John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

It was the Tiny Tim Christmas breakfast at the Coast Capri last week and 1150 people came through the doors for their free breakfast if they brought an unwrapped gift.

They collected 1786 toys and with the money collected, the total was approximately $35,000. All of the toys and money were turned over to the Salvation Army for their Christmas campaign.  This was the eleventh year for the breakfast and the enthusiasm of the families that show up as well as the business people has been very rewarding for the staff at the hotel. 


I received this e-mail from a reader to a question I asked in my last column regarding a scam making the rounds.

Fraud Protection Alert

You have an incoming payment.

We are unable to process this payment to your account as your details have not been updated.

Click here to fix this transaction and view your current balance.

You ask what they get out of these poorly worded fraud attempts. What they get is a filter that will get rid of people like you who know it is a scam and would never fall for it.

By putting out a poorly worded missive they only have to deal with people who are more likely to fall for something like this and therefore save themselves a lot of time. 

That is from an article I just read a few days ago on the exact same topic. And yes, I have received that one.

Then two days later I received this from another fake sender. The banks don’t deal with people in this manner. Just delete this and don’t unsubscribe - get rid of it.

Valued Customer,

We detected irregular activity on your Scotia Credit Card on December, 9th 2012.

Your account is restricted.

Please complete these steps and we will send you an e-mail notifying that your account is active again.

To continue please follow the link below:

Scotia Credit Card Verification

Thank You.

Scotia Bank

This e-mail was sent to [email protected] If you are no longer interested you can unsubscribe instantly.

It’s Christmas and these scammers are trying to get any information they can on your credit cards.


This month, visitors to Kelowna's International Airport can now opt to have a valet take their car and park it and, upon returning, go and get it for them.

Airport Director Sam Samaddar says, "We are always looking for opportunities to make a positive impact for travellers using our airport. Valet parking is one of those added services that, for the right passenger in a hurry, with special needs or with their hands full, can make a positive difference."

Passengers will drop off their vehicles at a kiosk, provide details on their trip itinerary and find the car waiting for them upon their return. For December the introductory price will be $10, which is added to the parking fee, but starting in the New Year the fee increases to $15.


Another email on the grapefruit juice situation.

This grapefruit news takes me by complete surprise but not that it is new information.  When our daughter became sick with her kidney disease in 2002 and was being cared for by the renal department at Children's Hospital we were warned then about grapefruit and medications.  We were informed then that it could reduce the impact of some of her medications so we did not give her any, including drinks that contained grapefruit juice, which is actually quite a few of the blended drinks.  This information really bothered my mom most who just loved fresh grapefruit juice.


Rann Barry and his show band are playing New Year's Eve at the Coast Capri Hotel in the ballroom. Their entire show including the nine piece all star band, Diamond Jones & his Vegas Revue. This is one hell of show and the tribute to Motown is outstanding. Rann has added a full seven minute rendition of MacArthur Park which I hear is sensational. Certainly one of my favourite songs.

Dancing and fun for everyone and tickets are on sale at the desk in the hotel.

There are sumptuous hors d’oeuvres served throughout the night, party favours and Champagne at midnight.

What an opportunity to have fun and bring in the New Year all at the same time. This is a great show and to be able to dance to music from the sixties and seventies will add a special touch to your welcoming in the New Year.  Call the hotel 860-6060 and make the arrangements.  Bring your whole party to the intimate ballroom.

It sounds terrific!


It was good news from Las Vegas this past week when Shania Twain wowed the crowd at Caesars Palace as she returned to the city with her huge stage presentation. Twain will perform about sixty shows a year and that should interest the Las Vegas bound people from the valley, and there are hundreds of them. Twain has just finished her December run and will be back in March and April.

Tickets are $55 to $240. She has two twin brothers from Canada that perform a duo act with her on the show.


Kinsett Capital launched a hostile bid last week for the assets of Primaris Retail Real Estate Investment Trust. The bid was for $4.4 billion. Primaris are the owners of thirty-four shopping centres across Canada including in BC; Orchard Park Mall, Aberdeen Mall in Kamloops, the Westbank Shopping Centre in West Kelowna and 50% of the Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo.


The 23rd day of December will be the busiest day in grocery stores across the Okanagan. It is the biggest and most profitable day on the calendar.


You probably missed out on this one. Pizza Hut Canada, the fast food chain, recently announced it had launched a limited edition perfume - Pizza Hut Perfume - in a big response from their Facebook post.

It created a fragrance with notes of freshly, hand tossed dough. Only 110 bottles were made, and were distributed to the first Facebook fans.

At the moment Pizza Hut won’t say whether it plans to sell the product as a retail item.

What a shame.


WestJet is Canada's most preferred airline, offering scheduled service to 81 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Powered by an award-winning culture of care, WestJet has pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Recognized nationally as a top employer, WestJet now has more than 9,000 WestJetters across Canada. Operating a fleet of 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft with future confirmed deliveries for an additional 35 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft through 2018 and plans to launch a low-cost regional airline in 2013. WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.


The Kreig family, Wolf, Julie and Colin, have been in the real estate business in Kelowna since 1979. They are with ReMax Kelowna. I have decided to include a real estate report in my column once a month.

November Report

November was a very strong month in sales for Kelowna and area. 140 single family homes sold! This was the best November since 2007 which came in at 157 sales. Compare this to September and October 2012 which was only half the sales of 2007 in their respective months.

The change in rules we had come into effect recently, changed the maximum amortization from 30 to 25 years, easily resulting in an additional $200/month mortgage payment. This is impacting many first-time home buyers, therefore limiting the number entering the market. We find clients are being more cautious and analyzing all of their options.

Sales in the Single Family Dwellings (SFD) reached 140 in November which is 3% above 2011 and just below our 20-year average, which are 148 sales. Having said that YTD total sales are still about 6% over 2011.

Listings show a slight increase to a total of 1,381 which is 1% higher than last year’s November.

Percentage of Listings vs. Sales:

We are still clearly in a buyer’s market at only 10% of the listing inventory selling.

Average Price Holding Steady:

The average price here in Kelowna was $470,578 last month which is just above last year's November, by only 1%. YTD we see a 1.3% reduction.

Million $ Plus:

The MLS system shows only 8 properties sold in November over $1 Million. These were: 1 Condo, 2 Farms, 1 Lakeshore home and 4 Single Family Dwellings.


Right now we are still in a buyer’s market. We saw a good improvement in November but, we have to still be very aggressive to get good activity on listings and to obtain offers.

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