Sunday, February 6, 2011

Years later, the Brooks Bank fire continues to haunt the city

It's a tragic anniversary for Prince Rupert, 21 years having passed since a downtown fire claimed the lives of four family members living in the Brooks Bank building.

The three storey structure located across from the  Totem Theatre was the scene of an early morning blaze on February 5th, 1990, one of many suspicious fires that had struck the downtown core in that era.

When fire investigators examined the Brooks Bank structure after the blaze was put out they made the tragic discovery of Helga Rochon and three members of her family, daughters Sherri and Pauline and grand daughter Kimberly but seven months old.

With those events still on the minds of many in the city, the RCMP has once again issued a call for assistance as they seek to gain more information on one of this city's saddest of days.

CFTK provided this video report on the call for assistance

The review of the cold case files was the subject of media reviews both near and far, some of which can be found below.

CFTK TV-- Prince Rupert RCMP hoping to solve 21 year old Quadruple homicide
Opinion 250-- New leads sought in Prince Rupert Cold Case
Toronto Sun-- BC cops looking for help in 21 year old homicide
Vancouver Sun-- Police ask for help solving 21 year old quadruple homicide
Vancouver Province-- 1990 Prince Rupert fire haunts dad

Friday, February 4, 2011

More doctor woes for Northern Health

The list of communities facing doctor shortages grows for Northern Health, with Burns Lake facing a particularly challenging situation, in that community all of the doctors have expressed their desire to withdraw their services.

One by retirement, the other four by resignation.

Opinion 250 in Prince George has this story on the health care problems in Burns Lake

Last week we outlined the problems facing Houston, a review of which you can examine here.

BC Ferries seeking massive ferry rate increases

BC Ferries is floating a proposed ferry rate increase that should get more than a bit of attention.

According to Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun, BC Ferries is proposing a number of increases to ferry rates bridged over four years, the most dramatic being those charged on the Northern Routes, which will see the rates increase by 26 percent per year over four years, making for more than a 100 per cent increase by 2015.

The full report from Palmer can be found here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Labour dispute may bring British Colubmia's ports to a standstill

A percolating labour dispute between the ILWU and the BC Maritime Employers Association may see the Port of Prince Rupert as well as all other ports in BC idled.

With contract negotiations apparently not going well, warnings were issued this week of the danger to the Canadian economy that any labour disruption on the waterfronts could provide.  As the two sides settled in for the final discussions on the dispute, some shipping lines were already making their plans to re-direct their vessels to American ports.

The potential for labour trouble has provided for a number of articles on the situation on the BC Waterfront, some of those can be found below.

Vancouver Sun-- Labour dispute blamed on slowdown at B. C. ports
Vancouver Sun-- Port Metro Vancouver loses cargo to U. S. competitors
The Northern View-- Possible work stoppage threatens to close Prince Rupert Port
Aldergrove Star-- Ports already feeling pain of possible strike

Rainmakers set to host southern competition

In what will be the opening act to a great week of basketball action, the PRSS Rainmakers are playing host to two teams this week, with squads from the Fraser Vally and Terrace arriving in the city for some high temp hoops action.

The  Rainmakers senior  basketball team will face some stiff competition Thursday and Friday as the Robert Bateman Timber Wolves arrive in town for a two game series.

The Timber Wolves play in the Fraser Vally High School League, which is rated as AAA in the provincial basketball standings, the Rainmakers currently play AA ball, also in town for the series is Terrace's Caledonia Secondary Kermodes.

Tip off time for the two evening Rainmaker games will be at 7:30 pm at the PRSS Gym.

The Northern View previewed the basketball showdown with this article.

Friends of Shames outline what's required to buy local ski operation

If all their plans come together, the Friends of Shames hope to have a bid in place to purchase the local ski operation this April.

The path towards a co-op version of the operation is outlined in this item from the Northern View.

All Native tournament ready to welcome arriving teams

The annual All Native Basketball Tournament is set to run from February 6 to the 12th in the Russell Gamble Gym at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, with 53 teams set to compete in four separate categories.

