Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday Sailing Delay, puts Northern Adventure 2 hours plus behind schedule

The latest position for the Northern Adventure puts the
vessel just about to head across Hecate Strait towards Haida Gwaii
The Sunday sailing was delayed owing to a crewing issue

It was a delayed start for travellers today out of the Prince Rupert Fairview Bay terminal for BC Ferries.

That after a crewing issue related to the Sunday sailing for the Northern Adventure between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii put the vessel over two hours behind on its schedule sailing timeline.

An advisory from BC Ferries this afternoon notes that the scheduled 10:30 AM departure had been delayed, with the staffing situation resolved the vessel is now underway with an anticipated arrival in Skidegate for 6:30 PM.

Travellers on Haida Gwaii with plans for transit to Prince Rupert later tonight will want to follow the BC Ferries Service Notices page or twitter feed for any updates through the afternoon or early evening.


The timeline for today's sailing of the Northern Adventure
as relayed through Social Media

More notes on Marine Transportation on the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii can be explored through our archive page.


Heat Alerts for Terrace, Kitimat and other communities of North Coast Inland region

The First Heat Advisory for the Northwest
was issued today by Environment Canada
 

The Heat is On and for those in the Terrace/Kitimat region today and tomorrow Environment Canada has issued a Heat Advisory, which calls for temperatures into the Low Thirties for today and Monday

Along with the forecast for the next 48 hours, Environment Canada notes has offered guidance towards remaining   cautious during the first significant hot spell for the summer.

click above to enlarge


The full advisory from Environment Canada can be reviewed here.

The Smithers/Bulkley Valley region has been issued a Special Weather Statement with much the same conditions in place.


The full Terrace/Kitimat forecast is available here

The sudden rise in temperature has also provided cause for a reminder towards the snow pack and potential for a quick melt that could impact on area rivers and streams and generate landslides in alpine areas.

click above to enlarge

For updates on those ares of note, you can access the latest information below

Rivers Forecast Centre for British Columbia

Avalanche Canada

For Prince Rupert, the sun is shining as well, however our temperatures while hot by Prince Rupert standards, the forecast for the next week is not in the scope of any Heat Warning status.


Past weather notes for the region can be reviewed from our archive page.


Blog Watching: Week ending June 26, 2022

Prince Rupert is back on the travel map for Americans looking to access Southeast Alaska or transit to the lower 48, wth the return of the Alaska Marine Highway System after over two years of absence.

Our notes on the return captured some strong interest for readers among our list of five items for review this week.

The expanded worksite on McBride has also been of some interest for our readers and this week the work required to rebuild two blocks of waterline and roadway and its 1 million dollar bill will mean some adjustment to the Five Year Financial Plan adopted earlier this spring.

Soon to be departing, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain will be hosting his last State of the City presentation this coming Tuesday, we explored what could make the short list for the night.

There may be some movement towards some new housing stock for the community, this past week we wandered over to McKay Street where some preparation work is ramping up for a much anticipate remake for the BC Housing facilities there.

And the city has a few infrastructure plans in motion, launching a pair of Requests for Proposals this week through the BC Bid program

However,  when it came to the top item of the week, the resumption of the AMHS ferry connection to Ketchikan made for the most read piece.

First in line for Alaska! AMHS Service to and from Prince Rupert resumes tonight -- Travellers can once again access Southeast Alaska by ferry from Prince Rupert, with the transit of the MV Matanuska on Monday marking the first vessel call in Prince Rupert sine the fall of 2019. Later in the week we outlined how the State of Alaska was celebrating the return of service.   (posted  June 20, 2022)

That article was followed by: 
 
Unanticipated expenses to bring amendment to City's Five year Financial Plan to June 27th Council session  -- What is burnin into the Summer of the Big Dig on McBride is going to mean some amendments to the recently adopted Five year Financial plan, as the city prepares to fund the million dollar project which now could last five or more weeks.  (posted  June 22, 2022)
 
Will a water dam update be on tap as part of Tuesday's State of the City presentation -- Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain is the host for what will be his final State of the City Presentation this coming Tuesday evening at the Lester Centre. We outlined a few areas where updates may be delivered and noted of the long running dam project as one which should figure prominently in the Mayor's remarks  posted June 24,  2022)

Prep work underway for demolition of existing McKay Street unit, with new development on horizon  -- Fencing surrounding some of the McKay Street row houses offers up a sign perhaps that the area may soon see some progress in the construction of new housing stock from BC Housing for Prince Rupert     (posted June 20, 2022)  .  

