Shuswap News Circa 2010


For a number of years (2008-2014) residents in Salmon Arm, BC - Heart of the Shuswap, could visit this website and get all their news.
Content is from the site's 2010 archived pages providing a glimpse of what this site offered its readership.
At some point this domain's registration expired. The new owner of the domain decided to keep some of the site's content for nostalgic reasons and point visitors who have inadvertently ended up here, to the news site of the Salmon Arm Observer

Visit the Salmon Arm Observer at: for current Shuwap, BC, Canadian, and World news .


Related: I must say when the Shuswap News disappeared from the web I was not surprised. Rumors had been circulating for days about it's demise. Still, when you get use checking in to your local news site every day and then it's gone, it leaves a hole in the morning routine. I get a similar empty feeling when I look next door to the home where my daughter, son in law and grand kids lived. I still can't believe they moved to the East Coast of the US to New York City no less.

Jump ahead to February 2020. The last time I called my daughter was about three weeks before the full impact of the Covid 19 pandemic hit NYC. But now were emailing each other daily. She's been online a lot since she's stuck at home all day and has been sending me links to funny haiku and more surprisingly, philosophy - she's been reading the ancients just for fun. This new post that got my interest was called In Search of Nothing. It really makes me understand the appeal of philosophy and explains how powerful the notion of nothing is to our culture in a humorous, thought provoking way. I told her I loved it and asked her to give me a call when she had the time and to give the kids hugs and kisses from Nana.

On March 16, 2020 New York City Mayor de Blasio announced New York City public schools would close. On March 20th Gov. Cuomo signs the New York State on PAUSE executive order, closing 100% of non-essential businesses statewide. Lucky for my daughter the company had moved into their new head quarters the week before. My daughter's boss was so impressed by her handling of the move she received a raise! The Persian rugs were still at the cleaners when the city shut down.

Six months later life has changed. I won't be traveling to NYC for the holidays and the kids didn't visit me this summer in rural Shuswap here in British Columbia. Their lives are now so different from when they were living next door. I do miss them, but we are FaceTime once a week. I wonder how the Shuswap News would have handled all these recent changes due to Covid-19.


Shuswap News is a regional publication based in Salmon Arm, BC. We cover what’s happening in the Shuswap, North Okanagan and Revelstoke areas.



Food | March 19, 2010

There is magic in a garden

Mi Kai Lee

The Kaslo People's Garden

A 'before' picture of the 25' x 108' lot on the sunny side of Kaslo's main street that will become home of the People's Garden.

There is something about gardening that is grounding and centering, that puts us more closely in touch with our inner self and helps us more easily connect with the goodness in everyone and everything. Somehow, planting our feet in the warm earth and holding living green plants in our hands evokes the best from our experience on earth.

It is not surprising then that in times of uncertainty and change people are more eager to restore their connection with the earth through gardening and pursuits of all kinds in and with nature. Whether it is due to the rise in food costs and stories of food-shortage riots, or just to a general longing to get back in touch with nature, the result is the same. People are becoming ever-more aware of food sovereignty and the need for local sources of food, and with that the importance of growing food locally. Thus more and more people are discovering an interest in learning how to grow their own food.

Hard on the heels of the 100-mile diet, food-security programs and community gardens and greenhouses, there is now a new twist.

The People’s Garden

A couple of long-time biodynamic gardeners in the village of Kaslo, on the shores of Kootenay Lake, have drafted a “People’s Garden Manifesto” (see below) and will be implementing the principles of that manifesto by exercising stewardship over a vacant lot on the main street, which they plan on turning into a public garden, with the owner’s consent.

The Kaslo People’s Garden will be across the street from the local branch of Selkirk College, where Barbara Scott and Woody Wodraska will be teaching a biodynamic gardening course, using the People’s Garden for hands-on training. Not only will they be teaching the pragmatics of gardening, but also the philosophy embodied in their manifesto.

“We propose to teach all aspects of family scale food growing, in a time when political and corporate power structures are failing us and the Planet.” — from their website

Woody and Barbara are no ordinary gardeners — they are biodynamic gardeners, seed savers, people who live a principled values-driven life. When I first met them, about ten years ago, they had turned the top of a rock outcropping on the south side of Creston into lush organic gardens. They then moved to spend four years traveling in the U.S., where they taught gardening, and have now recently returned to BC, settling in the Kaslo area.

Woody has written Deep Gardening: Soul Lessons from 17 Gardens, which is available on their website, along with seeds that they have grown out and saved, some for 20 years. Please visit

Kaslo People’s Garden Manifesto

(by Woody Wodraska and Barbara Scott)

We have come to the understanding that we can separate gardens—as celebrations of beauty and nutrition—from notions of ownership and commerce.

There is magic in a garden, and sustenance, but ownership is less important than stewardship and there need be no dollar profit. We need gardens, all of us, to remind us of who we are and the connection between our bodies and the Earth.

We know the Earth in our bones, and in our hands when they are in a tending mode, and our souls when we sense the good, the true, and the beautiful around us…and where better to do those things than in a garden?

The heroes and heroines of the coming decades will be those who can grow food with love; food that sings with vitality and natural power. For “coming decades” read “my children’s adult life” and the childhood of their children. Can we stretch ourselves to care about three generations even seven generations?

The systems we want to engage are village life, family life, community, the merging of nutrition and education for our children; all in the service of life and to honor our solidarity with the plant kingdom. This is is what we stand for with our People’s Garden. Join us if you will, but there are no membership fees…no card-carrying gardeners here, just ones who help, whose heart responds to what we can do together.

Learning outcomes of the “Gardening for People” course

Depending on beginning experience level, students will significantly increase their competence as gardeners, as thinkers about gardens, as observers of Nature, as plant-tenders, as providers of family food. Outcomes will be measured by student evaluation forms and brief essays, guest book comments at the People’s Garden and the enthusiasm of Front Street merchants.

The course consists of the following sessions:

  • Preparing the garden (and the mind), philosophy, garden design issues, equipment, seeds and planning (early April)
  • Using the Stella*Natura gardening calendar preparing ground in the People’s Garden (late April)
  • Planting the early garden—flowers, hardy herbs, salad, succession planting (early May)
  • Maintenance in the garden, replanting (late May)
  • Plant the warm weather garden—tomatoes, beans, peppers, melons, squash (early June)
  • First harvest of salad, maintenance, replanting (late June)
  • “Being biodynamic”—working with life forces in the garden (early July)
  • Seed saving (late July)
  • Introduction to conscious composting (early August)
  • Seed saving (late August)
  • Finishing up in the garden (early September)

Woody Wodraska’s 40-year gardening career has taken him to 17 gardens and another dozen agricultural endeavors in almost as many states and provinces. Always the questions arose — how to grow food, how to live in beauty and abundance with grace and in harmony and in co-creation with devas and nature spirits. From backyard family gardens to a CSA enterprise feeding 100 families, Woody started from scratch or built on other gardeners’ visions. His book, Deep Gardening: Soul Lessons from 17 Gardens, Biodynamic Memories, is now available at




Arts | March 29, 2010

Enderby Toastmasters speech night

Lynn Knell

The speech night and open house hosted by the Enderby Toastmasters Club on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 was a success, with fifteen guests in attendance. The meeting was chaired by club president Joan Reid, and the speeches given covered a variety of topics.

Naomi Fournier presented a fact-finding report about minimum wage followed by a question-and-answer period, while Doug Main told an inspiring story entitled ‘Little David‘. Anne Casey performed an interpretive reading from the book ‘How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (while they are still on this earth)‘ by Henry Alford.

After a short but enjoyable break, Lynda Hooper gave a press conference for her newly published book ‘QA: KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid‘, and provided unrehearsed answers to questions posed by the ‘press’. The final speaker of the evening was Karen Durant, who left the audience spellbound with her suspense-filled speech, ‘Night of the Wolves‘.

The Enderby Toastmasters Club invites you to join them for their regular meetings, which take place every Tuesday evening in the Enderby & District Museum from 7:00 to 8:30. The first three meetings are free, and a special discount is being offered to new members.




Environment, Health | April 25, 2010

Tick season

Lynn Knell

Spring and summer in the Shuswap are seasons of vigilance for the Rocky Mountain wood tick, which in our area may carry a disease called tick paralysis. You can meet up with one of these lovely critters in any wooded or forested region, especially in areas where there are deer trails or human tracks. They are abundant near water, where warm-blooded animals come to drink and in meadows wherever shrubs and brush provide woody surfaces and cover.

This tick resembles a tiny watermelon seed –- with legs. Ugh! It is a blood-sucking insect and it wants yours! Its front legs contain sensory organs that detect carbon dioxide, odors and the heat given off by hikers. It doesn’t jump or fly onto a person or animal, but sits patiently waiting until a hiker passes close enough for it to hitch a ride and then it just climbs on. Then –- wait for this! –- it crawls around the body to check out drilling sites, the most popular places being the area of the abdomen and on the back of the neck. When it finds the perfect spot, it inserts its cutting mandibles and feeding tube into the skin, anchoring it there with its recurved teeth. Ticks will generally drop off when they are full but it sometimes takes days for this to happen.

To protect yourself, make sure you tuck your shirt into the waistband of your pants and your pant-legs into your boots. There are also some preventative treatments your veterinarian can give to your pet. After a hike in the bush, be sure to comb your pet thoroughly and carefully, checking every area of the animal.

If you suspect you have a tick embedded in your skin, it is important that it be removed as quickly as possible. As it is crucial that you do not leave even a small portion of the tick behind, the best thing to do is to get professional help at a medical facility. However, since you may be far from medical help at the time, there are some things you can do yourself:

  • Carry a pair of pointed tweezers with you in your first aid kit.
  • Find the head of the tick, which is usually buried beneath the skin and grasp the tick with the tweezers as close to the head as possible.
  • Do not grasp the body of the tick as this can cause it to inject saliva or blood into your skin, increasing the chance of transmitting a disease.
  • Steadily pull firmly and directly without jerking until the tick detaches.
  • Examine it to ensure that the whole tick has been removed. If any part remains under the skin, have a doctor remove it.
  • Treat the area with antiseptic right away
  • Note the date of the occurrence in case symptoms develop later.

The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture website has a good section on ticks at where we found this information -

The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni) is most frequently encountered between March and June, usually in open, rocky areas. Both sexes ‘quest’ for hosts by waiting near the top of grass and low shrubs, readily attaching to passing humans or animals that brush against them.

Although the Rocky Mountain wood tick is a known carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and Colorado tick fever in the United States, these diseases rarely occur in Canada. However, in British Columbia this tick causes a disease in man and animals called tick paralysis.

The disease is characterized by increasing uncoordination and eventual collapse. The first symptoms, usually a numbness in the feet and legs causing difficulty in walking and standing, occur after a female tick has been feeding for about 5 days. The hands and arms are usually affected next and there is often partial paralysis of the throat and tongue muscles, resulting in difficulty swallowing and speaking. There is little pain and usually no fever. Complete recovery occurs when the tick is removed if paralysis has not progressed too far, but death may occur if the tick is overlooked. There is no known antidote for tick paralysis. The nature of the toxin, likely secreted by the female during feeding, is not known.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, get medical help immediately.


Arts | May 18, 2010

Craigellachie Station and the legendary last spike

Lynn Knell


On February 16, 1881, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company was incorporated to link Canada’s populated centers with the vast potential of the relatively undeveloped west. On a bitterly cold day, November 7, 1885, Sir Donald Alexander Smith (Lord Strathcona), a director of the company, raised his hammer and struck the final blow to the last, plain iron spike in the country’s first transcontinental railway. That simple blow was the greatest symbolic act of Canada’s first century –- marking the end of one era in Canada’s history and the beginning of another.

Nearly 3,000 miles of steel now stretched across endless flat prairies, twisted through dangerous mountain passes, wound through deep canyons and spanned a thousand rivers and streams. An incredible feat in itself, the building of the railway was actually completed six years ahead of schedule. What a celebration that must have been!

The resting place of the last spike was named Craigellachie Station after a prominent crag in a village on the River Spey in Morayshire, Scotland, the ancestral home of Sir George Stephen, first president of the CPR.

Craigellachie is located alongside the Trans-Canada Highway in the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District of British Columbia. It lies between the drainage basins of the Columbia and Fraser Rivers, two of Canada’s largest, mightiest and most spectacular waterways. Fifty-three kilometers east of Salmon Arm, 48 kilometers west of Revelstoke in the Eagle Pass, the tiny settlement nestles in the Gold Range of the Monashee Mountains. The exact spot is marked by a plaque and display on the south side of the highway.

