Year in Review – Jan – Feb 2015

TNRD staff and contractors used a “leak detector” - a sensitive listening device – to find the location of leaks in Vavenby's water system.

Barb Coates uses a hockey stick to dig her vehicle out after getting stuck on the connector between the logging bridge across the Clearwater River at Brookfield Creek and Old North Thompson Highway on Friday

Barb Coates uses a hockey stick to dig her vehicle out after getting stuck on the connector between the logging bridge across the Clearwater River at Brookfield Creek and Old North Thompson Highway on Friday

January

TNRD staff and contractors used a “leak detector” – a sensitive listening device – to find the location of leaks in Vavenby’s water system. The water reservoir had nearly emptied in just four hours.

The first graduating class in B.C. in the new construction craft worker Red Seal program was in Clearwater at the TRU Satellite Centre. The program trained workers to assist skilled tradespeople. Ron Plamondon was course instructor.

“Most homeowners in the North Thompson will see changes in the -5 per cent to +10 per cent range,” said Graham Held, deputy assessor for the Thompson-Caribou as the 2015 assessment notices went out in the mail. Clearwater’s assessment roll increased from $334 million to $341 million.

The newly formed Upstream Community and Heritage Society arranged with the TNRD to open the Avola schoolhouse every Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. for one year.

Clearwater ski hill opened for the season on Saturday, Jan. 10. Favourable snow conditions and new prices brought out nearly 300 people over the weekend.

The Midget Ice Hawks placed third in their home tournament in the Sportsplex. West Kelowna won the event.

The first baby from our area for 2015 was Emma Marie Olson, born Jan. 2 in Kamloops. Proud parents were Dakota Olson and Patty Merriman.

Having a Global Geopark nearby has noticeably helped the tourism industry of Saint John, New Brunswick and could do the same for Clearwater, according to Tom Dickinson. The dean of science at TRU had recently returned from a conference in Saint John that centred around the Stonehammer Geopark.

Clearwater Medical Clinic announced that it had five doctors working after a period when Dr. Soles was the only regular physician. The new doctors were Dr. Broadbent, Dr. Gwyn, Dr. Liciu and Dr. Walton.

Players from all age categories took part in games at the Sportsplex during Hockey Days.

A guest editorial by Tom Fletcher argued that a wolf kill was the last hope for saving the mountain caribou. A column on another page from Valhalla Wilderness Watch said that the government’s caribou recovery program, including shooting wolves from helicopters, was failing disastrously.

February

Clearwater and area should have a museum, longtime local resident Chuck Emery told town council. Councillor Dennis Greffard cautioned that a museum needs to meet a wide variety of parameters, including proper temperatures and humidity. “It’s not impossible but it’s a huge undertaking,” Greffard said.

Representatives from all North Thompson communities, including Simpcw First Nation and TNRD, met in a community-to-community forum at Dutch Lake Community Centre. Simpcw chief Rita Matthew noted that the First Nation band and the other residents of the valley have a history of working together.

Yellowhead Mining announced that the BC Environmental Assessment Office had initiated an 180-day review of its application for its Harper Creek project – an open pit copper mine that would be located southwest of Vavenby.

More than 30 people attended a meeting in the Upper Clearwater Hall to discuss the future of the hall with Carol Schaffer, TNRD director for Wells Gray Country (Area A). She gave out surveys to determine what the area’s property owners wanted done with the $5,000 grant-in-aid the hall receives each year.

The daughter of a woman who had taught in Clearwater 70 years earlier was disappointed that there was no museum in the community to hold her mother’s photos. Edith Bowles (later Benwell) had taught at what was likely the only school in the community in 1944/45. She had 36 students of mixed ages and abilities. She also taught at a nearby prisoner-of-war camp.

Clearwater-based filmmaker Ken Matheson won the volunteer of the year award from BC Parks for his work in developing videos for Bowron Lake and Khutzeymateen provincial parks.

Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing launched a cross-country ski trail network in Blue River. A longtime guest, Neil McGillivary, donated a track-setter and snowmobile. Other partners included Blue River Bruderschaft, TNRD, BC Parks, and Recreational Sites and Trails BC.

Mayor John Harwood held a workshop with Clearwater’s Junior Council to explain how the municipality’s budget worked. Student Leevon Levasseur could not believe that District of Clearwater spends 40 per cent of its budget on roads. “Are you sure?” he asked.

First baby boy of the year was Caydon Gary O’Quinn, born Jan. 18. His twin sister, Tyia Patricia Karry O’Quinn, was born soon afterwards. Parents were Amber and Jeff.

District of Clearwater’s new public works superintendent, Bruce Forsyth, started work in mid-February. He had 20 years of experience working for municipal and regional district governments.

Clearwater Sno-Drifters’ groomer created excitement as it arrived for the first time at the club’s East Raft Cabin on Feb. 8. “Some snowmobilers have been waiting years for this,” said one person.

Stu Seib, the former sergeant-in-charge of Clearwater RCMP, was learning a new perspective on life by raising alpacas. Seib had resigned after admitting to stealing drugs from an evidence locker.

A total of 15 teams took part in the Ladies Bonspiel at the Sportsplex. The Larissa Hadley rink won the A event.

Clearwater Black Hawks won the 35+ division at the Old Timers Tournament in the Sportsplex, while 100 Mile House Old Sports won the 45+ division.