Tuesday January 16, 2018

January 15, 2017 episode transcript

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The AIH Transcript for January 15, 2017

Hosts: Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

STORIES FROM THIS EPISODE

Prologue

CAROL OFF: Hello. I'm Carol Off.

JEFF DOUGLAS: Good evening. I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.

[Music: Theme]

JD: Tonight…

CO: We are dying. A First Nation in Alberta sends out a cry for help after at least nine people kill themselves in less than a month. And as a local mental health worker tells us his phone won't stop ringing.

JD: Haven after hell. Yet another asylum seeker suffers severe frostbite crossing from the U.S. into Manitoba. And the woman who's helping house him explains what he's been through and the challenges yet to come.

CO: Meal tickets. In a San Diego suburb you’re now breaking the law if you break bread with homeless people. Our guest is one of the activists who got a citation for sharing food in a local park.

JD: He drove home his message with a driving home. A former runaway in Montreal says she might not be alive without the help of the late father Emmett Johns and the street missions he set up in a Winnebago.

CO: Some people ought to shed their inhibitions. But residents of one town in Maine ought to have inhibited their shed because the historic building has caused a cross-border spat after a storm blew it into Canada.

JD: And…De-tourist trap. Traffic apps have been saving drivers time by diverting them through this New Jersey town. And so local authorities have taken drastic measures to save their streets from dire straits. As It Happens: The Monday Edition. Radio that gets to the reroute of the problem.

[Music: Theme]

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Part 1: Maskwacis Suicides, Homeless Meals, New Jersey Maps Town

Maskwacis Suicides

Guest: Rick Lightning

JD: In a small tight-knit community one person's death by suicide is distressing — but the Indigenous community of Maskwacis, in Alberta, is reckoning with a number far higher than that. Maskwacis, formerly known as Hobbema, is made up of four First Nations. In the past three weeks there have been at least nine deaths by suicide Rick lightning is a mental health counselor for Maskwacis Indian Health Services and we reached him in Maskwacis.

CO: Mr. lightning, these figures and numbers very, very troubling — nine deaths by suicide in less than a month. How do you deal with that?

RICK LIGHTNING: Well, unfortunately we become so used to it it's becoming a common thread within our community. And that's the fear we have as parents and grandparents. It seems like when our young people are, actually even our adults, when they can get under the influence, a lot of the emotions and the fears and the anger and sometimes it's past deaths from other relations and then that that unresolved grief that stare creeps up.

CO: When you see under the influence, do you want to tell us a bit more what you mean?

RL: Like when they're drinking or drugging it seems like that's when the unresolved issues come out. Doesn’t matter what race you come from, the drunker you get, the more you say things or do things you regret later.

CO: What do you think actually drives them over the edge? I mean, was there any similarity among the people who have killed themselves this past month?

RL: The similarities I believe is unresolved grief and unresolved issues from whether it’s childhood or teenagers — those issues as well as having relatives who’ve passed or that have committed suicide before.

CO: And when you say that the effect is quite often they have lost people in the family to suicide, that must be a lot of people because there has been quite a history of suicide in Maskwacis.

RL: It's something that's been in our community for a long time and it's been something we've been trying to figure out how to battle and try to, try to do interventions and different things but because of the number of people, we have approximately 17, 000 people in the community here. And so we're really limited in our resources. And the resources we do have, it's really we're limited even in what we can do within those programs.

CO: And you are one of the resources, you're a mental health counsellor. How busy are you?

RL: It's not an 8-to-4 job, it's constant weekends and evenings. My phone rings any time of the day or night, so I'm busy. The hardest part we have as workers out here is trying to take them to the hospitals. We try to get them assessed and then we get them to the hospitals and the hospitals are not supporting us. If the client says ‘I'm fine, I want to go home,’ they say ‘OK, bye’ and meanwhile they're not fine. So it defeats the purpose of us trying to bring them in there to get them help.

CO: How much of that though is because people themselves don't trust those institutions? There's a history of people having their children taken away, having been taken away. Do they fear that there are consequences that they'll lose control over the little bit of control they've got. Do you think that's part of it?

RL: I think that's part of it but it's at the same time when you look at it if there's a mental issue as being incompetent and if they’re making bad decisions and they shouldn't be allowed to say ‘yes I can go, I'm fine I can go home,’ If their workers bring them in there from the reserve that needs to be addressed.

CO: It sounds as though you're dealing with mostly is you’re just trying to deal with one issue after another, one case after another, you're not able to get prevention and engaged in that community, is that the case?

RL: It is, because the numbers are constant, it's a constant number that's going on in our communities seven-days-a-week 365-days-a-year. So when you're dealing with that number and whether it's from teenagers to young adults or to middle aged people we’re dancing as fast as we can to keep them alive.

CO: It must take its toll on you and I wonder why, what has drawn you into being a mental health counsellor in Maskwacis?

RL: Well that was a question my wife asked me is ‘How did you get into this?’ actually yesterday and I said I have no idea, the next thing I know I'm doing this full time. And I believe it's just I love my people, I love my family and, you know, it's something that's important and I believe that what keeps me going is my own spirituality my belief in God, in the creator. And I believe that we need — many of our people are stepping up and saying we well we want to help.

CO: Has suicide affected your own family?

RL: Oh, big time. We've lost a lot of young people in our family. My daughter committed suicide three years ago and she was 20 and she was doing a course in aesthetics where she was going to go into theatre art. And we thought everything was fine but she went to the city and we didn't realise she had caught up —this country mouse going to the city mouse. She got caught up with the wrong people, she didn't know any better and she didn't tell us what was going on. Unfortunately, by the time we caught everything up it was too late.

CO: I'm so sorry.

RL: And I think a lot of our young people because of whether their family — because unemployment is so high in our reserves, it feels like there's just no tomorrow. We keep telling them it's going to get better just give it time, but sometimes they just don't listen.

CO: What is the solution? What can you — I mean, it sounds like every single one of these people, every single person you're dealing with is a completely different story, a different crisis. What can you do? How can you help them?

RL: And one of the issues that we see is that we need a youth crisis centre that's 24/7 so our youth have a safe house to go to. Even as adults we do have a women's shelter out here but only a small number of people that use that shelter and only women but are young people don't have access to that and neither are young men. So we don't have a place right now at all for young men that are in crisis.

CO: You have a really big crisis goes on of it do you believe that some do that a state of emergency needs to be called Mass.

RL: I think I know she is the chief of Nevada one of the bands he didn't want to call a state of emergency because the problem is it's a technical issue with the politicians. If he sees a state of emergency what does that mean if your reservist doesn't have the right management for money. And it comes in a third party and runs the reserve from their own way then it's never a good fit. And so I guess that's the question is does that mean meaning their fears will come in and third parties the four nations here say we'll take over your administration will run this place and will make it better. Well it never happens and never it's right.

CO: I think you have a lot of on your plate a lot of decisions to make. I admire your courage. Working through it and I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

RL: Thank you very much

JD: Rick Lightening is a mental health counselor and must Croce's and that is where we reached him.

Homeless Meals

Guest: Shane Parmely

JD: There is a suburb of San Diego where a homeless person a sandwich can get you arrested a few months ago. The city of El Cajon passed an ordinance banning people from handing out food for charity in public parks. The move was a response to a hepatitis C outbreak in the area. But some people felt the restriction was unnecessary and that it unfairly targeted homeless people. So they have been trying their best to get police to book them. Shane Parmely is part of the activist group. Break the ban in El Cajon. We reached her in San Diego.

CO: Ms. Parmely what exactly were you doing yesterday when you got arrested?

SHANE PARMELY: So yesterday it was a nice sunny day we set up four tables. There are homeless residents who do, basically, reside in the park, you know, when the police are not harassing them and then there are families and children playing. And so after we got everything set up, we showed people how to just take a bag and we had non-perishable, prepackaged food items mostly, and we also had some clothes and shoes and some blankets.

CO: I understand there was a 14-year-old among those who were arrested.

SP: Yes. Unfortunately yesterday we only had one child that was there serving them. Usually at these events we have several children there passing out food and helping share food with homeless people. And yes, at first they seemed like they were going to try to avoid arresting my child, so we said great get back on the line and make sure you pass out some more food. So then they finally arrested my child as well.

CO: This was your child that was arrested, the 14 year old?

SP: Yes. Yes.

CO: OK, I understand you weren’t trying to avoid arrest, in fact, you were kind of hoping this would happen. Why is that?

SP: This is part of a long term legal strategy that is used in most civil rights movements. You have to be arrested and you have to fight it in court. And we've been going to the city council meetings and telling them about all the events that we're holding, we've been inviting city council members who passed this ordinance to come join us at these events since they're all self-proclaimed Christians. And we've been telling them you're going to have to arrest us you're going to have to waste taxpayer dollars to lose this, because you're going to lose, this this is completely unconstitutional. Or, at any time if you'd like to sit down and come up with a solution then we can do that instead. But unfortunately the city council has just dug their heels in and this is kind of an ego thing for them and they're going to really say that they can tell people in the United States who they're allowed to share food with.

CO: The background to this, I mean, what they're saying in the city of El Cajon, which is where you're describing, they say this is in response to a hepatitis A outbreak, which we reported on this show when first broke out, one of the deadliest in the United States in decades. 20 people have died in the last year, largely affecting people who live on the streets. Does it not make sense for the city to ban, in place for public safety, any activities where you're handing out food, where you might be spreading it?

SP: If there was such a concern that Hepatitis A was actually being spread at these events then no one else would be allowed to be playing in the parks and eating food at the parks as well. That's the hypocrisy. They're using the excuse of public safety to target one group of people while saying everyone else is magically immune from Hepatitis A within the same space. And the reality is the parks are not all contaminated with hepatitis A. This is the fourth ordinance they've passed, I believe in the last year, where they've just been ramping up, targeting and criminalizing poor and homeless residents in an effort to push them out of their city. There's a huge issue with affordable housing in San Diego. And we have a Republican mayor in El Cajon and a Republican mayor in San Diego city. They've just ignored the increase in homelessness and these are not all drug addicts like some people like to pretend. My sister-in-law is mentally ill and she was homeless in El Cajon for nine months and she's actually missing in Arizona right now. She's been missing for two years. And so it really hurts my heart that people in positions of power and authority are turning the back on homeless veterans. They're turning the back on mentally unstable people who need some help. And then there's a huge chunk of the community of homeless here in San Diego that are working, these are not people without jobs. There are people who cannot afford a place to live in San Diego because of gentrification, because they're being pushed out by Airbnb, and because the developers all paid fines instead of actually having to build the low-income housing that's required.

CO: And that's something that we've seen in other municipalities. I just wanted to clarify something because you mentioned this the banning of food sharing in city public spaces, as you point out, it's not applicable to anything like a family reunion, a birthday party, a baptism, a sporting event, field trips, wedding anniversaries — anything else. It seems specifically about food sharing for charitable reasons, right. But now there is one city council member, Ben Kalasho, who went a bit further in an interview he said that he was also worried about the mess that would be left behind in the park and he said, this is a quote, “You can go out there pick them up take them back to your house and feed them and board them and groom them and have them take a shower if you really want to help.” What do you say to Ben Kalasho?

SP: He has demonstrated that this has nothing to do with hepatitis A. He is absolutely using the cover of hepatitis A to justify what he wanted to do for other reasons. And the sole justification that they're using for this urgency ordinance is as a public health safety issue. Not a single person on the City Council could cite a source at the CDC or the county health saying where they're getting this information that says you should stop sharing food. The CDC and the County Office of Health say, if anything, not having enough food negatively impacts people's immune systems and it makes them more susceptible.

CO: All right we'll leave it there. Ms. Parmely, thank you.

SP: Thank you so much, I appreciate you taking the time to reach out.

CO: Bye-bye.

SP: Bye-bye.

JD: Shane Parmely is part of a homeless advocacy group. We reached her in San Diego. We have more on this story on our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.

[Music: Somber Guitar Strums]

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Guest: Barbara Ehrenreich

JD: He would have been 89 today had he not been assassinated at the age of 39. In the United States it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is especially significant this year because this April will mark the 50th anniversary of his murder on a motel balcony in Memphis. Mr. King dedicated his life to the struggle for civil rights and to this day his words and his actions continue to have a lasting impact on race relations and civil rights in the United States and beyond. Nine years before his death Mr. King made an appearance on the CBC television program Front Page Challenge — it was 1959. You have to listen closely to this clip. Our apologies in advance for the sound quality, but here is Pierre Berton asking the first question.

SOUNDCLIP

PIERRE BURTON: Dr. King, you mentioned the church's role in this. Some of the churches in the south are still segregated aren’t they?