Twin projects go out for Bid by City of Prince Rupert -- While a lot of our attention is focused on the McBride Street waterline issues, the City has a few other significant projects ramping up, with work on a bus pullout on Second Avenue West and a new retaining wall and waterline work for the Atlin Avenue area just put out for tender by the City of Prince Rupert.  ( posted June 21, 2022)

You can find our weekly Blog watching feature posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, making for a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past, from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the page.

A note for those that previously used our email alert delivery option, Blogger has discontinued that feature, so we direct you to our CharlesMHays Twitter feed, where we post updates to the blog as we post them.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.    

To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Charles Hays Rainmakers Interact Club gains more recognition in Return-It School Contest for 2021-22



The Charles Hays Rainmakers Interact Club's 2022 work with the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehabilitation Shelter is getting notice and this month also some acclaim at the provincial level. 

That with success in the annual Return-It School Contest, the Prince Rupert Secondary School students claiming second place once again in the annual province wide competition.

This year, the selected community program for the Interact Club was the Wildlife Rehabilitation Shelter

With the shelter lacking the capacity to process the returnable containers, the Club stepped in and processed all the containers left at the shelter and raised over $3,000.

The Club which runs the Recycling program at the school, also hosted their own bottle drive which raised over $400, as well the Club sponsored a Name the Owl contest on social media to raise awareness.

The CHSS Rainmakers Interactive Club counting out the bottles

At the end of the counting, 102,500 beverage containers had been collected and more than $8,700 raised divided towards three directions.

4,000 dollars for the Prince Rupert Wildlife Shelter, $3,500 for Ukraine Disaster Relief and $500 dollars for the Volunteer Bursary at CHSS.

CHSS School Counsellor Tory O'Toole noted of the spirit of the Interact Club and their commitment to community.

The Prince Rupert Rainmakers Interact Club has once again demonstrated that the recycling of returnable containers not only helps the environment; it also helps the school, community and others in need of assistance

It marks the second year in a row that the program has been honoured by Return-it, they were among four schools heralded for their work in 2021-22. 

Last year the CHSS Rainmakers Interact Club was saluted for their Sea Bin project.


The Charles Hays students will receive $2,500 from Return It in recognition of their work.


More notes on Charles Hays Secondary and education in Prince Rupert can be examined here.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice looks to fill post in Prince Rupert constituency office

A chance to be on the front lines of provincial politics is available in Prince Rupert, with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice posting a Job Opportunity for the Ocean Centre constituency office.

Ms. Rice is on the hunt for a Full Time Constituency Assistant, the position one that is part of Local 708 of the BCGEU.

The accompanying job description for the position provides a look at the work load to anticipate as the first person of contact in the busy office for the North Coast MLA.


The Post probably comes with some challenges along the way, depending on the political temperature of each day and any percolating issues that may need tending to.

Still, the chance to be of help to the community and ensuring that their concerns reach their elected MLA is something to put on a resume for the successful candidate.

The full scope of the Job opportunity can be explored further here.

Those interested in the position are asked to submit a  resume, references and cover letter to Jennifer.Rice.mla@leg.bc.ca 

More notes on the work of the MLA at the Legislature and in the constituency office can be reviewed through our archive page.

McChesney of the Caribbean ... Fall plans for Illinois State will take former Rainmaker to the Cayman Islands

Beach life and Basketball will be on Prince Rupert basketballer
Liam McChesney's travel itinerary this fall

Those around the Northwest following the basketball travels of former Charles Hays Rainmaker Liam McChesney will want to put a pin out for the map. 

Seeking out George Town, Grand Cayman on the Cayman Islands as a fall destination for the roster member with the Illinois State Redbirds.

The young Rupertite (and his family) will want to ensure that the passport's are up to date as the first big test of the upcoming NCAA season gets closer this fall.

