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February 2020

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Eighth virus case announced in BC 

Vancouver Costal Heath zone, BC CDC says three recoveries

BC Gov't/Wikimedia Commons image

 

Coronavirus symptoms.

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia:

We are announcing an eighth case of COVID-19 in B.C. The person affected is visiting from Tehran, Iran and arrived in British Columbia earlier this week. The patient is in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams.

The individual has been confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing. The individual is female, in her 60s and is staying with family in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Vancouver Coastal Health is actively investigating. Close contacts have been identified and contacted by public health officials. Those who may be at risk are now in isolation for 14 days and are being actively monitored for symptoms.

As of February 29, 2020, 15 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada. In addition, the Government of Quebec reported their first case of COVID-19. The province has sent the presumptive positive sample to the National Microbiology Laboratory for further testing. If confirmed by the laboratory, this would be Canada's sixteenth confirmed case.

 

  Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Time flies when you're having fun! 

Agassiz Monday Painters celebrate their 59th anniversary

Loretta Douglas/Agassiz Monday Painters

 

Some of the amazing paintings you'll find at this year's show.

Agassiz Monday Painters are once again pleased to announce their upcoming 59th Anniversary Art Show.

Come on out, make it a great destination on your intinerary on Saturday. Show your support for our local artists who only have one show a year.

This fun, free event is open to all ages. Come and enjoy the talents of the 25 participating artists who work in a variety of media including oils, acrylics, mixed media and water colours.

The featured artist this year will be Karen Butchart who has been a longstanding member of Monday Painters.

Saturday, March 28th

10 am to 4 pm

Agassiz United Church Hall, 6860 Lougheed Hwy., Agassiz, BC

Refreshments are available by donation.

There will be a free draw for door prizes.

 

About Agassiz Monday Painters

Agassiz Monday Painters have been meeting & painting for 59 years. Their founder was Artist/Instructor Isa Taylor. The club always welcomes new members who currently meet in the Agassiz United Church Hall every Monday except holidays. It is on a drop-in basis. come blow us away with your talent!

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

A rip-roaring evening

Juno Award winners Big Little Lions at Bozzini's March 8

Emmanuel Asprakis, Bozzinis/Handout photo

 

Popular Duo touring their new album Inside Voice.

Big Little Lions have been described as ‘a blissful marriage of new folk and sophisticated pop’. Prolific songwriting, infectious folk-pop style, and an offbeat, memorable live show. This award winning duo consists of Helen Austin and Paul Otten who, despite living thousands of miles apart, have found a way to connect and create music together. Despite being in two different countries, they have found common ground to share their message. Despite the pull to avoid the hard topics and pretend it’s all ok – they’ve chosen to speak out.

“What is truly amazing about Big Little Lions is that its two members, Helen Austin and Paul Otten, were born to make music together, their voices made to combine, but they are in different countries. It just goes to show you, destiny is a powerful force.” [east of 8th]

Call it destiny, or call it fate, call it a necessary progression for these modern times. Helen lives in British Columbia, Canada and Paul lives in Cincinnati, OH. But the distance provides the necessity to create in a new way. Using technology as their ally and their differences as their strength.

 

  Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

A riotous night

Audience participation highlights the night March 6

Ken Hildebrandt, Gallery 7/Handout photo

 

 

Gallery 7 Theatre will once again be hosting the hilarious comedy improv team, The Panic Squad, this time with an expanded cast of players. The result should be a night of zany fun for the entire family. The bonus? The show will be super-clean…as in ‘your great grandmother can see this show’ kind of clean. This comedy improv extravaganza happens at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium on March 6th starting at 7:30 PM.

If you have ever watched the hit T.V. show, Whose Line is it Anyway?, you will know what’s in store for this entertaining evening. Using only suggestions provided by the audience, Panic Squad leaps in to action, creating scenes right out of thin air. The results are side-splitting hilarity.

“Our annual comedy improv show is always a crowd-pleaser,” explains Gallery 7 Theatre’s Executive/Artistic Director, Ken Hildebrandt. “What’s unique about the Panic Squad show here at Gallery 7 Theatre, besides being super-clean, is that they bring a few more performers than their usual show, and they premier new games that have never before been seen. The stakes are high for the performers as neither they nor the audience will know what’s going to happen next!”

Panic Squad combines exceptional comedic talent, a love for entertaining and commitment to excellence to create a high quality, professional show that will have you buckled over with laughter.  For over 20 years, The Panic Squad has performed across the United States and Canada for hundreds of churches, businesses, national conferences and top Fortune 500 corporations. They have appeared on CBC, CTV, 100 Huntley Street, JCTV, CBS and more.

In addition to their incredibly clean and funny improv shows, The Panic Squad uses improv to teach key elements of communication, teamwork and leadership through their improv leadership workshop series.

Playing at the Gallery 7 Theatre show will be a roster of highly-talented improvisers from through-out the Lower Mainland, including Mike DeBoer of Vancouver, BC, Steven Krajnyak of Burnaby, BC, Nathan Stein of Langley, BC and Dann Warrick of Lynden, WA. Travelling all the way from Edmonton, AB just to perform in this special, one-of-a-kind show, is Dave Swan.

Panic Squad Extended Cast Extravaganza runs for one night only on March 6, 2020 at 7:30 PM at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford. Tickets are only $25 Adults, $22 Seniors and Students and $12 Children aged 12 & under. A special rate of $20.00 is available for groups of 8 or more.  Tickets can be purchased at House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford or by calling 604 852 3701 or 1 800 665 8828. For more information or to purchase tickets online, please visit our website.

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 29, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Could millions of women be wrong?

Hilarious show with all-star cast Sept 19

Rob Warwick, Rock.it Boy/Handout image

 

 

Menopause The Musical®, now approaching its twentieth year of production, is recognized as the longest-running scripted production in Las Vegas. This original Off-Broadway musical comedy is set in a department store where four women meet by chance while shopping for a black lace bra. After noticing unmistakable similarities with one another, the all-female, all-star Canadian cast joke about their woeful hot flashes, mood swings, wrinkles, weight gain, memory loss, too much sex, not enough sex and more. These women form a sisterhood and a unique bond with the audience as they rejoice in celebrating that Menopause is not “The Silent Passage” anymore!

 

Saturday, September 19 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre in Abbotsford. Tickets are $65.00 and $55.00 (plus Facility Fee and Service Charges) from the Box Office. Charge by phone at 1-855-985-5000 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca

The laugh out loud, 90-minute production, gets audiences out of their seats and singing along to brilliant parodies from 25 classic hit songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The hilarious musical has been seen by millions and entertained audiences across the world. The show plays to consistently sold-out crowds from coast to coast, receiving standing ovations every night! Come see what millions of women worldwide have been laughing, cheering and raving about!

For more about Menopause The Musical® visit: www.menopausethemusical.com.

 

 

 

  Friday, Feb 28, 2020 

Published 5 pm

 

Intensive Care

Early Childhood Education course begins April 20 in Chilliwack

Bruce Wilbee, SSC/Handout image

 

A high school diploma isn't necessary to apply.

 

Sprott Shaw College and WorkBC are partnering to help reduce the significant need for certified daycare workers in the Fraser Valley. While the provincial government has made significant steps to provide more childcare spaces in BC, there are not enough qualified staff to fill the new roles.

 

“Almost weekly we are getting phone calls from daycare operators that are desperate for qualified workers for their childcare centres,” says Bruce Wilbee, Project Coordinator for Sprott Shaw College. “There are a significant number of jobs available in this field”. “For many students the idea of taking on a student loan can be an obstacle to starting a new career.  This program will cover the full cost of books and tuition as well living allowance, childcare and other financial needs a student may face so there is no need for a loan.”

 

The program being offered is 52 weeks long.  Students that complete the program will be eligible to receive their Certificate to Practice from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. 

 

Participants in this program must meet funding eligibility requirements as well as Sprott Shaw program entrance requirements. “Most people do not realize they do not need a high school diploma to enter many of our programs,” said Peter Moore admissions advisor with Sprott Shaw. “We recognize that with maturity comes better learning habits. Someone that struggled in high school is better prepared to be successful when they are older.”

 

The program starts April 20, 2020, and the first step to applying is to attend one of the information sessions to be held every Wednesday at 2 pm until the program is full.  People can contact Sprott Shaw College (604) 392 6060 or WorkBC in Chilliwack at (778) 860 5452 for more information. Visit SprottShaw   to learn more.

 

 

  Friday, Feb 28, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

The struggle to get rail in the Valley

Advocate asks what is the NDP afraid of?

D. Malcolm Johnston/Handout image

 

Rail for the Valley and Leewood Projects (UK) have the definitive study for a regional passenger rail service for the Fraser Valley.

The Leewood Study was released a decade ago and received very positive international recognition and featured in two European transportation magazines, yet ignored locally.

After a recent conversation with the author of the Leewood Study, I am confident that a downtown Vancouver to Chilliwack passenger rail service using diesel multiple units (DMU's) could in service in one year, if the political will was there.

This service would give travel time of under two hours, end to end.

With the Master Agreement, assuring passenger rail service on the CPR owned joint section between Langley and Cloverdale, the rest of the line could be rehabilitated quite quickly.

For a $800 million investment the line could finance one train an hour per direction, Vancouver to Chilliwack.

$1.5 billion will buy you a deluxe maximum of three trains per hour per direction on the line.

This is a bargain, considering $1.6 billion will buy you about 7 km of elevated SkyTrain in Surrey or $3 billion will buy you 5.8 km of subway under Broadway.

Here is the choice: $800 million for a train from Vancouver to Chilliwack which is affordable, or an $8 billion train that will never come.

What are the NDP afraid of? Not spending enough money, not enough union jobs?

Lewis Villegas, rail advocate, says; "I take this opportunity to underscore for the Premier the role that building passenger service on the Interurban Line would have easing the problem that is uppermost in the mind of every voter in the Vancouver-Fraser Valley region: the housing affordability crisis. Referencing the work completed by the first NDP government in British Columbia, under the leadership of Premier Dave Barrett, I show here how land currently zoned as ALR was originally reserved for industrial and urban footprint."

"Those lands, not suitable for farming, can be taken out of the ALR to build new 120-acre tram towns all along the Interurban corridor. Flooding the market with houses for sale between $107,000 and $320,000 in new towns on both sides of the Mighty Fraser River will go a long way to putting downward pressure on an over-heated real estate industry."

 

 

  Thursday, Feb 27, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Art show brings awareness to abuse

Kilbert's "Behind Closed Doors" show to focuses on domestic violence March 27 - May 2

BettyAnn Martin, CVAA/Submitted image

 

 

With this thought provoking installation, Krista Kilvert draws our attention to the truths and consequences of domestic violence also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), gender-based violence and femicide. Kilvert utilizes the gallery environment as a powerful platform for public engagement to stimulate dialogue and serve as a catalyst of social awareness.

O’Connor Group Art Gallery

Chilliwack Cultural Centre

9201 Corbould Street Chilliwack

Gallery Hours 12- 5 pm Wed – Sat

Free Admission

Violence against women exists on every continent, in every country, every culture and all ethnicities. It affects women regardless of their socio-economic status, education, sexual orientation, age or health. The World Health Organization identifies violence against women as the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world.
 

Utilizing mirrors and statistical facts Kilvert reminds us of the omnipresence of IPV. An abstracted generic community of little paper houses reinforce another fact - that this could be any town, anywhere, any place - and involve anybody as there are no stereotypes within domestic violence. Tragic consequences are reflected in framed commentary hand-written by victims of domestic violence who have been incarcerated for killing their intimate partners. The exhibition is an eye-opener and must see - for men and women alike.

 

 

  Thursday, Feb 27, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Clean, Green and Friendly

Fraser River cleanup March 28

Sadie Caron, FRK/Submitted image, file photo

 

Fraser Riverkeeper and Woodtone's 2019 cleanup saw more than 700 volunteers and supporters donate their time to the Fraser River. Below, Lauren Horner at a cleanup in 2012.

 

For the 13th year, volunteers will gather to lend a hand in cleaning up the banks of the Fraser River in Chilliwack, BC on Saturday, March 28th from 10 am to 1 pm, rain or shine, at the end of Gill Road. 
 

The first cleanup, hosted by Fraser Riverkeeper in 2007, saw a small group of passionate people who cared deeply about the health of the wildlife and salmon who depend on the Fraser River. Since then the community has significantly grown and this year, hosts of the event, Woodtone and Fraser Riverkeeper, expect more than 700 volunteers to participate in this annual tradition, which has removed more than 130 tonnes of garbage from the Gill Bar over the past 12 years.
 

"The Fraser River is the lifeblood of our province, and the Annual Fraser River Cleanup has become an anchor event - rooting and connecting the local community to its water," said Lauren Brown Hornor, Western Partnerships Lead, Swim Drink Fish Canada, and cleanup founder in a release Monday. "To experience the fierce dedication and commitment by so many community groups, sponsors, partners and citizens is what drives us to continue to work to connect people to their waters, because connection inspires protection and restoration."
 

Volunteers will gather at the end of Gill Road and will be provided with gloves, buckets, pickers, and high visibility vests. After a morning of combing the river banks, Fraser Riverkeeper and Woodtone will celebrate the hard work of the volunteers with an annual volunteer appreciation BBQ hosted by Restaurant 62 and a prize draw.
 

The cleanup would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you to Woodtone, Fraser Riverkeeper, Restaurant 62, Big K Clothing, City of Chilliwack, Bi Central, Chilliwack Minor Baseball, Fraser Basin Council, Freds Custom Tackle, FVIDA, Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, GFL Waste Management, Glad, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (GoFish BC), Great River Fishing Adventures, Hub International, Ocean Ambassadors Canada, Pick Eco, LUSH, The Refillery, Stolo Business Association, Cabelas.

 

  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 

Published 2 pm

 

Coronavirus update

BC Gov't comments on current situation

BC Caucus/Web image

 

 

Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC provincial health officer

 

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia:

All B.C. patients with COVID-19 continue to recover in isolation at home and under care by public-health teams. In total, seven people have tested positive for COVID-19. The first individual has recovered, as indicated by the resolution of symptoms, followed by two successive negative test results 24 hours apart.

In recent days, we have seen an increasing number of countries around the world with a growing number of cases. While the risk of spread of this virus within British Columbia remains low at this time, we are watching the global evolution of COVID-19 carefully and are focusing efforts on containing the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. and in Canada.

We are preparing for all possibilities that may occur in the coming weeks, including the possibility of a pandemic. A pandemic is the spread of an illness to a large number of people on a global scale.

We are asking people to do their part in making sure they prevent transmission of infections to others in our communities and in our health-care system to best protect everyone in B.C.

The most important measures people can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, are cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and staying home and away from others if you are sick.

Editor's note: People are downplaying and complacent about the coronavirus pandemic saying influenza kills more people. Last year in the US over 14,000 people died from influenza, but what they fail to say is that adding another communicable virus to influenza (flu) means that your chance of catching a virus is twice as likely in a sustained infection rate and the number of people who have it at the same time will put a major strain on the health system.

 

  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 

Published 2 pm

 

Rush on for masks

According to local a MD the blue paper masks don't work against the coronavirus

Staff/Web images

 

The 3M variety of masks are more effective for protecting against viruses.

 

There's a gold rush run on for the blue paper masks that until last month were being given out for free at doctor's offices, medical clinics and hospitals. Not now. If you can find any you'll be paying for them.

A pharmacist at Edwards Crossing Medical Clinic told The Voice suppliers are out of the blue paper masks and respiratory masks and are in short supply.

"One guy came in the other day and bought 200 of the blue masks. I just can't get them now, and these," he said point at another box of respirator masks, "I can't get in either."

If you want paper protection then that's what you're going to get. A local medical doctor The Voice Monday that the blue paper hospital masks don't work for virus protection but more expensive masks do.

"The respiratory masks work but not the blue ones," he said.

If you can find a blue mask they're being sold for about $2.50 each. The 3M respiratory masks with the attachment on the outside cost about $10 and will also work with other influenza-type viruses.

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 

Published 4 pm

 

All the right moves

Pre and post cancer activities

Dale Erickson, PCSG/Web image

 

 

Sherry Hunt, Inspirehealth

 

Our next Prostate Cancer Support Group Chilliwack meeting will be on Thursday, March 5th at the Mt Cheam Lion’s Club Hall at 7 PM. Our speaker will be Sherry Hunt from InspireHealth who will be talking about the appropriate and recommended physical activity during and after cancer treatment. Open discussion to follow.

There will also be an opportunity to discuss Prostate issues and visit with a number of PC survivors after the presentation. Coffee and refreshments will be available and everyone is welcome. 

For more information, visit Prostate Cancer Support Group Chilliwack. For questions regarding the meeting call Dale (604) 824 5506 or Marc (778) 255 2544.

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 

Published 4 pm

 

Agassiz couple twice lucky

The best part of losing is reading about the winners

BCLC/Submitted photo

 

Lois Gueret and Robert Walters hold an oversized cheque marking their winnings.

 

 

Robert Walters and Lois Gueret had a Celebrate 2020 Scratch & Win ticket worth $500,000 in their possession for over a week and didn’t even know.

 

The couple from Agassiz had recently downsized to a motorhome in Chilliwack and at some point during the move, the unscratched Celebrate 2020 ticket was shuffled from a drawer to a box, which was supposed to be headed for storage.

 

“Robert found the unscratched ticket and handed it to me, and it easily could’ve ended up in storage and gone expired,” says Lois, who scratched the winning ticket. “It’s a moving day miracle that it didn’t.”

 

Robert bought the ticket in late January at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Agassiz. Even though he’s a regular Scratch & Win player, it was the first time he had bought a Celebrate 2020 ticket.

 

“I asked the store clerk what the latest tickets were, because I like to play new ones too,” says Robert. “He pointed to the Celebrate 2020 tickets and it just caught my eye … After this I’ll be going back to give him a little bonus.”

 

Despite their recent downsize to a motorhome, Walters and Gueret admit the $500,000 win means they could be on the move again soon – potentially to a house in the Fraser Valley.

 

“We’ll be paying off some debt, but definitely we’ll be considering a move again, this time somewhere with land,” says Robert.

 

Did you know that players redeemed more than $226 million in prize winning Scratch and Win tickets in 2019? Anyone can win and #YouCouldBeNext. Watch some amazing lottery winner stories at www.playnow.com/lottery/winners/you-could-be-next.

Players can now check their lottery tickets anytime, anywhere on iOS or Android devices. Learn more about the BCLC Lotto! App here.

 

 

 

  Monday, Feb 24, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

One more virus case in the Fraser Health region

BC gov't announces second person infected with the coronavirus outside of Vancouver

BC Caucus/File photo

 

One more coronavirus in the Fraser Health says Dix..

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia:

“We are announcing a seventh case of COVID-19 in B.C. The person affected was in close contact with the previously reported sixth case announced on Feb. 20, 2020. Both cases remain in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams."

The individual has been confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) testing. The individual is male, in his 40s and lives in the Fraser Health region.

Click image to view in larger size.

Fraser Health is actively investigating and close contacts have been identified and contacted by public health officials. Those who may be at risk are now in isolation for 14 days and are being actively monitored for symptoms daily.

