I was sorting through my collection of photographs this morning and thought I should write something about these family photos and their part in the development of Whatshan Lake Retreat at 645 Whatshan Lake Road, near Edgewood, B.C.

The Oglow Bros were raised at Glade, B.C. They learned the Carpentry Trade from their father who was a skilled artisan. In the beginning, they obtained their work experience by participating in projects undertaken by others. They then decided to work together and established a construction company, Oglow Bros. Construction Ltd. This followed with construction of a building to house a Building Supply Store, Oglow’s, in Castlegar, B.C. They supplied their construction operations as well as the public.

They are shown here, after retirement, when they travelled to Whatshan to encourage construction of the Retreat building and make a financial donation. William is in the front row on the left with Pete, Nick and Paul in order on his left.

Verigin brothers migrated from a farm in Saskatchewan and became involved in construction with a start of working on the Waneta Dam. They later formed a construction company, Verigin Construction Ltd and eventually purchased a Sash and Door Shop, Obal Glass. This operation was later converted into a Millwork Plant (supplying millwork to schools and hospitals throughout Western Canada) at Trail, B.C.

In the photo, Elmer is in the back row on the left, brothers Lawrence and Russel are in order to left of Elmer.

The partially completed Retreat as in the background.

Verigin started dealing with Oglows in the early years and thereby established a relationship that remained to the date of the photo in 1998. Oglows were very interested to see the Whatshan site where the Verigins were donating labour and expertise.

This photo is also unique in that Elmer, is the last remaining person alive at the tim eof writing this blog.  The “Last Moehican” we might say!

Florence (Aunty to Elmer and his family) and Andy Markin became interested in the Whatshan Lake Retreat project during their visits to their nephews living in the Kootenays. The Markins encouraged financial donations to the Whatshan Project.

In this photo, Florence invited much of her family to attend the Music Festival in the early 2000s and here they all are posing South of the Band Shell at Whatshan.

The names are too numerous to identify here.

Aunty Flo, organized as many of her family as she could, every year starting 2000 to attend the yearly Music Festivals until she passed on. Some members continue to attend every year.

Marilyn and I were habitually at Whatshan on every work party. In this photo, my immediate families came to visit us and see what it was that drew us to the project.

Front row left to right: Kara Chahley (Lori’s daughter), Kayla MacKinnon (Nona’s daughter), Garrett Kucher (Nona’s son), Nigel Burk (Tamara’s son), Allie Kucher (Nona’s daughter), Sean Chahley, (Lori’s son).

Second row left to right: Marilyn Verigin, Nona Kucher, Lori Chahley, Lora Verigin, Kim Verigin holding his daughter Abby, Tamara Verigin-Burk holding her son Solomon

Rear: Elmer Verigin, Larry Kucher, Kyle Burk holding his son Solomon.

To this day, every member of the family is still drawn to Whatshan where they continue to volunteer as well as enjoy the development. The family now numbers 33 including partners, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They all try to attend scheduled Work Weekends as well as other occasions such as major events.

Completed and posted 1730 hours, July 20, 2020 EWV


A Special Experience at Doukhobor Village Castlegar, B.C.)

The original Doukhobor Village at Castlegar, B.C., is operated by the Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society and is now renamed the Doukhobor Discovery Center.

I was part of the founding members that constructed the buildings on the site across from the Castlegar Airport. I also was part of the committee that researched the Doukhobor Villages in the Kootenay Region and drew the original drawings.

One day in the late 1970s, I received a phone call from Jim Cameron, Public Relations Officer for Cominco Ltd (now Teck), asking me if could assist him in a arranging a tour of the facility as he was challenged with a request from the Federal Government to conduct an educational experience for approximately forty (40) young entrepreneurs from the province of Quebec. This was to be a program to bring citizens from Eastern Canada to the West and encourage better ties with each other.

Jim and I were Trail Rotarians and so it was easy to have me accept the request.

I was to greet this entourage led by Ed Schreyer, former Manitoba Premier and ex-Ambassador to Australia. Jim allotted one full hour for a tour of the Village and provide a descriptive education on the Doukhobor peoples residing in the area since 1908.

Once completed then the bus would take them to the rest of their tour.

So I needed help and I solicited the following:

  1. Harry and Vera Voykin, operators of the Doukhobor Restaurant agreed to meet the group in the traditional Doukhobor fashion. He would then serve them a bowl of Borsch and freshly baked bread. This had to be achieved in fifteen (15) minutes.
  2. Members of the Doukhobor Cultural Association (DCA) and I would lead them through the restored orchard (about 300 meters) to the Village Compound)
  3. Peter Samolayoff. Conductor of the Kootenay Choir (about 12 young couples), assembled his Choir (all dressed in traditional Doukhobor customes), in the courtyard of the Village and would start singing hymns (in Russian) as soon as the entourage left the restaurant.
  4. As soon as the group all entered the compound they were met by members of the DCA who spread them out facing the choir and permitted them to listen for about five (5) minutes.
  5. The DCA had prearranged guides that would separate the group into three (3) parties:
    1. One group started the tour of the U-shaped buildings to the right
    2. The second group entered the two story community building
    3. The third group wen directly to the audio-visual Center (the second two story community building
    4. The idea was to provide thirteen (13) minutes in each selected location so that all would be shown and artifacts explained
    5. All the while the Kootenay Choir would sing

Everything took place like clockwork and the group reassembled  at their bus after bidding adieu to the Choir.

A few years went by and my construction company was in contract to construct a one acre sized First Nations School at Nelson House Manitoba. I was travelling from Vancouver to Winnipeg and I looked up as this gentleman walked by me. It was night and the visibility in the plane was poor and I returned to my thoughts.

A few minutes later, this same gentleman was returning from his bathroom visit when he stopped to look at me. “Yes now I remember now…..the Doukhobor Village at Castlegar, B.C. in 197_?, right..”

I was surprised as then I recognized Ed Schreyer.

“I will never forget the acappella singing, the Borsch and the Village Tour..” as I sat there with my mouth open. It was astounding at this man’s memory!

We chatted a bit more and he carried on to his seat.

It has been a long time but I wanted to record this beautiful memory.

Posted 1315, Tuesday, July 07, 2020 by EWV


I was sorting through my diary notes and this notation glared at me. I thought I should post it here as Peter (Mr. Negraeff) as I knew him for one year in Grade 8 and then for three years in grade 10 to 12 inclusive at the Pelly High School located at Pelly, Saskatchewan.

My experience with Peter and his wife Sylvia is part of my blog posting:

…..”Elmer’s Diary Note August 19, 2013……..”


My sister, Mary Khadekin, called yesterday to advise that Peter Negraeff had passed way. I immediately remembered the poem “For Whom The Bell Tolls” that best described my reaction.

I was fortunate that our Saskatchewan vacation, this past July, took me to the Penguin Café in Pelly, Saskatchewan. Perhaps it was not by chance that I was treated to a private cup of coffee with Sylvia and Peter Negraeff. It is not often that a student meets an Educator that perhaps, influenced hi s life to the greatest degree. I will not repeat that rare occasion where I was able to share my respect and aspirations with this Mentor in the formation of my ultimate attitude and confidence to “make that break” and leave Pelly High School for the challenges at the University of Saskatchewan.

