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  • Mysterious Light Flashing on Middleton Mtn, Coldstream, BC

    An unexplained light has been flashing on Middleton Mountain in Coldstream British Columbia, part of the Greater Vernon region for at least two days. The mysterious flashing light was first reported by a couple out for an evening walk. The area on Middleton Mtn where the light appeared to be coming from was searched the following day during daylight but no sign of a light was found. In fact, no lights were found anywhere on Middleton Mountain. That night, the mysterious flashing light appeared again, apparently in exactly the same spot. So far there has been no explanation as to the source of the flashing light, first reported on April 22/22

  • $121m Price Tag For The Proposed "Greater Vernon Active Living Centre"

    April 23, 2022 $112.5 million to $121.5 million, That's the estimated cost to build the proposed Vernon Active Living Centre endorsed by Vernon City Council. That's $30 million more than the $90 million estimated construction cost estimate back in 2020. The facility, which would include a 50-meter pool, fitness center and indoor walking running track as well as other amenities would also have an annual operating cost double the $600 thousand dollars currently spent running the existing aquatic centre with its 25-meter pool. Operating the proposed Active Living Centre with its 50-meter pool is estimated to be just under $1.5 million annually. The Facility would be built on the property next to Kal Tire Place on 43rd where the Kin race track is currently located If the project goes ahead Vernon taxpayers will have to pay the majority of the cost as neighbouring communities have declined Vernon Councils' requests to participate by sharing the financial burden. Based on an average assessed value of a property within the City of Vernon of $620 thousand dollars, Vernon voters would have to pay an additional $295.50 per year. The citizens of Vernon will be asked to support borrowing the full cost for building the proposed Active Living Centre. Neighbouring communities were asked to participate by Vernon City but so far have declined. In April 2022, the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C (Area B -Swan Lake, Area C BX / SilverStar) notified the City of Vernon that they have declined to participate in the Active Living Centre project, as proposed. Lumby has also declined to participate in the project. Vernon voters will get the chance to be heard at the next municipal election on October 15th, 2022. That's when voters will have the opportunity to vote in a referendum asking if they want to borrow the $112.5 million to $121.5 needed to build the facility. Completion of the project, if approved, is 3 to 5 years away The existing facility and its 25-meter pool would be repurposed. $121m Price Tag For The Proposed "Greater Vernon Active Living Centre"

  • Elon Musk, live in Vancouver British Columbia

    April 14th 2022 The world's richest man, Elon Musk was in Vancouver Canada today, as a guest speaker at the Ted Talks 2022 conference. Ted Talks dropped its usual $50 per day viewing fee, opening up a live stream for all to watch for free. Recently, the outspoken billionaire shook up the Social Media universe by purchasing 9.2% of Twitter stock. That made Musk Twitter's single largest shareholder. On that news Twitter shares immediately jumped 22%, boosting Musk's initial investment estimated at $2.9 billion to a value of $3.5 billion. Musk had the option to become a Twitter board member, but he declined the position. A position on the board would restrict the amount of shares Musk could own, and it would potentially weaken his position. Early today (April 14th), Musk made an offer to buy all of Twitter, offering $54.20 a share. A move some describe as the first step in a hostile takeover. The market value of Twitter is currently estimated at about $37 billion. During his appearance, Musk laid out his vision for Twitter, should he succeed in purchasing it. Musk believes the world needs an open honest platform where people can freely express their thoughts. A platform that allows everyone to express their opinions openly, except for hate speech, of course, is essential for democracy to work according to the billionaire. Very important to Musk was transparency. He wants to see more openness and transparency regarding Twitter's inner workings. Musk envisions an "open source" platform where anyone can see how Twitter's algorithms determine who or what is allowed or disallowed on the massive social media platform. Musk also spoke of more personal issues as well, describing how his Asperger's disease put him on a different path than many of his peers but eventually made him the man he is today. Musk says gaining control of Twitter isn't a sure thing. Pressed, he admitted there is a "plan B" if his attempts fail Asked if he had the $37 billion needed to make the purchase, Musk 1assured the audience he did. According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk is worth about $260 billion Link to LIVE Stream, Musk spoke around am 11 local time.

