Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Well the Daily News bold new travels into the electronic frontier seem to have suffered a setback, what with today being Wednesday and the much ballyhooed electronic edition still proudly exhibiting the Monday offerings.

So for now, we'll travel back to our old way of reviewing their take on the events of Podunk, we did find a link to the headline story for the Tuesday edition, all be it in the PG Citizen so we send our loyal readers to it, and offer up the transcribed edition of the front page story below.
We're not quite clear on why Prince George can have an electronic record of the highlight event of the Prince Rupert Daily News, but not the Daily's own readership, but that perhaps is a question for another day.

We'll keep to our new format of the synopsis and links for the rest of the Tuesday edition however, though we obviously can't provide the links to the Daily News articles, until they are posted to the Daily News website.

And here we thought it was all going so well....

DAILY NEWS, Front page headline story
AND THE WALLS COME TUMBLIN' DOWN-- The demolition of the old Acropolis Manor has begun, a process that will leave many in the community disappointed that an alternate use could not be found for a building with what many felt had a few more years to give. (see PG Citizen story here) (Daily News story here) item is provided at the bottom of this post as well.

The British Columbia Nurses Union put Prince Rupert on their tour of the province itinerary this summer with President Deb McPherson arriving in town on Friday, the President eager to learn more of the local issues in the community and meet with those on the front lines of our health care system (see story here)

The introduction of progress on the various Northwest transportation initiatives into last weeks speech from the throne has local boosters of the Norther Gateway project feeling pretty positive about their plans (see story here)

The sports page featured a review of the weekend activities surrounding the annual Cannery road race marathons (see story here).

Front page, headline story:

And the walls come tumblin’ down
By George T. Baker
Prince Rupert Daily News
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There had been calls to save the Old Acropolis Manor so that it might be used in the near future for a substance abuse centre, a doctors’ clinic or another assisted living environment.

But Northern Health decided the repairs were too costly to continue operating the centre for any length of time, and that funding and human resources could be better used in another location. Northern Health estimated that the cost could be as much as $10 to $15 million to bring the building up to new standards.

And so down it tumbles, clearing the way for a new parking lot. Preparatory work on asbestos was finished the previous week, which was considered to be one of the problems facing keeping the building.

A big hole gaped on the south-end wall of the old Acropolis Manor and Lianna Faust watched it grow larger.

“It’s sad, really,” said Faust, who had worked on a tireless campaign with three other local women, Diane Hopkins, Peggy Davenport and Wendy Wozniak, in an effort to save the building.
Beginning in March the four women had collected signatures from Rupertities in hopes that they would be able to salvage the entire building for an alternate use once the former occupants left for the New Acropolis Manor.

As the 28-year old former assisted-living building began tumbling down on Saturday, it was clear their efforts, despite encouraging words from City Council, had not been enough.

On Monday, Faust took a walk over to the Manor to have a look at the building.

“There are windows, good siding, a roof that was just finished a few years back, and it’s all being thrown out? It seems like such a waste,” lamented Faust.

The windows will, in fact, be salvaged - as will some of the furniture inside, which is to be stored at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital for now until a suitable person or business is found to accept the variety of couches and tables.

As for other materials, it appeared that all were being thrown out even though some of the infrastructure appeared to be in decent condition.

Local contractor, Mark Rudderham of Rupert Wood N’ Steel, said that about 50 per cent of the vinyl siding could have been recovered, but it didn’t surprise him with the extra costs attached to recycling the material.

“The problem is the time you get it up, remove the product and take the scaffolding down, it wouldn’t be profitable,” explained Rudderham.

“I’m sure a few people could have used the stuff, but no contractor would make money off that kind of job in Prince Rupert.”

Prince Rupert Regional Hospital Administrator, Sheila Gordon-Payne, said the hospital staff learned of the old building’s fate on Tuesday when a note was sent along to warn about the commencement of demolition.

“It’s absolutely good news in that we have to move on,” said Gordon-Payne. “Northern Health had met with community leaders and we understand that the cost to keep it up outweighs the advantages of keeping it open.”

Rudderham, who had been one of the voices asking that the old building be saved for alternate use based on the economic principle of having to eventually pay for a new building for the same use, said the cost factor was probably true. But, he added, it also spoke to the kind of society Canadians live under today.

“Nowadays it just seems like everything is disposable,” commented Rudderham.

As for Faust, all she can do now is shrug her shoulders in acceptance.

“I think it is time to move on, too,” said Faust. “But we did try.”

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