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Terrace Gymnasts thrill the crowds during the Olympic Torch run through Terrace
REPORTING · 30th December 2010
Merv Ritchie
PART ONE - JANUARY TO JUNE
This past year, 2010, began with a serious sense of renewal and hope. After winning the 2009 Kraft Hockeyville prize and entertaining the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders in the Terrace Arena most of the town was buzzing. The buzz was about the upcoming 2010 BC Winter Games and the arrival of the Olympic Torch, which was to make a celebratory stop here.

All one has to do is drive through Terrace and you will see all the new buildings and repainted structures. Storefronts have been updated, old buildings demolished, new awnings, new pavement; it is too much to list. Terrace is ready for tomorrow and tomorrow is exciting.

This year end review is divided into months and each item discussed is linked to the original story where you can read the details. Look for the different coloured text and click there with the mouse.

If you are reading this report on the years excitement in the weekly news letter you will need to move with Terrace into the twentyfirst century and get ‘Online’. There are literally hundreds of stories you have missed over the year if you just count on the newspaper, TV and radio for your news.

JANUARY

Foolish City decisions were still being made at taxpayers and drivers expense. Our first story of the year was regarding the ridiculous street light at the intersection of Lazelle Avenue and Emerson Street. A good four way stop and terrible traffic light location; the wind took turns ripping the lights off the poles. The City went to great lengths to keep this as a traffic light controlled intersection almost as a daily reminder, to those who visit the Post Office, of their inability to make good decisions.

The first resident to choose Terrace as a new home was Katianna Brooklynn Sampare. She arrived at Mills Memorial Hospital at 4 pm on the second of January to proud new parents.

Terrace Councillor Bruce Bidgood made the first move and put his money where his mouth was demonstrating confidence in the future by making the very first residential Real Estate deal of the year.

All through the year however were three constants; real concerns from the vast majority of the citizenry on the Enbridge pipeline proposal, the potential of new mine developments with the newly planned Northern Transmission Line and the ever present drug problem in the area. The year began with the Terrace Daily reporting on all three of these topics in January. Enbridge had a 126,000 gallon pipeline spill in North Dakota, the approval of the Red Chris world-class gold-copper deposit near Iskut and the first drug bust of the year on King Avenue in Thornhill.

FEBRUARY

February began with the Olympic Torch Run through Terrace which had the entire community transfixed in a celebratory mood. The outlook on the 2010 Olympics saw a clear shift in popular opinion as Dave Jephson was shown to be Terrace’s finest example of a true citizen, a volunteer and supporter of the very highest order.

The prosperity stories kept coming as Alcan announced another $100 million for work towards the smelter modernization and General Bio Fuels announced a deal (though largely a false hope) for a new pellet plant and property purchase agreement. The real news however was all in sports. The young Terrace Hockey Players were all off to represent Terrace as Hockeyville to various Tournaments all across the Province. It appeared as if the Terrace Minor Hockey Association was a Gold Medal all on its own.

As the month was concluding, with the Terrace Hockeyville Dynasty moving through the Province, the Canadian Olympic Hockey team won gold beating the Americans in a classic OT finish with a stinger by Sidney Crosby. Even the skiers at Shames Mountain took time off the hill to watch this exciting finale.

MARCH

March began with sadness as the backbone behind the Hockeyville effort, Hans Kurth passed away suddenly as he was packing the trophy up for its return to Kraft. Only four days earlier Hans and Carol were accepting an award for their Volunteering efforts from the City with dozens of other recipients. Local resident Jane Dickson received even higher recognition as she received an award directly for the Premier of BC who called her an ‘Outstanding British Columbian’. Jane is involved in many Community efforts and Skeena Diversity, which opened the doors to their new centre in March is just one.

The BC 2010 Winter Games began in earnest with Terrace being flooded with thousands of young British Columbians. The excitement was palpable as the athletes had all just witnessed the Olympians on the world stage in Vancouver. A goal most saw as a clear possibility.

On the political scene Nathan Cullen arrived at Terrace City Hall and spoke on various topics including the plan to build a Federal Penitentiary in Terrace, supposedly near the Airport. The Nisga’a elected Mitchell Stevens as their new President and Bill Vander Zalm arrived to share his opposition to the HST. Terrace Council decided to rename the section of Emerson Street along George Little Park, ‘Market Street’ to reflect the new location of the Farmers market and in regards to the environment; the Skeena River was named as BC’s second most threatened River system.

Again the RCMP were hard taking down drug operations in March with two notable busts and charges. Freddie Mowatt and Jason Snider were charged and a home on Scott Avenue was busted.

APRIL

The facelift in Terrace began in earnest in April as the new Spirit Square had the roof sections hoisted into place over the new entertainment stage and the Millenium Trail was completed with the ‘Flywheel’ from George Little original Lumber Mill mounted at the Sande overpass.

