Ongoing History Daily: That time when Shaq almost sued 311

Back in the early 2000s, Omaha’s 311 was on a real roll, selling lots of records, playing plenty of gigs, and making their share of big-budget music videos.

In 2001, they managed to get Shaquille O’Neal for a cameo in the video for their song You Wouldn’t Believe. At the time, O’Neal was playing for the LA Lakers and the team was in the middle of a playoff run. The team stipulated that O’Neal was not to play any basketball outside of official games and practices for fear that he might get hurt.

But 311 convinced him to play a little hoops in this video, completely in contravention of orders from the Lakers. There was an added complication.

For some reason, O’Neal showed up with two left shoes. Where was anyone going to get a pair of size 22 basketball shoes at short notice? Nowhere. Shaq still agreed to appear in the video—but if anyone filmed his feet, he promised that he’d sue.

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

Ongoing History Daily: The time Nirvana set their tour van on fire

Being on tour as Nirvana must have been a pretty intense thing. There were all those nights where Kurt (and sometimes the rest of the band) smashed all their gear onstage. The label had granted the band a $750 equipment allowance when the band went on tour, but given the amount of gear that was trashed, that didn’t go very far.

Hotel rooms and dressing rooms also suffered, often using fire extinguishers in ways they were not intended.

Then there was the time one of their tour vans almost went up in flames. Kurt, who was often keen on using destruction to alleviate his boredom, was giving an interview with a journalist and apparently got bored. So he set the van’s curtains on fire.

The flames were put out before there was some real damage, but the label was not impressed.

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

'Why?': City of Coquitlam stumped after dozens of young trees were vandalized over the weekend

The City of Coquitlam says around 25 young trees across the city were vandalized over the weekend

Many were seen snapped in half at five locations throughout the city.

The vandalism took place at Leigh Park, Town Centre Park, Princeton Park, Parkway Boulevard and Panorama Drive, according to Erin Gorby, the City of Coquitlam’s Urban Forestry and Parks Services Manager.

“I can’t wrap my head around why or what somebody would be thinking in doing this kind of damage to these young trees. They were trees that were planted for the most part in the last year, so really young trees just getting a start,” Gorby said.

She assures the public the trees will be replanted in the fall, a more suitable time for saplings to grow.

“I don’t anticipate problems covering the cost. We have some grant funding and some reserve funding that we can draw on, but it certainly is a waste.”

Gorby estimates the senseless act will cost the city around $13,000 to replace the trees.

“I’m having such a hard time even wrapping my head around who might do this and I am really struggling to even find words other than ‘why?'”

Anyone who witnessed the vandalism or has video footage of it is asked to call Coquitlam RCMP.

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

SAG-AFTRA members vote to authorize strike, joining picketing writers

WATCH: Hollywood writers strike: Screenwriters join picket lines to fight for fair pay in streaming era

Actors represented by the Hollywood union SAG-AFTRA voted Monday evening to authorize a strike if they don’t agree on a new contract with major studios, streamers and production companies by June 30.

The strike authorization was approved by an overwhelming margin — nearly 98% of the 65,000 members who cast votes.

The guild, which represents over 160,000 screen actors, broadcast journalists, announcers, hosts and stunt performers, begins its negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Wednesday, over a month after the Writers Guild of America began striking over its own dispute with AMPTP. If the actors union ultimately moves forward with the strike, it would be limited to television and film productions; news and broadcast work would not be directly affected.

At stake is increased base compensation, which actors say has been undercut by inflation and the streaming ecosystem, the threat of unregulated use of artificial intelligence, benefit plans and the burden of “self-taped auditions” — the cost of which used to be the responsibility of casting and production.

“We are approaching these negotiations with the goal of achieving a new agreement that is beneficial to SAG-AFTRA members and the industry overall,” the AMPTP said in a statement Monday.

The strike authorization vote, a tool at the bargaining table, comes at a pivotal moment for the industry as 11,500 writers enter their sixth week of striking and the directors guild reviews a recently reached tentative agreement with studios on issues like wages, streaming residuals, and artificial intelligence. Should the actors strike, the industry already hobbled by the writers strike would come to a near-standstill, from production to promoting completed projects.

The WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA have shown solidarity with one another since the writers began walking the picket lines on May 2. Many in Hollywood worried about the very real possibility that all three guilds would strike at the same time, as both the directors and the actors contracts were soon due to expire as well.

That scenario changed Sunday night when the directors guild, which represents 19,000 film, television and commercial directors, announced that they had reached a “truly historic” tentative agreement with studios. The terms, which have not been disclosed in detail to the press or the other guilds, will be presented to the DGA board on Tuesday for approval and then to the membership for ratification.

Representatives for both the writers guild and the actors guild congratulated the directors group for reaching a tentative deal, though neither commented on specific points of the DGA terms. The WGA also said that its bargaining positions remain the same.

The DGA deal did not sit well with some individual WGA members, some of whom remembered when the directors negotiated their own contract while the writers were striking in 2007-2008. That deal 15 years ago, some felt, set precedent that forced the writers to fall in line with the terms agreed to by the DGA and end the strike.

“Zero surprise. The AMPTP continues to use their tired old playbook. And the DGA sadly continues to toe the line, knowing that they can draft off of the WGA’s resolve to strike for a truly historic deal. Disappointing, but not surprising,” veteran television writer Steven DeKnight, who also wrote and directed “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” tweeted.

Seemingly anticipating a repeat, the WGA negotiating committee last week released a letter cautioning that the studios would once again pursue a “divide and conquer” strategy, pitting the guilds against one another.

“Our position is clear: to resolve the strike, the companies will have to negotiate with the WGA on our full agenda,” the WGA letter had said. “We will continue to march until the companies negotiate fairly with us.”

While the unions have appeared more united this time, their aims are also different in many arenas. For the directors, securing international streaming residuals that account for subscriber growth was a key component, as were wages, safety (like banning live ammunition on set), diversity and inclusion and the addition of Juneteenth as a paid holiday.

The WGA agenda includes increased pay, better residuals and minimum staffing requirements. One key area of overlap between all is artificial intelligence. The DGA said they’d reached a “groundbreaking agreement confirming that AI is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.”

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the chief negotiator for SAG-AFTRA, maintains the needs of the guild’s actor members are unique. Hollywood actors haven’t gone on strike against AMPTP since 1980, which saw a 95-day strike over terms for paid television and VHS tapes.

“Our bargaining strategy has never relied upon nor been dependent on the outcome or status of any other union’s negotiations, nor do we subscribe to the philosophy that the terms of deals made with other unions bind us,” Crabtree-Ireland said Sunday.

On Monday, he added that the vote was a “clear statement that it’s time for an evolution in this contract.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

NYPD reliance on 'stop-and-frisk' tactics likely illegal, U.S. monitor says

WATCH: Former New York mayor Bloomberg says he was wrong to support 'stop and frisk' practice

New York City’s reliance on the tactic known as “stop and frisk” as part of a new initiative to combat gun violence is harming communities of color and running afoul of the law, a court-appointed federal monitor reported Monday.

Monitor Mylan Denerstein said the NYPD’s Neighborhood Safety Teams — special units deployed in the past 14 months to seize guns in high-crime areas — were engaging in “unconstitutional policing” by stopping and frisking too many people without justification.

In one police precinct, Denerstein said, only 41 percent of stops, 32 percent of frisks and 26 percent of searches were lawful.

The Neighborhood Safety Teams, a replacement for the anti-crime units that the NYPD disbanded in 2021, operate in 34 areas that account for 80% of the city’s violent crime — largely communities of color. Of the people the teams have stopped, Denerstein said, 97% are Black or Hispanic.

A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams said city officials “have serious concerns” with Denerstein’s methodology and that they only learned of her findings after news outlets reported on them.

The spokesperson, Fabien Levy, said shootings have fallen since the Neighborhood Safety Teams were created.

Officers assigned to the units “have enhanced training and oversight to ensure we are not only keeping New Yorkers safe, but protecting their civil liberties as well,” Levy said, adding that “any unconstitutional stop is unacceptable, and we will strive to do better for New Yorkers every day.”