  • RCMP Union Fighting Communities Moving to Municipal Policing

    The union representing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the National Police Federation (NPF), is reportedly fighting communities that are considering or in the process of transitioning away from the RCMP to a more local police service. The NPF even publicly criticized an opinion piece recently published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper on March 27th. Columnist Ian Mulgrew's story calls attention to what he describes as BC's "patchwork" of 13 municipal police departments, 65 RCMP municipal detachments, First Nations police, 135 RCMP (appox) detachments, and 20 community safety offices under federal jurisdiction. Also mentioned by Mulgrew, the numerous unanswered calls for a more efficient and accountable regional policing strategy. NPF President, Brian Sauvé responded to the Vancouver Sun article in a letter to the editor. The former front line RCMP officer took issue with the critical tone of the opinion piece stating in part: "76% of Canadians and 75% of British Columbians in RCMP-served communities are satisfied with policing in their community. In fact, support in B.C. actually increased from 71% in December 2020." The NPF has been active in defending RCMP turf in western Canada. In Alberta, the National Police Federation (NPF) has organized town halls promoting the RCMP and telling Albertans they will have to pay more for a provincial police force if they should decide to move in that direction. In BC, the NPF is reportedly funding a campaign to overturn Surrey's transition to a municipal police force, a process that is well underway. In Surrey, Mayoral hopeful Brenda Locke is making the transition a key part of her platform, promising to keep the Mounties. The move away from the RCMP to a Surrey police service was a key issue last election for current Mayor Doug McCullum's campaign, a campaign that focused in part on a lengthy wave of gang violence in the community. Surrey's next municipal election is on October 15th, 2022 Is it even possible to stop the creation and deployment of the Surrey Police Service at this point? Depends who you ask. That question was the focus of a two-part spread in Surreys Peace Arch News. As the back and forth continues, the fledgling Surrey Police Service (SPS) continues to grow, hiring 20 more officers last week, and deploying another 25 to work Surrey streets. As of March 28th, a total of 66 SPS members have been deployed into the RCMP for a few days of orientation before they begin responding to service calls. “With every additional SPS officer deployed, the transition to Surrey’s own police service advances,” says Chief Constable Norm Lipinski. The total number of Surrey Police Service officers hired to date is 196. As members complete their training they will be deployed. Learn more about the transition from Surrey RCMP to the Surrey Police Service HERE By late 2022 the SPS will be the second-largest municipal police force in British Columbia. The Vancouver Police force is the largest. Learn more about the Surrey Police Service HERE

  • RCMP Retroactive Pay Is a Big Hit for British Columbia Communities

    Make no mistake, RCMP members deserve a fair wage. A recently ratified collective agreement between non-commissioned RCMP members and the Federal Government includes several years of retroactive pay. The bill for retroactive pay has to be paid by municipalities served by the RCMP. That's a heavy financial burden, especially for smaller communities RCMP won the well-deserved right to unionize in Canada's supreme court in January of 2015. The RCMP had been barred from forming a union since the 1960s when other government employees unionized Collectively, the bill for the retroactive pay to BC communities served by the RCMP will be in the hundreds of millions. Moving forward there will also be increased costs for the policing service. Vernon alone may be facing an estimated 3.4 million one-time cost for retroactive pay. Looking ahead to the coming years Vernon city spokesperson Christy Poirer estimates that could mean a 2.4% increase for Vernon taxpayers. According to Vernon's Chief Administrative Officer, Will Pearce "2022 will see the full implementation of the RCMP Collective Agreement, the first negotiated Collective Agreement covering regular members. The Collective Agreement will have a significant impact on the operating budgets of municipalities across British Columbia that contract RCMP services. The City of Vernon, on Council direction, has set aside monies to accommodate the resulting retroactive lump sum payment which dates back to 2017. In 2022, the Collective Agreement will add more than $1 million to the City operating budget which equates to a one-time municipal tax rate increase of 2.32%" You can view the proposed Vernon Budget HERE Approximately 70% of a typical municipalities police budget goes to member compensation Proposed Vernon Budget Executive summery

