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Met The Neighbours




Meet The Neighbours

We recently had time to sit sat down with White Rock artist JIM DAVIDSON to get some background info on this month's Art Show at White Rock's POP UP art gallery in Central Plaza in Uptown White Rock.

Welcome to the electronic pages of the White Rock Sun Jim.  Let’s start from the beginning. How long have you made your home in White Rock and what drew you to our “city by the sea”

I moved to White Rock from Gibsons. My reasons were have friends that lived here already and other friends recommended the Village Montessori school for my soon to be 3 year old son.

Where, when and how did your artistic journey begin?

My grandfather started me painting in oils when I was 4 or 5. Although not a trained artists himself, he taught me colour, perspective and the proper way to visualize my painting. After high school I started working for an advertising agency, then in Britain I worked as a cartoonist and illustrator. All the while I studied for my degrees in Fine Art. Back in Canada I started working as an artist for newspapers. I moved to BC in 1980 and worked for Pacific Press who published the Province and Sun. Other than a couple of stints in the 80s working in and running a couple of Vancouver night clubs, I was in the newspaper industry out here for over 20 years.

You currently conduct art lessons here in White Rock. How many aspiring artist are you working with and is there a possibility if any readers might be interested could they inquire personally?

I currently have 16 students at various levels of their artistic journey. I'll be reorganizing my class times in March which will determine the availability of space for more students. I prefer to teach classes of only 4 or 5 at a time.

If any readers might be interested in checking the availability of space in my art classes they can easily message me through my FACEBOOK site. (click here)

You did two very large public art piece in White Rock (Bin 101) and rumour has it you are about to unleash a new large public art piece in THE ROCK.  Tell us about both please.

The Bin 101restaurant in uptown White Rock piece was a private commission for the restaurant owners. We consulted on what they wanted and I executed the 4 foot x 25 foot paintings over a 3 month period. I also painted the "We thank our heroes" mural on the parkade a couple of years ago, a Back Alley Bees mural behind the Nomad gallery.

I would really like to paint is a 17' x 430' mural down Victoria hill from Johnston road down to Martin Street.

It would depict the three main whale species that frequent our area. 3 of the painted whales would be full size. I would create a separate painting of each of the three whales to produce limited edition prints to be sold as a fundraiser for out local salmon enhancement efforts as well as for the whale preservation work being done. It would also be a new "tourist attraction" for the waterfront.

You have a series of musical portrait art pieces that are currently for sale in White Rock @ Blue Frog studio.  Is there a story behind why you chose the feature musical acts?

Louis Armstrong

Regarding the music portraits, I've always had an interest in all styles of music and portrait painting...the two made sense to me to combine for paintings. The prints are on sale at Blue Frog, the Nomad Gallery and currently at the Unique Perspectives art show at the Landmark Pop-Uptown Gallery.

For the past month you and 3 other artists have been hosting an art show in our Uptown Pop Up Art Galley for the month long art show? In closing give us a COLES NOTES overview of the other three artists in this month's show.



Paul began work in resin over two decades ago when he was busy as the lead singer/songwriter for the multiple Juno Award-winning pop bands The Payola$ and Rock & Hyde. .
Throughout his musical career visual art was always there. While touring Paul kept an eye out  for cool images, pictures and anything that inspired me. You'd be surprised what he could find when you stumble off a tour bus and snoop around a small prairie town.
The early resin collages were challenging to say the least as the materials were toxic and there could be issues with yellowing over time.

 In the last two years Paul has returned to working in resin, which is now a much more manageable and stable material.



A graduate from Art school as well as a diploma in Graphic Design David has spent most of his years in various artistic fields as well as large portions of his time in the studio. From corporate graphic design to special events and set design he now devotes his time to fine art and his studio.

As an artist and musician David is always creating new works. Continually painting he has managed to create a large body of work and has developed a unique style often working with different textures. David’s style continues to evolve but his work always reflects nature and the natural forces in some way. He has had many showings of his art in numerous galleries & festivals. You will find his works in private and corporate collections throughout B.C., Alberta and beyond.

His home and studio is located in White Rock



With a sharp eye for colour and a quirky sense of humour, East Vancouver-based artist Kat McPhee’s vibrant, expressionist portraits and mixed media prints have quickly earned a loyal following. Applying elements of graffiti and animation as inspiration, Kathryn uses a broad palette that includes oil pastels, acrylics and spray paint to add density and texture to her pieces.

Kat has been drawing since she was old enough to pick up a pencil.  Over the years, growing interest in her pieces has allowed her to take her passion to the next level. She creates privately commissioned work, specifically pet portraits, almost daily at Vancouver’s Arts Factory Society and has showcased her pieces at numerous galleries and restaurants. 

Her most recent collections include a series of eccentric animal portraits, animated celebrity paintings and skatedeck art. She has also created an impressive line of mixed media photography prints which showcase the tiger & unicorn.


I'm With The Band

The ROLLING STONES honoured the hard working “promo men” (male dominated for many years) with the song “Under Assistant Westcoast Promo Man.   RAY RAMSAY a recent  new resident on the Semiahmoo Peninsula and a long time veteran of the Westcoast music scene has put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard to recall his many years as a Promo Man on the Westcoast.


Ray for the uninitiated please tell our readers what the job of a Promo Man was in your day?


Ultimately, the goal was to have your efforts translate into sales at the store level, largely (then) from Radio play and exposure thru other Media. Our Music Media in Vcr was slowly developing when I started on April 1 1968, the April Fool Boy, Once I got booted out of the warehouse and into Promo/Sales was, for Promo/Media in particular, to eschew (Bless you! Me: you may be wasting your time with that! Sorry bout your shirt) eschew the dry as dust Press releases issued by someone dying of boredom at Head Office and replace them with my own which, recipients seems to find fun and rayfreshing, with a twist of Wry! Doors opened.


When did music become important in your life.  What was the first style of music you were attracted to?


Music, primarily from Radio, was always there, but in the background. The Music Bug hadn’t bit me yet, until, one day at a friend’s house, I was exposed to something called Little Richard and his Good Golly Miss Molly…BAM! The energetic blast affected me like Napalm, everything it touched lit up in a good way, I was now bitten, infected, and never looked back, I was becoming, driven.

Obviously not your parents music…what fresh HELL is THIS!? was up for grabs by kids. I was however warned away from Country & Western music being informed by an uncle one day while singing along to a Cowboy aire on the radio, that it was sung wrong (thru the nose) and a lower form of music so I kept my enthusiasm to myself until I released that a LOT a little later.



Ray presenting Dolly & Kenny platinum albums


Over the many years of life as a Promo Man reflect if you will and perhaps  identify three of your favourite memories.

Breaking New Music/Artists thru Radio to welcoming thirsty ears was always paramount to me, especially if I could get it on Radio WITHOUT the benefit of Trade/Radio Charts, it’s called belief and guts. It was also thrilling to get local talent signed to the label I was working for; first was Bill Reiter who had the ‘Injun Jim Blues’ track which I got on Quality’s Skyline imprint, a great piece of music to me.

Then, after becoming the ‘R’ in RCA YVR, the slew of RCA Canada signing generated out of my office which included…Bill Reiter (again) with his Dr. Bundolo’s Pandemonium ShowComedy album, Stonebolt, Powder Blues, Doug & the Slugs6 Cylinder, and Midnite Rodeo Band.

Other career hilites were Nestor Pistor for Prime Minister Political Press conference junket and transport by a banner festooned dump truck.

My Monty Pythons Flying Circus Media grabbing stunt with those loons in a cage at YVR and subsequent media slate which drove flagging tix sales prior to, the roof in a record breaking sales burst, at that time, and I still haven’t healed from that.

The stunning success of David Grays ‘White Ladder’ album was another as there was ZERO interest from Vancouver Radio in supporting it, so I went to the mat and with the engaging support of several Media Taste-Buds it grew from the ground up, thanks on no small part to 100.3TheQ VICTORIA, the little station that could and DID as they were on this like a wet shirt, earning themselves a Gold album having generated 80% of Canadas sales, right fucking HERE!


Given the non traditional hours of employment were you able to maintain a  loving relationship?


Ah yes, relationships, they sail or they sink.

The job is a demanding bitch, you’re on 24/7. Even in your sleep; Promo people don’t dream, they have nightmares, they’ve been doing it so long they THINK it’s dreaming!

Birthdays, Special events, all go out the window. It does take a toll, as a ‘normal’ workday, including weekends (no longer your own) are 10 to 12hrs, often longer and I’ve done a couple of 20’s flat out. If you do a shorter day it may be because you had to tell Police and Fire that who destroyed your office may have had a more than passing resemblance to you, wasn’t.

My first relationship started well but descended into Holy Acrimony, altho it did produce my wonderful, creative, and driven (huh!) daughter, Vanessa.

So much for ‘Starter’ wives.

My current long suffering incumbent Keeper Wife, Lynne has made our journey easier over our 34 yrs (OJ would have been out in 20), I keep telling her that her Medal and Shrine (currently out of stock at the Swedish place), are arriving shortly!

Grandpa Ray


What was the first record album or single 45 did you purchase?   Was it difficult back in the day to actually find obsucrure records?

The first single I bought may have been the Rolling Stones ‘Not Fade Away’ which I had not heard prior to getting it home, I just had to have it, having seen a picture of the 5 Louts in a Brit Fan mag which struck me hard, I recall thinking What an ugly lot they’ve GOT to be good! The 45 cost me 59 cents at Treachers Records on Fraser St in their discount bin but it was a bargain and a treasure to me.

Up to that point, being a teen, we all thought that what we heard on the Radio was all the music that’d been made until, we discovered R&B/Soul, thanks in good part to the Stones, and realized there was more to music than what the radio played and so began the learning curve of hunting down our tunes at Heart & Soul and Bill (Reiter..HIM again) and Bobs Recordsand paid for lots of obscurity willingly.

I should mention, early on, my father, knowing teens liked music, presented me with the soundtrack album from ‘Oklahoma’, WTF, I am still speechless to this day.


Hanging with CHARLEY PRIDE @ The Newton Inn


In reading your book Promo Monkey: Monkey see, Monkey TWO (not Do)-Personas & Prima Donnas you obviously have fond memories of how you were able to" break artists” out of your Vancouver market.  For the great unwashed how does/did a radio station choose which songs to put on the local radio.

To ‘break’ records took credibility and relationships, and as I got on, for the most part, with Radio people and Music Directors (MDs) in particular, and had a decent track record I had no need to wear sack cloth & ashes into Music Meetings, the presentation made the diff, along with humor, which was the sugar that made the medicine/message go down. I had decided to start a vernacular of my own at one point, and during a disc-ussion of a records merits on the playlist, I’d slide in that I thought the tune was a good ‘texture’ record to the other music the station played, without objection.

Here I have to mention the absolutely BRILLIANT Dido album No Angel was a true high point of my careen thru the Music Biz. The single was ‘Here with me’ a HUGE company priority but still simmering.

I was at home watching my wife Lynne’s TV show ‘Roswell”, something I wouldn’t normally watch at gunpoint, p’raps I thought I’d get lucky, and I DID, when I heard that voice singing the theme for the show, something we weren’t made aware of at the time, it was very nearly a Brown Trouser moment for me, THAT voice, was DIDO! The show was huge with viewers!

Bright and EARLY the next morning, in my sweetest, calmest manner, I called my boss in Toronto to say ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Why didn’t we know?! I had him get me the shows Demographic breakdown from a major ad agency there and went into Z95 and presented that to the MD Curtis Strange and said, this is the stations demo! He agreed it was a match and began ‘Featuring’ it with the Roswell backsell and that led to a hard add and OFF we go! Curtis is also a fan of my Tony Rich success out of nowhere, but that’s another story.

The Product Manager for Dido at Head Office was suitably unimpressed with my work and results, and that was the beginning of the end for me. Not him!

As you can see, back then Radio actually listened to product themselves and hadn’t been Consulted into a corner by people that most likely didn’t even live in the country where the station was. This may have led Record/Music Producers to more pablum than albums, my opinion., and who’s writing this anyway?!


How were you able to overcome the industry norm and start a record in the Vancouver market without worldwide support?


Again, belief and persistence, which can be Platinum. I usually erred on the side of Passion and Damn the Tomatoes. This, along with the MDs/PDs (Program Directors, the guys that gave the MDs ulcers,) most were good knowledgeable people in their craft but a few shouldn’t have been operating a fucking toaster never mind a Radio Station. The combination along with good ears, an open mind and passion for their own station to succeed as special and distinct, was a winning combo for both of us, as a lot of songs that broke out of the blue on a Major Market Radio station without the help of other stations or chart numbers, were noticed by others across the country, picked up and became National hits! (You can’t get there from here anymore.

A Radio station like CKOI (Say Kwah) in Montreal, being influenced by European sounds, were influenced to add the Backstreet Boys because of their success over there, never mind they were an American act! Stephane Drolet got THAT ball rolling for the rest of the country.

Canada has always been ahead of the US in accepting foreign sounds like Cliff Richard (before Keith), AC/DC, and the Beatles, among others. Americans had to sometimes fall over acts like these then claim they ’discovered’ them…pull the other one!


In the course of your years of employ with various record labels you would have been afforded the opportunity to see a number of magical concerts.  Name the top 3 and what made them special.

Lets see…..well Bob Marley @the QET in Van was nothing short of mesmerizing, to say nothing of meeting them at the airport, but you’ll have to wait for the first book…Promo Monkey: My Life as a BellHop in the Waldorf Hysteria-Friends & Enemas…out this Fall, for THAT story.

Dave Matthews Band at the Town Pump in Van just blew me away. It wasn’t well attended then, we had to bring in the Food Bank (not a bad thing mind you) to help create interest, but the aftermath helped set the stage for success here…5 yrs later, Heavy sigh.

My personal favorite band Odds at the Commodore; a MAMMOTH effort to prove a point for a SOLD OUT show, peep their story in Book 1


A few years ago you were feted by the BC Country Music Association.  How and why did that come about?

In 2016 I was indicted into the BC Country Music Hall of Fame, not as a player (tho I am), or on stage performer (Meh!), or songwriter (which I am, my style goes from Off the wall to All over the road) but more as an organizer, mover/shaker for the association in its early days at the behest of RCA. I joined their Board of Directors so I might spot some upcoming talent and sign them, but also to inject some professionalism into what was then a Hornets nest of Managers, Playas, fans and Bookers that seemed to spend a lot of time in classic Dithers/Bumstead brawls over who was the biggest Pumpkin in the patch (it’s all fun until someone loses an eye). Myself, (the late) Diane Giffen/CKWX SuperCountry & past President, Richard Watt/Treachers ( and Past President), and another Past President the late great John Ford/RCA brought them along to be taken seriously by the Media for themselves and their charges, that could move the Bigger Pumpkins to the Music Market.


Fast forward to today.  You and your wife Lynne recently relocated to the Semiahmoo Peninsula.  After many years in Richmond/Ladner area what made you choose  life in South Surrey.?

A good movement…We moved from Steveston to the steaming metropolis of Ladner as Steveston was becoming Granville Island.2, no longer the friendly little fishing village of yore. After 19 yrs in Ladner, we found it was becoming unaffordable for us so, as we always like the small town atmosphere and the feel of the White Rock area, that decision was in the cards.

In my youth, I spent a summer in Ocean Park with some guy called my ‘father’, and except for that, it was magical. Back then, White Rock was the destination (car, train, bus) for a day away from home and at the beach.

I tried fishing off the pier for Bullheads (stand by for THAT forthcoming story), and found by trial and error, the vagaries of the tides…did you get a bite? Me-No, my lines not even wet! Hmmmm, the tide is out but don’t worry, you might catch a Flying fish or a ShitHawk (seagull)!

That early experience put me in good stead for my later commercial Salmon fishing adventures; Yep, more stories!


Do you still have an active passion to hear new music.  If so how do you learn about new artists?

 I LOVE new and original music of all kinds.

A while ago, I got wind of a Billy Eyelash and heard one of her songs, it was good but to me, derivative, having said that, after 90 yrs of people creating and interpreting music…what isn’t?


What musical artists have caught your attention over the past few years?

Back in the day as a Knight of the Turn Table & Power behind the Throne, I listened to Radio a LOT more than I do today, driving to/for work had me punching all the pre-sets and getting a whiff of what people were playing and saying. As well, listening to Specialty Radio shows and feature play for New Music evenings and weekends.

Today, I don’t chase it but am grateful to hear something new and good.

I have created my own music over the past few yrs with the help of my long-time friend and Music Bud Down Home Jerome. A few yrs ago we went into a studio and had recorded 3 of out songs, with different vocalists and styles, they are ‘Too Little, Too Late’…’Waitress (the Dream)’…’Sugar on Top’, all with a crack studio band I call The Plumbers (*Wink!*). There is a 4th song but that’s DHJs masterpiece ‘Out in the Street’, I, as part of our band BigFoot, thumped the tubs, I just like it, a joyful bloody racket in 3 movements! If you’re interested or just bored, click on….

I do have many more songs I demo’d at home, but they are rough, kitchen table demos, mostly me/guitar but they are only available by request on mp3/email, can no longer afford studio costs.

Some people have inquired about recording some, my most recent being ‘Flutter by Butterfly’, a biting, angry, anti-racist rant and tribute to Emmett Till, and in good faith I recommended to any interested party that they may want to leave THAT one off the set list if touring the Southern US as it will be helpful to having them return alive, yeah.

Otherwise, Ed Sheeran grabbed my ears right away and I think he well may be one of the last genuine Singer/Songwriters allowed to baptise an otherwise unwashed publics ears, honest and original…prove me wrong? PLEASE!

Perhaps my biggest failure was not being able to put across Kris McKays AWESOME album, What Love Endures, it’s both brilliant and Soulful, breaks my heart.

Kris McKay Bigger the Love

Kris McKay If ever you need me-

Patty Griffin is another ahead of her time Wunderkind and near-miss Miss. Her ‘Florida’, and ‘Useless desires’ are astounding, to me, and two the Dixie Chicks missed.

I ran into my fiend David Wills/Stonebolt at one of Ladner Market Days events, the Higgins were the band, and Good! I sent him Patty’s two overlooked songs. I knew they wrote material but though if they did one of those songs and it blew up, it would make their next song one of their own and easier to break thru with.

Keep in mind I had no connection to Patty and no $ interest; they were good players and these songs were gems. I CAN be a nice guy if provoked.

Later, David called me up and to the studio where I heard the Higgins demo of ‘Useless Desires’, it was magic, chills ran up my spine, a good sign BUT their manager knew better, so…..


Tell me about the illustrations/images in your book

.......the open but unasked question…the images in the book…what aren’t photos are drawings either ‘toons or caricatures from my mind, heart and fingers.

Their inclusion is a bit of revenge on the High School Career Day Councilor…I was already IN the Commercial Salmon Strangling industry with my family of Fishers, but also had a love of Art, but was bluntly told there was NO way I’d ever make a living with THAT…not sure if he spat after that but he may as well have..patTTTOOOOO! Pick the pearls out of THAT!

So, I understood early on that the best way to get me to do something, was to tell me I was incapable of it. I’ve done a LOT of art/drawing thru the years, I enjoy it immensely, in fact if an occasion demands a Card, I don’t buy them, I create them myself, waaay more personal.

My wife Lynne is VERY talented herself and we’ve done projects together, like her Deli (Lynne’s Deli) windows. My cousin Wendy, also very talented, is an established graphic artist and on hearing we had the Deli, donated a logo for the biz and which I seized the op to nick Mick by adding…it’s only Crock and Rolls but you’ll like it!

Here’s a snap of what it looked like….


In closing Ray off the topic of your musical journey you have volunteered your PR services to work with WIGS FOR KIDS.  Tell us a bit about WIGS FOR KIDS and how you came to be involved.

This worthy organization, Wigs for Kids BC is headed by my VERY Good friend Bev Friesen, who worked with me at TPC/Quality, then went to Capitol to be treated like crapitol, so when I heard about that, I hired her to work with me again at RCA!  The Lone Raysin to the rescue!

In 2006, 2 yrs after my Raytirement from BMG, I got a call from her asking input on a TV interview she was about to do and in the process got me interested in the charity. W4K benefits the BC Children’s Hospital directly and as my daughter at one time required their services, I saw this an op to give back.

Essentially, W4K raises awareness of, and for kids suffering from the effects of Cancer and Chemo, which causes them to lose their hair. In the Music Biz I lost lots of hair by my tearing it out in frustration. The Wiggies provide Wigs for them which allows them to regain their former self confidence as well asput a smile on a child, yeah.

In my work with them I have created strategies/campaigns (awareness/Donations), one of which won me an award with a donation of $500 to a charity of my choice, which was Wigs for Kids. I’ve also been the Go-To guy for securing special products from the Music/Entertainment industries, signed or otherwise, and have from time to time gotten signed guitars, the last one from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers courtesy of Charlotte from Warner Music, what a good heart!

My own attempt to get a guitar signed came to nothing but logging time and miles to do it. We got the axe donated and I called everyone but John Fogartys parents to see if he’d sign it and we’d put it up for auction at the annual Silent Auction, and carried that sea anchor around most of Victoria but couldn’t get anyone to answer the call at SaveOn Center where he was playing but Nada, the communication was fawlty, like Basil, so all I got out of it was a dislocated shoulder for being a good little soldier. I’m sure, if John had known, having kids of his own, he would have gotten it but, there I was, stuck in……..

I’ve also been the Go-To guy for securing special products from the Music/Entertainment industries, signed or otherwise, and have from time to time gotten signed guitars, the last one from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers courtesy of Charlotte from Warner Music, what a good heart!

My own attempt to get a guitar signed came to nothing but logging time and miles to do it. We got the axe donated and I called everyone but John Fogartys parents to see if he’d sign it and we’d put it up for auction at the annual Silent Auction, and carried that sea anchor around most of Victoria but couldn’t get anyone to answer the call at SaveOn Center where he was playing but Nada, the communication was fawlty, like Basil, so all I got out of it was a dislocated shoulder for being a good little soldier. I’m sure, if John had known, having kids of his own, he would have gotten it but, there I was, stuck in……..

Point of interest, I am donating a % of the proceeds of the sales of BOTH books to Wigs for Kids BC, but people can donate on-line anytime if they wish.

Thank you Ray for taking us on your personal shoulder roll tour through decades of musical memories.


Dave Chesney

To order your copy of Promo Monkey: Monkey see, Monkey TWO (not Do)-Personas & Prima Donnas

(click here)

If you still want more back stories from the crazy days of rock n roll,

(click here)


Meet The Eagle Man

David Hancock

It is no wonder South Surrey's DAVID HANCOCK has earned a reputation worldwide as "the eagle man." His fascination of birds of prey began when he was in his early teens living on Vancouver Island. Since then he has written a number of books, given lectures all over North America, lectured students but a lot of his fame has come from his pioneering of live streaming of eagles in their natural habitat.

From his wild bird sanctuary compound near the U.S. border HANCOCK has established the Hancock Wildlife Foundation which consults, educates and entertains with these amazing windows on the world of mother natures beautiful bald headed eagle.


Surrey Reserve is the first Bald Eagle Reserve in BC, with a nest on land set aside during development so there would be room for the eagles.


What made you start the Hancock Wildlife Foundation?

It all started when I was a child on the family farm on Vancouver Island in the Victoria area in 1949.  I developed a love for wildlife at a very early age. When I was about 11 years old I learned how to trap pigeons which I sold to a market in Chinatow in Victoria.  Along with fish I caught I had quite a little business going.  I had no idea catching pigeons was illegal.  I started writing articles for a local publication on pigeons.  When I was out in our property one day I saw a gentleman get out of his car and throw a falcon into the air.  I was astounded to sit there and watch the falcon in flight, when the gentleman  called the falcon back I went up and talked to the gentleman.  Later that afternoon I caught a hawk in my pigeon trap, later I trapped my first eagle.   So that is pretty much where it all began.


Later in  your childhood you got your private pilots license.  Tell me about how this changed your life.

I got my  private pilot’s license when I was just 15 years old.   To log my hours to get my pilot’s license I  would fly around the Gulf islands and observe all the eagle nests in the San Juans and the Gulf Islands.  It became very apparent that every Canadiani Island had a lot of eagle nests, but there was not a single nest in the San Juan Islands.  When I turned 16 I got my drivers license and my father lent me his car.  I came across on the ferry to the Lower Mainland and drove to the Blaine Harbour and there was the answer on why the San Juan Islands did not have any eagles.  Every boat in the Blaine harbour had a little white bucket  in the back of the boat, the fishermen were paid a bounty for a pair of eagle legs.  In those days that was encouraged.  The fishermen would shoot the eagles to retrieve their legs.


You have become world famous for the installation of live streaming video cameras perched next to eagle nests.  How did this all begin?

Some of  things come up anachronistically.

I was speaking at a conference on Hornby Island and a gentleman came up to me and introduced himself and told me he had a 15 minute video of an eagle delivering an egg in a nest in his yard.  The gentleman had installed an old fashioned video camera, ran a cable all the way into his house to his VCR so he could record the proceedings..  We were planning  just two weeks away to launch the Hancock Foundation and interpretative centre on our property in Victoria.  I contacted my technical support person and asked him if we could hook up a live camera on the eagle nest?  He asked if they had Internet and I checked with the gentleman on Hornby Island an he said they did have internet service.  I asked my tech person what the cost might be and he said probably about $2,000.00 dollars.  Well $100,000.00 later we had our first camera ready to stream worldwide in December 2005.

We actually started the the live feed later in 2006.  We had to overcome many technical difficulties.  I was booked to go to the Antarctica for 2 months.  I had sent out a press release to hundreds of nature websites all over the world to tell the world what we had planned.  Given I had written a number of nature books I had a huge database of contacts around the world which we emailed out because I thought it was so unique I wanted my friends in conservation know.

When I got home from Antarctica the launch was supposed to go in a week or so.  I was  watching the private video before it launched and I saw there was an egg in the nest.  I knew I had about 4 days before the egg hatched and I wanted to broadcast this wonder of nature.  I had bred eagles and falcons at a young age and I had never seen the miracle of birth in the nest.

Christmas 2005 we were starting to set things up at the nest on Hornby Island.  We soon found out the internet service they were receiving came from a satellite so they were receiving a signal down but we could not broadcast back up to the worldwide net.

So my press release had gone out to 43,000 birds of prey experts and scientific research centres all got that press release. 
The next day we checked the live feed and we could see there were two just hatched eggs in the nest and we were ready to stream starting the next day.  Now remember this was back when the internet was dial up.  When we went live everybody and anybody in my circle of friends all logged on to watch the feed.  Because so many logged on we immediately crashed the system. Our servers simply could not handle all that traffic.  Now luckily for me there was a gentleman who worked at MICROSOFT (Vice President)  in Seattle who heard about our plight and contacted me..  The gentleman offered to tie our system into MICROSOFT’S in Seattle.  Great I thought.  Next day the same thing happaned.  So the MICROSOFT gentleman called me and said OK I have an idea we will tie you into out “big pipe” system where we host everything out of our  Chicago location.  The next day once we were already to go shortly after we launched the Chicago system crashed too.  Never before had they ever had 45,000 people trying to watch the same thing at the same time.  CBC in Canada started pulling some images, CNN in America and ABC Australia were all showing clips. An announcer for the CBC sitting in for PETER MANSBRIDGE so one night the news host showed the live feed and was doing a play by play on the evening news.  By the third day of functioning we hooked in a dozen other servers across North America.  Now the whole world was able to watch the live feed.  All the TV stations in the Commonwealth soon started to get the feed out of CBC Canada.  Now wevery television station in the world was talking about this and showing me story about me andnthe live web-cam pointed at the eagle nests.  It had never happened before.  We were soon listed as the #1 website in the world in the beginning.  In one day alone I did over a dozen international interviews with major media outlets.  The rest they say is history.

file photo

The next year trouble hit us.  On one of the live feeds you could see one of the baby eagles was in distress.  The mother eagle was feeding the other eagles but she was not feeding the one eagle on the live video feed.  By the fourth day the public is ready to hang me and the fish and wildlife organization.  Finally the fish and wildlife group called and said they would give me permission to go up to the nest and see if I could solve the problem.  I contacted the lady who had the nest on her property and she gave me permission to go on to her property to help save the baby eagle.  I had been up the tree when we installed the camera and I knew it was an old tree and most of the solutions offered up would not work.  I contacted the crane operator that that helped  construct and install the nest in the first place.  The problem with that was we installed the nest using a crane when the ground was rock solid.  But now it was all flooded and it appeared there was no way to get the crane through the water-filled swamp.  Through a miracle we found two companies that had floats big enough we could create a pathway to the base of the tree for the crane.  I was arranging this with all the press.  Thirty seven television crews were booked to arrive and watch how we were going to get the crane in place and get me up to the nest so I could see what the problem was.  So 11 o’clock in the morning arrives.  We set everything up for the floating road, the crane makes it across the swamp.  We get the crane in place at the base of the tree.  I got in the bucket with another gentlemen who was going up to the nest with me.  CBC had erected a 60 foot tower to video the whole rescue.  I get up to the nest and move very carefully to free the just born baby eagle that was tied up in fishing line which was in the net when the parents built to the nest.  Halfway down in the bucket the female eagle was screaming at us, she flew back up into the nest momentarily.  That eagle never returned to the nest the next year because us humans had invaded her space, the eagles  then built another nest nearby the next year.