Peter made reference to the fact that he was the last member of a large family unit that is now completely transferred into the “Spirit World”.

Elmer Verigin

Entered directly into Laptop. Last notation December 28, 2013

The reference to the poem “For Whom The Bell Tolls” as written by John Donne…. is as inserted here from Google:

For Whom the Bell Tolls
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


This poem is in the public domain

So the memory of my Mentor, Peter Negraeff is alive in my conscious self.

Blog entry 1440, May 15, 2020


My Memories of Billy (the Goat) Verigin

This story is about a family pet: Billy (the Goat) Verigin.

My father (Wasyl Verigin) had a soft heart. A visit to a farmer friend near Pelly, Saskatchewan resulted in him accepting a gift of a baby goat. “Your young family would love this animal as a pet”, was the farmer’s convincing words as the young goat “kid” was loaded into the wagon box and travelled with my father to our surprise on arrival.

Of course, we instantly loved him and who would not.

Here is a photograph of Billy about three (3) months later:

Billy enjoyed playing with his horns which were always “itchy” and he would allow me to handle him this way. My dog “Duke”, was just a puppy and we formed a triumvirate for all types of games in a friendly manner.

Billy would pose as if he were to charge and I would put my foot up and he would lightly “bump” my outstretched foot. So this would be repeated depending on the time available. Sometimes, Billy would get a bit aggressive and I would run to a nearby poplar tree as he then charged the tree. He would rear back and playfully charge the tree again while I stood casually behind. The way I understood the “game”, Billy was exercising his “combat” skills and aim. This exercise too, would end when both the animal and the human tired.


Billy got older and my two bothers Lawrence and Russel decided they wanted to play that same game. They were older and were able to reciprocate his “bumps” with harder hits to his horns. Soon the game became rougher and my brothers realized they may need to retreat into the poplar trees and use them as shields to ward off Billy’s aggressiveness.

It was a sunny spring day and the scene unfolded like so:

  • I was seated on the top rail of the corral while my sister Mary stood by the barn, cautiously observing that she might need shelter quickly should Billy decide to expand his attention.
  • The “game” became more and more serious and Billy was of the opinion that he wanted to hurt the bigger boys and that the usual game with Elmer had exceeded normal limits
  • So both Russel and Lawrence also realized this and decided to make a retreat for the house with Billy hard on their heels.
  • Mary was also on her way to house, too, but she never was much of a track star and so Billy passed her easily as he had no argument with her
  • I kept sitting on the corral rail with a vantage point better than any show at the Calgary Stampede
  • The entry door to house opened directly into the kitchen where our mother was on her hands and knees washing the floor using our father’s discarded size 54 Stanfield’s underwear as her floor rag
  • The harried prey were hard pressed and not able to close the exterior door but decided to make a sharp left into the Dining Room to escape Billy’s horns
  • Billy hopped the two steps unto the entry landing and was full speed when he passed the door
  • His eyes recognized our mother’s rear end and applied all four legs into a braking action, with no traction, trying to slow down before he connected with mother
  • That is when mother turned around with goat and mother making eye contact
  • Billy knew that he would not be on the winning side of this encounter and there was the sound of hooves clicking on the wet vinyl floor as Billy tried disparately to turn his carcass around head out the entry with the long reach of the customized floor rag slapping him on his behind
  • In the midst of the my mother screaming, the goat made it to the gate to the barnyard and stood there waiting for my brothers to come back out so that he could even the score
  • The boys were looking out the window as mother provided a good tongue-lashing to my brothers all the while for endangering the lives of their younger brother and sister.

I now wish I had a movie camera to capture all this for America’s Funniest Videos.


Our farm kept sheep to add to our mixed farming enterprise. Two yearling ewes matured and our father decided that they needed breeding to expand the flock. In reality, he was planning a shishliki and at least one lamb could be sacrificed to satisfy his taste.

And so one early spring day, he asked a neighbour if he could “borrow” his ram for a few days for breeding purposes.

I still recall the sunny day with temperatures still hovering below zero with all the cattle on the South side of the barnyard enjoying the bright Sun. Billy lay on his stomach with his left front leg folded under in his usual relaxing pose. Yes he was chewing his cud and every once in a while, he would stretch his head back to permit his horns to scratch that itchy spot on his rear end.

He gave a disinterested glance at this ram that jumped off the wagon box to survey the assembled animals. He quickly noted the two ewes and was quick to realize his purpose for the visit. There was the posturing and sniffing which I noted from my favourite perch on the top corral rail.

Obviously, there is a code amongst animals and for whatever reason the ram, decided that Billy was a possible breeding competitor for the sheep flock and needed elimination. (The truth was that Billy never paid attention to the ewes.) The ram then started backing up from Billy in a straight line for about thirty (30) feet or so. The rest of this rendezvous then unfolded like so:

  • The ram started pawing the barnyard cover of snow, straw and animal droppings all the while with his eyes fixated on Billy
  • If Billy noticed that he was the focus of the ram’s attention, he did not seem to be at all concerned and continued in a relaxed mode
  • Suddenly the ram charged, hopping and bouncing off his hooves as he picked up speed
  • Just about the time when collision of ram with goat was to occur, instantly Billy jumped straight up.
  • As the ram was passing, Billy bopped him on the head with his horned armed forehead.
  • The ram was stunned as his legs buckled, causing him to slide for about ten (10) feet with his momentum
  • He crouched there as if wondering what hit him
  • After a few minutes, the ram stood up on his feet and started backing up in a straight line that took him past Billy who was back in his relaxed pose
  • The ram established himself in about the same original charging spot and started pawing the ground cover again as he re-established his bearings and resolve to do better this time.
  • His charge was a repeat of the first one
  • Billy bopped the ram again as he was charging by.
  • This time the ram slid and lay there for a much longer time after which he got up and found himself an isolated spot in the yard and peacefully enjoyed the Sun for the rest of the afternoon
  • The rest of the animals seemed not to pay any attention to this adventure.

My father was interested to find out how the ram was doing and came to check. He asked me if the ram was successful and I gave him an update on the entire event.

My unimpressed father was not able to control his temper very well and immediately ran to the house to get the rifle in order to exterminate poor Billy who interfered with nature and my father’s intent.

There was the usual pleading of mother who cautioned him for shooting a beloved family pet.

So Billy survived for a few more years until the next saga but the ram was transported back to the neighbour with his purpose not achieved.


In the winter, my father harvested poplar trees in the Government Pasture abutting our farm. He would be able to fall the trees and haul them into Pelly (about 3 1/2 miles) for customers with wood stoves. Once his customers accumulated enough logs, a large saw would be brought in with a crew and the logs would be “bucked up” into firewood that would fit the individual stove sizes. Bolts wood be split and piled to season for Fall and Winter use.

The bobsled used was designed with a front and rear bunk that can be set apart to suit the load and interconnected accordingly. There would be stakes that were set into the bunks to hold the logs in place. My Dad had chains about 16 feet long that he would wrap around this load about three (3) times and cinch each to tie load as a unit during the haul.

These chains then were my Dad’s pride and joy. He would hang one near the barn door as there was always a need to pull something from time to time and a chain would be handy.