Of these seven cases, the first case has recovered, as indicated by the resolution of symptoms, followed by two successive negative test results 24 hours apart. The other six B.C. patients with COVID-19 remain in self-isolation at home and under care by public-health teams.

The risk of spread of this virus within British Columbia continues to remain low at this time. We are watching recent global developments very closely and will continue to adapt our response to developing evidence and ongoing assessment of COVID-19 should it be required. We will notify the public if the measures in B.C. change.

The most important measures people in B.C. can take to prevent respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 are cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately and staying home and away from others if you are sick.

“Anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, COVID-19 should contact their primary care provider, local public health office or call 811. Translation services for 811 are available in more than 130 languages.”

 

 

  Monday, Feb 24, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Animal rights sweep US and Canada

Celebrities throw support behind welfare campaign  

Kenny  Torella, MFA/Subimitted photos

 

Twenty TV stars back championing animal welfare.

 

 

This week, on behalf of Mercy For Animals, 20 Canadian-born celebrities added their names to a public letter addressing the CEO of MOD Pizza, urging the company to adopt a meaningful animal welfare policy for chickens in its supply chain. MOD Pizza is the fastest-growing US restaurant chain and recently opened its first Canada location. 


Among the 20 public figures championing this campaign are actors including Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jason Piestley, Charmed star Sarah Jeffery, Lucifer star Tricia Helfer, Jane the Virgin star Brett Dier, Coroner star Serinda Swan, seven cast members of the iconic Candian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation and Degrassi: Next Class, as well as former NHL hockey player Georges Laraque. 
See the full list of celebrities involved in the campaign here.
 

Over 180 food brands have already committed to a chicken animal welfare policy, including Papa John’s, Popeyes, Blaze Pizza, Chipotle, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Panera Bread. 
Chickens raised for meat are packed into dark, unsanitary warehouses, and are bred to grow so large so quickly that many suffer organ failure, heart attacks, and crippling leg deformities. Many die before they even reach slaughter weight.

 

 

  Monday, Feb 24, 2020 

Published 5 pm

 

Two decades of classics

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra celebration concert April 17  

Lynne Preston, CSO/Handout image

 

The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra celebrates 20 years April 17.

On Friday, April 17th at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus celebrate their 20th anniversary with a Gala Concert!  Join Paula DeWit and the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of music that will take you down memory lane with several choice selections from their very first concert and other favourites since. 

 

The Chilliwack Children’s and Youth Chorus, CSO Starlets, and Belle Voci will also be performing.  Tickets: 604-391-7469 or online at here or in person at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

 

 

  Monday, Feb 24, 2020 

Published 5 pm

 

Puzzler Competitions

Jigsaw teams face off March 29  

Darin Graham, Boardwalk Cafe/Pixabay image

 

Jigsaw puzzle teams challenge each other at The Boardwalk Cafe March 29.

 

After two previous sold-out Puzzle Challenges with 500 piece puzzles, Boardwalk Cafe and Games is challenging puzzlers to their greatest competitive puzzling challenge yet. On Sunday, March 29th, at 6:30pm 8 teams of four will face off to complete a premium 1000 piece puzzle in the quickest time possible to earn the title of Fraser Valley Puzzle Champions. Each team will receive an identical 1000 piece puzzle and race to complete it. The fastest team will be crowned as the Fraser Valley Puzzle Champions. 
 

Speaking about the previous puzzle challenges, Boardwalk Cafe and Games Owner, Darin Graham, said “Not only have we been surprised by the popularity of these events but we’ve been stunned by the speed at which these puzzlers puzzle! We needed to up the ante, so we decided the easiest way was to just add more pieces!”
Registration for a team is $50 with tickets going on sale at 9am on Monday, March 2nd here.
 

About Boardwalk Cafe and Games: As the Fraser Valley’s first Board Game Cafe, Boardwalk Cafe and Games has been serving the people of Abbotsford for over 3 years. With over 430 tabletop games to be played and a locally sourced menu of food, coffee, beer, and wine, Boardwalk has become a well recognized part of the community of Abbotsford. Winning the 2018 Business Excellence Award for Best New Business has further validated their commitment to excellence in serving their customers.
 

 

  Monday, Feb 24, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Rolling Champs

Team Macdonald crushed opponents in BC Wheelchair Curling Championships  

Rebecca Connop-Price/Subimitted photos

 

Macdonald Curlers were victorious picking up gold in the BC Wheelchair Championships. Below, Zosia Ettenberg wins the sportsmanship award.

 

Team Macdonald have been crowned the top wheelchair curling team in BC. 

 

The 2020 BC Wheelchair Curling Championship wrapped up at Cloverdale Curling Club on Sunday (Feb. 2).

 

This was Macdonald’s fourth BC wheelchair title, Duddy’s sixth BC wheelchair title, Cormack’s eighth BC wheelchair title and Miele’s fifth BC wheelchair title.

 

The team beat defending champions Team Neighbour in a nail-biting final on the way to the gold medal. The Neighbour team features two gold medal winning Paralympians, Darryl Neighbour from Richmond and Ina Forrest from Armstrong.

 

Macdonald said he felt great about the win and was looking forward to nationals: “I had a great team behind me. We shook things up and tried a few different players and it was a great team effort.”

 

He said all the games were pretty close but the team managed force Neighbour into a difficult shot in the final end.

 

The Macdonald rink heads to nationals April 25-30 with the competition going ahead at Club de curling de Boucherville in Boucherville, Que. See more at Curl BC.

 

 

  Thursday, Feb 20, 2020 

Published 11 pm

 

Coronavirus hits the Fraser Valley

Provincial government says nothing to worry about 

Staff/Voice photo

Updated Sunday 8 m

 

 

The Fraser Valley braces as a person has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus.

 

Late Thursday, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer  released joint statement indicating that 1 person in the Fraser Valley has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus disease bringing the count to 6, however the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) said Friday that the first of five people have recovered "as indicated by the resolution of symptoms, followed by two successive negative test results 24 hours apart."


 

Health Canada confirms that 3 Ontarians are infected.

 

When the BC Government confirmed Friday evening that a person living in the Fraser Valley had the virus, the Chilliwack community went on high alert despite assurances that there's nothing to worry about.

 

Chilliwack has a large Muslim community and the woman carrying the virus just returned from Iran.

 

The Voice has been fielding an inordinate number of calls and e-mail from jittery residents.

 

Sardis resident Jeremy Walker told The Voice that he's worried and thinks the city is prone.

 

"When they say "Valley", to me that means Langley to Chilliwack. Those are the two areas that are Valley to me. Surrey isn't seen to be a part of the Fraser Valley."

 

A Gizmodo article says that things are not looking good for stopping the Coronavirus.

 

"A new report estimates that only a third of cases that have left China’s borders are being documented at all."

The BCCDC recommends that people take the same important precautions to help protect from respiratory illnesses like they do with the flu at this time of year such as hand washing etc.

Fraser Health staff have been on alert. Their website says; "We have multiple systems in place to prepare for, detect and respond to prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases in the province. At this time no Fraser Health employees have been quarantined. Following all Workplace Health processes, policies, and guidelines ensures that we stay safe and don’t spread infectious agents."

The BCCDC has not responded to questions about what municipality the person resides. For more about the coronavirus The Centre for Disease Control.

 

For more commonly asked questions and answers on COVID-19, visit the WHO website
Health Canada: For more information on the Government of Canada’s precautions at international airports and borders, visit Health Canada’s website.

 

 

  Thursday, Feb 20, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Seeing is believing

School bus camera trial has begun in Chilliwack 

Staff/Caucus image

 

MLA Laurie Throness, Chilliwack-Hope  speaks to members of the Legislature Wednesday.

 

Welcome to the New Age. Gone are the golden days of bouncy old horse and buggy school buses.

A bus driver walks the aisles checking seatbelts before leaving. If a student leaves their 3-point harness en route, the driver stops the bus again and makes sure everyone is belted in and not falling around the aisles while rambling down bumpy roads at 30 mph.

The 3-Point seat belt systems are the same in any other moving vehicle; just like in mom and dad's car.

The provincial government and municipalities are inching closer to making school buses across the country four times better in terms of safely getting students to and from their destinations.

On Wednesday, MLA Laurie Throness, Chilliwack-Kent, spoke to members of the Legislature about the seatbelts. In an abbreviated overview he was able to craft an awareness of using seat-belts in buses and indicated he was working towards that in his riding.

Throness told The Voice in an e-mail that he advised members that he introduced a private members bill to require seatbelts on school buses, beginning in 2021.

According to Throness the federal government plan camera tests in three communities across the country including BC.

Throness beat them to the punch with Chilliwack being the only community across Canada testing the cameras that take footage of cars passing through flashing stop signs. The images are sent to the RCMP, who will then send out warning letters to drivers. It's unclear if repeat offenders will face fines.

The retrofits are big-ticket items. School Districts with large fleets will be hardest hit.



Throness said there hadn't been any complaints from parents about the belts. Although cornering might be less fun for the kids.
 
     
Throness is hopeful it'll catch on across the country. For his school, there's no turning back now that they've gone through their trial runs without complaint.

Last Friday, the extensive 27-page Task Force on School Bus Safety came out and was presented to the Council of Ministers of Transportation and Highway Safety. With it came several recommendations;

Infraction Cameras: to help prevent dangerous incidents caused by passing motorists.

Extended Stop Arms: to further deter motorists from passing while children are entering or leaving the bus.

Exterior 360° Cameras: as a means of better detecting and protecting children and other vulnerable road users around the exterior of the bus.

Automatic Emergency Braking: To help reduce the severity of a collision or avoid it entirely. Consideration should also be given to exploring ways to pair this feature with other technologies for increased safety.

Seatbelts in school buses are long overdue. If drivers need to buckle up than why not kids? They already do in their parent's cars.

