Sunday, May 31, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Friday, May 29, 2009

The Daily News seeks for the community to rally, a review of the Chamber's weekend that was, all be it, last weekend and the urban planners share their vision, some of the key items from the Friday Daily News.

COMMUNITY MEMBER IS ASKING FOR A LITTLE HELP-- Friday's front page featured some background on a local cancer patient, who faced with prospect of an unsuccesful battle against her disease, has but one wish, to take her family on one real holiday. The Daily outlines the road she has travelled so far and how the community can come to her assistance to make her final wish come true (see story below)

The BC Chamber Annual General Meeting may have ended last Saturday May 23rd, but the record of the meetings success didn't get told until the Friday edition. Considered to be a very successful gathering, the local Chamber of Commerce is hopeful that the impressions left on the delegates will be lasting and that Rupert will be considered again for the annual gathering. During the course of the three day event, local chamber members met with those from across the province as well as the invited guest speakers, mixing business with social events.

Among some of the topics that they examined were The province's Recognition and Reconcilliation Act, and how it may impact on Chamber members and their businesses. The changes to the US border crossing procdures in the new era of enhanced security were also discussed, as Chamber members learned more about current changes and what may be coming further down the line.

For the local chamber, the meeting proved to be a valuable way of increasing the Prince Rupert chamber's footprint in the provincial association as well as providing for some positive tourist reports to be carried back home after the generous heaping of local hospitality.

The vision for downtown renewal was revealed this past week, as the consultants hired by the City of Prince Rupert offered up their thoughts in an open house on Tuesday evening. Joaquin Karakas and Tom Becker from Vancouver are working with Prince Rupert City Planner Zeno Krekic to deliver the new development guidelines for the downtown area.

From the Tuesday evening sessions the Daily News provided some of the feedback from local business operators as they offered up their interpretations of where the city should be going with its downtown plans.
Jack Payne offered up his belief that the downtown core has been fortunate that the city hasn't had an out-of-town sprawl like other communities. In particular, he pointed towards the recently cancelled Royop shopping mall as something that "would have set the community back", prefering it would seem to concentrate on development in the downtown core.

Glen Saunders, a business owner in Cow Bay observed that there are a good number of businesses in need of repair or painting in the downtown area, or storefronts that are vacant at the moment, and suggested that the city should follow the lead of Nanaimo which a number of years ago provided money for local businesses to paint their buildings. He also believes that one way to dress up the empty storefronts would be to feature displays in the empty windows for those businesses still open in the downtown area.

Interestingly enough, it was a backlash in Cow Bay that contributed to some of that empty storefront space in that part of town. Earlier this year, a move by some Cow Bay merchants forced the School District to alter their plans to locate a school in Cow Bay, forcing the Pacific Coast School to abandon it's plans for space in the Seasport building, instead taking the school and its staff and students into the downton core and the old Hecate Strait space on second Avenue.

The sports section featured a review of a recent trip to Japan by instructors of the local Karate Club, who travelled to Japan where they renewed ties with the senseis of Japan, refining their skills and learning more of the sport of karate.

Total pages in the Friday edition (16)

Front page, headline story:


Editor's Note:

The recession has caused a lot of worry for many members of Northern communities. People are concerned about the economy, the government, the environment, Title and Rights, employment opportunities and many other important issues.

But sometimes we need to remember what we do have - and what we can do to pull together as a community to help ourselves and our neighbours. When you meet someone like Ellen Pagens, it brings you back to reality with a jolt.

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Friday, May 29, 2009
Page one

It isn’t really asking for a lot.

Ellen Pagens, 38, was re-diagnosed with breast cancer a month and a half ago and learned the cancer has spread into her lung. She's been given six months to live and since learning that decided she would like to do one thing - take her four children and one grandchild on the family's first-ever holiday.

She hasn't set her sights on Disneyland, Hawaii or Europe either. She only wants a van that will fit eight and help to take her family to Edmonton in between chemotherapy treatments some time in the next few months.

"I picked Edmonton because I think there would be something interesting there for all my kids. Their ages range from 21 to 6 years old," she said.

Speaking in her moms home, where she's living these days while she goes through treatments, Pagens said the first time she was diagnosed with cancer she was 33 years old.

There are a lot of things Pagens hasn't done. She's never been to a concert and
on July 24 she hopes to get married. That's the date of both her mom and her sister’s

After finding a lump under her arm she went to the doctor and discovered that it was cancer and it had started to spread into her lymph nodes. Within a week she had surgery and has been in remission for four or five years.

She underwent chemotherapy in Prince Rupert and radiation treatments in Vancouver She had a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy because she was pretty young.

Wednesday afternoon was going okay - she has her good days and bad. Part of
she wants a second opinion about treatment and she's wondering if her doctor could refer her to a specialist.

“I know the cancer has gone into my lung and I would like more details. There was fluid in there, my chest was really heavy, and the fluid has been drained twice already,” Pagens said. “I’d like to know the way it spread and where it is.”

“The doctor said she could go on a family trip. He also said she’ll start deteriorating as time goes on. We’re thinking if we could all go together it would be great,” said her mom, Katherine Pagens.

Looking pretty tired and very thin, Pagens wears a red bandana. The hair started falling out immediately after the first chemotherapy treatment. A few days ago her mom, sister and dad and four other relatives shaved their heads in support of her.

Her brother Robert would really like to help his sister go on the family trip and is appealing to the community for ideas to help her wish be realized.

At the Urban Haida Graduation Celebration taking place on Sunday, the Haida dancers are going to do the blanket dance and any donations will go to Pagens, said Katherine.

The Pagens are a large and closeknit family and they've been through cancer once with when Katherine's husband got prostate cancer a year ago.

"My husband's mom had co on cancer and it seems like the daughters on my husband's side are the ones getting cancer," she said.

As she sipped from a cup of tea, but unable to finish her sandwich, Pagens said she decided to go through chemotherapy because it couldn't do any worse, although some days she wonders if it's worth it.

She's opted out of radiation this around because she’d rather be close to her family.

"We're thinking if it's not going to do anything and she's away from her children then it's not worth it. She's really between a rock and a hard place," said Katherine.

The Pagens can be reached at 250-624-6973. A trust fund has been established at the Bank of Montreal for Ellen.


On Monday June 1, The Daily News ran the following correction to the above story.


In Friday's paper (May 29, 2009) a story ran about a Prince Rupert woman with cancer. The main names in the story switched around.

Ellen Pages is the mom, her daughter Katherine is the 38 year old woman with cancer.

The Daily News apologizes for the error.

No comments: