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New Westminster's Cartwright Jewelers set to close its doors after 87 years

New Westminster's Cartwright Jewelers set to close its doors after 87 yearsAfter 87 years, New Westminster's Cartwright Jewelers is beginning the process of shuttering its doors. Owner and third generation jeweller Susan Cartwright-Coates says they'll be starting a retirement sale July 15 and will keep the doors open until all the store items are sold. Cartwright-Coates says it's been very emotional."I range from having tears in my eyes to joy in my heart," she said over the phone while adding she's already received hundreds of emails and phone calls from their customers, since going public with the closure.Although many businesses have had to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cartwright-Coates says it didn't impact her decision to close the jewelry story located at 639 Sixth Street. She started to think about retirement in 2019 after many discussions with her father, Don Cartwright. She said before he passed away, they both agreed there wasn't another generation to keep the business going. Once she was ready to retire, she said she had his full blessing to sell it."I know he's looking down and is very happy with the decision I've made," she said.The family businessCartwright Jewelers has been family owned and operated since 1933. The store's website says James Daniel Cartwright started the business as a watchmaker and jeweller in downtown New Westminster on Clarkson Street.His son Don Cartwright followed in his father's footsteps in 1965 and took over the business in 1980. Cartwright-Coates officially joined the family business in 1984 but has been working there since she was a kid, wiping the counters, polishing the wood cabinets and folding jewelry boxes on Friday nights and Saturdays. "My grandfather had a family tradition — if you were old enough to see over the counter, you were old enough to work," she said.  'Low and slow' saleCartwright-Coates said it will likely take months to sell all the items because of COVID-19 restrictions. She's coined it the 'low and slow' sale because they'll only be allowed to have a few customers in the store at a time."It will allow us to help our customers and to say goodbye and have customers share memories," she said.She also said all employees will be wearing masks or face shields and customers will be spaced out as much as possible.The custom design and repair departments will still be open during the sale.What's next?They don't own the building the business is in, but Cartwright-Coates said the business itself is up for sale.Once it's all said and done, the 55-year-old looks forward to spending more time with her daughter and five grandchildren in Salmon Arm, B.C."Those kids are living their best lives running around their farm barefoot, so, I want to run around the farm in bare feet too."


Summerland, B.C., family shocked and scared after swastika painted on their house

Summerland, B.C., family shocked and scared after swastika painted on their houseRamesh Lekhi was doing paperwork in the living room of his Summerland, B.C., home when the sound of glass smashing brought him out of his chair.At first he thought it might be a picture frame falling off a wall. However Ramesh soon discovered someone had smashed two windows in the home he and his wife Kira have lived in since the Indo-Canadian couple built it in 1990 on quiet street in front of their Okanagan cherry orchard.Ramesh called the RCMP and when officers arrived he learned the vandalism was more than just smashed windows — someone had drawn a swastika along with obscene and vulgar graffiti in red spray paint on the outside of this home."When the RCMP came they showed us all these [graffiti] signs and they said, 'Look what they did to [your house].' And that was really shocking," he said.The RCMP Hate Crime Team is investigating the incident along with more swastikas that were painted overnight on a band stand in the town's Memorial Park.The vandalism and hateful graffiti have shaken the Lekhis and left them wondering who, in the community they have lived in for more than three decades, would wish to terrorize them late at night."It is really shocking. It's never happened before," Ramesh said. "I've lived in Canada for 42 years and it's never happened — any racism or anything like that. I've never had to deal with anything like that."The Lekhis' three adult children, who are all living in Vancouver, woke up at 4:30 Monday morning and drove to the Okanagan to be with their parents. Son Abhishek and his sister Shivali saw the dark red graffiti covering the side of the home they grew up in as they pulled into the driveway."My sister pretty much burst into tears and I had to take her from the car and bring her up to the house and tell her, 'It's OK. At least our parents are safe,' " Abhishek said.Seeing his home targeted with the hateful symbol and vulgarity has him wondering if he and his family were ever welcomed in the Okanagan community he grew up in."It slaps you in the face and tells you that your skin is different and that you may not belong," he said.Ramesh said he hasn't made any enemies in Summerland and can't think of anyone who would wish his family harm.District of Summerland Mayor Toni Boot and some councillors came to visit the Lehki family on Tuesday morning to offer their support.Boot, the town's first Black mayor, said she has experienced racism in the predominately white agricultural community as early as when she was in preschool and still now that she is in public life. Last month someone sent an 'anti-Black' video to her district email account just days ahead of a Black Lives Matter rally in the region, she said.Boot said although it was not shocking to learn an Indo-Canadian family would be targeted with hateful graffiti, she is angered and disappointed by it."We have such beautiful, little town. At the same time though, there is ugliness underlying in our town," Boot said."To see this happening to a family that has been here over 30 years and has contributed so much to our community, it's really disappointing."RCMP investigators believe the swastika and vulgar graffiti on the Lekhi's home and the similar graffiti painted overnight in Memorial Park are connected, according to a spokesperson."This kind of hate motivated vandalism is not often seen in the close knit community of Summerland," said Sgt. David Preston in a written statement. "We understand this kind of vandalism can be disturbing to many and the Summerland RCMP is taking this very seriously."


