May 18, 2013 / 3:00 pm
Okanagan youth have shown once again that they know how to entertain a crowd.
More than 300 youth from around the Vernon area gathered at Polson Park on Thursday to help pull off Vernon’s fourth annual Youth Achievement and Appreciation Festival, better known as the YAA Fest.
Live musical entertainment, artwork displays, food and refreshments were the backdrop for the Polson Skate Competition, which has been running for almost nine years according to Adam Skalzub, the owner of Dunas Skate Shop in Vernon who jumped at the chance to collaborate with YAA fest.
“It’s a great opportunity to get all the youth out for a great event,” he says.
Daniel Tottenham, who finished in first place in the Under 15 division, thinks the competition atmosphere is pretty awesome. Tottenham started skating four years ago when his brother gave him a hand-me-down deck and was shocked to win in his first time out.
“My friends really encouraged me to enter the competition, I wasn’t going to, but I’m glad I did. I’m pretty proud of myself,” says Tottenham.
Local singer, Jessica Ramsey, took the stage in Polson Park for about an hour on Thursday, belting out tunes like nobody’s business. Her father taught her to play guitar at the ripe old age of six.
“We knew right away she had something special,” said Bob Ramsey “It’s been a hope and dream of mine for my kids to get involved in music, so I’m a proud father for sure.”
According to her dad, Jessica Ramsey has been singing and entertaining since before she could talk and credits him as her biggest inspiration.
“The most challenging thing for me has been getting over the nerves,” says Jessica. Her advice to other aspiring singers: “Just do it,” and "you can never have too much practice.”
The event was produced by kids, for kids, with a little help from organizations like Community Futures North Okanagan.
Rejane Herzog and Kim Applegate say the event started four years ago when a group of local organizations wanted to create something positive in the realm of youth appreciation.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for the community to connect with youth in a positive way, and for youth to connect with each other,” said Herzog, “Too many times those interactions are seen as negative.”
The event is headed up by the Community Based Youth Services Team (CBYST), a representative committee of youth serving programs, organizations and individuals that meet regularly to share information and identify gaps in service.
Ryan Robson is the coordinator at Teen Junction. She says the most important message people can take from the event is that we are all alike, we can all get along, and we can all learn to appreciate one another’s creativity.
“It’s important that we as adults in our community give youth space to be creative,” said Robson, who is also involved with The Hub Arts Collective in downtown Vernon.
The event has earned a positive reputation in the community, and event organizers are proud to say there have never been any problems or incidents at a YAA Fest.
At four years and counting, the group looks forward to watching the event grow for many more years to come.
May 17, 2013 / 11:18 am
Last Friday's crash of a flying car in Vernon has prompted the manufacturer of the prototype to ground the fleet until further notice.
Bill Yearwood with the Transportation Safety Board says the manufacturer of the Maverick LSA flying car has voluntarily taken the product out of the skies until a cause of last Friday's crash has been determined.
The owner has five prototypes around the world, however, the Vernon craft was the only one based in Canada.
Yearwood says the Transportation Safety Board did send an investigator to Vernon to document the crash site but will not be involved in the investigation.
"We are leaving it in their hands to try and determine what happened. We know he had a temporary loss of control. It's not clear why that was," says Yearwood.
"It's not something we would get too deeply involved with because there are not a lot of them out there."
While the main focus of the TSB is commercial aircraft operations, Yearwood says they will keep an eye on the investigation.
"They will feed us the information they learn and if there is any testing or any expertise we can help them with we will step in," says Yearwood.
"When it's all done we will make sure we have all that data entered into our data base. If these things start popping up we have some reference on where to go and what might be problems."
Ray Siebring, the owner and pilot of the craft in Vernon told Castanet News after leaving the hospital he thought it might have been the wind or something mechanical.
"All of a sudden we were in a spiral heading sharp left so we adjusted sharp right. When we stopped the spin we were too low and had to go in for the landing," stated Siebring at the time.
Maverick's company website did issue a brief statement on its website earlier this week.
They have confirmed Siebring has asked Maverick to send its chief test pilot to the Okanagan to try and determine the cause of the accident and the most effective way to get his machine back into operation.
May 16, 2013 / 11:22 am
Coldstream and Lavington volunteer fire departments responded to a call of a house fire on Briar Drive in Coldstream just before noon on Wednesday.
On arrival, fire fighters observed heavy smoke coming from the deck and carport area.
Coldstream Fire Chief, Shane Code, says the fire was located beneath a second floor deck in a carport area. It was actually a hidden fire, says Code, believed to have started within the wall or ceiling joists.
"Where there is a hidden fire, there tends to be a lot of smoke. The fire is smothered for air and we see incomplete combustion," said Code, explaining that small smoldering fires don't burn hot enough to burn off the smoke.
The home owners, who were reportedly preparing to leave on vacation at the time, smelled smoke and called fire rescue. The occupants of the home escaped without injury and were actively dousing the fire using a garden hose when fire crews arrived on the scene.
Fire crews were onsite at the home for approximately one hour. Because of the nature of the fire, they had to rip apart the carport to make sure all the hot spots were extinguished.
"It's seems strange to people, but in a way, the larger fiery flames are actually sometimes the easier fires to fight. This one, we had to tear up the carport to be sure," said Code.
Other than the carport, the home sustained only minimal damage, and it is reported that the home owners were able to stay in the home instead of moving to a hotel.
The fire is considered odd but not suspicious. Code says there had recently been construction going on around the carport area of the home, so that's something fire investigators will be looking at.
Vernon Fire Rescue services will be investigating the causes.
May 15, 2013 / 5:00 am
May 14, 2013 / 5:00 am
Local area beaches and lake accesses have many amenities and hours of fun to offer. Here is what you need to know:
- Alcohol, dogs and fires are not allowed on beaches.
- Beaches are closed to the public after dusk.
- Lake accesses have usage rules posted at the sites.
“The beaches can be enjoyed by both area residents and visitors if everyone is respectful of other beach users when parking or visiting the beach,” said Clint Kanester, Manager of Bylaw Enforcement for the City of Vernon.
A popular beach for special events is Kin Beach (Lakeshore and Tronson). If you wish to reserve any beach shelters, parks or picnic areas, contact the Recreation Centre by phone at (250) 545-6035 ext 0.
The Greater Vernon Recreation Centre also rents out beach or grass volleyball kits, bocce kits, horseshoe kits or a tug-of-war rope. More information on permits and bookings can be found here.
Beach volleyball begins the last week of May until August 18 on Kalamalka Lake Beach from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. The public is asked to cooperate to make sure players have game space.
Boat launches with trailer parking are located at Paddlewheel Park (Vernon) and Kalavista Park (Coldstream). Parking fees are in effect starting on the May long weekend. Purchase a seasonal pass at the District of Coldstream, North Okanagan Regional District or City Hall. Daily passes are purchased through the permit dispenser at these locations. Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, located off Highway 97 and 11 km south of Vernon on the West side of Kalamalka Lake, also has a boat launch with free parking. Neighbourhood Boat Launches without designated trailer parking are also located on Kinloch Drive (Coldstream), Westkal Road (Coldstream), Tronson Road (Vernon) and Eastside Road (Vernon).
Beaches within Vernon include:
- Grassed area
- Kids’ jungle gym
- Picnic areas with barbecues pits and a large picnic shelter.
- Sandy beach
- Grassed areas
- Basketball court
Pumphouse Beach (off WestKal Rd.)
Ellison Park (Okanagan Lake at the end of Okanagan Landing Rd.)
- Picnic areas
- Camping areas
Kalamalka Beach (North shore of Kalamalka Lake)
- Long pier
- Change rooms
- Rest rooms
- Shallow swimming area
- Change rooms and rest rooms on site
- Beach volleyball courts
- Tennis courts
- Boat launch
- Boat trailer parking
- Rest rooms on site
- Separate pet beach
- Beach volleyball courts
- Concession stand (summer)
- Kayak and boat rentals (summer)
Kekuli Bay Provincial Park (located off Highway 97, 11 km. south of Vernon on West side of Kalamalka Lake)
- Boat launch
- Free trailer
Read more Vernon News
- Bus stop purse snatch May 13
- Townhouse fire destroys kitchen May 12
- Flying car crashes near school May 10
- Sword wielder beaten with skateboard May 8
- Target opens its doors in the Okanagan May 7