One day the chain was missing. Our Dad came to the family and asked who took it and what may have happened to it. Well no one could answer the question as no one had taken same.

A new chain was hung on the same hook and this was repeated until five (5) chains were missing. Was it the neighbours “borrowing” our chains?

One day as I went into the pasture to bring the cows in for milking, I found one chain. How did it get there? The mystery was soon resolved when we found Billy trying to resolve the “itch” between his horns and moved his horns along the chain. The chain would lock in the narrow section of his horns. Billy then tried to shake it loose to no avail. Off he went into the woods to circle a tree that would catch the chain end at the trunk (usually a willow) and allow him to unshackle himself. These animals are bright!

Our “thief” was caught in the act!

A search of the pasture was rewarded with all chains found and accounted for.

This was another time that Billy was threatened with death and found a reprieve with Mother begging Dad to “back off” from shooting Billy.

I could carry on for many more stories but the notorious Billy The Goat Verigin lived to an elder goat age. In 1958, My Dad passed away and the farm was sold as I had already gone to attend University and the farm was too much for Mother.

My Aunt Lillian loaded Billy on the back of their pickup and off to Buchanan he went. I was told that the coyotes eventually made short work of Billy as he was a wandering animal and possibly searching for home.

There are many more humorous incidents but I will cease here.

Completed, Wednesday, May 06, 2020, 1710 hours EWV

Beavers Successfully Construct Dam at Oasis (a bit of a satire)

Highway 22 connects Castlegar with Trail, B.C., and passes a small residential community of Oasis. A pond is situate between the Highway and Oasis and is the subject of this blog.

There is no intent to discredit the educated human Professional Engineers and Nature’s animal, the Beaver, who continue to apply natural instinct to dam rivers, streams and in this instance, a pond. The Reader needs to smile when reading this story and understand the satire as well as the respect that a retired Professional Engineer has for both.

Figure 1 Oasis Pond

The writer suggests that the pond is likely fed by underground drainage from the mountains West of Oasis as it has water in it all year round. The pond has a natural beauty and is used by ducks of all variety, Canada Geese and the Beavers and of course, all the natural organisms that are enjoyed by fowl.

Perhaps a “Scouting Party” of Beavers placed this pond on their short list of potential sites as the Columbia River beside was too swift, too wide and too deep for dam construction.

The Writer grew up in Saskatchewan near Swan River and spent many curious boyhood years watching the Beavers construct a dam on that river which was slow moving, about three (3) feet deep and about 20 feet wide. An abundance of Aspen (White Poplar) trees near the proposed location, is most important as they are relatively easy to gnaw down and the branches and leaves are the preferential food of the Beaver.

It is important to note that Beavers have an advantage over the Hydro Engineers as there never is any need for Public Consultation regarding Rural Farm Lands. It is suspected that the Oasis Pond remains in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) today. The Writer is not aware of any advertised Public Hearings to permit flooding of agricultural lands. The Beaver then, must have special legislative permission that even the Indigenous citizens of Canada do not possess.

The pointed end of the bough is floated downstream and at the precise moment it is depressed on the downstream side with the momentum of tree and beaver used to drive the bough into the stream bottom. In ponds, it is assumed that some physical force is used to embed the bough into the soft bed.

The Writer noted then, as in the pond now, the narrowest width in the stream or pond is selected for the Dam to conserve effort and materials.

This the lower Beaver Dam which separates the original pond into three (3) pools. Figure 2 is the most Southerly pool .

Figure 2 Separation of Southern Pool from top two Pools

A man built a fill area which was available as a starting point on the East side to reduce the width of the Dam. The fill area may have been used by the West Kootenay Power & Light Co. Ld., the original utility that serviced Cominco Smelter in Trail, B.C.

It is interesting to note that pool difference in elevation is about nine (9) feet so that the Beaver engineering instincts needed to consider that the water pressure at the bottom edge of the dam would be approximately 562 pounds per square foot. They were able to widen the bottom to allow for this natural challenge and chink mud, reeds and grass in between the boughs to counteract this challenge. The cross section of the Dam would be about 3 to 4 feet on top with a 60 degree front face and about 8 feet at the base.

Present day Hydro Engineers would need to analyze the available soils to ensure that their earth filled design was relatively impervious to water seepage as they selectively placed the layers of design materials. Obviously the Beavers kept working with the available materials and were just as successful as the Arrow Dam (a bit of satire here of course) but both dams are servicing their purpose.

Universities train their Engineers to design with available materials after researching their strengths. Beavers naturally apply their instincts to achieve the same results. The Writer is sure that the Beaver Project Beaver Engineer would have his Material Testing Beavers search the ponds for the most suitable material sources.

It is not known if the Construction Unions have ever attempted to organize the Beaver Workers or the label the Project “Union Only” as was experienced on the recent Site C Dam on the Peace River. Certainly the Trail Times has not recorded any labour disputes nor work stoppages during construction.

The Writer suggests that this labour peace amongst Beavers is something BC Hydro Constructors would like to research and perfect in their future Projects.

The completed Beaver Dam is shown in Figure 3:

Figure 3 Middle and Southern Pond Separation

The Hoover Dam US Corps of Engineers built with the Convex side into the upstream to have the natural strength of the design to assist in the structural stability. The Beaver Engineers must have had difficulty with the water pressure that caused the dam under construction to shift with their progressive construction. Nonetheless, the final design is a uniform parabolic shape and pleasing to observe.

The Reader must realize that all this effort is to have sufficient water depth to store their food of tree boughs, branches and their leaves so that should winter ice cover the pond, food would always be available to the pond Dwellers who would dive into the pools from their houses to safely retrieve their preserved food.

The Beaver Engineers and Builders, then decided that they needed to extend the flooded areas of Oasis Ponds and constructed a dam to partition the upper Northerly pond into two parts as shown in Figures 4 and 5:

Figure 4 Separation of Most Northerly Pond From Middle Pond

This upper dam is the narrower than the southern dam and has a water level differential of about seven (7) feet. An existing fill area constructed from the East side was again likely by West Kootenay Power & Light Co. Ltd., which the Beaver Dam Constructors utilized to reduce materials required for construction. It can be estimated that the pressure at the deep side of the Dam would be about 450 pounds per square foot. The lateral alignment was essential straight which maybe due to the reduced water pressure as that at the South Dam

Figure 5 Beaver Condominium 101

The Beaver Housing has this smaller one on the highest elevated pool but adjacent to the Dam. Typically the interior would all be above water level with a full open chamber and likely all as one room. there would be an opening in the middle allowing the occupants access to water without having to expose their cover to predators.

Again residential construction has been permitted in this mixed “zoning” by the authorities. A search of the records of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary would not uncover construction drawings or a Building / Occupancy Permit issue. Again Beavers have special privileges not afforded the taxpayers. The Writer is sure that BC Assessment has never appraised this building nor is there any taxes collected.

Figure 6 Condominium 201

This second condominium is much larger and further back from the upper Dam. We can philosophy that somehow the Beaver Community was able to make the decision who would occupy each building. It is unknown whether the local School District imposes a requirement to attend school like the rest of the populace.

There is noted evidence that recent construction has taken place on both condominiums. It would be interesting to determine whether this was reinforcing the existing construction or perhaps “raising the roof” to enlarge the living chamber inside.

