Osoyoos local on Rust Valley Restorers TV show

Local on Rust Valley show

Local gearhead JF Launier is once again returning to the popular History series Rust Valley Restorers now in its third season premiering this week — featuring one of his favourite projects to date.

Owner of JF Kustoms in Osoyoos, Launier and his shop have been a regularly featured on the series since it debuted in 2018. Rust Valley Restorers follows car collector Mike Hall and his shop in the South Shuswap on his never-ending quest to find junkers across the valley and turn them into sweet rides.

The upcoming third season features of Launier’s best-ever restorations, his brother’s 1951 Chevy truck.

“I got a chance to restore my brother’s truck that he has owned since he was 14 years old. For me, including my dad and my son in the restoration is probably one of my favourite memories of any of the stuff I’ve ever done restoring cars,” Launier said.

Launier’s father and son joined Launier’s brother and his children to chip in on the effort to restore the truck which has been in the family for roughly 25 years.

“I think family has always been important to me, so it was a chance to give back to my family in a way. My parents have always helped me with my career and been there to help me with anything I needed. So it was just a chance to give back,” Launier said.

Launier was familiar with the show’s star Hall and had run into him at a few swap meets prior to the debut of Rust Valley Restorers, but has grown to know the cast a bit more as the series has developed.

“It has been interesting too say the least. Those guys are really unique characters as the show portrays them, and they really are those guys which is cool,” Launier said.

Producers were initially looking to focus a TV show around JF Kustoms, which is still something Launier and his crew are working towards as they have grown the brand on the show.

“I think it’s pretty cool we’re the first series to ever get filmed in Osoyoos. In the South Okanagan for that matter. We’re definitely working hard to get our own TV show at some point, and clearly the exposure we’re getting and the fan base that we’re building is going to help with that,” Launier said.

Following Hall and his co-star/friend/friendly competition Avery Shoaf around the Interior of B.C. as they search for the best rust buckets to bring back to life, Rust Valley Restorers is an accurate portrayal of the car culture in the area according to Launier.

“I actually think the show is really accurate when it represents that stuff. That’s one of the reasons I’m on my third season with them because I feel they’ve represented our shop in a way that I think is fairly accurate,” Launier said.

Not only are Launier and his shop featured in the series, but his employees get in on the action as well.

“We all have fun with it to tell you the truth. There are a bunch of racing episodes this year that are really fun because there are all sorts of rivalry and it’s the JF Kustoms team versus the world. We all have a little fun with that because we’re super competitive,” Launier said.

One of the organizers for the very popular annual car show in Osoyoos, Cactus Jalopies — which has been featured on a previous season of Rust Valley Restorers — Launier says there is some hope the car show will return in 2022.

“For 2021 I think our hope is just to gather the troops and maybe do a non-public car gathering with maybe some discussion on how we’re going to do 2022 at this point,” Launier said.

“(Cactus Jalopies) was one of our first experiences with these guys and the show was actually seen on Netflix. So we had Cactus Jalopies in 190 countries. The level of exposure that we did for Osoyoos B.C. was huge,” Launier said.

Rust Valley Restorers premiered Thursday, Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. on History. For more information visit history.ca.

About a quarter of current short-term rentals could be ineligible under proposed new bylaw

Short term policy unveiled

A new package of bylaws designed to finally legalize short-term rentals within the City of West Kelowna, could eliminate eligibility for up to 25 per cent of those currently listed.

The bylaw package sets out rules and regulations designed to regulate a growing industry which is currently not allowed in the city.

That means the more than 375 residences listed on short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO have been operating illegally in West Kelowna.

City planning staff have drafted a series of bylaw changes and regulations which council will review Tuesday. If given first and second reading, the regulations would go to a public hearing before being enacted.

Under the provisions outlined in the report, short-term rentals would be restricted to single detached dwellings, and could only be rented if the home was occupied by the principle resident.

Short-term rentals would not be allowed on properties with a secondary suite or carriage home.

They would also not be permitted within multi-family dwellings such as townhouse or apartment developments.

Short-term rentals would be divided into two categories, minor and major.

Under short-term minor provisions, up to three guest rooms could be rented with a maximum of two adults per room and the requirement of an additional one to three parking stalls. The operator must remain on-site during the rental.

Under short-term major, up to four guest rooms could be rented with a maximum of two adults per room and provisions for one or two additional parking stalls. The operator may, or may not remain on site during the rental.

