RDOS to combat burning

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is trying to keep the air clear by encouraging vineyards and orchards to grind rather than burn.

In Penticton, Oliver and Keremeos areas the RDOS will pay 75 per cent of the cost of onsite grinding of trees and vines. Chips will be left on site as mulch.

“The Okanagan and Similkameen valleys trap smoke creating problems for people with breathing difficulties,” an RDOS new release explains. “Agriculturists are asked to contact the RDOS by the end of October if they require chipping this year.”

Agriculturists in the Campbell Mountain, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Keremeos Landfill service areas can also contact the RDOS to bring agricultural trees, prunings and vines to local RDOS landfills. Materials will be ground and used at the landfill.


'Warm up the winter' returns

As winter approaches, volunteers are seeking donations of blankets and warm clothing for the annual “warm up the winter” blanket drive for the homeless.

The initiative launched nine years ago by the Soupateria and Gregory Litwin's notary office has now been taken over by the South Okanagan Real Estate Board.

“There are a number of people in our South Okanagan community that, unfortunately, will not have a roof over their head this winter,” SOREB director Lyndi Cruickshank said.

“The more warm clothes we can collect — coats, boots, snow pants and of course blankets, the better,” she added.

After collection, the warm clothing will be distributed on Nov. 27 and 28 at the St. Saviours Church.

Donation bins will be out at the below locations from Oct. 24 to Nov. 23.


  • SOREB office 103-3310 Skaha Lake Road, Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Royal LePage 484 Main Street, Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • RE/MAX 101 - 3115 Skaha Lake Road, Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Century 21 104 - 383 Ellis Street, Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Coldwell Banker 101 - 1873 Main Street, Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • KVR Middle School
  • Penticton Secondary


  • RE/MAX 13012 Victoria Road North, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


  • Royal LePage 8512 Main Street, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • RE/MAX 8507 Main Street, Mon.-Fri. 9 .m. to 5 p.m.

Apex Mountain Resort Main Office

Final race of the season

The Penticton Speedway hosts its final event of the season this Sunday, the annual Halloween Day of Destruction.

Cars and drivers will be dressed up, with action on the track in hornets, street stocks, late models and a destruction boat and trailer smash up.

Fans are encouraged to dress up in costumes to win cash and prizes.

Things get underway at 2 p.m.


Solar array on arts centre

Solar panels are being installed atop the Summerland arts centre, just one part of the district’s larger push into sun power.

The 50-panel array will produce 21,000 kWh per year, about 40 per cent of the building’s annual power bill. A smaller 6,900 kWh array is also being installed on top of municipal hall.

The projects are being funded by $25,000 grant from the North Growth Foundation as well as $30,000 from the district.

“We are really excited to have this opportunity to walk the talk and to show that we feel that solar has a strong business case for individual buildings and not just at a grid scale,” said Tami Rothery, sustainability/alternative energy co-ordinator.

Rothery says plans for the separate federally-funded one-megawatt array and battery bank are proceeding as officials work to determine a location for the project.

The $6M plan will allow the District of Summerland to generate its own electricity. The array will produce one megawatt of electricity a year and provide storage for an additional two megawatts.

The District currently purchases about 93 megawatts of energy from FortisBC a year.

Half Corked lottery soon

The ticket lottery for one of the South Okanagan’s most popular events will open next month.

The Half Corked Marathon returns for its 11th year May 25 weaving runnings along an 18 kilometre route through vineyards in Oliver and Osoyoos with wine stations dotted along the way.

With participation capped at 1,500, tickets are sold for the popular event in a random lottery opening Nov. 1 at 9 a.m.

“Following the huge success of our tenth anniversary race last year, we already have plans to make 2019’s race even better,” said Jennifer Busmann, executive director of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association. “Together with our winemakers and chefs, we love showcasing our incredible region to our Half Corked Marathon guests; it's a fantastic way to kick start the summer in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country.”

When the lottery closed on Nov. 9, lucky entrants will receive the chance to purchase two tickets for the event. Family and friends are encouraged to cheer on runners at the finish line party.

Senior staffer leaving city

The City of Penticton is looking for a new director of corporate services.

The city’s current number two administrator, Laurie Darcus, is on her way out after the conclusion of a one-year contract, according to city manager Peter Weeber.

Weeber said he brought in Darcus — who had worked with in the past — to clean up outstanding issues in the department and to manage the election.

“She was a hired gun,” he said, explaining Darcus actually lives in the Lower Mainland.

The director of corporate services is responsible for strategic planning, oversight of council and meeting procedures, management of administrative policy and serves the acting chief administrative officer, as required.

RCMP stoned drivers blitz

The South Okanagan RCMP suspended the licence of a suspected stoned driver and handed out numerous other tickets during a crackdown this weekend in the wake of cannabis legalization.

Road checks were conducted in Penticton, Osoyoos, Oliver and Keremeos.

One driver failed a standard field sobriety test after being suspected to be under the influence of cannabis. That suspicion was confirmed by a “drug recognition expert” and the driver’s licence was suspended roadside.

Police also handed out several tickets under the new Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, including two $230 penalties for minors in possession of cannabis. Ten tickets worth $230 each were also issued for possessing cannabis within a motor vehicle that was readily accessible to either driver or passengers.

Six drunk drivers were also removed from the roads.

“Local officers are trained and prepared to deal with drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol,” said Cpl. Ryan McLeod. “It is recommended that motorists do not drive under the influence of cannabis or alcohol. There can be criminal consequences in either case.”

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