Figure 7 Fresh Beaver Food Gathering

This fresh gnawing of bark appears may be a Beaver food gathering exercise as there is no attempt to gnaw into the tree itself.

Figure 9 Beaver Tree Gnawing and Falling

This grove of trees were all fallen and the limbs were harvested for food as the trunk has not been “bucked” into sections.

Figure 10 Another Tree Gnawing and Falling Effort

On closer inspection, the Writer notes that the tree is usually gnawed deeper on the side where it is intended to fall and usually directly into the pond or water. Then the gnawing continues on the opposite side to facilitate the tree to topple much the same as a professional human Tree Faller. Very interesting. Unfortunately the wind or the shape of the tree may cause gravity to direct its final trajectory, much to the disappointment to humans and animal alike.

Figure 11 Assistance of Humans to Beavers

This is an interesting stump and the Writer philosophies that the Beavers had started to fall this tree but the Ministry of Transportation and Highways decided to fall the tree away from Highway 22 as a precaution and safety of the motorists using the roadway. The tree trunk was then sawn into bolts but the Beavers abandoned the tree entirely which suggests that it may have been intended by the Beavers to fall the tree in line with the upper Dam to use it as part of a Dam extension.

Figure 12 Canada Geese Enjoying Oasis Pond

Nature is in harmony with Canada Geese using this pond as their nesting area. All is as it could and should be.

The Writer has enjoyed writing this story and he wishes that the Readers have appreciated the bit of satire in comparison of Engineers to Beavers.

Written April 09, 2020 by EWV

Dated Grandview Seniors Project, Castlegar, B.C., Reference Letter from City

To the Reader:

This blog entry needs to read in conjunction with the ‘Seniors Speak from the Ledge”, a report from the seniors on the Grandview Seniors Project located on 16th Avenue, Castlegar, B.C.

There is also an update on the above report published in my blog.

There were Report references to the influence of the City of Castlegar on the outcome of the project in the above blog entries. This letter from the Approving Officer (AO) was sent just after a meeting that the Writer had with the recently elected Mayor who was sympathetic to the potential financial implications of the AO actions and met with the AO  to discuss same.

I do not believe that the office of AO was in question by either seniors nor the Mayor but unfortunately the interpretation by the AO was different.

The Grandview Project was situate where future development would take place and the discussions of the Kootenay Columbia Seniors Housing Cooperative (KCSHC) with the Mayor was to recognize where services installed at Grandview would be ultimately service these future developments. These services should then be financed in a special manner so as not to impact KCSHC.

In hindsight, this lack of communication caused the seniors to finance:

  1. $1 million to construction part of 16th Avenue already legislated by a municipal by law
  2. Construct a $400,000 pumping station that only required some $70,000 booster pump to achieve municipal standards
  3. Construct a $300,000 storm overflow structure where the Storm Lagoon has remained essentially dry since construction
  4. Request to construct a water loop to existing Emerald Green that did not have this capacity
  5. Much more

It was obvious from the above list that the Grandview Project would fail financially as was part of the concerns discussed with the Mayor and part of this reference letter.

Again, posting the Grandview reports and this reference letter is for community information and perhaps to assist future Developers in achieving success.

“……..City of Castlegar February 19, 2007                                                                                             File: 3320-20 S-5/06

Kootenay Columbia Seniors Housing Cooperative Inc. No. CP0001997

902 – 6th Street

Castlegar BC VIN 2E5

Attention: Mr. Elmer Verigin

Dear Sir:

Re: Withdrawal of Preliminary Layout Review Letter December 19, 2006.

This letter is to advise that the Preliminary Layout Review letter of December 19, 2006 is no longer valid as the 2 preliminary subdivision drawings provided by WSA on February 1 5 th indicate a substantial change from the previously reviewed drawings used to set the terms and conditions of the subject PLR.

The previous application allowed for 28 fee simple lots and 29 strata units in Phase 1 of the development. The drawing provided on February 15 th shows 55 fee simple parcels and 40 strata units.

The previous access to the property was from the south. The new access is proposed from the North.

The new preliminary drawings show different locations for waterlines, sanitary and storm lines.

There is an additional parcel involved in the subdivision.

The development now is impacted by the Phase 3 Emerald Green Development.

Although the PLR is no longer valid, the comments provided should be of use to your engineer in moving the process forward.

a City Hall                                                                                                                      12 Fire Department

Phone: 250.365.7227 Phone: 250-365.5979 Phone: 250.365.5151 Phone: 250.365.3266 Fax: 250.365.4810 Fax: 250.365.0594 Fax: 250.365.5949 Fax: 250.304.2562

Mailing Address: 460 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, BC VIN IG7 •

12 Transportation & Civic Works                                Municipal Airport

Attached please find an additional application form.

The application fees based on the revised number of lots is $2, 125.00 for the fee simple parcels and $500.00 for the phased strata development (total $2,625.00).


Some of the initial comments that come to mind with respect to revised application are:

  • Additional consultation with the public with respect to the initial zoning application (additional public hearing and referrals necessary)
  • Zoning and Official Community Plan Amendment of the property to the north will be necessary (application fee $715.00)
    • Preliminary Design Drawings to be provided for the proposed access through the northerly lands (including Phase 3 portion of the Emerald Green Development).
  • The City of Castlegar will require a sketch plan showing the final method of subdivision of the Lands to the North (including Emerald Green’s Phase 3 Lands) and showing how the present phase fits into such a final subdivision. (Article 3.2.3 of Subdivision and Development Bylaw 1018).

The adjacent 20 acres to the north means additional lots, which would change KWL’s water modeling. KWL was requested to determine if looping the water main to the end of the existing 14th Avenue (adjacent to Venture Mechanical) was necessary, and to produce an estimate. If the initial 14th Avenue extension is abandoned we have wasted KWL’s time and our money.

  • If the main road is now constructed from 37th Street, there may be a possibility that the site can be serviced with water from 37th as well as off the main line. This totally changes the modeling and scope of KWL’s work.
  • If the site is serviced/accessed from the north then we will need to request that KWL separate and categorize their invoice into which work can still be used for the new layout (including future buildout) (internal modeling, etc.) and which work now becomes useless. It is staffs opinion that the Society should be responsible for covering mounting costs due to changing directions.
    • Highways consultation on the 37th Street access (and possible upgrades) required.
    • Construction traffic through 37th Street would be a concern to the area residents.
  • The Applicants will have to provide alternate access for emergency vehicles. (The alternate access provision was a requirement of Emerald Green’s Phase 3 Development). The ITE publication “Residential Street and Traffic Control” recommends a maximum length for a cul-de-sac of 210 to 300 metres.

If a cul-de-sac is longer than 300 metres, many Municipalities typically require a secondary access for emergency vehicles and utilities.

There will also be a need to send out revised referrals to other agencies (eg. School District (demand for School sites), school bus routes); B.C. Transit (bus routes and stopping facilities; Fire Chief (fire hazards, emergency accesses); Ministry of Transportation; RDCK and affected utilities.

  • Possibility of other changes.

Possibility of delays associated with review of Phase 3 of Emerald Green’s Phased Strata Development.

