Friday, March 27, 2015

1916: "Oliver Fruit and Gardens" fueled by Water. 99 years later same technology in use but moving Petroleum

 One of our hobbies is to find where a photographer had to stand to get his landscape photo.

Haynes Ecological Reserve
Allan Brooks - Naturalist - near Osoyoos



Situated in Southern Okanagan Valley, south of Penticton, the warmest, lowest, and earliest portion of that well-known fruit-growing district, a tract, of several thousand acres is being subdivided in fruit growing areas of 10 to over 20 acres and prepared for settlement and development.

An irrigation system has been installed which will be operated by the Government until development allows of the creation of an irrigation district, after which the water-users will administer and manage the system. The areas now being offered a re confined to those within scope of the completed portion.

The tract extends from a short distance south of Vaseaux Lake to the International Boundary. The northerly part is 22 miles from Penticton. Agreement has been made with the Kettle Valley Railway Company by the Government for completion of a branch, now under construction, from Penticton a divisional point of the company's main  line-through the tract, with a station at Oliver.


Which will be the administrative centre of the district, is a new townsite laid out in a picturesque part of the valley on the west of Okanagan River, 25 miles south of Penticton. It has been subdivided into business and residential blocks, with graded streets and domestic water and sewerage systems to be provided; electric light and power will be available, as the transmission-line from Bonnington Falls passes within a mile; railway service with station and yards, parks, etc.; in fact, Oliver is expected to be a modern business centre with all conveniences required by modern business and social life. The main highway will pass through the centre of the town .
Dog Lake is now called Skaha Lake

Where was the photographer standing to take this photo?  Has the area changed?  Orchard Stands dot the Highway?  Houses?  Picker Shacks?  Resorts?

Oliver Then

Oliver Now

Zoom in on the workers: see the 'wall' creating the pipe, crib supports below



 PRESS RELEASE: Tales of the Ditch

posted Apr 7, 2014, 1:11 PM by Oliver Heritage 

“The Ditch” that carries the lifeblood of the valley, water, is the reason the Town of Oliver exists. Yet most people today    do not realize it is right under their feet as they do business around town.

Not so for Oliver born orchardist Greg Norton, guest speaker at the Oliver and District Heritage Society’s Annual General Meeting which takes place on Wednesday, April 16th at 7 p.m. at the Quail Nest on Airport Road.

Greg will share stories of “The Ditch”, a daring do place of adventurous entertainment for generations of Oliver kids.  The gravity flow, concrete canal that begins its life under the shadow of McIntyre Bluff was the personal playground for Greg and his friends growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s.  In later years it was his place of work. However, well before that, this amazing and seemingly simply designed structure was what his grandfather Charles Norton and others wrestled to build in the early 1920’s. Then and now, “The Ditch” has always been a central part of Norton family life.


The Ditch

Snip.....In 1918 soldiers began to return to the B.C. after the war; to their dismay they were welcomed by a crowded workforce and highly populated cities.  The Premier of B.C. at the time, John Oliver, sought to find a solution for the veterans, who he believed should be rewarded for their valiant fighting.  He instituted the Soldiers Land Act, under which he purchased 22,000 acres extending south of McIntyre bluff.  It was hoped to irrigate 8,000 acres of this land – this was to be the Southern Okanagan Lands Project.  The land was then to be sold to veterans who desired land and were given ‘special purchasing privileges’.  Snip     - Julie Cancela

Southern Okanagan Irrigation Project

1922 version of GMO




Source: 1916
The Town of Oliver is named after “Honest” John Oliver, who became the 19th Premier of British Columbia following the death of his predecessor in 1918 and held the position of Premier until his own death in 1927. During his term in office, he was instrumental in developing the original fruit growing industry in the South Okanagan Valley, centered in what later became our community, and which adopted the Premier Oliver’s name as its own.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Strong Economy, Secure Tomorrow" advertising missing on Transit Plebiscite, but that's okay, the Mayor's have the last say before X

A Vancouver Sun Letter to the Editor writer is asking Why there is a YES side campaign on the Translink Ballot.

Ballot contains Yes side ad (second page, last opinion)

I received my Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite ballot today and I was very surprised to find the top half of the ballot paper devoted to what I would consider to be Yes-side advertising.

How can this be considered a fair vote if the ballot itself carries what amounts to a political message? One has to wonder what other problems exist at Elections BC if they can’t even make what should be a simple ballot fair?



Past Practice on a Referendum:  No First, Second or Third Party advertising

 Past Municipal Election:

Next time around ......

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Spitting image: Bill Bennett's spat with Alaskans: Tailing Ponds are safe! "160 years of mining in British Columbia"!!!

