Rather than dwelling on how bad 2020 was, let’s start the New Year on a positive note.
Locally, there were some good things that did indeed happen over the past 12 months. Here are just a few we can all likely agree on:
• Summerland Secondary School graduate Lucky Bromhead was nominated for an Emmy Award for her make-up work on “Schitt’s Creek,” which shattered Emmy records by sweeping the seven major categories, including best actress for Catherine O’Hara, who thanked Bromhead in her acceptance speech.
• Okanagan Skaha School District 67 agreed to an audit (thanks to James Palanio, Tracy Van Raes, Kathy Pierre and Barb Sheppard who voted ‘yay’ in a 4-3 vote), finally admitting programs were slashed at the expense of our students because someone didn’t balance the books. A crowd of 100 intellects attended the public meeting, asking uncomfortable — but fair — questions, including teachers’ union president Kevin Epp, who stole the show.
• In a unanimous vote by trustees, SD67 promoted Todd Manuel to superintendent and restructured its administrative team with talented people.
• Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth was promoted to head of the Oliver RCMP detachment.
• The Penticton Art Gallery drew attention from all across North America for its Bob Ross exhibit, which attracted record attendance.
• The Penticton Hospital Foundation eclipsed its $20 million goal following a $65,000 donation from Kevin Huey in memory of his friends Bob Tait and Ted Papenfus.
• For the first time in years, a new hotel opened in Penticton, the Fairfield Inn and Suites, close to the SOEC and Trade and Convention Centre.
• City planner Ben Johnson was a silver winner of the Excellence in Policy Planning Award by the Planning Institute of B.C.
• Country music star Brad Paisley performed to a sold-out SOEC crowd on March 6.
• Communities across the Okanagan took a stand against racism and police brutality, staging safe, socially-distanced “Black Lives Matter” rallies and a parade in Summerland in support of a local family.
• The City of Penticton was the latest B.C. community to allow alcohol on some public beaches and parks. Predicted litter and public intoxication issues failed to materialize.
• While very few junior teams were actually playing, our Penticton Vees won the Okanagan Cup tournament.
James Miller is managing editor of The Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org