Opinion

Hodge: Musician with a generous heart suffering after assault

My prayers and best thoughts go out to Floyd Vedan this week as he recovers in Kelowna General Hospital from a vicious assault.

Vedan is not only a talented and giving musician but an all-round top notch person. I’ve had the honour of knowing Floyd for at least 15 years, someone who is constantly looking after others.

We’ve served together as judges at numerous music or talent contests, been involved in the same concerts or benefits, or just shared some time chatting and laughing. Floyd’s kindness is a beacon of light for many folks. Now we need to shine for him.

***

Okay, I know it’s July and I should not be thinking about hockey but…some nagging question keeps burning in my brain. What’s with GM Mike Gillis and the Vancouver Canucks?

Why are the Canucks not doing a damn thing to improve their hockey club to make it a serious Stanley Cup contender again?

Why are contending teams like Philadelphia and New York Rangers making major moves yet Vancouver tinkers? Minnesota Wild suddenly are worth worrying about after snapping two free agent stars, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

The Canucks big announcement? Ryan Kessler may be back earlier than expected from injury problems. Whooppee!

Great move their Mike. Is Gillis asleep, because the parade of decent free agent players is rapidly dwindling and he’s done diddlysquat except sign a couple of third and fourth line (or less) players—and that’s part of what a farm team is about.

Certainly there is a deal of some sort brewing for Roberto Luongo, but that should not stop Gillis from realizing we need a couple key parts in order to play the game properly, such as a right wing sniper and prolific scoring second line centre. A puck moving defenseman would be nice as well.

Luongo’s trade could or should fill at least one of those spots, but Mike you need a bit more than that.

***

Now, back to summer and welcome to the heat.

It’s easy to differentiate between locals and visitors in Kelowna during the summer. The locals are the ones bitching and complaining about the heat.

However, I think it’s only hospitable to share some suggestions about what to do and where to go in Kelowna, to our valued tourists.

Every summer I acknowledge some of the best or most enjoyable people and or events from the previous year, as well as my favourite places.

Here’s my personal preference list with some choices more ‘Hodgical’ than ‘logical.’ Some are repeat winners from past years.

There is no particular rhyme or reason for the order. Many of the spots are around Kelowna while some are on the Westside, Peachland, Penticton or elsewhere across the valley.

Enjoy the list and send me back your favourites. I will run another list later this summer.

The best thing about Kelowna is probably the stroll along the waterfront at The Delta Grand to City Park, the short wander through Maud Roxby Bird Sanctuary, or walking The Greenway. (Either that or a quiet night in your backyard with the sun setting in a warm evening sky).

The worst thing about Kelowna is the parking meters and ticket attendant’s downtown. The machines fail to take several coins. In the case of the human element, they are generally rude. The frustrating parking and ticket scenario continues to cripple downtown.

Favourite Breakfast: Perkins Family Restaurant.

Favourite Sunday Brunch: Eldorado Hotel.

Favourite spot for a coffee meeting: ABC Restaurant.

Favourite Kelowna restaurant (lunch): Grateful Fed (awesome soup, awesome staff), Bohemian Cafe (great menu, great people as well).

Best Kelowna restaurant for dinner: Minstrel Cafe, Earls on Top, Olympia Greek Tavernas.

Best regional restaurant for dinner: The Gashaus in Peachland.

Best Italian: Momma Rosa’s.

Favourite Fish and Chips: Halibut at Shady Rest.

Favourite Kelowna pub: McCullough Station, Rosie’s Pub,

Best sports pub: Sturgeon Hall, Baxter’s Pub, Dakoda’s

Place to People Watch: Patios at Rosie’s Pub, Doc Willoughby’s,  and the Grateful Fed. Ricky’s balcony. On a lawn chair near The Sails.

Favourite touristy views: Knox Mountain.

Friendliest sales staff Kelowna: Extra Foods –Capri Mall (for third straight year).

Friendliest Bank staff: TD Canada Trust (Spall Plaza). Also Brenda Konechny at Bernard branch of Interior Savings.

Friendliest Gas Attendant: Yves Beliveau at Gordon and Cook Road.

Best Book Store: Mosaic Books, Kelowna. Excellent store, tremendous staff.

Best Music Store: Wentworth Music, Baron Music.

Best Clothing Store: Moore’s (Spall Plaza), Robertson’s Clothing  south Pandosy.

Best Local Bands: There’s lots of them—Jimmy LeGuilloux Band, Deb Stone Band, Fields of Green, Cowboy Bob, Zamboni Brothers, Jane Eamon, Mean Donna.

Best New Local CD: Jack The Riffer by Greg Bennett

Best Nightclub/Restaurant for Live Music: Blue Gator, Minstrel Cafe, Streaming Cafe, The Habitat, Vibrant Vines, Grateful Fed. O’Flannigans.

Best Regional Nightclub/Live Music: Whisky Jacks in Westbank.

Best Concert Facility: Kelowna Community Theatre.

Best scenic view while dining: Pyramid Winery, balcony at Earl’s On Top.

Best walk/dog walk: Mission Creek Greenway

Best area to saunter outside of Kelowna:The waterfront in Peachland.

Favourite spot to relax: My garden, in a canoe anywhere on the water, Bear Creek Canyon (not safe for children).

Best spot to hide away: My back yard.

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