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Peace Arch Arch News News Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Peace

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Added costs of abandonment Editor: Vacant homes have been a concern in Vancouver west side for number of years, and the wave arrived at my neighbourhood here two years ago. The situation is getting worse. I live in Chantrell area, where many multi-million acreage properties are located. More and more baby boomers chose to downsize, and they sold their homes to wealthy foreign investors, mostly from Asia with hot cash. Since many of these properties – valued at $2-7 million – are for investment purpose only, irresponsible buyers often leave the houses alone without regular landscape maintenance. The result of this can bring negative impact to the community. Garbage and yard waste brings bad feelings to those who walk by every day, especially the next-door neighbours. The entire standard of the neighbourhood is being dragged down to the worse point ever. Since the standard of the community declines, it’s hard to say it won’t affect property values. There are potential security problems; chances for break-ins rise and add risk to surrounding neighbours. Who knows what’s happening in the backyards? There is also a challenge on social fairness: empty houses are treated as merchandises on shelves, a tool to boost personal properties. Those who really want to live and work in South Surrey have less selection while buying a “real home.” I don’t know what the solution for this is – how to make these wealthy buyers develop a sense of being a responsible “homeowner,” not an “investor,” and how to fit in the Canadian’s social values. Restrictions and regulations from the government might be able to help. The City of Surrey does accept complaints regarding overgrown property landscape, but I believe it has to reach the extreme level. I hope this topic is able to be brought to people’s attention. Jenny Lo, Surrey

claim and his health records in the armed forces proved this to be true. Veterans Affairs has a process that must be followed before a former serviceman is eligible for DVA funds. The process is well supervised so no one can take advantage. My husband is very pleased with the care he has received, and so are many other veterans. As for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, I am glad he shows that our country will stand up for Israel. On Remembrance Day, we think about the tragic loss of so many people and how six million Jewish people were barbarically exterminated. It is said “never again,” and we mean it. Leone Wright, Surrey Q An open letter to MP Russ Hiebert. Your letter to the editor states that “since taking office in 2006 we have increased funding for veterans by over $4 billion.” Could you please supply a detailed breakdown year by year of the amount? Figures rounded up or down to the nearest $100,000 will suffice. I am sure Peace Arch News will gladly publish them. Wolfgang Schmitz, White Rock

Impatience a danger Editor: Last week, at about 11 a.m. Monday, I was crossing the intersection at 148 Street and 16 Avenue in South Surrey/White Rock. The light was showing the white “walk” signal, and I was halfway across when I was suddenly faced with a vehicle in my face ready to run me over. I shouted and raised my arms high, and the woman thankfully stopped. I was in awe when the driver scoffed at me, as to say “get out of my way old man.” Lady, stop and take a deep breath and slow down. You just about killed someone’s father/husband/ brother. This is so common these days. People are stressed to the max, uptight and don’t give a damn for the next person. It’s so bad driving a vehicle as well. Everyone’s in a hurry. Half of the vehicles have no rear lights. Pickuptruck drivers want control on the roads, and force smaller cars to escape the rudeness.

For what? You will have plenty of time to slow down in a cold jail cell awaiting a sentence for manslaughter. Thomas Mac Kay, White Rock

One to blame for tragedy Editor: Re: Victim’s sister doesn’t blame officer, Feb. 13. My heart bleeds for Lynné McCutcheon and her family, as well as for the victim, Marilyn Laursen. Let’s put the blame fair and square where it lies – on driver Kyle Danyliuk. Danyliuk should have stopped when told to by Const. David Bickle, but he did not. I most passionately disagree with the people that are using the officer as a scapegoat in this stupidly politically correct society that we have developed for ourselves. I take my hat off to McCutcheon for her sanity and logic in this case. After all, who was driving the car that killed Laursen? Definitely not Const. Bickle. Ivan Scott, Surrey

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quote of note

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Lady, stop and take a deep breath and slow down. You just about killed someone’s father/ husband/brother.a Thomas Mac Kay

write: 200 - 2411 160 Street, Surrey, B.C. V3S 0C8

fax: 604.531.7977 Contributed photo

Caring for our veterans Editor: Re: Conflict over Veterans Affairs, Feb. 13 letters. No need for veterans to worry about being neglected by the recent closures of under-used offices, our MP, Russ Hiebert (South SurreyWhite Rock-Cloverdale), carefully explained in the letter to Peace Arch News. As for letter-writer John Fortin, who complained about the poor service he received from the Department of Veterans Affairs, his facts are perplexing. My husband is a recipient of DVA services due to a hearing loss that was directly caused from his air force service. He had to substantiate this

Resident Dick Avison puts out a sign for the Peninsula’s Cold Weather Shelter whenever it is open for the night.

Sharing faith in our fellow man Editor: Care for the hungry and homeless of the Peninsula drew an unusual number of clergy together, on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in late January. The Christmas memories of “no room at the inn” for the baby Jesus inspired clergy to eat together and to hear of the issues and services for those in poverty, on our affluent Peninsula. Churches may not agree on biblical interpretation, gender equality or religious language, but they can come together at their best on compassion for the poor! The lunch event was organized by the “Peninsula Homeless to Housing” (PH2H) task force, made up of individuals, service groups and churches whose mission is “to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness on the South Surrey White Rock Peninsula to live in safe and appropriate housing.” Information was shared about the Cold Weather

Shelter, the low-cost community meals, the Sources Food Bank, the homeless outreach workers, and other practical resources for churches who are caring for people in poverty. There was a brief presentation on how churches and other non-profit organizations can leverage their land for low-income or subsidized housing. Opportunities for involvement and deepened service were highlighted, including last Saturday’s “Coldest Night” walk. Many of the clergy and their representatives were surprised by the statistics of poverty on the Peninsula and were impressed with what was already happening. They agreed that more individual and congregational efforts could and should be made to make a difference. After all, people are cold and hungry out there, as one person said, and they are our neighbours! Rev. Joan McMurtry, First United Church Pastor Mike Schroeder, Life Church White Rock

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Peace Arch News, February 25, 2014  

February 25, 2014 edition of the Peace Arch News