Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mount Hays Quickclimb looking for volunteers for August event

Organizers are laying the groundwork for this years Mount Hays Quickclimb, with a volunteer introduction meeting scheduled for tonight at 7:30 at Cowpuccino's Coffee House.

As we outlined on the blog in May, the popular ascent up the North Coast's Mount Hays is being revived this year, once again through the sponsorship of Quickload Logistics, which this year is being joined by McElhanney to bring the August 16th event together.

It's been five years since the road up Mount Hays has been tackled in a competitive fashion and this years plans are designed to make the day a family event with as much happening at the base of the mountain as there will be on the way up it.

Tonight's information session is designed to give would be  volunteers a look at some of the things that need to be done to organize such an event as Quickclimb.

Featuring everything from putting posters up around the city, to helping with the set up on race day and the BBQ celebration to take place at the base of the mountain.

You can find out more about the information session for tonight from the Mount Hays Quickclimb Facebook page.

Organizers have also developed a website for the August event as well as a twitter feed to keep residents of the Northwest up to date on developments related to this years event

For more background on this years climb see our archive page here.

Sports: Quick Climb 2015 archives

Quickclimb website
Quickclimb Facebook page
Quickclimb Twitter page

Notes related to this year's Mount Hays Quick Climb event of August.

August 17 -- Mount Hays Quick Climb (video)
August 11 -- Countdown to QuickClimb heads towards Sunday event  NCR
June 30 -- Mount Hays Quickclimb looking for volunteers for August event  NCR
June  9-- Quickclimb laid groundwork for community trail construction
May 26 -- Mount Hays Quickclimb returning in 2015
May 25 -- Mount Hays Quickclimb to return after five year absence  NCR

Training opportunities for Science Venture student counsellors set for NWCC for Thursday

Students that are entering Grade Ten or higher in the fall and are looking to build their resumes with volunteer work will get a training opportunity this Thursday as part of a program introduced by Science Venture and Northwest Community College.

The Information and Training session takes place at the Prince Rupert campus of NWCC from 6 until 8 PM on Thursday evening, with the prospect of a number of volunteer opportunities to come through the summer and fall to be reviewed as part of the information session.

The Junior Counsellor Session will provide background on what is required to become a Junior Counsellor with the Science Venture team, as well as offer a chance to talk to other Junior Counsellors to learn how the program works.

Young adults interested in learning more can contact the organizers of Thursday's event at asmithanik@nwcc.ca the deadline to RSVP is July 1st.

Some of the duties related to the upcoming Science Venture programs can be found below:

The first of those Science Venture events for the summer will come up in the first week of July with the Junior Scientist Camp and Medical Science Camp taking place from July 6 to 10 at the Prince Rupert Campus. 

The Camps will be taking place in other areas of the Northwest as well, you can learn more about the Summer Camp program, including how to apply for financial assistance for the Science camps from this update from NWCC.

For more background on other items of interest from Northwest Community College see our archive page here.

Regional District outlines its Financials for 2014

As the City of Prince Rupert did earlier this month, Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District has released the details of its final Financial statements for the 2014 fiscal year, providing overviews on salaries and expenses for both sitting members and current staff.

Board Chair Barry Pages tops the remuneration list with a salary of $20,952, along with expenses claimed of $14,416. 

Below him on the list are thirteen names from the elected officials and Members of the Board, with three members from Prince Rupert listed for the transition year between old and new council representation.

Councillor Nelson Kinney received $13,427 in salary and claimed 862 in expenses, former Councillor Anna Ashley received $12,781 with 970 in expenses claimed and Mayor Lee Brain, who joined the Board of Directors in December received $1,114 for his first month of work on Regional District, to go along with the nine dollars in expenses that were claimed.

The total cost of Remuneration for the Board in 2014 was $147,663, with expenses of $57,427

The amount for 2014 marks an increase of $9,465 from amounts presented in 2013.

As for Staff employees, only two of the Regional District Staff made the list of over $75,000 that require reporting, with Joan Merrick and Robert Kidd breaking that salary mark. 

The two senior staff members accounted for $144,162 and $87,445 in remuneration and expenses respectively.

The remainder of the Regional District's employees, fell under the $75,000 reporting mark, collectively receiving $992,363 in remuneration, with $28,657 claimed in expenses for 2014.

In total, when all the number crunching was completed, the full remuneration and expenses statement for both elected officials and staff members at Regional District amounted to $1,457,717.

