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Merritt Post Office Voght and Granite Photo: KDG

Merritt Post Office
Voght and Granite
Photo: KDG

There was an ocean effect snow fall(our term) here in Merritt last night, as witnessed by a confused seagull circling the Rail yard mall , we can only imagine that the megalomaniac looking down would think that his droppings were not usually that pronounced.
Seagulls come with air flows from the coast and signal wind and weather change. The forecast is now to turn colder after the next two days with over night lows going to well below freezing for Friday and Saturday. Hope the snow lasts.

A tradition of Canadian Prime ministers is to go for a walk in the snow when contemplating calling an election.The PM still has that prerogative however elections have been put on a four year cycle with a semi fixed date. ( we don’t think it has anything to do with global warming) Jean Chretien went for a walk in the snow before risking trying for a 3rd term below. The fixed date is in May….

Today in history November 27th 2000

The liberal party of Canada wins a third term with an increase in members over the previous term.


The weekend saw scrapbookers from Merritt, Princeton and Kelownahave a weekend event at the Local civic center. A member said there were 32 people that came together to exchange items and put together scrapbooks. They used the Civic center facility and the group that hosted it Valley Scrapbookers is listed in listed inthe City published leisure guide under the contact Dancia Vere – 250-036-8298.
Editors note: the small community of Merritt has a good recreation program and enjoys good non-commercail rates for the use of the civic center for these activities. The Merritt leisure guide is published and available at the City, the Pool and the down town tourist info.

Today in history: November 26th 1922

Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter are the first people into the tomb of Tutankhamen in 3000 years.



Tom Sullivan (left) and Alan Burger ready for his presentation


Doctor Tom Sullivan presented at the Nicola Naturalists last week on the work he has done with wood debris from logging operations.The University of BC professor and resident of the interior Town of Summerland said that piles of wood waste can be habitat for weasels and small forest animals. The slide show gave images of wood debris used to in strategies to connect habitat to mandatory patch’s of left forest in clear-cut operations. He had brochures available taken from his published works in scientific journals.

Tom noted it is best used to do these piles in remote logged areas as human access lends its self to them being set on fire.

There was a class of natural resource teck students from the First Nations run community college NVIT in the  audience and were introduced to the gathering by Nicola Naturalists President Alan Burger. They were said to be possible beneficiaries of the 600 dollar scholarship award just created by the group.

Pious Chong was also recognised  by Burger for his award of “The best artist in Singapore” by the President of Singapore.

DR. Sullivan works through the Applied Mammal Research Institute In Summerland as well as UBC :

Today in history: November 25 th 1940

The De Havilland Mosquito Bomber has its first flight.


NMS_7565 ore

A couple  of locks and a chain left hanging on a gate to a ranchers property signals responsible invitation Photo KDG

A couple of locks and a chain left hanging on a gate to a ranchers property signals responsible invitation
Photo KDG

The hunting season has brought up issues of land access and the need for private property owners in rural areas to keep a check on damage and vandalism.
Locked gates can be the result especially for private e drives and areas that have more than one public road going through them Civic election time also causes people here that wish better access to speak up.
The pictures of an unlocked gate is beside a helicopter companies hanger the ditch with a culvert is filled with copper ore to stabilize the banks. Perhaps a message signaling responsible use or a coincidence.

Today in history: November 21 1953
Piltdown Man Skull determined a hoax

Repairs started

2000 Block Quilchena Ave building to be repaired Photo KDG

2000 Block Quilchena Ave building to be repaired
Photo KDG

The building owned by the local Masons bunch and damaged in a late June fire next door is being repaired. A source on site says it needs to be made safe with replacement wall  material on the east side,before undertaking the appearance of the building.

Today in History: November 20th 1982

The General Union of Ecuadorian workers is established.

Jean Conlin

Drilling equipment for dewatering Photo KDG


A tent for storing drilling cores in mining exploration, in Merritt BC  Photo KDG

A tent for storing drilling cores in mining exploration, in Merritt BC
Photo KDG

Gene Conlin passed from this life on November 13th. Moving from Merritt to Parksvillle about 2 decades ago after the passing of her husband Patrick. She was the contact person here for the PC party and managed many elections in a time when mining entrepreneurship was at a high here in Merritt. Her husband Patrick was a mineral claim holder and a member of that community. The mining community at the time saw 30,000 workers about the size of the civil service in the province, of which Patrick was a member. Having worked in many elections with both, her passing signals the end and possibly  the rebirth of a great community in the partnership of government and the mining industry. After going about the world it has returned to the province in the last few years and still has its personality of generating higher wage jobs.

Miners should always stay close to the vote, good-bye Gene and we think fondly of you and yours….

Today in history: November 19th 1959

The Ford Edsel is taken off the production lines do to poor sales.