The days of restless kids in school buses is coming to an end on a set of wheels near you.

 

Child safety remains the most critical element of school transportation — but getting there is the challenging part.

 

 

  Wednesday, Feb 19, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Paddle around

Vedder Road roundabout public artwork sculpture to be installed by June

Staff/Handout images

 

Artist rendering of Vedder roundabout sculpture to be ready by June.

 

he Vedder Roundabout Public Art project is a go after State of the Art Concepts Ltd. came in with the low bid of $255,000.00 for the artwork on the north side of the bridge.

 

According to City notes, State of the Art Concepts Ltd. have completed similar works for the City of Coquitlam and an assortment of Indigenous groups without complaints.

 

The sculpture will feature special recessed ighting.

 

City Council began talks in 2016 with Chief David Jimmie, President of the Stó: Nation Chiefs Council regarding art partnerships to celebrate the history of the Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe and Stó: people.
 

The art sculpture project will include electrical, concrete, grading, structural work, so expect some delays until the project is completed in June and as late as July 1.

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020 

Published 5 pm

 

We can do it!

Rosie and the Riveters play Harrison Feb 29

Byran Cutler, Harrison Fest/Matt Braden photos

 

Rosie and the Riveters open the Harrison Music Festival season Feb 29.

 

osie and the Riveters are Farideh Olsen, Allyson Reigh, and Alexis Normand. The band’s name refers to the iconic image of armaments worker Rosie the Riveter and as the name implies, this trio of women began as a group that referenced the vocal style and social change of the WWII period. The trio has since evolved to develop an entertaining live show full of relevance to the contemporary situation.

February 29

Showtime: 8 pm Doors 7:30 pm.

Tickets: $25.00 and can be purchased online at harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604.796.3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Ave

Rosie & the Riveters never planned to get political. But opening a newspaper or watching the news these days made it impossible to see the variable status of women around the world and stay silent. The result is Ms. Behave - a collection of gritty, sultry, folk-pop anthems that Billboard magazine calls “powerful and daring.”
 

Produced by Joshua Van Tassel (Rose Cousins, Sarah Slean, Great Lake Swimmers), their sophomore album loudly echoes Aretha Franklin’s demand for R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

 

Their first single, “Let ‘em Talk”, lays down a Bill Withers-inspired groove and is a response to how women’s behavior is judged in society. A quick read through other titles like “Gotta Get Paid” and “I Wanna be King” gives an idea of what they have to say.

 

Rosie & the Riveters invests 20% of their merchandise profits into women’s projects and businesses around the world through KIVA.org

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 18, 2020 

Published 10 am

 

School District may face huge extra costs on new buses

Federal Task Force safety recommendations optional for now

Staff/Voice photos

 

Chilliwack SD33 school buses get warmed up for the day.

 

n February 14, 2020, the commissioned Task Force on School Bus Safety presented their findings to the Council of Ministers of Transportation and Highway Safety. Although school buses across Canada have a very good safety records, there are considerations in the works to ensure that student safety is maximized with mandatory items like three-point seat belts on new buses. Currently they're only optional for school districts.

 


Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness and former Agassiz bus driver Gary Lillico speak with media in November 2019 regarding school bus safety.

 

The Chilliwack School Board has cited finances as their chief hurdle to installing the three-point seatbelts but they may have to include other mandatory safety items; 

 

1. Infraction Cameras: to help prevent dangerous incidents caused by passing motorists.


2. Extended Stop Arms: to further deter motorists from passing while children are entering or leaving the bus.


3. Exterior 360° Cameras: as a means of better detecting and protecting children and other vulnerable road users around the exterior of the bus.


4. Automatic Emergency Braking: to help reduce the severity of a collision or avoid it entirely. Consideration should also be given to exploring ways to pair this feature with other technologies for increased safety.

 

School District 33 bus at Tyson Rd in 2016.

 

Mandatory school bus safety items on new school buses will have major financial impacts on every School District and smaller cities like Chilliwack whose budget will be flattened if mandatory upgrades to school buses are put in place.

 

To read the entire report go here.

 

 

  Monday, Feb 17, 2020 

Published 7 am

 

Early morning crash

Trapped driver walks away after

Staff/Voice photos

 

The driver walks away unscathed after being trapped inside. Pieces of her car littered Young Rd.

 

irst responders were called out around 4:15 am Monday to a single vehicle crash at Airport Rd. and Young Rd. where the accident left someone pinned inside. RCMP shut down Young Rd. while firefighters used the Jaws of Life to extract the driver.

 

Driver climbs out of wreck assisted by firefighters.

 

Thankfully the driver walked away from the crash which could easily have been more serious. It's unclear how the accident occurred.

 

 

  Monday, Feb 17, 2020 

Published 7 am

 

'The Divided Brain - Broken Relations'

What's going on around the planet and  why is it so irrational?

Betty Krawczyk, Cumberland, Author/Handout image

 

Both hemispheres do different things for us.

 

irst I think most people would agree that at the moment, the world is in a bit of a mess. Political anger and discontent are the rule of the day in many, if not most, parts of the world. I remember during the Vietnam War when Robert McNamara (the US Secretary of Defense) remarked that the trouble with the world was that at any given time half of the world was asleep while the other half would be up raising hell. He himself was partially responsible for that disgusting war, but I thought he had a point. But not now.

Nobody sleeps anymore and the entire world seems to be raising hell at the same time. There are so many angry frustrated people in so many countries, thronging into their streets, with raised fists, or worse. Violence hangs in the air. Unresolved wars threaten to reignite, legal and illegal guns spread over the globe.

Mother Nature is angry, too, she is baring her teeth at all of us. Extreme poverty is on the rise, more people living on the streets while the stock markets soar. The political craziness going on in the US is accompanied by the rapid spread of a coronavirus that is crippling China and seeping out into the rest of the world. How can we protect ourselves, our families and our communities? What are we to think about this unusual and frightening turn of events?

Renowned neurologist Iain McGilchrist at least gives us a clue. He describes how both sides of the brain hemispheres have different functions although they are structured to work together. He writes: “In general terms, then, the left hemisphere yields narrow, focused attention, mainly for the purpose of getting and feeding.

 

The right hemisphere yields broad, vigilant attention, the purpose of which appears to be awareness of signals from the surroundings, especially of other creatures, who are potential predators or potential mates, foes or fiends, and it is involved in bonding in social animals. It might then be that the division of the human brain is also the result of the need to bring to bear two incompatible types of attention to the world at the same time, one narrow, focused, and directed to our needs, and the other to broad, open and directed toward whatever else is going on in the world apart from ourselves. “

McGilchrist tells the story of a king who administers to a small kingdom with kindness and fairness. Because of his good governance his kingdom grows and becomes so large he can no longer cover his enlarged responsibilities. So the king appoints an emissary to help him administer to the outer regions of his kingdom. As the emissary was a loyal subject to the king, he did his best to do good service and the king was grateful.


However, as the Emissary began making more of the decisions in his territory he also began to think he no longer had to report back to the king about decisions he could make himself. In time he began to think of himself as being as good as the king, and no longer reported at all. He eventually initiated a palace coup and became the king, the people were duped and the domain collapsed in ruins.

In this story we see that the emissary is the left brain that became so puffed up with his own importance he no longer felt the need to report back to the right hemisphere who was the king for conformation that his decisions were the right ones, for the consideration of the whole. Is this what is happening to our world? That too many government leaders, too many bankers, too many corporations heads lead only with their left brains, without consultation or concern for the outcomes of their decisions as long as they get a hefty share of the money? Next time.

 

Visit Betty Krawczyk's website to learn more and purchase her book. Read her blog here.

 

 

  Monday, Feb 17, 2020 

Published 6 am

 

The Shroud of Turin

Researchers say cell phone use linked to brain tumours

Janis Hoffman/website images

 

Tumours in children a concern for researchers.

 

he US Court of Appeal of Turin confirmed in a full judgment published on 13 January 2020 (904/2019 of 3.12.2019, Romeo v. INAIL) the decision of the Tribunal of Ivrea of 2017. Judge Fadda considers that the worker’s acoustic neuroma (benign tumour of the head) was indeed caused by the use of the mobile phone. The agency has dismissed hundreds of scientific studies submitted to its inquiry on wireless radiation and the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others, without providing any rationale for doing so,” she said. The lawsuit specifically accuses the FCC of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and is requesting an appeal of the agency’s prior order denying to revisit cellular phone standards.

In the US, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) is leading a historic legal action against the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for its refusal to review their 25 year old guidelines, and to promulgate scientific, human evidence-based radio frequency emissions (“RF”) rules that adequately protect public health from wireless technology radiation. The Petition contends the agency’s actions are capricious and not evidence-based. The Petition was filed on 2/2/2020 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Petitioners include parents of children injured by wireless devices, a mother whose son died from a brain tumor from cell tower exposure, physicians who see the epidemic of sickness in their clinics and Professor David Carpenter, a renowned scientist.

A California federal judge refused Apple's motion to dismiss a proposed class action claiming it fraudulently marketed iPhones as safe and exposed consumers to excessive radiofrequency radiation, instead converting the motion to a summary judgment bid and sending the case to discovery.

 

 

  Sunday Feb 16, 2020 

Published 8:30 pm

 

SAR rope rescue

Two teens went over 100 foot cliff off Crimson Ridge and a serious Prest Road MVI

Staff/Google images

 

Crimson Ridge where the incident took place on Friday.

 

t approximately, a pair of 14-year-old teens reportedly went over a cliff off of Crimson Ridge around 6 pm Friday.

 

Unfortunately, reports were that one of the teens wasn't responding after the fall.

 

Various emergency responders were called including Chilliwack Search and Rescue (CSAR) who allegedly performed a rope rescue. it's unclear exactly where the incident happened.

