You may not end up with a masterpiece like John Constable's 'The Cornfield'; but you're sure to have fun at 'Brushes & Booze 4'.

You may not end up with a masterpiece like John Constable's 'The Cornfield'; but you're sure to have fun at 'Brushes & Booze 4'.

Local news briefs: Brushes and Booze is coming back

Plus the Mesa yard sale, a computer course at Ashcroft Library, and Fraser-Nicola is in desperate need of election officials.

Computer class at Ashcroft Library

The Ashcroft Library will be offering a free “Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, and More” class from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 29. Social networking can be a great way to connect with others to communicate, collaborate, and share, and the course will explore different social networks. Privacy and security issues will also be addressed. It is recommended that participants have a basic knowledge of the World Wide Web and computing skills.

Pre-registration is optional, and laptops will be provided. For more information contact branch head Deanna Porter at

A free computer course at Ashcroft Library will look at social networks sauch as Facebook.

Mesa yard sale

The annual Mesa yard sale in Ashcroft will take place on Sunday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come on up to the mesa and take a look at the wares dozens of vendors will be displaying.

Looking for election officials

Elections BC is in desperate need of reliable and enthusiastic election officials in the Fraser-Nicola riding. Close to 400 people are needed on election day, May 9, but only 150 people have applied to work in the riding for the provincial election. Most of the positions pay $250 per day, and previous election experience is not required. High school students are also able to apply, provided they can obtain permission to miss school on voting day (Tuesday, May 9).

Interested parties can apply in person at 1976 Voght Street, Merritt (phone 250-378-1406) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Anyone unable to apply in person should visit for further application instructions, or contact Elections BC at 1-800-661-8683/TTY 1-888-456-5448.

Mother’s Day fly-in

The annual Mother’s Day fly-in at Campbell Hill airport will take place on Sunday, May 14 beginning at 10 a.m. There will be fly-pasts, a wide range of planes to admire, and of course the Ashcroft and District Lions Club will be there to provide their fabulous pancake breakfast. Bring the whole family to this wonderful event.

Brushes & Booze 4

The popular Brushes & Booze series sponsored by the Ashcroft and District Lions Club returns for two separate sessions on May 26 and 27 with a “welcome summer” theme. The admission fee of $40 includes all the supplies you need to create a painting under the instruction of artist Jo Petty, as well as a complimentary drink. Wine, beer, and coolers will also be available for purchase at this 19+ event, and $5 from each ticket sold goes to the Lions Club.

Both sessions run from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Ashcroft HUB. You can find out more at, or by contacting Kat Chatten at (250) 457-0732 or

Skills training for rural employees

The province of B.C. has allocated $1 million through the Canada-B.C. Job Grant program to help employees in rural communities upgrade their job skills. This new stream of rural funding will help support employers in communities of 25,000 or less with training costs for new or current employees, to boost economic development.

The fund is now open for applications from employers, as well as organizations acting on behalf of employers, in rural communities. The training must start on or before August 31, 2017, and there are delivery partners throughout the province that can assist employers in applying for the funding.

For information about eligibility criteria and the application process, go to

Protect your well water

With the annual spring melt well underway, Interior Health is advising all homeowners with private wells to take appropriate steps to safeguard their drinking water. When spring runoff flows into a well and mixes with the source water, there is significant risk of bacterial contamination.

Homeowners should consider whether their well is equipped to ensure their tap water is safe and clean; ensure their wells are properly protected from flooding; and take appropriate water treatment measures and test their well-water regularly to prevent water-borne illnesses caused by contamination of water with harmful bacteria such as E. coli.

Camping season is almost here

More than 50,000 reservations have already been booked through the Discover Camping reservation service, with the vast majority of the reservations—76 per cent—originating in British Columbia. Several changes have been made to the reservation system this year, including new measures to prevent the reselling of reservations, and restrictions around altering arrival dates, to prevent the practice of overbooking days around coveted times such as long weekends.

Last year saw a record number of reservations—more than 187,000—made through Discover Camping. More than 350 new camping sites in BC Parks and forestry recreation sites have been added this year.

B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year, with BC Parks managing the third-largest parks system in North America, behind only the United States National Park Service and Parks Canada.

B.C. campgrounds are expected to be busier than ever this year. Paul Joseph/Wikimedia Commons.

No more high heels

In March 2016 Dr. Andrew Weaver—leader of the B.C. Green Party—tabled a bill that would ensure employers do not require select employees to wear high-heeled shoes in the workplace.

The bill died when the legislative session ended, but it attracted world-wide attention. The Liberal government has amended the existing footwear regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, under the Workers Compensation Act, so that employers can no longer demand that employees wear high-heeled shoes.

When the announcement was made, Weaver applauded it. “Over the last month, my office was inundated with messages from people in countless sectors sharing their experience of being forced to wear heels at work.

“Waiters, bartenders, lawyers, people in the retail and hospitality industry, wrote to my office. They talked about sexism, objectification, bleeding feet, sore knees, hips, and backs, long-term damage, and called for this practice to be officially changed. This is an important step (taken in work-appropriate shoes of our choosing) in the right direction.”

Employers in B.C. can no longer force employees to wear high-heeled shoes.