Voice Archives - September 2009


 Voice Health Report  Staff Report                  September 1 2009

What To Do About The Flu

Learn the symptoms and be prepared

The 2009 school season is beginning again in Chilliwack and this time it brings with it the danger of spreading it throughout the community.

People at risk like those who have immune system problems, pregnant women; people of any age with heart disease, asthma, diabetes and other chronic illnesses; children under 2; people over 65 should all try to take precautions; like avoiding certain public places unless they need to and using surgical masks; frequent hand washing; avoid coughing directly into public spaces. Better yet just stay home and ride it out. Rest, and get plenty of fluids, health officials agree.
Who is at risk?
While people over 65 tend not to catch swine flu, they are primary targets of the regular seasonal winter flu — and there's no way for patients to tell one flu from the other strain. Those over 50 should get a shot. For children, pediatricians advise watching activity levels. Being listless or lethargic can be a warning sign of worsening illness.

If you're in a risk group category then it's best to be prepared. You can see your doctor to get a Tamiflu kit to use when you need it. Doctors would rather get a call from or see a high-risk person "sooner rather than later" to decide if they need the anti-flu medications Tamiflu or Relenza. The drugs work best if taken within the first 48 hours of symptoms.

When is it a real emergency?
When does it get bad enough to see a doctor or go to the emergency room? If it's hard to breathe then that's an emergency.


Symptoms include fever of 100 degrees or more, cough, body chills and aches, congestion. Diarrhea and vomiting sometimes occur, particularly with the swine flu that doctors call the 2009 H1N1 flu. Signs to seek emergency care include shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, confusion or seizures, persistent vomiting or inability to hold down liquids, bluish lips.

Last year I got a good dose of the flu and it seemed to have run it's course after a week or so and then over the next two or three days my throat became infected which had me in emergency at 3am. So, if fever goes away and then a new one sets in days later, seek medical care. That can be a sign of bacterial infections that sometimes follow any type of flu.

Please don't base any kind of self diagnosis on this article. I've written it only as a way to empower people with some information regarding the influenza season ahead of us in the fall.

According to the Centre For Disease Control's latest charts well over 36,000 people have or have had the H1N1 virus. 500 people have died in the USA from this virus. Predictions go as high as 90,000 H1N1 related deaths over the winter months.

© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice

The following is the CDC's weekly report on H1N1:

2008-2009 Influenza Season Week 33 ending August 22, 2009

All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.

On June 11, the World Health Organization raised the pandemic alert level from Phase 5 to Phase 6 indicating that an influenza pandemic is underway. The novel influenza A (H1N1) virus now will be referred to as “2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus.”

Synopsis during week 33 (August 16-22, 2009)

Influenza activity remained stable or continued to decline in most areas of the U.S. However, activity appears to be increasing in the Southeast. A total of 8,843 hospitalizations and 556 deaths associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been reported to CDC an increase from 7,983 hospitalizations and 522 deaths from the prior week

During week 33:

 Exclusive Voice Report   September 15 2009

Public Hearing


Chilliwack Bets On New Gaming Centre
Gather your quarters up, slot machines are coming to Chilliwack.                       Staff/The Voice


    Chilliwack residents wanted a voice for the proposed gaming centre and last night at Evergreen Hall they got their voice. All 500 of them and until 1 am too. The loquacious crowd was buzzing from the onset and the floor was obviously slanted towards the "Yes" side as speaker after speaker took the microphone. Agencies, associations and individuals all expressed dismay at the thought of losing funds which a gaming centre could bring for charitable causes.

    Slots are new to Chilliwack as are other forms of gambling that the centre will bring with it. Some say it's about time slot machines got here as every other municipality has those little robotic cash vacuums in them.

    Over the course of the evening, 69 people patiently waited for their turn at the microphone and to lay their cards on the table and of those 69 people only 5 of them were opposed.


    Greg Walker from the BCLC started off the evening and said the lottery commission has done it's homework. "This is a solid economic study that we have done here which is very thorough," he said.

    Walker also addressed problem gambling. "As far as social responsibility is concerned, we have programs in place like self-exclusion, license plate tracking, photos etc. to help those who have problems with gambling."

