Drug overdoses in the province continue to devastate…but updated stats from the BC Coroners Service show the number of illicit drug overdose deaths dropped slightly in February.
Since the public-health emergency was declared in April 2016, government and its partners have enacted a wide range of measures to make an immediate difference and continue to build on longer-term strategies.
102 people died as a result of illicit drug use during the month of February, an average of more than seven deaths every two days.
In contrast, there were 59 illicit drug-related deaths in February 2016.
Individuals aged 30-39 and 40-49 years have accounted for the largest percentage of illicit drug overdose deaths during the first two months of 2017.
Consistent with last year’s data, males accounted for 83.1% of these suspected illicit drug overdose deaths.
West Kelowna Vandalism
There seems to be an increase in the amount of vandalism in West Kelowna.
City Council has been given a report about activities, including vandalism, in parks and public spaces in Westbank Centre.
Staff is seeing an increase in the amount and severity of vandalism resulting in a noticeable increase in the costs of repairs at facilities and parks including: Town Centre Park; Memorial Park Skate Park and Amphitheatre; Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre; Springer Park; City of West Kelowna Entrance sign; benches and other public amenities on Brown Road; and the Elliott Road Transit Exchange.
There’s been theft, broken glass; graffiti; and people bathing in sinks.
RCMP is aware of the incidents and is working with City of West Kelowna staff on solutions.
Busker Ticket Downgraded
A noise violation ticket issued to a street musician earlier this monthy has been downgraded to a warning.
After reviewing the circumstances leading up to the $500 ticket being issued, staff decided to seek a more cooperative approach to resolving the musician’s use of an amplifier on downtown streets.
Festivals Kelowna operates the busking program and permits to ensure street performers have equal opportunities to locations and appropriate sound levels for amplified music.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is in the midst of a province-wide recruiting campaign and representatives will be in the Okanagan this week looking for candidates.
The Department is looking to fill about 80 front line vacancies by the end of the year.
That includes police officers, community safety personnel, jail guards and traffic authority members.
Representatives will be in Penticton today to Thursday.
The list of times and locations is up on our news blog.
Monday, March 20, 2017
“Okanagan College – 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
“Okanagan College – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
“Delta Grand Okanagan Resort – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Justice Institute of British Columbia Okanagan -11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“Okanagan College – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus – 3:30 p.m. 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
“Delta Grand Okanagan Resort – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“Okanagan College – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on the job, qualifications, the application process and training visit joinvpd.ca.
Clean Drinking Water
3 projects that have been approved under the Government of Canada’s Clean Water and Waste Water Fund.
The funding will ensure that local water and wastewater systems are up to date, efficient and meet increasing capacity needs.
The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of the funding-more than $54.6 million – for the SEKID/SOMID Water Supply Project, the Eldorado Treated Water Reservoir & Glenmore Booster Station, and the construction of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant.
The province has committed $36 million, with the municipalities contributing $18.5 million.
It appears some of us are still unclear on how to use roundabouts…and more of them are coming our way locally.
Kelowna RCMP have 4 simple safety tips:
Reduce your speed while approaching the roundabout – watch for roadway signs and yield to pedestrians and cyclists;
Yield – always yield to traffic already inside the roundabout;
Enter the roundabout – continue counter-clockwise until you reach your exit;
Signal when you are exiting – watch for and yield to pedestrians and cyclists crossing the exit lane.
The nice weather yesterday brought a lot of people out to play…but a reminder that the City’s sports fields are still closed until early April.
Sports fields need an appropriate amount of time to dry out and the grass needs to be actively growing to ensure quality turf and avoid divots and holes which can lead to player injuries.
The fields are scheduled to open Saturday, April 8th, weather permitting.
The City of Kelowna has received a permit from Canadian Wildlife Service to discourage geese from settling in Kelowna’s parks and beaches.
The proactive measure is meant to enhance the enjoyment of beaches and parks by reducing goose droppings and the effects it can have on beach water quality.
The permit allows for the use of scare techniques such as lasers, falcons, dogs and noise makers which include loud bangs, to discourage geese from migrating into parks and beaches.
Geese will also be discouraged from settling on sports fields where they can cause damage to turf, increasing the time and cost for maintenance.
A landmark 10,000 BC Parks licence plates have been sold – a milestone reached less than eight weeks after the specialty plates were unveiled earlier this year.
The three licence plate designs – a Kermode bear found only in British Columbia, the snow-capped Purcell Mountains, and a stunning view from Porteau Cove overlooking Howe Sound – were unveiled back in January.
The BC Parks specialty plates cost $50 for the initial purchase, and $40 for each annual renewal.
All net proceeds from the sale and ongoing renewals of BC Parks licence plates are re-invested back into provincial parks through the Park Enhancement Fund, a transparent account where revenues enhance programs or services in provincial parks beyond the core services provided by government.
The Kelowna Rockets beat the Vancouver Giants 7-0 on Friday night in Kelowna’s last home game of the regular season…then beat the Vancouver Giants 5-2 on Saturday night in Langley to close out the 2016-2017 regular season.
Photo: Marissa Baecker – Shoot The Breeze
The 2017 WHL playoffs kick off for the Kelowna Rockets on Friday March 24th, at 7:05pm at Prospera Place.
Game one and two are in Kelowna.
Playoff tickets go on sale in the morning of Monday March 20th, at 9:30am.
$31 club seats
$21 students and seniors
$17 children 12 and under
Game one: Friday, March 24th. Puck drop is at 7:05pm at Prospera Place.
Game two: Saturday, March 25th, at 7:05pm at Prospera Place.
Game three: the series heads to Kamloops on Tuesday, March 28th, at 7:00pm.
Game four: on Wednesday, March 29th at 7:00pm in Kamloops.
Game five: goes back to Kelowna on Friday, March 31st puck drop 7:05pm.
Game six: in Kamloops on Sunday, April 2nd, at 5:00pm.
Game seven: back in Kelowna on Tuesday, April 4th, at 7:05pm.
Tickets are available for Rockets home games through selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.