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October 23, 2009

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For the last two years, one thing was on the minds of the members of the Set'a'newey School Performance Choir: the 2010 Olympics.

Since the choir was officially invited by B-C Premier Gordon Campbell to perform at the opening ceremonies, everyone had spent its time in constant preparation: making costumes, practising and working on getting everything just right for the big day.

But now, the dream is over for these young singers and drummers. Two days ago, they received word that their invitiation had been withdrawn, without explanation.

We reached Brenda Jeddore, musical director for Set'a'newey School, in Conne River Reserve, Newfoundland.


LOW GRAVITY Duration: 00:00:27
Album: ACORN: GLORY HOPE MOUNTAIN
Label: PAPER BAG, PAPER027
Persons/Roles:
ACORN - COMPOSER
ROLF CARLOS KLAUSENER - WRITER
ACORN - ENS IN-V

FTR: SANDRA OH AWARD Duration: 00:02:42

Long before she played a cranky doctor on Grey's Anatomy or swigged anything-but-Merlot in Sideways, Ms. Oh was a struggling student at Montreal's National Theatre School. That struggle has long since ended -- and so, today, the Class of '93 alumnus was honoured by her alma mater with the Gascon-Thomas Award.

The ceremony took place at the very theatre where Ms. Oh once trod the boards -- the illustrious Monument National in downtown Montreal. Before the ceremony, she wandered the lobby of the theatre with CBC Radio arts reporter Jeanette Kelly. Here is some of their conversation, for the record.


CHILDHOOD Duration: 00:00:21
Album: AWARDS FOR WORLD MUSIC 2004
Label: UNION SQUARE, MANTDCD223
Persons/Roles:
BAWOT - COMPOSER
KROKE - ENSEMBLE

FTR: UNGER Duration: 00:02:05

"Good luck".

That was the parting wish from Manitoba Queen's Bench judge Glenn Joyal to Kyle Unger -- who today was acquitted of murder charges after serving fourteen years in a B.C. prison.

Good luck is something Mr. Unger is still getting used to. He was convicted of killing sixteen-year-old Brigitte Grenier at a rock concert in 1990, along with another man, Timothy Houlahan. But Mr. Unger's fortunes began to change for the better four years ago, when he was released on bail, after DNA testing indicated that a hair strand used as evidence against him was not his. The hair, along with a confession extracted by police posing as underworld criminals and testimony from a jailhouse informant, resulted in his conviction.

Mr. Unger spoke to reporters after his hearing in Winnipeg this morning. Here's part of what he had to say, for the record.


UNGER ACQUITTED Duration: 00:07:26

Celebrating the victory along with his client is Hersh Wolch, Mr. Unger's lawyer. We reached him in Winnipeg earlier today.


BANJO Z Duration: 00:00:21
Album: BANJO HOCKEY/TIM POSGATE HORNBAND
Label: BLACK HEN MUSIC, BHMCD0065
Persons/Roles:
TIM POSGATE - COMPOSER
LINA ALLEMANO - TRUMPET
HOWARD JOHNSON - SAXOPHONE
QUINSIN NACHOFF - SAXOPHONE
TIM POSGATE - BANJO
TIM POSGATE - PRODUCER
TIM POSGATE HORNBAND - JAZZ GROUP

OBIT: SOUPY SALES 1 Duration: 00:03:28

Sketch comedy, gags, puns, satire, jokes¿all perfectly good ways to get a chuckle out of people. Puns in particular. But let's face it, if you want a real deep-down belly laugh, there's nothing quite like watching someone get a good old-fashioned pie in the face.

Soupy Sales was responsible for thousands of belly laughs during his lifetime. By his own estimate, he was hit with a pie more than twenty-five thousand times.

Soupy Sales died yesterday in a hospital in the Bronx. He was eighty-three.

His stage name, "Soupy" was short for a family nickname, "Soup Bone". Which was something of a family tradition: his older brothers were called "Ham Bone" and "Chicken Bone".

Although Soupy Sales earned a masters degree in journalism, it was clear that he was destined to be an entertainer. While he was at college, he performed in clubs as a comedian, singer and dancer -- but he didn't make the big time until he appeared on the small screen. In the 1950s, he hosted a number of daily television programs, the most popular of which was The Soupy Sales Show. There were two off-screen characters on his program, and both were dogs: White Fang, "The Biggest and Meanest Dog in the United States" and Black Tooth, who was the biggest and nicest. All viewers ever saw of these creatures were giant paws waving at the star of the program.

On New Year's Day in 1965, Soupy Sales got himself into some hot water. Pun intended. Apparently, he was miffed about having to work on the holiday, so he decided to stir up a bit of mischief.

