Thursday, December 20, 2012

Local Military Maintaining Watch Over Christmas #yyj @MARPAC

ESQUIMALT, B.C. – Many members from Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force Pacific (MARPAC/JFTP) will be busy maintaining watch over the holiday period in efforts to keep Canadians safe.

Locally, the men and women of the Regional Joint Operations Centre (RJOC) will continue to maintain watch over the hundreds of ships and aircraft approaching North America.

Co-located with the RJOC, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria, staffed by Canadian Forces and Coast Guard professionals, will be keeping watch throughout the holidays, coordinating Search and Rescue (SAR) response for air and maritime emergencies in B.C. and Yukon, and westward into the Pacific Ocean.

Further up island, SAR crews from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 19 Wing Comox remain on their regular standby posture to launch CH-149 Cormorant helicopters and CC-115 Buffalo aircraft in support of JRCC operations. As well, Canadian Coast Guard ships are prepared to respond to marine emergencies. Maritime Forces Pacific also has a “Ready Duty Ship” prepared deploy at short notice in the event of an emergency.

In Glacier National Park, a Canadian Forces artillery task force is deployed to Rogers Pass to conduct avalanche control operations in support of Parks Canada. These operations remove avalanche threats to ensure critical roadways remain open to commercial and private vehicle traffic throughout the winter season.

Overseas, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, with its crew of 225 personnel including a CH-124 Sea King helicopter air detachment from 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, will continue patrolling the Arabian Gulf and contributing to international security and stability in the region.

Saanich break-in victim recovers property #yyj @Saanichpolice @VicpdCanada

Thanks to Victoria Police downtown beat officers, Saanich break-in victim recovers their property.

Just after 3pm on Sunday afternoon, a break and enter in progress was called in by a homeowner in the 600 block of Cowper street. The occupants arrived home, heard what they thought was someone inside and contacted 911. Multiple officers were dispatched to the scene including a police K9.

Upon securing the residence from the outside a lower floor window was noticed to have been smashed out. Given the circumstances, a police K9 was sent into the residence to make sure nobody was inside.

At about 4pm, two VicPD beat officers saw three males huddled together in a parkade stairwell in the 500 block of Yates street. As the officers approached the males they noticed a bag on the ground. When asked, all three suspects denied any knowledge of the bag. Officers looked in and found several suspicious items including jewellery, a computer and other small household items.

Inside the bag was a business card with a name on it. The Victoria officer took a chance and called the number only to find that the Saanich Police were at his residence investigating the break-in. All the items in the bag were consistent with what was taken from the house.

All three males were well known to police and one was found to be a current parolee. The 44 year old parolee is a prolific property related offender and was on probation for break and enter. He was taken into custody for being in breach of his release conditions. The other two males were identified and released.

The investigation continues and forensic investigators are processing evidence recovered at the scene. Charges of break and enter are being prepared.

Cougars & Braves tonight at Archie Browning #yyjsports @CougarsjuniorB @SaanichBraves

The Victoria Cougars (30-1-0-1) will play their last game before the Christmas break when they host the Saanich Braves (22-4-0-2) in a marquee matchup tonight.

Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Rd., is 7:00 p.m.

Tonight’s game marks the fifth meeting between the top two Junior B teams in British Columbia. Victoria took a 3-1 season series lead back on Nov. 23 after beating the Braves 2-1 in a shootout.

The head-to-head series has been tight as three of those games were decided by two goals or less.

Surprised? Not really.

Both teams mirror each other with little difference between them except the colours on their uniforms.

The Cougars enter tonight’s contest riding an eight game winning streak. Mark Van Helvoirt and his troops made it eight in a row last night following their 6-1 win over the Westshore Wolves.

Scoring for Victoria were Brody Coulter, Sam Rice, Jordan Law, Jake Daughtry, Dane Feeney, and David Marshall. Coulter leads the league in scoring with 85 points. Rice is second with 69 points, Feeney is fourth with 54 points, Ben Kinshella is sixth with 43 points, and Garrett Brandsma is ninth with 39 points.

Evan Roch, who made his 20th start of the season, made 13 saves. Shots on goal favoured the Cougars 41-14. Saanich is looking for its third straight win tonight.

After dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the Oceanside Generals back on Dec. 7, the Braves have rattled off wins over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and Campbell River Storm.

