Thursday, April 24th7.8°C

NY next for running granny

Liz Borrett figures she still has a few marathons left in her.

At 75, Borrett just finished the Boston Marathon on Monday and expects to compete in two more before finally hanging up her cleats.

Her time in Boston, 4:22:35, although 22 minutes slower than a year ago, was good enough to easily win her age group.

"I went in with a totally different focus. I was going to complete the race, I was going to enjoy being there and not pushing myself harder than I had to," says Borrett.

"I really didn't have to do a super time to do well for my age so I went in without a sense of apprehension. And I met up with some people I had never run with before and ran with them through most of the race."

Borrett ran her first Boston Marathon last year and was fortunate enough to have completed the race before two bomb blasts turned celebration to panic.

Despite the events of last year, Borrett says she had no apprehension about running this year.

"The safest place to be in the United States was Boston this year. The security was unlimited, but not at all invasive," says Borrett.

"The security were very supportive and very friendly. They didn't indicate they were there to keep an eye on you and keep you under control. They became part of the run in a nice way."

She says the atmosphere this year was much more electric compared with 2013.

"There was a unity you could feel amongst the runners and a lot more interaction between runners and the spectators. The unity was quite strong I felt."

Borrett, who says she has been active all her life, has only been running since she was 63 when she was talked into doing a fundraising marathon in Hawaii.

"Raising the $5,000 ended up being far more difficult than to run the race," she recalls.

"After that I decided I'm going to do a run for myself which was the Vancouver Marathon."

Borrett says she has run just seven full marathons since that first one, but has done many, many half marathons.

She will run in the New York Marathon in November and Boston again next year before probably calling it quits.


Wet wood, big smoke

No need to worry about the large volume of smoke in Kelowna's downtown core.

The culprit is the Tolko mill, in the city's north end.

Heavy plumes of smoke from the Tolko stacks could be seen from several vantage points around town.

According to fire department officials Tolko is burning wet materials causing the additional volume of smoke.

Fire dispatchers say they have received numerous calls from concerned citizens, but "not as many as I would have thought."

Crash stops traffic

Update 11:40 a.m.

A small Toyota was damaged Thursday morning when a large semi truck struck the car while it was attempting to make a left hand turn.

The incident happened at the corner of Gordon Drive and Harvey Avenue around 10:30 this morning.

Police say it appeared the truck was turning north onto Gordon from the middle lane of Harvey, something that is common practice with vehicles of that size.

The blue car was trying to make the same turn from the left turning lane and ended up getting cut off.

A woman and her young child were inside the car. Neither were injured in the crash.

The driver of the semi was also unhurt.

Traffic was disrupted for almost one hour at the intersection, but has now been cleared.

Traffic on Harvey was at a standstill Thursday morning as a large semi and a small vehicle collided.

There are no reports of serious injuries. The accident happened just before 11 a.m.

Traffic was being rerouted around the monstrous rig.

More details to come.

Training for high angle rescues

Members of the Kelowna Fire Department's technical rescue team found themselves in the hills above Kettle Valley Wednesday for a bit of training.

"We are doing some wilderness high angle rescue training," says shift C team leader, Scott Cronquist.

"There are cliffs near here that we are using to train to bring anybody that may be injured or can't get up or down a cliff. We are practicing to bring them back up the hill."

Cronquist and his six member team practice about seven times a year for high angle wilderness rescues, high angle industrial rescues including tower, crane or window washer rescue, confined space rescues and swift water rescues.

The team will perform rescues when needed anywhere within the Central Okanagan Regional District.

He says the Kettle Valley location is an ideal training spot.

"There is a lot of climbing that goes on around us. It's an easy area for us to come and train. It's typical of what we might see in the Okanagan."

The Myra Canyon Trestles is another popular training spot.

Brushing up on skills and different techniques does come in handy in the off chance a rescue is required.

And, if you are going out into the wilderness.

"Make sure you are always being safe and make sure people know where you are in case something happens.If something does happen, don't be afraid to call 911."

And, because accidents do happen, Cronquist says to make sure you have a fully charged cell phone, carry extra food and water.

Wayne Moore

New transit stops open Sunday

Kelowna RapidBus Stations at Gordon Drive and at Richter Street on Highway 97 will officially open for service this Sunday.

At Gordon Station, RapidBus stops are located on each side of the intersection of Highway 97 at Gordon Drive.

The stations will serve Capri Centre and integrate with a future frequent bus route on Gordon Drive running between Queensway and the Mission Rec Exchange.

At Richter Station RapidBus stops will be located on opposite sides of Highway 97 between Ellis and Richter streets.

They will provide enhanced transit service for the future Central Green development, and tie into the frequent bus network on Pandosy Street.

Kelowna RapidBus is a partnership between Transport Canada, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, City of Kelowna, District of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and BC Transit.

In total, the project will receive up to $46 million from federal, provincial and local partners.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $10.9 million from the Building Canada Fund and another $6 million from the Gas Tax Fund.

The Government of British Columbia will provide $23.9 million, the City of Kelowna $5.2 million and District of West Kelowna is contributing land.

Click here for more information on RapidBus in Kelowna.

Annual service changes related to post-secondary institutions come into effect Sunday as well.

As of April 27, there will be reductions in service to the #1 Lakeshore, #6 Glenmore/UBCO Express, #8 University, #11 Rutland, #13 Quail Ridge and #97 RapidBus.

Service hours will be restored in September 2014.

Tree removal causes flap

The removal of several large oak trees in the parking lot of Orchard Plaza has caused a bit of a stir.

The trees, planted some 20 years ago have been removed as part of an overall renovation of the Kelowna mall's parking lot.

Castanet received several emails over the weekend and a forum thread popped up protesting their removal.

"We started a parking lot renovation prior to the Target opening last year and this is just a continuation of that particular renovation," says Orchard Plaza Chief Operating Officer, Randy Lowe.

"What was happening with those trees, and we like trees too, is they were getting too large for our parking lot. The roots were pulling up a lot of our curbing."

He says it was becoming a challenge.

"The second thing is that they take in a lot of water so we are going to a more drought tolerant type of landscaping that is more in keeping with the Okanagan."

Lowe says there will be completely new landscaping and new asphalt overlay throughout the parking lot.

He says the oak trees will be replaced with a Honey Locust tree.

"You will notice in the Target section there has been trees planted pretty much where the other trees were. These new trees are not going to be quite as large.

The other ones were there for 20 years and probably if they were to do it all again they wouldn't have put in the large oak trees because they kind of took over."

Lowe says the new trees won't get quite as big but should still provide some shade.

Teacher strike

For the second time in three years teachers across BC will take part in job action to back demands for a new contract.

The current agreement between the BC Teachers' Federation and the province expired in June of last year.

According to federation president, Jim Iker, phase one of job action, scheduled to begin Wednesday, will not affect what goes on inside the classroom.

Teachers will cease supervising students before and after school and during recess.

Report cards will still be prepared and teachers will continue to meet with parents.

Teachers will also continue to take part in extracurricular activities such as sports, music and drama.

In School District 23, district management staff outside the BCTF, principals and vice-principals will handle before and after school supervision beginning on Wednesday.

SD23 Superintendent, Hugh Gloster, says the challenge revolves around afternoon recess at elementary schools in the district.

Gloster says recess will be supervised for the balance of the week but adds a letter will go home to parents tomorrow indicating that, as of next Monday, recess will be cancelled for the duration of the job action and the school day will end 15 minutes early.

He says this will give parents a chance to adjust their schedules or that of after school care givers.

"The same will be true for middle and secondary schools in order to get our bus fleet on the same schedule," says Gloster.

"We will ask our middle and secondary schools to adjust their schedules so they can end 15 minutes earlier. That will typically be done by shortening up the lunch break and/or the break between classes."

Those changes come into effect next Monday.

The BCTF issued 72 hour strike notice last Friday.

Other districts around the Okanagan are also preparing their own strike action plans. For information on your school district see below.



Month old ticket wins $1M

The winning ticket sat in his wallet for over a month and it wasn't until Tuesday morning that a Kelowna resident found out he was a newly minted millionaire.

“I can’t believe I carried one million dollars in my wallet for a month,” laughed Steve Woloshyn. “I’m an accountant for goodness sake. I should know where my money is!”

Woloshyn moved to Kelowna last August with his wife and two children aged six and two, for the lifestyle.

While driving back to Kelowna from Vancouver in March, he stopped at the Chevron in Hope and grabbed a Lotto 6/49 ticket, put it in his wallet and forgot all about.

“This morning I was just buying some milk and opened up my wallet and decided to check my ticket and realized it was a winner,” said Woloshyn. “But I had no idea it was a million dollar winner.”

Woloshyn was in Vancouver Tuesday morning for a quick visit and was able to go to the BCLC office and pick up the cheque right away.

“I came down for a few days and just out of irony I checked the lotto ticket and it worked out really well,” said Woloshyn.

He won one of the $1 million Guaranteed Prizes from the March 22 Lotto 6/49 draw.

Woloshyn’s first phone call was to his wife at home in Kelowna. She thought he was joking until he sent through a picture of the winning ticket.

“I am still in shock, I am still in shock now, I won't believe it until I see the cheque in the bank,” laughs Woloshyn. “I called my wife and she didn't believe it either, she will be in shock until she sees the cheque too. It is just so surreal but it is happening.”

His first big purchase will be paying off his mortgage, and after that he will definitely enjoy the summer with his family.

Be a recycling superhero

Update -- April 22

It was another successful Electronics Disposal and Paper Shredding event, according to Yoree Grozenok from 1-800-Got-Junk.

He says they managed to collect over 8,000 pounds of electronics and shred 3,000 pounds of paper on Saturday, as part of their Earth Day activities.

They also collected 300 pounds of donations for the Food Bank and $300 in cast donations too.

1-800-GOT-JUNK is calling on all Okanagan SOUPerheroes to do your part this weekend for Earth Day!

You can drop by and recycle any and all of your electronics for free! Just bring a donation for the Kelowna Food Bank

They will be on location and accepting your electronics on Saturday April 19, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Okanagan College at 1000 KLO Rd, Lot 6

They will accept all of the following;

  • TVs
  • Computers and their components
  • Printers
  • Video game systems
  • Cables
  • Small kitchen appliances (mixers, coffee makers, microwave ovens, coffee grinders, electric grills, toasters, etc.)
  • Batteries (including car batteries)
  • …and almost anything with a cable!

The will be collecting donations of non-perishables as well – just drop them off in the blue and green junk trucks.

On-site shredding of confidential documents will also be available, provided by Okanagan Paper Shredding ($5/banker box).

Last year, during the same event they recycled 7 tonnes of electronics, collected 260 pounds of food and over $300 in cash for the food bank, as well as shredding 2 tonnes of paper.

This year they hope to do even more! 


Kelowna Mountain opens

After ten years Kelowna Mountain is officially open to the public.



Read more Kelowna News


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