visits” without leaving a classroom.  Future funds will likely help purchase or replace iPads & other learning tools.
Virtual Field Trip Technology Colin Heggie 2019-04-23 07:00:00Z 0

Turning Points Collaborative

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 16, 2019
Kelly Fehr is a City of Vernon Councillor, & Co-Executive Director of Turning Points Collaborative, a local non-profit involved in support services, temporary shelter, housing, addictions recovery, harm reduction, interventions, etc., for less fortunate people.  With an annual budget of about $4m, & about 90 full-time & casual employees, they have a big impact on our community.  Most of their funding comes from government grants, but there’s never enough money to serve the many needs.  A particular short-coming is funding for addiction recovery – an average of 20 people per month are turned away, for lack of funds.  Private recovery program costs are measured in many thousands of dollars per week, but more modest publicly subsidized programs, costing much less, are hugely over-subscribed.  Turning Points believe a key strategy in helping their clients is to bring services to them, as opposed to asking disadvantaged people to find their own way to services.
Turning Points Collaborative Colin Heggie 2019-04-16 07:00:00Z 0

New N.O. Chapter of Kidney Foundation 

Sid Adams, a former member of Vernon's Tri Lakes Rotary Club, received a kidney transplant in Nov 2017.  He & his donor are both doing well.  Along with several other locals, Sid formed a North Okanagan Chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada in January of this year.  He shared his experience, & encouraged everyone to consider being organ donors.
New N.O. Chapter of Kidney Foundation Colin Heggie 2019-04-09 07:00:00Z 0

1st Coldstream Scouts

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 26, 2019
Long-time 1st Coldstream Scouts leader Glen Dick brought four of his charges to explain their upcoming July 6th to 13th Pacific Jamboree at Camp Barnard, on Young Lake, near Sooke, BC.  This event will include about 3,000 15+ year old participants from near and far – an opportunity for meeting other scouters from many places.  The 2019 theme is “Myths & Legends.”  1st Coldstream has long been sponsored by the Coldstream Ranch, with additional help from the Coldstream Fire Dept.  About 25% of members are female.  About 60% of the estimated $10,000 cost of attending the Jamboree has been raised.
1st Coldstream Scouts Colin Heggie 2019-03-26 07:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Friends of Rail Trail

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 19, 2019
Rob Whitelaw hosted Toby Frisk, Chair of the Okanagan Friends of Rail Trail (FoRT).  The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative raised $7.8m to build 50kms of trail between the north end of Kalamalka Lake & Manhattan Point, just north of downtown Kelowna, on Okanagan Lake.  The trail is owned & maintained by the governments of the four jurisdictions in which it’s located, through the Okanagan Rail Trail Committee.  FoRT is the official liaison & society associated with the trail.  Their mandate is to enhance user experiences, protect the environment, inspire users & provide stewardship.  Trail ambassadors will be recruited & trained to help users, & to collect user data; fund-raisers will provide amenity infrastructure, & learning opportunities will be developed.  Eventually, it’s hoped the Okanagan trail will link with others, to provide “world class” facilities for walkers, hikers & cyclists.
Okanagan Friends of Rail Trail Colin Heggie 2019-03-19 07:00:00Z 0

"Life Mastery" Coaching

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 05, 2019
Keith Johnston introduced Wendy Majewsky, who gave us an introduction to several aspects of her “Life Mastery” coaching practice.  This follows a varied career in teaching & working in different capacities for municipalities, including Transportation Demand Management in Vernon.  Her purpose is to help people identify & achieve their goals, by looking at four key areas: vocation, health, relationships & time/money freedom.  Wendy believes there are two “signals” for personal growth – longings & discontent.  By finding clarity in our vision of the person we want to be, we also find the power to help make it happen.    
"Life Mastery" Coaching Colin Heggie 2019-03-05 08:00:00Z 0

CPR Knowledge & Awareness

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 02, 2019
Charlene Silvester reported another successful “Project Save-A-Life” -- CPR Knowledge & Awareness sessions held Sat, Mar 2nd at Fulton Secondary.  Vernon Fire & Rescue Services, who deliver the information, are keen to continue these sessions.  Charlene will meet with her committee soon to review & plan for next year.
CPR Knowledge & Awareness Colin Heggie 2019-03-02 08:00:00Z 0

Getting Old Ain't for Sissies

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 26, 2019
Dave Weatherill hosted author, speaker & puppeteer Cindy Bertrand Larson, a former palliative caregiver, who now works as a therapist for the sick, aged, dying, & their supporters.  She described the five most common complaints, & two fears, of older people.  The complaints are 1 – constipation (drink more water), 2 – aches & pains (move more), 3 – depression (follow interesting or inspiring routines), 4 – loneliness (reach out, be reached, & maybe get a pet), & 5 – memory loss.  The two great fears are being a burden, and dying alone in pain.  Cindy’s animated & amusing presentation concluded with offers of her book, “End of Life Stories – Tips & Tools for the Souls Journey Home.” 
Getting Old Ain't for Sissies Colin Heggie 2019-02-26 08:00:00Z 0

Restorative Justice in N.O.

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 19, 2019
Margaret Clark, a former correctional officer, now Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Society of North Okanagan, was hosted by Martin von Holst.  RJS-NO supports & advocates on behalf of persons affected and/or in conflict with the law.  RJ is for victims first & foremost, with a focus on the offender(s).  It’s an alternative to the criminal justice system, only where the victim agrees to the referral, & the offender admits to the harm.  Victims help determine the outcome they want, & at the end of discussions & restoration, a report to the RCMP outlines compliance.  Of about 300 referrals since 2009, Margaret has witnessed 3 ending in non-compliance.  Evidence shows RJ reduces recidivism, & costs substantially less than traditional “justice,” but a lack of funding, particularly from our provincial government, limits program capacity.
Restorative Justice in N.O. Colin Heggie 2019-02-19 08:00:00Z 0

Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 05, 2019
Bev Rundell hosted Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming (elected Oct 20th, 2018), who observed that inadequate spending on infrastructure repair has led to a need for substantial remedial work over the next few decades.  Municipalities look after their “5 P’s,” being Plumbing (water, sewer & storm drains), Protection (RCMP), Planning, Paving & Parks.  Other expectations include Promotion & Housing.  Smaller upcoming projects include an extension of the bike path to Village Green Mall, repair of the failed drainage on the south side of Vernon Toyota, & construction of a dedicated sewage line for the OK Springs brewery.  Large projects include redevelopment of the Kin Race Track & Civic Arena properties, plus a plan for the Cultural Centre approved by referendum.  Victor enjoys working with City staff, whom he feels are doing a good job.
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming Colin Heggie 2019-02-05 08:00:00Z 0

Ken Barton 1940 - 2019

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 10, 2019
One of our longest serving members, Ken joined SSR in July 1986, following clubs in Yellowhead, Prince George & Burns Lake.  He led committees for membership, community service, international service, District GSE, & was our President twice.  A consistent & reliable presence at countless fund-raisers, work days, BBQs, club events & socials, Ken exemplified all that is good about Rotary.  He was even able to calm our irrepressible Dr John on their travels together!  Ken was taken too soon, & will be sorely missed.  
Ken Barton 1940 - 2019 Colin Heggie 2019-01-10 08:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 04, 2018
Club member Lt. Stefan Reid explained his recent absence, saying he recently returned from a Salvation Army assignment to disaster relief, following Hurricane Michael in Panama.  He came back in time to dive into their House of Hope kettle campaign, with a goal of raising $500,000 to support needy Vernon area families.  Kettle locations are all indoors, & we’re invited to sign up for shifts.  Red “Hope bracelets” are being handed out province-wide to donors, indicating their support of poverty relief.  Our Vernon House of Hope has hired a new men’s addiction counsellor who’ll start in Jan 2019.  On Wednesday this week, local realtors will conduct their annual food drive, hoping to collect 40,000 pounds of food to fill the Food Bank shelves.  For the second year, Christmas food hampers for needy families will be replaced by Save-On-Foods vouchers, which may be redeemed for the items most wanted.  Children’s toys, teen’s clothing & treats from Rancho Vignolo will still be available to supplement the food vouchers, & volunteer drivers will help transport people with their groceries, as needed.  About 600 to 650 families are expected to receive Christmas help.  Finally, Stefan has order a new moving truck, & work is progressing on their warehouse addition to the 24th St Thrift Store.
Salvation Army Update Colin Heggie 2018-12-04 08:00:00Z 0

Special Olympics in Vernon -- Feb 2019

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 04, 2018
Paul Philps hosted City of Vernon Councillor (& recently retired Mayor) Akbal Mund, in his capacity as a Vice President of Special Olympics Vernon.  From Feb 19th to 21st, 2019, Vernon will host 8 events for children & adults: alpine skiing, 5-pin bowling, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing & speed skating.  About 900 athletes are expected to compete, with the help of about 250 coaches, staff & volunteers.  A variety of local Special Olympic programs provide recreation & empowerment year-round, preparing competitors for these Games.  We have several world champion athletes in our area, including Josh Dueck, Ina Forster & Sonia Gaudet.  Akbal asked that we consider volunteering to help run the games, as individuals, or as a club project.  He believes we have the club resources to serve meals to athletes.
Special Olympics in Vernon -- Feb 2019 Colin Heggie 2018-12-04 08:00:00Z 0

Cancer Patients on the Move

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 27, 2018
Don Miller hosted Dick Auty, a retired Kelowna fireman who leads the Freemasons of Kelowna in their partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, to provide free round-trip transport for Okanagan cancer patients.  Patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments at the Kelowna Cancer Centre are eligible, based on need & availability.  Passengers must be mobile, & flexible about pickup times.  This unadvertised program is jointly financed directly by Masons, & by donations.  The annual operating budget for the Okanagan area is about $375,000.  This supports four seven to nine passenger vans, plus unpaid volunteer dispatchers, drivers & a maintenance team.  Over the past twenty years, the Vernon part of this operation has served about 8,000 patients, through 28,000 trips, covering 900,000 kms!  Our former member, Brenda Erickson, who joined us today, is one of the volunteer drivers.
Cancer Patients on the Move Colin Heggie 2018-11-27 08:00:00Z 0

Power to the People

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 20, 2018
BC Hydro’s Southern Interior Community Relations Officer, Dag Sharman, explained the crown corporation has 4m customers, 30 hydro-electric power plants, 79,000kms of transmission lines, & delivers 98.4% “clean” (non-fossil fuel) energy.  The Vernon plant is Hydro’s largest facility outside the Lower Mainland.  Major upgrades in the past couple of years include a new 85,000sf office building, & new shops.  Over 300 local employees work all over BC.  The Kalamalka Rd site includes one of three provincial control centres, a call centre, engineering & other staff involved in design, construction & maintenance of transmission & distribution assets.  Two new 500 megawatt generators were recently added at the Mica Dam, & plans call for addition of a sixth similar generator at the Revelstoke dam by 2026.  The West Kelowna Transmission project will add a secondary line to serve West Kelowna.  Hydro works with Emergency Management BC to manage power supplies through extreme weather events, & with provincial biologists to protect pesky ospreys building nests atop power poles! 
Power to the People Colin Heggie 2018-11-20 08:00:00Z 0

Roots of Empathy

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 13, 2018
Martin von Holst thanked retired teacher/counsellor Pam Fournier for her talk about “Roots of Empathy,” a non-profit whose mission is to build caring, peaceful, & civil societies through the development of empathy in children & adults.  Founded in 1996, & now in 12 countries, this program has been offered in Vernon schools since 2006.  Elementary school children are taught to observe, recognize & reflect on their feelings, & feelings of others, by having a baby (& mother) in their classroom.  Babies readily show their emotions, & few people are inclined to be mean to a baby, so this is a simple & effective way of teaching “emotional literacy.”  The idea is to show vulnerability, followed by ways to see & reduce aggression & bullying.  Pam is hoping funds will soon be made available to train more instructors in this program, so it may be offered to more children.  She believes this is an effective way to combat high & increasing levels of anxiety.  Dave Weatherill suggested many adults, including corporate & political leaders, could benefit from this training.  Pam replied that scarce resources are thought best to be applied to our future leaders.
Roots of Empathy Colin Heggie 2018-11-13 08:00:00Z 0

Queen Silver Star Candidate

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 23, 2018
Dr Craig Goplen, our Queen Silver Star Excellence Program liaison, introduced our 2019 candidate, Madison Barrett.   A 15-year old Seaton French Immersion student, she’s keen on soccer, drama & riding (horses, we presume!).  Madison aspires to be a forensics specialist, & hopes to study at Simon Fraser University’s Criminology Faculty.
Queen Silver Star Candidate Colin Heggie 2018-10-23 07:00:00Z 0

Okanagan College Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 23, 2018
Rob Irving hosted Jane Lister, Regional Dean at the Vernon campus of Okanagan College.  OC currently has about 1,200 students, including 200 aboriginal & 50 international, plus 112 faculty & support staff.  Students are eligible for about $45,000 in annual awards & bursaries.  OC markets its smaller classes, good instructors, & lower costs to students.  Their new trades building is now operating – it will cycle through several different trades by semester, & offers “samplers” of several trades, particularly to women & aboriginals.  A new residential insulation course is offered in response to an industry shortage of trained workers, & a pilot “aboriginal support worker” program is coming.  Early childhood education is another popular program.  More “technical” courses are being planned.  OC is always seeking opportunities to partner with businesses, to provide applied research & job-related training.  Upcoming OC projects include a deck off the cafeteria, & construction of a +/-100 bed residence.
Okanagan College Update Colin Heggie 2018-10-23 07:00:00Z 0

DG Sherry Chamberlain's Visit

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 16, 2018
Assistant DG Bev Rundell hosted District Governor Sherry Chamberlain & her husband Jim, from Kamloops, BC.  Sherry is a commercial account manager for Chubb Fire & Security.  She has a long list of interests & accomplishments, headed by golf, motorcycling & a strong commitment to Rotary.  We’re all invited to Kamloops, May 2nd to 5th, 2019, for our District 5060 Conference.  Sherry suggested we think of our Rotary Club as a home, & challenged us to make sure it’s warm, inviting, inclusive & supportive – a place where new (& long-term) members have a job, a place to learn, grow & be valued.  She’d like to see a Rotary Peace Garden in each of our communities, & encourages us to tell our Rotary stories, perhaps through open houses.  Sherry told us a little about her rewarding volunteer work in Thailand, where she built friendships over many years.  “Eagle” pins were presented to Martin von Holst & Colin Heggie for helping attract new members, & to Gillian Canniff, Keith Johnston & Bev Rundell for their District leadership work.
DG Sherry Chamberlain's Visit Colin Heggie 2018-10-16 07:00:00Z 0

8 Dimensions of Leadership

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 09, 2018
Through his consultancy, True North Leadership, Keith Johnston offers a variety of training programs, including “The 8 Dimensions of Leadership,” a personality assessment tool based on the DiSC® model of human behaviour.  Club members filled out his online questionnaire, which produced a short individualized report, identifying our Primary Leadership Dimension as one of “Pioneering, Energizing, Affirming, Inclusive, Humble, Deliberate, Resolute or Commanding.  Keith discussed the four DiSC® characteristics --Dominance, Influence, Steadiness & Conscientiousness & their relationships.  DiSC® training is intended to help understand & improve communication skills.  This exercise produced numerous questions & laughs!
8 Dimensions of Leadership Colin Heggie 2018-10-09 07:00:00Z 0

RYES Reports on Austria

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 02, 2018
Anneke Sauer was our club’s outgoing Rotary Youth Exchange Student for 2017-18.  She talked about her experiences in Austria.
RYES Reports on Austria Colin Heggie 2018-10-02 07:00:00Z 0

Independent Contractors & Business Association

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 25, 2018
Jordan Bateman is the Communications Director for the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, a group that represents more than 2,300 B.C. businesses and 50,000 employees. ICBA is a major public policy force in B.C., advocating for free enterprise issues, as well as a third-party administrator for group benefits for hundreds of companies, and the single largest sponsor of trades apprentices in B.C., with more than 1,100.
Independent Contractors & Business Association Colin Heggie 2018-09-25 07:00:00Z 0

Proposed GV Cultural Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 18, 2018
Tannis Nelson, RDNO Community Services Manager, was hosted by Leigh Hewer.  She described the proposed Greater Vernon Cultural Centre, intended for the City of Vernon’s former Coldstream Hotel site.  The emerging plan is to accommodate our museum, art gallery, & a +/-150 – 200 seat multi-purpose performance venue (& perhaps other features) in a +/-57,000 gross square foot three-story building using roughly one-third of the site.  The remainder of the site would be intended for mixed residential / commercial development.  The projected $40m cost would be split between $15m in government grants, donations & partnership funding, plus $25m in borrowing approved through an Oct 20, 2018 referendum accompanying our civic elections.  A loan of this magnitude is expected to increase taxes for a residential property with an average assessment by about $12 net per annum, following the 2020 retirement of debt associated with Kal Tire Place & the Performing Arts Centre.  Questions were raised about costs to non-residential taxpayers, the additional or competing costs of a new pool & RCMP building, the suitability of the downtown site, & whether there’s a “vision” to go along with the proposed new facilities.    
Proposed GV Cultural Centre Colin Heggie 2018-09-18 07:00:00Z 0

Calvin Reich Inducted

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 11, 2018
Martin von Holst pins new member Calvin Reich, a commercial insurance broker with Capri CMW Insurance.  His work includes aviation insurance, & he holds a commercial pilot licence.  Calvin was involved in youth sports when his children were younger.  He mountain bikes, snowboards, & works with the VSS Panthers Football team.  He’s also a Director with “Unmanned Systems Canada,” a non-profit representing the interests of unmanned aerial, marine & ground vehicles.  Welcome Calvin!
Calvin Reich Inducted Colin Heggie 2018-09-11 07:00:00Z 0

Observations from England & Scotland

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 04, 2018
Colin & his wife Barb recently spent five weeks in England & Scotland.  They visited Roman forts, Hadrian's wall, & many cathedrals & castles -- both those in ruins, & those still occupied by aristocrats.  He talked a bit about how the invention of steam-power & the industrial revolution allowed wealthy investors to create huge fortunes, which in turn were used to finance railways & other infrastructure through the Commonwealth.  The design & manufacture of ships, locomotives, bridges, etc., in the great UK industrial centers -- Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle & Glasgow, etc., brought immense wealth throughout the 19th & first half of the 20th century.  By the 1970s, these industries were in serious decline, & now they're gone.  Gradually, these cities are transforming themselves, redeveloping old industrial sites to residential & other business uses.  Colin & Barb enjoyed a two-week home & car exchange near Newcastle, & had three two-night stays with Servas. 
Observations from England & Scotland Colin Heggie 2018-09-04 07:00:00Z 0

Literacy Society of N.O.

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 28, 2018
Chris Hart, President of the Literacy Society of the North Okanagan, introduced their Executive Director, Wendy Aasen.  Our club has a history of periodic support for their programs.  Wendy explained they work with a variety of local partners to fill gaps in literacy services, mostly to children, but also to adults & seniors.  Funding comes from government grants, donations, & the popular annual Adult Spelling Bee.  The proven One to One reading program for youngsters is now “Reading Together.”  “Skills Boost” uses teachers for more intensive tutoring & after-school reading practice.  Adult Computer Support is aimed at seniors, to build their competencies.  Other programs include Financial Literacy for Families, Screen Smart Tools for Families, & Books for Babies.  The Literacy Society is planning to expand their offerings through a New Learning Centre at the People Place, which will be partially funded through some fee for services programs.  
Literacy Society of N.O. Colin Heggie 2018-08-28 07:00:00Z 0

Seniors at Heron Grove

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 21, 2018
Janet Green hosted Chris Smith, who works with seniors, including dementia patients, at Heron Grove.  With 131 residents in several different unit types, & forms of tenancy, Heron Grove is one of 31 BC & Alberta sites operated by the non-profit Good Samaratin Society.  Chris & his team of recreational therapists fund-raise for “extras” like a duet bike, pergola, glide swing, sound system & iPads to keep residents active, engaged & healthy.  Tours of their facility are held each Thursday at 1pm.  Our club members are welcome to attend an Oct 13th fundraiser.
Seniors at Heron Grove Colin Heggie 2018-08-21 07:00:00Z 0

New N.O. RCMP Commander

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 14, 2018
Dr Craig Goplen hosted the North Okanagan’s newly appointed RCMP commanding officer, Supt Shawna Baher.
New N.O. RCMP Commander Colin Heggie 2018-08-14 07:00:00Z 0

Robyn Miller at RYLA North America

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 31, 2018
Bob France hosted Don’s daughter, Robyn Miller, who attended Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) North America in Washington, DC, July 1st to 6th.  Of 125 participants, Robyn was selected “Ms RYLA,” earning her free registration for the 2019 event – now she just needs to figure out how to get there!
Robyn Miller at RYLA North America Colin Heggie 2018-07-31 07:00:00Z 0

Clarkes in Prague

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 24, 2018
Bob Clarke described the trip to Prague he & his wife Debbie enjoyed recently.
Clarkes in Prague Colin Heggie 2018-07-24 07:00:00Z 0
Rob Whitelaw's Vocational Talk Colin Heggie 2018-07-17 07:00:00Z 0

Gateby Programs

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 10, 2018
After breakfast & business, Givonna DeBruin arranged a visit next door at Gateby.  She appreciates the day program activities & socializing, which her father has been attending.  Givonna introduced staff member Brenda,  who described the many programs & facilities intended to help transition hospital patients back to their homes, or support folks who are trying to stay in their homes.  The facilities include an activity room, a dining area, a large exercise room, & a lovely covered patio area for family & social gatherings.   
Gateby Programs Colin Heggie 2018-07-10 07:00:00Z 0

New Member, Teresa

Former President Martin von Holst & Assistant DG Bev Rundell inducted new member Teresa Durning Harker.  Teresa started out in the healthcare field, before studying business at Kamloops’ TRU, & working as a licensed property manager.  She came to Vernon in 2008 to run our Visitor Centre.  When the City of Vernon took over the regional tourism function, Teresa became a private contractor, running our Visitor Services.  Past volunteer activities include positions of responsibility for 55 Plus Games, Toastmasters & Vernon Winter Carnival.  She’s currently involved with Vernon Golf Spectacular, Special Olympics & Kindale.  With her husband Harvey, she shares a blended family of five children & three grandsons.  She enjoys hiking, fishing & camping, but we suspect this lady rarely sleeps!
New Member, Teresa Colin Heggie 2018-07-03 07:00:00Z 0

New President & Directors

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 03, 2018
Our new President, Gillian Canniff, talked about her ambitious plans for our club, and introduced her Directors: Keith Johnston, Don Miller, Rob Irving, Teresa Bartel, Paul Philps, Martin von Holst & Bev Rundell.  Missing are Past President Geordie McLellan & Chris Hart. 
New President & Directors Colin Heggie 2018-07-03 07:00:00Z 0

Angela Yablonski's "Project Zimbabwe"

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 26, 2018
Teresa Bartel hosted Angela Yablonski, from the Vernon Rotary Club.  Angela operates our local “Curves” franchise, & is founder of the “Zimbabwe Project,” a volunteer-run organization helping local entrepreneurs to create change.  Visiting teams offer classes in business planning, accounting, mentoring, etc.  Sometimes they provide modest start-up funds for sustainable projects to provide clean water, libraries, gardens, poultry rearing, etc.  The Kamloops Rotary Club is planning a trip next year.
Angela Yablonski's "Project Zimbabwe" Colin Heggie 2018-06-26 07:00:00Z 0

SD22 Trades Careers

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 19, 2018
Bev Rundell hosted her former SD22 colleagues Kathy Wickum & Melanie Jorgensen, respectively District Principal for Career Education & Curriculum, & Career Program Coordinator.  This animated pair described how students are now encouraged to consider a wide variety of trades careers, many of which may be accessed while still in high school.  Subsidies are even available to offset tuition & other expenses for some trades.  They claim BC will need to fill roughly 1m jobs by 2025, that many current students will likely have 10 – 14 jobs in their first 20 years of employment, & that 65% of students will have jobs that presently don’t exist!  The current Grad Transitions program will soon be replaced with a “capstone” project, & students will be encouraged to use mentors to augment their career planning.
SD22 Trades Careers Colin Heggie 2018-06-19 07:00:00Z 0

Tekmar Control Systems

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 12, 2018
Dave Weatherill arranged for us to be hosted on-site at Tekmar Control Systems, designers & manufacturers of high quality controls for heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC) & snow-melt systems.  General Manager Greg Leupin described their history & product offerings.  Tekmar was founded over fifty years ago in Germany, by Kurt Knuever.  In 1980, Kurt established Tekmar in Vernon, with his daughter Ulrike & son-in-law Don Gibbs.  Greg joined in 1995.  The present building opened in 2003.  In 2012, Tekmar was purchased by Watts Water Technologies, a large U.S. supplier of a wide range of plumbing-related products.  The Vernon operation concentrates on the hydronic side of the HVAC industry – ie. radiant floor heating.  Tekmar has about 75 – 80 employees housed in a “state of the art” building, using horizontal-loop geo-thermal radiant floor heating.  They’ve recently introduced a “technology acceleration group” (TAG) to focus their innovative design capabilities on an expanding commercial market for Wi-Fi enabled controls.  Their new robots, assembling & "cooking" printed circuit boards, are really cool !
Tekmar Control Systems Colin Heggie 2018-06-12 07:00:00Z 0

Design Your Own Website!

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 05, 2018
Teresa Bartel hosted her business neighbour Tina Cloutier, who collaborates with four others, including her two sons & marketing consultant Michael Strauch, running , a website consultancy.  They offer a variety of website-related services.  Tina says first impressions are important.  It’s beneficial to own your website, so your audience can easily find you, working 24/7 to build relationships & create business success.  She enjoys teaching people how to build, maintain, & get the most out of their businesses, using up-to-date marketing & web tools.
Design Your Own Website! Colin Heggie 2018-06-05 07:00:00Z 0

Gerard Kampman on Pharmacare

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 29, 2018
Gerard Kampman, pharmacist at North End Pharmacy Remedy’s Rx in the Railway Plaza, was Teresa Bartel’s guest.  He spoke about BC’s Pharmacare & Fair Pharmacare plans, beginning with a graph showing how the number of beneficiaries, compared to total population, increases substantially with age.  Pharmacare was introduced in the early 1970’s, with the publicly-funded income-based “Fair Pharmacare” program beginning in 2003.  For 2019, deductibles will be reduced or eliminated for those with low incomes, meaning they’ll have better coverage.  Gerard believes most low-cost generic alternatives to brand name drugs are reliable, with some exceptions, particularly for those suffering from allergies, or reactions to some non-pharmaceutical components.  He encouraged everyone to be sure they’re registered for Fair Pharmacare, if they qualify.
Gerard Kampman on Pharmacare Colin Heggie 2018-05-29 07:00:00Z 0

District 5060 Convention Reports

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 22, 2018
Our District 5060 Convention, held this past weekend in Prosser, WA, was attended by Dr John Wheeldon & President Elect Gillian Canniff.  Dr John was recognized for over fifty years of Rotary service.  He & wife Rina did their best to support (& embarrass!) our RYES Rachel.  He reported that speakers included former Ambassadorial Scholar Steve Solomon, the ever-entertaining Richard King, & incoming DG Sherry Chamberlain.  Gillian attended a membership session, & met up with friends from previous conferences.  The concept of a “World Peace Plus” project, to follow Polio Plus, was discussed.
District 5060 Convention Reports Colin Heggie 2018-05-22 07:00:00Z 0

Marty & Judy's China Tour

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 15, 2018
Long-time member Marty Armstrong and his wife Judy have a travel problem -- they can't seem to get enough of it !  Marty shared photos and stories about their recently completed tour of China, commenting that it was very well organized by Sinotour, and quite affordable, compared with other destinations.
Marty & Judy's China Tour Colin Heggie 2018-05-15 07:00:00Z 0

Club Business Meeting

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 08, 2018
Inclusion of our Rotary Grace & the Rotary Four Way Test in our weekly meetings was discussed, along with business pertaining to upcoming events.
Club Business Meeting Colin Heggie 2018-05-08 07:00:00Z 0

Tahn Towns -- Probiotics for Health

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 01, 2018
Dave Weatherill hosted Armstrong's Tahn Towns, President of Healthy Horses Ltd, an advocate of probiotics for both humans & their animal friends.
Tahn Towns -- Probiotics for Health Colin Heggie 2018-05-01 07:00:00Z 0

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 24, 2018
David Burns was invited by Mike Wardlow to describe country music star Dolly Parton's long-held interest in literacy, & her "Imagination Library," which expanded to Canada in 2006.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Colin Heggie 2018-04-24 07:00:00Z 0

Life. We don't want you to miss it.

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 17, 2018
Martin von Holst hosted Kelowna’s Wendy Wright, of the Heart & Stroke Foundation.  Globally, heart disease is the #1 killer of women.  In Canada, one life is taken every seven minutes.  The Heart & Stroke Foundation has invested heavily in research, significantly reducing the heart disease and stroke death rate.  Their mandate is to prevent disease, save lives and support recovery.  They help place automated external defibrillators (AED’s) wherever there are crowds of people, and in workplaces, etc.  Wendy was able to smooth-talk Martin into organizing our club’s participation in a May 11th “Big Bike” ride, to support their work.  See  “Life.  We don’t want you to miss it.” ™ 
Life. We don't want you to miss it. Colin Heggie 2018-04-17 07:00:00Z 0

Induction of Rob Whitelaw

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 10, 2018
Retired accountant Rob Whitelaw was "pinned" by his sponsor, Martin von Holst, at his induction on April 10th.  Rob isn't new to Rotary, but we welcome him to Vernon, & to our club!
Induction of Rob Whitelaw Colin Heggie 2018-04-10 07:00:00Z 0

Abbeyfield Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 03, 2018
Charlene Silvester hosted Abbeyfield Vernon’s Board Chair, Judy Maile, who enjoys working with seniors, following a long career in various forms of social work.  Our Abbeyfield is a purpose-built residence for ten single seniors, which opened in 1999.  Eleven of Canada’s nineteen non-profit Abbeyfield houses are in BC.  They provide affordable independent living, usually for ten to twenty residents, in a “home-like” atmosphere, with meals & personal safety provided by live-in staff.  Local boards of directors recruit volunteers & community sponsors to help reduce overhead through provision of maintenance, activities, entertainment, etc.  The Vernon group has plans to convert a guest room to use by another resident, & also to add another four residential suites, to help maximize efficiencies.
Abbeyfield Vernon Colin Heggie 2018-04-03 07:00:00Z 0

Club Visioning

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 27, 2018
Keith Johnston led a review of our Club Vision & strategic planning.  A couple of weeks before, President Elect Gillian Canniff had asked members to complete a questionnaire about their satisfaction with various aspects of our club, & give thought to improvements.  Responses to this questionnaire informed some of the discussion.  More to come ....
Club Visioning Colin Heggie 2018-03-27 07:00:00Z 0

VitalSigns for the North Okanagan

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 27, 2018
Jim Kanester hosted Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of North Okanagan, where our club has an endowment fund to support our local school scholarships.  Today, Leanne described CFNO’s participation, every second year, in VitalSigns®, a national program to measure the vitality of communities, & support action towards improving the quality of life.  With sections on demographics, income, employment, arts & culture, belonging & leadership, environment, getting around, health, housing, income gap, learning, work & economy, & safety, VitalSigns® provides a comprehensive overview of about 65 Canadian communities on a periodic basis.  They use existing data sets from various sources.  Our local report, along with many others for multiple years, may be found online at  These are an impressive resource!
VitalSigns for the North Okanagan Colin Heggie 2018-02-27 08:00:00Z 0

"Farm Bound" with Jaye Coward

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 20, 2018
Gillian introduced Jaye Coward, owner of Vernon’s “Farm Bound,” a supplier of sustainably produced, local and organic food.  She builds relationships with BC farmers & in winter months, supplements her supply with organic produce from the western USA & Mexico.  Members of Farm Bound may have scheduled deliveries, or shop at the warehouse-style store at 1935 11th Ave.  Jaye is all about helping clients connect to their food, using social media tools to promote healthy produce & delicious recipes.
"Farm Bound" with Jaye Coward Colin Heggie 2018-02-20 08:00:00Z 0

Gabe Newman -- Storyteller

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 06, 2018
Gabriel Newman is a storyteller, actor, director, writer & teacher, who operates “Ghost Tours of Vernon,” & serves as Public Education Coordinator for the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives.  At Don Miller’s invitation, he shared his story, exclaiming “we are the stories we choose to tell about ourselves.”  Gabe believes “when you know the story of a place, you have a different attachment to it.”  He sees himself as an actor, whose sets are a series of interesting backdrops around town.  A museum’s job is to tell the stories of its community, & his job, as an education & outreach coordinator, is to gather & learn those stories.  A new facility to replace our outdated & under-sized museum should offer storage, programming, archives, research & community exhibits to tell our stories.
Gabe Newman -- Storyteller Colin Heggie 2018-02-06 08:00:00Z 0

OK College Trades Training Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 23, 2018
Kathy Butler, Mike Tindall & Jane Lister, of Okanagan College, were hosted by Dave Hoyte.  They described the new $6.2m, 13,450 square foot, Trades Training Centre scheduled to open August 2018 on the Vernon Campus.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, pipe-fitting, residential construction and welding will be the core skills taught, though there will also be opportunities for other industry specific programs.  Aboriginals, women & high school youth at risk will be encouraged.  OC is looking to raise an additional $1m, for a combination of equipment, fixtures, and scholarships for needy students.  Our club is asked to consider being part of the community support toward this $1m goal.       
OK College Trades Training Centre Colin Heggie 2018-01-23 08:00:00Z 0

Royal Canadian Legion

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Jan 09, 2018
Dennis Windsor, former SS Rotarian, outlined the history of the Royal Canadian Legion, which recently opened membership to all.  His feature story was about Tommy Prince – Canada’s most-decorated Aboriginal War Veteran, who received 11 medals during WWII and the Korean Conflict.   Beginning as a member of the Canadian Parachute Battalion, he was among a select group of Canadians who joined an American unit to form a specialized assault team, later known as the "Devil's Brigade," adopted as the name of a 1968 Hollywood movie.  Prince received medals from King George VI, & though his later years were spent in poverty at a Salvation Army shelter, his 1977 funeral in Winnipeg was attended by 500 people, including Manitoba’s LGov, & consuls from France, Italy & the USA.
Royal Canadian Legion Leigh Hewer 2018-01-09 08:00:00Z 0

Dressed for Christmas!

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 19, 2017
Geordie McLennan, Marty Armstrong, Bob Clarke, Donna Irving, Leigh Hewer, Dave Weatherill & Rob Irving came to our AGM ready to party!
Dressed for Christmas! Colin Heggie 2017-12-19 08:00:00Z 0

A Syrian-Canadian Teenager's Story

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 05, 2017
Seba Al-Faouri is a 17-year old Seaton Secondary student.  In January 2016, she & her family were among the 25,000 Syrian refugees resettled in Canada.  Seba described how as a 12-year old in a small northern Syrian town, she & her family experienced the beginning, & then the progression of war in her country.  Soldiers, policemen & ordinary citizens from different backgrounds initially thought the political & military problems in their capital would be over in a few days, but gradually hostilities grew & freedoms were lost.  As killings & bombings increased, people were unable to work, told to stay home, & eventually had to hide in basements.  Years later, after having fled to neighbouring Jordan, where their activities were restricted, Seba’s family first rejected an offer of resettlement to the USA, then months later accepted Canada’s offer.  Seba feels it is her duty to share her story, & her sense of loss.  She still cannot understand how her peoples’ wealth, diversity & hospitality has been lost to a senseless war.
A Syrian-Canadian Teenager's Story Colin Heggie 2017-12-05 08:00:00Z 0

Community Radio

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 28, 2017
Janet Green hosted Gord Leighton, a self-described “radio junkie,” & President of Vernon Community Radio Society, which aspires to create a new over-the-air FM broadcast, with programming “materially different” from our current private broadcasters & the CBC.  Gord has long experience as a manager and sales manager in private commercial radio, most recently with Sun FM.  He described the evolution of the radio industry, leading to commercialization and homogenous programming.  There are about 200 community stations in Canada, including about 40 in BC – but Vernon is one of the largest remaining populations without one.  Gord & his Directors (including our Dave Weatherill) believe they need about $100,000, plus 4-5 radio professionals, & 50-60 volunteers, to build a viable broadcast, offering our community new voices & new opportunities.
Community Radio Colin Heggie 2017-11-28 08:00:00Z 0

Marty & Judy in South America

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 21, 2017
Marty Armstrong & his wife Judy recently spent several weeks traveling through Ecuador & Peru.  He shared photos of highlights including the Larco Museum in Lima, stone funeral towers (chullpas) near Puno, Uros people on their floating reed islands in Lake Titicaca, the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, & Wiracocha remains at Racchi, etc.  There were numerous photos of blue-footed boobies, iguanas, turtles, seals, & other wonderful animals & birds on the Galapagos Islands.
Marty & Judy in South America Colin Heggie 2017-11-21 08:00:00Z 0

Secondary School Grad Scholarships

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 13, 2017
For many years, Silver Star Rotary has provided modest scholarships to a grad from each of our local schools.
Our scholarship programme has reached another milestone in that the 2017 distribution from our Community Foundation of North Okanagan (CFNO) SS Rotary Education Fund will more than cover our Achievement Awards of 5 x $250 and our 2 x $1250 Scholarships (Fulton and Kal). No top up will be required in 2018. There will be a $4,203.47 distribution and a $453.47 surplus.
To enhance our success with scholarships, I am again inviting members to donate to our CFNO Fund, and I will match the donations made from now until Dec 31st, up to a $2000 total. Your donation cheque of any amount can be made out to the CFNO.  I will collect cheques at our meetings, and deliver them to the CFNO office at the People Place for you.
Thank you for your support of our Scholarship Programme – Jim & Anne-Marie Kanester
Secondary School Grad Scholarships Colin Heggie 2017-11-13 08:00:00Z 0

SilverStar Mountain Resort update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 07, 2017
Dr Craig Goplen hosted Guy Paulson, Winter Sports Manager at SilverStar Mountain Resort.  Guy has been with SilverStar for 35 years, & was inducted in 2013 to the Canadian Ski Instructor’s Alliance National Hall of Fame, for “his significant contribution to the growth of the CSIA on a regional & national scale, and for his lifelong dedication & commitment to skiing & ski teaching.”  He discussed SilverStar’s Master Development Agreement for the mountain; consideration of a resort association & municipality, to improve promotion of the resort; & the recently started replacement of the Summit chair with an eight passenger Doppelmayr gondola, which will eventually be topped by a mountaintop restaurant!  All this is in aid of diversifying year-round mountain activities, to augment skiing, boarding, cross-country & snowshoeing with hiking, mountain biking & “fat biking.”  SilverStar is looking to add to the 3,500 on-mountain pillows, so it’s better able to complement & compete with Sun Peaks’ 15,000 & Big White’s 17,000 pillows.  Craig thanked Guy for SilverStar’s long history of being a good partner & supporter of Vernon, & our Rotary club.   
SilverStar Mountain Resort update Colin Heggie 2017-11-07 08:00:00Z 0

Hallowe'en Dress Up !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 31, 2017
Some of our members just can't resist an opportunity to play "dress up."
Hallowe'en Dress Up ! Colin Heggie 2017-10-31 07:00:00Z 0

BX Ranch Land

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 31, 2017
Bob France hosted Paul Williamson & Ray Ivey, representing the BX/Swan Lake Community Association.  They explained how our N.O. Regional District purchased the last remaining 167 acres of the original BX Ranch in early 2016, for $2.3m.  It’s now being subdivided into two parts – a U-shaped 36 acre parcel, intended as a linear park, to connect BX Ranch Park, Mutrie Park & Black Rock Park: & the remainder, which will be rezoned to an indivisible “Large Holding.”  All of this land is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, & has long been used for agricultural purposes. It includes some wet land.  NORD has resolved to sell the remainder.  The Community Association is hoping to delay the sale for at least two years, while politicians & citizens consider retaining this land in public hands, for use as an “agricultural green space,” or a combination of a working farm & a municipal or regional park.
BX Ranch Land Colin Heggie 2017-10-31 07:00:00Z 0

DG Bill Jenkin visits

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 24, 2017
ADG Bev Rundell hosted our DG Bill Jenkin.  Bill has lived & worked in San Diego & Ramona, California, but now lives in Prosser, WA, on the Yakima River in south central Washington.  He’s a very busy guy!  In the past, he’s worked in the insurance industry, led a school board & chamber of commerce, & been involved with multiple charities.  He’s currently an investment advisor, an owner & promoter in his local wine industry, & a member of his state House of Representatives, as well as our Rotary District 5060 Governor.  His Rotary year theme is “Challenge, Commitment & Change.”  He’s challenged each Rotary President to make at least one meaningful change to their club, & each club to nominate a “change-maker.”  He supports our District strategic plan to focus on membership, our Rotary Foundation, our public image, & improving management structure.  He asks that we all help let people know what we do as Rotarians, including global projects like Polio Plus, our many local projects, and our proven skills in conflict resolution.
DG Bill Jenkin visits Colin Heggie 2017-10-24 07:00:00Z 0