Sitting in sole possession of third place in league scoring is Ty Jones who has 58 points. Josh Gray is seventh with 40 points while Max Mois rounds out the Top-10 with 38 points.

Saanich, who has yet to lose on the road, sits 15 points back of the South Island Division leading Cougars.

Victoria will resume regular season play at home against Westshore on Jan. 3, 2013.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Over 1000 Christmas Meals to be Served on Dec 20 #yyj @ourplacesociety

Christmas Meal
Thursday, December 20th, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Our Place Society, 919 Pandora Ave., Victoria 

Over 1000 Christmas Meals to be Served on Thursday, December 20th to Victoria’s Homeless and Most Vulnerable Citizens

VICTORIA, B.C. – December 14th, 2012, Local politicians and volunteers will be helping serve over 1000 Christmas meals to the city’s homeless and most vulnerable at the Our Place Society’s annual Christmas meal on Thursday, December 20th.

The Christmas meal will consist of 1000 lbs of turkey, 500 lbs of potatoes, 250 lbs of stuffing, 200 lbs of vegetables, 25 gallons of gravy, 55 lbs of cranberry sauce, 125 home made pies and 1500 cups of coffee.

“As in all families, Christmas is an important time. Many of the people we serve have no family at all, or are alienated from theirs, said Don Evans, Executive Director of OPS. “We’re the closest family they have, and we want them to know they are important, and they are loved.”

As well as a traditional Christmas meal, people who pre-registered, will on the same day be receiving a Christmas present from the Angel Gifts program. This year more than 950 personalized, wrapped gifts are being provided through the generosity of the local community.

Our Place’s drop-in centre will also be open on Christmas Day December 25 from 10:00 am until 4:00pm. “We want to make sure on this important day that people can come in out of the cold into a safe, warm and welcoming environment,“ said Evans.

Our Place Society is a community centre serving the poor, disabled, and homeless of Greater Victoria. At its location on Pandora Avenue it serves over 1200 meals per day. OPS offers a place for people to shower, get clean clothing, participate in community programming, as well as gather and share a story with friends in a place of belonging. OPS also has forty-five transitional housing units for the hardest to house in our region.

Saanich Commonwealth Place New Year's Day Free Family Swim #yyj

New Year's Day Free Family Swim
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saanich Commonwealth Place
Free Admission

Looking for something to do on the first holiday of the New Year? Saanich celebrates the New Year with a new tradition. Saanich Commonwealth Place will open its doors early for a free family swim on January 1st from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Families can kick start their year with some quality family time and a little bit of exercise too.

Light refreshments served from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. The weight room will be open from 12:00 - 4:00 pm at regular admission fees.

For facility information and holiday hours contact Commonwealth Place at 250-475-7600 or check the facility schedules at

Holiday energy saving tips from @bchydro

Dec. 15, 2012

Spend your money this holiday season on family, friends and all the great activities you have planned – not on electricity. BC Hydro is sharing eight simple tips that help save energy during the holidays.

1. Switch to LED holiday lights: LED lights use 90 per cent less electricity than regular lights, allowing you to light your tree for about a penny a day. To save even more, put your outdoor lights on a timer.

2. Turn down the heat and turn up your savings: Reduce your home heating costs by five per cent by turning down the heat by two degrees. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically turn the temperature down by five degrees each night for eight hours while you sleep and you could see a 10 per cent reduction on your bill.

3. Keep your home cozy by maintaining your heating equipment: Your heating equipment needs regular maintenance to increase energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, and to ensure the comfort of your family and holiday guests.

4. Stop throwing money out the window:
Blinds or drapes provide insulation and prevent heat loss. Heat loss from windows can account for 10 to 25 per cent of your heating bill.

5. Draftproof for a quick and inexpensive fix:
Use the extra hands around the house during the holidays to help you draftproof your home by sealing the gaps and cracks with caulking and weather stripping. This can reduce heat loss by up to 10 per cent.

6. Give the gift of ENERGY STAR electronics:
While shopping for gifts, consider purchasing ENERGY STAR electronics like TVs, DVD players and cordless phones. They use up to 30 per cent less electricity.

7. Spin that fan: A ceiling fan can affect indoor temperature by 10 per cent. Spinning your ceiling fan in the clockwise direction produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.

8. Keep chestnuts roasting: Close the damper tightly when the fireplace is not in use to dramatically reduce heat loss. If you only use the fireplace occasionally, install glass doors. They act as a barrier against warm air loss up in the chimney and stop the pull of cold air into the home. 

