Bits and Bites – Wednesday,June 10th 2009

Good morning people! I’m still not used to being back- something about all this noise is really hitting me hard! Damn, even the suburbs are ridiculously noisy all the time, which is why my 5 am run this morning was such a pleasure. Simply put, it was quiet. Which reminded me again why I must try to get away from it all more often than I do.

Delta police are finally recommending charges against the mountie involved in a fatal accident that took the life of  21 year old Orion hutchinson back in October 2008. Constable Benjamin Monty Robinson could be facing one charge of impaired driving causing death, and one count of dangerous driving causing death, as police have forwarded the charges to Crown for approval. Orion Hutchinson was struck by the mounties vehicle and died of his injuries. At the time, Robinson was driving with his two children in the car, and left the scene immediately. He was later arrested, given a breathalyzer which he failed. He claims he was not drunk while driving, but upon leaving the scene with his kids, had two shots of vodka  that put him over the limit. Yeah…… sure. You may recall Robinson is also one of the officers directly involved in the taser death of Robert Dziekanski ( warning: this link takes you to the video of the incident)at the Vancouver Airport in 2007, the investigation of is still ongoing in the Braidwood Inquiry. At this time, none of those officers are facing charges.

This is what I think about drunk driving related charges. In my opinion, any death as a result of someones choice to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not an accidental death. I would compare it to a homicide. I don’t care what defense the sleazy lawyers come up with, if you know you are going to be drinking, make arrangements. No excuses. Robinson has set up the perfect defense so far, as I hear it. Left the scene, but allegedly left his identification and returned to the site of the accident, thereby he didn’t ” hit and run”.  By leaving the scene, he gives opportunity for the defense to show that the possibility was available that he could have consumed alcohol after the collision, although a judge has already denied that claim in the officers attempt to get his licence back earlier this year. This is one case that is sure to receive much media attention because of the notoriety of the officer involved.

Over the past few years, there have been a a number of missing persons cases that remain unresolved in the lower mainland, in particular, several surrounding the abrupt disappearances of young men between 18 and 35. Some of the victims families believe the cases may be related and some are said to have similarities, although RCMP have not made any connections.

 CBC has now compiled a list of the men, complete with photos, descriptions and the particulars of each case- all of which can be accessed HERE. In the interest of closure for the families, I’d urge you to look at the photos and if there is anything you know – no matter how insignificant it may seem – or anyone you recognise, get in touch with the RCMP or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.

Summer in near and that means that B.C.’s recreational areas are about to be flooded with people escaping the confines of the city. Although most people take precautions against mosquito and fly bites, surprisingly there are still many who are not aware of the potential danger of tick bites.Here in BC we have a majority of western black-legged ticks, otherwise known as deer ticks. The danger in a tick bite comes if the tick is carrying Lyme disease, something that is easy to handle if diagnosed early, but creates a multitude of health problems if not caught. The problem is that diagnosis here in BC is not often easy, and so often physicians will give antibiotics with a reported tick bite, regardless of whether the tick has Lyme or not.

This is something I dealt with last year after my 4 year old son received a tick bite in May while at our getaway place off the sunshine coast. It seems the tick hopped on his clothing while going up or down the beach cliff trail, and not knowing ticks were found on the island, I didn’t think to check his body after the beach excursion. it wasn’t until later that afternoon when I noticed a dark spot on the back of his head, among his hair under the little hollow at the base of his skull. Sure enough, the deer tick had embedded itself and was already feeding and starting to swell. Ick! Never having removed one, we called someone on island who was familiar with their removal, and she had it out in no time. We kept the tick in a small jar -as everyone should- for testing if need be at the CDC in Vancouver.  Unfortunately, in the week after our return, my son developed a fever and swollen glands, and it was decided that a full course of antibiotics would be the safest bet for a full recovery.  So, learn from this mistake, because ticks are found all over the lower mainland , the Fraser valley, the sunshine coast and the rest of BC.

And last, but not least, if you are a child of the eighties like I am, you’ll,like,totally get me,dude, when I tell you that this was one of the most totally bitchin’ music videos of my youth….. ( ohmygod,I’m like,totally, like, dating myself here..) But hey, it still makes me get up and dance!

Bits and Bites – Wednesday February 4th, 2009

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that the man who was killed in the most recent Surrey targeted hit was 21 year old Ralph Baldini – the same person who rented the north Surrey Penthouse where 6 people were brutally murdered in October 2007.

Shot while sitting in his vehicle outside of the London Drugs store at Guildford mall – a very busy entrance to the mall – he is the most recent killing in a series of shootings that have occurred in Surrey over the last couple of weeks.  And, interesting enough, I found a small article in the Surrey Now last night  detailing  4 more reports of shots fired over the weekend, that didn’t end tragically.

-1:35 pm Friday- shots fired from a vehicle at heading east on 100th ave near 138 st, target/targets unknown

– 4 am Friday, shots fired at a house at 121st and 94th ave – resident called cops after finding bullets stuck in the walls of his home

-1:44 am Saturday, multiple shots fired  near a  Fleetwood pub, with multiple casings located and target unclear.

-ten minutes later , 1:55 am on Saturday,more shots rang out from a different vehicle near 81st ave and 150th st.- again, target unknown

Add these to the already long list of shootings detailed in this recent blog post: , and you have quite the scene in Surrey. Frankly, it’s a joke. Once again I’m embarrassed to tell people where I live, because the impression is ….( as one reader pointed out) Slurry. Scurvey. No wonder the mayor and  most of the council live out of the main parts of the city. . With everything that’s going on lately, the mayor better be praying that nothing goes down at the upcoming Winterfest,most of the activities are located in lovable, shootable Whalley.  Let me end this with an excerpt from an email that was sent to me last night about how one resident feels about Surrey.

” Well, yet another murder in Surrey… ummm two blocks from my children’s school…

Living in Surrey is so wonderful – the peaceful sounds of sirens and gun shots,(the sound of retaliation) the smell of pot coming from the neighbors house and the domestic dispute on the street….the soothing sounds and smells to help me rest at night…Well, the homicide investigation team will be working hard on this case just like all the other unsolved shootings in Surrey…”

I hear you, anonymous, I hear you.

To my American readers: there is a company in Florida using a link to a past blog post of mine on their business website, under the title ” Love Thy Teenager” , clearly trying to evoke an emotional reaction from potential customers that might engage them to purchase their services for parties and functions.  – I would like to say that while I do not condone drinking and driving, I also do not endorse this business or its services, or the fact that they are using one my blog posts for a commercial purpose . I have asked them to remove this link  immediately, however they have not acknowledged my contact in any manner.I generally don’t have an issue with other bloggers linking up to past blog posts, but this is clearly a profit driven venture.

The sadness that overwhelms me every time I see the Robert Dzeikanski  tasering video will never subside,and with every bit of testimony it gets worse. Clearly, this is a case where everything that could go wrong – did. And Robert was a victim of a system that broke down at every possible juncture. Although I am disheartened that nothing will likely happen to the RCMP officers who, in my opinion, carry some culpability in his death – one can hope that everyone involved will take away stern lessons from this, and allow changes to the system that can prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. CBC has carried ongoing coverage of the testimony occurring at the Braidwood  inquiry, and the following links will give you access to some of that information :