  • I note in WSA’s letter of February 14, 2007 that there is a difference of opinion on item 16 of the rescinded PLR. The 1 1/20/0 inspection fee has been in place since at least 1994, has been a condition of subdivision since that time and is a bylaw requirement.

I would also like to bring to your attention the legislative requirements associated with my position as the City of Castlegar Approving Officer.

I must refuse to approve a subdivision if the subdivision does not conform to bylaws regulating the subdivision of lands and zoning.

I understand that you have been approaching members of City Council with respect to my role as the City’s Approving Officer.

Attached please find an excerpt from the Guide for Approving Officers that identifies the role of Council and the Approving Officer in subdivision approval.

This document states in part, that

“The Approving Officer is appointed by the local government as the official who has a responsibility to independently administer provincial statutes and use the Approving Officers own discretion in making decisions regarding subdivision approval. The Approving Officer is thus a statutory official with separate and independent jurisdiction from local government.

It is the responsibility of the Approving Officer to ensure that subdivisions are in accordance with provincial statutes, regulations and local government bylaws regulating subdivision and zoning.

The Approving Officer also has a wide discretion to refuse to approve a subdivision plan if the Approving Officer considers it inappropriate for a variety of reasons listed in the Act, including the deposit of the plan being against the public interest.

Independence from the council is important to the objectivity of the Approving Officer. No delegation of the Approving Officers responsibilities or discretion (to the council or otherwise) is allowed under provincial legislation. This was well summed up by Lander, J. when he said… “Clearly subdivision is beyond the jurisdiction or control of the (Council). Subdivision is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Approving Officer who is appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Land Title Act… Absent statutory power, the (Council) cannot interfere with the administration or direction of the Approving Officers decisions. Any such interference would be a serious breach of authority and duty and would not be condoned.”

Although a subdivision proposal may be discussed with the Council or a committee of the council, the Approving Officer and Council should both be aware of the limits on Council’s jurisdiction.

In forming an opinion about the public interest, the Approving Officer may try to interpret public policy as expressed in the Official Community Plan or other bylaws or municipal policy statements. The Approving Officer may hear from Council members, just as they can hear from the public, and consider possible reasons for not approving an application, but the Approving Officer must not take specific instruction from Council. To do so would be a fettering of the Approving Officers discretion and could result in the court overturning the Approving Officers decision.

As the document goes on to say, the Approving Officer must be consistent, fair, have a proper factual basis for the exercise of discretion and follow the laws of natural justice.

I have followed these guiding principles since 1992 and am very proud of that fact.

I have gone out of my way to try and move this very worthwhile seniors development forward within the guidelines of the city bylaws and provincial legislation.

As you will recall, I cancelled a portion of my vacation last August in anticipation of a subdivision application you instructed WSA Engineering to proceed with on July 25, 2006. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the application was not submitted until September 7, 2006.

In anticipation of the application, I had prepared the following documentation to try to assist in moving the process forward.

  • An update status report to Council (dated August 2, 2006);

A draft Section 219 Covenant in anticipation of the Society wanting to move forward with the OCP and Zoning Amendment Bylaws prior to the Society reaching agreement on the offsite works;

A report to Council in anticipation of entering into a Service Agreement with the Society for the offsite works;

  • A report to Council with respect to the Latecomer Charges associated with the 14th  Avenue Extension;
  • A draft Latecomer Agreement;
  • Draft letters to the surrounding property owners; and a draft report to Council with respect to a Development Variance Permit as it related to Future Phase 2 works.

I am prepared to do so again.

Both the Society and the City of Castlegar have spent a considerable amount of time and money to get to this stage.

Please note that as there are no road works being constructed outside the boundaries of the lands being subdivided that there will be no Development Cost Charges credit applicable to your development or Emerald Green’s.

I am looking forward to receipt of the amended subdivision application.


Phil Markin

Director of Development Services/Approving Officer

c:         Mayor & Council

Chief Administrative Officer

Director of Transportation and Civic Works

Utilities Manager

Dan Sahlstrom, WSA Engineering……..”

Posted April 07, 2020 1020 hours by EWV


Garrett Kucher – Pro Golfer

My grandson, Garrett Kucher, was born to my daughter Nona and her ex-husband Larry Kucher, in the Kootenays of British Columbia. He was always good at sports which included Baseball and Hockey. Gold was his passion to this day.

This blog entry is an interview that he recently gave on Confidence.



Intraline |


Meet Garret – he is a 27 year old professional golfer who plays on the European Tour, he is also the Ambassador for Golf at the Predator Ridge Golf Course, here in Canada!


Confidence involves the expectation of success at a given task or activity without the fear of failure or any significant emotional expenditure, though, with the ability to handle any resulting outcome. The belief that you have the skills or will develop the skills to succeed are crucial as well as a positive attitude. It also involves understanding personal limitations in such a way as to not impact success.


Ironically, the biggest impact on the development of my self-confidence has come from past experiences of self-doubt. I have doubted myself many times in high pressure situations which has led to failure, embarrassment, and disappointment in myself.  Being talented enough to succeed, my disappointment stems from failing as a result of fear of failure. This has made me aware of the need to control situations with my self-confidence. This awareness has continued to vastly spiked my self confidence throughout my career, and, made me mentally stronger, smarter, calmer, and pushed my self-confidence to a new high.


I feel I’ve had a level of confidence that’s always been there since I was a kid. As I have become older, through a continued variety of different experiences and situations, my ability to understand the complexities relating to confidence has steadily grown. These experiences, both positive and negative, have been crucial to help me to continue to gain more confidence. Being involved in many different environments and scenarios has given me that boost that I needed to be able to adapt to any fork in the road.


When I think of a time when I wasn’t feeling confident, one day stands out in my golf career. I had just finished my second round of a three day golf tournament I was participating in, in my hometown. This event was very important to me because I grew up watching this tournament as a kid and all the great players from the area had won it at some point in their career. So after breaking the two round scoring record and giving myself a comfy four shot lead heading into the final round I woke up with this awful feeling in my stomach the next day. I then headed out on the course surrounded by tons of locals, friends and family and before I knew it the round was done and I had lost the tournament by one stroke. The disappointment I had in myself was beyond any words but it opened the door and made me realize what had happened. No one beat me, I simply stood in my way and beat myself. I had no confidence in myself which then led to failure.


It can impair my ability to compete at my highest potential. Golf especially relies on confidence more than most endeavours. My confidence level has fluctuated from feeling very little confidence, to hyper confident, where I believe I can “walk on water”.  When playing a round of golf, there is a very strong correlation between the level of confidence for the round and the success that day. The greater the confidence the lower the score. To help boost my confidence, I often remind myself how hard I’ve worked for that certain moment. Giving myself gratitude when I feel I’ve earned it, is a massive confidence booster for myself.


I feel like right now I have the most confidence I have ever felt. Being surrounded with the right people, who are supportive of my journey and understand the process, lets me focus on the tasks at hand. Being surrounded by a strong core of people, including my team, friends, family and my girlfriend helps facilitate that much more confidence.

Garrett with his partner Tori Apostoliuk


I think confidence plays a huge role in virtually every aspect of life. Confidence allows people to interact, travel the world, build relationships, and most of all, chase their dreams. I think if someone finds that confidence in themselves they will embark on that dream they once had, or more vigorously chase their goals, with little fear of the outcome.