You have installed a number of eagle cams throughout the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  A pair of them are on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

When it came time to install a camera in the Summerfield neighbourhood of South Surrey we had to work a deal out with the developer of the condos and the city of Surrey. The developer got to build his condominium development around what we now call a bald eagle preserve.  The city of Surrey gave the developer permission to add some height to part of his development in Summerfield if the eagle nest was preserved.  We planned it all out and there was a bit of give and take on both the city of Surrey and the developer.  That nice little reserve surrounded by houses has produced a pair of eagle babies for the past two years.

Learn more about the work done by DaviD HANCOCK and The Hancock WildlifeFoundation (click here)


Fixing The Pier

Judy Hazell

Back in December when Mother Nature and a broken dock destroyed our famous pier in White Rock, the most common statement I heard from people was “How can we help rebuild the pier?”

Today we shine the spotlight on JUDY HAZELL and her fellow members of LEGION #8 IN WHITE ROCK who have come forward to help.

Hello Judy. First of all tell me how you and your organization, the fine members of Legion 8, came to organize a fund raiser to help with the restoration of the White Rock pier.

The original White Rock Legion was built on the pier in 1929 and therefore holds a special place in our hearts. As such, we wanted to do something to support the rebuilding of the structure.

Your event is coming up next week (Thursday May 9th) 6 - 10:30 p.m. What do you have planned for the big evening?

Buffet dinner prepared by our Red Seal Chef Dionne, prepared on site in Mackarino's Kitchen,
Live entertainment and dancing to the tunes of The Beaten Path Band,
Silent Auction and Door Prizes.

Christy Fox photo


Once we get dinner out of the way, there is a full night of dancing planned. Which band will be performing on stage? Do they play often at Legion #8?

The Beaten Path Band who are a very popular local band. We haven't had them for a while, so this is a treat!

Will there be the standard fundraising events like a silent auction? If so are you still looking for items to raise the much needed funds?

Yes, Silent Auction but we are pretty much maxed with donations but if someone wanted to donate we would still accept.

Judy if you don’t mind just a bit of your personal history.

How long have you made your home in White Rock?

I have lived most my life in the White Rock and South Surrey area.

How long and how did you become involved with Legion #8?

My family have been long time members of this Legion Branch. My father was a Veteran and played in the Legion Band for many years. My mother is still a member and I am on the Executive for this branch.

What do you like best about living on the Semiahmoo Peninsula?

The ocean, promenade, the pier and the shops and restaurants along the beach front.

In closing how can people get tickets to the event next Thursday (May 9th)? Will tickets be available at the door?

Tickets are available during regular legion business hours at the bar or by emailing Or, by calling me at 604-836-6297.

Also, Holly's Poultry In Motion on East beach. If we don't sell out we will have tickets at the door for entrance after 7: 30, as the kitchen will need to have enough food prepared

See you there folks!




August 29, 2018

Today we pay a visit with the newly crowned 2018 Miss White Rock SNOVER GILL.

Hello SNOVER. First of all congratulations on your being crowned Miss White Rock. What motivated you to be part of the Miss White Rock pageant?

Hello David, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly aware that the White Rock Youth Ambassadors program was associated with “Miss White Rock”. I initially joined the program because I heard it had amazing volunteer opportunities and it was very beneficial for the youth because it improves public speaking skills as well as builds important connections within the community.

Tell us a bit about your family and your history living on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

I have one sister, Komal. She’s 20 years old and she’s currently training with the military. I also have a younger brother, Eknoor and he’s 15 years old. My mother, Raj is a real estate agent and probably one of the hardest working women I’ve ever met. And I’ll spare you her age.


What school are you currently attending and what are your plans for when you finish high school.

I’m currently enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at Semiahmoo Secondary school. I hope it will help me achieve my goal of attending business school at the University of Toronto and later on attending Law school at Mcgill University.

You have only been in the position of Miss White Rock for a month or so but how is it going so far. Has there been any kind of adjustment you have had to make?

It’s been very interesting so far. I’ve met so many amazing people that I wouldn’t of otherwise. Whether it be our city officials or the other royalty from other cities. I’ve also learned so much about the history of our town. I think As for adjustments, there hasn’t been anything drastic so far. I think I’ll be able to tell you next year, at the end of my reign how much I’ve really changed.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I understand you are quite the rugby football player and that you enjoy dance.

Yes, along with rugby and dance, I love photography. Taking pictures of landscapes and people never ceases to entertain me. Actually at the moment i’m working on a healthy living campaign with my friends and I’ve been taking pictures of the models. It’s a very important movement in my opinion. Not only does it promote body positivity, it also promotes a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, I enjoy writing quite a bit. It’s very therapeutic and I always love looking back at what I’ve written. But the activity that takes up most of my time is volunteering. I volunteer at Peace Portal Retirement Village. I am also an executive member of the Semiahmoo Charity Club.


You have three princesses correct? Tell us a bit about the rest of the White Rock Youth Ambassadors

We have two princesses, Emma-Rose Harvey and Sarah Zhang. They both attend Earl Marriot Secondary. They’re just lovely girls. So helpful and supportive. The rest of the group is Youth Ambassadors. There is Simrit Kocher and Sabrina Zeng. They both attend Semiahmoo with me. And once again, amazing girls. They’re all so talented and beautiful. All of them are going to go so far in life and i’m happy to call them my friends.

You were sponsored by the Peace Arch Hospice Society. Do you have any connection with hospice?

I was. I’m very lucky that such a generous organization decided to sponsor me. I feel as though I have a connection with the Peace Arch Hospice Society because it plays a vital role in the retirement home i volunteer at. Both to the residents and their families. Also, long time member, Mr.Harper is also my school rugby coach. All of the volunteer at the Hospice are some of the most caring people you’ll ever meet.

In this order;

favourite movie
Any of the Avengers movies.

favourite song
Call it fate, call it karma by the strokes.

favourite restaurant on the peninsula?
Definitely Charlie Don’t Surf


Debbie Dowden one of the key driving forces behind the Miss White Rock pageant has recently announced after numerous years she is stepping aside from the pageant. Why do you personally feel the pageant is important. White Rock is one of just a handful of cities across the province that still crowns a “Miss.”

Well everyone has to understand it is so much more than a pageant. It is a program that helps youth succeed. Although we have the pageant, everything leading up to it is beneficial for the candidates. For example, numerous volunteer opportunities as well as toast master sessions to help them refine their public speaking skills. It is also so helpful to raise self confidence in teens. No matter the outcome of the gala night, everyone feels like royalty. This program plays a very important part in building a strong, intelligent future and I really do hope it continues. That’s why this year, the youth ambassador team is going to do their absolute best to promote the program.

What do you like best about living in White Rock?

I thoroughly enjoy marine drive. It is always so breathtakingly beautiful. It makes me realize how lucky i truly am to be living in such a gorgeous town. On top of that, it’s the best place to spend the day. You can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner at one of the many restaurants we have. And in between meals you can spend your time at the Museum, visiting the infamous “White Rock”, or at the beach. There’s never a dull moment at White Rock beach.

Last question before we wish you well and send you on your way.

If you were the Mayor of White Rock what is the first thing you would do/change?

Although this is such a generic answer, its so important to me. I would try to move the train tracks and make room for more (CHEAP) parking and an easier access to the beach. Frankly, the train track is too dangerous. Too many innocent lives have been lost due to the train. And don’t even get me started on the parking. White Rock beach is so beautiful but many people can’t fully enjoy it due to the lack of parking.

Watch for Snover and her ambassadors at city functions throughout the year.

When you do see SNOVER out and about walk up and say hello. . This talented young lady will be part of our community for years to come.

David Chesney




March 21, 2018

White Rock city council recently received the annual report from White Rock Tourism aka Explore White Rock.

CATHY JAMES the executive director for Tourism Surrey and Tourism White Rock revealed to council who is visiting White Rock, why they came, where they are staying and how much money they will spend while visiting White Rock.


Stay up to date on Explore White Rock's activities. Sign up for their newsletter (click here)



March 08, 2018

Meet Michael MacKay-Dunn

This weekend (March 9/10/11) Earl Marriott Secondary will be home to the Semiahmoo First Nations hosted POW WOW. MICHAEL MACKAY-DUNN a teacher at Earl Marriott takes time from his busy schedule to preview this weekend’s events.

Michael I notice on your business card in addition to being listed as a Business Ed.teachere and football coach you are also listed as an Aboriginal Teacher Advocate. Could you explain what is entailed in being a aboriginal teacher advocate?

As Teacher Advocate, I along with our enhancement worker, Dawne Kalenuik, advocate on behalf of our First Nation Students. We try to level the playing field to give them as much opportunity and the support tools to succeed. We work with course teachers, administration and our learning support department to make this happen. As well, we assist subject teachers with access to resources with a mission to integrate more First Nation Content across the curriculum.

In looking over the school’s FACEBOOK it appears a group of students from Earl Marriott recently made the journey to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Haida Gwai. Can you speak about the trip?

Over the years, we have taken our students on overnight excursions. A couple of years ago, I spoke with another school on their experience in Haida Gwaii. Haida Gwaii is unique. I spoke with Joanne Charles at Semiahmoo First Nation about a possible trip to Haida Gwaii and we ran with it.
Haida Gwaii has a fascinating history of survival as a culture along with their present day challenges. Our trip last year was a significant success. Our students bloomed over the week at Haida Gwaii and the Educational Rationale included all of the following: exchange with other students, Science, Geology, water resources, Environment, Social Justice, Anthropology and History. The trip connects our First Nation Students with a strong Indigenous Model to enhance their own self-esteem and connection to their history and culture. In addition to visiting the schools, we traveled down to Gwaii Haanas, to Skedans and Windy Bay to visited ancient Haida Village sites.

How many years has Earl Marriott hosted the annual Semiahmoo First Nations Pow Wow? How and when did the local PowWow begin?

Pow Wow begin in 1996 with Joanne Charles and Anthony Holland. We did have one hiccup in 2006 when we didn't have a Pow Wow that year. Since then we haven't missed and we won't. Chief Bernard Charles explained the importance of having a Pow Wow because "We Can." We can have Pow Wow's. Pow Wow's and Potlatch were banned in BC till 1952.

The encyclopedia defines a PowWow as;

Powwows are celebrations that showcase Aboriginal<> music, dances, dance apparel, food and crafts. Commonly hosted by First Nations<>communities (either on reserve or in urban settings), Métis<> and Inuit<>also participate in contemporary powwows, and smaller powwows are hosted by educational institutions. Powwows promote cultural pride, respect and health for young and old in an inclusive setting; drugs and alcohol are forbidden on the powwow grounds. Powwows serve an important role in many Indigenous peoples' lives as a forum to visit family and friends, and to celebrate their cultural heritage, while also serving as a site for cross-cultural sharing with non-Indigenous attendees and participants.

Is this a fair depiction of this weekend’s events at Earl Marriott?

Yes. The Pow Wow is important to our student's sense of belonging, self esteem and learning respect and protocol around the Pow Wow Model.

Visitors to this weekend’s PowWow will see a wide array of men, women and children participating in the dance events. The participants will be wearing the most beautiful beaded dance outfits called
This weekend (March 9/10/11) Earl Marriott Secondary will be home to the Semiahmoo First Nations hosted POW WOW. MICHAEL MACKAY-DUNN a teacher at Earl Marriott takes time from his busy schedule to preview this weekend’s events.



Michael I notice on your business card in addition to being listed as a Business Ed.teachere and football coach you are also listed as an Aboriginal Teacher Advocate. Could you explain what is entailed in being a aboriginal teacher advocate?

As Teacher Advocate, I along with our enhancement worker, Dawne Kalenuik, advocate on behalf of our First Nation Students. We try to level the playing field to give them as much opportunity and the support tools to succeed. We work with course teachers, administration and our learning support department to make this happen. As well, we assist subject teachers with access to resources with a mission to integrate more First Nation Content across the curriculum.

I looking over the school’s FACEBOOK it appears a group of students from Earl Marriott recently made the journey to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Haida Gwai. Can you speak about the trip?

Over the years, we have taken our students on overnight excursions. A couple of years ago, I spoke with another school on their experience in Haida Gwaii. Haida Gwaii is unique. I spoke with Joanne Charles at Semiahmoo First Nation about a possible trip to Haida Gwaii and we ran with it.
Haida Gwaii has a fascinating history of survival as a culture along with their present day challenges. Our trip last year was a significant success. Our students bloomed over the week at Haida Gwaii and the Educational Rationale included all of the following: exchange with other students, Science, Geology, water resources, Environment, Social Justice, Anthropology and History. The trip connects our First Nation Students with a strong Indigenous Model to enhance their own self-esteem and connection to their history and culture. In addition to visiting the schools, we traveled down to Gwaii Haanas, to Skedans and Windy Bay to visited ancient Haida Village sites.

How many years has Earl Marriott hosted the annual Semiahmoo First Nations Pow Wow? How and when did the local PowWow begin?

Pow Wow begin in 1996 with Joanne Charles and Anthony Holland. We did have one hiccup in 2006 when we didn't have a Pow Wow that year. Since then we haven't missed and we won't. Chief Bernard Charles explained the importance of having a Pow Wow because "We Can." We can have Pow Wow's. Pow Wow's and Potlatch were banned in BC till 1952.


The encyclopedia defines a PowWow as;

Powwows are celebrations that showcase Aboriginal<> music, dances, dance apparel, food and crafts. Commonly hosted by First Nations<>communities (either on reserve or in urban settings), Métis<> and Inuit<>also participate in contemporary powwows, and smaller powwows are hosted by educational institutions. Powwows promote cultural pride, respect and health for young and old in an inclusive setting; drugs and alcohol are forbidden on the powwow grounds. Powwows serve an important role in many Indigenous peoples' lives as a forum to visit family and friends, and to celebrate their cultural heritage, while also serving as a site for cross-cultural sharing with non-Indigenous attendees and participants.

Is this a fair depiction of this weekend’s events at Earl Marriott?

Yes. The Pow Wow is important to our student's sense of belonging, self esteem and learning respect and protocol around the Pow Wow Model.

Visitors to this weekend’s PowWow will see a wide array of men, women and children participating in the dance events. The participants will be wearing the most beautiful beaded dance regalias Does the design of each dancer tell a story about the dancer’s history?

Each Regalia has a story as well as the Dance itself. The Regalias are incredible and each dancer takes such pride in their Regalia. They keep adding to their Regalias over the years.

The festivities of each day will start with a grand entrance. What is the importance of the entrances?

Grand Entry's open each Pow Wow Session. There is where Special Guests are acknowledged and with welcomes from our Host dignitaries, Chief and Councillor.

Is there an actual competition in the various dance and age categories?

This is a Traditional Pow Wow where although there will be some competitive dances, it is not the focal point. On Saturday evening, we will have both a Male and Female Spotlight Dance which is a highlight of the Pow Wow. Without a doubt, this is a highlight of the Pow Wow.

Semiahmoo First Nations chief HARLEY CHAPELL since being elected to head up the band operations, has been very active in our community. Will Chief CHAPELL and or other members of the Semiahmoo First Nations be on hand this weekend?

Chief Chappell & Councillor Joanne Charles

Unfortunately, Chief Harley is out of the country. But Councillor Joanne Charles will carry on as well Roxanne Charles and other members of Semiahmoo will attend. Our Pow Wow is a joint effort between our school, Earl Marriott and Semiahmoo First Nation.


In addition to the dance performances which are the main focus of the PowWow will the many First Nations Crafts and artists once again be in attendance displaying and selling their wares?

We will have close to 40 artisans, vendors along with some of social support agencies.

The Pow Wow is open to all the public. Admission is by donation. Join this wonderful celebration and bring the whole family.

David Chesney



NOTE - in 2015 Semiahmoo FIrst Nations and carver LEONARD WELLS gifted Earl Marriott Secondary with a pair of Welcome Poles

(click here to learn the history of CEN'ALIEN)



OctobEr 24, 2017

Meet Terri - Lynn Williams Davidson

Local artist, author, activist and lawyer TERRI-LYNN WILLIAMS- DAVIDSON recently released her sophomore CD titled Grizzly Bear Town. In advance of her upcoming concert at Blue Frog Studios on Sunday October 29th we were able to catch up with TERRI-LYNN who was visiting her homeland of Haida Gwaii.

Congratulations TERRI - LYNN on your latest collection of songs and stories. Your new CD is the follow up to your 2011 release of your debut CD “New Journeys.” Your debut CD brought you many accolades and attention. How did that first recording change your life?

‘New Journeys’ was a first step returning to my path as an artist. It helped me to reach wider audiences, and was a testing of the waters of the public’s interest in Haida music. It helped me realize that it is possible to achieve reconciliation through music and art.

There is a running theme through both your CDS. Would it be correct to say through your music and song you bring to the forefront a small portion of the history of the Haida nation?

Yes, both albums feature the musical traditions of the Haida Nation. This album goes a step further and addresses contemporary themes that are relevant to all Canadians.

Is your music a result of a calling on your part?

You might say that. I actually recorded a traditional album for the Haida Gwaii Singers Society (joining other Haida veteran singers, my husband Robert Davidson, Guujaaw (now Gidansda), Marianne Jones and Reg Davidson). The title of that album is the name that my great-grandmother gave to me: Lalaxaaygans, which some translate as “Beautiful Sound”. Years later, at a potlatch I received her Haida name as my adult name. In many ways, it is my great-grandmother calling to me to sing, but also my father.

Where and when did music become an important part of your life?

My father was a singer of big band songs, and he loved to sing throughout our home. He encouraged all of his children to sing in choirs, which we all did through grade school. Haida music has been a daily part of my life since my first public performance in 1978. My mother was not a singer, but she encouraged my to sing Haida songs. I am compelled to continue to sing in the Haida language because it is an endangered language. Like many indigenous languages, it is wonderfully expressive even though many of the sounds are difficult to master.

In your music and your biography you talk and sing at length of the history of Haida Gwaii. The title of your new CD “Grizzly Bear Town” was inspired by the village of your great-grandmother’s birth correct?

Yes, that is one of the names for the village also known as the village of Skedans. It is a place for me to connect with my ancestors, and especially my great-grandmother. In this song, the village is a metaphor to explore peace with oneself and with the history of colonization through returning to connections with the land and sea.

You are joined on your new CD by two of the founding members of the rock group CHILLIWACK, Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence. How did this collaboration come to be?

Claire Lawrence/Bill Henderson recording on Haida Gwaii

Bill Henderson was the sound engineer for the Haida Gwaii Singers Society box set released in 2008. In 2012 we performed two songs together at a Music BC fundraiser. We enjoyed the experience and the music we created together and agreed to collaborate together in the recording studio. I really appreciated their sensitivity to Haida concepts and musical traditions, but also their support of me as a relatively novice songwriter.

Your upcoming concert in White Rock at Blue Frog on the 29th of this month will be the fifth concert you will have performed your new CD publicly with HENDERSON & LAWRENCE. You have performed three other concerts with HENDERSON & LAWRENCE since the completion of the new CD “Grizzly Bear Town.” Was there any special audience reaction or feeling you and the musicians had on the night of that particular performance?

We held two concerts to launch the album and my book in Haida Gwaii, in the two Haida villages of Massett and Skidegate. For me, it was a home-coming of the music, and a completely satisfying experience to sing the songs on the land that was the inspiration for the songs. It was heart-warming to see smiles on the faces of the elders, but also the youth. We also held a launch event at the Cultch Theatre in Vancouver. The feedback from the audience was that they appreciated the optimism and the grounding nature of the music.

The majority of “Grizzly Bear Town” were recorded in a studio in the Lower Mainland. The exception being two selections which you recorded on location at a number of locations on Haida Gwai. One can only imagine what that experience must have been like. Can you share your feelings on how it must have felt to stand amongst that majestic beauty and record two of the selections on the new CD?

We recorded ‘Cedar Sister’ right among the ancient totem poles and house remains in the village of sGang Gwaay, a World Heritage Site, at the southern tip of Haida Gwaii. There really is no other fitting, or majestic setting for that song. We recorded ‘Canoe Song: Cycle of the Supernatural Beings’ in a primordial ravine on the path to the village to sGang Gwaay. It helped to evoke the drama of that song. We also recorded three young Haida women in my hometown of Skidegate contributing background vocals for ‘My Mind is Relieved Now’. It felt right to include the next generation of singers in the album.


TERRI LYNN will be joined in concert Sunday evening with her co-producers and musical collaboraters BILL HENDERSON and CLAIRE LAWRENCE both founding memoris of the rock group CHILLIWACK.

Claire Lawrence/Terri Lynn Wiliams Davidson/Bill Henderson


*In addition to copies of her new CD "Grizzly Bear Town" TERRI LYNN will also have copies of her recently published book "Out of Concealment;Haida Fremale Supernatural Beings"



Terri Lynn will have copies of her new book OUT OF CONCEALMENT for sale on Sunday evening.

The concept of this exhibition is to convey origin and oral traditions from the Haida Nation about female supernatural beings. Passed on from generation to generation through oral tradition, these are important narratives that illustrate the Nation’s laws, values, customs, rituals and relationships with earthly and metaphysical realms.


Order your tickets today for this very special evening of music @ White Rock's BLUE FROG STUDIOS.

(click here to order)




October 20, 2017

On October 25, Surrey will be hosting the #CityAwards2017 to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations who are dedicated to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence. Over the next week, we’ll be highlight some of the finalists to share their story.

Meet Wendy Hilbers & Ralph Go, Heart in the City Award Finalists.

Wendy Hilbers and Ralph Go played a leading role in the environmental restoration of Cedar Greens Park. They met each other in Cedar Greens Park, and contacted Urban Forestry in early 2015 to ask for support with stewardship activities. From 2015 to 2016, Wendy and Ralph volunteered regularly to remove the significant amount of Himalayan blackberry in the park. Because of their dedication to these removal efforts, planting events were hosted with nearby elementary school classes. The park has been planted with hundreds of native trees and shrubs, significantly increasing biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and tree canopy cover. Ralph and Wendy helped to re plant at all of those events, and they also continue to maintain the park free of litter as Binkeeper volunteers.

For a group of two to effectively transform the health of the park is a fantastic example of what neighbours can accomplish when they organize, and really speaks to them going “above and beyond”.

For more info on other finalists visit:




October 03, 2017

Robert Jadis

The Peace Arch Hospice Society on Thursday of this week will host a wonderful evening titled :The Art of Living." Local artist ROBERT JADIS will be one of two featured local artists who will be participating in the evening with a donation of an original piece of artwork that will be auctioned to support the efforts of our local hospice.

We caught up with ROBERT at his home studio yesterday.

ROBERT how would you describe your artwork?

I create what I refer to as two types of paintings, minor and major works. An art critic once described my work was "modern eclectic". My minor works are often reflections of images that strike me as being simply visually interesting. I do not use a camera, but rather study something in nature that I think would look nice on canvass. I develop a major work along these lines. I pick a subject, usually complex. I reduce the complexity on canvas to images that are plain and easy to comprehend. Every major work must tell a story.

An example was some time ago I did a major work on a man I greatly admire from many perspectives; Mr. Steve Nash. I captured his 13 year year tenure with the Phoenix Suns basketball franchise by portraying rock images of the Grand Canyon. My donated work was accepted for his 2016 induction and is displayed as a center piece in the exhibit honoring him at the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in Vancouver.

I understand you are a published cartoonist as well?

Yes, as a teenager, I attended the Nova Scotia College of Art in Halifax on a scholarship program. I wanted to be a political cartoonist. It was not to be. However for the next 60 years I published hundreds of cartoons from Ottawa, had my own comic strip, "Noseworthy" and have drawn horse racing cartoons for both thoroughbred and standard bred racing in Vancouver and Cloverdale....."Horsewit" and "Harness Humor". In all I have drawn cartoons under 6 or 7 titles, some of the cartoons were related to the music industry (I love playing the Celtic fiddle).

Tell me about the books you have written?

I have written 8 books, the most recent three are "Songs of a Saddle Tramp" (33 poems about the old West) "Nebula" (a children's book about a retired racehorse) and "Karoomba" a children's Nova Scotia bedtime story.

Now for something out of left field. I understand you learned ventriloquism. How did that come about?

My wife Trude and I were on an Alaskan cruise several years ago and a ventriloquist was a feature entertainer. She leaned over and said to me, "you could do that!". And that is what I did for the next year, learning the trade in front of a mirror. We built 6 puppets and entertained school children, retired residents and raised money for a number of charities. The puppets have now been permanently put to sleep and we have moved on to new challenges, but always with charity in mind.

I have read that you ran with the torch for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Yes, I was the Director of Public Relations for the Gloucester Lacrosse Association and had just finished running the Boston Marathon. I can only assume that the organizers in Montreal thought all of this was a fit! It was the thrill of a lifetime.

Tell me about your most recent work, the paintings that make up the "White Rock Beach Collection".

I wanted to do something very special for White Rock and did 7 seaside images of sailing boats, soaring birds and a beach umbrella. I would like to see the collection go to a nice venue in White Rock.

How long have you made your home in White Rock?

My career allowed me to work and live in Europe and across Canada. I had family here and at some point in retirement I had to make a decision. Return to my home town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia or move to White Rock. I have never regretted the decision we made.

Have you had a personal experience with the White Rock Hospice Society.

I have not been personally involved with the White Rock Hospice Society, however I lost a sister in Nova Scotia to Cancer at 54 years of age and our family has never forgotten the remarkable care hospice people provide. I have however volunteered with a number of organizations here: The Canadian Museum of Flight, The School for the Deaf in Surrey, The White Rock Food Bank and the Therapeutic Riding School in Aldergrove. Through music I have contributed financially as well.

Will you be present at the fund-raiser?

My wife and I will be present at the October 5th. fund-raiser. I was asked if I would contribute a painting for auction. I have done so and I believe it is one of my most powerful major works. It is called, "Hunter's Moon" and pays tribute the ethnic diversity of British Columbia through immigration settlement and their challenges. For a better description of this painting, go to my website

With the encouragement of the executive of the Society, I will be wearing my Western Stetson for the event. I spent several months in Arizona around horses and do a lot of painting of the Sonoran Desert which I have come to love.

Meet ROBERT JADIS Thursday evening.

.Visit ROBERT'S WEBSTIE - click here


Tickets available at:
Victory Memorial Park – 14831 – 28th Avenue, S. Surrey
Peace Arch Hospice Society – 15510 Russell Ave., White Rock
PAHS Thrift Store – 15562 – 24th Avenue, S. Surrey
Romancing the Home – 1637 – 128th Street, S. Surrey
Or you can purchase your tickets by calling 604-536-6522 or visit:
We hope to see you there!


September 08, 2017

Parkinson's Disease Is Not An Old Persons Disease

Hilary Vanderliek

HILARY VANDERLICK will be the guest of honour at this year's White Rock Parkinson's SUPERWALK. This week we had the chance to talk to Hilary about her personal journey since being diagnosed with PARKINSONS DISEASE as well as to preview this Sunday's walk.

WIKIPEDIA Definition of Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system.[1] The symptoms generally come on slowly over time.[1] Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking.[1] Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur.[2] Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease.[2]Depression and anxiety are also common occurring in more than a third of people with PD.[2] Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems.[1][2] The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome".[4][8]
The cause of Parkinson's disease is generally unknown, but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors.[4] Those with a family member affected are more likely to get the disease themselves.[4] There is also an increased risk in people exposed to certain pesticides and among those who have had prior head injuries, while there is a reduced risk in tobacco smokers and those who drink coffee or tea.[4][9] The motor symptoms of the disease result from the death of cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain.[1] This results in not enough dopamine in these areas.[1] The reason for this cell death is poorly understood, but involves the build-up of proteins into Lewy bodies in the neurons.[4] Diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as neuroimaging being used to rule out other diseases.[1]
There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, with treatment directed at improving symptoms.[1][10] Initial treatment is typically with the antiparkinson medication levodopa (L-DOPA), with dopamine agonists being used once levodopa becomes less effective

Hilary thank you for taking the time to share your story with us today.


When were you diagnosed? How old are you now?

My symptoms began when I was 12 years old but I wasn't diagnosed until age 24. I am now 26 years old.

What was your reaction when you were originally diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

I had been seeing a specialist at the Parkinson's research centre since age 18, so by the time of my diagnosis we were expecting it to be Parkinson's. It still wasn't easy to hear, and two weeks after my diagnosis I began having Parkinson related panic attacks.

Through my own personal ignorance I was under the wrong impression Parkinson's is a disease that only affects elderly people. Do you find this to be the initial reaction when you tell people you have Parkinson's?

I was also under the impression that PWP (people with Parkinson's) were in their 60s or older, until my symptoms started to present themselves. Almost everyone I meet is shocked that i have PD (Parkinson's disease). I feel it is important to use my situation to spread awareness of young onset Parkinson's disease.


Are there specific changes in your life you have had to implement since your diagnosis.

Changed a medication and was also put on a three year wait list for deep brain stimulation surgery upon diagnosis.


How has Parkinson's affected your day to day life?
Since I've had Parkinson symptoms since age 12, having a movement disorder is all I really know. I haven't gone through an unexpected physical change. Though compared to someone without PD my day would be quite different. I take medication every 3 hours (4 hours during the night), my physical state can be severely affected by nutrition, stress, sleep and exercise.

