Ongoing History Daily: Pearl Jam bootleg overload

Back when Pearl Jam was at their height, they had the clout to do anything they wanted. Anything.

On September 26, 2000, the band released 25 double CD live albums—what they referred to as “official bootlegs”—featuring performances from virtually every show they played on European tour in support of their Binaural album. Of those 25, five immediately made the top 200 album chart. This was the first time any act ever saw more than two new albums show up on the chart in the same week.

Two other sets just missed the cut. Had they made the charts that week, Pearl Jam would have joined The Beatles, The Monkees, and U2 as the only acts to that point with seven albums on the charts at the same time.

This was decades before Taylor Swift came along.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: Babies and live music

A question from new parents: “Should I expose my baby to live music?” The answer is “yes.”

A recent study at the University of Toronto revealed that infants have longer attention spans when experiencing live music. Sure, you might want to give them an iPad to stare at, but that apparently doesn’t work as well as live music. Videos don’t captivate them a whole lot but live music elicits physiological changes like a synchronization of heart rate to the music.

The final conclusion? “Findings suggest that performer–audience interactions and social context play an important role in facilitating attention and coordinating emotional responses to musical performances early in life.”

The big caveat? Volume. The live music cannot be too loud for those delicate little ears.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The weirdness of the Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips are certainly unconventional and experimental. One of their weird projects was a very, very long song called “7 skies H3” which, in its original form, ran for 24 hours.

It consisted of several separate pieces, each running anywhere from 25 minutes to seven hours. If that wasn’t enough, just 13 copies were released on flash drives that were encased in actual human skulls. They went on the market (appropriately) on Halloween 2011 and cost $5,000. And yes, they sold them all. If you can’t find your own copy—imagine that—they also set up a website with the song on a continuous loop.

And if you would rather have a physical copy, there is an edited version that runs 50 minutes and was released for Record Store Day 2014.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The cruelty of dance marathons

Back in the 1930s during the Great Depression, there was a phenomenon known as the dance marathon. Basically, couples would take up a challenge to see who could remain dancing longer than anyone else. They were held in ballrooms and auditoriums and could continue for not just hours, but days and even weeks.

Spectators paid to watch, too. The longer the marathon went on, the higher the admission price. Couples had to stay in motion continuously resulting in blisters, injuries, and collapse from exhaustion.

Why would anyone subject themselves to such a thing? Like I said, it was during the Depression. Many people signed up for these marathons because it meant food, shelter, and a place to sleep, even if it was just a few minutes an hour. Those who won were given a cash prize. Hey, the Depression was rough. People were willing to do anything to survive.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The Ramones vs. cancer

All the original Ramones are no longer with us. While Dee Dee died of a heroin overdose, his three bandmates suffered from different forms of cancer. Joey died of lymphoma. Johnny? Prostate cancer. Tommy suffered from bile duct cancer. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Some suspect these cancers are the result of the conditions of a loft on East 2nd Street where the Ramones rehearsed and printed t-shirts. It was the former home of a plastic flower factory and some believe that the toxic residue left over from the chemicals used in their manufacture. They permeated the entire building.

Oh, and one more thing: Arturo Vega, the Ramones’ art director and the guy who designed and pressed up all those t-shirts in that loft? He also died of cancer.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Friends, family remember man who died in Calgary workplace fatality

Friends and loved ones are reeling from the death of a young Calgary man and say his death is the kind of incident that is troubling to comprehend.

Jeff Cho was the man who died in a Sept. 19 workplace fatality at LX Hausys Warehouse in northeast Calgary.

Tribute messages continue to pour into Global News, remembering Cho as “one of a kind.”

“Karaoke night will never be the same,” one person posted on Cho’s social media.

“Words can’t describe Jeff. You have to experience him,” said one of Cho’s longtime friend in an email to Global News.

Cho’s friends and loved ones are angry more people won’t get to experience Cho’s warmth and depth of character. They want answers as to what went so terribly wrong.

Cho was crushed by a massive slab of marble while working in the warehouse yard.

Two former LX Hausys employees contacted Global News after learning of his death.

Sunny Sandhu, who said he was fired with no explanation in mid-July, and Mario Mareno, who was terminated on Sept. 1, said they witnessed and documented numerous safety violations, including a lack of protective equipment and little to no certification for those working on or near equipment.

“We had a good relationship. He was a good person,” Mareno said.

Mareno said he warned his bosses about his concerns with Cho’s training.

An email exchange dated July 13 between an HR manager and a supervisor said Mareno was to stay on with the warehouse until Cho got used to his work. The supervisor suspects it would take about a month for Cho to get used to the job.

“I knew something was going to happen because there is no training. You need six to eight months,” Sandhu said.

Cellphone video taken by Mareno showed what he believes is too many marble slabs for A-frame pallets. According to former employees, he slabs weigh hundreds of pounds each.

Another video taken inside the warehouse showed stacks of product exceeding height limits suggested by one of the former workers.

The men provided two videos of a man who they said is a supervisor with the company walking in the warehouse and in the yard near the forklift with flip-flops on his feet.

“You aren’t supposed to wear flip flops ever in the warehouse,” said Sandhu.

Cho’s friends said he, too, expressed concerns before his death, about safety at the company.

“He raised concerns to us how they were hiring untrained people (and) not being trained well,” Tenzen Kalden said in an email to Global News.

Dean Wihnan, a safety scientist with Intactix, said while protective equipment like proper footwear, safety vests or helmets would not have been enough to prevent such catastrophic injuries, he believes it speaks to the company’s overall workplace safety culture.

“Most organizations have policy around PPE (personal protective equipment), and if it’s not being worn and not being enforced by management, that’s usually an organizational issue,” said Wihnan.

He also said many workplace fatalities and injuries do meet the threshold for a criminal probe, but those investigations are rarely done.

“This has elements of criminal negligence, without knowing all the details,” Wihnan said

“CPS (Calgary Police Service) should, in concert with (Occupational Health and Safety) enter into an investigation to determine whether there are aspects of criminal negligence under the law.”

Global News has reached out to LX Hausys for comment, both by email and in person.

The company has not yet addressed any of the allegations about the lack of safety protocols, instead saying for now that the priorities are the employees, Jeff Cho’s family and the ongoing Occupational Health and Safety investigation.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

City of Kelowna asking residents to provide feedback on infill housing

WATCH: With Kelowna's population expected to grow by 50,000 people by the year 2040, the city is asking residents to provide their thoughts on its approach to infill housing. As Jayden Wasney reports, the city is looking to add more types of housing in its core neighbourhoods.

With Kelowna’s population expected to grow by 50,000 people by the year 2040, the city is asking residents to provide input to help shape its approach to infill housing in core neighbourhoods through an online survey.

Back in April, the province announced plans that will require cities to increase infill across B.C. in an effort to combat a province-wide housing shortage. According to one City of Kelowna official, the core neighbourhoods the city is looking to target include parts of Rutland, Pandosy and Glenmore.

“Infill housing is a really important way for us to start to accommodate the kind of growth that we’re facing in our community in our existing neighbourhoods,” said City of Kelowna infill and housing policy manager, James Moore.

“You’re looking at things like secondary suites, carriage homes, houseplexes, townhomes, those kinds of things that can start to open up housing choices.”

The city recently announced it is experiencing a housing deficit between 3,750 and 5,000 homes. Moore adds that infill housing has the potential to help lower housing costs, while helping the city meet its housing needs.

“What this will do, is improve the ability for more Kelowna residents to be able to afford to live in our existing neighbourhoods,” said Moore.

“Right now, about 90 per cent of our residential neighbourhoods are only zoned to allow the most expensive housing in the city. Now, starting to open that up, what does that look like and how can we open up access for more Kelowna residents to afford to live there.”

While Moore believes there are financial benefits to integrating different housing types throughout certain areas of the city, one resident isn’t so sold on the idea.

“I think there’s a better way of doing it, than putting four houses on one single family lot, it does not increase affordability at all,” said Kelowna resident, Susan Ames.

“We’ve already seen it doesn’t work.”

Ames says one way Kelowna could lower the cost of rent would be to stop allowing short-term rentals.

“If they stopped allowing these towers to be Airbnb, what would happen — those places would be available, and it would probably help because it would be a place for people to live,” said Ames.

“Right now, those are just built for tourists.”

To have your say on the future of infill housing in Kelowna, you can fill out the online survey by clicking here.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

How two B.C. political opponents worked together to quell a flood of death threats

Two MLA's from opposite sides of the B.C. legislature have teamed up to help police track down the man who was sending both of them graphic and threatening emails. Kylie Stanton reports.

