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Piano in spirit square

A community piano in a community square. Photo: KDG

A community piano in a community square.
Photo: KDG

The CPO, Community policing office has a piano in the Spirit square, in downtown Merritt. Chained to a pillar in a display gazebos it is background by a bio for Michelle Loughery the Vernon BC artist hat did the Walk of stars youth mural project. A display in the window of the community policing office invites people ( youth we think to try to play it) maybe on the of chance that a gifted hear my come along Perhaps the stuff of myths, however they can certainly say there is access to a piano, and maybe by a little social peace for the deprived. Or maybe some one may follow along at a distance from the live performances that are sometimes in the other corner , and sheltered by the vacant Merritt News building with the Glenn Campbell hand print. Glen was not known for piano so much as a guitar and being the fall guy for The duke (John Wayne) in the movie true grit.

The piano is available and has not been vandelized in its two odd weeks of captiity in the Square.

Today in history: July 28th 1993
Andorra joins the United Nations

TGIF-One more free yoga for all

Thursdays have been a free yoga for all evening at the community garden behind the local hospital parking lot. Billed as Yoga for all ages it is free and available in a nature/ plant appreciating atmosphere. The program was advertised for thursday evenings through July. Hot weather and now rain have been a problem however there is one more scheduled night on the 31st of July.
The local hospital has access off Voght street on the Princeton Merritt highway. The community garden also borders Reid Avenue, in the bench area of Merritt.

Today in history: July 25th 1978
The first test tube baby is born.

A brief respite

Fire fighting crews got a a break from the heat by way of heavy rain yesterday. Two helicopters were seen over the airstrip around noon, just before a brief ice storm was followed by a summer cloud burst. People were kept in the local Starbucks for about a half an hour as thunder and heavy rain fell. One conversation about what to do if the power went off, was answered by an offical, the plan is use the made coffee and call to see how long it would be off. If it was hours then the store would close. Editors note: most public buildings over a capacity have emergency lighting, some like hospitals have emergency generators.
Three days of rain are in the forecast from Wednesday, thursday morning is forecast to feel like 9 degrees c.
Friday should see partly sunny conditions with 25 degree C temperatures, here.

Today in history: July 24th 1866
Reconstruction, Tennessee becomes the first state readmitted to the US after the civil war.

3 hours and 45 minutes.

There was an other Tesla EV at the charge station on Voght on Monday night. This one was the model that has the near 500 kilometer range and is only electric. The charge gauge was at 90 KM and it had 3 hours and 45 minutes to finish a complete charge. It was hooked up to the AC charger next to the 120 amp DC charger that a Nissan leaf used Sunday evening. The Leaf owner Julian said that he had to watch his speed as he came from another DC charger in Hope. “It was near running out before I hit the peak of the Coquihalla and the system in his car began to use gravity to recharge the battery”. He said there was a net increase in the charge meaning he had kilometers left when arriving in Merritt.The AC charger at the Voght street is talked of as being a 90 amp charger the product plate on the side of it says 70 amps. The more amperage the quicker the charge.
There are AC chargers at City hall on the other side of Voght, in the 60 amp range, and one behind the Civic center, there is also one at the Husky station, leaving Merritt going north. There is a Boston Pizza across the street from the Husky but no coffee shops or fast food outlets have put any in here as yet.
A General Motors Chevy Volt was seen charging at City hall last week.Merritt is a small community in the south central part of BC, it is in the center of the Coquihalla highway hub.

Today in history: July 23 1995

The comet Hale Bopp is discovered, it becomes visible to the naked eye a year later.

Friends of the 60s

Friends of the 60s, see whats up with the Chinese dry goods store that was established in 1927 in Merritt. Photo KDG

Friends of the 60s, see whats up with the Chinese dry goods store that was established in 1927 in Merritt.
Photo KDG

Two hundred  seventy some former Merritt Secondary school students from the 60s and their friends enjoyed fellowship and entertainment over the weekend. Presents from Mrs Nora Turnbull the wife of Robert Turnbull and MSS principal over most of the time that the reunion encompassed were acknowledged as being very thought full by people.



Today in history: July 22 1997

The second blue water bridge opens between Sarnia Ontario and Port Huron Michigan:


TGIF- Murray lake fire

There is a lake up in the Coquihalla Valley , a small lake about 1000 feet wide  in a narrow area. The lake has cabins on it and it is considered scenic. The access is off the freeway near the Juliet creek bridge, in the area of Larson hill. There was a fire South of there and presumable from the conditions of wind and conditions the two helicopter  working to extinguish the fire had to go over Merritt and to Nicola lake to get their water buckets filled. The fire was discovered Monday, thought to have been started by lightning it has prompted an evacuation order for the  residents in the area, of the fire, not Merritt. The order comes from the Thompson Nicola Regional District.

The Vernon info news has published what an evacuation order means to those effected by it:

The absence of  helicopters being seen going by Merritt  Thursday to Nicola lake may mean that ground crews are in there and have a measure of control over the fire.

Get authoritive information at the regional district site: click the red button to see what it means to you.


Today in history: July 18th 2013

The government of Detroit files for bankruptcy with a record 20 billion dollars of debt.


A Bus used by firefighters from New Mexico,sits in a local motel. Photo KDG

A bus used by firefighters from New Mexico,sits in a local motel.
Photo KDG

At one time firefighting was a nuisance  tackled  by the authorities and community . Decades ago a forest fire saw untrained conscripts and people who logged or mined in the bush thrown at a fire in a makeshift way.  today with technology and a closeness of population to possible fire it has become more of a science. and professionals are often sent to help other jurisdictions to deal with overwhelming fires.

The local scene here saw a training facility opened at our airstrip with a capacity of 58 and three classrooms in joins a permanent presence that sees fire fighters trained every summer, often students from college or universities securing employment for the summer. The nearly 5  million dollar facility was opened last September. And echoed the commitment of words by the Forest minister ” we have an international reputation for fire fighting and hit it hard and hit it fast is our modus operandi.”

Lets hope that this a reality this summer as hotter weather is drying out the country side here.


Today in History: July 17th 2001

The supersonic Concord returns to service a year after a 2000 crash.

Gas expansion

A 58,000 liter fuel truck delivers gasolinr to a service station Photo KDG

A 58,000 liter fuel truck delivers gasoline to a service station
Photo KDG

A source says this truck , in the 40 degree heat a 6000 liter delivery may have been 5500 liters.

The holding tanks in a service station are in the cool ground and we estimate that the gasoline would return to its volume density fairly quickly, however if you have the choice and you know of a delivery you may get better value sometime after a delivery on a hot 40 degree day. Perhaps gas up would be better in the early morning hours in the current conditions.

Quality gasoline should be stable almost indefinitely if stored properly. Such storage should be in an airtight container (to prevent oxidation or water vapors mixing), and which can withstand the vapor pressure of the gasoline without venting ( to prevent the loss of the more volatile fractions), and at a stable cool temperature (to reduce the excess pressure from liquid expansion, and to reduce the rate of any decomposition reactions). When gasoline is not stored correctly, gums and solids may be created, which can corrode system components and accumulate on wetted surfaces, resulting in a condition called “stale fuel”. Gasoline containing ethanol is especially subject to absorbing atmospheric moisture, then forming gums, solids, or two phases (a hydrocarbon phase floating on top of a water-alcohol phase).

The presence of these degradation products in fuel tank, lines, carburetor or fuel injection components makes it harder to start the engine, or causes reduced engine performance. On resumption of regular engine use, the buildup is often eventually cleaned out by the flow of fresh gasoline. The addition of a fuel stabilizer to gasoline can extend the life of fuel that is not or cannot be stored properly. Some typical fuel stabilizers are proprietary mixtures containing mineral spirits, isopropyl alcohol, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene,or other additives. Fuel stabilizer is commonly used for small engines, such as lawnmower and tractor engines, especially when their use is seasonal (low to no use for one or more seasons of the year). Users have been advised to keep gasoline containers more than half full and properly capped to reduce air exposure, to avoid storage at high temperatures, to run an engine for ten minutes to circulate the stabilizer through all components prior to storage, and to run the engine at intervals to purge stale fuel from the carburetor Source Wikipedia

We think that if you fill your tank in the current temperatures that filling to the top may not be advisable. However expansion of the tank in your vehicle is also a consideration.

Apparent and absolute expansion

When measuring the expansion of a liquid, the measurement must account for the expansion of the container as well. For example, a flask, that has been constructed with a long narrow stem filled with enough liquid that the stem itself is partially filled, when placed in a heat bath will initially show the column of liquid in the stem to drop followed by the immediate increase of that column until the flask/liquid/heat bath system has thermalized. The initial observation of the column of liquid dropping is not due to an initial contraction of the liquid but rather the expansion of the flask as it contacts the heat bath first. Soon after, the liquid in the flask is heated by the flask itself and begins to expand. Since liquids typically have a greater expansion over solids the liquid in the flask eventually exceeds that of the flask causing the column of liquid in the flask to rise. A direct measurement of the height of the liquid column is a measurement of the Apparent Expansion of the liquid. The Absolute expansion of the liquid is the apparent expansion corrected for the expansion of the containing vessel

Our final word is be more careful  with gasoline and its vapour in the heat. KDG

update: A comment from facebook:

Rory wrote: “Good article Kev. When I was towing, we would get calls from either the police or fire to tow away parked vehicles that were leaking gasoline caused by full tanks and heat expansion.”

