Saturday, January 16, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, January 15, 2010)

Your quest for a healthy heart will work out in a new home, Full Day Kindergarten is on for September and a non profit group seeks out government funding for its Shames Mountain plans, some of the items for the Friday news cycle .

Daily News, front page, headline story
HEALTHY HEART EXERCISE EQUIPMENT HAS A NEW HOME -- The viewing area at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre will have new purpose now, as the Recreation Department takes in a donation from the Northern Health Healthy heart program, which will see 50,000 dollars worth of exercise equipment made available to all. The healthy heart patients who formerly utilized the equipment at the Ocean Centre, will have free passes made available to them by Northern Health for their workouts at the new location. Monday's council meeting did provide one added item of interest to the discussion on the donated equipment, it seems that the air circulation in the new exercise area isn't particularly good, thus requiring a new air circulation system which could cost up to 50 thousand dollars to install.

Full Day Kindergarten is on the horizon for this September as School District 52 makes plans to increase the number of available spots at the city's elementary schools. The amount of seats to be provided in the fall will be determined by the provincial budget this spring, which should provide the School District with a better understanding of its financial base for the 2010-11 School year.

As the Naikun Wind Energy Group continues on with its plans for wind power development on the North Coast, the balance sheet is getting weighted towards the negatives with two consecutive years of losses to report while the preparation work continues. Naikun recently received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the province for its efforts thus far in the quest to become part of BC Hydro's Clean Power Call, a step which would assist in the forward progress and perhaps start turning back some of the losses of the past two years into a revenue stream.

The Sports section featured the latest news on the progress of this years All Native Basketball Tournament, as well as a preview of the Prince Rupert Rampage/Smithers Steelheads playoff hockey game this weekend.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 15, 2010 )

The Northern View
Group wants tax money for Shames study -- A Northwest group looking to operate Shames Mountain is seeking 46,000 dollars from the federal government to fund their study into the prospects of ownership of the ski hill. The non profit group called Friends of Shames is also hoping to gain some funding the Northern Development Initiative Trust (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Avalanche Concerns Growing in Parts of BC -- While Northwest British Columbia is not at a particularly high state of alert for avalanches, other parts of the province are finding that the changing weather patterns have made things worrisome in their areas (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Suicide Prevention Meeting Tomorrow in Gingolx -- With concerns over a possible suicide pact (found to be without base by the RCMP) still reverberating around the Northwest, Gingolx took the opportunity to reach out to its teens with a community meeting planned for Saturday (see article here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
The CBC's technical woes appear to be continuing, as they miss their target date of providing on line content on the Daybreak site, the notice that they return on January 12th is still in place, but the updated content isn't.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
Healthy Heart Exercise Equipment has a new home
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Friday, January 15, 2010

Fifty thousand dollars worth of exercise equipment is nothing to sneeze at.

Formerly part of Northern Health’s Healthy Heart Program at the Ocean Centre Mall, the equipment has been donated to the City of Prince Rupert’s Recreation Complex.

Michael Curnes, Director of Recreation and Community Services, reported to Council that, because the majority of the equipment was donated by service clubs and general donations to the Healthy Heart Program, it was felt the equipment should be made available for public use.
On Monday evening Council passed a motion to accept the donation.

To accommodate the equipment, the Civic Centre will have to make some changes. The collection includes two treadmills, eight exercise bikes, two ellipticals, two step machines, two rowing machines, an Atlantis Gym, mirrors, exercise mats, stability balls, storage racks, Rebok steps, weights, mirrors and a sound system.

Curnes said he would like to leverage the donation and create an enhanced space for it in the upper level of the Aquatic Centre, presently used as a viewing area and for birthday parties.
On Wednesday morning he said the room is larger than the one used by Northern Health at the Ocean Centre Mall and that Civic Centre staff has painted the floors orange to make the room at the Aquatic Centre look like the one at the mall.

When asked about the fact that in the former location, Healthy Heart clients did not pay to use the exercise equipment, Curnes said it had been confirmed this week that Northern Health is doing a pilot program where it will purchase Civic Centre passes at the Civic Centre for former Healthy Heart clients.

Presently the workout area is inside the pool area, but Curnes argued in his report that,
“While it has been heavily utilized by patrons, the humid environment is not a particularly pleasant place to work out and the humidity and chlorine has been very corrosive to the workout equipment.

The location of the workout area requires patrons to walk across the length of the pool deck to access the area which can introduce contaminates into the pool. It has been a longstanding objective that a new workout area should be established, perhaps during a retrofit and redesign of the complex.”

There is a problem with the viewing area and its lack of air circulation, so Curnes is proposing that an air handling system would be necessary. He has included it as a requested item in the recreation Centre’s 2010 budget. In the meantime, he said, directional fans could be used.

Curnes was not present at City Hall Monday evening, but City Manager Gordon Howie responded to questions from Council regarding the estimated cost of $50,000 for the air handling system. “Is there a backup plan if we can’t afford the air handling system?” asked Councillor Anna Ashley. Howie answered that the City will look at grant opportunities.

Curnes said the plan is to consolidate the two different exercise systems during the Northern B.C. Winter Games, when the Civic Centre will be closed to the general public.

“We will use staff at that point to work on opening up the new room. It’s going to be a really nice facility,” Curnes added.

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