Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons made a pitch to the legislature to make all 360 episodes of the classic TV series The Beachcombers available online.

If you grew up in Canada in the 1970's or '80's you very likely watched The Beachcombers, and if you grew up in one of the other 60 countries in the world where the series was broadcast, you may have been watching it there as well.

Everything about this show is West Coast and truly Canadian. It told our story. But only 60 episodes have been aired since 1990, and according the Simons, this needs to change.

The show had a cast of contrasting characters and told original stories about fishing, logging and the ecology. It explored land claims and other First Nations issues. There were even references to our ferry service. It showed the beauty of BC's coastline and in one episode the show centred around a proposed pipeline from Alberta through BC.Beachcombers  

Simons goes on to claim that The Beachcombers continues to draw tourists to the Sunshine Coast, and being able to watch the show is in the national interest.

'Along with Jackson Davies, our favourite Mountie, I'm calling on the CBC, our national broadcaster, to make this classic television series available again for the enjoyment of not just Canadians, but fans around the world.' Simons would like to see CBC offer all 360 episodes through its online player.

Good idea.  I'd watch the series again. You?

Read full post

The series of 'Car Free Day' events, meant to re-imagine and showcase a city less dependent of cars, takes place from June to August.

Each festival will be held on a single street in each respective neighbourhood, all to be held on different days, allowing festival goers a chance to attend each of them.

This year you can expect even more art, music and activities than before.

The West End Festival will be held on Saturday, June 16 on Denman Street from Robson to Davie, featuring 4 new stages.

The Main Street Festival will take place on Sunday, June 17 on Main Street from Broadway to 30th Ave, featuring more than 10 stages hosted by local communities and businesses.  This year you will find more interactive art installations and children's activities.

The Commercial Drive Festival will be held on Sunday, July 8th on Commercial Drive from Venables to North Grandview, featuring new and returnng stages put on by community groups and individuals, including a live DJ van.

Car Free Day 2018 expects to attract more than 400,000 people out this year.

Image result for pics for car free day in vancouverImage result for pics for car free day in vancouverImage result for pics for car free day in vancouver

Read full post

By now, all of the outdoor pools in Metro Vancouver will be open for the summer, including Kits Pool which has just undergone a nice renovation. 

Get a full body workout swimming lanes or taking an aquafit class, relax after a busy day in a hot tub or make a splash with friends and family.

Swimming lessons and birthday party packages are available at many locations and several lower cost 'discount dip' sessions are available throughout the week.

All the pools are maintained in accordance with established health guidelines and standards in order to maintain a safe and hygienic environment.

Bring on Summer!

Image result for pics of metro vancouver poolsImage result for pics of metro vancouver pools

Read full post

Memorial Park will host Ladner Pioneer May Days Fair this weekend which has been going on since 1896. The Fair will feature live bands, free entertainment, carnival rides and a beer garden for the adults. The festivities begin Friday evening with discounted midway rides for kids. On Saturday the day is filled with a broad range of top notch family entertainers and many FREE activities and entertainment for children.

The food fair area will offer a broad range of food and picnic tables with a great view of the baseball tournement.

Sunday's activities kick off with a pancake breakfast followed at noon by the May Days Parade featuring the May Queen float.

The Fair takes place Friday to Sunday, May 27 & 28 from 3pm to 10pm on Friday and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday at Memoral Park - 5010 47th Ave. Ladner.

Ladner May DaysLadner May Days MidwayLadner May Days Crowds

Read full post

The biggest technological revolution of our lifetime is just around the corner as we start to get ready for the advent of driverless cars.

Toyota and Tesla will have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2022, with all the other auto manufacturers following by 2025.

The shift promises virtually no deaths due to traffic accidents, drastically reduced commute times and emissions as most of these cars will be electric.

Are our governments doing enough about the fact that there are going to be so many of these driverless cars on the road?

Less than half of the people who currently own a car today will own one in 12 years - there won't be any need to.

With driverless cars, commuters will be able to order a ride to their door using a mobile app, and customize their trip with personal music, movies and more.

The costs of owning versus operating will be dramatic. If you own, it will cost more than twice as much than if you just order a vehicle every time you want a ride.

There will be a massive change in the need for public transit, public transportation and interconnectivity with driverless cars.

Municipalities will have to completely rethink the way they do their planning.

Right now cities are dealing with signage, curbs, lanes, signals, traffic interestions and parking. That's all going to change because none of that is going to be necessary.

The car will operate by lidar, radar and cameras... so the cars talk to each other, but they also have to talk to the infrastructure.

With the technology being used there will also be a need for strong IT protections.

What will happen when you have 40,000 cars on the road during rush hour and all of a sudden Surrey's system goes down, or Burnaby's system goes down. We are going to have to deal with ransomware and hacking and freezes and all the stuff that each of us deals with when we are trying to put together a word document.

There won't be any need for gas stations, parkades and there won't be any on-site parking issues.

But as of now, we are totally unprepared.  When are we going to come up with new stategies?  We have to plan ahead. We have to do a 5 year financial plan and each community will have to do their regional growth stategy and Official Community Plan in the next 2 years to deal with what's coming in the next 4 years. Is this going to happen?

autonomous car on highway

Read full post

With the high price of gas putting a damper on many weekend plans that require a bit of a drive - here is a nice surprise. This summer you can get some great outdoors time in while saving some bucks thanks to a free shuttle bus service that will run between Vancouver and Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Parkbus operated last summer as a pilot program, but this year, with support from MEC and TD you can ride the bus free.

Operated by Vancouver based Environmentall Sound Transportation, Parkbus will run every Saturday and Sunday, starting July 7th until September 2nd with departures from MEC Vancouver Store on West Broadway in the morning, and returning late afternoon.

You will need to pre-book your seat online with a credit card deposit to prevent no-shows, and the reservations will open up in mid June.

Ahead of your reserved trip, riders will get safety information and park details via email. While on board, you can learn about Leave No Trace principles from a ride facilitator.

At 62,540 hectares, Golden Ears is one of the biggest parks in B.C.

Known for its extensive trail systems for hikers and equestrian use, Golden Ears is also home to Alouette Lake, which is a popular spot for swimming, windsurfing, water skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing.

Alouette Lake Golden Ears Park

Read full post

Steveston's 15th annual Maritime Festival will feature the indie soul ban, The Boom Booms on the main stage at Britannia Heritage Shipyards this summer.

The festival will run for 2 days, Saturday, July 28th and Sunday July 29th from 10am to 6pm with many displays.

There will be the row of interesting, historic ships along the docks. The River Queen will operate tours of Steveston Channel and the Shady Isle Pirate Society will be bringing their miniature canon ships to the river.

As always, the festival will feature a variety of local performing artists, including the Boom Booms who will play for you at 2:15pm on Saturday.

Each year, the festival invites local visual artists to submit proposals to design the event poster. Richmond based Ashley Rose Goentoro has been commissioned to design this year's poster.

Ashley will bring her charm to her watercolour paintings that tie in perfectly with the Richmond Martime Festival's focus on arts, culture and history. She will be documenting her creative process on Instagram (Ashley Rose Illustration). The final artwork will be used throughout this year's festival site and marketing materials.

This year's festival will be a scaled back version of last year's special event, which had twice the budget at $200,000 thanks to Canada150 sponsorship money. 

maritime festival

Read full post

A new community is planned for Vancouver's Heather Lands that will include 2,500 new homes where at least 40% will be for either low or moderate income households.

The 21 acre site, between west 33rd & 37th, between Willow & Ash, with Heather Street running through it, sits in the Cambie Corridor development area.

The land is owned by 3 First Nations - the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (MST) - and Canada Lands Company, which in 2014 entered into a 50/50 venture for the ownership and redevelopement of the property.

This could see the end of the historic Fairmont Academy building, built in 1914 and is now a class A heritage building which was first a private school and then an RCMP base. It currently stands directly in the way of the site, but could be moved to a new site, but not likely.

The newly released details of the Heather Lands masterplan include:

*  approx 2,500 residential units, in buildings from 3 to 24 storeys;

* a minimum of 20% of units for affordable houses for lower-income households (around 530 units);

*  a further 20% to be attainable home ownership targeted at moderate income households (earning $50,000 - $80,000 for singles and couples and $80,000 - $150,000 for families with children);

*  of the social housing units, 50% to be geared  to families with 2 or 3 bedrooms;

*  up to 60,000 square feet of local serving and service uses;

*  a minimum of 4 acres of secured park and more.

Heather LandsRCMP Fairmont building

Read full post

Our moms always love being surprised with flowers on Mother's Day and this weekend Richmond is offering 2 special annual sales.

At the corner on No. 3 Rd and Steveston Highway, the Richmond GoGos group will be selling sunflower seedlings and African-designed tote bags.

Proceeds of this charitable sale will go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which combats the spread of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Richmond GoGos are one of hundreds of GoGo groups around the world that fundraise for this cause. The African word GoGo means grandmother.

After picking up your sunflowers you could head to the second flower and plant sale which takes place at London Heritage Farm.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the farm will be selling featured plants and flowers from its garden. Perennials, annuals, herbs, hanging baskets, tomato seedlings and garden accessories will be sold.

There will be a free surprise plant for each child at the checkout and a draw to win a hanging basket.

Unfortunately the annual Mother's Day Tea is sold out, but there is limited space available for walk-ins. The special tea takes place Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Tea, scones and baked goods are served for $14.

Image result for pictures of flower sale a london heritage farmImage result for pictures of flower sale a london heritage farm

Read full post

James has become just the 2nd Canadian born pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to throw a 'no-hitter'.

The Seattle Mariners southpaw from Ladner shutout the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 last night in Toronto.  James needed 99 pitches, striking out 7 and walking 3. He got some terrific support behind him, including a diving stop by 3rd baseman Kyle Seager to rob Kevin Pillar of a hit in the 7th.

James's final pitch to Josh Donaldson was clocked at 99 mph. It was also the first complete game of his Major League career.

'The last inning was just fastballs. I was just out there throwing as hard as I could and guys were make every play behind me, James told Rogers Sportsnet.  He went on to say that it's very special being able to get it done in Canada, in front of Canadian fans.

The last time a Canadian threw a no-hitter was back in 1945, by Dick Fowler.

The Delta Secondary graduates previous start saw him record a career high 16 stikeouts against Oakland. 

Our boy is on a roll!

Paxton

Read full post

As the cost of living continues to rise in Metro Vancouver, finding ways to reduce energy and save on bills can make a difference to overall house expenses. Until June 15, if you replace your clothes washer with a high efficiency model you will not only lower your future energy costs, but you can get a $100 rebate.

Clothes washers are the second highest water consumers for most homes, just behind toilets. Not only will a high efficiency washer save you on electricity, it can save you up to 64,000 litres of water.

Through a joint initiative between many municipal governments and BC Hydro, those eligible for the rebate can purchase an approved clothes washer before June 15th. Qualifying appliances can be found at BC Hydro's website.

After you buy a new washer and send in a receipt, BC Hydro will issue the rebate cheque. Please dispose of your old washer properly, through municapal recycling depots.

washing machine


Read full post

Real Estate is not just about location, location, location. It's also about timing, timing, timing.

While sellers can do nothing to improve the location of their home, the same is not true for timing. Sellers can optimize their returns on housing sales by picking the most opportune time to sell.

And the best time to sell is May. As temperatures start to rise, enthusiasm and hope are also rising among real estate buyers and sellers. For those sitting on the fence wondering when to list, the time is now.

Weather and consumer sentiment have a lot to do with housing sales volumes. Cold and wet weather is correlated with slower housing sales. The presence of seasonality in real estate, with sales rising in summer months and falling in winter months is a well established fact.

While the housing market can be shaken up by rising mortgage rates, new mortgage rules and uncertainty, nasty weather and bad storms make matters worse.

After the slower winter months, the pent up demand for housing purchases is realized in early summer with help from houses showing better with leaves on the trees and manicured lawns.

Smart sellers must, therefore, add timing to the location mantra. Whereas sellers cannot pick a better location for their homes, they may pick a better time to sell.

Image result for images of houses for sale in the summer

Read full post

According to a new survey, more than 7 in 10 Canadian first-time home buyers (71%) are afraid that they will be hit by unanticipated costs during the process, and over half of those respondents (56%) are afraid that they will forget to take a crucial step as they gain their foothold on the property ladder.

Many first-timers are not taking the steps needed to prepare for a home purchase, which should be taken as seriously as preparing for the birth of a first child. Just 39% of respondents reported that they are taking the steps to reduce their debt ahead of their home purchase, with only 28% are working to improve their credit score.

Owning your first home can be an exhilarating yet unfamiliar experience. Knowing and preparing for what to expect on the home buying journey is often half the battle, and can help reduce unexpected surprises.

Less than half of first time buyers have planned for additional costs beyond the purchase price and down payment, and many are not aware of appraisal fees (49%), mortgage default insurance (47%) and closing costs (41%).

Some steps to help buyers along the way include:

manage existing debt and get your financial house in order;

consider all homebuying costs including appraisals, title searches, fee and adjustments;

get the right mortgage for your needs and work with a mortgage broker/adviser;

don't overstretch yourself on monthly costs or underestimate other home related expenses, such as property taxes and maintenance, and;

of course work with a realtor who has your back.

Young first-time home buyers stress

Read full post

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd has announced that the $70 million complex proposed for the Delta Town & Country Inn will be called Cascades Casino Delta.

Gateway also uses the Cascades brand for its Langley, Kamloops and Penticton casinos.

The public hearing for the rezoning application takes place tomorrow, May 1st at 6pm at the Ladner Community Centre.

If the proposal receives approval, the current 49 room hotel would be torn down this summer to make way for the new complex that would be scheduled to open in 2020.

The complex would include a hotel of 116 to 124 rooms, restaurants and meeting places, while the casino is to have 500 slot machines, 24 gaming tables and up to six e-tables. After 6 months, a review would take place but any substainial change to the gaming equation would require city approval.

The casino would be considerably smaller than Richmond's River Rock Casino Resort, which has 1,267 slot machines and 112 table games. Richmond has registered strong opposition  to the proposed Delta facility.

The B.C. Lottery Corporation estimated revenue coming to Delta will be at the top end of its initial $1.5 million to $3 million annual projection based on the casino opening with 500 slot machines. Does Delta need a casino? Your views?

casino

Read full post

Why try and re-invent the wheel?  Maybe Richmond should just adopt Delta's bylaw to stop mansions taking over valuable farmland.

Back in 2006, Delta made changes to prevent speculators and would-be  mansion owners from purchasing farmland as a cheap place to build huge homes, limiting house sizes and defining 'home plate' on agricultural properties.

The maximum farm house floor area for properties less than 8 hectares (20 acres) is 3,552 square feet and for properties 8 hectares or greater it's 5,005 square feet. The maximum area for an additional farmhouse is 1,937 square feet on a lot of less then 8 hectares, while it's 2,507 square feet on a lot of 8 hectares or greater.

Delta has also taken a number of other measures over the years to  protect farmland, including maintaining its policy to generally not permit lot splitting because smaller parcels are viewed as less valuable.

In 2010 Richmond attempted to restrict house  sizes in the ALR but council backed away after opposition from land owners and developers. Since then the average house size in the ALR reached a staggering 12,583 square feet in 2015, and much larger since.

Last year Richmond gave it another go, but didn't go along with the Ministry of Agriculture's recommended guideline for a maximum house of a little over 5,000 square feet, instead allowing homes twice that size, which certainly is not going to prompt developers and speculators to walk away.

Are mega mansions on Richmond's farmlands a sign of progress, or just giving in to big money developers.  Your thoughts?

farmland mansion

Read full post

Grinder and Coola are finally awake after their 153 day nap. 

To the delight of many visitors, the 2 Grouse Mountain residents emerged from their den yesterday morning and played around in the snow.

Beautiful spring weather welcomed the 17 year old bears who have lived at Grouse Mountain since 2001 when they were rescued after being orphaned during separate incidents in Bella Coola and Invermere.