    There was nothing concrete about the "projected revenues" and how much that the Gaming Centre and its 100 slots will siphon off residents and plop into charity coffers. Coun. Janzen asked for numbers and  Walker was evasive. "It varies depending on the location," he said.

Pat Johnson, who was with the Upper Fraser Valley Community For Kids contingent, an offshoot from the BC Children's Hospital, was adamantly opposed to losing funding. "My vote is yes and if this money (from the Chilliwack Bingo Association) dries up rest assured we will be knocking at your door," said Johnson pointing at council members.

    One of the "No" people was Dan O'Hara who felt that a casino would hurt the community more than help it. "Expansion of gambling in Chilliwack will have a negative impact on families and it's ironic that we have to use our gaming money to help kids."


    If there was such strong support for the Chilliwack Gaming Centre at 46125 Olds Drive, which will create approximately 100 new jobs, then why even bother with a public meeting like this?

    Coun. Stewart McLean bristled at the question and insisted that it was not a waste of precious resources. "For months we have done studies and we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to be heard before we made our decision," he said.

Coun. Stewart McLean

    Ironically it was McLean's vote which led to a split in council's decision and Mayor Sharon Gaetz broke the stalemate by going along with the majority and voting for it.

    Will this lead to a 25˘ coin shortage in Chilliwack? Who knows but dust off your Mississippi gambling hat.

© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice

September Sunshine At Salish

Chilliwack Enjoys An Endless Summer

Sept 24 2009

Joe Reporter
 Local Spots
The Joe Report


                                                                                                           Craig Hill photo

Summer Beckons To The Fall

The summer-like weather conditions Thursday had ducks and people enjoying their afternoon at Salish Park next to the Coast Hotel and the Chilliwack Public Library. The pond is home to turtles, koi and waterfowl year round.



                                      More photos of Salish Park here


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 Exclusive Voice Report                             September 23 2009

Public Rally At Courthouse


Worldwide Rally For the Prince Of Pot In Chilliwack
Ooo that smell, can't you smell that smell?

Staff/The Voice


    Vancouver has Marc Emery. Abbotsford has Tim Felger and Chilliwack has Jason.

    Whether you knew it or not, Saturday was a worldwide rally to free Marc Emery. Emery announced last month that he was going to take a cross-Canada final "Farewell Tour" after being busted selling marijuana seeds to the people in the USA. He'll be traveling stateside later this year for sentencing.


    Although Chilliwack wasn't on Emery's itinerary, a small group of supporters gathered at the courthouse Saturday afternoon nonetheless. Armed with placards, handouts and the obligatory doobies, they got the attention of passing cars with friendly waves who tooted and waved back in support.

    Jason, from Chilliwack and organizer of the rally, believes strongly in what Emery is trying to do referring to him as a "Man Among Gods" in a   Marc Emery

press release last month.

    For a brief time Jason stood alone on the windy corner, slowly but surely people drifted on up and grabbed some of his placards. "I advertised this all over town including the court house," said Jason noting that the his courthouse signs were removed.

Jason shows one of his signs Saturday afternoon.

    As more people joined, more signs were waved and more horns were honked and the rally was a relaxed and low key event which became more colourful when forest nymphs Brittany and Alana descended from rays of sunshine adorned with pot leaves woven in their hair. Elvinish beauties.

    HEU member and palliative care worker, Alana, had only just heard about the rally at the last moment and bolted out the door to join them at the clock tower. She met Emery in the past and has donated money to help with his legal fees. "The whole idea of denying people    

                                                    Alana and Brittany lend their support.

the right to choose this lovely wonderful plant is absurd. It's absolutely ridiculous that Marc Emery is going to jail in the USA for selling seeds," she said.

    "Because of my illness I need this," said another. "I eat it because f the Omega 3 and protein. The seeds are loaded with protein," said Barb.

    Jason really wants to help bring attention to Emery's cause and according to him there are vast numbers

Supporters at the Marc Emery rally.

of people who smoke pot on a daily basis. "162 million worldwide smoke pot regularly," he said.

    For Jason, this is just the beginning. He wants to hold more rallies in the future now that he's cut his teeth on this one. "I plan on doing this again and again to help bring awareness to the war on drugs and how it's not working."

see more rally pictures here


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice

A Doggone

Great Day!

Paws For A Cause Event at Fairfield Island Park


September 14 2009

Joe Reporter

The Joe Report



          "My little dog a heartbeat at my feet." Edith Wharton.

The Dog Days Of Summer
    If all dogs go to heaven then Sunday at the park must have been heaven on earth for dozens of canines and their owners. The Chilliwack SPCA held it's annual "Paws For A Cause" event and fundraiser Sunday at beautiful Fairfield Island Park and it was a doggone good day. Dozens of dog people brought their pooches and at times it looked like there were more dogs than people.

    I decided to leave the frisbees at home as a safer option at my age and when I arrived at the park it was a pleasant surprise to see dozens of very well behaved dogs. They had energy but it was a very controlled energy except for the three dogs who brought Margaret with them who had an handful.

    One of the oddest requests was that people were not  let their dogs sniff each other because that's when dogs get ornery. So no sniffing allowed! Who knew?


    Emcee Lisa Stevens from the Morning Show at Star Fm and Amy the "Star Cruiser Girl", a mainstay at many Chilliwack events, both appeared to be having a great time.


    There were some fun contests for the dogs like the "Bowl Licking Contest" and for the biggest, smallest, oldest, coolest and ... wisest?


    Lunch was ... hot dogs of course! Free too!

    Volunteers Juanita & Tony were working the registration tables have been married for 51 years and have also spent 12 of those years working with the SPCA. Tony said he's not had a dog day since. "Its fun to get out and enjoy the weather and help the cause," he said.

Away in the back of the grass field past the all of the kiosks was Bev Merrick who is a dog agility trainer

with her circuit course she puts the dogs through.


    The Voice had a chance to talk with Merrick between demonstrations about the track set up and what she did with the dogs. To explain she let Bob, the Jack Daniel, run a gamut of tubes, ramps and hurdles which he sped through with typical Jack verve. In fact every time I tried to get a photo of Bob he bolted by at breakneck speed. Just when I thought I had an award winning photo of Bob in the air over a hurdle, click, he was gone. Bob was allowed to kill a teddy bear as his reward despite refusing to go in slow motion over the hurdles for me.

    Merrick offers a 6 week Introductory Dog Agility Training course through the SPCA and for a donation of $75 you can have your dog on the road to pro training. Tax receipts are issued. For more information about this training which is also great exercise for your dog, e-mail Bev at bjmerric@telus.net

    Another kiosk was The Turd Wranglers who's motto is "We step in so you don't have to!" Owner operator Angela who was there with her son Andrew said they specialize in cleaning up doggie do in residential and

Angela and son Andrew of Turd Wranglers were

promoting their enviro-biz.


commercial properties. "If people have moved out and they have left a mess, a landlord can call us to come in and clean up," she said. "We are an environmentally friendly to get rid of animal waste. They are thorough in their yard clean-ups and offer a senior/handicap discount. You can reach the Turd Wranglers at 604-794-0011 or visit their website at: www.turdwranglers.ca


    Senior Animals In Need Today Society (SAINTS) was another group at the park Sunday. This is a wonderful organization of concerned animal lovers who care for dogs and cats with special needs or those at the end of their lives. They also work to adopt their animals out to caring homes.


    If you are interested in an adoption they can be contacted via e-mail: adopt@saintrescue.ca


Visit their website to find out how you can help by volunteering or donating money to help this great group working behind the scenes with neglected and lost pets.


Coun. Sue Atrill was in attendance with her partner's pooch and the Voice caught her posing for the free dog portraits from Colin Boyd of Investors Group. Boyd was taking photographs of people and their pets and later he will e-mail them their pics.


There were other cool things like getting your dog's footprints and all kinds of snacks from vendors specializing in dog foods like The Pampered Chef. Other vendors and groups present with great people were Dogs Deserve Better, Partylite, Creative Memories, Oly's Pet Connection, The Bruins Hockey group and mascot were there as well to round out the kiosks. The event was sponsored by Scruffy Tail Pet Food & Supplies Ltd.


