June 2014 Archives

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Iconic Prince Rupert, B.C. business shuts down

We head back to 1983 to a time when music was still a package you bought in a store. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk introduces a piece produced by associate producer George Baker. 

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Prince Rupert, B.C. man concerned about Cow Parsnip

A northern plant in northwest B.C. is giving the itch to some locals. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk speaks to Rob Ridde for more. You'll also hear Judy Thompson who teaches ethnobotany at North West Community College. 

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Underwater archaeologist talks about Gwaii Haanas trip

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Searching for shipwrecks in Gwaii Haanas (Photo: T. Boyer/Parks Canada)

It's no Atlantis. But an underwater archaeologist has just returned from Gwaii Haanas with some interesting finds. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk speaks with Jonathan Moore for more. 

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Scam artists use Terrace, B.C. millionaire's name

Bob Erb's heart of gold goes international with the help of some scam artists. Daybreak's Carolina de Ryk introduces a piece by Associate Producer George Baker for more. 

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Farmer hopes to dig out produce in Prince George

Hope Farm in Prince George, B.C. (Facebook)

A Prince George farmer hopes to help people switch from big box groceries to a little box of produce. Daybreak's Wil Fundal speaks to Andrew Adams from Hope Farm. 

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The Daybreak All-Stars vs the Prince George Youth Soccer Association

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Players from the PGYSA kicked off against the Daybreak All-Stars, featuring players from CBC, UNBC, the Prince George Public Library, and the Two Rivers Gallery.
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To celebrate the kick-off of the 2014 World Cup, we broadcast a live game of footy from the Prince George Youth Soccer Association Rotary fields.

It was a friendly game between a team selected by the Prince George Youth Soccer Association, and the Daybreak All-Stars (featuring members of UNBC, the Two Rivers Gallery, the Prince George Public Library and CBC Prince George). 

We also found stories from the community, including interviews with:

  • Gaetano Maura, originally from Italy and one of the founders of youth soccer in Prince George. He's attended five World Cups and one Euro Cup and describes his love of the tournaments as a disease. 
  • Steve Hood, PGYSA technical director and originally from Cardiff City, England. 
  • Zoe Nunes, Portugal fan and PGYSA coordinator. She also has a background bringing sports programs to remote and rural communities across northern B.C.
  • Mato Mikic, former semi-pro player from Croatia, longtime volunteer and player in Prince George
Thanks to everyone who came out to play and watch!

Referee Gaetano Maura and a hat that's been around the world.

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An action shot, courtesy volunteer coach Richard Watt.

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The CBC flags flying proud at the PGYSA fields in Prince George.


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Thousands of bees swarm downtown Prince George

RCMP were asking the public to stay away from George Street in downtown Prince George yesterday because "thousands of bees" were swarming outside of the Ramada Hotel Inn.

"There were so many you could barely see through them," says Kevin Eastman, front desk manager at the Ramada. "It's just one big swarm. We weren't sure what was going on at the time, to tell you the truth.

"All you could see is just little dots."

Listen to Kevin Eastman describe the swarm, and hear a full interview with beekeper Gerald Bomford:

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Bees came from city hall

On Twitter, the city of Prince George confirmed the bees came from hives that had been placed on the roof of city hall as part of an environmental initiative and to respond to the worldwide decline in bees.

RCMP called beekeeper Gerald Bomford to help assess the situation. He says by the time he arrived on the scene, there wasn't much he could do.

"By the time I got there the swarm had pretty much, for all intents and purposes, been destroyed," he says. "I'm pretty sure what happened is a vehicle or several vehicles drove right through it and over top of it. And of course when they did that, they killed a lot of the bees."

Bomford says the remaining bees had lost their queen, and so "milled around aimlessly."

Swarm a result of overcrowding

Bomford says swarms tend to form when existing colonies get too large for their current hives.

"They jam the box that we keep them in to the bursting point. The beekeeping process is that what you have to try and do is try and stay ahead of that process and try to capitalize on it."

In this case, he speculates the bees went in search of space for a new colony and settled in a tree downtown before being disturbed and spilling out onto the street.

Bomford says although swarms can be the size of a beachball and move quite fast, they aren't dangerous.

"When they're involved in this process they only have one focus," he says. "You could put your hand right into that mass, and if you could secure the queen inside that mass, you could carry it."

Hives to be removed

Bomford says some of the bees may return to their hive, while other may form new colonies. 

On Twitter, the city says the hives on top of city hall will be removed.

The aftermath of a swarm of bees that descended on downtown Prince George Tuesday afternoon (Andrew Kurjata/CBC).

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Nav Canada says Prince Rupert air traffic is on a steady decline

Monday on Daybreak we heard concerns about Prince Rupert losing air traffic support after Nav Canada made the decision to scale back services in the area.

However, Nav Canada says the decision came after a careful review of traffic and technologies in Prince Rupert airspace. "The traffic at Prince Rupert... has fallen from just under 26,000 movements in 2007," says Nav Canada spokesperson Ron Singer. "Last year it was just under 15,000. So far the first five months of this year doesn't show any increase, it actually shows a slight decrease from January to May. It's a steady decline."

Listen to the full interview below:
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You can read Nav Canada's press release on the closure of the Flight Service Station at navcanada.ca.

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Can telemedicine solve the healthcare crisis in B.C.'s northeast?

An image from a promotional video for Livecare (livecare.ca).

In the midst of a doctor shortage in the Peace region of B.C., the District of Taylor is ready to accept new patients.

The health care clinic in Taylor has been closed for three months, but on Monday new community clinic opened with the latest in remote medical technologies.

Rather than having doctors relocate to Taylor, telemedicine technology allows them to connect with patients remotely, mostly via video link.

Dr. Mark Godley is the CEO of Livecare Media, the company that's setting up the new clinic. 

Listen to a full interview with him below:

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Island wolves are different from those on the mainland

Wolves on B.C.'s outer islands have a diet that is 90 per cent seafood, including salmon, clams and mussels. (Dawn Villella/Associated Press)

If you are a wolf cub on B.C.'s mainland, your parents will feed you moose, deer and beaver and will teach you to hunt as you get older. If you are a wolf cub on the islands off the B.C. coast, salmon will be on heavy rotation at mealtime, and your parents will teach you to dig clams and catch fish.

Either way, you will likely one day settle down with someone special who was raised the way you were.

That's what a new study by Canadian and Polish researchers shows -- that two groups of wolves that live side-by-side along B.C.'s coast live very different lives and don't interbreed much. Statistical tests show they're far more genetically different than expected for such close neighbours.

"They kind of stick to their own," said Chris Darimont, senior author of the paper published today in BMC Ecology.

Up until recently, scientists didn't think wolves that close to one another would be so genetically different, but Darimont said it makes sense given the wolves' huge differences in behaviour.

"Part of the way they're maintained is probably through learning and culture, absolutely," he added. "These are long-lived and intelligent animals."

When he first started studying the wolves 14 years ago, Darimont, a biologist at the University of Victoria and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, believed there was only one kind of wolf that crossed freely between the islands and the mainland, which were separated by a few hundred metres of water that wolves could easily swim -- and do easily swim when crossing between islands.

At that time, Chester Starr, an elder from the Heiltsuk First Nation near Bella-Bella, was helping him in his research.

Starr started off by asking Darimont a question that the scientist thought was "so strange" at the time.

And that was, "'What wolves are we going to study? The timber wolves' - he kind of looked over to the mainland - 'or the coastal wolves on these islands?'"

Mountains of feces

Over the course of his research, Darimont came to learn how different the wolves of the outer islands were from those of the mainland, mainly by studying samples of their hair and feces.

"We picked up a lot of feces, mountains of feces -- 7,000 [samples] over the decade," he said.

He discovered that wolves on B.C.'s outer islands have a diet that is 90 per cent seafood, including salmon, clams and mussels, and even those in the islands closer to the coast eat as much seafood as meat. Meanwhile, those on the land almost exclusively hunt land animals such as deer, moose and beaver.

Darimont's latest study, led by Astrid Stronen at the Polish Academy of Sciences and Erin Navid at the University of Victoria, show the wolves' genetics mirror that pattern, with little mixing between the outer islands and the mainland, and the wolves on the inner islands somewhere in between.

Although that's interesting, Darimont said that, for him, "the most exciting part of this work is how science and indigenous knowledge, even though they use very different approaches, can often point to the same conclusion."

He added that the people who have lived in the region for millenniums have spent that time observing the wolves and that the new DNA data complements their knowledge.

Darimont thinks the dietary differences among the wolf populations are there because if mainland wolves wanted to eat salmon, they would compete with big, ferocious grizzly bears, which are common on the mainland but rare on coastal islands.

Because the island wolves rely so heavily on seafood such as fish and clams, it means that along with whales and seabirds, they might be vulnerable to a potentially large oil spill, Darimont said.

"We risk losing them and biological diversity within wolves should [a spill] happen."

Environmental groups such as the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the lead funder of the study, worry about the increased risk of such spills if the Northern Gateway pipeline is approved. The western terminus would be Kitimat B.C., turning the surrounding waters into a major oil shipping channel. A government decision on whether to approve the pipeline is expected this week.

