Dec 9, 2013 / 7:43 pm
After a summer of diverting water out of their swampy back yard and cleaning up a flooded basement Lana McCaw and her family were still shocked to find the ice age that recently took over their front lawn.
McCaw had been dealing with ground water issues since she moved into the house on Scott Crescent in West Kelowna just over two years ago.
She says she was told by the District of West Kelowna that because her problem was an issue with natural flowing groundwater she should build a trench or some sort of culvert to divert the water.
"I did build a trench and I attached a little bit of a pipe so it would direct away from my house and go on to my lawn not thinking there would be too much water, because it has never flooded my backyard completely or I've never seen it, until it decided to freeze and turn my front yard into a glacier," says McCaw, exasperated after a morning of moving pipe to redirect water away from her lawn.
"I know the issue is with ground water but they tampered with the natural disbursement of the way it drains down the mountain and it became a man made stream."
McCaw says earlier in the year her and her spouse decided to find where exactly the water was coming from, after it destroyed their garden shed.
"We decided to hike up the mountain through our back yard to see where the water was coming from. And that is where we found this storage drain."
The alleged pipe causing issues is located inside Rock Ride Park, (undeveloped land between Griffiths Place and Scott Crescent) managed by the DWK, according to McCaw.
She explains that when she asked the District about the pipe they claimed they conducted a dye test, where dye was added to the stream to see if it ran down through McCaw's property and it did not.
"I don't know when they conducted this test, I asked to see the results and they never showed me. I also asked if they could do it again with me present, but they never did. But when I followed the water it was coming from this pipe on the District's property."
McCaw isn't the only West Kelowna Estate Resident dealing with ground water issues.
Ryan Gurney, who moved to the area two years ago and lives above McCaw, has had problems since his basement was flooded by ground water last November.
"A retaining wall that was brand new at the time started to buckle because of the pressure of the water. The problem just got worse over time," he says. "We had to eventually call in contractors and engineers to ultimately fix the problem, which is still in progress."
After thousands of dollars spent Gurney was told by his contractor that they could only speculate, but they believed the ground water was following the District's utilities line.
In response the District of West Kelowna did not feel it was appropriate to speak with Castanet on camera at this time, but did issue this statement:
"The District’s Engineering Department is very aware of the serious issue a resident on Scott Road (Crescent) is experiencing with drainage. The area of concern, Scott Road, is an area which has historically had groundwater issues, pre-dating the District’s incorporation over five years ago. In fact, the entire West Kelowna Estates area has its share of drainage issues which the District is working to address.
This particular concern is being investigated by the District as we speak. An engineering firm was hired to conduct a study and report back findings and potential solutions. This report will be reviewed by our Engineering Department to determine the appropriate course of action."
Besides frozen lawns and flooding basements, McCaw is also concerned for people's safety after groundwater spilled onto Scott Crescent pooling and freezing.
"Someone could be walking along, slip and hurt themselves or driving along and run into someone," she worries.
DKW responded by staying they are aware of the pooling water on the roads and says a maintenance contractor has been on notice for the area.
Dec 9, 2013 / 5:34 pm
Rose Valley Vet - Santa with the pets 2013
Santa dropped by the Rose Valley Veterinary Clinic on Friday to spend time with a our furry, feathered and scaled kids.
During the event over 50 photos were taken with Santa and $500 was raised for our local SPCA branch.
Check out Santa with some of West Kelowna's pets above.
Dec 8, 2013 / 4:22 pm
Another worried dog owner has come forward after her Westie was almost dragged away by a coyote last week in West Kelowna.
This is the second story of an aggressive daylight coyote attack in our area, the last time the beloved pet did not make it.
Cynthia Jarvis lives on the edge of the Two Eagles Golf Course in West Kelowna.
Last Monday Dec. 2 her roommate took Jarvis’s Westie, Winston, and her Sheltie, Piper, for their daily afternoon play in the backyard.
