Taylor Tanguay of Port McNeill

Taylor Tanguay of Port McNeill

July 2012: Year in review

A collection of the top stories from this month last year.

With the closure of school for another year came the end of a 10-month job action by teachers, as the B.C. Teachers’ Federation voted to accept an agreement hammered out with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.

The agreement forestalled potential legislation by the Provincial government, and came with modest gains in teachers’ benefits packages. But the government maintained its “Net zero” mandate and teachers came away without changes to classroom size and composition, or pay raises.

News that Dr. Andre de Wit’s practice was to close left local patients feeling a bit peaked.

The Port Hardy Medical Associates announced its intention to close its doors at the end of September after a year of unsuccessfully attempting to recruit new physicians. In a statement, Dr. de Wit expressed his appreciation to the community for their support since his arrival in 1997.

Glenn Hampton completed the world’s most expensive game of fetch in order to bring his beloved pooch, Cedar, back home.

Hampton was in his 17-metre sailboat, Magnolia, on Monday July 18 with Doug Munroe when the pair ran into trouble off Haida Gwaii. A dramatic rescue followed as the SAR team battled the elements to bring the pair aboard the Cormorant chopper, scrambled from 19 Wing Comox.

Given the conditions, there was no choice but to leave Hampton’s terrified pitbull and marmalade cat, Bananas, on board and head for shore.

Hampton refused to give up on his beloved pets and mounted his own search and rescue operation out of Port Hardy, home to his sister Tracy, to get his furry companions back to dry land.

The Regional District responded with some venom to the news of a centralization of Conservation Officers.

In its letter, the RW advised North Island residents to call the wildlife hotline if they spot a Conservation Officer in the region as they are now the most endangered species on north Vancouver Island.

An 81-year-old Port Hardy woman created a bear spray made entirely of water.

Early afternoon, the spray successfully completed its first field test — in her living room.

Jessie Roland, an artist and bed-and-breakfast proprietor who first came to Port Hardy in 1937, had just emerged from her bath and sat down when she heard a noise in the room. Turning, she saw a yearling black bear that had strolled in through her back door, which was left open to cool the house.

She got out of her chair and advanced on the bear, spraying it repeatedly with a narrow jet of water as she moved.

Roland’s persistence paid off, and the bruin finally turned and lumbered through the back door and down several steps of her deck to the yard below.