I think confidence plays a huge role in virtually every aspect of life. Confidence allows people to interact, travel the world, build relationships, and most of all, chase their dreams. I think if someone finds that confidence in themselves they will embark on that dream they once had, or more vigorously chase their goals, with little fear of the outcome.


The person who has positively impacted my life, and both built my confidence and inspired me to find my own confidence, is Terry Fraser. I consider Terry a positive role model for me, as he has opened (and continues to open) so many doors for me with his positivity, support, and his confidence in me. This helped me rise to the next level in my career. His confidence in me has helped transform my weaknesses into positives, and pushed me to make my positives stronger. I am not sure my increased confidence would have been possible without having Terry as a strong role model.


My confidence isn’t affected by today’s social and digital climate. Today’s social and digital climate only partially portrays reality accurately. I feel a lot of people use it as a mechanism to express a so-called ‘perfect life’, which will then make other people who follow them subconscious.


I would say very close, it’s important for me to feel comfortable with my appearance. I care about my appearance not because of people judging me but because of how it reflects on my confidence. The more comfortable I feel with my appearance the more confidence I will have.




My confidence has changed from different life experiences and interactions. I feel I’ve been lucky enough to have some very influential people in my life and this has led me to be confident in specific ways. It has allowed me to be aware of tools and strategies that I can use to gain more confidence throughout my life and career.


It’s important to understand that developing confidence is a lengthy process. However, it allows you to chase any dreams, goals, careers you desire as it is associated with optimism and an expectation of being capable of handling and manipulating any situation, and the resulting positive or negative outcome. It’s a special feeling waking up in the morning knowing you get to do what you love everyday. This feeling is called confidence.


My superpower is a combination of my ability to relate to virtually everyone, along with my aura of acceptance and support for others. I have genuine keen interest in others and their lives which makes interaction with others effortless.


Garrett is a professional Golfer who lives between Cartagena, Spain and Kelowna, British Colombia. He is 26 years old and has played professional golf for 5 years. Currently Garrett holds a spot on the European tour. We are thrilled to have spoken to Garrett about his confidence journey.

Posted by Elmer Verigin March 05, 2020 1020 hours


There are many different gangs in this world but this is about a “Threshing Gang”, a dated and unique farmer’s experience, recounted here by someone who was there: with threshing machines, rack and horses along with the people who needed to cooperate in order to be able to harvest their crops.

Historically crops were first cut down with a scythe, allowed to dry and then gathered into a central spot where the threshing would take place with a flail (essentially a whip of different sorts that would release the grain from the husks), The straw would be removed and the precious grain gathered to be ground into meal and flour. A slow process that met the requirements of the time.

During the Industrial Revolution and the advent of machinery, larger tracts of land could be farmed and thus the evolution of Binders to cut and bundle the grains followed by threshing with large sophisticated machines sometimes referred to simply as “Threshers”. This story could take place between 1903 through the mid 1950s prior until the development of moving threshers, or combines, where a farmer may be able to be essentially independent as is the practice in current times in 2020.

So my blog entry is about the dated Threshing Machines and the men who operated them.

Woman leading the convoy of binders

This photo is dated about 1904 and illustrates the machines replacing the historic scythe that reaped the standing grain. The Binder was so named as it would cut the crop and bind it with twine, into sheaves. Although each farmer would require a binder and team of horses, this photo has an early cooperative (Christian Communities Of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB)) working together to harvest. Later Binders were larger and required a team of four (4) horses. Much later, small tractors replaced the horses.

A foot operated lever would drop an accumulation of four (4) to five (5) sheaves into rows.

Bountiful crops were prevalent on the prairie fields

The sheaves (bundles) would then be “stooked” as in the photo. Usually a minimum of six (6) sheaves would form a stook that would be stable to withstand the prairies winds. Care by the “Stooker” who professionally erected the first two sheaves in a stable angle so that it formed the core. The next two sheaves were carefully placed, leaning into this core from each side. If the yield was large, often a sheave was placed from each end to use eight (8) sheaves. There were stooks with 10 sheaves with one placed on each end.

The purpose of the stook was to keep the grain from being in contact with the ground in the advent that a rain and a lengthy inclement weather, could cause the grain to sprout but with the stook, would quickly dry when the Sun came out again.

Care was taken to build the rows so that the teamster and rack could follow the row easily. Usually the horses became accustomed to following the rows on their own, adjusting enough clearance for the “Pitcher” to use a three (3) prong fork to load the sheaves. It is interesting to note that there never was an additional person to sort the sheaves on the rack. The Pitcher became an expert of aiming the sheaf to a location in order that the load would be balanced and not shift on the way to the threshing machine. The sheaves would be stacked about ten (10) horizontal rows, tapering to the top so that the total load was stable. It was amazing to watch these men perform load after load without incident. At age thirteen (13) I had my first “rig” and team of horses which were a “matched” pair of sisters (Molly and Jessie) from a mother mare, Queen. The teams would understand the commands from the Teamster which was interesting to watch.

It was the usual practice, that each farmer, desiring his crops be harvested,  would supply a team of horses, a rig, his fork and bedroll, There would be eight (8) farmers to efficiently, supply sheaves to the threshing machine which was owned by one farmer. This would allow four (4) rigs to each side of the threshing machine feeder. Each farmer usually farmed one quarter section (160 acres) but others had two quarters or more. To mitigate costs, the eight farmers would try to equalize their contribution but the crops were not uniform and so a record of time on each farm needed to be recorded and the agreed cost of each rig would be paid in cash for any additional time. The Owner of the threshing machine and tractor also had a weighted share and the farmers with rigs would try to “work off” their share. It was not that complicated and cooperation and need to help each other usually overcame any deficiencies.

In order to speed up the process (i.e. the threshing machine may be at a distance from the stooks), Field Pitchers were brought in to assist the teamsters to load their rigs. This person moved from one rig to the other. These were usually hired men whose cost was shared by the threshing unit.

Once the rack was loaded, the teamster would climb on top and drive his rig to the threshing machine and take his turn to unload into the Threshing Machine Feeder. Sometimes a friendly game was played in that some Teamsters were able to bring their load in faster than his regular spot in the line. Friendly “ribbing” took place so that the proud farmer did not want to ‘lose face’ amongst his peers.

Each farmer cooperated with his neighbours by supplying a “rig”

This photo illustrates the teamster unloading sheaves into the feeder of the threshing machine. This machine, in this photo, is a smaller thresher that could only accept sheaves in one row. The machine in the next photo shows teamsters feeding from both sides .

The horses would be adjacent to moving belts and the dust of the threshing machine but soon become adjusted over time. In my experience, Molly and Jessie seemed to sense when the rack was almost empty and would start to “back up” (to clear the rack from extended moving parts of the threshing machine) so that I had to hurry to throw the last few sheaves as the horses were in a hurry to get away from the dust of and noise of the machine, and they would be at a gallop toward the row of stooks where we had left off. One needed to be quick to get control of the team.

Very interesting how animals have this intelligence!

My father (Wasyl) started his farming together with his three (3) brothers (John on extreme left, Wasyl, brother George and Sam on the right) as a cooperative. All families lived together. They were able to purchase a steam engine and a large threshing machine that is depicted in the above photo.

