Two music shows announced at Penticton's Cleland Theatre

Music returns to Cleland

Music enthusiasts can rejoice with two upcoming shows announced by Route 97 Culture at The Cleland Theatre in November.

The Paperboys will be performing on Nov. 3, and the Frazey Ford on the 24.

Led by the Mexican/Canadian Tom Landa, globe-touring sextet The Paperboys will take to the stage to play a mix of Celtic reels, Mexican folk, New Orleans brass band music, classic pop songcraft, bluegrass, philosophical waltzes, and heartwarming Latino/West African singalongs.

"What makes this performance even more special is that it marks the celebration of Paperboys' 30th Anniversary as a band. They will be revisiting their remarkable journey, spanning 11 studio recordings, including their Juno Award-winning album, Molinos. This milestone event promises to be a nostalgic and exhilarating experience for long-time fans and newcomers alike," Route 97 said in their press release.

On Nov. 24, touring and recording artist Frazey Ford will be on stage supporting her U Kin B the Sun album with her full band to an Okanagan audience.

Ford also recently released a single with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) called “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations” as a part of the Epoch box set - which tells the untold story of DeYarmond Edison, a short-lived band formed by childhood friends Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Justin Vernon, and Joe Westerlund.

Mark Greenhalgh, one of the founders of Route 97 Culture said they are "absolutely delighted" to bring The Paperboys and Frazey Ford to the Okanagan region.

"Both acts represent the diversity and richness of the music world, and their performances at The Cleland Theatre promise to be exceptional."

For tickets and more information, head to the Valley First Tickets website here for The Paperboys. and here for Frazey Ford.

Summerland Royal Canadian Legion Branch reopening after flood

Legion to reopen

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 22 Summerland announced they'll be able to reopen on Friday after damage to their building raised concerns about permanent closure.

The legion was facing a possible permanent closure after a flood event damaged its roof in July during a rain and hailstorm.

The fixes were estimated at the cost of $150,000 out of pocket.

Hoping for community support to help rally some funds, the organization launched an online donation campaign in September along with community fundraisers.

They shared earlier this week that donations were already at $40,000.

Former Legion President John Dorn shared that the contract to repair the roof was awarded to Hometown Roofing Ltd. of Penticton.

"The branch is grateful to Hometown for expediting the project to get the Legion back to normal operations," he added.

The members are welcoming the public to come to the Legion and inspect the new inside upgrades with their re-opening at 11 a.m. on Friday.

"The community has been generous in supporting the Summerland Legion, but it is still well short of our fundraising goal to pay for the repairs and is still soliciting donations."

Head to their website www.summerlandlegion.com to find out more information on donating options

Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland asking for sponsorships to keep their cows "happy and healthy."

Help with happy cows

Casey Richardson

A Summerland rescue is reaching out to the community hoping for help caring for their group of cows.

Lori Huot-Stewart, president of Critteraid Animal Sanctuary said a lot of people don't get a chance to actually come in and see the cows.

"We're actually looking for sponsorship. We realized that throughout all of our history with our cows, we've actually not had anyone that has been there to help us sponsor them," she said.

Sponsorship programs with the cows would help cover the cost of a bale of hay, or contribute to medical costs, such as hoof trimming the program does every year.

"If we all kind of had a sponsorship program that is online, if somebody has an interest to help us along the way to keep them happy and healthy, we sure appreciate it. And any little bit of $1 amount helps to go to the care of these lovely, beautiful animals."

If you're interested in learning more about the sponsorship program, email [email protected] attention sponsor.

New traffic safety features being added to slow vehicles through Penticton school zone

Upgrades for school roads

The City of Penticton will be adding new traffic safety features to Jermyn Avenue in an effort to slow vehicles through the school zone.

A new raised crosswalk and other safety features will be constructed between KVR Middle and Penticton high schools after requests came in from the schools themselves.

The city said construction is set to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 10, and work will take place outside of school hours to avoid disruption. Further details about the construction work hours will be made public once finalized, closer to the date.

This project received grant funding from both the ICBC Road Improvement Program and Vision Zero.

Work will include building concrete curb bulbouts on each end of a new raised crosswalk, which narrows the pedestrian crossing distance, improves sight lines and slows traffic.

Discussions with both schools involving other initiatives will continue, with further details to be released once plans are finalized. The city said they will be evaluating results after construction.

Updates on this project will be posted to penticton.ca/roadwork

Summerland beginning building roads for future solar storage, eco-village site

First steps in solar project

The District of Summerland is starting construction of the access road to the Solar and Battery Storage Project, as well as the proposed Eco-Village site starting this week.

People can expect to see the fencing, excavations, workers and equipment operating at the intersection of Morrow Avenue and Denike Street.

The district said all activities are in accordance with environmental authorizations and will be conducted in accordance with the highest standards, based on the advice of a Qualified Environmental Professional.

Residents are asked to avoid construction areas where these activities are taking place for the time being.