The full overview of the Regional District financials can be found here, as part of the Agenda for the June 19th meeting, the Statement of Financial Information review starts at page 19 and continues on until page 37.

When it comes to expenditures, Municipal Debt Servicing, Solid waste management on Haida Gwaii, Regional recycling and Administration claim the largest of sums of the four million dollars plus amounts that were provided.

Regional Recycling is among one of
the items atop the Expenditures listings
for Regional District in 2014
Regional District Revenues and Expenditures
for 2014 from the RD Financial Statement

Key information and the detailed breakdown on revenues and expenditures at Regional District can be found from pages 26 to 29.

The 2014 Statement of Financial Information was adopted by Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District as part of their June 19th session

Earlier this month, Prince Rupert City Council provided similar financial disclosure for both Salaries and Expenses that Financial Statement was presented at the June 9th City Council session.

For more background on Regional District items see our archive page here.

Northern Health to add mental health and substance use support program for Prince Rupert Regional Hospital

Prince Rupert Regional Hospital
will benefit from a new program at
Northern Health
The Ministry of Health in British Columbia has added some new funding for programs in the Northern Health Service area, with Prince Rupert Regional Hospital listed as one of three locations to benefit from a new focus on mental health and substance use issues.

To reduce the amount of time members of the RCMP spend with patients in the emergency department, a new psychiatric liaison nurse position will be added to the three hospitals in the Northern Health region, with Prince Rupert joining  Prince George and Fort St. John in providing for the service.

The nurse will support physicians and staff in the emergency department by quickly helping to assess the patient, and start determining the best supports — either community based programs or in-patient care.

That will allow attending RCMP members to return to their policing duties in a shorter amount of time after responding to calls that bring residents of the area to the hospital for evaluation, in the past the need to remain at the hospital with those in their care has taken members off the streets for lengthy periods at times. This new program will reduce the time involved in the transfer of responsibility for those that are brought to the hospital.

RCMP members will be able to return
to the streets sooner with the introduction
of a new program at Northern Health
 “Mental health and substance use support cannot come from a single organization, and instead need to be created in partnerships that wrap services around the patient,”“The new programs will help Northern Health better serve its clients, while getting the police officers back onto the road more quickly.” -- Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie introducing some of the benefits of a new program for Northern Health across the region

Prince Rupert will not be the only area of the Northwest to benefit from the increased funding, the Terrace area will also received funding for an expansion of the intensive case management team process to the Northwest, that program will see outpatient support teams provide street and community outreach services in the Terrace area.

You can review some of the background on the recent announcements here.

More background on the services for Mental Health and addictions through the Northern Health system can be found here.

For more information related to Northern Health developments in Prince Rupert see our archive pages here.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Westview waterfront area location of containment efforts related to abandoned fuel pipe

An abandoned fuel pipe
has been seeping old fuel into the
Prince Rupert harbour near the
Westview Pellet Terminal 

The Prince Rupert Port Authority provided an update this afternoon on an incident in the city's Westview waterfront area, which has seen a small quantity of escaped fuel to enter into the foreshore and waterfront near the Westview  Wood Pellet Terminal.

The incident was first reported to the Port on Sunday afternoon by workers at the Pellet Terminal, who had noticed a sheen in the water near the Terminal.

Upon further investigation by the Port it was determined that the seepage was originating from an abandoned pipe that passes under property owned by the Port of Prince Rupert.

The Port then put in motion its response plan, a process which has involved finding access to the area in question and then making preparations to flush and cap the pipe in order to prevent any further seepage of the fluid which is believed to be bunker fuel.

The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation was called in to handle the remediation work to the shoreline and surrounding area, they are currently working on both the containment issues and the cleanup response to immediate area.

As well, the Port has called in an environmental consultant who is currently on site to assess any potential impact to the area.

As part of their update of Monday, the Port Authority observed that the amount of escaped oil is small and it is not believed that it will pose a risk to marine life and vegetation near the area.

More background on the incident can be found from this media release.

For more items related to the Prince Rupert Port Authority see our archive page here.

Fraser Street Rehabilitation project is now underway

The First phase of the Fraser
Street rehabilitation project is
now underway
The first steps in Phase one of the Fraser Street Rehabilitation project got underway last week, as work began at the eastern end of the downtown core area, with work crews tearing up the road from Northwest Community College towards the Salvation Army location.

Excavators and workers moved into the area early last week, making quick work of the street surface black top, leaving for road closures at both ends of the phase one area, with access to the western side of the project limited to local traffic only.

The project was approved by Council in May, with the awarding of the contract for the remediation work to Adventure Paving, which submitted a bid of $1,185,228.56. 

The removal of the asphalt and set up area now in place sets the stage for the long delayed rebuild of much of the infrastructure of the street, it's anticipated that work on phase one of the project will be completed by the start of September.

The sewer system in the Fraser Street area is considered to be in the poorest condition of any in the city, while the surface road, sidewalks and gutters have been high on the list for remediation for a number of years.

You can review some of our previous items related to the project and gain more background as to what is ahead for it from the items below:

More items about City Council discussions and decisions can be found from our archive page.

NWCC highlights Bursaries available to Northwest students

For students and parents making their plans for the fall, an opportunity to help with the cost of tuition at the post secondary level is available for those looking towards the Trades program at Northwest Community college.

The college outlined some of the bursary opportunities that are there for the taking, many of which provide a focus on some of the key industrial trades programs currently found through NWCC, from Welding, electrical, carpentry and Heavy Duty Equipment training, to instruction related to the culinary program and automobile trade opportunities.

Overall there are some 79 trades bursaries to be awarded through the college, providing for 59,000 dollars in available funding.

The deadline applications for the Fall session fast approaching, with students advised to have their application submitted by July 15th. 

For those that may be looking at their studies for the winter session, the deadline for applications is February 15th.

There are two streams into the Bursary program, one available to Graduating students of area School District's the other for Mature Students, those who have graduated or meet entrance requirements for the individual trades programs.

You can learn more about the Bursary opportunities through the NWCC website. Information related to the variety of Bursaries can be found here,  while more background on Financial aid opportunities can be reviewed here.

See our archive page here, for more items related to post secondary education options at the various northwest campus locations for NWCC and CNC in Prince George.

Port's Green Wave initiatives continue to gain Kudos from marine industry

The Green Wave program is
proving popular with visiting
vessels for the Port of Prince Rupert

The work of the Prince Rupert Port Authority on environmental issues has been recognized by the international body that overviews green initiatives in the marine industry.

The Port's Green Wave program uses rankings from various environmental programs such as Green Marine, RightShip, the Clean Shipping index and others to put in place the standards that vessels arriving at Prince Rupert Port facilities should be seeking to achieve.

Right Ship CEO Warwick Norman, highlighted the evolving nature of the Prince Rupert program, which is now in its third year and offers a range of discounts to visiting vessels that meet various levels of success with the program.
Right Ship CEO Warwick Norman
had praise for the Porto of
Prince Rupert's environmental work

“The Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Green Wave program is one of the most successful environmental incentive programs we collaborate on with the GHG Emissions Rating ... With the program now in its third year and going from strength to strength, Prince Rupert is demonstrating industry stewardship to those ports considering an environmental incentive program.”

In 2014, participation in the program found140 vessels taking part,  accounting for close to fifty percent of the 494 vessel calls in the year. 2015 has seen even more progress in the year to year numbers the shipping industry learns more about the Prince Rupert approach to the program.

On Friday, Port President and CEO Don Krusel offered up a snapshot of the growth of the program:
“2015 has already seen even greater year-over-year participation, which is a testament to the shipping industry’s awareness and support for increased environmental performance and sustainability ... By rewarding clean vessels, we are reducing local air emissions and connecting to a global effort to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

Green Marine is one of a number
of initiatives at the Prince Rupert
Port Authority
As well, Mr.  Krusel noted of the reception that the program has received from various elements of the shipping industry:
“These changes demonstrate the continual evolution of the program ... We are pleased to work with the shipping fleets, along with other ports and environmental programs, as we deliver on our ability to improve environmental sustainability in the marine shipping industry.”

You can find out more about the changes to the program here and what measures visiting vessels will be adopting as they qualify for further discounts by reaching a lower footprint on environmental impact.

More background on the Green Wave program can be found here.

For further items from the Prince Rupert Port Authority see our archive page here.

This weekend brings your chance to burn up the Golf Course in aid of the Firefighter's Burn Fund

The North Coast's summer of golf continues into July, with another tournament event to add to your calendar, as the Prince Rupert Fire Fighter's host a Best Ball Scramble on Saturday July the 4th at the Prince Rupert Golf Course.

With an entry of sixty dollars per player, teams of Four can compete for a number of prizes including 3 Hole in One prize opportunities for the day's play.

Once the day's golfing comes to an end, participants can enjoy the dinner at the Club House and the awarding of prizes for those that found the most success with their game.

All of the proceeds from this years Scramble will be directed to the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighter's Burn Fund. More on the work of that charitable organization can be found here.

The Prince Rupert event, is one of a number that are taking place across the province this summer in aid of the Burn Fund.

The Major Local sponsors for this weekend's scramble are Cook's Jewellers, MacCarthy GM and Hawkair, with a number of other local businesses lending their support as well.

You can learn more about the tournament and sign up for Saturday's event at the Pro Shop or give them a call at 250-624-2000

Updates on the Tournament can be found on the Prince Rupert Firefighter's Facebook page.

More on Golfing in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

July brings more job opportunities with the City of Prince Rupert

The City of Prince Rupert's plans to continue to add to the civic workforce will move into July, with the latest of job opportunities just posted to the City's Careers page on their website.

The City is now seeking applications for those interested in working as an Engineering Technologist, a position in the Operations Department, which is related to range of responsibilities from public infrastructure to relationships with contractors and suppliers.

The main focus of the work will find the successful applicant employed in the field  of surveying and computer drafting services for the Engineering and Public Works departments.

You can review the full job description along with the Qualifications for the position here.

The position, falls under the unionized component of the city's CUPE bargaining unit.

The newest employment opportunity, adds to a growing list of recent positions that the City has been recruiting for over the last four months, with the major push to add to the civic payroll coming in the last month or so.

Other than Council's observations as part of their Planning for Major Projects in May, where the theme  of adding to the civic workforce was mentioned, there has been little actual discussion of that topic during the public Council sessions.

Particularly when it comes to the direction of the city's new hiring plans and exactly how many more positions may be added before the current drive for new employees is complete.

Heading into the summer months,  City Council and staff at this time seem focused on adding positions to the civic work force, with no mention made of exploring other options, such as using a contracting out provision for some of the work of some of these new positions.

Nor has there been much of a public discussion to this point as to why Council believes that there is the need to bump up the staffing levels as much as they have to this point, and at the pace that they have taken on.

A topic that didn't seem to be much of a theme for the then candidates for Council during the fall election campaign.

You can review some of the previous opportunities of the last few months below

City's hiring push continues on into June
City Hall  ... Soon to be the new hiring hall for the North Coast

For more items related to discussions and notes from City Hall see our archive page here.

NWCC Board approves 2015-16 Budget

The financial blue print for Northwest Community College received the approval of the College's Board of Governors earlier this month, finalizing the plans for NWCC as they head towards the fall semester in September.

As part of the financial plan for the year ahead, College management had identified 1.4 million dollars in cost-savings to address a shortfall in government funding and a decline in enrolment revenue.

Those savings were found through a number of paths, including early retirement and voluntary severance options across the college system, a solution that NWCC President Ken Burt touched on as part of a statement following the Board meeting of June 19th in Prince Rupert.

“We are sincerely grateful to our unions for the work they did with us to minimize the impact on people ... We are confident that the hard work done this year will put us on stable footing for the coming years and help us grow enrolments and revenues.” --  NWCC President, Ken Burt.

College Board Chair Herb Pond
offered up the thanks of the
Board over the work
related to the College budget for 2015-16
Mr. Burt, has only been at the helm of the college for eight months, having taken up his duties as the new President and CEO in October of 2014, with the budget issues one of the first items to be addressed upon his arrival at NWCC.

The Board of Governors offered up their own thoughts on the process that NWCC had to embark on to try and address their budgetary concerns, as well as any potential impact that those decision may have on campus locations across the Northwest.

Herb Pond, the Chair of the Board of Governors observed as to the tough decisions that had to be made by College administration over the last few months and the cooperation that was required to deliver the financial plan.

“These can be difficult issues to manage and we’re very pleased with the work our management team did with its unions to minimize the effect on people and programs in our communities”

The final approval process was completed, after an engagement process with staff, faculty and students across the NWCC system.

For more background on the budget announcement see this item from the NWCC website.

As we outlined on the blog last week, the NWCC President and CEO is hoping to have an opportunity to discuss issues related to the college with Prince Rupert City Council at a future Council session.

Further notes on developments at NWCC can be found on our archive page.

Canada Day Schedule full of events; organizers could still use some help

Prince Rupert's Special Events Society is making ready for the annual Canada Day celebration at Mariner's Park, with an afternoon of fun events planned for those looking to celebrated the nation's 148th birthday.

Events start up at Noon with the singing of O Canada and a chance to have a slice of Birthday Cake to salute the nation's big day.

The city's growing list of food vendors will be on hand to offer up a smorgasbord of culinary treats, highlighting the mosaic of the nations taste buds. All of it part of the picnic in the park focus for the afternoon which takes place until 4 PM.

Music will be featured on the main stage at Mariner's with the Prince Rupert Community Band and a number of special guests on hand to entertain through the four hours of the afternoon events.

Games, Face painting, trivia and other activities are planned for the younger ones as well to help keep the afternoon moving along.

Late evening brings the Fireworks Display scheduled for an 11:15 PM show, weather permitting with the Prince Rupert harbour to be the backdrop for the night time finale for the nation's celebration.

You can find out more about the Canada Day plans from the Special Events Society website or Facebook page.

As well, if you have some spare time to share for the celebration give the organizers of the event a shout, they could use a few volunteers to help out with some of the planned activities for the day.

More information on how the Special Events Society pulls together our community events and how to contact them can be found by here

Real Estate Tracker, Week ending June 28, 2015

Our weekly review of the listings of the local real estate agents, tracking those properties which appear to be driving the local price structure for the North Coast.

Every Monday, we look over the listing prices of the past seven days and outline the Top 10 asking prices in the area, providing a snap shot as to where the Real Estate market may be trending on a week to week basis.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending June 28 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate
East Side June 28 2015
Prince Rupert Real Estate
West Side June 28 2015

Summer stagnation appears to be the current theme to the local listings.

Once again there were no changes to the listings for the last seven days, with no new properties breaking through the upper ten placements of our review. There  however, has been a shift to be found among listing agents for this weeks review, with a few properties shifting to new agents.

As it has been for a while now, the west side remains the location for the majority of the top end listings can be found with eight of the ten of our review this week found west of the downtown core area, four properties located on Graham Avenue alone.

The east side of the city once again hosts two properties this week, holding down the top end for that side of the city for yet another week.

The high end overall continues to be marked by a Graham Avenue entry, with the Sloan Avenue property notching the tenth position

Below our findings as of the Week ending June 28, 2015

1724 Graham Avenue                    $669,000  --  Royal Lepage
1942-46 2nd Avenue W                 $659,000  --  Royal Lepage
160 Van Arsdol Street--                 $649,900   -- Remax
2040 Graham Avenue --                 $595,000   -- Royal Lepage
2126 Graham Avenue --                 $615,000  --  Royal Lepage
2230 Graham Avenue --                 $579,900  --  Remax
1025 Edward Avenue --                  $549,000 --  Remax
1229 Conrad Street --                     $525,000  --  Royal Lepage
524 Cassiar Avenue --                    $499,000  --  Remax
1711 Sloan Avenue --                     $480,000  --  Royal Lepage

For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blog Watching, Week ending June 28, 2015

Politics leads off our look at the last seven days, with the province's ambitions for LNG to get a review in July, as the Legislature is recalled for discussion and a vote on the recent agreement between BC and Pacific NorthWest LNG for the terminal development proposed for Lelu Island.

Other items of the week that captured the attention of our readers, the celebrations of a quarter of a century for the University of British Columbia and a look at the salary disclosures for the City of Prince Rupert. With a fair amount of interest generated by the numbers provided for all of City Council, as well as those making over 75,000 dollars per year and working either on city staff or as part of the unionized work force.

Two proposed property developments wrap up the five most read items of the week, with a look at a new downtown condo proposal for the Bill Murray Drive and 1st Avenue West area, as well as a bit of push back towards the City's plans for development from Park Avenue to Graham Avenue.

However, this week, the majority of the interest was directed towards Victoria, and the upcoming discussion on LNG and the agreement reached last month with Pacific NorthWest LNG for development of the Lelu Island Terminal project.

Legislature to be recalled July 13 to launch LNG legislation discussion  -- North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice will be heading back to Victoria next month, as the Liberal Government of Christy Clark recalls the Legislature on July 13th to discuss and then vote on the recent agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG  (posted June 23, 2015)

The notes from the ongoing investigation was followed by:

UNBC celebrates 25 years of post secondary education for Northern British Columbia -- A quarter century of higher education for the North was celebrated last week at the Prince George campus of the University of Northern British Columbia (posted June 23, 2015)

City of Prince Rupert provides overview of Civic Salaries and expenses for 2014  --  The background to a report for Council that outlines the salaries and expenses of City Council and those staff and employees making over 75,000 dollars a year  (posted  June 22, 2015)

Proposed condo development offers dramatic shift to downtown housing options    --  A look at proposed downtown development that would reshape a good portion of 1st Avenue West  (posted  June 25, 2015)

Park Avenue proposal receives petition push back  -- The large scale development for a stretch of land between Park Avenue and Graham Avenue finds a bit of opposition at the Graham Avenue side of the proposed housing plans   (posted June 25, 2015 )

You can find our 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.

