Friday, June 11, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Thursday, June 10, 2010)

Education highlights Thursday's news items with School District 52 making some changes to its management listings and Lax Kw'alaams Academy finds itself in the midst of a unionisation drive and the Port of Prince Rupert celebrates its 2009 statistics. All part of Thursday's review of the news.

Daily News, front page, headline story
MAN ON A MISSION - 67 YEAR OLD CYCLIST TRAVELS OVER 19,000 KM -- Thursday's paper features an account of the travels of Don Ross, an Alaskan on a mission to Washingto D. C. and back to Alaska, cycling across the continent to share his message of global warming awareness.

Some background on the 25 year long process involved to create the Gwaii Haanas National Park on Haida Gwaii.

Energy giant Kinder Morgan, apparently quite aware of the backlash against Enbridge's Northern Gateway plans, offers up their vision of energy delivery to Asian markets and beyond, use of their own soon to be expanded pipeline which would see Alberta oil redirected to the south coast and their terminal facilities on the Lower mainland.

(Daily News archives for Thursday, June 10, 2010)

Man on a mission - 67 year old cyclist travels over 19,000 km 
A park that goes into the ocean
Enbridge may have competition for pipeline
He’s gonna talk about fishing
Ticket purchasers beware

The Northern View
Net earnings climb 3,000 per cent for Prince Rupert Port Authority -- Some rewarding numbers for the Port of Prince Rupert as they outline their statistics for 2009 (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
SD #52 Assistant Superintendent taking leave of absence during 2010/2011 school year. -- Upper management moves once again bring the School District to the top of the news file (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
More School District 52 changes -- An outline of some of the changes ahead for 2010-11 in School District 52 (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News 
Union Organizes at Lax Kw'alaams School -- Recent personnel decisions at the Lax Kw'alaams Academy and an apparent unionization drive at the school have some members of that community concerned about what is happening at their local school (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC, 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
Man on a mission - 67 year old cyclist travels over 19,000 km 
By George T. Baker 
Staff Writer 
Prince Rupert Daily News
Thursday, June 10, 2010

He came to town on his bicycle, passing through with but six hours to spare and a message to share.

His name is Don Ross, a 67-year old – “though people say I’m ageless” – resident of Fairbanks, AK. He’s taken his Canadian-made Norco bike through some the toughest winter weather, some of the most challenging terrain and by the eyes of curious new friends on his trip to Washington, DC.

The back of his blue and yellow jacket reads “Burn fat, not oil” a message that is meant to resonate with North Americans during a time of increased awareness about personal health and environmental protection.

Ross, also known as “Peace Rider,” biked through Prince Rupert last week, the last of his Canadian visits, adding one more town along his 19,312-kilometre trek from Alaska to Washington, D.C. and back.

 “I started out a young man,” he said, joking beneath his snow-coloured hair and his finely wrinkled forehead.

 He rides to raise awareness about global warming. But he picked a heck of a time of year to do so. Beginning last October, he had been riding through sleet, snow, winds that howled at him, weather that dipped below bearable, and sharing his story with as many media members as he could – from little newspapers in Hinton Alberta to larger print in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ross is a bit worn out. However, there was a point to this madness.

 “The reason I started out in October was to make an extreme trip to draw attention to myself and to speak about reigning in fossil fuels - so that we can break our addiction to them and create an orderly transition to green energy,” explained Ross.

 Ross made his way to Washington and met with Alaskan Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski. It was an opportunity for him to have a frank discussion with state leaders about why they need to make Global Climate Change a priority on the Senate floor.

 Ross said that, while the reception in most towns has been at least warm, there was great resistance to the environmental message – especially in his home state of Alaska, which is heavily dependent on oil exports for its 

According to the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, Alaska is the only state in the Union that is so dependent on one industry to fund its government services.

“Since the completion of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, petroleum revenues to the State of Alaska have averaged over 85 percent,” the association reported.

In the state’s fiscal year ending June 2007, oil and gas revenues represent 88 per cent of Alaska’s unrestricted revenue. Oil tax revenue has a significant effect on the state’s ability to provide services to Alaskans.

A message that is damaging to the moneymaker is risky business back home, said Ross.

 “We are so addicted and Canada is no different. We can, if we dare, go in a different direction.”

What he rides for is obvious. The reason Ross calls himself ‘Peace Rider’ is a little less straightforward. He does so to honor the inspiration for his ride. Ross believes that the way to peace on earth and with the earth is the way of love.

Ross explains on his website that “It’s an old message. Love understands, as we have not for millennium, that all things are connected at the level of spirit, which is to say at the level of energetics. Nothing is inherently separated from another; we are the waves and the ocean, part of the same universal energy.”

 When asked what struck him most on his journey, he said it was the dying trees he encountered that strengthened his resolve.

Well known in B.C. are the trees infested with the Mountain Pine Beetle, the tiny insect that has exponentially multiplied throughout the eastern-half of the province. Ross said that they haven’t stopped there.

 “They were bad in Colorado,” reported Ross. “The beetles are not being killed [as they used to be] due to elevated temperatures in the winters.”

 As he prepared to catch the Malaspina Ferry back to Alaska, Ross had one last a-ha moment.

Reflecting on why he bothered to leave his comfy confines in Fairbanks for the winter roads, he realized that nothing remains the same.

 “You set out to make a change and you realize that you are changed. In the process of doing this I gained some confidence in talking to the media.”

 Would he do it again? “In a heart beat.”

No comments: