Salmon Arm’s first Bitcoin ATM installed in mall

A cryptocurrency ATM operated by a company called HoneyBadger was recently installed in Centenoka Park Mall. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

The kiosk will allow people to buy cryptocurrency or sell it for cash.

Salmon Arm is now more connected to the world of cryptocurrency with the installation of the city’s first Bitcoin ATM.

The machine, which was recently installed in Centenoka Park Mall, is operated by a company called Honey Badger. According to its website, HoneyBadger operates 30 cryptocurrency kiosks in B.C. alone and more than 1oo across Canada. Along with Bitcoin, HoneyBadger kiosks deal in Litecoin and Ethereum, two other prominent cryptocurrencies.

Mall owner Lance Johnson said he became interested in the Bitcoin ATMs after seeing them installed at other shopping centres he has toured in Western Canada and the U.S. Johnson said the kiosk has been up and running for three weeks, allowing people to both purchase cryptocurrency and sell theirs for cash.

Johnson said installation of the kiosk in the mall was slightly delayed because HoneyBadger was on the verge of launching a new model of kiosk. He said the kiosk, which sports a large touch-screen display is one of the first of its kind in Western Canada. The kiosk is located near Dollar Tree in the mall.

Johnson said he sees Salmon Arm becoming a more and more technologically advanced community and believes that Bitcoin will become more widely used in the future.

HoneyBadger’s announcement about the installation of the kiosk acknowledges the role Bitcoin played in some recent scams but also details the ways customers are kept safe from fraud.

HoneyBadger stated there are large call centres abroad which use internet chat rooms, dating and social media sites in an effort to prey on vulnerable people and convince them to transfer wealth. Both Bitcoin and more traditional banking methods have been used for the fraudulent transfer of funds.

Bitcoin is decentralized by nature. It relies on an open and distributed online ledger called a blockchain which records transactions of the online currency without the need for a third-party financial institution overseeing the exchange.

According to the announcement, HoneyBadger fully complies with federal cryptocurrency regulations enacted this year which require them to verify customer identities prior to transactions, report all transactions with values over $10,000 and report suspicious transactions and suspected money laundering to the authorities. The company uses software to analyze every transaction it has a hand in and temporarily freezes the sale if either the buyer or seller has suspicious activity on their accounts.

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation on racism

Toni Boot, Summerland’s first Black mayor, is calling for a community conversation about race issues following incidents which happened in the community in July, 2020. (Summerland Review file photo)

Incidents in July prompt calls for dialogue

Following displays of racism within the community, Summerland Mayor Toni Boot is working to have a community conversation about issues related to race.

“We need to address this as a community. It’s absolutely critical that we have a safe place to talk about this.”

Summerland’s first Black mayor, Boot has also asked for provincial funding.

Her calls for a dialogue on racism began in July, after the home of an Indo-Canadian family was vandalized on July 13. Windows were broken and graffiti, including swastikas, was left on the wall of the home.

Days later, a Confederate flag, often displayed as a symbol of white supremacy, was shown to participants in an anti-racism parade in the community. Boot said the flag was a bandana which had been purchased at a store in Summerland.

Boot approached the owner of the store and asked to buy all remaining Confederate bandanas. The owner gave her the bandanas, which she then destroyed outside, in front of the store.

The flag display and also the destruction of the bandanas has generated considerable outcry in Summerland.

Boot said she has received some of what she describes as “a really horrible racist voicemail messages” following the incident.

Yet, she has also received many emails and messages in support of her actions.

Okanagan connection to Canada’s favourite TV dog

The Littlest Hobo was filmed in Princeton B.C. in 1963. Wikipedia photo

There’s a voice, that keeps on calling me.

Down the road, that’s where I’ll always be.

If those words bring a smile to your face and put a tune in your head, you are of a certain age and you grew up in Canada.

The Littlest Hobo is an iconic television series about a German Shepherd that travels from town to town, helping strangers in need.

It ran first from 1963 to 1965, and was then revived for six seasons starting in 1979.

In 1963, The Littlest Hobo stopped in Princeton for the filming of Die Hard, an episode about gold mining.

The star of the show was London, the dog, and that episode featured Kennan Wynn.

When the show was recreated in the 1970s, the dog was also credited as London.

Several of London’s relatives, including Toro, Litlon, and Thorn, made appearances as the Hobo.

The Littlest Hobo often featured guest stars of note including, in second run of the series, Megan Follows, Alan Hale Jr., Karen Kain, John Carradine, Leslie Nielsen and Mike Myers.

Historic Oliver Museum renovated to better serve community

The historic Oliver Museum received some much needed upgrades that were completed July 24, 2020. (Oliver and District Heritage Society / Facebook)

The 96-year-old building previously faced challenges with heating, cooling and wood degradation.

Oliver’s historic museum is now in better shape than ever after recent renovations.

The historic, 96-year-old building that is home to the museum has faced many maintenance challenges that one would expect from a building of its age.

