Dr. Sorouch Zagh, graduated from Harvard Medical School, completed residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA, and Sleep Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University.
A Harvard-trained doctor and breathing specialist, Dr. Sorouch Zaghi will be giving the first in-person lecture in two years at Kelowna General Hospital Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m.
"Kelowna is excited and honoured to welcome world-renowned Dr. Sorouch Zaghi, ear nose and throat and sleep specialist from The Breathe Institute. This is the first Canadian in-person lecture since 2020," said Dr. Hilary Pada.
Dr. Zaghi is a leader helping patients suffering from airway issues, nasal obstruction, snoring, sleep apnea, tongue-tie and anyone seeking a healthier roadmap to better breathing and overall wellness.
"We are beyond thrilled to have such a well-respected and educated doctor to spend time with us here in Kelowna. The experience and knowledge Dr. Zaghi will share about breathing will be amazing for anyone from health professionals to the general public who share an interest," says Dr. Pada. "Breathing is something we all do for survival, an essential part of life. This is very exciting for our community."
Dr. Zaghi graduated from Harvard Medical School, and completed his residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA, and Sleep Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University. The focus of his sub-specialty training is on the comprehensive treatment of tongue-tie, nasal obstruction, mouth breathing, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Fore more information on the presentation click here.
UPDATE 7:57 p.m.
E-Comm is confirming that 911 calls for the Central and Southern Okanagan region are once again coming through to the emergency communications centre.
ORIGINAL 4:13 p.m.
Those experiencing an emergency in the South and Central Okanagan are unable to use 911 at this time.
In a press release from E-Comm 911, B.C.'s 911 dispatcher, the company says a “service disruption” has caused the 911 phone number to stop functioning Thursday afternoon.
Those experiencing an emergency will have to call their RCMP non-emergency number instead. In Kelowna, that number is 250-762-3300, in West Kelowna it's 250-768-2880 and in Penticton it's 250-492-4300. For a fire, rescue or medical emergency in Penticton, call 250-469-8577.
A full directory of RCMP non-emergency numbers can be found here.
E-Comm says its technicians are working with Telus to determine the cause of the disruption and they're attempting to restore service.
People in the South and Central Okanagan have been asked not to call their non-emergency lines unless they are experiencing an emergency, to keep the phone lines clear.
The disruption comes after a similar outage in the Kelowna area on April 24. E-Comm told Castanet that outage occurred during a “planned evacuation exercise.”
After a rocky first year of e-scooters on city streets, Kelowna has launched its new micro-mobility permit program with an eye towards overall safety.
According to the City of Kelowna, roughly 50 serious injuries caused by e-bikes and e-scooters were reported last summer, so finding the right companies to join forces with the city was vital, and that included the new rule of these vehicles providing helmets for their riders.
“It is something new for this permit season. It’s a recommendation that we reached in partnership with Interior Health after collaborating on a study on e-scooter injuries over the summer,” said Cameron Noonan, transportation planner for the City of Kelowna, at a public safety event Thursday in Stuart Park.
The City of Kelowna held a competitive permit application process over the winter where they received several applications which were scored on the company’s commitment to sustainability, to equity, as well as the technology and features offered. That includes Lime’s new built in training program for first-time users.
“When you come into the market for the first time, you start in training mode which is a reduced speed of 12 kilometres for the first number of trips,” explained Derek Robertson of Lime Scooters. “On top of that, we run a number of safety events throughout the season. Finally, there is an acknowledgement in the app that these are the rules in Kelowna.”
The city says this is an important way to give the residents of Kelowna more options to leave their car at home. Options for shorter trips, to cut down on congestion, to reduce emissions and to keep Kelowna moving. Two companies, Spin and Lime, are happy to help with those goals.
“We’ve been really excited to be in Kelowna over the last year. Right from the beginning when Kelowna decided to take the step to introduce e-scooters, over the last year we have found it to be a very successful program and residents and visitors of Kelowna have really taken to micro-mobility as a whole,” said Robertson.
According to the City, you can expect up to 1,000 new vehicles in Kelowna – 700 scooters and 300 bikes.
Photo: Big White Resort
Big White's “Stand with Ukraine” toque fundraising campaign has raised $8,302 for the people of Ukraine since it started back in April.
Big White's senior vice president Michael J. Ballingall tells Castanet they were hoping to raise $10,000 for the cause.
"The team at Kelowna Stands With Ukraine Association desperately needs the funds, so we will be making the presentation tomorrow, Friday, May 6.
Ballingall says Big White white partnered with the Quebec company that produces their toques, "Elle and her team reached out to BulaBula out of Quebec, who manufacture our world-famous snowball pompom toques," and all proceeds of the blue and yellow toques are going directly to Ukraine."
"They are doing good work, so on behalf of all those who have contributed, we would like to say thank you," Ballingall said.
Photo: Cindy White
Red dresses were covered by garment bags to protect them from the rain falling outside the Ki-Lo-Na Friendship Society on Red Dress Day Wednesday, May 5, 2022.
Rain was falling as a sombre ceremony got underway at the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society Wednesday to mark Red Dress Day.
In Canada, May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls. It’s a day to raise awareness and remember those who have been lost over the years.
Red Dress Day started in 2010 as REDress project established by Indigenous artist Jamie Black.
At the Ki-Lo-Na Friendship Society, the event included an opening prayer from an elder and singing and drumming led by Krystal Lezard.
Participants then planned to march to the Kelowna courthouse.
Similar events were held across the country and many posts on social media featured Indigenous women with red handprints across their mouths to symbolize solidarity with MMIWG and represent the thousands who have been silenced.
Similar events were held across the country.
The final report of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls was released in June 2019. It found that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
The two-volume report called for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis, but many of the recommendations have not yet been acted on.
Photo: Regina Police
Jingle Dancers took part in a Red Dress Day Ceremony outside Regina Police headquarters.
A weekly show and shine car show has returned to Kelowna after a years-long hiatus due to the pandemic.
Despite there being some dark clouds and rain on Wednesday, the show went on and cars rolled in.
Event organizer Bruce, who has been involved in the show since 2006, says he's expecting a strong return after all the time away.
“We’ll have to see what the weather is, because a lot of guys won’t take their cars out of the garage if it’s cloudy. So I hope a lot of people show up tonight because it’s a great time, the people are awesome, some beautiful cars, and some not so beautiful, but we don’t turn anybody away,” he said.
With its 16-year history, the event has gained quite the following, but the organizer says hot rod lovers had to come up with new ways to get together when restrictions postponed things indefinitely.
“We would go for the odd cruise. A bunch of us would meet here on a Wednesday and we would go for a drive out to Lake Country or Oyama and then back.”
Now that the event has returned to McCurdy Corner on Highway 97, Bruce is thrilled to show off his cars, check out other classic vehicles, and finally catch up with old friends. But he’s also excited to raise money for a good cause.
“We raise money for the food bank. Last September [this was held] we raised $3,395 for the food bank in four Wednesday nights, and they got every penny.”
Considering the weather and the fact that the event has been cancelled for the past three years, Bruce wants to get the show back to where it was before, breaking attendance records.
“Our record attendance several years ago, we had 213 cars here on a Wednesday night. It was just a giant sardine can, it was just crazy. But the more the merrier!”
The show and shine car show is now back every Wednesday now until the end of September.
Prizes and giveaways will also return next week.
Photo: Nicholas Johansen
The Mill Creek diversion upgrade project near the Rail Trail Thursday morning.
The flood mitigation work that's been ongoing on Kelowna's Mill Creek for close to five months was finally put into use overnight, as crews opened up the upgraded diversion to Mission Creek.
Work began on the project in December, to upgrade the diversion structure along the Rail Trail near Dilworth Drive. Construction has caused temporary closures and detours along the Rail Trail.
After a drier than normal April, Mill Creek has seen relatively low flows this spring, allowing crews to continue work on the upgraded diversion structure. But with rains in the forecast, the city made the decision to open up the new project late Wednesday night, diverting some of Mill Creek into Mission Creek.
“We've been taking advantage of this low flow to continue the construction work and finish off some elements, knowing anytime that we would stop that and initiate the diversion. We have enough of the construction done where it's operational now,” said Rod Maclean, City of Kelowna utility planning manager.
“We didn't want to take any more chance and so last night we had the contractor basically divert the creek back into the structure and it's now operational this morning. So we actually have flow going out through to Mission Creek right now.