In the tough world of B.C. politics, they’re on opposite sides, clashing regularly in the legislature, on the airwaves and online.

But two MLAs recently found a common cause, working together to take down a man who was flooding them with harassing and threatening emails.

“Subject line that said all in caps, ‘I will kill you Selina Robinson,'” the NDP’s post-secondary education minister said of one message.

“I received the threats to harm me, to kill me. The person also tried to make an appointment at my office, and when that was rejected, they threatened the employee with death and sexual violence,” explained BC United South Surrey MLA Elenore Sturko.

As first reported by The Orca, the threats against Robinson began early in 2023, while Sturko said she began getting the emails in the spring.

Both women alerted the RCMP and took the incident to the B.C. legislature’s protective services.

When Sturko, a former RCMP officer, contacted legislature security, they told her the content and format of the threatening messages matched those of the emails her political opponent was receiving.

“I reached out and we had a conversation, a chat about it,” Sturko said. “Being a former police officer, I knew what an investigation might look like and I wanted to make sure it was clear I was taking this really seriously.”

“We needed to pursue this because the vitriol was awful, also it was relentless, it was 12 to 15 times a day. This person was changing their email addresses,” Robinson said.

Beyond filtering out the emails, there was little the legislature’s security team was able to do.

Both women said the fact the abuser remained anonymous weighed heavily on them as politicians who are active in the community. It forced them to take extra precautions and always be on alert.

“I don’t know if they are sending me this email from Timbuktu or the Tim Hortons down the street,” Sturko said.

“It plays in the back of your mind about your safety …  I started to be more selective about the events I took my family with me to, I really reduced — if not stopped all together — bringing my kids to events with me,” she added.

“I was directing my staff to not let anyone in the office who we didn’t know or didn’t have an appointment. I had public events so was watching very carefully,” Robinson said.

Sturko said the women worked together to ensure the RCMP files in their respective home communities of Surrey and Coquitlam were linked, and to press police to advance the investigation.

Eventually, police were able to identify a suspect in Abbotsford, and sent an officer to conduct an assessment.

Following that visit, police told the MLAs the man appeared to have mental health and cognitive issues, and didn’t appear to be a threat.

That answer wasn’t enough for either of them.

“Emotional abuse is a risk. It’s not just physical risk. There is emotional and spiritual impact to being told someone is going to kill you over and over and over again,” Robinson said.

“That’s really unacceptable, it’s a crime,” Sturko added of the death threats.

Though police had identified a suspect, neither MLA was able to get a photo of the man initially, due to privacy requirements.

Sturko acknowledged that was frustrating, but as a former Mountie said she understood the process police must go through to justify the release of information about an individual who hasn’t been convicted of a crime.

Eventually, the women did get a picture of the suspect and last month, the man was arrested.

Robinson said she’s learned he no longer lives in the Lower Mainland, helping put her at ease.

“We know that our laws will often lag technology. But we’ve had the internet now for a long, long time, and we need to make sure that people are using it responsibly, and that when people misuse it, there are deterrents in place — and our laws haven’t figured out how to deal with that, and that’s part of what’s frustrating,” Robinson said.

Sturko added the need to ensure there were consequences was particular important given the growing reticence of people — and particularly women — to participate in public life.

Democracy, she said, requires people to feel safe standing up to represent their communities.

“Especially with women who often face harassment of a different scope than maybe our male counterparts, and we need to make sure regardless of what party the person is from or their background that they feel they can represent their community,” Sturko said.

The incident has also proved to be a powerful example of how some things easily transcend political partisanship.

“She and I have done barbs on Twitter. That is part of trying to make distinctions between them and us. This is what we stand for this is what they stand for. But at the end of the day we’re people who are trying to do the best things for our community,” Robinson said.

“We’re maybe political opponents, but we’re colleagues in the B.C. legislature, and we’re never enemies,” Sturko added.

“When it comes to something like this to do with the safety and wellbeing of one of my colleagues in the B.C. legislature, I don’t care what party they’re from. I am going to be there for them, and I know Selina was going to be there for me.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Betrayed': Victims' family outraged after B.C. double-murder suspect granted bail

The family of the victims of a double homicide in Chilliwack is outraged at the news the man charged with killing their love-ones has been released on bail. Christa Dao reports

The family of a Chilliwack, B.C., couple shot dead in their home last week is outraged their accused killer has been released on bail.

