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What's Up

We've just expanded our content

Readers have long counted on Castanet for breaking news.

That hasn't changed, but we've just bolstered our mix of regional, provincial, national and international news and local columns, sports and entertainment with some meatier content to chew on.

First, we added opinion editorials. Now, we've added a commentary page with op-eds on the big issues of the day from think-tanks of all political stripes from across Canada.

We've started the ball rolling with columns by Dermod Travis of IntegrityBC, Geoff Plant and Dylan Jones of the Canada West Foundation, and longtime Canadian business leader Gwynn Morgan. We'll add more columns each week, representing all colours of the political spectrum.

The intent is to engage readers in conversation on the issues that matter and, hopefully, drive more of your letters to the editor. We look forward to your lively discussion.

Also, we've just added a separate page for the WHL under sports, so Kelowna Rockets fans can find their coverage in its own dedicated space.

Stay tuned for more changes as we grow to serve you better.



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Castanet celebrates 14 years

In 2000, local focused internet sites like Castanet were few and far between and the ones that existed made little impact. Back then, not many internet start-ups celebrated a first birthday much less a second or third.

Nov. 1, 2014, marks Castanet's 14th year serving the Okanagan as its home page.

The site continues to grow and evolve as more and more readers come to Castanet for news, entertainment and sports.

"Every week we are attracting about 350,000 different people to our website. The second best metric is our page impressions which are over 8.8 million per week typically," says Castanet General Manager/Sales Manager, Chris Kearney.

"That makes us number two in the province for general news, beating The Province newspaper, The Sun, Global News and CTV in both time spent on the site and the amount of pages people consume."

You can add to that more than 48,000 ads in one of the largest classified sections in the province.

The company, started by then SILK-FM owner Nick Frost on Nov. 1, 2000, has gone through many iterations in 13 years and passed numerous milestones.

Over 125,000 stories have been published on the site since Nov. 2000. A number that is likely a little low as our story count numbering system didn't start tracking until 2004.

Last year the Castanet team posted 16,175 stories.

"It seems significant to me. It's just a reflection of how hard our news team works" says Kearney.

While other traditional news media struggle, Kearney says he sees nothing like that on the horizon for Castanet, that continues to grow and gain new loyal readers every day.

"When I got here in 2001 we had five staff. We're up to 27 staff working in an office of about 4,000 square feet," says Kearney.

"I see no real signs of flattening out. We see consistent growth of visitor traffic and revenues year over year."

The team at Castanet wants to thank you for your loyalty and support.

What's your favourite section? News, Weather, Sports, Letters, Classifieds, Polls, Photo GalleriesForums  or Classifieds, send us your thoughts and let us know what you would like to see more of on your homepage - send to [email protected]

Thank you for making Castanet your homepage.



Drone: clearing the air

Some media are reporting we put aircraft at risk by flying a drone over a forest fire in Peachland. That is not the case, they are not reporting the facts. 

I was at the forest fire, I flew the drone, this is what I know:

  • The helicopter was finished for the day - I confirmed with the team leader of the forestry crew working the fire that there would be no more flights over the area
  • There were no fixed wing craft on the fire
  • The fire was in mop-up stage, no need for any more flights when the fire is out
  • It was only a .25 hectare fire
  • I informed a forest firefighter that I would be taking the drone up and he said he looked forward to seeing the video
  • I shot the helicopter, from the ground, making its drops. Then it was called off and the forestry crew moved in
  • I was beside the forest firefighters shooting them as they put out hot spots 
  • It was an hour after the helicopter left when I brought out the drone
  • The drone was in a black case that I was carrying with me while I talked to the ground crew. I walked down a road, in clear sight of the firefighters, to unpack and launch the drone
  • I had the drone up for about a minute, hovering just above the treetops. When I was told they still had a 'no fly zone' over the fire, I landed the drone immediately
  • We do not fly directly over anyone with the drone. If it were to crash we don't ever want to hit anyone. We shoot off to the side of a situation or in front or behind it to avoid human contact
  • Castanet was the only media company at the fire

After I brought the drone down, the forestry worker thanked me and then he asked me a number of questions about the drone. He said he could see how having one might help them to locate hot spots and dangerous trees while they attack a fire.

It was a good lesson. Now we know that even if planes and helicopters are called off, there is still a no fly zone over forest fires and we will not be sending the drone up.

We will never put lives at risk for a shot from the air.

Trevor Rockliffe, Castanet News Editor.



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Happy Birthday!

Yes, Castanet viewers, we value your feedback and requests! 

We have now added Birthdays to our Celebrations page

Check it out under the main Community tab and send us your special announcement!


And, it is that time again - time to clean out the clutter and hold your Garage Sale

Simply click on the link under the Community or Classifieds tab and post your sale! 

Our Garage Sales page features a full size map, garage sale list, route planner and is printer friendly  for your convenience!

 

Happy Spring!



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