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Pratt’s credit card woes pg 22



Protest shuts Oilers Toughing it out down mine A Greenpeace protest has shut down Shell’s giant Albian Sands oilsands mine in Alberta on the eve of a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama. Two-dozen protesters from Canada, the U.S. and France chained themselves to huge earth movers and placed giant banners on the ground reading Tar Sands: Climate Crime. Shell says it is attempting to negotiate an end to the protest and a company official has invited the protesters to sit down in an office to discuss their concerns. Greenpeace activist Mike Hudema says Obama, Harper and other world leaders should show climate leadership and abandon using oil from the oilsands.


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Edmonton Oiler Dean Arsene, left, tries to get past Calgary Flame Jason Jaffray during first-period NHL pre-season hockey action in Calgary last night. The Oilers won 4-1. Story, page 8.

Family of murder victim in court VICTORIA HANDYSIDES

Over a dozen of Selawamit Negasi’s relatives appeared in court yesterday, most wearing white Tshirts bearing her photo



Drug-resistant strain found in Alberta woman CARMEN WALL for Metro Edmonton


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Swine flu confirmed

and the words Your Spirit Will Forever Live On. They appeared to hear the late 46-year-old woman’s husband, Tesfai Negasi, plea to charges connected to her murder. He did not plea yesterday as scheduled to the charges

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— one count of second-degree murder and one count of offering an indignity to a body. Election and plea have been scheduled for Oct. 14. The couple’s daughter, Ellen Negasi, politely declined to comment.

Alberta Health Services has confirmed Alberta’s first case of drug-resistant influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu. Laboratory testing confirmed that a sample taken from an adult Alberta woman in August was oseltamivir-resistant. Senior medical officer Dr. Gerry Predy said the findings are significant because oseltamivir, or Tamiflu, is the most common antiviral used to treat influenza. “It’s always a concern that there is resistance but it isn’t unexpected,” Predy said at yesterday’s press conference. “This isn’t something people should be alarmed about,” Predy said drug-resistant strains are still treatable with other antivirals, but it will be harder to get the illness under control. “This won’t change our approach in any way,” said Predy, even though antiviral medications are a key part of the strategy for fighting H1N1. Predy said this is an isolat-

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“This won’t change our approach in any way.” Dr. Gerry Predy, senior medical officer, Alberta Health Services ed case, and an investigation is underway to determine if the drug-resistant strain was present at the outset of the patient’s illness or if it developed during treatment. AHS is also looking for other people who may have contracted the virus. The woman was being treated for pandemic H1N1, but was never hospitalized for her illness. Predy said she is now recovering and no longer displaying symptoms. Predy said the development of an H1N1 vaccine won’t be affected by this discovery either, and that a vaccine will be available in November. Other isolated cases of drug-resistant H1N1 have been reported, including an earlier case in Quebec.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009





Firefighters to walk for charity


Edmonton Firefighters set to walk the runway tonight at the Edmonton Event Centre in support of Muscular Dystrophy, Burn Treatment Society, and Firefighters Memorial. Call today to reserve your table by calling 780-909-0935, or by emailing METRO EDMONTON

Goodbye Soldiers off to Kandahar CANDICE WARD/FOR METRO EDMONTON

Two new senior medical officers appointed HEALTH The

province has appointed two new senior provincial medical officers of health. Dr. James Talbot and Dr. Martin Lavoie will fill positions at Alberta Health and Wellness that have been vacant since July 2008. Talbot will mainly be responsible for strategic planning, among other things. Lavoie’s responsibilities include strengthening public health practice standards. “These two physicians will broaden the scope of our public health office and strengthen our ability to address public health issues, including the H1N1 pandemic,” said Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert in a release. METRO EDMONTON

What’s online today.

Blogs It’s Called Football breaks down the MLS playoff race and welcomes Hal Dremin and his grassroots initiative to bring grass to BMO Field. ADVERTISE TODAY!

1 888 91 metro (63876)

The first group of Canadian soldiers departed the Edmonton International Airport yesterday headed to Kandahar. About 180 troops will serve for about six months in Afghanistan.

Group fighting school cuts CARMEN WALL for Metro Edmonton EDUCATION Public Interest Alberta launched an advocacy campaign yesterday to challenge government cuts to post-secondary education. PIA says investing in post-secondary education is “vital in these difficult economic times,” and that deeper cuts will reduce the quality of education in Alberta. Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, said the province may cut as much as $40 million in funding, but the amount

hasn’t yet been formally announced. “For next year, institutions have been told that their best case scenario is a zero per cent increase,” said Moore Kilgannon. “That zero per cent — when you have inflation, when you have more and more students trying to get in — means a cut.” Beverly Eastham of the U of A Students’ Union says further cuts will make it harder for students to get into post-secondary institutions at a time when many Albertans are returning to school “seeking skills and sustainable employment.”

ATV Search on for Stolen crash results in charges escaped con

A 27-year-old man has been charged with several offences after being thrown onto an underpass while riding a stolen ATV on Monday afternoon. Jonathan Jules Busenius was allegedly passing drivers on the shoulder of Anthony Henday Drive before crossing over to the centre median. As he approached the Parsons Road underpass, he lost control of the ATV and was thrown several metres below onto the shoulder of Parsons Road. When police arrived, a loaded stolen firearm was seized, and further investigation revealed that the ATV was also stolen. Busenius was taken to hospital for non-lifethreatening injuries.


Authorities are warning a convict who escaped from a southern Alberta medium-security prison may have fled north. Shawn Thomas Evjen, 46, disappeared from the Bowden Institution around 9 p.m. Monday. “When he left, we were aware of how, and now we’re doing a review of our security measures,” Correctional Services spokesman Rick Mollan said. The prison was locked down, and a canine team and helicopter scoured the area, but found no signs of the missing criminal. Evjen, who has been in prison since July 1985, was serving out time for offences including robbery, use of a firearm and assaulting a peace officer. Officials are warning the public they consider

Evjen armed and dangerous, given his history and high risk to re-offend. He stands at five-feet, seven-inches tall and weighs 166 pounds with red hair and blue eyes. He has a skull and dragon tattoo on his right forearm, and has tattoos of women, dragons, a bear and a warrior on his chest and back. Police are urging anyone with information about Evjen, or anyone who spots him not to approach him and to instead call RCMP. METRO EDMONTON


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great Lakes cleanup? Don’t hold your breath A U.S. federal report says the government is moving so slowly to clean up the most polluted sites in the Great Lakes that it will take 77 more years to finish the job at the current pace. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A princely sum?

Canada/World India Temple’s alive with colour ASHWINI BHATIA/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

White-collar crime gets a black mark Tories: Fraudsters face jail

Prince Harry turned 25 yesterday —and became an even more eligible bachelor. He gained access to part of his inheritance from his mother’s estate. Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a Paris car crash in 1997. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Both sides in Gaza accused of war crimes United Nations investigators say both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. The judgment raises the prospect that officials may seek prosecution in the International Criminal Court. A landmark investigation led by former South African judge Richard Goldstone concluded that “Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity,” during its Dec. 27Jan. 18 military operations against Palestinian rocket squads in the Gaza Strip. In a 575-page report, Goldstone and three other investigators also found evidence “that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity.”


The Harper government is vowing to crack down on white-collar crime. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson warned yesterday he will introduce legislation soon to impose mandatory jail sentences on fraudsters. He made the announcement as organizations representing white-collar victims descended on Ottawa to applaud the action and demand more. Victims — some of whom lost millions of dollars — say the stiffer sentences will act as a deterrent to Ponzi schemes and stock and corporate frauds. The renewed focus on white-collar crime comes after Montreal investment dealer Earl Jones was charged with fraud in July for allegedly operating a Ponzi scheme that swindled about 150 investors of at least $30 million.

Victims speak out • Victims’ groups say Ottawa and the provinces should follow the lead of Quebec, which is hiring 20 new financial fraud police officers and three new Crown prosecutors. • They also say Ottawa should create an independent Securities Crime Unit to investigate financial crime.

As well, two Alberta men were charged Monday with operating another Ponzitype scheme that netted about $100 million in investments. Victims’ groups stressed the federal and provincial governments need to support tougher sentences with more funding. The victims say charges are all too rare and take too long to come to light. THE CANADIAN PRESS

ty government is poised to survive at least its first confidence test this week, thanks to the very separatists and socialists so often derided by the prime


Student with sword kills suspected burglar

News in brief BLOC Stephen Harper's minori-

The Dalai Lama begins a three-day religious event at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India, yesterday. The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharmsala since fleeing Tibet following a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule over the Himalayan region.

minister. Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe announced Tuesday that his party will support the government on a crucial budget vote Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS

CRIME A Johns Hopkins University student armed with a samurai sword killed a suspected burglar in a garage behind his off-campus home early yesterday,

hours after someone broke in and stole electronics. Shocked neighbours said they heard bloodcurdling screams. Police held the student, who turns 21 on Sun-

day, for several hours, but no charges were filed. The intruder’s hand was nearly severed — police described it as “hanging on by a thread.” THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

House shelled, rockets fired THE REPORT This is what the 575-page U.N. report claims in part: Israel: Attacks in Gaza City, including the shelling of a house where soldiers had forced Palestinian civilians to assemble, amounted to war crimes. Civilians were shot while leaving their homes trying to run for safety, waving white flags and sometimes even following Israeli instructions. Palestinians: Armed groups firing rockets into southern Israel from Gaza failed to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population. “Where there is no intended military target … they constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population.”

News in brief AFGHANISTAN Ballots from 10 per cent of Afghanistan's polling stations need recounting because of suspicions of fraud, the chief election watchdog says. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS .

Wednesday, September 16, 2006


Recession probably over, says U.S. Fed chairman U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday the economy likely is growing now, but it won’t be sufficient to prevent unemployment from rising. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS




Air losses worse than post-9-11 levels: IATA The airline industry says recent losses have been worse than what they were after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, because of rising fuel costs and lower revenues. The International Air Transport Association, a Montreal-based group of airlines, today painted a picture of an industry in crisis. CEO Giovanni Bisignani told a Washington news conference that expected

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losses in 2009 would be $2 billion US more than previously forecast. IATA predicts that the global airline industry will

lose $11 billion in 2009, with an estimated loss of more than $6 billion in the first half alone. Bisignani said revenues this year will be $80 billion US below 2008 levels. Passenger and cargo revenues are expected to fall in 2009, led by a 20 per cent drop in demand for business travel. Passenger traffic is also expected to decline by four per cent. THE CANADIAN PRESS

Business in brief INTERNET Jamaican police are

investigating a bizarre allegation that a fake Facebook profile was created to defame the former head of Scotiabank’s Jamaican operations. William

Clarke complained in July that someone purporting to be him had created a fake Facebook page bearing “defamatory statements” in his name.

HOMES Resales of Canadian homes held steady and the national average price soared in August, the Canadian Real Estate Association said yesterday.






Wednesday, September 16, 2006


Assoc Managing Editor, Tarin Elbert

Art Director, Laila Hakim

Publisher, Steve Shrout

Sales Manager, Cheryl Skogg

Group Publisher, Bill McDonald

Enter/Lifestyle Editor, Dean Lisk

National Sales Director, Peter Bartrem

Managing Editor, Harry Hodge

Distribution Manager, Jim Hillman

Editor-in-Chief, Dianne Rinehart

Asst Managing Editor, Amber Shortt

Interactive/Mrktng Director, Jodi Brown

Comment & Views




Taking aim at oilsands Greenpeace report sizes up environmental consequences TheWestView Paul Sullivan


hose Greenpeace people are at it again. This time they’re not chasing down whalers and draping themselves over their harpoons. This time they’re taking it straight to Canada’s engine of economic growth, that driver of the petro-loonie, the oilsands. This week, just in time for today’s meeting between Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama, Greenpeace issued a report called Dirty — How The Tarsands Are Fuelling Global Climate Change, which claims the oilsands produce more greenhouse gases than some countries. And as an added distraction, activists chained themselves to a giant dump

truck yesterday at Shell’s Al- tal consequences, tell that bian Sands site in northern to the 1,600 dead ducks who went for their last Alberta. First National Geograph- swim in a Syncrude tailings ic, now Greenpeace. The oil- pond on their flight south sands’ image is so bad that last spring. But while it makes a good one professor at the Univerheadline, the sity of Calgary citthinks the Al“But while it makes countries ed by Nikiberta governforuk are Esment should a good headline, and hire a PR firm the countries cited tonia Lithuania, to fight back two industrial in case all this by (Andrew) micro-states, bad publicity Nikiforuk are while Canada eventually Estonia and is one of the hurts foreign world’s investment in Lithuania, two largest — and Alberta, espe- industrial by far its cially from Eumicro-states ...” friendliest — rope, which has no seals left to club or supplier of energy. So if oil to extract and is there- Osama bin Laden declares fore concentrating on ex- himself king of the OPEC porting sanctimoniousness. states, the oilsands will be Don’t get me wrong. I there to keep the lights on, have a great deal of respect something both Europe and for Andrew Nikiforuk, the Greenpeace should medigreat Canadian journalist tate on when they can take who wrote the report, cer- a moment from all that detainly more than I have for claring. fearless front-line eco-warFor those who think it’s riors and their apparently unfair or cynical to plead a endless supply of chains. geopolitical case, there’s alAnd if you don’t think the ways the fact that coal-fired oilsands have environmen- energy generation is far and

away the largest producer of greenhouse gases, but for some reason, Greenpeace has failed to chain itself around a coal-fired generating plant. That’s probably because they can’t get into the U.S. thanks to the ceaseless vigilance of Homeland Security. Maybe Greenpeace should chain itself to the Netherlands instead, which is one of the top five greenhouse gas producers on the planet, despite those picturesque windmills. Plus, unlike the U.S., it’s a real pushover, homeland security-wise. Greenpeace is certainly not likely to pick another fight with France, despite its addiction to nuclear power, an environmental non-non. As I recall, the last time Greenpeace tried to get in the way of l’épreuve nucléair, the French employed a memorably explosive brand of public relations. Paul Sullivan is a Vancouver-based journalist and owner of Sullivan Media Consulting;

Word on the street: If there was an election today, what party would you vote for and why?

Josh St. Onge

age 23, St. Albert A: The Liberal party, mostly because I’m against the Conservatives — more Stephen Harper than anyone else. I wouldn’t vote in someone that’s more concerned about taking down a gun registry than building up health care.

David Leeder

Aaron Cossette

Debbie Cole

Ryan Swain

Tony Clark

A: I see a definite lack of leadership in all parties in the country ... I wouldn’t vote for anyone right now.

A: Probably with Harper again. I think he’s doing a good job and I don’t think at this time calling an election is the best thing.

A: It’s hard to say. I don’t agree with a lot of the decisions the Conservatives have made, but I still think of the sponsorship scandal with the Liberals. I’m not over that.

A: The Green party I guess. I just don’t like what’s going on with the other parties right now who have the most power. I’d probably go with the Green party to start something new, something fresh.

