Dec 5, 2013 / 12:24 pm
Construction of Kelowna's latest waterfront jewel is about a month behind schedule.
The new Kelowna Yacht Club building, slated to open June 21, 2014 is now scheduled for completion and occupancy July 21.
Yacht club general manager, Debbie Hicks says the club was working on an extremely aggressive schedule and any hiccup or setback would cause a delay.
"Most people are not trying to build a project in eight months so, consequently, anything that happens with the delivery of structural steel or the fabrication of the structural steel which is an early component and involves engineering, means there will be a delay," says Hicks.
She says delay in the delivery of the structural steel has caused the delay.
"We are doing everything to make it up."
Any delay in construction of the new yacht club means a delay in Phase 2 of the Stuart Park project.
Phase 2 of Stuart Park includes a green space component on the site of the current yacht club building.
Andrew Gibbs, park and public space project manager, told council Monday it will take the city about two months to completely demolish the yacht club building once it is vacated because of the hazardous materials inside the building that will take time to remove and dispose of.
Any delay in construction of the new yacht club building will push the Stuart Park project further into the fall.
Phase 2 is scheduled for completion at the end of November, however, Gibbs says delays could push that to the spring of 2015.
Hicks says construction crews will be able to work through the winter.
The second floor concrete pour is scheduled for the middle of this month and, after that, Hocks says crews will begin working on closing up the building.
Here is a look inside.
Dec 5, 2013 / 11:22 am
Rising from the ashes left behind following the closure of Kelowna’s Crossroads Treatment Centre is The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society, which was chosen as the replacement institution for those seeking residential treatment services and detox.
The Bridge opened its Withdrawal Management Services (WMS) unit on July 27 and its Intensive Residential Treatment (IRT) Services space on Sept. 9 of this year, the latter of which has just completed its first two intakes, one each for men and women.
The IRT portion of Bridge works in six week cycles, with its two main components made up of psycho-educational workshops and group therapy, says Jamie Mcgregor, a transition counselor with the residential treatment program.
“Our very first cycle was with men and we were at a capacity of 20 and then the second time we ran it we were at 22,” he says, noting that residents always drop out due to the nature of the program.
“We only have 20 beds in the space, but our detox will house two of them for us. So we book in 22 and will usually lose a couple within the first week and then everyone usually ends up in the same house.”
Those that make it through the application process and find themselves in the program are in for a highly structured and intensive period of time that includes workshops aimed at rebuilding residents from the inside out.
In addition to the physical, mental, social, occupational, emotional and spiritual teaching aspects included in group therapy sessions, there are also activities like yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and outings to the local YMCA to keep residents using an active mind and body.
“The yoga was very well accepted by the men and we had a lot of men make it to the gym everyday once they were here. Some of that has been very well received and some of it will have to be tweaked between the males and females.”
Mcgregor agrees that many of the people who come through their doors have made a conscious effort to change their lives, and that is why it’s neither easy nor difficult to get accepted into the program.
“They have to be connected to some sort of service provider, be it a psychiatrist or mental health worker. They need to get a TB (tuberculosis) test, a pre-admission medical form done by a doctor, and approval from income assistance to cover their funding,” he says, adding that once the application is submitted, it still must be reviewed by a three-person board, including a member from Interior Health.
“It’s not meant to keep people away from it, it’s just meant to keep people in the headspace to be actually able to make it through the program, because it’s very intensive. The days are really rigorously scheduled – there are workshops, and group therapy, and something physical every day.”
There is currently no waiting list since the program is still new to the community, but that’s expected to change once word spreads about the opportunity it provides those who are interested.
For someone with no prior support, the process could be expected to take up to two weeks to get the paperwork and testing in place for someone to enter the program.
The other facility, located a few blocks away, is the WMS unit that has 10 medically supported beds and is strictly voluntary with participants free to leave at any time.
Those that stay are monitored by a physician and receive 24-hour per day care by a licenced practical nurse. They must take part in a thorough intake assessment immediately upon arrival, and a complete physical assessment is done within 24 hours of admission. Transition planning can also begin as early as admission, particularly for those residents in need of housing.
The Bridge has been working in the Okanagan since 1969 and these services can be accessed by calling them at 250-763-0456.
Dec 5, 2013 / 11:19 am
Things always seem to move fast at Big White Ski Resort and it’s no different this season, as the ski hill has announced that its Powder Triple Chair opened this morning.
That abundance of snow has helped the resort to one of its best openings on record, as Big White celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
“I don’t know what we did, but Mother Nature is sure being nice to us,” says Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President, Big White Ski Resort.
“Not only is this our best opening in 50 years (measured by snowfall and attendance) but the weather has been outstanding as well. This early opening has had a tremendous economic spinoff for accommodation bookings for Christmas and New Year’s.”
The Powder Triple Chair runs 896m in length, with a top elevation of 2,150m and bottom elevation of 1,845m and is one of the oldest lifts at Big White. It first opened December 8, 1979.
Dec 5, 2013 / 10:15 am
The Kelowna Community Theatre will be filled with good cheer and laughter this holiday season.
David Jurek of Royal Lepage will be hosting a family-friendly evening of comedy and music on Dec. 10th, in support of the local food bank.
Comedian Herb Dixon will perform, along with Canadian country musician Lee Dinwoodie.
To help stock the shelves for Christmas, tickets are by donation to the Kelowna Community Food Bank. Doors open at 6pm.
Seats are limited, to RSVP you can contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec 5, 2013 / 6:37 am
Medical marijuana regulations in Kelowna are about to change as part of Health Canada's new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations set to kick in April 1, 2014.
Under the new regulations medical marijuana production will no longer take place in homes and municipal zoning laws will need to be respected.
Current medical marijuana growing facilities have to re-apply to Health Canada to set up operations only in areas designated by the City.
The City of Kelowna began the zoning process Monday, approving a staff recommendation to amend zoning to permit the production of medical marijuana in industrial and heavy industrial zones (I2 and I3) only.
While some communities have designated operations to take place in agricultural areas, Corporate and Protective Services Director, Rob Mayne, says it is Kelowna's view industrial areas were a better fit for medical marijuana operations.
"They would need a large, secure building, in which a portion of it would be for growing and another significant portion for the processing and distribution of the medical marijuana," says Mayne.
He anticipates the zoning bylaw to come before open council in early January with a public hearing to follow soon after if the bylaw is approved by council.
Mayne says with the old regulations ceasing at the end of March, those growers approved under the new regulation would want to get businesses started early in the year so they could have product for April.
To date, Health Canada has approved three medical marijuana operations under the new legislation, one based out of Clearview Township, ON, one in Toronto and one in Saskatoon.
Mayne says as many as 10 prospective operators have served notice with the City of Kelowna that they are interested in licences.
"Four of them are zoned A1 which we would not even consider, two of them are zoned I2 which we would look at and one is in commercial zone. The other ones did not provide exact locations," says Mayne.
He says Health Canada has not informed the city they are reviewing those particular applications.
According to Mayne, a large medical marijuana operation currently operating out of a warehouse in Kelowna would have to relocate if it is approved because it is in an area zoned for commercial, not industrial use.
Dec 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
It's the last day of Hanukkah!
An annual Jewish celebration, properly spelled Chanukah, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies.
This past Sunday in City Park the Mayor and other dignitaries were on hand for the annual Menorah lighting.
At the event food donations were collected for the food bank and people celebrated the holiday.
This is the third year the city has supported the erection and lighting of the Menorah in Stuart Park.
The eight-day festival of light begins on the eve of 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev (this year it fell on November 27) and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration and of spirituality over materiality.
The holiday wraps up today, December 5, 2013.
Send us your Hanukkah celebration photos to email@example.com
Dec 4, 2013 / 8:13 pm
Over 500 children and their families will have the chance to attend a holiday tradition this Christmas season, thanks to proceeds from Kelowna's Hot Holiday Homes tour and funding from other organizations in the area.
The Nutcracker 'Making Memories' initiative allows local youth to visit the Kelowna Community Theatre and take in this performance put on by The Canadian School of Ballet and Ballet Kelowna.
Several local home owners showcased professional interior design with a festive theme, as part of the Hot Holiday Homes tour. The support of tour guests and donors ensures that each child attending the 'Making Memories' event will receive a Christmas stocking.
The stockings will be filled with gift donations from several different groups.
The 'We Love Lucy Society' - a non-profit organization that provides assistance to a 16-year-old Kelowna girl with down syndrome - will donate custom made, hand sewn beanbags. 9-year-old entrepreneur Jesse Beaner of Jesse Beaner's Button Business will make buttons featuring images from The Nutcracker as a memento for the occasion. Additionally, baked goods will be made by junior chef members at the Okanagan Chefs Association and culinary students at Okanagan College.
