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Comox flooring company was included in softwood tariff

Every Friday, we feature Comox Valley history taken from our back issues.

Five years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

An expansion in the U.S. softwood lumber tariff is another slip down a slick slope, said a local floor manufacturer caught in the decision.

"They've really cast their net out a little too far this time," said Steve Roscoe, owner of Woodland Flooring in Comox.

The 11-person shop that opened in 1998 had been included in the softwood tariff even though it finishes the product and buys wood from independent lots not impacted by stumpage fees.

Earlier in the month, in response to a request by the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an order for items previously not included in anti-dumping and countervailing duties. Where Roscoe had previously been exempt because of his company's value-added work, the flooring was included in the same duties that closed mills around B.C.

Ten years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

Nurses prepared to light up the night for health care with a March 31 candlelight vigil and rally to highlight problems facing their brethren across B.C.

The nurses union had asked for a 60-per-cent wage increase it said was necessary to compete with salaries outside the province, and retaining and recruiting nurses. More than 1,000 positions were vacant at the time in B.C.

Kim Forman, a nurse at St. Joseph's, said many grads take higher-paying jobs with better benefits in the U.S.

"The workload is just astounding," Forman said. "They're always calling for overtime."

Fifteen years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

The Comox Valley lost one of its most admired sons when Frank Grogan passed away the previous week in Victoria.

The former Comox fire chief died of complications during multiple bypass heart surgery.

Grogan was well-known, respected and loved in the Valley for his extensive community service, and his engaging personality and generous spirit.

"He had a big smile and a great sense of humour," his daughter Patti Stubbs said.

Grogan was born Nov. 26, 1927 in Paul Graves, Ont., and grew up in Toronto where he trained as an apprentice lithographer. He first worked in Toronto, and then for the Vancouver Sun and Northern Sentinel in Kitimat.

He joined the Kitimat fire department in 1955. In 1969, he became fire chief in Mackenzie, B.C. In 1971 he returned to Kitimat as deputy chief before taking over as fire chief two years later.

Grogan came to the Valley in late-1974 and was fire chief in Comox until retiring in 1986.

Twenty years ago this week in the Comox Valley Record:

Angry ferry workers surrounded Comox Valley MLA Stan Hagen, peppering the cabinet minister with demands for a review of the decision to move the Queen of Sidney's home port from Little River to Powell River.

"Our position was never really stated in Victoria," said Marcia Turner, a ferry worker who is also a Comox alderman. "There are a lot of facts that haven't come out."

Hagen had just emerged from Courtenay city hall where he had met with Valley mayors to explain the decision to move the ferry and the 100-plus jobs that go with it. He had planned to arrange a meeting between local politicians and Highways Minister Rita Johnston.