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR: Oh, yes, by and large the churches in the south are segregated.

PB: How can they preach the Christian religion and segregate people? It must seem ironic to you as a minister yourself?

MLK: Yes it is. But this is aperennial problem. This whole problemof the gulf or the gap between profession nand out practice.

PB: Billy Graham changed his mind on this thing didn't he?

MLK: Yes he has taken, in recent years, a very active, very strong stand against segregation. There was a time that he would even preach segregated audiences. But now he refuses to preace to any audience that is segregated, which I think is a marvelous step.

PB: Am I right in suspecting there's a large body of the white south who do not raise their voice, but who have more liberal views than we get in Canada from the newspaper reports.

MLK: Oh yes, I think you're quite right. I'm convinced that there are many more moderates and people of goodwill in the white south than we’re able to see on the surface. But they are afraid to speak out today out of fear of social, political and economic reprisal.

PB: Dr. King, you recently visited India and had talks with Mr. Nehru and tonight you tell us it's useful undesirable that there should be no violence in your cause. Did you get these ideas from Mahatma Gandhi?

PB: Yes, I would say from Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus. My whole Christian background had a great deal to do with my coming to this conclusion that love and non-violence should be the regulating ideals in any struggle for human dignity. And along with this And along with this I read Mahatma Gandhi in my student days and got a great deal from him.

JD: From 1959, that was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on CBC Television's Front Page Challenge speaking with hosts Gordon Sinclair and Pierre Berton

[Music: Piano]

New Jersey Map App Ban

Guest: Judah Zeigler

JD: If you use a navigation aid, an app like Waze or Google Maps, you know they can be a huge help. If the app detects traffic or an accident or a road closure ahead of you it might reroute you down a side street, save you some time — and that's helpful — for you. Well, what about the people who live on those side streets. Well in Leonia, New Jersey residents say navigation apps have clogged their streets so badly they can no longer use them. Starting this month the town is fighting back. Judah Ziegler is the mayor of Leonia. That's where we reached him.

CO: Mayor Ziegler, just how bad is the traffic in Leonia.

MAYOR JUDAH ZEIGLER: So traffic, Carol, has always been an issue in Leonia. We’re 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan and we're at the confluence of several major interstate highways. But the challenge for us has been the way traffic has changed behaviour over the past few years. On an average day, cars going up one of our main roads to the George Washington Bridge are about 4,000 vehicles on a morning rush hour. When there's a problem at the bridge or on one of the highways in New York City the number of vehicles going up that hill increases to 12,000. And what's happened with the adoption of Waze and Google Maps and other navigational apps, is that these vehicles are ending up on our very narrow side streets.

CO: How do you know that? How do you know it's the apps that are doing that?

JZ: Well, I'll give you a personal example. On Mother's Day this year I tried to go from my house to the other end of town, and our town is about one-and-a-quarter square miles, it took me about 20 minutes. And during that trip I noticed that one residential street, which is fairly long, was backed up bumper-to-bumper for its entire length. And so I pulled out my Waze app, which I use when I travel for business, and that is exactly the route to which Waze was sending vehicles. And there was a huge bridge back up yet.

CO: And so you've used it you, you take advantage of it, you can see the benefit of it. So isn't that the same for all those other people who are on that residential street?

JZ: Well, absolutely Waze is a benefit. I'm not suggesting that Waze isn’t a benefit. The problem is that there are unintended downstream consequences of that. And that is a very, very significant amount of traffic being pushed onto very narrow streets. And I'm sure you've used Waze as well, when you're in an unfamiliar place and you're using Waze you're not looking out the windshield of your vehicle you're looking at the Waze app.

CO: So what measures is your town now taking to try to mitigate that and calm the traffic?

JZ: So our goal is to keep these vehicles on the main streets. So with the exception of the three main streets in our municipality, during morning and evening peak drive time seven days a week, all other streets are restricted to residents only. By changing the streets to restricted access roads the algorithms will recognize them as such and will no longer include them in their recommendation engines.

CO: So the app itself will do the work for you?

JZ: That's what we're hoping, that's correct.

CO: Well will you still be using your police to police that? Will they apprehend people, will they give tickets if they find that they are using those side streets?

JZ: So, absolutely our police will be enforcing this law, just like they enforce all the other laws. Honestly we're going to be issuing a lot of warnings at the beginning because we want to give drivers the opportunity to learn about the new laws. Not everybody knows about them, we're obviously putting up signs and things, but again, our goal is not to increase revenue into the municipal coffers. Our goal is to get traffic off these narrow side streets.

CO: How have people in your town responded to this initiative?

JZ: They are very, very positive. Obviously lots of questions about certain things, and it's important to note that we know that this plan, like any plan, is not perfect. We're sure that there are going to be some unintended negative consequences. It takes people 15 minutes to get out of their driveway sometimes.

CO: But what negative consequences are you anticipating are possible?

JZ: Well, so one of the things that that people are concerned about is that there are a lot of people who come to visit residents in town during peak drive periods, whether they're service people, dog walkers babysitters, et cetera. We’re trying to figure out a way to ensure that those folks are allowed to go through unstopped to their destinations while focusing only on the drivers that are using these streets solely for to cut through.

CO: What kind of reaction have you had from people outside Leonia?

JZ: Well, I mean, as you can imagine it hasn't been overwhelmingly positive. There have been some suggestions made, not very many, but mostly, you know, the e-mails that I get and things are people honestly, being less than respectful. I've been called a bunch of names and things like that but I'm the youngest of four kids so my skin is thicker than that.

CO: At the same time, I mean, you know, where you are, as you mentioned, you’re 20 minutes from Manhattan. You're near the George Washington Bridge. Doesn't it come with the territory that if you're going to be in New Jersey, you are going to be where you are, that you can have this traffic?

JZ: Traffic absolutely comes with the territory, and again as I said earlier, the goal here is not to attempt to get rid of traffic quote unquote, in the borough of Leonia. What we're trying to do is keep that traffic where it belongs. First of all, these narrow side streets were never meant for this type of traffic. We needed to appropriate this year $2 million to improve our roads. It's a big problem financially, but again, more importantly, it's a big concern from the perspective of public safety.

CO: You've heard from some of your neighbouring mayors. The mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, he said, this is a quote “If their initiative visits gridlock upon Fort Lee, and in particular creates problems with our emergency service vehicles getting to and from where they need to go, they will hear from us. What do you say to Mr. Sokolich?

