2017 in review: April

Landslides were the big news story of April. Local athletes found success in the pool and on the ice

April

The lack of affordable housing is brought to the forefront in a special report in the Observer. The rental vacancy in Salmon Arm was listed at 0.5 per cent. Dawn Dunlop, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association and board member of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association said housing and mental health go together.

“When you live with a mental illness and you are doing well and have a safe, secure, and affordable housing, that’s when you can work on other aspects of your life.”

Two Selkirk swimmers made some waves in a national competition. Maggie Manning came in the 800 freestyle in the Speedo Can Am Para-Swimming Championships held in Windsor, Ontario, making her the top Canadian, and she was selected to swim on Canada’s 4×100 metre ‘A’ relay team who went on to win the relay. Chantel Jeffrey, another Selkirk swimmer, is heading off to Victoria to compete in the Canadian swimming trials. She will be competing in in the 1500, 800, and 400 metre freestyle events as well as the 400-metre individual medley.

The U16 Ringette brought home the bronze medal in the 2017 Provincial Ringette Championship held in Coquitlam.

A landslide destroys two homes in Sunnybrae and the families reflect on their close call after their losses. The slide, which hurtled down the slope in the 4000 block of Sunnybrae-Canoe Point road on April 7, hit a house with enough force to knock it off its foundation, but miraculously spared Amber Blair and her son, Ryley Meyer from serious injury. The landslide also crashed into the neighbouring Hobb’s house.

There was a lot of debate but in the end, Salmon Arm City Council voted to change the tax rates, raising business levies but dropping the rate for light industrial. The move came in an effort to retain existing industry and to attract new ones considering to move to the city. With the adoption of the bylaw the tax rates on April 24, the tax rates for both will be equalized to $11.95 per $1,000 of assessed value for both classifications. The 2016 rate for light industry was $18.71 per $1,000, and business was $11.66 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Elementary through high school students braved the inclement weather to make the Salmon Arm foreshore a healthier habitat for animals who call the place home. The Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society (SABNES), City of Salmon Arm, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and School District #83 staff and students were involved in a large project to increase biodiversity on the foreshore. Kim Fulton, a former teacher in charge of co-ordinating the planting, said it’s important to involve the youth.

“I believe if kids love the environment at an early age and understand how the systems work, they will be less likely to make mistakes that we humans seem to make.”

The one-lane road block of the Sexqeltqin bridge in Chase leading to the Adams Lake band ended on April 13. Former Adams Lake band chief Nelson Leon explained to the Observer the ‘friendly protest’ concerned ongoing internal issues that have created a divide among band members in the community. He said it’s not an easy problem: “It will take a number of community discussions but the ball has to start somewhere..I think it’s resolvable with communication and commitment both from the membership and the leadership.”

This was no ordinary annual general meeting for Downtown Salmon Arm. Board candidates are often acclaimed because the numbers don’t necessitate an election. Not this year. Eight people were vying for the remaining seven two-year terms. In the end, Althea Mongerson, Jeff Johnson, Jennifer Broadwell, Kailee Ramsell, Nicole Mundy, Ron Langridge and Steve Reid were elected for the seven positions. Because the 13 directors’ two-year terms are staggered, six directors have another year in their terms. They are: Bill Laird, Brent Moffatt, Deanna Connelly, Jacquie Gaudreau, Sebastian Hofstetter and Sheri Greeno.

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