Check Live Camera
November 23, 2014, 9:03 am Advertisments

Met The Neighbours

 

 

November 12, 2014

Three weeks ago in the interest of fairness I sent an email to all the candidates that are seeking public office in White Rock. I each of them the opportunity to all answer the same questions in order for you the residents to get to know a bit more about each candidate.

Only 2 of the 19 candidates took me up on the offer. So today, Meet Your Neighbours that are seeking a seat on White Rock Council.

 

Dennis Lypka

 

Why are you seeking a seat on White Rock council?

I am seeking election to White Rock City Council to Keep White Rock a Great Place to Live. To do that, we need Good Government and I believe that I have the experience, expertise and ethical make-up to help provide good governance of our City.
What do you think are the top 3 most pressing topics that need to be dealt with by the new council?

1. Densification, overdevelopment, livability.
2 . Railway issues
3. Taxation and overspending

What is your personal history in White Rock? How long have you lived in White Rock? Where did you move from? Why did you choose to live in White Rock?
My wife and I have lived in White Rock since 2002. We came to White Rock to live by choice, a life style choice, as this is where we chose to raise our blended family of six children. We moved to White Rock from South Surrey, and before that, I lived for many years in Tsawwassen.

What is the best part about living in White Rock?
In White Rock, we are wonderfully blessed by the beauty of our natural geography. Few places are more attractive and soothing than our hillside, ocean side community. We have a unique and special charm and enjoy a much envied level of public safety. Our neighbours and the citizens of the community are friendly, diversely intelligent and engaged. These are the best parts of living in White Rock.

When you have visitors in town what are your favourite activities or places to visit that show off "your city by the sea?"
Time on the promenade and the beach and dining at the waterfront is always on the top of the list. But the walk south of North Bluff Road through Duprez Ravine is also a favourite thing, albeit lesser known to some.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love this City and its people. I enjoy family, travel, golf, skiing, time at the gym and jogging on the promenade.
I also enjoy the arts, live theatre and live music and experiencing different cultures.

Do you use transit. If so how do you think we can improve the service on The Semiahmoo Peninsula?
I do not regularly use transit but I believe good transit services to be a very high priority for our City. In order to improve service, we as a City have to advocate stronger and louder with Translink to ensure that our needs are met and our transit services are not permitted to deteriorate as has recently took place with the reduction of community buses. This reduction in service is wrong and needs to be corrected,

The retail landscape of White Rock has been under heavy pressure from the numerous chain stores that have popped up just north of us at Grandview Corners. Do you have any idea on how we can re-invent and revitalize our business community.

Our local business community will continue to be challenged in a head-to-head competition with South Surrey businesses for a number of reasons. So I think our businesses have to work to craft their own "niche" market. To me, this means more boutiques, more different and funky shops. Surprisingly to some, we already have a healthy following of people from adjoining communities like Surrey, Delta, Richmond and Langley who like to come and browse and shop in White Rock. I think that to the degree possible, we have to try to maintain and enhance the existing "charm" that we do have. And for those businesses on the waterfront, to whom parking is so critical, we need to explore options such as free parking in the winter after 6 PM to encourage more waterfront visitors in the off season.

In Closing; IN your own words in 200 words or less please sum up your election campaign.
I am seeking election to White Rock City Council to Keep White Rock a Great Place to Live. To do that, we need Good Government. I come with no strings attached and I have no favours to pay back to special interests. A vote for Dennis Lypka is a vote for:

· An independent, fair and balanced approach to development that is pro-citizen.
· An experienced Railway executive (now retired) to better help guide the critical community railway issues.
· A voice for true fiscal responsibility. Taxes are too high and spending is excessive. We need to focus our spending on priorities for Citizens.

 

PATTIE PETRALA

Why are you seeking a seat on White Rock council?
I have stood up to serve the community of WR because I can not sit a watch the consequences of the past 10 years of council's choices where resident's views were not heard nor properly engaged. A flawed model of show and sell information, tinkering with and not respecting the OCP framework is not helpful. Housing Task Force report of 2010 needs to be updated and implemented. Basic sewers and streets need timely focus. The business community needs support and engagement to shape the future and draw in the right mix and more of the knowledge economy.
It's now time for me to go to the decision side of the table, versus advisory committees and delegations. It is time for me to represent you at the council table. I bring a strong community voice to planning and decisions that will impact residents for next 4 years and decades that follow.
I am skilled at outreach, and critical analysis. My mature grasp of what's possible and how to facilitate processes can be put to practical use. I want to build community not just buildings.


What do you think are the top 3 most pressing topics that need to be dealt with by the new council?
My platform:
1. Keep viable businesses.
2. Renew & Respect O. C. P.
3. Authentic Community Engagement.


What is your personal history in White Rock? How long have you lived in White Rock? Where did you move from? Why did you choose to live in White Rock?
I moved here to be with family. I fell in love with White Rock on my many visits from Ottawa and Africa. In 1996 I moved here to care for my mom and when she passed I decided to stay in the community I had come to love.


What is the best part about living in White Rock?
The best part about living in White Rock is being with the caring friendly neighbours and delightful visitors who shape our city. Our overall vibe of our gentle, quieter community is why people like it. With easy walkability, lovely trees and many homes with caring gardens I like knowing I can find anything I need locally. I enjoy having more sunshine, the sandy beach and good air quality from ocean breezes.


When you have visitors in town what are your favourite activities or places to visit that show off "your city by the sea?"
As a tour guide for my visitors and friends of friends, I customize the exploring community to their interests. The Promenade and Pier in any season; Farmers Market in season; strolling the shops on Johnston to Five Corners and a nice meal dining out uptown or at the beach. We often spend time at our Library that has an excellent selection and homey feeling.


What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, movies, dinner parties and conversation; community events and entertainment; walks in woods, my neighbourhood and the beach.
Do you use transit. If so how do you think we can improve the service on The Semiahmoo Peninsula?
I use transit to come up the hill after walking down to the beach or to go into Vancouver. Often I get day passes for my visitors to explore the lower mainland on a circle tour. I work with people that use transit including HandyDART often and support their efforts for improvements. Social Planning needs to be re-integrated in City committees and decisions.


The RETAIL LANDSCAPE of White Rock has been under heavy pressure from the numerous chain stores that have popped up just north of us at Grandview Corners. Do you have any idea on how we can re-invent and revitalize our BUSINESS community.


We can have an inclusive committee to review previous studies and implement suggestions from the cumulative 15 – 20 years prior years of analysis of the sector and ideas offered. Knowing patterns of types of businesses that fail and why, defining opportunities and/or saturation of them would suggest which needs and gaps could be filled. Blaming the merchant is not supporting them as one would expect – I have heard flippant remarks from the players intended to help them. The new businesses that hope to thrive are expected to conduct their own ill informed market analysis as they build their plan, yet what support and elimination of duplication of effort, lessons learned and wisdom is offered. We can court businesses with target assets to be drawn here with good data.


In Closing; In your own words in 200 words or less please sum up your election campaign.
As a candidate I am knocking on your door so I can listen to what your concerns are. I am participating in the November 1, Independent Candidate's "Meet & Greet" Trade show at the Kent Street Centre 1:15-4 pm. I want to have MORE time to speak with you - which this venue provides.
You will receive a mail out from me which includes voter information. I want to be your voice on council and VOTE to shape the next 4 years and the next generation's community of White Rock. I am committed to making meaningful and appropriate improvements. Help to re- build a viable business sector for our community. Help me to Renew and Respect the Official Community Plan. And help me enable community engagement. We can have constructive critical analysis of choices allowing us to bring back our warm small town feel. I want to shape that with you.


CONTACT: Pattie Petrala P: 604-536-7686 E: patpet@shaw.ca Facebook – lots of community photos and issues I monitor; See Linked-In Pattie Petrala for resume
Please SHOW UP Nov. 15 or at advance polls & demonstrate that you do care for your City & Community
– no to apathy. Car pool, bring a friend + use your hard won democratic power and show up to VOTE!

 

 

October 05, 2014

Who's Backing Who?

Voters in British Columbia are miffed they do not find out who contributed to any given candidate's election campaign, until after the election. To that extent we issued the following challenge to this year's White Rock candidates. Listed below are the only responses wwe received back from the list of 19 candidates that are seeking your support on November 15

Hello Fellow Candidates;

First may I say good luck in the upcoming White Rock Civic Election.

I will be posting the names of the contributors to my White Rock Council Campaign Fund on November 1. I would like to challenge each of you to do the same. This information can be posted on your website or FACEBOOK. If you do not have either of these outlets or if you would like to be included in the list I will be publishing in The White Rock Sun on November 1, I would be happy to assist you in communicating to our community, who is backing you and your campaign.

On November 1 I will note the distribution of this email to all the candidates and publish your responses.

Sincerely

David Chesney

 

PAT PETRALA

F.Y.I. DONATIONS Candidate 2014 Nov 15 Pattie PETRALA - in progress

$5 C. Scott; Anonymous x 2

$10 Anonymous x 3;

$20 Anonymous x 2; W. Ferguson; M. McLeod; I. Wood; L. Purvis;
R. Wood; M. Wary; D. Thompson; A. Lewis;

$25. R. Grant;

$50 E. DeBeer; P. Bogdane; C. Douglas; M. Bogdane; R. Kaptyn; K. Kearnes

$100 K. Lewis; J. Davies; J. Hutcheon; J. Walker; J. Chalcraft; K. Hollas;
E. Kearnes; J. Miller; H. Sarkasian

. . . promises have not all arrived as of Nov 2

 

HELEN FATHERS

So far my contibutors are

$100 Aunty Gloria
$500 Mum

Thanks
Helen Fathers

 

DENNIS LYPKA

Hello David Chesney and Fellow Candidates.

In principle, I wholly support the notion that voters should know where a candidate's financial contributions come from before the election. In fact, if my personal preference had prevailed, the Province would have made this a mandatory requirement when it enacted its local election legislative changes for this coming election. However, such was not the case.

All of my campaign contributors are individual Citizens with no special interests to pursue and no favours that they are seeking to get paid back. There are no strings attached, implied or otherwise, to any of the donations my campaign has received. However, all of my donators have made their donations under the terms of the governing election legislation. Out of respect and courtesy for them, I am not prepared to breach their trust and faith in me by publicly posting their names in the manner that has been suggested. Their names and the amounts of their contribution will be posted f following the election in accordance with the governing legislation. 

While I will say again that I fully endorse the principle, it would be inappropriate for me after the fact to alter the terms and conditions upon which my donators made their contributions to my campaign. Thanks for understanding.

Dennis Lypka

 

ROSS HAUGLAND

As an independent and first timer in the political world (my volunteer resume is too big), I have not solicited or accepted any “outside backing”.

Financial Backing: Ross Haugland

Moral Support: Karen Haugland - wife

Financial Draw:  My 3 sons - dang they eat a lot and keep outgrowing their clothes.

Feel free to include me in your list. I have no hidden agendas.

Ross Haugland

 

MARGARET WOODS

Hi All;

Seems to me to make the list public serves no purpose.

Who is to say that no more donations will be received after Nov 1st? Or if someone really didn’t want their donors known, they just have to wait until after November 1st. to take the money.

Margaret Woods

 

David Chesney

Each of the names listed below purchased $45.00 tickets to my fundraiser held in October at Blue Frog Studios in White Rock

MARGARET GARRISON

MARGARET GARRISON

SHARLENE RAMAGE

KATHERINE CRAIG

KATHERINE CRAIG

RA MCGUIRE

RA MCGUIRE

HARRY PADDON

HARRY PADDON

PEGGY BERNDT

DOUG LACHANCE

ANNA BAYUK

STEPHANIE O"MAHONEY

STEPHANIE O"MAHONEY

STEPHANIE O"MAHONEY

DENISE STEVENSON

CINDY RICHARDSON

CINDY RICHARDSON

ANNE STEIN

ANNE STEIN

DENNIS LYPKA
DENNIS LYPKA

ROBBIE ROBINSON

GORDON HOGG

LORI ISHIKAWA

KEN JONES

TIM ATKINS

KEITH MONTGOMERY

MARGARET WOODS

DAVID DICKINSON

ERIC KAMEKA plus 1

EVAN BIRD plus 1

SCOTT BOOTH plus 1

Sincerely

David Chesney

 

 

July 15, 2014

Meet The New Acting Executive Director of Hospice

BETH KISH Acting Executive Director White Rck/South Surrey Hospice

We are talking today to Beth Kish the recently appointed Acting Executive Director of the White Rock Hospice Society. Beth you have recently moved to White Rock with your family from Alberta. You have a history and through marriage strong ties to our community.

Yes, I was born in Calgary, Alberta and met my husband there over 35 years ago. He is originally from White Rock. My husband's father was a teacher at Semiahmoo High School for 30+ years and his mother was a secretary at the White Rock United Church for many years. We were married in White Rock in 1981 and have spent every holiday here since. We have many friends and family living in White Rock and South Surrey and it was always our intention to one day move back to this beautiful place.


Prior to moving to White Rock and assuming the duties of Acting Executive Director, you held a similar position in Alberta. What was your previous
experience with Hospice?


I was the Executive Director for the Foothills Country Hospice Society in Alberta. It was the only purpose built, rural, 8 bed hospice in Canada. I
was originally involved with Foothills as a volunteer and helped to raise funds to have it built. I was fortunate to be part of a community that had
a wonderful spirit, just like here, and they saw a need and rallied together to raise 4 million dollars to build. A hospice. It was very beautiful with
views to the Rockies to the west, the lights of the town of Okotoks to the South and surrounded by beautiful wheat fields. We cared for approximately 100 patients and their loved ones each year. Being at the bedside of so many people facing their end of life journey teaches you the most important things you will ever learn in life. It is truly an honour and a privilege.


I understand you also have hospice experience here in the Lower Mainland.


After spending all of their childhood vacations in B.C. when my children finished University they naturally chose to find jobs and homes in Vancouver. Once that happened I kept my ears and eyes open for a job opportunity to bring me to B.C. and my Mother In Law saw that there was an
opening for an Executive Director with Surrey Hospice Society. I was fortunate enough to work for Surrey Hospice Society for one year and really
enjoyed my time with them. Like White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society they are a not-for-Profit providing wonderful care for their clients.


Unfortunately most members of our community are not aware of the work the White Rock Hospice provides. Could you provide them with an overview of what hospice does. I understand your signature saying is HOSPICE IS FOR THE LIVING.


Hospice care is one of the most wonderful organizations to be a part of. Most people do not think about or plan for their end of life journey and
don't take the time to ask themselves what kind of care they would like to receive, what kind of setting would I like to be in, what will my family be
struggling with during my death and after. When individuals have been diagnosed with 3 or less months to live they must face so many realities and
hospice is there to help. Hospice is a holistic approach where patients are supported with not only pain and symptom management, but emotional, social and spiritual support. This care is also extended to their families and friends as they too are on this journey with the ones they love. The White
Rock South Surrey Hospice Society has over 200 volunteers that give of their time and compassion to offer support. We have volunteers that work with the patients offering foot and hand massages, reading, crafting, talking, listening and sometime just being present. We have pet therapy dogs that bring great comfort to patients as well. The families are often very exhausted but do not want to leave their loved one alone so we have volunteers that step in for support in their home or at the hospice any hour of the day or night. Whatever the patient needs we do our best to provide. At the Supportive Care Center located across the street from Peace Arch Hospital we have Clinical Counsellors that provide one on one support as well as facilitate many group programs. We offer children's groups, teen, adult, walking groups and many more.

The hospice philosophy identifies four primary concerns faced by dying patients, pain control, physical care, emotional support and aid in grief
work. The hospice volunteer will sometimes assist in the dying patient's "unfinished business" providing resource information, facilitating
communication between family members and the patient or just listening to his or her life story. We do focus on the patient living each day as well
as possible and it also brings comfort to them knowing that our care, concern and responsibility to the family unit does not end with the
patient's death.


You have been on the job for less than two weeks but have you had an opportunity to roll up your sleeves and identify some of the challenges you
will face as the Acting Executive Director?


Yes it has only been a couple of weeks and there is always a lot of work to do but I am very impressed with the work that has been done to date. The
White Rock South Surrey Hospice has obviously be in good hands prior to my arrival. I have been enjoying meeting all of the wonderful staff as well as so many dedicated and kind volunteers. In addition to our patient support volunteers we have volunteers here in the office each day as well as many volunteers at our amazing thrift store! Our board of directors are all volunteers and are strong pillars of the community and I look forward to
working with them.


I understand the White Rock Hospice has a major announcement scheduled for September. Without giving away any inside information are you able to in broad strokes give the readers any inside information?


We are approaching some very exciting times. As most people are aware there is no charge for any of our services and that's the way we think it should be. There are many generous people in this community that donate their time and talents to Hospice and many that support us financially so that we can continue this great work. There have been some very smart decisions made by the previous leaders and board of directors, one of which was purchasing property in this growing community. This has allowed us to benefit from the real estate boom and have a great foundation to plan for a custom designed Supportive Care Centre. We will be making some major announcements this fall that we know the community will embrace and support as it will help us to be sustainable so that we can ensure that when, and if they ever need our services we will be here for them and their loved ones.


You obviously have visited White Rock often over the years. How does it feel to finally put down roots in "our city by the sea?"


This is the most beautiful place in the world to myself and my family. We have been fortunate to have traveled to many wonderful places but that has
only made us realize more and more how fortunate we are to live here!


What makes White Rock / South Surrey a great place to live for you and your family?


There is a much slower, gentler pace here than what we are used to. Everyone has been so welcoming, friendly and helpful, so I guess firstly it would be the diverse culture and people. Secondly it is the environment. Each day we are in awe of the beautiful gardens, boulevards, parks, pathways
and of course being so close to the ocean. The activities that my now adult children have access to are amazing, like riding their bikes to work and
then going snowboarding in the evening!


Favourite things to do, places to go, restaurants activities you enjoy on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.



We do spend some time boating as well as biking and walking. Our perfect evening is being able to walk to a restaurant for dinner, then attend a play
at the local theatre, then dessert on the way home. I think it will be a long time before we are able to try every restaurant in town but we will do
our best to make it happen!


Visit the White Rock/South Surrey Hospice website for more information and the services they offer to our community (click here)


 

July 08, 2014

Rockin' Rod Dranfield

...blowin up a storm with THE COOLER KINGS

ROD DRANFIELD the President of the White Rock Blues Society, is here, there and everywhere when it comes to music around the Semiahmoo Peninsula. ROD and the White Rock BLues Society have done us proud over the years by establishing a high profile image, that White Rock is a blues hub. Canada's Blues Capital? It has a nice ring to it.

Rod how long has The White Rock Blues Society been operating?

Since May of 2017.


Why did you form the White Rock Blues Society?


Jason Buie and I thought there was a need to join the ranks of blues societies that exist around the world in an attempt to keep the blues alive. The Memphis based Blues Foundation is the “mother ship” of all the societies.



For the past number of years the White Rock Blues Society has sent representatives down to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  What artists have represented our area?


The first year we sponsored an act to compete there was no prerequisite to conduct a similar event in our area. As a society we could just elect a band we all believed would represent the WRBS in fine fashion. We selected The Twisters who were a very popular band on the West Coast. After that we have been conducting IBC Event locally to identify who would be sponsored. In the first three years we sponsored only one act, either a solo/duo act or band. Last year we sponsored an act from both categories.

2010 The Twisters
2011 Mud Dog
2012 David “Boxcar” Gates
2013 Poppa Dawg
2014 Brandon “Yukon Slim” Isaac as solo and Arsen Shomakhov Band


Last year in addition to picking a band, the judges chose a duo or solo performer.  Will that be the case again this year?

Once again this year we are identifying and act from both categories.

After a couple years of holding the finals in Vancouver, you return to White Rock, with a very special venue.  What kind of a day do you have planned for this year’s INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE Event?

We will be holding the event on Sunday July 20th at the Semiahmoo Park using the Spirit Stage. We are very appreciative of Joanne Charles and the Semiahmoo First Nation Band for allowing us to put on a daylong musical event for the community. We will have a food concession on site offering Memphis style cuisine, operated by the Pacific Inn Resort Chef, Darin and we will also have some local artists displaying their music themed paintings.

 




Who are some of the acts that are competing this year?


Here is the updated list to date.

Bands

Harpdog Brown 
James Buddy Rogers 
McKinley Wolf 
Uncle Wigglys Blues Band 
Sabrina Weeks & Swing Cat Bounce 
Kathy Frank Band 

Solo/Duo 

Murray Porter 
Jesse Roper 
Steve Hinton 
Dalannah Gail Bowen 
James Thuarhoug 


This past weekend Blue Frog Studios showcased some incredible talent.  I overheard a number of people in the lounge commenting on what a great pool of talent we have here in THE ROCK.  You jumped up on stage with THE COOLER KINGS.  It was the first time I had heard you blow some blues harp.  How long has this passion been going on?

While at University in Montreal in 1970 I started playing acoustic guitar with a harp trap around my neck attempting to mimic Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Lucky for me I stayed and school and got a good paying job because I would have starved to death trying to make a living with my music making talents.

In closing Rod I know you have attended the Mount Baker Blues Festival a number of times over the years.  Can you give us an idea of the vibe and how is this year’s lineup looking to a seasoned blues vet?

Lloyd Peterson puts on one of the best blues festivals in North America. He actually won an award last year in Memphis for putting on the best festival in the USA. The line up is first class again this year,

FRIDAY, August 1st

  • JOSEY WAILS (20 YEAR OLDS FROM Skagit County…fantastic)

  • ORI NAFTALY BAND (Voted, Israel’s Top Blues Band…semi finalist’s IBC’s)

SATURDAY, August 2nd

  • MARK WHITMAN BAND (Seattle guitar legend brings it “back home”)

  • CRAZY TEXAS GYPSIES (Best of the best from the South Sound…you just wait!)
  • THE CHRIS EGER BAND (super-talented prodigy…evolving at the speed of light!)
  • THE STRANGETONES (Portland’s Best! And, with the Volcano Vixens… hold on tight!)
  • ELVIN BISHOP (Legendary Blues Guitar Icon…they don’t come any better!)
  • THE STEEPWATER BAND (Chicago’s top-shelf, progressive, rockin’ blues!)

SUNDAY, August 3r

RJ KNAPP & HONEY ROBIN (Chicago native RJ Knapp…great female vocal)

BILLY ROY DANGER & THE RECTIFIERS (ROOTS/ROCKABILLY etc. ala BILLY STOOPS)

THE FAT TONES (festival favorites…”one of a kind”…”totally original”..)

HARPER and MIDWEST KIND (RAVE REVIEWS! Back by popular demand!)

SCOTT HOLT (Buddy Guy’s guitarist over 10 years! Hold on tight…Scott is A-1!)

 

Click here for more info

 

 

May 22, 2014

The Heart Of Our Community Comes Alive Sunday

Sunday is the grand opening for the White Rock Farmer's Market 2014. We thought we would pop by and have a quick talk with Helen Fathers / Manager of the market to see what we can expect this year.

Helen Fathers/market manager/city councillor/wife and mother

Helen how long has White Rock been home to a Sunday Farmers Market?


We have been around since 1998, this will be our 15th season.

It has had a couple of different homes. Is the present location secure for the coming years?

Yes for the time being, the Market continues to expand and eventually we will have to be creative with the positioning of our Vendors in that space. We could push the vendors to either side of the Plaza and run a line of Vendors down the Centre or we could find another location, but for the time being the location is fine.

 

One of the advantages of the present locale is the central location. The railway tie stage also affords the market to showcase local performers. Will we once again see great local artists performing?

Yes we have almost all of the Music at the Market booked for 2014, Kelly McQuillan is Opening the Market on Sunday.

Is there still space available for anyone interested in setting up a booth at this year's market?

We still have spaces for "specialty food" products and of course for Farmers, we are full for Crafts, Artisans , Jewellery and Soap Vendors. We have some space left for not-for profit Vendors.

Are all the regular special events returning like Doggie Day etc? Do you have plans for any special new promotional theme days this year?


We have a new event "Caribbean day" as well as the same events as last year. We also are in out third year of The Mary Hartwell Scholarship Fund Day . We will be giving away two grants of $500 each , details available on our website.

 

The market has been lovingly referred to as "the heart of our community." You patrol the market every Sunday from sunrise to closing time interacting with patrols and merchants alike. What is it that makes the market so special?


The people of White Rock .

There have been rumours that the market this year will feature wine sampling and sales, is that correct?


We are waiting on the decision from the provincial Government which should be about mid June, as soon as we get the go ahead we will be ready to go.

 

Is there any possibility the civic strike in White Rock could negatively affect the operation of the weekly market?


The CUPE White Rock Union will have requested a spot/booth at the Market on Sunday, they will be handing out leaflets.

 

What special events do you have confirmed for the kick off party this Sunday?


We have the Grand Opening scheduled this Sunday for 9 a.m., a Veggie Toss between with the Mayor and The President of the Market, Cake Cutting and eating of course, over 70 Vendors confirmed, 5 not for profits and of course SUNSHINE, it is shaping up to be a fun day. I would personally like to invite everyone to come to the market and please stop by to say hello.

Helen Fathers

 

 

May 13, 2014

THE RIALTO OBIT

I'll miss The Rialto, the little movie theatre that played grown-up movies.


Yes, it  had a terrible sound system, your seat didn't have a lot of bounce (nor often a cup holder) and your credit card wouldn't get you inside, but it was only theatre outside Vancouver that consistently showed films that you otherwise could only see at the 5th Avenue, the Rio or the International Village -- and it was ours, local, a walk away.
Just around the corner, there was Blue Jasmine, Nebraska, Her, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (in Swedish), Chocolate, The Tree of Life.


It showed box office hits too, but they were mostly movies for adults -- The English Patient, The King's Speech, Castaway, The Bridges of Madison Country, Mama Mia -- but The Rialto was comfortable out of the mainstream. Maybe even a little idiosyncratic. Likely the only theatre in Canada where Maggie Smith and Judy Dench were the #1 box office attractions. Put them in the Best Exotic Merigold Hotel or Beecham House (in Quartet) and the Rule Britannia crowd would pack the place. It was fitting that Philomena closed the theatre, it played for months at The Rialto and was brought back even after its DVD release.


Criterion Entertainment, The Rialto's unfeeling parent company, blamed the closing on the demise of 35mm film stock and the economics of re-equipping the theatre for cinema's  digital age -- although most other movie houses in Canada found the money to go digital. Surprising, because I would have thought the skim alone from an all-cash box office would have made it possible but what do I know about running a movie house?


So, I'll miss the $7 discount Tuesdays. The white haired guy at the door who welcomed us. The bicycles in the shared corridor. The outrageously priced popcorn.
Well, at least you can find overpriced popcorn everywhere. What you can't find nearly anywhere is another theatre as unique as The Rialto. We'll miss the old girl.


"Theatre Closed" are sad last words to read on her marquee.

Myles Murchison


www.mylesmurchison.com

 

April 30, 2014

If you haven't already met KORKI we are pleased to introduce you to our local treasure KORKI THE KLOWN

photo 2005 Sherron Fairbairn


Korki when did you start "clowning around?" What drew you to entertaining as a clown?

27yrs ago ... I was introduced to the art of clowning by a request to be a clown at my girlfriend's daughter's 3rd birthday, (seeing I had a clown costume from Halloween) Since then I have entertained at the daughter's daughter's 3rd birthday (hmmm I hope I'm around for the 3rd generation)

You seem to do so many shows around the Semiahmoo Peninsula. On average how many shows do you perform?

I work hard to find those available opportunities in the peninsula (haha) I book my entertainment more on hours than shows as some are only 1-1/2 - 2hours long (private parties)where at community events I entertain up to 6hrs. Because I do a physical skill (balloon twisting) it is important for me to know my physical limits and train like an athlete to be prepared for each event(no more than 6hrs straight/or 7hrs daily total). Korki is always as energetic on her last minute as she is on her first. So I would say that
anywhere from 10-14hrs over a weekend (Fri-Sun). Then there is volunteer entertainment during the week.

Do you find when you are in character of Korki children open up to you a bit more than they would normally do?

YES, Korki is colourful, playful, encouraging, full of FUN and like them in the moment ... sometimes I have to stop the children from sharing too much family info

You must have a number of fond memories, are there a couple of Kodak moments you could share with us?

Ava's 4th birthday ... Korki always makes pre-party phone calls to the birthday child to ask them if they would choose the "magic word" and join Korki in doing a magic trick. I had spoken with Ava and it was time for the magic show to begin, we had all of Ava's little friends sitting in front with the parents in behind. Korki asks Ava what her magic word is and she says "disperse" I look at Ava ask her again which she repeats "disperse" now as I glance up at mom and dad they are giggling and explain it was a word that came up over a newspaper article they had discussed earlier. Now I look at all the BIG eyes of the little ones looking at me and I explain that "today we are going to learn a BIG adult magic word" I look down at my shiny gold clown purse and (TaDa) it came to me from clown heaven ... I held up my purse and pointed to it and said the magic word is dis purse. Well for the whole show all I had to do was lift up the purse and the kids would shout out "DIS PURSE"

Then there's my sweet gal pal Molly who is 93 young in my dad's extended Alzheimer's ward asked me to twist her up a man out of balloons one day

 

What is the funniest strangest event you have been hired to be part of?

Sherron Fairbairn photo

My favorite event that I have participated in for over 12yrs is the WR Sea Festival ... but that's volunteer I guess for paid gigs it would have to be the Delta Community Living Annual picnic, WR Canada Day and Sapperton Day Festival

How long does it take to get into character? Is there a local store where you can purchase your costumes or do you make them yourself?

It takes apx. 45 mins to 1 hr to get into makeup and costume.There are a few stores in Burnaby & Vancouver to purchase makeup, but most clown shoes and costumes are purchased from the US. In the beginning like most clowns I shopped around and made my own costumes but as you evolve you look for professionals to do the sewing so you can focus on the funny stuff. I like to shop local
where I can and I am fortunate to have hooked up again with my first costumes now.

 

I imagine you get into Korki character before going to an event. So how do you get to the events you are booked for? Do you drive and how does that go over in traffic?

Yes, I am Korki when I go out the door, and of course I drive to my events in my Korki Cruiser. I have lots of fun interacting with children and drivers on my way to events and at stop lights. I truly believe that everyone shares their smile with someone we will have a better and happier
world.

Everyone has bad days at work. Those days where you have to drag yourself into work. What happens when YOU have a bad day?

Because I am fortunate to be living my passion; Korki NEVER has a bad day clowning (but some events are more challenging than others - so you look at a way to make lemonade out of those lemons). Now in real life things happen, health wise, family etc. Being a professional you have to have a back-up plan in place with other quality entertainers (I broke my arm last July and was in a cast for 6 weeks and has to ask for assistance from my alley).

 

You recently travelled to Chicago for a large convention of clowns. I can't help smiling just thinking about it. Tell us a bit about your trip.

KORKI with medal she won in Chicago for her balloon twisting prowess


There is SO MUCH to tell ... it was a wonderful experience meeting clowns from all demographics of the world, learning about their style of clowning, communicating without knowing their language, learning new skills, pushing yourself past your comfort zone and competing with some of the world's best. But the thing that stands out the most to me is the sharing of knowledge and the encouragement to go further than imagined. Bringing home a medal is not as important as coming home a better clown than when you left.
Check out my FACEBOOK page: Korki Klown for videos and pics taken at the convention.

 

How many clowns would there be at the convention? Were you the only clown from the Vancouver area?

This year there was approximately 300 clowns representing 13 countries. There were 4 of us from Vancouver who attended, (Annie Bannanie, Smartee Pants, Trixie and myself) we are "Silly Sisters" from the same alley Raincoast Clown
Troupe

 

Now how can I put this gently? It is an oft told story about someone going to a convention and invariably "hooking up." Does this happen at a clown convention?

Because clowning is a calling we are always looking on ways to cut costs, and sometimes that means having a roommate(s) of the opposite sex. Believe me you are so busy with classes, competitions and networking the only thing you share is the mirror to put your make up on. We do have a love story where one of our Canadian clown sistas married a US clown named EEZEE.

 

Have you ever had a "moment" going through customs and they discover your clown outfit?

We have flown together as a troupe of 8 to Calgary for our western Canadian conference via West Jet (they are great as they let us twist balloons in flight). The custom officers at the airport have come across everything from Big Shoes, French horns, wigs, etc. We try to always remember to bring a bag of clown noses so they can pick their own nose on shift.

A little humour goes a long way :)

Thank you KORKI for putting a smile on our face and the faces of so many of our friends and neighbours on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

 

 

April 18, 2014

John Malkin

John Malkin with running awards

 

It all began with a conversation on the 351 Ocean Park-Bridgeport bus.  I glanced over at a gentleman across from me.  Out of the clear blue he said “I am going to run for White Rock council.”  I thought for a moment he recognized me as “The Chesney” that has run for White Rock council in the past.  Not the case, something was on his mind and he was not happy with the way things were going in White Rock, more on that later.  Meet John Malkin.

 

So John I understand from our conversation, you have quite a famous Great Uncle.

.
My great uncle in 1957 he was mayor for one year.  Two brothers who immigrated to Canada.

 

Have you been to Malkin Bowl?  Did you realize it was created as a 2/3 size version of the famous Hollywood Bowl?


I have taken pictures, I have never seen a performance.  I was quite surprised.  I was there on my honeymoon. I had my honeymoon at the   Bayshore Inn so if as close enough to walk over during the day.

 

"BIrd" original

John you spend time painting in your spare time.  When did you start painting and how do you describe your style of paintings?


I started painting 15 years.  Just for healing purposes, one of my doctors told me to take up a hobby.  I told him I would take up photography as well.  I dontate half of the proceeds to the Peace Arch Hospital.

 

I undersand you have earned the nickname THE BIRD


Well it started when I began running.  You should become the birdman, because you raise money, it just sort of stuck and I still hear the birds every morning. 

 

 

I have seen the awards you have received for your running prowess.  Tell us about some of the races you have participated in.


I did the McCaw world championship marathon. December 1994.  I had holiday time and Canadian Airlines flew me over and back.  The race was 24 miles long.  My first marathon was the Vancouver marathon in 1984.  All toll I have run in 13 marathons.  The longest marathon started on  Apex mountain near the Penticiton triatholon.   The marathon has to be completed in under 40 hours.  I didn’t have any sponsors of support team.  It took me 31 hours of continuous running.

 

An injury has prevented you from running for a number of years, how and when were you injured?


I had an adverse reaction to a medication I was taking and ended up in the hospital for two months, and his taken me the last 3 years to get back in shape.

 

Your running training is back in full swing, what race are you training for?


The MS run on May 8th, it is a walk or a run.  I will be getting the forms soon and looking for sponsors.  778-228-3055.  I just decided I have a friend that has MS and I thought I would honour him with this run.

The day we met on the bus you blurted out that you wanted to run for White Rock council.  What made you want to gain a seat on council?
I might do that, it all depends on how busy I am when the election comes around.

 

What changes do you think you would push for if you were elected?


I know the employees at city hall have not had a raise, but that is not the big issue, it is about benefits and pensions.  I talked to one of the workers yesterday.  They deserve a raise and to be taken care of better

 

Where did you grow up? 


Alexandria Ontario the county of Glengarry
How long have you been on the Semiahmoo Peninsula?
I started with PWA 37 years ago, and 6 months later I put a transfer in and got Vancouver cargo, then went to the ramp.  Worked  there until two years ago.  I lived in Richmond for  6 months, I didn’t care much for it.  I took a drive and came to White Rock and met a lot of nice people, so I decided to move here.

 

What is the best thing about living in White Rock?


The weather, not shoveling snow all winter.

 

Do you have a favourite place, restaurant thing to do in White Rock.


Morrisons Café in Ocean Park.  They make the best breakfast in town.  Whenever my family come out I take there.

 

 

 

 

Coldest Night In White Rock

Denise Darrell SOURCES/White Rock Director


SOURCES White Rock will join dozens of other communities around British Columbia in rising money for homeless and hungry members of our community. SOURCES Director DENISE DARRELL recently sat down with us to fill us in on the inaugural walk in our community.

DENISE please tell our readers a bit of the background on the Coldest Night of The Year Walks.

This is the 4th annual Coldest Night of the Year Walk. The Walks take place across Canada. This year there are over 60 communities participating. The Walk is to raise awareness of homelessness and funds for local programs providing services to the homeless or homeless prevention programs.


You and the staff at SOURCES are joining in the walks around the Province this year. I understand there will be three different lengths of walks here in White Rock.

There will be a 2km, 5km and 10km walk in White Rock. All start and end at the Sources Maple Street Centre. The 2 shorter walks go along the boardwalk at the beach and the 10km goes up through White Rock. Maps for the routes are posted on the CNOY website.


Have you set a goal for funds you would like to raise this year?

We have set a goal of $25,000 for this our first year participating in the CNOY Walk. We are pleased that we have already almost reached $22,000 as of this morning.


Will the money raised stay in our community?

Some of the funds (25%) go to the national CNOY for the services provided in supporting local organizations to have a successful Walk. The vast majority of the funds will be received by Sources and used primarily to provide micro loans to keep people in their homes by assisting them with rent arrears.


Do you have any idea how many homeless people we have in White Rock / South Surrey?

What services are presently provided for the homeless in our community?

Sources operates the White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank, outreach, Surrey Rent Bank, advocacy programs, as well as services to address addiction and other issues which homeless people often struggle with.


Will there be groups in addition to individual walkers participating in this year's walk?

Yes, one of the cornerstones of the CNOY Walk is to encourage people to register as walking teams or groups.


If people are unable to participate in the walk, is there a need for volounteers to help with the walk?

Most certainly we welcome anyone who would like to volunteer with the Walk.


How do walkers register for the walk? It's a simple process to register to walk.

Go to the CNOY website under White Rock http://coldestnightoftheyear.org/location/whiterock and register a team or under an existing team or as an individual walker.

Is there a special kick off or wrap up to the walk planned?

Registration for the Walk begins at 4pm. There will be a brief kick off at 5pm as the Walkers leave Sources Maple Street Centre. There is a hot chill meal available to all Walkers upon their completion of the Walk and there will be a brief wrap-up around 8pm at the Sources Maple Street Centre.

Visit the Coldest Night Of The Year/White Rock website for more information (click here)

Watch the video created for The Coldest Night Of The Year (click here)

Other Lower Mainland cities hosting walks - Abbotsford, Cloverdaale, Chilliwack, Langley, Maple Ridge and Surrey

The Coldest Night of the Year is a fantastically fun, family-friendly walking fundraiser that raises money for the hungry, homeless and hurting in 64 communities across Canada on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014.

 

 

January 03, 2014

Thank you!

....."Hunter the dog" and his owner

Cst. Graham, Hunter, Insp. Freill, Laura

Remember Hunter, the 13-year-old dog whose doggy buggy was stolen? Laura, Hunter’s owner, was so thrilled with the happy ending to this story she sent the Coquitlam RCMP this thank you letter:

Thank you , thank you, thank you. I can’t thank you enough for your support, thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity. 

The theft of Hunter’s stroller one week before Christmas was a huge shock. Hunter riding in his red buggy is a common sight in our neighbourhood as I make the rounds on my dog walking service. The stroller enables him to join many of the outings throughout the day. He walks with his buddies for a block or two, then when his arthritis makes walking too painful, he climbs into his buggy and rolls along with the pack. 

When I discovered Hunter’s stroller was stolen I was angry and hurt that someone could be so callous to take a device that was obviously used to aid a handicapped pet. Where was the good will, the essence of the Christmas spirit? 

I sent emails to my clients, neighbours and friends asking them to keep a look out for it. I also posted a few flyers in the condominium buildings located around Gates Park. The response was overwhelming! I immediately started receiving emails, phone calls and texts from people who were outraged over the theft. People were driving and walking through the neighbourhood actively looking for Hunter’s buggy. A good friend suggested I report the theft to the Coquitlam RCMP. Their crime analyst sent a fan-out to every member of the detachment and made sure they had photos of the buggy. Cpl. Chung posted a story and photo to their website and put me in touch with a reporter from the Tri-City News. Within days I saw articles of the theft reported in the Tri-City Newspaper, the Tri-City Now Newspaper and the Vancouver Sun Newspaper. News of the theft was spreading like wild fire!

A few days after the theft a neighbour generously offered the use of his child’s brand new bike/trailer stroller ‘for as long as needed’. The moment Hunter saw the stroller he walked over, sniffed it and then looked at me as if to say ‘what are you waiting for? Let’s roll’. 

Friends and strangers contacted me offering to purchase a new stroller for Hunter or to offer donations towards a new one. While walking dogs throughout PoCo, people were constantly coming up to me and expressing their indignation over the theft of Hunter’s stroller. 

December 23rd, there was a knock on my front door. Cst. Graham was standing there with a big grin on his face. The constable looked at Hunter and said ‘I know who you are’. Cst Graham had spotted a man towing a trailer on his bike and tried to stop him to talk. After a brief chase down the railway tracks the man got away but the Cst. was able to recover the trailer, which turned out to be Hunter’s chariot. Seeing my excitement he told me ‘it’s not like it was, it’s been painted’. The front carriage and tire of the stroller were missing,, it had been spray-painted gold and it definitely wasn’t ‘like it was’. However, I optimistically thought I might be able to purchase some parts and clean it up so it would be useable again. 

Hunter in his new doggy buggyThe next day I was walking to Gates park to meet a friend when I noticed a group of people gathered together. As I drew closer I recognized many of my neighbours, clients and friends and, although slightly confused by the sight of them gathered together in the middle of the afternoon, I thought how nice it would be to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. And then I saw my dog walking friend approaching from the opposite direction pushing a stroller with a helium balloon attached to it. I was gob smacked, completely taken by surprise! It is impossible to describe the overwhelming range of emotions I experienced when I was presented a brand new stroller for Hunter. I was overcome with feelings of wonder, amazement and gratitude.

The theft of Hunter’s stroller was upsetting but the response to this theft from people within PoCo and beyond was unbelievably and remarkably awesome. A friend researched the best possible replacement stroller and where it could be purchased. Another friend spent three hours in border line ups on December 23rd to pick up the new stroller in the United States and then deliver it to yet another friend who spent most of the night assembling it so I could receive the stroller on Christmas Eve. In a very short period of time many of my clients and friends coordinated their efforts and resources to replace Hunter’s stolen stroller. 
The RCMP, my neighbours, clients, friends, family, strangers and newspaper reporters responded with their support, thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity and love.

Truly, there is good will in abundance and I was very lucky to experience, what I think, is the essence of Christmas Spirit. Thank you for making this the most memorable, extraordinary and wonderful Christmas ever. I live in a community filled with wonderful people and this is a precious gift I am very grateful for. 

Hunter and Laura

 

December 27, 2013

The Road Less Travelled

Until the 70's most of the streets and avenues in Surrey and White Rock were known by their name. Later of course slowly but surely the two cities stopped naming the streets and simply adopted the Avenue and Street monikers that we now unconsciously refer to the roads we travel.

From 0 avenue at the southern reaches along the White Rock waterfront to 116th avenue in the Port Mann district of North Surrey each 8 blocks signifies 1 mile. The same distances are measured by the streets travelling West (120th Scott Road)dividing Surrey and Delta to the Eastern Border (192 Latimer) which is the border of Surrey and Langley.

We have managed to cobble together a list of common streets and avenues with their original names.

My original question of "If I called you and said I was at the corner of Hjorth Road and Clow Road, where would I be?"

Here is our list of old school Surrey White Rock street names. If you can add anymore drop us an email please

editor@whiterocksun.com

Dave Chesney

 

Bose Road - 64th Avenue, Sandell Road - 128th? Hjorth Road - 104th Avenue, Roebuck 132nd Street, Scott Road 120th Street, Pike Road 160th Street, Johnson Road 152nd Street, 96th Avenue Town Line Road, Coast Meridian Road 168th, Pacific Highway 176th, 184th Halls Prairie Road, 196 Latimer Road, 0 Avenue Boundary Road, 40th Avenue Mud Bay Road, 8th Avenue Semiahmoo Road, 144th Archibald, Liverpool Rd, 124th from the Turf to 116th , 160th was Pike Rd, 72nd was Newton Rd, 160th Stayte Road, 10th ave is Pacific, 16th ave is North Bluff, 150th st was Holly Rd. 84th Ave was Waldon, 156th Clow Road,. 160th was Pike, Latimer-192st Mud Bay -40ave Coast Meridian -168st Brown rd -32ave bose rd-64ave Pacific hwy -176st sunny side -24ave old yale rd, 156 was clow rd., 60 ave; Goldstone - 146 st; McLeod - 142 st; Rankin - 148 st., 32 Ave-Brown Rd, 28-Oliver Rd, 26-Constable, 24 Ave-Sunnyside Rd, 20 Ave-Stokes Rd, 18 Ave-McBeth, 16-North Bluff, 192-Latimer Rd, 184-Halls Prairie Rd, 176-Clover Valley Rd, 168 St-Coast Meridian Hwy, 160th-Pike,156-Clow Rd, 154-Best Rd, 152-Johnston Rd, 148-Rankin Rd,144-Archibald, 140-Nichol Rd, 138-Sullivan, 128-Stevenson, 126-Ocean Park Dr., Sandell is 128. Roebuck is 132nd. Y, Hunt..80 th ave, Kennedy ...88th, Davis...88th, roebuck road...132 In White Rock 18th was McBeth, 17A was Robson, 17th was Adria (off 152nd) Semiahmoo Road (King George Hwy/Blvd) was first built in the late 1800s and was to link Semiahmoo City (now Blaine) with New Westminster (formerly BC Capital), Moffatt Lane. Just N and parrellel of the bottom of Pacific Hill. It was/is only half a block in length, 152A was George,.....153A was Merklin....20th was Stokes Rd, 18th was McBeth, 17A was Robson, 17th was Adria (off 152nd), 164th was Oliver rd

 

Ocean Park Road Names by Ed Fader

The early roads in Ocean Park were given the names of the local residents or those who built the road or were responsible for the road being built. The resident might have giving the land so a road could be built, or the person who lived on the road may have named it.

Large areas of Ocean Park were owned by the United Church, including Kwomais Point Park, so some roads were named after early original Syndicate land owners. Many of the Ocean Park roads were very short, some only ran to the nearest crossroad. Later on Surrey became responsible for building the roads and extended some. Often roads did not extend to the lengths they do today so different sections of what is the same road were given different names.


Roads that fall into the categories describe above are:

13 Ave. "Sanford" (from 128 St. to 131 St.) named after Rev. A. M. Sanford, O. M. Sanford and O. Mclean Sanford who all had cottages on it.

14 Ave. "Lowewood" (from 130 St. to 132 St.) named after Mr. and Mrs. William R. Lowe and the Hazelwoods. Members of the Lowe family continue to resided on the property: son, Maurice and Anna Lowe, grand children, Bernard Lowe and Diana Fader.

14 Ave. "Desmond" (west off Bergstrom), did not connect up with Lowewood until later.

14A Ave. "Darwin" (from 128 St. to 130 St.) named after Dr. Oliver Darwin who built a home here in 1927. He was a noted botanist and educator.

14A Ave. "Ferndale" (from 127A St. to the railway property)

14B Ave. "Howard" (from 128 St. to the railway property) named after Mrs. Jessie Howard, who built the first cottage on it. Her daughters Hazel Laronde and Connie McKeigan grew up and raised families in Ocean Park.

15 Ave. "Giblin" (from 128 St. to the railway property) named after George Giblin, First World War veteran, worked for the Great Northern Railway. His home was called "Seaforth Cottage". Some homes had no numbers and instead had names

15A Ave. "Horner" (from 128 St. to the railway property) named after John Horner, who originally owned waterfront acreage up to Stevenson.

15A Ave. "Avon" (from 130 to 131 Streets).

16 Ave. "North Bluff" (west to the railway property). One of the early main roads.

18 Ave. "Sylvan" (from 128th St. to the railway property). In the beginning it only went halfway down its present length. The kids had to make their way through the bush to school.

20 Ave. "Stokes", before that "Matthiessen".

22 Ave. "Urquhart" (from 128th St. to Ocean Park Road).

23 Ave. "Griffin" (from 128th St. to Ocean Park Road).

24 Ave. "Sunnyside" (one of the early main roads).

126A St. Ocean Park Road" (126A then 124A St.) (from 14A Ave. to 25th Ave.).

127 St. "Welch" (from 15th to 14B Ave.) named after Dave and Alice Welch. Their son, Don and Marj still reside in the area.

128 St. "Stevenson" (from 12 Ave. to Mud Bay) named after Ben and Emelia Stevenson, pioneer settlers. (See Stevenson Family)

128A St. "McArthur" (from 14B to the railway property.) named after Dougal McArthur, building supervisor of community hall.

129 St. "Milliken" (from 14B to the railway property) named after Rev. Robert Milliken, member of the original Syndicate [of land owners] and trail builder.

129A St. "Tuttle" (from 14B to the railroad.) named after Dr. Aubrey Tuttle, Principal of St. Stephen's College, Edmonton, whose cottage was at the foot of the road.

128B St. "Taylor" (from 14B to the railroad.) named after Luther W. Taylor, principal of Grandview High School of Commerce, a cottage owner.

130 St. "Broatch" (from approx. 18th to the railroad.) named after Thomas Broatch, road foreman, who cleared many of the roads. Members of this family still reside in the area.

131 St. "Olympic", really "Olympic View Road", (from 16th to railroad property) because the Olympic Mountains, USA could be viewed from there.

132 St. "Wright" (from 24th to 28th Ave.)

132 St. "Orchard Road" (from 16th to Marine Drive) after T. B. Lee's hazelnut orchard that ran down from 16th Ave. to the railroad property.

132B St. "Creelman" (from Marine Drive to the railroad).

136 St. "Bergstrom Road", also "Gordon" after John and George Gordon, who are marked as landowners on a 1910 map.

25 Ave. "Cotton Drive" (from 128 St. to Ocean Park Road) named after early Ocean Park resident, real estate agent, notary, Peter Cotton.

"Christopherson Road", (at the foot of 24th Ave., running parallel to the bluff), named after a pioneer family.

Drop us a line if you can add any names to this list.

Thank You

Dave Chesney Editor/Publisher

White Rock Sun

email - editor@whiterocksun.com

 

 

 

December 19, 2013

 

Chevron Canada Limited and My Class Needs Foundation recently announced that its 2013 Fuel Your School program, which launched for the first time this year in the cities of Surrey and White Rock, generated $200,000, benefitting 186 local school classroom projects and impacting 7,005 students.

Through Chevron's Fuel Your School program, teachers at 105 schools in the cities of Surrey and White Rock received valuable classroom resources.


Earl Marriott:
https://myclassneeds.ca/en/project/1291/
"My Class Needs floor ball sticks to allow every student in Earl Marriott the chance to play our Nation's game. We need introduce, teach and play this great game but with equipment that is much more suitable for all PE secondary students. Floor ball sticks allow all students, male, female and special needs the opportunity to play and be successful in this game we all love." Mr. Johnson, Earl Marriott Department Head (note: this project impacted 1,944 students)

https://myclassneeds.ca/en/project/1320/
"At our large high school we have many students that could use a personal tablet to support their learning needs. This technology means that students can work more independently to become self learners. Our goal is to encourage independence and self-learning." Mrs. Jefferson

Semiahmoo Secondary:
https://myclassneeds.ca/en/project/1482/
"By using an iPad to electronically create and post lessons to a website, parents, students, LST teachers and tutors can be kept up to date, on a daily basis, with classroom learning material, expectations and homework. By allowing a virtual classroom to be set up for formative assessment purposes, teachers can obtain immediate feedback, and in turn, adjust lessons accordingly, to maximize student learning and interest. Lastly, these tools provide a platform that students relate to more easily than the traditional form of pen/paper and a white board and they allow students to develop technical skills that they will likely use in the workforce upon graduation." Mrs. Skepasts, Teacher, Grade 8 Math

https://myclassneeds.ca/en/project/1428/
"My project aims to increase student engagement by using probeware technology to increase their understanding of science concepts.The motion sensor will allow students to graph position, velocity and acceleration and bring our Science 10 physics unit into the 21st century. The addition of this exciting technology will enrich learning opportunities for students and transform their handheld devices into data-collecting tools that can be used in the classroom and in the field." Ms. Harrison, Teacher, Science 10 & Biology 11

Bear Creek Elementary students


Ms. Manery of Bear Creek Elementary School in Surrey received K'NEX building blocks so that she could encourage creativity while teaching her students about the importance of teamwork, design, and engineering with new building materials.

"We are discovering as children grow and learn that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are not separate entities; they are combined and integrated," says Ms. Burton, Principal of Bear Creek Elementary School. "When we give them opportunities to expand their creativity, innovation and work together they benefit greatly from these experiences."

Through the Fuel Your School program, Chevron contributed $1 when consumers purchased 30 litres or more of fuel during the month of October at participating Chevron stations in the cities of Surrey and White Rock, up to a total contribution of $200,000, to help fund eligible classroom projects at local schools.

"Schools benefit from additional funding that improves students' access to educational resources," said Amy Coupal, Executive Director of My Class Needs. "The Fuel Your School program helps more schools, empowers more teachers, and enriches more students' learning experiences by supporting local projects on MyClassNeeds.ca."

The purpose of the Fuel Your School program is to help support and improve valuable education programming and resources, particularly in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – to help prepare students for the growing number of technical jobs in the modern economy, including possible engineering positions at Chevron.

Fuel Your School in Canada is an innovative collaboration between Chevron and My Class Needs Foundation, a registered Canadian charity that uses a crowdfunding website to support students and teachers by providing resources that enrich their learning experiences. Fuel Your School helps provide students with some of the resources needed to help prepare them for success in the modern economy.

Fuel Your School began in the U.S. in 2010 and to date has helped fund more than 17,000 classroom projects at more than 3,000 schools. The program has grown each year to support students in various communities where Chevron has business operations and has reached more than 1.9 million students. In 2013, the program was also available in parts of California, Oregon, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alaska and Hawaii. Chevron supports similar international programs in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Johor and Kedah, Malaysia.



An infographic showing the impact of the 2013 Fuel Your School program and top most requested STEM resources for classrooms is available at http://www.fuelyourschool.ca. Portions of projects were funded through third-party donations because anyone can also independently fund classroom projects on the My Class Needs Foundation website by making separate, individual donations.

 

 

 

 

 

December 10, 2013

 

Beverlie Jansen

There are a number of wonderful groups who work tirelessly to ensure those in need of help in our community are cared for. The vast majority of these groups and their members toil in anonymity. That is where The White Rock Sun enters the picture. We like to introduce them and their community services to you.

Recently I was invited to the OPEN HOUSE for the White Rock chapter of AVALON Recovery Centre. I walked away with increased knowledge on the work AVALON does as well as having the opportunity to meet the staff. Meet BEVERLIE JANSEN.


BEVERLIE JANSEN the newly elected President of Avalon Recovery Society in White Rock today talks about how Avalon fits into the community of South Surrey/White Rock.

 

BEVERLIE some of the readers of this story might find it surprising how Avalon can help people with other problems other than addictions. What are some of the other services the centre provides.

Child minding is the first service that comes to mind, we also have a 'Sharing Closet', computer access for resume's and job search, and for researching activities and other support. In addition we have Alanon and Co-Dependents Anonymous meetings.

How long has Avalon existed in White Rock?

Avalon in White Rock opened it's doors in February 2012.

White Rock started with a bang and has been exploding ever since. For example, the number of visits in September 2012 was 478, In September 2013 visits were 1036. Throughout our three centers in 2012 we had 30,000 visits from women and 12,000 children.

We are the only organization in Western Canada that offers this model. Something to note is that all the services we offer are FREE.

Is there a main reason women end up at the doors of Avalon?

Looking for support for recovery from addictions.

The Avalon location in White Rock is for women only correct? What efforts have you gone to in creating a safe and welcoming environment for women?

Avalon is for women only. We cover the windows and doors, and create a cosy living room atmosphere which fosters sharing among peers. Anonymity is guarded. Coffee and tea are available as well as small snacks if someone is hungry. The opportunity for peer support is key.

 

Is there a male counterpart to Avalon locally?

No, there is nothing comparable for men. Locally, the closest is the 'Launching Pad', which is a residential facility and 12 step oriented.

How is Avalon funded? Does the Provincial and Federal governments help? I see on your website you have an option for people to donate.

We do not accept Government funding. We rely on Private Donations, Grants, Special Events, and volunteer help. We are currently in the midst of our 'One day at a Time Campaign'. It costs $400 per day to keep one center open and $1200 per day for all three centers. As we recover 'One Day at a Time', so we ask that people support us by funding 'One day at a Time', one center or all three. The website is an easy way to donate or simply call or mail in your donation.

I understand many of the women who staff Avalon are recovering addicts themselves.

Some staff and volunteers are women in recovery. We encourage women who are helped by Avalon to volunteer to 'pay back' what they have so freely received. However, we have many non addicts who understand and are sympathetic to this work.

Is there one particular service Avalon provides that you are noticing is on the rise?

Child minding again stands out .. there is nothing like it 'out there' where a women can come to attend a meeting and have her child taken care of while she pays attention to her recovery.

What would you say to someone who is reading your story?

If you are struggling with addiction, or know someone who is, please phone and come for a tour of one of our center's. This may be a good fit, and just the place to help with your recovery. We may be able to point you in the right direction, you may also find a place to do some service and give back.

BEVERLIE as we are nearing Christmas do you have a Christmas wish for us?

We would love to see donations for the women. Gift cards, grocery gift cards, practical items, healthy Xmas snacks.

 

Thank you very much BEVERLIE for providing this window into the Avalon world

D.Chesney

For more information and contact info please visit the Avalon website

 

 

November 23, 2013

White Rock For Me Back in the Day

Frank G. Sterle, Jr.

As a four-year-old boy residing in west-side White Rock during 1971-72, Central Plaza was it. Mom and I would walk from Cory Street, all the way to the city center mall, which was well worth the physical effort because she always treated me to a burger, fries and soft drink at Central Plaza Cafe (which permanently closed down around 1998).


About two years later, our family of four children (of which I’m the youngest) plus our mother and father moved right across town to east-side White Rock. Rather short though physically strong, Mom would often pull my lazy bones up town in her collapsible grocery cart. Not surprising, people would advise her that she shouldn’t strain herself for such a healthy, young child.


Back then, the land upon which Semiahmoo Mall (approximately 1979-81) and the cul-de-sac housing behind it (towards the northwest) was constructed originally held a significant quantity of forest. That forest was surrounded by 152nd Street to the east, 24th Avenue to the north, 148th Street to the west and 16 th Avenue to the south (sharing the official White Rock/South Surrey boundary with the North Bluff title). There was a small bare spot of lot (about 350-400 square feet) precisely where 16th Avenue meets 152nd Street (a.k.a. Johnston Road when extending southwards into White Rock proper), immediately adjacent to an aging, peach-colored fire-department housing structure. The small bare spot was briefly occupied each year during the Spring-break period by a traveling carnival, which stuck around for about a week, apparently more than long enough to suck dry from us gullible kids our long-term-accumulated allowances.


Moving towards the southeast, there was Sully’s Field to the west side of Findlay Street, the north side of Beauna Vista Avenue, south of Roper Avenue and east of a small wood with some residences leading to Best Street. Consisting of naught but dry hay-like tall weed transversed by the odd pathway around the plot (amongst which friends and I used to smoke marijuana during the days of my vices, the mid ’80s), rumor had it that Sully’s Field had made its owner very wealthy via the real-estate market when it was sold during the mid-’80s). He, presumably “Sully,” had purchased the property some decades earlier for a song, but he (or his descendants) sold it to an eager developer with deep pockets.
Eager developers also got hold of wildlife-filled forested land where Beauna Vista Avenue bisects Stayte Road—or 12th Avenue at 160th Street, to which they’re referred in Surrey proper. Until about 1980, for about 200 meters east of 12th Avenue and 160th Street ran (on a downward slope) a dirt and grass road lined with lush blackberry bushes, all of which led into one entrance into the bushes.


When I was 14-15 years old back in the early- to mid-’80s, a nice lady, seemingly in her early 60s, who resided within the bush boundary in a nice enough home told me that, not so long before, Coho salmon would journey all the way up a creek, connecting with Little Campbell River, that ran upwards through the bushes to the creek’s northward end, where the beaten salmon finally reached their ecological destiny their sole, ultimate existential purpose. The lady added that when the salmon spawned and died, she’d witness wild raccoons existing within that large forested area a species indigenous to that land for at least millennia come out and feast on the salmon carcasses spotted along the creek.


In place of that forested land rich with wildlife, which used to extend from 12th Avenue southwards all the way down to 10th Avenue and eastwards for quite a fair distance, came infestations of cement-jungle roads and cul-de-sacs and new houses. It all was the result of human superiority, ingenuity and “progress” filling the flourishing forested land that seemingly not at all that long ago were grounds to deeply green forest beauty and indigenous wildlife—not to mention that of many other formerly tree-bound chunks of South Surrey and, though to a much smaller degree, White Rock proper.


Going further back into local history, specifically the early to mid 1970s, the kids in our short-block neighborhood of eastern White Rock included (besides me) my two older sisters, brother and almost entirely their friends from the neighborhood, altogether numbering a dozen. The short-block neighborhood was surrounded by Stevens Street, Cliff Avenue, Habgood Street and Beauna Vista Avenue, within which there were some bushes that were relatively small though still fun-filled. Right next door to our house, was one of those mini bushes, one in which us kids often played adventurously; and just one house away on the opposite side of our residence was situated a somewhat larger bush, again in which us neighborhood kids often venturesomely played.
There were many great times, leaving behind many great memories and, perhaps best of all for us kids, there were no pedophile perverts readily around our proximity to pose a potentially serious threat and thus ruining a really good time.


Furthermore, very few, if any, people currently living in the above-mentioned neighborhood are aware that up until no later than 1975, a short-grass horse field occupied the immediately adjacent (westwards) area now mostly filled with houses and cement roads. North to south, it stretched for about one-and-a-half blocks from Beauna Vista Avenue and down towards Pacific Avenue; with Keil Crescent and its houses positioned along much of the horse field’s west side (mind you, the horse field was there long before any new road and house construction commenced in that part of White Rock proper). On the horse field’s east side was Habgood Street, with the field’s side of the street lined by an approximately 1.5-metre wide and deep ditch, and a couple of feet from that was the field’s enclosing old-style barbed-wire, wood post fence. I can recall how my sister (almost two years my senior) and I fed a couple of horses fallen crab apples through the fence’s wire meshing, apples that were so plentiful there that they would otherwise simply wastefully decompose.
Most memorable for me about that long-lost horse field, however, was the other ditch, one perpendicular to the first. It was about two meters deep and two-and-a-quarter meters across, with us kids rarely feeling daring enough to attempt a leap across. The ditch stretched east-to-west from one side of the field (running alongside Habgood Street) right across to the other side, which was likewise fenced, close to Keil Crescent. What made the ditch and the two-foot-wide narrow strips of field along both sides of it, extra special were the robin nests sporadically scattered about. But unfortunately we were too young to appreciate the bleak consequences of mishandling the beautiful robin eggs, which were a dazzling baby blue peppered with asymmetrical red spots (the latter in regards to both position and size), indeed irresistible to almost any young children.
To this day, I cannot help but continue to experience some guilt over their gratuitous destruction.

And then there were my paper routes.

 

I delivered every newspaper that has circulated throughout White Rock during the 1970s. As for my Vancouver Sun paper route, in fact, my very first ‘newsprint delivery job’ there was the decrepit “paper shack” from which all of us carriers would acquire our formidable newsprint cargo. It was situated in the midsection of what was then a dirty, somewhat oily, jagged-rock back alley which itself was positioned parallel to and in between Johnston Street, George Street, Roper Avenue and Thrift Avenue almost directly behind the then Beaver hardware store and lumber yard.


Being but nine years old, I often got picked on. For example, there were three brothers of aboriginal heritage, who were nicknamed “the wagon burners” or “the wagon burner brothers” (obviously a cheap jab at their ethnicity), two of whom were older and bigger than me. It seemed to me that they were exceptionally inclined to bully mostly pacifist, red-haired white boys like me.


Then there was Kevin O’Reilly, a bigoted teen with a thick Irish accent, who once greatly insulted and embarrassed a substitute paper-route circulation manager, or some sort of senior position, by erroneously accusing him of attempting to “rip me off, you f——g ch@#k.” The substitute manager gave O’Reilly a stern look and told him to keep his snotty remarks to himself.
The most tragic aspect of my prepubescent youth was Derek Gill. He was the original manager of the paper shack, who was killed—perhaps more accurately described as having been obliterated at the very untimely age of 16 as he rode his motorcycle. His brief corporeal existence was sadly soon ended by a drunk, semi-truck driver who was barreling (eastwards) down North Bluff just as Derek was pulling out of the Earl Marriot Secondary school parking lot and onto North Bluff, where he was suddenly, instantly blasted into eternity. (It was later said that parts of him were flung all over the large accident scene. Though perhaps it was just hearsay and rumor in error.) From what I can recall, Derek was quite respected in both his school—nobody pushed him around and within the community at large. Without any exaggeration, the news of the tragedy reverberated emotionally throughout the entire White Rock and South Surrey area. It truly was just that great of a loss and shock.


I heard from one Grade 5 classmate of mine that on the day after he was killed, his younger brother Darrel (by two or so years), likely resulting from a precarious state of mind after having just lost his only brother, gave a fierce though misplaced bloody beating to the non-involved youngest brother of the inebriated guy who killed Derek the evening before. (The eldest of the three Gill siblings was a sister, known for giving local children piano lessons.)


As the 10 year old that I was, to me Derek was indeed a special person, and my memories of him and Darrel are fairly clear:
I can recall how he came to my aid on one snowy winter day when all three “wagon burner brothers” surrounded me in triangulation and began pummeling me with snowballs. Just about to start his motorcycle, for all five of us were just leaving for the afternoon, Derek climbed off ASAP to successfully aide me in returning fire he was just that type of guy who seemingly didn’t tolerate the weak being bullied from the strong.


My mom said to me back then how noticeably stunned I was left by his death.
Then again, Derek’s shocking demise was my first real experience with the death (especially being one of such tragedy) of someone that considerably mattered to me.
I can also recall the younger Gill brother and I briefly talking a few weeks later right outside of the Hi-Vu Grocery “corner store” (closed since 2006), where Cliff Avenue meets Stayte Road and a short block from my then home, right after his purchase of Halloween fireworks from the small shop. He was angry about not receiving his deceased brother’s position at the paper shack; it instead went to the most senior (though not by much) carrier from the shack, whose own younger brother also happened to hold a Vancouver Sun newspaper route.


Without doubt, Darrel was a competent guy and likely adequately skilled for the job for one thing, he juggled three individual Vancouver Sun paper routes each day, Monday through Saturday. He arrived at the shack early and picked up two stacks of newspapers for the delivery of two separate routes; then, about an hour later, usually within minutes of the shack being locked-up for the day, Darrel came back for a third large stack of newspapers for his last delivery.


As for me busting my hump with my paper route, especially when dealing with heavy snowfall, I was forced to make my difficult way down the segment of Pacific Avenue that was/is the second steepest hill in White Rock proper—and for just two customers! I almost always refused to trust Fate with my bicycle by leaving it alone near the hill’s top, so I occasionally brought it down with me and then hauled it back up in my increasingly weary struggle against gravity.


As for the more-level areas of my route, Dad sometimes came to my aid with his huge, gas-guzzling, ‘Detroit Pig’ car—tire chains and all.
Although contemporary (2013 AD) newspaper delivery is similar to the way it was in the 1970s, the treatment of the carrier back then was burdensome. For starters, unlike now, all of your subscription ‘customers’ had your home phone number and, boy, were they not at all too shy to use it. Furthermore, we carriers had to collect monthly subscription payments door-to-door from every subscriber, on our own time: and often enough, we were forced to endure dealing with deadbeat customers seemingly making an effort to not be around when we came “collecting.” In such cases, the missing revenue came out of each carrier’s own hide, or perhaps that of his/her parents.


Although, for one of the most negative memories from that paper route embedded within my psyche, I fully credit one hoodlum, out of a small group of punks, who nailed me hard in my right cheek with a small rock that felt sharp edged. He did so as I passed by him, while I rode my bicycle laden to the hilt with an oversized, steel newspaper-carrying basket, as his impressed friends looked on, smirked and laughed. I was barreling down Johnston Road near the bisection of Roper Avenue with my hazardously very heavy stack of The Vancouver Sun’s huge Saturday or perhaps “Weekend” edition. As usual, the load was exceptionally strenuous and awkward to handle, especially as a 10-year-old with quite the limited body frame size. It later dawned upon me that with such a great weight and centre-of-gravity-skewed cargo combined with my considerable speed and the pull of the street’s slope, all procured potent momentum or inertia that would have pulverized me had I got into a collision, in this case the result of a startling, stinging rock suddenly hitting my face.


This entire nasty incident took place in front of the now-long-gone Big Scoop restaurant (then a very small chain), the original owners of which had a pleasant daughter with whom I attended a Grade 4 classroom. It was also at that Big Scoop restaurant that I first savored the new, hit bubble-gum flavored ice cream, which was of a visually appealing sky-blue hue.
Besides delivering The Vancouver Sun from which I received about $1.15 out of each $4-per-month subscription rate, I also delivered The Province as well as The Columbian. The latter having become extinct in the late-1970s, The Columbian subscriber paid $3 per month, leaving about $1 for me. The Peace Arch News paper route I briefly took up after those three metro-daily routes, paid about $5 for delivering approximately 400 papers.


That, of course, was back when The Peace Arch News ran its first issue, in February 1976, with its office located on Johnston Road, just below Thrift Avenue. The Peace Arch News moved to the 1400 block of Georgia Street, where it remained until relocating to 24th Avenue and 160th Street in South Surrey in June, 2009. (Some White Rock businesses have moved to Surrey, taking advantage of Surrey City Hall’s tax breaks for businesses that do relocate to Surrey.)
In 1969-70, The White Rock Sun amalgamated with The Mercury, although that entity became The White Rock Sun and Surrey Sun precisely on Dec. 9, 1986.

A small minority of businesses that have opened here within the last half century managed to secure a market niche and are actually still here (in 2013): e.g. Five Corners Café (since 1948), Country Sun Natural Foods (open 40+ years), Johnston & Thrift Barbers (open 30+ years), Precision Optical (since about 1983), Pavlos (open since 1985). Contrarily, White Rock lost Super Value, Robinson’s, Stedman’s, the BC Liquor store, 7Eleven—on two separate occasions and locations!—Dairy Queen, our movie theatre located across from Hillcrest Café, which is itself gone after a long, successful haul for some decades.


Plus, White Rock’s municipal government has been wanting when it comes to adequate funding of public works and services, such as with our public library and some other infrastructure. (Indeed, White Rock Library is left extremely wanting, which is exceptionally noticeable in its worst-ever Internet and other computer services that, without any exaggeration, I’ve experienced to date.)


 Why? Perhaps the motivated-voter electorate being dominated by senior citizens, White Rock’s city council’s publicly-funded priorities tend to reflect those of such formidable demographic voter blocks.


White Rock proper has consistently proven itself to not be an ideal locale for potentially successful businesses hoping to open shop. After many years of observing large numbers of businesses come and go in failure, often going belly-up after only a month in business, it all gets to be notably depressing. And I’ve talked with other like-minded, long-time citizens in their 40s (like me), and pretty much nobody feels any more hopeful about White Rock’s future regarding this troubling revenue-generating aspect of our city.
Although, there will always be the eye opening, super, humungous white rock.*

 

 

October 17, 2013

Why Is Kat Babbini Excited About Movember?


KATRINA BABBINI and a group of her fellow classmates at Kwantlen University have decided to put a class assignment in their Business Entrepreneurial Leadership course to good use. KATRINA what do you and your fellow students have planned?

In our final practicum course of the business degree we are required to plan and launch our own small businesses. We run our businesses in teams for a total of four weeks where we are required to sell some type of product. I teamed up with Jaskirat Bedi and Jim Martens and together we decided that this business launch would be an excellent platform to spread awareness about a worthy cause, while still putting smiles on people's faces. And from there our idea for Must Stache Co. was born. We are selling 100% Gildan Cotton T-shirts with large black moustaches printed across the chest. Proceeds from our sales will go to Kwantlen Venture fund, which provides low interest loans to Kwantlen Graduates looking to start their own businesses. And of course a portion of our proceeds will also go to charities within Canada supporting prostate cancer research.



I understand there is an opportunity for business owners to participate in your merchandise (t-shirts) how will that work?


We would love to offer our product to any teams, companies, or groups to enhance their Movember celebrations. For bulk orders of twelve shirts or more, we offer a significant discount and customization options in terms of color, cut, and even the option to print custom logos or names on the shirts. We think it's a really fun way for companies and teams to promote awareness and start conversations within their organization and outside in the community. Our team members have been wearing samples of the shirts over the last few days and it is amazing how many positive reactions, inquires, and smiles we have gotten from complete strangers. They also make for some really fun photo opportunities as you can see from our teams picture!

l-r Katrina Babbini/Jaskirat Bedi/Jim Martens

How many other students will be involved in this project?


Jaskirat Bedi – 23 - Surrey
Jim Martens – 23- Langley
Katrina Babbini – 23 – White Rock



Is there a personal link at all with any of your classmates? Has anyone been affected first hand by prostate cancer?


Katrina: I've worked in a local health club for a number of years and gotten to know the members fairly well. I know several members suffering from this disease and a few weeks ago before this class began I started talking to one member in particular about the Movember campaign. When asked how he felt about all the celebrations surrounding it, he said he thought it was wonderful and his favorite part were all those goofy moustaches.

I got to thinking about how incredible it is that the moustache has become a symbol of such a devastating disease, yet it is still an image that puts smiles on people's faces. This is really where the inspiration for our product began.



How can the public participate in your program to help ensure its success?


If anyone is interested in more information or would like to purchase one or more of our Shirts we have several ways you can contact us.
Phone: 778 889 2024
Email: muststacheco@gmail.com
Facebook: Must Stache Co. or https://www.facebook.com/muststachecompanyinbc

The official dates for our business launch are October 10th to November 12th 2013.

 


Will your project grow beyond the walls of Kwantlen University in Surrey? Do you have plans to take this project out into the community?

If the interest is there, we would certainly love to continue this business past the formal business launch deadline. In the event that we were to carry out our operations past that time we would redirect the majority of the funds to prostate cancer research charities in Canada.

I don't think any of us have been focusing on branching off into apparel and fashion after University, but we all have developed very strong entrepreneurial spirits and are fully enjoying the opportunity to apply this in a real business of our own.



MOVEMBER began in Austrailia in 2003 and has grown very quickly to 21 countries worldwide, all the while raising millions of dollars for men's health care initiatives. Do you have a figure in your mind of how much money you would like to raise with your event?

We really do not have an exact dollar figure in our heads but we are aiming to sell approximately 500 shirts. Each and every sale is valued and we really hope to see our shirts being proudly worn by members of the community over the next few weeks.

 

BEST OF LUCK KATRINA.

If you would like more background information on Movember movement in Canada (click here)

Visit KATRINA'S Facebok group (here)

 

 

 

September 28, 2013

Next weekend the White Rock Chinese Arts Group in conjunction with the City of White Rock proudly present the first annual Moon Festival on White Rock's waterfront. MIA CHAO explains the history of moon festivals and what we can expect next Friday - Sunday

 

MIA first let's start at the beginning, for those that do not know what a moon festival is, could you please tell our readers what a moon festival is?

A moon festival is normally held when the moon is the brightest, and it is a time of very good luck.  People celebrate health happiness and family reunion.

 

Where will the moon festival be held in White Rock?


It will be held next to the White Rock Museum on Marine Drive/West Beach on the White Rock waterfront

 

What kind of events will be part of the moon festival?

Dancing and singing.  The moon festival will be a mixture of Western and Chinese cultures.  Martial arts, performers live music, solo and bands.  There will also be arts on display by local Chinese and Western artists

 

In researching about moon festivals there normally is food associated with moon festivals.  Will there be an opportunity to for instance taste moon cakes?

Moon cakes will be available for purchase at the event.

 

Lanterns are also a big party of moon festivals, will there be lanterns at the White Rock moon festival.

The organizers of the moon festival the White Rock Chinese Arts Centre will be creating lanterns with the children at the festival, and lanterns will also be on sale if people do not want to make the lanterns.  Once the lanterns are all made we will try to light as many as possible and decorate the waterfront.

 

You co-produced a moon festival in Surrey at Bell Centre a last year. tell me about that festival?

Well the big difference was last year’s was indoors and most of the evening was provided by entertainers.  This year because it is outdoors it will be more about the people that are at the festival coming together.

 

Moon festivals are normally thought of as an Asian event.  Yet you seem to see this moon festival as an opportunity for cultures here in Canada to come together.  How  do you feel this will work?

My goal organizations goal is we just want to bring people together, local White Rock people, Surrey and even from Vancouver.  We want to promote young artists and bring people together, and create a beautiful energy for the city.  Young artists are very important to us, we want to give them an opportunity to showcase their talent to the community.  Our host for the event TINA LEE from Elgin Park Secondary.  She is helping us organize the event.  The jazz band from her school will be performing.  If there are any young artists that would like to participate I would like to hear from them, they can contact me directly by calling604-788-0107.

 

Most people feel the power of the moon.  Do you?  Do you have any particular special moon festival memories?

Every moon festival for me is about arts and friendships.  I like the moon, it is beautiful - like art.

Because this is a 3 day event it will be an opportunity for people to come together to get to know each other better and hopefully they carry this feeling with them through the whole year.

The Moon Festival dates and time are:
FRIDAY – Opening celebration 5:30 – 9 p.m.
SATURDAY – there will be music all day, martial arts, moon cake tasting lantern making and much more
SUNDAY – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The same activities as SATURDAY just over a shorter period of time.

Thank you MIA for sharing your knowledge of the traditional moon festival, and thank you for bringing this wonderful community event to White Rock/South Surrey.

 

 

September 20, 2013

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY

Comes To White Rock

Chris and Marilyn MacClure


Recently we had the pleasure of speaking with CHRIS MACCLURE the chair of the city of White Rock's inaugural International Artists Day Celebration. Welcome Chris. Let's begin at the beginning, where did the inspiration for INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY came about?

What makes this festival so important in the long run is that the idea came to me here in White Rock in 2004. By having a special day on Oct 25 for artists around the world was a great way to help educate the public about who we are and what we really do. This day has been celebrated in Nepal, Panama, India, US , Canada , Spain to name a few over the years. The country of Lithuania has put this into their school system as a discussion on this day. Also a school in northern Ont. in Riverview has declared this a spirit day in their school. It's time for everyone to get behind this great event worldwide. This is a worldwide celebration to honor artists for all their contributions to our communities.

You were given the task of assembling a lineup of artists for the festival. How many artists will be attending?

We have 17 Artist coming in person to the Gala evening with some of their art. Also 74 artists have submitted 12" x 12" originals, up to 3 each. It will be a signed on the back to make it more fun. And many of these artists will be here on Sat-Sun during the kick off to the festival. Some of the 12" x 12" have come from Toronto, Que, all over BC. A great number of the12" x 12" are local artists -Eve Lees, Irene Shklover, Jess Rice, Serge Dube, Peter Daniels, Nicole Carrie, Ann Worth, Pauline Dutkowski, Sheila Symington, Nicoletta Baumeister, Shirley Thomas, Marilyn Trenchard, Wilma Maki and Don Dutkowski

 

I took the opportunity to scroll through the official FACEBOOK for the festival, and learned quite a bit about some of the artists. Is this the best way for interested parties to learn about the attending artists?

The best way to learn about the artists is to go to their web sites and see just how much effort they have put into their careers over the years. The very best is come to the festival and meet them face to face. They will be there to meet you.

You have a history that goes back a number of years in White Rock. When did you first start displaying your art locally?

I moved here from the west end of Vancouver late 1979 a friend of mine was selling some small prints of mine and told me about White Rock where he had some paintings in a gift store. I never had heard about this place, so one day I drove out with him to deliver some art. It had such a charm as I drove along Marine Dr. I moved here two months later. A friend of mine opened a small art gallery right across the street from the old train station and invited me show my art there. Shortly after that I opened The Atelier Studio in 1982 where Charlie Don't Surf is today.

From White Rock you packed up your paint and easels and canvas and headed south to The Baja, in particular the Los Cabos area. Why the move? How long were you on the Baja and why did you choose to return?

Once in awhile an artist needs a major shift in perception, place of inspiration, and location. The light and colors of the culture of Mexico especially Baja seemed a good fit. I first went to Cabo in 1991, then opened a studio/gallery in 1997 till 2010. It was a wonderful experience. In the beginning I wanted to just have a small studio, but my artists friends found out how fun Cabo is and started coming down. My little work area evolved into a major operation. We supplied 2 art galleries with all their art and did many large resort shows around the southern Baja. Including a Valentines day show for many years at the Hotel California in Todos Santos. After going full bore for so many years it was time to slow it down, and paint more.

I have visited your studio when you were in Los Cabos. A number of well known celebrities have purchased your art. While running the risk of boasting, who are some of the well know personalities that have bought your work?

I have been in the arts for 40 plus years and you do meet many people if you are out there enough. One of my favorites was Frederica Von Stade the opera soprano . A beautiful woman. She picked up two pieces of my art. I did two commissions for John Travolta a few years back. A few others are Bill Clinton, Kirstie Alley, James Whitemore . One of my fun sales was to a gentleman named David Reece back in the late 70's I was part of the artists in the park at Stanley Park. A gentleman purchased a couple of my paintings and as he sat on a blanket and I wrapped two paintings for him, As we were doing this I asked him what he did for a living . He knew what I did so I thought to be polite. He laughed and said "I run the World Bank." He lived in Wash DC at the time.

Chris MacClure's White Rock

The artwork on this years poster for INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY is an original portrait of White Rock you have done. Is this recent?

The painting was done a couple of years ago and Tourism White Rock used it on one of their calendars. They asked me if they could use it for IAD as well.

Jane Baldwin (R) withthe lucky couple who purchased the first pair of tickets to IAD

JANE BALDWIN the wife of Mayor Wayne Baldwin is assisting you in the event. I also see your wife Marilyn provides a tremendous amount of effort and energy in making the event a success. Elaborate a bit if you will on the support of these two ladies.


Because the arts are one of Mayor Baldwin's directions for the city, Jane seemed to be a perfect person to help with this as she is just as passionate as her husband Wayne is about the arts. Marilyn did not feel she had earned the right to be part of the masters , but will have some pieces in the 12" x 12" show. Marilyn is also the co-chair and we welcome her passion to help get the IAD started. The city has a dream to make this an annual event.

So now a bit of detail on the actual INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY. Tickets for the gala event that will kick off the event are $150.00 Which seems perhaps to some a little steep, but what do you get for that $150.00?


In reality the tickets are only $50. We hand you back a coupon worth $100. Of your own money to go around and put it towards any piece of art in the festival. At the Gala there will be gourmet appies, good wine and our M/C is Mark Donnelly of White Rock as well. Jodi Proznick and her trio Trilogy will perform for the Gala as well from 8.- 8.30 Then off to the Blue Frog Studio at 9pm for a two hour after hours party. The first 75 tickets bought for the Gala also have the opportunity to go to the Blue Frog as well. So there is great value in the $50.

The White Rock International Artists Day is set to shine the arts spotlight to White Rock. Our city is the latest to realize the monetary benefits "the arts" can bring to a community.

Chris our mayor Wayne Baldwin has made a strong commitment to making the arts White Rock's #2 industry right behind tourism. Having been an active member of the arts community are you excited about this direction for our "city by the sea?"

Did you know that Arts & Culture in BC generated more money for the province than sport? We discovered this in the Arts & Economics Task Force in which I was a member. If a community wants the choice to have talented artists coming here or living here we need to support these types of art festivals. It really just takes participation, not just showing up. Be involved in your artist community.

For more information on the festival visit their FACEBOOK or http://www.internationalartistday.com/

 

 

September 11, 2013

Kwel hoy’

 

The Lummi community has stepped forward to draw the line against coal export. This month, members of the Lummi community will be going on the road in a Totem Pole Journey to unite the west in saying NO to coal export. The Lummi community is standing up to big coal, but they need you to stand with them. Lummi Councilman Jay Julius, in opposing this proposed coal terminal, has said that the sacred must be protected, and that treaty rights must be honored.

The waters below Cherry Point in Washington State are home to one of the best crab fisheries along the coast and provide food for salmon and Orca whales. The land atop the bluff is also a sacred site to the Lummi community. Coal terminal proponents have already desecrated some of these sites, and they can't be trusted to protect them. The Totem Pole Journey offers the Lummi community the opportunity to gather with other regional tribes and local communities impacted by coal export, and to rally their support against coal.

Starting September 18th, Lummi master carver Jewell Praying Wolf James and witnesses will travel 1,200 miles from the coal mines in Wyoming and Montana to the proposed coal terminal site at Cherry Point in Washington, connecting communities and asking for blessings along the way. Journalists, photographers and a documentary film crew will join the journey.

Kwel hoy': We Draw the Line

The burial grounds and treaty rights of the Lummi Nation are threatened by a proposal to build North America's largest coal terminal on their sacred landscape at Cherry Point (Xwe’chi’eXen.) If built, coal would be dumped on a historic burial site and would pollute the nearby fishing grounds. The Lummi community needs your help to stop this!

Cherry Point is a high bluff above the Salish Sea overlooking the San Juan Islands of Washington State. The waters below are home to one of the best crab fisheries along the coast and provide food for salmon and Orca whales. This fishery sustains many tribal families but those jobs would be lost if up to 55-million tons of coal is shipped over the waters.

And so the Lummi Nation has said 'no' to big coal. Lummi Councilman Jay Julius, in opposing the proposed coal port, has said Kwel hoy’: “We draw the line.” The sacred must be protected. Treaty rights must be honored. Kwel hoy’.

A Totem Pole Journey

The 'House of Tears' carvers of the Lummi community have created a tradition of carving and delivering totem poles to areas struck by disaster or otherwise in need of hope and healing. Now it is Lummi Nation’s own sacred landscape, Xwe’chi’eXen, that needs hope, healing and protection. The Lummi Nation’s Master Carver, Jewell Praying Wolf James, will carve a Totem Pole of spiritual healing. 

The Totem Pole and witnesses will travel 1,200 miles from September 15-29, from the coal mines in Montana to the proposed coal terminal on the coast in Washington, connecting communities and asking for blessings along the way. Journalists, photographers and a documentary film crew will be invited along for the journey. 

The Journey will conclude in British Columbia, where the totem pole will be placed in the homeland of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, demonstrating unity with the Canadian First Nations’ position opposing the transport of Tar Sands by pipelines across their territories. There, Tribes and First Nations that have travelled from all directions will meet the totem pole. It will be placed as a means of reinforcing the message: Kwel hoy.’ “We Draw the Line.”

We Need Your Help

You can help the Lummi Nation stop coal export by supporting this campaign! We are looking for $35,000 from this IndieGoGO effort, although full Journey expenses are roughly $190,000 with much of that being in-kind contributions. All funds raised here will go directly to Journey expenses and to carving and transporting the Totem Pole. 

In addition, we need to spread the word far and wide about this important and timely story of the Lummi Nation. Please make some noise! Take a moment and use the IndieGoGo share tools to promote our link on social media, and ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues to join you in support of the Lummi Nation’s opposition to Big Coal!

Together, we can help the Lummi Nation say, Kwel hoy’: “We Draw the Line!”

The Full Story

Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point) is a sacred landscape in NW Washington that has deep spiritual and cultural significance to the people of the Lummi Nation. Overlooking the world-famous San Juan Islands, it includes ancient reef-net sites and a 3,500 year-old village site. The Hereditary Chief of the Lummi Nation, tsilixw (Bill James), describes it as the “home of the Ancient Ones.” It was the first site in Washington State to be listed on the Washington Heritage Register and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Coal interests plan to construct North America's largest coal export terminal on this site, above the "home of the Ancient Ones." This proposal would haul 55-million tons of coal, from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana, to this bluff overlooking the San Juans. These long, heavy rail cars would travel through Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington, up the Columbia River gorge and through Tacoma and Seattle to the NW Washington coast. Once there, coal would be loaded onto some of the largest bulk carriers in the world to ship the coal up the coast of British Columbia and Alaska, to China.

Construction of this massive coal terminal will result in significant, unavoidable, and unacceptable interference with Lummi Nation burial grounds and treaty rights, and irreversible and irretrievable damage to their traditional fishing waters and spiritual values.

Lummi Councilman Jay Julius, in opposing the proposed coal port, has said Kwel hoy’: “We draw the line.” The sacred must be protected. Treaty rights must be honored. Kwel hoy’.

Please visit www.totempolejourney.com for more information. 


 

August 28, 2013

The Heart Of Our Community Is Healthy

Jackie Nelson & Jory Charles the 2013 winners of the Mary Hartwell Scholarships.

At a recent public ceremony at the White Rock Farmers Market the winner of this years Mary Hartwell Scholarships were announced. We had an opportunity to speak with the two winners for this year, and also the chance to catch up with one of last years scholarship winners SAMANTHA SMITH.

The annual scholarships were created by DAVID HAWKINS to honour the memory of his late wife MARY HARTWELL. In her final months Mary and David faced the challenge of maintaining a nutritious diet to aid in fighting her disease. HAWKINS vowed he would create something in his love's memory.

HELEN FATHERS the manager of the White Rock Farmers Market (where Hawkins works) stepped up and helped facilitate the scholarships.

Meet this years winners;

Congratulations on winning this years White Rock Farmers Market/Mary Hartwell Scholarship. Are you planning a career in nutrition and healthy living?

Jackie
I am planning on becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

Jory

A: Thank you! Nutrition and healthy living has been a huge passion of mine for the past 4 years. In the future, I'd like to have my own practice as a Holistic Nutritionist, future, once I gain some experience in my field after graduation. Some of my special interests lie in the areas of women & children's health, digestive health, healthy meal preparation, and personal growth.

I am currently in the construction phase of a recipe blog (with a playful twist) called "Food Faerie" It should be up and running sometime this Fall / Winter 2013. My blog is aimed at getting people excited about cooking - and taking the "boring" stigma out of the word "healthy." My recipes focus on fast preparation time (15 minutes or less) and "secretly healthy" (so good you would never know) - like my flour less blueberry waffles with coconut cream.

Where will you be applying your scholarship?

Jackie

The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition ; in Vancouver, BC

Jory

I am currently in the RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) Program at CSNN. I will be using the scholarship towards my tuition for my final year. I will graduate this Spring 2014.

For those who don't know, Holistic Nutrition is founded on similar principles that Naturopathic Doctors follow. The aim of working with a holistic nutritionist is not just for weight loss. If you have a diagnosed disorder or simply any symptom that is bothering you (headaches, weight gain, skin problems, fatigue, digestive problems, etc), we can help. We look at the body as a whole and help you get to work on healing the root of your symptoms, using diet and lifestyle factors (sleep, stress, exercise, and happiness levels) as our main tools.

 

What inspired you to learn more about nutrition and to choose a career in this field?

Jackie

My first inspiration to know more about health and nutrition to helps others arose when my late grandmother, Peggy Nelson, had received the news that she had cancer. I had always known I wanted to help others. Talking with and listening to my father-in-law, David Hawkins, about his 'Blending Bene' just peaked my interested even more. After researching more and talking with elders about organic foods, plants and traditional remedies, I knew right then that Natural Nutrition was the chosen path for me.

Jory

I became interested in nutrition through my own journey of healing myself from chronic illness. I experienced a dramatic change in my health when I changed my diet and lifestyle, and I want to help others to do the same.

My first steps in changing my health actually started at the farmers markets. I cut down on shopping at grocery store chains and buying processed food. Instead, once a week, I bought lots of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, fish, nuts and seeds at the market – and taught myself to cook. My cooking repertoire prior to this was limited to microwaving cheese on toast – so this was leaps and bounds for me, yet it still felt easy because I just made simple recipes, such as stir fries, poached eggs, and snacks of fruits and nuts. I started feeling better right away.

 

What is your history with the White Rock Farmers Market. Do you visit the market on a regular basis. What do you like the best about the market?

Jackie

My family and I have been attending the White Rock Farmers Market a year now. We found out about the market through my father-in-law, David Hawkins. I enjoy the ambiance that it has to offer.

Jory

I've been working at the White Rock farmers market on-and-off for about 5 years now, with my family business, Fresh Off The Boat Ocean Foods, selling sustainable seafood. We also work at other lower mainland farmers markets.

My favourite thing about the market is the food. As a self-proclaimed "health foodie", I am like a kid in candy shop at the market. Some of the produce was picked just that morning - there really is no grocery store where you can get food that is that fresh. I also love seeing what new types of food crop up every week.

My family will tell you that without fail, I spend AT LEAST half of my paycheck for the day on groceries at the market - sometimes spending all of it. I even shop at the markets on my days off. It's become a bit of a joke. I really should just put up a sign that says "will work for fresh local food."

 

Final question. Could you please tell the readers of The White Rock Sun a bit about your personal history. IE Where did you grow up, special interests, what school did you go to etc.

Jackie

I grew up in Vancouver, BC mostly and attended Vancouver Technical Secondary School until grade 10. I lived my last high school years up on Vancouver Island in a town called Port Hardy. After graduation I moved back to Vancouver,BC. Shortly afterwards I went to Malaspina University and was certified in Housing Management.
I am interested in Health and Nutrition. Natural Nutrition is important for everyone of all ages. . It will never cease to amaze me what natural herbal remedies can do for our bodies. I know with this knowledge, not only will I help better the lives of others, but will help fill any nutritional gaps in my own family. I look forward to helping my family achieve a happy healthy body, mind and soul. The best part of health and nutrition is that there is endless knowledge.

Jory

I am currently 25 years old. I grew up in Crescent Beach (South Surrey) and attended Elgin Park Secondary school. I roller blade nearly every day, practice yoga, and consistently make a giant pile of dishes in the kitchen every day with my recipe experiments. I love cooking ALMOST as much as I love eating ;)

I want people to know that getting healthy doesn't have to be about complicating your life. Rather, it is about simplifying it. The first step you can take is by buying more whole foods such as fruits & vegetables at your local farmers market. Buy less packaged, processed foods with tons of ingredients... and buy more simple, natural foods (if your great-grandmother would recognize it, it's good). I did this myself and saw my health symptoms disappear, one by one- it really works.

 

 Last year's winner of the Mary Hartwell Scholarship Fund

Samantha Smith

Looking back over the past year at my educational pursuits, I am amazed at how much hard work, facts, theories, experiments, laughter, lost sleep, late- late night essay composing and those long sought after aha moments of understanding can fit in so nicely.
Classes where I sat and watched the clock, tapping my pen absently, and hoping time would magically slip by a little quicker, as I questioned the purpose of this designated class and how it related to a future in the dietician field. Other days where I sat captivated and frozen by a profound idea presented during a lecture, and time seemed to race by and become my enemy once again. 
I wandered through Statistics 101, reading bar charts and deciphering graphs, and learned why you can never really trust a survey and why.

Two classes of Cellular biology, learning the in’s and out’s down to the absolute nitty gritty at the molecular level of the secret life of
a tiny cell. Touching down in Microbiology, getting an A based on my ability to grow and identify two unknown dangerous bacteria.  Then
Forward into the invisible world of chemical reactions in Organic chemistry, and spending hours in the lab playing the nutty professor creating concoctions and potions.
I found myself in my favorite class, Topics on Human Nutrition, learning the real facts about food and diet and the myths and money making scams in western culture. The class ended too soon, but with the promise of more when I begin the next step in Dietetics attending UBC next fall.
This summer I took break from my regular full time studies and took only one Physics class (thank goodness for that), and had the privilege of working full time as an assistant kitchen manager at a conference and retreat center, gaining valuable knowledge and insights in the world of feeding others. The synchronicity of the past year of events and people that have fallen easily beside me on my path towards my dream has been incredible. I would like to say a big thank you to all who have helped along the way.

Samantha Smith

 

Two of last years winners of scholarships, LUCY BRAIN and GRACE AUGUSTINOWICZ were able to attend in person but wanted to provide and update on their educational paths.


So wonderful that you are offering scholarships again this year. I would love to attend, however, I will be in Cuba for most of August, so hence, I cannot.

It's been an exciting year that saw me continue my studies at Kwantlen University in the Sustainable Agriculture program. The fall semester was successful and interesting. The spring semester saw me embark upon my CIDA funded Students for International Development internship in Cuba. I spent four months in total there from January to April. I worked on two large scale studies. The first was the assessment of pheromone trapping of a particular type of pest moth that plagues onion crops. The long term goal of this project is the development of biological control methods rather than the chemical ones currently in use.

The other study was in a local 'organiponico' which is an urban farm. I tested various compost lixiviates and effective microorganisms on the growth of cucumbers and beans. Again, these are organic, biological approaches to fertilization and pest management.

It was an incredibly rich experience that saw me not only learn a lot but also allowed me to make some very special friends and even pick up some decent Spanish! I loved it so much I am returning there on Wednesday to go for three weeks.

Thanks again for the invitation. I hope the day goes wonderfully, just as it did last year.

Sincerely,
Lucy Brain



Over the last year, and thanks to the support of all the members from the Many Hartwell Scholarship and the White Rock Farmers Market, I was able to successfully complete my first year of the Sustainable Agriculture Degree, keeping a high score GPA throughout my courses. Up to this day, this Degree surpasses and exceeds all my expectations, not only in terms of the high quality of academic instruction I am receiving, but also the high level of commitment and nurturing passion of those in charge of running this Department at Kwantlen University, Dr. Kent Mullinix and Dr. Arthur Fallick. Through their mentoring, I was able to become part, as a researcher's assistant, of the Bioregional Food System Design and Planning Project for Southwest BC and Yukon, a research project that aims to develop a bio-regional Food System Design that supports agriculture and food provisioning, strengthens the economy, promotes environmental stewardship, fosters food security and public health, maximizes food self-reliance, and strengthens communities. This is a very exiting interdisciplinary project at the cutting age of food sovereignty and food security movement, and I am honoured to have been give the opportunity to be part of it. I always look forward to working with you on this project and to give the Market and David my unconditional support. Thank you enormously.

Respectfully yours,

Grace Augustinowicz

 

 

August 14, 2013

White Rock Princess Party Saturday August 24

Star of the Sea Hall

Myra Merkal

A few years back MYRA MERKAL decided she would create the type of event her little granddaughters and other children might enjoy When the first year came together MYRA decided to dedicate any profits to the White Rock Fire Department, where her son Evan helps protect our community. The firefighters have had a dream to create an all abilities access park on the waterfront.

Seeing is believing what this event has turned into. Between her busy schedule of last minute organizing and event planning, MYRA took some time to reveal some details about this year's Princess Party.

 

MYRA it is that time of the year again, The Princess Party at the Star of the Sea in White Rock.  How many years have you been organizing this wonderful community event?

This is our 4th year.  I feel like it is becoming a regular community event that people look forward to both bringing their children and volunteering for.

 

The proceeds of the event will stay in our community.  How much money have you raised over the years and what is the ultimate goal for the proceeds of the Princess Party?

ALL of the money goes to the White Rock Firefighters Charity Association in support of their efforts to build an ALL ABILITIES park in our community.
We have raised $35,000 to date.  I’m hoping to raise $10,000 this year and in terms of an ultimate end goal, I really don’t know.  It depends on when we have all of the required approvals and I plan to keep the Princess Party alive even after our amazing park is built.

 

I understand there is a new twist to The Princess Party this year?


 Yes, we are welcoming young boys to join us this year so that we can include more families.  It is suitable for boys aged 2-5.  As we have a fairy godmother greet the girls, we will have a prince to greet the boys.

 

 

Having had the opportunity to witness previous Princess parties I have been taken back by all the activities you and your crew organize or the princesses.  Could you tell us what activities the princesses and princes will be enjoying this year?

First of all they are greeted by the fairy godmother and a prince, adorned with their very own tiara or crown.  They will be entertained by Sleeping Beauty and, new this year is a magic show by Doktor Strange.  We have a cakewalk, cookie decorating, magic castle, a hair artist, face painting, lots of crafts and activities.  Children will also be making heartfelt bookmarks for seniors’.  The firefighters will be there in their shiny red fire truck and cooking hot dogs ( by donation).  We have a raffle table, thanks to the many local merchants.

 

One of the by products of this years party is you say you would like to create a "virtuous community" as opposed to a "virtual community."  Please explain.

Besides being fun for everyone, the event strives to build a positive, loving and accepting community by focusing all of our activities on building virtues such as kindness, courtesy, friendliness, confidence to name a few. This year the concept of being an “everyday hero” by practicing small acts that will help someone will create opportunities for children to practice the virtues after the party.
We believe that spending time with children rather than setting them in front of a computer, video, Gameboy, TV and other virtual means, will bring out the best in them. Teaching virtues and re-enforcing them through interaction and using the language of virtues will build a virtuous community.

 

I imagine there are a number of Kodak moments at every Princess Party.  Are there a few candid moments with the princesses that stick out for you?

  • When the doors open up and the children see “The Princess”   the gasps of excitement is worth every minute of the time it takes to organize this. (this year the princess will be Aurora, The Sleeping Beauty)

  • Watching the parents and volunteers reliving their childhood.  So many times I see this and it is heartwarming.

  • Watching the children pull their little treasure bag out of the magic castle.

  • Seeing the children choose “just the right cake” at the cakewalk.

  • Watching the children so intently enjoying “The Princess” during her inter-active play date with them.

  • When a child has just finished decorating her activity bag and proudly showing Mom or Dad her creation.

Those are just a few, I could go on and on.

 

Our late mutual friend Kimberley was a part of the Princess Party before she left us.  Her memory lives on though through the cake walk does it not?


Yes, Kimberly was a dear friend of mine, who managed the cakewalk the first year of the party.  She hand painted animals on each of the squares for the cakewalk.  This year, because we’ve changed the format somewhat, we are going to “retire” her creations on the wall at the cakewalk with her picture in the middle to carry on her legacy.

 

An event like The Princess Party takes a tremendous amount of help from volunteers and the community.  Is there anything we as a community can do to help make the 2013 Princess Party the best ever?


Raffle and Silent Auction Items -We have quite a few however we welcome more, so if you know anyone who wants to donate an item, please e-mail miraclemyra10@gmail.com.  We are also accepting cash donations.
Opportunities for Businesses to advertise- We are sending home goody bags to all of the 200 + children who attend.  We are inviting businesses to donate 200 of an item to put in the bag and attach their business card.  This is a great way to have some advertising.  If you know anyone in business who may be interested, please have them contact me.  Could be a pen or one lady is contributing little hand lotions and attaching her business card.  An item for a child is great.   Be creative.
We are also in need of about 25 tablecloths with skirts, a couple of face painters, we need some photocopying done, we would love to have some new signs, we need an LCD projector and screen.
And last but not least, bring your children, grand children, nephew, niece, neighbour’s child.  A great way to be an everyday hero is to think of someone who may not be able to otherwise join in on this great afternoon and invite them to come with you or sponsor them.
Watch the video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV8_32jB0QA

Visit the website for ticket purchase and more info – www.wrprincessparty.com

Visit the Facebook-http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRockPrincessParty

 

 

July 23, 2013

Let It Ride

Director of White Rock Leisure Services ERIC STEPURA


We are talking today with ERIC STEPURA the director of Leisure Services for the city of White Rock. ERIC how long have you been the director of leisure services in White Rock. What is the COLES NOTES version of your previous experience you have brought to "our city by the sea?" What made White Rock seem like a good fit for you and your family?
I've been the Director of Leisure Services for the City of White Rock since late July 2012.
I have over 30 years experience at a supervisory/management level in municipal parks and recreation service delivery.
Prior to coming to the City of White Rock, I was the Manager Sports and Community Events with the City of Richmond where I played a significant role in hosting Richmond's 2010 Olympic Winter Games celebrations.
Before that, I worked 16 years as the Manager of Sports, Community Events and Outdoor Recreation for the City of Burnaby and the Manager of Leisure Services for the City of Salmon Arm.
Prior to working in municipal government I taught high school physical education.

What is special about "Your City By The Sea" White Rock?
White Rock is a seaside paradise where residents and visitors feel that they are on vacation. It's also an quick escape from urban living, and a beautiful natural seaside setting where people can relax, recharge, recreate and reflect.

How did the presentation of the RCMP MUSICAL RIDE this Friday evening come to be?
The City of White Rock was contacted by the tour operators of the RCMP Musical Ride in the Fall of 2012 to determine if the City was interested in hosting a performance of the RCMP Musical Ride. City staff did research on the RCMP Musical Ride, and reported back to Council on the event production costs, feasibility and a recommended venue (Semiahmoo Park). Council approved the report which gave City staff and the White Rock RCMP the go ahead to produce the event in partnership with Semiahmoo First Nation and the Semiahmoo Volunteer Community Police Society.

I understand the baseball diamonds portion of Semiahmoo Park (on the eastern end of the park) will be the location for the Musical Ride. What kind of preparation will take place to get the area ready for the performance. What type of infastructure will you have to bring in?
The White Rock RCMP Musical Ride event will take place on the south softball diamond (closest to the BNSF Railway). The north ball diamond will be used as the warm-up area for the horses and riders prior to the performance. Various facilities, amenities and equipment will be brought in to create a temporary 2,000 seat outdoor stadium including portable bleachers, washrooms, an announcers booth, information tent, stage, sound equipment, power, fencing, and security personnel and a designate seating area for people in wheelchairs

Parking is going to be at a premium. Tell me what time do you recommend people start making their way to the park. What time does the show start and will there be any kind of concession stands on site?
Yes parking at the park is limited, therefore we encourage people to find alternative methods of transportation such as transit buses, trolley bus, taxicabs, take the shuttle bus from Centennial Park from 5pm on or walk to the event. There is a designated parking area located in the main parking lot at Semiahmoo Park for people with disabilities.

The gates open at 5:30pm; the Pre-show entertainment starts at 6:30pm and the RCMP Musical Ride performance starts at 7:15pm. Seating is first come first served.

As we expect a sellout, there will be no walk-up ticket sales at the event.

There will be a traditional salmon barbeque and concession operated by Semiahmoo First Nation, an ice cream concession operated by a local Rotary Club and a food and beverage concession provided by the White Rock Elks Club.

How many trips will the trolley make after the Musical Ride wraps up?

4 trips from the corner of Marine Drive and Findlay with approximate pickups at 8:19, 8:49,9:19 and 9:49pm
(Note: The C-52 bus that runs along the White Rock waterfront will be making 4 stops picking up passengers across from the Ocean Promenade Hotel at 10:02/19:32/!!;02 & 11:32 and taking passengers uptown through Five Corners to Johnston and 16th avenue/

Does LEISURE SERVICES have any other events you are working on you can share with us?
Yes White Rock City Council have declared the months of September and October 2013 as the White Rock Fall Festival of the Arts. Further information on this exciting schedule of arts and cultural events and festivals with be forthcoming at a later date.

Traffic Flow Changes for RCMP Musical Ride


Residents and visitors can expect the following traffic flow changes on the July 26th, 2013 for the event.
From 5pm to 10pm southbound traffic south of Columbia avenue will be restricted to residents only on;

Stevens Street
Habgood Street
Keil Street
Kent Street
Parker Street
Lee Street


From 745pm to 10pm there will be no access to Marine Drive from Stayte Rd or Maple Street. All traffic will be redirected using Columbia Ave.

There is limited pay parking available behind the WAG located in the 15700 block of Marine Dr. Wherever possible, visitors for this event are asked to utilise public transit or the courtesy shuttle which will run from the Centennial Arena starting at 5pm.

 

 

July 15, 2013

A Life Not Wasted

South Surrey resident JIM WIDDIFIELD will never forget the night his son CRAIG was shot and killed outside of a fitness centre in a local mall within a few miles of his home. WIDDIFIELD revisits that painful period of his life and talks personally how he was motivated to not simply sit back and become a victim.

Jim Widdifield (son Craig pictured)


How did you hear the news about the death of your son Craig in what police are calling a targeted shooting outside of the Steve Nash Fitness Centre.

Nadia and I were sitting at home when my daughter-in-law's sisters came to the door saying they were there to meet her. We knew there was something wrong, but they wouldn't say anything. We at first thought it might have been about our grandson as he had been experiencing some convulsions from a high fever. When we asked if this was what it was about , they said no and that was when we asked if it had something to do about Craig. They were just at the point of telling us when Teresa arrived with a constable ( who she told to stay in his car as she wanted to be the one to inform us) . She had been to the site of the shooting and she just broke down weeping as she let us know it was Craig and that he was dead. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. A parent's worst nightmare.

 

You must have found yourself on an emotional roller coaster. Do you recall what the overpowering emotion was? Holding your family together? Were you asking yourself how and why did this happen to us?

There was never any feeling of revenge within me, only complete sadness and a desire to comfort both my wife and my daughter-in-law and my grandson. It just felt like someone had reached into my body and torn everything out. I couldn't understand how someone could do this to a person who was so well loved by everyone.

Jim Widdifield (second from right)

For a number of years you have performed locally with a "weekend warrior" pick up band called the Compound Blues Band. How long has the band been together and how and why was it formed?

I have been with the Compound Blues Band for about 11 or 12 years. The group really started when Paul Sorbara (who was a drummer back in the 60s and 70s with RCA recording artists "Fat Chance" and a personal friend of Ronnie Hawkins) and Ken Pilson (our original bass player) were golfing at Morgan Creek, where we are all members, and decided they should get together to jam a bit. That was when they asked me if I would like to come out with my keyboards and join them. Over a period of time we added Kevin Starr , who had toured extensively with Fandango and Good Cowboys Gone Bad and had even played with Stevie Ray Vaughn. he ended up getting Dennis Matechuk, who had been their lead singer, to come out as well. Later we added Allan Gold on rhythm and lead guitar and blues harp. Morgan Creek is often referred to by its residents as "The Compound" and hence the name.

You recently called on a group of friends to join you in a recording project that came about as a by-product of the loss of your son. How soon after the tragedy of Craig's death did you become inspired to write the song "Gone Gone Gone ?"

Barry Powel & Calla Krause

The day after Craig was taken from us, I was sitting upstairs in our house when I all of a sudden got this desire to express my feelings in music. I proceeded down to the basement, sat down at the piano and in about 10 minutes wrote the song complete with lyrics. I had never experienced anything like this before. Everything just flowed out of me. I almost played through the whole song the first time, although it was very difficult for me to sing the lyrics as I kept breaking down. The reason this was so extraordinary was that, even though I have composed music before, I have always had a very hard time with lyrics, and nothing has ever flowed out of me like this. I know for sure that it was my son helping me create this and for a specific reason. I thing the lyrics speak for themselves. I wanted firstly for the song to be sang at my son's Celebration of Life. I contacted a friend of mine, Barry Powel,who is an exceptional keyboard player and asked if he would play the song as I felt there would be no way I could get through it at the ceremony. He said that he would be more than honored . We then contacted my wife's good friend Calla Krause who had toured with Les Miserable, and is an amazing vocalist, and asked if she would do the vocals. She accepted and we were so grateful as she knew Craig and had seen him grow up. After the ceremony I decided I would like to record the song in two versions. The original which was quite hymnal with Barry, Calla and Stephanie Sung on violin and also a more contemporary version. I contacted Don Jones who is a great guitarist and a good friend and he lined up Chris Gilburg to sing vocals, Ray Ayotte to play drums and Rob, his bass player from his group Indigo to play bass. These guys are the greatest. they took a lot of time out from their busy schedules to come out for nothing to do some good and to honor my son. I can never thank them enough. I then contacted Kelly Breaks at Blue Frog Studios and he has bent over backwards to help us out along with his great sound engineer Pat Glover The whole experience has been very humbling for me and something I will never forget.

As much as the song originally must have felt like a personal cleansing of your soul, was there a point that you decided the song could become an inspiration for other families that might be caught up in the vicious and deadly cycle Chris found himself involved in?

The whole reason for recording the song was twofold. Firstly, there is a very strong message in the song about ending the circle of violence that is permeating our society, the message that came directly from my son. The second reason is that my son and a number of his friends had been talking about getting involved with a charity that supports children in third world countries so I wanted every penny that the song would generate to go to a charity that would do just that.

You have negotiated for the release of the song with the monies raised being dedicated to a well known charity.  What is the charity and why did you choose this particular charity.

I researched a lot of charities and final contacted " Save The Children" in Toronto. The reason I went to this charity is that they concentrate on feeding and educating children in third world countries and 89% of all monies coming into them goes directly to the cause with only 11% being used for fundraising and administration. I believe that Craig would have wanted to be represented by such a charity.

(Click here for details)

 

Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the "signs" you believe Craig has sent back to you from the other side in addition to the inspiration for "Gone Gone Gone?"

As we have discussed, since Craig's passing, we have had a number of signs that give us the comfort that he has gone to a better place. Firstly on the Sunday following his death, I felt that I had to get out of the house so I would not dwell on what had happened, so I went out golfing with a group of friends at the course. We were walking up the ninth fairway when I noticed a plane that had come out of YVR with a very distinct vapor trail. it was wide and very defined and the plane flew in a large arc and then all of a sudden the trail just ended. I made mention of this to the fellows I was playing with and they all said they had never seen anything like it. When we got back into the clubhouse, other people that were playing that day also commented on it. it wasn't til later that night, at home when Teresa, my daughter in law said "Did you see the big C in the sky today... It was Craig telling us he is ok and in a better place." It was then I realized that was exactly what I had seen.
The second incident happened at the Celebration Of Life , when Barry Powel, the keyboard player, went out for a breath of fresh air before he performed and an eagle dove down at him, cawed and the flew straight up where 7 or 8 other eagles were circling over the funeral home and went right up through the centre of them The eagle has always been a symbol of the spirit.
The third and eeriest sign cams a few days after that. I had just come out of the shower and was in the bedroom, when my wife called both myself and Teresa into the bathroom. There on my wife's mirror was a large C. At first I thought it was the steam from the shower but then we realized it wasn't. Just another example of Craig telling us not to worry that he is at peace and ok.

Now that the song has been finished and set for release are you sure you are prepared to constantly relive the agony of the tragedy of losing Chris over and over?

The pain of losing our only child will never go away. However if the song can help just one family or one person so they don't have to experience what we are going through it will be worth it, and if I see good being done with the song, I am willing to relive the agony of what has happened.

 

In closing as trite and cliche as it may seem at face value, if you could send one message to young people that are caught up in the lifestyle your son chose, what would you say?

My message to young people who are tempted to get into the lifestyle my son got involved with is that all the material things that lure you into that lifestyle are meaningless. The only thing that is important in life is family, friends and relationships. When you lose someone that you care for deeply all those other things are hollow and with no value. Unfortunately our whole society has grown to a point where materialistic things have become more important than the value of our soul. Look inward and realize what is most important in your life and above all, treat those around you like you would like to be treated.

And given the same opportunity but to any parents that believe their child is involved in a dangerous lifestyle. What would you say to them?

It is hard for me to give advice to parents of other children but if I could say anything is that there is no "manual" for raising a child. With most of us it is trial and error. We always try and make our children's life easier, just as our parents tried to make our lives easier. We have to be very careful not to kill them with kindness. Make sure that you don't just give them everything they want, make them work for what they get so they appreciate the value of things. The lure of material things is great but when you get them, they don't really make you happy. The only thing that truly makes you happy is the relationships you have with people. If you really think that your child may involved in an inappropriate lifestyle, sit with them and talk with them, but don't be judgemental, just try and get through to them the idea that I have mentioned above and above all show them all the love you can and hold them tight. Life is a fleeting thing.

D.Chesney/Publisher

 

 

June 03, 2013

Barion Blanco Redux

 

White Rock's VICTORIA CLEMENTS earlier this year travelled with a local White Rock group to the Domincan Republic. Their destination was a slum and in particular Barrio Blanco. Upon her return to White Rock Victoria sat down with us and releated her trip to the Caribbean and how it has inspired her to make a difference.

This Saturday evening VICTORIA with the aid of a new found group of local divas, is hosting a wonderful evening of Caribbean fun. The proceeds will be sent directly back to Barrio Blanco in aid of the work they do for the locals.

In addition to a wonderful Creole dinner, VICTORIA has arranged for a special performance by KAYE KERLANDE'S Afro/Creole Dance Troupe.

 

Recent aerial photo of Barrio Blanco

Here is the latest letter received from Ron Zauner the keeper of the flame at Barrio Blanco.

Dear Donors,

At times people have casually referred to what we are doing as "Ron's Project in Barrio Blanco".

I don't think of it like that. This isn't "my" project. It might have started as that 2 1/2 years ago, but from the formation of Providing Opportunity 2 years ago, and accepting the first donation...it was no longer only "my" project.

This is Our project. Together. You, barrio residents, and me. We're partners. Not one of us could accomplish this alone. We've joined together to do something special, and unusual.

I need help from my partners at a critical time that will make this a full success. And fast. In the future, when we remember our Barrio Blanco project, we'll want to remember it as a complete success; rather than an "almost made it". All of us feel that way, I'm sure.

To complete the project we need a total of $15,000 . The total Project 2 is a bit over $150,000.

There have been no mishaps, nor material prices going up dramatically. Nothing like that. And we're going to complete our work very close to our ambitious schedule...by June 30 rather than June 15th.

Without going into much detail now, the biggest culprits are more cement used for stucco, more rebar for roofs, more caliche fill needed, common space costs (mini-park and walkways), and food for workers' families while building. Stucco is a particular bugger to estimate. Some masons will apply 1/4 inch thick...others, 1 inch thick. And even this depends on the unevenness of how the blocks were laid. There are other smaller costs, but these are the biggest.

No money has been wasted. No grand errors made (except my not anticipating some common space costs).

When raising money for the homes we're building, it was impossible to know ahead of time a few of the items because we couldn't know how the houses would be laid out. Much had to be done by estimating, and I used Project 1 costs for estimates. In Project 1, we developed no common spaces and had only 1 concrete ceiling. In Project 2 we have 7 such ceilings and below each of our homes and under all walkways and mini-park is 3 feet of caliche fill. For anyone who'd like more detail, ask...I'm forthcoming.

I successfully negotiate all prices, and apply myself fully to spending our money frugally. I respect that you've worked for this money, and have trusted me.

Yet, like with my lifelong partner Margo, I must tell her truthfully where we are, and what I know. We're a team, and share the benefits and burdens.

Gene saw me with a long face a few weeks ago and asked "What's up Ron?" I told him I was getting nervous about money because there were some things beyond my control and I hadn't built in any "fluff" money. Gene said to me that I needn't carry this burden alone. He said I should talk with all of us who are donors-partners. That we each and all have a stake in our success, and that you would understand and help.

Still, I feel responsible because I know it was me who asked each of you personally to help these folks.

Inside Barrio Blanco we're all putting it all out. Recently, working a full seven days each week has become the norm. With sweat pouring, when you ask each of the new homeowners what they think about how their home is progressing...their eyes glaze over and a huge smile takes over their faces as they each imagine their new home completed.

So now's the moment. I need your help. I'm all in for my part, and if I could complete this without asking you, I'd do what I needed to quietly, and happily. But I just don't have it without you, my partners. With your help we'll finish these homes during this month of June and our families will move in to their new homes and lives.

Will you?

Thank you compatriots,

Ron

 

Here is VICTORIA CLEMENTS with her inspiring story of her journey to the Domincan Republic and Barrio Blanco

DIVAS / Victoria Clements (blue dress back row)

 

My experience of "The Diva" house in Barrio Blanco

I must admit I have been back almost 6 weeks now and my heart and mind are still in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. I can't shake the feeling that there is still so much more to be done, so much more I can pass on in entrepreneurial skills to the people that they can learn for self-sufficiency, and my heart can't shake the feeling of missing my new Barrio Blanco family and sharing in the wonderful adventure they are now experiencing.

I must digress. One of the Divas, Jen, had come back last year from Cabarete from her biannual trip, excited to tell us of a charity she had come across and how excited she was about getting herself ready as fast as she possibly could to return and do more good work. She went on about the organizer and creator of the vision of assisting in the revitalization and rebuilding of the Barrio (word for slum), whose name is Ron Zauner and what an extraordinary man this guy was, working literally from the sheer passion of helping people.

Diva Jen

El Tigre was taken by this news and shortly thereafter met Jen in Cabarete to assist in doing what he could on a voluntary basis to build new homes in this area. (His story featured below here in the White Rock Sun)

When "El Tigre" returned last year from his experience in the Barrio I could tell something significant had happened. He seemed different. There was a sense of pride and acceptance of his own unique character (which can be quite wacky at times) and accomplishment. When El Tigre came home, all the Divas were given a piece of a truss that was part of our Barrio Blanco's family's home, a truss that El Tigre himself had helped build and raise and make part of the roof structure of the "Diva" House. A house dedicated to the strength and courage of us, for which WE as a group have been affectionately given the names "Divas " by El Tigre and a continued strength and courage to the family in their new home environment.

As each of us were given our chosen pieces of truss it was asked if each of us would be interested in travelling at a time when the entire "Diva" group could go together and meet the family personally and see for ourselves how their lives had changed by having a dry floor, a roof over their heads, and indoor plumbing.

I of course was ecstatic, as since a child I had always held a vision in my minds eye of helping little black children in school in some way by teaching and making them laugh. I thought it would be Kenya or Uganda in Africa and maybe at some point it still will be, but I relished the opportunity to align with my long time dreams and started to do some research. It would be a feat and a half to get all the girls there juggling all our family and work schedules. As it was I found the temperature coolest to visit in Jan and Feb, and it just so happened that's when all 6 of us could manage to go!

Ron Zauner

About 3 weeks before we left I took it upon myself to start an online conversation with Ron asking if the Divas were to bring some articles along, what would be best to bring. I said please ask for the moon and we can always pair back from there. They required medical supplies for the small medical clinic that has been established within the one room schoolhouse. They needed Spanish teaching books and school supplies for their new classes. Jen brought all sorts of toothpaste and toothbrushes donated by a dentist she had contacted. We brought fabric so they could make curtains, tablecloths, bed linens, makeup, toiletries, shampoo and a blow dryer. Kara managed to get a computer donated! That was a big deal and we would find out the reason why after our arrival. Of course there were kids clothing and all sorts of shoes, bags and woman's clothing we collected as well and we ended up with 4 huge suitcases full which our airline was nice enough to not charge us for as they knew the contents were for charity.

Ron Zauner / pictured outside of school house-medical centre

I can't remember the last time I was so excited to go on a trip. I knew it wasn't the fact that we were going to the Dominican Republic which I heard was a lovely tropical tourist destination, but because we were on a mission to make a difference in people's lives, to see the difference El Tigre and Jen had begun with Ron already.

Only a few of the Divas could go first and the last 2 arrived a week after we were there. Out of politeness to the other girls it was agreed we would wait to meet our sponsored family when all Divas were present. I am telling you that was the longest week of my life. Yes it was nice to be in the tropics, yes our villa was magnificent, but I couldn't help but feel I could be doing so much more if I met the family sooner. However it was what we agreed to so we all enjoyed the sun and beautiful weather and beaches of Cabaret until our remaining two Diva's arrived.

The girls arrived late in the afternoon after an exhausting flight so we agreed it would be the next morning to go see the family. Ron had said our family was so excited to meet us they were just dying with anticipation. They still could not believe that a group of people on the other side of the planet that didn't know cared enough about them to put a roof over their heads and make a better life for them. They were SOOOOO grateful.

Much excitement was had the morning we were heading out. The sun was blazing and it was a gorgeous day in Cabarete. We called our trusted personal cabbie Daniel and loaded up the bags in our van. Off we went to the outskirts of the town until we saw a long narrow walled mud path on the side of the road that looked like it lead to houses and a wire fence at the end.

Ron Zauner met us there and proclaimed, "This is it! Barrio Blanco. The family is awaiting you at the end of the corridor." We unpacked the laden suitcases and started down the walled path. At the end we could see people gathering and starring and then like a bolt of lightning Amparo ran out with a sign welcoming the Diva's to the Barrio and crying and laughing and hugging us so hard with a greeting like we had been friends for years. It was AMAZING! It was everything I thought the initial greeting would be and more and I swear my heart swelled to twice its size like the grinch that stole Christmas. I was smiling from ear to ear and so was everyone else.

It was obvious we were in a very poor part of town. The immediate area was one shanty home after another (and by shanty I mean corrugated cardboard, pieces of spare lumber, plastic rubber made container lids, old license plates, whatever you could piece together to sort of make walls and a roof out of, this is the majority of homes in Barrio Blanco) spotted by the new houses that Ron had managed to find sponsors to finance to build in Phase 1 of the project he had launched. We got strange looks from some of the people that had gathered but I think they knew what we were there for and so followed as a group behind us as we all followed Ron and Amparo and the family back to the "DIVA" house.

On our way we passed a beautiful 2 story house that had been built earlier called Casa Donna. Obviously quite a bit of artistry and planning had gone into this home and apparently it was designed in the end for 2 families. It was really quite a nice home something to be proud of.

We met all the members of the family, Regina the grandma who is the matriarch of the Barrio, Amparo her daughter, Alfi Amparo's husband, Cari Ann her little baby, Karoly her older daughter and Kris Angel her little son. The Diva house was as big as a two car garage and had a dining/living room/kitchen combo on one side of the house and on the other had been designed 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in between them both. Karoly had needed a roof over her head too so they had divided the house in such a way that her 6 x 8 ft. bedroom had its own separate entrance. All in all we thought for the size of it the layout was great and they had the place clean, organized and spotless for our arrival. They were so excited.

All the neighborhood kids had gathered around the house as well. It was crowded as we all loaded into the small house with the family, the six Diva's plus El Tigre and the 4 huge suitcases. None the less we all crowded in the dining room/living room area on the plastic lawn chairs that is their furniture and started to try and have a conversation when most of us knew little to no Spanish. However it is amazing how much can be said with charades and body language. The walls had been painted a bright green and bright pink and the floors had been painted blue in such a way it looked like waves were coming in along the seashore. Apparently one of the workers that Ron works with has found a specialty in painting the new houses floors. Very nice.

We started unpacking and the smiles and tears started flowing. It was overwhelming for them, like 10 Christmases in a row we had brought so much of what they requested, they hadn't expected so much. Just to have come there all that way to meet them was unbelievable, now so much generosity, it was hard for them to take it all in. The fact that we had managed to bring a computer was a big accomplishment as it is Amparos plan to run a restaurant ut of her home in the Barrio as she is known for her cooking and can turn this into a business for her family plus help with feeding the men that are working on building the new homes for more families.

Outside a crowd of 20 kids or so had gathered and they were chanting, candy! El Tigre had bought us candy diamond rings as he does as a joke for the Divas as it looks like he gives us 40 carat diamond rings. So we gave our candy rings to all the little girls that were there that day. More family of Amparo's and Regina started arriving and more introductions to everyone.

Now the place was packed and it was a hot day. Ron really wanted to give us the tour of the Barrio and tell us the story of how it all started and what had been accomplished in the short time he had been there and what still NEEDED to be accomplished and plans for building until late June of this year when he planned to have at least 13 more homes completed and return to his wife and children for a much deserved and needed rest.

If you have ever doubted what one person can bring to this planet you will never doubt again what a difference one person can make when you see what this wonderful man Ron Zauner has accomplished in such a short period of time. Mind blowing to say the least.

We wrapped things up with huge hugs and pictures and Ron then escorted us outside to give us the tour. Unfortunately at this time I had used so much of my iphone camera space that I ran out of a chance to take more pictures as he showed us around. So you can see there are only a couple posted here with this story. At a later date I will include the video footage I shot with Ron explaining things. He goes into great detail and it's really interesting. Each house and each family have their singular stories. Each could be a chapter of a book.

One of the stories that Amparo told Ron was that once her house was made and the rains came it was the first time her feet had been dry in her life during the rainy season. She went to her kitchen and her feet were dry, she went to her bathroom and her feet were dry, she went on her porch where she could watch and see the rain and her feet were dry. It was the first time in her life that she had experienced dry feet in her home during the rainy season and she is 38 years old.

As we wandered following Ron as he gave his tour, chickens ran past our feet, naked children stumbled and walked through garbage and bits of broken glass, mirror, razors, and sad skinny dogs skulked away from our path. It was hard to watch but apparently normal for them in this neighborhood. El Tigre kept making comments at how much cleaner the place was and how much garbage had been picked up comparatively than when he had been helping build in the previous year. WOW! I thought, this is LESS garbage? OK, obviously we have to start some sort of compost system and recycle garbage program here than in the not too distant future I thought to myself. Something with hand painted containers by the local artists would be nice and hire one or two of the men in the village to pick up the trash and service the containers.

Much information was given by Ron on the project and future plans and visions. We all decided it was too hot to continue and we needed to rest and get into some shade so we all headed back to our families house to say good bye for the day.

We returned several times over the rest of our trip, attended a food raiser at one of the sponsoring beach restaurants to raise food for the kids to have one good meal at the beginning of the day and get rice and beans to provide to the volunteer workers that help with the building of the homes. We even took Karoly out dancing one night and she took us to a local Dominican club and we cha-cha'd the night away. Much laughter and fun was had on that night.

On the night before we left we tried to have a nice night with Ron at a nice beach restaurant to say thank you for all his hard work but he was unable to join us as he was held up late still finalizing a deal on some property papers for one of the Barrio residents. Seems there was trouble with deciding who owned the property and more calculations and paperwork would need to be done before things could be squared away and building could resume the next day. All in a days work Ron told us later happily, it's all in a 16 hr. a days work but it's worth it, to see the smiles on these people faces when you hand them the keys to their new homes, yes, it's definitely ALL worth it.

Diva Raynah and I managed to wrangle Ron into a quick half hr. lunch on the beach the afternoon we said goodbye to the family and told him we wanted to continue to help in any way we could. He said the best thing would be to raise 8-10 thousand dollars if we could as they started to build phase two of the project for the larger families of seven or more people.

Diva House

We are dedicated to making this happen and I am putting it out there to the universe that we will have a successful fund raiser here in White Rock or South Surrey before May's end and make this happen so Ron has his financing he needs for one more house from the Diva's/ White Rock South Surrey Community before June. If we can raise even more money through an auction then even better as we can get more medical supplies to the medical centre and more school supplies to the kids.

My vision would be holding the fund raiser at Star of the Sea if possible with the fantastic Canadian band Trooper featured. They were the first band that came to my mind in a vision when I thought of the idea of an event, as I had been at their concert a few years ago and had always been a big fan and still love them. For some reason in my gut, as I don't even know these guys personally, but I think there would be a connection there for them with the Barrio that would make sense. Something about a gift from great Canadians. This may seem woo woo to some people but forgive me, after you have seen the miracles Ron Zauner has pulled off with just his passion as fuel, you understand you can do anything if you envision it.

If any of you are interested in Ron's project, 100% of the money goes into building supplies and all aspects of making things happen in Blanco Barrio. Since we left Feb. 6th they have poured the foundations, bent the rebar and stacked the 5 cinder block high bases on 7 more homes! Amazing work, all with the men in the Barrio Ron has trained. He is all about providing opportunity which he ended up calling his not for profit. He wants the people to empower themselves and make themselves self-sufficient. That's why I have such a desire to go back and inspire them with direction to use their passions and create them into micro businesses to support themselves in their own community. These opportunities they are very excited about and if the Divas can help in anyway, we will.

If you feel you would like to talk to me personally about the Barrio or help in anyway with our fund raiser please email Victoria at poshintertain@gmail.com

To learn more of Barrio Blanco visit Ron's site (click here)

You can contact Ron Zauner via email - providingopportunity@gmail.com

PS - Tell him the White Rock Divas sent you. J

Vicrtoria Clements

 

 

May 24, 2013

White Rock Gets Sister City

La Conner , Washington mayor RAMON HAYES

 

Last month Mayor RAMON HAYES of La Conner WA invited White Rock mayor WAYNE BALDWIN and a contingent of councillors to visit his beautiful city in Washington state. HAYES was looking to discuss the possibility and advantages to both cities by becoming "sister cities."

Monday evening White Rock council will make a proclamation to formally accept the invitation. In an exclusive interview Mayor HAYES talks proudly about his wonderful city, which he wants us and the world to know is known for more than just an annual tulip festival.

Mr. HAYES how long have you been the mayor of La Conner?

Five years

Have you lived in La Conner long?

23 years

What was the motivating factor for you to seek public office in La Conner?

Public service has always been important to my wife and me. For years, Heidi and I travelled the world bringing aid to communities.

How would you describe La Conner?

A picturesque, ideally situated, quaint and quirky community with an eclectic group of residents who all seem to have strong opinions. I’ve always said that if you have 10 La Connerites in a room you’ll have 11 opinions. La Connerites are good natured people who, for the most part, take care of each other.

Visitors to La Conner immediately notice the gingerbread style of restoration of the businesses and homes in the city. Was there a concerted effort to create a theme in the design and refurbishing of the buildings in La Conner.

As the oldest formal municipality in Skagit County, La Conner is part of a national historic district. Therefore, codes within that district are quite clear on maintaining the flavor of the town.

 

Do you find yourself in the same position as White Rock in that the main driving source of the economy in La Conner is tourism?

Yes. However, we always look for opportunities for diversification. This, of course, is a challenge because of our size. Much of our industry is marine related.

 

In addition to your Annual Tulip Festival, please tell me about other festival/tourism events you have created.

We have quite a few. A comprehensive list is posted on our chamber’s website at: www.laconnerchamber.com

 

In speaking with White Rock Councillor Larry Robinson following their recent trip to La Conner, one thing he came away with that really impressed him was your way of placing and promoting public art. Could you please tell us a bit about this initiative?

La Conner was the birthplace of the Northwest School of Art here in the United States. Famous artists such as Guy Anderson and Morris Graves, among others, began this legacy beginning in the 1920’s and 30’s. Art is in our blood and the town, as well as many of our galleries are committed to the arts. Our town sponsored art walk features pieces from our own collection as well as visiting artists. Pieces are chosen through a selection process and shown for typically one year, after which we select new pieces to be featured. 

 

How important is the marina to your economy?

The marina is vital. We rely heavily on visitors who come to us by boat. The Port of Skagit County, which operates the marina, is dedicated to economic development. As such, they are in a unique position to promote industry as well as tourism.

 

La Conner has become known as an Arts Community. A similar initiative is now being discussed in White Rock. How does La Conner foster and promote its Arts Community?

Definitely through our town sponsored art exhibits and through a local monthly art walk promoted by participating galleries.

 

How do you effectively communicate with the business community and the residents of La Conner?

We always look for wins for our residents and business community. One example is our waterfront boardwalk initiative of which we have began construction. Visitors will benefit by having access to our businesses from the water side; locals will benefit by having waterfront property which they can access. Through the economic challenges we have faced, we have learned that we need each other to be successful.

 

You recently hosted a luncheon with White Rock Mayor and Councillors Fathers, Meyers, Campbell and Robinson. What motivated you to reach out to the council of White Rock?

Why shouldn’t one of the premier locations in B.C. be promoted in La Conner? It is absolutely a win to have co-advertising opportunities for both of us. This relationship could broaden out to much more than tourism. I recently heard that, as a result of financial issues here in the United States, some of our elected officials proposed charging Canadians to cross the border. This has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I have heard in quite some time. As partners, if this proposal starts to gain any sort of momentum, White Rock, as well as La Conner, and others, could jointly resist this notion formally.  

 

La Conner has developed sister city designations with cities in Ireland, Nicaragua and Russia. What do you see the advantage is of aligning yourself and designating cities as sister cities?

Although I see value with all of our sister cities, I really feel there is greater value with creating relationships with communities that are close to us. We are not constrained by distance and can actively seek ways in which we can assist one another.

 

La Conner has a very small population (roughly 1,000) yet you seem to have developed a reputation as a beautiful city to visit in the Pacific Northwest. How have you created and promoted this image of your city?

Our chamber does a good job of keeping La Conner in the hearts and minds of folks throughout the Northwest. However, I do have to admit that it is not easy and requires constant attention. With that said, it has always been necessary to find new ways of re-inventing ourselves while keeping to the traditions that uphold our heritage.

 

How do you promote La Conner

We work on a county wide tourism bureau, but other than that we rely heavily on our chamber of commerce.

 

How have you captured the imagination of the retail community to work together for a common goal?

This is not easy and we have much room for improvement. One thing that the businesses are committed to is providing a unique experience in each retail location. You will not find a lot of overlap in product offerings from store to store. I have always said… When you are looking for something you just can’t find anywhere else… come to La Conner.

Thank You Ramon and now that you are family we will be seeing you more often.

 

 

May 16, 2013

We recently had the opportunity to meet Lisa Xie a young lady who makes her home on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. Lisa would like us to get to know each other a bit better. Let us first learn a little bit about you Lisa. How long have you lived on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. Do you live in Surrey or White Rock? What school do you attend. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I moved to South Surrey in grade 7, I've lived her for 4 years now, and this place is by far the place which I've lived the longest because I was moving constantly when I was young. I'm currently attending Semiahmoo Secondary school. In my spare time I love to volunteer my time to the community, this includes meeting new people, sharing ideas, planning events to really make the community a better place. I also love sports! I love badminton, swim, run, bike. Art is also another favorite pass time of mine. In general I am very open with new things, ideas. This is also why myself and WRASA are initiating the Say Hi White Rock campaign!

Lisa you are spearheading a "get to know your neighbours" campaign coming up at the end of the month. Tell us about the one day event on the 25th of May.

The campaign is called "Say Hi White Rock", it is initiated by White Rock and Surrey Kids Help Phone Student Ambassador (WRASA), and we are working with White Rock city council and mayor for this event.

WRASA AMBASSADORS


On the campaign day, the WRASA ambassadors along with some city council will be around the White Rock Pier from 11am-4pm. We will be going along the Ocean Promenade, handing out name tags, taking pictures and really just have a blast!

Do you have any help with organizing this wonderful Say Hi day in White Rock?

We were very fortunate to have valuable tips and some help from Shelly, the initiator of Say Hi Vancouver! I first found her through facebook and contacted her through the Say Hi Vancouver page. Although WRASA had previous experience organizing events such as our past city wide talent show event, Shelly gave us tips on how her campaign was run successfully as well as pass on the words to the supporters of her Say Hi Vancouver campaign.

What do you hope to see happen after the event?

The event is only an one day campaign, but I believe smiling and saying HI is contagious, because saying hi isn't as hard as some people think. White Rock and Surrey are some of the fastest growing cities in BC! We are really hoping to maintain the close community bond while our city develops larger. We wish people, especially young people will unplug themselves and be open to conversations! It's free sunshine, free smile, free friends. What else can get better than that!



Given your age a lot of your generation is communicating via texting and cel phone conversations. Do you think your generation in particular is becoming more and more disconnected?


One can argue that the younger generation is becoming more disconnected due to all the new technologies, but the new technology can really connect us all. Soon, people will realize that a lot of information and opportunities are out there for them to discover if they step out of their bubble. I think it's really about learning to find a compromise between things and make it best out of it.

How do you personally overcome this disconnect?


I, like many teenagers, tend to stay on facebook, tumblr, twitter, email, etc. On one hand I think it's a way that draws everyone closer, but it is the same easiness causing us to close ourselves from the outside world and that's probably we don't go outside as often now! I often push myself to go outside, to meet new people and volunteer. I am surprised every time I come back from a social event, because I so much better after meeting new people. It is very hard to step out of my bubbles at times, by once I do, I feel so confident, so good and so happy!

A book by Robert Putnam said that joining and participating in one group cuts in half your odds of dying next year. I think there is a reason why we are social animals, and that's why it is crucially important to be socially involved!

Thank you Lisa. If you would like to keep up to date on the fun leading up to May 25 follow the links below.

Twitter:
#SayHiWhiteRock

Facebook page: (or just search Say Hi White Rock)
https://www.facebook.com/events/184526555033697/?directed_target_id=0

 

 

May 10, 2013

Meet Elizabeth PAGTAKHAN our British Columbia Conservative representative for White Rock/South Surrey.

If you would please start at the beginning and expand upon why and when you were drawn to politics?


I love being engaged in politics. It is a way of connecting with people and making a difference as a Canadian
White Rock/South Surrey is now officially listed as the fastest growing area in Canada.

What do you believe are the most paramount matters at hand for the district?


 I believe that the constituents of South Surrey/White Rock are concerned about accountability and transparency of the government.

How their tax dollars are being spent.  This has been the response of most constituents during door knocking.


What in particular appeals the most to you about your political party?


Fiscal responsibility.


In your own words in 5 words or less describe the leader of your party.


Honest, accountable, outspoken, and a “maverick.”


A tough question perhaps, but one that is brought up time and time again by residents of White Rock and South Surrey.  Your thoughts on White Rock rejoining Surrey, which of course it was part of until ceceeding in 1957.  Please identify the pros and the cons of such a move.


The citizens of South Surrey/ White Rock should decide.


On average the best we can normally muster for a Provincial or Federal election is roughly 50% voter turnout, give or take.  Do you support mandatory voting like we see in some other countries.  Please elaborate.


The right to vote is a privilege. Canadians should have the freedom to exercise it.

 

There has been a lot of conversation regarding uncapped coal trains running through South Surrey and White Rock.  What are your views on increased coal shipments through the Peninsula?


Residents of South Surrey/White Rock need to be given all the information regarding the safety and environmental impact on increased coal shipments.


Has there been a Canadian politician that has captured your imagination due to their knowledge of Canada.  Have you been inspired by a predecessor?


W. A. C. Bennett. Inspired with his leadership in modernizing BC and making BC prosperous.


The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic.  Washington State just south of us hopes by the legalization of small quantities they will earn a windfall in taxes and take the distribution out of the hands of criminals  What is your stance on the legalization of marijuana?


This is a federal issue.


What  do you believe will be the #1 issue this election?


Transparency and accountability.


Final question on the personal level.  How long have you lived on The Peninsula?  Do you have a favourite activity you participate in?  Is there a place of solitude you like to visit/walk bicycle on the Peninsula.  Favourite restaurant.  A bit about your family.


I have been doing business here for over 25 years, owned a house since 1997, and moved here in 2010. My husband and I love walking, meeting, and conversing with people at the promenade.

Closing comments.  Your chance for a free for all, what is your message to the voters of the Semiahmoo Peninsula?


I love engaging with people from all walks of life, I am a good listener, and I am well experienced in politics. Most importantly, I am hard working, dedicated, and compassionate.  I would be honoured to represent you to Victoria.

 

 

 

 

May 09, 2013

Meet DON PITCAIRN Green Party Candidate in the upcoming Provincial election. PITCAIRN represents the Green Party

 


If you would please start at the beginning and expand upon why and when you were drawn to politics?

I've always been interested in politics from a young age and the decisions made by those in power that have profound impacts on our lives. My mother has headed several property owners associations, worked on federal election campaigns for the Conservative party and has repeatedly been asked to run for municipal council over the years. Knowing recently retired Conservative Senator Gerry St. Germain and his wife Marg for over 20 years and having former BC Green Party Chair Murray Weisenberger as a friend also helped to raise my level of political awareness to the level of running for office along with becoming the Green's Transportation Critic.


White Rock/South Surrey is now officially listed as the fastest growing area in Canada. What do you believe are the most paramount matters at hand for the district?

U.S. coal train traffic across the beaches of White Rock and Crescent beach along with the proposed coal terminal at the Surrey Fraser Docks is certainly up there on the environmental and transportation list along with the nagging return of commercial jet overflights above the Semi-Pen compliments of Nav Canada. The provincial government needs to increase funding to help expand our schools here, especially EMS, Semi and Elgin, if Surrey does not slow development, something Mayor Watts and Surrey First is unlikely to do. With our aging population, health care, home care and hospice care will need to be properly funded, along with ensuring that the Peace Arch Hospital can handle the increasing population that is being planned for the region. More mass transit in the way of B-line buses connecting Surrey's far-flung city centres plus light rail connecting the Skytrain out to communities in the Fraser Valley are also needed. We have to ensure that the qualities that make White Rock and South Surrey so attractive remain in the face of growing population and economic uncertainty.


What in particular appeals the most to you about your political party?

The Green Party of BC's 10 core principles resonate with me on a person level and I believe they separate them from the other parties, especially those that have dominated the political landscape here in BC for some time. These are sustainability, social justice, grass-roots democracy, non-violence, community based economy, gender equality, diversity, decentralization, personal and global responsibility and ecological wisdom. Check out the Green Party of BC website (www.greenparty.bc.ca) for more details plus the party's platform on its "The Green Book" to know what we stand for. Recently I met with Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation and former CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op and it was insightful to realize how our similar upbringings and experiences with the natural world have shaped both of our personal and political vision.


In your own words in 5 words or less describe the leader of your party.

Jane Sterk, Green Party of BC - TRUSTWORTHY & INSPIRING!


A tough question perhaps, but one that is brought up time and time again by residents of White Rock and South Surrey. Your thoughts on White Rock rejoining Surrey, which of course it was part of until ceceeding in 1957. Please identify the pros and the cons of such a move.

I believe that in the long term, this is likely unavoidable in order to reduce duplication of services, repair crumbling infrastructure and reduce bloated property tax rates. Considering that Surrey is growing by the equivalent population of White Rock every year, you have to ask yourself why White Rock's independence is so critical? After all, you don't hear anybody in Crescent Beach saying they want to cede from Surrey do you? Look no further than having two RCMP stations and two fire halls, one for Surrey, the other for White Rock, located not even a mile apart for evidence that amalgamation (there's the dreaded A-word) is needed. Even City Hall with Mayor and six Councillors for the Rock with 19,000 people versus Mayor and eight Councillors for Surrey, population 500,000 needs to be considered. Amalgamation worked for Chilliwack and Matsqui-Abbotsford, plus is needed to reduce the 21 cities in the lower mainland that could easily to cut to half of this total. The downside is that you give up local control of the political agenda and development decisions, something that seems to happen with great regularity soon after civic elections in the City By The Sea.


On average the best we can normally muster for a Provincial or Federal election is roughly 50% voter turnout, give or take. Do you support mandatory voting like we see in some other countries. Please elaborate.

Forcing people to vote under threat of punishment is not something I would ever like to see here in BC or Canada. Instead, people need to become involved in the political process and feel that their vote actually matters. As it stands, many people are disillusioned with politicians, looking at them with the same distain as used-car salesmen. Likely this is because they feel that both are just as trustworthy. We need to bring some civility and respect back to the political arena and ensure that politics are used to promote the well-being of the citizens of British Columbia and not just the special interest groups that finance the various political parties here. Not allowing corporate or union donations and capping individual donations to a set amount would be a good start. A friend of mine who does not vote says it makes no difference because whether its NDP or Free Enterprize alternative, you're screwed either way, using BC's rising debt over the past 25 years to make his point. I'm hoping he will bother to cast his ballot this time and am telling him to not waste his vote and "Go Green."


There has been a lot of conversation regarding uncapped coal trains running through South Surrey and White Rock. What are your views on increased coal shipments through the Peninsula?

There is not a single benefit to this community from allowing uncapped U.S. coal trains to travel through our neighbourhoods. Diesel particulate with coal dust is a known carcinogen and does not belong on the beach, promenade, or the homes in White Rock and South Surrey. The elderly, those with asthma and pulmonary problems along with young children will be particularly at risk as coal traffic increases. The vibrations from these trains are damaging the rail bed and affecting people blocks away from the tracks as has been seen shown in a recent UBC study. The slide prone Ocean park bluffs will continue to threaten a train derailment into Boundary Bay, especially during wet winter months when landslides are common. Further away, the proposed Surrey Docks coal terminal will add coal dust to the neighbourhoods there while possibly contaminating the lower Fraser River. When shipped to China, the 8 million tonnes of coal per year will release planet warming CO2 equivalent to the weight of a quarter-million White Rock boulders annually, along with adding to the 50 tonnes of mercury that falls with rain and snow into Canada's far North from Chinese smoke stack emmissions. People in Washington State don't want these trains or ports, why would we tolerate them here? This is White Rock, not Black Rock and folks here need to take a stand against industrializing the waterfront.


Has there been a Canadian politician that has captured your imagination due to their knowledge of Canada. Have you been inspired by a predecessor?

The politicians that capture my attention are not because of their Canadiana knowledge but instead by the way they handle themselves on a personal level and in the political arena. Top of the list is Chuck Cadman (Reform, Canadian Alliance) whose Son Jesse was murdered in Surrey back in 1992. If you have not read, "Like A Rock - The Chuck Cadman Story", written by Surrey Now reporter Tom Zytaruk, you are missing out on an inspiring tale of a man and his family pushed into politics by a personal tragedy, made even greater by the loss of Chuck to cancer in 2005. Chuck Strahl (Reform, Canadian Alliance, Conservative) from Chilliwack who I have met multiple times and whose political career I followed through my parents close affiliation and newspaper articals is another straight shooter who I've always admired. Now retired Senator Gerry St. Germain (Progressive Conservative, Reform, United Alternative, Conservative) who I've known for over 20 years is my political idol. The man eats, breaths and sleeps politics, while devoting much of his considerable energy to aboriginal issues and it was a thrill to be at the National Aboritional Achievement Awards ceremony several years ago with his family when Gerry received a lifetime achievement award.


The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic. Washington State just south of us hopes by the legalization of small quantities they will earn a windfall in taxes and take the distribution out of the hands of criminals What is your stance on the legalization of marijuana?

The prohibition of marijuana has created a giant underground industry that is controlled largely by organized crime which uses the profits from the sale of BC Bud to finance the purchase of narcotics such as cocaine, crack and meth, leading to drug addiction, mental health problems and a host of social ills. Drug use should be viewed as a health issue, not a criminal one and the production of marijuana that is currently legal for medicinal use should be expanded and its production, distribution and usage controlled. This would result in large-scale tax returns for the BC government while likely reducing recreational demand, especially among our young people. If you want to see a continuation of the gang violence epidemic that has already seen 12 people murdered this year in Surrey (plus three more shot) including a recent targeted day-time assasination at Morgan Crossing, keep pot illegal with its cash profits flowing to organized crime and gangs. If you want to stop the "reefer madness" in BC and legalize cannabis like Washington State and Colorado, vote for the BC Green Party.


What do you believe will be the #1 issue this election?

One word - TRUST! People have to ask themselves if they can trust the Liberals after such scandals as the Harmonized Sales Tax, the sale of BC Rail, the $6 million payoff of Basi/Virk and so on. If you want to read the insightful "100 + Reasons the BC Liberals Must Go", visit 24 Hour writer Laila Yuile's "No Strings Attached" blog at www.lailayuile.com. While Mr. Hogg is well-liked and respected in the riding, can people trust him to represent the constituents here when he sat on the sidelines through much of the past twelve years of Liberal rule? The same goes for Susan Keeping who is a wonderful lady and a great community champion, but can you trust the NDP government to not follow the same destructive road that took BC to a have-not province the last time they were in government? Their leaders should also be considered with the Lib's Christie (the lady with HST in her name) Clark showing a remarkable lack of judgement and flawed character. The NDP's Adrian Dix has not fared well in front of cameras or during scrums and appears uncomfortable with probing media questions. If you want a good reason to not make him Premier of BC, the joke making the rounds is that there are enough "Dix" in Victoria already.


Final question on the personal level. How long have you lived on The Peninsula? Do you have a favourite activity you participate in? Is there a place of solitude you like to visit/walk bicycle on the Peninsula. Favourite restaurant. A bit about your family.

I have lived in the Semi-pen for 10 years, owning three different houses in Crescent Heights in Surrey, fulfilling a childhood wish of living near the beach with fresh air and sunny weather. My favourite activity is gardening which also happens to be my main occupation making for rather high job satisfaction. As far as sports go, I love skiing which gets me up in the mountains of BC and I'm one of BC's top marksmen with the BC Rifle Association. My favourite place in the Semi-Pen is the 6.5 Km. stretch of Crescent Rock beach between White Rock and Crescent Beach, which is the best place to write my weekly "The Naked Truth" column for the White Rock Sun. Favourite restaurant(s): Sushi - Takas, Pizza - Ocean Park Village Pub, Greek - Cosmos, Coffee - tie between Laura's and Holy Smoke, Hidden Gem - Rosie's Country Diner (best burgers and bennies bar none). I'm married to my wonderful and supporting wife Sheryl and have three grown girls who all take turns making me equally proud of them. My wife and I are self-employed running two home-based businesses here in the Semi-Pen; Green Team Gardening for me (see the WR Sun side ad) and Surrey Shirts for her (www.surreyshirts.com).


Closing comments. Your chance for a free for all, what is your message to the voters of the Semiahmoo Peninsula?

There is an old saying, "Governments are like diapers, they should be changed frequently and for the same reason." While I believe that trust will be the main issue in this election, the word on the street that is defining this campaign is, "Change." People here can vote for Mr. Hogg and the Liberals and get the same core group lead by Christie Clark for the next four years in Victoria, likely repeating the same mistakes that have them apparently headed for the opposition benches. They can believe the NDP mantra and make a, "Change for the Better", if this dubious claim can be believed considering their past history with the other Premier Clark (as in Glen), the one that Mr. Dix falsified the now infamous memo for. The only change I've seen lately was the one Adrian Dix made several weeks ago once the writ was dropped when he suddenly flip-flopped on the NDP's opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning that will turn Vancouver into an oil port. The reason for this sudden about-face was the Green's stance against oil pipelines and tanker traffic on the BC coast and the polls showing the NDP were clearly losing support on this issue. If you want a party that sets its platform on policy and not polls, the choice is clear. The Green Party of BC is a common sense alternative with a plan to change the way we do politics in the province. Make your vote count for real change and "GO GREEN", for now and generations to come.

 

Tomorrow met ELIZABETH PAGTAKHAN the Conservative party representativ.

 

 

 

May 07, 2013


Susan Keeping - BC NDP Candidate for Surrey White Rock. Age: 57. Education: Studied at Simon Fraser University - Non-profit Management.

If you would please start at the beginning and expand upon why and when you were drawn to politics?

" I have seen firsthand how government policies and legislation have created financial inequality and the erosion of the middle class. For the past 20 years I have witnessed the careless waste of tax payer dollars. For every dollar cut from services for mental health consumers, single moms and persons with disabilities it has cost us the tax payer 6 dollars more in emergency healthcare, policing and property damage. I want to be part of a positive change in government for the better to create policies and legislation that contribute to a healthy and safe community, a strong economy and protect our environment for future generations"

White Rock/South Surrey is now officially listed as the fastest growing area in Canada. What do you believe are the most paramount matters at hand for the district?

1) We need to help bring people back into the political process and deal with voter apathy from taxpayer funded partisan advertising by passing legislation to ensure all government advertising is reviewed and approved by the Auditor General. The NDP would end corporate and union donations to political parties.

2) Education issues: Overcrowding at Earl Marriot Secondary-this has been an ongoing issue and the flexible schedule has failed to deal with the problem. The NDP will provide students with the classroom support they need by hiring new teachers, education assistants, librarians and counsellors. We will focus capital investments of $18.3 billion over the fiscal plan to spend on schools hospitals, roads, and other infrastructure projects across BC.

3) Health Care: Local residents have talked about Peace Arch Hospital not being able to maintain cleanliness. There has been illness contracted by patients who have been in hospital, lack of nursing staff forcing patients to leave hospital after surgery without the proper home care supports and medical follow up. One young Mom talked about her three year old being in medical distress , she was refused help at emergency and forced to drive 40 minutes to BC Children's' Hospital. Nursing staff have spoken to me about dying on the vine due to poor working conditions and not enough direct service staff. The NDP would expand home support and community care for seniors, people with disabilities and people with chronic complex conditions. Improve service levels in BC's residential care facilities, including improved standards of care, Improve access to multi-disciplinary health clinics and teams.

The Environment: People are very concerned about increasing tanker traffic off of the BC coast, the Coal trains, food security and global warming. The BC NDP will withdraw from the NGP equivalency agreement on environmental assessment with the federal government. We will maintain the moratorium on offshore oil exploration and increased tanker traffic on the North Coast. Renew BC's, Climate Action Plan to meet legislated greenhouse gas emissions, invest a portion of the carbon tax revenue to enhance and expand public transit, Introduce new legislation to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides and to protect endangered species and habitats.

South Surrey Casino issue:-

- The Liberal government has rapidly expanded gambling, including casino developments and online gaming, which has caused concerns in a number of areas.

- Residents near proposed casino developments, such as the proposed Gateway Casino in Surrey, have raised concerns about the potential for increased criminal activity and violence in their neighborhoods, and about a lack of transparency and information surrounding proposals.

- While casinos are a significant source of government revenue, we must protect vulnerable gamblers with addictions and communities from undue intrusions and potential criminal activity.

- There needs to be a thorough and accessible public consultation process for any casino expansion or development where the voices of local residents and businesses can be heard and considered.

- The Liberals have failed to provide stable and adequate funding to charities and community organizations who are supposed to benefit from gambling revenues as part of the government's social contract.

· Expanded gambling in the province carries with it immense responsibility to ensure proper support for problem gamblers and monitoring and response to illegal money laundering activities, but the BC Liberals have underperformed in both areas.

- The separation of the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch from BCLC's gambling promotion activities is necessary to properly support problem gambling, but the Liberals have repeatedly refused to separate these functions.

- The Liberals need to do more to crack down on money laundering at casinos.

What would we do?

- The BC New Democrats are advocating for open and transparent governance, including the separation of gaming policy and gaming enforcement into separate ministries.

- New Democrats would ensure adequate resources are dedicated to gambling addiction prevention, and addiction treatment programs.

- We would restore multi-year funding agreements, and pledge to work with the charitable sector to improve the gaming grant process.

What in particular appeals the most to you about your political party?

All of the above. We need to help bring people back into the political process and deal with voter apathy from taxpayer funded partisan advertising by passing legislation to ensure all government advertising is reviewed and approved by the Auditor General. The NDP would end corporate and union donations to political parties.

In your own words in 5 words or less describe the leader of your party.

Strong, positive leader with a positive message in the face of non-stop personal attacks .

A tough question perhaps, but one that is brought up time and time again by residents of White Rock and South Surrey. Your thoughts on White Rock rejoining Surrey, which of course it was part of until ceceeding in 1957. Please identify the pros and the cons of such a move.

no comment at this time. Although local residents have spoken to me about their concerns we would have to start with a community discussion to determine the mandate of the people who live in White Rock .

On average the best we can normally muster for a Provincial or Federal election is roughly 50% voter turnout, give or take. Do you support mandatory voting like we see in some other countries. Please elaborate.

I believe in a democratic process that includes choice and will do everything in my power to support, educate and encourage people to vote. By engaging voters of all ages to get involved in our political process throughout the entire four year term in office, it is my hope that our riding will have people who will turn out in larger numbers in the future.

There has been a lot of conversation regarding uncapped coal trains running through South Surrey and White Rock. What are your views on increased coal shipments through the Peninsula?

New Democrat leader Adrian Dix tightened his criticisms of several controversial fossil fuel export proposals at a Kitsilano event on May 4, ramping up his opposition to Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion, but also calling for public hearings on a plan for a major coal terminal in Surrey.
Building on his earlier call for a "made-in-B.C." review of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline, Dix continued his criticism of the BC Liberal government over what he called an unclear stance on that and Kinder Morgan's project.
"Clearly, there should be public hearings," Dix told reporters when asked for his stance on the coal expansion. "When people have such strong views, I think it's important that people's voices are heard."

 

Has there been a Canadian politician that has captured your imagination due to their knowledge of Canada. Have you been inspired by a predecessor?

Yes in the last Federal election I had the amazing experience working with Jack Layton and his campaign team. Jack was a great inspiration and I will always remember his inspiring last words to us. Penny Priddy is someone I have worked with and admired for the past 20 years. Both of these people have inspired me to believe that if we all work together we can change the world for the Better. We can change government for the better one practical step at time.

 

The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic. Washington State just south of us hopes by the legalization of small quantities they will earn a windfall in taxes and take the distribution out of the hands of criminals What is your stance on the legalization of marijuana?

The BC NDP platform is on the web and it states this very clearly:

Adrian will support the decriminalization of marijuana and at the same time participate in the Federal discussion on this issue.

What do you believe will be the #1 issue this election?

Sorry I keep repeating this but.......We need to help bring people back into the political process and deal with voter apathy from taxpayer funded partisan advertising by passing legislation to ensure all government advertising is reviewed and approved by the Auditor General. The NDP would end corporate and union donations to political parties.

Final question on the personal level. How long have you lived on The Peninsula? Do you have a favourite activity you participate in? Is there a place of solitude you like to visit/walk bicycle on the Peninsula. Favorite restaurant etc.

I have lived in South Surrey for 18 years and worked in this area for the past 22 years. I have a wonderful blended family with six children(four of them have partners) and an amazing husband Rob who supports me in this effort. I love to walk on White Rock Beach, I enjoy the farmers market, the many parks and the fact that most of my family lives locally.

Closing comments. Your chance for a free for all, what is your message to the voters of the Semiahmoo Peninsula?

Change Government for the Better

Environmental Sustainability

"One practical step at a time"

Vote NDP

Vote for Susan Keeping!

SUSAN KEEPING sits down for a conversation with JOHAN SANDSTROM of White Rock Radio (click here)

 

 

May 06, 2013

The White Rock Sun submitted a set of question of each of the four candidates for White Rock / South Surrey running in the Provincial election. Over the coming days we will introduce you to "our neighbours" GORDON HOGG Liberal / DON PITCAIRN Green Party / SUSAN KEEPING / NDP and ELIZABETH PAGTAKHAN B.C. Conservatives.

 

MLA Liberal GORDON HOGG

If you would please start at the beginning and expand upon why and when you were drawn to politics?

My mother led me to politics. In grade eleven my mother said “I had always hoped I raised you to be the kind of person, who, if you did not like something would not complain about it, but would get involved and try to make a difference.” I have, since then, tried to follow that advice.

White Rock/South Surrey is now officially listed as the fastest growing area in Canada.  What do you believe are the most paramount matters at hand for the district?


The rapid population growth experienced in this area requires us to ensure that our local services and facilities are able to meet the demands created by this growth. These demands are especially felt in the Peace Arch Hospital and at Earl Marriott Secondary School.
In order for these services and facilities to meet these changing demands, we require a more coordinated effort between every level of government and all aspects of our community.
I would continue to follow the same principles that have led to Surrey-White Rock to being one of the first five communities in the province to participate in the GP For Me program, which gives everyone in the community the opportunity to have access to a family doctor. Another program that I am very proud of is the Centre for Active Living, which, together as a community, we have created as a provincial model for healthy living. 
What in particular appeals the most to you about your political party?
It is a large tent that embraces a broad range of ideas and perspectives.
In your own words in 5 words or less describe the leader of your party.
Energetic, enthusiastic, positive and driven.

A tough question perhaps, but one that is brought up time and time again by residents of White Rock and South Surrey.  Your thoughts on White Rock rejoining Surrey, which of course it was part of until ceceeding in 1957.  Please identify the pros and the cons of such a move.


The major benefit of the way it currently is for White Rock is that response time for Fire and Police departments are faster. However, property taxes are more costly in White Rock than in Surrey.

 

On average the best we can normally muster for a Provincial or Federal election is roughly 50% voter turnout, give or take.  Do you support mandatory voting like we see in some other countries.  Please elaborate.


I am against mandatory voting. The drop in voting percentage is consistent with the drop in social engagement (with work place and faith based organizations) in our community. We need instead to look at ways to encourage greater interest and engagement in the community and in politics.
There has been a lot of conversation regarding uncapped coal trains running through South Surrey and White Rock.  What are your views on increased coal shipments through the Peninsula?
While the approvals for these trains using the docks come from the federally-appointed board of Port Metro Vancouver, I do have some concerns which centre around process, health and safety.

  • A lack of consultation with Surrey and White Rock.

  • The negative impact long trains will have on the rail bed and trestles and on public safety.

  • The impact which more and larger trains will have on the slopes which are already subject to sloughing and hence on safety.

  • The impact coal dust may have on the health and wellbeing of residents and the environment.

  • The apparent lack of economic benefit to Canadians.

Has there been a Canadian politician that has captured your imagination due to their knowledge of Canada.  Have you been inspired by a predecessor?


We have many inspiring politicians in Canada. One that stands out to me is Lester B. Pearson. As Prime Minister, he was a champion for peace keeping, a role that won him a Nobel Peace Prize, and is a key piece of the Canadian identity.

 

The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic.  Washington State just south of us hopes by the legalization of small quantities they will earn a windfall in taxes and take the distribution out of the hands of criminals.  What is your stance on the legalization of marijuana?


Decriminalization of marijuana is national jurisdiction and I believe a piecemeal approach would be problematic.
I do, however, believe we should look at how the new rules introduced by the federal government will affect how medical cannabis is produced and distributed and what the role of provincial governments will be in this new environment.

 

What do you believe will be the #1 issue this election?


The number one issue in this provincial election is the question, who is best to manage our economy?
In our community, the two issues that are most relevant to me are education and healthcare. We need to ensure we provide high standards of service that meet the needs of our growing and aging population.

Final question on the personal level.  How long have you lived on The Peninsula?  Do you have a favourite activity you participate in?  Is there a place of solitude you like to visit/walk bicycle on the Peninsula.  Favourite restaurant.  A bit about your family.

 

I have lived in White Rock my entire life.
I enjoy physical activity, especially baseball and basketball, and meeting with the people of our community.
I enjoy the pier, the ocean and our promenade.
There are many excellent choices in our community, but I have a weakness for fish and chips.
My wife LaVerne and I are excited our son is getting married this month. Growing up, Sunday dinner has been a family tradition. I’m proud my family has maintained this tradition and we all still get together with extended family and friends every Sunday.

 

Closing comments.  Your chance for a free for all, what is your message to the voters of the Semiahmoo Peninsula?

For me, Surrey-White Rock is not just a place of being; it is a state of being. It is a connectedness that the residents of this community share, and I am so honored to be a part of this community, helping make it strong and safe, now and into the future.
I have been fortunate to work and volunteer in a community that I have lived in all my life. This is a community of not only family and friends; it’s a community of heart, spirit and caring. I have been a foster parent, little league coach, City Councillor, Mayor and most recently our representative in Victoria.
I would be honored and privileged to continue working with the people of our community as your MLA.

 

 

 

 

March 13

BRANCO BARRIO in the Dominican Republic

The second of a two part story of how two White Rock residents have been involved in an incredible aid project in the Dominican Republic. Friends meet our neighbour, VICTORIA CLEMENTS.

DIVAS / Victoria Clements (blue dress back row)

 

My experience of "The Diva" house in Barrio Blanco

I must admit I have been back almost 6 weeks now and my heart and mind are still in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. I can't shake the feeling that there is still so much more to be done, so much more I can pass on in entrepreneurial skills to the people that they can learn for self-sufficiency, and my heart can't shake the feeling of missing my new Barrio Blanco family and sharing in the wonderful adventure they are now experiencing.

I must digress. One of the Divas, Jen, had come back last year from Cabarete from her biannual trip, excited to tell us of a charity she had come across and how excited she was about getting herself ready as fast as she possibly could to return and do more good work. She went on about the organizer and creator of the vision of assisting in the revitalization and rebuilding of the Barrio (word for slum), whose name is Ron Zauner and what an extraordinary man this guy was, working literally from the sheer passion of helping people.

Diva Jen

El Tigre was taken by this news and shortly thereafter met Jen in Cabarete to assist in doing what he could on a voluntary basis to build new homes in this area. (His story featured below here in the White Rock Sun)

When "El Tigre" returned last year from his experience in the Barrio I could tell something significant had happened. He seemed different. There was a sense of pride and acceptance of his own unique character (which can be quite wacky at times) and accomplishment. When El Tigre came home, all the Divas were given a piece of a truss that was part of our Barrio Blanco's family's home, a truss that El Tigre himself had helped build and raise and make part of the roof structure of the "Diva" House. A house dedicated to the strength and courage of us, for which WE as a group have been affectionately given the names "Divas " by El Tigre and a continued strength and courage to the family in their new home environment.

As each of us were given our chosen pieces of truss it was asked if each of us would be interested in travelling at a time when the entire "Diva" group could go together and meet the family personally and see for ourselves how their lives had changed by having a dry floor, a roof over their heads, and indoor plumbing.

I of course was ecstatic, as since a child I had always held a vision in my minds eye of helping little black children in school in some way by teaching and making them laugh. I thought it would be Kenya or Uganda in Africa and maybe at some point it still will be, but I relished the opportunity to align with my long time dreams and started to do some research. It would be a feat and a half to get all the girls there juggling all our family and work schedules. As it was I found the temperature coolest to visit in Jan and Feb, and it just so happened that's when all 6 of us could manage to go!

Ron Zauner

About 3 weeks before we left I took it upon myself to start an online conversation with Ron asking if the Divas were to bring some articles along, what would be best to bring. I said please ask for the moon and we can always pair back from there. They required medical supplies for the small medical clinic that has been established within the one room schoolhouse. They needed Spanish teaching books and school supplies for their new classes. Jen brought all sorts of toothpaste and toothbrushes donated by a dentist she had contacted. We brought fabric so they could make curtains, tablecloths, bed linens, makeup, toiletries, shampoo and a blow dryer. Kara managed to get a computer donated! That was a big deal and we would find out the reason why after our arrival. Of course there were kids clothing and all sorts of shoes, bags and woman's clothing we collected as well and we ended up with 4 huge suitcases full which our airline was nice enough to not charge us for as they knew the contents were for charity.

Ron Zauner / pictured outside of school house-medical centre

I can't remember the last time I was so excited to go on a trip. I knew it wasn't the fact that we were going to the Dominican Republic which I heard was a lovely tropical tourist destination, but because we were on a mission to make a difference in people's lives, to see the difference El Tigre and Jen had begun with Ron already.

Only a few of the Divas could go first and the last 2 arrived a week after we were there. Out of politeness to the other girls it was agreed we would wait to meet our sponsored family when all Divas were present. I am telling you that was the longest week of my life. Yes it was nice to be in the tropics, yes our villa was magnificent, but I couldn't help but feel I could be doing so much more if I met the family sooner. However it was what we agreed to so we all enjoyed the sun and beautiful weather and beaches of Cabaret until our remaining two Diva's arrived.

The girls arrived late in the afternoon after an exhausting flight so we agreed it would be the next morning to go see the family. Ron had said our family was so excited to meet us they were just dying with anticipation. They still could not believe that a group of people on the other side of the planet that didn't know cared enough about them to put a roof over their heads and make a better life for them. They were SOOOOO grateful.

Much excitement was had the morning we were heading out. The sun was blazing and it was a gorgeous day in Cabarete. We called our trusted personal cabbie Daniel and loaded up the bags in our van. Off we went to the outskirts of the town until we saw a long narrow walled mud path on the side of the road that looked like it lead to houses and a wire fence at the end.

Ron Zauner met us there and proclaimed, "This is it! Barrio Blanco. The family is awaiting you at the end of the corridor." We unpacked the laden suitcases and started down the walled path. At the end we could see people gathering and starring and then like a bolt of lightning Amparo ran out with a sign welcoming the Diva's to the Barrio and crying and laughing and hugging us so hard with a greeting like we had been friends for years. It was AMAZING! It was everything I thought the initial greeting would be and more and I swear my heart swelled to twice its size like the grinch that stole Christmas. I was smiling from ear to ear and so was everyone else.

It was obvious we were in a very poor part of town. The immediate area was one shanty home after another (and by shanty I mean corrugated cardboard, pieces of spare lumber, plastic rubber made container lids, old license plates, whatever you could piece together to sort of make walls and a roof out of, this is the majority of homes in Barrio Blanco) spotted by the new houses that Ron had managed to find sponsors to finance to build in Phase 1 of the project he had launched. We got strange looks from some of the people that had gathered but I think they knew what we were there for and so followed as a group behind us as we all followed Ron and Amparo and the family back to the "DIVA" house.

On our way we passed a beautiful 2 story house that had been built earlier called Casa Donna. Obviously quite a bit of artistry and planning had gone into this home and apparently it was designed in the end for 2 families. It was really quite a nice home something to be proud of.

We met all the members of the family, Regina the grandma who is the matriarch of the Barrio, Amparo her daughter, Alfi Amparo's husband, Cari Ann her little baby, Karoly her older daughter and Kris Angel her little son. The Diva house was as big as a two car garage and had a dining/living room/kitchen combo on one side of the house and on the other had been designed 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in between them both. Karoly had needed a roof over her head too so they had divided the house in such a way that her 6 x 8 ft. bedroom had its own separate entrance. All in all we thought for the size of it the layout was great and they had the place clean, organized and spotless for our arrival. They were so excited.

All the neighborhood kids had gathered around the house as well. It was crowded as we all loaded into the small house with the family, the six Diva's plus El Tigre and the 4 huge suitcases. None the less we all crowded in the dining room/living room area on the plastic lawn chairs that is their furniture and started to try and have a conversation when most of us knew little to no Spanish. However it is amazing how much can be said with charades and body language. The walls had been painted a bright green and bright pink and the floors had been painted blue in such a way it looked like waves were coming in along the seashore. Apparently one of the workers that Ron works with has found a specialty in painting the new houses floors. Very nice.

We started unpacking and the smiles and tears started flowing. It was overwhelming for them, like 10 Christmases in a row we had brought so much of what they requested, they hadn't expected so much. Just to have come there all that way to meet them was unbelievable, now so much generosity, it was hard for them to take it all in. The fact that we had managed to bring a computer was a big accomplishment as it is Amparos plan to run a restaurant ut of her home in the Barrio as she is known for her cooking and can turn this into a business for her family plus help with feeding the men that are working on building the new homes for more families.

Outside a crowd of 20 kids or so had gathered and they were chanting, candy! El Tigre had bought us candy diamond rings as he does as a joke for the Divas as it looks like he gives us 40 carat diamond rings. So we gave our candy rings to all the little girls that were there that day. More family of Amparo's and Regina started arriving and more introductions to everyone.

Now the place was packed and it was a hot day. Ron really wanted to give us the tour of the Barrio and tell us the story of how it all started and what had been accomplished in the short time he had been there and what still NEEDED to be accomplished and plans for building until late June of this year when he planned to have at least 13 more homes completed and return to his wife and children for a much deserved and needed rest.

If you have ever doubted what one person can bring to this planet you will never doubt again what a difference one person can make when you see what this wonderful man Ron Zauner has accomplished in such a short period of time. Mind blowing to say the least.

We wrapped things up with huge hugs and pictures and Ron then escorted us outside to give us the tour. Unfortunately at this time I had used so much of my iphone camera space that I ran out of a chance to take more pictures as he showed us around. So you can see there are only a couple posted here with this story. At a later date I will include the video footage I shot with Ron explaining things. He goes into great detail and it's really interesting. Each house and each family have their singular stories. Each could be a chapter of a book.

One of the stories that Amparo told Ron was that once her house was made and the rains came it was the first time her feet had been dry in her life during the rainy season. She went to her kitchen and her feet were dry, she went to her bathroom and her feet were dry, she went on her porch where she could watch and see the rain and her feet were dry. It was the first time in her life that she had experienced dry feet in her home during the rainy season and she is 38 years old.

As we wandered following Ron as he gave his tour, chickens ran past our feet, naked children stumbled and walked through garbage and bits of broken glass, mirror, razors, and sad skinny dogs skulked away from our path. It was hard to watch but apparently normal for them in this neighborhood. El Tigre kept making comments at how much cleaner the place was and how much garbage had been picked up comparatively than when he had been helping build in the previous year. WOW! I thought, this is LESS garbage? OK, obviously we have to start some sort of compost system and recycle garbage program here than in the not too distant future I thought to myself. Something with hand painted containers by the local artists would be nice and hire one or two of the men in the village to pick up the trash and service the containers.

Much information was given by Ron on the project and future plans and visions. We all decided it was too hot to continue and we needed to rest and get into some shade so we all headed back to our families house to say good bye for the day.

We returned several times over the rest of our trip, attended a food raiser at one of the sponsoring beach restaurants to raise food for the kids to have one good meal at the beginning of the day and get rice and beans to provide to the volunteer workers that help with the building of the homes. We even took Karoly out dancing one night and she took us to a local Dominican club and we cha-cha'd the night away. Much laughter and fun was had on that night.

On the night before we left we tried to have a nice night with Ron at a nice beach restaurant to say thank you for all his hard work but he was unable to join us as he was held up late still finalizing a deal on some property papers for one of the Barrio residents. Seems there was trouble with deciding who owned the property and more calculations and paperwork would need to be done before things could be squared away and building could resume the next day. All in a days work Ron told us later happily, it's all in a 16 hr. a days work but it's worth it, to see the smiles on these people faces when you hand them the keys to their new homes, yes, it's definitely ALL worth it.

Diva Raynah and I managed to wrangle Ron into a quick half hr. lunch on the beach the afternoon we said goodbye to the family and told him we wanted to continue to help in any way we could. He said the best thing would be to raise 8-10 thousand dollars if we could as they started to build phase two of the project for the larger families of seven or more people.

Diva House

We are dedicated to making this happen and I am putting it out there to the universe that we will have a successful fund raiser here in White Rock or South Surrey before May's end and make this happen so Ron has his financing he needs for one more house from the Diva's/ White Rock South Surrey Community before June. If we can raise even more money through an auction then even better as we can get more medical supplies to the medical centre and more school supplies to the kids.

My vision would be holding the fund raiser at Star of the Sea if possible with the fantastic Canadian band Trooper featured. They were the first band that came to my mind in a vision when I thought of the idea of an event, as I had been at their concert a few years ago and had always been a big fan and still love them. For some reason in my gut, as I don't even know these guys personally, but I think there would be a connection there for them with the Barrio that would make sense. Something about a gift from great Canadians. This may seem woo woo to some people but forgive me, after you have seen the miracles Ron Zauner has pulled off with just his passion as fuel, you understand you can do anything if you envision it.

If any of you are interested in Ron's project, 100% of the money goes into building supplies and all aspects of making things happen in Blanco Barrio. Since we left Feb. 6th they have poured the foundations, bent the rebar and stacked the 5 cinder block high bases on 7 more homes! Amazing work, all with the men in the Barrio Ron has trained. He is all about providing opportunity which he ended up calling his not for profit. He wants the people to empower themselves and make themselves self-sufficient. That's why I have such a desire to go back and inspire them with direction to use their passions and create them into micro businesses to support themselves in their own community. These opportunities they are very excited about and if the Divas can help in anyway, we will.

If you feel you would like to talk to me personally about the Barrio or help in anyway with our fund raiser please email Victoria at poshintertain@gmail.com

To learn more of Barrio Blanco visit Ron's site (click here)

You can contact Ron Zauner via email - providingopportunity@gmail.com

PS - Tell him El Tigre, and the Divas sent you. J

Vicrtoria Clements

(an extension of the story (below) of Barrio Blanco written by "El Tigre")

March 12, 2013

"El Tigre" is a nom de ploom a long time White Rock resient has adopted to share his story of volounter work he was involved with in the Dominican Republic. The project was spearheaded by an American gentleman who while visiting a tourist resort, looked down the hillside from his palatial surroundsings and asked what was that at the bottom of the hill? A local staffer explained that was the bario where the locals lived. He made his way into the city and was appalled at the conditions the locals of the beautful country were living in.

RON ZAUNER was inspired to do something about it. Welcome to Barrio Blanco.

 

El Tigre and “the Diva  House” of Barrio Blanco

*Please Note - The pictures that company EL TIGRE'S story are not of the exact locations he references in his article. The accompanying photos though are all from Barrio Blanco

 

Where to start, literally and figuratively.

This journal is primarily for my benefit, to put down on paper thoughts, observations and impressions of my time in a place the likes of which I have never been, doing something I have never done. It is also for “the Divas”, who inspire me by their strength, courage and determination and for whom “the Diva House” will be a tribute and perhaps more importantly, a house for a Family who has never had a proper home.

This narrative is my own. Any statements or conclusions I make are from my understanding alone, based upon my interpretation of what information I obtained, what I experienced and what I observed. I take full responsibility for any errors, misinterpretations or misunderstandings. 

I make no apology for the length of this journal/diary. I have a lot to process and have to get “it” out and down on paper.  This is very therapeutic for me.

This journal/diary is written as at a specific point in time. How I describe things “now” is not how things will be or will look “later”.  It is the product if copious amounts of notes I took during my days in an extraordinary place as thoughts came to me during an incredible experience, as well as at night when I tried to make sense of it all. 

I must start by saying that I was fortunate to be born into the Family that I have and, through choice and circumstance, my life has turned out a certain way. I now have a better appreciation of how grateful I should be.

As a general comment, as with most Caribbean islands, there is a social and economic inequity and disparity in the Dominican Republic, which I have come to understand and accept through my travels to other such countries where tourism is a vital industry, because frankly there is nothing I can do about it as it is what it is. Cabarete, about one hour away from Puerto Plata, is a small beach town known for its surfing and kite flying. It has the typical trappings, amenities and attractions of an island beach town and people live there and visit it for all kinds of reasons. There is the “good” part of town and the “not so good” part of town. Then there is Barrio Blanco.

Barrio Blanco was established approximately 25 years ago by Mr. Blanco, who still lives there today and is a somewhat “animated” character all unto himself, particularly when “in his cups”. I guess one would call him the Mayor.

Unless you know where it is, you would have difficulty finding Barrio Blanco. There is only one entrance/exit via a dirt road between two buildings and its 2.5 acres are surrounded by swamp. It exists (and will continue to exist) for people who have nowhere else to go. People who live there span generations.

Barrio Blanco is its own community, with a certain hierarchy or “pecking order”.  It is a Matriarchal. There are those who live there who aspire to do better someday and those who are content with where they are in life. There are those who care and those who don’t. Good, kind and  giving people live there as well as those who are not so good, kind or giving.

For the most part, Barrio Blanco is tolerated, perhaps even ignored, by the locals and the government. Some locals I spoke to know of Barrio Blanco but had never been there, for reasons known only to themselves.

“Diva Hennifair” has been visiting Cabarete for many years and came to know Ron Zauner and his organization “Providing Opportunity”. Ron has an interesting story and out of respect I will let him tell his own. Suffice it to say it is Ron’s goal to build good, basic and functional homes and make life better for those who live in Barrio Blanco.

On her visits to Barrio Blanco, “Diva Hennifair” got to know one Family in particular, befriended them and planted the seed in my mind for the idea of “the Diva House”. Muchas Gracias “Diva Hennifair”!! Not only do “El Tigre” and “the Divas” want to make it possible for this Family to have a home, “El Tigre” wanted to help build it.

Enough preamble………

I allowed myself three days to acclimatize my body to what is the  Dominican Republic in early July before “getting down to business”.

As expected, my appetite dropped to zero so I began a regime of water, juice, mega vitamins, food supplement beverages and high carb reasonably healthy snacks.

My second night in Cabarete, “Diva Hennifair” arranged a dinner with Ron and oh did we talk-  his connection to Barrio Blanco, his vision, philosophy, life, mission, the future, etc.

I had spent several summers on the Prairies  building small town community swimming pools with my Father, so I was used to long hot days in a frying pan, but nothing prepared me for the heat, humidity, sights, sounds and smells of Barrio Blanco.

I have also been to enough islands and driven past enough barrios and slums on my way to whatever resort I was staying and thought numerous times “how sad” or “isn’t that a shame”. I have also seen enough pictures in National Geographic and have watched my fair share of pleas for help on late night TV, so I thought I was prepared to see what I would see. Boy, was I wrong.

It took me two days “on the job” to desensitize myself and look past the squalor and the standard of living. Garbage everywhere, stagnant pools of water, children playing in the swamp full of “stuff” and “things”, dogs and chickens running around, ducks and pigs in pens, motorcycles and scooters navigating the narrow  lanes, the odd car, people peddling their wares (animal, vegetable and probably mineral) door to door, shacks made out of whatever is/was available/found, nicer homes and even nice homes and lots of construction – sewer system, drinking water system, cinder block houses of varying sizes and a combination community centre/school/medical clinic. Barrio Blanco is a beehive of activity.

How electricity “works” in Barrio Blanco is still a mystery to me. There is a combination virtual spider web and bowl of spaghetti of electrical wires. Some houses have electricity, some do not. Sometimes there is power, sometimes there is not.During my time there, I saw the swamp being sprayed to keep “whatever” at bay.

A garbage truck comes once a week. Garbage is also burned on site, including plastics.

I was determined not to stand out as a “gringo”. I wore my grubbiest of work clothes and had on my trusty  “Camp BCAPS”  watch, an  old digital Timex I bought to help me with time management when I wrote the 4 days of exams to become a Chartered Accountant almost 25 years ago. I also wore a “goober” hat as my primary weapon in my never ending battle with the sun.

Prior to flying to the Dominican Republic, I was reluctant to meet the Family for whom the “Diva House” is being built, for the myriad of emotions that I feared would overcome me from past experiences in participating in similar type endeavors. As meeting the Family would be unavoidable given the geography of Barrio Blanco and the role the Family has in it, between “Diva Hennifair”, Ron and I , we agreed beforehand that I would simply be known as a friend of “the Divas”, nothing more. As I got to know the Family who will reside in “the Diva House”, I was particularly impressed with the Mother, who is revered  in the community and acts like a “Mother Hen”, always with note book and pen at the ready checking on the progress of various construction activities taking place. The Daughter was always walking around Barrio Blanco  with a real cutie patootie baby, who after warming up to me, I would make smile and laugh using various things I would do with my nieces, nephews and God Children when they were that age. The Daughter also carried around a note book and one day she asked me for the names of all “the Divas”, which I wrote out phonetically for her.

I looked everyone in the eye and “Diva Hennifair” taught me to take what people offered me, be it food, juice, whatever, because they gave what they could and it was given from the heart.

Other than my first day “on the job”, I would arrive at Barrio Blanco at 9AM and stayed progressively longer each day as I grew accustomed to the heat and humidity and developed a work pace for myself.  Everyone would take a break at noon and go “wherever”. I gave myself 90 minutes for “lunch” and would use the time to cool off in an air conditioned environment, load up on vitamins, energy/meal supplement drinks and carbs, soak my sore and swollen feet in the ocean, have a swim, change my shirt and reapply sun block. At the end of day, I would need about 3 hours to cool off, wind down, start to relax and rejuvenate. I stopped feeling thirsty after about an hour of replenishing fluids. I would then repeat my feet soak/swim/vitamin/meal supplement drink/carb regime to prepare for the next day. It was an effort to do anything else at night other than fall asleep to some Blues music and the healing effect it has always had on me or some CDs on various aspects of the Catholic religion which are a source of inspiration for me. I kept my note pad next to the bed as sometimes thoughts would come to me in the middle of the night. Even if I had the energy after a day “on the job”,  I knew I would find it difficult to enjoy an evening out after having spent the day doing what I did, where I did it, for people who could not afford to go and do what I could and where at night in a Caribbean beach town.

I was hyper conscious about avoiding any type of injury, particularly scrapes or cuts because of the stagnant pools of water, swamp, garbage and God knows what “nasties” each contained, in addition to the typical hazards on a construction site, amplified many fold due to the less than Canadian work site standards being used. This is in no way a criticism of the quality of the work being done or the care taken by those doing it. It is just the reality of the situation, born out of necessity, being in that environment. In any event, I am pleased to report that other than blisters, sore feet and a hammer banged finger, I came away injury free.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me was to deal with the language barrier. As I was born and raised in Montreal, French is my second language and given the similarities of a fair number of words between that language and Spanish, I got to be quite creative. Also, I was pleased to discover that my hand gestures were universal and I could communicate a lot if I added “OK” and “No”.  For some reason, the Spanish spoken in Barrio Blanco, with its cadence and flow, sounded Italian to me.

There is a significant Haitian population in Barrio Blanco, who after leaving/escaping over the border into the Dominican Republic, are viewed as  undocumented “non persons” with no legal status by the government, with all of the accompanying issues and challenges. The Haitians speak a “patois” which was fascinating to hear and I could not help but learn a few words. I also had the most incredible philosophical conversation in French with a Haitian refuge, who happened to be a fellow Catholic. 

I introduced myself  to people as “El Tigre”, much to their bemusement and laughter. It did not take long for the moniker  to “stick” and as the days progressed, I could hear it being shouted out as I went about my work in various parts of  Barrio Blanco. For reasons I did not fully understand, the “El” was dropped. As well, over time, more and people would give me the “fist bump” as opposed to a handshake. I viewed both as a form of acceptance of me. I never felt threatened, at risk  or uncomfortable my entire time at Barrio Blanco. I never went there at night.

I brought to Cabarete two cartons of duty free cigarettes and I would pass them out freely in Barrio Blanco during “siestas” or as a way to break the ice with people. I brought no outside food or drink into Barrio Blanco and each day would purchase water and snacks at the various “stores” that are there, in part as my way to support the local economy and it part because the water was always ice cold. I never asked for change.

Although there were many projects going on at the same time each day -  houses, infrastructure, among others and I helped on some of them, it was important for me to make sure that I did something that I knew would be part of “the Diva House”. So for a day and a half, I was in the roof support/truss “workshop”, on the asphalt coated roof of one of the existing buildings with only one tree for shade. I “tagged” one of the support/trusses I helped construct (40 were needed in total for all the houses/buildings being constructed in this phase of the project) and Ron assured me that that particular one would be put in “the Diva House”.  I took scrap cuttings from the wood that was used as mementos for all “the Divas”. 

A specific number of houses, of which “the Diva House” is one, a proper sewer and water system, a combination community centre/school/medical clinic all comprise Phase I of what Ron has in mind for Barrio Blanco. Once this is all completed, Phase II, yet to be defined by Ron, will begin. For each component of Phase I, Ron has been able to get local trades people to donate their time and talent to act as supervisors  for activities such as brick/block work, carpentry, concrete and stucco preparation, cement finishing, plumbing, corrugated roofing and electrical work. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with these trades people, who are not only giving up hours upon hours for which they could have been paid elsewhere but who are also passing on their knowledge and skills to others who may in turn someday be paid for such work themselves.  I was surprised at how many of the trades people were baseball players, who used their respective trades as a way to aid in their sports training.

I was also impressed with the creativity and ingenuity used to design processes to perform tasks using whatever materials are available and basic mathematics. Forms and templates are used to assist basically anyone with two able hands to create a finished product to be used somewhere in the construction taking place.

Nothing is wasted. Bent nails are straightened and scrap wood or other materials from one process are used somewhere else. “Recycle and Reuse” is the motto at Barrio Blanco.

At first, it appeared that the work being done  was organized chaos. However, the more time I spent there, the more I could see there was a “method to the madness”. Flexibility and improvisation are key.  Priorities change on the fly for any number of reasons (absence of materials/not arrived/not enough, electricity available or not, tool shortages, problems, delays, tasks taking more time than planned etc.) There is always a “Plan B”, sometimes even a “Plan C” if “Plan A” cannot be accomplished. Time management of precious few power tools is critical, especially the one absurdly expensive, even by Canadian standards, cordless drill.

Some of the residents who have been sponsored for a house, help in various construction activities,  including their own house and/or other houses, others do not. Some of the residents who have been promised a house but have yet to be sponsored, help in the various construction activities, including their own house and/or other houses, others do not. Some of the residents who have not been promised a house, help in the various construction activities, including other peoples’ houses, others do not. 

A key deadline for Phase I is the end of July, as that is when Ron returns to his native Oregon for a month of rest and relaxation. He expects that people will be able to move into their new homes in September, which is when he comes back to Barrio Blanco. Personally, I believe that people will want to start to move in once the four walls and roof are completed on their respective houses, as windows, doors, toilets, electricity and  running water, which all the houses will have, will not be viewed as a priority by some, as these are amenities some do not currently have where they live in now and have managed without them all this time. 

Now for some interesting anecdotes.

Anecdote First: One of the, I assume, local “ladies” of  Barrio Blanco (unfortunately the only source of income for some of the female residents), took an “interest” in me as the days progressed and included in her “flattering” comments to me were requests for water, cigarettes and money for “food”. (“Diva Hennifair” warned me on Day One of my visit to the Dominican Republic that I might be “approached”). Water I purchased, cigarettes I provided, but no money (Ron advised me on the latter early on during my time Barrio Blanco for the precedent it would set for others if I complied). I kept any and all interaction with this “lady” very superficial and I am pleased to report that the virtue of this Worthy Sir Knight (of Columbus) remains intact and I have no need to spend years in the Confessional atoning for one the Deadliest of Sins of the Catholic Church.

Anecdote Next: I was offered a glass of the local “hooch” by one of the “guys”. Consumption of “hooch” is one of the past times in which some of the “guys” participate in Barrio Blanco. I thanked him profusely for the offer and politely declined, informing him that I stopped dancing with that particular Devil in 1983 for reasons that are equally valid today. When I told Ron about the offer, he stated that in all the years he has been involved with Barrio Blanco, he had never been offered “a taste”! Then again, Ron is Ron and not “El Tigre”. I also viewed this as another form of acceptance of me.

Anecdote Last: It has been my observation and experience and the fact that “boys” will be “boys”, especially on a job site, that when one attempts to learn a new language, swear words are a priority. Over the course of my time at Barrio Blanco, I exchanged such important information, from my years of experience on construction sites with my Father and the choice words I learned as an impressionable teenager in both of Canada’s official languages, with the “boys” and learned their equivalent in Spanish and Haitian “patois”. I even learned some for which there is no English or French equivalent.  Again, I viewed this as another form of acceptance of me. As an aside, it has been my observation and experience that the Russian language is the most colourful, creative and expressive in that particular area.  

I thought of my Dad at least once a day while I was going about my work. I know that he would have loved to get “his hands dirty” on a project like this. I could feel him smiling up in Heaven when I showed some of the workers a few construction “tricks” my Dad taught me those many years ago. 

During my time at Barrio Blanco doing what I did, I could not help but draw a parallel between Phase I and the role I have assumed in my own Family, particularly for my relatives in Lithuania- providing the means by which people can create opportunities for themselves. I kept the “Patriarch” ring on my finger my entire time there. Some people asked me about it and I explained as best I could -  “promesa  familia”.

My experience at Barrio Blanco really put a number of things into perspective – the value of a single human life, ones problems and challenges compared to others, the consequences of choice and circumstance, into what and to whom one is born, chance and opportunities, etc.

It is my humble opinion that who “El Tigre” is and who “the Divas” are is not important. Barrio Blanco and what is being accomplished there is.

For more information on Barrio Blanco and how you may choose to help , please contact Ron Zauner at 541-844-9745 or  providingopportunity@gmail.com

“Diva Hennifair” can be contacted locally through Jennifer Reilley.

Respectfully Submitted,

“El Tigre”

 

 

March 06, 2013

 

 

We are speaking with STEPHANIE SMITH, a resident of White Rock, who is spearheading awareness in our community on coal trains running along our waterfront:  U.S. coal from Montana and Wyoming.  This is a cheap low-grade coal that comes from the Powder River Basin mine.  The majority of this coal is in powder form, shipped by Peabody mining and brought to us via BNSF Rail to be exported to Asia.
Stephanie, let’s begin by having you tell us a bit about your personal connection to White Rock.  How long have you lived here? 

Stephanie Smith


Well, I grew up in Bellingham and in the summer my parents would take us kids on trips across the border to White Rock.  I can still recall the steep hills and us finding a hard time to park.  We’d have fish ‘n chips right on the beach and then walk out on to the pier.  We really enjoyed ourselves.  Oh, and then there was college.  Nineteen years old and going up to White Rock to drink legally—I swear I only did that a few times.  But I never thought I’d ever be living in White Rock until I married a Canadian, and here I am.  I’ve been living in White Rock since 2009.


How did you come to the conclusion we need to become more aware of the coal trains that rumble through the Semiahmoo Peninsula?


Oh, boy.  I have to say I was first aware of it by all the NO COAL signs I saw on people’s front lawns throughout Bellingham.  My brother’s family lives above the tracks and I can recall my mother telling me the trains are coming more and more often.  But it wasn’t until I watched the one hour documentary called “Coal Crossroads” that it really hit me.  The documentary investigates the controversy surrounding the export of coal, proposals for coal ports, the effects on communities and the environment, and the rise in coal train traffic.  It was a major wake-up call for me.  Shortly after watching that documentary, I was taking a walk near my home.  I can’t remember which hill I was on, but I was enjoying the view of the water, when I saw the longest train full of coal making its way on Marine Drive.  I just stood there and counted 123 train cars heaping full of coal.   And that’s when I started talking to everyone I knew and didn’t know.  “What do you think of the coal trains?”  A lot of people really didn’t know much at all.  Some were sympathetic and showed concern, and other shrugged their shoulders and said it’s a done deal—deals done behind closed doors—oh, well.  This coal business to me is bad business. From just my own research that I’ve done these private industries only care about their own growth and not the communities they affect.  They will make a huge profit and we will ultimately pay with our health, our beautiful environment, our properties losing value, taxpayers footing the bills for infrastructure, to name a few.  It’s like they are expanding in a panic to get this dirty product out as fast as they can at whatever cost to communities/environments just so they won’t lose out on a big profit. 


It would appear that there are numerous community based groups just south of us in Bellingham that at this point in time are ahead of us in awareness.  Will you be working with your Bellingham counterparts?


Good question.  You bet I will be.  I have met Julie Trimingham who created the website coaltrainfacts.org.  I met her through Kevin Washbrook (vtacc.org) who is the director with Voters Taking Action on Climate Change based here in Vancouver.  She is like me, in the way that she was never an activist.   Her family goes back generations in Bellingham.  Like me, she heard about coal export; the proposal for the coal port and a gear kicked in.  We don’t want to look back ten years from now and think: What if?; I should’ve; I could’ve; Why didn’t I?  She was even born in Canada and is a dual citizen and we know how important it is that people on both sides of the border connect in some way, to talk and to be informed.


For readers that may not be aware, tell me why there is such a strong push-back from the residents of Bellingham?


Having grown up there, I can say there are feelings of pride and a strong awareness in creating an environment where the respect, the honor, and the care for nature, for the planet, are in the forefront for a vital community.  There is a deep sense of connectedness with the wildlife, the mountains, and the sea.  There is a serious commitment to be responsible and innovative, in keeping a clean, healthy environment so that people from the community and those who visit will greatly benefit and appreciate Bellingham.  That is why this coal port proposal for Cherry Point is like the worst of all nightmares.  And when it comes to jobs—it’s like saying, we’re going to employ a few thousand people (which will probably mean employing people from other regions of the country, so not all local jobs) to construct a gigantic sports arena.  And then once we’re done, we’ll have 200-300 people working on site… maybe.  Except the sports arena doesn’t cause the environment, our communities, our local businesses, and our health harm.  And such a building usually stays as a functioning landmark in a city; whereas a coal port can be closed permanently and we’re left with its dirty skeletal, contaminating remains. I’ve read the union workers of Bellingham don’t like Peabody Mining because Peabody hates unions and have no qualms in letting that be known.  But, people in Whatcom County are desperate for jobs.  But when one looks at the big picture, is it worth the price to sell out—to bring this to our backyards? 


What are your concerns for increased coal export in our region?

My greatest concern is if we let these private industries get their way, this region and the many regions south of us will be changed forever.  The face of White Rock or Crescent Beach will never be the same.  Look at the coal port proposals we’re facing here, and how presently there is a dispute for a fair process in the decision making, to pass or not to pass on these proposals.  Already people are noticing the increase of coal train traffic and noise, and the longer and longer waits at railroad crossings.  I’m not a local business owner, but I worry for those local businesses near the tracks. I was curious to see how other communities are fairing, you know, with the expansion of coal export in their region, to get an idea for what we may have to look forward to.  So, I started researching Australia because they are a major exporter of coal.  In Australia, the number of coal ports keep expanding and expanding.  Yet, I’ve read about an Australian coal port that got permanently shut down: jobs lost because the demand of coal dropped—demonstrating the rapid flux of the coal industry’s supply and demand. The Australian communities near the railroad tracks complain of the coal dust and the deterioration of sea-life in the marine environment.  In my research, about the marine environment being negatively affected, I mostly encountered tests showing nothing to be alarmed about.  But, when the locals were interviewed, long-time locals who know their surrounding marine life well: they tell a different story and are saddened for the generations to come who won’t experience the healthy wealth of fish and crab that they experienced.  Okay, on about coal dust: There was one woman, who didn’t even live closest to the tracks, displaying a coal stained paper towel from wiping the top of her microwave—It didn’t happen in a day, but in a week.  The finer the coal dust, the smaller the particulate matter, the kind you don’t see.  This is the stuff that you can’t just sneeze into a tissue: it latches onto your vital organs, like your lungs and heart.  And yet, these shippers and carriers of coal still don’t cap the cars.  They do use a chemical surfactant that does help a little, but there is no way to totally contain coal dust.  Also, a study has been proven that when coal dust (from excessive coal train traffic) and very heavy precipitation combine together on the ballast/railroad bed, these two form a lubricant causing track failure (a ballast fouling) for potential derailment.  One thing I’ve noticed about the railroad tracks in White Rock is the major need for repair and replacement.  For example, the train trestle near Little Campbell River is frightening, for it’s so deteriorated. We got to look at how action speaks louder than words.  Go online and read how well these private industries take care of pipe-line leaks, coal shipping accidents, care and concern for the communities affected by accidents, etc…  Once they’re in, they are likely to really take over.  That’s why people really need to pay attention to this—to be informed.  Weigh out both sides. Who will benefit the most from this?  We all have a choice… to do something or nothing.  So, are we willing to make the biggest sacrifices that concern our communities, our land, water and air for a dirty fossil fuel?  Is it worth it?   We’ve come into an era where the need for alternative, cleaner fuel is key in order for us, the planet to continue on.  What we need most is courage.  Courage to say no to coal and courage to make ourselves heard and listened to.  We have to make the start now.


What can the residents of White Rock and South Surrey do if they are concerned about increased coal exports in this region?


Avoid apathy, for it’s so easy to say it’s not really going to affect me.  Or they are giants these industries, what can we do?  Or they’re going to make coal no matter what. So, let’s not let them get any bigger then.  Let’s make our message clear.  Not here!  We need to wean ourselves from this dirty fossil fuel. Talk to one another.  Don’t be silent.  Do your research.  People in communities down south are rising up and giving voice in saying no to coal.  I notice that people, who are in the thick of it, who feel helpless or in disbelief of what coal is doing to their marinas, homes, health, etc… are putting it out there online—like little red warning flags that when put all together is bigger than big.  Let’s heed their warnings.  If nobody can answer your question, don’t stop asking.  When someone tries to pass the buck, don’t give up—let that make you more determined to find those accountable. Write letters and emails to your city councillors, MLA’s, MP’s, Mayors, Port Authority, etc…  Attend public meetings.  To stay informed and/or for direction, reach out to organizations that have put in the time and energy in confronting the coal issues and/or start up your own community organization.  Reach out to one another and begin. 

I would also like to personally invite any concerned residents in White Rock and South Surrey to join us for a "Picnic/Information Meeting" at the white rock on the beach in White Rock. We will be meeting SUNDAY MARCH 17 @ 12 noon.

I know this is short notice, but with the letter White Rock is debating on and with the momentum of other news to come. This seems to be an opportune time. This is not going to be a crazy, yelling kind of rally. It will be done with class and to have some fun as well. Let's hope for good weather!!!! So, please mark it on your calendar. And if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks Steph

 

February 08, 2013

 

Paper Art

Armida Ortega

 

My home away from home and satellite office for The White Rock Sun is Laura's Coffee Corner located at 5 Corners in White Rock. Owner Laura Cornale since purchasing the failing coffee shop has quickly made her coffee shop the epicenter for everything in the 5 Corners District. In addition to all the wonderful gourmet coffee and tea drinks and homemade pastries and light lunches, Laura has gone out of her way to actively seek out unique artwork created by local artists.

When I entered the coffee shop last week I was quite taken back by the unique artwork that festooned the walls of Laura's. Today we learn about the art and the artist.

MEET ARMIDA ORTEGA

Armida thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your artwork. How would you describe your art?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity that many people who read your online newspaper can know a little more about me and my art. Well my art is "paper art" and I am using the "quilling" technique also known as "Filigrana" in Spanish. Quilling is a technique where strips of paper are rolled and bent into an array of shapes, and then glued together in a variety of designs.

 

I think most people would be like me in that they are drawn to the beauty of your art then upon closer inspection when you discover they are not paintings but paper art it takes the images to a whole new level. What was your inspiration. Had you seen another artist's artwork and felt inspired?

I have many inspirations, mostly the beautiful flowers that I see here in Canada, there are many beautiful flowers that I never seen before. And there is an artist who also works with paper and she really inspired me a lot, her name is Yulia Brodskaya from Rusia. The first photo of paper art that I saw on internet was made by her.

 

Armida & Perry

I understand you came here from your home country of Mexico a few years ago. How did you end up in White Rock and how did you end up making "our city by the sea" your home?

Well I came the first time to Vancouver BC in Feb. 2009 to study English and one day before classes I stopped at a currency exchange in downtown and I meet Perry Serron my current husband, we started a friendship, which became years later in marriage. He and his family live here in White Rock and this is why I ended up making this beautiful place by the sea my home.


Can you remember your first impression of White Rock when you came for a visit?

Yes, it was around late March of 2009, My first memory is when Perry drove me downhill on Oxford St. and I saw the sea it was really excited and at the same time I was feeling kind of exciting as when you rides the roller coaster, it was a really beautiful view of the Semiahmoo Bay.

 


Back to your artwork. In reading a bit of your bio paper art was not your first entry into the creative world. What creative endeavours have you had in your past?

I always liked crafts, doing something by myself, years ago in Mexico I did some jewelry designs with beads and stones and here in White Rock having a lot time in my hands I have dabbled painting wooden boxes, as well as working with beads, stones, and dried leaves in a variety of art projects, also I learned from Perry my husband (he is goldsmith) to work making jewelry such silver smithing and stone cutting. But one day searching on internet for photos of different styles of stitches to make a flower on one of my jeans I found a beautiful photo of Yulia which really caught my attention when I found that it was made just by paper I continued reading and searching more about the paper art and the quilling technique, my first work was a flower in black and grey colour (the only paper that I had at the time at home), next day Perry brought me paper of many different colours, so I started making flowers with many different shapes and colours and he encouraged me to do more, he began bringing different flowers for me to do on paper and one day he brought me a frame to frame my first work.

 

Would it be possible for someone to commission you to do a particular piece based on a picture or an idea the buyer might have in mind?


Yes, actually I already did some commission works like saxophone, sunflower, violin and piano, and soon will start working on creating a few pieces with eyeglasses as a theme for Rita at Sight For Sore Eyes located across from Laura's Coffee Shop. It is always a challenge to make a new different work or piece that I never did before, and I really enjoy it.

The people can reach me by email sheenita70@gmail.com, or can visit my website to see more photos of my paper art www.itisonlypaper.webs.com

In addition to the beauty of your artwork I was very impressed with the afford ability of your art. Will we see you displaying your art more in the coming months around the Semiahmoo Peninsula?

I am on the list to display my artwork at Small Ritual Coffee next Oct. And it is likely that I can make a new exhibition at Laura's Coffee Corner, she invited me to make a new date, it will probably be this August or September.

As I am want to do Armida I would like to have you answer a few questions about what you like to do in the White Rock area?

I love to walk around White Rock, especially along the Promenade, also I like to go for a good run at Centennial Park and really enjoy taking photos to the sea, the sunset, birds and flowers.

Favourite Restaurant(s)? - The Giraffe, Laura'sCoffee Corner, Small Ritual Coffee

Favourite Place To Visit/Walk? - Promenade and the Pier

How would you describe White Rock in 25 words or less?

White Rock is the perfect place to live, beautiful, clean, quiet and with many colors around and wonderful people.

Armida, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and to afford us an opportunity to not only get to know more about your artwork, but a bit about yourself.

Thank you Dave for this great opportunity, and I wish your readers of White Rock Sun have a good time and enjoy knowing about my paper art.

Visit ARMIDA'S exhibition all month (February) at Laura's Coffee Corner in the 5 Corners District of White Rock. Pacific and Johnston Road.

See more of Armida's artwork @ www.itisonlypaper.webs.com

 

 

January 04, 2013

Helping Hands

Meet JONQUIL HALLGATE. A transplanted Albertan who upon her arrival on the West Coast a number of years ago quickly connected with St. Helen's church in North Surrey and began helping with the organization of the community Christmas dinner. To say it changed her life would be an understatement.

JONQUIL and volounteer Mary Kozak

Her path and mission for years now has been to help those less fortunate than many of us. Now she is asking you and I to help her. If you or anyone you know that may have access to a building in the Whalley area or North Surrey JONQUIL would love to hear from you. Meet JONQUIL


Jonquil what is your position with the Surrey Urban Mission?

Executive Director

What part of Surrey is the Mission located in?

North Surrey/Whalley

How long has the Mission been operating? What are the services you offer to the community.

12 years. We offer a variety of programs to people living in poverty and those who are homeless in the North Surrey area. Community meals, community kitchen, community garden, women's programs, parenting programs, Extreme Weather Shelter, Summer Day Camp, ESL, Legal Assistance, Teen Club, recreation programs, assistance for people wanting to find housing and or recovery programs, support to women who are alone and pregnant, support for parents with young children etc.

 

Changing face of Whalley

I understand you have been looking for about a year now for a new location and are having a difficult time securing a new location. Time is running out. When do you have to vacate your present location?

We vacate the current premises on January 25th at midnight.

Am I correct in my observation the location you presently inhabit was owned by a church group and they have sold the land to developers who are partaking in the densification and re-design of Whalley?


The property was owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of British Columbia and Christ the King Lutheran Church worshiped in the building. The property has been sold for redevelopment.

 

When I heard you on CBC radio this week with Stephen Quinn you mentioned the Mission received a nice contribution from the church group. Did this come about as a result of the sale?

Part of the sale agreement was that the Mission would receive a gift of a million dollars to put towards continuing mission work in Surrey.

How big of an area do you need for a new location? Is there a specific area you would prefer for the new location?

We would like to stay within somewhat close proximity of our current location as people don't have access to transportation and walk most often. We need a minimum of 5000 square feet and up to about 6200 sq. feet.


Is there any possibility you can get an extension on the present facility?

The church currently has plans to expand its programs which woulf make it very difficult for us to remain in the location.


If any of the readers of The White Rock Sun would like to contribute in any way shape or form what is the best way for them to reach you directly.

They can contact us by phone at 604 581 - 5172 or by e-mail at sums@telus.net

Many thanks!!

Jonquil

 

On a final note whether or not they find a new location of find themselves in limbo for a short period of time, the Surrey Urban Mission will be depending on your generosity to continue their very necessary work in the community.

On February 23 The Mission will participate in COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR. The national fundraising event will make its debut in the Lower Mainland with hosted events in Abbotsford and Whalley. Your small contribution to walkers in the 5km or 11 km walkabout in Whalley will support The Mission immensely. And it all can be done from the comfort of your home.

For more details (click here)

 

Read Surrey's Sustainability Charter

 

 

December 19, 2012

Meet Karan Grover

South Surrey resident KARAN GROVER recently was part of a youth group that travelled to Mexico with members of the White Rock Rotary. Their mission was to deliver hundreds of wheelchairs to those in need in Mexico.

 

 Being only 15 at times I am underestimated, and sometimes in all honesty can be a little goofy. I didn't really think about all of the amazing youth out there and the problems that the world faces such as poverty until just a few weeks ago. I was given the opportunity to accompany six members of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club to Hermosillo, Mexico along with five other youth to help with the delivery of 115 wheelchairs to the children with disabilities and elderly people whom may not be able to get around. After our arrival in Hermosillo I realized that I had not prepared myself for what was to come. There was a great deal of poverty and, some homes  looked unlivable, and like they were ready to collapse. Don't get me wrong there were areas there that were stunning. The people were the most hospitable I have ever met. I have never really thought about how lucky we are to live in a place as beautiful as Canada, and that is the sad truth about what how most people think.  We tend to turn a blind eye to what is going on out of Canada and the United States. We don't realize that there is so much to discover.  This trip has allowed me to learn about how fortunate we are to live in Canada, and how we can help others who are not as fortunate. After this experience I can comfortably tell you what was told to me before we left , travel is the best education one can receive.

            In Hermosillo, Mexico we got to meet so many remarkable people and heard multiple great stories. I felt like holding every wheelchair recipient in my arms and never letting go. We saw people who were very young and some who were rather elderly but everyone was unique. We visited the Center for Rehabilitation (CRIT) of Sonora, Mexico first. It is a center very much like our Children's Hospital here in BC. I saw people being taught how to move their bodies in pools, I saw children learning how to live on their own. But saddest of all, I saw kids no more than 10 years old hooked up to giant machines learning how to use their body and being treated. We visited the Sonora State Health center, and the Foundation for Children with Disabilities (DIF). These places all had something to offer whether it be giving used walkers to those in need or saving a person's life.

            By now you may be thinking how did 5 youth accompanied by 6 adults, fundraise enough money for 115 wheelchairs? Well, we were not alone the 6 amazing adults were part of the Semiahmoo Rotary club raised over $23000. Along with the efforts of the younger branch of Rotary, the Panorama Interact club who raise just about $1000.We collectively  raised $24,000. The cost of these wheelchairs were $150 for the normal wheelchairs, and $500 for their special wheelchairs for people who had full body paralysis. These wheel chairs were given to people who desperately needed them, and DIF and CRIT were able to locate these people , and made sure these chairs were not being sold for money on the street.

             For us we were just helping someone in need but to the people who received these chairs this was the day that they received mobility, and no longer had to be carried around by family members. This also gave those family members relief. The saddest story I encountered, was when visiting a home in the poverty regions of Hermosillo.  We stepped inside this home which was half the size of a parking garage with no front or back yard. But yet it was maintained very well with nice classic furniture. But the part that overwhelmed me was that this home was owned by a 72 year old woman who's only means of transportation was a stick carved from a branch. This lady dragged her self around for almost three years. She started crying as soon as she saw her wheelchair and wanted to jump in. Once we picked her up and placed her in a chair she had a huge smile on her face. Since we did have to deliver many more wheelchairs we said bye and headed towards the door. But she insisted we sit down and would not let us leave. All she wanted to do is speak to us. So we stuck around for 20 minutes and when we told her we had to go once again she started crying again and told us that, that's why she didn't want s getting up because that meant we had to leave. I than realized that this incredible lady didn't know where her family was and didn't have anyone to talk to. Her neighbor was kind enough to bring her basic groceries, and all her furniture was from before her kids left her. All I could do was give her a hug, and as she cried in my arms I realized the large impact we are having on their lives not just by giving them mobility but also by visiting them and talking to them. This is when I broke in to tears, and I didn't think anything in Mexico would make me sad enough to make me cry.

            When it came time to leave, I realized all the things that we had done during our four day stay. We gave food and diapers to people, we gave out wheelchairs and allowed people to be independent. But most importantly we gave people a Canada friend as people called us. It was so overwhelming I thought I would burst out in tears. But according to my new friend Mr. Sandy Wightman of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club, the next set of fundraising plans are already in place and I look forward to where we go next  in 2014. Also we have just recently shipped three iPads to CRIT, so children could learn and feel on a whole new interface.

            I would like to thank Sandy Wightman, Charlotte Morton, John Mackenzie, Carole Hecht, and Dave Aune from the Semiahmoo Rotary Club and Christiana Flessner from the Wheelchair Foundation I can't think of better role models and mentors than all of you! Also to my friends Naomi Gantug, Diarmuid Ryan, Michelle Wong, Jamie Parker, and Taylor Aune. This trip wouldn’t have been as amazing as it was without you!

-Karan Grover

 

 

November 05, 2012

Getting Out The Vote - In America

This past November LYNNE SINCLAIR a well known figure around White Rock through her term on White Rock council, filed her advance vote for the White Rock by-election and headed south to work on the Barack Obama election campaign.

 
LYNNE I understand you journeyed on your own dime down to the U.S. to work on the Barack Obama election campaign.
What was your motivation for volounteering for a presidential campaign?


I had a double motivation - to visit my family and to do help in the campaign and be a part of the process.  There were several reasons for my involvement.  The next generation of my family is American and they will be affected greatly by the outcome of the election.  I spent a great deal of my adulthood fighting for women’s equality and I saw that being very much at risk South of the Border.  My sister Kim is a nurse manager at Oakland Children’s Hospital where they treat many inner city and minority children.  The first ever National Health Care Programme in the USA is a huge deal and would have been erased overnight had Romney won.  Also, I spent time as a teacher and at the Teachers’ Federation on anti-racism and I saw worrisome signs of racism during the election. Had the first African American president not been re-elected, the divide in the USA would have worsened.  I also believe in government.  Being a Canadian, value the benefits that government provides to our citizens and the positive impact those benefits have on our society by lifting those in poverty, by reducing inequality, and by allowing seniors to live in peace, to name a few.  I also believe that what the United States does, policy-wise, greatly impacts our country.

 

Where in the U.S. did you settle on volounteering and what were your duties?

I volunteered in San Francisco at the headquarters on Market Street.  I phoned to get out the vote and to encourage volunteers to come down to the headquarters (although no more help seemed to be needed!)  Since I am not an American, I felt working to encourage people to vote was an appropriate role, albeit for the Obama campaign.  It was interesting that the person at the intake table told me they had had citizens from all over the world come in to volunteer - which accords with the polls on which candidate had the support of the international community.

 

In that you were not able to vote I don't imagine you would have had the opportunity to attend in person to a polling station.  But I have seen images of polling stations where the signage was in a number of languages other than English.  Do you think we will see an effort made here for non English speaking voters?


I think that already occurs in many diverse communities and it was something we discussed while I was on Council, given the changing demographics of our community, the duty to meet the needs of all our citizens,  and the need to be inclusive and respectful.

I have seen the breakdown on how the American voters has been broken down.  The microscopic over view would make one think Obama's support came from non-white voters who live in urban areas while the majority of Romney's support came from white voters in rural areas.  During your work on Obama's campaign did you see or hear this type of voter split was going to occur and was it something the campaign was concentrating on?

Not at all, and in fact, the split you cite was much more prevalent in the southern states and in the solidly “red” states.  In fact, in the headquarters, there was a majority of white volunteers, which I found interesting, but California is a solid “blue” state.  However, at the victory party I attended, there were booths all designated - “Women for Obama,” “Latinos for Obama,” and so forth.  I think the headquarters was a small part of what was going on in people’s houses, neighbourhoods, etc.

During  Barack's election in 2008 there was a great effort put forth into getting the youth vote out. IE campaigns like ROCK THE VOTE  motivated the youth to turn out in record numbers.  That was not the case this year as numbers of youth voting dropped back to the rates prior to 2008.  Did you get the sense working in the system this was happening, that the youth was not engaged?


I’m not sure that is the case.  In fact, the youth vote did come out in the end and some of the predictions and immediate reactions on the election day were not borne out by the reality.  The same thing was predicted for the African American population and they turned out in numbers larger than 2008.  I think any reduction in votes was a natural effect of it being a re-election - the candidate is not of mythical proportions any more, but a mere mortal with a record.

I have not seen the final figure of what percentage of voters turned out in the recent election, but it appears on average over the years roughly speaking 50-55% of the American public turn out to vote.  While this is a similar number to what we see here in Canada federally, on the local level it is much less.
As a matter of fact in the recent White Rock by-election only 15% of the population turned out at the polls.

EDITORS NOTE - Concidentally after our interview with Lynne the pollsters in the U.S. have determined the youth vote actually exceeded the tournout in 2008.

 Do you have any opinion on why there is such a poor engagement of the residents of White Rock for elections?

I think by-elections are one thing.  What shocked me was the low turnout in 2011 as it was a very high profile election and the issues were rather dramatic.  I also believe that local government impacts citizens and is closer to citizens than other levels of government which should mean a larger turnout and interest in our elections.  One reason may be the rather limited local print newspaper coverage of the issues and candidates and the fact that many citizens now get their information from on-line sources, in particular, the provincial and national media, not the local paper.  They, of course, don’t often cover anything about White Rock.  Another reason for low voter turnout may be that many of our citizens are busy and spend hours commuting thanks to our limited transit system and don’t have time to keep abreast of White Rock Council issues.  I still have people think that I am on Council!

 

The images of Americans standing in line sometimes for hours to vote also resonated with me.  Can you offer any insight on to why it takes so long to vote comparatively in the U.S. as compared to Canada? 

I think that the way presidential elections are run in the United States is insane.  It is not run by a central non-partisan election commission but by each state and its politicians!  They under fund the process because they are all financially squeezed and it matters little to them that people have to wait.  In this case, there were numerous examples of voter suppression initiatives, solely in “red” states that were designed to suppress the minority voters and the poor - most of whom tend to vote Democrat.  Another reason is the ballot itself which is loaded up with State questions or County questions and in some cases the ballots are 25 pages long!  My sister, a new American, had to study in order to vote because of the impact of the many answers to ballot questions that she needed to understand fully before voting.  It is also a huge country, so the logistics are challenging.

 

What were the lasting impressions you brought away from being inside the U.S. Presidential campaign?


That being involved is always better than not.  That I was part of a really big deal in the course of history.  Consider the outcome had Romney won.  No health care being first.

 

Now the obvious question Lynne.  Is there going to be another personal political campaign in your future?

  Never say never. 

 

 

November 27, 2012

Meet A Real Life Ace Cub Reporter

CHRISTOPHER POON reporter SURREY NOW

 

Christopher how did your career as a newspaper reporter begin?

My career as a reporter began when I was in high school. At that time I had dreamed of becoming a music journalist and wrote concert reviews for a high school publication called YouThink. After seeing my name in print for the first time, I was hooked.

 

I believe one of the interesting facts about you writing in THE NOW is you were actually raised in Surrey. Could you tell us about your personal history in Surrey?

I moved to Surrey with my family back in 1992 into what was then a newly-built neighbourhood. Since that time, I've gotten to experience Surrey as a child, teenager and now an adult and it's amazing to see how much it's changed since and how some parts have stayed the same. Having grown up here, I never really saw Surrey in the bigger picture until the 2010 Olympics, when I realized that Surrey was becoming a major player in Canada.

 

When you are not out on the beat reporting on stories for THE NOW what do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy checking out new music, adding to my record collection and playing video games. Being a bit of a nerd, I also enjoy keeping up to date with the latest tech trends and gadgets. I also eat sushi. Lots and lots of sushi. I'm pretty open with my musical tastes, I dig most flavours of rock, enjoy a little hip-hop and even a minute amount of electronic music. However, growing up I was solely a punk, hardcore, or hard rock fan. While my tastes may lean more towards that spectrum of music still, I've grown to enjoy other kinds of music. As for local acts, there's this one band out of Vancouver called Ninjaspy that is pretty fantastic. They're sort of a mixture between ska and hardcore and are doing some pretty great things. Also, local metal band 3 Inches of Blood is always a riot.

 

Do you have any journalists/reporters that you make a point of reading?

I'm more interested in reading things based on subject matter than by byline, however there are some columnists, such as the Vancouver Sun's Pete McMartin, who I try not to miss. I find Pete's McMartin's writing to be refreshingly candid and easy to digest and relate to. He has a knack for exploring issues in creative ways and isn't afraid to put himself into the story.

Do you remember the first time you saw your name in print?

Yes, it was when I wrote in to The Georgia Straight in response to a music review they had done on my favourite band. I guess I found the review to be less than flattering and, being a 16-year-old obsessed with said band, wrote in to express my dismay. The next week, my name appeared in the paper's 'Payback Time' section, which basically prints your letter and the writer's response. Once I saw my name in print and the words I had written appearing on a page, I knew I'd found what I wanted to do.

Is there anything average about your daily routine. Do you have an Editor that directs you towards stories the newspaper would like you to cover. Do you follow up on tips that average citizens alert you to?

Story ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes they come simply by people emailing or calling the paper, other times it's through word of mouth from people well-connected with the community and other times it's just via the City of White Rock itself. Twitter is pretty swell not only for keeping an eye on what's going on but also for just finding people to talk to for certain stories.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

The most enjoyable part of my job is knowing that people are taking something away from the stories I write. As a writer, you're only as good as your audience and when you hear somebody mention an article you wrote and realize that the information they have will be will be with them forever, it feels good to be a part of that.

 

Conversely what is the most difficult part of your job?

I would say the most difficult part of the job is relying on others for information. Publication deadlines are generally always set in stone, yet when your story hinges upon somebody calling you back, the waiting game can be a bit nerve-racking.

 

Newspaper readership is shrinking in a new world that is quickly being dominated by on line news, blogs and community portals. The bright light in an otherwise doom and gloom landscape though is community newspapers. Readers seem to have a voracious appetite for community news. What is your impression on this phenomenon and what do you see as the future of THE NOW newspaper?

I am all for social media being used as an informational tool. We saw it used in the best capacity during the Arab Spring and again during Hurricane Sandy last month. However, until every single person is willing to go out and fact-check said information, reporters will remain relevant. As for community news, while Twitter and blogs are great for finding out breaking news, community newspapers allow residents to read up on a plethora of local information that others may not be as engaged about online, for whatever reason. While you can find a lot of people on Twitter talking about federal and even provincial politics, the lower you go, the more fragmented things become in terms of discussion. That's where I see papers such as The Now coming into play. For all those scattered thoughts and tidbits about Surrey and White Rock floating in the ether, it still requires somebody to take said information and refine it into something digestible for readers.

 

 

Ocotober 15, 2012

 

DANIEL WESELY and his band will headline the White Rock Fire Fighters HALLOWEEN HOWL at the Star of the Sea on Saturday October 27. DANIEL took some time out this week between song writing sessions for a new album to preview his White Rock show.

DANIEL you have some history with White Rock. Did you in fact live here at one time?

Yea I was born at Peace Arch Hospital and lived in White Rock until I was about 4 or 5. My cousins and grandma and grandpa continued living there when my family moved to Langley so we were always on the reserve by the border playing at the beach. It was such a private part of the beach. It felt like our own little world. No one else was ever really down there. I moved back for a few years with friends when I was 22 for a couple years. That was great. I needed to get out of Langley. It was a nice break before I moved out to Vancouver the house I lived in is actually on Royal right by the Star Of The Sea.

 

You recorded your debut CD and its follow up at White Rock's Turtle Studios. What was it like recording on the beach in White Rock?

Daniel checking at mix at Turtle with engineer Brad Graham

It was a dream. Larry Ed and Brad were a great team and they really helped with the introduction to recording. I'm actually surprised how well it turned out considering I produced the records myself and never had done that before. I'm sure the location was a big factor. The band and I would take breaks on the boardwalk right out front and just hang out and look at the water. Both records were recorded in the summertime so it was nice time of year. We recorded live off the floor and each record was recorded less then a week cause that's all we can afford. I believe Outlaw was 5 days and Sing and Dance was 6 days.

Turtle Studio owner Larry Anschell
"Once in a rare while in our line of work we get to witness a young talent develop into something special. The albums Daniel recorded with us are full of catchy songs that make you feel good, a direct reflection of his personality."

 

 

Your song "Ooooh Ohh" was chosen by local rock station CFOX for inclusion on their CFOX SEEDS album. The subsequent airplay was a huge boost to your career. Tell me a bit about how that one song changed your life?


Well people for whatever reason really took a liking to that song. I still don't really know why. But that's music. No one ever really knows what will work and what doesn't I guess I'm just lucky enough that people did like it. That song allowed me to quit my day job and be a professional musician till today. I don't take for granted that this is my job and I'm not in a ditch anymore pulling wires. I'm thankful that I did all these different jobs but hope that I can continue having music be my job. So far so good. I'm very fortunate. But "ooo ohh" definitely paved the way for 3 more albums after SING AND DANCE. I am currently working on the next record which will be my 6th since OUTLAW which was released in 2006.

CFOX Program Director CHRIS DUNCOMBE (moonlighting with his band Washboard Union)

Daniel is an incredibly bright talent that 99.3 The Fox has been proud to support through his win with the Fox Vancouver Seeds program several years ago. From "Ooh Ohh", one of the most requested songs of its year to "Pilgrimage", "it'll Be You" and "Head Outta Water" Daniel Wesley proves time and time again that he is one of the most unique talents to come out of BC. Just ask his fans.....they line up anytime Daniel announces he is playing a show and there are more and more of them every single time.

Dunner
99.3 The Fox

 

 

You made some big changes in your life after the success of that song. You were selling out numerous nights at the Commodore Ballroom and selling a ton of copies of your indie CD. You toured in support of the airplay and then you changed management and signed with the Vancouver based record label 604 records. Why and how did the change affect how you wee doing business. You were viewed by many as a real "do it yourself" success story. How does an artists life change when they go from hands on to every part of your career to relinquishing control to outsiders?


Well I think it was worth a shot trying to work with someone and a label. I mean that's what everyone dreamed of when I was growing up. It opened a bunch of doors for me and I had much bigger recording and marketing budgets. But I think both have been great experiences. I've spent half my career as a indie artist putting out my on records and the other half on a label where they put out my records. The landscape of how people buy or don't by buy music and how they access it is so different now. So I'm really excited about the future and what I could possibly do. I'm only thirty and have learned so much. So I plan on taking all of these experience and use them in a positive way going forward for another decade.

 

You are getting ready to record another CD for 604 records. Where will you be recording the CD and who is helping you with the production of this record? Will you be using your touring band in the studio again?


I've recorded two songs already with Gavin Brown out at Noble Street Studios in Toronto. The rest of the record will be recorded in October and November at Mushroom Studios in Vancity I have recorded at Musrhoom before. Most of the Daniel Wesley album with DAVE GENN was recorded there. I'm working with myself and DAVE "The Rave" OGILVIE producing and my touring band DARREN PARIS and TIM PROZNICK will play on the record again. Very excited to record. It's like a blank canvas every time you go into the studio and you never really know what your gonna get in the end.

 


You presently record for the same record label as Mission's CARLY RAE JEPSEN. Since being taken on by JUSTIN BIEBER she has blown up huge with her song "Call Me Baby" How does it feel having her as a labelmate. Have you met Carly?


Yes I am. She is really very nice and a very supportive person of other people's music. I think it was a year ago that her and I played a small little show in Vancouver for 604 records. I was there the other day thinking man how quickly everything has happened for her. Last time I saw her she was so excited. She had just signed her BEIBER deal and was heading out to Los Angeles, she was about to open a bottle of champagne at the office but i had to run to grab my wife from work haha. She has worked very hard in her career got a huge break and is running with it - Congrats Carly

 

You were married a couple of years back. Now I understand there is a new little Wesley on the way.


Yes Melissa my wife and I are having our first child the baby in March. I can't wait to be a dad. I'm so ready for my life to change and this is the best thing to happen to us. We both have amazing parents and I am excited to ask them for pointers on what they did I just hope in the end that I'm a cool dad. Haha


Throughout your CDS there has been a "let's have a party" theme that turns up regularly. Can we expect more of those reggae tinged summertime good time songs on the new record?


Yes I will always have some of the flavor in what I do. But the record will defiantly feel good

 

You have been pretty busy out touring all summer, have you come across any bands or artists out across this great Dominion that have turned your head.


BAHAMAS. Absolutely amazing. THE RIVE AND THE ROAD from Vancouver, they are really great. Vancouver Island's CURRENT SWELL are my absolute favourites. They actually opened my show the last time I played in White Rock at The Star of The Sea about 4 years ago.

 

Give us some history on a few of your videos;


I'll try. Videos are generally weird for me to make.

(Click on song title to watch video)

Drunk & Stoned
A beach party in Toronto. Weird. Being from B.C. a party at a lake isn't as good as the real thing

Pilgrimage
My first video the actor did a great job and its probably my favorite video I've done

Oooh Ooh (acoustic version)
I remember being really off that day. Everything felt weird. I've never watched it but I'm sure it's not that great. Haha

Head Out Of Water
A fun video to make. Spent the day driving the cast in a van then swimming up in Capilano canyon Plus I got to play some road hockey.

You will be close to wrapping up recording the new album when you roll into White Rock on October 27 at the Star of the Sea. You and the band should be like a race horse that is ready to get out there and charge around the track. Any chance we will hear a preview of a new song or two?


I think you can count on it, I always like playing new songs.

 

See Y'all At The Hall

Saturday October 27 Star of the Sea

Buy Tickets Here

.........Or stop by the White Rock fire hall @ 15315 Pacific Avenue to pick up your tickets in person. Jus tring the buzzer.

 

 

 

September 24, 2012

 

It's A Marvelous Night For A Moondance

Here is a song to get you in the mood for the Moon Festival

 

Surrey resident MIA CHAO is planning on making a Moon Festival a part of our annual celebrations on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. CHAO has big plans for the inaugural event this Saturday at the Bell Centre in Surrey.

 

MIA what exactly is a MOON FESTIVAL?

Moon festivals happen once a year when the moon is at its fullest.  The Saturday is that night and that is why we will be inviting the community to join together at the Bell Centre. It is a celebration for good luck, and a good life. The Moon Festival is also a time for the family and friends to renew their relationships.  It is also a chance for the community to come together.  This is why we chose that night, all the good things come together on that one night. 

 

You are organizing a MOON FESTIVAL at the Bell Centre in Surrey at the end of this month.  Is this the first MOON FESTIVAL you have been involved with in Surrey?


Yes this is the first MOON FESTIVAL in White Rock & Surrey that has been put together on such a large scale.  We decided the MOON FESTIVAL would be a wonderful opportunity for the whole community to come together.  We hope people will come and feel like one big happy family on that night and that they feel that way throughout the year.  Saturday night will be an awesome evening and people will have wonderful memories.  At the end of the evening we will all hold hands feel the spirit of community and join in song.

 

What can we expect at the MOON FESTIVAL?


We have a local dance group, we will also have professional dance performers male and female.  There will also be a number of the finest musicians that make up the Vancouver music association and they will be joined by members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  It will be a very high quality musical performance. We have just confirmed White Rock's Spiral Dance Company, the Vancouver Music Association and Orchestra Armonia  Most of the performances will be a celebration of the moon. 

 

I understand one of the local high schools will be taking part in the MOON FESTIVAL.  How will they participate?


There will be students from Elgin Park Secondary..  The students are helping us this year by acting as hosts and volounteers for the event.  It is so important for us to involve the youth of the community.

 

In researching about the origin of MOON FESTIVALS I found out it is a time to celebrate community and friends.  As well as it is a time for lovers.  How will this work.


The moon is represents romanticism in every culture, because it is so clear the moonlight, you are fully able to share with your friends all your love.  You just enjoy your life, enjoy the world and enjoy the ones you love. I want to contribute to my community here on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. Canada has always been a very welcoming country to new citizens. I want to give something back. It will be a remarkable evening. People may come alone but hopefully by the end of the evening we will all leave as one, one community.

If there are any business owners reading this please contact me regarding the sale of tickets for the Moon Festival. I want to help business owners in the area. They can keep 50% of the money from the ticket sales. Which they can keep or donate to their favourite charity.

My email is - wrchinesearts@yahoo.com

Tickets are now on sale at these locations in White Rock;

Laura's Coffee Corner (5 Corners District)

Tapestry Music on Johnston Road

Pelican Rouge Cafe in Central Plaza uptown White Rock on 16th Avenue

0r purchase your tickets through the Bell Centre for Performing Arts (click here)

 

 

September 12, 2012

Recently "mentalist" ERIC SAMUELS did a public performance at an unusual location, LAURA'S COFFEE CORNER @ 5 Corners in White Rock. Along with a number of other interested neighbours I journeyed to LAURA'S to watch the filming of a feature JOY TV's LEAH BOLTON was shooting to promote ERIC'S upcoming appearance at the Cascades Casino in Langley. To set the stage here is a personal anecdote of the amazing "mentalist" events ERIC performed.

In my case ERIC asked me my name and then wrote my name (David) on a Hello My Name is.....sticker. He placed it on my shirt. He had explained to the crowd he had a deck of cards that had been numbered 1-52. The numbers could clearly be seen written on the back of the cards in felt pen. H then went on to ask me to choose an odd numbered card and note the suit as well. He then asked me what the card was I chose. I told him the Ace of Spades. He explained tome and the crowd that was a very common card that most people choose. He wanted to know if I wanted to keep the card or choose another, I chose another card. He then asked me what the card was, I told him it was the 3 of diamonds. He shuffled through the deck found the card and held it up and asked me if that was the card I chose. I told him yes. He then turned the card around for all to see. It had the number 27 written on the back in felt marker. No big deal right? Well not until he walked over and took my name tag off and held it up for everyone, including me to see, that it had the number 27 written on the back.

ERIC SAMUELS background is radio. For a number of years he was the Program Director of the successful hot hits radio station Z-95 and most recently worked in the capacity of a consultant for the upstart radio station THE SHORE-FM.

Following a recent public performance at LAURA'S COFFEE CORNER for JOY TV Eric sat down for a coffee.


Eric you are a self professed "mentalist." What exactly is a mentalist?


The term dates back to the early 20th century, when performers began to bridge the gap between self-proclaimed Psychics and other charlatans who claimed to possess 'supernatural' or extra-sensory abilities (6th sense), with parlour and theatre performances, which were intended more as a form of entertainment.

I describe what I do as "using psychology, suggestion and stagecraft to entertain & empower."



How and when did your "mentalist" career begin?


I had studied psychology in college, before I became sidetracked by a different career (radio). My fascination with the inner-workings of human mind remained an active interest. I became interested in magic as it was both entertaining and provided a glimpse into some of the limitations of our perceptions. This inadvertently led me to discover Mentalism and I was like a kid in a candy store! This was not only the culmination of my many interests, but it opened a new door (that I wasn't even aware existed) to skills and techniques that stretched well beyond anything I had experienced!

Since leaving active duty as a programmer of local radio stations, I understand in addition to public shows like the one coming up at the Cascades Casino in Langley, you also show corporations and their staff how "mentalist" powers can help them succeed in business. Tell us a bit about how this aspect of your talents work.

As you mentioned, I've had the extraordinary fortune to have had a tremendously successful career spanning more than 25 years in the radio broadcasting industry. I began as an on-air performer, then became a Program Director and finally Senior VP of Programming for a National chain of radio stations. When I left the industry in 2008, it was with the intention of combining the skills and experience of my radio career - developing content, directing performers, marketing & managing people; with my background as a performer (I had performed as an on-air performer, stand-up comic, professional MC); as well as my newly developed training as a Mentalist. During my many years in broadcasting, I had attended hundreds of conventions and events and had the chance to experience thousands of speakers and presenters in action. I wanted to create something that I had rarely experienced during all of these events -
a speaker/presenter who could provide relevant and compelling information in an entertaining and energetic way. I set out to create a keynote presentation that accomplished these goals.
My first presentation took a full year to research, write & rehearse, before it was performed before a live audience in the fall of 2009. Since that time, I have added a second presentation to my services, based on the demand of clients to return to their convention the following year and present something different.
The presentations offer practical insight into our behaviour and are applicable to just about everyone. I touch upon topics as wide as how to make more successful decisions, to as specific as how to remember people's names.
What really makes the presentations unique, is that they are not only a careful balance of entertainment and information, but highly interactive and a lot of fun.



Having seen you perform on two separate occasions I was blown away with your ability to seemingly know the unknown. What do you tell people when they say "How the heck did you do that?"

I get that a lot! The first thing I always explain is that everything I do can be accomplished by YOU! I do not possess rare abilities of supernatural powers. In fact, I've seen no evidence that these exist. Everything that I do comes down to knowledge, training & focus. If you think about it, that applies to becoming successful at just about anything in life!
Now a big part of my presentations (both the keynotes and pure entertainment shows) is empowering the audience to experience and accomplish Acts Of Astonishment. I never want this to be about me. It's about what we are all capable of; the potential that can be realized with a little direction and effort.



Growing up in Surrey my parents took me to see the legendary REVEEEN on numerous occasions. Whalley was also home to Mandrake The Magician who performed regularly in our community. Growing up were you exposed to any performers who inspired you?


I recall The Amazing Kreskin on television when I was a kid. IN fact, it was an honour to finally meet him a while back. Funny thing though, when I saw him on TV, so many years ago, I never even considered that I might later pursue a similar path. More recently, a British performer, Derren Brown has been performing some of the most creative and entertaining Mentalism presentations. He's a relatively unknown entity in North America, but in the U.K., he's a major celebrity, having had several highly successful television series/specials, as well as multiple sold-out theatre tours.


No doubt given the nature of your performances, you have to have a funny story or two of how sometimes things just didn't go as planned. Care to share them with the readers of THE SUN?


'Reading' people's thoughts can be a rather intimate process.....I can tell you that there have been times when I've blushed on stage and have had to 'regroup,' before moving forward! Of course I won't share certain information, as I do have personal protocols (this applies both on stage as well as during an interview)!
I will tell you of one recent awkward moment during a 'lie-detector' test, in which I use non-verbal communication to determine who in a group of people is lying and who is telling the truth; through a process of random questions, someone inadvertently revealed information to their partner that....how can I best phrase this....they would have preferred they had not shared!


Are you constantly developing your talents, if so how do you expand your repertoire of abilities?



Everything I perform is my own creation, so I'm constantly developing new ideas and material. What's really challenging about this (and I talk about this actual process in a keynote on intuitive decision-making) is that ideas usually come to me at the oddest of times...like when I'm swimming - something I try to do several times a week. Tough to grab a pen and paper in the pool to mark things down, so I've learned to carry said materials in my gym bag, car, by my bed, etc.

Another 'organic' process is how odd things often occur during a show. Because we're dealing with a process that's very much in the moment and involves many people, no two shows are ever the same and things can be highly unpredictable (funny for me to say this given that part of my repertoire is making predictions). I've had things happen during a show that seem to throw things off, but upon later reflection, I realize that they were kind of a controlled chaos and can be developed into something really special!

It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes: "Chance favours the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Watch the JOY TV clip


 

 

 

August 30, 2012

 

Neil Tessler is a naturopathic physician with a speciality in homeopathy and regenerative nutrition practicing on the Semiahmoo Peninsula since June of 1984. In September Neil joins the staff of the White Rock Sun and will be contributing a monthly column for our Health section. We are so proud to have Neil as part of our team

D.Chesney/Publisher

 

Neil how and when did you begin your naturopathic/homeopathy practise?

Hmmm. I started out in Vancouver with another established homeopathic practitioner in Vancouver in the summer of 1983, more or less immediately after graduation. Various factors led me to move out to White Rock and start fresh in the early summer of 1984. In fact, I knew no one out here at all. One day an old lady called my office from White Rock. I told her I was considering moving that way. She said, "I've been praying to God to send a homeopath to White Rock!" And so it came to pass! At the time, I was a "resident alien" in the U.S. So I ended up living on an eighty acre farm near Birch Bay and commuted daily for about five or six years, before finally moving back to B.C. For a number of years I practiced in Duncan, Vancouver and White Rock, often working fourteen days at a time.

 

What was your motivation?

I grew up very conventionally as far as medicine and diet goes. I began study of natural food around age sixteen as part of my developing interest in yoga and meditation. (My poor mother) I was younger then most of the people around me and had lots of opportunity to observe and learn from what people were doing, whether raw food, macrobiotics (which was very popular at the time), herbs, etc. Although I had adopted a vegetarian diet, all in all, I found that the diet extremists were, well, extreme. The raw foodists in those days always seemed to be full of grandiose notions and excitedly awaiting the next shipment of persimmons or mangoes, etc. The macrobiotics were judgemental, austere and inevitably swung the other way, periodically binging on all the foods they weren't supposed to touch, such as oranges, sweets, etc. Herbal medicine in those days did not attract me so much. Now I use a lot of botanicals in my practice, but the science in this regard has advanced massively. In those days, it was all folk wisdom and little science.

I first learned of homeopathy from my spiritual teacher, Sant Kirpal Singh of Delhi. He referred to it fairly regularly and when I went to India in the winter of 1974 to spend time with him, it was the most readily available medicine. I had very good results for the various typical illnesses that occurred there, and so when I returned and began working at Banyen Books in the Spring of that year I began to seek out some writings on the subject. I felt an immediate resonance with the ideas, became quite intrigued and after a year or two eventually discovered a study group in Vancouver and joined. By the end of the very first meeting I knew that this was what I wanted to do as my life work. Eventually I decided that the best route was to get a naturopathic education and take it from there.


Are there any particular illnesses the majority of your patients come to see you for?

Pretty much the range of childhood and adult issues, both acute and chronic, physical and psychological.

 

From personal experience I have used naturopathic medicine for most of my ailments. In particular I have had great success with homeopathic medicine to treat my allergies to pollen. Do you treat patients for allergies?

All the time. I have a very large number of Indo-Canadian patients, as homeopathy is very popular there. Many of them suffer seasonal allergies. In fact, many people who migrate here from other parts of the world find that allergies and allergy related conditions are part of the price of shifting from a region where they have been genetically tuned for thousands of years, to a damp, cool, plant rich environment like the Pacific Northwest.


Our medical system MSP still is reticent to recognize natural health treatments. I would like to hear your thoughts on this matter and how you feel about preventive health care.

Well, when MSP did cover naturopaths, the pay-out was insulting and most of us had to opt out and then fill out a card for the patient so they could get the $6.50 reimbursement. Hardly worth the paper work hassle. Now that MSP is not available to naturopaths, extended coverage is much more effective in most cases, often covering eighty percent of the visit fee up to a certain dollar limit per year. This is much, much better for the patients, as the great majority have extended benefits. So MSP stopping direct coverage was the best political thing that has happened in my career as a naturopath: much less paperwork, much better coverage for more people.

The political recognition of naturopathic medicine has been a gradual process, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, with other medical fraternities as the main obstruction, not just the MD's, but other health professions as well whose associations apparently view naturopathy as competitive. In B.C. things have moved well along though and the range of our activities allowed within our mandate has expanded considerably despite intense BCMA opposition.

In terms of prevention: this may be the greatest political and medical failure North America wide, leading to enormously destructive economic consequences. Prevention in the common system is merely associated with check-ups, mammograms, vaccination, etc. True prevention helps people understand the power of self-responsibility towards their all around health - to teach the knowledge and skills of metabolic fitness, which is the foundation of physical fitness, which is the foundation of best health. A focus on prevention allows people to feel and perform their best at every age and results in drastically decreased reliance on the medical system and pharmaceuticals.

Fortunately the general public is well ahead of the powers that be. We are seeing an increasing public engagement with right diet, fitness, etc., though there is a long road ahead. Nevertheless, most of the prominent product displays in the grocery section of, say, Walmart, are just pure junk - terrible things to put in your body; engineered to excite your tongue while creating misery in every cell of your body.


There does not seem to be a week go by that I don't hear of breakthroughs in natural medicine and the advancements that are being made. Have you been buoyed by any particular treatment for a particular disease that is seeing great strides being made?

Yes it is true that there is an enormous amount of research in the field of plant medicine and nutritional medicine going on worldwide. Nevertheless, at least at the outset, we really we need to pull back from discussing particular treatments for particular diseases, which is really the common language of medicine - 'this for that' - and focus on principles. The organism functions as an indivisible whole, expressing symptoms in an attempt to maintain overall balance. Symptoms are indications of the innate healing and homeostatic process. They express the unique balance of that individual. The organism needs first to be listened to as a whole, not simply in terms of the most prominent symptoms. This is a long story but just saying!

Furthermore, life is a balance between catabolic and anabolic metabolism, best described as damage vs. repair. A lot of what people suffer after a certain stage is directly associated with to much damage and not enough repair, due to so many factors. This can be true at any age, but certainly aging bears down hard on the damage side. So we want to push down on the damage side and push up on the repair side and this can effect so many positive values that bring better overall balance.

Then there are the psychological factors that in human beings are paramount to the extent that hiding behind many a pathology is the psychology.


How big of a factor is diet in the big picture of homeopathic medicine?

Well firstly, homeopathy is a distinct system of natural medicine that is quite different in many respects from herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, etc.
The first major importance of diet in homeopathy is simply to know what a person craves, particularly likes or is otherwise averse too. In homeopathy, quite apart from judgements of good and bad, preferences are an important indicator of the unique constitution of the individual. For instance, some people crave salt, others are completely indifferent to sweets, etc., etc. Preferences of this nature can highlight certain homeopathic remedies over others.

Secondly, in homeopathy, poor dietary choices can be an obstruction to the curative process, in which case they become important.


Practising what you preach where do you purchase your food stuffs?

I didn't realize that where you purchase your food connects with practicing what you preach, but since you asked, we purchase our food at Mary's Garden, Save-On and Choices primarily, as they are all very close to where we live. We also love to go to the Bellingham Food Coop. Personally, I'm a stict lacto-vegetarian since my teens, over forty years now, and am more or less sensitive to what my body likes or does not like and apply a fair amount of easy-going discipline in this regard. I eat a natural food diet rich in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with a small amount of dairy products. I do not drink pop or eat more then a very, very modest amount of sugared food, the occasional dark chocolate specifically.

Improving ones overall health must include a certain amount of exercise? Do you counsel your patients on this subject or do you provide a referral service?

Most of the time I don't focus on this in the practice.


In closing Neil, what are some simple steps that readers of this article can begin as they start their journey down the road to good health?

Let's understand what good health means for a moment. Health is freedom - mentally, emotionally and physically. Psychology begets pathology, therefore we should always be mindful that health begins with a healthy mind and healthy relationships. Striving for self-awareness, sensitivity to the golden rule based on wise introspection into our choices and their impact on our relationships, friendships and work space goes a long way towards establishing a healthy life. Seeking wise counsel, reading wisdom books, introspective time, meditative time, and creative expression are all fundamentals of good health. Blame is a rampant disease and taking responsibility a sign of good health.

Eating real food and minimizing processed, additive laden, deep fried, sugared food, calories with no content, etc. Botanical and nutritional supplements can play a valuable role depending on the health condition and age.

Regular exercise is always important at every age.

 

Neil Tessler ND DHANP
Naturopathic Physician
Classical Homeopathy
604 542-9759
www.drneilhomeopath.com
www.hanp.net

 

 

August 13, 2012

 

Welcome To The Neighbourhood

l-r JoAnn Smith / Gloria Boutcher / Pat Petrala

 

For decades WELCOME WAGON has been reaching out to residents as they settle into their new homes in various neighbourhoods throughout Canada. The local group of ladies representing WELCOME WAGON includes PAT PETRALA.

We are talking today with long time community advocate Pat Petrala. Pat before we find our about your work with Welcome Wagon tell me about the recent honour you received from White Rock on Canada in a special ceremony on the waterfront.

Pat at Canada Day Event (left)


I was delighted to have been publicly recognized by Mayor and Council for the City of White Rock on Canada Day for the cumulative volunteer and community engagement work I have been involved with since moving here in 1996. The Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula - Legacy Program also had Pat Patton and Polly Tays on the stage - so standing with my peers who have been role models as well, we 3 P's was such fun! I hope that this profile stimulated others to step forward as well, to connect with neighbours doing great things for so many.


You obviously dedicate a great deal of your time to helping build a strong community here on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. What was your motivation and how did your wonderful volunteer work begin?


My early years as a brownie, then girl guide plus Y Camp and other learning opportunities through life imprinted the respect and value of helping others help themselves, the ways and means for improving skills and confidence building through experience, and the marvellous networks of ever expanding circles of diverse people as friends and colleagues. I came from Ottawa to White Rock to care for Mom, and after she passed felt like an orphan. Since then I have made the community and my neighbours my surrogate extended family.


You are such a natural to perform the duties of a Welcome Wagon representative. How long have you been working with Welcome Wagon?


Dawn Corcran retired after 27 years serving the area in December and moved to the Island. She graciously trained me and thus 9 months so far, this is an additional community building service role for me.


How far and wide is the footprint of land that you cover? Are there other Welcome Wagon reps in the area? Are you still referred to as hostesses?


Welcome Wagon is an 83 year old national program - We three gals - Gloria, JoAnn and myself - cover all of South Surrey and White Rock from 40th Avenue to the Ocean and 182 in the east. Langley, Surrey, Richmond and the Fraser Valley and cities across Canada have representatives. If people are interested to apply to be a rep, the web site has the details. Representative is a better term than hostess, as we are ambassadors for the civic services and recreation choices, as well as represent and introduce the local merchants that sponsor the program to new comers.


What is entailed in a visit from a Welcome Wagon representative? When you visit newcomers to the area I am aware you take a gift basket for the new residents. What is included in this gift basket?


We really do bring a basket to unpack with the Mayor's letter of greeting, timely bike & other maps, a mix of parks with free recreation pass and other practical information, product samples or gifts and gift certificates. The mix varies in each community.


How do you describe this area to new residents in a Cole Notes version.


Working with the Peninsula map, I let folks know the lay of the land and where each item unpacked is located. The nature and bike trails, libraries and easy north/south/east/west grid by street numbers is easy to figure out. Certainly I am a booster of all the seasonal events, entertainment and excellent resources the Peninsula has to offer and encourage volunteerism to new comers as an excellent way to build your social circle and professional networks.


In your rather short period of working for Welcome Wagon have you had any interesting experiences? Have you noticed a pattern yet of a certain area a lot of the new residents are from?


The diversity of housing mixes and ways people truly make their homes their own in the new in fill or subdivisions is fascinating. Whether rentals, renovations or custom built - we see the growing new families from the lower mainland, Alberta and Ontario are joining expanded families from Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China and Malaysia. People are so curious and enthusiastic to discover options to get to the beach and parking, choices for traffic routes, where to make friends, libraries plus appreciate the introduction to local businesses we have all used and from our experience respect.


How do you learn about newcomers to the area?


Caring alert neighbours often call or email, and/or pass along our name and number or the web site and encourage new comers to sign up. We have a small add in the local print media. Some realtors that we have tried to inform and encourage, remember to pass along the invitation. Being a lookie-loo at Realtor's open houses and networking is one way we find newcomers. Frankly - we watch the for rent and sale signs, monitor and then cold-call knock on the door, drop off a letter or card of invitation and display these invites all over town. Timing to connect is hard, moves are so demanding and with commuters and vacations just now - no one is home when we call. People set the invite aside and forget to call us. Many cultures and younger generations are not familiar with this western tradition of greeting by Welcome Wagon. There is no "catch" it is merely introductory hospitality with no obligation.


I encourage everyone to do tell people that have moved even from North Surrey or farther away - let them know about WelcomeWagon.ca or call anytime. Thank you for your interest and sharing the program with your readers!

No Pat Thank You for all the great work you do in our community. You shine as an inspiration to all.

 

L-R: JoAnn; Jennifer; Pat; Natalie, Gloria

Local Business Owner Jennifer Lowe of Sandcastle Lanes and Natalie Dunnill, Sandcastle Fitness Centre Manager were recently presented with a plaque in recognition their loyal community building business sponsorship with Welcome Wagon and and to honour the team for being champions of recreation and fitness in the Semiahmoo Peninsula.


For over 10 years, Sandcastle Lanes has been a community sponsor with Welcome Wagon Canada.
Welcome Wagon is proud to have represented this local business for over a decade and look forward to continuing to share all the best of the community of Semiahmoo Peninsula with new comers all year long.

Visit them online.

Sandcastle Lanes

Sandcastle Fitness

Welcome Wagon

 

 


August 10, 2011

 

Talk Derby To Me

While standing in line at a local coffee shop one day, I remarked to the young lady in front of me in line how much I liked the design of her Terminal City Rollergirls t-shirt. She said "thank you a couple of us girls live here in White Rock."

I couldn't believe my good fortune. Boy did I want to meet these neighbours.

Today we introduce you to Amanda Von Rotten and Tiki Timebomb. What's with the names? I'm not sure why don't YOU ask them.

 

Meet Autumn Von Rotten

Autumn what drew you to being a roller girl? How did you hear about the Terminal City Roller Girls?
When I started skating I was living in London Ontario. At that time there was a show out on TV call Roller Girls and a few girls in my city wanted to start up a team. At the time I really had no idea what i was getting myself into but now that i look back i can say camaraderie and challenge is what drew me. When i decided to move out west I wanted to continue skating so I did a google search and got in contact with TCRG and have been skating with them ever since!

Is roller derby not unlike other sports in that you have to do a certain amount of practising? How do you stay in game shape?
When you are serious about a sport you practice all the time. Roller derby is no different. Outside of our regular practices we cross train together and separate.

Any serious injuries?
I have had a bruised tailbone and a few knee injuries

I understand the Terminal City Roller Girls have a big match with a team from Texas this weekend. Tell us a bit about Saturday's event.
The next event is a double-header at Minoru Arena on Saturday, Aug 11, 2012. (Public Frenemy vs. Bad Reputations and Terminal City All-Stars vs. the Hustlers from Texas Rollergirls

How many teams are there in the Lower Mainland?
Two my team the Terminal City Rollergirls and the Mainland Misfits

Given the fact you and at least one other Terminal City member make your home in White Rock, is there any chance we might one day see you in action on the Semiahmoo Peninsula?
I sure hope so! I would love to play a game close to home!

Is there a certain amount of character creation in roller derby, say similar to professional wrestling? What is your character and moniker?
You have the choice to use an alter ego or use your real name. Most choose to have an alter ego. That is how I came to be Autumn von Rotten.

The best part of being a roller girl?
I love meeting little girls that come to watch. Its great to see them so excited to meet us and watch the game!

The toughest part of being a roller girl.
Balancing the proper amount of time between life and derby and injury.


Meet Tiki Timebomb


Tiki how did you get involved with the Terminal City Rollergirls?

A poster for the Season 2 opener was dropped off at my work. I stared at it every day, wondering what roller derby was. I'd never seen the show, and had no idea what to expect. I walked into the arena and was in awe. I don't know if I was drawn more to the speed, the roller skates, or the roar of the crowd, but I knew this was the sport for me. I started skating the next day, and have now been with the TCRG for four seasons. During that time I've been a skater for the Faster Pussycats (still am) and the All-Stars (two seasons, had to leave to go back to school), a coach, a committee head (I'm the Head of Inter-League Relations, handling contact and organizing play with other leagues) and for the past season I've been captain of my team. It's a huge time commitment, but the return is incredibly gratifying. Roller derby is physically demanding, and requires dedicated cross-training on top of two- to three-hour practices several times a week. It's not for the feint of heart, that's for sure. You need agility, speed, and stamina. But you get to be a part of this amazing community of women from a wide variety of backgrounds, and play this fun sport, and it's wonderful.

I remember watching roller derby may years ago on television. Do you think roller derby is making a comeback?

Definitely. Modern derby has been on the rise since about 2004, and in Vancouver since 2006. It's still much bigger in the States, where almost every city has one or two leagues. Canada took awhile to catch on, but now there are leagues in every single province, and Toronto hosted the first ever derby world cup last year. Teams from Brazil, England, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Argentina, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, and Canada and the US took part. Canada won the silver. It's nothing like the old roller derby, with staged fights and things. There's a huge and complex rule book, and you spend a lot of time studying strategy. We also have at least six on-skates and several non-skating referees watching our every move. It's a real sport, make no doubt about it.

Not having had the luxury of seeing The Terminal City Rollergirls in action, give us an overview of what a night out at the roller derby is all about.

Roller derby has something for everyone. There's a lot of speed, strategy, and some big personalities as well. We get crowds of anywhere between 1000 and 2200 people, so it's a pretty big, exciting event. If you like fast, full-contact sports, this is for you. But the cool thing is that it's also fun for the whole family. People dress in their favourite team's colours, and kids clamor around the skaters for autographs after the games. We have a fantastic announcing team that keeps the energy going and helps the crowd understand things going on down on the track.

Timebomb in action

Have you suffered any serious injuries during your time as a roller girl?
I've had a concussion, and a second head injury a year later that seemed minor but resulted in concussion-like symptoms. I now wear a hockey helmet, as do lots of other skaters. Other than that, I rarely come away from a practice or game without several bruises and the odd welt from a skate wheel.

Were the Terminalcityrollergirls (and guys) part of this years Sea Festival Parade in White Rock?

No, that was the Mainland Misfits, out of Cloverdale/Langley. We play with them often, and the Faster Pussycats are actually having a low-production game against them in Cloverdale this Sunday (Aug 12) at 6pm at the Cloverdale Curling Club. Admission is $5.

When is the next chance to see you in action?
I'll be watching the game on Saturday as a league reporter, doing the bout re-cap for the website. The Pussycats next play (besides in Cloverdale) on August 22nd in the semi-finals. After that, just one game left, and that's the championship. We won it last year, so it's time to defend our trophy.

Tiki & Autumn with the rest of the FASTER PUSSYCATS gang

 

Learn more about the Terminal City ROLLERGIRLS

Photos courtesy BOB AYERS - Check out more photos (click here)

 

 

August 02, 2012

 

ROADHOUSE ROAD TRIP

Dwayne and Sharon Jacobson


Dwayne & Sharon Jacobson (and Chef Young) are the very proud owners of the busiest restaurant on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, McJac's Roadhouse Grille located at Stayte Street (160th) and the King George Blvd. in South Surrey. In addition to operating the restaurant they recently sold Haven Properties very successful property management firm. But today we are sitting down with Dwayne to learn a little bit about a cross Canada caravan he will soon be undertaking.

Dwayne tell us a bit about the very unique vehicles you will be traveling across Canada in with the caravan this summer.



These Coaches are the only ones ever built by a Major Automobile Manufacture. GM built approx 13,000 between 1973 and 1978. (there are approx. 8000 still drive able today) They are unique being that they are powered by a 455 Olds Toronado engine on the Toronado front wheel drive system, (in 1978 they introduced the 403 engine due to the gas crunch at that time). The body covered by aluminum and fiberglass. Due to the front wheel drive - no drives haft to the rear wheels gives it a low centre of gravity. The rear tandem wheels are fitted with an adjustable air bag suspension system.
There are many varieties of interior layouts. Each comes with a sitting area, kitchen (stove/oven/sink/fridge) bathroom/shower, closet and bed. They can dry camp utilizing the built in 6000watt Onan Generator. Each is fitted with a propane fired furnace. A large fresh water tank and waste water tank. Average mileage is 10mpg. (Gas)

For the past couple of years visitors to the Spirit of the Sea Festival have seen you in the parade with your GMC RV. With all the other vehicles in town this weekend getting ready for the Canada Caravan will we see some of the other vehicles joining you in the parade?

This year there will be 4 entered.

When do you leave with the caravan and what stages will the trip be divided into?

There are 25 registered to camp in South surrey for a GMC Cacaders White Rock Rally August 2 to 6th.

Check out our web site www.gmc-cascaders.com

Local hosts to the Cascaders RV club LORNE and JEAN stroll through the parklike setting of their property admiring the 2 dozen coaches that have arrived for the weekend.


On Monday the 6th 15 of us head up to Whistler for the night then onto Boston Bar for another night. The following day 13 of us head to Kelowna for a 2 night stay. Then onto Jasper, Banff, Drumheller, Saskatoon, Brandon and continue across Ontario and Quebec to the Maritmes where we are met by 4 GMC owners and guided through their provinces. We figure on spending most of September in the Maritimes. From there we head south to New Orleans with many stops along the way. From there we head west and up the west coast.

What made you search out and choose a GMC RV? What is unique about these vehicles?

In the 70's we saw them on the road and said "One Day". We rented other types over the years then bought a cab over C class to see if we really liked this style of holidays. We did and while camping we saw a GMC coach that sparked our interest. Searched the web and found a great site www.gmcmotorhome.com and link to Bethune Sales.
We located our first one in Washington State with 27,000 original miles on the speedo. (not swim wear that certain men still wear besides the Olympic athletes). We have had this one since 2005 and so many great times with our grandchildren on trips to Disneyland plus many that Sharon and I get away and go exploring antique shops, etc and bring back items for the restaurant walls.

Tell me about the camaraderie that goes along with owning such a special vehicle.

The people in our club and in other GMC clubs we have met have become extended family members. Always ready to serve on another. Just a great community.

Have you crunched the numbers at all what the trip across Canada and back will cost in fuel. roughly what kind of mileage do you get with the vehicle?

I have mapped out the route and it comes to 13, 600 miles. Figure 10 mpg = 1,360 gallons. I burn high grade gas void of ethonal (a very destructive ingredient to classic vehicles) and although I pay more for gas I get better mileage so I figure the cost factor levels out. You can do the math $$$ x 1,360 gallons = $$$$$$

Once you get all the way to the Maritimes I understand you are then planning on swinging down through the United States. Where will that portion of the trip take you and how long total will this "drive about" take?

I shared with you earlier part of the US return trip. We'll tour ground Zero, the Googleheim museum in New York City, Visit Amish country in Penn., Washington, DC, Gettysburg, Dollywood, Swamp boat tour, San Antonio, Galveston, Carlsbad Caverns, Phoenix, Las Vegas and more.

Are you making the trip solo this summer or will you have a travelling partner for such a long trip?

Sharon and I have 3 other coaches joining in the trip across Canada and part of the upper US return. Then we are on our own. Several others will take part in segments of the Across Canada trip.

Can you assure us we will still be treated to the same fine service and food at the Roadhouse in your absence ha ha?

On our Web site www.roadhousegrille.ca we will have an active Travel Blog where you can view pictures and stories of Foods of our Nation, as we stop and take in local food fare. We have great staff ready to serve our Guests providing a comfortable environment with great in house prepared meals.

Local artist TONY O'REGAN has agreed to come out and sketch the coach owners over the weekend wiith the proceeds along with other weekend fundraising events being dedicated to Avalon. Avalon is a local support group for women.

Visit TONY'S website

Visit AVALON'S website

 

 

 

 

July 28, 2012

PRINCESS PARTY

Myra Merkal invites you and YOUR princess to attend the Princess Party Saturday August 25

The Star of the Sea on Pacific Avenue in the 5 Corners district of White Rock turns into a dream castle next month. MYRA MERKAL dreamed up the idea a few years ago as a fund raiser to support her son, Evan a White Rock firefighter who was cycling across Canada to raise money for Variety. You might say things got out of hand in a good way.

 

Myra how and why did it all begin?


3 years ago 7 members of the White Rock Firefighters, including my son Evan Bird rode bicycles across Canada raising money for Variety the children’s charity.  The ride was called shore2shore.  I decided I wanted to support their fund raising initiative and started doing a variety of fund raising activities.  Evan has two daughters Sadie and Tatum, who are my precious granddaughters and I wanted to do something for children.  I witnessed Sadie and Tatum playing princess all the time and thought “why not create a princess party”  I rented a hall, hired a clown, did a press release and the princess party was born.  We sold out,  attracting 100 girls and raising $3,500.  I then knew I was onto something that benefited our community so decided to do it again. The 2nd annual was held last year.  I booked a bigger hall, which attracted 190 girls and we raised $10,200.  All proceeds go to the White Rock Firefighters Charity Association in support of their efforts to build an ALL ABILITIES par k in White Rock that can be utilized by adults and children.


What is the qualification to be a “princess?”


A girl between the ages of 2 and 10 years old

 

How many princesses and moms came to last year’s event?


190 came last year and we’re expecting to sell out at 225 this year, so get your tickets now.

 

Is there a little princess in your life?


Absolutely, the two little loves of my life, my grand daughters Sadie age 6 and Tatum age 4. I want them to grow up in a community that is fun, loving and accepting and for them to believe in their dreams.  I want this for them and for all children.  To look at the beauty in themselves and in others.

 

What do you see the benefits of the Princess Party to be?


The essence of the Princess Party embodies 3 elements

  1.  Bringing a day filled with fun, laughter, surprises and the belief that every day brings the opportunity for a miracle

  2. Teaching our children to love themselves and others

  3. Giving back  and creating positive opportunities in our community

I want each little girl that attends our event to feel like this special event was created just for her.

 

Tell me about a new aspect of the personal development of the Princesses this year.

An important element is that we introduce the children to virtues such as friendliness, generosity, courtesy, love, kindness and this year we are naming each of the different station’s after one of the virtues.  An example is Friendly Face painting, Courteous Cakewalk and the volunteers will bring these virtues into activities in a fun way.

We will also be having a half day “Introduction to the Virtues” workshop for parents and children ( boys and girls) after the princess party for parents who are interested in  learning more about and practicing virtues in the home.  A friend of mine is a master facilitator for the virtues project and is excited to bring this into our community.

 

In attending last years event I found myself noticing how much fun he mother’s that bring their little girls were having.  They all seemed to have a look on their faces that said “Gee I wish there was something like this when I was this age."

Are you aware of any other Princess Parties that happen in the area?


No I don’t know of other princess parties at this level that happen in this area.  The amazing princess that we have providing the interactive play date for the children at our princess party has a business wherein she attends birthday parties in a variety of princess impersonations.  Her company is www.asyouwishprincess.com   She is incredible and a big highlight of our Annual Princess Party.  This year she will be Snow White.

 

Would you eve consider helping and consulting to help organize and establish princess parties in other communities?

Yes, I would  I would like to inspire others to bring this level of delight into their community.

 

Tell me about the Seniors tie in to the Princess Party this year.


I approached one of the largest senior citizen homes to see if they would allow us to come into their facility to bring a craft for the senior’s in the home and also to provide a bit of entertainment.  I received a resounding yes. 
I want to teach children at a young age how wonderful it is to give back to community  so one of our crafts is to make book marks for a senior that will include decorating it and bring in a virtue element as well.  A couple of weeks after the Party, we will go into the senior’s center with Snow White in costume and some little princesses as well.  Snow White has an amazing singing voice, so she will sing for the seniors and the little princesses will give the seniors one of the bookmarks.  The person I’m arranging this with said she will also have the seniors think about a virtue they practice to pass onto the little ones.

 

Could you see there ever being a PRINCE party?


You never know.  I don’t have one planned right now.

 

Though in has been a short period of time you have been organizing the Princess Parties, is there a favourite Kodak moment that stays with you.


Yes, at the very first princess party when Cinderella opened the doors with such grace and elegance and in true Disneyland style said “ Welcome beautiful Princesses to the Princess party”.  And then I heard all the gasps and looked to see a line-up of precious little souls all dressed up in their princess dresses.  Yes, my tears flowed.

 

PRINCESS PARTY WEBSITE:
Wrprincessparty.com

 

(click here)

  I did a youtube last week, looking for sponsorships.  Raffle prize, BIA city, chamber of commerce, Rotary.

Bippity Boppity Boo, may all your dreams come true.

 

 

July 17, 2012

BORN TO BE WILD

The second annual STURGIS NORTH motorcycle rally/music festival takes over the speedway in Vernon. The 5 day event includes a trade show, daily rides to raise money for local charities, music by classic rock bands nightly, a shuttle service to neighbouring towns, a trade show, a biker build off, stunt riders, daily morning mass and show n' shines for judging of best bikes at the show.

STURGIS NORTH also raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society and supports troops and their families.

South Surrey resident RAY SASSEVILLE has been reluctant and to be quite honest too busy to sit down for an interview. Perseverance paid off and in an exclusive interview with The White Rock Sun SASSEVILLE takes us into his world and the giant festival preparation.

 

Ray how long have you lived in South Surrey?


6 years n South Surrey  prior to living in the Lower Mainland I live for a number of years in the Okanagan

 

 

What made you decide you wanted to start a music/motorcycle festival?


I just decided one year Canada needed it’s own combination bike music festival.  I have been going down to Sturgis Bike Rally for a number of years so I was well aware of how successful that event was, and also how many people ride their bikes all the way down from Canada.  I wanted to create a similar type of event here in Canada, but one with my stamp on it.

 

Do you personally own and ride a bike?

The Real Deal


I have a few bikes in my personal collection.  My most recent purchase is a 2011 Road Glide Harley Davidson which right now is in the body shop having a beautiful Sturgis North paint job put on it.  I also have an old school 1992 Harley chopper and I also am the proud owner of a Billy Lane custom chopper.

 

Your motorcycle rally and music festival is called Sturgis North.  Many people are familiar with the legendary bike festival Sturgis in Dakota.  Are you associated with the original, and if so how did that come about?

Sturgis South


This is very interesting and I would like people to know.  I have ridden down to Sturgis for the past 40 years and whenever I have had the opportunity I have ridden down to the festival.  I just decided one day I wanted to have one in Canada.  I went to a group of lawyers and I wanted to trademark the name Sturgis in Canada.  The lawyers  came back and guaranteed I could use the name because it was not registered internationally.  The actual Sturgis rally is called the Black Hills Rally.  I looked up their trademarks and found out they didn’t have a lock on the Sturgis name.  I met with the Mayor of Sturgis in 2010 and told him what I was doing.  I then met with the mayor at the VIP tent  in Sturgis.  There were all kinds of dignitaries present at our first meeting. Many members of the Chamber of Commerce were in attendance and seemed genuinely interested in what I was planning on in Canada. I gave them all my  business cards and informed them I had trademarked the name up in Canada.  My thinking was if they wanted to sue me, let’s talk.  I came own to tell them I was going to put on the best damn show and I would honour the brand name Sturgis.  We met for a couple of hours, they shook my hands and wished me the best.  And that was it.  I have since been back and they wondered how the event went.  They seemed happy.  The reason I went down and told them before I did it was  because as Canadians we always take the high road.  And that’s what we did.  This way I also have some recourse if some day down the road someone feels they want to sue me.  My honesty is a matter of record now.

 

Looking back on your first year and festival what was the most important lesson you learned after the first year of operation in Salmon Arm last year.


The most important lesson I learned is to hold the festival in a location that offers infrastructure.  By doing the first year in Salmon Arm I started out with nothing but 40 acres of dirt.  I had to build everything up from there. The site preparation bill was staggering $120,000  for a generator, $60,000 for fuel for the generators, porta potties $60-$70,00, fencing $100,000.  Shuttle service because I was operating in two locations $60,000.  This year at the motorplex outside of Vernon it is all a turn key operation.  Power lights, water, everything is there. This year I will save a minimum of a half a million dollars just in site preparation.  My goal is to pay off the debts from last year, financially it didn’t make sense to stay in Salmon Arm.  I have contacted all my creditors and explained to them I hope to be able to pay my bills from Salmon Arm from the profits from this years festival and in the worst case scenario spread over this year and next years events.

 

There seemed to be some confusion, in that the same weekend you were starting up in Salmon Arm, there was another bike rally in Merritt.  It seemed looking at it from the outside “the pissing war” hurt both of you.  Is the market big enough for two similar events this close to each other?

I went  to see the owner of Merritt Mountain Music Festival Claude Lefebrevr.  We shook hands and I was gong to come back and do something on the property at Merritt Festival.  He told me there were a couple of guys doing a show n shine or something Merritt.  You might want to talk to him and see if he can partner up with you.  The guy was busy and he told me he couldn’t meet with me for 2 or 3 weeks, so I did a little research.  I rode my bike up to Mettitt three weeks later.  He introduced himself and his partner.  So I told these guys and said this is what I AM DOING.  He said hold it right there, we are doing our own festival.  I told him I talked to Claude and he told me we are doing exactly what you are doing on the same weekend.  I said did you tell Council about us.  I said how did you know what we are doing.  He told me Claude had filled them in on everything they were doing.  I told them they would be lucky to bring in $20,000 revenue into the city.  I could bring in about half a million dollars.  You tell me you have a charity for kids and maybe we can work together.  So I tried a few more time to work out a deal with them.  So city council from Merritt phones me and says why aren’t you coming to the Merritt closed meeting of Council.  So I told Merritt council I was moving to Salmon Arm given all the trouble I had already incurred.  All year long people wee calling us telling us they had been told we weren’t happening.  The Merritt festival was telling everyone we weren’t happening.  I figured I would just take the high road.  At the end of the day we had over 40,000 and they had only 2500 visitors.  All they had to do was say, Ray we screwed up.  I would have worked with their charity and it would have been a win win situation.

EDITOR'S NOTE 

+The Great Canadian Bike Rally this year was held in Merritt last weekend

 

The RCMP in print media have confirmed they are going to be keeping an eye on you this year in Vernon, due in part there were some motorcycle gangs in attendance at last year’s event.  Does this cause you any concern.


It doesn’t cause me any concern, it didn’t cause any problems for me, or the people attending the festival.  A couple of the clubs had booths where they sold their clothing.  Everyone is invited, everyone is equal.  If there is no problem they are welcome  to back.  There was no problem with ANYONE at the first year festival in Salmon Arm.

Do you have any breakdown on where the majority of the people will come from for your festival?


Geographically we had visitors from Sweden, Japan, Australia.  A lot from the U.S.  Huge contingent from Alberta, and the remainder from B.C. a few from Saskatchewan and a few from the rest of the Western Provinces.  Right across the East Coast.

 

Is there a typical type of bike rider that attends events like Sturgis North?

We did extensive research and also based on what I have seen at other festivals we came up with a roughed out profile of the average person who we expect to see at our festival. Our research identified our target audience  is 35 plus, above average education, above average income, fair amount of disposable income, 50%  probably own or manage a business, 90% own a bike over $30,000  65% bring their wives or  spouses.

 

Music will once again play a big part in your festival in Vernon this year.  What bands are playing this year?

We have a great lineup again this year of musical talent. the Stampeders, the guess who, nick gilder & SWEENEY TODD, KIM MITCHELL, BLUE OYSETER CULT, FOGHAT, JERRY DOUCETTE, RICK DERRINGER, BRIAN HOWE (former lead singer of BAD COMPANY) and a strong contingent of local acts. It will be three days of great music in a spectacular setting.

 

I think most people would be surprised at the extent of the festival. It is not just a weekend of partying correct?

We really are more than just a motorcycle rally.  We have a rock show,a trade show and business exposition component in our event.  By having all three I bring in people with bikes, people with bikes that like rock and people that simply come for the event because they like the music.

 

Can you ever envision moving Sturgis North to the Lower Mainland of B.C.  Perhaps in Surrey, Langley or White Rock?


No.  No.  I like the Okanagan,  it  is close to Alberta.  The new location is very central.  Twice daily buses will run from Kamloops,  Penticton and Sicamous.  I did this to stop the drinking and driving.  We also will have cages if someone gets a little tipsy we will have a secure place.  I have come up with a lot of ideas from attending so many bike rallies in the past.

 

Anyone else would be worn out after staging such a massive festival, yet I understand you have a couple of other plans for musical endeavours cooking on the back burner. Tell us a bit about what you have up your sleeve.

Down the road we want to start a record label. Having been involved with booking the musical acts for STURGIS NORTH now for a couple of years, I have been blown away with the vast pool of great entertainers we have not just in Canada but locally it blows my mind what great talent I have seen and heard. Keep your eyes our for the launch of our record label in the New Year.

 

 

June 27, 2012

New President Sworn In at Rotary Club of White Rock / Prestigious Awards Presented at Installation Celebration

Left to Right: Rotary Club of White Rock Paul Harris Award recipients Jean Buchanan, Milton Carrasco (with wife Valery) and Patricia Johnston with Rotarian Robert Harris who was recently honoured by Rotary International.            

 

White Rock Rotary, the peninsula’s oldest Rotary club, presented the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award to several outstanding  community volunteers and philanthropists at its recent Installation Celebration that saw the gavel passed from current President Ian Lagasse to incoming President Jaqui Joys.
Individuals who have contributed more than $1000 to the Annual Program Fund, the Polio Plus Fund or the Humanitarian Grants Program of the Rotary Foundation are recognized as Paul Harris Fellows. Additionally, Rotary clubs from time to time honor individuals who meet high professional and personal standards set forth by Paul Harris, who founded Rotary International in 1905. A Paul Harris Fellow receives a special certificate and a gold pin.
Two of the award recipients, Betty Wahl and Patricia Johnston are volunteers with Peace Arch Hospital.

Betty Wahl has been a volunteer for Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary for 40 years and is also president of the Semiahmoo Group that participates in hospital fund raising functions. Her efforts as the hospital’s Gift Shop Convenor for the past six years, along with the 40 selfless volunteers she oversees, have been instrumental in raising over $400,000 yearly for the hospital. “I enjoy this position as it adds to my life experiences while helping others, said Betty who could not be personally present at the celebration.

Patricia Johnston joined the Peace Arch Hospital Auxiliary 10 years ago. Experienced in hotel and other management jobs, Patricia has been the Superfluity Shop Convenor for five years. The shop sells a wide range of goods and clothing from donors earning much needed funding for the Hospital.  "Superfluity is very popular with people looking for bargains of which there are a lot,” said Patricia. “I enjoy the fast paced turnover and the demands of the position.”

A third recipient was philanthropist Milton Carrasco who has generously donated $20,000 to the Rotary Club of White Rock over the past two years. He is CEO and President of his own company Transoft Solutions which deals in transportation software and employees 50 people. Born in Uganda, he and his wife Valery spent their early years there before moving to Calgary and then Vancouver. Milton’s donation has been used for Rotary projects in Uganda and internationally. “Like Rotarians, Milton believes in service above self,” said long-time club member Frank Sequeira. “Milton has also donated generously to Richmond General Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital and has provided scholarships to the University of Calgary.”                                   

Jean Buchanan also received a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of her service to both Rotary and Rotary project REC for Kids.  REC stands for Recycle Equipment and Cycles. Donations of slightly used equipment and cycles are refurbished and distributed to children in need.  Jean is retiring from her post.
Last but not least was recipient Harry White, a past Rotary member and past REC director.
Other noteworthy honours at the Installation Celebration included recognizing John Ansell for ‘service above self’ for his continued commitment to the success of the club’s book committee and major book sale project. Despite being 86 years of age, John can often be found, sometimes before daybreak, sorting books and lifting heavy boxes in the Rotary book warehouse. He has been a Rotarian for 36 years and has served as a director for the past two.

The 2012 White Rock Rotarian of the Year Award was awarded posthumously to Bill Holtby, a Rotarian since 1954, who also received the honour in 1997 and 2002.   

 

Jacqui Joys Rotary President

Accepting the gavel from outgoing President Ian Lagasse, Jaqui Joys, the new President of the Rotary Club of White Rock for 2012-2013, shared her vision for the coming term.  

“In the coming year, we will look for projects closer to home to see where we can be of service in our own community,” said Jaqui. “There are five clubs in our Lower mainland and we will plan some of our events as multi-club projects. Already we have done a Beach Clean-up and we are now in the process of planning an August picnic for disadvantaged children. We will also continue to develop our New Generation program as they are the future of Rotary.”

Rotary is an international service organization that currently has well over one million members worldwide. The motto of Rotary is "Service Above Self". While the club provides a venue for both business and social networking, the primary focus is on local and international service projects. One of Rotary’s international projects is Polio Plus which aims to eradicate polio worldwide. Polio now exists in only three countries due to Rotary’s diligent vaccination program.

 

The White Rock Roatry Club meets every Tuesday at 12 Noon at the Rotary Field House in White Rock. New members are welcome.

Rotary Club White Rock website 

 

 

Terra Tea Crew

l-r Hugh Smith / Tom McConkey / Russ Walters


The debate over the use of cosmetic pesticides continues to rage in our Province. In her run up to become the leader of the Liberal Party of B.C. and subsequently Premier, "how do you like my new glasses" Christy Clark publicly stated she would back a move to implement the band of cosmetic pesticides Province wide.

Over half of the population of Canada (Ontario and Quebec) are already limited in their use of cosmetic pesticides. Clark struck a non partisan committee to weigh out the pros and cons of a province wide band in British Columbia. The committee just prior to Mothers Day delivered the findings in a report to the legislature. The report stated there is not enough evidence to justify a province-wide ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides but the regulations restricting their use should be tightened. Liberal MLA Bill Bennett who chaired the committee which was made up of 5 Liberal MLAs and three NDP MLAs Bennett stated "the majority of the committee does not think the scientific evidence at this time warrants an outright ban."

As the pros and cons of cosmetic pesticide use rages on a company in South Surrey is taking the matter into their own hands, or in their case in their own tea pots.

 

TERRA TEA'S Hugh Smith sat down with The Sun to explain the very simple process and advantages of using TERRA TEA for all your garden and lawn services.

First a bit of history. Hugh, where did the process of the making of "teas" originate?


Compost tea has been around since the first compost pile got rained on. the Romans were the first to write about humans intentionally making and using compost for agricultural purposes.


TEARRA TEA is the first local company to provide this innovative alternative to pesticides. The company has just recently begun operation from your South Surrey headquarters. What has the reaction been?


The response has been very positive, the strongest supporters have been Mothers with small children. These Mothers are very aware that pesticides on underdeveloped immune systems is just a bad idea. There are especially concerned that city parks are still using synthetic fertilizer in children's play area...these fertilizers are slow release and children and pets are exposed to them for long periods of time before they are absorbed in to the ground.

Having had the opportunity to see your operation, I was surprised the system of brewing your "tea" almost mirrored how we would make a cup of tea in our own homes. If you could walk us through the steps of brewing up a batch and what ingredients go into a batch of tea.

The first step and the key to to Terra Tea is our compost, we create a compost that has a very large population of micro organisms that are beneficial to plant health. This is added to our brewer along with other propriety ingredients such as sea kelp that is also beneficial to plants. We then add de-chlorinated water and brew for 24 hours. This mixture is loaded on to our deliver truck and apply the spray to both foliage and turf.

I understand in addition to controlling disease and bugs TERRA TEA actually adds to the health of the soil. How does this work?


The use of fertilizers and pesticides has basically killed the biodiversity of the soil. In other words soil becomes dirt. We work to improve, increase and some cases reintroduce the microbiology that has been depleted from the soils. Soil from Mother nature literally contains millions and millions of micro-organisms, dirt contains very little. Our job at Terra Tea is to turn dirt back in to soil with the use of our Terra Tea and applications trucks.

 

What are the advantages of a TERRA TEA treatment?


Over time the need for fertilizers is reduced and even eliminated. Increases roots size, this is important to reduce the amount of water the plant or turf needs. Less outbreak of disease on plants and more robust plant growth-naturally!

Describe a typical treatment. Is it once a week, once a month? How long does a treatment take?


Depending on the condition of the soil we are working once a week to once a month may be required for a complete growing season. Typically we recommend 3-4 times a season.


One of the first questions people asked me when I tell them about TERRA TEA their usual response is, "Oh yes sounds like a good idea but like most organic things the price must be through the roof." Generally speaking is a TERRA TEA treatment expensive?

Our lawn and garden package is $749 for one season, compared to other lawn care companies we are priced about the same, but we offer a natural solution.

Terra Tea Pot

Your principle of production as I alluded to is very basic. But with that said I am interested in learning more how important it is to have an actual brew master. Not unlike a wine maker it would appear the success of the TERRA TEA process is dependent on having a good brew master. Please elaborate and tell us a bit about your brew master.

The brew-masters job is to insure the quality of the compost and other additives we place in our brewer is going to produce a high enough fungal and bacterial count that will benefit the plants. The brewing process is pretty straight forward understanding the effectiveness of the ingredients is where a good brew-master can make the difference.

With all the discussion and debate raging on regarding cosmetic pesticide use in British Columbia, this seems like a perfect time for Terra Tea to enter the landscape. Presently you are offering residential only usage. Are there plans for a wider use of Terra Tea to the commercial level? Would that be possible in the near future?


We actually have just had Tom McKonkey join the team. He is well known in the industry in the area of soil health. His principle focus is to develop our products for use in commercial applications.

How can people find out more information on TERRA TEA if they are interested in switching over from their poisonous ways?


Visit us at terratea.ca or call 800 426 4997

The TerraTea 7-Step Program for a natural garden & lawn includes

  • Soil analysis

  • Early-season liming

  • Organic fertilizing

  • Fresh, custom-brewed compost tea application(s)

  • One Winter yard inoculation

  • Elimination of aeration and power-raking

  • End-of-season assessment

 

HEMPYZ gifts, ovelties and hemp retail emporium officially opened this week on White Rock's waterfront. How the new business outlet came to White Rock is a beautiful story. A local business owner decided to become even pro-active that she normall y is and set out to help build a year round shopping experience in the west beach district of White Rock's waterfront. Meet MAUREEN COUROLIC owner and operator of Angelic Teapot.

MAUREEN according to Randy Caine the owner of the new shop on Marine Drive called HEMPYZ, you played an integral part in him opening his third location on the waterfront in White Rock. What motivated you to see if you could bring a hemp store to White Rock?

I first was approached by the lease holder of the unit where HEMPYZ now is in, he wanted my opinion as to what I felt would be a good business for that spot, I said a Hemp shop, I at first he did not believe me but I said it was a great idea, as the whole Hemp movement is up and coming and progressive and would bring a much needed upbeat vibe to Marine Drive that has been eroded.

I then told him I would find him one, which I did... in Langley I saw HEMPYZ and I asked if the owner was interested in joining myself and the other business owners along Marine Drive. I
then gave the lease holder HEMPYZ card and let him know that I found him a hemp shop as promised.

Did you actually visit Randy's two Langley stores before throwing your support behind his operation?


Yes, I did visit both, shops. I did not find a issue with either as both were very well merchandised and professional and I would not have a problem taking any of my family into HEMPYZ, I even drove an elderly customer out to the Langley store to see if they had Hemp socks as she has chemical sensitivities and can only wear hemp clothing, she is very excited that
HEMPYZ has come to White Rock.

Given the fact HEMPYZ is located next to your store ANGELIC TEAPOT on Marine Drive on the waterfront, how do you think his store will impact business on the waterfront?

A business community needs good businesses working together to have an area be vibrant, that has always been my vision for the west beach, I wish I could hold it for the whole of White Rock but I am a business woman who needs to still focus on my livelihood as well, so I am now focused on my neighbourhood West Beach, so this is the vision, seeing it in love and light and Hempyz fits in very well.

I work with sound business principles when I run my businesses, however, I am also a very Spirit based person.

MAUREEN you first had a store further along Marine Drive, then you relocated to uptown White Rock and now you are back on the waterfront.
If anyone is an expert on the livelihood of the business community in White Rock, what changes would you like to see to foster a more vibrant year round shopping experience on White Rock's waterfront district?


I was guided to purchase the shop on Johnston street while I was there for the one year my husband Jeff and I had the opportunity to get to know a part of White Rock we did not know from a business perspective and a community perspective.We both had some remorse by leaving as we made connections with the community in that area that touched our hearts. That area has very different needs than both beaches, Five Corners and Uptown and East Beach. My husband and business partner Jeff is a Director on the Board of the White Rock Business Improvement Association and tirelessly has worked to try to help build a vbrant retail landscape in all the districts in White Rock.

Angelic Teapot has a low price point and items that are very easy to steal, on Johnston road I had a very high theft in the shop, and so do a lot of the shops in the area, so the decision to move was made after a year to the waterfront as I wanted to stay in White Rock and our options wer elimited. I knew the waterfront and had not experienced the level of theft on the waterfront as I had on Johnston Rd, but then uptown is in more of a commercial decline than West Beach is from a retail perspective.

As a business community with the support from the Chamber, the City and The BIA it should be announced that White Rock is open for business and is a great community to do business in, White Rock needs to sell itself to retailers .I personally have been responsible for 4 retailers coming to White Rock, one has since left, Keso cheese.( People on the waterfront still miss the cheese shop) He left when it was announced FREE paid parking in the off season was being cancelled. I was able to sell my SAJE franchise because of the FREE paid parking in the off season, that store sadly has since gone back to corporate ownership.

People should be able to walk this community and find what they are looking for, on West Beach, I have customers asking why is there not a fresh food market open year round on the water front, people live there? That is a great question? Why 10 ice cream shops....in a short 3 block radius....why is this allowed from the city as well when giving business licences? Some people may not support limiting business ventures on the strip however it does ruin the vibrancy of the area.

My question has always been why has City Hall not taken the recommendations from public funded studies with regards to the business community....I have written letters to City Hall with regards to this, thus the Mayor's parking task force in conjunction with the BIA is slowly looking for a solution to maintain the city's revenue and at the same time supporting the retail business owners on the waterfront.

I invite all the readers of The White Rock Sun to come on down and re-discover our beautiful waterfront. Come by and say hello and drop into visit HEMPYZ, a wonderful new addition to White Rock's West Beach.

‘They say life is a journey. ‥And there's an old saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” This is truly the case of the Maureen Coroliuc's Angelic Tea Pot and Hempyz on Marine Drive in White Rock.

 

14971 Marine Drive White Rock 604-536-7747

 

 

May 1, 2012

Deb Jack -Surrey's Ctizen of the Year

Mayor Dianne Watts and Surrey City Council presented Surrey's Deb Jack with this year's Good Citizen of the Year Award at the City's annual volunteer services celebration. The event was established by Surrey City Council and honours committee volunteers for their hard work throughout the year.

"The City of Surrey's dedicated volunteers have helped shape our communities. We are very fortunate to have so many talented people contribute their time and energy to help make Surrey an even better place to live," says Mayor Dianne Watts. "Deb Jack has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the people and places of Surrey and her passion for our community is one of the reasons she is such an important leader in Surrey."

Deb has been working tirelessly for the City of Surrey for many years. Some of her legacies include:

· President/ Founding member of the Surrey Environmental Partners
· Vice President of the White Rock/Surrey Naturalists
· Surrey's Friends of the Forest volunteer
· 2011 City of Surrey 'Green City Award' recipient (individual category)
· Atira Women's Resource Centre Board of Directors

The Good Citizen award recipient is chosen by Council and is presented to a City of Surrey resident who has given outstanding services for the betterment of the community.

 

April 21, 2012

 

PEACE ARCH PARK Wednesday

Ra McGuire, acclaimed singer and songwriter of the iconic Canadian rock band, Trooper, and his wife Debbie, founder of the first fine arts school in Surrey, will receive the Torch Bearer Award from the World Harmony Run for their collaborative commitment to inspire cultural harmony and community spirit through music, and champion the importance of fine arts in education.

The ceremony will take place at the Peace Arch Park on April 25th at 11am. All are welcome to come an join.

"We are grateful to be included amongst the illustrious recipients of the Torch Bearer Award," said Debbie McGuire.

"Each of us has a significant and important role to play in this world - not only in 'raising a little hell' but, more importantly, in 'inspiring a little peace'," said Ra McGuire riffing on Trooper's cross-generational rock anthem "Raise A Little Hell".



Ra McGuire is being honoured for his tremendous contributions to Canadian music and his wife, Debbie, for her unfailing and successful efforts to foster a Fine Arts School in Surrey. In 1996, Debbie McGuire spearheaded a campaign, which led to the creation of the Intensive Fine Arts Program, a program that offers a stimulating and culturally enriched learning environment for children by combining fine arts with traditional academics. McGuire and his band Trooper opened the Winter Olympics in 2010, and after more than 40 years together, multiple gold records and a six-time platinum greatest-hits album, they still offer more than 100 sold-out concerts around the world every year.

The Torch Bearer Award recognizes and celebrates extraordinary individuals for their tireless inspiration and service to humanity. Previous recipients include international and local heroes that range from entrepreneur and music producer Russell Simons, Slovenian Head of State Dr. Danilo Türk to sports legend Billie Jean King. World luminaries such as President Nelson Mandella, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu, President Mikhail Gorbachev and Mother Theresa have held the World Harmony Run Torch.

"The McGuires have made the world a better place through their heartfelt commitment to bringing people together and sharing the gift of peace through music," said World Harmony Run Executive Director, Salil Wilson.

Founded in 1987 by peace visionary Sri Chinmoy, the bi-annual event is now the world's longest global relay covering more than 45,000 miles in over 100 countries. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, runners have logged enough miles to circle the earth more than thirteen times.

Over the coming months the Canadian team will cover 2755 km, relay fashion, stopping in towns across the country. In parallel, Runs will take place throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Along the route, thousands of children will participate when the Run visits their schools, day camps and athletic associations. The message that "Harmony begins with me'' has resonated with children of all ages and added to curriculums promoting cross-cultural understanding, self-esteem and positive learning environments.

The World Harmony Run is a non-profit event organized entirely by volunteers, which strives to encourage goodwill among peoples of all nations.

To find out more about the World Harmony Run visit www.worldharmonyrun.org

For the McGuires please visit:
Website: www.ramcguire.com
Twitter: twitter@ramcguire


December 17, 2011

Tom Saunders Bon Vivant

 

Tom let's start our story on The White Rock Players Panto MOTHER GOOSE from your very beginning. How long have you lived in White Rock?

I was born in the old White Rock Hospital, which was torn down without so much as a small brass plaque to mark the event.

Can you remember your first panto?

I was three years old and I saw Robinson Crusoe at what was then called the White Rock Little Theatre, and I was quite disturbed by the heroes being boiled alive in a cannibal pot. Thanks to Bugs Bunny, even a three-year-old is well aware of what goes on in a cannibal pot you're thrown in, carrots and celery are added, and high heat is applied.

I believe the next year we saw Aladdin, and the main thing that I remember from that is a bad guy getting pushed through the mangle of an old washing machine and coming out the other side completely flattened. And yes, it freaked me out, but luckily, I was safely positioned between my parents, so no harm came to me personally.

Are there any other long lasting memories of pantos of the past?

Franklin Johnson as a loud, freakishly grotesque woman, the wonderful Enid Saunders (no relation) as the Good Fairy every year, and a very real sense that the various villains might come off the stage and take you away to their evil hideaways in the deep dark forest.

When did you personally become involved with the panto?

Jason Dedrick, Mike Roberds, Fred Partridge and myself decided to write a panto. We had previously worked together on various local cable shows, and a sketch comedy group, called "Almost Midnight."
In 1997, we wrote "Mother Goose" - the same show running right now.

This year you are credited with writing the music and lyrics for some of the songs in Mother Goose. Tell us a bit about the wonderful music you have created for Mother Goose?

Jason and I wrote the lyrics for the show, and I wrote the music. The overall idea was to write songs in the general musical style of British Music Hall, so there's a whole lot of "oompa-oompa-oompa-oompa" rhythms going on, topped off with what we hoped were clever or funny lyrics.

The closing number of Mother Goose "The Wonderful Year We Fell In Love" has some Surrey and White Rock references. I found in watching the panto this year the local references seem to have diminished. What process do you go through to select the people you will highlight lyrically?

Overall, I'd agree that the script doesn't contain a lot of political references. In writing the lyrics for "The Wonderful Year We Fell In Love," (which I've done since 1997) throughout the year, I pray for wacky and embarrassing things to happen to local politicians. Thus, if you fall off a horse, get attacked by a raccoon, or get a DUI in Maui, I close my eyes, look to the sky and quietly say, "Thank you...."

If I am correct you also assist in the creation of some of the props for the panto?

I generally offer to make one specialty prop each year for the pantos. This year, it was a number of them, including the Humpty Elvis Dumpty egg shell, – and several others, usually things you can't pick up in your local store.   A couple of props that I've previously made include an expanding cannibal pot, a cannon that shot out a "BOOM!" flag, and Shenanigans the pantomime giraffe, which (spoiler alert) is really just a motorcycle helmet with a fishing pole fibre glassed on top, with a garden hose leading from the helmet to a bicycle horn in the giraffe's mouth - hence, the "Great big honkin' animal" bit.

Tom you have been a local musician of note for a number of years. Is it possible for you to give us an abbreviated Coles Notes version of your musical career?

I wrote my first song when I was eleven an ode to my guinea pig, Hannibal Porcellus. Luckily, it never took off, as I would have been sued for copyright infringement by the writers of the Kraft Peanut Butter Teddy Bears jingle. Then when skinny ties and New Wave rolled in, I was in Chemistry and the Hostages, performing all original songs and opening up for bands like Martha and the Muffins, Toronto, Doug & the Slugs, etc. Later we formed a nicely low-profile dance band & got to be flies on the walls of many private & public functions. Then came the cable years, doing This Is Orest, and much more silliness. One common thread through all this was working with Dan Ross, who I've played with since our teens. Most recently, I've worked with him on three seasons of the CTV series, 'Robson Arms," when he was doing the music score, and I was writing and performing the opening songs once again with Jason Dedrick. Dan also arranged & produced the song that turned into my latest book release, which I'm hoping you'll ask about next.

In addition to your other artistic talents, you recently added author to your list. How did one of your songs end up being adapted into a children's book?

Thanks for asking, Dave. I had done a CD of kid's songs, which I did as a Christmas present just for my family and friends, in 2008. I gave a copy of it to Cynthia Nugent, who I knew from my involvement with the Vancouver Ukulele Circle. What I didn't know was that she was a children's book illustrator, and she contacted me the next day, saying that she thought one of the songs would make a good children's book. I went online and looked at her other artwork and was very impressed by her bright, quirky, and wonderfully fun illustrations. She did some preliminary sketches, sent them and the CD to the publisher of Simply Read Books, and he went for it. Two-and-a-half years later, we have a very high quality printed book (it also comes with a CD of the song.)

Cynthia Nugent/Tom Saunders - Book signing Saturday at Playhouse

Is the book available locally?

Yes I just came back from signing copies of the book at the South Surrey Branch of Kisbooks at southpoint. It was sitting on display, front and center, next to the illustrated version of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind." So I am in pretty good company!

Being a long time resident of White Rock, do you have any special Christmas memories of Christmas's of past on the shores of Semiahmoo Bay?

Wow - many wonderful White Rock Christmas memories... Here's a couple: the toy train that ran in the front window of Amos' Drygoods (now Charlie Don't Surf) at Christmas time small bags of gold-covered chocolate coins from the old Safeway in the Central Plaza " stopping on my paper route at the Golden Grain Bakery (now Uli's) for Christmas meringues also receiving a fruitcake log wrapped in tinfoil, from a paper customer and sitting down in the snow on Victoria Ave, and eating my way through about half of it! And of course, always being surrounded by a boisterous Saunders family on Christmas morning.

Finally what would you put under the tree this year for the city of White Rock?

For the City of White Rock, a big, shiny box full of working together in a cooperative effort for the betterment of the best place on earth. Merry Christmas, Everybody!

 

And Tom to you, a good night and Merry Christmas

D.Chesney

 

 

December 09, 2011

THE ODIN'S OUTLOOK

(article courtesy of our friends at White Rock's Best)

Sherron Fairbairn - photos and story

The city workers and an elderly gentleman were standing on the sidewalk and blocking my view to take the shots of the benches and the pier. Using a sense of humour I asked the guys to move so that I could take a shot. It was all friendly and jovial. The older gentleman asked if I wanted him to move too and I jokingly replied, "no you're gorgeous". We all laughed.

I was then invited to take shots from the gentleman's patio across the street and I complied. We approached this nicely painted green house with amazing rock walls and steps leading up to an opened front door. He also said that he had many sunset shots from his place and invited me into the house to see them. For some reason, I said yes. His name is Joe. We entered the house and began looking for his wife Helen and calling for her. I began to get a little nervous about not finding Helen and then I said "Well, maybe she left " and Joe replied, "I don't see why she would after 67 years" This is when I realized what a great sense of humour he has. We finally found Helen and she took me in with open arms. They shared their photos and their life stories.  

This is the story about Joe and Helen Odin.  Joe, of First Nations descent, was born in New Westminster. Joe is a WW2 veteran, of whom there are not too many, left. He was in the navy and landed on Juno beach on D-day in a landing craft.  Helen, a fine Scotswoman, was born in a little town in Manitoba called Argyle and they met shortly after the war. Joe was 21 and Helen was 20 and it was "love at first sight" for both of them. They married two months later. Today they have celebrated 67 wedding anniversaries. They have 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Joe and Helen lived in Burnaby and travelled to White Rock with the kids every weekend to camp. But one day in 1967 they read an ad in the paper about a house for sale in White Rock. It was a "Handyman Special" all contents included for $7,500. They drove to White Rock and sat outside the weather beaten house in their old jalopy and "it was exactly what they were looking for." A few days later Helen got a phone call from the real-estate agent: "Hey, Mrs Odin, you just got yourself a house in White Rock." What is really cool is that Joe from the age of 6 would visit his great aunt and his grandpa who lived only a few houses on either side of the Odin’s' new home.

The Odin’s were the 2nd owners of the house and they went to work on it from the start. They hand dug the basement and used a wheelbarrow to move the soil across the street to build up the embankment, which was just a drop off at the time and they hand built the beautiful rock wall that encases their property. Helen, what a trouper you are and with three children.
We can thank Joe for designing the “Arch of Lights” on the pier and his involvement with the city to install the drinking fountains on hump for the people and the dogs.

In 1980 their home became one of the original B&B's in our community. In 2002 they retired from the B&B and have many cherished memories from these years. They took photographs of their visitors from around the world and have 8 guest books full of fond comments as a keepsake. We wish Joe and Helen many more years of wedded bliss at “ODINS OUTLOOK.”

BALLAD OF HIGH HOPES

( To The Tune of On Top of Old Smoky)


Oh, down at White Rock 
By the sea 
There's a house waiting 
For you and for me.

Now this house was quite old 
And needed repair 
And when we saw it 
We were in despair.

Now one window was brown 
Two doors were stuck fast 
But with all his tools 
Dad fixed them at last.

The fireplace works grandly 
It crackles real good 
And just think of the beach 
There is all that wood.

We were all so excited 
A house at last 
The trips down to White Rock 
Were sure thick and fast.

Now we've been to the sea-shore
We've gone for a rest 
But a place all our own 
We sure have been blessed.

There's more work ahead 
But it can be fun 
Just to be at the seaside 
And enjoy all the sun.

Oh, we liked the big rooms 
And all of the beds, 
But to think of a name 
We needed all heads.

We thought of so many 
They all sounded good 
But to get one that suited
And put it on wood. 

HIGH HOPES was the name 
We chose from the pile 
And when we say it
Everyone smiles. 

HiGH HOPES was the name  We chose from the pile  And when we say it -  
Everyone smiles.
Composed by Helen Odin and children Wayne, Joanne and Dougie on our many trips to White Rock, BC - 1967

 

October 26, 2011

 

CEFA


Aron Veen
Vice Principal, School Manager
cefa White Rock

We are talking today with Aron Veen of Core Education & Fine Arts located in the Morgan Creek district of South Surrey. Aron first if you wouldn't mind providing the readers of the White Rock Sun a bit of your background.

Although my background is in business, a few years ago I decided to go back to school to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education to have a job more conducive to having a family. I loved studying child psychology, early literacy and family studies because it opened up a new set of values on the importance of early learning. I have my infant toddler license, my International Baccalaureate Level One and I am cefa™ certified to teach the cefa™ method.


Now let's move on and learn a little bit about CEFA Junior Kindergarten School. During my escorted tour of the school I was very impressed at the operation of CEFA. The kindergarten obviously provides much more than a baby sitting service for families. What is the mandate of CEFA?

Our mission's statement is to inspire children to: learn and be knowledgeable, seek self betterment and contribute as individuals. Cefa™ believes that the brain's formative years between 0 and 6 are so important. Our school strives to develop children's intellect and deliver the finest start in education, art, and humanities.


When and by whom was CEFA founded?


Our Junior Kindergarten School was founded in 1998 by Natacha V. Beim. While working as an elementary school teacher and Junior Kindergarten teacher in Europe, Beim experienced firsthand the incredible effect of early academic exposure in young children. As a school teacher, and in the years that followed, she worked to modify existing Junior Kindergarten curriculums to create a different approach, one that would not impose on the child's natural desire to explore, play, and learn by experimenting with the environment.

As a school teacher, and in the years that followed, she worked to modify existing Junior Kindergarten curriculums to create a different approach, one that would not impose on the child's natural desire to explore, play, and learn by experimenting with the environment.

How many locations are there of CEFA in the Lower Mainland? Are there plans in the near future to expand outside of British Columbia?

Currently there are eleven cefa locations in the lower mainland. Our newest school just opened in Abbotsford and features six bright classrooms, a circus room, two playgrounds, a library nook and an on-site chef. We have plans to expand into Toronto and the United States.


What is the age range of students at CEFA?

We take children as young as six months up to five years. Each class is separated like elementary school children into the year they were born. This
way, the teachers can plan activities and experiences specifically for the age of the children they teach.


Is it possible for you put describe an average day for students at CEFA, based on their age.?

We open at 7:45am and close at 5:30pm and our families choose their best eight hours to attend, so each child's day is unique, depending on the time they arrive. From 7:45am to 8:45am we would have open learning where the children can free play with toys they choose. Then we would have one on one writing, hand eye coordination and fine motor games. At 9:30am we would have breakfast, then a reading circle with puppets and songs. Next we would do one of our fine art activities, either art, drama, music & movement, yoga or French. Then it's outside time! The children love balls, bubbles, running games and digging in the sandbox. Then our students come in for a group activity or project learning and then get ready for lunch prepared by our chef. After lunch it's magical story time and then rest/naptime. When the children wake up it's time for snack, then science or math exploration and next it's physical education. At then end of the day, we play in the circus room. Each day is different and it is developmentally appropriate for each child's needs and abilities.

Do the children leave the school for activities like day trips? If so where have they visited lately and what did they have the opportunity to learn?

In early October we had a parent participation field trip to the local pumpkin patch where the children had the opportunity to go on a hayride, walk through a corn maze, play with animals and choose a pumpkin. It perfectly supported their science unit studying Autumn.

How Smart Boards Work

During your tour for me of CEFA we visited a class that was in progress and you proudly demonstrated an interactive electronic blackboard. This is very high tech, could you please give me the Coles Notes version of what this high tech blackboard is capable of?

The SMART Board is an interactive white board used in classrooms to support reading, writing, math, socials, science and group collaboration. Teachers can upload worksheets and activities to meet their learning objectives and enhance their lessons. The children learn respect for technology and that we can use computers for research and knowledge in a fun, interactive way. Our students will be confident when they reach elementary school because they are familiar with how SMART Boards are used.

Not having any personal experience with school children of any age, one of the aspects of the school that interested me was what appears to be a very open dialogue between the teachers, school administrators and the parents of the children attending CEFA. Could you describe some of the methods used to keep parents in the loop of the daily special activities at the school and their children's progress.

The teachers send home a monthly newsletter to inform parents of special days, what we will be focusing on at school and ways to connect learning at home. We have a school blog www.cefawhiterock.com, a facebook page and teachers send home weekly emails to keep parents informed. Twice a year we send home progress reports we have Parent Teacher conferences to focus on each child's development. The connection with our families is very important to us.

Is it possible for parents to tour the kindergarten to learn more about the operation of CEFA?

We can set up a private tour during the day by calling 778-294-2646. Before applying, it is important that prospective families tour our school to learn more about our program and philosophy and curriculum to ensure it is a great fit for your family. We will also be staging an Open House November 03.

During my guided tour it became apparent to me, one of the by products of the Junior Kindergarten is the students learning at an early age some of the very basic interaction skill sets needed for regular school. Is there any evidence graduates of CEFA have an easier time integrating into regular school as a result of their CEFA groundwork?

Choosing an elementary school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. Our students often go to private schools, French immersion or fine arts schools. They are confident and prepared to enter the kindergarten of their choice.

Visit CEFA'S web site for more information

 

 

October 14, 2011

Meet White Rock's Best

l-r Sherron Fairbairn/Linda Lock

What happens when two very creative people get together and they start to talk about two things near and dear to their hearts, art and White Rock? Well that's easy, you come up with an internet portal that focuses not only on the loca arts community, but the things that make White Rock - THE BEST!

Yesterday you met co-founder of White Rock's Best SHERRON FAIRBAIRN (below).

Today we introduce you to LINDA LOCK


First of all Linda please summarize your personal history with White Rock and The Semiahmoo Peninsula.
I have lived and raised a family in White Rock since 1977.

 

How did the idea come about for you and SHERRON to come together to create WHITE ROCK'S
BEST?
Sherron had already developed the idea for the site a few years ago and I have the web design skills to implement it - so it seemed only natural that the two of us would combine our efforts and love of the area, to work on this project.

 

What will the focus of WHITE ROCK'S BEST be? Is there a focus in these early stages for your on line publication?
The focus is to provide information for the residents of the peninsula in order to enhance day-to-day living. By show-casing the merchants, artists and musicians in area we hope we can help the residents get the most and the BEST out of living in White Rock/South Surrey.

 

How and where on the information highway landscape do you see WHITE ROCK'S BEST fitting and succeeding?

We hope to provide the information that traditionally falls between "news" and "sales" events. In effect, filling in the blanks to help people get the most out of living here.

I find in my travels Most residents on the Semiahmoo Peninsula have a "special place" they like to visit to strongly connect with their community. It could be a service group, a wilderness trail, a tranquil time and place along the waterfront. Where is you special zen place you go to in order to connect with our community?

My personal favorite is a wonderful meal on the beach. In any of the fabulous places to eat , there are many opportunities to visit with fellow diners, people watch and to soak up the sights and sounds (including the train) of this beautiful area.

Speaking of connecting with the community, what do you personally think makes White Rock and South Surrey a special place to live?

For me, it has to be the balmy climate (even if that does mean shoveling the white stuff from time to time) and the sight and smell of the ocean.

 

The city of White Rock has chosen a new phrase to "brand" White Rock. How would you finish this sentence?

MY CITY BY THE SEA IS....................................................

the best place to live in all of Canada!

 

How do you envision WHITE ROCK'S BEST can contribute to bringing the community together and creating a stronger more unified community?

By making sure they know about all the special people who live here that are working so hard to help provide experiences that enrich lives.

 

Final question. I have learned from talking personally with both of you, you are very passionate about the "arts" sector of our community. If you were able to look into a crystal ball how do you envision the growth and continued success of our artistic community, which we are already well known for?

We can help the artists and craftsmen who live here by providing venues that support and promote their efforts. By helping to make it possible for them to sustain their art and continue to grow and thrive.

 

October 13, 2011

 

Today - Sherron and her artwork. Tomorrow we get to know Linda a little better as well as her artwork.

First of all Sherron if you could summarize your personal history with White Rock and The Semiahmoo Peninsula.

My husband Ron and I moved from North Vancouver to White Rock in 1984 after an afternoon visit to this laid- back seaside community. It "love at first site" and we moved a month later. White Rock and South Surrey has become our way of life. I am an artist, studied in commercial art, web design and photography.

How did the idea come about for you two to come together with Linda to create WHITE ROCK'S BEST?

Somewhere along the way, the past will bring us into the future. For 3 years I planned and created the Waterfront Drift, which was an online magazine that connected waterfront communities. In 2005, because of circumstances she shelved the project and it became but a dream.
  In January of 2011, Linda, also a local artist and self taught web designer started an online magazine called Eatshop.ca. She invited me to join in her venture. Since our collaboration in June, we have both created what is now the WhiteRocksBest.com, and have not looked back. Together, Linda and I have a great working relationship and have become good friends.

What will the focus of WHITE ROCK'S BEST be?  Is there a focus in these early stages for your on line publication?

Our project is in the early stages. The initial focus is a “shop local” mandate but as we dig deeper and search out the best of the best, the project keeps evolving. We believe that the locals will be able to rediscover their home and the new residents will discover our beautiful Peninsula. Our  introductory promotion for was a draw to sign up for our newsletter. The prize was a $75. gift certificate for dinner at La Baia Restaurant on East Beach.  The winner was Judy Jones of the “Weathered Rooster” in Ocean Park.

Our second project is known as the "Passport to East Beach".  This Passport will have an impartial draw on October 31st, to win prizes at the participating merchants on the beach including a 50% off room at the Ocean Promenade Hotel, workshops, dinners, etc. We hope to intrigue the locals to rediscover the most undeveloped part of the waterfront. It is with intention to draw the locals to revisit the eclectic east beach - still undefined- like a Cinderella in the waiting and where the tides take the longest to come in at the end of the day, which means more sand time. Visit our home page at WhiteRocksBest.com and download your passport to enter the draw for your "Passport to East Beach."
“One winner takes all.”

How and where on the information highway landscape do you see WHITE ROCK'S BEST fitting and succeeding?

We are an interactive online magazine and are designing it to be adaptive to viewing on your home computer, your iPad and your mobile phone. Sign up to  receive our “FUN” Friday newsletter and enjoy the diversified monthly articles on our website, that showcase the uniqueness of the great people and businesses in our community. Our articles and newsletters are archived for the reader’s future enjoyment. Find "out of the way" places where the locals like to be out and about. The Arts scene section is a connection for our local artists, for our local community and the global market as well.

I find in my travels Most residents on the Semiahmoo Peninsula have a "special place" they like to visit to strongly connect with their community.  It could be a service group, a wilderness trail, a tranquil time and place along the waterfront.  Where is you special zen place you go to in order to connect with our community?

As I go about my search for the next story I find myself swept away in friendly conversation with another great person. Everyone has a story and it is difficult to choose the next "What's Your Story." This connection mostly puts me in a happy place. If you are wanting my "zen" place, that would be east beach.

Speaking of connecting with the community, what do you personally think makes White Rock and South Surrey a special place to live?

First of all, we have a natural beauty that is a visual feast and the smell of the ocean that says "I'm home."  Our climate conditions promote a year round outdoor health-style with a wide variety of sporting activities for all age groups, even if it is just to walk along the promenade and breath in the ocean air. There is something special for everyone including live theatre and indoor activities.

Uptown White Rock

The city of White Rock has chosen a new phrase to "brand" White Rock. How would you finish this sentence?

MY CITY BY THE SEA IS……..A WAY OF LIFE……

How do you envision WHITE ROCK'S BEST can contribute to bringing the community together and creating a stronger more unified community?

With our passion, dedication and love of the Peninsula at heart, our up and coming magazine is with the intent to create a spirit of co-operation that improves the local community not only for the businesses but the local residents as well. We connect you to the heart of our community through the spotlight on great people.

Final question.  I have learned from talking personally with both of you, you are very passionate about the "arts" sector of our community.  If you were able to look into a crystal ball how do you envision the growth and continued success of our artistic community, which we are already well known for?

The Peninsula is teeming with an array of talented artists, including our team. Our Art Beats section welcomes Trish Pollock who is our "go to" for our treasured local artists with the “Artbeat Hub” The Hub is interactive, where you can ask questions, make suggestions and submit interesting photos, videos etc. Trish’s monthly articles will cover a wide variety of relevant topics and each month the “Peoples Choice” will select their favorite artist who will be featured in the article. Art Beat will also be encouraging studio tours and virtual studio tours.

Five Corners District/White Rock

 

September 15, 2011

GOD'S LITTLE ACRE

l-r JAS SINGH & MANJINDER JOHAL

MANJINDER JOHAL was the right man for the job. The job was fulfilling the vision JAS SINGH had to create a farm that could produce vegetables, that in turn would supplement the Surrey Food Bank. A year ago when JAS swung his pickup truck into the driveway on 40th Avenue to pitch his dream, luckily for him one of the first people he met was the part owner of what is now lovingly referred to as GOD'S LITTLE ACRE.

MANJINDER please take me back to the beginning and tell me your first impression(s) of JAS and his idea.

Well me and my two partners were very impressed with JAS'S idea to grow crops on our land and dedicate a large portion to the local food bank. We were so happy and glad to meet JAS and hear his story. We immediately told him we would give him a free lease on our land for him to make his dream come true. He would come early in the morning and work so hard, we knew quickly that he was going to do it. There was a light that shines through him when he is here. We didn't stop at just donating the land, we told JAS we support what you are doing so let us help you by supplying you with free machinery and we also contributed some of the fuel he needed to get started. I must say my partners and I in the beginning had our doubts whether or not JAS would be successful, but now we know him better and we are proud of him. HE DID IT!

Now that GODS LITTLE ACRE has become a reality what are your thoughts for the future?

We are very proud of what he has accomplished. We want to do anything we can to help him continue his great work. There are so many people that need food. We are religious people and we are so happy to see God's creation at work in so many ways here at the farm. We are thrilled to see so many people that are now hearing about the farm and willing to help. It makes us feel very happy. We are going to go a long ways with JAS, I can just feel it.

 

Volounteers @ God's Little Acre booth at the White Rock Farmer's Market

 

JAS is very thankful for the support you and your partners gave him. He is quick to say he could not have done it without your help.

Well those are kind words, but you know we just followed him and gave him support when we could. He led the way. Now when we come here, I can't explain to you how we feel. It just makes us all feel so wonderful to see what has been accomplished here on the farm. People here are filled with love, you cannot escape the love of the creator here on the farm. When you see the smiles on the faces of everyone involved on JAS'S team you know it is love and you feel that love too. I feel the love.

JAS SINGH who was standing close by as I spoke with MANJINDER chimed in to embellish MANJINDER'S statement.

There is a lot of faith here. In different aspects of faith all working together. Nobody said you are a Christian you shouldn't be doing this, people that didn't believe in God they didn't say well we aren't going to help you because……you are different. Everyone worked together. This is the right place for all the people that are here.

MANJINDER – Feed the mind, then feed the soul and you will be okay. Everyone is so happy. If you surround yourself with good company, there will be love, and you will have success

ENVISION staff members and volounteers suit up for an evening of potato picking @ God's Little Acre

 

August 31, 2011

JAS SINGH - If You Build It They Will Come

As I stood looking out on the fields of vegetables this week at a farm in Cloverdale I noticed a steady stream of people arriving at the field and automatically falling into place to help pick the crop or do whatever was needed. I asked JAS SINGH who these people were.

The food bank has organized helpers.  Many people read the stories that ran in the two local paper papers and people have been turning up the farm ever since. Some of the helpers are from my church. Everyone does what they can

Jas has a look of resolve and inner peace and happiness as he quietly directs the action on the farm. I wonder aloud if he remembers what the farm looked like before he started


"This was a hay field when I walked in here in April.  There was about a foot and a half of water covering the field when I first saw it.  There are 30 acres here, as we finish harvesting we are just turning the weeds and everything back into the soil, it is called green manure.  We are not going to put any chemicals on the land, everything we have grown, potatoes, squash, corn, cucumbers and zucchini and it is all grown without chemicals."

The field on the farm they are working is over 30 acres this is not your garden variety of a little plot to grow some potatoes. My curiosity got the best of me. Where did the inspiration come to do a project this large?


"I left my job at Mary’s Garden down the road here on 32nd Avenue.  My wife and I went through a bankruptcy in 2001.  We are finally back on our feet and I decided to see how I could make a difference.  The point of the whole project is if you have one person making above minimum wage, can start a project like this and help the community.  This is not about me, it is about THE PROJECT.  It doesn’t take a lot of money but it takes a lot of effort.  With that effort we have made a model.  So if I had gone to anyone four months ago and said “Hey I want to start a farm to grow vegetables and give it all to the food bank,  people did not believe me in the beginning."

Feezah Jaffer - Surrey Food Bank

JAS explains help and offer of assistance comes from all corners. A few days prior to my arrival at the farm, the City of Surrey endorsed the project.


"The City of Surrey has stepped forward to show their support, the acting Mayor Judy Villeneuve visited the farm last week.  She came here and she was very excited about the project.  She said anything you need just give me a call, so I have her phone# if I need any help.  She has been a big help. I think the momentum is going now.  The landlords of this property have been a huge help, they told me put together a list of seeds you want.  They would like to see this project continued yearly.  They provided some funding in the early stage to help ensure the project was a success.  We have planted dill cucumbers, pumpkins, squash,  zucchini and potatoes and small patch of some different Indian spices and vegetables and green beans and a small patch of green peas.  The one thing we really need now is for people to buy some of our product so the farm can continue to be self -  sustaining.  We have a couple of retail outlets now purchasing some of our product, but we would like to see more outlets for our sales.  We truly offer straight from the farm, eliminate the middle man and sell very cost effective."

(*NOTE JAS and his helpers will be at the White Rock Farmer's Market this Sunday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

As we talked and I learned more and more about his beliefs, passion and dedication I asked JAS to please tell me about who his benefactors were that helped get the whole project rolling.


" Norinder and MJ Johal and a third partner Gurmit Gill own this farm.  We are all religious people and I don’t know how or why they were sent to help me, but they have been heaven sent.  We all follow the same path, this is a calling for all of us.  They think God sent me to them, and I think that God sent them to me.  A lot of very spiritual things have occurred here at the form   For instance we don’t have any irrigation on the farm.  Every time we needed rain, it rained to the day.  One day I was standing with my friend Kenny Notebos who runs Mary’s Garden where I used to work, well we were standing in the potato field  we looked at the crop and said if we don’t get rain within the week we are going to be in big trouble with the crop.  Sure enough it rained for three days.  We have been really well looked after."

It is patently obvious the project is driven with a lot of love and devotion, faith and belief but there has to be a basic operating cost. JAS how can you make it work?

"Well for instance a few weeks back when the media first descended on the farm we were in dire financial straights.  We had $18.00 in diesel for both the tractors.  This is not a feel sorry for Jas story, but that is where we found ourselves.  Now we have enough diesel to pull the potatoes, we operate on a shoe string budget.  There are not enough hours in the day, but I/we hope to secure some corporate sponsors.  If we could just get the hard costs back that would be a huge help.  If I were to add it up, our hard costs for the potatoes crop is about $5500.00.  If we could find a corporate partner to just help cover that off it would be a huge help to ensure we could continue next year."

Somehow after talking with JAS for a short period of time his belief is starting to rub off on me, I believe he will in fact secure the corporate support he needs.

I tell JAS as I look out across the farm at the million dollar homes in Morgan Creek that border the farm, I am starting to feel what others obviously have felt by meeting him and hearing his story and sharing his vision.


"What we are doing here is nothing, absolutely nothing.  It is just a drop in the bucket of what we can do.  So if we could just get some help it would go a long ways to ensuring next year will grow in size from this year.  We didn’t know what would grow in the field here, we weren’t sure how the drain off would be.  There were so many things that could have happened that would ruin our crops, but everything worked out fine.  Next year something big is going to happen here, I can feel it.  We would like to have a large retailer that already helps the food bank to come aboard.  The sky is the limit.  Instead of donating that amount say to the food bank, if they directed those funds to us, we could turn that $10,000.00 into $50,000.00 worth of food.  I think there are a lot of people that have large amounts of money, they have great hearts and they really don’t know what to do with their money, how to do good with it.  I believe in my heart of hearts someone will come forward.  All we need to do is sell some of our crops this year we would be in great shape for the coming years.  There are so many good ideas.  We are just waiting for them to turn up.  We have a few small hurdles to get over."

Besides his obvious faith, the love of his wife and the support of a handful of believers JAS tells me a rather synchronistic story to end our day.


A month and a half after we planted our potatoes someone told me about a movie called Faith Like Potatoes.  It is the story of one man who planted potatoes in the desert, and left it up to God.  Everyone thought he was nuts.  A lot of faith helped him complete his dream, and that is what is happening here on the farm as well.  People who don’t even  believe in God stood side by side with us to make this a success.  This is the right place for all the people that are here.  This is the right group of people.  When I don’t have a dollar in my pocket and someone comes and takes my truck and goes and fills it up with gas because he knew I had no money, how can you explain that?  Everybody helps.

Watch the trailer

 

August 29, 2011

Kimberly Riggins helps out at the Princess Party

KIMBERLY you and your support group have scheduled a very special event called the EVENING OF GRATITUDE. Please tell us about this wonderful event


The Evening of Gratitude is dedicated to raising money to help support me with the costs of alternative cancer treatments.


How and why did you come up with the EVENING OF GRATITUDE?

In June I sent out an e-mail to friends and family asking if they would kindly save pop, water, and alcohol bottles and cans for me and/or loonies and twoonies and drop them off at my house. The response was overwhelming! I came to realize however that this was going to be a very slow means to collecting money for treatment costs. With the help of my parents we started making tea light candle holders and selling them, again the response was overwhelming! Next came the construction and sale of wind spirals which were also widely received.
One day, after speaking with my sister, I got the idea to order some fridge magnets and spread the message that I wanted to share with the world. The magnets read 'Live in Gratitude Spread Peace and Love', some of them also say 'enquire within' meaning look within yourself. Friends loved these and said I should sell them as another means to raise money. From that simple act of wanting to spread my Live in Gratitude message arose the idea for the Evening of Gratitude event. The support and response has been phenomenal and I am so grateful for all the amazing people who have come into my life as a result! I would like to express my gratitude to Alise who has been such a zealous supporter of this event.


Without prying too far into your personal life, I think it is important for the readers to know you were diagnosed with cancer. Could you please tell us a bit about your personal journey?


I was initially diagnosed with cancer in 2008. My GP at the time moved heaven and earth to help me during this incredibly difficult period and I was so grateful to be under his care (he has since left his practice). At that time I declined chemotherapy and participated in several radiation treatments before stopping them prior to completion of the series. I was under the care of a compassionate and caring Surgeon and he then performed surgery to remove a tumour; no questions or judgement about the choices for treatment I had made. I will be forever grateful to these men. Three months after the initial diagnosis I was told that no lymph nodes were involved and that I was clear of cancer.
November 2010 brought a horrific shock to me when I was once again diagnosed with cancer and told this time it was in another area, was more involved and that the outcome was poor. I declined all traditional treatments as they offered little (no) hope. Instead I chose to explore alternative cancer treatments. This led me to the Fort Langley Integrated Health Clinic which is supported by 2 naturopathic oncologists. Here again I have met with amazing and compassionate people and am again grateful. It was here that we worked out a plan of treatment to best support me while we worked on the goal of removing the unwanted cells from my body.

I think it is very important to note that this is only a brief summary of my journey, at times it has been very difficult, and I am in no way advocating that others should take the same path I have taken. Education about alternative treatments is important but what is more important is that each individual realize that their journey is theirs, it is unique to them just as their choice of treatments will be unique to them...there is no right or wrong;but there is choice.

I understand you are a firm believer in "complimentary" health care, I prefer not to use the term alternative, because I have to ask myself "What is it the alternative to?" But with that said I would like to know more about the treatment you sought outside of Canada.


I was intrigued by your choice of the word 'complimentary' when referring to this type of care. I looked up 'complimentary' in the dictionary and it stated the meaning as "1. acting as a complement; completing; and 2. making up what is lacking in another." I then looked up the word 'alternative' and it stated the meaning of this word as "1. offering or expressing a choice; 2. different from the usual or conventional; and 3. existing or functioning outside of the cultural, social or economic system." So again we come to choice and at this time I choose to use the term alternative cancer treatment as I have declined conventional treatment.

In January 2011 I traveled to a private clinic in Dortmund, Germany and spent 3 weeks receiving alternative care there. In Germany alternative, or here the term complimentary can be substituted as it has been available for many years and parts of it are offered as routine treatment to cancer therapy.

Upon arriving at the clinic I was subjected to several blood tests and a thermal test to assess my immune system and other functions. It was only after the results of these tests were obtained that a concrete plan for my care was formulated. I was grateful that my body was in a position that allowed for all the treatments the Dr there had hoped to administer. My Doctor in Germany is an MD who also practices naturopathic medicine; it appears to me that this is far more common in Germany than in North America.
Again, it is important to note that the following treatment was my treatment and it does not mean it would be the treatment provided to another. Having said that my three weeks of treatment included high doses of IV mistletoe; IV's of other formulations to support my immune system and counter any possible side effect from the high doses of mistletoe; oncotherm; colon hydrotherapy; oxygen therapy; ozone treatment; and fever therapy (this type of therapy is not currently offered in North America).

It was in Germany that it was explained to me that alternative treatments were slower to effect change than possibly conventional treatments would. However, alternative treatments, while they can be physically taxing, do not cause harm to the healthy cells and tissues of the body and indeed act to support and build up the immune system.

It is my understanding that the majority of people walking a path that includes alternative cancer treatment also choose to incorporate some components of conventional treatment. Once again, it comes down to choice and each individual has to decide what it is that they feel most comfortable/most supported/most served in choosing...no judgement, no dichotomous right or wrong.

Until someone has to actually go through the cancer treatment process, which I did with my late wife, I doubt anyone could imagine how expensive it is for treatment. To date for example ballpark how much have you spent on your treatment cold hard cash because MSP does not cover your treatment.

This is a number I like to live in ignorance of because as you said it is VERY expensive. I would not have been able to afford a large part of my treatment if it had not been for the amazing support of my parents; and also through the support of friends as I engage in my fund raising activities.
The bill for Germany alone was in the neighbourhood of $10,000 - plane tickets, hotel, food and of course the majority going to treatment cost.
Supplements have cost me thousands and thousands of dollars. Treatments at the Integrated Health Clinic, and ozone and some IV treatments with Dr Rod Santos in Burnaby have added up to (guestimating) $20,000+. So for this year alone, so far, my treatment has cost over $33,000 and that is most likely an underestimate, and of course it is not the final tally.

Of note is the fact that BC MSP will also not cover any lab work or test ordered by a NP even though they are legally permitted to write them. If one were to take a blood test requestion to their local lab the lab would provide the service but the individual would be required to pay for the test themselves right then, and again they are expensive. In my attempt to save a few hundred dollars on the cost of these tests I have gone to GP's and requested requesitions for certain tests that have been needed. It is with dismay that I write that I have met with such judgement and condemnation that I have left their offices in tears. I am grateful that I was recently connected with a GP who is understanding and compassionate and I, of course, will go back to him from now on.

What are some of the beautiful services that will be spotlighted at your EVENING OF GRATITUDE. The Evening of Gratitude has been so fortunate in bringing together an amazing group of practitioners. Services being offered include Reiki, reflexology, hot rock hand massage, a combination reflexology/Swedish hand/forearm massage, Angel card, Rune, and tea leaf readings, lip or eyebrow waxing, Yoga and raindrop therapy. Gratitude to all the practitioners who agreed to volunteer both their time and talent for this event!

Tickets for this 07 September event are being sold in advance for $20 and include 2 services (with the exception of raindrop therapy which counts as one service). Additional services can be purchased at the door should space permit. There will be an incredible silent auction table and assorted items for sale, including the tea light candle holders, wind spirals and fridge magnets. Any one interested in ordering tickets can contact me at liveingratitude@hotmail.com. See the details for the event under the 'Upcoming Events' section of this 'paper.'


Thank you Kimberly for sharing YOUR story. I pray no one has to go through what you are going through, but given the odds 1 in 3 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer...


I would like to add that while this journey is not one that I would consciously choose it has brought such amazing insight and a shifting of priorities to me. I am grateful for all that it has brought me, including a plethora of amazing new friends! It is a difficult journey and whatever the outcome I am grateful that I had both the opportunity and time to change paths as I now walk on a path that is abundant with gratitude, love, peace and incredible, high energy, higher purpose people. Even in adversity we have a choice...be grateful for what is, or be resentful/angry about what is not. The choice is ours to make and live with.

I wish all who read this article peace, love, and clarity on your journey,
Kimberly

 

August 19, 2011

Fairy Godmother

Myra Merkal


We are talking today to Myra Merkal the hots and creator of the Princess Party. Let's start from the beginning Myra,
what is a Princess Party?

It is a party that little girls aged 2-11 can come, all dressed up in their princess ( or party) dress and experience fun, magic and miracles. Princesses have this magic about believing in dreams and we want little girls to believe in their dreams.

It is also a place for women to volunteer to produce this magical event. All of the volunteers also dress up as princesses. It is an opportunity for all of us to have fun as well. I'm sure we all agree as we grow up, we forget how to play and this is certainly an opportunity to play as well as volunteer.

Where did you come up with the idea for a Princess Party? Is this your own creation or had you heard about or attended another party?

Evan Bird

It is my own creation. Last year my eldest son Evan Bird, who is a White Rock firefighter cycled across Canada with 7 other firefighters to raise
money for Variety-The children's Charity. I did a variety of fund raisers including garage sales, dinner parties, women's events. Then I thought I
want to do something that involves children. My son has two little girls (my grand daughters) and I watched them dress up and play princess a lot. I
asked my daughter in law, if I rented a hall and hired a clown, if she thought she could get some of the girls friends to come to the party. She
said yes. I thought if I'm out of pocket $500.00 and not many kids come, oh well, my grand daughters having fun would be worth it. I prepared my first ever media release and got a sponsor. The sponsor I chose was RE/MAX because both my husband and younger son work there and I see them as very community oriented. I formed a core committee of volunteers to help me. We went out into the community and obtained raffle prizes, hot dogs etc. There were miracles happening every single day. A photographer offered her services and she knew a woman who did princess birthday parties, who volunteered and it spiralled from there. Miss White Rock and the Youth Ambassadors came on the day of the party all dressed up in their gowns to help out. The Mayor, Catherine Ferguson was there and pulled all the raffle prize tickets. The Peace Arch news did a feature article for us. In the end we sold out. It was so amazing to witness how a community comes together and is so generous when we are doing things for charity. I have to tell you that creating this event and witnessing all the miracles and watching the little princesses enjoying themselves was the most gratifying thing I have ever done in my life.
I went into work on the Monday following the event and opened up my e-mail to many messages from people that were so positive, that I just closed my door and cried tears of gratitude.

The first Princess Party was last summer I believe. How did it all begin?

I feel my grand daughters are life's greatest gift and I would do anything for them, so I am grateful to have had the opportunity to create this event not only for them but for other girls in our community. This year I am weaving more into the party for children to learn that their beauty is not just from the outside, but to really look and love what is on the inside and to also see the beauty in others. If I can make one little bit of difference to teach children about being kind to self and others, I will be happy.

What exactly happens at a Princess Party?


This question really excites me. Visualize this as if you were a little one standing in line waiting for the doors to open in anticipation of the
Princess party.
The doors open and Cinderella, in all her Disneyland grace welcomes the princesses and embraces each little girl as she enters. A fairy godmother,
who is sitting in a beautifully decorated thrown then greets each little girl and places a princess tiara on her head and waves her magic wand saying
" bippety, bobbety boo, may all your dreams come true".

Once she is inside there is an abundance of things for her to do including:
Having her hair adorned with fairy strands and a simple hairdo
Simple make-up
Face painting
Cookie decorating
Cake walk
A magic castle where every princess wins a prize
Interactive story time with Cinderella
Many crafts
A princess parade
Singing

A raffle with donations generously provided by White Rock & South Surrey merchants


Hot Dogs and juice served by our very own White Rock firefighters

White Rock firefighters at the start of last year's Cross Canada cycle tour

...plus the White Rock Youth ambassadors are assisting again this year with all of the activities.

Last year I believe you hosted the Princess Party at your home, this year
you are moving to a new location. Where and when is this year's Princess
Party?

Last year we held the party in Sunnyside Hall at Bakerview Park. This hall will only hold 140 people, which is why we were very lucky that we had a
sunny day last year and could hold some of the activities out doors.

This year we are holding it at Star of the Sea Community Centre located at 15262 Pacific Avenue. This hall will hold 480 people, so this allows us to
have more princesses and gives us room for more activities as well. And, we're not held hostage to the weather.

If anyone is interested in more information on the Princess Party how can
they find that information?

All information is on our website at www.wrprincessparty.com. Tickets can be purchased online at the website or through our sponsor RE/MAX Colonial Pacific Realty. If people have questions they can also e-mail me at wrprincessparty@yahoo.ca.

Is this years Princess Party in aid of any particular organization?


Yes, all the money goes to the White Rock Firefighters Charity Association.
I know the firefighters do a lot of charity work in our community, much more
than people know about and ALL the money goes to charity, there is no
overhead cost. The firefighters are wanting to create a destination park
for all abilities in White Rock. This Park would be a wonderful addition to
the City for families and also good for our businesses.

Would you like to see the Princess Party become a major event on the White
Rock Community calendar? Do You have any secret sky high goals you would
like to accomplish with the Princess Party?

Yes, I would like to see this as a major event and marked on our calendars every year with little ones all excited anticipating the day. As I mentioned above if we are successful with our park endeavour ( AND I AM HOLDING THE VISION WE ARE) then it will take the community working together to raise funds and resources for this amazing park. This is not your average children's playground. It is much more.

Obviously Myra Merkal is not your average citizen, SHE is so much more.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the website

(Click Here)

 

August 09, 2011

White Rock's MIki Dawson is excited and very proud with the publication of her first book. THE BUTTERFLY CASTLE

First of all Miki tell us a bit about your history in White Rock. Have you lived here long?

Moved here just over 5 years ago with my son. I had moved into Delta from Calgary 2 days before Christmas in 2005. My first visit as an adult to White Rock was New Year's Day with my husband at the time and my son. As I was walking down the Victoria Avenue steps towards the water, I promised myself I would live here some day. 6 months later, my husband and I separated and I moved to White Rock. I have grown to love it ever since that first New Year's Day.

THE BUTTERFLY CASTLE is the name of your book that was recently published. Is this your first book? What was your inspiration for publishing the book?


It is my first children's story written for my son. From the time I was a little girl into my early 20's, I wrote poetry and some short stories. I lacked the confidence at the time to pursue writing. I wrote for myself and I would share with close friends. I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Since my 20's my writing ceased until I became pregnant with my son. I kept several journals during my pregnancy and I also wrote a few short stories about my experiences with my son. They were my way of documenting special moments with him

Why did you choose the format of a colouring book for your first publication?


Three years ago when I had finished the illustrations for the story, my son and his good friend at the time were immediately drawn to colouring the pictures. Originally I had the full intention of colouring the pages myself. In the end, it was a printing expense choice as I have fully financed the printing and production of this book. Leaving it available for the kids to colour ended up being a cost-effective choice as well as an artistic opportunity for kids.

What was the period of time from start to finish in creating BUTTERFLY CASTLE?


I wrote this story about 2 years after I moved to White Rock, approximately 3 years ago. I had finished the illustrations soon afterward. I shared it with a handful of friends, but was very resistant to go through the publishing process. I didn't want to change the story or the illustrations. I wanted to keep it humble and true to me. I decided to self-publish it 2 weeks before my son finished school this year.

Now that the book is finished and you are trying to promote its availability it would appear you are taking the road less travelled, as I personally discovered your book in The White Rock Bread Box my local fresh vegetable store? Where else will the book be available?


Locally people can purchase the book from White Rock Bread Box, Small Ritual Coffee Society and personally from me. People can also order online on my website. www.thebutterflycastle.com

 



Have you actually sat down yourself and coloured in your own book?

At the time I finished the illustrations and considered printing it for others, I coloured almost every page. The coloured pages on my website and in my book are the ones I coloured 3 years ago.

If anyone would like to know more about you or your book how can they get in touch with you?

People can get in touch with me through my website, email, or sending me mail to my P.O. Box address. Or if you know me, people can visit me at my home and we can have a visit personally.

(Miki's email; thebutterflycastler@yahoo.ca)



Finally let's turn the tables a bit on you. On your web site you pose a number of questions for those that have read your first book THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS. Let's see how you make out with your own questions.

If you could transform into anything, what would it be and why?

Perhaps a seagull. They always seem to having so much fun when I look out my window. Riding the waves of wind, hanging out at the seashore…I love sand, surf and sky. The get to enjoy all of these.

Who do you love and why?


I love so many people. However, I am finally learning to love myself first. I have learned how important it is to love and take care of myself before I can truly give healthy love to others. I have a deep respect and love for my son, my friends, my family, and pretty much everyone I have a magical connection with. I have lots of love to share.

How can you show someone your love?


I show people my love by loving them unconditionally, without judgment, in a way that allows them to be free and flawed yet perfect. I want people to see their spirit and beauty and strength. I do what I can to empower others by simply being supportive and generously sincere with my love and respect. I also like to do things for others especially when they least expect it.

Who is your favourite person to play with?

My son.

If you could travel anywhere in the universe, where would you go and why?
& What person or thing do you take care of?


I would travel to where dreams materialize, where anything is possible, which really is right here if you allow yourself to open your mind and heart.

I take care of my son and all of my relationships…close friends, my folks, even strangers I feel a connection with.

Name one person who loves you and believes in you.

My son loves me and believes in me…more than I probably realize.

Do you believe something can exist even if you can't see it or touch it?


Without a doubt.

What sorts of miracles (wonderful and surprising things) have you witnessed
in your life?


The creation of my son, becoming part of my adopted family, everything in nature, life, love, forgiveness, change, transformation of myself and those around me…I am very in touch with miracles every day. My eyes are open.

What do you dream about?

I dream about dancing. For me dancing is like flying. I dream about flying. I love my freedom. I dream about my brother who passed away. I dream about the farm where I grew up. I love dreaming. I figure things out in my dreams. From a young age I learned to change my dreams if I didn't like them. I've been teaching my son to do the same. Dreams have messages sometimes and I find myself analyzing a dream as I'm dreaming it sometimes.

What do you love about yourself?


I love my capacity for love and acceptance. I love my sense of humour and I appreciate the challenges I've faced in life that I have triumphantly overcome. I love my perspective, perception, insight and sight. I think I see what truly matters in most moments. I am also very open and honest yet have the wisdom to know when to respect my own privacy.

How can you make the world a better place to live in?

Making the world a better place starts with the individual. That's why I'm so committed to loving and respecting myself. It has taken me a long time to truly be able to achieve these 2 things as I have always been hard on myself and expected perfection. By being a person I can live with and be proud of I think I can inspire others, particularly my son. I do my best to talk openly with my son about life and I also do my best to listen. I always want to be real and show others they can be real with me…imperfectly perfect.

How can you make the day better far someone else?

There are infinite ways of making the day better. For me I want people to feel like they are important because they are. I want to take a moment to put myself in someone else's shoes, look without judgment, have faith in love by doing something spontaneous and anonymous, showing in little ways that I care about the world around me and about others even if I don't know them, I like to do special little things for people, pay someone a genuine complement, listen with sincerity, share my heart and spirit, make someone laugh, love them the way I want to be loved.

 

August 04,2011

Una St. Clair CST


Today we are talking with UNA ST. CLAIR who was instrumental in starting an organizations called Citizens For Safer Technology CST.

Una could you please explain in layman's language what BC Hydro is in the process of doing regarding the meters on our homes?

BC Hydro plans to replace the current analogue meters with Wireless Smart Meters on every home, business and public building in the province. These meters will be sending wireless signals via microwave radiofrequency radiation throughout the day and night feeding up to the hour electricity use information into a province wide wireless "smart" grid which transmits information back to BC Hydro. Wireless collection points (aka Hubs or Routers) are mounted on street lights or power poles, approximately one for approximately 200 homes. These hubs send and receive information to each wireless meter including remote disconnects and connects. The meters will be used to control wireless enabled appliances, either by the utility or the homeowner through a wi-fi enabled Home Area Network. The Liberals repealed sections of the BC Utilities Commission Act prior to passing the Clean Energy Act which removed the normal BCUC oversight process, eliminating public hearings. The Clean Energy Act specifies that installation can be done ``without the consent of the owner".

BC Hydro is not informing the public that radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation was recently classified by the World Health Organization as a possible human carcinogen. People have a right to feel safe & secure in their own homes and for many the prospect of involuntary exposure to increasing levels of radiofrequency radiation within their homes and neighbourhoods without their consent is unacceptable. Wireless meters, the collector hubs and the smart grid using possible cancer promoting technology, is further capable of creating microwave radiation sickness, aka electrohypersensitivity, seriously violates our human rights. This kind of risk should never be forced on people against their will.

You started CST as a result of a personal reaction to EMF Electromagnetic FIelds (see below). How do EMF's negatively affect your daily routine, and do you have any indication how widespread is it amongst the population?

My life has been drastically altered since sitting next to a Wi-Fi router in my home office for 8 weeks. I had no idea why I suddenly experienced constant headaches and migraines, as well as vertigo, nausea, insomnia, severe heart irregularities and palpitations, memory loss, and anxiety. The symptoms disappeared quickly after removing all wireless devices from our home, only to return if I was exposed to Wi-Fi or Cordless phones in friend's homes, restaurants, or while shopping. I used to be very active in my children's school and community as a whole, but I am now forced to restrict most of my activities to areas or businesses that do not use wireless technologies in order to maintain my health. Since starting this society, and especially since Wireless Smart Meters are being forced upon people, I am quite horrified at the numbers of people who are medically diagnosed electrohypersensitive, or have self diagnosed the condition and who have been forced to make their home a sanctuary, free from all wireless devices.

It is like the beginning of a silent epidemic; people who know wireless devices make them feel terribly ill don't want to say anything for fear of being ostracized by our society. International scientists state that about 3% to 20% of the population are electrohypersensitive to some degree, although because we have no ongoing public health surveillance or monitoring program, it could be as high as 35% given that it is most common to treat the symptoms of this environmental illness with sleeping pills, migraine medication, beta blockers to control heart rhythm, anti-depressants and anti-psychotic drugs. The Parliament of Hesse, Germany, estimates that 6% of every class in school is electrohypersensitive and recommends proper medical care.

Some experts have charted the increase of electrohypersensitivity worldwide which is keeping pace with the massive rollout of wireless infrastructure and devices – they state that at the rate of increase, 50% of the population may be electrohypersensitive by 2017.

What is EMF?
<image001.jpg>We live in an invisible sea of electromagnetic field radiation. Subtle energies constantly swirl in and around our bodies, whether or not we are aware of them. Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are energy waves with frequencies below 300 hertz or cycles per second. The electromagnetic fields we encounter daily come from every day things such as power lines, radar and microwave towers, television and computer screens, motors, fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, cell phones, electric blankets, house wiring and hundreds of other common electrical devices.


From past experiences with your organization I know you have been very active in educating people to the dangers of continuous exposure to cell phones and wireless telephones. I am also under the impression there are reports now coming out about the hazards of WI FI (wireless internet) to young children in particular when exposed for prolonged periods. Could you expand and inform the readers more on these subjects?

Just like cell phones, Wi-Fi was introduced to the marketplace without any studies on the safety of exposure for people. Children are especially vulnerable to damaging effects from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields due to immature organs and immune system. Wi-Fi has been introduced to schools as a learning tool, but the pathology actually indicates exposure to Wi-Fi can be detrimental to learning. Particularly concerning in education is the consistent finding that learning, concentration and behaviour are all disrupted by this exposure. Recent scientific studies from Greece show that Wi-Fi can cause cognitive function and brain physiology changes. Another similar study explored change in attention and working memory operation of the brain when exposed to Wi-Fi. Four hours of exposure to a Wi-Fi enabled laptop has been found to cause changes to male fertility by reducing sperm motility and fragmenting DNA.
A lawsuit has now been started by a parent against the Portland Public Schools claiming that involuntary exposure to Wi-Fi in schools is risking child's health.
There are other scientific studies specific to Wi-Fi that show DNA double strand breaks in brain cells causing significant brain damage and indicatin of tumour promotion after only 2 hours per day for 35 days. Another study done in 1992 showed alterations in immune system and four fold increase in primary malignancies.

Parents need to demand higher level of safety for their children in schools when it comes to wireless exposure. The Council of Europe is now recommending that computers be hard wired in schools and strong restrictions be placed on cell phone use by children in schools. There is strong evidence to suggest a dose-response, cumulative relationship to exposure, therefore, every effort needs to be made to reduce microwave radiofrequency radiation wherever possible.

At the end of this article I have reproduced the notice you recently issued regarding BC Hydro's backtracking on the exposure level of the so called "smart meters." Is there anything a concerned citizen or someone with health concerns can do?

BC Hydro has told us that there is no choice allowed for anyone – they must have a wireless smart meter attached to their home even when the homeowner strongly objects to this device. People with health concerns have contacted BC Hydro refusing a wireless device, however, they have been told a wireless smart meter will be installed on their home anyway, whether they want one or not. Currently, people can have installation delayed by registering on a "Delay Install List", with BC Hydro. The efforts made by BC Hydro to reach a solution, do not extend to agreeing to a hard wired option for those who refuse Wireless Smart Meters, even though this is a capability of the Itron meter being used. A homeowner can, at their own expense, move their BC Hydro meter off the house and mount somewhere else on the property. The quotes we are receiving run into the thousands to have this work done, although it is different for every home. And for some homes, as well as apartments and townhomes, it is just not feasible.

The best thing I can tell people to do is to ask their MLA to register their opposition to this program and help look for solutions. Other actions include making a presentation requesting a moratorium on Wireless Smart Meters to Mayor and Council and send letters refusing wireless smart meters and requesting wired solutions to BC Hydro.

I understand the two first test markets will be Prince George & Richmond. Is there any documentation or correspondence you have recieved from BC Hyrdo why these two cities were chosen?


We were initially told that Salt Spring Island would be the first to receive Wireless Smart Meters and the full Smart Meter Grid. However, there has been a big outcry from the Gulf Islands, and specifically Salt Spring Island, which has resulted in the Gulf Islands Trust requesting a moratorium on wireless Smart Meters and requesting that the meters be wired, not wireless. It looks like Salt Spring Island was too controversial to start with, and would have brought a huge amount of attention to the smart meters. My guess is that they chose Prince George to start the rollout because it is farther away from the areas where people are refusing to consent to these meters. I do know it has started in Prince George, but don't know if Richmond has started.

If anyone would like more information are they able to contact you? Do you have a website?


We can be reached through the contact on our website, www.citizensforsafetechnology.org. We are a rapidly growing non-profit educational organization run by volunteers. I would also recommend signing the online Petitions at our website, and contact me directly at una@citizensforsafetechnology.org to join the Coalition to Stop Wireless Smart Meters – some of our founding members include Robert Bateman, Rafe Mair, Damien Gillis, Health Action Network, Common Ground magazine, Hazelmere Organic Farm and more.

Thank you for your time Una.

Press Releases

BC Hydro Public Retraction & Apology Required


BC Hydro has continually stated on its website and in written information that there is "no known health risk or reason for concern" regarding exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields which are emitted by Wireless Smart Meters. BC Hydro has promoted statements made by Dr. Patricia Daly and Dr. John Blatherwick to back up their position.

Truth Update: On July 6, 2011, CST wrote to BC Hydro regarding the inaccuracy of such information.

CST pointed out that since the World Health Organization has reclassified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a Class 2B carcinogen risk, possibly carcinogenic to humans, their position of "no risk" could be deemed as a breach of trust to the public.

CST wrote "No matter how industry and those aligned with industry spin this situation, the reclassification does not state "cell phones", but radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as being possible to cause human cancer."

A reply was received on July 26, 2011 from the Smart Metering Program Team, and it stated:

"Thank you for your e-mail of July 6, 2011. The statements attributed to Dr. Blatherwick and Dr. Daly were made before the World Health Organization released their document on the 2b carcinogen. Thank you for pointing out these statements on our web site. They have been removed."

Is removing statements of "no known health risk" enough to properly inform the public that there is indeed a possible cancer risk from Wireless Smart Meter microwave radiofrequency emissions? Or do we all need to request BC Hydro make a public retraction and apology for providing misleading and inaccurate information? You can tell BC Hydro what you think yourself - use the e-mail address and phone numbers provided to the left.

Correction - We wish to thank one of our members who showed us that the Biological Effects of Microwaves chart provided with the July 30th Truth Update was actually compiled by Arthur Firstenberg and included in the document authored by Dr. Magda Havas, Ph.D, entitled "Analysis of Health and Environmental Effects of Proposed San Francisco Earthlink Wi-Fi Network". We are including that chart again here with the proper notations, excerpted from the above referenced Analysis. Please go to www.magdahavas.com to view the Analysis in its entirety. We apologize for providing a chart which showed the author incorrectly.

 

June 29, 2011

Helping To Grow A Community

l-r David Young SOURCES Ken Jones & Surrey Councillor Marry Martin

Saturday afternoon in a quiet and tranquil locale behind the South Surrey Recreation Centre, members of White Rock and Surrey Council along with representatives from community organizations and friends and neighbors came together to honour Ken & Sharon Jones.

A few years ago Telus started the "Dollars for Doers" program to encourage employees and retirees to document their volounteer contributions to their communities. Telus offered $200.00 if a person was to volounteer for 50 hours in a calendar year, and $500.00 if they volounteered more than 200 hours in a year.

Retiree KEN JONES and his wife SHARON took Telus up on their generous offer and began to document their contributions to their community, in this case it was White Rock and South Surrey.

Ken & Sharon Jones (seated)

This year when Telus informed the Jones's they had been selected to receive $500.00 Ken decided to identify White Rock's community builders SOURCES as his designated charity. SOURCES then contributed the money to the Intergenerational Therapeutic Garden behind the South Surrey Rec Centre.

The Jones's donated the money in memory of their grandson, JACOB KYLE JONES who they proudly say, saw in his nine and a half year life journey, beauty in everything and every person he cam in contact with.

The garden is open for residents of the area to sit and enjoy during operational hours of the rec centre.

Note- Some of the planter boxes in the community garden were installed in raised beds to allow the elderly and anyone with a mobility challenge, to still be able to reach and work on the gardens. The facility is wheelchair accessible.

Ken & Sharon Jones WE SALUTE YOU!

 

 

June 2011

We recently sat down with Natalie Haltrich Program Coordinator of the Catching the Spirit Youth Society. The society operates a number of parks in the Lower Mainland that provide youth with an opportunity to get in touch with nature and each other.

What exactly is the program Catching The Spirit all about?

Leadership. Environmental Stewardship. And Youth Ownership. And mostly youth ownership. It's all about making connections in hopes to inspire positive change. Here is the blurb that I often send out:

'Get outside this summer with Catching the Spirit! Catching the Spirit (CtS) Youth Society is a non-profit organization program dedicated to developing leadership and social responsibility in youth through environmental awareness and stewardship, outdoor recreation and youth ownership. Offered in collaboration with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks, CtS provides opportunities for youth to interact with nature and community leaving them with a connection to the environment and each other. Oh ya - and youth receive volunteer service hours for their involvement, and it’s free to all participants, thanks to our generous donors, supporters and community partners. 3-day overnight Spirit Steward camps and an afternoon Ranger program are available in four Metro Vancouver Regional Parks across the lower mainland. Please check out our website for more information, www.catchingthespirit.com, or call Nat at 604.562.0583.'

Is there a personal cost (fee) for the youth that participate in the program?

No! We are extremely fortunate to receive funding & in-kind support from Metro Vancouver and the Pacific Parklands Foundation (PPF), without whom we could do very little. The PPF works in collaboration with MV Regional Parks and raises roughly 100,000K for us annually, through grant proposals to various organizations. RBC, TD Friends of the Environment and Vancity have been especially generous donours over the years. WE have had support from the Surrey Foundation in the past and hope to rally more in the near future. This is our 11th go-around and never have we had to charge a cent thanks to the support of all those mentioned above and more.

What are the age requirements for young people to attend the Catching The Spirit programs?

The age range is 12-18 - They have to be 12 at the time of participation

How long do the young people stay in the park evnrionment? Is there an option for just day visits in addition to weekend outings?

We have 2 programs in 4 parks:
The 3-day, 2 night Spirit Steward camp program: delivered at Pacific Spirit (tents), Capilano River (dorms), Burnaby Lake (tents) and Tynehead (tents) available every weekend from July 1 to Aug 21 (start at 5pm Fri until 12 noon on Sun)
and the afternoon Ranger program: delivered at Pacific Spirit (T, W, TH afternoons) and Burnaby Lake (W, TH and F afternoons), from 1-4pm

In a nut shell, both programs are a mix of, what I call, 'CtS in 5':

Leadership: the best part (and very unique part) of the program I feel in the Youth Leadership. WE have 42 youth Peer Leaders who inspire, create and deliver the program at all 4 locations. They receive in depth training is May and June so that they can lead their peers come July. They are mentored by Adult Supervisors who are on site 24/7

Stewardship: every Sat (for 2 to 4 hours) we work on a different Stewardship project in each park. We make remove invasive plant species to promote biodiversity. We may build fences to protect environmentally sensitive areas, we might work on public engagement project encouraging to use of tap water, we might paste salmon decals to storm drainages, we might do bog and stream restoration...We have many community and park partners who we work with on many stewardship projects. Last year alone we had 16 stewardship parters!

Environmental Education (or Jumping into Nature): through a GPS treasure hunt, nature hike or other exploration

Team building: it's all about inclusion!

And free and leisure time: noting like camp without Capture the Flag or a marshmellow roast!

Is it possible for young people living in the Fraser Valley to attend the program? What are the guidelines for acceptance in the program?


Yes. They simply have to apply. They can call me (Program Coordinator 604.562.0583) or visit our website (www.catchingthespirit.com) for more info, and apply online. Guidelines are only that all documents must be completed properly and submitted before we can confirm registration, which is based on a first come first serve basis. Registration forms in contact info, date/location selection, medical form, photo consent (optional) and and waiver/medical consent forms.

How long has the program been in effect and where do the majority of the young participants in the program come from?

This will be our 11th year! last summer we had over 300 youth in the program across our 4 parks from 150 schools in the Lower Mainland and 17 municipalities - it's so wonderful to see CTS draw youth from such a vast area!

How long do the young people attending the Catching The Spirit spend in the program?

They can join us for one weekend camp or more - however we do limit initial registration to 3 camps to allow space for as many youth as possible throughout the summer. We do have a wait list though, and try to fill our camps sometimes with youth who are coming for their 5th or 6th weekend (of 8!) of the summer.

And they can join us for one Ranger day or more. While camps do fill , the nice thing with the Ranger program is that there is often room and youth can call the day before to join us. As long as there is space and we have approval from parents, youth can join us throughout the summer with very little notice

Do any of the graduates of the Catching The Spirit program end up returning as instructors or assistants in the program?

Yes! The beauty is they can start as participants, then challenge themselves to peer lead (and receive a $100 scholarship) once they are 15, then apply to Supervise, an employed position which received $4 to $5K for part time work from April through August. We have one Supervisor from Surrey who started as a participant 7 years ago and is now in her third year Supervising at Tynehead - we are very lucky!
We also have numerous youth who have been involved for 5 or 6 years now (also at our Tynehead camp which has a very strong and unique CTS culture) and who are soon to age out of the program. The strength of the program really lies on these youth that return year after year and take ownership of the program making it theirs.

What does a typical "day in the life" of a registrant look like in the program?

Wake up around 7:30. Roll out of you tent with your buddies (that you set up the night before on the camp ground's tent pads made by CTS 6 summers prior). If you're on breakfast duty, you and your team might make pancakes or serve cereal, yogurt and fruit. If not, you're mostly likely on clean up duty. You'll get organized for your stewardship project and walk over to its location within the park, or bus over depending where it might be in the community. You'll contribute to saving the planet for 2 or so hours, then break for lunch that you would have packed for the 22 of you (16 participants, 4 Peer Leaders and 2 Mentor Supervisors) at breakfast. You might chill for a bit, have a rest, then get back to the stewardship project if it's not quite done. After that you might follow your Peer Leaders' lead in a GPS treasure hunt, trying to find the CTS geo-cache (a favourite at Tynehead) or take a nature walk over to Sleepy Hollows. You might play some team building and trust games followed by a chill out guitar session before dinner. If you made breakfast, chances are you are on clean up for dinner. A BBQ is brought into the Tynehead camp (another perk!) to help with all things cooking. After clean up, a game of camouflage down the trail might take place, followed by a conversation on Leave No Trace or Ecological Footprints and then Capture the Flag just b/c it's an all time fave. If there is no fire ban and you are in a park where fires are permitted, you'll enjoy a youth led evening by the fire, guitars, marshmellows and silly fun included. Then off to bed around 11pm., a good time had by all

Over the years there must be a number of kodak moments that stick with you. What are some of your fondest memories of the program?

Ahhh..easy! At our summer's end Appreciation BBQ where our youth, their families, our partners and funders join to celebrate the season. Youth MC the event and each park puts on a song, skit or otherwise for every one that they prepared at the last camp weekend (my fave by far!). It's a great magical evening that rallies youth from across all our camps.

Another favorite last year was UBUNTU day ('I am because we are'), celebrated in partnership with a youth organization from Kenya last summer. 90 youth and Supervisors from all 4 camps rallied at our community garden in July and we spoke to Kenya via skype before heading out to our garden to plant fruit trees and celebrate community through a talent show (mimicking Ubuntu day in Maai Mahiu Kenya).

..but really, magic moments come all the time from the youth. They can do so much when given a comfortable space, an opportunity and just enough support. When they're involved, I feel I can do anything!

The program has two levels of instructors, Peer Leaders and Insturctors. Please explain the diference.
Peer Leaders are youth aged 15 to 18, in general. They put program itineraries & menu plans together, and ideally follow their plans or change them up as need be throughout the weekend. They welcome participants and run icebreakers and divide youth into tent and cooking groups before going over program safety and a weekend overview. They run the show!

Supervisor mentors support. The more they can hang back and watch a well planned, fun and safe camp unfold, the closer they are to fostering youth leadership and ownership.

They do step in of course, more at times, less at others. They may lead certain sessions as well, but really support the PLs in all that they have planned.

 

It is possible for the public to donate time to become either and instructor or a peer leader?

Supervisors/mentors apply in Feb/mar for the position - we start weekly training sessions April 1st-ish (we have one tonight actually!). They are employees and we have 10 this year. Peer Leaders apply by Earth Day, April 22nd. We have 42 across the program. Each team has 2 to 3 Supervisors and 8 to 12 PLs, all of who go through 6 training sessions in May and June. The closer and better bonded the park Leadership Teams are come July 1st, the better the program runs, hands down.

So, to answer your Q quickly, no. There is a lot of training and bonding time that takes place prior to any given participant joining the program.
We do have a volunteer Board that is paramount in the smooth dunning of the program, and we are always looking for new members. Youth participants are all considered to be volunteers and receive 15 hours of volunteer service per camp that they attend.

Most people living in the Surrey/White Rock area may not be aware of Tynehead Regional Park. Describe for us the diferent facilities in the park that make up the base camp for Catching The Spirit.

Raven's Nest camp is incredible! It has numerous tent pads (built by CTS), a shelter with open sides covering numerous picnic tables. It has running water (facet) and an outhouse, fire pit, and a great field to play games and explore nature. There are numerous trails that branch from it into various parts of the park. The site must be booked for use through Metro Vancouver's Regional Park staff.

Raven's Nest is our home base, but we do many of our stewardship work in the Sleepy Hollows area or adjacent to the dog-off-leash area. We're excited to do some stewardship work along the all-new Perimeter trail this year where we planted over 800 trees and shrubs this last April. The trails around Raven's Nest provide some great Nature Walk space too.

Also:

CTS runs year round. WE have a very active Youth Council that gets together. This year's main project involved the birth of 'Spirit Fest' an event taking place this Sat actually (! May 28th) at our Community garden at BCIT to kick off our 11th season and share all that CTS has to offer. The youth put all pieces together and are eager to share their 6 CTS funstations with everyone attending.

We also have monthly volunteer events throughout the year, a mix of stewardship, social responsibility and community involvement, and recreation. We try to move them around Metro Vancouver to make it all the easier for all of our youth to attend at least a couple events.

 

May 27, 2011

White Rock To Be Branded

CHRIS THORNLEY a resident of the Semiahmoo Peninsula has chosen to give back to this community in a big way. THORNLEY'S company would normally charge thousands of dollars to a city like White Rock with their "imaging" - "branding" initiatives. As a matter of fact THORNLEY'S company located at Guildofrd, created Surrey's imaging and branding "The Future Lives Here." Here's hoping Surrey Mayor DIANE WATTS doesn't read this.

First question Chris is a little bit of your personal background. If you
could tell the readers of the White Rock Sun a bit about your professional
marketing background.

One of the benefits of having your own company is that you can bring your
own values to your work.
Consequently I'm very proud to say that we have been able to actively
support the things that we believe in.
For example we successfully rebranded the Surrey Food Bank, Sources, the
Centre for Child development, DiversCITY Community Resources
And are responsible for the Surrey Memorial Hospital Tulips for Tomorrow
campaign. Other projects have included the Bard on the Beach, the Surrey School
District, The Surrey Libraries and of course the City of Surrey.
When I say " we" I'm referring directly to the team of artists and
professionals that surround me every day ,including my Business partner Mr.
Bruce Hayne.
From a personal perspective I have had my fair share of community
involvement over the years: In 2005 I was recognized as Community Leader of
the year and more recently selected as a Surrey Civic Treasure for 2010. As
you are aware the White Rock project was a volunteer project. I'm also a
musician and have played a lot of the "groovy" places in White Rock ( Uli's, Iguanas, West Beach...to
name a few)!

For anyone a little confused on what a branding initiative is and how it
works could you give us the Coles Notes version of "branding."

It can be confusing ,and I think it might mean slightly different things to
different people. To me It's not just your logo, it's not just the slogan or
the colours ,to me in the simplest of terms your brand is your reputation.
By way of example lets' use something simple like "Campbell's "
Soup.
Most people know this product ,they even call it a "brand name" or a
"national brand". One has a pretty good idea of what quality to expect, a
rough idea of the cost, how it's going to taste etc. So this products'
reputation is directly linked to its brand.
I think the same thing applies to people ,we all carry our own personal
brand. So and so is honest ,so and so is nice, If you want something done
talk to so and so. Your personal "Brand " resides inside you. It is the sum
total of the experiences and perceptions, that you have created, some of
which you can influence, and some that you cannot.

Your company was hired a couple years back by the City of Surrey to brand
the city. What was the process you went through to arrive with Surrey's
branding initiative "The Future Lives Here."

That was quite a process; There were two RFP's issued: one for the
positioning and one for the graphics. Our firm was awarded the contract
to review and research the brand positioning statement ( sort of like what
Whisper was tasked to do ) We conducted a number of interviews
with various stake holders and came up with "The Future Lives Here" ( Ok it
was actually Bruce Hayne that came up with this particular slogan in one of our
brain storming sessions!) Well they say timing is everything, for the City
of Surrey this positioning statement resonated with a lot of people ,and if
I may be so bold it became something that the city and its residents could rally
around. The landscape of Surrey was/is changing ..there is some real truth
in the statement "the Future lives here!". Regarding the graphics...although
there were a number of design firms involved in that part of the project
,I'm proud to say that our design concept was the one chosen.

How did you end up heading up the ad hoc group of White Rock
representatives chosen to formulate a vision for the city's future.

In truth, I approached the city out of curiosity ,perhaps there was an
opportunity here, and, as you know...I ended up volunteering!
It occurred to me that within the Whisper report there might be some "gold"
amongst all that "coal", so part of it was intellectual curiosity.
The other part was I actually really care about our City...it's my home too!

I then approached council and received their permission to set up a steering
committee to review and report back to council.
Our group were all volunteers and our committee ended up being a very
diverse group, yet fairly representational as a cross section of White Rock citizens:
A tourism/marketing professional ( Betina Albornoz ),someone from the arts (
Geoff Giffin), a White Rock business owner ( Pamela Montgomery), a real-estate professional ( Ronald
Elliott) and a person raising a young family in White Rock, who also happened to be a
gifted writer ( Anita Wong).

The City of White Rock in 2009 awarded a California company Whisper
Communications a contract to create branding for the city. Many people
including the majority of the council of the day were not thrilled with the
catch lines of "The Island of White Rock" and "Silver Beach." You are on
record as saying the entire report created by Whisper was not lost. Your
group was able to attain some interesting insights that enabled you to come
up with your new branding initiative. What were the key points that were
useful to you?

Whisper did quite a volume of work ,for myself and the group the most
valuable portion of the report was the 33 individual
conversations. They told quite a story of how the residents see the city. By
the way I'm a great believer in having some research
before you start to develop the "creative strategy". These conversations led
to many spirited discussions within the group
and lead directly to the suggestions put forth to council. The other
interesting thing is , although the "Island of White Rock"
failed to resonate with the city. One could argue that if there ever was a
place on the lower mainland that captured the spirit
of our gulf islands, that place would be White Rock.

What is the geographical footprint you envisioned the branding of White Rock
would be targeted at?

I'm not sure I would Identify a specific Geographical region ,for myself I
would ask the question a different way. Who does the branding needs to speak to or is targeted too? First and
foremost it needs to speak to the residents of White Rock itself.
However it also needs to speak to various markets that extend beyond White
Rock's defined boundaries. Incidentally I feel that whereas the physical boundaries of the city of White Rock are clearly defined, the perceived boundaries are quite elastic.

 

What other community members were part of your branding committee?

The first group I talked too....even before I formed the committee
was the Economic and Revitalization Committee. What a good group,
they had lots of favourable comments and seemed genuinely pleased that we were going to review and analyze
the Whisper Report. There was considerable media coverage and a number of letters to the editor and our meetings with council.
The biggest source of input from the community was the 33 interviews that Whisper conducted. This was very valuable
and represented a significant investment in the community.
A surprising number of people approached me personally to ask what the result of our process was going to be...
before we even started to meet! ( Some individuals even took the time to
passionately explain, exactly what they thought
the positioning statements should be).I learned a long time ago that it is
never a good idea to start something like this with your mind already made up.

You recently did a presentation to White Rock council revealing some of your
proposed branding slogans. What are the final slogans that are being put
forth for consideration in future branding efforts for White Rock?

The report you are referring to is online at the City of White Rock web
site.
I highly recommend your readers review this document as it very efficiently
leads
the reader through our journey and our recommendations to council.

Our group settled on three themes:

1) Abundantly Beautiful: White Rock is in fact abundant in so many things
,from
our scenic waterfront and uptown community to our strategic location near
the
United States border. We are also privileged to enjoy active living,
community spirit,
arts and culture, business excellence and so much more.

2) West Coast Gem: In many ways it is White Rock's location that makes us
who we are: The promenade and pier ,
and our seaside setting .West Coast Gem" immediately conveys the city's
coastal waterfront location. But White
Rock is more than a seaside locale. It is a gem rich in the many assets it
offers to those who visit here, invest here and live here.
White Rock is a place to celebrate everything from arts and cultural
diversity to health and wellness ,business excellence
and the great outdoors.

3)The personalizing of "City by the Sea". ( My ,Our, Your) .The phrase "City
by the Sea" effectively captures the experience of seaside living that is at
the heart of
White Rock .But there is so much more to the city -White Rock is comprised
of a rich tapestry of voices .There isn't one voice that speaks
on behalf of the city. The theme "City by the Sea" can be personalized with
"My" ,"Our" ,or "Your" and used with supporting statements to tell all of
our different stories. For example ; for the business community : "My City
by the Sea is open for business"; for the health and wellness sector " Our
City by the Sea is a place for Active Living" ; or for arts patrons : "My
City by the Sea supports Arts and Culture" Personalizing the theme offers a
sense of ownership to stakeholders, while reaching out to our potential
residents ,tourists and investors.

During your presentation to Council you identified one of your challenges
was almost everyone you spoke with had a different idea of what White Rock
is. Can you give us a few examples of what some of the residents polled
identified as their White Rock?

At first I thought that there were no common threads ,it seemed to me that
all of us had pretty strong feelings
about what White Rock is. I'll give you two examples: One person approached
me and very clearly presented
a well thought out argument that White Rock is a Centre for Active Living
.She was right! We are in general terms quite an active
community ,particularly our seniors, we have an interest in yoga, we have
organizations like Sources that promote Social Wellness for our Community.
Arguably we are a centre for Active Living.
Someone else presented me with an interesting and detailed report
suggesting we promote White Rock as an
"Art City". He was right too! The entire peninsula is populated with artists
and musicians, we have the Wyland wall and those superb totems down at East
beach.
We have a splendid live theatre venue in the middle of White Rock .Arguably
we are an Art City.
But wait isn't that a contradiction? Aren't they both right?
These kind of conversations lead to the idea that, what we truly all have in
common, is the undisputed fact that each of us has our own unique
and personal view of what our city is .It is very possible there is much
more than just one answer. Clearly to those that care passionately about
our city, the common ground is that our city is many different things to
many different people.

What is the next step for your committee in realizing a branding initiative
for the future of White Rock?.

This has been a long journey, our job was to review and report and make recommendations.
Now that this has been completed ,it is my understanding that the city manager has been tasked with reporting back to council.
I would expect council will then respond to the city manager.

Incidentally, and if you don't mind, before I sign off, I would like to acknowledge the support of the group:
Betina Albornoz, Ronald Elliott, Geoff Giffin, Pamela Montgomery and Anita
Wong.
As well, my thanks to Mayor and Council.....By the way here's a quick
question for you:
Q: What do Mayor and Council have in common?
A: Each and every one of them really cares about our city

If White Rock council chooses to implement your branding slogans, what will
the process then look like for the branding White Rock?

That will be up to the City Manager of course....speaking for myself let's
see how this part unfolds first. :)

*Read the entire report to Council (Here)

 

Notes From Late May Council Meeting

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS
The costs associated with the involvement of the public in replying to the question of what My/Our City by the Sea means to them will be covered under the City?s existing Communication Budget.
The contract for up to $5000 to ThornleyHayne would be funded from the City?s Economic Reserve leaving an uncommitted balance of $6715 in the reserve.
OPTIONS:
1. Proceed with approval of the brand My/Our City by the Sea with the public involvement and finalization of the details of the brand.
2. Do not have a City brand.
Option 1 is recommended.
CONCLUSION
The City has been involved in various processes of developing a brand for many years. The Branding Task Force established by Council took on this challenge and through an extensive process with consultation and feedback. The recommended brand “My/Our City by the Sea” is built on the past and can resonate with the present and future. It is an inclusive brand that can be adapted by add on phrases to meet the needs of residents, the City, organizations, investors and tourists.

 

 

May 16, 2011

Let's Paint The Town Red..yellow, blue and green

l-re Dave Chesney White Rock Sun, Cyndi Richards BIA, artist Elizabeth Hollick and studio owners Juanita Moffat and Kelly Breaks

Did you know White Rock has over a dozen wall murals? Tomorrow we will jog your memory or introduce you to these public art pieces.

But meanwhile here is the story of the Blue Frog Wall.

CYNDI RICHARDS and yours truly were having a coffee one day and like many local business people we were kicking around some cost effective ideas for increasing the profile of our fair city. We came to the conclusion, given the fact we had one world class wall mural (the famed Wyland Whaling Wall), why not get the ball rolling and see if there was any way we could get a few more public art pieces.

Within a couple months CYNDIE RICHARDS called me and said "Well Dave, I think I have another wall mural lined up for White Rock."

RICHARDS had spoken with JUANITA MOFFAT and KELLY BREAKS the owners of Blue Frog Recording studios on Johnston Road in uptown White Rock. They had mentioned to CYNDIE they would like to get a big blue frog painted on the wall of their building. Apparently a number of musicians coming out to record at Blue Frog recording studios were getting lost. Huh?

Elizabeth Hollick

Soon CYNDIE had enlisted local artist ELIZABETH HOLLICK, a quick meeting was held to finalize the design, and before you knew it ELIZABETH was hard at work painting the now fully completed "Blue Frog Wall."

 

Saturday the steering crew and friends and neighbours and local business owners joined together for the dedication of the wall. Councillors HELEN FATHERS and LYNNE SINCLAIR represented the city. Also on hand representing the White Rock BIA, President GINNY HARRISON commended the work of CYNDI RICHARDS and acknowledged she hoped there would be more joint projects like The Blue Frog Wall.

Everyone said they hoped this was just the beginning of a movement between business owners and community members.

Here's hoping.

Tomorrow - Check out the other public art Elizabeth Hollick has created. Wednesday we talk to Elizabeth about her art show in the privacy of her art studio. You're invited.

 

May 02, 2011

Winning?

"They Don't Call Me CHIEF for Nothing!"

 

When the CHARLIE SHEEN'S "Winning Tour" arrives at Rogers Arena this evening there will be a distinct local tie in to the tour.

KEVIN "Chief ZARUK will be running the whole show as Tour Manager.

ZARUK back in the late 90's had just graduated from Columbia College in Vancouver. Like so many other attendees of the school, ZARUK was hoping to secure gainful employment in the music industry. Unlike most other graduates he got off the couch and went out looking for work. One of his first stops was Turtle Recording Studios then located in Richmond.

ZARUK began working as an intern and quickly illustrated his desire to work hard to reach his goals. Soon after KEVIN he began working at Turtle a band that had just relocated to the West Coast from their home in Hanna, Alberta arrived to begin work on their debut CD. The band quickly realized ZARUK was a hard worker. When it came time for the band to begin the arduous job of snaking back and forth across Canada in search of gigs, the band asked ZARUK if he would like to join them on their musical odyssey as the sound man/tour manager. As they say the rest is history. That band was NICKELBACK.

As the band's fortunes and fame rose, ZARUK stayed tight with the band and watched his reputation in the music industry quickly grow as a tour manager and sound technician.

These days when not on the road with NICKELBACK ZARUK makes his home with his lovely wife CAROLYN in the Morgan Creek area. From his home office KEVIN now has assumed the role of Manager for a number of recording artists. His first client as he went out on his own was a band from the mid-west of the U.S. called HINDER. The band's 2005 debut CD sold millions of copies powered mainly by the huge radio hit "Lips Of An Angel."

Daniel Wesley

ZARUK'S Chief Management now includes Ontario rockers MY DARKEST DAYS who have signed to NICKELBACK'S Chad Kroeger's record label, Mountain View Records. As well ZARUK guides the career of local rising star DANIEL WESLEY who is presently putting the finishing touches on his new CD.

When CHARLIE SHEEN decided he wanted to take his train wreck personal life on tour, it was apparent to all involved it would be necessary to have someone on the road managing every aspect of the tour to ensure the committed to dates actually happened. There was tremendous anxiety SHEEN given his erratic behavior might have a problem maintaining the pressure of a North American tour.

Enter KEVIN "Chief" ZARUK.

So tonight then the lights go down and SHEEN strolls on to the stage, rest assured just out of the spotlight when he plies his trade, "Chief" will breathe a huge sigh of relief knowing this is the final night of SHEEN'S tour and he can go home and sleep in his own bed and wake in the morning, and return to what he considers a normal life - in Morgan Creek.

 

April 14, 2011

Painting The Town Red and yellow, and blue and green

White Rock artist ELIZABETH HOLLICK has set out to create another mural on the giant wall of Blue Frog Recording Studio on Johnston Road in uptown White Rock.

We thought the best way for you to get to know this talented artist is to present a collection of the existing murals created throughout White Rock.

One of Elizabeth's most popular paintings with visitors to White Rock is the mural on the wall of ULI'S restaurant on Marine Drive. It is not uncommon to see tourists posing with the wall in the background.

In the alley between SUGAR & SPICE and WHITE ROCK TRAVEL across from Miramax Village on Johnston Elizabeth celebrates the first nations and local shops.

To celebrate the Olympic Torch arriving in White Rock, Elizabeth created a welcome wall on Marine Drive at the end of West Beach. One of the hidden murals from ELIZABETH is the boot collection on the wall of the Superfluity on Martin Street west of Johnston Road.

On Oxford Street behind White Rock MUfflers ELIZABETH painted a pair of cool old cars .

The low reservoir for White Rock's water supply on Merklin street also is adorned with Elizabeth's art.

So there you are, a collection of the public art created by local artist ELIZABETH HOLLICK. Now we have the opportunity to watch her latest creation take place. Make a point to give her a wave or a quick hello if you are passing by. Weather permitting ELIZABETH hopes to have the giant mural on Blue Frog Studio completed around for the recording studio's big Mother's Day concert.

 

April 12, 2011

Mark Madryga Meetup

The White Rock and Surrey Naturalists invite you to attend a special meetint with Global/CKNW meteorlogist MARK MADRYGA. Mark will talk about the science of weather forecasting in the Lower Mainland.

Thursday April 14 7:30 p.m.

Sunnyside Community Centre 1845 - 154 Street Surrey

Everyone is welcome. Admission is free

 

When the subject of the weather comes up most people quite often quote MARK MADRYGA like he is a close personal friend. Due in large part I would assume to his homey delivery of the weather on radio and television. His passion for the weather is quite obvious.

MARK MADDRYGA makes his home here on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. This Thursday evening the Surrey Naturalists welcome MARK for a little one on one weather forecasting meeting. (Click Here For Meeting Info)

 

When did you start to take an interest in the weather?

- I was in Grade four - or perhaps earlier but that is as far back as I can confirm. Growing up in Kamloops, I faithfully and meticulously recorded the weather of the day, and often by the hour, onto notepads as well as cassette tapes.

 

You are one of the few weather forecasters on local TV that is an actual meteorologist. What is entailed in receiving that certification?

-the certification as a Meteorologist in Canada is acquired through Environment Canada, following completion of an 8 month training course as an Operational Forecaster. This process follows a degree in science from University with concentration on Meteorology. For me, the degree was completed way back in 1986 at UBC.


We all see you early in the morning on Global TV as well you provide weather forecasts for CKNW in the morning and afternoon. Given you make your home in the South Surrey area, what is a typical day for you? What time do you have to leave home. Once you finish your morning weather duties, what does your day look like before you return on the radio in the afternoon?

- my weekday routine begins with a 2:30 am wake up. I am on the road to Global studios in Burnaby by 3:30 and arrive by 4. Preparation time for the Global Morning News which starts at 5:30 am takes the entire 90 minutes until air time. I also broadcast my CKNW reports with Philip Till through a broadcast booth while at Global. After the show ends at 9, I often have a few projects to work on, both weather and non weather related. A short rest is vital over lunch but doesn't always materialize - then its back on CKNW with regular reports between 3 and 530 pm.

 

How long have you lived in the South Surrey area?

- We have lived in the area since early 1998.

 

Please tell us a bit about your family. Again from having you come into our homes on a regular basis we have some insight into you being married and having a family. Tell us a little bit about your family.

- When my wife Laureen and I arrived in South Surrey in 1998, our son Matthew was less than two years old. Our daughter Tessa was born two years later. Matt is now in Grade 9 and Tessa grade five. A recent addition last fall was "Dixie", our Westie who is still in the puppy stage - and keeps us very busy!

 

It is well documented and boasted about by residents of the Semiahmoo Peninsula that we receive more sunlight than many areas of the lower mainland. Is this true and if so what factors contribute to us living in a sun belt?

- White Rock and South Surrey are similar to places like Richmond and Victoria for sunshine hours per year. Clouds often form and enhance in the extra lift of air nearest the Northshore Mountains, and farther out in the Fraser Valley, while the flow across the Olympic mountians to our south often breaks the clouds in our area much more frequently. Thus the sunshine is more plentiful in our part of the region and precipitation amounts are considerably lower.


There are a disproportionate number of weather forecasters that make their home in the South Surrey/White Rock corridor. Do you think our beautiful weather is a contributing factor ha ha?

- South Surrey /White Rock is a fantastic place to live and to raise a family. The weather is simply one benefit of living here...but yes I think it is a huge factor for our group! Wayne Cox, Russ Lacate and, Phil Reimer all reside here, and Kristi Gordon grew up here!


You are participating in an event this Thursday with the White Rock/Surrey Naturalists. What do you have planned for the evening.

- I will talk about my work in TV and Radio weather, a little about the weather forecasting process and the science behind a forecast, plus I look forward to any and all questions or weather stories from the group!


Final question. Do you have a special memory of a certain weather situation that you marveled at the power of nature?

Thankfully, we live in a part of the world that experiences a small amount of highly dangerous weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms. However, we do have our moments. While living here, the amazing snowfall of Christmas 2008 is something I will never forget. Or the many ferocious wind storms of late Fall 2006 (which was the time of the Stanley Park Blowdown). Plus the flooding along White Rock Beach during the intense rain and hailstorm in 1999. I will always remember with amazement the Weather Radar signature showing the bulls eye of torrential rain centered over the Semiahmoo Peninsula, while most of Metro Vancouver remained rain-free.

 

March 22, 2011

Father & Son Reunion

Last week SGT. JAY FOULDS paid a surprise visit to his father at a restaurant in White Rock. FOULDS appeared from behind the counter unannounced and brought a smile to the face of his father and to the patrons of COFFE WITH ATTITUDE located at Five Corners in White Rock.

FOULDS took some time out of his quick trip to the coast to give us a little background on his personal experiences in Afghanistan.

 

How long have you been in the Canadian Forces?


I joined the infantry reserves in Edmonton May '94 and joined the regular army March '98. The reserve date is considered my 'Base date' so this May it will have been 17 years in the military.

How did you first come to join the forces?


When we were young, a friend and I talked quite a bit about joining the military and at some point...talking wasn't enough for me. I was attending Alberta college at the time of enrolment. During my final day I was actually in uniform as I was shipping out to basic (boot camp) that day. I guess I was looking for a challenge...maybe a place to belong. I knew some army guys and while I looked upto them and their disciplined nature...they were still different. I was different enough as well...so it seemed appealing.

This is a captured photo from the video I took with my HD helmet camera. The video is of my section (there are 6 other soldiers in my section of which I am in command) blowing up an IED that was laid in the middle of a village to target allied forces on patrol in the village of Sperwan, Kandahar, Afghanistan. This IED was the 2nd of 2 IEDs in the same location that were laid to be detonated simultaneously for maximum carnage. This event took place during a 2 day operation called Op Azadi II. Don't ask me what Azadi means...lol.


You recently completed four tours of duty in Afghanistan. Are there very many other soldiers that have done this many tours of duty?


There are some soldiers that have completed 4 tours in Afghanistan but you're right to ask...as there has not been many. Startling enough...there are soldiers that have completed 5 tours over there.

This picture was taken by one of the guys in my section as I was heading in to confirm the detonation went off as planned. Same operation, same location.



What is the greatest adjustment you have to make when you travel to Afghanistan. Is it the weather, the food, the cultural differences?


To me...all aspects of life have to be re-adjusted when travelling to Afghanistan for those troops living 'outside the wire'. Even how you bathe is an adjustment as most troops do not bathe from a water bottle while living in Canada. The conversations are different, meals are different (even though we might try to maintain the same meal hours), the culture is different, the weather is ferociously hot in the summer months, breathing takes getting used to in the higher elevated areas, every day movement is the most hazardous thing you can do...I could go on.

Canada appears to be getting ready to change our involvement in Afghanistan. Could you explain what different role we are preparing to fulfill?

We conducted a patrol to the village of Debak in order to meet with the village elders to discuss how we could serve them. Infrastructure improvements, wells, security concerns, etc. As combat engineers our job is to confirm the scene is free from explosive threats before the commander moves in for the meeting. While the meeting was taking place I was on the perimeter when the kids started coming over. I love kids and we have fun. 95% of the reason I do this job is for the kids. They deserve the chance to grow up free of oppression and danger so they can make their own life choices in peace. This probably stems from my own childhood when I lived in a youth shelter and the volunteers were there for me. Now I return the kindness they showed me...on a global scale.


We will be transitioning from a primarily combat role...to more of a mentoring role. Even though we have been assisting in the training of Afghan soldiers and police forces all along...this will be our focus. The numbers of soldiers currently employed in this function may rise given that it will be our main task...but there will not be combat forces.

You recently surprised your father with a secretive visit here in White Rock. Diners at the local coffee shop COFFEE WITH ATTITUDE @ 5 Corners were surprised to see you in the restaurant in your full dress uniform. Tell us how it all came about and your father's reaction.


March break was upon us, I had some money saved up...and all the pieces fit together. I called my twin sister Sheri and tossed the idea at her. She thought it was awesome and while she had other plans during that time...she wished she could join in. I then contacted her son Alex and told him I'd like to use him as my operative for OPERATION COFFEE SHOP. I asked him to talk to his father and ask permission to miss school for the day and his dad was all for it. Closer to the planned date (14 Mar '11) I contacted the shop owner (Laura Mannella of Coffee With Attitude) and she was hooked. She'd heard all about me from my dad so she was pretty excited.

This is one of many covert photos during a patrol through Nal Bazaar which is well known to be frequented by the Taliban and is littered with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). We're pretty sure the locals did not even dream we'd have been crazy enough to patrol through there. So, the roadside bombs were not hooked up. They were hooked up at a later date and many attempts were made to kill allied forces.


My nephew called my dad, said he was in the area and wondered if they could meet for coffee in his favourite cafe. We had showed up earlier to scout the area and shop out to hatch the finer details of the plan. Everyone in the shop was clued in and I hid in the back hallway. Dad came in, everyone tried hard to act normal, he ordered a tea and sat down to chat with his grandson and friend who had joined them. I waited for the right time when he was engaged in conversation. Laura's husband began filming on my HD camera, I stepped out of the darkened hallway and slowly made my way to his side. I paused for a second to gather my thoughts and then asked him...

"Do you mind if I join you Sir?" He turned to me with his jaw on the floor...

"Well...what the hell..." he replied.

He stood up, adjusted his hat and hugged me while simultaneously laughing and crying with joy. You can judge for yourself I guess. A plan well executed.

(WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE REUNION HERE)


How difficult is it for you to keep in touch with loved ones when you are in Afghanistan? Do you have free and easy access to phone lines and the internet?


These days there is easy access to many forms of communication and I did keep contact with everyone while over seas. In the FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) there is access to phones and internet. In the smaller patrol bases or combat outposts the troops would still have access to satellite phones...as limited as the access might be.

FMG (FOB Ma'sum Ghar) - This FOB is where I would spend the majority of the second half of my tour. My jobs here would range from being in charge of outfitting all engineers who came through the FOB onto other locations, to being second in command of a 'Troop' of 82 soldiers...to being the Engineer Liaison Officer to an infantry Company. The picture shows the main area of the FOB itself. It's actually about 3 times larger than what is depicted and is incredibly more advanced than when I first set foot on this mountain back in 2006.



Besides your loved ones, when you are on the other side of the world in Afghanistan, what do you miss most about Canada?


I bring as much of Canada with me as I can to be honest. Not in the physical sense obviously...but in everything I am. The best thing about spending time with fellow Canadian soldiers is...they are Canadians first. Canada is not a chunk of the most gorgeous landscape anywhere...it is those who occupy it. Having said that...I have missed too many winters and I could honestly stand to have a few more months of it. When I came home on leave near the end of October...I was met with the smallest of flurries. I am not ashamed to admit it brought a tear to my eyes.



Have you done any other tours of duty besides Afghanistan?


While in Afghanistan I have served in both Kabul and Kandahar. Before that I have served Peace Keeping duties in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Skopje, Macedonia. All of my tours have been since 2001.

When you meet people and they learn you have been in Afghanistan what are the most common questions people ask you?
People have more comments than questions actually. 'Oh my. Wow. That's amazing. That's horrible.' Etc. The most common question is not one I answer to be honest. It's not that common but people (mostly the younger ones) want to know if I have killed anyone. The closest I get to answering that is by saying that I have had to fire my weapon. People decide on their own on whether or not I have missed. The question of the heat comes up...or what my job is when over there. As a Combat Engineer...our tasks are more than abundant to say the least...and the heat can be unbearable.


 

 

Meet Larry Colero Federal candidate for the Green Party in the riding of South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale. Recently The White Rock Sun and other local media were invited to a "Meet The Candidate" for a Sunday afternoon informal gathering at a home in White Rock. Prior to the arrival of the invited guests Larry took time to sit down and offer an opportunity to get to know the man and his political vision for our home and Canada at large.

You can see the interview here on Youtube

Click here for Part II

 

Was there a defining moment in your personal life that caused you to enter into the world of politics? Was there a specific incident that dynamited you off your couch and caused you to get involved in politics?

ABSOLUTELY. Because I had never planned to do this. The defining moment for me was early last year about this time. I co-ordinate a group nationally called the Canadian Advocacy Group on Indonesia. They are concerned with human rights, and it is a group of NGO’S working for human rights around the world. This particular group is focused on Indonesia.

All the various non profits involved – KAIROS, Rights and Democracy, Development and Peace, and the Canadian Council for International Co-Operation, all felt they were under attack from the current government. They were losing their funding and as a result Canadian Council for International Co-Operation for example has been decimated down to a quarter of the staff they had at this time last year.

Very rapidly the Conservative Government has been dismantling what it has taken other Canadians decades to put together. It is not just Canada that is suffering from this but the rest of the world as well. The people who these people supported, who are trying to develop democracy in their own countries, are no longer being served by Canadian non-profit organizations. Instead we have Canada out there saying they are developing democracy through the war in Afghanistan, which is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.

EDITOR'S NOTE - KAIROS is the organization at the centre of the controversy regarding Conservative Cabinet Minister BEV ODA'S recent public statement regarding altering of funding documents (CLICK HERE).

KAIROS (Click Here)

Rights & Democracy website explaining their response to the Conservatives' attack last year (CLICK HERE)

Were you a Green Party member before you made this decision to enter into politics?

I was not a Green Party member. I am now obviously. I voted for the Green Party in the last couple of elections. Prior to that I was a member of the Progressive Conservatives. I was actually a delegate in Toronto when David Orchard was betrayed by Peter MacKay. Prior to being a Progressive Conservative I was a member of the National Party under Mel Hurtig. That is my political background so to speak. But I have never been this active in politics.

It seems to be a very common thing these days that political parties are examining their leadership. Do you believe Elizabeth May is capable of leading the Green Party to the next stage it must go to?

Elizabeth May is the main reason I felt comfortable joining the Green Party. Then I started looking into their policies and I really liked their policies and their approach. Elizabeth May I think is an exceptionally strong leader for the party right now. She does very well in national debates. She is incredibly dedicated. I am very confident in Elizabeth May. As well, she has the support of 300 Green Members of Parliaments around the world so she’s in touch with what’s going on globally, which is so critical to us nationally right now, given Canada’s tarnished reputation.

You mentioned the percentage of the vote. In the last election here in 2008, Dave Blair was able to garner 9% of the vote. Prior to that it was 5% that the Green Party drew. So it increased substantially and I think we can easily exceed 9% in the next election. If we exceed 10% in the next election, we would flip the Green Party into a different category with Elections Canada, which I fully expect we will do.

Do you think the Green Party needs to broaden its focus?

Yes, because most people don’t realize the Green Party is just as concerned about the economy as it is about the environment and healthy communities. For instance with the expansion of the tar sands, we are now seeing oil tankers traveling past our beaches here in the White Rock and South Surrey area. So there is an issue there that you could say is an environmental issue but what happens if White Rock becomes Black Rock and we end up with a huge oil spill on White Rock and Crescent Beach? Yes it is an environmental disaster, but how is it going to affect the local economy? How is it going to affect our community if the pool of volunteers in the community is now all working down at the beach cleaning birds? What will the ripple effect be on the community and our long-term prosperity?

What issue at the top of your list as a resident and now a political candidate for the area?

I have been struggling with that question. I have been involved now for 20 years in human rights overseas, but that is my personal passion and likely not a topic that will resonate strongly with most voters. So I have been asking myself, what is the local issue people will really care about? I do think the tar sands and the risks of an oil spill, and it is a real risk, is one thing that might bring out those 75% of Canadians who never show up at the polls. It’s something I think people will feel from the heart and take seriously.

Tell me a little about your personal life.

We have now lived three years in White Rock. Prior to that my wife Chris and I lived for 25 years in Ladner, where she works for Delta Hospice. We have two grown children who live in White Rock and one of them has a new daughter who is our first granddaughter.

Where do you think the majority of the Green Party support comes from? Is the Green Party drawing new people into the political landscape or are a lot of the members dissatisfied former members of other political parties?

I think there are a number of people that support us who are former members of the Liberal party and they are not happy with its current leadership. I also think we may be drawing a few disgruntled Conservative party members. The Progressive Conservatives changed when the Alliance/Reform took over. I call them The Regressive Conservatives.

They are nothing like the old PC Party which at least had the desire to keep government costs down. Right now we are facing the largest deficit in Canadian history. Of course Harper is talking about how the deficit is going to be reduced by 2015. My question is how is he going to do it when he keeps increasing the size of government? We are in a time of “double speak” where the Conservative Party is not really conservative. The Liberal party in my mind is not really liberal. The names can fool people, but I think people are starting to catch on to that. I also think here in this riding, I’m after that large majority of the population that just doesn’t vote. It is mostly youth and a lot of women and people who for some reason feel disenfranchised. They feel they can’t make a difference. If we can go after that portion of the vote, I think it is fair game and we are not pulling votes from other parties.

How do you think you can reach this section of the population? How can you capture their imagination?

I think with an emotional issue to drive my campaign. I intend on talking to a large number of people to get their feedback to formulate my plan.

Would you support legislation that forces citizens to vote like we see in Australia? It has also been floated out there during the recent Liberal leadership race.

I don’t think I would. I have not fully researched the matter. But initially my gut reaction is you are going to end up with a lot of people voting because they have to because they don’t want to pay the money and they may not be aware of the issues. I would rather see the votes that do come through from people who have really thought the issues through. I think we can increase the number of voters by making this race interesting and relative. That way voters will come out because they want to. It really is not asking a lot for people to come out to the polls and take 10 minutes on voting day to let’s say protect the beaches in our area. It is just a matter of giving them the indication their vote does count for something.

We are seeing a lot of Conservative ads on television these days. The Harper government is slamming Ignatieff time and time again. Do you think this signifies we will see an election this year (2011)?

Why would they be paying for those attack ads on TV? The Conservatives don’t want to be credited with calling an election. They want to lay the blame at the feet of the other parties. So what they have done is set up a situation where the opposition will be forced to call one. One of the main reasons would be the removal of the per-vote subsidy. By doing so the Conservatives know they are going to meet resistance from the other political parties. There are other issues they are using to goad the other parties as well and trigger a non-confidence vote on the budget.

BACKGROUNDER

Every registered party gets $1.75 every year for each vote they received in the previous general election, as long as they attracted two per cent of the national votes cast or five per cent of the eligible votes cast in the ridings in which they ran candidates. The $1.75 per vote will be adjusted for inflation, so it will rise as time goes by. The allowances are paid out quarterly, as long as the parties eligible file their financial papers and all other Elections Canada documents properly.

Let's crunch some numbers: In the 2006 general election, the Conservative Party had about 5.37 million votes, so it receives about $9.38 million in public funding in the year following the vote. That number increases according to the rate of inflation each year until the next general election. In the same election, the Liberal Party's 4.47 million votes earned it an allowance of $7.82 million; the NDP’s 2.59 million votes garnered it $4.53 million; the Bloc Québécois earned $2.71 million for its 1.55 million votes; and the Green party's 664,068 votes won it $1.16 million.

Where do you get the majority of your news? How do you stay on top current events?

It crosses a lot of different media platforms. If I am looking for information on what’s going on in Canada I will read Rabble.ca or The Dominion. I also check local newspapers including the White Rock Sun www.whiterocksun.com to find out what is going on locally. I also read the mainstream newspapers now and then but I find them so biased that I lose interest quickly because I know there is another story behind what they are reporting. My best source of information is my direct involvement in the fields I work in. My paying work has to do with Finance, and my volunteer work is in human rights internationally. People are constantly contacting me and sending me information.

On a lighter side so our readers can perhaps get to know a bit about you personally. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I play the piano and I like to compose music. Every Sunday night we get together with the family. My son plays the guitar, my daughter in law plays the violin so we all get together and make music. I enjoy that. I also enjoy kayaking.

If I sent you to a Desert Island what books, movies and CDS would you take with you?

I very much like The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a joy to read, and is about colonialism in the Congo. I rarely listen to music, but I would take James Taylor and I would take some African tribal music, which I enjoy. The last movie I saw was at the Social Justice Film Festival locally, where I saw THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD. I found that very entertaining, but a little too light for me; I thought they could have followed through on some things. I plan on attending some of the movies this weekend at the Social Justice Film Festival here in White Rock.

+Social Justive Film Festival (CLICK HERE)

Click Here

 

 

The Here & Now (Aqui Y Ahora)

Vince "Mucho Gusto" Germann on The Baja

One of the by products of publishing Canada’s FIRST Internet Newspaper, The White Rock Sun – is I have a forum for things I truly believe in.

During the Grey Cup Game on Sunday I had turned my phone off as I didn’t want to be interrupted by any heathens that don’t honour this time honoured Canadian tradition. I forgot to turn it back on Sunday night. Monday morning when I saw the message light flashing I figured, “Better check those before I get my day going.” I found two messages from people that don’t normally call me, back to back and one of them calling from Mexico, I did the math. This was not going to be good.

When I called the local caller I got his wife on the phone. I knew the words she was going to say before they left her mouth. “Vince was gone. He had passed away Sunday afternoon at his newly completed dream home in Mexico.” I was numb then, I am numb now.

I met Big Vinnie over 30 years ago. He had a futon store right where the Boathouse Restaurant is now located on Marine Drive. Vince delivered the futon in his Vollkswagen Van later that day. A couple of days later I was riding my mountain bike along the path along Crescent Beach when Vince pulled in front of me. We both noticed each other had a tennis racquet hanging from our handlebars. “Do you play?” That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that came to an end Sunday.

Vince was a hustler. The last job I can recollect he had was THAT futon shop over 30 years ago. He picked up money doing commercials of all sorts. For an entire summer we lauged at the billboards of Vince, a beautiful lady and two kids sitting at a picnic table. The ads were for McDonalds and they were supposed to be the average Canadian family. Those of you in White Rock that knew Vince, knew there was nothing average about him.

My late wife and I used to joke when we would visit him annually on The Baja, we would tell him we would look out the front window on crappy weather days in White Rock, look at each other and say “F#@K I Hate Vinnie! He was living all of our dreams.

We would work 50 weeks a year to live like Vince for two weeks. It never made any sense to me. Vince was not only like a brother to me, he was my hero. He was living every man’s dream. He had recently bought his own little piece of earth just south of Todos Santos, north of Cabo where he had lived for years. I talked to him just a couple of days ago. He was excited about the new recliner that he had splurged on to watch his beloved Saskatchewn Roughriders in the Grey Cup yesterday.

His brother found him in that recliner Sunday afternoon, 10 minutes into the game. He was gone. No sad farewell, no goodbye, nothing. Just like Vinnie.

I share this story with you not for your sympathy or mercy. Not at all. I will be alright. But what I would like you to take from this is how damn quick it can happen. If you love someone, tell them every chance you get. I do and I thank God I always ended my calls with Vinnie, by telling him I loved him like a brother. He would return the favour. I am so happy I had Big Vinnie in my life all those years. I have no regrets other than my trips to The Baja will be a lot different from now on.

Rest In Peace MUCHO GUSTO

An Angel just went home today - he wanted to experience life

He didn’t just dream his dream he lived his dream
And he lived Like a King
His Name was Vincente
And we All Loved Him

Aqui y ahora
Here and Now

Genisea Rush

*If you care to join a gathering of his White Rock friends, we will have a little Celebration of Life @ Cosmos Greek Restaurant on Marine Drive next Thursday (December 9) @ 7 p.m.

RSVP

 

The Notre Dame flag flies at half-mast on campus today in mourning for one of our sons - Vince Germann.

Vince is the eldest son of "Mr. & Mrs. Notre Dame" Frank Germann and his beloved wife, the late Marj Germann. Vince was born and raised in Wilcox, SK and attended elementary, high school and University at Notre Dame, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1969. His graduation photo can still be found on the hallway walls in Lane Hall.

Vince has three sons; Vince Jr., Mike and Rafael. He has two grandchildren; Mike and Bonnie's daughter Lauren, and Rafael and April's son Vincente. Vince was predeceased by his mother Marj, sister Regina and brother Leo. He is survived by his father Frank, and siblings Vicki, Patricia, Barbara, Angela, Anita, Frank Jr. and Jim.

Our prayers and sympathy are extended to Vince's loving family and friends.

Eternal Be His Memory.


 

Meet The Pedalling Gardener - Andrew Stordy

 

Who is THE PEDALLING GARDENER? Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.


I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about the environment (plants,animals, insects, etc) at hand since my parents were keen gardeners, who loved to be outdoors interacting with people and the environment. I have a formal education in the geological sciences which has given me useful knowledge for understanding the process of natural soil formation and transformation. Also, I have a degree in education giving me the tools to share my knowledge with others. I owned and operated a garden design and maintenance business in Victoria for 10 years. More recently, I have co-operated a certified organic farm with another highly skilled , knowledgeable farmer on the Saanich peninsula near Victoria. I moved back to the mainland to be closer to family.


I understand you recently moved to the Semiahmoo Peninsula. What made you choose The South Surrey/White Rock area?


Recently, I moved to White Rock since I wanted to live closer to a rural area and to meet people who valued community and cared about the environment.

What are your first impressions of the area?


When I first moved to the area I was searching for places to meet people. I have always found that the local library is a great place to make connections in the community and learn about important local events. Immediately I was impressed with peoples relaxed and friendly attitude and their willingness to help. As I don't have a car, I take the bus as well as ride my bike for transportation. Using the bus has been a fantastic way to meet people. As a result from using transit I have met many kind people who care about their community and are willing to accept newcomers. I know that I will become a contributing member in the community.


Your operation looks very scaled down. What type of services are you able to provide to your customers?


My focus is in working in small to medium size gardens. I have the skills, experience and knowledge for maintaining and creating gardens using; native plants, vegetables, herbs, perennials, scented plants, dry-land plants (xeriscaping), rock gardens. In addition I prune shrubs and small trees. I work with customers who want to compost their own materials ( I can assist with the composting operation) or have them picked up at the curb by the municipality. Composting is a good way to improve your soil structure and to recycle nutrients. If it is necessary I can order soil or compost to be delivered and I will use it in the garden. Soil health is maintained through low impact gardening and using organic fertilizers. I have my own supply of basic manual tools. If a customer has a lawn that needs cutting and they have a lawn mower then I can cut it. Raking small gardens in the fall is a service that I provide as well.


You related an interesting story about traveling to New Zealand and visiting various farms and gaining first hand experience by working on those farms. Tell me what that type of exchange is called and what did you learn?


There is the opportunity to travel abroad and work voluntarily on farms around the world. The organization which facilitates this is called WWOOF, which stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. People are given the opportunity to interact with the local community and exchange their time working for food, shelter, warmth and friendship. It is a great way to meet locals. I learned how it is possible to learn from others by working with them on their farms and getting involved in the community. Then it is possible to share this others back home through the work that I do.


You seem to be more than just your impersonal gardener who turns up every Tuesday and mows the lawn and sends an invoice at the end of the month. Are you able to help educate your customers about their gardens if they care to learn alongside of you as you do the work?


That is one of my main goals. It is important for people to feel connected to their environment and to feel empowered to be involved with nature and gardens. I want to help people gain access to their own outdoor spaces.

Are you a proponent of organic gardening?


I have worked in organic gardens. Through my experiences working in this field I have discovered how everything that is present in the soil and the air affects the growth and health of the plants. This in turn, affects our health. Healthy and environmentally friendly gardens are essential.

Is organic gardening that much more expensive and difficult to do?


Establishment of an organic garden is no more expensive than traditional gardens.

What are some of your favourite "a little out of the ordinary" plants that will do well in the climate of the Fraser Valley?


A few of my favorites belong to the Genus's; Amsonia, Corydalis and the woodland Anemome.


In your own words what makes THE PEDALLING GARDENER different from other gardening services, besides the obvious your form of transportation?

I want to help people connect with their garden.

Speaking of which, why a bicycle as opposed to the regular pickup truck to get around to your customers.

I use a bicycle and trailer to reduce my impact on the environment and reduce noise pollution. When working as a Pedaling Gardener and pulling my trailer, I am often forced to slow down and this gives me the opportunity to interact with people and the environment. There definitely is a need for using the modern inventions, equipment and products to help us achieve our goals, such as when I need to get help from people who have access to trucks to transport heavier materials.


From your picture people can obviously phone you but do you have an email address?


People can contact me through my email at astordy@hotmail.com. or by phone 778-686-1387

Though you have only been here a short period of time do you have a favourite restaurant, nursery, a special ride on your bike or a part of the area you enjoy going for a long walk and communing with mother nature?


I get much satisfaction and a sense of freedom from riding my bike through the farm land in the south of the Fraser region and on the Boundary Bay Dyke trail. I have recently visited Belles restaurant on 140th Street in White Rock and was impressed buy the quality of the food, the service and the relaxed environment. A recent discovery that i love to visit are the Semiahmoo trails which are beautiful to walk in to connect with nature. My favorite nurseries are Free Spirit on 32nd at 204 and Linnaea wholesale nursery in Langley. And the people at Potters nursery are very kind and community oriented.

 

 

Meet The Proz

If you have anything to do with music and you live, work or play in the South Surrey- White Rock area you will hear one name constantly come up in conversation. Dave Proznick.

For a number of years "The Proz" has spread the joy of music through generations of young students. This past Thursday Surrey Mayor Diane Watts bestowed the Civic Treasure award to Dave at a special ceremony at the Surrey Arts Centre,

Dave Proznick we thank and salute you.

Dave Proznick, the “Proz” was the most highly nominated candidate for a 2010 Civic Treasure Award; former students, parents, fellow teachers, media representatives and school district administrators hale him as a great talent, a man of vision, patience and love of teaching that inspired his students and carved out a musical dynasty that continues to flourish today;


He convinced the Semiahmoo Secondary school administration that Jazz band had a place in the curriculum – the school now boasts over 300 band students consisting of 5 jazz bands, 3 concert bands and a music society of enthusiastic parents that support the program 100%; It is approximated that 40% of the performing jazz musicians in the Greater Vancouver area are graduates of the Semiahmoo S.S. music program;


Dave was an active member of the organizing committee for the S.D. #36 Envision Jazz Festival, now in its 29th year;


Laurae McNally, Chair, Surrey Board of Education states in her letter of support that “during my 26 years as a School Trustee, I have met many Educators. Dave is one who stands out as a true “Master Teacher”;


His students once made him a t-shirt that read “I Yell Because I Care”, his students knew that they could trust him;


He has received awards and recognition from national and international sources including; the Jazz Report magazine for Jazz Program of the Year in Toronto, Berklee College in Boston for excellence in Music Education; the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival for consistent excellence; the John Phillip Sousa Legion of Honour Award in Chicago, for a long history of dedicated service to bands and the BC Music Educator’s Lifetime Achievement Award;


Although retired after 30 years of teaching, Dave Proznik helps to run two major music camps, he directs two adult community choirs, is called upon to direct the music for local high school productions, adjudicate for the national music festival and support the music program at Crescent United Church.

 

 

White Rock History Saved

Scott Booth Local Fire Fighters President

 

The White Rock Fire Department is now the proud owner of a vintage fire truck. Give me a little history about the vehicle, what year is it and how long was it in service in White Rock.

The fire truck is a 1925 Studebaker. It and it’s sister truck, came about in the late 20’s early 30’s due to a large fire on Marine Dr. After the fire which burned up about ½ to 1 block beside the Ocean Beach Hotel, the citizens decided that they needed some form of fire protection. Until this time they relied on the Blain Fire Dept and would hold events to raise money to give them once a year, or after a fire, or whenever they could. So, the citizens purchased 2 surplus Studebaker sedan chassis and under the supervision of WJ McIlwain (Mac), the owner of a gas station on Marine Dr, began building fire trucks with parts donated from Vancouver Fire Dept. and New Westminster Fire Dept. Mac also became the first Fire Chief in White Rock and the gas station was the make shift fire hall.

When the truck was taken out of service I understand it had a bit of a journey before it ended backup in the fire hall's possession. Can you give me the Coles Notes version of it shistory once it was taken out of service.

The truck was decommissioned in 1948 at which time we believe it went to Murchie’s tea company in Vancouver. We believe this because that is where it came from in the late 1970’s when the White Rock Firefighters got it back and did a real quick job of getting it up and running for the sea festival parade in 1980. After this interest was lost and there was no place to store the truck so it was given away. The owner parked it in a shed, which caved in on it, for the next remaining years until 4yrs ago when he donated it to the shriners of BC and Yukon.

You were involved in the restoration of the vehicle. Tell me a little bit about your background that prepared you for such a big job?

At this time, we, the White Rock Firefighters were looking for the truck in order to try and get it back to restore a piece of our history and a piece of the city’s history. We were contacted by a fellow named ironically, Mac. He told us that he was from the Shriners and they have one of our old fire trucks. He said that the paint that they used to letter the truck WRFD had etched the metal so much that after they had the truck sand blasted, you could still see it and when he researched it, the truck came back to White Rock originally. He mentioned that they were in process of restoring it but did not have the money to complete it and wondered if we would be interested in becoming partners on the restoration. I said that I would have to take it to a monthly Union meeting, but I believe we would love to.

How may men were involved in the restoration, where was the restoration done and what was the cost involved in bringing the truck back to showroom condition?

From this point forward, The White Rock Firefighters IAFF Local 2407 foot the bill for a large part of the restoration, most of which was done by Mac, myself, my Dad Ray Booth and the wonderfull team at the teamsters freight and transportation museum. By trade I am an aircraft structural tech. and have been born and raised restoring vintage cars. I have a shop with a paint booth and that is where the truck’s bodywork and paint was completed. The rest of the restoration was done at Mac’s home shop and the Teamsters museum. It was at the museum where an unbelievable individual named Bob, a retired mechanic, brought the truck to life with the help of Mac, Norm and the rest of the guys at the museum. He literally machined parts for the old updraft carburetor and distributor to make them work as they had been full of water and corroding for all these years. The engine had been rebuilt already so this was all that was needed to make it run.

When did the truck finally return back to the White Rock fire hall?

Last Sunday (26) at the Shrine center in Burnaby B.C. the Shriner’s held a ceremony in which they donated the truck completely back to the White Rock Firefighters. After the ceremony the truck was loaded onto my trailer and brought back to it’s original home in White Rock. Many people that saw the truck at the hall got to witness something pretty special when we unloaded it. This was the first time that the truck had turned it’s wheels under it’s own power, and with the exception of me struggling to find first gear, (as reverse is where you would normally expect first to be), it drove of the trailer and into the doors of the fire hall without a hitch.

I understand there was a little synchronicity involved in the dedication of the truck last Sunday.

Durng the speeches at the ceremony at the Shrine center many people were thanked for their dedication and support in the restoration of our old fire truck but when it was my turn to get up and say a few words, I made known who I thought were the most notable. The Shrine for donating the truck back to the White Rock Firefighters, Mac for the countless hours and energy spent on every portion of the restoration. My Dad Ray, for many hours of hard work and support, and Norm, Bob and the rest of the crew at the museum of which I am proud to say have let me become a member of. At the end of my speech I made reference to something that I found eerily ironic. When the fire truck was first built, the build was led by a man named Mac who became White Rock’s first fire chief and now, 80 yrs later, the rebuild of the fire truck was also led by a man named Mac…

 

Mr. Memory BILL CLENNAN R.I.P.


A number of years back while working for CBS Records a colleague visiting from Alberta asked me how far Crescent Beach was from where I lived in White Rock. I explained to him it was very close. He then went on at great length telling me about a good friend of his that lived in Crescent Beach who he had not seen for a couple of years. Would it be possible if he came out to visit me on the weekend that we could go and visit his friend. He really seemed intent on introducing me to this gentleman.

The weekend arrived and we headed out to Crescent Beach. As we pulled up the long winding driveway off of Crescent Road a smiling gregarious gentleman who had bounded out the front door suddenly greeted us.

My friend introduced me to BILL CLENNAN “Mr. Memory” as he was known professionally.

Over the following years I got to know BILL on a personal level. Somewhere in a box of memories I have a letter of inspiration CLENNAN used to give to his clients. I had it posted on my office wall for a number of years.

BILL CLENNAN was hired by fortune 500 companies all over North America to instruct their members on how they could fine tune and develop their memory skills basically through word association. IE: Perhaps he would remember my name Chesney by using the trigger word “chestnut.”

As we all can attest there is nothing more gratifying than to have someone who you just casually met, walk straight up to you and address you by your name. It is an art developed to great extent by many successful business people.

But back to my life-altering lesson from BILL that had nothing to do with memory development.

BILL’S work took him all over North America. One day he might be in Dallas speaking to 300 Century 21 realtors and the next day he would be in Boston speaking to a couple hundred doctors. His travel schedule was dizzying. So one day BILL has his wife drive him to Vancouver International to travel to some destination in America. His wife simply dropped him off at the departure gate. And left the airport to return to their home in Crescent Beach. Just as BILL crested the door inside the terminal Air Canada pilots confronted him with a wildcat strike. As this was prior to the cell phone era, BILL had no way of calling his wife to return to pick him up at the airport The strike had grounded all flights out of Vancouver for at least that day.

CLENNAN was livid. Not only was he now stranded at the airport, he was going to have to call his client in America and explain why he would not be attending the conference he has the Keynote Speaker at. Not a position any professional would like to find themselves in.

CLENNAN walked over to a payphone and dialed information for Ottawa 613. He asked the operator for the phone number for the office of the Prime Minister. At that time it was Pierre Trudeau. Within a matter of moments CLENNAN had dialed the phone number given to him by information and reached a pleasant sounding receptionist in the PMO. CLENNAN asked if he might please speak with Prime Minister Trudeau. The secretary asked him to hold for a moment the next voice BILL heard was that of Pierre Elliott Trudeau himself.

Trudeau asked Bill to what did he owe the pleasure of him calling Ottawa today. CLENNAN went on to explain his predicament as a self employed small business owner wildcat strikes were a great inconvenience to himself and many other travelers in Canada. Trudeua explained to Bill he fully understood how a wildcat strike prevented anyone from making alternative travel plans on such short notice. Trudeau then went on to explain the government was looking into the matter, as this was not the first incidence of wildcat strikes by Air Canada. Then the coin dropped. Trudeau THANKED Bill very much for calling him. In closing he said he “wished more people would call.”

That story has resonated with me now for nearly 30 years. I am going to share a little secret with you that has held me in good standing all these years. Simply put – start at the top. By that I mean if you have any kind of concern research the contact information of the organization you are seeking an answer from and start with the name at the top of the masthead.

A real life example happened when I was in the planning stage of this on line newspaper. I wanted to pay homage to the iconic newspapers in the Western World. The Chicago Tribune, the New York Times etc. Their log was something I wished to emulate. I logged on to the New York Times website and found the contact information for the President of the New York Times. If you visit the website of the New York Times you need to know enough to scroll all the way to the bottom of the contact list. Down past lost animal contacts etc. is where I found the President’s contact info.

I composed an email to the President and explained to him how I was starting an independent on line newspaper on the West Coast of Canada in a suburb of Vancouver. I explained I had searched the various font styles available and could not find anything that was really that close to the iconic newspaper logos I was looking for. I went on to explain I was sure there masthead was no doubt an original piece of artwork and I was aware I could not use their font, but did he have any advice for me?

Within a half hour I received a lengthy reply from The President on how the original artwork was commissioned in the 1930’s and later in 1950 another artist made slight changes to the style of print used. He went on to explain I was correct in assuming I could not use their original artwork but he had researched my inquiry and that he had provided in his email a link to a free font website that had examples very similar to the style utilized by The New York Times and many other heritage newspapers. I followed the link and discovered numerous print styles exactly like I was looking for. I sent back a thank you note and received a reply wishing me luck with my endeavour, and if he could be of any further assistance please feel free to contact him at his personal phone# which he supplied.

Does this secret system work all the time. No. But I have reaped the benefits of this little secret for years and more times than not I am successful in attaining the information or person I am looking for.

Sunday morning on a trip back from Vancouver Island I decided to purchase a copy of The Province newspaper to kill some of the mind numbing two hour ferry trip. I was stunned as I opened the paper to see BILL had passed away recently at his sports club in Tswassen. I had lost close contact with BILL over the years, but he was never far from my thoughts due to the little secret he passed along. As you will see by reading the story in The Province BILL CLENNAN was a larger than life gentleman. I will miss him, I will rue the day for not picking up the phone and calling him to say hello. But in the end most days I will celebrate his memory as I practise his life lesson.

Read Sunday's Province story on "Mr. Memory" BILL CLENNAN (Click Here)

Now you know BILL’S little secret. Celebrate his insight. And let’s keep this little secret between the two of us. I will always “remember” and thank "Mr. Memory - BILL CLENNAN"

 

Helen Wheels

Since her arrival an the sunny shores of Semiahmoo Bay HELEN FATHERS has worked in a number of capacities in the service industry. Two years ago she decided to aim for the ultimate service job, a councilor for White Rock. Since then there have been some ups and downs, trials and tribulations. Will she run again? It depends on what day you ask her.

Your bio states you have lived in White Rock for 18 years. You came here from England. Tell me a bit about how you ended up in White Rock?

Landed in 1990 with Mom & Step Dad, then flew back to England and returned for good in 1991. We had relatives living in Canada and when we first arrived in Canada we visited various relatives in Surrey /White Rock area. We fell in love with it right off the bat.

What are some of your favourite memories of those early days in White Rock.

The nicest thing that I remember was I always felt like I was on holiday. Even though I have a much busier life these days being a Mom, working and sitting on Council, I still feel like I am on vacation. We have a young daughter and a dog so a couple of times a week we go down to the beach to walk the dog, get an ice cream cone or fish n chips for supper. I have been going to Montgomery’s for fish n chips for years. It is a personal choice I always have to have their “mushy peas” and coleslaw. I call ahead to make sure they have mushy peas cooking on that day!!!

At one time you were the manager of the local band COZY BONES,. How did that all come about? Two of the members of the band JORDAN CARRIER and ED JOHNSON still are a big part of the musical fabric of White Rock. Do you have any special memories of the time you spent managing the band?

COZY BONES was my first love. I was dating the bass player for the band Eamon Kroetsch. I used to go to their practices in Ed Johnson’s basement. I was in my early 20’s. They were fantastic, just pure raw energy. I had always been interested in music and had a head for business so it all just kind of naturally fell into place. I said “I can help you guys.” I managed the band for 5 years and it was fantastic.

These days in addition to people knowing you as a White Rock Councilor, many in our community see you every week performing your duties as the White Rock Farmers’ Market Manager. How did you come to be the manager of the popular market?

Fathers at the grand opening of the White Rock Market

I used to go the farmers’ market like so many residents of the Semiahmoo Peninsula. I always thought someday I would love to be involved with the market. One day I read an ad in the local newspaper and I said to myself, I couldn’t have written an ad more perfect for myself. I answered the ad for the assistant manager position. Two years later I was promoted to the Manager of the market. I love the farmers’ market, it’s in my blood. The new site overall is a pretty good location. There are some challenges but we work around them. Some of the residents in the towers complain about the noise level from the live music and a couple of other little wrinkles, but we work them out and find solutions.

Does being out in the public on a regular basis offer the opportunity to stay in touch with the community? Do people engage you in conversation and let you know about how they feel Council is doing?

Absolutely. People feel I am approachable. As a Council member I work and live in this community in a position whereby people do not hesitate to come right up to me and tell me how they think we are doing at City Hall. I have worked in the community for years, whether it was as a server at The Boathouse or Earls or when I worked for Choices Market. People see me out and about in the community all the time. I encourage an open and approachable relationship with the public. If I happen to be busy doing some market work and I can’t stop to talk right then and there I give people my business card and ask them to call me so I can find the time to discuss their concerns.

CPR The Citizens For Positive Renewal the slate you were elected under has now been in place for 2 years. You have just over one year left in your mandate. How do you think you are doing?

As an individual I am sticking by what I said I would do. As a group I think for the most part, we have succeeded in working fairly well as a team. It is really hard sometimes to work as a group and yet be an individual. It can be challenging. I am happy with what I have learned so far and hope to continue being open minded.

This is the first time we have ever had a slate in White Rock. Do you envision you will run again as a part of a slate? Will CPR return as a slate.

CPR set out to reflect what we felt were the feelings of the community and the development of the Official Community Plan. I think we accomplished that. Whether or not we will run as a group, I am not sure at this point. To be honest with you if you asked me today, which you have, I would have to say if I run again I doubt it will be part of a slate, I might run as an independent.

What is your vision of White Rock. It goes beyond “branding”, how do you see White Rock in the big picture. Can we continue on independent or is it possible we may have to examine rejoining Surrey sometime in the future?

I don’t think we can exist by comparing ourselves to Surrey. We can’t compete with Surrey. We should try to bridge the gap. For me White Rock is all about the arts, culture and heritage. It always has been. I know so many artists that live locally. It really is an artist’s community. I think we should be accenting and growing that aspect of White Rock. It really does make us unique in my mind.

Do you have any specific ideas on how we can grow as an artistic community?

Yes. The city applied for a 2010 legacy grant and we got it. The first step is a cultural mapping process. Like any vision you need a strategy on how to get to where you want to go. We will work towards that vision. Strategically work towards that vision. I think the city as a whole needs to do more work and put more effort towards embracing the arts. To start we could re-work the city web site to promote more of our artists. Tell the community what is going on artistically. I think it would be great for us to have a Bard On The Beach for instance. More things for visitors to White Rock to do. I wonder why the city does not take a more pro-active part in the staging of the events like our Sea Festival for instance,. We have work to do in a number of areas when it comes to mapping the future of White Rock.

This summer you were offered a very unique opportunity to be part of a special ceremony held by the Semiahmoo First Nations band. Tell me a bit about your experience.

Helen/Ellie Rose & Tswassen Canoe Host

 

We were invited to be part of the “Pulling Together” journey of dozens of canoes that traveled through the Lower Mainland to a number of first nations reserves. This was the first time in the 51 year history that Semiahmoo First Nations Band hosted the event. My six year old daughter Ellie Rose and I were honoured to be part of the ceremony. It was spiritually moving. There was a whole process we had to go through for protocol, certain people had to get into the canoes in a certain order. Each paddler greeted first me and then Ellie Rose and then we were welcomed aboard the Tsawassen canoe. We paddled from near the pier down to the Little Campbell River and up the river to the bridge to the reserve where we were greeted by Chief Willard Cook. It was very spiritual.

How would you describe White Rock to someone?

A seaside community with a rich arts history. Beautiful beaches, great fish n’ chips and a small town that is in transition.

Whatever happened to the Town Hall Meetings we were promised?

I am not sure why they have never happened. We have talked about them and nothing seems to happen. Maybe it is just a matter that someone needs to take the bull by the horns and get it done. I think they would be a great idea for the community to go one on one with us in a very relaxed casual environment. I will see what I can do about making them happen. Things move painfully slow at City Hall. Actually slow would mean things would speed up. It frustrating at times. As a self starter and a go getter I have had to learn a great deal of patience.

 

SHORE 2 SHORE

Scott Booth (far right), Local 2407 Union President, stands with team riders
(from left to right) Evan Bird, Patrick Ryan, Mike Passas, Eric Kameka, James Davison, and Bira Bindra.

 

White Rock Firemen Prepare For Cycling Assault On Canada

Over the past number of months the White Rock firemen have been everywhere. In addition to fighting fires and a very public fight to save their jobs in White Rock, the firefighters have been organizing a fundraiser called “Shore 2 Shore.”

Team member AL McNABB

Sunday morning while fighting a southwester up at the Farmer’s Market we stopped in to talk with AL McNABB who was manning the booth and pedaling to stay warm

McNABB will leave here later this month to pick up one of the motor homes in Calgary the team will use. “I will fly to Calgary and drive the motor home clear across the country to our starting point which is Halifax. The rest of the team will meet up with me there, and then after a day or so of preparation we will start our journey on September 8. “

All the proceeds raised during the ride will benefit Variety Club. McNABB explains how Variety Club was chosen. “Well when we started talking about doing a ride like this, a couple of the members of our fire hall talked about the good work they had witnessed personally that Variety Club did. Plus we wanted to have a national charity given we would be riding across the entire country.”

The 8 member team will stage the assault on Canada in a relay form riding 24/7 with their support team traveling in tandem with them. One of the escort vehicles will leapfrog ahead to towns along the route to aid in creating public awareness for the ride. “A number of fire halls and their crews have already contacted us and invited us to put up at the fire hall or their homes. A number of the halls will also be staging local fundraiser's like barbeques’s at the fire halls.

Our firefighters are making personal sacrifices to ensure the success of the SHORE 2 SHORE ride. All the firemen will do the ride on their holiday time and even with Peninsula Cycle throwing in as much aid as possible, there is still a hefty cost attached for each rider, which they will pay personally. The money will not come out of the donations. Each rider will make up any shortfall personally or through money raised through other events like community barbques. All money donated to Variety through the fireman's website goes directly to Variety.

In addition to the firemen that are staging the actual ride, the other members of the firehall will be putting forth a tremendous effort to cover off the necessary shifts. In some cases firemen will be doing 12-14 shifts straight. A huge sacrifice.

Now the $64,000.00 question. How long do you think it will take to ride from Halifax to Vancouver?

Well if everything goes right the ride will begin in Halifax on September 8 and end here in White Rock 14 days later on September 21.

Watch for the firemen around town, throw a few bucks or whatever you can afford in the “boot” and lets all make sure we get out on September 21 to welcome the SHORE 2 SHORE riders home.

 

Janice Savage - Sea Fest Saviour

The White Rock Sea Festival has a very long and rich tradition. For 61 years now the annual celebration of all things sand and sea has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the shores of Semiahmoo Bay.

Over the years the Festival has ebbed and flowed in popularity. Things at one time were so despondent on the waterfront the sea festival parade was held UPTOWN. The festival has had its bank accounts emptied by less than honourable directors and harboured individuals with alternative motives.

This past year the former director of the sea festival, one time city councillor MATT TODD came under harsh criticism from White Rock City Halland in particular the Mayor and Council. TODD told them if they weren't happy with the job he had done the the last couple of years, they knew where they could pound sand. When no one stepped up to replace him, the Sea Fest looked to be doomed to failure. In the final months leading up to the dates for this years festival TODD rode in like a knight in shining white armour and said he would accept the criticism but for the good of all he would once again take over the Sea Festival. Then the bombshell! Two months before the festival TODD pulled out again.

In the darkest hour a local music promoter and event planner JANICE SAVAGE stepped in to save the day. Had the sea festival not been held this year it would have been incredibly difficult for it to return in the coming years.

This years festival was not without its glitches. An event this size run on the back of volounteers can be challenging at the best of times. But SAVAGE soldiered on. Over the weekend SAVAGE seemed to be everywhere, fine tuning the events and ensuring things went off without a hitch.

I am sure JANICE would attest she could not have done it without the army of volounteers.

So today I tip my beach sombrero to JANICE SAVAGE and thank her whole heartedly for saving a part of our rich tradition. If you concur, next year slap on the sunscreen, make a picnic basket up and come on down to the beach for the day. Next year let's all pull together and make it the huge success it deserves to be.

 

Lynne Sinclair Civil Servant @ Your Service

In May Councillors Lynne Sinclair and Alan Campbell attended a conference hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Toronto. Sinclair recently took time out of her schedule to sit down and re-cap the topics of discussion. The conference saw representatives from 1800 municipalities and cities from across Canada come together to discuss the future of their communities; The FCM works mainly with the Federal level of government, whereas at the Provincial level, the UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) works more closely with the Provincial Government..

According to Sinclair one of the main topics discussed at this year's conference in Toronto was an agreement the Federal Government is working on with the EU Economic Union. In the discussions that were taking place there was going to be a clause that will prevent civic governments from having any laws that would impact trade policies.

Sinclair explains how that would affect us here at the local level "If we had a ban on pesticides that could be overruled by the deal the Feds make with the EU. We are sending a clear message if the Federal Government is making any kind of agreements that affect us at the local level we should have a seat at the table of the negotiations. If we did not have an organization like FCM we would not have even known the fine points of the Federal Government's negotiations, not only in this matter but other matters as well that will impact us at the local level."

Last year the annual gathering of the FCM was held in Whistler and the entire White Rock Council attended that meeting. Sinclair was our sole rep at the Provincial equal of the FCM the UBCM last year in Vancouver.

"I am learning a lot about the issues, there are excellent workshops and forums at these conferences and it is a golden opportunity to meet other elected officials from not only around the Province but from right across the country. I enjoy politics and I like meetings, I enjoy listening to debate. I find it a great way for me to become informed. At the recent UBCM meeting I had the opportunity to speak on two subjects I feel passionate about. The minimum wage and the pesticide ban. I pushed for a Provincial ban on all pesticide use. I am in favour of a livable wage, I think the term minimum wage is outmoded. New Westminster is the first and so far the only district to push for a minimum wage and it is pegged at $16.74. That is what a livable wage is pegged at in the Lower Mainland. Currently our minimum wage is $8.00 provincially. The training wage is $6.00. It is the lowest in Canada while other Provinces are looking at raising their minimum wage we have held steady since 2001. It is a disgrace. In New Westminister's case the first stage of implementation is to pay that rate of $16.00 for anyone working for or with the city."

The title of the recent conference in Toronto was STRONG COMMUNITIES - STRONG CITIES - STRONG CANADA. Building from the ground up and keeping our country strong.

The two main themes this year at the meetings in Toronto were the environment and affordable housing. The Federal Government's commitment to infrastructure was also was a top subject. Not just roads and bridges. But how communities and cities would be spending the money from the Federal transfers.

Social Housing in White Rock?. "White Rock does not have any social housing. We do have special needs housing. That is something we need to look at because no one is immune from poverty or at risk of being homeless. No one is immune to that. We want our city to be inclusive. There are a growing number of single parent low income families living in White Rock. We are also hearing the seniors in our community are under constant financial pressure. You have some issues that need to be addressed before they become more serious. There is a real shortage of affordable housing in White Rock and it is impacting middle income bracket. We need to pay attention to those numbers. We can't wait until we have visible homeless on our streets. Presently we have a number of invisible homeless people and one person who has become the face of homelessness in White Rock" says Sinclair..

Any recommendations from the conference?

'Emergency resolutions, telling the Federal Government they must institute a Federal Public Pension Plan. We put forth that recommendation to ensure EVERYONE has a decent and livable pension when they are near the end of their lives. There area number of pension plans that are failing. The FCM wanted to defer it for further study. The whole room just erupted. The mayor of Toronto stood up and said no let's vote on it now. It is right across the country we are unified on that issue."

The conference hosted three guest speakers, Mayors from Mexico City, Melbourne Australia and the Mayor from Jakarta Indonesia. Sinclair found the insight they brought to be very informative. "They were fascinating and they were all dealing with the environment. Mexico city for instance has cut their air pollution by 50% in the past three years. I found that really inspiring., The different things being done Internationally I find that very interesting."

The other resolution we put forth was the Federal Government needs to step up on housing. "I feel very strongly about that. I don't people can thrive without a decent home. Whether they own it or rent it. In White Rock the split between renters and those that own their property is 65 rent to 35 own. We have a shortage of affordable rentals in White Rock. I believe we have less than 1% affordable housing stock in White Rock. I think the national average is 3%. We have 800 identifiable basement or secondary suites that we have logged in the city, there may be more. Without that stock we would be in big trouble for affordable housing. A lot of what used to be affordable suites are now being priced through the roof, so the times have changed in White Rock. We need to find a better word than affordable. At the conference the term affordable housing was being referred to as less than the market rate."

Inclusionary zoning was also a hot topic." There was much discussion against designating one particular area for social housing and we will all live in another area. We can't and shouldn't do it that way. My biggest objections to the Bosa Project is they did not include any affordable housing units and the city gave away public land. Those were the big issues for me even more so than the height debate. If you are going to allow a developer to make that much money there should have been something coming back to the city.'

Sinclair believeS the new development by EPTA across Johnston road from the Bosa towers is a new template for development in our area." The project actually is designatiing funds that the city will put directly into an account reserved for future social housing. We are going to do it. I am determined we are going to do it. While in Toronto we went to see an old tenement housing that had been redeveloped and renovated. They have instituted a number of programs custom made for the community's need. The development is in an area that has recently gone through a transition. There was a lot of backlash from the residents that recently moved into the area as it was quickly becoming a hip part of downtown Toronto where once it was sort of on the skids. So to alleviate the problem a group went from door to door in the community and engaged the residents to make them part of the community. They invited the whole neighbourhood to come to the big opening party. People came and they all had a gift, they brought blankets, food, blankets and books or whatever. A community caring through open dialogue."

Instead of social housing being an afterthought what Sinclair saw first hand in Toronto is social housing can actually be the fire starter for the revitalization for an area of the city. "What they showed is where they built the affordable housing it causes the area to start to boom and as a result the area starts to grow up around it because there are already people moving in and developing the area, stores start to open and you soon have a community where once it was just junk. That is exactly what is going on."

"We have land in White Rock, we have developers, we have some money in our coffers. The trick is how much development and what kind of development we proceed with in White Rock. There needs to be a more open and inclusive discussion any new developers that come to White Rock. The city needs to reestablish the trust between the community and the developers." That is not there right now according to Councillor Sinclair.

"I think we need to develop public participation programs. Instead of going into an area in the city and saying This is what we are going to do, what do you think about it?" I am a teacher and that is just inflammatory to take that tact. We should first go to the community and say we are discussing and thinking about a number of options for this area, what are your thoughts on the matter? I really want the city to develop a policy and we would get much more positive input coming back from the community.. If we could have an artist's rendering for future development, I think that would be advantageous. This way people in the affected area can see what say a shared driveway looks like."

The conversation with Councillor Sinclair ended on an entirely different topic. The much discussed proposal to change the civic elections from every 3 years to every 4 years. Sinclair explains her thoughts and her fellow Councillors. "We voted against changing the elections from 3-4 years as a Council. I personally don't buy the learning curve argument being put forth. I did and I think any candidate for public office should do their homework before running. I personally attended council meeting and went t a number of other meetings in the city before deciding to run for office. I also think the public having a say every 3 years in the direction of their city is far superior. That extra year makes a big difference."

It is citizens like LYNNE SINCLAIR that make a big difference. They have put themselves forward with an honest desire to best represent the people of White Rock and to ensure our concerns are met. It's called democracy and it is a good thing.

 

 

A White Rock Tradition - Moby Dick's Peter & Greg Mueller

l-r Father and Son Peter and Greg Mueller

 

WAS THERE A DEFINING MOMENT WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD TURN YOUR LOVE FOR PLAYING CARDS INTO A LIVING?

No not really. I always loved the competition aspect of playing cards. When I retired from playing hockey professionally in Europe I got into acting a little bit and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. When the popularity of poker tournaments started to increase I dabbled in them a bit and similar to hockey, it is so competitive I was drawn to it.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU WON YOUR FIRST BIG TOURNAMENT?

My first big win was $300,000. All my friends and family were routing me on. I called my Dad and told him about my big win. My Dad asked me if I went out and partied and he seemed a little surprised when I told him I just went back to my hotel room after the big win. To use the metaphor of a hockey again, when you see the Stanley Cup Final and the team that came in second seems sort of defeated and down and out. Similar to that just making the final was a big thing for me, but because I am so competitive there was a bit of a let down. My roommate when I travel who is also a professional poker player had won a tournament the night before. We both just went out for a bite to eat talked about our respective games and then turned in early and called it a night.

YOU STILL MAKE YOUR HOME N THE WHITE ROCK AREA. HOW MUCH DO YOU TRAVEL ANNUALLY?

My traveling goes in spurts. I will go out for a week or so then I am back home. In the summertime due to the schedule of the tournaments I travel a little bit more. I play in a couple of rec hockey leagues in the area, so I don’t like to miss too many or our games. That is why I can travel a little bit more in the summer months.

FOR THE UNITIATED THAT WATCH POKER ON TELEVISION COULD YOU EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT THE BREAKDOWN IS ON LUCK AND SKILL IN PLAYING AT THE LEVEL YOU PLAY AT?

That is the unique thing about poker. There is an extreme amount of luck involved, which means on any given day, anyone, no matter their race, size, sex or age it doesn’t matter, there is always the chance of winning. I think that is one of the things that makes poker playing so interesting. It is not always the same winner. For instance in every sport you will always see the same group of competitors that will end up in the top bracket. That is what I think creates the competitiveness in poker playing. There is always the illusion that on any given day, anyone just might win. I mean if you and sat down and played poker and we played a little one on one poker you would win some games. Now if we played for a week straight I would win. But in the short term match anything can happen.

YOU PLAY POKER AT A LEVEL THAT 99% OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE READING THIS ARTICLE WILL NEVER ACHIEVE OR REALLY UNDERSTAND. IT IS WELL DOCUMENTED THAT LEGAL GAMBLING HAS CAUSED A GREAT DEAL OF HEARTBREAK TO INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR FAMILIES THROUGH EXCESSIVE GAMBLING. DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON THISSOCIAL PROBLEM?

You don’t usually find that much of a problem with poker. Slot machines, blackjack tables and roulette tables in my opinion seem to be where you encounter the majority of what society calls “problem gamblers.” Poker is more of a competition. From my personal experience the majority of the people that enjoy playing poker for the most part do not gamble more than they can afford to lose. Usually the poker players I encounter are extremely successful in another area of their life and it is the thrill of the competition mainly that draws them to high stakes poker. They can afford to lose a little bit. They hope to get better to compete at a higher level, as opposed to taking the rent money and yanking on a slot machine handle trying to get ahead. Poker is a lot different it doesn’t work that way. It used to have a bad rap. Now it has attained a new level of popularity due to the television broadcasts that quite often will feature “celebrity gamblers.” It has changed a lot.

YOU ARE NOW AT A STAGE WHERE YOU ARE RECOGNIZED PUBLICLY. DO YOU EVER GET PEOPLE COMING UP TO YOU IN AN AIRPORT AND ASKING YOU FOR ADVICE?

People normally just want a photograph or an autograph. Sometimes they will ask me things like “Who Is Your Favourite Hockey Player” because I have become somewhat synonymous with hockey. Sometimes they will ask “What Is Your Favourite Hand” which I will always reply “Aces.” They will ask all kinds of poker questions but it is very difficult to answer some of their questions. There just isn’t s snap answer to something like “What should I do if I am holding 2 queens?”

A GREAT NUMBER OF THE PICTURES TAKEN OF YOU WHILE YOU ARE PLAYING POKER, SHOW YOU WEARING HEADPHONES. TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU LISTEN TO.

It really depends on my mood what I will listen to. If I can’t focus or concentrate I will put the headphones and try to dial in a little bit more. What I listen to will depend on my chip stack. If I have a lot of chips and I want to dominate the game I might listen to AC/DC Thunderstruck and just machine gun through my stack of ships. If I am really low on chips, (Tournament strategies are based on the number of chips you have in front of you). I will listen to something a little more mellow. The tournaments that I play in sometimes can stretch out for 10-12 hours sitting at the poker table. I will get a massage right at the table just to keep me loose and allow me to concentrate on the game. You don’t want to lose your concentration, in any sport that is a problem but in poker it can be deadly. Music sets the mood for me.

ARE THERE ANY TOURNAMENT PLAYERS THAT BRING OUT THE BEST IN YOU?

Anytime I am playing PHIL IVEY, PHIL HELMUTH or DOYLE BRUNSON those are the elite poker players at the level I play. So you always get up when you are playing them. You want to play good. You want to bluff them and you want to beat them. For me that is a thrill. You turn up at a tournament and there may be a thousand players entered and when you sit down at your assigned table there are 8 players and it just comes down to the draw. You may not know anyone at the table, but that certainly does not mean that someone at that table is a very good poker player. If you do end up at the table with one of the top ranked players, I want to watch them very closely, I want to learn from them while I am all the while of course planning and hoping to win the match. I like to bluff them, sort of here take that. It feels good.

DO YOU EVER PLAY ON LINE POKER?

I have a sponsorship deal with Full Tilt Poker and that contract calls for me to play a certain amount of on line poker. I am not really an on line guy, I am more of a live guy. When I am playing on line because I am a sponsored rep for Full Tilt poker, there will be an avatar of me and the reason for that is the rec players will log on and scroll down and see my name highlighted in red print. So they will sit down and want to play against me. It gives people who do not travel a lot, a chance to play against a higher level of players. That attracts them to the Full Tilt site. I can’t win every game so it is a thrill for them to tell their friends “Hey I beat Greg Mueller on line.” On line is so different because you can’t see who you are playing against, can’t watch their mannerisms, can’t see their expressions, it is just sort of clicking buttons. To be perfectly honest it is not my strength playing on line poker.

YOUR NICKNAME IS "FBT" WHAT DO THE INITIALS STAND FOR AND HOW DID YOU GET THE NAME?

Full Blown Tilt. My mentor back when I retired from hockey was a gentleman named Hubert who lives in Winfield in the Interior. He took me under his wing and taught me a lot about playing poker. He taught me not to tilt. Tilt means like when you are playing a pinball machine and you shake it too hard the machine will tilt and the game is over. In poker if you lose a hand the good players don’t tilt which means you continue to play the same way. When you tilt you start to play bad and trying to chase the money you just lost. You want to avoid that. So tilt is a very common term in poker. Full Blown Tilt came about from Hubert because I am always in a hurry and I don’t like waiting in lines, I get anxious at a red light. So that name just kind of stuck with me a number of years ago. Some people don’t even know me as Gregg, I am just FBT to them.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPERSTITIONS?

Not really. I don’t like to lock up a win until it is over, I don’t think that is superstition. I was recently in a tournament and I was an 80% favourite. I was all in and someone came by and the cameras were on me and someone said “Great game FBT.” I said hey its not over yet. Its not over until its over. I never like to lock anything up, other than that I am not superstitious.

DO YOU EVER JUST TURN UP AT SAY SOMEWHERE LIKE THE RIVER ROCK LOCALLY AND JUST WANDER IN UNANNOUNCED AND SIT DOWN AT A TABLE?

Not so much anymore. Because I play a lot of poker anyway. It kind of bores me. But if I am at a casino for some reason I may sit down at the table. In poker people like to play against good players. In poker I find people like to play against me. They want to be able to say they beat me. And they can beat me because there is so much luck involved in any game as I mentioned before. Generally if I am in the game, some people might want t leave the game. And generally people don’t play high stakes against at me. If I am at the table I might be joking around and talking, depends on the game and the people in the game.

YOU HAVE WON TWO WORLD SERIES OF POKER BRACELETS. THIS IS LIKE WINNING THE STANLEY CUP TWICE. I NOTICE YOU ARE NOT WEARING ONE TODAY. ARE YOU SELECTIVE ABOUT WHEN AND WHERE YOU WEAR THE COVETED BRACELETS?

I don’t wear them when I am playing with friends or something like that. If I am going to a function where people know GREG MUELLER will be there I will usually wear on of them because people like to look at it, just like people will ask a hockey player if they can see their Stanley Cup ring. I am really proud of them there are nice pieces of jewelry. But I don’t wear one everyday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BUDDING ASPIRING POKER PLAYERS?

Play within the means you are comfortable in. By that I mean if Dad goes to work and makes $500.00 a week and it costs $350.00 to live. The key to poker is being comfortable so operating on that line of thinking you would have $150.00 over that you may or may not be able to lose. Don’t get in over your head you will make mistakes and you won’t play as good as you need to if you are not comfortable. It sounds cliche you have to be comfortable financially in any game you are playing in.

WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM “dead money” IN A POKER GAME

If you came and played with me and my friends, you would be what is called “dead money” you would be expected to lose. You are supposed to lose, that makes you “dead money.”

WHAT ARE YOUR LONG RANGE PLANS

I always like the competition, I can’t see myself quitting anytime soon. I can’t see myself being on the road in the future as much as I am now. I want to settle down one day and have a family. I am branching out into other areas, I am a part owner of the Players Chop House restaurant in Vancouver as well as the one up in Whistler. I hope to always be playing in the World Series of poker, but it is difficult living out of a suitcase and one day I can see myself slowing it down.

IS POKER A SPORT?

It is a mind sport. I just can’t call it a sport in the traditional terms. To me a sport is athletic and you have to be physically fit and in poker as I think anyone can attest that has watched poker on TV, there are lots and lots of unfit poker players dong very well.

IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU PERSONALLY TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT TO COMPETE AT POKER.

It is very important for me. I don’t always live the most healthy lifestyle. I don’t have any vices but the thing I wrestle with the most is my diet which is hard to maintain when I am traveling so much and living in resort hotels. I don’t drink coffee, I will have a social drink, I don’t do drugs other than I really enjoy food. When you are sitting at the table for 12 hours they bring you food over and the next thing you look across the table and see someone eating something else and it looks so good and this will go on for a couple of days and you don’t end up getting any exercise and it catches up to me. Before you know it you are on the road for 10 days and you come home and you have found you have gained 10 pounds in a week. I try stay fit, I have a personal trainer, I play rec hockey and I like to get a run in as much as I can. I can’t afford to feel lethargic when I am concentrating during the game.

DO YOU TRAVEL FOR THE MOST PART WITH ANY OTHER PLAYES. YOU MENTIONED YOUR ROOMATE AND YOU BOTH HAVING A BIG WINNING WEEKEND. IS THERE PLAYER THAT YOU TRAVEL WITH THE MOST?

SEAN BUCHANAN who is from Abbotsford. We came up the ranks together and we have been friends for a number of years. We get along very well when we travel together. He is very respectful of me, we talk strategy. Sometimes we go our own way on the road but quite often we hang out together.

HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED AGAINST BUCHANAN?

Generally speaking no. We don’t like to hurt each other. When you enter tournaments with a thousand entrants it is a random draw. So in the hundreds of tournaments we have gone in together we have only ended up at the same table twice in a tournament. We play straight forward against each other. We are in a competition and if it ever ended up that we were the last two standing, we would play as hard against each other as anyone else. So far that hasn’t happened. If we are playing a social game for small stakes we will try to punish each other, but never for big money where someone can get hurt.

HAS POKER HIT ITS PEAK OF POPULARITY

There are so many battles about on line gambling in the States. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Right now you can get into an on line poker tournament for maybe a couple of bucks and keep winning your way into the next round and all of a sudden you are in a game with a $10,000.00 pot and it only cost you a couple of bucks to get in. Those kind of games make it very popular for people to get into the sport. I think the game will change and evolve. There is talk right now about a tag team poker game, where you will have a partner and at a certain point in the game you will have to hand off your cards to your partner and they will finish the hand and or game. Canada vs the U.S., or the U.S. vs Europe kind of games are already in existence so they are constantly trying new ways to keep the public interested. I just played in an NBC heads up tournament which is a one on one tourney. You get invited because of your achievements. It was an invite only tourney so they try to get the best player and the most interesting characters so the match is enjoyable for the public to watch.

WHAT IS THE NEXT BIG MATCH FOR GREG MUELLER?

There is a Tournament of Champions coming up. Each player has to be voted in. To qualify you have to have a World Series of Poker bracelet under your belt to qualify, which I do. There are a fair number of good players who simply will not qualify for this tournament because they have never won a bracelet. How it works is people can log on to a web site and vote in the Top 20 players from a long list of players who have a bracelet. So I am asking everyone that I know to help me get voted in, that is the only way you can get in is to get the most votes. I would greatly appreciate all my friends and neighbours and anyone who ever enjoyed Moby Dick fish n ‘ chips to take a moment and cast their vote for me.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE ON LINE

You can vote for up to 20 people. Obviously I hope everyone votes for me. Outside of Daniel Negreanu who is at this point in time “Mr. Canada Poker” I am the only other Canadian in the running to make the Top 20. There are 7 exemptions on top of the Top 20 and those are seats at the table that will be awarded if for some reason some of the greatest do not get voted in, and I think Negreanu will probably qualify for one of those seats if by chance he is not voted in. I think he will get voted in on the first round. That leaves me as the only Canadian that has a shot.

HOW BIG WILL THE PURSE BE IN THIS MATCH

The World Series of Poker is putting up a million dollars in prize money. You can’t buy your way in, you can only get in by being voted in. It costs the players nothing in the way of cash to get into the tournament. So I am asking all the local White Rockers and South Surrey residents to take a couple of minutes to cast their vote. It would mean a lot to me. Everyone with a separate email address in the home can vote. They just want to see who do the fans want to see in the Tournament of Champions. To me this would be a great honour. It will also be kind of cool and I think interesting for the people that vote for me to be able to follow me if I am fortunate enough to get into the tournament.

*In the coming weeks watch for a profile on Greg and his father and their memories of the early days of the famed MOBY DICK restaurant on Marine Drive.

 


HOCKEY DADS LOOK TO MAKE IT BIG BY BATTLING SMELLY GEAR


A long wait for a ferry on the way to a minor league hockey game prompted two Canadian hockey-loving dads to seek out an economical and environmental way to find a way to fight the stench every player and parent knows – smelly hockey gear.

Budding entrepreneur Keith Howlett says it was about two years ago when he and fellow hockey-dad-turned-business-partner Bill McDougall were en route to a game with six young players and six bags of gear – all inside of one SUV. About an hour into the two-hour wait for the Albion ferry, the smell could no longer be ignored.

With many young hockey players between them (Howlett has four kids and McDougall has two), the pair began looking for a smell-battling solution. The business partners started experimenting by washing hockey gear in different household detergents, but found the detergents were too harsh and quickly broke down the glue holding the gear together.

Thus began the search for the perfect combination to inexpensively and gently clean, disinfect and deodorize hockey equipment. Through research, trial and error, Howlett and McDougall settled on a soap-based formula with anti-bacterial properties. It's fragrance-free, does not leave a film on the gear and is gentle enough for repeated washings.

Howlett says with the advent of residential front-load washing machines, more people are able to wash their hockey gear at home. The formula, which they named Hockey Sudz, can also be used in a laundromat or for washing equipment by hand.

The familiar and distinctive smell associated with used hockey gear is caused by microbe waste that's produced when bacteria feed on the salts, ammonia and urea secreted by the body's sweat glands. The bacteria survive and multiply in moist, warm conditions, including the body, which can then transfer them to hockey equipment. If the gear isn't dried or cleaned properly it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and offensive smells.

And the smell isn't the only nasty side effect. In some cases, players can get infections from dirty equipment. Hockey Sudz is an economical alternative to costly drycleaner-style cleaning systems, and sells for less than $10 per jar, each of which washes eight to 10 loads.

Word of mouth buzz on the product, which started within minor league hockey circles, has reached the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants, who have also started using Hockey Sudz to clean the teams’ equipment.

The product is currently available at Cyclone Taylor Sports in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Coquitlam and Edmonton; Ice Level Source for Sports in Richmond; The Hockey Shop Source for Sports in Surrey; Ultimate Edge Ice Sports in North Vancouver; United Cycle Source for Sports in Edmonton; and Dunbar Lumber in Vancouver.

For more information about Hockey Sudz visit www.hockeysudz.com.

 

In Dreams

My Princess Bride

by Dave Chesney

On Monday afternoon October (12) @ 2 p.m. Laurie my loving wife of 17 years and soul mate for an additional 12 years wrapped up her 18-month battle with cancer. I can’t express the love and admiration I have for the angels of mercy in the palliative care unit of the Peace Arch Hospital.


It all began oh so many years ago. At the time I was working for CBS Records promoting their artists in Western Canada. On a low level pass through CKLG radio Casey White one of the announcers of the day on the Boss Jock outlet, asked me what I was doing on the weekend. I told her I had no plans. She asked me if I could use a free white water rafting certificate? I thought, hell yeah. Then I had to try to decide who to take on this big adventure.


I had recently met Laurie McGregor through the baseball league a bunch of media types had in Vancouver. Laurie at the time was playing for the dreaded Savoy Dancers, but I still thought she was just the type of girl that might like to risk life and limb crashing through the rapids of the David Thompson River. I was right. It was the best call I ever made. That was our first date.


If you did the arithmetic in the first paragraph you will have figured out we went out for 12 years before I popped the big question. That came on New Years Eve at the Banff Springs Hotel as Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts rocked the house. At the stroke of 12 midnight I kneeled down and asked her for her hand in marriage. Again she said yes - as the band played on. “Something To Live For”


We were married the following August. The wedding was a two day event. The Friday night we chartered a boat and cruised up Howe Sound and exchanged our vows in front of family and friends. It was a magical evening. The next night we had our “reception” at the Russian Community Hall. Far less formal. The Blue Shadows performed for our dancing enjoyment.


So that’s the basic set up. Many years of bliss ensued. I don’t know whether or not you have ever encountered two people that are so close they are sometimes mistaken for sister and brother. Well that happened to Laurie and I a number of times. I nicknamed her “The Luckiest Girl In The World” half jokingly, and it seemed to stick.


Now the natural thing would be to say we had our ups and downs, but in our case that really wasn’t the case. Oh don’t get me wrong we had a few dust ups, but they were dealt with immediately so we could get back to the matter at hand, being in love.


When Laurie and I moved back to White Rock 7 years ago she felt she would like to find a doctor locally. She put out the word to friends we had here to see if their doctor was taking on any new patients she was looking. In March of 2008 she got a call from a local doctor that she could come in for an appointment. At that first meeting the doctor explained to Laurie she always liked to start fresh with new patients so she asked Laurie if she would mind having a physical etc. Laurie was happy to, as she was always very diligent about her health, in that osteoporosis ran in her family.


A week after that visit and physical - the day before we were leaving for Mexico we got THE CALL. The doctor explained to Laurie she got the results of the chest x-ray and there was a little shadow on the x-ray that the doctor did not like the looks of. Laurie explained to the doctor we were about to leave for Mexico for 2 weeks and could this wait until we returned. The doctor felt we would be alright.


Upon our return Laurie was put through a battery of tests. Finally the diagnosis came in, Laurie had stage four lung cancer. The cancer clinic at the Surrey Memorial callously told us she had probably 6 months to live, might be a year, but then again she could get a blood clot and die within the week. Have a nice day.


Those words will ring in my ears for eternity. Laurie told me that day driving home she would not die with cancer, she would live with cancer. As both of us have always believed in alternative health care as our first choice to western medicine, we began a long odyssey of treatments. I firmly believe in my heart of hearts, as did Laurie, this is how she beat the odds and got 18 months longer than the experts expected.


But sadly she went downhill very quickly over the past month. She was blessed to be under the care of Doctor King in Crescent Beach. On Friday morning when she was slipping fast and we both knew it was time for her to be hospitalized, I thought what are the odds on the start of a long weekend we would be able to get her into the hospital. One call to Dr. King and within 3 hours she was being tucked peacefully into her bed on the sixth floor of the Peace Arch Hospital. The look of relief on her face said it all.


As she was in a room with another woman the nurses explained to me they were unable to let me sleep in Laurie’s room, but as soon as she got a private room I would be welcome to stay with Laurie. Very late Friday night I left the hospital and came home to try to sleep. That wasn’t going to happen. I showered and went back to the hospital around 7 a.m. I sat by Laurie’s bedside and we held hands. Periodically she would squeeze my hand. She had slipped into a coma around dinnertime the previous day.


At 8 a.m. as we sat there in our silence I suddenly heard a loud roar like a freight train coming through the side of the building. Knowing we were on the sixth floor this made no sense. I turned and looked out the window and I could see the tops of the trees bending. I thought well it is just the wind and some kind of vortex around the hospital. Just then the wind gusted again, and Laurie squeezed my hand tight and slightly arched in the bed, the wind quickly subsided and she relaxed. The wind came back up and the process was repeated two more times, then the wind died down and Laurie fell into a peaceful state. One she remained in until she took her last breath on Monday.


The Final Chapter “In Dreams”


Now where were we? Oh yes it was 8 a.m. on Saturday morning when I believe I was with my loving wife as her soul left her body.
Very shortly after this happened right on cue a nurse came into the room and informed me there was a private room ready for Laurie and they were going to move her across the hall. As I got settled into the room and my thoughts I looked over and saw a little CD player on the shelf. I wandered out to ask the nurses if it was possible to play music in the room. They said yes go right ahead.


So a little later on in the morning I went home to pick up a few CDS. Laurie’s two all time favourite artists were ROY ORBISON and THE BLUE SHADOWS, a band I used to manage – God Bless her good taste in music.


So armed with the CDS I returned to the hospital and settled into the muted light for the final chapter of my long goodbye. As I previously mentioned Laurie was not going to die with cancer, she was going to live with cancer. Doctor Brian Davies and Dr. Parmar both naturopaths aided her/our battle with her sickness. A huge part of her longevity was also facilitated by “Magic Mario” her acupuncturist in Cloverdale. Her weekly visits to the magic man always buoyed her spirits. In the final stages when the pain became so extreme we met another angel, Doctor King in Crescent Beach. Though traditional medicine was never our first choice of health care, believe me the pain relief and soulful nourishment provided by Doctor King was beautiful.


In hindsight having 18 months with that cancer guillotine hanging over our head never really altered our lives. Since her passing I have had a number of people express their grief and sorrow and explain to me they never even knew Laurie was sick. That was the choice we made. We informed close friends and family of the health situation, but then we just sucked it up and got on with living.


As I slipped the ROY ORBISON CD into the little player I returned to my sentry of sitting by her bedside and holding her hand. Since suppertime on Friday Laurie had been in what I assume they call a coma, Orally she was no longer communicative. As “Angel Roy” as she called him, filled the room with music, the lyrics of his songs took on a new meaning. One of the first songs on the CD I had was “In Dreams” if you know the song, you will know Angel Roy climbs the musical scale somewhere into the stratosphere. When ORBISON hit that high note I was somewhat stunned when Laurie squeezed my hand a little tighter, and then let it relax. Some part of her was still with me. That continued all weekend long as I alternated THE BLUE SHADOWS and ROY ORBISON. Constantly throughout the final three days at certain points when OBRISON and BILLY COWSILL climbed into the high octave range, she would gently squeeze my hand.
Monday at 2 p.m. her shallow breathing stopped. I sat there by her side and waited for it to start again. Sadly it was not to be.


On the front page of THE SUN I have put up a photograph of an eagle that has very special meaning. We live on the hillside here in White Rock and the connection Laurie had with eagles was beautiful. Her office is in the front of the house and shortly after we moved back to White Rock almost daily she would tell me about how many eagles she had seen. Not that unusual really if you are a bird watcher. But then she explained to me they would fly by the house and look into the window right at her. It wasn’t long before I witnessed almost the exact same shot as is on the front page. They would fly by the house very close, so close you could see their eye colour and they would turn their head and look right in.


I thank you for walking down the healing road with me over the past two days but this is where we part ways.


I have to go on alone from here. I have an eagle to find.

*As a side note for all that have asked, there will be a CELEBRATION OF LIFE held in honour of Laurie on May 16 (her birthday) 2010. It seemed natural to me to honour her leaving - on the day she entered this world. Further details to follow.

 

IN DREAMS - Roy Orbison


A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper:
"Go to sleep, everything is alright"
I close my eyes
Then I drift away
Into the magic night
I softly sway
Oh smile and pray
Like dreamers do
Then I fall asleep
To dream my dreams of you
In dreams...I walk with you
In dreams...I talk to you
In dreams...Your mine
All of the time
We're together
In dreams...In dreams
But just before the dawn
I awake and find you gone
I can't help it...I can't help it
If I cry
I remember
That you said goodbye
To end all these things
And I'll be happy in my dreams
Only in dreams
In beautiful dreams

 

 

 

 

 


NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR APPOINTED TO TOURISM WHITE ROCK
Betina Albornoz has been appointed Executive Director for Tourism White Rock, the destination marketing organization responsible for promoting White Rock, BC, as a year-round destination, effective October 5, 2009.
Ms. Albornoz has a solid track record of achievements in senior executive management positions and an extensive background in Strategic Marketing and Business Development in both the private and public sectors. Most recently she has been responsible for her own consulting firm, Argenta Business Solutions.
“We are excited that Betina is joining Tourism White Rock at this point in its evolution. I’m confident her skill set and experience will be an excellent catalyst for taking our organization to the next level,” says Glenda Bartosh, Chair, TWR.
A long-time resident of the Lower Mainland, including White Rock, Ms. Albornoz holds an MBA in Marketing and Leadership from Royal Roads University. She is looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges ahead.

“It inspires me to find a working environment that fosters the type of values Tourism White Rock is committed to, especially using community stakeholder engagement to achieve a common vision and strategic goals,” she says.
Tourism White Rock was founded in August 2008 to promote White Rock as a top tourism destination, especially for day visitors from the Lower Mainland and northwest Washington. TWR is funded jointly by the City of White Rock, White Rock Business Improvement Association, and the White Rock & South Surrey Chamber of Commerce, with support from the provincial government.

 

 

Roger Currie - Righting The Wrong


Roger Currie is a man on a mission. His mission is to correct local history.


As a child Roger, his sister and two brothers along with their mother moved into the home of Fred Johnson, a true local pioneer.


Fred Johnson arrived on the shores of Semiahmoo Bay at the tender age of four year old in 1882. His family had journeyed by boat from New Westminster to their new home in White Rock. Johnson went on to become one of the first students at Halls Prairie Road school in 1885. His list of accomplishments that would follow include working as a customs officer when the first train arrived in White Rock in March of 1909. In 1909 Johnson and his new bride Ruth moved to a 44 acre plot of land on Bellevue Crescent which included what is now known as Centennial Park off of 16th Avenue.


In 1913 at the urging of Johnson the federal government a pier was constructed in White Rock, so local merchants could bring in supplies by water as opposed to rail.


Johnson was also instrumental in forming White Rock Waterworks which later became White Rock Utilities which is now owned by the Alberta based company EPCOR, still one of the largest privately owned water systems in the province.


Johnson also was instrumental in building the first large water tower/tank in White Rock located on Oxford. As well Johnson banded together with a group of local residents and brought the first fire truck to White Rock in 1935. While in his 80’s he pitched Surrey Council on the idea of a model town on Municipal property in the Sunnyside area of Surrey.


To say Johnson had a profound effect on Roger Currie would be an understatement. “He became like a grandfather to us kids. We used to call him Johnsy. He taught us a lot about life. I can remember on time when I was probably about 13 years old, and Johnsy and I were driving back from Cloverdale in his big old 60’s Chrysler. Johnsy pulled the car over to the side of the road near 8th avenue and 176th street and told me I could drive home to White Rock. Very quickly after I started driving along 8th avenue I looked over and Johnsy and fallen asleep. He woke up a few minutes later to find me rocketing along 8th avenue doing 80 mph.”


It is the love and admiration Roger Currie still cherishes for Fred Johnson that has him on his one man crusade to correct history.


“A couple of months back as I passed Centennial Park it dawned on me there was no sign age stating Centennial Park was dedicated in 1957 as Ruth Johnson Park. When Fred’s wife passed away in 1954 he sold 27 acres to the city of Surrey for a nominal fee. Part of that deal was the land would be used for a park, and it would carry and honour his wife’s name, Ruth Johnson Park.”


In 1957 when White Rock separated from Surrey, the municipality of Surrey gave the land to White Rock as it was now across the boundary in White Rock and no longer in Surrey. Very quietly in 1967 when White Rock built a new arena and pavilion on the property, the name was changed to Centennial Park as 1967 was a centennial year.


Currie has written to the Mayor and Council of White Rock requesting they revisit history to see if there is some way the park could carry a designation, perhaps something like Ruth Johnson Centennial Park or some other variation that would honour Ruth’s memory.


Currie hopes to appear before Council in the coming months to present his case. When Fred Johnson passed away in 1964 at the age of 85 the local newspaper stated “Thought should be given to honouring the name of Fred Johnson and others who contributed to the founding and building of the community.”


I couldn’t agree more. A good place to start might be the correct naming of Ruth Johnson Park.

 

Una St. Clair-Moniz

When the phone rings here at The White Rock Sun, you just never know who is going to be on the other end of the phone. Given internet newspapers like THE SUN are in their infancy it is always surprising when someone right out of the clear blue gets in touch with us. We love it.

A couple of weeks back UNA ST. CLAIR - MONIZ of Langley contacted us and in very short order grabbed our attention as she methodically quoted recent studies into the adverse effects on our health a lot of "new technology" is causing.

One UNA'S top concerns is the health of her two school age children. As more and more information came to light, UNA contacted the school her children were attending in South Surrey to see if the school was aware of the health dangers WI-FI can cause when the students are exposed to it on a continuing basis. "We are specifically concerned by the lack of information that schools and parents have been given about the potential for harm from the cumulative effects of non-thermal biological risks of microwave electromagnetic radiation (WI-FI). Schools have not been advised about the need to have policies in place to protect pupils and staff who may suffer from adverse health effects from daily and long term exposure" says ST.CLAIR MONIZ in the comfort of her home office turned war room.

The amount of information that has been published yet avoided by the mainstream media is startling. In short order UNA has made me aware of dozens of web sites and a staggering amount of research papers to support her concerns. UNA is quick to point out there is a way out of this toxic stew we find ourselves in " We support the use of computers in learning environments, but we don't believe it should be at the expense of the health of our children. From my experience I have found schools, staff and parents for the most part are woefully unaware of the enormous number of scientific studies that have been published suggesting mobile and wireless technologies which emit microwave radiation may pose health risk, especially to children."

The UK a country that seems to be on the cutting edge of creating public awareness has seen over 2,000 research papers which illustrate the biological damage one suffers from exposure to non-thermal microwave radiation.

ST.CLAIR-MONIZ has jumped into the battle with both feet. Within the past year she has created CITIZENS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY and has a plan to educate and inform as many schools, teachers, parents and citizens as possible of the possible adverse side effects from the radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis. Most times we are unaware of the danger we are exposing ourselves to.

So where do we go from here and what can you personally do? CITIZENS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY are presenting a lecture July 17 in Langley at Langley United Church. The guest speaker is DR. MAGDA HAVAS PHD an Associate Professor of Environment & Resource Studies at Trent University.

THE WHITE ROCK SUN is proud to welcome UNA who will contribute on a regular basis information and developments on this very important health matter. Watch for regular updates from CITIZENS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY.

 

CITIZENS FOR SAFE TECHNOLOGY (Click Here)

DR. MAGDA HAVAS LANGLEY LECTURE INFORMATION (Click Here)

UNA'S RECOMMENDED READING (Click Here)

 

 

 

 

 













Canada's First Internet Newspaper