Up until the railway was completed, the Shuswap region had been fairly virgin territory, inhabited mostly by nomadic indigenous peoples. After the last spike was driven and the railroad was finally completed ‘from sea to shining sea’, settlers started to seriously move into the area.



Recreation | June 22, 2010

Fire! — Prevention is everyone’s business

By: Lynn Knell

Although with all the rain we have been experiencing across British Columbia this month it is difficult to imagine, the annual summer fire season is actually upon us. We are fortunate in this part of the province to have a very organized, dedicated and experienced team of men and women who are ready for any and every type of wildfire that may occur. We don’t usually know a lot about what they do so selflessly, nor do we appreciate them nearly enough.

The Shuswap and North Okanagan area is part of the Kamloops Fire Centre which is headquartered near the airport in Kamloops and is the administrative, dispatch and operational centre for wildland firefighting in south central BC. One of six regional fire centres operated by the British Columbia Forest Service, Kamloops Fire Centre covers an area extending from Blue River in the north to the U.S. border in the south, and from the Bridge River in the west to the Monashee Mountains in the east. Seven geographical fire zones are covered by the Kamloops centre –- Kamloops, Clearwater, Lillooet, Salmon Arm, Merritt, Vernon and Penticton.

Thirty-four permanent staff and a large number of seasonal support staff, including dispatchers and 186 highly-trained firefighters, are employed by the Kamloops Fire Centre. Sixty-six of the seasonal firefighters are members of 3-person initial attack crews, the first responders to a fire, who are usually responsible for containing fires at the smallest size possible. The remaining 120 firefighters are in 6 20-person unit crews who have special skills in fighting larger blazes. Also available are 36 ‘rapattack’ firefighters who are based in Salmon Arm and rappel from a helicopter to access a fire. They specialize in building helipads for initial unit crew access in remote or difficult-to-access areas. These men and women are independent agents and form a critical part of the Wildfire Management Branch.

In cases where fires become out of the control of the initial attack crews, or when they burn for extended periods, a mobile fire camp equipped for hundreds of people will be brought in.

The terrain within the Kamloops Fire Centre is extremely diverse, ranging from glaciers in the north to semi-arid desert in the Southern Okanagan, from steep dry canyons in the Lytton and Lillooet area to the Interior rain forest of Salmon Arm. The fuel types include Ponderosa Pine-Douglas Fir, Jack or Lodgepole Pine, Spruce-Balsam, and open range and sagebrush.

Of the approximate 2,000 wildfires in BC in the average year, statistics show that approximately half of them are caused by human activity and half by lightning. Through early detection and reporting, plus aggressive attack, most of them damage less than 4 hectares before being extinguished.

Since fire is an important factor in many ecosystems, some are fought in a limited manner, such as in areas where fire is a natural part of the ecosystem or where there is little or no timber. This way fire fighting resources may be used more effectively elsewhere.

The British Columbia Forest Service is calling on residents and visitors alike to take every precaution to prevent fires. When camping in wooded areas, select your campsite carefully. Prepare your campfire area by removing all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area. If there is no fire pit, make a ring of rocks at least 3 metres from any trees. Don’t leave it unattended and take care to douse your campfire before leaving.

Many forest fires are caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette butt. Make sure that cigarettes are completely extinguished before throwing them away.

Grass fires are also a major concern for firefighters, especially when they spread to forested areas. Place a fire break around the perimeter of the fire area and don’t burn anything if there is a wind.

Just a little bit of precaution can make a huge difference in the statistics this season. If you do spot a fire, immediately contact the fire service and leave the area. Fires spread quickly.

The 24-hour fire reporting line is 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks. Leave a message, reporting the location of the fire.

The burn reference number is 1-888-797-1717.



Recreation | July 5, 2010

Boating licence could save you a ticket

By: Lynn Knell

The summer 2010 boating season is well underway across British Columbia, and indeed across the country, and the new Pleasure Craft Boating Card is now mandatory. After a 10-year federal law phase-in period, recreational boaters (and there are still 6 million who don’t have the card) had better be prepared to be asked by law enforcement officers to show their card this summer. If they can’t produce one, they will be eligible for fines of $250 or more.

