Monday, January 11, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead, Monday, January 11, 2010

Financial concerns for a local Child Care Centre, a new committee is created to help tackle the challenge of domestic violence and city council gets out the pen and paper with letters over their ferry concerns, some of the items of the Monday news cycle.

Daily News, Front page, headline news
WESTVIEW CHILD CARE CENTRE IS FACING HUGE INCREASE IN COSTS -- First outlined by CFTK TV 7 News last week, the Daily provides more background on the huge financial hit facing a West side Child care centre, an increase in expenses that could mean closure for the non-profit group which has been offering child care services since 2001.

The local detachment of the RCMP and a number of local societies and agencies are looking at ways to tackle the ongoing issue of domestic violence in the community. The creation of the Violence in Relationship committee, will try to help couples involved in a domestic abuse situation by finding them the assistance they require to bring the cycle to an end. Towards that goal a workshop, organized by the North Coast Transition Society has been scheduled for Tuesday at the Crest Hotel for anyone interested in being a part of the committee or lending assistance in its work.

Environment Canada has little to say about a coal spill at Ridley Terminals last week, only that they continue to examine all of the details of the incident to determine if any further investigation is warranted. At the time of the spill, RTI Chairman Bud Smith indicated that the poor quality of the coal received contributed to the problem, a suggestion that the supplier Peace River Coal has not offered a reply towards as of yet.

The Sports section provides a review of the weekend action of the Prince Rupert Rampage, which saw the Rupert squad sweep both games of a two game series in Hazelton, wrapping up the regular season. The third place Rampage now move on to the CIHL playoffs and a playoff series with the Smithers Steelheads. The Daily also had details of the Rupert Midget teams play at a Kitimat tournament over the weekend, which saw the Rupert side come in fourth.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 11 2010 )

The Northern View
No new items were posted on the Northern View website on Monday

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert Council voices ferry concerns in letter to ministers -- Prince Rueprt City council's ongong concerns over plans by BC Ferries to introduce a Rupert to Tsawwassen service at the expense of 20 other regular sailings has resulted in a letter of concern to a pair of BC Liberal cabinet ministers (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
New Rural Policing Working Group (RPWG) for the North Coast -- The city is onboard with the idea of a working group designed to discuss regional policing concerns, passing a motion to appoint an elected official from city council to work with the group (see article here)
CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
Daybreak North continues to tweak their on line information delivery system, with the promise of new content planned for January 12.
Queen Charlotte Island Observer
Cash-strapped Christmas for some as Canada Post fails to deliver pension cheques on time -- The frustrations of the residents of Haida Gwaii with their mail service continue on, with some pensionoers on the Islands not receiving their government cheques in time for this past Christmas. (see article here)
Daily News, front page, headline story
Westview Child Care Centre is facing huge increase in costs
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Monday, January 11, 2010

One of Prince Rupert’s top early childhood education providers could close their doors for good this spring.

The Westview Child Care Centre in Prince Rupert, a non-profit day care provider on Second Avenue West., is facing a huge hike in its rent underneath the church. The landlords, New Life Pentecostal Church, have raised rent from $500 to more than $1,500 per month.

Westview Child Care Centre Society President Joanna Larson told the Daily News that the landlords have asked for the entire cost of utilities for the building to be included in the monthly rent. That could drive costs to $2,000 per month – a $1,500 hike from November 2009.

“This is especially troubling considering we are the only day care of that size on that side of town,” said Larson.

The centre, which was established in 2001, was paying $500 dollars a month in rent since 2001 because the organization invested $100,000 in renovations for the childcare space.

Rent increases are not the only consideration for the WCCS. Westview Elementary, which stands across the street from the day care, is up for closure. Should that school close, there will also be logistical issues to be considered, including bussing kids to and from the day care.

According to Larson, the rental issue is the immediate concern. An increase in rent would likely mean that there would be a cutback in some services such as staff levels, snack programs and field trips.

The society had been trying for the past two years to negotiate with the church to renew their agreement and had expected a rise in rent to match inflation. But that rise would have placed the costs at $582 per month, according to the Bank of Canada inflation calculation rather than the new rent of $1500.

“This price is totally out of our range,” said Larson. And closure of a facility where 75 children are already enrolled, would increase the need for childcare in the city.

“There are two areas of early childcare that are not being addressed on the North Coast right now and those are infant care and affordability,” claimed Larson.

“New parents can find it difficult to find the right place for their infants because of spacing issues – most daycares are only allowed to take so many children. And affordability is a huge issue. I can tell you my costs with one kid in the school system and a one-year old, my costs are about $1,300 per month. If you are dual-income minimum wage family, that cost doesn’t work.”

The board of directors for the non-profit centre will hold their annual general meeting on January 19th. Larson is inviting both parents and community members to attend in an effort to come up with some solutions.

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