Saint John Ambulance provided the emergency services. Thanks always to the volunteers there and the great job they do.


Did we miss anyone important? Oh yes! Leeann the Ice Cream Delight lady.


It was a good show of support for such a great cause and when I left there I was convinced that dogs were really people with short legs and fur coats.


"When you leave them in the morning, they stick their nose in the door crack and stand there like a portrait until you turn the key eight hours later." Erma Bombeck

Paws For A Cause gallery photos here


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice   



 Voice Report                                        Tuesday September 29 2009

Military Funeral                                                               


Chilliwack Says Goodbye

To Col. Roger St. John

Staff Report



    Hundreds of people filled First Avenue Christian Assembly for the military funeral for CFB Chilliwack base commander Col. (Ret.) Roger St. John.

    St. John served as the last base commander before it closed in 1997 and prior to retiring after 32 years in the service.


                                                      For more pictures go here


                                                                                                © Copyright (c) The Valley Voice


 Voice Special Report                          Thursday September 24 2009

The Olympic Torch Relay


No Glitches In Olympic Torch Dress Rehearsal
Testing 1-2-3 Testing

                                             Craig Hill/The Voice


                                                                                                                        Craig Hill photos

Final torch bearer Bet Tuason lights up the stage in a mock ceremony at the Leisure Centre Wednesday.


CHILLIWACK, B.C. - It was rings n' things in Chilliwack. The longest torch relay in Olympic history doesn't begin for over a month but some residents of the city got an early look yesterday at the cross-country caravan when the Coca-Cola Torch Relay trucks made a practice run from Hope to Chilliwack where a stage was already setup in the Leisure Centre parking lot. The entire entourage sans the stage, then traveled on to Abbotsford to finish the Fraser Valley leg.

There was a little pomp and ceremony as the mock parade moved through Chilliwack town but this was just a test of the system and it was the first and only stage setup pre-Olympics anywhere in Canada. Games organizers were confident the "dry run" went off without a hitch or a glitch.


Suzanne Reeves, Director of Communications with VANOC, said the focus of the celebration is on the 150 or so torch bearers who will proudly carry it on the route through Chilliwack and passing it to the final runner who will then light the torch on the stage. And just like crowds did today, they'll cheer loudly in February.                               

"This has been 3 years in the planning and today we launch in earnest and it's going to be very exciting, like the first day in University," said Reeves.

The torch begins its 106 day odyssey from Greece to Whistler where it lands on Canadian soil beginning in Labrador October 20 then linking over 1000 communities across Canada before arriving at it's final destination February 12, 2010 in Whistler, BC.

The unique and colourful stage at the Leisure Centre actually turns into a truck like a huge transformer after the ceremony and will be one of two that are setup alternatively at each event along it's 45,000 km route. It features a large graphic of a woman who staff affectionately refer to as "Colossus", added Reeves.

Final torch bearer Bet Tuason, who is also a demo leader in the Paralympics was chosen from a pool of peers who make significant contributions to the community. Even though it was a practice event he was thrilled nonetheless and despite the searing 30c temperature in the parking lot he was still proudly wearing the Olympic colours including the toque and there was nothing "mock" about his enthusiasm. "I'm totally excited. Man, this is great! It's undescribable (sic)" he said.

Tuason who is handicapped and in a wheelchair also works with the School Day program where he demonstrates various Olympic sports to school children. He wasn't positive whether or

not he would be directly involved in

the actual torch run but remained optimistic. "Not sure if it will happen but I'm hoping so," he said  

Chilliwack is one of 200 "Celebration Community" cities across Canada which will be having various torch run celebrations. There'll be live entertainment from acts like Montreal's Gregory Charles. More details to be released later from the Community Celebrations Task Force (CTS) who has $40k to play with for the event.

The Coca-Cola Co. and the Royal Bank of Canada are the two big "Presenter Sponsors" of the Torch Relay and both were on hand at the Leisure Centre. Coca-cola was giving out unique bottle-shaped cans of coke and a trailer-housed interactive display and all of the Olympic torches from the early 1900's.

Some of the formerOlympic torches looked like nothing more than a kerosene lamp mounted on a pole and as the years passed the torches were remodeled with elements of where the Olympics were that year. Canada's very unique contribution to this historical lineup was a torch designed  by Bombardier which was one of the tallest of all. It looked to be approximately 50" tall. It's like a swoosh, swatch, swish . . . like skiing? You get the idea. It looks like a big white Bic lighter that's been stretched and bent.

Etienne (first name preferred), route-maker for La Belle Province, was a part of a big contingent of French-Canadian staff in green shirts. Etienne traveled around Canada visiting the Rockies and the Okanogan before landing in Vancouver where he found the job. He's looking forward to being with the torch for it's 106-day journey. "It's fun and it's exciting," he said.

People gathered around the stage and the national anthem was sung by talented Quebec quartet Le College Vocal de Laval. Mock emcee, Randy Ferguson, spoke to the crowd of mostly media and staff. "We are super excited to be a part of the Torch relay's 106 days across Canada," he said.


"We're privileged to have these talented people carry the torch and (today) we are getting a flavour of the celebrations of the torch," Ferguson said after doing a practice countdown.

Ferguson showed Vanoc and the Olympic organizers appreciation in his address to the Sto:Lo nation. "We thank the Sto:Lo people," he said.

Stol:Lo elder Margaret Comadore spoke highly of the Olympics and the torch run to raucous applause from the crowd. "I am hoping the tribes presence will be evident and we praise and honor those who will carry the torch," she said. "I raise my hands in the tradition of our people and             

welcome all and hope everyone enjoys the culture and carries the torch high."

John Furlough (Furly) who was at the dress rehearsal had some optimistic words. "This is a team that has really come together. They are a family and today was a big confidence-builder. We should feel terrific about what will be a great odyssey," he said. "I can't imagine the wonderful time    

you will have."
VANOC director John Furlough.

Despite a truck breakdown in Hope at the start, Furlough said glitches were almost non-existent. "We had some very minor adjustments to make and did well doing it for the first time live and have moved the project to a very good place."

To Furlough, the torch run will bring communities together in ways not seen before and it's an important celebration for all Canadians. "We want people to have a sense of ownership over these celebrations," he said.

Cpl. Jen Allan, RCMP Public Affairs & Media for the games says there will not be any really extra policing to do on the relay however there was a group of special police officers training, the Torch Relay Security Team, alongside runners as escorts and flame attendants as well as general security for celebrations. And just like the representation of athletes from across Canada in the Olympics, the RCMP will have a cross-country contingent of their own.

"There will be 23 police agencies representing Canada's law enforcement from across the country," said Allan.

Who will be the final runner to light the torch in Chilliwack? Stay tuned. We'll find out February 7th 2010 when the torch stops for real here.
For more information: www.vancouver2010.com

For the complete photo gallery go here.

                                                                                    © Copyright (c) The Valley Voice News



Chilliwack Runs For A Cure

The city raised $5k more this year over last and attendance was up



    Back when Terry was an ordinary kid like the rest of us kids at Poco Sr. Secondary, before his great run, who was to know that one of Canada's greatest heroes of all time was there in the gym playing basketball and wrestling and kicking around his Westwood neighborhood in Port Coquitlam or hanging out at the Tastee Freeze or the Northside Coffee Shop a block from school? Terry looked and acted like an ordinary kid. However he had extraordinary outlook on life and living. But Terry wasn't like the rest of us kids. He had bigger dreams. He had goals that dwarfed anything we youngsters could think up. He had plans beyond anyone's comprehension.


    It was then that the Marathon of Hope was conceived. To date Terry Fox Runs have raised more than $400M for cancer research worldwide. More than Terry could have dreamed.


    It's hard to find someone who has not been affected by this devastating disease. I for one, lost a younger brother to brain cancer sixteen years ago and each year since then medical researchers seem to find different ways to treat cancer successfully.