This season marks the first year in which all boaters in Canada, regardless of age, need an Operator Card — commonly called a boating licence — and must carry it with them while operating a motorized craft. There is a commonly-held misconception that children under the age of 16 and seniors 65 years and older do not need a licence to operate a boat. Another is that you don’t require a card if your motor is less than 10 horsepower, such as on a motorized canoe. However everyone, regardless of age, must have a licence and every boat motor, no matter what the horsepower is, requires a licence to operate it.

In order to obtain a licence, boaters must pass a 36-question multiple-choice exam with a minimum 75% passing mark. A temporary card will be issued immediately after the exam is passed, with a permanent one which is good for life being mailed to the boater.

If you haven’t yet taken the exam, you may do so online at . is a Transport Canada-accredited course and is recognized by the US Coast Guard. The cost is $49.95 and you can get a free study guide on the website to help you prepare. If you don’t pass the first time around you may try again as many times as it takes.

If you would prefer a classroom setting in which to get the boating basics there are some upcoming courses being offered across the province, although most are located nearer the coast. Kelowna and Penticton appear to be the most easterly locations in the province. Find the most convenient date and location for you at .

If you are already certified but have lost your card you can check with or call 1-866-688-2628 to verify that your name is on file and obtain a replacement card before you operate a boat.



Medicine | July 9, 2010

Malakwa Underground Marijuana Farm Raided

By: Lynn Knell

Large grow-op raided on Malakwa property.

On the morning of July 6, Southeast District General Investigation Section along with the Sicamous RCMP detachment executed a search warrant on Northway Road in Malakwa.

Once on the property officers located a marijuana grow operation underneath a large shop. The grow, which contained more than 3000 plants, was accessed through a steel door in the floor which was raised with a hydraulic cylinder. This steel door was part of an elaborate electrical system which was utilized to camouflage the actual entry. Steel platforms sitting about 6 inches off the floor contained eight “add a phase” electrical motors. When a switch was activated one of the steel platforms and five of the motors lifted up, revelling the entry. Add a phase motors are used to convert single phase electricity to three phase and are usually only found in industrial applications.

The shop was more than 7000 square feet, and the grow operation beneath occupied close to the same area. The plants were grown in soil planting beds on the floor. The grow was well set up and contained fans, lights and air-conditioning units. There was an underground venting system that allowed warm air and the odour to exit well away from the shop area, reducing detection.

Five persons were arrested on the site and one of the parties involved turned herself into the Sicamous detachment. Three were released on a promise to appear for court at the end of September in Salmon Arm. Two went in front of a justice of the peace by way of telephone conference and were released for court August 17.

All are facing charges of production of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. One male was released on site as it was determined he was a contractor doing some bulldozing.

Eight children ranging in age from 1 to 15 were found on the property. The Ministry of Children and Families assisted with their care until the parents were released.

Malakwa is located 25 km east of Sicamous.

Several units and detachments from the Southeast District were involved including Kelowna Air Section, Revelstoke Forensic Identification, Vernon Police Dog Service and Traffic Services.


December 21, 2010

SMART CL – special services for special needs

By: Lynn Knell


Sicamous Malakwa Adult Resource Training and Community Living.

SMART CL had its beginnings in 2006, when a group of Sicamous/Malakwa residents came together to discuss how they could assist local young people with special needs to develop the skills they needed in order to become independent, whatever their disability.

SMART CL client

Robbie Gallipeau of Malakwa is one of SMART CL's successful clients.

The mission of the organization is: “To … enhance and enrich the quality of their lives, nurture and build their self-esteem and dignity by assisting them in securing local employment. This will enable them to learn/develop job skills/knowledge that will aid them in becoming productive members of their community.”

The organization received status as a Charitable Society in 2009, with a board of directors made up of a learning resource teacher/coordinator from Eagle River High School, a lawyer, a United Church minister, a local business owner and four local residents.

Some of the services that SMART CL provides are:

  • encouragement, assistance, advocacy and integration for adults with disabilities into the local workforce by building relationships with local employers

  • arranging transportation for clients and their job coaches, if they have them, to and from their places of employment

  • liaisons with government and non-government organizations or agencies to provide financial and/or social assistance for clients, if required

Since its inception, SMART CL volunteers have applied for grants, held soup/bun sales, bottle drives, hosted a dinner theatre, sponsored two Beef on Buns, collected receipts for a local supermarket’s till tape/gift certificate exchange program and sold memberships. With the funds raised, they hire high quality job coaches to work for SMART CL clients.