Explosion Closes Oceanburg Station, Six People Injured

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Smoke and fire coming out of the subway station in downtown Oceanburg right now <a href=”http://t.co/d5iJKAfeBf”>pic.twitter.com/d5iJKAfeBf</a></p>&mdash; Oceanburg Pete (@OceanburgPete) <a href=”https://twitter.com/OceanburgPete/status/577650097988591616″>March 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Downtown Oceanberg subway station is being evacuated, due to a construction related explosion.

Sources confirmed that a worker on site, wielding a blow torch blew through the wall, and contacted a propane tank located on other side of a fast food establishment.

Due to scraps and flammable objects left behind at the construction site the propane explosion caught fire, emitting smoke from the subway station.

Ambulances and police arrived on the scene, emergency officials guided 6 people to the hospital.

Alarms are sounding, and smoke is billowing out of the station,

A Traffic Update tells us

  • Effective immediately all service to all Oceanburg subway stations in the downtown core have been shut down because of an emergency.
  • All trains will terminate at the Creek Avenue Station.
  • Buses along Oceanside Drive and Smith Street are also being diverted to alternate routes.

More to come…

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Teens For Jeans!

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The boys collected over 300 pairs of jeans for the homeless Sebastion, and Harris (on the left), and Cooper, and Tristan (on the right)

The Teens for Jeans campaign has been a thriving charity with secondary schools for seven years now, and the boys of Rockridge Secondary School in West Vancouver further boosted the proud tradition.

Over those seven years the cause has raised “over 4.3 million pairs of jeans for homeless teens and over 15,000 schools have participated” local mother Tiffany Fraser informed me. Tiffany Fraser and Jodi Shoemaker were two of the parents assisting the young boys in their cause.

This group of friends registered for the cause on dosomething.org which is the largest North American organization to support youth volunteer opportunities with over three million members.

The four eighth grade boys, under their mothers supervision campaigned all around West Vancouver, advertising the cause through news letters and buletins at local clubs, and schools.

The boys worked together as a team to make their parents and the community very proud “I wanted my son to not see jeans in a bin but understand that a boy his age is living on the street with no safe haven” Jodi explained. The boys wanted an opportunity to build a strong community and character.

The month of February proved profitable for the cause as Jodi tells me “the end product was over 300 homeless teens receiving a pair of jeans” a substantial amount of jeans for a group of boys who didn’t’ collect any donations outside of the West Vancouver District.

Aeropostal offered the services to the boys to collect the donated jeans.

Keeping a group of thirteen year old boys in check one could imagine is no easy task, as Tiffany explained, “Arranging them around all of their busy schedule’s was sometimes challenging, but it seemed to always work out”

Never count out the work of four young boys.

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Free college tuition a taxpayers nightmare?

Last week President Obama addressed the issue about the always-pressing employment rate in the United States. Obama opted that a potential solution would be enabling the first two years of community college tuition fees, free for students.

Post-secondary education is a goal many high school students strive for. The goal of a parent is to save up over the years so they can afford to send their children to college. For the middle to lower class families who struggle to send their kids to college, some of those prayers may have been answered as of last week. According to the Huffington post if all the states joined this venture “nine million students could benefit — saving on average $3,800 in tuition per year for a full-time student. That means the program could cost in the billions of dollars”. For taxpayers however is this possible 60 billion dollar price tag worth it?

Now what if this idea was carried across the border to British Columbia, Canada, would the response be positive or even more controversial? Local taxpayer and UBC alumni Ross Fraser questions this idea “As a tax payer what is it going to cost us… I’m concerned what it is going to cost us as a society, where would the money come from, how much would they increase our taxes? In the modern day era receiving a post secondary education is no small fee. Parents save up to a decade’s worth of salary in some cases in order to give their children the education they need to be successful long term. “The government has always paid something towards tuition, now they’re paying less that’s why the tuition fee is more, it didn’t impact my decision at all when I went to school, but it would now because its more expensive”, Ross stated “Everyone’s thinking, what’s in it for me?” That’s the central focus, what does the general public gain from this potential change in the education system, besides of course more taxes to pay.

The ultimate belief behind this idea is to educate students and provide higher-class employment opportunities for the citizens who aren’t fortunate enough to afford post secondary education. However after speaking to former college student Tiffany this may not be the case “The way it would affect employment, is if you have more higher educated people looking for those type of jobs, there may not be enough to supply that increase” There is a point to be made on that stance, the more kids you educate, the more competitive it becomes for higher class occupations. Another point of concern lies among the competing universities and colleges. Among the emergence of a tuition free community college, stems a decrease in students paying a heavy tuition fee for more prestigious schools, when they may still receive an education free of charge. “It could affect the supply and demand at the higher level universities, if kids are opting out and choosing the free option” mentions Tiffany. This would certainly concern competing schools.

What is the student’s perspective on this issue? They’re the ones receiving the education would they prefer to receive a less prestigious degree if it’s free or would they rather pay a heavy tuition? BCIT Business student Eric Schultz gave me his take

“I would prefer to stick to a more prestigious education… I think especially with where we live geographically, and the jobs that are available I think it would be more beneficial to have a higher education”. Though this student believes in a higher education especially in the competitive market that is Vancouver British Columbia he is also sympathetic to those who cant afford a high-status of learning, “if I couldn’t afford such things, I think it would be a lot better to have the free tuition for the first 2 years”. This issue clearly proves controversial, however if put in place who is to say whether or not it will be effective, and beneficial for our society.

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Ideas for the stories.

1. Teens For Jeans:

Local West Vancouver eighth grade boys collect jeans for the homeless, the group of teens to raise the most jeans are awarded 5000$.

2. White Caps and BC Soccer:

The Vancouver White Caps, and Canada Soccer have joined forced to deliver western Canada’s first women’s regional excel centre (REX). The EA sports BC Soccer Preimier League is the official partner league.

3. Park Royal Mall Renovations:

As a West Vancouver resident it is difficult to miss major renovations within our small community, although I would hardly call the now 2 year renovation of park royal south infusing a new atmosphere for the south side of the mall on marine drive in west vancouver.

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Texters Beware

Surrey Police voice caution due to the outbreak of various personal robberies targeting  pedestrians walking along the street talking on their mobile device.

Over 20 cases of robberies with comparable circumstances have occurred since December 2014 around Surrey BC.

Police say that the majority of these crimes transpired in the evening to early morning hours between 7:00pm-3:00am, the criminals are targeting electronic devices, such as mobile phones and cash.

Surrey RCMP investigation describes that the suspects are believed to operate in large numbers typically linked to the same group of individuals, and described as young males in their early 20’s roaming on foot.

Due to the similarities in many of the documented incidents authorties are reminding citizens to be extra cautious as warned by Sgt. Dale Carr “Trusting your instincts by being aware of your surroundings and staying in well-lit areas will help reduce the risk of becoming a victim”.

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