Habitat for Humanity

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 10, 2017
Mike Wardlow hosted Glory Westwell, Chairperson of the Vernon chapter of “Habitat for Humanity.”  In November, three families will move into their lower East Hill homes in a new triplex.  Fundraising precedes building, & each family contributes 500 hours of “sweat equity,” half of which they must supply themselves – the other half may come from others, on their behalf.  Glory says picking recipients is the hardest part of building Habitat homes.  Habitat occupants come in all flavors, but the Vernon group favors those with children.  The Vernon group is partnered with those in Kelowna & Penticton, with administrative expenses largely paid by proceeds from two Kelowna area ReStore outlets, offering new & slightly-used home & garden supplies.
Habitat for Humanity Colin Heggie 2017-10-10 07:00:00Z 0

Vernon's new "Hamlets"

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 19, 2017
Donna Irving hosted Hank Van Ryk (Founder & Director) & Kim McGarvie, of H&H Total Care Services Inc., operators of “The Hamlets at Vernon,” which will welcome new residents beginning this week.  Hank worked as a construction project manager for many years, then moved into geriatric health care.  His company initially managed residential care facilities for other owners, but has now morphed into building & owning care facilities.  The Hamlets, at 3050 29th Ave, is in downtown Vernon.  It has a total of 85 beds, including complex nursing care funded by IHA, plus assisted living on the two upper floors.  Another eight storey building, for independent living, will be added to the site.  The complex care beds are in pods, or “hamlets” of 16 to 18 rooms, each with its own dining area & staff, dedicated to different needs, for dementia, head injuries, etc.  Kim described the facilities, activities, & how it’s important to their mission that all residents consider The Hamlets their home.
Vernon's new "Hamlets" Colin Heggie 2017-09-19 07:00:00Z 0

Lt. Stefan Reid

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 22, 2017
Lt Stephan Reid delivered his vocational talk, telling us he was raised in Newfoundland, followed by several years as a security guard, ambulance paramedic & firefighter in Fort McMurray.  After shorter periods in Edmonton & Winnipeg, he & his wife Tinisha, along with their now six-year old daughter, came to Vernon.  Stephan & his wife are the corps officers for the Salvation Army Vernon, which is best known for operating our local food bank, serving almost 2,100 households this year.  Other services include community & family services, two thrift stores, a food distribution warehouse, church services, youth & senior outreach ministries, plus emergency & disaster services.  With a $1.5m annual budget, 34 employees, & many dozens of volunteers, our Salvation Army Vernon will be celebrating 111 years of service over the Sep 8th to 10th weekend. 
Lt. Stefan Reid Colin Heggie 2017-08-22 07:00:00Z 0

Emergency Preparedness

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 15, 2017
Diane Williamson (L) joined Charlene Silvester for a timely talk about emergency preparedness.  Being prepared is the key to a smooth & less painful evacuation from our homes, in times of fire, flood, earthquake, or other disaster.  Everyone, & particularly those with only one route away from their home or business, should have an evacuation plan, plus agreed protocols with their family for mustering & communication.  In a major event, we cannot assume landlines or cellphones will work.  We should all have emergency supplies or kits in our homes & offices, including provisions for pets.  For evacuations, we should have a ready list of what to grab on the way out the door – those best prepared will have essential items in bins ready to throw in their vehicle(s).  A “central file,” or binder, &/or off-site (cloud) backup of important papers, including records of financial accounts, passwords, wills, medical records, contacts, etc., is invaluable.  Go to Prepared BC, or St John Ambulance for advice & supplies for planning how to cope in emergencies.
Emergency Preparedness Colin Heggie 2017-08-15 07:00:00Z 0

Dental Access Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 25, 2017
Jim Kanester organized our July 25th meeting at the Community Dental Access Centre, 3107C 31st Ave.  Our host was former SSR member Dr Vic Lepp, a Past President & retired orthodontist, who maintains an interest in our club.  The Dental Access Centre has four operatories & is staffed mostly by volunteer dental professionals who donate their time, supplemented by a few part-time paid professionals.  The Centre opened in late 2011.  Last year, it served almost 2,100 low-income patients, most of whom would otherwise not have been able to obtain dental care.  A variety of discounts, dependent upon family income, are offered.  Vic, his Board of Directors, & volunteers, have done wonders to build, equip & maintain this valuable resource, finding super deals on good used equipment, collecting donations, & qualifying for BC Gaming Grants.  The cost of dental care, due to improved technology & other factors, has risen far beyond the rate of most of other goods & services, so the ability of low-income folks to get care at market prices is seriously eroded.  The pain & overall health cost of untreated dental issues can be very high, so having our Dental Centre is a huge asset to our community.
Dental Access Centre Colin Heggie 2017-07-25 07:00:00Z 0

A Case for "Nutcases"

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 11, 2017
Rob Irving hosted Mona Hennenfent (CEO) & Magda Kapp (Dir of Communications & Prevention Services) for Kelowna’s BrainTrust Canada ( ), a non-profit whose mission is to educate about brain injuries, serve those affected, & reduce preventable brain injuries, especially among youth.  The prevalence & cost of brain injuries is extremely high, but many injuries can be prevented or minimized through use of good quality helmets.  BrainTrust receives a variety of great "Nutcase" helmets at a substantial discount from the manufacturer, & is asking our club to help underwrite their cost for youth who cannot afford them.  Vernon’s Community Safety Coordinator, Rachael Zubick, accompanied Mona & Magda.  She helps run their Vernon program, & encouraged us to participate in funding helmets.  Above left, Ken Barton won the draw for a Nutcase helmet -- he's shown with Mona, Rachael, Magda & President Geordie.
A Case for "Nutcases" Colin Heggie 2017-07-11 07:00:00Z 0

The Million Dollar Bus Project

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 04, 2017
Dave Weatherill hosted Ryan Lancaster, an Okanagan College business graduate and Enactus alumni, who has recently founded “The Million Dollar Bus Project,” to “find & fund incredible, unknown community passion projects across Canada,” in “social, environmental, agricultural, artistic, health/sport, entrepreneurial, cultural & trades” categories.  Money donated to the Project will be recycled back to various passion projects;  businesses & organizations are encouraged to purchase advertising by the square inch, which will be displayed on the bus; social media will complement the bus graphics.  A founding Kelowna passion project is Okanagan Makerspace – a facility where anyone can come to do projects, learn to use tools, or develop their ideas.
The Million Dollar Bus Project Colin Heggie 2017-07-04 07:00:00Z 0

Monitoring Hummingbirds in the North Okanagan

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 06, 2017
Louise Breneman spoke on behalf of a local group of hummingbird banders – these folks capture, identify, weigh & record details about these important pollinators, then place tiny numbered bands on them, which allow a monitoring network to track their movements upon recapture.  Here in the North Okanagan, we have Black-chinned, Calliope & Rufous, plus a few Anna's have recently been seen.  There are monitoring sites in Lumby, Vernon & Westside.  The purpose of this work is to collect data on species migration, return rates, reproductive success & population growth or decline.  Concerns include the impacts of climate change, loss of habitat, & toxins from agricultural sprays, etc.  Our local banders are working under the supervision of a Victoria, BC biologist, and receive financial support, for equipment, etc., from our North Okanagan Naturalists Club.  Louise came with some really beautiful pictures of these fascinating tiny creatures, & described how they’re handled, & how tail feathers are key to species identification.
Monitoring Hummingbirds in the North Okanagan Colin Heggie 2017-06-06 07:00:00Z 0

"Lunch for Learners" in Arusha, Tanzania

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 30, 2017
Janet Green welcomed back UBCO anthropologist Dr Sandra Peacock & her Arusha, Tanzania based Vijiji Foundation partner, Amos Meyasi, for a progress update on the Moivaru School “Lunch for Learners” project.  In late 2014, our club donated money to help build new school washrooms.  In 2016, with a matching District Grant, our club donated more money to fund a kitchen, food storage area & covered dining area, where many of the school’s 1,000 students in Grades 1 to 7 may receive lunches.  Many of the students’ parents, typically subsistence farmers, are unable to pay cash for lunches, but willingly donate maize or other produce “in kind,” which directly supports the lunch program.  Once a final design is government approved, Amos believes the construction could be completed in under two months.  A clay-built wood-burning stove will be installed – electricity is unreliable, & therefore a poor choice for cooking. 
"Lunch for Learners" in Arusha, Tanzania Colin Heggie 2017-05-30 07:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Rail Trail Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 23, 2017
Dr Craig Goplen hosted Okanagan College economist Brad Clements for an update on the Okanagan Rail Trail.  Though the trail is not yet open or completed, lots of people are already using it, and there’s lots of support pouring in.  Last Tuesday was the first anniversary of the financial campaign.  There are 35 “trail ambassadors,” 16 campaign partners (including our club), 39 business partners, & over 3,500 individual donors so far! Over 60% of the $7.8m fund-raising goal has been collected.  Brad reported that municipal, regional district & First Nations partners have recently arranged for purchase of the abandoned CP Rail corridor north of Armstrong to Sicamous.  This is a huge step toward the eventual linking of a 260km rail trail from Sicamous to Osoyoos!
Okanagan Rail Trail Update Colin Heggie 2017-05-23 07:00:00Z 0

CMHA in Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 16, 2017
Cassandra Schwarz was our Queen Silver Star candidate in 2002.  She’s now a well-educated young lady, working as “Community Engagement & Fund Development Officer” for our local Canadian Mental Health Association.  Each CMHA office is independent, & runs their own programs.  Ours started in 1959, & now has a wide variety of programs supported by 76 staff & 30 volunteers.  Cassandra distinguished between mental health & mental illness, explaining most us move through our lives on a continuum – 1 in 5 of us will have a mental illness, & 1 in 3 are presently having a mental “issue” of some kind at any given time.  Unfortunately, 2 out of 3 of us will not seek help for our troubling issues.  Various stigmas prevent us from seeking or accepting help.  Cassandra talked about risk factors, & a couple of fund-raising initiatives to support local programs.  Of particular interest is their “Super Saturday” program for children of those dealing with mental health issues.  
CMHA in Vernon Colin Heggie 2017-05-16 07:00:00Z 0

Wildlife with Pete Wise

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 18, 2017
Bev Rundell hosted well-known Vernon Wildlife Control Specialist Pete Wise, who spoke about numerous critters that keep him busy.  Deer kill more people in North America than any other animal.  Of course, people kill a lot of deer, too, and the carnage usually involves a highway & a vehicle.  In the Vernon area, Pete deals with an average of 15 – 20 deer per month.  He also catches about 1,000 marmots per year, relocating those he’s able.  He says anywhere we have flowing water, we also have beaver, which are difficult to deal with, as they suffer an 85% mortality rate upon relocation.  He reminded us that feeding pets outside often feeds wildlife as well, & that we’re well-advised to stock our birdfeeders (except hummingbirds) only through the winter.  Open composts attract rats & raccoons – the latter posing a threat through their droppings, which spread roundworms.  In addition to his wildlife control, Pete is also known for having recently celebrated 50 years of search and rescue work.   
Wildlife with Pete Wise Colin Heggie 2017-04-18 07:00:00Z 0

Marty & Judy in Costa Rica

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 07, 2017
No, that’s not Marty in the picture.  In Jan 2017, Marty & Judy visited Costa Rica.  From the capital, San Jose, they took a Pachira Lodge tour of Tortuguero National Park, including boat trips in & out, to see sloths, howler monkeys, iguanas, ants, hummingbirds, toucans & a variety of flora & fauna.  The Volcano at La Fortuna was next, followed by a Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve hike, which included hanging bridges, crocodiles, hawks, monkeys, & a coffee plantation tour.  There are lots of options for tourists to design their own programmes, selecting from a variety of destinations, including both Pacific & Caribbean coasts.
Marty & Judy in Costa Rica Colin Heggie 2017-03-07 08:00:00Z 0

Vocational Talk by Gillian Canniff

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 28, 2017
Gillian Canniff joined our club in Nov 2016.  She was born in Calgary, then moved to Springbank.  Her childhood included downhill skiing, several other sports, show jumping (horses, that is), choir, building a barn, caring for a menagerie which included a Sardinian donkey, & helping her family host youth exchange students.  Upon high school graduation, she survived a challenging exchange year in Greece, then took a degree in English through studies at Mt Royal College, U of Lethbridge & U of Calgary.  This was punctuated by work with disabled skiers, Alberta Youth Choir, pony club & ongoing orientations of outgoing exchange students.  Following travels in Spain, London & Egypt, Gillian took a job with a Calgary law firm, beginning as a mail clerk, & finishing as a qualified para-legal.  Next came a law degree, with involvement in trial advocacy, corporate, personal injury & family law, through stops in the Fraser Valley, Lake Country & arrival in Vernon two years ago.  She now has her own law firm.  Though Gillian only joined Rotary a short time ago, she’s had many years of experience coordinating outgoing RYES orientations, & believes this work has colored every aspect of her life, including her joy in helping clients from different backgrounds & cultures work through both the best & worst times of their lives.
Vocational Talk by Gillian Canniff Colin Heggie 2017-02-28 08:00:00Z 0

2017 Vernon & Area 55+ Games

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 21, 2017
Bev Rundell hosted Wee Yee, President of the (Sep 12th to 16th) 2017 Vernon & Area 55+ Games.  A retired electrical engineer & project manager in Calgary’s oil & gas sector, with over 20 years of volunteer & Board experience with the Calgary Stampede, plus a recent stint as Funtastic’s Executive Director, this affable gentleman is eminently qualified to lead 1,200 volunteers through hosting 3,500 participants.  He noted the 2017 55+ Games started here in Vernon thirty years ago, so this anniversary may be celebrated alongside Vernon’s 125th & Canada’s 150th birthdays!  With a $400k+ budget, & a local economic impact of over  $3.5m, this event is a big deal.  Wee has a team of 12 Directors, each with a portfolio of responsibilities, & a support team of their own.  Plans include open & closing ceremonies, plus two dances – alcohol may be involved.  Club members were invited to consider joining the volunteer ranks.  
2017 Vernon & Area 55+ Games Colin Heggie 2017-02-21 08:00:00Z 0

Offsite at Wayside

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 14, 2017
Neil Perry, PE of Kal Rotary, hosted our club at his “Wayside” operation.  Neil began working 29 years ago for Vernon’s “Wayside Press,” established by the Bartholomew family in 1921.  Along with co-worker Richard Finn, he purchased the company in 2007.  Now diversified into signs, displays & responsive marketing, as well as complex printing, the company has 60 employees & offers a wide variety of services.  With a $2.2m six color press, 2 flatbed printers, digital printers, CNC cutters, many other sophisticated technologies, & talented, resourceful staff, they produce everything from simple business cards to 9m pieces annually of direct mail for clients including Chrysler, Ford, Kal Tire & Tolko, plus a long list of other local & international clients.
Offsite at Wayside Colin Heggie 2017-02-14 08:00:00Z 0

Students & Addictions

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 16, 2017
Bev Rundell hosted Doug Rogers, SD22’s long-time “Substance Abuse & Prevention Counsellor.”  He’s both a teacher & certified drug counsellor, seeing up to 300 students per year.  He creates “therapeutic alliances” between students, teachers, administrators & parents, looking to educate & foster good choices.  He believes rules, trust & testing are all key to successful harm reduction, & sees himself as a salesman for setting & achieving goals.  He regularly asks “What are you doing now to reach your goal?”  
Students & Addictions Colin Heggie 2017-01-16 08:00:00Z 0

Overcoming Personal Challenges

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 02, 2017
Dave Weatherill thanked Chelaine McInroy for her inspiring talk about overcoming personal obstacles.  An Armstrong “farm girl,” she competed at a high level in downhill skiing & rodeo sports, in addition to pursuing a country singing & song-writing career.  She was also taking a welding course, so she had a vocation to help support her passions.  Chelaine cut her foot on a Mexican beach a couple of years ago.  Treatment for a lingering infection was unsuccessful, & 18 months later, she underwent an amputation.  She’s now being supported by a crowd-funding effort to help supply her with an athletic-grade prosthetic leg.  Her real interest, though, is to find a way to inspire & help others to overcome major life hurdles.
Overcoming Personal Challenges Colin Heggie 2017-01-02 08:00:00Z 0

Pickleball for All

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 05, 2016
Paul Philps hosted Don Friesen, a member of the Vernon Pickleball Association.  Pickleball is one of North America’s fastest growing sports.  It’s an easy game to learn & to play proficiently.  It’s less stressful on aging body parts than tennis or other racquet sports.  Because play is in segments of typically 15 to 20 minutes, with breaks between sets, pickleball is very social.  VPA has grown within about five years to over 330 members.  The club is anxious to have their own dedicated courts, which are about one third the size of a tennis court.  The City of Vernon has offered a site for twelve courts, on the east side of the covered soccer facility at Marshall Fields, & VPA is now fund-raising to build their new facility, which they hope will be completed in time for the Fall 2017 BC Seniors Games.
Pickleball for All Colin Heggie 2016-12-06 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Charlene Silvester

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 28, 2016
Charlene Silvester was inducted as a new member by Dave Weatherill & Dan Rieb.  She grew up in Vernon, graduated from VSS, worked in our local tourism sector for several years, then earned a B.Ed from UVic.  Following a short teaching career, she returned to Vernon & worked as a notary assistant.  After completing the two-year Notary Public preparatory course, she was commissioned in the Supreme Court of BC as a Notary Public in May 2009, & now runs her own practice.  Charlene likes movies, gardening & travel, particularly where wine tasting is involved!  She’s also involved with Women in Business, Downtown Vernon Association & our Chamber of Commerce.
New Member Charlene Silvester Colin Heggie 2016-11-29 00:00:00Z 0

Diagnosing FASD in BC's Interior

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 28, 2016
Bernadette O’Donnell, Director of the “Spec-Team Assessment Society,” is seeking funding for the specialized training of multi-disciplinary FASD assessment teams in the interior of BC. The training will enable them to assess & diagnose youth & adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).  BC is well behind other provinces in recognizing & treating permanent brain damage caused by FASD.  Low skills in literacy, numeracy & social interactions limit FASD sufferers from leading functional lives.  These folks are innocent victims, vastly over-represented among our First Nations, homeless, impoverished & prison populations.  An important first step in addressing adult FASD is measuring the problem through accurate diagnoses and follow up supports.
Diagnosing FASD in BC's Interior Colin Heggie 2016-11-29 00:00:00Z 0

New member Gillian Canniff

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 21, 2016
Membership Director Dave Weatherill & President-Elect Geordie McLennan inducted new member Gillian Canniff.  She was born near Calgary & earned a BA from U of C, a Paralegal Diploma from SAIT, & her law degree from the U of Saskatchewan.  She articled and worked in the Lower Mainland.  In 2011 Gillian moved to the Okanagan and started practice with Davidson Lawyers LLP.  In June of 2016 she opened her own firm, Canniff Law. Gillian likes horses & singing, helped educate paralegals, is a past disabled skiing instructor, & as a non-member of Rotary, oriented outgoing RYES for District 5060’s Youth Exchange Committee. 
New member Gillian Canniff Colin Heggie 2016-11-22 00:00:00Z 0

Kal Rotary's Incoming 2016-17 RYES

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 21, 2016
Our President-Elect Geordie McLennan, who also serves as our Rotary Youth Exchange Coordinator, introduced the Kalamalka Rotary Club’s 2016-17 Incoming RYES, Louise Lagasse, from Ciney, Belgium.  Louise explained Ciney is a small village about an hour southeast of Brussels, in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium.  She lives there with her mother & two older brothers.  She’s finding school here quite easy.  She speaks English effortlessly, & seems quite outgoing.
Kal Rotary's Incoming 2016-17 RYES Colin Heggie 2016-11-22 00:00:00Z 0

Johanna Gronlund's RYES Year

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 04, 2016
Johanna Grönlund, our incoming Rotary Youth Exchange Student (RYES) for 2015-16, comes from Sweden.  She arrived Aug 14th, 2015, following a grueling flight through Chicago & Seattle, & will be leaving next week.  Her parents arrive shortly & will take her to Calgary before heading home.  Johanna believes this was both the best & worst year of her life – coping with homesickness, & missing the birth of her god-daughter, but also making many new friends.  She got very involved in WL Seaton’s theatre program, enjoyed being a gypsy for Halloween, made the “Honor Choir,” had a family dog for the first time, & really appreciated her host sister Lakin.  She believes social media will keep her close to her many new RYES friends from all over the world, & leaves us with many thanks for a wonderful year.  “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to leave sight of the shore!”  Our club owes a big round of thanks to Geordie & his family, who really took Johanna under their wings.
Johanna Gronlund's RYES Year Colin Heggie 2016-07-05 00:00:00Z 0

New Prez ! New Member !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 27, 2016
Martin von Holst began his term as 2016-17 Club President with a photo montage background on the projector & new RI President John Germ’s “Rotary Serving Humanity” banner draped from the lectern.  He presented Paul Philps with his new Director pin – Dan Rieb had received his at our Celebrate Rotary! event last week.  At their first Directors’ meeting next week, Martin & his crew will assign duties amongst themselves.
New member Chris Hart is inducted by Membership Director Dave Weatherill.  This impressive young man has a list of interests & accomplishments long enough to exhaust most of us.  Let’s just say he seems quite smart & rather outdoorsy!
Dave also reminded members of the adventures he & Joanne had in India a few years ago, as part of 40-something members of District 5060 participating in an “End Polio Now” National Immunization Day.  
New Prez ! New Member ! Colin Heggie 2016-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

Celebrate Rotary!

