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!

3 thoughts on “Bits and Bites – Wednesday,June 10th 2009

  1. Laila, we must all “try to get away from it all” more often! It is such wonderful therapy!
    She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are fortunate enough to reside on a Northern Gulf Island, a place where people will toil 50 weeks of the year, just to share what we have ,for their “getting away”! We “get away ” to the Lower Mainland, etc, for the “noise”, bright lights, dining out and so on, for our “escape”!
    Your comments regarding drunk drivers struck a chord with me. The 1st funeral I ever attended was for my Uncle, Aunt, and 2 nieces, taken out by an impaired driver. For many years I was with the R.C.M.P. and dealt first hand with these social misfits. One almost killed me, head-on, and I was in a marked PC! I have never ranked an impaired driver very far up the food chain……….
    Oh, and thanks for the Video! It’s been awhile.


  2. Even though we all (should) see the police as protectors of society and the enforcers of law and justice, situations like this where we have an officer abusing his position of authority and blatantly circumventing the rules, should really be a cause for concern.

    While we don’t know whether Constable Robinson is just a bad apple or just a symptom of a greater decay within our municipal/provincial/federal police forces, we as citizens should demand more accountability for their actions. The hiring process should be reviewed as well, since there are too many idiots and morons somehow allowed to wear a badge.

    Every single man and women wearing the uniform needs to remember that their job is to use the laws to protect people, and not using the law to spite them.


  3. Gary L. – wow. brave man….Does ‘She who must be obeyed’ read the blog too? If so, brave man!!! Thank you for sharing your story about your family tragedy – I can’t imagine what impact that memory must still have on you. Brings to mind the little girl killed in Delta by the older woman who was drunk driving. A tragedy by all rights to have lost an entire family in one swoop. Tougher laws are a start, but God knows that will all the cutbacks I don’t see much punishment happening when it takes over a year or two to get to trial, then the idiot gets off because his right to a speedy trial has been tromped on. What the hell happens to the rights of the victims to hold justice in their hands?

    I agree with you Lancaster, and I believe that the uniform comes with a responsibility of maintaining a higher standard – something that speaks to the new comment left by the woman who reported the “hot cop” over on the island. Drunk driving in a cop – on of off duty should be grounds for immediate dismissal – no second chances. AS should any criminal behavior on or off duty. ( same would apply to all public officials if I ran the world)

    The old school idealogy of keeping problems ‘in house’ is creating an atmosphere whereby we no longer trust any version of police events when their actions are in question, and that’s not right either. The Dziekanski case is a prime example of this, and has done more to erode the publics trust in the RCMP, than anything else. Municipal police forces aren’t exempt from this either, as well known with the VPD.


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