Monday, August 21, 2017

Clouds will intrude on Prince Rupert's Solar eclipse experience

It's show time for the Sun, as the 2017 Solar eclipse
transits across Oregon and to the Southeast of North America

(Map from the The Weather Network)

The Weather Gods will be sending you to your computers or television screens this morning, as the last week of cloudy and wet weather continues on this Monday morning, making today's total eclipse of the Sun, which starts shortly after 9 AM a somewhat diminished event for the North Coast.

As it was, from our northern exposure we were only going to see about 60 per cent or so, of the total eclipse owing to the path of the event today, with Oregon the best west coast location for viewing the full on eclipse.

Victoria is Canada's best viewing spot for the morning transit, with a 91 percent eclipse to be part of their vista, something which has already found a large volume of eclipse worshippers setting up in the provincial capital.

Even with the reduced viewing option of the North Coast, being cautious while viewing the eclipse is something that is being stressed by health and astronomy officials.

Towards those cautions NASA has provided some helpful background information on how to view the eclipse safely.

As well they have released a video presentation that offers up some advice on the best way to safely view an eclipse.

As for the celestial spectacular itself, in addition to their safety advice, NASA is also offering an online eclipse experience for those that can't see the sky through the clouds.

The NASA live stream of eclipse as it occurs across Oregon and  along its path to the Southeast USA can be viewed here.

Those looking to dig deep into the world of solar eclipses may find the Podcast StarTalk to their liking, a range of topics related to today's event can be reviewed from their archives.

The 2017 Solar eclipse is the closest that BC will get to the full event until 2044, that's when the path of the eclipse will see the show in the sky travel along the Rocky Mountains.

However, if you can hang on with us until 2099, Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert may be the hot travel destination for eclipse viewers.

The path of the solar eclipse of 2099 will bring the transit and merging of the Sun and Moon right over both locations. Viewing options, of course will be weather dependant ...

The solar eclipse spotlight will be on Haida Gwaii and 
the North Coast, but you'll have to wait until 2099 for that show.
(Map from Great American

Until then, here are some other notes for your review on the 2017 eclipse:

Everything Canadians should know about the eclipse
Vancouverites might not need to travel to witness solar eclipse
Solar eclipse 2017: Can you really go blind if you stare at the event?
Solar eclipse 2017: Everything Canadians need to know about the event
Solar eclipse's impact on animal behaviour to be monitored by U.S. biologists
'Day and night': Partial eclipse won't bring awe of totality to B.C., but still promises to impress
'In terms of celestial events it's going to be pretty neat'
How solar eclipses changed from terrible omen to tourist draw
Monday's solar eclipse: Where to go and how to watch it
Canadians are crashing various viewing events to catch a partial eclipse 
Victoria has great options available for public viewing of eclipse
Stargazers in heaven over Monday's solar eclipse
Solar eclipse linked to higher gas prices in Vancouver
Into the shadow
Total solar eclipse headlines summer astronomy in 2017
Five things to know for watching Monday's Solar eclipse

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Blog Watching: Week ending August 20, 2017

While the prospect of LNG development opportunities have become reduced in recent months, there are still a few potential projects in play on the North Coast.

This week, we outlined the latest notes related to the proposed Exxon/Imperial Oil terminal project, with company representatives set to arrive in town next week set to answer questions about their Tuck Inlet terminal proposal from  those who drop into their First Avenue offices.

Such it seems is the ongoing interest in the fate of LNG, that our update on the WCC LNG plans was by far the most read item of the week.

Among the remainder of the weeks most viewed articles was our story which explored the efforts of local politicians in the Northwest to try and gain a share of resource revenues on the North Coast.

Civic notes also claimed some readership this week, with our items on the City of Prince Rupert's call for applications for community grants; as did notes on the damage caused to the Civic Centre sports field following an arson incident.

Wrapping up the five most read items was our look at some election numbers, featuring a review of the revenues and expenses that were released by Elections BC related to the 2017 Spring provincial election.

The top story of the week however returns keeps the LNG files on the front burner, with our article on the proposed LNG project from Exxon/Mobil attracting a large audience.

WCC LNG office staffers return to city next week -- With two of the high profiles LNG projects for the North Coast now on the shelf, two remaining projects continue to attract interest in the community. An update may soon be on the way for  one of the two, as representatives from the WCC LNG project proposed for Tuck Inlet return to town next week.  (posted August 18, 2017)

That article was followed by:

Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance members hail new government's engagement on revenue issues -- A delegation of elected officials from across the region representing the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance  recently travelled to Victoria to hold discussions with the provincial government on issues of concern on financial revenues for the Northwest.  Later in the week, the group also released a video review of their time in the provincial capital.   (posted August 14, 2017)

One month window for Prince Rupert groups to submit applications for Community Grants -- The City of Prince Rupert is accepting applications from community groups seeking funding from the city for the year ahead.  (posted August 14, 2017)

