Sunday, June 28, 2009

Homers can't help Jays in Phillies series finale

Jamie Moyer wasn't at his best for Philadelphia on Sunday, but recorded his 252nd career win. Jamie Moyer wasn't at his best for Philadelphia on Sunday, but recorded his 252nd career win. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

The Philadelphia Phillies overcame three Toronto home runs to post a 5-4 comeback win over the Blue Jays on Sunday.

Chase Utley tripled to drive in the go-ahead runs in a four-run fourth inning for the Phillies after Toronto led 4-1.

Philadelphia starter Jamie Moyer and relievers Chan-Ho Park, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Toronto threatened late against Madson and Lidge, but could not capitalize.

The 46-year-old Moyer (6-6) earned the win despite giving up two home runs to Aaron Hill and another longball to Jose Bautista over the first four innings. He has now yielded 19 homers this season, putting him first in the majors in the dubious category.

Moyer struck out four and walked two in five innings pitched. With the victory, he passed Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and moved into 43rd position with 252 all-time wins.

Toronto pitchers were overly cautious against former Jayson Werth, who had homered five times in five games against the Blue Jays over the past two weeks. Werth walked four times and singled.

Brian Tallet (5-5), reliable since being thrust into a starting role for Toronto, struggled on Sunday. Tallet was on the hook for all of Philadelphia's runs, walking six and allowing eight hits in six innings of work.

Toronto third baseman Scott Rolen extended his hit streak to 16 games with a double in the third. He finished with two hits and is now 32-of-66 (.485) since his streak started on June 8.

Tallet was in a spot of trouble in the first after Werth walked and Chase Utley doubled, but he rebounded to strike out big Ryan Howard before inducing rookie John Mayberry Jr. into a long fly ball to end the threat.

Hill smacked his 18th home run in the first, setting a new franchise record for Toronto second basemen. The drive hooked inside the left-field foul pole.

Bautista got to Moyer with two out and first baseman Lyle Overbay aboard in the second for a 3-0 lead.

The Phillies got one back in the third when Howard's ground out brought Shane Victorino across the plate. Werth landed at third, but Tallet struck out Mayberry to end the inning.

Hill replied promptly, taking Moyer's first offering in the bottom of the inning over the left-field wall.

Tallet yielded singles to Pedro Feliz and Eric Bruntlett in the fourth and walked Chris Coste to set up Philadelphia's big fourth inning. Carlos Ruiz and Victorino earned RBIs despite making outs to bring the Phillies to within 4-3.

After Werth singled, he and Victorino easily came home when Utley bashed a pitch off the centre-field wall for a triple.

Moyer settled down after being provided with the boost from his teammates. His only blemish from that point on was hitting Rolen with a pitch in the fifth inning.

Toronto catcher Raul Chavez helped end another run possibility for the Phillies in the sixth when he threw out Ruiz attempting to steal third. Wells then made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in centre for the final out.

Chan-Ho Park came on in the sixth for Moyer and recorded six consecutive outs.

Rolen hit a one-out single in the eighth off Madson, ending a streak of eight consecutive Toronto outs. The Blue Jays then caught a break when Bruntlett botched Adam Lind's ground ball, but Alex Rios and pinch-hitter Russ Adams could not cash the runners in.

The Blue Jays again threatened in their last at bat. Chavez led off with a bunt single and Marco Scutaro walked, but Hill popped up. John McDonald вЂ" a pinch runner for Chavez вЂ" then made a huge error, getting caught in a rundown for the penultimate out.

Charles defends Canadian triple jump title

Tabia Charles, seen at the Beijing Olympics, competes in both the long and triple jump.  Tabia Charles, seen at the Beijing Olympics, competes in both the long and triple jump. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Tabia Charles successfully defended her title in women's triple jump on Sunday afternoon at the Canadian track and field championships in Toronto.

Charles made her first two jumps at 12.62 and 12.89 metres and faulted on her next two before taking a pass on her remaining jumps to win the event for the second straight year.

"I am happy with where I am at in this event," said Charles, who holds the Canadian record of 13.94 metres. "This is an event that I have put on the backburner because I have not had a jump coach for a while.

"With this event, you have to be technical all the time."

Charles, who graduated from the University of Miami where she made the dean's list, said her main focus is on the long jump, in which she finished second on Saturday with a leap of 6.75 metres.

Charles, who intends to pursue a career in either modelling or fashion design, made an expected fashion statement at Varsity Stadium.

"I am representing pink today," the stylish athlete said. "People come in and pay their money and I gave them a show. I couldn't just wear the regular briefs because everybody looks the same.

"I like to come out there and represent and let people know it's me. I like to put a little spice into it."

Espanola, Ont., high school student Caroline Ehrhardt, who broke Charles's record leap of 12.36 metres seven years ago at last month's OFSAA championships at Varsity with a jump of 12.76 metres, was second with a mark of 12.45.

Neb Zachariah of Guelph, Ont., was third with a jump of 12.38 metres followed by Alicia Smith (12.00) and Tiffany Sprenkels (11.77).

Military forces Honduran president into exile

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya arrived in Costa Rica on Sunday after what he described as a coup and a "brutal kidnapping" by soldiers opposed to his efforts to reform the country's constitution and run for another term.

Soldiers patrol in front of the residence of President Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa on Sunday.Soldiers patrol in front of the residence of President Manuel Zelaya in Tegucigalpa on Sunday. (Esteban Felix/Associated Press)

Zelaya said troops beat his bodyguards and rousted him out of bed at his home earlier in the day.

His personal secretary, Carlos Enrique Reina, said Zelaya was then whisked away to an air force base on the outskirts of the capital, Tegucigalpa, before being expelled from the country.

"We're in the process of filing an international complaint," he said as Zelaya was flown to San Jose.

Witnesses reported seeing dozens of heavily armed troops surround the president's residence around dawn.

"We're talking about a coup d'etat," labour leader and Zelaya ally Rafael Alegria told Honduran radio Cadena de Noticias. "This is regrettable."

Zelaya was taken away shortly before voting was to begin on a constitutional referendum he had insisted on holding, even though the Honduran Supreme Court ruled it illegal and everyone from the military and Congress to members of his own party opposed it.

The military arrest was carried out after the armed forces commander, Gen. Romeo Vasquez, announced on Friday that he would remain at his post after the country's highest court overturned the president’s decision to fire him two days earlier for refusing to support the referendum.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya answers questions during a news conference at the presidential house in Tegucigalpa on Friday.Honduran President Manuel Zelaya answers questions during a news conference at the presidential house in Tegucigalpa on Friday. (Esteban Felix/Associated Press)

Voters were to be asked to place a measure on November's ballot for general elections to allow the formation of a constitutional assembly that could modify the country's constitution to allow the president to run for another four-year term.

Zelaya's non-renewable term expires in January.

On Saturday, Zelaya said the results of the vote would be "non-binding." He said its only purpose was to learn whether Hondurans favored "a switch from representative democracy to participatory democracy."

Zelaya was elected as a conservative in January 2006 and shifted to the left. He is the latest of a string of Latin American leaders, including Venezuelan President Hugo ChГЎvez, to seek constitutional changes to expand presidential powers and ease term limits.

Chavez, speaking on Venezuelan state television, said he would do everything necessary to "abort" the coup.

White House, EU express concern over events in Honduras

U.S. President Barack Obama said he was “deeply concerned” by the reports of Zelaya's detention and expulsion, and he called on “all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms” in a statement issued by the White House.

"I call on all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter," Obama said in a statement.

"Any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue, free from any outside interference," he said. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Zelaya's arrest should be condemned.

A statement released by the European Union's 27 foreign ministers described the overthrow of Zelaya as an "unacceptable violation of the constitutional order in Honduras."

"The EU calls for the urgent release of the president and a swift return to constitutional normality," said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.

Speaking from Costa Rica, Zelaya said he would not recognize any de facto government and pledged to serve out his term.

It was not immediately clear who was running the government. Soldiers appeared to be in control, but the constitution mandates that the head of Congress is next in line to the presidency, followed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Surrey couple had murder convictions before wife's fatal stabbing: police

IHIT investigators secured the area around the apartment after RCMP officers found a woman's body inside on Monday. IHIT investigators secured the area around the apartment after RCMP officers found a woman's body inside on Monday. (CBC)

Both the only suspect and the victim of a fatal stabbing in a Surrey, B.C., apartment on Monday were out on parole for prior murder convictions, according to police.

Homicide investigators said they believe the woman, 59, was stabbed to death inside the apartment she shared with her husband, Thomas Robert Elton, 54, in the Guildford neighbourhood, east of Vancouver.

Elton was arrested Monday for violating his parole conditions and remained in police custody on Tuesday while Crown prosecutors considered charges, police said.

"Elton was on parole in relation to a 1975 murder while incarcerated at Matsqui Prison," Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr said in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Court records show Elton was serving a 2ВЅ-year sentence for armed robbery at the Fraser Valley prison when he stabbed another inmate to death. His criminal file includes a string of offences and convictions for violent crimes stretching back to his youth.

Police have not released the woman's name, but did say she was also on parole for a 1987 murder in nearby Burnaby, B.C.

Neighbours told CBC News on Monday that the couple had lived together in the apartment for several years. They said the woman had terminal cancer and other serious health issues.

CAW, Bombardier have tentative agreement

Bombardier Inc. and the Canadian Auto Workers Union members at the company's de Havilland aircraft manufacturing plant in Toronto reached a tentative agreement Tuesday afternoon.

The company was not successful in two areas it was targetting вЂ" hiring more temporary workers who wouldn't be covered by the union contract and cutting retiree benefits, union spokesmen said.

"We were under a lot of pressure to make concessions, but were able to resist these demands," Merv Gray, CAW Local 112 Bombardier plant chairman, said in a news release.

The union did get wage increases, but details weren't released.

The CAW had set a 10 a.m. ET strike deadline, but the parties continued to talk Tuesday.

The union represents 2,750 workers at the company's Downsview plant, which makes two complete aircraft вЂ" Bombardier's Q400 turboprop and its Global Express business jet вЂ" as well as the wing for the Learjet 45.

Negotiations began two months ago. Union members include production workers, skilled trades and office workers.

A ratification meeting is set for June 28.

