Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Monday, May 10 , 2010)

The city approves its budget, a call for support for a Neighbourhood Watch program and the School District seems stuck with its old closed schools, some of the items of interest for Monday.

Daily News, front page, headline story
COMMUNITY MEMBERS EYEING UP NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH -- The rising concerns of local citizens over a number of attempted adduction incidents around the city is spurring on the return of a neighbourhood watch program. Monday's paper examines the efforts in the Roosevelt Park School area.

Canfisco employees found a little more work this spring during the herring season, as a contract in place between Canfisco and the UFAWU provided extra hours on the popping and grading lines of the local fish plant during the herring fishery.

School District 52 will have to continue to find ways to maintain the volume of closed schools in the community as the Ministry of Education refuses to budge on their position of not selling school property.

Golf was the focus of the Monday sports report as reviews of both the Mr and Mrs. Tournament and weekend high school golf were featured.

(Daily News archives for Monday, May 10, 2010)

Community members eyeing up Neighbourhood Watch 
Roeing for dollars at CanFisco
Ministry not budging on non-sale of school properties
Report emphasizes economic importance of B.C. fish farms

The Northern View
RCMP release name of man arrested in connection to arson in downtown Prince Rupert -- The latest details from the recent fire at the Epicurean apartments as Prince Rupert RCMP identify a man arrested in the incident (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert adopts budget-- CFTK TV has the first reports of the deliberations from Prince Rupert City Council on Monday night as they put their stamp of approval on the budget (see article here)   

CFTK TV 7 News
Ridley Island Water Supply-- Port Edward will be supplying water to the Ridley Island Industrial area after Prince Rupert Council gave its approval to the plan, which came about due to the unreliability of the supply passing through the Watson Island site (see article here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. 
The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

Daily News, front page, headline story
Community members eyeing up Neighbourhood Watch 
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Staff Writer 
Daily News
Monday, May 10, 2010 

Wendy Wozniak has considered the Roosevelt Park Community School her neighbourhood throughout her life.

Now the 43-year-old mom of two young sons, wants to make sure it’s a safe place to live - a neighbourhood where adults are looking out for everyone’s children, not just their own.

In the month of April, there were some attempted abductions close to the Wozniak’s home in the low-income housing development near McKay Street and Kootenay Avenue.

“One of them was my friend’s nine-year-old daughter,” Wozniak said.

 Those incidents have inspired her to take action and on Thursday evening, around one dozen people showed up to a meeting she organized at Roosevelt School. Those attending included parents, the school principal Susan Kobza, B.C. Housing Manager Linda Movold, Manager of the RCMP Victim Services Marlene Swift and her new assistant manager, Auxillary Officer Bill Parmar.

There hasn’t been an active watch program in Prince Rupert for at least a decade, Swift told people at the meeting. “I’ve worked at Victim Services for twelve years and there hasn’t been one in place since I started.”

According to Swift, the recent attempted abductions are still under investigation and there have been no arrests. 

“These are the concerns we have in keeping our children safe. I think it’s great that the school, parents and B.C. Housing are coming together,” she said.

“Statistically, we don’t hear about any abductions in the Prince Rupert area. We don’t hear about any sexual exploitation of our young people, but believe me sexual exploitation of our youth is happening and it’s happening as we speak. It’s important that we teach our children safety, starting at a very young age,” Swift explained.

Wozniak reiterated the belief that it’s important to start a program that will teach child safety.

 “I’d hate to see a child go missing in this town. We had a child go missing and they found her on the waterfront and that hurt deeply,” she said, referring to the drowning death of 16-year-old Emmalee Rose McLean on April 10. 

“I go to school with her mom.”

 In Wozniak’s mind, the simplicity of the Neighbourhood Watch program makes sense.

 “All it takes is a fifteen minute walk around the neighbourhood to see what’s happening. That would be a good thing because when I walked to do the flier blitz about the meeting, I saw one house with the mail piled up. It made me wonder if that person is okay,” she said.

It’s a matter of watching out for your neighbourhood to make sure everyone is okay.

 In the last few weeks, Wozniak has been running camcorder in one of her windows.

“I went to the RCMP and asked if it’s illegal to set up a surveillance camera and they said as long as it was for the safety of kids it was fine,” she explained.

Routinely she runs the camera until the tape ends and then review it. If there’s nothing to report, she turns the camera on again.

Rachel St. Louis, a mother of two, agrees that establishing Neighbourhood Watch would be ideal.

 “Summer is coming around and kids are going to be out even later now because it’s getting lighter out,” St. Louis said.

 Wozniak has a good idea. She’s wondering if youth at the Friendship House Street Spirits program might be interested in mentoring younger children.

 “They could come out and teach basketball or soccer. I think it would make teenagers feel so good. I’ve talked to teenagers on the street and they were all for it. If we can get them off the street from five o’clock until ten o’clock at night maybe they’ll be too tired to vandalize.”

She also hopes that storeowners and the community will cooperate to get a program going.

 “Teenagers need to be loved too and need to know that there are people out there that care for them. I was taught that children are a gift from God. They are not ours to keep and it’s our job to teach them. We learn from teaching them.”

Wozniak grew up near Fulton and Sixth Avenue where Pa’s Market is today. “It was Sunrise Grocery in those days. We all cared for each other and looked out for each other. I learned how to ride a bike at Annunciation and I had so many people out there cheering me on.”

Her father was always working and her mother died when she was only nine years old, so Wozniak was cared for by her older sister.

 Bill Parmar, is new on the job as the assistant to Swift at Victim Services. He said there are 45 communities in B.C. that presently have Neighbourhood Watch Programs.

Parmar has lived in Prince Rupert for 40 years and on the whole considers it a safe community. He was recently in Abbotsford for training with the police department there where he learned there are 70 different gangs there.

 “The trip was worthwhile to learn what’s happening in this vicious world, but to come back to Prince Rupert, where unfortunately there’s been incidents lately. It was the first time I heard of attempted abductions in all the time I have lived here.”

It’s important, Parmar added, that the residents become the eyes of the community. “It’s about neighbours watching out for neighbours. We all have to have four eyes, looking in all directions.”

Wozniak has a copy of the Neighbourhood Watch Manual and will spend the next few weeks familiarizing herself with the program. Anyone interested in being part of the watch is encouraged to call her at 250-622-2921.

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