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 20, 2016
President Bev Rundell welcomed 20 members, 11 spouses, 1 visiting Rotarian & 14 other guests, including many past members.  Keith Johnston presented Paul Harris Foundation (PHF) awards to Geordie McLennan, Bev Rundell & Jim Kanester.  Bev presented membership milestone tabs to Sandra Ross (absent Wendy Hesketh) for 5 years, Bob Clarke, Janet Green, Colin Heggie & Martin von Holst for 10, Marty Armstrong, Givonna De Bruin & Leigh Hewer for 15, (absent Rob Irving for 20), Michael Wardlow for 25, & Ken Barton for 30 years.  Retiring Club Directors Colin Heggie, Dave Hoyte, Keith Johnston, Jim Kanester & Sandra Ross were thanked for their service, while new Directors Teresa Bartel, (absent Paul Philps) & Dan Rieb received their pins.  Bev then inducted our 2016-17 Directors, including President Martin von Holst & President Elect Geordie McLennan.  Past members Ron Burnham, Peter Dubetz, Sandie Glennie, Vic Lepp, Keray Regan, Keith Rydings, Dennis Windsor & Greg Wylie each spoke briefly, including comments about the friendships, laughs & community contributions they enjoyed during their tenures.  The picture above shows L-R Ken Barton, past member Keray Regan, Sandra Ross, Leigh Hewer, Janet Green, Martin von Holst, Michael Wardlow, Givonna De Bruin, Marty Armstrong, Bob Clarke & Colin Heggie.
Celebrate Rotary! Colin Heggie 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Backyard Vineyards

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 20, 2016
Colin Hamilton, manager of the Village Green Liquor Store, presented our Celebrate Rotary! evening with four wines from Langley, BC’s Backyard Vineyards -- Nosy Neighbour White, paired with two cheeses; Pinot Noir Rose with a margherita pizza; Cabernet Sauvignon with a mini steak sandwich; & Cabernet Franc with dark chocolate & blueberries.  Though Bev Rundell was disappointed not to receive a margarita pizza, everyone else was very happy with these delicious selections.  Colin told us that the Okanagan Valley is the most developed, but not the only BC wine growing region.  BC now has 10,260 acres planted in 929 vineyards, supplying 255 wineries.  Total BC wine production has grown from 4.9 million litres in 1995 to 21.4 million in 2015!  Sandra Ross has conducted exhaustive research, concluding that our VG Liquor Store has the best selection of BC wines in Vernon!
Backyard Vineyards Colin Heggie 2016-06-21 00:00:00Z 0

Drew Vincent -- Attracting Young Okanagan Professionals

Posted by Dave Weatherill on Jun 13, 2016
Drew Vincent, a graduate of Okanagan College & entrepreneurial / social justice organization “Enactus,” now heads “Okanagan Young Professionals”(OYP), a program owned by the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC). OYP’s core mandate is to connect young professionals to personal and professional opportunities – addressing a need for 75,000 new skilled workers in the Okanagan by 2020.  Their activities include connections, events, resources, recruiting & recommendations.
Drew Vincent -- Attracting Young Okanagan Professionals Dave Weatherill 2016-06-14 00:00:00Z 0

Summer Festival Society

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 06, 2016
Mike Wardlow hosted Diane Bond, Kelowna based founding & Managing Director of the Okanagan Summer Festival Society.  Her background includes MA & MBA degrees, extensive work with high profile arts & performance organizations, founding a direct mail & internet business, & consulting on organizational planning, recruitment & marketing.  Her vision is to build an outdoor performance venue in the Okanagan, capable of attracting big-name orchestras, musicians, theatre companies, dance troupes & other performers.  She used the Bravo! Vail facility as a model for discussion.  Though the Okanagan College site in Coldstream has been recently rejected by our provincial government, her group will continue to seek a suitable site.  Her extensive background, ambition & contacts lead us to believe we’ll soon hear more about this exciting concept.
Summer Festival Society Colin Heggie 2016-06-07 00:00:00Z 0

Vernon Winter Carnival Society

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 30, 2016
Martin von Holst hosted White House Mortgage’s Deb White, who chairs the Vernon Winter Carnival Society.  Though early winter carnivals were recorded in 1893 & 1945, it was 1961 when VWCS formed, beginning a continuous history of events.  Early carnivals were associated with minor hockey jamborees, speed skating races, the Vernon Girls’ Trumpet Band, alpine skiing championships, ski jumping & curling briers.  1966 saw the introduction of Carnival jester Jopo & a Sheriff, who was later named a Karnival Kop.  Jopette arrived in 1971.  Since 1961, about 650 young ladies have been Queen Silver Star candidates.  VWCS relies on about 700 volunteers contributing 10,000 hours per year.  There are a mix of about 90 events, sponsored by VWCS, other non-profits & businesses.  For 2017, the theme will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
Vernon Winter Carnival Society Colin Heggie 2016-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

Udai Singha's Vocational Talk

Posted by Leigh Hewer on May 23, 2016
In his vocational talk, new member Udai Singha told how he was born in Ontario, then as a baby was moved back to India with his family.  He completed undergraduate & law degrees.  After practicing law for a couple of years, he uprooted himself & moved to Vancouver on his own, not knowing anyone there.  Finding his Indian law degree unrecognized in Canada, he quickly found work at a Honda dealership, beginning with washing cars.  A weekend trip to the Falkland Stampede led to a meeting at Bannister Honda, where he must have impressed GM Pat Loehndorf.  Soon, he was Bannister’s top salesman.  Online, Udai met Toronto actuary Puneet Dhillon, who was convinced to come here in winter 2014.  Udai & Puneet went to India last month, where they were married in a traditional ceremony.  
Udai Singha's Vocational Talk Leigh Hewer 2016-05-24 00:00:00Z 0

New "Corporate" Member

Posted by Leigh Hewer on May 16, 2016
Puneet Dhillon watched her new husband, Udai Singha, inducted by Dave Weatherill as our first "corporate" member.  Udai was sponsored by Pat Loehndorf, of Bannister Honda, who recently transferred to Kalamalka Rotary Club.  Following inductions, President Bev Rundell spoke about the recent District Conference in Yakima, WA.
New "Corporate" Member Leigh Hewer 2016-05-17 00:00:00Z 0

New "Family" Member

Posted by Leigh Hewer on May 16, 2016
Rob Irving (L) sponsored his wife Donna as our club's first "family" member;  President Bev Rundell congratulates her.
New "Family" Member Leigh Hewer 2016-05-17 00:00:00Z 0

Public Market for Vernon ?

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 09, 2016
Dan Rieb arranged our meeting at Ratio Coffee, in the old train station at 3101 29th St.  His purpose was to present his vision of a public market, using this historic building, plus its sister building to the north, & the easterly half acre lot which makes up one third of the City’s old Coldstream Hotel lot to the west.  The City’s Official Community Plan, & at least a couple of business development studies, mention a public market as a desirable feature of a dynamic downtown.  The benefits of a market, particularly in a central location surrounded by workers with good jobs, are obvious.  Dan & his group of investors have a plan to purchase the two train station buildings, join them with an atrium, retain anchor tenants at each end, redevelop the interior space to market use, & operate a management company.  They have yet to obtain support of the City in leasing the portion of their property needed to make this plan work.  Members with questions or comments about this proposal are invited to contact Dan.
Public Market for Vernon ? Colin Heggie 2016-05-10 00:00:00Z 0

Paul's Story

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 02, 2016

New member Paul Philps told us he was born in Richmond, BC, but grew up in Leduc & Edmonton, AB, following his father’s career as a pastor.  He obtained a degree in Education, with specialties in Social Studies & Physical Education, but unfortunately his graduation coincided with a period where Alberta laid off 1,700 teachers.  Paul found work making mattresses for Sealy, & was quickly promoted to lead a crew of 50 people.  At age 21, he lost his mother to cancer, & moved to Vancouver, where he got into print sales & sang in a band for several years.  He then began accountancy courses, & at age 30 set out to South Korea for a teaching job.  Due to visa problems, this job didn’t work out, but he continued his travels to Japan, Australia, New Zealand & China.  Upon returning home to the Vancouver area, he met & soon married Heather.  After a couple of years in Surrey, & earning his CPA, Paul & Heather moved to her hometown – Vernon, where he found work with RBC Dominion Securities.  Their second child was born just a few weeks ago.  In addition to Rotary, Paul is involved with JCI & enjoys public speaking competitions.

Paul's Story Colin Heggie 2016-05-03 00:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Rail Trail Update

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 25, 2016
Don Miller (C) hosted Brad Clements (L) & Dwayne Thomson’s description of plans for the Okanagan Rail Trail.  The City of Kelowna, Lake Country, Greater Vernon & the Okanagan Indian Band have established an Inter-Jurisdictional Team (IDT) to design & build the trail, following a series of community input sessions.  CN has yet to complete removal of ties, & will remain responsible for environmental cleanups.  The Central Okanagan Foundation & Community Foundation of the North Okanagan will collect, hold & receipt donations.  Construction of the trail will occur in phases, dependent upon donations.  The cost to build the 48km trail, including a 4.6m wide compacted crushed aggregate surface, drainage, basic signage, access control, upgraded crossings & finance charges, is expected to be about $7.9m.  This doesn’t include parking or washrooms.  Trail Ambassadors, Campaign Partners & Business Partners will be sought to provide volunteers, fundraising & in-kind donations.  The trail is expected to be busiest during spring & fall shoulder seasons, enhancing our valley tourist industry.  There hundreds of rail trails all over the world, but few with the length & scenery offered by the Okanagan.
Okanagan Rail Trail Update Colin Heggie 2016-04-26 00:00:00Z 0

Paddling for Fun & Exercise

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 18, 2016
Geordie McLennan hosted Scott McKenzie of the Vernon Paddling Centre Society, located at Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake.  VPCS is a non-profit organization promoting safe & skillful paddling.  Affordable memberships include unlimited use of club boats, with optional boat storage.  “Drop-ins” are also available, & new paddlers are always welcome.  The club owns outrigger canoes for one, two & six paddlers, plus standup paddleboards, canoes & surfskis.  They have an active coaching & racing program, & participate in group paddles & races both in & outside BC.  There’s also a social program including year-round events.
Paddling for Fun & Exercise Colin Heggie 2016-04-19 00:00:00Z 0

CFUW hosts Eco-Friendly Home Tour

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 11, 2016
Dan Rieb hosted Frances Warner, a retired urban planner, (shown with her architect husband Doug) who spoke on behalf of the Vernon chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW).  Aside from the learning & entertainment at their regular meetings, these ladies fundraise to support local literacy, the Women’s Transition House Society, Capsule College & other charities.  At 7pm on Fri, May 6th, at OC’s Lecture Theatre, they’re hosting three speakers to discuss “Tomorrow’s Homes – Efficient By Design,” followed Sat, May 7th by their third annual “Eco-friendly Home Tour” of three super-efficient local homes, plus the new Kal Tire office building.  Designed & built to minimize energy needs, some structures are now able to produce more energy than they consume, while enjoying a much cleaner & more natural interior environment.    
CFUW hosts Eco-Friendly Home Tour Colin Heggie 2016-04-12 00:00:00Z 0

Offsite @ Olive Us Oils

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 04, 2016
Our Tue, Apr 5th breakfast meeting was replaced by an early evening social event at Olive Us Oils in downtown Vernon.  19 guests, including 5 spouses joined our members for an overview of Rotary, & description of our clubs’ contribution to the community.  Wine and appies were enjoyed during a social time, followed by tastings of delicious extra virgin olive oils & vinegars, infused with a wide variety of flavours.  From Ray Morin & his “foodie” daughter Bailey, we learned that both white & dark balsamic vinegars come from trebbiano grapes, the latter being aged longer, using wood barrels.  Several of our members engaged fully in the opportunity to sample many of the delicious combinations of oil & vinegar!
Offsite @ Olive Us Oils Colin Heggie 2016-04-05 00:00:00Z 0

Vernon Fire & Rescue Services Chief Keith Green

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 28, 2016
Jim Kanester hosted Vernon Fire & Rescue Services’ 15th Chief, Keith Green, who spoke about their upcoming Sat, May 7th celebration of their 125th anniversary.  The Vernon Fire Brigade was formed in 1891.  The first firehall was where Marten Brewpub is presently located.  Their first fire truck was a used unit purchased for $150. In 1894, they had supplies valued at $888, & installed a large bell in the hall’s tower, at a cost of $176.  Chief Green aims to have this old bell re-installed at the hall in early May.  Our current firehall opened, along with our City Hall, old library & museum complex, in 1966.  Firehall #2 is at Okanagan Landing, & #3 recently opened at Predator Ridge.  Engine #1 was purchased about 2012 for about $800,000, & the nearly 25 year old 105ft aerial truck will soon be replaced at a cost of over $1m.
Vernon Fire & Rescue Services Chief Keith Green Colin Heggie 2016-03-29 00:00:00Z 0

Barrita is Business Person of 2016 !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 22, 2016
Our lovely Barrita Durward, owner/operator of Cotton’s Chocolates, was chosen March 7th as “2016 Business Person of the Year” at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.  Sponsored by Kal Tire, this award recognizes her 20 years of success as a chocolatier, plus her contributions not just to our community, but also her continuing support of Mexican orphans through her “Sweet Smiles” charity.
Barrita is Business Person of 2016 ! Colin Heggie 2016-03-23 00:00:00Z 0

Incoming RI President at PETS

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 21, 2016
Keith Johnston presented a video of incoming RI President John Germ, speaking to Presidents Elect & ADGs Elect at a recent Seattle President Elect Training Seminar event.  He asked “How Are You Going To Spend The Rest Of Your Life?” & suggested Rotarians should engage themselves, & prospective members, in using their talents to make their communities, & the world, a better place.  John believes local Rotary club Presidents have the most influence on Rotary – where the work gets done.  Both current & prospective Rotarians ask “What’s In It For Me?” & need ways to feel engaged in the work of building community.  By setting goals, Presidents can give members that opportunity.  Clubs need to respond to the need for a diversity of ways, in addition to traditional meetings, where members can meet their needs, while contributing meaningfully to making their community better.  
Incoming RI President at PETS Colin Heggie 2016-03-22 00:00:00Z 0

Helicopter Rescues by Vernon SAR

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 14, 2016
Rob Irving thanks Don Blakely & Jeremy Griffiths of Vernon Search & Rescue.  They last spoke to us in Jan 2012.  As one of 80 BC SAR units, they’re the 8th busiest, & one of the most capable.  In 2015, they executed 58 rescues, including 13 with a helicopter.  In 2012, we donated $5,000 for training of their helicopter winch rescue volunteers.  They now have highly trained in-flight & ground crews, combined with an exceptionally well-equipped aircraft, performing a wide range of rescue operations.  West Kelowna’s Wildcat Helicopters, in partnership with Emergency Management BC, maintains a dedicated winch-equipped Bell 412, with a break-apart stretcher, advanced secure radios, & a special heating system for hypothermia victims.  Patients are now able to be transported directly to hospital.  Vernon has the first volunteer BC SAR unit using a winch-equipped helicopter, which greatly expands the chances of survival for outdoor adventure enthusiasts, motorists & other accident victims in remote locations throughout southern BC.
Helicopter Rescues by Vernon SAR Colin Heggie 2016-03-15 00:00:00Z 0

Questions for our Mayor

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 07, 2016
Dave Hoyte hosted Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund for a question & answer period.  Topics included our Official Community Plan – not currently a hot topic; airport expansion – a new federal MoT standard means we have until Sep 2017 to begin a runway extension to accommodate larger executive jets, for companies like Kal Tire, which provide a substantial portion of our airport’s revenue through fuel sales;  new larger buildings downtown – 6, 8 & 10 storey buildings are in the pipeline, dependent upon developers’ confidence in a market for downtown condos; a bike & pedestrian path extension from Polson Park to Kal Lake;  provision of parking near Kal Beach, for anticipated users of the new rail trail; western bypass route – Mayor Mund doesn’t believe it will happen, as the provincial MoT doesn’t see it as a priority, & as the primary funder, would determine the scope of the project & route; water rates – comparisons with Kelowna’s lower rates will change when Kelowna begins planned major upgrades to their system; “greening” & clean-up of property – the City doesn’t have the power to dictate how owners maintain their private property.  
Questions for our Mayor Colin Heggie 2016-03-08 00:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army Vernon's "House of Hope"

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 29, 2016
The Salvation Army Vernon’s Corp Officers, Captains Ray Lamont & Curtis Plante, hosted by Leigh Hewer, explained how increasing demands for food bank & social resources over the past decade, combined with decreasing resources, led to a need for numerous structural & personnel changes, aimed at sustainable operations.  They now have fewer employees, but more with full time jobs with benefits.  Clients looking for food are now regularly interviewed by trained caseworkers, to ensure they meet eligibility criteria, & to address underlying issues, provide referrals & reduce or eliminate their dependence.  A variety of programs are designed to address childrens’ needs, stressed parents & lonely individuals, etc.  Vernon’s “House of Hope” is now in a better financial position to offer more people more meaningful help, but their ultimate goal is to help build a community where their help isn’t needed.   
Salvation Army Vernon's "House of Hope" Colin Heggie 2016-03-01 00:00:00Z 0

Wendy explores Bolivia with Lukas

Posted by Teresa Bartel on Feb 22, 2016
Wendy Hesketh talked about her Oct 2015 trip to Bolivia, with her husband Al, our 2011-12 RYES Lukki (now Lukas) and a group of Germans organized by Lukas' father.  She showed us beautiful pictures of the country.  There was no green grass and it was a very high altitude country.  The hiking was very, very, very long but they saw some amazing places.  The height on one mountain was 6,020 metres.  Wendy suffered some days of sickness but explained that when she chewed the Coca Leaf or drank that tea she felt better.  One day they experienced howling winds, lost their guide over an edge and had Alpaca's running in their group.  They saw Lake Titicaca and lots of Islands.  It sounded like a well organized tour but much harder than expected.
Wendy explores Bolivia with Lukas Teresa Bartel 2016-02-23 00:00:00Z 0

Scholarship Recipient Tess

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 15, 2016
Jim Kanester, our Scholarship Coordinator, hosted Vernon Secondary School grad Tess Emily Depres, now a UBCO sciences student, who thanked us for our contribution to her education costs.  Unlike many of us Rotarians, who could earn enough in a month’s summer job to pay our post-secondary tuition fees, students today struggle to pay about $5,000 in tuition, plus another $1,000 for books.
Scholarship Recipient Tess Colin Heggie 2016-02-16 00:00:00Z 0

Celebrating Vimy Ridge

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 15, 2016
Andy Wylie is a passionately proud Canadian, intent upon celebrating the April 9th to 12th, 2017 centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  Many historians see this WW1 battle as Canada’s military “coming of age.”  It was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps worked together as a single unit.  Under the command of Canada’s brilliant General Sir Arthur Currie, Canadian troops captured the Vimy Ridge stronghold, which the Germans had heavily fortified, where several attempts by others had failed.  Today, the impressive Canadian National Vimy Memorial, which occupies 100 hectares in northeast France given in perpetuity to Canada, remains a potent reminder of the importance of this piece of our history.  Andy has a vision to turn the back yard & rear lane of his 29th Street home, east of Rocky Mountain Transport, into a celebration of Vimy, with flags, decorated explanatory panels & a scale wooden replica of the famous stone memorial in France.  It would be easily accessible by cyclists & pedestrians expected to use the new rail trail network through Vernon, & could become a notable tourist attraction.  Andy is hoping our club will lend its support to this project, which also coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday.
Celebrating Vimy Ridge Colin Heggie 2016-02-16 00:00:00Z 0

New Member - Paul Philps

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 08, 2016
New Rotarian Paul Philps, CPA, CMA, is “pinned,” during his induction, by sponsor Dave Weatherill.  Paul is an investment advisor with RBC Dominion Securities.  He & his wife Heather welcomed their second daughter just yesterday!
New Member - Paul Philps Colin Heggie 2016-02-09 00:00:00Z 0

RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 08, 2016

Past President Janet Green thanks Vernon / North Okanagan RCMP Detachment Commander Supt. Jim McNamara, who has 30 years of experience in policing, primarily in operational and front-line duties. He first came here in 2010, as the Operations Officer, in charge of day-to-day operations. The detachment serves a diverse area including Vernon, Coldstream, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby, Falkland and the Splatsin and Okanagan First Nations.  Supt. McNamara previously worked in an advisory role for the BC RCMP in its Southeast District office, ensuring RCMP detachments were meeting the expectations of the communities they served. His previous experience also includes watch and operations commands, command of the Tactical Troop, and oversight of crime prevention and victim services for a large Lower Mainland detachment. All his policing service is within BC.  He’s integrated the operations of five detachments serving a population of about 82,000 people.  His resources include about 100 regular officers, 48 support staff, 17 Auxiliary Constables, 4 Reservists & about 60 volunteers.  Policing is expensive!  The annual cost of a regular Constable, with benefits & a car, is about $164,000.  In 2015, his detachment responded to over 28,000 calls, & held over 2,200 prisoners.  His (our) biggest challenge is dealing with property crimes committed by substance abusers, many of whom have untreated mental health issues, due to lack of treatment facilities.  He also talked a bit about municipal concerns arising from the requirement that communities of over 5,000 people must pay for 30% of overall policing costs.

RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara Colin Heggie 2016-02-09 00:00:00Z 0

Curing Hepatitis C Virus

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 01, 2016
Dr Craig Goplen hosted his wife Judie, shown above with Bob Clarke.  Judie is a former emergency room head nurse & public health nurse, who now works with Dr Brian Chai, an internist & gastroenterologist, who specializes in the treatment of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).  It’s estimated that only 30-50% of Canadians with HCV have been diagnosed.  Blood donors are screened for HCV, but a typical checkup by a family physician won’t necessarily include such screening.  People born between 1945 & 1965 are most susceptible.  Many people with HCV are able to fight off the disease, but those whose livers are chronically affected will develop cirrhosis (scarring), leading to liver failure.  A liver transplant costs about $2m.  Tremendous advances have been made in treatment for HCV over the past couple of decades – it’s now considered curable through a course of drug treatments, such as “Perfectovir,” which doesn’t cause the sickness associated with earlier drugs.  Because this drug costs about $70,000 per patient, it’s only supplied to those who meet certain criteria, & are selected through a review panel.  Still, it’s cost effective to treat, as those with HCV are at higher risk of cancer, heart disease, & other ailments.  For more info, see:
Curing Hepatitis C Virus Colin Heggie 2016-02-02 00:00:00Z 0

Surveying Shorebirds in Barrow, AK

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 25, 2016
Dan Rieb (left) hosted well-known local birder Don Cecile, who spoke about his Spring 2015 experience spending six weeks in Barrow, Alaska, as volunteer research assistant, conducting shorebird surveys.  Don is a former teacher & school VP, who now runs Sandhill Properties, a real estate investment & property management company.  He’s also an active thespian & naturalist.  Barrow, AK, on the Beaufort Sea, with a population of just over 4,000, is the U.S.A.’s northernmost community.  Surrounded by flat, ankle-high vegetation, many locals rely on traditional hunting & fishing.  This is prime polar bear country – but sadly, Don didn’t see one on this trip.  He & his colleagues, working indirectly for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, assessed 5-600 shorebirds, including many varieties of killdeer, snowy owls, eider ducks, jaegers, red-necked stints, long-tailed ducks, American golden plovers, dunlins, pectoral sandpipers & pacific loons.  Most of these birds come several thousand miles north for a short stay to breed & hatch their eggs, then return south.  
Surveying Shorebirds in Barrow, AK Colin Heggie 2016-01-26 00:00:00Z 0

New French Immersion Teacher connects with our club

Posted by Teresa Bartel on Jan 18, 2016
Paige Webster, a double dogwood graduate, from W.L. Seaton was awarded a $1,000 bursary for her studies at Okanagan College.  She was very appreciative of the gift.  It was  interesting to hear about her future study goals and her journey through a French immersion education here in Vernon. 
New French Immersion Teacher connects with our club Teresa Bartel 2016-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Invasive Species in BC

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 18, 2016
Bob France hosted Danielle Toperczer, a Professional Agrologist  & Manager with the Invasive Species Council of BC.  ISPBC is a non-profit which resists the introduction & spread of invasive plants, animals & organisms not native to BC, presenting risk or harm to native species & therefore our economy.  A combination of professional staff and volunteers provide outreach & education, training, operations & research, along with a variety of government, other non-profit & industry partners.  Their “Be Plantwise, Grow Me Instead” program provides both a brochure & a mobile app highlighting 26 of BC’s “Most Unwanted” horticulture plants, with recommended alternatives.  Among a number of examples discussed were English Ivy, Scotch Broom & Knotweeds.  Carp, eurasian milfoil & zebra mussels are other well-known invasive species representing serious threats to our habitat & economy.  See
Invasive Species in BC Colin Heggie 2016-01-19 00:00:00Z 0

Watch out for Microbeads !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 11, 2016
Dave Weatherill hosted local teacher-on-call & avid sailor Eric Martinen, who talked about his recent adventure in our Great Lakes, aboard “Sea Dragon,” a 72’ yacht owned by Pangaea Exploration ( ).  This organization conducts marine conservation research & supports the development of conservation resources & scientists.  Eric’s trip was focused on measuring the prevalence & effects of plastics in our lakes – specifically polyethylene, or “microbeads,” which serve as abrasives in many consumer products, such as toothpaste & facial cleansers.  Because microbeads in our lakes & oceans are being ingested by birds & fish, & also by humans, our governments are under pressure to force reluctant manufacturers to speed up the replacement of microbeads by natural abrasives, such as ground walnut or apricot shells, etc.  Eric passed around samples of microbeads strained from a couple of consumer products.  We can all avoid microbeads by looking at the ingredients on labels, & not purchasing those with polyethylenes. 
Watch out for Microbeads ! Colin Heggie 2016-01-12 00:00:00Z 0

Queen Silver Star Candidate

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 04, 2016
Our club is sponsoring Margarite Zinovyeva as a Queen Silver Star Excellence Program candidate.  Despite only having been in Canada for three years, this delightful young lady is poised & ambitious.  She hopes to train as an architect, & enjoys photography, art, music & math.  She speaks Russian, German, Polish & English.  She says her biggest challenge is finding enough time in the day to fit in her schoolwork, QSSEP, & all those other interests. 
Queen Silver Star Candidate Colin Heggie 2016-01-05 00:00:00Z 0

Update on Moivaro Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 04, 2016
Dr Sandra Peacock, UBCO anthropologist, is thanked by our Sandra Ross.  Dr Peacock takes students to Tanzania for six weeks, to learn fieldwork skills, & how to contribute meaningfully to social developments in a subsistence farming economy.  She updated us on the results of our $4,000 contribution last year, to help improve washroom facilities at the Moivaro Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania.  Replacement of old dysfunctional washrooms, which were threatening closure of the school, allows about 950 students to continue their studies.  Dr Peacock, in conjunction with the Vijiji Foundation in Arusha & Rotarians nearby, has worked with our International Service Director, Sandra Ross, to complete & send a District Grant application for provision of a school kitchen & food storage facility, so more students can receive “Food for Thought,” & some of their parents can earn students’ hot lunches through in-kind donations of food.  We hope our next $4,000 will be matched by another $4,000 in District funds!
Update on Moivaro Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania Colin Heggie 2016-01-05 00:00:00Z 0

Annual General Meeting

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 14, 2015
Several of our members got well into the Christmas spirit -- clockwise from top left: Dan Rieb, Dr John Wheeldon, Mike Wardlow, Bob Clarke, Leigh Hewer, Dave Weatherill, Bob France & Sandra Ross.
At our Dec 15th Annual General Meeting, Geordie McLennan was confirmed as our President Elect for next year.  Members approved new bylaws, based on a recommended RI set, modified to our needs.  We also amended our club vision, & approved a $4,000 donation, to be combined with a matching District Grant, for the “Lunch for Learners” program at Moivaro Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania.  Donations of $4,500 for the meal program at Teen Junction, plus $1,000 to the Junction Literacy Centre were also approved.
This past Sunday, Rob & Donna Irving hosted our club’s annual potluck Christmas Party.  Following an assignment of late member Glenn Green’s PHF points, President Bev Rundell presented Past President Janet Green with her third PHF award.
Annual General Meeting Colin Heggie 2015-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Cooking for Hillview Elementary

Posted by Keith Johnston on Dec 11, 2015
On Sat, Dec 12th, Silver Star Rotarians cooked & helped serve a fundraising breakfast for Hillview Elementary School.  Jim Kanester, Bob France & Leigh Hewer are shown at the grills.
Cooking for Hillview Elementary Keith Johnston 2015-12-12 00:00:00Z 0

Teen Junction & Literacy Centre

Posted by Keith Johnston on Dec 07, 2015

Keith Johnston hosted Nicole Makohoniuk & Wendy Aasen, from the Junction Literacy Centre & Teen Junction, where he’s a board member.  They described where their funds come from, and how they rely on organizations like ours for a good portion of their food.  They also have multiple fund raisers and the youth go into the community on bottle drives etc. if they need to raise money for activities or food that is not in their budget.  They are very cost conscious and teach the youth how to prepare healthy meals with limited funds.  There are currently 14 regulars at Teen Junction.  Some of their regulars do not have a home to go to every night, so they go from friend to friend or sleep on the street.  Members found it disturbing to hear that 20% of the children in our country go to bed hungry every night.

Teen Junction & Literacy Centre Keith Johnston 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

JCI Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 30, 2015
Rylee Davis brought Sue Solymosi, a mortgage broker at White House Mortgages, to tell about the Vernon chapter of Junior Chamber International (JCI), of which she’s President.  JCI started in St Louis, MO in 1915.  It has over 150,000 members in over 150 countries, including about 40 in Vernon.  JCI is a nonprofit organization of young active citizens age 18 to 40 who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities.  Members analyze local challenges, collaborate with community partners, conduct projects to find solutions and evaluate results to ensure sustainability.  Through four development streams -- individual, community, business & international – JCI clubs work on a wide variety of projects, enjoying teamwork, fellowship, & networking.  Aged-out members may continue their involvement as “Senators.”  National & international conferences offer members higher levels of training & exposure to global perspectives.  Vernon JCI members recently held a “Zombie Run” fundraiser, in support of Teen Junction.
JCI Vernon Colin Heggie 2015-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Kal Tire Place expansion referendum

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 23, 2015
At the invitation of Bob Clarke, Doug Ross, Director of Recreation Services for the City of Vernon, explained the reasoning behind his recommendation that we vote YES on Sat, Nov 21st for the borrowing referendum to twin the ice sheet at Kal Tire Place.  Our old Civic Arena is running on borrowed time, & is not worth fixing.  To avoid current user groups losing ice time, if the Civic Arena fails, the City wants to start on a replacement now.  Because of the elevation, soil conditions, location of underground services, & unresolved legal issues over Kin Park, installation of a new ice sheet west of the existing Kal Tire facility would cost several hundred thousand dollars more than the proposal to the north.  The west option would be dependent upon a favourable legal resolution, likely over another year or two, thereby delaying construction.  New parking along the south side of Kal Tire Place will replace all but one space lost to the north option.  If the referendum passes, another year of intense planning & design will preface construction.  
Kal Tire Place expansion referendum Colin Heggie 2015-11-24 00:00:00Z 0

Columbia River Treaty

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 16, 2015
Ken Barton attended an Oct 7th conference in Osoyoos to learn about the Columbia River Treaty.  This complex deal between Canada & the U.S.A. was struck in the early 1960’s to provide three Canadian plus one U.S. dam for power generation & flood control.  15% of the Columbia Basin area is in Canada, but 38% of the water originates here.  In 2024, with ten years notice, either Canada or the U.S.A. is entitled to cancel most provisions of the treaty.  A wide variety of stakeholders, including native groups, have huge vested interests in seeing the treaty continue in some form, & many want significant changes to either the original agreement, or the many subsequent side agreements.  Many Canadians fear U.S. ambitions to control the flow of water within our country.  Ken believes the U.S. is doing a lot of work to prepare for hard-nosed negotiation, while Canadians have done little to prepare, with some parties expressing little interest in continuing the treaty.
Columbia River Treaty Colin Heggie 2015-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Breakfast Dessert !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 09, 2015
Teresa Bartel brought Janet Cody & Ray Morin to describe their “Olive Us” products & stores.  See  Their extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) & vinegars come in a wide variety of flavours, all available for sampling “on tap” from stainless steel “fustis.”  Along with their creative “foodie” daughter, Ray & Janet recently attended a Napa Valley convention for EVOO suppliers, where they heard lectures about the chemistry & nutrients in oils, & were thrilled to watch olives being harvested & processed.  Time elapsed between picking & processing, plus the temperature of harvested olives, are critical to maintaining a high quality product, offering the best flavour, plus nutritional & health benefits well beyond that found in blended or mass-produced oils.  Highest quality oils come from the initial cold extraction; further extraction using heat & chemicals yield lower quality oils.  Better EVOOs may be used for cooking, even at higher temperatures.
Following their talk, Ray & Janet served us a blackberry on yogurt, with a flavoured oil & vinegar – delicious!  
Breakfast Dessert ! Colin Heggie 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Kelowna Rotaract Club

Posted by Keith Johnston on Nov 02, 2015
Keith Johnston introduced Kate Kutzner, one of 10 – 12 members of the Kelowna Rotaract Club, sponsored by the Kelowna Sunrise RC.  Kelowna Rotaractors are interested in finding ways in which they can help other Okanagan RCs with their projects.
Kelowna Rotaract Club Keith Johnston 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

New Membership Recruitment Process

Posted by Keith Johnston on Nov 02, 2015
Keith Johnston led a discussion of a new approach to membership, with members divided into seven groups: 1) Initial Contact, 2) Greeters, 3) Initial Follow-up, 4) Membership Discussion, 5) Public Relations, 6) Trackers, & 7) Mentors.  Groups met & reported back, suggesting i) we need a flow chart showing hand-offs between groups; ii) greeters need to provide basic info about Rotary, & tell them what will happen during the meeting; iii) initial follow-up should include a phone call and the prospective member should be asked if they know anyone else who might be interested;  iv) trackers should record numbers of candidates & send reminders to other committee members;  v) two current members should take the prospective member(s) for a coffee or lunch membership discussion;  vi) the public relations committee needs more specifics around the kind of people we are targeting (age, occupation, etc.) & they suggest we clearly articulate the value of belonging to Rotary, distinguishing us from other organizations like Kiwanis and Lions;  vii) mentors should begin earlier in the recruitment process, & we should continue “Fireside Chats” for new members.
New Membership Recruitment Process Keith Johnston 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Marty in Australia & NZ

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Oct 26, 2015
Marty & Judy were recently among 48 people on a whirlwind 23 day escorted tour of Australia & New Zealand, with stops including Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs, Auckland & Christchurch.  Australian highlights were a penguin parade at Phillips Island; 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road eroding to 6 or 7; Captain Cook’s importance in the history of Australia; distance education through the rural “School of Air;” colours of Ayers Rock; snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef; Sydney Opera House; the 52° downhill Katoomba scenic railway ride; & unique Australian animals.  New Zealand highlights included a Maori presentation; threats to the flightless Kiwi birds; Mt. Joseph’s glacier via helicopter; jet boat travel at 70-80 kmh; Mount Cook; & the uncertain future of Christchurch Cathedral, following repeated severe damages.  Though their trip was 25% over budget, Marty said it was worth every cent.
Marty in Australia & NZ Leigh Hewer 2015-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

Vernon & District Minor Football

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Oct 19, 2015
Eric Gombrich hosted Ken Satterthwaite, VP of Vernon & District Minor Football (VDMF) along with players Liam Gombrich, William Satterthwaite and Thomas Hyatt.  (Eric is Director of the organization) VDMF’s focus is on good sportsmanship, team work, helping others, competition, dedication & commitment, along with self-control & the importance of health and exercise.  League play is community-based, for ages 7-15, open to both boys and girls, & is a feeder program for our high schools. Spring flag football runs from March to July, with full contact tackle football July to November.  Games are played at our new sports facility, with teams coming from other area communities, creating a positive economic impact for Vernon.  VDMF was a strong supporter for the new facility.  There are approximately 350 participants in the community league, with some 60 players and coaches in VDMF. 55% of costs are covered by fees from participants, 10% by sponsors, 10% by fund raising, & 25% by a Gaming Grant. Major expenses are equipment, field rental, subsidies for players from low-income families, & a season end awards banquet.  As a result of a $15,000 partial Gaming Grant loss, VDMS is seeking a $1,000 donation to cover part of their banquet & individual awards, till they solve their Gaming issue.
Vernon & District Minor Football Leigh Hewer 2015-10-20 00:00:00Z 0

Auditing our Interior Health Authority

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Oct 12, 2015
Givonna DeBruin spoke about her employer, Interior Health Authority (IHA) & her role as Internal Auditor.  IHA’s area goes from the US border north to Blue River, & from Merritt to the Alberta border, including some 59 municipalities & communities.  Roughly 1 in 40 people within this area are employed by IHA in residential care, hospital/acute care, & community care.  There are four main goals: 1) improve health & wellness, 2) deliver high quality health care, 3) ensure sustainability, & 4) have an engaged workforce. The Internal Auditor reports to both the Board of Directors & the President/CEO, & and has “Freedom to Access” in all areas.  A lot of Givonna’s time is spent auditing and reviewing various systems, resulting in a fair bit of travel.  Givonna is supported by a focused and experienced team of three.  About 50% of their time is spent doing specific reviews & audits requested by management. In her 13 years with IHA she’s witnessed a huge improvement in operations, & a budget increase from $1.1B to $2+B.  IHA has a Safe Reporting Policy and Hotline (whistleblower program), & “it’s your duty as citizens to report wrong-doing”. IHA has achieved Employer of Choice for the 3rd year in a row in BC, & Givonna’s team recently received a 2014 Provincial Award for their Medication Audit.
Auditing our Interior Health Authority Leigh Hewer 2015-10-13 00:00:00Z 0

On-Site at Vernon Community Arts Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 28, 2015
Gale Woodhouse is thanked by Mike Wardlow, for her very well received on-site talk about the Vernon Community Arts Centre (VCAC), operated by the Arts Council of the North Okanagan (ACNO).  Gale is a professional potter, who describes herself as an artist, facilitator & entrepreneur, with a varied background in teaching.  Her no-nonsense delivery convinced us that a group of rebellious teenagers would be putty (clay ?) in her hands!  Originally the industrial arts section of the old Fulton School, the VCAC is now a combination of gallery, workshops & classrooms offering programs in pottery making, fibre arts, glass, painting, photography, music, etc., to children, adults & people with various challenges.  VCAC is a non-profit, & in turn, offers some free programs.  Their goal is to provide a sense of place & community, especially for those without strong community connections.  A variety of volunteers help with operation & funding.  One objective is to enhance their technology, so digital art offerings can be increased.  With more & better political support, Gale believes VCAC could become a major tourist attraction, as well as an even more valuable resource for locals.  Following a short tour, Silver Star Rotarians now know this place is definitely worth a visit!  
On-Site at Vernon Community Arts Centre Colin Heggie 2015-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

Bicycles Benefit Business

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 21, 2015
Bruce Mol is a cycling advocate & educator.  He’s chair of the Greater Vernon Cycling Advisory Committee, & cycles most everywhere.  His presentation claimed that business improves wherever cycling improves – productivity increases, sick days decrease & health care costs decline.  Where retail areas encourage cyclists, they tend to visit stores more often, & spend more.  Cycling is no longer just a sport.  More young people, & more women are using their bicycles to ride to work, as well as for pleasure.  Smart communities are investing in dedicated bike lanes & routes, creating more livable landscapes.
Bicycles Benefit Business Colin Heggie 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0

Trials of a Land Developer

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 14, 2015
Martin von Holst hosted realtor / builder / developer Mark Wensley, who told us about his 23 year involvement with Middleton Mountain.  Along with his father Don, a Whistler developer, Mark has been servicing land & building houses on Middleton Mountain, through good times & bad.  The servicing cost per lot of their current project, excluding raw land, is about $120,000, as there’s significant blasting, wall construction & engineering fees, over & above the usual costs of water & utility lines, etc.  He advises that developers should only invest what they can afford to lose, & that success in real estate is all about timing.  One of Mark’s objectives in business & life is to always do more than anyone expects of you. 
Trials of a Land Developer Colin Heggie 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

Restless Bob Franklin !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 07, 2015
Through his vocational talk, Bob revealed a somewhat “restless” personality!  Following operation of a jewelry store in Regina, he moved to Fort McMurray, when the population there was only 2,300.  His involvement with a couple of different oil companies including helping to define the volume of oil in a barrel, plus the issuance of royalty cheques to the survivors of the man who started the “tar sands” in 1920, & negotiated perpetual royalties from each barrel of bitumen.  Meanwhile, Bob built a small shopping centre on land he’d held for several years, & along with a trusty German Shepherd, attended 64 robberies there.  He also had a couple of aircraft & a jet boat, used for commercial charters.  After 15 years in Fort Mac, he went first to Alaska, then for 24 years to the 100 Mile House / Williams Lake area, where he continued in the aircraft charter service, & was a Rotarian.  He has a daughter in each of 100 Mile House, & the Wood Lake area.
Restless Bob Franklin ! Colin Heggie 2015-09-08 00:00:00Z 0

Huckleberries & Motorcycles

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 31, 2015
Dave Weatherill told us about a misadventure with Joanne & one of his brothers, during a backwoods tour of the Monashees, to pick huckleberries.  They got lots of berries, but Dave’s truck wouldn’t start for the return trip.  He walked out to the highway & found a couple willing to give him a jumpstart, but then his truck wouldn’t switch out of low range.  Sounded like a lot of trouble, even for a good load of berries!
Guest Rotarian Otto Rieve then regaled us – first with a joke about “electile dysfunction,” then with his multiple motorcycling trips.  Over the years he’s ridden three different bikes an estimated total of 300 to 350k kms, both with & without other Rotarians, throughout the USA & a variety of other countries, including a Munich to Moscow trip.  His upcoming October ride will be through Spain & Morocco.  He’s also looking forward to a ride north from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles.
Huckleberries & Motorcycles Colin Heggie 2015-09-01 00:00:00Z 0

RYLA Rocks !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 24, 2015
2015 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) training was held in late May in Penticton.  Participants Fiona Anderson & Searra Becker (shown with RYLA Coordinator Keith Johnston) thanked our club for sponsoring their attendance, & described their experience.  Through the DiSC® personal assessment tool, they learned how different personality types work in teams, through conflict, & in leadership roles, etc.  DiSC® identifies characteristics of dominance, influence, steadiness & conscientiousness.  RYLA training uses mentors & a variety of projects, such as cardboard boat-building, to teach teamwork & leadership skills.  One project was to turn a piece of junk into a marketable object!
RYLA Rocks ! Colin Heggie 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0

Vernon SPCA

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 17, 2015
Chelsea Taylor, Vernon Branch Manager of the BC SPCA, with Pat Loehndorf.  She described the “Five Freedoms” contained in their charter – Freedom from hunger & thirst; pain, injury & disease; distress; discomfort; & freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being.  Today, our local SPCA has 86 animals in care.  Their annual budget of close to a half-million dollars supports the care of about 250 animals annually, including more cats than dogs.  Expenses average between $500 to $675 for different categories of dogs & cats.  Income is derived from adoption fees, service fees, fundraising events & donations.  The SPCA is one of Canada’s top-ranked charities, based on effective use of donor dollars.  Volunteers play a big role in this organization, & new people are always welcome to help with socializing, walking, feeding, cleaning, etc., of animals, plus care & maintenance of their facilities.
Vernon SPCA Colin Heggie 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z 0

DG Greg Luring & Jan visit SS Rotary

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Aug 10, 2015
Our President Bev Rundell (center) thanks Jan & District Governor Greg Luring for his talk.  They  were introduced by ADG Peter Moore.  On Monday evening Greg & Jan met with club Directors, where he spoke about his 2015-16 goals for the District, & noted RI President Ravi’s intention to bring effective business practices to Rotary.  During Greg & Jan’s long & fabulous association with Rotary, they’ve made lifelong friends through the “Family of Rotary.” 25 years ago, their daughter Kimberly was an exchange student in India.  During Greg’s club presidency in Yakima, they created a trust which has grown substantially, & received a $20m donation!  Since then,  the 3 Yakima clubs have joined together under the trust, & are providing meaningful and substantial benefits to the Yakima Community in the name of Rotary.  Given the size & bureaucracy of Rotary, he believes it’s sometimes better to move forward with our projects, asking for forgiveness, rather than permission!   A major focus currently is the new membership growth & retention strategy (MARS).  Independent research asked members - Why Join Rotary?, finding 1) friendship  2) local impact & 3) networking; when asked Why Stay with Rotary?, they found 1) and 2) are the same, but 3) became international projects. Both 1 and 2 in Join and Stay are significantly higher than other reasons. Greg feels Rotary should slow down the “ask” for funds, & suggests a direct correlation with increased “asks” & reduced membership since the 1985 commencement of Polio Plus.  We were all encouraged to attended the District Conference in Yakima, May 12-15, 2016. A major change at this conference will be replacement of the Presidential Representative talk with a focus on the Youth Exchange Program. Did you know our District averages 34 students per year, but the North American average is only 5!
DG Greg Luring & Jan visit SS Rotary Leigh Hewer 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Queen Silver Star Alicia

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Aug 03, 2015
Bob Clarke hosted Queen Silver Star 2015 (55th) Alicia Hill-Turner.  She’s entering Grade 12 at Aberdeen Hall School in Kelowna.  The QSS Excellence Program started in 1961 & is available to young women 16 to 18  who reside within the North Okanagan.  Candidates attend classes 2 to 3 times a week.  Personal growth is encouraged and valuable skills gained through time spent on various topics. Over the years the program has evolved from a beauty pageant into an excellence and scholarship program, showcasing poise & presentation skills developed through a fashion show, a talent showcase, speech competition & the February Winter Carnival proclamation.  There are a variety of community events, and participants become mentors for Little Miss Carnival candidates.  The Queen & 2 Princesses chosen as Vernon Ambassadors spend their year attending city events & traveling BC promoting the City of Vernon.
Queen Silver Star Alicia Leigh Hewer 2015-08-04 00:00:00Z 0

A Story of Prosecution

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 27, 2015
Rob Irving’s guest Red Liebel is a retired RCMP officer, who spoke about his involvement in the prosecution of Vernon’s infamous “Greeks” gang.  In about 2004, local drug dealers were dominated by a gang led by a Vernon native of Greek heritage.  He & his accomplices enforced their will upon local dealers through increasingly violent means, culminating in several murders.  With insufficient evidence for trial, following an eleven month investigation which ended in the fall of 2005, a provincial team of 60 members was tasked with bringing the suspects to justice.  By May 2006, seven accused had been arrested.  Red described how “disclosure” rules, allowing defense attorneys access to all incriminating evidence, make it difficult to obtain convictions in such complicated cases, & how trials generally hear only that fraction of the real evidence which isn’t excluded through pretrial hearings.  Trials related to the Greeks relied upon evidence gleaned from some 212,000 phone conversations.  Non-police trial expenses, including defense lawyers, etc., cost approximately $60m.    
A Story of Prosecution Colin Heggie 2015-07-28 00:00:00Z 0

Total Restoration Services

Dave Hoyte (middle) introduced Dan Fortin (L) & Dave Lowry (R) of Total Restoration Services Ltd., since 1992 a leading locally-owned and operated provider of guaranteed restoration services, using leading-edge technologies & equipment operated by trained, professional (& friendly!) experts.  Their 75+ staff, with over 40 vehicles, deals with damage caused by fire, smoke, water, sewer, mould, asbestos, etc.  With more & larger disaster claims, such as the recent $9bn Alberta floods, claims outweigh local premium collections, requiring the insurance industry to pool premiums over larger areas.  Claims costs are often increased by WCB & Work Safe requirements around the removal of asbestos in drywall & flooring products.  Dave Hoyte paid advertising dollars for his comments about “talking to your insurance broker!”
Total Restoration Services Leigh Hewer 2015-07-21 00:00:00Z 0

N.O. Youth & Family Services

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Jul 13, 2015
Leigh Hewer introduced Jan Shumay & Dean Francks, long-time employees & executives of North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS), which provides free counselling and support services to individuals & families through a variety of community based and residential programs.  NOYFSS deals with a wide variety of issues, including physical/mental/developmental exceptionalities, sensory problems (i.e. visual, auditory, etc.), poverty & language/cultural needs.  They’re funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), Interior Health Authority, the Ministry of Attorney General, School District 22, Gaming Grants, community partners and donations.  Their signature fundraising event is the “Fitness for Families Hockey Challenge.”
N.O. Youth & Family Services Leigh Hewer 2015-07-14 00:00:00Z 0

Good News & Bad News

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 06, 2015
The good news is that President Bev (right) presented newly retired Sandra Ross with her winnings from our marble draw :)  The bad news is that it was only $10.50, as Pat Loehndorf had won a much larger pot the week before :(
Good News & Bad News Colin Heggie 2015-07-07 00:00:00Z 0

Droning On

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 06, 2015
Wendy Hesketh hosted Matt Davidson, Senior Environmental Scientist with Valhalla Environmental Consulting, Inc.  He spoke about the use of drones for aerial photography, crop monitoring, inventory & asset management, 3D surface modeling & GIS mapping.  His drone has a fixed foam wing with a span of 80cm.  It weighs about one pound, & has a flight time of about 30 minutes on a single battery charge.  The technology around drones is advancing faster than Transport Canada rules governing their use, leading to some problems, particularly with adventurous recreational users.  There’s a huge variety of applications for both civilian & military drones, using infrared & other technologies, in addition to simple high resolution photography.  Images & data collected by fixed wing & helicopter drones may be combined with that gathered by satellites, & “knitted” together.  Matt did his best to simplify the terminology surrounding this complex business, so we Rotarians could understand it!
Droning On Colin Heggie 2015-07-07 00:00:00Z 0

New Directors & Marble Draw Winner !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 29, 2015
2015-16 Directors (L-R) Rob Irving, Jim Kanester, Dave Hoyte, Dominik Dlouhy, Janet Green, Geordie McLennan, Colin Heggie, Martin von Holst, Bev Rundell & Dave Weatherill.  Missing:  Scott Anderson, Keith Johnston, Sandra Ross & Sargeant at Arms Don Miller.
Much to the chagrin of Bob Clarke, Pat Loehndorf is congratulated by Bev for pulling our coveted green marble, for a win of $416!
New Directors & Marble Draw Winner ! Colin Heggie 2015-06-30 00:00:00Z 0

New President Bev Rundell

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 29, 2015
Janet Green opened by remembering how one year ago, she asked for fortitude to get her through her year as President, then at Christmas, she realized there were only 25 weeks to go!  This year, our club has successfully launched three new fundraising projects, & Janet feels we should be proud of all the things we accomplish, as a small club.  She quoted Dr Seuss, who said “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!”
On behalf of our District Governor Bruce Falkins, Assistant District Governor Peter Moore presented Janet with a “Presidential Citation,” for our club’s accomplishments.
Janet handed the gavel to incoming President Bev Rundell, who thanked Janet for keeping our club focused on the vision & goals we’d agreed to.  Bev feels she’s had a good mentor in Janet, & appreciates her effort to keep the fun in our activities.  Bev mentioned incoming RI President K.R. (Ravi) Ravindran’s theme: “Be a Gift to the World,” & incoming District Governor Gary Luring’s challenge to add four new members to our club.  She’d like us to review our club vision in July, & to remember Margaret Mead’s famous quote – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”  Bev introduced Martin von Holst as President Elect.
New President Bev Rundell Colin Heggie 2015-06-30 00:00:00Z 0

Lukki Viebahn in Mexico

Posted by Lukki Viebahn on Jun 25, 2015
Lukki Viebahn, shown with Rotarians in Guanajuato, Mexico, about 275kms northwest of Mexico City, as the crow flies.  Lukki was our 2011-12 Incoming RYES, from Bavaria, Germany.  He spent most of this past winter here in Vernon, working as a "liftie" at Silver Star Mountain Resort, then purchased a used campervan from Wendy's father, & headed south.  He sent the following note:  "My travels are going well; I attended Spanish school here for a month, so I’m almost able to talk about anything with anyone now, which feels great! Will leave again on Monday to see a bit more of this country, and eventually I’m planning on ending up in Guatemala in August and flying to Colombia from there.
Lukki Viebahn in Mexico Lukki Viebahn 2015-06-26 00:00:00Z 0

Updates on Scholarships & District Conference

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 22, 2015
Scholarship Coordinator Jim Kanester explained how our scholarships work, & why we should work toward increasing the amounts we distribute annually.
Janet Green & Bev Rundell described their District Conference experiences at the UBCO Campus.  Janet attended a Lake Country Rotary BBQ at the Gatzke Farm.  Both Janet & Bev played golf Friday morning & enjoyed Friday evening Home Hosting dinners.  Conference headline speakers were Dan Espinosa (DG and representative of RI President Gary Huang), retired RCMP Commissioner Bev Busson, & retired Col. Liz Anderson of the US Airforce.  They felt the presenters were excellent.  Our incoming District Governor is Greg Loring from Yakima, WA.
Updates on Scholarships & District Conference Colin Heggie 2015-06-23 00:00:00Z 0

Mel Spooner -- Ironman Tri-Athlete & Nutritionist

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 15, 2015
Mel(issa) Spooner (thanked by Dr Craig Goplen) was a professional Ironman tri-athlete for ten years, earning three titles.  She now coaches a variety of athletes, through her “Endurance Health & Fitness” business.  She’s also a qualified nutritionist.  Mel spoke to us about following your passion, the value of being “selfish,” teamwork, giving support to others & your community, exploring one’s “edges,” & how to work through negative thoughts. She quoted John Lennon: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together is a reality.”  Her advice is that it’s important to ask for help when you need help.  Mel drew some parallels between the lessons she’s learned, & the basic principles of Rotary.  Her upbeat messages of encouragement, tenacity, & contribution were much appreciated.
Mel Spooner -- Ironman Tri-Athlete & Nutritionist Colin Heggie 2015-06-16 00:00:00Z 0

Bighorn Sheep

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 08, 2015
Our member Bob France, a retired cattle manager, with a background in livestock health, recently helped his daughter with field work observing bighorn sheep, in connection with her Master’s thesis.  We have both California & Rocky Mountain Bighorn in BC, distinguished by the black stripe on the rump of the California.  These majestic animals are “blue-listed in BC,” meaning they’re “threatened,” by loss of habitat.  The South Thompson herd is one of our healthiest, as indicated by an above average 47:100 lamb to ewe ratio – some of these animals have been “donated” to less healthy herds.  Part of their success is attributable to their feeding on nutritious grass & shrubs found in residential areas & a golf course in their habitat.  There’s a danger their success could be their ruin, if people begin defending their turf from hungry sheep looking for an easy meal.
Bighorn Sheep Colin Heggie 2015-06-09 00:00:00Z 0

Chocolate For All

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 01, 2015
Our club member & “Master Chocolatier,” Barrita Durward, has been running Cotton’s Chocolates for 19 years.  She dazzled us with samples of her latest concoctions & described how she loves working in her “chocolate lab,” mixing her favoured Belgian ingredients with various confections & liquers.  Pairing with Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery’s products, including absinthe, is a new interest, though she admits to having had difficulty staying properly focused during some of those tasting experiments!  This fall, she’ll be in Las Vegas for “professional development,” learning how to build large chocolate sculptures.  Few of us are likely to be more enthused about our vocations than this lovely lady!   (Photos by Keith Johnston)  
Chocolate For All Colin Heggie 2015-06-02 00:00:00Z 0

RCMP Youth Academy

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 25, 2015
Cst. Kathy Szoboticsanec, RCMP School Liaison Officer, spoke about our RCMP Jean Minguy Memorial Youth Academy, held annually for a week at the Vernon Army Camp, in partnership with School District 22.  Grade 11 or 12 students interested in law enforcement receive insight into depot training & the demands placed on police officers.  Students are physically & mentally challenged through group activities & drills. Instruction in leadership, law & the role of police officers in the community is provided.  Participants are exposed to a wide variety of topics & resources, including polygraphs, emergency response teams, helicopters, canine units, forensics, etc.  The goal is to teach accountability, while giving both students & the RCMP a chance to look at each others’ career possibilities.  The actual cost of this program, similar to one run in Chilliwack, is about $500 per student, but participants are only charged $250.  Some alumni are available to help community groups like our club with their projects.  (Photo of Cst Kathy & Wendy Hesketh by Keith Johnston)
Insp. Jim McNamara (a Rotary Club of Vernon member) thanked us for our continued recognition of RCMP volunteers in the community.
RCMP Youth Academy Colin Heggie 2015-05-26 00:00:00Z 0

Dr John & Medicinal Marijuana

Posted by Leigh Hewer on May 18, 2015
Our Dr John Wheeldon spoke of his involvement in medicinal marijuana research at the national level, types of prescriptions, and contents of products.  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Dr John & Medicinal Marijuana Leigh Hewer 2015-05-19 00:00:00Z 0

Vernon's Master Water Plan

Posted by Janet Green on May 11, 2015
President Janet Green hosted Mel Arnold, Maria Besso, Terry Mooney & Klaus Tribes of Vernon’s “Citizens for Changes to the Master Water Plan” for a presentation on a proposal to request a “fresh new look” at the Greater Vernon Master Water Plan. This citizens group is looking for support from residents and businesses to petition the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee to investigate opportunities to reduce water rates for Greater Vernon.  We are currently facing bills that are up to three times the Kelowna rates and twice the Penticton rates.  The Group proposes to hire an independent consultant and to seriously look at changing the Duteau Creek facility from a residential water supply to primarily an irrigation supply. In addition, water licenses need to be obtained for Okanagan Lake and expanded for Kalamalka Lake.  (Photo of Maria, Janet, Terry & Klaus by Keith Johnston)
Vernon's Master Water Plan Janet Green 2015-05-12 00:00:00Z 0

Help for Zimbabwe

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 04, 2015
Vernon Rotarian “Stewy” Stewart brought his daughter Angela Yablonski, owner of Curves for Women, & Peter Maguwu, from Zimbabwe, to describe Angela’s Zimbabwe Project Society’s work.  Vernon members of her Society go to Zimbabwe each year, to oversee projects funded by her donors;  all funds raised here are spent in Zimbabwe.  This a very poor country of 14 million people, often finding it difficult to obtain international help due to negative impacts of long-time aging President Robert Mugabe.  Projects include wells for safe drinking water, provision of text & library books, an orphanage, relief for HIV victims, & several income producing ventures, including raising pigs, chickens, bees & goats, plus garden plots.  They also sponsor soccer teams & leadership training.  See  (Photo of Peter, Angela, Stewy & Keith by Keith Johnston)
Help for Zimbabwe Colin Heggie 2015-05-05 00:00:00Z 0

Ken Barton Goes DownUnder -- Again

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 27, 2015
Ken Barton & his wife Jo spent another Okanagan winter in New Zealand & Australia, after first attending Ken’s mother’s 100th birthday party in England.  They started at the Bay of Islands, in the northeast corner of New Zealand’s north island, where relatives took them fishing & then smoked the fish.  They stumbled across the exclusive Kauri Cliffs Lodge & Golf Club, where most players arrive by helicopter, & pay $500 for a round!  In Melbourne, Australia, they saw the Docklands redevelopment, then visited Eden, NSW, on the coast between Sydney & Melbourne.  A trip to Tasmania included Hobart, the capital, & Port Arthur, which is known for supplying codeine & morphine from their white poppies.  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Ken Barton Goes DownUnder -- Again Colin Heggie 2015-04-28 00:00:00Z 0

Outgoing RYES Emma Corbett

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 20, 2015
Emma Corbett is our 2015-16 outgoing Rotary Youth Exchange Student (RYES).  She & her mother recently attended a Chelan, WA gathering for outgoing RYES, where they received lots of info about the program, & reports from returned students.  Like our last outgoing RYES, Claire Stanhope, Emma is going to Finland, & has begun a dialogue with her first host family.  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Outgoing RYES Emma Corbett Colin Heggie 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0

Monarch Butterflies in Pacific Grove, CA

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 20, 2015
Teresa Bartel thanks Dr Buffy Baumbrough (biologist, former City of Vernon Councillor, photographer, & with her sister, an owner of Dusty Shovel Gardens, a sustainable landscape design & nursery firm), who told us about her recent stay in Pacific Grove, CA, northwest of Monterey, to visit the Monarch (butterfly) Sanctuary.  This 2 or 3 acre site, covered by Monterey Pines and Blue Gum Eucalyptus trees, is a perfect micro-climate for over-wintering Monarch Butterflies, which have traveled from all over North America, west of the Mississippi. (Those east of the Mississippi go to Mexico for the winter.)  Several thousand of these beautiful creatures form each of many clusters at dusk, to keep warm.  Monarch populations are declining significantly, as their primary food source, milkweed, is considered an invasive species, & has been widely eradicated.  Through tagging & monitoring, scientists are trying to discover how they might be helped, & also how they manage to navigate, as the monarchs have a very short life cycle, & in any given year, those over-wintering are the great grandchildren of those who last over-wintered in the same location!  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Monarch Butterflies in Pacific Grove, CA Colin Heggie 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0