Straw was burned in the chamber that would heat water into steam and propel the piston that moved the engine as well as the pulley that drove the threshing machine. Everyone had a function and together the operation was a success.

Wasyl could neither read nor write but was provided with a Steam Engineer 3rd Class by the Saskatchewan Government.

Later a decision was made to have each family move to independent farms but they still threshed together into the late 1940s.

In the 1930s through to laye 1950s a gasoline tractor replaced the steam engine

Gasoline Tractors replaced Steam Engines

When the Verigins separated, Wasyl was given the share of equipment which included the threshing machine and tractor which had replaced the steam engine. Our family moved some twenty-five (25) miles from the Verigin brothers (left near Veregin) and moving the machines became impractical and so Wasyl threshed with farmers surrounding his farm in Pelly.

Threshing together, had a social function for all those involved and became an anticipated pleasure that was looked forward to by many of the individuals.

Firstly, the purpose was of course to harvest the grains which would have been impractical at that time to achieve individually. By working together, they also visited and would share farming methods that assisted those that used the experience to learn from each farmer. The friendships that can be achieved through cooperation far outweighed the negative factors. It seemed that the “bad apples” of the previous year would be “weeded out” so that the new group could function together better in the ensuing year. The “grouping” would start in July, well ahead of harvest as each farmer was anxious to get included in the “gang”.

For the women on each farm, it was the responsibility to ensure that the workers were well fed. Competition by each farmer’s wife was to demonstrate their cooking skills and that they did:

  1. Breakfast was very early and just after the teamsters fed their horses which the morning was well before dawn. Usually the menu was all from farm produce and included pan-fried potatoes and eggs (fried and boiled to preference of the teamsters). Cut up tomatoes mixed with onions and plenty of coffee
  2. Dinner (all teamsters came back to the farmhouse to feed their horses as well as to eat) would include boiled chicken and or a stew. Again cut up vegetables and home baked bread was plentiful. Usually tea was the beverage of choice. Of course there were pieces of cake and cookies.
  3. The mid afternoon Lunch was a treat. A large container (usually the basin that bread dough was mixed in (12 to 14 loaves at a time) was filled with sandwiches. A lot of butter on the bread and baloney filler. Gallon jugs of coffee, that was laced with “too much” cream and sugar, was the beverage. This was carried out to the threshing machine site and the teamsters ate as they came in and before they went out to the field. As a youth, my sister Mary and I had the responsibility of carrying all this to the crews and it was a heavy task as can be appreciated. We always had to wait until all the crews had their fill before we could partake in the feast. I remember the crew would see the saliva dripping from my mouth and they would pass a sandwich to me. There never was any coffee nor sandwiches left no matter how much was delivered to the hungry men.
  4. Supper was usually at least two pots of Borsch, boiled potatoes and roast beef or pork (chicken, turkey, duck or goose) depending what the farmer’s wife wanted to do. Pickles and cut up vegetables were always present. Desserts would include puddings, cookies, etc. There was few left overs if any.
  5. What was most interesting are the stories that floated around the large table that was always set out so that everyone could sit together. The “taller the tale” the greater the laughter. A great deal of “ribbing” took place at something that may have happened out in the field. Of course, the last rig would come to the farm in darkness and not everyone was properly orientated and so there were times that someone got lost and had to be looked for and the laughing that took place afterwards.
  6. Usually a 1/2 section would take a maximum of two (2) days so each house wife needed to prepare accordingly. Obviously she wanted to impress these men so that they would go home and tell their wives what a good cook she was. Yes, competition was vey much in vogue in those days. The men looked forward to the farms where the “best cook” lived.
  7. The teamsters had their own sweat laced bed rolls and would tend to find a corner in the house to stretch out very soon after they tended to the horses.

This blog is about the era of the small farmer and draft horses with 160 to 480 acre farms. The railways were all anxious to provide freight service and organized communities about every ten (10) miles or so along their railway right of way. Grain companies built elevators to receive grain from the farmers and transport same to market. So it was acceptable that the farmer used his horses to deliver his grain to these elevators


With the move to larger machinery and the combines, farms are now a minimum of 7,000 acres. Large grain tractor trailers are able to move grain a larger distance so that the five (5) elevator villages were replaced with modern computerized grain handling facilities that service about five or more of the original villages with one facility. This had the social economic effect on rural population. Small farmers do not raise any farm animals and thus farming practices have changed dramatically .

I am saddened as I recall five (5) neighbours to our farm where today there are not any at all. The five (5) elevators that rose in the skyline in each community do not exist anymore.

Under construction by Elmer Verigin February 21, 2020, 1145 hours

Vulnerability of Work by Nona Kucher

Vulnerability at work………… #itstartswithme!

Written by: Nona Kucher



That’s right…hide. I can hide in my office, hide in my car, hide in the nights alone at home and hide in my soul but I can’t hide how I feel sometimes. It  may be noticeable, but most times it’s not. For people like me, it’s easy to exist when there is busyness around, especially at work. Many do not know but I have struggled with depression since my early teens. I manage it now but it wasn’t always that way.

The details of why I didn’t want to exist anymore are irrelevant but know there were two significant times in my life where that was the case. The ages were 18 and 47. You may ask “how could this be?” I had so much going for me; a whole life to live out. It’s true… I didn’t want to live anymore but never had the guts to do anything about it, thank god! This didn’t change how I felt, however. Both times were very lonely. Months and months of laying in my bed staring at the walls. I literally gave up the will to go on.

When I look back, it seems so surreal. I have hid behind my reality all these years. Just the thought that I felt that way before scares me so bad. How could I let myself go there? When you are in that place, you don’t see beauty, you don’t see the people that care about you, you don’t see all the things that you could be doing and you don’t even see yourself as a human being. My self-talk was so negative and I made sure I didn’t forget every single bad thing I ever did or said. The more I would put myself down, the weaker I got. The pain of staying on the earth, in this life, was greater than the thought of leaving it. Read that again. The pain of staying on earth, in this life, was greater than the thought of leaving it. It is hard to imagine but these were my real feelings. There just seemed to be no way out!

With my family’s commitment to my health and time that passed, I did get the help I needed but felt so vulnerable. I used to think that vulnerable meant “weak”, “at risk”, “easily hurt” or “attacked” and so on. Vulnerability comes from the Latin word for “wound,” vulnus. Vulnerability is the state of being open to injury, or appearing as if you are.

A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to a different meaning of vulnerability. I knew I had to change the way I looked at myself in a different way, my mindset and life around me in order to have a meaningful life, “If I don’t change…nothing will change.”

These next words describe me in my vulnerability  and by sharing these definitions I’ve gathered up over the years, in a refreshing light; I hope that it lightens the load that some of us carry for years:

Vulnerability means you fall  easily. You see the best in people. You love them over the little things  — the way their smile shines and the intensity of their stare. You get attached easily, because you give yourself the freedom to feel.

Vulnerability means you are comfortable opening up to other people. You are willing to look someone in the eyes and spill your soul. You want others to know the authentic you instead of forcing a fake smile every time you enter the real world or workplace.

It means your mood can change in an instant. Seeing one sentence on social media can cause your heart to drop. It can ruin your entire day, and cause you to re-think everything you thought you knew about a person or yourself.