Is there any form of support group here on the Seemiahmoo Peninsula that connects this afflicted with the disease?
I discovered the Parkinson's society BC after my diagnosis. They do offer free short term counseling however in Vancouver. They have an online support group the first Tuesday of each month around 7pm (émail for information ). And I don't know if a specific group, but the PSBC (Parkinson society BC )website has a full list of local support groups

Where do you draw your strength and positive attitude from as you proceed with dealing with having Parkinson's?

Thoughts are life, if you dont have control of your thoughts, you lose control of your emotions and actions. Thoughts are powerful, so not allowing hatred or negativity in will change your perspective and you can be joyful even in unfortunate circumstances.
Learning to live while loving and focusing on God has changed my life completely. My pastor has said to love yourself, and endlessly tell yourself “you can do it” and trust yourself. Then, even if you get exhausted, you will rise again. Even if you are broken, you will stand up tall again.


Is there a time curve that generally fits patients with the disease or does the onset of the disease manifest itself differently with every person?

Every PWP is so different that it is difficult to compare and predict symptoms and treatments.


This Sunday White Rock will host its second annual Parkinsons Superwalk. Will you be in attendance at the walk.

Absolutely, this year I have the honour of sharing my story and how the Parkinson’s Society has helped me.

You have the opportunity to share your thoughts with our readers who may have a loved one that has been recently diagnosed with Parkinsons. Do you have any words of inspiration or encouragement?

It is so easy to close yourself off especially with what you’re going through - I did the same thing. Remember that everyone has something that is difficult for them to deal with, God would never give you anything you can’t handle. Make your situation meaningful and share your story, you can change someones life. Continue to talk about what you’re going through it is so healthy. If you don’t have someone near you, join a support group or the online group.


I understand you have created a website to raise funds for People With Parkinsons. Tell us about that.

Basically I wanted to try to give back and help others that have been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. I am currently selling t- shirts (see below) to raise funds

To learn more about Hillary's website and intiative (click here)

You can also read Hillary's blog about her journey (click here)

Come outt and walk with your friends and neighbours. Arrive early to register for the walk. YOu still have enough time to canvas the neighbourhood for sponsorships of your walk Sunday.

.David Chesney



August 29, 2017

Farmer's Market Give Back

l-r Front Row - Marie Claire Rucquoy market director/Kirsten Stewart & Savannah Hatch scholarship recipients

Back Row - Helen Father Market Manager/Mark Antunes market director/David Hawkins past market director

The White Rock Farmers Market in 2010 came to the conclusion the way to honour the memory of one of the early supporters of the market would be to create a living dedication to her. The MARY HARTWELL scholarship since formation has dedicated over $15,000.00 to community student in order to suppor their continued education in the fields of nutrition, healthy living and sustainable agriculture.

This years winners SAVANNNAY HATCH and KIRSTEN JOHNSON were both in attendance Sunday at the market for the ceremony honouring this years two rtecipients of scholarships.

SAVANNAH SYPH and KIRSTEN JOHNSON were both in attendance to recieve theiir scholarships which were presented by DAviD husband of the late MARY HARTWELL. It surely was an emotinal day for all involved.

The White Rock Farmer's Market has appropriately been called "The Heartbeat Of Our Community," The staff of the market show their heart and love for the market every Sunday May - October in the Miramar Plaze in uptown White Rock.


Mary​ ​Hartwell​ ​Scholarship​ ​Essay

Savannah Hatch

​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​This​ ​September,​ ​I​ ​will​ ​commence​ ​a​ ​B.A.​ ​at​ ​Vancouver​ ​Island​ ​University,​ ​majoring​ ​in psychology.​ ​My​ ​aspiration​ ​for​ ​several​ ​years​ ​has​ ​been​ ​to​ ​become​ ​a​ ​counsellor,​ ​as​ ​I​ ​believe helping​ ​even​ ​a​ ​single​ ​individual​ ​to​ ​attain​ ​mental​ ​stability​ ​creates​ ​a​ ​snowball​ ​effect​ ​that​ ​ultimately benefits​ ​society​ ​at​ ​large.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​a​ ​beautiful​ ​and​ ​remarkable​ ​thing​ ​how​ ​impactful​ ​kindness​ ​can​ ​be. Even​ ​a​ ​small​ ​act​ ​of​ ​kindness​ ​often​ ​leads​ ​to​ ​reciprocation,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​like​ ​to​ ​believe​ ​that​ ​such​ ​an​ ​act also​ ​gradually​ ​contributes​ ​to​ ​an​ ​increase​ ​in​ ​decorum,​ ​compassion,​ ​and​ ​tolerance​ ​in​ ​our​ ​society.

Though​ ​my​ ​parents​ ​and​ ​I​ ​lived​ ​for​ ​a​ ​few​ ​years​ ​in​ ​Langley,​ ​I​ ​have​ ​spent​ ​the​ ​majority​ ​of​ ​my​ ​life​ ​in White​ ​Rock.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​born​ ​in​ ​North​ ​Vancouver,​ ​but​ ​as​ ​I​ ​approached​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​six,​ ​my​ ​mama​ ​was resolved​ ​that​ ​I​ ​should​ ​attend​ ​a​ ​fine​ ​arts​ ​elementary​ ​school,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​is​ ​partly​ ​why​ ​we​ ​moved​ ​to White​ ​Rock.​ ​From​ ​grade​ ​one​ ​to​ ​seven,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​taught​ ​at​ ​White​ ​Rock​ ​Elementary.​ ​As​ ​a​ ​matter​ ​of interest,​ ​my​ ​paternal​ ​grandfather​ ​was​ ​educated​ ​at​ ​the​ ​high​ ​school​ ​that​ ​once​ ​stood​ ​on​ ​the​ ​same grounds.

15​ ​July​ ​2017

I​ ​am​ ​familiar​ ​with​ ​the​ ​excellent​ ​service​ ​provided​ ​​ ​to​ ​the​ ​community​ ​by​ ​the​ ​White​ ​Rock​ ​Farmers Market​ ​since​ ​our​ ​family​ ​believes​ ​in​ ​shopping​ ​locally​ ​and​ ​supporting​ ​organic,​ ​non-GMO​ ​farming. I​ ​was​ ​brought​ ​up​ ​valuing​ ​the​ ​importance​ ​of​ ​a​ ​healthy​ ​diet.

Since​ ​I​ ​was​ ​thirteen,​ ​I​ ​have​ ​found​ ​psychology​ ​fascinating​.​​ ​In​ ​particular,​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been​ ​interested​ ​in the​​ ​​introversion​ ​and​ ​extroversion​ ​spectrum,​ ​cognitive​ ​development,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​hypnagogia​ ​and sleep​ ​paralysis,​ ​empathy,​ ​and​ ​HSPs​ ​(highly​ ​sensitive​ ​persons.)

The​ ​notion​ ​of​ ​helping​ ​people​ ​discover​ ​and​ ​work​ ​towards​ ​attaining​ ​their​ ​full​ ​potential​ ​greatly appeals​ ​to​ ​me,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​providing​ ​tools​ ​to​ ​help​ ​people​ ​cope​ ​with​ ​anguish.​ ​This​ ​world​ ​is​ ​difficult to​ ​live​ ​in,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​your​ ​circumstance,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​help​ ​my​ ​clients​ ​lead​ ​easier,​ ​more enjoyable,​ ​and​ ​fulfilling​ ​lives.

I’m​ ​also​ ​drawn​ ​to​ ​specializing​ ​in​ ​anxiety​ ​disorders.​ ​As​ ​someone​ ​who​ ​has​ ​struggled​ ​with​ ​intense anxiety​ ​since​ ​I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​child,​ ​and​ ​has​ ​been​ ​diagnosed​ ​with​ ​an​ ​anxiety​ ​disorder,​ ​I​ ​think​ ​this​ ​gives me​ ​a​ ​great​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​empathize​ ​with​ ​future​ ​clients​—​to​ ​know​ ​that​ ​you’re​ ​not​ ​alone​ ​is powerful.

It​ ​is​ ​also​ ​of​ ​interest​ ​to​ ​note​ ​that​ ​there​ ​are​ ​more​ ​and​ ​more​ ​studies​ ​being​ ​made​ ​which​ ​highlight​ ​the relationship​ ​between​ ​diet​ ​and​ ​mental​ ​health.​ ​In​ ​a​ ​2010​ ​study,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​discovered​ ​participants​ ​that consumed​ ​more​ ​processed​ ​food​ ​were​ ​at​ ​greater​ ​risk​ ​for​ ​depression,​ ​whereas​ ​participants​ ​that consumed​ ​a​ ​more​ ​‘whole​ ​food’​ ​diet​ ​were​ ​less​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​be​ ​depressed.​ ​(1)

In​ ​2015,​ ​The​ ​Globe​ ​and​ ​Mail​ ​published​ ​an​ ​article​ ​on​ ​the​ ​correlation​ ​between​ ​diet​ ​and​ ​mental health,​ ​written​ ​by​ ​Canadian​ ​dietitian​ ​Leslie​ ​Beck.​ ​In​ ​it,​ ​Beck​ ​shares​ ​that​ ​in​ ​a​ ​2014​ ​paper, “Australian​ ​scientists​ ​said​ ​the​ ​transition​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​whole-foods​ ​diet​ ​our​ ​grandparents​ ​ate​ ​– one​ ​based​ ​on​ ​nutrient-rich​ ​vegetables,​ ​fruits​ ​and​ ​whole​ ​grains​ ​–​ ​to​ ​a​ ​steady​ ​fare​ ​of​ ​nutrient-poor, high-calorie​ ​and​ ​highly​ ​processed​ ​foods​ ​has​ ​been​ ​associated​ ​with​ ​increases​ ​in​ ​depression​ ​and other​ ​mental​ ​disorders.”​ ​(2)

I​ ​believe​ ​it​ ​is​ ​imperative,​ ​therefore,​ ​that​ ​we​ ​encourage​ ​our​ ​community​ ​to​ ​patronize​ ​such initiatives​ ​as​ ​the​ ​White​ ​Rock​ ​Farmers’​ ​Market,​ ​not​ ​only​ ​to​ ​support​ ​local​ ​agriculture​ ​and​ ​vendors but​ ​also​ ​to​ ​improve​ ​our​ ​physical​ ​and​ ​mental​ ​well-being,​ ​through​ ​the​ ​purchase​ ​and​ ​consumption of​ ​food​ ​that​ ​falls​ ​under​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​foods​ ​criteria.

Thank-you​ ​for​ ​taking​ ​the​ ​time​ ​to​ ​consider​ ​my​ ​application.



Mary​ ​Hartwell​ ​Scholarship​ ​Essay

Kirsten Johnson

            I feel honoured to be applying for the 2017 Mary Hartwell Scholarship within my beautiful community of White Rock British Columbia. I learned about this scholarship while attending the Sunday White Rock Farmers’ Market of which I am a huge supporter of. Because of my passion for sustainable gardening, my enrollment in the Professional Linking Elementary Teaching Program at Simon Fraser University and my dreams of educating future students about sustainable food systems, I feel I am a good candidate for this scholarship.
            Because my biggest goal as a future educator is to teach my students about sustainable food growth, my courses fits in with having a career that includes health, nutrition and organic, sustainable farming. Although my career will be as an elementary school teacher, I am a firm believer that the future of the world including food sustainability is in the hands of the younger generations. As an adult, I have become passionate about the food we eat and optimistic that though education we can recover some of degradation that has taken place.  Looking back at my school experience, I wish there was an integration of food systems throughout the curriculum and specifically a focus on growing food in a community, school setting.

            I am a huge supporter of the White Rock Farmers’ Market, I go almost every Sunday and I use this space to support sustainable farming methods while also connecting with my community. The market gives me the opportunity to reduce my carbon footprint by supporting local farmers who dedicate their lives to produce sustainable foods.  Ultimately, I`m beyond grateful for the farmer’s market because it gives me and others a sense of belonging and the chance to learn from local farmers and community members. The market has gifted me with a connection to food, and this connection has opened my consciousness and has led to a passion for sustainability. In my opinion, the White Rock Famers market symbolizes the true gift of food—life and community.

            My first connection I ever had with food was in an old job where I helped in a community garden; this experience gave birth to my passion for sustainable gardening.  My connection with food is unwavering I`m still in awe of the magical seed, how it grows and the entire process of growing. For the past 3 years, I have been experimenting with a food garden in my back yard—I have successfully grown cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, spinach, lettuces, edible flowers and much more (all GEO and pesticide free). I continue to try and learn as much as I can about organic farming practices from community members. I have been trying to experiment and learn more about companion planting, seed saving and sharing. From my minimal experience with home gardening, during the past year I decided to incorporate gardening into my job. Last year, I worked as a Special Education Assistant where I started an environment club at the elementary school that I work at. I`m proud to say that the environment club successfully started a small vegetable garden in addition to hosting a spring seedling sale which helped to raise money for the club. During this experience, I saw how beneficial this was for all students. I saw that the students were amazed at what tiny seeds could do and proud of their accomplishments. Growing food was inclusive to all the students I worked with regardless of their mental health, or academic status. This project gave everyone in the club a safe learning space where each and every member could attain a sense of belonging and a connection to food that they grew. I saw that while caring for their plants students who usually suffer from anxiety were calm, I noticed that students who usually struggle with social connections had to work together to build the gardens. Overall, this project was highly successful and is something I would like to bring into my future work as a classroom educator.

            My passion for sustainable food systems and my goals of integrating food growing into my future classroom make me a valid candidate for the Mary Hartwell Scholarship. I believe food gardens in educational settings have the potential to reintroduce the traditional knowledge of how to grow food while also encouraging students to have a connection to where their food comes from.





August 09, 2017


"In Concert - Rockin' The Rock!"


One time White Rock resident and high school grad ALLIE SHELDAN returns to White Rock tomorrow evening (Thursday) for a big night of music, part of The Concerts At The Pier.

Q- Allie give our readers a Cole's Notes version of your early music career here in White Rock.

I started playing bass and singing in bands when i was about 13 - most notably Rio Bent, which was a punk rock band with my brother Kurtis Sheldan and, another White Rock local, Dan Stenning. We got our start playing things like the EMS fringe festival, In Harmony music Festival and pretty much any youth centre that would have us!

Q - You have now debuted your new band LITTLE DESTROYER. Who are the other two members of LITTLE DESTROYER and how did the three of you come together?

Although no longer in a bad with MY brother i am in a band with brothers; Chris and Michael Weiss are the other two members of LITTLE DESTROYER. We met about 8 years ago through the Vancouver music scene and played for a few years together in a different band. Just over two years ago we decided to focus our energy on a new project-which would go on to become LD.

Q - You have released new music to coincide with the launching of LITTLE DESTROYER. What is involved in the writing of the music of LITTLE DESTROYER?

There's no one formula; sometimes we demo ideas the three of us and bring them to a producer to finish off, other times it's completely collaborative, from start to finish with a co-writer and producer. Sometimes the idea is spawned from a beat or a bass line one of the boys has created, other times it's born from a set of my lyrics or a melody I have been (most often) work-shopping in the car (i write a lot while driving!)


Q - Where and with him producing / mixing did you record your new songs?

I was living in LA when we decided to start writing for LD, so the boys, at first, were coming down to LA pretty often. Thats where it all started, but as the year progressed there were times i was back in Vancouver and we'd do sessions up here. We've just begun the next round of writing and it's the same idea, we're back and forth between Vancouver and LA, depending on who we're working with.


Q -Technology has had a huge impact on how new/young bands promote their music and shows. With so many different platforms to cover off how do you and your band mates get the word out on your musical activities?

Honestly it's overwhelming. There are so many avenues, and it's ever-evolving. The three of us split the work of promoting on the regular platforms (instagram, FB, Twitter, Youtube etc) but there is a never ending amount of work when it comes to expanding into all of the alternative corners of the internet. It can be discouraging, because although we have the opportunity to be exposed through an infinite number of channels we are also ourselves exposed to so much more. You can pretty easily end up in a negative feedback loop if you don't keep perspective on the whole thing. At some point you have to peel yourself away from social media and get back to what matters most, writing the best music you can and putting on the best performance you can.


Q - If you could choose your three favourite bands that you would like to tour with, who would they be?

Its always hard to answer questions about favourite bands - because we have so many! But keeping in mind the touring aspect of the question, i'd say: NIN, Die Antwoord & Rihanna


Q - You will be returning to White Rock this Thursday evening as part of the Concerts At The Pier. Is there any added pressure of a hometown show? Do you expect to see a lot of your former friends and classmates out at the show?

Haha, hmm I am not sure how many former friends/classmates i'll be seeing! Its always fun to share what I'm doing with people from my past but equally so with new people. And in terms of pressure - mostly the pressure is on my parents and family to come, haha.


Q - How did you come to name your new band LITTLE DESTROYER?

During a very stressful week where our management had requested we write two new songs and come up with a name within about 5 days! We made list after list of possibilities and after killing ourselves trying to be creative (and unique, i.e. Not already in use) ended up using a title of one of our songs. It figures - life is like that.


Q - In the past year or so you have lensed new videos. Tell us a bit about the new videos.

We have three videos out to date (with two more on their way!) - we really wanted each video to capture the energy and vibe of the song as much as possible. For example, the first video we released was for our heaviest song BAD CELL. The lyrics and music of the song are very intense, a hyper personal stomp through health issues and a failing body, disillusionment with being a woman in the face of a difficult and often sexist society and ultimately the question of: why does evil prevail so often. I think we did a pretty good job of creating a video that feels as chaotic and intense as the song is! And the other videos follow suit, but in their own regard - the dreamy and eerie Rattlesnakes (made with fellow white rock musician and all around talented person Connor McGuire) and the cheeky and colourful Savages (directed by Nathan Boey in conjunction with Much Music & MuchFact)

Q - Your website indicates you have a show in the Interior this month in ROCK CREEK then in September you are back for a show in Vancouver. Has the band been busy touring since releasing your new music?

Yes - this past year has been crazy! We've been playing like wild: festivals, local shows, touring. Our favourite shows so far this year have been opening for Mother Mother at the Commodore for two nights and an incredible show at Sled Island in Calgary. It's been great, we're really getting the live show dialed, so this Thursday should be another one for the books!


Q - What are your fondest memories of growing up in White Rock?

Honestly all the shows i played growing up! There was such a good community around arts and music, i feel really lucky.


Q - There is a big buzz in the music industry regarding LITTLE DESTROYER. Do you feel any added pressure?

Im actually happy to hear that! Haha, you know, we so often feel like we are just barely keeping our heads above water, and it can be easy to doubt yourself, so it t never gets old hearing that people are interested in what we're doing, im happy there is a buzz! If that means there's added pressure, i'll take it. At the end or the day, i know we can deliver.


Q - How would you best describe the show you and your band mates will be debuting Thursday night at The Concerts At The Pier?

High intensity, full throttle, completely vulnerable and honest and as giving of ourselves and our energy as is possible!





July 26, 2017

Joy Davies

White Rock resident JOY DAVIES writes a letter home from Georgetown Guyana where she is volounteering with CUSO

(click here to learn more about CUSO)


For me…I am doing very well here in Georgetown Guyana.  I have not been this strong, happy, confident and without stress/anxiety for many years.

  I took a membership  out at the Marriott  gym.. Really the only gym in town.  The pool is pretty good.  Big bucks though.  $114 USD/month..  Ouch.  But.. well worth it and it came with unforeseen benefits.  This past Friday night for instance.  It was pouring rain so I didn’t swim right after work as I normally do.  I decided to have a coffee and light snack  (chips and sour cream dip.  Really bland and will not order it again.  Zero flavour on the very long chips and I don’t know what they were made of.  No taste, not even any salt or pepper.  Good coffee though)  in the bar and used their internet to write emails to a couple of Ambassadors I  met on Canada Day at the Canadian High Commissioner’s home .( courtesy follow-ups emails hoping I will be put on the “A” list of country function invitations. I have never been a social butterfly but down here there simply is nothing else to do and , besides, the food they serve at these events is the best and I could not get in Guyana any other way. ).   Just before I was going to go to the gym I saw one of them leave with another gentleman so I figured…hmmm... there must be an event going on in the hotel.  Since I looked presentable, wearing my only business suit, I decided to put my packsack in the gym locker and check out the event.  I had to be very “bold” and crash the event.  I have NEVER done that in my life!!! The way I looked at it is…, IF I was questioned I was pretty sure that my Ambassador “acquaintances” ( Russia and Argentine)  would vouch for me and that my business card would verify who I am.  I do want to make this time here in South America as rich as I can in experiences.  I need to be a good “model” for my grand children.  Taking safe risks which might only cause a little embarrassment if wrong, is OK.

And, it was the right thing for me to do. I got to chat with my 2 ambassador “acquaintances”.  The event I “crashed” was the “changing of the guard” of the Brazilian military here in Guyana.  I know nothing of military so don’t expect much information and don’t ask me any questions. I won’t have answers. LOL.   After the ceremony there was a reception.  In the hallway I ran into a new colleague and his wife. I was just in a meeting with him on Tuesday.  That was really good and I am pretty sure a friendship will grow there.  Then I met the new Brazilian what ever his title is… who spent 5 months in training in Canada.  We had a lovely conversation. He appeared to be a very warm family man who loved his time in Canada and will go back at some time.  He has my card and said he would like to keep in touch due to the work I am doing with youth (my role here is changing).  I don’t think I would have does this before.  But I am in a strong, confident and happy place in life where no one is “attacking me” and I have no anxiety.  AND I am feeling really, really bold. I am pretty sure some good astrology is going on in my life right now. LOL
 Whatever… I will take it.

Life here: 
Definitely 3rd world obvious by the open sewers, inability to put one’s toe in the ocean because of it, poor conditions of all in-frastructure and the majority of homes.  That being said there is a slow change as some homes and commercial buildings are going up. Possibly due to change in government 2 years ago which happened without any violence or loss of life for the first time! Or maybe future economic activity due to recent Exxon find of natural gas and oil.  I have no idea for the reasons ( although I do hear rumours) but there is a middle class developing.
Shopping:  Pretty basic and unfortunately a huge amount of very poor quality items from China.  i.e.  I bought a small umbrella to carry in my packsack.  The first time I used it – which was the day after I bought it – it broke.  Same with the vegetable peeler I bought.  Good thing I had a half decent paring knife to use so I could finish making dinner.  There are a couple of shopping malls that are pretty modern but selection of product/items is pretty small.  I don’t see that as necessarily bad as I think we have too much selection at home which  has become very confusing and pricy.
Food:  Average fair but – bonus – No GMO’s! Very fresh veggies.  Tomatoes and cucumbers taste like the ones I remember from childhood.  Very little beef but lots of chicken.  I shop at outdoor markets where the veggies one buys were picked that morning and the chicken killed around the same time.  Definitely good flavour and much cheaper than in lower mainland BC.  There is also a great little Health Food store here that is very reasonable.  She carries the same brands as at home.  I can get my hemp hearts, coconut sugar, coconut oil ( coconuts grown without pesticides is very common here), etc.  There is also a good quality butcher shop of high stands that I get meat and fish from. Yesterday the taxi driver I use took me to a great little grocery called V.I.P Premium Foods.  Great store with brands I know AND fresh mushrooms, French roast coffee beans ( & Tim Horton’s for those who like it) , heavy cream so I can make my favourite pasta sauce and much more.  I felt like I hit gold.  I will be going back and I did let my colleagues know.  A bit pricy but one understands why. Eating out is not exciting so I cook and eat at home. Bonus- no MacDonalds!  I have seen 1 Dairy Queen at “Giftland Mall”, 1 US franchise that I don’t recognize and that is it for fast food.  There are a couple of Chinese restaurants an Italian Restaurant that I may try in the future with company, but that is it – other than the 3 hotels – for non- local fair.
Transportation: I use taxi’s everywhere I go.  Driver’s are crazy here and backseat seatbelts are not a requirement although front seat seatbelts are.  I have found a driver who drives very safely and has seatbelts in the back so I use him all the time.  The cost for a taxi in town is $1.83 – $2.44 Canadian ($300 - $500 Gyd).  Cars are left hand drive – opposite to us- (that is left hand drive right? )  I have seen a couple of street lights and a couple of flashing street lights.  Drivers are not normally courteous but you do find a courteous one on occassion.  The locals take “shuttle buses” at a cost of $60 GDY ($.37 Cdn) but I will never step foot on one. Waaay to dangerous for this timid soul who has been involved in enough car accidents in my lifetime.  There are no sidewalks so walking is risky, which is why I don’t walk much.  I use the treadmill at the Marriott Gym to get my kilometers in regularly.  Of course, locals walk lots.  They are used to avoiding the vehicles which come within a hair’s breadth of their tiny bodies.   Yes, I with continue call the same driver as who drives safely so I feel safe and comfortable.

People: They are so very lovely and hospitable.
Climate.  I don’t think I will ever get used to the humidity. Not as hot as I anticipated right now but that will change in August. It is “rainy season” right now which is kind of like Toronto in the summertime. Bursts of heavy pouring rain for a few minutes up to a couple of hours then back to  humid heat.   I am seldom outside unless it is to get to and from a taxi or I am at the Marriott Poolside or in it’s water. 
My Accommodation:  Good now that I have moved into an a/c apt, which I may be sharing in September when a new Cuso volunteer arrives. It is a fairly modern 2 bedroom (by Guyana standards and northern Alberta according to one of my Cuso colleagues).  Hot and cold water… great shower pressure… OK fridge and gas stove… bought my own pot and pan because I will not use aluminum or scratched non-stick cook wear.  Second floor apartment with good security and a fence all around it ( all homes have high fences).
Yesterday – Saturday- I had a lovely visit a Cuso colleague in her area which is about 35 minutes East from the city living in an area called NARI.   She has a  PHD in agriculture and she is working with farmers and the ministry of agriculture.  She is from Peace River Alberta and is of Pakistani descent so visibly fits in with everyone where she lives and works as most of the population is South Asian.  That being said, as soon as she speaks everyone knows she is not from Guyana.   Her accommodation has no a/c and I don’t know how she copes.  Think about it… a local Guyanese moves to Alberta in the winter time. There is no heat in their apartment and someone tells them “oh, you’ll get used to it”.  Hmmm.  Nope.  I did 1 ½ weeks without A/C in the first place I shared with another volunteer.  I could never get used to it.  Obviously some do but that person is not me.
Work: I have been on the job 10 days now and just getting caught up on the activities of the ladies who were here before me.  Tomorrow I will start on my role which looks like it may expand into developing a Youth Entrepreneurial Program, not just a Women’s Entrepreneurial Program.  The people I am working with are really great.  I am very hopeful that my being here a year will make a positive difference for them and their objectives. Those of you who know me well with understand why I am promoting this video.  Those who don’t know me well will get a better understanding of where I come from.  I found it going through my predecessor emails ( boy did she have a lot of work to do!) Enjoy this all Canadian message:

Winding up for tonight:
 Overall, I have no complaints.   I haven’t figured out how to use the cell phone system yet  and would not get a land line due to cost, but I do know calling over seas is about $10 USD/minute so don’t expect to hear from me unless it is an emergency. I don’t know what it is for incoming calls so Michelle and I talk on WhatsApp, which is a free download on cell phones. The video on this app works pretty well so I still get to virtually “tickle” my grand kids, Dominic and Isabella.
 Time is going by quickly and I am hopeful that will continue.  I have no idea what I will do with my holiday time that will come in 6 months.  I get 3 weeks with Cuso, 19 national days of holiday on top and a week between Christmas and New Year.  Maybe I will take a plane to Jamaica where other Cuso volunteers are doing similar work to me.  There is real camaraderie in the Cuso organization that I have not experienced before. I love it. 
 I do hope my family will come down for Xmas so we can meet in Barbados.  There is really nowhere in Guyana I would bring the kids.  The outdoor type of adventurer has lots to see but there is not to much for little kids to enjoy. The ocean on this coast is completely polluted and there are no ocean beaches.   The Marriott pool backs onto the ocean and while swimming I will get whiffs of the raw sewerage that is dumped right behind the hotel.  Sad. Sandy beaches of Barbados will be welcomed by us all.  
 I do sleep well and I have been completely free of my plant medicine  since May 5.  Amazing. Still no fibromyalgia symptoms.  Did the plant cure it?  I will never know. That being said, I do use Niacidamide and Teva-Tryptiohan for sleep, which works well for me.
I hope this finds you well and happy.  Keep in touch. Write when you can.



June 13, 2017

Meet the man who started the TOUR DE WHITE ROCK 38 years ago



Did you have a bicycle as a child? What are your memories of your first bicycle?

I did not have a bike as a child. We were very poor dirt farmers and a bike was out of the question. We were given an old Schwinn to us by the owners of the property we were living on and working the fields. I guess you could say we were "Share Croppers". Back in those days most or all of the roads were gravel and the tires were constantly in need of repair. The tubes in those tires had so many patches from excessive use by me and all of my siblings. Keeping in mind there was only one bike for at least 5 of us that were able to ride that bike. Sometimes there would be a minimum of three of us on the bike at once. We rode that bike into the ground even when the tires were no longer usable. We rode it on the bare rims. What a childhood?

