Waste not, want not, Kamloops.
City council proclaimed Oct. 15 to 21 as National Waste Reduction Week in town, and there’s all sorts of options and information available.
Glen Farrow, City environmental services supervisor, told council Tuesday the week will be marked with such things as school programs, waste audits in municipal facilities and information about new programs at the landfill.
Those programs include an electronics diversion effort started a year ago, and wood chipping. City staff will be at the home show on Oct. 19 to 21 to provide more waste-related information.
Residents who want to change out their garbage carts for a smaller size can do so without charge during the week. Farrow said the $50 fee normally charged is being waived for those downsizing their cart.
Homelessness Action Week aims to create connections
Whether it’s touching base while counting homeless people or posting a photo if you spend more than 30 per cent of our income on housing, the Homelessness Action Plan wants Kamloops to have more awareness of the need for affordable living space.
HAP co-ordinator Tangie Genshorek got council’s proclamation Tuesday to have Oct. 8 to 12 as Homelessness Action Week.
Events include Project Homeless Connect, a gathering for people who are without homes or at risk, and the people who can help them, at the North Shore Spirit Square from 1 to 5:30 p.m. It will include a barbecue and free flu shots.
Genshorek is also asking for people who spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing to take a close-up digital photo of themselves and post it to the HAP website at www.Kamloopshap.ca/donateyourface/. “Donations” can be made until mid-November.
ESL teachers celebrate
More than 700 Teachers of English as a Second Language are coming to Kamloops on Oct. 11 to 13 for a national conference that includes a symposium, plenary speakers and workshops.
So it seemed a natural fit for professors Karen Densky and Jennifer Lewis to ask council to proclaim Oct. 7 to 14 as TESL Week in Kamloops.
The conference is expected to draw ESL professionals not just from across Canada, but also some international teachers as well.
CBC gets its day
Despite cutbacks in other parts of the country, the CBC has stuck with opening up a new bureau in Kamloops.
Producer Rob Polson got council to proclaim Oct. 9 — the day the Kamloops office debuts on the air — as CBC Day in town.
Polson said the team’s goal is to make people here late for work because they’ll be so wrapped up in the stories being presented.
Instead of getting Daybreak Kelowna on 94.1 FM on the car radio in the morning drive, it’ll be Daybreak Kamloops, with stories coming from the region including Barriere, Clearwater, Blue River, Chase, Merritt, Revelstoke, Lillooet, Lytton, and 100 Mile House.
Retired Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger’s voice will also be heard. He’ll be a regular with Josh Pagé, a CBC transplant from Regina, in a segment called Josh and the Armchair Mayor.
The CBC office, at Victoria and Second Avenue, will be celebrating its grand opening from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
October is also Community Living Month
City council proclaimed October as Community Living Month on Tuesday, at the behest of three representatives from Community Living B.C.
Tony Cuglietta, Krystian Shaw and Jenna Fowler told council of the need for more awareness of people with developmental disabilities.
Shaw noted that they, too, want to participate in their communities and have access to affordable housing, transportation and employment.
Fowler said they have the same goals and aspirations as anyone else. Kamloops is a city where everyone feels they belong, where everyone can work and be respected, regardless of their differences.
Dog owner relieved to keep pets
A couple who moved to Kamloops six months ago with their three Maltese dogs found out about the two-dogs-per-house limit when they went to license their pets.
Audrey Davies appealed to council Tuesday to keep the dogs, three spayed females who are 10 to 12 years old.
She and her husband weren’t aware of the bylaw when they came. When they bought their dog licences at the vet clinic, they still weren’t informed. But a couple of weeks later, they got a call from City bylaws, she said.
Davies grew tearful as she talked about the dogs being old — Sammy and Tammy are 12, Abby is 10.
There have been no complaints about the dogs to the City. Council unanimously approved the variance.
City seeks grant to make former school a better community building
The City is applying for a federal redevelopment grant that offers up to $50,000 to create or enhance access for people with disabilities.
City social planner Jen Casorso told council Tuesday the grant would help with the $100,000 estimated to widen and enhance access ramps and washrooms at the former John Tod elementary school that’s being converted into a community-use building.
Council voted unanimously in favour of applying for the grant.
Three-dog household gets extension
A man who had too many dogs because his adult daughter had moved back home with a pet of her own is getting until Oct. 16 to appeal the City’s ruling he has to get rid of one of the animals.
Mayor Peter Milobar said Tuesday Otto Duczak’s request would be put off because three councillors were absent. Duczak himself couldn’t be at council, but he sent a request in writing.
Duczak has had numerous involvements with City bylaws because his own dogs have gone off his property. A neighbour has complained about the three dogs.
Last month, Duczak told council he wouldn’t fence his yard to keep the dogs in because his wife doesn’t want it. He didn’t want the expense of building a dog run. He keeps them chained to his garage, but sometimes they get away.
Request for sidewalks near seniors’ buildings moved to pedestrian plan
A resident who pushes his mother’s wheelchair from Ridgeview Lodge on Desmond to the nearest Tim Hortons for coffee wrote City council saying he was concerned about walking along the side of the road with nothing between them and passing cars except a painted line.
Errol Borsky sent along a photo showing him wheeling his mother along the edge of Desmond Street while a van passed by. He said he and his mother have been startled by vehicles swerving around them at the last minute.
Council discussed his letter Tuesday, with Coun. Marg Spina wondering if the City could implement a senior speed zone on the street as a pilot project.
“We have them for schools,” she said, adding the reduced speed zone would be a low-cost thing to try.
Coun. Nancy Bepple wondered if the broader issue of walkways for people with disabilities or accessibility issues would be included in the City’s pedestrian master plan, which is being worked on.
City development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said safety will be part of the master plan talks. The issue of seniors could be raised in that process.
Mayor Peter Milobar cautioned, however, that the City is always lobbied about the lack of sidewalks in neighbourhoods around town.
“There's only so much money. We have a sidewalk prioritization list we try to work through. We try to get away from queue jumping because a letter's been written,” he said.
The sidewalk fund has even been boosted in recent years, but it’s never enough when there are so many parts of the city that were built without sidewalks, he noted.