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.


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.

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.”

Over the past several years, particularly in the springs of 2017, 2018 and 2020, Mill Creek has seen periods of significant flooding which has damaged homes and city infrastructure.

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.

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.

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."

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