Possible identity theft scam
A local resident reports that his wife recently received a phone call purporting to come from Shopper’s Drug Mart, asking her for her date of birth. She provided the information, as she shops at the store, but the couple were subsequently contacted by their bank, asking if they were attempting to apply for a credit card. The answer was “no”.
Be aware that businesses will not usually contact you by phone and ask for sensitive personal information. Also be aware that scammers intent on identity theft can often glean a good deal of information about you online, and might only need one key piece of information from you to set up a bank account or new credit card under your name.
If you are doubtful about a phone call you receive from what sounds like a reputable business, hang up and call the business directly. Also be sure to report any scam attempts to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Cache Creek town hall meeting
The public is invited to a presentation about freshet and flooding preparedness and planning, with a particular emphasis on post-wildfire conditions and the potential resulting impacts on certain areas in Cache Creek. The meeting will take place on Monday, April 16 starting at 7 p.m. at the Cache Creek Community Hall (downstairs meeting room).
Village council and staff will be joined by staff from the Ministry of Forests to help explain the current conditions in and around Cache Creek, and areas of concern for future flooding/debris flow events. This is an opportunity for members of the public to hear from experts about what is being done to prepare for such events.
Sandbagging work bee for Cache Creek
The Village of Cache Creek and the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department are organizing a sandbagging work bee in preparation for the 2018 freshet. It will take place on Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the coverall at Cache Creek Park.
If you live alongside Cache Creek or the Bonaparte River, your property may be susceptible to flooding issues if the creek and river rise beyond their carrying capacities. Forming a sandbag wall is an effective way to prevent water from reaching certain areas on your property.
The work bee is intended to help at-risk property owners prepare for flooding. There will be many volunteers on hand filling sandbags for these property owners to pick up and take home. There will be music during the bee and a hot dog barbecue afterward, and all are invited to come out and work together to help make Cache Creek safe.
For more information call the Village Office at (250) 457-6237.
Ashcroft Moving Forward meeting
The Ashcroft Moving Forward group will be holding a public meeting at the Ashcroft HUB on Thursday, April 19 starting at 7 p.m. Those who have been involved in the Emergency Community Fan-out will be there to work out the logistics for the plan, and welcome anyone who is interested in helping with this project but has not yet been involved.
Organizer Sandy Agatiello’s contact phone number was stated incorrectly in a recent article about the group. Her correct phone number is (250) 682-4336, and anyone who would like more information about the group is invited to call her.
Kamloops Stamp Show sale and auction
The Kamloops Stamp Club is holding its annual Spring Stamp Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 at Sahali Centre Mall on Columbia Street in Kamloops.
The free event will feature exhibits, dealers, a five-cent table, hourly door prizes, an auction at 1 p.m., free stamps for children under the age of 13, and more. For more information, call (250) 314-1021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third annual Walhaschindig: musicians wanted
Mark your calendars now for the third annual Walhaschindig, coming up on Saturday, June 16 at Walhachin’s Soldiers Memorial Hall. The family-friendly, by-donation event will kick off at 10 a.m. and feature door prizes, free popcorn for the kids, Krystal’s “Face it Face Painting”, Uncle Chris the Clown, music, a barbecue, bannock, Anie’s pies, and more.
Any musicians who would like to perform during the event should contact Assu Nydam to reserve a spot. You can email him at email@example.com or call (250) 318-6100.
Movie casting call
Actors are being sought for a short film being shot in Kamloops from May 18 to 21, 2018. The Bench is the story of a young girl named Mary battling homelessness and the stigmas she faces, and shows the flip-side of what we perceive, bringing humanity to those living on the street as viewers follow Mary through her day.
Actors of both sexes are wanted for characters aged between 15 and 50, including the lead role of 15-year-old Mary. Other characters being cast include Frenchie (50+) a joyful alcoholic who lives his life pushing his cart around town; Mary’s mom (35+; off-camera role); Joe (17 to 22), a basement dwelling, video-game playing, pot-smoking, small-time dealer who takes advantage of Mary; and two girls aged 15 to 18 to play “popular girls”. Background actors are also being sought.
The audition dates have not been set; those interested in a role are asked to send a recent headshot, acting resume or experience, and demo reel (if available) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling all buskers
The Kamloops Arts Council is excited to announce the first Kamloops International Buskers Festival, which will take place from July 26 to 29, 2018. It is now looking for musicians, jugglers, acrobats, magicians, and comedians who would like to apply for a “Busk Stop” position during the festival.
The application deadline is May 15, 2018. For more information, and to see the application form, go to http://kamloopsbuskers.com/buskers-application.
Outbreak of norovirus associated with raw BC oysters
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning raw shellfish consumers to take steps to protect their health, following an increase in cases of norovirus associated with consumption of raw B.C. oysters.
Since early March 2018, approximately 40 cases of acute gastrointestinal illness have been reported to public health authorities in B.C. All of the ill people reported consuming raw B.C. oysters. Laboratory testing has confirmed the presence of norovirus in some of the cases, and it is suspected in the others. The investigation is ongoing.
In order to kill norovirus and other pathogens, the BCCDC recommends consumers cook oysters thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 90˚C for 90 seconds. Consumption of raw oysters is not encouraged.
Two oyster farms implicated in the outbreak have been closed by federal authorities. In late 2016 and early 2017, 347 norovirus outbreak cases associated with raw or undercooked B.C. oysters were reported in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario. The outbreak was declared over in April, 2017.
Anyone becoming ill with diarrhea and vomiting after eating shellfish should call BC HealthLink at 8-1-1. If symptoms are severe or persist, they should see their physician. Oyster-related illness can be reported to your local health authority for investigation and follow-up.
For most people, norovirus is a self-limiting illness and people will recover on their own with proper hydration and rest. On rare occasions, dehydration may be severe and require medical attention.
Inefficient incandescent bulbs still rule
A recent BC Hydro survey illuminates the fact that inefficient incandescent bulbs remain the most widely used type of residential lighting across the province, resulting in wasted energy and money for BC Hydro customers.
While LED bulb adoption is on the rise, more than three-quarters of British Columbians report having at least one incandescent bulb in their home. The average home has just under 40 light bulbs, and nearly half (an average of 17) are incandescent. This is despite the fact that retailers have phased out sales of most types of incandescent bulbs since new energy performance standards were implemented in 2014.
LED bulbs use at least 75 per cent less energy than incandescent lighting and can last up to 25 years. By making small changes, such as changing out the inefficient bulbs in the home to ENERGY STAR LEDs, BC Hydro customers can save up to $1,000 over ten years.
Until April 27, BC Hydro is offering 15 per cent off the purchase of select ENERGY STAR LED bulbs at retailers around the province to help customers make the switch to LEDs. Participating retailers include Home Hardware, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, London Drugs, and Costco.
For more information on the rebates available and eligible products, visit powersmart.ca.
Bitcoin still doesn’t pay your taxes
Do not attempt to pay any tax bill with Bitcoin, caution police. Another North Vancouver resident learned the hard way after losing $6,000 to a tax scam.
The incident played out on March 19, when the victim received a phone call from an alleged employee of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The male caller told the victim she owed $6,000 in unpaid taxes, and if not paid immediately she would be arrested. She was threatened that the police would show up at her residence that day if she hung up or did not pay the money.
The victim was then directed to make the payment by using a Bitcoin terminal. A transfer of $6,000 was made by the victim to a Bitcoin reference code number supplied by the fraudster. The victim realized she had been scammed when, after the transfer was made, the scammer asked for even more money.
Tax time is upon us and scam artists will use creative, criminal means to defraud you of your hard-earned money, cautions Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP. The CRA does not accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, nor will they contact you by phone and threaten or coerce you into paying a tax bill.
If you want to confirm that a CRA representative has actually contacted you, call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 for individual concerns or 1-800-959-5525 for business-related concerns.
Regrowing B.C.’s forests
Communities and wildlife will benefit from $134 million being awarded by the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. (FESBC) to 71 forest enhancement projects around the province, Premier John Horgan announced last week. More than $99 million of the funding is being awarded in the Cariboo and $4.47 million is being allocated to the Thompson-Okanagan, with the majority focused on forest enhancement and restoration of public forests impacted by the 2017 wildfires. Approximately 30 per cent of the work will involve, or be led by, First Nations and their partners.
The funding for the Cariboo also includes $65 million for the Forest Carbon Initiative, which is a key part of the Province’s commitment to climate action. The initiative supports projects such as increased planting density, incremental reforestation, improved utilization, and enhanced fertilization to grow and store forest carbon, reduce emissions, and deliver greenhouse gas benefits.
The Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. was set up specifically to advance the environmental and resource stewardship of British Columbia’s forests by preventing and mitigating the impact of wildfires; improving damaged or low-value forests; improving habitat for wildlife; supporting the use of fibre from damaged and low-value forests; and treating forests to improve the management of greenhouse gases.
No longer legal tender
Do you have any Canadian $1,000 bills lying around? If so, you had better take them to a bank if you want to cash them in, as they will soon no longer be accepted as legal tender elsewhere following passage of this year’s Federal budget.
The $1,000 bill was last printed by the Bank of Canada in 2000, and has long been a favourite currency of organized crime, as it makes it easier to transport large amounts of cash. It is estimated that there are more than 700,000 of the bills still in circulation.
The $1,000 bill is not the only one that will no longer be legal tender; that is, bills with which you can purchase goods and services. The $500, $25, $2, and $1 bills will no longer be usable once the new legislation comes into effect. However, all the affected bills will still be honoured at face value if they are taken to any branch of a Canadian bank or credit union, which will then send them to the Bank of Canada to be destroyed.