 

There's been no word about the injured teen and CSAR could not be reached for comment.

 

 

Another incident took place just after 7 pm involving a pickup truck going into the ditch at the treacherous Prest Rd. and First Ave. which has been the site of many accidents over the years where vehicles plunge into ditches in that spot.

 

Unfortunately the driver was seriously injured and had to be extricated. There's been no word on his condition.

 

 

  Saturday Feb 15, 2020 

Published 4 pm

 

Double trouble

Two simultaneous vehicle fires

Staff/Voice photo

 

Firefighters had the hoods up on both vehicles at the scene on School St.

 

irefighters were called to the 9400-block of School St. just before 6 pm on Friday after reports of two cars on fire.

 

Apparently, it wasn't as bad as reports first it made out to be and crews needed only get the hoods up to assess what apparently. It's unclear what the problem was exactly but they appeared minor in nature.

 

 

What are the chances? The question remains as to how two vehicles side-by-side could be affected the same way at the same time. There's no other information about this and none would be expected.

 

 

  Friday Feb 14, 2020 

Published 10 am

 

Slick roads mean more accidents

We can expect wet weather at least until spring March 19

Staff/Voice photo

 

Crews were pleased there were no injuries to deal with this accident.

 

rivers should take extra care in the wet weather and on the slick roads weather as we ease into spring March 19, 2020. Thankfully no one was hurt.

 

Crews always de-energize vehicles in frontal accidents to avoid fires by cutting battery cables.

 

Sometimes Voice photographers don't need to leave their vehicle to take photos and this was one of those times. No sense getting in the way or making a big deal about it. Unlike some media outlets, the Voice photographers don't lurk. They get in, get the photo and leave.

 

 

  Friday Feb 14, 2020 

Published 10 am

 

Hot summer nights

Armstrong Metalfest brings in big name bands July 17-19

Jon Asher/Handout image

 

 

rmstrong Metalfest is headbanging into their 12th year as British Columbia's largest, loudest and premier event for extreme music in the Okanagan Valley. Planning their 2020 event for July 17th and 18th in Armstrong, BC at the Hassen Arena, Armstrong Metalfest early bird pre-sale tickets end on Friday, January 31st for only $109 CAD, regular ticket pre-sale price will be set at $145 CAD as of February 1st, 2020. At the door price will be $185 CAD. $100 CAD for day pass.

Tickets are only $109 CAD on sale here.

All tickets provide general admission and grant access to the festival grounds, camping area and arena from 11:00 AM PST on Friday, July 17, 2020 until 11:59 PM PST on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

For day passes, please check out the FAQ for information and pricing.

2020 Early Entry: Want to grab your favourite camp spot and beat the rush of metalheads? Guests are welcome to arrive Thursday, July 16 after 11:00 AM PST.

2020 Camping and Parking: Camping fee is $25 CAD. You are welcome to sleep in your vehicle, RV or trailer. Traveling in an RV? Make sure to reserve your spot so you’re guaranteed a spot that includes water and power hookups. $75 CAD RV registration fee.

Online Support: If you are experiencing any technical issues with placing your ticket order, please email AMF and they will respond as soon as possible with a solution.

The 2019 edition of Armstrong Metalfest featured bands from across Canada, USA and Europe with such notable acts as Origin, Nekrogoblikon, WAKE, Within Destruction, Centuries of Decay and Widow's Peak among the 30 plus bands who performed during the two days of mountain mosh pitting and camping.

 

 

  Friday Feb 14, 2020 

Published 10 am

'Stories Tried and True'

Jim Byrnes with Babe Gurr in Langley April 26

Rob Warwick, Rock.itboy/Dee Lippingwell photo

 

hree-time Juno winner and BC Entertainment Hall of Famer JIM BYRNES lives and breathes music. For nearly fifty years he’s crooned, drawled, belted, hollered and sweet talked more songs into a microphone than most people ever get to hear in a lifetime. Byrnes has amassed a stellar collection of true blue hits including “12 Questions”, “Walk on Boy”, “Still Stuck on You”, “Jailbird Love Song”, “Me and Piney Brown”, “Four Until Late”, “Love is Just a Gamble”, “Of Whom Shall I be Afraid”, “That River”, “Stardust”, “Talk in Circles” and “Just a Pilgrim”, Winner of Canadian Spotlight Awards' best music video of the year (2006).

Sunday, April 26

Chief Sepass Theatre
Tickets are $47.50 (Plus Facility Fees) at all Ticketmaster locations. Charge by phone at 1-855-955-5000 or online at ticketmaster.ca

His evocative themes and smoky vocals reveal a truth that doesn’t come overnight. The sheer joy you can hear in the music he creates is a reason to celebrate JIM BYRNES as a living musical treasure.

From his numerous TV and movie roles to his award-winning albums and a staggering list of accolades it is little wonder Axs Magazine declares, “Jim Byrnes shows that he just might be the next singer-songwriter you mention to all your friends.”

For more about Jim Byrnes visit: jamestbyrnes.com.

 

 

  Friday Feb 14, 2020 

Published 9 am

Actors call for Baskerville Sherlock Holmes Mystery

Auditions Feb 25 for May shows

Ken Hildebrandt/Director Jeff Kiers

 

allery 7 Theatre is looking forward to holding open auditions for its final production of the 2019-2020 ‘Ordinary Hereos’ Theatre Season, Ken Ludwig’s hilarious Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. The auditions will be held on February 25, 2020 at the theatre’s rehearsal hall, #100 – 34595 3rd Ave in Abbotsford.

‘We’re quite excited to be presenting this mad-cap comedy adventure” says Ken Hildebrandt, executive/ artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre. “Not only does it celebrate the great master-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, it celebrates the magic of theatre. The story will be told by five actors who will play up to 40 characters, sometimes within seconds of each other. The results should be rather fun and entertaining theatre experience.”

Auditions are open to performers ages 18 & up. Anyone interested in working behind the scenes as an assistant stage manager, running crew and sound or lighting operator, are also welcome to attend the audition. For more information, visit Gallery 7 here.

 

 

  Friday Feb 14, 2020 

Published 9 am

How healthy are Chilliwack kids?

Two independent reports looks at the wellness of youth aged 7-19-years-old

Fraser Health/Handout images

 

he BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) is the most reliable, comprehensive survey of youth aged 12–19 in British Columbia. The survey has been completed every five years since 1992. In 2018, over 38,000 students in 58 of BC’s 60 school districts participated.

 

Regional Report

This report is one of 16 regional reports of the BC AHS results. It shares data provided by students in Grades 7–12 in the Fraser East Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA). Fraser East HSDA is comprised of four school districts: Chilliwack (SD 33), Abbotsford (SD 34), Mission (SD 75), and Fraser-Cascade (SD 78). This was the first time all four school districts in this region took part in the survey. It was also the first time all participating school districts chose parental notification as their consent procedures. Additional analyses were conducted to ascertain if any changes in participation or consent procedures may have affected the regional results, and this did not appear to be the case unless noted in the text.

 

This regional report focuses on the 2018 Fraser East results with relevant comparisons to the 2018 provincial results, as well as to local results in 2008 and 2013.

 

Read both McCreary Centre Society 2019 reports here.

 

 

 

  Tuesday Feb 11, 2020 

Published 6 pm

UPDATED Wednesday

 

Chilliwack child's life-giving support

'Getting kids back to being kids', BCCH Choice Lottery tickets now on sale

Staff/Google image

 

Little Chilliwack resident Sauyer Soph during his stay at the BC Children's Hospital.

 

auyer is a small package with a mountain of courage and will to beat severe gastroesophageal reflux. His story is an inspiring one.

 

Chilliwack residents Shae Soph  and her son Sauyer who has had a very a bumpy road back to health wouldn't have been possible without the help of BC Children's Hospital (BCCH).

 

Little Sauyer was an astounding 32-weeek preemie. At 9-months-old he wasn't gaining any weight and was put on an nasogastric tube.

 

The Soph family met with BCCH doctor's and the little Chilliwack resident was admitted. Then over the next 3 months he was hooked up to a myriad of tubes and medical machines for treatment which included two rounds of balloon dilation that stretched his pylorus, two peripherally inserted central catheter lines, a surgically placed central venous line to open up his pylorus, g-tube surgery, innumerable scans and blood work.

 

Sauyer at Children's hospital. Below, Sauyer with a tiger in his tank.

 

Although the prognosis was a difficult one, there was a glimmer of hope and the family was told it would be a long and winding road until Sauyer could be healthy enough to go home.

 

Today, Sauyer is back at home where he should be and on the road back to health but only made possible with the help of the BCCH and its doctors and nurses.

 

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF) has announced that the tickets for the 2020 Choices Lottery are now on sale until Thursday, April 9, 2020. The Choices Lottery supports the BCCHF, and the money raised goes to funding research that leads to innovative discoveries and treatments, which in turn directly helps improve BC Children’s care for kids. At BCCH, hundreds of researchers work to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Lottery funds can help accelerate the pace of turning discoveries into life-saving treatments – ultimately helping more kids get back to being kids. 
 
“With the help of Choices Lottery, BC Children’s Hospital can focus on funding research that goes exclusively to the care of children, from babies to teens, across BC and the Yukon,” said Teri Nicholas, president and CEO of BCCHF. “Not only do we treat sick and injured children, but our ultimate vision is to keep them healthy. Lottery proceeds provide our research team with the knowledge and skills to continue moving our pediatric care to the next level.

 

Visit the Choices Lottery to see the great lineup of prizes.

 

 

  Tuesday Feb 11, 2020 

Published 2 pm

 

Things that go bark in the night

Hero dog saves man in RV trailer fire

Staff/Google image

 

The area off Landing Drive on the Skwali Reserve where the RV was parked.

 

he next time your dog sounds the alarm with barks at night, check to make sure everything's alright.

 

At approximately 8:30 am on Tuesday, firefighters from Chilliwack Fire Department Fire Halls 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 responded to a structure fire located in a field on land owned by Skwali Reserve. On arrival, crews found a travel trailer fully engulfed.
 

After receiving multiple calls that the trailer was off Young Road behind Minter's and on Hope Slough fire fighters were finally able to locate the RV trailer in a field on the reserve but had a problem getting to it with the trucks

 

"There was one occupant sleeping in the trailer at the time of the fire. Fortunately, the family dog woke the occupant up who then safely evacuated with their dog, Mike Bourdon, Assistant Fire Chief wrote in a release later. "The occupant of the trailer suffered minor smoke inhalation and was taken to Chilliwack Hospital by BC Ambulance paramedics for further observation."

 

There were no firefighter injuries. The cause of the fire appears to be accidental and is still under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department.

 

 

  Tuesday Feb 11, 2020 

Published 8 am

UPDATE

 

There is help for flood victims

Property owners can apply through the BC Disaster Funding Assistance program

Staff/Voice file photo

 

Ballam Road flooding in 2011.

 

side from city infrastructure issues, the Harrison mudslide calamity two weeks ago was tough on property owners who are still mopping up and putting their lives back together.

 

Al Holten, who lives just off Rockwell Drive, in one of the area hardest hit areas told The Voice that he's not sure what he's going to do after a slide wiped the out a part of the acre of land he owns with a barn on it. Luckily none of his animals were injured.

 

"That's where I kept the cows. I'm going to have to build a new barn," he said.

 

Last week the BC government reminded residents around the province that the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is available. Fraser Valley residents can apply here.

 

Although the financial help is available, property owners could be out of luck if they don't meet criteria.

 

Holten is uncertain if he's be eligible.

 

Jean Beranton, Ministry of Environment, told The Voice the Emergency Management BC assesses each application individually so for instance one property owner could get it but the neighbour can't. That's a too little too late situation.

 

"If a flooding disaster occurs and DFA is authorized for a disaster event, an applicant who could reasonably and readily have purchased overland flood insurance would not be eligible for DFA."

 

"Emergency Management BC is closely monitoring the availability of overland flood insurance in BC and will continue to deliver DFA in accordance with existing legislation. If a flooding disaster occurs and DFA is authorized for a disaster event."
 

 

  Monday Feb 10, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Is metered parking on the way?

BIA asks business owners to park elsewhere to make room for shoppers

Chilliwack BIA/Pixabay image/Voice file and BIA image

 

There have been calls for limited parking downtown. Click the map below for a larger image.

 

he historical blueprint of Downtown Chilliwack helped to create one of the only truly walkable commercial cores in the Lower Mainland. Of course the priority 100 years ago wasn't necessarily to see how close you could park your car to your destination...and we're ok with that!

It is no secret that the design creates some parking challenges, especially around Wellington, Mill and Victoria. While there are other reasonable parking options nearby, customers appreciate finding quick parking spaces in proximity to their destination. Unfortunately, there is only a limited number of parking spaces available on the street, and time limits that can be challenging for some.

It is important that those working in the area recognize the value of leaving these spaces for customers.

Not every business has the same needs for customer parking, or that of their staff, but all businesses have challenges of their own when it comes to parking.
 

Some businesses require only 15 minute parking with easy access for loading/unloading, while others may require many hours to complete their appointment or to do their shopping.

As no downtown businesses would survive without their customers, we recommend leaving street-front parking for customers as much as possible, especially during peak shopping hours. We encourage all businesses to be respectful of surrounding businesses and the needs of their clients,
and try to work together to ensure that downtown is inviting to everyone.

Please be aware of the parking options in your area, and work with your neighbours and customers appropriately to find the best solutions.

If you have any questions about parking in your area, please contact the BIA office.

 

 

  Friday Feb 7, 2020 

Published 8 pm

 

By accident

ICARS reports to City Council

Staff/Voice photos

 

An accident in the Chilliwack Central Road and Broadway Ave, intersection on Monday. Thankfully there were no serious injuries.

 

he Tuesday council meeting had an unannounced group of police officers from various arms of the RCMP explain to councillors what they do in the community.

They described how one part of the RCMP deals with road accidents is called Integrated Collision Analysis Reconstruction Service (ICARS). Last year the provincial government announced that RCMP would now make quick assessments of accidents without having to go through extensive investigations and tie up traffic and would instead have the vehicles towed as soon as possible.

There's not much they leave out if anything in assessing accidents. he Lower Mainland detachment covers the areas from Pemberton to the border, from the Sunshine Coast to Alison Pass and from Jackass Mountain to the Coquilhalla summit. They utilize forensic science that looks at serious collisions where for example deaths occur or hit and runs to determined what happened leading up to the accident and where criminal charges may be laid.

BC's ICARS is the largest in the country with 3 senior officers and 17 accident reconstructionists.

One point that was made was that members have 2 to 3 years of extensive training enquiring advanced physics and math skills. Once a member joins the team they tend to stay said the presenting officer and tend to remain in ICARS for their careers.

In BC the numbers are high. In 2019 there were 177 serious injury accidents with 47 fatalities

In Chilliwack, there were 11 deaths on the road which was about 6 per cent of what ICARS does ion the province.

Officers will check infotainment systems in vehicles. They've done testing of motorcycle accidents into the sides of vehicles at Mission Speedway.

ICARS have one chance before scene evidence is destroyed. They use scanners, drones, pilot-able cameras to collect pathological, virtual reality and enhanced presentation and using that evidence collection in court like with animations of what happened. The drones can be used to map the scene in virtual reality where they can take judges and juries right into a scene.



Police accidents are always investigated such as the accident above in 2009.

 

 

  Thursday Feb 6, 2020 

Published 3 pm

 

Housing sales down slightly in January

CADREB President elect Kim Parley excited about Chilliwack prospects

Steve Lerigny/File photo

growing community, a stable provincial economy and a solid local housing market combines for “an exciting time for the real estate industry and for Chilliwack”, according to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board’s (CADREB) newly elected President.

“I am super excited to represent CADREB as President for 2020,” said Kim Parley, who will be officially installed at the Board’s AGM later this month. Replacing outgoing President Kyle Nason who oversaw a year of housing sale growth in Chilliwack and area, Mr. Parley is a long-time resident of various places in the Fraser Valley.

“The natural beauty of this area never ceases to amaze me,” said the new President, who in addition to being a REALTOR® also has a background in construction, accounting, sales and marketing. “I’m proud to be working for such a great Board, in a profession that cares so much for its communities”.

While housing sales in Chilliwack and area dipped a bit in January from the month before, the 166 sales far outpaced the 98 sales in January of 2019. Year over year, the sales numbers did a large recovery from the previous year.

Of the total housing sales last month, the highest number (15) were in the $400,000-$449,999 range, and also15 in the $500,000 - $549,999 range. There were 12 sales over the $1 million mark, with the total dollar value of all sales reaching just over $90.4 million.

While other areas of BC are experiencing drops in pricing, not so in Chilliwack and area, particularly in single family housing.

“Low housing inventory is keeping prices up locally,” said Mr. Parley. “More listings are needed to create more competition. We have increasing demand from buyers moving into our area as housing is more affordable than the metro areas, so it’s a great time to list a property”.

Despite earlier predictions that mortgage rates may nudge upwards, they remain competitive, perhaps in part to the effects that the Corona virus is having on world money markets.

When a global event happens, it has an indirect effect on the housing market, added the CADREB President. The health issue has weakened the Canadian dollar against its US counterpart, which in turn reduces spending and helps keep mortgage rates steady.

There are fewer than 1,000 listings on the Chilliwack and area market. With the busy Spring sales market just around the corner, now would be a perfect time to talk to any of the qualified and experienced CADREB REALTORS®  to list your house, or to get pre-qualified for a mortgage and get shopping!

 

 

Repost

 Saturday, Nov 30, 2019 

Published 5:30 am

 

Online doctor makes offline difference

Chilliwack mom and blogger one of the first to use Virtual Care application in the city

Lynne Preston, CSO/handout photos

 

Virtual Care can save trips to the ER.

 

or many young families, balancing multiple schedules, irregular work hours and family healthcare can be a huge challenge. In fact, 20 per cent of B.C. residents spend six or more hours a month managing their family’s health, with many having to take days off work to do so.

 

Keisha Boutilier, a DIY and lifestyle blogger, and mom to two kids, knows this challenge all too well. Living in a popular area means seeing her busy, overworked family physician can be near-impossible, especially when they need a last-minute appointment.

 

Earlier this year, Keisha’s daughter, Ella, experienced a bad cold that impacted the sound of her breathing. Keisha panicked. Is it an emergency? Should she take Ella to the ER? Is she overreacting?

 

Fortunately, Keisha had learned about a virtual care app that enabled her to get healthcare support in a pinch. A quick video consultation with a physician assured her that she had nothing to worry about - Ella just had a bit of congestion and needed a bit of rest.

 

Experiences like Keisha’s aren’t isolated. Many B.C. residents continue to face challenges to accessing appropriate, quality care. Virtual care is one solution they can turn to for help where and when they need it. Visit Babylon for more information and to download the app.

 

 

  Wednesday, Feb 5, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

There's gold in them thar hills

Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters 2019 award night

Staff/Google image

 

Sarah Preston (l to r), Dennis Augustynowicz and Fred Dyon show off their trophies.

 

either rain nor snow nor sleet nor hail stops the hardy bunch of Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters (FVTH) who get out there with their metal detectors looking for objects that may be of value or sentimental reasons.

"Not greatest weather but the right people showed up," says Mark Lewis, FVTH founder.

