Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Wednesday, February 3. 2010)

More on the torch relay, questions on class sizes in BC and Kitimat's council aren't all on the same song sheet, some of the items for Wednesday's news gathering.

Daily News, front page, headline story
OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY CELEBRATION - PRINCE RUPERT STYLE -- Further coverage of Monday's the Olympic torch relay's arrival in the city and the festive atmosphere that evolved in the downtown area as part of the civic celebration.

Dueling press releases leave British Columbians confused as to how class sizes are being determined and what effect that those class sizes are having on the students of the province. The Daily News examined those numbers and reported on the class size situation in the city, which at the moment has six classes of more than 30 students within School District 52.

The enforcement phase of new fines for operating vehicles while talking on cell phone or operating an electronic device was examined in Wednesday's paper. As we outlined on the blog on Sunday, the grace period came to an end at the end of January and police officers will now be watching for and writing tickets when they see motorists disobeying the new regulations.

Hockey is featured in Wednesday's edition with a review of the past weekends Guns and Hoses game and a look at the efforts of the Pee Wee rep team in weekend competition.

The Northern View
No new items posted to the Northern View website for Wednesday.

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert Prepares for Northern Winter Games --The start of the Northern BC Winter Games are less than a day away and CFTK TV 7 provided some background on the final preparations to welcome the participants on Thursday evening (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Kitimat council too rowdy? -- Public rifts at Kitimat city council sessions have Mayor Joanne Monaghan expressing concerns that the current tensions may impact on the city's approach to dealing with its current economic problems (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Sahar Nassimdoost's video report on the Olympic torch celebrations in Prince Rupert on Monday.


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 relay celebration - Prince Rupert style
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The 2010 Olympic Torch Relay rolled into Prince Rupert on a gorgeous sunny day.

“I’m really happy about how things went,” said the city’s recreation director Michael Curnes who was part of the local task force organizing the event.

“The weather was amazing. VANOC told us we were very organized considering we had the most complicated show.”

The local Special Events Society had a contract to help City crews handle the logistics and 25 local volunteers worked with VANOC doing everything right down the mascots, explained Curnes.

MC Richard Thompson, formerly of Prince Rupert, told the crowd the local torch task force intended to put the Seafest Parade on the stage and in many ways they succeeded. While there weren’t any floats, there was a plethora of entertainers from varying cultural backgrounds. The colourful backdrop of the travelling stage made the costumes and regalia look stunning.

Dancers from Haida, Nisga’a, Tsimshian, Punjabi and Portuguese background, along with students from Spectrum City Dance, took turns sharing their talents.

Singers Kimberly Truong, Tom & Kate, The Mermaid Café, Sall Gibson, the Sweet Adelines Pacific Mist Chorus and Prince Rupert Community Choir were also all part of the line up.

A trio of drummers sponsored by Coke and a performance painter sponsored by RBC were featured and afterwards RBC donated the painting to the City’s recreation centre and announced they were donating $2,500 to the Friendship House.

From the opening welcome by Hereditary Chief James Bryant to the singing of Happy Birthday marking Prince Rupert’s upcoming centennial on March 10 sung by Danielle Dalton, MLA Gary Coons, MP Nathan Cullen, Mayor Jack Mussallem and Karin Ljungh, it was a full evening.

Chris Cain, regional programming manager for CityWest, was on the roof of City Hall filming the entire event and estimated there were over 1,500 people lining Third Avenue.

He confirmed Tuesday evening that the torch celebration will be broadcast on Channel 10 Wednesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Curnes said all of the performers will receive a CD of the recording and that the dance groups were each given an honourarium to use toward costumes.

Four sets of bleachers were purchased for the event and used in conjunction with three that already belonged to the recreation department. “We are able to keep those and use them around the ball parks,” said Curnes.
Prince Rupert’s torchbearer, Charlotte Rowse, emerged from an initial list of 54 names generated by the torch task force.

To narrow the list down to a top three, Curnes said the task force extended the decision making to mayor and council.

“We had to submit three names to VANOC in order of preference and we had to contact all three to let them know there was a chance they’d be carrying the torch.”

Six weeks ago, Rowse received confirmation that she would be the one.

The party in Prince Rupert marked the 95th day of the relay and the final countdown to the 2010 Olympic Games which begin on Feb. 12.

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