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John-Thomson  

Here and there

Feb 23, 2010 / 5:00 am
Three retailers control a large share of the Canadian retail market according to a report by the Centre for Study of Commercial Activity up to 2008. Only a small number of Canadian retailers control more than twenty per cent of the market. The top three are the Weston Group (Loblaws, Real Canadian...

Rumours and things

Feb 18, 2010 / 5:00 am
I don’t know what the sales of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightening means to the bottom line for Victoria’s Len Barrie but it must ease the pressure a little bit although the two owners of the team, Barrie and Oren Koules the TV producer, have got to have lost some big bucks on the sale of the...

Thomson report

Feb 17, 2010 / 5:00 am
I had such a laugh when I read this piece sent to me by a friend the other day because of our lake monster written by McNeill Williford a senior majoring in industrial engineering. If you're like my regular readers, you're here because you got lost on the way to the crossword puzzle. This is...

Here and there

Feb 16, 2010 / 5:00 am
It looks like the end has come for the Summerland Hills Golf Resort Development as Brandenburg Properties of California and the local partner Robin Agur, the Summerland entrepreneur who dreamed of this course for years, have called it quits for the billion-dollar development. It had such good...

Thomson report

Feb 11, 2010 / 5:00 am
She is a very busy woman with her business but I was able to get Crystal Sullivan to sit and have a talk prior to the beginning of the day at her Wellness Centre in Orchard Plaza. First of all lets tell the readers about yourself and the company you started. “I was born in Kelowna. I started...

Rumours and things

Feb 10, 2010 / 5:00 am
Rudy Nielsen’s LandQuest Realty has a ski resort for sale in the Okanagan. Rudy was one of presenters this past April at our Real Estate Development Conference. The Mt. Baldy Ski Area just East of Oliver and Osoyoos is for sale. The ski resort became 41 years old this season. Three U.S....

Rumours and things

Feb 9, 2010 / 5:00 am
Canada has been talking about them since they were introduced as a special souvenir that Canadians want for themselves from the Winter Olympics. The red mittens have become a hit with the citizens and have become difficult to find because of their popularity but they keep coming into stock at The...
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Here and there

Feb 4, 2010 / 5:00 am
Just before the Christmas season my sources in Vernon told me there seemed to be some action on the sale of The Rise golf community 735-acre hillside estate in Vernon. This is the home of the signature golf course designed by PGA pro Fred Couples. It is a beautiful location. At the time it was...

Thomson report

Feb 3, 2010 / 5:00 am
Peter Pocklington, former owner of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, was arrested on charges of bankruptcy fraud at his home near Palm Springs, Calif. We were just south of there last March when it happened. Peter Pocklington, shown with former NHL player Wayne Gretzky after a news conference in...

Thomson report

Feb 2, 2010 / 5:00 am
I clipped this piece from the Wenatchee News in Washington. It is worth a read as it is very well done. Why should we flush redwoods, so to speak? So Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups have pushed manufacturers such as Kimberly-Clark (Cottonelle)...

Thomson report

Jan 28, 2010 / 5:00 am
The current strength of housing demand stands in sharp contrast to the weak activity recorded a year ago. Existing home sales activity remains upbeat with 109 residential single-family homes selling in December of 2009, up 65% over December 2008’s figure of 66. Townhouse sales are also up 100%...

Thomson report

Jan 27, 2010 / 5:00 am
I always knew that salt was bad for my diet and for some twenty-seven years I haven’t used the saltshaker at all because of a high blood pressure situation. This past year I got into some more health problems and the doctors said that immediately they would have to get me off salt. They referred...

Here and there

Jan 26, 2010 / 4:30 am
I have been involved with the Wendy’s Dreamlift Day for sixteen years, as have many others who give of their time to support the annual event. It is an amazing day. The big story behind the scenes is the effort by all the staff and management of the Wendy’s nine locations across the Interior....

Here and there

Jan 21, 2010 / 5:00 am
With the announcement from Landmark Cinemas Calgary came word on the new theatre planned for Penticton. This very modern theatre complex is expected to be open in 2011. Landmark have been waiting for years to do something new in the South Okanagan market and nothing seemed to work out. This...

Thomson report

Jan 20, 2010 / 5:00 am
The past couple of years have been quite exciting for the Kelowna building contractor Emil Anderson Construction (EAC) with two major projects for the Vanoc 2010 Winter Olympics, plus a major engineering project on the Sea-To-Sky highway. President Mike Jacobs and I sat down for a session to look...

Thomson report

Jan 19, 2010 / 5:00 am
When I talked to the founding partner of CTQ Engineering, Matt Cameron, last year the company had just expanded to an office in Kamloops. We recently spoke about the future. Let’s talk about the opening of the Kamloops Office. You told me you built the Kamloops office around one person. “We...

Here and there

Jan 14, 2010 / 5:00 am
The six biggest retailers in British Columbia are all in the grocery and pharmacy business. Jim Pattison’s food group Overwaitea, Save On Foods, Coopers, Nester’s etc. are number one with 290 locations in the province and over 17,000 employees. The number two spot is Real Canadian Superstore...

Rumours and things

Jan 13, 2010 / 5:00 am
Fewer Canadians planned and saved for retirement in 2009 as economic uncertainty shifted financial priorities in some Canadian households, according to the RBC's annual RRSP poll. According to RBC, one in three Canadians, or 32 per cent, has not started saving for retirement yet, compared with...

Here and there

Jan 12, 2010 / 5:00 am
We have so many readers from Saskatchewan who now are now retired here or come for the winter months and go home to work the lands the rest of the time. I have been reading some excellent reports on this province and their move from “have not” to a “have” province with jobs, growth,...

Thomson report

Jan 7, 2010 / 4:30 am
One of my favorite companies to write about over the years has always been Ritchie Bros. the world famous auctioneers who started it all in Kelowna. For those that are new to Kelowna it all started here in the 1950’s with a furniture store. The three Ritchie brothers of Kelowna – Ken, John...

Here and there

Jan 6, 2010 / 5:00 am
Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel, in Vernon, is accepting online reservations for its much-anticipated grand opening in April. The Sparkling Hill Resort is a four-season, 152-room destination with a mountain setting. They have booked 13 weddings and numerous group meetings for guests...

Rumours and things

Jan 5, 2010 / 5:00 am
We did okay in calling a five per cent increase in Christmas spending here in 2009. It was up at least that much and in some cases higher. It was a good season for the retailers and the bargains gained by the customers were outstanding. It was a shopper’s year. The prices on just about...

Twas the night before Christmas

Dec 23, 2009 / 5:00 am
Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck… How to live in a world that’s politically correct? His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”, “Vertically challenged” they were calling themselves. And labor conditions at the North Pole, were alleged by the Union, to stifle the...

Christmas special

Dec 22, 2009 / 5:00 am
We had a good laugh with NBC’s Emmy Award winning “Saturday Night Live” cast this past week as they tackled the “politically correct” Christmas on their two hour NBC Special. They did a whole group of politically correct Christmas carols, as only they can do. It was a very funny...

Here and there

Dec 17, 2009 / 4:30 am
"As it’s the time of year for fruitcake, I wonder if I might update you on what’s happened since I started Nuttier than a Fruitcake in 2004. I first began with one product, which I call Totally Decadent Fruitcake. It’s made with glace fruit, chunks of chocolate, gently roasted pecans and is...

Thomson report

Dec 16, 2009 / 5:00 am
Saskatchewan will surpass Ontario this year as Canada's second wealthiest province after Alberta, as measured by living standards, the result of a recession that has shown no mercy on the country's industrial heartland, according to an independent analysis issued last week. In 1995 B.C.’s...

Thomson report

Dec 15, 2009 / 5:00 am
I have been interviewing, doing stories and sitting on committees with Randy Goodman the man from Pinnacle Sports Physiotherapy Centers, which has grown from his start in Westbank in the 90s. Now the company has three locations looking after people’s needs, athlete’s health and everybody’s...

Thomson report

Dec 10, 2009 / 5:00 am
My e-mails say, "What do you think about the Tiger Woods mess?" First of all he is a great golfer and a wonderful athlete but as a man he is a jerk. What he has done to his family is inexcusable. These women he allegedly played with are losers of the worst kind. Now he is faced with maybe paying...

Thomson report

Dec 9, 2009 / 5:00 am
There has been a lot of publicity, mostly negative, from all kinds of sources. We know as a province that we owe money and that has to be paid back. The interest on the debt will be huge and that has to be looked after for sure. On the political side the party that doesn’t want it to be...

Rumours and things

Dec 8, 2009 / 4:30 am
An e-mail from a reader: The much touted 20/20 Properties Development in Lake Country appears to have come to a screeching halt, and all the promises made to residents and Council at the time of the re-zoning request seem to have been forgotten. I remember the "sincere" presentations made by...

Rumours and things

Dec 3, 2009 / 5:00 am
Contrary to some recent rumors, Western Star Trucks isn't going to be folded like its former Sterling cousin. Today’s Trucking newsletter said that Daimler Trucks North America will continue with the revered quasi-Canadian vocational player as a niche enterprise, not unlike Freightliner Custom...

Here and there

Dec 2, 2009 / 5:00 am
After months of planning, Leonne Wilson Jones' book Define Your Own Simple Luxuries is now available at local bookstores throughout the Okanagan. Define Your Own Simple Luxuries just in time for Christmas and at a time when most of us are looking for a simpler yet luxurious life. It is a must...

Rumours and things

Dec 1, 2009 / 5:00 am
I'm afraid we can probably expect some higher gas prices for our vehicles this winter. When I started to write this the average gas price across the nation was $1.02 but here in the Kelowna it was $1.05.9 but that has come down. It was only in October where we were down to 96 cents. It is always...

Here and there

Nov 26, 2009 / 5:00 am
How many times have you been visiting in Calgary and gone shopping at the Chinook Centre? Many of us have done that because the big Woodward's store was in the mall and you had to go to Woodward's. The mall that has been re-energized a few times is now celebrating fifty years on that site, being...

Thomson report

Nov 25, 2009 / 5:00 am
Millionaires are people too, you know, and even they worry about money. And no wonder--the number of millionaires in the U.S. dropped in 2008 by 2.5 million to a five-year low of 6.7 million. That almost makes them an endangered species. The new Canadian list of the 100 richest just came in this...

Here and there

Nov 24, 2009 / 5:00 am
According to the latest statistics from the Central Okanagan Real Estate Board, the market is showing healthy signs in the single family and town home products and stabilizing in lots, condos and mobiles month to month. Quite a different story from a year ago when inventory was much higher and...

Here and there

Nov 19, 2009 / 5:00 am
Several new wine category signs have been put up in provincial liquor stores following a controversy over the labeling of some bulk import wines as B.C. wines. It took the government about a month to get the game straightened out and that is really good timing for Victoria. What I still don’t...

Thomson report

Nov 18, 2009 / 5:00 am
Brett Hull was the young scoring sensation with the Penticton Knights in the BCJHL where he has a few records that still stand today. He was inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall Fame this past week. He came to Penticton as a goal scorer but not a good skater. He said in an interview last week in...

Here and there

Nov 17, 2009 / 5:00 am
When we were kids didn’t we have the school nurse come around every season and give us shots for things like mumps and chickenpox etc? What ever happened to that idea? Was it a bad service or didn’t parents want their kids being inoculated without them being there? Come to think of it we had...

Here and there

Nov 12, 2009 / 5:00 am
Paper money is filthy. It's teaming with germs. And, as we reported in May, scientists in Geneva have been testing how long a flu virus can live on paper money. They found that a strain of H1N1 - very similar to the one causing swine flu—could live on paper money for up to three days. With the...