  • Port Okanagan Resort Hotel & Convention Centre Proposed for Okanagan Lake

    Is Vernon ready for a major resort hotel on the northern shore of Okanagan Lake? It would seem so. Alberta-based Avillia Developments are proposing a project, known as Port Okanagan, that includes a waterfront resort hotel, convention centre, retail stores, residential and commercial structures. The 7 hectare (approx) project would be built on Okanagan's lakeshore right next to Kin Beach. Building height would be limited to 10 stories or less because of the close proximity of the Vernon Regional Airport, and there are still additional environmental assessments and community input before the proposed project could begin, but Vernon City officials like the idea. Vernon Council unanimously approved the project in principle at Mondays (March 28th) regular Council meeting. A public open house could begin as early as April 2022. Watch the presentation to Vernon Mayor and Council HERE Scroll to 2:38:39 for the beginning of the presentation Scroll to 2:53:51 the hear questions put to the presenter by Vernon Mayor and Council View the brochure released by the developer HERE View Video version of story here

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home, Coming To A Stream Near You, March 22/2022

    Are you dying for the day you can watch the highest-grossing movie of 2021 from the comfort of your favorite perch? Well wait no longer, Spider-Man: No Way Home is available to buy online as of March 15th 2022. You can buy the blockbuster from many platforms, Amazon Prime Video and Cineplex to name just two. Until only recently, Spider-Man: No Way Home was scheduled for home release starting March 22. DVDs for sale on April 12. That was according to an official press release from Sony Pictures. Check out the Official preview by clicking this link: Check out the special features preview by clicking this link: In the meantime, you can preorder Spiderman: No Way Home on Vudu or Amazon Prime Video Check out all the details at Sony Pictures. From Sony Pictures, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME 2021 | SUPERHERO "For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. When he enlists Doctor Strange’s help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in their world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his future but the future of the Multiverse."

  • British Columbia Removes COVID Mask Mandate

    The Province of British Columbia has followed several other Canadian provinces and removed the mask mandates effective March 10, 2022. The vaccine card is still required. Hospitalizations have decreased as have deaths with COVID. Henry said seniors continue to have the greatest risk of illness or death from COVID but those numbers have come down. Henry says wastewater levels of COVID-19 virus have also been coming down steadily. At a press conference from Victoria BC, the provincial health lead said COVID numbers have not come down to zero, and we're not out of this yet, but, As of 12:01 March 11 - The face-covering mandate is being repealed - Long-term care visitation is being restored - Faith gathering capacity limits are being lifted - Overnight child and youth camp order lifted Proof of vaccination will still be required for visitation to long-term care homes as will rapid tests for entry. Some settings will still require a mask, IE health care environments. Dr. Henry said even though the mask mandate has been lifted, some businesses may continue to require people to wear masks. She asks that British Columbians respect those wishes. Guidlines for children's have also been revised. Masks will no longer be mandated for K-12 students returning from Spring Break. Looking ahead, starting Friday, April 8th, the BC vaccine card will no longer be required and workplaces will transition from the Workplace Safety Order to the Communicable Disease Plan. The guidelines may change if conditions warrant. Federal Guidelines are still in effect were applicable.

  • Okanagan UBC Security Guard Dead, Possible Murder Investigation

    UPDATE: The Identity of the security guard who died from injuries inflicted while she was working a shift at the Okanagan UBC Campus has been released. 24-year-old Harmandeep Kaur died February 27th in Kelowna General Hospital, one day after she was attacked at the Okanagan UBC University Centre Building. A suspect remains in custody. He has not been identified but is described as an employee of the university. He was arrested under the mental health act and was last reported to be in hospital. Friends of Harmandeep are expressing their anger on social media. Their anger is not only directed at the alleged attacker, they are also frustrated at the way the RCMP and UBC administration have handled her death. Much of their frustration is being shared on Facebook. A GoFundMe campaign has been started. Kuljit Pabla, a cousin of Harmandeep Kaur says he started it to help the young woman's parents pay for their journey from India to British Columbia as well as legal and funeral costs. The $25,000 GoFundMe goal was quickly surpassed. Harmandeep's cousin has also posted a letter to Facebook Harmandeep Kaur's parents are expected to make the journey from India to Kelowna sometime next week. Original Story, February 28th: A 24-year-old security guard succumbed to injuries inflicted on her while on duty at the Okanagan UBC campus near Kelowna, BC. RCMP report the guard was attacked shortly before 6 AM last Saturday morning, February 26th. One man is in custody facing possible murder charges. A suspect was arrested under the Mental Health Act and is currently in hospital. The identity of the security guard or her alleged attacker has not been released, nor have details about the attack. UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Lesley Cormack posted a message to the campus community. In part, it reads, "One of our security personnel was assaulted by a worker in the University Centre building." "We are devastated that something like this would happen on our campus. My heart and my thoughts, and those of everyone at UBCO, go to the family." The full post from the University can be read here,

