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NEWS RELEASE · 16th December 2011
Terrace RCMP
During the early morning hours of 2011-11-16 Terrace RCMP and The Terrace Fire Department responded to a fire at the "Little Yellow House" just off highway 16.

The fire appeared to be suspicious in nature.

Police patrols of there area came upon two youths who were lighting a fire in a carport on Haugland Ave.

Both subjects were arrested, and evidence was obtained that indicated that they were responsible for the fire at the "Little Yellow House", along with numerous theft from vehicles

One youth is being remanded in custody for Court for Monday Dec 19th, with numerous recommended charges.

The other youth was turned over to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, as they are too young to face criminal charges.

The investigation continues.
punishment? or not to punish?
Comment by Kristen on 18th December 2011
I really think that these kids IF found guilty should be punished to let them know right from wrong. The comment about maybe they came from an abusive home that is a lame excuse I came from one and you know what everyone has a choice to be a better person and if you don't that's your own fault. Yes I realize that these kids are not very old but you know what they should be still punished I'm not saying harshly but some punishment like community service or maybe IF they did do it then maybe they should be put beside the yellow house for everyone to see who did it and they also should help clean it up. Being "nice" to these kids like a slap on the wrist is just not good enough because when they get older that is how they will look at our Judicial system as lame and no consequences. So what I'm saying is let them know they can't get away with it but they don't need to be locked up so find a happy medium where we can feel there was justice but not too harsh either. And for that I say good luck
Christians are the would be executioners?!
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 18th December 2011
To Voice of Reason;

Why incorporate into your article challenging "all the Christians set on harsh punishments". Are you assuming people who frequent Terrace Daily are all Christians just because they voiced their recent opinion on accountability when a crime is committed? Tsk Tsk.

Let's get the whole picture here. In reference to your mere selection from Scripture to "judge not, that ye be not judged"...Scripture does indeed firmly instruct to help others who have all sorts of troubles and provide forgiveness to the offender in non-judgemental form. But Scripture is also VERY clear on holding people accountable for their actions in the interim...so that healing can take place and ammends can be made.
It DOES take a village to raise a child...
Comment by Wow on 18th December 2011
I agree that our community DOES have a responsibility to provide kids with alternatives to just loitering and hanging around in the streets.

Kids like to be social, keep busy, and to be active. But just where can they do that in town here? Safely, and affordably, and constructively.

Part of the problem is affordability. Parents can keep kids busy by enrolling them in activities to keep them active and to keep them busy. Idle time and boredom can turn into getting into trouble just for excitement.

For families who struggle to maintain food, shelter, and clothing for kids, expensive enrollment in after school activities is a distant priority.

What would be of interest to kids? What DO they want offered here in this community? What do they want to be doing? I wish there were indoor basketball courts or an indoor supervised gym for kids to use for free. Somewhere to play indoor soccer or bball/vball/badminton. I wish we did have the funds to build a great multiplex that did include a gym and courts for activities to be offered to kids for free. It would be a great idea to turn some of the unused tennis courts into hockey or basketball courts, a great idea for summertime activities. And yes, a central public skateboard park would be a great idea. And yes, a lot of the problem IS funding. We as a community do struggle right now, the economic times are very tough. It is so challenging.

If kids CAN keep busy, they WILL be too busy and too tired at the end of the day to be idle. Idle kids are kids at risk. Kids need structure.

And yes, great idea too, to encourage volunteering. They need to learn and experience how it does feel to give, and that reward will come from that. Kids also though, do like immediate fun and excitement and also tend to be very self focussed. If we as adults can encouraged healthy ways such as volunteering, then kids may follow.

I do agree as well about parental responsibility. Kids need structure, boundaries, and a sense of responsibility. And that does start with at home, with basic chores, learning basic respect for self and others, helping the family, completing studies, finding hobbies. For sure. And if this basic structure and framework is not present, kids can be at risk. Which again, there is the societal problem of poverty and all the social problems that come from that, and we as a community DO have a responsibility to try to help out however we can. Then we have to ask ourselves WHY there is poverty. The best we can do as a society is encourage the pursuit of personal best in healthy ways.

Kids should have a structured curfew, and should be able to feel safe AND welcome home when returning home. Open and trustful communication with parents is so important.

There is a lot of poverty and dysfunction in our community, and many families are struggling. If we as a community can do anything to help kids keep busy then all the better. Something fun, affordable, and safe for kids...we need to help figure it out AS a community, because what is happening right now with our youth in our community is not working. Take a look down town on any given night and there are a lot of idle kids just hanging about. I do agree that as a parent, one must provide structure and boundaries. But unfortunately if that is not present for whatever reason, it IS the responsibility of the community to keep these kids safe. And yes, the much larger picture is problems within our society.

We should honestly ask them what they really do want to be doing, I am sure the answer would be a lot more than just hanging out on the streets. As a community member, yes i do feel that even though these children may not be OUR children, we actually DO have a responsibility to help keep kids safe, provide them with some sort of healthy activities that they can enjoy. Just as this city is our city as adults, so is it a city for our children as well.

It IS a community responsibility. As adults we DO have the responsibility to the kids. As we expect them to respect us, we should also respect them.

I am just very thankful that this incident did not end in complete tragedy. Thankfully there was not loss of life. Kids like excitement and unfortunately turn to something more sinister out of complete boredom if their minds and bodies are not occupied constructively.

Again, i do think a lot of the issue does have to do with basic healthy boundaries and responsibilities which is a parental responsibility to nurture. But when a family unit is not functioning well, that is a weak link. Again, i think again that it comes down to society. If we can all help each other out, maybe we can make things better for all. Kids in our community ARE our responsibility, as are our elderly, our disadvantaged, our marginalized.

If we as a community can show them that we DO actually care for them then maybe they will take pride in their community and in themselves and their actions as well.
To all the would-be executioners...
Comment by Voice of Reason on 17th December 2011
Section 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states: "Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal".

To all the Christians set on harsh punishment of these kids who have yet to see their day in court:

"1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. "

This story has told us a lot about the moral majority in Terrace. Some people think kids suspected of crime should be punished harshly, and it's their parents fault, so they should be punished harshly too. As we all know, violence and abuse yields wonderful results, society in general improves when we embrace it in a vicious cycle.

Like it or not, we have a Youth Criminal Justice system in Canada. It probably isn't a bad thing to give a bit of lenience to kids who do an awful lot of stupid things before becoming adults. For every big mouthed old fart screaming to lock away a little kid for the rest of their life for doing something criminal, there is another old fart sitting there quietly who did something equally stupid when they were young and got a second chance.

The kids very likely did do it, but condemning them without knowing facts or context is wrong.
Maybe they did it to get their jollies, maybe their families abused them severely and their home wasn't safe. Maybe they don't have a home. Maybe they were paid to do it. Maybe they didn't do it. Maybe, etc... Let the courts do their job.
your kids
Comment by ulf on 17th December 2011
Well someone out there is responsible for these kids. y suggestion is to take these parents and smack them aroud a little. Maybe they might feel like there kids. As for being so called whimpy about this thereis only one way to deter kids from doing this is to give them the hashest punishment. Wake up paentsandlook after your children.
Re:Keep kids busy
Comment by Maggie on 17th December 2011
I was born & raised here and I don't hate Terrace. Not having things for kids to do here is no excuse for arson or any other crime. I agree with Maggie's list of things for kids to do.
Let kids think up their own clubs
Comment by c. sandecki on 17th December 2011
Kids don't like to be told what to do, so why should adults feel we must provide something to keep them busy?
Why can't kids organize their own Nintendo clubs, or get together on a school playground to cross country ski, play street hockey on a plowed parking lot (today Copper Mountain school's front parking lot is smooth as an Olympic rink - I fell on my back twice walking my dogs.
Sixty years ago no adult ever organized entertainment for teens - they organized themselves. Trouble is we hand them everything, then they get bored. Let them figure out the answers to complications.
Talk to Kids...
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 17th December 2011

I have an idea!
Why don't we talk to kids and ask them what there is to do. A quick survey.

It's more than telling Kids to clean your room or visit Grandma. It's engaging them.

I think Terrace needs more clubs that bridge the generation gaps. It could be a boys club or girls club or nintendo club... whatever club it is, the point is to keep kids engaged into a positive community.

I have a suspicion that the survey will tell you this. Plenty of kids hate it here.
What can we do to keep kids busy?
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 17th December 2011
You mean if we don't keep kids busy they'll commit crimes?!?! Okay then. Here's some suggestions to keep kids busy:

- clean your room
- visit your elderly extended family members
- join after school clubs
- read a good book
- help your Mom with domestic chores
- play with your siblings
- volunteer along with tons of other kids inthe Community.
- free teen swim
- make some extra $ shovelling
- organize your closet and give away clothes
- volunteer at the local animal shelter
- help a neighbor out with yard chores
- learn how to sort/pull laundry duty
- mentor another youth
- join the Terrace Beautification Society (one would never be bored again).

Get my drift?
Keep kids busy
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 17th December 2011

Terrace needs more things to do.
This isn't news to anyone who's lived here for some time.

I am of the belief that if kids are kept busy, they don't have time for trouble.

Ask yourself, what else can we do to keep kids busy?
Bad parenting... That's it
Comment by No respect on 17th December 2011
Well when I was younger we had to be in by 8!
No a days parents don't care where their kids are???? I was at Walmart at 12:300 Xmas shopping I seen a young boy maybe 11?? In Walmart alone then walking down the street! 2am?? Really sad to see these kids/youth get away with anything I bet even murder??! If they are caught in my yard or house it's tresspassing! And for the safety of my children beware!

Merry ChristmAs to all! And parents who know where their children are 24/7!
It's our fault??
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 17th December 2011
As far as I know, an adult sentence can be applied to youth as young as 14 (that's Gr 9 student level - which is very well beyond the Gr 2 "age of reason") who participate in repeated serious "violent" offences, but they will serve their adult term in a cushioned Youth Facility instead.

And then we have the Youth Justice System who are mandated to provide "resolution". So they attempt to provide some sort of meaningful "consequence" for the Youth's offending behaviour(s) - rehab, re-integration into the Community, etc. based on the fact the Youth had no clue about consequences and that the YJS indicates it is the Communities that may have failed these rambunctious youths in the first place.

Really. You're kidding me, right?! The kids didn't know the consequences? Then why did they make a conscious choice to sneak out in the hidden cloak of the darkness of the night with their secret pre-meditated plans while hiding what they were doing lest they get caught? Don't tell me they didn't know what they were doing was wrong. Not buying it.

And furthermore, I don't recall failing the kids in my Community. Do you?
anarchy
Comment by fbreker on 17th December 2011
Our "civil" society is headed for the toilet. There are countries where arson would be followed up by corporal punishment or worse, and there is no repeat of the action by these miscreants. While at it tptb can sterilize the immediate progenitors.
Consequenses
Comment by Maggie on 17th December 2011
This is why there's so much crime, the law protects the criminals. Youth or not, they should have to face some consequenses. Who or what is going to protect our houses from these "youths"? What if someone had died in the Yellow House? They'd still get away with it because they're a youth?
Same Kids?
Comment by SC on 17th December 2011
Just wondering if these are the same kids doing alot of the break-ins in town. I know that at some break-ins, there were small fingerprints found, and the kids live with an Auntie. These kids need to be taught a lesson before some not so friendly home owner catches them. What I own, I bought. Try and take it from me. I don't care if your 12 or 112, you will be hurtin by the time i'm done with you.
parking
Comment by concerned driver on 16th December 2011
I understand that the RCMP might be required to watch the house. What I can not understand that when the power went out this afternoon, and traffic was backed up all over town, two of the RCMP cars had to sit on the main road on Keith, blocking a whole lane for no reason when there was a RCMP pick up on the Canadian Wholesale side, and room on the side road for the other two to park. What happned to driver courtesy ? Don't they have enought sense to help avoid a bad situation ?
Too young, my ass!
Comment by Mr. Peters on 16th December 2011
They were got lighting a fire in a car port. These little creatures can thank whatever they hold holy that it was not my carport and it was not I who would have found them. When I was a kid doing something like this would never have crossed my mind for fear of what would happen to me if the cops brought me home. Benjamin Franklin had it correct when he said, "pain is a wonderful instructor." Those kids would have received a full semester of instruction in one sitting.

On another note, these parents should be charged as well. If for nothing else then being to stupid to not to reproduce. If you do not have the intelligence teach kids how to live in a civilized environment, do not reproduce.
Arsonists at work
Comment by KP on 16th December 2011
It seems we the people of Terrace have at least 3 arsonists at large. I don't care how old they are..it only take one to torch a home while the occupant is sleeping. Please tell me that these sick people are going to be kept locked up and under the watch of the law.
In the way
Comment by DM on 16th December 2011
I dont understand why the police found in neccesary to park on keith ave all day long? couldnt they just pull in the parking lot?
minors
Comment by scott- on 16th December 2011
I believe that the names of the people involved should be posted for all to see regardless of age. A minor knows that arson is bad so I can't think you can use the excuse " they don't know better" as an excuse for not posting names.
Too young to be charged?
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 16th December 2011
If these children are too young to be charged...perhaps they are also too young to be out and about starting fires at 3:30 in the a.m. Isn't that past a "child's" bedtime?

If they are old enuf to consciously pre-meditate a plan to cause harm to their Community in the middle of the night...they s/b old enuf to recieve some sort of punishment. No?