Denerstein said she began her review after Adams announced in March 2022 that the NYPD was deploying Neighborhood Safety Teams in some precincts to combat gun violence. Team members, wearing modified uniforms and driving unmarked cars, conduct stops, frisks and searches in their assigned neighborhoods.

“Unfortunately, the results are disappointing,” Denerstein wrote.

Despite their training and experience, officers assigned to Neighborhood Safety Teams “overall appear to be stopping, frisking, and searching individuals at an unsatisfactory level of compliance. Too many people are stopped, frisked, and searched unlawfully.”

In 2013, a federal judge ruled that the NYPD had violated the civil rights of Black and Hispanic New Yorkers with stop and frisk, which was part of an effort to get guns and drugs off the street by frequently stopping and searching people on the street.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled the stops were a form of indirect racial profiling. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, once a champion of the tactic, has since apologized for its use.

Since the ruling, the department claimed a sharp drop in stops, reporting an average of around 11,730 per year from 2016 to 2022, compared with a high of nearly 686,000 stops in 2011.

Black and Hispanic people continue to be the targets of the vast majority of stops, accounting for 89% of all stops in 2022, according to NYPD data compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The NYPD eliminated its plainclothes anti-crime units in 2021 police amid a nationwide reckoning over police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The disbanded NYPD units, responsible for a disproportionate number of shootings and complaints, were involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner and have long been criticized for aggressive tactics.

Samah Sisay, a Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer who represented plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to Scheindlin’s ruling, said the Neighborhood Safety Teams should also be eliminated.

“Anti-crime units rebranded as neighborhood safety teams are not a real solution to creating the safe communities that New Yorkers desire and should be disbanded,” Sisay said. “These units are almost exclusively deployed into Black and Latinx communities where they are conducting unlawful stops and engaged in the same racial profiling that New Yorkers have been organizing against for decades.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

North Vancouver house fire leaves woman dead

WATCH: A house fire in North Vancouver on Friday has left one woman dead.

A house fire in North Vancouver on Friday has left one woman dead, RCMP has confirmed.

Firefighters were called to the home on Queensbury Avenue near 4th Avenue just before midnight, and were able to quickly knock it down, Mounties said in a media release Monday.

However emergency crews subsequently found one person, identified as a woman who lived in the home, dead inside.

“This was a tragic incident resulting in the loss of life,” North Vancouver RCMP Const. Mansoor Sahak said in the release.

“The RCMP are conducting a thorough investigation, and are working with partner agencies including (North Vancouver City Fire Department) to determine the cause. Any witnesses to this incident are encouraged to contact us at 604-985-1311.”

RCMP victim services and North Shore Emergency Management are working to help the family who lived in the home.

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

Manoah gets shelled as Jays fall to Astros

TORONTO – Alek Manoah’s season went from bad to worse on Monday night.

The Blue Jays right-hander gave up six earned runs and lasted just one-third of an inning as the Houston Astros dumped Toronto 11-4 at Rogers Centre.

“(I) understand this game is hard,” Manoah said. “It’s going to kick you in the butt. But that doesn’t change how we work. We’re not going to give up on that.

“We’re going to keep going at it and we’ll find a way to push through.”

Corey Julks delivered the big blow with his first career grand slam. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker chipped in with RBI singles in the opening frame as the Astros had seven hits against the Toronto right-hander.

Manoah (1-7), who hasn’t won a decision in two months, had his earned-run average jump by nearly a run to 6.36. It was the shortest outing of his career.

“Manoah wasn’t himself,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker. “That helped us a lot.”

Manoah gave up a single to Mauricio Dubon on the first pitch of the game and things went downhill from there.

Two singles, a flyout, another single and a walk preceded the no-doubt Julks blast that landed just inside the left-field foul screen.

“I thought it was a really good sinker at the knees and he kind of just ambushed it and hit a home run,” Manoah said. “A lot of the things I’d been working on, (I) didn’t have a chance to really go out there and use (them).”

An American League Cy Young Award finalist last year, Manoah has struggled in most of his 13 starts this season.

He excelled in a one-hit, seven-inning victory over Kansas City on April 5 and pitched well in an April 22 no-decision in New York. But Manoah hasn’t made it past the sixth inning since.