Sometimes you'll find them sifting through sawdust in school or City playgrounds which is a huge help making it safer for kids by removing sharps that may be there.

"Our members have checked and rechecked playgrounds around the Lower Mainland for years," says Lewis.

The group has regular meetings and pot luck dinners and a annual event where Lewis plants rare and valuable coins.

Each month hunters gather to show off their finds and win prizes. Every February FVTH Hunter Of The Year award dinner takes place.

2019 top hunters are; 1st Place - Dennis Augustynowicz, 2nd Place - Fred Dyon and 3rd Place - Sarah Preston

To see videos and learn more information about the club and how to join the group of happy hunters, visit their website here and connect on Facebook.

 

 

  Wednesday, Feb 5, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

What comes around goes around

Ann's Treasure and Gift Store Grand Reopening Feb 7

Staff/Google image

 

The store is located at 46230 Yale Road.

 

nn Davis Transition Society is happy to announce that after 5 successful years of service to the community at Ann’s Treasures and Thrift we have renovated and will be having our Grand Reopening. Everyone in the community are welcome to join our accessible event. Coffee and snacks will be served.

What: Grand Reopening

When: Friday February 7th at noon

Where: 46230 Yale Road

For over 5 years our dedicated volunteers have worked to ensure we have our store open with friendly service for community.

 

Our generous community donors ensure we have good quality items for sale or available for requisition for those in need.

 

The Ann Davis Society has a requisition program where we give items away to those in need and our "Bad Date" Program from the location, we are now pleased to announce that our 2 Women’s Outreach Workers Carrie and Chrissy will be based out of the location where many of our clients come for help.

 

For more information about the Ann Davis Society, visit anndavis.org.

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Structure Fire on Russell Road

11 townhouse residents displaced

Staff/Google image

 

larm bells rang out this morning at around 9 am to a reported structure fire in the 46000-block of Russell Rd. Fire crews from Halls 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 responded in a light snow and upon arrival found the townhouse full-involved and set up a defensive attack to stop the fire from rapidly spreading fire to adjacent townhouses.

Crews had the fire out in an hour and went in search of an hot spots.

"The unit of origin sustained heavy fire and smoke damage, while the adjacent units in the complex received light/moderate fire, smoke and water damage," said Chris Wilson, Assistant Chief, Emergency Preparedness for the Chilliwack Fire Dept in a release later that afternoon. "The Chilliwack Emergency Support Services team was deployed to the scene and provided short term essential needs to 11 of the displaced occupants and a number of pets. Strata representatives were present at the scene and it is unclear as to when occupants will be able to re-occupy the complex."

As is normally the case, the Chilliwack Salvation Army arrived with food for crews and the Chilliwack School District 33 provided a bus for displaced occupants to stay warm and dry.

There were no firefighter or injuries to residents.

Chilliwack Fire Officials are investigating the cause of the blaze.

At around 7 pm, firefighters were called back to the site to douse the stubborn fire. 

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

Virtual healthcare network nowhere in site for BC

Interior residents travel hundreds of miles to get a basic diagnosis

Fanny India, Retired Health Nurse/Submitted photo

 

s I write this, patients are travelling long distances for consultations with specialists. Many of these journeys, for simple face to face meetings are made even though the required workup has been completed and the results forwarded.
 

BUT - What if you could visit a GP, have the referral and information forwarded to a specialist, get the diagnostic workup done, have a virtual (videoconference) consult with the specialist, obtain a diagnosis and develop a plan for treatment, all within one coordinated system. (I am presuming a ‘hands-on’ consult is not required and that the use of virtual communication is medically appropriate).

From there, contact is made with the required service – physio, imaging, dietician, pharmacist, surgical booking, appointments are coordinated, the service provided, reports go to your specialist and GP, AND, the service provider can check back with the specialist for further direction or information as needed.

What if, incorporating this model using a province-wide virtual communication network, were to result in our system moving closer to becoming Patient Centered Care.

Alas, with few exceptions, patients, their families or caregivers are required to make long, expensive, stressful and unnecessary trips for face to face consults when a virtual consult would provide the same outcome.

After 20 years of government ‘plans/promises’ to implement a province-wide Electronic Medical Records and Virtual Health Communications system we have 6 (or more depending on how you count them) Health Authorities who have difficulty communicating with each other and a spotty dog’s breakfast of partial, single issue communication systems. A history of local, single condition, time limited, pilot projects of patient/physician interaction, all successful. Upon completion of the pilots, a report is filed, there are mumblings around providing the service on a permanent basis.

The ability for patients to communicate virtually (when appropriate) with their healthcare provider has saved days of negotiating difficult travel conditions, significant and unrecoverable costs for meals and hotels and reduced time away from work.

There have been national and international experiments and studies extolling the advantages of virtual communication in healthcare. The vast majority point to the efficiencies and dollars saved. A Saskatchewan experiment even included ‘green’ benefits, with 6 million kilometers saved by the reduced need to travel.

Our government has this topic somewhere down the ‘to do’ list. The Ministry of Health Virtual Strategy Department is developing a framework, ‘Guideline for Patient Empowerment Through Virtual Care’ which is expected to be completed sometime this year. It will include recommendations around Use, Information Management, Physician Compensation, Technical Requirement, First Nations, Rural and Remote use, Managing and Governing and Monitoring.

My research has uncovered no mention of a province-wide network which will support communication and the exchange of information between patients and all health care service providers.

Physicians and Patient Advocacy groups are seemingly interested in serving their own interests. There are many systems available and competition is fierce. Unless government follows through soon by endorsing a single system whereby a patient’s health care team can communicate with the patient and each other, we shall continue down the present path of money wasting chaos.

Time is running out for the patients and taxpayers of British Columbia to take control of the mishmash which currently exists and acquire a medical communications network that will serve all of us.

The production of a Virtual Care Strategy Policy by the MOH, which just repeats and reorganizes the work of other jurisdictions, is now seen to ‘be doing something’ to ‘be making a serious start’ when in fact it is a way of pretending to move forward. We are more than halfway through a 4-year election cycle.

Unless there is concrete action to implement this service soon it will just drop off the agenda again because the costs never appear on a ministry budget line.

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Trades Training for new Canadians

Mega Job Fair February 6

Lubna Lekramoddoullah/Website photo

 

Heavy duty truck mechanic is one of the courses available to new Canadians. Below, click poster for larger version.

re you new to Canada? Do you have great experience but you're looking to further or change your career? Many skilled immigrants to Canada already have professional skills and technical qualifications from their home countries but need Canadian certification to find work.

Industry Training Authority (ITA) is here to help. ITA aims to build a diverse and inclusive trades training system for B.C. and helps new Canadians in B.C. achieve their trades certification by offering hands-on experience through ITA-designated trades training providers and connecting them with financial supports, safety training, and English courses.

This year, ITA is excited to partner with Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society, who provides a range of programs and services to assist new immigrants, seniors, farm workers, women, and youth. We’ll be attending the PICS Mega Job Fair Vancouver 2020 on February 6 to raise awareness about great trades careers and answer questions participants might have.

The PICS Mega Job Fair sees thousands of attendees each year, and it’s a great chance to explore career options with a wide range of employers, while connecting with service providers and educators who can assist with career advancement programs.

If you’re new to B.C. and are interested in a trades career, drop by our table! It’s free to register and attend!

 

  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Join the Chilliwack Chiefs and Be Hockey Fit!

Register now program starts soon

Brooke Bliss, UWO/Website photo

 

Rob Petrella, (l to r) Wendy Blunt, Brendan Riggin, Andrea Petrella and Dawn Gill worked with the London Knights to get male junior hockey fans involved in a fitness regime.

estern University researchers are looking for junior hockey fanatics in 32 cities across Canada – including four in Southwestern Ontario – men who are out-of-shape but want to get active.

The Hockey Fans in Training program has partnered with 32 Canadian junior hockey teams – including the London Knights, Windsor Spitfires, Owen Sound Attack and Sarnia Sting – for the 12-week off-ice exercise and healthy lifestyle program. Researchers are looking for 40 male participants in each city who are overweight and whose athletic glory days are behind them.

“The idea behind it is they’re all working out with other like-minded individuals,” said Brendan Riggin, post-doctoral fellow in family medicine and sports management researcher. “They’re all fans.”

Participants get a behind-the-scenes look at their team’s arena and may meet a couple players and coaching staff along the way, Riggin said. Three of the 12 weekly sessions are held at the team arena. For more information and to sign-up for the program, visit Hockey Fans in Training.

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Eating their way to the top

Chilliwack Special Olympics heading to Thunderbay in great shape

Megan Pollock, SOBC/Handout photos

 

Click photos for athlete bios.

 

rom February 25 to 29, Special Olympics BC’s largest-ever provincial winter team will pursue personal bests at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020.

 

Comprised of 143 athletes with intellectual disabilities, 42 volunteer coaches, and 13 mission staff from 42 communities around the province, Special Olympics Team BC 2020 is well prepared to shine on the national stage and showcase their abilities.

The team includes three athletes and three volunteer coaches from Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford, and five athletes and one volunteer mission staff member from SOBC – Chilliwack:

• Team BC Valley Cats 5-pin bowling team athletes Corey Bennett (Chilliwack), Justin Blenkin (Rosedale), Aliza Eagletree (Rosedale), Julie Prachnau (Chilliwack), and Derek Trainor (Chilliwack)
• Valley Cats coach Leslie Bowling (Abbotsford)
• Team BC Cougars floor hockey floor hockey player Austin Johnston (Abbotsford) and coach Bruce Watkins (Abbotsford)
• Speed skating athletes Chris Hamilton (Abbotsford) and Paige Norton (Abbotsford)
• Speed skating coach Donna Bilous (Abbotsford)
• Speed skating mission staff member Wayne Williams (Chilliwack)

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 will be competing in eight sports in Thunder Bay, Ont.: 5-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating.

