Thursday, December 10, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The city honours some outstanding citizens, the HST goes through one more hoop and the clock is ticking for those looking to buy the pulp mill site, some of the items of note for Wednesday.
Daily News, front page, headline story
CITY NAMES TENTH FREEDOM OF THE CITY RECIPIENT-- Walter Smith joined a select group of Rupertites on Monday night as he was acknowledged for his work in the community with the Freedom of the City. The honours were bestowed upon him at a gala celebration at the Musuem of Northern BC on Monday.

The HST is on the way, passed in the Chambers of Parliament with little debate and by the combined forces of the Government and opposition Liberals. It's a push of legilsation that didn't sit well with NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who outlined for the Daily News why he wanted to see more debate on the issue.

We are less than one week away from deadline day for the applicants to purchase the Watson Island pulp mill to have their bids in to City Hall. In a page three story, George T. Baker reviews a recent Canadian Press story which detailed the predicament that the city is in these days, one where they report that the city is only managing to pay for services through grant money not the funds that it generates itself. They offer a telling quote from Mayor Jack Mussallem which should be of interest to the locals, that as he states "This is a situation where a municipality - if it were a allowed to - would go bankrupt."

The Sports section features a Ski season update, girls basketball and the success of local skaters at a Prince George competition.

(Daily News Archive Articles links for December 9th )

The Northern View
No new items were posted for December 9th

CFTK TV 7 News
New Middle School -- CFTK provides a small outline of Tuesday's deliberations of School District 52 trustees (see article here)
Sahar Nassimdoost's video report on the Middle School decision and fall out from it.

CBC British Columbia, Daybreak North
No items for Wednesday were updated on the CBC Daybreak website

Daily News, Front page, headline story
City names tenth Freedom of the City recipient
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Smiling 93-year-old recipient Walter Smith admitted he was almost at a loss
for words.

Smith was Prince Rupert’s tenth person to receive a Freedom of the City award. He was named at the City Awards ceremony held Monday night at the Museum of Northern B.C.

“I am very proud to accept this honour. I’ve enjoyed every minute and would like to do it all over again. I thank City Council and the citizens of Prince Rupert and hope I can live up to your expectations,” Smith said.

Before calling on Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne to present the award to Smith, Mayor Jack Mussallem said his three generation pioneer family has known Smith’s five-generation pioneer family for many years.

“A lot of what I know has come from Walter Smith,” Mussallem added.

With the award, Smith received a medal, scroll, lifetime passes to all of the city facilities, free parking and bussing, and his name will appear on top of the voters’ list.

Alluding to the many contributions Smith has made to tourism on the North Coast, Mussallem noted he didn’t think there have been very many tourism developments that didn’t follow Smith’s advice.

“You have enriched Prince Rupert and been in the service of many. You are a constant Rupert booster and still continue to be an ambassador for the cruise ships,” said Mussallem.

Tuesday Smith said he was still feeling pretty shocked. Receiving Freedom of the City wasn’t something he ever expected.

“To be honoured for my efforts in tourism was as a surprise. It’s always been a hobby as far as I was concerned and I was pleased to do it,” Smith said.

The cards and phone calls have been arriving as news surface about the award and on Tuesday evening, Smith was celebrating with friends and family at a banquet at the Crest Hotel, owned by his son Steve Smith, who was the recipient of a Civic Merit Award on the same evening.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Steve Smith has been involved with tourism through avenues such as Tourism BC and BC Ferries. He served as an alderman, was president of the Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District and served on the Museum of Northern B.C. building committee.

“You’ve made a positive and significant difference to our community,” Mussallem told Steve as he congratulated him.

Retired teacher Arnold Wick also received a Civic Merit Award in recognition of his dedication to scouts and cadets.

“You have shown leadership in the Remembrance Day and Seafest parades and poppy sales,” said Mussallem.

When it came time to give Charlotte Rowse a Civic Appreciation Award, the mayor said the award identifies people who make service a priority.

He listed her involvement with civic pride cleanups, the banner project and greeting the cruise ships.

“You volunteered with the Mt. Hays ski hill, Meals on Wheels, played the piano for seniors, children’s choirs and concerts and have always promoted cultural and musical events,” Mussallem noted.

Thanking him, Rowse told the mayor, “I’m not asking for any money tonight,” alluding to the many occasions she’s visited City Hall asking for funds to support the planter and banner programs.

Pro golfer Lisa (Young) Walters, formerly of Prince Rupert, is also Civic Award recipient, but was unable to make it to the ceremony Monday. She will, however, be in Prince Rupert for the Homecoming in May 2010 and at that time will be given her award, said Mussallem.

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