Sunday, March 15, 2009

Podunk Below the masthead Friday, March 13, 2009

Questions over the Highway of Tears women continue to haunt Northern BC, rural airports find the Olympics proving to be a problem and corporate sponsorship at SD 52 facilities is up for debate.

GROUPS ARE DEMANDING ANSWERS TO THE HIGHWAY OF TEARS-- The cases haunt communities from Prince Rupert to beyond Prince George and everywhere in between, yet little progress seems to have been made on the many cases of the disappeared and murdered along the highway of Tears.

And with the lack of forward momentum on those cases, a number of British Columbia agencies have banded together to push for more action. Friday's front page headline story in the Daily News outlines the growing call for action across Northern BC, with an open letter deliver to BC Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Van Dongen.

The group which includes members of the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs and the United Native Nations, wants to break the standstill that the investigations seem to have come to on the cases, some of which date back to the 1970's. The Missing Women of the Highway of Tears are linked to the missing of the Downtown Eastside in Vancover, as the group seems to wonder aloud how come other recent high profile disappearances and kidnappings of wealthy British Columbians have been solved, while those at the other end of the social and economic spectrum in the province seem to have just been placed in a file to one day await attention.

Elsewhere on the front page, the Olympics are proving to be anything but a bonus for some of the rural airlines operating in British Columbia, airlines that suddenly will find that they are no longer wanted in Vancouver airspace.

The flights affected are those locations that do not feature security screening such as Masset, Bella Coola, Bella Bella, Klemtu and Ahhim Lake, flights departing those locations will be landing instead either in Port Hardy or Abbotsford.

Those flights will be seeking out new landing strips for a two month period surrounding the Olympics. Pacific Coastal which operates flights from those locations has offered up a solution to the Provincial government of landing all flights in Port Hardy for clearance, but thus far have not received any feedback from the government, other than the news that Vancouver is going to be off the flight itinerary come the early months of 2010.

The prospect of sponsorship as a form of fund raising at School District 52 has come up for discussion. With finances tight, the possibility of tapping the corporate sector for added revenue is a tempting one, the debate over how far to go or what is acceptable should prove to be a rather intense one. One item being bounced around is the prospect of corporate logos on sport teams at local schools, perhaps along the lines of European soccer or hockey uniforms.

Another idea is the ongoing discussion on finding a sponsor for the Westview playground to help reduce the cost to the School District for equipment that is required at the west end elementary school.

The topic of corporate sponsorship has been a controversial one in the United States, where at times the corporate nature of the schools has run amok, it will be one of the points up for debate locally we're sure, as the School District mulls over its options.

As we outlined here on the blog back on Wednesday, March 11th, the tyee recently ran a fascinating article on the state of BC Ferries, Friday's Daily News reviews some of those findings from the tyee (and hmm, maybe a few ideas from the blog too eh!, all be it apparently only on background), including the local aspect regarding local hotelier Steve Smith and former Mayor Don Scott, both of whom refute some of the concerns from that Tyee article.

Friday's Letters to the Editor run the table from a call for the restoration of the Lord's Prayer in the schools, to a call for more compassion for the Gay community from the larger community in Prince Rupert.

The Sports page features a look at the local Skate club's success at the provincials and previews the always anticipated year end skating show. As well a preview of the upcoming all Native Junior provincial tournament in Port Alberni next week is provided, featuring a look at the Prince Rupert based Friendship House Cubs.

Total Pages in Friday's Daily News (18)

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