A: I’d probably have to go with NDP just because I’m really pissed off with both the Conservatives and the Liberals. They’ve been really childish with everything.

age 24, Edmonton

age 29, Calgary

age 21, Ottawa

age 19, Halifax

age 29, Toronto

Worth mentioning

Records cast light on Jack the Ripper’s victims The world is endlessly fasci- Mary Jane Kelly. All were killed between nated with Jack the Ripper — but what about his vic- Aug. 31 and Dec. 20, 1888, in London’s tims? End, Yesterday, Possible suspects East where they an online geas nealogy com- • No one was ever prosecuted worked pany pub- for the murders, helping to fu- prostitutes. The firm lished census el speculation about his idensaid the ceninformation tity that continues to this day. that casts Among the suspects identi- sus data — light on the fied at various times are: Fran- available on lives of the cis Tumblety, an American its site and women mur- quack doctor; Sir William elsewhere ondered by the Gull, physician to Queen Vic- line — proVictorian seri- toria; Victoria’s grandson, vides “a small window onto al killer. Prince Albert Victor; and the the past” and The compa- artist Walter Sickert. dispels an imny ( trawled records age some people may have of Britain’s 1881 census for of the victims as teenage information on the five streetwalkers. Most were women generally accepted formerly married women as victims of the Ripper: with children who resorted Mary Ann Nichols, Annie to prostitution when their Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, lives took a turn for the Catherine Eddowes and worse. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

We Know What You’re Thinking


The number of Canadian men who say they like sleeping naked as opposed to wearing pyjamas. IPSOS REID

Tell us your views by email to or comment on or on Twitter @metroedmonton Letters must include sender’s full name, address and phone number – street name and phone numbers will NOT be published. We reserve the right to edit letters.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Group seeks to take Redskins case to highest court A group of American Indians who find the Washington Redskins name offensive wants the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the matter. The seven Native Americans have been working through the court system since 1992 to have the Redskins trademarks declared invalid. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Slicin’ with Kimbo


Season 10 of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter reality show starts tonight. Internet sensation Kimbo Slice, left, put aside a dispute with UFC president Dana White to take part in the show and viewers will see a different side of the street fighter. Fellow cast members have described Slice as “a nice guy” and a “really good cook.” The show airs on Spike and Rogers Sportsnet. METRO NEWS SERVICES

Oilers douse Flames N I W $1,000 CASH NHL RESULT

Edmonton 4 Calgary 1


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Patrick O’Sullivan got his NHL pre-season off to good start last night scoring twice to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames. In the first pre-season game for both teams, new head coaches Pat Quinn and Brent Sutter got their first taste of the Battle of Alberta with Quinn’s more experienced lineup coming out on top. Edmonton struck first at 10:58 of the first period when O’Sullivan whipped a wrist shot past Matt Keetley from just inside the blue-line. Playing on a line with Mike Comrie and Ryan Stone, the same trio struck again 1:25 into the second period when Comrie shot the puck towards the goal and it caromed in off the leg of O’Sullivan. Edmonton also got goals from Tom Gilbert and Shawn Horcoff, who scored into an empty net. With Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Daymond Langkow, and Rene Bourque among the notable forwards that did not play, Calgary failed to generate many dangerous

scoring chances. The lone goal for Calgary came at 10:26 of the third when Jamie Lundmark’s pass sprung Jason Jaffray on a breakaway and the former Vancouver Canucks farmhand snapped a shot past goaltender Devan Dubnyk to get the Flames within a goal. Forty-one-year-old Theoren Fleury, attempting a comeback from a six year NHL absence, was also not in uniform for Calgary, nor were any of the Flames top five defencemen including summer free agent acquisition Jay Bouwmeester. Of the four goaltenders that saw playing time, only Edmonton starter Jeff

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Deslauriers was flawless stopping all 13 shots he faced in the games’ first 30 minutes. Ranked 18th last season in scoring, Edmonton is hoping that the return of Comrie and a full season from O’Sullivan will help spark an offence that ranked 18th last season. The two goals for O’Sulli-

van matches the two he scored for Edmonton in 19 games last season after coming over from the Los Angeles Kings at the trade deadline as part of a fourteam trade that saw Edmonton deal Erik Cole to the Carolina Hurricanes. Comrie, who had two assists, signed with the Oilers last week as a free agent. O’Sullivan, 24, is entering his fourth NHL season with 22 goals in 2007-08 being his career high. Edmonton’s line-up boasted only a handful of veterans, with Horcoff, Ethan Moreau and Steve Staios among those in uniform. THE CANADIAN PRESS

South Africa files complaint with Real Madrid, Man U pick up wins Cristiano Ronaldo nine-time European chamUN over gender-tested runner scored twice in his Champi- pion, although the second SOCCER


The video everyone’s talking about.

Edmonton’s Zach Stortini fights with Calgary’s Brandon Prust last night during the Oilers’ 4-1 victory over the Flames last night.

Africa’s minister for women and children has filed a complaint with the United Nations over how Caster Semenya’s case has been handled. Noluthando MayendeSibiya says the international athletics governing body failed to safeguard the confidentiality of the runner whose sex has been questioned. She says they showed “blatant disCaster Semenya

regard” for Semenya’s “human dignity.” The complaint made Monday asks the UN Division for the Advancement of Women to investigate the matter. The International Association of Athletics Federations has refused to confirm or deny Australian media reports saying sex tests show that the women’s 800-metre world champion has both male and female characteristics. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ons League debut for Real Madrid to lead his new team to a 5-2 win at FC Zurich, while the Manchester United side he left after last season won its opening match 1-0 at Besiktas. World player of the year Ronaldo scored from a pair of free kicks for the record

was punched into the net by Johnny Leoni as the goalkeeper tried to clear it. Former European champions AC Milan and Bayern Munich also won their first group matches, while Chelsea beat visiting FC Porto 1-0. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sports in brief HOCKEY The Columbus Blue

Jackets have signed centre Antoine Vermette to a five-year contract extension through the 2014-15 season. NHL Jonas Gustavsson’s bid to land a goaltending job with the Toronto Maple Leafs has been stalled by a heart problem that

required surgery yesterday. FORMULA ONE Lotus is returning to Formula One racing. Yesterday, FIA, the sport’s governing body, awarded Lotus the 13th spot on the grid for the 2010 season. Lotus has been out of F1 since 1994. METRO NEWS SERVICES






Wednesday, September 16, 2009



VW’s green rebate Volkswagen Canada is offering an additional $1,000 on top of the federal government’s Retire Your Ride recycling program to customers who choose the 2009 Jetta TDI Clean Diesel, named the Green Car Journal’s 2009 Green Car of the Year. CANADIANDRIVER.COM

Metro Drive

Mercedes in style Mercedes-Benz will be the official car for London Fashion Week, which kicks off tomorrow. The German automaker will provide a fleet of low CO2 emission, BlueEFFICIENCY cars to provide transport for VIPs, designers and celebrities between the catwalk shows. METRO NEWS SERVICES


Accord Crosstour coming dling, while also adapting to shifts in the Canadian light truck marketplace,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president of Honda Canada. “The all-new Accord Crosstour achieves this by offering a modern interpretation of a CUV, while integrating the refinement and efficiency of a premium sedan.” Derived from the Accord sedan, the Crosstour maximizes car-like ride and refinement, yet maintains capabilities consistent with a CUV’s increased ride height and all-weather potential.

The all-new 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour is set to arrive at Honda dealerships in Canada this fall. The Accord evolves the crossover utility vehicle (CUV) concept by integrating a sleek and aerodynamic shape that blends sporty, low-profile contours with versatile CUV functionality. “Our concept is to broaden the appeal of the Accord line-up by leveraging traditional Accord strengths of fun-to-drive performance and han-


The built-in-Canada 2010 Toyota Corolla looks bigger than a compact car yet it gets up to about 5.7L/100km on the highway.


Bang for your buck Affordable quality drives Toyota Corolla’s popularity JIM ROBINSON for Metro Canada

Without the Corolla, Toyota might not be where it is today — Number One worldwide. Since 1967, over 1,125,061 Corolla’s have been sold in Canada alone. Now in its tenth generation, the Corolla is built in 16 plants around the world including here in Canada in Cambridge, Ont., where the 2010 model is rolling off the line. In fact, Cambridge is the second largest Corolla plant on the planet. And Cambridge had a part of play in the design of this significant vehicle. It might not sound like much, but Canadian input

2010 Toyota Corolla CE Type: Compact sedan Price: Base, $16,169, as tested

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electronics like cellphones and the larger PDAs used in North America. And, lastly, the door cupholders had to be big enough to hold a Tim’s or Slushie. In common with most new cars there days, the 2010 Corolla is much bigger in flesh than it looks on websites or in brochures. With an overall length of 4,540 mm (178.7 in) and a wheelbase of 1,465 mm (102.4 in) the Corolla is well and truly pushing the outer limits as a “compact” car. The engine is a marvel of technology with dual variable valve timing, fuel injection, direct ignition and even a fly-by-wire throttle system with intelligence. The latter looks at speed, fuel consumption and load

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ford on Leno show Ford is teaming up with The Jay Leno Show, which kicked off on NBC Monday, and providing an all-new battery electric Ford Focus that celebrities will be able to drive. METRO NEWS SERVICES

AutoPilot Michael Goetz


eneral Motors agreed last week to sell its Opel division to Canada’s auto parts giant Magna. When the deal concludes next month (barring any last minute hitches), it will end one of longest droughts in Canadian history. No, not as long as the Toronto Maple Leaf drought, but still long by any other standard… The last time an automaker was Canadian owned? Well you have to go back to those lovely disco years, in the mid-1970s, when American Malcolm Bricklin set up shop in Saint John, N.B., with millions of the province’s dollars, to build his mid-engine sports car. Numerous pseudo-Canadian car companies have dotted our landscape in the decades between 1930 and 1970. But if you’re looking for a totally Canadian car company with any substance and some name recognition, you have to go all the way back to McLaughlin, which was sold to GM in 1918. That’s why this Magna deal is such big news. Great news even. The basic deal looks like this: Magna and the Russian bank, Sherbank, equally split a 55 per cent of share of Opel (27.5 per cent each). GM retains a 35 percent share. The remaining 10 per cent is held by trade unions. This “new” company can make and sell cars under

the Opel name — except in the U.S. and China. The German government will loan this group many millions of marks for restructuring. As such, it will be hard politically for the “new Opel” to rationalize operations in the EU. The key to its success then, appears to lie in Russia, where low-cost production and a burgeoning middle class beckon. GM has already noted that Sherbank is just holding a place for Russian automaker GAZ, which needs a few months to get its act together to get in on this deal.

Is that a global deal or what? But I think the most intriguing aspect of it, for Canadians at least, is that this new entity can make and sell cars under the Opel name in Canada starting in the third quarter of 2012. It’s definitely a bummer that such cars couldn’t be sold in the U.S., a close and lucrative market if there ever was one. But Magna chief Frank Stronach is a smart man. He came to Canada as young man with just $200 to his name, and built one of the largest manufactur-


The Northern hope

An employee works at the assembly line for the Insignia in the Opel car factory in Ruesselsheim, Germany. Magna is all set to acquire a 27.5 per cent stake in GM’s Opel division.

ing companies in the world. I’m guessing he’s got something figured out.

Michael Goetz has been writing about cars and editing automotive publications for over 20 years. He lives in Toronto with his family and a neglected 1967 Jaguar E-type.

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Easily the most storied Canadian automaker to date. Founded in 1987. Purchased by GM in 1918, to form the foundation of GM Canada. • General Vehicle Corp: Sucked a lot of money from the province of New Brunswick between 1974 and 1975. But its Bricklin SV1 was definitely unique, with gullwing doors, fibreglass body panels, and a mid-engine design. • Les Automobiles Manic: The Manic GT is the most interesting Canadian car you never heard of. About 160 of the rear-engine coupes were built between 1970-71 at the firm's plant in Granby, Que. • Brooks Steam Motors: Just when others were getting out of steam propulsion, Brooks was getting in, setting up a factory in Stratford, Ont., in 1923. Less than 200 of the stately vehicles were produced before the company’s inevitable collapse in 1929. • Galt Motor Company: Actually produced a gaselectric hybrid in 1914. A two-cylinder engine powered a turbine, which fed electricity to a motor that powered the vehicle.

MARK ATKINSON for Metro Canada

Ford has been teasing the upcoming launch of its new B-segment car, the Fiesta, for what seems like years now. We’ve seen its fantastic styling, heard its revvy engine, and ached for more. But Ford is being smart. Previous attempts at a “World Car” — a vehicle that’s sold virtually the same around the globe — haven’t been well received in North America. Remember the Ford Contour? Or the Mercury Scorpio? Disastrous.

So to whet our appetites even more, Ford set up a day’s drive with the fivedoor European Fiesta — a vehicle that will share 90 per cent of its components with “our” Fiesta — against its deadliest rivals: the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. Ford’s first challenge of the day was a slalom course set up at Ontario Place in Toronto to let us put the Fiesta through its paces in a straight fight with the Honda, Nissan and Toyota. On paper, the Fiesta trails in some categories, including number of gears (five vs. six for Nissan) and horse-

November debut • Ford says ‘our’ Fiesta will debut this November at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, in both four-door sedan and five-door hatch.

power (116-hp vs. 117 for Honda, 122 for Nissan). But the Fiesta’s fuel mileage trumps them all. The current Yaris is the economy king, with a combined 6.6 L/100 km rating, but the Ford’s 5.9 L/100 km takes it to another level. At the handling course, only the Fit had anything on the Fiesta. Ford has a

reputation in Europe for great driving machines, and it’s obvious why. Excellent steering feel, taut suspension, great brakes and few vibrations equal a fluid package. You can throw the Fiesta around by its scruff, and it’s happy to oblige. The Honda has similar handling, but rides rougher. Both the Toyota and Nissan don’t like being pushed around, but might be better suited to the daily highway grind. The Fiesta’s other trump card is its ability to adjust itself to best match the driver. Its seats have the widest range of adjustment, and


Fiesta: Who’s better, who’s best Ford recently put its upcoming Fiesta to a test against its deadliest rivals: the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.

the steering wheel felt like it could be positioned in the backseat if required. In the Toyota, tall drivers will have a hard time finding a comfortable position, and the Fisher Price cabin materials are insulting. Same in the Versa, although it does offer acres of passenger room. The Hon-

da doesn’t feel like a penalty box, and trumps the Fiesta with its flip-and-fold Magic Seats in the rear. The Fiesta’s split-fold seats don’t quite fold flat enough, and its 295L cargo capacity with the seats raised is lowest in the group, and almost twice as small as the leading Fit at 585L.

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Plush LX reliable JUSTIN PRITCHARD for Metro Canada

MODEL: Lexus LX, 1998-

2007 VEHICLE TYPE: Large luxury

Levinson stereo system, rear-seat DVD console, automatic climate control and even night vision. The LX came comprehensively well-stocked as a luxury SUV and enjoyed sales success and plenty of awards.


This machine featured a rugged four wheel drive system, V8 power and an automatic transmission as standard. With a low-range transfer case, generous ground clearance and a truck-frame construction, LX was capable of tackling trails or towing as needed. This big, heavy and powerful machine is thirsty, so shoppers should determine if the LX is overkill for their needs ahead of shopping. Smaller, more efficient options are available. The LX was face-lifted within its second-generation life cycle, and horsepower increased modestly, too. Shopping for as new a used model as possible will leave owners with a more powerful, striking looking machine. Shoppers will find features like a Bluetooth phone interface, a Mark

WHAT OWNERS LIKE: Owners commonly report loving the space, capability and high-end build quality of the LX. Confident operation in any weather make it a favorite amongst families active with year-round activities, and the stereo system is commonly referred to as “awesome.”

Second Gear


As with most SUV models of this size, most common owner-reported issues deal with hefty fuel consumption. Some report a vague and disconnected feel at highway speeds, too. COMMON ISSUES: The LX’s

hydraulically-adjustable suspension system employs numerous pumps, sensors and switches to alter ride characteristics. If the rear-end of the LX is sitting abnormally high, it in-

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dicates a failure within the system. This well documented problem may result from a failed sensor, and could result in a pricey repair bill. Ensure proper, smooth and noise-free operation from the sunroof, and be sure to check for proper operation of the air conditioner, too. Given the fairly comprehensive list of electronics on board the LX, shoppers are advised to go over all interior electronics to be sure all features and systems work as expected. Listen for any unwelcomed squeaks, grinding or clunking from beneath the vehicle, which could indicate a problem with ball joints or ‘anti-rattle’ springs in the braking system.

EMMA E FORREST for Metro Canada

French car manufacturer Peugeot revealed its entry into the great race to offer the hottest electric city car, when it showed the Peugeot iOn at the annual Frankfurt motor show, which began yesterday with press showings. The Peugeot is based on my favourite city EV, the fantastic four-door Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which confounds all golf-cart EV clichés, as it looks very

The Peugeot iOn was among the many electric vehicles showcased at the ongoing Frankfurt auto show.

cool, offers plenty of room, and has the safety standards and drives like a regular car. The MiEV went on sale in Japan this year and is set to roll out across Europe

this year. The iMiev is currently being tested in the U.S. for a North American launch. Mitsubishi has really caught the EV bug — it plans to launch no less than five by 2013. Meanwhile other carmakers are testing or leasing out their own electric cars, including the Nissan LEAF, Smart EV and the MINI EV. The latter two are already on the road after they proved even more popular than expected, with drivers queuing up to lease them even at great expense.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2006

Metro Workology exclusive: Skilled Trades For the month of September, Metro’s Workology section will be focusing on the extremely lucrative and soon to be booming employment sector of skilled trades. So be sure to read Workology and every day.