We'll let the man himself pick up the story. This is Soupy Sales at the Brokerage Comedy Club in Bellmore, New York, circa 1993¿for the record.


OBIT: SOUPY SALES 2 Duration: 00:02:26

The Soupy Sales Show included two not-to-be-missed features. One was "Soupy Sez", in which he imparted words of wisdom such as, "Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you." The other was Soupy taking a pie in the face, at the end of every episode.

In 1974, there was a lawsuit in California over a very different kind of pie-in-the-face incident. A man tossed a pie at his warrant officer, and (go figure) he didn't think it was funny at all.

Soupy Sales' name came up as a possible expert witness in the art of pie-throwing, so As It Happens gave him a call. Here's the late Barbara Frum, in conversation with Soupy Sales, from our archives.


CLOSING FRIDAY Duration: 00:00:47

And that brings us to the end of the first part of tonight's show. The news is coming up next -- and right after that, we'll be back with As It Happens, and these stories:

Destination unknown. Seventy-six Sri Lankan men sought freedom in Canada -- but where they'll end up remains unclear.

A four-leaf cloverleaf. How one lucky farmer manages to bring in a decent crop in the shadow of a California highway.

A mint on your pillow, a free Continental breakfast, and hedgehog afterbirth in the lobby. A five-star Edinburgh hotel plays host to one prickly customer -- and her triplets.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm CH.


AIH PHONE THEME Duration: 00:00:30
Album: AS IT HAPPENS
Label: DEMO
Persons/Roles:
JEFF ULSTER - COMPOSER
JEFF ULSTER - PERFORMER

RETURN FRIDAY Duration: 00:00:28

Hello again, I'm CO.

And I'm BB. This is As It Happens, Part Two.

Coming up:

Well, he's already chairman of the board: Olympic gold medal snowboarder Ross Rebagliati slaloms into politics.

A certain je sais quoi: Talkback offers its advice to the man charged with translating new English expressions into French.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


MIGRANT SHIP: LAWYER Duration: 00:08:21

For thousands of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, freedom from lengthy detention in government camps is just beginning. But for a boatload more who left to seek freedom in Canada, it was another day of a detention that has just begun.

The Sri Lankan government has announced that, yesterday, it began releasing as many as six-thousand Tamils from military-run displacement camps, set up after Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war ended last May. And the government has promised that another thirty-six thousand will be released in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, seventy-six Sri Lankan men await refugee hearings at a detention centre in the lower mainland of British Columbia. They were apprehended aboard a rusty freighter off the coast of Vancouver island last week.

Larry Smeets is a Vancouver lawyer serving as duty counsel to the migrants. We reached him on his way to the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge, B.C., where the men are being held.


EASTERN JOURNEY Duration: 00:00:23
Album: AWARDS FOR WORLD MUSIC 2004
Label: UNION SQUARE, MANTDCD223
Persons/Roles:
TRILOK GURTU - COMPOSER
TRILOK GURTU - PERCUSSION

SC: GERMANS - HIGHER TAXES Duration: 00:01:36

Enough is enough! Or rather, too much is enough.

That's the new rallying cry from a group of Germany's wealthiest people. They've struggled to get where they are, they've worked hard for their cash, they've contributed a great deal to the nation. So why, they ask, is the state treating them so shamefully? What is it? Is their money not good enough?

It seems that some of Deutschland's über-rich are upset that the state isn't putting its grubby little paws on their money. That's right: they're verklemmt that the state isn't taking enough of their hard-earned Euros. And so, in protest, a group of the country's most prosperous citizens is petitioning newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel to charge them a five per cent wealth tax -- because they believe too much is actually too much.

As one supporter Peter Vollmer put it, "I have inherited a lot of money I do not need."

Dieter Lehmkuhl, the man behind the petition, said there are more than two-point-two million people in Germany who have a fortune of more than half-a-million Euros each. And he believes that those who have "made a fortune through inheritance, hard work, successful entrepreneurship or investment" should contribute now to help alleviate Germany's financial woes. By his reckoning, the extra tax would generate roughly a hundred billion Euros that could be used for Germany's economic recovery.

Well, it seems like it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to demand taxation. So far only forty-four people have signed up to the group's petition. After a demonstration in Berlin Wednesday to highlight the cause, supporter Mr. Vollmer remarked it was "really strange so few people camel." Which, frankly, seems a bit rich.