BX Press Cidery & Orchard

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 14, 2015
Melissa (Missy) Dobernigg is thanked by President Janet Green.  She introduced us to “The BX Press Cidery & Orchard.”  The 40 acre east Vernon orchard, on former BX Express land, has been in her husband Dave’s family for three generations, but in 2011, Melissa caught the “cider bug,” took some intensive training, & produced her first batches.  She received a winery license in 2013, & in 2015 hopes to produce 40,000 half-liter bottles of four varieties of cider.  New liquor regulations, currently being introduced, will help her to market her products through on-site tastings & the farmer’s market.  Cider is between beer & wine in alcohol content, & has great potential to be paired with local foods, & other locally produced alcoholic beverages.  Our club members quickly embraced her invitation to a tasting session in the late spring!  See  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
BX Press Cidery & Orchard Colin Heggie 2015-04-15 00:00:00Z 0

Tribute to the late Glenn Green

Posted by Janet Green on Apr 06, 2015
On April 7, 2015 Silver Star Rotary received a donation from the family of Rotarian Glenn Green, who passed away Feb 6, 2014.  Representing the Green family was Gwenn (Glenn’s daughter) and her husband Dan Bourdon.  As a Level I donor, Glenn Green had asked his family to make a donation to the Paul Harris Foundation (World Fund) as part of his estate. Silver Star Rotary rescheduled their usual morning meeting for noon, to accommodate the family. Rotarians did not hesitate to attend the meeting, which was attended by 29 individuals, including past and present Rotarians, all four Rotary Presidents from Area 3 of District 5060, plus Assistant District Governor Peter Moore. President Elect Bev Rundell presented a history of the Rotary Foundation; Past President Keith Johnston provided details about our valued friend Glenn, who was a 40 year member of Rotary, a seven-time Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and a member of Rotary International’s Bequest Society.  ADG Peter Moore presented an engraved crystal award and a pin to Gwenn and her husband Dan Bourdon. (shown above in photo by Keith Johnston)

We're all saddened by the loss of our great and generous Rotarian friend.
Tribute to the late Glenn Green Janet Green 2015-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

Opportunities for Cadets

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 30, 2015
When not at her day job in infrastructure administration with the City of Kelowna, Capt Irene Wangler is Commanding Officer of the 1705 BC Dragoons, Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.  Cadets aged 12 to 18 progress through a series of courses in leadership, citizenship, outdoor activities, survival skills, map & compass, etc., & have access to a variety of expeditions, exchanges & competitions.  Most of the program is free, though there is some fund-raising.  Year-round cadet training prepares some participants for summer camps, such as the ones held here in Vernon.  Some army, sea & air cadets progress to the regular forces, but most are simply enjoying a wide selection of inexpensive activities, combined with invaluable skill development.  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Opportunities for Cadets Colin Heggie 2015-03-31 00:00:00Z 0

Smoke Alarms for All !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 23, 2015
Lawrie Skolrood, Deputy Chief of Vernon Fire-Rescue Services, told us that his members are working hard to educate everyone about the benefits of smoke alarms, in response to a call to action by the BC Fire Service.  In 11,000 residential fires in BC, between 2006-11, nearly 70% of homes had no functional alarms!  These devices could reduce fire related deaths by 32%.  Lawrie thanked us for our support & participation in checking & installing smoke alarms in several local mobile home parks, adding that prevention is all about changing behavior.  Sensors in both wired & battery operated alarms have a life-span of about 10 years.  A combination of both ionization & photo sensitive alarms gives best protection.
Smoke Alarms for All ! Colin Heggie 2015-03-24 00:00:00Z 0

Affordable Dental Care in Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 16, 2015
Leigh Hewer thanks Lesly McMillan & Dr Vic Lepp of the Vernon Community Dental Access Center.  Approximately 25% of Canadians (mostly the "working poor") cannot afford proper dental care, & untreated dental problems often lead to much more complicated & expensive medical issues.  Our hospital emergency room & local medical clinics regularly deal with preventable but untreated oral health issues, by issuing prescriptions for pain-killers to folks who can't afford the drugs or the dentistry to solve the underlying problems.  In response to this need, our Dental Access Center opened its doors in September 2012.  Dr Cindy Gammie, plus her dental assistants, are employed two days a week.  In addition, other local dentists, dental hygenists & assistants volunteer for a few hours during other times of the week in their four operatories.  Clients may qualify for 20 - 40% discounts from BC Dentist Fee Guide rates, & in special cases, an "Angel Fund" reduces costs even further.  Since opening, the Center has provided 1,792 clients $422,000 worth of services, using 3,759 volunteer hours.  No government funding, other than Gaming Grants, is provided.  Our club made a modest financial donation a couple of years ago at the urging of our 2008-9 President, Dr Vic Lepp.  Vic is currently the Center's Board Chair, & has devoted countless hours to organizing volunteers, planning & setting up the facility. (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Affordable Dental Care in Vernon Colin Heggie 2015-03-17 00:00:00Z 0

Eat Your Yard !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 09, 2015
Gordon Hiebert & his wife Jana operate Element Eco-Design, a Vernon area permaculture design & edible landscaping company, taking your yard well beyond a "sustainable garden," to a richly integrated system of water management, soil improvement, slope & pest control, shady living spaces & aesthetic features capable of producing a wide variety of foods, plus herbal & medicinal plants.  Gord is a gifted & knowledgeable presenter.  He's worked on the Xerindipity Garden, plus the Kalamalka Garden at Okanagan College -- both projects with which our club was involved.  (Photo by Keith Johnston)
Eat Your Yard ! Colin Heggie 2015-03-10 00:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Science Centre

Posted by Leigh Hewer on Mar 02, 2015
Jim Swingle & Gene Bryant from the Okanagan Science Centre spoke about the new exhibit being installed. Silver Star Rotary provided a donation that is being utilized to help develop and install an Amazonian BioTope Display Eco-system (clear water stream replication of what would be in found in the Amazon). The exhibit will measure approximately 6ft X 20 inches X 20 inches and is being built into a wall for display, with an expected opening in June 2015 and will be of "exhibit quality". The exhibit will create an environmental connection between the Amazon and the Okanagan Lake eco-systems, educational programs will be developed along with hands on activities. This will be a long term exhibit for the Okanagan Science Centre and will enhance the various programs offered. Jim stated that without the support of Silver Star Rotary this exhibit would not be possible. (photos by Keith Johnston)
Okanagan Science Centre Leigh Hewer 2015-03-03 00:00:00Z 0

Martin & family in Italy & Germany

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 23, 2015
Recently, Martin von Holst took his wife, two children & mother to Italy & Germany.  He shared pictures of their adventure, including visits to former family homes, & a church which one of his ancestors designed.  Their trip also included a visit with our 2011-12 incoming RYES Lukki Viebahn, who is here again with us for the winter. (photo Martin von Holst by Keith Johnston)
Martin & family in Italy & Germany Colin Heggie 2015-02-24 00:00:00Z 0

Teresa Bartel's Classification Talk

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 16, 2015
Teresa is an accountant who began her career before even graduating from high school !  Her father owned a southern Ontario Canadian Tire franchise, & engaged her early in bookkeeping & filing chores.  As a graduate accountant working for a large company, she avoided repetitive work by volunteering to be sent off to assignments in different locations -- some more glamorous than others.  Her growing expertise included various software packages.  Following a long time in Kamloops, where she was a Rotarian, like her father, Teresa recently moved to Vernon, & decided she liked our club, as we meet in a glamorous wood-panelled room !  We're glad to have her on board.  President Janet noted that she has experience as a club secretary.
Teresa Bartel's Classification Talk Colin Heggie 2015-02-17 00:00:00Z 0

Lukki Viebahn in India

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 09, 2015
Lukki Viebahn was our 2011-12 inbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student (RYES), from a small town in Bavaria, Germany.  A few months ago, he returned to Vernon, & is spending the winter as a "liftie" at Silver Star Mountain Resort.  He's been attending our meetings regularly, & today told members about a trip to India he recently enjoyed with his family.  It included cycling in the mountains in the northern part of the country.
Lukki Viebahn in India Colin Heggie 2015-02-10 00:00:00Z 0

Answers from Mayor Akbal Mund

Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 02, 2015
Akbal Mund has been Vernon’s Mayor for all of two months, but did a good job of answering a variety of questions about downtown parking, water rates, facilities & attractions for tourists, & “beautification” issues.  He’s appreciative of the knowledge offered by our four experienced councilors, & capable staff.  He’s learned that municipal employee growth has been held to 4 FTE’s in the past three years, with only 1.5 in the past year.  He explained Vernon has only 3 out of 7 Regional District votes, but carries 68% of their costs.  Akbal is interested in promoting a “tech-friendly environment” in downtown Vernon.  His long & successful community involvement as both a volunteer & businessman was evident in his capable answers on touchy issues!  
Answers from Mayor Akbal Mund Colin Heggie 2015-02-03 00:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 26, 2015
            Sandra Ross with Rodney Goodchild & Tony Dyck
One of Vernon’s success stories, Okanagan Spirits was founded in 2004, & voted “2013 Distillery of the Year” by the World Spirits Organization, based in Austria, & “2014 Business of the Year” by the Vernon Chamber of Commerce.  In addition, many of their individual products have won top industry awards.  An impressive result, starting from various fruits otherwise left to rot in the fields!  Owner Tony Dyck & his marketing manager Rodney Goodchild described their new $3m, 16,000sf production & tasting facility on north 28th Ave, schedule for a March 2015 opening, complete with tasting bar, theatre room, whiskey lounge & patio.  As a true “craft distillery,” they operate under numerous LCB restrictions, which they hope will be relaxed commensurate with their growth.
Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Colin Heggie 2015-01-27 00:00:00Z 0

Orchid Growing, by Don Miller

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 19, 2015
One of Don Miller's lesser known talents is growing orchids.  He told us that orchids don't like direct sunlight, so they should be grown on the east or north side of your home.  Water should be applied every few days, & not allowed to pool on the plant.  There are many varieties of orchids, including one that is particularly well-suited to supplying us with vanilla!  Commercial orchid growers often combine varieties, to extend their season.
From our Rotary Foundation Director, Michael Wardlow, Don received recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Rotary Club of Vernon member, PDG Jack Peters, told us about their Feb 27th dinner gala at the Schubert Centre, celebrating their 90th anniversary.  This club spawned our club, along with the Armstrong, Kalamalka & Revelstoke club, plus another in Kelowna.
Orchid Growing, by Don Miller Colin Heggie 2015-01-20 00:00:00Z 0

Upcoming 2015 Events

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 12, 2015
Several members updated us on what's in store for Silver Star Rotarians over the next few months:
  • Wendy Hesketh announced our Rotary Ride will be Sun, July 26th.  Help will be needed over the next few months with marketing, social media & sponsorships.  As the event draws closer, we'll need help with route & physical preparations, & we'll need lots of help on event day.
  • Sandra Ross spoke about our 2nd annual "Grape Escape" Wine Raffle.  Jim Kanester will chair this year's event.  The first committee meeting will be 2pm, Mon, Jan 19th at Triumph Coffee.
  • Jim Kanester expects we'll be assigned a couple of playoff Vipers games in March, for sale of 50/50 raffle tickets.  He will prepare tickets, etc., but will be away during March, so other members will be needed to organize our sales.
  • Keith Johnston (busy guy!) spoke about :
    • "Project Save-A-Life" Mass CPR Training.  Pre-registration will be held 5-9pm, Fri, Feb 13th, & 10:30 to 4:30, Sat, Feb 14th at the Village Green Mall.  Training is at Fulton Secondary School, Sat, Feb 21st.  Help is needed with pre-registration; 4pm, Fri, Feb 20th setup; & on event day, with the pancake breakfast (see Bob France), directing participants, providing completion certificates, collecting donations, volunteers' lunch & cleanup.
    • The second annual Athletic Awards Banquet, jointly sponsored by our three Vernon Rotary clubs, will be held Wed, June 3rd at the BW Vernon Lodge, to honor & encourage local high school athletes.
    • Following closure of the Naramata Centre, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) committee is seeking a new venue in the Penticton area for this year's event, Fri, May 15th to Sun, May 17th.
  • Janet Green encouraged us to attend the Vernon Rotary Club's Fri, Feb 27th dinner gala at the Schubert Centre, celebrating their 90th anniversary.  This club sponsored the formation of all the other Vernon & Armstrong clubs, plus another in Kelowna.  Teresa Bartel will take orders for tickets ($29pp) for our members.
  • Dave Weatherill handed out new brochures for member recruitment.
  • Dr Craig Goplen told us about the Thu, Feb 5th Proclamation & Coronation of Queen Silver Star LV, sponsored by the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program.  Doors open 6:30pm at the Performing Arts Centre, for the 7-9pm show.  Tickets are $20. 
Upcoming 2015 Events Colin Heggie 2015-01-13 00:00:00Z 0

Jan 6th Meeting Canceled

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jan 05, 2015
Our first meeting of 2015 was canceled due to weather & road conditions.  Between Saturday & Monday evenings, the Vernon area received half a meter of snow.  Main roads were passable, but side streets & most parking lots were trouble.  The parking lot for the Village Green Hotel was impassable, so we had little choice but to cancel. 
Jan 6th Meeting Canceled Colin Heggie 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0

Annual General Meeting

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 15, 2014
      Mike Wardlow                       Bob Clarke
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) featured short reports from our President & some Directors, but what really had everyone's attention was the announcement of our President Elect for 2015-16 (President for 2016-17), who will be Martin von Holst, our Past President for 2009-10.  The other highlights were prizes awarded by Bev Rundell for "ugliest Christmas attire," won by Colin Heggie, who liberated an item from his wife's closet, Mike Wardlow for a horribly mis-matched shirt & tie, & Bob Clarke for his limp antlers!  Special thanks, too, to the clown who paid his/her fine with a 5 Kronor coin worth C$0.75 -- anybody going to Sweden soon ? 
Annual General Meeting Colin Heggie 2014-12-16 00:00:00Z 0

Aaron Deans update on the Allan Brooks Nature Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 08, 2014
Aaron Deans, Executive Director of the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society, updated us on events at the Centre.  Always an engaging speaker, Aaron talked improvements & new programs.  A highlight was ABNCS's new partnership with Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon to locally deliver the Stewards of the Future program, which ...provides funding, resources and support for place-based stewardship experiences for students in grades 9 - 12.  See for more info.
Aaron Deans update on the Allan Brooks Nature Centre Colin Heggie 2014-12-09 00:00:00Z 0

Teresa Bartel Induction

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 01, 2014
Kamloops loss is our gain!  Former Kamloops Rotary Club member Teresa Bartel has recently moved to Vernon & was inducted into our club by her sponsor, Dave Weatherill.  Teresa is an accountant, & is opening Precision Accounting Inc at #105-4710 31st St.
Teresa Bartel Induction Colin Heggie 2014-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

Mad Scientists at the Okanagan Science Centre

Posted by Colin Heggie on Dec 01, 2014
A meeting held at the Okanagan Science Centre featured Kevin Aschenmeier & his assistant, Alisha Hoy, demonstrating several ways to create amusing explosions, using commonly found food & household products!  OSC's retiring Executive Director, Sandi Dixon, introduced her successor, Jim Swingle.  Our Jim Kanester also introduced his OSC Board colleague, Bonnie Thomas.  Our club periodically supports OSC's programs, which are a great benefit to our community. 
Mad Scientists at the Okanagan Science Centre Colin Heggie 2014-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

2014 Christmas Party / Recognition Awards

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 27, 2014
Bob & Debbie Clarke hosted a potluck dinner Fri, Nov 28th at their lovely new home overlooking Kalamalka Lake.  President Janet Green honored several members for achieving (additional) Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) status:  Ken Barton (in the name of his son, Sgt. Stephen Barton), Don Miller, Martin von Holst & Dave Weatherill (in the name of his son, Brad Weatherill).  Janet & Secretary Colin also distributed number tabs recognizing 10 years of membership to Dominik Dlouhy, Leigh Hewer (absent), Don Miller & Jim Kanester; 15 years to Dave Weatherill & Givonna De Bruin; 20 years to Michael Wardlow & Rob Irving; 25 years to Ken Barton & Dr Craig Goplen (absent); & amazingly, 50 years to our quiet ? & unassuming ? Dr John Wheeldon!  Janet also presented Dr John with a recognition certificate from RI President Gary C.K. Huang.  Bob Clarke, Don Miller & Dave Weatherill recalled a few highlights of Dr John’s Rotary experience & life, which was fodder for some pretty bad jokes!  We were pleased to have several past Rotarians join us in the festivities.  See our Photo Album for this event.  Individual photos may be retrieved from the album.
2014 Christmas Party / Recognition Awards Colin Heggie 2014-11-28 00:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Regional Library Resources

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 24, 2014
Scott Anderson hosted ORL Vernon Branch Head Tara Thompson.  She’s a member of the ORL’s website committee, & described a wide variety of online resources available to users, both inside our libraries & in the comfort of their own homes.  Open resources include dozens of newspapers & periodicals, career cruising, Encyclopedia Britannica, Global Road Warrior, TumbleBookCloud, etc.  Resources only available in branches include AllData (automotive repair guides), Ancestry (genealogy), BC Codes, QP Legaleze, etc.  Tara also led a short discussion about how our library should interact with & serve the community.
Okanagan Regional Library Resources Colin Heggie 2014-11-25 00:00:00Z 0

"Stopping the Violence" Toward Women

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 17, 2014
Keith Johnston thanks Daphne Reid, a counselor who delivers community programs funded by our provincial Ministry of Justice, Victim Services, including help for children who have witnessed violence, victims assistance at the Courthouse, & a womens’ outreach program.  Our Women’s Transition House is another service partially funded by Victim Services.
"Stopping the Violence" Toward Women Colin Heggie 2014-11-18 00:00:00Z 0

Travels in South Africa

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 03, 2014
Marty & Judy Armstrong recently spent several weeks in South Africa, visiting their daughter.  His talk was attended by past club members Ron Burnham, Brenda Erickson, Gary Huston, Vic Lepp, Les Parsons, John Rachwalski & Keray Regan.
Travels in South Africa Colin Heggie 2014-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Help for an OC Business Student

Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 03, 2014

Okanagan College business student Talon Flaten received our annual bursary toward his studies.

Help for an OC Business Student Colin Heggie 2014-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

Miss Silver Star Rotary

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 27, 2014
Each year, our club sponsors a candidate for the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program.  Our 2015 candidate, Alyyssa Cook, is introduced by Dr Craig Goplen.
Miss Silver Star Rotary Colin Heggie 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Water -- the details

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 27, 2014
Wendy Hesketh thanks retiring Coldstream Counselor Maria Besso for her information about the issues surrounding the upcoming referendum on Greater Vernon’s Master Water Plan.
Water -- the details Colin Heggie 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Kiwanis helps Rotary

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 27, 2014
Cindy Krusel is thanked by Janet Green.  Vernon Kiwanis members Cindy, her husband Sig, Shirley Bertrand & Tom Watkinson were honored & presented with a donation, in recognition of their generous help with the 17th Annual Father Daughter Ball.  For sixteen years, Kiwanians ran this event.  This year, they turned the event over to our club, & helped us run it.  They’ve also given us tons of decorations & other materials, making the transition much easier for us.
Kiwanis helps Rotary Colin Heggie 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Cyclist Extraordinaire

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 20, 2014
Lumby RCMP Cpl Henry Proce dazzled members with his story of cycling solo across the United States, from California to Florida.  Mostly, he camped & made his own meals, but occasionally he was hosted by curious or generous folks whom he met along the way.
Cyclist Extraordinaire Colin Heggie 2014-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Rail Trail News

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 13, 2014

Brad Clements, Okanagan College economics professor & spokesman for the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, brought us up to date with the attempt to purchase abandoned CN rail land between Coldstream & Kelowna, to preserve the transportation corridor, & construct a cycling & walking trail.  The 4 x 30 day successive periods, in which various levels of government had an opportunity to purchase the land, have expired with no deal in place.  However, the affected municipalities have initiated a six month process to provide an appraisal of the "net salvage value" of the lands, binding on CN, but not on the municipalities.  A negotiated agreement may also be struck during this period.  CN intends to remove their rails & ties.  For an appropriate trail width & surface, about 18" of ballast depth along the 49 km route must replaced with gravel crush &/or pavement, at a projected cost of about $7m.  Supporters of this plan hope for a July 1st, 2017 opening, to coincide with Canada's 150th birthday.  This trail could join approximately 1,600 others in North America!

Okanagan Rail Trail News Colin Heggie 2014-10-14 00:00:00Z 0

New Member Bob Franklin

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 06, 2014


Newcomer to Vernon & SS Rotary, Robert G (Bob) Franklin is welcomed by Membership Committee Chair Dave Weatherill.  Bob has had two or three varied careers, which we're waiting to hear about.  His vocational classification is "Tarsands Engineer."


New Member Bob Franklin Colin Heggie 2014-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Greater Vernon's Master Water Plan

Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 06, 2014


Bob Clarke thanks Greater Vernon Water Manager Zee Marcolin for her presentation about our upcoming $70m referendum on implementation of a comprehensive series of water supply improvements.

Greater Vernon's Master Water Plan Colin Heggie 2014-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Recognition from Vernon Search & Rescue

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 29, 2014


Dominik Dlouhy shows President Janet Green a plaque given our club by Vernon Search & Rescue, in recognition of our donation of $5,000 in 2011-12, to their "Helicopter Winch Program."  Funds for equipment & training were used to create a group of highly-trained volunteers capable of extracting accident victims from remote or difficult terrain.  It's hoped this program will serve as a model for others in different jurisdictions.

Recognition from Vernon Search & Rescue Colin Heggie 2014-09-30 00:00:00Z 0

Ed Nowek & Planet Bee

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 29, 2014


Ed Nowek is the owner & manager of Vernon's "Planet Bee" on Bella Vista Road.  Almost every day, there are at least a couple of tour buses full of Japanese & Chinese tourists visiting, to see the wide array of honey-based foods, cosmetics, health aids & wines (mead) on offer.  Ed, along with his wife & son, also offer explanations of bee-keeping, bee health & reproduction, etc.  He's had a life-long interest in bees, & continues to advocate for programs to maintain their health, which along with other pollinators, is critical to our food supply. 



Ed Nowek & Planet Bee Colin Heggie 2014-09-30 00:00:00Z 0

Grape Escape Wine Raffle Draw

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 22, 2014


DG Bruce Falkins pulls a winning ticket for our "Grape Escape" Wine Raffle.  Raffle committee Chair Sandra Ross & her assistant, Jim Kanester, record winners.  The five lucky winners were Darryl Payeur, Pat Wilson, Heather Serafin, A. Dallimore & Kendra Bisbing.  Thanks to all those who bought & sold tickets!  Our club raised about $7,000 for gaming-eligible charitable donations.

Grape Escape Wine Raffle Draw Colin Heggie 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z 0

District Governor Visit

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 22, 2014


District Governor Bruce Falkins, his wife Donna, & Assistant DG (Area 3) Peter Moore are shown with our President Janet Green.  Directors met the previous evening, & were complimented on the number of activities our club engages in.  He also made suggestions about adding cocktail hour satellite club events to attract younger members, changing our meeting formats, etc.  At our Tuesday morning meeting, DG Bruce emphasized the importance of (repeatedly) asking prospective new members to join us.  He also encouraged regular donations to the RI Foundation & Polio Plus campaign.

District Governor Visit Colin Heggie 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z 0

Father Daughter Ball

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 18, 2014


The Best Western Vernon Lodge ballroom, Friday, Sep 19th, was the venue for Vernon's 17th annual Father Daughter Ball, for girls 6 & up, with their fathers.  This formal event has been run for 16 years by the Kiwanis Club of Vernon.  This year, Kiwanians selected our Rotary club to take over presentation of the event.  They provided us with decorations & helped us run the event, which included a full buffet-style dinner, dance, photos of each couple, silent auction, & crowning of a "Princess."  Some of our members were seen in tuxedos!

Father Daughter Ball Colin Heggie 2014-09-19 00:00:00Z 0

Need a New Smile ?

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 15, 2014


Geordie McLennan thanks Josh Gibson, of Nobel Biocare, a provider of dental prosthetics, who was invited by our Dr Craig Goplen to explain the latest technologies in replacing a single tooth, or a whole mouthful of teeth.  By anchoring implants into a patient’s bone, new bone growth is facilitated, providing a superior long-lasting solution.  Using CAD / CAM assisted diagnoses & guided surgery kits, a restorative dentist working with these high-tech tools & materials can replace teeth in a fraction of the time previously required, & with far less intrusion & pain.

Need a New Smile ? Colin Heggie 2014-09-16 00:00:00Z 0

New Chamber of Commerce Manager

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 08, 2014


Keith Johnston with Dan Rogers, the new General Manager of the Vernon Chamber of Commerce.  Hired in April 2014, Dan has a background in broadcasting & politics, having served as a Prince George councilor for 12 years & Mayor for 3 years, then as a communications & marketing consultant.  Our Chamber has over 700 individual & corporate members who enjoy a variety of programs for networking, new business encouragement, lobbying, mentoring & socializing.

New Chamber of Commerce Manager Colin Heggie 2014-09-09 00:00:00Z 0

Rotaplast in the Philippines

Posted by Colin Heggie on Sep 01, 2014


Keith Johnston thanks PDG Garry Hollingshead, of the Summerland Rotary Club, for his presentation in support of their upcoming Rotaplast mission to the Philippines.  Rotaplast International ( provides numerous annual Rotaplast missions, involving two to three dozen members & other volunteers, traveling at their own expense, to repair cleft palates.  Each mission has three to five surgeons, anaesthetists, dentists, nurses & other health professionals, plus a well-organized team of support workers, who complete about 100 surgeries in about 7 days.  This life changing work, provided mostly to children, has one of the best returns on investment of any surgeries, & rescues recipients & their families from a life of misery in most parts of the world.


Rotaplast in the Philippines Colin Heggie 2014-09-02 00:00:00Z 0

Things You Never Knew about Fort McMurray

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 25, 2014


Clockwise from top left: Dr Craig Goplen, visiting Rotarian Helen Duncan, Dave Weatherill, Mike Wardlow, Dominik Dlouhy, Dr John Wheeldon, returned RYES Claire Stanhope & Sandra Ross.

Helen Duncan, Past President of the Rotary Club of Fort McMurray Oilsands, visited our club.  She told us that Ft Mac is home to about 90,000 people;  their average age is about 10 years younger than that of most communities;  there are two active Rotary clubs, & one of them owns a golf course which earns the club enough money that they don't need to do a lot of fundraising!


Things You Never Knew about Fort McMurray Colin Heggie 2014-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

En Garde, Pret, Allez !

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 18, 2014


On Guard, Ready, Go !  Matt Clarke & Chris Dlouhy (Dominik's youngest son), on behalf of Okanagan Freestyle Fencing, demonstrated the basics of fencing.  They first explained characteristics of their different weapons, clothing & protective gear, & scoring equipment, then engaged in battle.  Fencing combines art, chivalry & athleticism.  Modern tournaments use electronic instruments, including an electrified mat, to record points, but still rely on the honour of participants to clarify scores.


En Garde, Pret, Allez ! Colin Heggie 2014-08-19 00:00:00Z 0

Venture Training BBQ

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 13, 2014


Despite a little liquid sunshine at Coldstream Park on the afternoon of Aug 14th, clients, staff & supporters of Venture Training enjoyed their 21st annual BBQ, supporter recognition, & games.  Our club provides, cooks & serves burgers, hot dogs & salad for this event.  Marty, Bob & Jim are shown on the left, above, serving the hungry troops.


Venture Training BBQ Colin Heggie 2014-08-14 00:00:00Z 0

Mackie Lake House Foundation

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 11, 2014


Christine Kashuba, of the Mackie Lake House Foundation, is thanked by Ken Barton.  She recounted the history of this beautiful old home on Kalamalka Lake, & how well-liked French teacher, flautist, naturalist & potter Paddy Mackie set up a foundation, & had his home & 5 acres of lakefront property heritage designated, so all of us in the Greater Vernon area could enjoy his property.  The home hosts writers & artists in residence, & is open for tours, teas, nature walks, weddings, social & musical events.  Our club enjoyed our Christmas 2013 party there.  See or call 250-545-1019.

Mackie Lake House Foundation Colin Heggie 2014-08-12 00:00:00Z 0

Jim & Jerry take us to the Moon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Aug 04, 2014


Jerry Thompson (left) & our Jim Kanester, members of the Royal Astronomical Society, showed pictures of the moon, & explained that lunar librations, or "wobbling" of the moon, mean that we can actually see 58 to 59% of the moon's surface.  They also talked about referencing locations on the moon's surface relative to the perceived "man & his dog" shading, rather than more difficult official names.

Jim & Jerry take us to the Moon Colin Heggie 2014-08-05 00:00:00Z 0

Finland, according to returned RYES Claire Stanhope

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 28, 2014


Claire Stanhope was our outgoing 2013-14 Rotary Youth Exchange Student (RYES), who spent her year just below the Arctic Circle in a small northern Finland town.  She was transported from her small Vernon family, parents + 1 brother, to a family with six children.  Her main challenge was to learn the language.  She explained that her motivation to do so increased exponentially when she realized that the only way to understand how her favourite hockey team was doing, was to learn Finnish fast!  She now feels she's functionally literate, & thanked the club for her wonderful year.  Our club is grateful for the way Claire conducted herself throughout the program, & also for her parents & brother, who hosted our incoming RYES, Marie Chaumat, for part of her stay.  Claire will be moving to UVic in a few weeks, to study physics.


Finland, according to returned RYES Claire Stanhope Colin Heggie 2014-07-29 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Ride

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 26, 2014


Early on a beautiful Sunday morning, July 27th, at Kin Beach, 31 cyclists inaugurated our Annual Rotary Ride.  Participants chose from three lengths of routes to the Armstrong area & beyond, then enjoyed a BBQ lunch back at Kin Beach.  This event has a lot of growth potential for our club, & we appreciate all the work our Wendy Hesketh & her committee put into it.


Rotary Ride Colin Heggie 2014-07-27 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Ride Directions from Wendy Hesketh

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 21, 2014


Our lovely Wendy Hesketh, with help from her committee, & local cyclist Gary Horsting, has been organizing a fun bike ride on Sun, July 27th, with three routes of different lengths through the Armstrong area & beyond.  Here, she's explaining final instructions for volunteers helping with registration, routes & the Kin Beach BBQ at the end.

Rotary Ride Directions from Wendy Hesketh Colin Heggie 2014-07-22 00:00:00Z 0

New Member: Chih Huang

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 14, 2014


Membership Director Dave Weatherill welcomes new member Chih Huang, who was sponsored by Martin von Holst.  Chih is General Manager of our Sandman Inn.  His lovely wife Emi, who also attended, is also working in hospitality, at Predator Ridge.  They recently moved from the Vancouver area, & are looking forward to enjoying an Okanagan lifestyle.

New Member: Chih Huang Colin Heggie 2014-07-15 00:00:00Z 0

The Life of Geordie McLennan

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 14, 2014


Geordie recently transferred from the Fort Nelson Rotary Club, where he held several offices, including President.  He described his early life, which involved a lot of engineering with Lego, role-playing Star Wars characters, & no doubt terrorizing his brother & parents with his indefatigable sense of humour.  He talked himself into part-time Sargeant at Arms duties, & seems to have impressed President Janet!  Geordie is managing our local branch of Western Financial Group, which sells insurance.  He & his wife Wendy have two sons, recently graduated from high school.

The Life of Geordie McLennan Colin Heggie 2014-07-15 00:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange Students (RYES) coming & going

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 07, 2014


Marie Chaumat (left) from a small French village near Clermont-Ferrand, France, has been with us since mid-Aug 2013.  We've watched her blossom from a shy young lady to one with lots more confidence.  She tried her hand at many new activities, & took full advantage of all the RYES program offers.  She returned to France on July 9th.  Beside her is Claire Stanhope, who returned July 4th from her year in Finland.  From her blog, we know that Claire was also fully engaged in her community.  We also know she now speaks Finnish, & has a wicked sense of humor!  Claire's family hosted Marie for part of her year.  We'll miss Marie, & look forward to hearing more from both these ladies over the next few weeks.


Rotary Youth Exchange Students (RYES) coming & going Colin Heggie 2014-07-08 00:00:00Z 0

Breakfast at Venture Training

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 07, 2014


Eileen Howells & Ed Columbus of Venture Training are thanked by Marty Armstrong.  Our club met & had a catered breakfast at their facility.  We heard how five people, in 1955, started helping adults with various challenges, growing programs & facilities that now serve clients through employment in a variety of business enterprises, supplemented by training & counseling.  Employment both on & off site includes landscape maintenance, recycling, bicycle repair & sales, making school lunches, & production of wood products, such as pallets, survey pins, markers, etc.  Some Rotarians enjoyed a tour of the facilities after breakfast.

Breakfast at Venture Training Colin Heggie 2014-07-08 00:00:00Z 0

New Directors for the 2014-15 Rotary Year

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 23, 2014


Incoming 2014-15 President Janet Green (R) introduces her Directors, from left, Mike Wardlow, Bev Rundell, Dave Hoyte, Colin Heggie, Rob Irving, Jim Kanester, Scott Anderson, Sandra Ross, Keith Johnston, & Sargeant at Arms Martin von Holst (missing: Givonna De Bruin, Dominik Dlouhy & Dave Weatherill).  Janet is holding a "Light Up Rotary" banner, the theme for incoming 2014-15 Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang, from Taipei, Taiwan.

New Directors for the 2014-15 Rotary Year Colin Heggie 2014-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

Sean Smith thanks Keith for the 1st Annual Athletic Awards Banquet

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 23, 2014


Vernon Secondary School Athletic Director, Sean Smith, thanked our President Keith Johnston, for all his hard work organizing local Rotary clubs in jointly sponsoring a very successful Athletic Awards Banquet, for high school athletes.  A room full of athletes, parents, coaches & other guests were treated to an impressive evening of recognizing local talent, along with powerful words of encouragement from 13 season Canadian Football League veteran, Angus Reid, & Predator Ridge's golf pro, former LPGA pro, A.J. Eathorne.  Sean commented that the high caliber of this event will pave the way for a bigger & better event in future years.  Has Keith created a new career for himself ??

Sean Smith thanks Keith for the 1st Annual Athletic Awards Banquet Colin Heggie 2014-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

Okanagan Military Tattoo in Vernon, Aug 1 & 2

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 16, 2014


(File photo)  Norm Crerar spoke about his work organizing a variety of dancers, singers, pipers, drummers, etc., for a military-style tattoo at Kal Tire Place, Fri & Sat, Aug 1st & 2nd.  Some of our members will help distribute food to an expected 400 or more participants.  There are also other opportunities for volunteers.  For more info, see

Okanagan Military Tattoo in Vernon, Aug 1 & 2 Colin Heggie 2014-06-17 00:00:00Z 0

1st Annual Rotary North Okanagan Athletic Awards

Posted by Keith Johnston on Jun 10, 2014


On June 11th, 2014 at the Best Western Vernon Lodge: 220 athletes, coaches, parents & dignitaries celebrate 32 athletes from 7 schools, receiving 23 awards sponsored by local businesses.  Proceeds from this event were distributed among the athletic departments of the participating schools.  L to R:  Kalamalka Rotary President Jerry Tellier, Rotary Club of Vernon Silver Star President Keith Johnston, Vernon Rotary President Greg Kalyniuk, Predator Ridge Golf Pro A.J. Eathorne, Armstrong Rotary President Shirley Fowler, & recently retired BC Lions center Angus Reid.  (For full story, members may go to View Club Documents)


1st Annual Rotary North Okanagan Athletic Awards Keith Johnston 2014-06-11 00:00:00Z 0

International Students in Vernon

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 09, 2014


Judy Hershman & Lisa Johnson, Principal & Homestay Supervisors of SD22's International Student Program, were thanked by our Bev Rundell, retired Superintendent of Schools.  Our Vernon schools typically host about 200 students from 15 to 18 countries, each contributing well over $20,000 to our local economy.  International student fees help subsidize our schools, & host families, while bringing our own children an opportunity to meet & learn from kids representing a variety of cultures.  How could this not be a win-win-win program ?

International Students in Vernon Colin Heggie 2014-06-10 00:00:00Z 0

The Life of our RYES Marie Chaumat

Posted by Colin Heggie on Jun 02, 2014

Image  Image

Our Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Marie Chaumat, described her home in Aurillac, France, & her boarding school 2.5 hours northeast by train, at Clermont-Ferrand.  Her home is a small village with many very old buildings.  Clermont-Ferrand is a much larger, more industrial city, best known as the headquarters of Michelin Tire Company.  Her school includes post-secondary courses, & she's specializing in design, with a view to further study in fashion design in either Paris or Lyon.  Marie has really enjoyed her lighting & costume design involvement with WL Seaton School's theatre program.

The Life of our RYES Marie Chaumat Colin Heggie 2014-06-03 00:00:00Z 0

Woman of the Year + RYLA Report

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 26, 2014


Vernon's Women in Business elected Ruth Hoyte as "Woman of the Year" for 2013.  She described how so many women in our community give in so many different ways, & how she felt humbled to be honored in the midst of so many compelling stories.  Her son Nick described his May 22nd to 25th weekend in Naramata at Rotary Youth Leadership Award leadership training.  Both were thanked by Martin von Holst.

Woman of the Year + RYLA Report Colin Heggie 2014-05-27 00:00:00Z 0

Our 2 Bobs

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 19, 2014


Bob Clarke continued describing his Tanzanian safari & visit to Moivaru school in rural Arusha, Tanzania.  Bob & his wife Debbie were impressed by the progress made by students & teachers working in primitive conditions.  He's thanked by Bob France.

Our 2 Bobs Colin Heggie 2014-05-20 00:00:00Z 0

Geology of the North Okanagan

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 12, 2014


Bob Clarke thanks local orchardist & geologist Jamie Kidston for his informative review of the geology of our area.  This was a fast-paced talk -- covering about 70,000 years of geologic history per minute!  It helps to keep things in perspective!

Geology of the North Okanagan Colin Heggie 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z 0

1st Coldstream Rovers' plan to sail the Gulf Islands

Posted by Colin Heggie on May 05, 2014


Scouts Canada is introducing new options within the Scouting movement, where participants can be involved in a variety of outdoor pursuits, building competencies without age restrictions.  Our 1st Coldstream Rovers are planning a 5 day sailing trip, on a Bavaria 37, through the Gulf Islands.  Leader, Mentor & Sailor Glen Dick assisted Rovers Justin, Spencer & Ashley in explaining their plans. 

1st Coldstream Rovers' plan to sail the Gulf Islands Colin Heggie 2014-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Fellow Awards

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 28, 2014


Leigh Hewer, Marty Armstrong & Bob Clarke receive Paul Harris Fellow Awards from President Keith Johnston, for their contributions to the Rotary Foundation.

Paul Harris Fellow Awards Colin Heggie 2014-04-29 00:00:00Z 0
BrainTrust's "Helmet Safety Program" Colin Heggie 2014-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

China's Silk Road

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 21, 2014

Our long-time member Givonna De Bruin took us on a tour of China's Silk Road.

China's Silk Road Colin Heggie 2014-04-22 00:00:00Z 0
Youth Symphony Orchestra mini concert Dominik Dlouhy 2014-04-15 00:00:00Z 0

Barrita Durward and Mexico Orphanages

Posted by Dominik Dlouhy on Apr 07, 2014

Barrita gave us an update on the two Mexican orphanages she has been supporting over the years, as well as recent progress and successes with the Sweet Smiles Foundation.


Barrita Durward and Mexico Orphanages Dominik Dlouhy 2014-04-08 00:00:00Z 0

Dave Aujla & Colin Heggie take afternoon tea with the Queen!

Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 02, 2014


Actually, we didn't really see the Queen, but Colin & Hardev (Dave), along with their wives Barb & Gurbakhash, were surprised to meet on Friday, April 3rd outside Buckingham Palace.  Colin & Barb were on day 9 of a 5.5 week trip, which will include Amsterdam, Brussels & France.  The Aujlas go to Paris next, then on to visit family in India.  Their trip was postponed a few weeks when Gurbakhash broke her arm, & Dave had to learn how to cook!  Your Rotary friends may pop up anywhere.

Dave Aujla & Colin Heggie take afternoon tea with the Queen! Colin Heggie 2014-04-03 00:00:00Z 0
Jamie Stakkstad & Coldstream Meadows Dominik Dlouhy 2014-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

Bob Clarke Out of Africa

Posted by Dominik Dlouhy on Mar 24, 2014

Bob gave an amazing breakfast tour of Africa, and Tanzania in particular.

Image  Image

Bob Clarke Out of Africa Dominik Dlouhy 2014-03-25 00:00:00Z 0

Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO)

Posted by Colin Heggie on Mar 17, 2014

Leanne Hammond, Fund Development Officer for the Community Foundation, explained how the Foundation offers different options for individual donors, companies, service clubs & other organizations to manage their charitable investments in our community.

Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO) Colin Heggie 2014-03-18 00:00:00Z