You care deeply about things. You do not want to lose what you have, because you love what you have. You love your life — or at least certain pieces of it. Moreover, you are not willing to loosen your grasp on them.

You are willing to jump straight into love and give someone half your heart, possibly giving him or her the power to destroy you or rebuild you. Still working on this…

It means you are comfortable crying over the things that upset you instead of pushing away all of your emotions. You are the type of person that grabs a tissue and let the tears fall instead of replacing your sadness with anger. You admit when you are upset instead of trying to put on an act and appear strong when you are secretly crumbling. Everyone crumbles.

Vulnerability means you have nothing to hide. The people closest to you know about your dreams, your hopes, and your fears. They know who you really are. You have given them permission to dig deep inside of yourself. It is scary but so freeing.

You have a clear understanding of who you are as a person. You realize you are not indestructible. You are not superhuman. You are mortal and full of flaws — but you are still beautiful and you can still be a rock star at work!

You have empathy for people you have never met. Realizing that you are in a community with strangers across neighbourhoods, at work and in the world. That you are connected because you share common thoughts and beliefs, and because of this, you are not so alone after all. In fact, it is the opposite.

You have doubts. You think so highly of other people, of your friends and coworkers and parents, that you cannot stop comparing yourself to them. It does not mean you hate yourself — but it does mean that you see places where you can make improvements and try your hardest to do so.

You admit when you are wrong. You do not pretend to know everything. You realize that you have a lot left to learn, and that there are so many people out there that can teach you more about the universe. Vulnerability means having a huge heart. Caring about others wanting what is best for the people around you, which includes the people you work with.

Vulnerability means you are human — so don’t ever feel bad about shedding a single tear, and admitting that no, you are not fine!

To think that I spent half of my life feeling like I was a bad person because I thought I was weak, in other words, “vulnerable”.

Today, I embrace these new meanings of the word, I embrace me and I embrace the opportunity it gives me at work to check in on my co-workers with this new awareness. My story is my gift to those who are feeling the way I once did and still do sometimes. It’s okay, I am okay, and so are you! #Itstartswithme to have the courage to talk about the silence around us . The more we talk, the more we help.

Help is different for everyone, but always starts with talking to someone, could be your doctor, a counsellor, partner, a loved one, family, friends  or a co-worker like  .

[AJ1]can you expand on “It” a little? would “hiding” work here?

[AJ2]Could you say “These next words describe me in my vulnerability now” just to set up the next part?

[AJ3]Could you say “let your guard down easily” here?

[AJ4]Do you mean you love them for things that are more than meets the eye, a deeper connection?

[PRT5]Anything more to add here Nona?

[AJ6]Could you say “and not stay silent”?

[AJ7]Could this say instead “your partner, a loved one..”?

[AJ8]A very warm, expressive and open piece, Nona. You should be proud

[PRT9]Ditto that Nona!

Nona writes in the “AFTER HOURS” a Teck publication. I was very impressed with the sincerity of my daughter and I asked her for permission to reprint here in my blog.

Posted by Elmer Verigin February 15, 2020 1645


This article is copied here as encouraging news for those of us who are hearing challenged like this myself.

I am praying for these Scientists to be successful in their research as my quality of life is difficult in relationships with my family, friends and public.

You can make your own opinions based on the publication as follows:

Reversing Hearing Loss (article from Harvard Medical School)

News & Research

Reversing Hearing Loss

Reprogramming enables regeneration of inner-ear cells

By RYAN JASLOW December 6, 2019 Research

LuckyStep48/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

A team led by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers may bring scientists a step closer to developing treatments that regrow the missing cells that cause hearing loss.

In a new study published online December 4 in Nature Communicationsscientists report a new strategy to induce cell division in the mature inner ear. With this pathway, they were able to reprogram the inner ear’s cells to proliferate and regenerate hair cell-like cells in adult mice. This proof-of-concept study, and first of its kind, may provide an approach to the regeneration of sensory hair cells and other important inner-ear cell types in people with hearing loss.

Get more HMS news here

“This paper is the first to show that, by reprogramming, mature mammalian inner-ear cells can be induced to divide and become hair cells, which are needed for hearing,” said senior study author Zheng-Yi Chen, HMS associate professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery and an associate scientist at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Mass. Eye and Ear. “These findings of renewed proliferation and hair cell generation in a fully mature inner ear lay the foundation for the application of reprogramming and hair cell regeneration.”

Hearing loss is one of the most common forms of sensory deficits in people, affecting about 37 million Americans, according to federal statistics. Inner ear cells of humans and other mammals lack the capacity to divide or regenerate; therefore, damage to the inner ear, in particular to the hair cells, leads to permanent hearing loss. Hair cells are the specialized inner-ear cells responsible for the transduction of sound-evoked mechanical vibrations into electrical signals that are then relayed to the brain. A number of genetic and environmental factors, including overexposure to loud sounds and aging, destroys these key cells in the hearing system.

There are currently no pharmaceutical treatments available for hearing loss.

Reprogramming using transcription factors

Hearing loss can be caused by the loss of different inner-ear cell types. The ability for remaining cells to divide and repopulate the ear is one way to achieve hearing recovery.

Previous research has shown that, in the newborn mouse inner ear, cells can be induced to divide and regenerate hair cells after damage. However, in fully mature ears, the capacity for cell division is lost, and hair cell regeneration does not occur. In humans, even a newborn inner ear is fully mature. Thus, Chen and colleagues said that in order to develop new treatments for human hearing loss, “it is essential to demonstrate that cell division and hair cell regeneration can be achieved in a mature mammalian inner ear.”

In the new study, Chen’s laboratory used a reprogramming approach by activating two molecular signals, Myc and Notch, in the adult ear. They found that mature inner-ear cells can be induced to divide. Importantly, some of the new cells developed characteristics of hair cells, including the presence of the transduction channels that carry out the mechanical to electrical conversion, and the ability to form connections with auditory neurons, both of which are essential to hearing.

“Our work revealed that reprogramming is achieved by reactivation of early inner-ear developmental genes so that the mature inner ear regains neonatal properties, which enables them to redivide and regenerate,” Chen explained.

Future targets for pharmaceutical treatments

This work builds on earlier studies identifying the role of Notch in hair cell proliferation. “The most significant aspect of the current study is the fact that the fully mature mammalian inner ear still retains the capacity to divide and regenerate if it is sufficiently reprogrammed, which removes a fundamental barrier that has prevented the inner-ear regeneration necessary for hearing restoration,” Chen added.

Chen’s laboratory is working to discover additional druglike molecules to achieve cell division and hair cell regeneration in the mature inner ear and in large animal models, including pigs.

“We hope that our research can serve as a model for regeneration of other tissues with similar properties that are unable to regrow cells, such as in the retina and the central nervous system,” he added.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant NIH R01DC006908), the U.S. Department of Defense (grant DOD W81XWH1810331, Fredrick and Ines Yeatts hair cell regeneration fellowship and the David-Shulsky Foundation (Z768).

Patent applications based on the work have been filed by Chen and some co-authors.

Adapted from a Mass. Eye and Ear news release.

Posted by Elmer Verigin February 15, 2020 1639 hours