Monthly Archives: August 2019

Vancouver Whitecaps, B.C. Lions compete for fans, but who is winning?

WATCH: The B.C. Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps don’t compete in the same sport, but they do compete for fans. Barry Deley looks at who is winning.

The Vancouver Whitecaps and B.C. Lions share a stadium and attract roughly the same number of fans to their home games, but the two teams appear to be heading in opposite directions.

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The Whitecaps, who currently sit atop MLS standings after a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, have developed a young, diverse fan base that brings an undeniable buzz and energy to B.C. Place.

“You only need to look out at the crowd or watch the crowd coming in on a game day and it’s families, it’s ethnic groups, hipsters–I think that’s what they call them–so from that perspective we feel like we’ve got a fan base that can grow with us,” said Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi.

The Lions are struggling to attract a younger, more diverse demographic and their 4-5 record isn’t helping matters. The Leos have reduced seating capacity, but still have 6,000 to 7,000 empty seats per game.

“We have an older demographic, but one that continues to trend in the right way with younger people, but I’d say not to the same ratio as the aging demographic is,” said Lions President and CEO Dennis Skulsky.

Youth sports may be a factor. Around 130,000 kids play soccer in B.C. compared to just a few thousand who play football. The Whitecaps work with BC Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association to get young players in the stands.

“Every game day we have a youth soccer group in and that number can be anywhere from 1,000 up to 2,500,” said Lenarduzzi.

Geography may also be an issue. Many Lions fans are based in the Fraser Valley, which translates into a long drive into downtown Vancouver to watch a losing team.

Skulsky admits the team has to get back to its winning ways if it wants to attract fans of all ages.

“The best marketing is winning, the second best marketing is winning. The third best marketing in this marketplace is playing an exciting brand of football. You need that to attract people and to keep them here,” said Skulsky.

-With files from Barry Deley

©2015

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Woman killed in brazen shooting along 16 Avenue NW identified

CALGARY – Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened in front of North Hill Centre on Wednesday, and looking for a man who may have been injured in the attack.

The brazen attack involved “multiple shots” and took place in the intersection of 16 Avenue N.W. and 19 St N.W at around 11:15 p.m.

When emergency crews arrived, they found a woman in her mid-20s suffering from serious injuries who was sitting in the driver’s seat of a white sedan. Paramedics rushed her to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition where she later died. Calgary police have identified the victim as 23-year-old Kallen Carothers.

Global News has learned Carothers worked at a Calgary Moxie’s Grill & Bar.

“It’s just a tragic,” said Moxie’s vice president Jim Weidinger. “She was super friendly and social, and just got along well with everyone. She really will be missed.”

Sources have identified the victim in a brazen Calgary shooting Sept. 9, 2015 as Kallen Carothers.

Obtained by Global News

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Witnesses reported hearing several shots fired and seeing a man, who had been in the vehicle’s passenger seat, leave the scene. Investigators believe that man may have been injured in the shooting.

“We want to find this gentleman who may have been injured,” said Calgary Police Duty Inspector Paul Wyatt at an afternoon news conference.

Wyatt described the man as black, believed to be in his 20s between five foot ten and six feet tall with a thin build. Wyatt said the man was wearing white pants at the time.

Investigators have been canvassing nearby businesses to find out if anyone captured the shooting on CCTV video, or if any of the cameras in the area caught the possible shooter or the passenger on tape.

WATCH: A fatal shooting on one of Calgary’s busiest roadways has left one woman dead and homicide investigators searching for suspects. Global’s Jenna Freeman reports.

Officers don’t believe the incident was random, and think it was a targeted attack. Wyatt said a dark sedan was seen leaving the area. Police said there were no persons of interest or suspects as of 1 p.m.

Police later expanded the original crime scene to include a nearby parking lot, where blood was found.

“It’s safe to say CPS is concerned about the prevalence of gun attacks that have been happening in the community,” said Wyatt. “We’re acutely aware of the rise in shootings recently and we’re looking into it.”

The Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit is leading the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or contact Crime Stoppers.

GALLERY: Brazen shooting on 16 Avenue N.W.

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Global News

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Global News

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Nathan Luit / Global News

With files from Jenna Freeman and Nancy Hixt

©2015

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Rivero, Techera score in the second half to lead Whitecaps over Rapids 2-0

VANCOUVER _ Four minutes was all it took for the Vancouver Whitecaps to turn a frustrating night into a comfortable victory.

Octavio Rivero and Cristian Techera scored in the second half Wednesday as Vancouver overcame a sluggish performance to defeat the Colorado Rapids 2-0.

What had been a dull affair finally got an injection of excitement in the 73rd minute when Rivero headed home his 10th goal of the season off a lovely ball over the top from Techera before the pint-sized midfielder buried his sixth of the campaign in the 77th to seal it.

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“You can play all the pretty football you want _ all the exciting stuff _ the quick transitions, get bums off seats and you get three points,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “(Or) you can play with not much quality and have a moment of magic and get three points. So we’ll take the three points.”

