By Dorian Taylor

To the hon ­ourable mem ­ber from Port Moody-West ­wood-Port Co ­quit ­lam:

I ap ­plaud your en ­thu ­si ­asm for pro ­tect ­ing the prop ­er ­ty rights of your con ­stituents and Cana ­di ­ans at large. Your re ­cent per ­for ­mance has demon ­strat ­ed your courage and zeal. I do, how ­ev ­er, have one con ­sid ­er ­a ­tion to offer. I hope I can com ­mu ­ni ­cate in a way that you per ­ceive as nei ­ther too tech ­ni ­cal nor too ex ­trem ­ist.

Vancouver’s John Bishop was among the chefs, restaurateurs, and advocates of Canadian cuisine honoured on Wednesday (June 23) at the inaugural Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table.

Dreamed up by Governor General Michaí«lle Jean’s husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, the awards celebrate people who have made efforts to improve the quality, variety, and sustainability of food in Canada.

Expect a quiet hush along Commercial Drive today (June 24) following Italy’s first-round exit at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The defending champs rallied gamely against Slovakia, but came up short 3-2 after 96 minutes of play.

Meanwhile, Paraguay sealed the top spot in group F with a 0-0 tie against New Zealand, which, along with Italy, was eliminated today.

Henrik Sedin had more points than Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby during the 2009-10 National Hockey League season. And Thursday night (June 24) at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas, Sedin finished ahead of that dynamic duo once again.

In a close vote, Sedin edged Ovechkin to win the Hart Trophy—the league's highest individual honour—given annually to the player deemed most valuable to his team.

Sedin secured 46 first place ballots and 846 total points in voting by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association while Ovechkin earned 40 first place votes and a total of 834 points. Crosby finished third with 729 points on the strength of 20 first place ballots.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University sociology professor Charles Quist-Adade was so excited ahead of his native Ghana’s final first-round World Cup tie today (June 23) he had to dismiss his class 25 minutes early.

Even though Ghana lost 1-0 to Germany, the fact that Australia defeated Serbia 2-1 in the same group meant that Ghana had a superior goal difference to the Serbs. Germany and Ghana both now advance and the latter team plays the U.S. in the second round.

“I think I’m comfortable to predict that Ghana will beat the USA,” Quist-Adade told the Straight by phone. “They [the U.S.] are tough, but Ghana is also a tough team.”

Last night (June 22), I wasn’t supposed to take the long way home, but I felt the 2010 World Cup fever grip me, so I nipped into Abruzzo Cappuccino Bar on the Drive. It may not be as hopping as it has been in previous World Cup campaigns, thanks to CBC’s blanket coverage keeping people at home, but Abruzzo is still busy.

Whoa.

Black Mountain's new album, Wilderness Heart, is due out on September 14. It has a great white shark on the cover. Heavy, man.

Music fans disappointed that the Pemberton Festival is no more can take solace in the fact that a new two-day outdoor festival has been announced.

Live at Squamish will feature performances on three stages by more than 40 local and international acts, including the Decemberists, Devo, Bad Religion, We Are the City, Z-Trip, the Dudes, Tokyo Police Club, Dirty Vegas (live), Civil Twilight, Tom Middleton, Kevin Shiu, Hollerado, Dirty Heads, Rich Hope, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Jon and Roy, and Mother, Mother.

The event takes place Sept. 4-5 at the Logger Sports Grounds in Squamish. Tix go on sale this Friday (June 25) at 10 a.m. at www.liveatsquamish.com/

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The PNE Summer Nights concert series has been announced, and it includes performers from the rock, pop, country, and folk genres.

Highlights of the series, which runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 6, include Wayne Newton on Aug. 26, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts on Aug. 27, and a double bill featuring Los Lobos and John Hiatt & the Combo on Aug. 30. Here's the complete lineup:

The Canadian media are in an uproar over comments on CBC by Richard Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Fadden told interviewer Peter "Bilderberger" Mansbridge that CSIS is aware of municipal and provincial politicians who have come under the influence of foreign governments.

This will send reporters on a chase to find out which municipal politicians have accepted free trips to China.

Mansbridge didn't ask Fadden about MPs who've accepted free trips to Israel, Taiwan, and other countries.

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