Saturday, May 30, 2009

...........and speaking of shopping........

May 30th 2009 - Maple Ridge:
Radio Haney took a walk into the core this morning to the Haney Market. A small scattering of vegetable and crafts stores with promises of more to come. The district appears to be going full ball in paving 224th's Spirit Square project in time for the summer crowds and festivals. Good see some form of dynamic energy being churned out in the downtown. RH walked back via Dewdney Trunk Road where - incredibly - many new small business are springing up on both the north and south side between 222nd and 224th. Could this be an indication of where the weight is shifting for retailers in the downtown core. With the Haney Place Mall apparently only frequented by the infirm and with the acceptance by almost everyone that the Haney Place Mall will remain as it until Shia Law becomes the rule in Maple Ridge, it is interesting to see that locals beginning to frequent our niche stores.
For many years now it has been suggested via studies and surveys that the only thing our downtown is good for businesswise is the small retailer. The trouble is that an epedmic of break ins, vandalism and petty crime including murder, drug dealing, prostitution and the slumdog millionaire neglect of property made famous in the movie "I was a slumdog millionaire in Maple Ridge" starring Jack Athawal has resulted in many retailers not even qualifying for insurance and having to leave town. True many businesses open in Maple Ridge. But in discussions with certain retailers Radio Haney learned that many of these businesses cannot get insurance for their stock as it is being turned over more often than expected by our local petty thieves who seem to have learned how to avoid detection by the local (well not really local) constabulary, ably assisted by a number of hired eyes and volunteers.
For all of its woes the downtown is showing some signs of vitality. As long as the district continues to clean the joint up and keep the pressure on the likes of community dysfunctionals like Jack then we may make some progress. The first shooting of a 'known drug dealer' this week will not have escaped the attention of anyone interested. The opening of the Golden Ears Bridge this month coming will mean it will be easier for the Fraser Valley hit men to access Maple Ridge's naughty boys, take them out, and make a hasty retreat south across the Fraser. The Golden Ears Bridge may be golden in more way than one - as in 'golden' opportunity.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Recycled arguments no match for District of Maple Ridge policy

It is silly season again in Maple Ridge. Appropriately public debate has swung around again to the debate on land use down in Albion. In the most recent round of publicly reported ideas we find nothing new. The recycling facility south of the Lougheed must have been going full tilt in the words, phrases and idea department.

Nothing wrong with public debate of course; let the public have it. Anyone seriously interested in the future of the Albion however need look no further than development applications going through the Maple Ridge planning department to understand that indeed a large mall of some sort will inevitably be built in the Albion; probably not for a decade or two, but it will come.

Building single family homes in subdivisions moving east from 240th to 284th on the Mission border is the ultimate goal. Single family homes, built on previously undeveloped land is the crack cocaine of the planning department. There is little hope - call it no hope - of this ever changing. Any talk of densification in the town core is just that, talk, a fop thrown at the greenerati (the intellectually green) to pacify them and make them feel good, and of course to make them feel that theirs is a worthy and rewarding cause.

With the Golden Ears Bridge weeks away from opening and its cousin the Pitt River Bridge due to open in the fall, one can already sense big changes are coming to Maple Ridge. It is not beyond comprehension to see this town hit a population of 250,000 by the turn of the century. The debate on the Albion will be long forgotten and 8 lanes will connect Maple Ridge and Mission with a fast train link along the 100% developed corridor between the two towns. Visitors will find a collection of high rises in our core and all the houses in Maple Crescent will be due for renovation. The Home Depot on Albion flats will be very busy.

The debate we had on agricultural land applications and the Albion in 1980s/90s and 00s will seem as trivial then as they are indeed now.

2003 Vision for the Albion Flats

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No need for any more new cars

A swift glance through any newspaper anywhere in the world on any day of the week will reveal that the world is awash in automobiles and vehicles of every imaginable kind. It is almost certain that if not a single new car was built in the following 20 years that the need would never arise for one. The automakers, now owned mostly by governments and the international oil industry has us all believing that we (the tax payers) must cast ourselves on the altar of carpitalism to save the global economy. What rubbish. The unions are happy to oblige as long as the workers are paid $70 an hour for assembling all the new cars that no one needs. More rubbish. Is it any wonder that we find ourselves in the current troubles. Let's see now - ah yes the sovereign banks. It is almost certain too that we do not need to print another dollar or build another house while the financial institutions from what we read are single beneficiaries of this global snow job. With this much snow around it is astounding that the earth is warming and not cooling. The only thing that makes sense this week is that Barcelona beat Manchester United on Wednesday. Thanks for the small justices.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Northumberland Court in the news again