“We still have a bit of work to do, so we'll wait until the freshet has done, but there should be no flood concerns this year.”
The diversion sends water from Mill Creek, through an eight-foot by eight-foot concrete pipe along Leckie Road, into Mission Creek. Maclean says the new project slows the water in Mill Creek and helps reduce debris jams.
“The original diversion did the same thing. The problem was it was way under capacity for some of the high flows that we've been seeing in the last 20-30 years,” he said.
“This climate change factor, where we're seeing higher flows more consistently, basically led to this structure being unsafe to operate, or difficult for staff to operate. So we've made some pretty significant upgrades here.
“Flooding will always be a problem, but the improvements here will reduce some of the 'flashiness' of the system.”
Maclean says the new project will help ease the spikes in streamflows that have been seen in the past.
The city has been working on flood mitigation projects along Mill Creek for the past three years, and work is expected to continue for the next four. The total cost of the work is expected to cost $55 million, and Maclean says the recent diversion upgrade has used about 20% of that budget.
In 2019, the federal government announced $22 million in grant funding for the work on Mill Creek, through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.
Photo: Castanet Webcam
The final phase of the Central Green development has been green lit by the city.
Developers of the final two buildings, scheduled for construction along Highway 97, were issued building permits earlier this week.
Some preliminary work ahead of an issuance of the building permit has been ongoing at the site for the past few months.
The two buildings, each six storeys, were given final approval by city council a year ago.
And, while council expressed some disappointment with the scope of the overall development of the former KSS high school site, it did acknowledge the desired density was met.
The overall build, when complete, will include 748 residential units, more than the 717 originally proposed.
The building permits issued for the final two buildings clock in at a value of $33.8 million.
Construction of a pedestrian overpass, connecting Central Green with downtown, is also going on.
Uride will start rolling in Kelowna at noon today, and it will be offering discounts to celebrate its arrival.
The ride sharing company announced its B.C. launch earlier this year, and its first city is Kelowna. It will follow with launches in Kamloops, Nanaimo, Prince George and Victoria.
“We’re very excited for this launch and to bring the people of Kelowna access to safe and reliable transportation 24/7,” Uride founder and CEO Cody Ruberto said. “We’re here with a team of dedicated drivers ready to prevent impaired driving and change the way people move around in Kelowna.”
Those who use Uride this weekend will receive a discount of up to 50%, with a maximum of $10 off, when they use the promotion code KELOWNA50.
The company is still looking for drivers as well, offering a $1,000 signing bonus to part-timers and $1,500 to those who decide to join Uride’s all-star program.
Big White Ski Resort says they are being forced to think outside the box to attract and retain employees.
"In my entire career, I've never sat here and worried about staff," said senior vice president Michael J. Ballingall.
Until now, the transient hospitality workers Big White relies on "can go anywhere" in the world.
"From the labour point of view, we've never been this aggressive in our history. If we needed 1,000 staff, we would normally get 6,000 applications. We're not getting any."
The resort has launched a recruiting video targeted at employees who want to live the ski lifestyle, especially if they've never skied. "You can learn, that's been a big push for us, and listening to who came and why they came. We're telling real employee stories, it's been in the market for 72 hours and it's getting some good feedback," Ballingall says.
Ballingall said they have also have boosted wages and subsidized housing to make the entire compensation package more attractive to prospective new employees.
"We're subsidizing food and beverage you get a (free) ski pass so the package that we're offering an employee is very competitive with you know, with SilverStar, Sun Peaks, and the Kicking Horse brands."
Ballingall says the federal government has helped by easing visa restrictions for workers, knocking the wait times down from 8-12 weeks to 2-4 weeks.
"That's made a big difference. Kids applying online, they phone, we say get a visa, you got a job, you got a bed, get a visa, and they'll be here next winter. So we're starting to see that, but we built the video predominantly for Canada and Australia," Ballingall says.
Big White is also partnering with recruiting companies in Australia and New Zealand who recruit for adventure tourism jobs, but Ballingall says right now the employees have all the choices.
"The money might be the same but the experience will be way different, so they get the pick of the crop and we tend to have to go searching and turning over a few more rocks. It's pretty hard work, harder than it's ever been."
Photo: Big White Resort