The win moves the Whitecaps (15-10-3) into top spot in Major League Soccer with 48 points, two ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Colorado (8-10-9), which came in having won three straight, is fighting for its playoff life in the Western Conference and already had two victories over Vancouver in Commerce City, Colo., earlier this season.

“It was always going to be a banana skin for us, but the guys showed great character to keep going,” said Robinson. “When you’ve got quality in your team, like we have, you can change a game in a moment and that’s certainly what happened.”

Both from Uruguay, Rivero and Techera have been instrumental in the Whitecaps’ attack as they continue to churn towards their first home playoff date since joining MLS with six league matches left in the regular season.

“Me and Octavio, we get along pretty well,” Techera said through a Spanish interpreter. “It’s nice we have that same understanding (on the pitch).”

Prior to the breakthrough in the second half, it looked like the Rapids might at least get a point out of the game. Both teams were coming off 10-day breaks and neither generated much going forward, with Vancouver noticeably lacking a sense of urgency early on and Colorado content to sit back.

“From the first five minutes they took about 10 seconds every time to take a throw in,” said Robinson. “You do that away from home.”

WATCH: Whitecaps vs B.C. Lions

The Whitecaps were without midfielder Matias Laba and defender Kendall Waston after both were sent off in Vancouver’s 2-0 road loss to the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 29, while striker Darren Mattocks (Jamaica), Russell Teibert (Canada) and Sam Adekugbe (Canada) were all away on international duty.

Pa-Modou Kah returned to the lineup after suffering a facial fracture last month, partnering with rookie Tim Parker in the centre of defence, while captain Pedro Morales dropped deeper in the Whitecaps’ five-man midfield to take up Laba’s spot.

Morales was subbed off with a tight right hamstring at halftime – Robinson didn’t sound overly concerned afterwards – with Kianz Froese taking his place.

The Whitecaps came out with more intent after the break, with Rivero rising to meet a Jordan Harvey cross in the 55th minute before Kekuta Manneh sent another shot just wide moments later.

The Rapids’ only real opportunity came two minutes before Rivero gave the Whitecaps the lead when substitute Kevin Doyle’s header was stopped and held on the line by Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.

“We didn’t click attacking-wise (until the goals), but we certainly defended very well. Maybe a year or two ago we might have lost that game 1-0,” said Robinson. “When you don’t play well and
you can win it’s always a good sign.”

Notes: The Whitecaps’ next game is a home date against Honduran side CD Olympia in CONCACAF Champions League play next Wednesday…. The Rapids hosts D.C. United in MLS on Saturday.

©2015Canadian Press

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Helicopters pluck residents to safety as rains lash Japan

WATCH ABOVE: An entire city in Japan has been flooded by a tropical storm on Thursday, washing away homes and forcing residents to the top of their houses. Jeff Semple has the story.

JOSO, Japan – Raging floodwaters broke through a berm Thursday and swamped a city near Tokyo, washing away houses, forcing dozens of people to rooftops to await helicopter rescues and leaving one man clinging for his life to a utility pole.

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There were no immediate reports of casualties, but rescue officials said they were overwhelmed by pleas for help. More than 30,000 people fled their homes, and hundreds more were stranded by the water.

As heavy rain pummeled Japan for a second straight day, the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm at 12:50 p.m., sending water gushing into the eastern half of Joso, a city of 60,000 people about 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Aerial footage showed a wide swath of cityscape underwater, more than one story deep in some places. The rains came on the heels of Tropical Storm Etau, which caused flooding and landslides elsewhere Wednesday as it crossed central Japan.

Raw Video: Japanese town virtually submerged by flood waters

Japanese broadcasters showed live aerial footage of rescuers being lowered from helicopters and clambering onto second-floor balconies to reach stranded residents.

In one dramatic scene, a rescuer descended four times from a military helicopter over 20 minutes to lift up four people one by one as a deluge of water swept around their home.

People inside houses wait to be rescued as the houses are submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Kyodo News via AP

Nearby, a man clung to a utility pole as the waters rose. He was taken up by a rescue worker who had to be first lowered into the rushing water so he could make his way over to the man.

Others waved cloths from their decks or roofs to get attention as torrents of water washed away cars and knocked over buildings. Photos from Japan’s Kyodo News service showed people waiting for help on top of cars and a 7-Eleven delivery truck, surrounded by water that nearly submerged the cars.

WATCH: Japan reels from flooding after typhoon.  CBS’ Seth Doane reports.

By evening, muddy water was still rising on a street heading to Joso City Hall, and police were blocking traffic in that direction.

“Looks like this place is going to be flooded soon,” said Shogo Kobayashi, a 29-year-old resident of a nearby town who came to check on friends in Joso. “I’m getting scared.”

Akira Motokawa, a city evacuation official, told national broadcaster NHK that rescuers have been unable to keep up with the volume of calls for help.

As of 7 p.m., authorities had rescued 70 of the 176 people who had requested help. Another 100 people were reported trapped on the second floor of a flooded supermarket, and 80 more in a nursing home.

More than 31,000 people in the affected 37 square-kilometre (14 square-mile) area shelter at schools, community centres and other safer areas. Defence troops were delivering food, blankets and water to about 780 people in several communities who were stranded but not seeking rescue.

A person inside a house waves to a helicopter as the house is submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Kyodo News via AP

Dozens of residents had evacuated to City Hall, carrying small bags of personal items. They rested in conference rooms, and the waiting area on the first floor opened for them to stay overnight.

Soldiers in camouflage uniforms and helmets rushed around, while wet uniforms and raingear hung from chairs to dry.

Tokyo was drenched with rain, but the hardest-hit area was to the north in Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. One woman was missing hours after a landslide hit houses at the foot of a steep, wooded incline. Bullet train service was partially suspended.

The Fire and Disaster and Management Agency said 15 people were injured by Etau, including two elderly women who were seriously hurt when strong winds knocked them over.

Moritsugu reported from Tokyo.

©2015

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Blame game being played out inside lumbering Conservative campaign

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is feeling the pressure to do more for refugees trying to flee Syria. Jacques Bourbeau reports. 

WELLAND, Ont. – The blame game has begun in earnest among some senior Conservatives, as interpersonal rivalries bubble away below the surface and longtime stalwarts worry about the state of the campaign.

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Stephen Harper himself finds himself an even more solitary figure this week, with his right-hand man and friend Ray Novak dispatched to work in the party’s war room in Ottawa rather than accompany the leader. Campaign manager Jenni Byrne is also back in the capital this week.

Where lively personalities such as Sen. Mike Duffy and the late finance minister Jim Flaherty used to pump up events during the 2011 election, the energy of the campaign now often rests almost solely on Harper’s shoulders.

READ MORE: Voters think Mulcair, Trudeau are better choices to deal with shaky economy: Ipsos poll

On Wednesday, for example, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson appeared only for introductory and closing comments at an event, despite the Syrian refugee crisis continuing to dominate headlines.

Indeed, Harper should be showcasing the experience and expertise his cabinet has gained, suggested one longtime Conservative activist.

“In a very long campaign like this you can afford to take ministers along with you. He has a lot of advantages as the incumbent.”

Disadvantages, too – most notably the inertia and sluggishness that can naturally afflict a party that has spent nearly a decade in power.

Several senior Conservative insiders – speaking to on the condition of anonymity for fear of party reprisals – had different opinions and gripes about what is ailing the campaign.

READ MORE: Haven’t paid attention to the election campaign? Here’s what you missed

They all agreed it clearly “wasn’t firing on all cylinders,” as one person put it.

One source said cabinet ministers are being encouraged by party stalwarts to speak to Harper about how the campaign can be helped.

Regional organizers and ministers are not being consulted regularly nor drawn into the loop on issues as they arise in the campaign, the source said. The assessment is one of a general lack of nimbleness, which means Harper’s rivals have been able to frame parts of the electoral debate.

“It’s down to the bunker,” said another, noting Harper has made the circle of advisers around him even tighter than previous elections.

One Conservative went so far as to call it “open mutiny,” saying many Tories are simply not pitching in to help with the campaign out of disenchantment.

READ MORE: Here’s what the leaders have promised in exchange for your vote

Campaign manager Jenni Byrne is a polarizing figure, with some defending her record as a competent strategist and organizer. Others say her hyper-partisan instincts have resulted in Harper being poorly advised on the Syrian refugee crisis in particular.

“(Byrne) speaks to the worst instincts in Harper,” said another Conservative.

While the core “base” of the Conservative party might not be in favour of bringing in more refugees, the issue is one that has Canadians talking and the premiers and mayors across the country springing to action.

Harper repeats his campaign promise to bring in another 10,000 Syrian refugees, but the government’s current 10,000 promise has brought in only 1,074 people to date. He will not comment on how the government is speeding up the process.

At a campaign Q&A event with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in Welland, Ont., supporters heckled reporters as they asked a series of questions about the crisis spreading across Europe.

Byrne’s decision to travel on and off with Harper on the road rather than manage the campaign full time from headquarters in Ottawa is also being raised repeatedly as a bad idea – it’s hard to see the big picture from inside the election-bus bubble.

Her brittle relationship with campaign chairman Guy Giorno is another factor in the bellyaching behind the scenes. Some Conservatives are loyal to Giorno, while others say Byrne is unfairly bearing the brunt of the blame.

“If Ray (Novak) is back in the war room and Harper needs someone with him he can trust, Jenni (Byrne) would fill that role,” said an Ottawa insider.

Meanwhile, there are dark stories travelling through the ranks about poor polling numbers in places like Edmonton, where several seats could be in jeopardy.

When asked by a reporter Wednesday how he was going to give his campaign a boost, Harper repeated his main message.

“For our government, we’re going to continue a plan that created jobs, a plan based on a balanced budget and lower taxes, and I’m convinced that will be the choice of voters,” Harper said.

©2015

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