As one of the most anticipated events in the region, the event receives a fair amount of coverage from local media sources, some of their work can be found below.

CFTK TV 7 -- All Native Preparations (video report)
CFTK TV 7-- Prince Rupert gearing up for All Native Basketball Tournament
QCI Observer-- All-Native ready to roll Sunday
Northern View-- All Native Tournament starts on Sunday
Northern View-- Bleachers being removed to accommodate All Native Basketball safety concerns
Northern View-- Haida Gwaii group launching children's book about ANT
QCI Observer-- Game's on for local basketball book

Logging industry finds raw law exports to be beneficial to local economy

Local contractors who are involved in the forestry sector are finding that the export of raw logs to Asia is providing for an improvement in their financial picture.

The Terrace Standard provided this review from industry as to how the current exports provide for employment and economic growth in the region.

Chinese New Year Celebrations bring out the politicians

The Northwest's Chinese population celebrated its New Year this weekend past and in among the dances, traditional dishes and other celebrations of the annual commemoration came speeches from politicians.

Local MLA Gary Coons and Mayor Jack Mussallem provided their greetings to the assembled, with the Mayor outlining how he is looking forward to this coming year as one of growth and employment for the city.

His remarks are part of this review of celebrations from the Northern View.

Ridley Terminals faces lawsuit and user backlash

Suncor Energy is taking Ridley Terminals to court over material handling issues, in particular the terms of a letter from Ridley Terminals that outlines the need of the Terminal to use an anti freeze agent on petroleum coke delivered to the Terminal.

Without the anti-freeze agent, Ridley advised Suncor  that it would not accept any more shipments from Suncor, leading to the current lawsuit.

The  anti freeze controversy has provided for a number of stories from the Northern View on the issue,  you can follow the drama from the links below.

Northern View-- Ridley Terminals taken to court by Suncor Energy
Northern View-- Ridley Terminals chair discusses Suncor court case

Ridley's current public image also takes a bit of a bashing on the pages of Opinion 250, as Peter Ewart provides for a lengthy article questioning who Ridley Terminals really serves and offering some thoughts on the make up of the management of Ridley Terminals and their past ties to American industry.

Beyond that bit of company history, he provides his questions as to whether Ridley Terminals, a Crown Corporation is truly in place to serve Canadian interests.

You can read that review here.

Marine Rescue Society seeks to replace Rainbow Responder

The Prince Rupert Marine Rescue Society has embarked on a fund raising effort to try and replace it's aging response vessel, the Rainbow Responder.

The estimated cost of a replacement vessel is $489,000, so far the group has raised $235,000.

The Northern View outlines the fund raising project with this item from their website.

Rupert Rapids take Northwest Swim Meet

Swimmers from the Prince Rupert Rapids had a successful time of it at the Northwest Swim meet in Terrace, finishing first overall on a string of gold medal performances.

The full review of the weekend swim meet can be found below.

CFTK TV 7-- Prince Rupert Rapids win Northwest Swim meet

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And the Winners are...

The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce handed out its awards on Saturday night, providing accolades to eleven business excellence awards in a number of categories.

Winners on the night were:

Stuck On Designs as Rookie Business of the Year
Kristoff Trucking for Small Business of the Year in Trades, Industry and Transportation
Opa Sushi was awarded the Small Business of the Year in Hospitality
Farwest Sports was named the Small Business of the Year in Retail
Gutter Brothers was awarded the Aboriginal Business of the Year
The Northern View was named the Chamber Member of the Year
Cowpuccino's was named winner of the Community Involvement Award
Volunteer Organization of the Year was the Prince Rupert Special Events Society
Hawkair was recognized for Excellence in Customer Service
Dave's Oyster Bar was named as the Business Newsmaker of the Year
Canadian Fish Company was awarded the title of Business of the Year

A full review of the Saturday night awards presentation can be found at the Northern View website.