The NCAA Division One team outlined the lineup this week for the Cayman Islands Classic a November tournament that will pit McChesney and his Redbird team mates up against Louisiana State University, the start of the tournament that features a number of familiar names for NCAA fans including Kansas State and Tulane.


The update from the Redbirds included a mention for the second year Redbird, noting of McChesney's  stats notes over the final part of last season.

"Also back is 6-10 forward Liam McChesney who had eight starts during the season and averaged 4.5 points per game and averaged 8.4 points per game over his final 13 games of the season."


As we outlined earlier this week, this month heralds a busy summer for the former Charles Hays standout, with some international play through July on the horizon and then a return to the Redbirds camp for more off season training for the NCAA campaign of 2022-23.

You can keep up with his Redbird travels through the teams social media feed.

More notes on Northwest athletes on long distance adventures can be reviewed here.

Health Care shortages to impact on Lax Kw'alaams clinic over the summer


The Lax Kw'alaams Heath Centre has given a heads up to residents of the community of some challenges ahead for the summer as staffing shortages impact on the local centre.

Over the course of July and August, the Health Centre in the community will be down to two nurses, with the current shortage of nurses in the province identified as part of the issue for clinic.

The Centre will remain open for regular appointments during that period, however residents are advised to attempt to have any issues resolved during the business hours for the clinic, with the two nurses remaining also on call for 24 hours, over a 7 day a week period.

The full advisory can be reviewed here.

You can keep up to date on any further notes on health care from the Lax Kw'alaams Band Facebook page.

Further notes of interest from Lax Kw'alaams can be reviewed through our archive page

City Crews make quick work of latest of infrastructure issues in the downtown core

Another waterline issue popped up for the City on Thursday
with workers addressing a situation in the heart of the downtown core

What could have been a bit of a traffic headache for travellers through the downtown area today has been avoided, thanks to the work on Thursday of City of Prince Rupert work crews.

A waterline break discovered yesterday in a stretch of the  block of 3rd Avenue West between 1st and 2nd Street had provided for a warning of a road closure for that area today. 

However, as the City has noted on their Social media feed, the city crews were able to attend to it before the roadblocks went up and travel plans had to be adjusted.


The ongoing waterline issues makes for just a bit of the work load for the Operations Department these days.

A travel around town will see the city's work crews busy with a range of projects underway from the east side to the west.

Some of the past Operations Notes can be reviewed from our archive page here.


With a summer of swimming ahead, City of Prince Rupert looks to fill some spots in the Lifeguard chair

As the final days of school arrive and summer plans begin to shape up, the City of Prince Rupert is continuing on with the search for qualified Lifeguards for the Earl May Aquatic Centre.

For those who frequent the Centre, the opportunities to take a dip into the pool can be challenging with recent notices through the Prince Rupert Recreation Facebook page noting of reduced capacity owing to challenging staffing situations.

Towards easing some of those challenges, two Employment Notices currently make for entries on the City of Prince Rupert Jobs Listings.


The scope of the duties and what's required for the posts can be reviewed below:

Lifeguard Instructor I or II (Open until filled)

Lifeguard Casual/On Call (Open until filled)

The quest for additional Aquatic Centre staff comes as the summer swim program prepares for launch. 

You can review all of the Recreation Programs available this summer from the Recreation Guide online here.

More notes on Labour themes with the City can be reviewed from our archive page.


Port Edward SOFI Report outlines compensation, spending of the District for 2021



The District of Port Edward has provided for its 2021 Statement of Financial Income, providing the financial snapshot for residents towards municipal compensation and spending over the last year as of December 31st, 2021.

In total, when it comes to paydays for the elected officials and District employees the total tab came in at just over 835,000 dollars. 

An amount which could give Port Edward opportunity to add lean to the theme of Green that they have adopted over the years.


At just  $61,376.16 the pay for Mayor Knut Bjorndal and the four District councillors makes for a total that comes in much lower than the compensation provided by taxpayers for nearby Prince Rupert Council officials. 

The information for the larger community next door was released earlier this month.


On Spending for supplies and services, the tab for the District is noted as just under 7 million dollars.

