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Homer Simpson, Charles Taylor, and two Targets

January 19, 2011

Very, very solid week of reportage from the Island and Sunshine Coast. Want to help me with this? E-mail me at bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com.

This headline in the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial: “Uranium clean-up underway” is understated and yet I still went, “HUH!?!” Apparently a ship has stopped between Ladysmith and Chemainus after “… containers holding the uranium had shifted and two open drums moved outside their sea containers. People inspecting the ship have since discovered more than the two reported drums have spilled,” according to the story by the Ladysmith Chronicle’s Matthew Peterson. Sounds like Homer Simpson might be the safety officer onboard. (The Chronicle went with the tamer (lamer?) headline “Ship carrying uranium anchored near Ladysmith/Chemainus.”

Wawmeesh G. Hamilton writes a solid story in the Alberni Valley News about a local Haitian-Canadian whose home in Port-au-Prince was destroyed a year ago, but who hasn’t been able to go back and see the damage herself.

Christine Wood has returned to the Coast Reporter after finally finding a half-decent daycare for her kids.  She takes over for Jenny Wagler, who’s now working for Business in Vancouver. Christine started at the Reporter in 1999, but left in 2007 to care for her kids. (I assume her return means that the reporter position listed on Gaulin is now filled). The Reporter also hired Justin Samson as its weekend photographer.

Why is every Postmedia Vancouver Island site just a little bit different? I can’t figure out if it’s maddening or delightful.

I hate to get picky, and I don’t know who wrote the cutline for this very nice Comox Valley Record photo, but just to be clear, the Just in Time Vocal Jazz Choirs IS NOT “literally soaring into spring with their new musical theme: Fly!” Until they sprout wings or jump on a plane they will not be figuratively soaring.

Here’s a quote you don’t get all the time:

“I’d rather this be a murder suicide so I know there’s nothing to be worried about,” she said.

That from a breaking story by Saanich News reporter Kyle Slavin after a pair of bodies were found in a house yesterday. One wonders why, exactly, this anonymity-seeking neighbour would be afraid if it wasn’t a murder-suicide.

Another question of note: every time I see the words “Charles Taylor prize” I wonder why the hell did someone name a writing prize for a brutal Liberian dictator. Unfortunate name, that.

I’m not sure how I feel about this Nanaimo News Bulletin headline: “Nanaimo Target targeted by U.S. Target.” The story though, by Toby Gorman, is interesting. Seems there’s a store in town called Target that is not the Target we’ve been hearing about on the news. Predictably, lawyers are involved.

J.R. Rardon has an equally interesting story in the North Island Gazette. He reports on a local family who got charged $852 — including $85 for a “bunch” of bones — after their seven-year-old daughter played a free iPod game while on vacation. It’s a major-league scam but the family’s getting their money back.

Back to the Saanich News, where Natalie North writes about local actors training med students about how to interact with patients. Very nice package, from the story to the photos to the sparkling page layout (the page is in the photo spot next to the online story).

Finally, I’ll point out again the the Powell River Peak’s website is awesome and super duper fast to load. Please! Somebody copy them fer Chrissake. From the Peak, Laura Walz reports that a cousin of the super-evil Mountain Pine Beetle is chomping down on trees there.

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