Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Rampage in hunt for high playoff placement following hard earned victory over Williams Lake

A strong performance on Saturday evening has put the Prince Rupert Rampage in a good position to see this upcoming weekend push them towards the top of the rankings in the CIHL as they head into the final weekend of play for the regular season.

Saturday night saw the Rampage hold off a frantic push back by the visiting Stampeders, with the Williams Lake squad storming back to force overtime, providing a bit of extra drama for the Prince Rupert faithful that were at the Jim, a crowd that left happy following the Rhino's OT marker close to five minutes into the extra frame to secure the win.

Rampage goal scoring on the night saw the team take a 2-1 advantage into the dressing room after the first period thanks to goals from Cole Atchison, who scored just before the 2 minute mark, assisted by Cody Kokimaki and Patrick Robert.

Five minutes later, Randal Grout scored a power play goal, with assists for Teal Burns and Tyler Ostrom.

Period two saw the Stamps bring the game equal within the first ninety seconds, that pushed the Rampage to turn on the offence for a short burst, with the Rhinos collecting two goals in less than a minute

Ryan Matthews started the burst at 9:22, with Teal Burns and Jordan Venditelli providing the helpers on the goal.

Thirty seconds later Teal Burns grabbed another Rampage marker, with Randal Groot and Ryan Matthews claiming the assists.

The Stamps however did not run up the white flag and instead launched a fast and furious attack on the Prince Rupert zone with two goals late in the middle frame to bring the game to equal terms at 4-4.

While there were chances at both ends in the third period, neither team would find the range, which put the game into Overtime.

The extra time provided Tyler Ostrom with the opportunity to give the Rampage fans what they wanted to see, he scored the winning goal at the 4:40 mark, with Kory Movold and Ryan Matthews assisting.

Both goaltenders had a relatively busy evening with Justin Foote for the Stamps facing 38 shots, Brett Roth went the distance in the Ramapge net turning aside 29 of the 33 shots that he faced on the night.

You can review the full summary from Saturday here.

With the win, the Rampage have their fate in their own hands with a solid shot to claim Second place overall by the time the final whistle blows on Sunday.

The Terrace River Kings took control of the standings with their weekend victory, securing First place overall with a convincing 15-2 decision over the Kitimat Ice Demons.

With the Williams Lake Stampeders now done for the regular season, there is a window for a big move for the Rhinos should they win both of their games this weekend.

The first step for the hometown side comes on Saturday when the River Kings come to town for a 7PM match up.

Sunday finds the Quesnel Kangaroos making the journey down Highway 16 to the coast, they play the Rampage in an afternoon contest which starts at 1 PM.

Quesnel wraps up their season in Prince Rupert, part of two game road swing that will see them play the Ice Demons on Saturday at the Tamitik Arema.

You can follow the latest news from the Rampage room through their Facebook page and website.

More items of interest on the CIHL can be found from our archive page here.

Roy Henry Vickers to join the Board of Directors for CityWest

The City of Prince Rupert has added one more member to the Board of
Directors for the City owned communication company CityWest,
With council appointing Henry Roy Vickers to the Board this week.

(photo from CityWest)

The next gathering of the Board of Directors for CityWest will feature a new face, with the Prince Rupert owned communication company announcing the appointment of Roy Henry Vickers to the CityWest Board.

The decision to bring Mr. Vickers on board was made during the Closed Session of Prince Rupert City Council on Monday evening and announced by CityWest through this media release.

Mr. Vickers currently resides in the Kispiox Valley and has roots in the Nass, he has been highly acclaimed for his work as as artist and through his contributions from 1987-1995 as the artistic design advisor at the Vancouver International Airport.

He has received both the Order of British Columbia and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

CityWest Board Chair Robert Long highlighted the importance of the addition of a prominent Northwest resident to the seven member Board.

“I’m pleased to have a prominent member of the international artistic community accept a position with our Board,” ... “This will add a complementary perspective to our vision of delivering world-class services to the North. We look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”

For his part, Mr. Vickers is looking forward to serving on the Board and bringing the perspective from the Northwest interior regions to their work.

“As a CityWest customer, I’m looking forward to serving on the company’s Board of Directors,”  ... “I especially like the company’s focus on connecting the North to the world at large.”

The newest Board Member will join Rhoda Witherly, Don Holkestad and Bob Thompson on the Board, which also features three senior staff members from the City of Prince Rupert; Chairman Long, as well as the City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben and Corporate Administrator Rory Mandryk.

More background on the CityWest Board of Directors can be reviewed here.

For more items of note related to CityWest see our archive page here.

Demolition of old Lax Kw'alaams School to start this week

The walls (as well as the rest of the structure) will come tumbling down this
week as work crews begin the process of tearing
down the old  Lax Kwa'laams School
(Photo from the Lax Kw'alaams Facebook page)

The plan to finally tear down the old school building in Lax Kw'alaams will move forward this week with the Band Council updating the community that work is about to get underway, with an advisory to stay clear of the structure.

Heavy equipment will be moving on site this week and those in the community are asked to obey the instructions of the flag crew in the area.

Residents of the community had been expressing concerns over trespassing at the school site, with concerns over safety of younger members who might have found their way into the old school.

It was just over two years ago that the community celebrated the opening of the brand new Coast Tsimshian Academy,

Last Spring, the community hosted a celebration of their first Grade 12 graduating class.

No timeline for the length of the tear down of the old school was released.

You can follow more items from the community through the Lax Kw'alaams Facebook Page

For background notes from Lax Kw'alaams see our archive page here.

CityWest to receive share of Federal/Provincial funding for improved internet services

CityWest will receive federal and provincial funding
to move forward with a long planned sub sea fibre optic link
to run from the North Coast to Haida Gwaii and point south

Rural communities up and down the British Columbia coast are about to see a major shift in their ability to receive internet services, with an announcement today from the Federal and Provincial governments that will see CityWest receive funding for the installation of a new subsea fibre optic line to run from Prince Rupert to Vancouver.

The large scale investment totals 45.4 million dollars and is part of the Federal Government's Connect to Innovate program.

Of the investment announced today, CityWest will receive 9 million dollars from the federal government and 3.4 million dollars from the Government of British Columbia, which will be put to use to improve high-speed internet service for 23 communities and 97 institutions.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice's office relayed the news through a media release today, making note that the announcement will help address long standing concerns access to high speed and reliable internet for coastal communities and residents of Haida Gwaii.

“For too long people living along B.C.’s coast and Haida Gwaii have been forced to live in technological isolation which has affected their ability to communicate and do business in a digital world.”  ...  “This important investment will give coastal communities and First Nations better access to key services like healthcare and education, bring new economic opportunities in tourism and other industries, and improve our ability to respond to emergencies throughout the region."

Ms. Rice participated in Today's announcement which was made at Canada Place in Vancouver.
(The key notes from today's announcement can be reviewed below, click to enlarge)

The full press release from the Federal Government can be reviewed here.

No timeline for the construction of the sub sea fibre link and introduction of the new service was provided at today's announcement.

We first took note of the proposed sub sea network plans last August, at that time CityWest outline how the project would not only improve the experience for customers in the Prince Rupert area, but also for customers in other markets served by the NorthWest communication company.

For more notes related to CityWest see our archive page here.

Items of interest on provincial political scene can be reviewed here.

"Housekeeping changes" ahead for some parking lot fees and other charges at Civic Centre

Prince Rupert was introduced to David Geronazzo on Monday evening, as
the new Director of Recreation and Community Services delivered his
first report for Prince Rupert City Council

Prince Rupert City Council members had their first opportunity to hear from the New Director of Recreation and Community Services on Monday evening, as City Manager Robert Long provided the official welcome to the community to David Geronazzo.

As we noted in December, the latest hiring to the management ranks at the Recreation Centre joined the civic payroll in November, with a largely aquatic background to his resume.

On Monday, for his debut report for Council the new Director outlined some minor changes, which he described as housekeeping changes to be made to the Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw, noting that the current language isn't working as best it could for the city and would provide for better flexibility.

The amendment to the Bylaw will see the city reduce the fees for the rental of parking spaces to a lower price point , as  well as to cap the charge for table and chair rental rates at Recreation facilities to a maximum of four days.

The Full Report can be reviewed from the Agenda for the January 15th Council session, starting on page 45.

As a follow up to the report,  Councillor Cunningham had one observation on the proposed changes, noting that the the Recreation Commission will need to discuss the proposed rate changes for the parking lot stalls and how that will be different from what the City charges for the Junk in the Trunk garage sale opportunities that they offer at the Civic Centre in the Spring and Summer.

That topic will be discussed at an upcoming Recreation Commission meeting.

You can review the presentation to Council and questions from Council members from the City's Video Archive starting at the 14 minute mark.

For more items of note from Monday's Council session see our Timeline feature.

More background on City Council Discussion topics can be found on our archive page.

City Council kicks off its year of reduced Sessions, with a rather short debut for 2018

At eighteen minutes from start to finish, Prince Rupert City Council launched their reduced workload of the 2018 Council year with one of the shortest Regular Council sessions in recent years.

Five of Six Council members (Councillor Kinney was absent on the night) and Mayor Lee Brain made quick work of the two items on their Agenda for the night and offered up few comments as the first session for 2018 wrapped up before the clock had hit twenty minutes.

It's a mark which rivals their work on September of 11th of last year when they knocked off their to do list in just twenty minutes. For those looking for a meeting to meeting comparison of Council's work, a review of all Council sessions can be found on our archive page here.

Council also hosted a Closed session earlier in the day, though there is no indication through the City's information flow as to how long that closed door meeting lasted.

As we noted in our Preview of the Monday session, this year finds City Council having adopted a reduced schedule for 2018, eliminating all of the public sessions in September and October in the lead up to the November municipal election.

The decision to reduce the amount of time in the public eye and on the record was made without any public discussion by members of Council during their 2017 Public Regular Council opportunities

And despite what clearly was a perfect opportunity on a light workload night, none of the City Council members chose to offer up any explanation, or comment related to the decision. A shift in the municipal Council calendar that was released only by way of a public notice in the paper in mid December.

That lack of opinion and commentary on such areas of governance would seem to run counter to a New Year's resolution piece from one of the City's Councillors from earlier this month.

On January 2nd, Councillor Blair Mirau, who has often spoken to the issue of the need for City Council to deliver more information to the public offered up a number of themes for City Council to pursue for 2018, with Mr. Mirau delivering  his thoughts through a Facebook post to his social media stream which focuses on municipal issues.

Key to that theme was one resolution to work towards better communication between Council and the public:

II. Enhance council communications. Despite being tabled in 2017, I will again speak in favour of passing the new city communications policy because I believe it is extremely important for council to improve disclosure and reporting for decisions made in-camera.

One might think that eliminating three consecutive Regular Public Council Sessions through September and October might make for a topic that would fit into that particular resolution of improved disclosure for the year ahead.

But alas, on Monday, neither Councillor Mirau, nor any of the other members of Council in attendance on the night chose to put that goal of more disclosure and better communication with the public into visible action.

You can review more on Council's efforts from Monday through our Timeline feature here.

Other notes related to Prince Rupert City Council can be found on our Council Discussion archive.

Changes ahead for usage rates at Cow Bay Marina

Council members received a short overview of the workings of the City's Cow Bay Marina on Monday night, as the City's Financial Officer stepped in for the Manager of Transportation and Economic Development to outline a few changes that are planned for the fees structure for 2018.

During her review, Ms. Bomben noted that since it began operations, the Cow Bay Marina has brought an estimated 2.5 million dollars in economic spin off benefits to Prince Rupert from 2016-2017.

As for the proposed changes to the bylaw adopted in 2016,  Council  passed the first three readings to update a fee category for super yachts, creating a new rate to address this growing sector of the boating industry and one which can bring additional revenue to the community.

As well the City plans to increase the monthly moorage rates during the peak summer months of June through August.

Ms. Bomben noted that will enable the city to try to capture a larger share of the itinerant traffic that travels up and down the British Columbia coast. By doing that the City will also be able to reach the original goals and requirements of the grant process that was accessed during the planning for the Marina Facility.

There will also be a fee for marine facility security a fee that had not been contemplated during the creation of the original bylaws.

Should the 2018 Season follow the same path as the 2017 season it has been estimated that the City could see a targeted revenue increase of between 5 to 8 percent from the Schedule B rate changes.

The key notes to the report can be reviewed below (click to enlarge)

You can review the full report from the Council Agenda package for January 15th starting on page 10 .

Council members had a few observations and questions on the theme, with Councillor Randhawa inquiring as to potential demand for itinerant vessel visits and the possibility of the city pricing the marina out of the market, he also asked for an update on what kind of forecast the changes might bring towards revenue for the season ahead.

Councillor Niesh offered up his support for the scope of the changes and the new revisions in place.

Councillor Cunningham observed that the Cow Bay Marina costs are in line with what is being charged at other facilities up and down the coast in the province, he also suggested some changes to the wording of the bylaw.

As a follow up to the theme of the Cow Bay Marina, Mr. Cunningham inquired as whether the City has made any progress on his original suggestion of creating a Fish Market for summer weekends at the Dock, he was advised that the City is still working towards that proposal.

Mr. Cunningham introduced that concept to Council last summer, noting how it would make for a natural attraction, comparing it to the Terrace Farmers Market that attracts large crowds on weekends.

Councillor Thorkelson asked for a definition of the term itinerant when it comes to the usage of the facility and what kind of time period that takes in and how does it impact on the rates that are required.

She also inquired as to the nature of the Administrative clean up towards the language of the bylaw and what the city hoped to achieve from those changes.

You can review the presentation to Council and follow up questions from Monday night's session from the Video Archive starting at the one minute mark.

For more items related to the Monday's Council Session see our Council Timeline here.

Other past notes related to the city's plans for Waterfront development can be reviewed here.

Further background on City Council Discussion topics can be found on our Archive page