Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Tuesday, February 2, 2010)

Celebrating the Olympics Prince Rupert style, an advance look at the upcoming Fraser Institute school rankings and the SPCA is in danger of closing, some of the items of interest for Tuesday's news cycle.

Daily News, front page, headline story
OLYMPIC TORCH ARRIVES IN PRINCE RUPERT -- A review of Monday nights downtown festivities surrounding the arrival of the Olympic torch in the city was the featured item in the Tuesday Daily News, Monica Lamb-Yorski covered the street scene and the arrival of long time resident Charlotte Rowse with the flame at City Hall, while George T. Baker relayed the thoughts of some Rupertites as they awaited the arrival of the relay on downtown streets.

Prince Rupert's Centennial celebrations in March will break out in song as "The Dream Lives On" a locally created musical receives 5,000 dollars in additional funding to help put on the celebration in song. As well as the musical some of the other artistically inclined events set for next month were profiled.

Bill Helin a Tsimshian wood carver's creation, a 12 metre canoe carved in 1994 will be on display in a prominent location in Vancouver during the upcoming Olympics, "The Raven's song" will be on display at the Pan Pacific Hotel, part of an Aboriginal cultural home for the Olympics.
SPCA shelter in danger of closing -- With a projected loss of 110,000 dollars this year, the city's local animal shelter is in danger of closing its doors. The latest developments in the funding situation for the SPCA is outlined on the Northern View website (see article here)

The Northern View
Exclusive: Fraser Institute Elementary Report Card scores -- The Northern View gets the first glimpse this year of the findings of the Fraser Institute with its annual elementary school rankings, the controversial listing of how schools in Prince Rupert compare with those of other parts of the province.

The rankings have not even posted on the Fraser Institute website yet, so it is a fairly interesting scoop on the annual controversy that the local weekly introduces into the debate over education.

This year according to the Northern View's review, Annunciation moves up to 133rd spot out of 876 schools listed, with Westview was next, ranked 485th, followed by Pineridge at 552nd, and Conrad at 716th. Two Prince Rupert schools, Lax Kxeen and Roosevelt, finished in the bottom 50 with rankings of 846th and 875th respectively a placement which puts Roosevelt second to last in the province. The article also examines the impact that such rankings has on the community and what the local school district thinks of the ranking system in place at the Institute (see article here)

The Northern View
Theft, a fight and drug possession amongst calls to RCMP -- The weekly report from the RCMP detachment outlines a number of the more interesting of calls attended to by local members of the constabulary in the last seven days (see article here)

The Northern View
ANT seeking City support -- Some background on the All Native Basketball Tournament's request for a break on the rent for this years tournament, with ANT organizers seeking a flat rate rent of 10,000 dollars, a fifty per cent reduction from the going rate of 20,000 dollars (see article here)

The Northern View
New totem pole is nearing completion -- Northwest Community college will be the home of a new totem pole in the community, created by master carver Henry Green, the pole was commissioned by the college for the downtown campus it is expected to be raised into place by Seafest in June, until then it will be on display though the location for its debut has yet to be determined. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
There was no updated news provided on the CFTK website for Tuesday.

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
The return of local content on the CBC website continues to experience delays as technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has once again revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly".

Daily News, front page, headline story
Olympic torch arrives in Prince Rupert
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Last night 85-year-old Charlotte Rowse stepped out of her realm as a Civic Pride champion and was revealed as Prince Rupert’s mystery Olympic torchbearer.

Holding the torch high, dressed in the 2010 Olympic torchbearer’s issued outfit, she made her way from Sixth Street along Third Avenue to the stage outside of City Hall to loud cheers from the people lining the street.

As she stood on the stage after lighting the cauldron, she heard praise of her efforts in Prince Rupert.

Rowse organizes community garbage cleanups, planters for the downtown and Cow Bay, finds funding for the school banner project each year, has accompanied many choirs and is active in the local Rotary Community Choir.

In earlier days she helped fundraise to build the Mount Hays Ski Hill and taught children how to ski. This past November Rowse’s efforts were recognized when she was the recipient of a Civic Appreciation Award by the City of Prince Rupert.

When it was her turn to speak, Rowse said Prince Rupert is a great place to live and a great place to raise kids. “I still don’t think I should be here,” she said as she waved the torch.

Anyone looking down would have noticed Rowse was wearing her trademark - a pair of red shoes. “I bought those in Spain,” she said afterwards, “It was before I knew I had been chosen to be Prince Rupert’s torch carrier.”

Once described as a “little old lady” after she made a plea at City Hall for funding for planters, Rowse’s reputation is anything but. She skis regularly and is always out walking.

“I’m the secret,” Rowse laughed as people came up to congratulate her. She admitted she knew months ago and had to keep it quiet. She only told her husband Dennis, but her son Judd knew because he was also in the running to be the torchbearer.

“She beat me out,“ Judd said chuckling as he arrived to congratulate his mom after taking photographs from the top of City Hall. “Mom has a little more community spirit than I have. I’ll have to pick up more garbage, a lot more garbage, and I might have to teach some kids something.”

Rowse stands 5 ft. 2 inches so the onus was on her to hold the torch up high for people to see as she did her leg of the relay.

“Was it heavy mom?” Judd asked.

“It was heavy, but I did okay,“ Rowse replied, adding that she had practiced a few times walking around the house with a milk jug held up high, yet eventually gave up the routine, confident that she would be okay to carry the torch.

People walking by, congratulating Rowse, said they had a hunch she had been picked to carry the torch.
“You’re a celebrity,” one woman said, giving her a hug.

Two other torchbearers from Prince Rupert were 17-year-old competitive swimmer and Nisga’a dancer Justin Barton, who ran the first leg, and retiring city engineer Bob Thompson who ran the second stretch.

Barton wore his running suit and held his torch, but donned a traditional headpiece to join the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a dancers when it was their turn to perform. He proudly danced at centre stage.

Thompson lingered near the stage with three other torchbearers - Sally from North Vancouver and Mike and Linda from Vancouver. And all four were smiling. It was the first time the three from out of town had been in Prince Rupert.

Linda and Mike arrived on Saturday. “Prince Rupert is very friendly and you have great coffee,” said Linda with a smile.

Describing his leg with the torch as “great” and “fantastic”, Thompson said once he reached Sixth Avenue there were people lined along the streets. He had only learned a few days before that he had been picked so it was all a big surprise.

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