The recent hibernation period has earned a tie for the longest since their arrival at Grouse Mountains Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability.

Grouse Mountain visitors can now watch the bears playing and exploring their habitat through the warmer months.

11

Read full post

If you are considering replacing your ageing TV and would like to watch your favourite movies and TV series literally anywhere, then the Lumipal 2000 might be what you are looking for.

The Lumipal 2000 is a premium HD projector that's as big and portable as a small book. The designers have crammed all the power and brightness of an expensive projector into this tiny book-sized device.

Now you can  project your favourite show on any surface in  high-quality 1080p, with a device that can handle all possible inputs - HDMI, AV, CVBS and or course USB - meaning you can project anything on it.

It's brightness is a stunning 800 lumens, which is not only surprising for a unit so small but is also considered the 'sweet spot'. Not too bright that it hurts your eyes , but easily bright enough to use during daytime in the shade.

All you have to do is plug it in and face it towards a wall, ceiling, blinds, garage door... then simply focus the picture using the lens dial. It takes about 10 seconds to set up. Then press play and just like that, you can relax and watch your favourite sports event, while saving thousands on what an expensive TV would have cost you. Sounds interesting. I will have to check it out!

Read full post

One of Richmond's most iconic, historic houses is set for a big renovation that will give it a new lease on life.

McKinney House on Dyke Road, next to London Landing was granted approval by city council to give the home a facelift and rebuild a non-historic extension at the back.

The renovation will maintain the historic features of the house, which was built on Steveston Highway and No. 2 Rd. in 1911.

The 4 storey house is considered an excellent example of Foursquare Edwardian era architecture with Craftsman influences. It became a protected heritage house in 1988. In 1993 the house was moved overnight to 6471 Dyke Road with local fanfare.

The plans are to tear down a non-historic 2 storey extension that was built in the 1990's and double its size, to accommodate a small pool downstairs and a living room upstairs.

The McKinney's arrived in Richmond in 1890. They ordered 'The Hamilton' house from the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogue in 1908. They made significant upgrades to the original Sears plan with the goal of constructing an unrivalled residence in Steveston.

The McKinneys were known for their philanthropy, volunteering with the Liberal party and the Kiwanis club, and hosting LIberal functions, Red Cross teas and fashion shows in the house.

They sold the house in 1948 to the Scallon family.

McKinney House

Read full post

Author, Roy MacGregor explains our hockey values best - teamwork, resourcefulness, tenacity, humility and truimph - which are the same principles Canadians try to uphold on the world stage, as individuals.

Across our country, on frozen backyard ponds, community rinks and in state-of-the-art arenas, Canadians play our national sport, hockey. The game that is invariably tied to our collective sense of what it means to be Canadian and is perhaps our most identifiable icon.

All season long, fans gather around TV's at home or in pubs to watch our national drama unfold - which only intensifies this time of year, during the playoffs.

This is the only time of year that I would dare cheer for the Winnipeg Jets, or worst, the Toronto Maple Leafs, but we  support our only Canadian teams left playing. Let's face it, if either of these teams made it to the final, we as a nation would be rushing to the nearest TV to cheer them on. 

And this year, more than any I can recall, our big Canadian Hockey Family, rallies together if support of the game, and those that we so tragically lost in Humboldt. 

Thank God for Hockey! 

Image result for humboldt bronco photos

Read full post

When you think of your average rock star, you probably picture him living in a multi-million dollar mansion, surrounded by luxury items galore. But rather than be bothered with flashy art work, a one-of-a-kind wine cellar or a pricey infinity pool, Kid Rock prefers to keep it really simple.

The multi-platinum artist, who's sold more than 26 million albums across the globe, hangs his cowboy hat inside a double wide trailer he placed on 102 acres he owns outside of Nashville.

He says that he doesn't require a lot and downsizing over the years has made him more happy.

He loved that idea that once he ordered his new home, it came delivered to the door in 2 weeks. You can customize a few things as you go along, and  put a nice wrap on it. Simplicity at its finest.

Image result for kid rock pictureImage result for picture of kid rock double wide home

Read full post