Central Okanagan News
The recent spell of warm weather has resulted in a Water Quality Advisory being issued for Peachland.
According to the District, the warm weather has caused an unusually early melt resulting in a dramatic rise in turbidity in local drinking water.
While the associated health risks are minimal, Interior Health recommends that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water or a safe alternative until further notice.
Water intended for drinking, washing fruits or vegetables, making juice or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute.
The Water Quality Advisory will stay in effect until further notice.
Three Okanagan schools have graded a perfect 10 out of 10 in the latest report be the Fraser Institute ranking all 982 public and independent elementary schools in BC.
Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School in Kelowna, Our Lady of Lourdes in West Kelowna and Holy Cross in Penticton all attained a perfect score as determined by the right wing think tank.
Rankings and scores are based on 10 academic indicators using data from the annual Foundation Skills Assessments (FSAs) administered by the BC Ministry of Education.
All three Okanagan schools are independent schools, as are 19 of the 20 which were awarded scores of 10.
The only public school to receive a perfect score was Ecole Cedardale in West Vancouver.
Only two other Okanagan schools cracked the Fraser Institute's top 100 list, Kelowna Christian School at 69 and Anne McClymont, the lone public school in the top 100 at 85.
The following is a list of Okanagan schools which cracked the top 400.
|School Name||2012-2013||5-year Ranking|
|Aberdeen Hall - Kelowna||1||n/a|
|Holy Cross - Penticton||1||n/a|
|Our Lady of Lourdes - West Kel||1||n/a|
|Anne McClymont - Kelowna||85||118|
|St. Joseph - Kelowna||103||100|
|King's Christian - Salmon Arm||133||100|
|Beairsto - Vernon||133||162|
|Trout Creek - Summerland||144||162|
|Wiltse - Penticton||144||173|
|Anchor Academy - Salmon Arm||163||n/a|
|Heritage Christian Online - Kelowna||163||n/a|
|Chute Lake - Kelowna||187||n/a|
|Tuc-El-Nuit - Oliver||199||274|
|West Bench - Penticton||220||n/a|
|Uplands - Penticton||264||192|
|BX - Vernon||264||289|
|Glenmore - Kelowna||280||304|
|Davidson Road - Lake Country||280||304|
|Harwood - Vernon||318||462|
|Watson Road - Kelowna||365||208|
|Columbia - Penticton||365||274|
|Dorothea Walker - Kelowna||388||224|
|Casorso - Kelowna||388||274|
The Fraser Institute will release its report card on secondary schools in June.
Salmon Arm and Osoyoos are the final two Okanagan hockey arenas to make it to the top 16 in the annual Kraft Hockeyville competition.
The Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm and the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos are both competing with 14 other arenas across the country for the $100,000 in upgrades.
The winning arena will also get to host a pre-season NHL game next year.
Voting closes at the end of the day tomorrow (Monday) at which point the finalists, one from western Canada and one from the eastern Canada will be chosen.
The Sun Bowl is home to the KIJHL’s Osoyoos Coyotes and the Shaw Centre is home to the BCHL's Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
In a continuing series with Mayors of the Okanagan Valley, reporter Carmen Weld sat down with Lake Country Mayor James Baker for a discussion on the hot topics affecting Lake Country residents.
The biggest change in Lake Country in the last year has arguably been the new highway around Oyama and the introduction of the Pelmewash Parkway.
Commuters to and from Vernon and Kelowna rave about the new drive, but businesses in Oyama, that have been bypassed by the new highway, are not as happy.
Many have come forward claiming the new highway has taken all their commuter and tourist business away.
Baker says the District of Lake Country is well aware of these concerns and immediately pressed the Ministry of Transportation from the beginning to get better signage down to the Oyama area.
“The Ministry has listened and we have got some better signage now but we still need a few more signs indicating where the bed and breakfasts are and the fruit-stands are,” says Baker.
“The more we promote tourism for Lake Country, the better it will be. It is indeed something we are focusing on moving forward.”
The other issue coming out of the new highway is the on and off ramps at Wood Lake. Concerned citizens have come forward claiming the ramps are too short, poorly signed, and dangerous.
“The merge lane isn't long enough and it is difficult to see so we are talking to the Ministry about doing some sight lines on there and getting the merge lane better,” admitted Baker, noting a lengthening or widening of the new on and off ramps is likely not plausible as additional land would need to be purchased.
Taxes also went up this year, 3.5 per cent in the District, leaving some residents asking why the increase and where the money is going.
The Mayor says his team tries to keep the increase similar year to year and that these increases are desperately needed for the old and decaying Lake Country infrastructure.
“We are so far behind in our infrastructure aspects because we are a new district. The roads, water, and sewer all have master plans to upgrade but we cant do it without a tax lift at a moderate rate,” explains Baker.
“This will allow us to put money into making the roads safer. And that is what we are doing this year, we are making Bottom Wood Lake Road safer for pedestrians with cycle paths and pedestrian paths.”
Some Castanet viewers shared their concern over the lack of any visible improvements, however Baker says they are doing as much as they can, as fast as they can afford it.
“We are not falling apart,” said Baker. “We have done an audit on all of our infrastructure and we know what the costs are to fix everything up the standards that they should be, and it is much beyond what our budget is in any given year.”
This fall will also see municipal elections around the province leaving the Lake Country Mayor's seat up for grabs.
Baker is adamant that despite his 26 years in politics, being a retired and an active grandpa, and currently working in his third term as Mayor, he is running again.
“Yes I will run, I still find it interesting and not too onerous yet,” joked Baker.
“We are getting some things done, but there are still things that I would like to see completed before I am no longer Mayor.”
In the next municipal election, municipal politicians will be elected for a four year term versus the current three year term.
If Baker were to win the next election we asked him what he would like to see for Lake Country in his next term.
“Well I would like to see some development in the arts and culture area. We are looking at a museum complex with an art gallery and archives. History is important to us and we would like to keep that going,” explained Baker.
“It could even be a economic driver as well if we get something that is really worth coming to Lake Country to visit.”
You can watch the full interview with Lake Country Mayor James Baker below.
The Central Okanagan Search and Rescue team was dispatched Friday evening to assist two stranded snowmobilers, in the Alex Lake area in the hills above Island Lake (close to Beaver Lake).
The two men, aged 54 and 68 were doubling on one snowmobile when they became stuck in some very deep powder and were unable to dig themselves out. The 54-year-old managed to walk about 150 yards up a hill where he was able to get a cell signal and call for help. The man was carrying a GPS and was able to give his exact location to the RCMP which passed that information along to COSAR.
COSAR responded with 11 members, one truck and four snowmobiles, and after setting up a staging area close to the Island Lake Rec site, COSAR proceeded to snowmobile to the location of the subjects and retrieve them.
The subjects were found safe and sound. They were a little wet and cold, from trying to dig out their snowmobile, but otherwise in perfect health.
COSAR would like to remind people going into the back country to remember to take enough items to help you survive 24 hrs. in the woods. Make sure you have the material to start a fire, food, knife and communications if possible. Also inform your family where you are going and when you are expected back. Remember you don’t have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing in Canada.
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Kelowna's Cultural District
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William R. Bennett Bridge
Tourism Kelowna Central Okanagan
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
Okanagan Regional Library