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On guard for the kids In this Sunday’s Leader

B.C. Lions give Boden a break page 19

Friday

September 21, 2007 Serving Surrey and North Delta

www.surreyleader.com

Councillor wants a large-scale sports facility in regional park

A ball field for Tynehead? by Kevin Diakiw

then colours wash together and images disappear. In the Cloverdale Minor Hockey peewee league, he watches for the players to converge, charges in, and keeps checking hard until the puck pops out. Parents Gino and Brenda watch from the bleachers, clutching an epi-pen. Because of his urticaria, a protracted stay on the ice will cause allergic symptoms, including the possibility of his throat swelling shut. A shot of epinephrine from the epi-pen will keep him alive until he can get to a hospital. This sensitivity to the cold is why his family moved here two years ago from Ontario, where winters pose a deadly risk. Anthony was told they were moving to a place called East Clayton, where he’d have friends close by and easy access to schools, stores and playgrounds.

A multi-purpose sports complex specializing in soccer may be in the cards for Tynehead Regional Park. At Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Tom Gill floated the idea of a large-scale facility, with six to eight soccer fields, on the eastern portion of the park at 96 Avenue and 168 Street. Gill noted there is a huge demand for sports fields, particularly for provincial soccer tournaments. It’s just the latest concept for Tynehead East, which has been the subject of proposals for golf courses, a zoo and even the relocation of the Pacific National Exhibition. The reaction from council was mixed, with all councillors eventually supporting the notion of a regional sports venue. However, even some of the most ardent Tom Gill supporters of the plan admitted it was a long shot with regional authorities. Coun. Marvin Hunt, former GVRD (Greater Vancouver Regional District, now known as Metro Vancouver) chair, said Monday the region is unlikely to underwrite a service which is typically provided by municipalities. Coun. Linda Hepner said she’s been discussing the matter with Gill for some time and says funding could be an issue. “Therein lies the rub,” Hepner said. “If it’s GVRD land and

See TRAFFIC and LACK OF SERVICES / Page 3

See PARK / Page 4

EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

When Anthony Ciulla starts high school next year, he wants to become more independent. That may not be possible without a little support from the City of Surrey. He wants a pedestrian-controlled light installed at a busy intersection near his East Clayton home.

No crossing in sight

Anthony Ciulla, who is legally blind, is asking the city to provide him with safe passage to school by Kevin Diakiw Number 13 charges across the rink, slams his small frame into a player

nearly twice his size, and crashes onto the ice. Then he smiles. Twelve-year-old Anthony Ciulla is a digger. He likes to hit and he doesn’t mind taking the punishment in return. His helmet hides a shock of white hair, alabaster skin and pink eyes – features typical of the pigment condition experienced by albinos. On the ice, Anthony is a normal kid – part of the team. He doesn’t think about the fact the temperature of the rink could kill him because of a rare disorder known as cold-induced urticaria. He’s here to hit, and flush out the puck. And he’s so good at it, most parents watching him throughout the season don’t know Anthony is legally blind. With 20/200 vision, he can see about a dozen feet in front of him,

Editorial 6 Letters 7 Sports 17 Life 21 Classifieds 27


Friday September 21 2007 3

Surrey North Delta Leader

Lack of services worsens disability: CNIB Surrey lags behind Vancouver and Burnaby in traffic services for the blind

by Kevin Diakiw Anthony Ciulla’s disability is

caused by a lack of civic services, not by his limited vision, according to an advocate for the visually impaired. “It’s the environment he lives in that really makes him disabled,” said Rob Sleath, vice-chair of the board for the B.C. Yukon division of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Sleath is amazed at the bureaucratic hurdles facing the 12-year-old Clayton boy, whose family has been asking the city for a year for a pedestrian-controlled crosswalk in their neighbourhood. By comparison, Sleath said Vancouver and Burnaby are miles ahead in providing safe crossings for the visually impaired. When Sleath tells Vancouver staff a crossing is needed, they ask if it’s work-related. “If it’s for employment, that device is installed within 48 hours,” Sleath said. “If it’s for some other reason, it’s installed within about 30 days.” And he said there is no question of the need for a safe crossing at 68 Avenue and 188 Street. “I took time to personally go out and assess this intersection and I thought ‘this is going to be a problem,’ ” said Sleath, who is totally blind. “I wouldn’t cross that one particular corner in question – even with my guide dog, who is trained to do street crossings.”

DAN FERGUSON / THE LEADER

Warm wood and stained glass provide a welcome worship space at Christ Church in Cloverdale. Rev. Craig Vance is the 25th priest to serve at the heritage church since it was built in 1882.