Penticton gathers to Walk for The Children on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Walk for The Children

Around 250 people came out on Saturday to join in the Walk for Children hosted by the Okanagan Nation Alliance on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

"Thank you to our elders for their wise words. Thank you to our people for singing and drumming loud and proud. Thank you to our allies for listening and showing your support," the ONA said on Saturday.

Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield issued a statement for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, adding that the sea of orange seen is an acknowledgment of the injustices of the thousands of children who were stolen from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools.

"We honour the lives lost and continue our commitment to the process of reconciliation," he said.

“It’s a day that brings up horrific memories in Canada’s history and serves as a reminder of the impact of residential schools still felt today. It’s a day for some tough discussions and ownership of terrible decisions. And it is a reminder that these events happened right here in our community.

Dozens of people walked to the Syilx Okanagan Indian Residential School Monument, next to the hatchery – a location that was chosen as it is where the train and the cattle trucks came to gather the children to take them away from their families.

The ONA shared that this year many Indigenous people chose to wear a different shirt, as the orange shirts can be triggering as they are immediately reminded of residential schools.

"The shirts this year are blue and green to represent Earth colours and our connection to Mother Earth. The image on the shirts shows a family with children wearing orange shirts standing in a ceremony at Spotted Lake, a sacred place to our Nation. In the sky of the image, there are pictographs to represent our culture and our dreams," the said.

"We continue to welcome Orange shirts as they are a visual symbol of honouring and recognizing survivors."

The orange shirts stemmed from Phyllis (Jack) Webstad telling her story about her orange shirt being taken away from her when she first went to Residential School.

“The road to reconciliation won’t be easy, it doesn’t come with a map that shows the start and finish. Instead, the journey of reconciliation is a lifelong relationship where we walk side-by-side and discover the path together untainted by prejudices and infused by courage, honesty," Bloomfield said.

He encouraged everyone to continue to learn about the Indigenous history of the lands they reside on.

"We all have a role to play on the journey towards reconciliation.”

A special showing of Bones and Crows held at 325 Power Street at the Cleland Theatre has had a second showing added.

The film by Métis writer, director and producer Marie Clements, follows Cree matriarch Aline Spears through her life, including her experiences at residential school and the lasting, inter-generational impact it had on her family.The film features many members of the Penticton Indian Band including Summer Testawich who plays a young Aline Spears.

Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 for the 3 p.m. showing. Then at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. showing.

Both showings (3 p.m. and 6 p.m.) are free of charge and tickets are not needed. Seating will be on a first-come first-served basis.

Penticton council to review 2024 utility rate increases

Utility rate hike coming

Council will be looking over Penticton's utility rate increases recommended for 2024 on Tuesday, after staff completed the engagement program.

Kristen Dixon, the city’s interim chief administrative officer, said in a news release that the job of the rate review was to determine the funds needed to operate city utilities and maintain them into the future.

“The results show that like everyone, the City is feeling the impact of inflation on the costs of goods and services when it comes to maintaining our infrastructure. The proposed rates are designed to get the utilities back on track to being self-funded and provide for future maintenance and replacement of over $800 million in assets.”

The proposed increases for next year are:

  • 3 per cent for electrical
  • 6.4 per cent for treated water, including the adoption of the inclining rate structure for three-quarter inch residential customers
  • 6.1 per cent for agricultural water
  • 10.2 per cent for sanitary water
  • 30 per cent for storm sewer

The final step in the completion of the review was an engagement program that invited residents to learn more about the changes being proposed and to share their feedback.

Staff said there was general support for the recommendations in the draft report, including the adoption of the inclining block rate structure for treated water, and updating the City’s policies relating to reserves and the electrical dividend.

Where there was no support, the city said it generally stemmed from concerns relating to affordability and the overall ability to pay.

“In an effort to temper the impact of increases for ratepayers, staff are proposing increasing electrical rates by eight per cent annually for the next four years rather than the 10 per cent recommended for 2024, followed by subsequent seven per cent annual increases,” Dixon said.

“Assuming the interim five per cent increase is adopted on Oct. 3, this would result in a further three per cent increase for 2024 for the electric utility, as opposed to another five per cent.”

The upcoming report to council is focused on the review's recommendations for utility rates that are required to prepare the 2024 – 2028 Financial Plan and specifically the 2024 budget.

If approved, staff will prepare the bylaws to set the rates for 2024. The remaining recommendations from the review will be brought forward for council consideration at future meetings. Complete engagement results are available as part of the agenda package and online at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca

Organics processing facility site opens at Summerland landfill

Ready to compost food

Casey Richardson

Summerlanders will soon be able to send their food waste away to become compost after the district celebrated opening a new organics processing facility site on Friday.

Mayor Doug Holmes was joined by Councillor Janet Peake and MLA Dan Ashton for the opening at the Summerland landfill, which already has operated a composting site for decades for wastewater treatment plant sludge and yard waste.

The new site will be able to process all of Summerland’s yard and wood waste, agricultural organics, wastewater treatment sludge and residential food waste.

“The new organics processing facility is an example of the leadership from the Summerland community and how local climate action gets us closer to reaching our national emissions goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” Steven Guilbeault, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change said in a press release.

Holmes said reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in the district’s core infrastructure are both important objectives for Summerland Council.

The $2.4 million project had one-third funded by the federal government, one-third by the provincial government, and one-third from the district.

“Changes in provincial regulations have required us to upgrade our composting system. Newer technologies allow for safe composting our materials like residential food waste,” Holmes added.

The district constructed a split compost site, which will keep food and yard waste on one side, with wastewater sludge on the other, providing two compost types.

“A landfill has a certain lifespan and you want to be able to keep this landfill open for as long as possible because decommissioning a landfill and trying to find a new location for landfill is a really onerous and expensive exercise. So the longer we can keep our landfill open and divert things out of that landfill, the better. This is a great opportunity to do it.”

The food waste collection has the potential to divert over 500 tonnes of materials from being landfilled each year.

“This is important for an agricultural community like Summerland because we're able to provide a better local food waste compost that people could put in their orchards and on their gardens,” Holmes said.

“The need for compost is out there and everybody wants clean, really high-quality compost. We'll be able to start producing that now.”

The district plans to start collecting food waste from residential homes next spring. More information on when residential food waste collection will start will be provided later this year by the district.

Travellers warned to expect delays near section of Warren Avenue through October

Warren Ave delays coming

The City of Penticton will have two separate construction projects involving Warren Avenue West causing minor delays throughout October.

Work has started in the area near the Channel Parkway involving installing a crosswalk across Warren Avenue at the intersection of Baskin Street, near the Bow Developments.

The city said the project involves improved lighting, storm drainage changes and adding curb bulbouts, which narrow the road to improve traffic safety for pedestrians. The crosswalk will also have pedestrian-activated flashing beacons.

Grant funding was supplied for the project from ICBC’s Road Improvement Program.

The second project will pave the roadway along Warren Avenue between Quebec Street and Baskin Street beginning Oct. 11 and is part of the Point Intersection group of projects.

Drivers are advised to watch for single-lane alternating traffic throughout this section in the coming weeks while work is underway.

Further details about each of these projects will be posted online at penticton.ca/roadwork as plans are finalized.

Penticton council to discuss final leg of bike lane, and revisit first leg for fixes

Bike lane back in spotlight

Penticton city council will soon hear how public feedback informed the design of the fourth and final section of the Lake-to-Lake Route, and discuss potential changes to the Martin Street portion, at an upcoming meeting.

“The city is taking advantage of the bike route construction to address traffic concerns along South Main. As changes to pedestrian crossings, bus stops, speed limits and parking can affect residents in the area, we wanted to ensure the community had a chance to review what was being proposed and provide local perspectives on the changes,” said JoAnne Kleb, the city’s communications and engagement manager, in a press release issued Friday.

More than 200 residents participated in the in-person engagement opportunities and more than 500 shared their thoughts online, according to the city.

"Participants were mostly supportive of recommendations to reduce the speed limit in sections, introduce left-turn lanes on Green Ave, relocate or install pedestrian crossings and add treed boulevards in places along the route," reads the information release.

"The city also heard concerns about the reduction of street parking in some sections and questions about floating bus stops. For many participants, it was their first time participating in engagement on the Lake-to-Lake Route and there was interest in revisiting the need for the route and the use of curbs to separate cyclists from traffic."

Staff have made several changes to the draft design based on the feedback, including:

  • Working with the school to try to relocate the driveway at Green Avenue to reduce conflict with intersection, particularly with the addition of the dedicated left turn bays
  • Detailed review of proposed tree planting locations to ensure lines of sight from driveways are maintained, including removal of a number of trees
  • Inclusion of additional gaps in curbing across from larger multi-family properties to ensure cyclists could easily access both the Northbound and Southbound cycling facilities
  • Expanded gaps in concrete barriers at driveways to allow easier turning movements in and out of driveways
  • Preservation of parking on the west side of South Main Street, North of Yorkton Avenue, to more closely reflect existing parking

Staff are also seeking support from council to apply for the BC Active Transportation Fund. The city has already applied for a similar federal grant of $840,000.

If the city is successful with both grants, it would contribute $1.3 million of the estimated $2.3 million cost for the final section.

Staff will also be reporting back on options to declutter the 100 and 200 blocks of the Martin St. section of the route, at the upcoming council meeting on Tuesday.

"Based on feedback from the community that residents dislike the volume of signage and the dezign-line product and would like to see aesthetic improvements, staff are recommending a ‘sign diet’ that will see roughly 40 signs removed from the Martin St. corridor and the elimination of two driveways to reduce crossing conflict," the press release explained.

"Replacement of the dezign-line product with black bollards, concrete barriers and landscaped planters are proposed to ensure the infrastructure more closely matches that of the downtown revitalization efforts and neighboring investments in patios."

If approved by council, $200,000 will be included in the 2023 budget to complete the work.

Council will discuss all of these matters on Tuesday.

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