Archives for April2019

Halifax’s Samba Nova community band not just for professionals

The Halifax community music group Samba Nova has existed for more than two decades, but it’s still accepting new members who want to take part.

“I would describe this as a lot of fun hitting stuff with other stuff,” Ian Taylor, musical director of the group, said. “It’s Brazilian Batucada in a Carnival style, so what you’d hear if you went to Carnival in Rio or down in Brazil.”

The band, described on its website as “a registered, not-for-profit society operating as a community musical group,” plays at various events in Halifax.

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Members primarily use percussion instruments but Taylor said the group likes to “put a little Nova in the samba” by also incorporating bagpipes, fiddles and traditional instruments from Nova Scotia.

Practice is held on Tuesdays between 6-7:30 p.m. in a gym in St. Matthew’s United Church in downtown Halifax. First-timers can participate for free, after that, it costs $5 a week.

About 20 people, including seniors and people in their 20s, attended practice on Tuesday.

“It’s actually much more difficult than I thought it would be when I was watching other people play it. It’s got a very loud sound, so it’s kind of intimidating because you know you’re making a lot of noise,” Kate Kloppenburg said, referencing her instrument a tamborim.

Three practices in, she said she’s enjoying the experience.

“I find the challenge is the pace of the drumming,” Kloppenburg said. “Sometimes … they’re going so fast that you lose track of the beat.”

Instruments are provided at practices and no experience is necessary.

“It’s something that anyone can do, and I think that’s what’s best thing about Samba Nova: It’s so accessible for everyone,” Jessie Smith, another band member, said.

Hillary Clinton meets with Bernie Sanders as she wins final primary

WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton brought a close to the presidential primary season with a win Tuesday in the nation’s capital and a meeting with dispatched rival Bernie Sanders, hoping to set a tone of Democratic unity heading into next month’s party convention in Philadelphia.

Clinton’s win in the District of Columbia, the final primary of 2016, had no bearing on her role as the presumptive nominee, but it nevertheless marked a transition in the lengthy primary fight between the two rivals.

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“We’re going to have a wide-ranging conversation, because we share a lot of the same goals,” Clinton said Tuesday night in an interview with Telemundo. “We both want to raise the minimum wage, we want to fight inequality of income, we want to make college affordable and we certainly want everybody to get health care.”

She added, “I very much am looking forward to having his support in this campaign, because Donald Trump poses a serious threat to our nation.”

Before polls closed in Washington, Sanders vowed again to do all he can to prevent the presumptive Republican presidential nominee from reaching the White House – but he declined to endorse Clinton.

The Vermont senator has said the private meeting will help him determine how committed Clinton will be to the policy issues he has staked out during his 13-month campaign.

“Our goal must not be to allow politicians, Donald Trump or anyone else, to divide us,” Sanders said outside his Washington headquarters, telling reporters he will continue to “fight as hard as we can” to transform the Democratic Party.

Sanders said he would push for new leadership in the Democratic National Committee – his campaign has sparred with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party’s chair – along with a progressive platform in the summer convention and electoral changes, such as primaries that allow independents to participate and the elimination of superdelegates.

“We need major, major changes in the Democratic Party,” he said.

Sanders was warmly received Tuesday by Senate Democrats at their weekly luncheon, where he offered an update about his campaign and some of the lessons he had learned during the past year. Lawmakers in attendance said Sanders did not indicate his future plans.

“He had an opportunity to talk to us about his campaign and how it has changed him and what he has learned,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. “I think we all listened intently because we are anxious to always do better and grow as a party and be more inclusive.”

WATCH: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton can ‘no longer claim to be a friend to the gay community’

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who leads the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, said Sanders “absolutely will” support fellow Senate Democrats in the fall elections. “It was productive, it was good, it was vintage Bernie,” Tester said.

Sanders met last week with President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, who both later endorsed Clinton, and signalled to Democrats that he hopes to play a constructive role in helping the party regain control of the Senate in the 2016 elections.

The self-described democratic socialist says he will take his campaign to the convention in July and advocate for his policy issues in the platform while urging Democrats to be more inclusive of independents, young people and working-class voters, all of whom were pivotal in his victories in 22 states. But what that will look like still remains unclear, and Sanders has been soliciting advice from supporters on how he should take his campaign forward.

The mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has commanded the attention of both campaigns and prompted Democrats to point to Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., an issue they view as a key contrast in the general election.

WATCH: President Obama endorses Hillary Clinton, says ‘I’m with her.’

Without mentioning Trump by name, Clinton warned during a speech in Cleveland on Monday that demonizing Muslims would only empower extremist groups. “We should be intensifying contacts in those communities, not scapegoating or isolating them,” she said.

Sanders attended a vigil in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, on Monday night to show solidarity with the victims. Pointing to Trump’s comments about Muslims, Sanders said the shooting was conducted by “one hateful person” and not committed by the Muslim people.

Looking forward, Sanders has begun helping Democrats preparing for congressional races and the battle to regain control of the Senate.

An early test of his clout will come Tuesday in Nevada, where a Sanders-backed congressional candidate, Lucy Flores, competes in a three-way primary.

Sanders has opened up his campaign’s massive email donor list to several Democratic candidates, hauling in more than $2.4 million for his allies. Flores has been the top recipient of those appeals, collecting about $390,000 from an email Sanders sent in April on behalf of her and two other candidates.

Putting salmon in Okanagan lake concerns provincial government

WEST KELOWNA – The introduction of millions of sockeye salmon fry into Skaha lake over the past 12 years is being called a success by the Okanagan Nation Alliance which wants to expand its stocking program to Okanagan lake.

But those plans are facing some opposition from the provincial government which says more scientific analysis is needed to ensure the sockeye won’t hurt resident kokanee populations.

An ONA fisheries biologist downplays those concerns.

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“We haven’t detected any negative impacts of sockeye on Skaha kokanee,” says Howie Wright. “We don’t foresee that would happen in Okanagan lake.”

And a federal fisheries scientist says the sockeye may have had a positive impact on their smaller cousins..

“The kokanee population on Skaha lake, which was depressed when sockeye out-plants first started, has actually recovered to historic abundance levels,” says Kim Hyatt.

However, Hyatt advises caution before any large scale introduction of sockeye into Okanagan lake.

“The same standard of care should be applied to Okanagan lake as was applied to Skaha lake and that is we should have a formal risk assessment done.”

The grand chief of the ONA believes the province’s opposition stems from concerns other than possible negative impacts on other fish species.

“It’s more an issue of the impact it might have on the real estate industry or agriculture or municipal water supply,” says Stewart Phillip. “It has nothing to do with kokanee, they’ve co-existed for a very, very long time.”

Phillip says the ONA will proceed with sockeye introduction into Okanagan lake with or without the province’s blessing.

2016 Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame inductees

They’re accomplished athletes and athletic supporters who are now recipients of the highest local honour.

The 2016 Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame inductees were revealed Tuesday in Kelowna.

Conny Stamhuis and Blair Horn were inducted in the ‘athlete’ category.

After a 48-year hiatus from his sport, Stamhuis started swimming again in her 60’s. Now 84, she has seven gold and four silver medals from the World Masters Swim Championships.

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Horn was an integral part of Canada’s gold medal winning 1984 Olympic men’s rowing team. He was named to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Ron Rubadeau and Bob Giordano were inducted under the ‘builder’ category.

Rubadeau was the chair of the 2008 B.C. Summer Games and an integral part of creating community amongst sailors in the Central Okanagan. He helped establish the Central Okanagan Sail Boat Assoication in 1982 and was named Canada’s top race officer in 1998.

Giordano played a huge role in the development of hockey in the Central Okanagan in the 1950s and ‘60s. He was the manager of the Kelowna Packers and stood out for his volunteer efforts over the years. While Giordano passed away in 1965, his memory still lives on through an annual civic memorial award for sport volunteerism.

The 2007 Kelly Scott women’s world championship curling team is this year’s inductee in the ‘team’ category.

Along with the world title, Kelly Scott, Jenna Schraeder, Sasha Carter, Renee Simons and Michelle Allan claimed two B.C. ladies titles and two Canadian championships.

All this year’s inductees will be recognized at the annual induction gala, which takes place November 17.

Health authority says bed bug issue at Okanagan motel not a health problem

LAKE COUNTRY, B.C. – Complaints against an Okanagan motel are stacking up.

Former guests have come forward to Global News looking for help dealing with bed bugs and mould found during their stay at the Airport Inn Lakeside in Lake Country.

Owner Raif Fleihan told Global News they check their suites every day and believes there is nothing more they can do to prevent bed bugs.

“They go everywhere,” said Fleihan. “Nobody’s safe. You cannot put a fence up.”

Dave Pynn said he became covered with bed bug bites that turned into itchy scabs following his initial stay at the Airport Inn Lakeside this past winter.

“It got to the point where we were getting chewed up,” said Pynn.

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“They were everywhere. They were coming out of the walls. They were coming out of the mattresses. They were everywhere.”

Debbra Weaver and her son Aaron Weaver also told Global News there were bitten by bed bugs while staying at the motel this winter.

“All you do is brush bugs off the bed,” said Debbra.

Pynn said he took his complaint to the Interior Health Authority (IHA).

He was disappointed to hear the IHA wouldn’t do anything about the bed bugs because the insect is not considered a health hazard.

“I’ll be honest: bed bugs are icky,” said IHA Environmental Health Operations Manager Courtney Hesketh. “I’d be upset if I stayed at a hotel with bed bugs.”

“I know that they’re not a public concern because they don’t transmit disease. But they are uncomfortable.”

Pynn instead hauled the mattress from his room to the dump but it was not replaced by motel staff.

“We are the only province that doesn’t have legislation to put a stop to any of this kind of stuff,” said Pynn, ading he would like the IHA to be given the authority to protect motel and hotel guests from bed bugs.

On Wednesday, Global Okanagan will explore online complaints made by vacationers about the Airport Inn Lakeside and look into why more can’t be done to enforce standards at B.C. accommodations.