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Trash dumped on family


Jamie Angus left his home Monday night to drop off his granddaughter, but a few hours later when he returned to his rural property in West Kelowna, he was met with a disgusting site.

Someone had turned the edge of his driveway into their personal dump. Everything from tires, oil, shoes, clothes, and a child’s bike to a toilet were discarded onto his property.

“The dump is nowhere near us, but I know the dump is only open Monday to Friday, closed on weekends, so there was nowhere to dump this unless you drive to Kelowna,” he explained. “They must not want to spend the gas, or the $20 to $30 to dump it and it is going to cost us more than that to clean it up.”

Angus was distraught by the sight of the garbage and by Tuesday morning when he went to get a better look at just what had been left on the property, wildlife had scoured through most of the debris, dragging items down an embankment and into McDougall Creek.

“We have an older black bear, a brown bear and we are noticing an increase in coyotes now because of this stuff,” he said, concerned for the neighbourhood and his own children.

“The neighbours next door have kids, the neighbours on the other side have kids, grandkids will come and visit them and same all the way up Bartley Road.”

Angus said his family is used to wildlife, living off Bartley Road, and bears have never bothered them, other than maybe eating a few berries here and there, but now he is worried the animals have become ‘garbage bears’, and will get more aggressive for food.

A bylaw officer for the City of West Kelowna did attend the Angus’ property and managed to find a piece of mail with an address attached in the garbage; however because the trash was dumped on private property it will be Jamie and his family’s responsibility to clean it up.

Kirsten Jones, with the City of West Kelowna, said a property owner can call bylaw to attend the scene and go through the debris to find who possibly dumped the garbage, but it is very hard to prove who the culprit is.

"So, generally speaking, they call them or try and track them down and ask them to clean the debris up,” she explained. "We seek compliance from people not necessarily hit them with a ticket right away, but you can ticket for an offence from our solid waste bylaw."

Jones said even garbage that is dumped on City property becomes the municipality's responsibility to clean it up, as it’s hard to find and prove who tossed the trash.

Angus’ mother Poppy says she is not looking forward to cleaning up the mess.

“We are responsible for that clean up and it costs us money.”

“It is going to take more than one person to get it all back up and out,” added Angus.

The worst part for the family is this isn’t the first time they have had to deal with a mess like this, although this is certainly the most trash they have had dumped on their property.

“We are getting really tired of people thinking they can just come down here and dump their stuff, mostly I think a lot of it is environment things, like we had a whole dump of shingles,” explained Poppy, angered that most of the trash could have been recycled.

“People have dumped a lot of things, they come down here and they’ve dumped their yard waste, but this stuff is dangerous.”

The bylaw officer suggested Angus build a fence to keep this from happening again, however Poppy fears a fence won’t deter the defiant trash tossers.

She said in the past they’ve posted private property and no trespassing signs but they’ve all been destroyed by someone. She worries that if she puts up a costly fence, it too would be torn down.

For now the family is working to clean up the mess and keeping their fingers crossed bylaw finds the garbage dumping bandit.



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Compost program trashed

Peachland’s compost site will be closing as of Oct. 1, due to a crackdown by the province on burning regulations.

The District of Peachland has operated the site as an unmonitored yard-waste dumping site after the landfill there was closed in 1997. Much of the woody material that was dumped there was burned.

The province has recently enforced its rules on burning materials that come from off-site, which would force the District of Peachland to truck waste to the West Kelowna transfer station.

“We had always gotten the permits to burn and everything, but we were told this year, that due to this clause we’re not allowed to,” said Joe Mitchell, Peachland's director of operations.

This shipping of waste to West Kelowna would have come with an estimated $350,000 per year price tag, compared to the annual $50,000 it cost to run using burning methods.

“With the expense it was going to cost, we just couldn’t afford it, it would have just been out of the range of what we could do,” said Mayor Cindy Fortin.

The facility was well-used, roughly 3,000 tonnes was dumped annually, according to Mitchell, but Peachland residents have other options for their yard waste.

“Residents will be able to take it to either the Westside transfer station free of charge, or the green bin program, where you have a green bin, you fill it up every second week and they come and pick it up,” said Mitchell.

While residents won’t be able to use the site come October, some landscaping companies will be able to use it on a pay-per-use basis.