With files from The Canadian Press

P.E.I. approves 2 new schools

Stratford and Souris have waited long enough, Premier Robert Ghiz said in announcing that the P.E.I. cabinet has approved two new schools.

'Quite frankly they were impatient with government and the Eastern School District.'вЂ" Premier Robert Ghiz

On Tuesday the cabinet approved a proposal by the Eastern School District to build the schools and put an addition on a third. School trustees voted in favour of the projects last Wednesday.

Work on all three projects, expected to total about $30 million, is expected to begin immediately.

The Souris area will take the largest share of that budget, $20 million, for a single school that will include students from kindergarten to Grade 12. Stratford will get a new elementary school on the same site as Glen Stewart, to ease overcrowding there.

The classrooms at Glen Stewart School are crowded.The classrooms at Glen Stewart School are crowded. (CBC)

Some trustees voted against the new schools, saying a more comprehensive zoning study was needed, but Ghiz said due diligence has been done.

"The Parents for Learning in Souris have been working on this for the last number of years. Quite frankly they were impatient with government and the Eastern School District for taking too long," he said.

"We know in Stratford they've got over 600 students there, there's major problems out in that area and it's been going on for quite a number of years. And I've heard a lot of complaints about the Eastern School District and about the provincial government that we're too slow."

In addition to the two schools, cabinet approved an addition to Westwood Primary School in Cornwall to accommodate another 160 students.

While timeframes are tight, district officials believe it may be possible to have some of the new schools open in September 2010.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Managing Stress Without The Use of Drugs

Managing Stress Without The Use of Drugs
 by: James Brann, MD
In today's fast paced environment, many people are under a lot of stress. Women are even more susceptible to the strains of everyday life. Some are single mothers that work full time jobs and then come home and care for their baby. They are over worked, underpaid and under extreme stress.
Many women go to their family doctors complaining about headaches, lack of sleep and mood swings. The doctor will calmly explain to them that they have stress problems, and to take a few days off, and then prescribe them a drug to alleviate the symptoms.
While the drugs may work in the short term, it doesn't treat the root problems. When you stop taking the drug, the stress will still be present. And who has the time to put their feet up and relax, especially if you have a toddler causing mayhem at home?
So what are the alternatives?
Well there are many and we will explore a few of them in this article, but the first thing you have to do is figure out the cause of your stress. Stress can be caused by many things. What is stressful to one person can be joyful for the next. For instance, speaking in public can cause some people a lot of anxiety, but to some it is a joy.
Once you have located the reasons for your stress try to think of ways to alleviate it. Here are some more helpful tricks and tips for managing stress levels without the use of drugs.
Take a Deep Breath: The reason why stress causes headaches in a lot of cases is because when a person is under significant stress they will tend to breath shallowly, or hold their breath without even realizing it. Your muscles then get a lack of oxygen and you cramp up in such places like your neck and abdomen and you get a headache. Sometimes it just makes you feel uptight.
If you feel a headache coming on, or you feel uptight, stop and check your breathing. Take a few minutes to rest and take deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth.
Talk to People: Being lonely is a terrible thing, and this can cause stress all by itself. Try joining a club or something you enjoy that will connect you to other people. Sometimes just talking and having fun can do wonders for your stress problems.
Regular Exercise: It has been scientifically proven that exercise helps relieve stress. Try joining a gym, or just going for a walk each night. You will boost your energy level making it easier to cope with the stress of daily life.
Managing Time: Nothing causes stress like being late for an appointment. Avoid this unnecessary stress by planning your day. Insure that you have enough time to get to all of your appointments. Maybe invest in a day planner.
Body Break: Your mind and body are one. Make sure that you eat proper nutritious meals, and sleep well at night. Avoid excess sugar and caffeine. These foods will give you a temporary high, but will cause you to crash later. A body that is properly maintained will be better able to cope with stress.
Avoid The Use of Illegal Drugs: Many people turn to alcohol and drugs to relieve their stress. While it may seem that these things are helping with your stress they are really harming you. Not only are they wrecking your body, but they are only a temporary fix. When you wake up in the morning, the problem that you were trying to escape will still be there.
Change Your Surroundings: Make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. If your chair at work is causing your back to hurt, change it. If your bed is causing backache and lack of sleep, change it. Why put your mind and body under stress that can be easily avoided.
Go to Your Happy Place: Try daydreaming for a minute if you feel stressed out. Imagine a sunny beach, or a quiet cottage. Imagine the tastes and sounds. A few minutes of imagined vacation can do wonders for your mental outlook, and relieve stress.
These are just a few techniques that will help you cope with your stress levels. Try concentrating on the positive aspects of your life, and not the negative. Without some stress life would be boring, but too much of anything can kill you.

The Top 10 Tips on Managing Conflict, Emotional Tension and Anger

The Top 10 Tips on Managing Conflict, Emotional Tension and Anger
 by: Dr. Clare Albright
To be a safe and predictable person for those around you at work and at home, it is essential that you are able to maintain your composure when you feel like your 'buttons' are being pushed. This strength will help you to achieve your goals in business as well as your goals for your personal relationships.
1. Share negative emotions only in person or on the phone. E-mails, answering machine messages, and notes are too impersonal for the delicate nature of negative words. What feels like a bomb on paper may feel like a feather when delivered in person.
2. Pepper your responses with the phrase, "I understand". This phrase will support your goals when the tension is high and you need to find common ground to form compromises or agreements with the other party.
3. Take notice when you feel threatened by what someone is saying to you. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or to "shut down" the other person's communication. It will take this kind of discipline to become an open, trusting communicator.
4. Practice making requests of others when you are angry. It is often much more useful to make a request than to share your anger. For example, if the babysitter is driving you crazy by leaving dirty dishes in the sink, it is better to make a request of them than to let your anger leak out in other ways such as by becoming more distant.
5. Try repeating the exact words that someone is saying to you when they are in a lot of emotional pain or when you disagree with them completely. This mirroring technique can keep both the speaker and the listener 'centered' in a difficult conversation, especially when the attitude of the person doing the mirroring is to gain understanding of a different point of view.
6. Take responsibility for your feelings to avoid blaming others. Notice when 'blameshifting' begins to leak into your speech. "I feel angry when you are twenty minutes late and you don't call me" is much better than, "You make me so mad by being late."
7. Learn to listen to the two sides of the conflict that you are in as if you were the mediator or the counselor. If you can listen and respond in this way you will bring peace and solutions to the conflict more quickly. For example, in response to an employee's raise request, you might say, "On the one hand I understand that you really need the raise, and on the other hand I represent the company, whose funds are very scarce at this time. Is there a way that I can work on your compensation package that does not involve cash?" Here, the mediator's point of view can look for the creative compromise that takes into account the limits and the needs of both parties.
8. Take a playful attitude towards developing the skill of emotional self-control in high conflict situations. You could view maintaining self-control in a tense, angry converstion as an athletic feat. You could also view developing this skill as similar to working out at the gym with weights - the more that you use your self-control muscle the bigger it will grow and the easier it will be to remain calm when tension is great.
9. Wait a few days to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you feel wild with intense feelings, such as rage. As time passes, you will be able to be more objective about the issues and to sort out the truth about the situation more clearly.
10. Make a decision to speak with decorum whenever you are angry or frustrated. If you give yourself permission to blow up, people will not feel safe around you. They will feel that you are not predictable and will carry 'shields' when they are near you. The fear and walls of others will not support your goals for success in relationships or at work.

Breeding Discus – 3 Ways to Encourage Spawning

Breeding Discus – 3 Ways to Encourage Spawning
 by: Rob Clarke
So you have a mature pair of discus fish that have shown an interest in each other but there not laying any eggs.
The most important factor in discus breeding in the water quality, make sure it is soft, acidic and clean. If you have this water, your most likely stressing over why there isn't hundreds of eggs in the tank. If you have discus ready to lay eggs there are a few ways in which you can give them a helping hand.
The first way you can tempt them to lay is to feed a rich diet of frozen bloodworms for about a week. Feed it everyday as well as their other meal. This should condition the female and get her ready to breed. Other foods that are good for breeding discus are white worm, adult brine shrimp and chopped up crab sticks or prawns. Make sure you buy frozen food as there is less chance of disease.
Another way to encourage your discus to breed is by doing a 25% water change but drop the temperature by a couple of degrees of the water going in. This imitates there natural habitat and can trigger spawning. This is a little trick I use on all my young pairs when trying to get them to spawn. Make sure all the pH and hardness is the same making only the temperature different.
The third trick in getting your discus to breed is by separating them for a couple of days before reintroducing them. To do this you can add a tank divider or move the male to another aquarium. Make sure the female gets plenty to eat when the male is away. When you reintroduce the discus just keep a close watch over the next 24 hours as males have known to be aggressive towards the female. They should start the courtship over the next couple of days and hopefully lay eggs after.
There are more ways to encourage your discus to breed as well as many more tips on breeding and caring for discus fish on my site www.discus-fish-secrets.com

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summerside man gets 4 years for raping friend

In what he called a tragic and horrendous case, P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie sentenced a Summerside man to four years in federal prison Friday.

Sean Travis Pineau, 25, had earlier pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting at knifepoint a woman he had been friends with for two years.

The Summerside courtroom had heard that at one point in their relationship, Pineau had asked the woman out, but she had told him she just wanted to be friends. Last October, the woman and Pineau went with a group of friends to a concert in Summerside. The woman knew it was going to be a late night, so arranged to spend the night on Pineau's couch.

At one point, Pineau tried to pull the woman into his bedroom. When she refused, he grabbed a knife, pushed her down on the couch, shoved a sock in her throat and raped her repeatedly. When she begged him to stop, he said if she moved or resisted, he'd slit her throat and hide her body in the woods.

Mother discovers the victim

Pineau told the woman he heard voices telling him to kill her. He bound her with duct tape and gagged her. He then called his mother in tears and then left the apartment.

Pineau's mother arrived at the apartment to investigate, found the woman, and called police.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said she's suffered from depression and nightmares since the attack, and she has trouble with trusting men.

"I'll never understand how someone could pretend to be my friend for two years, then rape me and take such pleasure in torturing me," she said.

A psychiatrist has diagnosed Pineau with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and said he is subject to fantasies and hallucinations.

Pineau stood in court and apologized to the woman.

"When I hear the facts of this case, it makes me sick," he said.

"My actions don't seem human."

He said his mental illness doesn't excuse what he did, and he hopes to get rehabilitation in prison. He said he would like to go back to school and become a productive member of society.

Cheverie accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence for a four-year sentence. With double credit for the eight months in jail he served before sentencing, Pineau will serve another 32 months behind bars.

Canada's Weir leads at U.S. Open

Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., watches his putt on the 17th green during the first round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., on Friday. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., watches his putt on the 17th green during the first round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., on Friday. (Morry Gash/Associated Press)

Canada's Mike Weir shot a career-best 64 at Bethpage in the opening round of the U.S. Open on Friday, where he leads the field at 6-under.

The lefty from Brights Grove, Ont., finished the day one shot off the best round in U.S. Open history.

Weir nearly matched that mark, but missed the green on the par-4 15th hole, and three-putted for a double bogey.

It was his lone error of the day and even with it, Weir was at 4-under and still tied for the lead. He followed that up with a pair of birdies to finish the day at 6-under.

Peter Hanson was second at -4 and Americans David Duval and Todd Hamilton finished the day at -3.

Tiger Woods swung away on the 18th tee Friday morning, watched his ball fly into a bunker on the way to another bogey, and turned away in disgust.

Little came easily for the world's No. 1 player after resuming the rain-delayed U.S. Open.

Woods gave back four shots over his final four holes to finish his opening round at 4-over 74, five shots behind a group that included amateur Drew Weaver, the former Virginia Tech player who posted a 1-under 69 in what's already the third major of his career.

"I was even par with four to go," Woods said. "I mean, it's not like I was hitting it all over the place. I was hitting a lot of good shots. Unfortunately, I just didn't finish off the round the way I needed to."

Reigning major champions struggle

So unlike what happened on his last trip to Bethpage in 2002, this U.S. Open won't be a wire-to-wire victory for Woods.

Minutes after Woods finished, Mickelson вЂ" a favourite of the Bethpage gallery, especially after the news that his wife, Amy, is about to begin treatment for breast cancer вЂ" began his U.S. Open on the 10th tee, with the gallery stretching nearly the length of a football field down the fairway.

Mickelson's quest opened with a drive well off the fairway, and drew an ovation anyway.

Among other early finishers of the first round: Jeff Brehaut and Ian Poulter were at even par, Justin Leonard вЂ" who started Friday with two quick birdies вЂ" finished 1 over, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk were 2 over, and Steve Stricker and Geoff Ogilvy were among those at 3 over.

It wasn't a good day to be a reigning major champion. Playing alongside Woods, Masters champ Angel Cabrera finished 4 over, and that was still two shots better than British Open and PGA Championship winner Padraig Harrington.

Plans called for the first round to be completed late Friday afternoon, with the second round starting and continuing until dark. Ideally, the second round would be finished to establish the cut by day's end Saturday, although the forecast seems to suggest that's doubtful.

More rain expected Saturday

Woods' side of the field will not start its second round until Saturday, when more rain is expected to pound the waterlogged course. The U.S. Open hasn't had a 72-hole Monday finish since 1983, but any significant interruption in play over the coming days would likely ensure that no champion will be crowned on Sunday.

With another inch or more possible Saturday, the USGA is already bracing for a Monday finish.

And yes, Tuesday has even been discussed.

"That's possible," USGA executive director David Fay said.

Industrial Park, green space go side-by-side at Upton Farm

The Upton Farm Preservation Network settled on a compromise to keep more than half the land as green space.The Upton Farm Preservation Network settled on a compromise to keep more than half the land as green space. (CBC)

A new BioCommons industrial park, a long-term care facility, and a large protected area are all part of the provincial government's plan for 110 hectares of green space in the north of Charlottetown.

The property, known as Upton Farm, is currently held by Canada Lands. There have been several development proposals for the land that have encountered opposition from a local group that want to keep it green. Premier Robert Ghiz praised that group for agreeing to his government's plans.

"I want to thank the Upton Farm Preservation Network for their compromise, for their understanding, in knowing that you can't just ask for everything. You have to compromise along the way," said Ghiz.

"They were very instrumental in making sure that today's announcement was possible."

The plan sets aside 60 hectares of the site that will be governed by a public trust, which will have equal representation from government and the Upton farm Preservation Network.

Piece of development strategy

The land is situated on the North River.The land is situated on the North River. (CBC)

The announcement also included a key part of Ghiz's economic development plan, the BioCommons industrial park, which is intended to be a centre for bioscience research and development, manufacturing and support services.

"We believe it's important to preserve the land but also look for opportunities for sustainable development as well," said Ghiz.

The building will be 60,000 square feet and will include lab and office space for new and established companies, as well as a boardroom, meeting areas and a cafeteria.

The BioCommons will go on 26 hectares of land across from the West Royalty Industrial Park. Initial site servicing work is expected to begin this fall, with construction scheduled to begin in the spring. The BioCommons will officially open in the fall of 2011.

The final aspect of the plan announced Friday is a new provincial long-term care facility, to go on six hectares of land on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Ghiz noted the green space to be protected is more than three times the size of Victoria Park, which is currently Charlottetown's largest park.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crosby dismisses handshake controversy

Sidney Crosby, right, shook hands with goalie Chris Osgood but missed half of the other Red Wings after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Sidney Crosby, right, shook hands with goalie Chris Osgood but missed half of the other Red Wings after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

Sidney Crosby is playing down the handshake controversy at the end of the Stanley Cup final, saying he didn't realize some Detroit Red Wings players were leaving the ice while he celebrated with his teammates.

"I really don't need to talk to anyone from Detroit about it," the Pittsburgh Penguins star said Sunday. "I made the attempt to go shake hands. I've been on that side of things, too. I know it's not easy, waiting around.

"I just won the Stanley Cup, and I think I have the right to celebrate with my teammates."

While Crosby and the rest of the Penguins celebrated their 2-1 victory Friday in Game 7, several Red Wings left the ice, tired of waiting to shake hands with the winning captain and his teammates.

Players who left before Crosby lined up to shake hands included Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper.

Boos rain down

A chorus of boos rained down on the Penguins at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena during the celebrations, as many fans were upset that some Pittsburgh players took a long time to line up for the handshakes.

"Nick was waiting and waiting, and Crosby didn't come over to shake his hand. That's ridiculous, especially as their captain, and make sure you write that I said that," Draper said after the game.

Crosby said he shook hands with about half the team, including goalie Chris Osgood and coach Mike Babcock, who congratulated him on his leadership.

"I had no intentions of trying to skip guys and not shake their hands," Crosby said. "I think that was a pretty unreasonable comment [from Draper]. The guys I shook their hands with, they realized I made the attempt.

"If I could shake half their team's hands, I'm sure the other half wasn't too far behind. I don't know what happened there."

Crosby said he understands why some Red Wings wanted to leave quickly after the final buzzer sounded, and any notion that he would intentionally avoid the customary handshake is ridiculous.

"It's the easiest thing in the world to shake hands after you win.… On their side of things, I understand if they don't want to wait around.

"I have no regrets. I've been on both sides of it, and it's not fun being on the losing end. But it doesn't change anything. You still shake hands, no matter what."

With files from The Associated Press

Residents return home after part of B.C. forest fire evacuation order lifted

Smoke billowed from a wildfire raging Sunday near Lillooet, B.C. Smoke billowed from a wildfire raging Sunday near Lillooet, B.C. (B.C. Wildfire Management Branch)

Some residents chased from their homes by a wildfire in B.C.'s Cariboo region have returned to their properties, while others might be out for quite some time.

An evacuation order for three communities affected by the Tyaughton Lake blaze, about 65 kilometres west of Lillooet, B.C., has been downgraded to an evacuation alert.

Leslie Lloyd, spokesperson for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, said some residents and property owners of Tyaughton Lake, Gun Creek Road and Mud Creek went home Sunday.

"Certainly there was a collective sigh of relief and applause and appreciation and certainly the people are indicating that they're very happy to be permitted to return home," Lloyd said.

B.C. fire information officer Elise Riedlinger said crews have about half of the 80-square-kilometre Tyaughton Lake fire contained.

"The southwest and west flanks of the fire have been very quiet. They are holding the containment lines there, although they did have to work on putting out a few hot spots [Saturday]," she said.

"Now their main focus is going to be on the north flank of the fire, as well as the east. This is an area with very steep, difficult terrain."

Riedlinger said fire crews have been helped by cooler temperatures and lighter winds.

Crews have been battling the wildfire near Tyaughton Lake in B.C. for more than two weeks.Crews have been battling the wildfire near Tyaughton Lake in B.C. for more than two weeks. (B.C. Wildfire Management Branch)

Some evacuees still itching to return

Evacuation orders remain in effect for three other communities and Riedlinger said that would remain the case for some time.

"It's not in the immediate future for Marshall Lake, Liza Lake and Carol Lake [residents to return home] because that fire is still so active on the ridge above Marshall Lake," she said.

Evacuation alerts also remain in place for Gun Lake, Gold Bridge, and Bralorne.

Several of the evacuees had been pushing the district to lift the evacuation order that was enforced for more than a week.

Lloyd said of the 75 evacuees, approximately 60 are from the three areas where Sunday's evacuation order was downgraded.

RCMP were on site to control the re-entry process. Information handouts were made available to those returning to the area to ensure they were aware of any potential hazards.

The Tyaughton Lake fire, which was discovered May 29, is believed to have been human caused.

Northern B.C. blaze continues to burn

Meanwhile, near the B.C.-Yukon border, fire crews continued their battle against the province's other major blaze.

The Smith River fire is about 230 square kilometres in size and is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.

The fire is about 30 per cent contained and is being battled by 84 firefighters.

Three communities with a total population of about 15 people are on evacuation alert.

Convicted murderer escapes from prison in eastern Ontario

Police in eastern Ontario have launched a public appeal about a convicted murderer who escaped from a minimum security prison.

Andrew John Wood, 42, was discovered missing Saturday from Frontenac Institution in Kingston, Ont., during an inmate count. He is serving a life sentence for the 1989 death of a Toronto man.

While police would like to hear from anyone with information on Wood's whereabouts, the public is not advised to approach him, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kristine Rae said.

There are no fences at the minimum security prison Frontenac Institution, so it's not difficult for a prisoner to escape, said Holly Knowles, a Correctional Services of Canada spokeswoman.

Anyone who has information about Wood's whereabouts is asked to contact the police or Crime Stoppers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

U.S. retail sales higher in May

U.S. retail sales rose by the largest amount in four months in May, as a rebound in demand at auto dealerships and gas stations helped to offset continued weakness at department stores.

The Commerce Department said Thursday retail sales increased by 0.5 per cent last month, in line with economists' expectations. It was the largest increase since sales surged by 1.7 per cent in January following six straight declines.

The May advance could be another signal that the worst of the recession is over. However, the all-important consumer sector is not expected to come roaring back, given all the troubles facing households as the country slogs through the worst recession in decades.

The 0.5 per cent May increase followed two straight declines including an April drop of 0.2 per cent, which was originally estimated as a larger 0.4 per cent fall.

Auto sales rose by 0.5 per cent last month, the best showing since a 2.7 per cent surge in January. Even with the gain, sales are still 21.5 per cent below where they were a year ago as automakers continue to struggle with the worst sales environment in decades. In an effort to spur demand, automakers have stepped up their incentive offers.

Excluding autos, retail sales were up 0.5 per cent in May, better than the 0.2 per cent gain that economists had been expecting.

Much of that strength, however, came from a 3.6 per cent jump in sales at gasoline service stations, an increase which reflected in large part rising gasoline prices. The retail sales are not adjusted for inflation.

Sales were also up at hardware stores, grocery stores and health stores.

Those gains helped to offset a 0.2 per cent drop at general merchandise stores, a category which includes department stores and big retail chains such as Wal-Mart.

Monday, June 8, 2009

N.B. girl, 16, charged with 1st-degree murder in senior's stabbing

A 16-year-old southern New Brunswick girl has been charged with first-degree murder after a 78-year-old man was found dead in his Damascus home on Friday night.

The RCMP laid the charge on Sunday, two days after discovering the man's body in his residence.

The accused, who is from the Hampton area, cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

RCMP Sgt. Claude Tremblay said an autopsy determined that the elderly man died of a stab wound.

But he said police will release few other details.

"I canno

Sunday, June 7, 2009

North Korea convicts, sentences 2 U.S. journalists to 12 years

North Korea's top court has convicted two U.S. journalists and sentenced the women to 12 years in labour prison, the country's state news agency reported Monday.

The Central Court tried American TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee and confirmed their unspecified "grave crime" against the nation, and of illegally crossing into North Korea, the Korean Central News Agency said.

It said the court, which tried the women from June 4 to 8, "sentenced each of them to 12 years of reform through labour." The report gave no other details.

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it had no immediate comment.

The circumstances surrounding the trial of the two journalists and their arrest three months ago on the China-North Korean border have been shrouded in secrecy, as is typical of the reclusive nation.

There were fears that the two women would be used by Pyongyang as bargaining chips in its standoff with South Korea and the United States, which are pushing for UN sanctions to punish the country for its latest nuclear blast and barrage of missile tests.

The journalists вЂ" working for former vice-president Al Gore's California-based Current TV вЂ" were arrested March 17 as they were reporting about the trafficking of women. It's unclear if they strayed into the North or were grabbed by aggressive border guards who crossed into China.

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider did not have an immediate response to the sentencing.

The women cannot appeal as they were tried in North Korea's highest court where decisions are final.

The sentences are much harsher than what many observers had hoped for.

The trial was not open to the public or to foreign observers.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visits Edmonton church

It was a full house at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Sunday as Edmontonians geared up for a royal visit.

Prince Edward's wife was in Edmonton to meet with members of the Southern Alberta Light Horse Regiment.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, inspected crisply lined rows of soldiers outside the church before attending a service inside.

Royal watchers and the curious got as close as they could to the countess with their cameras, while others perched on the front steps of surrounding homes to get a view.

Children from the church presented the Sophie with homemade cards and flowers.

Serafina King, 13, said the day was exciting for the young children.

"I think it will be really interesting for the kids to have met someone and see what it is like and they talked to her a little bit, they learned a little bit, like, we did a little bit of history, so I think it is really good for them."

Parishioner Richard Baird said it was an honour.

"I'm a royalist and I think those that aren't royalists should contemplate what they would replace it with," he said.

"We don't want a George Bush, if I may say so, as representing the country, and some of the best countries in the world are monarchies and we're part of it and I greatly support that."

Prince Edward, the Queen's son, was in Calgary where he handed out the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Awards to 100 students for their academic standing and community responsibility.

with files from the Canadian Press

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Petro-Canada shareholders approve merger with Suncor

Shareholders of Petro-Canada voted in favour Thursday of the company's merger with Suncor Energy Inc.

Petro-Canada investors approved the deal with a 96 per cent favourable vote at a company meeting in Calgary.

Suncor shareholders are due to vote at 1 p.m. MT.

The marriage of the two heavyweights was announced in March. Petro-Canada equity holders receive 1.28 shares in the new company for each Petro-Canada share, resulting in existing investors getting a 40 per cent piece of the merged entity. Suncor shareholders would own the remaining 60 per cent of the new firm.

If approved, the union would make the merged company one of the five largest in North America, and the second-largest firm trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, trailing only Royal Bank.

When the deal was announced, Suncor CEO Rick George said the combination would make for a more efficient player in Canada's oil patch, which will insulate the new Canadian firm from potential foreign takeovers.

