Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nature takes down technology in Masset

Air travel is full of many potential delays, what with weather, mechanical and human factors at any given time possibly contributing to a disruption of one's travel schedule.

And we guess we should add nature to the list, at least when it comes to air travel and the Masset airport.

The QCI Observer offers up a review of a recent mechanical problem that has resulted in a Pacific Coastal Airlines plane to remain stranded in Masset awaiting repairs after an encounter with a deer on the airport's runway.

The deer apparently darted out in front of the plane and ran right into the propellor of the turbo prop aircraft, requiring the plane to return to the terminal area and wait for mechanics to be summoned to provide for repairs.

The deer it seems jumped over one of the shorter fences at the end of the runway, which is designed to allow the planes to take off, though in this case it seems it may have contributed to the plane not taking off.

Bird strikes on occasion make the news in aviation, but deer strikes are rather rare things and Masset officials can only remember one other occasion, many years ago when deer and technology collided.

Masset officials offered up on report on the condition of the deer.

Housing bargains to be had in Northern BC

As a drive through any Prince Rupert neighbourhood will show, it's a buyers market in real estate these days, and in British Columbia the best bargains it seems are to be found in the Northern BC real estate region.

The BC Real Estate Association has provided it's latest numbers, a third quarter update that shows that BC's housing markets are returning to the typical post recession demand patterns, with a gradual increase in home sales forecast through to 2011.

A larger inventory of homes for sale has provided for favourable supply conditions for would be home buyers, the most favourable of conditions in more than a year.

In British Columbia the average MLS residential price is anticipated to rise by 6 per cent to 492,800 and edge downwards to 489,500. But Northern BC has better pricing points than that, still one part of the province where the cost of housing is still somewhat reasonable and more amenable to a family budget, and a portion of the province where the trending in prices will go upwards over the next year.

The forecast for Northern BC's region (which includes Prince Rupert) will see a 6.4 per cent increase in the sales of units for the fall of 2010, which translates into around 3,850 units while the average price of unit this fall will be $217,500, with the 2011 projected average price going up in Northern BC to $224,000 with projected sales of 4100 units.

By comparison the projected average price this fall of a home in Victoria is $507,800,  in  the Okanagan it's anticipated to be at $389,000 while Vancouver remains the most expensive location in the province with a fall forecast of the average cost of a home to increase to  $654,500.

The BCREA report can be found on the organization's website.

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, July 30, 2010)

A service club seeks new members, The RCMP begins an investigation into the death of a baby in Terrace and the province expands its fire information system, some of the items of interest for Friday.

The Northern View
Port Edward Lions in urgent need of new members -- With low membership numbers one of the area's service clubs put the call out for new members (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Police investigate Baby Death in Terrace-- The sudden death of an infant in Terrace has prompted the RCMP to start an investigation. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Northwest Fire Situation Heats Up-- Lightning strikes over the last week have started at least 29 new fires in the Northwest Fire region (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Province rolls out new fire website --The province takes its fire information system into the internet age with a new website, twitter feed and Facebook page (see article here)

QCI Observer
Deer, plane collide in Masset-- A Pacific coastal plane remains at the Masset airport awaiting repairs after an incident with a deer on the airport runway (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North
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Friday, July 30, 2010

It's the economy (Friday July 30, 2010)

A brand name that some would rather not have, BC's real estate slows this summer and jittery social security thoughts in the US, some of our findings for the Friday financials.

Globe and Mail-- U.S. economic recovery losing speed
Globe and Mail-- Li Ka-shing buys UK grids for $9.1-billion
Globe and Mail-- Gas-station owners consider scrapping BP brand
National Post-- Slower economic expansion upon us
National Post-- SNC-Lavalin sidelined in proposed Pearson Airport-Union Station link
National Post-- Investor Li Lu could be Buffett's successor: report
Vancouver Sun-- B.C. will hit industrial emitters from two directions
Vancouver Sun-- B.C.’s real estate slowdown more pronounced than expected
New York Times-- U.S. Economic Growth Slowed to 2.4% Rate in 2nd Quarter
New York Times-- Curbing Your Enthusiasm
New York Times-- Social Security Jitters? Better Prepare Now
USA Today-- Money management a difficult lesson for NFL's rookie class
USA Today-- GM hikes production capacity for Volt by 50%
Guardian UK online-- US economy shows signs of slowdown as consumer spending falters
Guardian UK online-- George Osborne has put the UK in the recovery slow lane
Guardian UK online-- BP's incoming boss says clean-up operation may be scaled down
The Independent-- Shell defends deep-water oil drilling, as profits soar
The Independent--  US economic recover loses speed
Telegraph UK online-- IMF's mad prescription for the US economy
Telegraph UK online-- US economic recovery loses momentum
Telegraph UK online-- Britain must get serious about protecting its intellectual property
Melbourne Herald Sun-- AWB and GrainCorp to merge
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Energy Resources of Australia profit plunges 82 per cent
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Playing more sport could boost economy
People's Daily-- Extra 800 billion yuan needed to meet 2012 high-speed rail goals
People's Daily-- Official: China's trade surplus unintentional
China Daily-- China should cut foreign ore to one-third of needs: CISA
China Daily-- BP has declined Sinopec's offer to buy its assets
Times of India-- Not surprised Satyam's Raju has retracted confession: Khurshid
Times of India-- Is Noel Tata being groomed to succeed Ratan Tata?

From simple commercials major motion picture careers can spawn

His efforts have provided his sponsor with perhaps the most attention their product has ever seen, thirty second vignettes that have become the talking points of coffee shop and water cooler communicators across North America and perhaps beyond.

His work has become the mainstay of the YouTube portal, with more than a few imitators providing their own interpretation of just what Old Spice could do for your life.

And now, in true Hollywood fashion, the Old Spice spokesman's work is about to head to the Big screen.

Isaiah Mustafa, the star of Old Spice's The Man Your Man Could Smell Like ad campaign is about to begin production on a movie with Jeniffer Aniston.

He plays the role of a cop in the comedy Horrible Bosses, which is to be released July of 2011. When he finishes filming that session he reportedly will have a guest shot on the TV show Chuck next season.

It's been quite a ride for Mustafa a one time NFL player who has become a pop culture icon with his renditions of the various merits of Old Spice, an ad campaign which apparently has resulted in an increase in product usage of 107 per cent for the men's bath and grooming products.

The ad has received over 16 million views on YouTube since it was first posted and Mustafa's twitter account has accumulated over 95,000 followers since he first arrived on our television screens.  A bio featured on the Ellen Degeneres show website outlines a number of interesting background items on the sudden star of TV commercials, among them, he once won 50,000 dollars on the weakest link, and once was a middle school math teacher.

One thing is certain, with all of that looking here and there and back here again, following directions won't be a problem.

Northwest Highway closes due to forest fire

Travellers travelling north or south on Highway 37 to the Yukon border will have a significant amount of travel time added to their itinerary for the near future, as a forest fire has closed the route north.

The forest fire burning 17 km south of the Yukon border has resulted in the closure of Highway 37 North of Kitwanga. The highways is closed at Beaverdam, rest area which is 82 km south of the Yukon border

Signs at Kitwanga advise motorists with a destination north to the Yukon that they will be required to take highway 97 North which will require a six hour drive east to Prince George and then north on to the Yukon to complete their journey.

The fire which is started at some 210 hectares has tripled in size in a short period of time and is burning so ferociously and is so unpredictable at the moment that the Northwest Fires Centre in Smithers pulled its fire fighters off the line as it was deemed to dangerous to be in the area, the Fire Centre will reassess the nature and direction of the blaze and engage the fire again when it is safe to do so.

The fire began due to a lightning strike on Tuesday evening and is the most severe of two fires of note sparked by lightning strikes across the region, the Fire Centre is also keeping an eye on a fire in the Decker Lake area which began after thunderstorms passed through that area.

The dry conditions in the northwest have resulted in a number of fire bans across the region for this BC Day long weekend and perhaps beyond.

The Fire Centre reminds Northwest residents that if you see flames, smoke, or an abandoned campfire, please call *5555 on a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555.

Further highway updates can be found at the Drive BC website

Podunk Below the Masthead (Thursday, July 29, 2010)

Users of the public dock and boat ramp in Port Edward contributed to the need for a bear killing in the community, Fire closes a Northwest highway and questions grow in Kitimat over the province's intentions towards the Eurocan mill, some of the items of note from the Thursday newsfiles.

The Northern View
No new items of local interest were posted to the website on Thursday

Grizzly Bear death in Port Edward was preventable -- More background on the recent shooting of a bear in Port Edward, a situation that conservation officers say could have been avoided. (see article here) Sahar Nassimdoost also provided this report for CFTK TV News

Terrace Standard
Fire forces northern highway closure-- Travel North along highway 37 has been disrupted due to a forest fire situation 17km south of the Yukon border. The 210 hectare wildfire has resulted in the Tranaportation and Highways Department in closing Highway 37 North,  (see article here).   Signs are up at Kitwanga at the junction of Hwy16 and Hwy37 telling motorists the route to the Yukon is closed. Motorists are being told to take an alternate route via Hwy97.Full highway conditions can be found at the Drive BC website.

Kitimat Northern Sentinel
Haisla petition gov’t to maintain Eurocan closure-- The Northern Sentinel outlines the steps of the Kitamaat Village Council reportedly requesting the government to maintain the closure of the Eurocan Mill. A request that has local residents in Kitimat asking questions of the provincial government (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North 
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's the economy (Thursday, July 29, 2010)

Canada's deficit challenges may end early, An American warning of deflation and will the UK banks kill any economic recovery, some of the items of note for the Thursday.

