Friday, February 22, 2008

$100 Green Dividend Cheques to be Issued in June

In June, British Columbians will receive $100 "green dividend" cheques. The cheques are to offset the cost of going green, Finance Minister Carole Taylor announced when introducing the new provincial budget this week. She increased gas taxes in the budget.

Low income people will continue to get $100 green dividend cheques annually.

Did CFUN Host Shane Foxman Quit or Get Fired?

I fell asleep last night to the Coast to Coast show on CFUN radio and awoke this morning to the chatter of perma perky Shannon Nelson.

Shannon Nelson? I thought she left CFUN two years ago.

I noticed that after commercial breaks, the announcement was just plain: "You're listening to the CFUN Morning Show". Nobody was saying Shannon Nelson was "sitting in" for Shane Foxman. Then I knew.

Another one bites the dust.

I looked on the CFUN website and there was a short -- too short -- notice from CFUN management that Foxman had left to pursue "other interests". They also announced Shannon Nelson as the interim host. The chatter on the internet is that Foxman was fired. But some people are saying that he quit.

On Foxman's consulting firm website where he promises to teach you how to deal with reporters, Foxman's time at CFUN is conspicuously absent from his biography.

CFUN is being accused of lying to listeners by claiming on Friday that Foxman was off sick and would be back next week. He never came back.

I had wondered whether Foxman would last when he first took over the morning show about a year and a half ago. He replaced Pia Shandel. Pia's show was women-oriented, as are most shows on CFUN other than the late night Coast to Coast. So when Foxman, a sports junkie, made his debut, I thought, "This might not work." But I took a liking to him. I liked when he would invite a boy about 10 years old, a hockey prodigy and major Luongo fan, on the air to give the wrap up on the previous night's Canucks game.

Foxman was more daring than many CFUN hosts. Once, despite being half asleep, I was impressed when he took on Air Canada for absolutely shitty service. And to celebrate Hanukkah just after he started at CFUN, he aired a hilarious tape of a Jewish guy poking fun at Jews. I can't remember the content of the tape, just that it made me laugh and I told a friend later that it had made me laugh. Foxman could get away with that kind of humor because he's Jewish, I recall thinking at the time, but no other host would dare do that. He also had bumper music that made me laugh. Don't ask me what it was; it was early morning and I was often only half awake so I can't remember.

Foxman may have gotten tired of getting up at 4 a.m. to do a radio show at 6 a.m. I recall CFUN one morning this year announcing that he had slept in and would be arriving late. Pia Shandel told her audience that it was the early morning hour that made her quit the Morning Show. Shannon Nelson may be better suited to that early morning slot as she once said she is strict about her 10 o'clock bedtime. In fact, she once did a show about how to nudge out a dinner guest whom she anticipated would hang on well past her ten o'clock bedtime.

I know everything about Shannon Nelson from listening to her on CFUN, first her evening show and then her afternoon show when she switched time slots. She talked about her kids, Adam, Julian, and Tommy. She was honest about the fact that she never took to breastfeeding and didn't do it for too long, hating having "udders hanging off" her. She went back to work just weeks after her first kid was born, as staying home "bored the daylights out of me".

I know that Shannon has, as Oprah claims to have, "a forgivin' heart". Her previous husband, a stock broker, betrayed her by having an affair. I think his name was John or something, but his last name was Humphries because a caller who knew her slipped up and revealed it. You could hear Shannon getting stuffed up with tears on air when she would talk about how he broke up with her by saying, "Shanni, you're too much for me. You're too much for me." She admitted, "I was pretty busy", hinting that she had not given him much time (Dr. Laura, who is on CFUN at 1 p.m. is clucking in the background.) It bothered Shannon that she had been with a man who would "give up so easily." Her mother never forgave him and stopped speaking to him, but Shannon still gave him free haircuts. That's right. He would come over to her place and she would cut his hair and they would use the time to talk about their kids.

Shannon's listeners know quite a bit about her new husband too, George. She posted their wedding photos on the CFUN website. George, she once said, "has some money". He had better have some money, as she once said she would never consider going out with a man who "didn't have a job."

While engaged to George, Shannon moved into his house in West Vancouver, albeit with some resentment over his desire to stick her ugly piano in the basement. Before moving in with him, she sold her own house in Ambleside -- the one she moved into after her divorce -- for over $900,000. She was roughly 48 years old at the time and was taking trips with George to Mexico, New Zealand if I remember correctly, and other places, and seemed to be absent from CFUN for long stretches of time; I figured her days as a radio host there were numbered. Then she suddenly disappeared. Even though CFUN slogan is "Life happens; we talk about it," they tend to avoid talking about hosts that drop off the air.

Today, her fifth day back, Shannon Nelson was talking about how George had made the mistake of steaming brocolli, cauliflower, and peas together. The peas turned into mush. Shane Foxman could not compete with this.