Oldest church in Surrey marks 125th anniversary

Christ Church in Cloverdale invites past and present parishioners to special event by Dan Ferguson

The bell still rings to call the faithful to prayer. Rev. Vance is the 25th priest to serve Christ the Redeemer Parish Reverend Craig Vance is showing a visitor the interior of the 125since the church was built on one acre of donated land next to the first year-old heritage church at 16613 57A Avenue. Surrey municipal hall in 1882. Dark wooden beams support the high peaked roof It took seven weeks from the laying of the foundation of the English-style chapel, arching across the altar stone to complete at a cost of $1,200. and the tall stained glass windows that flood the In 1978, Surrey’s first church was designated a herispace with warm natural light. tage site. The lovingly restored small wooden structure Over the past two years a complete exterior restorastands across the street from its larger successor, an tion and painting was carried out in cooperation with Reverend Craig Vance Surrey Heritage Commission and B.C. Heritage Trust. airy, spacious church built in 1990. “It’s not a museum,” Rev. Vance says of the first This Sunday (Sept. 23) the church is inviting former place of worship ever built in Surrey. parishioners, people who have celebrated baptisms, “This is a working church.” marriages, confirmations, friends and neighbours to an Services are still held in the heritage church, including weddings for anniversary service and community barbecue. couples who want the romantic feel of the 19th-century surroundings. See SERVICE / Page 4

“It’s not a museum. It’s a working church.”

See BLIND / Page 4

Traffic: Issue before council Oct. 1 From Page 1

EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

Rob Sleath says even his trained guide dog Lombardi is overwhelmed by East Clayton traffic.

Those things all exist in close proximity, but easy access has proven elusive. Anthony lives on an urban island, a subdivision encircled by the buzz of busy traffic. Vision experts have told him not to try and cross a busy road without a light or assistance. When the topic comes up, he crosses his arms, blood rushes to his white face giving it a rare splash of colour, and his eyes dart from side to side. He’s angry. For all he’s done to just be a normal kid, his most significant hurdle is what he considers a flaw in urban planning – not a pedestrian-controlled crossing in sight.

The realization comes as he prepares for high school, where boys become young men, and interest in girls and fitting in is the social mantra. Relying on mom and dad to drop him off at school every day will only serve to disrupt his growing sense of independence. For the past year, he has watched powerlessly as his parents fought with the city for a pedestrian-controlled safe crossing at 188 Street and 68 Avenue. Requests were falling on deaf ears, and despite repeated complaints, the city is preparing to install a roundabout at the intersection, which may have served to calm traffic, but cut him off from his school. “What about my freedom?” he

fumes to his mom. “Why don’t they care?” Brenda stares back, unable to give her son an acceptable answer. He doesn’t like the attention, isn’t happy being interviewed, but he knows his mom will stand before Surrey council on Oct. 1 asking them to provide safe passage for her son. He wants the nine politicians to know more about why she’s there. And look out if they don’t agree to do something, he says. “Every kid in my class will write letters, and I’ll be calling them constantly.” Because that’s what Anthony does best. He rushes into the crowd, goes after what he wants, and isn’t afraid of the consequences.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

Anthony Ciulla is unable to cross the intersection at 188 Street and 68 Avenue unassisted.


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Friday September 21 2007

Surrey North Delta Leader

Park: Leave pristine, Coun. Bob Bose argues

From page 1

GVRD supported, hopefully it would be GVRD funded.” Mayor Dianne Watts also acknowledged other cities might not be supportive of the plan. “They may not,” she said, “but it doesn’t hurt to ask.” Coun. Bob Bose argued the green space should be left in its pristine condition. “My preference for Tynehead Park is that it be left as a natural area,

and not developed,” Bose said. “It’s not a mandate of the regional district in any event ... I think it has little to no chance of being supported at the regional district.” Gill said it would be an extremely unique project. “There is no such facility in the Lower Mainland at this time and it would attract significant regional, provincial and national events,” Gill said. “The use of Tynehead Park’s eastern area for sport fields would definitely go hand-

in-hand with an extensive environmental study and plan to deal with sensitive ecological issues. It would be a significant and vital piece of this proposal.” Plans for a golf course at the 300-acre park two years ago was publicly opposed, with 55 per cent of those attending public hearings against the notion. Metro Vancouver Parks Committee vice-chair Barbara Steele will bring the idea to her committee next month. kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

Misplaced charity

EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

Penny Savers Thrift Store worker Pat Barkley goes through some of the unusable items recently left behind the 119 Street and 82 Avenue location. Removing the items cost the store $700 – money that won’t be going to its intended cause, the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. Store staff and volunteers are reminding people they do not accept donations of mattresses, computers or toys.

Service: Fun for the kids, public welcome From page 3

The service will start at 10 a.m. with a piper procession from historic Christ Church to the modern church of Christ the Redeemer. After the service there will be a free community barbecue starting at 12 noon. There will be activities for children with a pioneer theme, a media presentation on the history of the parish, and tours of Christ Church. Because of construction and road closures, the best way to access the church is from 168 Street west onto 57A Avenue. The church can be contacted at 604-576-2216.

dferguson@surreyleader.com

Blind: 6,000 in Surrey

From page 3

He notes the installation of a roundabout would make the crossing worse. For blind people relying on hearing, traffic in a roundabout is often swerving toward them when it sounds like it’s turning away. Sleath believes this city needs more pedestriancontrolled crossings for the

increased safety of both the blind and fully sighted. He estimates there are about 6,000 blind people in Surrey. The city could face human rights complaints if it fails to provide safe crossings for the blind, he says. Brenda and Gino Ciulla will appeal to city council on Oct. 1.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com


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