Other organizations supporting the event include the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, Cops for Kids, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Families in Touch.
Dec 4, 2013 / 4:13 pm
For the last few weeks and continuing forward the Kelowna RCMP are producing a statistical summary of crime in the Central Okanagan.
The summary breaks down crime in different categories from break and enter to theft over the past week and compares it to the same week over the past three years.
Check out the map above to see if you neighbourhood is a top crime spot.
Below is a listing of specific crimes in the past week compared to the same period in previous years.
Dec 4, 2013 / 3:00 pm
It is Operation Popcorn week in BC, a chance for those most grateful for the gift of life, transplant recipients, to give back and say thank you to the hospital staff who make second chances possible every single day.
Liver transplant recipient Matt Scaife and heart transplant recipient Bob Intengan went around Kelowna General Hospital Wednesday morning sharing stories, smiles, laughs, and festive tins of popcorn to hard working hospital staff.
“I’ve been doing Operation Popcorn as long as it has been around. For the first few years the nurses who knew me before my transplant would look closely at my eyes, happy to see they were no longer jaundiced. The hospital staff is always so happy to see the popcorn team, as we represent the new life for donors,” shares Kelowna Team Captain Matt Scaife.
All around BC the teams of transplant recipients are delivering festive tins of popcorn to staff in the intensive care units, emergency departments and operating rooms.
These healthcare professionals often only see the tragic side of organ donation as they support families of donors, dealing with the loss of a loved one.
So, a visit from the Operation Popcorn team allows the staff to see the people whose lives are saved through the organ donation process.
Bob Intengan received his heart transplant seven years ago and recounts vividly how it all went down and how grateful he is to all the emergency services personal and hospital staff involved in those crucial few days.
Intengan had a major heart attack in 1992, at that time doctors told him he would have to get a heart transplant in the future and eventually that inevitable day came.
In 2006, it was clear a transplant was necessary and the wait began. He and his wife took the news from the doctors with a heavy heart and headed back to Kelowna from Vancouver on a Greyhound Bus only a few days later.
Half way home on the Coquihalla Highway the unexpected occurred, Intengan’s phone rang and they said, ‘we have your heart get off the bus!’ They did just that, in the middle of the highway and the bus pulled away.
Shortly after an RCMP cruiser pulled up and gave them a ride to Hope, sharing to the Integan’s that the RCMP had apparently been stopping every greyhound bus along the way trying to find him in time.
Along the highway in Hope they switched vehicles to an ambulance who took them to Hope Regional Hospital. From there a medivac helicopter got them to downtown Vancouver, onto another ambulance until they finally reached St. Paul Hospital’s door.
Not at all what they were expecting to do that day, and much faster than anticipated, he only waited four days for his new heart after being put on the donor list.
Both Scaife and Integan shared that neither men know their donor’s name or family and it is best that way. Their new organ has to become theirs and no one else’s.
However, each of them has written special anonymous thank you letters to both donor families. Scaife’s is from somewhere in Saskatchewan and Integan’s from Los Angeles.
This year the BC Transplant’s Operation Popcorn teams will visit 27 hospitals throughout BC and one in the Yukon.
So far in 2013, 304 lifesaving transplants have been performed in BC.
Operation Popcorn 2013 Facts:
- 28 hospitals visited (27 in BC, 1 in Yukon)
- 97 tins delivered
- 107 volunteers – recipients, living donors and donor families
- 22 years Operation Popcorn has been saying thank you
Dec 4, 2013 / 12:01 pm
Two people have been taken to Kelowna General Hospital after their car cruised through an intersection and hit a tree.
RCMP on the scene say the car was traveling at a high rate of speed.
"We got word of a high speed crash witnessed by an ambulance at the intersection of Enterprise Way and Hwy. 33," explained Cst. Chris Neid.
He says the vehicle was moving west on Hwy. 33., an ambulance was stopped at the red light to turn left onto Enterprise Way when the car blew past them up onto the opposing bank.
"This little Chevrolet Cruz was coming westbound at a high rate of speed. Witnesses say they saw the tire smoking so there is a possibility that there was brake and acceleration at the same time," says Neid.
There were two elderly people in the car, a man and woman, who were both taken hospital with undetermined injuries.
Cst. Neid says this intersection is a common problem area.
-- With files from Ragnar Haagen
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