A barbecue fundraiser in honour of our first responders will be held at the Cache Creek Park on September 19. Photo: Barbara Roden.

A barbecue fundraiser in honour of our first responders will be held at the Cache Creek Park on September 19. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Local News Briefs: Barbecue for first responders will raise funds for fire departments

Plus badminton, a volleyball tournament, new historic plaques for Ashcroft, and more.

Badminton begins

Weekly badminton sessions start up again on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Cache Creek Community Hall starting on September 13. The sessions are for all ages, and there is a drop-in fee of $3 per session. Participants should bring a clean pair of running shoes and a badminton racquet (there are also racquets available for those who don’t have one). For more information call Rick Saito at (250) 457-2370.

Volleyball tournament

The Senior Girls’ volleyball team at Desert Sands Community School has swung quickly back into action, and will be hosting a tournament at the school on Saturday, September 16.

The games start at 11 a.m., and teams from Clearwater, Lytton, and Barriere will be there. Coach Max Beckett says he would love to get some fans out to the games, so spend some time at the tournament and cheer on these fine young athletes.

Beckett says that the tournament will help the small school’s team prepare for a huge tournament at TRU in Kamloops the following weekend. The Desert Sands team is a single-A team, but they will be playing AA, AAA, and AAAA teams on the first day of the Kamloops tournament.

Beckett says that he is calling this weekend’s tournament the “Second Time Around” tournament, in honour of their support for the team. The roster has not been finalized, but Beckett says they have five returning players and some very skilled juniors moving up to the senior ranks this year.

First responders barbecue

The Ashcroft and District Lions Club is hosting a barbecue in appreciation of the area’s first responders on Tuesday, September 19 starting at 5 p.m. at the Cache Creek park. The fundraiser (all proceeds will go to the Ashcroft and Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Departments) is open to everyone, and will be an opportunity for local residents to say thank you to our volunteer firefighters, RCMP officers, and members of the BC Ambulance Service.

Hamburgers, fries, and drinks are available for free to all first responders and their spouses; the cost to others is $9. There will also be a raffle table and entertainment, so bring the family out for a community evening in support of our local fire departments.

Community coffee Wednesdays

The Journal reported recently that a Community Coffee weekly event would be held every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 p.m. at the Ashcroft HUB for Elders. The event is actually open to any seniors aged 65 and over in the area, and is an opportunity to meet with others, socialize, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and play cards or board games. There is a by-donation drop-in fee. If you need pick-up and/or drop-off by the community bus, call 1-855-359-3935.

Free prostate cancer screening

David Durksen, who runs an Ashcroft prostate cancer support group, is able to offer 10 free PSA tests to eligible men.

The $35 fee for the test will be reimbursed when you bring your PSA test receipt to a support group meeting in September or October.

For more information contact Durksen at david@durksen.ca or call (250) 457-3020.

WorldHost workshop

Gold Country Communities Society is hosting two WorldHost workshops: one on Friday, September 22 in Spences Bridge, and one on Saturday, September 23 in Cache Creek. Both workshops run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WorldHost certification gives employees the skills and confidence to excel at customer service, make their business stand out, and encourage customers to return, giving their business a competitive edge.

The workshop is free, but there are limited seats, and registration is required. For more information, or to register, call (250) 457-6606, or email info@exploregoldcountry.com.

Fur Paws

An Ashcroft branch of Fur Paws that was started last year under the stewardship of Cami Lindseth—who has been looking after feral cats in Ashcroft for more than 20 years—has received $800 from Second Time Around. The funding will help with the veterinarian costs of getting feral cats in Ashcroft fixed.

Lindseth says that this year has been just terrible. “We haven’t been able to get too many cats fixed—we weren’t too worried about catching cats with the fires going on—but we should be getting back to normal.

“There is a large feral cat population in Ashcroft. We’ve had a half-dozen or so this year, and five adult cats taken in from a woman in Cache Creek, as well as one semi-wild cat and six kittens.”

Photographs wanted

The Village of Ashcroft is asking residents to submit photos of their favourite place or thing to do in Ashcroft. The contest runs until November 15.

The photographs must be from within the Village limits, and photos of activities must have been taken within the past 12 months. Any pictures showing private property must be accompanied by the permission of the property owner. Photos should be submitted in JPG format (300 dpi), although other high resolution formats will be accepted. Photos can be emailed to admin@ashcroftbc.ca or brought to the Village office on a memory stick.

The photographs will become property of the Village of Ashcroft for use on the website and in other promotional materials. A random draw for $100 in local business gift certificates will be made from all participants. Residents can submit as many photos as they want, but will only receive one draw entry.

Historic plaques

At a recent open council meeting, Ashcroft council voted in favour of granting historic plaques to the residence at 210 Brink Street and the Ashcroft Bakery. The house at 210 Brink was built in 1938, and no blueprints were used. Instead, it was modelled after a house in Vancouver that Ashcroft truck driver Wee Tan Louie liked the look of. One night, accompanied by builder Harold Thomas, Louie crept onto the Vancouver property and took measurements, then designed the house from memory.

The Ashcroft Bakery building started life as a Consolidated Grocers store in 1932, and became a bakery in 1965. It is located on the former site of the BC Express Company stables, which were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1916.

There are 10 plaques still available, and the owners of any historic buildings (houses or businesses) in Ashcroft are encouraged to contact the Village office to learn about getting a plaque for their property. The Village researches and writes the content for the signs, which are installed by the Village crew.

MyHealthPortal

More than 24,000 Interior Health (IH) patients have enrolled in the MyHealthPortal online tool since it was launched a year ago. The tool offers secure 24-hour access to personal information such as IH lab results, diagnostic imaging reports such as X-rays, recent hospital visit history, and more via the patient’s smartphone, tablet, or computer.

For more information about enrolling, visit www.interiorhealth.ca/MyHealthPortal or call 1-844-870-4756.

Drought ratings increased

Responding to continuing warm and dry conditions, the Province has announced a Level 4 drought rating for the South Thompson, Kettle, and Granby watersheds. All surface water and groundwater users—including residents, industry, farmers, and municipalities—are urged to voluntarily reduce water consumption. A Level 4 drought rating recommends maximum reduction of water use.

Recent precipitation in the Southern Interior has not been substantial enough to recharge streams. With a forecast of continued dry conditions, stream flows are expected to continue to drop, providing additional stress for fish and ecosystems, as well as reducing water supplies for water users.

The Province has elevated the above areas to Drought Level 4 because conditions are extremely dry and stream flows are approaching critical environmental low-flow thresholds for fish populations, including spawning kokanee, chinook, and sockeye salmon in the South Thompson watershed, and rainbow and brown trout in the Kettle and Granby watersheds.

The Salmon, Similkameen, Nicola, and Coldwater watersheds already reached Drought Level 4 earlier in the season.

Track that moose

With hunting season underway, B.C. hunters are reminded that they can help manage moose populations by downloading and using the B.C. Moose Tracker app during their hunting trips this season.

Hunters are keen observers of wildlife, and the interactive moose app allows them to record sightings of moose (i.e. the number of bulls, cows, or calves, in which management unit, and the time of day they were observed) in the wild.

The data collected by hunters—in or out of cell and WiFi range—provides a valuable source of information to ministry biologists who track moose population trends in B.C.

Information entered that is entered into the app outside cell range will automatically upload once cell coverage is regained.

The B.C. Moose Tracker app is available through iTunes, and includes a digital version of the 2016–2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis, an interactive summary of hunting regulations throughout the province.

To download the app go to the iTunes app store or www.gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth/moosetracker.

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura (www.atlasobscura.com) is a website that bills itself as showcasing “Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations” from around the world. Now and then one of the sites is within striking distance of our region, so travellers might want to check them out next time they visit.

Hedge mazes were once a popular feature in gardens of stately homes in Europe, and reached their peak of popularity in Great Britain in the 16th century (some readers might be familiar with the hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace near London).

However, if you want to experience a hedge maze at first-hand, there’s no need to travel to England. VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver has one of only six Elizabethan hedge mazes in North America. The maze was planted in 1981, and consists of 3,000 pyramidal cedars. Visitors are welcome to try to find their way through the maze; there is also a viewing terrace for onlookers. For more information go to http://bit.ly/2jexbCT.

Barbara Roden