Times Colonist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on May 30, 1997 · 3
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Times Colonist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada · 3

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Friday, May 30, 1997
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Friday, May 30, 1997 Times Colonist City Editor: Jack Knox 380-5333 LOCAL Where You Live A quick look at what's shaping and shaking Greater Victoria Walks aimed at protecting Ayum Creek The Juan de Fuca Ramblers, a Volkss-port walking club, has organized a pair of walks along the Galloping Goose Trail Saturday to support the Society for the Protection of Ayum Creek. Both walks, one of 32 kilometres and one of 10, start at the Sooke Arena (2168 Phillips Rd.) at 10 a.m. The walks will raise money for efforts to turn land around Ayum Creek into a nature park. Walkers in the 10k event can park their cars at the arena; 32k walkers, who will end up at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, can leave vehicles at the park-and-ride lot there and take the 61 bus to Sooke at 8:50 a.m., or arrange to be driven to Sooke. Registration is free, but walkers are encouraged to collect pledges or bring donations. Call 6424515." Gzowski farewell planned The mood will be black and so will the dress as the pickets are pulled from a radio show known to some as "Canada's back fence." Black armbands, black ties and black clothes of any sort are suggested for those who attend a James Bay gathering to mark the last broadcast of Peter Gzowski'sCBC Momingside show today. Victoria's chapter of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has declared today "Black Friday", and will gather at the James Bay New Horizons Centre on Menzies Street at 10:45 a.m. "to celebrate 15 years of great radio, shed a tear or two, and ask ... why this happened." Chapter member Bob Van Alstyne says Momingside "has done more than all the politicians put together to connect English-speaking Canadians with one another and give us a sense of what is important to us as a people." Used bikes and parts go on sale at UVIc The third annual Bike to Work Week starts on Monday, and the University of Victoria Athletic and Recreational services wants to help people get equipped to hit the road. The UVic Bike Swap' takes over the Gordon Head Complex Saturday, with sales from 1 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. Riders are invited to consign old bikes and equipment from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Phone 370-2357 or 721-8414 for more information. t Gzowski: last day h . 'M.L.S IS . ZMWr-' 1 JOHN McKAYTIMES COLONIST Plant perch Alison Ruffles on Jubilee Avenue has put some of her gardening plans on hold until this pigeon's eggs hatch and the little ones move on. VAM I'"''" ' ''; tiS&fr 1 , W . : t ' fe, j I i ll . "U Mfc I MMIIHl Mil IMI1I ! Ill III' ED SACKETTYTHE ORLANDO SENTINELASSOCIATED PRESS Attorney Charlie Tiffany, right, turns his back on client Gerald Gervasoni during trial in Florida. Gerva-soni, 38,who fled to B.C. after killing his girlfriend, had asked that Tiffany be dismissed from the case Gervasoii guilty Former Saltspring Island painter convicted of second-degree murder can expect a sentence of 1 4 to 22 years By Gerard Young Times Colonist staff Gerald (The Weasel) Gervasoni has escaped Old Sparky but faces a lengthy prison sentence for killing his girlfriend in Florida. A Kissimmee, Florida, jury took two hours to find the former Saltspring Island painter guilty of killing Paula Pasciak in 1986. But the jury called it second-degree murder, not first degree, which means he won't get the electric chair. Gervasoni, who was living under an assumed name on Saltspring, was extradited from Victoria last year. He had been charged in Victoria under the name Gordon Neil Mclntyre with sexual assault of a 35-year-old woman, pointing a firearm, making harassing phone calls and breaching a peace bond. Those charges were stayed. Gervasoni, now 39, spent three years in Wilkinson Road prison, fighting the extradition, after his real identity was uncovered when his case was featured on the television show Unsolved Mysteries. After a two-day trial, the jury on Wednesday rejected the prosecutor's demand for a first-degree conviction for Gervasoni, who picked up his nickname in his native New Jersey. The prosecutor maintained prior to trial that he had not decided whether to seek the death penalty the electric chair, known as Old Sparky in Florida. His Florida lawyer, Charlie Tiffany, and Victoria lawyer, Gary Botting, maintained the extradition agreement guaranteed Gervasoni wouldn't face the death penalty. 'Tell the people of Canada, nobody's going to kill this guy," said Tiffany, his court-appointed Kissimmee lawyer, on Thursday. "The government is flabbergasted they didn't get him for first-degree." Sentencing is scheduled for June 24. Tiffany said his client normally would face a sentence of 14 to 22 years. However, the prosecutor plans to ask the court to have him designated a habitual violent offender, which could double the sentence, he said. 'They are trying to double their pleasure," said Tiffany, who will consider an appeal depending on the sentence. The outspoken Gervasoni, whose common-law wife lives in the Victoria area, may have hurt his case when he threw a tantrum toward the end of his trial, Tiffany said. "My client rebelled just before closing arguments and said I wasn't doing a good job," said Tiffany, who says he took the case out of duty, not for money. "It was a dreadful ordeal. I've just about been dutied out. I had to sit there and watch this guy make accusations in front of me." Gervasoni has had several dust-ups with his lawyers and has fired at least one. "I don't have any idea whether he's guilty," Tiffany said, though adding he believes the government's evidence was thin. Gervasoni was extradited to Florida in August 1996. He has always maintained his innocence, saying Pasciak was alive when he last saw her. After Pasciak's murder, Gervasoni left Florida for New Jersey, where he was wanted on parole violations, then fled to Niagara Falls and Edmonton. He was in the Victoria area for about nine years. He was arrested in October 1993 op Saltspring Island after tips to CrimeStbp pers and Unsolved Mysteries. The couple was vacationing in Kissimmee, which is south of Orlando near Disney World in central Florida, when she was killed. The