John Kavaloff, 58, and Valerie Smith, 67, were found dead at their mobile home on Chilliwack Lake Road by officers responding to a shots-fired call on Sept. 13.

Robert Freeman, 83, has been charged with two counts of second degree murder, in what police have described as an isolated neighbours’ dispute.

“Our family has been torn apart by this inexplicable tragedy. While our family is struggling, trying to navigate through missing our parents, our grief and the manner in which they were taken we were slapped in the face with the unexpected release of Robert Freeland,” daughter-in-law Joy Finnigan said on behalf of the family.

“We feel completely betrayed by the system and recognize that many in the community also feel utter shock that a man accused, Robert Freeman, of arbitrarily robbing two people of their lives is free, out in the public only a week later.

“Where is the justice in that? The system is a joke that protects criminals, retraumatizes, revictimizes victims.”

Freeman was released Thursday, under several conditions.

The court has ordered that he live with his son at a complex about 20 minutes from the scene of the shooting.

He has also been ordered not to go within 100 metres of the crime scene, not possess a weapon, and not to have contact with three people, whom Global News has chosen not to identify.

Neighbours on Chilliwack Lake Road described Freeman as a widower who was quiet and somewhat reserved.

Several described the area as quiet, close-knit and low-crime.

Finnigan described the slain couple as “kind, loving, supportive, involved parents and grandparents,” adding, “they are our support system, they are everything in our lives.”

The family, she said, wants to see the justice system “changed or overhauled.”

“It does not work for victims and it is not just. We are not able to completely focus on grieving when we are completely overwhelmed with disgust with the release of the suspect,” she said.

“It is impossible for the public to have confidence in the system when this happened. We deserve the opportunity to focus on our grieving and our traumatic loss instead of focusing on the unjust justice system.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Winnipeg homicide count hits 27 for 2023, prompting safety concerns, speculation

Winnipeg logged its 27th homicide of the year on Wednesday with the death of 39-year-old Sukhdool Singh Gill and it’s once again raising some concerns around safety in the city and causing a lot of speculation as to what may be causing these homicides.

Gill’s death is now the fifth to be under investigation by the homicide unit in less than two weeks and very little is known regarding the circumstances of the killings.

Global News did reach out to the police for an interview on Friday but they declined the request and would not confirm whether any of the recent cases have suspect links to gang activity.

Additionally, they were asked what the stats are regarding random crime in the city and they told Global News they do not keep track of that.

Community outreach worker Mitch Bourbonniere says when victims are found inside a home, as two of them were, it definitely raises the question.

“When someone goes to a residence, and a homicide is committed with a gun, then to me, that sounds like it’s more premeditated and targeted and possibly gang-related.” he speculated.

Over the past few years, the number of homicide victims in the city has been increasing with last year setting a new grim record at 53 lives lost.

Bourbonniere says much of that increase appears to involve drug-related crime.

“We have, affluent, non-affluent, suburban, inner city, young, old, all walks of life are affected by the opiate crisis,” he added.

However, another issue facing the city seems to be the increase in youth crime. Karen Weibe works with victims’ families and she says there’s a growing problem of youth becoming involved in crime.

“The machete attacks and shootings and stuff like that, knifing attacks that are going on are terrible and they’re with very young people,” Weibe said.

“Often we’ve seen youngsters as old as 14, I think 14 and 15 years old, involved in homicides. So there’s a real spike in violence and it is involving more and more young people.”

Weibe told Global News her own son T.J. was murdered in 2003 after getting involved in that world. She says for families who have been touched by the world of violent crime, any news on more homicides is a reminder of that pain.

“Then you hear about it happening to someone else’s child, and it’s, ‘Oh my goodness, I know exactly how terrible this is going to be for them,’ and your heart sinks.”

Another thing plaguing people is the lack of progress toward arrests in regard to these homicides as across all five incidents in the past two weeks, only one arrest has been made.

Weibe says she doesn’t agree with the narrative that the crime is only localized mainly in the North End of the city as the statistics show that not to be entirely true.

“It’s happening in North Kildonan. It’s happening in St. James and The Maples. St Vital. Fort Gary, it happens everywhere. You cannot try and make it a North-End problem because it isn’t.”

Bourbonniere says the crime is symbolic of the drug crisis that the city is in. “We have the opiates and we have meth and they’re related but different and to me, all crime goes back to the drug trade, to drug usage, to psychotic behaviour under drugs.”

— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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