The building faced problems with heating, cooling and wood degradation. However, those issues may be solved thanks to a conservation project newly completed by the Oliver and District Heritage Society.

Over the last two months, the 1924-era windows were carefully restored by Gerry Plante’s Carpentry Ltd., with the old wood being repaired, sanded and repainted, and cracked panes being replaced. The project also added weather stripping to help to regulate inside temperatures.

The restoration started one year ago and was funded by a $20,000 grant from Heritage BC’s Heritage Legacy Fund along with a generous donation from the late Carolyn Cope.

The completed project preserves original material on the heritage-designated building, which was formerly Oliver’s police station.

Oliver and District Heritage Society also hopes that the renovations will create a better environment for artifacts and people, helping the heritage society to better serve Oliver and its surrounding community with a more comfortable museum building.

Piano set up in Penticton downtown

Stephen Griffeth plays the piano which has been set up at Nanaimo Square in Penticton. The City of Penticton and Downtown Penticton have worked together on the Piano Project initiative. Artists in the community will be decorating the piano in a local collaboration effort by The Long Gallery and Studios. (John Arendt – Black Press)

Initiative an effort to bring music and creativity to the streets

The City of Penticton and Downtown Penticton Association have set up a piano in downtown Penticton at Nanaimo Square.

The association says the initiative is part of a national movement to bring music and creativity to the streets.

 

Artists will be decorating the piano in a collaboration effort with The Long Gallery and Studios.

The public is invited to stop and play some notes on the piano. It will be in place until the end of September.

The piano will undergo frequent daily cleanings and there will be signs in place to encourage physical distancing.

Penticton restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

Penticton’s own Hooded Merganser restaurant, located on Okanagan Lake at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre, was rewarded with global recognition by the popular travel website TripAdvisor Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (Hooded Merganser / Instagram)

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Penticton’s Hooded Merganser restaurant now has bragging rights over all other restaurants in town as it was recently ranked within the top 10 per cent of restaurants worldwide by TripAdvisor in their annual Travellers’ Choice awards.

TripAdvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10 per cent of the 8.7 million businesses listed on the popular travel site.

The team at the Hooded Merganser took to social media to boast about the recognition.

“During these uncertain times, we are proud to show the world what our small slice of paradise has to offer,” reads one of the restaurant’s posts.

In March, the restaurant brought in new head chef Dan Vichitthavong, better known as Chef ‘V’.

Since taking the helm of the Hooded Merganser’s kitchen, Vichitthavong has striven to bring a new dynamic to the menu that highlights the vast amount of local products available in the Okanagan.

“I want to bring a fresh, new and vibrant approach to the menu by showcasing our Valley View Farm and by working with the great bounty of products and suppliers here in the Okanagan,” said Vichitthavong of his vision for the restaurant.

 

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

Hubert Pomerleau picks Red Delicious apples from an orchard in Summerland, in this 2016 photo. (Summerland Review file photo)

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

The District of Summerland, alongside the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and other partners, has implemented a temporary, COVID-safe campground for seasonal workers.

Providing managed seasonal accommodations for domestic temporary workers, who support farms and the agricultural economy, has been identified as a need for Summerland. Some workers may not be able to be immediately accommodated on farms with new standards. Workers that cannot stay on-farm don’t always have access to safe and sanitary conditions.

The managed seasonal-worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground. It will include 24/7 onsite supervision and will be monitored regularly by bylaw and RCMP.

Fourteen campsites have been allotted for the workers, allowing a maximum of 50 workers using these facilities at any one time, from July 8 to July 31.

“Seasonal agricultural workers are a designated essential service, and play a crucial and appreciated role in our food supply chain, local and regional agricultural economy”, said Anthony Haddad, the District of Summerland’s CAO.

Haddad said the three-and-a-half week period for agricultural workers, using a small portion of the Peach Orchard Campground, will assist the local agricultural industry.

“The campground has been used in the past by agricultural workers, so we see this as a good short-term solution on land that can accommodate the workers,” Haddad added.

 

An on-site camp manager was specifically hired for the initiative. That person will provide oversight for the workers, and bylaw support will provide further monitoring of the campsite, as required.

The district said the camp is only needed for a short time, while there is an influx of workers during the main cherry harvest season, in advance of the workers relocating to private farm campsites.

After July 31, the infrastructure will be removed, and the 14 sites will be open to the public again.

“Workers in between farm jobs will be able to reduce the risk of COVID-19 by having a safe place to stay, and that is good for everyone,” said Glen Lucas, general manager of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association.

Fruit Growers Association staff will be providing AgSafeBC-approved COVID-19 safety training to all workers who stay in the campsite.

The site will be entirely funded by the Ministry of Agriculture. No funding from the District of Summerland is required.

Protocols and measures to ensure the safety of those at the camp have been developed with the Interior Health Authority. Those measures include the following:

  • On-site COVID Coordinator and site Supervisor 24/7.
  • Separate sanitation facilities and basic hygiene supplies for workers, which will be totally separated from the public.
  • COVID industrial camp standards for cleaning and disinfection.
  • COVID screening and orientation to precautionary practices upon entry to site.
  • Infection Control and Prevention Plans, Emergency, and Isolation Plans developed with health authorities are in place.