She says they were kicking the ball and having a wonderful time in the snow when a coyote, she believes was stalking them, rushed in and grabbed Winston.
“It only took a moment and a coyote had latched onto my 19-pound Westie and was dragging him out onto the golf course,” shares Jarvis.
Her roommate screamed and started chasing the coyote, fortunately Winston was able to break free and run back to the house.
“If it was not for Winston’s strength and my friends screams, my Winnie would be gone,” says a shocked Jarvis.
Winston was rushed to the Rose Valley Vet Clinic, where he underwent surgery to repair tissue damage from the coyote bites.
Since then he has been on high doses of penicillin to ward off any infection.
“We were lucky this time,” says Jarvis.
Her roommate couldn’t believe the aggression of the coyote saying it had no fear of her, the other dog, or being that close to the home.
She also believes the coyote knew where to be and when. Even suggesting the coyote had watched them before and knew they came out to play in the yard the same time every day.
“When will the City, Westbank First Nations and the Regional Districts realize this is an out of control coyote population that is becoming increasingly aggressive?” asks Jarvis.
The women say the coyotes are increasing in numbers, are starving, and are therefore losing all fear, just to get food.
“How much of a threat must this become?” questions an aggravated Jarvis. “What will the attack be next time, a small child?”
Winston suffered three bite areas on the neck, back and lower lip. He is currently recovering well.
Neither woman takes their dog out in the backyard anymore which used to be their favourite play time.
Send your coyote photos, video, and stories to [email protected]
Dec 8, 2013 / 7:43 am
Six years ago what was then known as the District Municipality of Westside came into existence with the swearing in of the first council.
Over those six year the municipality has undergone a name change (West Kelowna) and has slowly moved from a rural area to an urban community.
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater will be in Castanet's studios Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. to speak about the changes the municipality has undergone and where it goes from here.
If you have questions you would like the mayor to address, please email your suggestions to [email protected]
Dec 7, 2013 / 6:00 pm
A new boathouse on Okanagan Lake is open for the North Westside Fire Rescue department. The new facility houses the department’s 8.4 meter marine mobile water supply and fireboat. Construction of the boathouse and dock was completed earlier this fall.
Fire Services Manager Dan Wildeman says “This fully enclosed boathouse on Okanagan Lake required extensive environmental approvals from the Provincial Government. It was designed and built at a total cost of $78,000, and includes an all-electric boat lift and gasoline powered generator.”
North Westside Fire Chief Doug Gardiner adds, “This facility means our community’s fireboat and marine mobile water supply will be easily accessible for trained members of our department in the event that it is dispatched for firefighting and protection along the waterfront, as a water supply, or for marine rescue.”
In dedicating the boathouse which is designated Station 103, members of the North Westside Firefighter Society recognized the memory of Regan Toker, a department member who lost his life in a West Kelowna workplace accident in 2011.
Dec 6, 2013 / 3:10 pm
Construction work at the intersection of Highway 97 and Grizzly Road on the Westside are now complete.
The $2M project included new raised concrete medians to channel and protect vehicles at the intersection, changed traffic patterns to reduce the risk of collisions, as well as improve lighting and better drainage.
The construction project began in September.
Now that upgrades are complete vehicles are not permitted to turn left from Grizzly Road onto Highway 97 or travel directly across the highway which will reduce the number of crashes, in particular head-on and t-bone crashes.
Vehicles will be able to make right turns on Grizzly Road from the highway and onto the highway from Grizzly.
"The safety of our roads is a top priority for communities and for this government," says Premier Christy Clark, the MLA for Westside-Kelowna.
The intersection has been the scene of numerous serious and fatal accidents over the years.
While the intersection sits in Westbank First Nation land it is one West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater has been advocating for change for several years.
Improving the intersection is one of several improvements already complete or on the books for the Highway 97 corridor through West Kelowna and WFN.
Next up, advance left turn signals are expected to be installed at Highway 97 and Ross Road in conjunction with construction of the new transit exchange by the Super 8 Motel.
Dec 4, 2013 / 2:41 pm
Prom is a right of a passage for many and asking that special someone out to prom can be tough on the nerves.
Well, one West Kelowna teen at Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary decided to throw his fear and nerves away and produce a surprise flash mob to ask his lifelong best friend to prom.
“It started in grade one actually, the first day of school when Sydney and I sat down at a table together, we’ve been inseparable ever since. We’ve been like two peas in a pod and I do everything with her, and she makes me just laugh all the time,” explained Cameron Waller.
He said his lifelong friendship with his best friend Sydney Renning means the world to him.
“We are in grade 12 now and grad is approaching and I thought it would just be the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone; tell her how much I love her and ask her to prom.”
Over 30 of Sydney’s best friends, teachers and family joined in on the fun and learned the routine, but what was a surprise to all of them was that the whole school seemed to join in.
“I expected no one to be watching, the bell rang for everyone to go to class and I expected everyone to just leave the cafeteria, but then everyone just stayed and watched, it was crazy!” laughs Waller
Although his act seems fearless to most, he says the nerves got to him as well.
“I was so nervous, I was shaking, I was standing at the top of the stairs watching everything happen from afar and I couldn’t even hold the flower I was shaking so hard,” describes Waller.
At the 3:15 mark of the video Sydney is pushed towards Waller who is the surprise waiting for her at the end.
“She was coming towards me, with everyone cheering for her, and I could see her coming, and it sounds silly, but I actually started tearing up a little bit and I had tell myself man-up Cam you can’t cry in front of the whole school ,” laughs Waller.
He handed her a flower, asked her to prom and she said yes without hesitation, guaranteeing a date to prom, but what about a future for this adorable pair?
“No, no (Waller laughs) I really, really value our friendship, she means the world to me and I’d like to keep it that way,” said Waller.
He says the reaction he got from the entire school was amazing, but the best reaction was hers.
“It felt awesome because I could just see that she saw the whole school was there for her and that we all loved her and it was just a great feeling,” said Waller.
The event took place yesterday (Tuesday) morning and the video is already a hit.
Waller says he had to get the video edited and up quickly because his phone was being bombarded with requests.
“I took her out for lunch right after and my phone was constantly beeping with messages and they were either ‘you have got to send this to Ellen DeGeneres she is going to love this’ or ‘When can we see the video? When is it up?’ So I had to edit and post it that night,” shares Waller.
Sydney is apparently still in shock about the whole thing, but is back to joking and having fun today with her best friend.
The two 17-year-olds now have some months to pick the perfect outfit for the May Long Weekend 2014 Prom.
Dec 4, 2013 / 11:38 am
The provincial government has awarded the Westbank First Nation a replaceable forest licence in the West Kettle River area near Big White.
It will allow the band to harvest up to 32,400 cubic metres of timber per year for 15 years.
"Westbank First Nation is a rising force in Canada's economy, creating jobs and a strong and vibrant workforce. This new forest licence creates new opportunities that will have positive spinoffs for WFN and for the region as a whole,” says Chief Robert Louie.
"We have worked closely with the Province to make this licence a reality, and are proud as we take another step to ensure the self-sufficiency and sustainability of WFN.”
The licence covers approximately 9,000 hectares of crown land within the Derickson Trapline, an area that is historically significant to the band, and is home to traditional Marten trap lines.
"We have been working closely with Westbank First Nation for the past two years to make this replaceable forest licence a reality,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests and Natural Resource Operations.
“It is a great opportunity - not just for the First Nation - but for the workers and forestry-related businesses across the region. This new licence is part of the government's ongoing plan to support prosperous rural forest economies by improving access to forest tenures."
The provincial government says there are currently 395 forestry-related licences held by First Nations under different agreements.
Dec 3, 2013 / 4:43 pm
After almost one year of bureaucracy, the Westbank & District Chamber of Commerce has finally received approval to change their organization’s name to the Greater Westside Board of Trade.