The Blue Jays have lost nine of the last 10 games that he has started.

“You’ve got to continue to do whatever is best for him to help him get better,” said Toronto manager John Schneider. “That’s what we’re going to do, starting tonight and going forward.

“That’s been our focus the whole time so we’ll continue to do that.”

Schneider said before the game that the possibility of sending Manoah down to the minors wasn’t on the table. It will be interesting to see if this latest start changes that.

The 2022 all-star looks lost on the mound, sapped of the confidence and swagger that was a trademark over his first two big-league seasons.

“We’re talking about a really good pitcher,” Schneider said. “It’s been a tough go for him. He understands that. There’s no concern but I think the main focus is just do whatever we need to do to get him better.”

Alejandro Kirk put Toronto (33-28) on the board in the second inning with a solo shot off Houston starter Brandon Bielak (3-2).

Daulton Varsho added a solo shot in the eighth. Bo Bichette, Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier had two hits apiece for the Blue Jays.

Alvarez and Tucker hit solo homers in the fourth inning as Houston (36-24) ended Toronto’s four-game winning streak. Jake Meyers piled on with a two-run blast in the fifth.

Bielak allowed three earned runs and 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings. He had two strikeouts and issued one walk.

Yainer Diaz and Meyers both had four hits for Houston. The Astros have won eight of their last 11 games and 19 of 25.

Scattered boos were heard from the Rogers Centre crowd of 23,982 when Manoah loaded the bases and again after the grand slam. Schneider was cheered as he came out to make the pitching change.

Manoah, the team’s Opening Day starter and ace at the start of the season, walked slowly back to the dugout. He was sporting a despondent look as he took a seat on the bench as Jay Jackson relieved him on the mound.

“Anybody who’s struggling, you’ve got to try to find some positives,” Manoah said. “If you get caught in the negatives, you’ll never see the positives.”

Houston outhit Toronto 19-12 in a game that took three hours one minute to play.


A moment of silence was held before the game for longtime Blue Jays coach John Sullivan, who died Thursday at age 82.

Sullivan spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues as a catcher and was a coach for the Blue Jays for more than a decade. He retired after Toronto won a second straight World Series title in 1993.


Right-handers were scheduled to square off on Tuesday night as the four-game series continues.

Kevin Gausman (4-3, 2.76) was tabbed to start for the Blue Jays against Hunter Brown (5-2, 3.61).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2023.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Man found dead in forest near McCulloch Road in Kelowna, B.C.

WATCH: A heavy police presence was spotted and traffic was diverted at the entrance to the Myra Forest Service Road on Sunday after a man was found dead in the wooded area just off the road. Jasmine King reports.

A heavy police presence was spotted and traffic was diverted at the entrance to the Myra Forest Service Road on Sunday after a man was found dead in the wooded area just off the road.

Mounties were stationed on the corner of McCulloch Road and Myra Forest Service Road while diverting traffic and blocking off entry to those heading up the access road to Myra Canyon.

Police received a report around 8 a.m. that a deceased male had been found in the area.

“Several officers attended the rural location and secured the surrounding area to prevent additional foot or vehicle traffic while a protected and thorough investigation takes place,” said Cpl. Michael Gauthier of the Kelowna RCMP.

The scene was cleared by Monday afternoon, however, police tape was still set up in the wooded areas just off the service road.

Police say there is no concern for public safety in relation to the incident and police are unsure of many details surrounding the incident.

“Our investigators are still working with the BC Coroners Service to determine if there is criminality and the investigation will go from there,” Gauthier said.

The Kelowna RCMP is working alongside the coroners service to gather further information on the incident.

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

Wildfire in B.C.'s northeast the second largest in provincial history

With hot, dry weather in the forecast for the coming days, British Columbians are being warned to be extremely careful outdoors. The federal government says preparations are ongoing for what is expected to be a severe fire season for most of the country this summer. Catherine Urquhart reports.

The BC Wildfire Service says the Donnie Creek wildfire has grown into one of the largest blazes over the last century in the province.

The fire, which is burning north of Fort St. John in northeastern B.C., is estimated at more than 2,400 square kilometres in size.

BC Wildfire Service records show it ranks second in provincial history, following the 2017 Plateau Fire at 5,210 square kilometres.

It does, however, exceed the Elephant Hill fire that burned more than 1,900 square kilometres of forests, grasslands and properties in the summer of 2017.

Wildfire Service information officer Julia Caranci says the size and the impact of fires are two different subjects.

She says the Donnie Creek fire has grown significantly because of two planned ignitions last week that burned a 55-kilometre portion along it’s southern flank in an effort to control the fire and create “confinement lines.”

“Part of that growth is definitely from the growth of the fire, but a significant portion of the recent rise in hectares is due to those ignitions,” Caranci said in an interview Monday.

“When a fire is burning at the intensity that this fire has been burning at a particular time, it’s too dangerous to put firefighters into a position where they are directly attacking it. So, that is the time, with larger fires, when we use fire to fight fire.”

She noted it is a result of “a number of smaller wildfires joining.”

The Donnie Creek fire is one of 83 fires burning in British Columbia, and one of 413 active blazes across the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference Monday that modelling shows it might be an especially severe wildfire season in several areas of Canada.

“This is a scary time for a lot of people, not just in Alberta, but right across the country, including in the Atlantic, the North and Quebec, too,” he said.

Caranci said the service expects to continue fighting the Donnie Creek fire for weeks, and potentially months.


© 2023 The Canadian Press

Critics question minimum price requirement on B.C. e-bike rebates

More questions about the B.C. government's wildly popular e-bike rebate program -- which 'sold out' hours after it launched. As Kristen Robinson reports, some question why the rebates only apply to bikes priced at $2,000 or more.

There are more questions and controversy over the B.C. government’s wildly popular rebate program for electric bikes, with people on fixed incomes criticizing the province’s “price point” for qualifying.

“It’s out of their reach,” Port Coquitlam resident Lorelie Munroe told Global News Monday.

Munroe has been on the ride of a lifetime since purchasing a new electric bike last week.

“It’s opened up a whole new world for me, given me so much more independence and freedom,” Munroe said. “I love it.”

Munroe, who suffers from anxiety and lives on disability, saved for more than a year to buy the e-bike for $1,200 at auction.

To qualify for the B.C. E-Bike Rebate Program, buyers must select a model with a purchase price of at least $2,000 before taxes.

Living below the poverty line, Munroe said it would take three and a half years to come up with that kind of cash.

“$2000 might not be much to a regular household income but it’s, like almost unachievable odds for someone like me,” they said.

B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said the province engaged in considerable consultation regarding the average e-bike price and commuter quality prior to rolling out the program.

“That ($2,000) was really the price point that the research suggested gave somebody the opportunity to purchase one of these e-bikes with a good battery pack and a high consumer rating,” Fleming told Global News in an interview Monday.

Demand temporarily crashed the government website when the program, which offers rebates from $350 to $1,400 depending on income, launched June 1.

Almost 12,000 applications were received in the first 24 hours with two-thirds or close to 8,000 people, including Nanaimo’s Jennifer Franklin, landing on a wait list.

“I’m curious why they weren’t able at a certain point to direct you straight to the waiting list or let you know that applications were full,” Franklin said.

“I found that part quite frustrating.”

Fleming said the response was beyond what government expected and noted “it’s a good problem to have.”

About 83 per cent of the first 4,000 applicants Fleming said, had a net income of $39,000 or less.

When asked whether more money would be added to the $6 million program to accommodate the demand, he said the province is monitoring applications and the wait list, and expects some movement.

Fleming said if some applicants don’t make the e-bike purchase within 30 days, people on the wait list may move up and be approved.

Further incentivizing the purchase of e-bikes by lowering the purchase price point may also be on the table in the future.

“I don’t think were ruling out anything that the data informs us would be a good idea to perform some tweaks on the program,” Fleming told Global News.

Munroe believes the government has good intentions but just hopes everyone can be included in the drive to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“It just made me really sad to realize like how much it’s benefitted me, how much it could benefit other people living below the poverty level.”

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

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