  • Ukraine Capital, Kyiv, Continues to Hold On

    March 12, 2022: Check LINKS at bottom of Page Russia is being isolated by much of the world. England, France and Germany are leading the way. Shipping companies are refusing to dock at Russian ports, airspace is being restricted banning Russian flights, international sporting and entertainment are banning Russian involvement, international banking systems are tightening restrictions on Russia. Putin remains defiant, says nuclear arsenal is on alert. Meanwhile Russian troops slowly tighten their grip on Ukraine. Shelling of Ukrainian cities continues. Escape corridors for fleeing civilians have been established. The Ukrainian military, backed by private citizens shows no sign of capitulation. The Ukraine government has been arming civilians. At first, weapons were only being handed out to retired soldiers. But, as Russian troops advance, the Ukraine defense ministry has been arming more of its citizens, even those under 18 years old. Tens of thousands of Kalashnikov AK-47 style weapons have been distributed to the Ukrainian population. Molotov cocktails are also legal now in Ukrainian, another sign of how desperate the situation is. Ukrainian people are determined to fight. Resistance fighters have been promised the Hero of Ukraine award if they are killed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has remained in Kyiv. According to Zelenskyy, he is Russian President Putin's "target number one", the Russians' leader's goal being to destroy the Ukraine government. Zelenskyy continues to plead to the international community for more sanctions on Russia and for offensive and defensive weapons. According to reports, US intelligence agencies believe the Russian force's strategy in its multipronged attack was to surround Kyiv, take the airport and airlift in thousands of trooper. . The airport was taken by Russian troops but retaken by Ukrainian forces. Fueling fears the situation could escalate beyond Ukraine, Turkey, a NATO member, reported one of their ships was hit by a bomb while near Odesa, raising concerns the NATO alliance could get drawn into the fighting escalating the conflict. NATO countries like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania border the western part of Ukraine. Turkey is just across the Black Sea Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty states basically "an attack on one is an attack on all", what level of attack would trigger a response is not immediately clear. There are 30 NATO member states. Thursday (Feb. 24), US president Biden said "no one expected sanctions to prevent invasion", a statement interpreted by his critics as an admission diplomacy could never have worked. The movement of 7000 US troops into Germany by Biden as a show of force is seen as a good deterrent, as was Germany halting approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany. But, as the Daily Beast reports there is some dissension from several NATO members regarding continuing sanctions A recent poll by a US network asking US registered voters how Biden was doing on Russia reported: -56% thought POTIS was not tough enough -29% just right -8% being too tough The same poll found only 44% of Americans are confident in President Biden's ability to handle a crisis. Bidens controversial withdrawal from Afghanistan is thought to play a part in the lack of confidence by US citizens as well as the timing of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden also refused to exclude Russia from the international payment system known as SWIFT, he also refused to sanction Russian oil and gas companies, or even Putin himself. Sanctioning SWIFT, oil, and gas would hurt the Russian economy. Critics of Biden say those sanctions were not introduced because of a desperate need for Russian oil by many European countries. The result is a US president and NATO alliance that looks weak. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has refused offers from NATO to evacuate him from Ukraine. House to house fighting is ecspectd as Kyiv fights to remain free. Oil prices have risen sharply in the US and Canada as a result of the Russian/Ukraine conflict. President Biden has authorized the release of strategic oil reserves in the US. One of the first acts Biden made as president was to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring crude into the US from Canada. The 2000km pipeline was expected to carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska Threats of a cyberwar are also present. There are indications companies are hiring cybersecurity firms to harden their online assets. As well as oil, Russia exports other vital products to the world market. For example, Russia is an exporter of Palladium, an element used in semiconductor manufacturing. Around the world people have taken to the streets, including in Russia, protesting Russia's aggressions. Russian anti-war protestors have been warned they could face treason charges. The international hacking collective known as Anonymous has declared war against Russia. Russian state media says President Putin "wants to restore a fallen empire he has never accepted" - Sky News LIVE LINK - Live German Public TV LINK - More than 2.6 MILLION Ukrainians have fled their country - Sanctions Imposed on Russia