Healthy Living Fair returning

Board of directors nominations for the Penticton Chamber of Commerce is now open, ahead of this year’s annual election. 

Board members are elected to two-year terms, and the election will be to fill openings as several board members finish their terms.

Last year, 10 new board members were voted in and five members were returnees. 

“Imagine being able to use your talents while developing new skills in a leadership role. Volunteering for a board can be a responsibility but it has enormous benefits,” the Chamber said in a news release.

President Neil Wyper said serving on the board is a great way for Chamber members to be directly involved in operations.

The Chamber’s election and annual general meeting will take place on Mar. 8 at the Shatford Centre, located at 760 Main Street.

The deadline for nomination packages is noon on Feb. 16.

Police are announcing charges against an Oliver woman for running down another woman with her vehicle last week.

RCMP was called to the 6000 block of Lakeside Dr. in Oliver on Friday for a report of an injured pedestrian. Investigators found the victim had been hit by a vehicle following a disagreement between the victim and driver.

Police later determined the vehicle in question had been stolen from Oliver the night before, and immediately informed neighbouring detachments about the incident.

After leaving Oliver, the suspect then crashed the vehicle in Princeton and was arrested by local officers.

Angelene Solien, 22, appeared in Penticton court Monday and pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon, possession of stolen property under $5,000 and failure to stop at an accident. She is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. 

Police say Solien and the victim were known to each other.

Colton Davies

Paul Braun was joined by his lawyer and several members of the public for a show of solidarity on Tuesday afternoon.

The display was a protest against a court case between Braun and the City of Penticton.

Braun lives at the Fairhaven social housing complex on Skaha Lake Road and comes down daily to panhandle on Main Street.

He said he needs to do it to make ends meet.

As for why he chooses to panhandle in there and not somewhere else, he says there’s a couple reasons. 

“Because there’s shelter. Over there (Nanaimo Square) there’s nothing but drunks. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed in with a bunch of drunks. I haven’t had a drink in 20 years.”

Braun’s court case is a result of eight bylaw infractions he was given in 2017. 

On Tuesday morning, the City of Penticton issued a two-page statement to try and clear the air on Braun’s case.

The city said they’ve been trying to reason with Braun to move elsewhere since 2014, saying his panhandling next to a breezeway goes against the Good Neighbour Bylaw. 

They added other offenders have moved when asked, but Braun hasn’t, which led to them take legal action. 

The city also said they offered to waive 90 per cent of Braun’s fines if he complied with the bylaw, but they said that offer was rejected.

Braun’s lawyer Paul Varga didn’t confirm if that offer was formally rejected or not, but he claimed the information put out by the city didn’t tell the whole story of negotiations that took place.

Braun’s trial will take place over four days in September. 

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The Summerland company that pioneered non-browning apples has just received approval for its latest modified Arctic Fuji apple.

Okanagan Speciality Fruits says the apple is its third non-browning variety and has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Arctic apples don’t turn brown when cut open. They were created by longtime orchardist Neal Carter, who has worked for more than 30 years as a bioscience engineer.

In a recent decision, the CFIA ruled the Fuji Arctic apple variety “(does) not pose a greater risk to human health than apples currently available on the Canadian market,” and that it is similar to other varieties in terms of allergies and nutritional content.

For more on Arctic apples, including when OSF expects them to show up in grocery stores, check out the full story on Castanet’s sister business news website, Okanagan Edge.

The annual Healthy Living Fair is returning to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre March 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free event will showcase resources, services and products that support a healthy living lifestyle, including demonstrations and over 80 information booths.

Health professionals will also be providing assessments by taking blood pressure and talking one-on-one to people about stress, eating healthy, staying fit and stopping smoking. Advance registration is required for the healthy living assessment program online or in-person on the day of the event.

The event is also seeking volunteers and participating organizations. More information can be found here. 

An update on Tuesday’s protest can be found here. 

The City of Penticton is fighting back against allegations that they’re waging a war on the homeless when they prosecute panhandler Paul Braun in court for unpaid bylaw tickets. 

“Mr. Braun’s lawyer has suggested that the city is leading a ‘war on the homeless’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Braun is not homeless and has a residence,” the city said in a two-page statement on Tuesday.

“There is no correlation between the circumstances surrounding Mr. Braun’s failure to comply with the Good Neighbour Bylaw and the challenges surrounding homelessness in Penticton.”

Braun was issued eight municipal bylaw offence tickets between Jul. 18 and Oct. 29 in 2017, and was summoned to court by the city in November.

After pleading not guilty last week his case will go to four-day trial later this year.

The city says they have been trying to get Braun to move from the breezeway on the 200 block of Main St. since 2014. Penticton’s bylaws prohibit panhandling within 10 metres of an entrance or enclosed walkway.

“As Mr. Braun has regularly refused to move (whereas other offenders have readily moved), officers have been forced to ticket him in order to treat him equally before the law.”

The city says they offered to waive 90 per cent of Braun’s fines if he would comply with the bylaw, prior to the trial date being set. They said he rejected, which forced them to continue with their court case.

In their statement, the city also outlined steps taken to support homeless residents, saying the issue is taken seriously at city hall. 

Their initiatives include converting two motels into transitional housing, supporting zoning for new rental units and working with BC Housing and other housing groups. 

Braun’s lawyer, Paul Varga, has maintained that the city is targeting his client. He plans to sit with Braun in protest in the breezeway at noon on Tuesday.

The trial for Braun’s bylaw offences will take place from Sept. 11 to 14 in Penticton court.

Country music star Kip Moore returns to Penticton’s South Okanagan Events Centre this spring on his Plead the Fifth Tour.

The second leg of dates announced Tuesday feature shows across Canada, including Penticton on May 12. Drake White and the Fairground Saints join in support.

Kip Moore recently released a powerful music video for his new single Last Shot, which is taken from his third studio album Showheart.

Tickets go on sale Friday for $29, $44.50 and $54.50 at valleyfirsttix.com or by phone at 1.877.763.2849.

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