body was found under her bed, bound in a bamboo curtain. The jury heard Pasciak was hit on the head and garroted strangled with a wire. It was suggested the couple argued after Pasciak found Gervasoni stealing from her mother, with whom they were sharing a mobile home. Wrong diagnosis costs $500,000 By KimWestad Times Colonist staff A PhD student whose illness was misdiagnosed by his doctor and led to him developing cancer was awarded almost $500,000 by a B.C. Supreme Court judge. Had the doctor properly investigated Mark Hughes's medical difficulties, the polyp that eventually led to colon cancer could have been found and the cancer averted, Justice Gina Quijano wrote in a 28-page decision. Instead, the Victoria man lived for seven years being told he had Crohn's disease. When the cancer was finally diagnosed in 1990, Hughes underwent a year of painful and debilitating chemotherapy, two surgeries and now has a permanent colostomy. Quijano ruled that the care provided by Dr. John W. Cooper, who died before the trial, was negligent and below the standard expected of a doctor. Hughes, now 32, went to hospital in August of 1982 because of abdominal pain and occasional rectal bleeding. He was attended by Cooper, his family doctor for several years. Cooper asked a specialist to look at Hughes. Based on Hughes's description of his symptoms, the specialist said it was Crohn's disease. No tests were done to confirm that diagnosis. Nevertheless, Quijano wrote, Cooper told Hughes that was what he had and the symptoms which worsened significantly over the years were treated by Cooper as exacerbations of Crohn's disease. Cooper told Hughes there was nothing to be done other than diet, and stress reduction. During the trial, Hughes described his relationship with Cooper as more like father and son, and said he trusted the doctor absolutely. Cooper had confided to Hughes that he too had Crohn's disease, so Hughes never doubted the accuracy of his own diagnosis. By October of 1989, Hughes's medical difficulties were so bad, he withdrew from the PhD program at a Virginia university. Cooper had retired. Hughes saw a new doctor, who promptly referred him to a gastroenterologist. Within months, he was diagnosed as having cancer of the colon. Chemotherapy followed, then surgery. The cancer recurred within two years, and Hughes had to have a permanent colostomy. In over 85 per cent of cases of col orectal cancer, the cancer has developed from a benign polyp in the colon, wrote Quijano. Had Cooper done further tests on the rectal bleeding that Hughes initially complained of, the polyp could have been easily seen, in an endoscopic exam and removed while still benign. "The discovery of the polyp would have resulted in its removal and thereby removed the potential for the development of the cancer," Quijano wrote. One of the defences was that Hughes had not filed the lawsuit within the six-year time period allowed by law. However, the judge rejected that. Hughes had to leave the PhD program because of the medical difficulties. Hughes will have to live with this the rest of his life, Quijano wrote. She awarded him $75,000 for suffering, $152,000 for past income loss, and $200,000 for loss of future earnings because of the interference with his career path, and $53,000 for cost of future care. In medical malpractice suits, it is usually the doctor's insurance company that pays the award. Hughes did not want to comment, but his lawyer Bob Isbister said Hughes "was relieved the decision went in his favor." Natural bug likely killer of porpoises By Patrick Murphy Times Colonist staff A mass die-off of porpoises off Victoria earlier this month was probably caused by a natural bug rather than raw sewage, a university scientist said Thursday. The 18 dall and harbor porpoises were found off the southern tip of the island in the past three weeks, said Craig Stephen, of the University of B.C. The deaths are probably not over yet and bodies could continue to wash up tor weeks. Complete autop- It was likely a sy results will not be natural available until next occurrence . . . week, but he down- There are a lot MvE ofLbacteriaor . sewage outfall off sources , Clover Point. in nature It was more like- . . lysomethingakinto CTj!2lB human food poisoning. "If I was a betting man," he said, "I would not put a penny on sewage. "It was likely a natural occurrence. A similar thing happened four years ago there" when 30 animals died in a six-week-; period. All but two of the animals were found dead on beaches. Two had lacerations that looked like they were hit by a propeller or . blunt object. The rest had lesions or inflamed fluids in their abdominal cavity and chest and died quickly, he said. He said a bacteria or virus could have infected them and this is common in the wild. "We are seeing the sickest of the sick," he said. "There are a lot of sources in nature." The inflammation of the intestines could cause sensations such as severe diarrhea in humans and could be fatal. - The animals were all between two and four years old. In past years, there would be three to, four porpoises washed up dead every year.; "We have no evidence of mortality in, other marine mammals, marine birds or fishes in this area," Stephen said. "No-known toxic events such as algae blooms'' or spills have been reported or uncovered." "The untreated sewage from a relatively ' large urban centre is deposited offshore, via a pipeline in the waters where the; majority of these animals were recovered." Paterson named TC editorial page; editor Times Colonist managing editor Jody j Paterson will be making a move back to full-time writing, " as editorial page editor. Paterson has held various newsroom management positions at the TC for more than four years and has been managing editor for the past year. As editorial page editor, she'll share editorial-writing duties with Paul Minvielle and oversee the selection and editing of opinion pieces and letters to the editor. She'll also continue to write her Friday column. The editorial pages have been supervised on an interim basis by Paul Moss and Minvielle since the retirement of editor Don Vipond two years ago. Paterson will make the transition in about a month, after a new managing editor has been hired. Jody Paterson: writing full time SLIPCOVERED SOFAS Sale Ends May 31, 1997 1802 GOVERNMENT ST. 386-3841 386-0822 Free delivery Campbell River Souih 15 FINE FURNITURE

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