Globe and Mail-- Greeks adjust to PM's elimination of untaxed 'shadow' economy
Globe and Mail-- Deficit battle may end early: think tank
Globe and Mail-- Michigan spill halted, but Enbridge’s reputation still sullied
National Post-- Analysts see Blackpad targeting Christmas sales
National Post-- Executives ignore activists at their peril
National Post-- Provinces must place their bets
New York Times-- President to Promote Auto Bailout as a Success
New York Times-- Oil Spill Crime? Send In the BP Squad
New York Times-- A Fed Member Warns of Deflation
USA Today-- Surprise: Sales of big SUVs surging faster than small cars
USA Today-- UAW head: GM to file paperwork in August for IPO
Guardian UK online-- Almost 3,000 City staff took home more than £1m last year, says FSA
Guardian UK online-- Shell could pursue BP for Gulf damages
Guardian UK online-- British Airways to reveal losses from ash cloud and strikes
The Independent-- King condemns banks' treatment of customers
The Independent-- British Gas defends energy prices as profits nearly double
Telegraph UK online-- Conservatives: come off benefits and we'll make work pay
Telegraph UK online-- After banning racism and sexism, it's high time to ban ageism
Telegraph UK online-- Are UK banks killing the economic recovery?
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Chinalco buys Rio mine in Africa
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Late sting takes edge off super's bounce
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- OZ Minerals steps up hunt for copper purchases
People's Daily-- China economy still robust despite expected slowdown: IMF official
People's Daily-- More reform in store for yuan: PBC
China Daily-- China pension fund to start overseas PE investment
China Daily-- China orders curbs on grain price speculation
Times of India-- Food inflation down to single digit at 9.67%
Times of India-- Is Noel Tata being groomed to succeed Ratan Tata?

City Hall Tracker for July 26, 2010

Council examined a number of items for their late July session of civic governance, including a look over of the Five year Plan Amending bylaw, discussion on a grant to examine the feasibility of cargo service at Prince Rupert Airport and report from the CFO on the Utility Fees structure report.

Agenda for Regular council meeting for July 26
Report to Council on Water Consumption and sewer fees for July 26

In Attendance:

Mayor Jack Mussallem
Councillor Anna Ashley
Councillor Gina Garon
Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne
Councillor Joy Thorkelson

Absent from Council:

Councillor Kathy Bedard

Minutes for Monday, July 26, 2010

Attendance at City Hall to date archives

Next council meeting Monday, August 16, 2010

Perhaps the Minister was in the mood to discuss asset appreciation...

There's controversy a brewin' in the world of international politics and finance, after a photo described as "racy" has spread across the internet featuring the Finance Minister of Georgia reportedly taking to the stage at a Vancouver strip club.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is under attack for hiring Vera Kobalia or as the Russian media prefer to describe her  appointment as putting "strippers into his cabinet", though it seems that perhaps his opponents may be making a bit of political hay out of the photograph, which the Minister says was taken more than 10 years ago while in Florida.

The photograph was reportedly taken from a Facebook page before gaining wider distribution thanks to Russian media sources a group not particularly fond of the Georgian President and his policies of late.

If nothing else, Ms. Kabalia's troubles are perhaps a cautionary tale for all about photos and Facebook and the potential damage they can wreak in later years.

Ms. Kobalia, who is Georgian but grew up in Canada, attended BCIT and may or may not have worked in the Vancouver media (news departments are hard pressed apparently to find her files) was appointed to her position after meeting with the Georgian President at the Vancouver Olympics.

A move that apparently hasn't been universally hailed by his political and media opponents. The Vancouver Sun features the photograph and the fallout from the world of international intrigue.

And while the photo may be the focus of the conversation in Georgia and beyond at the moment, one news service in Georgia (and we imagine another group not particularly fond of the President) has picked up on the resume gaps and offered up some thoughts on her travels of late.

As always, for real salacious detail of scandal it's always best to head for the British and Australian press, the wolf packs of Fleet street and beyond have closed in and offered up the kind of reporting that makes them famous.

Independent UK online
Sydney Morning Herald

Podunk Below the Masthead (Wednesday, July 28, 2010)

Enbridge protests take to Vancouver's streets, a music festival in Rupert and fire bans continue across the northwest, some of the items of note for Wednesday.

The Northern View
Enbridge responds to Greenpeace protest -- The debate over pipeline construction and tanker traffic into Kitimat heads to the big city, as protestors speak out against the Enbridge project in Vancouver (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert hosts first ever music festival -- Details on a music festival to take place Thursday at Mariners park (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News 
More Fire Bans Announced -- Long weekend camping plans to the east will include being aware of the current fire bans in the region (see article here) Sahar Nassimdoost provided a video report for the evening news (see report here)

QCI Observer
MLA Gary Coons looking forward to Fall Fair-- The North coast MLA heads to Haida Gwaii this long weekehd (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North 
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Make some music in the park part of your Thursday scene

Prince Rupert's new bandstand will get its first official workout on Thursday as Mariner's Park plays host to the Mariners Music Festival, a five hour celebration of local talent.

