New Westminster city councillor wants post office in Sapperton



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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Buying local food, supporting local farmers will infuse innovation into agriculture industry: Langley’s mayor

If there were a regular demand for local food and produce from the public, Langley’s mayor claims it would start a chain reaction in the agricultural industry, sparking innovation in technology development.

But if that doesn’t happen, farmers will just continue to worry about the bottom line and keeping their farms afloat.

At a Metro Vancouver agriculture committee, Surrey city councillor Linda Hepner said, “What do we expect in the business in regards to technology?”

She said there was missing innovation in the agricultural technology industry.

Hepner wanted to know what people are doing successfully around the world. “What can we do to encourage tech start-ups here?”

Langley mayor Jack Froese said, “We need to educate the public on the agricultural business.”

There needs to be a push for the public to buy local food and support the local farmers, he said.

“Tech development is only if the farmers get paid for their products.”

In news release by the BC Association of Farmers’ Market, it said farmers’ market contribute nearly $170 million annually and “are now in full swing throughout British Columbia.”

There has been a 62% increase in the number of markets, it said.

“With a loyal customer base, farmers and vendors are finding the stability they need with this marketing channel.”

To see what kind of agricultural technological ideas are happening, UBC Farm has student research internships, ranging from studying consumers attitudes about organic certification to free choice feeding regimes on poultry health.

Parking rates in New Westminster going up in the new year


City councillor Betty McIntosh is trying to set up temporary free parking on Columbia Street by the E.L. Lewis heritage building.

New Westminster is finally about to move into the modern parking era, with pay-by-phone and mobile technology. But it will cost everyone more. Forty cents per hour more, to be exact.

City council on Monday passed the motion to raise parking rates. Parking services coordinator Sukh Maghera said the reason is to keep up with the other municipalities in parking rates and to upgrade the meters in the city. Along with the new prices will come convenient new technology.

“We want to bring in new software, new technology. Pay by phone. Mobile payments,” he said.

Currently, the city has a mix of pay stations and parking meters. Maghera said rates will apply to both.

All meters that are currently $1.35 per hour will be $1.75 per hour. Ones that charge $1.10 per hour will be $1.50 per hour. The exact date hasn’t been confirmed yet but Maghera believes it will start Jan. 1, 2014.

The Vancouver Sun reports off-season parking rate in White Rock is $1.50 per hour and the peak season hourly rate is at $3 per hour.

City councillor wants business owners’ input

City Coun. Betty McIntosh was the only one who opposed the parking rate raise at the meeting. She wanted to get the opinions of business owners and open up a discussion.

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Vancouver actress challenges preconceived ideas at New West Doc Fest


Jazmine Campanale is one of six members of the NOW! Theatre company.


At the New West Doc Fest tonight, actress Jazmine Campanale will present a performance piece that is “an evolutionary exploration of our society and what we’re doing to help the environment.” It challenges whether advocacy helps or harms.

The performance consists of three characters: the consumer, the activist and the homeless man. The consumer represents sloth. All this person does is consume and contributes nothing but single-use trash.

“The Greenpeace activist is someone who thinks she’s helping by aggressively spewing facts,” Campanale said. “The homeless man is the guy who collects cans for change. He represents the little things people do to make the world better.

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New Westminster school board decided on a security plan for new schools, learning centres


Foundations of the new elementary school being built. “Students have always been told to report strangers on the school grounds to adults providing the outside supervision,” said school board community development officer Betina Ali.

The New Westminster school board finally decided on a security plan for the three new schools and their learning centres.

The city’s social planner John Stark said in an email that, “[Learning centres] would contribute to these schools being hubs for the neighbourhoods in which they are located,” and effectively use the school facilities during school and non-school hours.

In a final report on the public consultation process in 2010, people wanted “the schools to act as community learning centres and be focal points in the neighbourhood.”

École Qayqayt Elementary is the first one of three new schools in the city. The other two schools are a middle school and a replacement for New Westminster Secondary School. All three will have its own learning centre.

However, with two halfway houses nearby and community programs happening within the elementary school building, the public was concerned about safety with younger students.

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Hello Langara! Hello journalism! Hello New Westminster!

SAM TO photo

This is how I look on a good day. You may or may not see me wandering around New Westminster with a notebook and pen.

Hello. I mentioned previously, as part of my journalism program, I will be covering a municipal beat. This term, I’ll be reporting on New Westminster, doing my best to capture the flavour of this area. If you have any ideas, don’t be afraid to throw them at me.

Sharing a little bit about me: back to school and back on track.

The main highlight of my summer was completing Tough Mudder in Whistler with a few friends but otherwise, I spent majority of time working at a grocery store.

Tough Mudder wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be but there was one moment where my spirit quivered because I was required to jump off a platform that stood about 20 feet in the air into roughly 12 feet of cold, murky water. It was already too late when the volunteer said, “Don’t look down. Just look straight at the mountains in front and jump.” I had looked and took two steps back.

My mind blanked out a little bit from the moment my feet left that platform to the moment they hit the water. Ask me what happened and I cannot tell you. Heights are not easy.

There were a few other things I did this summer:

Reading “Journalism and Truth” put me through a roller-coaster ride. It started off with chapters that questioned the quality of sources journalists used, the stance on checkbook journalism and the reliability of eyewitness testimonies.

For a few days, I asked myself, “What am I doing this for? What is the point?”

However, by the end of the book, it saves itself. It reminds me why.

But journalism is still, as Thomas Griffith characterized it half a century ago in The Waist-high Culture, “history on the run.” Journalists need to be much more aware of their relative strengths and shortcomings, and they need to let the readers and viewers in on their secrets. After all, as Griffith remarked: “If journalism is sometimes inaccurate and often inadequate, ignorance would not be preferable.” (page 167)

With this reminder, I will cover everything as accurately as possible by deadline.

Thank you for your patience with me.

Deanna Cheng