Thursday, December 24, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The community steps up for the Salvation Army's Christmas programs, BC Ferries facing questions over weather policy and Nathan Cullen brings together the different sides in the Enbridge debate, some of the items of note from Wednesday's news cycle.

The Daily News reviewed March and April in it's look back features for 2009 in the Wednesday edition.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
COMMUNITY OPENS ITS HEARTS TO HELP AT CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR-- Numbers are up for those using the Salvation Army's Christmas programs and Prince Rupert residents have once again has stepped up to lend a hand.

Questions over BC Ferries policy on delayed sailings is leaving many frustrated travellers on Haida Gwaii.

A Rupert luger comes up just a bit short of his Olympic dream and the annual Christmas classic the C-Son tourney is set for Charles Hays from December 27-30.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for December 23, 2009)

The Northern View
Lax Kw'alaams band bids on former pulp mill site -- Some background on the bid to purchase the Watson Island site by Lax Kw'alaams. (see article here)

Cullen To Bring Both Sides of the Enbridge Debate Together -- Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley is organizing forums for the new year, to provide for discussion on the proposed Enbridge pipeline project (see article here)

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
Daybreak is on Christmas break, a notice on their website advises that no new items are to be posted to their Daybreak site until January 4, 2010

Daily News, front page, headline story
Community opens its hearts to help at Christmas this year
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The numbers of people using the Salvation Army’s Christmas programs are up this year and because of the generosity of the community, workers have been able to meet the demand.

Captain Gary Sheils of the Salvation Army noted Monday the amount of donations coming from the community was strongly sitting at $110,000 so far.

“There are two days yet to count the kettles, so I can’t give you a figure on that,” Gary said, adding that food donations have been pouring in as well, which will stock the food bank for the new year.

By 5 p.m. on Monday, the first day of the three-day hamper program where families receive a gift card for Extra Foods and can select one toy for each of the children in the family, 466 people had signed up.

“They were lining outside the door by 7:30 this morning,” Gary said. “And we still have another two hours to go after dinner. It’s been heavier than normal.”

When people arrive they receive a number at the front entrance and then proceed to the worship area of the citadel to register, meet with Gary to receive a gift card, determined by how many people are in the family, and then go into the toy room to select gifts.

“We’ve been doing the gift cards, rather than hampers, for the last six years and giving unwrapped presents that parents can pick out for their children,” said Gary.

In total the Salvation Army purchased $48,000 worth of gift cards. Gary’s wife, Capt. Nancy, augmented the hundreds of toys that were donated by the community by purchasing more and on Monday night was going out to purchase another $4,000 worth.

She buys gift cards for the older teens and after looking around the two rooms of toys, she indicated there were lots of things for boys between two and six years of age, but few toys left for younger teens, so she’d be purchasing more of those.

“I’ve already spent over five grand on toys,” Nancy said. “I buy most of my toys at the Bargain Store, they give us such a great discount.”

Boxes lined along the wall are almost empty of stockings and stocking stuffers. They had close to 500 and started on them about two weeks ago.

The Port Edward Lions donated over 100 stockings and on Sunday night a group of ladies came to the citadel and donated another 25.

“I think our numbers are up this year because the number of people in each family is up,” Nancy said.

Around 25 volunteers help with the program each year and for Lucinda Vickers and Michael Clifton senior, volunteering makes them feel good. The two of them indicated they’ve been helping out for 12 years now.

“There was an announcement at the Church of Christ The King in Port Edward that the Salvation Army needed volunteers,” recalled Vickers. “We looked at each other and said, ‘it’s time’ and ever since then we’ve always showed up.”

Smiling, Vickers divulged that it makes her and Michael feel like they are really accomplishing something, especially when the three-day program is completed.

“Some of the people coming in are happy and some are embarrassed. We tell them they shouldn’t be. It’s hard in Prince Rupert right now. We need something to open up for jobs. I noticed a lot of fishermen and cannery workers here that I haven’t seen before,” Vickers said, adding that she was a cannery worker herself for 29 years.

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