Over half of that amount was directed towards C and C road maintenance for their work on District infrastructure in 2021.

The scope of spending for the District is significantly less that that required by Prince Rupert, which with its larger population and expansive infrastructure saw over 37 million dollars in spending in 2021.



The full SOFI documentation from the District of Port Edward is available here.




The District also released its Annual Report for review of residents, the document is now in its public comment period, with Tuesday, June 28th the date for those with any comments, questions or observations to share them with the District.

To do so contact the office at 250-628-3667 or by email at info@portedward.ca 

Some notes on the work of Port Edward Council can be explored through our archive page.

Few changes found in weekly COVID update from BC CDC

BC CDC Data for the week of June 12-18

In what has been a pattern over the last few weeks, the latest results on COVID reports from the BC CDC continues to be encouraging across the Northwest, with a number of communities marking zero on the weekly chart.

This week's report for the period of June 12 -18 saw Upper Skeena, Nisga'a, Snow Country-Stikine, Nechako, Bella Coola Valley, Central Coast, Haida Gwaii and Burns Lake all record no cases of COVID for the survey period.

The numbers for all other regions f the Northwest are in single digits, with Prince Rupert back among the ranks with a single COVID case report after having reached zero last week.

The highest numbers listed in Northern British Columbia's continue to come from its largest community, with Prince George recording a case count of 29 in the period which is an increase of five case reports from last week.

The full review across the region for the week of June 12-18  from the BC CDC looks as follows:


Terrace --  3 cases
Smithers -- 1case
Kitimat -- 1 case
Prince Rupert -- 1 case
Central Coast --  0 cases
Nisga'a Region --  0 cases
Nechako --  0 cases
Bella Coola Valley -- 0 cases
Burns Lake --  0 cases
Upper Skeena --  0 cases
Haida Gwaii -- 0 cases 
Snow Country-Stikine-Telegraph Creek --  0 cases


The Provincial Data Review looks as follows:

642 New Cases (down from last week), with 273 hospitalized (slight decrease), 28 in Critical Care (an increase from a week ago) and 26 new deaths from COVID reported (also a decline). 

The total number of deaths in BC since the start of the coronavirus is 3,722 to date.

There have been 373,974 cases of COVID recorded in the province since the arrival of the pandemic

As of June 23 the Province had distributed 12,676,324 first, second or booster shots of the COVID Vaccine, with a fourth booster program for specific groups underway.

Thursday's provincial report lists  41 new cases of COVID for the Northern Health region for the reporting week, a decline from seven days ago. 

That makes for a total of 30,414 cases recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Of note again, this week is the decline in hospitalizations and those in critical care.

For the Northern Health Region in total as of Thursday,  patients are listed as in hospital (down from last week) , with four noted as in Critical Care ( an increase from zero a week ago) , the Northern Health region recorded  4 deaths this week (an increase of one from seven days ago).

The Northern Health total of deaths attributed to COVID is listed as 356 since the start of the pandemic, which is the same number recorded a week ago.

The  breakdown of hospitalizations by community in the Northern Health region is not included in the data release information.

COVID review for June 23
British Columbia wide 


COVID review for June 23
Northern Health Region


The larger BC CDC Data release is available here.

Past information statements on COVID and other notes on the Northwest response can be reviewed from our archive page

Expansion the focus for Ecotrust and its Urban Farm plans for Prince Rupert and area

The Urban oasis of the Kaien Island Urban Farm is back in operation this 
summer, residents and visitors can drop by and ask questions of the team
on site to learn more about the project and other initiatives from
Ecotrust Canada's Prince Rupert office

The Kaien Island Urban Farm at the corner of Second Avenue West and Second Street is the eye catching focal point for a wider plan of urban farming for the Prince Rupert area.

The project now in its second year of operation provides a glimpse as to the potential for food security that is available for residents of the community.

The Urban Farm however is just part of a wider plan from Ecotrust Canada which with its partners in the region has made Food Security part of the foundation for their work on the North Coast.

How that program is moving forward was a theme from their social media stream this week noting of their work with local educators to bring the passion for local growing to the classrooms of Prince Rupert and area.