    According to Donna White, Provincial Director BC & Yukon last year The Terry Fox Foundation raised over $22 million for cancer research. Over 87˘ out of every dollar raised goes to fund the best and the brightest in the research community. Research is the only thing we fun…this was Terry’s wish.


    White was very pleased with the amount of community participation at this year's run.


    "The Run was fantastic in Chilliwack, once again.  An amazing group of volunteers dedicates their time and energy in that community to ensure that Terry’s legacy lives on for the people of Chilliwack.  Participation was up by about 50 people yesterday and funds were up approximately $5000. These are early numbers with funds still to come in," said White.


    White also told The Voice that the Fox family were at the Hometown Run in Port Coquitlam and weren't able to be in Chilliwack.


    "Betty and Rolly Fox attended the Hometown Run in Port Coquitlam.  Judith Fox-Alder, along with her family, also attended this event in the morning and later ran in the Run in her home community of Aldergrove.  Fred Fox and his family attended the Run in Maple Ridge where they live," she said.


    The man's spirit was with us Sunday in Chilliwack on what would have been his 51st birthday and a few hundred early risers committed to keeping Terry's dream alive, walked, trotted, pushed and pulled their way around a                                                           photos Craig Hill/Valley Voice

1.5 km,   5 km              Band leader Tim Wright conducts his Chilliwack or a 10 km run.                  Community Band at the Landing Sports Centre.        


    There was music provided by the Chilliwack Community Band and musical duo Sweetwater got the crowds feet moving followed by a fun aerobic warm-up. Later after the run, participants were treated to pancake breakfasts from the Lions Club.                  


Scott Riley, StarFm's morning guy was the emcee and brought along his well-tuned sense of humor as he introduced Mayor Sharon Gaetz who was there to provide some inspiration to runners.



Brett Kholi of the Terry Fox Foundation addresses the

runners as Scot Riley and Mayor Sharon Gaetz watch

from behind the stage.


    "It's important to have the courage to finish the run and cheer each other on. Run hard, run for love, run for a cure. Godspeed and love to all of you," said Gaetz.


    Brett Kholi of the Terry Fox Foundation had a few encouraging words for the crowd as well. "I never thought I'd say these two words together - good and run - but have a good run," said Foley.


    Runners had lots of help with signage posted throughout the run and traffic directors plus a water station was setup on Hope River Rd. The first group back on the 1.5 km walk were Eric & Naomi Petkau along with the kids and friend Jeff Balzer.


The first runner back on the 5 km run was Gord Harmsen who has been running for about 6 weeks and seemed to struggle a bit despite the training already under his belt. "Coming off Corbould you could just feel the heat from the pavement," he said.       


    Runners on the 10 km section passed through Fairfield Island before returning to the Landing and first back in this group at about 9:57 am. was Kevin Janz who recently graduated from Chilliwack Sr. Secondary and also part of the Broadway MB Church congregation.


    "I've done cross-county high school runs and the Sun Run but today no one was in a hurry," he said catching his breath. Even at an easy pace Janz can really run as he was minutes ahead of any of the other runners. Future Olympian?


    Special thanks to Tim Hortons who provided the coffee and Timbits free!  Thanks Angela, Tim Hortons Community Cruiser Coordinator and to Frankie the java expert serving it up at the van. The coffee was awesome!


    The great sponsors who helped put together this year's run deserve a mention here and your patronage throughout the year:


        Hofstedes Country Barn          Chilliwack Water Store

        Tim Hortons                            Chilliwack Lions Club

        Mt Cheam Lions Club             Vedder Runners Club

        Starbucks                                StarFM

        City of Chilliwack                    Chilliwack Progress

        Chilliwack Times                      Shaw Cable

        Hair Razors Barber                  Gidney Signs

        Bill & Marie Sweetwater          Minter Country Garden

        Balloon Magic                          St. John Ambulance

        YMCA                                    Hawk Radio  


"Thanks to all the volunteers"

To donate or volunteer with the Terry Fox Foundation


                         For the entire photo gallery go here


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice  

 A Voice Report   September 14 2009

Craig Hill/The Valley Voice