Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Monday, July 6, 2009

Inventive minds at CBSA, sourcing out some funding for the Tsimshian Access and a trying week for the Daily News revisited, some of the highlights of the Monday edition of the Daily News.

LOCAL INVENTION SOLVES FUMIGANT PROBLEMS AT TERMINAL-- Two members of the Rupert based CBSA operation have been recognized for their inventive natures, as they create a fumigation system for use on containers to be inspected (see story below)

The City is continuing to seek out funding for the much discussed Tsimshian Access project with federal money apparently available to further the progress of that project (see story here)

Planet Youth and Street Spirits have a new home, as the youth orientated services of Friendship House taken up residence on Third Avenue West. The Daily News outlined the services and hopes for the new location, which can be found just above Grand Shoe store.

Wendy Webb returned from her Saskatchewan vacation to find that the paper had suffered one of those weeks of hell, she reviews the travails of the Daily News from last week and offers up a few pats on the back for all their hard work (see story here)
The Sports section examines the prospects for the local Rugby club, as the Seamen set their sights on a trip to Prince George.

Total pages in the Monday edition (12)

Front page, headline story:

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Monday, July 6, 2009
Pages one and five

Examining containers at Prince Rupert's container port has become safer and quicker due to an invention by two Prince Rupert border service officers.

The pair - Scott Hardy and Anthony Hague - received Public Service Awards of Excellence in Ottawa last month for their development of what's being called the 'Hardy Door'.

Border service officers examine marine containers for contraband, other unregulated goods and wood dunnage, used as a packaging material. Often there are problems identified with staff being exposed to toxic fumigants from inside the containers.

Containers cannot be passed for examination until the air inside them shows safe levels and in Prince Rupert and at other facilities across the country, this has been creating a backlog.

And as more gases are being added to the list to be tested for, more containers are failing.

"Sometimes we'd be backed up by 20 containers," said Hardy.

After Halloween 2007 when the container port in Prince Rupert received its first shipment of containers, staff was asked to think "outside the box".

"We put his brain and my brawn together," said Hague.

Hardy came up with the idea for a plywood door that could be put inside the back doorway of a container once it arrived at the examination facility on Ridley Island.

The door has a hole in the center where a high velocity fan is placed to create a vacuum and accelerate the ventilation process and is able to protect the contents of the container from the weather.

Hague, an experienced carpenter, with a reputation as the resident handyman, was able to take the plan and develop a prototype at his work site.

The door cost less than $100 to make. "It's simple. That's part of the appeal," added Hague.

Since then, he's made fifteen doors and has heard that a container examination facility in Burnaby is now using the doors as well.

Containers vary in size - some are 9 foot 6 inches and others 8 foot and 6 inches - so Hague built extensions on the doors to accommodate for either size.

He also said he's modified the design a bit from its original version by putting most of framing on the inside.

On Thursday morning, eight containers were being ventilated at the Quickload facility on Ridley Island - seven with the Hardy Board system and one with a $250,000 system made
by Nordiko.

"That one's the BMW," said Hague pointing to the expensive system. "Ours in the Toyota Tercell."

One of the employees examining the gas levels in the containers commented that the one being ventilated by the Nordiko had been there a month.

"You can't always compare though," added Hague, explaining that each container is different.

But, said both men, the invention is making a difference. In some instances, the Hardy Door has reduced the ventilation time from a month down to one or two days.

Both men were born and raised in Prince Rupert. Hlardy began working for CBSA lwo years ago. Aft serving nine years in the Canadian Army us an infantry soldier in Bosnia and Afghanistan, he returned home to be with family and went through CBSA training.

Hague has been with CBSA since 2000.

When asked, the two said there had not been any recent contraband finds in the containers examined by staff at Ridley Island, but did mention there had been a container of counterfeit NHL hockey jerseys.

It was a missing patch on one of the arms that alerted inspectors.

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