Kelowna fire conference

Some of the preeminent experts on wildfires and climate change will be in Kelowna next week.

They will be taking part in the Wildland Fire Canada conference.

Conference co-chairs, Kendrick Brown with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Dan Perrakis with BC Wildfire Service,  together with program chairperson Steve Taylor (NRCan) have brought together more than 70 speakers on wildfire-themed topics of anticipating change, resilient fire management systems and landscapes and smarter, safer communities.

The conference will be broken into four main topics:

  • Anticipating change - Scenarios, monitoring, risk assessment and prediction tools in a changing fire environment 
  • Designing resilient fire-management systems - Strategies, tactics and practices to cope with increasing fire complexity and extreme events 
  • Defining and managing resilient landscapes - Understanding and shaping  landscapes to facilitate successful fire management outcomes
  • Planning smarter, safer, resilient communities - Strategies and best practices to create more fire resilient communities.

As part of the conference, several public lectures will be held at the downtown Kelowna library branch.

These will be held Oct. 25- 27. Topics include Are you fire smart?, a view from the trenches and changing extremes.

The conference runs all next week at the Delta Grand.

Sound off on KGH parking

The City of Kelowna will host an open house next month to gain input on both future land use and on-street parking recommendations around Kelowna General Hospital.

On-street parking has long been an issue around the hospital as residents and patients jockey for available on-street parking spaces.

Public input was gathered in the spring and parking occupancy counts were conducted, leading to several recommendations which will be presented at the open house. These include:

  • Introduce full-time pay parking on the south side of Royal Avenue along the hospital frontage
  • Introduce pay parking on the Abbott Street and Rose Avenue hospital frontages, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily
  • Change the north side of Royal Avenue between Long and Pandosy streets from resident permit only parking to a full-time one-hour maximum parking zone
  • Introduce overnight (8 p.m. – 8 a.m.) resident permit only parking for residential blocks closest to the hospital (Long, Glenwood, Christleton, Speer, Abbott, Rose and Atwood)
  • Introduce full-time resident permit-only parking on both sides of Long Street between Royal and Glenwood avenues (if agreed to by adjacent residents)
  • Expand existing two-hour maximum daily parking restrictions to include Richter Street between Glenwood and Elliot avenues
  • Enhance existing resident parking program council policy to include criteria and provide a method to consider any future requests for implementation of resident permit only parking restrictions
  • Add additional enforcement patrols in the evening and overnight periods.

“Recommendations are focused on ensuring short-term parking is available for use by residents and visitors to the area and to minimize hospital related impacts on residential areas,” said Dave Duncan, parking services manager.

“Some of the measures proposed include short-term pay parking for spaces fronting the hospital, overnight resident only parking and adjustments to existing time restrictions.”

The city is also initiating a long-term land-use plan and neighbourhood transportation plan to guide future growth and development in the health district and surrounding area east of Pandosy Street. This will consider appropriate uses and built form, and transportation and infrastructure needs to support health services in the area.

The open house will be held Thursday, Nov. 3, from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Clinical Academic Campus Lecture Theatre, 2312 Pandosy Street.

No support for farm activity

Kelowna council will be asked by city staff to deny a request by a local farmer to hold multiple events on his farm.

Hillcrest Farm Market has made application to the Agricultural Land Commission for a non-farm use permit for the property in order to hold an unlimited number of special events at the farm from mid-March through mid-November.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Agriculture relaxed legislation around non-farm activities such as weddings, festivals and concerts.

Such events could be held on agricultural land, with a permit, as long as they were restricted to 150 guests or less and the number of events did not exceed 10 in any one calendar year.

The application put forth by Hillcrest Farm Market is for unlimited events for up to 500 people, with the ability to have up to 1,000 people twice a year.

Along with weddings, concerts, festivals and reunions, proposed activities would include those of an agri-tourism nature such as school tours, fundraisers and farm to table functions.

Hillcrest Farm Market operated 140 acres in the Rutland area, producing primarily cherries, as well as some apples, peaches, plums, table grapes and vegetable ground crops.

Owners of the property have run afoul of city bylaws in the past.

The city has taken the farm to court over their hosting of weddings contrary to city and ALC bylaws.

The farm also opened and operated a cafe on site without a business licence for two years.

Smile for a salad

To keep the conversation around suicide awareness and mental health going, Castanet has joined forces with The LifeLine Canada Foundation for the month of October.

Local restaurants will bring the message of positive mental health to the dinner table during Food For Thought.

Today, we are featuring Krafty Kitchen, located in downtown Kelowna. Chef Chris Shaften whips up a salad that is sure to put a smile on your face.

The probiotic salad is crafted to boost mental health with its kombucha vinaigrette and roasted hemp seeds. Fresh leafy greens are the base for this meal with a dash of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Check back now through Oct. 30 to find out which restaurants are featuring delicious meals with unique mental-health benefits.


Heroics on Harvey Ave.

Update: 7:43 a.m.

Citizens nearby the serious crash on Harvey Avenue Friday night sprang into action to help the victims before emergency crews arrived.

A witness at the scene said a man grabbed a fire extinguisher and began fighting a fire that had begun in a Chevrolet Impala, after it had collided with a Toyota pickup truck at Dilworth Drive.

"Had he not been there, that car would have definitely exploded," the witness said.

Others attempted to free the person inside the burning car, with one man using a baseball bat.

Police believe both people who were taken to hospital following the crash suffered non life-threatening injuries. 

Emergency crews were first alerted of the serious crash at 7:15 p.m.

They found a grey Toyota pickup on its roof and a white Chevrolet Impala smashed into a light pole.

Police believe the Impala was heading westbound on Harvey Avenue through Dilworth Drive, when the light turned yellow. The Toyota, heading eastbound on Harvey, made a left turn on Dilworth, and the Impala collided with the truck.

The pickup rolled onto its roof, while the Impala careened into the light pole.

Emergency crews were able to successfully extract the 20-year-old male driver of the Impala, and fully put out the car's engine fire.

Both the driver of the car and a 34-year-old female passenger in the truck were taken to hospital.

Charges have yet to be laid in the crash.

Update: 9 p.m.

Police are clearing the collision scene at Harvey Avenue and Dilworth drive.

Southbound lanes are expected to re-open in the next hour.

While emergency crews were investigating the two-vehicle crash, another incident occurred at Cooper Road and Harvey.

Witnesses say three vehicles were involved in the collision. It’s unclear if anyone sustained any injuries.

Traffic is slow going along Highway 97 in both directions near Orchard Park Mall.

Emergency crews rushed Friday night to a serious two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Harvey Avenue and Dilworth Drive.

A witness says she was inside Orchard Park Mall when she heard a loud explosion outside just before 7:30 p.m. She rushed out to see what happened.

A truck was overturned in the southbound lanes of Harvey Avenue. Meanwhile, another vehicle had crashed into the light fixture, and was reported to be on fire.

It’s unclear how many occupants were in the vehicles and what injuries were sustained. One person is reported to be taken to hospital.

Drivers are requested to avoid the area; however, northbound lanes remain open but slow going.

Southbound traffic headed toward West Kelowna is being re-routed towards Enterprise Way or Springfield road.

– With files from Troy Ryder

Bars prep for overdoses

Several bars, clubs and restaurants in Kelowna are preparing for the possibility of a fentanyl related overdose in one of their establishments.

Employees at nearly a dozen businesses will be trained next week on the use of Naloxone, a drug which can be used to reverse the affects of a fentanyl-related overdose.

"In this industry...we just see a need for more people to be trained," said Andrew Neville, general manager at Rose's Pub.

"With drugs and fentanyl, it's casual drug users that are being affected. Casual drug users tend to go with night-life and going out and what not. I think it's something we can be pro-active on, and not wait until something happens in-and-around one of the businesses."

To date, Neville said there have been no fentanyl-related incidents at any of the night spots that he is aware of.

"But, if something does (happen), there will be many people equipped to deal with it."

Neville said staff at Sapphire are taking the training Friday night while nine other businesses will be gathering next Tuesday.

He expects about 35 employees will attend that training.

Across the province, well over half of all drug-related deaths this year have had a link to fentanyl.

According to the BC Coroner Service, 555 people have died from drug overdoses through the end of August. Fentanyl was detected in 302 of those.

Netted by tangled web

A mule deer thought it was giving the ‘ole what for’ when thrashing about Friday morning.

However the animal mistook a volleyball net for a bush.

According to Conservation Officer Ken Owens as it is currently mule deer mating season, bucks can be found increasing their display of dominance.

“Bucks display dominance by violently thrashing the bushes with their antlers,” he explained.

During breeding season, known as the rut, bucks may become more unpredictable as they compete for the right to breed.

The mule deer had to be tranquilized by officers in order to remove the net from its antlers.

The buck was then marked by the Conservation Officer Service and released back into its environment. 

“The public is reminded as this deer was tranquilized it has subsequently been marked and it is not safe for human consumption at this time,” said Owens. 

The marking of the deer will also serve to assist Conservation Officers to combat urban poaching. 

The buck helped by Owens wasn’t the only deer to get into trouble this week. A Kelowna resident living in the upper Mission came across a deer hanging out in the backyard with Halloween cotton spiderwebs on its antlers.

This deer scampered off to carry on its early trick-or-treating at another location.

If you observe poaching contact the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) toll free tip line 1-877-952-7277 that allows you to report known or suspected violations of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws anonymously and without risk of confronting the offender.


New one bag challenge

There's a new twist on the very successful One Bag Challenge, launched this summer by Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

The One Bag Challenge helped fill the shelves of the Kelowna Community Food Bank during a time when donations are usually at their lowest point.

The latest iteration, One Bag Winter, is a collaboration between Metro Community and the Film Factory to help outfit the homeless with sleeping bags this winter.

“We were so impressed with the impact of the One Bag Challenge,” said Jeff Myers, president of the Film Factory New Media Creative House.

“So, when we were looking for a way to make a difference in our community, we figured that we couldn’t do better than to follow in the mayor’s footsteps."

Like its predecessor, One Bag Winter will harness the #PowerofFive.

It will spread the word that just one sleeping bag can save a life—and that five can make a world of difference.

“Our hope is that the campaign will spread throughout the Okanagan and beyond,” said Myers.

"The more people who receive sleeping bags because of the One Bag Challenge, the better."

The Film Factory produced a video to kick off and explain the campaign.

People are encouraged to challenge businesses in this endeavour because the warmest sleeping bags are not always the lowest priced. Myers believes that sharing this campaign between businesses will help to ensure the vulnerable receive winter-ready bedding.

To issue the challenge, all a person needs to do is follow these steps:

  • share the video on social media
  • hashtag #OneBagChallenge and #PowerofFive
  • tag five businesses in their post
  • encourage those they’ve tagged to do the same

Metro Central and the Film Factory have partnered with Grouse River for the campaign.

Mixologists with spirit

It was a night of music, laughter and, of course, great cocktails at the annual Okanagan Spirits Winetender’s Mixoff.

Held at the Laurel Packinghouse, 200 people gathered to try tempting mixes from Kelowna’s best bartenders.

After months of preparation, 10 mixologists faced off to see who could create the better potion. Paired with tapas from each of the competing restaurants, both judges and the public were able to vote for their favourite.

Judges sampled earlier in the evening, taking into consideration the name, presentation, taste and originality. 

The Judges' Choice was awarded to Mark Veriker from BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery with his cocktail ‘Planet of the Grapes.’  The winning cocktail consisted of a fine blend of Okanagan Spirits vodka, Okanagan Spirits Eau de Vie, Sherry, banana falernum syrup, fresh pressed Kitsch Riesling with plum and root beer extract.
The votes then were tallied for the People’s Choice Drink, where Karl O’Dwyer from Globe Café and Tapas Bar was once again announced the winner for his drink ‘Winter is coming’.

Jordan Wilton from Social 242 was able to maintain his People’s Choice Best Bite title for a second year with delicious mini prime rib stuffed Yorkies.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery owner Tyler Dyck was impressed with the creativity and originality from the competitors

“These bartenders continue to raise the bar every year. It’s so great to see the bartenders working as a team with their chefs to pair the drinks with amazing food.”

Each cocktail had to be made with a B.C. wine as well as an Okanagan Spirits alcohol.

Evening update Oct. 21

This evening’s top stories for Oct. 21, 2016, with Castanet's Wayne Moore.

More Kelowna News

Recent Trending




Kelowna SPCA Featured Pet

Xorra Kelowna SPCA >



Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada