Thursday, June 25, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead June 25, 2009

Some new feet on the beat, half filled glasses for some city observers and Telus seeks out the bad neighbour award for Port Edward, some of the items of note for the Thursday edition of the Daily News.

RCMP AUXILIARY FORCE ACKNOWLEDGED AND INSTALLED -- The city's rather dormant auxiliary policing program got back into swing with an installment ceremony at the Highliner Inn this week. The front page, headline story outlines the training program and interest shown by Rupertites in joining the RCMP's auxiliary force in the city (see story below)

Telus found out that not everyone is thrilled with towering cel phone poles, especially those neighbours who have to live beside them. Telus reps appeared at Port Edward council, first with an apology for not discussing the situation with the affected neighbours and then with an explanation as to the need for the tower on Evergreen Drive.

Praveen Vohora issued his annual report on the state of the local economy, an item that seems to seek out the positives in the community on a yearly basis. This year he recounts how local business and industry have diversified in order to battle the ongoing recession, steps he says will pay off once the recession eases off. (see blog item)

The Sports pages outlined the success of Rupertite Marc Hrehirchek at a recent half Marathon in Kitimat.

And the paper had special pages devoted to the Grad class of Charles Hays Secondary which had their Graduation ceremony on Thursday at the PAC.

Total pages in the Thursday edition (18)

Front page, headline story:

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Pages one and three

It was an evening to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work and volunteer efforts of the people in our community that serve as auxiliary RCMP.

Eight new recruits were installed and four active auxiliaries were acknowledged for their service Tuesday evening at the Highliner Plaza Hotel.

"Prince Rupert is very fortunate," said Constable Krista Vrolyk who taught the auxiliary program.

"It's a huge sacrifice to everyone and their loved ones."

To become an auxiliary, a candidate takes a five-month course, meeting Tuesday and Thursday evenings, for a total of 96 hours plus another 40 hours of self-defence training.

Once they graduate, each auxiliary is expected to volunteer 160 hours a year in community policing.

Retired plumber/pipefitter Bill Keating received recognition for over 15 years of service. He joined the program in 1992.

"He knows this program," said Vrolyk.

"He's talking about pulling the pin and retiring but I'd like to see him make it to 20 years."

In response, Keating congratulated the new recruits telling them the hard part starts now.

"Listen to the members. Do what they tell you. If you don't know something, for God's sake ask. Remember, what's said in the car, stays in the car.

You're going 10 have lots of fun.

Enjoy it; just take care of each other."

Many of the new recruits applied to the program over four years ago but due to funding restraints the program could not be offered until the fall of 2008.

The program began in July with a formal recruiting process and Vrolyk described the new recruits as great ambassadors.

"I had a great time teaching them,” Vrolyk. "I missed their baptism 4 christening when they got pepper sprayed. I was away with work. They how to respond to that now." The Justice Institute responded to the class scores on the exams, stating they were some of the highest they have ever seen. "This class was very dedicated.

There were many late night study sessions for midterms."

Some of the new recruits have expressed interest in areas of home security, bullying and different crime awareness programs and Vrolyk said she's looking forward to getting them on the road.

Valedictorian Keith Morris, who has a five-month old baby, said many of the students waited four years to take the training.

"During the program we made sacrit1ces but we did attend cheerfully," he told the audience.

On behalf of the City of Prince Rupert, Mayor Jack Mussallem lauded the auxiliaries.

"Prince Rupert is a community of giving people," he said.

"People have the ability to give and tonight here is an example of people who are willing to volunteer. They take courses and put in time so they can contribute."

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