RCMP arrest 'prolific offender' after kidnapping attempt in Maple Ridge

Kenneth Marcel Lavallee arrested on Friday

Shane Bigham MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS1130) Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 11:02 am MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS1130) - A man described as a 'prolific offender' has been arrested by Ridge Meadows RCMP--one of four people charged with a number of offences including kidnapping, forcible confinement, and dangerous driving. Kenneth Marcel Lavallee, 38, of New Westminster was arrested along with another man and two women.

RCMP say the incident started around 8:30 in the morning on Friday, when a 52 year old man was forced into an SUV on Warsely Street in Maple Ridge. A short time later, it was spotted at Northumberland Court on Fraser Street just off Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge, and followed to 119th Avenue and 227 Street.

Three arrests were made immediately--including Lavallee. RCMP describe him as someone officers are 'always wary of'. Lora-Lee Sandra Lockhart, 39, Tracy Michele Sellick, 45, and Frank William Chartrand, 34--all of Maple Ridge--were also arrested and charged.

The victim had been tied up and beaten. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

Up in arms

North Korea is once again being given heaps of media airtime over its nuclear program. A missile launched here, a test blast there. Once again Kim Il Jong has the United Nations running around like a headless chicken.

Let us say that every one's worst nightmare came true and North Korea managed to assemble a weapon and concomitant gear required to launch an attack. Who on earth cares? Who will the little man attack? More imortant, why?

If North Korea were lucky enough to get a missile off how long would it be before it received a visitation from a similar device launched by one of the super powers or perhaps even by nearby Pakistan.

After Bush's 'weapons of mass distruction' era of the past US administration we are, it is clear, now entering the Obama era of weapons of 'miss distraction.'

Kim Il Jong is incapable of hitting a barn door with a BB gun. And, if by some miracle he did lucky, there is little doubt that China and other Asian countries, ably assisted by Russia, are more than capable of taking away Kim's whole barn of western luxury goods.

One has to feel immense sorrow for the citizens of North Korea and one can only hope that they will one day find it in themselves to stand up agains the dictator Kim and take him out in one way or the other. In today's world it is not possible for a single country to threaten global stability. All that CNN, the BBC and the rest of the media is doing is making it easier for us to believe that North Korea is a threat when in fact it is nowhere close.

We became accustomed to the fear mongering of the Cheney-Bush duet. The media has taken over where Buch and Cheney left off. Surely there are more serious issues at hand. Who, for instance, is going to win the 2010 World Cup? North Korea? I think not.

Kim Il Jong may be an ugly little bugger, but Robert Mugabe he ain't.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Conservative reaction comes as no surprise

It is not that Canadian Conservatives are incapable of thought. Nor that Conservatives have difficulty writing books. In all probability there are even Conservatives who can lay claim to an ancestry which might include distant European royalty. Studies reveal that from time to time Conservatives have been spotted in foreign countries; a rare occurrence true, and mostly paid for by the unsuspecting Canadian tax payer.

Notwithstanding the similarities and common characteristics that bind the Conservative Party of Canada with the Liberals one can smell the distinct odour of fear and loathing in the air where Conservatives are gathered and when the single word "Iggy" is heard.

Frankly, Radio Haney is already of the opinion that the arrival of Iggy at the head of the Liberal table means the end of the current Conservative presence in Ottawa. True, they will always be present, just less so in the future.

Had the Conservatives acted with less panic, and lets face it, with more calm grace and (God forbid) a more intellectual approach, then the electorate would not have been alerted to the notion that Conservative MPs from coast to coast and southern border to the yet to be defined northern border, will lie sleepless in their beds until the next election. Like them or loath them it is clear that Conservatives have imploded by publicly declaring his imminence Ignatieff as un-Canadian. A man with a surname that no one can pronounce is set to become this country's first thinking, travelled, broad-minded, thoughtful prime minister. This arrival will come as a shock not only to the Conservatives but to the man in the street from Tofino to Toronto.

Oddly, this Canada hosts more conservative thinking and behaviour than possibly any other state on earth. Historically at least Canada's conservatism and national modesty has cloaked our nation in what seems often as woeful camouflaged obscurity. We are pained when reminded that the only person still remembered by the international community is Pierre what's his name.

Reviled as a communist by some Trudeau and Ignatieff can a least claim Russia as a their common denominator. I smell a left-wing conspiracy. No wonder Harper and friends have collectively soiled their pants at the prospect.

In British Columbia - and this has been widely commented on - the NDP failed a) because it is so natural for them to do so and b) because they attempted to paint Gordon Campbell as Mr. Nasty.

We the polite Canadian seem to react strongly when faced with negative campaigning by one party or the other. Were the Conservative Party to maintain the current level of negative advertising it will do no more than throw down the welcome mat to the doors of Parliament at the feet of Liberals. It demonstrates in a very transparent manner that the Conservatives lack exactly what Iggy is accused of, an intellectual understanding of the world we now occupy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Voters in Maple Ridge have the last word

Radio Haney was witness to one of the all candidates meetings held, appropriately, in St Andrew's Heritage Church in Haney.

The voters in this town tend to be on the older side, though I saw quite a few bright young faces at the advanced poles and even more on polling day. It was interesting comparing the firm determined looks of the elderly voter to that of the slightly uncertain look on the fresh faced first-time voter. "You've yet to be let down by a party you voted for, "I thought about the young. And with the older voters in mind I wondered if they would vote despite so many broken promises over the decades for their favourite party.

There is something quaint and familiar about the voting process in Maple Ridge. It is a bit like a school reunion where only half - if that - of the invited guests show up. Held as it were in mostly wooden structures that have remained standing here on the banks of the Fraser river, notwithstanding the weather, vandalism and the occassional fire (fires love wood you know), it is hard not to be reminded of our past, a not-so-distant past. I say 'our past' though Radio Haney has only been around for some 15 years, so one should not presume too much.

This was a ho-hum provincial election by all accounts. That's the problem with fixing the date for an election; you know its coming, wanted or not. A ho-hum election featuring less than ho-hum candidates. You'd swear some of them were quite determined not to win at all. Campaigning is tough work and it seems most of the work is left to the candidate; often a blatantly obvious one man show.

If the polls are accurate then it is fair to say that we live in a well-balanced community with the results being so close as to put a halt to any pre-partying until the final count was in. No runaway, slash and burn landslides in this district thank you very much. And that about covers it for Maple Ridge. A little to the right, a little to the left. A little of the unacceptable face of capitalism blended with just enough leftism not to qualify for outright communism. Tons of union workers nicely balanced by a barrage of self-employed individuals. All they have in common as an enemy is government itself. We can all find fault with government; and when we go the polls we go under the illusion that our party will 'sort it out.' Save the trees, save the children, spare the poor, help the aged, keep our town safe from sex, drugs and rock and roll, stop/start the developers and ring that bell, ding dong dell.

At least it is all over now and we only have to glance at the NEWS or the TIMES once in a while over the next coming years to see how Mr Sather and Mr Dalton are doing in Victoria.

In effect Maple Ridge now has a left hand and indeed a right hand. One can only hope that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. A brain between the two hands would be helpful too. Only time will tell.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Vote for the BC Liberals

There are only 3 days left until Election Day so we need your help more than ever!

Former NDP Premier Harcourt endorses BC Liberal climate plan:

Premier Campbell cheers on Canucks and Kelowna Rockets.

NDP continues to mislead on job-killing plan.

Last day to vote early: Find your polling station, what you need to bring

Vancouver Sun: ‘Women Line Up Behind Campbell’.

Thanks again for helping us get the message out!

The BC Liberal Team

Sunday, May 03, 2009

IPSOS rude

Ipsos: 'When it comes to who people think looks like they should be in charge, Gordon Campbell wins by a lot'

A lot? Is that it? "He wins by a lot."

When it comes to the English language IPSOS sucks - a lot.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Political Surgery

Three BC surgeons were playing golf and discussing surgeries they had performed.

One of them said, "I'm the best surgeon in Maple Ridge. In my favorite case, a concert pianist lost seven fingers in an accident. I reattached them, and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England."

The second surgeon said, "That's nothing. A young man lost an arm and both legs in an accident. I reattached them and two years later he won a gold medal in track and field event at the Olympics."