HOMEGROWN Duration: 00:00:34

COMPOSER: NEIL YOUNG

PERFORMER: NEIL YOUNG

PRODUCER: NEIL YOUNG, DAVID BRIGGS, ELLIOT MAZER

ALBUM: HOMEGROWN (1975 - unreleased)

LABEL: REPRISE


HOMEGROWN Duration: 00:06:41

Plant your feet in the soil, and take a deep whiff of that farm air. There's the scent of of the soil itself; the delicate sweetness of peach blossoms; the earthy stink of goat droppings; and the smell of exhaust. Now listen: there's the wind passing through the corn, and some jerk who won't stop pounding on his horn and screaming obscenities.

You're on the farm of Jules Dervaes -- a single father who has created an "urban homestead", right beside a California freeway. We reached Mr. Dervaes at his home in Pasadena.


BLUES DU SAOULARD Duration: 00:00:28
Album: BEST OF LOUISIANA MUSIC
Label: ROUNDER, CDAN 08
Persons/Roles:
L CORMIER - COMPOSER
MAMOU PLAYBOYS - FOLK GROUP
STEVE RILEY - VOCALS
AL THARP - PRODUCER

E-MAIL: ENGLISH-FRENCH Duration: 00:01:56

There's a saying in French. You probably learned it in Grade Four. Chacun à son goût. Roughly translated, if paying attention in class wasn't to your gout, that means "to each his own."

Well, it's an attitude the French normally embrace. Unless they're from the country's language-oversight authority, and they encounter people whose taste in vocabulary involves English words.

A few nights ago, Xavier North told us about his efforts to get his countrymen to use French words for things like "the Internet" and "keynote speaker."

That prompted this riposte from Mark Lydon in Victoria, B.C.

"I feel it a propos to declare: Au contraire, Monsieur Xavier North, head of the French government's General Delegation For the French Language, in your attempts to ban, restrict or discourage the use of English words in the French language!

'The raison d'être of any language is to communicate meaning and nuance by the path of least resistance vis-à-vis the most facile and commonly understood word, regardless of its language of origin! In this historical moment it happens to be English, a currently chic language that undeniably has a certain panache, and is itself a constantly changing mélange of dialects and regional variations.

"A more realistic rapprochement, Monsieur North, is to admit your faux pas and concede that the avant-garde milieu of English, as a global language, is a fait accompli.

"When it comes to expressing the joie de vivre of everyday life, a laissez faire attitude seems preferable to social engineering, which is so... so... what's the word? Passé."

That note comes from Mark Lydon in Victoria, B.C.

If you're feeling like a bit of an enfant terrible, why not have a tête-à-tête with Talkback? 1-866-481-5718 or aih@cbc.ca. Et voilà.


LA VALSE A MARGAUX Duration: 00:00:20
Album: RICHARD GALLIANO & I SOLISTI TOSCANI: PASSATORI
Label: DREYFUS, FDM 366012
Persons/Roles:
RICHARD GALLIANO - COMPOSER
RICHARD GALLIANO - ACCORDION
FLORENCE I SOLISTI TOSCANI - ORCHESTRA

DATELINE: HEDGEHOG BIRTH Duration: 00:01:53

Dateline: Edinburgh.The newspaper Scotland on Sunday has described the Prestonfield House Hotel as "a stunning mix of opulence, grandeur and comfort." According to The Independent newspaper, it's "the most glamourous hotel in town". And Time Out magazine enthused that Prestonfield House, "exudes opulent individual style that is unrivaled anywhere else in the city."

Well, one day a few weeks ago, certain not-so-opulent individuals were themselves exuded within that five-star establishment.

An expectant mother wandered in and brought an end to her expectancy in the front lobby of Prestonfield House. She wasn't a guest, there to enjoy the hotel's croquet lawn.

Nor did she plan to enjoy "hand-dived scallops with jamòn Iberico de Bellota, accompanied by quince and macadamia nuts" at the Rhubarb Restaurant. She just wanted to give birth to her triplets, and then go to sleep on the floor behind a curtain near the fireplace.

The fact that this surprise visitor was a hedgehog did not faze well-trained hotel staff. According to the Prestonfield House website, concierges have been enlisted to rustle up horses for people who decided they simply had to go riding at once, and to accommodate a guest's sudden desire to propose in a hot-air balloon. So they discreetly arranged for the Scottish SPCA to come and escort the hedgehog and her hoglets to a safer location.

Yesterday, the hedgehog family was released back into the wild. Which is probably for the best -- even if, for the rest of her life, that prickly mother will lie down in a sun-dappled meadow, or rest at the base of a majestic, moss-covered oak, and think, "What. A. Dump."


LOVELY ALLEN Duration: 00:00:57
Album: HOLY FUCK: LP
Label: YOUNG TURKS, YTCD 006
Persons/Roles:
HOLY FUCK - COMPOSER
HOLY FUCK - ENS INSTR

ROSS REBAGLIATI Duration: 00:05:34

In Olympic snowboarding, riders succeed based on their ability to deke around obstacles and negotiate slippery situations. Which sounds an awful lot like politics.

