Posts Tagged ‘Chilliwack’

Rothenburger wins lifetime achievement award

October 27, 2011 Comments off

On Monday, Kamloops Daily News editor Mel Rothenburger was honoured with the Bruce Hutchinson Lifteime Achievement Award at the 2011 Jack Webster Awards.

Rothenburger spent two years as mayor of Kamloops and he talked about how it was important for journalists to actively involve themselves in their community, when they feel the need. Unfortunately, they’re not up on the Jack Webster website. I hear there was a cracking speech and a great video. But when they are, I’ll post a link.

In the meantime, here’s a Webster write-up on Rorthenburger:

Mel Rothenburger was fired from his job as Editor at a Prince George newspaper. That was more than 40 years ago. And it was a good thing.

A good thing for Kamloops because that city became home to a young journalist who believed above all else that integrity mattered. A good thing for journalism in British Columbia because it gained a champion who still believes passionately in his community and the audience he serves. Reporter, editor, columnist, historian and more recently webmaster and blogger, Mel Rothenburger defines the importance of local news.


Also at the event, Chilliwack Times reporter Tyler Olsen won the Webster for Community Reporting for his four-part series on marijuana grow operations. Pique Newsmagazine reporter Jesse Ferreras was nominated in the same category for his stories on the initial public offering of Whistler Blackcomb.  Vancouver Courier reporter Sandra Thomas received a nomination in the News Reporting category for her expose on a Vancouver nursing home. And the Nanaimo Daily News was nominated for excellence in multimedia journalism for its extensive coverage of the 2010 election, which included hosting online debates.


Gators, pinball wizards, school boards and animal people

February 28, 2011 Comments off

Lotsa stuff from around the Lower Mainland last week. (Two more posts coming later today).

Superb story, in the Burnaby Now, by Jennifer Moreau on an autistic pinball genius and aspiring poker king.

Robert’s latest passion is poker. For the past three or four months, he’s been teaching himself how to play by watching YouTube videos and has already ranked No. 11 in one of B.C.’s amateur leagues. With his natural ability to handle numbers, statistics and probabilities, Robert seems cut out for the game.

“If you ask him, ‘What are the chances of getting royal flush?’ He’ll probably say, ‘One in 650,000,’ ” Maurizio says. “He tells me this stuff, and it goes over my head.”


The poker thing blows me away because it’s generally assumed that a large part of that game is the ability to read competitors’ intentions. And yet, a major symptom of autism is the inability to pick up such social cues.

Also in the Burnaby Now, Janaya Fuller-Evans reports on allegations of bullying, infighting and other alleged misdeeds that one normally expects to see in the arts community, rather than among animal lovers.

Arnold noted many instances of harassment, from board members directly confronting her over issues to moments where she felt threatened, including when her truck was vandalized while parked at the association’s barns.



The new Black Press front pages are improved, but the stories themselves badly need paragraph breaks. I imagine someone’s working on that. Meanwhile the WordPress Theme for Black Press blogs is truly horrible and gloomy and makes me not want to read on even when the content is quite good. Please change it.


The phrase “board of education” sounds stupid. They’re school boards, they should be called as such.


I just noticed the sleazy weekly editorials in the Delta Optimist. How do you get your editorial percentage when the copy is so obviously an advertisement? The Optimist is the only Postmedia paper with a business column down the right hand side of its news page. Why? Why? Why?


A crazy crime spree in the Chilliwack area included, as Robert Freeman of the Chilliwack Progress puts it, “one woman’s emergency 911 call, one vehicle burning under the Agassiz/Rosedale bridge, one dust-up with a Chilliwack car dealer, one startled shopper in the Chilliwack Safeway parking lot – and one alligator.” Oh, yeah, and there was a marijuana grow-op involved (although I guess the presence of drugs isn’t all that surprising).

In a similar vein comes this beauty of a headline from the North Shore Outlook: “Stinky thieves steal laundry loot.” And yes, the thieves were actually smelly.


Two stories — one in the Richmond News, the other in the Coquitlam Now — about stutterers are hooked on last night’s Oscars and The King’s Speech. I think a smart PR person is probably behind each, given that they both mention Columbia Speech and Language Services, but that’s OK; the stories are good.


The Richmond Review has published its 30 under 30 section. These features about all these high-flying young achievers always depress the hell out of me, but are fun to read anyways.


Your webinar of the day:

Be like Delta Leader photog Evan Seal and turn your camera on an angle.

This Tri-City News file photo of an ambulance at a hospital is awesome. File photos don’t have to be boring.

And for some reason community newspapers forget that the simple Q and A format can make for great reading and very easy writing. Marisa Babic of the Surrey Now puts questions to under-fire Vanoc head John Furlong.

