Fetal tissue from B.C. used to power Oregon homes

PORTLAND, Ore. – An Oregon county commission has ordered an incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity after learning the waste it’s been burning may include tissue from aborted fetuses from British Columbia.

Sam Brentano, chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners, said late Wednesday the board is taking immediate action to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries at the plant that has been turning waste into energy since 1987.

“We provide an important service to the people of this state and it would be a travesty if this program is jeopardized due to this finding,” he said in a statement. “We thought our ordinance excluded this type of material at the waste-to-energy facility. We will take immediate action to ensure a process is developed to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries.”

Kristy Anderson, a British Columbia Health Ministry spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that regional health authorities there have a contract with a company that sends biomedical waste, such as fetal tissue, cancerous tissue and amputated limbs, to Oregon, where it’s incinerated in the waste-energy plant.

The B.C. Catholic, a Vancouver-based newspaper, identified the plant as Covanta Marion, based in Brooks, Ore. When contacted by The AP on Wednesday, …read more

Squamish residents warned after bobcats attack dogs, leaving one dead

VANCOUVER – Pet owners in Squamish are being warned after a number of attacks by bobcats on dogs.

Bobcats, which are rarely even seen, are being blamed in at least a pair of attacks over the last few days.

One dog is dead after one attack and two others were hurt in a separate incident.

Warning signs are now alerting dog walkers about increasing conflicts between pets and bobcats.

“I don’t know if I’ll be keeping him on a leash all the time, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on him for sure,” said Mark Dandurand, who walks his dog Reef off-leash frequently

Just last week a 60 lb dog was off-leash when it was attacked by a bobcat. The dog developed an infection and died.

At a meeting Wednesday night, locals filled an auditorium to learn more about the bobcat problem, which officials say is the worst in years.

“We’re looking at about nine incidents this year that have been called into the Conservation Officer line,” said Meg Toom with Wildsafe BC. “I’ve been doing this job for the past nine years, we’ve never had the number of encounters that we’ve experienced in the last 10 months, so it’s a blip on the radar, we’re …read more

A good sole: Photos of man giving his shoes to barefoot bus passenger goes viral

VANCOUVER – Bus driver Surjit Singh Virk was on his way home from Surrey’s Vaisakhi parade Saturday when he saw something that touched his heart.

Sitting near the front of the No. 341 bus to Guildford, he noticed a barefoot man sitting near him.

A few stops later Virk said another man got on the bus and sat beside the two of them.

“I just kept playing with my phone,” said Virk, “then [the man] got up and sat on the other side, closer to the barefoot man.”

“He started to take his shoes off and I didn’t really want to look but I wondered what he was doing,” added Virk.

He said the man took off his shoes and socks and slid them across the floor to the barefoot man. “He said ‘You can take these, don’t worry about me, I live close by’,” said Virk.

“He just simply slid them towards his feet and said ‘put them on’.”

Virk said the Good Samaritan quickly got off at the next stop, before he or the recipient had the chance to thank him.

Virk then took out his phone, taking photos of both men to capture the moment.

He’s been driving buses for 16 years and said he’s never …read more

Vancouver Island Earthquake Near Port Hardy Registers 6.7 Magnitude

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake has struck off the coast of Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was about 88 kilometres south of Port Hardy in the ocean and was at a depth of 10 kilometres.

Emergency Management B.C. says there is no tsunami warning for the West Coast, including B.C.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected.

An aftershock of 5.0 magnitude was recorded about 10 minutes later.

“The couch was shaking and we watched the plant dance on top of the table,” Port Alberni’s Wes Michalenko posted on The Huffington Post B.C. Facebook page.

Other readers said they felt the tremor in Comox, Courtney and Campbell River. While little activity was detected in the Lower Mainland, some people reported feel “slight movement,” like Lesley Woodrow GIbson in downtown Vancouver. “Thought I was having a dizzy spell or something,” she wrote. …read more

Concerns growing over possible conflicts between drones and aircraft

VANCOUVER – More than five months after a YouTube video was first published, concerns are growing about possible conflicts between drones and aircraft.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and are soaring in popularity.

However, a video posted by ‘Quadrotor Dragonfly’ shows a remote-control drone shooting video of a jet landing at Vancouver International Airport. The drone appears to be at about the same altitude as the jet and not very far away.

Transport Canada regulates drone use in this country and is trying to track down the owner of this one.

“Air Canada 777 observed a small helicopter, he thought it was a real helicopter,” said Bill Yearwood from the Transportation Safety Board. “But when he got closer he realized it was a remote control helicopter.”

He said encountering something like this on final approach in a jet can be disconcerting, if not outright dangerous.

“Quite a sophisticated toy,” he added. The technology is quite good, it makes it easy for somebody to operate and it can operate far away from that person, so that combination can present a hazard if used by irresponsible operators.”

In an email statement from Transport Canada they said:

“Transport Canada is aware of the videos posted on YouTube showing a unmanned …read more

Discover & Travel BC