Drug bag found in alley

Have you lost your makeup bag in downtown Kelowna?

Was it full of drugs and drug paraphernalia?

The bag was found beside the Castanet building on Lawrence Avenue this morning.

A Castanet employee found what appeared to be a lost makeup bag on the corner of the Castanet property on Lawrence Avenue at Ellis Street. "I felt bad when I thought someone had lost their bag, and I was going to try and return it, but when I opened it up it smelled of marijuana and was full of drug paraphernalia," says the employee, who wants to remain anonymous.

A quick inspection of the bag revealed a $1 bill (when was the last time you saw one of those?) several syringes, about a gram of cannabis, numerous cigarette butts, a container with a white powdered substance, and multiple tiny empty baggies.

This is not the first time staff have had run-ins with drug users. Okanagan Oldies morning man Gord Vizzutti is the first person in the building on weekday mornings, and he is often accosted by street people loitering by the building. "It happens far more than it should, and I understand why many people feel unsafe at times in our downtown. I've come upon people shooting up right in front of the main door as I'm trying to get inside," he said.

Another employee once came upon a drug user in the act of shooting up at the side of the building.

"I rode up to our garage to park my bike inside, and he was sitting on the ground right in front of the door to the garage and he looked at me like I was interfering with him in his living room and asked me 'what I wanted' ... I said I'm trying to go to work."

The issue continues despite increased efforts by the city and other concerned parties to clean up the streets of Kelowna.

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