Category: Snail Mail

New Westminster city councillor wants post office in Sapperton

SUSAN VAN GELDER photo

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New Westminster city council is a supporter for the Sapperton area to have its own post office.

City councillor Lorrie Williams wants a post office in Sapperton. “People in Sapperton have to go to Burnaby to pick up [their] parcels.”

Williams said, with the Sapperton population going up and the brewery district developing, the area needs a post office.

She is a strong advocate for the postal service and mail. “I suggested postal banking. Studies have already been done in European countries.

“Instead of cutting back, start making money. Expand instead of shrink.”

Williams claimed Canada Post sends more parcels than UPS. “They can go commercial that way.”

City council unanimously supported Williams in this campaign.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a study last month called Why Canada Needs Postal Banking and it found many Canadians are not served by banking institutions.

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Upcoming: Monthly letter-writing event at Regional Assembly of Text

WARREN JANE photo

For the first-time user, the clunky typewriters may take some getting use to, especially with the two-finger typing.

Clickety clack. Clickety clack.

The tempo of keys slamming into fresh ink ribbons rarely falters in this little stationery store as The Regional Assembly of Text hosts its  monthly letter-writing event.

Since 2005, the owners, Brandy Fedoruk and Rebecca Ann Dolen, have been running this event on the first Thursday of every month.

A line of typewriters greets people as they enter the store. Each machine inspires a deluge of words and pulls out the inner genius writer. Some people write letters to oversea penpals or create zines with silly poetry.

Reviews by Yelp members said this place encourages them to write a letter.

WARREN JANE photo

Letter-writing can be a social activity with a lot of shining smiles and light conversation.

Event details

Where: The Regional Assembly of Text, 3934 Main Street (near King Edward and Main Street)

When: Thursday, March 7, 2013 (or the first Thursday of every month)

Cost: free (materials provided)

Regional Assembly of Text opened a second location in Victoria, B.C. this month. There is no indication on their website whether the new location will host a monthly letter-writing event.

If you can’t make it to this event at the Vancouver location this month, you can come by next month. Or if you’re simply craving the sound of a typewriter going, you can bring it home to you with the Noisy Typer.

The Tyee and LOCO BC asks the public to write love letters to their favourite local businesses

photo illustration courtesy of THE TYEE

The Tyee teamed up with LOCO BC and Vancity this Valentine to host a letter-writing contest, inviting the public to write love letters to local businesses.

Julia Spitale, LOCO BC’s director of community engagement, said small businesses, as entrepreneurs, work hard and long hours and most of the time, the emails they receive usually are not great. They get more negative feedback than positive words. She said, “Wouldn’t it be great if they got a love letter?”

Originally, she came up with the idea to hold the event at a coffeeshop. People could write a letter while they were waiting for their coffee and then post it on a wall. The Tyee suggested doing it online. From there, the project took off.

photo illustration courtesy of THE TYEE

Reality exceeds Spitale’s expectations

Spitale wasn’t sure if people would be sentimental enough but since it started, there’s been an outpouring with over 400 letters to date. Most of them are addressed to local businesses in Victoria and Metro Vancouver but there is one love letter to Let’s Knit in Qualicum Beach, B.C. and another to Anderson’s Meats and Deli in Kelowna, B.C.

She didn’t expect people to repost the contest. In her opinion, people share what they are proud of and she thought people would “simply quietly enter the contest and go along their way.”

Spitale was also surprised to find people posting rhyming poetry, sharing specific moments with a lot of details. A lot of them touched her heart.

One business comments on a love letter it didn’t know it received

One letter said:

Dear Nice Shoes in Vancouver on Fraser Street, I adore you because you are the most ethical place to shop for shoes, wallets, guitar straps, purses, cookbooks, and chocolate bars. I absolutely LOVE supporting your shop because I know that my animal friends didn’t suffer for anything you offer. Joanne and Glenn, keep doing what you’re doing and know that your presence is a gem in this city. Sincerely and affectionately, Alissa

Co-owner of Nice Shoes, Joanne Chang, said: “As a fairly new small business, we are extremely grateful that someone chose to write a love letter to us when there are so many other bigger businesses out there that they could have chosen. We put a lot into our business and the most rewarding thing for us is knowing that our customers are happy with the products and services we provide. We love our customers and what they stand for. It’s humbling knowing that they love us back.”

What are the details of this contest?

Ends: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Maximum number of entries: five

There is a variety of prizes. One of the grand prizes is a “Complete Tofino Experience” weekend for two at Ocean Village.

This contest is part of the Live Local, Buy Local campaign.

The first step: an introduction

DEANNA CHENG photo

This was me before I sunk heavily into this journalism program. I absolutely love the program but it is not without a price. Honestly, I look crazier than this now & somehow people still accept me.

Hi. My name is Deanna and I’m currently a journalism student at Langara College. For the next month or so, I will be writing about letter-writing, snail mail and everything postal-related. I haven’t decided what will happen afterward but I plan to keep this space.

In the fall, I will be assigned a municipal beat and will be blogging exclusively about that. This is all I know right now.

I wanted to start a professional blog but I wasn’t sure which topics to write about. Some subjects such as karate were closer to my heart than others; I didn’t want to write about topics I had no passion for.

Now, with this journalism program, I’m developing a better understanding that it isn’t about the subject matter itself but the method I choose to write with.

In the last nine years, I kept a personal blog. Whenever I sift through old posts, I relive fragments of my life. Often, I surprise myself. It’s amazing to see how much I’ve grown as a person and as a writer. It’s also lets me see the core of my self with some distance yet familiarity. That still water within my soul’s well. It’s a reflection I occasionally struggle to face.

With this platform, I hope to develop and hone my skills as a writer and a journalist. In oh-so-many years, I want to look back and see what has changed. And, maybe, what hasn’t changed. This is my first step.

Thank you for remaining patient with me.

Welcome to my journalism blog.

 

Deanna Cheng