Siksika residents face COVID-19 discrimination after outbreak, Alberta's top doctor says

Siksika residents face COVID-19 discrimination after outbreak, Alberta's top doctor saysAlberta's chief medical officer of health says she was disappointed to hear some Siksika First Nation members are being turned away from local businesses, reminding Albertans that COVID-19 does not discriminate.During her daily news briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said now is the time for compassion, not division."I have received reports that some Siksika First Nation members were recently denied access to local businesses as a result of recent cases being reported in their community," Hinshaw said."This is not the first time that we've heard such reports around COVID-19. I know that Albertans of Chinese or other ethnic heritage and some religious groups have also at times been singled out and discriminated against."Hinshaw said Siksika leadership have acted quickly, transparently and proactively to control spread of the virus."When the result of that prompt and transparent action is stigma against their members, it sends a message against transparency and risks discouraging people from being tested or co-operating with public health," she said. "The members of the Siksika Nation deserve better than that. All Albertans of every heritage deserve better than that."Hinshaw was also asked about recent COVID-19 infection spikes in Saskatchewan and B.C, and took the opportunity to urge people not to single out specific groups.Hinshaw was asked about a spike in infections involving Saskatchewan Hutterite colonies."It is critical that we not single out any one particular segment of society but rather understand that we all need to be working together to follow the public health guidance to stop transmission."Two deaths from COVID-19 were reported Tuesday, both in the Edmonton region: a woman in her 90s, linked to Misericordia Hospital outbreak, and a woman in her 80s, linked to the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre.


Marketing Kelowna as a tourism hot spot moves forward, despite recent COVID-19 cases

Marketing Kelowna as a tourism hot spot moves forward, despite recent COVID-19 casesTourism operators throughout B.C., have been struggling amid a global pandemic that has forced many travellers to cancel trips, and a COVID-19 exposure event in B.C.'s Interior doesn't help. Health officials said on Sunday eight people who visited Kelowna's downtown and waterfront from June 25 to July 6 had tested positive for the virus, six of them from out of town.In an emailed statement to local media, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said that since the province has not implemented travel restrictions between provinces, tourists will come to the area."Dr. Henry has asked that people coming to our communities from outside regions use their "travel manners" and respect the physical distancing rules and proper hygiene orders," Basran said. "If people don't do that, the risk of COVID transmission is going to increase, so everyone needs to continue to take this health risk seriously and take the necessary precautions."In advance of the tourism season, he said the city helped local businesses comply with public health orders, which included making the main road in downtown Kelowna pedestrian to allow for safe physical distancing.He also said bylaw enforcement and RCMP bike patrols have been visiting parks and beaches to talk to folks about physical distancing.Tourism Kelowna has already been struggling this summer; in fact, the organization had requested money from the City of Kelowna, and although city staff recommended siphoning that money from a budget meant for affordable housing, the motion to do so was defeated.Director of Marketing and Communications Chris Shauf said the request came because revenue is down, primarily because hotels pay a municipal and regional district tax and since many hotels struggled through the spring, the tax they paid was significantly less."Travel simply wasn't happening," Shauf said. "But what we needed to do was refocus and recalibrate our efforts to help local businesses survive and persevere through that time and that was really focusing on what we could do to connect consumers with businesses locally."Although travel between provinces is allowed, Shauf said the organization is focused on marketing within British Columbia. Part of the decision to keep marketing local and not open up to Alberta was based on surveys sent to residents in early June asking their comfort level with welcoming tourists to the city.According to Shauf, more than half of the respondents were comfortable with people visiting from out of town."What we heard in that survey was that there is an understanding that tourism fuels our local economy and is an important contributor to our economy and jobs," Shauf said. Regardless of the recent exposure event in Kelowna, Shauf said the plan to market Kelowna as an appealing destination will move forward. "We make wise marketing decisions that are based on research," he said."This year was different though. The plan has been put together but we are adjusting it as needed. And it's also important to note that recovery is not something that happens overnight or in a week or even in a season. We expect that the tourism industry is going to take years to get back to levels that we [normally] receive."


Wednesday 15th of July 2020 02:56:30

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