Other funding for the study was provided by the National Geographic Society, the Wilburforce Foundation, the Tula Foundation and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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Enbridge, Interviews:

With just ten days left for Northern Gateway decision, blockades training underway

Participants simulate a peaceful blockade (Shaam Semere/CBC).

The federal goverment has just ten days left to decide whether the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project will go ahead.

Even if the answer is 'yes', that won't likely be the end of the debate.

A number of people are preparing to fight the pipeline through protests and blockades.

This weekend in Prince George there were two days worth of workshops gave tips on how to blockade safely and legally.

Listen to more below:
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Nav Canada shutting Prince Rupert air traffic control centre

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A pilot's view of Prince Rupert (Wikimedia).
Pilots navigating Prince Rupert airspace will now have to make sure there isn't anyone in the way when they land. 

Nav Canada is shutting the Prince Rupert flight service station and putting traffic control in to the hands of pilots. 

Some people say this is a bad move, including Ken Cote. 

He's the owner of Ocean Pacific Air Services and a pilot with 43 years experience.

"It's going to be devastating," he says. "In the wintertime when it's slower it won't be that much of an impact, but during the summer months there is a lot of traffic, there is a lot of helicopter traffic that's associated with the LNG projects.. it's just simply a bad move."

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Shipwrecks and lost treasures sought off Haida Gwaii

Parks Canada archeology team departs for month-long underwater search

The Lady Washington is depicted in an artwork at SGang Gwaay, in the waters of Gwaii Haanas, while trading with the Haida for sea otter pelts in 1791. The Ino would have been the same rig and tonnage as this vessel and carried a crew of around 22. (Parks Canada/Courtesy Gordon Miller)

Underwater archaeologists are launching a search for lost ships and forgotten cultural treasures in the waters around the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.

A four-member Parks Canada team is assembling Monday, and it plans to use targeted diving, remote sensing, and an underwater vehicle to explore the sea floor for three weeks.

Jonathan Moore, a senior archaeologist with Parks Canada, said his group is hoping to locate at least two historic shipwrecks dating back to first contact between Europeans and the Haida Nation in the late 18th century.

"So we have two vessels that we know were, well we believe were captured and sunk. One was the Ino, which was, we believe, sunk in 1794, and another called the Resolution, which was also sunk in 1794," he said.

"These are two vessels engaged in the early maritime fur trade. So these are European vessels coming up to trade for sea otter pelts," Moore said.

Historic fish weir

A 2,500-year-old wood and stone fish weir. The underwater archaeologists in Gwaii Haanas this month will be looking for similar structures along with historic shipwrecks. (Parks Canada)

The team is also searching for another ship that was in the area in 1851 during a search for gold.

The waters of Haida Gwaii also witnessed thousands of years of Haida Nation history unfold, and the team will also be searching for submerged harbours, fish weirs and middens. 

They are working with the Gwaii Haanas cultural resource management adviser and are hopeful that shared knowledge will help the team locate and interpret the uses and significance of different sites and finds.

Moore says that although there has been considerable archaeological work done in the Haida Gwaii area on land, this will be the first time a team will search underwater -- and it will be a difficult task.

Weather conditions can often turn stormy, and waters can get rough.

"And so there's a lot of anticipation, there's a lot of hope, there's a lot of hard work, really, to do the best we possibly can, to get the most we possibly can," Moore said.

Google Maps: Haida Gwaii

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With files from the CBC's Marissa Harvey

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Haida Gwaii's Hotsprings Island showing signs of recovery

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Hot Spring Island photo by Anne Lazerevitch on Flickr

If the Haida Gwaii hot springs are on your bucket list, there's some promising news- signs of recovery.

But nearly two years later, there are some signs the steaming pools of water could come back.
Gwaii Haanas superintendent Ernie Gladstone was recently on Hotspring Island.

"There is water flowing at the high tide level and five or six feet higher than high tide level now, which is quite warm, probably around 60 degrees. It's cool enough to touch, but too hot to hold your hand in," he says. 

"Even in some of the locations where water hasn't yet returned, the ground temperature below the surface is warmer than it is on the surface. So that's encouraging as well." 

Despite the encouraging sign Gladstone says there's still not enough water to fill the pools.

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"If there's another war, stay out of it." World War II veteran honoured in Terrace


It is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the military offensive that changed the course of the Second World War.

But even though the storming of Juno Beach was a turning point, it was not the end of the war. In fact, for Sandy Sandhals it was only just beginning.
The Terrace resident landed in Normandy shortly after D-Day, and was next sent to Tilly de Campagne in France.

Then he was captured and had to spend time as a prisoner of war.L

"Let's just say I was hungry for nine months," he says of the experience.

As for what he wants people to remember about World War II, it's the human cost of battle.

"All of the buddies that I trained with are dead. If there's another war, stay out of it. It's a horrible experience."

Sandhals is being honoured in a ceremony in Terrace this afternoon.

Listen to the full interview about his experience below:

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For more coverage of anniversary events and the events of D-Day, visit D-Day Live.

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It's a dirty job: keeping B.C.'s roadside rest stops clean

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A Kitimat resident is upset about the state of restrooms in northern B.C. (Doug Thomson)

Earlier in the week we spoke to Doug Thomson, who has written an open letter to the province about the state of restrooms along B.C. roads.

That prompted many of our listeners to share their own pit stop complaints. So we decided to find out what goes in to keeping an outhouse clean.

Listen to an interview with Ron Marshall of the Ministry of Transportation about taking care of toilets along B.C. highways:

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Facebook, or face-to-face: how should your city talk to you?

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The City of Prince George returned to social media on June 2.

On Monday, the City of Prince George announced it was re-activating its social media presence, setting up profiles on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Susanna Haas Lyons is a public engagement specialist who works with Simon Fraser Univerity and a variety of community groups and businesses. 

"I think it's incredibly important," she says of cities having a presence on social media. "The role of government is to serve the interests of the public." She says online conversations are way for governments to go where "people are already spending time, where they feel comortable" and find out what's important to them.

She also has thoughts on what the conversation between government and citizens should look like, and whether conversations should still happen offline, as well.

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Raising a stink over northern B.C. restrooms

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A Kitimat resident is upset about the state of restrooms in northern B.C. (Doug Thomson)

A Kitimat resident is upset at the state of restrooms along northern B.C. highways. 

Doug Thomson frequently travels from his home in Kitimat to visit family in Vancouver and in Whitehorse. 

He says over the years, the state of roadside restrooms have gradually deteriorated. 

Recently, he snapped photos of garbage and mess at the Seven Sisters rest stop near Terrace in the hopes of attracting the attention of the province.

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Could Dawson Creek be home to the ideal community?

A woman in Dawson Creek is trying to build the ideal community.

Barbara Swail thinks the secret lays in "co-housing", a neighbourhood that is designed in the style of a village that maximizes green space and clustered living, right down to a shared kitchen.

"You wind up with this tight-knit, friendly neighbourhood," she says.

(image: Co-housing projects are designed by the people who will live in them (cohousing.ca))

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Education, Interviews:

Class size affects more than education: professor

Class size is one of the issues in the dispute between B.C.'s government and teachers (CBC).

As the dispute between the B.C. government and teachers continues, Daybreak is taking a look at the issues behind the picket line with a series of experts in the field of education.

Yesterday, we spoke about class composition. Today: class size.

"It's probably the key issue when we start to think about how education policy can actually have an impact on what goes on in schools and the levels of achievement," says E. Wayne Ross, a professor of education at UBC. "Not just educational achievement but life outcome achievement- for students."

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Class composition is about more than education, it's about democracy


As the dispute between the B.C. government and teachers continues, Daybreak is taking a look at the issues behind the picket line with a series of experts in the field of education.

To start, we speak with David Berliner, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, about class composition. 

"The peer group is a very important consideration," he says, and that's why many parents will pull their children out of public and into private schools. 

However, he says the best result for kids is a well-supported public school system.

"What's best for a democracy? Getting along with people of all social classes, of all racial kinds, of all ethnicities, and of all handicaps. They're part of the human condition."

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Cody Legebokoff multiple-murder trial to begin in Prince George

Charges relate to the deaths of 3 women, teen girl near Prince George and Vanderhoof in 2009, 2010

Twenty-three-year-old Cody Legebokoff has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder.Twenty-three-year-old Cody Legebokoff has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder. (RCMP)

The trial of a B.C. man charged with four counts of first-degree murder is scheduled to begin this morning in Prince George.

Cody Alan Legebokoff, 23, was charged in 2010 with the death of 15-year-old Loren Leslie of Fraser Lake.

Courthouse in Prince George, B.C.

The murder trial of Cody Legebokoff starts Monday at the courthouse in Prince George, B.C., and is expected to last six to eight months. (B.C. Government)

A year later, three first-degree murder charges were laid in the deaths of 35-year-old Jill Stuchenko, 35-year-old Cynthia Maas and 23-year-old Natasha Montgomery. The women died in 2009 and 2010.

Jury selection took place over the weekend.

The trial is expected to last six to eight months.

Marissa Harvey is covering the trial for CBC. Listen to an interview with her below:

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