May 18, 2013 / 5:00 am
Penticton's public works department has been hard at work this week, installing green bike lanes at six intersections in the city.
The lanes are one of the strategies identified in the cycling network plan focused on making the community more cycling friendly.
They were approved in the budget for 2013, and once council approved the plan implementation, smaller projects like the lanes were carried out, according to Simone Blais, the city's communications officer.
The lanes are like a decal that is applied via heating of the asphalt and green applique.
The product has a grit built in, which provides traction for bicycles, helping them stop and start at intersections and making it easier to navigate a bike.
The lanes are also a visual indicator to motorists to look for cyclists, particularly at intersections.
Earlier in the week, residents and cyclists were asked to be aware of the work going on at the intersections; the work is now complete and cyclists have a green light to enjoy ricing the green.
May 17, 2013 / 5:08 pm
A small fire contained to the grill broke out in the kitchen at the Elite Restaurant on Penticton's Main Street, Thursday morning.
The Penticton Fire Department responded around 5:51 a.m., and the fire was put out with an extinguisher, according to Deputy Fire Chief Dave Spalding.
Spalding said it was a pretty minor fire and the restaurant should be open on the weekend.
On Friday morning, there was a sign on the door at the restaurant, saying it was closed due to a small kitchen fire and would open soon.
May 17, 2013 / 4:59 pm
A compact blue car lay on the ground a crumpled mess, after falling 25 metres from a crane at an Oliver school on Friday.
The car drop was actually a lesson in the risks of distracted and impaired driving, as well as other valuable messages, held at Sen Pok Chin school.
"We are trying to do this in an exciting way, rather than scare the kids," said Matthew Baran, the Osoyoos Indian Band youth programming coordinator. "And we are looking at three main messages."
In addition to the dangers of drunk driving, a basic education on what police, fire and ambulance do in such situations and the fact that these are exciting jobs for young people to get involved with.
In a brief assembly prior to the dramatic drop, RCMP members gave students statistics on the number of distracted driving incidents and fatalities. They further provided information on the heavy fines people can face for both types of driving.
Fire Chief Dan Skaros with the Oliver Volunteer Fire Department urged students to always wear seat belts and to not drink and drive.
Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie thanked everyone involved and said he hopes the memory of this stays with everybody.
"There are many ways of teaching and this is one of them," he said.
Students then gathered outside for the drop of the donated 1992 Geo Storm.
As a siren sounded, the car with a dummy at the wheel fell through the air, before crashing. Firefighters, RCMP and ambulance crews then responded to the scene; while giving students advice on what they were doing and why.
Students who were restless during the assembly, were quiet and somber as they watched the rescuers at work.
Carolyn Johnson, 10, said it is something she won't soon forget.
"I learned how they get people out of cars after accidents and not to drink and drive," she said.
May 17, 2013 / 4:29 pm
A downtown Penticton nightclub that has stood empty since 2011, will spring back to life tonight, Friday.
Now under new ownership, Opal - the nite club, will open its doors on Main Street at 10 p.m.
"We are absolutely thrilled, but really tired. The most sleep I've had in two weeks is about four hours," said Jane Watson, of the effort along with other family members to get the club open.
Watson, who describes herself as a hippie back in the day, first came to the Okanagan to pick fruit in 1967 and always wanted to come back
Running a nightclub works, because it is the type of business where her whole family, formerly of Manitoba, can work.
The club will be open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all year, and on long weekends from Thursday to Monday.
For some long weekends, they will apply to be open until 4 a.m. on one night. Thursday nights will be theme nights, and they hope to bring in live entertainment on Friday nights. Saturdays will be devoted to dancing.
"We are looking to expand the age group from 19 to 90 and have something for everyone," said Watson.
Councillor John Vassilaki opened the club as Tiffany's in the late 1970s, and remained a stakeholder when it had different names, the Element and Club 535.
He remembers when the city had four nightclubs and welcomes the return of another club to boost Penticton's nightlife.
He is also happy to see a family running the club, because he misses the mom and pop stores and restaurants that used to line Main Street.
"When we lost all the mom and pop operations, we lost our culture and nightlife," he said. "We need more people in Penticton to be vigilant and do a variety of things, and I feel good about this family.
"They are seasoned people who will put it on course, and it will succeed."
May 17, 2013 / 5:39 am
It has been a difficult week for those involved with Penticton BMX.
The club, which is in the process of building itself back up, suffered a major blow, when several items were stolen on May 10 from the motoshed.
"The break in has devastated and crippled our small track," said Jeff Babuin, the club president and track operator. "And we do not have surplus funds to purchase new track supplies, gear, tools or concession items."
The items stolen include the complete gate starting system, a laptop, start lights, bikes, full face helmets, a PA system and tools and tubes, worth about $6,000.
The club, for riders ranging in age from 3 to 65, is all about BMX riding and having fun.
This is the first major problem in a long time for the club that was started in the late 1970s, said Babuin.
Kelowna BMX is letting the club use a laptop, and for now they will borrow a start system from BMX Canada.
Still it has put a damper in the spring and summer racing season.
The incident is currently under investigation by the RCMP and Babuin says they do have a leads to follow up on.
People interested in making donations to help out Penticton BMX, can click here.
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Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
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Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
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