The show which gets underway at 4 pm will feature live performances from a number of local musicians, such as Tom and Kate with Pete Jackson, Frances and Sarah, Sall Giblson and Joshua Comeau to name a few.

Timed to coincide with the arrival of the weekly cruise ship, it should provide for a festive atmosphere in the park, making use of the new Spirit Square band shell which was recently completed by the city.

The hope is that this debut edition of the Music Festival will prove to be the blue print for more to come, putting Prince Rupert onto the music festival schedule, perhaps with an opportunity to also add out of town performers to shows in future years.

The Prince Rupert Community Arts Council website has details on the Music Festival and other events coming up in the weeks to come in the city.

Bad news for travel loving politicians

The trade mission, no doubt one of the favoured perks of politicians who get to do a little travel on the public dime, could soon be on the endangered list. That is if the findings of a UBC study in the effectiveness of those long distance junkets is taken to heart.

Keith Head and John Ries, two professors at the Sauder School of Business, studied trade statistics before and after a number of high profile Federal trade missions to China from the Jean Chretien era and found that there was no noticeable trade development that came from those missions.

The statistical survey was culled from 1983-2003 during the much heralded Team Canada excursions which saw politicians and business leaders fan out across Asia to stoke the fires of investment and trade with Canada.

The trade mission to Asia is also a favourite device of the current provincial Liberals and even Prince Rupert politicians have made the pilgrimages to China and Japan with trips overseas going as far back as the Pete Lester era.

A time when we all awaited development of such projects as China Steel, which as history has gone on to show never quite reached the developmental stage.

If the two professors data is to be taken as correct, much like the days of China Steel, very little in the way of development has come from the trans Pacific journeys of our political and business classes.

Not surprisingly, some business leaders dispute their findings, suggesting that without the face to face personal communication that these missions provide, the opportunity to expand Canadian trade could very well be lost.

Though it seems that instant success isn't always there for the taking from the efforts of the wandering officials, sometimes they say it takes years to navigate relationships and negotiate deals, which to their mind could explain the lack of success as seen in the Sauder School study.

You can check out the findings of the professors and the rebuttals of the business community from the Vancouver Sun's article posted to their website on Wednesday.

It's the economy (Wednesday, July 28, 2010)

Getting ready for the next economic power, warnings of a second recession for the UK and China is warned on bad loans, some of the items of interest from the Wednesday financials.

Globe and Mail-- RIM aims to take bite out of Apple
Globe and Mail-- Enbridge spill yields fresh ammo for oil sands critics
Globe and Mail-- Shipping goods from Asia more costly
National Post-- Meet the world's next growth engine
National Post-- Did Washington avert a depression?
National Post-- Michigan spill fuels opposition to Enbridge pipeline
Vancouver Sun-- UBC study: Trade missions abroad don't work
Vancouver Sun-- B.C. to unveil new greenhouse gas emissions rules
New York Times-- Job Subsidies Also Provide Help to Private Sector
New York Times-- Asian Shares Down on New Signs US Economy Slowing
New York Times-- Obama Trumpets Democrats’ Small-Business Bona Fides
USA Today-- Homes will sell if priced right; foreclosures have impact
USA Today-- NYC cabs give up their crown
Guardian UK online-- No rush to raise interest rates, says Bank of England governor
Guardian UK online-- British Gas warns of rising energy bills as profits double
Guardian UK online-- EasyJet puts volcano costs at £65m
The Independent-- Stark warning of second recession in UK next year
The Independent-- Hayward: 'Sometimes you step off the kerb, and get knocked down by a bus'
Telegraph UK online-- BP chairman Svanberg must prove he was right to dump Hayward
Telegraph UK online-- China at risk of bad loans, warns IMF
Telegraph UK online-- Bank of England's Mervyn King warns over inflation
Melbourne Herald Sun-- A drink of Fosters - if the price is right
Melbourne Herald Sun-- More jobs will go, warns Thodey
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Aussie sites difficult to find - Costco
People's Daily-- Economist: US to blame for financial crisis, global imbalances
People's Daily-- Proactive fiscal policy to continue
China Daily-- China gets top ranking in survey of world's emerging economies
China Daily-- PBOC says chances of double-dip slim
Times of India-- India to sign $775 million jet deal with British defence group BAE Systems
Times of India-- Now, get ready to pay fatter EMIs

Looking at the prospects of a big ole Jet airliner at Digby

The Prince Rupert Airport Authority, Economic Development office along with the Port of Prince Rupert are all on the same page when it comes to looking at potential expansion of services at the Prince Rupert Airport.

Towards that goal, the city will be seeking a grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust to explore the possibility of bringing cargo jet service to the city's Digby Island airport.

The total cost of the study is estimated at $21,500 . The Port of Prince Rupert has already advised that it will chip in $5,000 towards that total, while the Airport Authority is offering $5,000 to the study. Other funding has been offered by ICCI (Invest Canada Community Initiative)  which is set to contribute $4,000, leaving $7,500 outstanding which it is hoped will come from the NDI.

The scope of the study is outlined on the city of Prince Rupert website, as part of the agenda item for this weeks council meeting. The application is found on page twenty of the agenda, and outlines what the city hopes to determine from feasibility study.

The application explains that the airport would like to attract shipments that include just time inventory requirements, short shelf like products and any items that would benefit from a reduced transit time .

The goal is to  increase demand and capacity at the airport as well as to diversify the transportation options for the city.  The possibility of expanding the job opportunities both in any construction phase and actual operation phase is also touted as the key part of the application.

The prospect of jet service to Prince Rupert is not an uncharted territory, at one time the city was serviced by jet passenger jet service, which was downsized to the current model of smaller connector service to Vancouver after the mergers and acquisitions of the eighties and nineties.

The Prince George airport recently underwent a major expansion,  an expansion which was assisted by funding from  Federal and provincial governments, as well as the Northern Development Trust, so the template for financial assistance for such ventures is certainly in place.

The expansion of transportation services in Prince George increased the capacity to handle cargo traffic, with part of the blue print the hope of attracting the large international shipping lines such as DHL, UPS and such who it was hoped might use Prince George as a refuelling stop on trans Pacific journeys. Though there was a fair bit of controversy regarding that expansion and the cost of it, which has yet to attract the increased usage that had been suggested.

There are a few roadblocks towards that goal however, as the Prince George airport CEO and President John Gibson outlined to the Prince George news site Opinion 250 

The Prince Rupert study, if approved by the NDI will examine a number of factors to bringing cargo service to the city's airport, though one imagines that the largest hurdle locally may be the transportation infrastructure required to bring cargo from the airport to the city side of the harbour.

Services between the city and the airport were one of the items of note mentioned by the local airport manager Rick Reed, who outlined his thoughts on the study's potential to CFTK TV News.

Podunk Below the Masthead (Tuesday, July 27, 2010)

Troubling times for the fish industry in the city, the Port Authority adds its thoughts on a cargo study for the airport  and the Gathering Strength journey is underway, some of the items from the newsfiles for Tuesday.

The Northern View
Prince Rupert councillor pushing for disaster relief in the wake of disastrous fishing season -- Another troubling fishing season has Councillor Joy Thorkelson, who also is the spokesperson for UFAWU warning of the need to seek out disaster relief for local workers (see article here)

The Northern View
Federal ministers tout Fairview's potential -- The weekly reviews last weeks visit to Prince Rupert by two Federal cabinet ministers (see article here)

The Northern View
Seven day canoe trip re-connecting youth to traditions -- Some background on the fifth annual Gathering Strength canoe journey currently underway from Kitkatla to Lasgalts'ap (see article here)

The Northern View
Consumer support lacking, potential impacts too significant -- An outline of some of the key concerns of opponents to the proposed Enbridge Gateway Project (see article here)

The Northern View
Project creates jobs, builds safety capacity -- A review of some of the company's answers to safety and economic questions for the Enbridge Gateway Project  (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert Port Authority looks to the sky for increased productivity -- Some more background on the proposed airport study into cargo development, this time from the perspective of the Prince Rupert Port Authority (see article here) (Sahar Nassimdoost report for TV 7 here)

CFTK TV 7 News 
Fire Ban Expanded -- Medium and large sized open fires on the North Coat and Haida Gwaii are now part of a general fire ban for the Northwest (see article here)

World Renowned Artist from the Northwest Working on New Project -- A look at the current project of renowned artist Roy Henry Vickers (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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's the economy (Tuesday, July 27, 2010)

Small business owners are happiest in parts of BC, Intervention staved off a 2nd depression and China knows its limitations, some of the items of interest in our financial reviews for Tuesday.

Globe and Mail-- European banks get boost as fears over stress tests ease
Globe and Mail-- BP plans asset sale of up to $30-billion
Globe and Mail-- Selling the high life in hard times
National Post-- Many seniors losing out on benefits
National Post-- GM says goodbye to Windsor
National Post-- Oil sands emissions dwarfed by coal
Vancouver Sun-- Metro Vancouver, Kelowna small business owners happiest in Canada
Vancouver Sun-- B.C. adopts new limits for greenhouse-gas emissions with new ‘cap and trade’ system
New York Times-- BP’s Blueprint for Emerging From Crisis
New York Times-- In Study, 2 Economists Say Intervention Helped Avert a 2nd Depression
New York Times-- The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers
USA Today-- New BP CEO Robert Dudley takes on huge challenges
USA Today-- Companies hold record $837B in cash, yet won't hire workers
Guardian UK online-- Tony Hayward's parting shot: 'I'm too busy to attend Senate hearing'
Guardian UK online-- Former Northern Rock finance director banned for life and fined £320,000
Guardian UK online-- British retailers enjoy summer boost
The Independent-- Don't forget the real victims of BP's 'Deepwater' disaster
The Independent-- UK Coal separates mining and property businesses
Telegraph UK online-- Jim Rogers predicts a new recession in 2012
Telegraph UK online-- Drip after drip of deflation data
Telegraph UK online-- World splits in two as East tightens while West stays super-loose
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Scrap the NBN and hey presto, another $18b saved
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Virgin banks on NSW for money business
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- BP declares $19bn loss as CEO Tony Hayward steps down
People's Daily-- Expert: China won't take more responsibility than it can handle
People's Daily-- China's economy likely to see slowdown, not double dip: central bank
China Daily-- China promises bigger private role in industry
China Daily-- China to continue proactive fiscal policy in H2
Times of India-- Foxconn shuts India plant after 250 workers hospitalised
Times of India-- Moody's ups India's local currency rating

Council seeks to consult

Perhaps aware of some rumblings of discontent among the townsfolk, Prince Rupert city council has announced dates for round table discussions with the community for this fall.

CFTK TV 7 News outlines that council will seek the commentary of the community on three separate occasions this fall, September 16, October 6 and November 2.

The concept of increased communication was addressed at the Monday July 26 council meeting (page 19 of agenda) where the council offered up a motion to book the Auditorium at the Civic centre for these community sessions. It's hoped to schedule the meetings for a variety of times in order to offer an opportunity for all residents to participate.

If council members are inclined to perhaps see what some of those talking points may look like this fall an instructive review of a recent topic on the local chat portal hackingthemainframe may prove helpful.

Seemingly getting a head start on council in the round table discussion, some regular contributors to that forum have taken it upon themselves to examine some of the concerns of the community. A project which provides some interesting thoughts on the issue, though occasionally a discussion which seems to wander off sideways at times.

For those members of council and the administration that may find some value in Internet forums, there could be a few nuggets of information along the way however as to what may be the flash points of debate when the city designed sessions of the fall get under way.

Podunk Below the Masthead (Monday, July 26, 2010)

A bear is destroyed in Port Edward, the city makes plans to hear the people and concerns over hidden agendas over the Eurocan mill closure, some of our items of note for Monday.

The Northern View
Grizzly bear destroyed in Port Edward-- Details of the destruction of a 400 pound Grizzly Bear near the Port Edward docks on July 23rd (see article here)

The Northern View
Prince Rupert's Acropolis Manor officially opened -- July 26 marked the official opening of the city's long term residential care facility Acropolis Manor (see article here)

The Northern View
No campfires by B.C. Day weekend -- Forestry officials have issued a campfire ban for the coming long weekend, all areas of the province other than the Kootenay's are under the ban (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
City of Prince Rupert applies for funding grant -- The city throws its support behind the airport authority seeking a 6,000 dollar grant  to study Air Cargo feasibility for the airport (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
BC Transit will hear the concerns of the region -- Council makes some plans for this year's UBCM gathering with a motion to meet with BC Transit and the Minister of Transportation to address Transit concerns of the northwest (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert's Acropolis Manor Officially Opened -- A look at the opening of the city's long term and residential care facility (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Prince Rupert Council has picked its dates -- The city makes plans for a trio of community meetings in September, October and November offering up the chance for round table discussions between  council and residents (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Kitimat councillor alleges backroom dealing over Eurocan closure -- One Kitimat councillor is expressing his concerns over perceptions of behind the scenes discussions aimed at keeping the Eurocan pulp and paper mill closed (see article here)

QCI Observer
Dialogue starting in Sandspit -- Communication is set to improve in Sandspit as the Moresby Island Management Committee seeks more public input on agenda items in that community (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North
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Monday, July 26, 2010

It's the economy (Monday, July 26, 2010)

EU seeks public works contracts in Canada, BP sends Mr. Hayward tro Siberia and the bookies of Britain book passage out of the country.

Globe and Mail-- BP’s Hayward to resign in October
Globe and Mail-- Credit card fees transfer wealth to rich: Fed
Globe and Mail-- EU eyes Canada’s lucrative public works contracts
National Post-- BP boss expected to quit, but payoff row looms
National Post-- Everything you need to know about Asia's blistering V-shaped recovery
National Post-- Michigan residents turn to alternative currency
Vancouver Sun-- Oil spills off B.C. coast harming wildlife: researcher
Vancouver Sun-- B.C. government creates new wood fibre network that links buyers and sellers
New York Times-- Road to New Confidence at BP Runs Through U.S.
New York Times-- Nike Agrees to Help Laid-Off Workers in Honduras
New York Times-- Who Cooked the Planet?
USA Today-- China promises bigger role for private investment
USA Today-- United Technologies plans another 1,500 job cuts
Guardian UK online-- BP sends Tony Hayward to Siberia to appease US
Guardian UK online-- William Hill takes telephone betting service offshore
Guardian UK online-- Government warns banks over bonuses and dividend payouts
The Independent-- Offshore wind needs £10bn to avoid missing green targets
The Independent-- Politically acceptable economic stresses
Telegraph UK online-- BP's Russian partners back Bob Dudley to replace Tony Hayward as chief
Telegraph UK online-- Spain shines on stress test, Germany flunks
Telegraph UK online-- Osborne kick-starts India visit with Tata talks and Vodafone launch
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Economists tip rate rise chance despite moderating producer prices
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Mid-sized miners ad assault on Gillard
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Tony Abbott 'admitted parental scheme will raise living costs'
People's Daily-- "China's economic responsibility" theory irresponsible
People's Daily-- ASEAN now China's 4th biggest trading partner
China Daily-- China will open wider to foreign business
China Daily-- Local govt financing 'cleanup' to be started
Times of India-- The return of labour unrest
Times of India-- Air India on a firm path to recovery: Patel

Still dancing' at 67

He must have found some shelter as he never faded away.

Mick Jagger turns 67 today, still one of the most influential persons of rock over the forty eight year history of the Rolling Stones.

Much of their music has provided the soundtrack to a generation or two, always punctuated by Jagger's vocals, over the driving arrangements of fellow conspirators Keith Richards, Bill Wyman Ronnie Woods and Charlie Watts (as well as a rotating cast of helpers who have moved in and out of the line up over the decades).

Deemed dangerous by more than a few politicians and other officials through the sixties, the Rolling Stones have almost become the establishment as they continue to evolve past a century's turn.

The song writing tandem of Jagger/Richards has provided a catalogue of work that has spanned genres (from blues to rock and country to disco) and reflected the shifts of our times.

Such is the fame of Jagger, that the New York Times has a featured archive of stories about his exploits through these many years of the rock and roll circus offering up a fascinating look at one of the leading figures of our time..

Longevity certainly moves a celebrity to the top of the A list, ability, popularity and relevance must however enshrine Mick Jagger and his mates there.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's the economy (Weekend edition, July 24 and 25, 2010)

Tony to take his leave, 100 US banks closed and counting and the end of paper money, some of our findings from the weekend financials.

Globe and Mail-- The energy bridge to China
Globe and Mail-- Black invokes wife’s health in bid to return to Toronto
Globe and Mail-- BP chief will be replaced, U.S. official says
National Post-- Hayward said to be discussing departure with BP board
National Post-- Telecoms before the storm
National Post-- GDP reports take the spotlight in the coming week
New York Times-- As BP Lays Out Future, It Will Not Include Hayward
New York Times-- Will Zynga Become the Google of Games?
USA Today-- Travel guru Tom Parsons preaches of low fare virtues
USA Today-- Bleak milestone: Bank failures this year surpass 100
Guardian UK online-- Tony Hayward to quit BP
Guardian UK online-- Seven more US banks collapse on day of Europe's stress tests
Guardian UK online-- Greece on long, hard road to recovery as EU monitors jet in
The Independent-- Here's some good news at last – but we still have a steep road to travel
The Independent-- BP chief Tony Hayward negotiating exit package
Telegraph UK online-- Banks told: lend more or lose bonuses
Telegraph UK online-- The Death of Paper Money
Telegraph UK online-- Right, I’ll see your double dip and raise you an economic black hole
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Gillard pledges $2000 to upgrade your car
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Richard Pratt's wealth 'built on corruption'
People's Daily-- "Double dip" recession unlikely in China in H2: report
People's Daily-- China's western regions see fast growth: report
China Daily-- Outstanding loans to property market up 40% by end of June
China Daily-- Chemical error caused port pipeline blast, finds probe
Times of India-- Must cut dependence on debt, reduce subsidies: PM
Times of India--Banking on monsoon, PM expects inflation to drop by December

The Podunkian Brunch Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our weekly review of some of the events of the week begins at the gates of a Florida prison, where one time press baron, member of the House of Lords and scion of Toronto society, Conrad Black found a taste of freedom from his prison sentence this week. Lord Black (we're not actually sure if he still can use the term Lord having been in the hoosegow, but it has an interesting ring to it anyways),  was released this week, while the Illinois justice system takes a break from the Governor Blagojevich tribunals and contemplates if perhaps their interpretation of Lord Black's malfeasance wasn't quite correct under revised American law.

His Lordship currently has to provide further financial disclosures to Judge Amy St. Eve of the Illinois court before she will be satisfied and issue further orders, among them if His Lordship and his lady can return to the ancestral homestead of Toronto, while he awaits further jurisprudence on his many legal questions.

The possible return of Lord Black to Canada of course has received  mixed reviews, many suggest that he's paid his dues to the legal world and should be allowed to reclaim his Canadian citizenship (surrendered upon his peership) and take to his Toronto estate.  Others of course aren't inclined to forgive nor forget and with more than a little bit of glee find great comfort in the stateless, near homeless condition (though not quite) of the one time giant of journalism in Canada.

For now, the Black's will call a Palm Beach ocean front property their home, awaiting approval and opportunity to return to Canada like any other snowbird making their way back to the north.

Perhaps upon his return, Lord Black may wish to taste a sample of what his (hopeful) nations best has to offer, some good ole Canadian beer.

If so, he may find that Okanagan Spring is hard to come by these days.  A batch of Vernon's best never made it to the bottle or can this week after an explosion at the brewery sent some 32,000 litres of the foamy concoction flooding the streets of Vernon.
A build up of carbon dioxide is blamed for the exploding foam, though we suspect that somewhere, somehow, these two fellows had more than a little bit to do with the troubles.

There are some troubles brewing for the film industry as well, with word that the "Golden Goose" of 3 D technology may not be ready for flight after all. Meaning that perhaps you won't want to corner the market in 3D Glasses just yet (not to mention the latest wave of TV sets).

The Telegraph newspaper in the UK explains that many in Hollywood are rethinking the whole next wave of entertainment,  after less than successful conversions of older movies have left audiences feeling let down, if not down right ripped off.  No less a power broker than Jeffrey Katzenberg suggests that these "Cheeseball" conversions are serving to foster the backlash against the technology that everyone once thought was set to change the industry.  If his thoughts aren't enough to help you keep the ole HD TV for just a little bit longer so as to watch your favourite movie releases, perhaps Roger Ebert can help. His impression of 3D: " a waste of a perfectly good dimension and Hollywood's current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal," adding for good measure, "It adds nothing essential to the movie-going experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches".  You can put away the glasses we guess, some suggest that this fad like the 50's and 80's will fade away, destined to return we imagine in 2040...

Maybe live entertainment is your thing instead, if so Fortune magazine suggests that if you had a choice you would be an International soccer fan or be looking for seats to an NFL game. Forbes came out with their most successful financial sports team list this week and all 32 NFL teams grabbed a spot on the top 50 list, a remarkable feat  though not surprising considering the financial power that the NFL produces each year. European football teams or soccer clubs for you and I, grabbed nine of the top 50 spots, including Manchester United which was considered the number one sports club financially in the world.  Baseball claimed five spots, basketball two and motor sports 2. However, for hockey fans there will be no joy in Bettmanville tonight, Hockey did not crack the top 50,  a not surprising result considering the rather worrisome financials of late for a good number of Mr. Bettman's partners. You can check out the entire top fifty list and the accompanying article here.

One team that probably was never in any danger of qualifying for the Forbes list would have been the Montreal Expos, the one time love affair for many a Canadian through the seventies and eighties, died a horrible and very public death when baseball, abandoned the city and rewarded those that oversaw its demise with a trip to Florida, allowing the Expos to then be reborn as the Washington Nationals.

And while baseball's current leadership may have forgotten all about the Spos and Montreal, those that guard it's history haven't.  Andre Dawson will enter the Cooperstown Hall of Fame on Sunday, and while he would apparently have preferred to have gone in as a Cub, it will be in the uniform of the Montreal Expos that he will be enshrined.

While cold comfort for those that followed the Expos as though a religion, it will at least acknowledge that devotion and reflect a time (and perhaps for the last time) when the Expos were thought to be the next possible dynasty in baseball. Those days and the sad ending that the sport came to in Montreal have provided for no shortage of conversation and investigation, a most interesting review can be found from a panel discussion on the topic, where a number of thoughts on those days of the Expos are revealed. Though we, personally prefer the more musical tribute to a team that was long on sports history, but short on actual time among us.

It's something that will have to tide us over until we can once again root, root, for our home team again.
For fans of baseball, even without Nos Amours, our podcast selection of the week comes from the Baseball History Podcast, where you can review some of the famous and perhaps not so famous careers of the game.

And to wrap up our weekend review, a little reminder that you can't take it with you, and in some cases your family doesn't apparently need it. Chinese philanthropist Yu Pengnian has made the final installment of the dispersal of his estimated remaining 500 million dollar fortune to charity.  Since he began giving it away, he has contributed almost 1.3 billion dollars to a number of causes in his Yu Penginian Foundation.

A move he says he has undertaken to show an example for other Chinese residents who have accumulated wealth. Yu says all is well with the kids, who he says  haven't opposed his plan (though no one has actually it seems asked the kids if they think Dad's a tad off his rocker) and he's put in place stipulations with his bank that none of his holdings can be inherited, sold or invested.  He sums up his approach to the spirit of sharing as thus.  “I don’t care what others think. It makes me happy to give my money away. I used to be poor.”

For Yu and all that he do,  the Red Hot Chili Peppers..