“Commercial users can’t drop their materials off at West Kelowna, they have to go all the way to Kelowna, so it’s really a hardship for them and their business,” said Fortin.



Crash now a fatal

UPDATE 1:15 p.m. Wednesday:

The passenger of a grey vehicle involved in a collision on Highway 97, Tuesday, died in hospital this morning.

Corp. Joe Duncan said both the driver and sole occupant of the red car along with the driver and passenger of the grey vehicle were taken to Kelowna General Hospital following the crash.

The passenger, a 91-year-old woman from Delta, passed away from her injuries while the driver, a 95-year-old man from Delta, remains in hospital.

Duncan said the driver of the red car is a 27-year-old woman from Kelowna, and also remains in hospital.

“An accident re-constructionist did attend the scene and this remains under investigation," said Duncan. "The officer in charge is continuing to interview those involved."

Police believe one of the vehicles was turning onto Renfrew road, from Highway 97, when the collision occurred.


A two vehicle crash has brought traffic to a crawl on Highway 97 south of Peachland.

The crash occurred shortly after 4 p.m. near the intersection of the highway and Renfrew Road.

According to witnesses, as many as five patients are being treated by BC Ambulance paramedics.

Traffic is moving slowly while emergency crews attempt to clear the vehicles.

More details when they become available.

 



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Designer sets sights on LA

A local First Nations fashion designer is hoping to make it to Style Fashion Week in Los Angeles in October, but will need some help getting there.

Jill Setah, from the Chilcotin Nation who now lives on the Westbank First Nation reserve, first got into fashion design when she made traditional aboriginal regalia by hand for her kids when they were younger.

She ended up taking a fashion design and merchandising program at the Centre for Arts and Technology in 2010 to “learn how to assemble clothing the proper way.”

She has since started her own fashion company, First Lady, and has shown her designs at the National Aboriginal Fashion Week in Saskatchewan, and Couture Fashion Week in New York.

She now has her sights set on Los Angeles, which she said would be the next step in achieving her dream, to show her designs in Paris.

“If I attend a couple of shows, like the one in New York and the one in L.A., I might have a better chance to go to Paris.” Setah said.

But her trip to California will not be cheap.

“These types of shows cost a lot money,” Setah said. “To get into the show I want to go to in L.A., it’s $3,800 just to get in. And then I have to pay for models on top of that, and travel and food.”

Setah said she’ll need $10,000 in total for the trip, but this is worth it to get her and her company exposure.

“It’s just getting my name out there,” she said. “I eventually want to start my own small boutique here in Westbank.”

Setah described her designs as “sexy, yet classy” and said she accents her clothes with First Nation’s design.

“It’s not full blown First Nations clothing, anybody can wear it,” Setah said.

To raise money for her trip, Setah has set up a GoFundMe page and is hosting an “Indian Taco Fundraiser Lunch” every Tuesday until Oct. 6, at the Metis Community Services Society of BC on Pandosy Street in Kelowna.



A blast at Rose Valley

They're having a blast in Rose Valley.

The City of West Kelowna advised those in the area Tuesday that blasting activity related to subdivision construction will occur during the next two weeks and may continue until Sept. 30.

A blasting permit was issued to Rose Valley Ventures Ltd. for site construction and servicing for property at 1506 Rose Meadow Drive in West Kelowna. Blasting is required to excavate rock for the project.
 
Blasting will be allowed Monday to Saturday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

As part of WorkSafeBC requirements, safety sirens will be sounded before the blast and once the area is cleared. The blasting company will monitor for vibrations caused by the blast.
 
Residents with concerns regarding blasting activity can contact TT Contractors Ltd. at 778-478-3559 or email:[email protected]; or Charlie Higgins, Project Manager, WSP Canada Inc. at 250-980-5504 or email:[email protected]



Bear cubs pay visit

A West Kelowna resident had some surprise visitors to his backyard Monday night.

Harvey Tebb looked out his window while making dinner and saw a black bear cub rummaging near his bird feeder. Another cub and mother bear were poking around in his neighbour’s yard.

After hanging out for five minutes or so, the mother bear took off, followed by the cubs a few minutes later.

“It’s almost shocking to see them rolling up in your yard like that,” Tebb said. “They were casually looking at me, just wandering around, playful.”

Tebb said he has heard from neighbours about bears in the residential neighbourhood near Shannon Lake for the past week.

Monday was garbage day, and Tebb said a number of garbage cans were knocked over and rummaged through.

He lives in a 75-home gated community on Cornerstone Drive, near Shannon Lake Golf Course.

Tebb said his house backs onto forest, and he has seen other bears in the area during the five years he has lived there.



Fire destroys mobile home

Fire destroyed a mobile home on Boucherie Road overnight. 

A quick-thinking neighbour rescued an occupant of the home, who was asleep at the time, prior to the arrival of firefighters.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue responded to the Paradise Mobile Home Park at 9:45 p.m.

Firefighters from the Westbank station arrived to fire burning throughout the mobile home, said Fire Chief Jason Brolund.

They made an quick attack and were able to knock the fire down, ensuring that all four occupants were safely out of the building. They were supported by crews from the Lakeview Heights, Glenrosa and Rose Valley fire stations.

The residents are in the care of Emergency Support Services, and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is believed to be smoking materials.

Once the blaze was under control, crews checked neighbouring buildings to ensure the fire did not extend to other units.

Seventeen firefighters responded with four engines and a command unit. RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics also attended. Crews from Fortis Gas and BC Hydro attended to ensure utilities were made safe.

The fire department reminds residents to check their smoke alarms – they can make the difference between life and death in a fire.



Gas leak forces evacuation

UPDATED 7:51 P.M.

A gas leak, which caused the evacuation of homes and businesses in the Anders Road, has been repaired and evacuees are free to return home.


UPDATE 6:40 PM

A spokesperson for FortisBC has said the gas leak is under control.

Michael Allison said the leak was brought under control shortly after 6 p.m. "and now repairs are under way."

Allison could not say when the evacuation order would be lifted, but expects it to be soon.

"When the gas is brought under control and we've taken the proper precautions and the gas has dissipated, we would recommend people be allowed back home," said Allison, adding it is up to the fire department to determine when the evacuation can be lifted.

A dispatcher with West Kelowna Fire rescue anticipated people would be allowed back into their homes after 7 p.m.


A gas leak has forced the evacuation of homes on the 500 block of Anders Road and the commercial area on Ollala Road, including West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s Station 32.

A four- to six-inch natural gas line was struck by a private contractor during construction work on Anders Road about 1:50 p.m.

FortisBC is on scene to repair the damage, and West Kelowna Fire Rescue is monitoring the situation, says Kirsten Jones with the City of West Kelowna.

It's unknown how long repair work is expected to take.

There have been no report of injuries as a result of the leak.



Trashy beach 'disgusting'

Visitors to Hardy Falls in Peachland are making a mess where Deep Creek flows into Okanagan Lake – and at least one nature lover is furious about it.

Trevor Spannier says he visited Hardy Falls Regional Park over the weekend and was "thoroughly disgusted" by what he saw.

Spannier went to the popular park to check out the the spawning kokanee.

When he crossed Highway 97 to the mouth of the creek to watch the fish swim up, he was disappointed to find trash littering the beach.

He walked from Deep Creek to nearby Antlers Beach and collected two shopping bags full of rubbish.

"It would be great if this could be brought to the attention of locals and visitors being that it is an active spawning ground for the kokanee," he told Castanet.

Spannier said he was "truly appalled" by the lack of respect for the fish habitat and environment.



Elvis closes music series

World renowned Elvis tribute artist Adam Fitzpatrick will close out the fourth season of Music in the Park.

Fitzpatrick, who hails from Penticton, will perform on stage Friday at Memorial Park in West Kelowna.

The tribute singer has captured numerous Elvis competitions around the world including Elvis Europe and the Las Vegas Elvis Festival.

Fitzpatrick will take the stage at 8 p.m.

The rest of the lineup includes:

  • Talented Kid: 6:45 p.m.
  • Opening Act: 7 p.m. – Leah West
     

The free concert series has been highly successful this year, and both the City of West Kelowna and Creative Okanagan would like to thank the public, the sponsors and the performers for all their support.

Music in the Park is produced and promoted by Creative Okanagan. The City of West Kelowna would like to thank the 2015 Music in the Park sponsors including Castanet, Valley First Credit Union, Country 100.7, K 96.3, BMO Private Banking, Quails Gate Estate Winery, and Westside Weekly.



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