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Penticton  

Summerland Dog Owners Association upset with proposed locations for a new dog park

Lack of proper dog park

Casey Richardson

The Summerland Dog Owners Association is frustrated with the time it’s taking the district to get a safe, accessible, fully fenced dog park and isn’t happy with the locations they’re now proposing to use.

Jennifer Stark, along with her furry companions Zoe Binks and Jamie Fraser, are acting as the spokesperson for the association, sharing that after many consultations, open houses, meetings, and surveys, it was devastating when the council recently rejected their favoured location to date.

“The issues are after nine years of working with the council and the mayor they systematically have put it off, again again and again,” Stark said.

Summerland Mayor Toni Boot acknowledged it’s been a long process and Council is trying to work through it while hearing all of the feedback on the locations.

“We did not figure out the dog park and that was due mostly to some real concerns that were voiced by community members,” Boot said. “We had some of the funding left over so the consultant was tasked with doing some more work on the dog park locations.”

The consultant will be bringing forward the pros and cons of the next two areas identified, the Dale Meadows Sports Complex and the Fosbery easement off Highway 97.

“We’ve come to a point where we pretty much have exhausted the options,” Boot said. “We need to make a decision. It’s not like a lot of time has not been spent on this and sometimes there is compromise and we’ll see what happens with that. Certainly, our minds are open to looking at both of the options as they’re presented to us again and we’ll go from there.

“I have a dog myself so I’m looking forward to having a dog park,” she added.

But Stark and the Summerland Dog Owner’s Association feel one of the former spots, the Living Memorial Ball Park Diamond at Snow Avenue was the right choice. However, the District heard other concerns and found other community members were in disagreement about changing the ballpark to an area for dogs, so the council moved on.

So far, there has been no clear consensus from the community in support of one spot.

“We’re not going to except a dangerous place next to the highway or shredded asphalt to run our dogs on that are far too small to accommodate only a few dogs at best. It certainly isn’t going to increase the users in the summer when the tourist come by.”

Another point from the association added that ‘nearly every other community in the Okanagan since at least 2012 has not only implemented a dog park, but many have expanded to provide multiple large off-leash, year-round dog parks,’ pointing to Lake Country, Coldstream and Oliver.

“We take our dogs for a walk on the street but they need to run and play and socialize and the people that own the dogs need to get together and socialize as well.”

The dog park debate among community members, the dog owners association and Council will continue on as Summerland residents wait for the next round of presentations at the District and the location remains undecided.



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The new owner of the old Shaugnessy's Cove in Summerland has some big plans up his sleeves

Pub making a comeback

Summerland’s beloved Shaughnessy Cove restaurant will be making a comeback, thanks to Score Pub Group founder Jesse Ritchie.

He made the announcement via Facebook this week, and is now providing insight into what the new pub will be like.

“It will be called Shaughnessy’s Cove again, and it will be in the same location. We’re doing a complete renovation,” Ritchie confirmed. “It was so great for so long, and we’re the group that can bring it back to its glory days.”

Shaughnessy’s Cove operated for over a decade before closing its doors. The same site then housed the Local pub, before that too closed more than a year ago.

Ritchie, who recently purchased the Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex Mountain Resort, is aiming to open his new restaurant during the May long weekend after receiving the former Shaughnessy’s Cove Waterfront Pub and Restaurant owner's family’s blessing.

Ritchie said he spoke to Terry Manders on the phone Thursday evening.

“Him (Manders) and his buddies opened it in the ’80s,” he explained, adding he was good friends with Manders’ child while growing up in the South Okanagan. “I used to have sleepovers there. There’s a lot of history.

(Manders) said, ‘This is great. It’s cool and it feels really good that what we built, you guys want to bring back, the glory of it all.’”

Ritchie said he has some fond memories of his friendship with the Manders and being at the restaurant when he was young.

The building, located at 12817 Lakeshore Dr. S, was recently put up for sale after the former Local on Lakeshore restaurant shuttered its doors. Ritchie said the owners of the building have agreed to keep the location and lease it to Ritchie.

While Ritchie will be renovating the inside of the restaurant to give it a West Coast feel to match the menu, he did say he will be incorporating some former Shaughnessy’s Cove heirlooms. The restaurant will be designed and built to abide by COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

But unlike the original Shaughnessy’s Cove, said Ritchie, the restaurant will not be fine dining, nor pub food like the Gunbarrel.

“It’s going to be fresh, West Coast, California beach bar restaurant-inspired food,” he explained. “It’s not stuffy. There’ll be a little bit of everything for everybody, with fresh seafood and mussels, and we’re going to do an oyster bar right out in front. We’re going to bring back and revamp some of the old menu items, some of those ones that were the favourites.”

There will be access and parking for those who arrive by boat in the summer months, and take-out options as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ritchie has put out a call out for employment opportunities, and says opening a second restaurant will help his new and current talented employees who are working at the Gunbarrel Saloon during the pandemic.

As for the Gunbarrel Saloon, Ritchie said running the restaurant has been “nothing but support from the local community, and it’s going as well as we had hoped and better than we had expected in a few different ways.”

“We’re not going to go anywhere,” he added.

And with that in mind, Ritchie added the opening of Shaughnessy’s Cove will not be the end for his newly established company, Mackenzie Hospitality Group, which will be taking over the Gunbarrel Saloon from Score Pub Group and running Shaugnessy’s Cove.

“We’re not just stopping at the Gunbarrel and Shaugnessy’s Cove,” he said. “We have some pretty big plans in the future in the Okanagan. I’d love to talk to people who would love to talk about expansion in the coming years and how we can help them out, and bring what we’ve done to the Gunbarrel and our other restaurants … around the Okanagan.”



Penticton group showcasing Scottish culture throughout the Okanagan with a new seven part video series

Series spotlights the Scottish

The Penticton Scottish Festival Society is finding a way to showcase and celebrate Scottish culture throughout the Okanagan, premiering a new television and digital video series.

Experience The Arts – Exploring Scottish Culture in the Okanagan, will start broadcasting on the Shaw Spotlight Community Television on Jan. 18 through March 2021 with weekly episodes.

Wayne McDougall, vice-president for the Penticton Scottish Festival Society said their organization came up with the idea after finding themselves with grant money to use.

“As you can imagine, pretty much everything shut down for 2020 and we thought, ‘Well we have grant money available should we return it? What should we do, what are our options? And they said ‘Well can you make some sort of program video?’”

So the group put their heads together and decided to try to partner with Shaw Spotlight, the local community access channel.

Thanks to McDougall’s 40 years of video production experience as a local television producer at Shaw, he was able to pitch and get the new video series running.

“When it first started we thought it might be one show, an hour, maybe half an hour and then boom! We started exploring and meeting all these people who are passionate about these stories they want to share,” McDougall added.

“You get to meet the people that are participating instead of just seeing their art, meeting the people who are behind their art, why they're doing what they're doing.”

And since the Penticton Scottish Festival Society received a $6,000 grant from the Government of British Columbia Community Gaming Branch, the money will be used to support the performing arts groups who participate.

“The money actually, because there's no cost to utilizing the services of the community channel and I’m a volunteer, we can utilize the grants money to give an honorarium to the local groups that are all participating,” McDougall added.

“They would normally do dance concerts and all these kinds of things to raise money and of course, they can't do that so they can dance in front of the camera, why not.”

The series is also co-produced by Kim Smith-Jones, an accomplished bagpiper, Band Manager and instructor of the Okanagan Youth Pipe Band and Treasurer of the Penticton Scottish Festival Society.

Each episode will be showcasing a number of stories and segments reflecting the culture that people experience at the Penticton Scottish Festival including: Highland, Scottish Country and Irish dancing, youth and adult pipe bands, Scottish food demonstrations, Scotch tasting workshop, how bagpipes and tartan kilts are made, how and why Scots celebrate the poetry of Robert Burns and more.

“I think when people ask around, people will say 'Oh yeah my grandfather was Scottish,' or there's a Celtic background connected to many people...I mean most people these days have a diverse ethnicity and should be proud of whatever their ethnicity is so this is a chance to look inside what is Scottish culture.”

The series dives into does Scottish culture mean for dress, for sports, for music and how does that play out in Canada centuries later?

“Sometimes people are doing it to share multi-generations, the dad and grandparents were pipers and the kids are now in the band,” McDougall said.

“There's a lot of positive things going on behind the scenes, these days we can't get together but we can share the story through other media.”

The seven one-hour videos are being produced for broadcast on Shaw Spotlight Okanagan Channel 11, and available online on the Shaw Spotlight YouTube channel beginning Jan. 18.



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Oliver pub launching local "Funniest Home Videos"

Local Funniest Home Videos

It’s time for Oliver residents to start scouring phones for their wackiest and silliest moments as a local brewery is launching Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos.

Oliver’s Firehall Brewery is looking to compile some of the community’s silliest moments for some much needed laughs this year.

“The idea came up like so many other survival innovations during this pandemic, during a brainstorming car ride with Marie-Eve, my wife and business partner,” said Sid Ruhland, Brew Chief at Firehall Brewery.

The brewery is looking for funny moments people have captured on their smartphones which an be uploaded through at www.firehallbrewery.com/ofv.

Staff will vet the videos for appropriateness, confirm that everyone in the footage has given consent to the footage being used, and then compile them into an episode.

“When COVID-19 restrictions lift so that we’re allowed to host events, we will screen the episode here at the Beer Shop & Social, probably every day for a week or so. There will be prizes, though it definitely is mostly about having a collective community laugh,” Ruhland said.

The brewery has been actively adapting events and community efforts to ever-changing public health restrictions with an upbeat attitude over the past year.

“What has kept us going through these hard times is the overwhelming support we’ve received from our community. We’ve tried many crazy ideas, some of which worked, some of which didn’t, but the positive feedback we’ve received in general has made us feel our efforts and stress haven’t been in vain, encouraging us to keep trying new crazy ideas,” Ruhland said. “And we’d be lying if we said that, despite the challenges and frustrations, we didn’t have a lot of fun along the way.”

While beer is Ruhland and his team’s passion, the brewery strives to be a hub for public social interaction, a tough goal to accomplish recently.

“With public social interaction currently prohibited by law, we’ve struggled with how to stay true to ourselves while also paying bills. With all public events banned, and virtual events being often cumbersome and unsatisfying, we believe that Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos can be a balanced blend of public and virtual interaction,” Ruhland said. “Without real social interaction, we’re all going to go crazy. Until we can be humans again, and after all we’ve been through as a society … we all need a good laugh.”

It’s time for Oliver residents to start scouring phones for their wackiest and silliest moments as a local brewery is launching Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos.

Oliver’s Firehall Brewery is looking to compile some of the community’s silliest moments for some much needed laughs this year.

“The idea came up like so many other survival innovations during this pandemic, during a brainstorming car ride with Marie-Eve, my wife and business partner,” said Sid Ruhland, Brew Chief at Firehall Brewery.

The brewery is looking for funny moments people have captured on their smartphones which an be uploaded through at www.firehallbrewery.com/ofv.

Staff will vet the videos for appropriateness, confirm that everyone in the footage has given consent to the footage being used, and then compile them into an episode.

“When COVID-19 restrictions lift so that we’re allowed to host events, we will screen the episode here at the Beer Shop & Social, probably every day for a week or so. There will be prizes, though it definitely is mostly about having a collective community laugh,” Ruhland said.

The brewery has been actively adapting events and community efforts to ever-changing public health restrictions with an upbeat attitude over the past year.

“What has kept us going through these hard times is the overwhelming support we’ve received from our community. We’ve tried many crazy ideas, some of which worked, some of which didn’t, but the positive feedback we’ve received in general has made us feel our efforts and stress haven’t been in vain, encouraging us to keep trying new crazy ideas,” Ruhland said. “And we’d be lying if we said that, despite the challenges and frustrations, we didn’t have a lot of fun along the way.”

While beer is Ruhland and his team’s passion, the brewery strives to be a hub for public social interaction, a tough goal to accomplish recently.

“With public social interaction currently prohibited by law, we’ve struggled with how to stay true to ourselves while also paying bills. With all public events banned, and virtual events being often cumbersome and unsatisfying, we believe that Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos can be a balanced blend of public and virtual interaction,” Ruhland said. “Without real social interaction, we’re all going to go crazy. Until we can be humans again, and after all we’ve been through as a society … we all need a good laugh.”



Oliver fire crews rescue dog, two people from wastewater treatment pond

Sewage pond dog rescue

Oliver fire crews assisted with an unusual rescue Friday morning after a dog and a man became trapped in a wastewater treatment pond at the public works yard.

Fire department spokesperson Rob Graham said two engines and approximately 10 fire fighters attended the scene around 8:30 a.m.

"They have a dog pound on the same property, and a bylaw officer had an issue with one of the dogs, and it got away from her and got into one of their [treatment ponds]," Graham explained.

"The bylaw officer tried to get the dog and fell in themselves. One of the public works employees that was nearby there jumped in to assist, as well as fire crews that were called and arrived on scene."

There were thankfully no major injuries, though one person was taken to hospital out of caution. The dog was also fine.

"But it's not the best pool to be in, that's for sure," Graham said.



Summerland problem care home needs continued oversight, says Interior Health

Care home needs oversight

A private Summerland seniors home with a history of complaints will be under Interior Health's stewardship for at least another six months.

Summerland Seniors Village was determined not to meet legislated standards of care in early 2020, prompting IH to step in with an appointed administrator.

The 112 long-term bed facility was a source of many complaints including concerns over inadequate meals and seniors left without hygiene care for hours on end.

The administrator appointed in 2020 was only appointed for six months. But one year later, Vanda Urban is on her second extension in the position.

IH's board reached the decision based on recommendation from medical health officer Dr. Sue Pollock.

"We are committed to providing the best possible care to the people who live in long-term care throughout the entire Interior Health region,” said Dr. Doug Cochrane, Interior Health board chair.

“At Summerland Seniors Village our administrator continues to make progress, but there is still work to do to meet the required legislated care standards.”

The administrator is responsible for the operation and management of the care home and supports critical functions including:

  • Care planning and delivery;
  • Site management;
  • Staff recruitment, orientation and education;
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures;
  • Overall compliance with the legislated standards of care.

Summerland Seniors Village is privately operated by West Coast Seniors Housing Management with a contract to publicly fund beds through Interior Health.

West Coast Seniors Housing Management operates two other long-term care facilities in Interior Health – one in Kamloops and one in Williams Lake. Interior Health says it does not have similar quality or licensing concerns with these sites at this time.

The location is one of 21 B.C. facilities owned by Retirement Concepts, a company purchased by China’s Anbang Insurance for $1B in 2017.



Penticton 7-Eleven location closes out of caution after employee tests positive

COVID closes 7-Eleven

A case of COVID-19 has a 7-Eleven store at 2903 Skaha Lake Road in Penticton shutting its doors for over a week, after one of its employees tested positive on Jan. 13, 2021. Google currently lists the location as temporarily closed.

Residents in Penticton posted to Facebook noting seeing gas pumps taped off along with store locked and closed since Thursday.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking all of our store staff to self-isolate at home with pay. We have contacted Interior Health and have temporarily closed the store to thoroughly clean and sanitize. We plan to re-open the store on or before Jan. 23, 2021," a statement from 7-Eleven Canada said.

The statement continued to outline their safety plan.

"As a neighbourhood store and convenient delivery provider in so many communities, 7-Eleven Canada has taken steps to prioritize the health of our customers and employees across our 633 stores in Canada. We have enhanced our standards and procedures for hygiene, hand washing, sanitation, food handling and preparation in stores, and increased the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces," it reads.

"We have installed sneeze guards at sales counters and visual floor markers in checkout lines to reinforce social distancing, as well as, limited customer traffic in stores. Face coverings are required. Contactless pickup and delivery options are available."

Interior Health responded with a statement, outlining they don't address individual cases.

"Interior Health does not provide specific details about individual cases – including locations – unless there are broader exposure risks," it reads.

"If there is a broader risk to other individuals or the community, Interior Health will issue a public notification. If our MHOs deem it necessary to issue a public notice, the exposures are listed here.

"A public exposure is listed on this page when a public health investigation indicates that contact tracing has not been able to reach people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Anyone at risk of exposure to any case will be contacted directly by IH public health contact tracers."



The Score Group, owner of Apex's Gunbarrel Saloon, is expanding into Summerland with new pub

New pub on the block

Apex Mountain's Gunbarrel Saloon will soon have a sister restaurant in Summerland.

In an announcement in local Facebook groups, the beans were spilled that Score Pub Group, owned by Jesse Ritchie, will be taking over the old site of the Local by the Summerland Waterfront Resort.

"We are getting ready to start a major renovation to bring Shaughnessy's Cove back to Summerland! It will be owned and operated by the people responsible for Score On Davie, Score on King and most recently Gunbarrel Saloon!" the post reads.

Ritchie recently re-vamped the Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex, and this new venture will be his second in the Okanagan with the Score Pub Group.

Ritchie was not ready to share any more details on the new project when reached this week, but Castanet will have more coming soon.

The anticipated opening date is in May 2021, and the group is already in the process of hiring servers. Anyone interested can drop by the Gunbarrel Saloon while at Apex, or send a resume to [email protected]



Sentencing delayed as judge wants to see Penticton man with a notable criminal record get help

Stopping cycle of violence

A Penticton judge is not giving up on a man with a criminal record dating back to 2005, hoping to see him commit to changing his life rather than continue in incarceration.

Harley Jack, 34, was charged and pleaded guilty to one count of assault, which occurred while he was out on probation from another charge. He appeared on a video call from the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC).

Sentencing began on Thursday, where Crown prosecutor Garry Hansen presented the details of the incident to Judge Michelle Daneliuk.

On Nov. 12, 2020, at 9;53 a.m. a witness reported two males in a fight on the ground at 521 Martin Street.

Police were called and arrived to see Glenn Morezewich, the owner of the residence, pinning Jack to the ground. Morezewich told police that he had got on top of him after being grabbed by Jack, who had been hitting and punching him.

Earlier that morning when Morezewich was leaving his residence, he heard Jack screaming at him while walking up to his property, but couldn’t make out what he was saying.

As Jack got closer, Morezewich heard him saying ‘What’re you doing in my house, that’s my house,” to which Morezewich responded ‘What are you talking about?’

Jack gave no response but closed in on Morezewich and his arms started coming at him in an attack and a fight began. The pair ended up on the ground.

Morezewich started yelling for help while struggling with Jack, who had also started reaching for a broken glass bottle nearby on the ground. When Morezewich finally got control, a motorist had stopped to help him.

Two other witnesses were roofers working on a house, who saw the altercation after hearing the call for help but were initially worried to intervene. Eventually, when the motorists stopped, they helped Morezewich retain Jack.

Morezewich also told police that Jack was showing further erratic behaviour, entering into periods of calm where he didn’t know what was going on and why he was pinned down.

Jack has been held in custody since that time, with 64 days served so far at the OCC.

Crown added that although Jack’s criminal history is not exceptionally long, it is one of note. Including other counts of assaults, breaking probation and issues with alcohol and meth addiction.

Given the circumstances, the Crown asked for a range of four to six months in jail, followed by a 12-month probation.

Defence counsel James Pennington began his arguments plans with Jack’s plans for rehabilitation, working at getting him on the Martin Street Outreach Clinic list.

The judge questioned if he was successfully accepted or started anywhere yet and Pennington confirmed he had no connections in anywhere yet, as last time he was arrested again before starting.

“He’s come to the realization that he’s got a problem,” Pennington said, adding that he’s committed and willing to engage in measures to change.

Pennington detailed Jack’s past, which he called a ‘tragic but all too familiar background coming into this court.’

Jack and the rest of his family are members of the Penticton Indian Band, and his parents dealt with alcoholism issues themselves. His mother is now over 15 years sober, but the pattern runs back even longer to Jack’s grandparents.

“When the drinking and partying started, all the kids fled,” Pennington said.

Both Jack’s grandparents and great-grandparents were victims of residential schools and the effects wore on the family, according to defence.

Pennington brought up a previous incident of assault that occurred on Jan. 28, 2019, where RCMP officers were called to the 24/7 convenience store on Main Street in Penticton by an employee after Jack left the store without paying for several items.

Jack took the sandwiches because he believed he was owed them, acting again on what Pennington called a ‘belly full of booze.’

Then Judge Daneliuk voiced her concerns with the situation, adding that she is "very, very worried about moving forward with how they can stop the cycle."

“I have a serious concern for the protection of the public because people are allowed to walk out of their houses on a nice morning and go about their business without being attacked,” she said.

Daneliuk moved to adjourn to a later date, pushing her sentencing for when Jack is secured in a program, as he has "tried the patience of this court of Penticton enough with his repeat offences."

She added that if sentencing would occur at this time, she would be more inclined to give more than the Crown’s recommendation of six months of jail time.

“Not only will he be better off, our community will be better off,” Daneliuk said, turning to address Jack, “The time has come to decide what the rest of your life will look like.”



Summerland working on multiple supportive housing projects, hoping to see funding from BC Housing

More subsidized housing

Casey Richardson

Summerland council has sent off letters of support to BC Housing for two new subsidized housing projects, hoping to help push forward developments to address the evident need in the community.

“It’s not up to us to build houses, but certainly to facilitate and to be part of these partnerships in order to get these things on the books and actually happening,” Toni Boot, mayor of Summerland said.

The District heard from both the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre and Liberty Contracting with their proposed subsidized housing projects on Monday, hoping to see the council support their developments.

“In 2017, they did a study on housing here in Summerland and it identified that there was nothing here for us,” Linda Van Alphen, director for the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Society said.

“We also keep statistics with the food bank and the resources centre which actually tell us how many people we’ve got on the street and how many people are looking for housing.

“The situation that couples, families, people are in, we know that there’s a need and we also know that rentals should be 30 per cent of your income and most rentals are much higher than that.”

The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre has been working out of the Summerland United Church basement for the past eight years, and while they’re grateful for the location, they’re starting to outgrow the space.

“When this piece of property came up for sale, we just jumped on it and we actually just finished the transfer of the property yesterday (Wednesday)," Van Alphen said.

The plan is to build a new centre at 13212 Henry Avenue, which would include 12 different units, spanning a variety of needs in the community and the main floor for their food bank and resource centre.

“We’re just excited, the application is going to go in and we just cross our fingers and hope we put in a good application. Hopefully, BC housing thinks it has merit.”

The group still has a long road ahead, however, needing to raise an estimated $1.5 million of their own funds to pay for the resource centre floor.

The other project comes from Liberty Contracting, looking to expand on the Legion Village development and add another 40 to 60 homes, but they won’t be applying for BC funding just yet as the project is in very early stages.

“In Summerland, I won’t say it’s extra important, but it does fill an identified gap and that is with affordable seniors housing...This doesn’t simply provide a house or accommodation, it provides a home,” Boot added.

And while subsidized housing can sometimes bring stigmatization from the community, Van Alphen is confident as these housing projects focus on getting families settled.

“I don’t see that the stigma will come in and it’s not considered to be transitional housing which is where some of the places in Penticton have run into problems,” she said. “These are going to be beautiful apartments. It’s going to be something for somebody who needs secure housing for long lengths of time for them and their children.”

Boot added that this need is important for the whole community,

“They are providing what is has been identified in the community as a critical need and what is identified in the community as a critical need, is a critical need for the whole community because the whole community has identified it. And if you’re going to say we need more affordable housing, then the understanding of what that means, and potentially, the stigma that comes along with it is something we as a community have to work through if necessary.”



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