Is it possible that Energy Minister Bill Bennett handlers haven't found a way to know when, or how, to shut the Minister up?

Is this why former Premier Gordon Campbell never trusted the man, why there was a need to take Bennett out to the farm shed?  (CBC backgrounder c/w video)

If Bennett had just kept his cool and ignored Juneau Empire Editor he could have kept British Columbian failed mining statistics on tailing pond practices to himself, thereby keeping the public in the dark, Americans too.

However, with his claim of  "160 years of mining in British Columbia" came a gold nugget of data information, maybe even written for the Minister of Energy himself and all he had to do was find a wedge issue.  Why not write an obscure letter to a Foreign Country newspaper.
Juneau Empire:
Let us start off by addressing the first portion of Mr. Bennet’s piece when he states it was “unfortunate your editorial has seized upon the Mount Polley mine tailings storage facility failure to undermine the long tradition of respectful relations and co-operation between British Columbia and Alaska on mining development and environmental protection.”

Perhaps Mr. Bennett has forgotten about the Tulsequah Chief Mine. Southeast Alaska has not forgotten.
50-plus years of pollution

The Tulsequah Chief Mine, located south of Juneau on the Taku River just across the Canadian border, has leached acid runoff into the Taku River since its closure in the 1950s. The Taku boasts notable salmon runs, the same runs which in turn give jobs to many commercial fishermen. There were efforts to revitalize the mine, but those failed for financial reasons and to this day acid continues to taint the Taku.  ......

Thank You Bill!!!

Where's the Minister of Environment?

Ahhh, the sheer beauty of the Energy Minister providing the key words needed to find the source, the proof of the existence of  "160 years of mining" bordering not just Alaska but Washington, Alberta and the Yukon.  How many tailings ponds are leaking already from a database of 1,696 (not all with ponds)?

A Google Earth KML file, created for Bill Bennett's pleasure, now lays at foreign press feet, and bloggers too:

GeoFile 2012-03:  A KML file to Display Producing Mines in British Columbia at Any Range or Point of Time in the Last 160 Years

by Yao Cui

View GeoFile 2012-03 (PDF, 375 KB);
Download KMZ (96 KB)

The KML file MinFile_production_ts.kmz contains 1,696 past and current producing mines over the last 160 years in British Columbia that can be displayed at any range or point of time by using the Time Slider on Google Earth®. Only mines with known operating years are included in this KML file. More mines and detailed information can be found on the MINFILE Mineral Inventory website at  
All publications of the BC Geological Survey are available digitally, free of charge, from this website.
Index of GeoFiles 
  Mount Polley Tailing Pond spill not mentioned for 2014/2015

 1851 to 2011

The Real Gold Nugget to this Google Earth File is that it will tell you, the private land owner, the hounder of rock collecting, if there is something insidious lurking nearby.  Who would have guessed that Bowen Island was not only manufacturer of bricks but it also had a Gold/Copper mine.... Britannia Beach island hopping crossover.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"In God We Trust": Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipe Line 40 pages of Failures from Edmonton to the shores of Burnaby

60 failures between Sumas (Abbotsford) and Burnaby's Burrard Inlet

Page 39 of 40 and the next page too for TMPL route without a hint of a timeline

Let us count the ways
External Corrosion

Internal Corrosion

3rd Party Damage

System Operations

Construction Threat

Total Failure

Environmental Consequence Score

Environment Risk Score

Number of HCAs aka High Consequence Areas


Pipeline Integrity Analyses for Construction in Mountainous Area


.....Therefore, the main public impact consequence that is associated with a catastrophic failure of a high-pressure non-sour gas transmission pipeline is that of thermal radiation subsequent to the ignition of the gas cloud that is evolved from the rupture. .....

 GTS-RateCase2015_Exh_ ORA_20150223_ExhORA

Page 7 of 27

Body Bag Counting before Seismic School Upgrading
Page 12 of 27

Monday, March 9, 2015

Seismic Mitigation Program Progress Report or as the Vancouver Sun calls it: Seismic upgrading for schools delayed

It's one thing to open your morning newspaper to be told how British Columbian Schools are still at risk from earthquakes, but it's quite another when the Press fails to adequately reassure parents that the document from which the journalist derived their (possessive) information is the BC Government.  Not to say that source is not trustworthy, but .... why not give the readers the hyperlink to the BC Government Source?   It's our tax dollars that are paying for the documents that they so often quote from, so why not share the information?

From our research last week:

 British Columbia. Ministry of Education
Seismic Mitigation Program Progress Report

 Most vulnerable structure; at highest risk of widespread damage or structural failure; not reparable after event) - Vancouver Sun - Tracy Sherlock

It's a simple rating 1, 2, 3 where No. 1 is the MOST in NEED but in an 'event' where children and adults would have to dive for the underbelly of their desks for safety, the chances of survival of the fittest need not apply.  All is lost.

Soon after the BC Liberal Party elected their new Leader the first order to shore up the forthcoming 2013 election chances was to spend money on Playground school equipment, which was important for the well being of Education Minister George Abbott and Premier Christy Clark who implemented that program, it wasn't just a photo op.......
DELTA – Premier Christy Clark announced today $8 million for 44 new playgrounds and playground upgrades for schools across British Columbia to help provide safe play spaces for kids to be happy and healthy.
“Learning continues outside the classroom and playgrounds are a venue where kids come together and learn from each other through play,” said Premier Clark. “Playgrounds are a reminder to all of us that providing access to safe spaces helps make kids happier, healthier and ready to learn.” September 2, 2011 snip

44 Elementary schools out of 1019 province wide plus another 37 triple combo Elementary / Secondary / High Schools

Could there a correlation made that the BC Government used $50,000 per playground to buy votes and in doing so they staved off the need to spend the big money on seismic upgrades for those very same school buildings?
Stephen Hume: Seismic Upgrades Not a Priority for Politicians (BC Liberal MLAs)
Sort of makes you want to move our children OUT of the public school system.   Was that the game plan from Day 1 by Education Minister Christine Joanne Clark?  Privatization and keep the school taxes for General Revenue?

FootNote: In 2004 Christy Clark left for parts unknown and Tom Christensen took over as Minister of Education.

What is important is that it was one or the other that brought in Seismic Upgrades for School with an initiated value for ... service ....  $1.5 billion program.

Risk Management Plan for the School Seismic Mitigation Program in the Province of British Columbia, Canada W.D. Liam Finn and A. Dexter

February 2012

In 2004, the British Columbia Ministry of Education initiated a $1.5 billion seismic mitigation program to make all public elementary and secondary school buildings safe. This seismic safety program is being implemented by the BC Ministry of Education (MED) in collaboration with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC). APEGBC has been contracted by MED to develop a set of state-of-the-art performance-based technical guidelines for structural engineers to use in the seismic risk assessment and retrofit design of low-rise school buildings. In undertaking this technical development program, APEGBC contracted the University of British Columbia (UBC) to draft the performance-based technical guidelines based on an extensive applied research program (APEGBC, 2006). Each draft of these technical guidelines has been peer-reviewed by a BC peer review committee of experienced local consulting engineers and by an external peer review committee comprised of prominent California consulting engineers and researchers. Research on innovative retrofit methods is still being conducted and technical guidelines are issued to keep current with research developments.

The three overall objectives of the guidelines are enhanced life safety, cost effective retrofits and user-friendly technical guidelines. The life safety philosophy of these guidelines is enhanced life safety through minimizing the probability of structural collapse by the use of rational performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE) methods for damage estimation. The performance criterion of life safety is defined by acceptable drift ratios specified for each generic school building type. The performance standard is that the risk to life safety should not be more than 2% in 50 years

The Auditor General of British Columbia reviewed the whole project and commended MED for the high standard of their approach to handling the technical risks associated with the project. However he felt that a risk management plan was essential for the implementation of the project. In response to this advice MED commissioned the authors to develop such a plan. etc.

The high risk buildings have priority for retrofit according to their estimated risk to life safety and are retrofitted to reduce risk to 2% in 50 years, the Low Risk category. The MED is concerned at the slow pace of the retrofit program. There are many reasons for this. For example, Vancouver has a large number of schools at high risk, nearly half the total but has been able to accommodate at best a few retrofit projects at a time. Vancouver also has a large number of heritage schools which take a long time to deal with for political and technical reasons. Because of its concern for life safety in the schools, MED has been examining options for achieving a faster rate of high risk reduction.

The most effective option appears to be a phased implementation program which would see the risk first reduced on a global basis to Medium for all the high risk schools. The medium risk schools would then be retrofitted during the regular capital projects cycle. This option has been recommended independently to MED by the University of British Columbia Research Group and by Craig Comartin, California seismic consultant, in his program assessment report.

It is clear that the mitigation program is not a static process but a dynamic approach to a very difficult challenge. This risk management plan has been developed with the dynamic aspects of the mitigation in mind and formally recognizes that the program management staff should be alert to opportunities for improving schedules and costs.

Playground $50,000 paid from Carbon Offset Credits