In the past were you an active cyclist living here on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

Actually, my first 3 years living in White Rock, I did not own a car. Biking and taking the Pacific Stage line bus was the only mode of transportation I had. I learned very early that the hills of White Rock were something that you didn’t take lightly. I enjoyed the challenge and still do.
In the early 70’s a group of us would ride into Vancouver for the day. We would leave White Rock very early in the morning (3:30-4:00am). There wasn’t nearly as much traffic as there is now. We could ride all the way down King George Highway (That is what it used to be called), over the Pattullo Bridge, through New Westminster (down Canada Way), get onto 12th Street all they way into and through Vancouver, stopping for a break and maybe a beer and on through Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge and on to Light House park. We were young and had tons of energy to burn . After a great lunch we turned around and returned to White Rock, exhausted but thrilled at the experience. It was a fun ride and a great way to get to know the Lower Mainland. We mad this trip on average about once a month. Biking is such a great way to meet people.

Let's start at the beginning of your history with creating the Tour De White Rock. The year was 1978 when you decided to organize the TOUR DE WHITE ROCK.  What made you want to stage a race?  

Between 1976-1978 at the time I was employed in the airline industry at  Canadian Pacific Airlines  I was a computer operator.  In my working there I traveled a lot and I went to countries that had bike paths, the culture was very bike friendly in the parts of Europe I visited.  After seeing a number of road races in Europe it gave me the idea that it could be possible here.   

I assume when you had the idea of the race you approached the city.  What was their response?

   I went to City Hall in 1978, I wanted to get it put on the agenda for an upcoming council meeting.  I spoke to a lady at the counter up at city hall and she told me she didn’t think there was any interest so she wouldn’t even help me get on the agenda for council. .  The lady I spoke to at the desk said she didn’t think the city would be interested.  I left and came back a year later to see if I could be a presenter. I then went to speak with Doug Stone and Rita Clarkson in the Parks and Recreation department for the city of White Rock. .  Doug wanted more information about the race and what would be involved from the city’s point of view.  I gave them my idea of the race, my original idea was to start the race in Crescent Beach, that didn’t go over well with Doug Stone, he thought it should be all in White Rock.  It had to be kept in the White Rock boundary.  Parks and recreation then got the approval from the city,  but said they would  not be able to give any money.  I think we had one RCMP cruiser and a city van that took coffee around to all the 9 volunteers.   

Was the first year the same format 3 days?

Poster for original race 1980

No it was just the road race in the beginning, the second year we had the race we tried to incorporate community things like kids tricycle races.  It was designed to be a community event.   If my memory serves me correct we had a seniors race one of the first 2 years.

 What was the prize money the first year?

I can’t even remember if we had any prize money. Henry’s bicycle shop ( HENRY VICKERS) in White Rock was a big supporter, the first sponsor.  He was the biggest supporter of the race from its inception.  I still meet with Henry every year and we kick around some ideas  and memories about the race.

 How man riders participated in the first year?

 There were a total of 40 plus riders men and women combined.  The first  race was on Labour Day weekend  (September 04) and it was cold and rainy. Second year the weather was a lot better.  More riders turned up the second year.  After the second year it started to spread like wildfire.

 Do you happen to remember the winner(s).

 Paul Tetamontia he was from Vancouver.  He may have won a couple more, Tour De White Rocks.  I believe he still lives in the Vancouver area.

Was the road course the same as it is today?

It started at Keel and Marine went east to Stayte, north on Stayte  then West on  Columbia avenue  to Victoria to Vidal back to Marine up to 140th turned right went to Malabar turned left on Malabar all the way down to 136 left on 136 down again to Marine drive then back to East Beach and Keel street.

How many people helped you put on the first couple of races?

My wife who was 8 months pregnant the first race year and 7 volounteers. Lynn and Addie Baker, Grant Carrier, John McDonald, Kathy Jackson, Sam and Flora Young

Tell me about the couple that volounteered for the original race and are still actively volunteering for the race?

The oldest Volunteers for the Tour De White Rock are Sam and Flora Young. I love them with all my heart. The City of White Rock should be proud of them, they have been there from the start. They have been there with me all the way, even when I was not involved with the race.

Have you continued to volunteer for the Tour De White Rock over the years?
I have over the years volunteered when I am able to. I love this race and the atmosphere it brings to the city. I wish that the City would consider an earlier start time so that more in the community could get involved in the race itself. I have divided my time between volunteering for the International Ladies Fast Ball Tournament at SoftBall City as well as the International Worlds Tournament. Volunteers are a vital part of any activity large or small.

The Tour dE WHITE ROCK celebrates it's 38th anniversary this year. How are we doing?

I think they have done a really good job of executing the race.  I think they need to do more to involve the community because that was the original idea.  If I could wave a magic wand and put you back in charge of the race, what is the first thing you would do? The first thing I would do is to get the community involved.  In order for this to be a success you need to engage the business community.  This is a really fun event.  Make it easier for people to come and see it.  Somehow the business community needs to embrace the race and the residents of White Rock should be very proud of the Tour De White Rock.

Still volounteering l-r Alfred Anderson/Wendy McGillvery/Tim Atkins

Join in the fun this year of the 38th Annual TOUR DE WHITE ROCK July 15 & 16th.



May 31, 2017

Meet HARLEY CHAPPEL the newly elected leader of the Semiahmoo First Nations. CHAPPELL recently sat down for a talk and lunch overlooking Semiahmoo Bay.


Harley let's start at the beginning of your life on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

I grew up on the Semiahmoo lands. When I was in my teens I became very involved with playing lacrosse. I spent a lot of time playing lacrosse in North Vancouver. Through playing lacrosse I met a number of players from the Chilliwack area. I eventually moved to Chilliwack when I was 18 years old. I have lived in Chilliwack since that time, though now we are making plans for the move back to Semiahmoo. I have four girls, my oldest is 18 and the youngest is three years old. My kids are Brandyn 18yrs, Jace 11yrs, Thales 8yrs and Kimora 3yrs. My wife's name is Racheal.  Where I currently live in Chilliwack there are over a dozen independent first nations groups. The Stolo people (Stolo means river) have 5-8,000 members alone. Our Semiahmoo people share the neighbouring lands with the Katze people who are largely based in Pitt Meadows and on Barnston Island. We share our traditional lands with the Katze and meet with them on a somewhat regular basis to attend various events in Surrey.


What are some of the most pressing issues you are facing as the new Chief of the Semiahmoo people?

The top issue I am now facing is sorting out our sewer and water situation for the people of the Semiahmoo first nations reserve.   Once that is solved I will have more time to devote to other issues that affect the first nations people in the whole region, but right now first and foremost my main focus is the water and sewer services for our people. For years because of sewer and other things opportunities passed us by economically.   As a first nations we have to be very creative.   Our bay is under tremendous pressure environmentally, there is no crown land.  We need to be smart and look at things a little bit different being in such a built up area.  We can’t go to the south because of the U.S./Canada border..  We have been a non fishing community for a few generations. I am very happy to be able to come back to provide leadership to my family. How could I not want to move back to the beach.  From the smell of the farmland in Chilliwack to the all too familiar smell of low tide on Semiahmoo Bay.


What is the make up of the recently elected council of the Semiahmoo people?

The Semiahmoo First Nations  governing body is made up of a Mayor and two council members.  I would like to state though that is not what we deem as an ideal form of government  it is not our form of leadership but a system imposed through the Indian act.  It comes from the Scottish chieftan system.  We hope to look at some different forms of leadership for our community in time.  Yet another thing we will address.  The elders and our spiritual leaders are very important in our society.  I tell people right now I am the guy that won the popularity contest.  Now I learn to become a leader. In addition to me we have two councillors that were re-elected JOANNE CHARLES and ROXANNE CHARLES.

How often does your council meet?

Not enough.  Myself and Joanne Charles one of the councillors meet fairly often, but our other council member Roxanne Charles is doing her masters degree right now.  She is very busy.  For the most part dealing with our two local governments White Rock and Surrey and the federal government to solve our water problems is taking a lot of time.  That takes up about 80% of my time.  We will get to the internal issues  asap.  We recently had a community meeting with all our band members that were available and we will have another one in the early Fall.  We need to address certain issues on the political level.  We are constantly working to get our community living standards up to par.  Let’s get on the sledgehammer and solve the main problems.  Then we can get on to the other items that have been on the back burners for decades.  #1 is sewer and water.    Being put on a termination notice for water from White Rock has really brought that matter to the forefront.

How many members are there on the Semiahmoo Land?

91 – 94 members.  Population is 42 on the reserve.  We lease out a lot of property


Do you have plans to sit down with the city officials in Surrey and in White Rock in the future?

I have requested a council to council meeting with White Rock council which was done through the Mayor of White Rock.  We hope to be able to sit down council to council in the relatively near future.  The water that White Rock has provided to the band’s property comes across the Little Campbell foot bridge in the form of a 4 inch pipe and after you pass the band office and start to go down the hill by my Grandfather’s home it drops down to a 2 inch pipe and then in the 70’s it was extended to the legion camp but that is not much bigger than a garden hose. The majority of the Semiahmoo people's land has been on a boil water advisory for over 10 years. We are currently in discussions with the city of Surrey to provide water and sewer to our people. There is water service on Stayte Road and out by the Peace Arch border crossing. We have an engineer looking at what will be the best distribution route for our community.  We are on the flood plain.  Will running it down Beach road be the best option.  I don’t know.


Harley Chappel and council member Joanne Charles


I get the impression from our conversation the former Chief of the Semiahmoo people BERNARD CHARLES ihad a strong influence on you.

When I left Semiahmoo here, I have always had a love for my community but moving away has allowed me to be exposed to a more worldy view.   To get a better grasp culturally and spiritually who we are as Coast Salish People.  My Uncle Bernard told me when I was getting ready to pack up and move “You are going to come home when you are ready to come home and help, it took me 20 years, but I have come full circle.  It was foreseen by my late uncle.  I am on that path now.  I watched our chief and council get blasted by the media and by some of our own community.  I said “I have had enough I am not going to let this continue.  This election system is not ours but until we can change it, I had to come home and help, we are at a critical place now, we have a lot of work to do.  There is not a lot of hands on deck.  It is time to go home and take my responsibilities and help my community.  We are all one family.  We come from the same ancestry.  I share that with my families.  There is no them and us.  We are one family.  It is only us.  Breaking those barriers is progress.  I never wanted to be a politician, and I still don’t.  It is not my passion.  Sometimes our culture is looked upon as a male dominated culture but that is not the case.  We are very much a matriarchal culture.  The men stand out like pit bulls.  But the role of our elders and  our mothers guides us. Our traditional form of government was made, they were not elected.  The leaders were chosen for their leadership skills.  Not because they were the most popular.  Now we see the dominant force can get elected but they may not be the most qualified.  We were told the eleders the mothers, elders and aunts identified our strengths.  The current model is substantially different than our traditional methods of governance.  Everyone has a calling. When I decided to run, I told everyone including former Chief Willard Cook, I am coming to help.  It was natural progression.  As we get older we discover the important things in life.  I know someday someone will come for my spot, and I hope to be able to mentor them with the integrity that the my late Uncle Charles bestowed on us as Semiahmoo People.  We call it our inherit rights.  Our responsibilities to not for this bay and are we call home.  I can’t be responsible for it, but I can be responsible to it.


I attended your recent annual Pow Wow at Earl Marriott school.  On the second day I was fortunate enough to witness a very private moment of the healing circle dance.  Tell me a bit about that particular ceremony.

In our traditional culture  we do not talk about the recently deceased for four years.  We don’t talk about them, we don’t show their pictures.  Our culture believes we have to let their spirit go.  We feel if we hang on to them in any way shape or form they cannot travel on their journey.  If we hang on to them they don’t travel as well to that other place when we are hanging on to them.  That dance was for a young man that was only gone for a few months.  The family had asked if we could participate in that healing dance.  The intent was very honest.  I saw the overflow of emotions.  As Coast Salish people we understand our relationship with the spirit world.  We have a deep connection with the spirit world.  We dance for the ones that can’t dance.  For the family that was mourning we danced for them, their legs were weak with grief, so that was a small glimpse into our traditional cultural practices.  Normally we have a much more private ceremony.  It is very important for the younger members of our families to understand the tradition.  Everything is energy, if I can feel some of the energy and collect it, that is what we do for one another.  The same goes for happy times.  For my part as the leader as I share with the outside communities this is who we are, this is what we do, we have been here a long time, we understand that.  We are still human we make mistakes but we maintain that part of our tradition. I think this generation is much healthier. The children are our future.  Our community has done a good job of bringing up our young people.  It will only continue.  The struggle for Semiahmoo is we have only 91 members.  We have 25 under the age of 18.  Only a handful of elders, so bridging that gap has always been a challenge.  With housing, sewer and water and other challenges our community is facing  we incorporate traditional names and keep our understanding of the past.  My children have a firm grasp on who they are, not only Semiahmoo people but in the larger picture of the Coast Salish people.


You mentioned in passing you have been given two traditional names.

My traditional name is xwopokton (Thunder) I also have Scchow which I was told was an old name of the serpentine river.

My name comes from an eleder that lived on theother side of the Semiahmoo Bay, he moved to the 176th street area on a hill.  He was appointed  to come to this side of the bay to preserve our important sites on Mud Bay and Semiahmoo Bay.  Reef net fishing was very important for the Semiahmoo people.  Now that is called purse seigning, it was done hundreds of years here by our people here in this bay (Semiahoo Bay).   Throught the peace and reconciliation, I have seen first hand the power of education of history.  My little guy who si turning three tomorrow came home and asked his grandmother who lives in a suite in our basement about residental schools..  She has a lot of scars.  They sat down and I thought, wow what a gap for my son and my mother in law to share her stories and time first hand.  The Canadain way seems to be let’s move past the residental school system.  We cannot brush it under the rug.  We must learn from the past to guide the future.  When you take a race of children and begin the asimilation processthrough the residental scholl sytem, that changes the canvas of how we paint and guide the future.  We are told we must carry that hurt through 7 generations.  I am not prepared to wait 7 genreations.  I think I can do that work.  What do I carry.  It is that deep understanding that I carry with me.  We must celebrate the beauty of our history.  The indian act is alive and well.  Assimilation is alive and well.  The effects of residental schools is still very much alive and well in our community.  We have a lot of work to do.  We can’t look to anyone else to do that work.
I didn’t accept my upbringing.  Now being able to do that now, I made a lot of mistakes, but it is that acknoledgment.  Hopefully I canss how young people through my leadrship that you can do a lot of things.  I hope to get my community to where we are no longer struggling.  And further down the road how will that look.  My term is only 2 years so I have my work cut out for me.  We have come a long ways.  Even just the unity of our families is better, it is not sunshine and rainbow but it is getting better.  I hope we will all be able to move forward through inclusiveness.    My late uncle Bernard always stressed inclusiveness and I hope I can bring that feeling back to the Semiahmoo band build bridges with all our neighbours.

D. Chesney / Editor



March 23, 2017

Enough Is Enough

David Trapp

The headline in THE PROVINCE newspaper of a citizen taking on the BC Liberals for spending taxpayer dollars to advertise their accomplishments, like many, caught my attention. As I scrolled through the accompanying story I found myself thinking “Good I think I am like most British Columbians when I say I am peeved off.” Then I read a bit further and discovered the action was being undertaken by a WHITE ROCK resident by the name of DAVID TRAPP.

Today we learn a bit more about DAVID the man and the movement.

Hello David and welcome to the electronic pages of the White Rock Sun. First if you would, a bit of your personal background. How long have you lived in White Rock? Tell us a bit about your personal background if you will.

Born in Winnipeg. Like many people I realized it gets very cold there and not so much here so a few decades ago I moved out here. I worked in the tech sector in the early days. Networks were modems and connecting TRS computers to printers. It was a great field of work - still is because technology came out so fast that you always had to be on your game. I think it's the thing that made me sharp. I tend to look for errors, failures and system flaws which makes me kind of incapable of ignoring bad management. When you spend your day chasing down problems and designing fixes you just become that way. Give me a problem and chances are I can sort it out. I did that for decades. I currently own a Condo in White Rock and in the past owned a home in White Rock. I fell in love with this city when I made a visit here from Winnipeg in the early 90s. Proud to call White Rock my home for the past 22 years.

I personally call actions like yours, the Couch Dynamite syndrome. By that I mean we all reach a tipping point. Something happens and we simply say, “Alright that does it!” Did you encounter a point where you said “I have to do something about this?

Well, you've got to remember my background. In IT you see a problem and you want to fix it. When it comes to humans, which is really the other side of IT, you need to take into account human failings and motivations. So I'm always looking at motivations and I usually identify these things early on. With these damn ads it was clear to me right away that they were polishing a BC Liberal turd. What got me was that nobody was calling them out. Then they just kept running them, like we're all a bunch of idiots. When I was talking to Paul about it (he doesn't have a TV but he has a shorter fuse and a tendency to kick the door in) he said I may be the last reasonable man. And I'm an angry reasonable man. Who better than to be the lawsuit guy than me?

Have you in the past had any previous epiphanies that motivated you to become active politically or socially?

I've always been paying attention. If you're paying attention, you're political. My interest over my lifetime drops when we have less offensive Government and heats to a boil when we have Government serving themselves and some cronies. Right now, people should be in the street protesting. They were all angry a decade back. What I don't get is our government in BC is far worse, far more corrupt, far more self interested than I've ever seen in at any time in my life. Complacency is dangerous. Just look at the USA.

How did you come to secure the services of the two Vancouver lawyers DAVID FAI and PAUL DOROSHENKO to join you in your action?

Doroshenko writes a great blog and because his office is up against the government they deal with these issues first hand. A few years ago I started writing to Paul to give him feedback about his blog. We have similar feelings on things and we became friends. We have lunch every couple of months and he tells me about some of the awful things this government does that he won't even write on the blog. I appreciate that he fights the good fight. It's a battle about ethics for him.
When it came to these partisan ads paid by tax dollars, I thought somebody ought to do something. Turns out that somebody is me.
When Paul made the suggestion, I didn't hesitate. I'm tough. I've survived. I can take on this fight.

I understand you are planning on creating a GO FUND ME site where citizens can contribute to help offset the legal costs. Is the fund in place now?

Doroshenko set it up and we saw $8000 in donations in two days. There are a lot of angry people out there, pissed that Christy Clark is spending their money on these partisan ads. It's an innovative way to pay some of these expenses and knowing what Doroshenko and David Fai have spent financing some of these other cases I'm glad for this one we came up with some way to offset the costs for them.
There's no money in this for me. For the lawyers there's only risk so I'm proud of them for taking this on.
They say I'm their hero! These guys and the lawyers in their offices are the ones to thank.

In speaking yesterday with lawyer PAUL DOROSHENKO the paper work has been filed. What is the next step in your process of the injunction.

As I said at the press conference (a first for me), I'm learning a lot as we go. David and Paul are criminal lawyers most of the time and they say they need to put on black hats each time they take on civil cases. They say that civil lawyers are usually desperate to avoid going to court and they look for every tool in the toolbox to block the process. In the end the point is to get it in front of a judge and the first step is the injunction application. That's as far as I can talk about it because I've been told I've also got to wear a black hat for now. Still, I told my lawyers that if we're going to do this I don't want them to use any black hat tactics. We're just going to make our case. That's all we can do.

What exactly is the wording of the injunction, what are you and the lawyers asking the courts to do?

Our only concern is the ads that are all spin. And they're obvious. So we hope to stop those ads and that's the purpose of the injunction. The fentanyl crisis is a public health crisis and that's obviously something the government should inform the public about. Ads that claim BC has a balanced budget is pure BC Liberal turd polishing. They have to stop.

Is it your hope the courts will be able to address your injunction prior to the Provincial election in May?

We have a tentative date. I'm not allowed to say more than that (black hat moment).

All levels of government have been criticized for various aspects of how political parties raise funds to finance their election campaigns. Do you have any reform ideas you personally would like to see implemented?

I solved problems for decades and if you want to drag the retired guy out to figure this one out for you, I can certainly do it. But expect a 40 page report. The answers aren't simple. The ethics are simple but designing a functioning system that eliminates graft starting with a clean sheet of paper is a big task.

There has been no shortage of options presented for reform For instance at the civic level here in White Rock and across the province candidates for election do not have to post the list of their contributors until AFTER the election has occurred. Do you agree with critics of this system who simply state contributions should be made public BEFORE the election?

That to me is a no brainer. We should know who bought the politician before we cast our vote. Any politician who opposes this should be suspect. The BC Liberals are in the back pocket of the real estate industry - that comes as a surprise to no one I think. But when we learn of foreign donors, when there is such huge foreign demand for BC real estate and a full fledged housing crisis/disaster looming, you have to assume that they've been paid to sell us out (British Columbians).

Do your personal political leanings have any bearing on your action? Or is simply personal frustration with the current system?

I'd like to say I have an ideological leaning, if only to make it simple. But each time the government changed I tipped my hat to the new constitution, smiled and grinned at the change all around me. But I'm not fooled.
The thing is a decent government may be good for 4 years, complacent for 4 years and if they get another 4 years they're corrupt and doing anything to hold power. If the parties are too extreme they never get anywhere. This has been the NDP's failing. The Liberals are corrupt and deserve to get turfed. The NDP walks a little too far from the centre line. Still, corruption is a worse evil in my books.
To answer your question, I'm a realist. But I hate corruption. No government will do the job I want them to do. At my age I'm not an idealist. But I don't want to see a political party using my tax money to advertise to re elect them. That's what we call corruption and I hope to stop it.





February 28, 2017

Black in White Rock

Kaye Kerlande celebrates Black History Month with reflections on being a woman of colour in White Rock


As the world continues to turn my world continues to change. I choose to be the witness and the observer of my own journey. I am a traveler looking to leave my stamp.

When I moved to White Rock 6 years go I immersed myself in my new home.

My story has a point, let me begin. I was talking to my friend Charron and I told her " I am not sure how to respond to some people at times when they ask me something that I am not sure how to take what they said or asked. I have to ask myself is this person just naive, or are they just curious, what they have just asked me seems rather insensitive." Charron was kind enough to share her thoughts as a white woman.

I have had the joy and pleasure of traveling extensively and seeing a lot of the world. I love MY White Rock, but I must say in all my years I have never been asked so many times "What part of Africa are you from?" Since moving to White Rock there is rarely a day that I am not asked this question. I always try to reply in some way shape or from and to try to engage the person in a brief conversation in order that they may learn a bit more about me and my culture. On more than one occasion as I try to reply to the person they will just talk over me and it appears to me they have no interest in what I have to say. I quite often answer the question about Africa by saying "I am from my mother's belly." You might be surprised at the number of times the person will say, "What part of Africa is that?" I simply smile and say "I have never been to Africa, but my mother's belly is in Montreal,."

On once occasion I went to Save On Food foods to do my weekly shopping. I was picking through the peppers when a woman came up to me and grasped both my hands and said " "How is the family back home? You know I fund-raise here to send money and clothes to the little kids. Oh you are so lucky to be here." I was taken back to say the least by what she had just said when I finally was able to get a word in I said "That is wonderful do you do anything for the homeless and less fortunate in OUR community?" I was so angry and I felt like saying something disrespectful back to her but I embraced my emotions and held my breath. I think it is that assumption that bothers me the most. Last month during one of our snow storms I arrived in the lobby of our condo and as I was trying to get my gloves off so I could open the mailbox, one of the residents of the building was in the condo, she looked at me and said "It is so cold out out there, you must be missing your home. We have snow here in Canada." Her expression to me told me she thought I had never seen snow before in my life. She wasn't trying to be insensitive, just ignorant of the facts. I turned and said to her " You're right this is nothing like where I come from, back home the temperature yesterday was minus 40 degrees. I was talking to my mother in Montreal and they are having quite a tough winter. I am happy to be here where our winters are much milder." We rode the elevator up together and I felt bad that she seemed to be quite uncomfortable in close confines with me. I commented on what a beautiful blouse she had on. Just then we arrived at her floor and she ran out like she was on fire.

My reason for sharing this story is a chance question by a friend "What is it like being Black in WHITE Rock?"

I love my new "city by the sea." I love to walk and talk with the many people I meet in my new home. I find a wonderful cross section of young and old and more and more I am noticing new arrivals of colour. I try to never take the somewhat insensitive statements people make personal. I know they do not have any mean intentions. I still find myself wanting to try to educate in a nice manner, how insensitive certain questions can be. I realize they are not said in a spiteful manner.

To be truthful though it still hurts.

Kaye Kerlande

White Rock, BC          


December 02, 2016

Last month I had the pleasure Of being invited to the South Surrey/White Rock NEWCOMERS CLUB. The monthly meeting is designed for women in our community to come together in a very relaxed atmosphere. Following the meeting I had a chance to visit with DIANNE WILSON to learn more about the club.

DIANNE how long have you been associated with the Newcomers Club?

What initially drew you to the group?

My husband and I moved from Langley to the Semiahmoo Peninsula when we downsized from our home to condo living, which I love. Not long after we moved here our oldest daughter passed away and I retired. I was looking for some way to connect to people and to make new friends here, that is when I found out about the Newcomers Club. It has been very fulfilling for me.

Is the group part of a national organization or is this a one off that was created by local women?

We fall under the umbrella of a national organization. There are many chapters all across Canada.

Newcomers are invited to experience one meeting free then there is a small annual fee. When and where are your meetings?

Our meetings are open to women to come and check the club out as a visitor. Newcomers are allowed to attend one meeting and two coffee meetings (called Percolators) before joining. It gives new prospects a chance to see if the club is what they are looking for.

Our Newcomer meetings are held at Mount Olive Lutheran Church located at 2350-148th Street in South Surrey @ 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month except when we break for summer in July and August.

I was interested to learn the meetings are designed to be more than just a meet-up for new residents to the Semiahmoo Peninsula. What are some of the other reasons women in White Rock & South Surrey come to the meetings?

Not only are we for newcomers to the area, we also accept women in the area who may have had a recent significant life change such as a divorce, retiring from their job or widowed. Making new friends and having many activities to participate in is great for everyone's well being..​

The night I attended your recent meeting there were quite a number of women in attendance. How many members are part of the club?

​We currently have 75 members and our numbers continue to grow monthly.

I got the impression the members take with them a feeling of support once they leave a meeting. Do the members find themselves networking and keeping in touch with each other. Are there other activities that have sprung up from the club?

There are many diverse activities within our program. From active outings like walking, golf and bowling. We also cater to women with a more sedentary lifestyle with movies, cards, book club and games. We also are a very social group with lunches, pub nights and parties. We are always open to creating new activities if there is an interest and a member wants to host it. We are on board. Many of the ladies have struck up close friendships and it is not uncommon that outings such as shopping, a visit to the theatre or a get together over a nice dinner. We also have events where our spouses are welcome.

DIANNE are you familiar with any types of meetings like yours that are directed at men?

I believe there are Men's Newcomers clubs in Victoria and I think there is one in Parksville. I am not aware of an organized men's meetup here in South Surrey / White Rock.


On a personal level what have the benefits you have personally attained from joining the group?

I have made many new friends and have had the opportunity to explore my new community. Our coffee, lunch and restaurant events move us all around the area We mostly seek out the franchised venues which in turn support our community directly. We have all had the op[opportunity to learn about new places from other members of the club.

The next meeting of the NEWCOMERS CLUB will be held this coming Tuesday evening.

For details on the club and their activities (click here)



August 10, 2016

David Hutchinson

A Modern Day Johnny Appleseed

David Hutchinson (left)

David how were you first drawn to the use of marijuana for medical uses?

I have to emphasis I have no medical qualifications but when someone close to you has a serious medical condition you become interested in research to help them as much as possible. My eldest daughter Beth had a brain tumour and when we were told by BCCH that her type of tumour had changed my new research led me to understanding about potential benefits of cannabis. I use the word cannabis rather than marijuana or marihuana(Health Canada spelling) as that is the correct botanical name for the plant while marijuana was a word created for the sake of prohibition in the 1930s. As a former senior officer in the Royal Air Force I had been exposed to a career where I thought I knew enough about this drug but I had to be re-educated to understand that what I thought I knew was mostly untrue. Cannabis is hugely stigmatized and it is only recently that the general public have been exposed to the science and benefits of cannabis for human health. I am an unlikely advocate for this but cannot deny what I have learned and observed.

I think most people that are reading this story find themselves very confused about medical marijuana. Am I correct that the heat with which you burn medical marijuana will affect the release of the active drug THC in marijuana, as opposed to cabbanoids which are the actual medical properties of medical marijuana?

I am not surprised they are confused! Cannabis contains over 1200 separate compounds. Of those 144 are cannabinoid compounds that do not occur in any other plant. It is important for people to understand that there is not one single ‘drug’ in cannabis. The most familiar cannabinoid is THC which produces the euphoric high that is most associated with recreational use. Nonetheless, THC also has a multitude of medical benefits including nausea control and pain relief. Furthermore, the other cannabinoids have a multitude of benefits and work collectively in something referred to as the entourage or ensemble effect. It is worth noting that pharmaceutical companies have made synthetic THC drugs but these lack the balancing effect obtained from whole-plant cannabis and have proven less acceptable. Nonetheless, it is important for patients to understand the benefits that different cannabinoids can have for their condition. Some conditions require minimal THC and therefore avoid a euphoric effect or high.

As you will read below heating cannabis is not always required for medical benefits.

There are a number of different ways for one to ingest medical marijuana correct? Edibles, oil and or vaporization?

There are a significant number of different methods to ingest cannabis. Most people are familiar with the smoking of cannabis. However, there are numerous other methods of administration and all vary in their utility, effects and application depending on the medical condition. Cannabis can be vaporised; taken as an edible, which is made infamous by pot brownies; as a topical salve applied directly to the skin; with a transdermal patch (similar to a ant-smoking patch); with a suppository used rectally or vaginally and’ what is known as oromucosal. Oromucosal administration is sprayed directly into the cheeks of the mouth and absorbed through the membranes. Frequently, a doctor will use 2 or 3 methods in combination to assist a patient. Finally, the leaves of the plant can be eaten raw or juiced and used in drinks.