For more ways to save energy all year long, visit

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holly For The Homeless #fundraiser today #yyj @ourplacesociety

Christmas Holly by Donation
Tuesday, December 18th, 10am-5pm
(also available until Christmas at reception)
Our Place Society, 919 Pandora Ave., Victoria

This Tuesday people living in poverty will be selling fresh holly just in time for Christmas to help raise money for programs and services at Our Place Society

VICTORIA, B.C. - Tuesday, December 18th, 10am – 5pm the people who use Our Place’s programs and services will be helping to fundraise by selling fresh Christmas Holly, by donation, from a parking lot across the street from Our Place on Pandora Ave in downtown Victoria.

A truck load of Holly was dropped off at Our Place earlier this week to assist Our Place Society with their fundraising efforts.

“It’s wonderful to see the most vulnerable citizens in our community assist in this way , said Don Evans, Executive Director of OPS. “It demonstrates the sense of family that has been created at Our Place.”

The Christmas Holly will also be available by donation everyday and evening until Christmas from the Our Place reception area.

Our Place Society is a community centre serving the poor, disabled, and homeless of Greater Victoria. At its location on Pandora Avenue it serves over 1200 meals per day. OPS offers a place for people to shower, get clean clothing, participate in community programming, as well as gather and share a story with friends in a place of belonging. OPS also has forty-five transitional housing units for the hardest to house in our region.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Daniel Lapp to receive The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award #yyj

Vancouver Island musical icon Daniel Lapp is receiving The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award for Community Service this Monday, Dec. 17 at 5:00pm at the Victoria Parliament Buildings.

The new commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

During the year of celebrations, 60 000 deserving Canadians will be recognized.

This coming Saturday Dec.22, Lapp's annual "Home for Christmas" event at St.Andrew's Presbyterian Church will benefit the Dandelion Society, who supply blankets, gloves, toques, sleeping bags, and socks to community members living on the Victoria streets.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Seven Drug Dealers on Naughty List #yyj @VicpdCanada

Seven Drug Dealers on ‘Naughty’ List after VicPD’s Winter Action Plan 

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Victoria BC – Seven drug dealers ran afoul of the law while selling drugs to undercover VicPD officers during the start of VicPD’s Winter Action Plan.

VicPD officers targeted known drug dealers in the area of Douglas Street and View Street as part of a month’s long project that has seen an increase in foot patrol officers, road blocks, undercover operations and traffic enforcement.

The undercover officers purchased drugs over the period of a few weeks in late November and early December. Warrants were issued early last week, and seven drug dealers have since been arrested.

One of the dealers, Teagyne McFarlane, was the woman arrested for robbing the two 11-year-old girls near Hillside mall in early November. She is also believed to be responsible for robbing two other women near Mayfair mall at knifepoint later that month.

The project was designed to provide a safe experience for everyone who enjoys the downtown core and areas in Esquimalt.

Officers have been working non-traditional hours, out on foot patrol throughout the downtown core and Esquimalt where they have been providing a more visible uniform presence. In addition, VicPD has doubled the amount of officers out during some of the ICBC funded Counter Attack Road Checks on various nights to further combat drunk driving.

The foot patrols and road blocks continue throughout December and into the New Year.

“We will continue to be vigilant in our duties to make Victoria and Esquimalt part of the safest region in Canada,” said A/Inspector Dave Bown, Focused Enforcement Team. “The Winter Action Plan is a targeted step in that direction.”

VicPD Reserve Constables and Volunteers are also helping out with crime prevention through VicPD’s innovative crime prevention display that is now on its third successful week of deployment. This display is an attempt to educate shoppers to help reduce the amount of theft from vehicles that happen during the holiday season.

As the Winter Action Plan continues, VicPD Traffic, Bike and foot patrol officers will also be stepping up enforcement on pedestrians and drivers in a crosswalk enforcement campaign. The past two months have seen numerous serious pedestrian – vehicle collisions and officers are responding by stepping up enforcement.

Officers will be looking for drivers who are disobeying marked and unmarked crosswalks and watching for pedestrians who are J-walking and crossing when it’s not safe to do so.

Officers involved in the Winter Action Plan are hoping their extra work sends a strong signal that Esquimalt and Victoria are fun, safe, family-oriented destination for holiday shopping and entertainment.

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