City calls attention to arson/vandalism incident at city baseball field -- An incident in the overnight period midweek left one of the softball dugouts at the Civic Centre fields damaged by fire.  (posted August 17, 2017)

Election Revenue/Expenses numbers released for North Coast campaign - Elections BC released the details on just how much the candidates in the May election collected and spent during the course of this springs election campaign. (posted August 16, 2017)

You can find our weekly Blog watching featured posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, 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.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog. It can be found underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here

Friday, August 18, 2017

Northwest Resource Benefits video highlights Alliance talking points from Victoria trip

The Chairs of the Northwest British Columbia Resource Benefits Alliance
Mayor Lee Brain, North Coast Regional District chair Barry Pages, Kitimat
Phil Germuth, the trio were in Victoria last week for discussions with the NDP government

Like a group of tourists catching us up on their summer vacation, a travelling party of politicians from the Northwest BC Resource Alliance have just returned from their journey to the provincial capital.

And with their return, they have put together a video archive of their journey, designed to deliver some of the main take away points from a couple of days of discussions with provincial government officials.

The Northwest cadre which included Regional District Chair Barry Pages, Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth and Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain met with a number of NDP cabinet members and other officials to make their case for further engagement in their quest to capture more financial benefits for the region from resource development across the Northwest.

The trio have followed up their announcement of earlier this week with the video review which highlights some of the areas in resource revenues that they are eager to get a larger share of, with forestry and mining, along with port revenues high on their list of areas for further discussion.

Their video presentation takes note of the 13 billion dollars in resource development that they observe has taken place in the region in the last five years , with the previous Liberal government in the Province receiving over 500 million in tax revenues, but  delivering no revenues to the local community level from that development.

The member communities of the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance
want a larger share of revenues on regional resource development

As part of his portion of the presentation, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain noted that NW Resource Benefits Alliance estimates that the next ten years could see up to 30 billion dollars in resource investment taking place.

As part of their narrative for the video, the NWRBA recounts the election promise of the NDP to sit down and negotiate a more beneficial return for the Northwest communities to support infrastructure, health care and reduce the need for tax increases on local residents.

The focus by the group on such areas as the forestry and mining industries would seem to be elements which have more of a foothold in the interior regions of the Northwest for the most part, which appears to leave the Prince Rupert Mayor destined to put his focus on claim on a larger return on Port of Prince Rupert related investment in the region.

That might make for an interesting conversation between the City and the Prince Rupert Port Authority in the future, considering the prospect of the two organizations becoming competing forces when it comes to shipping options in the region.

That as the City begins to move forward with their recently revealed plans to hold onto the Watson Island industrial site to develop their own port related infrastructure there.

You can review the full video from the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance here.

More background on their efforts so far and what they have planned for the future can be found on NWBCRBA website.

Mariner's Park Playground renewal project set for September start

Mariner's Park the city's downtown oasis is about to see some
remediation work take place on the playground section of the park

Youngsters in Prince Rupert will be without their usual playground options at Mariner's Park starting at the end of this month, but a little bit of disappointment should give way to some joy, once the one month closure for the popular facility comes to an end and an upgraded version returns to service in October.

The City of Prince Rupert announced the pending playground closure today, effective as of the end of August, noting that the project which is led by the Prince Rupert Lions Club is ready to move forward through the fall months providing for the installation of a new rubber surface for the playground base; as well as for the installation of new equipment as part of the renewal.

A conceptual drawing of the new equipment provides a glimpse of some of the features to be included in the play area, with the reopening planned for early October.

In addition to the hard work of the Lions Club in the community to bring the project alive, sponsorship of the playground has been provided by the Port of Prince Rupert, Macro Properties and what may be the last of the Shell Canada funding for the community through their now terminated Prince Rupert LNG project.

You can review the full announcement from the City here.

More notes related to City developments can be found on our archive page.

WCC LNG office staffers return to city next week

With two high profile LNG projects now put on ice by their proponents, the list of active potential LNG developments is dwindling from the heady days of a few years ago when there was a Gold Rush like feeling in the city when it came the prospect of construction of terminal locations on the North Coast.

However, as been chronicled through the last year, the North Coast has seen the abandonment of two of the highest profile projects, with both the Shell/BG Gas and Pacific Northwest LNG projects shut down by the large international energy companies that were proposing them.

That leaves the region with what appears to be two active LNG proposals still showing some signs of life.

One of them is the Chinese led Aurora LNG proposal for Digby Island which continues on towards its environmental process and continues to provide updates for residents on the pace of their development plans.

Another project, the WCC LNG proposal for Tuck Inlet has had a much lower profile over the last twelve months, with few indications from the proponents Exxon/Imperial of any imminent development and even less in the way of public engagement related to their plans during that period of time.

That however does not apparently mean that it isn't still under study, an information poster recently spotted in the windows of the office space on First Avenue East that is being used by WCC LNG notes that they will have representatives in town from August 21st to 23rd.