You recently were asked to partake in a large medical marijuana conference in Vancouver. Could you provide us with an overview of the topics and revelations that came forth at the conference?

The Cannabis Hemp Conference was held over 2 days at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver in July. I was honoured to chair the Cannabinoid Panel which was the first of the weekend. People can see all 16 hours of the Conference on YouTube if they search under ‘Cannabis Hemp Conference 2016’. The Conference panels included plant genetics, legalization, industrial hemp, patient care, patient access and medicinal uses plus many others.

You have worked with a number of local residents in the White Rock area who have benefitted immensely from their use of medical marijuana. Are you able to provide a first person story or two?

I will start with Audrey who is 80 years young. When I first met her in summer 2015 she used a walker and suffered from spinal stenosis after 4 back surgeries. She had been on anti-inflammatory medications for over 40 years. She was using a number of prescribed drugs and was extremely unhappy. Since she introduced cannabis to her treatment she has stopped all prescription medications, no longer uses her walker and has started gardening again.

Next I will talk about 25-year old Lindsey who suffered from frequent epileptic seizures following a car accident a few years ago. The impact on her life was dramatic and negatively affected her marriage, her career and just about everything else. She was also on a host of medications. I met her in spring of 2016 and 6 months later she is off prescription medications and like a new woman.

Finally, 3-year old Kolbi had a brain tumour removed and his family were told it would likely recur extremely quickly. He was given less than 30% chance of survival. His parents then declined radiation to the brain in the USA which was guaranteed to negatively his development. However, he has been on cannabis treatment for 2 years and all his scans since have come back negative.

All of these patients had families helping them and doctors willing to support them and have observed dramatic improvements. These are just 3 cases and all come from the Peninsula area.

Local governments including White Rock city council are wrestling with how to handle the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries. In White Rock for a number of years RELEAF operated as a medical marijuana referral centre. They are now requesting a license to distribute medical marijuana to members of our community. What is the process one would go through to be able to purchase medical marijuana legally.

This is a minefield and regulations are changing as we correspond. Best to wait until after 24 August to know what is available.

The federal Liberal government has promised to legalize the distribution of marijuana in the coming years. IN the mean time there is something called the ALLERD DECISION from the Senate that separates medical marijuana from pot shops. What exactly does the ALLARD report say about medical marijuana.

You are mixing legalisation with medical access - they are 2 different things. The Allard decision came down on 24 Feb 2016 and gave the federal Govt 6 months to comply or the injunction remains in place. The Federal Health Minister, Jane Philpott, released this In essence the MMPR was found to be of ‘no force and effect’ and contravened patient’s rights to access and growing. People are patiently waiting. The Allard case is medical not legalisation.
(If you are bored you can read all 107 pages in the attached!) The conclusion is item #289.

Medical marijuana users are very interested in the source of their “medicine.” Is there any form of testing in place for the medical marijuana dispensaries that are currently operating? Do you have any thoughts on this topic?

Some, but not all, dispensaries conduct third-party testing of product. In contrast all Health Canada Licensed Producer’s product is tested. Unfortunately, it is frequently tested ‘in-house’ and does not require third-party status. Nonetheless, any patient can have their product tested and independent and fully licensed laboratories should they wish

In that the marijuana plant is exactly that, a plant, how do you feel about allowing users of marijuana to grow plants for their own personal use?

The Allard case has highlighted their rights to grow their own medicine or designate someone to do so for them. I expect this to be big news in the next 2 weeks. My perspective is irrelevant but the government completely failed to demonstrate to the Supreme Court either the harms or dangers they claimed were attached to personal growing. It is no more harmful than growing your own orchids and less harmful than refilling your gasoline lawnmower.

This begs the question — how is hemp different from marijuana?

Hemp and cannabis are both the same plant – Cannabis Sativa. However, legal implications has restricted industrial hemp to less than 0.3% THC. Growers in Canada, extensive in the prairies, have many limitations on what they do with the plants.

You have once again been asked to participate in a Hemp Conference to be held this Fall at the University of British Columbia? What are the dates and the topics the conference deal with?

Cannabis Hemp Conference was 9/10 July in Vancouver. However, there is another organised by Lift on September 17/18.

The upside of legalizing marijuana means a cash inflow of millions of dollars to local governments. Should this money simply go into general revenue or do you have any feelings on how the profits should be directed.

No strong feelings other than to fund research on the amazing medical and numerous other benefits of this plant.

Colorado and our neighbours in Washington have legalized marijuana. They are now wrestling with how to measure and deal with impaired drivers that are high on marijuana. Any thoughts of how to set up a method of testing other than taking a blood sample?

All testing proposed so far detects presence but not impairment. Again we are straying off medical and into legalisation and law enforcement. This needs work to deploy something effective – it will come from the USA imho although Canadians are trying too.


Thank you to DAVID HUTCHINSON for helping to dispel some of the misconceptions surround the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

If you would more information sign up for a weekly podcast on medical marijuana (click here)

David Chesney



The CBD User's Manual: Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana's Most Medicinal Molecule
THC is the stuff that gets you high; CBD (cannabidiol) is the stuff that makes you feel better.

(click here)


July 28, 2016

Beauty Is In The Eye OF The Beholder

Meet the beholder, Bill Hawke.

For months now we here at The White Rock Sun have marveled and been drawn to the beautiful photographs published by White Rock resident Bill Hawke.

Bill rose to a lot of public attention with this photo he captured during our winter storm. As the high winds and waves pounded our shorelines Hawke with camera in hand braved the elements for this award winning photograph.

It wasn't a stretch or even a long walk for that matter. "I live right across the road from where this picture was taken in the Silver Moon apartments. I have lived in White Rock for 10 years, I am originally from Cloverdale. I just love it here" says Hawke over coffee in an uptown diner recently." Hawke has only been taking photos seriously for about 5 years, when pressed for if there was an inspirational moment for him to take up photography he simply replied "Not really just looking my front window at the beauty it was hard not to fall into taking photos."

The old adage of "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade" played perfectly into Hawke's recent close up photos of the personal 737 jet flown in by the rock band Iron MAIDEN for their Vancouver show. "I just took those photos my phone's camera. The band was really cool. I was right there because I have worked at AIR CANADA for 25 years now. So I had access out on the tarmac whey the band arrived."

If you follow the link I will post at the end of this article you really should take a few minutes and poke around the wide array of photo subjects Bill has posted over the years. " I was really heavily involved in motor sports from an early age, my brother FERG and I started really young working in the pit crews out at Langley Speedway." The mainstay of HAWKE'S photos though are of the beach area of White Rock. Sunrises, sunsets, every imaginable angle of the pier, trains, cool hot rods on the cruise, something for everyone. We'll have more on younger brother FERG in the coming weeks.

Let's get back to Bill. IF working full time at the airport and allotting enough time to catch just the right light that makes the difference between a good photo and a HAWKE photo. Pressed to see if he could come up with a few of his favourite photos, which is not unlike asking a mother which one of her kids was her favourite. That would depend on the day and the time. Here are a pair of Bill's favourites this week along with his museum storm photo

" Home Sweet Home "


What is your favourite place in White Rock.

."I like to take my morning coffee out to the end of the pier and watch the sun come up. Being out on the pier is my favourite place."

Favourite restaurant.

Cosmos on the waterfront.


I am going on 25 years at AIR CANADA. I start work at 4 a.m.. There is no traffic going either way.

* For camera buffs Hawke uses a Canon 80D with a standard 70-200 lens. He then rusn his photos through about three different software programs to get what he refers to a HDR effect.

Visit Bill's personal photograph website



If you enjoyed reading this story and know a Peninsula resident worthy of a profile, please send me an email

David Chesney




July 07, 2016


Myles Murchison

Myles Murchison was one of the top writers in Canadian radio during the cool years of FM radio in the 60's and 70's. MURCHISON was a big part of the formative sound of Vancouvear's CKLG -FM. Since relocating to White Rock MURCHISON has expanded his writing to novels.


Saving Your Soul

Have Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on your door recently?

I’ve lived in condos the last twenty years. So, nobody knocks on my door anymore but I do get the occasional hand-written letter from ‘A Friend’ concerning my salvation, and just lately a phone call from ‘Unknown.’

“Hello,” she said. “I’m just calling to ask why you think there’s so much conflict in the world today?”

I was stumped for an answer. Donald Trump? ISIS? The WTO? GMOs? Violence on TV? That America spends 60% of its annual budget on the military? The 24-hour news cycle? Gangsta Rap? I had to admit I didn’t know.

Turns out it’s the work of the Devil.

Well, I’d pretty much forgotten about Satan. I’m so old I can remember laughing at Flip Wilson in drag as Geraldine Jones saying, “The Devil made me do it.” That was also about the time I stopped blaming Lucifer for society’s ills and began to believe we were all collectively responsible for whatever messes we created. Of course, it’s possible that’s just what Azazel (as he’s known in Islam) whispered in my ear and wanted me to believe.

I asked Unknown on the phone why God who so quite brilliantly created the universe wouldn’t just slap a fallen angel aside, even one as clever as Satan who reportedly originated the concept of sin.
That got us into the discussion I used to love having with the Witnesses at my door. I admit I’d often invite them in. They’d always win the debate, of course – they had all the certainty of their faith and the appropriate scripture memorized -- but we always managed to part in friendship.

One of the reasons for that, I think, is because I believed then as I do now that this wasn’t like commission sales. (They don’t even tithe in their church.) No, these people genuinely wanted to save my soul. How many strangers do you met who care enough to face embarrassment and rejection to do that?

I know for a lot of people it’s all about being right. Don’t challenge my faith. Don’t push your religion on me. Don’t think you’ve found the truth and I haven’t. I get it. I know a number of people who grew up in JW families and hated it. I’m not suggesting Witnesses have any more special connection with God than you or I do.

But I’m going to have my hair cut in a few days, and my hairdresser is a Witness whose faith literally saved her young life and gave her a belief system and discipline that has led to her success as a wife, mother and business woman. As she trims my hair (and she is the best I’ve known) sometimes I can steer our conversation to the rather complicated doctrine of her religion – of Christians who believe not in Christmas, of the children of God without birthdays, of the 144,000 to be resurrected to rule in heaven with Jesus, and of the rest of us who God will bless with perfect health and eternal life in paradise on Earth.

It’s not what I believe but it’s not a bad belief at all. It’s why I nearly always say hello to the Witnesses who stand near the bus stop by the Scotia Bank on Johnson Road, ready to save my soul. I appreciate that you care.

Thank you, my brothers and sisters.



1877, the year after Sitting Bull's victory at Little Big Horn, the U.S. cavalry chases the Nez Perce nation from its homeland in Oregon's Wallowa Valley. Chief Joseph escapes, leading 800 men, women and children and thousands of horses on an amazing 1700 mile retreat, outwitting five separate U.S. army divisions in a race to reach the Sioux in Canada − to unite with them, the Crow, Blackfeet and other native peoples in a war for the American northwest.

THE YEAR AFTER CUSTER recreates this heroic year with authentic detail in all its epic Western drama − that reaches from the whorehouses of Ogallala to lunch with the Rockefellers in New York City; from the tipi of a Nez Perce shaman who believes The Great Spirit speaks in his dreams to the field tent of Colonel Nelson Miles who dreams of becoming the new Custer; from the Oregon orchards that a half-white widow abandons to guide her people through Yellowstone's secret canyons to a Texas wrangler who flees the law across the Great Plains and finds the passionate and ennobling purpose of his life.

In the style of Michener and McMurtry, Myles Murchison's new historical Western brings to life the glory and myth of what is marked today as the Nez Perce Trail, a U.S. National Monument.

(click here to order your copy)


June 13, 2016

Roxanne Charles

Semiahmoo First Nations councillor and mult faceted artist


Roxanne Charles The Eagle & The Bear"


When did your pursuit of an artist’s path occur/. Was there any particular event of person that inspired your desire to create art?

I chose to go back to school an pursue an MFA when I was going through a transitional period in my life. Growing up it had never occurred to me that this path was even an option as I had a limited vision for possibility. My late uncle Bernard Charles wanted me to become a female carver for our community and encouraged me to pursue a career in the arts. However due to lack of support for indigenous education systems I decided to take a different route and go back to school. This is also something he was very supportive of.

Did you receive any formal training?

Yes, I received

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Surrey, BC
Bachelor of Arts Double Minor of Anthropology and Art History 2016

Kwantlen Polytechnic University% Surrey, BC
Bachelor of Fine Arts 2014

Native Education College Vancouver, BC,
Northwest Coast Jewelry Design Certificate Program 2012


I am not sure many people realize we have on e of the pre-eminent first nations artists ROBERT DAVIDSON living here on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. Has living in close proximity to DAVIDSON had any effect on your art path?

It has definitely been inspiring to work in close proximity to Robert Davidson as well as Leonard and Leslie Wells whom apprenticed under Robert. I believe Bernard would be very happy and proud of the work that Semiahmoo artists are producing today

Tuesday (June 21) is National Aboriginal Day across Canada. You and your fellow artists will have a day of celebration. What can we expect?

National Aboriginal Day
Date & Time: June 21, 2016 (10:00 AM - 6:00 PM) Date: 21 June 2016

Time: 10:00a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Location: 1459 B Johnston Road

Cost: Free
June 21st National Aboriginal Day Celebration Schedule of Events

12noon- Opening Ceremonies
12:30-1:30 – Lunch and the sharing of traditional foods 1:30-2:00 – Semiahmoo Songs and Dances
2:00-3:00 – Slahal traditional Salish gambling or stick game 3:00-4:00 – Community Weaving Project (yellow cedar blanket) 4:00-5:00 – Pow Wow Demonstrations
5:00-5:30 – Hoop Dancing
5:30 – Closing Ceremonies

National Aboriginal Day will showcase indigenous artwork from various communities and feature artists working all day on location.


Do you have a favorite artist?

Yes, I have always been inspired by the unique works of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s. From a very young age I was completely blown away by its beauty. At that time I was not aware of perspective, form line or western painting. I just remember being moved by the vibrant colour, vitality, and realism in his work. It is this merging of two worlds which interests me the most. The combination of western art practices and traditional design is huge component of my work as well. I also feel the politically charged nature of his work and advocacy against environmental issues is still something that resonates strongly with me still today. His work is a prime example of how art can be meaningful and beautiful at the same time.


Visitors to the Pop Up Gallery in White Rock this month have had the opportunity to view what I assume is your largest piece. Could you give us a bit of background and name of this sculpture/creation?

The combination of western art practices and traditional Salish design is an integral component of my work. It is this merging of two radically different cultures which interests me the most. My work reflects the diverse world we live in today while maintaining a strong connection to the traditional teachings of indigenous peoples and my family lineage.

As an Salish women living in contemporary times I often feel a pull or tension between the village and the metropolis. As Georg Simmel writes in his essay “The Metropolis and Mental life” the metropolis becomes

about the individual and intellect where the village much like a small town is more about a connection to the community as a whole and based more on emotion. My body of work explores these two aspects of life and is a hybrid of both cultures not only conceptually but also through the use of materials.

My work often explores the issues we are facing today. A few of those issues and concerns are related to the environment, suicide, addiction, violence (lateral, systemic, domestic), intergenerational trauma, and the colonial legacy of Canada. The work addresses my frustration and distress with many issues indigenous peoples as well of Canadians feel towards the negative impacts we are seeing today.

The Transformation figure stands for a symbol of strength and hope for future generations. Made of all recycled garbage and industrial materials his presence is a visceral reminder that we are still here, strong and resilien.t


Roxanne Charles - Breath

You have been conducting weaving classes during your stay at the Pop Up gallery. Who taught you how to weave? Do you wish to keep this tradition alive?

I have been working with cedar bark for over 25 years. I make both traditional Salish basketry as well as contemporary designs. I am able to create things on both a micro and macro scale and really enjoy creating large installations.

I have been fortunate enough to have spent time with numerous master weavers and I have always been extremely inspired by my cousin Ethel Warbus. My great great grandmother Matilda Warbus was also a master weaver and contemporary designer. Her hand woven cedar violin case can be found at the Museum of Anthropology.

We recently formed a collective for Semiahmoo Weavers consisting of Semiahmoo First Nation community members who are interested in the preservation of weaving across generations. The collective consists of Elders, Artist/Weavers, and mentoring Youth. We are a group of community members who each have experience working with cedar and various weaving techniques.

This project is a dream of mine and a key component to the revitalization of arts, language, and culture in our community. We are extremely committed to providing services to our community. I believe it strengthens the community, builds cultural pride and identity intern creating a powerful sense of self and esteem.

If anyone is interested in Semiahmoo history it would be a great time to take the opportunity to go in and visit the gallery. I am more than willing to answer any questions. It would be a lovely opportunity to join in the long standing tradition of sharing and celebration of oral history. I am very interested in indigenous knowledge and the fashion in which knowledge is transmitted through generosity and human interaction.


Roxanne Charles email -



“Drawing On Life” Art Group

The Drawing on Life Art Group is a long standing group of loosely affiliated artists that meet weekly to pursue still life and figure drawing exercises.  Katherine Macdonald, a White Rock resident and retired head nurse of several departments at the Vancouver General Hospital through her career, has been involved as the group organizer since September 1982.  The group is a not-for-profit organization with membership strong at nearly 40, meeting each Wednesday split into three-hour morning and evening sessions at the Ocean Park Community Hall at East 26th and North Bluff Road. 
Over the years, the group has developed a strong working relationship with the Ocean Park Community Hall.  The group has secured storage in the Hall for art equipment such as chairs, easels, paper and supplies.  Katherine stresses that this is not a “social” club – the membership has a common interest to practice and produce works of art.  There are no qualifications to join, and sessions are informal and fun. The group organizes and pays for a live drawing figure each week.  Artists typically work quickly, producing multiple sketches using various media such as pen and ink, conte/charcoal, pencil, dry brush and watercolours. Some of the artists use these studies as preparation for larger paintings or drawings, some are satisfied with the quick sketches as finished pieces.  For those ready to share their work, there are sometimes informal walk-around discussions.  Years ago, the group would organize annual art shows to exhibit the works to the public, although this practice has tailed off somewhat in recent years.

Group fees are modest, charged proportionate to the artist turnout number, but just enough to cover Hall rental, live figure fee, and coffee supplies.  Participants take turns volunteering snacks, which are happily shared amongst the group. 
Katherine is currently in palliative care at the Crossroads Hospice in Port Moody, close to her family.  She continues to stay in touch with group members who are life long supporters.

For more information, contact Betty Peacock at


April 13, 2016

On The Look Out For Elks

Today we meet LOIS DUKE from The White Rock Elks.

Lois let us start with a bit of history. First of all your personal history. How long have you made the White Rock/South Surrey area your home?

I’ve lived in White Rock for 4 years moving form Walnut Grove, Langley where I lived since 1999. Originally I am from Saskatchewan. I came to B.C. in 1975 and took my R. N. and Neonatal nursing here.

What brought you to the “city by the sea?”

The first time I saw the ocean was here in White Rock around 1972. I was amazed how beautiful White Rock was and I’ve been emotionally attached ever since. After my children left home I knew this is where I would be happiest.

What is the history of The Elks in White Rock? Most readers will be aware our Legions were built to honour our war veterans.

I will first begin with the history of the Elks which started in New York city in the 1860’s. A group of actors/entertainers started the organization to avoid New York laws that closed saloons on Sundays. They saw the benefits they brought to themselves and carried it over to those less fortunate.
The first lodge in Canada was established in Vancouver in 1912.
Art Wall Jr. organized the first lodge in White Rock and meetings began in 1958 at various locations. Our present lodge on George Street opened in 1987.
In 1998 a referendum was passed allowing women to join. Senga Cowie, Ruth Allard and Val MacLerin were the first women to join.
In 2004 Ruth Allard was our first female President.
We are and have been a volunteer organization raising funds for charity.

How and when did you join The Elks?

I became a member July, 2013. A friend who sang karaoke introduced me to the White Rock Elks about 10 years ago. Her friend Bernie played karaoke at the Elks for many years. I would come here once every 2 - 3 months on a Friday night. When I moved here, the Elks was in walking distance and being single I found it was an inviting and safe place to socialize. Graham encouraged me to join and get my Serving It Right card to volunteer behind the bar. I did and quite enjoyed the camaraderie.


What is your position with The Elks?

I am President of the White Rock Elks after serving a year each as 2nd and 1st Vice President.


This might sound a bit like a leading question, but how would you describe to a stranger what The Elks are all about

If I was to define The Elks hall experience in a few words, I would simply say community. It seems to be like a real life “CHEERS” situation “WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR NAME.”

Well said. We are a community in a community we support. There is a strong sense of family and we look out for and look after each other. Also, we have a common goal to serve this community in which we live and meet.
Countless hours are given to raise money for charity; not only visibly donating our time and energy, but hidden in our office there are individuals who give many ++ hours to running our facility and finances.


Can anyone become a member of The Elks hall? What is the cost and how would one go about joining?

One must be 16 years of age and a person of “good reputation”. A membership form needs to be completed and signed by 2 members. The necessary dues must be paid ($72 / person and $126 / couple per year with a one time $25 application fee). Applicants are encouraged to attend a couple meetings and volunteer at an event annually. A short initiation ceremony is usually held during regular meetings which are monthly at our lodge. Members receive a discount for ticketed events as well as attending “members only” events.

There quite often seems to be something going on at The Elks hall. From special events to special nights like karaoke etc. What is on the schedule for the coming months?

We have an excellent web site at with information about ticketed and weekly events. Hall rental information is also here. The Peace Arch News as well as your online paper, The White Rock Sun advertise for us as well.
Our next big event is St. George’s Day Celebration on Saturday April 23rd. It’s a time to get your “English On”. There is music from England supplied by Tony Crowther and a meal of Bangers and Mash. We are nearly sold out. May 28th is a concert celebrating Jimmy Kennedy. In June we are having a Hawaii Night. September hosts our annual Hootenanny. In October we have Octoberfest as well as a Halloween Costume Ball. November we honour Remembrance Day. After the Cenotaph we meet back in our lounge and have a warm meal. Crescent Beach Pipers come by as well. As usual we have a dinner/dance for New Years Eve.
Every Wednesday there is live music in our lounge from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays we have karaoke from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays there is karaoke/dancing from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Sundays we have a jam session.

In addition to the Elks Hall upstairs in your location on George street, you also have a space on the ground level. Each winter the White Rock Farmers Market holds their winter markets in the space. Is this space open to other groups or individuals in the community to rent for events?

Yes, we have available for rent the upstairs lounge, the downstairs hall as well as our commercial kitchen. Many individuals and groups rent our hall and lounge for memorial services, birthday parties, meetings, weddings, fund-raisers, dances and classes.
Regular users of our hall are: Peggy’s Line Dancing, Gima Karate, Taoist Tai Chi, A.A., the Farmer’s Market in the fall and Unity Church uses our lounge.


The Elks do a great deal of work in our community. Tell us a bit about how your ogranization gives back to the comunity.

Our volunteers are worthy of great praise and appreciation. Because of our volunteers we have been able to support: The White Rock/South Surrey Stroke Recovery Association, Atira, The Youth Ambassadors, Alexandra House, Salvation Army, Union Gospel, B.C. Firefighters Burn Fund, Surrey Food Bank, Air Cadets, Crescent Beach Pipe Band, Spiral Dancers, Shelly’s School of Dance, Peace Arch Hospital, Surrey School for the Deaf (District 36), B.C. Family Hearing Resource Centre, B.C. Elks Camps,and the Elks National Fund for Children.
Of special note is our Children’s Christmas Party. It started many years for for underprivileged children. Santa gets stuck in the chimney and the kids call for the Fire Department. They put a rope on Santa’s leg up the chimney and pull him out. To see the look in the kids’ eyes who believe is amazing!
This year we have been up-dating our lounge with green bulb lighting and an inviting electric fireplace with a stone surround. Our bar has also been renovated.
I’ve been told that we are White Rock’s best kept secret. . .it is time for that to change. A goal of ours is to increase awareness of who we are, what we do and our location in our community.
We are removing he stigma of the Elks of Canada being an “old boys club”. We recognize the equality and importance of women in our organization and society.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to residents to visit us. Stop by and say hello. Our lounge is open daily from 4 to 7 p.m. Please support us so we can raise more money to give to those in need and make our community a better place for all.

ELKS stand for Equality, Love, Kindness, and Service.


Visit the White Rock Elks Club online (click here)

...then pop in one night. We think you'll be back.



March 16, 2016

For Whom The Toll Bells

Dear Editor

I live in Delta and am very familiar with the tunnel traffic volumes during the morning and evening rush hours.  The same problem existed when I was the premier and in 1989 I requested the Ministry of transportation and Highways to get for me an approximate cost for dropping another tube, 3 lanes, a sidewalk and white ceramic tiles on the walls.

It took a while, but not long before I left office, an estimate came back.  It was so low that I questioned its accuracy. I was told that it did not included a proposed “cloverleaf exit” and that this would be an added cost.  I asked why and was then told that this would require a piece of the Fantasy Garden and they thought they could have a problem with that, my response “no problem, you simply expropriate.”

The small research project that was done was left with the NDP, they did nothing and similarly so the successive Liberal governments.  For me that doesn’t necessarily mean the NDP or Liberals didn’t care but it does confirm my suspicion that the bureaucracy and the big corporate influences like the big and expensive projects.

I also believe that the B.C. Liberals want every  Lower Mainland crossing tolled and understandably, it would be politically difficult if not impossible to toll an improved existing tunnel that was long paid for.

The government now proposes to build a 3.5 billion dollar plus toll bridge, 50 times more costly than dropping another tunnel tube, specifically for rush hour traffic.  The bureaucracy and big business will love it but the everyday travelling to work person will pay through the nose and now have no option but to pay.

So what happens after I and thousands of others cross the 5 lanes going to Richmond and Vancouver, having been photographed for the toll on the new bridge, and we all arrive at the same time by the two very narrow lanes on the Oak Street bridge.  An even bigger disaster, with thousands of cars burning costly, heavily taxed fuel, including a Carbon Tax, and spewing pollution.

The Social Credit government, historically, would have no part of tolls, it was seen as another tax on the working person, the people that travel the bridge more than the business person and who, unlike the business person cannot use it as a tax write off.Hoping for a better world,

Bill Vander Zalm


February 03, 3016

Every Picture Tells A Story

Local artist, part time archaelogist and historian DON WELSH will be in residence at the White Rock public library February 10 & 11 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Having grown up in a family where all things “Canadian” was evident, at a very early age I came to have a voracious love for Canadian history, the more local the better.  This atmosphere put forth in particular by my father also led me at an early age to appreciate and study the live, legends and in particular the artwork of our First Nations.

On numerous occasions I have crossed paths with a local artist by the name of DON WELSH who has created a massive model recreation of a First Nations fishing village.  WELSH often has his beautiful creation on display at local schools, our communtiy centre as well as the White Rock public library which will host a collection of WELSH’S illustrations.

On a rainy afternoon this past week I met with WELSH who’s office is
on the Semiahmoo First Nations land.  In the comfort of the his cluttered office amongst bags and boxes of archaeological specimens, his collection of First Nations history in his private library which many experts have identified is quite possibly the most comprehensive and complete historical library of first nations history and artifacts.

WELSH was born in Prince. Albert and his love for history came at an early age.  “When I was just 10 years old I created a display out of plasticine which was displayed in the local library  and I  later won a Governor General’s award for art while attending grade school” Welsh said rather nonchallantly.

This image is a spindle whorl with a thunderbird image. The spindle whorl has a hole in which a stick was placed making a spindle which was spun by rubbing the stick along the thigh. This spun raw wool into yarn. The yarn was woven into blankets which were considered “wealth” [ie a canoe was worth so many blankets etc]. Upper class women did this so they were the only people who could create wealth. The whorl however was carved by her husband. The Coast Salish were not lavish with their art like some of the more northern groups. Their best art went into spindle whorls and rattles.


Like many children of the 60’s WELSH was drawn to San Fransisco in the late 60’s.  His lust for travel eventually brought him to the West Coast.  WELSH explains how an Irish Canadian began his connection with the Semiahmoo First Nations.  “I had  attended the University of Saskatoon where I majored in anthropology.  At the time I was living in the Sullivan Heights area of Surrey.  I had occasion to visit the Semiahmoo Band in the early 90’s and met then Chief Bernard Charles who hired me to do some archaelogical work in order for the band to trace its roots in the Semiahmoo Bay area.  It began an association that I proudly maintain to this day.”

Subesquently WELSH  began a long and painstaking process of documenting petroglyphs in the area, detailed documentation of  soil sample and the stories they told of early settlers.   In order to document his work WELSH began to document, itemize and catalogue his work with his own personal illustrations that would coincide with his first nations work.

WELSH is looking forward to his upcoming show at the White Rock library February 10 & 11th.  “I will be at the library both days 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  I love talking to people about my illustrations and the inspiration or snapshots of history they portray.  I hope people have the time to drop into the library to visit and have a chat with me about my illustrations and how they reflect early life on the shores of Semiahmoo Bay”  said a smiling WELSH.  His passion for his work and historical documentation brings a twinkle to hie eye.