JZ: So first of all, Mayor Slowcoach’s emergency services will be heading in the opposite direction from where the traffic is going, because hospitals etc. are in the opposite direction, so the emergency service argument is a little bit odd to me. However, at a larger level, Mayor Sokolich, over the last eight years, has added about 100 stories of residential and commercial development in his community. If he's that concerned about traffic I would suggest that he look within his own municipality for ways to solve it rather than assuming that we're going to cause traffic problems for him.

CO: All right. I think lots of people will be interested in what you're doing in many other municipalities. Mayor Zeigler, it's good to talk to you. Thank you.

JZ: Thank you for the opportunity. Appreciate it.

CO: Bye-bye.

JZ: Bye.

JD: Judah Ziegler is the mayor of Leonia, New Jersey. And that is where we reached him.

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Part 2: Manitoba Refugee House, Maine Shed

Manitoba Refugee House

Guest: Karin Gordon

JD: He walked alone for hours in the darkness and the cold. Last week Kangni Kouevi crossed from the United States into the small Manitoba border town of Emerson. During that journey he sustained serious frostbite on both his hands. Now Mr. Kouevi is safe in Winnipeg, living at the Hospitality House Refugee Ministry. Karin Gordon is the executive director of resettlement there. She has helped other severely frostbitten asylum seekers. We reached her in Winnipeg.

CO: Ms. Gordon, when you picked up Kangni Kouevi from the hospital last week what state was he in?

KARIN GORDON: Well he was in rough shape. He was in shock. I don't think he'd slept since probably Wednesday night. So he was exhausted and he was in a lot of pain. His hands were covered in dressings that the hospital staff had put on but he was already starting to drip a lot of serum through the dressings onto the floor. And he was confused but we got him into our house and kept him comfortable for the night and subsequent night and he's much better now.

CO: Because you said elsewhere he wasn't thinking straight at the time, is he more coherent, is he clear in his head what's happened?

KG: Yes much more coherent and he has had a number of interviews with Francophone people.

CO: And he comes from Togo, which is a French speaking country.

KG: A tiny sliver of a country that has about 6 million people, it's on the west coast of Africa near Benin and Ghana.

CO: What do you know of his trek across the border into Manitoba? I mean, there's a long journey from Togo, but what do you know about that time he spent crossing the border that led to the problems you're now dealing with?

KG: Well, he was dropped off by — and he’s been driven from Minneapolis to close to the border by a taxi driver who just dropped him off, charged and $700 and said to go to the light. And it was -27 degrees with a very strong wind and effective wind chill of about -40 Celsius that night.

CO: And when you say walked toward the light you mean like the lights of something in the distance.

KG: The lights are from a small community of Emerson, but he was probably a mile at least away. And so he was walking and he was walking for at least four hours and he found shelter. He became fairly disoriented, his hands were very cold. He found shelter in a shed but was still very much exposed. And after about another number of hours he phoned 911. He had difficulty, his hands were already stiff. We had to take his gloves off to operate his phone, cell phone. So he was able to dial 911 and called the RCMP but they couldn't find him initially. I understand it was several hours before they found him. So I actually left him at seven o'clock in the evening he was found around 7:00 or 8:00 o'clock the next morning.

CO: Good heavens.

KG: So he was out about 12 hours in that kind of temperature.

CO: The dressings you are describing covering his hands, what is the damage to his hands?

KG: Severe blistering on the backside of both hands and, initially when I looked at it — I changed the dressings the first time at home — and I was very concerned about his left hand because he didn't have any sensation in his left fingers, especially the fingertips, they were cold to the touch and grey looking. So I was very worried about the viability of his fingers. I took him to the hospital on Sunday to have his dressings formally changed and the waiting room was absolutely full of patients with flu and they said it's a 12 hour wait right now because we've had so many flu patients coming in and so you're going to have to wait a long time and it's not healthy for either one of you. So here are some dressings take them home and do it yourself.

CO: that's how you came to be doing the dressings?

KG: That's right.

CO: And we have had this story, and I know you dealt with two other men who crossed over on Christmas Eve 2016. They had horrific frostbite, again, abandoned by some taxi and then they walked in till they were half frozen and they lost most of their fingers and thumbs, those men. What about what about Mr. Kouevi, will his fingers survive? Will he have you use of his hands?

KG: I think his right hand should be OK. Left hand, it's too soon to tell. A Home care nurse, a home care specialist was at the house last night, they said, you know, if they have do anything they might have to take the tips of some of his fingers off but it's too soon to tell.

CO: Have you been able to learn from him why he was leaving his home country of Togo?

KG: Yes, it has to do with religion. His father was a very prominent shaman or witch doctor and Kangni converted to Christianity, to evangelical Christianity. At which point his father threatened to kill him as well as other members of his community.

CO: He left Togo, he was in Brazil at one point, ended up in the United States. What was to happen to him in the US? What led him to come to Canada?

KG: As soon as he crossed the border into the U.S. he was picked up immediately by border patrols and they took him to a detention centre where he was about 11 months. And he didn't have access to a lawyer and they refused his case for asylum. They released him several months ago and told him to keep in touch because they would track him down and deport him back to Togo.

CO: And what would have happened to him had he been deported back to Togo?

KG: Probably would have been killed.

CO: That's what he told them.

KG: That's right.

CO: And then he decided to come to Canada instead of waiting for that deportation. Is that right?

KG: That's correct. There were other refugees from Togo there at the same time at the detention centre in Arizona. And so I think that, you know, where they decided sort of to come but they didn't travel together. So he came on his own.

CO: What is his status here in Canada? Will he be able to — is there a chance that he will be able to have a successful asylum application?

KG: Well he's an asylum seeker. We still have to go through a process of filling in more forms and I'll be taking him to people to help him with that. So his application will then, his entire application, will go to the Immigrant Refugee Board and they will schedule a hearing for him. Probably the best part of six months from now but most of those things is delayed — they’re very backlogged.

CO: All right we'll keep in touch, Ms. Gordon, to see how things progress, but I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

KG: Oh, thank you.

JD: Karin Gordon is the executive director of resettlement at the Hospitality House Refugee Ministry in Winnipeg. And that is where we reached her.