Ponderosa soapstone, one of the artiisan products produced in his Merritt store. file Photo KDG

Ponderosa soapstone, one of the artiisan products produced in the Merritt store.
file Photo KDG

Ed Hendricks the owner of Ponderosa sports says that tonight there will be an offical of the local RCMP office on CBC saying that cutting locks on gates  to ranch land is considered mischief. The broadcast is at 6:PM according to Hendricks. Ed  is an advocate of access to lakes as it affects his interests in recreation and fishing access. He and others have published a brochure that shows a number of lakes the public have lost access to. The brochure is at his Merritt Sport shop on Voght Street downtown Merritt.

Editors note:

Locked gates can be an indication of a drive that is private and there is no right of way to anyone other then the land owner and their associates.

The Forestry and lands part of the government maintains many recreational sites on lakes in this area and ensures access to them for public enjoyment. The right to quiet enjoyment is also safe guarded by the government where lawful activities are carried out.


Right of way is a term used to describe “the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another”, or “a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right”.[1] A further definition is that it is a type of easement granted or reserved over the land for transportation purposes, this can be for a highway, public footpath, railway, canal, as well as electrical transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines.[2]

As well this phrase describes “the legal right of a pedestrian, vehicle, or ship to proceed with precedence over others in a particular situation or place”,[3] and in hiking etiquette, where when two groups of hikers meet on a steep trail, a custom has developed in some areas whereby the group moving uphill has the right of way.[4]

The right of way may be limited. When one person owns a piece of land which is bordered on all sides by lands owned by others, a court will be obliged to grant that person a right of way.

In some countries, especially in Northern Europe, where the freedom to roam has historically taken the form of general public rights, a right of way may not be restricted to specific paths or trails. A similar right of access also exists on some public land in the United States and in Canada, Australia and New Zealand (where it is called Crown land). source Wikipedia

Merritt’s Chamber of Commerce in the past has had the theme A lake a day as long as you stay.  Ed from the sport shop says that there are two roads in contention, the Raspberry and Loon lake roads, both roads received large cattle guards after the construction of the Coquihalla highway, he says they are public roads as they are both maintained by the government.Douglas Lake Cattle Company has locked the gates on them perhaps in anticipation of a decommissioning of public maintained status, Kim Robinson and a grazing rights holder still need access through them, says Hendricks. He also adds that he can see the other view points but would like the process to be more open as well as stay legal, and accountable.

We trust that Staff SGT White and  SGT. Fleming will give a good accounting of the authorities duties in these situations on CBC news tonight.

Today in history: November 18th 2013

NASA launches its Maven probe to Mars.

Have a great weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Today in history: November 14th 1770

James Bruce believes he is at the source of the Nile River:


Pallets are money

Wooded pallets for moving beer are made from oak. Photo KDG

Wooded pallets for moving beer are made from oak.
Photo KDG

Sources says that pallets can cost about 85 dollars a piece and that one supplier of brew in kegs may have a thousand of them. That’s near 6 figures in capital. the one for moving beer kegs are made of Oak. Oak is cut in the province of Quebec here in Canada.

Toxic to some:

The leaves and acorns of the oak tree are poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep, and goats in large amounts due to the toxin tannic acid, and cause kidney damage and gastroenteritis. Additionally, once livestock have a taste for the leaves and acorns, they may seek them out.[clarification needed] Symptoms of poisoning include lack of appetite, depression, constipation, diarrhea (which may contain blood), blood in urine, and colic. The exception to livestock and oak toxicity is the domestic pig, which may be fed entirely on acorns in the right conditions, and has traditionally been pastured in oak woodlands (such as the Spanish dehesa and the English system of pannage) for hundreds of years.
Acorns are also edible to humans in processed form, after leaching of the tannins. source Wikipedia

Oak is used because of it’s strength and the prestige of its name, often in furniture and trim in expensive buildings. Pallets can be a valuable source of recyclable material.

Make a Relationship with Local Business People You Deal With on a Regular Basis Over the years, I’ve chatted up more than my share of produce department managers. Yes, part of this friendliness was totally self-serving. I was looking for empty cardboard boxes for a household move, and then in later years, to move the kids to college. The same approach can work for pallets. If you are looking for a specific type of pallet, and you are a valued customer, good things can happen. You should understand, however, that some reusable pallets have to go back to suppliers. These may be rental pallets that are the property of those companies, or other reusable pallets that must be returned. Many shop operators, however, have pallets they will happily give away if it is not too much of a hassle to segregate them for you./p>  source:


Today in history: November 13th 1986
Kevin Bridges Scottish comedian and actor born.

Thanks to all that remembered.

fish eagle , Kevin Griffiths photo

Osprey at the Nicola river.
Photo KDG

Thanks to all that remembered the occasions of the last two days.
Today in history: November 12th 1987
Born Canadian ice hockey player, Bryan Little

Lest we forget

The National Film Board has a production available with free streaming through the 11th on the history of the 22d infantry regiment of Canada as it is 100 years old this year as well… Click the link below to see the 1 hour production.

The Van Doos, 100 Years with the Royal 22e Régiment by Claude Guilmain, National Film Board of Canada


The Van Doos, 100 Years with the Royal 22e Régiment by Claude Guilmain, National Film Board of Canada

Today in history: November 11 1918 The armistice ending the First World War is signed.

TGIF -more capasity

A crane drives piles at the 200 million dollar cogen facility in Merritt BC Photo KDG

A crane drives piles at the 200 million dollar cogen facility in Merritt BC
Photo KDG

A few years ago the provincial hydro authority wanted to add another generator to the Revelstoke Dam to fill the 4th bay of the  five  bay dam site, they could not get a contractor for the project so the billion dollar project went into a holding pattern. Since that time it has been resolved and that generator is on stream.

Today the hydro news letter is saying another increase in generating ability is being done on the 40 year old WAC Bennett dam on the Peace river in north eastern BC. The Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station  is getting attention :

“There’s nothing else like it,” says Gammer. “There are lots of other dams and generating stations in the province, of course, but this is the biggest one we have.” Keeping GMS operational at all times is critical to maintaining provincial power reliability. That’s the thinking behind continual maintenance programs that aim to keep dam and generating station equipment in good working order. Staff work year-round to maintain the day-to-day reliability, but as with all facilities, the time comes when regular maintenance just isn’t enough. “GMS is more than 40 years old and large parts are starting to wear out and need replacement,” says Gammer. One way to think of it, he says, is to think of maintenance on your home. Good maintenance like repairing cracks, cleaning gutters and updating appliances is necessary all the time, but eventually, he says, you’re going to need to do major repairs, such as replacing your roof. “And we did that very thing at Peace Canyon.” There’s a lengthy and complex capital program underway at GMS and W.A.C. Bennett to complete these major repairs. Along with maintaining the critical reliability, these heritage facilities are benefiting from the improved technology and equipment available today. Just like you’ll get more out of a laptop manufactured today compared to a computer manufactured in the 1980’s, new equipment such as transformers and turbines perform more efficiently today compared to those installed when GMS first went into service.

  • Replacing transformers at GMS. Transformers increase the voltage at the station to 500,000 volts to efficiently carry electricity over long distances, and 12 of the 30 transformers at GMS have been replaced over the last five years.

  • Replacing five turbine runners at GMS. Through the power of falling water, the turbines rotate at 150 rpm, spinning the connected equipment in the generator to produce electricity. This multi-year project will wrap up in 2017.

  • Upgrading the control system for the generating station. The unit controls on all 10 generating units needs to be replaced. Work is already underway on the second unit in this multi-year project.

  • Rip-rap upgrade on the outside of the dam face. Large rock (rip-rap) protects the upstream face of the WAC Bennett Dam from wave erosion. The current plan is to start rip-rap replacement in the summer of 2016, after obtaining all permits and regulatory approvals.

  • Spillway Chute Upgrade. Upgrades and repairs are required to improve the condition of sections of the spillway, which is 680 metres long and 30 metres wide. source

Four and a half million people in BC get some power from the station and as a lot of hydro infrastructure, it needs attention, and hydro is going strong on projects about the province. Pick up trucks and crews are out and about all over here and from replacing cedar poles with pine treated poles with arsenic and copper to new 500 KV lines electricity is big stuff here. BC hydro power and authority has a legislated monopoly on every drop of water in the province for power generation and has had difficulty in recent years in licencing out some of that ability ( the run of the rivers sub licencing) and keeping the cost of that cogeneration down. A co generation project here in Merritt will see a green energy project ( burning green wood waste ) use the public electric grid to sent that recapture into the grid. But at what price we wonder. Missing here are wind turbines ( wrong kind of wind, to gusty) and solar energy capture.  We are on the EV charging station grid and hope it is more then just public relations. The most successful public relations program Hydro ever had in our view was the `it works like a dam `conservation project and to the prudent it should still be in the mind of all rate payers in the province. The production of hydro power while attractive in its lack of smokestacks does not add to the nitrogen cycle as properly managed petro chemicals do. Fertilizer for crops and stirred up nutrients for food chain are important as well. Toxic substance should be removed and carbon sinks of large crop lands enhanced as well as conservation.  Thrift in waste is an economic opportunity  as shown in places like California in recent years.

Today in history: November 5th 2003:

Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway pleads guilty to 48 murders.


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