I will leave you with just one  little slice of the local history DON shared with me in conversation. 

“White Rock was first referred to by the Coast Salish people as P’QALS.  Which literally translated means “white top.”  Mount Douglas outside of  Victoria earned the same designation as the mountain has snow on it its top year round.  P’QALS in the Coast Salish dialect means “white top.”  It is believed by many that the original settlement of the Semiahmoo Band took place right near the white rock.  Though I have not read anywhere on why the boulder before it was subesquently painted white, perhaps was covered with seagull droppings, leaving  it “white on top.”

Cool story.  DON WELSH has many more he would love to share with you at the White Rock library February 10 & 11, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

A seated figure bowl which is a class of artifact from this region usually estimated to be 2000 years old. It is a stylised carving of a person holding a bowl in his or her lap. This particular one is currently in the Ethnographic Museum in Berlin. These bowls are apparently ceremonial but because of the age, we don’t really know how they were used or even for what. At least one has been suggested as having been used for a girls puberty rites.

NOTE:  DON WELSH will also have his magnificent fishing village model on display at the upcoming annual Pow Wow hosted by the Semiahmoo Nation to be held at Earl Marriott school on March  4, 5 & 6. 

Watch the White Rock Sun for more details as we get closer to the date



January 20, 2016

Meet Tammy Ritchie & Lori Ishikawa - FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY

l-r Lori Ishikawa / Friend of the family Raed from Somalia/ Tammy Ritchie / Joe Frank former principal of Hjorth Road elementary


I did, and my life changed for the better.

A few years ago White Rock resident  Lori Ishikawa (who I have known by a couple of degrees of separation) told me about an organization her and Tammy Ritchie had created, Friends of the Family. 

Friends of the Family came about as Lori and Tammy were coming to the realization their work with the locally produced breast cancer fund-raiser, NITE OF HOPE had slowly morphed into a full time job, something neither LORI or TAMMMY and their co-chair DEBBi RUMLEY were in a position to do.  The popular annual event had raised millions of dollars for Breast Cancer research but it was now time to amalgamate with the Richmond Nite of Hope.

LORI and TAMMY decided they still wanted to give back to the White Rock/South Surrey community but on a more time limited basis. Friends of the Family was born. During the final year of their work with NITE OF HOPE Tammy & Lori put the wheels in motion along with Tammy's husband Joe Sweeney to create a volounteer support group for refugees arriving in Canada

  A chance meeting one day with Lori at the counter in the fines/by law/building permits section of White Rock city hall changed a lot of lives. 

A gentleman by the name of JOE FRANK stopped in to pay a parking ticket and the conversation jumped from one topic to another.  When Lori found out Joe was the principal of Hjorth Road elementary a connection was immediately established.  Lori’s family in the late 50’s owned the general store next to Hjorth Road school in North Surrey before her family moved to White Rock in the 60’s.  Joe Franks told Lori how her old alma mater, (and mine incidentally)  was now ranked as the poorest school catchment in all of British Columbia.  Joe explained a large portion of his school’s enrollment consisted of new Canadians, who were devoid of even the most basic household items.  The stage was set.  Lori called Tammy and said “I have a plan, let’s collect slightly used furnishing and household goods and help give these immigrants a leg up in their new home.Oh and by the way, see if your husband Joe, will help us move all the furniture?"

That was 7 years ago and since then the self titled Friends of the Family has helped dozens of recent arrivals to Canada. 

Back Row l-r Tammy Ritchie/Yours Trulyl/Kees Koster /Fraser Crinklaw

Front Row - Lori Ishikawa and June Koster

This is where I came in.  I was talking to Lori one day I believe at city hall, when she told me about Friends of the Family and how on no budget with the blood sweat and tears of a couple of male volounteers her and Tammy were making a big difference  in people’s lives.  I think I must have said “ Gee if you ever need any help with picking up and delivering furniture I may be able to help.”  I didn’t have to wait long before I found myself on my firrst delivery with Tammy’s husband Joe behind the wheel of his pickup truck, tailing along behind the Hallmark cube van with Tammy at the wheel and Lori riding shotgun.  Over the coming years I met so many great people that joined us on the deliveries.  One of those gentlemen was Fraser Crinklaw.  On our maiden voyage as we were getting to know each other in a “round  the cab" discussion in the truck, Fraser mentioned his wife recently retired from her position as a counselor at the White Rock Hospice.  I turned and looked at him and said “What is your wife’s name?”  He told me her name was Trudy.  You could have pushed me over with a feather.   Hospice and  Trudy Merritt helped me at a point in my life when I was lost, and convinced me I wasn’t lost at all.  Small world indeed.

Over the past number of years I have had the immense pleasure of seeing the smiling faces of new Canadians aged 8 to 80.   The look of wonderment on their faces when we arrive with a complete house full of donations was priceless.  It might have been one of the first deliveries I went on to a family Whalley that will stay with me the most.  We arrived with EVERYTHING right down to silverware and dishes and pots and pans, TV, couch, bed etc.  As we were loading the items into the empty apartment inhabited by a couple, their four children and an elderly lady, I couldn’t help but notice the only visible item in the apartment was one of those yellow Dairyland milk crates.  I asked one of the young boys “What is the deal with the crate?”  He looked at me and said “That’s for Grandma to sit on, she is old and she can’t get down on the floor with the rest of us.”  I almost started to cry right then and there.  When we were finished and saying goodbye, the father of the family had a very quizzical look on his face.  It seemed to say “So how do I pay you?  I have no money.”  Tammy & Lori simply gave the man and his wife a big hug and said something to the effect, “You don’t owe us anything.  Welcome to Canada.”  A great sense of pride swelled up in my chest that evening.

Recently not unlike Nite of Hope, Friends of the Family  became a victim of its own success.  Lori and Tammy did a wonderful job of juggling pickups, the availability of the Hallmark floor truck, us volounteers and then the numerous delivery dates which would all have to happen in one day.  Logistically it was a nightmare, but by the time we were strapping ourselves on the back end of a Queen bed or couch, it all went off seamlessly.

Now it’s time to say goodbye.  I am hopeful the friendships I made as a result of my work with Friends of the Family will continue and flourish.  Lori and Tammy seem to think we will be called upon now and then to suit up for another deliver. 

I can’t wait.

Dave Chesney/Publisher aka Swamper Dave


NOTE: A group in Surrey will carry on with helping refugees, new Canadians and those in our community that need a hand up.

Umoja Operation Compassion Society of B.C. Founders Edith and Amos Kambere may be reached at


I would be totally remiss if I didn't honour my "brothers of the boxspring."

l-r Jay Rumley/Joe Sweeney/Ron Fairweather/Fraser Crinklaw/Lorne Ebenal

There were others but these gentlemen turned up time and time again. I am proud to have been part of this giving team.



December 23, 2015

The comic strip is about a short yet oozingly meaningful talk I had with a friend of mine.

One lazy Tuesday morning, as our crew was having our ever-important customary McDonald's coffee break and daily chit chats and banters, a conversation suddenly sparked amongst the group. One of the guys, my good friend (let's just call him Big Daddy D) blurted something out. "I had a perfect day yesterday Jasper…how about you?" I got curious. Nowadays, how often do you hear someone say "I had a perfect day"? In world headlined by newsfeeds from our smart phones, stuffed with negativity, rants about every speck of issue, war and whining about this and that…then you suddenly hear "I had a perfect day". I had no answer but "I had a good day". He has a "Perfect" day? How can my "Good" measure to it?

It got me baffled. What is a perfect day? How can you brand a day "Perfect" when it is always clouded by petty things that we worry about? Somehow, the situation bothered me. If I cannot define "perfect", how can I live a "perfect" day? This guy sitting right beside me must have figured everything out about life because he has "perfect days". I was envious.

I then asked Big Daddy D, "What is a perfect day?" Without hesitation, he answered:

"I wake up 5:00 in the morning, I watch TV then I eat a toast and drink, then get my work boots, and my gear, my safety vest, then walk to the bus stop, then ride the bus to the Treehouse, then I work and bug everyone I know, then at 2:00 time to go home, take a warm shower, sit outside, eat my dinner, think about my friends, what they are doing, then at 7:00 I go to sleep, dream about my girlfriend Sandra Bullock, riding my Harley Davidson to the sunset, come visit you and run you over with my bike bwahahahaha"

Straight up. No second thoughts. He answered my question without falter. That is his perfect day. It was a beautiful moment. A myriad of thoughts stormed my mind.

I asked him then, "What can you do to make the next day perfect again?"

He just answered, "Do the same thing again, happy, happy, happy"

I drooled at the simplicity of his answer. How can something like the "perfection of life" be that simple? How can someone infuse such wisdom into a phrase? It felt like I was talking to an enlightened soul. (Well, taking into consideration what his words just did to me, perhaps he is enlightened). It made me rethink about my life, my priorities and my views. I realized that we all have the ability to make our days perfect. If my buddy D can do it, why can't I? Why can't I have a perfect day every day? He marked everything we take for granted as pieces to his "perfect day" puzzle. Why can I not do this? I better get started on having these "perfect days" for I may have missed out on my first 30 years. I should do an inventory of daily blessings I get. Perhaps, time will come I can answer the question "what is a perfect day" with such fervor. Pretty much like how confidently Big Daddy D answered the same question. For now, I have to work on doing that. Practice and live a perfect day.

Sure, we will still be hounded by problems quintessential to our existence. But taking them as vital parts of our lives, with a view that explodes with rainbows of optimism and ponies of appreciation, then maybe we will be less burdened. I read somewhere that "Thoughts alter reality". Then positive thoughts then can make my reality bright and shiny, the same way my good old friend D thinks of things around him as perfect, ergo making his life perfect.

The mere fact that we are alive, breathing and able to love is enough to spark our zest for life. That is what I learned from my friend. Appreciation of things at hand is always a struggle for we are bound to forget. There will be days that appreciation is the last thing that we might choose to feel for we are facing the haze of negativity, pain, fear and disappointment. But at the end of the day, appreciation is just around the corner, waiting for our call, earnestly wanting to help us to have our "perfect day"

I work in an environment where I am supposed to support people with disabilities and yet on a day like this, I felt supported. Thank you D, you old Goat! I owe you a senior coffee double double.

By Jasper Macabulos - Support Worker with Employment, Training and Support Services at Semiahmoo House Society


Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in Surrey/White Rock, exists to provide quality services and supports to people with disabilities and their families in the community. The Semiahmoo Foundation exists to fund, support and enhance the programs and services delivered by Semiahmoo House Society.

Visit The Semiahmoo House - click here





December 16, 2015

I recently had the opportunity to interview South Surrey resident KERRI KRYSKO about her latest book KEERIED AWAY.  The follow up to her break out book KERRI ON.  In case you missed the story KERRI found herself like so many other women, in a very abusive relationship.  Love turned to shove and that was just the beginning.

KERRI your first book attempted to set the stage of how you and your ex-husband came together and the subsequent whirlwind courtship which far too often in your words became a world of darkness and abuse.  Did you find yourself emotionally drained upon completion of the first novel

It was harder to read it afterwards, as opposed to write it.
Learning to speak about it later was something I was unprepared for. It hurt and re-living my own tumultuous upbringing and all the hard moments were in fact, very crippling. It took a lot out of me, and when reading my book, once it was finished, I crashed. I was in pain and it hurt all over again. It took me 3 months to even go outside. I was broken. Undeniably broken. A person after writing their true story, has such a moment of clarity. Knowing I lived through all that, there are just no words to describe.

How long did it take before you felt you were strong enough to write this second autobiography? Did you know all along while writing the first book there would be a second book?

Yes I did. My second book was the hardest book to write, thus far. To write the true pain and the turning point of recognizing my cycle, was difficult. How do you put that in words? What do you leave out? How much did I want to share? That was just a little piece of my problem, when writing the second book, in this trilogy. The other part came with the knowledge that my last book “Kerri”, would be in the voice and who I am now. So it’s difficult, not falling into the voice and Kerri I am now. Let alone re-living those painful memories. It’s tough.

I think what will make this story resonate with a lot of the readers is the whole ordeal played out on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.  How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived in White Rock/ South Surrey for 20 years.

You lived in multi-million dollar mansion in South Surrey.  From the outside it must have seemed to the untrained eye you had the world in the palm of your hands.  How and when did that change?

I speak about this in Kerried Away and again in “Kerri”. I didn’t want to live in that house, it was my nightmare. I tried to dig my heels in and prevent moving into that house, altogether. To be told or asked by outsiders, with insinuations “that I must have it all” was a hard thing to swallow as an abused woman. For example. A lady at the local mall, noticed my engagement ring one day and said “Wow aren’t you a lucky girl”! In a statement. Opposed to just saying, “What a pretty ring”. It took everything in me, not to break down.  I simply said “You have no idea the price I paid already, for this ring” and left the store, with her gawking. As if I was rude. No one had a clue. I was dwindling in weight and felt lifeless, with the charade of pretense and abuse, engulfing my very soul. She didn’t deserve that snappy comment. Nor did I have the balance of mind. During this time to just appreciate the comment. So with that David, to the untrained eye. An outsider is left with only a visual and not the truth. It is easy to pass judgments.

Your new book is somewhat draining, as your world seemed to spiral out of control.  There must have been some happy moments.  If so did you personally choose to omit them as they would not have fit into the story or would they have distracted from the message of the book.

As it says in my first book; I was fighting for my very life, by this time. A truth only I could ultimately find. Let alone the lives of my children. I had no one who was strong enough to help me get away. Nor, did I have the strength or will to find our freedom, myself. I felt very, very alone.
Omitting “happy memories”? No, I shared it all. With a brutal truth and rawness, that comes with experience. My happiness came, when snuggling with my children. That I shared. My appreciation came when a stranger gave care. The true harmony I felt, came when on the school ground, at peace, around other healthy families; were very, very, real to me. Those moments I cherish and those feelings I felt. They helped make me see what was real and what was false. What as a mother I had to fight for, in order to give my children, the life they deserved. That is where, in my book, thanking these individuals came from my very heart. They deserved to be acknowledged. First and foremost.  Because those moments allowed us, (my children and I) to survive and heal.

Which brings me to the obvious question.  Why did you feel compelled to write KERRIED AWAY.  Was there still some cleansing and healing that you felt could only be dealt with through another book?

I knew by sharing my true story, I could help prevent others, from following the same road/path I once walked and followed. Or give another person, hope.

Is there another book in you?  If so will it be along the same theme?

Yes, it’s a trilogy and the way the pages fell. The third book, “Kerri”, is the final book. It wraps Kerri On and Kerried Away all into the perfect series.  Combining books one, and two by bringing that half of my life to a close. Showing the world, our wayward youth and discouraged families, to once again start anew. The book “Kerri” shares truth, knowledge, process and breaking a never ending cycle. That only comes when you have lived and survived.

When I first read the book review in the local paper. I have to admit I couldn't help but think of the famous Waylon Jennings song "Ladies Love Outlaws."  You talk about the power of the patch, as in the Hells Angel patch your husband proudly wore.  Does that over simplify the whole scenario?

“When” I did fall for my husband, I loved him as a person, not him with the patch. He broke me down with persistence. When he did touch my soul, was when he was kind, caring with a certain air of authority, I suppose. (Oh dear, that’s a loaded question, but it definitely does not simplify my scenario). I had a fleeting moment of passion, and I can see how that can breakdown even the wisest of woman. Then the truth came out and I was merely a pawn in his ploy to get back at the father of my first son. That hurt and that is a prime example of how truly tainting, power can be. If you’re not careful. As spider-man once stated in a Marvel Film. “With great power, comes an even greater responsibility”.
That goes for our law-enforcement, government, mother, father and citizens of society. Be careful, because a person’s status can harm another, if they’re not careful. Be wise and always diligent when passing advice or asking something of someone.
I was young and I ended up running with a crowd of misfits, because we belonged and accepted each other for who we were. When others that were supposed to, never did. Or so we thought... So I guess maybe for some that statement rings true, for me however that never fazed me.  Perhaps as a youth, but never as a wife/girlfriend or his babies mama. By then, I was already dosed, with a cold splash of reality.

You for obvious reasons chose to not delve into the characters in your ex-husbands club the Hells Angels.  Despite the crash and burn of your marriage. Do you still have any contact with "the club and its members?"

No, I do not. I chose different and it’s not because I have a grudge, hate or even pity. I fought hard for our lives and futures. To go backwards would be a shame. It’s just not going to happen.  Nor does that even cross my mind. Two different worlds and social circles.

In most cases a person that went through the tumultuous times that you did would seek solace in a bottle, a bag of pills, mediation, and religion?  What kept you hanging on and having enough energy to continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Without so many in our community coming forward, USA and elsewhere. I wouldn’t have survived. I wanted to die, but with time came acceptance, then slowly healing. There were days I didn’t want to keep going. I will always have an off day, we are human and a person with true empathy, can’t help but feel. It’s what you do with your feelings that matter. Once in a blue moon a person passing by, catches my eye. I see their pain, I see it because I once saw that in myself. So I reach out, I say hi and once in a while; I just may wrap my arms around them and say something nice. Because I know it’s the little things that matter, and those little moments are what kept me alive. Instead of closing myself off. I choose to feel.

You have two sons.  Ashton the oldest from a previous marriage and Sabel from the marriage you felt compelled to write about.  How have they fared through all this?  You live in a quiet suburban neighbourhood.  Has there been any blow back on you or the boys?  Can you lead a normal life?

My sons have flourished-excelling even. They and even me, have been complimented numerous times on their development.
I have written about one half of my life, not just my marriage. What we have faced during those times were hard, but in every person’s life, there are or can be set-backs. The blowback from “certain” individuals in our community have been more, let’s say, someone who wants to ask me out. They are scared, because of who my ex was. When really they have no reason to be. Or where I have been offered a paid job, in Toronto, out here I went to volunteer and the place simply said, “I was not a fit for their volunteer quota”. So that stung me a bit, and really it had to do with the cover of my book, as opposed to my qualifications. Knowing I was offered a paid position elsewhere, with the very same background, kinda hurt.
I applied for this position, went through numerous, lengthy interviews and was very qualified. In the end I was turned down because of my book. That really hurt. The places where I could really make a difference, tend to forget or overlook me at times out here. That’s tough because I know it is not out of spite, but fear and perhaps a little too much labelling, with colors that I do not bare....Or once again, judgements and assumptions.
Don’t get me wrong, I speak about a very limited few, a handful at most. Who treated me badly.

Now that the second book is about to be released I imagine you are gearing up for another long year of press and media.  Everyone prying into your life, wanting you to relive the horror in minute details.  How did you handle the first go round and do you think you learned enough to make this trip easier?

I’ve learned that instead of holding back as I tried to do before, I won’t. I believe my shyness in front of the camera has faded somewhat and my expertise on matters count. My confidence wasn’t quite there before. As with writing, publishing, abuse and even relationships. With each experience comes knowledge and how you use it, determines your growth. That I have gained.

What music would be in the soundtrack for “Kerried Away”.  If you could pick a song that tells your story what would it be?

Everlast        “Never know what it’s like to sing the blues”…..

I love music and I have no doubts there will be a soundtrack one day. Who knows it could be sung and produced by my own son.

In the end your book is not about "Don't hang around with the Hells Angels" yet one would naturally come to the conclusion this is a primal scream not only for your healing process but as a real life drama to warn others of the dangers in staying in an abusive relationship.  One does not have to be a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang to be abusive.  It just so happened, that is how the package you took came wrapped.  Do you think you can help others avoid your mistake?  What was your mistake?

Thank-you for saying that.

Some of those, in the beginning of us finding our freedom, helped me with food, shelter and even taking away the fear I felt, when finally alone.
My mistakes came in many forms, from kindness that turned into my weakness. Looking past the bad and searching for the good. Trusting to easily, made me turn a blind eye to the truth. I repeated a cycle, I felt I caused. I never knew any better. When in fact it started well before I was old enough to walk. Recognizing that, has helped me come to terms with so much. It’s okay to hurt, cry or feel alone. It is the how and what you allow in your life, that ultimately determines your healing and even fate.
I have had thousands, reach out and share their own personal stories of trauma and even fleeing their abusive situations. Knowing I helped them, in turn has helped me become more confident. It’s a beautiful feeling knowing you as a person, has made that type of difference or helped another not feel alone. We as a community and world, practice awareness, that in itself has brought so much more to the table with regards to bettering our world. People trust me and have been searching for someone they can lean on, talk too and relate with. Even just through e-mails, social media ect and that is amazing.

One person can make a difference, can you imagine what a hundred people could do or more. Now that’s evolution, change and truly, magnificent.

Visit Kerri's website (click here)

Order KERRIED AWAY (click here)

Editor's Note

KERRI makes no royalties off of her book sales in Canada due to the fact she is now based with a U.S. publisher.

KERRI donates her Canadian book royalties to women or families that are dealing with the same or similar situation she survived.



December 09, 2015


"They say it takes a community to raise a child and I thank you for helping me raise mine."

Carmel’s Story

I have lived in White Rock most of my life and in that time never thought about what services the community offered.  I married my high school boyfriend and together we started a family. At that time in my life I thought my life was full and complete. In a short time we had 4 boys and our life was filled with family, sports, and school activities.

After 14 years together things began to change. My husband’s behaviour became erratic, his appearance changed, he became aggressive and abusive, I started to recognise the signs of drug and alcohol use and this went on for some time. I could not understand what was happening to our lives, the man I had married was gone; the father of my sons was never home, my boys were upset and afraid. I knew it could not continue like this, and finally he moved out and I mistakenly thought things would calm down that maybe we could somehow get back to normal.

Soon after the financial support stopped, the savings account was cleaned out, and credit cards maxed out. I started getting calls from banks and credit card companies then I received notice of legal action regarding missed mortgage payments on our home. Not being the main income earner I was unaware of our financial situations.


Carson Wright, Matteo Wright, ‎Carmel Joy, Devereaux Wright, Christopher Wright.


I was stunned, how I am going to support my boys. I had been working part time as a cashier but knew that would not be enough. I knew I would have to ask for help but had no idea how hard that would be. With food getting low and no money I made my first visit to the income assistance office and it was devastating, I had to explain why I needed help and then try to fill out the forms, I was met with unhelpful, unsympathetic and unfriendly faces; I could not do it, I left crying.

There was no choice I had to return and completed the forms and was told I would receive $950 a month for food, clothing and shelter for a family of five and if I work they will take that amount off $ for $.  I did the math and new that the mortgage, utilities, would be at least that amount. There would be no money for food let alone clothing, school and sports, these expenses would have to be cut. There was no way to feed, clothe and shelter myself and 4 growing boys on that amount of money. I felt I would have to quit my part time job as I could not pay a babysitter only have that money reduced from my assistance. The income assistance office said they know I could not survive on the money allotted to me and said I will need to get food from the Food Bank.

On July 10, 2001 I stood in line at the food bank. My mind wondering, thinking what would the families at my boy’s school, or the families at hockey think if they only knew. Here I stand in line with people whom normally would never cross my path. I had no food left in my house, bills were not being paid; I was faced with uprooting my boy’s lives more than they have already. I just stood in line and waited for the doors to open.

My nerves were shattered, I tried not to look at anyone just stared at the ground I felt so defeated and useless. The door opened and one by one we entered I had no idea what to do or were to go. I got to the front of the line and said these very difficult words “I need some food for my family” My voice was a whisper and it cracked, I had tears in my eyes.

The lady replied you will need to register; she took me aside and asked me some simple question, how many kids, ages, boys or girls etc. I replied with my shaky voice inside wishing this to be over and I could return to my life years ago.  She took me back to the counter and handed over many bags of food, told me to help myself to the day old bread, gave me four lunch bags with special treats for kids, then she stopped and looked at me and said, “we happen to have some fresh cakes in today would you like one”. With tears running down my checks I said “yes, that would be great! as today is my oldest son’s birthday he is 10”. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be getting a cake for my son from the food bank. I left there and headed home tears streaming down my face, my chest heaving, unable to process emotionally what has happened to my life.

And so my weekly visit to the food bank began, the boys looked forward to what treat they would get in their lunch bag. Every week I knew I would get just enough food to make it for a week, but as my boys grew I knew that would not be enough. I had to do some sole searching and find a way to get a job that was during school hours, and that could pay our bills. That would not happen as a cashier.
I did some research to find out what education was needed to obtain a clerical job. Next I sat with a counsellor at Kwantlen and figured out what program I could handle and afford.

The teachers at my son’s school were all aware of the problems at home, due to the emotional state of myself and my boys. One day I received a call from our priest at the parish asking me to come in and talk to him, I did and was told that the parish and the school did not want me to remove my boys that this was their family, their community, and that their tuition would be covered in this time of need.  Around the same time a coach from one of my son’s hockey teams approached me and let me know that the association has a subsidy available for families in need, and that he had given them my name.

Every day I would swallow my pride and tell stranger about my situation and just kept putting one foot in front of the other and marched on with the goal of giving my boys the best life I could. They had suffered the loss of their father, whom had not contacted us in months and we had no idea where he was.  I had also received strength from a group I joined called Al Anon.  They helped me understand the insanity that happens in people’s lives when loved ones have addictions.

With Christmas approaching I knew this would be difficult. There was no money for gifts let alone a turkey.  At my weekly food bank stop a volunteer asked me if I had signed up my kids for a Christmas hamper. I had not, so she helped me fill out the forms, it had question like what would your kids like for Christmas, of course I filled it out with socks, underwear, pyjamas, shirts, warm boots. You know all the fun stuff kids love getting at Christmas. She gave me a funny look but said nothing. A week or so later as I walked into a local bank I was stopped in my tracks by a large sign that read “Help support our Christmas Hamper for a needy family, a mom and four boys and their ages, it listed all the things I had said and fortunately they added one more, Toys. I started to cry and laugh thinking to myself what mom would forget toys.

I set up the decoration and waited for the season to end. It would be so difficult and emotional, I was on auto pilot. I received a call a few days before Christmas to come and pick up my hamper, when I got there  I was overwhelmed, there were boxes of food, including a turkey, and boxes filled with wrapped gifts, each with my boys names on them. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of our community that year. At midnight on Christmas eve I brought out all the gifts, filled the stockings and was filled with happiness inside, that our tree looked like every other year, presents under, waiting for excited kids to open. All due to a community that gives with their heart.

I borrowed some money and started collage on a part time basis and tried not to stand out amongst all the twenty something student. I managed this routine for a while, but then I ran into a road block when income assistance told me I could not attend collage part time and would have to quit or they would cut me off assistance. I was ¾ of the way through my business certificate and had put in so much effort. I had received excellent marks I did not want to quit but new that I had to in order to provide for my family. I was overwhelmed when the collage presented me with a bursary to help me until I finished the program. So income assistance removed my support but I continued on.  
Despite feeling exhausted and drained emotionally and physically, I felt like things were looking up. I walked across a stage at graduation in my Kwantlen gown and received my certificate with my boys all watching their mom. It was a very special day.

I juggled getting kids to school, daycare, sports, part time cashier work, and collage classes for over three years.  I kept the creditors at bay and paid the mortgage and utilities leaving very little for food.  Not long after finishing my college classes I was able to find work with a local city that led to a permanent position.

My life has grown and so have my boys. Although we have not had any contact with their father for over 15 years we have persevered and survived our difficult time. I have had many blessing in my live, despite the setbacks, I feel very grateful to live is such a giving community.
I have met a wonderful man and he had eagerly taken on the role of dad to my four boys.

I could not have survived those trying years without the help from the food bank. I often recall those day whenever I pick up a tin of Tomato soup, nothing wrong with tomato soup but it was a constant every week for us. And when I donate to the food bank I feel I have come full circle.

My sons are now 20, 22, 23 &25 years old. The oldest a certified Journey Man Carpenter and owns a successful Construction company, the next son also is a certified Carpenter and works with his brother, the next is a Private serving with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light infantry in Edmonton, and the youngest son is on his level 4 in carpentry and has inspirations of becoming a firefighter.

I believe your generosity has installed hope and courage in my sons that they will take with them and share with others for the rest of their lives.

They say it takes a community to raise a child and I thank you for helping me raise mine.

Thank You




December 02, 2015


The White Rock Blues Society will stage their 8th annual Food Bank Blues For Christmas event this Sunday at the Pink Palace/Pacific Inn. Like so many other events in White Rock the lifeblood of any event is the wonderful pool of volunteers. Today let's get to know CLAIRE HANCOCK volunteer co-ordinator of the White Rock Blues Society.

Claire thank you for taking few minutes to talk about you and the White Rock Blues Society. First of all how long have you been working with the White Rock Blues Society and how did you come to join the volunteer group?

3 years ago I attended a Blues Society show and was hooked so I volunteered. My volunteering rather quickly morphed into becoming the volunteer co-ordinator because I like people and have fairly good organization skills and there was a need to organize our rather large group of volunteers.


Over the years you have seen a number of shows, are there a couple of shows that stand out for you?

The annual International Blues Challenge contests where musicians compete for the opportunity to represent the White Rock Blues Society in Memphis. Two years ago, thanks to the support and generosity of Joanne Charles and the Semiahmoo First Nations we moved the show outdoors at the Semiahmoo Bandshell. An all day outdoor show, great musicians with an ocean backdrop - pure magic.

This Sunday some of the top local musicians will once again donate their time and efforts to raise money for the South Surrey food bank. You will be rising money and collecting food for the food bank at the show correct? Are there any specific food items you are asking people to bring?

