Friday, July 24, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green Thumbs get ready to show off their talents, the Gaming Centre counts its cash and the Fisheries Minister doesn't enter us in her Blackberry, some of the highlights of the Thursday edition of the Daily News.

GROWING EXCITEMENT FOR THE GREEN THUMBS OF RUPERT -- The Annual Prince Rupert Garden Tour is here this weekend and Thursday's Daily News outlines the struggles and successful moments of gardening on the North Coast. They profile Andree Fawcett's contributions to the garden scene as the front page, headline story in the Thursday paper. (see story below)

The recently released numbers of Prince Rupert's Chances Gaming Centre make for a page two story. Regular readers of the blog learned of the jump in profits with a story we provided back on Monday, Thursday's Daily examines the thoughts of the Mayor as well as a few locals with their impressions of the impact that Chances has had on the community. (see story here)

Gail Shea, the Conservative Fisheries Minister has yet to respond to NDP MP Nathan Cullen's invitation to come on out and examine the state of her ministry on the north coast. Thursday's paper provides some background on the issues that should require the attention of the Minister. While a DFO representative out of Vancouver advises that the Minister is interested in hearing the views of fishermen, there is apparently no hurry in making that exchange of ideas take place any time soon. (see story here)

The Sports section features a look back at when baseball was a premier sport on the North coast, a history that goes back some one hundred years, but as Patrick Witwicki reminds us it has been fifty years since there was last a competitive and inter city rivalries to pack the parks.

Total pages in the Thursday edition (14)

Front page, headline story:

By Monica Lamb-Yorksi
The Daily News
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Pages one and five

Gardens may be slow this year, but that isn't stopping the Annual City Garden Tour.

Organizers have selected five gardens for the tour this year, in addition to the Sunken Gardens behind the Court House and the grounds at Pillsbury House on Pacific Place.

"The gardens we've selected have a wide range of styles and completeness," said Andree Fawcett of the club. "Some of them are a work in progress and we put them on so people can see how gardens are built."

Fawcett moved to Prince Rupert in 1982. She had been working in Kitsault as a blaster in the mine there before it shutdown. '

Soon after arriving she joined the garden club. She was already a gardener, but did not know how to work with bog and muskeg, she recalled.

"The club was very vibrant and 1 learned how to garden in Prince Rupert."

She also credits her dad with inspiring her green thumb.

At 87, he is still gardening and building things and his garden is one that will be featured on this year's tour.

"He tended to garden whenever he could so 1 sort of fell into it myself, and took a few classes along the way. You learn as you go and now I teach those classes," Fawcett said.

With a colder than normal spring, local gardens are behind about three weeks and will never catch up.

Fawcett admits we had some good weather, but that it was very late.

"A long, cold winter, that's just mother nature, and we weren't the only ones. 1 didn't plant annuals until the first of June, even in the Sunken Gardens."

Years ago, Fawcett started the annual garden tour because, working at the garden centre at Rona, she got asked lots of questions.

"1 heard how you can't garden in Prince Rupert and decided it was time for show and tell. Because of our temperate weather we have a fabulous garden season," Fawcett explained.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fawcett was digging up one of the garden areas in the front of her house to make it into a patio.

Stopping, she pointed out a huge oak tree growing beside her house.

"It was one of the Royal Oaks brought out when Queen's Elizabeth's father George VI was crowned in 1936. Twenty-five hundred [acorns] were sent out to the colonies and this one landed here."

The tree towers between Fawcett's house and the neighbouring home, and over the years has had to be pruned to keep it from encroaching on the buildings.

"It's a classic example of someone planting a tree too close to a house. Luckily the roots have never bothered the house."

Smiling and looking up at the tree. Fawcett shrugged. "Where not to put a tree - but, heh, it’s a bit big to move now; she added.

The Garden Tour begins at noon on Sunday and will be followed by the tea from 3 until 4 p. m. and a small plant sale at Andree's Bed & Breakfast at 314 4th Avenue West.

Tickets for the tea are available at Four Seasons Flowers, The Visitors Information Centre at Atlin Terminal and from Andree's B & B.

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