[Music: Lo-fi Hip Hop]

Hijab Attack Update

JD: Last Friday we told you about a shocking story. An 11-year-old girl in Toronto reported that a man tried to cut off her hijab with a pair of kitchen scissors on her walk to school — he had tried twice. She and her mom held a press conference at the school. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a sympathetic statement. Toronto police were calling it a hate crime. Today, Toronto police had a pretty significant update. The alleged hate crime never happened. Police said that they had determined that quote “The events described in the original news release did not happen” unquote. Here is what Toronto Police Spokesperson Mark Pugash had to say today.

SOUNDCLIP

MARK PUGASH: Investigators worked extremely hard since the allegations on Friday. They gathered evidence from a variety of sources. They sat down and looked at all the evidence they had and they reached the conclusion that what was said to have happened simply didn't happen. And we felt that it was important that we release that as soon as possible, given the fact this received, understandably, huge attention — media, social media, locally, nationally and internationally — people were quite rightly concerned. And so we felt it was important to get that information out that it didn't happen as soon as we could. It was the culmination of a process of gathering a lot of evidence and testing that evidence. This isn't something, a step we take lightly. I should also point out this is something that happens quite rarely in the city, but when we reached that conclusion we felt it was important that we tell people and we did so as quickly as we could.

JD: That was Toronto Police Spokesperson Mark Pugwash speaking earlier today.

[Music: Ambient Tones]

Maine Shed

Guest: Rachel Rubeor

JD: The town of Lubec, Maine is pretty attached to it — although apparently McCurdy’s Smokehouse wasn't as attached to the town as one might have thought. At the beginning of January a storm swept the historic shed, shed yes it can be historic, from Lubec to neighbouring Campobello Island in New Brunswick. It has been stuck there ever since. And that's created some tension between the two communities. Lubec Landmarks looks after the century-old shed, and it has been trying to get it back. Rachel Rubeor is the president of the nonprofit group. We reached her in Lubec.

CO: Rachel How did this building end in New Brunswick?

RACHEL RUBEOR: It went on a couple of journeys. When it first let loose it came up it beached itself on shore. We thought it was going to stay there, but then a couple of days later with a high tide there is an eddy right down near the shore and the eddy turned to the brining shed totally around, moved it next to the New England Aquarium property. And it wedged itself in their pilings and we looked at that for a couple of days. Everybody decided that perhaps it was not going to move from there. Several people who are local said ‘no that's not going to go anywhere.’ So I went home and I was thinking ‘OK I'm good. We've got a contractor. He's going to move it. Everything will be fine.’ And my phone rang and my friend Pat said Rachel the brining shed is sailing past my house.

CO: She could see it floating away?

RR: Yes, it was floating away and it had already gone under the bridge, rather seamlessly. It didn't hit anything. It was marvelous. And then this was, of course, on a particularly evilly cold day, and many of us went down to tip of land and watched it out in the water. It was a ghostly like a ghostly apparition and then it gradually sailed over to Campobello and that's where it stands.

CO: So it floated away to this foreign country.

RR: Exactly. Without benefit of passports.

CO: Can you describe — you’re calling it a shed, it’s is much bigger than a shed. Describe what the building looks like?

RR: Well, I can tell you that it's 76 — it was — 76 feet long by about 38 feet wide.

CO: So what was the building used for in a day?

RR: It was the first building in the process of smoking fish. So as such, when the fishing boats came up packed and loaded with herring they would pour the fish into a sluice, it would go into the brining shed and immediately be brined or pickled. It would be there for about 48 hours, I believe, and then from there it would be strung up on long, long poles and moved over to the smokehouse, where it would stay there for several days and be turned, adjusted until it was ready to be taken to the skinning shed and it was at that point it would be skinned, the heads cut off and it would go into, I think they're called bloater boxes, and nailed, shut and shipped off to various places in the United States or Canada.

CO: And when was the last time this shed was used for that?

RR: It closed in 1991.

CO: You've been trying to preserve it ever since?

RR: Yes. It became part of the National Register of Historic Places in July of 1993.

CO: How are the people of Campobello Island responding to this structure being there, what are they doing about it?

RR: Well, I have been vilified on social media by almost everybody from Campobello. Unfortunately, after it settled on Campobello it was reported to me by Lubec Landmarks staff that there were there were a few people over there with chainsaws and sledgehammers, and that they were asked to move, which probably was not very diplomatic on our part since it's in their country. However, our concern was safety more than anything else. So ever since then they have been somewhat angry with us. We've tried what we can to soothe the waters, but I'm not sure that we've done a very good job.

CO: We have a diplomatic upset do we, with this? Had they taken chainsaws to the building?

RR: Oh there was somebody in there with a chainsaw just a minor amount of damage inside. And, you know, we will try to continue to save it as much as we can.

CO: And to patch relations between our two countries.

RR: Yes, hopefully.

CO: There are there are larger forces than you that are working on that one both ways to destroy it and to build it. So you're — I think you're I think it's safe that the people of Campobello probably want relations to be restored as well. So when — will you get any part of the shed back?

RR: Oh absolutely. There are two contractors, one here and one in Campobello, and they will disassemble it, put it on trucks and bring it over here and work on it in in a pit and then salvage what they can, saw things up and then whatever's left over they'll take it to a place here called Juniper Ridge for unloading.

CO: And you don't think there were any problems with it crossing back into Canada having gone there illegally?

RR: Oh no, no. We have, in fact, been very diligent in getting permits from both countries.

CO: All right. So traveling by road, much better than traveling by water, I would say for a building, if it has to travel at all.

RR: Yes. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well the building did initially travel by water but it's in no condition to do that.

CO: Rachel I hope you get your landmark back and it's good to talk to you. Thank you.

RR: Yes good to talk to you. And I hope we do too. Thank you.

CO: Bye-bye.

RR: Bye-bye.

JD: Rachel Rubeor is the president of Lubec Landmarks, the nonprofit that oversees McCurdy’s Smokehouse, which is now in New Brunswick. We reached Ms. Ruboer in Lubec, Maine.

Dolores O'Riordan Obit

SOUNDCLIP

The Cranberries - Linger

JD: Even as a teenager Dolores O'Riordan knew she could sing. She once told Rolling Stone that when she showed up for her first rehearsal with a Limerick, Ireland band quote “It was easy for me because I knew no matter what their first impressions were, that the minute I opened my mouth they were going to be impressed” unquote — and they were. And they were even more impressed when just a week after giving her some music she came back with a song about romantic rejection. The very first song The Cranberries ever wrote together called Linger. Dolores O'Riordan died today. She was 46 years old. A statement from the band says no further details are available at this time. Linger helped make their first album, Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We, a big hit, an international hit. Their follow up album, No Need To Argue, was even bigger. And while subsequent records were, perhaps, less successful, The Cranberries were always a very popular live band, largely because of their distinctive and talented singer. Fame did not make her life easier. She once said quote “Fame is weird. You're just trying to be normal but then you find yourself in the darkness.” Some of that darkness proceeded her life with the band. In 2013 she publicly revealed she had been sexually abused as a child. And in 2014 more darkness — when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after an air-rage incident in which she injured a flight attendant and then headbutted a police officer. But there was a lot of light too. In 2014 Dolores O'Riordan formed a band named Dark with former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke. And in 2016 before they went on tour and before a planned Cranberries tour, the two interviewed each other for the Talkhouse podcast. Here's an excerpt.

SOUNDCLIP

ANDY ROURKE: Are you looking forwards to doing the Cranberries stuff?

DOLORES O’RIORDAN: Yeah, that would be fun. I have to get kind of fit for it. But by The Cranberries is easier because you got the crowd participation, they always singing a lot and that makes it a lot easier. With this it's like nobody has the music so it’ll all be down to the performance. But I'm just glad that I'm not at centre stage so I can just be like a backing singer. It's kind of like a pipe dream not to be the lead singer, because lead singer it’s a lot pressure, you know, when you're like centre stage and the focus and all. But it's nice to be on the sidelines a little bit now, you know, kind of hiding in the shadows. But it’s like chalk and cheese compared to the cranberries.

AR: And you’re doing all the festivals and stuff?

DO: Yeah, it's all festivals and there's one thing in Poland then it's a big one so it should be a laugh, it’ll be big stages. But it'll be weird going from like 300 seaters to the 20,000 seater in Poland. It would be like oh God I just want to have our asses in seats anyway. You know, mushrooms in chairs is what we want.

AR: If there are any chairs at these venues.

DO: Oh yeah.

AR: Probably not.

DO: It’s kind of handy that there’s no chairs actually cause people stand up. It's rough when they sit down. I remember doing and gigs in Las Vegas and it was really hard. Everybody just sat down and they were there, I think it was free, like, you know, if you won the gambling game you got a free ticket to the gig. So nobody was interested in us, you know? It was really hard to but that's life. You know, when you choose to be in a band you get your good days and bad your bad days, like.

SOUNDCLIP

The Cranberries - Ode To My Family

JD: Dolores O'Riordan died today in London. No cause of death has been reported. She was 46 years old. This is As It Happens.

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Part 3: Father Emmett Johns Obit, Charles M. Schulz Franklin Character

Chelsea Manning Campaign Ad

JD: Anyone who thought that Chelsea Manning would retreat quietly from view has not seen her new campaign ad. Ms. Manning is, of course, the former U.S. Army private who received a 35-year sentence for leaking 700,000 secret files to WikiLeaks. Barack Obama commuted that sentence. And now, less than a year after being freed, Ms. Manning has filed to run for the United States Senate. She also released a campaign ad. It features images of protests the current U.S. president and a black clad Chelsea Manning saying this.

SOUNDCLIP

CHELSEA MANNING: I'm Chelsea Manning and I approve this message. We live in trying times. Times of fear, of suppression, of hate. We don't need more, or better leaders. We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won't support us. They won't compromise. We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. We need to actually take the reins of power from them. We need to challenge them at every level. We need to fix this. We don't need them anymore. We can do better. You’re damn right we got this.

JD: That was Chelsea Manning from her new campaign ad. She is running to be a United States senator for the state of Maryland.

[Music: Ambient Bass]

Father Emmett ‘Pops’ Johns Obit

Guest: Talasia Tarkirk

JD: His title was Father Emmett Joseph Johns, but on the streets of Montreal the kids just called him Pops. Father John's died Saturday. He was 89 years old. The longshoreman's son had been a pilot and a biker and a parish priest. But he is best remembered for the Street Mission he founded in 1988. With a small loan and the money from selling his plane Father John's bought an old Winnebago and turned it into Le Bon Dieu dans la rue, a place to welcome young people who may not have felt welcome anywhere else. Talasia Tarkirk first met Pops over 20 years ago when she was 15. She went on to work with him as a volunteer. We reached Ms. Tarkirk in Montreal.

CO: Talasia, first of all, I'm sorry for your loss.

TALASIA TARKIRK: Thank you very much.

CO: Can you tell us about Father John's?

TT: Well, he was the most wonderful person you could ever dream to meet. He was very welcoming. He was very warm and easy to talk to. He never made you feel awkward or as if you don't belong there or even if you didn't belong there. He still welcomed you. I met him for the first time when I ran away when I was 15 and he helped me find a place to stay.

CO: What did he do? Tell us how he found you place? What was that meeting like and what did he do for you?

TT: Well, Pops took out a loan and started a van that would drive around to different stops around Montreal feeding homeless youth, and he would have hot dogs and at the beginning when he first started out he had cheese dogs, which is basically just a stick of cheese and a hot dog bun. And then you could have coffee or juice or hot chocolate or we'd always have like toothbrushes and toothpaste and, you know, sanitary products to give to the kids that needed them. And it got cold we used to stock up with sweaters and socks and toques and mittens. And occasionally we'd get lucky and we get a donation of sleeping bags and so we can give some of those out sometimes too, that was always fun.

CO: Now you've shifted from how Pops, as his nickname was, what he did for you when you met. You’re describing how you worked with him as a volunteer, is that right?

TT: Yeah, I was a volunteer for seven-and-half years. For the first three-and-a-half years I was couch surfing, moving from one month-lease apartments, to another month-lease apartments. Occasionally I'd be on the street for X number of days, weeks or whichever. But the whole time I would always show up for my shift on the van.

CO: And how did Father Johns, how did Pops help you? What kind of a welcome did he give to you?

TT: To me, well, he just made me feel very welcome. He made me feel very much at ease, he made me feel safe. He made me feel like I had a family.

CO: Did that change things for you?

TT: Quite a bit. I would say that what he did for me probably saved my life. Partly because I was so close to him I was — I probably have a slightly different relationship than the other street kids, but I know for a fact that he treated all the kids that came to his van with respect by making sure that they had a place to go, and if they didn't have a place to go he always would see if there's anything he could do to try and find them a place.

CO: He had his own struggles, didn’t he? And as a priest he didn't have a parish after he was hospitalized for a breakdown, and that's when he realized that he had to work, he had to do something meaningful and that's apparently when he went into the streets with — he had a little airplane that he flew. And he loved flying, but he sold that, he borrowed the money as you point out, and bought his Winnebago and that's when he took to the streets to look for kids, young people to help them.

TT: Yes.

CO: Did he talk about — share what his struggles were?

TT: Not so much. But he would mention these things in passing, you know, kind of — or somebody else would say ‘Hey did you know Pops used to fly a plane?’ And, you know, everybody would be like ‘oh wow really?’ And, you know, just increased his interest that he stirred up in people. But he didn't want to burden other people with the struggles that he's gone through unless he thought maybe it might help you find your way.

CO: What do you think gave him his strength and his inspiration? Where do you think he drew that from.

TT: I wish I knew, because I wish I could find that strength too. I think he was just an extremely compassionate person. My mother lives in Nanaimo and he was going to Vancouver. And my mother and I were kind of butting heads at the time and I kind of needed somebody to referee between us. And I asked him if while he was over there if he could maybe give my mother a phone call or something. And he went one step further and he went over to Vancouver Island and he got one of the nuns to drive him all the way up to my mom's house. So, I mean, you know, you ask him to do a little thing and he would do it ten times bigger for you.

CO: There are tributes coming in for Pops from all over the place. Church elders and the mayor of Montreal.

TT: The staff at the day centre are going crazy today.

[LAUGHTER]

CO: For good reason. How are you going to remember Pops?

TT: As the most wonderful person that ever existed. He didn't just care about the kids, he cared about the kids’ animals. Whether the kids have dogs or rats, some of them have cats he remembered the dogs names. He bailed couple of dogs out of the SPCA. So he was always thinking about how much he could help people and he wanted to help everybody and he knew he couldn't. But he did as much as a person could, which is more than most people do in lifetime and he would do that in one night.

CO: What a remarkable man.

TT: Absolutely.

CO: Talasia, thank you so much for sharing your memories of Pops with us.

TT: Thanks for being interested. Thank you.

CO: Take care. Thank you.

TT: You too. Thank you.

JD: That was Talasia Talkirk in Montreal. In 1997 Father Emmett Johns was a guest on CBC Radio's Morning Side with host Peter Gzowski and Peter wanted to know if father Emmett Johns had ever proselytized to the kids he helped.

SOUNDCLIP

FATHER EMMETT JOHNS: Well, yes and no. I proselytized in the sense that I try to be as a caring figure that might make these kids think that there is that caring figure for them in a world that doesn't seem to care. As far as we might call denominational proselytizing, not at all. The name of the project isn't even on the van because I don't want to scare the kids away. But my mother used to say actions speak louder than words and the actions of volunteers and myself of caring for these young people is our message really.

PETER GZOWSKI: What took you to working with these people?

EJ: Well, personal I had a serious nervous breakdown that required six months of treatment, intensive treatment. And during that time I realized that I would prefer working with people than administering a parish. So with the help of priest friends of my doctor, I discovered this ministry in Toronto. So I checked it out and it seemed to be very simple. All you needed was a van and a few friends and out you went.

PG: And a vocation.

EJ: That seems to be the key to the whole thing.

PG: Now you're going to open a community centre in Montreal in the fall?

EJ: That's right. That's our real joy because a community centre, besides having showers and a cafeteria and a nurse on duty, it will also classrooms. It will be very alternative. It will be as alternative as we can be, in the sense that we're not even require the kids to present names. Names are old school records, things which are as oftentimes an anchor around their neck. We'll take the kids as they are, as we always do. We'll ask them where they want to go and what we can do for them and take it from there.

FATHER Emmett Johns, Pops. Founder of Montreal's Le Bon Dieu dans la rue Street Mission. Father John's died Saturday. He was 89 years old. I'm.

[Music: Somber Ballad]

Ida Helpern

JD: In the late 1930s Ida Halpern fled Austria to escape the Holocaust. She ended up in British Columbia, and in her new home she became interested in Indigenous music. So interested that she would spend years making a significant and rare collection of Indigenous songs. At first some people did not want Ms. Halpern making recordings of the sacred music. But eventually some Indigenous communities allowed her to do so. Now her collection is in the hands of the Royal B.C. Museum. Officials there are hoping the recordings will be recognized by the United Nations with a UNESCO designation. As an archivist with the museum told the CBC quote “They are so important for language revitalization and culture revitalization, and we really feel that should be recognized.” unquote. Here's a piece from that collection. This is a Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation leader and artist chief Mongu Martin with The Mink Song.

SOUNDCLIP

CHIEF MUNGO MARTIN SINGING

JD: That was Chief Mungo Martin. That recording was made by ethnomusicologist Ida Halpern in 1951.

[Music: Industrial Pop]

Manchego Cheese

JD: And now Quote Unquote. All you cheese connoisseurs out there will know that the Spanish are muy orgulloso of their manchego. It is made in a specific region of the country out a sheep's milk and it pairs well the glass of wine. Apparently, manchego cheese is also sold in Mexico. But it is not the same manchego cheese — it's made from cow's milk and often used in dishes like quesadillas. Now the fact that those two different cheeses share one name is causing a bit of a stink. So much so that it has reportedly delayed trade talks between Mexico and the EU. Ismael Álvarez de Toledo is the president of the Spanish Brotherhood of the Manchego cheese, and he wants Mexico to stop taking the name of Spain's cheese in vain. He claims it's causing confusion among customers and leading to profit losses. Plus he apparently just thinks the Mexican stuff is gross. As Mr. de Toledo told the Guardian quote “Mexican manchego is an insipid cow's milk cheese that sometimes doesn't even look like a cheese because it comes in slices for making sandwiches. The only thing it's got in common with our cheese is the name. But it's a fake name” unquote.

[Music: Electronic ]

Charles M. Schulz Franklin Character

Guest: Harriet Glickman

JD: Fifty years ago cartoonist Charles Schulz introduced a new character to the gang of verbose, neurotic kids led, sort of, by Charlie Brown — and his addition to the Peanuts comic strip is considered a bold and important step because Franklin was the strip's first, and only, black character. Now an exhibit honouring the 50th anniversary of Franklin's first appearance has opened at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. And the story of how Franklin came to be created is linked to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It is also linked to teacher Harriet Glickman because she convinced Mr. Schultz to create Franklin. We reached Harriet Glickman at home in Sherman Oaks, California Harriet.