Non-perishable nutritious foods - including protein such as canned fish, beans etc, non- sugary cereals, soups, tinned fruit and vegetables.

It might not be fair to ask you to single out any of the great artists performing Sunday, but is there one that might be personal favourite of yours?

You are right, it is not fair. All the musicians donate their talent and time because they believe in the cause.


How many volunteers are there helping the WRBS?

We currently have around 30 volunteers who help out at our regular shows, Usually 10 or so volunteers help out at each show. The outdoor International Blues Challenge show takes at least 50 volunteers. We are fortunate our volunteers encourage their friends, family and co-workers to come out and help us for the outdoor shows.


Do you need more volunteers and if so how would someone get on the list?

Our volunteer philosophy is the more volunteers the merrier. Somehow it works out that a comfortable number of volunteers are available for each show, not too many, not too few. We are always looking for friendly, blues music loving volunteers for our shows. We could definitely use additional help with promoting shows and a social media presence. The volunteer contact email is Many volunteers make their initial contact with us at our shows.


You also have been working at Blue Frog Studios helping with a variety of chores. Would it be safe to say you love music. If so when did this love affair begin?

It is a lifelong love affair that has blossomed since I moved to White Rock and have had the incredible opportunity to enjoy live music at least two nights every week. The symbiotic relationship between musicians and the audience adds a whole new texture to the music experience beyond just listening to music. My love affair with the Blues was cemented when as a teenager I attended my first concert - BB King in Melbourne.


If I told you that we were going to drop you off on a deserted island and you could only take 5 records/cds with you, which 4 would you tie?

I'd have to take a couple of nights off from enjoying live music and finally get around to loading my iPod with tunes. Tunes would be blues, R&B, classical, soul choirs, classic rock and some current stuff. My music taste changes with my mood. Of course I would have to sneak some musicians and guitars in my suitcase cause I'm addicted to live music.

Your home is in White Rock. How long have you lived here? What drew you to OUR CITY BY THE SEA?

I moved to White Rock three years ago to live by the sea. At the time I was good naturedly harassed for moving to slow sleepy White Rock by friends and family. When I moved here I had no idea I was moving into a community where you can go out and enjoy live music every night of the week. I still meet people on almost a daily basis who do not know how many musicians live in the area and how fortunate we are to live in a community where there is so much great live music.


Let's pretend you're Mayor for a week, what would the first things you would focus on changing?

Spread the word that we are not just the City by the Sea, we are also the Blues capital of Canada! For a relatively small community we have the opportunity to enjoy performances by award winning musicians in small intimate venues.

In closing Claire after Sunday's Blues For Christmas the Blues Society has a big New Year's Eve party planned. Fill us in on the details of the big night.

Soul thumping blues man Bill Johnson and his band will keep the dance floor hopping after a Southern style BBQ buffet in the Rhumba Room at the Pacific Inn (aka the Pink Palace).

Visit the White Rock Blues Society (click here)



November 18, 2015


PAULA REMPEL SPURR was a fixture in White Rock for number of years. It was not unusual to see PAULA turn up at the White Rock Farmer's Market on a Sunny Sunday and set up and entertain the crowds with an afternoon of beautiful music. I was personally thrilled to red on her FACEBOOK posting that she would be starring in a stage production in Vancouver called AGNES OF GOD. I tracked Paula down to get more information.

PAULA first of all how long did you and your family call White Rock home?

We lived in White Rock for almost 3 years.

In addition to the aforementioned musical offerings at the Farmers Market, you also worked for a period of time at at the World Thrift store in Hillcrest Mall. Tell me about that experience.

I loved working at the World Serve Thrift! It was a great team of volunteers and staff, and we always had so much fun! Also, serving the people of White Rock was a treat, there were so many regulars at the thrift store. I have great memories of working there!

I have seen over the months on your FACEBOOK postings you work fairly regularly in the movie industry. How did that all come about?

WAY back in 1987, I answered an ad in the newspaper, a cattle call looking for interesting people to host a new CBC TV show. Out of the 1500+ people that applied, I was one of the 5 chosen. We shot the show, Pilot 1, for about 10 weeks. It was a whirlwind experience, and it also got me into the actor's union. Since then that has been my favourite way to attempt to make money. You won't recognize me, but i'm in the background of just about every TV show or movie that's been filmed here over the years.

You must have a funny and or interesting story from being on set. Care to share one or two with us?

My most recent enjoyable experience was on the set of Army of One, a new movie coming out soon with Nicolas Cage. We were shooting a scene with Russell Brand, and although I can't give you details of the scene, I CAN say that Russell Brand was flirting with me most ostentatiously the whole time we were filming. He is adorable! So funny, and so good-natured! To be fair, he wasn't flirting with just me. He was flirting with everybody. But me as well!! I'll never forget it. Ha ha!!

Also, being on set often is not glamorous. Try being in full winter wool wardrobe in the middle of July, 35 degrees Celsius, and being told to "Look cold" as they film a Christmas movie. That happens a lot. Or wearing a t-shirt in November and being told to "Look warm." That's why they call it acting, folks!

This Thursday you make your debut in the stage production of AGNES OF GOD. Is this your first experience of live theatre?

I have been doing theatre just about my whole life. I have done many productions back in Alberta (favourite role: Adelaide in Guys and Dolls), and I also performed in the White Rock Theatre Players production of The Crucible a few years ago! So not my first experience, but definitely the first time playing such a serious role with such a small ensemble. There's only three of us!

What is the play AGNES OF GOD about? I see from the promotional pictures you play a nun.

I'm not just a nun, I'm the Mother Superior! Quite a responsibility. The play is the story of a psychiatrist who's been assigned to assess the sanity of a young nun, Agnes, who was found unconscious in her room with a dead baby, which she claims she didn't even know she was pregnant with. It is a very well-written story, with many layers of subtext, swirling connections and relationships. The story deals with themes of faith, science, abuse, family dynamics, just to name a few.

Who else is in the cast of AGNES OF GOD?

I am acting with Tiffany Markwart and Annie Arbuckle.

What is/was the main hurdle to overcome preparing for your role?

I guess the most difficult part for all three of us is getting all those lines stuck in our heads in the right order. It has been interesting to see how the three of us have come together to help each other. If one of us sinks, we all do, and we have formed quite a strong bond as we prepare!

Quite obviously you do not have a big problem appearing on stage, given the fact you have quite an interesting musical background.

I love being on stage. (It's one of the hardest parts of doing film/TV work—there's no immediate audience!) Yes, it's scary, but I liken it to my version of bungee jumping. Terrifying, but ultimately so thrilling that it's worth it—every time!

Can you ever see yourself returning to White Rock possibly to appear in a White Rock Players production? You would be great in the annual Christmas Panto.

I certainly can see that! I still have many friends and family in White Rock, and it's a regular visit for me.

Paula thank you so much for letting us catch up to the exciting things you are up to.

I hope people will consider the trip into Vancouver to see this show. It's not a piece of light fluffy theatre, but rather a show that makes you think and feel, and that is part of what being human is all about! Also, I want to thank my band, The Honky Tonk Dilettantes, for being so gracious as to allow me the time to act in this show.

Bob Hanham photo

Paula performing with The Honky Tonk Dilettantes


Keep in touch with Paula and find out when she is next performing with the Dilettants (click here)



November 11, 2015

Mental Health issues are not criminal issues... and other recent stories from the street


In the past 30 days, Delta Police officers dealt with 67 cases with mental health implications. The following stories illustrate just a few of those. All of the situations are different, but all have one thing in common: there is no criminal investigation to be undertaken.

Police officers are involved in each of the files because the callers didn't know who else to call. The subjects were all apprehended under the emergency mental health provisions under Section 28 of the Mental Health Act.

An officer was dispatched to a report of a suicidal woman. The officer located the woman’s vehicle parked alongside the Fraser River and so he began patrols in the area to look for her. Shortly after, the officer observed a woman climbing over the concrete barriers and back to the roadway. The woman was soaking wet from the shoulders down and the officer was able to provide her with an emergency blanket. She told the officer she had been sitting in the river and was planning on hurting herself. The woman apprehended under S.28 MHA and transported to hospital in the police car and admitted to hospital after a doctor’s evaluation. The woman has no previous mental health or negative history with police.

Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call in which the caller reported people on his roof and going into his house. The man answered the door brandishing a large kitchen knife. Officers were able to draw their firearms and take cover. The man eventually complied with commands to drop the knife and was apprehended under the mental health act without other force. He was apprehended at gunpoint though. Officers learned the man had been released from hospital the day before after being admitted for a similar occurrence in another jurisdiction. He was re-admitted to hospital.

Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call of an unconscious man inside a house. Officers located the man, lying unconscious on his back and blood on his stomach, with an open knife near to him. Officers and paramedics treated the man at scene before transporting him to hospital. When he regained consciousness he admitted to cutting himself while in the middle of a break-up over the phone. He was held in hospital for psychiatric evaluation and has no prior police mental health history.

An officer was flagged down by a man who told her he was having an anxiety attack and had just jumped out of the car of an unknown female friend. The officer was able to calm the man and obtain his particulars. A check of the police computer database revealed the man had left hospital several days earlier without permission and that a Director’s Warrant had been issued for him. He was apprehended under the provisions of the warrant and transported directly back to the hospital from where he had left. The man has a history of leaving designated mental health treatment programs/facilities without permission.

Officers attended the Alex Fraser Bridge for a report of a suicidal female. On arrival, the female told them she had planned to stop the car, climb over the railing, and jump to her death. She was apprehended under S.28 MHA and transported to hospital by officers.

Officers responded to the area after several 9-1-1 calls of breaking glass and crashing noises. Several callers thought a break and enter or a serious assault was occurring. The first officer on scene could not initially locate anything, but then also heard glass breaking. He followed the noise and saw a male inside an apartment, behind a broken glass door. The man was bleeding from the arm and clearly agitated. Prior to police arriving, the man had destroyed his home and attempted to barricade himself inside. He refused to come out to police but otherwise was not aggressive or combative. Once additional officers arrived, the first officer was able to climb over a railing and through the broken door where he handcuffed the man without incident. The man has diagnosed mental health issues and in the month prior to this incident had been transported to hospital by police and admitted on three occasions under S.28 Mental Health Act.

The photo accompanying this post is of a suicidal man my partner and I (along with some Good Samaritans) rescued off the Alex Fraser Bridge several years ago. Many 9-1-1 callers reported seeing a man climb right over the railing and we rushed to the area. When we finally found the man, the only thing visible was his hands and wrists and, if we looked over, the top of his head. He had climbed over the railing and shimmied down until he was holding on to the bottom railing with his legs dangling hundreds of feet above the water. My partner and I were only able to hold him enough to prevent him from falling should he have let go, accidentally or otherwise. Crouching down and reaching through the railing, we held him until help in the form of the third officer and two bystanders arrived. Working together, we were able to pull him up and over the railing. I had the job of reaching over and grabbing him, with my partners holding me. Once on the deck, the man was handcuffed for his and our safety, and we treated him until ambulance units could arrive. The K9 officer had brought his dog leash for us to tie the man to the railing if we had been unable to pull him up. Prior to that, we’d seriously considered handcuffing him to the railing to at least buy us some seconds if he struggled and we had to let go. Another bystander snapped the picture. Several people yelled over their car radios about their ruined commutes.

It's a very strange feeling to walk that fine of a line between death and life and it's something I'll remember always. But, after taking the man to hospital, we simply grabbed a coffee and continued on with our day. It's just what we do.

If you don't know who else to call, you can always contact us at 9-1-1. For non-emergencies or late report incidents, call 604.946.4411


October 06, 2015

Wow back at it! Almost done Surrey for the box program. Overwhelmed by support and the feedback! That silly box for $25 weighs about 35-40 those of you who have received one we put samples of red Russian, Yukon gold and free red Russian kale in for free as a thank you .... our intentions are to go back over all of our routes after October 5th and re do any that were missing information and stuff as well as do new orders that keep coming on.

Please check you email...if you ordered online...we sent out 393 emails this morning with an update as well as your confirmation that we received your order. Our intentions are to make this a better box and make it worth it's name and share in abundance.

I want to thank the small group in Chilliwack of single moms who helped me with positive feedback and to create this box which took some trial and error. So many people are here helping and we can use more. I'm back alive and well and many people are continuously yelling at me to look after myself and making me take breaks and helping.

We can always use more help just show up don't forget we will hit over 400 boxes which is unexpected and will take the farm 60% out of total debt for the year which means this little box program and you helped recover the costs of $150,000 lbs.

In the last three weeks GODS LITTLE ACRE FARM farm helped feed over 5,000 people now and we are going to help make a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are reaching out to anyone who is doing turkey dinners for the needy and saying come on down for thousands of lbs. of free potatoes and carrots and squash to give away. We have already given away 1200 pumpkins given away and zero people have been turned away at the farm this year like all other years. I hope we can zero out this year by years end and this means no wages for me but I'm good to go, we still have lots of pumpkins to sell and I can make something from that as all my expenses are paid from here.

Keep on ordering boxes and we will keep bringing them right up to Thanksgiving,. we will not miss anyone.


Jas Singh/ GOD LITTLE ACRE 16582- 40th avenue (East of Mary's Garden) South Surrey

Visit our FACEBOOK for more information on farm updates (click here)



September 30, 2015


We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Chris MacClure and Marilyn Hurst owners of the GOLDEN CACTUS ART STUDIO in uptown White Rock. The couple in addition to sharing a business and a personal life, created International Artist Day IAD.

The annual event returns to White Rock Sunday October 25.

This years IAD is a little different from past years, CHRIS could you tell us what we can expect this year?

The IAD White Rock Festival this year has been set up to do something unique , each year we want to find different ways of celebrating this world event here in the rock. Things get stale quick and this day is about honoring artists and their creativity. Come by and participate in what we are doing at the Blue Frog Oct. 25 Sun  6-9. Sat Oct. 24 the other half of this festival will be at the Semiahmoo Arts building for the 12 x 12 anonymous  art show.


I have to include myself in the group of people that were surprised International Artist Day (IAD) was created and launched from right here in our "city by the sea." What is the history of and motivation for starting IAD?

In 2004  Marilyn and I were in Cabo San Lucas Mexico at our studio and we decided when we came back to White Rock we would instigate this International Artist Day idea. The first world event was held at the Oxford Street Studio here in White Rock. The idea was to honor all artists for their contributions they have given society over the years.  IAD is to honor artists not just their art.


How many countries/cities are now celebrating International Artist Day? I recently heard there was a new addition very recently.

Some celebrations are being held in many countries by independent artists or art groups. To date a few IAD festivals are being promoted country wide by their national governments.  The last to sign on is Puerto Rico .

Marilyn & Chris up to this point in time IAD has been the love and joy of both of you. I understand you recently have brought a new arrival to White Rock into the fold of IAD in hopes of spreading the word far and wide. Tell me a bit about your newest team member?

This year we were pleased that a Media person signed on to help us fulfill this idea to promote it on the world stage. Maurice Cardinal has the know how to take this to a new level. We have many ideas on how to help others learn to celebrate this International Artist Day.


We often hear White Rock refereed to as an arts community. Indeed we are home to a number of gifted artists of all persuasions. Do you think there could be a different method to engaging and building on the popularity that already exists in White Rock/South Surrey?

An arts community isn’t just about creative people living in the neighborhood, it’s about being involved in the arts of a community.

This past weekend the Semiahmoo Peninsula hosted an Arts Tour whereby the public was able to visit various home studios/workshops of various artists. Is the area a little too large to effectively host an event like this. From an artists point of view, and I realize you did a more concentrated collection of art at the White Rock Community Centre last year. What are the pros and cons of both styles of events?

Like all things critical mass makes for a more dynamic event. The closer the individual parts are the more the energy. People will only have a certain amount of time in our busy world. If you have 100 artists opening their doors and a mile in between people will have to choose maybe  5 artists to visit.


Good luck with the 2015 International Day festivities. Chris and Marilyn, please dream the big dream. Where would you like to see IAD International Day go?

When I get feedback from around the world it is only a fraction of what is being done to celebrate. There are thousands of artists celebrating on their own in their own community. This is what I hoped for, I was just the starting point. It is like a trumpet as it spreads it widens.  Please come out and support your area creative people by attending these two events.

Click here for more information




September 10, 2015

Shawn Gurney

Langley's Shawn Gurney has joined the worldwide movement to support treatment and a cure for prostate cancer. At the end of September Shawn will get dressed in his finest suit and swing his leg over the seat of his motorcycle and set out on the Distinguished Gentleman's ride for 2015.

Welcome Shawn. Tell me how you came to be the organizer of a local Distinguished Gentleman's ride?

I found out about the Vancouver Distinguished Gentleman's Ride last year, as it was happening, so I made a point to sign up to be a rider this year.
I was discussing it with some fellow riders over coffee and one of them mentioned that he had planned on organizing the ride in Langley but was not able to. I decided to step up and got in touch with the ride officials. A few e-mails later, I was the official organiser.

I understand this is a global initiative, correct?

Yes, the ride was started in Sydney, Australia in 2012 and had spread to 257 cities in 58 countries by 2014.


The monies raised on the ride will go to help with research and prevention of prostate cancer. Have you had a personal experience with prostate cancer?

I lost my mother to a long fight with breast cancer in December and I know a couple of gentlemen who are dealing with prostate cancer. I see a lot of charities raising money for breast cancer research but less for prostate cancer so I decided to sign up.


How many riders are you expecting to take part in the ride in its inaugural year? I understand the ride will start in Langley on September September 27. What route will you follow. Are you coming to the White Rock/South Surrey area?

We are still getting riders signed up, at this moment I have seven riders, including myself but we still have four weeks left to get more riders signed on. The Vancouver had a large turnout last year but they currently have only thirteen people signed up. We are very hopeful that there will be many more riders signing up in the coming weeks.

Because of the rules of the ride, I cannot publish the exact ride route but we will be starting in Fort Langley at 11:00am, riding through downtown Langley to Murrayville, through Brookswood and into south Surrey. We will then ride up Marine Drive through White Rock and finish the ride in Crescent Beach.


This is a world wide event, with many other Canadian cities and riders taking part in the ride. Do you have any idea on how many cities and riders will be taking part in the ride this year?

So far we have over 13,000 riders in 391 cities from 77 different countries taking part in the ride. Last year the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride raised over 1.5 million US Dollars and our goal for this year is 3 million.


As you ride through the various cities will you be stopping at pre-arranged stops for breakfast/lunch or beverages?

Yes, the ride is starting at a local coffee shop and there will be a couple stops along the way to ensure that everyone stays together. At these stops, we will make time for a coffee or a quick bite to eat.


How does anyone make a pledge to support your ride?

Anyone who wishes to make a donation can visit the website:
From there you will be able to chose the country, city and rider whom you would like to sponsor. If you don't have a preference, there is a button available that will allow you to simply make a donation.


Will the money you raise remain in local communities? Is there a national, worldwide organization that the money is donated to?

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride works with a number of international prostate cancer foundations. The Prostate Cancer Foundation in the USA, Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Prostate Cancer Canada and Prostate Cancer Foundation New Zealand.

This is the official information from the ride organisers:
Guiding principles for the distribution of funds raised
As we are from many and varied parts of the globe, money will be given to organisations which focus on funding research rather than applied support programs. We all benefit if a cure is found.
Primary research is universal. It helps each one of us no matter where we live.
DGR will not give funds to organisations or projects that are designed to create commercial IP.
DGR is guided in its decision-making by our research committee, which comprises of highly-regarded scientists, doctors and researchers. Our committee will help us determine the most appropriate charities to fund and the merits of the projects our funds support. It is important to us that we exercise a high degree of trust over the funds donated and importantly that those funds go to projects of high worth and value.


What is the motivation behind having all the riders dressed up to "the nines" when they take part in the ride. I must say I look forward to seeing the ride coming through the Semiahmoo Peninsula, it surely will be a sigh to see.

Because motorcycling often comes with a negative image, the organisers decided that seeing a rider on a classic bike, dressed in his finest suit would be an excellent way to combat that negative stereotype.
As a result this event is not open to any and all motorcycles and riders. There are plenty of other charity rides that are doing great work that are open to modern motorcycles and their riders.
To be eligible for the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, you must have a classic or classic-styled motorcycle. Vintage choppers, bobbers, café racers, scooters, scramblers, even sidecar bikes are also welcome.

Thank you SHAWN for sharing the information on the DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMEN'S RIDE. We will be watching out fo you on Sunday September 27, 2015.

D. Chesney / Publisher



August 06, 2015


Princess Party 2015

Who is invited Princesses age 2-10 & Princes age 2-5

(age suggestions are guideline only based on party activities)

Join us on Saturday, August 22nd 2015 

10:30 a.m. until 1:00 pm

Star of the Sea Community Center

15262 Pacific Avenue, White Rock BC

TICKET Donation is $31.00 ( + $1.77 processing fee)

*includes admission for one child & one adult




MYRA what year are we celebrating this year for the Princess Party?

Myra & Princesses

This year we are celebrating the 6th year of the White Rock Princess Party,  bringing magic and fun to the children.


You are close to capacity every year at the STAR OF THE SEA hall in White Rock.  Have you considered the day when the Princess Party may have to move to a larger venue?  Or will you cap it out where it is now.? Moving it to a larger venue may alter the special magic you now have in THE STAR  OF THE SEA.

I really want to keep the party in White Rock as it adds to our community spirit.  I do consider each year moving it to a larger venue, but really struggle with this.  If I move it to a larger venue, more children can attend and enjoy the festivities, but that might mean moving it out of our City of White Rock.   If it’s a larger venue, we would potentially make more money for the All Abilities Park, but it would possibly mean taking it out of White Rock.


Over the years I have asked you what was your motivation to start the Princess Party, but for the newly arrived please tell us again what motivated you to take on such a large undertaking?

My son, Evan Bird is a White Rock Fire Fighter.  6 years ago he and 7 other fire fighters rode bicycles across Canada raising money for Variety, the Children’s Charity.  I wanted to support this endeavour, and thought because I have 2 wonderful grand daughters, I could create an event that would be for children.  Thus the birth of the Princess Party.  I wasn’t thinking big enough.  We sold out!  I said to my son that I would like to continue having this wonderful, magical event in our community and give the money to charity, BUT I needed something I could wrap my heart around.   He told me about his dream to build an All Abilities park on the beach and I said YES, so we’re now in our 6th year and have raised $68,000 to date for the park.


You and EVAN BIRD recently appeared before White Rock city council to discuss your long range plans for an All Abilities Park on the White Rock waterfront.  How did your meeting go?

We were very pleased with the results of the meeting with City Council.  We received unanimous endorsement from council for the park and feel encouraged to keep moving forward with our fund raising.  We want to work in collaboration with City council and to also garner awareness and support from the community at large to create this park which will serve All Abilities and All Ages.  We have also received support from the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, who want to work with us to create this park, which will not only attract visitors, it will also provide healthy lifestyle activities for residents.  Is that exciting or what?

Each year you seem to be able to put a new twist on the Princess Party to keep it fresh.  What do you have up your sleeve this year?

Olaf The Snowman

We have both Queen Elsa and Princess Anna from the movie FROZEN as well we are thrilled to announce OLAF THE SNOWMAN will be joining us this year. .  Yes, two princesses.  Double the pleasure and they will entertain the children for a full half hour.  Also, Korki the clown, our smile ambassador is joining us.  The many activities keep the children so busy.  We have also decided to keep the raffle table this year to children’s items only. We are working to keep the theme FROZEN.  The party truly is an opportunity for many people in the community to get involved, from volunteering to being a sponsor to donating items for our raffle.


You have an army of volunteer ladies that help organize the Princess Party every year.  Tell us about how all these giving members of our community come together annually?

It takes many people to create and make this event magical.  We have about 50 volunteers who are also encouraged to dress in either their ethnic outfits or dress as a princess, which really adds to the fun.  Our volunteers are asked to put themselves in the shoes of each child, like when they were children themselves.  We really want each child to feel that they are beautiful both inside and out.  We ask each volunteer to take their time with each child, not to rush them, just to bring the magic.  We hope that all the volunteers really FEEL that they are a big part of making this day beautiful and that they feel appreciated.


Even though it is called the Princess Party  I have seen some Princes at the event as well.  Are more young boys turning up with their mothers in tow?

Absolutely, we love to encourage young boys to attend.  It really is a fun event for boys as well.  Each year we see more boys attend.  When we introduced the practice of virtues to our party we realized that we wanted to impact all the children in our community so felt it was important to include both genders.


One of the featured members of the Princess Party is an incredible lady who seems to be an incarnation of Snow White.  She is so wonderful with the children.  What is her story?

Alyssa / Snow White

Her name is Alyssa and she has a Birthday Party business called Alyssa volunteered for the first ever White Rock Princess Party 6 years ago and is now a co-organizer.  I have had the privilege of attending some events that she volunteers for and also birthday parties to watch her and how she interacts with the children.  She never ceases to amaze me.  She completely takes on the character of each princess that she plays and never sways out of character.  She has this amazing ability to stay deeply connected with each child.  Alyssa takes her role so seriously and wants each child to feel special and believe in fairy tales.  I feel so blessed to have her be a part of the Princess Party.


Each year you set up a booth at the Pirates in the Park event in Semiahmoo Park.  I notice the White Rock Youth Ambassadors play an important part in your booth.  Will they also be at the Princess Party?

Absolutely, the White Rock Youth Ambassadors will be volunteering at the Princess Party.  Many thanks to Deb Ward for her commitment to support the ambassadors to attend the party.  The Youth Ambassadors volunteer in our community and we like the young ones to witness the example they provide.  Also the Job’s Daughters volunteer every year as well and provide a good example of leadership as well.


I know from personally talking to a few of your volunteers, they get so much out of volunteering.  Do you have any particular Kodak moments with any of the volunteers.

What I love is the volunteers contacting me to ask if they can volunteer again next year because they really GOT the importance and impact that they have in making a difference in our community.  I especially love the young girls who have attended the party a few years in a row and are now wanting to come and volunteer, including one of my grand daughters.  My grand daughter, Sadie wanted to volunteer last year and said she would be in service for 30 minutes.  I went to check on her after 30 minutes to see if she was done and she said “No, Oma, I’m having more fun volunteering, can I please do it for another 30 minutes”. 


If you could pick one song that would be the soundtrack for The Princess Party what would it be?

“Do you believe in Magic” by the Lovin' Spoonful.



A double part question. What is the best part about The Princess Party?  What is the best part about living on the Semiahmoo Peninsula?

The best part about the Princess Party? – To me personally and I also say this to the volunteers that the Princess party is an opportunity for all of us to relive being a little girl/boy again when we were full of believing in the possibility of magic and miracles and that anything is possible.

What is the best part about living on the Semiahmoo Peninsula? -  My gosh I truly feel blessed every day to wake up and enjoy our beautiful City by the Sea.  To be able to walk along our promenade, feel safe, breathe in fresh air, greet people with a smile and a good morning.  I feel so grateful to live in our beautiful City and enjoy all the facilities and activities that we have.


For more information and ticket purchase (click here)

Check out the updates on their FACEBOOK site




July 16, 2015

White Rock's FRAN DUTHIE talks about her inspiration to create an organization to work against the slaughter of African elephants and rhinoceros' for their prized ivory tusks.


ELEPHANATICS? Fran please tell us the work your group is currently doing?

We are currently working on the upcoming Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, Oct. 3rd and I am working on some awareness campaigns within the community and Vancouver. We are also working on raising awareness in Canada to ban wildlife performances in circuses.

How did you come to create Elephanatics. What was the tipping point for you personally to become involved.

I founded Elephanatics, May 2013, with a couple of other equally concerned folks who have witnessed the consequences of poaching firsthand. I had been reading a lot about the crisis and decided I wanted to try and bring awareness to this issue so I reached out to a PhD candidate at UBC who works for Save the Elephants, a large NGO in Africa, and together we formed our group.

You and ELEPHANATICS do work with school children. Could you explain exactly how you engage with children.

Kids love learning about elephants and how important they are as a keystone species. I have written a power point presentation on poaching for younger grades 2-5. I incorporate a book which tells a story about an orphaned baby elephant whose mother was poached. I then ask students questions about the book and encourage discussion about what they have learned and what they knew about the poaching issue before I read them the book. I deliver my presentation about poaching afterwards. I do this in a non graphic manner and make the learning process as fun as possible given the topic! I bring in different materials for students to take home regarding the elephant and I have made place mats for kids to colour with elephant facts on one side which they can laminate and take home to use. I own a few pairs of elephant ears which the kids love to wear during the lesson. By the end of the hour the kids have had some fun learning about a critical crisis and hopefully they take that knowledge home to share with their parents.

FACEBOOK and other media are full with messages about the inhumanity we exert towards elephants in captivity and the harvesting of ivory from their tusks. What can we do?

We CAN STOP buying ivory trinkets or anything with ivory in it when we travel abroad to places like Thailand, Vietnam, China. We need to cut the supply and demand of ivory. We CAN NOT ride elephants or support any of the tourist industries where elephants are broken and we CAN NOT support circuses. Our website has a list of ways to help stop cruelty to animals and share information about the poaching crisis.

Speaking of FACEBOOK I just saw something today where concerned groups are now spraying dye on the tusks of rhinoceros and elephants. Is this feasible and does it actually stop the senseless poaching.

