Granny's Fruit Stand & Bakery pitching Summerland council for approval to add a cidery on their farm land

Pitch for a new cidery

One of Summerland’s well-loved fruit stands and bakeries is looking to branch out into the cidery business, applying to the District and the Agricultural Land Commission for approval.

As this is an ALC application and not a direct application to the district, the district is a referral agency and does not send external referrals.

Council will be considering the application for a non-farm use and decide whether the application be forwarded to the ALC for consideration.

In the staff’s report, they said the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) considered the application at their meeting on June 16.

Comments from the AAC stated that they felt the proposal is largely misunderstanding the site requirements for parking and access to make it work, leaving not enough room to accommodate this additional business, plus Granny’s Fruit Stand.

There are concerns from the AAC about competition with other cideries in town not being fair and concern with the potential loss of Granny’s Fruit Stand in the community.

Staff said that given the proximity to and visibility from Highway 97, they believe the cidery would provide additional tourism activities that promote Summerland’s agricultural roots and support the farming industry in general.

Local fruits from the family’s farm in Penticton as well as from other orchardists in the area would be used at the cidery, helping support the local agricultural economy.

In the business application to the ALC, they describe their goals for the cidery and the hardships faced by the farm currently.

“My parents have seen the hardships of what it's like to own an orchard in BC. The packing house that buys their fruit gives them little to no profit margin with most of the money going back out to pay farm workers, packaging costs, admin expenses etc. It has been difficult to stay afloat and although we would never do this, the temptation to destroy our orchard and convert it to a vineyard to make wine has always been there. It is for this reason that we want to construct a cidery and make apple cider,” they wrote.

The fruits that will be used to make cider are seconds, meaning they are spotted, bruised or otherwise unfit for sale at the fruit stand or to sell to packing houses, lessening waste on their farm.

The applicant stated that this will grow their ability to buy seconds from other farmers, helping with profitability by utilizing and paying for fruit that would otherwise have to be discarded.

Council will discuss the non-farm use application on Monday.


South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Society sees 'Best pride month ever' with outpouring of community support, dozens at Pride Fruit Float

'Best pride month ever'

Dozens of people showed up at Penticton’s Coyote Cruises for the Fruit Float on Saturday afternoon, taking part in the second annual event with the South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Society.

SOS Secretary-Treasurer Heather Adamson said that the last one in 2019 was a big success and they've been waiting patiently to do it again.

"It's about increasing representation. It's about just celebrating our 2SLGBTQIA+ community here in the South Okanagan, and Similkameen," she said.

The event was free and accessible, as long as people had their own floaties to drop into the river. otherwise, tubes and bus rides booked online with Coyote Cruises were 20 per cent off for the day.

"It's for our community to celebrate our community. But of course, there are lots of allies here, and friends and family come out. It's also a really family-friendly, awesome event that you can do with your kids too," Adamson said.

The City of Penticton declared June to be pride month and there are still events to celebrate.

The first annual Rolling Pride Parade presented by Penticton Roller Skate will kick off at Loco Landing at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, with a 3 p.m. roll (on skates or your choice of another non-motorized ‘rolling’ option such as roller blades, your bike, or simply walk) to head to Gyro Park for a pop-up roller disco celebration.

Time Winery welcomes Frieda Whales ‘and her pod’ for a drag brunch and happy hour on Sunday with two seatings. At 11:30 a.m. enjoy your choice of brunch dishes and a glass of bubbly, or book a spot at 2:30 p.m. for a happy hour burlesque show, also with a glass of bubbly.

On Monday, the Penticton Public Library hosts a Pride Party at 6:30 p.m.

"I think it's been our best pride month ever to be totally honest. We've been blown away by that community support. There have been so many organizations and businesses that have stepped up and posted pride events this month for pride and we've never seen that kind of support before," Adamson said.

"Out of all the activities that happened this month, we only actually hosted two and every other event we participated in or we partnered or we supported, but it was all planned by all the rest of them."

A reminder from the City of Penticton for those looking to float the channel that the water is moving very quickly.

Be aware of the risks and follow these safety guidelines:

  • Do not tie your floats together, this is what causes 90% of our rescue incidents. Floats get wrapped around bridge abutments, floats flip over and pins floaters against the pillar.
  • Wear a life jacket, especially non-swimmers and children.
  • Avoid alcohol and apply sunscreen.
  • Keep an eye out for hazards, such as bridge abutments and other floaters.
  • Pay attention to the exit and stay right 3/4 the way down, there are signs guiding you. If you cannot make the exit, don't panic, stay on your flotation then paddle right to the beach on Skaha Lake.
  • When exiting the river channel, make room for others accessing the stairs.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing or witness a water emergency.

Summerland's 'sunshine list' of employees who earn over $75K grew in 2021

'Sunshine list' jumps up

The District of Summerland has released their municipality’s 2021 Statement of Financial Information, in which their "sunshine list" of municipal employees who earned over $75,000 during the past year saw a jump.

Seven more employees for a total of 45 were added to the list in 2021, which municipalities are required to disclose each year.

A financial report going before council on Monday outlines the list and details the salaries of each employee over the $75,000 threshold, as well as those of elected officials.

According to information in the municipality’s 2021 Statement of Financial Information, the district spent a total of $8,084,136.75 on employee remuneration in 2021, $4,323,211.14 of which went to the sunshine list, which is up nearly $800,000 from 2020.

The highest five remunerations, not including expenses, for 2021 were:

  • Graham Statt, Chief Administrative Officer: $168,983.40
  • Ryan Robillard, Electrical Utility - Foreman: $140,400.6
  • David Svetlichny, Director of Finance: $134,489.00
  • Kelsey Enns, Power Line Technician: $129,658.87
  • Bill Wilson, Electrical Utility - Sub-Foreman: $126,643.75

The salary for Mayor Toni Boot was $37,123.68, while each of the six councillors received $16,705.77, for a total of $137,358.30. Expenses from all of council totalled $6,245.65, which is slightly up from last year, which totalled $4,638.86.

Find the full list of public salaries here on page 54 of the Summerland council agenda.


Car enthusiast's dream along Lakeshore Drive in Penticton with the Peach City Beach Cruise

Stunning cars line lakefront

Casey Richardson

Hundreds of hot rods, antique and classic cars have lined up along Lakeshore Drive in Penticton on Friday, ready for Western Canada's premier three-day car show, the Peach City Beach Cruise.

Close to 700 cars have been registered so far, a welcome number by the President of the Peach City Beach Cruise Wayne Wood.

“We have lots of cars. Saturday is going to be an absolute nutso day, with cars lining up all the way from the Lakeshore hotel up to the S.S. Sicamous,” he said. “ Come prepared to enjoy all the vehicles are free to come and look.”

While the show was put together later than normal, with planning starting in January instead of September of last year, the large group of dedicated volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

“The first couple days were over 300 registrations. It just went crazy as soon as we let out the word. People have been anxious, I think to see this and other shows like it once again coming back finally after COVID,” Wood said.

Participants have come from all over Western Canada and the United States to show off their rides and soak up the sun, in what has become an annual excursion for some.

Barry and Betty Johnson drove down in their 1937 Ford from Salmon Arm for their second year.

“We were here in 2018. Missed 2019. And of course, then COVID hit, so we're back this year,” Barry said. “It's a good show. I mean, there are lots of great cars here.”

“Next time we come. We're gonna bring my car. A 66 Ford Mustang,” Betty added with a chuckle.

The pair enjoy the drive down, the weekend away and the chance to show off their beautiful vintage car.

“Yeah, it's a toy. So you just go out and play,” Barry said.

One couple who’s new to the show and new to being residents of Penticton had trouble deciding which of their three cars to enter this year, but decided to go with their 1948 Chevy Fleetline.

“It's a great hobby. It really is. It's a great retirement hobby,” Sandy Dunn said. “We've already had two different couples come up to us and say they knew the car from the coast from the Lower Mainland. It was originally from down there.”

“As long as the weather is good, summertime, we drive it a fair amount. They're built to drive so we use them,” Tom Dunn added.

Sandy said that they were excited about being a part of such a huge show.

“The weather of course is just stellar down on the coast it's always kind of iffy. We sometimes get up in the morning going yeah, we're not doing the car show today. It's pouring rain. But up here, you're pretty much guaranteed good weather. So it means a huge draw for Penticton,” she said.

The car show will be along Lakeshore Drive, Rotary Park and Main Street throughout Saturday. Entertainment takes place in Gyro Park, with live music, vendors, souvenirs, and food trucks and stands.

“There are so many things to love about this show. I mean, obviously, we’ve got spectacular cars. You see it's spectacular weather. The entertainment is unreal. But there are so many things on that,” Wood said.

Sunday will cap off the car show weekend in Gyro Park with awards and closing ceremonies.

Area 27 celebrates installation of entrance sculpture, which shares a special story for the track

Crafting an 18ft wide eagle

In addition to the official opening of Area 27’s Kartplex on Thursday, owners and members celebrated the installation of a locally crafted steel eagle sculpture at the entrance.

Bill Drossos, president of Area 27, said that since starting the motorsports park project, he along with Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie and the OIB band, have wanted Indigenous art around the facility, similar to Spirit Ridge and the Cultural Centre.

It took time to decide what could represent the area.

In February of 2020, Drossos said the track's grounds superintendent saw a giant shadow on the ground pass from a bird flying overhead while he was working.

“It was the biggest bald eagle he had ever seen and it dropped a coyote, it was actually carrying a coyote. Then it circled down and a smaller eagle joined. 30 minutes later, there were only bits of fur and bones left,” Drossos said.

Drosses said he told Louie about the eagle and they agreed it would make a perfect entrance sculpture.

Clint George, the artist, is from Penticton Indian Band, and Drossos sought him out for the project, wanting a local Indigenous artist to create the work.

He built the 18-foot wide eagle sculpture without any blueprints.

“In this process, there were some changes as I built it. We started laying out some of the feathers, which wasn’t actually really working on the body. So every single one of the feathers on the body is singly cut and welded on separately,” George shared.

George is working on adding lights as another element to the sculpture for nighttime.

VP of Area 27 and Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve said he was impressed when he finally got to see the sculpture in person, adding that pictures never did it justice.

“We see how Area 27 has been evolving. It’s known as a racetrack and now it's becoming much more than that. We wouldn’t be here without the hospitality of the Osoyoos Indian Band,” Villeneuve said.

“Now that we can add local artistry, it’s amazing and it’s a good representation of what Area 27 is.”

Spot the massive eagle structure at the entrance to Area 27.

Elvis Festival sees large crowds coming out on Friday in Penticton

Big turnout for Elvis Festival

Casey Richardson

UPDATE: 7:40 p.m.

Crowds of Elvis fans swarmed into Okanagan Lake Park on Friday for the first day of the Penticton Elvis Festival, featuring 40 tribute artists this year to get everyone 'all shook up.'

Hours of volunteer hours and planning went into getting everything together for this year's big event after the hiatus.

"It's amazing. I don't think we've ever had this big of a crowd on a Friday afternoon. And I think everybody knew it was going to be a super show with the headliners we had and then all the performers tonight," Penticton Elvis Festival President Dave Martin said. "It's just been great. I think it'll even be way busier tomorrow."

"The Elvis fans are always gonna be Elvis fans. I've seen people here that I used to see when I came up myself from Surrey and came to the festival. So I've seen the same people coming out year after year," Volunteer Coordinator Wendy Maguire added.

Amateur and professional elite tribute artists are going head to head this weekend with competition performances

Matt Cage has been performing as an Elvis Tribute Artist for 12 years, but this is his first getting to make it out to Penticton's premier festival.

"The venue is beautiful. The people have been wonderful. So just actually getting out meeting people, like-minded Elvis fans and the guys here, it's just a great time to get together and just share ideas and have fun," he said.

Cage got into performing as Elvis by singing his songs at Karaoke.

"People would say 'Hey, you kind of sound like him, you should do this.' And back home, I'm from Ontario, the Collingwood Elvis Festival was a perfect gateway to get into this. I went and watched it. I fell in love instantly with the whole genre," Cage said.

"I think for me, I don't walk around and look like Elvis 24/7 or anything. So when I actually get the get-up on, I get the hair and makeup done, all of a sudden I look in the mirror and I say 'There he is, I'm ready to go.'"

Seven amateurs and seven professionals will be going to the finals on Sunday afternoon at the South Okanagan Event Center.

"If you're not here, you're missing something that's really special. To Penticton, to the whole community here in the Okanagan," Martin said.

Penticton Elvis Festival runs until Sunday night.

For more information and for the full festival schedule, click here.

ORIGINAL: 12:40 p.m.

The king is back in town!

After a two-year hiatus, the Penticton Elvis Festival is officially getting all shook up again, kicking off with opening ceremonies Friday at 1 p.m. in Okanagan Lake Park.

The competition round, featuring Elvis tribute artists from around the country and beyond, gets going at 5 p.m.

Saturday will see more competitors, and a headliner show of top artists Dean Z, Gordon Hendricks and Corny Rempel, at 8 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Then Sunday boasts the beloved Gospel Show and pancake breakfast, which is a fundraiser for Critteraid Animal Sanctuary, followed by the competition finals and the crowning of champions.

Tickets are $20 for a one-day pass or $30 for a two-day pass, with an extra $5 for the pancake breakfast. Tickets to the competition finals are $32-$56.

Barley Mill Pub in Penticton raises $23K for Pathways Addictions Resource Centre

$23K raised for Pathways

The Barley Mill Brew Pub in Penticton has just concluded a major fundraising season, and is already looking for volunteers to sign up and join them next year on their ongoing mission to give back to the community.

The grand total for the pub's meat draws for the season was $23,565 donated directly to Pathways Addictions Resource Centre.

"Sunday Meat Draw's & More are complete for the season! We look forward to restarting them in October, 2022," reads their post on social media.

"The Barley Mill would like to send gratitude to our generous community sponsors along with all of those who attended this weekly event."

Sponsors included T-Bones, M&M Meats, The Feedway, Rotary Club of Penticton and Tracy Comber of Paragon Mortgages.

"[Comber] rounded up support from her community with weekly raffle baskets and volunteers. This event would not have been what it was, without Tracy's dedication," the Barley Mill wrote.

They are already looking forward to fall events, asking anyone interested in volunteering to help sell raffle tickets in the pub Sundays from 1-3 p.m.. to reach out to [email protected]

In addition, if your business would like to donate to the weekly raffle baskets or meal kits, they are happy to hear from you.

Video catches car's dangerous pass overtaking a semi and multiple cars on Highway 3 near Manning Park

Near miss pass on Hwy 3

Contributed TruckBC

A trucker driving on Highway 3 caught a close call on Thursday after a car passed on double lines unsafely.

The dash cam video, shared by TruckBC, shows a car passing a semi-truck on Highway 3 near Manning Park and Eastgate.

The car proceeds to pass multiple cars before moving over a second before a car coming in the other direction is in the lane.

Lawyers for accused Osoyoos wife-killer Roderick Flavell fail to have charges dismissed as trial moves into third week

Wife-killing trial not over

The manslaughter trial of Roderick Flavell will continue after a failed attempt by his legal team to dismiss the charges due to lack of evidence.

Flavell, in his early 60s, has been in BC Supreme Court in Penticton for two weeks as Crown prosecutors laid out their case — that Flavell had assaulted his wife, Tina Seminara, 61, at their Osoyoos home in 2020 to the point where her brain injuries resulted in eventual death.

Evidence on the record includes that Flavell sent an email to RCMP on April 8, 2020 with a subject line "Death" and stating "This happened all of the sudden," as well as a text message to his neighbour and friend reading "Sorry to lay this on you buddy, call 911. Tina breathing, but may need help." He later showed up at the police station with bloodstains on his clothing asking whether anyone had gone to check on his wife.

Testimony from police and EMTs who responded that night to the couple's Cypress Hills home described broken glass, upturned furniture, dark stains on the carpet and sectional couch, and swelling on Seminara's face as well as a severe leg injury. She later died in hospital.

Doctors who treated her that night and in the days that followed testified to symptoms of brain damage.

An autopsy report ruled her death a result of "hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)," which in layman's terms means decreased oxygen, decreased blood supply and death of nerve cells in the brain leading to the shutdown of the body's organs. That can be caused by trauma, among other things.

Flavell's defence team seized on the fact that the autopsy doctor could not definitively say her death was caused by blunt-force trauma, which is the Crown's allegation.

They asked Justice David Crossin to dismiss the case entirely. arguing there was no proof any actions by Flavell caused Seminara's death. Other scenarios, they argued, could include a massive seizure.

But while much of the Crown's evidence is circumstantial, including testimony from a close friend who said Flavell told her Seminara's death was "not an accident," and a lack of definitive proof of the underlying cause of Seminara's brain damage, Crossin dismissed the defence's motion.

"Frankly, I found this application a close call," Crossin said Friday afternoon.

"But there is, as the jurisprudence characterizes it, a scintilla of evidence that in the context of the whole of the evidence, is reasonably capable of supporting the inferences sought by the Crown."

Crossin's decision means trial will move forward into its third week. Monday will see the defence team begin to present their arguments.

Oliver student wins national Remembrance Day poetry prize

Local kid wins nat'l award

An Oliver student has been awarded a top national honour for her poem honouring veterans.

Maya Baerg, 14, placed first in the Canada-wide Legion National Foundation Remembrance Day poetry contest in her age category.

She submitted her poem, "Remember Me Not," with the support of her Southern Okanagan Secondary School English teacher Braelyn Shione.

At a ceremony this week, Maya received her trophy. All of the winning entries are posted on the Legion Nation Foundation website.

Maya's father, Graeme Baerg, is also a teacher at the school, and couldn't be prouder of his daughter's accomplishment.

"I'm really proud of how she took on a contest that has usually a certain kind of poem that's expected. And she chose to do something that was surprising and different. And I think it really resonated with the people who run the contest," Graeme said.

"She just has all these ideas and thoughts in her head. She loves reading and she's always interested in what's going on in the world. And I think that was partly what inspired her to write what she did."

Read Maya's award-winning poem below:

"Remember Me Not"

Remember me not
By pretty words
Twinkling and twisting
Like spun gold and silver

Remember me not
From that theatre screen
We aren't a movie cast
This isn't an act

Remember me not
With that pinned on sympathy
“Lest we forget”
Cast it off after the event

Remember me with rawness
A wound that can't heal

Remember me with grief
Pain that forces you to your knees

Remember me with sorrow
That innocence we all once held
Lost to war’s unforgiving grasp

Remember me with joy
For my fight, my life, my youth,
However short

Remember me for who I was

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