An honest to goodness breaking story


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An honest to goodness breaking story

A fire broke out near Interfor’s Castlegar operations today (in a landfill / wood waste area) sending a lot of smoke into the air. Two helicopters and fire crews from Castlegar, Robson and the mill hit it pretty quickly. As of 8 p.m. it’s still smouldering and could be a while before it’s fully extinguished.


Taking Stock of Time

I’ve let myself go a little too far in one direction I haven’t been in a while: been feeling pretty down.

I’ve been irritable, anxious, nervous, withdrawn and generally sour of mind.

I haven’t made a point of eating well or getting outside and I’ve come close to meltdown a number of times in the past few weeks. My health took a nose-dive and I’ve had to spend hours of my evenings catching up on things I should be accomplishing during daylight hours.

So, it’s time to re-focus on staying mentally and physically healthy — after some discussion with my boss, I’ll be taking some set time off each week. Remember my last post? The one where I mentioned it’s really easy to do nothing but reporting 24/7? That has to end… and I need to get smarter about how I walk into each situation I’m reporting on.

I need to go in with at least a marginal plan of how I want / need the outcome to look. I’ve been treating everything I go to as a feature and that is just not feasible in this work environment.

I don’t want to spiral any further down into being an ass-hat, so I hope time away is the answer.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that I still care about producing good work… which has to count for something.

A friend and I are going to participate in the 30×30 challenge in May: getting outside for 30 mins for 30 consecutive days. She’s in another province and we’re going to take themed photos each day while outside. At the end of the 30 days, I’m going to compile them into a collage.

It will be up here when complete.

Also, I need to go fishing in the amazing water around Castlegar. There are all sorts of people fishing from boats and shorelines now.

I have a tentative golf date on Thursday, April 9 with my folks, so fingers are crossed for good weather.


Blog (diary?) post over.

An update from the ‘Gar


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[Originally written Mar. 6, 2013 to provide an update to my friends/colleagues/profs at Thompson RIvers University]


Hello Sports fans!


Well, actually that’s a pretty accurate way to start off describing my first week as the newest reporter for the Castlegar News.

This beautiful West Kootenay community has some of the warmest, most welcoming people I’ve ever met and to say they are hockey fans would be a gross understatement. The KIJHL Rebels and BCIHL Saints are two very good (league-leading) hockey teams and I’ve had to get up to speed on that quickly. There are also minor teams here just as impressive heading to playoffs and provincial championships. Heck, the Jr. Girls basketball team just won the West Kootenay championship.

But I digress…it hasn’t all been about sports.

I found out I had the job on a Friday and was working in the office three days later. It’s good to be flexible… I’ve met city staff, councillors, hospital board executives, the RCMP Sergeant, business owners galore (at a Spring expo) and many more interesting folks in my first week. Open yourself up, explain you’re new and it’s amazing how most people will warm up to you.

I can only speak to what it’s like to be hired at a small-town newspaper… and it’s a first for me other than my internship.

The hiring process took a couple of weeks as emails went back and forth and two telephone interviews were conducted. One with the editor and another with the publisher joining in. I provided them with writing samples, photography samples and, of course, my resumé.

Today was day eight for me and, with the paper coming out tomorrow, I was asked to help with layout. Maybe I’m strange but I found it rewarding to do layout for my own writing and photos.

It’s important to know InDesign and Photoshop if you don’t already… they are two of the more common publishing platforms used in the industry. With a good tutor (like I had today in my editor) you can pick up the skills pretty quickly. Better yet, take a full-on class and add that to your list of “here’s what I can do for you…” I sure wish I had. They knew where I was at with InDesign and were very understanding and willing to get me up to speed. I’ll try to pick it up as fast as I can.

I’ve had plenty of “first days on the job” and they always give me butterflies. It was no different here but I’m finally starting to feel more comfortable.

