Penticton Seedy Saturday

Budding gardeners will be heading to Penticton this weekend for the 14th annual Penticton Seedy Saturday event.

The show takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 25, at Okanagan College, 583 Duncan Ave. West.

"It's going to give people a very healthy selection of all of the best organic seeds in the area and seed growers from as far away as Nelson and the Shuswap area are coming," said organizer Laurel Burnham. "There is also a free seed swap table, so if you've got extra seeds bring them."

The event will feature organic/NGMO seed and plant vendors, local produce, honey, juice, food products, organic body care products and cheese.

Master gardeners will be onsite and four free workshops will be offered.

Admission is by donation, with proceeds supporting the Naramata Farmers Market and Seeds of Diversity

For more information, go here.

Leaning light post a worry

A handful of Penticton residents are concerned that a damaged light post might topple over.

One said he has approached city hall about the post at Nanaimo Avenue and Winnipeg Street, which is leaning toward a fire hydrant and nearby seniors' building.

"I recently contacted city hall and was told they would be there to fix it, but nothing has been done," he said. "The city also told me they were aware of it, because it was hit in a hit and run a few weeks ago.

"I am mostly concerned because it might fall over, and it seems to be a safety issue."

Communications officer Mark Parker said they know about the post.

"City electric crews have assessed the situation and have scheduled a repair for next week," he said. "There is no safety risk to the public."

Garage destroyed by fire

UPDATE: 2:15 p.m.

The cause of Friday's morning's fire in Kaleden was ashes from a wood stove, according to the fire chief.

Darlene Bailey said the homeowner took ashes from the wood stove in his home and put them inside the garage.

Bailey added she was only giving out this information to advise people to dispose of ashes outside of their homes and away from anything combustible.

"We've had this happen before," she said. "People think the ashes are cool but they are not."

UPDATE: 10:43 a.m.

Fire Chief Darlene Bailey said the Kaleden Fire Department responded just before 9 a.m. to the garage/workshop fire.

When they arrived on scene the structure was fully engulfed in flames and the fire had also spread to a tree and a corner of the nearby house.

Residents were home at the time, but no one was injured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Lakehill Road at the location was closed, with drivers being told to take an alternate route.

A Friday morning fire has destroyed a garage in Kaleden.

The garage was separate from the home situated on Lakehill Road.

Castanet reporter Deb Pfeiffer at the scene says the homeowners are OK. No one was injured.

Cause of the fire is under investigation, however, it is not considered suspicious at this time.

More information when it becomes available.

with files from Deborah Pfeiffer


Big win for Winecrush

A Penticton business has been on a roll since it opened, garnering yet more recognition at an event this week.

Winecrush won best concept at the Small Business B.C. Awards held in Vancouver on Thursday night.

"We are feeling really, really happy and excited," said Tyson Still, who co-founded the business with Bill Broddy. "We have just been on an amazing journey this year."

The awards ceremony recognizes top entrepreneurs in the province.

For Winecrush, this is just the latest success.

It also received the new business and sustainability excellence awards from the Penticton Chamber of Commerce in October.

Still says it all started when his business partner was riding his bike in Summerland and came across some wild grapes.

They started experimenting, and met the owner of a dehydration facility in Vancouver. Soon, wine crush powder was being incorporated into all their products.

Winecrush operates out of a production centre on Brunswick Street and a storefront on the 200 block of Main Street.

Penticton's Henna Hut was also in the running for an award at last night's ceremony.

It didn't happen this time, but CEO Larissa Russell said they were honoured to be chosen as a finalist in the Small Business B.C. competition.

"Competing was a great opportunity to reflect on The Henna Hut's achievements and articulate our goals moving forward," she said. "Penticton as a community has shown us so many positive words of support, and we look forward to continuing to get The Henna Hut's name out there.

We send our congratulations to this year's SBBC winners."

Budget vote on principle

Dustin Godfrey

Voting against the 2017 budget on Thursday, in favour of bringing property taxes down further, was a vote of "principle," according to Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

Jakubeit was one of three who voted against the budget Thursday afternoon in council chambers, narrowly losing a vote that ultimately sent the new budget – and its 4.36 per cent property tax hike – forward.

That tax hike means an extra $86 on the tax line of the average household in Penticton, using 2016 multipliers, while the three dissenting votes – Jakubeit and counsellors Andre Martin and Helena Konanz – were in favour of bringing the tax increase down to four per cent.

"Five per cent would have been $96 and to go down to four would have been about $80, so not a lot of play, but that's sort of the budget cycle," Jakubeit said in this week's Mayor's Minute.

"You spend two or three days going through and arguing what might equate to be $20 or $6 at the end of the day, but it is the principle."

Council's tax slash knocked 0.64 percentage points off of the proposed five-per-cent hike. About 2.1 percentage points of the remaining hike will go to an infrastructure fund and 1.5 percentage points were earmarked for inflation, leaving another 0.76 percentage points of operational spending wiggle room.

"That's about $180,000 that we shaved off the budget to get to that number, and then when we had the vote ... it was a 4-3 vote to support the 4.36," he said. "I think that's healthy when you have seven different perspectives and desires and wants and ideas and tolerance levels for the amount of tax to pay and programs to fund."

While he voted against the budget, Jakubeit still called 4.36 a "good number" for the city, especially having seen a number of years of stagnant tax growth recently.

Speaking of differing ideas in council, Jakubeit appeared to nod toward a 20-minute debate over whether to approve $600 parking passes for a long-standing crib tournament in a session that saw $20,000 grants approved in full.

"Unfortunately sometimes the small, several-hundred-dollar items generate huge amounts of debate, and the several-hundred-thousand- or million-dollar items get glossed over."

Guilty plea for shooting

A man who was charged in relation to a January shooting in Penticton is expected to enter guilty pleas next Friday.

Court records show Harley McBride, 35, is facing 14 charges, including assault with a weapon, careless use of a firearm, pointing a firearm without lawful excuse, possession of a firearm for a dangerous purpose, possession of a firearm without a permit and possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm among others.

Documents show an intention to enter a guilty plea to charges, though it's currently not clear exactly which of the charges he intends to plea guilty to, nor how many.

On Jan. 9, at about 1:20 a.m., a two men allegedly entered an apartment in the 600 block of Martin Street, where a confrontation ended in shots fired.

Shortly following that, another confrontation took place on 500 Eckhardt Avenue West, where more shots were fired, according to Penticton RCMP.

A 24-year-old victim, identified through court documents as Levi Savard, was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening wounds from a single gunshot.

Daughter and dad dance

A special night for fathers and daughters is happening in Penticton this weekend.

The first ever Snowflake Ball, billed as a date night for daughter and daddy, or that special man she adores, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25.

"It was a girlfriend of mine's idea," said Kori Wyborn, who is co-organizing with Dana Chapman. "She had heard about them going on in Calgary and there's usually not a lot going on for families here in the winter compared to the summer."

Highlights include the interactive DJ Haymaker, dancing, games, pizza, snacks, punch, a glitter station and more.

There will be additional surprises to make it an event to remember.

The event, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Penticton Seniors Drop-In Centre, costs $30 for the dual ticket.

Advance tickets are available on the Snowflake Ball Penticton Facebook event page.

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