Okanagan School of the Arts launches online memoir writing course

The Okanagan School of the Arts, based in Penticton’s Shatford Centre, is launching an online autobiography writing class as a way to help people stay busy and inspired during COVID-19 induced isolation. (Okanagan School of the Arts – Facebook)

Course aims to help people stay creative and inspired during isolation

Bored at home? Why not start writing your life story.

The Okanagan School of the Arts (OSA) is introducing an online autobiography writing course to help people keep busy and inspired during this time of isolation.

The autobiography course, which the OSA bills as ‘an ideal way to use this time productively to start writing your life story while helping you connect and create resilience at a time of isolation and uncertainty’, will hold its first class on May 6.

The course will also raise funds for the school which has had its share of financial struggles in the past.

Led by certified guided autobiography instructor Leigh Morrow, the course aims to offer an inspiring and supportive environment for participants.

Morrow uses priming questions and themes to spark creativity, self-awareness and memory recall to help people start writing their autobiography. Like many virtual congregations these days, the class will be held over the video-conference service Zoom.

The six-week course will take place Wednesday mornings, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Each week, participants will explore different themes and common experiences to help create a collection of stories focusing on their major life events.

No previous writing experience is needed but participants can expect their writing skills to improve, said the OSA in a news release.

Pre-registration is required and can be completed on the OSA’s website.

COVID-19: Who’s still open for business in Penticton?

Numerous Penticton businesses have been forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 crisis, making it increasingly difficult to know where to go. This is a running list of businesses that remain open. (File photo)

Your guide to restaurants that remain open in Penticton in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis

As people adapt to social distancing and businesses in Penticton shut their doors or alter the way they operate due the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly difficult to know what is still open and in what capacity.

Many restaurants and bars have closed for the foreseeable future, however a handful of others have stayed open for either take-out or delivery.

The following list is a compilation of restaurants and establishments in Penticton that remain open in some form despite the coronavirus crisis:

  • Villa Rosa Ristorante open for delivery and take-out
  • Upper Bench Winery open with regular hours
  • Time Winery open with altered hours
  • Tim Hortons open for take-out only
  • Ashoka Indian Cuisine open for take-out and delivery
  • Bad Tattoo Brewing open for delivery
  • Blenz Coffee open for take-out only
  • Brodo Kitchen open with altered hours for take-out and delivery
  • Cannery Brewing open for take-out only
  • Kojo Sushi open for take-out and delivery
  • Mykonos Pizza open for take-out and delivery
  • Poplar Grove Winery open with altered hours for take-out and delivery
  • Salty’s Beach House open for take-out and delivery
  • Salvation Army Food Bank open with regular hours
  • Shades on Main open for take-out only
  • Singletree Winery open with regular hours
  • Skaha Pizza open for take-out and delivery
  • Slackwater Brewing open for take-out only
  • Corleone’s Pizzaeria open with altered hours for take-out and delivery

All fast-food establishments in Penticton also remain open at this time, however dine-in service is not available.

All grocery stores remain open, with some offering special hours for seniors. London Drugs remains open and is dedicating an hour of opening time each day to healthcare workers.

Canadian Tire remains open.

Rona remains open.

Shoppers Drug Mart remains open.

All gas stations remain open.

Government liquor stores remain open.

As for medications, all Penticton pharmacies remain open with most offering a free delivery service. If you’re not sure if your pharmacy delivers, you are encouraged to call.

This list was comprised using data from the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. The Western News recognizes that information is subject to change, and there may be other businesses who are continuing to serve the community and are not included in this list. If you wish to have your business added to an updated version of this list please email editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Okanagan writers support local charities with Virtual Reading Series

Okanagan-based writers will be giving virtual readings of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic with proceeds going to non-profits in the Okanagan. (Contributed)

Look out movie streaming sites, Read Local Okanagan is set to bring talented and local writers directly into Okanagan homes with its new virtual reading series.

Eleven artists will host interactive reading experiences starting March 31 which hope to supply new ways of reading and experiencing art during the COVID-19 pandemic.“Readings, and art in general, can be such a balm during tough times,” said Real Local Okanagan founder Natalie Appleton.“So we thought hosting a literary reading series online would be a way we could help uplift and connect our community in the only way we can right now. We’re so excited about the lineup of writers and the chance to support arts organizations that support us as writers.”

The webinar-type series will allow viewers an interactive way to communicate with the writers with questions, comments and reviews.Registration to all four dates, which includes 11 speakers reading and reviewing their work, is $10 with portions of the proceeds to be donated to various Okanagan non-profits including Kelowna Friends of the Library, Caetani Cultural Centre and others.

The series has a different theme each date and starts March 31 with the ‘survival’ theme and writers Alix Hawley, Shelly Wood, and Francie Greenslade. The three other dates are April 2, 7 and 9.

For registration and more detail, visit the website.