Maybe that's why retired Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebaglaiti, who won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in snowboarding in 1998, has decided to throw his toque into the political arena. He's seeking the Liberal nomination in the riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla, in central British Columbia. And that would put the internationally-known athlete up against International Trade Minister Stockwell Day.

We reached Ross Rebagliati in Kelowna, B.C.


END OF THE WORLD PARTY Duration: 00:00:27
Album: END OF THE WORLD PARTY (JUST IN CASE)/MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD
Label: BLUE NOTE, 7243 4 73666 2 8
Persons/Roles:
JOHN KING - COMPOSER
BILLY MARTIN - COMPOSER
JOHN MEDESKI - COMPOSER
CHRIS WOOD - COMPOSER
JOHN KING - PRODUCER
BILLY MARTIN - PERCUSSION
MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD - JAZZ TRIO
JOHN MEDESKI - KEYBOARDS
CHRIS WOOD - DOUBLE BASS

LONDON 2012 ART Duration: 00:07:16

Judging by the amount being spent on art, the London Olympics will be a very expensive Games.

Yesterday, Arts Council England announced the twelve winning commissions for the project Artists Taking the Lead. The projects -- worth more than nine-million dollars Canadian in total -- were selected from two-thousand entries, and they are meant to represent nine English regions and the nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

But, as is so often the case with art, especially in a country where people suspend half-cows in formaldehyde, some of the proposed concepts are likely to stir up controversy.

The project chosen to represent Scotland, which will cost about 850,000 dollars, belongs to Scottish artist Craig Coulthard. His idea is to create a football pitch in the middle of the Scottish forest. Once completed, this football pitch would host only two games, before it's left to be taken over by nature again.

Neil Gillespie is the design director of Reiach and Hall Architects, and he was the member of the panel for the Scottish region. We reached him in Edinburgh.


LITTER AND THE LEAVES Duration: 00:04:40
Album: GUTTER ANTHEMS/ENTER THE HAGGIS
Label: UNITED FOR OPPORTUNITY, UFO 1017
Persons/Roles:
BRIAN BUCHANAN - COMPOSER
TIM ABRAHAM - PRODUCER
ENTER THE HAGGIS - POP GROUP

TOTEM POLE THEFT Duration: 00:07:04

Last year, during the Toronto Film Festival, Dewey Smith put a totem pole on the charity auction block. It fetched twenty-thousand dollars -- which went to breakfast programs for First Nations children in the North.

This fall, Mr. Smith was working on a similar project. But he's run into a significant hiccup. The two-point-three metre, one-hundred-and-sixty kilogram totem pole-in-progress was stolen.

Dewey Smith is a carver at the Aboriginal Experiences complex on Victoria Island, between Ottawa and Gatineau. He is also a policy advisor for The Assembly of First Nations. We reached him at his home, in Ottawa.


LONDON 2012 ART Duration: 00:07:16

Judging by the amount being spent on art, the London Olympics will be a very expensive Games.

Yesterday, Arts Council England announced the twelve winning commissions for the project Artists Taking the Lead. The projects -- worth more than nine-million dollars Canadian in total -- were selected from two-thousand entries, and they are meant to represent nine English regions and the nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

But, as is so often the case with art, especially in a country where people suspend half-cows in formaldehyde, some of the proposed concepts are likely to stir up controversy.

The project chosen to represent Scotland, which will cost about 850,000 dollars, belongs to Scottish artist Craig Coulthard. His idea is to create a football pitch in the middle of the Scottish forest. Once completed, this football pitch would host only two games, before it's left to be taken over by nature again.

Neil Gillespie is the design director of Reiach and Hall Architects, and he was the member of the panel for the Scottish region. We reached him in Edinburgh.


UNBOUND Duration: 00:00:23
Album: ROBBIE ROBERTSON: CONTACT FROM THE UNDERWORLD...
Label: EMI, 7243 8 54243 2 8
Persons/Roles:
TIM GORDINE - DESIGNER
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - DESIGNER
CAROLINE MACKENDRICK - SINGING
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - GUITAR
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - SINGING

ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR Duration: 00:06:20

Leaders of Southeast Asian countries have gathered today in Thailand, and unveiled the region's human-rights commission.

It's a first for the regional bloc known as ASEAN. Its member countries -- which include Burma, Vietnam, and Malaysia, among others -- have human-rights records that range blemished, at best, to downright horrific.

Vitit Muntarbhorn is a law professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He's part of the group of governments and non-profit organizations that has been working to establish this human rights body. Today, we reached him in New York.

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