Wednesday, October 7th9.2°C
John Thomson

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

This past week I received two requests for donations from large charities for envelopes that were filled with address labels. The address label business must be good because many of the charities have the same idea, despite the fact that few people actual write a letter these days. The postal service is having trouble staying in the black.

There certainly is an investment in printing labels and each charity is trying to do a different and smarter label and that costs money and postage. Weren’t the first labels from the War Amps? A simple little book of labels which they still do. I’m going to give to the charity that needs my help and certainly not because their return labels are new and more attractive. It is a very expensive campaign by these charities. 


I was on the Westside on the weekend.  My doctor had mentioned last week that he was driving through what is a construction zone on both sides of the overpass and all the signs are up warning the drivers of the zone. Speed signs that tell you how fast you’re going so you slow down to the speed limit.  Still, cars are speeding by, well over the limit. What do the drivers think the signs mean? Here is a system I can beat?  The construction zone speed limit isn’t a suggestion. We have so many drivers in this town who don’t seem to care.


The Royals did not seem to get the message from Grandmother. Your life is no longer your own, there is no privacy when just about everyone has a camera in their pocket. The latest caper had Kate photographed many times behind a high wall in a private compound away from people. But it only takes a camera and look what the photographer sold!  Prince Harry is another matter - he has never had the smarts to be allowed out in public.

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?”  BS.


I have written about Nordstrom’s coming to Canada a number of times.  They have now made it official with two members of the family travelling to Toronto to hold a press conference and give out the word that the high end department store is going to have four stores to begin with possibly six more in the future. The first store opening will be in Calgary. The Sears store in downtown Vancouver needs a complete makeover to look like Nordstrom’s and that will take some time so it may be 2015 for Vancouver.  The other locations are Toronto and Ottawa. The company that owns the building where the Seattle retailer will build their first store has made some kind of a deal with the giant retailer to come to Canada and anchor some of their older properties.

Cadillac Fairview, the owner of the Sears building, is going to make some major changes outside of the building to bring it up to Nordstrom’s standards. The picture I saw showed a lot of windows. The department store will occupy 230,000 square feet on three floors, including the street level. 

** I wonder if Nordstrom’s will ever think of bringing their Nordstrom Rack to Canada?  It is their off-price chain and clearance centre. I have bought some great sweaters in that Rack store in San Diego.            


What has happened to Mike McCardell, the Global man about town who has done a feature on people every night on the supper news for as long as I can remember? It seems Mike just got older and Global has a rule for retiring at 65 which I understand he did and then took a contract to do these stories on a pay per story basis. Then I heard it was to cut him back to two story features only on the weekends. Well guess who got interested?  CTV. That would never do so Global Vancouver have come to an agreement with Mike to do three stories a week. Folks, let's be honest, they think Mike is too old and the young viewers don’t dig him.

Mike has been on holidays so we’ll see what they do with his features this week.


I am hearing stories that WestJet is looking into the possibility of adding a flight to Los Angeles out of Kelowna?               


I got some answers on the Ocean Lady - that notorious ship that brought 492 Sri Lankans to the shores of British Columbia. You and I have been paying to store that bucket of bolts in the shipyard in Nanaimo at a cost originally of $216 a day, raised up to $485 a day later. The total cost of storing the ship and cleaning it up was $400,000. Then for 30% less the government of the people moved the ship to Anises Island. I believe we have just sold the ship to a scrap dealer for $35,000.

The crooks who smuggled the Sri Lankans here where charging $30,000 the last time I read original stories on their landing in our waters.  


Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services announced this past week that they plan to add a new order fulfillment centre in Delta. One hundred new jobs and your Amazon orders should speed up. This is a 200,000 square foot centre.


I don’t know if you watch CNN at all but if you do then you know The Wolfman is on there hours a day.  As a matter of fact it is getting too much. CNN relies on Wolf Blitzer to do everything in spite of the great staff they have. He took on another hour when my favorite John King went off to war in the politics of the day. But something happened because they added the very attractive news reporter Kate Bolduan to the show. For the first time Wolf is smiling and enjoying himself.  He has bought new designer glasses and everything is peachy.


I watched a news story the other day on TV and the story was about drivers who carelessly leave stuff in their cars when they park so thieves have a better opportunity to check out the goods before a robbery. The reporter said that we make a mistake by leaving our car license papers in the glove box. I know that bothers me too but I don’t know what you’re supposed to do because if your stopped by a constable you have to have those papers available.  For a criminal it’s great information because your full address and name is all there for the taking.


Tomorrow night we get a chance to see the One Hit Wonder show again with friends. The Community Theatre will be alive with music from the 60s and 70s. Rann Berry and his eight piece show band are a delight to hear with their solid performance to this best loved music. It is some great show and comedian Herb Dixon has joined them for this performance. Get your tickets from Select Your Tickets or by phone at 250-762-5050. Have some fun and enjoy yourself.


This is a difficult one to believe but it looks like Trepanier Manor in Peachland is back on the drawing board with the name change to Tabletop Mountain Resort. The three partners Scott Wilshaw, Byron Dafoe and Richard Dudelazk are still in charge.  It is a beautiful part of the valley.

I have been writing for 24 years and I have never before received such damaging e-mails about this property. We have to investigate this one and get all the facts.

Read more John Thomson articles

About the Author

John Thomson is the Okanagan's pre-eminent business columnist writing his column, Rumours and Things, for over 24 years. Plugged in to the valley's who's who, John keeps his readers coming back for more with his straight talk and optimistic perspective on where we are headed next.

When John is not writing his column, he runs a sixteen year old think tank called the Executive Roundtable and holds his popular "Thomson Presents" quarterly business speaker seminars.

Have a comment, question, or tip for John? 

E-mail John at
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or send him a fax at 250-764-8255.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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