Montreal's Letko Brosseau & Associates, a comparatively small investor in Petro-Canada, has come out against the deal. Letko Brosseau claimed the transaction undervalues Petro-Canada and overvalues Suncor.

If shareholders approve the merger, it must still be approved by regulators.

With files from The Canadian Press

Man shot and killed in Mississauga

A man was shot and killed in Mississauga on Tuesday night, and police are looking for suspects.

Police said a caller to 911 reported gunshots at the rear of an apartment building on Shipp Drive, near Hurontario Street and Highway 401, at about 10:30 p.m. ET.

A man was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead.

Peel Regional Police say they are searching for three suspects who they believe fled the scene in two vehicles.

One was a dark-coloured Mercedes SUV and the second was a smaller silver-coloured passenger vehicle.

The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Andres David Buritica-Marin.

It's the eighth homicide in Peel Region this year.

Obama calls for new beginning between U.S., Muslims

The "cycle of suspicion and discord" between the United States and the Muslim world must end, U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday in Cairo.

In a highly anticipated speech delivered at Cairo University, Obama urged Muslims to enter with the United States into a "new beginning."

The tensions between the U.S. and Muslims around the world are "rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate," Obama said.

"The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and co-operation, but also conflict and religious wars," he said.

Islamist extremists and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. have led some "to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust," he said.

"This cycle of suspicion and discord must end," he said.

"America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition," he said. "Instead, they overlap, and share common principles" of justice, tolerance and dignity.

Obama is hoping to usher in a new era in U.S. relationships with Muslims.

The speech is directed at building mutual understanding but also to bluntly urges Muslims to embrace democracy, women's rights and economic opportunity.

The president wants to build coalitions with Muslim governments as part of reviving stalled Middle East peace talks and U.S. efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program.

Obama has vowed to chart a new path in the U.S. relations with the Muslim world after policies under the Bush administration had alienated allies in the Middle East.

Obama acknowledged that a single speech won't resolve the long-standing challenges in the region. But a way must be found to move forward in a constructive way, he said.

Violent extremism must be confronted, the president said, who discussed the influence of the Sept. 11 attacks on the American psyche, the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq.

But America is not at war with Islam, Obama said.

"We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children."

Islam is not the problem, he said, "it is an important part of promoting peace."

Palestinian suffering 'intolerable'

Many in the Muslim world had been waiting to hear from Obama speak regarding a Palestinian state.

Speaking in a domed lecture hall draped in red, Obama said U.S. ties with Israel are unbreakable. But the Jewish pursuit of a homeland has caused suffering for Palestinians, Muslims and Christians, he acknowledged.

"They endure the daily humiliations вЂ" large and small вЂ" that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own," he said.

But the Palestinians need to change their approach, he said. "Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist."

Israel must also acknowledge Palestine's right to exist, he said, adding the U.S. "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."

The only resolution will be for Israelis and Palestinians both to live in peace and security, Obama said.

"That is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest," he said.

He added that the U.S. will align its policies with those who pursue peace.

Obama's words have the potential to be instrumental in reversing some of the rifts between the U.S. and the Middle East, said Abdel Monem Said Ali, an Egyptian political analyst.

Obama arrived in Cairo after visiting Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

The tour is Obama's first visit to the Middle East since being sworn in as president.

With files from The Associated Press

Monday, June 1, 2009

Air France jet missing over Atlantic Ocean

Air France has lost contact with a jetliner carrying more than 200 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, officials said Monday.

The flight went missing over the Atlantic Ocean and a search is underway near the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, said a spokesperson for Brazil's air force.

The search was mounted after the jet failed to make regular radio contact, said the official.

"Air France regrets to announce that it is without news from Air France flight 447 flying from Rio to Paris," said Air France spokeswoman Brigitte Barrand.

The plane was carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew members.

Fernando de Noronha is more than 300 kilometres off the most eastern point of Brazil.

With files from The Associated Press

Shediac seeks compromise in flap over migrating birds near marina

A New Brunswick tourist town hopes environmentalists and boaters can compromise on how to deal with the ongoing issue of common terns taking up residence on a barge near the local marina.

Common terns have been migrating to the Shediac area for nearly a decade and boaters in the coastal community have placed a net over the barge, which was approved by the Canadian Wildlife Service.

But the birds keep coming back.

Now Gerard Belliveau, the town's manager, said he is fielding calls from people who are for and against the birds' chosen nesting ground.

"You can expect if the situation doesn't get any better that some of the boats might move to other marinas other areas. So from the boaters' point of view, I have to say that yes they have reacted quite strongly," Belliveau said.

"From the town's point of view, well, this is not the type of publicity that you want because it's not necessarily all that positive, but let's expect something positive to come out of it."

Belliveau said he would like environmental groups to come forward with ideas on how to solve the problem.

Compromise sought

Tammy Laforce and her daughter came to see the terns and the controversy up close.

"I feel sorry for them. They're sliding off the net and they really look distressed cause any time anybody approaches, they take off. And they're just all worked up," Laforce said.

Laforce said she would like the town to come up with a solution that would suit everyone.

She added it would be a great learning experience for the public to be able to come out and enjoy the common terns.