Business licences would be required before operators could begin advertising their rental. Proposed licence fees have been pegged at $135 (minor) and $500 (major).

Operators would also be required to provide a local contact number in case of problems, sign a good neighbour agreement which outlines a code of conduct and undergo fire and building inspections.

The city is also proposing 14 new bylaw infractions, with maximum daily fines for Municipal Ticket Information infractions increasing from $500 to $1,000.

Penticton RCMP warn of ‘alarming’ uptick in impaired driving

‘Alarming’ impaired driving

Penticton RCMP say there was an “alarming” increase in impaired driving incidents this January.

Cst. James Grandy said there were four serious incidents within the final 10 days of the month, which resulted in recommended criminal charges.

On Jan. 21, a vehicle passed an officer at over 150 km/hr, causing the officer to pull the offender over.

A specially trained drug recognition officer was called to the scene after the officer suspected substances were involved. After road-side testing, the driver was found to be impaired by drugs.

The driver had his vehicle impounded, and charges were recommended to the BC Prosecution Service.

On Jan. 23, an officer stopped a suspicious vehicle on Fairview Avenue, and immediately suspected he may be under the influence of a drug or alcohol. After testing, the 55-year-old driver was found to be impaired, and arrested.

On Jan. 26, a 33-year-old female was reported to be passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle on Leir Street. Before officers could arrive, the female drove off erratically down the street. Officers caught up to her on Carmi Avenue, and determined she was impaired by drugs. Charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle were forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service.

On Jan. 29, a driver was found near Orchard Avenue in his vehicle, using drugs while the car was still running. He was arrested and the vehicle impounded. Charges against the 32-year-old Penticton resident include possessing a controlled substance, and driving while being impaired by a drug.

“It’s very concerning to see this alarming increase in people getting behind the wheel while impaired by substances,” Grandy said.

“These particular cases highlight a significant concern for all who share the road. We want to stress to those who use recreational drugs, including marijuana, not to use them and drive in our communities.”

Local program working to get musicians back to work amid COVID-19 pandemic

Elevate your music dreams

A new local program is working to get musicians back to work during a time when the entertainment industry has taken a huge hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelowna’s LMS Entertainment talent agency has launched the Elevate your Music Dreams studio sessions program with the help of Puresound Recording Studios in West Kelowna, which features widely known and professional musicians from the Okanagan.

“I employ approximately 17 different musicians throughout the course of a touring year and to see all of these musicians not playing, not honing their craft, but just sitting at home and basically waiting for this to finish, I thought it was a great time for us to get back and get creative,” says Mike Schell owner of LMS Entertainment.

“Our mandate is to get professional musicians back to work due to the demise of the entertainment industry as a result of COVID-19.”

The program includes cost-effective pricing for artists to record their music, suitable for musicians of any genre or ability. So, if you’re new to creating content, not to worry. A music arranger and session musician will be brought in to help you establish your ideas with instruments, voices and everything needed to create your sound.

“It’s the perfect time to do it while you’re sitting at home. Everybody’s had the last year and a bit to hone their craft. Let’s make some magic. Get in touch with us today and we’ll elevate your musical game,” says Schell.

Along with creating content, artists can also get help with marketing strategies, brand image, photos and more. All packages come with a professional engineer and music producer.

There are four different packages available including the Custom Package for $900 which includes one song mixed and mastered, two session players, one performance video and a promotional photoshoot. The Silver Package for $1,500 includes one song mixed and mastered, a four-piece band, one performance video and a promotional photoshoot.

The Gold Package for $2,500 includes two songs mixed and mastered, a four-piece band, one performance video, a promotional photoshoot and music marketing setup. The Platinum Package for $3,000 includes two songs mixed and mastered, a four-piece band, one performance video, a promotional photoshoot, EPK branding and music marketing setup.

Julie Masi, a multi-Juno award winner and one of the B.C. Interior’s most in demand musicians has joined in as one of the session players to help bring artists’ ideas to life.

“We’re really excited to see who’s going to take part in this and really excited to help any young musicians who are really looking to see what they can do with music,” she says. “All of the musicians that Mike hires are professionals and we’ve all had writing experience and singing and playing, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

In addition to Masi, more local favourites have joined in on the project, including Jimmy LeGuilloux, Dennis Marcenko, Conrad Burek, Sean Bray, Scott Gamble, Aaron Anderson, Peter Freddete and Mike Sanyshyn.

Elevate your Music Dreams is suitable for musicians of any genre, age and ability. To learn more click here.

City of Penticton exploring engagement process for Naramata Bench development

Bench proposal feedback

As Penticton City Council prepares to hear the presentation from Canadian Horizons on their proposal for development above the Naramata Bench, residents may get a chance to voice their concerns or support for the project.

If Council gives the first reading to the zoning amendment bylaw set to appear at the upcoming regular meeting agenda on Tuesday, a community engagement process concerning the proposal would then be underway.

This could begin the multi-step process to determine whether or not 1050 Spiller Road will see a go-ahead for the estimated 307 homes. Canadian Horizons had recently released an updated plan for the development, where some residents responded that they were still opposed.

While the approximately 29ha of a 51ha parcel of land were identified for residential development by the recently adopted Official Community Plan (OCP), council and staff have been waiting for the developer (Canadian Horizons) to complete the necessary components of their development application which – now received – allows Council to consider zoning the lands for the proposed use.

“Should Council pass first reading, staff will follow-up by designing a community engagement process that balances the need to effectively gather feedback from a wide range of voices and perspectives while concurrently hosting accessible engagement opportunities during the current pandemic,” JoAnne Kleb, the City of Penticton’s Engagement Program Manager said in a press release.

“As we prepare and plan, the community is invited to begin to review all of the available reports and materials, discuss the proposal in a City forum and share their suggestions for a meaningful engagement process.”

Over the last year, the City stated they have had success using various online tools to gather information from the community.

The City stated that because of the great interest in the proposed 1050 Spiller Road development and the expectation that many individuals will want to have their voices heard, the City will encourage residents to submit suggestions on how they might like to be engaged by leaving a comment on the forum at www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca

As for individuals looking for information about the proposed development, including planning, technical and proposal documents and the associated public process, more information can also be found on the same website.

“Pending the passing of first reading, staff will follow-up with further information on key dates for engagement along with next steps,” Kleb said.

City of Penticton seeking provincial heritage grant

City seeking heritage grant

The City of Penticton is seeking a grant from Heritage BC on behalf of the Heritage and Museum Advisory Committee to fund a public education campaign aimed to raise awareness of the city’s heritage.

Some of Penticton’s older building date back more than a century, back to when Penticton was the headquarters for the new Kettle Valley Railway and the S.S. Sicamous steamship serviced Okanagan Lake.

Following the end of the Second World War, a flood of returning veterans led to a post-war population boom, and in 1948, Penticton was incorporated as a city. The 1950s and 1960s were busy decades of construction and infrastructure projects.

Penticton Heritage Registry has recognized around 50 sites throughout the city as being significant, and now, they hope provincial recognition will help urge preservation.

“This is an intent to enhance the opportunity for Penticton to recognize and keep its heritage before it’s all gone,” said Coun. Judy Sentes, council liaison for the Heritage & Museum Advisory Committee.

This campaign would clear up any misunderstandings involving heritage designations in the community, she added, while providing clarification to help Penticton “realize its very rich history.”

The discussion came up at a recent meeting regarding a newly-registered heritage home in the community, with some on council concerned the heritage status would negatively effect the future property value.

Karen Collins, a member of the Heritage & Museum Advisory Committee, said there are many benefits to embracing heritage buildings, which she says retain their value “with more resiliency as property markets shift through time” and support tourism.

“Heritage sites are a connection to the past and provide a sense of history and continuity,” she said.

“They also tell the stories of who we are, what we have experienced as a community, in addition to functioning as landmarks and having significant aesthetic value.”

Bill Hillis, Committee Chair, echoed the sentiment and urged education to take away misunderstandings about what it means to be on a heritage registry.

“Once a heritage site, building or tree is gone, it is lost forever,” he said.

Visit the City’s Heritage Registry webpage to learn more.

The Heritage & Museum Advisory Committee is currently accepting applications for four vacancies. Those interested in applying can click here.

Lot / Land For Sale in Wiltse / Valley View, Penticton

Photo Link
Future redevelopment potential.

•  lot / land – FOR SALE  CAD329,900 . 152 Greenwood Drive .347 Acre lot.
MLS® 187847

152 Greenwood Drive .347 Acre lot. Both lots together are available for $699,000. Sewer, water, gas, and electrical available at lot line off Greenwood. Nice size .347 acre lot close to town with a view south up Skaha lake. This is a rare lot indeed. Future redevelopment potential. Purchase 1 lot or both. 130 Greenwood Dr is the larger lot 0.538 acre zoning R2 priced at $399,900 and 152 Greenwood Dr is 0.347 zoning R2 priced at $329,900

Click here for: Property information

Lot / Land For Sale in Wiltse / Valley View, Penticton

Photo Link
Future redevelopment potential.