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. Underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching  can be found here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Prince Rupert to celebrate the life of Odd Eidsvik today

Prince Rupert's
Odd Eidsvik passed away
(photo CA of BC)

St. Paul's Lutheran Church will be the setting for a farewell to a longtime fixture on Prince Rupert's political, social and economic scene, with a Celebration of Life to take place this afternoon at the McBride Street church.

Odd Eidsvik, who served a number of roles in the community during his years in Prince Rupert passed away on June 12th, the notification of his passing touching many in the community.

A large number of residents of the city have fond memories of his time on the North Coast and the impact he had on those who shared a conversation with him.

Mr. Eidsvik leaves an impressive resume of service to the community, from his time on Prince Rupert City Council, where he served from 1984-1989 to his work on the political scene as a prominent fixture with the Liberal party over the years.

Normally found working behind the scenes on behalf of the Liberals in Federal campaigns, Mr. Eidsvik made his own run for office in 1988, an unsuccessful  bid for office in the era of the Jim Fulton years for the Skeena Riding.

He also took the political plunge on behalf of the BC Liberals on the provincial level in both 1972 and 1996, taking on the challenge of attempting to topple popular NDP MLA's of the times.

A chartered accountant by occupation, his time as a commercial fisherman made him a go to guy for many that once fished the commercial fleet on the North Coast. His work in the Financial Services industry provided him with many accolades and achievements over the fifty years that he dedicated to his craft.

Beyond his day job however, Mr. Eidsvik was known for the many other tasks that he took on in the community, from work with the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the Prince Rupert Airport Society to his membership in the Prince Rupert Rotary Club, service to community was part of the fabric of his life on the North Coast.

Today's celebration of life takes place at St. Paul's starting at 1:30, a reception where many a tale of his exploits and remembrances of time shared will take place at La Gondola Restaurant, the opportunity to lift a glass and share a story goes from 3 to 6 PM.

BG Group continues with community engagement programs

BG Group continues to contribute
to local groups and events
While there's been a bit of a lull when it comes to news related to the Prince Rupert LNG project for Ridley Island, the company behind the proposed development is continuing to keep its presence known across the Northwest.

The BG Group, which is the lead proponent for the Ridley Island  Terminal  proposal recently announced it would be providing further assistance towards the Vancouver Aquarium's North Coast initiative.

As we outlined on the blog yesterday, the two large LNG proponents of the North coast have also been making their mark with funding opportunities for training programs in the region.

Earlier in May, the BG Group along with Petronas led Pacific NorthWest offered up further commitment towards the Pathways to Success program which is a key industrial training program which will be offered through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in both Prince Rupert and Terrace.

The main focus of the program is provide training opportunities for First Nations residents that could lead to job ready skills for use in not only LNG related occupations but for other disciplines and opportunities as well.

You can review some of their contribution to that program here.

The status of the BG Group's LNG terminal development however, still remains on pause, with few updates received since the departure of Madeline Whitaker earlier this year.

Still, the local office remains engaged with the local scene, contributing to local events and organizations.

Over the weekend the energy company received a commissioned work of art that celebrates the 9 Allied Tribes of the Tsimshian Nation, the art work created by  Russell Mather Jr. assisted by a number of helpers will be hosted at BG's Prince Rupert LNG offices on Second Avenue West.

You can find more background on the Prince Rupert LNG proposal from our archive page here.

SD52's Sm'algyax plans to be featured as part of national CBC program segment

The fall plans for School District 52 that will see the Sm'algyax language program expanded to all elementary schools will be getting a bit more notice across the country.

With CBC radio's program The 180 turning some of its focus on the project and the larger conversation on language instruction in Prince Rupert.

Program host Jim Brown interviews Roberta Edzerza the Aboriginal Education Principal for the School District, she provides an overview of the Prince Rupert education landscape and how the Sm'algyax education plan fits into community and what changes it may bring to partnerships in the region.

Ms. Edzerza noted the recognition of the region as Tsimshian territory and the current demographics of the SD52 system, which lists 62 percent of the students in local schools as Aboriginal in background.

As well, she observed some of the features of the cultural and diverse make up of the community and how residents engage within that richness and how the expansion of the language program may build on that spirit.

She also provides a glimpse into the some of the feedback from the recent moves to expand the
Sm'algyax program in the schools with a number of parents embracing and supporting the program.

Ms. Edzerza also offers up reflection when it comes to some of the impressions of those those that are still not as supportive as others, when it comes to the District's language plans.

You can read some excerpts from the interview and listen in to the Prince Rupert segment of the program here.

The 180 airs on CBC Radio One on Sundays at 11 AM and Mondays at 2 PM, for those with Sirius XM the program is available on Channel 169 at the same times.

Some background on the program can be found here.

For more items related to School District 52 see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Fire and Police Museum celebrates renovation of Bell Tower

One of Prince Rupert's more intriguing of tourist attractions is showing off it's latest renovation project, with the Prince Rupert Fire and Police Museum directing our attention up, with a look towards the newly rebuilt Bell Tower atop the museum building.

The museum located adjacent to the Prince Rupert Fire Station is a popular spot for tourists and locals to pop into, a quick opportunity to retrace some of Prince Rupert's historical review with a focus on fire apparatus and police exhibits.

The new focal point for the building was fabricated by Prince Rupert's Marinex Sheet Metal and unveiled for the public in May.

The tower renovation project was completed thanks to the assistance of a number of local residents and organizations including; Prince Rupert Grain, Rupert Square Mall, Mr. Dave Walker, Northern Savings Credit Union, Rupert Square Tenants Association and the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation.

Their assistance was recently acknowledged with a plaque that can be found at the Museum site on 1st Avenue West.

Last year Prince Rupert Crimestoppers and the Museum outlined the nature of restoration work on the 1947 Mercury Police Car once used by the BC provincial Police.

Some background on the Museum and its exhibits can be found below:

Time Travel BC
Tourism Prince Rupert

You can learn more about the museum from their Facebook page.

Port Celebrates International Seafarers Day with $5,000 contribution

Visiting mariners take part in
International Day of the Seafarer
events in Prince Rupert
(Photo from the PRPA)
Yesterday was the day set aside to salute and celebrate those that travel onboard the giant ships that transit the worlds oceans, a number of which make their way into port in Prince Rupert.

As part of the observance of the Fourth Annual International Day of the Seafarer, the Prince Rupert Port Authority provided a donation of five thousand dollars to the Prince Rupert Seafarer's Centre, destined to help support the work of the local volunteers and the services that they provide to visiting crew members of ships in port.

“We’re proud to be one of many organizations around the world who specifically support international mariners while they’re in port and taking a break from their duties at sea ... In order to provide a ‘home away from home’ to these crew members, we rely on the generosity of our volunteer base and local organizations like the Prince Rupert Port Authority who support our operations every year.” -- Norm Craddock, Chairman of the Prince Rupert Seafarers' Centre.

The International Maritime Organization provided a short video to commemorate the day, providing an interesting approach to what life at sea may look like and the opportunity that a career on the oceans may provide for.

You can learn more about Thursday's donation from the Port, as well as additional background on the work of the local Centre's operations from Thursday's news release from the Port Authority

The local Seafarer's Mission is located on Third Avenue West across from the CityWest offices, at the moment there are 15 volunteers who offer up their time to the Centre.

The storefront location is always on the look out for more volunteers to lend a hand, if you have some time to share, drop in and see what they may be looking for, or contact them at 250-624-6724, between the hours of 4 to 9 PM Centre officials can be reached at 250-624-8247

More items related to other Prince Rupert Port Authority community donations can be found here.

Southeast Alaska air crash claims nine lives

Eight tourists and the pilot of the plane they were travelling aboard died in an air crash near Ketchikan, Alaska on Thursday, the passengers were taking a tour of the Misty Fiords as part of their journey on the Holland America cruise ship Westerdam that had visited the Ketchikan area this week.

The tourists were aboard a DeHavilland DHC 3 Otter operated by Promech Air, a Ketchikan based charter and sightseeing service.

The plane was spotted by reported overdue in the afternoon and the crash site spotted by helicopters later in the day, having crashed into a cliff side area located above Ella Lake east of Ketchikan.

Volunteer Rescue crews out of Ketchikan, along with Alaska State Troopers and US Coast Guard personnel arrived on the scene of the crash at 6 PM Alaska time and confirmed that all onboard the plane had perished, however recovery efforts were not attempted as weather conditions made that task unsafe on Thursday.

Weather conditions in the Ketchikan area through Thursday were similar to what the North Coast faced through the day, with wind and rain conditions shifting through the afternoon.

The recovery situation will be reassessed later today. The cause of the crash remains unknown and under investigation.

The Alaska State Troopers and National Transportation Safety Board of the US will be partnering as part of the investigation into the incident.

KRBD -- No survivors in Misty Fiords plane crash
KTUU-- All 9 on crashed plane near Ketchikan dead, NTSB says
KTVA-- All passengers aboard missing flight seeing plane found dead, rescue team says
Alaska Dispatch news -- 8 tourists, pilot dead in Southeast Alaska plane crash
CBC-- Alaska plan crash: 8 cruise ship tourists, pilot dead

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Park Avenue proposal receives petition push back

Monday's Public hearing process and the observations related to the proposed development of a housing development in the Park Avenue has received a bit of a push back from some of the residents of the Graham Avenue Area.

And while a full overview of the Public Hearing can't be reviewed through the Council Video Archive owing to some technical issues related to the Monday broadcast, some of the feedback provided to CFTK TV suggests that Monday's session didn't reassure some of the residents in the area.

A bit of push back that suggests that Council might have to address a few issues before giving the proposed zoning changes a final adoption.

In an interview from Tuesday evening on TV 7, Graham Avenue resident Judy Warren provided some background to the concerns of those in the area when it comes some of the aspects of the overall Park Avenue project.

Among those concerns, a belief by some in the area that different information was provided at the public session than what is now being considered when it comes to lot size and renters for the property in question.

As well Ms.Warren relayed some of the concerns that residents have over increased traffic related to the construction development phase of the project and how that work may impact on their neighbourhood.

Councillor Mirau outlined the
path ahead for Park Ave zoning
through his Facebook page
As part of their response to the proposed development, a petition was presented to City Council on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Councillor Blair Mirau through his Facebook page provided an overview of the proposed path ahead for the Graham/Park Avenue zoning amendment.

Noting that City Council will sit in a Special Meeting on the topic on July 6th, "specifically to give final reading and adopt the amendment to the official community plan and zoning bylaw"

There was however, no mention of the concerns that the Graham Avenue residents might have expressed through their petition, nor any indication as to what steps the City might be taking to try and resolve those issues. 

More background on the proposed development can be found from our Housing Archives as well as from our page dedicated to City Council Discussions.

Proposed condo development offers dramatic shift to downtown housing options

A proposed condo development for First Avenue West is certainly destined to become a popular conversation topic, with a photo presentation currently up for review that provides a stunning look at the footprint that the housing project would offer to the city's waterfront skyline.

The project which was introduced to Prince Rupert City Council on Monday night, and if approved for development, would be located in the lot directly across from the Harbour View apartments sweeping along the First Avenue West area and down along Bill Murray Way.

With Monday's City Council session suffering electronic gremlins, the presentation to Council (as well as the entire Council broadcast) was along the lines of a silent movie, leaving viewers at home with no audio to hear the finer points of the proposed development.

Councillor Blair Mirau however is helping to fill in some of the gaps from those electronic troubles, posting the photo found below to his Facebook page on Wednesday, providing some of the background to the project and asking for input from the community as to what they think of the proposed development.

Conceptual sketch of a proposed condo and commercial
development for 1st Avenue West across from Chances.

(photo from Coun. Blair Mirau's Facebook page)

The project, was outlined for Council by a group appearing at the Monday evening session,  with Jeremy Towning, Vice President and Franz Gehriger the CEO of the SwissReal Group out of Vancouver, along with Frank and Cynthia Pyde, listed as Owners/Parners in the condo and commercial development.

In the presentation Mr. Gehriger provided the background to the project which would provide for 80 units in seven storeys and dominate the waterfront vista in the area directly across from Chances and the North Coast Convention Centre.

The water side view would be one that takes full advantage of the Prince Rupert harbour view, while the city side faces onto a large open space that also features a secondary structure that would change our impression of that end of 1st Avenue West significantly.

Considering the lack of any large scale residential or commercial development in the city in recent years, the proposed development would make for a remarkable shift in focus for the downtown core and perhaps offer up the start of a bit of a rebirth in the long dormant area.

The Vancouver based real estate company has been involved in a number of impressive large scale developments in other British Columbia communities, you can review some of them here.

Those interested in offering their comments to the Councillor can provide them through the comments section of his Facebook page here.

For more items related to discussions at Prince Rupert City Council see our archive page here.

Further background on housing issues can be found here, while notes on commercial developments in the Northwest can be reviewed here.