Over the course of those three days, the Project team from WCC LNG are set to be on site from 1 to 3 PM  and available to answer questions or received comments about the proposed development.

The WCC LNG proposal would see an LNG terminal developed north of the City's eastern edges along the eastern shoreline of Tuck Inlet. The most recent update on the proposed development came earlier this year with the release of their online newsletter Community Link, which offered up a review of some of their community engagement through 2016.

It noted that the company would be continuing with their field work at a reduced pace through 2017 and 2018.

With their return to their offices of next week, North Coast residents may learn a bit more about the Exxon plans moving forward and if we will see an increased level of activity related to the Tuck inlet location in the year ahead.

More notes of interest related to the WCC LNG project can be found on their website.

A copy of the project overview can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of the LNG picture on the North Coast and Northwest can be reviewed from our LNG archive page here.

Three in the Northwest claim their Northern Savings Inspire awards

Three northwest residents have a little extra money to put towards their studies this fall after finding success in the annual call for applicants for Northern Savings INSPIRE Bursary program.

Fourteen submissions were received this year as part of the spring call for applicants and from that deep pool of inspiring candidates Northern Savings officials selected the three that best fit the criteria of volunteerism in the community, composition of an essay, acceptance at a post-secondary institution and financial need.

The call for nominations took place from May 15th to June 30th across the region.

The three recipients for 2017 come from the three communities served by Northern Savings and include:

Desiree Webber from Terrace, recipient of the 1,500 Bursary
Brooke Andressen from Prince Rupert who will receive a $1,000 Bursary and
Abigale McLeod from Masset who will be awarded a $500 bursary

It marks a repeat honour for Ms. Webber, who last year was awarded a $1,000 bursary for her efforts in the Terrace region.

The program which was first introduced in 2013 pays tribute to those young ambassadors in the Northwest who not only engage in community service, but have plans to further their education.

Northern Savings Interim President and CEO Fay Booker saluted this years participants and award winners through an announcement statement from earlier this month.

“The vision of Northern Savings is neighbours helping neighbours to build sustainable communities. We are inspired by the recipients of our 2017 INSPIRE bursaries and we are pleased to show our appreciation for the contribution of these young people in our communities by supporting them as they continue in their personal educational journey. The selfless contribution of one contributes much to many others,” 

In addition to the major awards, all applicants that took part in this years process received a $50 deposit to their Northern Savings accounts in appreciation to their service to their communities..

You can learn more about this years awards here.

For further items of interest from the Northwest commercial sector see our archive page here.

Canada C3 expedition making its course towards Prince Rupert

A maritime celebration of Canada is roughly halfway through its journey of three coasts with the Canada C3 expedition now in Canada's High Arctic, steaming westbound with one of its Pacific port calls set to be Prince Rupert in late September.

The September 29th arrival on the North coast will mark the first British Columbia port call for the vessel as it wraps up its summer long journey which started in Toronto back in June.

When it arrives in Prince Rupert harbour the vessel will spend a full week alongside offering a hands on opportunity for North Coast residents to explore the ship and learn more about its mission to inspire a deeper understanding of the nation, its people and the past, present and future of the country.

The crew of the vessel Polar Prince which set sail in June out of Toronto, offers up a cross section of Canadians who have been part of the journey so far,  included on the list are some famous names such as Smithers musician Alex Cuba, Olympic athletes Adam van Koeverden and Mark Tewksbury, Comedian/actor Shaun Majumder, journalist/reporter and author Ian Brown, Jeff Hutcheson of CTV News fame as well as politicians Fin Donnelly and Seamus O'Reagan to name a few.

They have joined the ship at various stops along the way, sharing the experience with a number of other journey participants, along with a number of youth explorers set to make their mark in the country.

You can review the full roster of participants here.

The trip over the three oceans off Canada's shores has been divided up into fifteen legs, the current leg of the trip in the Arctic region is Number 9.

The Prince Rupert stop is on Leg 12 and the crew makes for a mix of musicians, scientists, First Nations leaders and youth ambassadors, you can review the biographies of the participants on the Prince Rupert stretch here.

More notes related to Prince Rupert events set for September 29th to October 2nd, will be released as we get closer to the vessels arrival in port.

You can follow its journey through the Arctic and on to Alaska and then the British Columbia coast through a live feed on the expeditions Facebook page

The official website for the Canada C3 also features a vessel tracking option, where you can track the vessel as it makes its way to the Pacific.

The project and its upcoming arrival in Prince Rupert offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for local teachers to incorporate some of the past travels of the vessel and its message into the September curriculum, with the four day port call making for a travelling museum exhibit set to tie up on the waterfront.

More on the journey can be found from the YouTube video update page, the video below traces the travels to the half way point.

Check back to the blog from time to time over the next six weeks as we, keep you up to date on the travels of the C3 expedition gets closer to its Prince Rupert port call.

More items of note about North Coast events can be reviewed on our archive page.