There’s still time to check out the Winter Wonderland at the Ashcroft Library. Photo: Deanna Porter.

There’s still time to check out the Winter Wonderland at the Ashcroft Library. Photo: Deanna Porter.

Local news briefs: Ashcroft Library Christmas display still open

Plus Christmas Lunch at The Equality Project, Beef and Boots, and more.

Equality Project Christmas lunch

Anyone who is alone this Christmas is welcome to attend The Equality Project’s annual Christmas lunch, which starts at 1 p.m. on December 25 at the clubhouse on Stage Road in Cache Creek. Join them for a home-cooked turkey and ham meal with all the trimmings, and enjoy fun and fellowship with others during this Christmas season.

For information call (250) 457-6485, or email

Ashcroft Library Christmas display

There’s only a little over a week left to visit the winter wonderland in the meeting room at the Ashcroft Library. Drop by during regular hours between now and December 29 to see the wonderfully decorated space (sponsored by Make Children First) and take pictures. Children can add their names to Santa’s “nice” and “naughty” lists, and families can vote for their favourite snowman and be entered in a draw to win gift cards (one entry per family).

The display room will close each day approximately 15 minutes before the library’s scheduled closing time.

Beef and Boots

The Ashcroft and District Lions Club will be holding Beef and Boots, a pre-New Year’s family dinner, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on December 30 at the Cache Creek Community Hall. It will be followed by a 19+ social and dance, which will feature a cash bar, great music, and lots of opportunities to dance.

The dinner is an all-ages family event, with barbecued burgers, a baked potato bar with all the fixings, and salad. Rolling Thunder Sound and Audio will be providing great music all night, and there will also be great party games for the young (and young at heart), a raffle table, a 50/50 draw, and door prizes.

Tickets are $15 for adults, and $7 for anyone under 12 years old (adult tickets include the dance as well). Families (two adults and two children under 12) can bring the whole herd for $40. Tickets are available by calling (250) 457-0732, emailing, or at

Library rebranding gets go-ahead

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Library System received Board approval to change its name to the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library. As well as a name change, there will be a corresponding change to the Library System’s URL, which will now be (the site is still under construction).

Changes to the Library System’s name and website URL were considered timely, as major library initiatives that impact visual identity and marketing, including the replacement of the Bookmobile, the modernization of the Kamloops Library, and changes to the Library System website, are currently underway.

The proposed name change is expected to enhance name recognition and ease of patron use.

Search and Rescue Academy

Secondary students across British Columbia who are interested in pursuing a future in search and rescue, or who love the outdoors, or who want to hone their survival skills can now register for the Spring Break 2018 Search and Rescue Academy.

The academy takes place at the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre (TBOEC) on Hornby Island from March 25 until April 6, 2018. Comox Valley Search and Rescue and the TBOEC will present the academy, in partnership with School District No. 71 (Comox Valley) and School District No. 69 (Qualicum Beach).

This all-inclusive residential academy offers an ideal learning environment situated on an idyllic oceanfront setting in Tribune Bay and at the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre at Mount Washington.

Upon successful graduation, students will receive a Ground Search and Rescue Technician certification from the Justice Institute of B.C. They will also earn six high school credits, as well as 30 community connection hours. Graduates will also receive a St. John’s Ambulance First Aid certification.

The program is open to secondary students aged 16 and up who are enrolled in any school district in the province. Space is limited to 32 students.

Cost for the program—including all equipment, meals, transportation, accommodations, activities, professional instructors, program training, manuals, and certificates—is $1,500 (a subsidized rate) per student for B.C. residents.

For more information, or to register, visit

Crackdown on dangerous drivers

Street racers and other dangerous drivers will spend longer away from the wheel—making roads safer for everyone else—as B.C. begins tailoring prohibitions to better deter certain serious driving behaviours.

“The drivers posing the greatest risk to people’s lives are often caught repeatedly, and that tells us they aren’t taking the consequences seriously,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

“We’re going to be scrutinizing their driving more closely and making sure the penalty fits. Racers who won’t take their cars to the track can expect to walk or use public transit.”

Effective December 1, longer prohibitions have replaced the existing 15-day penalties for street racing and stunt driving. The prohibitions can also apply to a broader range of offences, including excessive speeding, driving without due care and attention, and other high-risk driving behaviours that present an immediate risk to public safety.

RoadSafetyBC will set the length of each prohibition based on the incident details provided by the police, as well as the driver’s record, with most prohibitions generally between three and 36 months in length.

Drivers will be able to request a review of their case through an adjudication process that RoadSafetyBC already uses when drivers appeal prohibitions under the Driver Improvement Program.

Police will still be able to immediately impound vehicles for a minimum of seven days if drivers are caught street racing or stunt driving.

Christmas fun fact

A Charlie Brown Christmas has become perhaps the best-loved Christmas TV special of all time; but before it debuted in 1965, CBS—the TV network that had commissioned it—and the show’s producers feared that it would be a disaster, and planned to air it once, then quietly put it on a shelf.

They worried that the combination of child voice actors, absence of a laugh track, the show’s tone, pacing, and simplistic animation, and the unconventional music (a jazz score composed by Vince Guaraldi) would put off audiences.

Instead, it received glowing reviews, captured 45 per cent of TV viewers the night it debuted, won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program in 1965, spawned a long-running series of Peanuts specials, and has aired annually since 1965 (now on ABC).

Guaraldi’s soundtrack has sold four million copies in the U.S. alone. One of the compositions for the show, “Linus and Lucy”, has become a jazz standard.

The original show was sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company; bonus points for anyone who can remember the name of the baked treat company that was also a sponsor of the show in its early days*. And for those old enough to remember watching it as a child on CBS in the 1970s, here’s a trip down memory lane (1975), complete with the spinning “A CBS Special Presentation” logo that meant something special:

*Dolly Madison (“Makers of all kinds of neat to eat treats”)

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter