Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A special edition of the Daily News for Canada Day, delivered June 30th. Among the highlights, a successful completion of the Ride for Cancer for two members of local law enforcement, the Port looks further at oil prospects and Enbridge receives mixed reactions for their plans.

LOCAL COPS RAISE TEN GRAND EN ROUTE TO SEATTLE-- The successful travels of two Prince Rupert residents is detailed in the Canada Day edition, as the Daily News reviews their efforts during the Vancouver to Seattle tour known as the Ride for Cancer. (see story below)

The Prince Rupert Port Authority outlined the interest it has in the potential CN Rolling Pipeline project, which would see oil from Alberta transported by train to a port terminal in Prince Rupert. The Daily News outlined the Port's perspective as well as that of a UBC proffesor who had a few thoughts on the plan as well (see story here)

On the prospect of pipelines, Enbridge found that the reaction towards its proposed pipeline project to Kitimat is receiving mixed reviews, as a number of participants at recent sessions in Terrace and Kitimat expressed their hesitations. In a few instances the call for a full fledged inquiry into the issue was made, similar in nature to the 1970's Berger Inquiry in Northern Canada.

The sports department focused onthe local slow pitch season with highlights of the mid season tournament.

Total pages in the Canada Day edition (14)

Front page, headline story:

By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Pages one and five

First they conquered cancer. Now, two local men, in an effort to raise money for cancer research, have conquered the 1-5 as well.

When Gordie Simonds ventured out to the Skeena River with his bike, he felt that it was a hard but necessary trek: he, and Team Prince Rupert teammate Francis Wolfe, were about to make a much longer journey from Surrey to Seattle and Simonds needed the practice.

After all, when is overcoming long distances on a bicycle harder than overcoming a life threatening disease?

Simonds, however, had no idea how hard it would be to actually travel the grueling 191-mile trip from the southern-most point of the Lower Mainland to the Emerald City.

The 1-5 gradually gets steeper and there are plenty of inclines and and declines to keep the heart and legs pumping.

“There were some really tough roads there,” said Wolfe.

Wolfe said taking a spin class really paid off for him.

At spin class, the workout regiment is based on stationary bike exercises that allow the leg muscles and stamina to grow.

But getting prepared and was really nothing like where the two men had come from.

Simonds is an esophagus cancer survivor and Wolfe is a bladder cancer survivor. Both decided to use their own history with the disease to motivate themselves to take up the monumental task known the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Not only were they facing a difficult road course but they also had to raise money.

And Team Prince Rupert did not disappoint on either front.

When the Daily News announced the two men's intentions to take up the cause, they hoped to raise a combined $6,000.

Well they did much better than that: they raised a whopping $10,000 (with still more coming in) – a testament to the will both men showed and the generosity of the community they live in.

And while the efforts were exhausting for both men, this year’s event was no one-off thing.

Next year Team Prince Rupert will take off for Seattle again.

The plan, for now, is to have Simonds' daughters and sister join them on the trip.

But looking back on their adventure, both men said the support and organization for the Ride to Conquer Cancer was just as important as their own work to get there.

A highlight for Wolfe was during the opening ceremonies when he was asked to go on stage as one of the survivors.

During that ceremony, a bike was wheeled up on stage to symbolize those who succumbed to the disease.

"There were a few tears then," said Wolfe.

But along the trek, said Simonds, the support was overwhelming as those on the American side of the border were out in full force, cheering on the riders.

And when both eventually reached Seattle, there was only one thing left to say.

"We made it," said Wolfe.

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