•  lot / land – FOR SALE  CAD399,900 . Huge .5 acre lot close to town.
MLS® 187846

130 Greenwood Drive .5 Acre lot. Sewer, water, gas, and electrical available at lot line off Greenwood. Huge .5 acre lot close to town with a view south up Skaha lake. This is a rare lot indeed. Future redevelopment potential. Existing home is removed. Purchase 1 lot or both. 130 Greenwood Dr is the larger lot 0.538 acre zoning R2 priced at $399,900 and 152 Greenwood Dr is 0.347 zoning R2 priced at $329,900

Click here for: Property information

Summerland affordable housing project heading to council, with information session in meantime

Housing project scrutiny

A new affordable housing complex will face Summerland council scrutiny later this month.

The proposed development, located at the former Summerland RCMP detachment site at 8709 Jubilee Rd. E, will need council approval for bylaw rezoning.

Concerns from neighbours have popped up wondering whether the project, which would be run by Turning Points Collaborative Society, will be supportive housing versus affordable housing. Supportive housing includes support services for those suffering from mental health or addictions crises.

Summerland director of development services Brad Dollevoet said that isn’t the case.

“It isn’t a homeless shelter or anything like that,” Dollevoet said. “It’s homes for families and things like that. They’re targeted to families, people with handicapped accessibility issues as well as seniors in need of income support.”

He said the development includes “spaces for women and children leaving family homes as well,” and
30 per cent of the units are required to have handicapped accessibility.

It is not Dollevoet’s understanding that support services for those experiencing addiction will be part of the housing project, nor will that be the demographic the complex is seeking to attract.

“This form of housing is something we want to encourage in the District,” Dollevoet said.

“Targeted to renting, targeted to low-income families … This proposed project addresses a number of goals in the District planning framework.”

There is a public hearing tentatively scheduled for March 22, should council move forward with first and second reading at the upcoming Feb. 22 meeting.

If that moves forward, the District will send letters to nearby residents letting them know about the planned public hearing.

But in the meantime, residents can learn more via the information meeting, which is being run by the developer.
Interested residents can pre-register here for the information meeting, happening on Feb. 18. at 6:30 p.m.

Okanagan Lake is seeing parts of it freeze along the lakeshore with the cold snap, especially throughout Penticton

Icy features on lakeshore

Casey Richardson

Okanagan Lake is seeing parts of it freeze along the lakeshore in Penticton and other areas with the cold snap, but the temperatures are definitely nowhere near cold enough for long enough to really freeze the lake or allow some skating like previous years.

“Okanagan Lake in British Columbia is one of the hardest lakes to freeze because it’s so big,” Doug Lundquist, a meteorologist with Environment Canada said, adding the north end of the lake near Vernon will see some freezing since it shallows out.

“Even at Penticton, it can get a little ice around the edge just because you get that north wind, and any ice that forms pushes down towards Penticton…But it takes a lot to freeze Lake Okanagan.”

But with the deep freeze expected to last throughout the weekend, Okanagan Lake could see some of the spectacular ice features seen in recent years.

Look for ice volcanoes along the lakeshore, which is caused by the wind pushing up on the ice and the waves breaking underneath the icy structures to create an “effective blowhole”.

Ice disc formation are one other feature that forms in very particular cold weather, with the edge of the lake current pushing the ice piece and rotating so it becomes round.

“The other things that’s beautiful about the cold weather and the lake is that, with temperatures getting close to -20 C, they haven’t quite got there yet near the lake, down into the minus low double digits, you can get sea smoke or lake smoke as I call it,” Lundquist added.

“You kind of get this little fog, and because it’s so warm, the lake, it’s kind of like a bubbling pot.”

Although this week of frigid cold is expected to be the last the Okanagan area sees, as the arctic air moves along and days start getting warmer, who knows how long the ice will stay.

“Two really cold nights, another two really cold days and then the warm-up begins on Sunday and by Tuesday, Wednesday it’s pretty much much completed and we’re back into pacific air instead of this arctic air,” Lundquist said.

“March is really never, ever a month of winter here. It can have a day or two cold or a little bit of snow but it tends to melt really quickly. So we’re pretty much out of the woods after this, the likelihood of another cold event is very low.”

Have some interesting ice and weather photos of your own? Send them into news@castanet.net.