(petition) Port Alberni council candidate Chris Alemany is on his way to Kelowna this morning, packing 573 pages of a petition to put the Martin Mars waterbomber back to work. Alemany says he will present the 18,300 signature petition off at Premier Christy Clark's Constituency office in Kelowna at 12:30 today, but has not been told whether the Premier will actually be there or not. Alemany said people from all around the province flocked to his website to add their support, and the end result was greater than anything he could have imagined. The online petition will close at noon today, with any remaining signatures forwarded to Victoria by mail.The petition can be found at www.change.org/bringbackthemars
(martin mars) Alberni / Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser says the protest to get the Hawaii Mars back fighting fires has hit a nerve in Victoria, and forced the Ministry of Forests to put out a press release comparing the Coulson Flying Tankers with their choice of the small Fire Boss float planes. Fraser says the Liberal Government has made a mistake by shutting the Martin Mars out of the firefighting program. Fraser says the Liberals have dug in their heels and are potentially putting homes, lives, and properties at risk by turning their back on the Martin Mars.
(Sproat referendum) Members of the Sproat Lake Community Association came to yesterday's Alberni - Clayoquot Regional District meeting hoping to stop a referendum planned for November. Voters throughout the regional district will vote on whether to make the Sproat Lake Marine Patrol a permanent service, which is the desire of Sproat Lake residents, and something they don't want to leave to chance. ACRD Chief Administrative Officer Russell Dyson told the board that the marine patrol can't continue receiving grants-in-aid, since the ACRD is essentially giving a grant-in-aid to itself. Instead, the service either needs to become self-sufficient or make it a permanent service of the ACRD. The issue has been referred to the Alberni Valley committee for further discussion and debate.
(tofino stars) The world's rich and famous continue to flock to the west coast, and many are investing in the area. NHL star Brendan Morrison will have a new neighbour in Willie Mitchell who is currently building a home on Chesterman Beach, and American heiress and 70's counterculture figure Patty Hearst is building a home on South Chesterman near musician Sarah McLaughlin.Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne hopes the new residents will be a part of the community. While Morrison has established a popular local salmon derby, Hearst has invested in a new restaurant that will open this summer in downtown Tofino.
Alberni Valley Track Club runner Oliver Speagle picked up a Gold medal as part of the 4X100 relay team at the Summer Olympics games in Nanaimo, while the Alberni Wrestling Club also came home with a bunch of hardware, including a Gold medal for Team Vancouver Island in the team competition. Individual gold medals were picked up by Isaac McDonald, Aaron Badovinac, Dean Leyland and Nolan Badovinac, while Johannes Kulich and Emma McGowan picked up Silver medals and Michel Kurucz brought home a Bronze.
Alberni Wrestling also brought back a Gold Medal from the North American Indigenous games as Russell David won his weight class. David Wilson picked up a sixth place finish in his weight class.
The Alberni Valley Track Club also brought back a Gold medal from the Indigenous Games as Rylee Mitchell dominated the U16 Boys Javelin competition.
Also representing the Alberni Valley at the Indigenous games are Coby Felsman and Memphis Dick for Baseketball, Kenna Harding for Volleyball and Tiffany McCarthy and Sarah Emmonds for Badminton. Memphis Dick won a Gold Medal for the U14 Girls Basketball competition while Felsman won a Silver Medal with Team BC's U16 team.