This is an idea thought up by someone who has not looked very closely at the problem. An elephant tusk is a modified incisor. Just like our teeth an elephants tusks are alive. They are embedded deep in the elephants skull and contains a very large conical pulp cavity with tissue, blood and nerves. You can saw off a portion of an elephant's tusk, if you are careful not to expose the pulp cavity, but if you did so you would still leave a very large chunk of ivory inside the elephant's skull. This is why you see such gory pictures of elephants after being poached. They need to cut off a large part of their face in order to reach the rest of the tusk. Dye would and could not reach the rest of the tusk inside it's head. The incisors grow 2 cm a year. So trimming off or dyeing the tusk would never be a permanent solution. There are arguments on whether it would help prevent or spurn more poaching.

Are the tusks of elephants and rhinoceros harvested for natural health supplements by some poachers or is it simply the ivory they are after?

Yes, there is wide belief in certain countries that rhinoceros horn can solve many health issues. Rhino horn has no medicinal benefit whatsoever, but the slaughter continues regardless the campaigns that have shown that rhinoceros horn is made of keratin, just like our teeth, and does nothing to solve headaches, food poisoning, typhoid or any of the other claims given it.

There is a public march planned for Vancouver in March. Do you have information on the event?

Elephanatics is hosting the second annual Global march for Elephants and Rhinos.

Please view the link below for more information:>

In addition to the poaching aspect does ELEPHANATICS oppose elephants being used for entertainment in zoos. Is this problem on the rise or decline?

As an advocacy group we look at all aspects of elephant abuse. We have a detailed list of ethical tourist destinations to visit when travelling abroad. One of our members has started a country wide ban on a circus travelling across Canada at the moment. We were pleased to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus phasing out elephant acts by 2018 amidst growing public concern about how their animals are treated. Awareness is reaching the masses!

As a resident of the White Rock area, people often ask me why we should be concerned about the elephant. My reply is simple. We live in a world where everything is globally connected. A large number of crime syndicates fund their attacks with money derived from the sale of ivory. A retailer was caught in Richmond selling ivory illegally and the Internet acts as an easy conduit for selling and purchasing ivory anonymously. Educating the public about where ivory comes from and why people must say - 'NO TO IVORY' - is key to help cut the supply and demand.

We are always looking for compassionate volunteers to help continue our goal of raising awareness. Please see our website for volunteer opportunities and application forms:

Thank You

Fran Duthie/Elephanatics Team



June 11, 2015

Smoke 'Em If You Got "Em

l-r Shabnum - The Pope of Pot - Erin

Vancouver may be home to The Prince of Pot (Marc Emery), but White Rock has gone one better with the arrival of The Pope of Pot.

“ROBIN” and his flock opened a marijuana smoke lounge on White Rock’s main drag, Marine Drive months ago.  To date  the facility has operated below the radar.  “ROBIN” when pressed on whether or not the RCMP had been by, quickly stated “Oh yes they have popped in a few times to look around.  The did not seem at all concerned with what we were doing.  I think they would rather see people who like to smoke a little pot come in here and not bother anyone by smoking on the beach of promenade.”

“ROBIN” a one time touring musician came to White Rock 8 months ago from Fort Saint John.  He relates how he was personally saved by medical marijuana after suffering a serious brain injury following an accident.   He says he saw what medical marijuana did for him “It got me out of the wheelchair I was confined to for 4 years.”

The smoke lounge is very strict in its operation.  Visitors must be 18 years and older, there are no drugs for sale on the premises, the operating hours are 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily with later openings on the weekend until midnight.  The group has even started a FACEBOOK for The Church of Holy Smoke.  Donations are accepted to offset the hard costs of features like  having a coffee pot on all the time.  The mood the day e visited as very laid back and friendly as two staff and two visitors joined “ROBIN” in the burning of the green.

In the words or “Robin” (first names only at the church) ;
“We are a bunch of classic hippies, having a classic good time.”

Visit the Holy Smoke FACEBOOK (click here)




May 20, 2015

They're Baaaaacccckkkkkkk!

Sunday the White Rock Farmers' Market will begin the 2015 season. Market Manager HELEN FATHERS provides a preview of this year's market.

Helen first of all congratulations on to you and your staff on your nomination for B.C.'s top Farmers' Market.

Thank you so much David, it is an honour to be recognized by the BCAFM . We are part of an organization that represents 126 Markets throughout BC and very proud to represent our Community and be part of the Nomination process .


The market continues to grow every year. What anniversary is the market celebrating this year and how many vendors will be on hand on a weekly basis?

Well we started in 1999 so that makes this our 16th season . We have grown to be a large market . We have 120+ vendors registered, weekly we estimate to start at 80 and end the season with over 100 .


Tell our readers about the coupon program the market has undertook last year. A wonderful way of giving back to the community.

The project is sponsored by BCAFM and the Province of BC - it is designed to provide support for seniors and lower income families to shop at BC Farmers' Markets and increase awareness of healthy eating and food choices . This is our second year with the program and this equates to over $14,000 given to eligible participants in our community through our Community Partners Sources, Women's Place and White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank.

The entertainment stage is back, and I see you have a strong duo opening the market this year.

Yes , we love our music line up . There are so many great musicians . Our Opening Act is Alanna and Brianne . We are booked already well into August , also the City of White Rock has a busking station situated at the corner of Russell and Johnston and this is also regularly booked when the Market is on.


The market will have new hours this year correct? Tell me there is no truth the market could possibly be moving out of White Rock next year.

Yes we have new hours 10am - 2pm . We hope to stay in White Rock for the foreseeable future . We have no plans to relocate elsewhere .

I have personally witnessed the market truly is the "heartbeat of our community." Shoppers at the market stroll slowly through the vendors booths, greeting old friends, enjoying a cup of coffee or a pastry, and quite often find themselves sitting in the free music stage area lazily watching their Sunday morning go by. You spend every Sunday constantly walking end to end in the market talking with shoppers and vendors. Is it possible for you to put your finger on what the magic at the market is?

That is such a lovely thing to say and yes I witness that magic on an ongoing basis , it is community interacting with itself on a regulate basis and wishing each other well. We strive to create an environment that is welcoming to all and truly enjoy our weekly Markets.
I cannot explain how this magic occurs I just know that it exists .

Last year the little strip of shops along Russell Avenue saw a huge spike in their business as a direct result of the market being located right out front of their stores. The White Rock Beach Beer company can't keep up to the demand for their wonderful craft beer. The Wooden Spoon restaurant has a line up from the time they open their door Sunday for brunch. Is there a direct benefit to other merchants in the uptown district of White Rock?

Yes , we have done many studies on the economic impact of the Market on Market Day - studies suggest there is a benefit in dollars and an increase in customers throughout the week for those business's in the surrounding area of the Market site . The uptown business core of White Rock benefits from the traffic created by the Market and that is one of the many reasons Farmers' Market are good for Cities to have .

The market is virtually sold out of vendors every week. Ho many vendors on average do we have and are there any new vendors you are particularly excited about this year?

I am excited about all of our Vendors , we have 120 registered and weekly over 80 , we have lots of new Vendors , new farmers and new growers - I am looking forward to seeing all they have to offer . We are anticipating a fantastic season .

Could you quickly run through the list of special event days the market will host again this year?

Yes we have
Opening Day . May 24
Fathers Day June 17
Doggy Day July 20
Kids Day Aug. 9
Mary Hartwell Day Aug. 16
Carribean Day Aug. 23
BC Farmers Appreciation Sept. 6
Culture Day Sept. 27


You wear the hats of a mother and wife, market manager and city councillor. Do people take advantage of your availability at the market to discuss city business?

Market Manager Helen Fathers & daughter Ellie

I don't know about "take advantage" more like seize the opportunity - as a visible Councillor in our City it is one of my pleasures to be accessible for the residents I serve. I am active in our community and people know where to find me on a regular basis . I love my job as Market Manager and welcome all interactions whether it be Market or Council related.

The opening day of the market is always very exciting. Everyone is invited to the official opening at 10 a.m.

We are excited about the upcoming season and look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at the Market .
See you all very soon, Helen.




April 29, 2015

The MIKELSON'S Mind and Matter art gallery in South Surrey for 40 years hosted one of the largest art shows in the area. The gallery was located on the MIKELSON'S home property. This Saturday MARY MIKELSON will host the community at the launch of her beautiful book on her late husband's art and a visit into the man behind art.

Mind and Matter

"the mind creates it.... .and the matter, which is the hand, illustrates it."



MARY first may I congratulate you on your wonderful  book MIND AND MATTER Life With Arnold Mikelson. Having the opportunity to read a preview copy of your book was a wonderful experience. I had a difficult time putting it down once your story began.  The book will be the focus of  special day Saturday at your Mind and Matter gallery. When did you begin and end the book?

I started writing the book in 2010 and it took me 5 years to complete, we only just received the finished product two weeks ago.


While I was reading the book, there seemed to me to be a very strong "love story" theme.  Did you write the book to honour the memory and work of your late husband ARNOLD?

Arnold @ work

No actually I wanted to write a book that people would get to know Arnold Mikelson.  After they had the chance to see his sculptures they could get to know the man behind the art.  I wanted to put a human face to the artist.


I noticed on the inside cover there were a couple of other MIKELSONS that helped with the creation of the book.

Sapphire my second oldest daughter helped me with the layout, Myra she helped with the typing.  A true family affair.  I wanted to involve my son more in the book but time due to his work schedule it just did not work out.  Also I felt if I involved too many people their ideas might get in the way of my vision of the book.  This way I could have total control over my ideas.  I had offers from very talented people, but I am very happy that I was able to keep the book very much a hands on project.  Mark Pelech who helped me by being my main soulmate, he cleaned up all the old photographs, and redesigned some of the pictures to incorporate them into the creation of the book.  He is the person I worked most closely Mark in getting it ready for  publication.  There is a lot to learn to about self- publishing.  I think if you listen to the voice that is guiding us we will all learn to follow the word of God.


What year did you and ARNOLD arrive here in South Surrey/White Rock from the Canadian Prairies?  What made you choose the location you are still in today?

We arrived here in 1964.  It was actually by accident.  We were renting in North Vancouver and the house sold, we had three months to move out.  When we lived in North Vancouver we used to visit White Cliff Park, we liked being by the ocean.  I saw an ad in the paper for White Rock, I thought it was White Cliff, I called the realtor and she said we could meet at the Vancouver bus station.  As we started driving I was wondering where we were going.  IT was not until we cam through the tunnel that I fully realized we were not going to White Cliff Park.  We arrived in White Rock and the house that was listed did not fit our needs, so she showed me a few properties and nothing connected with me.  She then said the property she was going to show me needed a lot of work.  It was overgrown with bush and I fell in love with all the beautiful trees on the property.  I could see the potential. We then went to visit the owner of the property, we met and talked for a little while.  He asked me to wait in the car while he talked to the realtor,  She came out and told me he was willing to accept our offer.  Arnold came with me on the following Saturday and kind of made out he wasn’t too wild about it, but I could tell he liked the property.  The next morning on Sunday he woke me up at 4:30 on Sunday morning and said let’s go see our house.   I knew then he loved it.  I felt with a lot of hard work we could create a home for ourselves.  We did all the clearing work with a cross cut saw and an axe.


Do you remember your first impressions of the area upon your arrival.  I can well imagine things were very different in those days.

I loved the area, it was all bush land, there were a couple of old houses across the street, we had no close neighbours, but for the most part it was beautiful.  Elk, deer, raccoons, pheasants, possums, rabbits, snakes, salamanders all shared our new home.  The people that you did meet in those days were very welcoming.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to live in such a free environment.  For my children as well.  I thank God everyday for allowing me to live on this property.


Did ARNOLD have immediate plans to create a gallery on the land you and him had settled on?

When we first moved here, he was working in an architects’s office in Vancouver.  Our first priority was to build a workshop.  Before we had this gallery on the property Arnold had a gallery in Vancouver.  Eventually we moved the gallery from Vancouver and incorporated it into his workspace.


After arriving in South Surrey you and ARNOLD began a family that eventually grew to four children.  How did the birth of your children change life for you and ARNOLD?

It definitely changed our lives.  Your work load is much more, you are not as free as before.  For Arnold and I both it was wonderful because we both loved children.  We welcomed it and cherished our children. I had two brothers growing up, ARNOLD had a brother and a sister growing up.


Your book LIFE WITH ARNOLD MIKELSON chronicles his many accomplishments in the art world.  Perhaps  you could share with us a couple of stories.  A number of celebrities are proud owners of ARNOLD'S work correct?

Arnold used to go down to Los Angeles to  Universal Studios Arnold would go down to promote the tourist industry in B.C.  Arnold was invited to a number of special tourism events, the memorable story Arnold always told was, ARTIE JOHNSON used to like to pinch ladies bumps.  He also very much liked Goldie Hawn.  He would always say these famous people were just ordinary down to earth people who simply wanted to be loved by those around them.  ARNOLD would always cause people to be very amazed with the ease with which he carved.


When ARNOLD left his native country of LATVIA and moved to England, he quickly made a strong impression on The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company of England.

 He was in Germany and then went to England, in England he worked for a smaller pottery company, HT Robinson of Royal Crown Derby visited this small factory and was impressed with Arnold’s work and asked him to come to be the head designer.  In the historical book on the Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Arnold is very much credited with the revival of the company.


You continue to welcome the public to the MIND AND MATTER GALLERY located on 16th Avenue in South Surrey. It must give you a certain sense of pride to see and hear the first time reactions to visitors to the gallery, when they witness the beautiful pieces or ARNOLD'S you have on display.

I don’t necessarily feel pride, I feel honoured that people are able to come and appreciate Arnold’s work.  I feel I am sharing his artwork that might inspire them or encourage them to pursue their dreams.  Any form of art I think is very important for us to being a well rounded person.  We need to feed out soul with the beautiful things in life.  I am bringing something into their lives by sharing Arnold’s art with them.


MARY I wish to turn the spotlight on you now.  

Mary Mikelson front row left

You are often referred to as the only Surrey resident to serve on White Rock council.  Is this true?

Actually in the early days many people from Surrey were on White Rock council.  For a number of years even the mayor was from Surrey. I was on council for 2 terms. Both terms the mayor was Hardy Staub.  I still see Judy Forster on a social basis.  I don’t hear much from any of my other council members.  When I was elected James Coleridge and Judy Forester both were very welcoming.


Do you recall any of the topics of the day the young council was challenged with?

The proposed casino on the site of the old Safeway was a big issue.  We voted it down.  People were bitterly against a casino coming to White Rock.  When we turned it down they took the project to Langley, so there you are.


ARNOLD was very well known within the local art community as well as a man and teacher who shared his talents with young school children.  Tell us a bit about that.

Arnold taught adult education in Surrey.  We also felt we should invite the school children to give them a bit of an education on the arts and to open their eyes.  We invited schools  to bring students in on a field trip.  I still conduct those type of visits to the gallery.  When Arnold was still alive he would show the students the rudiments of carving.  He would also show the kids how a simple process of rock polishing could take a very ordinary rock and make it beautiful.  He loved talking and working with children.  A lot of the children that have come to the gallery that have been in touch with me to say how lasting their visit was to the gallery.


I imagine most people that read your book will come away with a similar feeling that I did.  Your story and life with ARNOLD is a true life love story.  Perhaps your loss resonated especially close for me, giving a similar circumstance of losing a life partner.  In the book you allude to ARNOLD still being here.  Can you expand on that feeling?

I do feel he is still here.  I believe when we die we don’t disappear.  I believe our energy our spirit continues.  I think that soul is there around you.  We feel Arnold around us all the time.  For instance the faucet will come on by itself.  Arnold used to say when I die “I am going to come back to haunt you.  I don’t believe he is here to haunt us but to just remind us of his presence.  That’s how I feel.

Thank you. D.Chesney


March 18, 2015

It Would Be Smart Of Rail Safety Proponents To Talk To Ken Jones

To start at the beginning of KEN JONES local history, we have to go back to the Fall of 1973, Ken Jones ran for Alderman on a platform which included "relocating the railway off the White Rock waterfront". He topped the polls.
In 1973 Liberal Liberal Urban Affairs Minister Ron Basford proposed and the Canadian government passed legislation providing the authority and process for relocating railway lines for all of Canada. OMN followed with funding and resulting relocating of rail lines from many cities across the country including Quebec City and Regina. This was called the Railway Relocation and Crossing Act.

In the summer of 1976, White Rock Druggist Charlie McLaren was spokesperson for the "Track Removal Committee". (Save-the-Pier Committee Report-August 25,1976)
While MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale (1991-1996), Ken analyzed and field-checked possible routes to relocate the BNSF and Amtrak off the waterfront route. Ken presented his recommendations to Surrey Mayor McCallum and the City Manager.
In 2002, Surrey commissioned Delcan Engineering to study possible North-South rail and truck routes, connecting with the USA.This was in the eastern part of South Surrey. Their  primary recommendation, based on environmental, geological, and economic factors was similar to that recommended by MLA Ken Jones.
On April 3,2006, Paul LeMay on behalf of the Semiahmoo Peninsula Citizens for Public Safety appeared as a delegation before Surrey Council asking for the relocation of the BNSF tracks from the White Rock, Ocean Park and Crescent Beach areas due to the potential of a derailment of cars carrying dangerous goods caused by the numerous slides of earth, rocks, and trees hitting the tracks.
Surrey Council endorsed a Staff recommendation, on October 30, 2006, of “support, in principle, for the concept of the Relocation of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks away from the Ocean front, provided it is entirely funded by others and subject to appropriate public consultation", "with copy of the Staff report to Mr. LeMay".

THE SUN recently had the opportunity to sit down with White Rock resident Kenneth "Ken" Jones, President of a rail safety advocacy group called SmartRail.  Ken, let's start at the beginning.  When and why was "SmartRail" formed?  How many members do you presently have?

"SmartRail was started as a non-partisan, non-profit society in 2007 by a group of White Rock and Surrey community members. The purpose of the society was to educate and advocate for safe and effective rail transportation throughout British Columbia and connecting rail corridors into Washington State. This included research (including the monitoring of slide activity in the region), the development of mitigating strategies, sharing of this information with members of the general public, participation in public hearings, and promoting safer routing alternatives in the transportation of dangerous goods.

We currently have a core of 12 longer-standing members, as well as a larger number of supporters. Phil LeGood was our founding president. I stepped up from vice president in the Fall of 2008."

What are some of the advocacy initiatives SMART RAIL has undertaken?

"We have researched rail safety issues, and made presentations to: the Canadian Rail Safety Act Public Hearings in April of 2007; to the Province of BC (on the proposal to ship solid waste/garbage by rail to Washington State landfills) in April, 2008; to Chuck Strahl, Min. of Transport-Canada asking for rerouting of dangerous goods from this corridor when the chance of slides is high (January 2011); to the Vancouver Port Authority, expressing concern about the expansion of the Canexus Chemical Plant in North Vancouver, resulting in more chlorine tank cars through our communities to the U.S.
Over the past 8 years, we made presentations on relocation of the BNSF tracks from Blaine, Semiahmoo, White Rock, Ocean Park, Crescent Beach, and Mud Bay waterfronts to the Mayors, City Managers, and Councils of Blaine, White Rock, and Surrey. Presentations were also made to our MLAs Gordon Hogg and Kevin Falcon, and federal MP Russ Hiebert.
We participated in the WSDOT-Washington Rail Plan Update Workshop (May 30, 2013 in Blaine, WA), and regularly attend the IMTC (International Mobility & Trade Corridor) Project's monthly meetings as a passenger and freight rail advocate.
In the week of February 18th, 2008, SmartRail participated in a Rail Hazards series of articles in the Vancouver Province newspaper focused on the Waterfront Rail line and the many hazardous goods being carried through densely populated areas of the Semiahmoo Peninsula and across the Nicomekl and Serpentine Estuaries.
We supported White Rock residents with concerns about BNSF coal train generated vibrations affecting their homes. This past year we participated in the 3 rallies opposing blocking of access to the White Rock Beaches (Organizer Pat Petrala reported 665 citizens signed the rail relocation petition); the City's public meeting on Rail Issues; and supported the White Rock's Mayor and Council, and  Surrey's Mayor and Councillors in their call for Relocation of the BNSF tracks off the waterfront."

Due to a number of tragic events in regards to rail safety, White Rock/Ocean Park and Crescent Beach have now become very aware of the possible negative health and safety issues we incur living so close to a rail line that regularly hauls dangerous goods by our front doors.  Has this increased awareness assisted SmartRail in spreading your mandate?

"With all the issues and tragic events related to the BNSF tracks, Transport Canada's enforcing of their regulations, the City of White Rock's responses, and the public outcry over many rail-related concerns, it has become "a perfect storm" moving all to get serious about relocating the tracks to a more industrial route. We have had many people indicate their support for the relocation and a willingness to help in achieving this goal. Another example of support for this relocation was the 90% of the 600 citizens that turned out for the Mayors’ public meeting in November 2013 at the Pacific Inn in South Surrey.

I find most people are very surprised that over the past few years the exact contents of the tanker cars travelling along the waterfront have had the names removed and now simply are identified by a numerical stencil.  Do you think the rail line was concerned residents constantly seeing that skull and cross bones on chlorine tankers was bad from a public point of view?

"That may have been the case, but the Railways' spokespersons say it was for security reasons. As if a terrorist wouldn't know how to look on the internet to find the list identifying what hazardous products were represented by the numbers on the tank cars."

What are some of the toxic materials that regularly are pulled through our city?  Is it true the same type of Bakken Crude Oil that blew up and killed 47 in Lac Mégantic, Que. is in reality being hauled through White Rock & South Surrey?

"We have identified the waterfront route of the BNSF rail line as an area of major concern due to the potentials of train derailment caused by slides, sea erosion, rail and tie deterioration, and poor roadbed sections. This is exacerbated by the daily presence of several long freight trains, sometimes involving upwards of 25 tank cars of dangerous goods such as chlorine, anhydrous ammonia, sulphuric acid, and deodorized propane.
In addition to the multiple 150 car coal unit-trains, we are now seeing 100+ black tank car unit-trains of volatile Bakkan Crude (using the same DOT-111 model tankers as in Lac Mégantic). These are running in close proximity of local populations of over 100,000 in the South Surrey, White Rock, Semiahmoo Band, and Blaine communities, plus an additional 100,000 and more, who come to enjoy our beaches and waterfronts." 

SmartRail has a very detailed plan of facts and figures on how and where the waterfront rail line could be relocated.  Could you share that information with our readers?  What would the approximate cost be?

"There have been many quotes in the Media of $400 to $800 million to do the rail relocation.
Now let's look at the facts:

Delcan's  Engineering, Geological, and Environmental Report of 2002 shows the recommended route from the US Border to the BC Rail/Southern Rail/CPR east-west coal train utility corridor can be built, including a 4-lane truck route highway, in 2002 dollars for $127 million. Now if you take away the truck route costs, and update to today's costs for construction and land purchase, I doubt if it comes much over 200 million dollars. To this we have to add approximately $35-50 million for the US side.
One of our focuses is to relocate this rail line to the East, to a new industrial route on the East side of the Truck Route (SR543) through Blaine, then along the West side of the Campbell Heights Industrial Park (Surrey), and then joining up with the Coal Train corridor westward through Surrey, to rejoin the existing track at Colebrook (North of the Mud Bay trestles).

We feel this will meet the needs of High Speed Rail through this section, provide a secure at-grade route for Freight, facilitate grade crossing overpasses, and accommodate double-tracking of the route for passing of trains. This route is at the eastern edge of the ALR in the area long-designated for industrial use.

In addition, we visualize an International Passenger Station at the Pacific Border Crossing, which would operate similar to the International Airport where passengers would be pre-cleared prior to train arrival, to reduce the stopping time of the train. This would serve the residents of White Rock, Surrey, and Langley on the Canadian side, and Blaine and Whatcom County in Washington."

Let's just dream for a minute.  If BNSF did move the rail line off of the waterfront, what do you think would happen to their land holdings.  Some have said the Federal and Provincial Government could buy the land and turn it into a park.  Some think BNSF might simply sell the land and we could see condos from one end of the waterfront ocean view to the other.  What do you think might happen?

"Firstly, the existing Rail Right-of-Way is owned by BNSF, but it is zoned for Railway and Public Use only. This does not permit any private development . Most people I hear from, want to see it as a Greenway Park. Metro Vancouver's Long Range Regional Park Plan shows it as a continuance south to the Border, from the current (from the Fraser River, along the east side of Highway 91, to Boundary Bay).
The new rail route could be funded by joint efforts of the Provincial, Federal, and Municipal Governments, BNSF, Amtrak, Washington State, and US Federal Governments, plus possibly Private Partnership. For example, funding could be available through the Canadian Government's Railway Relocation Act and the Federal Gas Tax Fund, the Provincial Infrastructure Fund, the US Federal High Speed Rail funding, and Washington State Cascadia Rail improvement funding. This Relocation should also be listed on the Bilateral Infrastructure Investment Plan (BIIP), and placed on the agendas of the Beyond the Border (BTB), the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER), and the Premier and Governor's annual meetings."

How do you respond to people when they challenge your validity of having the rail line relocated?  The most recent argument for the line remaining here is the simple fact BNSF is now spending millions of dollars to install new trestles at Crescent Beach and Mud Bay?

"Nothing gets cheaper by delaying the relocation. It will take 4-5 years to complete the new route. BNSF knows the existing structures need maintenance now, if they are to be able to use this line. The costs expended on these repairs are small compared to the profits that will be gained by the coal and crude oil shipments through here.
And as Mayoral Candidate/Councillor Linda Hepner said at her media event a few weeks ago, "Nothing trumps Safety". The relocated line will be immensely more safe than the current route. I am also sure that property values all along the former route will increase substantially."

The city of White Rock was invited by the city of Surrey to attend a rail safety meeting at the Pacific Inn a year last November.  The packed convention room was on edge as they had just witnessed the devastating destruction of the rail disaster in Quebec.  That has been over a year now, and to be truthful nothing has happened.  Now comes word the city of White Rock is  starting the process to legally apply for the removal of the rail line.  Do you think the two cities have done enough to ensure our safety?

"They are now going in the right direction, but as you say, they have lost a lot of valuable time by taking so long to get to this point.
What we need immediately is to make a commitment to an alignment, together with the governments on the US side, the Aboriginal interests, Amtrak, and BNSF. Having completed that, the process of land acquisition has to proceed, and then the construction of the roadbed can be started. In conjunction with these, environmental needs and designs will have to be addressed."

Do White Rock and Surrey have the necessary safety equipment to respond to a rail disaster?

"Emergency responders in both cities working together would be overwhelmed by a major derailment that included the puncturing of several toxic and volatile tankers. They have neither the training, the staffing, nor the needed equipment to stop a major disaster. That is why we have to be pro-active in reducing the chances of this happening by relocating to a safer, more stable roadbed, in a less densely-populated area." 

I was made aware of a letter you sent to the city of White Rock identifying BNSF has been conducting free safety seminars.  You urged the city to send reps from our fire department.  What was their response?

"I really do not know, as I did not receive any response to my forwarding of the information from a BNSF press release."                                 

The Provincial government has approved a massive expansion for the deep sea port at Texada Island, paving the way for increased coal exports out of the Fraser River docks. Recently Premier Clark has floated out the idea of replacing the Massey Tunnel with a bridge which would allow freighters up the Fraser River.  If this does happen that would surely mean the industrialization of the Fraser River and even more rail traffic through the Semiahmoo Corridor.  What can we as citizens do?

"We as citizens need jobs. We have a fast-growing population in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, especially in Surrey. Available Industrial land is getting scarce. Many parts of the Lower Fraser River have been industrial for most of the past century. We need to make sure that all industry enhances the environment and prevents all negative effects.
Yes, there will be increasing rail traffic through this Corridor, so let's get rolling on the Relocation."

We can all rest a little easier knowing their is an ad hoc group in our community that are willing to devote their time and energy to work towards a safer rail community.

If you would like to learn more about SMARTRAIL contact KEN JONES directly.

email -


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.


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


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)


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


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


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

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


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 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

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 -




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:
"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)
"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:
"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
"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"

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 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


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
Facebook: Must Stache Co. or

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.



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


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



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 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?

I am planning on becoming a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.


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?


The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition ; in Vancouver, BC


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

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  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-

Visit the website for ticket purchase and more info –

Visit the Facebook-



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.




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 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 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,



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

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

You can contact Ron Zauner via email -

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:


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.


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.


Facebook page: (or just search Say Hi White Rock)



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 ( 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 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 (

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.



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

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

You can contact Ron Zauner via email -

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

“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  I met her through Kevin Washbrook ( 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.


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, or can visit my website to see more photos of my paper art

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 @



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

Many thanks!!



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 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.

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

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 -

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 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 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



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



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 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



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

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 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 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


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   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.




(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


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.


+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 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 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



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

For the McGuires please visit:
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




December 09, 2011


(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.”


( 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



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, 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
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 She invited me to join in her venture. Since our collaboration in June, we have both created what is now the, 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 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?


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



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 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 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 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,


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

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 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

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 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

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.


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;

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, 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 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 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,, 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 ( 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.


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
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 "
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'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
I highly recommend your readers review this document as it very efficiently
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
our scenic waterfront and uptown community to our strategic location near
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
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
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

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.
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.
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


"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 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

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 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 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.


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 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 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 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.


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 or The Dominion. I also check local newspapers including the White Rock Sun 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.


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.



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.





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