$5M for skills training in B.C. The B.C. government announced last Friday $5.2 million to help 1,000 unemployed residents of the province acquire the skills needed to return to the workforce or to further their education. The province is providing $1.5 million to a plethora of B.C. schools to offer 17 intakes across 10 programs to provide unemployed workers with general or job-specific skills. The remaining $3.2 million will fund a labour market consortium made up of 15 educational institutions. METRO NEWS SERVICES

EDITOR: DOUGLAS.DUNLOP@METRONEWS.CA H&R Block’s Tax Training School is a hands-on course offering high quality training from our knowledgeable tax associates. Learn how to prepare your taxes, and how you could make extra money preparing them for others.* Imagine a seasonal full or part-time job that works to your schedule, allowing you the freedom to enjoy life both in and out of the office. Register online at or call 1-877-32BLOCK (322-5625) for details.

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Your home … from scratch Your walls and roof brought to you by these tradespeople Skilled Trades


RAFAEL BRUSILOW for Metro Canada

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While most people think of tools and materials when they think of renovations, it’s the skilled trades-people who put those materials to work that make the real magic happen. The career professionals who master their chosen trade represent a culmination of experience and knowledge that can only be gained through dedication and hard work. Roofer Your roof protects your

entire house as well as you within it, so suffice it to say professional roofers take their job very seriously. Robert Bedard, 40, was a natural who learned his craft from a master roofer because no formal training program existed when he started. Today he has nearly 20 years of roofing under his belt and says the toughest part of being a roofer is handling the physicality of the job. “You use every muscle in your body — the only thing that doesn’t hurt at the end of the day is your head. You’ve definitely got to be in tip-top shape,” Bedard said. Bedard works for Great Canadian Roofing based in Edmonton and says creative

thinking is a large part of the job as well, since every roof is different and figuring out how to work effectively around chimneys, windows and other additions takes some real smarts. “You need a real ability to problem-solve,” Bedard said. Bricklayer Bricklayer and master mason Willi Rieder, 49, finished his career training at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and completed his apprenticeship when he was 23 years old. He started Alpine Masonry in Surrey, B.C. in 1990 and still lays brick on a daily basis because he likes to personally ensure a high quality level of work.

Like many trades, the masonry field is desperate for young blood to enter the fray but getting young people to start a career isn’t easy. Rieder says many young people don’t realize how much work and expertise goes into being a mason and as a result many give up before finishing their apprenticeships. “Masonry is a very difficult trade because there’s a lot of things you have to learn. It’s definitely an art to learn and it takes a lot of practice and a lot of time,” Rieder said. For more of the Skilled Trades exclusive series check Workology frequently or stop by:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Pro tip The first and most basic way to improve the look of your photos is to buy a large memory card and set your camera to capture images at the highest possible resolution. TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE


Expert tip Kids and dogs look better in photos if you’re kneeling or sitting on the ground. Crowds and groups usually look much better in photos if you’re on top of a chair or ladder. TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE


Finding the right camera ANDREW COWIE for Metro Edmonton

Finding that perfect camera can be harder than just looking at well-known brand names. Features ranging from extended battery life, stronger zoom function, viewfinder and image stabilizers are all things people will look for when looking at cameras, but finding one that feels right is the trick. Christina Fuchs, manager at McBain Camera, said that the most important thing for customers is to The Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xsi, above, is $679.99, or $799.99 with the Rebel Xsi EF-S 18-55mm IS kit. For more, go to

take their time looking at the different cameras available before settling on one, especially with SLR (singlelens reflex) cameras. “It’s a good idea to go through the menus and how it feels physically in their hands,” said Fuchs. “They can navigate through to see how they feel, (because) that should be something they should consider because cameras are so similar.” Fuchs said that since some people might be looking for different qualities than others, it comes down to explaining to a professional exactly what they’re looking for. “People can come in and as (an example) if they wanted something with a lot of zoom, we can go from there,” said Fuchs. “I would narrow down what

The most important thing when buying a camera is to take your time looking before settling on one, experts suggest.

the (individual) needs.” Fuchs mentioned that both the Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xsi and Nikon D3000 are good models to start with, both of which gives the consumers the chance to upgrade on

the cameras if they choose. Sarah Mavro, assistant manager of camera sales at Don’s Photo, said she adThe Nikon D3000, shown here with a 1855mm VR lens, is $639.95,

Top three ways to improve your shots 1

Don’t just rely on automatic mode: Automatic modes can be fooled. They can assume every photo is of an average subject with average light from an average distance. Most cameras have various scene modes. These are still automatic but give each photo a different look. You may find them on a dial on the top of your camera or in one of the menus. Usually, they have symbols like a flower, a mountain, a person, a running figure, or fireworks. The moon/flash symbol is perhaps the most useful. It will fire the flash while balancing out the background lights with a slower shutter speed. You will get a much more realistic look for parties and birthdays and the like. The running figure symbol is used for subjects with movement. The camera selects a higher shutter speed to prevent the subject from


Using indoor light for your photos instead of the flash can often produce pictures with soft and colourful lighting.

being blurry. This has the other effect of keeping the subject in focus. The mountain symbol is used for landscapes and static subjects that are far away. This is useful to take a photo through the window of a car, train or plane, so the camera does not focus on the glass. It will also give you a large depth of field that keeps more things in focus. The opposite of the mountain is the flower setting. This is a macro setting that lets the lens focus on small objects up close. That new engagement ring, a snail, flower in the garden or a goldfish could use this setting.


Don’t just keep the camera on auto mode when shooting indoors: When a flash is used indoors, it creates a harshness and removes context. Indoor light can often be soft, gentle and colourful. It is important to look at the direction of the light. If you have the option to turn around a desk lamp to help out, or place your subject near a window or open door, you will have success. It is important to remember that with the lower light levels, you will need a longer shutter speed, which means you need to hold your camera steady. Bracing yourself, or propping the camera

Use a flash when shooting outside: Midday is a popular time to shoot pictures outside and the light is high and bright, leading to harsh shadows on the face and a huge contrast between sunlit areas and shadows. A flash will help balance out these extremes. By shooting with a flash, you can face your subject with the sun behind them. In the photo business, the sun then becomes a “hair light” that is flattering. The flash in the face corrects the exposure and the photo should look great. To force the camera flash to fire, press the flash button on the camera and cycle it through until you see a fill flash option or just a plain lightning bolt. This will fire the flash at all times, regardless of the exposure. TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE

into the lens (because) that and the sensor are the biggest two parts.” Both Fuchs and Mavro agreed that for a starter kit for a SLR camera would come to $500 to $600. With extras and accessories, that could send the cost up to nearly $1,000, but for those who are interested in clearer photos, the cost might be worth it.

Join the Metro Photo Challenge! Metro Canada is proud to announce the launch of the 2009 Metro Global Photo Challenge — the world’s largest digital photo competition for photographers of all experience levels. The contest kicks off on Sept. 28. This year the competition has three themes — People, Places, Climate Change — Last year’s winning entry, Tram and will be judged by a pan- to Humber, was from Toronto. el of international judges. Local winners will move on to the global finals, to be judged by internationally acclaimed photographers and an online jury of some 40,000 Metro readers. In addition to a cash prize, the global winners from each category will receive a trip for two to anywhere in the world where Metro publishes. They will also have the opportunity to have their photos published in Metro’s papers in 18 countries. • To enter, go to


against a table or chair, can help. Or consider buying a small tabletop tripod. To get your camera to cooperate, you will need to take it off fully automatic and choose one of the night settings.

Here are three ways you can improve your photography, regardless of whether your camera costs $100 or $5,000.

vises people to stick with the bare minimums at first when they’re starting to look for a new camera. The option to upgrade, she said, is always something that can be done later on after the purchase. “I tell them to start basic and they’ll notice the image change,” said Mavro. “If they want to get (better) they can put more money



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Falling room rates The Canadian Hotel Price Index by shows Whistler, B.C. had the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steepest decline in room rates during the first half of 2009 followed by Jasper, Alta. and Collingwood, Ont. But all three are still among Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 10 priciest destinations, with room rates averaging between $173 and $182 per night. METRO NEWS SERVICES

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Destination DC has launched to help fans of Dan Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new thriller, The Lost Symbol, explore places and themes featured in the book. The guide includes an early 20th century Masonic stone temple at the corner of 16th and S streets, and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Va. Fans of The Da Vinci Code novelist flocked to the Louvre in Paris and other sites in Europe that were featured in that book. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


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18 travel

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Odd Wisconsin An original script from the movie Casablanca, a journal from the Lewis and Clark Expedition and one of the world’s first atlases are among the new items at the Wisconsin Historical Museum’s exhibit of odd items in Madison, Wisc. For details, see THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Dual-destination honeymoons

Choose places where you can relax for a week, then go exploring EMMA E. FORREST Metro World News

Going on honeymoon presents you with a dilemma: This is the one chance you get to really splash out on the holiday of a lifetime, so you want to take advantage of it and do something exceptional. On the other hand, after dealing with a year of planning the nuptials, worrying about how much it will all cost you, bickering with your partner over wedding venues, arguing over the guest list with your future in-laws, managing prewedding nerves, then rushing around on the day trying to talk to everyone you’ve invited, you might not have the energy to do anything too exciting on your honeymoon. The chances are, you will be absolutely exhausted the day after the big day — there’s a reason why the honeymoon cliché involves spending two weeks passed out on a paradise beach. You’ll probably need to relax and gaze lovingly into your new bride/groom’s eyes for at least five days, but after that you’ll likely be ready to explore somewhere exciting or astoundingly beautiful with your soul mate. The key is to choose destinations where you can do both — get inspiration from our guide to two-centre honeymoon options. Mauritius and Reunion Relax in Mauritius The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is the classic honeymoon destination, with palm trees swaying over long stretches of pure white sand. The hotels here are geared up for honeymooners, so you’ll be well looked after. Stay all-

Left, a romantic beach resort on Reunion Island, a French outpost in the Indian Ocean. Right, a dramatic view of a waterfall on Reunion Island.

inclusive and you can chill out in comfort for the first part of your honeymoon, sipping cocktails on the beach, and eating in-house before getting an early night. Enjoy wilderness on Reunion Island There are plenty of interesting natural and historical sites to explore on the island of Mauritius, but if you are looking for true adventure, take a flight over to the nearby French island of Reunion. France’s outpost in the Indian Ocean is home to a live volcano and three huge dramatic craters or cirques. Plan a trek into Cirque Mafate, which is only accessible by foot, or cruise through the lush, green, wild valleys of Cirque de Salazie or Cilaos and stop off to admire gushing waterfalls or pretty colonial villages, or take a trek through the stun-

ning scenery. Elsewhere you can visit Creole towns and geranium or vanilla plantations, or go snorkelling or whale-spotting on the coast. Miami and Key West Relax in the Florida Keys This special strip of tiny islands offers the warm welcome and a laidback spirit of the American South, as well as the azure waters, tropical landscapes, breathtaking sunsets and party atmosphere of the Caribbean. This is a great place to find an affordable, easygoing haven for your honeymoon, and enjoy relaxing activities ranging from a relaxed Hemingway-style fishing trip, a visit to the unique town of Key West, a cycling tour, dolphin spotting or taking in one of the Keys’ annual food festivals. Waterbabies can learn to scuba dive or explore the Florida Keys Shipwreck

Heritage Trail in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This line of nine wreck sites stretching from Key Largo to Key West has produced artificial reefs that are rich with marine life, and are suitable for both snorkeling and diving. Party and shop in Miami When you’re done with relaxing in the Keys, step up the pace with a visit to Miami’s South Beach strip where you can soak up the party atmosphere. Tour the famous Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive and Washington Avenue one day, then hit the shops for fashion bargains the next, or spend the day people-watching on the beach or in a pavement café. By night you can sip cocktails in one of the gorgeous designer hotels — try the Gansevoort for the glamorous rooftop bar, or hit the terrace at the Mon-

Good to know • When planning, bear in mind that if you take two weeks off work, and get married on the first weekend, you won’t get two full weeks of honeymoon. • Even if you are an adventurous traveller, be sure to book the first few days’ hotel rooms – you won’t have the energy to traipse around looking for somewhere to stay when you’ve arrived. • If you need to budget, plan carefully. Go off-season when hotel rates are cheaper, or

drian on the west coast for the best sunsets. Mozambique and South Africa Relax in Mozambique Traditionally, honeymooners used to stop off for a week on the romantic Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar before going on an exciting safari trip in

you will be able to negotiate a cheaper rate at your dream hotel. Get a cheap flight but don’t scrimp on accommodations — you’re likely to want to spend a lot of time in your room, and you don’t want to argue with your partner if the hotel turns out to be a nightmare. • Remember to say you’re on honeymoon when you book your hotel rooms, for free upgrades, candlelit dinners and complimentary champagne. METRO WORLD NEWS

South Africa. Nowadays savvy travellers are discovering the charms of Mozambique instead. This former Portuguese colony offers world-class diving, white beaches and swaying palms, deserted islands and remote spots in which to.chill out. Read more on page 19

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Odd Wisconsin An original script from the movie Casablanca, a journal from the Lewis and Clark Expedition and one of the world’s first atlases are among the new items at the Wisconsin Historical Museum’s exhibit of odd items in Madison, Wisc. For details, see THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Above, photos of the romantic Kirkman’s Camp in the Sabi Sands reserve in South Africa. >>

Continued from page 18

Transportation links and infrastructure are better in the southern part, which is a playground for weekenders from Johannesburg; and the northern stretch of coast is for the more adventurous, with its wide open spaces and re-

mote luxury lodges. Have a safari adventure in South Africa Thanks to the weak South African rand, your holiday money will go a long way in South Africa, so you’ll be able to splash out on a luxurious safari trip. The involves dawn-

starts and full days of chasing round tracking down lions, giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs and elephants and friends, interspersed with some serious eating. You’ll probably be all safaried-out after two to three days of game spotting so you can invest in an unforgettable experience.

And Beyond is the biggest and best safari operator in Africa — not only do their safari camps offer impeccable service and unforgettable locations, they are also active in conservation, not only of the wildlife but of local communities near their reserves, so you’ll be doing good when you in-

vest in their holidays. A romantic choice is Kirkman’s Camp, in the Sabi Sands private reserve. Adjacent to Kruger, you’ll enjoy the benefits of the wildlife that runs between the two but without the crowds. You’ll also love staying here; the stunning old

colonial hunting lodge gives you a real sense of history, and the guest chalets open straight onto the bush, so you can watch as an elephant strips a tree just outside your window or naughty monkeys run riot on your terrace; visit

Vegas suites come with butlers, bubble baths, personal jewelers >>

Continued from page 16

At MGM Grand’s Skylofts, you’ll find hightech crossed with high-end service. Airport pickup is in a Maybach 62. Butlers pack and unpack your suitcase (might want to be careful what you put in there). Remote controls operate everything from music to drapes. Need a jeweler to bring some ice to your room? The concierge can arrange it. And no need to worry about missing Mad Men while brushing your teeth. There are antifog TVs in

the mirrors. And the tub can be filled with tiny, ticklish bubbles. “When you come to Las Vegas, you want to be in the middle of everything,” says Skylofts general manager David Federico. “Here at Skylofts, you have the essence of luxury, privacy and true elegance in the heart of Las Vegas, but you feel like you’re away from Las Vegas.” Looking for themed luxury? The Palms is the place to be.There’s the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa, which is furnished about how you’d expect: sexy reds and

whites, leather, artwork picked out by Hef himself and a rotating bed with mirrors on the ceiling. The Hardwood Suite, located in the Fantasy Tower at Palms Casino Resort, is hoops heaven: an NBAsized halfcourt with Murphy beds in the walls so you can wake up and start shooting right away — off the floor, off the bedpost, nothing but net! You can stay in a suite with two bowling lanes, another with a DJ setup and stripper pole, or the suite where MTV’s Real World was filmed in 2002

— it looks exactly the same as when Alton, Arissa and the gang were there. There’s even a suite designed to look like Ghostbar, a famous hotspot with a transparent floor atop The Palms. Palms Place penthouses are privately owned and rented out, so despite being high-end, they are more than a place to throw your clothes on the bed in between casino runs. They actually feel homey, with full kitchens and fireplaces. Of course, the casino is just a few minutes away and a view of the

Several Vegas hotels offer suites with ... enough room to hold a wedding along with the honeymoon. Strip is just out the window, giving you the best of both worlds. “It’s always been the same thing: people come here to celebrate and have fun. That’s been the identity of Las Vegas forever,” Maloof said. “If you’re in Las Vegas, I don’t care what age you are, you’re

going to go out, you’re going to go do something and you’re going to have fun. So the idea of creating these special suites for these particular moments, that was the whole concept.” Palms Place penthouses run $9,000 per night on weekends. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


20 travel

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Record number Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park hosted a record number of visitors this summer and remains on track for its busiest year ever. Officials said nearly 2.3 million people visited in June, July and August, up about five per cent from the previous summer high set in 1999. See THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Harry Potter and the Orlando theme park Wizarding World area at Universal will include rides, shops and eateries UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

It sounds like a new book in the Harry Potter series, but Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will be a high-tech ride and the marquee attraction at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a new theme park area opening in spring 2010 at Florida’s Universal Orlando Resort. The Forbidden Journey ride was named by author J.K. Rowling and described yesterday by Universal officials in a webcast revealing details of what the Potter park will look like. The ride will takes guests through scenes and rooms from the blockbuster movies inside a richly detailed remake of Hogwarts Castle made to look more than 200 metres tall. Hogwarts is where Harry attends a boarding school for witches and wizards. Guests will enter the Wizarding World through a station archway named for Hogsmeade, the magical village near Hogwarts. A plume of steam and a train whistle will sound the

In this artist illustration provided by Universal Studios, Hogwarts Castle is seen as part of the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, to launch at Universal Orlando in spring 2010.

arrival of the Hogwarts Express. The goal is to make the experience immersive, so nothing outside is visible after guests pass the Hogsmeade station archway.

Rowling, known for carefully guarding the Potter franchise, hasn’t yet journeyed to Orlando, but the design team has made several trips to London to consult with her.

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“We’ve pushed every technology available to us to give guests a theme park experience unlike any they’ve had before.” Paul Daurio Other rides include the Dragon Challenge, a twin high-speed roller coaster themed after the Triwizard Tournament and the family roller coaster Flight of the Hippogriff, named for a creature with an eagle’s head and a horse’s body. “Along those journeys they’re going to be swept up into the greatest parts of the movies and the books. We’ve pushed every technology available to us to give guests a theme park experience unlike any they’ve had before,” said Paul Daurio, producer of the Potter area. The Harry Potter park will be part of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Art and set directors from the films, including Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig and art director Alan Gilmore,

were hired to translate the movies into the park. Every shop and eatery is Potter-themed. Honeydukes sells chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s EveryFlavour Beans, Ollivander’s peddles magic wands, Zonko’s joke shop has Sneakoscopes, and the British restaurant Three Broomsticks pours Butterbeer. At The Owl Post, guests can send letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark. Magical instruments and equipment are available at Dervish and Banges, including everything needed to play Quidditch — a game like soccer played on flying broomsticks. “The interesting thing about Harry Potter is that the stories are so rich in themselves, so deep,” said Universal Creative Presi-

dent Mark Woodbury. “There wasn’t so much difficulty (in) creating the look, it was, ‘How do you execute at a level of authenticity that is unquestionable?”‘ There could even be new footage of Potter stars shot on actual sets from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. A Universal spokesman declined comment on the issue, but the company was explicitly granted those privileges in its 2007 licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products Inc., according to the contract filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Potter area will be Universal’s third big-ticket addition in three years. SEC filings from the company estimate the combined cost of The Simpsons Ride, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit and Wizarding World at between $275 million and $310 million THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Baby on the way Colin Farrell and girlfriend Alicja Bachleda are expecting a baby, and the actor couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be happier about it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yeah, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to be a father again,â&#x20AC;? Farrell told People magazine. METRO NEWS SERVICES

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I was so terrifiedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Lynskey hits big time with roles opposite Clooney, Damon

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ries of TV commercials for Toys R Us and appeared in Jim Carreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has died at a Boston zoo. Tweet the giraffe died Friday at the Franklin Park Zoo where producers are filming the Kevin James movie The Zookeeper. MOVIES Keanu Reeves spent last weekend scouting locations for a new film. His visit included tours of two jail facilities that are the target of a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit accusing the Erie County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department of civil rights violations. TV The Emmy Awards are about to open a whole new set of degrees for the Kevin Bacon game. Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, are slated to present together at Sundayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ceremony. The Footloose actor is nominated for lead actor in a miniseries or movie for HBOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Taking Chance. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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In brief



Melanie Lynskey may not be someone whose name you instantly recognize, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good chance thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about to change. The actress is currently promoting three upcoming films, including Leaves Of Grass, Up In The Air, and The Informant. The unassuming and charming New Zealand native got her start as a teenager with a difficult lead role in Peter Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award-winning Heavenly Creatures and has been working steadily ever since. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I always wanted to be an actor, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m from a small town in New Zealand, so I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know anyone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d

Tim on Leaves Of Grass, ever become one and it but then Steven didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem possible,â&#x20AC;? Soderbergh was Lynskey told Metro. The totally hands â&#x20AC;&#x153;But (Peter JackInformant off and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t son) came around give a lot of to my high school opens in notes,â&#x20AC;? Lynskey when I was 15 theatres on said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hapand was looking Friday py with whatever for normal girls to spontaneous thing play the role. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more that happens on set bethan I ever hoped for.â&#x20AC;? Last year was a big one cause he likes the performfor Lynskey as she got to ances to be very natural.â&#x20AC;? As for Juno and Up In The work with some pretty impressive directors including Air director Jason Reitman, Sam Mendes, Jason Reit- Lynskey noted that the man, Steven Soderbergh, young filmmaker was just as professional as the veterand Tim Blake Nelson. Though Lynskey was ans. Lynskey also got to work pleased with the collaborations with her directors, alongside some megastar she did notice the differ- actors including George ence in their working Clooney on Up In The Air and Matt Damon on The Instyles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was a lot of re- formant. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was so terrified,â&#x20AC;? rehearsal and discussion with


PHIL BROWN for Metro Canada

" 3

vealed Lynskey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not the kind of actress who plays Matt Damonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wife. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m normally the best friend. Luckily heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the nicest person ever to walk the face of the earth and a very generous actor. He made me feel very comfortable right away.â&#x20AC;? Lynskey has made over 30 appearances in film and television over the last 15 years, but seems to have found a comfortable home now in comedy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny because I remember at the wrap party for Heavenly Creatures, someone said to me â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;you should really do comedy.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; At the time I thought â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Thanks a lot. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve just been working on a dramatic movie with me for three months.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? 

Melanie Lynskey ties the knot with Danny McBride in Up in the Air.

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Whitney’s out-of-control drug abuse




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Hef explains long separation Hugh Hefner says he delayed his divorce from estranged wife Kimberly Conrad Hefner until now for the sake of their children, reports. Their youngest son, Cooper, turned 18 this month. METRO NEWS SERVICES

Celebrity Buzz




Wednesday, September 16, 2009



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totally forgotten about that life. I had so much money by that time.” She detailed how she and Brown, 40, would freebase crack in marijuana joints: “We were lacing our marijuana with base. We would buy a kilo. We were not pipesmoking. “You roll it up and you smoke it in your weed. It’s almost like heroin cocaine

Chris pines for Rihanna? TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE? Chris Brown has publicly pleaded for Rihanna to give him another chance, reports. The 20-year-old singer — who assaulted his thengirlfriend in February, and was sentenced to five years probation and six months community labour — has romantically reached out to the singer online. He wrote on Twitter: “MY HEART IS INCOMPLETE... the part that is complete is my love for fans, career, friends, family, God. But I’m missing someone or something (sic).” To ensure it

was clear who he was referring to, Brown posted a link to a YouTube video of his new song Changed Man, which features a series of pictures of him and Rihanna together. Brown added on Twitter: “Sorry all, just one of those days.” The lyrics to the song, which was released in August, include: “You need to trust what you do / It’s you and me my love / But Ima make it up to you / And show the world / I’m a changed man.”

speedballs but you level it off with marijuana.” Houston — who separated from Brown in 2006 and divorced him a year later — claimed her exhusband became jealous of her career after she appeared in the hit 1992 film The Bodyguard; after that, their drug abuse spiralled

Even celebs have cards declined BETTER ASK MTV FOR A RAISE

Being featured on an MTV reality show doesn’t pay enough, apparently. The Hills star Stephanie Pratt got a rude awakening at an MTV Video Music Awards after-party when she tried to pay for a bottle of champagne, only to have her credit card declined, according to Page Six. Her solution was to ask Holly Montag to cover it,

but Montag wasn’t too thrilled about that and refused to pay for the bottle. “The waitress wouldn’t give her card back until she paid for the bill,” a source said. Pratt was later spotted at another party wandering around “hysterically crying,” another source said. “She was a total mess.” METRO WORLD NEWS


Glam new role for Michael Douglas Michael Douglas is breaking out the glittery outfits, as he’s signed on to play Liberace on film. “We’ve already done some costume and wardrobe tests on Michael, and they’re very, very, very good,” director Steven Soderbergh told People. He also confirmed Matt Damon will be playing his lover. METRO


A presidential view on Kanye WEST VS. THE WORLD Everyone is weighing in on Kanye West’s infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards — even Barack Obama. The U.S. president was asked about the incident during a press event, and he allegedly told a CNBC

out of control. She said: “I think somewhere inside, something happens to a man when a woman has that much control or has that much fame. “Emotionally he was abusive. Physically, no way,” she said. But, she added, Brown’s abuse spilled over one night after she had thrown a birthday party for him, recalling that “When we got back to the house he spit on me. He actually spit on me.” METRO NEWS SERVICES

reporter he thought West behaved liked a “jackass.” An ABC News reporter quickly posted Obama’s joking remarks on his Twitter account, but the post was later taken down because the president’s alleged quip was made offthe-record. METRO WORLD NEWS


Celebrity tweets Sarah Silverman finds a new role model, and Spencer Pratt likes to share his feelings. • @SarahKSilverman When I grow up I want to be Beyonce. • @spencerpratt I LOVE MY MOTHER IN LAW!!!! METRO WORLD NEWS



SHOCKING PAST Whitney Houston “forgot” she was a singer during the depths of her drug addiction, reports. The music star admitted the extent of her substance abuse and the lowest points of her 14-year marriage to singer Bobby Brown during an emotional interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired on Tuesday. Referring to her drug use, Houston, 46, said: “I didn’t think about the singing part anymore. I’d

Wednesday, September 16, 2006





Light showers

Mostly sunny

30 C / 10 C

22 C / 10 C

23 C / 6 C


entertainment 23

Michele McDougall, Weather Specialist & Host – Breakfast Television “My favourite part is reporting the weather. It fascinates me, and as we know around here, it’s always changing, keeping forecasters on their toes”. WEEKDAYS AT 6 A.M.

Take Five



For more/less challenging Sudoku puzzles, visit

HOW TO PLAY: Digits 1 through 9 will appear once in each

zone – one zone is an outlined 3x3 grid within the larger puzzle grid. There are nine zones in the puzzle. Do not enter a digit into a box if it already appears elsewhere in the same zone, row across or column down the entire puzzle.

45 July holiday 47 Slanted lettering 51 As well 52 Sooners’ home 54 Bobbin 55 Slithery fish 56 Skiers’ carrier 57 Gangster’s girlfriend 58 “CSI” evidence 59 A handful

1 Guy 5 Society newbie 8 Buckle 12 Alkali neutralizer 13 Eggs 14 October stone 15 Behave ostentatiously 17 Doing 18 Elder 19 Formed into a heap 21 — de plume 22 Icelandic volume 23 Where “Lost” is found 26 Chart 28 Is tangent to 31 Snatch 33 Run-down horse 35 Birthright barterer 36 Like some seals 38 Upper surface 40 Recede 41 Probability 43 Tease


1 Part of “E = mc2” 2 Rue the run 3 Narnia’s Aslan, e.g. 4 Newsman Newman 5 His is an entrylevel job 6 Actress Mendes 7 Wash 8 Potential 9 Clapping 10 Assessment 11 Trudge along 16 Explosive sound 20 Greek moun-

tain 23 Mellow 24 Type of lingerie 25 Baggage-claim structure 27 Vanna’s cohort 29 Bill 30 Hero sandwich 32 Sleeping bag, maybe 34 Ape 37 Pesticide letters 39 Pocket bread 42 Furnished with footwear 44 Thai money 45 Locale for 4H’ers 46 Margarine 48 Timber wolf 49 Mosque bigwig 50 Give a darn 53 Barbie’s companion


Metro Recipe of the Day

Brunswick Stew INGREDIENTS:

On the web

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1 broiler/fryer chicken (about 4 lbs/1.8 kg), cut up 1/4 to 1/3 cup (50 to 75 ml) all-purpose flour 2 tbsp (25 ml) canola oil 2 1/3 cups (575 ml) water 1 1/2 cups (500 ml) (375 ml) uncooked long grain rice 1 cup (250 ml) milk 1 tsp (5 ml) salt 1 tsp (5 ml) poultry seasoning 1/2 tsp (2 ml) pepper Chopped fresh parsley METHOD:

1. Dredge chicken pieces in flour. In large skillet, brown chicken on all sides in oil over medium heat.

Horoscopes by Sally Brompton

2. In large bowl, combine next six ingredients. Pour into greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. (33 cm x 23 cm x 5 cm) baking dish. Top with chicken. 3. Cover lightly with foil and bake at 350ºF (180ºC) 55 minutes or until rice and chicken are tender. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. SERVES 6 For nutritional information on this and other great recipes, go to or check out Key Ingredients in this month's Reader's Digest, on newsstands now!

For Sally’s expanded daily and weekend horoscopes, visit









MAY 22-JUNE 21


JULY 23-AUG 23

AUG 24-SEPT 22

If you want to find ways to strengthen your relationships this is the ideal day to do it. Affairs of the heart are under excellent stars.

It may appear as if someone is making life difficult for you for no good reason but is that really the case, or are you overreacting?

Someone who thinks you lack passion will change their tune when you turn the full force of your desire in their direction.

Certain people have been taking advantage of you and the time has come to do something about it. The current alignment will help you get tough.

Venus in your birth sign makes it easy for you to win people round to your way of thinking, but don’t use it as an excuse to impose your ideas.

Everyday affairs are under good stars today and they will be even better if you strive to make people happy, at home and at work.







SEPT 23-OCT 23

OCT 24-NOV 22

NOV 23-DEC 21

DEC 22-JAN 20

JAN 21-FEB 18


The pace of life will pick up dramatically very soon and you will find yourself running all over the place. Today though you must find time to relax.

Most of the time you prefer to keep work matters and affairs of the heart separate, but the cosmic picture will bring them together today.

You don’t often get emotional but you will do so today, and for the best possible reasons. The force of your emotions may surprise loved ones.

Someone you work alongside is impressed by the way you conduct yourself and will recommend you for bigger and better things.

You will be attracted to someone you meet socially and it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Someone in your working environment will say some nice things about you today and you will most likely be embarrassed by the fuss.

tax course enroll NOW! 1-877-32BLOCK (1-877-322-5625)


PITBULL: Rebelution


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Contest closes on Sep 22nd, 2009 at midnight

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3 groups of 10 of Edmonton’s Bravest Firefighters performing professionally choreographed dance routines.

Edmonton Fashion Week designers presenting the latest Fashion trends. Featuring Linsay from Canada’s Next Top Model. Designer Maggie Walt presents a special collection of her work.

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Edmonton Event Centre 2556, 8882 - 170th Street | West Edmonton Mall