Happy Friday, everyone! We’re back with a weekly roundup, highlighting the top stories that made headlines across the Okanagan this past week.
If you wear a mask or you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccination, you’re not welcome at this Kelowna martial arts gym.
Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a now-password-protected membership application form on its website. The Sutherland Avenue gym came to the decision after consultation with “health, wellness, and fitness-related facilities across Canada … as well as liability insurance companies.”
According to their sign-up page, “the unknown health effects of the mRNA vaccines as well as reported side effects such as viral shedding, seizures, and death following the administration of these vaccines, are not covered by our liability.”
Under its operating procedures listed on the application, the gym also forbids masks “for the health, safety, and protection of us and our members.”
In February, Interior Health (IH) previously issued an order and a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with provincial health orders. The health authority is again following up with the academy due to “ongoing concerns and additional complaints.”
A Penticton mountain biker took to social media to warn other bikers after hundreds of nails were found scattered at Campbell Mountain bike trails over the weekend.
After a friend found a nail in their tire, Brian Rippy posted to the Penticton and Area Cycling Association Facebook page that “someone sprinkled (nails) at the trailhead to Campbell from the Brookside entrance.”
Rippy took a picture of the bag of nails that were collected by his friend and shared it in the group to warn others, just in case this dangerous vandalism happens again. The intent behind the nail scattering is not yet known.
Salmon Arm carpenter Mel Hanson has been able to find work building houses, but is struggling to find a place to call home.
Since late last summer, the Ponoka, Alta. resident has been looking for a place he and his family of six could relocate to in Salmon Arm where he has been able to find steady work in construction.
“I’m building houses but I can’t find a place to live,” said Hanson, who has been working in two-week shifts in Salmon Arm and returning home on weekends to be with his family.
City councillor Louise Wallace Richmond, who sits on the city’s Housing Task Force, said the population growth Salmon Arm is currently experiencing is putting pressure on the housing supply and, in turn, is having a direct impact on the vacancy rate.
A North Okanagan’s tenants of 10 years, given a two-month eviction notice in March, skipped town in the middle of the night before essentially trashing the entire home.
Wes Burden rented the upstairs portion of his Spallumcheen four-bedroom, two-bath rental home to the tenants, who were allowed by Burden to use the basement for storage, and said he conducted home inspections quarterly.
“When I saw the water on the ceiling in the basement, that’s when I went to get the keys and go in,” he said.
Upstairs, Burden found every room “stacked to the ceiling with junk” and the tenants gone. Toilets were overflowing or clogged with feces and toilet paper and a five-gallon bucket had also been used as a toilet.
Animal feces were also found in the home, plastic water bottles were laying on the floor, as were plastic bags and cat litter bags. Boxes and food were everywhere and toiletries were left behind on and in a bathroom sink.
Clean up to date has cost Burden an estimated $4,000, and he’s looking at anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000 to fix the house.