 

This is the first time 5-pin bowling will be part of National Winter Games, having previously been part of the summer sport cycle.

Since qualifying for their spots on Team BC 2020 through their performances at the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, the provincial team athletes and coaches have been hard at work to be at their best at the National Games, training at least three times a week for the last 10 months.

 

Training has included sport-specific work in our local year-round Special Olympics programs, participating in Club Fit, additional fitness and dryland training, working with sport-specific experts, and focusing on diet and nutrition. For more information on the 2020 Special Olympics and donate, visit the website.

 

 

 

  Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Cotter team breaks record

Racking up the most championships

Rebecca Connop-Price/Handout photos

 

Team Cotter sips by Team Tardi at the BC provincials.

 

otter and Sawatsky have overtaken Bernie Sparkes as the BC men with the most provincial championship titles.

 

The Cotter rink from Vernon and Kelowna curling clubs is rounded out by Saskatchewan import Steve Laycock and second Andrew Nerpin. Nerpin, from Kelowna, went to the Brier in 2018 with Sean Geall, and Steve has been to the Brier twice for BC and seven times for Saskatchewan. 

 

The team beat Team Tardi from Langley and Victoria  curling clubs 10-6 with the help of four stolen ends. It was the first provincial men’s playoffs for the Tardi rink that features skip Tyler Tardi, third Sterling Middleton, second Jordan Tardi and lead Alex Horvath.

 

“I’m lost for words. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s hard to put into words at this time. Hats off to the Tardi team. We knew it was going to be a phenomenal game. Those guys are going to win 15 of these," said Cotter. "It feels great in the moment but at the same time you sort of feel for those guys because I’m close with them too. It’s not an easy feat. It’s a real honour to wear a purple heart and to represent your province.”

 

The 2020 BC Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Nufloors Penticton, took place at Cranbrook’s Western Financial Place. It featured the top 16 men’s curling rinks in BC.

 

Although this was the first provincial men’s final for the Tardi rink, they all have gold medals from world junior championships.

 

Team Cotter will represent BC at the Tim Hortons Brier in Kingston, Ont., from Feb. 29 to Mar. 8.

 

For more information, visit Curl BC. Connect on Facebook.

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 1, 2020 

Published 10 pm Updated Sunday

 

Agassiz Mayor declares a state of emergency

Flooding and rockslides wipe out water supply, force evacuations Saturday

Staff/Google satellite image

 

Rockwell Drive was closed after being hit with rock and mudslides early Saturday.

 

gassiz, a city of approximately 130,000 residents nestled between Harrison Lake and the Fraser River, kicked off  February hammered by rain early Saturday that was estimated to have been between 120mm-140mm (4-6 inches). That type of moisture is sometimes referred to as an "atmospheric river".

 

And river it was as a sudden deluge forced Agassiz Mayor Sylvia Pranger to issue a State of Emergency advisory causing residents to be evacked after washouts and flooding wiped sections of Rockwell Drive between Dogwood Lane and Rockwell Lane off the map and took out the city's main water supply infrastructure.

 

The provincial ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is currently assisting the District of Kent with the evacuations from the area saying staff are in regular communication with local government, the regional district and Emergency Management BC (EMBC).

 

This was the same witch's brew weather caldron that slammed Chilliwack knocking trees down onto power lines including one that blocked Vedder Road in both directions at the traffic circle and taking out phone and communication lines in many areas.

 

Agassiz authorities told war-weary residents that drinking water in the area was temporarily shut off due to a waterline break and will be restored as soon as possible and the water's safe to drink.

 

Rockwell Drive is closed in sections after mud and rockslides Saturday. File photo.

 

"The District of Kent, in cooperation with EMBC, is currently assessing the situation and determining an appropriate course of action. Property owners and residents affected by the washout of the road and damaged water infrastructure who have not been contacted by the RCMP or Kent Search and Rescue staff are ordered to be evacuated immediately," read the advisory.

Choppers have been continuously passing over Chilliwack on Sunday. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Emil Anderson are working on clearing and repairing the roads affected by the slides. 

"The public is advised to stay clear from the Rockwell Drive area due to the unstable highway and fast moving waters on the road and ditches. Rockwell Drive is closed to the public except for local traffic and personnel."

First responders and city staff in the battered city continue to keep a close eye on the weather and are working with the provincial government to ensure that the area remains safe while residents languished waiting to go home.

 

Ongoing flooding and inaccessibility issues prove there's no negotiating with nature. Teams using MOTI technology to examine and assess slope and land stability in the area are in dangerous situations.

 

It's not clear at this time if anyone was injured.
 

The community is being asked to avoid the area allowing embattled crews to continue to work at repairing the damaged infrastructure unimpeded. Security and police are continuously patrolling evacuated residential areas to deter possible looting.

 

For current road conditions, visit Drive BC.

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 1, 2020 

Published 5 am Updated Sunday

 

Oh what a night

Vehicles in the Fraser River, Vedder Road closed in both directions after a tree came down on wires

Staff/Google image


Two vehicles went in the water Saturday morning. Thankfully no one was injured.

 

hey say that bad things happen in twos. This certainly was the case when two vehicles went into the Fraser River at nearly the same time in the early morning Saturday.

 

As rain lashed Chilliwack and the surrounding areas, first responders were called out at 2:45 am to a Jeep that was reported to be drifting down the river with two people inside near Gill Road.

 

"We responded with our Seadoos and the Jet boat, on the way we were informed that the vehicle was not floating and was stuck in the river while trying to get across to a sand bar, the occupants were okay and not in any danger. We were also told that they were somewhere between Jespersons and Gill road," Dan McAuliffe, Search Manager, Chilliwack Search and Rescue told The Voice in an e-mail Sunday.

 

Shortly after that CSAR headed to another location where the RCMP reported that a second vehicle was 90% submerged and possibly had someone inside. This became the priority for responders.

 

"We sent a vehicle to Gill Road to see if they could access the submerged vehicle from the shore. Both watercraft had difficulty in the dark and rain getting to the subjects because of hidden sandbars just below the surface," said McAuliffe.

 

"Several subjects were rescued from a sand bar but some had left the area after making their way to shore. A shoreline search was conducted to ensure that no one else was stranded," added McAuliffe.

 

Earlier, around 3 am, reports of a small mudslide that affected a power line in the Slesse Road area took out the electricity up Chilliwack Lake Road including the CRV Fire Hall.

 

At around 4:30 am, reports that a large tree came down across the wires on Vedder Road near the bridge and crews had to block the road off in both directions. About an hour later, reports were that a BC Hydro crew were on their way from Coquitlam.

 

At approximately the same time reports were that a transformer blew and was on fire in the Wells Road area. Crews searched the area but found nothing and the power remained on. There were also reports trees and branches down on primary power supply lines in several other areas including Scott Road and Siemens Road.

 

Flood warnings are in effect for the areas marked in green.

 

CSAR noted on their Twitter feed that BC River Forecast Centre issued a local High Streamflow Advisory Thursday morning. "Please use considerable caution around waterways, stay away from rising creeks/rivers & please be aware that there is a potential for localized flooding."

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 1, 2020 

Published 3 am

 

Here comes the bride

The best part of losing is reading about the winners

BCLC/Handout photo


Gill will be giving his daughter the wedding of her dreams after winning the lotto.

 

aljit Singh Gill has spent months budgeting how to make his daughter’s upcoming wedding special. He now has two-million extra ways to do that after matching all six numbers in the BC49 draw on January 25, 2020.
 

The Fleetwood truck driver, who immigrated to Canada from India in 1985, has been playing the lottery for years but couldn’t stop shaking when he discovered he won $2 million.
 

“I scanned my ticket at the Evergreen Mall [near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway],” says Gill. “I saw the 2, and all the zeros, and I called the clerk over to check and make sure.”
 

Gill and his wife still haven’t told their daughter they’re about to make her dream wedding come true.
 

“She will be very surprised,” says Gill, who will pay off some debt and tuck away half of the remaining winnings for the future.
BCLC offers socially responsible gambling entertainment while generating income to benefit British Columbians. Remember, play for fun, not to make money. Visit GameSense.com.
 

 

 

 

  Saturday, Feb 1, 2020 

Published 2 am

 

Healthy communities don't include cancer-causing pesticides

Calgary policy 'ambiguous and vague'

Meg Sears, PhD/File photo
 

n January 13th, civil society and citizens ask Calgary City Council to: 1. discuss (don't rubber-stamp by consent) the proposed pesticides policy, and 2. send it back to staff to institute healthy, ecological, climate-friendlier landscaping policies.
 

A new, weakened Pest Management Policy on the January 13th Calgary Council "consent agenda" could be rubber-stamped without even being discussed by Calgary Council. It would replace the 1998 Integrated Pest Management Policy.
 

The new policy is ambiguous and vague, "prioritizing" human and ecological health (will health be a high priority?) and removing specifics such as notice provisions, pesticide-free tot-lots and buffer zones. Prevent Cancer Now discussed the present and proposed policies, while our friends at Coalition for a Healthy Calgary pose very important questions.

 

Calgary needs least-toxic, best practices for organic, regenerative landscaping to: protect human and ecological health; capture carbon in the soil and address climate change; and blunt "heat islands" in hotter summers.   
 

Democracy was denied. The proposed policy did not undergo the promised public consultation; immediate pre-holiday participation at Committee was thwarted because (contrary to required procedure) documentation was posted less than 2 days before the meeting; and voluminous other documentation distracts from the fact that Council is voting on a short, 4-point policy.

 

Calgary has a poor history of pest management. One example was improper use of triclopyr - a pesticide that mimics hormones.