The narrative is one that is expanded through the Ecotrust Canada website and an extensive look at their work in Prince Rupert. 

The overview noting of their ongoing efforts to revitalize a vacant space in the downtown core to grow fresh produce for those in need, while also providing for a look into the future includes the creation of a marketplace and food hub for the region.

The review of their past work and that to come is available here.

If you want more information you can follow their Social media feed or contact the Prince Rupert office a 250-624-4191

More Community Notes can be reviewed from our archive page.


Will a Water Dam Update be on tap as part of Tuesday's State of the City Presentation?


 

Tuesday marks what will be the Final State of the City presentation from Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, the larger stage of the Lester Centre, serving as the companion piece to the update that came to your mailbox with your tax bill, or that which is currently available online as part of the Annual Report just released by the City's communication office.

The Lester Centre Presentation set to be an epilogue to the Rupert 2030 Vision presentation of a few years ago and perhaps one which will provide for a check-list on how all of the proposed projects, initiatives and council vision planning from 2019 is coming along.

This week, Mayor Lee Brain provided a bit of a teaser message through his Social Media portal, with a hint of a Major announcement to be made at the gathering of June 28th.

We know Tuesday won't bring the announcement of his stepping aside from the mayoralty, that came in January, but perhaps he'll let the audience know what his next career path may be, as he prepares to take his leave of Municipal politics.

Outside of any immediate needs on infrastructure issues, there could be some thought heading into the final months of their term that an outgoing Mayor and Council perhaps should be holding back on any more major announcements on vision planning themes until a new elected collective is in place. 

Allowing the next Council to decide if that's the path ahead and allocation of municipal resources that have for their vision for governance. 

As for the work that the Mayor and Council have taken on during this term and the one previous, the Tuesday session should at least bring an update on something that has been a long running narrative for this Council since the first term for the Mayor and some of the current lineup of councillors.

The Woodworth Dam has been the signature piece for Mr. Brain since day one of his time in office, the subject of videos and occasional updates at one point, the information flow seemed to slow somewhat as it fell behind its original schedule in the last year or so.

The momentum for replacement of the pivotal piece of water infrastructure was inherited from the Jack Mussallem period of the mayoralty. 

However, the completion of the project, which will include an option for hydro generation at some point in the future (if allowed by provincial authorities), has had some delays along the way. 

The last update from  Operations Director Richard Pucci in March had the Grand Opening set for the Spring, but there has as of yet, been no formal announcement yet of the wrap to the eight years plus of planning and construction.


The most recent note on the project came by way of a short mention by Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben upon the release of the Annual Report, the document noting of its completion in the Spring of 2022. 

In an update on Capital projects byMs. Bomben on June 15th, the CFO spoke to the project with a caveat that the Dam project was 'finalizing'.

The Mayor may have been working out some of his talking points for Tuesday earlier this month, his address for the Graduates of Charles Hays Secondary made for a bit of a retrospective of his time in office, speaking of his vision to take office to Save the City, along with a few thoughts on infrastructure, the dam in particular got a mention that night.

The Mayor observing for those at the ceremony that the water supply "is almost fixed".

Infrastructure themes will loom large on Tuesday, those travelling to the Lester Centre from the west side perhaps will give some thought to those as they transit along McBride Street's expanded water line work, which will be a topic for Council at the final council session for June on Monday evening.

A potential update on the plans for the Prince Rupert Gateway, Waterfront Development, expanding Marina District and may others will mark the Mayor's Farewell to Municipal times on Tuesday.

The State of the City presentation one that most likely will chronicle some of the Mayor's successes, the ongoing challenges that he faced as Mayor and perhaps a snapshot as to how he views where the city is at, as he plans for his exit.  

Many of the projects that made for the Mayor's focus for eight years were launched as part of the Mayor's Redesign Rupert initiative

To refresh your memory on some of the topics of three years ago, see our archive that tracked a few of the elements of the Vision planning of the time, Mr. Brain will fill in the newest details on Tuesday at 7PM

As noted by the Mayor, those that can't attend the public gathering can follow along through the city's video options.

City Website

City of Prince Rupert Facebook page

More notes on the work of Council during the Mayor's time in office can be reviewed through our Council Discussion Archive page.