Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Ted Smith, Paul Spong, Janine Bandcroft January 3rd, 2019

Welcome to a New Year; MMXIX as Caesar would have it. In MMXVIII, Canada finally moved towards sensible marijuana laws. For decades, Canadians were harried, fined, and even thrown into prisons for the act of smoking or otherwise ingesting an entirely naturally occurring herb, which even its harshest detractors admit is not too terribly harmful. In fact, weed has been used in a variety of World cultures for uncounted centuries as both curative and spiritual aid.

So how’s the nation’s belated enlightenment going?

Ted Smith is a long-time justice activist and co-founder of the Victoria Cannabis Buyer’s Club, which provides cannabis-based products to people with terminal and incurable medical conditions.

Ted broke the tundra-like, frozen legal trail of the Canadian medical marijuana struggle, persevering repeated harassment and arrest, and taking the case all the way to the country’s Supreme Court – and winning!

Ted Smith in the first half.

And; last week Japan announced it would be leaving the International Whaling Commission, the body set up to oversee that odious practice, incredibly still conducted by numerous nations. The Japanese say they will forego their controversial “scientific” whaling in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica, but continue commercial hunt/harvesting activities in territorial waters, or what it terms, the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The news has been hailed as good news by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who say the absence of Japan from the commission will, quote “allow the IWC to pass the motion to establish the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary thus effectively ending whaling in the Southern Hemisphere.” Others fear the move is bad for whales in other ways.

Dr. Paul Spong is marine researcher, one of the World’s foremost authorities on the Orca, and founder of OrcaLab, a land-based observatory located on Hanson Island. Spong has tracked whale and other marine mammals from the idyllic location since 1970. He attended and sent dispatches out from last Fall’s IWC 67 in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Paul Spong and what Japan’s new policy means for whales in the new year in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin on some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, Ted Smith and the ongoing effort to norml-ize marijuana policy in Canada.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Gregg McElroy, Janine Bandcroft October 18th, 2018

Early last week the Skripal Affair emerged the Memory Hole just long enough to pique viewer curiosity, and reiterate the anti-Russia meme, naturally.

On October 4th, seven months to the day of the now infamous Salisbury poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Dutch Defence Minister, Ank Bijleveld held a press conference to announce the April 13th arrest of four Russian agents in the Hague, near the offices of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the body investigating the case.

As for why her ministry would make the “highly unusual” announcement, and do so nearly six months after the fact, the minister says it was necessary to:

“[S]end a clear message to the Russian military intelligence service that it must put a stop to its undermining cyber operations.”

John Helmer is a long-time, Moscow-based journalist, author, and essayist whose website, Dances with Bears is the only Russian-based news bureau “independent of single national or commercial ties.” He’s also a former political science professor who’s served as advisor to governments on three continents, and regularly lectures on Russian topics. His book titles include: ‘Uncovering Russia,’ ‘Urbanman: The Psychology of Urban Survival,’ ‘Bringing the War Home: The American Soldier in Vietnam and After,’ and ‘Drugs and Minority Oppression’, among others.

His latest article, ‘Tail Wags Dog – Did the Swiss Spiez Laboratory Report Uncovered by Russian Espionage Expose the OPCW, British Government in Faking Skripal Evidence?‘ questions both the motive and timing of the Dutch announcement.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales are now reduced to only 74 members.

Gregg McElroy is with the Canadian Orca Rescue Society, and the long-time environmental frontline activist says something must be done, and done now to save the Southern Resident Orca and their habitat. With that in mind, he and the Society launched a 17 Day Vigil last week to emphasize the urgency of the situation and marshal support.

Gregg McElroy and standing for the Orca in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with this week’s Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and spinning the Skripal tale in the Netherlands.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Gregg McElroy, Stephanie von Dehn, Janine Bandcroft Aug. 23, 2018

For weeks this summer, the whole World watched the heartbreaking daily drama of a mother Orca bearing her dead calf on her nose.

Few though realize that calf represents more than merely a mother’s profound grief for the life of a child lost, but also serves as bellwether for a population on the brink of collapse.

The Southern Resident Orca of the Salish Sea are in desperate straits. Squeezed between the pressures of multiple industry needs and the undersea cacophony of the increasingly hectic human presence on the surface, the whales are starving before our eyes. The Canadian Orca Rescue Society is determined to forestall that eventuality, but they can’t do it alone.

So, they’ve launched an Orca Food Drive to fund the Four Mile Creek Hatchery in Port Renfrew.

Since its inception, the hatchery has, with help from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, released more than 40 million Chinook Salmon, the Orca’s primary food, into the San Juan River; but the DFO has now cut them loose.

Gregg McElroy is with the Canadian Orca Rescue Society. The long-time environmental frontline activist says something must be done, and done now to save the Southern Resident Orca and their habitat.

Gregg McElroy in the first half.

And; summer forest fires may be usual here, but for those who’ve lived in British Columbia any length of time, these last few years are certainly not normal. Smoke, following the pipeline route from “Pacific tide-water” all the way back across the Rockies to Tar Sands HQ in Calgary is the hallmark of this year’s season, and may be the name of every one from now on. The more mystic of us may interpret the choking haze as an ominous sign; a warning we incessant burners of oil, gas, coal, and wood ignore to our peril.

Dr. Stephanie von Dehn is with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. CAPE has been at the fore of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain debate, its members putting themselves on the line at the frontlines of blockades meant to stop the pipeline expansion.

Stephanie was herself arrested last May, the very day our federal government announced it would buy out Kinder Morgan and promised completion of the contentious project. Today, as the cities and towns across the western reaches of the continent lay under a smoky pall, the climate change connections have surely become too apparent to deny; or have they?

Dr. Stephanie von Dehn and dark days come to B.C. in the second half.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to get up to in and around our town for the coming week. But first, Gregg McElroy and whales for the feeding.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/