The third surgeon said, "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a woman was high on cocaine and rode her horse head-on into a West Coast Express traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the woman's hair and the horse's ass. I was able to put them together and now that asshole is Leader of the NDP."

Keep common sense in BC politics and vote Liberal on May 12

The NDP are decoupled from reality

Taxing death & beer?
You've got to be kidding me.
Dear friend,

Just when you thought the NDP had run out of things to tax, they've found two more - death and beer.

Yes, these two bombshells rocked the NDP campaign today.


Recently an NDP candidate surprised all participants at an all-candidates forum when he directly endorsed the introduction of a new tax on inheritance – sometimes called a “death tax” – if the NDP were elected.

Shockingly, the NDP not only want to increase taxes on you while you’re alive, but they also want to increase taxes on you after you’re gone.


Yesterday the NDP confirmed they will increase costs for private liquor retailers by $155-million over the next three years resulting in an average $3 increase in the price of a six-pack of beer – risking thousands of jobs in over 650 retail stores.

As British Columbians kick back with their friends and family and enjoy the Canucks' playoff run and the arrival of summer, the last thing they need to hear is that the NDP will jack up the price of beer and wine.

While people are worried about their jobs during the global economic downturn, the NDP is trying to find new ways to tax you.

As we approach Election Day, I’d ask you to contrast this news with the over 120 tax cuts made by the BC Liberal government over the last eight years.

Today, I urge you to spread the word, get involved, make a donation, and help us stop the NDP.


Kelly Reichert
Director of Operations

Friday, May 01, 2009

Why does the NDP want to stop Gordon Campbell - stop him from what?

Here is the thrust - I use the word advisedly - of the NDP's campaign message. Radio Haney's comments in blue:

It's time to stop Gordon Campbell

After years of arrogance and neglect, ordinary British Columbians know things will get worse if he's re-elected.

RH: Where is the neglect, where is the arrogance (all British Columbians are ordinary, so what is the point) and if they are ordinary what ordinary secret powers do they possess that enables them know that things will get worse if Gordon Campbell is re-elected?

They know that Gordon Campbell will use the recession to cut and privatize like never before.

RH: They (the ordinary British Columbians) do not know that Gordon Campbell will use the recession to cut and privatize 'like never before'. The NDP credits GC with superhuman powers if they feel he can 'use' the recession. Like all other leaders he has no alternative but to wait out the recession. To think that he can somehow benefit from the recession is a little naive.

And they know Campbell will cut health and education to help his friends, donors and big private interests.

RH: James and he advisors need to get a little more specific if they think that this fear-mongering will work. They - the ordinary British Columbians - do not 'know' that GC will cut health and education. The truth of the matter is that the NDP are just as likely to cut health and education in the highly unlikely event of being elected.

With record job losses in the last few months, ordinary British Columbians are worried they can't count on Campbell to protect their jobs and incomes in tough times.

RH: More ordinary British Columbians? One wonders if there are any extra-ordinary British Columbians at all? It is the views it seems of the NDP that we are all ordinary. Little wonder then that this province, pretty as it is, is not widely known for much else than simply being Beautiful British Columbia. A beautiful place, full of ordinary people; at least that seems to be the NDP take on things. If ordinary British Columbians are worried they can't count on Campbell then one must assume that extraordinary British Columbians hold another view altogether; the less than ordinary ones - the majority - will show that they are very confident in Campbell's management skills when it comes to protecting jobs and incomes. The brightest and hardest working will of course manage quite nicely thank you without any assistance from either the NDP or the Liberals.

His unfair and ineffective gas tax will triple, making it harder for working families to make ends meet without doing anything to help the environment.

RH: It will also take a huge chunk of vehicles off the road - good for the environment. Replacing cars with public transport is an idea as old as the hills and it works. Gas should be taxed like cigarettes.

And after years of delays Campbell still evades all questions about alleged corruption in the sale of BC Rail. What's he hiding?

RH: Allegations are of course simply allegations. He may very well be hiding something - he is after all a politician. We will never know what Carol James is hiding as she will never be in a position where knowing her secrets will be of interest to anyone; except of course ordinary British Columbians.


Never use the word 'thrust' when Marc Dolton is in the room.


The works of Picasso were just a pigment of his imagination

How it all began