(One thing, though: we Canadians don’t have a timid sense of patriotism. We just like to pretend we do. If we weren’t patriotic Molson’s I Am Canadian commercials wouldn’t be so successful. Hopefully the Olympics ends the charade.)


Nice story (and lede) by the Vancouver Courier’s Naoibh O’Connor on a First Nations school that has rebranded itself as an “Earth School.”

Rainwater drips like a broken tap off the corner of the First Nation long house roof into a concrete barrel. Droplets barely ripple the surface of six-inch deep water pooled above a bed of rocks, sand and debris. Fidgety Grade 2 and 3 students gather around Brent Mansfield on this cool late-January morning at Grandview/¿uuqinak’uuh elementary. Mansfield, the school’s garden project coordinator, hoped for more of a downpour for today’s lesson, but a drizzle will do.



Finally, in case you missed the Black Press shuffle, the North Shore Outlook and WestEnder have got new editors.

Photo by Ryan Somma via Flickr.


That was a pretty good post, eh? Or not? Either way keep them coming by helping me out. It’s easy, quick and the pay is shite. E-mail bclocalreporter (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll shamefully update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Do you mind?

December 10, 2010 Comments off

Some very insider news and talk from Merritt to Hinton and everywhere (fine, just one place but I need to have a life too so quit complaining) in between, rounded out by a series finale and a scary story.

The Merritt News’s John O’Connor asks in an editorial if the proliferance of on-line reading isn’t decreasing our ability to concentrate. It’s not a new idea, but one that’s always worth questioning, especially because it concerns how we do our jobs. [Foreign source alert: if you’re bored and interested in the topic, you can read this take on the subject from the Atlantic Magazine].

The Invermere Valley Echo welcomes a new reporter, Madison. No full name is given, on-line at least, but she seems enthusiastic from this introductory column. Welcome.

Even further east, the Hinton Parklander reports that one of their former reporters, Birgit Stutz, has published a book about her involvement in a dramatic horse rescue (yes, we are talking about Alberta here).

“I was approached by an agent from Harper-Collins after the horse rescue two years ago,” said Stutz.”An agent sent me an email out of the blue. I thought it was a scam, it seemed too good to be true.”

Though she intended to ignore the email originally, Stutz responded at the insistence of her husband and was soon set up with co-writer Lawrence Scanlan.


Rochelle Baker of the Abbotsford Times writes about a South Asian man turned away from a Christmas party that wasn’t allowing “East Indians” in the door. The man, Ken Herar, writes a column for the Abbotsford/Mission Times, meaning he was probably exactly the type of person the organizers wanted to keep out. Or not.

And Cornelia Naylor of the Chilliwack Times wraps her multimedia series on local musicians and the instruments they play with a story on a timpanist (someone who plays a few really large drums). The video, like all the others in the series, is terrific. And here’s a photo gallery.

Leave a comment, dammit.


Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

Seen something else I should know about? Want to write a post? Have better photos than the Creative Commons Flickr pool ones I use? E-mail bclocalreporter(at)

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

Photo courtesy of Jim Barter via Flickr.

Musical movies

December 1, 2010 Comments off

Chilliwack Times reporter Cornelia Naylor is midway through a multi-part series profiling the players of the Chilliwack Symphany Orchestra, and, in particular, the instruments they play. Each of the first three segments of the series has featured photos, a story and a video. The videos, have been especially good; this type of story seems tailor-made for the medium.

The first three videos can be found here.

Part one focused on a violinist, part two on a trumpet player, and part three on a celloist (the photo for which is stunning).

The pieces are running each Friday.


Great football photo by Blair Sheir of the North Shore News. Also from the NSN, a great guest column/poem by Kate Zimmerman titled, wonderfully, “Now is the winter of our web content.

Impressionist rappers

November 26, 2010 Comments off

Update: links to Greg’s twitter account and story have been fixed.

A pic and a profile to get ya started this morn…

Greg Hoekstra of the North Shore Outlook worked overtime to write this gripping profile of David Coles (a.k.a. Kyprios), who won the latest version of the Peak Performance Project. There was no guarantee even that Coles would win, but it sure makes for a good wrap to the story. Also features video.

A photo taken by Chilliwack Progress photographer Jenna Hauck of an RCMP investigation into human remains looks like it’s some impressionist painting in a European art museum. Nothing much going on, no body in sight but the colours are gripping. Most unique photo I’ve seen in some time.

Seen something else I should know about? E-mail bclocalreporter(at)

Reminder: help complete a census of B.C. community newspapers by filling in the blanks of the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. 

%d bloggers like this: