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  • 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 https://youtu.be/KZ-nO6Kmgfs

  • 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: https://youtu.be/m0WaVgx6T7Q Check out the special features preview by clicking this link: https://youtu.be/19pkBDAWPE8 In the meantime, you can preorder Spiderman: No Way Home on Vudu or Amazon Prime Video Check out all the details at Sony Pictures. https://www.sonypictures.com/movies/spidermannowayhome 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. https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Harmandeep%20Kaur 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. https://www.gofundme.com/f/justice-for-harmandeep-kaur?qid=8415938b304dc46146688f98c5980ade 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, https://news.ok.ubc.ca/2022/02/28/update-on-campus-incident/

  • 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

  • British Columbia Rolling Back a few COVID Mandates, Masks and Passports still required

    Unlike some other Canadian provinces, IE, Alberta and Saskatchewan, BC is keeping its mask and COVID passport requirements UPDATE March 4, 2022 Canadian Health Officials Update on COVID regulations: https://youtu.be/7FZWbEJLGzk Described as a "shift in tone" Canadian health officials said wearing a mask is a “personal choice.” Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo expanded on his comment saying “clearly mask-wearing is a well-tested, tried and true personal protective practice,” it is not a mandatory requirement across the country and is “a personal choice under one’s individual risk assessment.” Also in attendance, Dr. Theresa Tam said Canadians are well protected, for now. But, Tam continued, “If there is a variant that is very different from Omicron, then that’s a different story,” https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-02-11/did-mask-mandates-work-the-data-is-in-and-the-answer-is-no UPDATE: March 1, 2022 Dr. Bonnie Henry refuses to follow other Canadian provinces and countries that have removed COVID restrictions and passport requirements. UPDATE: Feb 15th 2022 As Exnews.net first reported 3 days ago British Columbia is rolling back some of the provinces' COVID-19 mandates/restrictions effective Wednesday, February 16th at 11:59 pm. BC's Vaccine Passport Extended to June 30 It remains to be seen if the rollbacks are enough to satisfy COVID-19 MANDATE weary British Columbians. Unlike some other Canadian provinces, like Alberta and Saskatchewan, BC is retaining mask and COVID passport requirements according to today's announcement. New Restrictions: - No limit for Indoor personal gatherings, masks and vaccine card required - No limit for indoor and outdoor organized gatherings, masks and vaccine card required - Full capacity and no table size limit for restaurants, bars or nightclubs, dancing permitted, masks and vaccine card required - Full capacity allowed at indoor seated events, masks and vaccine card required - Fitness centres and adult sports will have no capacity limits, masks and vaccine card required No changes for long term health visitations or schools or day-cares were announced Previous Story. Feb 12th 2022: British Columbia Ending COVID Mandates: Source ExNews.net has learned British Columbia may be poised to remove COVID restrictions very soon. Dr. Bonnie Henry could make the announcement as early as next Thursday. Sources tell ExNews.net that businesses in the service industry are being told to prepare for a transition from the COVID-19 Safety Plan to a Communicable Disease Plan. If correct, the plan may be similar to one announced on June 17th, 2021 by the BC Provincial Health Officer. The Previous Communicable Disease Plan: -COVID-19 specific controls of the COVID-19 Safety Plan will no longer be required outside of instances of elevated risk - Employers must ensure that fundamental measures of communicable disease prevention are in place at their workplace, including appropriate handwashing and personal hygiene practices, appropriate ventilation, and staying home when sick. It's not known if this will mean an immediate end to the mask mandate or the "COVID passport" The current COVID-19 mandate requires everyone 5 or older to wear a mask while at an indoor event or establishment, like a bar or pub, unless seated. Events like concerts are restricted to 50% capacity. Personal gatherings at your home or vacation accommodation are limited to your household plus 10 fully vaccinated visitors. Indoor organized gatherings of any size, like a wedding or funeral receptions, are prohibited. Digital "proof of vaccination QR code' is required for entry. Changing to a "Communicable Disease Plan" from the "COVID-19 Safety Plan" would add British Columbia to a growing list of Provinces that have ended or reduced many COVID-19 mandates. Tuesday of last week Alberta and Saskatchewan announced their plan to drop COVID-19 restrictions in the next few weeks. Starting next week the two provinces will drop their vaccine passport requirements. Alberta will drop mask requirements for students and those under 12. By the end of the month, Saskatchewan will end all indoor mask mandates. Manitoba hopes to have all restrictions removed by March 2022. Ontario continues to proceed cautiously but expects to lift many COVID restrictions by spring. Quebec has relaxed COVID rules as protestors in Montreal call for an end to restrictions. Quebecers no longer have limits on at-home family gatherings and can have as many as 10 people or persons from three households at the same table. Long-term care homes will start allowing visitors. New Brunswick also expects to have many restrictions removed. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was the first Premier to announce earlier this month his province was going to end COVID restrictions, saying “Eradicating COVID is not realistic and COVID Zero is not achievable, but normalizing COVID or living with COVID most certainly is” Health officials insist rolling back COVID restrictions isn't because of the growing number of anti-mandate protests across Canada.

  • Vernon Winter Carnival Parade was a great success. VIDEO

    The Vernon Winter Carnival Parade, 2022, was a great success. The public was treated to over 40 minutes of floats, marching bands, clowns, and all manner of displays as the parade made it's way through downtown Vernon, not to mention blue skies and mild temperatures. This year the parade was dedicated to "first responders". Vernon fire, RCMP, Forestry Service, Search and Rescue, Ambulance and other agencies led the procession. The Vernon Winter Carnival is in its 61st year. The Parade was canceled last year because of COVID.

  • Majority of Canadians Want COVID Restrictions to End: Poll

    The Angus Reid Institute has just released data from their latest poll regarding COVID in Canada. The finding, 1 in 5 Canadians reported at least one person in their household as of January 31st, 2022 had COVID. The poll also found that 54% of Canadians want COVID restrictions to end. That's up 15 points since the beginning of January 2022. Broken down the only "group" that doesn't want restrictions to end are women over age 54. Check out the entire Angus Reid here https://angusreid.org/omicron-incidence-restrictions/

  • Freedom Convoy 2022 Truck Convoy GoFundMe Fundraiser Alive and Well: Organizer

    UPDATE: GoFundMe has refused to release funds to the Freedom Convoy. Legal action has started domestically and abroad. Meanwhile, donations continue to pour in for the truckers. The Christian GiveSendGo is the most popular. Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has taken credit for the funds being withheld Original Story: The GoFundMe fundraiser supporting the Freedom Convoy 2022 Truck protest heading to Ottawa is alive and well, according to one of the fundraisers' organizers, Tamara Lich. Freedom Convoy 2022 is a protest against "Government Overreach" regarding vaccine mandates for Canadians, especially truckers. Tens of thousands of truckers from across Canada will be staging a huge demonstration on Parliament Hill on January 29th. Freedom Convoy 2022 Facebook Page Launched on Jan 14th from Medicine Hat the fund has brought in $5,252,510 of its $6,000,000 goal as of January 26th, 2022. Rumors that GoFundMe has stopped accepting donations are not true according to Lich. Lich says GoFundMe is only trying to determine who and how the millions raised are distributed. The donations will be used for fuel, hotels, food and other necessities for the truckers FROM THE FREEDOM CONVOY FACEBOOK PAGE "To our fellow Canadians, the time for political overreach is over. Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries, and livelihoods. Canadians have been integral to the fabric of humanity in many ways that have shaped the planet. We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here. We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people. Small businesses are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed, and people are being mistreated and denied fundamental necessities to survive. It's our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don't our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back. We are asking for Donations to help with the costs of fuel first, and hopefully food and lodgings to help ease the pressures of this arduous task." Freedom Convoy 2022 routes and other info including what truckers making the journey need and what you can do to help are on the FaceBook page. https://www.facebook.com/Freedom-Convoy-2022-100286905896085/ Fearful of bad press a code of conduct for the truckers is reported to have been written. "The world will be watching, everyone on their best professional behavior" Reports of massive public support for the truckers is also being reported, with people are offering their homes and B&Bs for the truckers. GoFundMe organizers are Tamara Lich and B.J. Dichter. https://www.gofundme.com/f/taking-back-our-freedom-convoy-2022?fbclid=IwAR3jAaVYiIC28X3-opEMtrUMkxRDZ3fCI1lqPNsDy8MGuot9wxdJP_i5rPs

  • Europe Rolling back COVID restrictions, Canada "Redefines" COVID Disease Burden