CO: Harriet, how do you feel knowing that there's an exhibit honouring 50 years of Franklin in the Peanuts comics?

HG: I'm absolutely thrilled about it. The museum is remarkable. I don't know if you’ve ever seen it, but to have a special exhibit just for Franklin warms my heart as you can imagine.

CO: Of course it warms your heart because if it wasn't for you there wouldn't be Franklin. He was created — you inspired that creation. What did you do? Tell us about the first communication you had with Charles Schulz?

HG: OK, it was a few days after the death of Martin Luther King, and I was home, at that point, with three children. I had been teaching but I had taken some time out before going back to a new career. And you had this sad feeling of ‘Is there anything you can do?’ Most people have had that feeling and say ‘I wish there was something I could do.’ And it occurred to me that black kids never had a chance to see themselves in comic strips. And so I thought well ‘I'll take a chance.’ And I wrote to a couple of them, including Schulz, and Peanuts was sort of the prime, most important read comic strip in the country, I think maybe in the world.

CO: It had a 100 milliion readers at that point.

HG: That's interesting, I didn't know that number. Anyway, I wrote him and the letter is in the museum and it made my case for why I thought it would be a good thing to do. And much to my surprise I did get an answer very quickly. And he said that he supported the idea, he thought it was a good idea, but he was afraid that Negro parents — I'm going to use Negro, African American, Black throughout this because at the time it was the language that was used — that Negro parents would feel that he was being patronizing.

CO: So he said no, he said no he wasn't going to do it?

HG: He said so he didn't think that he would do it. And so I wrote him back and I asked if I could have his permission to share his letter with some Black friends of mine. As it turned out, there were just two people who responded because I didn't need to get too many. I went first to my friend Kenny Kelly, and he wrote a wonderful letter to Schulz supporting my idea. And right after that Schulz sent me a message and said “You'll be pleased to see the July, I forgot the date, the July something strip.” And he didn't mention that it put a child. He just said you'll be delighted to see it, as of course I was.

CO: July 31st 1968. That's when Franklin makes his first appearance in Peanuts a comic strip.

HG: That was it.

CO: What was it like when you saw that?

HG: Hard to describe, so happy. And my children —one was 13, one was seven, and one was three — the two older kids were just really, very happy about it and they decided that Franklin was now their brother. So we would have four children as a family ever since, I mean, they've been very supportive all through the years.

CO: You know people have criticized — people were African-Americans said that well great to have Franklin as a character, but that he was such a bland character. Charlie and Lucy and Linus, even Snoopy, had these idiosyncrasies and personalities. What do you say to them?

HG: I think that's very, very true. I did read a great deal about those kinds of comments. I think he made the choice to keep him that way because it was such a new thing. And he was criticized even for that. In Meridian, Mississippi there was a letter that he got from the newspaper and the letter said — I can even remember some of the language —on today's Peanuts comic strip Negro that white children are portrayed together in school. School integration is a sensitive subject here, particularly at this time when our city and county schools are under court order for massive compulsory race mixing — that's the language. We would appreciate it if future Peanuts strips did not have this type of content.

CO: Wow, but he did he ignore that Franklin continued to be a character.

HG: Exactly. Now the one of the best things that happened from this right in 1968, Schultz got a letter from a Black soldier who was serving in Vietnam whose name happened to be Franklin, who told him how he was to open the paper and see that little character. And so through the years, I can't tell you how many, to me, young adults have said that ‘When I was little I never saw anything that looked like me. And then when Franklin came there was you know there's another kid who's like me.’ I mean just hearing that has warmed my heart, as you can imagine.

CO: Did you ever think that 50 years later you would be having this conversation a time when racism is such a big issue in the United States going right up to the president's office?

HG: Because I thought, you know, it's over. I mean, the Franken story was 1968 and so on. And then what has happened in the ensuing years that shows us that racism is still very much alive. And maybe I've had a sensitivity to it because I'm a Jewish woman. My parents came from Russia. My mother was a baby, my dad was 17, so I'm actually first generation. But I learned from them the respect for everyone no matter who, no matter the colour of their skin, everyone has value.

CO: Will you get a chance to go and see the exhibit, to see Franklin your creation, that the Charles Schulz museum?

HG: I'm planning to go in July because they're going to have an event on the same date that Franklin appeared in July. So I'm hoping to go.

CO: Well, it is great to speak to the inspiration for Franklin. It's great to speak with you. Thank you so much.

HG: One more thing for anyone listening everyone can make a difference even a small, tiny one little three or four inch picture in a cartoon strip. But it makes a difference and every person can do that on whatever level they feel they can.

CO: Words to live by Harriet, thank you.

HG: Thank you Carol.

JD: Harriet Glickman is a retired teacher who convinced Charles M. Schulz to include a black character, Franklin, in his Peanuts comic. We reached her in Sherman Oaks, California.

Kelly Agnew

JD: Athletic excellence is not just about physical achievement. It is not just about winning. It is about being respectful and following the rules. And those are two things that ultra-marathoner or Kelly Agnew failed to do. He doesn't just have a potty mouth — he has a whole potty body. Mr. Agnew's a 45-year-old runner who had become a force in what are called fixed time events. Those are races you win by covering more distance than anyone else in the allotted time. We're not talking about short little jaunts here. We're talking about 24 and 48-hour long races. And since 2013 Kelly Agnew has won 13 races — 11 of them fixed time events. Some of those victories were suspiciously decisive. For instance, he stopped running one 48-hour race after just 41 hours, still won by more than 55 miles. Well he could run, but he couldn't hide — although he sure tried. At a recent 48-hour race in Arizona a guy from the official timing agency was instructed to keep a very close eye on Mr. Agnew, and he did. He watched the runner complete 10 laps of the track and then he watched the runner check his watch. And then he watched the runner go into a porta potty. Seven minutes later he saw Mr. Agnew emerge, cross the checkpoint as though he'd completed another lap, and then start running again. If you assume that Kelly Agnew had a brilliant plan, those assumptions are now in the toilet, because his plan was to run a while then hide in a portable outhouse and pretend he'd been running. But brilliant or not, it seems he's been doing it for years and it has worked. Now though, he has been disqualified from that Arizona race and his other victories are under investigation because Kelly Agnew could no longer keep a lid on his secret that he was keeping himself on a lid.

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