Today in History: July 16th 1994

The comet shoe maker collides with Jupiter

Chargeing station getting use

Nissan Leaf, gets Dc quick charge in Merritt Sunday July 13th/14 Photo KDG

Nissan Leaf, gets DC quick charge in Merritt Sunday July 13th/14
Photo KD

The owner and operator of this EV says that he gets a hundred and 10 kilometers on a 1/2 hour charge at the DC quick charge station. The charge is free now but he expects that to change soon. Then a trip like the one from Merritt to Kamloops will cost him about 6 dollars at a quick charge station and a dollar and a half if he charges up over night at home on 120 volts.

He showed us a card that he said came from BC hydro that would allow him to pay for power at the DC charger. BC hydro has a serious amount of PR going into EVs right now with incentives for buying coming up and a 500 dollar rebate for a dedicated charger in your home.



Today in history: July 15th 2006

Twitter is, operational and goes on to be the largest Social Media platform in the world.

TGIF-Show and shine


 Nicola Valley Cruisers show File photo KDG

Nicola Valley Cruisers show
File photo KDG

The local vintage car bunch is having their annual show and shine  on July 27th 2014. The event is usually at Central park, TBA for times.

The event is mid summer when there is likely hood for very good weather . There are raffle’s and support for crime stoppers as well as some opportunity to purchase rare vintage auto parts in past events.

FMI call 250-378-5761: Nicola Valley Cruisers

Today in history: July 11th 1576

Martin Frobisher sights Greenland.

Old pool hall building

The day after a fire on Quilchena avenue sees a fire watch. Photo KDG

The day after a fire on Quilchena avenue sees a fire watch.
Photo KDG

The fire on the 2000 block of Quilchena avenue last week is being made safe by the city as Tuesday saw the building that had been gutted have the removal of its overhead canopy, and a pedestrian barrier secured around the building.

Forty years ago the building housed the Snooker Shack, a pool hall with a cubicle for a barber. Six full sized tables gave the youth a place to be off the street, 10 cents a cue cutthroat was a distraction to many a less wayward youth. A City  Alderman, Leo Heroux cut hair and kept the pulse of the city, in the downtown core.

Two disconnected power lines make a sort of mocking allegory of the loss of two buildings and three businesses. Next to the work BC office which in the time of the Snooker Shack was the Bank of Montreal and across the street from an adjacent Royal Bank the street and block was guarded and fortressed by those stalwarts of enterprise. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce taking up the last lot on the descending trail, across the street and kitty corner to the Historic Coldwater Hotel, whose copper dome was once the hiding place of 300 thousand dollars worth of CPR securities taken by bad guy Billy Miner in 1907, at a Mission BC, train robbery. His engagement: hands up ,seems to call through the ages at the plight of the hundred year old pool hall building, as it limps into those same ages with its scars and memories with it.

The word is that it is not able to be saved and will be torn down however as of today it still stands behind the safety barrier seemingly calling for a last goodbye from anyone with a living memory of its past life’s. With its front canopy removed its like a hats off to old times on the block as it waits its fate behind the squared fence restraining it.

The front view shows the upstairs access to the Masons meeting place boarded off  and a construction debris bin set up to receive its due. A source says that people have been in the building looking at salvage and the possibility of old clear beams that were used in construction in its era. It seems the enviable is around the corner and a new living memory of downtown Merritt is just a few more buildings away.

Today in History: July 10 1913

Death Valley California hits a record high temperature of 134 degrees farenheit (57 o C)the highest temperature ever recorded in the US.


Gas price, the availability of fuel Photo KDG

Gas price, the availability of fuel
Photo KDG

On July 4th there was another step in the ladder for approval of the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline to Burnaby, the company a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan has operated a pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby for 60 years. The line goes by Merritt by the local airstrip. the twinning is to accommodate Tar sands bitumen and is still controversal. To see the regulatory timeline and construction schedule visit:

The July 4th step was the filing of intervener requests and supplemental filings asked for by the NEB of Trans Mountain. this is leading up to the NEB Public hearings in January 2015.


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