“It’s been a long time coming and we’re quite excited about pursuing our vision over the next year,” says Norm LeCavalier, Co-Chair of the new board of trade.
“Our goal is to develop an image that will create a higher profile throughout the Greater Westside.”
In addition to the new name, the group will also unveil a new logo and mission statement next month at the groups 2014 annual general meeting as they attempt to freshen their image and regain the support of the business community.
“The rebranding was part of us trying to revitalize the chamber on the Westside, it has suffered a downslide and needed to regain credibility within the business community,” says LeCavalier.
It seems to have worked as he says membership has jumped 36 per cent since they announced the proposed name change at last years AGM.
The group’s other co-chair, Marek Buryska, says the change is about inclusivity, and should be seen as an opportunity to represent all local businesses on the Westside.
“We want to extend and partner with our neighbouring chambers on the Westside of the lake, under the “Board of Trade” umbrella, as synergies among us obviously exist,” he says.
“For advocacy purposes, this will ultimately reflect a united and more powerful voice to send to all levels of government.”
Dec 3, 2013 / 2:49 pm
Castanet has dubbed him Mr. Sandman.
A video shot by Dennis Dessario and sent to Castanet shows Kelowna city worker Rick (he did not want us to use his last name) shoveling out more than Christmas cheer Monday.
Rick was seen in the video shoveling sand from the back of a city truck onto Westlake Road in West Kelowna during the height of the valley wide road-freeze Monday afternoon.
The City of Kelowna gets its sand from the city owned gravel pit off Westlake Road in West Kelowna.
Transportation Services Manager, Darryl Astofooroff, says he was taking care of his own business while at the same time helping motorists along the busy roadway.
"He saw what was happening there - and we do get a lot of truck traffic coming to and from the pit. We empower our staff to take care of their business. He took it upon himself to do that," says Astofooroff.
"With the terrible roads there it looks like cars were blocking it too. From what I could tell they were in the ditch and the side of the road."
Astofooroff says Mr. Sandman definitely went above and beyond in the performance of his duties.
"Absolutely. I thought he did a good job."
"Kelowna is a good neighbour. Several young men from the neighourhood off of Sussex Rd were also out helping spread sand, Matt, Kiefer and Adam," added Dessario.
Meantime, Monday's events amounted to something of a perfect storm.
Astofooroff says crews sprayed trouble areas with magnesium chloride prior to the storm, however, the sequence of events rendered that almost useless.
"We used mag chloride (reduces ice buildup) in some of the hilly areas but it rained before it snowed and all of that material was essentially useless. It got diluted," says Astofooroff.
"Then the freeze came very quickly and of course we can't be everywhere at the same time. We were just doing our best to keep up as was West Kelowna I imagine.
The icy conditions were responsible for at least 19 accidents in the Central Okanagan. Numerous other vehicles either got stuck on the road or slid off the road.
Even plows on either side of the bridge were not immune to the conditions.
"We have automatic drop chains but they do have to use their own discretion when to chain up because it could do a lot of damage to the roads as well."
The long range forecast is calling for cold, but mostly dry conditions over the next few days.
The exception is Friday when the forecast calls for a 30 per cent chance of flurries..
Environment Canada is calling for overnight temperatures between -11°C and -14°C with daytime highs between -7°C and -11°C through Monday.
Read more West Kelowna articles
- Hockey kids collect for the Philippines Dec 3
- Sandman rescues drivers Dec 2
- Van takes a slide in West Kelowna Dec 2
- West Kelowna fire fighters tackle hunger Dec 1
- Boucherie road reopened after rollover Nov 27
- Chronic runaway still missing Nov 27
- Premier's riding goes 'Up in Smoke' Nov 27
- Latest Westside Road project complete Nov 27
- Fearless coyote kills family dog Nov 26
- Box of wine tossed after crash Nov 25