Crash Investigators arrived in Terrace from all across Canada as Pronto Towing provided the mechanism to toss cars, trucks and vans like softballs at the NW Regional Airport. This is bound to be an annual, or at least an oft time repeated event putting Terrace on the map for some important RCMP training.

Some very bizarre and disturbing activities took place in April. Someone broke a window of a home and pushed a garden hose through the window. Luckily the water followed a path straight to a floor drain in the basement. The Old Kitselas School House was set on fire and burnt completely to the ground after being used as some silly Goth playhouse. And Terrace residents had their bank cards compromised when someone began stealing the pin data. Many needed to get new cards.

Enbridge struck again with yet another Oil spill in the headlines but to counter this; the NW Transmission Line environmental assessment got underway. The Anti HST campaign succeeded in getting all the required signatures.

A story that didn’t get much media coverage was the assessment of Hurley Creek in Thornhill. It had been poorly neglected even though it is a salmon bearing stream. Even major rivers are neglected as PNG gas pipelines lay exposed in many rivers, Kitimat River being just one of many.

MAY

May began on a positive note as well. The Farmers Market opened in their new ‘Market Street’ location and Kitchies, a new bakery/restaurant opened their doors as did Bert’s Deli in a grand reopening. The Kitsumkalum peoples celebrated their new ‘Feast Hall’ opening with the Northwest Community College and the Nisga’a celebrated the tenth anniversary of the groundbreaking treaty with BC and Canada.

Canada’s Money Sense magazine had no sense when they published an article claiming Terrace was the tenth worst place to live in Canada. This provoked indignation and a realization that those who live in big Cities like Toronto are completely clueless.

Rio Tinto hit the news again as Paul Henning (Rio’s representative in Kitimat) claimed the Modernization (KMP) was beginning though they had yet to achieve board approval. On the NTL however the Nisga’a reported how the BC Government was not even talking with them about the route for the proposed line through their territory.

The most transfixing event of the month was the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. This sudden destruction of a huge, the most advanced oil rig in the world was immediately followed by a sole Grey Whale swimming into Vancouver, accompanied by dolphins, and under the Burrard Street bridge. Shortly after another solitary Grey swam into Israel. We featured this timing as an almost spiritual event everyone should become acquainted with. Enbridge choose this moment of environmental degradation to file their formal application, which had the population incensed. Hundreds gathered in Kitamaat Village at an event featuring David Suzuki and Dr. Riki Ott along with dozens of First Nations Leaders from across BC called ‘A Gathering of Nations’.

May saw loss and tragedy for many as long time Terrace Firefighter Barry Samuelson lost his life in an accident, an accident involving a truck careening into the Kalum River resulted in the loss of another man and the Terrace SAR locating another drowning casualty on highway 16 east of Terrace.

JUNE

Although it began with the disappointing announcement of the cancellation of the ‘Music and Friends Festival’ planned for summer of 2010 at the Airport, June had Terrace buzzing with a new boat launch at Kalum Lake, a set of new Solar Electric panels with an electric car, a brand new shiny red Firetruck and the Grand opening of the “Million Dollar Tent” we call a band shell. Just across the street from the Park, the old farmers market location was fenced off as the work began on the new BC housing project.

An exciting economic announcement was delivered on a proto type project planned for Terrace where the plant turns our wood fibre into a coal like product required in Europe. Some of the material they could potentially use went up in flames at the Airport Industrial land.

The Political front wasn’t quiet in June either as Carol James, the leader of the NDP came to Terrace, the School Board voted to change the grade levels in various schools streamlining the middle school concept throughout the District and the BC government with the Haida people announced the change of the name of the Queen Charlotte Islands to Haida Gwaii.

The Terrace RCMP had their hands full yet again as they arrested yet another Coke head bringing in a half a kilogram of the poison and 600 ecstacy pills to the region. The month closed with a dramatic standoff on Scott Avenue with a distressed man holding himself hostage for most of the day.
The roof sections for the new entertainment plaza are hoisted into place
The roof sections for the new entertainment plaza are hoisted into place
Cars tossed like softballs by Pronto Towing provide the RCMP with useful data to apply at accident scenes
Cars tossed like softballs by Pronto Towing provide the RCMP with useful data to apply at accident scenes
Exposed gas pipelines lay across many rivers in the Northwest.  This one is in the Kitimat River.
Exposed gas pipelines lay across many rivers in the Northwest. This one is in the Kitimat River.
Named a treaty baby, this youngster is one of many born into the Nisga'a Nation since the signing of the first modern day treaty 10 years ago
Named a treaty baby, this youngster is one of many born into the Nisga'a Nation since the signing of the first modern day treaty 10 years ago