    New model to determine "disease burden" recommended by researchers United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as of January 27th, people won’t have to wear masks in public or show proof of vaccination if they want to visit a pub or have dinner in a restaurant. There will no longer be a work-from-home advisory. Ireland is also planning to roll back COVID restrictions soon. That would spell an end to capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor events plus no more social distancing. In France, the Prime Minister stated publicly French citizens can expect regulations to ease significantly very soon, possibly even end if COVID numbers continue to drop. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he believes the European Union should approach COVID-19 in the same manner that it approaches influenza. New Way to report COVID hospital numbers in Canada Last week British Columbia provincial health officials confirmed that almost half of COVID positive hospital admissions are "not admitted for COVID". Quebec officials are saying the same thing. Less than half, 45% (approx) of COVID cases detected were admitted because of COVID. The remaining COVID positive cases detected are "incidental". What incidental describes, in this case, are people who come into a hospital for a reason not related to COVID. For example, a person comes into the hospital with a cut or a broken leg, not for COVID. They may test positive for COVID, but they are typically showing little or no signs they are infected with the virus. Ontario's numbers are very similar. “Roughly 45 percent” of Ontario’s hospital admissions that are COVID positive are “incidental.” In Alberta, it's estimated that over 40% of hospital admissions reported to be COVID-19 positive are incidental. https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#highlights In Saskatchewan, 46% of patients were admitted due to COVID related illness, 46% were incidental cases. https://dashboard.saskatchewan.ca/health-wellness/covid-19-cases/hospitalized The reporting of COVID admissions to hospital versus "incidental" COVID cases is also an issue in New York. New York state Governor Kathy Hochul recently said she was “disappointed to see that at least a certain percentage of positive COVID cases in hospital settings are not related to being treated for COVID.” Hochul said some of the patients test positive for COVID-19 “but they’re in there for other reasons,” “Think of all the other reasons people end up at a hospital; it’s an overdose, it’s a car accident, a heart attack.” https://nypost.com/2022/01/03/hochul-orders-clearer-accounting-of-covid-cases-in-hospitals/ Why the change in reporting is significant, researchers recommend new model. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitalizations have been the metric used by governments to mount a response to the virus. A recent study has examined that model What the study found is that because of widespread vaccinations and possibly naturally acquired immunity the seriousness of COVID symptoms are often very mild or even asymptomatic. The researchers recommend that SEVERITY should be included in reporting https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-898254/v1 "the proportion of hospitalizations that are due to severe COVID-19 has changed with vaccine availability, thus, increasing proportions of mild and asymptomatic cases are included in hospitalization reporting metrics. The addition of simple measures of disease severity to the case definition of a SARS-CoV-2 hospitalization is a straightforward and objective change that should improve the value of the metric for tracking SARS-CoV-2 disease burden. It's unclear if the change in attitude towards how COVID-19 hospitalizations are reported is because of research like the beforementioned study. What it does suggest is COVIDs hold on people's health may be weakening. Light at the end of the tunnel?

  • Precautionary Water Quality Advisory Rescinded For Greater Vernon Area

    January 21, 2022: The Precautionary Water Quality Advisory for residents of the Greater Vernon area on the Duteau water supply service has been rescinded. The advisory was put in place on January 17th after low water flow resulting from a failed air release valve allowed some inadequately treated water into the system. Flows and water treatment have been restored. Water Treatment Plant and all levels of treatment have returned to normal. Bacterial testing results and chlorine disinfection levels are satisfactory in the distribution system.

  • Coquihalla Highway Opens to Automobile Traffic

    Good news for BC drivers. As of January 19 2022, Non Commercial traffic, IE you and me, can use the Coquihalla highway 5 once again. The Coquihalla/Highway 5 was closed to regular vehicle traffic on November 14th after more than 20 sites along a 130-kilometer stretch were damaged or destroyed by historic heavy rainfall. More than 300 workers using 200 pieces of heavy equipment toiled around the clock opening the Coquihalla to commercial traffic. The stretch of mountainous highway opened on December 20th, almost a month ahead of schedule. During that 35 days more than 400,000 cubic metres of gravel, rock and other material were moved. There's still lots of work left before the Coquihalla is 100% restored. Many of the repairs are temporary. Drivers traveling on the Coquihalla can expect travel-pattern changes and reduced speed limits, with the trip between Hope and Merritt taking about 45 minutes longer than normal. One thing remains normal, high mountain winter conditions. The Coquihalla may be closed on short notice if weather conditions warrant it. If you're driving an electric vehicle be warned. Charging stations along the route are still not operational. That means there are no charging stations between Hope and Merritt. Winter-tire and chain-up regulations are in effect

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