If at all possible, negotiate a little time to make a move to a new town. It’s a big undertaking and one that will likely tax your energy level. I keep reminding myself to be open-minded, open to whatever comes and to try and eat well. Not always easy living out of a suitcase/motel.

I hope to find a permanent place in the next two weeks or so. Then, I know, it will be easier to get into a routine (something important to me) and start developing my skills further.

One last thing about hours – it’s easy to do nothing but reporting 24/7. Really easy. Take some breaks and breathe… my publisher has been excellent about giving me tips on managing my time. Balance is important. I can’t divulge pay, benefits, etc. but I’m being treated fairly and we have a nice office, nice lunchroom and incredible views out the window.

This is why I went back to TRU. To retrain in a new career and do something fresh… and fresh it is!

(I did mention it snowed heavily for a good chunk of the day here, didn’t I?)

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in Kamloops, mid-June for graduation!

Best of luck to all of you and to those I know, please keep in touch; I’m always impressed when I read, watch or hear your work.

Possible meteor in Chelyabinsk, Russia


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Awesome videos coming out of Russia. A meteor apparently entered the atmosphere near the city of Chelyabinsk. I don’t think it’s related to tomorrow’s approach by asteroid 2012 da14 but . . . I’m no scientist.

I saw a daytime fireball Feb. 9, 2009 that I reported to the American Meteor Society:

It was green, white and orange and made no sound (there were reports a boom was heard near Prince George).

The videos I’ve seen from Chelyabinsk are similar to what I saw, but the object appears to be coming in at a much sharper angle. Interestingly, my girlfriend and I once saw one on the way to Scotland while flying at 37,000 feet.

If that wasn’t enough, I saw a third daytime fireball from Victoria. I was at a Save-on Foods parking lot.

All were breathtaking sights I will never forget.

Website is live again



My site,, is live but under renovation. It’s a simple site I made with iWeb and is being temporarily hosted by my registrar (CanReg) for free — it has limited capabilities.

Many of my photographs can be viewed in more user-friendly formats at these sites:

- Getty Images


- Flickr


What’s in a name?


What’s in a name?

The answer to that question right now, for me, is … a lot.

I started to follow the online instructions on the Thompson Rivers University website to apply to graduate but when the screen popped up to review the information, I cancelled the process.

I stopped not because I’m not looking forward to wearing the cap and gown but because something was missing.

My name was shown as Marvin Ross Beatty; close, but not quite.

Ross is my father’s name and one I am proud to share with him, but my full name is Marvin Ross Edward Beatty, which also includes my grandfather’s name, neatly tying together three generations.

When I walk across the stage, I know that Frederick Edward Beatty — along with many others — helped get me there. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad…you still have top billing, but your parents also played pivotal roles in my upbringing.

So, I sent a copy of my driver’s licence off to the Admission Office and will wait patiently until the addition is made. I owe it to my family, all of them, to honour them this way.

(Really, my name should be Marvin Ross Edward Betty Ann Helen Edith Bert Sheri Beatty but that’s a bit much to squeeze onto the degree.)

I look forward to reuniting with my classmates in Kamloops in June. I know it will be a sunny day, full of smiles and laughter.


Mining watchdog speaks in Chase and Niskonlith


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Ramsey Hart, Canada program coordinator for Mining Watch Canada, gave three presentations to concerned Shuswap residents: one at the Niskonlith Indian Band Hall and two more at the Chase Community Hall on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Hart spoke about the proposed Ruddock Creek mine (Imperial Metals Corp.) located near the headwaters of Oliver Creek, a tributary that drains into the Adams River.

The Adams River in turn, is a designated B.C. Heritage River and home to one of the largest salmon runs in the world.

…story soon.

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Dewitt Jones is an award-winning professional photographer who spent twenty years with National Geographic photographing stories around the globe. He is also a film director, and has had two films nominated for Academy Awards.

I find his images and words inspiring and I’m sure you will, too.



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